This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Caleb Gardner hosts a special GRAMMY Awards edition of Preview! this evening at 6 p.m.  On the playlist are tracks from recordings nominated for 2023 GRAMMYs including music by Hans Zimmer, Ludwig van Beethoven, John Williams, and more.

This morning, Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Hilliard Ensemble, the Monteverdi Choir, and the Chamber Choir of Europe. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Josef Haydn, and Frank Martin.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. Eastern.

On February 5 we observe the birthday of English conductor Sir John Pritchard (1921-1989).

He was the music director of the San Francisco Opera when he died. Besides being an authority on Mozart and Rossini, Sir John was well-regarded as a champion of contemporary British music for which he was knighted in 1983. He had a long association with the Glyndebourne Festival.

Photo: John Pritchard, Unknown Author on

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 Saturday matinee broadcast season continues with a treasure from the archives: Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, featuring a pair of legendary stars, baritone Sherrill Milnes and soprano Martina Arroyo, in a performance originally aired live, 50 years ago. Milnes sang the title role of the ambitious Scottish warrior opposite Arroyo as his ruthless Lady. They were joined by bass Ruggero Raimondi as the ill-fated Banquo and Francesco Tagliavini as Macduff. Maestro Francesco Molinari-Pradelli conducted the Met Orchestra and chorus.

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

On February 4 we observe the birthday of Austrian-born American conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993).

Leinsdorf served several American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, as music director. He was one of the great conductors of the 20th century.

Photo: Erich Leinsdorf, Author Unknown on New England Historical Society

Friday, February 3, 2023

Metropolitan Opera presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth
Saturday, February 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 3 we observe the birthday of German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was born into a wealthy family. He was a versatile musician who played the piano and organ as well as composing in a variety of genres.

Photo: Portrait of Felix Mendelssohn by James Warren Childe, Public Domain on


Thursday, February 2, 2023

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents Treemonisha written in 1911 by American composer Scott Joplin. It is a celebration of African-American music, filled with spirited dances, spirituals, and blues. We will also celebrate the achievements of American singers like Leontyne Price, Shirley Verrett, and others.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Dr. Jay Pierson hosts.

On February 2 we observe the birthdays of French composer Louis Marchand (1669-1732), Austrian-born violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), Lithuanian-born American violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), and American lutenist Paul O’Dette (1954-).

Apparently a hot-tempered gentleman, Monsieur Marchand was employed by the King of France. J.S. Bach was known to have played Marchand’s music. Herr Kreisler studied with Anton Bruckner, Léo Delibes, and Jules Massenet among others. He was widely considered one of the great violinists of the 20th century. Jascha Heifetz was another virtuoso violinist of the last century. He recorded extensively. Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Paul O’Dette specializes in early music.

Photo: Engraving of Louis Marchand by Ch. Dupuis, after the original portrait by Robert – Bibliothèque nationale de  France, Public Domain on; Photo of Fritz Kreisler from Library of Congress, Public Domain on; Photo of Jascha Heifitz, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Photo of Paul ODette courtesy BEMF

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

WCPE FM, The Classical Station, has been broadcasting Great Classical Music since 1978, thanks to listener support. One of the many ways that you can help The Classical Station to continue playing classical music for years to come is to leave a planned gift in your will or estate.

Leaving a legacy gift to The Classical Station will help ensure that the station has a solid foundation to continue operating for generations to come. Educational Information Corporation is the legal name of The Classical Station. The station is a nonprofit, listener-supported radio station. We rely on your tax-deductible support for our funding.

Dan McHugh has answers to your questions about planned giving. Contact him at 919-556-5178.

On February 1 we observe the birthdays of German/Swedish composer Johan Agrell (1701-1767), Italian composer Francesco Veracini (1690-1768), Italian composer Alessandro Marcello (1673-1747), Swedish composer Adolf Lindblad (1801-1878), Irish-born American composer Victor Herbert (1859-1924), and Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004).

Herr Agrell wrote chamber music including 22 symphonies. Highly skilled as a violinist, Signor Veracini composed chamber music including a set of violin sonatas which are still in the repertoire today. Signor Marcello was born into a noble Venetian family. He is best-known for an oboe concerto which Johann Sebastian Bach adapted in BWV 974. Adolf Lindblad wrote music in a variety of chamber genres such as voice and piano. Victor Herbert was a prolific composer who wrote over 40 operettas of which Babes in Toyland is probably his most familiar to modern ears. Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi is considered to have been one of the 20th-century’s finest opera singers. She made her debut at La Scala in 1946.

Photos: Johann Agrell by Valentin Daniel Preisler, Public Domain on; Franceso Veracini, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Alessandro Marcello, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Adolf Lindblad, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Victor Herbert, Library of Congress, Public Domain in; Renata Tebaldi, Unknown Author on Fondazione Renata Tebaldi

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Valentine’s Day Requests
Tuesday, February 14
Make a classical music request in honor of that special person in your life. Because this is very popular, we encourage you to ask for shorter works or single movements so that we can fit in all your requests. We’ll play as many requests as we can! Please submit your request by Friday, February 10 via our app or website.

On January 31 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), American composer Philip Glass (1937-), and Israeli-born Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy (1965-).

One of the last classical-era composers and one of the first romantic-era composers, Franz Schubert loved melodies. He wrote over 600 songs and nine symphonies in his short life. Phillip Glass has written eleven symphonies and dozens of film scores. Ms. Harnoy enjoys an active performing and recording career with over 25 CDs to her credit. You can enjoy an interview with her on our Conversations With Instrumentalists page.

Photos: Franz Schubert, Unknown Author on; Philip Glass, Author Unknown; Ofra Harnoy by Denise Grant;

Monday, January 30, 2023

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Hallé Orchestra, which was founded in 1858 by Sir Charles Hallé. The program includes music by Gustav Holst, Johannes Brahms, Benjamin Britten, and Sir Edward Elgar, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Kent Nagano, and current Music Director, Sir Mark Elder.

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

On January 30 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), German Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773), German-born American conductor Walter Damrosch (1862-1950), and American cellist Lynn Harrell (1944-2020).

Thomas Tallis flourished at a difficult time in English history. He is considered to be one of England’s greatest composers. Herr Quantz was a prolific composer who wrote 200 sonatas, 300 concertos, 45 trio sonatas, and many other works, according to Wikipedia. Remembered today as a conductor, Walter Damrosch was NBC’s music director back in the 30s and 40s. After studying at Julliard and the Curtis Institute, Lynn Harrell made his debut in 1961 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Engraving by Niccolò Haym of Thomas Tallis after a portrait by Gerard van der Gucht, Public Domain, on; Portrait of Johann Joachim Quantz by  Johann Friedrich Gerhard, Public Domain, on; Portrait of Walter Damrosch by Napoleon Sarony, Public Domain, on; Photo of Lynn Harrell by Christian Steiner;