This Week at The Classical Station

Photo by Ian B. Kennedy, Venice, Florida

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Herbert Kegel conducts the Leipzig Radio Chorus in a performance of Mozart’s Mass in C, K. 66 “Domenicus” this evening on Peaceful Reflections. Also on the playlist is music by Debussy, Bach, and Haydn.

Bring your weekend to a peaceful close with our carefully curated mix of instrumental and choral music on Peaceful Reflections. 9 p.m. Eastern until midnight.

This evening on Preview! the Buffalo Philharmonic directed by JoAnn Falletta performs Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70. Pianist Mari Kodama talks about the recording she and her family made of the Mozart & Poulenc Double & Triple Concertos with the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande conducted by her husband Kent Nagano.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Prague Chamber Choir, the Corydon Singers and Orchestra, and Jennifer Bate. You’ll hear works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, and many more. This week’s featured work is Giuseppe Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces.

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

On June 30 we observe the birthdays of English composer Edward John Hopkins (1818-1901), Czech composer Jiří Antonín Benda (1772-1795), and Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (1958-).

Edward John Hopkins was Organist of London’s historic Temple Church from 1843-1898. Benda was a classical-era composer who wrote several operas in addition to many other forms of music. Maestro Salonen was Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992-2009. “He currently is Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Conductor Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Composer-In-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, Artistic Director and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival, and Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.” Source:

Photos: Maestro Salonen, Katja Tahja; Edward John Hopkins, Unknown Author,, Fair Use; Jiří Antonín Benda, Johann Friedrich Schröter, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, June 29, 2024

On June 29 we observe the birthdays of American composers Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) and Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975), and German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter (1963-).

Leroy Anderson’s prowess as a composer of light orchestral music caught Arthur Fiedler’s eye. That in turn established Anderson’s reputation. Herrmann was a prolific composer who wrote over 50 film scores. The late Herbert Von Karajan gave Ms. Mutter an opportunity to play with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 13.

Photos: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lillian Birnbaum; Leroy Anderson, Unknown Author, Fair Use; Bernard Herrmann, Engestead, Fair Use

Friday, June 28, 2024

Drawing of head of a young Beethoven

“Beethoven as a Young Man” by Balazs Szabo from our Virtual Art Exhibit

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2, commonly known as the “Moonlight Sonata,” is a captivating and emotionally rich piece that has enchanted listeners for over two centuries[1]. Composed in 1801, this sonata showcases Beethoven’s innovative approach to piano composition and his ability to evoke profound emotions through music.

The sonata consists of three movements, each with its own distinct character:

1. The first movement, Adagio sostenuto, is the most famous and recognizable. Its gentle, flowing melody creates a dreamy, introspective atmosphere that immediately draws listeners in. The soft, rippling arpeggios in the left hand provide a soothing backdrop for the haunting melody in the right hand[1][2].

2. The second movement, Allegretto, offers a brief moment of lightness and contrast. It’s a relatively short and cheerful interlude between the more intense outer movements[1].

3. The final movement, Presto agitato, is a dramatic and passionate conclusion. It’s a whirlwind of fast-paced, energetic music that showcases the pianist’s technical skill and emotional range[1][2].

What makes this sonata so appealing, especially to newcomers to classical music, is its emotional depth and accessibility. The first movement’s serene beauty is immediately captivating, while the contrasting energy of the final movement demonstrates the piano’s expressive capabilities. The piece takes listeners on an emotional journey, from quiet contemplation to passionate intensity[1][2].

Moreover, the “Moonlight Sonata” broke with traditional sonata form of its time, placing the most significant movement last rather than first. This innovative structure adds to its appeal and historical importance[1].

The sonata’s enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to speak to listeners across generations, making it an excellent entry point for those new to classical music. Its emotive power, technical brilliance, and historical significance combine to create a truly unforgettable musical experience[1][2].

You can hear the Ukrainian-American pianist. Valentina Lisitsa play this beloved piece of piano music at 2 p.m. Eastern during As You Like It.


On June 28 we observe the birthdays of Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache (1909-1996), Russian composer Nikolai Karetnikov (1930-1994), and American baritone Thomas Hampson (1955-). Maestro Celibidache was famous for not releasing recordings of his concerts. Nikolai Karetnikov was a member of an alternative composers group known as The Underground. Thomas Hampson has over 170 recordings to his credit.

Photos: Sergiu Celibidache, Portret, Fair use; Nikolai Karetnikov, Unknown Author, Fair Use; Others/; Thomas Hampson by Dario Acosta

Thursday, June 27, 2024

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. In this waltz-filled comedy, Dr. Falke (Bär) plots a lighthearted revenge on his friend Eisenstein (Brendel) with the help of Rosalinde (Kanawa) at a masked ball. This well-known and popular operetta has been a mainstay in the repertoire since its premiere. André Previn conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On June 27 we observe the birthdays of American composer Mildred Hill (1859-1916), Italian conductor Gianandrea Gavezzeni (1909-1996), and American pianist Samuel Sanders (1937-1999). Ms. Hill composed the tune used for Happy Birthday to You! Maestro Gavezzeni was principal conductor of La Scala for almost fifty years. Mr. Sanders was the accompanist of choice for Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, to name just a few of his distinguished recital partners.

Photos: Mildred Hill, Unknown Author, Fair Use; Gianandrea Gavezzeni, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Samuel Sanders, Unknown Author, Fair Use

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Did you know that The Classical Station has 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 take the specialized training required 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 June 26 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Leopold Koželuh (1747-1818) and Italian conductor Claudio Abbado (1933-2014). Herr Koželuh preceded Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as music director of the Royal Court in Vienna. A piano virtuoso, he composed over 400 works, including thirty symphonies and over twenty piano concertos. Maestro Abbado was one of his generation’s finest conductors. He conducted most of the world’s great orchestras and made hundreds of recordings.

Photo: Leopold Koželuh, W. Ridley, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Claudio Abbado, Unknown Author, Corgrisi, Fair Use

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Do you have a child or grandchild who’s into classical music? Let them know about our Conversations with conductors, performers, and composers. You can find these interviews here and on our app. The reason we interview classical musicians is to have them share their love of classical music and the influences that made them the fine musicians they are. We sincerely hope that their stories will inspire young people aspiring to become classical musicians.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Monday Night at the symphony (with 'Monday Night' in flowing script)This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features the Vienna Philharmonic, which was founded in 1842. The program includes music by Maurice Ravel, Johannes Brahms, Hector Berlioz, and more conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Leonard Bernstein. A special feature will be the Vienna Boys’ Choir performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Mass No. 14 in C “Coronation”, K. 317.

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

On June 24 we observe the birthdays of French cellist Pierre Fournier (1906-1986) and German composer Hugo Distler (1908-1942). Monsieur Fournier counted Julian Lloyd Webber among his pupils. Herr Distler is now mainly remembered for his sacred choral music.

Photos: Pierre Fournier, Manxruler, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Hugo Distler, Sebjarod, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons