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Steven Isserlis

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 02 December 2007

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the cellist Steven Isserlis. It is, perhaps, little surprise that music has been central to his life. He was born into a family that already boasted a pianist, violinist and viola player within its ranks and so, as a child, he was taught the cello because it meant they could play chamber music together. Music was so much a part of their lives, he says, that even the pet dog would howl along an accompaniment as they played.

He was seen as a brilliant young cellist but he was determined not to become a jobbing musician, touting for work in different orchestras, and as a result he suffered nearly a decade with precious few musical engagements. It was The Protecting Veil - a composition by John Tavener - that made his name and now he has become one of the world's finest cello virtuosos.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Erbarme Dich - Have Mercy Lord on Me by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: The collected works by Anthony Trollope
Luxury: A huge, huge photo album of friends.

Music Played

8 items
  • Image for Franz Schubert

    Franz Schubert Fantasia in F minor, D940

    Soloist: Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu

    Piano Works: Mozart/Schubert, Sony

  • Image for Robert Schumann

    Robert Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B flat major 'Spring' - 1st movement

    Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Conducted: by Rafael Kubelik

    Schumann: Symphonies No 1, Sony Classical

  • Image for The Beatles

    The Beatles I'm Only Sleeping

    Revolver, Parlophone

  • Image for Terry Jones

    Terry Jones I'm So Worried

    Monty Python: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Virgin

  • Image for Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach St Matthew Passion - Erbarme dich

    Soloist: Andreas Scholl

    Bach: St Matthew Passion- Herreweghe, Harmonia Mundi

  • Image for Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 - 5th movement

    Orchestra: The Busch String Quartet

    Beethoven: Late String Quartets (vol 3.), Biddulph

  • Image for Hoffnung and Charles Richardson

    Hoffnung and Charles Richardson Hoffnung in Conversation with Charles Richardson

    Hoffnung - A Last Encore, BBC Radio Collection

  • Image for Gabriel Fauré

    Gabriel Fauré Tantum ergo

    Choir: The Chorale Gabriel Faure

    Faure Requiem, Choral works, Vox Unique

Credits

Presenter
Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest
Steven Isserlis

Broadcasts

Podcasts

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    Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1960-1969

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    Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1970-1986

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  4. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1951-1955

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1951-1955

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  5. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1956-1960

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1956-1960

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1961-1965

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1966-1970

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1971-1975

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  10. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1981-1985

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1981-1985

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1986-1991

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1991-1996

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1996-2000

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 2000-2005

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    Desert Island Discs Archive: 2005-2011

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    Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young

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