April 12, 2007 / 2:20 AM / 12 years ago

"Lark Ascending" tops UK classical favorites poll

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s favorite piece of classical music is an homage to the English countryside by home-grown composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, according to a listeners’ poll published this week.

“The Lark Ascending,” inspired by a George Meredith poem of the same name and intended to evoke the lyricism of English pastoral beauty, overcame stiff competition from Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto to top Classic FM’s 11th “Hall of Fame.”

The poll of 300 pieces was based on 67,013 listeners naming their three favorite classical works of all time. Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was third, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto was fourth and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 was fifth.

Beethoven and Mozart shared the glory as the composers with most appearances in the list, with 19 apiece.

Georges Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” was named as most popular opera.

Reuters/Nielsen

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