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UK radio fans vote Lark Ascending #1 classical tune; Guardian dissents

United Kingdom classical radio station Classic FM has released its latest composer popularity poll, and British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams’ violin meditation The Lark Ascending is the top listener choice. It bumped Rachamaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto down to second place.

Kerry Andrew of the UK Guardian dissents:

“So what does it say about us as a nation? That we like the cosy, armchair favourites? That we all want to go for a cream tea after a day tilling the fields? Perhaps, but if listeners are making ‘safe’ choices it is because programmers are too. This is, after all, a Classic FM poll – hardly the forum for playing Stockhausen’s pioneering electronic works or Renaissance composer Gesualdo’s astringent microtonal nuances on a regular basis. If the poll had been conducted with listeners to BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction or the broad-ranging classical website Sinfini the results would have undoubtedly been different.”

I hear you Kerry, but speaking personally, if American classical audiences made The Lark Ascending their number one pick, I’d be ecstatic. Over at WQXR in New York City it’s Beethoven, Beethoven, Beethoven, and Beethoven (duh duh duh duuuhhhhhh . . . ).

For those of you who have never heard The Lark, here it is. Enjoy.

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2 Responses to UK radio fans vote Lark Ascending #1 classical tune; Guardian dissents

  1. Jeff Boudreau April 24, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    The video in the article is only 1/4 of the piece, to listen to the full piece, also featuring Nicola Benedetti, go to
    “The Lark Ascending’, inspired by a poem of the same name by George Meredith, was begun shortly before the outbreak of the First World War but not completed until Vaughan Williams returned from active service in France. This performance is by Nicola Benedetti with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton.”

  2. Matthew Lasar April 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Thanks Jeff.

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