Musicians are, understandably, very particular about the instruments they play. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a principal player in the Philadelphia Orchestra was so interested in refining his instrument, he wound up creating a whole line of clarinets.
Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been known to conduct the St. Matthew Passion and La Traviata - on the same day. But he recently returned from a two-month work hiatus brought on by illness. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, Yannick is learning how to pace himself, but not from his predecessor at the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Dirk Brossé is joined by three acclaimed organists on this month's broadcast by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Matthew Glandorf, Alan Morrison, and Jeffrey Brillhart join the ensemble for works by Joseph Jongen, Josef Rheinberger, and Maestro Brossé. That's this Sunday, Feb. 16, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI. Join us!
Joseph Jongen: Hymne, Op. 78 (1924) - Matthew Glandorf, organ
We hope it's not too late for Valentines on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 15th at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. We start with soprano and guitar, and with an orphan's dream of an angel in Romance by William Ortiz. Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful" is the inspiration behind Love Twitters by Augusta Read Thomas, for piano, but Morten Lauridsen asks, "Against whom have you formed these thorns?" in Contre qui, rose. A lover asks for a handkerchief (she'll return it when no one's looking), in a four-hand piano setting of the Italian folk song Amor dammi quel fazzolettino by Andrew Violette.
David Bennett Thomas works with some of the greatest love poetry in his Juliet: Five Songs from Shakespeare, and we hear Eric Whitacre's first published choral work, Go, lovely Rose. Finally, Allen Shawn sends us into the evening with a last-minute Valentine's Day present for his wife, titled simply, Valentine.
Yannick speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about the program.
Sunday, February 23rd at 2 pm, Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra LIVE from Verizon Hall on WRTI, in a program culminating in Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” originally intended as a grand and heroic tribute to Napoleon. Upon learning, however, that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor of all Europe, Beethoven scratched out the dedication with such vigor that he tore through the paper. This is music that succeeds in creating a new architecture for the symphonic form, and it supplied ignition for the Romantic style in music.
Also on the program, Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, which opens with a haunting rhythm clearly quoting the funeral march of Beethoven’s “Eroica.” The intensity and pathos is that of a mature composer, nearing the end of his career, who has witnessed the World War II destruction of Europe, and stands in stark contrast to compositions of the younger Strauss we've heard in earlier broadcasts this season.
Filling out the program is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and given its U.S. premiere (and first recording) by him with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in 1959. Our soloist is German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, a young virtuoso, who is graciously filling in for cellist Truls Mork. Mork has withdrawn from his appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra on February 20 - 23 because of a skiing accident. (He is expected to make a full recovery!) Moser will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the season, was written following the death of Stalin, and marks a return to greater creative freedom for Shostakovich.
Here's Johannes Moser performing in 2011. During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis will speak with the young cellist, who made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Philadelphians on Friday night.