This Week at The Classical Station

Photo by Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne under the direction of Nathalie Stutzmann opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Rheinhold Gliere’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in E flat, Op. 74. Emily Moss speaks with dancers Jan, Yvgeny, and Marcello of the Carolina Ballet.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Morgan State University Choir; Steven Hendrickson; and the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. You’ll hear works by Adolphus Hailstork, Johann Sebastian Bach, Dame Ethyl Smith, and many more.

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

On October 15 we observe the birthdays of Swedish-Finnish composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775-1838) and Swedish composer Dag Wirén (1905-1986).

Crusell flourished in the classical era and was Finland’s most well-known composer before Jean Sibelius. Dag Ivar Wirén wrote in a variety of forms and styles. His best-known work is Serenade for Strings.

Photo: Dag Wirén, Anonymous author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;

Saturday, October 14, 2023

On October 14 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942) and American pianist Gary Graffman (1928-).

Herr Zemlinsky taught Erich Korngold, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern. He was friends with Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg. Gary Graffman studied with Vladimir Horowitz and Rudolf Serkin. Still active as a teacher, he has served as director and president of The Curtis Institute.

Photo: Alexander von Zemlinsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, October 13, 2023

When you give $200 or more to The Classical Station, you can request a Day Dedication as your Thank You Gift.  We will run a short announcement you have written four times on the day you choose. Many listeners have chosen to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and memorials of those special to them. The example on the left gives you an idea of one listener’s Day Dedication message.

Contact our Membership Department for more information about setting up a Day Dedication. Thank you for supporting The Classical Station.

On October 13 we observe the birthday of Dutch composer Peter Gijsbert van Anrooij, or, as he is better known, Peter van Anrooy (1879-1954). van Anrooy studied in Dresden and Moscow. His best-known composition is “Piet Hein Rhapsodie voor symfonieorkest.”

Photo: Cornelis Johan Hofker, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffmann” is a fantastical and dramatic work that tells the story of E.T.A. Hoffmann, a 19th-century German poet and writer. The opera is divided into three acts, each depicting Hoffmann’s ill-fated love affairs.

In the first act, Hoffmann is enamored with a mechanical doll, Olympia, who is created by the sinister inventor Spalanzani. This infatuation ends tragically when Hoffmann discovers Olympia’s true nature.

The second act unfolds as Hoffmann falls in love with the enchanting courtesan Giulietta. However, she betrays him, leading to further heartbreak.

In the final act, Hoffmann’s love for the fragile singer Antonia is marred by her tragic illness and eventual death.

Throughout the opera, a mysterious figure, the malevolent Councillor Lindorf, tries to thwart Hoffmann’s romances. The tales are framed by Hoffmann recounting them to his friend, Nicklausse.

“The Tales of Hoffmann” explores themes of love, art, and the destructive power of desire, set to Offenbach’s lush and melodic music, making it a captivating and emotionally charged operatic masterpiece.

You can hear this opera on the Thursday Night Opera House. The curtain goes up at 6 p.m. Eastern.

On October 12 we observe the birthdays of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), English-Canadian composer and organist Healey Willan (1880-1968), Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), and Dutch early music specialist Ton Koopman (1944-).

Some critics consider Ralph Vaughan Williams as one of the greatest composers England has ever produced. Dr. Willan was organist and choirmaster of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto from 1921-1968. He wrote over 800 compositions in a variety of forms. Luciano Pavarotti had two divas whose recommendations and help gave the young tenor’s career its start. Joan Sutherland and Mirella Freni were both powerful influences. And who can forget how easily the great tenor entertained audiences worldwide with classical crossover performances and those amazing Three Tenors concerts with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. Ton Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992. Happy 78th birthday, Maestro!

Photo: Drawing of Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Rothenstein, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

What can we play for you on All Request Friday? If you have never asked us to play something for you, give us a call at 919-556-0123 anytime or, if you prefer, fill out the short form here on this website. Listeners are the Music Director here at The Classical Station from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern every Friday.

Would you rather hear your request on Saturday evening? Then submit your request for the Saturday Evening Request Program. We’d love to hear from you.

On October 11 we observe the birthdays of Canadian-American composer Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) and American violinist Rachel Barton Pine (1974-). While Dett was born in Drummondville, Ontario, and, indeed, was buried there, he spent most of his professional life in the United States. He studied with Arthur Foote at Harvard and with Nadia Boulanger at Fountainbleau. Robert Nathaniel Dett was active as a composer, choral conductor, professor, and organist. Having made her debut with the Chicago Symphony at the age of 10, Rachel Barton Pine has played with most of the world’s major orchestras and made over 30 recordings.

Photo: R. Nathaniel Dett, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Rachel Barton Pine by Lisa Marie Mazzucco


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

On October 10 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), German composer Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1786), American composer Paul Creston (1906-1985), American conductor Chris Walden (1966-), and Israeli-Russian-British pianist Evgeny Kissin (1971-).

One of the greatest composers of operas, Signor Verdi wrote 28 of them. Apparently, he was intimately involved with every detail of these productions as well. His compositions, including masterpieces like “La Traviata,” “Rigoletto,” and “Aida,” resonate with timeless emotional intensity. Verdi’s music is known for its powerful arias and poignant melodies, which transcend language barriers and continue to move audiences globally. His works, often exploring themes of love, power, and social injustice, reflect his profound artistic vision. Verdi’s enduring legacy cements him as a cornerstone of opera history, his operas gracing stages worldwide and ensuring his status as one of the great composers of all time.

Herr Krebs studied with Johann Sebastian Bach. Paul Creston was a largely self-taught composer whose music was popular in the 40s and 50s. He taught several notable musicians including John Corigliano. German-born Chris Walden is a classically trained musician who has over forty film and TV show scores to his credit. Evgeny Kissin is widely considered to be one of the great pianists of his generation. He has appeared as a soloist with most of the world’s major orchestras.

Photo: Giuseppe Verdi, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Public Domain, CC PDM 1.0

Monday, October 9, 2023

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields which was founded in 1959. The program includes music by Max Bruch, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Georg Philip Telemann, and more conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, Iona Brown, and the current Music Director Joshua Bell.

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

On October 9 we observe the birthday of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921).

If a musical form existed, chances are that Saint-Saëns wrote in it. He even wrote a film score in 1908. Camille Saint-Saëns, a renowned French composer born in 1835, was a musical prodigy. His prolific career spanned the Romantic era, composing symphonies, operas, and the iconic “Carnival of the Animals.” His contributions to classical music endure, captivating audiences worldwide.

Photo: Camille Saint-Saëns, Public Domain, Fair Use