Five O’Clock Favorite

The Five O’Clock Favorite is driven by listener suggestions! We’d love your participation.

Suggestions are easiest to honor if they’re 20 minutes or less.

Due to the interest in the program, it may be a week or two before you hear your selection on-air.
Air date: November 13, 2023

The Red Pony: Suite, Aaron Copland

Suggested by Paula in Portland, Oregon

On Thanksgiving Day 1989 I heard The Red Pony on the car radio as my husband and I buzzed across the Interstate Bridge to Vancouver WA and up Highway 14 with its blazing trees along the Columbia River. The clouds were high. I could feel youth and purpose and beginnings and the lightness of the future. I could hear the limits of family. It felt like our little Honda's wheels were levitating. It felt like being in the right place and knowing that I was in the right place.

Air date: November 10, 2023

The Last Post (Evolution), Alexis Ffrench

Suggested by Lieutenant Colonel David Beatty in Woodburn, Oregon

Like its American counterpart, Taps, The Last Post is a bugle call traditionally sounded at lights out on British military posts and, like Taps, is also sounded at military funeral services throughout the British Commonwealth. When I was serving with the Royal Air Force I had occasion to attend many military funerals and Alexis Ffrench's variation on that melancholy tune always moves me, reminding me of my many comrades who have crossed over into greener pastures. Perhaps you could play it in honor of Veterans' Day, and commemorating the Armistice that ended World War One on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of November 1918 - that horrible Great War that so many hoped would be the war to end all wars. May that hope yet come to fruition.

Air date: November 9, 2023

Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen (arr. Sperry)

Suggested by Jeff in Portland, Oregon

It's easy to get disheartened by the conditions of our world & our planet, but there IS a piece of music which has been known to offer not "comfort," per se, but some commiseration in its theme of addressing these anxieties and sorrows. There are many renditions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" -- some instrumental, others with a chorus of human voices. The latter are transcendent and a call to all to pay close attention to our retention of humility. We trust you, Christa, to choose the most poignant choral version of this extraordinary number, and hope it will whisper loudly to our souls.

Air date: November 8, 2023

Piano Concerto No. 2: II. Andante, Dmitri Shostakovich

Suggested by Josh in Vancouver, Washington

Composed for Shostakovich’s son, this piece reminds me of my sweet but confusing relationship with my dad. The slow sections at the end represent my efforts of making him proud.

Air date: November 7, 2023

Satyagraha: Evening Song, Philip Glass

Suggested by Jamie in Portland, Oregon

Philip Glass has been a part of my musical life since I was a child in NYC. This piece is beautiful and evocative on its own, but it also contains many of my favorite Philip Glass motifs. The geometry of this piece touches on the divine while remaining fully earthbound. The vocal performance here is the bridge between the two.

Air date: November 6, 2023

Heaven’s Gate: Sweet Breeze, David Mansfield

Suggested by Pie in Portland, Oregon

My old boss turned me onto this soundtrack about 40 years ago. Does that date me or what????

Air date: November 3, 2023

Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”: Movement 1, Antonin Dvorak

Suggested by Eric in North Clark County, Washington

Around 1969/1970, my parents had a massive console stereo with individual components (amplifier, receiver, turntable & speakers) all built into the unit, along with a moderate collection of classical LPs. It was located in the front room of the house. As a young teenager I was beginning to appreciate various genres of music, which I liked to listen to in the late evening after everyone was in bed. The stereo system did not have a headphone jack, but then, I didn't have any headphones. So, I MADE myself a pair of headphones using the speakers from a couple of telephone handsets and wired them in place of the console's built-in speakers.

The 1st time I used them I put Dvořák's "New World Symphony" on the turntable, having never heard it before, and kicked back in my father's recliner. As the 1st movement progressed, I could imagine being at the helm of mighty sailing ship, pitching and plowing through stormy seas, determined to reach the new world - America - or die trying. No other piece of music has ever affected me so strongly. Since then, it has always been my favorite. In fact, it's really the only thing on my bucket list: I would love to hear it performed live.

Air date: November 2, 2023

Pines of Rome, Ottorino Respighi

Suggested by Dave in Federal Way, Washington

I was at OSU and playing in the orchestra when the LaSells Stewart Center opened, and this was the final piece of our first concert there. It was one of those sublime moments for the musicians -- the music ended and the audience sat spellbound for a second or two before applauding. I still get goosebumps thinking back on it!

Air date: November 1, 2023

Karelia Suite, Jean Sibelius

Suggested by Kristina in Ridgefield, Washington

I want to honor the memory of my maternal grandfather, who was born on this date in 1892, died in 1976. He was a wonderful, hard working man who was proud of his Finnish heritage. I doubt he heard or was aware of Jean Sibelius' music, but every time I hear this piece I think of him and know he would have also enjoyed listening to the Karelia Suite as well. Here's to you, pop!

Air date: October 31, 2023

Danse Macabre, Camille Saint-Saens

Suggested by Pie in Portland, Oregon

I did a book report on Saint-Saens in junior high school and will always remember this piece. Great Halloween song!

