This Week at The Classical Station

Photo: “Orange Butterfly” by Sherry Conrad Frye. From our Virtual Art Exhibit.

This Week at The Classical Station

by  Rob Kennedy

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Ricardo Muti conducts the Ambrosian Singers in a performance of Luigi Cherubini’s Requiem in D minor on Peaceful Reflections this evening. Also on the playlist is The Music Makers by Sir Edward Elgar.

Bring your weekend to a close with Peaceful Reflections beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Hilary Hahn opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53. Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes talks about his recording of Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Poems.

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

The June edition of Renaissance Fare features madrigals from the sixteenth century. Madrigals originated in Italy in the 1520s and had quickly spread to France, England, and Germany by the end of the century.

Get out your shawms and tabrets and join host George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Chanticleer, the Choir of Wells Cathedral, and the Huelgas Ensemble. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Annibale Padovano, and Giacomo Puccini.

Great Sacred Music begins at 8 a.m. Eastern. Right after Sing for Joy.

Today we observe the birthdays of two English organists, Sir George Thalben-Ball (1896-1987), and John Scott (1956-2015). Dr. Thalben-Ball was a brilliant concert organist and held the post of Organist of London’s Temple Church for over sixty years. John Scott was Organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London for twenty-six years.  In 2004 he became the Organist and Director of Music of St. Thomas Church, New York, which post he held until his untimely death on August 12, 2015.
Photo of John Scott by Joseph A. Vitacco

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Classical music is a tapestry of instruments, experiences, emotions, and stories. Every piece of music you hear on The Classical Station is also part of the larger tapestry of musical history, a history that goes back through centuries of composition and more than a century of recordings. And every day The Classical Station weaves a tapestry for you drawn from the thousands of recordings in our music library. But today, the story is all about you, our listener.

Please seize the day by showing your support today for The Classical Station. Give securely online, on our app, via the mail to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588, or by calling 800-556-5178 anytime.

Photo by The Blue Diamond Gallery, Fair Use

On June 17, we observe the birthdays of French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893) and Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971).

Gounod is best known as a composer of operas of which he wrote twelve and an Ave Maria based on a Bach prelude. What perhaps is not as well known is that later in life, Gounod played the guitar. Stravinsky was supposed to be a lawyer. His studies with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov changed that career path.

Photos: Charles Gounod, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Igor Stravinsky, George Grantham Bain Collection, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, June 16, 2023

Considering the inclusion of The Classical Station in your Will as a legacy gift.? By doing so, you will leave a lasting impact and provide a strong foundation for the station to continue operating for future generations.

The Classical Station, legally known as Educational Information Corporation, is a nonprofit, listener-supported radio station operating under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It relies on the generous support of its listeners, like yourselves, whose contributions are tax-deductible. Your intention to include The Classical Station in your Will would be greatly appreciated, and we kindly ask that you inform us so that we may express our heartfelt gratitude for your generosity. Don’t hesitate to speak with Dan McHugh when you have questions. You can reach him during business hours at 800-556-5178 or via email.

On June 16 we observe the birthdays of Bohemian cellist and composer David Popper (1843-1913), American dramatic soprano Helen Traubel (1899-1972), Austrian conductor and violinist Willi Boskovsky (1909-1991), and Romanian-Israeli-American Sergiu Comissiona (1928-2005).

Popper was one of the last cellists to play the instrument without using an endpin. Ms. Traubel was highly regarded for her interpretation of Wagnerian roles. Boskovsky was famous for his Vienna New Year’s concerts. Among his other accomplishments, Maestro Comissiona established the Baltimore Symphony as a world-class orchestra during his tenure there from 1969.

Photos: David  Popper, E. Bieber, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Helen Traubel, Unknown Author, Missouri History Museum, Fair Use; Wili Boskovsky, Unknown Author, Vienna Philharmonic, Fair Use; Sergiu Comissiona, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, June 15, 2023

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents  Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. The story revolves around the romantic entanglements of the Marschallin, a married noblewoman, and her young lover, Octavian. The Marschallin, torn between her fading beauty and her desire for Octavian’s happiness, decides to end their affair. In an act of bittersweet nobility, she arranges for Octavian to present a silver rose to her cousin, Sophie, as a token of engagement to the wealthy Baron Ochs. However, when Octavian meets Sophie, they instantly fall in love, complicating the plans.

