This year has seen the launch of The Specialist Classical Chart – and a new award marks the disc that dominated it
Gramophone started publishing The Specialist Classical Chart at the beginning of the year, the culmination of a longstanding desire to provide a dynamic list of each week’s highest-selling pure classical releases.
Compiled by the Official Charts Company in association with our colleagues at the British Phonographic Industry, the aim of the chart was, naturally, to show which new releases were making their way out of the record shops fastest. Other attempts at such a chart have always been dominated by themed compilations and crossover releases, obscuring the newly recorded core classical fare that is after all Gramophone’s meat and drink.
The top of the Specialist Classical Chart has been graced by discs such as the Angela Gheorghiu Madama Butterfly and the Anna Netrebko Capuleti (which vied for the top spot back in March), Catrin Finch’s Goldberg Variations and Marin Alsop’s thrilling new recording of her mentor Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. The range of the chart is demonstrated by contrasting the very first Number One – the Gala Ensemble’s “The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan” – with a high-profile entry, straight in at Number Two, for Thomas Adès’s The Tempest in June.
But one disc has clung tenaciously to the top of the chart. Howard Goodall’s “Enchanted Voices” was released in March and flew in at the Number One spot, where it remains even now (see page 15 for this week’s top sellers). Goodall is best known for his TV theme tunes – Blackadder, Mr Bean, The Vicar of Dibley, QI – and for his own television programmes, most recently The Truth About Christmas Carols and Hallelujah! The Story of Handel’s Messiah. Choral works include the Rambert Dance Company-commissioned Eternal Light. We present him with this Award in recognition of the chart domination this year of “Enchanted Voices”.