Our politicians face the music

1. Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan
2. Ernie, Benny Hill
3. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
4. On Wings of Song, Mendelssohn, Kiri Te Kanawa and Utah Symphony Orchestra
5. Fake Plastic Trees, Radiohead
6. This Charming Man, Smiths,
7. Perfect Circle, R.E.M,
8. All these Things that I've Done, The Killers

If the Conservatives win tomorrow's general election that list will be the musical tastes of our new prime minister, David Cameron. He chose those tracks in 2006 for the BBC's long running Desert Island Discs programme. It prompted a wonderful rant from Peter Maxwell Davies who described it as 'musical garbage'.

Gordon Brown appeared on the programme back in 1996 and his choices were only marginally more inspiring: at least there was no Benny Hill and there was Bach, albeit predictably the Suite for Orchestra No 3 in D major. When Nick Clegg appeared on Michael Berkeley's Private Passions programme on BBC Radio 3 in 2008 his selection was notably eclectic if somewhat Western pre-modern. Call me a cynic, but I suspect that this choice of music for a BBC Radio 3 programme by the future Lib Dem leader included an element of tactical voting:

1. Schubert Impromptu E flat minor, Alfred Brendel
2. Mozart Laudate Dominum (from the Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K339), Kiri Te Kanawa, ECO/Barry Rose
3. Chopin Piano Concerto no 2 in F minor (2nd movement, Larghetto,)
Valdimir Ashkenazy, Warsaw PO/Zdzislaw Gorzynski
4. Schubert Erlkönig, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
5. Chopin Waltz in A Minor, op posth, Claudio Arrau
6. Richard Strauss Beim Schlafengehen (No 3 from Four Last Songs), Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Berlin RSO/George Szell

I'll leave it to readers who know their political candidates and their German to decide if Nick Clegg's choice of that particular Strauss song has Freudian overtones. But staying with elections, for one Labour politician size definitely mattered.

Photo of election TV debate via metro.co.uk. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Frank Little said…
No Dutch or Russian composers in Nick Clegg's selection, I notice. ;-)
billoo said…
pli, you haven't put down Nick Griffin's choice? That would be interesting.
Halldor said…
So Max regards Radiohead, Bob Dylan and The Smiths as "musical garbage"? No blinkered snobbery there, then. What a progressive.

Honestly, these pillars of the classical establishment, you'd think they lived on some island in the middle of nowhere...oh...
Pliable said…
Re. Nick Griffin's music -

Personally, I would find it very hard not to appear on Desert Island Discs or Private Passions and not choose something by Bob Dylan.

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