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.
APRIl 19 - Mozart as a Child Composer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Flute Sonata No. 4 in F, K.13: I. Allegro
Mozart was so young when he wrote his first piece for violin and piano that he needed his father’s help—not to write the music, but to hold the pencil! Listen to this piece played on a harpsichord, which Mozart used for playing and composing at home before the modern piano was invented. The harpsichord sounds different because its strings are plucked, whereas on a piano, the strings produce sound when little hammers strike them.
APRIL 18 - The Original "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Variations in C on "Ah, vous dirai-je, maman," K.265
You probably recognize the melody in the first part of this piano piece—but did you know that song wasn’t originally called “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”? The English nursery rhyme we’ve all heard is actually based on a French folk song called “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman,” first heard when Mozart was a child.
APRIL 17 - Classical Impressionism
Claude Debussy: La mer
Elements of nature are more common than you might think in classical music – particularly the theme of water. “La Mer” is an ironic masterpiece, with its rich musical description of the ocean. It's ironic that this incredible orchestration was composed by a man who was desperately prone to seasickness and avoided sea travel at all costs!
Listen to all three of its movements as the sun rises and its warmth tickles the breezes at the surface...listen to the interplay of wind and water...and finally, hear the wind soar over the boiling waters.
APRIL 16 - Opening Night at Carnegie Hall
Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3
On May 5, 1891, it was clear right away that Andrew Carnegie had built a concert hall that was as pleasing to the ear as it was to the eye, furnished with incredible luxury. The five-day opening festival attracted the cream of New York society—on display in the box seats were Whitneys, Sloans and Rockefellers—who, like everyone else, paid a couple of dollars per ticket to hear the Symphony and Oratorio societies under the direction of Walter Damrosch and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky himself. Horse-drawn carriages lined up for a quarter-mile outside on opening night causing traffic jams, and inside the hall not a spare inch of space remained. The debut concert opened with Beethoven's Lenore Overture No. 3.
APRIL 15 - Hydrology in Motion
Richard Wagner: Overture to "The Flying Dutchman"
Elements of nature are more common than you might think in classical music--particularly the theme of water. Wagner got in on the act of hydrology in motion with his terrifying Overture to "The Flying Dutchman"...the legend of the mariner condemned to sail the seas of his ghostly ship. The curse could only be dashed by the love of a faithful woman, so he sailed to find her, encountering hellish weather on the way. You'll hear a calm before the storm--and then, suddenly, you’ll be greeted by crashing thunder in the timpani!