This Week at The Classical Station

Arlington National Cemetery, Photo from Department of Defense, Fair use

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Church Sonata No. 17 in C, K. 336, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, opens Preview! this evening. Cellist Sophie Shao talks about her recording CanCan Macabre.

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

This morning’s Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Taverner Consort and Choir; the Cambridge Singers; and organist Christa Rakich.  Also on our playlist are works by Gabriel Fauré, Luigi Rossi, John Rutter, and many more. This week’s featured work is Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Oratorium.

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

On June 2 we observe the birthday of the English composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934). Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM GCVO, was one of the first composers to record his own works and to see the potential of recording technology.

Photo: Sir Edward Elgar, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023-24 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with Cinderella, Jules Massenet’s gorgeous setting of the classic fairy tale. This performance from 2022 features a stellar cast in the Met’s one-act version of the opera, sung in English. Isabel Leonard is the beloved heroine, starring opposite Emily D’Angelo as Prince Charming. They’re joined by Jessica Pratt as the Fairy Godmother, Laurent Naouri as Cinderella’s father, and Stephanie Blythe as everyone’s favorite villain – the imperious stepmother. Maestro Emmanuel Villaume leads the Met orchestra and chorus in Massenet’s enchanting score.

The performance begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

On June 1 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), American pianist Richard Goode (1943-), and American mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade (1945-). Mikhail Glinka had a couple of piano lessons from Irish composer John Field. Richard Goode studied with Nadia Reisenberg and Rudolf Serkin. Ms. Von Stade has over 60 recordings to her credit.

Photos: Richard Goode by Steve Riskind; Mikhail Glinka, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Frederica von Stade by Lieberman Photography

Friday, May 31, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Jules Massenet’s Cinderella
Saturday, June 1, 1 p.m. Eastern

On May 31 we observe the birthdays of French composer Marin Marais (1656-1728), French composer Louise Farrenc (1804-1875), English countertenor Alfred Deller (1912-1979), and American mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett (1931-2010).

Marin Marais studied with Jean-Baptiste Lully. Louise Farrenc was a Professor at the Paris Conservatoire, as well as being a highly-regarded composer. Alfred Deller was instrumental in bringing back the countertenor voice in early music. Following a busy career singing in opera houses worldwide, Ms. Verrett was a Professor of Voice and the James Earl Jones University Professor of Music at the University of Michigan.

Photos: Marin Marais, André Bouys, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;  Louise Farrenc, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Alfred Deller, Unknown Author, Decouvrir Musique; Shirley Verrett, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, May 30, 2024

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. Tosca is a truly tragic opera filled with deception, intrigue, and murder. Puccini’s dramatic music underscores this sad tale. Renata Scotto and Placido Domingo lead a stellar cast. Our performance features the Ambrosian Opera Chorus and Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of James Levine.

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

On May 30, we observe the birthdays of Dutch keyboardist and conductor Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) and Hungarian pianist and conductor Zoltán Kocsis (1952-2016).

A harpsichordist and organist, Gustav Leonhardt was an early music specialist whose teaching and work influenced a generation of performers including Martin Pearlman, Davitt Monroney, Ton Koopman, Christopher Hogwood, and Jeanette Sorrell. A child prodigy, Zoltán Kocsis began conducting in his 30s and was responsible for transforming the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra into a world-class ensemble.

Photos: Gustav Leonhardt, Wikifalcon,CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Zoltan Kocsis, Unknown Author, TheViolinChannel, Fair Use

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Did you know that we have been volunteer-powered since 1978? Our volunteers are an amazing group of people, all ages and backgrounds, who love classical music and want to support this special community radio station. They live in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill that we locals refer to as the Triangle. Our volunteers answer the phones during our Spring and Fall Fund Drives. Some volunteers are trained to take announcer shifts on weekday evenings and weekends. If you are new to the area and want to find out more about volunteer opportunities at The Classical Station, visit our Volunteer FAQ page.

On May 29 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Austrian-born American composer Erich Korngold (1897-1957), German conductor Karl Münchinger (1915-1990), and American conductor Helmut Rilling (1933-).

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual composed many piano pieces using themes from Spanish folk music. Erich Korngold won an Academy Award in 1938 for his score to The Adventures of Robin Hood. We have Herr Münchinger to thank for popularizing Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D, which Munchinger first recorded in 1960. Herr Rilling is a renowned conductor of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He also founded the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, among several other ensembles.

Photos: Isaac Albéniz, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Erich Korngold, Unknown Author, Bain Collection in Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Karl Münchinger, Jens Gathmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Helmut Rilling, Unknown Author, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

On May 28 we observe the birthdays of German baritone Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012), and Romanian-born Austrian composer György Sándor Ligeti (1923-2006).

Herr Fischer-Dieskau was universally acclaimed as the greatest singer of lieder. His recordings of Schubert songs with Gerald Moore and Jorge Demus are acmes of the genre. Ligeti was considered one of the greatest avant-garde composers of the 20th century. Stanley Kubrick used Ligeti’s music in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Photos: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Unknown Author, Alchetron; Gyorgy Ligeti, Marcel Antonisse, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, May 27, 2024
Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, may you find solace in cherished memories and honor the sacrifices made. Stay safe and grateful as we remember those who served with courage and dedication with beautiful music throughout the day.

At 6 p.m. Eastern, we will play “Taps” to honor the fallen.  May the late Richard Storck reading Sir Walter Scott’s poem Soldier, Rest! Thy Warfare O’er be a comfort to you.

Photo: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Tim Evanson, CC by SA2.0

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Fort Smith Symphony, which was founded in 1923. It’s a special program highlighting American composers such as William Grant Still, Florence Price, and Louis Wayne Ballard conducted by current Music Director John Jeter.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

On May 27 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jacques Halévy (1799-1862), German-Swiss composer Joachim Raff (1822-1882), and Scottish composer Thea Musgrave (1928-).

Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy had many notable students including Georges Bizet and Camille Saint-Saëns. Joseph Joachim Raff worked as Franz Liszt’s assistant for several years during which time he helped orchestrate several of the master’s works. Thea Musgrave has lived in the United States since 1972 and has been on the faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Queens College, City University of New York.

Photos: Jacques Halévy, Eugene Carjat, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Joachim Raff, Montel & Jacob, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Thea Musgrave, Christian Steiner.