Sundays, 9-10pm. Acclaimed singer and broadcaster Catherine Bott covers everything you ever wanted to know about classical music. It's one of the biggest non-fiction series in the history of British radio. Text 61812, tweet @ClassicFM or email using the form below.
Catherine Bott is shining the spotlight on every area of classical music, answering such questions as "What exactly does a conductor do?", "Was Mozart really the genius everyone makes him out to be?", and "How did Beethoven manage to compose when he was deaf?"
Now in its sixth successful year and 300 episodes later, it's one of the biggest non-fiction series in the history of British radio.
If you have a question or suggestion for a topic to be addressed by Catherine on the show, do contact her using the form below.
As the great Leonard Bernstein said, "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time". Tonight, Catherine Bott delves deeper into this idea to explore the last-minute miracles achieved in classical music.
How did Gershwin write Rhapsody in Blue against the clock? And which composer’s music reached the concert hall with the ink still wet on the page? We’ll also hear highlights from the opera Don Giovanni, which Mozart didn't manage to complete until the morning of the premiere.
Sunday 29 September
Although it’s not quite October yet, Oktoberfest is well and truly underway. To mark the festivities, a musical evening of Bavarian drinking is well and truly on the cards – so tonight, join Catherine Bott as she heads to the pub for a pint or two with our favourite composers, and plays some of classical music’s best drinking songs.
There’s a duet from Verdi's La Traviata to get us in a merry mood; Strauss joins in on the fun with his Champagne Polka; and Catherine reveals which three composers favoured the same tavern as their watering hole.
Sunday 6 October
Despite being completely dedicated to their work, many great composers indulged in the odd ‘comedy’ composition. As the evenings draw in, tonight, Catherine Bott explores a repertoire of light-hearted music to brighten the mood.
Among his brooding masterpieces, Beethoven managed to write a whole piece entitled Rage Over a Lost Penny. Rossini, meanwhile, channelled his hatred for one particular singer into a composition which turned out to be a charming one-note aria.
Catherine also features music by Haydn, who sprinkled his Symphony No.94 with multiple musical surprises.