The UK’s favourite pieces of classical music revealed in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2020

15 April 2020, 13:41 | Updated: 15 April 2020, 15:57

A beautiful moment from The Lark Ascending, performed by Jennifer Pike

The nation has spoken: here are the UK’s 300 favourite pieces of classical music, as voted for in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2020.

After months of voting, and weeks of checking and compiling, the nation’s favourite classical music has been revealed in the 25th Classic FM Hall of Fame – the world’s biggest survey of classical music tastes.

English composer Vaughan Williams’ piece for solo violin and orchestra, The Lark Ascending, has been voted the UK’s favourite piece of classical music for the tenth time in the chart’s history.

Beethoven achieved his highest ever position in the chart, with his ‘Choral’ Symphony No. 9 voted in second place, in the composer’s 250th anniversary year.

Elgar’s great Enigma Variations remained at No. 3 as in last year’s countdown, with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 taking a tumble of two places to No. 4.

This year’s countdown saw a rise in uplifting and relaxing pieces, including Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata and ‘Pastoral’ Symphony No. 6.

In his 250th anniversary year, Beethoven was voted the nation’s favourite composer, alongside Mozart. Both composers had 17 pieces in the chart.

View the full top 300 >

It was also a record year for film music with more entries than ever, while John WilliamsSchindler’s List was voted most popular piece by a living composer.

There were more than 130,000 votes cast in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2020 – the highest in four years.

Classic FM presenter John Suchet said: “It’s fascinating to see the variety of music that the nation has chosen in these uncertain times – from familiar pieces such as The Lark Ascending and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2; Elgar’s stirring Enigma Variations and Cello Concerto, to film scores including Schindler’s List, Star Wars and Harry Potter. It shows that classical music really is for everyone.

The Beethoven expert continued: “And as a fan of Beethoven, I’m thrilled that, in the 250th anniversary year of his birth, he has been voted the most popular composer, sharing the title with Mozart. For me, Beethoven’s music lifts the spirits every time.

“Although our current world may feel very different, what has remained is classical music’s unique power to uplift, motivate and energise, as well as to soothe and calm. That’s why it’s the perfect antidote.”

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