Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
5:01 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Philadelphia’s First Messiah Concert: The Doors Closed Promptly at 11:00 AM

An 1825 publication by a Philadelphia publisher of the full oratorio, The Messiah arranged for organ.

Philadelphia’s role in the formation of our government is characteristic of a time when the city and its leading residents were forging firsts of all kinds. As Handel’s Messiah is performed this holiday season, WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston wondered when and where those first citizens might have heard the great Baroque work.

Linda Wood is assistant head librarian in the music department at the Free Library of Philadelphia.  She compiled several reference materials relating to the first performance and other early performances of Handel’s Messiah.

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Creatively Speaking
3:07 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Have You Heard...Grassical Music?

The DePue Brothers Band plays a blend of classical, bluegrass, jazz, pop, and American roots music.

The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles - The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Philly Pops - with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

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Creatively Speaking
1:33 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Handel's Messiah: A Christmas Tradition Born in the Spring

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a  contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.

On Sunday, December 21, at 1 pm, WRTI will rebroadcast The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Philadelphia Singers Chorale with soloists in a 2013 performance of Handel's Messiah, at The Kimmel Center

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Creatively Speaking
1:25 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Bramwell Tovey: A Musical Attache

Conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey

Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor. He isn't afraid to program crowd pleasers, but does them on a level that has won him a Grammy Award.

He's not only up for conducting Christmas concerts - not typical for someone of his stature - but for his forthcoming one with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he has actually written a Christmas carol. Or, as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, he's still writing it.

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

A Grand-Old Seasonal Tradition

It’s been more than 50 years since The Philadelphia Orchestra recorded one of its best-selling albums - The Glorious Sound of Christmas with Eugene Ormandy. Each year the orchestra reprises that album in a series of perennially popular concerts.

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Creatively Speaking
6:02 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Curtis Grads Giving a Year of Service to the Philadelphia Community

The Bok Trio in a very open rehearsal at a Curtis open house. A very open rehearsal is a format that teaching artists use to let audiences into the rehearsal process. The artists use reactions from the audience to inform their interpretation of the piece.

The Franklin Project is a new, national initiative aiming to set up a year of service as a rite of passage for America’s young adults in a variety of fields. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the Curtis Institute of Music joined the initiative with the launching of the first ArtistYear Fellowship Program, a pilot program with three recent graduates who dedicate a year of service to the Greater Philadelphia community - with the goal of becoming professional artist citizens.

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Creatively Speaking
5:54 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

A New Opera Remembers A Tragic Day In Dallas

Richard Nixon, Patty Hearst, and J. Robert Oppenheimer are just three of the historic figures that have been portrayed on the modern opera stage. Next is the most beloved icon of all, John F. Kennedy, in an opera that will premiere in Fort Worth, but is being partly developed by Opera Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns is finding out just what might make JFK sing.

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Creatively Speaking
5:30 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Bebe Neuwirth's First and Other Loves

Bebe Neuwirth is probably best known for her portrayal of Lilith Sternin-Crane in the TV sitcom Cheers, and more recently for co-starring in CBS TV series Madam Secretary. Yet, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, her roots are not in television or film, but on the Broadway stage. 

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Creatively Speaking
3:56 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Listen To This: The Dreamiest Chopin You've Ever Heard

Pianist Chad Lawson's "The Chopin Variations," performed with violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, presents the music of Chopin in a whole new way.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about the power of simplicity in her conversation with pianist Chad Lawson.

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Creatively Speaking
6:10 am
Mon December 8, 2014

The Obsessive Love That Fueled Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

A symphonic self portrait that premiered in 1830 has become one of the most-performed works in the orchestral repertoire. WRTI’s Susan Lewis discusses this epitome of romantic program music with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

Explore an interactive feature about the Berlioz's work here.

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