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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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Mendelssohn, Felix Purchase Now
German composer Felix Mendelssohn finds himself at the center of this week's episode of Exploring Music. Hailed as one of the greatest musical minds of all time we venture from his precocious youth to his early death. His great body of work is still in the repertoires of opera companies, chamber groups, and orchestras. And it’s the Mendelssohn violin concerto that is at very heart of every violinist.
Mendelssohn finds his voice at 15 with his piece, Overture for Wind Instruments in C Major. Felix Mendelssohn is recognized widely for his piano performances, his conducting and compositions. In fear of Napoleon's accusations of betrayal, Abraham Mendelssohn moved to Berlin with his wife and young children, one of whom was Felix. After the move, Abraham played a significant role in the inception of Felix's compositional career, as an intensive homeschooling parent. Mendelssohn idolized Bach, and began to make what would become his very own music, famous by the age of 16.
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64 (excerpts)
Concertgebouw/Haitink; Perlman, v.
Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 3 in E Minor, I
English String Orchestra/Boughton
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 11, III
Mendelssohn: Overture for Wind Instruments in C Major
Mendelssohn: Octet for Strings, I
Guarneri & Orion String Quartets
Mendelssohn: Overture fr. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mendelssohn: No. 2 from Seven Character-istic Pieces for Piano, Op. 7
Mendelssohn experiences his first failure that sends him running from the concert hall, crying. Surrounded by the encouragement to venture onto the creation of an opera, the 16-year-old composer did so, but his conductor, Spontini, delivered a dry performance with an audience that became abuzz by the middle of the second act. So in order to divert his own attention, Mendelssohn dove into St. Matthew Passion from his idol, Bach, and he learned the piano part to accompany his singing friends in Berlin. Later, Mendelssohn traveled to London where he was accosted by a man accusing him of using Beethoven's ideas in his string quartet.
Mendelssohn: Octet for Strings, II
Guarneri & Orion String Quartets
Bach: St. Matthew Passion (excerpt)
Decca 421 177
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 12, I
Julliard String Quartet
Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture, in B minor, Op. 26, “Fingal’s Cave”
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in G Minor
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Marriner; Perahia, p.
Mendelssohn: Frühlingsglaube” & “Auf Flügeln des Gesanges”
Quasthoff, bar., Zeyen, p.
Abraham Mendelssohn converts his family from Judaism to Protestantism after observing Napoleon's mobile activities, and even adopts a new last name for the family. Mendelssohn composes a Protestant Reformation symphony. However, Adolf Hitler notices this effort to avoid Judaism, although Mendelssohn was not simply avoiding it. Rather, he was beginning to truly understand Protestant beliefs. Hitler did not allow Mendelssohn's music to be played in Germany and had a Mendelssohn statue destroyed.
Mendelssohn: Quintet for Strings no 1 in A major, Op. 18, II
Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Op. 19b (excerpt)
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in D major, Op. 107, Reformation, I (excerpt) & finale
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, Italian
Bill names many of the prominent composers Mendelssohn befriended, as well as the contracts Mendelssohn was offered and signed to conduct. Mendelssohn visits England and Scotland, where he is inspired to write his third symphony, the Scottish, though his symphonies are out of order, due to his repeated revisions.
Mendelssohn: St. Paul (excerpts)
Leipzig Radio Chorus & Gewandhaus Orchestra/Masur
Mendelssohn: Trio for Piano and Strings No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49, I
Schneider, v.; Casals, vc.; Horszowski, p.
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Scottish, I & II
Mendelssohn: Scherzo fr. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Scottish, III (edited excerpts)
Mendelssohn continues to travel and conduct, and he plays for Queen Victoria who proves to him her gratitude, with a beautiful ring. Mendelssohn becomes an international figure, and is even accompanied by W.F.E. Bach at the erection of a monument dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach. The great composer completes the oratorio, Elijah, which regards a search for truth. Mendelssohn learns of his sister's death upon his arrival in Frankfurt, and writes a slow, angular piece, the String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80.
Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 64
Concertgebouw/Haitink; Perlman, v.
Mendelssohn: Elijah (excerpts)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80 (excerpts)
1:42, 1:00, 1:09
Mendelssohn: Nocturne & Finale fr. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Berlin Phil/Abbado; Branagh, n.