- 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 IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAn 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)Child'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 QuartetsEElgarEmotion and Meaning in MusicEspanaFFamilies 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)NielsenNinth 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 IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRavelRespighiRussian 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 Big Five, Part I: Chicago Symphony OrchestraThe Big Five, Part I: New York Philharmonic The Big Five, Part II: New York PhilharmonicThe 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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Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic
The theme for this week's show is taken from a line by John Sibelius, "They never built a statue for a music critic."
Originally, the show was to be based solely on the book Lexicon of Musical Inventive by Nicolas Slonimsky. The book is a collection of hilariously bad reviews about beloved peices of music. However, the theme was revised to also showcase music critics that got it right, many of which were also composers.
One of these is Robert Schumann who wrote under the pen names "Florestan" and "Eusebius." He writes, "In no other field of criticism is it so difficult to offer proof as in music."
Another one of these critics is Charles Rosen, a pianist who wrote books such as The Classical Style. Rosen wrote, "Almost all art is subversive. It attacks established values and replaces them with that of its own creation."
Schumann: Carnival, Op.9
V. Eusebius (excerpt)
XII. Chopin (excerpt)
Chopin: Variations on "Là ci darem la mano," Op.2
Introduction (Largo-Poco più mosso)
Warsaw Philharmonic/Kord; Ohlsson,p.
18:50, :36, :23
Mozart: Don Giovanni
“La ci Darem la Mano”
“Venite Pur Avanti” (excerpt)
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner; Allen, t.;McLaughlin,s.
3:11, 1:17, 00:34
Mozart: String Quintet No.4 in G minor, K. 516
II Adagio (excerpt)
Alban Berg Quartet; Wolf, vla.
Mozart: "Ach, ich fühl's" fr. Die Zauberflöte
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner; Te Kanawa, s.
Mozart: Symphony No. 40, K. 550, I (excerpt) & IV
Marlboro Festival Orchestra/Casals
Due to the brain's "non-acceptance of the unfamiliar," being a music critic can be especially challenging. That idea is explored in this show.
E.T.A. Hoffman was an extremely perceptive music critic and wrote the book Musical Writings. Beethoven's 5th Symphony premiered on Dec. 2, 1808, and Hoffman's review was released a year and a half later on May of 1810. However, it was 16 pages long and Hoffman clearly understood Beethoven's 5th Symphony in a way that no other critic did at that time.
Schumann wrote about Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Schumann saw the dichotomy between the German style of writing symphonies, and Berlioz's desire to tell stories through music.
In an interview with Pulitzer prize winning critic, Tim Page, Page requests a performance of Berceuse elegigue, by Ferruccio Busoni.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109 I (excerpt)
Rudolf Serkin, p.
Beethoven: Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op. 67
I. Allegro Con Brio; IV. Allegro
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra Of Venezuela/Dudamel
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Solti
London 430 792-2
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Op. 125
London 430 792-2
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, V
Interview: Tim Page
Busoni, arr. John Adams: Berceuse Elegiaque
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Alsop
Busoni: Piano Concerto
IV. All' Italiana: Vivace
Cleveland Orchestra/Dohnanyi; Ohlsson,p.
Claude Debussy's peices, known for their use of whole tone scales, were panned by a lot of critics at the time. James Gibbons Huneker even went as far as to criticize Debussy for his ugly looks.
In an interview with a former New York Times music critic, Joseph Horowitz, Horowitz requests Liszt's 3rd Concerto, Un Sospiro (The Sigh).
Similar to Debussy, Richard Strauss's opera, Salome, was not well received in 1907. It was even forbidden to be performed again, though that ban has not held up to the test of time.
According to John Von Rhein, a critic for The Chicago Tribune, it is important to understand new music as well as historical music because it is the critic's job to guide, instruct and educate the public.
Debussy: Pelléas Et Mélisande (excerpt)
Vienna Phil & Vienna State Opera Chorus/Abbado
Debussy: La Mer
interview: Joe Horowitz
Liszt: Un Sospiro, S 144/3
R. Strauss: Salome: Tanz der sieben Schleier (excerpt)
Interview: John von Rhein
Sibelius: Symphony #5 In E Flat, Op. 82, III
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Rattle
Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger was bashed by many critics upon it's release. One critic went as far as to only identify himself as "a sufferer" in the byline.
Friedrich Nietzsche, at first a huge Wagner fan, came to hate Wagner's music. This was perhaps due to the fact that Wagner found God around the time that Nietzche declared "God is dead."
Critic Terry Teachout requests Moravec's Mood Swings.
Both Stravinsky and Schoenberg, who were doing very interesting and inventive things with harmony, disliked the other's works. Stravinksy's Rite of Spring caused a tremendous furor in Paris 1913 when it was first performed, and caused the greatest musical riot to date.
Wagner: Prelude fr. Die Meistersinger, Act. I
Interview: Terry Teachout
Moravec: Mood Swings
Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 (excerpts)
20th Century Classics Ensemble/Craft
Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring - Part 1
London Symphony Orchestra/Bernstein
Virgil Thomson was another composer/critic. He was very fond of Edward MacDowell, but called Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D Major "vulgar and self indulgent." Bill argues that this may be because Sibelius' "musical universe" is in sharp contrast to Thomson's.
There is a debate on whether a critic should know the composers well or keep a safe distance. Andrew Patner, a current critic, argues that the critic should know the artist and their processes.
Deryck Cooke, an English critic and musicologist who wrote Vindications, is a fan of The Beatles because they break with so many of the pop song form conventions.
MacDowell: To A Wild Rose fr. Woodland Sketches, Op. 51 (excerpt)
MacDowell: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 23 in d minor, II
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Hendl; Cliburn,p.
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, I (excerpt)
Interview: Andrew Patner
Kurka: The Good Solider Schweik (excerpts)
Chicago Opera Theater/Platt
9:06, 2:18, 2:58,
McCartney, gtr. & voc.
Mahler: Symphony No. 10, V