© 2024 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fanfare: 'The Feast of the Swan,' Bruckner's Sixth, and more

Welcome to Fanfare — our weekly guide to live classical music in the Philadelphia area. Subscribe now to get the weekly mailing delivered straight to your inbox. To let us know about an event on the horizon, or share other feedback, drop us a line!

Spotlight: ‘The Feast of the Swan’ — Thursday, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

In the early Renaissance, the Dutch city of Hertogenbosch was renowned for its lay choir, whose achievements in early polyphonic singing were said to have rivaled the professional choruses of much larger metropolises. Colloquially, the city’s singers were known as Zwanenbroeders (Swan Brothers) due to their outsized presence at annual banquets where swans, a delicacy, formed the centerpiece of the menu. This week, in their respective Philadelphia debuts for Penn Live Arts, the Dutch vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis and Swiss early-music specialists Sollazzo Ensemble join forces to recreate the “The Feast of the Swan,” offering festive evocations of food, drink, dance and revelry that promise to satiate even the most ravenous musical appetites.

Oct. 19 at 7:30pm, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 South 38th Street, $42, purchase tickets.

Andreas Hechenberger
Deutsche Grammophon

‘Haydn and Bruckner’ — Friday through Sunday, Verizon Hall

Although it is among the least performed of his nine symphonies, Anton Bruckner described his Sixth as “the sauciest” (“Die Sechste ist die keckste”). Rejoining The Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time since an acclaimed 2021 appearance, the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will bring her own ladle to Bruckner’s massive masterpiece, mixing in her characteristic blend of power and precision. Principal horn Jennifer Montone begins the program with lighter fare as the soloist in Haydn’s exuberant Horn Concerto.

Oct. 20 and 22 at 2 p.m., Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., Verizon Hall, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, $25 to $125; purchase tickets.

Sphinx Virtuosi / Belcea Quartet – Wednesday and Friday, Kimmel Cultural Center

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society kicks off its 2023-24 season with two evenings of scintillating string playing. On Wednesday, Sphinx Virtuosi — the flagship ensemble of the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing representation of Black and Latinx artists in classical music — performs four 2023 commissions by rising composers Xavier Foley, Andrea Casarrubios, Javier Farias and Quenton Xavier Blache, along with works by Adolphus Hailstork and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson.

The Belcea Quartet
Maurice Haas
The Belcea Quartet

Two evenings later, the Belcea Quartet traverses a triptych of visionary quartets by Beethoven, Bartók, and Debussy. As I wrote in my Fall Preview edition of Fanfare, “I’ve been holding my breath for the return of the Belcea Quartet to the City of Brotherly Love.”

Sphinx Virtuosi: Oct. 18 at 7:30pm, Perelman Theater, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, $30; purchase tickets.

Belcea Quartet: Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Perelman Theater, Kimmel Cultural Campus, 300 South Broad Street, $30; purchase tickets.

Tempesta di Mare — Saturday at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Sunday at Trinity Center for Urban Life

Another Philadelphia mainstay, the Baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare, opens its new season with a resounding crowd-pleaser: Handel’s Water Music Suites Nos. 1 and 3. Following the refreshing boat ride down River Thames, enjoy an equally lively Concerto Grosso by Vivaldi and a newly-discovered Flute Concerto by Johann Friedrich Fasch — a composer that Tempesta’s co-artistic directors, Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone, have gone great lengths to champion.

Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue; Oct. 22 at 4 p.m., Trinity Center for Urban Life, 2212 Spruce Street. $35 to $45;purchase tickets.

Network for New Music — Saturday at Caplan Hall, University of the Arts, also Oct. 23 at Jaharis Hall, Haverford College

Network for New Music raises the curtain on its season with Glimmer & Moonbeams, a concert that takes its name from the two works that bookend this shimmering program: Paul Schuette’s Moonbeams and Satellites and Dmitri Tymozcko’s Glimmer. In addition to Schuette and Tymozcko (professors at the University of the Arts and Princeton University, respectively), compositions by three other Philadelphia-area composers — Nina Siniakova, Heidi Jacob and the late Robert Capanna — feature in this composite of local talent.

Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., Caplan Recital Hall, University of the Arts, 211 South Broad Street; Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., Jaharis Recital Hall, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue. $5 to $25; tickets and information.

Zev is thrilled to be WRTI’s classical program director, where he hopes to steward and grow the station’s tremendous legacy on the airwaves of Greater Philadelphia.