Debussy, Saint-Saens, Ravel and Bizet dominate a Top 100 that’s so Frenchy, so chic.

 

Last year it was 20th-century music; previous incarnations have included chamber music and all-Mozart lists. But in 2012, with Debussy’s sesquicentenary looming large, ABC Classic FM devoted its annual Classic 100 Countdown to the music of FranceFin-de-siècle operas (Offenbach, Massenet) ballets (Adam, Delibes) and orchestral pieces (Debussy, Fauré, Saint-Saëns) dominated – with just a dash of French Baroque (Marais, Rameau) and modern fare (Messiaen) to add a certain je ne sais quoi. Funnily enough though, the leading lady in the No.1 spot isn’t a French femme fatale, but the sultry Spanish seductress Carmen, from Bizet’s ever-popular opera of the same name. Bodes well for Opera Australia’s Sydney Harbour performances next year. Allons-y!

 

100. Satie, Erik
Je te veux

99. Debussy, Claude
Petite suite pour piano – 4 hands 

98 Berlioz, Hector
Romeo and Juliet 

97. Messiaen, Olivier
Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus

96. Fauré, Gabriel
Dolly Suite, Op 56

95. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Violin Concerto No 3 in B Minor, Op 61

94. Poulenc, Francis
Gloria, Op 177   

93. Bolling, Claude
Suite for Flute and Jazz piano trio 

92. Hahn, Reynaldo
À Chloris 

91. Massenet, Jules
Manon

90. Berlioz, Hector
Les Troyens 

89. Ravel, Maurice
Gaspard de la nuit 

88. Ravel, Maurice
Rhapsodie espagnole 

87. Franck, César
Cello Sonata in A 

86. Berlioz, Hector
Roman Carnival Overture 

85. Chaminade, Cécile
Flute Concertino 

84. Franck, César
Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra 

83. Berlioz, Hector
La Damnation de Faust

82. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor  

81. Rouget de Lisle, Claude Joseph
La Marseillaise

80. Debussy, Claude
Images (piano)

79. Lully, Jean-Baptiste
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme 

78. Debussy, Claude
Pelléas et Mélisande 

77. Ravel, Maurice
Mother Goose

76. Couperin, François
Les Baricades Mysterieuses 

75 Lalo, Édouard
Symphonie espagnole 

74. Fauré, Gabriel
Sicilienne Op 78 for Cello and Piano

73. Gounod, Charles
Saint Cecilia Mass 

72. Poulenc, Francis
Sonata for Flute and Piano

71. Boieldieu, François-Adrien
Concerto for Harp and Orchestra

70. Debussy, Claude
Deux arabesques

69. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Cello Concerto No 1 in A Minor

68. Berlioz, Hector
Te Deum 

67. Charpentier, Marc-Antoine
Te Deum 

66. Godard, Benjamin
Jocelyn 

65. Rameau, Jean-Philippe
Les indes galantes

64. Litolff, Henry Charles
Concert symphonique No 4 

63. Debussy, Claude
Cello Sonata in D Minor 

62. Ravel, Maurice
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand 

61. Offenbach, Jacques
Gaîté Parisienne (excerpts)

60. Duruflé, Maurice
Requiem Op 9

59. Jarre, Maurice
Lawrence of Arabia 

58. Jarre, Maurice
Doctor Zhivago

57. Poulenc, Francis
Organ Concerto in G Minor  

56. Debussy, Claude
String Quartet in G Minor, Op 10 

55. Ravel, Maurice
Piano Trio in A Minor 

54. Ravel, Maurice
Schehérézade

53. Berlioz, Hector
Grande messe des morts (Requiem) 

52. Berlioz, Hector
The Shepherd’s Farewell 

51. Messiaen, Olivier
Turangalîla-Symphonie

50. Ravel, Maurice
Le Tombeau de Couperin

49. Debussy, Claude
Nocturnes 

48. Franck, César
Panis Angelicus 

47. Marais, Marin
The Bells of St Genevieve 

46. Fauré, Gabriel
Clair de lune 

45. Berlioz, Hector
Harold in Italy, Op 16 

44. Berlioz, Hector
Les nuits d’été 

43. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Piano Concerto No 5 in F Major ‘The Egyptian’ 

42. Franck, César
Symphony in D Minor 

41. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Piano Concerto No 2 in G Minor

40. Debussy, Claude
Children’s Corner

39. Chabrier, Emmanuel
Espagña 

38. Franck, César
Violin Sonata in A 

37. Adam, Adolphe
Giselle 

36. Bizet, Georges
Symphony in C 

35. Berlioz, Hector
La Marsaillaise (arrangement) 

34. Offenbach, Jacques
Orpheus in the Underworld 

 33. Gounod, Charles
Ave Maria 

32. Gounod, Charles
Faust

31. Ravel, Maurice
Daphnis et Chloë

30. Fauré, Gabriel
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11

29. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Samson et Dalila

28. Délibes, Léo
Coppélia

27. Bizet, Georges
L’Arlésienne   

26. Dukas, Paul
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

25. Adam, Adolphe
O Holy Night 

24. Messiaen, Olivier
Quartet for the End of Time 

23 Fauré, Gabriel
Pavane, Op 50 

22. Satie, Erik
Gnossiénnes 

21. Ravel, Maurice
Piano Concerto in G

20. Ravel, Maurice
String Quartet in F

19. Widor, Charles
Organ Symphony No 5, Op 42/1 

18. Debussy, Claude
Preludes, Book 1

17. Offenbach, Jacques
The Tales of Hoffmann 

16. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Danse macabre

15. Délibes, Léo
Lakmé  

14. Massenet, Jules
Thaïs 

13. Ravel, Maurice
Pavane for a Dead Princess 

12. Debussy, Claude
La Mer

11. Debussy, Claude
Suite bergamasque (including Clair de lune)

10. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Carnival of the Animals 

9. Ravel, Maurice
Boléro 

8. Canteloube, Joseph
Songs from the Auvergne 

7. Berlioz, Hector
Symphonie fantastique 

6. Debussy, Claude
Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune 

5. Bizet, Georges
The Pearl Fishers 

4. Satie, Erik
Gymnopédies 

3. Fauré, Gabriel
Requiem in D minor, Op 48

2. Saint-Saëns, Camille
Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op 78, ‘Organ’

1. Bizet, Georges
Carmen