WRTI Spotlight
7:59 am
Thu October 2, 2014

The Philadelphians on WRTI: Yannick, Beethoven's EROICA, Oct. 5, 1 PM

Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall 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 will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the 2013/2014 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.

Program:
Strauss - Metamorphosen
Shostakovich - Cello Concerto No. 1
Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor
Johannes Moser - Cello

That's the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI, Sunday, October 5, 1 to 3:30 pm. Don't miss it!

You can listen to our 90.1 FM broadcast, or online here.

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host.