- Special note: Hilary Hahn’s ‘27 Pieces’ at Greenwich House Music School
- 04/21 Lark Ascending tops classical poll
- 04/20 How This Renoir Used to Look
- 04/13 New discussion group talks about classical music
- 04/05 Soprano debuts in 2 Met Opera roles within day
- 03/30 Winners Named in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
- 03/17 The Pianist Teaches, Too
- 03/07 Art of Variations, Beethoven to Berio
- 03/02 Robin Ticciati: 'When I conduct it feels like sorcery'
- 02/25 Symphony guide: Saint-Saëns's Third
- 02/18 Violinist Vanessa-Mae Completes Giant Slalom
- 02/14 Andris Nelsons to Conduct Lucerne Concerts
- 02/14 No Rest for a Tenor
- 02/06 NC Symphony appoints Will Robin as its first Scholar-in-Residence
- 02/06 Stradivarius Is Recovered Unharmed After Theft
- 02/05 NY Philharmonic’s Archives Going Online
- 01/30 Violinist’s Triumph Is Ruined by Thieves
- 01/29 Homage to Alfred Schnittke at Juilliard
- 01/21 Renee Fleming to sing national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII
- 01/20 Claudio Abbado, Influential Italian Conductor, Dies at 80
- 01/10 Wojciech Kilar, Composer for Movies and Symphony Halls, Dies at 81
- 01/08 Sneaky Judges Find Their Pianist
- 01/04 Lifting The Curse of the Ninth
- 12/31 Maestro at Work: Hold That Cough
- 12/26 That’s Vintage Verdi, That ’61 ‘Otello’
- 12/23 A Late Bloomer, 250 Years on
- 12/15 Beethoven hunter knows the score
- 12/13 Taylor Swift donates $100,000 to Nashville Symphony
- 12/10 What's the value of sacred music in a secular age?
- 12/10 La Scala Confirms Chailly Will Be Principal Conductor and Music Director
- 12/04 British Composer Award winners are revealed
- 11/19 da Vinci's extremely rare Viola Organista
- 11/12 British composer John Tavener dies aged 69
- 11/11 Kermit Moore, cellist, conductor and composer, is dead at 84
- 11/08 Triangle Youth Philharmonic to Premiere Work by Terry Mizesko
- 11/04 Malone: "This is my Hitchcock moment"
- 10/28 Pianist Lang Lang Chosen as UN Messenger of Peace
- 10/22 Verdi and the Birth of Modern Italy
- 10/14 Royal Opera House expands Cinema Season
- 10/04 The Return of ‘The Nose’
WCPE Home Page
Please join me on this Thursday's WCPE Opera House for Peter Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades). Known in Russian as Pikovaya dama, the opera is set to a libretto by the composer's brother Modest Tchaikovsky and is based on Alexander Pushkin's novella of the same title. The opera carries all of the novella's themes: deep obsession, avarice, hallucinations, the destructive and isolating tendencies of gambling, and madness. Pique Dame was premiered on December 19, 1890 at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater.
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Set in late 18th-century St. Petersburg, the poor soldier Gherman (tenor Gegam Grigorian) has fallen in love with a young woman whom his friend Count Tomsky (baritone Nikolai Putilin) tells him is engaged to Prince Yeletsky (baritone Vladimir Chernov). She is Lisa (soprano Maria Guleghina), granddaughter of the Countess (mezzo-soprano Irina Arkhipova), who was once known as the Queen of Spades because she possessed the secret of the "three cards." Lisa returns Gherman's love and he becomes obsessed with learning the secret of winning at gambling so as to win enough money to enable himself to marry Lisa. He demands the secret from the Countess, but she dies of fright without revealing it.
Lisa asks Gherman to meet her by the river, where the ghost of the Countess reveals the secret to Gherman and tells him to marry Lisa. When they meet, Gherman confirms Lisa's fears that he now cares more about gambling than about her by rushing off to a casino. In despair, Lisa drowns herself in the river. Gherman wins on the first two cards and stakes his entire winnings on the third--but loses to Yeletsky, who draws the Queen of Spades. Gherman curses the Countess, whose ghost appears to him, and then kills himself.
Valergy Gergiev conducts the Kirov Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this 1993 Philips recording.
In a 1999 Metropolitan Opera performance, Galina Gorchakova sings Lisa's Act III aria:
Be sure to join WCPE this Saturday, April 26, for Mozart's Così fan tutte, live from the Metropolitan Opera, starting at 1:00 p.m. (ET). The cynical Don Alfonso (bass-baritone Maurizio Muraro) wagers with Ferrando (tenor Matthew Polenzani) and Guglielmo (baritone Rodion Pogossov) that their fiancées--Fiordiligi (soprano Susanna Phillips) and Dorabella (mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard)--are incapable on constancy. Alfonso is aided in his scheme by the women's maid Despina (soprano Danielle de Niese). James Levine conducts.
Next Thursday, May 1, please join me for Giuseppe Verdi's La Forza del Destino, in which Don Alvaro (José Carreras) accidentally kills Leonora's (Rosalind Plowright) father and later befriends her unsuspecting brother Don Carlo (Renato Bruson). Giuseppe Sinopoli conducts this 1990 recording.
The WCPE Opera House is heard every Thursday evening at 7 o’clock in the Eastern time zone on 89.7 FM in central North Carolina, and we’re streamed online at http://www.theclassicalstation.org.
— W. Robert Chapman, Host of the WCPE Opera House
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Sony Classical 2013
Born in Russia, raised in Germany, Igor Levit is the youngest artist to compete in the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, where he won four awards in 2005. But he waited until the relatively mature age of 26 to release his first recording. And for this debut he chose music demanding even greater maturity: the late piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Listen to our Preview! interview with Igor Levit here!
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There was never any question that he would record this body of music first: "It simply has every possible emotion," he has said "The experience is not to be compared with anything else." These are intensely personal sonatas, and Levit's playing fathoms all their conflicted emotions, along with some rather daunting technical demands.
So where does Igor Levit go from here? Let's hope we don't have to wait too long to hear the answer.
— William Woltz, WCPE Music Director
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My Life in Music:
Jess Isaiah Levin
Violin I, North Carolina Symphony
North Carolina Symphony violinist Jess Isaiah Levin co-hosts this month’s edition of My Life in Music, sharing historic Jasha Heifetz recordings, symphonies by Prokofiev and Brahms, and even music he, himself, has written. In addition to his other talents, he is an accomplished photographer.
To listen to excerpts from Tara Lynn's My Life in Music interview with Jess Isaiah Levin please click here!
CD #1 - Bizet: Symphony in C -
Martin West leads the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in this masterpiece symphony written by Bizet at age 17, plus Children's Games and Chromatic Variations. A great performance and a superb recording.
The Metropolitan Opera Announces the 2014-15 Season
The Met’s 2014-15 Season Will Feature 26 Operas, Including Three Met Premieres, In Six New Productions and 18 Revivals!
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"What was that beautiful piece of music??" Find out now by browsing through a week's worth of playlists!
|Meet the Announcer|
Ever wonder what your favorite voice looks like? See photos and read brief biographies of WCPE's announcers!
| "Quarter Notes"|
WCPE's Member Magazine
Published quarterly, this magazine and listener guide offers featured works and program highlights for the WCPE season to come, plus station news, reviews, interviews and other articles designed to enhance your classical music journey.
Quarter Notes is sent to WCPE members in print version, and members may also choose to view this website's "green" online version. To become a WCPE member (your gift is tax-deductible!) and receive a year's subscription to Quarter Notes, click here.
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