Classical Through the Night

Monday though Saturday, 10 pm to 6 am; Sunday, 11 pm to 6 am on HD-2 and the Classical Stream
  • Hosted by Peter Van de Graaf, heard on HD-2 and the classical stream

Host Peter Van de Graaff draws music selections from all eras, but focuses on works from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. While focusing on the standards of the repertoire, the show goes beyond that and draws from the rich and varied music that comprises all of what we call "classical music," shared in an interesting manner. 

The votes are in, and we've got this year's list! Join us, starting on Friday at noon, for our annual Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown! It's your 30 favorite classical works on WRTI throughout the holiday weekend. Listen on Friday, September 4th from noon to 6 pm, Saturday, September 5th from 6 to 12:30 pm, and Monday, September 7th from 11 am to 6 pm.

The well-established soundscape at Burning Man is an audio layer cake of dubstep and techno. More than 60,000 people will gather in the Nevada desert next week for the annual arts festival — and many of them will spend their nights at post-apocalyptic raves, spinning fiery hula hoops and passing ChapStick around the dance floor.

"Eat, sleep, rave, repeat. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat," was the refrain of one song played all over the playa last year.

The composer Gustav Mahler once said, “A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” If that is so, then Mahler’s second symphony, the “Resurrection,” is bigger, even, than that. 

Mahler had already tackled big questions in an orchestral work, called Funeral Rites. He played it on the piano for Hans von Bülow, and the conductor said that it made Wagner's Tristan und Isolde sound like Haydn. Mahler turned Funeral Rites into the first movement of his Resurrection symphony.

A caprice may be deeper than we think on Now Is the Time, Saturday, July 18th at 9 pm. Jeremy Gill’s just-released Capriccio with the Parker String Quartet is, at first glance, a series of technical exercises. But the pizzicatos, slides, duets, trios, and sound-painting are only the vehicles for deep music-making. We have time on the show for most, but not all of, Capriccio, and it’s an exhilarating ride.

This week we celebrate the birthday of the English composer Gerald Finzi, who was born July 14th, 1901 and died in 1956. His short life was filled with sorrow, but also with beauty—in his help for others, and in his music.

When Gerald Finzi was seven, his father died. Three brothers died while he was still young. His first composition teacher, who was very encouraging and who said that Finzi was shy but “full of poetry,” was killed in World War I.

This week in July of 1940, one of the most loved and most sung choral works - written by a composer living in Philadelphia - was premiered in western Massachusetts. But Randall Thompson’s Alleluia is almost the opposite of an “alleluia.”

From Randall Thompson, the composer who was then the Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, conductor Serge Koussevitzky requested a loud and festive choral fanfare. It was to open the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.

On this month’s Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, July 4th, 5-6 pm, we meet the new curator, Gary Galván. He’s worked at the Collection since 2005 on research and special projects, but this year took over the reins as the seventh curator of the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance material. Galván will discuss the composers on the program and give us an idea of some of his plans for the future of the Collection.

From an ancient buried past in Pompeii to an outer-worldly future is The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI, transporting us to different worlds this Sunday, June 28th at 1 pm.

We’ll hear excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Williams’s music from the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977. It was his third collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, immediately following their great success with Jaws.

When can music composed for a film stand on its own? WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on how John Williams’ suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind translates to the concert stage.

On WRTI Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 1 pm, Stéphane Denève conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in a program featuring excerpts of the music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as music by Lindberg and Prokofiev.

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