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Britain’s favourite piece of classical music

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British list top classical music — TIMES OF LONDON, April 10
And the winners are:

1) British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” a 1914 piece known for its violin solo, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

2) Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto” placed second, followed by

3) Rachmaninov’s “Piano Concerto No. 2,”

4) Wolfgang Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto” and

5) Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5.”

Rounding out the Top 10 are

“Enigma Variations” by Elgar,

“Violin Concerto No. 1” by Max Bruch,

“Symphony No. 6” by Beethoven,

“Symphony No. 9” by Beethoven and

“Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis,” also by Vaughan Williams.

The Remaining Top 30:

11) Piano Concerto Grieg

12) The Armed Man Jenkins (“A Mass for Peace”)

13) Canon in D Pachelbel

14) FinlandiaSibelius

15) Adagio for Strings Barber

16) Symphony No 7 Beethoven

17) Symphony No 2 Rachmaninov

18) Symphony No 5 Beethoven

19) Symphony No 9 Dvorak (“New World”)

20) Requiem Mozart

21) Miserere Allegri

22) Concierto de Aranjuez Rodrigo

23) Messiah Handel

24) Piano Concerto No 2 Shostakovich

25) 1812 Overture Tchaikovsky

26) The Ashokan Farewell Ungar

27) Piano Concerto No 3 Rachmaninov

28) Piano Concerto No 1 Tchaikovsky

29) Ma Vlast Smetana

30) Violin Concerto in E minor Mendelssohn


Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending, with its fluttering violin solo expressing the flight of a skylark, is the first British piece to top the annual poll of the radio station’s listeners. It beat Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto into second place in a Top 10 that includes four British works.

Darren Henley of Classic FM, said Bach’s music just wasn’t catchy enough. The 18th-century German baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach failed to place any of his music in the Top 30 favorites of 67,328 listeners who voted in Classic FM’s 11th annual poll. “He’s the fifth most popular composer overall, with 10 works in our Top 300, but he maybe hasn’t got any of those seminal works that people are passionate about,” Henley said.

Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto has been voted Britain’s favourite piece of classical music for the fourth successive year in the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame poll. The composition beat Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto by just nine votes in a late flurry of voting as the poll was coming to a close.

The biggest improvement in placing since last year was unexpectedly scored by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the composer recently appointed by the Queen as the new Master of the Queen’s Music.

His Farewell To Stromness, composed in 1980 as an environmental protest when the town of Stromness on the Orkneys was threatened with a uranium mine, climbed 214 places up the chart to reach 76th place.

Maxwell Davies is not the only living composer to enjoy chart success this year. At No 8 in this year’s poll is Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. Howard Shore, the film score composer for The Lord of the Rings, and the American Jay Ungar are both also in this year’s Top 20.

This year’s highest new entry is from Patrick Hawes, whose album Blue in Blue was released only in January.

Mozart remains the most prolific of the 104 composers in the chart with 20 entries, down from 23 last year. Beethoven comes next with 19 entries.


Written by huehueteotl

April 11, 2007 at 1:36 pm

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