Arts and Entertainment

Kings Place, London

Anyone for tennis? Head to Eastbourne

Take a break on the south coast. You might spot a sports star while you're there, says Kate Simon

Charles Owen, Wigmore Hall, London

There's a new batch of thirtysomething British pianists now making waves, and Charles Owen is prominent among them, so it was no surprise to see leading pianists in his audience at the Wigmore.

Var&egrave;se 360, Southbank Centre, London<br/>Andreas Scholl, Barbican Hall, London

An A-list composer with a B-movie sound and a roster of endangered instruments

London Symphony Orchestra / Adams, Barbican Hall, London

The intimations of Ravel and Stravinsky in Colin Matthews' opulent orchestrations of Debussy's gusty Préludes, "The Wind in the Plain" and "What the West Wind Saw", made for a quite incestuous feel to the second of John Adams' cunningly devised concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. Five composers cross-fertilised in interesting ways.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Adams, Barbican Hall, London

The intimations of both Ravel and Stravinsky in Colin Matthews’ opulent orchestrations of Debussy’s gusty Preludes “The Wind in the Plain” and “What the West Wind Saw” made for a quite incestuous feel to this the second of John Adams’ cunningly devised concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. All five composers cross-fertilised in interesting ways.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/ Maazel, Barbican Hall, London

It’s interesting, not to say alarming, how variable the great Vienna Philharmonic can be.

Elektra, Barbican Hall, London<br/>Le vin herbé, St George's, Bloomsbury, London

Earplugs come in handy once Greek tragedy is in full cry, but a neglected oratorio proves exquisite

Album: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Horizon 2: A Tribute To Oliver Messiaen (RCO)

On this dazzling live programme, the RCO under George Benjamin alternates works by Messiaen with new pieces tangentially related. Geert van Keulen's new orchestral arrangement of Paul Dukas' 1920 piano piece "La plainte, au loin, du faune..." adds extra intrigue to Debussy's "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune". The highlight is a stunning rendition of Messiaen's "Chronochromie", its darting dabs of sound and animated percussion packed with startling dissonances and dynamic shifts.

LSO/Valery Gergiev/ Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Barbican, London

French feasts are high on the agenda of the London Symphony Orchestra this season: a strand of their programmes under their principal conductor, Valery Gergiev, is devoted to the world of music as seen by Henri Dutilleux, at 93 France's greatest living composer.

Observations: Martinu benefits from BBC Symphony Orchestra's championship

It takes courage to programme six symphonies by a composer who has always struggled for even a sliver of attention. But Bohuslav Martinu, the 50th anniversary of whose death falls this year, is about to benefit from the BBC Symphony Orchestra's championship under the baton of his fellow countryman Jiri Belohlavek – and not a moment too soon.

Rusalka, Glyndebourne, Sussex<br>L'Amour de loin, Coliseum, London

Dvorak's tale of forbidden fruit in the forest is impressively sung and bewitchingly staged

Mirandolina, Garsington Opera, Oxfordshire

Bohuslav Martinu did not live to see the premiere of his sunniest opera, which took place in Switzerland two months before his death in 1959; it’s taken fifty years, from that day to this, for the British premiere of "Mirandolina" to materialise. Why the gap?

Album: Graham Caskie, Préludes and Interludes (Cadenza Music)

Préludes and Interludes offers the audio part of an interdisciplinary collaboration between composer Stephen Goss, artist Brian Dunce and pianist Graham Caskie – and, it should be noted, Claude Debussy, whose Preludes provided the initial impetus for both Dunce's paintings and Goss's compositions, which are interspersed here among Debussy's own.

Double Dream/Letters to Milena, Kings Place, London

If classical improvisation is difficult, it’s doubly so when the goal is transposition into jazz; how two pianists can combine together in this way is hard to imagine. But for the Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy, two heads have long been better than one. His defining infant experience was hearing phrases which came through the wall from a violinist who was practising next door, and finding he could answer him on the piano. Later in life, rehearsals for Double Dream – in which he and the Ukrainian pianist Misha Alperin would turn Bach, Chopin, and Debussy into jazz – have had, for logistical reasons, to take place over the telephone.

Double Dream/Letters to Milena, Kings Place

If classical improvisation is difficult, it’s doubly so when the goal is transposition into jazz; how two pianists can combine together in this way is hard to imagine.

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