Janet Backer's Desert Island Discs

  • Posted on: 8 March 2020
  • By: huw

Janet Backer from the altos lists and explains her discs to take to a desert island.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - JS Bach (1723).
When I was a child I used to love listening while my Dad played this on the piano.

In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry.
The first vinyl single I ever bought in 1970!

Gaudete - Steeleye Span (1972) .
At the time I was learning Latin and learnt all the verses off by heart. The music starts softly and gets louder as though the group of carol singers is coming towards you, then tapers off at the end as they fade into the distance. Gaudete is from Piae Cantiones 1582.

Ubi Caritas - Durufle (1960) .
This short piece has the most beautiful harmonies and is very moving.

Avalon - Roxy Music (1982) .
This track has an ethereal, atmospheric quality.

Bolero - Ravel (1928) .
Who can forget Torvill & Dean's performance to this piece at the 1984 winter Olympics as it builds from a quiet start to the dramatic climax.

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (1975) .
My college friends and I had never heard pop music quite like this – mind blowing!

Theme from Revolutionary Road - Thomas Newman (2008) .
I am a great admirer of Newman who writes film scores. The first track seems to symbolise a lifespan. It starts out 'enquiring' like a child growing up. The middle section is more urgent and fevered, symbolic of mid-life activity. The ending is calmer and quieter ….