Great Comedy Overtures - Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 14 April 2015, after 6pm.

The members of Classic FM's Orchestra in Scotland - the Royal Scottish National Orchestra - let their hair down for this fizzing collection of some of comic opera's greatest overtures. And if many of the operas are largely forgotten, then the tunes in the overture may still sound surprisingly familiar.

Listen out for staples of the repertoire such as Hérold's dramatic Zampa, the delicacy of Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di Susanna and the vivid colour of Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann. They're full of sweeping melodies, dazzling orchestration and mad race to the finishing line climaxes. 

The RSNO is on top form under American conductor Lance Friedel on this generously filled album – it lasts an hour and 20 minutes. That's more than enough to keep David Mellor – and the rest of us for that matter – happy.