Prince Charles has revealed how his musical tastes were inspired by Holocaust survivors who taught at his Scottish school, and how he is “moved” by the music of the late Leonard Cohen.
Britain’s heir to the throne, 70, revealed the Jewish links to his favourite music on a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Private Passions’ show broadcast on 30 December, recalling how much he enjoyed being taught the subject at his old school, Gordonstoun.
“In those days, the early ‘60s, we had these marvellous music teachers who had escaped the Holocaust in Germany and came to Gordonstoun and taught music there,” he said.
Among his favourite pieces of music, the prince chose an 18th-century opera by Jean-Marie Leclair as well as Cohen’s Take This Waltz, loosely adapted from a poem by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.
“I’ve always loved Leonard Cohen’s voice and his whole approach to the way he sang,” Charles said of the Canadian singer-songwriter, who died in November 2016.
“He was obviously incredibly sophisticated in the way he sang, but also wrote. I find it very moving, the words are so extraordinary, sort of Salvador Dalí-like. They lead you into this remarkable Dalí-like world.”
Cohen had a lifelong fascination with Buddhism and in the 1990s was ordained as a Buddhist monk, but said: “I’m not looking for a new religion. I’m quite happy with the old one, with Judaism.” In his later years he played concerts in Israel, speaking to the audience in Hebrew.