This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: “Waldstein 1 (Yellow)” by Rosemary Szczygiel

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 2, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music for clarinet and piano by American composer Jennifer Higdon. We’ll also hear works by Norman Dello Joio and Michael Daugherty, and a lullaby written by Bryce Dessner for his son, played by pianist Bertrand Chamayou.

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

Photo: Jennifer Higdon by J. Henry Fair

This evening on Preview! Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla releases the second installment in her “British Project”, conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony in music of Sir William Walton. Rob Kennedy speaks with Kate Ashby of Stile Antico about their new recording of Josquin des Prez, marking the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death. The London Symphony Orchestra plays Rachmaninoff, led by Sir Simon Rattle.

Preview!,  the best in new classical recordings and arts news, every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Photo: Josquin des Prez, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Woodley Ensemble, Le Concert Spirituel, and The Sixteen. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi, and  Felix Mendelssohn.

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

Photo: Resurrection window in St. John’s Church, Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia, Toby Hudson CC-BY-SA-3.0 Wikimedia Commons

On May 2 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), Danish composer Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874), and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev (1953-).

Composer of over 45 operas, Signor Scarlatti bridged the Baroque and Classical eras. Think of Lumbye as a Danish Strauss, and you will understand his output of waltzes and other dances. Widely considered one of the great conductors of the 21st-century, Maestro Gergiev is Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Alessandro Scarlatti, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Hans Christian Lumbye, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Valery Gergiev, David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

 


Saturday, May 1, 2021

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Gaetano Donizetti’s gripping historical drama Roberto Devereux in a performance from 2016. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky starred as England’s Queen Elizabeth the First, an acclaimed portrayal that crowned a season in which she sang all of Donizetti’s famous “three queens” at the Met. Tenor Matthew Polenzani starred in the title role as the Queen’s beloved Earl of Essex. Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča sang Sara, Elizabeth’s rival for Devereux’s love, and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien was Sara’s husband, the Duke of Nottingham. Maurizio Benini led a bravura performance of Donizetti’s opera, a portrait of an all-powerful monarch unable to command love.

The opera begins at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Portrait of Gaetano Donizetti by Giuseppe Rillo, La Scala Theater Collection, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

On May 1 we observe the birthdays of Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) and Czech-born British conductor Walter Susskind (1913-1980). A violinist and a painter, Hugo Alfvén created over fifty compositions. A student of George Szell, Maestro Susskind was noted for his interpretation of opera. He was Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from 1968-1975.

Photo: Hugo Alfvén, Peder Severin Krøyer, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Walter Susskind, Unknown Author, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra


Friday, April 30, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux
Saturday, May 1, 1 p.m. Eastern

On April 30 we observe the birthdays of Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár (1870-1948) and American conductor Robert Shaw (1916-1999).

Herr Lehár wrote over forty operas and operettas. The opera best known to modern ears is The Merry Widow which is mounted with great regularity in opera houses worldwide. Robert Shaw was affectionately known as the Dean of American choral conductors.

Photo: Franz Lehár, Unknown Author (Bain News Service, publisher). Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Robert Shaw, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons


April 29, 2021

This evening the Thursday Evening Opera House presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, a bittersweet comedy in which love is put to the test. Ferrando and Guglielmo are
engaged to Fiordiligi and Dorabella, but Don Alfonso wagers that the women won’t remain faithful while they’re away at war.

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

On April 29 we observe the birthdays of English conductors Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) and Sir Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967), as well as Indian conductor Zubin Mehta (1936-).

Wealthy and witty, Sir Thomas Beecham led a rather extraordinary life, both professionally and personally. A bit of a showman who added the sing-along to the Last Night of the Proms, Sir Malcolm Sargent was Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950 to1957. Considered one of the great conductors of the latter part of the 20th-century and early 21st-century, Maestro Mehta was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (1961-67); Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1962-1978); the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1981-); and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (1978-91).

Photos: Sir Thomas Beacham, Culver Pictures, New York, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons; Zubin Mehta, Antman Oded, Opera Online


April 28, 2021

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On April 28 we observe the birthday of Israeli conductor Yoav Talmi (1943-). Maestro Talmi attended The Juilliard School and has been music director of several orchestras in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Photo: YoavTalmi.com


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Our goal is to bring you classical music twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year.  We also love sharing background on the performers and music we play.  If you want to learn more about everything we offer, then sign up for Crescendo, our weekly eNewsletter. It comes out every Thursday and is full of news about our upcoming specialty programs, our theme weekends,  and much more. Sign up for Crescendo here.

On April 27 we observe the birthdays of German composer Friedrich von Flotow (1812-1883) and French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie (1959-).

While Herr von Flotow wrote thirty operas, he is perhaps best known to modern audiences for his opera Martha. Besides appearing in venues worldwide and recording extensively, Monsieur Lortie is the Master in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium.

Photos: Friedrich von Flotow, Unknown Author, Gallica Digital Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Louis Lortie by Elias Photography


Monday, April 26, 2021

This evening on Monday Night at the Symphony we’ll spend an evening with the Minnesota Orchestra. On the program is music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, and Sergei Rachmaninoff, in performances led by Osmo Vanska, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Eiji Oue.

The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Want to know more about the music you love so much here on The Classical Station?

  • Play Classical Conundrum with Kristine Bellino weekday mornings on Rise and Shine (6 – 10 a.m.)
  • Hear composers, conductors, singers, and instrumentalists talk about their art on Conversations.
  • Learn about the plot of this week’s opera on the Thursday Night Opera House.
  • Find out more about the sacred choral music on Great Sacred Music.
  • Read book reviews and more in our member magazine Quarter Notes.