This Week at The Classical Station

Photo: Antony Griffiths, Wikimedia Commons, CC by 2.0

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin opens Preview! with their new recording of the Overture to An Occasional Oratorio, HWV62 by George Frederick Handel. Members of the acclaimed English choral ensemble Stile Antico talk about the music of Tudor composer William Byrd.

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 Choir of the King’s Consort; the Slovak Radio-TV Chorus and Orchestra; and Michael Murray. You’ll hear works by Antonio Vivaldi; Johann Sebastian Bach; Samuel Barber and many more.

Great Sacred Music. 8 a.m. right after Sing for Joy.

On November 12 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) and French Canadian composer and teacher Jean Papineau-Couture (1916-2000).

Educated as a chemist and a doctor, Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin studied composition with Mily Balakirev. While music was Borodin’s secondary vocation, he did manage to find time to write several operas and symphonies, as well as dozens of works in various forms. Montreal native Jean Papineau-Couture graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. He also studied with Nadia Boulanger. He was on the faculty of the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal from 1946-1962.

Photo: Alexander Borodin, Unknown Author, Public Domain,

Saturday, November 11, 2023
Veterans Day

Today we honor all who have served our country in the armed forces. We thank them for their sacrifices. Throughout the day, we will be playing familiar American compositions and patriotic music requested by our listeners in honor of their loved ones who have served our country.  As the Veterans Affairs Department of the federal government states, Veterans Day is “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station honor all of our veterans. We salute you. We thank you for your service.


On November 11 we observe the birthdays of English conductor Vernon Handley and Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet.

Vernon Handley was not a flashy, jet-set conductor. His modest gestures on the podium were similar to those of his teacher, Sir Adrian Boult, who once was heard to remark, “Do remember, won’t you, that you are playing to the blind man in the audience.” And that’s how my old conducting teacher at the Royal College of Music was. Vernon Handley was all about the music. Period. Can you imagine being able to collaborate with composers such as Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky? Well, Ernest Ansermet did, and his interpretations of their music showed his deep understanding of what he was performing. He also founded Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1918.

Photo: Vernon Handley, Unknown Author, English Symphony Orchestra, Fair Use

Friday, November 10, 2023

Did you become a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station during our recent Fall Membership Drive? If you did, 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 that 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.

On November 10 we observe the birthdays of French composer François Couperin (1668-1733), Italian composer Ennio Morricone (1928-), and Swiss conductor and composer Michel Tabachnik (1942-).

French baroque composer Couperin left us approximately 100 works for keyboard, organ, choir, and strings. Academy Award-winning composer Ennio Morricone has over 70 film scores to his credit. Tabachnik is music director of Noord Nederlands Orkest and the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photo: Enrico Morricone, George Biard, CC by SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, November 9, 2023

“Die Walküre” is the second opera in Wagner’s “Ring” cycle and is known for its powerful music and dramatic storytelling. The opera is set in a mythological world of gods, heroes, and supernatural beings. Here’s a synopsis:

The story of “Die Walküre” revolves around the tumultuous relationships within the divine family of the Norse gods. The central characters include Siegmund and Sieglinde, twin siblings who are separated at a young age. They meet again as adults and fall deeply in love, unaware of their familial connection.

Meanwhile, Wotan, the chief of the gods, is faced with a dilemma. He has been seeking to regain possession of a powerful ring crafted from the Rhinegold but is bound by a curse that prevents him from directly taking the ring. Wotan’s favorite daughter, Brünnhilde, who is one of the Valkyries, plays a crucial role in his plan.

As the story unfolds, conflicts arise, and the gods’ ambitions clash with the desires and fates of mortals. The opera explores themes of love, destiny, and the consequences of ambition.

“Die Walküre” is known for its iconic music, including the famous “Ride of the Valkyries” and Siegmund and Sieglinde’s love duet. The opera’s rich orchestration and complex characters make it a significant work in the world of opera and classical music.

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

On November 9 we observe the birthdays of Czech pianist Ivan Moravec (1930-2015), German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff (1959-), Welsh bass Bryn Terfel (1965-), and Uruguayan-born American composer Sergio Cervetti (1941-).

Ivan Moravec enjoyed a fifty-year recital career. Grammy award-winning singer Thomas Quasthoff studied law and worked as a radio announcer early in his career. Bryn Terfel Jones has enjoyed a distinguished career performing in opera houses around the world. Señor Cervetti composes in a variety of forms. His music is often influenced by folk music.

Photo: Bryn Terfel, Frankie Fouganthin, CC by SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Do you like challenging yourself on a daily basis? Do you wish that they had a Musical Jeopardy? Well, you are in luck! Katherine Hill, host of As You Like It, has just that for you! She has a weekly Enigma Monday-Thursday where she poses a question based on the background of a musician, composer, or style of music. She then plays a selection related to that question in her program and even announces your name in the program!

Come and be one of her Enigmites! Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On November 8 we observe the birthdays of English composer Sir Arnold Bax (1883-1953), English violinist Simon Standage (1941-), and Croatian classical guitarist Ana Vidovic (1980-).

Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax was appointed Master of the King’s Musick in 1942. He wrote three ballets and eight symphonies amongst dozens of compositions in a variety of forms. Simon Standage is best known for his performances on baroque instruments. He has been the Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal Academy of Music since 1983. Ms. Vidovic is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Photo: Ms. Vidovic by David Roy Duenias

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

As you know, we are very proud of being listener-supported. During the recent Fall Fund Drive, you showed us a tremendous outpouring of support. Thank you for that!

We have also been volunteer-powered since 1978. Our volunteers do everything from answering phones to announcing. Yes, we are extremely fortunate to have over 30 amazing people who host Concert Hall and Music In The Night on weekdays and Weekend Classics on the weekends. If you think you have “The Voice” and know classical music, why don’t you record this paragraph on your smartphone and email it to Katherine Hill? Katherine trains our announcers, and she’s always on the lookout for people to fill a shift, especially when somebody calls in sick at the last minute!

Besides sharing your love of classical music with listeners worldwide, you will learn how to write your own scripts and produce the shift you are covering. It’s great fun and fascinating! When I began announcing on Music In The Night in July 1999, I knew nothing about announcing. Nada! But our wonderful professional staff trained and mentored me. We’ll happily do the same for you!

On November 7 we observe the birthdays of English composers Henry Balfour Gardiner (1870-1950) and William Alwyn (1905-1985), Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland (1926-2010), and French pianist Hélène Grimaud (1969-).

Gardiner is remembered for his Evening Hymn, a work still performed by choirs. He was the great uncle of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Alwyn was known for his film scores of which he wrote over 70. Dame Joan, or La Stupenda as an Italian opera audience once dubbed her, was one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of the late 20th century. Ms. Grimaud has over 20 recordings to her credit. She also studies and raises wolves.

Photo: Dame Joan Sutherland, Alan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons


Monday, November 6, 2023

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Philadelphia Orchestra which was founded in 1900. The program includes music by Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ottorino Respighi, and more, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, and current Music Director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

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

The November edition of My Life in Music will feature Dr. Jean-Willy Kunz, the Organist-in-Residence of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. My Life in Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Get ticket information for The Italian Baroque on November 11 and 12 at their website.

Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music on Monday, November 6th at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On November 6 we observe the birthdays of Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), Polish composer Ignaz Paderewski (1860-1941), and American composer John Philip Sousa (1854-1932). Antoine-Joseph Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1846. Besides being a pianist and composer, Paderewski was once Prime Minister of Poland for a short time in 1919. Sousa was a Sergeant Major in the United States Marine Corps and a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy.

Photo: John Philip Sousa, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons