Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way.

We're celebrating the birthdays of Brahms and Tchaikovsky today - and hope that you will join us in membership, either by becoming a new member, renewing your membership or making an additional donation. Think of it as a birthday gift to all the great composers out there, past and present. And when you donate, you can cast your vote for your favorite of these two titans of the Romantic era.

Brahms and Tchaikovsky were totally B.F.F. – Best Frenemies Forever.

A forgotten opera by the proclaimed father of Polish opera, Stanislaw Moniuszko, is this week’s Sunday Opera (5/6 3:00 p.m.).  Although “The Haunted Manor” (“Straszny Dwor”) is a romantic comedy, it’s considered to be one of the finest examples of patriotic Polish themed music.  The story centers around two brothers who try to avoid the marriage machinations of their aunt, only to find the women they love and want to marry in a purportedly haunted house.  

There may be May flowers and all that, but this week’s Dress Circle (5/6 7:00 p.m.) has very little to do with them because we’re focusing on the shows that opened in or on their way to New York.   Our list includes “The Baker’s Wife,” a Stephen Schwartz show that closed on its way to Broadway, the legendary “Fantasticks,” and “The Most Happy Fella,” Frank Loesser’s monumental romantic musical.  We’re also including “Passion,” Stephen Sondheim’s chamber opera about a different kind of love, and Lena Horne’s one-woman show that wowed audiences for over 300 performances.   

Tuesday May 1st/Between the Keys goes Waltzing

Apr 30, 2018

This Tuesday, May 1st at 10:00 PM, the 2017 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award Winning program Between the Keys airs its 150th episode.

"I thought we'd mark the occasion with a show all about waltzes," says the Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence and Between the Keys producer and host Jed Distler. "We had a waltz show in 2015, and again in 2016, but somehow I forgot to do one last year. So I'm making up for lost time. In any event, I've put together a lineup of works and pianists that's got something for everyone."

Two sides of Sergei Prokofiev will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/29 3:00 p.m.) in the form of his dramatic tragedy “The Fiery Angel” and his much loved comedy “The Love for Three Oranges.”  In a dramatic score that is said to be a perfect embodiment of Prokofiev’s brooding and dark sarcasm, “The Fiery Angel” follows Renata, a devout woman, as she searches for her missing love, an angel with whom she has been in love since she was a child. 

This Wednesday, 4-25 at noon we'll hear violinist Kyung Ji Min in music by Chausson, Brahms and Waxmzn along with two short sonatas by Scarlatti played on harp by Abigail Kent.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon, repeated Monday evenings at 10.

Ricky Ian Gordon’s treatment of John Steinbeck’s heartbreaking 1939 novel “The Grapes of Wrath” is this week’s Sunday Opera (4/22  3:00 p.m.).  This world premier recording features Brian Leerhuber as the desperate Tom Joad leading his extended family away from the horrors of the dustbowl only to find that California holds no promise for them at the end of their journey.  The cast also includes Roger Honeywell as Jim Casey, Kella Kaduce as Rosasharn, Andrew Wilkowske as Tom’s hapless brother Noah, Robert Orth as Uncle John, and Deanne Meek and Peter Halverson as Ma and Pa Joad.

“La Juive,” a tragic tale of religious intolerance by Fromental Halevy will air on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/15 3:00 p.m.).  Eugene Scribe wrote the libretto for this opera which became one of the most popular operas of the 19th century after its premier in Paris on 23 February 1835.  It deals with the plight of Jews in Switzerland in the 15th century, particularly Rachel and her adoptive father Eleazar who are persecuted by the Catholic Church and are arrested after it is found that Racheal’s love Samuel is actually Prince Leopold.  

In 1938, Leonard Warren, then in his late twenties, went to his boss, the chorus master of the Radio City Music Hall where Warren had sung for three years. Warren wanted time off to prepare for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air. The boss agreed, and added that Warren didn't need to come back. (This may or may not be true.) Thus encouraged, Warren selected one of the five opera arias he knew and did the audition. The Met was stunned. The judges had never heard such a magnificent voice at the Auditions of the Air, or anywhere else for that matter.

This Wednesday, 4-11, at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear pianist Ying Li with the Fantasy Pieces op, 12 by robert Schumann and pianist Bolai Cao in Haydn's 58th Sonata.  Abigail Kent plays harp in Andrew Hsu's dahlianum and Evan LeRoy Johnson sings 3 lieder by Schubert.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon, repeated Monday evenings at 10.

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