This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller

This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Our Black History Month celebration continues this evening on Wavelengths, as baritone Will Liverman sings three poems by Langston Hughes, set to music by Margaret Bonds. We’ll also hear works by George T. Walker, Adolphus Hailstork, and Michael Abels.

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

Photo: Adolphus Hailstork by Rose Grace

This evening on Preview! we’ll hear the latest in conductor Andris Nelsons’ Bruckner cycle with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Elizabeth Elliott speaks with violinist and upcoming Kennedy Center honoree Midori Goto about her career. We’ll hear the Vienna Philharmonic from their virtual New Years’ Concert, and more Songs of Comfort and Hope from Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott.

Preview! brings you the best new classical recordings, Sundays at 6 p.m. Eastern

Photo: Midori Goto by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Choir of Wells Cathedral, the Cathedral Choral Society of Washington National Cathedral, and the Choir of Westminster Cathedral. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Alonso Lobo, and Jan Dismas Zelenka.

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


On February 21 we observe the birthdays of French composers Léo Delibes and Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), and Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia.

A student of Adolph Adam at the Paris Conservatoire, Monsieur Delibes went on to compose ballets and opera. While he was ‘provisional’ organist at Eglise Saint Sulpice from 1870-1933, Monsieur Widor managed to write ten symphonies for organ, as well as teach at the Paris Conservatoire. Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, is widely considered to have been one of the greatest guitar virtuosi ever.

Photos: Photo of Léo Delibes by Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, on Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Charles-Marie Widor by Paul Berger (photographer). Breitkopf & Härtel, London in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Andrés Segovia, Unknown Author on Bach Cantatas.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

This afternoon the 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Puccini’s La Rondine, in a memorable performance from 2009. It starred soprano Angela Gheorghiu as the Parisian courtesan Magda and tenor Roberto Alagna as Ruggero, a passionate young man from the countryside. The cast also featured soprano Lisette Oropesa and tenor Marius Brenciu as the chambermaid Lisette and the poet Prunier, and bass Samuel Ramey as Magda’s wealthy companion Rambaldo. Marco Armiliato conducted the Met Orchestra and Chorus in Puccini’s exquisitely romantic and nuanced score.

The curtain goes up at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Angela Gheorghiu as Magda and Roberto Alagna as Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera. Taken during the dress rehearsal on December 29, 2008 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

On February 20 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Carl Czerny (1791-1857), Belgian composer Charles de Bériot (1802-1870), Scottish soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967), German-born conductor Christoph Eschenbach (1940-), English conductor Barry Wordsworth (1948-), and Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly (1953-).

Besides being a composer of keyboard and chamber music, Herr Czerny was a very successful teacher. Charles Auguste de Bériot was a violinist who taught at the Brussels Conservatory. Besides being a popular opera singer in the early part of the 20th-century, Ms. Garden was in later life a talent scout for MGM. Maestro Eschenbach was chief conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among the many orchestras with which he has been associated. After studying at the Royal College of Music with Vernon Handley, Barry Wordsworth was music director of the Royal Ballet. After making his conducting debut at La Scala, Maestro Chailly went on to earn a reputation as one of the world’s great opera conductors.

Photos: Lithograph of Carl Czerny by Joseph Kriehuber, Public Domain on; Photo of Charles de Bériot in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Photo of Mary Garden in Library of Congress by Mishkin, Public Domain on; Photo of Christoph Eschenbach by Vlastní fotka, Public Domain on; Photo of Barry Wordsworth, Unknown Author on ImgArtists;  Photo of Riccardo Chailly by Gert Mothes on Decca Records.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Puccini’s La Rondine, Saturday, February 20, 1 p.m. Eastern


On February 19 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) and American violinist Gil Shaham (1971-).

A prolific composer, Signor Boccherini composed over five hundred pieces in a variety of forms. Gil Shaham is one of the most distinguished violinists performing today.

Photo: Engraving of Luigi Boccherini by Étienne Mazas, Public Domain on; Photo of Gil Shaham by Luke Ratray courtesy of Opus 3 Artists

Thursday, February 18, 2021

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma. In a nutshell, the plot involves a Druid priestess, Norma (sung by Maria Callas), who is in a love triangle with her best friend, Adalgisa (sung by Christa Ludwig), and the father of her children, Pollione (sung by Franco Corelli). This program comes from the Ruocchio Archives with the late Al Ruocchio hosting.


