Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music, Sunday 28 August 2016, 9pm

C.P.E. Bach Frederick the Great

Catherine Bott delves into history to see how dictators dictated what composers did.

This week, Catherine Bott asks, "What impact did historical figures have on music?"

Her discoveries range from operas for which Catherine the Great wrote the libretti, through flute music composed by Frederick the Great (pictured), to operas that Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned.
 
Then there was the favourite pianist of Joseph Stalin who dared to criticise him, and remarkably lived to tell the tale.

Discover: One amazing pianist dared to criticise Joseph Stalin – and remarkably lived to tell the tale >

And the story of Mascagni, composer of Cavalleria Rusticana, who had close ties to Mussolini’s regime and manipulated huge sums out of the government in exchange for almost nothing!

Classic FM Apps

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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