- 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 IAmerican 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 Metronome (FREE)Beethoven 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 CCall for ScoresCello Concertos Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, AaronCorigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, ClaudeDemons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the NightDirector's ChoiceDistant NeighborsDon't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvorak, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEspanaFFamilies 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 LandHHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHHidden Gold, Part IIHindemith, PaulHit or Myth Holiday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear a Rhapsody (FREE)I Hear America SingingI 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, LeosLLatin 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 the Time of WarMusic of Scandinavia (FREE)Musical 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, CarlNinth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New World Outward BoundPPastoral SymphoniesPiano ConcertosPolandPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part I Portraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part II Poulenc, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRavel, Maurice Respighi, OttorinoRRimsky-Korsakov and His PupilsRoaring 20'sRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I (FREE)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 01Symphony, 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 PhilharmonicThrough the Mail SlotTone Poems Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part IIUnfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVeniceVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II (FREE)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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Bernstein, Leonard Purchase Now
Debatably America's best composer, Leonard Berstein was born Louis Bernstein in 1918 in Lawrence Massachusetts. At 16, he legally changed his name to Leonard. This show focuses mainly on Bernstein's work as a composer.
At age 10, Bernstein's family aquired a piano and he began to play voraciously. Later, as a student at Harvard University, he studied lots of new music and became obsessed with Aaron Copland's work. While on a trip in New York City, a friend introduced Bernstein to Copland and the two became life-long friends.
In 1942, Bernstein began to study conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and also the Tanglewood Festival. Later, while living in New York City, Bernstein filled in for the New York Philharmonic's conductor, Bruno Walter, and he soon became a famous figure.
In 1944, Bernstein composed his first symphony, known as the Jeremiah Symphony.
Bernstein's musical On the Town started as the 1944 ballet, Fancy Free. It was such a hit that Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins decided to create a story line and songs with words. They teamed up with Betty Comden and Adolph Green to do so.
In 1949, Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety, was first performed. It is based on a poem by the same written by W.H. Auden. Musically, it is a combination of piano concerto and symphony. It is based largely on the format of theme and variations.
In 1951, he married Felicia Montealegre, a pianist/actress he met by chance. He wrote an "anniversary" piece for her in 1948. These anniversary peices were a tradition he kept up throughout his lifetime.
Bernstein wrote "Music is a lot of men in tails making lots of noise like a lot of females. Music is a lot of folks in a big dark hall where they really dont want to be at all with lots of chairs and lots of airs and lots of furs and diamonds. Music is silly. I hate music but I love to sing."
Bernstein: Three Dance Interludes from On the Town
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: Symphony No. 2 (excerpts)
New York Phil/Bernstein; Entremont, p.
Bernstein: Anniversary for Felicia Montealegre from Four Anniversaries
Bernstein: “Jupiter has Seven Moons” and “I Hate Music” from I Hate Music
Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
Colombia Jazz Combo/Bernstein Goodman, cl.
Bernstein: “A Quiet Girl” and “Ohio” (excerpt) from Wonderful Town
Bill Charlap Trio
Blue Note 94807
After winning a Tony Award for his musical Wonderful Town, Bernstein shifted to opera and wrote Trouble in Tahiti. Bernstein was heavily influenced by the composer Marc Blitzstein
Next, Bernstein was invited to write a piece for the solo violin by Isaac Stern. Bernstein based this piece on one of Plato's philosophical texts where those in attendance at a party discuss love. It was first performed in 1954 in Venice.
We hear the Overture from Candide, another opera, based on the writings of Voltaire. The show ends with a medley from West Side Story.
Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti
Columbia Wind Ensemble/Bernstein
Bernstein: Serenade for Violin & Orchestra “after Plato’s Symposium”
Baltimore Symphony/Zinman; Hahn, v.
Bernstein: Overture fr. Candide
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: West Side Story Medley
New York Phil/Bernstein
Phil 416 360
This program features much of Bernstein's musical arrangement of Voltaire's book Candide, originally published in 1759. Berstein wrote the music and Richard Wilbur was the primary lyricist. Many others contributed as well.
After Candide, Bernstein wrote a film score for the 1954 film On the Waterfront which won seven Academy Awards. While not much is heard in the movie, Bernstein also wrote a symphonic suite.
West Side Story, Bernstein biggest hit, was realeased in 1957. Set in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York, it integrated a lot of current popular musical styles, including jazz, bebop and many Latin styles.
Bernstein: Candide (excerpts)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Bernstein; Anderson, s.
6:34, 6:47, 5:37
Bernstein: Suite from On the Waterfront
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: West Side Story (excerpts)
Israel Phil/Bernstein; Horne, ms.
DG 415 253
2:23, 1:18, :46, 3:00
Bernstein: “Cool” fr. West Side Story (excerpt)
Bill Charlap Trio
Blue Note 94807
The Kaddish, Bernstein's third symphony, is dedicated to John F. Kennedy who was killed just a few weeks before the piece's premiere. The piece features vocalists and The Kaddish refers to the jewish prayer that is chanted at every service.
Next, Bernstein completed another choral piece, Chichester Pslams. The work was commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival at Chichester Cathedral. After that, he worked on another piece based on a seemingly religious theme, Mass. This is a intended for the stage and features tape loops, guitars, keyboards, rock singers and a chorus of "street people." Bernstein paired up with Godspell's Stephen Schwartz for Mass.
Benstein worked on several pieces, including Halil and Divertimento for Orchestra in 1980, and remained active composing and conducting until his death on October 14, 1990.
Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 (excerpts)
Israel Philharmonic/Bernstein; Wagner, n.
DG 289 463
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms, II
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Shaw; Ragin, cten.
Bernstein: “A Simple Song” fr. Mass
Orchestra/Bernstein; Norman Scribner Choir & Berkshire Boy Choir; Titus, bar.
CBS 44593/Sony 630 89
LSO/Sedares; Dwyer, fl.
Bernstein: Divertimento for Orchestra (excerpts)
Bernstein: “Some Other Time” fr. On the Town
Concord Jazz 4641