Make Your Memorial Day Weekend Beautiful With Yo-Yo Ma And The Greatest Classical Music Of All Time

This year's Memorial Day will undoubtedly be different for many people. We can't gather for large picnics with friends and family, but we can still honor our fallen service members and listen to great classical music on CPR Classical during our Essential Classics Weekend.

Essential classics are the pieces we know and love -- melodies we can hum, sing or even cry to. Starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, listen for your favorite masterworks by some of the greatest composers who ever lived.

You'll hear American favorites like Aaron Copland's “Fanfare for the Common Man” and Russian favorites like Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Of course Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and lots of Mozart will be included. Your weekend soundtrack kicks off early with a favorite by Bach on Thursday and continues until Monday evening at 9 p.m. 

New this year is CPR Classical's Graduation Celebration on Saturday at 2 p.m. MDT. We'll feature classics like Elgar's “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” and honor Colorado's Class of 2020 with dedications and stories of achievement.

On Sunday at 1 p.m. MDT CPR Classical links arms with WGBH in Boston to bring you an extraordinary moment in radio. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will play all six Bach Cello Suites LIVE in memory of those we have lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a tribute to those who are on the front lines.

And on Monday, Memorial Day, listen for pieces that honor those who fought and died for our country including Peter Boyer's "In the Cause of the Free." 

Scroll down for more highlights from the weekend.

Listen to CPR Classical on your radio at 88.1 FM in Denver, stream the music by clicking on "Listen Live" in the navigation above or by asking your smart speaker to "Play CPR Classical."

Thursday highlights:

  • Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Friday highlights:

  • Mozart: Symphony No. 39
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 1

Saturday highlights: 

Sunday highlights:

Monday highlights:

  • Honoring our fallen service members throughout the day
  • Peter Boyer: In the Cause of the Free
  • Richard Hayman: Armed Forces Medley
  • Karl Jenkin: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace: Benedictus