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The Philadelphians on WRTI: Tilson Thomas Conducts Ives, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Sept. 25 at 1 PM

Credit: Vahan Stepanyan
Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas is on the podium for this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI.

Graciously stepping in for the ailing James Levine in late February, Maestro Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and artistic director of the New World Symphony, directed two large orchestral works—Charles Ives’s "Decoration Day" from A Symphony: New England Holidays, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, the so-called "Little Russian."

Charles Ives had a strong sentimental streak, and "Decoration Day," the commemoration of Civil War dead that was later replaced by Memorial Day, held an especially nostalgic significance for Ives. During his youth it was marked by all manner of festivities, in which he was an active participant.

The Serenade No 2 by Brahms is also on Sunday afternoon’s program, a work Brahms wrote while still in his 20's, and the closest he came to composing an actual symphony up to that point in his life.

After intermission, a work by Tchaikovsky that was inspired by the peasant music of Ukraine – the Symphony No. 2. Tchaikovsky included three native songs from Ukraine in the symphony, dubbed some years later the “Little Russian,” a reference to the name Tsarist Russia gave to Ukraine.

During intermission, WRTI’s Bliss Michelson speaks with Maestro Tilson Thomas.

That’s this Sunday, September 25th from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI.

Read detailed program notes from the concert here


IVES: "Decoration Day" from A Symphony: New England Holidays

BRAHMS: Serenade No. 2


TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 2

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI 90.1 FM in Philadelphia and streaming online at WRTI.org, every Sunday from 1 to 3 pm.