'My mom can't play trumpet but I'd want her on it'
What a thrilling start to Jonathan Mills' penultimate International festival: the RSNO in excoriating form, the Festival Chorus, with beefed-up bass section, singing in stirring Russian and clearly-enunciated Latin, all with puppetmaster Valery Gergiev pulling their strings.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was spotted yesterday descending into the briny depths below to inspect a sunken Russian sailing frigate.
I wonder who first applied the adjective “great” to the term “train robbery”? A sub-editor on the Mirror or Express, I imagine. He or she might well have intended it to describe size rather than worth, but it’s a sign of how we remain titillated by the events of half a century ago.
KT Tunstall's fourth album is by some distance her best, offering a series of deeply-felt musings on mortality, mercy and memory. Recorded at Howe Gelb's Wavelab Studio in Arizona in two sessions separated by a season – hence the different titles for the separate “sides” – it reflects her response to the death of her father, the first side's sensitive, reactions gradually supplanted by a new emotional light as her branches become strong enough to “play with the wind” and “carry the snow” again.
It came close to topping the drama of Sydney 10 years ago, and the margins were just as thin as Jonny Wilkinson held up his end of the bargain by winning a first Heineken Cup for both himself and Toulon.
The songs that are hot on our playlist this week
A toy glockenspiel given to him aged six fuelled his passion for the piano. It served him well – already he has played for the Prince of Monaco alongside Lulu.
Sam Beam's latest outing as Iron and Wine is a curious mixture of the fascinating and the frustrating. It's a more obviously welcoming album than its recent predecessors, with the gentle country-soul ambience of songs like “The Desert Babbler” recalling Lambchop in its tempering of soul influences with pedal steel and strings.
Just over a decade ago, acclaimed classical pianist Janina Fialkowska discovered a tumour that would leave her left arm paralysed.
Album of the Week: Grown-up grooves make Blake a key mover again
Having begun to establish herself via YouTube, Valentina Lisitsa ambitiously chose to make the four Rachmaninov Piano Concertos her musical “calling card”, to which end she and her husband remortgaged their home, hired the LSO and Abbey Road, and recorded them at their own expense.
Little by little Maxim Vengerov is easing himself back into the mainstream, after injury and burn-out. His last Barbican foray - with a concerto - was marred by a loss of nerve at critical moments: this time he was going for broke with a chamber recital where, if anything went wrong, he would have nowhere to hide.
Stadiums and festival main stages are Muse’s typical performing spaces – in May, they embark on their biggest stadium tour yet – but at tonight’s special concert for War Child, they play to just 2,000 people.
There is remarkable accord between two new biographies of this prodigious composer who was, by necessity, an outsider