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This week’s US classical top-seller is…

September 10, 2014 by norman lebrecht

8 comments.


joyce stella

A clear win for Joyce DiDonato, but only 371 units sold.

In second place, surprisingly, is Leon Fleisher’s 85th birthday album.

This is Uchida’s Mozart concertos from Cleveland.

Our use of Nielsen Soundscan data has been challenged as being non-comprehensive by a long-retired EMI commercial exec on an esoteric blog. The old fellow may have a point, but Nielsen remains the best guide to US sales, the standard across the industry. Until we have reliable data for paid streaming and downloads, it’s the best judge of the market.

And Slipped Disc is your only immediate source to the stats.


Comments (8)

  1. Casey says:

    I’m a classical musician, and I can’t remember the last time I bought a new release by CD (and not a download). Not the most accurate gauge, I feel.

  2. Will Duffay says:

    In a country of roughly 320 million people that’s not far off 1 copy per million people. Which really isn’t very many. It does seem a touch on the low side! (Although, like Casey, I can’t remember when I last bought a CD (and I don’t buy downloads), and it certainly wouldn’t have been a new, full-price release.)

  3. GEll says:

    Barely nothing these days is worth purchasing. I made an exception for Jeremy Denk’s superb Goldberg Variations.

  4. Rgiarola says:

    CD. The stuff that came after the LP more or less along the first cell phones and Reagan president, am I right?

    I guess these 371 got dial up connection, and they are used to rent DVDs at Blockbuster every friday, after the purchase of Didonato new CD at Tower Records or HMV, both favorite stores to reunite them all to agree with K. Zimerman that technology is wrecking the artists fortune.
    We must respect then, since the important thing in life is to be happy, doesn’t matter where in time or space they are in.

    1. Will Duffay says:

      I’m sure – though I don’t have figures to back it up (perhaps Norman could ask MDT or Presto) – that physical CDs still make up the large majority of classical sales in the UK.

      1. Rgiarola says:

        I wouldn’t be so sure.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-26255173

        http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/jun/11/2014-music-industry-end-blockbuster-album-uk-charts-adele

        http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-25559821

        Perhaps you’re right just for classical music market share of these general figures presented by BBC and Guardian, but even in this case It won’t stay like that in the UK for longer than 1 year, considering the rises&falls of CD vs digital sales in recent years. (Please, remind that the numbers presented in the topic are concerning USA sales exclusively)

  5. newyorker says:

    The Fleischer disc’s success is due to the recent Alex Ross piece in the New Yorker which must have sparked some curiosities.

    Do you mean by “371 Units” that only 371 cds were sold?

  6. Maestro M says:

    Well, I have never purchased a download, nor would I ever. Quality counts, especially for a classical musician, I would think. I am thrilled to see vinyl lps return and can’t wait to make one.
    So, Norman, if you are THE source for sales statistics, how about providing access to comprehensive figures, say from last year or the year before, by composer?


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