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Wanna know a secret? Find musical cryptograms and decipher codes on Exploring Music, March 2021


Shh...Wanna know a secret? We'll let you in on all these musical secrets as Bill McGlaughlin uncovers musical cryptograms the week of March 15th.

Week of March 1, 2021 - Anton Bruckner

The latest installment in our series of composer biographies presents the 19th century Austrian, Anton Bruckner. We’ll explore his work and his life, from his childhood in a small farming village outside Linz to his final decades in Vienna. Bruckner was a devoted Roman Catholic who spent years as a chorister at the Monastery of St. Florian, and later served as the cathedral organist in Linz, where he established a reputation for his improvisatory skills. He was often dragged into the wrong side of critical debates on the evolving course of music, and in his lifetime his status never rose to the level it has today. Join us as we explore his works from new perspectives, and consider for yourself Bruckner’s place in the classical music canon.

Week of March 8, 2021 - The Beethoven Piano Sonatas
Pathétique. Moonlight. Appassionata. Hammerklavier. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his first piano sonata at the age of 25 and his last at the age of 52, and together these 32 sonatas have been called “The New Testament” of music. Artur Schnabel was the first pianist to record a complete set and since then this feat has been reached by Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Claude Frank, Maurizio Pollini, and Claudio Arrau – twice! This week we’ll sample as many as we possibly can that captivate us in some special way, and we hope you will share in our wonder and amazement at Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.

Week of March 15, 2021 - Shh, It a Secret: Musical Cryptograms

Musicians have long been told that their minds are similar to those of mathematicians. This week we’ll discover and decipher codes, messages and meanings that have been hidden within pieces of classical music over the centuries. Some of these messages were encoded for the fun of the puzzle, while others held deep painful meanings.

Week of March 22, 2021 - Strangers in a Strange Land
We will hear the musical evolution of five mature composers as they started their new lives in America: Russian Igor Stravinsky, Hungarian Bela Bartok, German Kurt Weill, Italian Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Austrian Ernst Toch. These five composers arrived in America early in the Twentieth Century and quickly became vital members of our American musical community. They composed for, performed with, and taught many of our greatest musicians. Bill enjoys leading us through their developing new sounds and relationships, all the while telling the fantastic stories that links us to their teachers, like Rimsky-Korsakov, and Richard Strauss, with vivid descriptions of the 1920s in Paris, New York, and Vienna.

Week of March 29, 2021 - How Strange the Change from Major to Minor, Part I

“There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor.” ? Cole Porter — This two-week series comes from a listener who wrote asking about the different scales in Western music. You may know of major and minor scales, and hear the change of mood that composers can achieve by transitioning between them, but there are five other scales, or modes, we hear all the time. You can hear modal shifts in works by Monteverdi and in the late symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, and many more. Come with us and explore the vibrant palette of colors that composers can use to set and change moods. How strange the change?