Arts and Entertainment

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Classical review: Alexei Volodin, Wigmore Hall, London

Suddenly it’s raining Goldbergs, with pianists queuing up to deliver their take on Bach’s majestic set of variations.

Classical review: Hodges, Currie, Summers, Aurora Orchestra, Ollu / Tamara Stefanovich

How far has ‘new music’ progressed since the Fifties? On the evidence of two magisterial Southbank concerts, scarcely at all. John Lennon’s borrowing (for “Strawberry Fields”) from Stockhausen’s “Gesang der Junglinge” was an indication of how deeply that pioneering electronic work had penetrated mid-century culture, and to listen to it now is to experience anew the freshness of its invention. This is best done with eyes shut, because what Stockhausen’s collage does is create a landscape bursting with events of an almost tactile nature. One’s initial impression is of being painlessly dive-bombed from all angles by flocks of excited birds, but that is just one of many evanescent effects emerging from the speakers round the auditorium.

Jazz album review: Michael Garrick Sextet, Prelude To Heart Is A Locus (Gearbox)

With its satisfyingly fat vinyl platters, audiophile-friendly downloads and imaginative catalogue of rediscovered gems (plus new recordings), LP specialist Gearbox is becoming one of the wonders of the age.

Mumford & Sons perform at Glastonbury 2013

Mumford & Sons announce break from music following end of Babel tour

Keyboardist Ben Lovett has said there won't be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future

Album review: Peter Maxwell Davies, Piano Works 1949-2009 (Prima Facie)

Though best known for his large-scale works, this anthology suggests that in his own way, Peter Maxwell Davies may be as distinctive a piano miniaturist as Erik Satie. His Orkney home is clearly the biggest influence in this regard: works such as “Three Sanday Places”, “Snow Cloud, over Lochan”, “Yesnaby Ground” and the popular “Farewell to Stromness” are simple but deeply satisfying evocations of place, weather and character. Elsewhere, “Six Secret Songs” and “Five Little Pieces for Piano” are sketches of Borgesian brevity, some condensing impressive development into a tiny frame, while others have the impromptu manner of cartoons. Considerably more complex is the engrossing seven-part “Piano Sonata”.

Birmingham Conservatoire

History: Began life in 1859 as a department of the Birmingham and Midland Institute and was formally constituted as the Birmingham School of Music in 1886. The School became a part of the former Birmingham Polytechnic in 1971 whilst retaining conservatoire status, and remains part of Birmingham City University to the present day. 1989 saw the formal inauguration of the School under the name of Birmingham Conservatoire.

Album: Azymuth, Aurora – Remixes and Originals (Far Out)

After a wonderful opening retread of the title track by 4Hero, this remix album – in keeping with the format – blows hot and cold, but as a soundtrack to summer it's hard to resist the slap-bass and samba grooves of Azymuth's original recording.

Album: Rip Rig + Panic, God (Cherry Red)

Press "Play" and stand well back: RR+P's 1981 debut is still strong stuff, with a level of energy and experiment that shames today's boho fringe.

Album review: Sven Helbig, Pocket Symphonies (Deutsche Grammophon)

Sven Helbig is a young German composer equally drawn to classical, pop and hip-hop modes, probably most famous for his orchestrations on Pet Shop Boys' Battleship Potemkin and The Most Incredible Thing. That populist spirit informs this debut release, with emotionally expansive pieces restricted to pop-song length.

Album review: Sofia Gubaidulina, In Croce (Wergo)

The classical double-bass repertoire is so meagre that even virtuosi like the late Stefano Scodanibbio were forced to create their own material or transcribe works written for other instruments. Scodanibbio's former colleague Daniele Roccato is comparatively spoilt for choice here by Sofia Gubaidulina's pioneering piano duets of the Sixties and Seventies, “Sonata” and “Pantomime”.

Classical review: Bach: Violin Concertos, Mullova/Dantone/Acc. Bizantina (Onyx)

Viktoria Mullova continues her collaboration with harpsichordist Ottavio Dantone in this elegantly articulated recording with Accademia Bizantina.

Album review: Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld, Still Smiling (Specula)

Blixa Bargeld's collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo finds him in fine fettle on a group of typically sardonic songs set to unusual string and electronic arrangements performed with The Balanescu Quartet.

Album: Sarah Gillespie, glory Days (Pastiche)

Flamenco-dancing pigeons, pumpkin pie, Charlie Sheen and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn all crop up on this British singer-songwriter's Gilad Atzmon-produced third album.

Album review: Zomby, With Love (4AD)

A 33-track double-album follow-up to Dedication, Zomby's 2011 breakthrough, With Love is aesthetically suspended between the indulgent and austere poles of the last two decades of electronic music, with the jittery programmed sequences, drum'n'bass stutters and breakbeats haunted by melancholy synth ambiences evocative of urban alienation.

German pianist Klavier Kunst (L) performs with an unidentified activist at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey protests: The 'peace pianist' trying to bring calm to Taksim Square

The soothing sound of a grand piano drifted across Taksim Square last night, bringing a welcome calm a day after violence rocked the area.

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