Former Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Christoph Eschenbach is on the podium for this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on WRTI 90.1. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is soloist.
The concert features works of three early 19th-century German masters: Weber, Schumann, and Beethoven. All three forged new musical paths with their many musical innovations, and all were driven by the desire to explore new instruments, sounds, and effects.
Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Der Freischütz was a pivotal work of the emerging musical Romanticism of the early 19th century, and its celebrated Overture provides a wondrous distillation of its varied moods and themes. The whole opera seems to be condensed within that overture, which – as was always the case with Weber -- he wrote after the opera was finished.
Then, the brilliant young cellist Alisa Weilerstein is center stage for a performance of Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto, one of his most enigmatic works, and one which makes considerable technical demands on the soloist. It wasn’t until the first part of the 20th century, in fact, that the piece assumed a firm place in the cello repertory, owing in no small part to the passionate advocacy of Pablo Casals.
Following intermission, the Philadelphians and Maestro Eschenbach perform one of the most iconic masterpieces in the history of music, the Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven, a statement of power and triumph that can overwhelm even the most casual listener, and a work radical in its expressive freedom.
During intermission, WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder speaks backstage with Alisa Weilerstein, and Bliss Michelson has a conversation with Maestro Eschenbach.
That’s this Sunday, March 18th from 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1, the WRTI Mobile App, and streaming at WRTI.org.
Weber: Der Freischütz Overture
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app! Listen again on Mondays at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.