Monday, March 28, 2016


I` an unashamed fan of Classic FM - it`s the default station on my car radio - and just before Easter they ran a competition linked to their Easter extravaganza playing the top 300 in this year`s `Hall of Fame.`   For the last few years the top choice of listeners has been Vaughan Williams` The Lark Ascending and we won`t know until later today whether it has retained top spot as the nation`s favourite classical piece.

The `competition` invited listeners to nominate three pieces for inclusion into the `Top 300` although I`m not sure what the prize might be - perhaps a trip to Match of the Day when it`s next in your area - but I don`t expect to win anything as my nominations were a bit random.   In the end I went for three pieces by English composers:-

 - Touch her soft lips and part, by Sir William Walton from his Henry V Suite;

 - Romance in Eb major for string orchestra, Op 11 by Gerald Finzi; and

 -John Barry`s theme from the film Walkabout.

Now elsewhere in these rambling pages I have already posted videos of these pieces of music (click on the `music` label to find them - there`s a list of labels down the page on the right) so I thought this time I would treat you (and me) to another in the long line of John Barry film scores.  This is his wonderful main theme for `Out of Africa` which was written by and directed by two other movie heroes of mine - the screenwriter Kurt Luedtke and the director and much missed Sydney Pollack, both of whom along with John Barry, were Oscar winners for this memorable film........

UPDATE :  Well, The Lark Ascending has come top of the Classic FM Top 300 for the third year in a row.   But John Barry`s Out of Africa was placed a creditable 92nd.  Another of my favourites - Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess came 67th.

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