This Sunday on WRTI, Carl Orff's iconic Carmina burana headlines a program that also features The Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Trumpet David Bilger in a performance of Hummel's beloved Trumpet Concerto, as well as Haydn's rarely performed Symphony No. 1. Sunday, March 17, 2 to 4 pm.
Guest Conductor Rafael Fruehbeck de Bourgos, who knew Carl Orff and gave the first performance of Carmina burana in Spain, will direct The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Singers, the American Boychoir, and soloists in this authoritative performance from February at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall.
Orff's raucous retelling of 24 medieval poems praises springtime, love, lust, and fortune. It requires a huge orchestra and a chorus singing a mix of old languages. The riveting choral refrains of "O Fortuna" open and close Carmina burana. While many sections of this iconic work have been re-used in movies and commercials, nothing equals the power when you hear this live, in its entirety.
PROGRAM: HAYDN: Symphony No. 1 in D major I. Presto II. Andante III. Finale: Presto
HUMMEL: Trumpet Concerto in E major I. Allegro con spirito II. Andante III. Rondo
Intermission, featuring a conversation with Maestro Fruehbeck
ORFF: Carmina burana Erin Morley: Soprano Nicholas Phan: Tenor Hugh Russell: Baritone The Philadelphia Singers Chorale David Hayes, Music Director The American Boychoir Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Music Director
While there are many concertos for string instruments, fewer works exist for woodwinds, brass or percussion. Yet, as Susan Lewis reports, a previously under-performed work for trumpet from the early 19th century became part of the standard repertoire in the second half of the 20th.
A new biography reveals what it was like to be the first woman to enter the all-male sanctum of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston discovered the powerful combination of talent and fear.
On September 14, 1930, the headline of the Philadelphia Public Ledger read: "Solo Harpist to Be First Girl in Philadelphia Orchestra." A young Edna Phillips entered the single-sex fortress of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930 - a year after pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff called it "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard." She’d played the harp for only five years when she was hired as the first female member and principal harpist. Her "musicalité" may have been obvious to the pioneering Leopold Stokowski, but was she ready? What was it like to be the only woman among men at a time when gender equality and workplace mores were far different from what they are today?
Author Mary Sue Welsh worked with the observant, warm, and funny Phillips on her story during Phillips’ lifetime, completing it after the first harpist’s death in 2003. True to Phillips’ desire, it’s as much about the challenges and triumphs of her own life, as about how the Orchestra grew and responded to its conductors - particularly Leopold Stokowski.
This Sunday on WRTI, listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in a recorded program of music spanning 200 years, as the eminent Spanish conductor Rafael Fruehbeck de Borgos conducts a Stokowski Bach transcription, Philadelphia favorite André Watts performs Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, and Liszt’s Les Preludes gets its first performance by the Philadelphians in 16 years!
We’ll also hear Paul Hindemith’s festive and pleasant Concert Music For Strings and Brass from a concert in early February.
Join host Gregg Whiteside on Sunday, March 10, from*1 to 3 pm for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert, from The Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall – *one hour earlier than usual – on WRTI 90.1 FM and the All-Classical stream at wrti.org.
On The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert - a new weekly radio series on WRTI - Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin takes to the podium to conduct a symphony by one of the composers who is closest to him. WRTI’s Jim Cotter has more.
His name is Yannick Nezet-Seguin, but in a New York Times profile recently, he was nicknamed "Mighty Mouse" by the opera star Joyce DiDonato.
After all, he's been saving the day for the recently distressed Philadelphia Orchestra. And, as The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports, he hopes to continue to do so in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin would seem to be taking The Philadelphia Orchestra back to 1930. That was the year the late Leopold Stokowski, heard here with the Depression-era Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring when it was first danced in the United States. But there’s nothing retrogressive in what New York’s cutting-edge Ridge Theater is cooking up for this week’s Rite with the Orchestra. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns is still guessing what it will look like.
The least-used spaces in Verizon Hall are….up in the air.
STEARNS: There’s much height to it. There are projection surfaces above the orchestra. Why not make that a playing space for the choreography as well?
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Vice President of Artistic Planning Jeremy Rothman is referring to the use of an aerialist. For that, he’s commandeering the hall for an entire week to set up the proper rigging. The production's winter-to-spring depiction will also have video projections on multiple screens and scrims, plus dancers. Though, not that many, says Nezet-Seguin.
