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To classical music lovers of a certain age, the words “BBC Northern Orchestra, conducted by John Hopkins”, spoken by the veteran BBC North Region announcer Tom Naisby, remain a vivid memory of 1950s wireless listening.

The Critics' Awards 1998: Concerts - The Elgar statesman of English music

Easing into fin-de-siecle mode, this was a year of retrospectives and farewells - the most touching being Marilyn Horne's farewell at the Barbican, because it came as a surprise. No pre-advertisement, no fuss. She simply sang her programme, prompting quiet thoughts that maybe this once-glorious voice was in the home straits. Then, during the encores, she announced that this would be the last we'd hear from her. "It's been a great life; now I teach," she said. And not a dry eye in the auditorium.

Classical: The century, by numbers

KATHRYN STOTT WIGMORE HALL LONDON

The Critical Condition: Trust me: I wrote the review

Critics have come in for a lot of criticism. But don't paint them as bogeymen, says Edward Seckerson, concluding our series

Christmas books: Classical - They should let the music speak for them

Michael White on divas, diaries and disasters

The Independent Recommends: Classical

CHRISTOPH VON DOHNANYI'S thrilling series with the Philharmonia Orchestra, entitled Mahler and Vienna: Beginnings and Endings, could be said to examine both an end and a beginning today, as the work in question is the monumental Resurrection Symphony by Mahler (below), a piece which took its composer seven years to complete. Dohnanyi is joined by the Philharmonia Chorus in what should be an appropriately majestic interpretation.

Classical: The Compact Collection The Week's CD Releases

Rob Cowan on the Week's CD Releases

The Critics: Classical: From baroque to banality at the Barbican

Thesee Barbican, EC2 John Cage Barbican, EC2 Shostakovich cycle LSO, Barbican, EC2

Classical: Confessions of a soul close to suicide

SHOSTAKOVICH QUARTETS BARBICAN LONDON

Of tsars and tyrants

SHOSTAKOVICH / ROSTROPOVICH BARBICAN, LONDON

Classical: The sound of fury

SHOSTAKOVICH VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1/ SYMPHONY NO. 10 ROSTROPOVICH/ VENGEROV/LSO BARBICAN, LONDON

Arts: Classical: In spite of everything, life is beautiful

SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY NOS 8/9 LSO/ROSTROPOVICH BARBICAN, LONDON

Arts: Banished but unbowed

Broken arm? Exile? Coup? Mere trifles to the cellist and conductor Rostropovich
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