Essential Classics

Welcome to Essential Classics from 91.3, WUKY HD 2.

May 2020: Happy Birthday to a forgotten Swiss/German master

This is your home for the world’s greatest classical music, 24/7. Here we present full-length symphonies, concertos, and sonatas as they were meant to be heard: complete and without interruption. In addition you’ll hear both the best performances of our own time and the most remarkable recordings of the past – both stereo and mono – often played from the original vinyl LPs.

WUKY is excited about its partnership with the Lexington Chamber Orchestra. Due to the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19, the Lexington Chamber Orchestra will not be offering any live performances for audiences in Central Kentucky for the time being. However, WUKY will re-broadcast several fan-favorite performances to bring concerts right into your home—complete with musical commentary from Maestro Jan Pellant, who is an MFA candidate at the University of Kentucky. 

Listeners who do not have an HD radio or who live outside Central Kentucky can listen online via, with their smart speaker (say "Play WUKY HD Two") or with the WUKY phone app from the Play Store or iTunes.

Tom Godell, WUKY’s Station Manager said, “The Lexington Chamber Orchestra is one of the jewels of the Central Kentucky music scene, and we are proud to bring their delightful concerts under maestro Jan Pellant to our HD-2 Essential Classics listeners at a time when live concerts are otherwise unavailable.”

Save the Date for Future Performances (Tuesdays at 7PM; Sundays at noon):

7/14 & 7/26: 

Sunset (Recorded September 2017)

Mendelssohn: String Symphony 2 

Respighi: Il Tramonto (Catherine Clark Nardolillo, soprano)

Schubert: String Quartet 14, Death and the Maiden

7/21 & 7/26

Mozart Celebration (November 2017)

Mozart: Symphony 5

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto (Scott Wright)

Mozart: Symphon 29

7/28 & 8/2

Four Seasons (February 2018)

Bach: Art of the Fugue - 4 fugues

Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony 5

Piazzola: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (Kyung Sun Lee, violin)

8/4 & 8/9

From Eastern Europe (April 2018)

Part: Fratres

Chopin: Piano Concerto 1 (Gregory Partain)

Janacek: Suite for Strings

8/11 & 8/16

European Postcards (March 2019)

Haydn: Symphony 104, London

Vanhal: Double Bass Concerto (David Murray)

Mendelssohn: Symphony 4, Italian

We are launching this service with the “100 Essential Classics” as selected by WUKY General Manager and long-time veteran classical music radio broadcaster Tom Godell. His list includes many of the “usual suspects” – symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart; concertos by Brahms, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky – as well as a few surprises from William Grant Still and Clara Schumann. 

