This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, January 19, 2020

This week on Preview! English cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason takes on a monumental work by Sir Edward Elgar. Rob Kennedy speaks with Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki about his recent Mendelssohn recording. Violinist James Ehnes plays Beethoven and Sir John Eliot Gardiner leads the London Symphony in music of Schumann. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

Preview! – the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to play WCPE.

Photo: Jan Lisiecki/Shin Sugino

This week on Wavelengths is music by American composer Elizabeth Ogonek, whose works are often inspired by poetry. We’ll also hear music of Michael Gandolfi, with whom Ogonek studied, as well as Philip Glass and Mark O’Connor. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Elizabeth Ogonek/Karjaka Studios

This week Great Sacred Music will include choral music sung by Stile Antico, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Utah State University Chamber Singers. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, John Rutter, and George Frederick Bristow.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music for your Sunday morning. Right after Sing For Joy. 8 until 11 eastern. With Rob Kennedy. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

Photo: Life of St. Lubin window in Chartres Cathedral

On January 19 we observe the birthday of Sir Simon Rattle. He was born on this day in 1955. Sir Simon rose to prominence as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since 2002 he has been Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. In September 2017 he became Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: Monika Rittershaus

Saturday, January 18, 2020

We’re in the inspiration business. At least that’s how all of us here at The Classical Station feel about classical music. Of course, you know very well that classical music not only inspires and uplifts us, but it also soothes and calms us when the going gets rough. Classical music is so many things. That’s why we want to urge you to listen to some of today’s top musicians talk about their art and their love of music – all kinds of music.

We now have over twenty-five conversations with professional musicians available for you to enjoy. Listen to Jennifer Higdon, Sharon Isbin, Joyce DiDonato, Sir Stephen Cleobury, Yolanda Kondonassis, JoAnn Falletta, and many more, talk about how they got their start, the influences and mentors that shaped their careers, their recordings and much more. You can find those conversations here on our website and on our apps.

What would you like us to play for you this evening? The Saturday Evening Request Program is our ever popular weekly request program. It’s six hours of music you have chosen. Click Music Request and let us know what you want us to play. Short works? Yes. Long works? Yes. You are the Music Director for Saturday evening.

If you prefer, call 919-556-0123 anytime after 6 a.m. Eastern and tell the announcer what you would like to hear.

On January 18 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder (1543-1588), Russian composer César Cui (1835-1918), French composer Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894), and English composer William Henry Havergal (1793-1870). A composer of madrigals, Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder spent much of his career in the employ of Elizabeth I of England. César Cui was a member of the Five (Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin were the other four.) But he was also a general in the Russian Army where he taught several notables including Nicolas II. Monsieur Chabrier wrote operas, orchestral, and chamber music, but is best known for his orchestral work entitled España. William Henry Havergal was an Anglican priest who wrote music for the church including some rather fine Anglican chants.


Friday, January 17, 2020

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Giuseppe Verdi’s beautiful tragedy La Traviata. Aleksandra Kurzak sings the iconic title role as Violetta, the courtesan who gives up everything she possesses for an enduring love. Dmytro Popov is the impulsive Alfredo, and Quinn Kelsey is his moralistic father Giorgio Germont. Karel Mark Chichon conducts the Metropolitan Orchestra and Chorus.

La Traviata will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, January 18. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or apps.

Photo: Marty Sohl/Met Opera

It’s All Request Friday! Will a piece of music you want to hear be on our playlists today? It will if you call 919-556-0123 or click on Music Request in the upper right hand corner of this page. We will play listener requests from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern every Friday. What’s Playing has the details of your requests.

Photo: WCPE

On January 17 we observe the birthdays of French composer François-Joseph Gossec (1734-1829), Russian composer Alexander Taneyev (1850-1918), and New Zealand-born British organist Dame Gillian Weir (1941-). Famous in his day as a composer of operas and chamber music, Monsieur Gossec’s music sadly is not much heard in modern times. Alexander Taneyev, not to be confused with his cousin Sergei Taneyev, was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. Dame Gillian Weir was a student of Ralph Downes at the Royal College of Music. She is highly regarded for her teaching and her concertizing.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

This week Opera House presents Adriana Lecouvreur by Francisco Cilea. First performed on November 6, 1902, in Milan, Italy, the opera is a fictional tale based on the life of the famous actress Adrienne Lecouvreur of the Comédie Française, rival of Princess Bouillon for the love of Maurice de Saxe.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Listen to Opera House on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, streaming everywhere on our apps and online.

Photo: Michaela Schuster as the Princesse de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera/Catherine Ashmore 2010

Are you a Sustaining member of The Classical Station? If you are, thank you! You are enjoying convenient, automatic, ongoing monthly contributions which you can change or stop at any time. Becoming a Sustaining Member is an easy way to increase the power of your support and put more of your dollars into the great classical music you love.

As a Sustaining Member, you will:

  • Enjoy uninterrupted membership status at The Classical Station.
  • Save the station money spent on postage, paper and administrative costs.
  • Utilize an eco-friendly payment option which allows us to cut down on renewal mailings.
  • Provide The Classical Station with a steady and reliable stream of income which allows us to plan for a sustainable future.

Here’s how a Sustaining Membership works: Your monthly contribution is deducted automatically from the account of your choice on the same day each month until you tell us to stop. You can make changes or cancel your Sustaining Membership at any time.

To become a Sustaining Member, visit our Donation Page. Or call 800-556-5178 anytime. A member of staff will be happy to take down your information and instructions, as well answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift or designate 10% of your Sustaining Membership to the Education Fund if you prefer. Thank you for being a Sustaining Member!

On January 16 we observe the birthday of American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (1934-). Ms. Horne has enjoyed a brilliant singing career spanning over four decades. Now she imparts her experience and knowledge to younger artists as a kind teacher and mentor. “To be a great singer of classical music is the hardest thing in the world,” she says. “After all this time, I still go for a great voice, my dear, for anyone who can really sing. The details you have to be on top of are just endless. But first of all, you have to be born with a great voice. You can’t go out and buy it. You can’t manufacture it. You have to have that seed. And then you build on that.”

Photo: Marty Umans

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Celebrate the special classical music lover in your life with a daily, weekly, or monthly announcement here on The Classical Station. With a Sustaining Membership of $100 per month, you can have a weekly on-air dedication. To find out more about day dedications and patron announcements on The Classical Station or to renew your announcement, contact Dan McHugh at 800-556-5178 or email him.

If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the beautiful music you love on from The Classical Station. Here’s how it works: Center for Car Donations (CFCD) manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that The Classical Station is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will receive a one-year subscription to our quarterly member magazine, Quarter Notes.


On January 15 we observe the birthdays of American pianist Malcolm Frager (1935-1991) and Israeli-born American pianist Joseph Kalichstein (1946-). A musician who was interested in finding manuscripts by older composers as well as performing, Malcolm Frager maintained a very full concert schedule until his untimely death at the age of 56. Joseph Kalichstein is a member of the faculty of The Julliard School. He performs regularly internationally.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Join Nick Robinson during As You Like It for a special ticket giveaway! This week we’ll be offering a pair of tickets to the dynamic and colorful Artrageous event, hosted at Louisburg College on Saturday, January 18th at 7:30 p.m. This family-friendly performance incorporates dancers, singers, artists and musicians who collaborate on-stage, producing large-scale paintings while they perform. As the Washington Post reviewed, “You have to see it to believe it!”. Listen between 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15th, for a chance to win tickets to this event.

On January 14 we observe the birthdays of English harpsichordist Nicholas McGegan (1950-), Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons (1943-2019), English violinist Andrew Manze (1965-), and Canadian tenor Ben Heppner (1956-). A highly-regarded early music specialist, Nicholas McGegan has over 100 recordings to his credit. A protégé of Herbert von Karajan, Mariss Jansons conducted most of the world’s top orchestras. A Baroque violin virtuoso, Andrew Manze also enjoys a fine reputation as a conductor. Now retired from his singing career, Ben Heppner has embarked on a new role as a broadcaster with the CBC.

Today is also the birthday of Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, the Austrian musicologist who cataloged Mozart’s compositions.


Monday, January 13, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony shines the spotlight on the Vienna Philharmonic. On the program is music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Robert Schumann and Sir Edward Elgar, in performances led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leonard Bernstein and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. See What’s Playing for details.

You can enjoy the concert beginning at 8 p.m. on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina and streaming everywhere online and on our apps.

Photo: Terry Linke

It’s time to get out the old recorder and tabret and join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this evening at 7 p.m. George has an upbeat New Year’s program in store for you. It features a holiday performance by the North Carolina group Voce Camerata and Consort. Also on the program is a unique version of Greensleeves by the Baltimore Consort and music from the English Dancing Master John Playford performed by the New York Renaissance Band. Renaissance Fare airs at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and again next Sunday at 5 p.m.


On January 13 we observe the birthdays of German composer Christoph Graupner (1683-1760), Russian composer Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901), and English composer Richard Addinsell (1904-1977). Herr Graupner lived at the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, and George Frideric Handel. Graupner had to turn down the post of Cantor at Leipzig. The runner-up, a musician by the name of Johann Sebastian Bach, got the position instead. Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov managed to compose approximately 40 works including 2 symphonies before he died at age 35 of tuberculosis. Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto, written for the film Dangerous Moonlight (1941), has been recorded over one hundred times and has sold over a million copies.