It’s official: Skyrim’s mighty soundtrack is now the 238th most popular classical work ever, or that’s at least according to a Classic FM listeners’ poll. It’s an impressive achievement for a video game soundtrack, but it almost pales in comparison to the success achieved by Aerith's Theme, from Final Fantasy 7, which climbed all the way into the top 20 and settled into 16th place.
The British radio station asked its listeners to submit their three favourite pieces of classical music, new or old, and a campaign by games industry PR Mark Robins (who runs this Facebook page) helped put video game music in the Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Mozart and Mealor.
The composers behind both these works are industry veterans. Like the Morrowind and Oblivion soundtracks that came before it, the Skyrim soundtrack was composed by Jeremy Soule, who has also worked on Guild Wars 2, and the Dungeon Siege and Harry Potter games. Aerith's Theme is the work of Nobuo Uematsu, who has a long history writing music for the Final Fantasy series.
The list also featured a variety of soundtracks from modern movies, including Howard Shore’s work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, taking the 34th spot, and John Williams’ soundtrack to Schindler’s List coming in at 92. The list was topped by Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 and if he were alive today, I’m sure Beethoven would be pleased to see his Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (aka Ode to Joy) came 9th.
It’s great to see video game soundtracks recognised in this way, though I have to admit a bias here as I’ve been a fan of Jeremy Soule’s work for a long, long time now. If you’ve never come across either of these videogame soundtracks, why not have a listen now? They're two quite distinct pieces and both have been covered many times, in many forms, by an awful lot of YouTube fans.
If you want something throbbing, here's some Skyrim:
Or if you'd prefer something a little more gentle, here's some Final Fantasy 7:
Thanks to Eurogamer.