This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: “Hopeful Flowers 3” by Lynn Newman from The Classical Station’s Virtual Art Exhibit

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Sydney Scoring Orchestra opens Preview! this week with a performance of Celebration of the Natural World. Guitarist Jason Vieaux talks about his new CD Bach Volume 2: Works for violin.

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 May edition of Renaissance Fare celebrates the merry month of May. On the program is music performed by the Cambridge Singers, the Folger Consort, Early Music New York, the King’s Noyse, and more.

Get out your tabret and join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Woodley Ensemble, the Duke Vespers Ensemble, and the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. Also on the playlist is Cantata 166 by Johann Sebastian Bach, They that go down to the sea in ships by Herbert Sumsion, and the Mass for 24 voices by Annibale Padovano.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. Eastern. Right after Sing For Joy.  Chuck Till is your host this morning.

On May 15 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), Irish composer Michael William Balfe (1808-1870), Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986) and Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945)

With one foot in the Renaissance and the other in the Baroque era, Padre Monteverdi is a fascinating composer who wrote operas and a remarkable piece of sacred music entitled Vespro della Beata Vergine. While his output included 29 operas and myriad other works, Michael William Balfe is known to modern audiences for his opera The Bohemian Girl. Lars-Erik Larsson studied composition with Alban Berg and used serial composition techniques in many of his works. Nikolai Tcherepnin studied composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. His output includes operas and music for several ballets.

Photos: Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi by Bernardo Strozzi, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Michael William Balfe, Atelier Nadar, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Lars Erik Larsson, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Musicalics; Nikolai Tcherepnin, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with Wagner’s epic comedy about tradition and innovation, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – the Mastersingers of Nuremburg, in a performance from last fall. Maestro Antonio Pappano made a triumphant return to the Met podium, leading the Met Orchestra and Chorus in this rich score. Baritone Michael Volle starred as the wise shoemaker Hans Sachs, alongside tenor Klaus Florian Vogt as the impetuous young Walther, and soprano Lise Davidsen as Eva. The acclaimed cast also featured Paul Appleby, Johannes Martin Kränzle, and Georg Zeppenfeld.

The curtain goes up an hour earlier than usual, at 12 noon Eastern.

On May 14 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Ivan Vishnegradsky (1893-1979), German-American conductor Otto Klemperer (1885-1973), and American pianist Alan Marks (1949-1995).

A word about these musicians: Vishnegradsky was noted for his compositions using the quarter tone scale. Maestro Klemperer was considered one of the great conductors of the 20th-century. Alan Marks lived the latter part of his short life in Berlin, Germany.

Photos: Ivan Vishnegradsky, Unknown Author, Fair Use,; Otto Klemperer, Unknown Author, Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Alan Marks, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Discogs

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger
Saturday, May 14, 12 p.m. Eastern

On May 13 we observe the birthdays of three English musicians; composer Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), conductor Jane Glover (1949-), and violinist Tasmin Little (1965-).

Sir Arthur Sullivan collaborated with W.S. Gilbert on fourteen operas. Jane Glover has conducted at many of the world’s great opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera. Tasmin Little studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London where one of her classmates was Nigel Kennedy.

Photos: Sir Arthur Sullivan, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jane Glover, Unknown Author, St. Hugh’s College, Fair Use; Tasmin Little, Unknown Author,

Thursday, May 12, 2022

This evening Thursday Night Opera House presents Jules Massenet’s gorgeous opera, Manon. The Metropolitan Opera has an excellent synopsis for your enjoyment.

Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station” at 7 p.m. Eastern. Jay Pierson is your host.

Go the last mile with your used vehicle. 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 programs you rely on from WCPE. 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 WCPE 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.


On May 12 we observe the birthdays of French composers Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and Jules Massenet (1842-1912), and English composer Sir Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989).

Some facts about these gentlemen: Gabriel Fauré was a favorite pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns. Jules Massenet is best known for his operas of which he wrote more than thirty. Sir Lennox Berkeley taught composers Richard Rodney Bennett and John Tavener.

Photos: Gabriel Fauré, Charles Reutlinger, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jules Massenet, Eugène Pirou, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Lennox Berkeley, Germaine Kanova, Lennox Berkeley Society


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Do you use our app to listen to our great classical music? We’ve added a couple of features to make it even more useful. Now you can submit your request for All Request Friday and for the Saturday Evening Request Program by going to the Menu in the top left corner and clicking on Request Programs. You can click a gift to us from that menu as well. That takes you directly to our secure server. We also want to hear from you. So, record a brief comment using the Listener Comment function.

Our app also shows you What’s Playing, This Week At The Classical Station (our blog), Preview! Interviews, and Conversations. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Email us at Download our app in your device’s store.

On May 11 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Anatoly Lyadov (1855-1914), Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein (1887-1961), and American composer William Grant Still (1895-1978).

Trained as a pianist, Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov composed mostly for that instrument. Despite losing his right arm in a battle in World War I, Paul Wittgenstein resolved to play the piano again. He arranged and commissioned dozens of works for piano left hand. A Guggenheim Fellow, William Grant Still studied with George Whitefield Chadwick and Edgard Varèse.

Photos: Anatoly Liadov, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Paul Wittgenstein, Unknown Author, BFMI, CC BY 3.0 nl, Wikimedia Commons; William Grant Still, Carl Van Vechten.

Tuesday, May 11, 2022

The world of classical music is a unique body of work – spanning centuries, continents, cultures, and communities. It’s marked by both great traditions and great changes. Classical music is listened to, played, and loved on every continent, in almost every country. Just as the symphonies and musicians who give us their performances have been supported by their audiences, the stations that are devoted to classical music are also supported by listeners, by people like you. Your support is unique!

Please do your part today and donate to The Classical Station. Give securely online, via our app, via the mail to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588, or by calling 800-556-5178 anytime.

On May 10 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764), American composer Milton Babbitt (1916-2011), and Turkish violinist Ani Kavafian (1948-).

Monsieur Leclair was a virtuoso violinist who wrote music primarily for his instrument. Milton Babbitt taught at Princeton University and The Julliard School. His students included Stephen Sondheim. Ani Kavafian teaches at Yale University.

Photos: Jean-Marie Leclair, J.Ch. François, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Milton Babbitt, Unknown Author, Fair Use; Ani Kavafian, Unknown Author, Fair Use


Monday, May 9, 2022


This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program is music by Frederic Chopin, Aaron Copland, Gustav Mahler, and Charles Ives in performances conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini, Zubin Mehta, Essa Pekka Salonen, and current Music Director Gustavo Dudamel.

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 May edition of Renaissance Fare celebrates the merry month of May. On the program is music performed by the Cambridge Singers, the Folger Consort, Early Music New York, the King’s Noyse, and more.

Get out your tabret and join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

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

On May 9 we observe the birthdays of Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) and Swedish mezzo-soprano Sofie van Otter (1955-).

Maestro Giulini was one of the great conductors of the 20th-century. Sofie van Otter is one of those artists who is at home singing lieder, opera, oratorios, and pop songs. You can hear an interview with Ms. van Otter on our Conversations page.

Photo: Mats-Bäcker