Arts and Entertainment

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Album: Burgon, Viola Concerto/Merciless Beauty...(Chandos)

Geoffrey Burgon's slinky, jazz-inflected viola concerto "Ghosts of the Dance" conveys colour, character and narrative in economical writing.

Album: Joseph and Michael Haydn, Horn Concertos (Channel Classics)

Technically faultless, with a gleaming, heroic tone, the Concertgebouw's principal horn player Jasper de Waal barely breaks a sweat in this decorous selection of aristocratic background music from the two Haydns.

Album: Rachmaninov, Piano Concertos 2 & 3 (Avie)

Simon Trpceski and Vasily Petrenko deliver fresh and disciplined readings of Rachmaninov's Second and Third Piano Concertos with the revitalised Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Album: Albrecht Mayer, Voices of Bach (Decca)

On Voices Of Bach, the Berlin Philharmonic's principal oboist Albrecht Mayer adapts the vocal melodies of Bach's cantatas to fit his instrument.

Album: Thomas Adès, Tevot/Violin Concerto etc (EMI)

Recorded in three venues, this is a scrapbook of Thomas Adès's recent works.

Album: Elgar, Violin Concerto – Znaider/Davis (RCA Red Seal)

In the 2008 Proms, Nikolaj Znaider and Sir Colin Davis slowed Beethoven's Violin Concerto to a near static state of bliss. Surprising, then, that their Elgar is so dynamic.

Staatskapelle Berlin / Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall, London

Daniel Barenboim has earned his adoration. He could stand on one leg and whistle “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and still bring audiences to their feet.

Album: Schumann/ Dvorak, Piano Concertos (Pentatone)

Martin Helmchen delivers a refreshing performance of Schumann and Dvorak's piano concertos.

Album: Olli Mustonen, Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5 (Ondine)

Though not quite reaching the sublime heights of Evgeny Kissin's interpretations in last year's issue of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with Sir Colin Davis and the LSO, Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen displays consummate skill in these renderings of the 4th and 5th Concertos – especially impressive.

Album: Haydn, Violin Concerto No. 1/Symphonies 48 & 80 (Harmonia Mundi)

Freiburger Barockorchester's storm through twoof Haydn's most startling symphonies. No. 49, "LaPassione", is held as a prime example of Sturmund Drang, though No. 80more than equals it interms of contrastingsonorities, styles andtextures, from the ländlerinterruptions of the first movement to the proto-Beethovenian harmonies of the menuetto. Played by Gottfried van der Goltz, the First Violin Concerto is a temperate oasis. If the disclacks the dewy radiance of"Le Matin", "Le Midi" and"Le Soir", it is still dynamic.

Album: Bach, Partitas/Andras Schiff (ECM New Series)

Twenty-five years after his first recording of Bach's Partitas, Schiff returns to these works with new ideas, some seemingly informed by his directing of the Brandenburg Concertos from the keyboard.

Geoffrey Tozer: Pianist who played the Proms at 15 and later forged a productive relationship with Chandos Records

Geoffrey Tozer's career illustrates the importance that a record label can have for a musician. Having made his mark as a child prodigy, even playing at the Proms at the age of 15, by his early 30s Tozer had taken up teaching to make ends meet. But then an association with the Colchester-based Chandos Records began to make his name known in musical circles all around the world.

Album: Fabio di Casola, Weber: Clarinet Concertos (Sony Classical)

The clarinet's multi-faceted character is virtually unrivalled among orchestral instruments, its wheedling tones able to convey the most dramatic shifts of expression, from pious sobriety to almost comic insouciance.,/p>

Carl Maria von Weber took advantage of this unlimited scope in the quintet and two concertos written for his friend, the clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann, and deftly recorded here by the young Swiss player Fabio di Càsola. He's particularly adept at the slower, subtler passages: the 1st Concerto's limpid Adagio are realised with dreamlike sensitivity, the clarinet floating weightlessly over the horn chorus, contrasting with the more jaunty, birdlike nimbleness of the ensuing Rondo. Likewise, the brooding Romanze is the standout section of the 2nd Concerto.

Album: Nigel Kennedy, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, 20th Anniversary Edition (EMI Classics)

Nigel Kennedy can be a frustrating proposition – unbearable when subjecting Hendrix to rude disinterment, for example – but unbeatable on his home turf.

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