This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, February 2, 2020

This week on Preview! the British string orchestra 12 Ensemble plays music of Franz Schubert. Dan McHugh speaks with Nicolo Muti, Executive Director of The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and Jonathan Dorman of the Verona Quartet, about their upcoming concert. The Houston Chamber Choir sings music of Maurice Duruflé from their Grammy-winning CD, and pianist Daniil Trifonov plays Rachmaninoff. 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 “The Classical Station.”

Photo: 12ensemble

This week on WAVELengths we observe Black History Month with symphonic music by American composer Adolphus Hailstork who will be our guest on My Life In Music tomorrow, Monday, February 3 at 7 p.m. Pianist Nadia Shpachenko plays music from her recent Grammy-winning release, The Poetry of Places. 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: Adolphus Hailstork/Rose Grace

This week Great Sacred Music will include choral music sung by sung by the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers and Quire Cleveland. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Gerald Near, and Felix Mendelssohn.

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: Presentation Window in the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.

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.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

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. The program usually is over-subscribed by 2 p.m. on Saturday, so get your request in as soon as you can.

If you prefer, call 919-556-0123 anytime after 6 a.m. Eastern and tell the announcer what you would like to hear. Then, after 6 p.m., check What’s Playing to see when your request will be played.

On February 1 we observe the birthdays of German/Swedish composer Johan Agrell (1701-1767), Italian composer Francesco Veracini (1690-1768), 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. 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.

Music: MIT Symphony on Free Music Archive playing Una furtiva lagrima from Lelisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti

Friday, January 31, 2020

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. The great American opera features bass-baritone Eric Owens as the humble Porgy, and soprano Angel Blue as his beloved Bess, a woman struggling to escape abuse and addiction. An acclaimed ensemble cast of opera stars portrays the tight-knit African-American community of Catfish Row. It includes Golda Schultz as the young mother Clara, Latonia Moore as the religious Serena, and Denyce Graves as the matriarch Maria. Frederick Ballentine is the drug dealer Sportin’ Life, Alfred Walker is the brutal Crown, and Donovan Singletary is Clara’s husband Jake. David Robertson conducts the Met Orchestra and the Porgy and Bess Chorus in this unforgettable score. The opera is performed in the new production by James Robinson that opened the Met season in the fall.

Porgy and Bess will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 1. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or apps.

Photo: Paola Kudacki/Met Opera

Once again it’s All Request Friday here at The Classical Station! 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 31 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), American composer Phillip 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.


Thursday, January 30, 2020

“Don Giovanni”

This week Opera House presents Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This magnificent retelling of the Don Juan legend was first performed in Prague on Oct. 29, 1787, it was set to a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Perhaps Mozart’s masterpiece and one of the greatest of all music dramas, Don Giovanni has remained one of the most popular of all operas. The action takes place in 17th-century Seville. The libertine Don Giovanni (bass Samuel Ramey), aided by his servant Leporello (bass Ferruccio Furlanetto), attempts to seduce Donna Anna (soprano Anna Tomowa-Sintow) but is disturbed by her father, the Commendatore (bass Paata Burcheladze), whom he kills in a duel. Anna and her fiancé Don Ottavio (tenor Gôsta Winbergh) swear vengeance. Giovanni’s attempts to seduce the peasant girl Zerlina (soprano Kathleen Battle), engaged to Masetto (bass Alexander Malta), are foiled by Donna Elvira (mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa), whom Giovanni has seduced and abandoned. All turn against Giovanni at a party at his villa, but he escapes and finds himself in a churchyard, where the statue of the Commendatore speaks. Lightheartedly, Giovanni invites the statue to supper. The statue arrives and drags the unrepentant Giovanni down to hell.

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: Rachel Willis-Sørensen in a 2019 performance of Don Giovanni/Marty Sohl, Metropolitan Opera

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On January 30 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), German Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773), German-born American conductor Walter Damrosch (1862-1950) and American cellist Lynn Harrell (1944-). Thomas Tallis flourished at a difficult time in English history. He is considered to be one of England’s greatest composers. Herr Quantz was a prolific composer who wrote 200 sonatas, 300 concertos, 45 trio sonatas, and many other works, according to Wikipedia. Remembered today as a conductor, Walter Damrosch was NBC’s music director back in the 30s and 40s. After studying at Julliard and the Curtis Institute, Lynn Harrell made his debut in 1961 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photos: Lynn Harrell/Christian Steiner;

Wednesday, January 29, 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 29 we observe the birthdays of English composers Frederick Delius (1862-1934) and Havergal Brian (1876-1972), English pianist Malcolm Binns (1936-), and Taiwan-born American violinist Cho-Liang Lin (1960-). Young Delius managed his father’s orange groves in Florida before returning to England and ultimately Paris where he spent much of his life. To call Havergal Brian a symphonist is putting it mildly. He wrote thirty-two symphonies. A graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, Malcolm Binns has championed British composers in his recordings and performances. He celebrates his 83rd birthday today. Cho-Liang Lin studied at The Julliard School and made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 19.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Grammy Awards in the Classical Music categories. Well-deserved! We are delighted to be able to offer you conversations with two of the winners: Jennifer Higdon and Joyce DiDonato. We knew these remarkable musicians were winners when we spoke to them last year. Please share these and our other conversations with other music-lovers, and in particular with the young musicians you know. One of the reasons we offer these conversations with musicians is to inspire and encourage the next generation of classical musicians. You can help us do that.

Photos: Jennifer Higdon/J. Henry Fair; Joyce DiDonato/Florian Kalotay

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 Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle’s Beer-thoven event. The Verona Quartet will be performing two of Beethoven’s string quartets and his stirring String Quintet Op. 104 at Bull City Ciderworks in Durham on Thursday, February 6th at 8 p.m. Listen between 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 29th, for a chance to win tickets to this event.

On January 28 we observe the birthdays of French composer Ferdinand Hérold (1791-1833), German composer Johann Ernst Bach (1722-1777), Polish-born American pianist Arthur Rubenstein (1887-1982), and English composer John Tavener (1944-2013). Monsieur Hérold was a composer of operas of which Zampa is his best-known work. Herr Bach was a member of the famous North German Bach family. Arthur Rubenstein was widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Sir John Tavener’s fusion of modern compositional techniques and Eastern Christianity made him a unique voice in late 20th-century and early 21st-century music.


Monday, January 27, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony presents an all-Mozart edition in honor of the composer’s birth on January 27, 1756. On the program are performances by Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Emerson String Quartet, in an exciting conclusion to our annual Mozart Madness celebration. 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.


On January 27 we observe the birthdays of French composer Édouard Lalo (1823-1892), Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), English pianist John Ogdon (1937-1989) and French conductor Jean-Philippe Collard (1948-). Édouard Lalo is best known to modern audiences for his Symphonie Espagnole. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed for a variety of musical genres and left us remarkable compositions in each category. John Ogdon’s genius was probably the root of his psychological problems. A child prodigy, Monsieur Collard went on to be a highly-regarded interpreter of the music of Faure and Saint-Saens.