This month, we meet the Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who shows us around her 2000-strong instrument collection, introducing us to the marimba, snare drum, gamelan and armonica that have shaped her career. Sophy Roberts, author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia, takes us on her journey across Russia in search of the country’s most fascinating pianos, while Paul Riley takes us back in time to the Palace of Versailles’s opera house, built in the dying years of the French monarchy.
Also this month, Tom Service meets the French conductor Emmanuelle Haïm, as her ensemble Le Concert d’Astrée reaches its 21st year. She discusses the important role Baroque music has played in her life and her relentless enthusiasm to share it with a wider audience. Mahler’s grimly enthralling cantata Das klagende Lied is on this month’s cover CD, in a performance featuring the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Plus, we name the best recordings of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben and Verdi is our Composer of the Month.