Says that only people in a deplorably elementary stage of musical culture have favourite tunes and so forth, and he considers the question a monstrous insult.
Noël Coward (Playwright, composer, singer, actor, director)
My favourite song is 'L'heure exquise' (Reynaldo Hahn). My fayourite composer is George Gershwin. My favourite tune is 'Mountain Greenery', by Laurenz Hart and Richard Rodgers. My favourite singer is Yvonne Printemps (right; she starred with him in 1934's Conversation Piece, which produced the song "I'll Follow My Secret Heart").
Yours would be a difficult catechism even for an expert, so you can imagine what it must be for a mere amateur. In spite of many efforts, I cannot decide on my 'favourite' song. But if, at pain of being jazzed to death, I was compelled to come to a conclusion, I think I should find myself at the last still hesitating between a song of the 'folk' kind and one of Brahms's or Schubert's. Among the records I know, one of the most successful, I think, is Hahn's' L'heure exquise'; but my range is limited. I suppose a list of records of quiet 'parlour' renderings of good songs long since appeared in Gramophone, and by 'quiet' I mean, chiefly, not of operatic technique.
For 'composer,' though 'favourite' sounds both a feeble and arrogant term in relation to such a name, my choice would be Bach, and for 'tune' the aria' 'Have mercy upon me, O Lord,' from the St Matthew Passion. After him, I think, Mozart; but after the apex, difficulty of choice increases like the width of a pyramid.
DH Lawrence (Novelist, poet, playwright, critic, painter)
My favourite song is, I think, 'Kishmul's Galley', from the Hebridean Songs, and my favourite composer, if one must be so selective, Mozart; and singer, a Red Indian singing to the drum, which sounds pretty stupid.
John Galsworthy (Novelist, playwright)
I'm not a good hand at symposiums, but since it's you who asks, here goes:
My favourite song (well sung), 'Che farò', from Gluck's Orfeo.
My favourite composers, Bach and Chopin dead heat, with Gluck beaten half a length, Stravinsky beaten off, and Wagner left at the post.
My favourite tune depends on my mood and varies from 'The Marseillaise' to 'The Bens of Jura.'
My favourite singer? At the moment, I would rather hear Chaliapin sing the 'Volga Boat Song' than anyone else sing any other song.
My favourite song is 'Morgen', by Richard Strauss; my favourite composer, Wagner; my favourite tune (l presume you mean of the modern variety), 'By the Lake' ; and the singer I most admire is Emmy Bettendorf, who you know records for Parlophone. I choose her not only for the exquisite quality of her voice, but for her astonishing versatility. She seems to be able to sing anything.
Hugh Walpole (Novelist)
As you rightly remark, these questions are a damn bore, but if it gives you any pleasure to know it I would say that certainly Brahms is my favourite composer, and ... for Scandinavian things, a pal of mine, Lauritz Melchior. As to a tune I can think of thousands; two of the best, if you call them tunes, are Desdemona's song in the last act of Otello, and the Orestes music in Elektra.
What a devilish fellow you are to ask a harmless and respectable gentleman like myself to answer such questions; but here they are:
Favourite song: 'The Prize Song'.
Favourite composer: Wagner.
Favourite tune: 'The Fire Music'.
Favourite singer: Lotte Lehman.
Curses on your head.
Care for a little Wagner? You've come to the right place!