This Week at The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 4, 2024

This evening Preview! features records that have been nominated for GRAMMY Awards. You will hear The Clarion Choir sing a track from their recording of the Rachmaninoff Vespers nominated for Best Choral Album and the Pittsburgh Symphony’s recording of the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, nominated for Best Engineered Album.

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

This morning, Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge; and Daniel Chorzempa. You’ll hear works by Georges Bizet, Dietrich Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, and many more. The featured work is Guiseppe Verdi’s Requiem.

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

On February 4 we observe the birthday of Austrian-born American conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993).

Maestro Leinsdorf served several American orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, as music director. He was one of the great conductors of the 20th century.

Photo: Erich Leinsdorf, Author Unknown on New England Historical Society

Saturday, February 3, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023-24 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with the network broadcast premiere of a powerful opera about an icon of Black History – X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X – by Anthony Davis, with a libretto by Thulani Davis. This performance from November stars baritone Will Liverman in the title role of the visionary civil rights leader. The ensemble cast also features Victor Ryan Robertson, Leah Hawkins, Raehann Bryce-Davis, and Michael Sumuel. Maestro Kazem Abdullah conducts the Met Orchestra and Chorus in this riveting drama.

The curtain goes up at 1 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

On February 3 we observe the birthday of German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was born into a wealthy family. He was a versatile musician who played the piano and organ as well as composing in a variety of genres.

Photo: Portrait of Felix Mendelssohn by James Warren Childe, Public Domain on

Friday, February 2, 2024

Metropolitan Opera presents Anthony Davis’ X
Saturday, February 3 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 2 we observe the birthdays of French composer Louis Marchand (1669-1732), Austrian-born violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), Lithuanian-born American violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), and American lutenist Paul O’Dette (1954-).

Apparently a hot-tempered gentleman, Monsieur Marchand was employed by the King of France. J.S. Bach was known to have played Marchand’s music. Herr Kreisler studied with Anton Bruckner, Léo Delibes, and Jules Massenet, among others. He was widely considered one of the great violinists of the 20th century. Jascha Heifetz was another virtuoso violinist of the last century. He recorded extensively. Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Paul O’Dette specializes in early music.

Photo: Engraving of Louis Marchand by Ch. Dupuis, after the original portrait by Robert – Bibliothèque nationale de  France, Public Domain on; Photo of Fritz Kreisler from Library of Congress, Public Domain on; Photo of Jascha Heifitz, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Photo of Paul ODette courtesy BEMF

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Classical Station, has been broadcasting Great Classical Music since 1978, thanks to listener support. One of the many ways that you can help The Classical Station to continue playing classical music for years to come is to leave a planned gift in your will or estate.

Leaving a legacy gift to The Classical Station will help ensure that the station has a solid foundation to continue operating for generations to come. Educational Information Corporation is the legal name of The Classical Station. The station is a nonprofit, listener-supported radio station. We rely on your tax-deductible support for our funding.

Membership Director Heather Greene has answers to your questions about planned giving. Contact her at 919-556-5178.

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents Treemonisha, an opera composed by the legendary African-American composer Scott Joplin. It was completed in 1911 and stands as a significant work in the history of American music. Set in the post-Civil War South, Treemonisha tells the story of a young African-American woman, Treemonisha, who is adopted by a former slave couple, Monisha and Ned, and raised in a community of newly freed slaves.

Scott Joplin
Portrait taken from American Musician (June 17, 1907). Performing Arts Reading Room, Library of Congress.

The opera’s narrative centers around themes of education, empowerment, and the struggle for cultural preservation. Treemonisha becomes a symbol of progress and enlightenment, advocating for education and unity among her community members. She represents the hope for a brighter future and works tirelessly to uplift her people through knowledge and self-improvement.

Conflict arises when a group of superstitious individuals, led by a conjurer named Zodzetrick, opposes Treemonisha’s efforts to educate the community and instead clings to traditional superstitions. This conflict escalates when Treemonisha is abducted by Zodzetrick’s group, intending to sacrifice her in a misguided attempt to ward off evil spirits. However, Treemonisha’s wisdom and courage ultimately prevail as she teaches her captors the value of education and unity.

Treemonisha is celebrated for its unique blend of African-American folk music and European opera styles, showcasing Joplin’s remarkable talent for melding classical and popular music. The score features syncopated rhythms, memorable melodies, and expressive arias, all of which contribute to its timeless charm.

