This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Shelley, opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, Opus 73. Francine Kay talks about her recording of the piano music of Czech composers Things Lived and Dreamt.

Preview! brings you the lastest releases and local arts news every Sunday, Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station” at 6 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, Libera, and Stile Antico. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederic Handel, and Sebastian de Vivanco.

Please join us for Great Sacred Music this Sunday. It begins at 8 a.m. Eastern. Right after Sing for Joy, here on The Classical Station.

On May 21 we observe the birthdays of Greek pianist Gina Bachauer (1913-1976), French trumpeter Maurice André (1933-2012), and Swiss oboist Heinz Holliger (1939-).

Ms. Bachauer was one of the great pianists of the 20th century. Maurice André made over 300 recordings and was known for his playing of the piccolo trumpet. In addition to being a very fine oboist, Heinz Holliger is a composer.

Photos: Gina Bachauer, Dimboukas, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Maurice André, Unknown Author, Fair Use,  Asociacion Culturel Demusica; Heinz Holliger,, Fair Use

Saturday, May 20, 2023

“On Armed Forces Day, we honor all the members of our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard and Reserve forces. United by a common call to serve, these brave patriots not only comprise the finest fighting force the world has ever known but also represent the very best of our Nation.” Source: A Proclamation on Armed Forces Day
Photo: Public Domain Pictures

Don Giovanni, one of Mozart’s most renowned and captivating operas, takes listeners on a thrilling journey through the seductive world of the infamous nobleman and womanizer, Don Giovanni. This timeless masterpiece combines elements of comedy, drama, and supernatural intrigue to weave a tale that transcends time and speaks to the depths of human nature.

Don Giovanni
Photo by Marty Sohl/ Metropolitan Opera

Set in 17th-century Spain, Don Giovanni tells the story of the charming but morally corrupt nobleman whose insatiable appetite for conquest leads him on a relentless pursuit of pleasure. Armed with his irresistible charisma, Giovanni manipulates and seduces countless women, leaving behind a trail of broken hearts and shattered lives.

The opera begins with Giovanni’s attempted seduction of Donna Anna, whose father, the Commendatore, intervenes. A duel ensues, resulting in the Commendatore’s death at the hands of Giovanni. Consumed by guilt, Donna Anna becomes determined to seek justice and bring Giovanni to account for his crimes.

Throughout the opera, we encounter a colorful cast of characters, including the loyal and conflicted servant Leporello, Donna Anna’s fiancé Don Ottavio, the fiery Donna Elvira, who is Giovanni’s abandoned lover seeking vengeance, and the spirited peasant couple Zerlina and Masetto.

As the story unfolds, the lines between the natural and supernatural blur and the consequences of Giovanni’s actions become increasingly dire. In a climactic scene, a ghostly statue of the Commendatore comes to life and confronts Giovanni, offering him a final chance for redemption. Giovanni refuses, sealing his fate and descending into darkness.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni is a brilliant exploration of the human condition, delving into themes of lust, power, and the consequences of one’s actions. Through Mozart’s evocative and enchanting music, the opera masterfully captures the complexity of its characters, from Giovanni’s unbridled passion to Donna Elvira’s conflicted emotions.

Whether you are an avid opera enthusiast or new to the genre, Don Giovanni promises to be an enthralling experience that will transport you to a world of intrigue, passion, and profound introspection. Tune in to The Classical Station today at 1 p.m. Eastern to witness this timeless masterpiece brought to life through a live broadcast that will captivate and inspire listeners of all backgrounds.

Friday, May 19, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Saturday, May 20, 1 p.m. Eastern

On May 19 we observe the birthdays of Australian coloratura soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), German composer and organist Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667), and American composer and organist Albert Hay Malotte (1895–1964).

Dame Nellie Melba, whose real name was Helen Porter Mitchell, took the stage name Melba after her hometown Melbourne. Admired by none other than Johann Sebastian Bach, Herr Froberger composed music for the keyboard in a variety of forms. Alfred Hay Malotte is remembered for his dramatic setting of The Lord’s Prayer.

Photos: Dame Nellie Melba, Henry Walter Barnett; Johann Jakob Froberger, Unknown Author, Alchetron, Fair Use; Alfred Hay Malotte, Unknown Author,, Fair Use

Thursday, May 18, 2023

For over four decades, WCPE FM, The Classical Station, has been the cherished source of Great Classical Music for discerning listeners like you. Since 1978, we have filled the airwaves with timeless melodies and masterpieces that have captivated your heart and enriched your soul.

