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.

A new documentary film, The Music of Strangers, and a companion CD, Sing Me Home, feature Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble exploring how music can make us feel at home, no matter where we live. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.


Ryan Donnell

Join us on Sunday for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI. This re-broadcast brings us a lucky survivor among Mozart’s earlier symphonies, many of which were forgotten after his death. The Symphony No. 29, which Mozart composed at age 18, is full of charm, elegance, and irresistible high spirits, and Donald Runnicles, is on the podium.

At the gateway of August, summertime looks like it will never end—but it won’t be long until it begins to fade. On Now Is the Time, Saturday, July 30th at 9 pm on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical webstream at wrti.org, Dan Becker starts us off with a cut from his Fade album that looks forward and back, ReInvention 1a. Imagine a J. S. Bach invention run through a digital piano with postminimalist leanings, and maybe you can imagine the excitement and quirkiness of this piece. Then, Jennifer Higdon’s Dash for flute, clarinet, and piano is all that and a cloud of dust.

The wit and sparkle of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, the nobility of one of the cornerstones of the cello repertory, Elgar’s Cello Concerto—played by the German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser—and the brilliant set of Haydn Variations that led the 40-year-old Brahms to complete his first symphony three years later are all yours to enjoy on this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast.


Seven of the world’s foremost choral composers have composed 15-minute musical responses to Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, a monumental sacred work of the German Baroque consisting of seven cantatas. The Crossing performs the new works alongside Buxtehude’s 1680 composition, with two leading ensembles in their respective fields of performance: Quicksilver Baroque and ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble.

This summer, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts is marking 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.

Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles is busy with leadership positions in the opera and symphonic worlds in Germany, Scotland, and America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Runnicles, who is also a regular guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  


Angus McBean / Warner Classics

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was born in NYC in 1916. In 1926, the child prodigy made his recital debut at the Manhattan Opera House and had his first concerto performance with the San Francisco Orchestra. From 1928 until the year of his death in 1999, Menuhin had the longest-running contract in the history of the recording industry with EMI Classics, which was recently acquired by Warner Classics.

Join us on Sunday from 1 to 3 pm for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert. This week, you'll hear a re-broadcast of a performance of Bela Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, infused with the dance rhythms of Hungarian folklore, and played by the multi award-winning violinist Gil Shaham.


Pages