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.

Friday, 1-24 at noon we'll hear Manhattan Chamber Players in Saint-Saëns' Piano Quintet in a minor, the Piano Quartet No. 2 by Gabriel Fauré and pieces by Maurice Ravel.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Almost four decades after it was written, Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "A Soldier's Play" has made it to Broadway. This week on In a Broadway Minute, theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the Roundabout Theater production, Friday (1/24) at 8 am and Saturday (1/25) at 10 am.

An opera that has been dubbed "the night of the seven stars” will fill  this week’s Sunday Opera (1/26 3:00 p.m.) with Giacomo Meyerbeer’s 1836 marathon of an opera, “Les Huguenots.”  Set in France in the tumultuous times around the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre where the French Protestants were set-upon and murdered by the French Catholics, this grandest of all grand operas has a love story at its center focusing on Valantine, a Catholic girl who renounces her faith in order to be with the Protestant man she loves, and her beloved Raoul.  The final frenzy features a mob killing a church full of women and children, and Valantin’s father killing Raoul and his daughter in a finale that is reminiscent of Halavy’s “La Juive.”  

We’re marching into February on this week’s Dress Circle (1/26 7:00 p.m.) with marches from Broadway and Hollywood.  Now, not every march is self-proclaimed as such, so we’ve looked those songs that will hopefully make you want to get up, grab a baton, and strut around the room.  Along with “Seventy-Six Trombones” from “The Music Man,” “I Ain’t Down Yet” from “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” “Follow the Fold” from “Guys and Dolls,” and “Hey, Look Me Over,” from “Wildcat,” we’ll also be looking to musicals like “Jupiter’s Darling,” “Oliver!”, and “Hello, Dolly!”.  

This week on the Lyric Stage we have highlights from Maria Callas' Carmen. Callas never performed Carmen on stage, but many consider her 1964 recording of Bizet's opera among the best recorded versions of Carmen. To paraphrase one critic, "Callas isn't Carmen, Carmen is Callas."

Sunday evening, 01-26 at 11:00 on Half Past we'll hear Demarest Suite for orchestra by Barbara Harbach and the String Quartet No. 5 by Robert Simpson.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday at noon (1-22) on Curtis Calls we'll hear students from the Curtis Institute of Music in Sonata for Cello & Guitar by Radames Gnattali, Mozart's Piano Sonata in B-flat, K.333, Chopin's Scherzo No.2, op.33 and Abyss Lustre by Sean William Calhoun. Curtis Calls, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10:00.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Laura Linney is starring on Broadway in the one-woman play "My Name is Lucy Barton," adapted for the stage by the author of the popular book with the same title. Theater critic Howard Shapiro this week reviews the play on In a Broadway Minute, Friday (12/17) at 8 am and Saturday (12/18) at 10 am.

Picture Perfect: January 17 - Dystopian Visions

Jan 16, 2020

If you think the world is in rough shape now, consider tomorrow.  Gaze into the crystal ball for an hour of cautionary tales about totalitarian government, corporate control, and technology gone awry, including selections from “Fahrenheit 451” (Bernard Herrmann), “Wall-E” (Thomas Newman), “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (John Williams), and “Metropolis” (Gottfried Huppertz).  Embrace your humanity.  A bleak future is rendered hopeful, in large part, through music, this Friday at 6 pm.

There are two lesser-known works by Kurt Weill on this week’s Sunday Opera (1/19 3:00 p.m.) with a performance of his final opera in Germany before his emigration and an excerpt from the first piece he wrote in France on his way to the United States.  With a plot that is far too complicated to go into, “Die Burgschaft” or “The Pedge” is said to be about the “rise to power of a money driven dictatorship, paralleling the rise of the Nazis.”  It is also a parable regarding man’s role in society.  It was premiered in Berlin in 1932 and was popular until banned by the Nazi regime.  The recording to which we’ll be listening comes from the Spoleto Festival and is conducted by Julius Rudel.  

