The Full Works Concert: Thursday 12 March 2015, 8pm

The culmination of Classic FM's day-long celebration of the RLPO's 175th anniversary: Beethoven's 9th, in full, live from Liverpool.

Classic FM is broadcasting live from Liverpool all day to celebrate the first ever concert of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra 175 years ago on this day. 

As the culmination of these celebrations, Catherine Bott presents a live concert from Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. 

Gallery: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - 15 facts of Classic FM's orchestra in the North West of England > 

The highlight of the concert is Beethoven’s staggering Ninth Symphony, arguably the greatest ever composed: the summit of his achievements, a masterful musical celebration of the human race and a massive work that makes all who hear it feel better about life. The work is famous for its setting of Friedrich Schiller’s poem 'Ode to Joy' – a text the composer had been fascinated with for over 20 years: "Mercy from the final judge! The dead shall live! Brothers, drink and chime in, all sinners shall be forgiven and hell shall be no more!" Triumphant words that perfectly match the power and scale of Beethoven’s immortal music.

Tonight's concert opens with Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, a secular cantata for soloists, choir, and orchestra. The text comes from a poem by Goethe, and tells of the attempts of druids to practice their pagan rituals in the face of dominating Christian forces.

Felix Mendelssohn: Die erste Walpurgisnacht

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.9 (‘Choral’)

Soprano: Claire Rutter
Mezzo-soprano: Kathryn Rudge
Tenor: Bryan Register
Bass: Andreas Scheibner

Vasily Petrenko conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Chorus