This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, September 13, 2020

This evening on Preview! pianist Stephen Hough performs from his recent release of the Beethoven concertos. Rob Kennedy speaks with conductor JoAnn Falletta about her new recording of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua. Violinist Igor Ruhadze plays music of Jean-Marie Leclair.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. David Jeffrey Smith hosts.

Photo: JoAnn Falletta/Cheryl Gorski

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose 85th birthday was Friday. We’ll also hear from American composer and educator David Dzubay and, from the twentieth century, Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, on the anniversary of his birth in 1874.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. Ed Amend is your host.

Photo: Arvo Pärt/Priit Grepp and the Arvo Pärt Centre

American operatic soprano Aprile Millo is our guest on the September edition of My Life In Music. Ms. Millo has enjoyed an enviable career as one of the world’s most celebrated Verdi sopranos. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

Join Bob Chapman for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Aprile

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Huelgas Ensemble, Hungarian Radio-TV Chorus, and the Mexico City Chorus. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ignacio de Jerusalem, and Robert Fayrfax.

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

Photo: Nave organ console of Mander organ in St. Paul’s Cathedral/

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. 


Saturday, September 12, 2020

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.

Photos: Jeffrey Kahane/E.F. Marton Productions

Friday, September 11, 2020

Today we observe Patriot Day, the 19th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. It’s also All-Request Friday. Take this opportunity to request your favorite selections of American-themed music. We will feature some thoughtful, reflective, and patriotic works throughout the day. We will never forget.

Photo: Derek Jensen/

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.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Gaetano Donizetti’s fifty-seventh stage work, La Favorite.

The opera takes place in the Kingdom of Castile in 1340. Léonor de Guzman (mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova) returns the love of the religious novice Fernand (tenor Ramon Vargas), but conceals her identity because she is the mistress of King Alphonse XI (baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore). Balthazar (bass Carlo Colombara), the monastery’s superior, is disappointed that Fernand wants to leave. Léonor uses her influence to secure a military commission for Fernand, and he saves the King’s life in battle. As his reward, Fernand asks the King for Léonor’s hand in marriage. Under threat of excommunication because of his adulterous relationship with her, Alphonse agrees. Skeptical of her good fortune, Léonor sends a note to Fernand, warning him of her past, but Don Gasparo (tenor Francesco Piccoli) arrests Inez (soprano Abbie Furmansky) before she can deliver the message. The lovers are married and Fernand is ennobled. Realizing that the wedding is really a ploy to fend off the church, the courtiers spurn Fernand. When Balthazar tells the young man the truth about Léonor, Fernand renounces his titles and returns to the monastery. Before taking his final vows, Léonor begs Fernand’s forgiveness. His passion for her is reawakened but she collapses and dies in his arms.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Bob Chapman hosts.

On September 10 we observe the birthdays of English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Swedish composer Tor Aulin (1866-1914), and English early music specialist and conductor Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014).

Purcell wrote mainly theater music and operas until 1679 when he was appointed Organist of Westminster Abbey. In that role, he composed over 200 anthems, service settings, hymns, and sacred songs. Aulin conducted Sweden’s Stockholm and Gothenburg symphony orchestras in his lifetime. Maestro Hogwood’s obituary in The Guardian refers to him as “the Karajan of early music.” Hogwood paved the way for musicians such as Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner, and Trevor Pinnock.

Photo: Scene from Maggio Musicale Fiorentino production of La Favorita on WikiMedia Commons (Public Domain)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Have you submitted your entry for our Virtual Art Exhibit? You may be familiar with Pictures at an Exhibition, the orchestral suite by Modest Mussorgsky composed with inspiration by paintings of Viktor Hartmann. We are doing the reverse! Submissions might include a drawing of oranges inspired by Frederick Delius’s Florida Suite or a swan painted while listening to The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. These are just a few examples.  Choose whatever works inspire you.

On September 9 we observe the birthday of Hungarian conductor Ádám Fischer (1949-). Maestro Fischer is the general music director of the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, music director of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra.

Photo: Andreas Praefcke/

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Have you seen our app recently? We’ve been tweaking it so that the latest release (4.4.50) does much more for you than previous releases. Now you can

  • Submit a request for All-Request Friday and the Saturday Evening Request Program
  • Make a donation
  • See what’s playing
  • Read our blog
  • Listen to recent Preview! interviews
  • Listen to our Conversations with musicians
  • Leave a listener comment
  • Listen to our great classical music

Check it out. As always, we’ve made these improvements based on your comments and suggestions. Thank you so much for your help!

On September 8 we observe the birthdays of French composer Nicolas de Grigny (1672-1703), Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841-1904), English composer Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016), and German conductor Christoph von Dohnányi (1929-).

Monsieur de Grigny died at the age of 31 and left but a single manuscript of music which represents some of the best French baroque music for the organ. Dvořák moved to America in 1892 to become the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. It is here that he composed his famous New World Symphony and the American String Quartet. Peter Maxwell Davies studied under Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt at Princeton University in 1962. Maestro von Dohnányi conducted the Cleveland Orchestra from 1982-2002. Following his retirement from Cleveland, von Dohnányi has worked with several major American orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra.  Happy 91st birthday, Maestro!


Monday, September 7, 2020

American operatic soprano Aprile Millo is our guest on the September edition of My Life In Music. Ms. Millo has enjoyed an enviable career as one of the world’s most celebrated Verdi sopranos. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

Join Bob Chapman for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Aprile

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. On the program is music by Antonín Dvořák, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Carl Nielsen in performances led by Ludovic Morlot, Gerard Schwarz, and current music director Thomas Dausgaard.  The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Brandon Patoc

On September 7 we observe the birthday of French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (1961-). Monsieur Thibaudet has over fifty recordings to his credit. His playing can also be heard in several film scores.

Photo: Priska Ketterer