The results of a recent Radio 4 poll have revealed The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughn Williams to be the nation’s favourite Desert Island Disc. The classical composition was the most popular choice in a nationwide hunt by the broadcaster to find which track the public would choose if they became castaways.
Written in 1914, the work was first inspired by a poem of the same name by George Meredith and has previously been voted the nation’s favourite piece of classical music.
More than 25,000 people voted in the project and the result is a list, largely dominated by classical works and British composers. Only German-born composers Beethoven and Handel broke into the top ten.
Elgar’s Enigma Variations was the second most requested work, Ludwig van Beethoven came third with his Symphony No 9 in D minor ‘Choral’. This was followed by the only contemporary artists in the list Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb.
The researchers noted that the overall most popular artist or group was The Beatles, followed by Bob Dylan, Beethoven, Mozart and Pink Floyd. However, many of these failed to feature in the top eight tracks as listeners split their choices among the artists’ many songs.
Meanwhile, the two most popular non-music requests were Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and a cricket commentary that has become legendary. The “leg over” piece features Jonathan Agnew and Brian Johnston breaking down in laughter after “Aggers” described how Ian Botham had knocked over his stumps.
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