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Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco, review: 'solid'

Soprano Anna Netrebko radiates star quality in this performance of Giovanna d'Arco, says Rupert Christiansen.

Beethoven: Prometheus, review: 'refined'

George Petrou has full measure of the music's dramatic qualities, says Geoffrey Norris.

Joyce DiDonato: Stella di Napoli review dizzying technical virtuosity

The latest of Joyce DiDonato's themed discs is a mix of high-impact arias by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti as well as the less familiar Mercadante, Carafa, Valentini and Pacini, several of them world premiere recordings which DiDonato and Riccardo Minasi

Medtner & Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas review a tale of two Russians

Rachmaninov and Medtner, both late-romantic Russian composers, have fared differently since their deaths in 1943 and 1951.

Berlioz: La Captive; Herminie; La Mort de Cléopatre review

Larsson/Het Gelders O/Manacorda(Challenge Classics)In 1830 Berlioz won the Prix de Rome at his fourth attempt, securing the coveted award, which offered him two years' study in the Italian capital, with La Mort de Sardanapale, easily the most conventional

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 review remorselessly technical

Pierre-Laurent Aimard(Deutsche Grammophon)Pierre-Laurent Aimard's first recording for Deutsche Grammophon six years ago was Bach's Art of Fugue. It was a disappointingly ordinary performance from a pianist who is such a dazzling interpreter of 20th-centur

Bax: Phantasy; Four Orchestral Pieces; Overture, Elegy and Rondo review

Dukes/BBC Philharmonic/Davis(Chandos)All three of these rarely heard works come from the first half of Bax's career as a composer. The earliest is the lightweight but charming set of Four Orchestral Pieces from 1914, recorded here for the first time, and

Szymanowski: Violin Concertos; Mythes review a fresh perspective

Skride/Skride/Oslo PO/Petrenko(Orfeo)Baiba Skride's performance of Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto provides a sharp corrective to anyone accustomed to thinking of it as faux modernism, as a rather soft-edged exploration of exotic colours and chromatic

Prom 53: Budapest FO/Fischer and Prom 54: ORR/Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner, Royal Albert Hall, review

Sometimes a performance is so definitively satisfying that the last thing one wants to hear is an encore. And so it was when Ivan Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra finished delivering two Brahms symphonies on the trot. But instead of the expecte

Joanna Strzelecka-Orlowska Fanny Hensel: The Year in Italy

Fanny Mendelssohn, elder sister of Felix, married Prussian court painter Wilhelm Hensel, and in 1839-1840 embarked with him on a Grand Tour of Italy.