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Classical

Precision and controlled beauty from the Cleveland Orchestra in Prom 69

Of the ten or so orchestras I’ve listened to during this year’s Proms, the Cleveland Orchestra’s sound was perhaps the most polished, sophisticated (especially the silky strings) and disciplined of all. 

Mozart: String Quartets - Cuarteto Casals

When he dedicated a set of six quartets to Haydn in 1785, Mozart was acknowledging the latter's supremacy in this genre. However, Mozart did more than just imitate him; he integrated Haydn's innovations into his own style, thereby producing a new mileston

BBC Proms 2014: Walton's Facade, Cadogan Hall, review: 'almost perfect'

Walton's Facade was a precursor of rap, says Rupert Christiansen.

The Voice of Isobel Baillie - Isobel Baillie

Dame Isobel Baillie [1895 1983] was the leading British concert soprano of the first half of the 20th century. Her style was characterised by a focussed tone, clear diction and a speech-like and natural approach to phrasing. Her strength was in British mu

Simplicius Simplicissimus - Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Markus Stenz, Juliane Banse, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

This Hybrid SACD recording of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's unique anti-war opera Simplicius Simplicissimus marks an important step in the continuing reappraisal of his œuvre, following Challenge Classics' recent release of all eight symphonies by the 20th cen

Prom 66: St Matthew Passion review astonishing immediacy

Transplanted from its Berlin home, Peter Sellars' staging of Bach's oratorio was less immersive but remained undeniably powerful.

BBC Prom 68/Cleveland Orchestra, review: 'fastidious and understated'

Franz Welser-Möst's Cleveland Orchestra was as sharp-edged as a skyscraper, says Ivan Hewett.

Prom 64, review: Simon Rattle's Berliner Philharmoniker on world-beating form

Prom 64 was our annual reminder that there really is no orchestra to compare with Simon Rattle’s Berliner Philharmoniker.

Prom 61 and 63, reviews: New Zhou Long work disappoints but John Adams' new saxophone concerto is a hit

The composer Zhou Long is one of the heroes of contemporary Chinese music. Injured by the rural labour he was forced into during the Cultural Revolution, he extracted something good from that experience by imbibing the folk music of Mongolia.

Prom 66: St Matthew Passion, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

Peter Sellars’ work used to be about making a statement. He would dislocate texts from contexts, subvert musical suggestion and ignore written statement for the sheer joy of the artistic friction it would generate. The beauty of his St Matthew Passion s