Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music, Sunday 30 October 2016, 9pm

Edvard Munch The Scream

Catherine Bott asks ‘What makes scary music scary?’

It’s safe to say that a lot of classical music's scariest moments are loud. Remember the demonic brass in Mussorgsky’s A Night on the Bare Mountain? Or the swirling mass of voices in the Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem? Perhaps the scariest of all is the so-called ‘death shriek’ in Mahler’s Resurrection symphony. We will be hearing all of them this evening.

Horror film composers owe a lot to the stabbing strings of Bernard Herrmann’s music for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. There’s nothing more sinister. And perhaps the scariest moment in all opera is the arrival of the ghost of the Commendatore at the climax of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, who accepts the lothario’s dinner invitation and drags him to hell for dessert. Those and much more in tonight’s show.

Prepare to be terrified.

Classic FM Apps

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

The Super Mario Brothers theme

The Super Mario Brothers theme in the style of Mozart and Shostakovich

Composer quotes quiz

Quiz: Can you complete the famous quote from each composer?

Mozart or Drake?

Quiz: Are you more like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Drake?