NEZET-SEGUIN: There’s a few dancers but it’s not danced the whole thing, which was important for me.
Time and again, the conductor emphasizes that his orchestra is not going to get lost in a lot of theatrical bells and whistles. The huge Ridge Theater apparatus is there to serve the Orchestra. The conductor, not the dancers, will dictate tempos, says Rothman.
ROTHMAN: Yannick is somewhat uncompromising about what he wants to present musically.
The Rite of Spring has been widely and wildly interpreted over the years, from tribal Russian dancers of the Joffrey Ballet to Paul Taylor’s film-noir version with gangsters. Just how far afield will this one go? Is the ballet still about human sacrifice?
ROTHMAN: There is a sacrifice…the idea was to get back to the spirit of it…but rather than the …is to take the same spirit and update it with more modern means. But there’s still a sacrifice.
We're happy to announce that this Sunday, February 24th, from 2 to 4 pm, marks the premiere of The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert weekly radio series on WRTI. Join us to hear our Fabulous Philadelphians in a live concert recording from October, 2012, featuring Bernstein’s Serenade, Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Concertino Cusqueno. Violinist Joshua Bell is soloist. Gregg Whiteside is producer and host.
Gabriela Lena Frank speaks with WRTI's Gregg Whiteside about her inspiration for composing Concertino Cusqueno, and how she felt when she first heard the piece performed.
“I am so proud that The Philadelphia Orchestra is returning to the radio as part of my first season as music director,” says Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “It is important for us to go beyond the concert hall with our music - to connect with our audiences on the radio and online, here in Philadelphia and now also far beyond. This is just one of many ways we will open new windows into our music to welcome new listeners into our Philadelphia Orchestra family.”
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a long and venerable history of radio broadcasts, as the first orchestra with its own commercially sponsored national radio series, beginning in 1929 on NBC. The Orchestra is also widely known for its innovative use of technology aimed at bringing the concert-hall experience to listeners everywhere.
“We are delighted - in this our 60th anniversary year - to bring concert broadcasts of The Philadelphia Orchestra to listeners in our region and throughout the world,” says WRTI General Manager Dave Conant. “It is part of our mission, as a public radio station, to share this music with the community and also deepen the connection we all have with the Orchestra.”
Broadcasts can be heard weekly on Sundays from 2 to 4 pm beginning on February 24th in Philadelphia (90.1 FM); Reading (97.7 FM); Allentown (97.1 FM); Wilmington (107.7 FM); Harrisburg (91.7 FM); York (90.7 FM); Lancaster, Ephrata, and Lebanon (90.7 FM); Mt. Pocono (91.1 FM); Wilkes-Barre (94.9 FM); Pottsville (99.1 FM); Scranton (106.1 FM); Ocean City (91.3 FM); and Coatesville (89.3 FM). Each broadcast will also be available on WRTI's classical web stream at wrti.org
February 24th Broadcast Program:
Gabriela Lena Frank - Concertino Cusqueño (world premiere) Bernstein - Serenade (after Plato's Symposium) INTERMISSION Brahms - Symphony No. 4
Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor Joshua Bell - Violin
Violinist Joshua Bell performs Bernstein's lyrical Serenade, inspired by the great Greek philosophers and their testimonies on love and romance. The second half of the program features the Fourth Symphony of Brahms, long a favorite of Philadelphia audiences, known for its expressive melodies and rich harmonies. To open the program, Gabriela Lena Frank composes a celebratory new work--commissioned for the inaugural concerts of the Orchestra's new music director. Her music often reflects her diverse heritage from Peru, China, and Lithuania.
We're happy to announce our new Philadelphia Orchestra Broadcast Series - one example of what your support provides. You've probably heard recordings of the "Fabulous Philadelphians" on WRTI, and know what a tremendous orchestra we have here in Philadelphia. And if you've been lucky enough to hear them live, there can be no doubt that you know that we're blessed with one of the finest orchestras in the world. We believe that all our listeners should have the opportunity to experience Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the Fabulous Philadelphians firsthand.
What a treat! Tune in today to hear a performance described as "phenomenal" by The New York Times. It's a re-broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra's recent concert at Carnegie Hall, recorded live on Jan. 17th. Today from 2 to 5 pm.