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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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried