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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WRTI Special Offers
1:12 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Special Offer: Save 25% on Philadelphia Orchestra All-Gershwin Concert the Mann Center on June 26th

George Gershwin (1898-1937)

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

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
11:37 am
Wed June 3, 2015

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Mozart and Beethoven on Sunday, June 7th at 1 PM

Paul Goodwin conducts this week's concert broadcast.

By the time our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast airs on Sunday, June 7th, the Orchestra will have just completed its European tour with a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London. WRTI will, however, continue to air Philadelphia Orchestra broadcasts of this season’s concerts through early July.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
5:59 am
Wed June 3, 2015

The Overlooked French Composer, Jacques Ibert

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday June 6th, 5-6 pm... Since his name is not Debussy or Ravel or Satie, and since his name was not in a group called “Les Six,” the overlooked French composer of the 20th century’s first half may well be Jacques Ibert. But since 2015 is the 125th anniversary of his birth, this is a good time for Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection to assess his music.

Critics have often called Jacques Ibert “eclectic,” but that may have more to do with their not being able to pigeon-hole him into one school of music or another. What stands out most of all about Ibert, though, is that he is a remarkably resourceful composer. His efficiently scored works are always beautiful, and more often than not have a theatrical flair.

He knew what he was doing from the beginning. He had already won the top prize, the Prix de Rome, at the Paris Conservatory, but then went into the French Navy during the First World War. Even through these years, however, his compositional gifts were percolating. He began a substantial orchestral work based on the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” at this time. Wilde, who had been imprisoned at Reading, witnessed the hanging of a man who had murdered his wife. One line in the poem has become famous: “Each man kills the thing he loves.”

The 1922 premiere of The Ballad of Reading Gaol was conducted by fellow composer Gabriel Pierné, and was a success. Another success immediately followed it. Escales, or Ports of Call, is inspired by Ibert’s naval experiences in the Mediterranean. He salutes Rome and Palermo in the first movement, the Tunisian cities of Tunis and Nafta in the second, and gives over the final movement to the Spanish port of Valencia.

Ibert composed Divertissement as incidental music for a 1929 theatrical comedy, but within a year produced a concert version. It and Escales are his two most popular orchestral works, and along with Reading Gaol made a name for Ibert, opened doors to publishers, and eventually led to the directorship of the French Academy in Rome, where he spent much of his life as an ambassador in Italy for all things French. He composed operas, piano music, film music (even for Gene Kelly and Orson Welles), and much else.

His life was not without setback, however. World War II interrupted his stay in Italy, and then the Nazi-allied Vichy government ruling France banned his music. He ended up in Switzerland, but returned to France—and his beloved Italy—when peace returned to Europe.

So for the 125th anniversary of the birth of Jacques Ibert it’s two familiar works, and (because it’s Discoveries) something not so. All in all, it’s the hard-to-label but nevertheless gorgeous music of Jacques Ibert.

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Wanamaker Organ Day 2015
3:27 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Crossover LIVE at Wanamaker Organ Day: Saturday, June 6 at 11:30 AM

Wanamaker Organ Day is Saturday June 28th

Jill Pasternak and Peter Richard Conte broadcast Crossover live from the 20th annual Wanamaker Organ Day at Macy's in Center City, Philadelphia on June 6th. You're invited to join Jill and Peter, and organists Peter Krasinski, Rudolph Lucente, and Fred Haas.

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CD Selections
2:02 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Spring Into Five New Classical CDs!

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 five newly released recordings he recommends:

Sokolov: The Salzburg Recital. Though celebrated for the breadth of his repertoire, epic interpretations, and boundless imagination, Russian-born pianist Grigory Sokolov has become something of a living legend and a well-kept secret in America. 

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Opera on WRTI
5:17 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Lyric Opera of Chicago on WRTI: Verdi's Action-Packed IL TROVATORE, May 30, 1 PM

Soprano Amber Wagner sings Leonora and tenor Yonghoon Lee sings Manrico in Verdi's IL TROVATORE.

The troubadour Manrico and Count di Luna are bitter enemies. But in a twist of fate, they're both in love with Leonora — and they're brothers without knowing it.

Emotions boil in an action-packed story that includes babies switched at birth, kidnapping, mistaken identity, poisoning, civil strife, witches burned at the stake, and a noblewoman who offers herself to a man she hates, to save the man she loves.

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Carnegie Hall LIVE on WRTI
1:10 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Carnegie Hall LIVE Series Premiere! Berlin Philharmonic, Anne-Sophie Mutter, May 31, 4 PM on WRTI

Missed the opening-night gala concert at Carnegie Hall last fall? No worries!

Join us this Sunday, May 31 at 4 pm as WRTI brings you the first in a series of broadcasts recorded live in concert at Carnegie Hall during the 2014/2015 season.

Re-live the opening night gala concert by the Berlin Philharmonic, led by Simon Rattle. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter – a longtime collaborator with the Philharmonic – is the soloist in the lush Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. The program opens with Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and concludes with the final moments of Stravinsky's The Firebird.

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WRTI Arts Desk
5:36 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Pop Culture's Influence on Composer Michael Daugherty

Composer Michael Daugherty

Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.

Radio script:

MUSIC: Metropolis

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI
2:49 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Tubist Carol Jantsch in the Spotlight! May 31 at 1 PM

Carol Jantsch is principal tuba of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

One of the highlights of this Philadelphia Orchestra season took place in late March, when Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia 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.”

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WRTI Arts Desk
2:10 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

The Evolution of the Violin's Sound And Design

Theories abound about why the violins created in Cremona, Italy from the mid 1500s to the mid 1700s serve as the benchmark among masterpieces. Intriguing research by acoustics experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might provide a clue. 

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