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.

With Bastille Day right around the corner, surge to power on the allegedly diminutive shoulders of Napoleon Bonaparte.  We indulge in small pleasures with a little music from “War and Peace” (Nino Rota), “The Pride and the Passion” (George Antheil), “The Duellists” (Howard Blake), and “Napoleon” (Arthur Honegger).  It will be a satisfying show by any measure, this Friday at 6 pm.

Roland de Lassus, perhaps more popularly known as Orlando di Lasso, was the chief representative of the polyphonic sound of the sixteenth century Franco-Flemish school. He wrote over 150 chansons that were enormously popular throughout Europe, and on Friday's (7/12) Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin. There's also music by Torelli, Morley and Couperin. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Whether you call it “The Force of Destiny” or “The Power of Fate,” Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” from London’s Royal Opera House is this week’s Sunday Opera (7/14 3:00 p.m.).  After its premier in St. Petersburg in 1862, the opera was revised for a performance in Rome in 1863 under the title of “Don Alvaro.”  From there, it was further revised for performances in New York and Vienna in 1865, Buenos Aires in 1866, and London in 1867 with further extensive revisions to both the music and libretto for a La Scala performance in 1869, and that final revision has become the standard version.  

“Broadway rhythm it’s got me.  Everybody Dance!” on this week’s Dress Circle (7/14 7:00 p.m.) as we look at how rhythm has appeared in songs from some well-known and lesser-known shows and a few film scores (which just happen to be films about producing stage shows).  Our shows include “Strike Up the Band,” “Crazy for You,” and “Lady, Be Good!’ with songs by the Gershwins.  Some of the other better-known shows include “Sweet Charity,” “Carmen Jones,” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”  

The Lyric Stage: July 14 at 8PM - Lisa della Casa

Jul 11, 2019

On this week's Lyric Stage we have Lisa della Casa singing Mozart and Strauss, including the first complete recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs, which she made in 1953. She will also sing arias by Handel and Puccini, and some Lehar as well. 

The Lost Chord: July 14 - French Connections

Jul 11, 2019

For Bastille Day, enjoy original works by figures who employed their skills as orchestrators in the service of more celebrated French composers, including Henri Rabaud (orchestrator of Fauré’s “Dolly Suite”), André Caplet (orchestrator of Debussy’s “Children’s Corner,” “Clair de lune,” “Le Martyre de saint Sébastien,” and “La Boite à joujoux”), Henri Büsser (orchestrator of Debussy’s “Petite Suite” and “Printemps”) and Charles Koechlin (orchestrator of Fauré’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” and Debussy’s “Khamma”).  These musical Cyranos emerge from the shadow of Roxane’s balcony, Sunday at 10 pm.

Thursday's (7-11) Noon Concert from Lenape Chamber Ensemble includes Mozart's Piano Trio in G, K 496, Suite for Flute & Piano, op. 34 by Charles-Marie Widor and Prokofiev's String Quartet No. 1.

The star-spangled glare of American music doesn’t just end with the fireworks.  This week, on “Picture Perfect,” we’ll bask in the pyrotechnic after-glow of Independence Day with an hour of film music by Aaron Copland.  Enjoy selections from “The City,” “The North Star,” “Something Wild,” and the Academy Award winning score for “The Heiress.”  It’s music for the silver screen by the Dean of American Composers, this Friday at 6 pm.

We’ll journey to 18th century St. Petersburg on this week’s Sunday Opera (7-7 3:00 p.m.) and a story of obsession in Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades” from London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.  Hermann seems to be fascinated by gambling although he never gambles himself.  However, after hearing about an aging countess who holds the secret to a winning three-card combination, he finds he cannot help but confront the old woman for her secret which begins his spiral into an obsession which results in death and ruin.  Antonio Pappano conducts a cast that includes Aleksandrs Antonenko as Hermann, Felicity Palmer as the aging Countess, Eva-Maria Westbroek as her granddaughter Liza, who tragically falls in love with Hermann.   

