Arts and Entertainment

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Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall

When the 27-year-old Robert Schumann couldn’t find a publisher for his ‘Davidsbundlertanze’, he paid for the work’s publication himself, but even his betrothed Clara – for whom it was written – couldn’t see the point of it, and many people still don’t today

Proms 69/70: Lewis/RSNO/Deneve; Ensemble Matheus/Spinosi, Royal Albert Hall (3/5, 5/5)

Playing all Beethoven’s piano concertos at the Proms with a variety of conductors and orchestras was always going to be a trial of nerve for Paul Lewis, and he’s come through – if not covered in glory – at least with colours flying.

Album: Beethoven, Symphonies 5 & 6 / Antonini (Sony)

In the 17 years since Frans Brüggen completed his still-thrilling Beethoven Cycle, the most vivid recordings have been period-modern hybrids.

My Secret Life: Martin Creed, artist, 42

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.

Canford backers fear an upset in Sussex Stakes

Two colts apparently tower above the rest in the biggest race of the week, but there is a corresponding polarity in the betting, and backing either for the Sussex Stakes today will be a nervy business. Canford Cliffs is odds-on, after coming of age in devastating fashion at the Curragh and Royal Ascot, but needs to improve again to surpass the performance of Rip Van Winkle in this race last year. It is difficult, however, to know whether the latter is likely to run up to that form after a tame run at Royal Ascot last month.

Prom 6: BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Belohlavek/ Lewis, Royal Albert Hall, London

The big occasion often brings out the best in the truly gifted and with so much riding on his much-anticipated Proms cycle of the Beethoven Piano Concertos – the first ever by a single artist – I can honestly say that I have never heard Paul Lewis play better.

Paul Lewis to perform all five Beethoven piano concertos at the Proms

To play one Beethoven piano concerto at the Proms looks like good fortune (as Oscar Wilde could have said, had he known), but to perform all five is – well, another matter altogether, especially with four different orchestras and conductors. Such is the task facing Paul Lewis, 38, who's almost certainly the best-loved British pianist of his vintage.

Album: Beethoven, Piano Concertos - Lewis / BBC SO (Harmonia Mundi)

Four orchestras feature in Paul Lewis's forthcoming Proms Cycle of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, but just one plays in this box set, with mixed results.

Proms perfection: What to see at the biggest music festival on earth

The greatest classical music festival in the world is back – an unparalleled, gargantuan feast of bravura performance. Nicola Christie highlights this year's most enticing prospects and asks insiders for their pick of the Proms

Miklos Perenyi/ Andras Schiff, Wigmore Hall

With his waistcoat and tails, watch-chain, and cloud of grey curls, Andras Schiff walks on stage like a survivor from Imperial Vienna, but his cellist colleague Miklos Perenyi is the pointer to this concert’s real provenance.

Album: Martin Roscoe, Beethoven Piano Sonatas: Pathétique (Deux-Elles)

Beethoven's piano sonatas remain one of music's most popular milestones – Anne Koscielny recently became the latest recitalist to complete the 32-sonata cycle – and now the redoubtable Martin Roscoe embarks on a recorded version that will take up the next four or five years of his life, its unique selling points being his inclusion of the Kurfürstensonaten juvenilia (making a total of 35), and his employment of Barry Cooper's definitive new edition of the score.

Paul Lewis, Royal Festival Hall, London

Ever since Alfred Brendel took Paul Lewis under his wing, this 38-year-old British pianist has been in the fast lane, but his beginnings were not privileged.

Album: Murray Perahia, Murray Perahia Plays Chopin (Sony Classical)

Though recently more involved with series of Bach and Beethoven piano works, it was with Chopin that Murray Perahia first made his name, winning the 1972 Leeds Competition with the E minor Concerto which opens this five-disc set.

Album: Beethoven, Kreutzer Sonata / Mullova etc (Onyx)

Gut strings suit Viktoria Mullova.

Album: London Chamber Orchestra, Rossini/Mozart/Beethoven (Signum Classics)

This third volume in the "LCO Live" series is a programme loosely connected by the theme of betrayed women, opening with the overture to Rossini's La Scala Di Seta and concluding with Beethoven's concert aria "Ah! Perfido", with three pieces by Mozart sandwiched between, including two arias from Le Nozze Di Figaro. Susan Gritton's delivery of the three arias has an exquisite balance of grace and intensity befitting their spurned heroines, while the LCO's presentation of Mozart's Symphony No 1 and the later Adagio and Fugue in C minor vividly illustrates the composer's growth, from the shallow enthusiasm of the symphony to the darker, troubled terrain of the fugue.

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