This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, March 22, 2020

This week on the third day of our Spring Membership Drive, Rob Kennedy and Chuck Till will be asking for your support of Great Sacred Music. The playlist includes choral music by Johannes Brahms, Thomas Tallis, Maurice Duruflé, and many more. What’s Playing has a detailed playlust.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music for your Sunday morning. Right after Sing For Joy. From 8 a.m. Eastern. With Rob Kennedy.

Stained glass window by William Holland/

On March 22 we observe the birthdays of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916), English humourist 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.


Saturday, March 21, 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. We will also include requests which several listeners sent in this past week for All Request Friday. Yesterday was the first Day of our Spring Membership Drive. As a result, we did not have All Request Friday. Our All Request Fridays will resume on Friday, April 3.

You may call 919-556-0123 after 1 p.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 a recorded performance of La Cenerentola. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and tenor Juan Diego Flórez star in Rossini’s sparkling take on the Cinderella story, in a performance from May 10, 2014. DiDonato sings the title role of the neglected but virtuous Angelina, opposite Flórez as Don Ramiro, a prince looking for a worthy bride. The cast also features Alessandro Corbelli as the blustering Don Magnifico, Luca Pisaroni as the prince’s counselor Alidoro, and Pietro Spagnoli as the valet Dandini. Fabio Luisi conducts the Met orchestra and chorus..

Der Fliegende Hollönder will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, March 21. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or on our apps. Tell your smart speaker to “play the Classical Station.”

Joyce DiDonato as Cinderella. Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera

Joyce DiDonato as Cinderella. Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera

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 20-th 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.


Music: John Lewis Grant playing Bach’s Prelude in B flat minor from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier on

Friday, March 20, 2020

Our Spring 2020 Membership Drive began at 7 a.m. this morning. We have two Early Bird Specials for you!

The first is Ultimate Classical Guitar. This five CD collection on the Decca label features guitarists Pepe Romero, Alexandre Lagoya and Eduardo Fernandez performing favorite concertos by Rodrigo, Vivaldi and Giuliani;, as well as works for solo guitar by composers Villa-Lobos, Lauro, Brouwer and Barrios. The set also includes a disc of flamenco classics.

If classical guitar just isn’t your thing, no worries! We also have Classical Heat, which contains rousing orchestral favorites, including the Ride of the Valkyries and the Ritual Fire Dance, plus a second CD of quieter works such as Barber’s Adagio for Strings. This two CD set has more than 2 1/2 hours of music by various artists. It can be yours for a one-time gift of $100. Limited quantity. Don’t delay if you want this CD.

Call 800-556-5178 or If you prefer to give online, please note in the “Additional Comments” field of the pledge form that you would like Ultimate Classical Guitar or Classical Heat as your Thank-you Gift. Thank you for supporting the music you love here on The Classical Station!

On March 20 we observe the birthday of Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997). Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was considered one of the greatest 20th-century pianists.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

This evening the WCPE Opera House presents an encore performance of Charles Gounod’s Faust, hosted by the late Al Ruocchio (1937-2007). Loosely based on several episodes from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s classic play about an aged philosopher who strikes a deal with the devil in return for regaining his youth, Jules Barbier and Michel Carré’s libretto focused so much on the love story between the youthful Faust and the innocent Marguerite that, to this day, many German opera houses refer to Gounod’s tuneful 1859 French opera as Margarethe.

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

Don’t forget that we have more opera for you on Saturday. The Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts continue with recorded performances of the scheduled opera. This week the Met is presenting a performance of La Cerentola, starring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and tenor Juan Diego Flórez in Rossini’s sparkling take on the Cinderella story, in a performance from May 10, 2014. Curtain time: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Bulgarian opera singer Raffaele Arié (1920-1988) as Mephistoles in Gounod’s Faust/Bibliothèque nationale de France.

On March 19 we observe the birthdays of Korean cellist Myung-Wha Chung (1944-), King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656), and German composer Max Reger (1873-1916). After studying with Leonard Rose at The Julliard School, Myung-What Chung has gone on to an active performing career. She is professor of cello at The Mannes College of Music in New York. King John ruled the Portuguese empire at its zenith. He was also a patron of the arts and a gifted composer. A prolific composer, Herr Reger’s music is familiar, and indeed terrifying, to organists.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The classical music we play twenty-four hours a day here on The Classical Station means different things to different people. Some listeners love Mozart. Some folks say we play too much Mozart. Some people would like us to play more Bartok. Others don’t want to hear anything composed after 1900. But the one thing everybody seems to agree on is that classical music takes our minds off our cares and worries about the COVID-19 epidemic and all the shocking news that comes with it – all of that “noise” fades into the background as we listen to beautiful classical music.

That’s why we want to express our gratitude to all of you who support this unique radio station financially. You keep the music of Mozart, Bach, Brahms, and so many other composers playing. Your support lets us program the recordings of great orchestras such as the London Symphony. the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, and countless others. Performers such as Joshua Bell, Stephen Hough, Rachel Barton Pine and so many more delight us with their artistry. You make all of this possible. From the bottom of our hearts, “Thank you.”


On March 18 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), and Japanese violist Nobuko Imai (1943-), and American conductor James Conlon (1950-). Rimsky-Korsakov was one of The Mighty Handful of Russian composers that included Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Alexander Borodin. After studying at Julliard and Yale, Ms. Imai has gone on to have a distinguished career performing and teaching. A native of Douglaston, Queens, New York, Maestro Conlon is currently Music Director of Los Angeles Opera and Principal Conductor of the Italian RAI National Symphony Orchestra.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Our Spring 2020 Membership Drive begins this Friday. 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 very special listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station which 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 2020 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Jane O’Connor 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 Jane 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 mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

On March 17 we observe the birthday of composer and organist Josef Rheinberger. (1839-1901) A native of Liechtenstein, Rheinberger spent most of his life in Germany. He taught several Americans including Horatio Parker and George Whitefield Chadwick. His European students included Englebert Humperdinck, Richard Strauss, and Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Monday, March 16, 2020

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This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra which was active from 1945-2016. On the program is music of Josef Haydn, Robert Schumann, and Richard Wagner in performances led by Sir Roger Norrington, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Sir Neville Mariner. 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: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Bach Cantatas

Have you discovered our Conversations With Performers? In these conversations with our staff announcers Rob Kennedy, Bob Chapman, and Dan McHugh, distinguished musicians such as Stephanie Blythe, Ofra Harnoy, Yolanda Kondonassis, Lucas Meachem and many more, talk about their new recordings, their art, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations which they can listen to or download anytime. You can also enjoy these conversations on our apps and on your favorite podcast platform.

On March 16 we observe the birthdays of English conductor Sir Roger Norrington (1934-), German mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig (1925-), Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza (1935-), American composer David Del Tredici (1937-), and German conductor Claus Peter Flor (1953-. Highly-regarded for his performances and recordings of Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and more on period instruments, Sir Roger Norrington founded the London Classical Players in 1978. Active from the 40s through the 90s, Ms. Ludwig was one of the greatest singers of her generation. Besides appearing on opera house stages around the world, Senora Berganza has appeared in nine movies. A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, David Del Tredici is renowned for his music written for a variety of genres. Maestro Flor has conducted many of the world’s great orchestras. He was music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1999-2008.