This Week At The Classical Station

Spring Fund Drive 2022
March 18-27

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 27, 2022

On this final day of our Spring Fund Drive 2022, we really need your help. If you are already a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station, please consider increasing your monthly contribution. An extra $5 or $10 per month adds up very quickly when combined with hundreds of Sustainers doing the same thing. If you are at a point in your life where you can make a significant financial contribution of $5,000 or $10,000, please do so. You can do that as a Sustainer and spread your gift over twelve monthly payments.

If you have never visited our studios and transmitter in Wake Forest, North Carolina, then you probably don’t realize that our facilities are utilitarian, to put it mildly. We have never spent money on fancy furniture, travel, and so on.  We spend your contribution on utilities to keep the transmitter operating, royalties to keep the music playing, and state-of-the-art software to catalog and schedule our 15,000 CD music library. Furthermore, we do not spend anything on outside fundraising consultants. As you can tell, everything we do is home-grown. It’s been that way since 1978.

We are ever so proud to be listener-supported and volunteer-powered. Give us a call please. 800-556-5178 or click a gift to us. Thank you for your support.

 

On March 27 we observe the birthdays of French composer Vincent D’Indy (1851-1931), American composer Ferde Grofé (1892-1972), and Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007).

A student of Cesar Franck, Paul Marie Théodore Vincent d’Indy taught Darius Milhaud, Cole Porter, Albert Roussel, and Erik Satie among others. Ferdinand Rudolph von Grofé came from a very musical family. He was well-known in the 20s and 30s as the arranger for the Paul Whiteman Band. One of the 20th-century’s greatest cellists, Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich was also highly-regarded as a conductor.

Photos: Vincent D’Indy, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Ferde Grofe, Bain News Service, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Vyatkin, RIA Novosti, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons


Saturday, March 26, 2022

On Day 9 of our Spring Fund Drive 2022, we shine the spotlight on another of our high-value Thank You Gift CDs, 50 Best Opera Classics. This three CD album contains fifty arias from operas well-known and not so well-known. Name an opera star and she or he is probably on this amazing collection. It can be yours for a Sustaining Membership of $10 per month or a one-time gift of $120. Call 800-556-5178 to make your donation and ask for 50 Best Opera Classics.

Photo: Warner Classics

On March 26 we observe the birthdays of South Korean violinist Kyung Wha Chung (1948-) and French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez (1925-2016).

Besides being well-regarded for her recital performances and recordings, Ms. Chung has been on the faculty of The Julliard School since 2007. Pierre Louis Joseph Boulez was a champion of the music of the first half of the 20th-century. He also was in demand as a conductor with stints at the BBC Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.

Photo: Kyung Wha Chung by Benjamin Olivega; Pierre Boulez, Joost Evers on Anefo, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Wikimedia Commons


Friday, March 25, 2022

On Day 8 of our Spring Fund Drive 2022, one of our Thank You Gift CDs features the music of American composer Florence Price.  Here’s what the BBC Magazine reviewer had to say about it:

The result in this recording is not only inspiring but enjoyable, and not only interesting for our times but of splendid and durable quality. The ORF and Jeter provide lively, well balanced and sympathetically played accounts… a valuable addition to any library. © 2022 BBC Music Magazine

The recording includes Florence Beatrice Price’s Symphony No. 3 in C minor, The Mississippi River, Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, performed by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted John Jeter. It can be yours for a Sustaining Membership of $10 per month or a one-time gift of $120. Click your gift to us online here on this website, on our app, or give us a call at 800-556-5178.

Thank you for your support.

Photo: Naxos

On March 25 we observe the birthdays of Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), Hungarian composer Béla Viktor János Bartók (1881-1945), and Czech conductor Zdeněk Košler (1928-1995).

Arguably one of the greatest conductors of the 20th-century, Maestro Toscanini was well-known for his work with the orchestra created especially for him, the NBC Symphony. What do Ralph Vaughan Williams and Béla Bartók have in common? Their love of folk music. Bartók was one of the first ethnomusicologists. Active in the latter half of the 20th-century, Maestro Košler was well-known for his opera performances.

Photos: Arturo Toscanini, Aime Dupont Studio, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Béla Bartók, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Zdeněk Košler, Unknown Author, Opera Slovakia


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Tim Homfray, writing in The Strad, had this to say about one of our Thank You Gifts, Un Violon à Paris: “Many artists were inspired, or driven, to conceive projects during the lockdowns of the past 18 months. This one comes from Renaud Capuçon, ‘impelled by a combination of worry and isolation anxiety’, who with pianist Guillaume Bellom broadcast a piece a day for 56 days during the spring 2020 lockdown in France. This recording is a selection of 22 of the works they played. He hopes it will bring its listeners ‘calm and comfort’, and the repertoire is appropriately gentle and lyrical. There are no virtuoso fireworks here, and Joachim’s transcription of Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No.5 is about as animated as it gets.

