Bill McGlaughlin

About Exploring Music

Weekdays at 9pm

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. For playlists, click on the link at the top of this page.

Program Schedule

The Viola

Week of June 1, 2020

A week-long celebration of the exquisite music written for this “inner voice”. The viola is the middle sister of the stringed instruments, sitting between the violins and the cellos, and playing in a clef written just for her. The viola is often misunderstood and mistaken for a “larger violin” or sometimes either forgotten about or made the butt of jokes. But, the viola sings with a dark richness that composers loved! Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak played the viola; Hindemith did too. And these composers, plus many more, figured out how to let this instrument have her day in the sun with concertos, tone poems, and orchestral solos. You too will fall in love with the viola.


Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto in
G Major for Viola and Orchestra
Musica Antiqua Köln/Goebel; Deuter, viola
String Concertos
Archiv 463074; 10:49

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in
d minor, RV. 540, II & III
Academy of Ancient Music/Manze; Jones, viola d’amore; North, lute
Concert For The Prince Of Poland
HM 907230; 6:47

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major, II & III
European Brandenburg Ensemble/Pinnock
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos / Pinnock, European Brandenburg Ensemble
Avie 2119; 9:53

Carl Philipp Stamitz:
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in D Major, III
Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn/Faerber; Wallfisch, viola
Music From Prague Vol 1 – Music By Dvorák, Dusek, Et Al
Vox 5148; 4:27

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 364, I
LPO/Mutter; Mutter, violin; Bashmet, viola
The Violin Concertos / Sinfonia Concertante
DG B0005078-02; 12:33

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf:
Menuetto II from Sonata for Viola and Double Bass
Chang, viola; Fuller, double bass
Musical Arts Society 41592; 2:26, :47


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 364, II & III
LPO/Mutter; Mutter, violin; Bashmet, viola
The Violin Concertos / Sinfonia Concertante
DG B0005078-02; 17:42

Felix Mendelssohn: S
onata for Viola and Piano in c minor, II
Gieler, viola; Bloomer, piano
Hummel – Joachim – Mendelssohn
Q 97002; 6:29

Carl Maria von Weber:
Andante and Rondo Ungarese for Viola and Orchestra in C minor, J 79
Solistes de Moscou-Montpellier Chamber Orchestra/Caussé; Caussé, viola
Viola Concertos – Hummel, Weber, Hoffmeister, J. Schubert / Causse
Warner Classics 942376; 9:14

Niccolò Paganini:
Terzetto concertante for Viola, Cello and Guitar in D major, II
R. Diaz, viola; A. Diaz, violoncello; Grey, guitar
Music for Strings & Guitar
Dorian 90237; 4:56

Hector Berlioz:
Harold in Italy, Op. 16 (excerpt)
Nat’l Orch of France/Bernstein; McInnes, viola
Berlioz: Harold En Italie, Ouvertures / Bernstein, Previn
EMI 64745; 6:46

Carlos Guastavino:
La Rosa y El Sauce
Kashkashian, viola; Levin, piano
Asturiana: Songs From Spain And Argentina
ECM 1975; 2:15


Hector Berlioz: Harold in Italy (excerpt)
Nat’l Orch of France/Bernstein; McInnes, viola
Berlioz: Harold En Italie, Ouvertures / Bernstein, Previn
EMI 64745; :39

Johannes Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in B-Flat Major, II. Andante
Pasquier Trio and Friends; Pasquier, viola
Sextuor No. 1 Op. 18
HM 1951073; 10:17, :42

Johannes Brahms:
“Gestillte Sehnsucht” from Songs for Alto, Viola & Piano, Op. 91, No. 1
Ferrier, alto; Gilbert, viola; Spurr, piano
Kathleen Ferrier Edition Vol. 10 – Brahms, Mahler
London 433477; 5:11

Johannes Brahms:
Sonata in f minor for Viola and Piano, Op. 120 No. 1, III
Tertis, viola; Cohen, piano
Lionel Tertis – The Complete Columbia Recordings 1924-1933
Pearl 9918; 4:17

Johannes Brahms:
Sonata in E-flat Major for Viola and Piano, Op. 120 No. 2, I
Kashkashian, vla.; Levin, p.
Brahms: Sonaten für Viola und Klavier / Kashkashian, Levin
ECM 457068; 8:28

Max Bruch:
Concerto in e minor for Clarinet, Viola and Orchestra, I
LSO/Francis; King, clarinet; Imai, viola
The Clarinet In Concert – Bruch, Et Al / Thea King
Hyperion 66022; 7:31

