Anton Bruckner makes me lose the will to live

The conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin explore Bruckner's last three symphonies over three nights at the Royal Festival Hall, this month.

Leif Ove Andsnes, Queen Elizabeth Hall

As the leading pianist of his native Norway, Leif Ove Andsnes has traded very effectively on his easy manner and camera-friendly looks, and the Queen Elizabeth hall was predictably packed.

Album: The Knights, A Second of Silence (Ancalagon)

The starting point for this intriguing programme from young US ensemble The Knights is Morton Feldman's suggestion that part of the magic of Schubert is "that kind of hovering, as if you're in a register you've never heard".

Follow the lieder: Franz Schubert

The Week In Radio: Schubert shows it's easy to become hooked on classics

So, Schubert. He's inescapable, or at least he is on Radio 3. If you're not an admirer but a regular listener, you'll either have to decamp to Classic FM or seek refuge in silence which is, of course, unthinkable. I can't claim to be an authority on the composer since my knowledge of classical music can pretty much be summed up in Music for Babies, a CD that someone who didn't know me too well gave me when I was pregnant after it was claimed that exposure to classical music would increase my child's IQ. (To what extent it succeeded isn't clear). Pretty much all I know about Schubert is that he's the greatest songwriter since The Beatles. Hang on, that doesn't sound right....

Feinstein Ensemble/London Bach Singers, Purcell Room, London

‘Some people say Vivaldi wrote the same concerto five hundred times,’ said Steven Devine before starting his harpsichord recital in the Purcell Room. ‘And if that’s the case, you’re in for a pretty boring morning.’

Album: Ysaÿe, Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, opus 27 – Tai Murray (Harmonia Mundi)

Eugène Ysaÿe's 1924 sonatas anticipate the memorial beauty of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Suites for Unaccompanied Violin by three years and the desolate fury of Bartók's Sonata for Solo Violin by two decades.

Champion of the Baroque: Sir Colin Davis speaks out

Celebrating his 85th birthday later this year, Sir Colin Davis has been one of Britain's best-loved conductors for more than half a century. The death of his wife, Shamsi, in June 2010, was a severe blow to him; since then, his activities have slowed. "I don't have the energy I used to," he remarks. "After performing a big piece, one feels one should be put out to grass, like an old donkey."

Lang Lang/Philharmonia/Salonen, Royal Albert Hall

Is the Royal Albert Hall big enough to contain Lang Lang’s gigantic ego?

Nicola Benedetti and Friends, LSO St Luke’s

Ever since she was voted BBC Young Musician of the Year, Nicola Benedetti has found ways of staying in the limelight.

Daniil Trifonov, Wigmore Hall

Out of Russia, always something pianistically new. When 20 year-old Daniil Trifonov won the Tchaikovsky competition last year, it was clear he was extraordinary.

Album: Schubert, Unfinished Symphony – Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/Zinman (RCA Red Seal

David Zinman's Mahler and Beethoven cycles with the Tonhalle exemplify the "third way" in historically informed performance practice.

Evgeny Kissin, Barbican, London

Evgeny Kissin likes to disconcert people, and at this Barbican recital he nipped onstage and started to play before the audience had registered he’d even arrived.

Album: Berg/Beethoven. Violin Concertos - Faust/Abbado/Orchestra Mozart (Harmonia Mundi)

The unorthodox pairing of Berg's anguished memorial to Manon Gropius and Beethoven's earthy, ecstatic concerto casts a curious spell in this thoughtful performance from Isabelle Faust and Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado.

New York Philharmonic Orchestra/ Gilbert, Barbican Hall

For the New York Philharmonic to have embarked upon a London residency without Mahler in their portfolio would have been unconscionable.

Richard Goode, Royal Festival Hall

The American pianist Richard Goode doesn’t give many recitals, but his uniquely personal vision ensures that each one is special.

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