As the tale unfolds, misunderstandings, disguises, and mistaken identities abound. Octavian disguises himself as a chambermaid to gain access to Sophie, leading to humorous and dramatic situations. The bumbling Baron Ochs becomes a target of satire, and the audience is treated to uproarious scenes as his attempts at wooing Sophie go awry.

Amidst the comic interludes, Der Rosenkavalier delves into the complexities of human emotions. The Marschallin, grappling with her own desires and the passage of time, reflects on the ephemeral nature of love. Octavian, torn between his loyalty to the Marschallin and his growing passion for Sophie, navigates the complexities of youthful ardor.

Photo: Scene from a 2017 performance of Der Rosenkavalier. Courtesy Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

The opera reaches its climax during a grand finale, as truths are revealed, hearts are broken, and reconciliations take place. Ultimately, Der Rosenkavalier delivers a poignant message about the cycle of life and the inevitability of change. The characters evolve, grow, and make sacrifices, highlighting the transient nature of love and the need to embrace the passing of time.

Richard Strauss’ sumptuous music brings the Viennese setting to life, infusing the opera with waltzes, lush orchestration, and soaring vocal melodies. The score captures the emotions of the characters, from the Marschallin’s introspective solos to the exuberant duets and ensembles that showcase the intertwining relationships.

Der Rosenkavalier is a timeless masterpiece that combines comedy, romance, and introspection. It invites listeners on a journey through the complexities of love and the human experience, leaving a lasting impression of beauty, longing, and the fragility of the heart.

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

On June 15 we observe the birthdays of German composer Franz Danzi (1763-1826), Irish composer Charles Wood (1866-1926), Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), and American choral conductor Craig Hella Johnson (1962-).

A composer who bridged the Classical and Romantic periods, Danzi wrote music in a variety of genres. He was perhaps best known for his operas. Largely known these days for his choral works, Charles Wood taught Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells. Famous for his Piano Concerto which Franz Liszt helped him orchestrate, Edvard Grieg is considered one of the great Romantic-era composers. Craig Hella Johnson is a graduate of St. Olaf College and founder and artistic director of the choral ensemble Conspirare.

Photos: Franz Danzi, Heinrich Eduard Winter, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Charles Wood, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons; Edvard Grieg, Joseph John Elliott and Clarence Edmund Fry, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Do you have a child or grandchild who’s into classical music? Do you teach music in a school or college? Please let your young people know about our Conversations with conductors, performers, and composers. You can find them here and on our apps. We interview classical musicians to have them share their love of classical music and the influences which made them the fine musicians they are. We sincerely hope that their stories will inspire young people aspiring to become classical musicians.

On June 14, we observe the birthday of Chinese pianist Lang-Lang (1982-). According to the late Earl Wild, Lang Lang is “the J. Lo of the piano.” A child prodigy who studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Lang Lang has appeared on concert stages and other venues worldwide.

Photo: Michael Wuertenberg, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

On June 13 we observe the birthdays of Mexican composer and conductor Carlos Chávez and Austrian composer Anton Eberl. Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez was director of Orquesta Sinfónica de México at one point in his career. Herr Eberl’s music was apparently good enough that Mozart put his name on some of Eberl’s works and claimed them as his own. When Mozart died, Eberl published a notice which essentially said: “That was really my music.”

Photos: Carlos Chávez/SEMO, Mexico City; Anton Eberl, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 12, 2023

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony, features the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in 1974. The program includes music by Franz Schubert, Hector Berlioz, and Antonin Dvorak, conducted by Robin Ticciati, Joseph Swensen, and current Principal Conductor, Maxim Emelyanychev.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The June edition of Renaissance Fare features madrigals from the sixteenth century. Madrigals originated in Italy in the 1520s and had quickly spread to France, England, and Germany by the end of the century.

Get out your shawms and tabrets and join host George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883