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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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project