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OAE/Pizarro/Goodman, Queen Elizabeth Hall

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment prides itself on its ability to recreate the musical past, but the concert at which Beethoven premiered his fourth piano concerto was stranger than anything that could be recreated today.

Album: Rufinatscha, Orchestral Works Vol 1 – BBC Philharmonic / Noseda (Chandos)

Johann Rufinatscha slipped into obscurity a decade before his death.

Fidelio, Grand Theatre, Leeds<br/>The Coronation of Poppea, King's Head, London

A charismatic, cross-dressing heroine brings tenderness and warmth to a meticulously humane 'Fidelio' by Opera North

Album: Beethoven, Piano Sonatas opus 109,110,111 &ndash; Alexei Lubimov (Zig Zag Territoires)

Lubimov's peerless recording of Schubert's Impromptus contrasted the timbres of two period keyboards.

Fidelio, Royal Opera House

The Prisoners’ Chorus in ‘Fidelio’ is one of the great moments in opera. After years in the dark, the grey-faced multitude are suddenly released from their cells and stumble out into the light.

Album: David Wilde, Wilde Plays Beethoven (Delphian)

David Wilde follows his solo piano albums dedicated to Brahms and Schumann with these masterly interpretations of three of Beethoven's most imposing sonatas, in which he aims to show the composer's progression from despair at losing his hearing, through optimism to spiritual aspiration.

Maurizio Pollinim Royal Festival Hall

Since Maurizio Pollini began his five-concert ‘project’ with the first half of Bach’s ‘Well-tempered Klavier’ - pianism’s Old Testament - it was appropriate that he should follow it with the last three works in Beethoven’s sonata cycle, aka pianism’s New Testament.

Barefoot orchestra blows its own horn

Kinshasa, the chaotic capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is used to just about every noise imaginable.

Album: Alina Ibragimova, Cedric Tiberghien, Beethoven Violin Sonatas &ndash; 2 (Wigmore Hall Live)

The second volume in Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien's ongoing series of Beethoven violin sonatas sustains the standard of the first, with their treatment of the Violin Sonata in F major, Spring, Op 24, perhaps their most delightful vehicle yet.

Symphonies for the dancefloor

A new club anthem mixes Paganini with dreamy vocals and dance beats. But how radical is it? Chris Mugan explores the chequered history of the pop-classical crossover

London Symphony Orchestra/Alsop, Barbican Hall

It was extraordinary but not especially surprising how Gustav Mahler’s presence could loom so large in a concert containing not one single note of his music.

Album: Beethoven, Symphonies 4 &amp; 6 &ndash; BF0 / Fischer (Channel Classics)

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.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Pierre-Laurent Aimard may be 53, but he still comes across like the miraculous child he was when Messiaen made him his adoptive son.

Album: Artemis Quartet, Beethoven: String Quartets No 1 &amp; No 12 (Virgin Classics)

The Artemis Quartet cellist Eckart Runge believes Beethoven was, in relation to his era, "the most modern, provocative, experimental and boldest composer of all", who used the string quartet for innovative experimentation.

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