Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way. Information on evening concert broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other nationally broadcast performances can be found on our home page.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Mike Birbiglia is an actor, comedian and author, and in his one-man Broadway show called "The New One," he’s also a storyteller. This week on In a Broadway Minute, Theater Critic Howard Shapiro reviews the show, now at the Cort Theatre. Hear the review Friday (12/14) at 8 am and Saturday (12/15) at 10 am.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Louisa May Alcott’s magnum opus, we’ll enjoy music from film adaptations of girls’ literary classics, including “The Secret Garden” (Zbigniew Preisner), “A Little Princess” (Patrick Doyle), “Heidi” (John Williams), and, naturally, “Little Women” (Thomas Newman).  Steal away to a secret garden of musical delights, this Friday at 6 pm.

Gautier de Coincy was a late 12th, early 13th century French cleric who translated into French many of the Latin  miracle poems praising the Virgin, and then set them to medieval popular songs in the courtly love tradition of the trouveres.   Hear several of these on Friday's Distant Mirror as Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort perform from their cd Miracles of NotreDame.  Join Allan Kelly at 11 pm (airing an hour later due to the expanded edition of PostClassical).

Host James Jordan welcomes conductor Gary Graden back on Sunday (12/16), as they discuss Graden's new release of a recording of Handel's Messiah with the St. Jacob Chamber Choir and ensemble REBaroque. Hear this new episode Sunday at 2 pm.

We’ll be celebrating two works of Edward German (German Edward Jones) on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/16 3:00 p.m.) with his operas “Merrie England” and “Tom Jones.”  Basil Hood wrote the libretto for the patriotic romance “Merrie England” featuring a romantic rivalry centering around Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh who was in love with Bessie Throckmorton, one of the queen’s ladies in waiting.  The cast features William McAlpine, June Bronhill, Monica Sinclair, and Peter Glossop.  

The work of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson will be showcased on this week’s Dress Circle (12/16 7:00 p.m.) as we look at their musical written with lyricist Tim Rice that mixes personal relationships and political intrigue played against the background of the international chess tournament.  “Chess” began as a concept album in 1984 and made it to the London stage two years later where it stayed until 1989.  It crossed the Atlantic to Broadway in 1987 but had a much shorter stay of only 68 performances.  

In the 1950's and the 1960's the many recordings Renata Tebaldi and Mario Delmonaco made together were some of classical music's best sellers. They made eleven of them, and in 1954 Manon Lescaut was the first of this long collaboration, and both of these beloved singers were at the top of their form on this studio recording.

The Lost Chord: December 16 - Christmas Roses

Dec 13, 2018

It’s a Christmas bouquet, of sorts, with Hugo Distler’s “Die Weihnachtsgeschichte” (“The Christmas Story”), an otherworldly, a cappella masterpiece punctuated by seven variations on the carol “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” (“Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming”), and Emil Waldteufel’s waltz, “Roses de Noël.”  The holidays are in bloom, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sunday (12-16) at 11 PM join Carl Hemmingsen for music from the half past century.  We'll hear the NY Chamber Symphony in Aaron Jay Kernis's Symphony in Waves and the 6 pianos of Piano Circus in Loud by Grahman Fitkin.

Thursday, 12-13 at noon we'll hear The Thirteen Choir in a Christmas program titled Northern Lights.  Artistic Director Matthew Robertson directs a program of music from over four centuries.

Sunday evening, 12-9 at 11 we'll present Eric Ewazen's Flute Concerto, Ned Rorem's Four Poems Without Words and the String Quartet No. 12 in D-flat by Shostakovich.  Music composed in the past half-century.

On this week's Distant Mirror hear fantasies, pavans and galliards by 16th century Spanish Renaissance composer Luis Milan from his collection El Maestro, which serves as an example of the music current at a   humanist Renaissance court. Viola da gambist  Jordi Savll performs along with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King.  Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm. 

It may seem like odd timing to drop a program about war right into the middle of the holidays, but I can’t change the timing of Pearl Harbor.  Revisit some of John Williams’ music for films set during the World War II.  Two of them take place in the Pacific theater (“Midway,” “None But the Brave”).  One of them is a comedy, believe it or not (“1941”), set in Los Angeles.  We’ll also hear a solemn hymn to those who sacrificed everything for a greater good (“Saving Private Ryan”), this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Paul Kolnik


Join us Friday, 12-7 at noon for a holiday program from the NJ MasterChorale which includes John Rutter's Gloria, Christmas carols and William Gorton's Festive Te Deum.

Blair Miller was tired of feeling like she was always the youngest person in the audience when she attends orchestral concerts - something she's done ever since she was three years old and went to Philadelphia Orchestra concerts with her mother. Now, Miller is CEO and lead advocate at ConductAction, which is developing strategies to attract younger audiences to classical music performances by drawing connections between social action and important causes to the music and composers featured on concert programs.

