This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, December 29, 2019

On our final edition of Preview! for 2019 we’ll revisit some of our favorite classical music recordings from the past year, with performances by Orli Shaham, Demarre and Anthony McGill, and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, led by the late Sir Stephen Cleobury. Rob Kennedy speaks with pianist Roman Rabinovich about his recent release of Haydn Piano Sonatas. 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: Orli Shaham/Christian Steiner

This week on Wavelengths we’ll hear for clarinet and piano by American composer Dorothy Rudd Moore. We’ll also hear a string serenade by Sándor Kuti, a Hungarian composer who died in the Holocaust, and music of 20th-century Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg 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: Sándor Kuti/Musicalics

This week Great Sacred Music will include choral music sung by Early Music New York, Chanticleer, and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Hector Berlioz, and Benjamin Britten. See What’s Playing for 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.

Photo: The Virgin and Child, Gallery of the Library, Vatican Museums/Wikimedia Commons

On December 29 we observe the birthdays of Spanish cellist Pablo Casals (1876-1973) and Welsh conductor Grant Llewellyn (1960-). A native of Catalonia, Spain, Pau Casals i Defilló was quite simply one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. Maestro Llewellyn is Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne.


Saturday, December 28, 2019

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.

Classical music on The Classical Station is an inspiring tradition. Played on quiet, restful evenings and during joyous, holiday festivities, truly, The Classical Station is a companion to life’s most cherished moments. Listener support makes these moments and this incredible music happen. As 2019 comes to a close, please do your part for this music that matters so much to you with an important year-end donation. Please submit your gift by clicking the Donate button on our website or mail a contribution to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, North Carolina 27588. You can also call us anytime at 800-556-5178 to donate. A member of staff is always on duty and will be happy to take down your information and transmit it securely to our membership department.


On December 28 we observe the birthdays of Portuguese composer João Domingos Bomtempo (1775-1842). and English violinist Nigel Kennedy (1956-). The son of an Italian court musician, Bontempo was the first Director of the National Conservatory of Portugal. Kennedy is at home with a variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, and klezmer.


Friday, December 27, 2019

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with with Mozart’s classic fairy tale The Magic Flute, an abridged English-language adaptation that carries on the Met’s tradition of presenting opera for audiences of all ages at the holidays. Lothar Koenigs conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this beloved opera about the triumph of love and virtue. The cast stars Ying Fang as Pamina and Kathryn Lewek as her ruthless mother the Queen of the Night, David Portillo as Prince Tamino, Joshua Hopkins as the lovelorn birdcatcher Papageno, and Soloman Howard as the wise Sarastro.

The Magic Flute will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, December 28. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina as well as on our website and apps.

Photo: Joélle Harvey as Pamina and David Portillo as Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Celebrate Christmas on the Opera House with a pair of seasonal offerings: Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Frank Bridge’s The Christmas Rose. 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: Metropolitan Opera/Ken Howard


The great opera composer Giuseppe Verdi executed several major philanthropic projects during his lifetime. He funded a hospital on the edge of his estate. Then, in an act of profound kindness, he built and endowed the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a home for retired musicians. Inspired by Verdi’s example? A gift through your will or other estate plan is a wonderful way to keep classical music coming to Central North Carolina and the world here on The Classical Station. As Giuseppe Verdi has inspired you, so too will your legacy gift inspire future generations. For more information about leaving a bequest to The Classical Station in your will, give Dan McHugh a call at 800-556-5178.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Classical Station!

On December 25 we observe the birthdays of English composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) and American conductor Louis Lane (1923-2016). Orlando Gibbons was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward was the Master of the Choristers. Maestro Lane was involved with a number of American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

We’ve got lots of Christmas music for you today. Take us with you on our apps as you travel. Tell your smart speaker to play “WCPE” anytime you need a few minutes to yourself. And why not follow the pussycat’s example and simply relax on Christmas Eve as you enjoy Bob Chapman’s Christmas At The Opera House, George Douglas’ A Renaissance Christmas, and Rob Kennedy’s Lullabies and Carols. Those special programs begin at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The staff and volunteers of The Classical Station wish you a very merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Frohe Weihnachten!

On December 24 we observe the birthdays of German composer Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) and American composer Libby Larsen (1950-). Herr Cornelius wrote operas and lieder. He is best known for his song The Three Kings from Weihnachtslieder op.8. Besides being a prolific composer, Ms. Larsen co-founded what is now known as the American Composers Forum with the late Stephen Paulus.


Monday, December 23, 2019

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony offers our annual Holiday program featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, as well as music of Ottorino Respighi, Leroy Anderson and Christopher Rouse, in performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. 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 December 23 we observe the birthdays of Canadian cellist Zara Nelsova (1918-2002) and Italian conductor Claudio Scimone (1934-2018). Ms. Nelsova taught at The Julliard School from 1962-2002. Maestro Scimone founded I Solisti Veneti. He championed the music of several composers, in particular bringing the theatrical music of Antonio Vivaldi and Antonio Salieri to the fore.