Arts and Entertainment

Kings Place, London

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/ Ashkenazy, Barbican Hall, London

Playing games with Debussy

La Traviata, Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

A gaunt but ethereal beauty

Boris Berman, Royal Festival Hall, London

A recital stuck in neutral

Powerful blows from the Ax man

Emanuel Ax | Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Classical: Restricted information

BMIC THE WAREHOUSE TOM KERSTENS PURCELL ROOM

Arts: Modest brilliance

Classical: LEIF OVE ANDSNES; BARBICAN, LONDON

MUSIC: OPERA: A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE AUTUMN SEASON

ROYAL OPERA

Classical: The Compact Collection: ROB COWAN ON THE WEEK'S CD RELEASES

IT'S ALL too easy to think of Debussy's operatic masterpiece Pelleas et Melisande as a huge tone poem with voices. Indeed, listening to Herbert von Karajan's 1978 Berlin recording makes it almost impossible to experience the work in any other way. Karajan charts the music's ebb and flow much as he does for Debussy's symphonic sketches La Mer, attending with particular care to the dramatic inter-linking orchestral interludes. Wagner's Tristan and Parsifal are in constant attendance, and the singers fit the grid like additional instruments. Richard Stilwell is an impassioned Pelleas and Jose van Dam a commanding though deeply troubled Golaud. Best, aside from Karajan himself, is Frederica von Stade, a more knowing Melisande than most, though unapproachably tender in her death scene.

Classical: Exquisite melancholy

PROMS 56 & 57 ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ RADIO 3 LONDON

Music: Prom Of The Week

Glyndebourne's annual visit - semi-staged, without the sets of a full show - is never more than a token of what you'd get in Sussex. With Debussy's Pelleas and Melisande that's a real loss, because Paul Brown's spectacular (if de trop) designs are its USP - housing the action in a grand salon whose spiral staircase and Perspex floor (lit from below through carpets of flowers) make an amazing visual impact. Stripped bare for the Albert Hall it will probably look lost and vague. But then, lost and vague is the traditional way to do Pelleas. Whatever survives of Graham Vick's production, you'll get diverting performances from Richard Croft and Christiane Oelze in the title roles, plus a tumultuous Golaud from John Tomlinson, who gives the part such a Wagnerian dimension you can only wonder where he's left his spear. Andrew Davis (above) conducts the London Philharmonic. Get there early. Monday 7pm

Dance: Yes, there is life after Fonteyn

Ondine Sadler's Wells, London

Arts: Women first

Classical: PROMS 6-8 ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ RADIO 3 LONDON
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