Friday, 4 April 2014

The Sabre Dance

My VW van has a crappy FM/MW radio with a tape cassette player, not even a CD slot, so, out of necessity, I started downloading podcasts onto my phone to listen to on long journeys. Then I got really into Desert Island Discs, Radio 4's show that has run since prehistoric times.

The premise, for those who don't know it, is a notable person is invited onto the show to talk about their life and choose their eight favourite songs or tunes, the ones they'd take with them, if they were stranded, alone on a desert island. At first, I'd only listen to ones of people I knew and liked. Now I'm like a dog, staring at the phone, panting, waiting for the next one to arrive, and I'll listen to ones featuring lawyers, surgeons, politicians or scientists and they're often the best ones. Vidal Sassoon was probably my favourite ever. Who'd have thought the most famous hairdresser ever used to fist-fight fascists on the streets of London?

The difference between the podcast and the show is the music is cut on the podcast 'For rights reasons'.

This week, the guest was the Nobel-prize-winning physicist, Sir Andre Geim. Who? Neverheardovim. He, like a lot of guests, chose some fairly popular classical music, that I couldn't name, but recognised and remembered I really liked. It's often stuff that's I've heard since a kid, used in variety shows - behind a juggling act or something - or adverts or film soundtracks.

Anyway, I liked this one tune so much I remembered to look it up later. It turns out it is The Sabre Dance from Khachaturian's ballet Gayaneh, I know, I know, pretentious? Moi? But I think you'll recognise the tune. So, I did a search and this video popped up and made my already pretty made day. I hope it makes yours too.

I think this fella is 'a YouTube sensation', looking at how many videos he's posted and views he has, but I'd never heard of him. You can't hear the tune too well, so try this version too. It's a proper ear-worm. G


Nick said...

Just think what an impact that must have made when it was first performed

Dan said...

Morris Beckman's 'The 43 Group' is well worth a read if anyone's interested in more details about Vidal Sassoon & postwar antifascism.

Stevie Coles said...

Try in our time, with Melvyn Bragg.
Also some of the evening comedy is very good, the one presented by sandy toksvick.
Also something understood, can be a wonderful listen.
Material world, etc etc......

Mick P said...

Radio 4 podcasts are a hugely enjoable time sponge. Agree with In Our Time, Stevie - generally fascinating. Radio 4 on Music has been good, re-releasing music documentaries from over the years. Then there's From Our Own Correspondent; Start The Week; Great Lives; The Moral Maze; and like you say, the comedy stuff is often good. The News Quiz is the Toksvig one. Now, where's me pipe and slippers?

Stevie Coles said...

Anything bar the arches!, I'll trade the slippers for a nice tartan leg warming blanket!!.

Stevie Coles said...

The Archer's that is.