This Week At The Classical Station

Neuse River, Bridgeton, North Carolina by Zach Frailey, CC By NC-ND 2.0

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 12, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music for cello and piano by American composer Mark Abel. You can listen to our conversation with Mark that aired on My Life In Music last February. We’ll also hear nativity carols by the late Stephen Paulus and works by Caroline Shaw and Dan Locklair.

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

This evening on Preview! we remember Stephen Sondheim with a new suite for violin and piano from his Tony-award-winning musical, A Little Night Music. Rob Kennedy speaks with tenor Julian Gregory of The King’s Singers about their upcoming concert for Duke Performances on December 16th. Sir András Schiff plays Brahms on a historic piano.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings and arts news every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern. Dan Poirier hosts.

Lyric baritone Lucas Meachem is our guest on the December edition of My Life In Music. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, presenting “Rejoice!” at the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Sunday, January 9th at 3 p.m. A native of North Carolina, Lucas is one of the opera world’s most sought-after singers.

Join Bob Chapman for My Life In Music this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Photo of Lucas Meachem by Simon Pauly

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Voices of Ascension, Pomerium, and Anonymous 4. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Orlando Gibbons, and Pierre Moulu.

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

Photo: Patentboy,CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

On December 12 we observe the birthday of Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden (1960-). He is the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of live Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continues with one of the core pieces of the Italian opera repertory, Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, a searing melodrama that has thrilled audiences since its premiere in 1900. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky stars as the diva Floria Tosca, a role in which she’s won extraordinary praise from international audiences and critics. Tenor Brian Jagde is Tosca’s lover, the artist Mario Cavaradossi, and bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin is the Baron Scarpia, the brutal police chief.

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

Photo: Brian Jagde as Cavaradossi and Sondra Radvanovsky as Tosca in Puccini’s Tosca. Ken Howard/Met Opera

On December 11 we observe the birthdays of French composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Polish composer Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909), and Ukrainian-American pianist Valentina Lisitsa (1973-).

Hector Berlioz is perhaps best known to 21st-century audiences for his Symphonie fantastique and Grande Messe des Morts and Requiem. Mieczysław Karłowicz occupied a place in Polish musical history between Frederic Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. Ms. Lisitsa has developed a large following on YouTube for her performances of literature from the Romantic era.

Photos: Hector Berlioz/France Musique; Mieczysław Karłowicz/Łaski Diffusion/East News; Valentina Lisitsa/Michael von Aichberger on 3.0

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca
Saturday, December 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern

All year long you come to The Classical Station to connect with a wealth of incredible music. Generous listeners like you make this remarkable tradition of classical music possible. As the year comes to a close, make a gift that will provide the lasting joy of music and the best in classical music performances throughout each and every season of the coming year.

Make your End of the Year contribution securely online, on our app, or by calling 800-556-5178 anytime. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift! Thank you for your support.

On December 10 we observe the birthdays of Belgian-born French composer César Franck (1822-1890), French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), American composer Morton Gould (1913-1996, and British pianist Kathryn Stott (1958-).

While César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck was born in what is now Belgium, he took French citizenship when he was appointed to the faculty of Conservatoire de Paris in 1872. He composed four operas, several oratorios, as well as orchestral and chamber works. His music for organ is a staple of every organist’s repertoire. Besides being a composer and organist, Olivier-Eugène-Prosper-Charles Messiaen was an ornithologist. He is widely considered one of the great composers of the 20th century. Richmond Hill, New York native Morton Gould published his first composition at the age of six. He wrote symphonies, film scores, Broadway musicals, and much more. His manuscripts are archived in the Library of Congress. Ms. Stott teaches at the Royal Academy of Music. She concertizes regularly and is a long-time collaborator of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Photos: Jeanne Rongier’s 1885 painting “César Franck at the console of the organ at St. Clotilde Basilica, Paris, 1885/Public Domain on; Olivier Messiaen/Public Domain on CC 1.0; Morton Gould/Milken Archive of Jewish Music; Kathryn Stott on

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Perhaps more than any other time, the holiday season is deeply connected with classical music. It’s that special way that favorites from Tchaikovsky, Handel and Mendelssohn evoke treasured traditions and memories across generations. The Classical Station‘s great classical music has meaning in your life during the holidays and year-round. It would not exist on the radio and around the world online without your support.

Please make your important contribution now to keep this great music in your life throughout 2022 and beyond. Make your End of the Year gift securely online or call us anytime if you prefer to have a member of our staff take down your details. As always, don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift if you like. Thank you for your support.

Join Nick Robinson during Classical Café today between 11 a.m. and 12 noon for your chance to win The Classical Station’s ticket giveaway. We’ll be offering a pair of tickets to The Road To Mecca brought to you by Burning Coal Theatre, presenting Athol Fugard’s THE ROAD TO MECCA now through December 19th. It’s the true story of South African, Miss Helen, who began creating sculptures late in life. For more information regarding live and live-streamed performances, visit their website.

