1812 Overture ‘top-classic-piece’

Tchaikovsky it may be loathed, but his 1812 Overture simply has the UK voted the most popular piece of classical music.

The composer once said it was “very loud and noisy and completely without artistic merit, obviously written without warmth or love.”

But the listeners to Classic FM have overruled him, on the top of the station’s Hall of Fame.

Rachmaninov ‘ s Piano Concerto No. 2 remained in second place.

Last year’s winner, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, fell to third place.

The piece had taken first place on eight occasions, as the Hall of Fame launched in 1996.

This year’s survey attracted votes than 120,000 spectators.

John Williams’ emotional score to Schindler’s list, was the highest placed film soundtrack, climbing five places to 23.

It Howard Shore smote ‘s music to” the Lord of The rings, which had the nation’s favorite for the last 15 years.


Written in just six weeks (faster for a composition of this type), the 1812 Overture is a rousing anthem, drenched in the nationalist mood, tells the story of Napoleon’s escape from Russia at the beginning of the 19th century.

It contains the melodies of several Russian folk songs, “chase”, the French national anthem, The Marseillaise, in the escape.

But it is mainly known for its use of bells and cannons, while the triumphant climax.

Classic FM-John Suchet said, the 1812 Overture has remained popular because it is “such a great showpiece”.

He said: “you can hear it on all of the great concerts of classical music. If done correctly, it’s a huge orchestra, it has a great chorus, it has the lot.

“It starts very gently with a folk-melody, and there is no indication that by the end, it comes to fireworks and cannon. It is the perfect party piece.”

Tchaikovsky had 14 entries in the Classic FM Hall of Fame unveiled on Monday. Mozart was the most successful composer, with 23 plants in the Top 300.

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