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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Creatively Speaking
11:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Looking at Debussy and Ravel with the Late Maestro Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos

Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, who died in June, conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra this past season. The program featured the music of two French composers who wrote and circulated in the same artistic circles in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. During Fruhbeck's visit,  WRTI's Susan Lewis talked with the Maestro about the imagery and musicality of Debussy and Ravel.

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Opera on WRTI
5:17 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

LA Opera on WRTI: Britten's BILLY BUDD, August 2, 1 PM

Baritone Liam Bonner sings the title role of Billy Budd, the perfect British seaman.

James Conlon leads the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus for one of Benjamin Britten's masterpieces. Based on Herman Melville’s classic American tale, adapted into a libretto by English novelist E.M. Forster and writer Eric Crozier, Billy Budd tells the story of the persecution and destruction of a pure-hearted sailor by a predatory master-at-arms. It's a tragedy of "sexual discharge gone evil," as Forster described it, and a work that has captivated audiences around the world since its 1951 world premiere.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Great War At 100: Music Of Conflict And Remembrance

Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein (who later became an American citizen) lost an arm in World War I. He commissioned composers including Maurice Ravel to write pieces for the left hand alone.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:37 pm

One hundred years ago today, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. The conflict drew in country after country and grew to an unprecedented scale. An estimated 9 million combatants lost their lives and more than 21 million were wounded in what came to be known as The Great War and, eventually, World War I.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

War Of Words At Met Opera May Signal Shutdown

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Met's production of Wagner's Ring cycle, one of the productions that has been criticized by some as too costly.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:32 pm

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

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Creatively Speaking
6:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

How a Russian-Born Philadelphian Helped Give New Life to a Song Van Cliburn Loved

Van Cliburn loved the Russian folk song, "Ducks are Flying," and asked for it to be performed at his funeral service. But no one in Texas could find the song.

When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.

Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.

The Voronezh State Folk Choir (Russian)

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Opera on WRTI
4:25 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

LA Opera on WRTI: Bizet's CARMEN, July 19, 1 PM

Carmen (Patricia Bardon) expresses her love for the matador Escamillo (Ildebrando D'Arcangelo) as he prepares to enter the bullring.

No man can resist Carmen’s gypsy charms. But when she’s ready to move on, watch out! A riveting drama of love and jealousy, filled with famously alluring melodies and captivating dances, Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas. Georges Bizet’s immortal score overflows with one delight after another - a music lover’s hit parade of opera’s most intoxicating melodies. Placido Domingo conducts. Saturday, July 19, 1 to 4 pm.

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Crossover
3:43 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Legendary Man of Music: Lorin Varencove Maazel, 1930-2014

Maestro Lorin Maazel passed away last Sunday at the age of 84.  This legendary man of music devoted over 75 years to his craft. To him, music was a bridge-builder - a way to bring peace to the world and its people.  

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WRTI Spotlight
11:49 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Mahler's 4th Symphony: The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI, July 20, 1 PM

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

You won't want to miss the optimism and sunshine of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, drawing much of its balance and influence from the Classical era, this Sunday, July 20th at 1 pm. It's the Philadelphians in a performance from October in Verizon Hall, a re-broadcast from November, 2013.

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Creatively Speaking
12:25 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

How a Mentor Inspired A Life In Music: Blanche Burton-Lyles Keeps Marian Anderson’s Memory Alive

Pianist Blanche Burton-Lyles, the first African American woman to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, was mentored by Marian Anderson.
Jessica Kourkounis

A classical pianist considered Marian Anderson’s protégé was the beneficiary of the opera star’s generous encouragement and wisdom.  As a child, Blanche Burton-Lyles lived in South Philadelphia near the home that Marian Anderson called her "dream home."  Anderson knew Blanche’s parents, and would invite the young prodigy to her home to play the living-room piano. It was a life-long relationship. And even in her later years, Burton-Lyles and Anderson kept up through letters after Anderson moved to the West Coast. 

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Crossover
11:23 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Star Soprano Diana Damrau Scratches An Itch

Diana Damrau, Forever: Unforgettable Favorites from Vienna, Broadway and Hollywood

Soprano Diana Damrau usually sticks with her forte of mainstream opera. Indeed, she's made her name in such demanding roles as Mozart's Queen of the Night, Strauss' Zerbinetta, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi's Violetta. But not long ago, she had this itch that needed scratching. And scratch she did, to excellent result.

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