Elizabethan Singer-Songwriter John Dowland Tops the Charts at Last (Thanks to Sting)

Classic Arts News   Elizabethan Singer-Songwriter John Dowland Tops the Charts at Last (Thanks to Sting)
John Dowland, one of the most widely admired songwriters of Elizabethan England, finally has a hit record on the Billboard charts, some 380 years after his death, according to a report in The Independent of London.

Songs From the Labyrinth, Deutsche Grammophon's recent release of Dowland songs and lute music as performed by the rock star Sting (with lutenist Edin Karamazov), has reached no. 1 on Billboard's UK classical chart; more noteworthy still is that the disc is sitting at no. 24 on the pop album chart, competing against rock, rap, rhythm-and-blues and all other genres.

Songs From the Labyrinth also made its debut on Billboard's US classical chart last week, its first week in release in this country, at no. 24.

There are five other new arrivals on the classical chart this week. Top among them, at no. 5, is Serenada Schizophrana, the first-ever concert work for orchestra by Danny Elfman, best-known as the composer for director Tim Burton's films, from Batman to Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Arriving at no. 11 is pianist Rorianne Schrade's recording of music by Johann Strauss II as transcribed for keyboard by Ernst von Dohnšnyi, Carl Tausig, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and other composers.

Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective, a budget-priced five-CD collection of music by Steve Reich released in honor of his 70th birthday, has landed at no. 13 in its first week on the chart. Moments of Passion, a collection of arias and songs sung by Plšcido Domingo (most associated with concerts he has given at such large-scale sporting events as the World Cup), arrives on the chart at no. 20. A new recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 6 and Piano Quartet by Christoph Eschenbach (performing as both conductor and pianist) and the Philadelphia Orchestra is at no. 25.

Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin continues in the top slot for the fifth consecutive week, while Paul McCartney's oratorio Ecce Cor Meum remains at no. 2, where it debuted last week.

Musical theater vocalist Sarah Brightman's Diva: The Singles Collection made no. 1 in its first week on the Billboard classical crossover chart.

Recommended Reading: