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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Yannick leads Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Sheherazade' and a piano concerto by Mason Bates

Mason Bates
Todd Rosenberg
Composer Mason Bates

Join us on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. on WRTI 90.1, and Monday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. on WRTI HD-2 when our Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series brings you a performance recorded live in January, 2022.

The repertoire on this concert, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, makes the most of the Orchestra’s varied sonic colors, from the fascinating timbres that American composer Mason Bates has created in his Piano Concerto, to the symphonic tone painting of Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade.

Pianist Daniil Trifonov talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about Bates' Piano Concerto

Composer Mason Bates found inspiration for his piano concerto in the unique touch of pianist Daniil Trifonov. The work offers us a kind of time travel through different musical eras, beginning with echoes of the Renaissance and Baroque, and continuing with a sustained reflection on 19th-century Romanticism before wrapping up in utterly contemporary style with jazzy rhythms and spicy tone clusters.

Daniil Trifonov plays the world premiere of this concerto, which was co-commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade is based on the Arabian Nights, an anthology published in the 18th century that enthralled European and Russian readers. Its premise is a fabric of legends woven by the young bride of a cruel sultan.

The composer captures the romance and drama of these tales, invented in desperation by a heroine who is simply trying to save her life, night by night, by mesmerizing the sultan with her storytelling gifts. Her voice is represented by a solo violin as each legend begins, and then the orchestra surges in to illustrate and illuminate the narrative. Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim takes the role of Scheherezade.

Listen for interviews featured in the broadcast, as program producer Susan Lewis speaks with Daniil Trifonov and Mason Bates.

Detailed program notes from the concert are here.

Bates: Piano Concerto (world premiere)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade 

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Daniil Trifonov, piano
David Kim, violin

Listen to The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcasts, every Sunday at 1 p.m. 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 p.m. on WRTI HD-2. Listen for up to two weeks after broadcast onWRTI Replay.

Melinda has worked in radio for decades, hosting and producing classical music and arts news. An award-winning broadcaster, she has created and hosted classical music programs and reported for NPR, WQXR—New York, WHYY–Philadelphia, and American Public Media. WRTI listeners may remember her years hosting classical music for WFLN and WHYY.
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.