Saturday Classics

Saturday, 6 am to 12 noon

Treat yourself to a delightful variety of classical music every Saturday morning with host Debra Lew Harder. You'll hear works encompassing a wide range of time periods and instrumentation— from the Renaissance to new American classical music—from a gentle waltz to a bright piano sonata—from old favorites to something new.

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Comprised of four violin concertos written by Antonio Vivaldi in 1723, The Four Seasons is probably the Baroque composer's best-known work. Each of the four concerti is based on a sonnet —supposedly written by Vivaldi himself. Each sonnet is divided into three sections (fast, slow, fast), which correspond with the three movements in each concerto. Read the "Summer" sonnet and listen to each movement of The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer)

July 1, 2019. The hope in the "American Dream" is heard in the 2016 album, America Again, by pianist Lara Downes. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has the story.

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While Easter has inspired Bach's Saint Matthew Passion and many other beloved classical works, the holiday of Passover—being celebrated by millions of the Jewish faith this week—claims no famous pieces in the concert repertoire. WRTI's Debra Lew Harder explores why, and finds out what music you can find at a seder.

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Although Handel’s Messiah is now regularly performed during the Christmas holidays, the work was actually premiered in the spring before Easter. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the fantastically successful masterpiece, which was created by necessity in just 24 days over two centuries ago.


The four DePue brothers (Wallace, Jason, Zack, and Alex) were raised on classical music, barbershop, and Bluegrass. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today they’re juggling work at conventional ensembles—with a family-based band specializing in a blend of classical and American grass roots music.

September 3, 2018. When was the last time you heard the sound of the solo flute, without accompaniment of any kind for an entire album? Monotonous? On the contrary, The Telemann Files, with flutist Jasmine Choi captivates the listener from start to finish. Her 2015 release of the complete Fantasias for Solo Flute by Georg Philipp Telemann is our Album of the Week.

August 20, 2018. Our featured album is not one, but a trove of sixteen albums in a box set called This is Leonard Bernstein: His Greatest Recordings. Released for the 100th birthday celebration of America’s most multifaceted musical genius, this carefully curated collection reveals Bernstein as conductor, composer, and pianist.

August 1, 2018.  It’s not new by any stretch, but it is new to us.  Alfred Brendel Live in Vienna is actually quite a find for lovers of this great pianist. Brendel has been making recordings for half a century, and yet there is still much we haven’t heard. 

The second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7—the Allegretto—has captivated listeners since the symphony’s 1813 premiere, when it was so popular that the orchestra used it as an encore. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on why this particular movement continues to engages us.

Join us for a fabulous concert broadcast from the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2015 St. Petersburg Festival, celebrating the great master of the third generation, Dmitri Shostakovich. Sunday, January 28th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, January 29th at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.

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