Arts and Entertainment

Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.

Schubert Ensemble, Capucon, ***/ Montero, ****

Private patronage was always the trigger for the composition of classical music, and it’s good to know the system is still alive and well: George Law decided to celebrate his 80th birthday by commissioning a piano quintet from Jonathan Dove.

Album: Hélène Grimaud & Sol Gabetta, Duo (Deutsche Grammophon)

Cellist Sol Gabetta's playing, according to pianist Hélène Grimaud, is characterised by the “light and warmth and vitality” indicated by her first name, qualities not often associated with the instrument.

Julius Caesar, Coliseum, London
Siegfried/Götterdämmerung, Royal Opera House, London

An innovative new production of Handel's opera is not so much a love story as a gory girl-power revenge tragedy, but the musicianship is sublime

Cultural Life: Jane Asher, Actress

Tokyo Quartet, Wigmore Hall ****/*****

Two groups of Japanese musicians have opened their Western counterparts’ eyes to new things about Western classical music: one is Masaaki Suzuki with his Bach Collegium Japan, the other is the Tokyo String Quartet, whose recordings of the classical canon are surpassingly fine. And when you’re told before the first of the Tokyo’s two Wigmore concerts that two players are about to retire, you listen intently, because a 42-year run is coming to a close.

Richard Goode, Royal Festival Hall

The American pianist Richard Goode doesn’t give many recitals, but his uniquely personal vision ensures that each one is special.

Park Lane Group, Purcell Room, London
National Youth Orchestra, Barbican Hall, London

Emerging musicians get a welcome platform, but please change the record

The composer Johannes Brahms was a perfectionist who destroyed many of his musical manuscripts

Brahms piano work found in visitors' book 160 years on

An unknown work by the composer Johannes Brahms has come to light after almost 160 years following its chance discovery in a visitor's book, and will be played for the first time next week.

Album: Copland / Hillborg / Lutoslawski etc, Dances to a Black Pipe (BIS)

Dance is the dominant theme in clarinettist Martin Fröst's eclectic recital with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Antonio Meneses/Maria Joao Pires, Wigmore Hall

Great pianists often gravitate to chamber music in their maturity, as though the satisfactions of communal music-making finally outweigh the thrills of solo achievement.

Benedetti / Elschenbroich / Eschenbach / LPO, Royal Festival Hall, London

Brahms's Double Concerto in A minor for Violin and Cello was in its day a very unfashionable form, since concertos were expected to pit a lone soloist against the massed forces of an orchestra. But its intimate dialogue had a suitably intimate inspiration.

Listen to This, By Alex Ross

From John Dowland to Led Zeppelin, JS Bach to Robert Johnson, critic Alex Ross spans many octaves without any sign of strain.

Proms 45/46, Mullova/Barley/BBCSO/Volkov/Joseph, Royal Albert Hall (5/5, 4/5)

The hall was packed for the coming-together of Bernard Haitink and Emanuel Ax, two of the most seasoned maestri in the business, to deliver Brahms. But before ‘Piano Concerto No 1’, the great Dutch conductor and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe gave us Brahms’s ‘Symphony No 3’, prefaced by an illuminating programme-interview.

Chamber Prom 2,Prom 14, Elias Quartet/Bliss/Stuttgart Symphony/Norrington (5/5, 4/5)

Can it really be true that Purcell’s ‘Fantasia No 6 in F major’ has never before been played at a Prom?

Early Music: A Very Short Introduction, By Thomas Forrest Kelly

A perfectly pitched audio guide
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