We’re once again going to the Dickens on this week’s Dress Circle (1/19 7:00 p.m.) in the second part of our series looking at musicals based on the works of one of the world’s most beloved authors.  Without an orphan or miser in sight, we’ll be sampling songs from “Pickwick,” a musicalization of Dickens’ first novel “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club,” which starred Harry Secombe.  We’re returning to Rupert Holmes’ “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” but this time, we’ll listen to several songs from the recent Broadway revival.    

The Lost Chord: January 19 - All Hail Hailstork

Jan 16, 2020

A pupil of legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, Adolphus Hailstork is composer-in-residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.  On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, experience his uplifting oratorio, “Done Made My Vow,” inspired in part by King’s speeches, and the rhythmically exciting “Variations for Trumpet.”  The music is hale, but the sentiments are King, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Harbison's Cello Concerto on Half Past

Jan 16, 2020

Sunday (1-19) evening at 11:00 on Half Past we'll hear the Cello Concerto by John Harbison, Incantations & Allegro for oboe, bassoon & piano by Nancy Galbraith and the Symphony of Three Orchestras by Elliott Carter.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

On Friday evening, January 17th at 8:00 we present the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in a concert recorded last October conducted by Rossen Milanov.  Cellist Pablo Ferrández joins the orchestra for Elgar's Concerto in E minor.  Also on the program are The Swan of Tuonela by Sibelius and the Symphony No. 3 by Johannes Brahms.

Friday, 1-17 at noon we present a concert from Mélomanie chamber group featuring music by Johann Quantz, Philipp Erlebach, Suzanne Sorkin, Ingrid Arauco, Louis-Gabriel Guillemain & Robert Maggio. Baroque and contemporary performance by Mélomanie.

Join us Thursday, 1-16 at noon for a performance from Concerts on the Slope in Brooklyn featuring music for string quartet and oboe by Paolo Marchettini  (Septem Vitia Capitalia), Benjamin Britten (Phantasy Quartet No. 2) and Beethoven (String Quartet in f minor, op. 95.)

Portrait of Composer Chen Yi from the Curtis Institute

Jan 15, 2020

Wenesday, 01-15 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear several chamber pieces performed by students at the Curtis Institute of Music by Chinese composer Chen Yi.

Photo courtesy of OSESP

As part of its celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday anniversary, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute is working with conductor Marin Alsop this year to create a "Global Ode to Joy" - a series of concert performances across six continents, each interpreting the work through a local lens and incorporating the local language and culture.

On Thursday and Friday afternoons (1/9 & 1/10) we'll broadcast four concerts from last October's Momenta Festival in New York City.  The concerts are at 2:00 and 4:00 PM both days, each curated by a different member of the Momenta Quartet.  The music ranges from Mozart to contemporary works, some composed for the quartet.

Picture Perfect: January 10 - Arch Harpsichords

Jan 9, 2020

Because of its use in mystery and thrillers, the harpsichord – in context, a fusty-sounding instrument – takes on a certain mischievous quality.  With arched brow and tongue in cheek, enjoy selections from “Murder She Said” (Ron Goodwin), “Sleuth” (John Addison), “Dead Ringer” (André Previn), and “Family Plot” (John Williams).  The order has been placed for ham on wry, this Friday at 6 pm.

Toquato Tasso’s poem “Jerusalem Delivered” has been used as the basis for many classical pieces, most notably the operas “Armida” by Rossini and “Rinaldo” by Handel.  On this week’s Sunday Opera (1/12 3:00 p.m.), we’ll turn to a less familiar treatment in Joseph Haydn’s forgotten operatic version also entitled “Armida.”  In this recording made in 1978, Jessye Norma portrays the sorceress of the title who is sent by “The Dark One” to defeat the Crusaders who are attempting to take Jerusalem back from the Saracens by causing them to fall in love with her before she kills them.  The leader of the knights, Rinaldo (Claes H. Ahnsjo). falls in love with Armida, and, much to her horror, Armida reciprocates culminating in a tragic ending for Rinaldo.  Also included in this cast are Norma Burrowes as Zelmira, Armida’s accomplice, Samuel Ramey as Idreno, the king of the Saracens, and Robin Leggate and Anthony Rolfe Johnson as two other knights, Ublado and Clotarco.  Antal Dorati is the conductor of this performance featuring the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne.  

