For the week of Valentine's Day, we asked our listeners to tell us what classical music they love most. And each hour, from 6am to 8pm, you can hear what those favorites are! Be sure to stay tuned and check here for the latest selections aired on Wednesday, Feb. 16, Thursday, Feb. 17, and Friday, Feb. 18. For selections aired on Monday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, see Part 1.
Friday, Feb. 18
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"
- Vincent Castellon, Boston, MA – "Rousing and epic piece."
- Marion Muskiewicz, Hudson, NH – "I first heard this piece on static-y radio as young teen from small town, who had just discovered a classical music station. Loved it from first hearing and always will."
- Jeffrey Clark, Chestnut Hill, MA – "It began my love of classical music. It creates a wide variety of moods and paints many wonderful pictures, transporting one from misty fog over the lake in early morning to sunset over the majestic mountains and then the stars of early evening."
- Madeline Cotugno, South Weymouth, MA – "Heard it many years ago as a youngster and loved it from my first hearing."
- TC Mattocks, Uxbridge, MA – "The second movement, with its absolutely heart-stopping beauty, always moves me to 'hum along' in my basso profundo."
- Pamela Liu, Lynn, MA – "First heard it in college on the radio and fell in love with it. It was my first classical album I ever bought. It soothes and calms me."
- Peter Meyer, Bedford, MA
- Jay O'Neill, Shirley, MA – "It was the first piece we studied extensively in my Introduction to Music course at Rutgers University. This began my lifelong love of classical music and subsequent collection of LPs, tapes and CDs representing all periods and types of music."
Holst: The Planets
- Peter McGurk, Randolph MA
- Janis Higgins, Medford MA – "It is hauntingly beautiful and surrounds the listener with its mysticism."
Orff: Carmina Burana: O Fortuna
Betty Miller, W.Newton, MA – "It just sweeps me away - especially when seeing it performed (but hearing it is good, too)."
Gary Bush, Beverly, MA – "Listening to Carmina Burana brings me back to Symphony Hall in the early 50's when I was dating my future wife. At the conclusion I was speechless and felt transformed. After 56 years of marriage, I still enjoy that special memory."
Patricia Lane, Framingham, MA – "First heard it when Boston Ballet did a production back in the '80's. Passionate, exciting choral music that's not religious - fabulous!"
Brenda Pukas, Hope Valley, RI – "There is nothing in the world like listening to this amazing music."
Strauss: Radetsky March
- Amy Demicco, Brookline, MA – "This piece is one of the most upbeat and engaging themes I've ever heard. Although repetitive, the Radetzky March makes for a perfect dance piece."
- William Sullivan, Dover, MA
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3, “Organ”
- Joy Brett, Brookline, NH – "The first time I heard this piece of music was at a concert with my young children, where my sister was playing violin and suddenly we were amazed to hear a wonderful theme from the movie Babe, a real favorite, and we had trouble not giggling!"
- Marion Muskiewicz, Hudson, NH – "I still get chills when they start that last movement with the organ chords."
- Brenda Kinnunen, Salinas CA – "A glorious piece with one of the most magnificent endings that I can think of. Just makes me want to stand up and cheer."
- Lawrence McLaughlin – "Every movement can stand on its own as a classical piece."
Bach: “Sheep May Safely Graze,” from Cantata No. 208
- Patricia Zoda, Wakefield, MA – "It instantly reminds me of a beautiful deceased loved one."
- Susan Russell, Clinton, MA – "It's about peace. Lordy knows we need lots of that right now."
Elgar: Salut d'Amour
- Galeb Daouk, Belmont, MA – "Beautifully romantic and 'made for Valentines.'"
- Leslie Taylor — "Beautiful, very melodic, romantic."
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, II. Andante (sometimes referred to as “Elvira Madigan”)
- Jim Fitzgerald, Westford MA – "It helped get me into classical music and Mozart in particular. I never get tired of it."
- Brad Greeley, New Castle NH – "Nobody can balance the piano and orchestra with the beauty of Mozart."
- Larry Thompson, Hampstead, NH – "I love the softness between the piano and orchestra."
- Nick Loy, Amherst, MA – "Elvia Madigan ... very, very romantic and in recent years seldom heard."
- Ellie Risley, Nashua NH
- Kathleen Purcell, Carson City, NV – "I wore out a record of it when I was a few years older."
- Larry Poulin, Rehoboth, MA – "It seems to be common knowledge among musicians that Ravel's Bolero is perfect for the bedroom. Everyone should try this aphrodisiac at least once in their lives."
- Ruth Licata, Windham, NH – "I love it when parents and girls come up and say - What is that music; it's beautiful; is it new? 'Oh no,' I tell them, 'It's been around for years.' My team has a gymnastic warm-up to this piece."
- Galeb Daouk, Belmont, MA – "Tried and truly romantic.. Even without the movie Ten, though brings Bo Derek's image to mind. This dates me I guess :-) "
- Jean Whiting, No. Chelmsford, MA – "That relentless beat, the music that imprints itself on one's brain, the addition of instruments, building to a discordant climax, where I picture everyone falling into a heap on the floor!"
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on “Greensleeves”
- Vincent Castellon, Boston, MA – "Song that originally got me into the genre, absolutely beautiful, noble piece."
- Robert O'Day, Braintree, MA – "A mythical evocation of a world long gone and yet reawakened each time its spell is musically recast."
Debussy: Claire de Lune
- Nora Costa, Dedham, MA – "Just reminds me of spring and the hope of new love."
- Deborah Hamilton, Pepperell MA – "Actually [I love] all of Debussy's piano music. 'Claire de Lune' because I used to be able to play it well (a long time ago)."
Puccini: “Nessun Dorma,” from Turandot
- Donna Campbell, Winchester, MA – "Chills! No matter how many times I hear it, I always get chills. It's a magnificent combination of gorgeous music and stupendous voice that, to my ear, surpasses all others."
- Robert D'Amico, Nahant MA – "It give me the chills."
- Bradford Clay, Harvard, MA – "When this piece gives you goose bumps from head to toe, you'll know why I like to say 'good music plays you'."
Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto
- Mary Cassidy, Swampscott, MA - "Wonderful showcase for piano. Beautiful and passionate and sad."
- Alan Tarkiainen, North Oxford, MA - "It's just moving! The story of Addinsell's composition and finally finding a VHS copy of 'Dangerous Moonlight' has made me appreciate it all the more."
- Diane Frazzette, Arlington, MA - "Passionate, dramatic, and moving."
Vivaldi: "Winter," from The Four Seasons
- Michael Oliveri, Boston, MA - "I love the energy in this piece and how it captures the feeling of the season. Winter in NE can bring us all down, but this piece turns that around with its powerful crescendos."
- Julie Wolkoff, Wellesley, MA - "Long time favorite."
Thursday, Feb. 17
Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata
- Mimi Alberu, Candia, NH - "I first encountered Rachmaninoff's Op. 19 as an undergraduate music major. It radiates sheer, luminous beauty, especially the third movement."
Bach: Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin
- Sarah Becker, Arlington, MA - 'The chaconne from this partita is the crowning achievement of Western Classical music. All of Bach's abilities of musicianship and instrumental technique are displayed. The violinist is taxed to the extreme."
- Laura Howe, Providence, RI - "I first heard them over 30 years broadcast outside at night at a party. The solo violin sang in the giant pines with such piercing beauty that I wandered from the gathering of friends and simply stood alone in the dark to be with the music."
- Irina Kechina, Hull, MA
- Julia Schlozman - "I can't listen to the last movement without thinking of all of the wonderful violinists who have enriched my life."
Beethoven: Für Elise
- Art Aiello – "I have always loved this piece. There's something haunting and sweet about it. I once had a girlfriend who played piano, and she would play it for me. My daughter has played it for me on the flute. It's always been top of my list."
- Louis Burns – "It's fun to play on my violin from my 'Fake Music' Book!"
Faure: In Paradisum, from the Requiem
- Alexandra Buckley, Athens, OH - "It's a heartbreakingly beautiful piece. Enough said."
- Andrew Goodearl, Sherborn, MA - "The most beautiful combination of instruments, solo voice and choir - perfect!”
- Steve Gartrell, Natick, MA – “While this is a requiem, it is lovely and tranquil."
- Rosemarie Buxton, North Andover, MA - "For its vision of a gentle and loving presence in the afterlife."
- Marilyn Lasek, Brookline MA - "So beautiful, and my sweetie and I love it. We are usually up late in our art studio, so it would be a treat to hear it, even late at night! Thank you!"
Mozart: Rondo Alla Turca
- Anon., Acton, MA - "I know how to play it on the piano!"
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
- John Dewey, Hanover, MA - "I work 11pm - 10am, and when Laura Carlo plays this, it help me get through those final few hours."
- Pat Baker, Hampton, NH - "It just offers a perfect definition of 'good morning!'"
Mozart: Clarinet Quintet
- Jacob Litoff - "With my younger brother playing clarinet and me playing the violin I fell in love with this piece when I was a kid and still it is one of my favorites."
Copland: Appalachian Spring
- Jeffrey Clark, Chestnut Hill, MA - "I especially love the ‘Variations on a Shaker theme.’ The whole piece conveys both the sense of being true to one's core values while being excited about the adventures that life brings."
- Randolph Williams, Waltham, MA - "What could epitomize love more than Copland's masterpiece of Americana - the young couple, the community helping out the tender scene at the end. True love indeed."
- David Kroening - "It's one of the very first pieces of classical music I was introduced to when I was four years old. Still my favorite even after all of the pieces I've managed to hear in my lifetime."
- George Franz, Lancaster, MA - "I think this is Copland's finest, most completely formed work. Although it is often excerpted, it should be played in its entirety to appreciate the full sweep of the composition".
- Louise Sherburne, Ipswich, MA - "Joyful, hopeful."
- Paul Smith, Warren, RI - "Love to wake up to this."
- Sue Housman - "Portrait of Americana."
- Kim Reid, Concord, MA - "While living in Europe, I heard the piece and it drove home to me how utterly American its exuberance is."
- Robert Fanning, Epping NH - "greatest American composer"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, "Choral" - Ode to Joy
- Beverly Clason, Boylston, MA – "The drama and the voices with the orchestra. I always think of the fall of the Berlin Wall when I hear this piece."
- Anne Oliver, Boston, MA – "It expresses the soul of humanity."
- Richard Wiggin, Concord, MA – "Any Beethoven is wonderful, but this one always gives me chills. It is so spiritual!"
- Andrew Biagi, Brookline MA – "A classic, and we never tire of it. Simply one of the best. The cats love it too. They listen to 99.5 all day."
- Jeanne Fonda, Haverhill, MA – "The choral part is so uplifting & timely - love for all humanity!"
Schubert Impromptus, Op. 90, No. 3 & No. 4
- John Citron, Haverhill MA - "These pieces are very close to my heart. When I was growing up, I studied these with a very dear friend of the family. My piano teacher, who is now 90, just retired from teaching."
- Tom Breton, Walpole, MA - "The moto perpetuo that flows thru most of this piece is at times sinuous, at times leaping, and always compelling. The minor motif complements it perfectly."
- Mark Ellis, Petersham, MA - "So soothing - like rain in a Japanese garden, dripping into a stream and flowing over mossy stones."
Randall Thompson: Alleluia
- Rebecca Henry, Straffod NH - "It's peaceful and moving and I sang it in high school."
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
- Ann Jones, Groveland, MA
- Jim Malo, Northbridge MA
- Ruth Licata, Windham, NH
- Peter Meyer, Bedford MA
Rossini: William Tell Overture
- Josephine Pitassi, North Providence, RI
- Harvey Hansen, Arlington, MA
Vivaldi: "Fall," from The Four Seasons
- Jennifer Dewar, Billerica, MA - "I can visualize the seasons and characteristics of each."
- Julie Wolkoff, Wellesley, MA - "Long time favorite."
Wednesday, Feb. 16
Debussy: Images, Book 1
- Larry Thompson, Hampstead NH – “The beauty of the picture one gets hearing the music.”
Bach: Aria from the Goldberg Variations
- Robert Waldner – “Its hard to say anything but wow-------I can feel my heart pounding at the end.”
- Dean Diggins, Kittery ME – “The Dimitri Sitkovetky arrangement for string trio is remarkable.”
- Peter Kniaz, Hopkinton, MA – “I love this piece because it is so beautiful. It always improves my morale.”
- Moon Chul Jung – “I was very depressed with many things last year. I happened to see this music on the 'in-flight' music selections. I began to listen to it. Later I found myself relieved after repeatedly listening to this music throughout the 14-hour flight.”
- Huw Powell, Lee NH – “I used to leave this playing on CD for days, weeks on end.”
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
- Dr. Phil McLaren, Quincy MA – “We were courting in Chicago in 1960. At Christmas my parents in Germany, I went home with my sweetie for Christmas. Meanwhile, Sadler's Wells Ballet was coming. I brought the last two tickets together. She still wears my ring.”
- Anne MacPherson, Toronto, ON – “I have heard and played classical music all my life, but wasn't hooked until I qualified to play (second violin) in a high school orchestra, a life-altering social experience.
- Trisha MacIntyre, Dedham, MA – “I love the ballet.”
Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
- Deborah Kellogg, Wallingford, CT – “In seventh grade my general music teacher played this piece for us and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard ... it made me a lifetime classical music fan.”
- Elaine Henriksen, Stoughton, MA – “This piece is a picture of peace in the world of nature, captured by Debussy in the beauty of music.”
- Gregory Leschishin, Waltham, MA – “I used to listen to this piece to calm my nerves after a long day teaching third graders!”
Mahler: Adagietto, from Symphony No. 5
- Earnest Wu, Chelmsford MA
- Mike Bassett, Easton, MA – “Romance of course!”
- Phil Schwarz, Framingham, MA – “The ultimate love song. If you play it, consider allowing the Finale to follow the Adagietto. The Adagietto is night-music and the transition to the morning-music of the Finale is one of my favorite musical sunrises.”
- Peter Carney, Warwick, RI – “It says it all. Period. In Sept 1990 I heard the BSO and Ozawa perform and record it, then went to Fenway for the final home stand against the Jays where the Sox took 2 of 3. My seat was 11 rows directly behind home plate. It was a perfect day.”
Vaughn Williams: The Lark Ascending
- Marc Lane, Escondido, CA – “Ralph Vaughn Williams captured the essence of nature at its beauty and calming effect on humanity.”
- Joan Dillon, Andover, MA – “Wish I could play violin with such passion. The tune is like the journey that ends well!”
- Ginny Kingsbury, Worcester, MA
- Elaine Henriksen, Stoughton, MA - "As a lover of flora and fauna, and a believer in peace, I find this piece by Vaughn Williams a beautiful musical replication of peace on earth and in the heavens."
- Sharon Cores, North Reading, MA – “More than almost any other piece I can think of, Vaughn Williams has painted a vivid picture ... the lark on a summer morning ... playing on the wind ... soaring and free ... no matter how many times I hear it I am always deeply touched.”
- Kirk Companion, Acton, MA – “So English … so thoughts of English Gardens floating in my head when I hear it.”
- Mark Exley, Brookline, MA – “Hard to choose one of his short sweet masterpieces, but this for me hits the heights even over Theme from Tallis. Greensleeves, while gorgeous, has been overexposed. By the way, can we have 10 choices next time, I was just warming up!”
- Daniel Kocsis – “I love the joy of the piece, the freedom being released.”
- Donna Wysokenski – “I'm a birder and this piece evokes for me the peace and tranquility I experience when I go outdoors and listen.”
- Leslie Drawbaugh, Bozeman, MT – “The soulfulness, the sadness, the deeply moving of my heart to its melody. I really do not know. It is just a piece of music that resonates within my being. I can relate to it.”
- Cynthia Xenakis, Wayland, MA – “It contains the most beautiful violin solo I have ever heard. You can almost see the lark ascending.”
- Joann Frankhouser, Kenskington, NH – “Its lyricism makes me feel that I take flight right along with the lark.”
Beethoven: Cello Sonata in C, Op. 102 No. 1
- Roger Falcon, Medford, MA – “The photo in the EMI booklet of Daniel Barenboim and Jacqueline Dupre together has to show one of the most in love couples I have ever seen. In fact, anything performed by Du Pre would be among my all time favorites.”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, movement I, Allegro con brio
- Erik S., Providence RI – “It's the first piece I can remember hearing as a child. I rarely hear it in its entirety, but when I do, it's such a treat. Each movement is so evocative in its own way.”
- Mark Levine, St. Robert, MO – “My father gave me my first classical record when I was about 7. It was the Book-of-the-Month Club Music Appreciation Recording of Beethoven's 5th. I've listened to that piece hundreds of times and never tire of it!”
- Rod Hardesty, Kansas City, MO – “It's exciting it keeps you the edge of your chair. It was hard to choose between Beethoven and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. But Beethoven 5th is equally good on your radio station, but Berlioz, it is best to be heard live!!”
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2
- Sally Seaver, Concord, MA – “First piano concerto I loved the first time out”
- Diane Frazzette, Arlington, MA – “Soulful, romantic, dramatic and moving.
- Marion Wollmeringer – “Just so much fun to listen to.”
Chopin: Fantasy Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66
- Doris Horgan, Shrewsbury, MA – “The music unrevised and complete is still compelling and amazing to me, but seems to have been forgotten by many.”
- Anne Mesgar, Manchester, MA – “He is my favorite composer! A true romantic in style and execution. His work is so unique.”
- Daniel Wiedenheft, Merrimack, NH – “I heard this piece on the radio when I was in junior high and didn't know what it was called. I spent the next two decades searching for it. Then during my commute to work a few years ago, WCRB played the piece and I finally found out what it was.”
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
- Roger St. Laurent, Northwood, NH – “My all-time favorite classical piece - the trumpet part is so bright, standing out over the other instruments. I love Bach's brilliant use of it, and the extreme contrast of the two outer movements with the quiet middle one with no trumpets at all.”
- Richard Schneider, Boston, MA – “Do I have to choose one? OK, #2.”
Mozart: Eine Keine Nachtmusik
- Hathaway School, New Bedford, MA – Requested by the 5th graders, with Mr. Correia, Mrs. Pierce and Ms. Murphy. The students like it because "the intro gets our attention for the music to come.” This music reminded the students of a dinner party or somewhere fancy.
Barber: Adagio for Strings
- Dr. John Dieter, Vilseck Germany – “The most heart wrenching yet angelic piece ever. This Adagio was not composed but gleaned from the ethos.”
- Karen Aalto, Groveland, MA – “It took us a lot of years & doctors to get pregnant with my son. I first REALLY listened to the piece when I was finally pregnant with him, and it embodied the longing and love I felt for him - before he was even conceived.”
- Guy Colonna, Halifax, MA – “It's a very moving piece and when Laura Carlo played it at the 1st anniversary of 9/11 it really captured the solemnity of the occasion.”
- Joseph Massey, Exeter, NH – “the whole piece is quite introspective, as well as soothing!”
- Timothy Daley, Clinton, MA – “It's soothing to listen to.”
- Katheryn Faria, Acton, MA – “Beautiful, melodic, sorrowful, and joyful all at once.”
- Michael Long, Newmarket, NH – “Just keeps going and going - a lovely piece.”
- Cynthia Konda, Shrewsbury, MA – “It is fragile, achingly emotional. Pure catharsis.”
- Mildred Cacicio – “It's just so beautiful, and sends your mind to another place.”
- Joseph Su, Lexington MA – “The song helps me to look inward and to create a serene state of mind.”
Wagner: Overture to Tannhäuser
- Christopher Paul, Manchester NH – “This is one of those pieces that makes me crank the stereo! I just can't help it! The grace of redemption pours through with every note!”
For Monday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, visit Part 1