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.

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.

A Philadelphia Orchestra musician is about to gain a national audience for a hobby that’s not based on sound. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston has more.

Join us to hear the Academy of Vocal Arts' current production of Mozart’s sublime tragic comedy Don Giovanni. Widely regarded as the first Grand Opera ever performed in Philadelphia, the opera debuted at The Chestnut Street Theater in 1818. This will be AVA’s seventh production of the opera since its AVA debut in 1986.

Jazz trumpeter, composer, poet, and community activist Hannibal Lokumbe noticed early in life that music had the power to change people's lives. He took up trumpet, and after college, moved to New York City, where he played with jazz greats Gil Evans, Roy Haynes, and Cecil Taylor, among others.

In Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Orchestra premiere of his "spiritatorio" - One Land, One River, One People, Hannibal is also taking music and conversation into different parts of the community.