Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin

Monday - Friday at 7:00 pm

I Hear a Rhapsody

Exploring Music is an adventure — an expedition through the world of classical music. We pick a theme each week and follow the music wherever it leads us. Over the years we’ve explored Shakespeare and music, have followed the lives of many composers (a sort of five-part mini-series), and visited the music of various locales — Paris, Venice, Spain, Hungary, the Pacific Rim. Each five-episode program is a musical journey that focuses on a particular, genre, music festival, or classical theme. It’s a sort of Outward Bound for music, with Bill McGlaughlin as our guide to make sure we all get home safe and sound.

Listeners' emailed suggestions have played a very important role in choosing themes. We’ve recorded over two hundred adventures, and the ideas keep turning up. We don’t think we’ll exhaust the possibilities. Exploring Music is familiar and welcoming, and is where you feel at home on your first visit and can’t wait to get back to sample what the series has come up with for its next five-episodes.

The player below features a continuous five hour loop of the most recent Exploring Music episode.

I Hear a Rhapsody

May 20, 2024

We’ve borrowed our title from the 1941 jazz standard, but what is a rhapsody? In music, Grove defines a rhapsody as “an episodic instrumental composition of indefinite form.” Rhapsodies came to be based on folk melodies, and composers in the 19th century began writing rhapsodies for chamber music and for symphonic orchestras. There are Hungarian Rhapsodies, Slavonic Rhapsodies, Blue Rhapsodies, ...

The Quartets of Béla Bartók

May 13, 2024

In response to listeners’ interest in 20th-century music, we will present a week analyzing Béla Bartók’s six string quartets. The first quartet was published in 1909 and the last in 1939, and these works are now considered an essential part of our musical heritage. We will hear performances from many different quartets, including the Juilliard String Quartet, who performed them ...

New Wine in Old Bottles

May 6, 2024

This is a week of transcriptions, orchestrations, fantasies, rhapsodies, and reminiscences: the creative efforts of composers who give new vitality to existing music by transforming it. This is much more than composers finding inspiration from others- these are works that use the structure and tunes of another composer to create a new piece in their voice. Bill includes folk music ...