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Episode 1: Haydn's Missing Head

  • Broadcast in Entertainment
Classic FM

Classic FM


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How did the tomb of Austria's great composer come to contain not one skull, but two? The story of Haydn's head leads us into the murky world of 19th-century medicine, complete with grave robbing and some gruesome pseudo-science. Be warned, this episode contains descriptions that some listeners might find disturbing.

Original music was written by Thomas Hewitt Jones (@thewittjones).

Tim Lihoreau can be found on Twitter (@TimLihoreau) and the Classic FM team can be found @ClassicFM. You can get in touch about the show at and find out more about this episode at

The recordings featured in this episode are:

The Creation – Haydn performed by Collegium Vocale Gent and the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe (Phi)

'London' Symphonies – Haydn performed by Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, conducted by Howard Shelley (Hyperion)

The 'Joke' Quartet – Haydn performed by The London Haydn Quartet (Hyperion)

The Queen of the Night’s aria from The Magic Flute – Mozart performed by Sabine Devieilhe (soprano), Pygmalion conducted by Raphaël Pichon (Warner Classics)