This Week at The Classical Station

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Pablo Fernandez, and Lambert Orkis open Preview! with a performance of Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17. Elizabeth Beilman, Executive Director of the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute talks about the work of NCCMI.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes performances by Gloriae Dei Cantores, the Zemel Choir, and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. You’ll hear works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Darius Milhaud, and Ernest Bloch.

Great Sacred Music.  Sundays at 8 a.m. Right after Sing for Joy. With Mick Anderson.

On September 17 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870), American composer Charles Griffes (1884-1920), and Dutch composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981).

Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante was a composer of operas who never enjoyed the fame of his younger colleagues Donizetti and Bellini. He wrote over 50 operas, only a handful of which are performed or recorded these days. Elmira, New York native Charles Griffes studied in Berlin. His music was written in what might best be described as an American impressionistic style. Professor Andriessen composed over 60 works and was instrumental in revitalizing Roman Catholic church music in The Netherlands.

Photo: Charles Griffes, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Can you be an angel? We need angels for our Fall 2023 Membership Drive which will begin in a few weeks. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station that you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Charlotte, North Carolina, commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match contributions up to a total of $600. So, once her Angel Match is met, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from all the listeners who have contributed to keeping our Great Classical Music on the air.

Here’s how to make that happen: call us anytime and tell the member of staff who answers that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. 800-556-5178.

You can also become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Put “This is an Angel  Gift!” in the Comments Box.  Your Angel Gift can be paid as a Sustaining Membership. So, a $300 Angel Match can be spread across 12 months with a monthly payment of $25.

Remember: you can call the station anytime. 24/7. A member of staff will take your call and help you with your pledge and any questions you have. Thank you for being an Angel and encouraging other listeners to support The Classical Station!

On September 16 we observe the birthday of Hildegard von Bingen, OSB. This 12th-century genius was a Benedictine abbess. She was also a prolific writer and composer whose music we play from time to time on Great Sacred Music and Peaceful Reflections. Dr. von Bingen was a polymath or someone who is well-versed in a variety of subjects, a Renaissance woman if you will.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, September 15, 2023

Please join us this evening for a special program to mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year at 6 p.m. Eastern. Western WInd and Leonard Nimoy will present a program of readings and music for the occasion.

The Classical Station wishes all our Jewish listeners a very Happy New Year. Shana tova!

On September 15 we observe the birthdays of American composer Horatio Parker (1863-1919), German conductor Bruno Walter (1876-1962), Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1933-2014), and American soprano Jessye Norman (1945-2019).

Dr. Parker established the music curriculum at Harvard University and was a director of the New England Conservatory of Music. Herr Walter was one of the great conductors of the 20th century. He lived in the United States from 1939 until his death. Señor Frühbeck de Burgos was the music director of several orchestras including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Symphony. GRAMMY-award winning soprano Jessye Norman appeared in most of the world’s great opera houses in the course of her career.

Photo: Ms. Norman by Carole Friedman

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” which premiered in 1875, is a landmark in the operatic repertoire, known for its vivid characters and intoxicating melodies. The opera is based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée and tells the tragic tale of love, jealousy, and freedom set against the backdrop of Seville, Spain.

Act I
The opera opens with a changing of the guard at a cigarette factory in Seville. Corporal Don José is enamored with Micaëla, a girl from his village, but he becomes infatuated with Carmen, a gypsy worker at the factory. Carmen is arrested for fighting with another woman, but she seduces Don José into letting her escape.

Act II
Carmen and her friends Frasquita and Mercédès are at the tavern of Lillas Pastia. Escamillo, a famous toreador, enters and flirts with Carmen, but she is waiting for Don José. When he arrives, Carmen tries to seduce him into joining her gypsy lifestyle. Just as he’s about to give in, he hears a bugle call signaling his return to the barracks and tries to leave, but Carmen mocks him. In a fit of passion, he decides to desert his post and go with her.

The gypsies are in the mountains, engaged in smuggling. Carmen has grown tired of Don José and is increasingly drawn to Escamillo. Micaëla arrives in search of Don José and is led to their hideout. She reveals that José’s mother is dying and persuades him to return home.

Act IV
Back in Seville, the crowd cheers for Escamillo at the bullfighting arena. Carmen is there with him, flaunting their love. Don José, now a fugitive and consumed by jealousy, confronts Carmen. He pleads with her to return to him, but she refuses, choosing her freedom even in the face of death. In a fit of rage, Don José stabs Carmen, killing her just as the crowd inside the arena cheers for Escamillo’s victory.

