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.

The journey a film score takes, from the composer's brain to what comes out of the speakers at your local theater, is a long and complicated process. In the case of the new Pixar film The Good Dinosaur, the work began seven months ago. Audiences will hear it for the first time on Thanksgiving Day.

According to Middle Eastern legend, Scheherazade saved her own life by telling her husband, the Sultan,  folk tales for A Thousand and One Nights. Those stories-within a-story inspired 19th-century composer Rimsky-Korsakov to create an orchestral suite that remains one of his most popular works today.  WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

Join us on Sunday, November 29th at 1 pm, as WRTI’s fourth year of Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts kicks off. And if there is a theme to this whole season it will be the inimitable “Philadelphia Sound” that has inspired composers through the years, and led to many world and U.S. premieres.

Crafty Composer, Memorable Memoirist

Nov 19, 2015
Steve Pyke

Philip Glass’ first music-business teacher was his father, who ran Baltimore’s smartest, sneakiest record store. Ben Glass taught his son that it was perfectly acceptable to break LPs as long as labels paid a dime for each damaged disc, that it was A-OK to buy four copies of a virtually unsellable collection of Schoenberg string quintets as long as they eventually sold. It was a priceless education for a future composer, keyboardist, ensemble leader, music publisher and, yes, record-label owner.

Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

In the late 19th century, prominent composers began to emerge from countries that had not been center stage in international musical life. Among these leading figures were Jean Sibelius in Finland, and Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček in the Czech lands.

All composers have obsessions. For John Adams, a composer who decidedly broke with the past, that obsession is Beethoven, as heard in the new album Absolute Jest.

Moravian composer Leos Janacek, who died in 1928 at the age of 74, wrote many of his most highly regarded works in the last dozen years of his life. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his monumental Mass is striking in its structure, size, rhythms, and tone, not to mention its use of an ancient text.

One of the highlights of last year's Philadelphia Orchestra season took place in March, when Carol Jantsch, principal tuba of the orchestra since 2006, stood front and center on the Verizon Hall stage to perform as soloist in a work written for her – Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi. Janstch premiered the work two years ago, a piece that Daugherty calls “a musical reflection on family trips to the Mississippi River during my childhood.”

In this all-Beethoven program, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Music Director Dirk Brossé guides you through two works by classical music’s master. Both were written within the decade Beethoven became increasingly aware that his deafness was incurable. Guest soloist Hanchien Lee, who made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut at age 16, infuses the “Emperor” Piano Concerto with her trademark eloquence and virtuosity.