The Land of Smiles - Overture Franz Lehar
A poll by the Association of British Orchestras has found that 7 out of 10 Britons want the London 2012 Olympics anthem to include classical music.
Of those polled, 69% voted for the anthem to be a piece of classical music or to combine classical music with other styles. Only 14% want a pop song. Nessun Dorma was found to be the most popular classical ‘anthem’ used at a sporting event.
Half of the poll’s 2000 respondents said the 2012 Olympics theme should be played by a British orchestra if it is an orchestral piece. Mark Pemberton, Director of the Association of British Orchestras commented, “Orchestral music has long been used as the soundtrack for major international sporting events and this survey shows that the public see them going hand in hand. The Olympics should be a celebration of the best of British culture – and orchestras can play a central part in that.”
Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, who has recently recorded the Scottish section of the Rugby World Cup Anthem, is backing the public's call for a classical anthem: “The power of classical music can stir energies from beyond our realm of imagination - from Purcell to Wagner over hundreds of years, the nation has clung to classical music in times of heightened emotion, triumph and tragedy.”
We'd love to know what Classic FM listeners think should make the anthem of the 2012 Olympics. Please send in your suggestions below...
Here are some listeners' suggestions so far:
Pamela Shaw: 'Elgar's Nimrod because it stirs the very soul.'
Martin Miller: 'I would suggest a specially commissioned piece for the occasion by a British composer and played by a British orchestra. But if I had to choose a piece of music it would be Crown Imperial.'
Simon Rhodes: 'I Was Glad by Hubert Parry. So stirring, raises the hair on the back of your neck when sung with full orchestra and choir and not clichéd.'
Barbara Dovey: 'Why not ask Howard Goodall to write a piece for the 2012 Olympics. To make it international why not ask Placido Domingo and Lesley Garrett to sing it!'
Clive Vaughan: 'Grand March from Aida - a piece of music above all others that says 'you can get out there and win!''
Margaret Tuddenham: 'Land of Hope and Glory because the words say it all.'
Ben Jones: 'A brand new piece from the likes of Hans Zimmer, John Williams and other great composers to create something truly inspiring for 2012!'
Jennifer Inoue: '1st Movement from Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. This Pastoral Symphony reminds me of the beautiful British landscape. The first movement evokes thoughts of joy and happiness. It seems like an appropriate piece of music to capture the UK and the Olympics.'