Air date: October 30, 2023

Carmina Burana: O Fortuna & Tanz, Carl Orff

Suggested by Yvonne in Beaverton, Oregon

I've always been fascinated by Carmina Burana with its endless variety of sound, texture, mood, and rhythm. My first exposure to Carmina was when I sang in the children's chorus in 5th grade with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. I fell in love with the whole work instantly at the first rehearsal. Decades later, I had the pleasure of accompanying ISing Choir in Beaverton during rehearsal and played in a small ensemble (piano reduction on keyboard to emulate different instruments) with them when they performed Carmina in a concert series. I would love, of course, to request the complete work, but if I have to pick a favorite, "Tanz" is my favorite in this collection. It always makes my heart dance.

Air date: October 20, 2023

Isle of the Dead, Sergei Rachmaninov

Suggested by Burt in University Place, Washington

As we come into Fall, it seems appropriate to suggest Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead. I think this might have been my first introduction to a symphonic poem (ca. 1980-something...). We had a copy of the Vladimir Ashkenazy performance with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the LP has the image of the Bocklin painting that inspired the work. When I heard it the first time, the combination of the music, picture and liner notes describing the piece, cemented it as one of my all-time favorite descriptive tone poems.

Air date: October 18, 2023

Piano Concerto No. 2: II. Larghetto, Frederic Chopin

Suggested by Scotland in Portland, Oregon

This was played on the last Oregon Symphony concert I was able to take my mother to before the pandemic started, and she passed away the next year. She was a concert pianist and teacher before Alzheimer’s took her ability to play, but she was able to enjoy that concert so much. I had just once again taken up playing the bassoon (after 40 years away from it), and the second movement has the most beautiful duet between piano and bassoon. At the concert Mom squeezed my hand and smiled all the way through. Lying on the floor beneath my mothers piano, as a child, while she played Chopin is one of my fondest memories.

Air date: October 17, 2023

Kings Row: Suite, Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Suggested by Lance in Gresham, Oregon

This was one of my Dad's favorite movies. Korngold wrote an absolutely beautiful score for the film, though he originally thought the title meant that Kings Row was another royal period piece. As such he composed a classic fanfare for the now iconic Main Title, which he decided to keep and develop for his film score. It could also be said that John Williams used the score from Kings Row as inspiration for Star Wars due to the similarities in scoring.

Air date: October 16, 2023

Cantique de Jean Racine, Gabriel Faure

Suggested by Katharine in Portland, Oregon

I have happy memories of singing this lovely piece a few years ago with the choir of First Unitarian Portland, under the direction of Mark Slegers.

Air date: October 13, 2023

Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan: Battle in the Mutara Nebula, James Horner

Suggested by Andrew in Beaverton, Oregon

This was my gateway song to the universe of classical music. In 1982 when the movie came out, I was 13 years old and living in scorching hot Phoenix, Arizona. I spent most of the summer indoors avoiding the heat and watching movies on a new thing called "cable TV." Being a nerd, I loved Star Trek and watched this movie hundreds of times. On a whim, I trekked down to Tower Records and bought the (vinyl) soundtrack. I listened to it hundreds of times as well. James Horner was a brilliant composer. His music swells and soars with clear leitmotifs for the good guys (the crew of the Enterprise) and the bad guys (Kahn played by the late great Ricardo Montalban).

Horner would go on to score blockbusters such as Titantic, Avatar, Braveheart, and Apollo 13. His music opened my ears to classical music. After this soundtrack, I began listening to the local classic station and ravenously consuming classical music. I particularly loved bombastic, leitmotif driven music, such as Gustav Holst's Jupiter. The music fueled my soul. Today when I hear Battle in the Mutara Nebula I am not only reminded of one of my favorite movies, but also of those "head tingling" moments when music delivers pure joy and inspiration. Thank you for considering my selection. I hope it inspires all your listeners to live long and prosper.

Air date: October 12, 2023

Morning Papers Waltz, Johann Strauss, Jr.

Suggested by Jeff in Portland, Oregon

We purchase a "morning paper" from time to time. Portland once had BOTH a "morning" AND an "evening" paper: the Oregonian each morning and the Journal every afternoon. Sadly, that's no longer the case. This piece reminds us of the time when the "Morning Paper" meant something.

Air date: October 11, 2023

The Horse Whisperer, Thomas Newman

Suggested by Pie in Portland, Oregon

There is so much beautiful music in the score written by Thomas Newman. The music that accompanies the accident scene is particularly moving for me.

Air date: October 10, 2023

Graceful Ghost Rag, William Bolcom

Suggested by Carmen in Portland, Oregon

I just love this piece and its charming title.

Air date: October 9, 2023

From A Moonlit Ceremony: 1. Evocation, George McKay

Suggested by Steve in Portland, Oregon

McKay was born in Washington state and was professor at University of Washington for many years. This work of his makes use of songs and dances heard by McKay during a ceremony of the Muckleshoot tribe, which live near Mt. Rainier. This is very lovely, very listenable 20th century music. When I hear this, I think of the tribe, Mt, Rainier, and of the moonlight.

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