From 7pm on a Sunday evening, David takes you on a two hour classical music journey of discovery.
Barrister, former Cabinet minister, football anorak and classical music expert, David Mellor is here every weekend, when he puts his passion for all things classical to very good use, with a fascinating two-hour Sunday programme of great recordings from the past and present, rarely-heard gems, and new discoveries.
Ask David Mellor a question about any type of classical music from the last 100 years, and you can be pretty sure he’ll have a fact about it tripping off his tongue before you’ve finished speaking. His knowledge of the repertoire really is remarkable – and, as you’ll discover if you join him this weekend, David’s lightness of touch and enthusiasm for everything he plays marks his programme out as one of the most accessible on the entire station.
Each Sunday, David chooses a different, intriguing theme and uses it to weave all sorts of anecdotes and fascinating asides into the music he’s playing. One week, the programme will be a celebration of American classical music to mark Independence Day; the next, he’s paying tribute to great singers of the 20th century like Kathleen Ferrier and Joan Sutherland by featuring some of the finest recordings from the archive.
David’s selections are always eclectic – but always inclusive, too. We exhort him to quite deliberately play music which doesn’t feature elsewhere on the station; after all, Sunday evenings are usually a time when you can listen to the radio quite actively, and really lend us your ears. The visitors have gone, the shopping’s been done, and it’s just you, Classic FM and some great music (plus potentially a rather large pile of ironing to tackle before the morning). David therefore takes the opportunity to tell a few stories about the music he’s playing, and to treat you to pieces that wouldn’t always fit so nearly at other times of the day.
David is always delighted to receive your thoughts on the music he plays – especially if there’s a theme you think would work well on a Sunday night. Let him know your thoughts via the form below or Tweet @ClassicFM, and listen this Sunday evening for a wonderfully indulgent and enjoyable two-hour journey of discovery on Classic FM.
The great German composer Richard Wagner has the reputation of being quite a challenging listen, but tonight, David Mellor attempts to dispel that theory by showcasing some of his most popular music.
With music from some of his greatest operas, including the Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin, David hopes listeners will join him in realising there’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to Wagner’s music.
23rd September is officially the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere – so tonight, David presents two hours of suitably seasonal music.
If proof were needed that there’s more to autumn than what we find in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, it can certainly be found in The Seasons by Glazunov, which contains a wonderful depiction of autumn. Haydn’s musical portrayal of autumn, meanwhile, comes from his setting of The Seasons, and includes music that portrays harvesting, hunting and drinking (“joyful, joyful the liquor flows”).
Further highlights include ‘September’ from the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss, in what promises to be a warm and welcoming two hours of music to fit this time of year like a glove.
Tonight, David marks several anniversaries in the musical calendar.
The Norwegian composer Johann Svendsen was born on this day in 1840 and tonight, David celebrates by playing his Norwegian Rhapsody as well as music by his great friend Edvard Grieg. Charles Villiers Stanford was also born on this day, so David gives listeners the opportunity to hear his sublime choral work The Blue Bird.
Later in the programme, David marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of the distinguished violinist David Oistrakh by playing a selection of his greatest recordings.
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra has claim to being the oldest orchestra in the world, and this week the ensemble is in London, performing two eagerly anticipated concerts at the Southbank Centre with their new Music Director, Andris Nelsons, at the helm.
So tonight, David shines the spotlight on one of the world’s most respected orchestras by selecting some of their finest recordings for the across the decades. Numerous conductors who have held the position of Music Director feature, including Riccardo Chailly conducting the music of Brahms, Bruckner led by Herbert Blomstedt, and Beethoven under their longest serving maestro, Kurt Masur.