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Bastille Day on Saturday Classical Coffeehouse with Debra Lew Harder: July 14, 6 AM to Noon

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Bonjour! Perhaps it’s French food you savor—a crusty baguette with a delicious frommage, a refreshing glass of French vin. Perhaps French couture or architecture delights you, or French art. At WRTI 90.1, our listeners adore French music, whose hallmarks are elegance, clarity, and devotion to sonic beauty.

Debra Lew Harder

On Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse, we’ll hear French music to note le quatorze juillet, or Bastille Day, which marks July 14, 1789, when infuriated citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille fortress, demanding liberté, egalité, fraternité.

The event came to symbolize the French Revolution, and eventually became a national holiday. At WRTI, we’ll celebrate too. (After all, without French help, we Americans would not have won our own, earlier Revolution.) 

We’ll enjoy the work of Gallic composers, from the stately Baroque strains of François Couperin to the shimmering impressionism of Maurice Ravel and Albert Roussel. Contemporary film composers Yann Tiersen (Amélie) and Alexandre Desplat (Shape of Water) will make an appearance, as well as composers like Telemann and Mozart, who were influenced by their trips to Paris.

Vote for your Special Saturday Espresso here!

And no musical journey to France would be complete without Le Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792, we’ll hear the version written by that ne plus ultra of early Romantic French composers, Hector Berlioz.

In keeping with his impassioned nature, instead of writing the standard “Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass,” in his score to Le Marseillaise, Berlioz wrote, “Everyone with a voice, a soul, and blood in his veins.”

Catch the French spirit on Saturday July 14, 2018, from 6 AM to noon, on Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse — on WRTI 90.1 FM, streaming at wrti.org, and the WRTI mobile app.

Á bientôt!



Debra's last day on the air at WRTI was September 21st, 2021. She's now the radio host for The Metropolitan Opera. Read more here.