What became known as the "Resurrection" Symphony is one of the longest, most ambitious, and profoundly moving orchestral works ever composed; its unusual impact and philosophical import have been recognized ever since Mahler conducted the premiere in Berlin in 1895.
The Second Symphony seems to have held a special place for Mahler as well, since he chose it as the first of his symphonies that he conducted in Vienna, and also as his farewell there in 1907.
Richard Eyre's season-opening new production of Mozart's eternal masterpiece is set in an 18th-century manor house in Seville during the 1930s. Erwin Schrott in the title role leads a stellar cast that also includes Mariusz Kwiecien as the Count and Danielle de Niese as Susanna, along with Met debutantes Rachel Willis-Sørensen as the Countess and Serena Malfi as Cherubino. Edo de Waart conducts. Saturday, December 20th from 1 to 4:45 pm.
WRTI invites you to experience The Crossing chamber choir’s 2014 Christmas concert, The Crossing @ Christmas, recorded live on December 19th at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill.
This annual performance is known for creating an aura of tranquility, and has become a holiday tradition for many vocal music lovers throughout our region. You can hear this year’s concert on WRTI - on the radio or online - Thursday, December 25, 2 to 4 pm.
On Monday, December 15th, WRTI will begin to drizzle a bit of the holidays into our regular smorgasbord of jazz delights. There are exciting, new festive winter releases from the likes of Irvin Mayfield and the Jazz Playhouse Review, David Ian, and the top-notch performers from Mack Avenue Records.
You'll also hear the Yuletide classics you expect from WRTI - selections from Stan Kenton, Jimmy Smith and Ella Fitzgerald - all mixed in with regular jazz programming. Join as us we set the mood for holiday tables and fireplace gatherings.
Dashing through the snow, to your radio you shall go! WRTI brings you the holidays in all their sonic glory. Here are highlights from our classical schedulefor Monday, December 15th through Thursday, January 1st, 2015. WRTI celebrates the season with a carefully chosen selection of holiday favorites. Highlights include: Wednesday, December 24th - The Nutcracker in its entirety. On Christmas Day, we bring you the Messiah, New York Philharmonic with NY Choral Artists and soloists.
It's a special holiday broadcast with Symphony in C on Sunday, December 14 at 3 pm. You'll hear Vivaldi’s exuberant Gloria celebrating the season in Baroque style. Exciting arrangements of holiday favorites will round out the program. Joining Symphony in C is the New Jersey MasterChorale and soloists, under the direction of Wayne Richmond. Rossen Milanov conducts.
James Levine returns to Wagner with a signature run of the epic comedy, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, back at the Met for the first time in eight years. Michael Volle is in the central role of Hans Sachs. Johan Botha reprises his indomitable Walther, and the elegant Annette Dasch is Eva. Saturday, December 13, 12 noon to 6 pm (***Note early start time and later end time.)
Guest Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, a familiar presence on the podium here in Philadelphia, returned for a visit to Verizon Hall in late October, for a concert we hear broadcast on Sunday that continues three programming themes heard throughout this season: the 40/40 Project, the presentation of pieces that have not been performed on subscriptions concerts in at least the past 40 years, or ever; a month-long celebration of the “Art of the Pipe Organ,” featuring Verizon Hall’s majestic Fred J.
On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, December 6th, 5 to 6 pm. Does the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music have vocal works? It does now, although it didn’t originally. The Symphony Club had no singers, so it didn’t require vocal or choral music. But as its library expanded, became a part of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and began circulating to orchestras, the need to look beyond purely instrumental works increased. Requests came in for Handel’s Messiah, the Brahms German Requiem, a Schubert or Mozart Mass, opera arias here and there, and so by the late 1970s the Collection started purchasing some of the great voice with orchestra literature.
We'll wrap up our three-program excursion into the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with two of his works for voices. Last month we looked at concertos using harpsichords, which first saw the light of day in the 1730s at Zimmermann’s Coffee House in Leipzig, but the work most associated with that place, of course, is the Coffee Cantata. Bach wrote no operas, but this secular cantata is, in effect, a mini-opera.
“Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” are the first words sung by the father Schlendrian to his daughter, and are a great beginning to any concert, as they mean, “Be quiet and stop yakking!” (more or less). Schlendrian, literally, “stick in the mud,” wishes to get his daughter out of the newly fashionable but addicting activity of coffee-drinking. She will not yield until he offers to get her—if she quits—a husband. She agrees, but lets us know that she’ll only marry a man who lets her drink coffee. And that’s the story, the libretto by a frequent collaborator of Bach’s, Christian Friedrich Henrici who wrote under the name “Picander.”
In 1716, Bach, at Weimar, composed the original version of Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, “Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life,” a cantata for one of the weeks leading up to Christmas. When Bach moved to Leipzig to become Kantor, or music director, of the prestigious St. Thomas Church, he started to compose cantatas for each week of the church year. He needed one for a July Sunday, the Visitation of the expectant mother Mary to her cousin Elizabeth (soon to be the mother of John the Baptist), and remembered his old Weimar cantata.
It was a studied choice. Because of differences in the observance of Advent between Weimar and Leipzig, the old cantata wasn’t useable for him anymore, so instead of letting it sit in a desk drawer, he took it out and revised it. About half of it worked perfectly—it was already Marian in nature—but he added more sections. The last movement of it, however, will be recognizable to anyone who has ever heard Bach.
Alon Goldstein performs Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, arranged for piano by Dame Myra Hess:
“Jesus bleibet meine Freude” means “Jesus remains my joy,” but we hear this music at weddings, at Christmas, at Easter, and all through the year in every kind of arrangement, as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (the words by English poet Robert Bridges, 1844–1930). The chorale melody, unadorned by Bach’s bubbling triplets, is by Johann Schop (c.1590–1667), reminding us that there really is no such thing as a “Bach chorale tune.” He excelled in these chorale movements at taking old Lutheran hymn melodies and, in settings of exquisite craftmanship, creating new works of genius. Vocal works with orchestra indeed have a place in the Fleisher Collection.