Oceana, arriving on the chart at no. 4, is the second disc of Golijov's music to be recorded by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and conductor Robert Spano for the Deutsche Grammophon label. In addition to the title work, which features Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the ASO Chamber Chorus, the disc includes the string quartet Tenebrae (performed by the Kronos Quartet) and three songs for soprano and orchestra (sung by Dawn Upshaw).
The new Strauss recording, entering the chart at no. 20, is of the world premiere performance of the Four Last Songs, recorded live in concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1950. Kirsten Flagstad is the soprano soloist, with Wilhelm Furtw‹ngler conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. The disc also includes orchestral excerpts from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and G‹tterd‹mmerung, along with Br‹nnhilde's Immolation from the latter opera.
Another premiere recording, of Henryk G‹recki's String Quartet No. 3, subtitled ... songs are sung and played by the Kronos Quartet, has been on and off the classical chart every couple of weeks since its debut in late March. It is now back on the chart at no. 17.
The top three discs on the past week's chart are the same as the previous week: veteran rock star Sting's John Dowland album, Songs from the Labyrinth, remains at no. 1, followed by "Music for Compline," the new disc by the young vocal ensemble Stile Antico, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato. The new Golijov disc nudged aside Sting's Dowland DVD-CD set The Journey and the Labyrinth (now at no. 5), Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin (no. 6), and the Zenph Studios Disklavier player piano re-recording of Glenn Gould's 1955 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations (no. 7).
Josh Groban's Awake remained atop the Billboard classical crossover chart last week, followed by Andrea Bocelli's Amore at no. 2 and Il Divo's Ancora at no. 3. The soundtrack to the new Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en rose climbed a notch to no. 4, moving ahead of Il Divo's Siempre (no. 5). Bocelli's Under the Desert Sky remained at no. 6, with his Spanish-language release, Amor, moving up two spots to no. 7. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Broadway album, Showtime!, fell three notches to no. 10.
No new titles made the past week's crossover chart; Irish tenor Ronan Tynan's The Dawning of the Day re-entered the chart at no. 25.