Johannes Brahms finally overcame his writer’s block when it came to writing a symphony at the age of 43. The shadow of Beethoven loomed so ominously that the composer took decades to complete his Symphony No.1. This triumphal work has rightfully found its place among the masterpieces of the 19th-century repertoire.
Classical serenades by chamber ensembles were often light, outdoor entertainment in late 18th-century Vienna. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this week’s WRTI concert broadcast of the Philadelphia Orchestra features one of the more ambitious creations in the genre.
Don Juan, one of fiction's most infamous scoundrels, returns to the opera stage in Philadelphia next week. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, Opera Philadelphia's latest production is also a showcase for singers who learned their craft in the city.
Two young soldiers disguise their identities to test their lovers' fidelity in this Mozart masterpiece, a sublime and sometimes startling mix of hilarious farce and poignant drama first performed in 1790.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Ave verum corpus, performed by the Kosice Teachers’ Choir and Camerata Cassovia, conducted by Johannes Wildner, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.
Mozart wrote this for a church musician friend of his, for the Feast of Corpus Christi. “Hail, true Body” is sung at the central moment of the Catholic liturgy, but is here so simple, so self-effacing, that it almost sneaks by. The melody is nearly too sweet, the harmonies stay put, the bass line doesn’t travel much, the voices move together. But at “May it be for us a foretaste in the trial of death,” Mozart holds back the tenors and basses—just for a space.
When they enter, oh so quietly, repeating the women’s “may it be,” Mozart’s genius detonates the mysterious celebration of the power of suffering. He wrote this in June, 1791. In December he would be dead. Ave verum corpus may be the most stunningly compact explosion of music ever composed.
Listeners may not think about the visuals in an orchestra concert, but body language is an important way in which musicians communicate with one another. From his chair, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim leads Mozart’s Serenade in G Major: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik the way it would have been done in Mozart’s time, without a conductor, on January 10th, 11th, and 12th in concerts at the Kimmel Center.
The life of the popular composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has engendered conjecture and controversy. WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at the musical rivalry between Mozart and composer Antonio Salieri, suggested in Walnut Street Theatre's production of AMADEUS.
A conversation with Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia music director Ignat Solzhenitsyn. He conducts a program featuring two of the most significant works in the symphonic repertoire this Sunday and Monday. Susan Lewis explores the power and myths of Mozart -- his ever popular 18th century music is claimed by some to do everything from alleviating learning disorders to better ripen grapes. Jason Peifer previews the American premiere of Novecento at the Lantern Theater Company.