'During this lockdown period I’ve enjoyed exploring the other Desert Island Discs that other contributors to the SCO online presence have put together. My selection varies from pieces that means something special to me to others that I simply love listening to. Hopefully you may find something you don’t know and enjoy!'
Roderick Wylie, SCO Chorus Member
No 1: Don’t Leave Me This Way
This is simply a great disco track and an upbeat way of starting a selection of music. Nothing profound, nothing too clever, just a great cover of a great song.
No 2: Puccini, La Boheme
Karajan, Mirella Freni and Rolando Panerai
Mirella Freni was my favourite opera singer and sadly died earlier this year. Mimi was one of her signature roles and this extract from act 3 shows her attention to words, dynamics and line.
No 3: Mendelssohn, Piano Trio in D minor
Mendelssohn’s chamber music deserves to be better known. This opening movement from his 1st piano trio was played at one of the earliest Edinburgh Festival morning concerts I ever went to , in the Freemasons Hall.
No 4: MacMillan, Cantos Sagrados
James MacMillan, Elysian Singers
This piece is special to me as I was very involved in its commissioning and sang at its premiere. The SCO Chorus performed it a couple of years ago in Glasgow and this last movement never fails to move performers and audience alike.
No 5: Beethoven, Symphony 7
Carlos Kleiber, Bayerisches Staatsoper
This 2nd movement from the 7th symphony is my favourite symphonic movement by Beethoven. This recording is live with a disappointingly noisy audience, but the mastery of the great Carlos Kleiber is unmistakable.
No 6: Britten, Peter Grimes
Richard Hickox, Philip Langridge
Peter Grimes is a great modern opera for large cast and with the chorus an integral part of the action. This extract is Peter’s so called “mad scene” and is one of the most atmospheric parts of the score.
No 7: Tchaikovsky, Manfred Symphony
Semyon Bychkov, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
I’ve always had a soft spot for this sometimes neglected work, which shows Tchaikovsky’s mastery of orchestration as well as melody. The first movement’s exciting ending was used as the title music for an otherwise undistinguished BBC adaptation of 'Anna Karenina'!
No 8: Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro
Sir Colin Davis, Mirella Freni, BBC Symphony Orchestra
This act 4 aria for Susanna is a beautiful respite from the frenetic goings on towards the end of what must surely be one of opera’s greatest masterpieces. Another chance to hear Mirella Freni as well!
No 9: Brahms, Piano Concerto No 2
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Zubin Mehta, London Symphony Orchestra
I studied this work for music A level and have always loved it. This is the recording that I have had since then, and I’ve not heard it bettered. It’s funny when you grow up with a particular interpretation of a work and never feel other interpretations come close!
No 10: Baker Street
Simply one of the best tracks ever put down. Could the sax intro be bettered in any way? – never.
No 11: Sibelius, Violin Concerto
Tasmin Little, Vernon Handley, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sibelius was my father’s favourite composer, so any of his music reminds me of him. The start of this concerto is one of the most thrilling and instantly recognisable.
No 12: Handel, Dixit Dominus
Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Chorus Of Les Musiciens Du Louvre
For sheer joy this early Handel masterpiece can’t be bettered. I am hoping it will be programmed for the SCO soon! This performance is especially exciting and performed immaculately at high speed
No 13: Wagner, Die Walkure
Gergiev, Kaufmann, Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra
I had to have some Wagner on my list and Die Walkure is (probably) my favourite of his operas. Extracts from Wagner rarely work well on their own, but this “Sword Narrative” is hopefully enough to whet your appetite for more….
No 14: Knights of Cydonia
… and to finish – this is the track that Muse use to end their concerts and it seemed a great way to end this selection. Stadium rock at its best.
DESERT ISLAND DISCS WITH STEVE KING
7 September 2020What would you take to a desert island? We've asked players to share their ultimate soundtrack - next up we have Viola Steve King
DESERT ISLAND DISCS WITH HARRY JOHNSTONE
14 July 2020What would you take to a desert island? We asked people to share their ultimate soundtrack. Next up we've SubPrincipal Horn Harry Johnstone
DESERT ISLAND DISCS WITH MATILDA BROWN
16 June 2020What would you take to a desert island? We asked people to share their ultimate soundtrack - next up we have Composer Matilda Brown