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The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI: Barnes-Stokowski Part 2, Works by Stravinsky, Milhaud, Poulenc

Robert Alexander/Getty Images
A visitor at the Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art walks by Henri Matisse's Large Composition with Masks. Albert Barnes saw connections between Matisse and Stravinsky.

Philadelphia Orchestra principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève will again be on the podium for this Sunday’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert rebroadcast on January 26th at 1 PM. It's Part 2 of an exploration of the interactions between two bold visionaries who made incalculable contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia between the two world wars: Leopold Stokowski and Dr. Albert C. Barnes.

Brief theatrical scenes will again be acted out as part of this “symphonic play,” which brings to the airwaves two early 20th-century French compositions, Darius Milhaud’s jazz-inflected The Creation of the World, and Francis Poulenc's Organ Concerto in G minor, one of the few non-baroque organ works in the basic repertory.

Listen to organist Peter Richard Conte talking about the program backstage with WRTI's Debra Lew Harder.

Peter Richard Conte performs the concerto on Verizon Hall’s Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ.

Among the glories of the Barnes Foundation are early-20th century masterpieces by Matisse, Picasso, and the French Impressionists—works that were shockingly modern at the time. And no piece of music from that period caused quite the stir that Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring did.

Leopold Stokowski gave the American premiere of the work with the Philadelphians in 1922. (They also gave the U.S. premiere of the staged version of the piece, in 1930.) And it's this iconic masterpiece from the 20th century that closes the concert, appropriately enough, since Dr. Barnes himself once wrote about the strong link that he perceived between the paintings of Matisse and the music of Stravinsky.

An interview backstage with Didi Balle

During intermission, Debra Lew Harder speaks backstage with Peter Richard Conte, and Susan Lewis discusses this final installment of this two-part mini festival with Maestro Denève

Not to be missed, that’s Sunday, January 26th, 1 to 3 PM on WRTI 90.1, and streaming worldwide at wrti.org.


Milhaud: The Creation of the World, Op. 81

Poulenc: Concerto in G minor for Organ, Strings, and Timpani                                                

Peter Richard Conte, organ


Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

The Philadelphia Orchestra, Stéphane Denève, conductor

David Bardeen, actor (Albert Barnes)

Nicholas Carriere, actor (Leopold Stokowski)

Didi Balle, playwright and director


Gregg Whiteside is producer and host of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, streaming online at WRTI.org, and on our mobile app!Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2

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.