This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller

This Week At The Classical Station

By Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 24, 2020

This evening on Preview! we’ll hear the Pittsburgh Symphony with conductor Manfred Honeck playing music of Tchaikovsky. Rob Kennedy speaks with violist Molly Carr and pianist Anna Petrova about their CD, Novel Voices. Cellist Hee-Young Lim plays music of Rachmaninoff and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott plays Mozart. With host David Jeffrey Smith.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings and arts news every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern.

Photos: Carr-Petrova Duo/David Beyda

This evening on Wavelengths cellist Inbal Segev performs new music written for her by English-born composer Anna Clyne. We’ll also hear works by Chinese composer Lu Pei and American composer and fiddler Mark O’Connor.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music every Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern. With host Ed Amend.

Photos: Mark O’Connor/Deanna Rose

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music for Memorial Day sung by the Choirs of St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, the Saint Thomas Choir, New York, and the South Dakota Chorale. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Aaron Copland, and Bruce Neswick. See Rob’s newsletter for details.

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

Photos: Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington National Cemetary/

On May 24 we observe the birthdays of French conductor Paul Paray (1886-1979), Australian soprano Joan Hammond (1912-1996), and German flute and recorder player Hans-Martin Linde (1930-). Maestro Paray was the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1952-1963. Dame Joan Hilda Hood Hammond, DBE, CMG, was also a champion golfer. Besides being a virtuoso recorder and flute player Herr Linde has written several books on flute and recorder playing.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

This Memorial Day Weekend we will celebrate American composers and performers. Ask us to play your favorite piece on the Saturday Evening Request Program. On Monday we will honor the men and women who have given so much for our country with a day full of patriotic music. See the Daily Playlist for details.

Photo: United States Navy

On May 23 we observe the birthdays of German composer Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870), Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha (1923-2009) and American pianist John Browning (1933-2003). A prolific composer, Herr Moscheles spanned the Classical and Romantic periods of classical music. Alicia de Larrocha was one of the great 20th-century pianists. Samuel Barber wrote his Piano Concerto for John Browning who went on to win a Grammy for his recording of the work.


Friday, May 22, 2020

On May 22 we observe the birthday of German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Herr Wagner transformed opera and influenced music and musicians substantively. Got a favorite piece of Wagner? Why not ask us to play it today on All-Request Friday or on the Saturday Evening Request Program? You can make your request online or by calling 919-556-0123.




Thursday, May 21, 2020

This evening on Opera House we’ll dip into the Al Ruocchio Archives for an encore performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. The opera, in the tradition of opera buffa, harkens back to the stock characters of the commedia dell’arte. Pasquale is recognizable as the blustery Pantalone, Ernesto as the lovesick Pierrot, Malatesta as the scheming Scapino, and Norina as a wily Columbina. Don Pasquale was first produced on January 3, 1843, at the Théâtre Italien in Paris.

The story takes place in 19th-century Rome, where the wealthy, elderly bachelor Don Pasquale (bass-baritone Sesto Bruscantini) has decided to marry so as to disinherit his nephew Ernesto (tenor Gösta Windbergh), who refuses to marry the woman his uncle has chosen for him because he’s in love with the flighty widow Norina (soprano Mirella Freni). The family physician, Dr. Malatesta (baritone Leo Nucci), aids the young lovers: he arranges a mock wedding between Pasquale and Norina, the latter disguised as Malatesta’s demure sister “Sofronia,” a convent girl. No sooner has the ceremony taken place than “Sofronia” begins to make Pasquale’s life such a misery that he is quickly put off by the whole idea of marriage. To get rid of “Sofronia,” Pasquale readily agrees to Malatesta’s suggestion that he allow Ernesto and Norina to marry!

Riccardo Muti conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus in this 1982 EMI/Angel recording. The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “play The Classical Station.”

Photo: Baryton Luigi Lablache as Don Pasquale/ (1843)

On May 21 we observe the birthdays of Greek pianist Gina Bachauer (1913-1976), French trumpeter Maurice André (1933-2012) and Swiss oboist Heinz Holliger (1939-). Ms. Bachauer was one of the great pianists of the 20th-century. Maurice André made over 300 recordings and was known for his playing of the piccolo trumpet. In addition to being a very fine oboist, Heinz Holliger is a composer.

Photos: Gina Bachauer/; Maurice André/Maurice-André.fr; Heinz Holliger/

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The latest episode of Cadenza is out! It features the first of a four part series entitled The Beethoven File. In it, reporter Nan Pincus is on the trail of a newly- discovered manuscript by Beethoven. Found in a farm house in North Carolina, the timeworn pages are a movement from a previously unknown piano sonata.  Who was the old German man who panicked, ran, and left it there?

Listen to Cadenza on our Podcasts page, on our apps, and on your favorite podcast platform.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

On May 19 we observe the birthdays of Australian coloratura soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), German composer and organist Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667), and American composer and organist Albert Hay Malotte (1895–1964).

Dame Nellie Melba whose real name was Helen Porter Mitchell took the stage name Melba after her home town Melbourne. Admired by none other than Johann Sebastian Bach, Herr Froberger composed music for keyboard in a variety of forms. Alfred Hay Malotte is remembered for his dramatic setting of The Lord’s Prayer.


Monday, May 18, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony showcases the French National Orchestra.  On the program is music of Camille Saint-Saëns, Eduard Lalo, and Claude Debussy in performances led by Daniele Gatti, Leonard Bernstein, and current music director Emmanuel Krivine.  The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tell your smart speaker to “play The Classical Station.”

Photo: Christophe Abramowitz

On May 18 we observe the birthdays of Hungarian-born Viennese composer Karl Goldmark (1930-1915) and English pianist Sir Clifford Curzon (1907-1982). Karl Goldmark was largely a self-taught composer who at one point made his living as a music critic. English pianist Sir Clifford Curzon studied with Artur Schnabel, Nadia Boulanger, and Wanda Landowska.