This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Table Decoration by Mortimer, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 26, 2021

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear a symphony by Norwegian composer Finn Mortensen. We’ll also hear modern works for Christmas by Rupert Lang, Glenn Rudolph, and Jennifer Higdon.
Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music every Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern. Ed Amend hosts.

This evening on Preview! Thomas Dausgaard leads the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in music of Mendelssohn. Rob Kennedy speaks with William Terwilliger and Andrew Cooperstock about the music of Stephen Sondheim. And the Catalyst Quartet plays previously unrecorded works by Florence B. Price.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music for Christmas sung by Voces8, the Choir of Worcester Cathedral, and Gaudete. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Hector Berlioz.

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


Saturday, December 25
Christmas Day

Thank you for your support of The Classical Station. Your generous gift makes our programming of great classical music possible here in Central North Carolina on our 89.7 FM signal, online, and on our app.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Classical Station!

Photo: Crèche de Noël, Oratoire Saint-Joseph, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, Pierre5018, CC-SA 4.0 International

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with Aida at the Met, a special program celebrating two milestones: the 150th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, which had its world premiere on Christmas Eve, 1871; and the 90th anniversary of the Met’s radio broadcast series, which launched on Christmas Day, 1931. This program will present highlights from Verdi’s grand masterpiece, taken from broadcasts spanning all nine decades the Met has been on the air – arias, and ensembles performed by great artists from legends like Zinka Milanov, Franco Corelli, and Leontyne Price, to more recent stars like Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili.

Join us for Aida at the Met at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

On December 25 we observe the birthdays of English composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) and American conductor Louis Lane (1923-2016).

Orlando Gibbons was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward was the Master of the Choristers. Maestro Lane was involved with a number of American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony.

Photos: Orlando Gibbons, Public Domain on; Louis Lane courtesy the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Friday, December 24
Christmas Eve

Your response to our End Of Year fund drive has been amazing! We began December needing $333,000 in order to end 2021 in the black. Thanks to hundreds of you who have sent in gifts via the United States Postal Service and hundreds of you who have contributed online here on our website, as of Thursday evening, December 23, we have $84,320 left to raise.

A huge Thank You! to all of you who have sent in your End of Year gifts. We have eight days left in 2021. Can we wipe out that $84,320? I know we can!

The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station wish you a very Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël!

Photo: Christmas Decoration, Petr Kratochvil, Public Domain Pictures
A hearty Thank You! to all of you who submitted requests for All Request Friday and the Saturday Evening Request Program this week. Because of the way the Christmas holidays fall this year, we had to put the programs together early. You not only sent in enough requests to fill both programs but also managed to oversubscribe both programs. Moreover, your selections are wonderful!

Will, Naomi, and Rob thank you very much for allowing us to publish this week’s request programs early. Merry Christmas!

On December 24 we observe the birthdays of German composer Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) and American composer Libby Larsen (1950-).

Herr Cornelius wrote operas and lieder. He is best known for his song The Three Kings from Weihnachtslieder op.8. Besides being a prolific composer, Ms. Larsen co-founded what is now known as the American Composers Forum with the late Stephen Paulus. Listen to Ms. Larsen talk about her life and work as a composer on our Conversations page.

Photos: Peter Cornelius, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Libby Larsen by Ann Marsden

Thursday, December 23, 2021

You come to The Classical Station to experience life at its fullest. You tune in to be exposed to and surprised by sounds you’ve not yet heard. You listen in order to connect with a form of expression that deepens our understanding of humanity. You come to The Classical Station because you find a curiosity, intelligence, and desire for excellence that is rare on the radio today.

The Classical Station is essential. And so is your financial support.  Give now to assure a strong tomorrow filled with all the musical culture, insights, and entertainment you enjoy and expect. Your generous year-end gift will help us end 2021 in the black.

Donate securely online at or mail a check to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588. If you prefer, call us anytime. 800-556-5178.

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème. The first two acts take place on Christmas Eve in Paris, so what could be more appropriate for Christmas week? Based on Henri Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème (Scenes of Bohemian Life), the opera had its premiere in Turin, Italy, on February 1, 1896, at the Teatro Regio under the baton of the young cellist-turned-maestro, Arturo Toscanini.

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

Puccini_Boheme ARF_2021_12_24 On December 23 we observe the birthday of Italian conductor Claudio Scimone (1934-2018).

