Yannick Nezet-Seguin often talks about how much his Philadelphia Orchestra performances change and improve from day to day. But in what way? The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns experienced three performances of a recent program – in person at the Kimmel Center on Thursday, on Friday listening to a live WQXR radio broadcast from Carnegie Hall, and finally on WRTI’s live Sunday afternoon concert broadcast.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced that next season will include more new works as well as lesser- performed gems from music history. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the orchestra’s music director is building on the success of - and audience response to - his first two seasons.
Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been known to conduct the St. Matthew Passion and La Traviata - on the same day. But he recently returned from a two-month work hiatus brought on by illness. Now, as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, Yannick is learning how to pace himself, but not from his predecessor at the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Yannick speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about the program.
Sunday, February 23rd at 2 pm, Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra LIVE from Verizon Hall on WRTI, in a program culminating in Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” originally intended as a grand and heroic tribute to Napoleon. Upon learning, however, that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor of all Europe, Beethoven scratched out the dedication with such vigor that he tore through the paper. This is music that succeeds in creating a new architecture for the symphonic form, and it supplied ignition for the Romantic style in music.
Also on the program, Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, which opens with a haunting rhythm clearly quoting the funeral march of Beethoven’s “Eroica.” The intensity and pathos is that of a mature composer, nearing the end of his career, who has witnessed the World War II destruction of Europe, and stands in stark contrast to compositions of the younger Strauss we've heard in earlier broadcasts this season.
Filling out the program is Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, written for the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and given its U.S. premiere (and first recording) by him with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in 1959. Our soloist is German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, a young virtuoso, who is graciously filling in for cellist Truls Mork. Mork has withdrawn from his appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra on February 20 - 23 because of a skiing accident. (He is expected to make a full recovery!) Moser will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the season, was written following the death of Stalin, and marks a return to greater creative freedom for Shostakovich.
Here's Johannes Moser performing in 2011. During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis will speak with the young cellist, who made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Philadelphians on Friday night.
The great Renée Flemingreturns to one of her signature roles, singing the enchanting “Song to the Moon” in Dvorák’s soulful fairy-tale opera. Tenor Piotr Beczala co-stars as the Prince, Dolora Zajick is Ježibaba, and our very own Philadelphia Orchestra maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin is on the podium. Saturday, February 8, 1 to 5 pm on WRTI.
Singing at The Metropolitan Opera rarely means just returning to "business as usual." But - for soprano Renee Fleming, the worldwide audience for the February 8th Met Opera radio broadcast and HD simulcast in which she stars will be small change compared to the millions who watched her recent pre-Super Bowl performance.
Listen today at 90.1 FM, or online here, as we celebrate our very own Fabulous Philadelphians with 12 hours of their finest performances conducted by Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, as well as legacy recordings of legendary conductors including Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Eugene Ormandy. Some of your favorite orchestra musicians will say hello!
The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.
Listen to more of Susan’s interview with Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin during Intermission on Sunday, November 10th, when WRTI broadcasts the Orchestra's first subscription concert of the season at 1 pm, featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Gregg Whiteside is host and producer.
This Sunday at 1 pm on The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert 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.