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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February 23 (Handel’s birthday) – Classical Superstars

George Frederic Handel: Keyboard Suite No.1 in B-flat, HWV 434: I. Prelude
Scarlatti and Handel were both keyboard superstars of their time, wowing audiences with their technical and improvisational skills. Once, they both attended a masquerade party, unaware of each other’s presence. Sitting at the harpsichord in a black mask was a man who played so extraordinarily that Scarlatti, looking on, exclaimed, “this must be the devil himself or that famous Saxon!” Well, he got it right the second time: it was Handel!

Click here to learn more about Handel.

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February 24 – Orchestral Field Guide

Antonio Vivaldi: Piccolo Concerto in C
What instrument in the orchestra is by far the smallest, yet can easily be heard above the fray of even the largest ensembles? The piccolo, of course! It’s invaluable for its ability to produce extremely high notes. One of the most familiar compositions using the piccolo is the Sousa march “Stars and Stripes Forever,” but before Sousa was even born, the piccolo was immortalized in a series of concertos written by Vivaldi. Give one of them a listen!

Click here to learn more about the piccolo.

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February 25 – Nature in Music

Camille Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals: The Swan
Camille Saint-Saens captured the incredible sight of a gorgeous white swan moving effortlessly across the surface of a mirror-like lake by using the simplest of tools: A cello playing a sustaining melody gliding quietly, beautifully, effortlessly, over the gently paddling notes of the piano.

Click here to learn more about Camille Saint-Saëns.

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February 26 – Classical Geography

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.7 “Sinfonia Antarctica”: I. Prelude: maestoso
Ralph Vaughan Williams was so inspired after composing music for the film “Scot of the Antarctic” that he later wrote an entire symphony dedicated to the icy continent. In this section, the composer musically simulates the sounds of freezing wind and undulating waves.

Click here to learn more about the icy lands of Antarctica.


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