This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, February 16, 2020

This week on Preview! we’ll hear the Capucon brothers and Frank Braley in the music of Beethoven. The Classical Station’s Rob Kennedy speaks with Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy about her new CD Back to Bach and her new life in Newfoundland. Trumpeter Paul Merkelo plays Haydn, and we’ll hear a concerto for violin and piano written by a young Felix Mendelssohn. 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: Ofra Harnoy/Denise Grant

This week on WAVELengths we again recognize Black History Month by featuring the late American composer Hale Smith. We’ll also hear the Imani winds in a tribute to Duke Ellington, along with works by Ellington himself, and by Cuban guitarist Leo Brouwer. 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: Hale Smith/Classical MPR

This week Great Sacred Music will include music sung by the Bach Collegium Japan Chorus, Quire Cleveland, and the Turtle Creek Chorale. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Stephen Paulus, and Anabale Padovano. What’s Playing has a detailed playlist.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music for your Sunday morning. Right after Sing For Joy. 8 until 11 eastern. With Rob Kennedy.

Stained glass: Dove with olive branch originally in Sather Air Base, Iraq

On February 16 we observe the birthdays of English composer Charles Avison (1709-1770), Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal (1936-), and American composer John Corigliano (1938-). Charles Avison was a writer and music critic in addition to being a composer. He is best known to 21st-century audiences for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti. Maestro Inbal has been the conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and a couple of Grammy Awards, John Corigliano has written over one hundred compositions.


Saturday, February 15, 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.

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Manon, Jules Massenet’s ravishing opera featuring an irresistible heroine, in a performance recorded last fall. American soprano Lisette Oropesa stars in the title role, a young girl seduced by the glamor of Paris. American tenor Michael Fabiano co-stars as Manon’s smitten lover, the Chevalier des Grieux. The cast also features Artur Ruciński as Manon’s cousin Lescaut and Kwangchul Youn as the Chevalier’s father, the Comte des Grieux, with Carlo Bosi as Guillot de Morfontaine and Brett Polegato as de Brétigny. Maurizio Benini conducts the Met Orchestra and Chorus.

Manon will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 15. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or apps. Tell your smart speaker to play “The Classical Station.”

Photo: Lisette Oropesa as Manon and Michael Fabiano as des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon

The Classical Station is excited to announce that we are expanding the Education Fund to include an Instrument Donation program. The purpose of collecting these instruments is to make them available to students in music education programs and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina. Gently used instruments in working condition, or with minor repairs needed, are being accepted.

The following instruments are especially needed:

Trumpets, flutes, clarinets, French horns, trombones, violins, violas, cellos, saxophones, and other classical instruments for band or orchestra. Over the last ten years the Education Fund has awarded more than $80,000 in grants to numerous music education nonprofits in North Carolina. In addition to grants that support music lessons, concerts, and scholarships, we hope that the Instrument Donation program will help even more students to realize their dreams of studying music. You can help to make their dreams come true, and receive a tax receipt.

For more information about the Education Fund, or to inquire about donating your instrument, please contact Dan McHugh, Membership Director, at 919-556-5178 or by email Arrangements for pickup will be made on a case-by-case basis.

On February 15 we observe the birthdays of German composer Michael Praetorious (1571-1621) and French composer Jean Langlais (1907-1991). His real name was Michael Schultze, Praetorius being the Latinized version of the German surname. A prolific composer, Herr Praetorius wrote thousands of works for instruments and voices. Blind since the age of two, Monsieur Langlais studied with Marcel Dupré, Paul Dukas, and Charles Tournemire. He was one of the 20th-century’s great organ recitalists.


Friday, February 14, 2020

It’s All Request Friday here at The Classical Station. And it’s Valentine’s Day. If you want to request a piece for your Valentine, give us a call at 919-556-0123 or click on Music Request in the upper right hand corner of this page. But don’t delay! This popular program fills up very quickly. We play listener requests from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern every Friday. What’s Playing has the details of your requests. Happy Valentine’s Day!


On February 14 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676), Swiss conductor Michel Corboz (1934-), and American soprano Renée Fleming. Signor Cavalli’s real name was Pietro Francesco Caletti-Bruni. He wrote over forty operas, as well as some splendid polychoral sacred music. Celebrating his 85th birthday today, Maître Corboz founded the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne. A Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Fleming studied with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf among other notable teachers. She has graced the stages of most of the world’s great opera houses.

Photos: Ms. Fleming/Andrew Eccles; Others/

Thursday, February 13, 2020

This week Opera House celebrates Valentine’s Day a day early with Frank Loesser’s Broadway musical The Most Happy Fella. When the show opened on May 3, 1956, critics were divided over whether it was a musical comedy or an opera-or a combination of the two. Based loosely on Sidney Howard’s 1924 play They Knew What They Wanted, Loesser convinced playwright Samuel Taylor to eliminate all references to the labor movement and to focus exclusively on the love story. Listen to Opera House on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, streaming everywhere on our apps and online beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: London Records

Music makes memories. Hearing our favorite pieces brings us back to those special times when we first heard the music of Bach or Beethoven or Brahms. We each can recall the effect that music had on us. That’s what we do here at The Classical Station. We program music which soothes you when the stress of everyday life gets to be too much. Our rousing overtures get you going during Rise and Shine in the morning. And we have been doing this since 1978 thanks to the support of thousands of listeners like you.

To make sure this marvelous legacy remains alive, please become a Sustaining Member. It’s simple to set up. Click the Donate button at the top of this page. Then choose the amount you wish to donate each month – $10, $15, $20 or whatever you decide to give. Fill in your contact information and payment information on our secure server. Don’t forget to choose a Thank You Gift while you are there. Your donation ensures that this legacy of great classical music continues to thrive here on The Classical Station. Please become a Sustaining Member now. This classical music we play is counting on you.

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.


Wednesday, February 12, 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 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.


Tuesday, February 11, 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 Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle’s concert, Light Shines Out of Darkness. The program includes Rossini’s String Sonata No. 5, Mozart’s Wind Serenade in C Minor and Weinberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham on Sunday, February 16th at 3 p.m. Listen between 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12th, for a chance to win tickets to this event.

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


Monday, February 10, 2020

The February edition of Renaissance Fare features “A French Toast to Love,” a tribute to Valentine’s Day. Most of the music featured on the program will be from 16th century France. We’ll hear French chansons and dance music from the Scholars of London, the New York Renaissance Band, the King’s Singers and more. Join George Douglas for Renaissance Fare this eening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: SVG

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the London Philharmonic. On the program is music of Peter Boyer on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday, plus works by Albeniz, Rachmaninoff, and Barbara Harbach in performances led by Boyer, David Angus and principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski. 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: LPO

On February 10 we observe the birthdays of American soprano Leontyne Price and American composer Peter Boyer. 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/

Photo of Montana Stream in Winter by Dale Marie Muller