This Week At The Classical Station

Neuse River, Bridgeton, North Carolina by Zach Frailey, CC By NC-ND 2.0

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Dr. Greysolynne Hyman hosts A Chanukah Celebration this afternoon at 6 p.m. Eastern. Come spin the dreidel, light the candles, and enjoy the music of Chanukah on a program hosted and produced by Greysolynne Hyman. We also will feature Jewish sacred and folk music during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights through December 26.  Hanukkah Sameach!

Photo: Gil Dekel

The December edition of Renaissance Fare presents Christmas carols from the 12th century through the Renaissance period. We’ll hear traditional carols from England and France performed by Apollo’s Fire, Christmas songs written by Thomas Tallis and performed by the Tallis Scholars, and great music presented by the popular groups Chanticleer and The Sixteen.

Join George Douglas for a special Christmas edition of Renaissance Fare this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Painting of Mary with Child by Joos van Cleve, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music for Advent sung by the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the University of California Berkeley Chamber Chorus, and the Cambridge Singers. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The Great Sacred Music page has a playlist with lyrics.

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

On December 18 we observe the birthdays of French piano maker Camille Pleyel (1788-1855), American composer Edward MacDowell (1860-1908), Swiss conductor Edmond de Stoutz (1820-1997), and English conductor William Boughton (1948-).

Joseph Étienne Camille Pleyel inherited the family piano-making business which supplied pianos to Frederic Chopin, among others. Edward MacDowell left us over sixty compositions even though he died at the young age of 48. His farm and the MacDowell organization in New Hampshire have become great incubators of the arts since his demise. Besides composing, he was well-known as a concert pianist and teacher. de Stoutz was the founder of the Zürcher Kammerorcheste. William Boughton is currently the Music Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and is on the faculty of the Yale School of Music. He has guest-conducted most of the world’s major orchestras.

Photos: William Boughton by S.M. Cooper


Saturday, December 17, 2022

The 2022-23 season of Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continues this afternoon with Giuseppe Verdi’s shattering tragedy, Rigoletto. Baritone Luca Salsi stars in the title role as the jester whose merciless humor becomes his biggest curse. Soprano Lisette Oropesa is Gilda, Rigoletto’s treasured daughter whose innocence he tries to shield from a corrupt world. And tenor Stephen Costello is the degenerate Duke of Mantua. Maestra Speranza Scappucci makes her network broadcast debut conducting the Met orchestra and chorus in Verdi’s unforgettably melodic and powerful score.

The curtain goes up at 1 p.m. Eastern.

On December 17 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) and American conductor Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979).

Signor Cimarosa wrote over eighty operas. Boston native Arthur Fiedler conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for more than fifty years.

Photos: Arthur Fiedler/RCA Victor Records, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Domenico Cimarosa/Etching by Anton Wachsmann, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org


Friday, December 16, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto
Saturday, December 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern

Lullabies and Carols airs this afternoon at 2 p.m. Eastern. Enjoy an hour of Christmas music sung by some of the best choirs both here at home and abroad. Some of the carols and lullabies will be familiar. Some of them not so familiar. They all express joy and wonder at the Birth of the Babe in Bethlehem. Rob Kennedy hosts.

You can download the playlist with lyrics on the Great Sacred Music page.

On December 16 we observe the birthdays of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály (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, Zoltán Kodály was a teacher. His Kodály 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. Happy 75th birthday, Dr. Pinnock! 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: Zoltán Kodály/Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Robert Noehren/Author unknown; Trevor Pinnock/Gerard Collett; Beethoven in 1815 portrait by Joseph Willibrord Mähler/Public Domain on Wikipedia.org


December 15, 2022

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacomo Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Rossini’s setting of the Cinderella story is filled with jaunty music. Mezzo-sopranos are usually cast in trouser roles, but Rossini chose this voice type to shine, culminating in what might be the most joyous ending in all of the operatic repertoire.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern.

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: Michel Richard Delalande/Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Ferenc Farkas/CC BY-SA 3.0 on Wikipedia.org


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Ludwig van Beethoven remains the world’s most widely celebrated composer. The Classical Station celebrates Beethoven with five days of selections. A set of pieces each morning will chronicle his journey from classical master to the titan of individual expression. Each night, enjoy one of five symphonies, culminating with the Ninth—perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of music.

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: Rosalyn Turek, Keith Saunders, Fair Use, Wikipedia.org; Christopher Parkening/Christian Steiner; Capel Bond/PD on Wikipedia.org; Ron Nelson on ronnelson.info


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The music on The Classical Station is with you each moment of the year, while you celebrate, as you work, as you relax, and as you live your life to the fullest. The Classical Station is an incredible gift from music lovers to music lovers all across Central North Carolina and around the world online. Your year-end donation ensures that this great music, so powerful in your life and in the lives of thousands of others, will continue to play loud and clear throughout 2023 and beyond.

Click your gift to us here on our website or on our app. Call us anytime to have a member of staff take down your gift details. 800-556-5178.

If you’d like a Thank You Gift, choose one from our selection of CDs and other items, or designate 10% of your gift of $50 or more to the Education Fund.

Thank you for your support!

Photo: WCPE Photo Services

Today we observe the birthday of The Right Reverend Phillips Brooks (1835-1893). He was a bishop of the Episcopal Church and rector of Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts. However, you and I know him better as the author of the familiar Christmas hymn O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikipedia.org


Monday, December 12, 2022

You value the knowledgeable hosts who guide you through each day. You care about experiencing this carefully curated collection of some of the best classical music ever recorded. You want to be connected to the music that can inspire and astound, music that can relax and refresh. This is your daily experience with The Classical Station.

As the year comes to a close, please support the music you need and relish every day of the year. Donate securely online or via our app. Thank you for your support.

Photo: WCPE Photo Services

The December edition of Renaissance Fare presents Christmas carols from the 12th century through the Renaissance period. We’ll hear traditional carols from England and France performed by Apollo’s Fire, Christmas songs written by Thomas Tallis and performed by the Tallis Scholars, and great music presented by the popular groups Chanticleer and The Sixteen.

Join George Douglas for a special Christmas edition of Renaissance Fare this evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Painting of Mary with Child by Joos van Cleve, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1895.  On our program is music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Hector Berlioz, and Jean Sibelius, in performances conducted by William Steinberg, Lorin Maazel, and current music director Manfred Honeck.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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