December 31 - January 4, 2012
Strings Plus One – This week we'll feature small string groups with a special guest addition.
December 24 - 28, 2012
Holiday Celebration – All around the world, winter holidays are celebrated, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill gets us started with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music with a very early staging of the nativity. We will enjoy Christmas in Paris with music from Debussy, Charpentier and Poulenc and a Polynesian traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea, plus an excerpt from Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Bill plays us one of his favorites from Ernest Bloch, Sacred Service. On our final day we will listen to Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and this week’s celebration will end with more holiday cheer from David Bowie and Bing Crosby.
December 17 - 21, 2012
How Do You Get From Bach to Beethoven? – Exactly 100 years separates Bach’s B Minor Mass and Beethoven’s Choral Symphony – seminal works from two distinct eras. This week, we’ll explore how music progressed in this century, tracing inspirations in harmony, rhythm, orchestration and form.
December 10 - 14, 2012
The Symphony, Part I – In the beginning, there were Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, or so we thought. That is until we uncovered a whole world of instrumental music so varied, so wonderful and so woefully unknown, we decided to take out time in that glorious place. Starting with a Sinfonia by Biaggio Marini from 1618, we slowly make out way through the seventeenth century, the eighteenth century and finish at the brink of the Romantic era with the Second Symphony by Beethoven.
December 3 - 7, 2012
Incidentally Speaking – For as long as art forms such as theatre, ballet, and other entertainments have graced the stage, composers have been there to enhance the dramatic action through music. This week Bill explores some of the not-so-incidental music that has resulted.
November 26 - 30, 2012
Tone Poems – In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn.
November 19 - 23, 2012
Artists in Exile, Part II – Bill continues to reflect on artists in exile, beginning with music from Paul Hindemith. In his escape from Nazi Germany, Hindemith traveled to Turkey, England, and Switzerland before coming to America. We will listen to his Symphony for Concert Band and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. Bill then considers the plight of composers who faced deportation from America because of their political views. We finish this two-week series with composers from Asia and Latin America. Glorious music from Chen Yi and Gabriela Lena Frank, as well as Tan Dun’s title song for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
November 12 - 16, 2012
Artists in Exile, Part I – Our two-week series titled Artists in Exile pays homage to Joseph Horowitz’s book that focuses on "how refugees from 20th-century war and revolution transformed the American arts.” In this program, you will hear stories of appreciation for a new country, but also of terrible loneliness that comes from being forced from one's home by political strife. Bill begins this week with a vacationing artist, Antonín Dvořák, before playing music from Serge Prokofiev, who fled the Soviet Union. This week will end with Hungarian Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, written in America.
November 5 - 9, 2012
I Hear America Singing – Celebrating America's unique voice in music.
October 29 - November 2, 2012
Dvorák, Tchaikovsky and Borodin String Quartets –Our multiple-part series tracing the evolution of the string quartet continues with magnificent works from Antonin Dvorák, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Alexander Borodin.
October 22 - 26, 2012
Autumn Leaves – Works inspired by sights, sounds and smells of the world at summer's end, including selections by Vivaldi, Piazzola, Delius and Schubert.
October 15 - 19, 2012
Pastoral Symphonies – This week we delight in music inspired by nature, including the Pastoral symphony by Beethoven, Berlioz's Harold in Italy and Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony. We'll also feature readings of texts by John Muir.
October 8 - 12, 2012
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Composer of nine masterful symphonies, editor of the English Hymnal, an ambulance driver in WWI and great-nephew to Charles Darwin, Ralph Vaughan Williams was a prolific and intriguing figure who was at the vanguard of English music in the early 20th century. This week, we'll look at his life and sample his music.
October 1 - 5, 2012
The Game of Pairs, Part II – Our two-week series focusing on legendary partnerships between composers continues.
September 24 - 28, 2012
The Game of Pairs, Part I – Haydn and Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms, Copland and Bernstein – these are just a few of the legendary artistic partnerships that have changed the course of musical history. With a tip of the hat to Bartók, we'll listen to some of the music that resulted from these illustrious collaborations and connections.
September 17 - 21, 2012
Mozart Piano Concertos – Mozart seizes an almost non-existent genre and elevates it to one of the most revered and popular musical forms.
