Thomas Quasthoff's Jazz Album Makes Billboard Classical Crossover Chart

Classic Arts News   Thomas Quasthoff's Jazz Album Makes Billboard Classical Crossover Chart
Billboard magazine's classical crossover chart offered the big news in CD sales last week, as a recording of jazz standards by bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff arrived on that best-seller list at no. 19.

Thomas Quasthoff — The Jazz Album, subtitled "Watch What Happens," features such American popular standards as "My Funny Valentine," "Accentuate the Positive," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" (from My Fair Lady).

The one new entrant to the Billboard classical chart last week, at no. 20, was Romance, an EMI Classics release featuring cellist Han-Na Chang with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome's main orchestra) under Antonio Pappano. The disc features the Cello Concerto of Edouard Lalo, along with shorter works by Glazunov, Saint-SaêŠns, Dvoršk, Tchaikovsky and Casals.

Returning to the chart were Hilary Hahn's recording of violin concertos by Paganini and Sphor (no. 12); My Magic Flute, James Galway's collection of Mozart works (no. 23); and Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep (no. 24), a Rhino Records compilation billed 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." The disc spent several months on the chart last fall and winter.

Yo-Yo Ma's Appassionato returned to no. 1 last week after having been displaced by Songs From the Labyrinth, Sting's John Dowland album, the previous week. (Appassionato had been at the top of the chart, displacing Labyrinth, ever since its mid-January release.) Sting's DVD/CD set The Journey and the Labyrinth: The Music of John Dowland, remains at no. 3, followed by Joshua Bell's Voice of the Violin and soprano Anna Netrebko's The Russian Album. Yundi Li's recording of Chopin and Liszt piano concertos climbed from 11th to sixth place (up from 20th two weeks before), nudging the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of her husband's Neruda Songs to no. 7.

Quasthoff's jazz disc wasn't the only new arrival on Billboard's classical crossover chart last week. Other newcomers included Siren (no. 16), a disc of popular songs and arias by the duo Sasha & Shawna (sopranos Sasha Lazard and Shawna Stone), and From My Heart (no. 25), a collection of film score themes and other songs by soprano Giorgia Fumanti. The Celtic Tenors' Remember Me re-entered the chart at no. 18.

The crossover chart's top 10 last week remained more or less as it has for the past month or two, with Josh Groban's Awake at no. 1, Sarah Brightman's Diva: The Singles Collection at no. 10, and three CDs each by Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli, Gospel Goes Classical by Juanita Bynum and Jonathan Butler, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's show tunes album in between.

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