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.

Composer ID: 
53c7dc13e1c8b9c77b4b9b7c|53c7dbe1e1c8b9c77b4b9b6e

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Gianandrea Noseda Conducts The Philadelphians
8:59 am
Sun September 14, 2014

The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony, Sept. 14th at 1 PM

Canadian violinist James Ehnes is a Grammy winner and a Juilliard graduate. He plays the "Marsick" Stradivarius of 1715.

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday at 1 pm opens with a collection of “Symphonic Fragments” from Alfredo Casella’s rarely performed opera La Donna Serpente (The Snake-Woman), based on an 18th-century fable-play by Carlo Gozzi, and is followed by one of Sergei Prok

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WRTI Spotlight
8:51 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Opera from the Archives: Puccini's LA BOHEME with Toscanini Conducting in 1946, Sept. 13, 1 PM

Licia Albanese sings Mimi in the 1946 live recording of LA BOHEME. The beloved soprano passed away at age 105 in August.

We've got a treat in store for you this Saturday at 1 pm. It's the famous February, 1946 live recording of Giacomo Puccini's LA BOHEME with Arturo Toscanini on the podium conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the NBC Symphony Chorus. The broadcast celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opera's debut. Acclaimed soprano Licia Albanese, who just passed away last month at age 105, sings Mimi.

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Classical CD Selections
6:19 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Monteverdi's Pioneering 'Vespers'

Monteverdi's Poppea.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:32 pm

The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi was arguably the most important musician of the first half of the 17th century. He absorbed the musical style of the late Renaissance and, in his early works, helped bring it to its highest expression. He also pioneered new compositional techniques in his madrigals and other vocal works, effectively laying the foundation for many of the stylistic conventions of the Baroque.

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Crossover
8:42 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Violinist Nicola Benedetti: Coming Home to Scotland

Violinist Nicola Benedetti's new CD is filled with music from her homeland.

One of our favorite guests - and one of yours, as you've told us - returns to Crossover this week. Violinist Nicola Benedetti discusses her latest Decca CD, Homecoming: A Scottish Fantasy.  

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Your 30 Favorite Classical Works
11:54 am
Thu August 28, 2014

WRTI's 2014 Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown!

The votes are in, and we've got this year's list! Join us, starting on Friday at noon, for our annual Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown! It's your 30 favorite classical works on WRTI throughout the holiday weekend. Listen on Friday, August 29, from noon to 6 pm, Saturday, August 30 from 6 to 12:30 pm, and Monday, September 1st from 6 am to 6 pm.

The playlist for the 2014 Labor Day Weekend Classical Countdown will publish below in this post as each piece is broadcast. Have a wonderful holiday! And a big thanks to everyone who voted!

Encore!
3:22 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

The Crossing on WRTI: The Second "Month of Moderns" Concert, August 31, 4 PM

The Crossing performing at The Icebox at Crane Arts Center in June, 2014.
Becky Oehlers Photography

This Sunday, join us for The Crossing chamber choir's second concert in their Sixth Annual Month of Moderns Festival, recorded live at The Icebox at Crane Arts Center in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia on June 28, 2014, and conducted by Donald Nally.

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Opera on WRTI
12:07 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

San Francisco Opera on WRTI: Boito's MEPHISTOPHELES, August 30, 1 PM

Bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov sings Mefistofele and tenor Ramon Vargs sings Faust in San Francisco Opera's MEPHISTOPHELES.

This week it's Arrigo Boito’s resplendent retelling of Goethe’s Faust, a monumental work of "choral grandeur and melodic richness" (The New York Times) recorded live at the famous War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in 2013.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:37 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Pacifica Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Pacifica Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:09 pm

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

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Mark Pinto Suggests...
4:59 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Classical New Releases, Summer 2014: Check Them Out!

WRTI's Mark Pinto, host of the Classical New Releases show, fills you in on the latest and the greatest classical music CDs every Saturday at 5 pm. Here are six recordings to pay special attention to...

Milos, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, conductor: Aranjuez. The young guitarist Milos from Montenegro continues to win new fans wherever he goes. Now with this recording he brings his trademark passion and intimacy to bear on the two most popular works for guitar and orchestra ever composed. In the tender moments he caresses the strings, and through some close miking, every caress can be felt. Having Yannick on hand to guide the London Philharmonic and let Milos "do his thing" should help the guitarist gain some new admirers in Philadelphia.

Ailyn Perez & Stephen Costello: Love Duets. This is a long-awaited debut disc from Philly’s "first couple" of opera (they met while students at the Academy of Vocal Arts and still perform together in the area), and it is as aurally delightful as they are photogenic. The husband-and-wife team makes convincing heat on these love duets from popular operas and classic Broadway musicals. A keepsake for Philadelphia opera fans.

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis: The Silver Album. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist and Temple University professor Lambert Orkis celebrate 25 years as a performing team with this two-disc release. At first glance they may seem an unlikely pair. However, both share a keen interest in contemporary music and in other ways have found each other to be musical soulmates. "It quickly became clear how perfectly we breathe and phrase together," says Mutter.

Superb studio and live performances from their last 25 years of music-making, of violin/piano sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Fauré, are featured here alongside new recordings of Massenet and Ravel. Plus, there are two world-premiere recordings: a dazzling and fiendishly difficult solo violin work by Krzysztof Penderecki, and André Previn's touching and lighthearted duo sonata. This is a wonderful commemorative of an enduring artistic partnership.

Yundi: Emporer/Fantasy, Beethoven and Schumann. Chinese pianist Yundi (the artist formerly known as Yundi Li) has developed and matured significantly in the years since he became the youngest pianist to win the International Chopin Competition in 2000 at the age of 18.  His formidable technique is on display here in a Beethoven "Emperor" Concerto performance so assured it may strike some as a tad on the cool side. But his real achievement is the sheer poetry and architectural mastery he brings to Schumann’s masterpiece, which can come off as rather unruly and unwieldy in the wrong hands.  With awe, one wonders what Yundi's next musical conquest might be.

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Creatively Speaking
4:56 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Goodyear For Beethoven

There's been a lot of buzz about Pianist Stewart Goodyear's Beethoven "Sonatathon" concerts.

For the past few years, pianist Stewart Goodyear has been reconnecting to his musical roots through Beethoven. He performed all 32 of the composer's piano sonatas in a single day in 2011 and 2013, and then over four concerts last month. A stunt? A statement? Goodyear tells The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns it's more like a calling.

Isn't Stewart Goodyear that pianist who specializes in Gershwin?

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