The Orchestras Of North America

Natalie Wheen presents a ten-part series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras.

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Philadelphian Stories19990502

The first of two programmes on the Philadelphia Orchestra focuses on the orchestra's roots in the city and the important part played in its development by music directors Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti and Wolfgang Sawallisch. As the orchestra prepares for its centenary season, players from the past and present reflect on its history. Recordings from nine decades include music by Brahms, Bloch, Strauss, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg and Respighi.

02Tradition And Innovation19990509

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the second of two programmes on the Philadelphia Orchestra. `Tradition and Innovation' reveals how the orchestra has been at the forefront of technology from its early recordings and its groundbreaking part in Disney's `Fantasia' to the cybercast of a recent concert on the net. It show how the orchestra is tackling problems thrown up by the increasingly competitive musical and media environment, and plays recordings from the orchestra's 99-year history.

03Szell's Shell19990516

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the first of two programmes on the Cleveland Orchestra and its historic home, Severance Hall, which is currently under renovation. With contributions from the music director Christoph von Dohnanyi, the orchestra's chief executive Thomas Morris, players and staff. Music includes George Szell conducting Schumann, Rodzinski conducting Shostakovich, and Sokoloff conducting Rachmaninov.

04Pa Szell, Maazel And Beyond19990523

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the second of two programmes on the Cleveland Orchestra, focusing on the years following the death. With contributions from staff, players and the current music director Christoph von Dohnanyi. Music includes Dohnanyi conducting Schumann, Boulez conducting Prokofiev, and Maazel conducting Gershwin's `Porgy and Bess'.

05Boston Music Party19990530

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the first of two programmes on the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She visits Symphony Hall for the annual open-house event, when the doors are opened to the public, and talks to visitors, orchestral staff, players, management and and music director Seiji Ozawa. Featuring recordings by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops under conductors including Karl Muck, Serge Koussevitzky, John Williams and Colin Davis

06Boston's Bully Pulpit19990606

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the second of two programmes on the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In conversation with orchestra's managing director and with Boston Pops conductors John Williams and Keith Lockhart, she explores the Boston Symphony's place in the history and cultural life of the city. Music includes excerpts from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (commissioned by the orchestra), recordings by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and the Boston Pops, as well as a 1917 recording conducted by Karl Muck.

07The Loudest Dance Band In America19990613

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the first of two programmes on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in which she traces the evolution of Chicago's orchestral tradition from the early days of Theodore Thomas and Frederick Stock through to the golden ages of Fritz Reiner and Georg Solti. With contributions from the players and from the president Henry Fogel. Including the orchestra's first ever recording - Mendelssohn's Wedding March, made in 1916 - and excerpts from Franz Schmidt's Symphony No 2 and Lutoslawski's Symphony No 3.

08Musical Engagements19990620

Natalie Wheen continues her series celebrating five of the major North American orchestras with the second of two programmes on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which includes a tour of the newly renovated Symphony Centre and a visit to its pioneering music education facility ECHO.

Music includes excerpts from Stravinsky's `Symphony of Psalms', Schoenberg's `Moses and Aaron' and Mahler's Symphony No 5.

09Mahler Grooves!19990627

With the penultimate instalment of her series, Natalie Wheen reaches the last of the major North American orchestras - the New York Philharmonic. In the first of a two-part profile of the NYPO, she listens to Mahler symphonies conducted by Bernstein, Mitropoulos and Boulez and talks to current music director Kurt Masur about the orchestra's commitment to the music of Beethoven, which dates back to 1842, when the New York Philharmonic gave what was only the second ever performance of the Fifth Symphony.

10 LASTThe Graveyard Of Conductors19990704

In the last of the series - the second of two on the New York Philharmonic - Natalie Wheen examines the orchestra's tough reputation. She also presents music for the Fourth of July, with contributions from music director Kurt Masur and executive director Deborah Bonda.