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.

You can take a bus or car to the historic mansions of Fairmount Park this holiday season, but in the past a sleigh would have carried you there. Here’s WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston on the sights you may have seen along the way. On Saturday, December 3rd, WRTI hosts will be appearing at this year’s Fairmount Park Historic Home Holiday Tour for "Sounds of the Season."

What's the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history? The Metropolitan Opera's Saturday matinee broadcasts, launched in 1931! The 86th season of live Saturday broadcasts begins on December 3rd. Full schedule below.

In January we began a survey of the history of American orchestral music with George Bristow, born in 1825. Now in December we end 2016 with two composers who lived into the 1940s, wrapping up an American century with Frederick Shepherd Converse and Carl Busch, representing American music as well as any other two.

A glorious work infrequently heard in the concert hall will grace the airwaves this Sunday, November 27th 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.

Family, friends, and food are part of our Thanksgiving memories. This year, WRTI makes sure we save room for Second Helpings!

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: Steph Mackinnon

What kind of music would speak to Bach today? Cellist Matt Haimovitz—who has been performing works by Bach in concert halls and clubs for the last three decades—asked composers to respond to the preludes from Bach’s cello suites. WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports.

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.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 season is under way with Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium for his fifth year as music director of the Orchestra. WRTI will broadcast all 30 subscription concerts beginning Sunday, November 20th.

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