Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony is, on one level, a musical description of nature. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the accessible music belies a greater meaning.
Based on a boyhood experience getting caught in a storm hiking in the Alps, the idea for An Alpine Symphony germinated for years in Strauss’s mind. It wasn’t until after Gustav Mahler died, that he determined to finish the work, which he regarded as a tribute to his fellow composer.
This week we celebrate the birthday of the English composer Gerald Finzi, who was born July 14th, 1901 and died in 1956. His short life was filled with sorrow, but also with beauty—in his help for others, and in his music.
When Gerald Finzi was seven, his father died. Three brothers died while he was still young. His first composition teacher, who was very encouraging and who said that Finzi was shy but “full of poetry,” was killed in World War I.
Join us for an intense performance by Lisa Batiashvili of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nezet-Seguin. This was the centerpiece of the last concert of the 2014/2015 season and a program the Orchestra took on its European tour, which was a stunning success.
There's a whole world of music out there that, for the most part, goes in one ear and out the other. But if it weren't there, the world probably wouldn't sound as good. We're talking about "production music." Music used to create a mood or feeling without being the foreground element in a production.
Rome in the year 1800 is a deadly place for dissidents. The painter Cavaradossi risks everything to shelter his comrade; but his lover, the fiery Tosca, keeps playing cat and mouse with the lustful and sadistic Baron Scarpia, the chief of police. If Cavaradossi is condemned, will Tosca trade her honor to save him? Listen to the final performance from Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2015 broadcast season, Puccini's TOSCA, Saturday, July 11th, 1 to 4 pm on WRTI.
Twentieth-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich composed much of his work under the shadow of political oppression. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today, his music and his personal story continue to inspire a new generation.
On Sunday, July 12 at 1 pm on WRTI, Lisa Batiashvili performs Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast. Details here.
Where has actor Keir Dullea been since he was blasted into the cosmos in the classic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey? Chances are at a theater nearby, in roles you wouldn't expect, often opposite his wife Mia Dillon. They're starring in On Golden Pond at the Bucks County Playhousefrom July 10 to August 2, 2015.The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns tracked them down in a New York rehearsal studio.
A former WRTI host stays close to jazz with an organization designed to extend its reach. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston speaks with the founder of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.
Have popular “performance spectacles” replaced the straightforward dance between a jazz artist and an instrument? Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Homer Jackson, is considering that question and innovative approaches to the performance of music that has often depended upon an intimate feel - and feeling.
This week in July of 1940, one of the most loved and most sung choral works - written by a composer living in Philadelphia - was premiered in western Massachusetts. But Randall Thompson’s Alleluia is almost the opposite of an “alleluia.”
From Randall Thompson, the composer who was then the Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, conductor Serge Koussevitzky requested a loud and festive choral fanfare. It was to open the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.