- 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 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 at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBoulanger (Nadia)Brahms, Part IBrahms, Part II Britten CCall for ScoresCamille 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 KingFour SeasonsGGame 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 BashMusic for the MassesMusic in the Time of WarMusical Cryptograms NNationalismNew 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) SchumannShakespeareShostakovich, Part IShostakovich, Part IISibelius and GriegSounds of the City of Lights (FREE)SoundtracksSpring is HereSt. Matthew PassionStrauss (Richard)Stravinsky (FREE)Strings 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 Proud Tower, Part IThe Proud Tower, Part IIThe Roaring 20'sThrough 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 CycleWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?William WaltonWind QuintetsYYou and the Night and the Music
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The musical experience of fall varies amongst artists, and this program begins with Glazunov's interpretation of "Herbst," or German for fall, as part of his ballet, The Seasons. It starts off pompous, much like the last hurrah of summer, but mellows out into a languid tune. Mahler, on the other hand, glumly reflects on "The Lonely One in Fall" from The Song of the Earth.
Dvorak picks up the excitement with his sprightly rendition, and William Alwyn's song is "unashamedly romantic." Tchaikovsky wraps up the hour with "Seasons"--no need to guess which one--and sections off the different themes by months: September, October, November and December.
Grieg creates a perfect storm with his autumnal overture, while Sibelius approaches a stormy scene from the perspective of a pensive wanderer.
Composers often pay homage to other great works of art; here, Mark O'Connor to Vivaldi with "The American Seasons" and Ned Rorem to Robert Frost with "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."
As several hunting season dates fall within autumn, it's no wonder that the wild chase is popular in this genre, such as Mozart's "Hunt" quartet. Impressionist composers Delius and Debussy paint their own lyrical landscapes.
The segment closes with Kosma's "Autumn Leaves," originally titled "Dead Leaves," which is arguably the most famous fall song of all time (hence the trademark of this week). Famed jazz singer Karrin Allyson delivers a pitch-perfect performance in both French and English.
Autumn themes continue with varying emotions. Giuseppe Verdi's peppy ballet was written after the French management of the Paris Opera demanded dance to be written into "Sicilian Vespers." Schwantner wrote a piece for solo horn in "Beyond Autumn," and Bill shares a personal story with a solo horn player he admires.
The last quarter of the show takes on a very different atmosphere. Piazzolla's "Fall Tango" transports us to Buenos Aires simmering down after a robust summer, and Bill shares a tune he learned from his grandma, reminiscent of one reclining on a patio in the last few days of an Indian summer.
Haydn composed his hunting piece at 74, a task he found difficult as his health was deteriorating. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra performs a "hound dog" aria, the hunters' chorus and the final celebration.
Autumn gets some cultural flavor on the piano--we experience the season in a Japanese village with Kainuma and in Warsaw with Ligeti (which we hear as a live performance in Carnegie Hall).
Just as leaves change color in autumn, so do the interpretations of an autumnal composition. We hear two versions of Brubeck's "Autumn in Our Town" and three performances of Duke's "Autumn in New York."
The last installment of "Autumn Leaves" starts off with a series of tone poems illustrating fall by the originial master of seasons--Vivaldi. Thomson likewise produces a series of scenes: the cool wind blowing, a dialogue, a romantic scene and a bustling promenade.
Grainger used to walk from city to city for his performances, collecting folk tunes along the way; the English folk tune in his "Harvest Hymn" is evidence of that. Ives' "Halloween," which was never meant for the concert hall, evokes the image of a thousand bats clouding a night sky. Autumnal appreciation week comes to a close with not one, but eight versions of the famous "September Song" by Weill, lyrics by Anderson.