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.
if you are not a subscriber to the Exploring Music site, you may listen to the introduction (7 minutes) of ANY of the 850+ hourly programs. By becoming a monthly or annual member, you gain complete access to all programs. You may also purchase access to individual 5-hour weeks.
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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
3:55, 4:40 Purchase
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell; Fleisher, p.
27:28, 1:14 Purchase
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
3:29, :56 Purchase
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Concertgebouw/Wallberg; Argerich, p.
:30, :25, 34:08 Purchase
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.
Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Royal Concertgebouw/ Haitink; Perahia, p.
35:25, :44 Purchase
Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, Waldstein, I & III (excerpt)
11:13, 4:07 Purchase
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: 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
The Exploring Music streaming website is made possible by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and Susan & Richard Kiphart.
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.