Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 am to 12 noon

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 Easter Sunday at 1 pm to hear a Philadelphia Orchestra concert that actually kicked off the holiday season in grand style this past December. WRTI will broadcast a joyous performance of Handel's Messiah, with a world-class roster of vocalists, a chorus of talented voices from throughout our region, and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, all conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

On Easter Sunday from 4 to 6 pm, join us to hear The Crossing in Concert, recorded live on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2016 at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Conductor Donald Nally is your host.

Philadelphia's professional choir dedicated to new music, The Crossing enters its second decade with "The Crossing@10: Respond/Reprise/Renew." This concert, "Reprise 2," features works about our love for one another, love for our planet, and our wish for a more loving culture.

J.S. Bach was born more than three centuries ago, yet contemporary musicians continue to mine riches from his music. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, award-winning violinist Gil Shaham finds Bach connections in everything he plays.

Although Handel’s Messiah is now regularly performed during the Christmas holidays, the work was actually premiered in the spring before Easter. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the fantastically successful masterpiece, which was created by necessity in just 24 days over two centuries ago.


Don't miss this month's broadcast of Applause! It's The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in concert. **Please note, this month's program will be heard on Saturday at 5 pm. Dirk Brossé conducts, and the orchestra's principal flutist Edward Schultz plays music by Malcolm Arnold.  Dave Conant is your host for the broadcast.

Vienna was a hotbed of musical evolution, and the second concert in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-part series of the Music of Vienna shows us how far the symphony traveled in that time. On Sunday, March 20th at 1 pm Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphians bring two symphonies composed about 80 years apart: Joseph Haydn’s 103rd, the famous “Drumroll” Symphony, and Anton Bruckner’s 4th.

You might call it old wine in new bottles, but what sweet, masterfully crafted wine it is. Upheld by Stillness, the debut album by the young and vibrant British a cappella choir ORA, presents a contemporary twist on a 16th-century classic.

Jubilate! A Concert of Sacred Music presented by the Academy of Vocal Arts, is one of the most eagerly anticipated broadcasts each season. AVA’s award-winning resident artists visited three churches in the Philadelphia area last week to perform music of Mendelssohn, Mozart, Handel and more. And you can hear this program, Sunday from 3 to 5:30 pm on WRTI.

The harpsichord was eclipsed first by the fortepiano in the 18th century and eventually by the modern grand, but that doesn't mean the instrument is out of sight or out of mind.

It was on the 2nd of March, 100 years ago, that The Philadelphia Orchestra was, in effect, introduced to the world. The stage of the Academy of Music had to be extended, at considerable expense, to accommodate the enormous vocal and orchestral forces for the first United States performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the so-called “Symphony of a Thousand.”

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