- Program List
Below are many of the more than 200 five-hour 'weeks' of Exploring Music that have been created since 2003. 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.
AACTIVE 3/1 - 3/14 Ravel, MauriceAmerican Masters, Part I American Masters, Part II American Masters, Part IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAmerican Masters, Part V American Masters, Part VIAn Intelligent Conversation: String Quartets Arias & BarcarollesArtists in Exile, Part IArtists in Exile, Part II Autumn Leaves Autumnal Masterpieces BBach Sleeps in on SundaysBach to BeethovenBach's Christmas Oratorio Bach's Not-So-Minor B-Minor MassBallad of East and West Baltic MusicBarber, SamuelBartok, BelaBeethoven and that Danged MetronomeBeethoven and the PianoBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven Piano SonatasBeethoven Quartets Berlioz, HectorBernstein, Leonard: The ComposerBill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part IBrahms, Johannes, Part IIBritten, Benjamin Bruckner, Anton CCall for ScoresCarnegie Hall, Part 1Carnegie Hall, Part 2Cello Concertos Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, Aaron Corigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, Claude Demons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the NightDirector's ChoiceDistant Neighbors Don't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvořák, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEnescu, GeorgesEspañaFFamilies of Instruments Family Matters: All in the FamilyFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFleisher, LeonFour SeasonsFranck, CésarFrom the Mountains to the SeaFrom 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 InfluencesGreen and Pleasant Land Grieg and SibeliusHHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHidden Gold, Part IIHHindemith, PaulHit or MythHoliday CelebrationHomageHow Strange the Change from Major to Minor, Part IHow Strange the Change from Major to Minor, Part IIII Didn't Know About YouI Hear a Rhapsody I Hear America SingingI Lost it at the MoviesIn a Family WayIncidentally SpeakingIntimate Conversations: Conversations with Samuel Rhodes and David FinckelInvitation to the Dance, Part IInvitation to the Dance, Part II Invitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His Lass Italian SouvenirsJJanáček, LeošKKeyboard SmorgasbordLLatin CarnivalLes Cinq PlusLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part III Liszt, FranzLittle Night Music Little Traveling Music, Please London, The Music of, Part 1London, The Music of, Part 2MMaestro, Part IMaestro, Part IIMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Gustav, Part IMahler, Gustav, Part IIMaiden Voyages Martha Graham and her MusicMendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMillennium of Women in MusicMozart at his ZenithMozart Piano ConcertosMozart's Birthday BashMozart: Bright Lights, Big CityMusic for the MassesMusic from the Magic Box Music in 19th Century Paris: Waterloo to Bismarck Music in the Time of WarMusic of ScandinaviaMusical CryptogramsMusical LandscapesNNationalismNew Releases, Part INew Releases, Part IINew Releases, Part III, week 1 of 2New Releases, Part III, week 2 of 2 New Wine in Old Bottles Nielsen, Carl Ninth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New World Outward BoundPPacific Overtures, Part 1Pacific Overtures, Part 2Pastoral SymphoniesPiano ConcertosPolandPorts of Call, Part I Ports of Call, Part II Poulenc, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRavel, Maurice Respighi, OttorinoRimsky-Korsakov and His PupilsRoaring 20's Russian Five: The Mighty Handful SSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IShostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISlipped Through the Cracks Songs of PartingSounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, IgorString Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago Symphony, Part 01Symphony, Part 02Symphony, Part 03Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10 (Alexander Scriabin to Samuel Barber)Symphony, Part 11Symphony, Part 12TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part ITchaikovsky, Peter, Part IIThe Big Five I: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Part IThe Big Five II: New York Philharmonic, Part IThe Big Five II: New York Philharmonic, Part IIThe Gathering Storm: Music from the Great Depression to WWIIThe Sweet SpotThrough the Mail SlotTo the Finland Station, Part ITo the Finland Station, Part IITone Poems Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part II Unfinished Symphonies VVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVenice: The Glories ofVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II ViolaViolin Concerto Virtuoso, The World ofVoices from the EastWWagner's Ring CycleWagner, RichardWalton, WilliamWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?Wind QuintetsWunderkinder, Part IWunderkinder, Part IIYYin and Yang: The Play of Opposites, Part 1Yin and Yang: The Play of Opposites, Part 2You and the Night and the Music
- Listen to the Show
- About Exploring Music
Claude Debussy, who once said he learned more from poets and painters than from the music conservatory, is considered the figurehead of Impressionist music (though he would vehemently argue against it). Influenced by Bach's arabesques and the romantic Chopin, the Frenchman made his mark in music with his otherworldly compositions, beginning with Danse Bohemienne. While we listen to his compositions Bill reflects on Debussy's peculiar upbringing, studies in the Paris conservatory, and his Prix de Rome win.
