Valentine’s Day Playlist

Tuesday, February 14, 2017  |  A Free Download  |  Presented by From the Top Alumni & Christopher O'Riley


We’ve put together a playlist of some of the most lovely pieces of music that our kids have performed on our show over the years. And, because you’re one of our biggest supporters, we’ve made this playlist into a free, downloadable album so you can listen anywhere. You may also stream the tracks at any time on this page using the playlist.

Click the button below to download your .zip file, then open the downloaded tracks in your media player.

Performers & Repertoire

  • II. Langsam from Fünf Stücke im Volkston op. 102 (Five Pieces in Folk Style) for Cello and Piano by Robert Schumann with Christopher O'Riley, piano


    Almost like a lullaby, the harmonic simplicity of this piece brings to mind a dream-like sense of peace and contentment.

  • III. "Une barque sur l'océan" from Miroirs by Maurice Ravel


    Where the first track’s rhythms were simple and predictable, in "Une barque sur l'océan”, they undulate erratically and with the all the intensity of an ocean’s waves. 17-year-old Ryan Jung smoothly guides the listener across the water, taking care to point out especially beautiful moments.

  • Andante et Scherzo by Louis Ganne


    Moments in Andante et Scherzo bounce quickly between dramatic tension and care-free jaunts, displaying a love for adventure and for the composer’s home city of Paris, France. The piece was dedicated in 1901 to Paul Taffanel, the professor of flute at the Paris Conservatoire.

  • III. Andante from the Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op.19 by Sergei Rachmaninoff with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    The Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano was remembered by Rachmaninoff as one of the pivotal pieces that, with the help of Dr. Nikolai Dahl, helped him step out of a long period of depression and into a period of great creativity and confidence. This sensitive performance by 16-year-old Ila Shon and host Christopher O’Riley shines with that humble confidence and self-love.

  • IV. Allegretto poco mosso from the Sonata for Violin and Piano by César Franck with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    This track touches on love in a more concrete way. César Franck gave this Sonata to his friend and violinist Eugéne Yasÿe the morning of his wedding. One can hear the two instruments speak to one another with the piano leading at some points, while other times, the violin. It was performed for the wedding guests the very same day.

  • Moldau, Op.43 by Bedřich Smetana arr. Hans Trneček


    Má Vlast, or, “My Homeland” in the Czech language, is a set of six symphonic poems describing the countryside, legends, and historical events of the nation. The second poem, Die Moldau, describes the unification of two streams in the woods where a farmer’s wedding is being celebrated.

  • Still wie die Nacht by Carl Böhm with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    The translated title for this lieder is “As Quiet as the Night” and depicts a tender confession of love, beautifully sung by 17-year-old Hannah Klein.

  • Melodie, Op.42, No.3 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    Like much of Tchaikovsky’s music, this piece is based on long, gorgeous melodies. While the music was written later in Tchaikovsky’s life and portrays moments of deep emotionally maturity, 14-year-old Jieming Tang’s interpretation matches the music’s sensitivity phrase after phrase.

  • Nocturno, Op. 7 by Franz Strauss with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    Franz Strauss’s Nocturno is one of the horn repertoire’s most commonly performed pieces – and it’s easy to hear why. Long, singable melodies are complemented perfectly by the accompaniment part in the piano and are marked with satisfying moments of tension and release. This piece was originally written for his father, the renowned composer and horn player, Richard Straiss.

  • Op. 10, No. 3 in E major


    A piece so beautiful, even Chopin himself believed this to be the most beautiful melody he’d ever written. While this piece has been referred to by “Sadness” or “Farewell”, neither of these names were given by the composer.

    The performer, Niu Niu, became an exclusive recording artist for EMI at the age of 10– the youngest pianist to ever be signed to a major label. At age 12, he became the youngest artist in the world to have recorded all of Chopin’s Etudes.

  • "Salut d'Amour" by Edward Elgar with Christopher O’Riley


    In the summer of 1888, Alice Roberts presented her love, Edward Elgar, with a poem titled “Love’s Grace” as he left for a vacation. Upon his return, he presented to her this piece (Then called “Love’s Greeting”) and proposed to her. She said “Yes!” and they married the following year.

  • “Una donna a quindici anni" from Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Christopher O'Riley, piano


    This spritely piece shines a different light on love, one that questions and teases it. Two men leave for military service, each leaving behind a woman that is madly in love with them. However, worry wears on the consciousness of the men and they become afraid that they won’t remain faithful. So, being the trusting and sane men they are, they decide to sneak back to their home in disguise and attempt to woo the women to test their commitment. The women do not recognize them but do not give in until much later in the story, when they fall for the same charms that the men had used in the beginning of the plot, proving nothing. At the end of the day, the couples remain together and marry.

  • “Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105, Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck by Robert Schumann with Christopher O’Riley, piano


    Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck translates to “with passionate expression” ¬– a fitting title for a work that seems to both move fervently forward and look back with nostalgia at the same time. 13-year-old Masha Lakisova plays straight from the heart in this live performance recorded in Boston, MA in 2014.