December 28, 2015 - January 1, 2016
Invitation to the Dance, Part I – Which came first, the composition or the dance? Can we even pull them apart? 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 Mahler.
December 21 - 25, 2015
The Spanish School – Borrowing our title from the storied Spanish Riding School in Vienna (home of the Lipizzaner horses!) this program explores the wealth of musical output from Iberian composers. Following a lineage from the 18th century on to those creating new music today, we consider The Spanish School as a living tradition, blending the values of the past with the passion of the present.
December 14 - 18, 2015
Ninth Symphonies – The curse of the ninth! 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, Dvorak and Mahler.
December 7 - 11, 2015
Berlioz – A five-part biography on the life of Hector Berlioz. As one of the developers of the symphonic form, Hector Berlioz lived a life full of drama and color. Born in France to parents with plans for him to become a doctor, he pursued everything but medicine. He wrote: “Beethoven opened before me a new world of music, as Shakespeare had revealed a new universe of poetry.” Join us in this amazing journey following the life of Hector Berlioz.
November 30 - December 4, 2015
String Quartets: An Intelligent Conversation – Goethe once wrote, “When I listen to a string quartet, it makes me feel as if I am eavesdropping on a conversation between four intelligent people.” This week we are going to listen to string quartets composed over a period of about two and a half centuries. From the father of the string quartet, Joseph Haydn, all the way to Aaron Jay Kernis, a Pulitzer prize-winning present-day composer.
November 23 - 27, 2015
Director's Choice – Music suggested by program and music directors from radio stations around the world. From New York, to Guam in the middle of the South Pacific, and on to Australia, our colleagues’ choices were as varied and as interesting as their locations. Just listen!
November 16 - 20, 2015
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.
November 9 - 13, 2015
Symphony, Part III – Part three in our continuing series on that most revered of classical music forms: the symphony. Starting in Denmark with Niels Gade’s first symphony, Bill will introduce us to the mid-nineteenth century orchestral music of Rubenstein, Raff, and Dvořák. We’ll also hear the Brahms Serenade No. 1 for orchestra, composed in six movements and published many decades before his four symphonies.
November 2 - 6, 2015
Franz Liszt – Firmly poised on the progressive side of the War of the Romantics, Franz Liszt was on the front lines of the battle to usher in a new musical era- an era of radical dissonances, thematic transformation and exceptional virtuosity. This week, we'll spend five hours listening to Liszt's music and looking at his life in celebration of his 200th birthday.
October 26 - 30, 2015
Vienna, Part 2 – This week, we’ll continue our exploration of one of the world’s great musical capitals with music of the great Romantics, the renegades of the last century and beyond. Composers include Johann Strauss, Jr., Mahler and Schoenberg.
October 19 - 23, 2015
Vienna, Part 1 – This week we’ll explore the rich culture of this great musical capital, reaching back to the Roman Empire and beyond. Composers include Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Johann Strauss and Mahler.
October 12 - 16, 2015
New Releases III, Part 2 – Exploring Music is returning to New Releases for a second week due to a vast abundance of new albums from orchestras, chamber groups, and opera companies around the world. These beautiful new albums prove beyond a doubt that classical music is alive and kicking.
October 5 - 9, 2015
New Releases III, Part 1 – This week on Exploring Music we'll be listening to Bill's New Releases. Record companies love to send Bill their new recordings and we thought you'd like to hear some of them too! Sit down, relax and join us in sampling from a great range of new offerings from the Boston Symphony, Lang Lang, Gustavo Dudamel, and more. Bill's got boxes of wonderful new recordings by artists ranging from rising stars to established masters and all manner of delightful picks in between.
September 28 - October 2, 2015
Cello Concertos – It’s not as flashy as the Violin Concerto, not as humble as the Piano Concerto, yet the Cello Concerto holds a special place in an orchestra’s repertoire. Join us as we explore some of the great works and performers.
For many music lovers, the cello's melodic capacity and deep timbre represent the pinnacle of musical expression. This week we'll explore some of the great works written for this instrument and the musicians that made them famous.
September 21 - 25, 2015
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.
September 14 - 18, 2015
Tone Poems – In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn. Generally one movement, Tone Poem’s illustrate or describe with music a poem, a painting or other non musical source. Bill invites us to sit with him as he describes and listens to this image evoking dramatic music.
September 7 - 11, 2015
The Ballad of East and West – Borrowing this week's title from the Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Ballad of East and West" will explore the music of Asia. Traveling from Turkey to Japan and everywhere in between, we will listen to instruments, sounds, folk tunes and poetry. Some that are the unique musical voices that define a country's identity, some that are shared in common and many that are borrowed by western composers.
