Part of the WFMT Radio Network

Maiden Voyages

Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn, and Dmitri Shostakovich are titans of music, but, as Bill considers their first symphonic efforts, he reveals the adversities and ordeals of each composer attempting to develop their individual musical voices. Maiden voyages into the deep of music, including Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and Symphony No. 1 by Sergei Prokofiev and more first efforts.


Program 1

Writing a symphony takes more than just arranging notes on paper: the earliest composers had to consider an adequate orchestra to perform them and a space to have them performed. 

Haydn: Symphony No. 1
Austro-Hunagrian Haydn Orchestra/ Adam Fischer
Nimbus NI-5265

Haydn: Symphony No. 104 (excerpt)
London Phil/Solti

Beethoven: Symphony No 1 - I & II
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Harnoncourt
Teldec 46452-2 (5); Teldec 28144-2 (10)
9:23, 7:45

Beethoven: Symphony No 1 - III & IV
Phil 442073 - 2 (5)
4:03, 5:27

Mendelssohn: String Symphony 1 - I (excerpt)
Nimbus NI - 5141


Program 2

Romance is in the air on this episode of Exploring Music.  Clara Schumann inspires her husband to write his first symphony. 

Schumann: Symphony No. 1, I & II
CBS-MYK 38468 Sony MH2K-62349 (2)
9:50, 5:56

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (excerpt)
RCA 5668 2 RC

Brahms: Symphony No. 1, I & IV
DG - 421161 - 2 60678, DG 407408-2 66407
13:44, 17:55

Program 3

Parisian symphonies take center stage with Bizet's first and little known Symphony in C written when he was only 17.

Bizet: Symphony in C, I & II
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra/Hugh Wolf
Teldec 77309 - 2
7:11, 9:34

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique I, II, IV & V
BSO/Charles Munch
RCA LSC-2608
13:16, 1:02, 4:32, 8:40

Program 4

In the wild tundra of Russia, we listen to Winter Reveries, Prokofiev's first symphony, and a symphony by Shostakovich that breaks the Soviet mold. 


Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1, II
Sony SK-48056

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1
DG 439912 - 2

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1 (excerpts from)
RSO Rostropovich
Teldec 17046 - 2

Program 5

On our final maiden voyage folk songs are our map and Mahler our captain.


Mahler: Ging heut morgenuber's Feld, (excerpt)
Gustav Mahler rendered by the Kaplan Foundation
Teldec 95354 - 2?

Mahler: Ging heut morgenuber's Feld
Columbia Symphony/ Walter, Mildred, Miller, mz
Sony SM2K 64447

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - I, II, IV
Columbia Symphony/ Walter
SMK2 64447
13:19, 6:49, 20:22


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
Newsletters Thank You!