This Week At The Classical Station

Photo of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota by Thomas Wolf, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sean Shibe
Photo ⓒ Kaupo Kikkas

This evening WaveLengths features Herbert Howells’ Three Dances for Violin and Orchestra and Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Choros. Then at 10 p.m. on Peaceful Reflections, guitarist Sean Shibe plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude, Fugue and Allegro.

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

Acclaimed violinist Hilary Hahn opens Preview! this evening with a performance of Ernest Chausson’s Poème from her 2021 CD Paris. Baritone Will Liverman sings Richard Fariña’s Birmingham Sunday. Click on the Listen tab to see a detailed playlist.

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

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Amadeus Choir, the Vienna Boys Choir, and the Bach Collegium Japan. Also on the playlist is Cantata BWV 22 by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Messe en l’honneur du Saint-Sacrement by Joseph Jongen, and the Missa Brevis in F by Josef Haydn.

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 27 we observe the birthdays of English composer Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918), American contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993), Italian soprano Mirella Freni (1935-2020), and Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer (1947-).

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry is best known these days as the composer of the 1902 coronation anthem I was glad. One of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century, Ms. Anderson made history on April 9, 1939, when she sang before a crowd of 75,000 at the National Mall. Signora Freni performed on most of the world’s great opera stages during her long career. A student of David Oistrakh, Gidon Kremer has performed with many of the world’s top orchestras.

Photos: Photo of Sir Hubert Parry, Unknown Author, The Musical Quarterly, July 1919, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Marian Anderson by Carl Van Vechten, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Mirella Freni, Unknown Author, NPR; Photo of Gidon Kremer, Kasskara, ECM Records.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 Season of Saturday matinee broadcasts continues with a celebration of Black History Month that showcases some of the Met’s most revered African-American stars. Beginning with legendary contralto Marian Anderson, who crossed the Met’s color barrier in 1955, the program features broadcast highlights from great Black artists who made their Met debuts in the three decades following hers – stars like Reri Grist, Leontyne Price, George Shirley, Grace Bumbry, Martina Arroyo, Shirley Verrett, Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman, and Simon Estes, among others.

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

On February 26 we observe the birthdays of Czech-born French composer Anton Reicha (1770-1836), English composer Frank Bridge (1879-1941) and Russian pianist Lazar Berman (1930-2005).

A friend of Beethoven, Reicha also taught Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, and César Franck. Frank Bridge’s music is relatively unknown to this day. Berman was one of the great pianists of the 20th century.

Photos: Engraving of Anton Reicha by C. Constans, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons;  Illustrated London News 6 August 1921, p. 196. Credited to “Loeb”, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Lazar Berman, Unknown Author, Bach Cantatas.


Friday, February 25, 2022

What are those moments of beauty and inspiration worth? Those pieces of music that bring awe and joy, the way that classical music connects with you like nothing else can. We must keep this music and its traditions alive. You can make it possible by making a donation so that classical music continues to be freely available to everyone anywhere on our radios, on our computers, and on our phones. Do your part to make sure your next moment of inspiration happens right here at The Classical Station.

Click a gift to us or call 800-556-5178 anytime.

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

On February 25 we observe the birthdays of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) and Spanish conductor Jesús López-Cobos (1940-2018).

Signor Caruso was one of the greatest tenors of the 20th century. He made over 260 recordings and sang in many of the world’s great opera houses. Maestro López-Cobos was the director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Teatro Real in Madrid.

Photos: Photo of Enrico Caruso in the Engravings and Photographs Division of the U.S. Library of Congress, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Jesús López Cobos, Unknown Author  in obituary in TeleMadrid


Thursday, February 24, 2022

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House features a delightful operetta by Austrian composer Franz von Suppé. Boccaccio, or The Prince of Palermo, was based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, and first performed in Vienna on February 1, 1879. Born Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere di Suppé-Demelli on April 18, 1819, in Dalmatia, the composer simplified and Germanized his name while living in Vienna. His mother was Viennese by birth and he was a distant relative of Gaetano Donizetti. While only Queen of Spades and The Beautiful Galatea are still regularly performed in Europe, the overtures to Poet and Peasant and Light Cavalry are frequently played at symphonic “pops” concerts.

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

On February 24 we observe the birthdays of English composer Samuel Wesley (1766-1837), Italian soprano and opera director Renata Scotto (1934-), and Czech conductor Jiri Belohlávek (1946-2017). Son of Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley, Samuel Wesley was both composer and performer. After her retirement from singing in 2002, Ms. Scotto has turned her attention to directing operas. Founder of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Belohlávek was the director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Portrait of Samuel Wesley by John Jackson, National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Ms. Scotto, Unknown Author, courtesy Piper Anselmi Artists Management; Photo of Jiri Belohlávek by Petra Hajska


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Our Spring 2022 Membership Drive will begin in a few weeks. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station that you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Virginia commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2022 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Tanja Greaves here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Tanja at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure to mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Or pop a check in the mail to WCPE The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.

Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Photo: Unknown Author, Angels Angelology

On February 23 we observe the birthdays of English composer John Blow (1649-1708), German-born English composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and American composer Elinor Remick Warren (1900-1991).

John Blow was a distinguished Baroque era composer who held the post of organist at Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and the Chapel Royal during his lifetime. A native of Germany who was educated in Italy, George F. Handel spent most of his life in his adopted country, England. He wrote over forty operas, over twenty oratorios, and vast amounts of chamber music. Handel is considered the epitome of a Baroque composer. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Elinor Remick Warren composed prolifically with over 200 compositions to her credit.

Photos: Engraving of John Blow by Charles Grignion the Elder, Gallica Digital Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of G.F. Handel by Balthasar Denner in National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; The Chandos Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel, Unknown Author, Fitzwilliam Gallery, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Handel commemorative stamp issued by Guinea-Bissau in 2009; Photo of Elinor Remick Warren in 1961, Unknown Author, Hampsong Foundation


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

We depend on your generous financial support just as much you depend on the Great Classical Music we broadcast for you 24/7. We literally are live all day, every day, all year long. There’s always a live announcer on hand who will be happy to answer your questions about the music or take your donation. If you haven’t yet become a supporter, please click a gift to us here on our website or on our app. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift.

On February 22 we observe the birthdays of German musicologist Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818), Danish composer Niels Gade (1817-1890) and French conductor Louis Auriacombe (1917-1982).

Herr Forkel wrote a biography of J.S. Bach and was one of the first musicologists. A composer of eight symphonies, Niels Gade studied in Leipzig where he was friends with Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Monsieur Auriacombe was one of the great French conductors of the 20th century.

Photos: Johann Niklaus Forkel by Carl Traugott Riedel, Gallica Digital Library,Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of Niels Gade, Danish composer. Original in Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons 


Monday, February 21, 2022
Presidents’ Day

Our Presidents’ Day edition of Monday Night At The Symphony features the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. On the program is music by Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland in performances led by Louis Lane and Robert Spano.

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

On February 21 we observe the birthdays of French composers Léo Delibes and Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), and Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia.

A student of Adolph Adam at the Paris Conservatoire, Monsieur Delibes went on to compose ballets and opera. While he was a ‘provisional’ organist at Eglise Saint Sulpice from 1870-1933, Monsieur Widor managed to write ten symphonies for organ, as well as teach at the Paris Conservatoire. Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, is widely considered to have been one of the greatest guitar virtuosi ever.

Photos: Photo of Léo Delibes by Fritz Luckhardt, Public Domain, on Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Charles-Marie Widor by Paul Berger (photographer). Breitkopf & Härtel, London in Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Andrés Segovia, Unknown Author on Bach Cantatas.