WRTI Spotlight

Crossover
5:08 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Can Chinese Classical Pianist Di Wu Play Jazz With The Pros? You Bet!

Pianist Di Wu

The more you look and listen, the more you realize that classical music and jazz tend not to stay in separate lanes.  Sometimes they won't even use turn signals.  A good example is "With A Gentle Touch," from the CD, Classic Encounter by the Ramsey Lewis Trio with the Philharmonia Orchestra under James Mack. Warning: this is a habit-forming tune, as is the whole CD.  

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Happy Easter!
12:00 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Bach's St. John Passion for Good Friday on WRTI

Valentin Radu conducts the Philadelphia-based Ama Deus Ensemble with soloists in this performance of The Passion According to St. John.

Join WRTI on Good Friday at noon, for a complete performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. John Passion, a work written for Good Friday Vespers service of 1724 in Leipzig. This performance was recorded in concert on Good Friday in 2013 in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center.

Valentin Radu conducts his Ama Deus Ensemble and features soprano Megan Monaghan, alto Jody Kidwell, tenor Kenneth Garner, and bass-baritone Kevin Deas, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir. This performance is sung in English.

The Fabulous Philadelphians on WRTI
1:08 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI: Music from Russian Dance! April 13, 1 PM

French conductor Stephane Deneve

Guest conductor Stephane Deneve leads the Philadelphians in a program from last month at Verizon Hall, dedicated to Russian dance music.

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Live Broadcast From the Philadelphia Museum of Art
12:13 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Warm Up for the Center City Jazz Festival at Art After 5!

Trombonist Ernest Stuart is founder of the Center City Jazz Festival

Join WRTI’s Jeff Duperon this Friday, April 11th at 6 pm as he broadcasts live from Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On the radio, you'll hear the great jazz you expect from WRTI, along with insight and commentary about the third annual Center City Jazz Festival, which is coming up on April 19th. Trombonist Ernest Stuart, founder of the Festival, will speak with Jeff about all the details.

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Jazz Hot 11 Countdown
11:55 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Jazz Hot 11 Countdown: April 7, 2014

WRTI's Jazz Hot 11 is a weekly countdown of your favorite new jazz releases in rotation.  
This week's Hot 11:  
1. The U.S. Army Blues - Stardust - LIVE AT BLUES ALLEY   

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Wanamker Organ Hour
1:50 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Peter Richard Conte Performs! Wanamaker Organ Hour on WRTI, April 13, 5 PM

Peter Richard Conte

Join Jill Pasternak and Wanamaker Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte for our monthly program, recorded at Macy's Center City, on the world-famous Wanamaker Organ. Sunday, April 13, 5 to 6 pm.

PROGRAM:

Grand Choeur Dialogue, Eugene Gigout

Fountain Reverie, Percy Fletcher

Sunflower Slow Drag, Scott Joplin/transcribed by Peter Richard Conte

"Regina Coeli" from Cavalleria Rusticana, Pietro Mascagni/transcribed by Peter Richard Conte

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
4:33 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Shakespeare's 450th

Poster for the 1964 film Hamlet, music by Dmitri Shostakovich

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, 5 to 6 pm, we celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, who lived from 1564 to 1616, and well-apparell’d April (Romeo and Juliet, act 1, scene 2) being the very month he was born, approves our dip into Fleisher’s Shakespeare list once more.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is celebrating the Bard’s birth (find all the events here)—our whole city is much bound to him (Romeo and Juliet, 4, 2)—so we’re happy to join in the great coil (Much Ado About Nothing, 3, 3) with more of the many Fleisher works inspired by Shakespeare. To discover all such titles in the Fleisher Collection, only send an email to fleisher@freelibrary.org, and the list will fly swiftly to you with swallow’s wings (Richard III, 5, 2).

One year, 1861, saw the completion of two of the works on the program today. One is the Overture to King Lear by the Russian Mily Balakirev. That a composer known for energizing the Russian nationalist school of music would write a work connected with an English playwright is interesting. But Balakirev’s horizons were broader than the mere use of folksong.
 

Tellingly, he also supported the career of Tchaikovsky (when other Russian nationalists were grumbling about the European—meaning non-Russian, meaning German—sound of his music). Tchaikovsky, of course, loved Shakespeare. Balakirev’s early Overture to King Lear shows that the composer, although largely self-taught, knew the “European” orchestral style well. Even though he finished the work in 1861, he revised it 40 years later, after a long withdrawal from the music world.

It could hardly be more appropriate than to have music about the Danish Hamlet by the Danish Niels Gade, the most important musician in his country at the time. Nationalism was also in the air in Denmark, and early in his life Gade studied Danish folk traditions. But he went to Germany, taught and conducted there, and when he came back to Copenhagen his style was more international: this, in 1861, is the sound of Gade’s Hamlet.

Carried with more speed before the wind (The Comedy of Errors, 1, 1), we fly a century later to music from the 1964 film Hamlet by another Russian, Dmitri Shostakovich. He wrote prodigiously for the concert stage, but went back to film music often during his career. One reason for this was his on-again, off-again relationship with the Soviet regime. Many of his artist colleagues were imprisoned because of putative sins against the government, some were killed, and for most of his life Shostakovich was haunted by the fear of the knock on the door in the middle of the night.

But film music was an approved outlet. Shostakovich’s sometimes-violent voice seems tamer on film, but hearing the music removed from the visual is a bright reminder of his genius. That Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, could release this for us, approves celebration of this day with shows (King Henry VIII, 4,1).

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Opera on WRTI
4:20 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

The Met Opera on WRTI: Puccini's LA BOHEME! April 5, 1 PM

Tenor Vittorio Grigolo sings Rodolfo

Giacomo Puccini’s moving story of young love is the most-performed opera in Met history—and with good reason. Anita Hartig stars as the frail Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with Vittorio Grigolo in the role of her passionate lover, Rodolfo. Saturday, April 5, 1 to 4 pm.

 Synopsis

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Big Band Jazz with Bob Craig
4:18 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A (Gerry) Mulligan Stew on WRTI

The Big Band side of the influential baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan will be featured on Big Band Jazz this Sunday, April 13 at 7 pm. An arranger with Gene Krupa, Elliot Lawrence, and Stan Kenton in the '40s and '50s, to his own Concert Jazz Band in the '60s, it's an 87th birthday tribute to the one-time Philly resident.

The Fabulous Philadelphians on WRTI
11:34 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert on WRTI: All Rachmaninoff! April 6, 1 PM

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Join us for an all-Rachmaninoff program this Sunday at 1 pm, on the radio at 90.1 FM and around the world at wrti.org. The Philadelphians perform Rachmaninoff’s choral-symphonic setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem, The Bells, which received its U.S. premiere here in Philadelphia in 1920 with Leopold Stokowski conducting.

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