Arts and Entertainment

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Album: C P E Bach, Harpsichord Concertos – Staier/ Müllejans/Freiburger (Harmonia Mundi)

Published in 1772, C P E Bach's "Sei Concerti" marked the end of three decades of boredom as court harpsichordist to Frederick the Great.

Album: Charivari Agréable, Concerti Curiosi (Signum Classics)

Concerti Curiosi builds on the popularity of Charivari Agréable's recent recording of "Pachelbel's Vespers", the period ensemble here turning its attention to assembling a range of concerti by lesser-known composers of the Baroque era.

Album: Charles Ramirez, Rodrigo (Signum Classics)

Guitar virtuoso Charles Ramirez is on supple, sensitive form on this collection of Rodrigo suites, accompanied on the "Concierto de Aranjuez" and "Fantasia para un gentilhombre" by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, before closing with the solo piece "Elogio de la guitarra".

Malcolm Smith

Further to the obituary of Malcolm Smith (11 March), during the interval of Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland's 2006 performance in Cadogan Hall, I found a morose, pessimistic Malcolm reflecting blackly on the decayed state of the London musical world as he knew it, writes Robert Maycock. Not a hint of optimism from anybody listening went unchallenged.

New CD celebrates Joseph Joachim, lynchpin of music-making in the Romantic era

The British violinist Daniel Hope is setting out to restore Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) to his rightful place as the lynchpin of music-making in the Romantic era, with a new CD entitled The Romantic Violin. And it's not a moment too soon, for some of the 19th century's crucial musical developments revolved around this violinist and composer.

Album: Handel, Alexander's Feast – Ludus Baroque / Neville-Towle (Delphian)

Richard Neville-Towle delivers a toothsome account of Alexander's Feast with Ludus Baroque.

Album: Higdon / Tchaikovsky, Violin Concertos – Hahn / Petrenko / Royal Liverpool Phil (Deutsche Grammophon)

Tailor-made for Hilary Hahn's cool, brilliant sound, Jennifer Higdon's 2008 Violin Concerto has the swagger of an established favourite.

Album: Stefano Bollani, Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F (Decca)

The resurgence of interest in Gershwin receives a further unusual fillip with this intriguing pairing of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly with Italian jazz pianist Stefano Bollani, best known for his work with Enrico Rava and his interest in Brazilian jazz.

London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

The Austro-Hungarian connection loomed large but it was the Hungarian bloodline which bound this typically shrewd Vladimir Jurowski programme – and out of the Trannsylvanian twilight came Peter Eötvös like a latterday Bartok.

Album: Anna Vinnitskaya, Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor; Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major (Naïve)

For her second recording, the Russian pianist Anna Vinnitskaya has chosen a programme of two (not too dissimilar) early 20th-century piano concertos, both reflecting the era's passionate desire for new modes of expression.

Album: Simone Dinnerstein, Bach: A Strange Beauty (Sony Classical)

Simone Dinnerstein's title derives from the 16th-century philosopher Francis Bacon's contention that "there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion", which she illustrates with interpretations of Bach's Keyboard Concertos Nos 1 & 5 and several of his solo piano pieces, of which Kempff's fastidious arrangement of "Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein" offers the most dazzling display of her virtuosity.

London Symphony Orchestra / Gardiner, Barbican Hall, London

The tricky opening chord of Weber's Der Freischütz overture needed warming up – didn't we all – but a quartet of horns quickly lent a dappled glow to the proceedings and the mercury began to rise.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Gardiner, Barbican Hall

The tricky opening chord of Weber’s Der Freischutz Overture needed warming up – didn’t we all - but a quartet of horns quickly lent a dappled glow to the proceedings and the mercury began to rise.

Alexei Ogrintchouk to present a rare new oboe concerto

The oboe is the hardest instrument to play, so what drew the young virtuoso Alexei Ogrintchouk to it? "My parents took me to a lot of concerts in Moscow when I was young, and I was always fascinated by its sound. I loved its purity and naturalness."

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