The Big Country - Main Theme Jerome Moross Download 'The Big Country - Main Theme' on iTunes
With the Olympics done and dusted, it's time to turn our attention to other sporting events: namely, the new football season, starting this Friday. But, being Classic FM, we couldn't resist a little delve into the archives to see which composers and musicians throughout history have been inspired by football. Whether they were ardent supporters of particular clubs or just loved the beautiful game, we've put them into a handy list for you.
Pineapple-haired superstar violinist and occasional jazz dabbler Nigel Kennedy is about as ardent as it gets when it comes to his beloved Aston Villa. Click below to see him and his whole band kitted out in Villa strips to honour his passion.
When it comes to downright football fanaticism, Dmitri Shostakovich was one of classical music's most avid. His love for Zenit Leningrad meant that he could often be found hollering from the terraces. He even qualified as a referee, and wrote a whole ballet, 'The Golden Age', about a Soviet football team that falls victim to match rigging and imprisonment.
Composer Michael Nyman was such a fan of Queen's Park Rangers that he wrote an entire piece for them, entitled 'The Final Score'. It accompanied a film of the same name, and is basically a collection of QPR-related images set to Nyman's exciting music. He also wrote two more footie-related pieces, 'After Extra Time' and 'Memorial'.
While he's not a huge name when it comes to composing, Finland-born Osmo Tapio Everton Räihälä's work dedicated to the majesty of Everton's Duncan Ferguson caused a stir at the club. Entitled 'Barlinnie Nine' (presumably a reference to HM Prison Barlinnie, where Ferguson was once an inmate), the orchestral piece was premiered on the same day that Ferguson scored the only goal in the FA Cup Final against Manchester United.
Edward Elgar would regularly cycle for miles through the countryside to see his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers, and he's even been credited with writing the first ever football chant. He took the phrase 'He banged the leather for goal' and set it to music but, alas, it doesn't seem to have caught on. Wolves fans have taken 'Nimrod' for their own, though, and apparently can be regularly heard singing it from terraces.
In his 2000 opera 'The Silver Tassie', which is about a footballer injured in the first world war, British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage adapted the stage play of the same name. It's not quite a terrace chant, but you can't fault its footie spirit.
The World Cup is where the world was first properly introduced the Three Tenors, thanks to their performance on the eve of the 1990 final. Since then, they played at every World Cup until 2002.
The BBC's coverage of the 1998 World Cup was soundtracked by this elegant little piece, until then not one of Faure's best known works. Since then, it's undergone a resurgence and is now one of the composer's most-performed works.
You might know it as the music from The Apprentice, but this ballet classic is also the music that Sunderland play at home games as they come onto the pitch. It's all in the footwork, obviously.
The 2010 World Cup was a great tournament, but one thing that lingers in the memory is the discovery of the Vuvuzela, otherwise known as one of the world's most annoying instruments. Still, that didn't stop some wag 'composing' a concerto for it... Listen to it below and view the extremely complex score.