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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Opera on WRTI
11:39 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Wagner's Sinful and Seductive TANNHAUSER: Lyric Opera of Chicago on WRTI, June 20, 1 PM

Richard Wagner's TANNHAUSER transfixes audiences with both its sensuality and its majestic power.

Only gods can live in endless bliss. Tannhäuser - minstrel and renegade - is lured into the erotic realm of the love goddess Venus. There he luxuriates in lust and a host of sinful pleasures. But finally it's all too much. He longs to return home, and does — to friends, rules of Christian conduct, and most of all, to Elisabeth, the warm but chaste young woman who loves him, despite the grief he's caused.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:25 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

'The Most Beautiful Offerings': Terry Riley At 80

Composer Terry Riley (center) celebrates his 50th birthday in 1985 with his muses in the Kronos Quartet (from left) David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt and Joan Jeanrenaud.
Richard McCaffrey Courtesy of Kronos Quartet

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 11:32 am

Composer Terry Riley turns 80 Wednesday. He's been called the father of minimalism for his groundbreaking 1964 work In C. But his influence has spread far beyond, sparking the imaginations of many artists, from cutting-edge electronic musicians to rock gods.

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Animals in Classical Music? It's Not Just for Kids!

There’s some great classical music not often played at adult concert series. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor points to several under-performed masterworks that speak to everyone.

Radio script:

Music: Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:15 am
Mon June 15, 2015

What is the Most German Opera that is Loved Around the World?

Design for Weber's 'Der Freischütz,' Act 3, 1821 production

Before Richard Strauss, before Richard Wagner, more than Hansel and Gretel, and even more than Mozart, the most German opera is, and always will be, Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber.

The Freeshooter or The Marksman tells the story of Max, a man so in love with Agatha that he sells his soul—almost. To win her hand he must first win a shooting match, accepting an offer for magic bullets, bullets that cannot miss. They are forged in the deep forest by Samiel, the personification of Evil.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:07 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Carrot Revolution: A Fresh Look at the String Quartet

Composer Gabriella Smith says that 'Carrot Revolution' takes its name from a quote attributed to Cezanne in a novel by Emile Zola, which states: “The day will come when a freshly observed carrot will start a revolution.”

Music intersects with visual art in a new string quartet. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is a musical reaction to the unconventional way that paintings, furniture, metalwork and other objects are displayed at the Barnes Foundation.

Radio script:

Music: Carrot Revolution

Susan Lewis: The beginning of the string quartet called Carrot Revolution is quite percussive - with sounds you don’t think of as coming from violins, viola, and cello.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:04 am
Mon June 15, 2015

The Famous Letter That Beethoven Wrote, about His Life and Art, at Age 31

Ludwig van Beethoven, overwhelmed with his loss of hearing, wrote a letter to his brothers in 1802 while resting in Heiligenstadt, Austria.

The Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter and directive written by Beethoven to his brothers in October, 1802, is an important missive, opened after the composer's death in 1827. It depicts his pain and struggle: the diminishing hope that his hearing will improve, a feeling of growing isolation, and his commitment to his art, that utlimately saves his life. By the time he wrote The Heiligenstadt Testament, the already-acclaimed composer had spent six years, starting at age 26 or 27, searching in vain for a “cure.”

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
6:20 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Viva l'Italia! Yannick Nezet-Seguin Conducts The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI, June 14, 1 PM

Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Join us for a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast that recaptures a performance that took place in November, 2011, when Yannick Nezet-Seguin was music director designate of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the chemistry between the musicians and Yannick was already much in evidence.

All of the works on the program have an Italian theme, and represent a kind of celebration of Italian literature, culture, and landscape.

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WRTI Arts Desk
7:38 am
Wed June 10, 2015

"You'll Never Walk Alone" - The Story Behind Rodgers and Hammerstein's Beloved Song of Hope

Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone."

Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss. 

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:32 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Yannick Nezet-Seguin On The Highs and Lows of the Orchestra's European Tour

Yannick Nezet-Seguin at Royal Festival Hall in London.
Jan Regan

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week swing through Germany, France, Holland and England left cheering audiences in its wake. Minutes before going onstage at London’s Royal Festival Hall for the final concert of the tour, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns what made him the happiest.

David Patrick Stearns: The Viennese were the toughest. The Londoners were the smartest. The Parisians were...well, Yannick Nezet-Seguin explained it best.

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WRTI Arts Desk
4:29 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

The Pines of Rome: A Musical Portrait

Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913.  He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the  fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.

WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel. 

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