Arts Desk

Listen to WRTI's Arts Desk features for a daily look into the world of music, arts, and culture. Listen to brief features throughout the day!

A New Take on Timpani

Oct 17, 2016

There aren't many concertos composed for timpani. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Maurice Wright has written a work that celebrates the instrument and its often untapped range.

Brushes with fame may be commonplace for those who work in the public eye, but, as WRTI’s Maureen Malloy reports, Bob Perkins has never been too far from the famous, even in the most unlikely of places.

The song “Some Enchanted Evening” is a sublime moment in the post-war production South Pacific that continues to inspire. Louis Armstrong, Billy Eckstine, Placido Domingo, The Temptations, Barbra Streisand, José Carreras, Bob Dylan, Jane Oliver and lots of other artists have recorded it.

Credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

You go to a concert and see a string quartet looking like most every other string quartet — until it dawns on you they’re not looking at music. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talks to the Chiara String Quartet, who plays all the Bartók string quartets, and more, from memory.

What is Gypsy Jazz?

Oct 10, 2016

Rooted in African-American communities of the South, jazz became popular in Europe in the 1920s and '30s and influenced the development of other styles. WRTI's Susan Lewis has more on "Gypsy jazz."

A concert piece for cello and orchestra uses sacred music from the center of Jewish tradition. Max Bruch's Kol Nidre is a work with wide appeal from an unlikely composer.

At what’s likely to be a frosty noon-time ceremony this January, one presidential candidate will be announced with a well-known march preceded by the ultimate in U.S. fanfare: not one, but four sets of drum ruffles and bugle flourishes.

Piffaro, Philadelphia’s Renaissance band, is taking Don Quixote back to his 17th-century roots in a pair of concerts this weekend at the Episcopal Cathedral titled The Musical World of Don Quixote. What might those roots sound like? A lot like ours, says the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns. 

It's not often that one harpsichord is heard in concert with orchestra, let alone two! WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords in F major, and two soloists who champion it.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) didn't play the flute, and once suggested he didn't even like it. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he went on to write music that makes the instrument sing...and dance!