Arts and Entertainment

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Bleak and blue - and that's just the reader: Book of the Week

Bleak and Blue: 22 Years at the Manchester Academy of Football Farce

Classical: The century, by numbers


Classical: Austerity to raise the hairs on the back of your neck


First Night: Mr Angry trades in his wild image

John Zorn Ensemble

Classical: Confessions of a soul close to suicide


Pop: American pioneers

The Barbican's "American Pioneers" season features two avant-garde treats this week which break down the divide between classical music and rock'n'roll. Today's tribute to John Cage sees various free workshops and musical performances in the afternoon, with an evening concert of some of Cage's best-known works played by an ensemble featuring John Tilbury, Gavin Bryars, Bruce Gilbert of Wire and Budgie of the Creatures.

Classical: CD Choice


CLASSICAL: FIRST NIGHT: Spirit Gardens: The Music of Takemitsu

The Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu died in February 1996, and London's South Bank mounts a lavish retrospective festival this week. The composer formed many vital friendships in Britain, so much so that his premature death provoked a heartfelt outpouring of grief. Among the musicians Takemitsu knew, a number feature in "Spirit Gardens" - Oliver Knussen, Paul Crossley, Christian Lindberg and Andrew Davis, to name but a few. To all of them, Takemitsu was a unique friend. He was also a unique voice: a Western Japanese composer, straddling three continents - Asia, Europe and America - and selecting from all of them the ingredients which make up his individual soundworld. "Although I am basically self taught, I consider Debussy my teacher - the most important elements are colour, light and shadow," he once wrote.

Acoustical Notes: A perfect venue for chamber music

ALMOST CERTAINLY the most beautiful concert hall in the world is the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. It is an elegant, gracefully contoured, but essentially "classical" hall, with a tiered stage for the orchestra and singers, and a U-shaped balcony embracing the auditorium, on which are reverently displayed the names of some of the illustrious classical composers such as Beethoven and Mahler whose music has often been heard there.

Obituary: Gerald Littlewood

ANY FINAL assessment of how Humphrey Chetham's Bluecoat foundation of 1653 grew by 1969 to be Britain's foremost specialist school of music, Chetham's, will surely acknowledge Gerald Littlewood's role as having been seminal. His appointment as resident arts and crafts master in 1949, fresh from Loughborough Training College, will be seen as a decisive step in a remarkable evolution.

Letter: Operatic score

Letter: Operatic score

Letter: Music before image

YOUR article "String something simple" (12 March) prompts me, as one of the "grey-haired men in tail coats" (but definitely not constipated) to defend the "dusty quartet image".

Arts: String something simple

Say goodbye to the stuffy string quartet. Now they're the preserve of trendy twentysomethings.

Review: Vaughan Williams celebrated in style

Music: Vaughan Williams and Company St John's, Smith Square, London

Review: The song remains the same

Classical Music: Brunel Ensemble Victoria Rooms, Bristol
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Life and Style
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Career Services

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

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Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

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The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

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Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice