Arts and Entertainment

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Album: Chopin, Piano Concertos – Janina Fialkowska (Atma)

In 2002, a tumour was found in Janina Fialkowska's left arm, halting a career that began with Artur Rubinstein hailing her as his natural successor.

Album: Vivaldi and Friends, La Folia etc – Apollo's Fire/Sorrell (Avie)

Borrowings and adaptations were meat and bread to the Baroque composers.

Album: Apollo's Fire, Vivaldi & Friends: La Folia & Other Concertos (Avie)

Under the inspired direction of Jeanette Sorrell, Apollo's Fire has become one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles, causing one to hear familiar baroque material anew – as in the arrangement here of "Summer" from "The Four Seasons" for solo harpsichord with string ensemble.

Debretzeni/OAE/Night Shift, Queen Elizabeth Hall

I wouldn’t normally choose to sit through the same concert twice on the trot – not even for a soprano as irresistible as Rosemary Joshua, or a period band as good as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. But curiosity about one possible effect of the coming cuts made me relax my rule, and stay on after normal hours to sample the OAE’s Night Shift.

Album: Bartok, Piano Concertos / BBC Philharmonic (Chandos)

As Gianandrea Noseda's tenure with the BBC Phil draws to close, this finely disciplined performances reiterates how great an effect he has had on his orchestra.

Album: Alison Balsom, Italian Concertos (EMI Classics)

To follow up her acclaimed album Haydn Hummel Trumpet Concertos, the phenomenally gifted Alison Balsom turns her attention to Italian composers, with a selection of concertos originally composed for violin or oboe by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Tartini, Cimarosa and Marcello.

Album: Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Pierre Boulez, Ravel: The Piano Concertos; Miroirs (Deutsche Grammophon)

These two musicians have worked together ever since their time with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, which helps explain the seamless union of soloist and orchestra on this album of Ravel's two Piano Concertos.

Long-forgotten Vivaldi flute concerto found in Edinburgh

Composer's piece gets its first public airing for 250 years

Album: Alice Sara Ott, Tchaikovsky, Liszt: First Piano Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)

Having demonstrated her command of the delicate intimacies and melodious melancholy of Chopin on this year's recording of his Complete Waltzes, Alice Sara Ott here goes to the opposite extreme, hammering out the melodramatic opening chords of Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor", then riding its waves of emotion with a firm hand as it sails through the bittersweet Andantino semplice into the wistful but rousing final movement.

Jessica Duchen: The inflections of the flute give it an exotic atmosphere

Antonio Vivaldi wrote so many concertos that news of yet another lost one pitching up usually raises an eyebrow as much as it raises expectations. There are already more than 500, after all, and this composer, a practical sort of fellow, was no stranger to the idea of musical recycling.

Album: Bach, Violin Concertos (Channel Classics)

Sunshine floods through this ensemble recording.

Album: David Greilsammer, Tansman/Boulanger/Gershwin (Naïve)

This intriguing album offers a fascinating insight into the relationship between George Gershwin and two of his less well-known European contemporaries, Nadia Boulanger and Alexandre Tansman.

Album: Szymanowski, Violin Concerto No 1/Symphony No 3, Deutsche Grammophon

Conductor Pierre Boulez brings welcome astringency to Szymanowski’s colour-burst orchestration in this live recording of the composer’s first Violin Concerto.

Album: Melani, Motets – Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini, Naive

Long neglected in the archives of Santa Maria Maggiore and St John Lateran, Rome, Alessandro Melani’s exquisite motets for voices look back to the declamatory style of Mazzocchi and forward to the plangent polyphony of Domenico Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater.

Album: Ian Wilson, Man-o'-War etc (RTE Lyric FM)

RTE's handsomely played portrait-disc demonstrates Wilson's skills as dramatist and colourist.

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