Desert Island Discs

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Desert Island Discs

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Gen 6, 2008, 3:15am

This week Kirsty Young invites John Humphrys to choose eight records to take to Radio 4's mythical desert island.

Gen 13, 2008, 8:25am

Did anyone listen to this week's programme? A lovely edition, fantastic music that Simon Rattle characterised as "both joyful and deeply sad".

Here is the BBC description:

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Sir Simon Rattle.

For the past five years he has been Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic - regarded by many as the finest symphony orchestra in the world. He is only the sixth person to hold the position in 120 years and is the first Briton to take on the challenge.

Growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s, while other youngsters were listening to The Beatles, he was transfixed by Mahler and was determined to become a conductor. His talent was prodigious. He won an international conducting competition aged just nineteen and so, with plenty of enthusiasm but scant experience, began his career. Initially because of his youth, his approach was collaborative rather than autocratic and it has been a style that brought tremendous results during his eighteen year association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He insists that his approach with the Berlin Philharmonic is about teamwork too - but concedes that it is an orchestra that contains some very strong characters and very big egos.

He tells Kirsty how, choosing his Desert Island Discs, he has been drawn towards music that expressed joy and pain in equal measure.

1. The Andante of Mahler’s 9th Symphony
Performer The Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle
Composer Mahler
CD Title Mahler’s 9th Symphony: Simon Rattle
Track 1
Rec No 501 2315

2. Sometimes I’m Happy
Performer Joni Mitchell
Composer Irving Caesar/Clifford Grey/Vincent Youmans
CD Title Both Sides Now
Track 8
Rec No 936247620-2

3. The beginning of Brandenburg Concerto No 1
Performer Giardino Armonico
Composer Bach
CD Title J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6
Track Cd1 trk 1
Label WCJ
Rec No 2564 69812-3

4. The end of The Cunning Little Vixen
Performer Dalibor Jedlicka & Peter Saray with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.
Composer Janácek
CD Title The Cunning Little Vixen
Track CD2 trk 8 &9
Label Decca
Rec No 4171292

5. The Adagio for Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments
Performer The Berlin Philharmonic
Composer Mozart
CD Title Mozart: Serenade KV361
Track 3
Rec No C188891

6. The Great Work is Completed from Haydn’s Creation
Performer Arnold Schoenberg Choir & the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Composer Haydn
CD Title Haydn:Schopfung
Track CD2 trk 7
Rec No 9630200262

7. Sleep on and Rest in Dreams from Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri
Performer Barbara Bonney & the Monteverdi Choir with the Revolutionary &Romantic Orchestra conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
Composer Schumann
CD Title Schumann: Das Paradies & Die Peri
Track CD2 Trk 8
Rec No 4576602

8. Scherza Infida from Handel’s Ariodante
Performer Magdalena Kozená
Composer Handel
CD Title Ah Mio cor!/Handel Arias Kozená /Venice Baroque Orchestra
Track 6
Rec No 4776547

Record: Scherza Infida.
Book: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Luxury: Italian coffee machine and grinder.

Gen 18, 2008, 5:59pm

Yes! I put the alarm on for 4am in order to catch the programme today (Friday) live and it was well worth the effort. I didn't realise Simon Rattle had married Kozena. I have seen him play here before at undoubtedly the best concert I have ever had the luck to hear - Mahler's Resurrection Symphony with the Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra + choirs. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. Humphreys, Rattle... who can top them?

Gen 27, 2008, 3:13am

Another potentially interesting programme today: Kirsty Young invites Lady Spender, former classical pianist and widow of Sir Stephen Spender, to choose eight records to take to Radio 4's mythical desert island.

Feb 4, 2008, 11:15am

Did anyone hear Beryl Bainbridge yesterday? A very odd choice of music and she came over as very strange indeed. I've never read any of her stuff but now I must!

Feb 4, 2008, 6:38pm

>5 clianthusalba:

Yes, I really enjoyed it. What an upbringing Beryl Bainbridge had! 'Two Little Boys' always gets me: I almost had to pull over onto the hard shoulder to recover.

Feb 5, 2008, 6:05am

Funny you should say that it has the same effect on me as well!

Modificato: Lug 12, 2008, 8:20am

Felicity Lott is the guest on tomorrow's Desert Island Discs.

Feb 1, 2009, 3:24am

Desert Island Discs
On: BBC Radio Four
Date: Sunday 1st February 2009
Time: 11:15 to 12:00 (45 minutes long)

Kirsty Young invites the singer Thomas Quasthoff to choose eight records to take to Radio 4's mythical desert island.

Mar 22, 2013, 10:54am

Next edition: 24th March 2013.
Guest: Jasvinder Sanghera

Mar 29, 2013, 8:12am

Next edition: 31st March 2013.
Guest: Sydney Kentridge. South African QC.

Gen 10, 2014, 3:04am

This coming Sunday:

Kirsty Young's castaway is the violinist, Nicola Benedetti.

She had her first violin lesson at the age of four, and by the age of eight, she was leading the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland. By the grand old age of ten she was boarding at the Yehudi Menuhin School and receiving lessons from the great man himself.

Her big break came when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition - the first Scot to win it. Lucrative recording contracts followed together with a hectic programme of concerts. Still only 26, she is now world-renowned as a soloist and chamber musician.

Of Italian descent, her family wasn't particularly musical though the qualities of discipline, hard work and perseverance meant that fun & freedom came after music practice. Passionate about the importance of classical music in education, she walks the talk, committed to developing young musical talent through charity work and masterclasses & she received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for these services in 2013.

She says, "when I teach seven year olds and they can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I say 'that's amazing! Well Done!' And then occasionally Mum would remind me "do you remember what you were playing at that age?"

Gen 10, 2014, 4:20am

Why does DID work so well?

Gen 12, 2014, 7:28am

Her choices are now displayed here:

and you will be able to listen to the programme again fairly soon.