We owe our longevity and success to the unwavering support of dedicated individuals such as you. Your loyalty and passion for classical music have fueled our mission to bring the finest compositions to the airwaves.

As you consider the impact you wish to leave on future generations, we invite you to explore the opportunity of a planned gift in your will or estate. By including WCPE FM in your legacy, you can ensure that the music you love will continue to inspire and delight audiences for years to come.

The Educational Information Corporation is our legal name, and we are proud to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, listener-supported radio station. To learn more about planned giving and how you can contribute to our enduring musical legacy, please contact Dan McHugh at 919-556-5178.

Thank you for your unwavering dedication to The Classical Station. Together, we can preserve the magic of classical music for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

This evening, the Thursday Evening Opera House presents Antonín Dvořák’s opera Rusalka. Rusalka is a captivating masterpiece that tells a hauntingly beautiful tale of love, longing, and the supernatural. Inspired by Slavic folklore, it introduces us to Rusalka, a water nymph who yearns to become human and experience earthly love. The story unfolds with poignant melodies and lush orchestration, transporting listeners into a world of enchantment.

Through Dvořák’s mesmerizing music, we are introduced to a cast of characters, including the Water Gnome, the witch Ježibaba, and the Prince, who becomes the object of Rusalka’s desire. As the plot evolves, we witness Rusalka’s challenges and sacrifices in her pursuit of love, ultimately leading to heart-wrenching consequences.

The opera’s score is rich with emotion, evoking a range of feelings from ethereal beauty to deep sorrow. Dvořák skillfully combines folk melodies with lush Romantic harmonies, creating an immersive experience that resonates with audiences.

Rusalka is a timeless opera that transcends language barriers and speaks directly to the soul. It is an enchanting introduction to the world of opera, showcasing the power of music to convey profound human emotions and transport us to a realm where dreams and reality intertwine.

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

On May 18, we observe the birthdays of Hungarian-born Viennese composer Karl Goldmark (1930-1915) and English pianist Sir Clifford Curzon (1907-1982).

Károly Goldmark was largely a self-taught composer who at one point made his living as a music critic. English pianist Sir Clifford Curzon studied with Artur Schnabel, Nadia Boulanger, and Wanda Landowska.

Photos: Karl Goldmark, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia; Sir Clifford Curzon, Bascon, CC ASA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Kidznotes is a nonprofit organization that provides classical music education to children in underserved areas. Children receive instruction in instruments such as violin, cello, and percussion through after-school programs and summer camps. The program also includes group lessons and performances, which help build community and teamwork among the students. Kidznotes has been successful in improving academic performance, social skills, and self-esteem among its students. If you’re interested in learning more about Kidznotes, you can visit their website or search for videos about their programs on YouTube.

Kidznotes is a 2023 recipient of a grant from The Classical Station’s Education Fund. Find out about the Education Fund and this year’s grant recipients here.

On May 17, we observe the birthdays of French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925),  Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson (!918-2005), English horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957) and English pianist Paul Crossley (1944-).

Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was unusual both as a person and as a composer. Ms. Nilsson was highly acclaimed for her roles in Richard Wagner’s operas. Dennis Brain died tragically in a car crash at the age of 36. Paul Crossley studied with Olivier Messiaen.

Photos: Erik Satie, Henri Manuel, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Birgit Nilsson, Gunnar Harnesk, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Dennis Brain, Unknown Author, Discogs, Fair Use; Paul Crossley, Unknown Author,, Fair Use.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Community Music School

In the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, an organization has been profoundly impacting the lives of thousands of Wake County students since its establishment in 1994. The Community Music School (CMS) has been a beacon of hope, providing professional music education to over 2,000 students with limited financial resources. Through a comprehensive curriculum of private lessons, ensemble instruction, and summer camps, CMS nurtures talent, fosters creativity, and instills valuable life skills, ultimately preparing students to thrive as productive and fulfilled citizens.

At Community Music School, music education goes far beyond the notes on a page. It is a transformative experience that builds confidence, cultivates ambition, enhances problem-solving and planning skills, and sharpens the ability to focus. Through the universal language of music, students unlock a world of possibilities, equipping themselves with tools that transcend the boundaries of the classroom and empower them to succeed in all aspects of their lives.

