Since 1942, the BBC has had a weekly radio show, Desert Island Discs, which asks celebrities which 8 recordings they would want to have with them if, like Robinson Crusoe, they somehow found themselves stranded on a deserted isle.
I’m no celebrity, but I thought it might be fun for us to play the “home version of the game.”
#8 Sean O’Riada’s Mise Eire. I find this piece hauntingly beautiful and I wonder if I could listen to it on the desert island. It would make me so homesick.
#7 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute. It is criminal to have to choose only one composition by Mozart but, forced as I am by my own silly rules, I have to select The Magic Flute. I wouldn’t want to live without “The Queen of the Night” nearby.
#6 Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. I have a feeling that if I got stuck on a desert island, I’d need frequent reminders that the world is beautiful and worth loving.
#5 Ludwig Von Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I mean, you’ve got to have the best of the best with you, don’t you? Besides, it lasts for over an hour and is both orchestral and choral.
#4 Annie Lennox singing Cole Porter’s, Every Time We Say Goodbye. An achingly beautiful song performed by an angelic voice. I have an urge to weep every time I listen to it.
#3 George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. This somehow encapsulates what I love most about the USA and puts it in auditory form.
#2 Yo Yo Ma performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites. I think this would calm me even in my most ragged and panicked state. Distilled beauty.
#1 Thomas Tallis, Spem in Alium. A glorious blast of Catholic polyphony – a 40-part motet that blows my socks off every time I hear it.
At the end of the show, guests are asked what book (apart from the Bible & Shakespeare) they want on the island and they are allowed one luxury. For me, Jane Austen’s Collected Novels and a solar-powered ice-maker, thank you very much!
Over to you…