This Week at The Classical Station



Painting: “Clouds” by Sherry Conrad Frye from our Virtual Art Exhibit

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Pianist Roberte Mamou opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Nocturne Sentimental et Brillant, Op. 537, by Carl Czerny. Cellist Raphaela Gromes talks about her recording, Femmes, featuring the music of twenty-three women composers.

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

This morning, Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Morgan State University Choir, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and Dr. Robert Parkins. On the playlist are works by Hall Johnson, Bruno Coulais, Giovanni Pergolesi, and many more.

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

On February 25 we observe the birthdays of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) and Spanish conductor Jesús López-Cobos (1940-2018).

Signor Caruso was one of the greatest tenors of the 20th century. He made over 260 recordings and sang in many of the world’s great opera houses. Maestro López-Cobos was the director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Photos: Photo of Enrico Caruso in the Engravings and Photographs Division of the U.S. Library of Congress, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Jesús López Cobos, Unknown Author  in obituary in TeleMadrid


Saturday, February 24, 2024

What are those moments of beauty and inspiration worth? Those pieces of music bring awe and joy, in the way that classical music connects with you like nothing else can. We must keep this music and its traditions alive. You can make it possible by donating so that classical music continues to be freely available to everyone anywhere on our radios, on our computers, and our phones. Do your part to make sure your next moment of inspiration happens right here at The Classical Station.

Click a gift to us or call 800-556-5178 anytime to give a member of staff the details.

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023-24 season of Saturday matinée broadcasts continues with a program of immortal music for the concert stage – Mozart’s Requiem and the exhilarating finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – in recent performances recorded live at the Met. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the renowned Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus and soloists Golda Schultz, Emily D’Angelo, Dmytro Popov, and Vladyslav Buialskyi in Mozart’s Requiem in a performance from February 2024. For the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth, Nézet-Séguin is joined by Elza van den Heever, Jamie Barton, Piotr Beczala, and Ryan Speedo Green in a performance from March 2022.

The performance begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.

On February 24 we observe the birthdays of English composer Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), Italian soprano and opera director Renata Scotto (1934-2023), and Czech conductor Jiri Belohlávek (1946-2017). Son of Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley, Samuel Wesley was both a composer and performer. After her retirement from singing in 2002, Ms. Scotto turned her attention to directing operas. Founder of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Belohlávek was the director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Photo of Jiri Belohlávek by Petra Hajska


Friday, February 23, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Mozart and Beethoven in Concert at the Met
Saturday, February 24, 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 23 we observe the birthdays of English composer John Blow (1649-1708), German-born English composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and American composer Elinor Remick Warren (1900-1991).

John Blow was a distinguished Baroque-era composer who held the post of organist at Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and the Chapel Royal during his lifetime. A native of Germany who was educated in Italy, George F. Handel spent most of his life in his adopted country, England. He wrote over forty operas, over twenty oratorios, and vast amounts of chamber music. Handel is considered the epitome of a Baroque composer. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Elinor Remick Warren composed prolifically with over 200 compositions to her credit.

Photos: Engraving of John Blow by Charles Grignion the Elder, Gallica Digital Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of G.F. Handel by Balthasar Denner in National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; The Chandos Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel, Unknown Author, Fitzwilliam Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Handel commemorative stamp issued by Guinea-Bissau in 2009; Photo of Elinor Remick Warren in 1961, Unknown Author, Hampsong Foundation


Thursday, February 22, 2024

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents Gioachino Rossini’s opera L’italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers). Isabella (Horne) and her relatives are shipwrecked in Algeria. Isabella’s tenacity and wit allow her to wend her way through the mysterious Algiers in search of her lover.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern.  This is an archival broadcast by the late Al Ruocchio, host of Opera House from 1980 to 2007.

Our Spring 2024 Membership Drive 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 Virginia 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.

For many years, our angels appear in the spring and fall to encourage you to support the great classical music you love here on The Classical Station. Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2024 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Tanja Greaves here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Tanja at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure to mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Or pop a check in the mail to WCPE The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.

Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Photo: Unknown Author, Angels Angelology

On February 22 we observe the birthdays of German musicologist Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818), Danish composer Niels Gade (1817-1890), and French conductor Louis Auriacombe (1917-1982).

