- 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 SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame 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 IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRavelRespighiRRussian 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)String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings 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 PhilharmonicThe 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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Shostakovich, Part I
The first of ten hours on the great Russian/Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich begins with several youthful works: Five Preludes for Piano, Three Fantastic Dances and Trio No. 1 for Piano and Strings before moving on to an in-depth look at his astonishing Symphony No. 1, written while Shostakovich was still a teenager.
Bill draws on Elizabeth Wilson's book, Shostakovich: A Life Remembered to provide an overview of his childhood and the start of his career as a composer growing up St. Petersburg, which by the time Shostakovich was a young man had been renamed Petrograd and then Leningrad as a result of the Soviet Revolution.
Shostakovich: Five Preludes for piano (excerpts)
Shostakovich: Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5
Shostakovich: Trio No.1 for Piano and Strings, Op. 8, I
Laredo, v.; Robinson, vc.; Kalichstein, p.
Shostakovich: Symphony No.1 in f minor, Op. 10
Having been elevated to world fame at the age of 18 thanks to his first symphony, Shostakovich quickly went on to explore many musical forms in his early twenties. In this hour Bill features excerpts from his Aphorisms for Piano (abstract pieces with weird intervals inspired by earlier piano works by Prokofiev), the Suite from his Stalin era 'factory' ballet The Bolt from 1931, the final movement from his Symphony No. 2 written in honor of the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution (featuring a choral setting of a poem by Mayakovsky) and the finally his Tahiti Trot (a playful orchestration of "Tea For Two" that Shostakovich made in 45 minutes in order to win a bet).
Shostakovich: Aphorisms for Piano, Op. 13 (excerpts)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, I (excerpt)
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Bolt, Op. 27a (excerpts)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Major, To October, Op. 14
Shostakovich: Tahiti Trot
The hour begins with a suite from Shostakovich's first ballet "The Golden Age" from 1930. The ballet tells the story of members of a Soviet football (soccer) team who travel to the west and foil their capitalist opponents (and includes a polka that became immensely popular). Then Bill turns to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 3 (May Day) from 1929 and the Suite from his experimental opera based on Gogol's story, "The Nose."
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Golden Age, Op. 22a
Shosatkovich: Symphony, No.3 in E-flat Major, First of May, Op. 20 (excerpts)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jansons
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Nose, Op. 15a (excerpts)
Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Moscow Chamber Opera/Rozhdestvensky
In this hour Bill focuses on Shostakovich and the piano beginning with several of Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives which were a likely inspiration for the young Shostakovich before turning to Shostakovich's own Preludes for Piano (which, following the model of Chopin, covers the spectrum of the 24 keys).
Next is the Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra from 1933 and then the opera Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District which became an immense hit before provoking the wrath of Stalin (the next hour takes a more extensive look at Lady MacBeth).
Shostakovich: Waltz fr.Jazz Suite No. 1 (excerpt)
Prokofiev: Visions Fugitives for Piano, I, IV & XIII
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes for Piano,Op. 34, II, XI & XVII
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes, arr. for Piano and Violin, XV, X, & XXIV
Kogan, v.; Shostakovich, p.
Shostakovich: Concerto No.1 in c minor for Piano,Trumpet and Orchestra, Op. 35
LA Phil/Salonen; Bronfman, p.; Stevens, tpt.
Shostakovich: Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District (excerpt)
Bastille Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Chung
Continuing the exploration of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, the show begins with the chorus of the convicts and then an enchanting love duet between Katerina (Lady Macbeth) and her lover Sergei (which Bill compares to Lana Turner and John Garfield in the film The Postman Always Rings Twice).
Stalin's wrath descended on Shostakovich with the famous "Muddle Instead of Music" article that appeared in Pravda. This bitter denunciation, declared him a formalist. In the meantime, Shostakovich finished his massive and enigmatic, Mahler inspired Symphony No. 4 written in 1936 but heard until the 1960s, which Bill explores in detail. The week ends with the lyric Sonata for Violoncello and Piano widely viewed at Shostakovich first major chamber work.
Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk (excerpts)
Bastille Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Chung
6:03, 5:42, 1:23
Shostakovich: Arrival of the Police fr. Lady Macbeth
Shostakovich: Symphony No.4 in c minor, Op. 43 (excerpts)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Rattle
1:40, 3:16, 2:14, 14:30
Shostakovich: Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 40, I
Harrell, vc.; Ashkenazy, p.