The program, in which Bostridge is accompanied by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under conductor Harry Bicket, features arias for tenor from Semele, Messiah, La Resurrezione, Samson, Acis and Galatea, Samson, L'Allegro and Jephtha — as well as three famous mezzo-castrato arias from Serse and Ariodante. Fast-rising young soprano Kate Royal joins in for two of Handel's finest duets: "Happy we!" from Acis and "As steals the morn" from L'Allegro.
Another collection of Handel arias for tenor, this one recorded by Mark Padmore and released on Harmonia Mundi last month, has returned to the classical chart at no. 21. Also re-entering the chart are Cloudburst and other choral works (no. 20), a collection of music by contemporary American composer Eric Whitacre, and Bach and Beyond (no. 24), inventive and quasi-improvisatory renditions of Bach keyboard works by Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero.
The top of the chart remains as it was last week, with veteran rock star Sting's John Dowland album Songs from the Labyrinth at no. 1, "Music for Compline" by the young vocal ensemble Stile Antico at no. 2, cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato at no. 3 and Osvaldo Golijov's Oceana at no. 4.
Star pianist Lang Lang's recording of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 4 rose from eighth to sixth place, while Dragon Songs, his collection of music for piano from his native China, leapt from no. 21 to no. 9. The strong showing for these two discs comes in the wake of Lang Lang's performance of the "Yellow River" Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra last week.
The newly-released recording of the world premiere performance of Strauss's Four Last Songs, sung by Kirsten Flagstad and conducted by Wilhelm Furtw‹ngler, rose from no. 20 to no. 15 in its second week on the chart.
On the Billboard classical crossover chart, the top ten remain exactly as last week, from Josh Groban's Awake at no. 1 through the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Broadway album, Showtime!, at no. 10, with two discs by Il Divo, three by Andrea Bocelli, the soundtracks to the films La Vie en rose and Pride and Prejudice and Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler in Gospel Goes Classical all in between. Returning to the chart were Italian soprano Giorgia Fumanti's From My Heart (no. 14) and the self-titled disc by countertenor Ryland Angel (no. 17).