Larking about

BBC: Williams top of Classic FM vote

Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending has been voted best classical piece of music by radio listeners for the second year running.

Look, I know diddly-squat about classical music, but I should imagine this sort of thing annoys the real classical music fan about as much as it infuriates me when one of the perennial best-ever pop song polls has seven boy bands in the top ten.

The Lark Ascending: great tune, quintessentially British, actually sounds like a lark, written by Charles Darwin's great-nephew—what's not to like? But best piece of classical music ever? Is that the best you can come up with, culture vultures?

Do us a favour!

Personally, I'd have gone for At the Castle Gate from Pelleas and Melisande by Sibelius (better known to UK readers as the theme tune to The Sky at Night). The first note alone wins if for me. Eat that, Beethoven! Crank it up to eleven. But, like I said, I know diddly-squat about classical music, so I'm not entitled to vote.

Democracy is a load of old bollocks at times.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. The Darwin reference justifies (barely, but it does!) drawing to your attention this from

    QI Fact of the Day

    Charles Darwin kept his Theory of Evolution secret from all but a few close friends for 21 years.

    and indeed this:

    QI Quote of the Day

    Evolution is a change from a no-howish, untalkaboutable, all-alikeness to a somehowish and in general talkaboutable not-all-alikeness by continuous sticktogetherations and something-elseifications.

    WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910

  2. Beethoven et al were the Barry Manilows of their day. They wrote music paid for by their patrons. Therefore, no money in the bank. What we laughingly refer to as Classical music, is merely Robbie Williams in a white wig. The sad thing is that there are undoubtedly thousands of pieces of better Classical music which have never been heard, written by starving musicians unable to wear the brown lipstick of celebrity. Now read on....

    (I've always wanted to put that bit on the end of one of my ramblings)

  3. .... 'English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured & effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havershambling, ...

  4. My God! a fellow Stanshallite! If I had all the money I'd spent on drink....I'd spend it all on drink!

    I still can't find his version of 'Trail of the lonesome pine'

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