August 31 - September 4, 2015
Gitana: Gypsy Music and Its Influences – For thousands of years the Romany people journeyed through Europe and beyond. Native music and that of these travelers combined to create an energetic and exotic confluence unlike anything else. Brahms and many other composers took hold of these sounds creating music “alla zingarese,” or in the gypsy style. When Yehudi Menuhin was a student, his teacher George Enescu took him to live in Gitana camps to learn from these creative musicians. Menuhin credits this experience as a fundamental part of his violin technique and music making.
August 24 - 28, 2015
School Days – A celebration of young composers and artists.
August 17 - 21, 2015
Camille Saint-Saens – A child prodigy that was later hailed by Liszt as "the greatest organist in the world," Camille Saint-Saëns led a fascinating life filled to the brim with music. We'll explore his life, compositions, and influence in this five-part series.
August 10 - 14, 2015
American Masters, Pt. V – The American Masters series examines composers who forged our Nationalist identity in the 20th century, and who continue to energize and influence classical music today. While we have had other series dedicated to Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, and Duke Ellington, American Masters is our opportunity to spend time with a more diverse collection of composers. This fifth installment of the series focuses on composers born in the years before the First World War, musical trailblazers, such as Henry Brant, Lukas Foss, Robert Russell Bennett, Peter Mennin, George Perle, Ned Rorem, and Jerome Moross.
August 3 - 7, 2015
A Little Traveling Music, Please – Wanderers, farewells, and sightseeing; people are always on the go. This week, Bill calls up, “A Little Traveling Music, Please” from the pens of Handel, Smetana, Duke Ellington, and more. Reflections from such travels infuse themselves into their works, as we will discover throughout the week. We will hear selections from Beethoven’s Les Adieux, Schubert’s Die Schöne Mullerin, and Haydn’s Farewell Symphony.
July 27 - 31, 2015
Maurice Ravel – This week we are delving into the world of French composer Maurice Ravel. We will explore the many influences that shaped Ravel’s music such as his Spanish and Russian heritage, WWI, and his affinity for late night Parisian Jazz parties in the roaring 20’s. Some works featured in this program include Le Tombeau de Couperin, Boléro, and Rapsodie espagnole.
July 20 - 24, 2015
Hit or Myth – The gods must be crazy! This week, we’ll survey the trials and tribulations of mortals and immortals, brought to life by the likes of Berlioz, Gluck, Handel and more.
July 13 - 17, 2015
Sounds of the City of Lights – Music in Paris from Berlioz to Debussy, from 1830 to the early 1900s.
July 6 - 10, 2015
Maestros, Part II – The second in a series highlighting American conductors who shaped American music-making in the mid-20th century.
June 29 - July 3, 2015
Maestros, Part I – The first in a multiple-part series featuring legendary conductors who shaped American music-making in the mid-20th century. With Europe in turmoil, opportunities abounded in the Americas, and many great conductors arrived from abroad and stayed to build orchestras, from the ground up, with their unique voices.
June 22 - 26, 2015
Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin String Quartets – Our multiple-part series tracing the evolution of the string quartet continues with magnificent works from Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Alexander Borodin.
June 15 - 19, 2015
Bill's Keepers – This week on Exploring Music, Bill plays his favorite recordings, those that have found their way into his “Keepers Box.”. This week is full of upcoming stars as well as established masters.
June 8 - 12, 2015
Robert Schumann – A biography of the torrid and life of one of Germany’s early romantics. Married to composer/pianist Clara Wieck, and a friend to Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, and Joseph Joachim, Schumann was at the very heart of the German Romantic intellectual movement in the mid 19th century. He was a composer, pianist, and music critic.
June 1 - 5, 2015
Invitation To The Dance, Part II – This week, we’ll focus on ballet music by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schubert – even Beethoven! On Wednesday’s program alone we will dance to Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite and The Wooden Prince, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, and a charming suite of dances from Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat.
May 25 - 29, 2015
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.
May 18 - May 22, 2015
The Violin Concerto – There is a saying in much of eastern Europe, “Every boy is born with a violin under his pillow”. Parents dream of him as a great violinist, not a doctor or a lawyer as we do in America. And every composer wrote at least one violin concerto here is just a sampling of their output.
May 11 - 15, 2015
Symphony, Part V – Part V of a massive series examining the concept of a symphony, widely considered the most important form of classical music. Symphonies of Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Nielsen and Ives.
May 4 - 8, 2015
Fit for a King – This relationship between the King and his musical subjects was intimate deep and lasted for hundreds if not thousands of years. From Bach to Bridge this week we will listen to the rich and intriguing world of the European court composer.
