This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: “Winter Scene” by Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 6, 2022

On Wavelengths this evening Eduardo Fernandez performs Sir Malcolm Arnold’s Guitar Concerto, Opus 67, and baritone Will Liverman sings Three Dream Portraits by Margaret Bonds. Then at 10 p.m. Peaceful Reflections brings your weekend to a close with Michael Haydn’s Flute Concerto in D and the Mass For The Departed by Spanish Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Wavelengths begins at 9 p.m. Eastern. Ed Amend hosts.

This evening on Preview! Benjamin Grosvenor plays Three Sonnets of Petrarch by Franz Liszt, and Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27. Rob Kennedy speaks with composer and pianist Eric Genuis about his concert on February 11 in Chapel Hill.

Preview! brings you local arts news and new recordings every Sunday evening beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern. Dan Poirier hosts.

Photo: Benjamin Grosvenor by Sophie Wright

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Oregon State University Choir, the Holland Boys’ Choir, and the Seattle Symphony Chorale.  Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Josef Haydn, and Howard Hanson.

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

On February 6 we observe the birthday of Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau (1903-1991).

Señor Arrau was considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. Steinway & Sons has a fascinating article about Señor Arrau entitled “How Claudio Arrau Nearly Became Glenn Gould”

Photo: 1974 photo of Claudio Arrau by Allan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0 on

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with a special program, The Met’s First Decade on the Air. The Met’s first-ever matinee radio broadcast took place on Christmas Day, 1931. As part of the celebration of the series’ 90th anniversary, this program features highlights of broadcasts from the 1930s to 1941. We’ll hear legendary stars like Rosa Ponselle, Lawrence Tibbett, Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Zinka Milanov, Jussi Björling, Leonard Warren, Ezio Pinza, Bidú Sayão, and Lily Pons, in performances originally aired live from the Metropolitan Opera House.

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

Kirsten Flagstad as Isolde and Lauritz Melchior as Tristan in Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” Photo: Metropolitan Opera Archives

On February 5 we observe the birthday of English conductor Sir John Pritchard (1921-1989).

He was the music director of the San Francisco Opera when he died. Besides being an authority on Mozart and Rossini, Sir John was well-regarded as a champion of contemporary British music for which he was knighted in 1983. He had a long association with the Glyndebourne Festival.

Photo: John Pritchard, Unknown Author on

Friday, February 4, 2022

Metropolitan Opera presents The Met’s First Decade On The Air
Saturday, February 5 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 4 we observe the birthday of Austrian-born American conductor Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993).

Leinsdorf served several American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony, as music director. He was one of the great conductors of the 20th-century.

Photo: Erich Leinsdorf, Author Unknown on New England Historical Society

Thursday, February 3, 2022

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features Samuel Barber’s 1975 revision of his Antony and Cleopatra, the opera that opened the brand-new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in 1966. Based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name, producer Franco Zeffirelli, together with Barber, devised a neatly compact libretto using only Shakespeare’s words, radically cut and rearranged, with Shakespeare’s five acts and 41 scenes becoming three acts and 16 scenes. The opera premiered on September 16, 1966, with Justino Diaz and Leontyne Price in the title roles. Christian Badea conducts the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and the Westminster Choir in this 1983 recording.

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

On February 3 we observe the birthday of German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was born into a wealthy family. He was a versatile musician who played the piano and organ as well as composing in a variety of genres.

Photo: Portrait of Felix Mendelssohn by James Warren Childe, Public Domain on

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Simply Strings Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, February 5 & 6
This Saturday and Sunday we will feature music for violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, mandolin, and harp, by masters from Albinoni to Walton.

On February 2 we observe the birthdays of French composer Louis Marchand (1669-1732), Austrian-born violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), Lithuanian-born American violinist Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), and American lutenist Paul O’Dette (1954-).

Apparently a hot-tempered gentleman, Monsieur Marchand was employed by the King of France. J.S. Bach was known to have played Marchand’s music. Herr Kreisler studied with Anton Bruckner, Léo Delibes, and Jules Massenet among others. He was widely considered one of the great violinists of the 20th century. Jascha Heifetz was another virtuoso violinist of the last century. He recorded extensively. Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Paul O’Dette specializes in early music.

Photo: Engraving of Louis Marchand by Ch. Dupuis, after the original portrait by Robert – Bibliothèque nationale de  France, Public Domain on; Photo of Fritz Kreisler from Library of Congress, Public Domain on; Photo of Jascha Heifitz, Unknown Author, Public Domain on; Photo of Paul ODette courtesy BEMF

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Valentine’s Day By Advance Request
Monday, February 14, 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Eastern
Make a classical music request in honor of that special person in your life. We’ll play as many requests as we can!  Because of the popularity of this All Request Day, we encourage you to ask for shorter works or single movements so that we can fit in all your requests. Please submit your request by February 8 to make sure we can play it for you.

On February 1 we observe the birthdays of German/Swedish composer Johan Agrell (1701-1767), Italian composer Francesco Veracini (1690-1768), Italian composer Alessandro Marcello (1673-1747), Swedish composer Adolf Lindblad (1801-1878), Irish-born American composer Victor Herbert (1859-1924), and Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi (1922-2004).

Herr Agrell wrote chamber music including 22 symphonies. Highly skilled as a violinist, Signor Veracini composed chamber music including a set of violin sonatas which are still in the repertoire today. Signor Marcello was born into a noble Venetian family. He is best-known for an oboe concerto which Johann Sebastian Bach adapted in BWV 974. Adolf Lindblad wrote music in a variety of chamber genres such as voice and piano. Victor Herbert was a prolific composer who wrote over 40 operettas of which Babes in Toyland is probably his most familiar to modern ears. Renata Ersilia Clotilde Tebaldi is considered to have been one of the 20th-century’s finest opera singers. She made her debut at La Scala in 1946.

Photos: Johann Agrell by Valentin Daniel Preisler, Public Domain on; Franceso Veracini, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Alessandro Marcello, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Adolf Lindblad, Author Unknown, Public Domain on; Victor Herbert, Library of Congress, Public Domain in; Renata Tebaldi, Unknown Author on Fondazione Renata Tebaldi

Monday, January 31, 2022

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. On the program is music by Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in performances led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Joseph Swensen and Maxim Emelyanychev. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.  With host Mike Huber.

On January 31 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), American composer Philip Glass (1937-), and Israeli-born Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy (1965-).

One of the last classical-era composers and one of the first romantic-era composers, Franz Schubert loved melodies. He wrote over 600 songs and nine symphonies in his short life. Phillip Glass has written eleven symphonies and dozens of film scores. Ms. Harnoy enjoys an active performing and recording career with over 25 CDs to her credit. You can enjoy an interview with her on our Conversations With Instrumentalists page.

Photos: Franz Schubert, Unknown Author on; Philip Glass, Author Unknown; Ofra Harnoy by Denise Grant;