This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Canadian composer Samy Moussa named his violin concerto, “Adrano”, after a mythical fire god said to live under the volcanic Mount Etna in Sicily. We’ll hear music of Samy Moussa this evening on Wavelengths, along with works by Dominick Argento and Jennifer Higdon.

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

This evening on Preview! pianist Alexander Melnikov plays music of Brahms. Rob Kennedy speaks with cellist Bion Tsang about his recording of the Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach. And we’ll hear violinist Daniel Hope from his new release, simply called “Hope”.

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

This evening the September edition of Renaissance Fare turns back the clock even further than usual and features music from the early stages of the Renaissance period, the late 1300s and early 1400s. Much of the music from this time comes from Italy, the birthplace of the European Renaissance.

Join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883, Fair Use, Public Domain Vectors


This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Choir of Westminster Abbey, and The Cardinall’s Musick. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, William Byrd, and George Frederic Handel. Our featured work is Handel’s oratorio Saul.

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

On September 19 we observe the birthday of German conductor Kurt Sanderling (1912-2011). Maestro Sanderling had a long and distinguished career during which he held positions with the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few. He was a friend of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

Photo: T Martinot, Lebrecht Music & Arts, Fair Use

Saturday, September 18, 2021

WCPE Car Donation Program

Go the last mile with your used vehicle. 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 programs you rely on from 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 WCPE 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 at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. Thank you for your support!

On September 18 we observe the birthday of Russian soprano Anna Netrebko (1971-). Conductor Valery Gergiev gave Ms. Netrebko her start and mentored her early on in her career. She has since gone on to sing in major opera houses worldwide.

Photo: Romy 2013

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #annanetrebko

Friday, September 17, 2021

From a 2005 performance of “Swan Lake”

Music and dance have been inextricably linked throughout history. This partnership reaches some of its greatest heights in the world of ballet. This weekend you can hear full-length performances of some of the ballets by Peter Tchaikovsky, Léo Delibes, Adolphe Adam, and Sergei Prokofiev, as well as highlights from other ballets each day.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

Photo courtesy of Carolina Ballet Credit: Russ Howe

Christopher Tin
Photo ⓒ Alfredo Chocano

Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin gained international recognition and acclaim for Baba Yetu which he composed for the game Civilization I. We spoke with Christopher about his education and his work as a composer. You can find this conversation and more on our Conversations With Composers page.

On September 17 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870), American composer Charles Griffes (1884-1920), and Dutch composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981).

Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante was a composer of operas who never enjoyed the fame of his younger colleagues Donizetti and Bellini. He wrote over 50 operas, only a handful of which are performed or recorded these days. Elmira, New York native Charles Griffes studied in Berlin. His music was written in what might best be described as an American impressionistic style. Professor Andriessen composed over 60 works and was instrumental in revitalizing Roman Catholic church music in The Netherlands.

Photo: Charles Griffes, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #christophertin #carolinaballet

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Our mission since 1978 has been to share our love of classical music with our listeners everywhere. That’s why you’ll hear our announcers mention something about the music you are about to hear. Those little 20 or 30 second factoids are perfect for our listening experience because we want less talk and more music. On the other hand, hearing what performers think about the music they play or who they studied with is fascinating. Above all, it’s downright inspiring.

Our Conversations pages offer you dozens of interviews with conductors, singers, and instrumentalists. Download them or listen to them on our app.

This evening the Thursday Night opera House presents Camille Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. Loosely based on the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, it’s notable for its superb choruses, lavish spectacle, and sensuous beauty of Dalila’s music. Samson (tenor Placido Domingo) leads a successful Hebrew revolt against the Philistines. Prompted by the High Priest of Dagon (baritone Alain Fondary), Dalila (mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier) robs Samson of his power by cutting off his hair.

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

On September 16 we observe the birthday of Hildegard von Bingen, OSB. This 12th-century genius was a Benedictine abbess. She was also a prolific writer and composer whose music we play from time to time on Great Sacred Music and Peaceful Reflections. Dr. von Bingen was a polymath or someone who is well-versed in a variety of subjects, a renaissance woman if you will.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #hildegardvonbingen

Wednesday, September 15, 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.
  • 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.
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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!

This evening at 6 p.m. Eastern we mark the beginning of Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, with a special program of music performed by the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble. Rabbi Marc Cohn of Temple Emmanuel, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will introduce the program.

Photo: Yom Kippur courtesy of Congregation Keneseth Israel, Allentown, Pennsylvania

On September 15 we observe the birthdays of American composer Horatio Parker (1863-1919), German conductor Bruno Walter (1876-1962), Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1933-2014), and American soprano Jessye Norman (1945-2019).

Dr. Parker established the music curriculum at Harvard University and was a director of the New England Conservatory of Music. Herr Walter was one of the great conductors of the 20th century. He lived in the United States from 1939 until his death. Señor Frühbeck de Burgos was the music director of several orchestras including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Symphony. GRAMMY-award winning soprano Jessye Norman appeared in most of the world’s great opera houses in the course of her career.

Photo: Ms. Norman by Carole Friedman

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #jessyenorman

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Kanneh-Mason family of musicians
Photo by Jake Turney

September 14 is the birthday of composer Michael Haydn, the lesser-known but still quite accomplished younger brother of Franz Josef Haydn. It’s also a great day to feature other famous sibling composers and performers in the classical music world including the Bachs, Johann Christoph Friedrich, Carl Philip Emmanuel, and Johann Christian; the Mendelssohns, Felix and Fanny; and the Mozarts, Wolfgang and Nanerl. In our modern classical music world, the Labèque sisters, Gil and Orli Shaham, Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber, and the sensational Kanneh-Mason family enrich our lives with their wonderful playing.  Today’s playlist tells you when performances by these talented siblings will air.

On September 14 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Michael Haydn (1737-1806), and Italian composer Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842).

As his older brother Josef had done, Michael Haydn got his musical start as a boy chorister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Haydn composed over 360 works in a variety of forms. His sacred choral works were highly regarded. Monsieur Cherubini was born in Italy but spent most of his life in France. With over 35 operas to his credit, he was also an able administrator, having been appointed the director of the Conservatoire in 1822.

Photo: Portrait of Michael Haydn by Franz Xaver Hornöck, c. 1805, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #kannehmason

Monday, September 13, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Dresden State Orchestra. On the program are works by Johannes Brahms, Jean Sibelius, and Josef Haydn in performances led by Giuseppe Sinopoli, André Previn, and music director Christian Thielemann.

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

This evening the September edition of Renaissance Fare turns back the clock even further than usual and features music from the early stages of the Renaissance period, the late 1300s and early 1400s. Much of the music from this time comes from Italy, the birthplace of the European Renaissance.

Join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: From a drawing in Cassell’s Library of English Literature, Henry Morley, 1883, Fair Use, Public Domain Vectors

On September 13 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) whose birthday is variously thought to be on September 9 and 15 as well as today, German composer Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896), and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951).

Signor Frescobaldi was a musician at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and one of the most important composers of keyboard music in the late Renaissance. Clara Schumann was the wife of composer Robert Schumann. She was a superb pianist who gave several first performances of the works of her friend Johannes Brahms.  Herr Schoenberg developed the 12-tone compositional technique. 

Photo: Clara Schumann, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

#theclassicalstation #wcpe #classicalmusic #clarschumann