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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). 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.
AAmerican Masters, Part I (FREE)American Masters, Part II (FREE)American Masters, Part IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAmerican Masters, Part V (FREE)An Intelligent Conversation: String Quartets Arias & 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 MassBallad of East and West Barber, SamuelBartok, BelaBeethoven & that Danged Metronome (FREE)Beethoven and the PianoBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerlioz, HectorBernstein, LeonardBill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part IBrahms, Johannes, Part II Britten, Benjamin CCall for ScoresCello Concertos (FREE)Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, AaronCorigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, ClaudeDemons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the NightDirector's ChoiceDistant NeighborsDon't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvorak, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEspanaFFamilies of InstrumentsFamily MattersFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFour SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame of Pairs, Part I (FREE)Game of Pairs, Part IIGershwin, GeorgeGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music and Its Influences Green and Pleasant LandHHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHindemith, PaulHit or Myth Holiday 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 I (FREE)Invitation to the Dance, Part II Invitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His LassItalian SouvenirsJJanacek, LeosLLatin CarnivalLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part IIILiszt, Franz (FREE)Little Traveling Music, Please (FREE)MMaestro, Part IMaestro, Part IIMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Gustav, Part IMahler, Gustav, Part IIMaiden VoyagesMendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, 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 Releases, Part III, week 1 of 2New Releases, Part III, week 2 of 2 (FREE)New Wine in Old Bottles (FREE)Nielsen, CarlNinth 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, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRavel, Maurice (FREE)RRespighi, OttorinoRoaring 20'sRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare (FREE)Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I (FREE)Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISibelius and GriegSounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, Igor (FREE)String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago (FREE)Symphony, Part 01Symphony, Part 02 Symphony, Part 03 (FREE)Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05 Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part ITchaikovsky, Peter, Part IIThe Big Five, Part I: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (FREE)The Big Five, Part I: New York PhilharmonicThe Big Five, Part II: New York PhilharmonicThrough the Mail SlotTone Poems (FREE)Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part IIUnfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVeniceVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II (FREE)ViolaViolin Concerto Voices from the East WWagner's Ring CycleWagner, RichardWalton, WilliamWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?Wind QuintetsWunderkinder, Part IWunderkinder, Part IIYYou and the Night and the Music
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Brahms, Johannes, Part II Purchase Now
We ended last week with Brahms` German Requiem. This week we will continue with Brahms. Today`s hour will start with a piece written right around the time of the German Requiem: a Horn Trio in E-flat major for horn, violin and piano. Other pieces Bill will focus on today are the Liebeslieder Waltzes, the Piano Quartet no.3. and the first movement from Brahms` first symphony with the CSO and Solti.
All the text of the Liebeslieder is derived from folk material: from Russian, Polish and Hungarian folk songs.
Brahms started composing his Piano Quartet no.3. in 1855, when Robert Schumann was taken to the asylum. Brahms` love for Clara manifests itself in this music. Brahms revised the piece twenty years later.
His first symphony took a long time to compose. Robert and Clara Schumann knew the first time they heard Brahms play, that he was a symphonist, and that he would express himself the most through his symphonic music.
Brahms kept trying to find his symphonic voice. He started the first symphony in 1862, and didn`t finish it for 14 years.
Brahms: Horn Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40, I & IV
Bloom, hn.; Tree, v.; Serkin, p.
Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52 (excerpts)
soloists, Forsberg, p.
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in c minor, Op. 60, III
Beaux Arts Trio; Trampler, vla.
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Op. 68, I
Yesterday we ended with Brahms` first Symphony. Today we will continue with the III. and IV. movements of Brahms` first Symphony. Then we will move on to his second Symphony in D major, which leads to the Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, written just a year after his second Symphony. Our closing piece today will be a song called "An die Nactingal".
It seems like Brahms` whole life before writing his symphonic works was leading up to his symphonies. The first time he played for the Schumanns, they told him he was a symphonist. He performed his Piano Sonata No.1. for them. Did he? Bill will tell us the story.
After finishing his first Symphony, the second one only took Brahms a year. Bill reads a letter Brahms wrote to Elizabeth von Herzogenberg about it.
Brahms` compositional style is extremely "economic": he uses motivic development as his compositional method, which means that he derives and developes all the musical material from the first few motives of the piece. The beautiful pastoral quality he uses also appears in another piece he composed a year later: his Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major.
The song "An die Nachtigal" shows us that Brahms had the ability to compose "his own folksongs"; melodies that sound like folk melodies, but are not derived from actual folk songs.
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Op. 68, III & IV
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73, I
Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op. 78, I
Szeryng, v.; Rubinstein, p.
Brahms: “An die Nachtigal”
Fink, ms.; Vignoles, p.
Today Bill focuses on three major works by Brahms: the Sonata in G major for Violin and Piano, his Concerto for Violin in D major and his third Symphony.
Bill reads a letter from Clara Schumann to Brahms about the sonata he had sent her. That was the sonata in G major for Violin and Piano that we heard yesterday. Brahms uses the same melody in the last movement of his violin sonata as in the song "Nachtklang".
Bill shows us an incredible recording today: one with Joachim playing the violin, recorded around 1900. Bill also reads an excerpt about him from Michael Steinberg`s book, which explains a lot about Joachim`s role and importance in Brahms` life and music.
Brahms composed his D major Violin Concerto for Joachim.
Brahm changes Joachim`s FAE motto ("Frei aber einsam" - free but lonely) into FAF ("frei aber froh" - free but happy) and uses this motive as the main motive of his incredible third symphony.
Brahms: “Nachtklang ”Op. 59 No. 4
FischerDieskau, bar.; Demus, p.
Brilliant Classics 92891
Brahms: Sonata in G Major for Violin and Piano, Op. 78, III
Szeryng, v.; Rubinstein, p.
Yesterday`s hour introduced us to the first movement of Brahms` amazing third symphony. Today`s we will hear the rest of the symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. After the 3rd symphony, Bill focuses on the second Piano Concerto, but before that, he talks a little about Brahms` personal life throughout the 1860`s. We will listen to the first movement of the concerto played by Ax and the Boston Symphony under Haitink.
Bill finishes today`s hour with two Hungarian Dances, performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Ivan Fischer.
Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, II-IV
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83, I
BSO/Haitink; Ax, p.
:38, 1:16, 18:32
Today`s broadcast will start with Bill introducing the Fourth Symphony and the circumstances the piece was composed and performed in. He also reads exerpts of Brahms` letters about the composition of the symphony, and his fear of the public not understanding his music. We will hear the first movement with the Vienna Philharmonic with Kleiber.
In 1885, at age 52 Brahms thought about retiring, but projects kept coming up, one of them proposed by Joachim. He asked Brahms to write a piece for him and Robert Hausmann, the cellist of his quartet to play together. Setting Beethoven`s triple concerto as an example, Joachim convinced Brahms to write his Double Concerto for Violin and Cello. We wil hear the third movement with Oistrakh and Rostropovich.
The next piece Bill focuses on is the Trio in a minor for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. In 1890 Brahms felt like retiring again. He plans to finish some unfinished pieces, and never compose again. In 1891 clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld`s playing captivated him, and he ended up composing multiple pieces for clarinet. We will hear the first movement with Stoltzman, YoYo Ma, and Ax.
The two-week Brahms fest ends with a few Intermezzi played by Vogt, and gorgeous song "Sonntag", Op.47.No.3.
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e minor, Op. 98, I
Brahms: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in a minor, Op. 102, III
Cleveland Orch/Szell; Oistrakh, v.; Rostropovich, vc.