Joseph Joachim: Hebrew Melodies, Op. 9, I
Gieler, viola; Bloomer, piano
Sonatas for Viola and Piano/Hebrew Melodies
Radio Netherlands 93008; 3:56

Johannes Brahms:
“Geistliches Wiegenlied” from Songs for Alto, Viola
& Piano, Op. 91, No. 2
Norman, alto.; Christ, vla.; Barenboim, p.
Lieder: Spanisches Lied • Mädchenlied • Ophelia-Lieder • Gestillte Sehnsucht • Geistliches Wiegenlied
DG 413 787-1; 6:10

Fritz Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin, Op. 55 No. 4
Imai, viola; Pöntinen, piano
Viola Bouquet
Phil 446103; 1:56


Ernest Bloch: Suite Hébraïque, No. 1 – Rhapsodie
Imai, viola; Pontinen, piano
Viola Bouquet
Philips 446103; 6:46

Claude Debussy: Trio for Viola, Flute, and Harp
Wilson, flute; Neubauer, viola; Allen, harp
The Complete Chamber Music of Claude Debussy
Delos 3167; 16:36

Ralph Vaughn Williams: Flos Campi
Bournemouth Sinfonietta and Choir/Mar; Riddle, viola
Vaughan Williams
Chandos 6545; 20:57

Manuel de Falla: Suite Populaire Espagnole (excerpts)
Dreyfus, viola; McDonald, piano
Romanze / Karen Dreyfus, Robert McDonald
Bridge 9016; 3:38, 2:16


Paul Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher, III
San Francisco Symphony/Blomstedt; Walther, viola
Hindemith: Orchestral Works
Decca 000201102; 9:12

Béla Bartók: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (excerpt)
Budapest Symphony/Ligeti; Golani, viola
Bartók/Serly: Viola Concertos / Viola Rhapsody / Hungarian Peasant Songs / 3 Rondos
Conifer 189; 10:35

William Walton: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, I & II
Royal Phil/Previn; Kennedy, viola
Walton: Violin & Viola Concertos; Vaughan Williams / Nigel Kennedy
EMI 749628; 13:07

Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano, I
Westphal, viola; Swann, piano
Viola Sonatas
Bridge 9109; 7:41

Morton Feldman: The Viola in My Life, Part III (excerpt)
Phillips, viola; Tudor, piano
The Viola in My Life
New World 80657; 2:36

Pete Townshend: “Baba O’Riley” (excerpt)
The Who
Who’s Next
Decca DL 79182; 1:21

Traditional: “Man of Constant Sorrow” (excerpt)
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Rounder; 1:07

Percy Grainger: The Sussex Mummer’s Christmas Carol
Coletti, viola; Howard, piano
English Music For Viola / Paul Coletti, Leslie Howard
Hyperion 666687; 3:43

The Four Seasons

Week of June 8, 2020

“The Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; there are four seasons in the mind of men” – John Keats. Starting with this quote Bill plays many works inspired by summer, fall, winter, and spring. We’ll hear the boundless majesty of the summer sun in Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten, and the frosty and shivering winds of Vivaldi's Winter, and then to spice up this week, we’ll hear Astor Piazzolla’s tango, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas) performed by the Trio Solisti. Bill will recite poems that complement the seasonal music, and we’ll listen to Tchaikovsky’s Seasons performed by Yefim Bronfman.

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904)

Week of June 15, 2020

A five-part biography on the life of Bohemia’s most celebrated composer. Bill starts with Dvořák's early compositions, and music from one of his first influences, Bedřich Smetana, and continues with his travels to America where he helped define our musical identity. Dvořák composed Symphony From the New World while living in the U.S. as director of the National Conservatory in New York. During his stay he met African American classical musician Harry T. Burleigh, who sang spirituals to Dvořák that moved him to say it was the authentic music of America, and would deeply influence his future compositions such as The American Quartet featured in the fourth episode.

Merrie England

Week of June 22, 2020

Ready your passport! We’re travelling to Merrie England. Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Dowland, all wrote music based on the folk tunes in the country pubs, the pageantry of royal ceremonies, and the images of their beautiful countryside. Come open your ears and walk with us through the pathways of England. Greensleeves, Turtle Doves, and Dame Janet Baker. Britannia rules the waves!

Symphony, Part IV

Week of June 29, 2020

We start this week featuring the symphonic form at its Romantic apex, with Austrian composers Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, and then cross the English Channel to Britain to listen the music of Edward Elgar. 22 symphonies among the three of them, and all the more remarkable since Bruckner was in his 40s before he composed his first, and Elgar had just turned fifty! Wonderful vivid, colorful orchestral symphonies from the height of the romantic period on this week of Exploring Music.

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