How to do justice to Christ’s Last Words

Haydn's meditations on Christ's Seven Last Words are among the great pieces of Easter music. But could Ruth Padel, steeped in Darwin and Freud, write poetry about this cornerstone of Christianity?

Faust proves the devil has the best tunes

The story of the man who sells his soul for worldly gain has been a powerful influence on composers and writers for centuries. As three new Fausts open at the Royal Opera House, Philip Hensher journeys into the abyss

Did artists foresee the first world war?

In the years before the Great War, artists from Stravinsky to Picasso started rebelling against the old order. Perhaps they already sensed that a catastrophic change was on its way, writes Margaret MacMillan