This Week At The Classical Station

Cornocopia handcrafted and baked at Dover Air Force Base
by Staff Sgt. Rommel Ongaco, 436th Force Support Squadron shift supervisor
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shen-Chia Chu

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Join us this evening at 6 p.m. Eastern for a special program of music to celebrate the beginning of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Rabbi Amy Feder of Temple Israel in Saint Louis, Missouri, will offer the introduction and Blessing. We’ll present additional seasonal selections throughout the eight-day observance of Chanukah.

We also invite you to enjoy a conversation with Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue here in Raleigh, North Carolina, about Chanukah, its history, its customs, and its music. You can listen to and download this podcast here. Happy Chanukah! Hanukkah sameach!

Photo: Menorah in the Arch of Titus/thetorah.com

This evening on Wavelengths the Silk Road Ensemble plays music of American composer Vijay Iyer. We’ll also hear works by Christopher Theofanidis and Margaret Brandman.

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

This evening on Preview! Manfred Honeck leads the Pittsburgh Symphony in music of Brahms. Rob Kennedy speaks with Jonathan Bagg, violist with the Ciompi Quartet. And James Ehnes performs music for solo violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.

Preview! offers the best in new classical recordings and arts news, beginning this Sunday at 7:05 p.m. Eastern right after our Chanukkah special program.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Turtle Creek Chorale, Gloriae Dei Cantores, and Voces8. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Adler, Thomas Tallis.

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

Photos: Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons

On November 28 we observe the birthdays of French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), German composer Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838), Russian composer Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894), and Spanish guitarist Celin Romero (1936-).

Italian-born Jean-Baptiste Lully spent most of his professional life working for the King of France. Ries found time to compose eight symphonies while acting as Ludwig van Beethoven’s secretary and friend. Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. A member of the celebrated Romero Guitar Quartet, Señor Romero is Professor of Music and Guitar at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo: Portrait of Anton Rubenstein, Ilya Repin, Public Domain, WikiArt


Saturday, November 27, 2021

On November 27 we observe the birthdays of German composer Anton Stamitz (1750-1809), Czech composer Franz Krommer (1759-1831), American composer Margaret Lang (1867-1972), French composer Charles Koechlin (1867-1950), and American violinist Hilary Hahn (1979-).

Anton Thadäus Johann Nepomuk Stamitz came from a family of musicians. He made his living in Paris and London. František Vincenc Krommer’s life spanned the time from the death of Handel to a few years after Beethoven’s death. Boston native Margaret Lang studied with George Whitefield Chadwick and John Knowles Paine. While not well-known in this century, Monsieur Koechlin studied with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Faure at the Paris Conservatoire. Ms. Hahn began her musical career as a child prodigy. She is one of the most celebrated violinists of our time.

Photo: Hilary Hahn © Michael Patrick Oleary


Friday, November 26, 2021

On November 26 we observe the birthdays of two great American pianists: Earl Wild (1915-2010) and Eugene Istomin (1925-2003).

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Earl Wild was one of the 20th century’s great pianists. Besides being a virtuoso, he transcribed several orchestral works and composed a few of his own, in addition to leaving us dozens of recordings on several labels. A native of New York City, Eugene Istomin was one of the 20th-century’s great pianists, like the previously mentioned Earl Wild. Istomin enjoyed a well-received collaboration as one member of a trio with Leonard Rose and Isaac Stern.

Photo: Earl Wild, Unknown Author, Fair Use


Thursday, November 25, 2021
Thanksgiving Day

The Thanksgiving Day edition of the Thursday Night Opera House features Mark Adamo’s adaptation of a nineteenth-century American literary classic, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera, it was first performed by their Opera Studio on March 13, 1998.

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

On November 25 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz Gruber (1787-1863), American composer and critic Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), German pianist Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991), and French conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire (1940-2018).

Herr Gruber wrote the music for Silent Night. Virgil Thomson was one of the 20th-century composers largely responsible for creating what we recognize as the American sound. Aaron Copland was the other. Herr Kempff was one of the 20th-century’s great interpreters of the piano music of Beethoven and Schubert. Monsieur Malgoire is a prominent conductor of Baroque music.

Photo: Portrait of Franz Gruber, Sebastian Stief, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

We’re thankful for the opportunity to share classical music with you every day. As we gather together this Thanksgiving, count on The Classical Station to bring you a day full of warm, beautiful musical selections to complement your family activities. And we’ll carry those good feelings through the weekend by presenting the best offerings of American composers and performers on our New World Weekend.

The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

On November 24 we observe the birthday of American composer Scott Joplin (c. 1868–1917).

A native of Arkansas, Joplin is widely considered to be the “King of Ragtime”. His music shot to popularity as a result of it being included in the hit movie The Sting (1973) which featured Joplin’s rag The Entertainer.

Photo: Scott Joplin (c. 1903), Author Unknown, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Celebrate the special classical music lover in your life with a daily, weekly, or monthly announcement here on The Classical Station. With a Sustaining Membership of $100 per month, you can have a weekly on-air dedication. To find out more about day dedications and patron announcements on The Classical Station or to renew your announcement, contact Tanja Greaves at 919-556-5178.

On November 23 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Atwood (1765-1838), French composer André Caplet (1878-1925), and Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1946).

After studying with Mozart, Thomas Attwood went on to be the Organist of Saint Paul’s Cathedral from 1796-1838. Winner of the Prix de Rome in 1901, Monsieur Caplet was a close friend of Claude Debussy and orchestrated many of his works. Manuel de Falla is best remembered for his compositions The Ritual Fire Dance and The Three-Cornered Hat.

Photo: Manuel de Falla, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons


Monday, November 22, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.   The program includes works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Modeste Mussorgsky, and Jean Sibelius in performances led by Hannu Lintu, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Leif Segerstam.

On November 22 we observe the birthdays of German composer Wilhelm Friedmann Bach (1710-1784), Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), American composer Gunther Schuller (1925-2015), English pianist Stephen Hough (1961-), and American conductor Kent Nagano (1951-).

The second child and eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wilhelm Friedmann Bach was taught by his father who wrote, among other works, Inventions and Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier for him. While best known for his guitar music, Senor Rodrigo never actually mastered the instrument himself. We know him best for his Concierto de Aranjuez which is a great favorite of The Classical Station’s listeners. Benjamin Britten was a brilliant composer as well as conductor and pianist. He was also the first British musician to be made a life peer. The Britten-Pears Foundation website is a good resource for information about the composer. Gunther Schuller studied at the St. Thomas Choir School in New York and went on to be President of the New England Conservatory. Besides being a brilliant pianist, Stephen Hough is a writer, composer, and polymath. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Julliard School. You can listen to a conversation with Stephen on our Conversations page. Maestro Nagano has been Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and is also music director of the Hamburg State Opera.

Photo: Stephen Hough by Andrew Crowley