This Week At The Classical Station

Photo by Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 5, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music for string orchestra by Chicago-based composer Doug Lofstrom. We’ll hear chamber music of Aaron Jay Kernis. And we’ll continue our observance of Chanukah with a sonata by 20th-century Austrian composer Eric Zeisl.

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

This evening on Preview! Andrew Manze leads the North German Radio Philharmonic in music of Mozart. The Classical Station’s Rob Kennedy speaks with Elias Dubelsten about the PaTRAM Institute’s new recording, More Honourable Than The Cherubim. Clarinetist Anthony McGill plays Brahms with pianist Gloria Chien.

Preview! offers the best in new classical recordings and arts news every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern. Steve Thebes hosts.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Russian Patriarchate Choir, and Les Arts Florissants. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Heinrich Schutz.

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

On December 5 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762), Czech composer Vitezslav Novák (1870-1949), Spanish tenor José Carreras (1946-), and Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman (1956-).

Signor Geminiani was a student of Alessandro Scarlatti and Arcangelo Corelli before setting off to England, where he spent much of his adult life as a violin virtuoso and composer. Vitezslav Novák founded what might be called the modern school of Czech composition. He studied with Antonin Dvorak. Josep Maria Carreras i Coll is a tenor known for his roles in Verdi and Puccini operas. He was also a member of the Three Tenors, along with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Krystian Zimerman got his career as a concert pianist off to a fine start by winning the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1975.

Photos: Francesco Geminiani and Vitezslav Novák/Public Domain on; José Carreras/Gran Teatro Liceo de Barcelona/Archivo EFE; Krystian Zimerman/Kasskara/DG


Saturday, December 4, 2021

The 2021-22 season of Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee radio broadcasts begins on December 4 with the network broadcast premiere of Eurydice by the brilliant young American composer Matthew Aucoin. It will be the Met’s first live Saturday matinee broadcast since March of 2020, when the house shut down due to the pandemic.

The witty and moving libretto by Sarah Ruhl, adapted from her acclaimed 2003 play, draws upon the familiar Greek myth of Orpheus, who attempts to harness the power of music to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld – but it reimagines the story from Eurydice’s point of view. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the opera, which had its Met premiere on November 23. Soprano Erin Morley sings the title role of the conflicted heroine, opposite baritone Joshua Hopkins as Orpheus. Bass-baritone Nathan Berg is Eurydice’s beloved father, who resides in the underworld, tenor Barry Banks is Hades, and countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński makes his Met debut this season as Orpheus’s otherworldly alter-ego.

Eurydice airs on The Classical Station this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Barry Banks as Hades in Matthew Aucoin’s “Eurydice.” Credit Marty Sohl of the Metropolitan Opera

On December 4 we observe the birthdays of French composer André Campra (1660-1744) and Irish conductor and composer Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941).

Besides being the director of music at the cathedrals in Arles, Toulouse, and Notre Dame in Paris, Monsieur Campra wrote over fifteen operas in addition to three books of cantatas. Highly regarded as an accompanist, Sir Hamilton Harty conducted the Halle Orchestra from 1920 to 1933.

Photo: André Campra, Nicolas Edelinck after André Bouys (1656–1740), Public Domain; Sir Hamilton Harty, Unknown, Public Domain,

Friday, December 3, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice
Saturday, December 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On December 3 we observe the 83rd birthday of Uruguayan conductor and composer José Serebrier (1938-).

Señor Serebrier studied with Aaron Copland and Pierre Monteux. He has conducted most of the world’s great orchestras. He is also one of the most recorded conductors of his generation. You can listen to Maestro Serebrier chatting about his latest CD Last Tango Before Sunrise in a Preview! interview that we aired in 2020.

Photo: Clive Barda

Thursday, December 2, 2021

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features Gioachino Rossini’s thirteenth opera, Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy), which was premiered on August 14, 1814 in Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Rossini clearly relished Felice Romani’s outrageous farce, which serves up brazen ridiculousness with cynical delight. But the heroine’s wildly immoral antics caused some consternation at the premiere, and the opera disappeared later in the century, not to reappear until 1950 in Luchino Visconti’s La Scala production, which starred Maria Callas as the incorrigible Fiorilla.

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

On December 2 we observe the birthdays of English conductor Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970) and Greek-American soprano Maria Callas (1923-1977).

Sir John Barbirolli was born Giovanni Battista Barbirolli. He anglicized his first name during while in the army in WWI, as the drill sergeant had difficulty pronouncing his name. Sir John is regarded as one of the great 20th-century conductors. La Divina was one of the most well-known and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Leonard Bernstein called her “The Bible of Opera”.

Photos: Sir John Barbirolli/CC-BY-SA-3.0 on; Maria Callas/Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, 1958

Wednesday, December 1, 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 December 1 we observe the 73rd birthday of Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder (1946-).

Herr Buchbinder has recorded the complete keyboard works of Josef Haydn and all the Beethoven piano sonatas.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On Giving Tuesday 2021 please support The Classical Station. Many listeners have told us that they thought we received funding from a national radio association or that we had a large endowment. Well, the truth is that we don’t. We have always relied on the generosity of our listeners both here in North Carolina and around the world to support us financially.

Decide what our Great Classical Music means to you. Then give securely here on this website or on our app. Thank you from listener-supported, volunteer-powered WCPE, The Classical Station.


On November 30 we observe the birthdays of French composer Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-188) and Romanian pianist Radu Lupu (1945-).

Monsieur Alkan spent most of his life in Paris where his friends and colleagues were Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin.  Although he won three prestigious piano competitions at the beginning of his career, Radu Lupu went on to be something of a recluse when it came to recording and concertizing.

Photos: 2012 photo of Radu Lupu in the Dome Hall, Hanover, Germany by Reinhold Möller on; engraving of Charles Valentin Alkan on

Monday, November 29, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. On the program are works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Béla Bartók, and Hector Berlioz, in performances led by Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti,  and current music director Riccardo Muti.

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

On November 29 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti wrote approximately seventy operas including L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale, and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Portrait by Giuseppe Rillosi, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons