Anonymous 4's Gloryland Lands on Billboard Classical Chart at No. 3

Classic Arts News   Anonymous 4's Gloryland Lands on Billboard Classical Chart at No. 3
They're not even a full-time group anymore, but Anonymous 4 still hits the Billboard classical chart with every record they make. The vocal quartet's brand-new release on Harmonia Mundi, Gloryland — like its predecessor, American Angels, an exploration of traditional hymns and other religious music from the US — has made its debut on the chart at no. 3.

Of the half-dozen other new arrivals on the Billboard classical chart this week, one beat out Gloryland to land at no. 2: a compilation from Rhino Records (formerly Warner Classics) entitled Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep.

Rhino describes the new release — whose subtitle is "tranquil seductions promoting deep sleep, one classical beat at a time" — as "the first classical music collection available as a true sleep remedy, an effective alternative to medication ... created to meet the needs of more than 40 million sleep sufferers ... carefully programmed in accordance with recent research from Case Western Reserve University which discovered that classical and soft jazz music played at 60-80 beats per minute induces sound sleep." Among the selections on the two-disc set are the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations, the Fantasia on "Greensleeves" by Vaughan Williams, Ravel's Pavane pour une infante d_funte and two of Satie's Gymnop_dies. (The first customer review of the set is headlined "It works!")

Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin, which hit the chart last week at no. 1, remains in the top spot this week. These three titles have pushed No Boundaries by The 5 Browns, which had been lodged atop the classical chart since mid-April, down to no. 4; the quintet's self-titled debut disc has fallen from ninth place two weeks ago to no. 20 this week.

The other debutantes on this week's Billboard classical chart include Reflection, pianist H_lne Grimaud's disc devoted to the Schumanns and Brahms (no. 7); My Magic Flute, James Galway's new collection of Mozart arrangements plus the famous Flute and Harp Concerto (no. 10); Bach and Beyond, pianist Gabriela Montero's reworkings of Bach keyboard and orchestral pieces (no. 13); Da Pacem and other works by Arvo P‹rt, performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Paul Hillier (no. 18); and a recording of the Violin Concertos in D major by Tchaikovsky and Clarice Assad by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Colorado Symphony under Marin Alsop (no. 19).

Lang Lang's recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra re-entered the classical chart at no. 5, while the pianist's disc Memory rose from no. 21 to No. 6.

The late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of her husband's cycle Rilke Songs with pianist Peter Serkin returned to the chart at no. 22.

On the Billboard classical crossover chart, a new disc has loosened the grip that Andrea Bocelli and Il Divo have maintained on the top five slots for weeks on end. Vittorio, the self-titled debut album by tenor Vittorio Grigolo (who is reportedly an actual trained opera singer, unlike Bocelli and Russell Watson), has debuted at no. 2. The other new entrant on the crossover chart is Here's to the Heroes by the Australian group The Ten Tenors; riding that disc's coattails, the group's previous release, Tenology, has re-entered the chart at no. 22.

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