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The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI: Emanuel Ax plays Beethoven's Concerto No. 4

Pianist Emanuel Ax
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
Pianist Emanuel Ax

Join us on Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. on WRTI HD-2 for an encore presentation of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert. Celebrated pianist Emanuel Ax returns to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major.

The concert also features the moving Symphony No. 4 in E minor by Brahms. Former Principal Guest Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann is on the podium.

Ax hears an allusion to classical Greek mythology in Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. It comes in the second movement, an extraordinary exchange between an aggressive body of strings and a gentle, persuasive solo piano. The movement has been likened to the musician Orpheus taming the vengeful Furies at the gates of Hell with his beautiful playing. On this week’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert broadcast, you’ll hear the beautiful playing of Emanuel Ax.

In addition to Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, today we’ll hear the Fourth Symphony by Beethoven’s greatest symphonic successor: Johannes Brahms. From the moment he set to work on his Fourth, Brahms had a plan for its powerful finale. Using a fragment from a Bach cantata as a recurring theme, he built a majestic edifice in the Baroque passacaglia form. It’s a fitting culmination not only to this moving, autumnal symphony, but to Brahms’s entire symphonic output.

Listen during the broadcast for producer Susan Lewis’s interviews with pianist Emanuel Ax and Nathalie Stutzmann.

Pianist Emanuel Ax talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto and life today
Pianist Emanuel Ax talks with WRTI's Susan Lewis about Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto

Detailed program notes from the concert

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

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 on WRTI 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.