Monday, 28 March 2016

Classical Music Hall of Fame

The Classic FM Hall of Fame is always a pleasurable listening experience over the Easter weekend, as they count down the top 300 pieces of classical music, as voted for by the public each year. However, I am starting to feel that the public are losing imagination as this year the top 6 were exactly the same as they were last year, and even in the same order, and the top 2 haven't changed (besides swapping every so often) for at least 8 years. This surprises me because over the 21 years of the chart there have been many changes and my personal choices have varied enormously as I'm made aware of new (usually old) pieces and as my tastes change. I still approve of and appreciate much of highest placed pieces but my top few would be a little different.

Here are the Top 15 from this year's Hall of Fame:

1. The Lark Ascending - Vaughan Williams
2. Piano Concerto no.2 - Rachmaninov
3. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Vaughan Williams
4. Enigma Variations - Elgar
5. Piano Concerto no.5 - Beethoven
6. Miserere - Allegri
7. Clarinet Concerto - Mozart
8. Symphony no.6 - Beethoven
9. Symphony no.9 - Beethoven
10. Cello Concerto in E minor - Elgar
11. Violin Concerto no.1 - Bruch
12. Adagio for Strings - Barber
13. 1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
14. The Planets Suite - Holst
15. The Armed Man - Jenkins

By comparison here are my Top 15 classical pieces (as they currently stand)

1. Enigma Variations - Elgar
2. Violin Concerto no.1 - Bruch
3. Piano Concerto in A minor - Grieg
4. Cello Concerto in E minor - Elgar
5. Clarinet Concerto - Mozart
6. Piano Concerto no.2 - Rachmaninov
7. Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Part
8. 1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
9. The Armed Man - Jenkins
10. The Planets Suite - Holst
11. Jazz Suite no.2 - Shostakovich
12. Miserere - Allegri
13. The Lord of the Rings (soundtrack) - Shore
14. Scheherazade - Rimsky-Korsakov
15. Piano Sonata no.14 (Moonlight Sonata) Beethoven

The really tricky thing is that it is so difficult to compare any two pieces of music and that is why I have voted for 13 different pieces in the past 7 years and why I expect my favourites to change regularly. My hope is that there will be at least some change on Classic FM in the future too!


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