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Sweet Home Chicago

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival was founded in the thick of the Great Depression to offer classical music for free in the city's sprawling lakefront park. Bill traces the history of this exhuberant populist festival. Note: this is a slightly shortened version of the original program - some music selections are awaiting rights clearance and will be added later.

Program 1

William Schuman: New England Triptych
Grant Park Orchestra/Lobel 
I. Be Glad Then America
II. When Jesus Wept
III. Chester

Ravel: Shéhérazade (excerpts)
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar; Larmore, s.
Cedille Records 104

Kurka: Symphony #2, Op. 24, III
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar
Cedille Records 77

Kurka: Serenade For Small Orchestra, Op. 25, II
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar
Cedille Records 77

Sweet Home Chicago (excerpt)
Robert Johnson

Copland: Down A Country Lane
Grant Park Symphony Orchestra/Lobel

Michael Colgrass: Snow Walker For Organ & Orchestra
1. Polar Landscape
2. Throat-Singing, With Laughter
3. The Whispering Voices Of The Sky
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar; Schrader, org.
Cedille 063



Program 2

Chopin: Polonaise in A-flat Major, Heroic (excerpt)
Cliburn, p.
RCA 68813

Martinu: Violin Concerto No. 2, II & III
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar; Koh, v.
Cedille 89

Weill/Nash: I'm A Stranger Here Myself (From One Touch Of Venus)
Grant Park Orchestra/Lobel; Norman, s.

George Gershwin: Girl Crazy Overture
Grant Park Symphony Orchestra/Lobel

Samuel Barber: Andromache's Farwell
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar; Larmore, s.
Cedille 104

Kernis:  Symphony In Waves, II & IV
Grant Park Orchestra/Kalmar                        
Cedille 105             

Interview with Carlos Kalmar (excerpt)



Program 3
Program 4
Program 5


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
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