Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. As this year's Reith Lecturer on Radio 4 he described how he interprets and understands life through music. On Desert Island Discs he gives a personal insight into his own life and career. He was a child prodigy - the only son of musical parents, he gave his first piano recital at the age of seven and when he was 11 the legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler described him as 'a phenomenon'.
His marriage to the British cellist Jacqueline du Prè made them the most celebrated musical couple of their day - but less than two years after they were married, she began to show symptoms of multiple sclerosis - the disease that would kill her. In a moving interview recorded in his home in Jerusalem, Daniel Barenboim talks frankly about their relationship and the cruelty of her illness; he reveals his own musical influences and also discusses his plans to spend more time playing the piano, after stepping down as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra later this year.
He would, Daniel says, only take musical scores to the island, and not records.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Book: Ethics by Benedict Spinoza
Luxury: A piano with a mattress
|Interviewed Guest||Daniel Barenboim|