September 10 - 14, 2012
Nadia Boulanger – Virgil Thomson once said, “In every town in the United States you find a five-and-dime and a Boulanger student," and he wasn't far off. Nadia Boulanger taught and influenced an entire generation of musicians, from Aaron Copland and Astor Piazzolla to Philip Glass and Quincy Jones. This week we'll hear some of her own compositions, works by her talented sister, Lily, and performances of works by prolific students. Bill features Nadia conducting her close friend Igor Stravinsky’s composition Dumbarton Oaks and ends this retrospective listening to Piazzolla’s Oblivion.
September 3 - 7, 2012
Czech out those Bohemians – Composers from the lands around the present-day Czech Republic have made an indelible mark on music, We’ll examine their history and influence, from medieval times to the present, enjoying the music of Dvořák, Smetana, Suk, and the Benda family.
August 27 - 31, 2012
School Days – A celebration of young composers and performers.
August 20 - 24, 2012
Debussy– Exploring the life and work of one of music’s more alluring and mysterious figures.
August 13 - 17, 2012
Soundtracks –Classical music on the silver screen, from ET to Shostakovich.
August 6 - 10, 2012
Hindemith –From his birth in a town near Frankfurt through his time in Egypt, Turkey, and eventual emigration to America, Paul Hindemith had a strong and lasting impact on music in the middle of the 20th century. We'll sample his compositions and follow his controversial life.
July 30 - August 3, 2012
New Releases – Bill selects highlights from wonderfully diverse albums that have recently been released.
July 23 - 27, 2012
Under the Hood, Part II – Back by popular request, Bill takes us through the inner workings of five great symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.
July 16 - 20, 2012
Stravinsky – Time Magazine named him “one of the most influential people of the 20th century.” We’ll follow this fascinating life from a boyhood encounter with Tchaikovsky to the salons of Paris to the golden age of Hollywood.
July 9 - 13, 2012
Variations – Exploring themes and variations.
July 2 - 6, 2012
American Masters, Part I –American Composers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
June 25 - 29, 2012
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.
June 18 - 22, 2012
Fit for a King – We'll explore the rich and intriguing world of the court composer.
June 11 - 15, 2012
The Four Seasons –From the boundless majesty of the summer sun in Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten to the frosty snow and shivering winds of Vivaldi's Winter, this week is dedicated to music inspired by the changing seasons.
June 4 - 8, 2012
Orpheus in the New World – With communications and travel offering cultural exchange like never before, today's composer draws from an enormous palette, giving voice to the amazing era in which we live. From Schwantner and Adams to Neikrug and Beach, we'll listen to and celebrate their music.
May 28 - June 1, 2012
Haydn Symphonies –This week, Bill explores the symphonic wonders of Papa Haydn, the father of the modern symphony. We'll hear Haydn's earliest offerings in the form and follow his path as he expands his ideas and his ensembles into the grand gestures of his 104th.
May 21 - 25, 2012
George Gershwin –A true American original! Join us for a week-long look at the life and soulful music of George Gershwin, including his Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess.
May 14 - 18, 2012
Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic –An exploration of composers' critiques, evaluations, and responses to their contemporaries.
May 7 - 11, 2012
The Russian Five: The Mighty Handful – Five prominent composers; Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Cui, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov all worked to help form the Russian National School of Composers, which later was named The New Russian School. These five composers, led by Mily Balakirev, all lived in Saint Petersburg and collaborated from 1856 to 1870. Throughout these programs Bill will research each of these composers and demonstrate some of their most prominent works.
April 30 - May 4, 2012
The Viola – This week we’ll celebrate some of the exquisite music written for this “inner voice”. The viola is the middle sister of the stringed instruments, sitting between the violins and the cellos, and playing in a clef written devised just for her. The viola is often misunderstood and mistaken for a “larger violin” or sometimes either forgotten about or made the butt of jokes. But, the viola sings with a dark richness that composers loved! Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak, to name just a few composers, played the viola, and oh, Hindemith did too. And these composers, plus many more figured out how to let this instrument have her day in the sun with concertos, tone poems, and orchestral solos. Listen and you too will fall in love with this instrument.
