Mentor Playlist: Simon Bruckard

Mentor Playlist: Simon Bruckard

Piano solos, opera, jazz and a bit of David Bowie. 

Mentor Playlist: Simon Bruckard

Piano solos, opera, jazz and a bit of David Bowie. 

We're asking our mentors to tell us their top ten songs of all time, from any genre! Here is Simon Bruckard's list. We hope you enjoy: you can listen along in our playlist below! What pieces of music are on your top ten?

La Foule (from Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, à Paris) - Martha Wainwright

Because: This is an incredible album – it was so hard just to pick one song from it. Martha is the most wonderfully expressive singer and these Edith Piaf songs all tell beautiful stories.

Nobody's Off The Hook (from Release the Stars) - Rufus Wainwright

Because: Another Wainwright. This was my angsty teenager album. Beautiful lyrics, simple and touching. The whole album is great.

Mack the Knife/How High the Moon (from Live in Berlin) - Ella Fitzgerald

Because: Ella is pretty much a god. This is one of the all time classics. Whoever thought that forgetting the words to a song could result in such an amazing recording. I had to include both songs. How High the Moon includes one of the greatest improvised vocal solos of all time. 

Georgia On My Mind (from Night Train) - Oscar Peterson

Because: Again, how do you pick just one Oscar Peterson recording?! He was my idol when I was younger. Such a beautiful piano sound, such ease and such creativity. And a wonderful man. I love playing this tune and I always go to Oscar first when I want to listen to it.

À Chloris - Hahn

Because: I love French art song from this period. Hahn was one of the great masters of expressing text with beautiful melody.

Nonn'erubescite, reges/Trivium, trivium from Oedipus Rex - Stravinsky

Because: This opera (or whatever you want to call it) is fantastic and deserves to be performed more. This aria captures Jocasta’s bizarre state of mind so accurately as she starts to realise what she has done. I’m slightly obsessed with Stravinsky and I love this self-aware and incredibly clever score. (Listen to Jessye Norman’s recording – she is terrifying but wonderful)

Prelude and Fugue in E minor - Shostakovich

All of these preludes and fugues are fascinating. I picked this one because I played it when I was younger and it opened my mind to a whole new kind of expression. Controlled but passionate, relentless but very human. 

La Scala Live Concert - Keith Jarrett

A true genius. He could just sit at the piano and improvise a live concert like this and it is the most beautiful thing. His version of Somewhere over the Rainbow at the end of the album is stunning.

Mad Rush - Philip Glass

This is probably my favourite of his piano works. Philip Glass can create something truly moving and beautiful from such a small amount of material. It can be interpreted in so many different ways and speaks to all sorts of people. It's also wonderful music to play. 

Life On Mars - David Bowie

We should all worship Bowie. I don’t think I need to justify this choice.