The opera also carries a powerful message of self-determination and the importance of education in the African-American community during a challenging period in American history. It promotes the idea that knowledge and unity are the keys to overcoming adversity and prejudice.

Treemonisha is a testament to Scott Joplin’s enduring legacy as a composer who not only revolutionized the world of ragtime but also made significant contributions to American opera. This opera stands as a cultural and artistic milestone, reflecting the resilience and aspirations of African-Americans in the post-Civil War era.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

On February 1 we observe the birthdays of German/Swedish composer Johan Agrell (1701-1767), Italian composer Francesco Veracini (1690-1768), Italian composer Alessandro Marcello (1673-1747), Swedish composer Adolf Lindblad (1801-1878), Irish-born American composer Victor Herbert (1859-1924), and Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004).

Herr Agrell wrote chamber music including 22 symphonies. Highly skilled as a violinist, Signor Veracini composed chamber music including a set of violin sonatas which are still in the repertoire today. Signor Marcello was born into a noble Venetian family. He is best-known for an oboe concerto which Johann Sebastian Bach adapted in BWV 974. Adolf Lindblad wrote music in a variety of chamber genres such as voice and piano. Victor Herbert was a prolific composer who wrote over 40 operettas of which Babes in Toyland is probably his most familiar to modern ears. Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi is considered to have been one of the 20th-century’s finest opera singers. She made her debut at La Scala in 1946.

Photos: Johann Agrell by Valentin Daniel Preisler, Public Domain on; Franceso Veracini, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Alessandro Marcello, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Adolf Lindblad, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Victor Herbert, Library of Congress, Public Domain in; Renata Tebaldi, Unknown Author on Fondazione Renata Tebaldi

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

On January 31 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), American composer Philip Glass (1937-), and Israeli-born Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy (1965-).

One of the last classical-era composers and one of the first romantic-era composers, Franz Schubert loved melodies. He wrote over 600 songs and nine symphonies in his short life. Phillip Glass has written eleven symphonies and dozens of film scores. Ms. Harnoy enjoys an active performing and recording career with over 25 CDs to her credit. You can enjoy an interview with her on our Conversations With Instrumentalists page.

Photos: Franz Schubert, Unknown Author on; Philip Glass, Author Unknown; Ofra Harnoy by Denise Grant;

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Valentine’s Day Requests
Wednesday, February 14

Make a classical music request in honor of that special person in your life. Because this request day is very popular, we encourage you to ask for shorter works or single movements so that we can fit in all your requests. We’ll play as many requests as we can! Please submit your request by Friday, February 9, via our app or website.

On January 30 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), German Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773), German-born American conductor Walter Damrosch (1862-1950), and American cellist Lynn Harrell (1944-2020).

Thomas Tallis flourished at a difficult time in English history. He is considered to be one of England’s greatest composers. Herr Quantz was a prolific composer who wrote 200 sonatas, 300 concertos, 45 trio sonatas, and many other works, according to Wikipedia. Remembered today as a conductor, Walter Damrosch was NBC’s music director back in the 30s and 40s. After studying at Julliard and the Curtis Institute, Lynn Harrell made his debut in 1961 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Engraving by Niccolò Haym of Thomas Tallis after a portrait by Gerard van der Gucht, Public Domain, on; Portrait of Johann Joachim Quantz by  Johann Friedrich Gerhard, Public Domain, on; Portrait of Walter Damrosch by Napoleon Sarony, Public Domain, on; Photo of Lynn Harrell by Christian Steiner;

Monday, January 29, 2024

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1930. The program includes music by Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, George Gershwin, and more, conducted by Raymond Leppard and current Music Director Jun Märkl.

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

On January 29 we observe the birthdays of English composers Frederick Delius (1862-1934) and Havergal Brian (1876-1972), English pianist Malcolm Binns (1936-), and Taiwan-born American violinist Cho-Liang Lin (1960-).

Young Delius managed his father’s orange groves in Florida before returning to England and ultimately Paris where he spent much of his life. To call Havergal Brian a symphonist is putting it mildly. He wrote thirty-two symphonies. A graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, Malcolm Binns has championed British composers in his recordings and performances. He celebrates his 83rd birthday today. Cho-Liang Lin studied at The Julliard School and made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 19.

Photos: Portrait of Frederick Delius by Jelka Rosen, in City of Westminster collection; Photo of Havergal Brian on Havergal Brian Society; Malcolm Binns by Hanya Chlala;  Photo of Cho-Liang Lin on