desert island mixed tape

So, now for something a bit different. I love music. And there are a few pieces of music that top that list; that punch me right in the chest, take my breath away. They’re the songs that make me hate living in an apartment where I can’t buy the best speaker system and blast these loud. These are my favourite pieces of music of all time… or at least of the ones that I’ve heard. I was going to do a ‘top five’… then a ‘top ten’.  Screw it. Let’s just do the ‘Desert Island Mixed Tape’. Except, this may be cheating a bit as some of these pieces are an hour or more long! Also, some of this list may be slightly NSFW.  These are in no particular order.

Aurora’s Desert Island Mixed Tape

Track One: Beethoven’s Symphony #9

I said these were in no particular order.  That’s true, except for this one, which really started off this whole idea.  I don’t really have anything much to say about this except: it’s amazing and I don’t care if it’s the pop of classical music and everyone loves it. Maybe there’s a reason for that…

Preferred combination – Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Track Two: Prelude to War (Battlestar Galactica Season 2 Soundtract); Bear McCreary

McCready is one of this generation’s great popular composers, I think. Along with John Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Horner.

So say we all.

Track Three: Duel of the Fates (Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Soundtrack); John Williams

Star Wars. If you know me, you know I don’t need to say anything else here.

May the Force be with you.

Track Four: Too Much Love Will Kill You, Queen

(These are the Days of Our Lives and The Great Pretender almost beat this one to the list.)

Track Five: 1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky

(But only if there is artillery involved, please.)

Track Six: Ravel’s Bolero

I love the build up.  Also, this guy conducts with a toothpick!

Track Seven: Mozart’s Requiem

Especially Lacrimosa.

Track Eight: Nessun Dorma (from Turnadot), performed by The Three Tenors

I love any great performance of this piece, but these guys were the best for a reason.

Track Nine: Secrets/Far Above the Clouds (Tubular Bells 3), Mike Oldfield


Track Ten: The Bells, Jeff Mills

Not a theme, I swear.

Track Eleven: A drum solo

I love me a great drum solo. You don’t even know. This guy’s one of the best.

Track Twelve: O Fortuna (from Carmina Burana), Carl Orff

It took me forever (well, a decade or two) to find out what this piece of music was called! Thankfully, I was watching a live stream of a podcast, someone was listening to this piece, and a second person identified it. Yay podcasts!

Track Thirteen: The Sound of Silence, Disturbed

I love the original, and I love Disturbed. This combination is amazing.  Like Beethoven, I don’t mind jumping on a bandwagon if something is really great.

Track Fourteen: Highway of Heroes, The Trews

A Nova Scotia artist makes the cut!  This one gets me every. single. time. And the piping…

Track Fifteen: Hurt, Nine Inch Nails

Reznor is anger. Cash is resignation. They are both amazing and while I could take either version to the Island, I include Nine Inch Nails in this list because I think eveyone’s heard Johnny Cash’s cover and I’d  been listening to NiN for years before Cash released his version.

Track Sixteen: White Cliffs of Dover, Vera Lynn

Hope. (Also, you get a bonus in this video!)

Track Seventeen: Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley

Leonard Cohen is an amazing writer, but I’m just not in to hearing him sing. Although I really don’t like k. d. lang, her version is up there with Buckley’s.

Track Eighteen: Piano Man, Billy Joel

I couldn’t say why I love this one so much. I do know that when it comes on the radio at work I’m really not accomplishing anything until it’s over.

Track Nineteen: Saving Josh, Trevor Morris

Pianos, strings, a swell of music, all behind powerful images on screen. (It’s a TV soundtrack piece.)

Track Twenty: In the Mood, Glenn Miller

Okay, a lot of this stuff has been kind of depressing. Let’s end on a high note.

What are your desert island picks?

2 thoughts on “Aurora’s Desert Island Mixed Tape”

  1. I don’t know a lot about composers, but my choices for great and popular (?) will always include Christopher Beck, and Murray Gold.

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