Arts and Entertainment

Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.

Andreas Schager and Nina Stemme in a performance of Wagner's Götterdammerung, Daniel Barenboim, Berlin Staatskapelle

Classical review: Prom 20, Götterdämmerung, Daniel Barenboim, Berlin Staatskapelle

The Proms may never be the same again after the extraordinary heights achieved by the concert performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle on almost consecutive nights last week as the composer intended.

Usain Bolt wins the 4x100 metres relay

Usain Bolt stars once more as Brits stay rooted

The curtain came down on the 2012 Games with Usain Bolt crossing the line out in front for his third gold. It was only right athletics' ultimate showman had the final say inside the same venue as he anchored a Jamaican quartet to victory in the 4x100m relay.

Album review: Xavier de Maistre, Mozart (Sony Classical)

The small size, thin sound and restricted harmonic adaptability of 18th-century harps explains the paucity of serious repertoire for the instrument. Virtually the only work of note Mozart wrote for the harp is the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major, commissioned by an amateur father/daughter duo, here given a subtle but rousing interpretation by de Maistre, his harp trailing delicate tendrils around Magali Mosnier's lead flute line. Elsewhere, de Maistre has capitalised on advances in harp design to perform re-arranged versions of the popular Sonata Facile and the Concerto for Keyboard and Orchestra No 19 in F major.

Nicola Benedetti: 'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'

Cultural life: Nicola Benedetti, violinist

'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'

Daniel Barenboim will conduct his first Wagner opera in the UK this summer

We have all the time in the world for Wagner

The audiences for this immense work ought to be disappearing. In fact, they're growing

Daniel Barenboim at Proms 14: Das Rheingold

Classical review: Prom 14, Daniel Barenboim, Das Rheingold, Berlin Staatskapelle

For a Proms audience chock-a-block with enthusiasts determined not to be distracted by Royal baby news or excessive heat, Daniel Barenboim took the Proms podium to open Das Rheingold – the first opera in the Proms’ hungrily-anticipated, first-ever Ring cycle. Moments later, that spacious E flat build-up was immersing us in some seriously luxurious Wagnerian waters.

Classical review: Proms 10 and 11 - Jan Lisiecki makes his proms debut, and Ex Cathedra astonish with Stockhausen

Prom 10 – Lisiecki, Santa Cecilia, Pappano (****)

Prom 11 – Ex Cathedra, Skidmore (*****)

Leafy encounter: Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones give subtle performances in Drake Doremus's 'Breathe In'

Film review: Breathe In (15)

Love lessons in a strictly minor key

Sleep no more: Quentin Hayes and Miriam Murphy as the Macbeths

Classical review: Macbeth - a community musters a skirling roar against a Scottish king

There is no entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for William Webster the younger, founder of the Blackheath Halls, Blackheath Conservatoire and now defunct Blackheath College of Art.

All signs point to a topical treat in play about HS2

Production chronicles the story of a divisive new toll road scheduled to slice through a village

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, arrives to testify in an antitrust trial brought against the company by the Department of Justice at Federal Court in New York, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

US court rules Apple conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices

Judge Denise Cote said the company "played a central role in facilitating and executing [...] conspiracy"

Album review: Ksenija Sidorova, Fairy Tales (Champs Hill)

One of my favourite albums of recent years has been Teodoro Anzellotti's accordion version of the Goldberg Variations, and elsewhere, Scandinavian and Baltic practitioners seem able to wrest more interesting effects from the instrument.

Gold Rush: Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper dives over for the only try in his side’s victory against the Lions in Melbourne

Lions tour: Genius Will Genia choreographs vital steps in Wallaby waltz

Scrum-half shows leadership and invention to outwit the Lions defence

Album review: Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth, Debussy: La Mer, Première Suite d'Orchestre (Musicales Actes Sud/ Harmonia Mundi)

Usually, period-instrument performance involves the wielding of antiquaria like sackbut and theorbo in renaissance settings.

Album: Schumann/Dvorák, Piemontesi/ Belohlávek/BBC SO (Naive)

Francesco Piemontesi brings together two oddities: Schumann's Piano Concerto is a dreamlike dialogue between soloist and orchestra, while Dvorák's rather dull work has slid into obscurity.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform