If the classical recording market is supposedly global, why is a major Yannick Nezet-Seguin recording available seemingly everywhere but here? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns sent away to Japan for the conductor’s new Rotterdam Philharmonic recording - and wonders why.
Join us Sunday at 1 pm (one hour earlier than usual) as Garrick Ohlsson plays Brahms, and Yannick returns to the podium to conduct a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and two lush orchestral works by Richard Strauss - Death and Transfiguration, and a suite from his opera, Der Rosenkavalier!
You're in a for a treat this Sunday, April 28th at 2 pm! That's when our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert Broadcast will feature a first for the ensemble: It's the first time in the Orchestra's distinguished history that they performed the complete, uncut St. Matthew Passion, in two parts, with five soloists, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and American Boychoir, all under the direction of Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
This exciting, historical first was performed at the end of March, during the Easter period.
Soprano Diana Damrau tackles Verdi’s eternal heroine for the first time anywhere in Willy Decker’s inspiring production. Plácido Domingo expands his repertoire to sing the baritone role of Germont, Violetta’s tormentor. Tenor Saimir Pirgu sings Alfredo, her naïve lover. Our very own Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts! Saturday, March 30, *12:30 to 3:15 pm. (*Note early start time.)
It was an unforgettable performance! Re-live it on Sunday, March 31st, 2 to 4 pm as then Music Director-Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin took the podium in March, 2011 to conduct The Philadelphia Orchestra, Westminster Symphonic Choir, and soloists Dorothea Roeschmann and Matthias Goerne in a critically acclaimed performance of Johannes Brahms's humanistic and glorious Ein Deutsches Requiem, A German Requiem - a symphonic as well as a choral masterpiece.
This week's broadcast, on Sunday, March 24, 2 to 4 pm, takes us back to November, 2011, when then-Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin was appearing with greater frequency in Philadelphia, winning over the hearts of the Orchestra as well as Verizon Hall audiences.
One of the most memorable of these early concerts was the Italian-themed program scheduled for rebroadcast this Sunday - Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, followed by the ever-popular fourth symphony of Mendelssohn, and - following Intermission - Verdi's overture to his opera La Forza del Destino, one of his finest overtures, and Respighi's exciting orchestral showpiece The Pines of Rome, a long-time favorite of Philadelphia audiences.
Susan Lewis talks with Philadelphia Orchestra Organist Michael Stairs about how the Kimmel Center organ has changed the sound of his part in The Pines of Rome.
Intermission Features: As part of Women's History Month, Meridee Duddleston will take a closer look at The Philadelphia Orchestra's first female player, harpist Edna Phillips, the first woman to be appointed a principal player of any American orchestra. And afterward, Susan Lewis will speak with today's principal harpist, Elizabeth Hainen - one of the world's great ambassadors for the instrument.
**Audio for Intermission features will be added to this post on Monday morning.
The performances that you'll hear in this broadcast were widely admired, receiving high praise from critics and concert-goers alike. So don't miss this opportunity to re-live them, this Sunday, March 24th, from 2 to 4 pm.
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.
Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives — strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot.