Arts and Entertainment

Fires Of Love, "Remember Me My Deir" (Delphian)

Television Choices: Using music to help foster harmonious relations

Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

Michael Barenboim performs Anthemes 2

Prom 13: Daniel Barenboim/Michael Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall

As their intensive Beethoven and Boulez series steams onward, you might expect the players of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to be wilting a little. Not a bit of it. This fourth concert held the work that many consider Beethoven’s finest symphonic gem, the Seventh – and if anyone’s mojo needed a shot in the arm, that was the place to be.

Prom 9: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

Audacious, perhaps, to lure an audience of thousands with promises of Beethoven, then let Pierre Boulez steal the show. Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra placed Boulez’s Dérive 2, a work for 11 musicians that lasts for 50 unbroken minutes, at the core of the first evening of its complete Beethoven symphonies cycle. The result: a revelation.

Album: Gustavo Dudamel, Discoveries (Deutsche Grammophon)

This compilation of highlights drawn predominantly from Gustavo Dudamel's stewardship of the Simón Bolivar's Symphony Orchestra opts for high-octane passages such as the opening movement of Beethoven's 5th and the "Danse Sacrale" from Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, with pieces from Arturo Márquez and Silvestre Revueltas – notably the latter's fiery "Noche de Jaranas" from La Noche de Los Mayas – establishing the orchestra's Latin American origins.

Rapt audience: Bernard Haitink tutors Gad Kadosh

Bernard Haitink: A maestro passes on his baton to the next generation

It's tough to make it as a conductor – so when 20 young stars were asked to perform for the great Bernard Haitink, the pressure was on.  reports

Sigur Ros

Live Transmission: Scanner and Heritage Orchestra rework Joy Division, Dome, Brighton

Finally! Thirty-two years to the day that the Joy Division singer Ian Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen comes an event celebrating his musical legacy rather than wallowing in the myth and melodrama of his demise.

Album: Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker Bruckner 9 – Four Movement Version (EMI Classics)

Few composers thought bigger, or longer, than Bruckner, who constantly revised his colossal works – in the case of this final symphony, spending nine years writing and still not completing it before his death, leading to a plethora of posthumous fourth movement “completions” over the past three decades.

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.

Staatskapelle Berlin/ Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall

The furtive opening bars of Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto No. 24 were shrouded in a mellowness of tone that made them welcoming rather than darkly unsettling and as the well upholstered sound of the venerable Staatskapelle Berlin took hold we were cast back into an era of sound and style that was altogether “other”. And then - final confirmation - the piano entered.

International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Royal Festival Hall

A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.

Album: Dmitri Shostakovich, The Soviet Experience – Pacifica Quartet (Cedille Records)

In the second instalment of their recording of all 15 Shostakovich string quartets, the American Pacifica again leaven the mix with another, contemporary, Russian composer, this time Prokofiev, whose thoughtful String Quartet No 2 is added to Shostakovich's Quartets 1-4, the first of these written when the composer was 32.

Joshua Bell is the new director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Joshua Bell, Cadogan Hall, London
Carole Cerasi, Foundling Museum, London

Former teen virtuoso Joshua Bell has an orchestra all of his own to play with, but are two hands really enough?

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links