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.

If you have a picture of “German symphonic composer” in your mind, Gustav Mahler’s face may very well be that picture. Our Essential Winter Member Drive Countdown continues with Mahler coming in as No. 11.

This Sunday at 1 pm, WRTI presents a concert first heard at Verizon Hall in November, 2014. You'll hear the youthful and energetic Piano Concerto No. 1 of Beethoven performed by perennial favorite, pianist Andre Watts, who first played with The Philadelphia Orchestra at age 10.

We’re skipping all the way to No. 2 today for a special birthday celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). That’s right, you voted the wunderkind from Salzburg your No. 2 most essential classical composer. His symphonies, operas, concertos, and compositions, in every genre of the time, remain to this day an incredible marvel of genius.

Do you want to know what made the composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) so special? I'll tell you. Aside from revolutionizing the piano itself, enlarging its scope, the genres it lent itself to, and its breadth of color, Chopin essentially invented the scherzo and instrumental ballade as virtuoso piano movements, and reinvented the etude as a musically engaging genre, rather than a mere exercise.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

His melodies haunt you with their beauty, and his harmonies and delicate passagework for the piano still astonish us with their freshness. Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) wrote almost exclusively for the piano—preludes and ballades and mazurkas and nocturnes and concertos; Chopin is the pianist’s composer. He is so universally loved that you voted him our No. 12 most essential composer.

A Philip Glass Moment That Could Last Forever

Jan 25, 2017

From Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis to A London Symphony, there’s something soothing and strong about the music of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and we love it. You voted him No. 13 of your most essential classical composers, but here are some things you may not know about RVW:

“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, ” “My Funny Valentine,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “The Sound of Music." With over 900 songs to his name, composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) left an indelible mark on American musical theater. His songs became an important part of the Great American Songbook, in part because jazz artists and singers loved to re-invent them. If Rodgers had had his way, though, he wouldn’t have let anyone else change a note. Why not?

André Watts, Credit: Adrian Siegel Collection / The Philadelphia Orchestra Archives

Born in Germany in 1946, André Watts moved to Philadelphia with his Hungarian mother and American father when he was 8 years old. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, after decades of performing, the celebrated pianist still finds new inspiration and challenges in the music.

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