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 venerable Berlin Philharmonic isn't known for impetuous courtships. But after conducting only three programs, the darkest of horses - Kirill Petrenko - was invited last week to succeed Simon Rattle as the Orchestra's chief conductor. Can the Berlin Philharmonic survive without its usual star power? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.

The New York Times calls Alisa Weilerstein the "sovereign of the American cello," and continues, "it’s not technical brilliance that makes Alisa Weilerstein’s recording of Dvorak’s much-loved cello concerto special, though the young American cellist has it in spades. It’s the take-no-prisoners emotional investment that is evident in every bar, but never more so than in the heart-wrenching slow movement, where Ms. Weilerstein’s cello appears to take on human shape."

There’s no escaping your past. Aboard an ocean liner in the early 1960s, a West German diplomat, Walter, and his wife Liese are bound for a new posting in Brazil.

But unbeknownst to her husband, Liese served as an SS officer in Auschwitz. Haunted by her past, she is stunned when she thinks she recognizes a fellow passenger; is it really Marta, her former prisoner?

The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia’s season is going out, not with a bang, but with some urban rumble, random accompaniment by geese, and lots of song in a site-specific work at the Fairmount Water Works this weekend. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns caught Philadelphia’s most venerable choir at its most vulnerable.

Join the Philadelphia Orchestra as they perform "A Night of Gershwin" at the Mann Center on June 26th. Celebrate the breadth of George Gershwin’s legacy with one of his most effervescent musical masterworks - Rhapsody in Blue; the first, and widely considered the finest American opera - Porgy and Bess; and the ultimate musical postcard to the folks back home - An American in Paris. Cristian Măcelaru, conductor. Terrence Wilson, piano. Norman Garrett, baritone. Taylor Johnson, soprano

On this month’s Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Applause! broadcast, it’s Schoenberg and Beethoven, with Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn on the podium, and at the keyboard, Sunday, June 21, 5  to 6 pm. 

The program features a performance of the Chamber Symphony No. 2, a work that took Arnold Schoenberg over 30 years to complete. By the time he was finished, the composer had gone through major stylistic changes, and his work, completed in 1939, is a look back for the composer. 

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.

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.

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

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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