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.
if you are not a subscriber to the Exploring Music site, you may listen to the introduction (7 minutes) of ANY of the 850+ hourly programs. By becoming a monthly or annual member, you gain complete access to all programs. You may also purchase access to individual 5-hour weeks.
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Our focus is on Franz Schubert and his work with string quartets. The son of a schoolteacher, Schubert joined a chapel choir at the age of eleven, just as Napoleon reached Vienna. When he lost his youthful singing voice in 1812, Schubert began composing in earnest. Bill plays Schubert’s String Quartet no. 2, composed at age fifteen, as well as excerpts from quartets no. 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10, all composed in Schubert's teens.
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, D. 32, I & II
MDG 307 0609
Schubert: String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 68, II
MDG 307 0608
Schubert: String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, D. 87, II
MDG 307 0605
Bill skips past the years in which Schubert put aside string quartets for operas and moves ahead to the 1820s. At this time, Schubert had already contracted syphilis, and Bill posits that the string quartets of Schubert’s later years give us a glimpse at the composer’s struggles. We hear the string quartet nicknamed Rosemunde, as well as an excerpt from Quartettsatz.
Franz Schubert arr. Franz Liszt: “Der Müller und der Bach” for Piano, S. 565 No. 2
Evgeni Kissin, p.
Schubert: String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, Op. 29, D. 804, Rosamunde, I & II, III (excerpt)
DG 419 171
20:26, :40 Purchase
Schubert: String Quartet No. 13 in A Minor, Op. 29, D. 804, Rosamunde, III & IV
DG 419 171
Schubert: Quartet for Strings No. 12 in C Minor, Op. posth., D. 703, Quartettsatz
:57, 9:09 Purchase
Bill opens with Schubert’s “Der Tod und das Mädchen,” a song with piano and contralto, written at age twenty. We then hear the string quartet Death and the Maiden before we end with a Schubert notturno to lighten the mood.
Franz Schubert: “Der Tod und das Mädchen,” Op. 7, No. 3
Marian Anderson, contralto; Franz Rupp, piano
Schubert: Notturno In E-Flat Major, Op. 148, D. 897
Edward Dusinberre, v.; Andras Fejér, vc.; Andreas Haefliger, p.
London 452 854
We first hear a string quartet from Beethoven. Bill plays the original ending to Beethoven’s opus no. 130, which Schubert once heard in concert. It inspired Schubert’s final string quartet before his death, which Bill plays in its entirety.
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13 In B-flat Major, Op. 130 (excerpts from V & VI)
Emerson String Quartet
3:30, :56 Purchase
Bill finishes the week on Franz Schubert with a string quintet. Inspired as a child by a quintet from Mozart, Schubert tried his hand at the form with an added cello to create a unique sound. Just two months after the composition, Schubert passed away.
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You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
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.
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.
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
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!
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.)
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.
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.