This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, July 19, 2020

We’ll hear lots of new Beethoven performances this evening on Preview! Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in the composer’s symphonic masterpiece. Rob Kennedy speaks with English pianist Paul Lewis about performing Beethoven’s Bagatelles. We’ll also hear a choral treatment of the Bach Cello Suites by Sophie Webber.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. With David Jeffrey Smith.

Photo: Paul Lewis/Kaupo Kikkas

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music of American composer Adolphus Hailstork. His Symphony No. 2 was inspired by his trip to the west coast of Africa. We’ll also hear music of Eriks Esenvalds and, from the mid-20th-century, a sonata by Francis Poulenc.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. With Ed Amend.

Photo: Adolphus Hailstorck/Rose Grace

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Morgan State University Choir, Musica Antiqua of Cologne, and the Cambridge Singers. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Adolphus Hailstork, and Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. eastern. Right after Sing For Joy. With Rob Kennedy.

Photo: Victorian stained glass church window in Fringford depicting King David/Sybille Yates

Saturday, July 18, 2020

On July 18 we observe the birthdays of German conductor Kurt Masur (1927-2015), Czech composer Julius Fučík (1872-1916), and The Classical Station (1978-). Kurt Masur conducted most of the world’s principal orchestras in his lifetime. He also served as director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Fučík wrote hundreds of marches. Think of him as a Czech John Philip Sousa.

WCPE The Classical Station went on the air on July 18, 1978, with a 1,000-watt transmitter in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a vision of bringing classical music to everybody, everywhere. Forty-two years later, thanks to listener support and volunteer power, our great classical music reaches around the world.


Friday, July 17, 2020

On July 17 we observe the birthdays of American sopranos Eleanor Steber (1914-1990) and Dawn Upshaw (1960-) and American composer and authority on P.D.Q Bach, Peter Schickele (1935-). A West Virginia native, Ms. Steber graced the stages of major opera houses during her career. She also appeared on some of the popular radio programs of the day.
Grammy Award winner Dawn Upshaw is equally at home singing operatic roles or art songs. The discoverer of the hitherto unknown composer P.D.Q. Bach, Peter Schickele is an accomplished bassoonist. 

Photo of Ms. Upshaw: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Thursday, July 16, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents an encore broadcast of Richard Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer (“The Flying Dutchman”), hosted by the late Al Ruocchio (1937-2007).

In nineteenth-century Norway, the Dutchman (bass-baritone Norman Bailey), as punishment for having uttered a blasphemy, has been condemned to sail the seas forever, unless redeemed by the love of a woman faithful unto death. Allowed to come ashore once every seven years in search of such a woman, he lands in Norway and meets Daland (bass Martti Talvela), an old sea captain who, seduced by the Dutchman’s wealth, suggests marriage to his daughter Senta (soprano Janis Martin). Senta, loved by the simple huntsman Erik (tenor René Kollo), has long been obsessed with the legend of the Dutchman, and falls in love with him immediately. The Dutchman overhears her begging Erik to understand her feelings, mistakenly thinks her unfaithful and, distraught, immediately sails away. Senta throws herself off a cliff, calling to the Dutchman that she has been faithful to death. Her death is his redemption: the Dutchman’s ship sinks, and he and Senta are seen ascending to heaven.

Sir Georg Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in this 1976 Decca/London recording. The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Scene from the 2017 production of Der Fliegende Holländer, Metropolitan Opera/Richard Termine

On July 16 we observe the birthdays of Soviet-born American pianist Bella Davidovich (1928-), Scottish conductor Bryden Thomson (1928-1991), and Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman (1948-) Bella Mikhaylovna Davidovich was just nine years old when she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Happy 92nd birthday! Bryden Thomson was a champion of the music of English and Scottish composers. Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman has earned two Grammy awards and enjoys a fine reputation as a conductor. 

Photo of Pinchas Zukerman/Cheryl Mazak
Other photos:

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Join Charles Holloway this afternoon during As You Like It between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. for your chance to win our ticket giveaway for a special online event.  The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, in conjunction with The Monti and Bull City Ciderworks will present Unlikely Alliances on Thursday, July 16th at 8 p.m.

On July 15 we observe the birthdays of three English musicians: guitarist Julian Bream (1933-), and composers Geoffrey Burgon (1941-2010) and Harrison Birtwistle (1934-).  Julian Bream has won four Grammy Awards for his playing. He is widely considered one of the greatest classical guitarists of the 20th century.  Geoffrey Burgon wrote scores for film and television. The income from his music for Monty Python’s Life of BrianTinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Brideshead Revisited allowed Burgon to indulge his love of other musical styles.  Harrison Birtwistle’s style of composing is distinctive. He often writes music which he disassembles so that he can rearrange it, all with good dramatic effect.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

From the baroque era to the 21st century, we celebrate the French contribution to classical music today. Our Bastille Day playlists include works by Berlioz, Rameau, Bizet, Couperin, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Dalbavie, the sisters Boulanger, and more.

Today we observe the birthday of English composer Gerald Finzi (1901-1956). Besides being a composer who knew Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Arthur Bliss, Finzi conducted an amateur orchestra where he gave young performers such as tomorrow’s birthday celebrant, Julian Bream, a chance to perform publicly.



Monday, July 13, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony presents the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program is music of Edvard Grieg, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin in performances led by James Conlon, David Zinman, and Valery Gergiev.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern. With Charles Holloway.

Photo: Iñigo Ibáñez

This evening the July edition of Renaissance Fare will feature Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, and other groups who play wonderful horn arrangements of music from the Renaissance period. In addition to lutes and stringed instruments, horns of many types were very popular, especially for dance music.

The program begins at 7:00 p.m. With George Douglas.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons