Arts and Entertainment Robert Plant performs with the Sensational Space Shifters

For a Led Zeppelin reunion refusenik, Robert Plant does perform an awful lot of material by the group who defined seventies rock in all its magnificence and occasional self-indulgence.

Classical Review: A young man's journey

Ian Bostridge Sings

Choice: Concert: The Sibelius Cycle, Barbican Hall, London EC1 (0171-638 8891)

It must be said that when Michael Tilson Thomas took over the LSO in 1988, the orchestra was a shadow of its former great self. Tilson Thomas has since stepped down in favour of his principal guest conductor Sir Colin Davis, but thanks to their work, the LSO now makes a powerful case for being the best band in town. Some of Davis's tempi in the present Sibelius cycle have been on the broad side but there is no denying the thrilling orchestral sound - from the sonorous low strings to the triumphant bloom of the brass playing. Anne-Sophie Mutter joins them tonight (with a repeat tomorrow) for the fiendish Violin Concerto, flanked by the freshness of the Sixth Symphony and the stunning cumulative power of the single- movement Seventh. The cycle closes on Sunday with a rare performance of the early Kullervo Symphony. See you there.

Review: Friday's tickets

We have an exclusive pair of tickets on offer to the Haydn Trail Weekend, 20 and 21 September and to the Saturday night concert at London's Wigmore Hall, 7.30pm, where the Lindsay Quartet will perform all of the Haydn quartets from op 20 onwards in order of composition.

Music: It may be on the South Downs, but spare us the horseplay

When the curtain comes down it usually means the show is over. But not on the opening night of Glyndebourne's new Le Comte Ory, when the director, Jerome Savary, made it an occasion for the most grotesquely self-satisfied display of exuberant luvvery I've ever writhed through in an opera house. He hugged the cast. He kissed them. He proposed to them on bended knee. He all but cartwheeled round the stage. No, we would not leave - for Savary was having a good time, and wanted us to know it.

CLASSICAL MUSIC Marc-Andre Hamelin QEH, London Richard Goode Wigmore Hall, London

Sometimes London audiences get better piano recitals than they deserve. At Marc-Andre Hamelin's programme on Friday, only the front half of the Queen Elizabeth Hall was filled. Perhaps the prospect of Charles Ives's "Concord" Sonata and Reger's Variations and Fugue on a theme of Bach was too much for many people. Hamelin almost made light of it. Performing from memory, he played both with a restraint and delicacy, a quiet sense of concentration, that compelled attention and rendered these very different but equally dense works as digestible as they could be.

CLASSICAL MUSIC: Icebreaker; Queen Elizabeth Hall, SBC, London

As the group's concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last Friday made clear, Icebreaker have come a long way since their formation in 1989 to play the works of Louis Andriessen and Diderik Wagenaar. At the time, doubt was shed on the continuing relevance of this Dutch brand of minimalism, raunchier and more dissonant than most American varieties. Seven or so years on, things have changed, of course; some would argue that Andriessen - whose work has become much better known internationally in that time - is more in tune with current concerns than, say, Philip Glass.

Proms: Handel: Semele; Tan Dun: On Taoism, Orchestral Theatre II Royal Albert Hall, London

Monday's Prom, a memorable account of the the oratorio Semele given by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, was the latest fixture in what is surely proving a perfect summer for lovers of Handel's music. Conducting the work at the Lufthansa Baroque Festival some months back, Ivor Bolton chose to stress the score's strands of character development, chiefly in the figure of the scheming Juno. This performance took up the theme, mezzo Kathleen Kuhlmann's goddess vocally not quite right for the role, but full of theatricality. Into the part of Semele herself, a flat-as-cardboard character, soprano Rosemary Joshua poured so much life and feeling that the music was several times interrupted by spontaneous applause, and no wonder: the liquid embellishments to her Act 3 aria "Myself I shall adore" were as fluent as a nightingale.

Live review Amanda Roocroft Wigmore Hall, London

Amanda Roocroft has a lot of voice, a sound technique, and a big career. She's a young singer who's been around. The voice sounds lived- in, mature, worldly. Which leads the listener to expect more, much more, than she has to give. In the testing environment of the recital hall, she is far from ready to hold a handful of songs in the palm of her hand and share them with a discerning audience - to draw that audience into her confidence, to identify the defining character of each composer, each song, to offer insight and illumination. Who's to say when, if, she will be. It's that elusive little word - artistry. You can't define it, but you know when you're in the presence of it.

Classical The Charles Ives Festival The Barbican, London

'Ives may be baffling at times, but there is something so palpably alive in work after work'

GOING OUT: TICKET OFFER: REALM OF THE SENSES

William Orbit's N-Gram label houses an eclectic collection of musicians and In the Realm of the Senses offers a night with four of its artists: Strange Cargo, singer and cellist Caroline Lavelle, Torch Song and The Electric Chamber. Taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 20 July, the concert will include celtic-influenced songs and new interpretations of the work of well-known 20th-century composers.

Obituary: Sir Alex Alexander

ALEX ALEXANDER was a Trustee and a Director of Glyndebourne from the mid-Seventies until the late Eighties, writes Sir George Christie (further to the obituary by Steven J. Berger, 1 August). He did more to change the face of Glyndebourne's fortunes than any other single individual. He was the best fund- raiser in the business - and got his colleagues at Glyndebourne to think in terms of large five-figure sums rather than in four-figure sums.

OPERA / Resonances of Fate: Edward Seckerson feasts on Glyndebourne's Eugene Onegin, the first production purpose-built for the new theatre

AT Glyndebourne, the memory of the old theatre has died as quickly and surely as did its brittle, dried-out orchestral sound. Tchaikovsky's Tatyana can now dream on and on in limpid string phrases which descend all the way to a rich and searching bass line. Fate has resonance at last. The London Philharmonic sounds like the London Philharmonic. Intimacy, bloom, and atmosphere co- exist. And not a note has yet been sung.

Southern glory in tale of two opera houses: Compton Verney is still a dream as new Glyndebourne opens. David

TOMORROW in the South, British summertime officially begins. Figaro makes his marriage vows in Glyndebourne's new opera house while others will make, break or renew theirs on the lawns outside.
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