Creatively Speaking
7:46 am
Mon March 3, 2014

The President's Own: The United States Marine Band

President George W. Bush led the U.S. Marine Corps Band at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in 2008.

One of the most prominent bands in nation, and the country's oldest, continuously active musical organization, is frequently heard on WRTI's weekday 7:15 am Sousalarm. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston shares a glimpse of the U.S. Marine Band.

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Creatively Speaking
10:09 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

An Official Debut For Philadelphia Orchestra's Associate Conductor

Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian Macelaru
Todd Rosenberg Photography

Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru is emerging as one of the most promising of the next generation of classical music leaders. This Sunday, March 9th, on WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, we'll hear him conduct his first, regularly scheduled, subscription concert. But, as WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, he may well be one of the orchestra's most experienced in-house debutantes.

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Creatively Speaking
10:05 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations: A Challenge, Even for a Seasoned Cellist

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Cello, Hai-Ye Ni

Born in Shanghai, the Philadelphia Orchestra's principal cellist has performed in recitals, and with orchestras, all over the world. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, Hai-Ye Ni is the featured soloist on WRTI's concert broadcast of the Philadelphia Orchestra on Sunday March 9th. She'll perform Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme. Written for Tchaikovsky's friend, German Cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, the work - a theme with seven different variations - is a challenge for the soloist, who plays almost constantly. 

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
7:29 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Any Friend of Brahms...

Standing: Ignaz Brüll, Anton Door, Josef Gänsbacher, Julius Epstein (Brüll's piano teacher), Robert Hausmann. Sitting: Gustav Walter, Eduard Hanslick, Johannes Brahms.

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday March 1st at 5 pm... It would be disconcerting enough to be at a party with Johannes Brahms. The famous composer was famously grumpy; some of classical music’s great one-liners come from him. When told after the premiere of his first symphony that it sounded like Beethoven, he snapped, “Any ass can see that.” He told a young composer, showing him a new work inspired, he said, by Beethoven, “It’s a good thing Beethoven was not inspired by you.” And then there’s Brahms leaving a gathering: “If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.”

But imagine not only being at a party with Brahms, but being the host, being a composer yourself, and sitting next to him, playing a new Brahms work at the piano. If you can picture that, then you can picture being Ignaz Brüll.
 

Brüll lived in Vienna, the musical capital of Europe, almost his entire life. Although his father was a successful businessman, both he and Brüll’s mother were musicians, and encouraged their son’s musical gifts. He became a wonderful pianist, concertized, composed, married, and threw parties at his house, which became a meeting-place for his good friend Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Carl Goldmark, the critic Eduard Hanslick, and many other powerful musicians and music-lovers. Whenever Brahms (a good but not great pianist) wanted to air out—piano four-hands—a new piece, he called on Ignaz Brüll to sit next to him.
 

His biggest success was an opera, The Golden Cross, and he wrote a number of well-received works (Anton Rubinstein was a fan), including much piano music, three Serenades, and a Violin Concerto written for Johann Lauterbach (who has a “Lauterbach” Stradivarius named after him). The second Serenade was recorded using the score and parts in the Fleisher Collection. Fleisher also provided materials for the Violin Concerto project, but the story’s a bit more complicated.

Michael Laus, the conductor on this recording, found the full score in the Fleisher Collection. No parts existed. He also had access to the composer’s manuscript, and the violin/piano version (a piano-with-solo edition of a concerto is often published so that the soloist may study or even perform the work without an orchestra).

The challenge for Laus, though, was that the three sources sometimes disagreed. So he compared them, corrected obvious mistakes, and used the full and piano scores to illuminate confusing smudges in the manuscript. To make it even more interesting, Brüll had rewritten some of the solo for the piano version publication, so that was different. When all this was wrangled, Laus made a set of parts, and went to the recording studio.

Why has the music languished up to now? Partly it’s because that, even though Brahms himself called Brüll “an exceptional melodist,” and though The Golden Cross enjoyed multiple performances into the 1920s, his other works never struck fire. And partly it’s because he suffered the fate of other Jewish composers under the Nazis. He died in 1907 but his music was banned in the 1930s.

His fortunes, however, are changing now. These works and others are being recorded, thanks to Fleisher and the resourcefulness of dedicated musicians. Let’s imagine being at a party in Brüll’s house, with Brahms and all his other friends, enjoying each others’ company and music.

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Today in Jazz
7:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Glenn Miller

On March 1, 1904 Glenn Miller was born.  Find out more about Glenn Miller here.

Now Is the Time
1:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

String Circle

from Daniel Bernard Roumain: Ghetto Strings

All kinds of strings are circling on Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 1st at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet starts off with Daniel Bernard Roumain's homage to places he's lived and loved. Ghetto Strings visits Harlem, Liberty City in South Florida, the Motor City, and the land of his parents, Haiti. Ethel is the string quartet playing String Circle 1 by Kenji Bunch, who, since he's also an accomplished violist, knows his way around strings.

But we go to Phillip Rhodes for a solo viola dance suite, and inspired by Bach. It's the Partita, from 1977. Full circle is how we'll finish the show, with guitars, but this time two of them, the wonderful Anderson-Fader Duo. From their CD Le Cirque is Fantasy on 12 Strings by Martin Rokeach.

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WRTI Spotlight
11:56 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Met Opera on WRTI: Borodin's PRINCE IGOR, March 1 at 12 Noon

Bass Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role in Borodin's PRINCE IGOR.

There's an early start time for Saturday's Met Opera broadcast - it's 12 noon, an hour earlier than usual.  This week, the Met Opera presents Alexander Borodin's defining Russian epic, PRINCE IGOR. Famous for its Polovtsian Dances, the opera comes to the Met for the first time in nearly 100 years. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production is a brilliant psychological journey through the mind of its conflicted hero, with the founding of the Russian nation as the backdrop.

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J. Michael Harrison's Fat Tuesday Celebration
7:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mardi Gras Party on WRTI! March 4th, from 9 PM to Midnight

Take a trip to New Orleans with WRTI's J. Michael Harrison on Tuesday night! We're bringing NOLA directly to you in honor of Mardi Gras. Okay, so we don’t have the warm weather, the parades, or the fun cocktails…but we do have some of the best music from the Crescent City.

You'll hear music from some of New Orleans’ finest, like the Marsalis Family, Louis Prima, Irvin Mayfield, and, of course, Louis Armstrong.

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With Guest Organist Robert Plimpton
3:24 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Music of Robert Elmore: Wanamaker Organ Hour, March 2, 5 PM

Organist and composer Robert Elmore

Join Jill Pasternak and Wanamaker Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte in our monthly program, recorded at Macy's Center City, on the world-famous Wanamaker Organ.  This month, it's music of Robert Elmore (1913-1985), with guest organist Robert Plimpton, from a live concert in the Wanamaker Grand Court in June, 2012. Sunday, March 2, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM and online at wrti.org

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
11:57 am
Wed February 26, 2014

The Philadelphia Orchestra Plays Tchaikovsky and Liadov on WRTI: March 2 at 1 PM

British conductor Robin Ticciati returns after his acclaimed debut with the Philadelphians in 2012.
Marco Borggreve

This Sunday, March 2 at 1 PM, WRTI broadcasts a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from January that was part of the first week of a three-week celebration of works by Tchaikovsky and his contemporaries.

British conductor Robin Ticciati returns to Philadelphia after a highly acclaimed debut in 2012. The young maestro launches the celebration with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, taking us on an emotional journey toward an exhilarating affirmation of life’s joys.

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