Arts and Entertainment

Barbican, London

LSO Discoveries, LSO St Luke’s, London

The audience in this majestic eighteenth-century space - with its twenty-first century acoustic - is not the usual one for classical music.

London Symphony Orchestra / Gergiev, Barbican Hall, London

One wonders if it was by design or accident that James MacMillan's new Violin Concerto was programmed here alongside Stravinsky's Symphony in C? MacMillan seemed to take up precisely where Stravinsky left off recalling the kinetic syncopations and even the melodic flavour of the symphony's playful first movement. The energy of one happily infected the other.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Davis, Barbican Hall, London

Familiarity can and does breed contempt – but never where Haydn and Mozart are concerned.

Wyn Morris: Conductor whose gifts were undermined by his relations with musicians and administrators

Wyn Morris was one of the finest conductors that Britain has produced, an interpreter whose readings of the late-Romantic repertoire in particular drew excited reviews from the critics. But Morris's character was that of a Shakespearean hero, his immense gifts undermined by personal weakness – an insecurity which time and again poisoned his relations with other musicians and with the administrators whose approval he never realised he required. His ornery instincts, exacerbated by alcoholism, could make his behaviour unreliable to the point of self-destructiveness.

London Symphony Orchestra/Bychkov, Barbican Hall, London

Not all this year’s bicentennial tributes to Chopin will necessarily be by Chopin.

London Symphony Orchestra / Adams, Barbican Hall, London

The intimations of Ravel and Stravinsky in Colin Matthews' opulent orchestrations of Debussy's gusty Préludes, "The Wind in the Plain" and "What the West Wind Saw", made for a quite incestuous feel to the second of John Adams' cunningly devised concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. Five composers cross-fertilised in interesting ways.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Adams, Barbican Hall, London

The intimations of both Ravel and Stravinsky in Colin Matthews’ opulent orchestrations of Debussy’s gusty Preludes “The Wind in the Plain” and “What the West Wind Saw” made for a quite incestuous feel to this the second of John Adams’ cunningly devised concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. All five composers cross-fertilised in interesting ways.

Rattle and LSO join forces

Sir Simon Rattle, chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since September 2002, will collaborate with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) at the Barbican for the first time in 10 years, when he returns to conduct Messiaen's Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum and Bruckner's Symphony No 9 in March 2011.

Abbey Road's greatest hits

As The Beatles' former studio faces closure, leading figures in music tell Mark Jewsbury what they think is the best album ever recorded there

Elektra, Barbican Hall, London<br/>Le vin herbé, St George's, Bloomsbury, London

Earplugs come in handy once Greek tragedy is in full cry, but a neglected oratorio proves exquisite

Verdi Otello, London Symphony Orchestra &amp; Chorus/ Davis, Barbican Hall, London

The real “Lion of Venice” here was Sir Colin Davis – 80-something going on 40-something and every inch the commander in chief as the mighty storm at the outset of Verdi’s Otello exploded from the Barbican platform.

LSO/Valery Gergiev/ Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Barbican, London

French feasts are high on the agenda of the London Symphony Orchestra this season: a strand of their programmes under their principal conductor, Valery Gergiev, is devoted to the world of music as seen by Henri Dutilleux, at 93 France's greatest living composer.

Prom 52: LSO/Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall, London

How do you musically represent the explosion of an atom bomb? Last year John Adams showed us in his new opera Dr Atomic: a succession of shattering brass triads in G sharp minor, with an extra hyper-romantic chord thrown in. Alfred Schnittke's way, half a century ago, was to bombard his audience with everything in his orchestral armoury – string and trombone glissandi, cluster-chords, roars on percussion, and tremolandi all round. But the Nagasaki oratorio which Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra brought to the Proms didn't give us Schnittke the mature and playful "polystylist": this was Schnittke the student, and it showed.

Prom 52, LSO/Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall, London

How do you musically represent the explosion of an atom bomb?

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