- 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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Symphony, Part 02 Purchase Now
Bill continues with the early symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, highlighting the massive leap the composer took in composing his Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, titled "Eroica." Whereas Beethoven's previous two symphonies echoed the courtly and modest styles of his teacher Joseph Haydn as well as his idol Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Third Symphony did away with these polite notions in a thrilling and powerful manner. He composed a vast and imaginative emotional landscape that essentially changed the course of music thereafter. His symphony signaled the end of the Age of Enlightenment and the beginnings of what Bill coins the, "age of the individual." Complosers were no longer merely in servitude to royal patronage; they were now prophetic artists.
The Third Symphony had previously been titled "Bonaparte" after Napoleon Bonaparte, whom Beethoven greatly admired. However, once Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, Beethoven tore apart the dedication and renamed the symphony. The symphony's subject was then a former, fallen hero whose funeral is illustrated in the symphony's dramatic second movement.
While monumental in the scheme of music history, Beethoven's new symphonic style was not entirely well received. Many initially viewed his contemporatries, such as Luigi Cherubini and Louis Spohr, to be greater composers, though their works strayed less from standard classical forms.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (excerpts)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, Eroica, excerpts + I
Franz Schubert lived for a mere 32 years, yet he was a remarkably prolific composer, having written hundreds of "lieder", or art songs, as well as nine symphonies. A pupil of Antonio Salieri, Schubert's music, like Beethoven's, marks significant departure from the preeminent composers Haydn and Mozart. Pianist Alfred Brendel described Schubert as a "sleepwalker," for his ability to evoke dreamlike, immersive atmospheres in his music with incredible skill and ease.
Schubert's symphonic career follows a similar trajectory to Beethoven's in that they both composed nine symphonies, each being more long and complex than the last. Whereas Mozart and Haydn each composed dozens in quick successon, 19th century symphonies started taking longer to compose due to their increasingly personal and introspective nature.
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major, I + II (excerpt)
Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica/Végh
7:16 + 3:26
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in b minor, Unfinished, I
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, I (excerpts)
Berlioz: Harold in Italy, I
Nat’l Orchestra of France/Bernstein; McInnes, vla.
Berlioz: Queen Mab Scherzo fr. Roméo et Juliette
Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 1 in C Major, II
English String Orchestra/Boughton
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, II
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Masur
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major, IV
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Masur
Berlioz: Harold in Italy (excerpt)
Nat’l Orchestra of France/Bernstein; McInnes, vla.
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Italian, II
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, VI
Marlboro Festival Orc/Casals
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 (excerpts)
Berlin Phil/ Levine
Schumann: Symphony in g minor, Zwickau, I
Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart/ Marriner
Schumann: Symphony No. 1 in Bb Major, Spring, I