Is the listener bias towards English music, as demonstrated in the results of the recent Classic 100 20th Century, a symptom of a wider problem?


   The ABC Classic 100 20th Century countdown seemed to throw up a lot of controversy last year. I must admit that until I was on air for the first session with my partner in crime Marian Arnold, I had no idea who had won. I took a peek down the list, which felt naughty, like looking at the last page of a grand novel to see how the story finishes. There it was: No 1 – the Elgar Cello Concerto. I wished I hadn’t seen it.  There is nothing wrong with the piece – it’s a lovely work – but is such a remnant of the 19th century. It seemed unbelievable that it could have won ahead of all the other magnificent and more modern pieces from the 20th century. Of course there was no point grumbling about the decision; the people voted and they got what they voted for.