- Program List
Below are many of the more than 170 five-hour 'weeks' of Exploring Music that 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.
AAmerican Masters, Part I American Masters, Part II American Masters, Part IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAmerican Masters, Part V An Intelligent Conversation: String Quartets Arias & BarcarollesArtists in Exile, Part IArtists in Exile, Part IIAutumn Leaves Autumnal Masterpieces BBach Sleeps in on Sundays Bach to Beethoven Bach's Christmas Oratorio Bach's Not-So-Minor B-Minor MassBallad of East and West Barber, SamuelBartok, BelaBeethoven & that Danged MetronomeBeethoven and the PianoBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerlioz, HectorBernstein, LeonardBill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part IBrahms, Johannes, Part II Britten, Benjamin Bruckner, Anton (FREE)CCall for ScoresCello Concertos Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, Aaron (FREE)Corigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, Claude (FREE)Demons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night (FREE)Director's ChoiceDistant Neighbors Don't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvořák, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEnescu, GeorgesEspanaFFamilies of Instruments Family MattersFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFour SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame of Pairs, Part I Game of Pairs, Part IIGershwin, GeorgeGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music and Its Influences Green and Pleasant Land HHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHindemith, PaulHHit or Myth Holiday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear a Rhapsody I Hear America Singing (FREE)I Lost it at the Movies (FREE)In a Family WayIncidentally SpeakingIntimate VoicesInvitation to the Dance, Part I Invitation to the Dance, Part II Invitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His Lass Italian SouvenirsJJanacek, LeosKKeyboard SmorgasbordLLatin CarnivalLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part III (FREE)Liszt, Franz Little Night Music Little Traveling Music, Please MMaestro, Part IMaestro, Part IIMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Gustav, Part IMahler, Gustav, Part IIMaiden VoyagesMendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMozart at his Zenith Mozart Piano ConcertosMozart's Birthday BashMozart: Bright Lights, Big CityMusic for the MassesMusic from the Magic Box Music in 19th Century Paris: Waterloo to Bismarck Music in the Time of WarMusic of ScandinaviaMusical Cryptograms NNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Releases, Part III, week 1 of 2New Releases, Part III, week 2 of 2 New Wine in Old Bottles Nielsen, Carl Ninth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New World Outward BoundPPastoral Symphonies Piano ConcertosPolandPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part I Portraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part II Ports of Call, Part I Ports of Call, Part II (FREE)Poulenc, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRRavel, Maurice Respighi, OttorinoRimsky-Korsakov and His PupilsRoaring 20's Russian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISibelius and GriegSlipped Through the Cracks Sounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, Igor String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago Symphony, Part 01 (FREE)Symphony, Part 02 Symphony, Part 03 Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05 Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08 Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part ITchaikovsky, Peter, 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 Gathering Storm: Music from the Great Depression to WWIIThrough the Mail SlotTone Poems Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part II Unfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVeniceVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II ViolaViolin Concerto Voices from the East WWagner's Ring CycleWagner, RichardWalton, WilliamWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?Wind QuintetsWunderkinder, Part IWunderkinder, Part IIYYou and the Night and the Music
- Listen to the Show
- About Exploring Music
Debussy, Claude (FREE)
Claude Debussy, who once said he learned more from poets and painters than from the 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. While we listen to his compositions Bill reflects on Debussy's peculiar upbringing, studies in the Paris conservatory, and his Prix de Rome win.
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