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Music on a Desert Island

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
SC Public Radio

It’s an old question: if you were going to be dropped off on a desert island and you could only take a few recorded pieces of music with you, what would they be? For me, the first piece on the list is easy: Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

The music itself is beautiful and funny and brilliant and heart breaking and anything else you could possibly desire, but I’d also want The Marriage of Figaro with me for the company. How could I feel lonely with Susanna, Figaro, and Cherubino there to cheer me up, and with all those other interesting characters around?  After the Mozart it gets trickier, but there are at least two other pieces that I couldn’t bear to leave behind, pieces that combine moments of great beauty with warmth, humor, and indescribable tenderness: Felix Mendelssohn’s Overture and Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Maurice Ravel’s opera L’enfant et les sortileges. I might be marooned, but I’d be smiling.

A Minute with Miles – 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.