Album: Chopin, Cello Music/ Andreas Brantelid (EMI)

Chopin's anniversary avalanche is already in full swing, with this disc by Sweden's highest-flying young cellist leading the field in that instrument.

Adrian Hamilton: Sing Hallelujah for our Handel

He understood that the British are uniquely in love with performance

Album: Leif Ove Andsnes, Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition/Schumann: Kinderszenen (EMI Classics)

Though lacking an important element when separated from the visual settings devised by artist Robin Rhodes, Leif Ove Andsnes' performance here has much to recommend it. There's his delicate, fluttering touch, almost like a hammer dulcimer, on the "Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle" section, and particularly the way the gossipy, chattering tone of "Limoges – Le Marche" is sustained until it founders on the funereal opening chords of the "Catacombs", in whose sombre progress can be glimpsed the promenading art-lover himself.

Album:Sergei Rachmaninoff, Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff (RCA Red Seal)

"A superb new recording of Rachmaninoff playing his own works...," claims the cover.

Album: Bach, Partitas/Andras Schiff (ECM New Series)

Twenty-five years after his first recording of Bach's Partitas, Schiff returns to these works with new ideas, some seemingly informed by his directing of the Brandenburg Concertos from the keyboard.

Album: Vivaldi, New Discoveries (Naive)

Naïve's survey of the 450Vivaldi manuscripts in theNational University Libraryof Turin continues witha lucky-dip programmefrom recorder virtuosoFederico Maria SardelliandModoAntiquo.

Album: Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten (Sony Classical)

The Seasons was Haydn's final oratorio, a secular equivalent of his sacred The Creation, albeit based on less-imposing source material than Paradise Lost.

Album: Richard Wagner, Lohengrin – Bychkov/LDRSK, (Hanssler Profil)

For those disinclined to spend an evening filtering out the BacoFoil breastplates of the Royal Opera House's latest revival of Lohengrin, this recording of Semyon Bychkov's slow-burning interpretation is a gift.

Close-up: Charles Hazlewood

Why borders couldn't hold the conductor back in his tribute to British music

The Rest is Noise, By Alex Ross

From Mahler and Richard Strauss past Britten and Gershwin to Bjork and the Velvet Underground, The New Yorker's awesomely eloquent critic tells the story of musical composition in the 20th century. As he focuses on the works and people that truly counted, Ross can switch from Ellington to Sibelius without missing a beat.

Smelkov The Brothers Karamazov, Mariinsky Theatre/ Gergiev, Barbican Hall

It’s a brave (or foolhardy) man who dares to make an opera of Dostoyevsky’s seminal novel The Brothers Karamazov.

Haydn The Creation, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/ RIAS Chamber Choir/ Jacobs, Barbican Hall

And Haydn said – let there be enlightenment.

Album: Beethoven, Lieder und Gesänge – Ainsley/Burnside, Signum

There is something monumental about John Mark Ainsley's Beethoven – a heroic seriousness that suggests that even in the briefest of 'Lieder', or the most carefree 'Gesänge', the composer was writing for posterity.

Album: Mahler, Seventh Symphony – LSO/Gergiev (LSO LIVE)

Recorded live at the Barbican in March, Valery Gergiev's performance of the Seventh Symphony as part of his complete Mahler cycle with the London Symphony is typical of his no-holds-barred approach to a composer who himself always goes to the limits.

Danielle de Niese, Barbican, London

"Myself I shall adore," sang Danielle de Niese at the Barbican, incarnating Handel's sexually voracious Semele. But this girl hardly needed to, so deafening is the chorus of approval in which she basks. She's the ultimate classical poster-girl, deployed to lethal effect by Glyndebourne, first in 2005 as the sexiest Cleopatra in living memory in Giulio Cesare, and now as a raunchy 21st-century version of Monteverdi's mixed-up Poppea.

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