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.

Credit: Felix Broede

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a highly educated member of the Russian elite. But it’s his connection with folk tunes and the countryside that especially touches one of today’s young classical stars. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts has resided for over 40 years in its West Fairmount Park home. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on how this Philadelphia venue for summer music came to be.

Only gods can live in endless bliss. Tannhäuser—minstrel and renegade—is lured into the erotic realm of the love goddess Venus. There he luxuriates in lust and a host of sinful pleasures. But finally it's all too much. He longs to return home, and does—to friends, rules of Christian conduct, and most of all, to Elisabeth, the warm but chaste young woman who loves him, despite the grief he's caused.

A glorious work, infrequently heard in the concert hall, will grace the airwaves this Sunday, July 23rd at 1 pm, as the Philadelphia Orchestra, soloists, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir perform Mozart's Great Mass in C minor at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

While Samuel Barber is best known for his moving Adagio for Strings, he wrote a lot of other music that continues to inspire musicians and listeners to this day. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked with filmmaker Paul Moon about his documentary, Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty, which had its Philadelphia premiere on Saturday, July 15, 2017 on WHYY-TV.   An encore performance will air on Friday, July 21st, at noon. 

Midori's Passion Beyond the Concert Hall

Jul 19, 2017
Credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

The Curtis Institute of Music recently announced  that violinist Midori will be joining its faculty in 2018. Midori  has been performing with major orchestras since her 1983 New Year’s Eve debut at age 11 with The New York Philharmonic. While still in her teens, she developed another passion, which she will continue in Philadelphia.

In an era when women had little voice, 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen founded her own women's monastery, authored volumes of sacred text, served as a physician to her community, wrote the oldest surviving musical morality play, and produced plainchants of great expression and beauty. She was canonized in 2012.

Credit: Joseph Lange

Mozart mentioned in a letter to his father that he wanted to write a mass for his new wife Constanze, who was a soprano. “But there was no commission,” says Temple University music history professor Steven Zohn. “It’s not usual for him to write something on spec or just because he wanted to write something that showed the love for his wife.”

He's selfish. He's arrogant. He’s dangerous. With a list of conquests as long as the phonebook, Don Giovanni travels the world, snaring princesses and peasant girls alike. Thousands succumb, leaving a path of dishonor and broken lives. When the Don forces himself on the virtuous Donna Anna, her father intervenes and loses his life. Has the Don finally gone too far?

Join us for re-broadcasts of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 season with Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium for his fifth year as music director of the Orchestra. WRTI  presents, for the second time if you missed them the first time around, nearly all  of the  subscription concerts beginning Sunday, July 16th.

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