Herr Forkel wrote a biography of J.S. Bach and was one of the first musicologists. A composer of eight symphonies, Niels Gade studied in Leipzig, where he was friends with Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Monsieur Auriacombe was one of the great French conductors of the 20th century.

Photos: Johann Niklaus Forkel by Carl Traugott Riedel, Gallica Digital Library,Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of Niels Gade, Danish composer. Original in Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons 


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We depend on your generous financial support just as much you depend on the Great Classical Music we broadcast for you 24/7. Most radio stations run prerecorded and prevoiced programs. Not us! We’re literally live all day, every day, all year long. There’s always a live announcer on hand who will be happy to answer your questions about the music or take your donation. Yes, you can speak with Dane Bryant Frazier on Sleepers Awake if you’d like. He’d be delighted to hear from you.

If you haven’t yet become a supporter, please click a gift to us here on our website or on our app. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift.

On February 21 we observe the birthdays of French composers Léo Delibes (1836-1891) and Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), and Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia (1893-1987).

A student of Adolph Adam at the Paris Conservatoire, Monsieur Delibes went on to compose ballets and opera. While he was a ‘provisional’ organist at Eglise Saint Sulpice from 1870-1933, Monsieur Widor managed to write ten symphonies for organ, as well as teach at the Paris Conservatoire. Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, is widely considered to have been one of the greatest guitar virtuosi ever. He was a brilliant performer and a proponent of the guitar as a serious classical instrument that deserved a place in the conservatoire. Now, most collegiate music programs include a guitar program, and guitar works are a regular part of classical performances everywhere. In one way or another, anyone who plays or enjoys classical guitar today owes Segovia a debt of gratitude.

Photos: Photo of Léo Delibes by Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, on Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Charles-Marie Widor by Paul Berger (photographer). Breitkopf & Härtel, London in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Andrés Segovia, Unknown Author on Bach Cantatas.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Classical Station is now accepting grant applications for the Education Fund. Nonprofit organizations with a focus on music education are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 31st. We are excited to partner with local non-profits working to provide music lessons, scholarships, and instruments to young people in our area.

Please submit your organization’s completed application to Heather Greene, Director of Member Services at heather@theclassicalstation.org or submit by mail to:

WCPE Radio
Attention: Heather Greene/Education Fund
PO Box 828
Wake Forest, NC 27588

On February 20 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Carl Czerny (1791-1857), Belgian composer Charles de Bériot (1802-1870), Scottish soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967), German-born conductor Christoph Eschenbach (1940-), English conductor Barry Wordsworth (1948-), and Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly (1953-).

Besides being a composer of keyboard and chamber music, Herr Czerny was a very successful teacher. Charles Auguste de Bériot was a violinist who taught at the Brussels Conservatory. Besides being a popular opera singer in the early part of the 20th century, Ms. Garden was in later life a talent scout for MGM. Maestro Eschenbach was chief conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among the many orchestras with which he has been associated. After studying at the Royal College of Music with Vernon Handley, Barry Wordsworth was music director of the Royal Ballet. After making his conducting debut at La Scala, Maestro Chailly went on to earn a reputation as one of the world’s great opera conductors.

Photos: Lithograph of Carl Czerny by Joseph Kriehuber, Public Domain on Commons.wikimedia.org; Photo of Charles de Bériot in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Unknown Author, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Photo of Mary Garden in Library of Congress by Mishkin, Public Domain on commons.wikimedia.org; Photo of Christoph Eschenbach by Vlastní fotka, Public Domain on commons.wikimedia.org; Photo of Barry Wordsworth, Unknown Author on ImgArtists;  Photo of Riccardo Chailly by Gert Mothes on Decca Records.


Monday, February 19, 2024

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features a concert by the Violins of the King founded in 1984. On the program are works by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Marjan Mozetich conducted by Bernard Labadie and Jonathan Cohen.

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

On February 19 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) and American violinist Gil Shaham (1971-).

A prolific composer, Signor Boccherini composed over five hundred pieces in a variety of forms. Gil Shaham is one of the most distinguished violinists performing today.

Photo: Engraving of Luigi Boccherini by Étienne Mazas, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Photo of Gil Shaham by Luke Ratray courtesy of Opus 3 Artists