Part of the WFMT Radio Network

Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic

As Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn said, “Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them.” Bill reminds us: “Sibelius said, ‘They never built a statue for a music critic.’” But instead of pillorying critics for being wrong, Bill goes positive with those who could hear and write clearly about music that not only was good on arrival but would also endure. For example, Robert Schumann, who was both composer and critic; he gave strong support to Chopin. In addition to the music, Bill interviews several esteemed music critics about their role in shaping culture. And for this week, Mahler gets the last sound.

Program 1

Bill explains the topic of this week's show and kicks things off with a mystery composer. Bill tells of critic composer Robert Schumann, who offered Chopin great support, and modern critic Charles Rosen. Rosen wrote, "Almost all art is subversive. It attacks established values and replaces them with that of its own creation."

Schumann: Carnival, Op.9
V. Eusebius (excerpt)
XII. Chopin (excerpt)
Uchida, p.
Phil 94302
:26, 1:17

Chopin: Variations on "Là ci darem la mano," Op.2
Introduction (Largo-Poco più mosso)
Warsaw Philharmonic/Kord; Ohlsson,p.
Arabesque 6702
18:50, :36, :23

Mozart: Don Giovanni
“La ci Darem la Mano”
Overture (excerpt)
“Venite Pur Avanti” (excerpt)
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner; Allen, t.;McLaughlin,s.
Phil 432129
3:11, 1:17, 00:34

Mozart: String Quintet No.4 in G minor, K. 516
I Allegro
II Adagio (excerpt)
Alban Berg Quartet; Wolf, vla.
EMI 49085
7:31, 3:09

Mozart: "Ach, ich fühl's" fr. Die Zauberflöte
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner; Te Kanawa, s.
Philips 426276

Mozart: Symphony No. 40, K. 550, I (excerpt) & IV
Marlboro Festival Orchestra/Casals
Sony 47294
5:28, 1:34

Program 2

Bill asks what is the role of the music critic, and are they doing a good job. Bill tells the story of E.T.A Hoffman's 16 page long review of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, which took over a year to write. Schumann's review of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique shows the research and thought that good music criticism requires. Bill includes an interview with Tim Page, a Pultizer prize winning music critic.

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109 I (excerpt)
Rudolf Serkin, p.
Sony 64490

Beethoven: Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op. 67
I. Allegro Con Brio; IV. Allegro
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra Of Venezuela/Dudamel
DG B0006689902
7:24, 5:02

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36
Allegro (excerpt)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Solti
London 430 792-2

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Op. 125
IV (excerpt)
London 430 792-2

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, V
Sony 60968

Interview: Tim Page

Busoni, arr. John Adams: Berceuse Elegiaque

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Alsop
Naxos 8559031

Busoni: Piano Concerto
IV. All' Italiana: Vivace
Cleveland Orchestra/Dohnanyi; Ohlsson,p.
Telarc 80207

Program 3

Bill comments on Claude Debussy's pieces and their use of whole tone scales, which were panned by a lot of critics at the time. Similar to Debussy, Richard Strauss's opera, Salome, was not well received in 1907. It was even forbidden to be performed again, though that ban has not held up to the test of time. In his next interview, Bill speaks with former New York Times music critic, Joseph Horowitz and The Chicago Tribune critic John Von Rhein.

Debussy: Pelléas Et Mélisande (excerpt)
Vienna Phil & Vienna State Opera Chorus/Abbado
DG 435344

Debussy: La Mer
London 436468

interview: Joe Horowitz

Liszt: Un Sospiro, S 144/3

Arrau, p.
Philips 416461

R. Strauss: Salome: Tanz der sieben Schleier (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/Solti
London 414414-2

Interview: John von Rhein

Sibelius: Symphony #5 In E Flat, Op. 82, III

City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Rattle
EMI 49717

Program 4

Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger was bashed by many critics upon it's release. One critic went as far as to only identify himself as "a sufferer" in the byline. Bill speaks with critic Terry Teachout before telling the story of Stravinsky and Schoenberg, who were both doing very interesting and inventive things with harmony, but disliked the other's works. Stravinksy's Rite of Spring caused havoc in Paris when it was first performed in 1913.

Wagner: Prelude fr. Die Meistersinger, Act. I
London 460610

Interview: Terry Teachout

Moravec: Mood Swings

Trio Solisti
Naxos 8559323

Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 (excerpts)
20th Century Classics Ensemble/Craft
Naxos 85575523

Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring - Part 1
London Symphony Orchestra/Bernstein
Sony 93080

Program 5

Bill begins with Virgil Thomson, another composer/critic, and the difficulty of composers critiquing one another. Bill goes on to speak with critic Andrew Patner about whether critics should maintain a distance from composers or know them well. We close with back to back Beatles and Mahler.

MacDowell: To A Wild Rose fr. Woodland Sketches, Op. 51 (excerpt)
Cliburn, piano
RCA 60420

MacDowell:  Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 23 in d minor, II
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Hendl; Cliburn,p.

Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, I (excerpt)
NY Phil/Bernstein
Sony 61848

Interview: Andrew Patner

Kurka: The Good Solider Schweik (excerpts)
Chicago Opera Theater/Platt
Cedille 62
9:06, 2:18, 2:58,

McCartney: Yesterday
McCartney, gtr. & voc.
Capitol 29325

Mahler: Symphony No. 10, V
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
CBS 45882


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!