Music Features

Now Is the Time
10:08 am
Fri March 21, 2014

First Leaves of Spring

from Brian Dykstra: Spring Beauties

It is spring, finally, we hope, we really do, on Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 22nd at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. It engenders all sorts of good thoughts as we consider Circling Permutations, a flute and double bass improvisation by Robert Ackerman, and a concert rag for piano, Spring Beauties, by Brian Dykstra. Always elegant, the music of Paul Chihara seems appropriate for our turn to the warmth; we’ll hear his String Trio.

Avner Dorman brings along his Azerbaijani Dance for piano, and if you feel like a play on words, David Gunn’s always good for that, so a Missing Inn March could fit the bill this month. New music for old instruments symbolize a change of seasons; Will Ayton’s Songs of the British Isles is for the consort of viols, Parthenia. And in a similar vein, Dick Hensold breaks out his Northumbrian pipes for First Leaves of Spring.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert
11:08 am
Fri March 14, 2014

The Russians Are Coming! The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: March 16 at 1 PM

Listen to Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev's debut concert with the Philadelphians this Sunday, March 16 at 1 pm.

This Sunday at 1 pm it's the third and final week of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s January Tchaikovsky Celebration on WRTI. The young Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev will be on the podium for his Philadelphia Orchestra debut, leading the Philadelphians in works by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky-Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov.

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Now Is the Time
12:17 am
Fri March 14, 2014

The Ides of March

from ensemble, et al.: No Matter How Fast You Run Today, you will Never Catch up to Tomorrow

Julius Caesar had better watch his back on Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 15th at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. Brutus doesn't show up, but look out for the Silver Dagger of Stacy Garrop, an Appalachian somebody-done-somebody-wrong song. Eric Moe channels comic-book philosophy of "they said it couldn't be done" in Dead Elf Tugboat, and Andy Teirstein throws a bright light on fate with the narrated drama The Shooting of Dan McGrew.

Michael Daugherty's Dead Elvis romps through one corner of pop culture, and Dan Visconti's Lawless Airs through another, with a violin accompanied by a harp sounding like a broken guitar played by a cowboy. The percussion quartet ensemble, et al. cautions with No Matter How Fast You Run Today, you will Never Catch up to Tomorrow, Joshua Rosenblum offers a tonic to the Ides with Forward March, and Mark Zuckerman clears the air of fate with the canon, Grant Us Peace.

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Crossover
9:15 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Philly's On Fire With Flamenco...Again!

The biennial Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, the second so far, continues through March 16th. Check it out here! But be prepared. Flamenco has a tendency to change your life in a heartbeat.

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Now Is the Time
11:27 am
Fri March 7, 2014

A Suite of Etudes

from Marc Mellits: Etude No. 2: Defensive Chili

We study etudes, "studies," on Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 8th at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. No idea what Defensive Chili means, but this second etude for piano by Marc Mellits really sets the table. John McDonald comes in with two pieces for violin and piano, the poetic studies he calls Lily Events, and Lyrical Study.

Tomas Svoboda plays his own powerful music for piano, the Nine Etudes in Fugue Style, Vol. 2, and then we include an etude for an instrument not nearly as ubiquitous, the bassoon. John Steinmetz's Etude No. 5 is a lovely fantasy on the cowboy lament "Streets of Laredo," how about that?

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Now Is the Time
1:24 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

String Circle

from Daniel Bernard Roumain: Ghetto Strings

All kinds of strings are circling on Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 1st at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet starts off with Daniel Bernard Roumain's homage to places he's lived and loved. Ghetto Strings visits Harlem, Liberty City in South Florida, the Motor City, and the land of his parents, Haiti. Ethel is the string quartet playing String Circle 1 by Kenji Bunch, who, since he's also an accomplished violist, knows his way around strings.

But we go to Phillip Rhodes for a solo viola dance suite, and inspired by Bach. It's the Partita, from 1977. Full circle is how we'll finish the show, with guitars, but this time two of them, the wonderful Anderson-Fader Duo. From their CD Le Cirque is Fantasy on 12 Strings by Martin Rokeach.

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Crossover
8:47 am
Sat February 22, 2014

The Hidden Composer: Jose Serebrier

Composer and conductor Jose Serebrier

It's funny. Just when you think you know someone inside out and upside-down, you're hit with the realization that you really only know half the story. That's Jose Serebrier. The 76-year-old, Uruguayan-born Serebrier is one of the best-known and most-frequently recorded conductors of his generation. But, did you know he is also quite a prolific and accomplished composer? He is. So much so that he considers himself not a conductor who also composes, but a composer who also conducts.

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Now Is the Time
10:10 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Extended Family

from Neil Rolnick: Extended Family

We're all family on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 22nd at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. Excerpts from the third film in the Philip Glass "Qatsi" trilogy begin the show. Naqoyqatsi from 2002 included much digital imagery, so Glass decided to balance that with a completely acoustic musical underlay. Prominently featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Naqoyqatsi explores our relationships to each other and the world.

The Gene Pool, Siblings, Cousins and Uncles and Aunts, Loss, and The Gathering are the five movements comprising Extended Family by Neil Rolnick. Moving away from family, family moving back, grandchildren, neighbors, neighbors' children, more family, life and death are all springboards for this string quartet put together with the humor, panache, and skill Rolnick brings to all his music. The string quartet Ethel plays.

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Crossover
8:10 am
Sat February 15, 2014

High-Level Singing: French Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky

Most professional singers of any success sing at a high-level of performance. The voice of a countertenor demands even higher levels of performance, if only because his register is so high.  

Then there's Philippe Jaroussky. The highs he hits are a triple-play: an angelic castrato-like voice, a high-level of performance, and quite a few awards to complement the package.

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Now Is the Time
3:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Valentines

from Augusta Read Thomas: Love Twitters

We hope it's not too late for Valentines on Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 15th at 9 pm Eastern on the all-classical stream at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. We start with soprano and guitar, and with an orphan's dream of an angel in Romance by William Ortiz. Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful" is the inspiration behind Love Twitters by Augusta Read Thomas, for piano, but Morten Lauridsen asks, "Against whom have you formed these thorns?" in Contre qui, rose. A lover asks for a handkerchief (she'll return it when no one's looking), in a four-hand piano setting of the Italian folk song Amor dammi quel fazzolettino by Andrew Violette.

David Bennett Thomas works with some of the greatest love poetry in his Juliet: Five Songs from Shakespeare, and we hear Eric Whitacre's first published choral work, Go, lovely Rose. Finally, Allen Shawn sends us into the evening with a last-minute Valentine's Day present for his wife, titled simply, Valentine.

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