Operatic duet wins ABC’s Classic 100 Love Countdown
George Bizet’s Pearl Fishers Duet (Au Fond du Temple Saint) has been named Australia’s favourite music of love in ABC Classic FM’s Classic 100 Countdown.
This weekend, Australia’s favourite classical music event has celebrated the greatest of human experiences by counting down audiences’ top 100 works of passion and heartbreak.
The duet from the opera The Pearl Fishers was composed by Bizet, who also wrote Carmen, when he was just 25. The Pearl Fishers centres on two characters caught in a love triangle who pledge to honour their friendship above their devotion to the same woman.
Nearly 1900 initial audience nominations were reduced by public voting to the final 100 works.
The Countdown reflected audience preference for works from the 20th Century above all others, while Giacomo Puccini emerged as the most prolific composer on the Countdown, with eight works. Five Australian composers, three of whom are contemporary female artists, made the top 100.
“There’s something profoundly moving about these two male voices singing together, and The Pearl Fishers Duet has always resonated with our listeners,” said Richard Buckham, ABC Classic FM’s Content Manager. “From the moment we announced the Love: Music of Passion and Heartbreak theme, the audience debate kicked off on social media about what the top works were going to be. It’s wonderful that their choices have culminated in such a rich and diverse weekend of music.”
ABC Classic FM hosts Alice Keath, Russell Torrance, Greta Bradman, Christopher Lawrence, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Mairi Nicolson dedicated the weekend to the highs and lows of love with an array of special guests including: tenor David Hobson, conductor Benjamin Northey, lyric baritone Anthony Warlow, musical innovator Erin Helyard and soprano and cellist Taryn Fiebig.
The Classic 100: Love
Longest work on the Countdown: Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue (18’23)
Shortest work on the Countdown: J.S Bach - Goldberg Variations - Aria (1’17)
Time lapse between the oldest work (Dowland’s Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite, 1597) and the most recent (Greenaway’s Stay Awhile, 2008): 411 years
Works by era:
- 16th century: 1
- 17th century: 3
- 18th century: 15
- 19th century: 34
- 20th century: 43
- 21st century: 4
Works by type:
- Opera: 31 works
- Vocal or Choral: 20
- Instrumental or Orchestral: 40
- Film or TV: 9
Combined age of all composers on the Countdown: 4127
Top composers in the Countdown:
- Puccini: 8 works
- Mozart: 5
- Bach: 5
- Rachmaninov: 4
Composers by Country
- France: 13
- Germany: 13
- UK: 11
- Italy: 8
- Russia: 6
- Australia: 5
- US: 2
- Czechia: 1
The Classic 100: Love Countdown began on Saturday morning and concluded on Sunday evening, with a further day of recaps, highlights and works in full this Monday.