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Demons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night

Darkness descends on Exploring Music as we investigate composers’ fascination with ghosts, goblins, Mephistopheles and other phantasmagoria.

 
Program 1

Composers love the supernatural, and this week we do too. Saint-Saëns and skeletons do a spooky dance, Paganini flirts with the devil, a Banshee emerges from the piano, and monsters are mashed. 
 

Camille Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre
New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
CBS 37769
7:05
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John Cage: The Perilous Night, V 
Markus Hinterhauser, prepared piano
Col Legno 20027
:46
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Franz Liszt: Totentanz, S. 555
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa;
Krystian Zimerman, p.
Phil 456997
15:15
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Charles Ives: Hallowe’en
New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
DG 429220
1:57
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Niccolò Paganini: Le streghe – Op. 8, (arr. for solo violin)
Rachel Barton Pine, v.
Cedille 041
10:07
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Henry Cowell: The Banshee
Cowell, p.
Smithsonian Folkways 40801
1:44
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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, V
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Münch
RCA 6210
8:46
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Monster Mash
Bobby (Boris) Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers
Rhino 70743
3:15
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Program 2

In this episode we examine the many other scary holidays besides Halloween, including  Mussorgosky's famous take on St. John's Night, and Brahms musical interpertation of Walpurgisnacht.
 

Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
RCA 61238
11:41
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Felix Mendelssohn: Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Op. 60
Cleveland Orch & Chorus/Christoph Von Dohnanyi; Christine Cairns, ms.; Jon Garrison, ten.; Tom Krause, bar.; Jeffrey Wells, bs. bar.
Telarc 80184
18:11
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Brahms: “Walpurgisnacht”, Op. 75/4
Gil Shaham, v.; Jonathan Feldman, p.
DG 463483
1:49
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Robert “Bob” Cobert: Theme from Dark Shadows
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel
Telarc 80580
1:31
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Procol Harum- Repent Walpurgis (excerpt)
2:41
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Program 3

Adventurers come face to face with all manner of spooks in this episode of Exploring Music, including goblins, elven kings, devils, and a band of witches. 

 

Edvard Grieg: In the Hall of the Mountain King
Philharmonia Orchestra/Andrew Davis
CBS 45530
2:27
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Antonio Bazzini: Round of the Goblins
Rachel Barton Pine, v.
Cedille 041
5:09
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Joaquin Rodrigo: Seguidillas del diablo
Artur Pizarro, p.
Collins 14342
4:06
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Boccherini: Symphony In D Minor, Op. 12/4, La Casa Del Diavolo, III
Tafelmusik Orchestra/Jean Lamon
RCA 7867
5:49
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György Ligeti: Piano Etudes, Book 2 – L’Escalier Du Diable
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, p.
Sony 62308
5:16
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Franz Schubert: “Der Erlkönig,” D. 328
Malcolm Martineau, p.; Bryn Terfel, bs. bar.
DG 445294
4:24
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John Morris: Transylvanian Lullaby from Young Frankenstein
Gil Shaham, v.; Jonathan Feldman, p.
DG 463483
3:59
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Michael Tippett: Ritual Dances From The Midsummer Marriage (excerpts)
English Northern Philharmonia/Michael Tippet; Rita Cullis, sop; Mark Curtis, ten; Margaret McDonald, ms; Matthew Best, bass
Nimbus 5217
8:28
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Malcolm Arnold: Tam O’Shanter – Overture, Op. 51
Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Arnold
EMI 64044
7:56
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Program 4

Tall, black pointy hats, broomsticks, and a harsh cackle. Yes, this episode of Exploring Music focuses on witches. We hit all the expected notes (Verdi's take on Macbeth's  three witches), and still have room for a few suprises (Berlioz, John Williams and more).
 

Verdi: Macbeth – Act 3: “Tre Volte Miagola La Gatta In Fregola” 
Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Georg Solti
Lon 430226
4:06
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Bedrich Smetana: Macbeth and the Witches
Radoslav Kvapil, p.
Unicorn 9152
10:57
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Hector Berlioz: La Damnation de faust – The Ride to the Abyss, Pandemonium and Epilogue on Earth
Chicago Sympony Orchestra & Chorus/Sir Georg Solti; Kenneth Riegel, ten.; José van Dam, bs. bar.; Frederica von Stade, ms.
Lon 410181
9:11
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Manuel De Falla: El Amor Brujo
Montreal Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit
Lon 410008
24:15
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John Williams: Devil’s Dance fr. The Witches of Eastwick (excerpt)
Gil Shaham, v.; Jonathan Feldman, p.
DG 463483
3:37
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Program 5

On the final spooky episode of Exploring Music we explore one of the most famous ghost stories of all: Faust. From Schubert to Gounod, every composer has a different take.

Robert Schumann: Scenes From Goethe’s Faust (excerpts)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado; soloists
Sony 66308
:56, 10:58
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Franz Schubert: “Gretchen Am Spinnrade,” D. 118
Bernarda Fink, ms. Gerold Huber, p.
HM 901991
3:39
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Feruccio Busoni: Doktor Faust (excerpts)
Lyon Opera Orchestra/Nagano; Henschel, bar.; Begley, ten.
Erato 25501
6:51, 5:05
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Busoni: Lied des Mephistopheles (“Faust”, Teil I)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, bar.; Gerald Moore, p.
EMI 63167
1:30
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Offenbach: Les Contes D’Hoffmann – “Scintille, Diamant!”
Munich Radio Orchestra/Julius Rudel; Samuel Ramey, bs.
Naxos 8.555355
4:11
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Gounod: Faust – “Le Veau D’Or Est Toujours Debout!”
Munich Radio Orchestra/Julius Rudel; Samuel Ramey, bs.
Naxos 8.555355
2:18
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Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand, II (excerpts)
Bavarian Radio Orchestra & Chorus/Colin Davis; soloists
RCA 68348
13:30
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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.
Steffen Demeter
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.
Walther Davies
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.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
Kourtney
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!
Claudia Wertz
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.)
Christine Anderson
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.
Sally Rosenbaum
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.
Jean Quay
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