- 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.
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 PlayChopinClash of the Titans Clowning 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'sRussian 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 QuintetsWunderkinder Part OneWunderkinder Part TwoYYou and the Night and the Music
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In the 5th Century BC, water was classified as one of the four essential elements. Over the centuries artists, poets, philosophers and composers have returned again and again to the mysteries of water for inspiration. This week, we'll focus on Water Music with works by Vaughan Williams, Mahler, Debussy and (of course) Handel.
Beginning with the orginal Water Music, we hear George Friderich Handel's Suite No. 1 in F major. Handel's Water Music premiered in July 1717 for King George I. It debuted at a boating party on the River Thames.
As English concert halls continued to grow larger, many conductors didn't like to perform the piece with it's comparably small ensemble. Sir Hamilton Harty took it upon himself to reorchestrate the piece for a more modern setting. Excerpts from different versions are performed in this program.
Moving on to other water music, we hear Maurice Ravel's 1908 piece Ondine. This translates to the water sprite and is based on a poem by Aloysious Bertrand.
Finally, we hear the overture to Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman. This stormy sea scene was taken from real life when Wagner and his wife were stuck on a boat in a three-day storm.
Trad.: “I’m Bound for the Rio Grande”
Robert Shaw Chorale/ Shaw
Handel: Water Music, Suite No. 1 in F Major
Vienna Concentus Musicus/ Harnoncourt
Handel: Water Music, Suite No. 1 in F Major(excerpt)
Philadelphia Orchestra/ Ormandy
Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer: Overture
Today features the work of English composers beginning with Sir Arnold Bax. Bax was born in England, but traveled to the west coast of Ireland in 1902 when he was about 20 years old because he had fallen in love with the poetry of William Butler Yeats. He composed Tintagel while there for a pianist he had fallen in love with, Harriet Cohen.
Sir Edward Elgar's Sea Slumber Song, part of the larger work Sea Pictures, premiered on October 5, 1899 with Elgar as the conductor. About a month later, this peice was performed for Queen Victoria.
Another English composer, Fredrick Delius combined German training with French impressioinist influence. Here is a tone poem he composed in 1911 about a small river that ran behind his estate in France. It is called Summer Night on the River.
Ralph Vaughan Williams loved the poems of Walt Whitman and his Sea Symphony was inspred by the poet's work Leaves of Grass. Here is the first movement from the symphony, A Song for All Seas, All Ships.
Elgar: Sea Pictures (excerpt)
LSO/J. Baker Barbirolli
Delius: Summer Night on the River
Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony(excerpt)
Handel Water Music (excerpt)
Felix Mendelssoh traveled to Scotland around the age of 20 and was inspired by a mysterious cave on the Isle of Staffa. The result is heard here in his piece Hebrides Overture.
The 1914 piece The Sea, by Frank Bridge is written about perhaps more than it is played. This is because Benjamin Britten was so inspired by a performance of this piece as an 11-year-old boy, Britten pleaded with Bridge to let him study with him.
The Sea was very influential on Britten, and the influence can be heard in Britten's opera, Peter Grimes debuted in 1945. The opera features Four Sea Interludes including Dawn, Sunday Morning, Moonlight and Storm.
Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
Royal Scottish National Orch/Gibson
Bridge: The Sea
Royal Liverpool Orch/Groves
Britten: Four Sea Interludes
Mahler: Sym. No. 6 (excerpt)
We move away from salt water with Bedrich Smetana's tone poem Vlatava from the work Ma Vlast. This movement is also known as the Moldeau.
Next, we hear Russian composer Anatoly Liadov's piece The Enchanted Lake, based on a Russian fairy tale.
The program closes with several works from American composers. First, Robert Shaw's Swansea Town and Shenendoah, then Dominic Argento's The Lake at Night. Finally, we hear Ferde Grofe's Mississippi Suite and Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Liadov: The Enchanted Lake
Trad: Swansea TownShenendoah
Robert Shaw Chorale/Shaw
Argento: The Lake at Night
Cedille 90000 029
Grofes: Mississippi Suite
New York Philharmonic/ Kostelanetz
Simon and Garfunkel: Bridge overTroubled Water
Simon and Garfunkel
Warner Bros 3654
The final program returns to where we began, Handel's Water Music. However, what we hear today is the D Major section from Suite 2.
Next performed is Claude Debussy's tone poem La Mer (The Sea). Debussy always thought he would end up as a sailor and had a lot of devotion to the sea. The work was completed in 1905 and includes three movements From Dawn to Midday on the Sea, Play of the Waves and Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea.
The program closes with Antonio Jobim's Waters of March which he wrote in English while visiting New York.
Handel: Water Music
Debussy: La Mer
Jobim: Waters of March
Elise & Tom
Ravel: Ondine (excerpt)