- 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.
AACTIVE 3/1 - 3/14 Ravel, MauriceAmerican 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 BoundPPacific Overtures, Part 1Pacific Overtures, Part 2Pastoral 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
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was the vanguard composer of his generation in France. Devoting a series to him comes from a listener suggestion. Bill feels Fauré’s early prowess places him in the prodigy category with Mendelssohn and Mozart. As proof, Bill begins the week with “Le papillon et la fleur” (The butterfly and the flower) and “Mai”, both written when Fauré was 16. Bill then offers some examples that display Fauré’s mastery of short pieces, and explains Fauré’s many harmonic and melodic innovations, as in his famous Requiem.
The first segment begins with a pair of short songs from very early on Fauré's career, "Le Papillon et la Fleur", and "Mai". Both were written when Fauré was only 16 years old, and they are stunningly beautiful. Next we hear Trois Romances sans paroles, "three romances without words" for piano. Fauré was adept at writing keyboard pieces, owing to his studies as an organ student. In line with this train of thought, we next move on to Cantique de Jean Racine, a five-minute piece written by Fauré for organ and choir. The version we hear is performed by an all-male chorus, with the higher registers sung by boys. Next is a piece called Allegro Symphonique, for four hands on piano. It began its life as a symphony written by Fauré when he was 20, then was adapted for piano a short time later. To end the segment, we hear a more mature piece by Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major.
Gabriel Fauré: “Le Papillon Et La Fleur”, Op. 1/1
Janet Baker, ms.; Geoffrey Parsons, p.
We first hear a little bit of amusement: Souvenirs de Bayreuth, made up entirely of little Wagner quotes that transforms the Ring cycle into comical party music. Next is another short little song, "Après Un Rêve", reminiscent of a rough rejection Fauré went through in life. We then hear a solo trumpet piece, the "Vocalise", which displays Fauré's wonderful gift of melody, regardless of the instrument. This is also heard in Fauré's Elégie, played in this segment on cello in C minor. C minor also features in the Piano Quartet #1 in C minor, a much lengthier piece that proves that in addition to Fauré's status as a "master of miniatures" he was also very capable of long works as well. We then finish with another small piece: "Berceuse", for piano and violin.
Gabriel Fauré: Souvenirs De Bayreuth #1
Patrick De Hooge, Pierre-Alain Volondat, pnos.
This segment begins with a short song titled "Mandoline", from L'Horizon Chimerique, then contrasts the somewhat joyous sounding piece with Nocturne No. 2, a beautiful mix of soft, moonlit passages combined with rambling restlessness. Then, with those little bits out of the way, we launch into Fauré's famous Requiem. We hear the whole thing, taking less than a minute to breathe for a moment in between. Fauré did not write his Requiem for anything in particular, instead writing it for his own enjoyment. It's an easy piece to learn for singers, and as a result is a popular piece for choir. We close the segment down with "Menuet" and "Pastorale", two short pieces from the Masques et Bergamasques Suite.
Fauré: “Mandoline” fr. L'Horizon Chimerique, Op. 118
Sanford Sylvan, bar.; David Breitman, p.
This segment begins with a short duet for soprano and baritone called "Pleurs d'or"--Tears of Gold. As established before, Fauré is a master of both the short and long forms, and what we hear next is one of his most famous, barring only the Requiem. We hear four sections of the Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, a set of incidental music written for a play in London. We revisit a short excerpt from the second section, but this time instead of orchestra it is played by piano and solo violin. Ten years before he wrote this music, he wrote the Madrigal de Shylock, another batch of incidental music for a play; we hear two pieces from it. Next is the Quartet for Strings in E minor, a piece composed toward the end of his life. We hear the 3rd movement, "Allegro". Next is the Dolly Suite, a collection of six pieces for piano, four-hands. They are about intimate and charming little details regarding a family Fauré was quite familiar with. The segment then closes with another short song, "Au Bord de L'eau", from Three Songs.
Gabriel Fauré: “Pleurs d'or”, Op. 72
Victoria De Los Angeles, s.; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, b.;
Gerald Moore, p.
We begin the final segment on Fauré with a wonderful piece: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, of which we hear the second movement. We then hear the "Barcarolle No. 4", a short piece played by a woman who studied with Fauré, and then the large and lengthy Piano Trio in D minor, written during the last year of Fauré's life. Despite how old he was, Fauré's music did not betray his age, and sounded as vivacious and as beautiful as his earlier music. Next we hear a flute piece called "Fantaisie", which Fauré composed as a test piece for the Paris Conservatorie. The next piece comes not from Fauré, but from a composer named Florent Schmitt, who composed In Memoriam Gabriel Fauré, a memorial piece that resembles almost nothing that Fauré ever composed. We then wrap the program up with a wonderful setting of Fauré's Pavane.
Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata #2 In E Minor, Op. 108, II
Renaud Capuçon, v.; Michel Dalberto, p.
Virgin Classics 708762