Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms will all be there!

(Photo collage: CPR/Brad Turner)

Fire up the grill, dust off your patio furniture and turn up the radio because CPR Classical is kicking off the summer with an extended weekend of Essential Classics!

Essential classics are the pieces we know and love -- melodies we can hum, sing or even cry to. And there are so many of these essential classics that we have to start Thursday afternoon to squeeze them all in before Monday night!

Starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, listen for your favorite masterworks by some of the greatest composers who ever lived. Russian favorites like Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”? Check! American favorites like Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”? You bet! Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? Of course! Your weekend soundtrack kicks off with a favorite by Beethoven and continues until Monday evening at 9 p.m. 

Scroll down for a taste of what you can expect this weekend. For more Memorial Day listening options, try one of our podcasts. Explore the music of Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Leonard Bernstein in our Great Composers podcast, or check out episodes of Centennial Sounds, featuring Colorado performances of music by 21st-century composers.

Thursday highlights:

  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Friday highlights:

  • Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

Saturday highlights: 

  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”
  • Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
  • Orff: Carmina Burana

Sunday highlights:

  • Brahms: Symphony No. 2
  • Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

Monday highlights include:

  • Dvorak: Symphony #9 “From the New World”
  • Elgar: Cello Concerto
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 5