This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Winter Birds by Edoardomiola, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Gabriela Lena Frank
Photo by Mariah Tauger

Gabriela Lena Frank, is an American composer of Peruvian, Chinese, and Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Her music is informed by her multi-cultural background, in particular her Latin American roots. Join us this evening on Wavelengths as we feature music of Gabriela Lena Frank for Women’s History Month.

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


Angela Hewitt
Photo ⓒ Angela Hewitt

This evening on Preview! we’ll hear a Beethoven symphony as arranged by the composer for piano trio. Rob Kennedy speaks with Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt about her recording of Beethoven’s Eroica Variations.

Neeme Jarvi conducts ballet music of Delibes, and New York Polyphony sings music for Passiontide.

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

This afternoon, American composer Carson Cooman is our guest on the March edition of My Life In Music. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

5 p.m. Eastern. Rob Kennedy hosts.

Photo: Carson Cooman by Colby Cooman

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Gloriae Dei Cantores Schola, the Atlanta Master Chorale, and the South Dakota Chorale. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Sir George Dyson, 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.

Photo: J.S. Bach, Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

On March 7 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Tomaso Vitali (1663-1745), French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), and American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves (1964-).

Signor Vitali was a violinist and composer who is perhaps best-known for his Chaconne in G minor for Violin. Monsieur Ravel is widely considered France’s greatest 20th-century composer. Ms. Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. She has sung in most of the world’s great opera houses.

Photos: Tomaso Vitali, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Maurice Ravel, Unknown Author, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Ms. Graves, Devon Cass

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Bizet’s Carmen, a 2014 performance featuring mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili in the role that brought her international stardom. She sang the title character of the gypsy who prizes her freedom above everything else, opposite tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko as the volatile and jealous Don José. Soprano Anita Hartig was the virtuous Micaëla, and bass Ildar Abdrazakov sang the swaggering bullfighter Escamillo. Pablo Heras-Casado conducted the Met Orchestra and Chorus in Bizet’s blockbuster score, one of the most beloved operas in the repertory.

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

Photo: Anita Rachvelishvili in the title role of Bizet’s Carmen by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

On March 6 we observe the birthdays of three conductors and an opera star: American conductors Lorin Maazel (1930-2014), Julius Rudel (1921-2014) Sara Caldwell (1924-2006)New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (1944-), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin (1975-)

Maestra Caldwell founded the Opera Company of Boston in 1957. She staged over 75 operas between 1957 and 1991. Maestro Rudel was notably affiliated with the New York City Opera from 1944-1979. Maestro Maazel was music director of several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa began her singing career as a pop star and nightclub entertainer. She has sung on most of the world’s great opera stages.

Photos: Lorin Maazel by Bill Bernstein; Julius Rudel, Unknown Author, courtesy of the artist); Sara Caldwell, Unknown Author, use of this image may qualify as fair use under the Copyright law of the United States, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Kiri Te Kanawa by John Swannell; Photo of Yannick Nézet-Séguin by Hans van Woerde

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Bizet’s Carmen, Saturday, March 6, 1 p.m. Eastern

On March 5 we observe the birthdays of American composer Arthur Foote (1853-1937), Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), Australian French horn player Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020), and English conductor Richard Hickox (1948-2008).

Arthur Foote was a prominent early 20th-century composer who was a member of the Boston Six. That informal group consisted of Foote and George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker. Heitor Villa-Lobos is synonymous with creativity in 20th-century Brazilian music. Barry Tuckwell had a well-earned reputation as one of the finest French horn players of the 20th-century. Richard Hickox was a brilliant, multifaceted conductor whose life was cut short at the young age of 60.

Photos: Photo of Arthur Foote, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Unknown Author, Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;  Photo of Barry Tuckwell, JzG, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Richard Hickox, Unknown Author, the use of this image may qualify as fair use under the Copyright law of the United States, Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande. The opera is the story of the half-brother of a prince who falls in love with his sister-in-law, a mysterious young woman who was discovered in a forest, about to commit an unthinkable act.

Join host Bob Chapman at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station.”

On March 4 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink (1929-).

Best known to modern audiences for The Four Seasons and his concerti for various instruments, Padre Vivaldi also composed forty operas and many sacred works. Bernard Johan Herman Haitink was the chief conductor or music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-1979), Glyndebourne Opera (1978-1988), The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1987-2002), Staatskapelle Dresden (2002-2004), and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1995-2004). We wish him a very happy ninety-second birthday!

Photos: Portrait of Antonio Vivaldi, Unknown Author, Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Bernard Haitink, Anefo/Croes, R.C., Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Our Spring 2021 Membership Drive will begin in a few weeks. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station that you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Virginia commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2021 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Tanja Greaves here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Tanja at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure to mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Or pop a check in the mail to WCPE The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588. Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Photo: Unknown Author, Angels Angelology

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

During the month of March, we honor women’s contributions to American history.  Here at The Classical Station we also honor women composers, performers, and conductors for their contributions to classical music. We have an extensive collection of conversations with distinguished musicians for you to enjoy.  You can find them on our Conversations page. Here’s a sampling of the artists who await you there. Click the link below each photo to hear our conversation with that musician.

Photos:Angèle Dubeau courtesy Analekta; Karina Canellakis by Mathias Bothor; Jennifer Higdon by J. Henry Fair; Yolanda Kondonassis by Laura Watilo Blake; Jeanette Sorrell by Roger Mastrioanni

On March 2 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884), German-born American composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), and Spanish guitarist Celedonio Romero (1913-1996).

Bedřich Smetana is widely considered to be the father of Czech music. A prolific composer, Smetana wrote operas, some chamber music, and works for piano and orchestra. Herr Weill is best known for his ballad Mack the Knife from his The Three Penny Opera. Señor Romero was part of the famous guitar quartet The Romeros. He taught guitarist Christopher Parkening.

Photos: Photo of a portrait of Bedřich Smetana, Unknown Author, Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Kurt Weill, Unknown Author, Kurt Weill Foundation, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law; Photo of Celedonio Romera, Unknown Author, Musicalics, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law

Monday, March 1, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program is music of Frederic Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn, and Ludwig van Beethoven in performances led by Leonard Bernstein, Rafael Kubelík, and music director emeritus Zubin Mehta.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Logo of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra courtesy of IPO

This evening, American composer Carson Cooman is our guest on the March edition of My Life In Music. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

7 p.m. Eastern. Rob Kennedy hosts.

Photo: Carson Cooman by Colby Cooman

On March 1 we observe the birthdays of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Greek conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), and American mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (1954-2006).

A child prodigy, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin composed over 200 works, mainly for the piano. Maestro Mitropoulos was principal conductor of several American orchestras including the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Minneapolis Symphony (forerunner of the Minnesota Orchestra.) In addition, he was the principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera from 1954-1960. Ms. Lieberson began her musical career as a violist before becoming a singer in her thirties.

Photos: Watercolor portrait of Polish composer Frederic Chopin by Maria Wodzinska (1819-96), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Dmitri Mitropoulos, Unknown Author, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law; Photo of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Unknown Author, qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law