The Most Popular Classical Albums of 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reports of the death of classical music on CD have been much exaggerated. Both small independent labels and some traditional majors scored a comeback in 2010. And each week we've been pleased to feature recordings in our Album of the Week feature. Here are the year's most popular albums according to Billboard magazine's year-end sales charts and traffic to

What was your favorite album in 2010? Leave a comment below.

Our Most Popular WQXR Albums of the Week (based on web visits):

1. Alison Balsom: Italian Concertos (Nov. 6)

2. Vittorio Grigolo: The Italian Tenor (Oct. 1)

3. Alondra de la Parra: My Mexican Soul (Aug. 21)

4. Bryn Terfel: Carols and Christmas Songs (Dec. 12)

5. Anonymous 4: The Cherry Tree (Dec. 5)

6. Cecilia Bartoli: Sospiri (Oct. 23)

7. Juan Diego Florez: Santo (Dec. 18)

8. (Tie) Anna Netrebko and Daniel Barenboim: In the Still of the Night.
    Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ivari Ilja: Pushkin Romances (May 2)

9. Yundi: Chopin Nocturnes (May 15)

10. Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff (Feb. 20)

Billboard's top-selling classical albums, ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan:

1. Andrea Bocelli: My Christmas

2. Sting: If on a Winter's Night

3. The Canadian Tenors: The Canadian Tenors:

4. Sting: Symphonicities

5. David Garrett: Rock Symphonies

6. David Garrett: David Garrett

7. Joshua Bell: At Home With Friends

8. Andrea Bocelli: Mi Navidad

9. Il Divo: The Promise

10: Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Heavensong


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Comments [10]

James Simpson from Indianapolis, In.

Alison Balsom has taken my household by storm. Not surprised to see her at #1. Got 2 of her CDs for Christmas, hope I don"t wear them out too soon.

Jan. 07 2011 10:54 AM

On Billboard's list, not a single classical album. Problem?

Jan. 07 2011 10:14 AM


Jan. 05 2011 01:53 PM
Ted Brown from Arizona

Before we start comparing present
day tenors, let's start with two great ones from the past - Beniamino Gigli and Giusepe Di Stefano.

Dec. 31 2010 08:53 PM
Michael Meltzer

The Grigolo placing second as per number of "hits" is questionable. As I recall, a number of those web visits were expressions of irritation at the comparison with Pavarotti.

Dec. 30 2010 10:09 AM
Scudder from Amsterdam from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

For me the album of the year is – thanks to listening to your great programme Overnight Music! – the release of Grammy Award–winning violinist Gidon Kremer’s De Profundis, featuring the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra. The album’s 12 pieces, selected from Kremer’s performing repertoire, all hold very special meaning to him- and now to me too-, and are connected to each other on a deep, intuitive level. Personally I like FLOWERING JASMINE by Georgs Pelecis best, a beautiful dreamlike piece of music, a real Baltic pearl.
From the Nonesuch website:
The composers, whose works span nearly two centuries, are: Jean Sibelius, Arvo Pärt, Raminta Šerkšnytė (whose piece De Profundis lends the album its title), Robert Schumann, Michael Nyman, Franz Schubert, Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer, Dmitri Shostakovich, Lera Auerbach, Astor Piazzolla, Georgs Pelecis, and Alfred Schnittke.
Kremer explains: “The artists featured on this record affirm a deep-rooted personal expression that can resonate within anyone. Their spiritual missive can sustain humans by appealing to their profoundest emotions, by letting them open up, become more conscious, rather than ‘forget themselves.’ Each of the 12 pieces selected for this album sends its own individual message to the listener, one that my colleagues from Kremerata Baltica and I have tried to illuminate.”
Gidon Kremer dedicates De Profundis to all those who refuse to be silenced, “namely to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who—being a real patriot of Russia—can be seen as a symbol for democratic changes in his home country. Khodorkovsky continues to spend years of imprisonment in Siberia, where he has been sent by a questionable trial.” (Arvo Pärt recently dedicated his fourth symphony, Los Angeles, to Khodorkovsky as well.)

Dec. 30 2010 03:49 AM
Andrea from New York, NY

"My Mexican Soul" introduced me to a whole new world of music. It also brought back some fantastic melodies I'd nearly forgotten.

Dec. 29 2010 10:15 PM
Michael Meltzer

Chopin Mazurkas, by pianist Mirian Conti.

Dec. 29 2010 04:00 PM
JR from Westchester, NY

Let's not overlook Arvo Part. Spiegel Im Spiegel is breathtaking!

Dec. 29 2010 03:42 PM
David De Porte from W. Village

I tho9ught Juan Diego's Santo album was lovely.

Dec. 29 2010 03:33 PM

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