Over at his blog Entartete Musik, my pal Gavin Plumley links to Alan Bennett's piece in the London Review of Books in which our playwright muses that it's much easier to choose the eight records he wouldn't want on a desert island than those he would. Both he and Gavin are ready to chuck out, among other things, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and a spot of Mozart. (By the way, Minette Marrin has an interesting review of Bennett's The Habit of Art here at Standpoint which makes some interesting points about Britten that a lot of people are too reverential ever to voice, but that's another matter.)
My anti-desert island list would include:
Bob Dylan's Christmas album
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture
Orff Carmina Burana
Everything by Bruckner
That silly old recording of the Brandenburg Concertos on early instruments by the English Concert, made before they could play the objects properly.
Britten Death in Venice
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
On a totally different tack, thanks to everyone for the brilliant response on Twitter to Zimerman's Chopin Ballade yesterday! Glad you all loved it as much as I did, so we'll have some more very soon.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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