Arts and Entertainment

Barbican, London

Album: Albrecht Mayer, Bonjour Paris (Decca)

Several of the pieces on oboist Mayer's musical portrait of Paris easily choose themselves: adaptations of Satie's Gymnopédie No 1 and Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante Défunte, along with a couple of Debussy standards – the wistful La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin and Clair de Lune, reminiscent of a moonlit stroll that beds the oboe softly among harp and woodwind. But the longer pieces reflect the paucity of showcase material: Français' L'Horloge De Flore is laboured, while D'Indy's Fantaisie sur des Thèmes Populaires Français is by turns rumbustious and portentous. But Gotthard Odermatt's Été is a delightful modern piece in the style of Ravel at his most pastoral.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Zinman, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Some collaborations are just meant to be. Bringing David Zinman and the OAE together made for the best kind of mutuality: Zinman’s acute ear and cleanness of execution; the orchestra’s arresting character.

Album: Stefano Scodanibbioo, ltracuidansa (Mode)

Stefano Scodanibbio is a virtuoso whose command of the contrabass has opened up vast new areas of sound.

Alexei Ogrintchouk to present a rare new oboe concerto

The oboe is the hardest instrument to play, so what drew the young virtuoso Alexei Ogrintchouk to it? "My parents took me to a lot of concerts in Moscow when I was young, and I was always fascinated by its sound. I loved its purity and naturalness."

Album: Suk, Ripening etc – BBC Symph / Belohlávek (Chandos)

Pupil of Dvorák, and sometime teacher of Martinu, Josef Suk died in 1935, just a few years before the Czech musical tradition was irrevocably severed by war.

Super-collider, Kings Place

The collisions intended here were between artists and artists: for this latest venture in the ‘Out Hear’ series, the Japanese composer Dai Fujikura had brought together a bunch of performers who he reckoned would strike sparks off each other.

Album: Smetana, Má Vlast / Prague Philharmonia (Supraphon)

Beloved the world over for the sweeping minor-major melody of "Vltava", Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems, Má Vlast, has been a monument to Czech independence since its completion in 1879.

Album: Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya, Sotho Blue (Intuition)

This slow and stately trot through some familiar Ibrahim tunes, plus a few new to this reviewer, was recorded just before last spring's UK tour.

Jessica Duchen: The inflections of the flute give it an exotic atmosphere

Antonio Vivaldi wrote so many concertos that news of yet another lost one pitching up usually raises an eyebrow as much as it raises expectations. There are already more than 500, after all, and this composer, a practical sort of fellow, was no stranger to the idea of musical recycling.

Album: John Cage, A Cage of Saxophones, Vols 3 & 4 (Mode)

This second double-CD collection of Cage's saxophone works focuses on the Cagean principle of indeterminacy, applied to Tools on the first disc, and Just Structures on the second.

Album: Steve Reich, Double Sextet/2x5 (Nonesuch)

Doubled-up instrumentation is the theme here: both "Double Sextet" (performed here by eighth blackbird) and "2x5" (by Bang on a Can) are designed for twin ensembles of six and five pieces, respectively. In both, the parts can be played simultaneously, or by a sextet/quintet playing alongside a pre-recorded tape of itself.

Album: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, New Directions in Music (él)

These early pieces by Boulez and Stockhausen may have palled slightly with age, but still impart a powerful evocation of the excitement of the postwar avant-garde.

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: La Serenissma, Vivaldi: Gods, Emperors & Angels (Avie)

The title derives from Vivaldi's astonishing roster of patrons – "nine Highnesses", he proudly noted in a letter – for whom the various concerti featured here were written, and from the seemingly angelic virtuosity of his musicians at Venice's Ospedale della Pietà.

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.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

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Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

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Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

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Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

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The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

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The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

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A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

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Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

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Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee