- Program List
Below are many of the more than 170 five-hour 'weeks' of Exploring Music have been created since 2003. The first seven minutes of every program are free to sample. Several entire 5-hour programs are also free to listen (marked 'free' below). For complete access to all of the shows, click here to become a subscriber. To see the playlist for a given show, click on the show and then on the 'playlist' button beneath any of the five one-hour programs.
AA Green and Pleasant LandA Little Traveling Music, Please American Masters, Part I (FREE)American Masters, Part IIAmerican Masters, Part IIIAn Intelligent ConversationArias & BarcarollesArtists in Exile, Part IArtists in Exile, Part IIAutumn Leaves BBach Sleeps in on Sundays Bach to Beethoven Bach's Christmas OratorioBach's Not-So-Minor B-Minor MassBarberBartokBeethoven & that Danged Metronome Beethoven and the PianoBeethoven QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBrahms, Part IBrahms, Part IIBritten CCamille St-SaënsCello Concertos (FREE)Chicago Symphony Orchestra: The Big FiveChild's PlayChopinClowning AroundCoplandCoriglianoCzech out those BohemiansDDebussyDemons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the NightDirector's ChoiceDistant NeighborsDon't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvorakDvorák, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String QuartetsEElgarEspanaFFamilies of InstrumentsFamily MattersFauréFit for a KingGGame of Pairs, Part IGame of Pairs, Part IIGershwinGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music And Its InfluencesHHandelHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHindemithHoliday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear America SingingI Lost it at the Movies (FREE)Incidentally SpeakingIntimate VoicesInvitation to the Dance, Part IInvitation to the Dance, Part IIInvitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His LassItalian SouvenirsJJanáčekLLatin CarnivalLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part IIILisztMMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Part IMahler, Part IIMaiden VoyagesMendelssohnMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMozart at his Zenith (FREE)Mozart Piano ConcertosMozart's Birthday BashMusic for the MassesMusic in the Time of WarNNadia BoulangerNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Wine in Old Bottles (Free)New York Philharmonic: The Big Five, Part INew York Philharmonic: The Big Five, Part IINielsenNinth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New WorldOutward BoundPPastoral SymphoniesPiano ConcertosPolandPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part IPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRRavelRespighiRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman (William) SchumannShakespeare (FREE)Shostakovich, Part IShostakovich, Part IISibelius and GriegSounds of the City of Lights (FREE)SoundtracksSpring is HereSt. Matthew PassionStrauss (Richard)Stravinsky (FREE)Strings Plus OneTTchaikovsky, Part ITchaikovsky, Part IIThe Four SeasonsThe Proud Tower, Part IThe Proud Tower, Part IIThe Roaring 20'sThe Symphony, Part IThe Symphony, Part IIThe Symphony, Part IIIThe Symphony, Part IVThe Symphony, Part IXThe Symphony, Part VThe Symphony, Part VI (French)The Symphony, Part VII (Russian)The Symphony, Part VIIIThrough the Mail SlotTone PoemsToo Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part IIUnfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan WilliamsVeniceVerdi, Part IVerdi, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part IIViolaWWagnerWagner's Ring CycleWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?William WaltonWind QuintetsYYou and the Night and the Music
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Artists in Exile, Part II
On this edition of Exploring Music, the theme is "Artists in Exile", which refers to "how refugees from 20th Century war and revolution transformed the American arts." On this and the previous program, you will hear stories of the appreciation of new places but also the terrible lonliness that comes from being in exile, forced from one's home by internal strife and placed thousands of miles away in a new world.
The first segment features Hindemith, who got his start writing music in Germany until Nazi Germany created problems for him. He worked his way to Turkey, then to London, where he composed Trauermusik after King George V died. On the recording we hear, he is playing viola. Next is Hinemith's Symphony in B-flat Major for Concert Band, first movement, which was written in 1951 for the US military band at West Point. Next is the second movement of the famous Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, which sounds perhaps the least German of the four movements. A couple of years after writing Symphonic Metamorphosis, Hindemith became an American citizen, and he wrote a powerful piece of music set to a Walt Whitman poem, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd". We jump around to a few places with this piece, as Bill reads off the words of the poem before corresponding bits in the music. The segment then closes out with the last movement of Symphonic Metamorphosis: the march.
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, I
CBS 7166 (LP)
Hindemith: Mathis der Maler (excerpt)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Kubelik
Orch/Reibold; Hindemith, vla.
Biddulph LAB 087
Hindemith: Symphony in B-flat Major for Concert Band, I
Philharmonia Orchestra Winds/Hindemith
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, II
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Levi
Hindemith: When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d (excerpts)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Shaw; Stone, bar.; DeGaetani,ms.
4:01, 6:54, 3:55, 8:23
Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes By Carl Maria von Weber, IV
This segment features a wide range of composers, all of whom arrived in America between 1938 and 1939. We start with Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who became one of the most famous teachers of film composers. He wrote Concerto No. 2 for Violin & Orchestra, I Profeti during this time. We hear the slow movement, which sounds very much like the kind of music that would be set to film. Next is Wolpe, a Berlin-born composer who escaped from Germany in 1938, citing his Jewish heritage and Communist politics. He set a speech by Albert Einstein to music for baritone and piano: Excerpts from Dr. Einstein's Address About Peace in the Atomic Era. Next is Busch, who made a name for himself as a string player, but also happened to be a good composer. We hear his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in A Major. Then we come to Britten, a famous British composer who followed a friend to America and all across the country. We hear two pieces by him: "Antique", from Les Illuminations, and Sinfonia Da Requiem, parts II and III. Next is Weill, who was so fed up with the Germans he requested his name to be pronounced in an English-speaking way. We hear "Stay Well" from Lost in the Stars. Finally, we hear O Vos Omnes by Casals, a Spanish composer who fled to America from Francoist Spain.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Concerto No. 2 for Violin & Orchestra, I Profeti, II
Los Angeles Phil/Wallenstein; Heifetz, v.
Wolpe: Dr. Einstein’s Address About Peace In The Atomic Era (excerpts)
Mason, bar.; Shannon, p.
Busch: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in A Major, Op. 54
Friedli, cl.; Koello, p.
Ex Libris 6108
Britten: Les Illuminations Op. 18, IIIb. “Antique”
Berliner Phil./Rattle; Bostridge, ten.
Britten: Sinfonia Da Requiem, II & III
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Runnicles
Weill: Lost In The Stars – “Stay Well” from Lost in the Stars
Orch/Levine; Lenya, voc.
Casals: O Vos Omnes
We start with a blind tasting...only to find out that this program starts with Schoenberg's Suite for String Orchestra in G Major, movements IV and II. It's an extremely tonal piece that stands in complete and utter contrast to the rest of his work. By sharp contrast, Edgard Varèse--Frank Zappa's favorite composer--did not lose his edge; we hear why when we hear a jaunty piece called Octandre. Next we hear from Czech composer Martinu, who spent the war years in New England. The Boston Symphony commissioned this piece we hear from him: Symphony No. 1. We then hear his Sinfonietta for Piano and Orchestra, "La Jolla", second movement. Next we move to a very well-known Russian composer: Stravinsky, best known for his primal, pounding Rite of Spring. In this segment, we hear the third movement of Symphony in Three Movements and the first movement of the Ebony Concerto. Stravinsky and Schoenberg, despite knowing each other in Europe, were not personable with one another in America. We finish the segment up with some movie music: the main title from Gone With the Wind, written by Steiner, who scored a number of great movie soundtracks.
