Arts and Entertainment Jake Bugg burst onto the scene aged 18

The success of Jake Bugg and Ben Howard has given rise to a new wave of male singer-songwriters who are queueing up to show off their sensitive sides

Album: Various Artists, The Liszt Legacy (Deutsche Grammophon)

Rather than featuring interpretations of Liszt pieces, this oddest of Liszt bicentennial tributes attempts to illustrate across 10CDs his influence not just as composer, but as instigator of a performance tradition of flamboyant virtuosity.

Anna Calvi says of Wild Beasts: 'Their album Smother is great. It's full of subtleties; chords are implied rather than over-emphasised, and the drums are integral to the melodic interest of each song.'

The sounds and songs the stars fell in love with in 2011

Anna Calvi, Ghostpoet and Leslie Feist all made great albums this year. Here, they and others pick the music that rocked their year

Jessica Duchen: Il Volo may be many things, but opera they are not

It makes a pleasant change from gangsta rap, I suppose. Three singing Italian boys in leather jackets looking suave. Teenage girls the world over screaming and fainting. Turning teenagers on to opera, they say. Whatever will those clever marketing people think of next?

Album: The Puppini Sisters, Hollywood (Verve)

Sadly, The Puppini Sisters have abandoned the more modern repertoire - '40s-style versions of pop hits like "Wuthering Heights" and "I Will Survive" - that gave them their original quirky appeal.

Madonna deal to last beyond 60

Madonna has signed a new record deal with Universal that could see her releasing albums past the age of 60.

Melanie C, Scala, London (3/5)

Four years after she got back together with the Spice Girls, Melanie Chisholm is stalking much smaller venues.

Album: Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler, This is Christmas (Infectious)

In which indie singer-songwriter Emma-Lee Moss and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler, a couple in real life, join musical forces and attempt, valiantly and with not inconsiderable success, to breathe new life into that stalest of stale old genres: the Christmas song.

Montserrat Figueras: Soprano celebrated for her mastery of pre-Baroque music

One evening in 1988 my girlfriend and I were driving home from work when one of the most exquisite sounds I had heard emerged from the car radio.

Album: Tunng, This Is Tunng... Live from the BBC (Full Time Hobby) (3/5)

Collating Tunng's various radio sessions for shows helmed by such as Rob Da Bank, Lauren Laverne and Marc Riley, This Is Tunng... presents their nu-folk-rock at something close to optimum, in performances which sparkle with spontaneity.

Mull Historical Society, Bush Hall, London (4/5)

When Colin MacIntyre was a young man on Mull, he’d look out at the Atlantic dark and feel he was on the edge of the world.

Barbara Orbison: Widow of Roy Orbison

Barbara Orbison, who died on 6 December aged 60 of pancreatic cancer, was the widow of Roy Orbison, and since his death in 1988 she had devoted her time to managing his estate and keeping his legacy alive. With her son, Roy Kelton Orbison Jr, she co-produced a four-CD box set of her husband's 107 recordings. The package marked the first all-inclusive body of Roy Orbison's work from his earliest recordings to the Traveling Wilburys' debut album, his final studio album Mystery Girl and his last live performance.

Parliamentary inquiry into lobbying to call Bell Pottinger executives as witnesses

Nearly two-thirds of MPs want lobbyists registered, though support is lower among Conservatives
Bon Iver

Caught in the Net: One year, one label, worlds of sound

Like an Olympic marathon runner finally entering the stadium, we're slowly getting to the end of a momentous year.

Sinead O'Connor, St John-at-Hackney, London
Skrillex, Academy, Bristol

The often controversial singer packs an emotional punch as she lets her powerful voice rip in an east London church

At their peak, the total Wombles earnings were reputed to be around £17m a year

Womblepedia! They're back... and set to challenge 'X Factor' for festive No 1 slot

David Randall and Sophie Zeldin-O'Neill, in true Womble style, gather the facts for an A to Z of the Wimbledon litter pickers

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Day In a Page

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
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment