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This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy


Sunday, December 16, 2018


Richard Gowers

This week on Preview! we'll hear Chopin for cello and piano played by Sung-Won Yang and Enrico Pace. The Classical Station's Rob Kennedy speaks with British organist Richard Gowers about his new recording of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur. Pianist Vikingur Olafsson plays Bach and the ensemble The Sixteen sings music of the Renaissance for Christmas. See What's Playing for a detailed playlist.

Preview! -- the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern on 89.7 FM and online at our website. Tell your smart device to play WCPE.

Photo of Richard Gowers on richardgowers.com

December 16 Birthdays

On December 16 we observe the birthdays of Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), American organist and organ builder Robert Noehren (1910-2002), English harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock (1946-), and German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Besides being a composer, Zoltan Kodaly was a teacher. His Kodaly Method still enjoys popularity among music teachers worldwide. Dr. Robert Noehren was for many years University Organist and Head of the Organ Department at the University of Michigan. Trevor Pinnock has been a pioneer in the field of early music since his student days at the Royal College of Music. Scholars can find no record of Beethoven's birth on December 16 although they do agree that he was baptized on December 17, 1770. Regardless of that bit of trivia, Beethoven composed some of the greatest music ever written.

Photos: Wikipedia.org


Saturday, December 15, 2018


Nativity Window in Canterbury Cathedral

This week Great Sacred Music will include music sung by Pomerium, the Choir of the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Washington, DC, and the Choir of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederic Handel and James Whitbourn. See What's Playing for a detailed playlist.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music for your Sunday morning. Right after Sing For Joy. 8 until 11 eastern. With your host Rob Kennedy.

Photo: Nativity window in Canterbury Cathedral/Wikimedia Commons

December 15 Birthdays

On December 15 we observe the birthdays of French composer Michel Richard Delalande (1657-1726) and Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000). A contemporary of Jean-Baptiste Lully and François Couperin, Baroque composer Michel Delalande was employed by King Louis XIV. Ferenc Farkas wrote music in several forms including music for the stage. One of his students was the composer György Ligeti,

Photos: Wikipedia.org


Friday, December 14, 2018


La Traviata

The 2018-19 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a new production of Verdi's La Traviata conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, leading his first opera as the Met's new Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director. Soprano Diana Damrau stars in the tragic title role, having made her acclaimed role debut as Violetta at the Met during the 2012-2013 season with Maestro Nézet-Séguin on the podium. Tenor Juan Diego Flórez returns to the Met for the first time since 2015 as Alfredo, Violetta's lover, with baritone Quinn Kelsey as Alfredo's disapproving father, Giorgio Germont.

La Traviata will be heard live on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, December 15.

Diana Damrau as Violetta and Juan Diego Flórez as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata. Photo: Marty Sohl/Met Opera

December 14 Birthdays

On December 14 we observe the birthdays of English composer Capel Bond (1730-1790), American composer Ron Nelson (1929-), American pianist Rosalyn Turek (1914-2003) and American classical guitarist Christopher Parkening (1947-). Capel Bond composed several works for strings which are still played to this day. Dr. Nelson is known as a versatile composer. His works for wind ensemble and band are highly-regarded. Rosalyn Turek was well-known for her interpretations of the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach. A virtuoso classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening is the Distinguished Professor of Music and Chair of the Guitar Department at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

Photos: Wikipedia.org


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bernard of Cluny

Lots of music for the season on our playlists today. You can hear the King's Singers sing The Wexford Carol at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Allegro with Dick Storck. What's Playing has the details. Listen on our app!


Each year The Classical Station spends three days celebrating one of the greatest composers of all time: Ludwig van Beethoven. We call the celebration Beethovenfest. Tomorrow through Sunday, we will play his symphonies, sonatas, concertos, and more, culminating in the glorious Ninth Symphony on the presumed day of his birth, this Sunday. What's Playing has the details. Tell your smart device to play WCPE!

Don't forget to share your favorite Beethoven work with us on the Saturday Evening Request Program.

Photo: Wikipedia.org


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Benvenuto Cellini

To receive papal forgiveness for his crimes and be allowed to marry, an artist must complete a bronze statue by the end of Mardi Gras. Join host Bob Chapman for Hector Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on the WCPE Opera House.

The curtain goes up at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, streaming everywhere on our apps and online. Don't forget that you can hear and watch most of the operas which we play on Opera House on our YouTube channel.

Photo: Costume design by Paul Lormier for Prosper Dérivis as Balducci in the original production of the opera Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz.

Jaap van Zweden

On December 12 we observe the birthday of Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden (1960-). He is the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Marco Borggreve


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Adoration of the Shepherds.jpg

One of our listeners' favorite Christmas pieces is Hector Berlioz' The Shepherds' Farewell from his oratorio L'Enfance du Christ. ClassicFM describes it as "a glorious blend of warm woodwind sounds, sublime choral harmonies and sensitive orchestral accompaniment." You can hear it and The repose of the holy family at 11:07 Eastern on Classical Café with David Ballantyne. What's Playing has the details.

Painting: Andrea Mantegna, 1451-1453

  December 11 Birthdays

On December 11 we observe the birthdays of French composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Polish composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz (1876-1909), and Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa (1973-). Hector Berlioz is perhaps best known to 21st century audiences for his Symphonie fantastique and Grande Messe des Morts or Requiem. Mieczyslaw Karlowicz occupied a place in Polish musical history between Frederic Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. Ms. Lisitsa has developed a large following on YouTube for her performances of literature from the Romantic era.

Photos: Wikipedia.org


Monday, December 10, 2018

Manger Scene

This month Renaissance Fare features music for Christmas. On the program are selections from a brand new Christmas album by Sixteen, Apollo's Fire, hammered dulcimer player Maggie Sansone and much more. Join George Douglas for Christmas carols from the 15th and 16th centuries on Renaissance Fare, Monday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. This program will be rebroadcast on Sunday, December 16 at 5 p.m. The music selections can be found on the Renaissance Fare page.

Photo: Wikipedia.org

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

This week Monday Night at the Symphony features the BBC Philharmonic. On the program is music of Camille Saint-Saens, Rheinhold Gliere and Johannes Brahms in performances led by Marin Alsop, Gianandrea Noseda and Sir Edward Downes

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina and streaming everywhere online.

Photo: Sussie Ahlburg

December 10

On December 10 we observe the birthdays of Belgian-born French composer César Franck (1822-1890), French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), American composer Morton Gould (1913-1996, and British pianist Kathryn Stott (1958-). While César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck was born in what is now Belgium, he took French citizenship when he was appointed to the faculty of Conservatoire de Paris in 1872. He composed four operas, several oratorios, as well as orchestral and chamber works. His music for organ is a staple of every organist's repertoire. Besides being a composer and organist, Olivier-Eugène-Prosper-Charles Messiaen was an ornithologist. He is widely considered one of the great composers of the 20th century. Richmond Hill, New York native Morton Gould published his first composition at the age of six. He wrote symphonies, film scores, Broadway musicals, and much more. His manuscripts are archived in the Library of Congress. Ms Stott teaches at the Royal Academy of Music. She concertizes regularly and is a long-time collaborator of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.


Photos: Kathryn Stott on kathrynstott.com; others on Wikipedia.org



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