Arts and Entertainment

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

Album: The Knights, A Second of Silence (Ancalagon)

The starting point for this intriguing programme from young US ensemble The Knights is Morton Feldman's suggestion that part of the magic of Schubert is "that kind of hovering, as if you're in a register you've never heard".

St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Temirkanov, Barbican Hall, London

When you are arguably the greatest violinist in the world a four-year “time out” from the public arena can seem like an eternity.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Elder, Royal Festival Hall

Such is Berlioz’ persuasive theatricality that even when he is rearranging Shakespeare one is inclined to ask not what the Bard is doing for him but rather what he is doing for the Bard.

New York Philharmonic Orchestra/ Gilbert, Barbican Hall

For the New York Philharmonic to have embarked upon a London residency without Mahler in their portfolio would have been unconscionable.

Album: David Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Schubert: Symphony No 7 "Unfinished"; Rondo; Concerto; Polonaise (RCA Red Seal)

The incompleteness of Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony was due not to death but deliberate neglect.

The Saturday Quiz

1. A conscientious objector, which leading British artist spent his National Service years (1957-59) working as a medical orderly?

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall, London

Bruckner’s unfinished final symphony - the 9th - poses many questions, none more perplexing than what might have been in terms of its absent finale.

London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London

As curator of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s ongoing Prokofiev series, Vladimir Jurowski has striven to highlight the paradoxes which serve to make him the most contradictory of composers. He's fielding oddities, he’s bowling googlies – none more so than Symphonic Song Op.57. When did anyone last hear this curiosity, if ever, and was there ever a piece which more perversely stretched the credibility of its title?

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vedernikov, Royal Festival Hall, London

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s intriguing new Prokofiev series is entitled “Man of the People?” and the enigma is all in the question mark.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Pappano, Barbican Hall

It was almost as if the London Symphony Orchestra had enjoyed advance notice of Antonio Pappano’s well-deserved Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain / Daniel, Barbican Hall, London

You’d expect the teenagers of the National Youth Orchestra to have some good moves but the opening and closing items of their winter concert took us all the way to the club floor and back again.

Janelle Monáe's next album should be a huge hit

The Critics: Sounds of 2012

Who's going to be rocking your world over the next 12 months? Read on...

Four's company: The Kronos Quartet is to play Black Angels at London's Hackney Empire

Tuning up for fun and games at the Cultural Olympiad

They are in athletic mood at the Proms and in opera, but you might need your thermals...

Album: Various Artists, Lumières: Music Of The Enlightenment (Harmonia Mundi)

It might seem a fool's errand to attempt to encapsulate the musical developments of the 18th century in a single package, given the era's heavyweight talents include Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.

An illustrious gathering at Covent Garden in 1966 during a rehearsal for a Royal Ballet production of 'Les Noces': from left, John Lanchbery, Gardner, Richard Rodney Bennett, Malcolm Williamson and Edmund Rubbra

John Gardner: Composer whose strong melodic sense defied the modernists

A runaway success can be a mixed blessing for a composer: Rachmaninov grew to resent his C sharp minor Prelude, and Enescu his Romanian Rhapsodies, which distracted attention from the rest of their output. John Gardner's dangerous hit was the short choral piece "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day", the second of his Two Carols of 1965, which choristers around the world have been singing for almost five decades.

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