- 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 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 IIIAn 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 QuartetsBerliozBernsteinBill's KeepersBrahms, Part IBrahms, Part IIBritten CCamille St-SaënsCello Concertos (FREE)Chicago Symphony Orchestra: The Big FiveChild'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 QuartetsEElgarEspanaFFamilies of InstrumentsFamily MattersFauréFit for a KingGGame of Pairs, Part IGame of Pairs, Part IIGershwinGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music And Its InfluencesHHandelHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHindemithHoliday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear America SingingI Lost it at the Movies (FREE)Incidentally 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 WarNNadia BoulangerNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Wine in Old Bottles (Free)New York Philharmonic: The Big Five, Part INew York Philharmonic: The Big Five, Part IINielsenNinth 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 IIProkofievRRachmaninoffRRavelRespighiRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman (William) SchumannShakespeare (FREE)Shostakovich, Part IShostakovich, Part IISibelius and GriegSounds of the City of Lights (FREE)SoundtracksSpring is HereSt. Matthew PassionStrauss (Richard)Stravinsky (FREE)Strings Plus OneTTchaikovsky, Part ITchaikovsky, Part IIThe Four SeasonsThe Proud Tower, Part IThe Proud Tower, Part IIThe Roaring 20'sThe Symphony, Part IThe Symphony, Part IIThe Symphony, Part IIIThe Symphony, Part IVThe Symphony, Part IXThe Symphony, Part VThe Symphony, Part VI (French)The Symphony, Part VII (Russian)The Symphony, Part VIIIThrough the Mail SlotTone PoemsToo Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicUUnder 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
- Listen to the Show
- About Exploring Music
The show begins with a passionate piece about obsessive love: the Herminie, something that seems to represent his own passion for women and music. It seems Berlioz loved music so much that he gave up studies in medicine to learn composition, soldiering on through his musical studies despite people like Rossini giving him a hard time for his lack of ability on piano. Next we hear the overture to his opera Les Francs Juges, which contains a good mix of influences from Rossini and the original material that so frightened Berlioz' teachers. A similar sound can be heard in the next piece, the second movement of The Death of Cleopatra. Throughout his life, Berlioz had two major influences: Shakespere and Beethoven. In the case of Shakespere, there was a woman attached, a woman who broke his heart and gave way to the piece we hear next: the first two movements of Symphonie Fantastique.
Berlioz: Herminie (excerpt)
Philharmonia Orchestra/JeanPhilippe Rouchon; Roslyn Plowright, s.
Berlioz: Les Francs Juges
Berlioz: Death of Cleopatra II
Philharmonia Orchestra/JeanPhilippe Rouchon; Plowwright, s.
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique I & II
Radio de Fussion Francaise/Beecham
Despite being unlucky with women, Berlioz was successful with music, and Symphonie Fantastique was a major hit in Paris. To get over his broken heart which had inspired the piece, Berlioz wrote Lelio, which this segment begins with. He took it to Rome as his "return to life," and when it too was successful he returned to Paris where he debuted Harold in Italy, a five-movement symphony where the viola is prominantly featured, per Paganini's request. We hear the second and third movements. Berlioz continued his success when the French Minister of the Interior commissioned him to write a gigantic Requiem, which we hear several segments of before the segment closes.
Berlioz: Lelio (excerpts from)
LSO/ Boulez; John Mitchinson, t; John ShirleyQuirk, bari
Berlioz: Harold in Italy, II & III
BSO/Munch William Primrose, vla
Berlioz: Requiem (excerpts from)
11:22, 5:14, 9:21
The Requiem was a tremendous piece, and a tremendous success, and it spurred Berlioz on to compose a new opera called Benvenuto Cellini, an opera that despite Berlioz' personal approval of his work, did not stay in circulation for long. The overture, which we hear to start this segment, has. Next is Reverie et Caprice, a cavatina from the opera arranged for solo violin by Berlioz himself. Despite Berlioz not having much luck with Benvenuto Cellini, it has seen a modern day revival in a number of ways. Next is the opening to Berlioz' version of Romeo and Juliet, a dramatic symphony in which instruments take the roles of the players. There is not enough time to get to more of the piece in this segment, so we move on to three songs from Les nuits d'ete, a six-song collection for solo voice, standing in contrast to Berlioz' typical repertoire of gigantic public pieces. The last piece we hear in the segment is another of Berlioz' big hits, the Roman Carnival Overture, also related to Benvenuto Cellini.
Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini, overture
Berlioz: Reverie et caprice
Quebeque Symphony Orch./ Talmi; James Ehnes, v
Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet (excerpt)
Berlioz: Les nuits d’ete (excerpts from)
BSO/Munch Victoria de Los Angeles, s
6:26, 5:08, 3:40
Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
A typical situation for Berlioz was someone approaching him to write incidental music of some kind and Berlioz jumping in with both feet. In the case of what we hear first in this segment, Berlioz was approached to write incidental music for a production of Hamlet, but the project was cancelled and a single piece was salvaged: "Marche Funebre pour la Derniere Scene d'Hamlet." Next we hear several excerpts from a massive piece that Berlioz composed over a long period of time: The Damnation of Faust, based on the popular story by Göthe. The whole story is electric, and the atmosphere is very apparent even though we do not hear the whole thing. The segment finishes with a change of mood: L'enfance de Christ, a much less dramatic and somewhat pastoral sounding piece. We hear the opening of the second part.
Berlioz Marche funebre pour la derniere scene d'Hamlet
Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique/ Gardiner
Berlioz: Damnation of Faust (excerpts from)
Philharmonia Orch. and Chorus/ Chung; Keith Lewis, Bryn Terfel, Anne Sofie von Otter, soloists
DG 453500-2 (2)
14:40, 8:03, 8:22
Berlioz: L’enfance de Christ Part II, I & II
BSO/ Munch;New England Conservatory Chorus
This final segment begins with Les Troyens, "The Trojans," Berlioz' second attempt at opera after Benvenuto Callini flopped. The whole thing cannot be played here, because it consists of two operas adding up to 5 hours. We hear three excerpts: the opening and two scenes. Next we hear the conclusion of a piece we heard in an earlier segment: the last two movements of Symphonie Fantastique, the march to the scaffold and the wild witches' sabbath. This final movement displays Berlioz' great gift for drama and hellish spectacle. The program closes on a quick little excerpt from Berlioz' setting of the French national anthem: La Marceillaise.
Berlioz: Les Troyens (excerpts from)
LSO and Chorus/Davis
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, IV & V
Radio de Fussion Francaise/Beecham
La Marceillaise (excerpt)