It’s finally happened (not that it hasn’t happened before), but on this week’s Dress Circle (1/12 7:00 p.m.), we’re going to the Dickens – literally.  Charles Dickens has long been a favorite author of ours and of others too, obviously because there have been many stage and musical adaptations of his works with varying degrees of success.  This week in “part the first,” we’ll be looking at musical version of “Cricket on the Hearth,” “Great Expectations,” “Hard Times,” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”  

Bridget D'Orly Carte, a daughter of the original producer of many of Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, Richard D'Orly Carte, supervised the recording of The Pirates of Penzance we have highlghts from this week on The Lyric Stage. It is a traditional approach to the work, probably much like what G&S heard at the premiere, and that is a good thing.

Despite having composed over 100 works, Jaromir Weinberger remains a one-hit wonder.  In 1927, his opera, “Schwanda the Bagpiper” became an international sensation.  But beyond a couple of orchestral highlights – the polka and fugue – even that “one hit” isn’t terribly well known.  Learn more about this rollicking farce, involving a love triangle, a card game with the devil, and the beguiling power of the bagpipes.  There’s still plenty of bounce in this Czech, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Philip Glass Violin Concerto on Half Past

Jan 9, 2020

Sunday evening, 1-12 at 11:00 on Half Past we'll hear the Violin Concerto by Philip Glass, String Quartet No. 2 by Jaçques Hétu and Roven by Tigron Mansurian.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday at noon on Curtis Calls we present violinist Ania Filochowska and pianist Michael Davidman in music by Steven Franklin, Giuseppe Tartini and Johannes Brahms.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, repeate Monday evenings at 10:00.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Picture Perfect: January 3 - King Arthur

Jan 2, 2020

“Picture Perfect” enters its tenth year with music from films inspired by the legends of King Arthur, as recounted by Sir Thomas Malory (Miklós Rózsa’s “Knights of the Round Table”), Chrétien de Troyes (Jerry Goldsmith’s “First Knight”), Marion Zimmer Bradley (Lee Holdridge’s “The Mists of Avalon”), and Hal Foster (Franz Waxman’s “Prince Valiant”).  It’s more than just another knight at the movies.  The once and future king of film music shows returns, this Friday at 6 pm.

There have been some eighteen operas based on the legend of Faust, and on this week’s Sunday Opera (1/5 3:00 p.m.), we’ll hear one of the many lesser-known versions in Louis Spohr’s 1816 version.  The libretto by Josef Karl Bernard is based on the original legend and was not influenced by Goethe’s treatment.  In this version, Faust (Bo Skovhus) has two loves, the maiden Roschen (Brigitte Wohlfarth) whom he throws over for Kunigunde (Hillevi Martinpelto).  He gives Kunigunde a love potion created by the witch Sycorax (Martina Borst) on her wedding day, and Kunigunde’s attention to Faust causes Count Hugo (Robert Swensen), her betrothed, to challenge Faust to a duel.  With the help of Mephistopheles (Franz Hawlata), the Count is killed, Kunigunde goes mad, and Roschen drowns herself.  

We’re welcoming in a new month and new year on this week’s Dress Circle (1/5 7:00 p.m.) with songs from a specific group of shows that opened in January: the seventeen shows that had the longest runs although we’ll still be covering some 69 years of Broadway history.  Beginning with the longest running January show, “Phantom of the Opera” which has run over 13,518 performances, we’ll be including shows such as “Hello, Dolly!”, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “The Wiz,” “Fosse,” “Shenandoah,” “Ragtime,” “Olvier!”, “The Little Mermaid,” and end with 1945’s “Up in Central Park.”