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WRTI Spotlight

The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: The Paris Festival Begins! Sept. 3rd at 1 PM

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham

C'est magnifique! The Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week Paris Festival from earlier this year is on WRTI starting Sunday, September 3rd at 1 pm!  Six French composers, in works conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, are featured in Week One: Chabrier, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Canteloube, Ravel and Florent Schmitt.

There is no way to begin a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast more festively, indeed joyously, than with Emmanuel Chabrier’s sparkling Joyeuse Marche. Then, Gabriel Fauré’s haunting Pavane, and Maurice Ravel’s luxuriant Menuet Antique look to France’s celebrated engagement with refined dances.

Although Camille Saint-Saëns wrote more than a dozen operas, the one most regularly performed is Samson and Delilah from which the “Bacchanale” offers a lively, colorful, and seductive sample, and it's also on Sunday's broadcast.

Many competing musical styles in France during the first part of the 20th century found inspiration in different sources that took a backward glance to the past, and  Joseph Canteloube turned to folk songs and dances for artistic renewal, particularly from those of his native region of the Auvergne in south central France. We’ll hear selections from his Songs of the Auvergne, sung by superstar mezzo-soprano Susan Graham!

Credit Credit: Jessica Griffin
Contrabassoonist Holly Blake

The concert concludes with a thrilling concert suite by Florent Schmitt drawn from the ballet The Tragedy of Salome. The biblical princess fascinated many at the time in the visual arts, literature, and music. Richard Strauss’s scandalous opera—heard on a Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast just a few weeks ago—provided an impetus for a new ballet version in 1907, and we’ll hear a suite drawn from that ballet to end the concert in dramatic and thrilling fashion Sunday.

WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks with Philadelphia Orchestra contrabassoonist Holly Blake.

During intermission, WRTI’s Debra Lew Harder speaks backstage with Susan Graham, and Susan Lewis has a conversation with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Contrabassoon, Holly Blake.

It all happens here on WRTI on Sunday, September 3rd, from 1 to 3 pm.

Read detailed program notes from the concert.


Chabrier: Marche Joyeuse

Fauré: Pavane

Saint-Saëns: Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah

Canteloube: Songs of the Auvergne

      Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano


Ravel: Menuet Antique

Schmitt: Suite from The Tragedy of Salome

The Philadelphia Orchestra

     Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts on WRTI, every Sunday at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1 FM, online at, and on our new mobile app! NEW: rebroadcast of Sunday’s concert Monday at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2, as part of our new "Symphony at 7" lineup!