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Article  •  4 February 2020


The music behind The Lost Love Song

Minnie Darke reveals the many songs that inspired her bewitching novel.

Music inspired and nourished the writing of The Lost Love Song. Each of the major characters had their own ‘theme song’ to help me imagine them, and many scenes of the book feature specific songs. More indirectly, the tunes that were on high rotation on my stereo during the writing process have lent something of their emotional tone to the story. If you’re curious about what I was hearing and imagining, listen to this playlist, and check out this songlist:

  • Arie’s theme: ‘Unsent Love Letters’, by Elena Kats-Chernin, performed by Tamara Anna Cislowska
  • Diana’s theme: ‘Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor’, by Prokofiev, performed by Yuja Wang and the Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Evie’s theme: ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’, by Ralph Vaughan Williams (arranged by Ralph Greaves), performed by the Vienna State Orchestra
  • Belinda’s theme: ‘Northern Lights’, by Ola Gjeilo, performed by the Elektra Women’s Choir
  • Bene’s theme: ‘Für Elise’, by Beethoven, performed by the European Jazz Trio
  • Beatrix’s theme: ‘Fantasy for Solo Flute’, by Friedrich Kuhlau, performed by Elisabeth Wentland
  • Felix’s theme: ‘Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony’, performed by 2Cellos
  • Tom’s theme: ‘Paris, Texas’, by Ry Cooder
  • Elijah’s theme: ‘Idle Jig Set’, by The East Pointers
  • Lucie’s theme: ‘Home’, by The Small Glories
  • Red’s theme: ‘Albatross’, by Fleetwood Mac

In her chamber music performance in Singapore, Diana joins with other musicians to play the following pieces:

  • ‘Butterflying’, by Elena Kats-Chernin
  • ‘Piano Trio in D minor’, by Fanny Mendelssohn 
  • ‘Piano Trio in G minor’, by Clara Schumann
  • The soundtrack to the chapter titled ‘Hold’ is: ‘4′33’, by John Cage
  • At Richard and Lenka’s New Year’s Eve party, the background music is: Café Del Mar Ibiza Vol. 3
  • The song playing when Felix and Beatrix board the Star Flyer is: ‘Party Rock Anthem’, by LFMAO
  • At music camp, Beatrix’s woodwind group plays: ‘Scherzo for Mixed Woodwind Choir’, by Vaibhav Mohanty
  • The 1980s throwback electronica Arie hears on the Spotify playlist at the Sonder office is: ‘Banana Clip’, by Miguel
  • The Amy Winehouse CD that Evie listens to in the Tavistock Row Airbnb is: Back to Black
  • The over-played pop song that Arie and Evie hear while standing on the riverbank is: ‘The Shape of You’, by Ed Sheeran
  • The first song on Evie’s ‘very long’ playlist for the car ride to Heidi’s wedding is: ‘Budapest’, by George Ezra

Minnie’s playlist:

  • ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’, written by Arvo Pärt, performed by Sally Maer and Sally Whitwell
  • ‘La Valse d'Amélie’ (piano version), by Yann Tiersen
  • ‘Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera’, by Vivaldi, performed by Jane Edwards, choir, Geoffrey Lancaster, Gerald Keuneman, orchestra and Ricky Edwards
  • ‘Winter’ from The Four Seasons, by Vivaldi, performed by Yo-Yo Ma
  • ‘Something Pocket Sized’, by Lucy Wise and the B’Gollies
  • ‘Most Beautiful’, by Frente
  • ‘Anthem’, written by Leonard Cohen, performed by Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen
  • ‘I Know You By Heart’, by Eva Cassidy
  • ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, traditional, performed by Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • ‘Fragile’, by Sting
  • ‘Linger’, by the Cranberries
  • ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, written by George Harrison, performed by Sally Cooper
  • ‘Never Let Me Go’, by Florence and the Machine
  • ‘Elastic Heart’, by Sia
  • ‘Lost Boy’, by Ruth B.
  • ‘Yellow Rose’, by Sophie Koh
  • ‘My Little River’, by Jess Ribeiro

Feature Title

The Lost Love Song
'If you are looking for a charming read, then Darke has written a beauty … Expect laughter and tears in equal measure.' Herald Sun
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