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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

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Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

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This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine