How did certain pieces of classical music come to be banned or censored?
This week, Catherine Bott explores music that was banned at one time or another – and there are many stories to discover, such as the violinist who was banned from Venice’s cemetery on the grounds that he had sold his soul to the devil and was profaning a holy place.
Catherine finds out how composers worked round the Catholic Church’s ban on opera during the first decade of the 18th century in Rome, and how Verdi and Donizetti fell foul of the censor.
There’s more to discover too: which composer received a terrible newspaper review from none other than Joseph Stalin himself (possibly)? And which composer is still not played in modern day Israel?