This Week at The Classical Station

Photo by Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 10, 2024

You can hear the Havanaise, Op. 83 by Camille Saint-Saëns on Preview! this evening. Conductor Mathieu Lussier talks about the Arion Baroque Orchestra’s recording “The King’s Supper.”

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes performances by Ex Cathedra, the Tallis Scholars, and Carole Terry. On the program are works by Michael Haydn, Palestrina, Felix Mendelssohn, and many more.

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

On March 10 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908), American composer Dudley Buck (1839-1909), Swiss composer Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), and English conductor Sir Charles Groves (1915-1992).

A virtuoso violinist whose musical prowess astounded audiences of the time, Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués composed music mainly to show off his prodigious technique. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Dudley Buck composed music, wrote several books about music, and was an organist. Although born in Switzerland, Monsieur Honegger spent most of his life in Paris, France. Sir Charles Groves spent fifteen years as director of the Royal Liverpool Orchestra.

Photos: Photo of Pablo de Sarasate, 1906, Unknown Author, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; Photo of Dudley Buck, Unknown Author, Library of Congress, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; German stamp showing Arthur Honegger, Fair Use, WikiMedia Commons; Photo of Sir Charles Groves, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Divine Art, WikiMedia Commons


Saturday, March 9, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023-24 season of Saturday matinée broadcasts continues with Verdi’s dramatic epic La Forza del Destino, broadcast live from the Met stage. Soprano sensation Lise Davidsen takes on the role of the embattled heroine Leonora, whose forbidden love is thwarted by the force of destiny. Tenor Brian Jagde is her beloved, the outcast Alvaro, and baritone Igor Golovatenko is Leonora’s vengeful brother, Carlo. The cast also features Soloman Howard, Patrick Carfizzi, and Judit Kutasi. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin presides over the Met Orchestra and Chorus in Verdi’s sweeping score.

The curtain goes up one hour earlier than usual. 12 noon Eastern.

On March 9 we observe the birthdays of two American musicians: composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) and conductor Thomas Schippers.

A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber attended the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Maestro Schippers attended the Curtis Institute and the Julliard School. He made his debut as a conductor with the New York City Opera at the age of 21. He was only 47 years old when he died.

Photos: 32¢ United States Stamp of Samuel Barber issued September 12, 1997; Photo of Thomas Schippers, Unknown Author, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, on Alchetron

Friday, March 8, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Saturday, March 9, 12 p.m. Eastern

On March 8 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), and Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero (1944-).

The second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach, Herr Bach wrote music that bridged the baroque style in which his father wrote and the classical style which followed. As a sidebar, this radio station has the call letters WCPE. That was not by design, but sheer luck, as the FCC assigns call letters arbitrarily. Naturally, we couldn’t have been happier with the assigned call letters and their association with Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach. A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, Alan Vaness Chakmakjian was one of the 20th-century’s most prolific composers with over 500 works to his credit. Señor Romero has appeared with most of the world’s great orchestras as a soloist. This legendary musician comes from a family of brilliant guitarists which we collectively refer to as The Romeros.

Photos: Portrait of C.P.E. Bach by Franz Conrad Löhr, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Alan Hovhaness by George Ruhe; Photo of Pepe Romero by Antón Goiri

Thursday, March 7, 2024

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacomo Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West. Set in California during the Gold Rush, La Fanciulla del West was composed just after Madama Butterfly. Immensely popular, its American premiere at the Met was in 1910. Enrico Caruso sang the role of Dick Johnson.

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

On March 7 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Tomaso Vitali (1663-1745), French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), and American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves (1964-).

Signor Vitali was a violinist and composer who is perhaps best-known for his Chaconne in G minor for Violin. Monsieur Ravel is widely considered France’s greatest 20th-century composer. Ms. Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. She has sung in most of the world’s great opera houses.

Photos: Tomaso Vitali, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Maurice Ravel, Unknown Author, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Ms. Graves, Devon Cass

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

When your destination is The Classical Station, you’re on a journey whose goal is to enrich, to excite, to inspire, to relax. The strings, the keyboards, the brass, the percussion, the voices – classical is music for thinkers, for explorers, for people who seek a deeper and richer experience in life. But the music doesn’t play for free. It’s funded by the people who listen – by people who want the door to inspiration to always be open. It’s funded by YOU.

