- 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
Please click here to find out more.
Bach Sleeps in on Sundays
Johann Sebastian Bach spent most of his adult life working for the church except for a five year period from 1717-1722. During these years, Bach was working as a court musician for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kothen (east Germany). Prince Leopold was a huge fan of music and had an excellent orchestra that he hired Bach to direct.
The Partita No. 3 in E Major was written while there. It was one of Bach's favorites and he transcribed it for himself to play on the organ. He was also working on a big project from 1720-1721 that was published in 1722: The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Bach composed six pieces for solo cello while working for Prince Leopold. It was likely that these were composed for one of two cellists in the orchestra, either Christian Ferdinand Abel or Christian Linka.
The Brandenburg Concertos, some of Bach's most famous pieces, were written for Prince Leopold's orchestra. This show will feature each of the movements throughout the week.
J.S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion (excerpt)
Decca 421 177
Vivaldi: Winter fr. The Four Seasons (excerpt)
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 3 in E Major (excerpts)
3:29, 6:35, 1:50
J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E-flat Minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major (excerpts)
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center/Shifrin
Another very important composer during this time period was Antonio Vivaldi. He came to prominence around 1710, the same time that Prince Leopold was taking his "grand tour." Leopold visted Berlin, Rome, Venice and Amsterdam, and took music lessons in all of the cities. When he returned home, he sought an orchestra of his own.
We listen to two Vivaldi pieces in this program: Concerto No. 11 in D major and Concerto No. 12 in E Major finale. Bach was heavily influenced by Vivaldi and transcribed the second piece for himself to play on the harpsichord.
This program also features two more movements of the Brandenburg Concertos and the Ciaconna fr. Partita No. 2 in d minor for violin.
Vivaldi: Concerto No. 11 in D Major, RV 565
Vivaldi: Concerto No. 12 in E Major, finale (excerpt)
J.S. Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord in C Major, BWV 976
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051, finale
J.S. Bach: Ciaccona fr. Partita No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1004
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Musica Antiqua Köln/Goebel
Bach's work went out of style for a time, but Felix Mendelssohn led a great revival of his music in Leipzig around 1830. This revival also sparked the public's curiosity about composers that had influenced Bach. In addition to Vivaldo, Arcangelo Corelli annd George Friderich Handel's work also played a large role. We listen to a few pieces from these composers in today's program.
Guest Paul Moravec, the 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner in classical music compostition, stops by to weigh in on Bach in the second half of the program.
Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6 No. 9 in F major, I & II
Archiv 423 626-2
Handel: Concerto Op. 6 No. 2 in F major, I & II
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 447 733-2
J.S. Bach: Sonata for Violin in a minor (excerpt)
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, BWV 1048, finale
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Marriner
Phil 400 076-2
J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in B minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
J.S. Bach: Toccata & Fugue in d minor (excerpt)
All of the six sonatas for violin and harpsichord Bach composed were started during his time in Kothen. However, some of the sonatas were published later once he had moved on to Leipzig. Here are the adagio and allegro movements from the Sonata in b minor for Violin and Harpsichord.
He also wrote six cello suites while there. Here is the first of them, the Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major.
In today's program, we listen to the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major. It is a hybrid form and gives the harpischord the opportunity to be more than just the accompaniment. It features a very difficult written-out harpsichord cadenza.
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV 825 (excerpt)
J.S. Bach: Sonata in b minor for violin & harpshichord, BWV 1014 (excerpt)
Laredo, v.; Gould, p.
J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No 1 in G major, BWV 1007
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Archiv 413 629
At this time, there was a dispute over the best way to tune keyboard instruments. Traditionally, they had been tuned according to perfect fifths. While this was good for some keys, it was bad for others. Bach came up with the idea of tuning keyboard instruments by half-steps, and then wrote The Well-Tempered Clavier where he composed in every key to demonstrate how good and consistent the tuning was. Several movements from The Well-Tempered Clavier are played in today's program.
Also played is potentially the most famous of the Brandenburg Concertos, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.
J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue in C# minor fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier
J.S. Bach: Suite for Cello No. 4 in E-flat Major (excerpts)
J.S. Bach: Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 4 in C minor, BWV 1017
Podger, v.; Pinnock, hps.
Channel Classics 14798
J.S. Bach: “Erbarme dich” fr. St. Matthew Passion (excerpt)
CSO/Solti; von Otter, ms.
Lon 421 177
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047
CSO/Levine; Herseth, tpt.; Magad, v.; Peck, fl.; Still, ob.
J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue in E major fr. The Well-Tempered Clavier