String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135
Orchestra: The Hollywood String Quartet
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the American composer, singer and song-writer Randy Newman. Colleagues say he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with musical legends Cole Porter and George Gershwin. He first made his name by writing mordant and often satirical pop songs - including A Few Words in Defence of Our Country, Political Science and Short People. For the past 25 years he has been better known for his Hollywood film music - including writing the scores for the first four Disney/Pixar films. He held the unique distinction for being Oscar-nominated 15 times without winning until 2002, when he picked up the award for Best Original Song for If I Didn't Have You from Monsters Inc. His songs are often written from the point of view of unlikeable characters - from slave masters to stalkers - it was a style, he acknowledges, that wasn't universally liked, but he adds: "I wouldn't have it any differently".
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
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