Put a down payment on your next journey now with your donation to The Classical Station. Give securely online, via our app, via the mail to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588, or call us anytime. 800-556-5178.

On March 6 we observe the birthdays of three conductors and an opera star: American conductors Lorin Maazel (1930-2014), Julius Rudel (1921-2014) Sara Caldwell (1924-2006)New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (1944-), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin (1975-)

Maestra Caldwell founded the Opera Company of Boston in 1957. She staged over 75 operas between 1957 and 1991. Maestro Rudel was notably affiliated with the New York City Opera from 1944-1979. Maestro Maazel was music director of several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa began her singing career as a pop star and nightclub entertainer. She has sung on most of the world’s great opera stages. Maestro Nézet-Séguin is the music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia.

Photos: Lorin Maazel by Bill Bernstein; Julius Rudel, Unknown Author, courtesy of the artist); Sara Caldwell, Unknown Author, use of this image may qualify as fair use under the Copyright law of the United States, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Kiri Te Kanawa by John Swannell; Photo of Yannick Nézet-Séguin by Hans van Woerde

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

What’s it worth… those moments of beauty and inspiration, those pieces of music that bring awe and joy, the way that classical music connects with you like nothing else can? We must keep this music and its traditions alive. The best way to make it possible is by making a donation so that classical music continues to be freely available to everyone – on the radio, over our computers, on our phones.

Do your part to make sure your next moment of inspiration happens right here at The Classical Station. Give securely online, via our app, or call 800-556-5178 anytime. Thank you for your support.

Photo: Unknown Author, Blue Diamond Gallery

On March 5 we observe the birthdays of American composer Arthur Foote (1853-1937), Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), Australian French horn player Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020), and English conductor Richard Hickox (1948-2008).

Arthur Foote was a prominent early 20th-century composer who was a member of the Boston Six. That informal group consisted of Foote and George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker. Heitor Villa-Lobos is synonymous with creativity in 20th-century Brazilian music. Barry Tuckwell had a well-earned reputation as one of the finest French horn players of the 20th century. Richard Hickox was a brilliant, multifaceted conductor whose life was cut short at the young age of 60.

Photos: Photo of Arthur Foote, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Unknown Author, Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;  Photo of Barry Tuckwell, JzG, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Richard Hickox, Unknown Author, the use of this image may qualify as fair use under the Copyright law of the United States, Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, March 4, 2024

A great piece of music is a journey worth taking. It takes you to a place you know or one that you want to get to know better. A great piece of classical music lives. It breathes. It paints a picture of life in ways that no other genre can. That’s why we are dedicated to sharing the magic of this music near and far with anyone who wants to experience it. But it’s only possible with your support.  Keep the music alive here on your home for great classical music,  The Classical Station.

Do your part for the music that matters. Give securely online, via our app, or by calling 800-556-5178 anytime. Thank you for your support!

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1922. The program includes music by Gabriel Faure, Johannes Brahms, and more conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier, Richard Hickox, and featuring flute soloist Richard Davis.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The March edition of My Life in Music features conductor Kwamé Ryan. Maestro Ryan was recently appointed Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. From the CSO’s website: “Born in Canada and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Kwamé Ryan discovered his passion for conducting at the age of nine. He studied Musicology at Cambridge University and trained in conducting under the guidance of renowned composer/conductor Peter Eötvös. An active guest conductor, Ryan has led orchestras across the United States, UK, and Germany. In the fall of 2023, Ryan conducted the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Intelligence at Houston Grand Opera, and in 2024, he makes his debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the New York Philharmonic.”

Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On March 4 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink (1929-1921), and American composer Samuel Adler (1928-).

Best known to modern audiences for The Four Seasons and his concerti for various instruments, Padre Vivaldi also composed forty operas and many sacred works. Bernard Johan Herman Haitink was the chief conductor or music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-1979), Glyndebourne Opera (1978-1988), The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1987-2002), Staatskapelle Dresden (2002-2004), and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1995-2004). Dr. Adler taught at the Eastman School of Music from 1966 to 1995, and was chair of the composition department from 1974 until his retirement. He’s written over 400 compositions. Happy 95th birthday!

Photos: Portrait of Antonio Vivaldi, Unknown Author, Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Bernard Haitink, Anefo/Croes, R.C., Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Dt. Adler courtesy of his website.