- 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 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 at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBrahms, Part IBrahms, Part II (FREE) Britten 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)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 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 IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRavelRRespighiRussian 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 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 CycleWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?William WaltonWind QuintetsYYou and the Night and the Music
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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