Music Features

Now Is the Time
10:21 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Now Is the Time Turns 200!

from James Syler, Minton's Playhouse

It’s our 200th show and we’re celebrating on Now Is the Time, Saturday, January 4th at 9 pm! Judith Lang Zaimont starts us off in a poignant mood as we look back with Reflective Rag. The two pianists of Quattro Mani bring us Kindred Spirits of William Bland, the title summing up how we feel about all our contemporary American composers. Then another duo, of clarinets, brings us the fresh Aphorisms II of Ursula Mamlok.

Allen Shawn’s Nostalgic Pieces party with a waltz and a boogie-woogie, and David Wolfson’s Time and Tide (Benediction) marks the passage of the years with four cellos (multi-tracked by one player). Minton’s Playhouse by James Syler translates the jazz club to saxophone quartet and wind ensemble, the spirit of Charlie Parker hovering over this bopping concerto grosso.

Then we program a composer whose only other appearance on NITT was in Show #100. Kile Smith’s American Spirituals, Book 2, for cello and piano, blushingly closes out the celebrations. We’re grateful to all of you, composers and listeners, for keeping contemporary American music alive on WRTI!

If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the all-classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

Read more
Crossover
7:57 am
Sat December 28, 2013

The Cypresses Play The Cypresses

The Cypress String Quartet

The Cypress String Quartet's cellist, Jennifer Kloetzel, on WRTI's Crossover with Jill Pasternak, Saturday December 28, 2013

This week on Crossover it's the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet. The quartet is named after a set of songs by Antonin Dvorak based on the poems of the Moravian author Gustav Pfleger-Moravsky. Up until now, the quartet had not recorded its namesake work.  But that's changed with the Cypress String Quartet's latest release on the Avie label, Dvorak: Cypresses & Op. 106. Aside from the Cypresses for String Quartet, which is a cycle of miniatures inspired by unrequited love, the CD also has a performance of Dvorak's expansive String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Opus 106.

Read more
Now Is the Time
6:07 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Christmas Daybreak

It's faith of all kinds in the midst of Christmas on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 28th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org. Daron Hagen uses choir and cello lovingly to explore traditional carols in new ways, with Once in Royal David's City and the Sussex Carol. Then, the sparkling Now Ensemble brings transformations to life in David Crowell's Waiting in the Rain for Snow.

Read more
Crossover
8:14 am
Sat December 21, 2013

It's a "Grassical" Christmas with the DePue Brothers Band!

You read the headline correctly. "Grassical." It's a combination of bluegrass and classical music, with elements of jazz, blues and rock included. The term was coined by the DePue Brothers, now performing as the DePue Brothers Band.  And they may call what they produce "grassical," but we call it serious fun!

Read more
The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
3:11 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

The Philadelphians and Handel's Messiah LIVE from Verizon Hall: Sunday, December 22 at 2 PM

Gregg Whiteside in the Verizon Hall broadcast booth

Not to be missed this Sunday at 2 pm is a special LIVE Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast of Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah. It will be the only performance of this beloved work this season by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The concert is sold out; but you can hear it right here on WRTI!

Read more
Now Is the Time
2:27 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Winter Solstice, Winter Solace

from Benjamin C. S. Boyle: Three Carols for Wintertide

We are on the cusp of winter on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 21st at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org. From the Philadelphia new-music choir The Crossing we hear Benjamin C. S. Boyle’s Three Carols for Wintertide, holding up for our consideration a rose, holly and ivy, and rosemary.

For Nothing is Fred Frith’s music considering the Buddha nature; it’s for contralto with the unusual string quartet of two violins, cello, and viola da gamba. Katherine Hoover paints the image of a Native American flutist in Winter Spirits, and Adrienne Albert offers the soft Winter Solace for saxophone and piano.

The start of a solstice reminds us of beginnings of all kinds, and the Symphony No. 1 of Steven R. Gerber makes a powerful statement with warmth and lyricism.

If you’re new to Now Is the Time, just click on the Listen: Classical button at the top of the page. Day or night, that brings you the all-classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you’ll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

Read more
Now Is the Time
5:56 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Mischievous, Menacing, and Minuetting Dances

from Daron Hagen: Bandanna

Mischievous, menacing, or minuetting, it's dancing on Now Is the Time, Saturday, December 7th at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

From her CD How She Danced comes Elena Ruehr's String Quartet No. 4. It includes, as do her other quartets, a dance—in this case, a minuet—among the four movements. There is always much going on beneath the surface of her music, but whether it's mathematics or literature, what we always hear is a focus on beautiful sound. Saxophone and clarinet comprise the sounding beauties of Perry Goldstein's Mischief. It pirouettes, dips, and delights on its way, and is over before we know it. We want to hear more.

Wanting more, desiring the other, and death are elements of opera; Daron Hagen brings them all together, to violent effect, in Bandanna, set on the U.S./Mexico border in the 1960s. Immigrants, law corrupted, and jealousy combine in this finely wrought yet roiling tragedy. We'll hear much of Act Two, where misunderstandings and machinations during a wedding dance propel the drama toward its conclusion.

Next week: Now Is the Time Show #200!

Read more
Crossover
7:25 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Serafin String Quartet on Crossover

Serafin String Quartet

This week on Crossover, our guests are the musicians who make up the Serafin String Quartet.  Renown worldwide for their excellent music making and lively and infectous performance, the quartet is in residence at the University of Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences. 

Read more
Crossover
8:12 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Pianist Helene Grimaud: Climbing Her "Mount Everest"

Pianist Helene Grimaud

It was around 2008 when virtuoso pianist Helene Grimaud thought about adding the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 to her repertoire. Seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, she calls her love of Brahms "intimate." So intimate that she performs almost every work he composed for piano, solo or otherwise.  And her relationship with his first piano concerto runs very deep.

Read more
Now Is the Time
12:54 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

A Kennedy Portrait

from Philip Lasser: Vocalise

It's an elegiac walk among portraits, surrounding the remembrance of JFK on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 23rd at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.

In Gallery for solo cello, Robert Muczynski takes us past paintings, similar to the how Mussorgsky does in Pictures at an Exhibition. A Kennedy Portrait for narrator and orchestra uses the words of President Kennedy and also some from the composer, William Kraft, in this work of exhilaration and hope.

From the CD Portraits & Elegies is Philip Lasser's Vocalise, poignant music for violin and piano. Returning to the single cello, Andrew Waggoner's Le Nom (Upperline) is a beautiful reminiscence of his hometown of New Orleans both before and after Hurricane Katrina. John Harbison walks us again through a gallery, but Six American Painters is more about the artists themselves—including Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer—rather than their work.

If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!

Read more

Pages