- 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 sort through the shows by composers click here. 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 IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAn 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 (FREE)Beethoven and the PianoBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBoulanger, NadiaBrahms, Part IBrahms, Part II Britten CCall for ScoresCello Concertos (FREE)Child'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 QuartetsEElgarEmotion and Meaning in MusicEspanaFFamilies of InstrumentsFamily MattersFauréFit for a KingFour SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame of Pairs, Part IGame of Pairs, Part IIGershwinGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music And Its InfluencesHHandelHHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHindemithHoliday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear America SingingI Lost it at the Movies (FREE)In a Family WayIncidentally 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 BashMozart: Bright Lights, Big CityMusic for the MassesMusic in the Time of WarMusical Cryptograms NNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Wine in Old Bottles (FREE)NielsenNinth 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 IIPoulenc, FrancisProkofievRRachmaninoffRavelRespighiRoaring 20'sRRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, RobertShakespeare (FREE)Shostakovich, Part I (FREE)Shostakovich, Part IISibelius and GriegSounds of the City of LightsSoundtracksSpring is HereSt-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky (FREE)String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago (FREE)Symphony, Part 01Symphony, Part 02Symphony, Part 03Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10TTchaikovsky, Part ITchaikovsky, Part IIThe Big Five, Part I: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (FREE)The Big Five, Part I: New York PhilharmonicThe Big Five, Part II: New York PhilharmonicThe Proud Tower, Part IThe Proud Tower, Part IIThrough the Mail SlotTone PoemsToo Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part IIUnfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan WilliamsVeniceVerdi, Part IVerdi, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part IIViolaWWagnerWagner's Ring CycleWalton, WilliamWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?Wind QuintetsYYou and the Night and the Music
- Listen to the Show
- About Exploring Music
Please click here to find out more.
The fascination behind an elusive artist transcends into his enchanting music. Claude Debussy, who once said he learned more from poets and painters than from music conservatory, is considered the figurehead of Impressionist music (though he would vehemently argue against it). Influenced by Bach's arabesques and the romantic Chopin, the Frenchman made his mark in music with his otherworldly compositions, beginning with "Danse Bohemienne."
Bill dives into Debussy's peculiar upbringing, studies in the Paris conservatory and his Prix de Rome win.
Debussy: La fille aux cheveux de lin fr. Preludes, Bk. 1
Debussy: Fêtes fr. Nocturnes for Orchestra (excerpt)
Chabrier: Mauresque fr. Pieces Pittoresque
Debussy: Danse Bohemienne
Debussy: “Beau Soir”
Fleming, s.; Thibaudet, p.
Debussy: “En Sourdine”
De Los Angeles, s.; Soriano, p.
Debussy: “Salut Printemps”
Orch de Paris/Barenboim
DG 2531 263
Debussy: En Bateau fr. Petite Suite
Robert & Gaby Casadesus, p.
Debussy, orch. Büsser: Ballet fr. Petite Suite
Debussy: La damoiselle élue
BSO/Ozawa; Graham, ms.; McNair, s.
Phil 446 683-2
Debussy: Arabesque No. 1: Andantino con moto
Stolzman, cl.; Allen, harp
Debussy avoided classical forms--sonatas, symphonies, string quartets--until meeting Eugene Ysaye, a violinist from Brussels. He wrote only one string quartet and one opera, both masterpieces.
This section contains two of Debussy's best-known works: the piece known by every pianist, "Clair de Lune" and his first orchestral composition, "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun." The latter is an ethereal illustration of a poem written by his friend, Stéphane Mallarmé.
Debussy: Claire de Lune fr. Suite Bergamasque
Decca 460 247-2
Debussy: Trois Mélodies de Verlaine
Maltman, bar.; Martineau, p.
Debussy: Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10
Emerson String Quartet
Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Debussy: “Mandoline” (excerpt)
Fleming, s.; Thibaudet, p.
Rounding out Debussy's soap-opera life was his tumultuous love life. Most notably is the decade-long affair with Gabrielle Dupont, followed by a a short-lived marriage to Lilly Texier, to whom Debussy threatened suicide if she did not agree. His one and only opera, however, was inspired not by a lover, but by a fictional character in a play, Mélisande. The opera, Pelléas Et Mélisande, catapulted Debussy to international stardom, elevating his status and income.
We move onto a nocturne and one of Bill's favorites, "Danse sacrée et danse profane," which was written to showcase a newly invented instrument, the chromatic harp.
Debussy: Prelude & Sarabande fr. Pour le Piano
Debussy: Pelléas Et Mélisande (excerpts)
La Scala/Abbado; Von Stade, ms.; Ollmann, bar.; Bröcheler, bs.
Opera D’Oro 1195
Debussy: Nuages & Fêtes fr. Nocturnes
Debussy: Danse sacrée et danse profane
Cleveland/Boulez; Wellbaum, hp.
After his marriage to Lilly dissipated, he fell in love with Emma Bardac, and wrote "1903, marriage to Lilly dissipated, he was in love with Emma Bardac, inspiring the piece, "L’Isle Joyeuse."
There were two things that inspired further works: his loved ones and the sea. "I was actually brought up to be a sailor," Debussy said. He truly infused his passion for the sea into "La Mer." Two weeks after its premiere, Emma gave birth to his daughter, nicknamed Chouchou. Enamored, he wrote charming music for her, including pieces collectively titled "Children's Corner."
Debussy: Estampe, II & III
Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse (excerpt)
Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse (excerpt)
Debussy: La Mer
Debussy: Children’s Corner (excerpts)
Phil 456 985-2
The last segment follows Debussy into his last works before succumbing to cancer. "Iberia" speaks to his imagination, because though he spent only a few hours in Spain, he was able to paint a picture so vivid, even Spanish composers were thoroughly impressed. We hear "The Perfumes of Night" and "The Morning of Festival Day."
World War I naturally had its impact on art, and Debussy composed a Christmas carol for the homeless children in 1915. As his last great project, he hoped to compose six sonatas for various instruments. He was able to complete three, the last being a violin sonata. He performed it behind the piano at its 1917 premiere, his last performance.
Debussy: Preludes- Book II, No. 3- La Puerta del Vino
Phi 456 817
Debussy: Iberia, II & III
Phil 400 023-2
Debussy: Noël des enfants que n’ont plus de maison
Ameling, s.; Baldwin, p.
Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Perlman, v.; Ashkenazy, p.
Debussy: Passepied fr. Suite Bergamasque