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The Philadelphians on WRTI: Alan Gilbert Conducts Janacek's Glagolitic Mass, Nov. 22 at 1 PM

Conductor Alan Gilbert is music director of the New York Philharmonic, and guest conductor of this Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast on WRTI.

In the late 19th century, prominent composers began to emerge from countries that had not been center stage in international musical life. Among these leading figures were Jean Sibelius in Finland, and Antonín Dvo?ák and Leoš Janá?ekin the Czech lands.

All three were deeply connected with their native landscape, language, and cultural traditions but also sought wider fame, and they eventually succeeded in becoming both national monuments and international stars. Three works important to the international standing of these composers are performed on this Sunday's Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert re-broadcast on WRTI.

Sibelius is best known for his Violin Concerto, seven symphonies, and some dozen tone poems, and, despite The Philadelphia Orchestra’s long association with his music, this concert – heard last month at Verizon Hall -- marks the first time the ensemble has performed Night Ride and Sunrise, a piece both representational and impressionistic.

Dvo?ák is likewise beloved for his concertos and symphonies, although his range of works extended further to include operas, choral pieces, and chamber music. Near the end of his career—after spending three years in America—he became interested in symphonic poems. And The Golden Spinning Wheel—which we hear Sunday--  is one of four based on fairy tales by the venerated Czech poet Karel Jaromír Erben.

Then, after intermission, comes Leos Janacek – whose career was relatively local, based in the Moravian capital Brno. But at age 62, he was to suddenly became much more famous when his opera Jen?fa captured international attention and ushered in a final dozen years of phenomenal activity, and brilliant masterpieces.

A crowning work is his monumental Glagolitic Mass, with words in Old Church Slavonicrather than the traditional Latin. Scored for vocal soloists, chorus, and large orchestral forces, it also prominently features the organ. This concert, in fact, initiated the “Art of the Pipe Organ,” a month-long celebration spotlighting the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, the largest mechanical-action concert hall organ in America.

During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks with soloists Kelley O'Connor and Anthony Dean Griffey, and Jim Cotter speaks with guest conductor Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic.

That's Sunday, November 22, from 1 to 3 pm. Be sure to listen!


Sibelius: Night Ride and Sunrise

Dvorak: The Golden Spinning Wheel


Janacek: Glagolitic Mass

Alan Gilbert, conductor

Tatiana Monogarova, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor
John Relyea, bass
The Philadelphia Singers Chorale
David Hayes, Music Director
Michael Stairs, Organ

Gregg was the host of WRTI's morning drive show from 2012 until his retirement from WRTI in January, 2021. He began producing and hosting The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert broadcasts in 2013, joining the Orchestra in Hong Kong for the first-ever live international radio broadcasts from that island in 2016, and in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for two historic broadcasts in 2018. You can still hear Gregg as host of the Orchestra broadcasts every Sunday and Monday on WRTI.