This blog is going to be a little different to my usual style and topics.
I asked on twitter for blog ideas and someone gave me the idea to do a Desert Island Discs style blog, which as a fan of the show I thought it was a great idea.
If you are not familiar with BBC Radio 4’s programme then essentially a presenter talks through the life of a well known person (from various fields) along the way the person choses 8 different tracks they wish to take with them to a fictional desert island. At the end of the programme they must chose one track that they would ultimately save from the waves, plus they are allowed to chose a book and a luxury item. They are already given a religious book of their choice (or they may decline from a religious book) and the complete works of Shakespeare.
So here in this blog I will tell you the eight tracks I have chosen and why, then pick a book, luxury item, and the one track I would save.
Track number 1 is Prokofiev’s 2nd violin concerto.
I have chosen this piece of music as it was the first piece I heard at The Proms as an 8 year old, where a kind man let me stand at the front of the arena so that I could see. I began to play the violin at age 6 and loved this concerto, my parents even brought me the music for it, even though I was no where near the standard to play it. I was just obsessed (and no one thought to get me an autism assessment as a kid!)
Track number 2 is Hummel’s trumpet concerto
At the age of 8 I began to learn the cornet (very similar to the trumpet) and I fell in love with the Hummel trumpet concerto, and again obsessed over it. I saw it performed live, I think more than once.
Track number 3 is Britten’s Serenade for tenor, french horn, and strings.
I first heard this beautiful piece of music at home on a CD and immediately fell in love. It is the piece of music that made me want to play the french horn, and so at age 11 I started to learn the french horn, all because of this piece of music. I have seen it live several times, and played it myself, not in concert, but in classes at the music conservatoire I went to where I studied the french horn.
Track number 4 is Mozart’s 3rd horn concerto.
This is a piece of music which meant a lot to me. It was a concerto I performed twice with orchestra, it was one of the pieces I played in my auditions to music conservatoire, including to the Royal Northern College of Music, where I ultimately went. Not only is it a great piece of music to perform, but I love listening to it too. And I would have the recording of Dennis Brain performing it.
Track number 5 is The Dream of the Rhinoceros by Trygve Madsen
This is a modern piece of music for solo french horn. It is a piece of music I have performed several times, and the first piece my partner (friend at the time) heard me play and he loved it. The piece was written for the Norwegian horn player Froydis Ree Wekre who I had the pleasure of being tutored by her at the RNCM when she came as a visiting professor.
Track number 6 is Rise like a Phoenix by Patulka, Zuckowski, Maas and Mason. Sung by Conchita Wurst
Well this is a sudden genre change! My partner is obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest and this song is my favourite song from Eurovision that I have watched, as we now watch it every year (yes he was very sad this years was cancelled) I would want to pick this song as it reminds me of my partners love for Eurovision and him getting all excited.
Track number 7 is The Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss
I mean I couldn’t have a list of music without including my favourite composer, although it was tough to know whether to choose this piece, or one of his two horn concerto’s. But in the end Alpine Symphony has it all. 120 musicians, an off stage band, wind machine and so much more. Its 50 minutes of stunning music that really does transport me to the Alps.
Track number 8 is 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky
I love this piece of music and so does my partner. I started playing it when in my flat when he was there, and because of the canons in it he began to call it ‘The Boom piece’ and that name has kind of stuck as a joke between the two of us. We saw it live at ghe Bridgewater Hall and we both loved it. Its kind of become ‘our piece of music’
Wow I can’t believe I have done 8 tracks and no Beethoven, sorry Ludwig!
Now comes the hard bit, my book of choice, luxury item, and the one track I will save.
For my book I am debating between a book which makes me laugh at all times, mean when one of the times I was sectioned it was the only thimg that would make me smile. Or a non fiction book about the Tudors that i finished last month and loved. Now do I want to laugh or geek out on this desert island! I think ultimately I want to geek out, and therefore my book will be ‘The Private Lives of the Tudors’ by Tracy Borman.
My luxary item is easy, it would be my teddy bear William who I have had since I was a few months old and I cuddle him every night. He has been with me through everything, and I mean everything. He would be a great comfort.
And the one track I would save from the waves I think has to be the 1812 Overture, or as me and Evan say ‘The boom piece’ a great piece of classical music that would remind me of my partner.