April 27 - May 1, 2015
Sergei Prokofiev – This relationship between the King and his musical subjects was intimate deep and lasted for hundreds if not thousands of years. From Bach to Bridge this week we will listen to the rich and intriguing world of the European court composer.
April 20 - 24, 2015
Voices from the East – With mechanical consistency, a lone bell creates a meditative sound. Very slowly, strings begin shimmering through the image by playing canonic scales. This Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, written by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, will be the first piece we hear in this week’s program Voices from the East. Throughout the week, our musical journey brings us to composers that were born in the most northern of the Baltic states; in Tschistapol, on the banks of the Kama river in western Russia; and in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia in the middle of the Caucasus Mountains: Arvo Pärt, Sofia Gubaïdulina and Giya Kancheli. Follow us on our journey!
April 13 - 17, 2015
Under the Hood, Part I – How does this thing work? For some of us, the inner workings of a symphony are as unfathomable to comprehend as the engine of an automobile is to others. Bill McGlaughlin lifts the “bonnet” or hood on a handful of symphonies to explore the mechanics of large-scale compositions. Join us as we take a closer look at the musical scores by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.
April 6 - 10, 2015
Spring is Here – Spring is in the air as we celebrate the coming of flowers and sunshine from under the melting winter ice here on Exploring Music. We will hear Spring from Vivaldi Four Seasons, Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, Strauss, and this time of year can’t be complete without a little rain, so from Chopin, Prelude in D flat, Op. 28 No. 15, or commonly known as “the Raindrop”.
March 30 - April 3, 2015
Bach's Not-So-Minor B Minor Mass – A week-long examination of the development of Bach’s masterpiece, starting with the smaller Lutheran Masses and touching on influences from Palestrina to Bach’s own instrumental and organ works.
March 2 - 27, 2015
Wunderkinder - Musical Prodigies, Part II – More performers and composers whose exceptional musical gifts emerged at an early age.
March 16 - 20, 2015
Wunderkinder - Musical Prodigies, Part I – Blazing talents whose remarkable and sometimes-perilous lives overflowed with natural gifts at a young age.
March 9 - 13, 2015
Samuel Barber – Samuel Barber was only 28 years old when Arturo Toscanini premiered his Adagio for Strings in 1938 with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. He was an overnight success and became the most performed composer in the United States: His music is mostly unaffected by the modern tendencies of his time – he was out of step during the first half of the 20th century. Samuel Barber was as much a cosmopolitan as a romantic lyricist, and his writing unmistakably has its fixed stars: Bach, Brahms, and Fauré. We’ll explore his world, life, and music in this week’s program and finally face the inevitable question: A huge success at such a young age – a blessing or a curse?
March 2 - 6, 2015
I Didn't Know About You – The making of Exploring Music constantly unearths hidden gems and unexpected delights. This week, Bill shares some of his own musical discoveries and solicits suggestions from listeners.
February 23 - 27, 2015
George Frideric Handel – We’ll have a week-long look at the life and music of England’s most celebrated German composer. Handel has been regarded as on of the greatest composers of the Baroque era with many of his works played every year since their first hearing almost 400 hundred years ago.
February 15 - 19, 2015
Child's Play – In hundreds of years of music-making, childhood remains an inexhaustible inspiration. This week, we’ll hear how composers from Purcell to Prokofiev were influenced by the creative energy of youth.
February 9 - 13, 2015
Strings Plus One – This week, we’ll feature small string groups with a special guest addition.
February 2 - 6, 2015
Clash of the Titans – Titans in Greek Mythology were great divine beings that descended from the Gods, hence someone who dominates his field. This week Bill McGlaughlin examines the lives and music-making of two such divine beings, Leopold Stokowski and Arturo Toscanini, who both captured the minds and hearts of us at a crucial part in our countries development.
January 26 - 30, 2015
Mozart: Bright Lights, Big City – Mozart gets the boot from the Archbishop and moves from his hometown of Salzburg to the music capital of Vienna. This cosmopolitan world opened Mozart’s eyes and ears to a creative world that he expresses so beautifully in his music.
January 19 - 23, 2015
Game of Pairs, Part II – Our two-week series focusing on legendary partnerships between composers continues. 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.
January 12 - 16, 2015
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.
January 5 - 9, 2015
Peter Tchaikovsky, Part II – This week, we’ll continue our exploration of Peter Tchaikovsky, focusing on the latter part of his life, including his symphonies, ballets, and life at the Moscow Conservatory. Bill picks up in 1876 with Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.33 for Cello and Orchestra and we close the week with his Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Pathetique, written in 1893 and premiered just days before his death. This week, Bill tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s failed marriage and his unusual relationship with his patroness Nadezhda von Meck.
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