This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Eastern Redbud by Famartin, CCA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Quatuor Byron opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Joaquin Turina’s String Quartet, Op. 4 “De la guitarra”. Director of Cappella Romana, Alexander Lingas, talks about his ensemble’s recording of the All-Night Vigil by Robert Kyr. Hillary Hahn performs the Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53, by Antonín Dvořák.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Voices of Ascension, the Saint Tikhon Choir, and the Choir of Westminster Abbey. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Gregorio Allegri, and Dmitri Smirnov.

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

On February 26 we observe the birthdays of Czech-born French composer Anton Reicha (1770-1836), English composer Frank Bridge (1879-1941) and Russian pianist Lazar Berman (1930-2005).

A friend of Beethoven, Reicha also taught Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, and César Franck. Frank Bridge’s music is relatively unknown to this day. Berman was one of the great pianists of the 20th century.

Photos: Engraving of Anton Reicha by C. Constans, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;  Illustrated London News 6 August 1921, p. 196. Credited to “Loeb”, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Lazar Berman, Unknown Author, Bach Cantatas.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 Saturday matinee radio broadcast season continues with Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Dmitri Shostakovich’s dark and uproarious satire, in a performance from last fall. It stars soprano Svetlana Sozdateleva as the scandalous title character Katerina, a housewife eager to escape her loveless marriage. Tenor Brandon Jovanovich is Sergei, the lustful worker who is only too happy to help her out. And bass John Relyea is Katerina’s brute of a father-in-law, Boris. Maestro Keri-Lynn Wilson made her company debut conducting the Met orchestra and chorus and an outstanding ensemble cast in Shostakovich’s colorful, audacious score.

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

What are those moments of beauty and inspiration worth? Those pieces of music that bring awe and joy, the way that classical music connects with you like nothing else can. We must keep this music and its traditions alive. You can make it possible by making a donation so that classical music continues to be freely available to everyone anywhere on our radios, on our computers, and on our phones. Do your part to make sure your next moment of inspiration happens right here at The Classical Station.

Click a gift to us or call 800-556-5178 anytime.

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

On February 25 we observe the birthdays of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) and Spanish conductor Jesús López-Cobos (1940-2018).

Signor Caruso was one of the greatest tenors of the 20th century. He made over 260 recordings and sang in many of the world’s great opera houses. Maestro López-Cobos was the director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Photos: Photo of Enrico Caruso in the Engravings and Photographs Division of the U.S. Library of Congress, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Jesús López Cobos, Unknown Author  in obituary in TeleMadrid

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
Saturday, February 25, 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 24 we observe the birthdays of English composer Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), Italian soprano and opera director Renata Scotto (1934-), and Czech conductor Jiri Belohlávek (1946-2017). Son of Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley, Samuel Wesley was both a composer and performer. After her retirement from singing in 2002, Ms. Scotto turned her attention to directing operas. Founder of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Belohlávek was the director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Portrait of Samuel Wesley by John Jackson, National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Ms. Scotto, Unknown Author, courtesy Piper Anselmi Artists Management; Photo of Jiri Belohlávek by Petra Hajska

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Our Spring 2023 Membership Drive will begin in a few weeks. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station that you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Virginia commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2023 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Tanja Greaves here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Tanja at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure to mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Or pop a check in the mail to WCPE The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.

Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Photo: Unknown Author, Angels Angelology

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giancarlo Menotti’s opera The Consul. Written in 1950, this Pulitzer Prize-winning opera is a tour de force in the American opera repertoire. Our program will also include Songs of Separation by William Grant Still, performed by African-American baritone, Robert Honeysucker.

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

On February 23 we observe the birthdays of English composer John Blow (1649-1708), German-born English composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and American composer Elinor Remick Warren (1900-1991).

John Blow was a distinguished Baroque-era composer who held the post of organist at Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and the Chapel Royal during his lifetime. A native of Germany who was educated in Italy, George F. Handel spent most of his life in his adopted country, England. He wrote over forty operas, over twenty oratorios, and vast amounts of chamber music. Handel is considered the epitome of a Baroque composer. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Elinor Remick Warren composed prolifically with over 200 compositions to her credit.

