Classical review: John Tavener, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Very occasionally a performance is so special that the audience feels reluctant to shatter the moment which hangs in the air between them and the musicians with something as profane as applause. So it was at the concert of music by Sir John Tavener at the Manchester International Festival which contained no fewer than three world premieres by the great man as he approaches his 70th birthday.

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: Eels, End Times Vagrant

Pity poor Mark "E" Everett: beleaguered by a family background pock-marked with mad genius, suicide and cancer, he's no sooner finally come to terms with turbulent desire in last year's Hombre Loco than he's left shattered by break-up, contemplating End Times.

Album: David Gray, Draw the Line (Polydor)

It's taken David Gray four years to follow up Life in Slow Motion, and frankly, you have to wonder what's been holding him up, as these 11 pleasant, predictable songs represent no great development or deviation from the course of his previous work.

Album: Dan Black, 'Un' (A&M)

Widely hailed as one of pop's brighter young things, Dan Black is best known so far for the single "Symphonies", which brings to mind the young Beck.

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Album: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart

Given the variety of intriguing approaches, from shanties to waltzes and rumbas to torch-songs, employed on this year's Sunday at Devil Dirt, the second album-length collaboration between Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, "Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart" is not the first track one would expect to lead off a six-track EP of outtakes.