Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 crowned nation’s favourite for second year running

1 April 2024, 20:48 | Updated: 3 April 2024, 16:23

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 is voted as the No.1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024, for the second year in a row.
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 is voted as the No.1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024, for the second year in a row. Picture: Getty / Classic FM
Classic FM

By Classic FM

Rachmaninov’s piano masterpiece has been voted the nation’s favourite piece of classical music for the second year in a row.

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Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 has been voted No.1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the second year running, in the UK’s biggest poll of classical music tastes.

2024 marks the tenth time the concerto has topped the chart since the annual poll began in 1996, after taking the prime position from Vaughan WilliamsThe Lark Ascending in 2023, Rachmaninov’s 150th anniversary year.

The new chart for 2024, which received 100,000 votes, was revealed live across the four-day Easter weekend on Classic FM, which also saw a record 39 film scores appear in the chart and a new highest chart position for Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins, who celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this year.

Read more: The full Top 300 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024

Storming Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 finale at the Royal Albert Hall | Classic FM

An enduringly popular piece in its own right, Rachmaninov’s piano concerto made it back into headlines earlier this year after the death of singer-songwriter Eric Carmen.

Carmen famously borrowed the melody from the concerto’s second movement, using it for the verse of his smash hit power ballad, ‘All By Myself’.

However, he hadn’t realised the work was still in copyright and, after the composer’s estate contacted Carmen to alert him to the accidental theft, Rachmaninov was granted a posthumous songwriting credit for the song.

Read more: Why ‘All By Myself’ sounds uncannily like Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2

A record number of 39 film scores were voted into this year’s chart, as soundtracks including James Horner’s Apollo 13 and John Powell’s How to Train Your Dragon made their Classic FM Hall of Fame debuts.

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s moving score to Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence also appeared in the chart for the first time, a little over a year after the beloved Japanese composer’s death, alongside re-entries for Bernstein’s The Great Escape, and Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé.

The number of film scores has reached a new record high each year since 2016, as movie music maestro John Williams retains his title as most popular living composer with seven entries to the 2024 chart.

Overall, Mozart was crowned most popular composer with 13 pieces in the chart, followed by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky with 11 each, and Bach with nine.

Find the full Top 300 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame here, and the Top 20 below:

  1. Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No.2
  2. Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
  3. Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  4. Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace)
  5. Elgar – Enigma Variations
  6. Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.6, ‘Emperor’
  7. Holst – The Planets Suite
  8. Beethoven – Symphony No.9, ‘Choral’
  9. Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No.2
  10. John Williams – Schindler’s List
  11. Allegri – Miserere
  12. Morricone – The Mission
  13. Beethoven – Symphony No.6, ‘Pastoral’
  14. Mozart – Clarinet Concerto
  15. Mozart – Requiem
  16. Dvořák – Symphony No.9, ‘From the New World’
  17. Jay Ungar – The Ashokan Farewell
  18. Sibelius – Finlandia
  19. Debbie Wiseman – The Glorious Garden
  20. Barber – Adagio for Strings

Listen to the Classic FM Hall of Fame again via Catch-Up on Global Player.

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