Upcoming and Noteworthy

Soprano Emma Kirkby joins Gothic Voices on Friday's Distant Mirror with three selections by 12th century abbess and mystic Hildegard of Bingen from the cd A Feather on the Breath of God.  Christopher Page directs.  Then Ms. Kirkby teams up with lutenist and former spouse Anthony Rooley for three selections from John Dowland's last song cycle, A Pilgrim's Solace. There's also consort music of Orlando Gibbons, and a Dufay sacred piece  for voices and soprano saxophonne.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Photo by Maria Baranova


The Noontime Concert on Friday, 2-22 features Melomanie on Baroque or modern strings and winds in pieces by Francois Couperin, Georg Philipp Telemann, Yuko Uebayashi, Christopher Cook, Luciano Berio, Cynthia Folio, Jean Daniel Braun & Carl Friedrich Abel.

Picture Perfect - February 22: Oscar Party 2019!

Feb 21, 2019

And the winner is… us!  The Academy Awards are always an excellent excuse to cast a nostalgic look back on Oscar history.  We’ll sample from all five of this year’s nominees for Best Original Score, but also revel in music from some of the most honored and beloved classics of all time.  Whether or not the movies’ best days are behind them, we’ll find plenty to celebrate with THREE HOURS OF QUALITY FILM MUSIC, on a special expanded edition of “Picture Perfect” – this Friday only from 4 to 7 pm.

Carnegie Hall's 2019-2020 season includes a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, including a multi-continent Ode to Joy project, and this Saturday (2/23 at 7 pm) A Tempo previews some of the highlights. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson about the season, and also about the upcoming Migrations Festival, which kicks off next month and is devoted to exploring the impact and influence of immigrants on American culture.

You think that you have relationship issues?  Well, we’re going to be looking at some complicated connections on this week’s Sunday opera (2/24 3:00 p.m.), and then, we’ll have a bit of careless abandon!  We’ll begin with Laurent Petitgirard’s operatic version of “Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man.”  With a book based loosely on the play by Bernard Pomerance by Eric Nonn, the story centers on the life of an extremely deformed man who craves kind human interaction and to live like a “normal man.”  The cast includes Nathalie Stutzmann, Nicolas Rivenq, Robert Breault, and Marie Devellereau with the French Opera Chorus and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo with the composer conducting.  

Wednesday, 2-20 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasy for violin & piano, the Cello Sonata No. 6 by Luigi Boccherini, Fritz Kreisler's Tempo di minuetto, a selection from Bela Kovacs's Hommages and the Sonata in f minor for clarinet & piano by Johannes Brahms.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

On Thursday, 2-21 the Noontime Concert from Astral Artists includes:

Schumann’s Arabeske for piano, Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81. The performers are

Violinists Nikki Chooi & Soovin Kim, violist Sam Quintal, cellist Timotheos Petrin, clarinetist Igor Begelman and pianist Sejoon Park.

Sunday evening, 2-17 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear A Grecian Festival by James Cohn, Nights in Timisoara and The Morning Trumpet by Barbara Harbach, Laura Karpman's Rounds for viola & piano & the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet in Genesis V by Janika Vandervelde. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Over 40 years after its original appearance, CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman (pictured) and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’re listening to highlights from the 10-CD collection, Sundays in February at 10 pm.  This week, tune in for music by Joseph White, David Baker, and Roque Cordero.

Three singers from the early and middle parts of the twentieth century take center stage this Sunday night at 8. Gino Bechi (1913-1993) was not well known outside of Italy, but his interpretation of Verdi was on a par with Robert Merrill, Leonard Warren and Ettore Bastianini. Claudia Muzio (1889-1936) easily was one of the finest sopranos of the first half century, and Richard Tauber (1891-1948) is still the touchstone for how to sing operetta, although he had an extensive career in opera as well.

We lost the dynamo known as Carol Channing on January 15, and on this week’s Dress Circle (2/17 7:00 p.m.), we’ll be paying tribute to her wonderful career.  Channing’s early career was as a model which led to stage work that took her to New York and then L.A..  In L.A., she was hired for a show that took her back to New York, and there she stayed.  We’ll look at some of that early work in shows like 1948’s “Lend an Ear,” 1949’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and 1961’s “Show Girl.”  

For most of the 14th century the papacy was situated in Avignon in the south of France.  The Avignonese popes were great patrons of the arts, especially music. On Friday's (2/15) Distant Mirror  the Ensemble Venace Fortunat and La Schola Choir of the University of Tours  perform music from the popes' palace at Avignon from the cd Altera Roma.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Over the course of his 60-year career, John Williams has had opportunities to score just about every kind of film.  Not surprisingly, this would include several fictionalized accounts of American presidents.  For Presidents Day, enjoy selections from Williams’ music for “JFK,” “Nixon,” “Lincoln,” and “Amistad.”  (“Amistad” featured Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams and Nigel Hawthorne as Martin Van Buren.)  The presidents take precedence, this Friday at 6 pm.


