Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - Sunday 19 July 2015, 9pm

This week Catherine Bott asks: “Why is Beethoven so important?”

Ludwig van Beethoven said things through his music that had never been expressed before. 

He was a demanding person, neither too hot on social graces nor basic hygiene. "Music came first, and he filled it with the compassion and sensitivity that he so often lacked in life," says Catherine. "He was revolutionary, and romantic – and so much more. Which is why he’s so important."

Tonight Catherine shows how Beethoven frequently broke the rules of composition, so that the rules themselves were rewritten to take into account his innovations.  The show climaxes with his Missa Solemnis, considered one of the composer's supreme achievements and, along with Bach's Mass in B minor, one of the most significant settings of the Mass.

Classic FM Apps

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

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

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