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).
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This week, we'll continue our exploration of the world and music of the great Russian Romantic, focusing on the latter part of his life. We'll listen to his symphonies and ballets and explore his life at the Moscow Conservatory.
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Bill picks up in 1876 with two big pieces by Tchaikovsky. First we hear Variations on a Rococo Theme followed by Francesca da Rimini, inspired by the works of Dante. We close with a couple of pieces from The Seasons.
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini (excerpt)
Cleveland Orch/Chailly Lon 414159-2 1:12
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Chamber Orch of Europe/Gardiner; Isserlis, vc. Virgin 91134 18:43
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32
Tchaikovsky: April & December + May fr. The Seasons, Op. 37b
We begin with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony, which he completed with help from his patroness Nadezhda von Meck. Bill tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s failed marriage before we hear from his opera Eugene Onegin.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in f minor, Op. 36 (excerpts)
EMI 68223 1:38, :30, 18:16
Tchaikovsky: Letter Scene fr. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24
Orchestre de Paris/Bychkov; Focile, s. Phil 438235-2 10:56
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, I
Philadelphia Orch/Ormandy; Oistrakh, v.
Great Perf 700812
Bill opens with “Praise ye the Lord from Heavens,” written in 1880. We hear another scene from the opera Eugene Onegin and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio written in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein. We end with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony.
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48, IV
Orpheus Chamber Orch
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a minor, In Memory of a Great Artist, Op. 50
Argerich, p.; Kremer, v.; Maisky, vc.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Op. 64 (excerpts)
14:36, :26, 1:11
We hear the entirety of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, as well as excerpts from Tchaikovsky's original version. Bill plays a bit more from the fifth symphony and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty.
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.