This week and next, WRTI's Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts explore the interactions between two bold visionaries who made incalculable contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia between the two world wars: Leopold Stokowski and Dr. Albert C. Barnes.
The concerts incorporate brief theatrical scenes by the playwright, lyricist, and director Didi Balle, who has received 12 commissions from American orchestras to create, write, and direct new symphonic plays.
This week's concert broadcast features Part I of Balle's symphonic play about Barnes and Stokowski, with actors David Bardeen, playing the role of Albert Barnes, and Nicholas Carriere as Leopold Stokowski. They dramatize the interactions of Barnes and Stokowski, with a script written by Ms. Balle, based in part on candid letters between the two cultural titans.
Both Barnes and Stokowski were deeply attracted to the transformative vocal music of the great Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Palestrina, and his sacred choral work Adoramus te will be featured in the Stokowski transcription for orchestra in this first week.
Also on the program are Stokowski’s orchestration of Claude Debussy's piano prelude, "The Sunken Cathedral," Ernest Chausson’s elegant Poème, with soloist David Kim, and La Mer, one of Claude Debussy’s musical innovations that became closely associated with the Impressionist movement.
Certainly, along the way, we can expect some surprises!
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, Stéphane Denève is on the podium.
During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis and Debra Lew Harder are backstage for conversation with David Kim, Maestro Denève, and playwright Didi Balle.
Join us for an engaging two hours of music and theater, as we begin the story, Sunday, Nov. 25th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming at wrti.org. Listen again on WRTI HD-2 on Monday, Nov. 26th at 7 PM.
Palestrina; Stokowski orchestration – Adoramus Te
Chausson; Poeme, Op.25, David Kim, violin
Debussy; Stokowski orchestration – The Sunken Cathedral
Debussy; La Mer
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Stéphane Denève, conductor