- 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, AaronCorigliano, 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
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School Days Purchase Now
"The rhythm of going to school in the fall is built into all of us." In between songs, Bill reads delightful little recollections of school days. At the tender age of eight, Mozart wrote 43 pieces in six weeks, of which we hear three country dances. Halfway to nine, he wrote his first symphony, also heard here.
Composers Bernstein and Ravel were so fond of children that they composed musical devotions for them. Bernstein shares pieces written for his floppy-eared dog, Mippy, and Ravel's "Mother Goose" was to accompany the fairy tales he told his friends' daughters.
School Days (excerpt)
Pete Fountain & The Kings of Dixieland
Mozart: 3 Kontretänze: KV 33b, KV 15h & KV 15x
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.
Mozart: Symphony No. 1 in E-flat Major, KV 16
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Marriner
Bernstein: Elegy for Mippy II
Bernstein: “Who am I?” fr. Peter Pan
Alexander, s.; Crone, p.
Bernstein: Waltz for Mippy III
Deck, tba.; Lamb, p.
Ravel: Mother Goose
Pittsburg Symphony Orch/Previn
"Sublime beauty is revealed truth." Words of George Jellinek are in response to Schumann's set of piano pieces titled "Scenes of Childhood," which he wrote for his children. Ives' sonata, "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting" tries to potray the brevity of a child's interest. A break from European air, one can sense traces of Americana within the piece.
Elgar, also a young composer, composed a piece accompanying a play written by his teenage siblings. The play featured an untained world where adults lest they repented their stringent ways. Young musicians end with an adorable critique of Beethoven's last movement of his third symphony.
The program starts with a whimsically flowing "dream" as Elgar digs into layers of the unconscious, but shifts gears with 16-year-old Mendelssohn's octet, in which the vigor of his youth shines through the rapid bow strokes.
We move onto two pieces by modern-day prodigy Jay Greenberg, born 1991, including a symphony written at age 14. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra finishes off with the teenage Mendelssohn's interpretation of a Shakespeare classic.
Elgar: Dream Children, Op. 43
Mendelssohn: Octet, Op. 20, II & IV
Guarneri & Orion Quartets
Greenberg: Quintet for Strings, II
Julliard SQ; Adkins, vla.
Greenburg: Symphony No. 5, II & IV
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture & Scherzo (excerpt)
This section focuses on young performers, beginning with a teenage Yehudi Menuhin, a prodigy violinist. Einstein once exclaimed upon meeting him, "Now, I know there's a God in heaven." We also hear a 1932 recording of a collaboration with his Romani teacher, Enesco. A few more early 20th century recordings of pre-teen musicians ensue.
Bill introduces "beginner" songs young musicians undertake in order to grasp musical styles and overcome technical difficulties, most famously Clementi on the piano and Paganini on the violin. In the last piece, Chicago Children's Choir joins Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Mahler's Symphony No. 3.
de Falla, arr. Kreisler: Danse Espagnole fr. La Vida Breve
Menuhin, v.; Balsam, p.
Bach: Concerto for Two Violins in d minor, BWV 1043
Paris Symphony Orchestra/Monteux; Enesco & Menuhin, v.
Chopin: Waltz in a minor, Op 32, No. 2
de Laroccha, p.
Clementi: Sonatina No. 1 in C Major, Op. 36
Paganini: Theme from “Witches Dance”
Suzuki Instructional CD
Paganini: Caprice in g minor, Op. 1 No. 6
Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, III
Midori Goto, v.
Mahler: Symphony No. 3, V
CSO/Haitink; DeYoung, ms.
It was important for composers to pass on their knowledge to a fresh generation of students through simpler yet challenging pieces. In this case, Clementi wrote sonatinas and Chopin wrote etudes. Bartok played the teacher role very seriously, and composed in a way that taught harmonic and technical language. He used the violin to pass down Hungarian folk music, encouraging students to compose their own.
Fellow Hungarian Dohnanyi spins intricate variations on a simple nursery song, and Grofe's "Huckleberry Finn" is dedicated to the rebellious students who played hooky in school.
Clementi: Sonatina No. 4 in F Major, Op. 36
Chopin: Etudes: Op. 10 No. 3, Op. 25 No. 5, Op. 10 No. 12 & Op. 25 No. 1
Bartók: Transylvanian Dance for Two Violins
Muzsikás and Márta Sebestyén, vlns.
Bartók: Mikrokosmos, Bk. I (excerpts)
Dohnányi: Variations on a Nursery Song, Op. 25
Royal Phil/Boult; Dohnányi, p.
Grofé: Huckleberry Finn fr. Mississippi Suite