Podium whiz-kid Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in Mahler's Symphony No. 5 on a DG release which landed at no. 22 this week. Following a wildly popular debut at the BBC Proms in London late this summer, Dudamel and his orchestra are now racking up cheers on their first tour of the U.S. (The group makes its Carnegie Hall debut on November 11 and 12 as part of the "Berlin in Lights" festival; sharing the podium with Dudamel for the second concert will be Simon Rattle.)
One notch above Dudamel's Mahler, at no. 21, is the week's second new arrival, the third in a series of hybrid SACDs on the PentaTone label featuring Julia Fischer in Mozart's Violin Concertos. This disc includes the Rondo in C major (K. 373) as well as two double concertos: the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola and the Concertone for two violins and orchestra. Joining Fischer on second violin and viola is Gordan Nikolic; accompanying, as on the other volumes in the series, are conductor Yakov Kreizberg and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The winner of the 2007 Gramophone Artist of the Year award, the 24-year-old Fischer is currently appearing with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic on its tour of the U.S.
A third title has made its classical chart debut this week as well: Angel Voices: Libera in Concert by the London youth choir Libera on the EMI Classics label.
Returning to the chart this week are: O Holy Night, a collection of newly-arranged Christmas hymns by "inspirational classical violinist" Jenny Oaks Baker (no. 7); "The Russian Album," a collection of opera arias by soprano Anna Netrebko (no. 20); and "The Best of Edgar Meyer," a compilation of tracks performed by the famed double-bass virtuoso.
Taking over the no. 1 spot this week is "Spirit of the Season," this year's holiday release from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra with Norwegian folk-pop singer Sissel. That disc nudged the next three titles on the chart down a notch each: Maria (no. 2), a tribute disc by Cecilia Bartoli to the legendary 19th-century mezzo Maria Malibran; crossover violinist Andr_ Rieu's Radio City Music Hall: Live in New York (no. 3); and "Duets," Deutsche Grammophon's new album featuring Netrebko with tenor Rolando Villaz‹n (no. 4). Remaining at no. 5 is Browns in Blue by the Juilliard-trained pianist siblings The 5 Browns.
Making a big leap this week is pianist Simone Dinnerstein's acclaimed recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, up 13 notches to no. 6.
The newcomer to the Billboard classical crossover chart this week, making its debut at no. 2, is "The Best of Andrea Bocelli." This disc is the fourth that the Italian tenor currently has on the chart, along with Amore (no. 5), Under the Desert Sky (no. 8) and Amor (no. 10). Remaining in the no. 1 spot for the fourth straight week is Josh Groban's holiday release, Noel.