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.
APRIL 30 - Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67: II. Adante con moto
So you want to be a conductor? Lest you think it’s as easy as counting to four, think about the musical background of some of history’s greatest composers: Eugene Ormandy was a former violinist; Toscanini a cellist; and Seattle’s own Gerard Schwarz a trumpeter. Before they found their ultimate calling, these men all achieved excellence on the other side of the stage!
APRIL 29 - Clumsy days
Leroy Anderson: Plink-Plank-Plunk
Have you ever tripped on the sidewalk, stepped on a cat’s tail and walked right into a glass door, all in the same day? This silly song is the perfect soundtrack for one of those clumsy days.
APRIL 28 - Plucking away
Johann Strauss, Jr.: Pizzicato Polka
Can you spot the difference between this and other orchestra pieces? What’s missing from the musicians’ hands? That’s right—the bow! The technique of playing a stringed instrument by plucking its strings is called “pizzicato.”
APRIL 27 - House of cards
Georges Bizet: Carmen: Card Song
There's nothing quite like a game of cards--and even better if it happens in the middle of an opera! Countless operas use card games as plot devices, but the most frightening instance of all is in Bizet's "Carmen," when the title character dares to tell her own fortune with cards. She's transfixed when she flips the last card...and it portends death.
APRIL 26 - Heavy metal
Giuseppe Verdi: Il Trovatore: Anvil Chorus (Vedi! le fosche notturne)
Orchestras have as many as 33 different instruments, and sometimes composers go wild and add even more “instruments” not usually seen in concert halls. Take, for example, Verdi’s Anvil Chorus from the opera “Il Trovatore,” sung by a group of gypsies at dawn banging on their anvils while forging metal.
For a jazz big band version go here.