Despite what you might expect, video games are actually inspiring people to listen to classical music. British radio station Classic FM has run its annual Hall of Fame poll, asking listeners to nominate their favourite classical pieces – and video game soundtracks have taken out three of the Top 20 spots.
The countdown, which was first run 20 years ago, attracted more than 200,000 votes. Listeners voted Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy soundtracks to #9 in the poll, with Elder Scrolls soundtracks by Jeremy Soule at #11, and – in an unexpected twist – Grant Kirkhope’s score for Banjo-Kazooie popping up at #13.
John Suchet, DJ at the station, is pleasantly surprised:
What I find truly exciting is the continued increase in a younger audience for classical music – I didn’t expect to be thanking the video game industry for introducing the genre to a new generation of people, but it’s wonderful.
Video games first started appearing in the charts in 2012, and caused controversy in 2013 thanks to a PR drive that saw both the Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls soundtracks pushed into the top five. The past few years have seen things settle down, with more and more entries appearing in each list.
Topping the chart again this year is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, which accompanied the final scenes of a beloved Coronation Street character last year.
Other than a few new additions, Classic FM reports that the top 20 is fairly similar to the one we saw this time last year – the top five is rounded out by Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, the Enigma Variations by Elgar, and Beethoven’s stirring Piano Concerto No 5.
For the full list, head to the Classic FM Hall of Fame website, and settle in for some glorious music.