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Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 30 Jan 2005

Composer

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Peter Maxwell Davies.

He is one of Britain's greatest living composers. His career has seen him go from enfant terrible and champion of new music, writing pieces such as Worldes Blis and Eight Songs for a Mad King, to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music. Peter Maxwell Davies was born in Salford, near Manchester, in 1934. Whilst studying at Manchester University and the Royal Manchester College of Music he formed the key friendships which were to influence his musical career - with Harrison Birtwhistle, Elgar Howarth, Alexander Goehr and John Ogdon. It was during the 60s that Peter composed some of his most influential works - including often cacophonous, expressionist pieces like Vesalii Icones, St. Thomas Wake and Worldes Blis. Music-theatre pieces like Eight Songs were groundbreaking in their use of drama, as well as music. He is fascinated by the mathematical structures and patterns that exist in nature - and tries to replicate them in his music. For more than 30 years he has lived on and been inspired by the Isles of Orkney where, he says, the sounds that surround him creep into his music almost without him knowing it.

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

Choices

The monks of the Benedictine Monastry of Santo Domingo de Silos

1.

Castaway's favourite

The monks of the Benedictine Monastry of Santo Domingo de Silos

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Performer: The monks of the Benedictine Monastry of Santo Domingo de Silos

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No. 38 in D major 'Prague' - 1st movement

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Others who chose this artist

John Dowland

3.

John Dowland

Lachrimae Antiquae

Composer: John Dowland

Others who chose this artist

The Beatles

4.

The Beatles

Yesterday

Performer: The Beatles

Others who chose this artist

Alexander Goehr

5.

Alexander Goehr

Little Symphony, Op 15

Composer: Alexander Goehr

Others who chose this artist

George Mackay Brown

6.

George Mackay Brown

The Old Woman

Performer: George Mackay Brown

The Band of the Royal Engineers

7.

The Band of the Royal Engineers

Stafford Yeomanry

Performer: The Band of the Royal Engineers

Dmitri Shostakovich

8.

Dmitri Shostakovich

Symphony No. 9 in E flat major

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

Others who chose this artist

Book

Sanskrit dictionary by

Others who chose this author

Religious text

Bhagavad-Gita

Luxury item

Copper plate engravings of Durer’s Passion

Others who chose a similar luxury

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sat 25 Jun 1983

Composer

Peter Maxwell Davies is not only a prolific composer, he is also Director of Music at Dartington Hall Summer School and Director of the Fires of London, a group specialising in twentieth-century music which he conducts on their many concert tours. Most of his composing is done in the tranquillity and isolation of his home in the Orkneys.

In conversation with Roy Plomley, he talks about the various facets of his life and chooses the eight records he would take to the mythical island.

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

Choices

Ludwig van Beethoven

1.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven

Others who chose this artist

Maurice Ravel

2.

Maurice Ravel

The frogs (from L'enfant et les sortilèges)

Composer: Maurice Ravel

Others who chose this artist

Arnold Schoenberg

3.

Arnold Schoenberg

Five Orchestral Pieces - No. 3

Composer: Arnold Schoenberg

Others who chose this artist

Elliott Carter

4.

Elliott Carter

Concerto For Orchestra

Composer: Elliott Carter

Others who chose this artist

Béla Bartók

5.

Béla Bartók

String Quartet No. 5

Orchestra: Hungarian String Quartet

Others who chose this artist

Claudio Monteverdi

6.

Claudio Monteverdi

Pur ti miro (from The Coronation of Poppea )

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi

Others who chose this artist

Jean Sibelius

7.

Jean Sibelius

Symphony No. 7 in C Major

Composer: Jean Sibelius

Others who chose this artist

William Byrd

8.

Castaway's favourite

William Byrd

Agnes Dei

Composer: William Byrd

Others who chose this artist

Book

Ulysses by James Joyce

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Music manuscript paper and pens

Others who chose a similar luxury

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