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents perhaps the most enduringly popular of all French operettas, Jacques Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld), a hilarious burlesque of Greek mythology as well as a satire on Second Empire French society. First performed on October 21, 1858, in Paris, it was set to a libretto by Ludovic Halevéy. Offenbach and Halevéy based this irreverent parody on the mythological story of Orpheus and Eurydice that had long attracted opera composers, beginning in 1600 with Jacopo Peri’s Euridice. In the 18th century, there were versions by Georg Philipp Telemann (1726), Carl Heinrich Graun (1752), and, most famously, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s 1762 Orfeo ed Euridice. Gluck’s 1774 French version, Orphée et Euridice, permanently popularized operatic treatments of the legend in France, and thus became the target of Offenbach’s parody.

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

On December 9 we observe the birthdays of five musicians: French composer Émile Waldteufel (1837- 1915), Spanish composer Joaquín Turina (1882-1949), German-born British soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (1915-2006), English composer Alan Ridout (1934-1996), and American violinist Joshua Bell (1967-).

The composer of many waltzes including the well-known Les Patineurs, Monsieur Waldteufel dominated the London music scene in the 1870s and 80s, thanks to substantial royal patronage. A friend of Ravel and Debussy from his time in Paris at the Conservatoire, Senor Turina wrote a variety of works including operas. Dame Olga Maria Elisabeth Friederike Schwarzkopf was one of the 20th-century’s great singers of lieder. She appeared in many of the world’s great opera houses and recorded extensively. A prolific composer, Alan Ridout studied with Herbert Howells and Sir Michael Tippett. One of the 21st-century’s most celebrated violinists, Joshua Bell is Music Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. He performs in concerts around the world and has recorded extensively.

Photos: Émile Waldteufel, Joaquín Turina/Public Domain on; Elizabeth Schwarzkopf on, CC 2.5 Switzerland; Alan Ridout/Unknown; Joshua Bell/Alex Duff on, CC 3.0 France

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Our beautiful member magazine, Quarter Notes, contains daily, weekly, and monthly musical highlights as well as articles about the music and musicians you love. Keep your finger on the pulse of your home for great classical music with photos, upcoming program spotlights, meet the announcer, and much more! Start receiving The Classical Station‘s quarterly member magazine and program guide, Quarter Notes, by becoming a member of The Classical Station today. Donate securely online or by calling 800-556-5178 anytime.

On December 8 we observe the birthdays of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), Mexican composer Manuel Ponce (1882-1948), Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959), and Irish flute player Sir James Galway (1939-).

Johan Julius Christian Sibelius was the composer who put Finland on the map, musically speaking. He composed scores of works until 1926. After that, Sibelius apparently wrote very little music for the next thirty years. Manuel María Ponce Cuéllar was one of those skillful composers like Sibelius and Vaughan Williams who knew how to weave his country’s folk music into his compositions. Bohuslav Martinu was another prolific composer who created fifteen operas, seven symphonies, fifteen ballets, and a host of works in a variety of other forms during his lifetime. Belfast native Sir James Galway has been nicknamed “The Man With the Golden Flute”. Sir James has over sixty recordings to his credit.

Photos: Jean Sibelius/; Manuel Ponce/;  Bohuslav Martinu/ CC BY-SA 3.0 cz; Sir James Galway/Paul Cox

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Interested in inspiring future generations with the great classical music provided by The Classical Station? A gift through your will or other estate plan is a wonderful legacy to leave to those that will need an oasis of calm and solace. As The Classical Station has inspired you, so too will your legacy gift inspire future generations. For more information about leaving a bequest to The Classical Station in your will, please see the Planned Giving page here on our website or call 919-556-5178. Thank you for your thoughtful support.

Photo: Fair Use

On December 7, we observe the birthday of two composers and an organist: Italian composer Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), American composer Richard Felciano (1930-), and American organist Daniel Chorzempa (1944-).

Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni wrote fifteen operas of which Cavalleria Rusticana was the most famous. Felciano studied with Darius Milhaud and Luigi Dallapiccola. He is a Professor Emeritus of Music, University of California, Berkeley, California. While he is well-regarded as an organist, Dr. Chorzempa (1944-) also studied architecture and holds a Ph.D. in musicology and Renaissance studies.

Photos: Pietro Mascagni/Library of Congress; Richard Felciano (1986)/; Daniel Chorzempa/

Monday, December 6, 2021

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. On the program is music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Strauss and Robert Schumann in performances led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

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

Lyric baritone Lucas Meachem is our guest on the December edition of My Life In Music. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, presenting “Rejoice!” at the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Sunday, January 9th at 3 p.m. A native of North Carolina, Lucas is one of the opera world’s most sought-after singers.

Join Bob Chapman for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo of Lucas Meachem by Simon Pauly