Thursday 22 January 2015

Desert Island Discs - First record: Overture to Rossini's opera The Thieving Magpie


According to the rules, the castaway can take eight records, one book (other than the Bible and Shakespeare, which are already provided) and a luxury item which must be of no practical value.

The conceit is that these should sustain life on a Desert Island, in practice the idea is to make a selection which provides pegs upon which to hang a brief biography.

I insist that my interlocutor should be the programme's originator, the gentleman-enthusiast Roy Plomley (or Roy Plum-in-the-mouth as I used to quip as a teenager).


First disc: Rossini's overture to The Thieving Magpie.

This was my favourite of four overtures featured on our family's one and only classical music record when I was a young child. I used to visualize the story of the opera (as summarized on the sleeve notes) as I listened - including a part which I added-in where a cat stalked the magpie. 

So it symbolizes my very happy early life, and the rhythm of its main theme - diddly dum-dum-dum daah - still has a function in being my favourite music used to wake up my wife and children - especially my daughter.

It is also a delightful piece of music; sunny, effortlessly tuneful, brilliantly orchestrated and very exciting!



JP said...

Can't help thinking of A Clockwork Orange when I hear it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JP - I was wise enough *not* to watch that movie - but foolish enough to read the book.