Arts and Entertainment

Kings Place, London

Preview: Borodin Quartet, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

From Moscow with freshness and warmth

Dominic Lawson: Of course a deaf couple want a deaf child

It is not as if the implantation of an embryo thought to be deaf is equivalent to mutilation

Daniel Barenboim/Beethoven Cycle, Royal Festival Hall, London

It was, as expected, a very public audience with Daniel Barenboim. For those seated on the platform, the ovations were received on an almost one-to-one basis as Barenboim walked among us, reached out to us, like a biblical superstar. Well, this much-anticipated Beethoven sonata cycle was billed as "The Concept of Artist as Leader" – and that he most certainly is.

LSO/Gardiner, Barbican, London

Sir John Eliot Gardiner did not quite begin at the beginning. His Beethoven cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra kicked off with the Second Symphony, and both here and in the devilishly innovative Eighth it was interesting to experience a conductor, who has spent the greater part of his career championing period instruments, revelling in the sheer power and depth of sonority that a contemporary orchestra such as the LSO routinely harnesses. The very first chord of the evening was little short of alarming.

LPO/Van Zweden, Royal Festival Hall, London

Jaap van Zweden cuts a bullish figure on the rostrum. If music were driven by energy alone, the young Dutchman, one-time concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, would be home and dry every time. But he took on Mahler's problematic Fifth Symphony for this much-anticipated outing with the London Philharmonic, and it felt very much like a work-in-progress.

Classical: When Barbie met Beethoven

Want to introduce your child to the classics? Then maybe the queen of the toy store can help. Lynne Walker reports

Dante Quartet / Van Dyk, Christ Church, Spitalfields, London

Beethoven's String Quartet in A Minor and T S Eliot's Four Quartets are both majestic works that speak with oracular force, and there is evidence of a historical link. At the time this poem-sequence was germinating in Eliot's mind, he was listening to Beethoven's work, and wondering whether he might be able to get something of its "heavenly gaiety", its sense of relief after immense suffering, into verse at some future date.

Newcastle close in on striking £10m deal for Martins

Newcastle United expect to offset the disappointment of their ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of Miroslav Klose by completing the signing of Obafemi Martins in the next 48 hours.

Evgeny Kissin, Barbican, London

Razumovsky Ensemble, Wigmore Hall, London

Flexible friends set for lift-off
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