Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven's Romance No. 2 in F Major, Op.50, performed by Takako Nishizaki, violin, with Kenneth Jean conducting the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, is featured on CD 1 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

This is the second of a pair of works written for solo violin and orchestra. A favorite with concert artists, it is pensive and beautifully melodic, highlighting the sonic qualities of the violin at its best and allowing the soloists a wide range of emotional options.

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection broadcasts Saturday, September 7th, 5 to 6 pm. The two most famous composers for whom 2013 is a bicentennial are Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. They were born in 1813, but in the spirit of Discoveries we’ll dig a little deeper to see what else happened that year.

Wagner’s Wesendonck songs and Siegfried Idyll are his only non-operatic works heard with any regularity these days. The songs are also unusual among his output because the words are by someone else (most of the time he set his own texts).

Simon Rattle will be on the podium this Sunday at 2 PM for a performance from late May of Beethoven’s "Pastoral" Symphony, with its vivid scenes of gathering thunderstorms, wandering brooks, and breezy country sides.

We’ll also hear Webern's Passacaglia and three fragments from Alban Berg's shattering opera Wozzeck, both of which received their U.S. premieres in Philadelphia as part of Stokowski's vision for 20th-century music.

Soprano Barbara Hannigan, in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, will perform scenes from Ligeti's thrilling opera, Le Grande Macabre, in character as the Chief of the Secret Political Police. Her performance, vocally, dramatically, and comically, was one of the highlights of the season!

During intermission, Susan Lewis's interview with the versatile and supremely gifted Barbara Hannigan is not to be missed! Gregg Whiteside is host and producer. That's this Sunday, September 8th from 2 to 4 PM.

Detailed program notes and video here.

PROGRAM:
Webern: Passacaglia
Berg: Three Fragments from Wozzeck
INTERMISSION
Ligeti: Mysteries of the Macabre
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, ("Pastoral")

Simon Rattle: conductor
Barbara Hannigan: soprano

A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven's piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.

Beethoven — For A Buck

Jul 16, 2012

To own all the piano sonatas Beethoven wrote, you used to have to buy at least 10 CDs and spend $50, $75, $100 — or more.

What if I told you that you could get them for less than $10? That's about $1 per hour of music.

That's right — the "Moonlight," "Appassionata," "Waldstein" and all your other favorites, for just $9.99!

Beethoven is in the air! The Philadelphia Orchestra, with The Philadelphia Singers and soloists, including AVA's Margaret Mezzacappa, wowed the audience at the Mann Center last Wednesday night with an intense performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony. WRTI's Susan Lewis explores the life and work of one of the world's most influential composers.

Cypress String Quartet

May 15, 2012

WRTI's Jill Pasternak speaks with violinist Tom Stone and cellist Jennifer Kloetzel from the Cypress String Quartet about their new CDs - The American Album and the three-volume set Beethoven's Late Quartet.

Susan Lewis explores the life and music of Beethoven, whose music continues to enthrall modern audiences, and is now featured in three weeks of programs at The Philadelphia Orchestra.

David Patrick Stearns reports on the rise and rise of Ailyn Perez. The soprano, whose career began in Philadelphia, recently starred in the Royal Opera House's production of La Traviata.

Eric Brannon takes us to the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia.

More Information:

Ed Harris

Nov 11, 2006

This week, a conversation with the actor Ed Harris. He's the star of a new Copying Beethoven, a fictional retelling of the great composer's last years. Susan Lewis looks at how non-profits are reinventing commercial movie houses as neighborhood cinemas for art films and documentaries. We look at one man's collection of films and his efforts to share these celluloid treasures with the viewing public, many of which without him, would have vanished. Jason Peifer provides a glimpse into the Pig Iron Theater Company's process of developing new work.

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