- 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
- Listen to the Show
- About Exploring Music
Bernstein, Leonard: The Composer
Debatably America's best composer, Leonard Berstein was born Louis Bernstein in 1918 in Lawrence Massachusetts. At 16, he legally changed his name to Leonard. This show focuses mainly on Bernstein's work as a composer.
At age 10, Bernstein's family aquired a piano and he began to play voraciously. Later, as a student at Harvard University, he studied lots of new music and became obsessed with Aaron Copland's work. While on a trip in New York City, a friend introduced Bernstein to Copland and the two became life-long friends.
In 1942, Bernstein began to study conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and also the Tanglewood Festival. Later, while living in New York City, Bernstein filled in for the New York Philharmonic's conductor, Bruno Walter, and he soon became a famous figure.
In 1944, Bernstein composed his first symphony, known as the Jeremiah Symphony.
Bernstein's musical On the Town started as the 1944 ballet, Fancy Free. It was such a hit that Bernstein and choreographer Jerome Robbins decided to create a story line and songs with words. They teamed up with Betty Comden and Adolph Green to do so.
In 1949, Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety, was first performed. It is based on a poem by the same written by W.H. Auden. Musically, it is a combination of piano concerto and symphony. It is based largely on the format of theme and variations.
In 1951, he married Felicia Montealegre, a pianist/actress he met by chance. He wrote an "anniversary" piece for her in 1948. These anniversary peices were a tradition he kept up throughout his lifetime.
Bernstein wrote "Music is a lot of men in tails making lots of noise like a lot of females. Music is a lot of folks in a big dark hall where they really dont want to be at all with lots of chairs and lots of airs and lots of furs and diamonds. Music is silly. I hate music but I love to sing."
Bernstein: Three Dance Interludes from On the Town
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: Symphony No. 2 (excerpts)
New York Phil/Bernstein; Entremont, p.
Bernstein: Anniversary for Felicia Montealegre from Four Anniversaries
Bernstein: “Jupiter has Seven Moons” and “I Hate Music” from I Hate Music
Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
Colombia Jazz Combo/Bernstein Goodman, cl.
Bernstein: “A Quiet Girl” and “Ohio” (excerpt) from Wonderful Town
Bill Charlap Trio
Blue Note 94807
After winning a Tony Award for his musical Wonderful Town, Bernstein shifted to opera and wrote Trouble in Tahiti. Bernstein was heavily influenced by the composer Marc Blitzstein
Next, Bernstein was invited to write a piece for the solo violin by Isaac Stern. Bernstein based this piece on one of Plato's philosophical texts where those in attendance at a party discuss love. It was first performed in 1954 in Venice.
We hear the Overture from Candide, another opera, based on the writings of Voltaire. The show ends with a medley from West Side Story.
Bernstein: Trouble in Tahiti
Columbia Wind Ensemble/Bernstein
Bernstein: Serenade for Violin & Orchestra “after Plato’s Symposium”
Baltimore Symphony/Zinman; Hahn, v.
Bernstein: Overture fr. Candide
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: West Side Story Medley
New York Phil/Bernstein
Phil 416 360
This program features much of Bernstein's musical arrangement of Voltaire's book Candide, originally published in 1759. Berstein wrote the music and Richard Wilbur was the primary lyricist. Many others contributed as well.
After Candide, Bernstein wrote a film score for the 1954 film On the Waterfront which won seven Academy Awards. While not much is heard in the movie, Bernstein also wrote a symphonic suite.
West Side Story, Bernstein biggest hit, was realeased in 1957. Set in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York, it integrated a lot of current popular musical styles, including jazz, bebop and many Latin styles.
Bernstein: Candide (excerpts)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Bernstein; Anderson, s.
6:34, 6:47, 5:37
Bernstein: Suite from On the Waterfront
New York Phil/Bernstein
Bernstein: West Side Story (excerpts)
Israel Phil/Bernstein; Horne, ms.
DG 415 253
2:23, 1:18, :46, 3:00
Bernstein: “Cool” fr. West Side Story (excerpt)
Bill Charlap Trio
Blue Note 94807
The Kaddish, Bernstein's third symphony, is dedicated to John F. Kennedy who was killed just a few weeks before the piece's premiere. The piece features vocalists and The Kaddish refers to the jewish prayer that is chanted at every service.
Next, Bernstein completed another choral piece, Chichester Pslams. The work was commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival at Chichester Cathedral. After that, he worked on another piece based on a seemingly religious theme, Mass. This is a intended for the stage and features tape loops, guitars, keyboards, rock singers and a chorus of "street people." Bernstein paired up with Godspell's Stephen Schwartz for Mass.
Benstein worked on several pieces, including Halil and Divertimento for Orchestra in 1980, and remained active composing and conducting until his death on October 14, 1990.
Bernstein: Symphony No. 3 (excerpts)
Israel Philharmonic/Bernstein; Wagner, n.
DG 289 463
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms, II
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Shaw; Ragin, cten.
Bernstein: “A Simple Song” fr. Mass
Orchestra/Bernstein; Norman Scribner Choir & Berkshire Boy Choir; Titus, bar.
CBS 44593/Sony 630 89
LSO/Sedares; Dwyer, fl.
Bernstein: Divertimento for Orchestra (excerpts)
Bernstein: “Some Other Time” fr. On the Town
Concord Jazz 4641