Rachmaninov holds on to classical No 1

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The Independent Culture

Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 was yesterday declared Britain's most popular piece of classical music.

The Russian composer clinched the top spot by just nine votes, beating Mozart's Clarinet Concerto into second place. It is the fourth successive year that his work has topped Classic FM's Hall of Fame.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the recently appointed Master of the Queen's Music, was placed a respectable 76th in the chart with his Farewell to Stromness.

The piece was composed in 1980 as an environmental protest when the town of Stromness in the Orkneys was threatened with a uranium mine.

Sir Peter said: "I've got no illusions about Farewell to Stromness being a better piece than Grieg's Piano Concerto or anything like that - they're far, far better composers than I am, but I must say I'm very pleased and very touched."

Mozart remained the most prolific of the 104 composers in the chart with 20 entries - down from 23 last year.

Beethoven was next with 19 entries, followed by Tchaikovsky with 14 and Johann Sebastian Bach with 12.

There was a surge in support for English composers, with Elgar up from six to 11 entries while Vaughan Williams rose from seven to nine entries.

Roger Lewis, of Classic FM said: "Beethoven refuses to roll over - classical music is alive and kicking, as this chart proves."