Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 20 September 2014, 7pm

This week's forthcoming musical anniversaries come under the scrutiny of Classic FM's resident chronologist.

Tonight, Alex James celebrates the anniversary of a very regal piece of music, premiered on this day in history. The Jubilee Overture by Carl Maria von Weber (pictured) was first heard in Dresden on 20 September 1818. 

It was while director of the Dresden opera that Weber was commissioned to compose a cantata in honor of the 50th anniversary of the accession to the throne of the King of Saxony. He wrote the work in eleven days but owing to intervention by a group of Italians who were against Weber, it was not performed on that occasion. When the composer found out, he wrote the Jubilee Overture as an entirely distinct work from the cantata. Listen out for a vigorous version of the unofficial German national anthem, Heil dir im Siegerkranz at its climax.

Alex also marks the anniversary of an important day for the seven-year-old Franz Liszt, birthday celebrations for tenor Andrea Bocelli, and the story behind Elgar's engagement – and why his fiancée's family most definitely didn't approve of her choice of husband.

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