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Andrew Clements

Otello review musically magnificent but there's an emotional vacuum at the heart of ENO's new production

Coliseum, LondonWith Stuart Skelton in the title role, this is the tragedy of an ordinary jealous man; its Jonathan Summerss totally compelling Iago who holds centre stageEnglish National Operas last Otello, 16 years ago, set it in the army barracks of a

Mozart: String Quartets K428, 465 and 387 CD review expressive, but wearing

No one could accuse the Cuarteto Casals of being reticent in these three of the six quartets that Mozart dedicated to Haydn, the works in G: K387, E flat K428 and C K465.

Hartmann: Simplicius Simplicissimus CD review Stenz captures opera's raw intensity

Banse/Marsch/Hartmann/Netherland Radio Choir and PO/Stenz(Challenge Classics, 2 CDS)Karl Amadeus Hartmann's opera, based upon Grimmelshausen's picaresque novel of the thirty years' war, has not been seen on stage or heard in concert in the UK. Yet it's o

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

Les Troyens review Mariinsky without the magic

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera make Berlioz's magnificent opera seem routineMany of the productions that Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Opera have brought to Edinburgh over the last two decades have been truly memorable; sometimes, especially in

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

Cooke: Violin, Viola and Cello Sonatas review purposeful chamber music

Arnold Cooke was part of the same generation of British composers as Michael Tippett and Constant Lambert.

Busoni & Strauss: Violin Concertos, etc review tuneful, easygoing pleasures

Busoni disowned most of his early works after he published his artistic manifesto, Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music, in 1907.