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Music on a Desert Island 2

A Minute with Miles

Yesterday I mentioned a few pieces of music I’d like to have with me if I were marooned on a desert island. Today I thought I’d list a few pieces I would definitely not want along. I’m assuming my island would be surrounded by water, so right away Debussy’s La Mer would be out—great piece, but it would be superfluous, to put it mildly, and probably pretty annoying, under the circumstances.

And since I doubt I’d be in the mood for irony, Victory at Sea, by Richard Rodgers, would also get left behind. On the theory that I wouldn’t much enjoy being reminded of my predicament, I’d avoid Handel’s “We like sheep have gone astray”… and Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy” would get the kibosh for the same reason. Gershwin’s An American in Paris would be too painful a fantasy, and Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata would just be looking for trouble, but I think you’ll agree that the piece to be avoided at all costs would have to be Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.