Arts and Entertainment

Wigmore Hall, London

Philip Glass: 'I think I'm built for this kind of life. I train like an athlete'

The world's most austere composer drove taxis until he was 42. He reveals how his fastidious life informs his music

Album: Jean-Guihen Queyras, Mantovani, Schoeller, Amy: Cello Concertos (Harmonia Mundi)

The reputation of cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras is now such that he is able to present three concertos written for him by three diverse modern composers, here performed with different orchestras.

Bach Weekend 2009, Purcell Room, London<br>Beyond the Wall: New Music from China, Barbican, London

The elegant economy of J S Bach makes a Chinese spectacular sound flashy and hollow

A Short Gentleman, By Jon Canter

Robert Purcell, a very distinguished barrister and a fully paid up member of the British establishment, has somehow ended up in prison – and he needs to understand why. Prompted by his wife to pen a confession, he applies his legalistic mind to appraising all the forces that have brought him down.

Album: Walton, Cello Concerto &ndash; Wispelway / Tate, (Onyx)

Pieter Wispelway's recital is a thing of wild beauty. Here is William Walton at his least superficial, in the bold planes of his 1956 Cello Concerto and the bitter "Passacaglia".

Album: Arne Deforce, Yutaka Oya, Morton Feldman: Patterns in a Chromatic Field (Aeon)

The cello and piano piece Patterns in a Chromatic Field dates from the early 1980s, when Feldman's fascination with subtly asymmetric patternings was yielding to the obsession with stasis that would lead to monumental epics.

Exposed: the myth of cello scrotum

Peer who fooled the medical world with a letter to the British Medical Journal in 1974 finally comes clean

Members of the London Philharmonic / Elder, Wigmore Hall, London

Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll.

Yo-Yo Ma/Kathryn Stott, Barbican Hall, London

They sit closer than do most duo recitalists, reflecting the now intimate nature of their musical partnership. Indeed there was one note of Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata in A minor when a pizzicato in the cello and a staccato quaver in the right hand of the piano chimed in such a way as to belie the fact that there was absolutely no eye contact. Pure musical telepathy.

Yo-Yo Ma/ Kathryn Stott, Barbican Hall, London

They sit closer than do most duo recitalists on the concert platform reflecting the now intimate nature of their musical partnership.



Isserlis/Ad&egrave;s, Wigmore Hall, London

Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as the Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, Kroo Gyorgy in memoriam. Descending scales so ghostly that it hardly seemed possible that the strings were even so much as grazed by the bow became like silent footsteps to eternity. How typical of Kurtag to honour a great Hungarian musicologist with near-silence – the most elusive music of all – and how clever of Isserlis to have placed these pieces at the heart, the still centre, of this generous recital.

Steven Isserlis/ Thomas Ades, Wigmore Hall, London

Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, "Kroo Gyorgy in memorium".

Album: Isobel Campbell &amp; Mark Lanegan, Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart (V2)

Given the variety of intriguing approaches, from shanties to waltzes and rumbas to torch-songs, employed on this year's Sunday at Devil Dirt, the second album-length collaboration between Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, "Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart" is not the first track one would expect to lead off a six-track EP of outtakes.

Antony and the Johnsons, Barbican, London

There's a fantastic image on the front cover of Antony and the Johnson's new EP of the great Japanese butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. His face is caked in thick white stage paint; his fingers snap out of shape, almost audibly, and his eyes fix themselves on some chimerical vision just out of shot. As a caught moment of butoh's dance of darkness, it's an arresting image; as a frontispiece to Another World, five songs of crippled beauty and uneasy, otherworldly landscapes, it's a masterstroke.

Robert Fisk: Thank you, readers, for these gems

Why, I find myself asking when I read them, can't we journalists write like this?
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

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Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

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This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

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Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

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The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

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The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee