This Week At The Classical Station

“Epiphyllum oxypetalum” by Wayne Jacobs. Inspiration: Camille Saint-Saens'”Aquarium”

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Nash Ensemble opens Preview! this week with a performance of Max Bruch’s Piano Trio in C minor. Conductor Garrett Keast talks about the Berlin Academy of American Music’s CD Transatlantic.

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.

This morning’s Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Saint Tikhon Choir, the U.S. Army Chorus, and the Choir of Washington Cathedral. Also on the playlist is Cantata 42 by Johann Sebastian Bach, Great is the Lord by Sir Edward Elgar, and the oratorio La Resurrezione by George Frederic Handel.

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


On April 24 we observe the birthday of Australian guitarist John Williams (1941-). Winner of a GRAMMY Award with another prominent guitarist, Julian Bream, John Williams is widely considered to be one of the finest guitar players of his generation.

Photo: Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with the Gershwins’ great American opera, Porgy and Bess. This performance from last fall stars bass-baritone Eric Owens as Porgy and soprano Angel Blue as Bess, a couple that falls in love against all odds. Bass-baritone Alfred Walker is Bess’s brutal ex-boyfriend Crown, soprano Latonia Moore is the pious matron Serena, and tenor Frederick Ballentine is the devilish Sportin’ Life. Janai Brugger, Ryan Speedo Green, and Tichina Vaughn are part of an acclaimed ensemble cast portraying the tight-knit African-American community of Catfish Row.

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

On April 23 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919). Although he composed 10 operas and 9 operettas, Signor Leoncavallo is best known to modern audiences for his opera Pagliacci.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera presents
George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess
Saturday, April 23, 1 p.m. Eastern

On April 22 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709), English composer Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), English contralto Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953), American-born violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1956-).

Although an accomplished violist and violinist, Signor Torelli is probably best remembered for his virtuoso trumpet concerti. A member of the women’s suffrage movement, Dame Ethel Smyth composed in a variety of genres. With an extensive repertoire from folk songs to opera, Kathleen Ferrier was one of the great singers of the 20th-century. Yehudi Menuhin was widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th-century. Maestro Saraste has served as the conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic, among others.

Photos: Giuseppe Torelli, Unknown Author, Public Domain Art, Wikimedia Commons; Ethel Smyth, Unknown Author, Restoration by Adam Cuerden, George Grantham Bain collection at the Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Kathleen Ferrier, Unknown Author,; Yehudi Menuhin, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jukka-Pejja Saraste, Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Beatrice di Tenda was Vincenzo Bellini’s penultimate opera, and it will be featured on this evening’s Thursday Night Opera House in an encore performance hosted by the late Al Ruocchio (1937-2007). First performed in Venice on March 16, 1833, it was a failure despite being ultimately judged as one of the composer’s finest works.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station” at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On April 21 we observe the birthdays of American composer Randall Thompson (1899-1984) and Australian violinist Stanley Ritchie (1935-). Alleluia and Randall Thompson became associated with each other back in 1940. Stanely Ritchie is currently the Distinguished Professor of Music (Violin, Early Music) at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Photos: Stanley Ritchie, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Randall Thompson, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

What would you like us to play for you? We have two Request Programs. All Request Friday and the Saturday Evening Request Program. On All Request Friday we play the music you choose from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern. The Saturday Evening Request Program runs from 6 p.m. until midnight. We have a couple of ways for you to submit your requests. On our website, click Listen then Request Programs, then fill out the short form to let us know what you want us to play. Or click the Request Programs link on our app. Or call 919-556-0123. Short works? Yes. Long works? Yes. Your choice! The programs are usually over-subscribed, so get your request in as soon as you can.

Want to know when your request will be played?  Check Request Program Playlists. under the Listen tab here on our website.

On April 20 we observe the birthday of English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner (1943-).

Sir John is highly regarded for his interpretation and performances of Baroque music. His Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists recorded all of the extant Bach cantatas, among other projects.

Photo: ©Maciej Goździelewski, Cc-by-sa-3.0, GFDL, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Have you discovered our Conversations With Conductors? In these conversations with Rob Kennedy, distinguished musicians such as JoAnn Falletta, Karina Canellakis, Sir Stephen Cleobury, Nicholas McGegan, and many more, talk about their early years and education, their art, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations which they can listen to or download anytime. You can also enjoy these conversations on our app.

Photo: JoAnn Falletta, ©Cheryl Gorski 


On April 19 we observe the birthdays of French composer Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), French conductor and violinist Yan Pascal Tortelier (1947-), and American pianist Murray Perahia (1947-).

Over the course of her long life, Germaine Tailleferre wrote a variety of compositions including television and film scores. Son of cellist Paul Tortelier, Monsieur Tortelier records for the Chandos label. A native of New York, Murray Perahia is considered one of the great pianists of the late 20th and 21st centuries.

Photos: Germaine Tailleferre, Unknown Author, BBC; Yan Pascal Tortelier, IMG Artists; Murray Perahia, Nigel Luckhurst

Monday, April 18, 2022

This evening Monday Night At The Symphony features the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. On the program is music by Maurice Ravel, Hugo Alfven, and Sergei Prokofiev in performances conducted by David Zinman, Sergiu Comissiona, and current Music Director Marin Alsop.

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

On April 18 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz von Suppé (1819-1895), British conductor Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), and French organist Jean Guillou (1930-2019).

Christened Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppé-Demelli, Herr von Suppé is known to modern audiences for his operettas and their rousing overtures. Maestro Stokowski was one of the 20th-century’s greatest conductors. He began his musical career as an organist and went on to be Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra, among others. Monsieur Guillou was Titular Organist of Eglise St. Eustache in Paris for 52 years.

Photos: Franz von Suppé, Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Leopold Stokowski, Unknown Author, Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jean Guillou, G. Garitan, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons