Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 am to 12 noon

Treat yourself to a delightful variety of classical music every Saturday morning with host Debra Lew Harder. You'll hear works encompassing a wide range of time periods and instrumentation— from the Renaissance to new American classical music—from a gentle waltz to a bright piano sonata—from old favorites to something new.

Composer, jazz trumpeter, and community activist Hannibal Lokumbe, the Philadelphia Orchestra's Composer-in-Residence, has composed two intriguing works for string quartet that explore the lives of two heroic women, Anne Frank and Fannie Lou Hamer.  Check out the performances by Philadelphia Orchestra musicians on Saturday, February 25th at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Credit: By Anonymous, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni (1721-1782) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday, February 26, from 1 to 3 pm, celebrates Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—the prodigy, and the master, with performances of his First Symphony, written at age eight, and his final one, the 41st Symphony​, composed a quarter century later.

On Saturday, February 18th at 9 pm, Now Is the Time presents a taste of the upcoming Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia "Sounds of America" concert. We hope you can join us for a different look at some of the composers who will be represented on those February 26th and 27th concerts.

Classical composer Michael Daugherty, who won two 2017 Grammy Awards, 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.


The documentary film The Music of Strangers, and a companion CD, Sing Me Home—from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble— both snared Grammy nominations, and a Grammy win for the CD for Best World Music Album. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story on the Silk Road Ensemble, a group that seeks connections across cultures.
 


So your classical composer or jazz artist didn’t quite make the top 13! What to do? Listen on Saturday, February 11th for the Next Ten on the list of Essential Classical Composers and Jazz Artists—by your vote! It’s our way of thanking you for a successful Winter Member Drive.

Even without Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland might still be considered the greatest American composer. WRTI’s Kile Smith thinks that the key to Aaron Copland is heard more clearly in Appalachian Spring than in any other of his works.
 


On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection this Saturday, February 4th, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI...the music of Charles Koechlin is not performed much; that much is certain. We may even call it, in this, the 150th anniversary of his birth, neglected. While there are logical reasons his legacy may have suffered, we also can’t fully understand why.

George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, and moved to Britain as a young man. He spent his most productive years there, and became a naturalized British subject in his early 40s. His now-famous Water Music suites, commissioned for King George I for a ceremonial boat ride on the River Thames in London, were first performed during the summer of 1717.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

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