Album reviews: John Sheppard, Max Richter, Les Vents Francais

John Sheppard "Sacred Choral Music" (Delphian)

My beard: I wanted Captain Haddock. I got George Michael

I'm back in Britain after two- and-half-weeks on holiday in the South of France. Having just done two months of solid filming for Fool Britannia 2, it wasn't just my mind that needed a rest. It was also my poor face, that had undergone about three hours of prosthetics every morning in order to transform me into whatever weird character we were filming that day. I was sick of putting stuff on my skin, so I decided to give it a total detox and not shave or do anything for the whole holiday. And so it began, my initiation into the world of the beard.

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

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The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is threatening legal action after an online petition asked her to repay nearly €410,000 (£354,000) used to fund her website while her husband was President.

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‘Luther’ is back, with over-the-top murders and its tongue in its cheek

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The below mixture of unrelated terms might look like something that has been thrown up during an advanced game of Scrabble, but it is actually a “work flow diagram” explanation of David Bowie’s new album.

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Celine gets carried away wholly gentle clothes

The mood book left on seats for the Céline autumn/winter catwalk show was printed with ethereal images of marble statues, clouds and woollen yarn – all in a neutral, bleached-out tone.

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'I was terrified': Jonny Hallyday reveals how he was seduced at 17 - by a 44-year-old Edith Piaf

He was a teenage rocker on the rise and she was a national treasure on the skids

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Premières Dames past and present join election pantomime

François Hollande's girlfriend is furious with President Nicolas Sarkozy. So is his former wife, Cécilia.

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Album: Guglielmo Pellarin, Federico Lovato, French Music for Horn & Piano (Audite)

This collection of pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries is intended to display the increasing range and versatility of the French horn following the addition of valves to the instrument – although the essential sonic personality remains unchanged throughout, from the mournful grace of Saint-Saëns's "Romance for Horn & Piano" to Poulenc's "Elegie" written in the late 1950s in memoriam of horn player Dennis Brain.

Album: Poulenc, Concerto pour Deux Pianos et Orchestre – Nima Eterna Brugge (Zig Zag)

Jos van Immerseel's period-instruments orchestra continues its survey of French music with this toothsome programme.

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