from Rick Sowash: Guitar Suite: For an Old Friend at Christmas
We're counting down the days on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 20th at 9 pm. Less Than a Week Before Christmas is David Golub's work for chorus and orchestra: about the cold, about a friend. Morten Lauridsen contemplates the wonder of animals at the nativity manger in one of our time's most-sung pieces, O Magnum Mysterium.
Composer Jennifer Higdon becomes her own poet for Deep in the Night, pondering "this season of love with full brilliant lights." Daron Hagen combines two melodies we recognize with a beautiful one we don't—because he just wrote it—in a work for choir with cello, At Bethlehem Proper. Rounding out the choral works on the program is While All Things Were in Quiet Silence by Ned Rorem.
Two instrumental works find their way in, though. Advent has the same feeling that imbues Yearning, the lovely work for violin and strings by Shulamit Ran, dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin. For solo guitar is the suite of Rick Sowash, helping us count down the days, For an Old Friend at Christmas.
Richard Eyre's season-opening new production of Mozart's eternal masterpiece is set in an 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s. Erwin Schrott in the title role leads a stellar cast that also includes Mariusz Kwiecien as the Count and Danielle de Niese as Susanna, along with Met debutantes Rachel Willis-Sørensen as the Countess and Serena Malfi as Cherubino. Edo de Waart conducts. Saturday, December 20th from 1 to 4:45 pm.
Daniel T. Peterson’s passion for music began early, but it took a long and winding path before it manifested as his career.
As a young child, Peterson exhibited some talent - singing shyly from the backseat of the car, but mostly engaged with music as a fan. His father’s extensive record collection captivated him, and Peterson spent much of his young life digging through a veritable treasure trove of albums where he was exposed to everything from Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix.
WRTI invites you to experience The Crossing chamber choir’s 2014 Christmas concert, The Crossing @ Christmas, recorded live on December 19th at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.
This annual performance is known for creating an aura of tranquility, and has become a holiday tradition for many vocal music lovers throughout our region. You can hear this year’s concert on WRTI - on the radio or online - Thursday, December 25, 2 to 4 pm.
Philadelphia’s role in the formation of our government is characteristic of a time when the city and its leading residents were forging firsts of all kinds. As Handel’s Messiah is performed this holiday season, WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston wondered when and where those first citizens might have heard the great Baroque work.
Linda Wood is assistant head librarian in the music department at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She compiled several reference materials relating to the first performance and other early performances of Handel’s Messiah.
The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles - The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Philly Pops - with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.
Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.
On Sunday, December 21, at 1 pm, WRTI will rebroadcast The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Philadelphia Singers Chorale with soloists in a 2013 performance of Handel's Messiah, at The Kimmel Center
Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor. He isn't afraid to program crowd pleasers, but does them on a level that has won him a Grammy Award.
He's not only up for conducting Christmas concerts - not typical for someone of his stature - but for his forthcoming one with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he has actually written a Christmas carol. Or, as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, he's still writing it.
It’s been more than 50 years since The Philadelphia Orchestra recorded one of its best-selling albums - The Glorious Sound of Christmas with Eugene Ormandy. Each year the orchestra reprises that album in a series of perennially popular concerts.