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A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

Classical Music: Replay/ Robert Cowan makes his pick of the latest reissues

Lotte Lehmann sings Opera and Lieder (Recorded: 1927-1942) (Pearl GEMM CDS 9234, two discs); Liszt: Dante Symphony and tone-poems Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Kurt Masur (Recorded: 1979-1980) (EMI Forte CZS5 68598 2, two discs)

Dance: Leipziger Ballet

Igor Stravinsky: Balettabend; Leipzig Opera House

Minorco acquires Tilcon for pounds 330m

TOM STEVENSON

Music Prodigies / Rostropovich LSO Barbican, London

'From her opening pacing, with slightly exaggerated rubato, it was clear that she would be in control'

Tripping the Leipzig fantastic

Tripping the Leipzig fantastic

Suddenly staring defeat in the face

Many Bosnian Serbs believe they have unwittingly become the victims of a clever political collusion

HANDLING BACH Greenwich Theatre, London: Theatre

Once upon a time, there was an ex-music critic who wrote a series of plays about envy between two men. In 1979 he took his argument into the arena of music with the tale of two real-life composers. The play was a big hit and an even bigger film, winning eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The film was Amadeus and the playwright was Peter Shaffer and not, alas, Paul Barz, whose strikingly similar Handling Bach is receiving its British premiere in Greenwich in a translation by David Bryer.

Stalin and the spoils of war

Millions of art treasures from Germany that Stalin claimed as trophies of victory disappeared from view for decades. Then two Russians, Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov (below) tracked them down. Geraldine Norman tells their story

UPBEAT

Hildegard von Bingen: the "straight pass mix". It had to happen. The 12th-century Benedictine abbess gets the techno treatment on Vision, EMI's latest assault on the cross-over charts. But beneath Richard Souther's New Age washes, "world beat rhythms" and tired drum machines soars a familiar voice - that of Minnesota-born Emily van Evera, solo soprano on the "original" Hildegard album, Hyperion's award-winning 1982 A feather on the breath of God. It's not the first time she's been "sampled". Previously it was used on a TV muesli ad and Hyperion sued. This time, Van Evera got to re-record her bits, although she admits she had no idea of how they'd end up. "It was a real leap of faith." And while she's happy with the idea of one composer re-working another ("it's an old, old tradition"), she concedes that EMI could have signalled the extent of the adaptation more clearly on the cover - "Though you'd have to be pretty doltish not to realise when you listen that this is not medieval." There's no shortage of dolts in the USA where Vision has already sold 200,000 copies, just 50,000 short of the total chalked up by the Hyperion disc in the past 13 years. Chart success has given Van Evera a new celebrity. "I just turned down the Big Breakfast," she says. "Can you believe it, they wanted me to dress up as a nun."

Real life on the silent screen : BOOKS : FICTION

THE FILM EXPLAINER by Gert Hofmann, trs Michael Hofmann Secker £9.99

Duke tells Dresden of UK's deep regret

Reconciliation was the order of the day in Dresden yesterday - the anniversary of the RAF's Second World War bombing raids that destroyed the city 50 years ago.

city slicker dresden

Best-known building: A bombed-out ruin, though not for much longer. The Frauenkirche (above), destroyed in the raids, is still seen by many as the ultimate Dresden building. Rebuilding is due to be completed in time for the city's 800th anniversary in 2006.

metro living for the city Rubble-rousing stuff

For five decades a huge pile of ruins remained at the heart of Dresden - the Frauenkirche, casualty of the Allied fire bombing in 1945. Now the church is being reconstructed. Steve Crawshaw reports

Dresden extends its olive branch to royalty

Fifty years after Allied aircraft razed the city, reconciliation is in the air, writes Steve Crawshaw in Bonn

Kohl fails to see joke in row over TV satire

Never use a diplomatic nutcracker when a giant sledgehammer will do. That seems to be Bonn's policy when it comes to media criticism.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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