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.

This is a must-hear re-broadcast for all of our organ music enthusiasts! It's The Philadelphia Orchestra's All-Organ Weekend from last November - a mini-festival, of sorts, that represents the culmination of a month-long celebration of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ at Verizon Hall. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts.

In 1874, a Methodist preacher and a businessman founded Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York to train Sunday School teachers and provide adult education. Today, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Chautauqua’s many offerings include lectures by high-profile speakers, and a panoply of art and music events – all in a disarmingly informal lakeside setting. 


Classical and Latin American music are flourishing in North Wales, PA, where professional chamber musicians share their music and culture with students from near and far. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the Community Arts Network called ArCoNet – which this week is hosting its annual Dali Quartet International Music Festival.

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!

Dashing Count Almaviva has lost his heart to the spunky Rosina, whose doddering guardian is determined to marry her himself. It’s Figaro to the rescue, as the resourceful barber conjures up wacky schemes and strategies to unite the young lovers.

Alleluia is by far Randall Thompson’s best-known work; he is known overwhelmingly for his choral music, such as Frostiana and The Peaceable Kingdom. But Thompson also composed three symphonies, so we’ll get to know his symphonic writing on this Discoveries program.

From two works of his that are in the Fleisher Collection, we’ll hear the outer movements of Symphony No. 1 and all of Symphony No. 2. Both were composed early in his career, within a two-year span.

Donald Nally conducts The Crossing in the first of three concerts, comprising their Seventh Annual Month of Moderns Festival. This performance, "Only memory of forgetting," features the premiere of Joel Puckett's I enter the earth, which sets the words of a !Kung shaman describing the dance trance of a healing ritual. The choir is joined by Laura Ward on piano and Michael Jones on trumpet.

It's been said that when you hear the vocal group Anonymous 4 perform, you're listening to the music of angels or something that can't possibly come from our world. In a word, unearthly. Unfortunately, that sound won't be around much longer, as the group has decided to retire their angelic vocal cords with the 2015-2016 season.  

In the first part of the 20th century, live music accompanied the otherwise silent movies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today, concerts that pair projections of popular films, such as The Lord of the Rings, with live performances of their scores, showcase the music and the imagery in a whole new light.

In the giddy, glitzy world of the Roaring Twenties, a naive young man falls head over heels for a glamorous party girl. Together they trade the fast life for an idyllic love nest far from the city…until an unexpected visitor threatens to tear them apart. It's one of opera’s greatest romances, La Traviata on WRTI, July 18, 1 to 3:30 pm. James Conlon conducts.

Nino Machaidze sings Violetta, with Arturo Chacón-Cruz as her handsome Alfredo. The incomparable Plácido Domingo sings the role of the father determined to do the right thing.

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