Fast, funny and furious, Gerald Barry's adaptation of 'a trivial comedy for serious people' merits a full staging
Music helped those enduring the horrors of the Second World War, says Patrick Bade in a new book
The hotel on the other side of Lake Geneva cashed in on the delicious shamelessness of it. They hired out binoculars so that tourists could gawp pruriently at the Villa Diodati and its scandalous summer menage of the Shelleys; the "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" Byron, and Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's half-sister, who had slept with both poets and was carrying Byron's baby.
Dmitri Tcherniakov's revelatory staging of this much-loved opera totally rethought the piece from both human and social perspectives. Brace yourselves for his forthcoming Simon Boccanegra at ENO.
The strings are plumper than we've come to expect from recent Beethoven cycles but the Budapest Festival Orchestra can still deliver at the composer's original metronome markings.
In the 17 years since Frans Brüggen completed his still-thrilling Beethoven Cycle, the most vivid recordings have been period-modern hybrids.
My parents were ... smilers and Quakers. My mum was a physiotherapist, and my dad's a silversmith and blacksmith; they met at a peace camp in Germany after the war. My mum's German and moved to the UK to be with my dad.
Gut strings suit Viktoria Mullova.
The title of James Rhodes' second piano recital comes from Glenn Gould – a "total nut-job" in Rhodes' words and patron saint of this idiosyncratic, honest, sometimes startling performance.
Recorded in Grenoble, Vichy and Paris, Emanuel Krivine's Beethoven dazzles with closely mic-ed details. La Chambre Philharmonique's bassoons are the unlikely stars, jostled out of the way by heaven-sent strings in the Adagio, and an almost comically hyperactive contrabassoon in the finale. Les Eléments deliver a lithe, moving account of Goethe's Ode, with a suave introduction from bass soloist Konstantin Wolff.Too much technical trickery to be properly "live", perhaps. But what a refreshing, bold reading.
The Roundhouse is more famous for rock than symphonies, but it could be just the venue to build up a young classical fanbase, says Jessica Duchen
Scholarship and invention unite to extraordinary effect in this dazzling four-disc set.
Half-fossil, half-innovator, organist and composer Alexandre Pierre François Boëly (1785-1858) was the self-appointed guardian of the classical style.
The Haydn season kicked off with the obligatory splurge on Radio 3, and a massed charge led by Andras Schiff at the Wigmore Hall, but the really interesting thing was what the musicologist and fortepianist Robert Levin was doing at the Southbank. We quite often hear the fortepiano in these period-conscious days, but, sandwiched between performances on modern instruments, it always ends up sounding thin and a little bit impotent – so attuned are our ears to the luxurious richness of the Steinway.
Chilling villain is cold comfort