Symphony at 7 on WRTI HD-2: The Philadelphia Orchestra and More, Every Monday Through Saturday Night

Big news! We’ve just launched a new classical series every Monday through Saturday night on WRTI HD-2 and our all-classical stream. It’s “Symphony at 7,” leading off with our popular Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts every Monday night at 7 pm, plus a powerhouse lineup of orchestras and concerts Tuesday through Saturday night.

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Charlie Parker, Credit: William Gottlieb

Yesterday’s No. 9 was Count Basie, and he influenced a kid from Kansas City who became the fastest, cleanest operator of an alto saxophone through the remote harmonies of bop that followed Big Band’s heyday. “Yardbird” or “Bird,” he was Charlie Parker. You voted this phoenix-like talent the No. 8 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

Don’t even try to think of a bad piece of music by Antonín Dvořák, because you won't find any. Not in our book, anyway. And you thought so highly of the Bohemian master that you voted him No. 9 in our Essential Composer Countdown. Probably no one from that time had a more varied output.

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection this Saturday, February 4th, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI...the music of Charles Koechlin is not performed much; that much is certain. We may even call it, in this, the 150th anniversary of his birth, neglected. While there are logical reasons his legacy may have suffered, we also can’t fully understand why.

WRTI's Essential Jazz Artist No. 9: Count Basie

Jan 31, 2017

If it’s refined and sophisticated, but it’s jumping and swinging and striding all at the same time, you’re talking Count Basie, and you voted William James Basie the No. 9 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner

The composer of Messiah will never be forgotten, but there is so much more to Handel that you voted him our 10th most essential classical composer.

It's so easy to find oneself attracted to the music of Franz Schubert. His unmatched gift for lyricism makes him so approachable, so comprehensible; and we feel ourselves being pulled into his musical world— in my case, at a very early age. 

If you have a picture of “German symphonic composer” in your mind, Gustav Mahler’s face may very well be that picture. Our Essential Winter Member Drive Countdown continues with Mahler coming in as No. 11.

WRTI's Essential Jazz Artist No. 10: Stan Getz

Jan 30, 2017

Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz was called “The Sound”; his warm, lyrical voice was legendary. The bop and cool jazz purveyor may be most well known, however, for bossa nova and his 1964 hit, “The Girl from Ipanema" from the GRAMMY-winning album with Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto. Getz is No. 10 in WRTI's Essential Jazz Artists Countdown.

We’re skipping all the way to No. 2 today for a special birthday celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). That’s right, you voted the wunderkind from Salzburg your No. 2 most essential classical composer. His symphonies, operas, concertos, and compositions, in every genre of the time, remain to this day an incredible marvel of genius.

Call her “Sassy,” “Sass,” or “The Divine One,” but Sarah Vaughan had a “once in a lifetime, perhaps once in several lifetimes” voice, as jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote. She won four GRAMMYs, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

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WRTI Arts Desk

Credit: GDLoft

J.S. Bach wrote hundreds of sacred cantatas for voices and orchestra on liturgical texts. One season in Bach’s life reveals some of the cantatas he thought would endure through generations.

The true story of a 19th-century swindler in New York City inspired not only an opera, but also a concerto. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Bramwell Tovey’s Songs of the Paradise Saloon for trumpet and orchestra.

Since it opened its doors in 1913, the Apollo Theater has survived a series of iterations, closures, renovations, and shifts in direction. Its allure as a venue for jazz began in the 1930s with the debut of Jazz a la Carte, a show with an all-black cast.

Jessica Griffin

Early solo viola repertoire was often played by violinists who also played the viola. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, that music today puts violists in the spotlight, including Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Violist Choong-Jin (C.J.) Chang.

The songs, or standards, known to us today as "The Great American Songbook" flourished from the mid 1920s to about 1950. Singer Carmen McRae popularized the term with her 1972 album, The Great American Songbook. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new book on the subject shines light on the role of jazz in the rise, fall, and rebirth of these great American songs.


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