Romance Opus 42 Max Bruch
Notes From Hidden Britain, Ben Fogle's exploration of the classical music heritage of the nation, took us to Liverpool
Liverpool is famous for its pop music, but it also has a rich classical music heritage. This historic city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007 and was Europe's Capital of Culture the following year.
This recognition of its rich past and vibrant present is best demonstrated in the music of its great orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, under its inspirational and visionary young conductor, Vasily Petrenko
In his few short years on the RLPO podium, Petrenko has taken what was already an exceptional orchestra and raised it to a truly international level. The world's top soloists are queuing up to play with the musicians of the RLPO, Britain's longest surviving professional orchestra, at its striking art deco home, Philharmonic Hall, on Hope Street.
Liverpudlians have taken the young Russian conductor to their heart, his boyish enthusiasm for the city is clear to see and he never tires of singing the praises of his orchestra and Liverpool itself.
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Sir Simon Rattle is a Liverpool lad. Born in the city, he is a former junior percussionist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The young Rattle was a passionate follower of the RLPO and gained valuable early experience playing with and listening to the orchestra. Such was his talent and the experience he gained in Liverpool that he was almost a fully formed conductor by the time he went to music college.
Opposite the Philharmonic Hall is the famous pub, the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, or simply The Phil by the orchestra regulars, has long been a mecca for thirsty musicians and boasts the most magnificent Gents urinals to be found anywhere! The walls of the pub are decorated with musical themes while two of the rooms are entitled Brahms and Liszt.
Just beyond the Philharmonic Hall and its musical pub is the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on Mount Street, which is based in co-founder Sir Paul McCartney's old school, Liverpool High School for Boys.
Liverpool's famous son co-founded the school in 1996 and has become one of the UK's leading performing arts institutions.
Sir Paul wrote his first song when he was 14 and has proven himself to be a composer of huge range. The former Beatle has not only writing some of the world's best loved pop music, but has also proven his talent as a classical musician. McCartney wrote his moving Ecce Cor Meum in memory of his late wife Linda.
Hope Street, Liverpool's great music thoroughfare, links Liverpool's two cathedrals, the Anglican and Roman Catholic.
The former - to give it its full title, the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool - is home to the biggest pipe organ in the country - a magnificent Henry Willis instrument with two five-manual consoles, and over 10,000 pipes.
The magnificent St George's Hall is one of the world's finest neo-Classical buildings and was the temporary home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra after the original Philharmonic Hall burned down in 1933. It underwent a £32 million renovation that was completed in 2007, in time for the Capital of Culture celebrations the following year.
At the same time, its exquisite Concert Room was restored. The small, but perfectly formed room has, in the past, hosted lectures by such figures as Charles Dickens who believed its circular design and wonderful acoustics made it the perfect venue for his readings. Today its richly decorated Victorian interior finished in cream and gold is exactly as the great writer would remember it.
Classical pianist Paul Lewis was born in Liverpool in 1972. Lewis showed a flair for music at a young age, despite being no music in his family - his father worked on the Liverpool docks and his mother was a local council worker - was accepted into Chetham's School of Music in Manchester at the age of 14.
Liverpool's rich musical past extends across the river to Liscard in the Wirral. The now much overlooked Granville Ransome Bantock moved here in 1898 when he was one of the biggest classical music stars in the country.
Bantock was also popular with his fellow composers. Sibelius (pictured) dedicated his third symphony to him, and Elgar the second of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches.
From Merseyside, Bantock went on to become Professor of Music at Birmingham University and helped found the City of Birmingham Orchestra.