Arts Desk

Throughout the week

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 1962 record of holiday music by The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Temple University Concert choir "went gold" in 1963 and continues to be sold today. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores its ongoing appeal with violinist Herb Light, who played on the original recording of The Glorious Sound of Christmas.

Philadelphia’s role in the formation of our government is characteristic of a time when the city and its leading residents were forging firsts of all kinds.  As Handel’s Messiah is performed this holiday season, you might wonder when and where those first citizens might have heard the great Baroque work.

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

Each night as Jews around the world observe Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, the age-old song Maoz Tsur—"Rock of Ages" in Hebrew—is sung after the lighting of the candles on the menorah. 

You can take a bus or a car to the historic mansions of Fairmount Park this holiday season, but in the past a sleigh would have carried you there. Here’s WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston on the sights you may have seen along the way. 

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

This week Hilary Hahn plays Bernstein in a live broadcast on WRTI. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it’s all part of a season-long celebration of the Renaissance man who influenced so many, including Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Tenor sax player, composer, and arranger Tim Warfield has been performing professionally since he was sixteen. He was able to improvise at a very early age and says that by now he thinks of the saxophone as an extension of himself.

Capture.world

Audience members and musicians will gather at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia on December 3rd for a novel experience. Around 400 performers will play a symphony on broken basses, flutes, clarinets, autoharps, violins and cellos. 

How about a hollowed-out pumpkin as a drum? What about a carrot as a flute? Brussel sprouts rubbed together as squeaky keepers of the beat. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about vegetables with a life beyond the table. Since its official debut in 2011, the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra has evolved, this year appointing its first music director.

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