Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 7 November 2015, 7pm

Alex explores the stories and pieces from 1000 years of classical music history.

On tonight’s show, Alex marks the anniversaries this week of the premieres of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2, Verdi’s opera La Forza del Destino, Elgar’s Violin Concerto, and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

He’ll also discover how Brahms resurrected interest in the music of Bach and Handel in the 19th century.

There are many birthdays to celebrate tonight as well: conductor Vernon Handley and composer Alexander Borodin, as well as Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (pictured), who's turning 50, and movie maestro Ennio Morricone.

Classic FM Apps

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

Meerkat falling asleep to music theory class

This meerkat falling asleep to a music theory class is such a happy sight

game of thrones musical notation

Musical terminology, illustrated by Game of Thrones

Don Ellis time signature asset

If you can work out the time signature of this piece you’re officially a musical genius