This Week at The Classical Station

This Week at The Classical Station

by Chrissy Keuper


Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, 2024

South entrance of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, c. 2007. (Photo by Steven Sherrill)

This week’s episode of Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus; the Vienna Boys Choir; and organist Wolfgang Rubsam. You’ll hear works by Antonio Vivaldi, Francois Couperin, Anton Bruckner, and many more. This week’s featured work is Missa ecce sacerdos magnus by Francisco Guerrero. Join Mick Anderson for Great Sacred Music this Sunday at 8am Eastern, right after Sing for Joy.

 

 

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard opens Preview! this week with a performance of Franz Schubert’s Three German Dances, Op. 33. Pianist Michael Clarke speaks with Rob Kennedy about his recording, “Waltzes and Character Pieces of Florence Price.” Join us for new releases and local arts news every Sunday at 6pm Eastern on Preview!

On these dates in classical music history:

Ernest Gold, c. Unknown. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)

Austrian-American film and television composer Ernest Gold (Ernst Sigmund Goldner) was born in Vienna, Austria, on July 13, 1921. NBC Orchestra performed Gold’s first symphony in 1939, only a year after he moved to the U.S. In 1945, he moved to Hollywood to begin working for Columbia Pictures and wrote nearly 100 film and television scores (including the scores for Exodus, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and On the Beach) between 1945 and 1992. He was nominated for four Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, winning a Golden Globe in 1960 for Best Motion Picture Score for 1959’s On the Beach (as well as a Grammy Award for the same score) and an Academy Award a year later for Best Music: Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, for Exodus. Gold was also the first composer to receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Arnold Schönberg, c. 1930 (Photo: Arnold Schönberg Center Wien)

Austrian-American composer Arnold Schoenberg (Schönberg) died on July 13, 1951. Schoenberg was one of the most influential and innovative composers and teachers of the 20th century (Alban Berg and Anton Webern were among his students), and he created new methods of atonal composition, including the 12-tone row. He began composing works for violin before he was nine years old and then wrote string trios for two violins and viola. Schoenberg’s first publicly performed work was the String Quartet in D Major (1897). Composer Richard Strauss helped Schoenberg get work as a composition teacher at the Stern Conservatory and encouraged him to compose his only symphonic poem for a large orchestra, Pelleas und Melisande (1902–03).

And the storming of the Bastille took place July 14, 1789, a major event in the French Revolution that became a national holiday: Bastille Day (known in France as Le quatorze juillet or Fête nationale). Crowds protesting the power of King Louis XVI and the aristocracy fought with soldiers, burned down the customs posts that imposed taxes on goods, seized about 32,000 muskets and some cannon from the Hôtel des Invalides military hospital, and then stormed the Bastille for the gunpowder that was stored there.

Rouget de Lisle, composer of La Marseillaise, sings the song for the first time at the home of Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg (1849 painting by Isidore Pils, Musée historique de Strasbourg)

A few years later, in 1792, French army officer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin, which later became the French national anthem, La Marseillaise. Perhaps ironically, Rouget de Lisle was a royalist and refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new constitution. 

 

Vive la musique classique! Thank you for your support of The Classical Station and for your loyal listening. 


Friday, July 12, 2024

A good day to you, Listeners!

If you live in the Wake Forest-Raleigh area and have an interest in being an on-air announcer for The Classical Station, we are seeking individuals for our Volunteer Announcer Training Program. We’ll provide valuable education in broadcasting techniques to qualified participants. Announcer trainees will attend a series of in-person training sessions covering proper technique, as well as the operation of our broadcast studio equipment and 100,000 watt transmitter. Candidates should have a good voice and clear diction. Prior experience is a plus, but not required. Click the link above for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

Today is All-Request Friday on The Classical Station, and we’ll be playing your favorites and dedications all day today (and tomorrow evening on the Saturday Evening Request Program). Let us know here what music you’d like to hear! (This week’s programming is full, but next week’s shows are wide open.)

