- 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 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 QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBrahms, Part IBrahms, Part IIBritten 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)Incidentally 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 IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRRavelRespighiRussian 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 MusicUUnder 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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Life Among the Dead: Requiem Masses
Bill begins the week on requiem masses with Mozart's, made infamous by the critically acclaimed Peter Schaffer film Amadeus, which holds that composer Antonio Salieri had a hand in helping Mozart complete the piece. Bill debunks this dramatization and other myths surrounding the requiem, then giving the accurate acount before sampling the first few movements of the piece.
We then hear the opening sections of the requiems of Hector Berlioz and Giuseppe Verdi of the following century. Berlioz employs a grand, yet melencholy orchestration differing greatly from the counterpoint of Mozart. Verdi, a preeminent Italian opera composer, uses soloists and shifting moods to the effect of an operatic ensemble piece.
The program closes out with Antonin Dvorak's somber and hymnal setting, as well as with Mozart's Tuba Mirum movement from the requiem.
Mozart: Requiem, Kyrie & Dies Irae fr. Requiem, K. 626
Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt
Berlioz: Requiem & Kyrie fr. Grande Messe des Morts
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Davis
Dvorák: Kyrie fr. Requiem Mass, Op. 89
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus/Ancerl
Mozart: Tuba Mirum fr. Requiem
Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt; Finley, bar.; Schäfer, s.; Fink, alto; Streit, ten.
The second program features two lengthy excerpts from the requiems of Berlioz and Verdi. We hear their Dies Irae, or "Day of Wrath" passages, in which Berlioz has multiple brass choirs playing an ominous theme derived from a traditional Gregorian chant to awe-inspiring effect.
Verdi's setting of the same music contains many similarities to Berlioz's, yet Verdi's focus on soloists and dramatic mood shifts aligned with the text evoke scenes from a grand opera.
Next we hear the remainder of the "Sequentia" section of Mozart's requieum, containing the Confutatis and the Lachrymosa, the last music he wrote before passing. He only completed the first few measures of the movement, the remainder of the requiem completed by a pupil from previous sketches and dictations he had taken from the ailing composer.
Berlioz's massive Sequentia is a stark contrast to Mozart's setting, Bill calling it "anything but tender," written for an orchestra and chorus of unprecetended size. The program closes out with the much more intimate setting of Gabriel Fauré.
Mozart: Rex Trememde, Ricordare, Confutatis & Lachrymosa fr. Requiem, K. 626
Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt
Berlioz: Quid sum miser, Rex tremendae, Quaerens me & Lachrymosa fr. Grande Messe des Morts
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Davis
Fauré: Sanctus, Pie Jesu, & Agnus Dei fr. Requiem, Op. 48
La Chapelle Royale Paris/Herreweghe
The program begins with the remainder of Mozart's setting of the requiem, although what remains was not written by Mozart himself. Rather his pupil, Franz Xavier Süssmayr, who utilized Mozart's previous material for the requiem in order to maintain continuity and attempt authenticity.
Bill then returns briefly to Berlioz's Sanctus, and finally the thrilling and profound conclusion to Verdi's version of the same text. The program concludes with the most recent setting heard yet by French composer Maurice Duruflé.
Mozart: Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei & Lux Aeterna fr. Requiem, K. 626
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Shaw
Berlioz: Sanctus fr. Grande Messe des Morts
BSO/Munch; Simoneau, ten.
Verdi: Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Lux Aeterna & Libera Me fr. Requiem Mass
Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus/Giulini; Ludwig, ms.; Schwarzkopf, s.; Gedda, ten.; Ghiaurov, bs.
Duruflé: Sanctus fr. Requiem, Op. 9
Orchestra and Chorus of the Academy of Saint Cecilia/Chung; Terfel, bar.; Bartoli, ms.
The final program on requiem masses focuses solely on what is perhaps Bill's favorite setting, that of Johannes Brahms. This piece differs from the previous in that it is the only to not use the traditional liturgical Latin text. As the title "Ein deutches Requiem" implies, Brahms wrote his setting in the German language.
In each movement, Brahms captures a huge emotional span by taking sorrowful, dark music and lifting it up into a bright and hopeful mood. Bill uses a rather pessimistic quote from William Shakespeare on the legacy of men after they die to show how Brahms rejects this notion with the generous and consoling music found in the requiem.
Brahms: German Requiem, Op. 45: I-IV, VI
Philharmonia Orchestra/Klemperer; Fischer-Dieskau, bar.
9:53, 14:26, 9:48, 17:22