Robin Ticciati and Stephen Hough rehearse for Prom 49

Classical review: Prom 49 - Bad parenting has rarely been portrayed with such delicacy or such pummelling power

A fleet performance of the German master’s Third Symphony offers a reminder of its revolutionary impact, two centuries on

Tosca

Classical review: Tosca - Adam Spreadbury-Maher's production doesn't quite meet expectations

OperaUpClose specialises in bold transpositions, best exemplified by its witty setting of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera in an IKEA store. For Tosca their writer-director Adam Spreadbury-Maher has effected a different kind of transposition, but one which is entirely logical.

Album review: Chris Thile, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 (Nonesuch)

Once again, the protean malleability of J.S. Bach's genius is demonstrated by the unusual transcription of his work - in this case, the Violin Sonatas and Partitas - to another instrument, the mandolin. The Punch Brothers' mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile was first drawn to Bach by the rhythmic “groove” of Glenn Gould's 1981 re-recording of The Goldberg Variations. Thile's country and improv roots lend more rubato accents than some might prefer, but he liberates the pieces from their conservatoire corsets. The dazzling deftness of his fingering in the Presto and Double Presto sections evokes a kind of giddy delirium and his feathery technique wrests the tenderest of emotions from the second Sonata's Andante.

Classical review: Acis and Galatea - Handel among the hollyhocks – one of the pleasures of reaching a certain age

There comes a time in one's life when instead of switching channels when Gardeners' Question Time starts on BBC Radio 4, you find yourself soothed by discussions of wintersweet, sawfly and lousewort. Devotees of the programme will know of Iford Manor because of its garden, designed by Harold Peto to the Italian model, its terraces heavy with wisteria, its cloisters peppered with statuary from long abandoned churches. For those of us who can kill a pot of basil with a single glance, it hosts the most enchanting of the summer festivals, Iford Arts.

Music review: La rondine, Royal Opera House, London

Why did Angela Gheorghiu look so uneasy taking her curtain calls at the revived Rondine's first night? It couldn't just have been her unflattering wardrobe for Act 3. One had the sense that there was, for her, some underlying problem with her part, or with the production, or even with the opera itself. Puccini was never satisfied with this un-categorisable hybrid, and he was still tinkering with it at the end of his life.

Album review: Einav Yarden, Oscillations: Piano Music by Beethoven & Stravinsky (Challenge Classics)

This is an unusual juxtaposition of seemingly incongruent composers, not least because of their contrasting attitudes to piano music – such an integral aspect of Beethoven's work, virtually an afterthought for Stravinsky, despite the instrument's centrality to his compositional process.

Classical review: Verdi’s Ballo, King’s Head Theatre, London

The news that OperaUpClose were planning to stage Verdi’s A Masked Ball in an IKEA store did not sound promising, as we’d been there before. In 2009 Flatpack Opera made Wembley IKEA the venue and subject of a work whose audience was joined by bemused shoppers, not all of whom were keen to be plunged into an art event which began in the bedsit department and ended in kitchens. At least OperaUpClose were doing it in a kosher theatre.

Classical review: Jennifer Pike, Sharp, Arensky, Kunhardt, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Ever since she made history by winning the BBC Musician of the Year contest at the age of twelve, Jennifer Pike has been setting a furious pace as a performer, while maintaining a healthy academic balance.

Imogen Cooper’s coolly reflective reading of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto was at odds with the more extrovert approach of the Budapest Festival Orchestra under its conductor Ivan Fischer

Classical review: Budapest Festival Orchestra - Bohemian rhapsody marred by clash of styles

In 2011, Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra played two BBC Proms in one night. The first was a meticulously disciplined programme of Liszt and Mahler, the second a jamboree of party pieces and encores, selected by raffle from a list of some 200 works. Encores are the great disinhibitors of classical music and they have served Fischer and his orchestra well. Now 30 years old, the BFO can melt the cognoscenti with musical kitsch, compete with the finest in core symphonic repertoire, and deliver Beethoven with the transparency of period instruments. Whether this should all be attempted in one performance is another matter.

Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

One to Watch: Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

A toy glockenspiel given to him aged six fuelled his passion for the piano. It served him well – already he has played for the Prince of Monaco alongside Lulu.

Marin Alsop will be the first woman to conduct the Last Night at the Proms in its 119 year history

BBC Proms 2013 schedule in full

Here are the listings of the BBC Proms season 2013 in full:

Classical review: The British Schubert, Wigmore Hall, London

The word 'accompanist' comes loaded with prejudice: the singer is the thing, with the shadowy figure at the keyboard merely expected to play the notes. Yes, of course it’s nonsense, but until Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau publicly proclaimed the brilliance of the great Gerald Moore, this was the prevalent view.

Marie-Claire Alain: Prodigious French organist

The French organ virtuoso Marie-Claire Alain was that rare jewel: a teenage musical prodigy who matured into one of the finest and most sought after recitalists and teachers.

Classical pianist Janina Fialkowska

Classical pianist with a paralysed arm wins BBC Music Magazine Award

Just over a decade ago, acclaimed classical pianist Janina Fialkowska discovered a tumour that would leave her left arm paralysed.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'