Planets and Asteroids (from Simon Rattle) and Stars (Fleisher, Andsnes, Genaux) Enter Billboard Classical Chart

Classic Arts News   Planets and Asteroids (from Simon Rattle) and Stars (Fleisher, Andsnes, Genaux) Enter Billboard Classical Chart
Perhaps it's Pluto's last hurrah. A new recording by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic of Holst's The Planets — with the additional movement composed by Colin Matthews in honor of the recently decertified planet — has made its debut on the Billboard classical chart at no. 12. The two-disc set also features a project collectively titled Asteroids, which consists of four works specially commissioned by Rattle: Ceres by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Matthias Pintscher's towards Osiris, Kaija Saariaho's Asteroid 4179: Toutatis and Komarov's Fall by Brett Dean.

Three new releases by renowned soloists also entered the classical chart this week. Leon Fleisher's second recent disc of music for piano-both-hands, The Journey, debuted at no. 9. (In the past several years, the veteran Fleisher has recovered from focal dystonia that debilitated his right hand.) Horizons, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes's selection of short pieces that have special personal meaning for him, entered the chart at no. 18, while mezzo Vivica Genaux's release of opera arias by Handel and Hasse landed at no. 22.

Other notable recordings which have moved up the chart include pianist Gabriela Montero's Bach and Beyond, which rose from 14th to second place; H_lne Grimaud's Reflection, which climbed from seventh to fifth; James Galway's My Magic Flute, which went from no. 10 to no. 7; and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of her husband's Rilke Songs, which re-entered the chart last week at no. 22 and has risen to no. 14.

Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin, which entered the chart at no. 1, remains there for the third consecutive week. The deliberately soporific Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep — whose top customer review is headlined "It works!" — slipped from second to third place.

No Boundaries by The 5 Browns continues its descent, falling from first to second to fourth to sixth place over the past four weeks.

Re-entering the classical chart are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Choose Something Like a Star, at no. 18, and Opera Proibita, Cecilia Bartoli's disc of arias from late Baroque Italian oratorios, at no. 21.

We don't usually report on the Billboard classical midline chart (which covers discs with wholesale prices between $8.98 and $12.98), because the list tends to be dominated week after week by the "Baby Einstein" series, collections of wedding music and the occasional compilation of miscellaneous opera arias or "relaxation music." But there is a notable new entrant on the midline chart at no. 9: Anne-Sophie Mutter's set of the complete Mozart Violin Sonatas on DG. Re-entering the midline chart are pianist Gabriela Montero's debut recital disc on EMI (no. 6) and the Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic recording of Copland's Appalachian Spring (no. 13).

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