Pop music has also helped itself to the melody, with further adaptations including Frank Sinatra’s Full Moon and Empty Arms and Eric Carmen’s 1975 smash hit ‘All By Myself.’
Carmen, a classically trained pianist, had been listening to Rachmaninoff’s second concerto while working on his song and used it as the basis for the tune of his verses.
More than 96,000 votes were cast between January and March to decide this year’s winning piece of classical music, announced by Classic FM presenter Alexander Armstrong.
“Each year, the Classic FM Hall of Fame gives us a unique insight into the nation’s changing tastes in classical music – music we believe is for everyone,” he told listeners.
Record year for film music
It was also a record year for film music with 35 scores in the chart representing 12 per cent of the total music, compared to just two film entries in the first ever chart 27 years ago.
At number 10, its highest position yet, the most popular film score was John Williams’ soundtrack to Schindler’s List.
Mozart was voted the most popular composer with 15 entries in total, followed by Beethoven, Bach and Tchaikovsky, all with 11 each.
There were 10 pieces written by a total of seven female composers – the biggest number voted by the public into the top 300.
The highest placing of those was Debbie Wiseman’s Glorious Garden at 27.
Also making the list was Yoko Shimomura, primarily known for her work in video games, and Florence Price, the first African American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra in 1933.
Classic FM’s Top 10
1. Sergei Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No 2
2. Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
3. Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis
4. Edward Elgar – Enigma Variations
5. Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
6. Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No 5 (‘Emperor’)
7. Gustav Holst – The Planets Suite
8. Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No 9 (‘Choral’)
9. Gregorio Allegri – Miserere
10. John Williams – Schindler’s List