Explore Music

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Tune in every night at 6 for a two-minute listening adventure packed with fun facts and stories about great classical music! Have questions, comments or ideas? Email the Explore Music host, Lisa Bergman.

Support for KING FM’s Explore Music is made possible by the generosity of Diana Carey, Suzanne Poppema and John Cramer, Cookie and Ken Neil, Jim Roark, Sheila and Craig Sternberg, Patricia Tall-Takacs and Gary Takacs, and Jean Viereck.

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March 29 – Operatic Disasters II

Richard Wagner: Die Walküre: Act III: Wo ist Brünnhild
Internet Copy:  In 1956 at Covent Garden in London, the man performing the bass role of Wotan in “Die Walküre” was in a hurry to get onstage. He quickly grabbed his cloak from its pink, fluffy hanger in the dressing room, strolled onstage and began to sing…only to realize a moment later than he’d taken the coat hanger with him! We can say with certainty that’s the only time an audience has laughed at the very serious character of Wotan in Wagner’s “Ring” operas.

Additional link: Bach Cantatas Website

March 30 – Heavenly Hybrid I

Billy Mayerl: Waltz for a Lonely Heart
Composers needn’t be living in the same era to find inspiration on one another. After all, Prokofiev composed his “Classical” Symphony No. 1 two centuries after Haydn had died. Sometimes the influence comes from many directions at once. The music you hear in this clip might sound like Tchaikovsky…or Gershwin…or Borodin. But no—it’s British master of light music, Billy Mayerl!

Additional link: The Billy Mayerl Society

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March 31 – Mozart for the Brain I

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in D for two pianos, K.448: I. Allegro con spirito
While we’ve all heard of the Mozart Effect—that listening to Mozart’s music can boost intelligence—it seems that one piece in particular offers the biggest dose of brain food. Apparently, listening the Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448, for just 10 to 15 minutes can raise one’s spatial-temporal IQ by nine points. Even if you’re skeptical, there’s no reason NOT to listen, right…?

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April 1 (de Falla’s birthday) – Classical Geography V

Manuel de Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain: I. In the Generalife
Spanish composer Manuel de Falla magically captured the essence of Spain with rhythm, melody and texture. This three-movement work is actually a piano concerto, but the piano is more a source of color than a spotlight showpiece, accompanying strings in a love ballad and imitating the sounds of Spanish fountains and castanets.

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April 2 – Classical Superstars XV

From Classical KING FM at 98.1 and www.KING.org:

Liberace: Chopsticks
Sometimes superstars in classical music are just as famous for their flamboyance as they are for their musical skill.  When thinking of such stars, one particular musician may spring to mind… one whose fondness for rhinestones rivals the most famous country stars’: Liberace!  On this episode of Explore Music, Lisa Bergman shares one of Liberace’s over-the-top performances.

Additional links: Time Magazine, Muhammad Ali spoken word peformance with Liberace

Tune in for musical fun facts and vignettes of unique music every night at 6:00pm with Exploring Music at 98.1 in Seattle, online atwww.KING.org, and through the KING FM Smartphone apps, featuring four channels of Classical Music.

Questions? Comments? Musical Ideas? Email host Lisa Bergman at lisab@king.org.

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