Arts and Entertainment

Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.

Album: Ketil Bjornstad, Vinding's Music (ECM)

Pianist and composer Bjornstad is also one of Norway's leading writers and this double CD represents a musical response to his trilogy of novels about a young piano student, Aksel Vinding.

The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne Festival, Glyndebourne, East Sussex

It might be deduced that the only thing worse than working with children and animals would be working with children as animals. But Leoš Janáček was unfazed by the old Hollywood adage and his cartoon-strip derived opera The Cunning Little Vixen was spirited from page to stage with uncynical conviction and, it has to be said, no end of technical hazards.

Einstein on the Beach at the Barbican Theatre

Einstein on the Beach, Barbican Theatre, London Carousel, Grand Theatre, Leeds
Juan Diego Florez, Royal Albert HallLondon

How do you compare multiple Einsteins? Well, it's all relative

One-time Strictly winner Tom Chambers steps into Fred Astaire’s dancing shoes in the new stage version of Top Hat

Top Hat, Aldwych, London
Babel, Caledonian Park, London
The Rest is Silence, Malthouse Estate Warehouse, Shoreham, West Sussex

It's hard to resist the retro-romance of Irving Berlin's tunes, fabulous dance routines and charming stars. Pity about the plot, though

Album: Piers Hellawell, Airs, Waters (Delphian)

The impressive range of Piers Hellawell's work is displayed on this collection of six compositions, five of which are premiere recordings.

Symphonies of natural sounds: A Macaw juvenile in flight

The Great Animal Orchestra, By Bernie Krause

This musician-turned-naturalist finds via his fieldwork that calls and cries can be matter of wild life and death.

Lloyd Brevett: Bassist with the Skatalites, originators of ska

The ska form was conceived by Brevett and his peers in the run-up to Jamaican independence

Wagner, The Flying Dutchman, English National Opera

The front curtain at the London Coliseum is a rare sight these days and suggested that we might for once be about to experience Wagner’s celebrated Overture without “illustration”.

Album: Ravi Shankar, Symphony (LPO)

It's not uncommon for Western composers like Tavener to bring Eastern influences into their work, but much rarer for an Indian classicist to operate in the Western tradition, as Ravi Shankar does here in his Symphony, which follows the classical four-movement structure but incorporates sitar (played by Shankar's daughter Anoushka) and raga scales into the orchestration.

Conductor in hospital after fall

The world-famous conductor Kurt Masur is recovering in hospital in Paris after he fell off a podium during a concert.

Album: Mozart/Strauss/Lanner, Walzer Revolution – Concensus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt (Sony)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt and CMW offer a history of the waltz and other dances in music from Mozart to Johann Strauss and his contemporary Joseph Lanner.

Album: Vinicio Capossela, Marinai Profeti e Balene (Ponderosa)

The Italian Tom Waits/Tom Zé/Paolo Conte (take your pick) has taken musical ambition to new heights on this long-awaited effort.

St Matthew Passion, St George’s, Hanover Square

Passions are running high among the oppressed populace, and a weak colonial administrator decides to appease the angry crowd by throwing them a celebrated rebel as a sacrifice.

Album: Massanet – Werther, Villazón/Koch/Pappano/Royal Opera House (Deutsche Grammophon)

There is a moment in Act 1 where it seems as though Werther and Charlotte will be in love for ever.

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