New and Unusual: Morten Lauridsen's Choral Music and Carl Nielsen's Orchestral Works Make Billboard Classical Chart

Classic Arts News   New and Unusual: Morten Lauridsen's Choral Music and Carl Nielsen's Orchestral Works Make Billboard Classical Chart
A recording of rarely-played orchestral works by Carl Nielsen and a new disc of recent choral music by Morten Lauridsen are this week's newcomers to Billboard magazine's classical album chart.

The Nielsen disc — featuring the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard — offers short orchestral scores which are less commonly heard than Nielsen's symphonies. The contents include, among other items, the Maskarade, Love and the Poet and Helios overtures and the tone poems An Imaginary Journey to the Faroe Islands and Pan and Syrinx. The new release on the Dacapo Records label arrives on the chart at no. 14.

American composer Morten Lauridsen is a genuine star in choral music circles, and Hyperion's new release of his Nocturnes and Mid-Winter Songs, performed by the professional British choir Polyphony under its director, Stephen Layton, makes its chart debut at no. 23.

Returning to the chart this week, at no. 18, is a 2006 Deutsche Grammophon release of five previously unrecorded Vivaldi violin concertos, performed by Giuliano Carmignola with the Venice Baroque Orchestra.

A Decca recording of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, released last December and starring crossover tenor Andrea Bocelli, has re-entered the chart at no. 24 — most likely on the coattails of Bocelli's brand-new recording of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (Pagliacci's traditional companion on double-bills) which arrived on the chart last week at no. 6 and slipped to no. 13 this week.

Songs From the Labyrinth, Sting's album of John Dowland covers, returns to the top slot on the classical chart this week after having been displaced by Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato (now in second place) in mid-January. Sting's DVD/CD set The Journey and the Labyrinth: The Music of John Dowland, which hit the chart at no. 2 two weeks ago, slips to no. 3.

Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin moves back up to no. 4, trading places again with soprano Anna Netrebko's The Russian Album. The late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of her husband's Neruda Songs, recorded in concert with the Boston Symphony under James Levine, has climbed one notch to no. 6.

Going Home, a disc of spirituals by Metropolitan Opera bass (and former Citadel cadet and football star) Morris Robinson, is the sole new title on this week's Billboard classical crossover chart, arriving at no. 12. The crossover top 10 this week — from Josh Groban's Awake at no. 1 down to Sarah Brightman's Diva: The Singles Collection, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's show tunes album, a classical disc by gospel stars Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler, and three CDs each by Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli in between — is exactly the same as last week.

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