The disc — taken from concerts given during the Silk Road Ensemble's year-long Chicago residency this past season — features traditional music alongside works by Osvaldo Golijov, Zhou Long and composers from Iran, India, China and Lebanon. The group's usual mix of instruments from the breadth of Asia is involved: the Persian kamancheh (spike fiddle), the Arabic oud (lute), the Chinese sheng (mouth organ) and pipa (lute), the Japanese shakuhachi (flute), the Indian tabla (double drum), and so on.
There are no other new arrivals on this week's classical chart, though three previous entrants slipped back on at the bottom. No Boundaries by the piano-playing siblings The 5 Browns, a disc which spent more than a year on the chart (including about five months at no. 1) following its April 2006 release, returned at no. 23. Osvaldo Golijov's Grammy-winning opera Ainadamar is back at no. 24, and Arvo P‹rt's Da Pacem and other works, sung by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, is at no. 25.
The new Silk Road Ensemble release pushed Sting's John Dowland collection Songs from the Labyrinth down to no. 2. In third place is pianist Jon Nakamatsu's all-Gershwin disc with the Rochester Philharmonic, continuing its climb from no. 7 last week and no. 12 the week before. Following are Ma's Appassionato (no. 4), Golijov's Oceana (no. 5), Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin (no. 6) and the choir Stile Antico's "Music for Compline" (no. 7). Masters and Commanders: Music from Seafaring Film Classics by the Cincinnati Pops, which debuted last week at no. 9, rose to eighth place.
On the Billboard classical crossover chart, string quartet tributes to rock bands (all of them on the Vitamin label) continue their hold on the lower half of the list. This week's newcomer, at no. 25, is Funeral: The String Quartet Tribute to My Chemical Romance. While last week's new arrival, dedicated to the group Tool's Aenima, slipped off the chart, remaining are tributes to the bands Hinder (no. 24), Evanescence (no. 22) and Three Days Grace (no. 17, up from no. 21).
The top ten on the crossover chart are exactly as last week: Josh Groban's Awake at no. 1, followed (not in this order) by two Il Divo titles, three discs by Andrea Bocelli, the soundtracks to the films La Vie en rose and Pride and Prejudice, Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler in Gospel Goes Classical, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Broadway album, Showtime!.