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.
We’ll sample from the wealth of music inspired by the Bard’s verse, including a suite from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and excerpts from William Walton’s score to the film Henry V. Bill also finds time to fit in a few different musical interpretations from the timeless legend of Romeo and Juliet.
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Rather than examine music within Shakespeare’s works, Bill takes a look at pieces inspired by the Bard’s masterpieces, beginning with one of Mendelssohn’s first masterpieces, his overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Handel: “E Pur Cosi… Piangero” fr. Julius Caesar
London Phil/Welser-Most; Amanda Roocroft, s.
Vaughan Williams: “Full Fathom Five”, “The Cloud-Capped Towers” and “Over Hill, Over Dale”
3:16, 2:22, :58 Purchase
Finzi: “Who is Sylvia?”, “Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun” and “It was a Lover and his Lass” from Let us Garlands Bring
Bournemouth Symphony Orch/Handley; M. George, bar.
1:34, 5:02, 2:34 Purchase
Beach: “O Mistress Mine” & “Take, O Take Those Lips Away”
Emma Kirkby, s; James Lisney, p.
2:27, 1:32 Purchase
Romeo and Juliet is the focus for this program, and Bill includes music from Charles Gounod, Hector Berlioz and ends with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.
Gounod: Queen Mab scene from Romeo and Juliet
Toulouse Capitole Orchestra/Plasson
Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)
Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique & Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner; Fouchcourt, ten.
1:29, 7:17, 14:53 Purchase
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
The theme of Romeo and Juliet continues with Bill’s examination of compositions by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, neither of whom use Shakespearian language but instead use the story of Romeo and Juliet to build great works of music.
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.