‘For all artists (actors, dancers and musicians both pop and classical) our hearts and souls have quite simply been ripped from us during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our lives are fulfilled when we are out performing and engaging with our public. Many of the tracks on my playlist bring me as close as possible during this lockdown period to those artists I cherish most – The Sixteen and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society. I have been smiling and laughing a lot compiling it.’ – Harry Christophers
Listen to the playlist via Spotify below and read on for more detailed descriptions of the music from Harry.
1. Libera nos
‘Free us, save us’ – this text couldn’t be more pertinent for the time we are in. This is trademark Sixteen and has to be a desert island track for me. I miss my group so much not only their singing but their friendship – they are very special.
2. Laetatus sum a 5
I don’t know what Monteverdi was on but this piece just rocks – when the bassoon comes in I just grin all over.
3. Hans Zimmer – Gladiator
Best film score ever.
4. Haydn’s Symphony 99 last movement
Haydn is so witty, so punchy and so full of surprises; just love the horns ‘poop poop’ after the first statement
5. Purcell’s What greater Bliss can Fate bestow (from ‘Sound the trumpet, beat the Drum’)
We had so much fun recording this. Mark Dobell and Ben Davies herald the choir in and they in turn hand over to the band for the ebullient Chaconne. Turn the volume full up and cast all cares and sorrows away. This is Purcell Pure Genius.
6. Jethro Tull’s Mother Goose
It’s pretty well documented that I love Tull and Led Zep. Ian Anderson once said ‘with my lyrics and Led Zepp’s music we could be quite a good rock and roll band’ – didn’t go down too well with Roger Plant apparently!
7. Handel’s See from his post Euphrates flies / Why faithless river (from Belshazzar)
Last year was our 40th anniversary (my Ruby wedding and The Sixteen’s 40 years) and we staged this at The Grange Festival. We had a ball.
8. MacMillan’s Symphony 5 last movement ‘Igne vel igne’
A mega achievement all round. High octane on all levels!
9. Gjermund Larsen Trio
My fabulous leader, Sarah Sexton gave me this cd and said you’ve got to listen to it – it’s just brilliant. She’s right – mind you, she always is.
10. Haydn’s Achieved is the glorious work
And I miss my other group across the pond in Boston. I’ve been at their helm for the last 12 years and I have made so many new friends. Here’s hoping I will be with you again soon