Travel

Now... Mid-October is an ideal time to pick up an end-of-season bargain – such as £162 for a week's self-catering in Menorca, including Thomson flights from Gatwick on 16 October and accommodation at the Talayot Apartments in Cala'N Forcat. thomson.co.uk

Albums of the year: Classical

Chamber music triumphed over grand projects in 2010, with the notable exception of Sir Mark Elder's luminous Götterdämmerung with the Hallé.

Hungary for Christmas cheer

In Budapest you can shop for snacks in the festive market, then dive into a thermal bath. Tim Walker takes a midwinter break

Auction of relics to help flood victims

Hungary will auction off 230 communist-era relics, including a bust of Lenin, to help victims of last month's red toxic sludge flood which killed 10 people and injured many more.

Sam Lesser

A sentence in Jim Jump's obituary of Sam Lesser (1 November) regarding the show trial of Rudolf Slansky and others in Prague, is ambiguous, writes Philip Petchey: "Lesser's reports followed the official party line, though many years afterwards he would admit that his apparent credulity at the time still troubled his conscience." This implies, without saying so, that his credulity was assumed; he knew or guessed the truth, and followed the party line, for the perceived greater good. If so, an interesting position; latterly, presumably, his conscience was troubled because he came to see that truth should not have been compromised for the perceived greater good in circumstances like these.

Album: Beethoven, Symphonies 4 & 6 – BF0 / Fischer (Channel Classics)

The strings are plumper than we've come to expect from recent Beethoven cycles but the Budapest Festival Orchestra can still deliver at the composer's original metronome markings.

Wild-card Ivanovic ends two-year wait for title with win over Schnyder

Ana Ivanovic routed Patty Schnyder 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the Generali Ladies yesterday to win her first WTA Tour title in two years and her ninth overall.

Treasures from Budapest: From Leonardo to Schiele

Next month the Royal Academy of Arts is set to showcase one of the finest art collections in Central Europe.

Swimming: Adlington all smiles as Britain rule in the pool

Rebecca Adlington and the women's medley relay squad were both crowned European champions as Great Britain claimed five medals in the final session to take their overall total to 18 in Budapest.

British duo bounce back with bronze

Diving

Swimming: Simmonds takes gold in British one-two

Lizzie Simmonds and Gemma Spofforth claimed a one-two for Great Britain in the 200 metres backstroke at the European Championships in Budapest yesterday.

Swimmer remembers a frugal London Olympics

Susan Halter escaped the Holocaust to compete for Hungary in the 1948 Olympics. Kevin Rawlinson meets a born competitor

Album: Kodaly, Sonata / Epigrams etc – Clein / Drake (Hyperion)

From 1898's Romance Lyrique onwards, Natalie Clein traces the life of Hungary's foremost musical educator.

Miklos Perenyi/ Andras Schiff, Wigmore Hall

With his waistcoat and tails, watch-chain, and cloud of grey curls, Andras Schiff walks on stage like a survivor from Imperial Vienna, but his cellist colleague Miklos Perenyi is the pointer to this concert’s real provenance.

Train to Budapest by Dacia Maraini, trans. Silvester Mazzarella

Dacia Maraini, now 74, is one of the best-known Italian writers of the past 50 years. But is her Train to Budapest one more Holocaust story? Not at all: this is a well-written book with a gripping plot, full of suspense and analysis of personal stories. The novel is set in post-war Europe, in 1956. A 26-year-old journalist – Amara Sironi, a Florentine shoemaker's daughter – sets out on a journey to Auschwitz.

Diving: Daley misses out on championships

World 10m platform champion Tom Daley has been forced to pull out of the British Gas Diving Championships taking place in Sheffield this weekend because of a back injury.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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