CMS is dedicated to nurturing a lifelong love of music in its students. With an average annual enrollment of 100 students, each participant receives 34 weeks of rigorous private instruction and ensemble training. This comprehensive approach allows students to develop technical proficiency, explore various genres, and discover their unique artistic voice. Whether a student dreams of becoming a virtuoso or wishes to savor the joy of making music, CMS provides a nurturing environment where passion can flourish.

The impact of music education extends far beyond the realm of melodies and harmonies. Engaging in musical pursuits has been shown to foster critical life skills and personal growth. By participating in CMS programs, students gain confidence in their abilities, develop resilience in the face of challenges, and cultivate an appreciation for the value of dedication and discipline. These invaluable skills transcend music, influencing academic achievement, social interactions, and overall well-being.

Music holds a unique place in each person’s life, resonating with them on different levels. For some, it is a creative outlet, allowing self-expression and emotional release. It is a coping mechanism for others, providing solace and healing during challenging times. Some discover their innate talent and find purpose in preserving their native culture through music. Moreover, music acts as a catalyst for building friendships and forming connections that transcend barriers. It opens doors to opportunities for those who aspire to pursue music professionally, including college scholarships and future careers.

Community Music School is a testament to music education’s transformative power. CMS empowers young minds by providing students with a strong foundation in music and essential life skills, cultivates artistic passion, and paves the way for lifelong learning and fulfillment. As the organization continues to nurture and shape the next generation of musicians and citizens, the ripple effects of their work will be felt far beyond the walls of their classrooms.

The Community Music School is a 2023 recipient of a grant from The Classical Station’s Education Fund.

Join us in celebrating the musical legacy of the esteemed American conductor, Andrew Litton (1959-), as we commemorate his birthday on May 16. Hailing from the bustling city of New York, Maestro Litton has left an indelible mark on the world of classical music, captivating audiences with his masterful interpretations and charismatic presence on the podium.

Throughout his illustrious career, Litton has forged deep connections with some of the most distinguished orchestras across the globe. Notably, he has graced the podium of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, guiding the ensemble through captivating performances that have enchanted both critics and concertgoers alike. His passion and commitment to the art form have also led him to collaborate with the esteemed Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, where he has seamlessly melded his artistic vision with the orchestra’s rich musical heritage.

For those who crave a deeper insight into this exceptional conductor’s life and musical journey, we were fortunate to have Maestro Litton as a guest on our acclaimed program, My Life In Music, in July 2019. During this captivating interview, he shared his personal anecdotes, artistic influences, and profound experiences that have shaped his extraordinary career. You can now immerse yourself in this enlightening conversation by visiting our Conversations page, where the interview is available for your listening pleasure.

As we celebrate the birthday of Andrew Litton, let us acknowledge his invaluable contributions to the realm of classical music. Through his unwavering dedication, exquisite artistry, and ability to transcend boundaries, Maestro Litton has touched the hearts of countless music enthusiasts around the world. Join us in raising a metaphorical baton to this remarkable conductor, and may his musical journey continue to inspire and resonate for years to come.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)Join us this evening for an extraordinary musical journey as Monday Night at the Symphony proudly presents the world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, steeped in a rich legacy since its founding in 1919. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience that will captivate your senses and transport you to a realm of sublime melodies.

Prepare to be swept away by a carefully curated program that showcases the genius of celebrated composers. With the maestros André Previn, Zubin Mehta, Essa Pekka Salonen, and the extraordinary Gustavo Dudamel, our evening promises a delightful blend of masterpieces by Antonín Dvořák, Karl Goldmark, John Williams, and Jean Sibelius.

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

On May 15 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), Irish composer Michael William Balfe (1808-1870), Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986) and Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945)

With one foot in the Renaissance and the other in the Baroque era, Padre Monteverdi is a fascinating composer who wrote operas and a remarkable piece of sacred music entitled Vespro della Beata Vergine. While his output included 29 operas and myriad other works, Michael William Balfe is known to modern audiences for his opera The Bohemian Girl. Lars-Erik Larsson studied composition with Alban Berg and used serial composition techniques in many of his works. Nikolai Tcherepnin studied composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. His output includes operas and music for several ballets.

Photos: Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi by Bernardo Strozzi, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Michael William Balfe, Atelier Nadar, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Lars Erik Larsson, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Musicalics; Nikolai Tcherepnin, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons