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Official Classical Music chart
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject: Official Classical Music chart Reply with quote

By official I mean the one published by The Official UK Charts Company, and NOT the chart banded about by ClassicFM which has about six Katherine Jenkins CDs in it Rolling Eyes

Oddly (or is just me) I can't SEE the Classical chart on the website of the The Official UK Charts Company, it might be there but I can't find it.

The only place where I DO see the chart is a slim column published in the 'Recording News' section of the BBC Music Magazine. Anyone else subscribe to this?

Anyway, Katherine Jenkins may be missing from the official chart but there are interesting inclusions and I wonder if anyone here has bought them.

Straight in at No 1 this month is Sting with his Songs Of The Labrynth his versions of songs by the Elizabethan composer/lute player John Dowland. the CD includes a very touching tribute to the somewhat persecuted (Catholic) Dowland by featuring readings of some letters while he was in exile. So the CD is a bit of an experience/learning and not just a vehicle for Sting's voice and lute. Sting's lute contribution might actually be very small, and he is very well supported by a proper lute player. I'll ask the missus to get me the CD for Xmas.

No 2 is a proper classical singer, though he is known as a popular ballad singer too. Bryn Terfel sings Mozart with others.

No 3 and ClassicFM gets in there with the CD they produced for Alfie Boe, a 'crossover popera' if ever there was one.

No 4 and we have McCartney's latest classical venture 'Ecco cor meum'. Nobody seems convinced that he wrote down any of the music. Does he just hum bits to a team of score writers?

No 5 and we have some vintage crossover in a collection by Mario Lanza

I'll stop at No 6, for the moment, as at last we have a proper classical CD, Holst: 'Planets' with Simon Rattle conducting his Berlin Philharmoniker which is not a group of mouth organ players but what we used to call the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Any of this music might be heard on Radio 2, on Sunday or on Desmond's show.

John W
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Ella Sailyour



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Official Classical Music chart Reply with quote

John W wrote:

I'll stop at No 6, for the moment, as at last we have a proper classical CD, Holst: 'Planets' with Simon Rattle conducting his Berlin Philharmoniker which is not a group of mouth organ players but what we used to call the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.


Is that the band that Herbert von Karajan used to weild the baton at? If so, I have one of his long playing record things - Schubert's 5th and 8th (Unfinished) symphonies. Jolly nice it is too - great for swigging back the G&T whilst trying to avoid the ironing!

Ella Embarassed
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ella,

Yes, Karajan was there during the 60's -80's. You might be astonished how many albums I have of the BPO in Karajan's time - a lot were purchased second hand - I'll have a look at my list and come back on that Smile

Rattle is English so to be resident conductor of the BPO is a challenge and one he is handling quite well (his predecesor Abbado had a difficult exit).

John W
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Ella Sailyour



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John W wrote:
Rattle is English so to be resident conductor of the BPO is a challenge and one he is handling quite well (his predecesor Abbado had a difficult exit).


That would be "Claudio" I take it. (See, you wouldn't get this level of cultural discourse with young Mr. Nelson, would you??? Cool ).

My better half was rummaging around in some LP boxes the other week and found half a dozen mint condition Deutsche Grammophon LP's featuring Karajan conducting the BPO. They sound perfect - but I really can't recall how they came to be there! I think one of them is the obligatory (for classical music collections) Beethoven's Symphony Number 9.

Ella
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Claudio Abbado.

Sorry if it looked like I was ignoring you there, with the page open and Broadband on it must seem like I'm on here all day but no.

In fact I am recording first part of Malcolm Laycock's show onto the computer and I can't be clicking pages when it's recording. Malcolm's playing some new releases (re-masterings) so will listen proper later.

John W
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ella,

That Beethoven cycle of symphonies recorded by Karajan in 1962-64 for Deutsche Grammophon were huge sellers, and I have the set too. I think he recorded them all again in the late 70's but not sure.

My list of Karajan's is about 50, but many were acquired in boxes from charity shops and might have been played just once!

