Thursday, April 13, 2006

Twenty songs

I haven't been tagged for this meme, but I've seen Patroclus' and Pashmina'sversions, so decided to have a go myself. Mine won't be as hip as Patroclus' and it includes much more classical music than any normal person would. So here goes...

1) A track from your early childhood

I was going to say Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard, by Paul Simon, which I remember from those dim and distant days when my mum listened to Radio 2, but I think more accurately it has to be Easter Parade or Hello, Dolly, which I remember my aunt singing to me when I was very young.

2) A track that you associate with your first love

Moondance by Van Morrison.

3) A track that reminds you of a holiday trip

A camping trip to Cornwall, travelling from Dorset in a Vauxhall Chevette, made memorable by a Beach Boys “Best Of” compilation. So, probably, Little Douce Coupe.

4) A track you like but wouldn't want to be associated with in public

Europe’s The Final Countdown. I remember my sister and I dancing round the kitchen to this. We weren't that young, either.

5) A track that accompanied you when you were lovesick

Probably Brumel’s Lamentations sung by the Tallis Scholars.

6) The track you have listened to most often

Since I downloaded many of my CDs onto my computer, it’s For Lo, I Raise Up, by Stanford (according to iTunes, anyway). But over a lifetime? Tricky. Probably Mars or Saturn from Holst’s The Planets, which was one of the first LPs I remember listening to (that and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture)

7) A track that is your favourite instrumental

Orchestral – Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. It’s a tough choice to make in the world of purely instrumental music, but I love this and could listen to it all day.
Rock – Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive. It’s completely bonkers.

8) A track that represents one of your favourite bands

In A Glasshouse by Radiohead. Just to be different, and because it has Humphrey Lyttleton and his band playing on it.

9) A track which best represents yourself

As I see me? Riff-raff by Giles Swayne, played by Kevin Bowyer. It’s not your traditional organ music.

10) A track which reminds you of a special person

Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd.

11) A track to which you can relax

Fishing Junks At Sunset, by Jean-Michel Jarre. I like all the Chinese instruments in it as well as Jarre’s great synths.

12) A track that stands for a really good time in your life

That time is now, so anything by Rufus Wainwright.

13) A track that is currently your favourite

Beautiful Child, by Rufus Wainwright. I love the lyrics (“when I am older than these small goddamned hills”) and the music is so uplifting, it makes me feel immediately happy.

14) A track that you'd dedicate to your best friend

For A it has to be anything Renaissance, so something by Tallis or Monteverdi. I’d go for something that I know, and pick Spem in alium, Tallis’ fabulous 40-part motet.

15) A track that you like especially for its lyrics

The Art Teacher by Rufus Wainwright. The story it tells, the wryness of it. You want to know more about the narrator of the story.

16) A track that no one likes but you

I can’t really think of anything I like that none of my friends don’t. Maw’s Violin Concerto, perhaps. Though that’s more because no-one I know has actually listened to it.

17) A track that you like that's neither English nor German

I don’t know many German songs, apart from lieder. Of other languages, I’d have to pick Latin, and go for the Sanctus from Durufle’s Requiem. It’s the stand-out movement from a beautiful setting of the Requiem mass, and not as well-known as it should be.

18) The track that best lets you release tension

This one is easy. Loud organ music, particularly loud French organ music. So Jesus accepte la soufrance from Messiaen’s La Nativite du Seigneur, preferably played by Jennifer Bate. It has enormous crashing chords and pedal notes that thunder through you. Fantastic!

19) A track you want to be played at your funeral

I’d like Howells’ Collegium Regale (King’s College) setting of the Nunc dimittis sung at my funeral. Because it’s appropriate for death, and the setting is beautiful. A good tenor to do the solo, though, is a must. If a choir isn’t available, then John Cale’s version of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

20) A track that you'd nominate for "Best Track of All Time".

It’s simply impossible. I don’t know whether to go for Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro as the single track, or a whole symphony. Okay, a bit leftfield, but I always find it moving, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis.

I daresay that if I tried this at some other point in my life, there might have been a lot more Radiohead on this list.


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