If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the beautiful music you love on The Classical Station. Here’s how it works: Center for Car Donations (CFCD) manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that The Classical Station is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will receive a one-year subscription to our quarterly member magazine, Quarter Notes.

Photo: 1974 Ford Pinto, Pat M., Public Domain on

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Celebrate the special classical music lover in your life with a daily, weekly, or monthly announcement here on The Classical Station. With a Sustaining Membership of $100 per month, you can have a weekly on-air dedication. To find out more about day dedications and patron announcements on The Classical Station or to renew your announcement, contact Dan McHugh at 800-556-5178 or email him.

On February 17 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), French composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881), English composer Sir Edward German (1862-1936), American composer Lee Hoiby (1926-2011), Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins (1944-), and Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma (1934-2019).

Bach and Handel both knew of Corelli’s music. Modern listeners still enjoy his concerti grossi, especially the Christmas Concerto which has been used in several films. A virtuoso violinist until he was paralyzed by a stroke, Monsieur Vieuxtemps played a very special violin, the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù. This same violin is currently played by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Sir Edward German was a prolific composer who is best remembered these days for his incidental music for plays. Madison, Wisconsin native Lee Hoiby was influenced as a composer by Giancarlo Menotti. Sir Karl Jenkins has been a very successful composer of music for commercials and film scores. Principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for several years, Anner Bylsma was a leading exponent of what is called the Dutch Baroque school.

Photos: Portrait of Arcangelo Corelli, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Henri Vieuxtemps, Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1842, Public Domain on; Scan of out-of-copyright postcard of Edward German (1862-1936), Public Domain on; Photo of Lee Hoiby, Unknown Author, Estate of Lee Hoiby; Photo of Sir Karl Jenkins, Unknown Author;  Photo of Anner Bylsma, Unknown Author on Alchetron.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Classical Station’s Education Fund includes an Instrument Donation program. The purpose of collecting these instruments is to make them available to students in music education programs and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina. Gently used instruments in working condition, or with minor repairs needed, are being accepted.

The following instruments are especially needed:

Trumpets, flutes, clarinets, French horns, trombones, violins, violas, cellos, saxophones, and other classical instruments for band or orchestra. Over the last ten years, the Education Fund has awarded more than $80,000 in grants to numerous music education nonprofits in North Carolina. In addition to grants that support music lessons, concerts, and scholarships, we hope that the Instrument Donation program will help even more students to realize their dreams of studying music. You can help to make their dreams come true, and receive a tax receipt.

For more information about the Education Fund, or to inquire about donating your instrument, please contact Dan McHugh, Membership Director, at 919-556-5178 or by email Arrangements for pickup will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Photo: Valve Trumpet, David C. Hall, Public Domain on

On February 16 we observe the birthdays of English composer Charles Avison (1709-1770), Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal (1936-), and American composer John Corigliano (1938-).

Charles Avison was a writer and music critic in addition to being a composer. He is best known to 21st-century audiences for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti. Maestro Inbal has been the conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and a couple of Grammy Awards, John Corigliano has written over one hundred compositions.

Photos: Charles Avison, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Eliahu Inbal, Oldsoft, Public Domain on; John Corigliano by Enid Bloch

Monday, February 15, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Berlin Philharmonic. On the program is music of Peter Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvořák, and Claude Debussy, in performances led by Herbert von Karajan, Sir Simon Rattle, and current Chief Conductor, Kirill Petrenko. See What’s Playing for details.

You can enjoy the concert beginning at 8 p.m. on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina and streaming everywhere online and on our apps.

Photo: Berlin Philharmonic by Andreas Praefcke, Public Domain on

On February 15 we observe the birthdays of German composer Michael Praetorious (1571-1621) and French composer Jean Langlais (1907-1991).

His real name was Michael Schultze, Praetorius being the Latinized version of the German-surname. A prolific composer, Herr Praetorius wrote thousands of works for instruments and voices. Blind since the age of two, Monsieur Langlais studied with Marcel Dupré, Paul Dukas, and Charles Tournemire. He was one of the 20th-century’s great organ recitalists.

Photos: Michael Praetorius, Unknown Author in Die großen Deutschen im Bilde, Public Domain on; Jean Langlais, Unknown Author on