The Concordia Chamber Players come your way this Friday (2/15) at 4 pm, bringing music from England and France in a program of works by Benjamin Britten, Sir Edward Elgar, Jonathan Dove and Jean Francaix.

Orchestras and opera companies have been seeking out ways to bolster diversity and inclusion in their ranks, and A Tempo this Saturday (2/16 at 7 pm) looks at two new initiatives. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras, which recently announced its Catalyst Fund, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that will provide grants to youth and adult orchestras to work with a consultant to create programs and strategies that promote equity, inclusion and diversity.

“Hamlet” with a happy ending?  Well, sort of… and we’ll hear it on this week’s Sunday Opera (2/17 3:00 p.m.) with Ambroise Thomas’ 1868 operatic version of Shakespeare’s play.  The libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre, authors of numerous adaptations and opera texts, had the arduous task of shaving down the massive play to mixed reviews – where some critics believe their final product is a concise representation of Shakespeare, others feel that the lack of secondary characters like the gravediggers and the “smoothing” of Shakespeare’s coarse language lessens its impact.

Join The Classical Network as we share our love of music with you in celebration of Valentine's Day - and we hope you will return our affection by becoming a member. We'll bring you music of love and romance all day Wednesday and Thursday. Enjoy the classics that make you swoon! And please take this time to show us how much you appreciate the music we bring you every day of the year by becoming a member, renewing your membership or making an additional gift to the station.

Sunday evening at 11 on Half Past we'll hear Alan Hovhaness's Symphony No. 60, 3 Bagatelles by Nikolai Kapustin and Jazz Dances for Violin & Piano by Howard Blake.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

The Lost Chord: Black to the Future, Part II

Feb 10, 2019

Over 40 years after its original appearance, CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’ll listen to highlights from the 10-CD collection, Sundays in February at 10 pm.  This week, tune in for music by George Walker (pictured) and José Maurício Nunes Garcia.

This week on the Lyric Stage selections from Act 3 of Richard Wagner's Die Walkure from a 1988 studio recording with Hildegarde Berhrens as Brunnhilde, Jessye Norman as Sieglinde and James Morris as Wotan. James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Jessye Norman will also sing  "In the Still of the Night" by Cole Porter and "Spring is Here" by Rodgers and Hart. Her versions of these standards are idiosyncratic - she sings them much like she sang Wagner - but very enjoyable.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we’re going to try to get you in the mood on this week’s Dress Circle (2/10 7:00 p.m.) with some love songs, but not just any love songs, we’re turning to the wonderful pairing of Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers for our sources.  

Nearly all Early Music enthusiasts are familiar with the Cantigas of Santa Maria from the 13th century court of Alfonso the Wise of Castile but did you know that a collection of secular music may also have existed at Alfonso's court? The Dufay Collective has done exhaustive research on the instruments of the day as well as on the secular styles then in vogue , and has put together music that very well may have been performed at Alfonso's court, and you can hear several of these pieces on Friday's Distant Mirror.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Picture Perfect - February 8: Gothic Romances

Feb 8, 2019

Windswept moors.  Destructive passions.  Byronic guilt.  “Gothic romance” doesn’t necessarily mean “love story.”  We strike a blow against Valentine’s Day with music from movies featuring creepy old houses, ghosts, malevolent housekeepers, and madwomen in the attic, including “Rebecca” (Franz Waxman), “Jane Eyre” (John Williams), “Uncle Silas” (Alan Rawsthorne), and “Wuthering Heights” (Alfred Newman).  Keep Mrs. Danvers away from the matches, this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Kate Glicksberg / NYC & Company


On Friday, 2-8 the Noontime Concert from Astral Artists feautures mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams with Laurent Philippe, piano and Felipe Hostins, accordion in music of Lorca, Hostins, Margaret Bonds, Ravel, H. Leslie Adams, Harry Burleigh and Hall Johnson.

Opera Philadelphia

Opera Philadelphia this week announced details of its 2019-2020 season, including its third annual Fall Festival, O19. A Tempo this Saturday (2/9 at 7 pm) explores more about the season in a conversation with President and General Director David Devan, and Music Director Corrado Rovaris, about the season, which will include a tribute to the 20th anniversary of Rovaris' debut with the company.

We’re heading to the Cornish coast of England for this week’s Sunday Opera (2/10 3:00 p.m.) and Dame Ethel Smyth’s “The Wreckers.”  Set in an unnamed village in the mid-18th century where the people make their living not through fishing but by scavenging from the ships that are wrecked on their treacherous coastline, the story deals with two moral dilemmas: stopping the carnage of ships and sailors enabled by the village and acting on a forbidden love for another man’s wife.  

Thursday, 2-7 at noon we'll hear Matthew Robertson direct the Thirteen in a program called From Tree to Shining Tree.  The choir sings nature poems set by Williametta Spencer, Robert Ramsey, Johannes Brahms, Charles Stanford, David Lang, Benjamin Britten, Claudio Monteverdi, Daniel Elder, Walter Lambe, Eriks Esenvalds & Frank Ticheli.

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