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OK, time for a personal confession. When I was laid up on the cut-up table for an operation for pancreatic cancer (which, after the very extensive operation, it was ascertained that I didn't have in the first place...) I had negotiated with the doctors' team that I was allowed to listen to something when they put me under - against regulations - this because the operation itself was quite risky and I was stubborn. So I chose the Christopher Rouse Flute Concerto, played by my wife, Sharon Bezaly, the Royal Stockholm PO under Alan Gilbert as the piece I wanted to be the last thing I heard, should I not wake up. In a similar situation I would still choose that piece, a requiem over a small British boy that was tortured to death by two other small boys - a horrible thing. The music is simply fantastic and something I would urge anyone to really listen to, but with closed eyes and mobiles turned off. Music at its very best - and perhaps also a sign of the very troubled times we all live in at present.   It could also be listened to with the composer in mind - he recently passed away.  RvB

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