The Lark Ascending voted favourite piece of classical music

Lark ascends to No1… again! Ralph Vaughan Williams’ beloved composition is voted our favourite piece of classical music for third time

  • The annual poll for Classic FM attracted more than 156,000 votes from listeners
  • Ralph Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending came in at top for third year in a row
  • Movie scores also at all-time high as people have spent lockdown watching films
  • In total, 34 film scores appeared in the top chart which was up from 28 last year 
  • John Williams came in as the most popular living film composer with nine entries

Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Lark Ascending is the nation’s favourite piece of classic music

The Lark Ascending has been voted the nation’s favourite piece of classical music for the third time in a row.

Composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and celebrating 100 years since it was first performed by an orchestra, the work topped this year’s Classic FM Hall of Fame.

The annual poll, which attracted more than 156,000 votes, also highlighted the popularity of watching movies during lockdown – with film scores at an all-time high.

Some 34 film scores appeared in the chart – up from 28 last year, with John Williams, 89, voted the most popular living movie composer.

He had nine entries, including Schindler’s List, the film favourite at number 16.

Classic FM presenter John Suchet said: ‘After the year we’ve all experienced, with many of us watching more films at home than ever before, it is perhaps no surprise that movie music is at a record high, representing 11 per cent of the total chart.’

The top 300 pieces of music in the Classic FM Hall of Fame were played on-air across the Easter weekend, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart the most popular composer with 16 entries and conductor Debbie Wiseman the most popular British living composer, with four entries.

John Williams has nine entries in the Hall of Fame, including Star Wars at 38, Harry Potter at 46 and Jurassic Park at 66.

His continuing popularity has contributed to a banner year for film composers, with Hans Zimmer recognised for his work including Gladiator, at 35, and Inception, at 116; and John Barry also recognised for scores including Dances With Wolves, at 95, and Out Of Africa at 128.

John Williams (pictured) came in as the most popular living film composer with nine entries

Wiseman, who has two new entries in the Hall of Fame – The Mythos Suite and Wolf Hall – said: ‘I’m completely blown away by the results.

‘Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me and supported my music.

‘It’s very gratifying to know that alongside all those wonderful works by the truly great composers, there is a place in the hearts of the public for new music, whether written for film, TV or the concert hall.’

Among the other 48 new and re-entries are Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s arrangement of Deep River, War Song by the Scottish composer Phamie Gow, Elmer Bernstein’s scores for The Magnificent Seven and To Kill A Mockingbird, as well as Eimear Quinn’s In Paradisum.

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