- 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
Wagner's Ring Cycle
For most operas, a five-hour survey would more than cover every measure, every note – but not this one, Wagner’s crowning achievement. Bill helps us understand and enjoy this long and fanciful journey, with richly textured music that continues to grow in complexity as the operas proceed. Wagner spent a quarter of a century writing the libretto and composing the music that follows the struggles and dramas of gods, heroes, and mythical creatures. We will listen to orchestral preludes, arias, and more from The Rhinegold, The Valkylie, Siegfried, and Twilight of the Gods.
Das Rheingold is up first, and its grandiose majesty is felt almost immediately whilst immersed in the Rhine river. There simply isn't enough time for the entire opera, as it is almost as long as a weeklong show, so we focus on a few choice excerpts. But hopefully, that's enough to whet your appetite for Wagner, and if it isn't, there's plenty more opera to work through all throughout this week.
Die Walküre does not pick up exactly where Das Rheingold, the Ring cycle's prologue, left off, but it's just as well, since there's a lot of ground to cover in the timeskip between the two operas. (Yes, even for Wagner, there was too much material to cover.) The sheer size of these operas is quite daunting even in condensed form, so Bill is here to explain it all step by step--what all the leitmotifs mean, how the music tells the story, and what's going on in the story without the help of stage sets or actors singing it to us. The music can tell the story all on its own, which was the great genius of Wagner.
Wagner: Die Walküre (excerpts)
NY Met Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Levine
1:56, :15, :48, 1:13, 14:50, 2:57, 2:03, 1:10, :33, 5:48, 3:07, :36, 1:38, 1:15, 15:31
We're not yet done with Die Walküre, so we spend even more time on it in this segment. We meet the famous Valkyrie Brünhilde, and despite how popular culture has portrayed her, the power and majesty in her voice is fantastic. It's amazingly easy to get caught up in the sheer amount of force behind Wagner's music; its scope justifies its length.
The least often opera performed by itself, Siegfried presents us with a great opportunity to explore some music that isn't heard nearly as often as the rest of the Ring cycle. This, however, does not diminish its importance to the story or its marvelous musical qualities. And for those unaware of what's going on, Bill is on hand to explain what the music is saying in addition to what the singers are saying. It's a real treat for anybody with any amount of interest in Wagner, no matter how great or little.
Wagner: Siegfried (excerpts)
5:04, :39, 2:46, :40, 1:08
Wagner: Siegfried (excerpt)
NY Met Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Levine; Landsman, hn.
Wagner: Seigfried, Act III (excerpts)
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orch/Pappano; Domingo, t.; Voigt, s.
EMI 57004 2
Wagner: Dawn & Siegfried’s Rhine Journey fr. Götterdämmerung
It's all been building up to this. Götterdämmerung, the "Twilight of the Gods", is the imposing and impressive conclusion to Wagner's Ring Cycle, which we have been exploring all this week. The finale is worth all of what has been heard, multiple times over, and to this day it still sets the hair of millions on end.