This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: “Untitled scene from Nags Head, North Carolina” by Karin Ritter from our Virtual Art Exhibit.

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, May 30, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music written by American composer Linda Robbins Coleman in tribute to her home state of Iowa. We’ll also hear music for Memorial Day composed by Dan Locklair, and a work by Joseph Schwantner honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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

This evening on Preview! Michael Stern leads the Kansas City Symphony in Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 9. Rob Kennedy speaks with pianist David Korevaar about his recent recording of the music of Luigi Perracchio. And the Juilliard String Quartet plays the String Quartet in F “American” by Antonín Dvořák.

Preview! — the best in new classical recordings and arts news, Sundays at 6 p.m. Eastern. With Jeffrey David Smith.

This morning, Great Sacred Music includes music for Memorial Day sung by the Harvard University Choir, the Turtle Creek Chorale, and the Woodley Ensemble. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Randall Thompson.

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

Photo: St. Theodosia of Tyre, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

On May 30 we observe the birthdays of Dutch keyboardist and conductor Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) and Hungarian pianist and conductor Zoltán Kocsis (1952-2016).

A harpsichordist and organist, Gustav Leonhardt was an early music specialist whose teaching and work influenced a generation of performers including Martin Pearlman, Davitt Monroney, Ton Koopman, Christopher Hogwood, and Jeanette Sorrell. A child prodigy, Zoltán Kocsis began conducting in his 30s and was responsible for transforming the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra into a world-class ensemble.

Photos: Gustav Leonhardt, Wikifalcon,CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons; Zoltan Kocsis, Unknown Author, TheViolinChannel, Fair Use

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The 2020-21 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Otello, Giuseppe Verdi’s masterful re-telling of Shakespeare’s tragedy, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in a performance from 2015. Tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko starred in the title role as the military hero torn apart by jealousy, and soprano Sonya Yoncheva was Desdemona, his innocent wife. Baritone Željko Lučić sang Iago, the officer who aims to destroy both of them through treachery and cunning. Maestro Nézet-Séguin led the Met Orchestra and Chorus in Verdi’s tempestuous, towering final drama.

The curtain goes up at 1 p.m. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

On May 29 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Austrian-born American composer Erich Korngold (1897-1957), German conductor Karl Münchinger (1915-1990), and American conductor Helmut Rilling (1933-).

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual composed many piano pieces using themes from Spanish folk music. Erich Korngold won an Academy Award in 1938 for his score to The Adventures of Robin Hood. We have Herr Münchinger to thank for popularizing Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D which Munchinger first recorded in 1960. Herr Rilling is a renowned conductor of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He also founded the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart among several other ensembles.

Photos: Isaac Albéniz, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Erich Korngold, Unknown Author, Bain Collection in Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Karl Münchinger, Jens Gathmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Helmut Rilling, Unknown Author, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello
Saturday, May 29, 1 p.m. Eastern

This Memorial Day Weekend we will celebrate American composers and performers. Ask us to play your favorite piece today on All Request Friday or on the Saturday Evening Request Program. On Monday we will honor the men and women who have given so much for our country with a day full of patriotic music. See the Daily Playlist for details.

Photo: United States Navy

On May 28 we observe the birthdays of German baritone Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012), and Romanian-born Austrian composer György Sándor Ligeti (1923-2006).

Herr Fischer-Dieskau was universally acclaimed as the greatest singer of lieder. His recordings of Schubert songs with Gerald Moore and Jorge Demus are acmes of the genre. Ligeti was considered one of the greatest avant-garde composers of the 20th century. Stanley Kubrick used Ligeti’s music in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Photos: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Unknown Author, Alchetron; Gyorgy Ligeti, Marcel Antonisse, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, May 27, 2021

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Jules Massenet’s Werther. A sensitive young poet, played by Jerry Hadley, can’t cope with rejection by a woman who’s already engaged, sung by Sofie Von Otter, in an adaptation of Goethe’s novel.

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

On May 27 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jacques Halévy (1799-1862), German-Swiss composer Joachim Raff (1822-1882), and Scottish composer Thea Musgrave (1928-).

Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy had many notable students including Georges Bizet and Camille Saint-Saëns. Joseph Joachim Raff worked as Franz Liszt’s assistant for several years during which time he helped orchestrate several of the master’s works. Thea Musgrave has lived in the United States since 1972 and has been on the faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Queens College, City University of New York.

Photos: Jacques Halévy, Eugene Carjat, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Joachim Raff, Montel & Jacob, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Thea Musgrave, Christian Steiner.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Are you a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station? If you are, 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.
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  •  Utilize an eco-friendly payment option that 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 as 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 26 we observe the birthdays of Lithuanian-born French pianist Vlado Perlemuter (1904-2002), English conductor Sir Eugene Gossens (1893-1962), American composer William Bolcom (1938-), and French guitarist Thibaut Garcia (1994-).

Vlado Perlemuter was renowned for his interpretation of the music of Maurice Ravel. Sir Eugene Aynsley Goossens came from a long line of distinguished musicians. William Bolcom won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his composition 12 New Etudes for Piano. Thibaut Garcia is in the vanguard of the new generation of classical guitarists. Winner of numerous competitions, his first album Leyendas was released in 2016.

Photo: Vlado Perlemuter, Unknown Author, Nimbus Records, Fair Use; William Bolcolm, Peter Smith; Eugene Gosenns, Unknown Author, Music Regeneree, Fair Use

Thibaut Garcia
Photo ⓒ Luis Castilla

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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. Thank you for supporting The Classical Station.

Photo: 1990-1993 Chrysler Imperial, Public Domain on

On May 25 we observe the birthday of American concert organist Diane Bish (1941-). Diane is host and executive producer of The Joy of Music. She has filmed the show in most of the world’s great churches over the past 39 years, showcasing their magnificent organs on every program. You can hear Diane talk about her life and career as a concert organist in an interview we did with her on My Life In Music in  March 2019. Happy 80th birthday, Diane!

Photo: Roni Ely

Monday, May 24, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The program includes the music of Cesar Franck, Richard Strauss, and William Levi Dawson, in performances led by Antal Dorati, Neeme Jarvi, and Leonard Slatkin.

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

On May 24 we observe the birthdays of French conductor Paul Paray (1886-1979), Australian soprano Joan Hammond (1912-1996), and German flute and recorder player Hans-Martin Linde (1930-).

Maestro Paray was the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1952-1963. Dame Joan Hilda Hood Hammond, DBE, CMG, was also a champion golfer. Besides being a virtuoso recorder and flute player Herr Linde has written several books on flute and recorder playing.

Photos: Paul Paray, Unknown Author, Alchetron, Fair Use; Joan Hammond, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons; Hans Martin Linde, Unknown Author, Fair Use.