Sarah’s Songs – The Music Behind ‘Better Left Buried’

Sarah is training to be a vocal singer, so I had a lot of fun listening to the sorts of pieces she might sing. I used to do a bit of choral singing myself, as part of a choir, and heard some lovely soloists.

The piece that means the most to me, and I played a lot while writing the final chapter on the lake, is the impossibly lovely Dido’s Lament from  Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. Everything about it seemed to fit – the haunting music, the grief in the lyrics. And this version is just how I imagined Sarah’s voice would sound.

Erbame Dich, from Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion, is Sarah’s next choice. One of the loveliest pieces of classical music for a vocalist ever written. I can just imagine her singing this one.

Next up, Handel’s Ombra Mai Fu sung by Amira Willighagen, who stunned the judges at age nine in Holland’s Got Talent. At the time, she had never taken a single music or singing lesson.

The Schubert song Sarah chooses is Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen, here sung by Anna Paryska

I like this version of Caldara’s Come Raggio di Sol. She’s a lovely singer and this is exactly how Sarah would practise her audition pieces with Mrs Perry at the piano.

Finally this lovely girl singing Gluck’s O Del Mio Dolce Ardor has just the kind of voice I imagined for Sarah. And Jessica Pray, who here was performing this for a college video audition, was also 17 years old at the time.

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