John W
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marietta honeybun



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a programme on Netherland 2 (tv) yesterday afternoon which was a brief look at the life of Bryn Terfel. What a wonderful voice he has! They showed clips from some of the operas and also from his own musical creation that he has every year in Wales. It showed how he started as a young boy and went on to become the star he is today. A very interesting programme and, OK, I know it was on tv but it was still excellent!! Smile
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Official Classical Music chart Reply with quote

John W wrote:
I'll stop at No 6, for the moment, as at last we have a proper classical CD, Holst: 'Planets' with Simon Rattle conducting his Berlin Philharmoniker which is not a group of mouth organ players but what we used to call the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.


John, would you recommend this as being one of the better recordings of "The Planets"?

I quite like "Mars: The Bringer of War" (I tend to associate it with the BBC versions of 'The Quatermass Experiment' and 'Quatermass II'!) and want to listen to the rest.

Cheers,

Cherskiy
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John W



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cherskiy,

>>John, would you recommend this as being one of the better recordings of "The Planets"?
<<

I haven't heard Rattle's BPO recording in full, just a couple of the tracks on ClassicFM and I don't know enough to say if they are great or not. I have three LP's of the Planets, one I've put on CD (Boult conductor) which is my favourite for full-bodied sound.

Amazon have listeners' reviews which do find fault with Rattle's recording, Boult and Rattle are listed here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_m_h_/203-0112060-5258338?url=search-alias%3Dclassical&field-keywords=holst+planets&Go.x=8&Go.y=8


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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll check those out, thanks....

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the planets, it's one of my favourite classical recordings. I like a bit of classical for a change, O/H and I have been to the last night of theproms at Audley End (Essex) for the last couple of years. We hope to go next year too, it's such a wonderful thing to do.
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John W



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok then moving down the chart we have :

at No 7 Pavarotti/Domingo/Carreras, yes the Three Tenors. Now the CD is on the Ground Floor label? Is it a budget label? Must be a concert recording or re-issue of old favourites. I admit I do have a three tenors LP and a video, must be from around 1990.

at No 8 we have Chloe Hanslip playing two violin concertos and other works. Not the usual popular concertos but 'modern' classical. Not my cup of tea - I've listened a bit at
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.559302

but I did like the Enescu Rhapsodies Smile

at No 9 yet another set of vintage tracks from Mario Lanza

at No 10 the debut album from the mistress of the trumpet, Alison Balsom, who some of you may have seen/heard at the proms. I have heard her play some of the standard trumpet works, and she is fantastic.

But therein lies her problem, she has mastered all the great (but there's too few) trumpet works and in order to supply more CDs for her record company she has to resort to playing 'transcriptions' - musical works NOT written for the trumpet. So on this CD she's playing works originally for violin by Bach and Paganini, jumping from unfeasibly low notes to even more unfeasibly high notes and, well, I'm not a pure purist but it gets ridiculous to me, as someone who loves violin concertos played on the violin.

She is a stunning trumpet player, but this CD is a playful thing for the ClassicFM mob, and I expect most CDs will get about three plays and then discarded.

So nothing for me in the latter section of the top 10 Confused


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iwarburton



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Herbert von Karajan, I don't have a great deal of his work in my collection but I was given his 1978 CD set of the four Brahms symphonies for a leaving present once and feel that it's a core item for any classical fan.

He certainly spent a long time with the BPO but don't overlook his recordings with the Vienna PO. He also worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the UK in the 50s and early 60s and some of this catalogue is still available too.

Ian.
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John W



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian,

Yes, I have some Karajan/VPO recordings with Richter (Tchaikovsky piano concerto) and Tebaldi/Berganzi (Verdi) and two Beethoven symphs.

And with the Philharmonia, I notice I have the Mozart Horn Concertos, with Dennis Brain, a 1950-something recording reprocessed in stereo in 1960-something? can't remember playing that record Confused

Don't hear much Karajan on Radio 3, but quite often on ClassicFM, where of course the presenter never says something like "on a recording made 39 years ago....." Rolling Eyes

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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello John

You did also post the original thread here on the Beeb's Your Music board. I've responded there, but no-one else seems interested. I'll repeat it here for the "benefit" of all.

You're not the only one who couldn't find any reference to the Official Classical Music Chart - it's conspicuous by its absence anywhere on the net. I've not subscribed to the BBC Music Magazine for a couple of years - I cancelled it in one of those futile economy drives that families have now and again, after straining my back lifting a stack of mint-looking back numbers for the recycling bin.

The Sunday Times prints a Top Ten Classical list , and an "indie" variation, every three weeks, but as it includes the ubiquitous Katherine Jenkins it's presumably not the Official one.

It would be difficult for me not to sound hypocritical about the merits of, and what should be included or excluded from the Classical chart. My conservative/traditionalist half rails against the inclusion of the "popera/crossover" acts. KJ and "hot band of the moment" the From Male Voice Choir are trumpeted by their record company as classical bestsellers but much of their respective albums consist of pop or folk songs in a classical setting. On the other hand you have to acknowledge the public's seemingly insatiable for such material, and it has become the new Easy Listening, while traditional classical CDs no longer sell in quantity, reflected in the shrinking space given to them even in the largest branches of HMV and Virgin. I have to admit that, having accumulated most of the popular classical repertoire on vynil in the 70s I have neither the desire nor the surplus wonga to replace them on CD and therefore the only remotely classical stuff I've bought this year has been the Vienna New Year Concert, Universal's Classical 2007 sampler, and Miss Jenkins (of all the "popera" acts I don't mind her - she's not perfect but she does acknowledge that what she does at the moment is Easy rather than Classical; she feels her voice is not yet mature enough for the heavy stuff - trouble is, of course, having been marketed as the new "Forces Sweetheart" she'll find it fiendishly difficult to impress the purists and critics when she does try something more meaty).

Of the chart rundown, Sting's is No 1 in the US as well. I've only heard one track, but it's interesting and if someone gives me a gift voucher at Christmas it may well go on that.

Bryn Terfel is superb and his Tutto Mozart has been well reviewed. I've bought it as a present for my mother and if it hadn't been hermetically sealed in cellophane I'd have had a sneak listen, but I'll get a chance after she's had a go!

Alfie Boe presumably gets included because at least 12 of the 13 tracks are proper opera ones and haven't been "souped up". I've listened to the three tracks on his website - for some reason I couldn't get the image of Harry Secombe to go out of my head. Interestingly, this CD is ranked no 739 in terms of sales at Amazon.

Paul McCartney's latest classical offering got the usual critical panning, and it does sound a bit like elevator music, but at least it is classical in spirit and construction. I think he has always said he can't read or write music, so I hope he paid his transcriptors well.

Don't know which of Mario Lanza's are in the chart. I always thought him over-rated, but the age and sound quality of recordings doesn't help. At No 6 (or no 1,123 at Amazon) Sir Simon Rattle's Planets has had mixed reviews and I've not heard it - I'm happy with my Adrian Boult's.

I agree with what you say about the rest of the ten. The samples of Alison Balsom sound nice, but trumpet works are thin on the ground - perhaps when EMI get taken over she'll end up doing The Four Seasons!
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Two stepper



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm enjoying reading this thread boys, though I've nothing to add I fear, all a bit beyond my level of expertise.. but isn't it nice that you can have a discussion like this without it getting wrecked ? Can you imagine trying to conduct a thread like this at the old place ?
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John W



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2stepper, yeah, this is cool Exclamation

RockitRon,

Looks like my missus should have ordered the Sting album on-line as the local HMV, Borders and WHSmith didn't stock it Shocked

She says a trip into Coventry might be necessary, but I've pointed out that they only have the same three shops.

Same thing occurred to me (Harry Secombe) when I heard Alfie Boe. I always remember my dad enjoying Secombe's 'serious side' on his Sunday TV show 30 years ago.

The purists moan about KJ and Alfie not singing full operas, but I guess they don't really need to. Kiri and Pavarotti were proper opera singers but made their fortune by commercialising the good opera tunes, inspired possibly by Lanza.

Lanza's real operatic experience was short, interrupted by WWII, so after then I guess he was the first show-biz singer of opera tunes. Opera star Beniamino Gigli also did concerts but only towards the very end of his career, 1950's, when Lanza was heavily into films. Gigli and his predecessor Enrico Caruso (d.1921) sold millions of records in their day (and after), there's quite a few of them on a shelf here!


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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two stepper wrote:
I'm enjoying reading this thread boys, though I've nothing to add I fear, all a bit beyond my level of expertise.. but isn't it nice that you can have a discussion like this without it getting wrecked ? Can you imagine trying to conduct a thread like this at the old place ?


Likewise - and I've learned something in the bargain.

Cherskiy
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John W



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to those who have found the chart run-down interesting. Finally for December, just a quick run-through the rest of the top 20 Classical Chart:

No 11 - a budget label (Naxos 5.99) CD of Handel's Messiah. There is so much brilliant singing (in English) and the orchestral scoring is fabulous Handel at his best. Idea

No 12 - MOZART Arias. Magdalena Kozena (soprano), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Simon Rattle. If you like the likes of Marriage of Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutti operas (in Italian) then you will enjoy this. Smile

No 13 - Patrick Hawes, piano. 'Towards The Light'. This is a Classic FM CD, it includes the twelve pieces Hawes has written this year for his Classic FM post as Composer in Residence. I'm not keen on what I've heard on the radio. Confused

No 14 - 'Taize Chant' by the St Thomas Music Group, over an hour of music for reflection, contemplation, peace and serenity. Not heard any of it, I haven't got a clue what Taize is about. A google might tell you. Confused

No 15 - Beethoven Symphs 1 and 5. Haitink/London S.O. If you haven't got Beethoven's symphonies then try this one to start yu off. Haitink is a highly regarded conductor. Smile

No 16 - Schubert string quartets 'Death & The Maiden' and 'Rosamunde'. Now, you have to like string quartets if you try to listen to these, about half an hour each. You can listen to six minutes of Rosamunde at the Hyperion site
http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/details/67585.asp

No 17 - 'Pilgrimage to Santiago' by the Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner. Uplifting, spiritual, if you need that sort of thing. Listen to an excerpt of every one of the 21 tracks and check the reviews at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pilgrimage-Santiago/dp/B000IFRPUA/sr=1-1/qid=1166810816/ref=pd_bowtega_1/203-0112060-5258338?ie=UTF8&s=music

No 18 - British Light Classics - Royal Philharmonic, conductor is an old FNIMN regular Barry Wordsworth. This is classic FNIMN stuff, and its been in the charts for over 2 years! Novelties like By A Sleepy Lagoon, Devil's Galop, pure test card music Laughing love it! Razz

No 19 - Lullaby Classics - Baby Einstein Rolling Eyes errr... just look at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Einstein-Lullaby-Classics/dp/B0001Z64FO

No 20 - James Galway plays his flute as only he can 'My Magic Flute'. This was first released in 1992. I'm not keen on this as he's playing music not originally written for the flute. Evil or Very Mad

Quite a mixed bag the Classical Chart eh? Something for just about everyone.


John W

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanza is always worth listening to, but if you want to hear a true great of opera who branched out into concert, get hold of ANYTHING by Jussi Bjorling. A truly sensational voice.
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John W



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi childprufe,

I only 'discovered' Jussi Bjorling recently, on Your 100 Best Tunes, where Richard Baker has played him occasionally, and also on a ClassicFM CD, and then found a couple of 78's in a boxful from a neighbour. A beautiful voice. I wasn't aware that he had branched out into regular concert performances.

Regards,

John W
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No 18 - British Light Classics - Royal Philharmonic, conductor is an old FNIMN regular Barry Wordsworth. This is classic FNIMN stuff, and its been in the charts for over 2 years! Novelties like By A Sleepy Lagoon, Devil's Galop, pure test card music love it!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's nothing short of a disgrace that hardly any of this is played on R2 and R3 is preparing to axe its only contribution in this field, the Brain Kay programme.

Ian.
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bottom half of the Top 20 was interesting, and seems to bear out what I was saying about the quantity of "pure" classical music sales. Searching for the titles, on Amazon and HMV, is not an operation that's fulfilled quickly, and when you do find them their sales ranking is well down the bottom of the barrel.

No 11 Messiah highlights (on Naxos). Couldn't find this on Amazon at all. HMV have it listed but out of stock. It's a 1995 edit of a 1992 release.

No 12 Mozart Arias / Rattle. A newish release. Ranks 7,307 in sales.

No 13 Patrick Hawes. I'm not that keen from what I've heard either. Ranks 6,822

No 14 Taize Chant. "Over an hour of reflection, contemplation, peace and serenity" Made No 3 in the CFM/WHSmith chart in July. Ranks 3,771 now.

No 15 Beethoven / Haitinck. Budget release at under a fiver by LSO Live. Ranking 27,448

No 16 Schubert's Death & The Maiden. New, ranks 10,039

No 17 Monteverdi Choir. Also new. Ranks 1,016, the best-selling of the bottom ten.

No 18 British Light Classics / Wordsworth. This is a bargain double CD pairing of Vol 1 + 2 issued a few years ago, only costs 4.99. I've got the four CDs in Hyperion's series of British Light Classics - they're a joy to listen to but they cost me somewhat more! I echo Ian's comments about the lack of time for such music on Radio 2 and 3. Ranking 9,036

No 19 Lullaby Classics. A Walt Disney release, currently marked as unavailable except on import. Ranking 16,212

No 20 James Galway. This is a new recording, under his new contract with DG, though it's more than likely that he's covering old ground. I like listening to him, classical or popular, though I've gone seriously off Annies Song, and I can't bear to watch him. Ranks 7,200 - this may be due to the fact that searching James Galway or Mozart on Amazon won't bring this CD up - you have to put the title Rolling Eyes
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RockitRon,

Many thanks for that.

the Naxos 'Handel: Messiah' is of course available on-line from Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.570131-32

and likely from Borders shops who stock a good amount of the Naxos catalogue.

John W
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John W



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, classical-pickers, here's the run down on the classical chart as released by the Official UK Charts Company and published in the BBC Music Magazine for December.

1. Sting is still in there at No 1. with his lute mate and their 21st century tribute to John Dowland

2., 3., 4. are the Bryn, Boe and McCartney CDs that were in the top four last week

5. Zooming in at No 5 is an album from Anna Netrebko released in October last year, singing Russian songs.

6. Simon Rattle and Holst's Planets Suite remain at No 6

7. In at 7 is a Naxos CD by Bournemouth SO of Elgar Music including Sea Pictures sung by Sarah Connolly.

CDs that have dropped out of the top 20 are the Three Tenors, both the Lanza CDs, the Taize Chant thingy, and the Haitink pair of Beethoven symphonies. All the others from last week's chart have moved up or down within the 20.

The other entries are from Renee Fleming, Simon Keenlyside and Nicoletta Benedetti (she's Scottish).

Fleming's 'Homage - the age of the Diva' comes in at No 11, is in tribute to some of the great sopranos who graced the stage at New York Metropolitan Opera House in the 1920s and who sold huge numbers of 78rpm records for Victrola/HMV, a good number of these are on my shelves here - these 78s are not 'rare' and many can be found at record fairs for a few pounds. There is something quite magical about playing an opera 78 on a good gramophone

Anyway, the Netrebko and Fleming CDs are reviewed here:
http://music.guardian.co.uk/classical/timashley/story/0,,1943657,00.html

Simon Keenlyside, baritone, starred in last years proms singing Mozart. On his debut CD from Sony he also sings works by Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and others so it is a mixed bag of the 'best of opera' indeed the CD has the cheesy title 'Tales of Opera' but this varied progamme does allow Simon to display his versatility. Review:
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/82876884822.htm

Nicola Benedetti returns to the chart with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto which was released in May last year. She impressed the proms in 2005 with her playing of this concerto which convinced many that she might just be a serious musician and not just a musical babe. The CD features a few other works and there is a strikingly atmospheric piece by James MacMillan, From Ayrshire, which was composed for Benedetti.
http://www.mmmusic.co.uk/reviews/cdreviews/mendelssohnvlnconcbenedetti.html


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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to have this update, John. Still can't quite understand why they don't provide this information anywhere else!

Nicola Benedetti was, of course, the BBC Young Musician Of The Year in 2004. Most winners seem to do quite well afterwards, though not all net themselves lucrative recording deals (then again, not many of them look like Nicola). I've got Kyung Wha Chung's Mendelssohn Concerto; reading the review it might be quite similar in style and interpretation.

I recall Nicola interviewing Maxim Vengerov in the middle of one of this year's televised Proms (and thinking, gawd, how young she is!)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Browsing in WHSmith yesterday, noticed they had a huge pile of Music Week, the trade's weekly newspaper (which, at 4.25 a go, is a bit steep, so someone's recycling bin will get some hammer).

Among the many charts of all types they publish is a Classical Top Ten, given to them by The Official Chart Company. However, this is the crossover version, filled with Katherine Jenkins and All Angels etc - not one "traditional, bona-fide" classical album in it!
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Behind Geddon's Wall



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron, I know that you rail against the 'crossover' stuff, but if there is a chance that Katherine Jenkins et al brings disillusioned listeners into the classic fold, it's worth it.

For example, on the back of 'Brandenburger' by The Nice, I bought the brandenburg concertos to see where Mr Emerson had got his inspiration from.

Geddon.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Behind Geddon's Wall wrote:
Ron, I know that you rail against the 'crossover' stuff, but if there is a chance that Katherine Jenkins et al brings disillusioned listeners into the classic fold, it's worth it.

For example, on the back of 'Brandenburger' by The Nice, I bought the brandenburg concertos to see where Mr Emerson had got his inspiration from.

Geddon.


Moi aussi!

I know I'm being hypocritical about the crossover stuff, mentioned as much earlier, as these days I'm more likely to buy that, partly because I have most of the traditional popular classical repertoire on LP and have no wish, inclination or wonga to replace it, and partly because it's all the rest of the family will take.

Katherine Jenkins IS nice - I think I prefer to listen to her rather than watch her, though, since neither the Barbie-Doll in Evening Gown look nor what she was wearing on GMTV this morning look right to me. All four of her albums are in the current "Classical Top Ten" (the non-core version), so she's obviously caught the public's ear. I know her ambitions are, in time, to graduate to serious opera, but I think that doing Vera Lynn, Bryan Adams and Dolly Parton (and struggling to do a Mario Lanza song as she did this morning) now might make that a bit of an Impossible Dream.

John will no doubt supply the core classical chart; the "Top Ten Classical Albums Dec 23 - Jan 20, based on sales from 5,500 general, specialist and independent retailers" was

1. Voices Of The Valley - Fron Male Voice Choir
2. Serenade - Katherine Jenkins
3. The Classical Album 2007
4. All Angels - All Angels
5. Classics, The Best of - Sarah Brightman
6. The Voice - Ultimate Collection - Russell Watson
7. Living A Dream - Katherine Jenkins
8. Second Nature - Katherine Jenkins
9. You Raise Me Up - The Best of - Aled Jones
10. Premiere - Katherine Jenkins
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Natasha
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Best of Sarah Brightman? Which one was that then? Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha wrote:
The Best of Sarah Brightman? Which one was that then? Laughing


"I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper".... Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natasha wrote:
The Best of Sarah Brightman? Which one was that then? Laughing


I'm glad you said that Smile

I was tempted to put little comments about each one at the time, but couldn't think of four witty things to say about KJ, or anything at all about the bland Mr Watson. Ms Brightman's ought to come with a free pair of ear defenders - the best one will be the shortest one. Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for reminding to do a core-classical chart rundown.

Not much change really, the top 4 are the same as last month, but rather than do a who's up who's down, like I did last month, I'll do a refresh and list the 20. Sometime tonight, the missus and the gym are calling me right now Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much change in the first half of the Classical Top 20 (proper one):

No 1 this month, and for several months now, is Sting with his Songs Of The Labrynth, his versions of songs by the Elizabethan (16thC) composer/lute player John Dowland. The CD includes a very touching tribute to the somewhat persecuted (Catholic) Dowland by featuring readings of some letters while he was in exile. So the CD is a bit of an experience/learning and not just a vehicle for Sting's voice and lute. Sting's lute contribution might actually be very small, but he is very well supported by a proper lute player Edin Karamazov.
NOTE: The missus to got me the CD for Xmas, and I do like it. Sting's voice may be 20th/21st century but Dowland's songs were for anyone to sing and Sting's rendering of Dowland's songs just might be more authentic than say today's Andreas Scholl or soprano Emma Kirkby !!!!!!!

No 2 and we have McCartney's latest classical venture 'Ecco cor meum'. Nobody seems convinced that he wrote down any of the music maybe he just hum bits to a team of score writers?

No 3 is a proper classical singer, though he is known as a popular ballad singer too. Bryn Terfel sings Mozart with others.

No 4 and ClassicFM gets in there with the CD they produced for Alfie Boe.

No 5 moving up 6 places is singer Renee Fleming. Fleming's 'Homage - the age of the Diva' is in tribute to some of the great sopranos who graced the stage at New York Metropolitan Opera House in the 1920s and who sold huge numbers of 78rpm records for Victrola/HMV.

No 6 is a Classic FM CD of 'Carols form Buckingham Palace'. Yeah, I know it's February now but this chart is about a month old and gets printed in the BBC magazine mid-January

No 7 a budget label (Naxos 5.99) CD of Handel's Messiah. There is so much brilliant singing (in English) and the orchestral scoring is fabulous Handel at his best. Rockitron tracked this one down to an original 1992 recording.

Naxos have an excellent website for ordering and Borders shops stock a good amount of the Naxos catalogue.

No 8 is another Naxos CD by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra of Elgar music including Sea Pictures sung by Sarah Connolly.

No 9 Holst: 'Planets' with Simon Rattle conducting his Berlin Philharmoniker which is not a group of mouth organ players but what we used to call the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This CD is doing very well and holding it's place in the top 10.

No 10 Lullaby Classics - Baby Einstein
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No 11 'Pilgrimage to Santiago' by the Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner. Uplifting, spiritual, if you need that sort of thing. Listen to an excerpt of every one of the 21 tracks at Amazon.

No 12 James Galway plays his flute as only he can in his album 'My Magic Flute' playing mainly music not originally written for the flute.

No 13 the debut album from today's mistress of the trumpet, Alison Balsom, who some of you may have seen/heard at the proms. I have heard her play some of the standard trumpet works, and she is fantastic.
She has mastered all the great (but there's too few) trumpet works and in order to supply more CDs for her record company she has to resort to playing 'transcriptions' - musical works NOT written for the trumpet. So on this CD she's playing works originally for violin by Bach and Paganini, jumping from unfeasibly low notes to even more unfeasibly high notes and, well, I'm not a pure purist but it gets ridiculous to me, as someone who loves violin concertos played on the violin.

No 14 is an album from Anna Netrebko released in October last year, singing Russian songs.

No 15 Nicola Benedetti with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto which was released in May last year. The stunning Scottish girl won the BBC Young Musician Of The Year in 2004 and impressed the proms in 2005 with her playing of this concerto which convinced many that she might just be a serious musician and not just a musical babe. The CD features a few other works and there is a strikingly atmospheric piece written by James
MacMillan, From Ayrshire, which was composed for Benedetti.

No 16 the debut CD from Simon Keenlyside, baritone, who starred in last years proms singing Mozart. On this Sony CD he also sings works by Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and others so it is a mixed bag of the 'best of opera' indeed the CD has the cheesy title 'Tales of Opera' but this varied progamme does allow Simon to display his versatility.

No 17 is volume 5 of a Bach Cantatas series from the Monteverdi Choir

No 18 is 'Taize Chant' by the St Thomas Music Group, over an hour of music for reflection, contemplation, peace and serenity. Still not heard any of it, I haven't got a clue what Taize is about. A google might tell you.

No 19 is the Best of Maxim Wengerov from Warner Music. Vengerov, from Western Siberia, is a formidable virtuoso violinist who has tackled all of the difficult violin concertos in the standard repetoire with great success. Now, the Best Of Maxim Vengerov, I believe, is an 11 CD set of all his Teldec CDs at a budget price. Several of the great violin concertos are featured as well as some lesser know concertos and other works
http://www.warnerclassics.com/release.php?release=4683

No 20 is the Best of Andreas Scholl from Decca Music. Andreas Scholl is a counter-tenor, a high-voiced male singer, and the CD is I think entirely Baroque music, a mix of traditional songs, sacred music and opera arias. This was eleased last September.
http://decca.ddd.de/
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello John,
Nice to see you are still keeping this thread alive. Nicer still to see Renee Fleming in the charts. Not for her the populist anthems. She is a true diva herself - a wonderful voice.
I will have to raid the piggy bank..... Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for this month's classical album chart - this is the "general" one that includes the popular crossover stuff and covers Jan 20 - Feb 17

1. Fron Male Voice Choir - Voices Of The Valley
- not much classical about this choral equivalent of Westlife. No 88 in Amazon's bestseller list.

2. Katherine Jenkins - Serenade
- with guest Bryan Adams Rolling Eyes

3. The No 1 Tchaikovsky Album
- or, as conductor Charles Hazlewood pronounced him "Chikosky"

4. Katherine Jenkins - Living A Dream
- Jenkins sings Parton, amongst others

5. Classic FM - Baroque'n'Roll
- Terrible marketing pun, and punky cover, to sell Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

6. Sarah Brightman - Classics: The Best of...
- And you thought the terms Brightman and Best Of were mutually exclusive.

7. Katherine Jenkins - Premiere
- Interesting pre-Barbie makeover photo on the front.

8. Juan Diego Florez - The Tenor
- Classical bonbons from young Peruvian singer. The topselling core classical album.

9. Russell Watson - The Ultimate Collection
- For his new album he's joined the Frank Sinatra wanabes queue. This one is from his Mario Lanza wanabe period.

10. Mario Lanza - The Essential Collection
- Sixty archive recordings for a shade over 10p a track. Cost more than that in grandma's day.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Ron. I think there is just one item in that chart that is also in the 'official classical' chart Laughing

So yes, it's March and it's time for a rundown of the Official Classical Chart, though sales are probably related to late Jan-early Feb.

I don't think it's worth me doing the list 1 -20 again as it's almost exactly the same as last month, which I posted above (Feb 5) !

Sting is still No 1, McCartney is No 2, Handel: Messiah No 3.

The real changes are 18-20, though the Mario Lanza CD at 18 was in the charts around Christmas.

At 19 is the Naxos release of Rutter's Mass of the Children with Clare College Choir directed by Timothy Brown. I can't comment on this at all as I cannot get any enthusiasm for Rutter's contemporary vocal output.

At 20 is the new Naxos CD of Brahms Symphony No. 3 London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop
http://www.the-woods.co.uk/html/brahms_sym3naxos.php


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing the May BBC Music Magazine already in the shops reminds me I didn't post anything about the Official UK Classical Chart published in the April magazine, so let me just tell you about the Top 3 in the April list:

Sting was knocked off his No 1 spot by Juan Diego Florez The Tenor Decca 475 8418

Mario Lanza moved up from No 18 to No 2, The Essential Collection The Red Box Therb 206

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson went straight in at No 3 with Sings Peter Lieberson - Neruda Songs Nonesuch 7559 79954-2

When I posted this at R3ok/R3boards Bobbyz informed me:

Quote:
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson very sadly died last year in her early fifties from breast cancer. Peter Lieberson is her husband. She was American, principally a contralto, performed a wide repertoire from Bach cantatas to John Adams. Trained as an instrumentalist and took to serious singing in her early twenties I believe. There's another posthumous cd recently released of a recital at Wigmore Hall in Mahler and Brahms songs. Which was vocal cd of the month in that April edition of BBC Music. Sadly missed.



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iknewdavidjacobsmum



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the problem with the classical music chart is that Deutsche Grammafon dwarfs the others.
I still have and listen to, Erik Satie, which I bought 20+ years ago.
Also "Dido and Aneas", which amazingly was written by Purcell for a Girls School; I had to write Act 3 Sc 1 for music "O" level. Yes know I've spelled it wrong. Try buying either of those today.
However, seems that all music is driven by commercials.
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