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.

Join us this Sunday to hear the breathtaking 2014 Philadelphia Orchestra concert featuring a program for all of our fans of Sergei Rachmaninoff! In this re-broadcast, you'll hear the Philadelphians perform Rachmaninoff’s choral-symphonic setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem, The Bells, which received its U.S. premiere here in Philadelphia in 1920 with Leopold Stokowski conducting. Between each of the four movements of this magnificent choral symphony, Poe’s original text will be dramatically recited in English by actor Sherman Howard, to capture the full essence of the words and music together.

Lines point every which way on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 6th at 9 pm. Mathew Rosenblum starts us off with Sharpshooter for orchestra, and then we scale it way back to Steven Stucky’s Dialogs for solo cello, from Caroline Stinson’s CD Lines.

Macy's Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte launches Season 12 of the Wanamaker Organ Hour on Sunday, February 7th, from 5 to 6 pm with all-new shows! The Wanamaker Organ is the world's largest musical instrument and one of its greatest treasures, housed in Macy's Center City and played daily every day but Sunday since 1911.

If you missed your chance to see the Academy of Vocal Arts production of Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re, you can hear it on Sunday, from 3 to 5 pm on WRTI. Check out our Arts Desk feature all about the opera!

The opera, at one time extremely popular after its 1913 Philadelphia debut, is rarely performed today, and AVA Opera Theater brought it back into the limelight this season, renewing interest in an almost-forgotten masterpiece.   

Music comes in threes and twos on Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 30th at 9 pm. Ursula Mamlok’s music is always smart, always compelling, and in Three Part Fugue and Three Bagatelles she offers us solo piano works three decades apart. Joseph Fennimore’s piano writing also appears twice, with Three Pieces and, from his 24 Romances, the Third.

Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera

Opera Philadelphia is presenting the East Coast premiere of Jennifer Hidgon's first opera, Cold Mountain. As WRTI's Susan Lewis reports, the opera adds another dimension to the Civil War story from the critically acclaimed novel by Charles Frazier.

Cold Mountain opens Friday, February 5th and runs through Sunday, February 14th at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.


This Sunday, the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast brings back to the podium Musical America’s 2015 Conductor of the Year, Gianandrea Noseda, for a concert from November that begins with Liszt’s orchestrally dazzling Symphonic Poem No 6, “Mazeppa,” and a performance by renowned violinist Leonidas Kavakos of Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto.

Spheres, of sorts, are in line for Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 23rd at 9 pm. A solo piano chases itself canonically in all in due time by Nils Vigeland; Jenny Q Chai is the pianist. The Infinite Sphere is the name Lawrence Dillon gives to his Fourth String Quartet. He spins rondos and rounds within two movements, hailing a Blaise Pascal quote: “Infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.”

An emotionally charged new work commissioned exclusively by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and given its World Premiere this past November by the Philadelphians, will be broadcast in its entirety on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on Sunday, January 24th at 1 pm. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts.

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