In Summary:

“Carmen” is a powerful opera that challenges the norms of love and freedom, set to some of the most memorable music ever written for the stage. Its tragic ending and complex characters make it a perennial favorite, a dramatic exploration of the human soul.

You can hear this opera on the Thursday Night Opera House at 7 p.m. this evening.

On September 14 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Michael Haydn (1737-1806), and Italian composer Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842).

As his older brother Josef had done, Michael Haydn got his musical start as a boy chorister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Haydn composed over 360 works in a variety of forms. His sacred choral works were highly regarded. Monsieur Cherubini was born in Italy but spent most of his life in France. With over 35 operas to his credit, he was also an able administrator, having been appointed the director of the Conservatoire in 1822.

Photo: Portrait of Michael Haydn by Franz Xaver Hornöck, c. 1805, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Are you a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station? If you are, thank you! You are enjoying convenient, automatic, ongoing monthly contributions which you can change or stop at any time! Becoming a Sustaining Member is an easy way to increase the power of your support and put more of your dollars into the great classical music you depend on.

As a Sustaining Member, you will:

  • Enjoy uninterrupted membership status at The Classical Station.
  • Save us money spent on postage, paper, and administrative costs.
  • Utilize an eco-friendly payment option which allows us to cut down on renewal mailings.
  • Provide The Classical Station with a steady and reliable stream of income which allows us to plan for a sustainable future.

Here’s how a Sustaining Membership works: Your monthly contribution is deducted automatically from the account of your choice on the same day each month until you tell us to stop. You can make changes or cancel your Sustaining Membership at any time.

To Become a Sustaining Member, visit our Donation Page. Or call 800-556-5178 anytime. A member of staff will be happy to take down your information and instructions, as well as answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift or designate 10% of your Sustaining Membership to the Education Fund if you prefer. Thank you for being a Sustaining Member!

On September 13 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) whose birthday is variously thought to be on September 9 and 15 as well as today, German composer Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896), and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951).

Signor Frescobaldi was a musician at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance. Clara Schumann was the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was a superb pianist who gave several first performances of the works of her friend Johannes Brahms.  Herr Schoenberg developed the 12-tone compositional technique. 

Photo: Clara Schumann, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Our Fall Fund Drive begins next month. We have lots of new ways to say Thank You for your Sustaining Membership here at The Classical Station. Check out this fall’s Thank You Gifts!

You can pledge securely here on this website, on our app, or call us any time at 800-556-5178 to speak with a member of staff. Yes, thanks to your support, we actually have a live announcer on duty 24/7. He or she will be happy to speak with you.

Thank you for supporting The Classical Station. We couldn’t do this without you.

On September 12 we observe the birthdays of English composer Eric Thiman (1900-1975), American mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos (1938-1993), and American conductor Jeffrey Kahane (1956-).

Thiman was a prolific composer of church music with over 1,300 published works. Ms. Troyanos began her singing career in The Sound of Music and went on to star on the stages of most of the world’s great opera houses. Maestro Kahane has enjoyed a distinguished career as both conductor and concert pianist.

Photo: Jeffrey Kahane courtesy E.F. Marton Productions

Monday, September 11, 2023

Today we observe Patriot Day, the 22nd anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. We will feature thoughtful, reflective, and patriotic music throughout the day. We will never forget.

Photo: Derek Jensen, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features The New York Philharmonic which was founded in 1842. The program includes music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jacques Offenbach, Camille Saint-Saens, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann conducted by Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, and Alan Gilbert.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The September edition of Renaissance Fare features music for brass ensembles and recorder groups. We’ll hear performances by the Piffaro Band, the Pro Arte Recorder Ensemble, the Canadian Brass, and much more.

Get out your tabret and join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this evening at 7:00 p.m.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883, Fair Use, Public Domain Vectors

On September 11 we observe the birthdays of English composer William Boyce (1711-1779), German-born Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832), American philanthropist Alice Tully (1902-1993), and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (1935-).

Boyce was a Master of the King’s Music and an organist of the Chapels Royal. Kuhlau straddled the classical and romantic period of music. After Alice Tully inherited vast wealth from her maternal grandfather, Amory Houghton of Corning Glassworks, she proceeded to give it away to many musical organizations and causes. Arvo Pärt is well-known for using a compositional technique called tintinnabuli or “ringing like bells” in many of his works. The music sways or oscillates, giving it an ethereal, some even say, hypnotic effect.

Photo: Arvo Pärt, Woesinger, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons