Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 to 11 am

Wake up to a great variety of classical music every Saturday morning with host Rolf Charlston. You'll hear works ranging from Baroque to contemporary--from a gentle waltz to a bright tango--from old favorites to something new.

Composer ID: 
53c7dc13e1c8b9c77b4b9b7c|53c7dbe1e1c8b9c77b4b9b6e

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Opera on WRTI
12:45 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

San Francisco Opera on WRTI: Boito's MEPHISTOPHELES, August 23, 1 PM

Bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov sings Mefistofele and tenor Ramon Vargs sings Faust in San Francisco Opera's MEPHISTOPHELES.

This week it's Arrigo Boito’s resplendent retelling of Goethe’s Faust, a monumental work of "choral grandeur and melodic richness" (The New York Times) recorded live at the famous War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in 2013.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:37 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Pacifica Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Pacifica Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:09 pm

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

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Mark Pinto Suggests...
4:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Classical New Releases, Summer 2014: Check Them Out!

WRTI's Mark Pinto, host of the Classical New Releases show, fills you in on the latest and the greatest classical music CDs every Saturday at 5 pm. Here are six recordings to pay special attention to...

Milos, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor: Aranjuez. The young guitarist Milos from Montenegro continues to win new fans wherever he goes. Now with this recording he brings his trademark passion and intimacy to bear on the two most popular works for guitar and orchestra ever composed. In the tender moments he caresses the strings, and through some close miking, every caress can be felt. Having Yannick on hand to guide the London Philharmonic and let Milos "do his thing" should help the guitarist gain some new admirers in Philadelphia.

Ailyn Perez & Stephen Costello: Love Duets. This is a long-awaited debut disc from Philly’s "first couple" of opera (they met while students at the Academy of Vocal Arts and still perform together in the area), and it is as aurally delightful as they are photogenic. The husband-and-wife team makes convincing heat on these love duets from popular operas and classic Broadway musicals. A keepsake for Philadelphia opera fans.

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis: The Silver Album. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist and Temple University professor Lambert Orkis celebrate 25 years as a performing team with this two-disc release. At first glance they may seem an unlikely pair. However, both share a keen interest in contemporary music and in other ways have found each other to be musical soulmates. "It quickly became clear how perfectly we breathe and phrase together," says Mutter.

Superb studio and live performances from their last 25 years of music-making, of violin/piano sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Fauré, are featured here alongside new recordings of Massenet and Ravel. Plus, there are two world-premiere recordings: a dazzling and fiendishly difficult solo violin work by Krzysztof Penderecki, and André Previn's touching and lighthearted duo sonata. This is a wonderful commemorative of an enduring artistic partnership.

Yundi: Emporer/Fantasy, Beethoven and Schumann. Chinese pianist Yundi (the artist formerly known as Yundi Li) has developed and matured significantly in the years since he became the youngest pianist to win the International Chopin Competition in 2000 at the age of 18.  His formidable technique is on display here in a Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto performance so assured it may strike some as a tad on the cool side. But his real achievement is the sheer poetry and architectural mastery he brings to Schumann’s masterpiece, which can come off as rather unruly and unwieldy in the wrong hands.  With awe, one wonders what Yundi's next musical conquest might be.

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Creatively Speaking
4:56 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Goodyear For Beethoven

There's been a lot of buzz about Pianist Stewart Goodyear's Beethoven "Sonatathon" concerts.

For the past few years, pianist Stewart Goodyear has been reconnecting to his musical roots through Beethoven. He performed all 32 of the composer's piano sonatas in a single day in 2011 and 2013, and then over four concerts last month. A stunt? A statement? Goodyear tells The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns it's more like a calling.

Isn't Stewart Goodyear that pianist who specializes in Gershwin?

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Crossover
5:03 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Michael Stairs: The Organist's Organist

Organist Michael Stairs

When Michael Stairs sits at an organ keyboard, the result is nothing but perfection. He is indeed the organist's organist. Michael has been organist for The Philadelphia Orchestra since his appointment by Riccardo Muti in 1985. He taught at The Haverford School for 25 years and was beloved by his students. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, he also holds an Artist's Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.

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The Fabulous Philadelphians on WRTI
7:57 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Yuja Wang Plays Rachmaninoff with The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI: August 10 at 1 PM

Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 on this week's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast.

Both Sergei Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss had long and fruitful relationships with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Rachmaninoff’s began in 1909 with his first appearance in this country at the Academy of Music. He would go on to write pieces specifically for the Orchestra, and collaborated in landmark recordings, including his Piano Concerto No. 3 that opens this Sunday's broadcast, from a concert in November, 2013.

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Creatively Speaking
11:57 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Classical Star Yuja Wang: Embracing Traditional and Contemporary Culture

Pianist Yuja Wang

Curtis Graduate, Chinese Pianist Yuja Wang performs all over the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the young classical star embraces traditional and contemporary culture.

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Crossover
4:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Quartetto di Cremona: Tailor-Made Music from Italy

Quartetto di Cremona

Tailor-made you may be asking?  Well, according to Strad Magazine, the Quartetto di Cremona is "...as sleek and elegant as an Armani suit.” And it's true. Every performer should have a tailor like that!

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
11:15 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Maestro Frühbeck de Burgos' Final Performance with The Philadelphians: August 3, 1 PM on WRTI

The esteemed conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos passed away on June 11, 2014 at age 80. He made his U.S. debut with the Orchestra on Valentine’s Day in 1969 and became a regular presence on the Orchestra’s podium.

This Sunday at 1 pm, it's a re-broadcast of an October, 2013 concert. Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos concluded his two-week Philadelphia Orchestra residency with a French afternoon of exotic, colorful music - Ravel’s Second Suite from his ballet Daphnis and Chloé, Debussy’s colorful images of a musical seascape in his most-famous work, La Mer, and showcasing German violinist Augustin Hadelich, making his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in Lalo’s exuberant Symphonie espagnole.

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Creatively Speaking
11:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

A German Violin Virtuoso Makes His Philadelphia Debut

Violinist Augustin Hadelich

This Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcast features what would turn out to be the final engagement with the ensemble for a great Spanish conductor - the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

The program of French music he conducted, included a lesser-performed work; a Spanish-inspired symphony showcasing a highly regarded German violinist in his Philadelphia Orchestra debut.

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