On today’s date in the history of classical music:

Portrait of Johann Joachim Quantz by Johann Friedrich Gerhard, 1735 (From the collection of Neues Schloss Bayreuth, Public Domain)

German flute virtuoso, flute maker, and teacher Johann Joaquim Quantz died in 1773 in Potsdam, Germany. Quantz’s father was adamant that young Johann follow in his footsteps and begin training to become a blacksmith at the age of nine, but when his father died he chose to study music, first with his uncle Justus Quantz and then as an oboist in the Polish court chapel. In 1728, Quantz began teaching flute to the Crown Prince of Prussia, Frederick II. “Frederick the Great” became King in 1740 and persuaded Quantz to join his court in Berlin as a chamber musician and court composer. Quantz did, and stayed until his death.

Publicity photo of American lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, c. 1940 (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Oscar Hammerstein II was born in New York, New York, in 1895. He was an American lyricist and librettist known for his immensely successful partnership with composer Richard Rodgers and some of the best-loved musicals in history, including Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Between 1920 and 1959, Hammerstein wrote all or part of about 45 musical dramas for stage, film, or television; he teamed up exclusively with Rodgers in 1943. He won numerous Tony Awards and Academy Awards for his songs, as well as two Pulitzer Prizes for Oklahoma! and South Pacific. 

And the final version of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem premiered at the 1900 Paris World Exhibition in Paris. He wrote the Libera me in 1877 as a baritone solo, and then began composing the remainder of what became the Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 in 1887. The work evolved through several revisions throughout the 1890s and the final version (scored for full orchestra) was finished in 1900. The work is a shortened Catholic Mass for the Dead in Latin and focuses on eternal rest. It is the best-known of Fauré’s vocal works and was performed in its full orchestral version at Fauré’s own funeral in 1924.

Thank you so much for listening, and for supporting classical music and public radio on The Classical Station! We love what we do, and it’s all because of you.


Thursday, July 11, 2024

Hello, Classical Music Lovers!

This week’s Thursday Night Opera House features Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece of drama and deception, Rigoletto. This quintessential recording of Richard Bonynge conducting the London Symphony Orchestra features singers Joan Sutherland, Lucianno Pavarotti, and Sherrill Milnes.

Join host Jay Arthur Pierson at 7pm Eastern for the opera, and enjoy!

On this day in classical music history:

John Philip Sousa with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, c. 1891. (Photographer unknown – Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

In 1798, U.S. President John Adams signed the Act of Congress establishing the United States Marine Band. The USMB gave its first concert in Washington, D.C. in 1800 and performed for the inauguration of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 (Jefferson is credited with bestowing the band’s alternate title, “The President’s Own”). The band has performed at every presidential inauguration ceremony since then.

Liza Lehman in London, c. 1889. (Photo by Victorian studio photographers W. & D. Downey – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the birthdate of English soprano and composer Liza Lehmann in London, England. Lehmann began performing in 1885 and toured mostly in England and the U.S. She became the first president of the Society of Women Musicians in 1911 and 1912. She was also a professor of singing at the Guildhall School of Music in 1913. She spent most of her life composing and wrote many songs and song cycles.

Herbert Blomstedt at Leipziger Gewandhaus, c. 2015. (Photo by Alexander Böhm – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

And conductor Herbert Blomstedt was born on this day in 1927 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Blomstedt made his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1954 and was later chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the NDR Sinfonieorchester (now NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester). He has also served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Blomstedt may be the world’s oldest living conductor, and he is scheduled to conduct Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in the spring of 2025. 

Everyone working at The Classical Station loves classical music just as much as you do! 

Meet some of the people who bring you this beautiful music, see our daily playlists, and more. We thank you for listening and for your continuous support of public radio AND classical music!


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Did you know The Classical Station has two weekly request programs?
We play your favorites during All-Request Friday and the Saturday Evening Request Program. Tell us about what you’d like to hear here (where you are also able to dedicate your selections to the special people in your life). We love learning about your favorite music!

