My preferences in these categories vary as I explore new areas of music, and as new books are written or films produced.
One piece of music, however, has remained at the top of my Desert Island Discs list for many of years and seems unlikely to be ousted from that position.
It’s from a rarely performed opera, Die tote Stadt, by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and is a soprano aria sung by the character, Marietta.
Its electrifying and never fails to engulf me in its sweet sadness.
There are several You Tube performances of it, notably by Elizabeth Schwartzkopf, Inessa Galante and Kiri Te Kanawa but, for me, this Rene Fleming interpretation is unsurpassable.
Listen to the note that she holds, four minutes fifteen seconds into the You Tube clip, and be astounded.