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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Yannick Conducts Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and Strauss Songs, Featuring Soprano Pretty Yende

Pretty Yende
Pete Checchia/The Philadelphia Orchestra
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Soprano Pretty Yende performing with The Philadelphia Orchestra in October, 2021.

Join us on Sunday, May 29th at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, May 30th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2 when Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a concert recorded live in October, 2021, featuring music by Beethoven, Holcomb, and R. Strauss.

Soprano Pretty Yende talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis
Soprano Pretty Yende talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis.

In this program, South African soprano Pretty Yende sings a group of four songs by Richard Strauss. Her skyrocketing career has brought her to nearly all of the world’s major opera houses, and we’ll hear her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The program culminates in one of the orchestral repertoire’s most eloquent evocations of nature from Ludwig van Beethoven, himself an enthusiastic lover of the countryside and its flora and fauna. He titled his Sixth Symphony “Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life”... and it could easily be viewed as the musical expression of a day spent in the country.

With Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the Orchestra continues a programming cycle cut short in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the Viennese master’s symphonies have been paired with newly commissioned works responding to Beethoven. The concert opens with the world premiere of Paradise, a new work by Robin Holcomb inspired by the tragic 2018 wildfire that overcame the California community of Paradise.

Listen for interviews interspersed throughout the broadcast. Producer Susan Lewis speaks with Yannick and guest soprano Pretty Yende. And we’ll take a pause to enjoy Till Eulenspiegel, einmal anders! (Till Eulenspiegel, done a little differently for once!), a chamber adaptation of Richard Strauss’s beloved tone poem created by Franz Hasenöhrl.  

Half as long as Strauss’s original, and involving only five musicians, it was played in 2020 by members of the Orchestra at the ProjectHOME in Philadelphia, in a performance released for the first time as part of this Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast.

PROGRAM:

Holcomb: Paradise
R. Strauss: “Morgen”; “Als mir dein Lied erklang”; “Amor”; “An die Nacht”
R. Strauss/Hasenöhrl: Till Eulenspiegel, einmal anders!
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Pretty Yende, soprano

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1, streaming at WRTI.org, on the WRTI mobile app, and on your favorite smart speaker. Listen again on Mondays at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2. Listen for up to two weeks after broadcast on WRTI Replay. 

Melinda Whiting is host; Susan Lewis is producer and lead interviewer.

Melinda has over 30 years of experience in classical music public radio. As an award-winning broadcaster, she created and hosted classical music programs and reported arts news for NPR, WQXR—New York, WHYY–Philadelphia, and American Public Media. WRTI listeners may remember her years hosting classical music for WFLN and WHYY.
As senior producer of arts and culture, Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and producer of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series, to which she also contributes weekly intermission interviews. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.