Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Anti Desert Island Discs

Charlotte Higgins, 'On Culture', in the Guardian, posts on 'What pieces of music would you happily never hear again?'  She quotes Alan Bennett's diary for 2009, in which he writes:
'It's years since I was on Desert Island Discs but these days I'd find it much easier to choose the eight records I don't want than those that I do. I don't ever want to hear again: Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition; Rimsky Korsakov, Sheherazade; Schubert, Fifth Symphony; Beethoven, Pastoral Symphony; Mozart, 40th Symphony. And it isn't that I've heard them too often. I just don't care for any of them.'
Interestingly, Charlotte Higgins, is reluctant to name her pieces, but does include Bellini, Donizetti, and Bruckner.

I too am reluctant to name pieces, partly because some pieces come and go, but then come back. Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique would definitely have been an example, along with Schubert's Ninth Symphony, due mainly to playing them too many times. But now I feel some shame for this as I'm wowed by Berlioz and awed by Schubert! Tchaikovsky similarly. I performed The Merry Widow by Lehar so many times that I thought I could never face hearing it again - it's not the greatest music anyway - but even now I find myself wistful for the Vilja-Lied, and I may even download it for nostalgia.  My idea of a musical hell included Country and Western, but not so long ago I purchased three Johnny Cash CD's! As yet, Prokofiev continues to hold no interest, but this too might change!

Now, if we were talking hymns or worship songs ...

If you're adventurous enough to put down what you would happily never hear again I'll be glad to hear from you.

3 comments:

Craig Gardiner said...

given that i still haven't answered your call for music that makes we still in wonder, i don't want to answer this one yet ... thought it has made me start thinking ... recently the chorus 'Majesty' appeared in a worship service and i thought to myself, that's not as bad as i remembered it.

Anonymous said...

There is a long one in BPW Think of a world without any flowers. It is dreadful.

simon said...

The trouble is that you could produce a long list of facile and tuneless songs that we sing in church.
Stuart Murray Williams describes many of these as 'Jesus is my girlfriend' songs and I think Draw me Close is one the ugliest examples of the genre. I'd be happy never to hear it again!