Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin

Monday – Friday at 7:00 pm

Wagner’s Ring Cycle

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. Listen to the past two weeks of Exploring Music here.

Wagner’s Ring Cycle

April 6, 2020

For most operas, a five-hour survey would more than cover every measure, every note – but not this one, Wagner’s crowning achievement. Bill helps us understand and enjoy this long and fanciful journey, with richly textured music that continues to grow in complexity as the operas proceed. Wagner spent a quarter of a century writing the libretto and composing the ...

Outward Bound

March 30, 2020

Afoot and lighthearted, Bill takes to the open road with the world before him. In the steps of Walt Whitman, he explores the relationship of man to nature as expressed in music. We start this week with Bryn Terfel singing The Vagabond, the words of Robert Lewis Stevenson set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Bill will then “inhale great ...

The Class of 1809: Six composers born over a five-year period 1809 – 1813

March 23, 2020

Our six extraordinary composers are Felix Mendelssohn, born February 3, 1809; Frederic Chopin, March 3, 1810; Robert Schumann, June 8, 1810; Franz Liszt, October 22, 1811; Richard Wagner, May 22, 1813; and Giuseppe Verdi, October 10, 1813. 1809 also brought the death of Papa Haydn and the birth of Abraham Lincoln, plus Beethoven wrote Les Adieux “Farewell,” and the Emperor ...