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  1. #1

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    A "Desert Island Discs" Thread

    Since January 29, 1942, the BBC has broadcast a radio show called Desert Island Discs. On that program, a famous guest answers questions about his or her life and the prospect of living on a deserted island with only some music, three books, and a luxury item for company. Every few minutes, an excerpt from the guest's list of eight pieces of music is played. The idea is that each piece should touch on something personal that the interviewee is willing to share with the public, but I have no intention of presenting my own list in that way and can hardly expect anyone else to do so. And on that note...

    Here's the format (unless you'd rather do something else ): List eight of your favorite pieces of music, along with the book and luxury item you would take with you to the desert island. As in the radio program, the complete works of Shakespeare and the King James Bible are available to you already. (Scant comfort to those who dislike both Shakespeare and the Bible, but at least they'll have some blunt objects with which to fend off hostile fauna and bring down coconuts from their trees.) If you'd like to go the Birgit Nilsson route and choose six of your own recordings, you'll get no objection from me. If you'd rather present multiple lists--a classical one and a list of popular songs, for example--that's fine, too.

    As this is FSU, I might as well post links to the skater interviews. If you haven't listened to one before, I suggest clicking on "Download to keep", as "Listen now" has never worked for me.

    Belita (Jepson-Turner), January 23, 1953 (audio unavailable)
    John Curry, February 12, 1977
    Robin Cousins, January 3, 1981
    Last edited by falling_dance; 07-30-2013 at 11:08 PM.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

  2. #2

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    To get the coconut rolling...

    Classical music (including music that isn't really classical, but whatever.)

    Buxtehude, Praeludium in G minor, BuxWV149 (played by René Saorgin)

    Beethoven, Piano Trio in B-flat major ("Archduke"), Op. 97, First Movement (performed by Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jacqueline Du Pré)

    Chopin, Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31 (played by Martha Argerich)

    Sibelius, Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 82, Third Movement (Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    Shostakovich, Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 61, Third Movement (played by Valentina Lisitsa)

    Glass, Overture from La Belle et la Bête

    Glass, "Spaceship" from Einstein on the Beach - By the third week, I'll be waiting for an actual spaceship to come and rescue me.

    Coates, "Evening--The Tissue Door", from Lyric Suite for Piano Trio ("Split the lark--and you'll find the music"; performed by Peter Sheppard Skærved, Neil Heyde, and Roderick Chadwick) - I'd rather listen to the whole thing, actually, or at least to hear it from "Noon - is the Hinge of Day" to the end, but then I insist on binding myself to the non-existent rules of this thread.

    (Apparently, someone has a musical sweet tooth, needs a nap, or both. )


    Popular music

    Love, "¡Que Vida!"
    Nick Drake, "''Cello Song"
    Neil Young, "Time Fades Away" (This would be a bootleg.)
    Stevie Wonder, "Please Don't Go"
    Brian Eno, "Back in Judy's Jungle"
    Joan Armatrading, "Down to Zero"
    Moby, "Run On"
    Radiohead, "You and Whose Army?"

    Temporally displaced Boomer, reporting for duty.

    For a few minutes, I was faced with the painful () decision of removing one of these tracks in favor of "'Cello Song", but EMI made it easy for me by having videos of Roxy Music's "Three and Nine" muted or taken down.

    Book: The Arcades Project, by Walter Benjamin (because it lends itself to skipping around )

    Luxury item: A bed with pillows, sheets, a blanket, and plenty of mosquito netting
    Last edited by falling_dance; 07-31-2013 at 05:25 PM.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

  3. #3

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    OMG. You chose Chopin's Scherzo! That is the baddest jam around. I love listening to it in my car (as played by Ashkenazy).
    Definitely one of my all time faves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falling_dance View Post
    As in the radio program, the complete works of Shakespeare and the King James Bible are available to you already.
    Did they give a reason why those two are available in a desert island?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAngel View Post
    Did they give a reason why those two are available in a desert island?
    I'm guessing that it's because they'd otherwise be such popular choices. It reminds me of how, after Wheel of Fortune had been on for many years, the letters R, S, T, L, N, and E were simply given in the final round. I should have added that the Bible could be replaced by the key text of a different religion or school of thought. Or are you asking why it would ever be reasonable to expect to find either book just lying around on a desert island? Speaking only as the OP of this thread, the answer is "magic" (or else that you could just take them with you).
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    It's both I'm one of those who would use those books to throw at wild animals, so I did wonder about their popularity I also wondered if they gave a fake reason why those two can be found in their desert island. I guess they didn't :lol

  7. #7
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    I will have to come back to complete this list later, but three absolutely positively can't miss tracks would have to be:

    Canadian Brass - Tocatta and Fugue in D minor

    Vaughn Williams' The Lark Ascending (not necessarily this recording tho)

    Oscar Peterson - Hymn to Freedom

    (Is it just single tracks or are we allowed to pick whole albums? Coz I have an album that has the whole Canadiana Suite + Hymn to Freedom, which I played so much I actually wore it out -- thank goodness for digital backups!)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    (Is it just single tracks or are we allowed to pick whole albums? Coz I have an album that has the whole Canadiana Suite + Hymn to Freedom, which I played so much I actually wore it out -- thank goodness for digital backups!)
    While the radio show requires that the selections be narrowed down to tracks, this thread doesn't. And even if it did, it wouldn't be for me to object.

    If anyone has refrained from posting because s/he would only like to post one list, or more than two, or don't wish to post YouTube links, then, by all means, post away! Also, there's no rule saying that any of the tracks has to be classical.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    I'd choose The Skye Boat Song (Over the Sea to Skye) because it would remind me of when I lived in the U.K. and listened to Desert Island Discs and everybody -- but everybody -- who was a guest on that program chose it as one of the seven disks he would have on a desert island.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 08-01-2013 at 06:48 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    I'd choose The Skye Boat Song (Over the Sea to Skye) because it would remind me of when I lived in the U.K. and listened to Desert Island Disks and everybody -- but everybody -- who was a guest on that program chose it as one of the seven disks he would have on a desert island.
    When Barbara Taylor Bradford and John Kenneth Galbraith both approved of something, you know it must have been good.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

  11. #11

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    I'd need some time to choose the music, though at least four Beethoven symphonies would be on there. I know the books, though: A Tale of Two Cities, Gaudy Night, and Little Dorrit.

    I need some time to think about the luxury item, too.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  12. #12
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    bumping for excellent idea and content.

    (i'll post mine by Skate America, promise! )

  13. #13

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    I've always thought since listening to it from a very young age that I'd want one of my picks to be the program theme music itself.

    Other choices:
    Nick Cave - O Children
    Underworld - And I Will Kiss
    EriK Satie - Gymnopedie No. 1
    Jeff Buckley & Elizabeth Fraser - All Flowers In Time
    Guillemots - Through the Windowpane (I'd cheat and want the whole album)
    Holst - The Planets Suite

    I can't pick one book, but my luxury would be a never ending supply of sunscreen!
    Last edited by morqet; 08-03-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  14. #14

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    alternate list:

    Patti Page, "Old Cape Cod"
    the theme of TV's Newhart
    The Pointer Sisters, "Be There"
    the start screen music of Super Mario Kart (SNES)
    "Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, we have begun to celebrate ..." from Nixon in China
    Change, "The End"
    Alfred Deller, "All the Pretty Little Horses"
    Dee Dee Wonder, "In the Land of Banana Fishes"

    Book: You Are a Millionaire! (Choose Your Own Adventure series)
    Luxury Item: eight pairs of gold-thread Snoxx

    ...which is my way of saying that I'd be interested to read any and all contributions to this thread.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    i'll post mine by Skate America, promise!

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    Ok fine.