April 23 - 28, 2012
You and the Night and the Music – Novelists who have built their plots around great music. Join us as we step inside the minds of authors groping for the words to describe the feelings and emotions of the music. We begin with an inspiring mandolin, and the letters of T.S. Eliot. In Thursday’s program Bill tells the story of a violin maker and part-time sleuth with a nostalgic longing for Bach. Dvorák falls in love and an author reminisces about his father’s final journey with Beethoven. We end our travels through literature and music with a dream of the devil and E.M. Forster’s vision of Beethoven from Howard’s End.
April 16 - 20, 2012
The Big Five, Part I - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra – We'll reach back into the history, growth and development of one of America's great musical institutions.
April 9 - 13, 2012
Grieg & Sibelius – We'll explore the lives and music of the two Scandinavian greats: Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius. Music includes a number of chamber works, Grieg's Peer Gynt, the Norwegian Dances and several Sibelius symphonies.
April 2 - 6, 2012
St. Matthew Passion – Composed in 1727, it’s one of two surviving J.S. Bach accounts of the last days of Jesus. Bill begins by examining the history of the Lutheran church in Germany and the early musical representations of Christ’s last days, including Bach’s earlier St. John Passion. Before the week is over we will also sample Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ and Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión Según San Marcos.
March 26 - 30, 2012
Through the Mail Slot – All media outlets have a special place for unsolicited materials. This week we'll explore unexpected musical treats that were delivered to Bill's doorstep.
March 19 - 23, 2012
España – Bill takes on the confluence of cultures, languages, and terrains in the country of Spain. Monday’s program starts with the religious music of early Spain during a time in which Islam, Judaism, and Christianity existed side by side, to 1492, when the Jews and Moors of Spain were banished from the country. We continue through the next 400 years, and this week concludes with music from present day Spain.
March 12 - 16, 2012
Les Six – It's an anti-Wagner and anti-Impressionist tour de farce. Join us for music by the delightfully irreverent bad boys (and girl) of 1920's Monteparnasse: Auric, Durey, Honegger, Milhaud, Poulenc and Tailleferre.
March 5 - 9, 2012
Edward Elgar – There's much more to Edward Elgar than graduation marches and the Enigma Variations. A composer of equally masterful symphonies, oratorios, chamber music and concertos, he led a renaissance in 20th century England that firmly reestablished the country's musical identity.
February 27 - March 2, 2012
American Masters III – Our series celebrating American composers continues with more innovative works from the 20th century.
February 20 - 24, 2012
The Violin Concerto – A sampling of great works for solo violin and orchestra, including concerti by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Sibelius.
February 13 - 17, 2012
It Was a Lover and His Lass – Composers influenced by the elixir of love.
February 6 - 10, 2012
John Corigliano – Bill McGlaughlin welcomes one of America’s foremost composers as Exploring Music’s co-host and programmer. Corigliano, son of the longtime concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, has written many works that are now considered to be part of the standard repertoire for American violinists, clarinetists and orchestras. During the '80s, with the onslaught of AIDS deaths surrounding Corigliano, he expressed his profound loss in his Symphony No. 1 with a tarantella that evokes feelings of complete madness. This program celebrates Corigliano’s 80th birthday (February 16).
January 30 - February 3, 2012
Too Darn Big – This week we're ascending some of the most colossal musical mountains in existence - works like Schoenberg's Gurrelieder and Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony that are (usually) too big to program on Exploring Music.
January 23 - 27, 2012
Mozart: Bright Lights, Big City – Mozart gets the boot from the Archbishop and moves to the city.
January 16 - 20, 2012
Ninth Symphonies – Why did so many of music's great symphonists die after completing their ninth symphony? We'll sample five landmark compositions: the ninth symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner, Dvorák and Mahler.
January 9 - 13, 2012
An Invitation to the Dance, Part I – Which came first, the composer or the dance? It's hard to say, but this week we'll follow the dance through solo works, the opera and the symphony. Highlights include music by Bach, Beethoven and Shostakovich.
January 2 - 6, 2012
Maurice Ravel –A five-part biography of Maurice Ravel.
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