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, and Patricia Tall-Takacs and Gary Takacs.
JANUARY 28 - Great Conductors in Classical Music
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125: II. Molto vivace - presto
Watch the legendary Hungarian conductor Arturo Toscanini conduct one of Beethoven’s most famous works. At its premiere in 1824, the piece was considered modern, dissonant and slightly controversial, but in the present day, the composer’s last symphony is considered one of the greatest classical works of all time.
JANUARY 27 - A Bedpost with Indigestion
Carl Maria von Weber: Hungarian Fantasy, Op. 35 J.158
The bassoon is a soulful, humble instrument. It seems to have found its niche buried in the back of the orchestra, and it is often the butt of jokes: it was once said the bassoon is nothing more than a bedpost with indigestion! So it’s a pleasant surprise to hear seldom-composed bassoon solos like this one.
JANUARY 26 - Expression Without Words
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachiana Brasileira No. 5
Sometimes, music says it best when it says nothing at all. Such is the case in Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Bachiana Brasileira No. 5,” which calls for a soprano soloist to sing an entire aria on the sound “ah.” Who knew so few words could evoke such strong emotion?
Read more about the diva who sang this and more, Anna Moffo.
JANUARY 25 - Coffee for the masses!
Frederic Chopin: Fantasie-Impromptu in C Sharp minor, Op. 66
When legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, heard here, played a comeback concert in New York, 57th Street was lined with hordes of fans hoping to score a ticket. When Horowitz heard about the crowd waiting outside in the cold, he immediately ordered hundreds of cups of coffee to thank them for their undying support!
JANUARY 24 - Tick, Tick, Tick
Leroy Anderson: The Syncopated Clock
What is an instrument, anyway? In a typical symphonic piece, you’ll probably hear strings, winds and brass. But composer Leroy Anderson loved to use typewriters, sleigh bells and more in the orchestra to subvert audiences’ expectations. Here’s a favorite Anderson composition, featuring a “clock” (it’s really a set of temple blocks) with an unexpected ticking rhythm.