George and Ira Gershwin are the featured composing team on this week’s Dress Circle (7-7 7:00 p.m.) on a program entitled “Gershwin Interpreted.”  Some of the theatre songs include “I Got Rhythm,” “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “Mine,” and “Sweet and Low Down.”  Interpreting these works and more are favorites like Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Paul Whiteman, Jimmy Dorsey, Lena Horne, and Cliff Edwards.  We’ll also be including The Boston Pops in an orchestral arrangement of Gershwin’s Three Preludes and Larry Adler in a unique rendition of Rhapsody in Blue.   

The Lost Chord: July 7 - Vintage Gershwin

Jul 4, 2019

George Gershwin rose from Tin Pan Alley scrapper to Broadway royalty.  From there, he conquered the concert hall and even the opera house, with his blend of popular song, jazz, blues, spirituals and European classical forms.  Tune in for a selection of Gershwin songs, peformed by Al Jolson, Ella Logan, and Fred Astaire (pictured, with the composer and his brother, Ira); the world premiere recording of “An American in Paris,” with Gershwin himself on the celesta; and the Concerto in F, played on a memorial concert by Oscar Levant.  It’s music of Gershwin, by George, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Wednesday's (6-26) Curtis Calls has been pre-empted for fiscal year end fund raising.  Tune in Monday, 7-1 at 10 PM to hear two works by Beethoven: Sonata No. 18 in E-flat major, op. 31 no. 3 and String Quartet in F major, op. 18 no. 1. Performance from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Sunday evening, 6/30 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear To the New World by Alla Borzova, Richard Danielpour's The Awakened Heart and the Piccolo Concerto by Avner Dorman.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island in search of a better life.  More than 40 percent of the U.S. population, over 100 million Americans, can trace their roots to someone who entered this country along that route.  Composer Peter Boyer assembled texts from testimonials archived as part of the Ellis Island Oral History Project to create “Ellis Island:  The Dream of America.”  These are real words of real people telling their own stories.  The New Colossus lifts her lamp, this Sunday at 10 pm.

It's the music of  14th century Flemish composer Alexander Agricola on this Friday's (6/28) Distant Mirror. Agricola's music is rarely performed today bcause of its difficulty and eccentricity, but Paul van Nevel has long ben a champion of the lost cause and has arranged several of Agricola's mass movements into a musical quilt that he calls the Missa Guazzabuglio, which trnslates freely a "mishmash".  Van Nevelk directs the Huelgas Ensemble. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Every time you support The Classical Network, you make a kindly extraterrestrial’s heart glow.  Every time you don’t contribute – you risk activating the destructive power of Gort!  It’s the final day of our end-of-the-fiscal-year membership campaign.   Please do your part to ensure universal harmony by calling 1-888-232-1212, or by donating online at wwfm.org.  Then enjoy music from “Cocoon” (James Horner), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (Bernard Herrmann), “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (John Williams).  We come in peace, this Friday at 6 pm.

Joan Marcus

Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's Summer Festival, "Voices From the Tower," is turning the spotlight on operas composed by women, past and present, and A Tempo this Saturday (6/29 at 7 pm) looks at some of the productions. Host Rachel Katz will speak with dell'Arte Artistic Director Chris Fecteau, Soprano Elyse Kakacek, and composer Whitney George, who along with librettist Bea Goodwin wrote the opera Princess Maleine, which will be premiered at the festival.

Travel back to 14th century Genoa with this week’s Sunday Opera (6/30 3:00 p.m.) and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra” from London’s Royal Opera House.  Simon, a former pirate, is now the Doge of Genoa who is working for peace between Genoa and Venice while dealing with unrest from his own people and the loss of his one true love.  Carlos Alvarez leads the cast as Simon, Ferrucio Furlanetto is Jacopo Fiesco, his rival and the father of his beloved, Hrchuhi Bassnez is Amelia, Boccanegra’s “lost” daughter, Francesco Meli is Gabriele, Amelia’s beloved, and Mark Rucker is the treacherous Paolo.  Henrik Nansi conducts.  

