Monday - Friday at 7:00 pm
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.
November 27, 2023
Louis-Hector Berlioz (1803-69) wrote that “Beethoven opened before me a new world of music, as Shakespeare had revealed a new universe of poetry.” Bill covers the arc of Berlioz’s life and music, from leaving medical school in Paris to attend the opera and studying at the Paris Conservatory, then being a model of the Romantic movement. This week’s fifth episode ...
November 20, 2023
Bill articulates how music propels dramatic action and sustains poignant moments in performing arts. “Incidental music” may be a misnomer. It started with Greek dramas but, as Bill explains, music often plays a pivotal if not starring role. Example: in the opening scene of the play Moderen (The Mother) by Helge Rode, Nielsen’s two-minute “The Fog is Lifting” drives the ...
Under the Hood, Part I
November 13, 2023
How does this thing work? For some of us, the inner workings of a symphony are as inscrutable as the engine of an automobile is to others. Bill McGlaughlin lifts the “hood” on a handful of symphonies to explore the mechanics of large-scale compositions. Join us as we take a closer look at works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and ...
Chicago’s Own Cedille Records
December 4, 2023
Record labels have their own identities; some are devoted to living composers, others to the spoken word or children’s music. Many solo artists and conductors have exclusive contracts with labels like you’ll find Sir Georg Solti on Decca, or Arthur Rubinstein on RCA. This week we are featuring Cedille Records founded by James Ginsburg in 1989. Cedille Records is a ...
December 11, 2023
In one of his pensées, Pascal says, “That man lives between the abyss of the infinitely large and the abyss of the infinitely small. The voyage of variations leads to the other infinitude, into the infinite diversity of the interior world lying hidden in all things.” Bill leads us on this voyage through a theme and its variations. We start ...