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Philip’s Playlist

Find out what songs are on a musical theatre star’s top list

4 min read

Musical Theatre star Philip Quast is soon to grace our Concert Hall stage.

Philip will share his favourite tunes including songs from Les Misérables and musicals by Rogers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim on Sunday 5 June.

With such a rich career in music and entertainment we thought it would be fun to see what songs would be on Philip’s playlist.

According to Philip choosing a playlist is one of the most difficult things for him to do.

“I am so ephemeral and changeable that tomorrow’s playlist would bear no resemblance at all to today’s. It might be all Schubert! And the day after that? Jimi Hendrix or Bob Dylan. Next week it might be ABBA or The Bee Gees or Eminem or Shostakovich!”.

The playlist below reflects the mood Philip was in at the time he sent it to us. He says:

“It’s pouring rain outside and my mind is being irrigated by thoughts of how to negotiate the things I have to do. The order is merely random.”

We think it is a great list… enjoy!

‘God Only Knows’ | The Beach Boys
“I chose this because of the juxtaposition of a really dark, depressing lyric with beautiful, driving, relentless music. The Beatles must have been blown away when they heard it.”

‘The Boxer’ | Paul Simon
“I love narrative songs. Paul Simon wrote this when he was very young. It reminds me to respect the young people I teach. The fact that they can have so much talent at such a young age reminds you that there is a dark horse in everyone.”

‘Spanish Steps’ | Van Morrison
“It’s from the album Poetic Champions Compose and tells a story without words. I love the bass line and multi- layered arrangement. It reminds me of Charlie Haden*.”

Averti Addosso by Gino Paoli from his album ‘Due come noi che…’ with Danilo Rea
“Astonishing voice of a man who has lived. I believe everything he says he has experienced. A friend gave me this record five years ago and I never stop playing it. Danilo Rea’s piano and their counter melodies are heartbreaking. It would be in my tomorrow’s playlist.”

‘Carolina In My Mind’ | Melanie Safka
“A grossly overlooked singer. Astounding acting in the voice. Again it is a narrative story about longing to move, to travel.”

‘Almost Like Being In Love’ | Nat King Cole
“This song has unbelievable musicality. A great, great piano player and his voice and how he uses it with such little effort makes me feel safe. I could’ve put all his songs down today too.”

‘She’s Got A Way’ | Billy Joel
“Because it says everything about what my wife is and how she’s kept and keeps me grounded.”

‘Avec le temps’ | Léo Ferré
“Like Gino Paoli, I believe him. He has nothing to prove and pain in love doesn’t diminish with age.”

‘Young Americans’ | David Bowie
“Great sax, upbeat, and represents Bowie’s continual changes of direction.”

‘Daydream Believer’ | The Monkeys
“It’s catchy. You can’t help joining in the chorus.”

‘Wichita Lineman’ sung by Glenn Campbell
“Jimmy Webb at his best. Again a narrative. I can see the environment and images in the words. Fills my head with pictures. And represents that decaying side of America.”

‘Volare’ | Dean Martin
“Because he’s Dean. Can sing anything. Unlike Sinatra, I hear so much humour in his voice.”

‘Romeo and Juliet’ | Dire Straits
“Yet again another narrative. I love the lyrics playing with time such as “you used to make me cry” and “the dice was loaded from the start”. It’s absolutely in keeping with the tragedy of the play.”

‘Jungleland and The River’ | Bruce Springsteen
“Nothing to be said really. Great stories.”

‘Always On My Mind’ | Elvis Presley
“Still didn’t get Priscilla back. If someone singing those words with that voice can’t change someone’s life, I wonder if ART can change lives at all?”

‘Here You Come Again’ | Dolly Parton
“What a song writer. What a singer! You can hear her heart is full of goodness and hope as a person despite her singing about heartache.”

‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ written by John Lennon and Paul McCartneysung by Joe Cocker
“Probably for me the greatest ‘cover’ ever. Stole Woodstock with his rendition. My wife’s favourite song.”

‘Wayfairing Pilgrim’ | Roy Buchanan
“One of my favourite rock guitarists. Sad life. Alcoholism. So unassuming when you watch him play. Completely without showmanship. I love it when you listen to an artist and are thrown when you ‘see’ them. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

‘All The Things You Are’ – Ella Fitzgerald’s version
“Ella’s voice always sounded so youthful. Her diction is perfection. How can such a simple lyric be so beautiful?”

‘Eternal Flame’ | The Bangles
“Just gets you. The way Susanna Hoffs’ negotiates her way round that soft huskiness to full voice is deceptively clever.”

Chorus Mysticus from Mahler’s 8th
“The sun has just come out so I wacked it on the list.”

Lascia ch’io pianga from Rinaldo by Handel
“If it’s sung by Joyce Di Donato I could die happy. What an actor.”

*Charlie Haden was an American Jazz double base player, band leader, composer and educator who’s career spanned more than 50 years.


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We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors – our First Nations Peoples – gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland.