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.

Francesco Piemontesi,***** / Connolly, Guimaraes, OAE, Cohen, ****

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Album: Michael Tilson Thomas, American Mavericks: Cowell, Harrison, Varèse SFS (Media)

Michael Tilson Thomas's time at the helm of the San Francisco Symphony has been marked by a courageous dedication to modernist American outsiders, and American Mavericks bears out the orchestra's experience with such outré material.

Wexford Opera Festival, Ireland

For 61 years Wexford has been the emerald of opera festivals, refreshing the repertoire by trawling up underrated gems. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Delius’s birth – and his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet remains rare enough to qualify.

Lontano/De la Martinez, The Warehouse, London
Exaudi, Wigmore Hall, London

Fourth London festival opens with a killer US opera, and there’s glorious suffering in madrigals

Don Giovanni, Mozart, Opera North, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Despite its origins in Spanish legend, Spain is not important to Mozart’s and da Ponte’s Don Giovanni. So the placing of the story in the context of the early 1960s in Alessandro Talevi’s new production for Opera North is non-controversial.

Aphex Twin: Remote Orchestra, Barbican, London

When playing DJ sets, Aphex Twin has been known to place the needle onto sandpaper instead of a vinyl groove. This audience should be glad that tonight’s show wasn’t quite on that level of unlistenable, but at times it wasn’t far off.

Clip of Adele's Bond theme tune released online

Whether it was a genuine leak or a marketing teaser, James Bond fans yesterday had their first taste of the latest 007 theme tune as sung by British golden girl Adele.

90-second clip of Adele's Bond theme 'Skyfall' leaks online

Whether it was a genuine leak or a marketing teaser, James Bond fans today had their first taste of the latest blockbuster’s theme tune as sung by British golden girl Adele.

Der Ring des Nibelungen: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, Royal Opera House, London

Now that Keith Warner’s "Ring" has been re-launched in its entirety, we can judge it afresh. Like the first two "days" (reviewed last week) the second two contain much to enjoy, if also some disappointments, plus some technical hitches which should have been sorted out in dress rehearsal - notably the stuffed stag with its antlers caught on the overhanging 'sky', thus sabotaging Siegfried’s loveliest aria.

Hidden Orchestra, Archipelago (Tru Thoughts)

There's a strain of European post-rave/techno instrumental music that might or might not be jazz, exemplified by Cinematic Orchestra and Arve Henriksen.

Der Ring des Nibelungen: Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Royal Opera House, London

Eight years after its unveiling, Keith Warner’s ‘Ring’ is back, and though his ‘Rheingold’ has been streamlined, the balance between symbolism and naturalism remains awkward (we’re not meant to laugh when Alberich turns into a monster, but we do).

Swedish spy chiefs under fire for lavish £400,000 James Bond party

The Swedish secret service has come under fire for lavishing more than £400,000 on a James Bond-themed staff party.

Frank Zappa was one of rock's crossover musicians

Rock 'n' Roll in Four Movements, Radio 4, Thursday
BBC Proms, Radio 3, daily

Concerto for hairies and orchestra

Prom 50: Collins, BBCSO, Vanska, ****/ Prom 51: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, *****

With eight exhumations, the BBC is trying desperately to make the case for Frederick Delius on his 150th anniversary, but these are only reinforcing the impression that this Bradford composer was a mere melodious also-ran.

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