Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin

Monday - Friday at 7:00 pm

Berlioz, Hector

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.

Berlioz, Hector

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 ...

Incidentally Speaking

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 ...