This Week At The Classical Station

Photo by Ian B. Kennedy

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, September 6, 2020

This evening on Preview! we’ll hear Quatuor Ebene in music from Beethoven Around the World — the complete string quartets which the ensemble recorded in a globe-trotting tour last year. Elizabeth Elliott speaks with pianist Simone Dinnerstein about her new CD, A Character of Quiet. And violinist Nicola Benedetti plays Elgar.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. With Steve Thebes.

Photo: Simone Dinnerstein/Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

This evening on Wavelengths, the Grossman Ensemble of Chicago plays new music of Shulamit Ran. We’ll also hear something new from Sarah Kirkland Snider, along with works by Mark Abel and Stephen Paulus. Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. With Ed Amend.

Photo: Sarah Kirkland Snider/SKS Mass

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Turtle Creek Chorale, Choir of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C., and the Choir of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York. Also on the playlist is Cantata 164 by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Saint Ludmila by Antonín Dvořák.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. eastern. Right after Sing For Joy. With Rob Kennedy.

Photo: Stained glass window in Saint Ludmila Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/

On September 6 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Juan Bautista José Cabanilles (1644-1712), Russian conductor Yevgeny Svetlanov (1928-2002), and American composer Joan Tower (1938-). Senor Cabanilles was an organist and priest at Valencia Cathedral. Maestro Svetlanov had a plane and an asteroid named after him. Grammy Award-winning composer Joan Tower is arguably one of the most important composers of our time.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

On September 5 we observe the birthdays of German composer Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782), German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), American composer Amy Beach (1867-1944), Mexican conductor Eduardo Mata (1942-1995), American composer John Cage (1912-1992), and Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin (1961-).

J.C. Bach was the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was a prolific composer in many musical forms. Herr Meyerbeer was noted for his operas which made him one of the most successful composers of the nineteenth century. New Hampshire native Amy Beach was one of the Second New England school of composers which included John Knowles Paine, Arthur Foote, George Whitefield Chadwick, Edward MacDowell, and Horatio Parker. Señor Mata died at the age of 53 when the small plane which he was piloting crashed outside Mexico City in 1995. He was the conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1977-1993. John Cage was a composer of avant-garde music. Perhaps his best-known work is his 1952 composition 4’33” (q.v.). Besides being a recitalist, Monsieur Hamelin is also a composer.


Friday, September 4, 2020

All through these unusual times, The Classical Station has programed the beautiful music that we all need to keep our spirits high. Join us as we celebrate Labor Day Weekend.  Enjoy the unofficial close of summer with friends and family, no matter how distant, by enjoying a long weekend full of listener favorites. Don’t forget to request your favorites today on All-Request Friday and tomorrow on the Saturday Evening Request Program.

On September 4 we observe the birthdays of German composer Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen (1761-1817), Austrian composer Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), and French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). Herr Kunzen worked as an opera conductor and was a champion of Mozart’s operas. Anton Bruckner composed over 150 works. While his large scale symphonies are perhaps his best-known music, his training as an organist afforded him the opportunity to write dozens of very fine choral works. Monsieur Milhaud was one of Les Six, a group of French composers consisting of Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, and Germaine Tailleferre. He taught at Mills College in California as well as at the Paris Conservatoire.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

A Mississippi Riverboat gambler marries, then deserts an impressionable young actress. Join host Bob Chapman for Jerome Kern’s Show Boat this evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern for the Thursday Night Opera House.


On September 3 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764) Signor Locatelli apparently was quite the renaissance man. He was a virtuoso violinist with a penchant for Liberace-style garb, according to the accounts which I read. Plus ca change! Locatelli was born in Italy, but he lived in Amsterdam from 1729 until his death. Amsterdam was the epicenter of the publishing world at the time, and Locatelli made the most of that opportunity.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

On September 2 we observe the birthdays of German composer Georg Böhm, and Dutch composer Alphons Diepenbrock . Herr Böhm is remembered as a church musician who developed the chorale partita format. Johann Sebastian Bach knew Böhm personally.  Alphons Diepenbrock was a prolific composer in the early 1900s, although nowadays he is probably best known for his work Die Nacht.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

On September 1 we observe the birthdays of German composers Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) and Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa (1935-), and American conductor Leonard Slatkin (1944-). Herr Pachelbel wrote approximately 530 works for organ and choir as well as some chamber works. The much-loved Canon in D is undoubtedly his most popular work. Humperdinck is perhaps best known for his opera Hansel and Gretel. Maestro Ozawa has conducted most of the world’s great orchestras. He got his start under the watchful eyes of Charles Munch, Pierre Monteux, and Herbert von Karajan. Maestro Slatkin is currently the music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He is widely considered one of the finest conductors working today. He has more than 100 recordings and 7 Grammy Awards to his credit.


Monday, August 31, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features an evening with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. On the program are works by Johannes Brahms, Giuseppe Verdi, and Ludwig van Beethoven in performances led by Carlo Maria Giulini, Fritz Reiner, and current music director Riccardo Muti.

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

Photo: Chicago Symphony Orchestra logo/

On August 31 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886), Armenian-American violist Kim Kashkashian (1952-), and Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman (1945-). Signor Ponchielli wrote eleven operas, the best known of which is La Gioconda. Ms. Kashkashian is a Grammy Award-winning performer who is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. Besides being a brilliant solo performer, Itzhak Perlman teaches at the Julliard School (pre-college division) and has held several posts as conductor and music advisor.