We’re celebrating the career of Doris Day on this week’s Dress Circle (6/30 7:00 p.m.) whom we lost on May 13th of this year at the age of 97.  Day never appeared on Broadway, so we’ll be focused on her beginnings as a big band singer with Les Brown and some of her in musicals and films like “Romance on the High Seas,” “My Dream Is Yours,” “It’s a Great Feeling,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “Calamity Jane,” and several more.  Join us to remember a lovely voice and a charming performer who became a tireless advocate for animal rights.

Sunday evening (6-23) at 11 on Half Past we present the Viola Concerto by Miklos Rozsa, Suite, op. 41 for guitar by Jacques Hetu and Etude op. 40, no. 5 for piano by Mikolai Kapustin.  Music composed in the past half-century.

Celebrate Midsummer with music for St. John’s Eve.  The Feast Day of St. John the Baptist (June 24) is like Christmas, in that it coincides with solstice time.  But St. John’s Eve is more like Halloween.  It’s a time for the lighting of bonfires against evil spirits – when witches are believed to rendezvous with powerful forces, such as the demon Chernobog, who emerges from the Bald Mountain – as the sun again pursues a southerly course.  Indulge in some Midsummer madness, with music by Modest Mussorgsky, Alfred Schnittke, and Gunnar de Frumerie, this Sunday at 10 pm.

For those of us of an age, Sunday nights meant one thing: Ed Sullivan, and we’re going to be looking at some musical memories from the Ed Sullivan show on this week’s Dress Circle (6/23 7:00 p.m.).  We’ll do this through a series of CDs on the TVT label that preserved some of the wonderful performances, many of which couldn’t be seen elsewhere.  We’ll sample four of these sets.  Two dedicated to Broadway, one to Rodgers and Hammerstein, and a final set featuring opera performances by stars like Roberta Peters.  

It's music from the Hundred Years' War on Friday night's Distant Mirror, that on again, off again, struggle between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries set against a backdrop of plague, peasant revolts and papal politics. Gothic Voices performs music from both sides, both sacred and secular. Selections by Philippe de Vitry, Pierre des Molins, John Dunstable and others. Christopher Page directs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Picture Perfect: June 21 - Franco Zeffirelli

Jun 21, 2019

Franco Zeffirelli died on June 15 at the age of 96.  The flamboyant director favored big emotions and grandiose subjects, making his biggest mark in Shakespeare and opera.  Tune in to recall his artistry through music from “Romeo and Juliet” (Nino Rota), “Jesus of Nazareth” (Maurice Jarre), “Hamlet” (Ennio Morricone), and “The Taming of the Shrew (Nino Rota),” this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has partnered with Americans for the Arts to offer five Diversity in Arts Leadership internships to students interested in careers in the arts world. The internships this summer are with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, American Repertory Ballet, Artworks Trenton, Crossroads Theatre Company and Grounds For Sculpture, and this Saturday (6/22 at 7 pm) A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with some of the students and representatives from the organizations where they are working.

Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried” comes to the Sunday Opera this week (6/23 3:00 p.m.) from London’s Covent Garden.  The third installment of the Ring cycle follows Siegfried in his quest to learn fear as he kills the dragon Fafner and finds Brunhilde with whom he immediately falls in love, and that love teaches him fear through his desperation.  Sefan Vinke heads the cast as Siegfried, Gerhard Siegel is Mime, John Lundgren is Wotan, and Johannes Martin Kranzle is Albreich.  Antonio Pappano conducts. 

The noontime performances (6/20 & 6/21) from Cutting Edge include New Visions of Cherished Masters with music by Maria Newman, Victoria Bond, Philip Glass and a traditional Byzantine chant and on Friday, The Poetry of Places with piano music performed by Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman and Paul Chihara's Amatsu Kaze.

Wednesday (6-19) at noon on Curtis Calls violinist Brandon Garbot performs Carl Nielsen's Prelude, Theme & Variations.  He's joined by pianist Sahun Hong in Robert Schumann's Sonata No. 2, op. 121.  Then Ying Li plays Chopin's Ballade No, 4, op. 52.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.