This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Yellowstone by Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Cellist Gautier Capuçon and the Vienna Philharmonic open Preview! this evening with a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 3. Rob Kennedy speaks with violist William Coleman of the Kuss Quartet about the ensemble’s recording Krise/Crisis.

Preview! brings you new releases and local arts information every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

This morning, Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos, the Harvard University Choir, and the Alsfeld Vocal Ensemble. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Sydney Campbell, and Claude Debussy.

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

On January 22 we observe the birthdays of French composers Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) and Henri Duttileux (1916-2013), and South Korean pianist and conductor Myung-whun Chung (1953-).

A student of César Franck, Monsieur Tournemire was noted for his liturgical improvisations as well as his composition L’Orgue Mystique, a work which comprises 51 sets of pieces for the liturgical year. Besides being a composer, Monsieur Duttileux was Head of Music Production for Radio France for many years. A student of Olivier Messiaen, Myung-whun Chung is Principal Conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos:  Henri Duttileux, Author unknown on Music Aquarelle; Charles Tournemire, Author unknown, CC BY SA 3.0 on; Myung-Whun Chung by Jean François Leclercq;

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 season of live Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with Gaetano Donizetti’s delightful romantic comedy L’Elisir D’Amore – The Elixir of Love. Mexican tenor Javier Camarena and South African soprano Golda Schultz star as the adorable “will-they-or-won’t they” couple Nemorino and Adina. Baritone Davide Luciano is the swaggering sergeant Belcore, and baritone Ambrogio Maestri is the “doctor” Dulcamara, who sells Nemorino some much-needed courage. Michele Gamba makes his network broadcast debut conducting the Met orchestra and chorus.

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

On January 21 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Attwood Walmisley (1814-1856) and Italian violinist and conductor Uto Ughi (1944-).

Mr. Walmisley was Organist of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was also a professor of music. Signor Ughi is considered one of Italy’s greatest violinists. He was also Music Director of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia between 1987-1992.

Photo: Thomas Attwood Walmisley, National Portrait Gallery; Uto Ughi, Author Unknown onAlchetron. 


Friday, January 20, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore
Saturday, January 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern

Donizetti’s bubbly romantic comedy about a spunky landowner, a hapless peasant, and the dubious love potion that may or may not bring them together never fails to delight audiences. Enjoy a preview of tomorrow’s Metropolitan Opera broadcast of L’Elisir D’Amore here.

On January 20 we observe the birthdays of French composer Ernest Chausson (1855-1899), French conductor Antonio de Almeida (1928-1997), and American composer Walter Piston (1894-1976).

Amé:dée-Ernest Chausson studied with Jules Massenet and César Franck at the Paris Conservatoire. Antonio de Almeida initially set out to study nuclear chemistry at M.I.T. but his godfather Artur Rubenstein persuaded him to take up music. A student of Nadia Boulanger and Paul Dukas, Walter Piston taught at Harvard University from 1944-1960. He in turn taught Leonard Bernstein, Leroy Anderson, Samuel Adler, and Daniel Pinkham, to name a few of his students.

Photos: Ernest Chausson/P. Frois, Public Domain,; Antonio de Almeida, Author unknown; Walter Piston (1963), Author unknown

Thursday, January 19, 2023

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. Elsa (Grümmer) is accused of killing her brother. When a mysterious knight (Thomas) comes to save her, she must not ask him his name or where he is from. Filled with murder, intrigue, and deception, Wagner’s masterpiece will captivate you! (Archival broadcast by the late Al Ruocchio)

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

On January 19 we observe the birthday of Sir Simon Rattle. He was born on this day in 1955.

Sir Simon rose to prominence as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since 2002 he has been Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. In September 2017 he became Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2023 Sir Simon will become the Principal Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: Monika Rittershaus

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Listen to Mexican tenor Javier Camerena and South African soprano Golda Schultz chatting with author, Met radio commentator, and staff writer William Berger about this Saturday’s live broadcast of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore.

Javier Camarena as Nemorino and Golda Schultz as Adina in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore.” Photo: Marty Sohl / Met Opera

On January 18 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder (1543-1588), Russian composer César Cui (1835-1918), French composer Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894), and English composer William Henry Havergal (1793-1870).

A composer of madrigals, Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder spent much of his career in the employ of Elizabeth I of England. César Cui was a member of the Five, Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin were the other four. He was also a general in the Russian Army where he taught several notables including Tsar Nicolas II. Monsieur Chabrier wrote operas, orchestral, and chamber music, but is best known for his orchestral work entitled España. William Henry Havergal was an Anglican priest who wrote music for the church including some rather fine Anglican chants.

Photos: Alfonso Ferrabosco, Unknown author; César Cui, Unknown author, on; Emmanuel Chabrier, Public Domain,; William Henry Havergal on, Unknown author.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Wonder what we’re going to be playing tomorrow? You can find out in two ways. First, review the program listings in your copy of Quarter Notes, our member magazine. We mail Quarter Notes to our members every quarter, i.e., at the end of February, May, August, and November. You can also read Quarter Notes online.

The second way of seeing what’s playing tomorrow or the next day is to look at our Playlists. We offer those in two versions: Compact Playlists and the more detailed Daily Playlists. Did you know that we are one of only two radio stations in the United States that can publish their playlists in advance? That’s because our General Manager, Deborah Proctor, convinced lawmakers to grandfather in WCPE when the DMCA was passed back in 1998. So, next time you want to know what Naomi Lambert will be playing on As You Like It in the 2 p.m. hour tomorrow, simply click on one of those Playlist links to find out.

Your support of The Classical Station makes all of this possible. We could not do this without you. Thank you from all of us here at The Classical Station.

Oh, and, in case you are wondering why the keyboard on the right has a red rose on it, that’s to remind you to submit your request for that special person in your life on Valentine’s Day.  We’ll be playing your requests on February 14 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern. The deadline to submit requests is February 10.

On January 17 we observe the birthdays of French composer François-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829), Russian composer Alexander Taneyev (1850-1918), and New Zealand-born British organist Dame Gillian Weir (1941-).

Famous in his day as a composer of operas and chamber music, Monsieur Gossec’s music sadly is not much heard in modern times. Alexander Taneyev, not to be confused with his cousin Sergei Taneyev, was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. Dame Gillian Weir was a student of Ralph Downes at the Royal College of Music. She is highly regarded for her teaching and her concertizing.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Mark Swed, the Classical Music Critic of the Los Angeles Times, recently interviewed acclaimed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Maestro Thomas, despite having brain cancer, has not curtailed his activities. Far from it. Mark’s article is behind a paywall but definitely worth a read here.

Photo: Brigette Lacombe

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra which was founded in 1989 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The program features Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Ludwig van Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, and Robert Schumann’s Concert Piece for 4 Horns and Orchestra.

Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station” at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Today we are featuring the music of American composers and performers as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his work. See the Daily Playlist for details.

On January 16 we observe the birthday of American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (1934-).

Ms. Horne has enjoyed a brilliant singing career spanning over four decades. Now she imparts her experience and knowledge to younger artists as a kind teacher and mentor. “To be a great singer of classical music is the hardest thing in the world,” she says. “After all this time, I still go for a great voice, my dear, for anyone who can really sing. The details you have to be on top of are just endless. But first of all, you have to be born with a great voice. You can’t go out and buy it. You can’t manufacture it. You have to have that seed. And then you build on that.”