In compiling this mixtape I’ve tried to include tracks that represent both the decades of my life and musical tastes. Unfortunately Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up didn’t make the final edit although I was obsessed with this song towards the end of my first decade on this planet. My rather rebellious teenage years are best represented by Bowie’s Heroes – like all teenagers I really did think this was written just for me and my friends. My twenties coincided with the rise in ‘Britpop’ and after much deliberation I narrowed my choice down to Oasis’s Wonderwall – but the Directors’ Cut includes other greats from this era including Pulp’s Common People which narrowly lost out to the Gallagher brothers.
In my thirties I was travelling the world as part of my Corporate career, and spent many happy and insane weekends in New York – notionally for work but really to go dancing with my like-minded colleagues. Lady Gaga‘s Telephone best sums up this decade for me, or what I can remember of it.
I’ve always loved some of the great musicals. Whilst the Director’s Cut contains many of my favourite numbers, my selected track is Liza Minelli singing Cabaret – which, along with the Bernstein, will be played at my funeral.
An interest in my Jewish heritage has also led me to include some music with a Jewish theme. John William’s Schindler’s List theme needs little introduction other than to say it is the best soundtrack to a film ever. I’ve also included a classic Klezmer track which is typically haunting and uplifting at the same time, and the beautiful Shalom Aleichem which almost makes me want to light the candles and prepare a Sabbath supper.
My latest interest (or fad) is jazz and I am currently studying jazz piano: which is a totally different experience from classical piano. Thelonious Monk‘s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a great example of what I’ll never be able to do in a thousand years.
Choosing music to represent my classical (in the broadest sense of the word) taste proved near impossible. Wagner’s Liebestod missed the cut despite being the sexiest piece of music ever written (other than Tom Jones‘ Sex Bomb). Instead, I settled on music with a religious theme: Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms no.2, the Hebrew setting to The Lord is my Shepherd, contains the most beautiful countertenor aria to which I expect people to weep copiously when it is played at my funeral (and then party to Cabaret). To conclude my mixtape, the final Aria in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein” (Make Yourself Pure, My Heart). I’m sure there must be some way in which this sums up the entire collection but I’ll leave that to the listener to discern……
Here’s the 45 minute version:
And the Director’s Cut:
Rebecca Singerman-Knight is a piano teacher based in Teddington, SW London