V Who is Armenia's greatest composer? Not Khachaturian, despite the Soviets' relentless promotion of Spartacus. Few outside Armenia may have heard of Solomon Solomonian, but his fate encapsulates that of his country, and his compositions have a uniquely compelling force. In 1915, with 700 other Armenian intellectuals, he was seized and tortured by the Turks; he escaped, but went mad, and he died in a Paris asylum. He's the subject of a suitably left-field film at the London Armenian Film Festival, which opens on Friday at the Institut Francais.
V The Takacs Quartet's recordings of Beethoven's string quartets are being justly acclaimed, but readers of the liner notes may wonder why none of the players is called Takacs. The ghost is Gabor Takacs-Nagy, who co-founded the quartet, but left and now leads his equally acclaimed Takacs Piano Trio. But it's a shame Decca should be so economical with the truth.