- Program List
Below are many of the more than 200 five-hour 'weeks' of Exploring Music that have been created since 2003. The first seven minutes of every program are free to sample. Several entire 5-hour programs are also free to listen (marked 'free' below). For complete access to all of the shows, click here to become a subscriber. 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 Beethoven (FREE)Bach'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 Composer (FREE)Bill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part I (FREE)Brahms, Johannes, Part II (FREE)Britten, Benjamin Bruckner, Anton CCall for ScoresCarnegie Hall, Part 1 (FREE)Carnegie Hall, Part 2 (FREE)Cello 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, Leon (FREE)Four 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 Picture (FREE)Gitana: 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 Singing I 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 Tango (FREE)It Was a Lover and His Lass Italian Souvenirs (FREE)JJanáček, 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 I (FREE)Mahler, Gustav, Part II (FREE)Maiden Voyages Mendelssohn, 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 Parting (FREE)Sounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, IgorString Quartets from Fibich to Sibelius (FREE)Strings 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 10Symphony, Part 11Symphony, Part 12TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part I (FREE)Tchaikovsky, 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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Tone Poems Purchase Now
In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn. Generally one movement, tone poems use music to evoke the essence of a poem, a painting or other non musical source. Bill invites us to sit with him as he describes and listens to this image evoking dramatic music.
Opening the program is a play on orchestral music--without the use of instruments--illustrating that tone poems know no boundaries.
Battle scenes dominate the beginning of the program, but the rough and majestic sharply transitions into light and airy as the harp emulates clockwork in Couperin's Tic-Toc-Choc.
Bill also reveals his favorite Vivaldi "season" and the poem attached to it.
Janequin: Escoutez tous gentilz “La bataille de Marignan; La guerre”
Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt
DG Archiv 73262
Rameau: La Poule
Respighi: Gli Uccelli (excerpts)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 437 533
Telemann: Don Quixote Suite (excerpts)
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Vivaldi: Winter fr. The Four Seasons
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Boccherini weaves a lyrical portrait of Madrid at night, which Bill describes as "raw, unedited tape," as if Boccherini had walked around the streets collecting sounds.
Beethoven refines musical storytelling, painting both scenic and emotional portraits. Berlioz chooses to express the mood behind a well-known Shakespeare play, while a teenage Mendelssohn "never got it more right" than when he wrote an overture on another Shakespearean classic.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral (excerpt)
Beethoven: Egmont Overture, Op. 84
New York Phil/Masur
Berlioz: Le Roi Lear Overture, Op. 4
Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture in E major, Op. 21
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Harnoncourt
Composers of the 19th century try to break from conservative constraints with their "music of the future." Schumann thinly veils a Roman cathedral in his symphony and a rarely performed and dark Wagner overture capitalizes on an allegory. Wagner's father-in-law, Liszt, is also the father of the tone poem, as he invented the term for his pieces, but Strauss wins the title of "the greatest master of tone poems."
Schumann: Symphony No. 3, Rhenish, IV
Wagner: A Faust Overture
Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28
Liszt: Au lac de Wallenstadt fr. Années de pèlerinage
The tone poem travels to the mountains of Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, in Smetana's "Má vlast," whose six pieces illustrate the history and landscapes of his native country.
The consecutive pieces share a theme: tragic karma imposed on debauched characters. Dvorák visits a funeral in "The Wild Dove" and Franck follows a sacrilegious hunter in "The Accursed Hunstman."
Popularity of the tone poem continues into the 20th century. Many choose to stay current with the exception of Satie's throwback to ancient Greece.
Holst's "Mars" coincides with the onset of World War I, and Ives focuses on a famous American park in his musical imagery. Interesting to note is Arthur Fiedler's performance of Gershwin's famous tone poem, which incorporates antiquated French taxi horns.
Holst: Mars fr. The Planets
Delius: A Song of Summer
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Groves
Ives: Central Park in the Dark
St. Louis Symphony/Slatkin
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Satie: Gymnopédie, No. 1
LSO/Previn; de Lancie, ob.