Classical Albums of the Week

WRTI showcases a different album each week that's featured on the air. Learn more about each one of them here!

March 1, 2021. We're kicking off our celebration of Women's History Month with sparkling music by Schumann and Mendelssohn presented by The Nash Ensemble of London. But it’s not Robert and Felix who have written the three pieces we’re spotlighting, but Clara and Fanny.

February 22, 2021. BRUITS, a new album by the trailblazing woodwind quintet Imani Winds, tackles issues of race and social justice with three contemporary works by Reena Esmail, Frederic Rzewski, and Vijay Iyer, composer of the title work. 

February 15, 2021. As WRTI celebrates Black History Month, we feature the latest release from pianist William Chapman Nyaho. Born in Ghana, Nyaho compiled and edited five invaluable volumes for Oxford University Press called Piano Music of the African Diaspora. Our Classical Album of the Week is an aural companion to the first two volumes of the set.

February 8, 2021. As we head towards Valentine's Day, we turn to a new recording of a great American love story. The cast album of the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 production of Porgy and Bess, starring Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles, is up for a 2020 Grammy and is our Classical Album of the Week.

Russell Frost

February 1, 2021. A collection of classical music written by African-American women over the last century is a jewel—an example of the depth and range of compositions that lie waiting to be discovered. As we begin Black History Month, Soulscapes is our Classical Album of the Week. First released in 2006, its message persists in 2021, awakening us to artists too long overlooked.

January 25th, 2021. Michael Tilson Thomas is artistic director and founder of Miami's New World Symphony, music director laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. On top of that, he's also a composer. His latest recording with San Francisco Symphony juxtaposes two poignant works; his earliest, From the Diary of Anne Frank, and his latest, Meditations on Rilke.

January 18, 2021. As the newly appointed principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Nathalie Stutzmann can now add an additional honor to her resumé—her newest album, Contralto, with her Baroque ensemble Orfeo 55.

January 11. 2021. Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson’s third release for Deutsche Grammophon captivates with every note and poses an intriguing question. What connects two French masters—Claude Debussy and Jean-Philippe Rameau—despite the difference of over a century, the difference of the keyboard instruments they wrote for, and the difference of two contrasting stylistic eras of music?

January 4, 2021. Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat major, BWV 998, is a musical composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, intended for either lute or harpsichord. But Bach was constantly re-inventing his music for different instruments, and on this disc guitarist Sean Shibe gives us an elegant demonstration of how well-suited this work is to the classical guitar.

December 28, 2020. You may know Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the young cellist who performed at the 2018 royal wedding, but did you know his six siblings also play classical music? In this season of family celebrations and traditions, our Classical Album of the Week is the debut recording of the Kanneh-Masons, ages 11 to 24, playing Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals and a new musical setting of Grandpa Christmas, a story by Michael Morpurgo.

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