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.

On a long drive, Itzhak Perlman will sometimes listen to classical music on the radio and try to guess who's playing.

"There is always a question mark," he says. "If it's good, boy, I hope it's me. If it's bad, I hope it's not me."

Lanz Ozier

Get ready to hear something very special! Originally premiered in 1865 in Genoa, and then performed again in 1871 in Milan, Franco Faccio’s Amleto (Hamlet) was thought lost for over 135 years. Opera Southwest Artistic Director Anthony Barrese spent nearly a decade in libraries and the Ricordi archives recovering the work from a microfilm of the composer's autograph. What resulted was The Amleto Project.

Drawing on the musically rich resources of Philadelphia, conductor Andreas Delfs plans to put his stamp on how universities can be agents of change, and has bold ideas for reinventing the presentation of classical music. What will a symphony concert be like 10 years from now, or even five? Mobile apps, multi-media elements, pop-up venues, cocktails?

One of the better-kept musical secrets in Bucks County is the Concordia Chamber Players, which performs in a number of venues near Doylestown and New Hope that are scenically beautiful but can also require a good GPS to find. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns arrived at a recent concert in Solebury, and this is what he found.

Join us on Sunday, November 29th at 1 pm, as WRTI’s fourth year of Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts kicks off. And if there is a theme to this whole season it will be the inimitable “Philadelphia Sound” that has inspired composers through the years, and led to many world and U.S. premieres.

Crafty Composer, Memorable Memoirist

Nov 19, 2015
Steve Pyke

Philip Glass’ first music-business teacher was his father, who ran Baltimore’s smartest, sneakiest record store. Ben Glass taught his son that it was perfectly acceptable to break LPs as long as labels paid a dime for each damaged disc, that it was A-OK to buy four copies of a virtually unsellable collection of Schoenberg string quintets as long as they eventually sold. It was a priceless education for a future composer, keyboardist, ensemble leader, music publisher and, yes, record-label owner.

Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

In the late 19th century, prominent composers began to emerge from countries that had not been center stage in international musical life. Among these leading figures were Jean Sibelius in Finland, and Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček in the Czech lands.

All composers have obsessions. For John Adams, a composer who decidedly broke with the past, that obsession is Beethoven, as heard in the new album Absolute Jest.

One of the highlights of last year's Philadelphia Orchestra season took place in March, when Carol Jantsch, principal tuba of the orchestra since 2006, stood front and center on the Verizon Hall stage to perform as soloist in a work written for her – Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi. Janstch premiered the work two years ago, a piece that Daugherty calls “a musical reflection on family trips to the Mississippi River during my childhood.”