This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, September 27, 2020

This evening on Preview! conductor Seiji Ozawa celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and his own 85th, with his latest CD release. Elizabeth Elliott speaks with harpist Parker Ramsay about his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Cellist Jonah Kim plays music of Rachmaninoff with pianist Sean Kennard.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings. This evening Preview! begins shortly after 7 p.m. Eastern following our Yom Kippur program.

Photo: Seiji Ozawa/

This evening on Wavelengths, the Carpe Diem String Quartet plays a 2014 work by American composer Jonathan Leshnoff. We’ll also hear music of Michael Torke and Philip Glass, and a 1960 composition by Soviet composer Kara Karayev.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music every Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

Photo: Philip Glass/

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Currende, The Studio of Ancient Music of Montreal, and the Vienna Boys Choir. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We shall also observe John Rutter’s birthday with a festival of his music beginning at 10 a.m.

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


On September 27 we observe the birthdays of American harpsichordist Igor Kipnis (1930-2002), American pianist Misha Dichter (1945-), and Russian conductor Dmitri Sitkovetsky (1954-). One of the great harpsichordists of the 20th century, Dr. Kipnis gave recitals worldwide. Misha Dichter made his concert debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1968. Dmitri Sitkovetsky is the son of pianist Bella Davidovich. He has conducted most major orchestras at some point in his career.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Every Sunday on Preview! we speak with musicians about their new recordings. These interviews at 7 p.m. Eastern on Preview! They offer fascinating glimpses into the life and work of classical musicians. But in case you couldn’t listen to those interviews with staff announcers Dan McHugh, Rob Kennedy, Elizabeth Elliott, and Bob Chapman, not to worry. We have most of these interviews saved for your listening pleasure. Chats with Rachel Barton Pine, Benjamin Grosvenor, Simone Dinnerstein, Parker Ramsay, JoAnn Falletta, and many more musicians are ready for you to download and enjoy!

On September 26 we observe the birthdays of Swiss-French pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962), French conductor Charles Munch (1891-1968), and American composer George Gershwin (1898-1937). Monsieur Cortot was considered one of the finest interpreters of the music of Chopin in his time. He made the first electrical recording of Chopin in 1925. Charles Munch was Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1949 to 1962. Many American composers studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Mlle. Boulanger refused George Gershwin as a student. Shortly thereafter, he wrote Porgy and Bess. One last historical morsel about the great Gershwin: “Gershwin asked to study with Ravel. When Ravel heard how much Gershwin earned, Ravel replied with words to the effect of, ‘You should give me lessons.'”


Friday, September 25, 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. Send your JPG files to Submissions will be accepted until October 31, 2020.

On September 25 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), English conductor Sir Colin Davis (1927-2013), and Canadian pianist Glenn Gould (1932-1982). Rameau composed music of all kinds. His music for harpsichord and his operas are perhaps best known to 21st-century listeners. Shostakovich was a prominent 20th-century composer who wrote, among other things, fifteen symphonies and fifteen string quartets. Sir Colin Davis made a name for himself at Covent Garden conducting ballets. He was in great demand as an opera conductor as well. Glenn Gould’s 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was one of the best-selling classical music albums of all time.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Deprived of his property, a Sicilian nobleman turns to piracy and murders his archenemy when he learns his beloved has married the rogue. The Thursday Night Opera House presents Vincenzo Bellini’s Il Pirata this evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Bob Chapman hosts.

Photo: Marseilles Opera

On September 24 we observe the birthday of a great favorite of Great Sacred Music listeners, English composer John Rutter (1945-). John Rutter has written many choral compositions, including such large-scale works such as Requiem and Mass of the Children. He also collaborated with Sir David Willcocks to produce the four-volume set of Carols for Choirs. Happy seventy-fifth birthday, John!

Photo: Nick Rutter

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Go the last mile with your used vehicle. If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the programs you rely on from WCPE. Here’s how it works: Center for Car Donations (CFCD), manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that WCPE is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will be entitled to a one-year subscription to our member magazine, Quarter Notes.


On September 23 we observe the birthday of American composer and musicologist William Levi Dawson (1899-1990). A member of the music faculty at the Tuskegee Institute from 1931-1956, Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony (1934) had its world premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski.

Photo: Aaron Douglas/Tuskegee Institute

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

We need angels for our Fall 2020 Membership Drive which 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 Charlotte, North Carolina, commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Fall 2020 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call us anytime and tell the member of staff who answers that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. 800-556-5178.

You can also become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Put “This is an Angel Match!” in the Comments Box.

Remember: you can call the station anytime. 24/7. A live member of staff will take your call and help you with your pledge and any questions you have. Thank you for being an Angel and encouraging other listeners to support The Classical Station!

On September 22 we observe the birthday of Polish-Mexican violinist and composer Henryk Szeryng (1918-1988). Szeryng was born into a wealthy Jewish family. Consequently, when the events of World War II forced him to live abroad, he chose Mexico as his new home because of the wonderful reception which he received on a concert tour there in 1941. He lived in Mexico from 1946 and was on the faculty of the National University of Mexico, among other activities.


Monday, September 21, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The program includes works by Aaron Copland, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Jean Sibelius in performances led by Herbert Blomstedt, Edo de Waart, and Michael Tilson Thomas, who has just completed his 25-year tenure as music director.

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


On September 21 we observe the birthday of English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934). Charles Villiers Stanford taught Holst at the Royal College of Music. Ralph Vaughan Williams was his colleague. Holst, in turn, influenced a generation of younger composers including Benjamin Britten, Edmund Rubbra, and Michael Tippett.