Voices

The Labour leader has been rightly scorned for music that merely ticked boxes. He could so easily have been a lot less boring…

REVIEWS: CLASSICAL - OAE / Norrington Queen Elizabeth Hall London oooo9

CONTRARY TO myth, the output of J S Bach was never wholly forgotten after his death in 1750. Some of the keyboard music continued to circulate in manuscript; the motets, to be sung in Leipzig, where Mozart heard one. And a belated biography in 1802 sparked new interest. But it was the first performance in a century of the St Matthew Passion, put on in Berlin in 1829 by the 20-year-old Mendelssohn, that really kick-started the great 19th-century Bach revival.

Music: The year's best books reviewed

Symphony for the devil

The compact collection

Constantin Silvestri: The collection

The original VW - perfectly tuned and English

Vaughan Williams by Simon Heffer (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99)

LSO goes on attack in war of cheap CDs

BRITAIN'S MOST successful orchestra has set up its own record label in a pioneering move designed to capitalise on its best live performances. The London Symphony Orchestra is about to launch the first two CDs in its series, called LSO Live, and hopes to record up to half-a-dozen of its concerts a year.

CLASSICAL Review: From Manchester with love

BARBIROLLI NIGHT BRIDGEWATER HALL MANCHESTER/BBC RADIO 3

Obituary: Clifford Harker

CLIFFORD HARKER took over the console of Bristol Cathedral at a time of great change. Hubert Hunt had ruled the organ loft for most of the first half of this century but his successor, Alwyn Surplice, stayed for just three years before moving to Winchester. Between his appointment in 1949 and his retirement in 1983, Harker held firm to the musical and choral traditions of Bristol's great 12th-century centre of worship creating a force of stability for those who worshipped and sang there.

Arts: A lifetime in miniature

It's a collector's dream, full of autographs by the masters... and it's going under the hammer.

Classical: Exquisite melancholy

PROMS 56 & 57 ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ RADIO 3 LONDON

Classical music : Three Choirs festival

Worcester's Three Choirs Festival is an event with a long and distinguished history: it dates back to the early years of the 18th century, and some of the great names who have been closely linked with it include Handel, Parry, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Maxwell Davies. This year's programme is typically wide-ranging, starting off tonight with sacred works by Duke Ellington, tomorrow Berlioz's enormous Te Deum, and culminating on Friday with a performance of Verdi's Requiem. Mark Elder conducts Mahler's magnificent Third Symphony on Tuesday, while American conductor Leonard Slatkin (right) leads massed choral forces, soloists and the Philharmonia in Elgar's oratorio The Kingdom. In addition to all these riches there is a carefully chosen series of chamber and instrumental recitals, ensuring that this is one of the most cherished small-scale festivals of the year.

First Night: MacMillan has the spirit but lacks substance

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