This Week At The Classical Station

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This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 26, 2023

This morning Joyce Kidd and Peggy Powell will be with Rob Kennedy in the studio asking for your support of Great Sacred Music. Very few stations play sacred choral and organ music anymore, much less four hours of this beautiful music every Sunday morning. Great Sacred Music is live and produced by The Classical Station. It’s one of many features that make The Classical Station unique and worth your support.

Please click a gift to us, mail a check to us if you prefer to P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, North Carolina, 27588, or call any time to pledge your support. 800-556-51-78. Thank you!

On March 26 we observe the birthdays of South Korean violinist Kyung Wha Chung (1948-) and French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez (1925-2016).

Besides being well-regarded for her recital performances and recordings, Ms. Chung has been on the faculty of The Julliard School since 2007. Pierre Louis Joseph Boulez was a champion of the music of the first half of the 20th century. He also was in demand as a conductor with stints at the BBC Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Kyung Wha Chung by Benjamin Olivega; Pierre Boulez, Joost Evers on Anefo, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, March 25, 2023
Day 2 of Spring Membership Drive

We’re a listener-supported public radio station. Unlike other public radio stations, we don’t get any of your tax dollars. There’s no government grant that we can get if we miss our goals. It’s listener contributions that keep classical music on the radio in our community. It’s that simple. Please be one of those listeners by becoming a Sustaining Member today.

Thank you to everybody who called in or gave online yesterday. You got us off to a great start! Spread the word about this unique classical music service. 800-556-5178

On March 25 we observe the birthdays of Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), Hungarian composer Béla Viktor János Bartók (1881-1945), and Czech conductor Zdeněk Košler (1928-1995).

Arguably one of the greatest conductors of the 20th-century, Maestro Toscanini was well-known for his work with the orchestra created especially for him, the NBC Symphony. What do Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók have in common? Their love of folk music. Bartók was one of the first ethnomusicologists. Active in the latter half of the 20th-century, Maestro Košler was well-known for his opera performances.

Photos: Arturo Toscanini, Aime Dupont Studio, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Béla Bartók, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Zdeněk Košler, Unknown Author, Opera Slovakia

Friday, March 24, 2023
Day 1 of Spring Membership Drive

On this first day of our Spring Membership Drive, we are offering an Early Bird Special for your gift of $10 per month or a one-time gift of $120.  50 Greatest Classical Hits is a perfect graduation gift! Or perhaps something your grandchild or another young person in your life will treasure. This is a 4-CD set, so you will have hours and hours of listening enjoyment.

About the recording: All recordings were made in September 2009 at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Royal Festival Hall, and Henry Wood Hall. In every stage of the recording process, state-of-the-art equipment has been used to achieve the very best sound quality attainable. The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music has sold over 200,000 copies (in terms of album-equivalent streams) and spent over three years as one of the top 10 classical albums on iTunes.

We’re offering this Early Bird Special until 1 p.m. Eastern or while supplies last. Call 800-556-5178 to get your copy. Thank you for your support.

On March 24 we observe the birthdays of American pianist Byron Janis (1928-) Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau (1962-).

Byron Janis studied with Vladimir Horowitz. He is known for his interpretation of the music of Frederic Chopin. A distinguished violinist in her own right, Ms. Dubeau and La Pietá, the ensemble which she founded in 1997, are highly-acclaimed both in Canada and worldwide.

Photos: Ms. Dubeau/; Mr. Janis, Sol Hurok, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, March 23, 2023

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents two short operas composed by women composers: Pauline Viardot’s Le Dernier Sorcier and Amy Beach’s Cabildo.     Forgotten until 2005, The Last Sorcerer is a drama filled with elves, princes and sorcerers. Cabildo tells the story of the pirate Lafitte (Perry) when Mary (Hellekant) visits his cell in the Cabildo.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station.”

On March 23 we observe the birthdays of German composer Julius Reubke (1834-1858), Austrian composer Franz Schreker (1878-1934), French composer Eugène Gigout (1844-1925), English composer Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986), English mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker (1953-), and Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki (1995-).

