One of the most loved and exciting works in the orchestral repertoire is The Planetsby Gustav Holst. But, as WRTI’s Kile Smith reports, the way we hear it now is not the form in which audiences first heard it.
For such an immediately successful work, and for one that is central to the orchestral repertoire, The Planets by Gustav Holst took a long time to get off the ground.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is hardly settling into a routine in its fourth season with Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Plans for 2015-2016 announced this week have the conductor going well beyond typical classical subscription concerts, plus engineering guest appearances that are bound to make national news. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns reports.
While printed programs at classical music concerts are commonplace, The Philadelphia Orchestra continues to explore the use of mobile technology developed by Drexel University to inform the listening experience during the performance. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the LiveNote App will be used in three upcoming concerts.
This Sunday at 1 pm, from a Philadelphia Orchestra concert this past May at Verizon Hall, Yannick is on the podium to conduct Barber’s Adagio for Strings, an ethereal meditation that has emerged as an iconic piece of 20th-century American music; Bartok’s First Violin Concerto, played by Lisa Batiashvili, one of the world’s most sought-after violinists; and the concert will conclude with that imposing orchestral cathedral of sound known as Bruckner’s Symphony No.
Johannes Moser speaks with WRTI's Susan Lewis during intermission.
Yannick speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about the program.
Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall 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 will perform this fiendish concerto, which, like the 10th and 11th symphonies heard elsewhere in the 2013/2014 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.
Both Sergei Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss had long and fruitful relationships with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Rachmaninoff’s began in 1909 with his first appearance in this country at the Academy of Music. He would go on to write pieces specifically for the Orchestra, and collaborated in landmark recordings, including his Piano Concerto No. 3 that opens this Sunday's broadcast, from a concert in November, 2013.
On this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts works by Britten and Strauss, along with Mahler's Symphony No. 4. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the German soprano in the Mahler work is singing a piece that is revered in her homeland.
Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey is an epicenter for excellence in choral music. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, one of Westminster’s choirs can be heard on WRTI on Sunday, July 13 at 1 pm, conducted by a now very well-known alum of the school.
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.