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Sir David Willcocks

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 May 1998

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is 'England's choir master', Sir David Willcocks. For some 38 years he trained the Bach Choir - the most popular amateur choir in Britain. His retirement in 1998 he describes as ""like the end of an affair"". As the Director of Music at Kings College Cambridge, he tranformed small boys with dirty knees into an angelic choir. His gift is a mix of natural talent and experience. At the age of eight he joined the choir school at Westminster Abbey, where he was conducted by Elgar. Later, he worked closely with Vaughan Williams whose humility and humour he remembers, produced some masterful performances.

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

Favourite track: Oh Sacred Head by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: Book on astronomy
Luxury: King's College Chapel

Music Played

8 items
  • Image for George Frideric Handel

    George Frideric Handel Zadok the Priest

    Choir: The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge Orchestra: The English Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Sir David Willcocks

    The World of King’s, Decca

  • Image for Boris Ord

    Boris Ord Adam lay i-bounden (from Ceremony of Carols)

    Choir: The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge Conductor: Phillip Ledger

    A Festival of Lessons & Carols from King’s, EMI Classics

  • Image for Benjamin Britten

    Benjamin Britten Dies irae (from War Requiem)

    Choir: The Bach Choir Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Conductor: Benjamin Britten

    War Requiem, Decca

  • Image for Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ralph Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

    Orchestra: Sinfonia of London Conductor: Sir John Barbirolli

    English String Music, EMI

  • Image for Gregorio Allegri

    Gregorio Allegri Miserere

    Soloist: Roy Goodman Choir: King’s College Choir, Cambridge Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Sir David Willcocks

    The World of King’s, Decca

  • Image for Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach St Matthew Passion - O Haupt voll Blut

    Choir: The Bach Choir Orchestra: The Thames Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Sir David Willcocks

    St Matthew Passion, ASV

  • Image for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Serenade No. 13 in G major 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik' - 4th movement

    Orchestra: Hanover Band Conductor: Roy Goodman

    Symphony No. 40, Basset Clarinet Concerto, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Nimbus

  • Image for Jonathan Willcocks

    Jonathan Willcocks The Holly and the Ivy

    Choir: The Bach Choir Orchestra: The Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble Conductor: Sir David Willcocks

    The Bach Choir Family Carols, Chandos

Credits

Presenter
Sue Lawley

Broadcasts

Free downloads

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