This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 25, 2022
Christmas Day

Thank you for your support of The Classical Station. Your generous gift makes our programming of great classical music possible here in Central North Carolina on our 89.7 FM signal, online, and on our app.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Classical Station!

Photo: Crèche de Noël, Oratoire Saint-Joseph, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, Pierre5018, CC-SA 4.0 International

On December 25 we observe the birthdays of English composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) and American conductor Louis Lane (1923-2016).

Orlando Gibbons was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward was the Master of the Choristers. Maestro Lane was involved with a number of American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony.

Photos: Orlando Gibbons, Public Domain on; Louis Lane courtesy the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 season of Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continues this afternoon with a favorite for audiences of all ages: The Magic Flute. This is the Met’s holiday production of Mozart’s beloved fairy tale, performed in English and in one act. Ben Bliss and Joélle Harvey star as Tamino and Pamina, who test their strength and bravery – and even face mortal danger – to prove their love. Aleksandra Olczyk is the powerful Queen of the Night, Soloman Howard is the wise leader Sarastro, and Joshua Hopkins sings the lovable – and lovesick – birdcatcher Papageno. Duncan Ward conducts Mozart’s timeless tale celebrating the triumph of wisdom, light, and love, in a performance recorded earlier this month.

The curtain goes up at 1 p.m.

On December 24 we observe the birthdays of German composer Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) and American composer Libby Larsen (1950-).

Herr Cornelius wrote operas and lieder. He is best known for his song The Three Kings from Weihnachtslieder op.8. Besides being a prolific composer, Ms. Larsen co-founded what is now known as the American Composers Forum with the late Stephen Paulus. Listen to Ms. Larsen talk about her life and work as a composer on our Conversations page.

Photos: Peter Cornelius, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Libby Larsen by Ann Marsden

Friday, December 23, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Saturday, December 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern

You come to The Classical Station to experience life at its fullest. You tune in to be exposed to and surprised by sounds you’ve not yet heard. You listen in order to connect with a form of expression that deepens our understanding of humanity. You come to The Classical Station because you find a curiosity, intelligence, and desire for excellence that is rare on the radio today.

The Classical Station is essential. And so is your financial support.  Give now to assure a strong tomorrow filled with all the musical culture, insights, and entertainment you enjoy and expect. Your generous year-end gift will help us end 2022 in the black.

Donate securely online at or mail a check to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588. If you prefer, call us anytime. 800-556-5178.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

This evening Thursday Night At The Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème. First performed on February 1, 1896, Puccini’s romantic opera is a well-known one. The story follows the whirlwind romance between Bohemian writer Rodolfo (sung by Luciano Pavarotti) and seamstress Mimi (sung by Mirella Freni), both struggling with life as impoverished Parisians.

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

On December 22 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), Austrian composer Franz Schmidt (1874-1939), French-born American composer Edgard Varèse (1883-1965), and Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

Besides being a composer, Herr Abel was a virtuoso viola da gamba player. A pianist as well as a composer, Herr Schmidt was Professor of Piano at the Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. Monsieur Varèse was prominent in using electronic and new instruments to create his music. Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini is considered by many to be the greatest composer of opera after Giuseppe Verdi. His operas La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly are loved by audiences everywhere.

Photos: Carl Friedrich Abel, 1777 by Thomas Gainsborough; Franz Schmidt on; Edgard Varese, Public Domain on; Giacomo Puccini in Lucca, courtesy of Associazione Arte e Cultura Schivenoglia

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, we reflect on the moments that mattered most to us and imagine those yet to come. There is one thing you know: The Classical Station has been here for you throughout this difficult year with all of its uncertainties. Every day The Classical Station offers you the opportunity to listen, to hear, and to cherish all the riches the world of classical music affords. The Classical Station provides a vital community tradition of arts and culture, heard and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of listeners here in North Carolina and around the world.

This is a service worth backing.  Back it with your generous year-end contribution here on this website or on our app. If you prefer, mail a check to The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.  And, you can call us anytime to have a member of staff take down the details of your contribution. 800-556-5178.

Few popular classical composers were familiar with the comfort of climate control and electrical lighting. On the shortest day of the year, spend some time enjoying a selection of pieces – by Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Grieg, and others – that remind us of both the beauty and hardship of the winter months on this longest day of the year.

On December 21 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Zdenêk Fibich (1850-1900), Hungarian-born British pianist András Schiff (1953-), and American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (1944-).

While not as well-known as his countrymen Antonin Dvorák or Bedrich Smetana, Zdenêk Fibich was a prolific composer who created hundreds of works in a variety of forms. Sir András Schiff is highly-regarded for his interpretations of Bach and Mozart. He has many recordings to his credit and has appeared in concert halls worldwide. Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony since 1995, Tilson Thomas established the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1987. He has conducted most of the world’s major orchestras and has over 120 recordings to his credit.

Photo: Sir Andras Schiff  by Nadia F. Romanini

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

This evening Bob Chapman is your host for three hours of “The Great Music of Christmas” sung by the stars of the opera stage. The program begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

On December 20 we observe the birthday of Japanese-born British pianist Dame Mitsuko Uchida.

Besides appearing with most major orchestras and making dozens of recordings, Ms. Uchida is also the Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music Festival.

Photo: Richard Avedon

Monday, December 19, 2022

Every time you give, you help keep the music playing on The Classical Station. Your support delivers the most captivating live performances from concert halls around the world to your living room. Your gift expands our collection of new composers that are thrilling listeners of all ages. And it ensures that classical music will always be available to everyone anywhere. Your year-end contribution now will make sure that this great tradition of classical music continues throughout 2023 and into the future.

Donate securely here on our website and on our app. If you prefer, call us anytime to make your contribution. 800-556-5178

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony offers a mix of seasonal music. Sir James Galway, Leonard Slatkin, and Richard Hickox lead a program of familiar music by Leroy Anderson, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Peter Tchaikovsky. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

On December 19 we observe the birthdays of French composer Louis-Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749), Hungarian-born American conductor Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), and American-born French conductor William Christie (1944-).

Organist of Eglise Saint Sulpice in Paris, Monsieur Clérambault left us compositions for keyboards, as well as many sacred and secular choral works. Frederick Martin “Fritz” Reiner was the conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra before becoming music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1953-1962. Educated at Harvard and Yale, William Christie emigrated to France in the 70s where he founded the highly-regarded early music ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Happy 78th birthday, Maestro!

Photos: Portrait of  Louis-Nicolas Clérambault by Louis-Simon Lempereur, Public Domain on; Fritz Reiner/United Artists/Federal Films, Public Domain on; William Christie/Chris Christodoulou/BBC