Just out of shot: Anne-Maire in the front row.

All you need is… a Paul McCartney interview

By Anne-Marie Minhall

So, there I was a few years back sitting in a wine bar in north London with one of my best friends and, on the table was a bottle of fizz and two glasses. It was quite an occasion, you see.

The conversation was going something like this:

ME: “But, he was just, you know …”

CHUM: “I know, I know, I mean, wasn’t he, you know …?”

ME: “Yes, utterly. I can’t believe we were there …”

And the event which had rendered two normally verbally coherent folk unable to converse?

Paul McCartney performing live in concert, that’s what.

It was one of the best nights of my life; hard to pick out a highlight but the former Beatle singing Let It Be is right up there.

I was lucky enough to interview Sir Paul back in 2006 as he was about to release his latest classical album, a choral work, Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart, in case your Latin is a bit rusty, like mine). It was a huge success thanks to you voting it as the Classic FM Album of the Year at the Classical Brits.

Now, in 2011, Paul McCartney is on the eve of releasing Ocean’s Kingdom, his latest foray into classical music; this time he’s written a ballet after being commissioned by the world class New York City Ballet.

Just a week ago I found myself in Sir Paul’s London office to talk to him about this latest project and you’ll be able to hear the exclusive radio interview on Classic FM plus the very first broadcast of the new work at the beginning of October.

The hour-long score features four movements – Ocean’s Kingdom, Hall of Dance, Imprisonment and Moonrise – and the ballet is a love story within the story of an underwater world whose people are under threat from humans. Paul McCartney says it’s been his most challenging score to date:

“What was interesting was writing music that meant something expressively rather than just writing a song. Trying to write something that expressed an emotion – so you have fear, love, anger, sadness to play with and I found that exciting and challenging.”

The premiere takes place in New York on Thursday 22nd September and the album will be out on Monday 3rd October but, as mentioned, you’ll hear it first right here on Classic FM plus from the man himself on the Paul McCartney Takeover on Sunday 2nd October from 5pm to 8pm.

It’ll also be a chance to enjoy some of Paul McCartney’s other works including some amazing classical arrangements of Beatles hits.

Please join me on that Sunday if you can, or, download the show from our website after 2nd October.

I promise not to get as tongue-tied as I did after seeing that concert.