Listen in pop-out player

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony...but were too afraid to ask...

Why are symphonies considered the pinnacle of classical music? Who wrote the first one? Is there really a "Curse Of The Ninth"? And can you be a truly great composer without writing a symphony?

Comedienne Sue Perkins joins Tom Service for the first in a six-part celebration of the most famous - and perhaps scariest - form in classical music.

They're here to blow away the myths and unpick the mysteries surrounding this most venerable form - with a host of musical excerpts from Haydn to Hovhaness, Mozart to Mahler, Beethoven to Berio.

Over the six episodes they'll be looking at questions like how the symphony first originated; whether a symphony should be about logic and form, or be a encapsulation of the whole world; and why people get so darn annoyed when you clap between the movements...

Sue Perkins and Tom Service unravel everything you ever wanted to know about the symphony...but were too afraid to ask...

In today's episode, Sue and Tom examine the thorny issue of to clap or not to clap before a symphony's finished; explore at the roots of the symphony - the idea of a 'sounding together'; and get to grips with the titans of the classical symphonic tradition, Haydn and Mozart .

They'll also be asking you to send in your own questions for their perusal later in the series. You can submit your queries about anything symphonic by email to r3symphonyqt@bbc.co.uk; alternatively, you can pose your questions on the BBC Radio 3's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bbcradio3), or via Twitter at @BBCRadio3 (hashtag #R3SymphonyQT).

Release date:

Available now

20 minutes

Last on

Wed 9 Nov 2011 20:15

Related topics