Schoenberg: Suite for String Orchestra in G Major, IV & II
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mauceri
Martinů: Symphony No. 1, I
Martinů: Sinfonietta for Piano and Orchestra, La Jolla, II
Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements, III
London Symphony Orchestra/Thomas
Stravinsky: Ebony Concerto, I
Woody Herman Band/Stravinsky
Steiner: Main Title fr. Gone With The Wind
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/Mauceri
Philips 432 109
In this segment, we've got many, many artists to go through, and such little time to go through them. Koussevitsky is brought up first; usually thought of as a great conductor, he was also a somewhat prolific double bass player, and he composed a few pieces for it. We hear his Humoresque. Next are a few Eisler pieces from Hollywood Elegies, a song book for baritone with piano accompaniment. Next is Weigl, and we hear two pieces from him: String Quartet No. 5 in G (fourth and first movements), and a piece of Symphony No. 5, "Apocalyptic". Foss is up next, a fellow who studied at Curtis with Leonard Bernstein under Fritz Reiner. We hear his "Early Song" from Three American Pieces and an "Elegy for Anne Frank", where the composer plays piano. Next are a few short pieces from Milhaud, who spent a lot of time in Brazil and London. We hear La Création du Monde, parts I and II, La Carnaval à la Nouvelle-Orléans, second movement, and Suite Francaise, third movement, in a manner that seems to capture both classical and jazz music in a wonderful harmony. Last is a piece by Waxman: the A Place in the Sun Suite.
Koussevitsky: Humoresque, Op. 4
Karr, db.; Lewis, p.
Eisler: From Hollywood Elegies:
“Unter Den Grünen Pfefferbäumen”
“In Den Hügeln Wird Gold Gefunden”
Goerne, bar.; Schneider, p.
Weigl: String Quartet #5 In G, Op. 31, IV (excerpt), I
Artis Quartett Wien
Weigl: Symphony No. 5, Apocalyptic, I (excerpt)
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sanderling
Foss: Early Song fr. Three American Pieces
BSO/Ozawa; Perlman, v.
Foss: Elegy for Anne Frank
Pacific Symphony/St. Clair; Foss, p.
Harmonia Mundi 907243
Milhaud: La Création du Monde, Pts. I & II
Lyon Opera Orchestra/Nagano
Milhaud: La Carnaval à la Nouvelle-Orléans, Op. 275, II
Yarborugh & Cowan, pfs.
Milhaud: Suite Française, III
President’s Own US Marine Band
Waxman: A Place in the Sun Suite
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/Waxman
Sony Classical NPR Milestones 60991
We begin this segment with a new focus: composers from the Far East, specifically China. Bright Sheng was exiled from Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution in Mao Zedong's last years. We hear three of his Seven Tunes Heard in China: I, V, and VII. Next is a more recent composer, Chen Yi, a woman from Guangzhou that moved to the States and has been very successful here. We hear a piece called "Shuo" from her. Next is Tan Dun, who composed the main theme from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which we hear. We then hear one of his pieces written for pipa, an instrument indigenous to China and Korea. This is the Concerto for Pipa, third movement. We then move away from China to Latin America, examining the youngest composer we have examined on this edition of Exploring Music: Frank. We hear the first of her Cuatro Canciones Andinas for Soprano and Piano, four songs of the Andes, and then Sueños De Chambi: Snapshots For An Andean Album For Violin And Piano, parts I, II, III, and VII. Next are some excerpts from D'Rivera's Aires Tropicales, and then we close out the segment with Astor Piazzolla's Otoño Porteño fr. Las estaciones porteñas.
Bright Sheng: Seven Tunes Heard in China: I, V, VII
Chen Yi: Shuo
Tan Dun: Main Title fr. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Shanghai National Orchestra/Chan Xie Yang; Ma. vc.
Tan Dun: Concerto for Pipa: III
Moscow Soloists/Bashmet; Wu Man, pipa
Frank: Cuatro Canciones Andinas For Soprano And Piano, I
Eyton-Jones, sop.; Ketter, p.
Frank: Sueños De Chambi: Snapshots For An Andean Album For Violin And Piano, I, II, III, VII
Guibbory, p.; Rubinsky, p.
D’Rivera: Aires Tropicales (excerpts)
Astor Piazzolla: Otoño Porteño fr. Las estaciones porteñas
Barenboim, p.; Mederos, band.; Console, db.