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Special Music for Easter and Passover on WRTI 90.1: Highlights and Videos

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While sprawling forsythia herald the change of seasons like a silent trumpet fanfare, we hunker down inside or go out for walks at a safe social distance. It's a springtime like none of us have ever experienced.

Something else is different. While Passover and Easter normally bring us together during this beautiful time of year in gatherings of friends and family—Seders with matzo ball soup, brisket, and children searching for the afikoman, Easter morning church services and egg hunts, Easter family dinners with menus passed down generations—this year, we'll come together with phone calls, FaceTime, or maybe a tele-dinner on Zoom.

One thing remains the same— you can still hear the life-affirming music of both holidays on WRTI—we can still be together listening to melodies that remind us of the messages and traditions that we hold dear.

WRTI is here with you during this Holy Week, with Passover beginning on Wednesday, April 8th (and concluding on April 16th), and Good Friday and Easter falling on Friday, April 10th and Sunday, April 12th.

Throughout the week, listen to inspirational works from Jewish culture, including Erich Korngold's Passover Psalm Op.30, Joseph Achron's Hebrew Melody and Lullaby, Ernst Bloch's Suite Hebraique and Mark Warshawsky's Oyfn Pripetshik (On the Hearth).


We're also featuring selections from J.S. Bach's St. John's Passion, and Easter Oratorio, Tomas Luis de Victoria's Ave Regina caelorum a 8, William Byrd's Haec dies, the Easter Hymn from Mascagni's Cavalieria Rustiana, and Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture.

On Good Friday, our Philadelphia Orchestra archival broadcast ofBach's masterpiece, St. Matthew Passion, begins at 12 noon. You can also hear it on Thursday, April 9th at 7 PM on our HD-2 channel and classical stream.

On Saturday, April 11th, during Classical Coffeehouse with Debra Lew Harder from 6 to 11 AM, listen to a mix of familiar tunes for the holidays, and then at 11 AM, stay tuned for A Musical Feast for Passover with Itzhak Perlman, as the celebrated violinist shares Passover music from many traditions, along with songs and memories from his childhood in Israel.


On Easter Sunday, join us for The Philadelphia Orchestra performingHandel's Messiah, beginning at 1 PM. Stay tuned at 4 PM for Academy of Vocal Arts' annual concert of sacred music, JUBILATE!, recorded live in an empty auditorium a few weeks ago.

Also don't miss our weekday Film at Five features with soundtracks from Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, and The Easter Parade.

As we mark Passover and Easter, shades of pink and purple are popping onto the landscape, bulging buds on bare branches hint at the canopies of green beginning to unfold, and returning robins hop on lawns mottled with buttercups and lavendar. 

And WRTI is here with you— as always. We're grateful for you, and we're looking forward with you—we're a community together.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.