Arts and Entertainment

Wigmore Hall, London

Album: Louth Contemporary Music Society, Path (LCMS)

World premieres by Arvo Pärt and John Tavener are the main attractions of this anthology, though supporting material by Uzbek, Serbian and Georgian composers is equally engaging, particularly the two movements of Yanovsky's "Chang Music IV", which blend cello glissandi with koto-style pizzicato.

Album: Agnes Obel, Philharmonics ([PIAS])

The strikingly austere tone of the cover photo of Berlin-based Danish composer Agnes Obel is borne out in the contents of Philharmonics, in which limpidly evocative piano instrumentals in the vein of Ludovico Einaudi, some tinted with cello, organ, harp or celesta, blend seamlessly with Obel's delicately dusky harmonies, floating like feathers in songs such as the haunting "Riverside" and "Beast".

Mike Edwards: Cellist with the original line-up of the Electric Light Orchestra

Considered a guilty pleasure or derided for their obvious Beatles influences, the Electric Light Orchestra were one of the biggest bands of the Seventies and early Eighties, with worldwide sales of over 50 million albums.

Album: Steven Isserlis, reVisions (BIS)

Isserlis's collection flirts madly with profundity and schmaltz.

Album: Alexis Descharmes, Klaus Huber: Complete Cello Works (Aeon)

Few composers have investigated the cello's range and capabilities quite as exhaustively as Klaus Huber, but the standout track here, "Ein Hauch von Unzeit" was not originally written for the instrument: Descharmes' mournful solo cello gradually acquires life as three further cellos join in, their lines weaving together with a timbral variety which in places recalls the piece's origins as a work for flute.

My Fantasy Band - Bianca Casady, CocoRosie

'Michael Jackson's sense of rhythm was amazing'

Album: Britten, Cello Symphony – Wispelwey / Kim / FSO (Onyx)

Written for Rostropovich, Britten's Cello Symphony is a concerto in all but name.

Album: Trio Dolce Vita, Amarcord (Jazzwerkstatt)

The woody – even Acker Bilk-ish – sound of a clarinet tootling Nino Rota's title-theme from Fellini's Amarcord against the clip-clop rhythm of double bass and plucked cello must be one of the most nostalgic musical experiences imaginable.

Album: Bach, Mass in B Minor – Dunedin Consort (Linn Records)

The Dunedin Consort's premiere recording of Joshua Rifkin's scholarly edition of Bach's B-minor Mass has many attractive features: the emphatic "k" that launches the first Kyrie (the orchestra sounding on the vowel), closely dovetailed count-erpoint, gorgeous playing from David Watkin (cello), Katy Bircher (flute) and Patrick Beaugirard (oboe), and a calm but purposeful sense of narrative.

Album: John Metcalfe, Matthew Barley, Constant Filter (Signum Classics)

Most recently to be found helping Peter Gabriel transform the cover versions on Scratch My Back, John Metcalfe here furnishes cellist Matthew Barley with a series of pieces mostly composed for solo cello and electronics.

Album: Howard Goodall The Seasons (EMI Classics)

While not wishing to criticise any modern composer savvy enough to secure a commission, there are obvious potential problems when the piper playing the tune is an ITV series fronted by Alan Titchmarsh, as with The Seasons.

Album: Isang Yun, Concertino; Duo; Intermezzo; Pezzo Fantasioso (Wergo)

The concertina rarely features in classical music outside the work of Astor Piazzolla or Pauline Oliveiros, and its use alongside strings in these four pieces is indicative of the Korean composer Isang Yun's fondness for unusual instrumental combinations. The Taoist principles behind his work are perhaps most evident in the rising figures representing the shift from darkness to light in Duo, or the contrast between the high, bird-like violins and the vibrant chord-clusters of Stefan Hussong's accordion in Concertino. Originally scored for cello and piano, Intermezzo is less diverse, with the cello's bowed lowing occupying similar space to the accompanying accordion drone.

Musashi, Barbican Theatre, London

Yukio Ninagawa’s productions are often hauntingly numinous, but what he's done with Hisashi Inoue’s play ‘Musashi’ transports us to a realm where life and death are literally one and the same.

Album: Mendelssohn, Piano Trios Opus 49 and 66 (Avie)

No disrespect to Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma but the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio's Mendelssohn has more vitality than the Sony supergroup's burnished account.

Album: The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You (American Recordings)

The man can even make Gogol Bordello sound great.

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash