Soviet Union

olivia de havilland

Olivia de Havilland’s Red Scare

28 July 2020 11:26 pm

Olivia de Havilland, who has died aged 104, will forever be remembered for the role of Melanie Hamilton in Gone…

From letter to worse

11 July 2020 8:20 am

It is a truth generally acknowledged that any statement of civil principles will now be met with pitchforks and personal…

Culture is going underground: meet the rebel army

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Leaf Arbuthnot and Igor Toronyi-Lalic on the new cultural rebels

The problem with mystery podcasts like Wind of Change

6 June 2020 9:00 am

Did the US secretly write a power ballad in order to bring down the Soviet Union? That’s the question behind…

In his new piano concerto Thomas Ades’s inspiration has completely dried up

2 November 2019 9:00 am

There’s nothing like a good piano concerto and, sad to relate, Thomas Adès’s long-awaited first proper attempt at the genre…

The beauty of Soviet anti-religious propaganda

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Deep in the guts of Russian library stacks exists what remains — little acknowledged or discussed — of a dead…

Why Roy Cohn is not one of the world’s most evil men

12 October 2019 9:00 am

New York   The Roy Cohn documentary Bully. Coward. Victim: the Story of Roy Cohn was successfully screened at the…

Why did the Soviets not want us to know about the pianist Maria Grinberg?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Only four women pianists have recorded complete cycles of the Beethoven piano sonatas: Maria Grinberg, Annie Fischer, H. J. Lim…

Dark masterpiece: ‘Two Figures’, 1953, by Francis Bacon

There is a jewel of a painting at Gagosian’s Francis Bacon show

15 June 2019 9:00 am

‘It is no easier to make a good painting,’ wrote Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, than it is…

The thrilling first part of Dmitri Tcherniakov's new production of Berlioz's Les Troyens for Opéra Bastille. Photo: Vincent Pontet / Opéra National de Paris

Dau is not just a pretentious fraud – it’s rather disgusting

16 February 2019 9:00 am

The best booers, in my experience, are the Germans. There’s real purpose and thickness to their vocals. Italians hiss. The…

A document of a mass human experiment that is moving, revolting, violent and extraordinarily pornographic

Dau is the strangest and most unsettling piece of art to come out of Russia in years

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Dau is not so much a film as a document of a mass human experiment. The result is dark, brilliant…

Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica performing performing Mieczyslaw Weinberg's Concertino for Violin and Strings in 2014. Photo: Hiroyuki Ito/ Getty Images

As a symphonist, Mieczyslaw Weinberg was a master: Weinberg Weekend reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

It’s a strange compliment to pay a composer — that the most profound impression their music makes is of an…

Oleg Gordievsky, the ultimate spy story — and Ben Macintyre, the best writer to tell it

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Spy stories, whether the stuff of fictional thrillers or, as in the case of Sergei Skripal, the real deal —…

Watch out comrade: big business is turning communist

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Is it me, or is business becoming a teeny-weeny bit Stalinist? Common features include 1) Paranoia about political ideology; 2)…

‘Soviet Union Art Exhibition’, Zurich 1931, by Valentina Kulagina

The art of persuasion

28 October 2017 9:00 am

It’s hard to admire communist art with an entirely clear conscience. The centenary of the October revolution, which falls this…

High life

26 August 2017 9:00 am

When the Germans smuggled arguably the world’s most evil man into Russia 100 years ago, they did not imagine the…

King of heavy metal Bruce Dickinson at Madison Square Gardens in 1983

Meet the fans who risk death for heavy metal

14 May 2016 9:00 am

We in the West may snigger at heavy metal, but in some parts of the world its practitioners face the death penalty. Karen Yossman reports

The greatest British opera after Dido and Grimes? Vaughan Williams’s Riders to the Sea

2 April 2016 9:00 am

In a remote fishing village a lone figure confronts an unexplained death, standing tormented but unbroken against fate, the community…

Britain needs a museum of communist terror

5 March 2016 9:00 am

We need a museum to help us remember that

Map of the Island of Utopia, book frontispiece, 1563

Even Corbyn would find Thomas More’s Utopia too leftwing

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Thomas More’s 1516 classic is a textbook for our troubled times, says William Cook

Why did a Russian ballet dancer throw acid in his boss’s face?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The 16th June 1961 and 17th January 2013 are two indelible dates in the annals of Russian ballet. Two events…

Yuri Gagarin in the cabin of Vostok, the spacecraft in which he made the first human journey to outer space on 12 April, 1961

When technology was art: Cosmonauts at the Science Museum reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

‘The dominant narrative of space,’ I was told, in that strange language curators employ, ‘is America.’ Quite so. Kennedy stared…

The surreal beauty of Soviet bus stops

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Soviet Union was a nation of bus stops. Cars were hard to come by, so a vast public transport…

Scapegoat for all of urban life’s ills: Le Corbusier, c.1950

How dedicated a fascist was Le Corbusier?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

The ‘revelations’, 50 years after he drowned, that Le Corbusier was a ‘fascist’ and an anti-Semite are neither fresh nor…

Why Putin is even less of a human than Stalin was

21 February 2015 9:00 am

LBC likes to tell us it’s ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation’, though in the case of weekday pre-lunch presenter James O’Brien you’ll…