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 13, 2022

This evening WaveLengths features Leo Brouwer’s Concierto Elegiaco, and Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Then at 10 p.m. on Peaceful Reflections, soprano Dawn Upshaw sings Selections from Songs of the Auvergne by Joseph Canteloube.

Join Ed Amend every Sunday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern for WaveLengths and Peaceful Reflections.

Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances open this week’s edition of Preview! Other works on the program include Anton Arensky’s Egyptian Nights, and George Enescu’s Concert Piece for Viola and Piano.

Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station” at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday for Preview!, bringing you the latest classical releases and local arts news.

Andrew Nethsingha, Director of Music at St. John’s College, Cambridge, is our guest on the February edition of My Life In Music. Andrew talks about the people and influences which shaped his career. Musical selections include Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere Mei and John Ireland’s Greater Love Hath No Man.

Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this afternoon at 5 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Choir of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, California, the Huelgas Ensemble, and the Cambridge Singers.  Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, David Hurd, and George Frederic Handel.

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 13 we observe the birthday of Spanish composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839).

Known as a virtuoso performer, Fernando Sor o Josep Ferran Sorts i Muntades also found time to write over one hundred compositions in a variety of genres.

Photo: Fernando Sor by Godfrey Engelmann, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org


Saturday, February 12, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with a highlight from last fall: Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, which was performed in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This pre-season concert was the first performance to take place inside the Metropolitan Opera House following the company’s 18-month closure due to the pandemic. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the Met Chorus and Orchestra in Verdi’s powerful and deeply moving setting of the Mass, with an acclaimed quartet of soloists: soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and bass-baritone Eric Owens.

Verdi’s Requiem, a performance from September 11, 2021, begins this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

On February 12 we observe the birthday of Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812). Besides being a prolific composer, Jan Dussek was highly regarded as a virtuoso pianist. He was also a much sought-after teacher.

Photo: Hyperion Records UK, Unknown Author


Friday, February 11, 2022

Metropolitan Opera presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem
Saturday, February 12 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On February 11 we observe the birthdays of Scottish conductor Sir Alexander Gibson (1926-1995), Czech-born American pianist Rudolf Firkušný (1912-1994), and English organist Christopher Dearnley (1930-2000). Sir Alexander Drummond Gibson was the conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra from 1959-1984. Rudolf Firkušný studied with legendary pianists Alfred Cortot and Artur Schnabel. Christopher Dearnley was organist of Salisbury Cathedral and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Photos: Sir Alexander Gibson, Unknown Author on Florentschmitt.com; Rudolf Firkušný, Unknown Author on Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; Christopher Dearnley, Unknown Author on Composer For Organ


Thursday, February 10, 2022

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features Jacques Offenbach’s only opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann). Born Jakob Offenbach in Cologne, Germany in 1819, his father took him to Paris in 1833, where he was enrolled at the Conservatory. After becoming one of Europe’s finest cellists, Jacques began composing operettas for important theaters like the Bouffes-Parisiens. He was working on Les Contes d’Hoffman when he died on October 5, 1880. A fascinating and at times disturbing work, it tells three inter-connected stories in which the poet is thwarted in love by his evil genius. It was premiered in Paris on February 10, 1881.

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

On February 10 we observe the birthdays of American soprano Leontyne Price (1927-) and American composer Peter Boyer (1970-)

Laurel, Mississippi native Leontyne Price was highly regarded as a lyrico-spinto soprano until her retirement in 1985. Over 125 of her recordings are available. A graduate of The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, Peter Boyer is known for his film scores.

Photo of Ms. Price by Jack Mitchell; Mr. Boyer by Danika Singfield, CC BY-SA 4.0 on Wikipedia.org


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

On February 9 we observe the birthdays of English composer and founder of the Royal School of Church Music, Sir Sydney Nicholson (1875-1947), Austrian composer Alban Berg (1885-1935) and Welsh organist and choral conductor George Guest (1924-2002).

Sir Sydney Nicholson was organist of Westminster Abbey and founder of the School of English Church Music which later became the Royal School of Church Music. A proponent of the 12-tone compositional technique, Alban Berg is best known to 21st-century audiences for his operas Wozzeck and Lulu. Director of the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, from 1951-1991, George Guest made the Choir one of the most renowned in the world.

Photo: Photo of Sir Sydney Nicholson, Unknown Author on FindaGrave.com; Photo of George Guest, Author Unknown on Singers.com; Photo of Alban Berg, Unknown Author on OnMusic Dictionary,com


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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On February 8 we observe the birthdays of French composer André Ernest Modeste Grétry (1741-1813), Polish-born American pianist and teacher Artur Balsam (1906-1994), and American composer John Williams (1932-).

A student of Galuppi and Pergolesi in Rome, Monsieur Grétry composed over fifty operas. Artur Balsam was a distinguished teacher whose students included Emmanuel Ax and Murray Perahia. While serving in the Air Force, John Williams conducted the United States Air Force Band. He also studied at Julliard. Mr. Williams has written some of the most memorable film scores ever. Happy 90th birthday, Maestro!

>small>Photos: Portrait of André Ernest Modeste Grétry by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Photo of Artur Balsam, Unknown Author on Primephonic;  Photo of John Williams by Alex McNayr, CC BY-SA 2.0 on Wikipedia.org


Monday, February 7, 2022

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. On the program are works by Sergei Prokofiev, George Gershwin, and Ottorino Respighi in performances led by Paavo Järvi , Louis Langrée, and Jesús López Cobos.

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

Andrew Nethsingha, Director of Music at St. John’s College, Cambridge, is our guest on the February edition of My Life In Music.  Andrew talks about the people and influences which shaped his career. Musical selections include Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere Mei and John Ireland’s Greater Love Hath No Man.

Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern. This program can also be heard Tuesday morning at 3 a.m. Eastern.

Photo: Andrew Nethsingha by Benjamin Ealovega

On February 7 we observe the birthdays of Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927) and Polish conductor Antoni Wit (1944-).

Besides being the artistic director and conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra from 1906-1922, Carl Wilhelm Eugen Stenhammar managed to compose three symphonies, two piano concerti and a host of other works in his short life of fifty-six years. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Maestro Wit has conducted many of the world’s great orchestras. He currently teaches at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Photos: Wilhelm Stenhammar c. 1916 in Vecko-Journalen, Author Unknown, Public Domain on Wikipedia.org; Antoni Wit, Unknown Author on www.filharmonia.krakow.pl