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Kirsty Young’s appearance on a special Christmas Day edition of Desert Island Discs she presented for 12 years (pushing 14 years writing thrillers and this column now, so you’re in excellent company, Kirsty!), reminded me what people have often let slip.

How sometimes, in an absent-minded moment driving to work or between meetings, they’d choose their own personal Desert Island Discs.

Whereas the soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf infamously chose only her OWN recordings when interviewed, Inspector Morse (remember him?) would have preferred the Norwegian, Kirsten Flagstad whom he regarded as THE greatest twentieth century Wagnerian soprano. Her performance in Wagner’sTristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod is considered by many, Morse included, as one of the greatest recordings ever.

In fact, I can’t forget the picture of recording with Flagstad painted by fellow opera singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. He said the orchestra would play, and Flagstad would be knitting away until she heard her cue. She’d put her knitting aside, stand up, let loose with the most incredible high notes, beautifully sung, and then she’d sit down, pick up her knitting and keep going until her next entrance.

“Knitting for grandchildren!” Fischer-Dieskau explained, his eyes shining.

So, which eight discs would YOU choose?

Nora Johnson’s 11 critically acclaimed psychological crime thrillers (www.nora-johnson.net) all available online including eBooks (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, audiobooks, paperbacks at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.