Music Features

Join us on Sunday, November 29th at 1 pm, as WRTI’s fourth year of Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts kicks off. And if there is a theme to this whole season it will be the inimitable “Philadelphia Sound” that has inspired composers through the years, and led to many world and U.S. premieres.

Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

In the late 19th century, prominent composers began to emerge from countries that had not been center stage in international musical life. Among these leading figures were Jean Sibelius in Finland, and Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček in the Czech lands.

The spirit of Copland looks over Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 14th at 9 pm. It would be the 115th birthday of the son of Lithuanian immigrants, the son of Brooklyn, who, more than any other composer, defined what is “American” in American music. We think that there is at the very least a little of his spirit in the works on today’s show. 

The votes are in...the WRTI audience has decided who should portray Lenny Bernstein in Martin Scorsese's  upcoming film. Thanks so much to everyone who voted! We had over 35 nominations, with some surprising opinions. What do you think of the results?

Critics and opera lovers alike think that this is the TOSCA to own. It's the Metropolitan Opera broadcast from April 7, 1962, and we're bringing it to you this Saturday, November 7 from 1 to 4 pm during WRTI's Annual Opera Day celebration. Check out Opera Day details here!

The all-star cast features Leontyne Price in the title role, in an electrifying performance of one of Puccini's most beloved operas. Kurt Adler conducts.

It’s two pianos, four hands, and more on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 7th at 9 pm. Lowell Liebermann has two works on the program, starting off with two pianos and eight hands (two belonging to himself), on Daydream and Nightmare. Later we’ll hear his Sonata for Two Pianos.

The spirit of Halloween hovers over Now Is the Time, Saturday, October 31 at 9 pm. Strings, bells, melodicas softly accompany waning desert sunlight: such is Drift of Rainbows by Dan Visconti. William Moylan's setting of the Yeats poem The Stolen Child tells an Erlkönig-like story: "Come away, O human child! / To the waters and the wild / With a faery, hand in hand, / For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

From an ancient buried past in Pompeii, to an outer-worldly future, The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI transports us to different worlds this Sunday, October 11th at 1 pm.

In this re-broadcast, we’ll hear excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Williams’s music from the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977. It was his third collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, immediately following their great success with Jaws.

This week’s blood-red super-moon eclipse informs Now Is the Time, Saturday, October 3rd at 9 pm. Blake Wilkins’s Compendium, from the University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble’s CD Twilight Offering Music, is a moodily colorful start to the program. An eerie string quartet is The Gloaming by Michael Whalen, from his CD The Shadows of October.