Photos: Engraving of John Blow by Charles Grignion the Elder, Gallica Digital Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of G.F. Handel by Balthasar Denner in National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; The Chandos Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel, Unknown Author, Fitzwilliam Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Handel commemorative stamp issued by Guinea-Bissau in 2009; Photo of Elinor Remick Warren in 1961, Unknown Author, Hampsong Foundation

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

We depend on your generous financial support just as much you depend on the Great Classical Music we broadcast for you 24/7. Most radio stations run prerecorded and prevoiced programs. Not us! We’re literally live all day, every day, all year long. There’s always a live announcer on hand who will be happy to answer your questions about the music or take your donation. Yes, you can speak with Sherman Wallace on Sleepers Awake if you’d like. He’d be delighted to hear from you. If you haven’t yet become a supporter, please click a gift to us here on our website or on our app. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift.

On February 22 we observe the birthdays of German musicologist Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818), Danish composer Niels Gade (1817-1890) and French conductor Louis Auriacombe (1917-1982).

Herr Forkel wrote a biography of J.S. Bach and was one of the first musicologists. A composer of eight symphonies, Niels Gade studied in Leipzig where he was friends with Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Monsieur Auriacombe was one of the great French conductors of the 20th century.

Photos: Johann Niklaus Forkel by Carl Traugott Riedel, Gallica Digital Library,Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of Niels Gade, Danish composer. Original in Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Classical Station is now accepting grant applications for the Education Fund. Nonprofit organizations with a focus on music education are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 31st.

On February 21 we observe the birthdays of French composers Léo Delibes (1836-1891) and Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), and Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia (1893-1987).

A student of Adolph Adam at the Paris Conservatoire, Monsieur Delibes went on to compose ballets and opera. While he was a ‘provisional’ organist at Eglise Saint Sulpice from 1870-1933, Monsieur Widor managed to write ten symphonies for organ, as well as teach at the Paris Conservatoire. Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, is widely considered to have been one of the greatest guitar virtuosi ever. He was a brilliant performer and a proponent of the guitar as a serious classical instrument that deserved a place in the conservatoire. Now, most collegiate music programs include a guitar program, and guitar works are a regular part of classical performances everywhere. In one way or another, anyone who plays or enjoys classical guitar today owes Segovia a debt of gratitude.

Photos: Photo of Léo Delibes by Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, on Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Charles-Marie Widor by Paul Berger (photographer). Breitkopf & Härtel, London in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Andrés Segovia, Unknown Author on Bach Cantatas.

Monday, February 20, 2023

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, which can trace its origins to 1743. The program includes music by Felix Mendelssohn, Max Bruch, Johannes Brahms, and more, conducted by Kurt Masur, Ricardo Chailly, and current music director Andris Nelsons.

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

On February 20 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Carl Czerny (1791-1857), Belgian composer Charles de Bériot (1802-1870), Scottish soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967), German-born conductor Christoph Eschenbach (1940-), English conductor Barry Wordsworth (1948-), and Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly (1953-).

Besides being a composer of keyboard and chamber music, Herr Czerny was a very successful teacher. Charles Auguste de Bériot was a violinist who taught at the Brussels Conservatory. Besides being a popular opera singer in the early part of the 20th century, Ms. Garden was in later life a talent scout for MGM. Maestro Eschenbach was chief conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among the many orchestras with which he has been associated. After studying at the Royal College of Music with Vernon Handley, Barry Wordsworth was music director of the Royal Ballet. After making his conducting debut at La Scala, Maestro Chailly went on to earn a reputation as one of the world’s great opera conductors.

Photos: Lithograph of Carl Czerny by Joseph Kriehuber, Public Domain on; Photo of Charles de Bériot in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Photo of Mary Garden in Library of Congress by Mishkin, Public Domain on; Photo of Christoph Eschenbach by Vlastní fotka, Public Domain on; Photo of Barry Wordsworth, Unknown Author on ImgArtists;  Photo of Riccardo Chailly by Gert Mothes on Decca Records.