quinta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2012

Deixa-me rir...

Caros Audiophiles, BBC Radio this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of the world's longest-running radio shows Desert Island Discs. Created in 1942, each week a guest - who has reached a significant level of success in their chosen profession and who has led a rich and interesting life - is invited to imagine that he or she is abandoned alone on a desert island. The guest is asked to choose eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item for their imaginary stay on the island, while discussing a review of their personal and professional lives and the reasons for their choices.
At the end of the programme they must choose the one musical piece they regard most highly. They are then asked which book they would take with them, in addition to the Complete Works of Shakespeareand the Bible (or another religious or philosophical work) which are provided automatically.
Guests also choose one luxury item, which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside. Examples of luxuries have included champagne, a comfortable bed, daily newspapers, an endless supply of tea, the British Museum, and a piano. 
The show has become a much-loved national institution. It allows us to uncover those extraordinary moments which define who we are and perfectly illustrates music's ability to evoke pivotal moments in our lives.
Nearly 3000 guests have appeared until now. To celebrate this anniversary, the archives were researched to discover the most chosen pieces of music and the most popular composers:

Composers: 1 Mozart (805 times), 2 Beethoven (724), 3 Bach (687), 4 Schubert (362), 5 Verdi (333), 6 Elgar (329), 7 Tchaikovsky (318), 8 Puccini (298)...and not far behind Lennon/McCartney (255).

Music: 1 Beethoven's 'Choral' 9th symphony, 2 Rachmaninov 2nd piano concerto, 3 Schubert string quintet, 4 Beethoven 'Pastoral' 6th symphony, 5 Elgar 'Land of Hope and Glory', 6 Beethoven 'Emperor' 5th piano concerto, 7 Elgar Enigma variations, 8 Beethoven 7th symphony.
Research also determined the most requested 'pop' songs: these include Judy Garland's Over The Rainbow, Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World, Frank Sinatra's My Way and John Lennon's Imagine.

But the two most requested songs are surprisingly both by Edith Piaf - Non Je Ne Regrette Rien and La Vie en Rose, chosen 42 and 32 times respectively:

I would like to add my personal Edith Piaf favourite, Hymne a l'Amour, which always sends a tingle down my spine. I have included below a Portuguese translation of its lyrics:

O céu azul sobre nós pode desabar
E a terra bem pode desmoronar
Pouco me importa, se tu me amas
Pouco se me dá o mundo inteiro

Desde que o amor inunde minhas manhãs
Desde que meu corpo esteja fremindo sob tuas mãos
Pouco me importam os problemas
Meu amor, já que tu me amas.

Eu irei até o fim do mundo
Mandarei pintar meu cabelo de louro
(ou: Me transformarei em loura)
Se tu me pedires
Irei despendurar a lua
Irei roubar a fortuna
Se tu me pedires

Eu renegarei minha pátria
Renegarei meus amigos
Se tu me pedires
Bem podem rir de mim
Farei o que quer que seja
Se tu me pedires

Se um dia a vida te arrancar de mim
Se tu morreres, se estiveres longe de mim
Pouco me importa, se tu me amas,
Porque eu morrerei também

Teremos para nós a eternidade,
No azul de toda a imensidão
No céu não haverá mais problemas
Meu amor, acredite que nos amamos.
Deus reúne os que se amam.

A proxima.

3 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Excellent post, most interesting. A curious exercise for ourselves too. What do we consider essential in our lives? I love the idea of taking the British Museum with me to a desert island! If I were to take a museum, I don't know which one I would take (but not the British....). Also, even though the translated lyrics convey the feeling of the song, nothing like being able to understand French and soak in the depth and nuances of the beautiful, charming, romantic French language. Thanks, P. Bjs. pcp

JdB disse...

Very interesting post.
Can I assume, from the composers and musics chosen that the guests are of certain age? Above 60, I presume?
I'm sorry, but I don't like the translation. Seems to me too brazilian. But the music is very nice.

Anónimo disse...

The guests are generally aged 40+, being by now high achievers in their field. This could be artists, scientists, academics, politicians, business people, any profession you can think of. But there are guests also who are younger, for example sports people and pop stars. Probably only in recent years has the age range diversified wider, so the results reflect more perhaps the first 50 years of the show. But in fact all genres of music are represented to some degree, even if the "top scores" appear more "sophisticated". Many "older" guests choose 'pop' and 'rock', after all they were teenagers at the birth of rock n roll!
Interestingly, a public survey was done to determine the choices today of the show's audience: 1 Beatles, 2 Bob Dylan, 3 Beethoven, 4 Mozart, 5 Pink Floyd, 6 Bach, 7 Rolling Stones, 8 Elgar, 9 Vaughan Williams, 10 Queen... so the mix is evolving.
Finally, it is perhaps worth considering that guests' choices may be influenced by the imaginary desert island environment; a guest might choose completely differently in a different scenario. I might choose, for example, a Leonard Cohen song as an all-time favourite, but do I really want to hear him on a desert island? The show presents a simple format idea that is endlessly fascinating. Which is why it has survived so long!...PO

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