There is no known attributable portrait of Domenico Gabrielli, but the Amaryllis Fleming Cello (made by the Brothers Amati, c. 1610-1620), is certainly similar to the instrument he would have played himself. (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Today, we remember Italian Baroque composer and cello virtuoso Domenico Gabrielli (d. July 10, 1690), who wrote some of the earliest works for solo and accompanied cello. He was also quite busy as a working cellist and was known as “Dominic of the cello” among his contemporaries. He performed in the Accademia Filarmonica (also serving as its president, at one time) and in the orchestra of the Basilica San Petronio.

Carl Orff in Munich, c. 1940. (Photo by Hans Holdt, Wikimedia Commons)

It’s the birthdate of German composer Carl Orff, born in Munich in 1895. Orff was injured during World War I and spent several years recovering. In 1924, he and gymnast Dorothee Günther founded the Günther-Schule for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich. The school specialized in a system of children’s music education based primarily on developing a sense of rhythm through group exercise and the use of percussion instruments. Orff composed a wide variety of vocal and orchestral music, and is undoubtedly best known in popular culture for his composition Carmina Burana (1937), a cantata for orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists.

Arthur Fiedler at the Kennedy Center, c. 1977. (Photo by John T Bledsoe, courtesy of the Library of Congress)

And we remember Arthur Fiedler (d. July 10, 1979), maestro of the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 seasons. Fiedler was born in Boston, Massachusetts; his family moved to Vienna, Austria, and then Berlin, Germany, where Fiedler studied violin. He also later played viola, celesta, piano, organ, and percussion. He returned to Boston to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1915; he later formed a chamber music group composed of symphony members in 1924, the Boston Sinfonietta. Fiedler was appointed 18th conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1930, serving as maestro until his death.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Hello, classical music lovers!

Ottorino Respighi, c. 1934 (Photo by Ghitta Lorell)

Today is the birthday of Italian composer, violinist, and musicologist Ottorino Respighi in 1879 in Bologna, Italy. His compositions ran the gamut of operas, orchestral suites, vocal and chamber music, but he may be best known for his tone poems (especially Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome, 1923–24) and Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome, 1914–16)), which were inspired by the depiction of Rome in the poetry of Gabriele D’Annunzio.

(Today, we’ll hear Respighi’s Three Dances from Ancient Airs & Dances, Suite No. 1 during Allegro!)

Randall Thompson, c. unknown (Photo by Harvard University News Service)We also remember composer Randall Thompson (d. July 9, 1984), best known for his choral compositions, especially his Alleluia and his Symphony No. 2 in E minor. Among his students was Leonard Bernstein, first at the Curtis Institute of Music and then at Harvard University. Thompson wrote Alleluia for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1940; Bernstein’s first conducting fellowship included conducting Thompson’s Symphony No. 2 during the Center’s inaugural season. 

 

Join our live announcers 24 hours a day for beautiful classical music on The Classical Station.                We thank you so much, always, for your support!


Monday, July 8, 2024

This week, Monday Night at the Symphony features the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra and includes music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Camille Saint-Saens, Franz Schubert and more. Join us for the symphony this evening! The concert begins at 8pm Eastern.

 

On today’s date in classical music history:

Modest Mussorgsky, c. 1874 – Author Unknown (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Modest Mussorgsky‘s Boris Godunov premiered on this date in 1874 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky’s only completed opera and he based the libretto on Aleksandr Pushkin’s 1825 drama about Tsar Boris Godunov (who reigned 1598-1605) and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy (Dmitiriy Ivanovich, who reigned 1605-1606).

Percy Grainger, c. 1915-1920 (Photo by Bain News Service)

Today is the birthdate of Australian-American pianist and composer Percy Grainger in Melbourne in 1882. Grainger left Australia at the age of 13 to study in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Hoch Conservatory. In 1901, he established himself as a performer and composer in London, England, and developed friendships with Frederick Delius and Edvard Grieg. He moved to the U.S. in 1914 and became a citizen in 1918. He performed until 1960 and was considered to be one of the most accomplished and famous concert pianists of his day. 

One of the many ways you can support The Classical Station is by remembering the people you love with a Day Dedication. You can celebrate those special people and support classical music at the same time. We love our listeners, and we thank you for that support!