Great monuments aren’t always great concert halls. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns recently visited the 11th-century Canterbury Cathedral in England, and came to learn a new way of listening.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.
A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC, is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.
Case in point: in a series of letters written in 1957 to his wife Felicia, while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the progress of West Side Story during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C. The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria. In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander. Read the letters here.
The Special Collections of the Music Division are truly fascinating and constitute a resource for musical scholarship that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These unique bodies of materials are extraordinarily vast and diverse, yet very much interrelated. They include some of the greatest treasures of the Music Division and the Library of Congress.
It was a Bible story, and then a French play by Oscar Wilde. Then it was translated into German, before Strauss turned it into his opera, Salome. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a production from May, 2014 continued the evolution of this complex and compelling work of art.
On Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 1 pm on WRTI, listen to a recorded broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia performing Richard Strauss' Salome.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts now has a two-part exhibition of works on paper by African American artists. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the works on view represent a wide range of explorations in this medium.
In his essay "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," the great academic and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois argued that true equality for African Americans would ultimately have to also include an end to cultural isolation. This latest PAFA exhibition takes its title from that 1903 essay published in Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk.
One of the most prominent bands in nation, and the country's oldest, continuously active musical organization, is frequently heard on WRTI's weekday 7:15 am Sousalarm. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston shares a glimpse of the U.S. Marine Band.
Oscar Wilde’s late 19th-century play, retelling the biblical story of Salome, became the basis for Richard Strauss' one-act opera SALOME that premiered in Dresden in 1905. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the opera continues to shock and dazzle, nearly a century later.
On Sunday, July 6 at 1 pm, WRTI broadcasts The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia in a joint production of Salome, with Camilla Nylund in the title role.
It’s no secret that a favorite piece of music can evoke profound pleasure and emotion. We've all experienced the “chills” response. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston hears from a neuroscientist about the visceral and culturally conditioned effect of music on the brain.
After more than a decade of planning, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is unveiling a blueprint for a major, multi-phase renovation and expansion designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the transformation of the iconic structure will be nearly invisible from the outside.