The heroic folk-legend of Swiss patriot William Tell is this week’s Sunday Opera (12/2 3:00 p.m.) from Opera Southwest.  Gioacchino Rossini’s opera, with a libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis which was based on the play by Friedrich Schiller, features the love story of Arnold and Mathilde told against the Swiss fight for freedom, led by Tell, from the Austrians who have been in power for one-hundred years. 

After EVITA, Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted to work on something a bit less massive, and on this week’s Dress Circle (12/2 7:00 p.m.), we’ll look at that smaller show’s beginnings on TV and growth into a full evening for the stage.  The musical is “Tell Me on a Sunday” and tells the story of a British girl’s relationship adventures in the United States.  The television special starred Marti Webb, and she also appeared in the West End production when it became “Song and Dance” with the addition of Webber’s “Variations” which he wrote for his cellist brother Julian.  

This Thursday (12-6) on the Noontime Concert from Astral Artists in Philadelphia pianist Henry Kramer plays music by Schumann: Kreisleriana, Ravel and Hannah Lash: Six Etudes & A Dream.

Photo by Matt Dine

Thursday evening, 12-6 at 8:00 we present The Orchestra Now under the direction of Leon Botstein in Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, Frank Martin's Six Monologues from Jedermann and the 3rd Symphony by Tchaikovsky.

Wednesday, 12-5 at noon we'll hear Curtis Institute students in Bela Bartok's String Quartet No. 5 and Mozart's Piano Sonata in F, K 332.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday evening, 12-2 at 11 we'll hear the Trumpet Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Plog, Steve Mackey's Physical Property for guitar and string quartet and Dos Danzas Latinas by Nancy Galbraith.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past. 

Celebrate Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, with music on Jewish themes and by Jewish composers, including “Aspects of a Great Miracle” by Michael Isaacson, “Three Hassidic Dances” by Leon Stein,” and “The Klezmer Concerto” by Ofer Ben-Amots.  Enjoy your fill of light and latkes, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lyric Stage: Dec 2 - Puccini's Mimi.

Dec 2, 2018

Now that you know who I am, says Rodolfo to this beautiful stranger he has just met, please tell me who you are. She answers that they call her Mimi, although her real name is Lucia. Her story is brief - she lives all alone in a little white room looking out on roofs and into the heavens, and doesn't always go to church. She makes magic on canvass by embroidering flowers that speak of love and springtimes. And when spring comes, the first sun is hers, the first kiss of April is hers.

Listen to the Pope Marcellus Mass on Friday's Distant Mirror, the work which is credited with saving polyphonic church music.  The story goes that in order to more easily combat the reformation the church had to present a music that was less elaborate and therefore more audible to the ordinary layman.  At the Council of Trent in 1555 the cardinals were about to agree to return to plainchant when Pope Marcellus comissioned Palestrina to compose a mass that would show the world that part-music could be both concise and musically valuable.  The Pope Marcellus Mass is consider

Do the holidays already have you feeling a little disoriented?  This week, on “Picture Perfect,” we’re literally seeing double.  Tune in for music from “Vertigo” (Bernard Herrmann), “La double vie de Véronique” (Zbigniew Preisner), “Dead Ringer” (André Previn), and “The Prince and the Pauper” (Erich Wolfgang Korngold).  Double your pleasure with movies about mirror images, this Friday at 6 pm.

Friday, 11-30 at noon we present Cantus Novus in concert with a program titled "A Perfect Light."  The progam includes traditional carols, John Rutter's Gloria  and songs  by Eric Whitacre, Guy Forbes and others.

When On Site Opera explored the idea of staging Amahl and the Night Visitors, General and Artistic Director Eric Einhorn set about finding a way to bring it to an appropriate venue to tell the holiday story of charity and giving. His solution was to bring it to the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York - and to partner with Breaking Ground, which provides housing and other support to the homeless, to create a chorus comprised of those who have experienced homelessness in their lives.

Ancient Babylon is the setting for this week’s Sunday Opera from OperaDelaware (12/2 3:00 p.m.) with Gioachiono Rossini’s last Italian opera, “Semiramide” featuring a libretto by Gaetano Rossi based on Voltaire's tragedy “Semiramis,” which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria.  Nicknamed by some as “’Tancredi’ revisited,” the story deals with the power-struggle of Queen Semiramide who was one of the people responsible for the death of her predecessor.  

Welcome to December!  As usual, we’ll be starting the month with a selection of songs from shows that opened in New York in December on this week’s Dress Circle (12/2 7:00 p.m.).   We’ll be sampling material from over 100 years of Broadway magic that begins with Victor Herbert’s 1906 operetta “Mlle. Modiste” and ends with 2017’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.”  Along the way, there’ll be songs from “Drood,” “City of Angles,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Show Boat,” and “The Music Man” as well as some other familiar works.  It’s all about Broadway openings this week on The Dress Circle! 

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