Classical Albums of the Week

Every week, WRTI features a different album on the air. Learn more about them here.

August 2, 2021. Elisabeth Remy Johnson sensed an imbalance: While there were plenty of female harpists playing in prominent symphonies, there seemed to be disproportionately few works composed by women within the “standard” repertory for solo harp. So Remy Johnson, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist since 1995, set out to rectify that imbalance.

July 26, 2021.  To be 80 years old, still vitally contributing to one’s art and performing at peak level — yes, it’s possible, even on an instrument as mentally and physically demanding as the piano. Just listen to Martha Argerich in our Classical Album of the Week.

July 19, 2021. Gardens are abloom all around our listening area, including on the airwaves, with our Classical Album of the Week. Il Giardino Armonico (The Harmonic Garden) performs music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) on period instruments, and reveals surprising aspects of the composer’s personality.

July 12, 2021. Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, a Pat Metheny fan for years, plays a beautiful four-movement composition for solo guitar that the jazz great wrote for him for the album, Road to the Sun, which also features the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet playing the title piece.  Vieaux tells the story of how Four Paths of Light came to be.

July 5, 2021. How do you solve a 21st-century problem with 17th-century instruments? Lutenist Ronn McFarlane and viola da gamba player Carolyn Surrick answer that question in their latest album, Fermi’s Paradox.

June 28, 2021. Imagine you’re an 8-year-old girl from a small town in Scotland, and one day, suddenly, you can’t hear your mother calling you. Within four years, you become profoundly deaf. And yet, you have music in your bones, and you’re determined to become a musician. How are you going to make this impossible dream happen?

May 17, 2021. Recorded before the 2020 shutdown, and released with the end of the pandemic almost in sight, Hilary Hahn’s album Paris reminds us of the power of music to uplift and connect us. 

May 3, 2021. The Jasper String Quartet and Jupiter String Quartet combine to express  joyful personal connections in chamber music with pieces composed centuries apart. Felix Mendelssohn’s masterful 1825 Octet in E flat major is joined by contemporary works by Dan Visconti and Osvaldo Golijov in our Classical Album of the Week.

April 26, 2021. What a pleasure to introduce you to Thibaut Garcia, the young French guitarist with Spanish heritage who has expressed the beauty in Joaquin Rodrigo's 1939 composition Concierto de Aranjuez with gusto in our Classical Album of the Week. Garcia's connection with his roots can be deeply felt here.

Kevin Vondrak

Premiered in late 2019, and digitally released in April, 2021, A Native Hill provides solace and reflection about our human place in the natural world. British composer Gavin Bryars wrote the music to text by American environmentalist Wendell Berry, specifically for the voices in the Philadelphia-based professional chamber choir, The Crossing, and presented it as a gift to the ensemble.