This Week At The Classical Station

Painting: “The Dance of the Flowers” by Loretta Del Palazzo. From our Virtual Art Exhibit.

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Pianist Robert Levin opens Preview! with a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto  No. 21 in C major, K. 467. Sarah Cahill talks about her recording project The Future is Female.

Preview! brings your the latest releases and local arts news every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, the Choir of Saint Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington, D.C., and the Choir of New College, Oxford. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Orlando de Lassus, and Anton Bruckner.

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

On April 23 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919). Although he composed 10 operas and 9 operettas, Signor Leoncavallo is best known to modern audiences for his opera Pagliacci.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, April 22, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-23 season of Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continues with Idomeneo, Mozart’s brilliant early opera seria, in a performance from last fall. Tenor Michael Spyres starred in the virtuosic title role of the King of Crete, who makes a fateful agreement with the gods. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey was his son Idamante, singing opposite soprano Ying Fang as Ilia, the captive Trojan princess. Soprano Federica Lombardi was the jealous Elettra. Maestro Manfred Honeck made his company debut leading the Met orchestra and chorus in this score that established the young Mozart as a formidable operatic force.

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

Photo: Ying Fang as Ilia and Kate Lindsey as Idamante in Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” Karen Almond/Met Opera

On April 22 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709), English composer Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), English contralto Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953), American-born violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1956-).

Although an accomplished violist and violinist, Signor Torelli is probably best remembered for his virtuoso trumpet concerti. A member of the women’s suffrage movement, Dame Ethel Smyth composed in a variety of genres. With an extensive repertoire from folk songs to opera, Kathleen Ferrier was one of the great singers of the 20th-century. Yehudi Menuhin was widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th-century. Maestro Saraste has served as the conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic, among others.

Photos: Giuseppe Torelli, Unknown Author, Public Domain Art, Wikimedia Commons; Ethel Smyth, Unknown Author, Restoration by Adam Cuerden, George Grantham Bain collection at the Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Kathleen Ferrier, Unknown Author,; Yehudi Menuhin, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jukka-Pejja Saraste, Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Idomeneo
Saturday, April 22, 1 p.m. Eastern

On April 21 we observe the birthdays of American composer Randall Thompson (1899-1984) and Australian violinist Stanley Ritchie (1935-). Alleluia and Randall Thompson became associated with each other back in 1940. Stanely Ritchie is currently the Distinguished Professor of Music (Violin, Early Music) at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Photos: Stanley Ritchie, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Randall Thompson, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Thursday, April 20, 2023

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto. The opera is a tragic story of a hunchbacked court jester, Rigoletto, who tries to protect his beloved daughter Gilda from the lecherous Duke of Mantua. The plot involves deception, revenge, and ultimately ends with the tragic death of Gilda. The opera is known for its beautiful arias, including “La donna è mobile.” Filled with drama, intrigue, and deception, Verdi’s masterpiece had a triumphal premiere in 1851 and has remained a mainstay in the operatic repertoire.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station at 7 p.m. Eastern for this archival broadcast by the long-time host of Opera House, the late Al Ruocchio.

On April 20 we observe the birthday of English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner (1943-).

Sir John is highly regarded for his interpretation and performances of Baroque music. His Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists recorded all of the extant Bach cantatas, among other projects.

Photo: ©Maciej Goździelewski, Cc-by-sa-3.0, GFDL, Wikimedia Commons

April 19, 2023

Have you discovered our Conversations With Conductors? In these conversations with Rob Kennedy, distinguished musicians such as JoAnn Falletta, Karina Canellakis, Sir Stephen Cleobury, Nicholas McGegan, and many more, talk about their early years and education, their art, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations which they can listen to or download anytime. You can also enjoy these conversations on our app.

On April 19 we observe the birthdays of French composer Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), French conductor and violinist Yan Pascal Tortelier (1947-), and American pianist Murray Perahia (1947-).

Over the course of her long life, Germaine Tailleferre wrote a variety of compositions including television and film scores. Son of cellist Paul Tortelier, Monsieur Tortelier records for the Chandos label. A native of New York, Murray Perahia is considered one of the great pianists of the late 20th and 21st centuries.

Photos: Germaine Tailleferre, Unknown Author, BBC; Yan Pascal Tortelier, IMG Artists; Murray Perahia, Nigel Luckhurst

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

What would you like us to play for you? We have two Request Programs. All Request Friday and the Saturday Evening Request Program. On All Request Friday we play the music you choose from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern. The Saturday Evening Request Program runs from 6 p.m. until midnight. We have a couple of ways for you to submit your requests. On our website, click Listen then Request Programs, then fill out the short form to let us know what you want us to play. Or click the Request Programs link on our app. Or call 919-556-0123. Short works? Yes. Long works? Yes. Your choice! The programs are usually over-subscribed, so get your request in as soon as you can.

Want to know when your request will be played?  Check Request Program Playlists. under the Listen tab here on our website.

On April 18 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz von Suppé (1819-1895), British conductor Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), and French organist Jean Guillou (1930-2019).

Christened Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppé-Demelli, Herr von Suppé is known to modern audiences for his operettas and their rousing overtures. Maestro Stokowski was one of the 20th-century’s greatest conductors. He began his musical career as an organist and went on to be Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra, among others. Monsieur Guillou was Titular Organist of Eglise St. Eustache in Paris for 52 years.

Photos: Franz von Suppé, Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Leopold Stokowski, Unknown Author, Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jean Guillou, G. Garitan, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, April 17, 2023

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1945 by Sir Thomas Beecham. The program includes music by Peter Tchaikovsky, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and more, conducted by Andre Previn, Daniele Gatti, and Yuri Temirkanov.

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

Today we observe the birthdays of Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel (1882-1951), Russian-born American cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), American composer Adolphus Hailstork (1941-), and Brazilian pianist Cristina Ortiz (1950-).

Herr Schnabel was the first pianist to record all thirty-two of Beethoven’s sonatas. Gregor Piatigorsky was championed by great musicians such as Wilhelm Furtwangler and Richard Strauss. Fulbright scholar Adolphus Hailstork is Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. A first-prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Ms. Ortiz has performed extensively with orchestras worldwide.

Photos: Artur Schnabel, Unknown Author, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Gregor Piatigorsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Adolphus Hailstork, Rose Grace; Cristina Ortiz, G. Staffeti