While Herr Reubke died very young at the age of 24, he will be forever remembered by organists for his monumental composition entitled Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Herr Schreker was known as an opera composer. A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, Monsieur Gigout was an organist who taught Léon Boëllmann and André Marchal among others. A prolific composer, Edmund Rubbra wrote 11 symphonies and many other works in a variety of genres. Active from the 50s to the 80s, Dame Janet Baker was highly regarded for her interpretations of baroque as well as contemporary music.

Photo:  Jan Lisiecki by Shin Sugino

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Many cities across the country have lost their classical music stations. Central North Carolina and our online community are lucky to have a community of listeners who are so protective and supportive of the arts and classical music.  As a result, The Classical Station will celebrate 45 years of broadcasting.

If you haven’t already done so, please join them now by making a contribution. You can click your gift to us here or on our app. Look for the Donate link. Thank you for your support.

On March 22 we observe the birthdays of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916), English humorist Gerard Hoffnung (1925-1959), and English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-).

Part of the Strauss dynasty, he and his brothers Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss composed much light music to entertain the good people of Vienna. A conductor as well as a composer, Hamish MacCunn studied briefly at the fledgling Royal College of Music. Gerard Hoffnung delighted audiences with his musical parodies and jokes. Baron Lloyd-Webber has written 13 musicals, a couple of film scores, and a requiem mass, among other works.

Photos: Lithograph of Hamish MacCunn, John Pettie, National Portrait Gallery, Wikimedia; Gerard Hoffnung, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons;  Andrew Lloyd Webber by Tracy Nolan, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Our Spring Membership Drive 2023 begins on Friday. We really need your help. If you are already a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station, please consider increasing your monthly contribution. An extra $5 or $10 per month adds up very quickly when combined with hundreds of Sustainers doing the same thing. If you are at a point in your life where you can make a significant financial contribution of $5,000 or $10,000, please do so. You can also do that as a Sustainer and spread your gift over twelve monthly payments.

If you have never visited our studios and transmitter in Wake Forest, North Carolina, then you probably don’t realize that our facilities are utilitarian, to put it mildly. We have never spent money on fancy furniture, travel, and so on.  We spend your contribution on the utilities to keep the transmitter operating, the royalties to keep the music playing, and state-of-the-art software to catalog and schedule our 15,000 CD music library. Furthermore, we do not spend anything on outside fundraising consultants. As you can tell, everything we do is homegrown. It’s been that way since 1978.

We are ever so proud to be listener-supported and volunteer-powered. So, call 800-556-51-78 anytime or click the Donate link on our app or here on our website. Thank you for your support.

On March 21 we observe the birthdays of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Belgian composer Jules Van Nuffel (1883-1953), French cellist Paul Tortelier (1914-1990), Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986), American violinist Joseph Silverstein (1932-2015), and American conductor Erich Kunzel (1935-2009).

A composer thoroughly versed in the skills of his trade, Bach drew from the past and looked to the future in the music which he wrote for all manner of occasions and purposes. Originally destined for a military career, Mussorgsky abandoned his commission in 1858 to devote his life to music. While cantor at Mechelen Cathedral, Father Van Nuffel worked with Flor Peeters, a noted organist, and composer. One of the great cellists of the 20th century, Monsieur Tortelier taught at several universities during his lifetime. Monsieur Grumiaux was one of the great violinists of the 20th century. Besides being a fine violinist and concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years, Joseph Silverstein was also a conductor and teacher. A well-known musician, Maestro Kunzel is best known for his long tenure with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Photos: Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Modest Mussorgsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jules Van

Monday, March 20, 2023

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Philharmonia Orchestra, which was founded in 1945. The program includes music by Georges Bizet, Robert Schumann, and more, conducted by Riccardo Muti, Herbert von Karajan, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the present Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor.

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

On March 20 we observe the birthday of Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997). Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was considered one of the greatest 20th-century pianists.

Photo: Photo in Ann Arbor District Library, Unknown Author