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.

Curtis Calls: Cello, Clarinet & Violin, each with Piano

21 hours ago

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.

Sonatina Time on Between the Keys Feb. 19th

Feb 18, 2019

This week’s episode of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys is devoted to piano sonatinas.

“It’s interesting how sonatinas are, in theory, smaller sonatas, yet the fact is that some sonatinas are bigger than sonatas, and that some sonatas are smaller than sonatinas,” says Jed Distler, host for Between the Keys, and the Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence. “I thought it would be a good idea to comb through a variety of sonatinas and sonatina movements, combining some familiar works with music that you may not have heard.”

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.”  

Seven new productions of drama open on Broadway from now through the Spring, and they're a diverse mix. Theater Critic Howard Shapiro surveys the upcoming plays for you this week on In a Broadway Minute, Friday (2/15) at 8 am and Saturday (2/16) at 10 am.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

The Lost Chord: Black to the Future, Part II

Feb 7, 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.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 2-6 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Mozart's Sonata in F major, K 533/494 and the Sonata No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10. 

There are two givens about the beginning of February: the weather will be inconsistent, but The Dress Circle (2/3 7:00 p.m.) will certainly be consistent as we welcome in the month with some of the shows that opened this month.  We’ll look at 100 years of musicals beginning with Jerome Kern’s “Oh, Boy!”, with a book and lyrics by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse from 1917 through to 2017’s revival of “Sunset Boulevard” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton.  

Medieval pilgrimages were undertaken for many reasons: As penance to fulfill a promise made during illness, to escape prison, or, as Geoffrey Chaucer suggests, simply as a cure for Spring fever.  Pilgrimage sites were often places where miracles had occured or sacred relics were discovered.  On Friday's Distant Mirror hear the Toronto Consort perform from their cd The Way of the Pilgrim many of the songs that might have been sung en route to the holy places.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday  evening (2-1) at 8 pianist Inon Barnatan joins the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marcelo Lehninger in Beethoven's  1st, 2nd and 4th Piano Concertos. 

Michel Legrand composed music that tugs at the heart even as it lifts the soul.  Take a nostalgic journey down Memory Lane with selections from “Summer of ’42,” “The Picasso Summer,” “The Go-Between,” “Yentl,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.”  Le Grand, indeed!  Get out your handkerchiefs.  We remember Michel Legrand, this Friday at 6 pm.

Tristan Cook

A Tempo this Saturday (2/2) previews highlights of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 season. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Music Director Xian Zhang and President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst about the musical and artistic line-up and other plans for the NJSO's future, including its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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