This Week at The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Narie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Benjamin Grosvenor
Photo by Patrick Allen and Opera Omnia

Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor opens Preview! this week with a performance of Franz Liszt’s Berceuse. Choral conductor and composer Graham Ross talks about Clare College, Cambridge’s new recording “Iceland: The Eternal Music.”

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station” at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday for Preview!, bringing you the latest classical releases and local arts news.
The April edition of Renaissance Fare features the music of one of the greatest composers of the Renaissance, Giovanni da Palestrina. We’ll feature Palestrina’s music sung by the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Tallis Scholars, the Westminster Cathedral Choir, and more.

Join George Douglas at 5:00 p.m. Eastern this afternoon for Renaissance Fare.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883

Join us this morning for the festive sounds of Easter on Great Sacred Music. You’ll hear the Choir of St. Thomas Church, New York, the Voices of Ascension, and the Harvard University Choir. On the playlist is the Easter Oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach, Part Three of Messiah by George Frederic Handel, and Antonin Dvorak’s Te Deum.

The Easter edition of Great Sacred Music begins at 8 a.m. Eastern. Right after Sing For Joy. With Rob Kennedy.

Today we observe the birthdays of Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel (1882-1951), Russian-born American cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), American composer Adolphus Hailstork (1941-), and Brazilian pianist Cristina Ortiz (1950-).

Herr Schnabel was the first pianist to record all thirty-two of Beethoven’s sonatas. Gregor Piatigorsky was championed by great musicians such as Wilhelm Furtwangler and Richard Strauss. Fulbright scholar Adolphus Hailstork is Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. A first-prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Ms. Ortiz has performed extensively with orchestras worldwide.

Photos: Artur Schnabel, Unknown Author, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Gregor Piatigorsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Adolphus Hailstork, Rose Grace; Cristina Ortiz, G. Staffeti


Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with Richard Strauss’s searing psychological drama Elektra, starring a formidable pair of sopranos. Nina Stemme reprises her celebrated portrayal of the title character, whose life is consumed by thoughts of avenging the murder of her father. Lise Davidsen is Elektra’s sister, Chrysothemis, who wants to leave the tragedy behind. And mezzo-soprano Michaela Schuster is their mother, Klytaemnestra, haunted by the legacy of violence. The cast also features Stefan Vinke and Greer Grimsley. Maestro Donald Runnicles conducts this riveting score.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station” at 1 p.m. Eastern.

On April 16 we observe the birthdays of Catalan composer Federico Mompou (1893-1987) and American conductor Denis Russell Davies (1944-). After attending the Paris Conservatoire, Federico Mompou spent his life composing music mainly for solo piano. A Julliard graduate, Dr. Davies has conducted many of the world’s orchestras. He is noted for his advocacy of contemporary music.

Photo: Dennis Russell Davies, Benno Hunziker, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons


Friday, April 15, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Richard Strauss’ Elektra
Saturday, April 16, 1 p.m. Eastern

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins at sundown this evening. We will observe Passover with a special program featuring our own Greysolynne Hyman as narrator. Greysolynne explains Passover and introduces beautiful music sung by Western Wind and the Monteverdi Choir. The program begins at 6 p.m. Eastern.  Happy Pesach!

On April 15 we observe the birthday of English conductor Sir Neville Marriner (1924-2016). One of the greatest conductors of our time, Sir Neville founded the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 1958. He recorded extensively with that ensemble.

Photo: Richard Holt


Thursday, April 14, 2022

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features Richard Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal. The vessel that was used to serve the wine at Jesus Christ’s Last Supper has been one of the supposed subjects of Holy Grail literature in Christian mythology. The quest for the Holy Grail makes up an important segment of the Arthurian cycle, combining Christian lore with a Celtic myth of a cauldron endowed with special powers. The early Grail romances centered on Percival, who—in the hands of Wagner—evolved into Parsifal. Parsifal was described by Wagner as a Bühnenweihfestspiel (stage consecration festival play).

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Jay Pierson hosts.

On April 14 we observe the birthdays of Finnish conductor Paavo Berglund, English cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Russian conductor and pianist Mikhail Pletnev, and American cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

Maestro Berglund was renowned for his interpretations of Jean Sibelius’ symphonies. Julian Lloyd Webber had a distinguished career as a cellist. Maestro Pletnev is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Russian National Orchestra. Alisa Weilerstein was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.

Photo: Paavo Berglund, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Julian Lloyd-Webber, Unknown Author on julianlloydwebber.com; Mikhail Pletnev, Unknown Author, on Zeneakadémiáig; Alisa Weilerstein, Harald Hoffmann/Decca


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Celebrate the special classical music lover in your life with a daily, weekly, or monthly announcement here on The Classical Station. With a Sustaining Membership of $100 per month, you can have a weekly on-air dedication. To find out more about day dedications and patron announcements on The Classical Station or to renew your announcement, contact Tanja Greaves at 919-556-5178.

On April 13 we observe the birthdays of English composer William Sterndale Bennett (1816-1875) and American duo-pianists John and Richard Contiguglia (1937-).

William Sterndale Bennett studied in Leipzig where his compositions were admired by Feliz Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. The Contiguglia twins are both graduates of Yale University.

Photos: William Sterndale Bennett (painted by John Everett Millais), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; John & Richard Contiguglia, Unknown Author, /www.duopianistscontiguglia.com


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the beautiful music you love here on The Classical Station. Here’s how it works: Center for Car Donations (CFCD), manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that The Classical Station is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will receive a one-year subscription to Quarter Notes.

Photo: 1974 Ford Pinto, Pat M., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

On April 12 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Josef Lanner (1801-1843), French conductor Jean-François Paillard (1928-2013), and Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018).

Herr Lanner wrote dance music for the nobility of his day. Monsieur Paillard will be remembered for his expertise in interpreting Baroque music, and especially for his recording of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D which catapulted that work to the top of lists of listener favorites everywhere. María de Montserrat Bibiana Concepción Caballé i Folch was one of the great bel canto opera singers of the 20th-century.

Photo: Montserrat Caballe, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Monday, April 11, 2022

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. On the program is music by Peter Tchaikovsky, Karl Goldmark, and Johannes Brahms in performances conducted by William Steinberg, Lorin Maazel, and current Music Director Manfred Honeck.

The Classical Station brings you a concert by a great orchestra on Monday Night at the Symphony, every Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The April edition of Renaissance Fare features the music of one of the greatest composers of the Renaissance, Giovanni da Palestrina. In observance of Passover and Easter, we’ll feature Palestrina’s music sung by the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Tallis Scholars, the Westminster Cathedral Choir, and more.

Join George Douglas at 7:00 p.m. Eastern this evening for Renaissance Fare.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883

On April 11 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jean-Joseph Mouret (1682-1738), Czech conductor Karel Ančerl (1908-1973), and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983).

A composer of music for the stage in his day, Monsieur Mouret is best known to modern audiences for his Fanfare which is used as the theme of the PBS series Masterpiece, formerly known as Masterpiece Theatre. Karel Ančerl was music director of the Toronto Symphony from 1968-1973. Alberto Evaristo Ginastera was one of the most important composers of the 20 century.

Photos: Jean-Joseph Mouret, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Silhouette of Karel Ančerl by Hanna Hausmann-Kohlmann (1897-1984), Dresden, June 1969 on Karelancerl.com; Alberto Ginastera, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons