- Program List
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 American Masters, Part II American Masters, Part IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAmerican Masters, Part V An Intelligent Conversation: String Quartets Arias & BarcarollesArtists in Exile, Part IArtists in Exile, Part IIAutumn Leaves Autumnal Masterpieces 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 MetronomeBeethoven 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 Bruckner, Anton (FREE)CCall for ScoresCello Concertos Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, AaronCorigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, Claude (FREE)Demons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night (FREE)Director's ChoiceDistant Neighbors Don't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvořák, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEnescu, GeorgesEspanaFFamilies of Instruments Family MattersFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFour SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame of Pairs, Part I Game of Pairs, Part IIGershwin, GeorgeGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music and Its Influences Green and Pleasant Land HHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHHindemith, PaulHit or Myth Holiday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear a Rhapsody I Hear America Singing (FREE)I Lost it at the Movies (FREE)In a Family WayIncidentally SpeakingIntimate VoicesInvitation to the Dance, Part I Invitation to the Dance, Part II Invitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His Lass Italian SouvenirsJJanacek, LeosKKeyboard SmorgasbordLLatin CarnivalLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part IIILiszt, Franz Little Traveling Music, Please MMaestro, Part IMaestro, Part IIMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Gustav, Part IMahler, Gustav, Part IIMaiden VoyagesMendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMozart at his Zenith Mozart Piano ConcertosMozart's Birthday BashMozart: Bright Lights, Big CityMusic for the MassesMusic in 19th Century Paris: Waterloo to Bismarck Music in the Time of WarMusic of ScandinaviaMusical Cryptograms NNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Releases, Part III, week 1 of 2New Releases, Part III, week 2 of 2 New Wine in Old Bottles Nielsen, Carl Ninth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New World Outward BoundPPastoral Symphonies Piano ConcertosPolandPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part I Portraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part II Ports of Call, Part I Ports of Call, Part II (FREE)Poulenc, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRRavel, Maurice Respighi, OttorinoRimsky-Korsakov and His PupilsRoaring 20's Russian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISibelius and GriegSlipped Through the Cracks Sounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, Igor String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago Symphony, Part 01 (FREE)Symphony, Part 02 Symphony, Part 03 Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05 Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08 Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part ITchaikovsky, Peter, Part IIThe Big Five, Part I: Chicago Symphony OrchestraThe Big Five, Part I: New York PhilharmonicThe Big Five, Part II: New York PhilharmonicThe Gathering Storm: Music from the Great Depression to WWIIThrough the Mail SlotTone Poems Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part II Unfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVeniceVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II 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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Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I Purchase Now
Musicologist David Fanning concludes in Grove's Dictionary that Shostakovich "forged a musical language of colossal emotional power". This week will be the first half of a two-part series exploring the life and times of this fascinating composer.
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.