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?

Disco dystopia: what are the best apocalyptic albums?

This month sees the 40th anniversary of the release of David Bowie's Orwell-inspired Diamond Dogs. From Gary Numan's 'machine' phase to Janelle Monáe's messianic android – influenced by Fritz Lang's Metropolis – here are some of the best end-of-days LPs

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