  17. #17
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    Here are mine:

    Classical Music


    Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor

    Schubert's String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor - 'Der Tod und das Madchen'

    Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major ('Emperor'), the second movement - Adagio un poco mosso

    Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

    Elgar's Sea Pictures IV: Where Corals Lie (Opus 37)

    Schutz' German Requiem (Musikalische Exequien, SWV 279)

    Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B Minor (the 'Unfinished Symphony')



    Popular Music


    Joan Armatrading - Down to Zero

    Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World

    The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby

    Jackson Browne - Linda Paloma

    Johnny Cash - Hurt

    The Beatles - A Day in the Life

    The Stranglers - Golden Brown

    Neil Young - Ambulance Blues


    It's hard to choose just one book besides the King James Bible (or whichever holy book is meaningful for one's faith), plus The Complete Works of Shakespeare, but eventually I decided on Gulliver's Travels for its great humanity and humour. (And it's NOT a children's book. ) As for my luxury item, I'd choose a diving suit with unlimited breathing air cylinders and all the other components that make up scuba gear. I hope I can count this as one thing. In this way I'd be able to see all the fish and other beautiful sea creatures that inhabit the tropical seas.

    OT aside: A part of Schubert's Unfinished is used in one of my favourite films, Double Indemnity.
    Last edited by orientalplane; 10-18-2013 at 06:10 PM.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  18. #18
    Mad for mangelwurzels
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    I'd need some time to choose the music, though at least four Beethoven symphonies would be on there. I know the books, though: A Tale of Two Cities, Gaudy Night, and Little Dorrit.
    You're only allowed to choose one book.
    I hear outside a million panicking birds, and know even out there comfort is done with; it has shattered even the stars, this creature at last come home to me.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by orientalplane View Post
    You're only allowed to choose one book.
    That rule isn't to be taken lightly. John Major was canoed off the island in disgrace for trying to smuggle in the entirety of the Barsetshire Chronicles.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

  20. #20

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    I sent this list to orientalplane; and I'll share it here:

    Composers- the Baroque/Classical/Romantic have always been favorites.

    Bach, and Handel appear to my sense of "order".
    Mozart, for joy
    Chopin, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saens for emotional release.
    I love Debussy and Elgar, as you do.

    Favorite pianists:
    Dinu Lipatti, Artur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels - among the historic greats
    Nicolai Lugansky - current day

    These are some of the performances I would want "at hand"

    A few links:

    Paul Robeson - Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 (Bach)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J23NKilZdz8
    Marian Anderson - Elegie (Massenet)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajxQDNFkz4o
    Marian Anderson - Casta Diva
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPGEi...9DD6AA64BDEFB7
    Dinu Lipatti - Bach Chorale prelude bwv 639
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fhqqxEQRRY
    Dinu Lipatti - Bach Chorale Prelude BWV 659
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDAD9...C0B8CE46BB488B
    Dinu Lipatti - Bach-Hess Chorale "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7PNFDrcqmY
    Nikolai Lugansky Rachmaninov Prelude Op 23 No. 5
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNIulCcuKv4

    A few skating performances:

    John Curry - After All
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXJq...9D2AA805E1A5C0
    John Curry - La Valse 1983 IPFSC
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D3u...9D2AA805E1A5C0
    John Curry Tarantella
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z79SDUYqlt4
    Toller Cranston - 1989 :"Tales From The Vienna Woods"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vea3ne0UN0
    Brian Boitano 1988 Canvas of Ice
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZLmfp3bhHU
    Michelle Kwan - 1998 World Pro "Lamento d'Ariane"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzIMASKRm_4
    Jeremy ABBOTT - 2010 US NATIONALS - FS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPS7J9wyaFg
    Jeffrey Buttle - Nimrod - Enigma Variations
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mk45t4pJIc
    Jeffrey Buttle 2008 SOI 'Eclogue for Piano and Strings'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMgoBjmzl0U

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