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Simon Rattle

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 13 January 2008

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Sir Simon Rattle. For the past five years he has been Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic - regarded by many as the finest symphony orchestra in the world. He is only the sixth person to hold the position in 120 years and is the first Briton to take on the challenge.

Growing up in Liverpool in the 1960s, while other youngsters were listening to The Beatles, he was transfixed by Mahler and was determined to become a conductor. His talent was prodigious. He won an international conducting competition aged just 19 and so, with plenty of enthusiasm but scant experience, began his career. Initially because of his youth, his approach was collaborative rather than autocratic and it has been a style that brought tremendous results during his 18-year association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He insists that his approach with the Berlin Philharmonic is about teamwork too - but concedes that it is an orchestra that contains some very strong characters and very big egos.

He tells Kirsty how, choosing his Desert Island Discs, he has been drawn towards music that expressed joy and pain in equal measure.

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

Favourite track: Scherza Infida from Ariodante by George Frideric Handel
Book: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Luxury: Italian coffee machine and grinder.

Music Played

8 items
  • Image for Gustav Mahler

    Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9 in D major - 1st movement

    Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic Conductor: Simon Rattle

    Mahler’s 9th Symphony: Simon Rattle, EMI Classics

  • Image for Joni Mitchell

    Joni Mitchell Sometimes I'm Happy

    Both Sides Now, Reprise

  • Image for Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major - 1st movement

    Soloist: Giardino Armonico

    J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6, WCJ

  • Image for Leos Janacek

    Leos Janacek The Cunning Little Vixen Act 3 (finale)

    Soloist: Dalibor Jedlicka & Peter Saray Orchestra: The Vienna Philharmonic Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras.

    The Cunning Little Vixen, Decca

  • Image for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Serenade No. 10 in B flat major for 13 Wind Instruments - 3rd movement

    Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic

    Mozart: Serenade KV361, Orfeo

  • Image for Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn The great work is completed (from The Creation)

    Choir: Arnold Schoenberg Choir Orchestra: The Vienna Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt

    Haydn: Schopfung, Teldec

  • Image for Robert Schumann

    Robert Schumann Sleep on and rest in dreams (from Paradise and the Peri)

    Soloist: Barbara Bonney Choir: The Monteverdi Choir Orchestra: The Revolutionary & Romantic Orchestra Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner

    Schumann: Das Paradies & Die Peri, Archiv

  • Favourite Track

    • Image for George Frideric Handel

      George Frideric Handel Scherza infida (from Ariodante)

      Soloist: Magdalena Kozená

      Ah Mio cor! / Handel Arias Kozená /Venice Baroque Orchestra, Archiv Production

Credits

Presenter
Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest
Simon Rattle

Broadcasts

Podcasts

  1. Image for Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1942-1959

    Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1942-1959

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  2. Image for Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1960-1969

    Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1960-1969

    Some Desert Island Discs programmes only exist in their incomplete form. They may be missing…

  3. Image for Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1970-1986

    Desert Island Disc Fragment Archive 1970-1986

    Some Desert Island Discs programmes only exist in their incomplete form. They may be missing…

  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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  6. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1961-1965

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1961-1965

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  7. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1966-1970

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1966-1970

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  8. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1971-1975

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1971-1975

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  9. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1976-1980

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1976-1980

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

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1981-1985

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  11. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1986-1991

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1986-1991

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  12. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1991-1996

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1991-1996

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  13. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 1996-2000

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 1996-2000

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  14. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 2000-2005

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  15. Image for Desert Island Discs Archive: 2005-2011

    Desert Island Discs Archive: 2005-2011

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  16. Image for Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young

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