- 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 An 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 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 Sonatas (FREE)Beethoven Quartets Berlioz, HectorBernstein, LeonardBill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part IBrahms, Johannes, Part II 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, GeorgesEspanaFFamilies of Instruments Family Matters: All in the FamilyFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFour SeasonsFranck, CésarFrom 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 IHidden Gold, Part IIHHindemith, 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 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 Mendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMozart 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 I (FREE)Proud 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 I Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISlipped Through the Cracks Sounds 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 10Symphony, Part 11TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part I (FREE)Tchaikovsky, Peter, Part II (FREE)The 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 East WWagner'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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Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I Purchase Now
"He forged a musical language of colossal emotional power" says Grove’s Dictionary. This week will be the first of a two-part series exploring the life and times of Dmitri Shostakovich. From his four-note "D-Es-C-H" signature to the musical sounds of the KGB knocking on his door, Bill will help us understand these hidden meanings in his music. Born in Tsarist Russia and living through the establishment of the USSR, his music reflects all of these political changes with emotional depth for the world to hear. Also, having his ear to the ground for music from other places, we will hear his Tahiti Trot and waltzes.
The first of ten hours on the great Russian/Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich begins with several youthful works: Five Preludes for Piano, Three Fantastic Dances and Trio No. 1 for Piano and Strings before moving on to an in-depth look at his astonishing Symphony No. 1, written while Shostakovich was still a teenager.
Bill draws on Elizabeth Wilson's book, Shostakovich: A Life Remembered to provide an overview of his childhood and the start of his career as a composer growing up St. Petersburg, which by the time Shostakovich was a young man had been renamed Petrograd and then Leningrad as a result of the Soviet Revolution.
Shostakovich: Five Preludes for piano (excerpts)
Shostakovich: Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5
Shostakovich: Trio No.1 for Piano and Strings, Op. 8, I
Laredo, v.; Robinson, vc.; Kalichstein, p.
Shostakovich: Symphony No.1 in f minor, Op. 10
Having been elevated to world fame at the age of 18 thanks to his first symphony, Shostakovich quickly went on to explore many musical forms in his early twenties. In this hour Bill features excerpts from his Aphorisms for Piano (abstract pieces with weird intervals inspired by earlier piano works by Prokofiev), the Suite from his Stalin era 'factory' ballet The Bolt from 1931, the final movement from his Symphony No. 2 written in honor of the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution (featuring a choral setting of a poem by Mayakovsky) and the finally his Tahiti Trot (a playful orchestration of "Tea For Two" that Shostakovich made in 45 minutes in order to win a bet).
Shostakovich: Aphorisms for Piano, Op. 13 (excerpts)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, I (excerpt)
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Bolt, Op. 27a (excerpts)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Major, To October, Op. 14
Shostakovich: Tahiti Trot
The hour begins with a suite from Shostakovich's first ballet "The Golden Age" from 1930. The ballet tells the story of members of a Soviet football (soccer) team who travel to the west and foil their capitalist opponents (and includes a polka that became immensely popular). Then Bill turns to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 3 (May Day) from 1929 and the Suite from his experimental opera based on Gogol's story, "The Nose."
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Golden Age, Op. 22a
Shosatkovich: Symphony, No.3 in E-flat Major, First of May, Op. 20 (excerpts)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jansons
Shostakovich: Suite fr. The Nose, Op. 15a (excerpts)
Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Moscow Chamber Opera/Rozhdestvensky
In this hour Bill focuses on Shostakovich and the piano beginning with several of Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives which were a likely inspiration for the young Shostakovich before turning to Shostakovich's own Preludes for Piano (which, following the model of Chopin, covers the spectrum of the 24 keys).
Next is the Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra from 1933 and then the opera Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District which became an immense hit before provoking the wrath of Stalin (the next hour takes a more extensive look at Lady MacBeth).
Shostakovich: Waltz fr.Jazz Suite No. 1 (excerpt)
Prokofiev: Visions Fugitives for Piano, I, IV & XIII
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes for Piano,Op. 34, II, XI & XVII
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes, arr. for Piano and Violin, XV, X, & XXIV
Kogan, v.; Shostakovich, p.
Shostakovich: Concerto No.1 in c minor for Piano,Trumpet and Orchestra, Op. 35
LA Phil/Salonen; Bronfman, p.; Stevens, tpt.
Shostakovich: Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District (excerpt)
Bastille Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Chung
Continuing the exploration of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, the show begins with the chorus of the convicts and then an enchanting love duet between Katerina (Lady Macbeth) and her lover Sergei (which Bill compares to Lana Turner and John Garfield in the film The Postman Always Rings Twice).
Stalin's wrath descended on Shostakovich with the famous "Muddle Instead of Music" article that appeared in Pravda. This bitter denunciation, declared him a formalist. In the meantime, Shostakovich finished his massive and enigmatic, Mahler inspired Symphony No. 4 written in 1936 but heard until the 1960s, which Bill explores in detail. The week ends with the lyric Sonata for Violoncello and Piano widely viewed at Shostakovich first major chamber work.
Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk (excerpts)
Bastille Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Chung
6:03, 5:42, 1:23
Shostakovich: Arrival of the Police fr. Lady Macbeth
Shostakovich: Symphony No.4 in c minor, Op. 43 (excerpts)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Rattle
1:40, 3:16, 2:14, 14:30
Shostakovich: Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 40, I
Harrell, vc.; Ashkenazy, p.