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October 2020 - Simon Taylor

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

Hejira - Joni Mitchell

The first 'pop' album I ever bought, and I still treasure it. I've chosen 'Hejira' as it's seen me through good times and bad times, and, though melancholy, has a steadfast hopefulness about it. Joni Mitchell writes the best lyrics ever.

Serenade to Music - Vaughan Williams

I've only really listened to this piece in the last year or so; I love the fact that there is still a wide world of music out there to discover. Serenade to Music is beautiful (wonderful solo violin at the beginning in this recording) and is, to me unashamedly and indulgently sentimental.

The Cunning Little Vixen - Leoš Janáček

You'll find me brimming with tears at the end of any of Janáček's operas - the stories reflect many human emotions and the finales are so intense and almost transcendent. I've chosen the second orchestral suite from The Cunning Little Vixen, though I would like the complete opera on my desert island. It's a simple but strange and wonderful study on the repeating cycles of nature, love, life and death.

Laudibus in sanctis - William Byrd

One of the many reasons I like being a member of the Bristol Chamber Choir is the wide variety of repertoire we sing; I've been introduced to many pieces and composers I'd maybe heard of but hadn't listened to. William Byrd is one of these, and Laudibus in sanctis is one of my favourites. I like it's playfulness and energy, and the section beginning Hunc arguta (bar 78) is, for me, sublime.

Teardrops - Womack & Womack

I'd want to have an occasional dance on the island, and who better to entice me on to the sandy dancefloor than Womack & Womack?! Poignant and bittersweet, 'Teardrops' takes me back my early twenties, living in Manchester in the late 80's and enjoying the incredibly varied music scene there.

Desert Island Discs is a radio show first broadcast first broadcast on the BBC Forces Programme on 29 January 1942. It's now broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and hosted by Lauren Laverne. You can find more information here.

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