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Venice: The Glories of

Exploring Music focuses on sounds of the city, water, and love in Venice. Bill explores the magical city that inspired music of the late Renaissance, Baroque, and the beginning of Italian opera. From Monteverdi and Orlando di Lasso, Bill includes religious and secular music and continues with two major Venetian influences: Adrian Willaert of Dutch descent and the Roman composer Palestrina. Other composers featured in the week are Gabrieli, Vivaldi, Verdi, and more.


Program 1

Bill opens with the question, “Why Venice?” and continues with music from Orlando di Lasso of the mid 1500’s, including his religious and secular music. We continue with two major Venetian influences: Adrian Willaert of Dutch decent and Roman composer Palestrina. We finish with music from Giovanni Gabrieli.

Monteverdi: Vespro della beata virgine, Sonata sopra “Sancta Maria” (excerpt)
Cambridge King’s College Choir & London Early Music Consort
EMI 65339

Lasso: Mass Qual donna, Kyrie
Christ Church Cathedral Choir

Lasso: Gallans qui par terre
Toronto Consort
Dorian 80149

Lasso: Un jour l’amant
Toronto Consort

Willaert: Pater Noster/Ave Maria
Capella Currende/Erik van Nevel
Tel 80521

Palestrina: Pope Marcellus Mass: Kyrie and Gloria
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Willcocks
EMI 65339
3:55, 5:47

Gabrielli: Sonata Pian’e forte
Brass ensembles fr. Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras
Sony 62353

Gabrielli: Jubilate Deo
Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner
Philips 446116

Cima: Sonata per il Violino
Romanesca Manze, v; North, th; Tull, hps. & org.
HM 907211

Gabrieli: Canzon duodecimi toni & Canzon a 12 in echo
Brass ensembles fr. Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras
Sony 62353
3:53, 3:26

Program 2

We begin with more music from Gabrieli before moving on to Claudio Monteverdi. We hear a selection of his madrigals: the 2nd, 4th and 6th from Book III. We also hear excerpts from Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, written for performance in the St. Mark’s Basilica.

Gabrieli: Ricercare del duodecimo tuono
Wallace Collection/Wright
Nimbus 5236

Monteverdi: 2nd, 4th, & 6th Madrigals from Book III
La Venexiana/Cavina
3:03, 3:17, 3:39

Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (excerpts) & Magnificat
The Monteverdi Choir; London Oratory Junior Choir; His Majesty’s Sagbuts & Cornetts; English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner
Archiv 429565
18:48, 17:31

Program 3

Bill plays an excerpt from Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo, the story of Orpheus. We also hear two madrigals from singer and composer Barbara Strozzi, who lived during the mid 1600’s. Bill plays an instrumental ensemble from Heinrich Schütz, who arrived in Venice from Germany to study with Monteverdi. We end with one last piece from Monteverdi, Coronation di Poppea, composed just before his death.

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (excerpts from)
Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists; His Majesty’s Sagbuts & Cornetts/Gardiner; Johnson, Baird, Dawson, von Otter, soloists
Archiv 419250

Strozzi: “Bella madre d’ amore” & “Chi di noi”
La Venexiana
Cantus 9612
3:05, 2:34

Schütz: “Fili mi, Absalon”
Period instrument ensemble, van der Kamp, bs.
Sony 68264

Monteverdi: Coronation di Poppea (excerpts)
English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner; McNair, von Otter, Hanchard, soloists
Archiv 447 088
9:07, 12:00

Program 4

We begin with an aria of an early Venetian opera, La Callisto by Francesco Cavalli and continue with a violin concerto from Dario Castello. Then it’s all about Vivaldi as Bill gives some history on this famous figure, we hear a couple of his concertos including ones for bassoon and flute, and we close with “Winter” from The Four Seasons.

Cavalli: “Ardo, sospiro e piango” fr. La Callisto
Scottish Chamber/Leppard; von Stade, s.
Elektra/Asylum 98504

Castello: Sonata No. 1
Erato 75183

Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No.11: L’Estro Harmonico RV 565
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.; Wilcock, v.; Linden, vc.
Archiv 423094

Vivaldi: Sinfonia in b, RV 169: “al Santo Sepolcro”
Sony 48251

Vivaldi: Bassoon Concerto in C, RV 478
I Solisti Italiana; Turkovic, bsn.
Den 81757-9528

Vivaldi: Flute Concerto, “Il gardellino”, I
English Concert/Pinnock; Beznosiuk, fl.
Archiv 423702

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Op.8 No.4: Winter
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Archiv 40045

Program 5

We return to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with excerpts from “Spring.” More Vivaldi follows with his Stabat Mater and Gloria. We move into the 19th century with music by Gioachino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi with excerpts from their operas The Italian Girl in Algiers, Rigoletto, and La Traviata, respectively.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Op.8 No. 1: Spring, I (excerpt) II & III
English Concert/Pinnock; Standage, v.
Archiv 40045
1:59, 2:40, 3:37

Vivaldi: Stabat Mater
Concertgebouw/Negri; Kovalski, alto
Philips 289 462 170

Vivaldi: Gloria (excerpts)
Atlanta Symphony & Chamber Chorus/Shaw
Tel 80194
2:21, 2:49

Rossini: The Italian girl in Algiers, overture
EMI 69042

Verdi: “La donne e mobile” (excerpt) & “Bella figlia dell’ amore” from Rigoletto
Rome Opera Orchestra & Chorus/Perlea; Merrill, Peters & Bjorling soloists
RCA 60172
2:19, 4:43

Verdi: Act III Prelude & Finale from La Traviata
Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Solti; Gheorghiu, Lopardo, Beesley, Knight, & Nucci, soloists
London 448119
3:32, 4:48


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!