1) Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung - Wagner
I don’t get to play much opera but was lucky enough to perform this with Welsh National Opera for the 80th birthday concert of Sir Charles Mackerras. The great man was conducting, it was a special night to remember. Such powerful playing and singing. Earplugs needed!
2) Four Last Songs - Strauss
Sublime music, sung in this 2008 recording by Renee Fleming. I’ve chosen the 3rd song, Beim Schlafengehen because I also love the rather beautiful violin solo. If the lockdown ends before October’ I’ll get a chance to play it myself. Fingers crossed.
3) Die Schöne Müllerin - Schubert
This is a live recording from the cité de la musique, Paris. I was in the audience listening in awe to Thomas Quasthoff singing with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Claudio Abbado.
4) Wonderwall - Oasis
I’m a rugby fan. Wonderwall was the unofficial anthem for the successful Lions Tour of South Africa in 1997 - Happy memories!
5) Octet (1st movement) - Mendelssohn
Written when he was just 16 years old and so joyful to play. I’ve been coaching this piece to students every year at the Young Grittleton Chamber Music course. Like so many other summer schools it’s been cancelled but will be back in 2021.
6) Sextet in Bb - Brahms
Fond memories playing this sextet, very late at night, with friends (and much red wine) in the Piazza Grande, Montepulciano.
7) Showboat – Bill - Kern/Hammerstein
My first job out of college was to play Showboat in the West End. It was a joint production between Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company; so, the singing and acting was amazing. I never got bored of listening to this song.
8) Warsaw Concerto - Addinsell
A really great recording by Royal Ballet Sinfonia with soloist, Martin Jones. I knew Martin from my student days in Cardiff and this was my grandfather’s favourite pieces of classical music - so lovely connections.
9) Symphony No.29 - Mozart
The first symphony I ever played after joining my school orchestra. I loved it, but it must have sounded like a fire in a pet shop.
10) The Outside Half Factory (Live at Treorchy) - Max Boyce
As everybody knows, the best rugby team in the world is Wales. I think Max Boyce gives an excellent explanation of why this is.