The fascination behind an elusive artist transcends into his enchanting music. Claude Debussy, who once said he learned more from poets and painters than from music conservatory, is considered the figurehead of Impressionist music (though he would vehemently argue against it). Influenced by Bach's arabesques and the romantic Chopin, the Frenchman made his mark in music with his otherworldly compositions, beginning with "Danse Bohemienne."
Bill dives into Debussy's peculiar upbringing, studies in the Paris conservatory and his Prix de Rome win.
Debussy: La fille aux cheveux de lin fr. Preludes, Bk. 1
Debussy: Fêtes fr. Nocturnes for Orchestra (excerpt)
Chabrier: Mauresque fr. Pieces Pittoresque
Debussy: Danse Bohemienne
Debussy: “Beau Soir”
Fleming, s.; Thibaudet, p.
Debussy: “En Sourdine”
De Los Angeles, s.; Soriano, p.
Debussy: “Salut Printemps”
Orch de Paris/Barenboim
DG 2531 263
Debussy: En Bateau fr. Petite Suite
Robert & Gaby Casadesus, p.
Debussy, orch. Büsser: Ballet fr. Petite Suite
Debussy: La damoiselle élue
BSO/Ozawa; Graham, ms.; McNair, s.
Phil 446 683-2
Debussy: Arabesque No. 1: Andantino con moto
Stolzman, cl.; Allen, harp
Debussy avoided classical forms--sonatas, symphonies, string quartets--until meeting Eugene Ysaye, a violinist from Brussels. He wrote only one string quartet and one opera, both masterpieces.
This section contains two of Debussy's best-known works: the piece known by every pianist, "Clair de Lune" and his first orchestral composition, "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun." The latter is an ethereal illustration of a poem written by his friend, Stéphane Mallarmé.
Debussy: Claire de Lune fr. Suite Bergamasque
Decca 460 247-2
Debussy: Trois Mélodies de Verlaine
Maltman, bar.; Martineau, p.
Debussy: Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10
Emerson String Quartet
Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Debussy: “Mandoline” (excerpt)
Fleming, s.; Thibaudet, p.
Rounding out Debussy's soap-opera life was his tumultuous love life. Most notably is the decade-long affair with Gabrielle Dupont, followed by a a short-lived marriage to Lilly Texier, to whom Debussy threatened suicide if she did not agree. His one and only opera, however, was inspired not by a lover, but by a fictional character in a play, Mélisande. The opera, Pelléas Et Mélisande, catapulted Debussy to international stardom, elevating his status and income.
We move onto a nocturne and one of Bill's favorites, "Danse sacrée et danse profane," which was written to showcase a newly invented instrument, the chromatic harp.
Debussy: Prelude & Sarabande fr. Pour le Piano
Debussy: Pelléas Et Mélisande (excerpts)
La Scala/Abbado; Von Stade, ms.; Ollmann, bar.; Bröcheler, bs.
Opera D’Oro 1195
Debussy: Nuages & Fêtes fr. Nocturnes
Debussy: Danse sacrée et danse profane
Cleveland/Boulez; Wellbaum, hp.
After his marriage to Lilly dissipated, he fell in love with Emma Bardac, and wrote "1903, marriage to Lilly dissipated, he was in love with Emma Bardac, inspiring the piece, "L’Isle Joyeuse."
There were two things that inspired further works: his loved ones and the sea. "I was actually brought up to be a sailor," Debussy said. He truly infused his passion for the sea into "La Mer." Two weeks after its premiere, Emma gave birth to his daughter, nicknamed Chouchou. Enamored, he wrote charming music for her, including pieces collectively titled "Children's Corner."
Debussy: Estampe, II & III
Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse (excerpt)
Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse (excerpt)
Debussy: La Mer
Debussy: Children’s Corner (excerpts)
Phil 456 985-2
The last segment follows Debussy into his last works before succumbing to cancer. "Iberia" speaks to his imagination, because though he spent only a few hours in Spain, he was able to paint a picture so vivid, even Spanish composers were thoroughly impressed. We hear "The Perfumes of Night" and "The Morning of Festival Day."
World War I naturally had its impact on art, and Debussy composed a Christmas carol for the homeless children in 1915. As his last great project, he hoped to compose six sonatas for various instruments. He was able to complete three, the last being a violin sonata. He performed it behind the piano at its 1917 premiere, his last performance.
Debussy: Preludes- Book II, No. 3- La Puerta del Vino
Phi 456 817
Debussy: Iberia, II & III
Phil 400 023-2
Debussy: Noël des enfants que n’ont plus de maison
Ameling, s.; Baldwin, p.
Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Perlman, v.; Ashkenazy, p.
Debussy: Passepied fr. Suite Bergamasque