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The Philadelphians in Concert on WRTI: Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony, Sept. 14th at 1 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast this Sunday at 1 pm opens with a collection of “Symphonic Fragments” from AlfredoCasella’s rarely performed opera La Donna Serpente (The Snake-Woman), based on an 18th-century fable-play by Carlo Gozzi, and is followed by one of Sergei Prokofiev’s bold compositions pointing in the 20th-century directions, his Violin Concerto No. 2, dating from the transitional time just before his return to Russia, and played brilliantly by the young violinist James Ehnes.

Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda talks about his interest in the music of Alfredo Casella with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

And, after intermission, Camille Saint-Saens’ so-called “Organ” Symphony, the fifth (and last) that Saint-Saens composed and the third he published, will feature the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, played by Michael Stairs. The use of the organ, the “king of instruments,” is relatively limited in this work, but its overwhelming effectiveness has made it one of Saint-Saens’s most popular works. Gianandrea Noseda conducts.

Organist Michael Stairs speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter about playing Saint-Saens.

A concert not to be missed, first broadcast on WRTI last May.  That’s this Sunday, Sept. 14th from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI, and online at wrti.org. Gregg Whiteside is producer and host. This broadcast is underwritten by Bryn Mawr Trust Wealth Management.


Alfredo Casella: Symphonic Fragments from La Donna Serpente

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2


Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”)

James Ehnes, violinist

Michael Stairs, organist

Gianandrea Noseda, conductor

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.