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Val McDermid

Michael Berkeley's guest is crime writer Val McDermid. Her musical selections include Vaughan Williams, Villa-Lobos, Robert Burns, Bruch, Weill, Janacek, Mozart and Glass.

Val McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime writing. Her novels - 30 so far - have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 30 languages. But in Private Passions she reveals that what she really wanted to be early on was a singer. As a teenager she played the guitar and sang in folk clubs, though hampered by the fact that she never managed to learn to read music, though she tried both as a child and an adult. But she still sings, with the poet Jackie Kay and with other friends.

In Private Passions, Val McDermid talks about the creative inspiration she finds in music, and how listening to music can cure writer's block. She chooses music connected with the sea - Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. Having been brought up by the sea on the East Coast of Scotland, she has never been able to be happy away from the sea. She includes the piece of Villa Lobos which opened up classical music to her, and a Robert Burns song which her father used to sing. Other choices include Bruch, Kurt Weill, Janacek, Mozart's Requiem and Philip Glass.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus Production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

35 minutes

Last on

Sun 6 Sep 2015 12:00

Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    A Sea Symphony (1st mvt)

    Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Vernon Handley.
  • Heitor Villa‐Lobos

    Bachiana Brasileira no.5 (Aria)

    Performer: Maurice Abravanel. Performer: David Soyer. Singer: Joan Baez.
  • Max Bruch

    Scottish Fantasy, Op.46 (Scherzo: Allegro)

    Performer: David Oistrakh. Orchestra: State Academic Symphony Orchestra of The Russian Federation.
  • Kurt Weill

    Surabaya Johnny

    Singer: Lotte Lenya.
  • Leos Janáček

    Sinfonietta (4th mvt: Allegretto)

    Orchestra: Bavarian R S O. Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
  • Philip Glass

    Forgetting (Songs from Liquid Days)

    Singer: Linda Ronstadt. Ensemble: Philip Glass Ensemble. Conductor: Michael Riesman.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Requiem in D minor (Benedictus)

    Orchestra: Concentus Musicus Wien. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Choir: Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor.
  • Robert Burns

    Corn Rigs

    Singer: Jean Redpath.


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