Monthly Archives: August 2011

Dirk Bogarde’s Desert Island Discs

Here’s the first of a new weekly series I’ll be creating based on the Desert Island Discs of consequential people. The first is Dirk Bogarde. You can listen to all of the songs (bar Oscar Straus) on the playlist I created on Spotify of these songs. Go here.

Broadcast on the 28th September 1964.

1. Franz Liszt: Consolation No.3 in D flat major

2. Oscar Straus: C’est la saison d’amour

3. Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in E Flat/Hungarian Rhapsody

4. Judy Garland & the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: The Worst Kind of Man

5. Franz Lehár: Vilja (from The Merry Widow)

6. Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor

7. Carol Channing: Hello Dolly! (from Hello Dolly!)

8. Rex Harrison: I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

Dirk chose The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss as his book and John Signer Sargent’s painting ‘Conversation Piece: The Sitwell Family’ as his luxury.

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Be a Mensch

Given that the only way to mount a modern musical is to base it upon an existing property, I’ve decided that someone needs to make one of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. It’s awkward mix of comedy and suicide suits the hysterical pitch of the operetta perfectly, but it also has the key ingredient in any surefire West End/Broadway hit: colourful Jewish stereotypes. In the above clip (skip to 12:36 as youtube won’t let me deeplink to the correct moment), you see illustrated the moment when a piano trills, Dr Dreyfuss warms his voice and what is sure to be a future classic – the kind you find yourself incanting in the shower for years after the performance – begins to play. The song is called ‘Be A Mensch’ and I’m taking offers of composers from now onwards.

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