This week we'll feature small string groups with a special guest addition.
Music inspired by the season.
Exactly 100 years separates Bach’s B Minor Mass and Beethoven’s Choral Symphony – seminal works from two distinct eras. This week, we’ll explore how music progressed in this century, tracing inspirations in harmony, rhythm, orchestration and form.
In the beginning, there were Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, or so we thought. That is until we uncovered a whole world of instrumental music so varied, so wonderful and so woefully unknown, we decided to take out time in that glorious place. Starting with a Sinfonia by Biaggio Marini from 1618, we slowly make out way through the seventeenth century, the eighteenth century and finish at the brink of the Romantic era with the Second Symphony by Beethoven.
For as long as art forms such as theatre, ballet, and other entertainments have graced the stage, composers have been there to enhance the dramatic action through music. This week Bill explores some of the not-so-incidental music that has resulted.^ Back to top
In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn.
More music of composers, performers, and other artists driven from their homelands.
Music involving composers, performers, and other artists driven from their homelands and inspired by their new surroundings.
Celebrating America's unique voice in music.^ Back to top
Our multiple-part series tracing the evolution of the string quartet continues with magnificent works from Antonin Dvorák, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Alexander Borodin.
Works inspired by sights, sounds and smells of the world at summer's end, including selections by Vivaldi, Piazzola, Delius and Schubert.
This week we delight in music inspired by nature, including the Pastoral symphony by Beethoven, Berlioz's Harold in Italy and Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony. We'll also feature readings of texts by John Muir.
Composer of nine masterful symphonies, editor of the English Hymnal, an ambulance driver in WWI and great-nephew to Charles Darwin, Ralph Vaughan Williams was a prolific and intriguing figure who was at the vanguard of English music in the early 20th century. This week, we'll look at his life and sample his music.
Our two-week series focusing on legendary partnerships between composers continues.^ Back to top
Haydn and Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms, Copland and Bernstein – these are just a few of the legendary artistic partnerships that have changed the course of musical history. With a tip of the hat to Bartók, we'll listen to some of the music that resulted from these illustrious collaborations and connections.
Mozart seizes an almost non-existent genre and elevates it to one of the most revered and popular musical forms.
"Every town in the United States had a five-and-dime and a Boulanger student," Virgil Thomson once said, and he wasn't far off. Nadia Boulanger taught and influenced an entire generation of musicians, from Aaron Copland and Ástor Piazzolla to Philip Glass and Quincy Jones, and this week we'll hear some of her compositions and performances alongside those of her prolific students.
Composers from the lands around the present-day Czech Republic have made an indelible mark on music - we'll examine their history and influence, from medieval times to the present.^ Back to top
A celebration of young composers and performers.
Exploring the life and work of one of music’s more alluring and mysterious figures.
Classical music on the silver screen, from ET to Shostakovich.
From his birth in a town near Frankfurt through his time in Egypt, Turkey, and eventual emigration to America, Paul Hindemith had a strong and lasting impact on music in the middle of the 20th century. We'll sample his compositions and follow his controversial life.^ Back to top
Bill selects highlights from wonderfully diverse albums that have recently been released.
Back by popular request, Bill takes us through the inner workings of five great symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.
Time Magazine named him “one of the most influential people of the 20th century.” We’ll follow this fascinating life from a boyhood encounter with Tchaikovsky to the salons of Paris to the golden age of Hollywood.
Exploring themes and variations.
American Composers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.^ Back to top
Known as “La serenissinma,” the most serene Republic of Venice marries beauty and inspiration like few places in the world. Famous for its glassworks, architecture, visual art and yes, its gondolas, Venice has inspired composers from Vivaldi to Wagner.
We'll explore the rich and intriguing world of the court composer.
From the boundless majesty of the summer sun in Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten to the frosty snow and shivering winds of Vivaldi's Winter, this week is dedicated to music inspired by the changing seasons.
With communications and travel offering cultural exchange like never before, today's composer draws from an enormous palette, giving voice to the amazing era in which we live. From Schwantner and Adams to Neikrug and Beach, we'll listen to and celebrate their music.^ Back to top
This week, Bill explores the symphonic wonders of Papa Haydn, the father of the modern symphony. We'll hear Haydn's earliest offerings in the form and follow his path as he expands his ideas and his ensembles into the grand gestures of his 104th.
A true American original! Join us for a week-long look at the life and soulful music of George Gershwin, including his Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess.
An exploration of composers' critiques, evaluations, and responses to their contemporaries.
The music of five composers from St. Petersburg who sought to create a uniquely Russian musical tradition. We'll hear compositions by Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui, Borodin, Balakirev, and Mussorgsky.^ Back to top
We'll celebrate some of the exquisite music written for the violin's darker cousin, including music by Hindemith and Walton.
Novelists who have drawn their plots around great music.
We'll reach back into the history, growth and development of one of America's great musical institutions.
We'll explore the lives and music of the two Scandinavian greats: Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius. Music includes a number of chamber works, Grieg's Peer Gynt, the Norwegian Dances and several Sibelius symphonies.
Composed in 1727, it's one of two surviving settings of the last days of Jesus Christ composed by J.S. Bach. We'll explore the history of this masterpiece and sample different recordings.^ Back to top
All media outlets have a special place for unsolicited materials. This week we'll explore unexpected musical treats that were delivered to Bill's doorstep.
It's an anti-Wagner and anti-Impressionist tour de farce. Join us for music by the delightfully irreverent bad boys (and girl) of 1920's Monteparnasse: Auric, Durey, Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc and Tailleferre.
There's much more to Edward Elgar than graduation marches and the Enigma Variations. A composer of equally masterful symphonies, oratorios, chamber music and concertos, he led a renaissance in 20th century England that firmly reestablished the country's musical identity.^ Back to top
Our series celebrating American composers continues with more innovative works from the 20th century.
A sampling of great works for solo violin and orchestra, including concerti by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius.
Composers influenced by the elixir of love.
Bill McGlaughlin welcomes one of America's foremost composers as co-host and programmer.^ Back to top
This week we're ascending some of the most colossal musical mountains in existence - works like Schoenberg's Gurrelieder and Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony that are (usually) too big to program on Exploring Music.
Mozart gets the boot from the Archbishop and moves to the city.
Why did so many of music's great symphonists die after completing their ninth symphony? We'll sample five landmark compositions: the ninth symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Dvorák and Mahler.
Which came first, the composer or the dance? It's hard to say, but this week we'll follow the dance through solo works, the opera and the symphony. Highlights include music by Bach, Beethoven and Shostakovich.
A five-part biography of Maurice Ravel.