Maestro Scimone founded I Solisti Veneti. He championed the music of several composers, in particular bringing the theatrical music of Antonio Vivaldi and Antonio Salieri to the fore.

Photo: Unknown Author, Public Domain,

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Ravel… Debussy… Schubert… Copland… Mozart… Bach… every day The Classical Station brings you classical music that enhances your life. Music that’s always here for you.  Music that makes the moments you experience richer, more connected, more meaningful. As the end of 2021 rapidly approaches, so does our deadline to raise the funds to be able to end 2021 in the black. Your support makes this happen. Please ensure that The Classical Station has the funds to keep you inspired during every moment of 2022 with your generous year-end donation now.

If you already are a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station, please consider increasing your monthly contribution. Even a few dollars more a month multiplied by hundreds of listeners doing the same thing adds up significantly. Finally, please remember that we receive no government funding. We have no endowment. We do this one listener at a time. So, give us a call anytime. 800-556-5178. Make your donation securely online or on our app. Or send us a check via the United States Postal Service to The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588. Thank you for your support.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at The Classical Station!

On December 22 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), Austrian composer Franz Schmidt (1874-1939), French-born American composer Edgard Varèse (1883-1965), and Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

Besides being a composer, Herr Abel was a virtuoso viola da gamba player. A pianist as well as a composer, Herr Schmidt was Professor of Piano at the Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. Monsieur Varèse was prominent in using electronic and new instruments to create his music. Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini is considered by many to be the greatest composer of opera after Giuseppe Verdi. His operas La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly are loved by audiences everywhere.

Photos: Carl Friedrich Abel, 1777 by Thomas Gainsborough; Franz Schmidt on; Edgard Varese, Public Domain on; Giacomo Puccini in Lucca, courtesy of Associazione Arte e Cultura Schivenoglia

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, we reflect on the moments that mattered most to us and imagine those yet to come. There is one thing you know: The Classical Station has been here for you throughout this difficult year with all of its uncertainties. Every day The Classical Station offers you the opportunity to listen, to hear, and to cherish all the riches the world of classical music affords. The Classical Station provides a vital community tradition of arts and culture, heard and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of listeners here in North Carolina and around the world.

This is a service worth backing.  Back it with your generous year-end contribution here on this website or on our app. If you prefer, mail a check to The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.  And, you can call us anytime to have a member of staff take down the details of your contribution. 800-556-5178.

End of Year Fund Drive update: As of the close of business yesterday, hundreds of our faithful listeners have reduced the amount we need to balance our books by December 31 from $333,000 to $175,000.  Your support is heartening and reassuring. Thank you so much!

Get out your tabret and join George Douglas for a delightful program of carols and instrumental music from the 15th and 16th centuries. A Renaissance Christmas airs this afternoon at 3 p.m., and also on Wednesday, December 22 at 3 a.m.  On Christmas Day you can hear A Renaissance Christmas at 5 a.m. and 12 noon.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.” The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Photo: Painting of Mary with Child by Joos van Cleve, Public Domain on

On December 21 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Zdenêk Fibich (1850-1900), Hungarian-born British pianist András Schiff (1953-), and American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (1944-).

While not as well-known as his countrymen Antonin Dvorák or Bedrich Smetana, Zdenêk Fibich was a prolific composer who created hundreds of works in a variety of forms. Sir András Schiff is highly-regarded for his interpretations of Bach and Mozart. He has many recordings to his credit and has appeared in concert halls worldwide. Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony since 1995, Tilson Thomas established the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1987. He has conducted most of the world’s major orchestras and has over 120 recordings to his credit.

Photo: Sir Andras Schiff  by Nadia F. Romanini

Monday, December 20, 2021

From big, powerful symphonies to marvelous new performances, to a vast kaleidoscope of brilliant sound, moment by moment, we’ve built a year made more memorable with The Classical Station by your side. That’s why, as 2021 comes to a close, consider the depth and richness that The Classical Station brings into your life. Then make a vital year-end contribution to ensure that this incredible public service continues to thrive in 2022 and beyond.

Give securely online here on our website or on our app. If you prefer, call us anytime. 800-556-5178.

This evening we present our Holiday Edition of Monday Night at the Symphony. On the program are selections from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet as well as music of Sergei Prokofiev and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic will perform.

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

On December 20 we observe the birthday of Japanese-born British pianist Dame Mitsuko Uchida.

Besides appearing with most major orchestras and making dozens of recordings, Ms. Uchida is also the Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music Festival.

Photo: Richard Avedon