  1. Albinoni Adagio (Neville Marriner/ASMF)
  2. Bach Brandenburg Concerto 3 (St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra)
  3. Bach Orchestral Suite 3 (Helmuth Rilling/Oregon Bach Festival)
  4. Bach Toccata and Fugue in d (Leopold Stokowski/Czech Philharmonic)
  5. Barber Adagio for Strings (Thomas Schippers/New York Philharmonic)
  6. Bartok Concerto for Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  7. Beethoven Symphony 3 (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  8. Beethoven Symphony 5 (Serge Koussevitzky/Boston Symphony)
  9. Beethoven Symphony 6 (Leonard Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic)
  10. Beethoven Piano Concerto 5 (Emil Gilels; George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra)
  11. Beethoven Violin Concerto (Henryk Szeryng; Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw)
  12. Beethoven Egmont Overture (Adrian Boult/London Promenade Orchestra)
  13. Beethoven Moonlight Sonata (Dubravka Tomsic)
  14. Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique (Thomas Beecham/French National Radio Orchestra)
  15. Bizet Carmen Suite (Leopold Stokowski/National Philharmonic)
  16. Bizet L’Arlesienne Suites (Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic)
  17. Bizet Symphony 1(Leonard Bernstein/New York)
  18. Borodin Polovtsian Dances (Loris Tjeknavorian/National Philharmonic)
  19. Borodin String Quartet 2 (Borodin Quartet)
  20. Brahms Hungarian Dances 1, 3, 10 (Claudio Abbado/Vienna Philharmonic)
  21. Brahms Violin Concerto (Nathan Milstein; Anatole Fistolari/Philharmonia Orchestra)
  22. Bruch Scottish Fantasy (Jascha Heifetz; Sargent/New Symphony of London)
  23. Bruckner Symphony 4 (Zubin Mehta/Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  24. Chabrier Espana (Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony)
  25. Chopin Polonaise Fantasie (Ivan Moravec)
  26. Copland Rodeo (Louis Lane/Atlanta Symphony)
  27. Debussy La Mer (Jean-Claude Casadesus/Lille National Orchestra)
  28. Dvorak Cello Concerto (Jacqueline Du Pre; Celibidache/Swedish Radio Symphony)
  29. Dvorak Symphony 9 (Kurt Masur/New York Philharmonic)
  30. Elgar Cello Concerto (Jacqueline Du Pre; Barbirolli/London Symphony)
  31. Elgar Enigma Variations (Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra)
  32. Enesco Romanian Rhapsody 1 (Leopold Stokowski/RCA Victor Symphony)
  33. Falla 3 Cornered Hat (Pierre Boulez/New York Philharmonic)
  34. Faure Pavane (Thomas Beecham/ORTF National Orchestra)
  35. Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue (Michael Tilson Thomas/Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  36. Glazunov The Seasons (Edo De Waart/Minnesota Orchestra)
  37. Glinka Kamarinskaya (Albert Coates/London Symphony)
  38. Grieg Holberg Suite (Morten Sorensen/Copenhagen Youth Strings)
  39. Grieg Peer Gynt (Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic)
  40. Grofe Grand Canyon Suite (Erich Kunzel/Cincinnati Pops)
  41. Handel Water Music Suite 1 (Neville Marriner/ASMF)
  42. Hanson Symphony 2 (Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony)
  43. Haydn Trumpet Concerto (Gerard Schwarz/Y Chamber Symphony of NY)
  44. Haydn Symphony 94 (Eugen Jochum/Dresden State Orchestra)
  45. Holst Planets (Zubin Mehta/Los Angeles Philharmonic)
  46. Hovhaness Symphony 2 (Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony)
  47. Kodaly Hary Janos (Jose Serebrier/SW German Radio Orchestra)
  48. Korngold Violin Concerto (Ulrike Mathe; Andrew Litton/Dallas Sym)
  49. Liszt Mephisto Waltz (Dubravka Tomsic)
  50. Mahler Symphony 5 (Leonard Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic)
  51. Massenet Thais Meditation (Michael Rabin; Felix Slatkin/HBSO)
  52. Mozart Clarinet Concerto (Jack Brymer; Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic)
  53. Mozart Piano Concerto 21 (Mitsuko Uchida; Jeffrey Tate/English Chamber Orchestra)
  54. Mozart Symphony 36 (Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic)
  55. Mozart Symphony 38 (Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic)
  56. Mozart A Little Night Music (Bruno Walter/Columbia Symphony)
  57. Mendelssohn Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite (George Szell/Concertgebouw)
  58. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (Henryk Szeryng; Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw)
  59. Mussorgsky Pictures At An Exhibition (Awadagin Pratt)
  60. Offenbach Gaite Parisienne (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  61. Pachelbel Canon (Neville Marriner/ASMF)
  62. Prokofiev Lt. Kije Suite (Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony)
  63. Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite (Erich Leinsdorf/Boston Symphony)
  64. Prokofiev Symphony 1 (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  65. Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody (Gary Graffman; Leonard Bernstein/New York)
  66. Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances (Leonard Slatkin/Detroit Symphony)
  67. Ravel Daphnis & Chloe Suite 2 (Paavo Jarvi/Cincinnati Symphony)
  68. Ravel Piano Trio (Jacques Kantorow; Philippe Muller; Jacques Rouvier)
  69. Rimsky Russian Easter Overture (Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony)
  70. Rimsky Scheherazade (Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony)
  71. Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez (David Russell; Erich Kunzel/Naples Philharmonic)
  72. Rossini Barber Overture (Neville Marriner/ASMF)
  73. Saint Saens Symphony 3 (Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony; Marcel Dupre)
  74. Saint Saens Danse Macabre (Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony)
  75. Satie 3 Gymnopedies (Aldo Ciccolini)
  76. Schubert Rosamunde Suite (George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra)
  77. Schubert Unfinished Symphony (Charles Munch/Boston Symphony)
  78. Clara Schumann Piano Concerto (Michael Ponti)
  79. Schumann Piano Concerto (Martha Argerich; Nikolaus Harnoncourt/COE)
  80. Schumann Scenes from Childhood (Vladimir Horowitz)
  81. Shostakovich Piano Concerto 2 (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  82. Shostakovich Symphony 5 (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  83. Sibelius Finlandia (Horst Stein/Suisse Romande)
  84. Smetana Moldau (Rafael Kubelik/Boston Symphony)
  85. Still Afro American Symphony (Neeme Jarvi/Detroit Symphony)
  86. J Strauss Blue Danube Waltz (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  87. Strauss Don Juan (George Szell/Cleveland Orchestra)
  88. Stravinsky Firebird Suite (Erich Leinsdorf/Boston Symphony)
  89. Stravinsky Petrouchka (Pierre Monteux/Boston Symphony)
  90. Suppe Light Cavalry Overture (Paul Paray/Detroit Symphony)
  91. Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 (Roland Pontinen; Leif Segerstam/Bamberg Symphony)
  92. Tchaikovsky Swan Lake (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  93. Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings (Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic)
  94. Tchaikovsky Symphony 5 (Bernard Haitink/Concertgebouw)
  95. Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (David Oistrakh; Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia)
  96. Telemann Viola Concerto (Louise Schulmann; Orchestra of St. Lukes)
  97. Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite (Adrian Boult/VSOO)
  98. Verdi Aida Triumphal March (Oliver Dohnanyi/Slovak RSO & Chorus)
  99. Vivaldi Spring from 4 Seasons (Gil Shaham; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra)
  100. Wagner Ride of the Valkyries (Leopold Stokowski/London Symphony)

If we’ve left out one of your favorite classics, please let us know. Our list of the Second 100 Essential Classics is in preparation now. Send your suggestions to, subject line: Essential Classics.

Pete Godomski

"Cherish no prejudice against unknown names." — Robert Schumann