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Is there still a bit of Tony Blair left inside Ed Miliband? The question bugged me as I listened to the Labour leader doing what he does best – giving a speech to a predominantly sympathetic audience – in London today.

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg (Translated by Rod Bradbury) - Paperback review

These days, one expects any novel out of Sweden to be a crime novel, and so this one is – but with a difference.

Book review: Music in the Castle of Heaven: a portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, By John Eliot Gardiner

A great interpreter restores to life the mysterious musician who has always inspired him

Album: Mozart, The Last Symphonies: Orchestre des Champs-Elysées/Herreweghe phi

Something very exciting happens in Philippe Herreweghe’s recording of Mozart’s last three symphonies.

Album review: Keller Quartett, Ligeti String Quartets, Barber Adagio (ECM New Series)

The Keller Quartett are a Hungarian group, here showcasing two of their countryman György Ligeti's astringent string quartets of the Fifties and Sixties, separated by the calm lacuna of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, from the Thirties.

Google Doodle celebrates English furniture designer Thomas Chippendale

18th Century cabinet maker honoured with Doodle

John Eliot Gardiner, Bach Cantatas 28 (Soli Deo Gloria)

Album review: John Eliot Gardiner, Bach Cantatas 28 (Soli Deo Gloria)

It's rather apt that John Eliot Gardiner's marathon cycle of Bach cantatas should finally be completed with those written for Ascension Day, recorded at St Giles Cripplegate 12 years after the original “pilgrimage” recordings of 2000. The four cantatas feature mostly new soloists but sustain the series' high standards.

Sports fans: Americans at play in Love of Winter

Charles Darwent on art: George Bellows was knock-out – but he was always playing catch-up

The star of the Ashcan School was influenced by the Impressionists. Yet for all the surface charm, his work shows a fear of what lies beneath

Van Cliburn: Piano virtuoso who helped thaw US-Soviet relations

New York reserves its tickertape parades for returning heroes – and in 1958 America had no greater hero than a young concert pianist from Texas named Van Cliburn. That spring he had travelled to Moscow to take part in the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition, an event intended to showcase Russian superiority in classical music. And, against every rational probability of that Cold War era, Cliburn won.

Ways of Going Home, By Alejandro Zambra. Granta, £12.99

Alejandro Zambra's first novel, Bonsai, brought the young Chilean poet international fame. It was followed by The Private Lives of Trees, which retained interest in the author. In this, his third and longest – but still very short – novel, translated by Megan McDowell, Zambra uses the ploy of describing the author at work on his new book which, needless to say, is the one we are reading. Zambra adopted similar metafictional devices in its two predecessors.

Album: John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir Bach Cantatas for Christmas (Soli Deo Gloria)

The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage undertaken in 2000 by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, performing all of Bach's cantatas on the appropriate days in churches across Europe and America, is one of the great musical achievements of recent times.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, By Aimee Bender

Paperback reviews of the week

The Weekend's Viewing: The Thick of It, Sat, BBC2
Homeland, Sun, Channel 4

An hour of The Thick of It and not an oath that didn't come fenced by quotation marks.

Simon Patterson: Under Cartel, Haunch of Venison, London

Patterson was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996 for The Great Bear, a reworking of the London Tube map that substituted all the station names for that of celebrities, Old Masters and Chinese dissidents.

Frank Zappa was one of rock's crossover musicians

Rock 'n' Roll in Four Movements, Radio 4, Thursday
BBC Proms, Radio 3, daily

Concerto for hairies and orchestra

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference