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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Lark ascends to top classics poll
Vaughan Williams, pictured in 1957
Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending tops the Classic FM survey
Vaughan Williams's work Lark Ascending has been named the most popular piece of classical music by a British composer in a survey by Classic FM.

Edward Elgar came second and third with Cello Concerto in E minor and then Variations on an Original Theme.

Welshman Karl Jenkins - the only living composer in the top 10 - was fourth with The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

Williams described Lark Ascending as "an English landscape transcribed into musical terms".

TOP 10 BRITISH CLASSICAL COMPOSITIONS
1. Vaughan Williams, Lark Ascending
2. Edward Elgar, Cello Concerto in E minor
3. Edward Elgar, Variations on an Original Theme
4. Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
5. Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
6. Gustav Holst, The Planets
7. George Frideric Handel, Messiah
8. Edward Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance March No 4
9. George Frideric Handel, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
10. George Frideric Handel, Zadok the Priest

It takes its title from a poem by George Meredith, with a solo violin evoking a lark flying above the countryside.

The poll of approximately 20,000 listeners placed another of Williams's works, Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, in fifth position.

Gustav Holst's orchestral suite The Planets was in sixth, followed by George Frideric Handel's Messiah.

The German-born Baroque composer was eligible for the chart because he became a British citizen in 1727.

A total of 15 composers, six of them alive, made it into the top 30.


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