Arts and Entertainment

It says a lot about how seriously people take the Grammy Awards that a video of Taylor Swift's performance of All Too Well has attracted around 180,000 views, while a 28-second clip of it complete with high kicks from Street Fighter's Ryu has already clocked over 2.2 million.

Album: The National, Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)

The National's quiet, steady ascent presents the Cincinnati band with a problem on their sixth album: how to crown their rise without losing the ATP/Pitchfork crowd which nurtured them.

Solange has confirmed she will put out a full-length LP later this year

The Playlist: Solange; Holy Ghost!; Katy B

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

Classical review: Verdi’s Ballo, King’s Head Theatre, London

The news that OperaUpClose were planning to stage Verdi’s A Masked Ball in an IKEA store did not sound promising, as we’d been there before. In 2009 Flatpack Opera made Wembley IKEA the venue and subject of a work whose audience was joined by bemused shoppers, not all of whom were keen to be plunged into an art event which began in the bedsit department and ended in kitchens. At least OperaUpClose were doing it in a kosher theatre.

Album review: Little Boots, Nocturnes (On Repeat)

Following the burden of hype placed upon the electro-pop singer’s debut, she’s gone low-key for this follow-up, self-releasing and adopting a clubbier, more crepuscular sound.

Album review: Brahms/Schumann, Strings Attached – Arno Piters/Royal Concertgebouw (Challenge)

Composer Geert van Keulen reshapes Brahms’s Clarinet Sonatas in F minor and E flat major after the model of his Clarinet Quintet in this alluring disc of arrangements.

Album review: Joshua Redman, Walking Shadows (Nonesuch)

You can take sax star Redman tootling ballads to the accompaniment of strings in two ways.

MS MR, Secondhand Rapture (Iamsound/Columbia)

Album review: MS MR, Secondhand Rapture (Iamsound/Columbia)

Widely tipped for success, Anglo-American duo MS MR deal in a similar kind of blandly alienated, metrosexual pop to Hurts, with Lizzy Plapinger's sultry-soulful vocals allied to Max Hershenow's electronic pop arrangements.

Classical review: Barbara Hannigan, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London

Hannigan dazzles in Berg's Lulu Suite

Imogen Cooper’s coolly reflective reading of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto was at odds with the more extrovert approach of the Budapest Festival Orchestra under its conductor Ivan Fischer

Classical review: Budapest Festival Orchestra - Bohemian rhapsody marred by clash of styles

In 2011, Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra played two BBC Proms in one night. The first was a meticulously disciplined programme of Liszt and Mahler, the second a jamboree of party pieces and encores, selected by raffle from a list of some 200 works. Encores are the great disinhibitors of classical music and they have served Fischer and his orchestra well. Now 30 years old, the BFO can melt the cognoscenti with musical kitsch, compete with the finest in core symphonic repertoire, and deliver Beethoven with the transparency of period instruments. Whether this should all be attempted in one performance is another matter.

Hanna Devich, Ludovico Einaudi: Nightbook (Challenge Classics)

Album review: Hanna Devich, Ludovico Einaudi: Nightbook (Challenge Classics)

Few contemporary composers have tapped into the public consciousness quite as effectively as Ludovico Einaudi, his repetitive, wave-like compositions utilising the comforting reliability of minimalism while his melodies unerringly trigger warm emotional responses.

Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

One to Watch: Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

A toy glockenspiel given to him aged six fuelled his passion for the piano. It served him well – already he has played for the Prince of Monaco alongside Lulu.

Album: Françoise Hardy, L'Amour Fou (EMI)

Hardy, the 69-year-old Parisienne pop icon, returns with, this time, no generation-hopping collaborations with Anglo-American indie stars.

Iron and Wine, Ghost on Ghost (4AD)

Album review: Iron and Wine, Ghost on Ghost (4AD)

Sam Beam's latest outing as Iron and Wine is a curious mixture of the fascinating and the frustrating. It's a more obviously welcoming album than its recent predecessors, with the gentle country-soul ambience of songs like “The Desert Babbler” recalling Lambchop in its tempering of soul influences with pedal steel and strings.

Album review: Floraleda Sacchi, Happy Birthday John! (Amadeus Arte)

There's something about the Zen-garden aspect of John Cage's music that lends itself particularly well to these interpretations by the Italian harpist Floraleda Sacchi. The instrument is especially effective in the more obviously “beautiful” pieces such as “Dream” and “In a Landscape”, where the undulating, intertwining figures have the same serene intensity as on piano, but are less overtly soothing, always poised on a sharper edge.

Classical pianist Janina Fialkowska

Classical pianist with a paralysed arm wins BBC Music Magazine Award

Just over a decade ago, acclaimed classical pianist Janina Fialkowska discovered a tumour that would leave her left arm paralysed.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker