Classical Weekdays

Monday through Friday, 6 am to 6 pm

WRTI brings you the best recordings of works from the vast world of classical music every weekday from 6 am to 6 pm. Chamber music, symphonies, choral works, violin concertos, piano sonatas, and more...engagingly presented with insight and a smile by our knowledgeable hosts.

Playlists are below.

Composer ID: 
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WRTI Arts Desk
9:49 am
Mon March 30, 2015

The Monumental St. Matthew Passion: Bach in Philadelphia

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, is a  monumental oratorio that fell into obscurity for decades after Bach's death in 1750. Composer Felix Mendelssohn's production of the work in 1829 helped spark the modern Bach revival. Susan Lewis considers Bach’s life and work.

WRTI Arts Desk
9:43 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Classical Star Yuja Wang: Embracing Traditional and Contemporary Culture

Pianist Yuja Wang

Curtis Graduate, Chinese Pianist Yuja Wang performs all over the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young classical star embraces traditional and contemporary culture.

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Creatively Speaking
9:37 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Napoleon's Armies Advance On Vienna: Beethoven’s “Empire of the Mind” Prevails

Beethoven inititally planned to dedicate his "Eroica" symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).

Ludwig van Beethoven’s "Les Adieux" or "The Farewell" sonata (Piano Sonata No. 26) is considered the composer's most significant work from the period between 1809 - 1810. It was a time when the Napoleonic Wars continued to bring upheaval to Beethoven’s adopted city of Vienna, the surrounding region, and beyond. Even before his Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major was composed, Napoleon’s unyielding push for power had left many disillusioned.

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Station Announcements
12:48 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

WRTI Arts Desk Team Wins Big!

WRTI arts reporters Susan Lewis and Meridee Duddleston

The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) has just announced that WRTI has been selected for a 2015 PAB Award for Excellence. Congratulations to Susan Lewis (arts reporter), Meridee Duddleston (arts reporter), and Eric Brannon (audio engineer) for their work on the following Arts Desk radio features that captured the winning votes from the judges:

The Changing Face and Sound of Classical Music:

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:49 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

The Sensuous Radical: Pierre Boulez at 90

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, photographed in Salzburg in 2011.
Martin Schalk Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:01 pm

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
4:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Yannick Conducts Beethoven & Shostakovich, March 29, 1 PM

Pianist Kirill Gerstein

Join us on Sunday, March 29 at 1 pm for a broadcast from the final week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent St. Petersburg Festival, celebrating the great master of the third generation, Dmitri Shostakovich.

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Philadelphia Music Makers, March 29, 5 PM
1:28 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Composer Jennifer Higdon Tells Her Story: Part 2

Jennifer Higdon and her cat, Beau
Candace diCarlo

The door closed behind Jennifer Higdon. She was in the office of her college conducting professor, Robert Spano, seeking advice about what to do. She had just heard back from the Curtis Institute of Music - they had accepted her application for graduate studies, but so had other music schools. She needed guidance.  "I'm not letting you out of here," Spano said, until she agreed to accept the spot from Curtis.

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WRTI Arts Desk
2:06 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

A Piano Concerto For Maxim

Shostakovich wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 for his teenage son, Maxim, who premiered it at his graduation from the Moscow Conservatory in May, 1957.

Dmitri Shostakovich, known for many dramatic works composed in the shadow of Stalin, showed a different side - one filled with humor and family ties - in his Piano Concerto No. 2.

Listen to WRTI on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 1 pm as Kirill Gerstein performs Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Radio Script:

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Creatively Speaking
10:39 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Tan Dun: Building on Bela Bartok's Legacy

Chinese contemporary classical composer and conductor, Tan Dun

Hungarian pianist and composer Bela Bartok was born on March 25th in the year 1881. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, he is revered by a prominent contemporary composer who is building on Bartok’s legacy.

Tan Dun's Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women was premiered in the U.S. by The Philadelphia Orchestra this season, and broadcast on WRTI in December, 2013.

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Creatively Speaking
10:33 am
Mon March 23, 2015

The Musical Treasure Trove At The Library Of Congress

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) at work in his apartment in NYC in 1947.
Photographic proof by Victor Kraft Library of Congress

A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC,  is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.

Case in point: in a series of letters written in 1957 to his wife Felicia, while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the progress of West Side Story during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C.  The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria.  In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander. Read the letters here.

The Special Collections of the Music Division are truly fascinating and constitute a resource for musical scholarship that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These unique bodies of materials are extraordinarily vast and diverse, yet very much interrelated. They include some of the greatest treasures of the Music Division and the Library of Congress.

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