This Week At The Classical Station

“Hopeful Flowers 3” by Lynn Newman

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 9, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear a work for guitar and chorus by Indian-American composer Reena Esmail. Violinist Angele Dubeau plays music that she says speaks to her personally, and oboist Francois Leleux plays music of French composer Thierry Pecou.

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

This evening on Preview! the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin plays music for winds by Mozart. Rob Kennedy with the Saint Thomas Choir’s Music Director Jeremy Filsell about the CHoir’s new release honoring their late Choirmaster and Organist, Dr. Gerre Hancock. Pianist Zixiang Wang plays music of Scriabin.

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

José Serebrier
Photo ⓒ

Celebrated conductor José Serebrier is our guest on the May edition of My Life In Music. Maestro Serebrier talks about his time as a young conductor and composer working with George Szell, Pierre Monteux, and Leopold Stokowski.

My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.  Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by Gloriae Dei Cantores, the Turtle Creek Chorale, and the St. Olaf Choirs. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Biebl, and Giacomo Puccini.

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

On May 9 we observe the birthdays of Italian conductor Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005) and Swedish mezzo-soprano Sofie van Otter (1955-).

Maestro Giulini was one of the great conductors of the 20th-century. Sofie van Otter is one of those artists who is at home singing lieder, opera, oratorios, and pop songs. You can hear an interview with Ms. van Otter on our Conversations page.


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Anna Netrebko
Photo by Romy 2013

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with a network broadcast premiere: Anna Netrebko in an all-Puccini gala conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a special Met performance from New Year’s Eve, 2019. The superstar soprano portrayed heroines from three Puccini operas. In Act One of La Bohème she was the fragile seamstress Mimì opposite tenor Matthew Polenzani as the poet Rodolfo. She sang the title character in Act One of Tosca with tenor Yusif Eyvazov as Cavaradossi and bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as Scarpia. The performance concluded with Act Two of Turandot, Netrebko’s first appearance as the formidable princess of the title, with Eyvazov as prince Calàf. Maestro Nézet-Séguin led the Met Orchestra and Chorus in this memorable event.

The Anna Netrebko Puccini Gala begins at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

On May 8 we observe the birthdays of German composer Karl Stamitz (1745-1801), American composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869), English sopranos Heather Harper (1930-2019), and Felicity Lott (1947-).

Herr Stamitz composed 50 symphonies as well as 60 concertos for various instruments. A native of New Orleans, Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s talent was recognized by Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt. Heather Harper was highly regarded on both the operatic stage and in the concert hall. During her long career, Felicity Lott sang both opera and lieder.

Photo: Karl Stamitz, Unknown Author, Alchetron, Fair Use; Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Matthew Brady, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Heather Harper, Unknown Author, Bach-Cantatas, Fair Use; Felicity Lott, Benjamin Ealovega

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Anna Netrebko Puccini Gala
Saturday, May 8, 1 p.m. Eastern

On May 7 we observe the birthdays of German composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).

Johannes Brahms was one of the greatest classical musicians who ever lived. His enormous output included orchestral, chamber, keyboard, choral, and vocal music. Ballets, symphonies, concerti, operas, and much more flowed from the pen of Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest Romantic-era composers.

Photos: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Johannes Brahms, C. Brasch, Berlin, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Credit: Unknown Author, Fair Use

This weekend is A Primarily Piano Weekend here at The Classical Station. A piano is a remarkable contraption, a wooden box holding metal strings, hammers and levers, iron and felt, wedded into a self-contained orchestra. We’ll feature today’s leading performers, among them Orli ShahamAngela Hewitt, and Daniil Trifonov, along with established masters of the 20th-century including Van CliburnMartha Argerich, and Maurizio Pollini. You can get the weekend off to an early start tomorrow by requesting your favorite piano piece on All Request Friday.

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents The Bartered Bride (Prodaná nevěsta), a comic opera in three acts by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.” Bob Chapman hosts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Book Review: The Way of Bach

Looking for a good book on classical music? Check out our Book Reviews page. Carefully curated by Christina Romano, the editor of our member magazine, Quarter Notes, these books will provide you with many hours of reading pleasure. We send Quarter Notes to all of our listeners who support The Classical Station financially.

On May 5 we observe the birthdays of English organist T. Tertius Noble (1867-1953), Paraguayan guitarist Agustin Barrios (1885-1944), German composer Hans Fitzner (1869-1949), French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris (1951-), and Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (1978-).

Dr. Noble was Organist of York Minister until he was translated to St. Thomas Church, New York where he founded the St. Thomas Choir School among other achievements. Agustín Barrios Mangoré and Nitsuga was both a virtuoso performer and prolific composer. Not well-known these days, Herr Fitsner nonetheless was a highly-regarded composer and teacher in his day. His students include Otto Klemperer, Charles Much, and Carl Orff, to name but a few. Monsieur Katsaris gained a certain notoriety for recording Franz Liszt’s transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies. One of the few contemporary composers who seem to understand writing for voices, Ola Gjeilo is well-regarded by choirs and choral conductors worldwide.

Photos: T. Tertius Noble, Thwaites, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Agustin Barrios, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Hans Pfitzner, Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Cyprien Katsaris, Carole Bellaïche, CC-BY-3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Ola Gjeilo, Anna-Julia Granberg, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Over the years, we have had the privilege and pleasure of speaking with many conductors, performers, and composers for Preview! and My Life In Music. It’s fascinating listening to these musicians talking about how they got started and what inspired them. We have repackaged these recordings as podcasts which you can download or listen to here. Please tell two friends about our Conversations Page.

On May 4 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek (1860-1945), American soprano Roberta Peters (1930-2017), Russian conductor Gennady Nikolayevich Rozhdestvensky (1931-2018), and Mexican conductor Enrique Bátiz Campbell (1942-).

Quick facts about our birthday celebrants: Emil von Reznicek was a personal friend of Richard Strauss. He is perhaps best known to modern audiences for his opera Donna Diana. A remarkably agile coloratura soprano, Roberta Peters had a thirty-five-year association with the Metropolitan Opera. Gennady Rozhdestvensky was actually born Gennady Nikolayevich Anosov. He adapted his mother’s last name to avoid any confusion with his famous musician parents. He went on to conduct many of the world’s orchestras. Enrique Bátiz’ full name is Enrique Bátiz Campbell because the Mexican naming convention gives a child two apellidos or last names: the first from his father, the second from his mother.

Photos: Emil von Reznicek, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Roberta Peters, Sol Hurok, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Enrique Bátiz, Unknown Author,;  Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jialiang Jao, CC by 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, May 3, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops.  On the program is the music of George Gershwin, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev, and Camille Saint-Saëns, in performances led by Paavo Järvi, Louis Langrée, Erich Kunzel, and John Morris Russell.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station.”

José Serebrier
Photo ⓒ

Celebrated conductor José Serebrier is our guest on the May edition of My Life In Music. Maestro Serebrier talks about his time as a young conductor and composer working with George Szell, Pierre Monteux, and Leopold Stokowski.

My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.  Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.