This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Clarenbridge Garden Centre, Galway, Ireland

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, November 15, 2020

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music for piano and orchestra by 20th-century Canadian composer André Mathieu. We’ll also a suite for chamber orchestra by Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern

Photo of Clarice Assad by Amara Photos

This evening on Preview! Thomas Dausgaard leads the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in music of Richard Strauss. Rob Kennedy speaks with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter about her new recording with the Philharmonia Baroque of Caroline Shaw’s Red Red Rose Trilogy. And we’ll hear new releases for the Christmas season from the Tenet Vocal Artists and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. With Steve Thebes.

Photo of Anne Sofie von Otter/Eva-Marie Rundquist

The November edition of Renaissance Fare features chansons and dance music that would have been familiar to the settlers who landed in Jamestown in 1607. We’ll have music by the Early Music Consort of London, the New York Renaissance Band, the Baltimore Consort and much more. Join George Douglas this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.


This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Magnificat, Chanticleer, and the Chamber Choir of Europe. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Salomon Sulzer, and George Frederic Handel.

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

Portrait of George Frideric Handel, c. 1730 by Philip Mercier

On November 15 we observe the birthdays of Cuban-born American pianist Jorge Bolet (1914-1990) and Argentine-Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim (1942-). Jorge Bolet was considered one of the leading exponents of Romantic pianism according to the New York Times. While he is known these days primarily as a conductor, Daniel Barenboim began his career as a virtuoso pianist. Happy 78th birthday, Maestro!

Photos: Daniel Barenboim/Monika Rittershaus; Jorge Bolet/Lindsay Nelson.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

On November 14 we observe the birthdays of three composers. Born on this day were Austrian composer Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), German composer Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847), and American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990). The father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was probably more successful as a teacher than as a composer. Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel wrote over 460 compositions. She received her early musical education from her mother who had been trained by a student of Johann Sebastian Bach. Referred to as “the Dean of American Composers”, Aaron Copland created musical canvasses which seem to many people to capture the essence of what American music is, or should be.


Friday, November 13, 2020

On November 13 we observe the birthdays of German composer Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712) and American composer George Whitfield Chadwick (1854-1931). Herr Zachow was George Frederic Handel’s first teacher. Chadwick was one of a group of composers known as The Boston Six. The others in the group were Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents the 1995 Mariinsky Theater production of Alexander Borodin’s epic Russian opera Prince Igor. Known in Russian as Knjaz’ Igor, it consists of a prologue and four acts. The composer adapted the libretto from the ancient Russian epic The Lay of Igor’s Host, which recounts the campaign of Ruthenian prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185. Borodin also incorporated material drawn from two medieval Kievan chronicles. Valery Gergiev conducts the Kirov Orchestra and Chorus of St. Petersburg in this 1995 Philips Digital Classics recording.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Bob Chapman hosts.


On November 12 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) and French Canadian composer and teacher Jean Papineau-Couture (1916-2000). Educated as a chemist and a doctor, Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin studied composition with Mily Balakirev. While music was Borodin’s secondary vocation, he did manage to find time to write several operas and symphonies, as well as dozens of works in various forms. Montreal native Jean Papineau-Couture graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. He also studied with Nadia Boulanger. He was on the faculty of the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal from 1946-1962.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Today we honor all who have served our country in the armed forces. We thank them for their sacrifices. Throughout the day, we will be playing familiar American compositions and patriotic music. At 11 a.m. Eastern we will play TAPS and America The Beautiful. As the Veterans Affairs Department of the federal government states, Veterans Day is “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station honor all of our veterans. We salute you. We thank you for your service.

Did you become a Sustaining member of The Classical Station during our recent Fall Membership Drive? If you did, thank you! You are enjoying convenient, automatic, ongoing monthly contributions which you can change or stop at any time! Becoming a Sustaining Member is an easy way to increase the power of your support and put more of your dollars into the great classical music you depend on.

As a Sustaining Member, you will:

  • Enjoy uninterrupted membership status at The Classical Station.
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Here’s how a Sustaining Membership works: Your monthly contribution is deducted automatically from the account of your choice on the same day each month until you tell us to stop. You can make changes or cancel your Sustaining Membership at any time.

To become a Sustaining Member, visit our Donation Page. Or call 800-556-5178 anytime. A member of staff will be happy to take down your information and instructions, as well answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift or designate 10% of your Sustaining Membership to the Education Fund if you prefer. Thank you for being a Sustaining Member!

On November 11 we observe the birthdays of English conductor Vernon Handley and Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet. Vernon Handley was not a flashy, jet-set conductor. His modest gestures on the podium were similar to those of his teacher, Sir Adrian Boult, who once was heard to remark, “Do remember, won’t you, that you are playing to the blind man in the audience.” And that’s how my old conducting teacher at the Royal College of Music was. Vernon Handley was all about the music. Period. Can you imagine being able to collaborate with composers such as Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky? Well, Ernest Ansermet did, and his interpretations of their music showed his deep understanding of what he was performing. He also founded Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 1918.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

On November 10 we observe the birthdays of French composer François Couperin (1668-1733), Italian composer Ennio Morricone (1928-), and Swiss conductor and composer Michel Tabachnik (1942-). French baroque composer Couperin left us approximately 100 works for keyboard, organ, choir, and strings. Academy Award-winning composer Ennio Morricone has over 70 film scores to his credit. Tabachnik is music director of Noord Nederlands Orkest and the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.


Monday, November 9, 2020

The November edition of Renaissance Fare features chansons and dance music that would have been familiar to the settlers who landed in Jamestown in 1607. We’ll have music by the Early Music Consort of London, the New York Renaissance Band, the Baltimore Consort and much more. Join George Douglas this evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.


This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the London Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program is music by  Nikolai Medtner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Gustav Holst, in performances led by Zubin Mehta, Sir Adrian Boult and principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.


On November 9 we observe the birthdays of Czech pianist Ivan Moravec (1930-2015), German bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff (1959-), Welsh bass Bryn Terfel (1965-), and Uruguayan-born American composer Sergio Cervetti (1941-). Ivan Moravec enjoyed a fifty-year recital career. Grammy award-winning singer Thomas Quasthoff studied law and worked as a radio announcer early in his career. Bryn Terfel Jones has enjoyed a distinguished career performing in opera houses around the world. Señor Cervetti composes in a variety of forms. His music is often influenced by folk music.