National Youth Orchestra/ Petrenko, Royal Festival Hall

It must be hard comprehending death when you’ve barely begun living - but the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain has a corporate sixth sense about the subtext of music that never ceases to amaze.

Life after resurrection

For many, Easter is just a feast of chocolate. But authors are still captivated by 'the greatest story ever told'

Great Works: The Crucifixion 1565 (518cm x 1,224 cm), Tintoretto

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

Gustav Holst - Brought down to earth

Gustav Holst was about much more than the Planets suite, as a new BBC4 documentary reveals. By Jessica Duchen

Fergie's mystic missus saw Rooney ban coming

Lady Cathy said FA 'will do him' – but outcome of second leg is harder to call

Suicide bombers 'kill 42' at Pakistani shrine

A pair of Taliban suicide bombers struck one of Pakistan's most important Sufi Muslim shrines on Sunday, killing 42 people and wounding 100 who were celebrating the anniversary of its founder's death with music, meditation and other practices abhorred by Islamist militant groups.

Sufi festival has spirits in a whirl

Ecstatic tunes are the focus of a celebration of divine music in northern India. Adrian Hamilton experienced its rare mixwordsmith

Album: LOW, C'mon (Sub Pop)

It's been exactly four years since Low's Drums and Guns, which uncharacteristically focused mostly on a single issue, an extended meditation on the war in Iraq.

Manolis Rassoulis

Dave Davies: 'I was just a crazy kid with a guitar, a cheap amp and a razor blade'

His guitar sound made the Kinks one of the greatest bands of the 1960s – not that his brother Ray gives him the credit. Dave Davies opens up to Robert Chalmers about fraternal feuds, ceremonial axes, mystical encounters – and why he hasn't ruled out a reunion

Jean M Auel:'What prehistoric attitudes towards sex!'

The 'Clan of the Cave Bear' author is happy to share her research into Cro-Magnon love lives with James Kidd

Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner Herzog, 93 Mins (U)

The cave paintings at Chauvet may be 32,000 years old, but Herzog, with his appetite for a challenge, brings them to dazzling life with judicious use of 3D

The Dutch Masters: a golden age of opportunity

Are you thinking about doing a Masters degree or PhD in a European country? There’s no need to learn a foreign language if the Netherlands is your choice.

The eccentric architecture of death

The restoration of Sir Richard Burton’s tomb may be a relatively small event – but it’s a very important one, says Jay Merrick

Being Modern: Candles

Nothing says "I love you" like flowers. But nothing says "romantic" like candles. In the finest restaurants and hotels, at the smartest weddings – wherever, in fact, you wish to create an atmosphere conducive to gazing into the eyes of someone special – stick a few tea-lights in holders and voilà, the flicker of the flame a shorthand for instant intimacy.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game