Valentine's Week Picks

By Music You Love, By The Hour

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. 

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!”

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Chaminade: Concertino for Flute and Piano

  • Daniel Wiedenheft, Merrimack, NH - “The trills and virtuosity of the piece bring a tear to my eye every time I hear it.”

Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus

  • Kay Scholzman, Brookline MA - “I once heard an NPR interview with children's-book author, Maurice Sendak, in which he said that he imagined that, in heaven, the angels sing the ‘Ave Verum Corpus.’”

Smetana: The Moldau

  • Bill Gresho, Dracut, MA - “I am of Slovak / German descent. Is that not enough. As I grew up I was not aware of the musical heritage from Czechoslovakia. I was led to believe that Slovaks had no class -- Listening to the beauty of the flowing music reaffirms my heritage.”
  • Lois Hutchings, Maynard, MA - “Two streams of flute & clarinet meld into the pulsing current of the full orchestra. Bohemian cultural vignettes of a peasant wedding, the hunt, perilous rapids, dreams, and a nationally revered fortress sweep me away.”
  • Christine Burdette - “Must be my Slavic roots that cause me to be moved by the almost visual beauty of this music.”
  • Sandra Hurd, Merrimack, NH - “I have been to the Moldau River and it is very beautiful.”

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3

  • Mary Beaudry, Burlington, MA

Vivaldi: Mandolin Concerto

  • Frank Schepps - “Happy and upbeat.”

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 "Emperor"

  • Hinda Blum, Brookline, MA - “The melodies and interwoven chords are beautifully lyrical and highly memorable.”
  • John Citron, Haverhill, MA - “Beethoven has always been a favorite of mine. In particular his Emperor Concerto is right up there in the upper echelons of music greatness. I get goose pimples when I think about the music and hear it in my head!”
  • Barry Pease, Melrose, MA - “At a time long ago this piece sustained me on a stormed tossed night when I was moving from my home and my cat got outside not to reappear until a week later, by the grace of God.”
  • Peter McGurk, Randolph, MA - “Love the second movement”
  • Linda Strecker, Ridge, NY - “I love the 2nd slow movement’s gorgeous melodies and then the way it connects to the final movement with this sense of joyous celebration! It makes one want to jump for joy perhaps when the Patriots would emerge victorious at a Superbowl!”
  • Patricia Zoda, Wakefield, MA - “Nothing else compares to this concerto. It exudes the genius that Beethoven was.”

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

  • Pamela Liu, Lynn, MA - “In high school, I played violin in the orchestra and these were 2 of the conductor's favorites and now mine. The music is upbeat and uplifting.”
  • William Sullivan, Dover, MA - “Pure joy!”

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

  • Louisa Damiano, Sterling, MA - “I love the Berlioz for its rich colors and vivid description of the story line, and all the wonderful brass and woodwind writing.”
  • Paul Loefstedt, Bedford, NH - “Incredibly innovative and emotionally evocative. Considering this was written in 1830, it is decades ahead of its time.”
  • Steven Praeger, Everett, MA - “My wife's favorite.”
  • Bill Gresho, Dracut, MA - "A love tale in music and my introduction to programme music.”

Schubert: Quartet No. 14 "Death and the Maiden"

  • Jack Wisdom, Arlington, MA - “I just never get tired of listening to it.”
  • Virgil Vickers, Newton, MA

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

  • Susan Livingtson - “I studied it at Smith College in the Music Appreciation course.”
  • Richard Dillon - “Beautiful Second Movement.”
  • Carmella McCormack - “There is a very gradual crescendo over the entire length of the movement, starting out very quietly and growing to the final, booming conclusion. Each section of the orchestra adds another layer of complexity when they join in.”
  • Nadine Obermiller, Amherst, MA - “Inspiring.”
  • Fred Stewart and Suzie De Mulder of Stratham NH - “Exciting.”
  • Mark Ellis, Petersham, MA - “A tour de force that takes you through life's stages, from adolescence, to the struggle of mid-life, to the beginnings of success, and to final triumph. The 7th has it all.”
  • Eva Adams, Arlington, MA - “I especially love the way Beethoven repeats the theme in the slow movement. He constantly makes you see something new in the theme and weaves it throughout the entire orchestra.”

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

  • Victoria and George Nawn - “Lush and melodic. Rachmaninoff is a wonderful throwback to the romantics.”
  • Susan Leavy - “This piece seems to me to embody all of the elements of pure love: passion, power, beauty and sadness.”
  • David Zeitlin, Stonington, CT - “It is beautiful, the second movement never fails to bring me to tears.”
  • Denise Kwok, Arlington, MA - “A very moving piece”
  • Linda Anderson, Reno, NV - “It's a very romantic piece of music - very passionate.”
  • Marianne Klepser, Wayland, MA - “I don't know, I just do! I find it ineffably beautiful.”
  • Rebecca Henry, Strafford, NH - “In college I played this at night to go to sleep by.”
  • Ann Jones, Groveland, MA - “After a few years of basic piano lessons, a new teacher thrilled/terrified me, challenging me with themes from this concerto -simplified, yes, but REAL music that continues to validate my love ever since.”
  • Susan Russell, Clinton, MA - “One of the first classical records I ever bought. Practically wore it out.”
  • Mary Cassidy, Swampscott, MA - “Brings back memories of my Great Aunt Katie who was a concert pianist and played this often. Although a popular piece for concerts, it seems always to be new.”
  • Jane Eccles, East Orleans, MA - “I heard Jon Nakamatsu perform this concerto with the Cape Cod Symphony. Fabulous!”
  • Don Gage, Framingham, MA - “It was my mother's favorite, and I always love listening to it.”
  • Hoyt Bowman, Ayer, MA - “The romantic Rachmaninoff striking a tenderly receptive chord. One of the first classical pieces I heard, and so was instrumental in forming my solid liking of classical music.”
  • Jim Malo, Northbridge, MA - “Through all 3 movements, this piece exhibits real drama without the video. But leaving it to our imagination makes it all the more enjoyable. This is a piece to savor. Sit back, close your eyes, turn it up to "live" volume, and enjoy!”
  • Mike Hachey, Billerica, MA - “I just like it.”
  • Rod Hardesty, Kansas City, MO
  • Ray Lampe, Templeton, MA
  • Kathleen Barlow, Jaffrey, NH

Tárrega: Recuerdos de la Alhambra

  • Kerry Burak, Winchendon, MA - “It is such a moving piece of music. I can hear the joy and sadness in it and imagine the story it tries to tell.”
  • Ambrose, Laing, Wilmington, MA - “It is a very beautiful little piece -- while it is technically difficult to play well, the musical 'big picture' is sweet and packed with charm.”
  • Maribel Pintado - “The most exquisite narrative of love. This piece moves every layer of memory... and takes you there.”

8am (Keith's Classical Corner Feature!)
Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

  • R. Spencer Wright, Somerville, MA - “My favorite opera - the characters are so well-drawn, and the music is as rich as Viennese Sachertorte.”

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - "Summer"

  • Janetlee Norris - “This piece I could listen to over and over 7 and 5 year olds both love it too! It is so powerful and just overall incredible. I love all of the 4 Seasons, but this is my favorite...the music encompasses all emotions!“
  • Joan Dillon, Andover, MA - “I love the speed and the bright cheerful sound of Vivaldi's music. It transcends you.”
  • Diane Tripp, Milford, NH - “I love the way the passion is heard in the music. I have a special CD & DVD edition that I got after I heard this on your station, the violinist Federico Agostini would make Vivaldi proud.”

Villa Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5

  • Sue Feldman, Framingham, MA - “Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 is a gem--haunting and elegant. The piece needs to be played as originally written, for 8 celli and soprano. Bidu Sayao sang it perfectly, humming the last part.”
  • Maribel Pintado - “It has everything. Love, nostalgia, redemption, joi de vivre... Cello and voice in the most exquisite combination.”
  • Elena Lebedev, Natick, MA

Monday, Feb. 14 

Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

  • Kathleen Barlow, Jaffrey NH
  • Ruth-Ellen Mason, Hampstead, NH

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight"

  • Huw Powell, Lee, NH
  • Sandra Hurd, Merrimack, NH - "Because of its free flowing beauty."

Mozart: Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter"

  • Gary Bush, Beverly, MA - "Listening to Mozart's Symphony #41 saves money spent on airline tickets. it is as close to soaring as classical music can move me. "

Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

  • Laurie Shaw-Smith, Ann Arbor, MI - "Played in orchestra years ago and fell in love with it. It's peaceful, exciting and mysterious all at once."
  • Jim Fitzgerald, Westford, MA - "Incredible dynamics, my wife likes it and it's got a 'little' bit of a Valentine connection. Tough to choose only 3. Thanks for the opportunity."
  • Elias Coulouras Beverly, MA - "It moves my heart and soul."
  • James Gleason, Boston, MA - "The slowly building crescendo of this piece and it's final resolution is chillingly beautiful."

Mozart: Flute Concerto in D K. 314

  • Molly M., Mendon, MA - "This is my current Flute piece. I love it so much even though it is very challenging! I have been playing for four years and this my audition piece for several youth wind ensembles and youth symphonies in the greater Boston area. Let's hope I make it!"

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1

  • Louis, Winchester Community Music School - "My name is Louis and I am 9 years old. I play violin at Winchester Community Music School. I like the chords in the begining and the concerto makes me happy."
  • Daniel Wiedenheft, Merrimack, NH - "A balance of power and beauty between the strong piano chords and the tremulous violin - I once had a dream that I was playing this piece before a packed auditorium in Europe."

Ravel: String Quartet

  • Betsy Shackelford - "This was the first piece of chamber music I saw and heard performed live, in a very intimate space, and it utterly enchanted me, and still does."

Beethoven: Romance No. 2 for Violin & Orchestra

  • James Stratton, Bedford, NH - "Simply the most breathtaking piece ever composed in my humble opinion."
  • Christopher Paul, Manchester, NH - "Beethoven did not err in naming this a romance! To me it evokes all the sentiments of true love - beauty, longing, single-minded devotion, selflessness, joy!"

Giorgio Mainerio: Schiarazula Marazula
JS Bach: Solo Cello Suite No. 1

Requested by Ms. Rachel Cates and the 5th grade Listening Project Class at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton, MA  - "We chose Schiarazula Marazula because it is fun and you can dance to it. When we first listened to it, we didn’t think it was classical musical because it is so lively. It opened our minds to a different kind of classical music. We also liked learning about the medieval instruments. At first the instruments looked strange, but we could see their kinship with the instruments we play today and how instruments have evolved over time."

"We chose Bach Solo Cello Suite #1 (performed by Yo-Yo Ma) because four of us play cello in our El Sistema school orchestra. It inspires us to get to this level of playing on the cello."

Conservatory Lab is K-1 to 5 elementary Boston charter school with a unique music focus. It is the first elementary school in the country to totally incorporate the El Sistema model into the daily school schedule. El Sistema is a network of youth orchestras, begun in Venezuela, that uses ensemble music as a vehicle for social change. Every day, students are immersed in instrumental, choir, music literacy and world percussion classes, as well as string orchestra and wind ensemble. For more information, visit our website at

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"

  • Harvey Hansen, Arlington, MA - "Peaceful, relaxing (except maybe for the thunderstorm)"
  • Tom Breton, Walpole, MA - "It's is full of sunny themes that seemingly did not fit in the tempestuous 5th (written at the same time)."
  • Jennifer Dewar, Billerica, NH - "Love that it really suggests being out in nature with musical representations of birds, flowing water etc. Makes me smile. Also in awe of all Beethoven accomplished as a composer while deaf."
  • Shirley Jenkins, Duxbury, MA - "It makes me feel like summer!!"
  • Christine Burdette - "Just so very beautiful...impossible not be involved and touched while listening...envisioning being in a pastoral setting."
  • Sally Sepka, Danville, NH
  • Deborah Hamilton, Pepperell, MA - "There is so much music that I love,but this comes directly from the first Disney Fantasia movie. Over the years the grandeur of the piece has grown for me, but I still see the Pegasus, Centaurs, and other animation when I hear it!"

Amy Beach: Piano Concerto

  • James Hodson, Dover, NH - "It's big, Romantic, American, waiting to be discovered by audiences and performers alike -- perfect for Valentine's Day"

Vivaldi: Four Seasons "Spring"

  • Diane Place, Marlborough, MA - "Its sound evokes "Spring" as an awakening, signifying new birth, new beginnings, memories of other "springs" and a general sense of expectation. It will help us deal with what's left of winter, to realize it's not too distant."
  • Janetlee Norris - "This piece I could listen to over and over 7 and 5 year olds both love it too! It is so powerful and just overall incredible. I love all of the 4 Seasons, but this is my favorite...the music encompasses all emotions!"
  • Joan Dillon, Andover, MA - "I love the speed and the bright cheerful sound of Vivaldi's music. It transcends you."
  • Diane Tripp Milford, NH - "I love the way the passion is heard in the music. I have a special CD & DVD edition that I got after I heard this on your station, the violinist Federico Agostini would make Vivaldi proud."
  • Julie Wolkoff Wellesley, MA - "Long time favorite."

Massenet: "Meditation" from Thaïs

  • Marlene Cote, Chelmsford, MA - "It made me fall in love with opera. The feeling is so rich with yearning."
  • Ku-chuan Hsiao, Tyngsboro, MA - "This is, to me, the most romatic piece of classical music ever written. It brings back lots of fond memories."
  • Diane Frazzette, Arlington, MA - "Very soothing and peaceful. I listen to it frequently during the workday to de-stress."
  • Pat Baker, Hampton, NH - "It's just so very beautiful!"

Pachelbel: Canon in D

  • Kerry Burak, Winchendon, MA - "This is the very first piece of music I heard the first time I listened to your station. It's been my absolute favorite ever since."
  • Maureen Dwyer, Watertown, MA - "It always relaxes me!"
  • Lorie Mikulis - "Hearing Canon in D Major lets me escape the hectic world in which we live, if only for a short time. Music is my sanctuary and Canon in D Major opens the door to my special place."
  • Leslie Cheadle - "love"
  • Bridget Mahood, Ashland, MA - "I find it very moving."
  • Hoyt Bowman, Ayer, MA - "Its beauty and grace seem like the

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