Catherine Bott presents The Full Works Concert on Thursday and Friday evenings at 8pm, and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music on Sundays at 9pm.
Sunday 26th August
When a listener wrote to Catherine Bott suggesting a programme showing the musical backgrounds of her fellow Classic FM presenters, a great idea was born - Classic FM’s Got Talent.
Tonight, Catherine Bott features recordings by Aled Jones, Alan Titchmarsh, Myleene Klass, plus a performance of her own. The programme also includes a guitar piece composed by John Brunning, something that unites John Suchet’s two musical passions - a Beethoven work for trombones - plus, a chance to find out who studied harp, who wanted to be a cellist and who likes singing along in the studio to The Sound of Music.
The inspiration for classical music masterpieces often comes in human form, and tonight, Catherine Bott plays music dedicated to someone specific by the great composers – from wives, muses and lovers, to wealthy, influential patrons, and composers whom they themselves revered.
Beethoven dedicated much of his music to his “immortal beloved” and Tchaikovsky composed music for the millionaire who funded his work, whom he never met. Music also came in the form of bribery if you’re Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote for the arisocrat he hoped would give him a job, meanwhile Vaughan Williams didn’t have any hidden agendas when dedicating music to Sibelius, which he did “without permission and with the sincerest flattery”.
Tonight, Catherine Bott celebrates the composers who ‘didn’t give up the day job’.
Catherine features music by research chemist Borodin, Vivaldi the priest, naval officer Rimsky-Korsakov, teacher Holst, and Paderewski the politician – as well as composers who made a way of living before they were famous, including taxi driver Philip Glass, Charles Ives the insurance man, and Franz Berwald the orthopaedic surgeon.
Finally, we celebrate the composers whose fathers didn’t want them to go into music at all, such as Handel, who was supposed to become a lawyer; the three sons of Johann Strauss, who were intended for the army, the diplomatic service and banking; and top model and composer, Eric Whitacre.