This is an 80-minute masterclass in the art of lyrical playing, of expression, shape and beauty, and as such is an unassuming wonder. Most of the pieces are well known, and most of them are arrangements. There is Milstein’s version of Chopin’s C sharp minor Nocturne, simple and exquisite; a wistful account of ‘Mariettas Lied’ from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt; Debussy’s Clair de lune, quiet and supple; Elgar’s Chanson de matin, quite jaunty. Capuçon ends with some film music, including a wonderfully schmaltzy version of Chaplin’s Smile. Don’t look here for infinite variety, or indeed anything much above mezzo piano. This is just beautiful violin playing, well recorded.”

This CD can be yours for a Sustaining Membership of $12.50 per month. Click your gift to us here on this website or call 800-556-5178.

Photo: Warner Classics

On March 24 we observe the birthdays of American pianist Byron Janis (1928-) Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau (1962-).

Byron Janis studied with Vladimir Horowitz. He is known for his interpretation of the music of Frederic Chopin. A distinguished violinist in her own right, Ms. Dubeau and La Pietá, the ensemble which she founded in 1997, are highly-acclaimed both in Canada and worldwide.

Photos: Ms. Dubeau/Analekta.com; Mr. Janis, Sol Hurok, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

On Day 6 of our Spring Membership Drive 2022, we will be featuring selections from Khachaturian – Famous Ballet Suites, a recording made by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Simonov. This CD includes suites from Gayne, Spartacus, and Masquerade. This can be yours for a Sustaining Membership of $10 per month or a one-time gift of $120.

Make your gift today by phoning 800-556-5178 or on our website or app. Look for the Donate button! Thank you for supporting The Classical Station!

On March 23 we observe the birthdays of German composer Julius Reubke (1834-1858), Austrian composer Franz Schreker (1878-1934), French composer Eugène Gigout (1844-1925), English composer Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986), English mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker (1953-), and Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki (1995-).

While Herr Reubke died very young at the age of 24, he will be forever remembered by organists for his monumental composition entitled Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Herr Schreker was known as an opera composer. A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, Monsieur Gigout was an organist who taught Léon Boëllmann and André Marchal among others. A prolific composer, Edmund Rubbra wrote 11 symphonies and many other works in a variety of genres. Active from the 50s to the 80s, Dame Janet Baker was highly regarded for her interpretations of baroque as well as contemporary music.

Photo:  Jan Lisiecki by Shin Sugino


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

On this fifth day of our Spring Fund Drive, we shine the spotlight on one of our Thank You Gifts. You love the music of Schubert and so do we. So, we selected this CD on the Errato label for you. It contains some of the most beautiful piano music the Austrian composer wrote during his very short life. It can be yours for a Sustaining Membership of $12.50 per month or a one-time donation of $150.

The program for Alexandre Tharaud’s first Erato album dedicated to Schubert comprises the four Impromptus D 899 (op 90), the six Moments musicaux and, in Tharaud’s own transcription for piano, four excerpts from the stage music for Rosamunde.

“He got to the heart of the beauties and abysses of this music.” The Guardian

Call 800-556-5178 and tell us that you want the Schubert CD. Thank you for your support.

On March 22 we observe the birthdays of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916), English humorist Gerard Hoffnung (1925-1959), and English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-).

Part of the Strauss dynasty, he and his brothers Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss composed much light music to entertain the good people of Vienna. A conductor as well as a composer, Hamish MacCunn studied briefly at the fledgling Royal College of Music. Gerard Hoffnung delighted audiences with his musical parodies and jokes. Baron Lloyd-Webber has written 13 musicals, a couple of film scores, and a requiem mass, among other works.

Photos: Lithograph of Hamish MacCunn, John Pettie, National Portrait Gallery, Wikimedia; Gerard Hoffnung, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons;  Andrew Lloyd Webber by Tracy Nolan, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons


Monday, March 21, 2022

On March 21 we observe the birthdays of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Belgian composer Jules Van Nuffel (1883-1953), French cellist Paul Tortelier (1914-1990), Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986), American violinist Joseph Silverstein (1932-2015), and American conductor Erich Kunzel (1935-2009).

A composer thoroughly versed in the skills of his trade, Bach drew from the past and looked to the future in the music which he wrote for all manner of occasions and purposes. Originally destined for a military career, Mussorgsky abandoned his commission in 1858 to devote his life to music. While cantor at Mechelen Cathedral, Father Van Nuffel worked with Flor Peeters, a noted organist, and composer. One of the great cellists of the 20th-century, Monsieur Tortelier taught at several universities during his lifetime. Monsieur Grumiaux was one of the great violinists of the 20th-century. Besides being a fine violinist and concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years, Joseph Silverstein was also a conductor and teacher. A well-known musician, Maestro Kunzel is best-known for his long tenure with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Photos: Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Modest Mussorgsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jules Van Nuffell, Unknown Author, julesvannuffel.be;  Paul Tortelier, Unknown Author; Arthur Grumiaux, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Wikimedia Commons; Erich Kunzel, Unknown Author, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra