This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: “Untitled” by Nancy Carty from our Virtual Art Exhibit

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 23, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music for flute and piano by American composer Peter Scott Lewis, born in 1953 in San Rafael, California. We’ll also hear a piano trio by Richard Danielpour, composed after the death of a colleague’s child.

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

This evening on Preview! pianist Theodosia Ntokou plays music of Beethoven. Elizabeth Elliott speaks with Conductor Osmo Vänskä about the Minnesota Orchestra’s recent recording of Gustav Mahler’s Unfinished Symphony No. 10. Andris Nelsons leads the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in music of Bruckner.

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

Photo: Minnesota Orchestra with Osmo Vänskä by Greg Helgeson

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, the East Carolina University Chamber Singers, and the William Ferris Chorale. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Leo Sowerby. You can view a detailed playlist with Rob’s program notes on the Great Sacred Music page on our website.

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

Photo: Holy Spirit window in St. James Catholic Church, Concord, North Carolina. Nheyob, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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.

Photos: Ignaz Moscheles, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; John Browning, Herbert Barrett Management,  Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Alicia de Larrocha, Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de la Presidència, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Vincenzo Bellini’s ravishing final work, I Puritani, in an encore broadcast from 2017. It featured two stars of bel canto opera: soprano Diana Damrau as the fragile Puritan maiden Elvira, and tenor Javier Camarena as Arturo, her fiancé and an opponent of her people in the English Civil War. Baritone Alexey Markov sang the Puritan commander Riccardo and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni was Giorgio, Elvira’s sympathetic uncle. Maurizio Benini led the Met Orchestra and Chorus in Bellini’s lyrical and vocally virtuosic score.

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

Photo: Jonathan Tichler

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 this evening on the Saturday Evening Request Program? You can make your request online or by calling 919-556-0123.

Photo: Richard Wagner, Franz Hanfstaengl, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Vincenzo Bellini’s Il Puritani
Saturday, May 22, 1 p.m. Eastern

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, Dimboukas, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Maurice André, Unknown Author, Fair Use,  Asociacion Culturel Demusica; Heinz Holliger,, Fair Use

Thursday, May 20,2021

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Euryanthe. In a nutshell, the story involves Lysiart secretly in love with Euryanthe making a bet with her husband Adolar that she’s unfaithful, which he “proves” with a poisoned ring. The late Al Ruocchio hosts this rarely-staged opera.

Tell Alexa to “Play The Classical Station at 7 p.m.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Dan McHugh, Chair of  our Education Fund, has announced the 2021 grant recipients. Six area non-profit musical organizations won a combined total of over $10,000 in grants from the WCPE Education Fund. The grants will help fund music lessons for underprivileged children, scholarships, a symphony outreach program for four-year-olds in Head Start programs, and money for instrument repairs. Read more.

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.

Photos: Dame Nellie Melba, Henry Walter Barnett; Johann Jakob Froberger, Unknown Author, Alchetron, Fair Use; Alfred Hay Malotte, Unknown Author,, Fair Use

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Did you become a Sustaining member of The Classical Station during our recent Spring Membership Drive? If you did, thank you! You are enjoying convenient, automatic, ongoing monthly contributions which you can change or stop at any time! Becoming a Sustaining Member is an easy way to increase the power of your support and put more of your dollars into the great classical music you depend on.

As a Sustaining Member, you will:

  • Enjoy uninterrupted membership status at The Classical Station.
  • Save us money spent on postage, paper and administrative costs.
  • Utilize an eco-friendly payment option which allows us to cut down on renewal mailings.
  • Provide The Classical Station with a steady and reliable stream of income which allows us to plan for a sustainable future.

Here’s how a Sustaining Membership works: Your monthly contribution is deducted automatically from the account of your choice on the same day each month until you tell us to stop. You can make changes or cancel your Sustaining Membership at any time.

To become a Sustaining Member, visit our Donation Page. Or call 800-556-5178 anytime. A member of staff will be happy to take down your information and instructions, as well answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift or designate 10% of your Sustaining Membership to the Education Fund if you prefer. Thank you for being a Sustaining Member!

On May 18 we observe the birthdays of Hungarian-born Viennese composer Karl Goldmark (1930-1915) and English pianist Sir Clifford Curzon (1907-1982).

Károly 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.

Photos: Karl Goldmark, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia; Sir Clifford Curzon, Bascon, CC ASA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons

Monday, May 17, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.  On the program is music of Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss and Josef Suk, in performances led by Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Mariss Jansons.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern. “Alexa, play The Classical Station!”

On May 17 we observe the birthdays of French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925),  Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson (!918-2005), English horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957) and English pianist Paul Crossley (1944-).

Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was unusual both as a person and as a composer. Ms. Nilsson was highly-acclaimed for her roles in Richard Wagner’s operas. Dennis Brain died tragically in a car crash at the age of 36. Paul Crossley studied with Olivier Messiaen.

Photos: Erik Satie, Henri Manuel, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Birgit Nilsson, Gunar Harnesk, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Dennis Brain, Unknown Author, Discogs, Fair Use; Paul Crossley, Unknown Author,, Fair Use.