Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 13 August 2016, 7pm

George Frederick Handel

Handel's most famous oratorio pops up among the coming week's classical music anniversaries.

Tonight, Alex James finds out why Handel ruffled his librettist's feathers around Messiah, and the reason why the composer decided to give its first performance in Dublin, instead of London.

Also in the musical calendar this week, the strange reason why Aaron Copland was fined for a bovine death.

There are birth anniversaries to mark, too, for composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and James Horner.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast

amazing rhapsody in blue gliss

This insane Rhapsody in Blue glissando will make you forget it's Blue Monday