- 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 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 InfluencesHHandelHaydn 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, FrancisProkofievRRachmaninoffRavelRespighiRRoaring 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 QuintetsYYou and the Night and the Music
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Beethoven and the Piano
At age 13, Ludwig Van Beethoven wrote his first piano sonata, which was published when he was 24-years-old. Bill samples Beethoven's first concerto, named as his second due to publishing order, and demonstrates Bill's favorite passage of the piece. He describes the passage as one that provides evidence that composers could become poetic and prophetic. Then Bill samples one of Beethoven's most famous pieces, "Pathetique Sonate," as the music that brought him so much satisfaction that he did not write in that style again.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op. 2 No. 1, I & II
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell; Fleisher, p.
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique, I
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1, I
The beginning of the nineteenth century marked the shift from the "rational" to the "emotional," the shift from the age of Enlightenment to the age of Romanticism. The clarity, balance, and reason that can be heard with Enlightenment-age composers such as Mozarrt and Haydn is present in much of Beethoven's earlier piano works such as the Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Piano Sonata No. 11. However, Beethoven is responsible for guiding the shift to the personal, emotive quality of Romantic-era music, and the tension between these two differing ideologies courses through his compositions after the turn of the century.
Beethoven: Sonata No. 11 in B-flat, Op. 22, III
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Concertgebouw/Wallberg; Argerich, p.
:30, :25, 34:08
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No 2, Moonlight, I & III
The third installment of Beethoven's piano works begins with the third piano concerto, which marked a significant departure from his previous works, much like his groundbreaking third symphony which was published around the same date. This concerto is notable for the deeply contrasting styles of the first and second movements, especially in the harmonic language employed. Bill equates the slow second movement to a poetic journey, with unexpected tonality giving way to deep emotional expression.
Bill examines the"Appasionata," and the fourth concerto, discussing how the themes Beethoven composed during this time were usually quite simplistic. And yet, they allowed for incredible development using rhythmic repetition and variation. The fourth concerto marks a departure from the traditional "double exposition" common in previous concertos, where the piano entrance comes after an extended orchestral introduction. Here, the piano opens the piece to dramatic effect.
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, Appassionata, I
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
CSO/Levine; Brendel, p.
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 24 in F-sharp major, Op. 78, I
This final installment begins with a piano transcription of Beethoven's D Major Violin Concerto, and then onto the monumental "Emperor" concerto.
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 6 in D major, Op. 61, III
Sinfonia Varsovia/Menuhin; Duchable, p.
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, Emperor
Berlin Phil/Leitner; Kempff, p.
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, Waldstein, II