Arts and Entertainment

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

Prom 4: RLPO/ Petrenko, Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra pulled off the not inconsiderable feat of acknowledging both the Schumann and Mahler anniversaries simultaneously with their Prom opener.

Album: Haydn, 12 London Symphonies (Naive)

Liberated from Esterhazy by his patron's death, Haydn arrived in England in 1791 to a hero's welcome.

First Night: First Night of the Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

Season opens with a bang big enough to blow the roof off

Sir Charles Mackerras: Energetic and perceptive conductor celebrated in particular for popularising the works of Janacek

Just under two years ago, Signum Classics released a live recording of Schubert's Ninth Symphony, the "Great C major", with Sir Charles Mackerras conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra – a performance which discovered unsuspected depths of primal violence in what had seemed an amiable classic. Mackerras' recordings with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra of Mozart's last four symphonies, released by Linn Records around the same time, likewise came with the force of revelation; and a new Mozart set from Linn, including the Paris, Haffner and Linz Symphonies, which he recorded with SCO in Glasgow last summer, is currently pulling in reviews of astonished admiration. Mackerras' music-making in old age was even more energetic and perceptive than before.

Album: Matthew Herbert, Mahler Symphony X Recomposed by Matthew Herbert (Deutsche Grammophon)

Mahler was an obsessive reviser of his own work, an attitude Matthew Herbert extends here by taking a previous recording of the Adagio from the unfinished 10th Symphony and "recomposing" it by recording playbacks in mordant situations: from inside a coffin, over crematorium speakers, from a passing hearse, and in Mahler's cabin in Toblach.

Album: Schumann, Symphonies 1 & 2 / Royal Stockholm Phil (Sony)

Best known for his interpretations of late-Romantic and contemporary music, Sakari Oramo delivers an attractive reading of Schumann's Symphonies 1 and 2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

Album: Britten, Cello Symphony – Wispelwey / Kim / FSO (Onyx)

Written for Rostropovich, Britten's Cello Symphony is a concerto in all but name.

Album: Fell Clarinet Quartet, Bohemian Rhapsodies (Delphian)

The Fell Clarinet Quartet draw on the broad diversity of 20th-century Hungarian music for this engaging collection – notably Bartók, of course.

Album: Boccherini Symphonies/London Mozart Players (Chandos)

Luigi Boccherini spent much of his career arriving in cities just as the spark of creativity had moved elsewhere.

Album: Dvorak, Symphony No 7 / American Suite (Channel Classics)

The turmoil of the opening movement of Dvorak's Seventh Symphony has rarely sounded so thrilling.

Album: Schumann, Symphonies / Wiener Symphoniker (Orfeo)

Recently appointed principal guest conductor at New York's Metropolitan Opera, Fabio Luisi proves as adept at Schumann as he is with Strauss in this live cycle with the Wiener Symphoniker.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Davis, Barbican Hall, London

Familiarity can and does breed contempt – but never where Haydn and Mozart are concerned.

Hallé/ BBC Philharmonic Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Mahler composed his extravagantly monumental Eighth Symphony, Symphony of a Thousand, in a white heat of inspiration and it proved to be the greatest success of his career. For many it will be the highlight of Manchester's Mahler cycle, with Sir Mark Elder conducting the enormous forces of 121 instrumentalists, drawn uniquely from both the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic, and around 300 singers (members of three Hallé choirs joined by the CBSO Chorus from Birmingham). Tickets sold out faster than those for the Hallé's gig with the rock band Elbow last summer and so great was the disappointment of those who applied too late that nearly 1500 tickets were sold for the final rehearsal. This musical collaboration, packing the Bridgewater Hall for only the third outing of the work in the city, was a Manchester event like no other, hotly anticipated, and, in the event, riveting.

London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London

Prokofiev and Myaskovsky – firm friends, musical polar opposites. Once again Vladimir Jurowski demonstrates the essence of creative programming bringing us two highly contrasted but musically well-complemented pieces and one genuine rarity – Myaskovsky’s 6th Symphony.

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