- 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.
AAmerican 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 IHHidden Gold, Part IIHindemith, 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 BoundPPastoral 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 WWIIThrough 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
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- About Exploring Music
Bach's Christmas Oratorio
An exploration of the six cantatas performed in Leipzig’s St. Thomas and St. Nicholas churches in December 1734. These six Bach cantatas were written to correspond with the days of the Lutheran church year, and are collectively referred to as the "Christmas Oratorio". We start the week with Cantata No. 1 (For the First Day of Christmas) and we will end with Cantata No. 6 for Epiphany.
The six Bach cantatas we'll be looking at were written to correspond with the days of the Lutheran church year, and are collectively referred to as the "Christmas Oratorio". We start at the start, with Cantata No. 1--For the First Day of Christmas. We've got time to hear the whole cantata; none of the six cantatas lasts more than half an hour. This means that we have time at the end of each program to play some extra Bach tunes, such as this solo violin piece, Sonata No. 3 in C Major, part of a series of pieces written whilst Bach was working for a very austere church.
In this segment we begin with Cantata No. 2--for the 2nd Day of Christmas from Bach's Christmas Oratorio, which draws heavily from the Gospel of Luke and includes the oft-told story of the shepherds in the fields receiving an angelic surprise. The bonus Bach piece in this segment is Suite No. 3 in C Major, written for cello during a time that the cello was starting to replace the viol family of instruments.
We start with the third part of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Cantata No. 3 for the 3rd Day of Christmas. This music was first heard in the German city of Leipzig in 1734, just shy of 300 years ago. Afterwards, we have time for two extra Bach pieces, so we hear Orchestral Suite No. 2 and "Erfreute Zeit", from Cantata No. 83, not to be confused with the cantatas that make up the Christmas Oratorio.
We begin with Cantata No. 4--for the 4th Day of Christmas from the Christmas Oratorio. This is the cantata intended for the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, and it sounds interestingly similar to some of the Brandenburg concertos, but it's not nearly as festive. Next is another pair of extra Bach pieces: Sonata No. 1 for Viola da Gamba & Keyboard, which has a very interesting story attached to its recording, and Passacaglia and Fugue in D minor, arranged by Stokowski for orchestra.
Well, we've only one segment left but two Cantatas from Bach's Christmas Oratorio remain to be covered. Thankfully, we can fit both Cantata No. 5 and Cantata No. 6 into this segment all at once, and STILL have time to close out with the Concerto for Two Violins, second movement. It's all a wonderful way to spend the holidays, especially since it's something different from the Nutcracker or Messiah, which are holiday standards for a reason, but unfortunately seem to eclipse this wonderful piece of work.