Host Bill McGlaughlin guides listeners through a new musical theme each week, devoting five hours to a single topic. McGlaughlin’s in-depth knowledge of and deep passion for classical music gives the series his customary enthusiasm, imagination, and spontaneity. He is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, conductor, and composer.
I Hear a Rhapsody
We've borrowed our title from the 1941 jazz standard, but what is a rhapsody? In music, Grove defines a rhapsody is "an episodic instrumental composition of indefinite form." The word originates in the epic poetry of Ancient Greece, although the musical origins are traced back only as far as humble ballads in 18th century Hausmusik. Rhapsodies came to be based on popular and folk melodies, and composers in the 19th century began writing Rhapsodies for chamber music and large-scale nationalistic orchestral epics. There are Hungarian Rhapsodies, Slavonic Rhapsodies, Blue Rhapsodies, Rhapsodies of Fire, and Bohemian Rhapsodies. Spend a week with us as Bill riffs on rhapsodies, and together we'll explore what it is about this "indefinite form" that has attracted composers from around the world and across the centuries. Playlist information at exploringmusic.wfmt.com.
"The greatest genius that ever lived" proclaimed WH Auden, while Rossini said that Wagner had "beautiful moments but awful quarters of an hour." Love him or hate him, Wagner is an undeniable force who stretched tonality and orchestration to their utmost limits. This week (and next) we celebrate Wagner's 200th birthday in grand style with programs filled to the brim with his music. Playlist information at exploringmusic.wfmt.com.
This show will feature music inspired by nature, including Pastoral symphonies by Beethoven and Vaughan Williams, and R. Strauss’ Alpine Symphony. We’ll also feature readings of texts by John Muir. Playlist information at exploringmusic.wfmt.com.
A Keyboard Smorgasbord
It’s a lot more than just pianos. We’ll follow the story of the musical keyboard, from the ancient Greeks all the way to synthesizers, examining music for many different types — clavichords, harpsichords, fortepianos, organs, harmoniums, accordions, dulcimers, cimbaloms, melodicas, and mallet instruments from Java to jazz. This is a large and interesting family! Playlist information at exploringmusic.wfmt.com.