From the lush romanticism of Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2, to the lyricism and power of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI 90.1 is one for the ages!
Yannick Nezet-Seguin is on the podium, and Joshua Bell is the violinist in a performance of Wieniawski’s second concerto, composed as a continuous gesture, full of romantic melodies, with only slight pauses between the three movements.
Wieniawski himself was one of the 19th century’s great masters of the violin, and – though Polish – was one of the founders of the Russian school of violin playing. In fact, his successor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory was Leopold Auer, whose pupils, most notably Mischa Elman, Efrem Zimbalist, and Jascha Heifetz, would pretty much determine the way the 20th century would think about violin playing.
Following intermission, we’ll hear one of the truly great wartime works: the Symphony No 7, the “Leningrad,” by Dmitri Shostakovich.
Beginning peacefully, then with the ominous force of war governing much of the work, this symphony was composed while Shostakovich and the residents of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, were under constant bombardment. It remains an enduring monument to the suffering that city endured during the Second World War. The finale, scored for an enormous orchestra that includes twenty-one brass instruments, is one of the most triumphant in all of music.
During intermission, WRTI’s Susan Lewis speaks with violinist Joshua Bell, and Bliss Michelson has a conversation with Philadelphia Orchestra principal percussionist Christopher Devinny, who plays the challenging snare drum part in the Shostakovich.
Don’t miss this one! That’s Sunday from 1 to 3 pm, on WRTI 90.1, the WRTI mobile app, and streaming worldwide at wrti.org!
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2
Joshua Bell, violin
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”)
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.