Guitarist brings good record news. Don’t even ask the bad…

Guitarist brings good record news. Don’t even ask the bad…


norman lebrecht

August 12, 2014

Milos Karadaglic has the best-selling classical album in the US this week (Nielsen sales). His Aranjuez sold 575 copies, which is about average for a number 1.

The next best-selling record is Dvorak 8th symphony. It sold…. (we can hardly bear to share this)…. just 175 copies in the entire USA.

milos aranjuez






  • Michael says:

    How many different versions of Dvorak 8th symphony do I need. How about something I haven’t heard before.
    Oh wait… the number one spot did go to something new.

  • Philip Arlington says:

    A very inside the bubble comment I’m afraid, Michael. What percentage of people under 40 do you suppose own a single copy of Dvorak’s Eighth? Or of any complete symphony? Perhaps the sales numbers give a clue.

    On the other hand, it is of course the case that churning out endless versions of the same thing and hoping that people will be interested is a doomed endeavour.

    • Michael says:

      Generally I agree but I,m not sure that the sales numbers would provide real accuracy as most classical music is legally and freely available for those interested. Between the streaming sites, YouTube, type sites and the casual listener would pass on purchasing.

  • sdReader says:

    The Dvorák is No. 21 on the strange chart:

    It is played by the Pittsburgh SO under Manfred Honeck, and I’m sure it is excellent.

    The Milos Karadaglic CD is No. 3 and a Rodrigo disc despite its title. It consists mainly of the Concierto de Aranjuez and the Fantasía para un gentilhombre, played by the London Phil and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

    The chart is “strange” because some 80% of the entries are compilations of excerpts performed by artists who are not normally engaged in subscription seasons of the leading classical music entities.

    If Nielsen and Billboard want to classify this way, that’s their decision. But it doesn’t correlate with the real world of classical music and so cannot properly be called a “classical” chart.

    Both albums are packaged without due respect for the orchestras or conductors.

    • Anon says:

      @ SDReader, I think you are referring to the combined Classical chart. Norman, I think, was referring to the “core” classical chart (known in the USA as “Classical Traditional”), which largely omits crossover projects. In this chart, Milos’s ‘Aranjuez’ is indeed in the top spot, followed by Dvorak 8.

      I don’t see why you suggest that chart listings should be of artists who perform in subscription seasons, etc.; it’s a chart reporting the top selling records of the week, and it does that perfectly adequately.

      More opinion related, I’d suggest that both records are packaged with the details most prominent which matter to those who are most likely to buy them.

      • sdReader says:

        Thanks, Anon. I don’t know where to go for that chart, but anyway the sales numbers and the packaging priorities are sad.

        I tried to draw a line in the sand using the subscription seasons of major orchestras, opera companies, chamber music societies, etc., to filter out the illegitimate artists. Not sure how else to do it.

        That line travels somewhere between Anna Netrebko and Andrea Bocelli, between Lang Lang and André Rieu, and it is an important one!

  • Matt says:

    I’ve got a bunch of Dvorak 8’s, and based on the reviews, I’m still very interested in hearing the latest from Honeck/Pittsburgh. (I thought Honeck was wonderful with the BPO in support of Anne-Sophe Mutter’s recent Dvorak violin concerto recording on DG.)

    I tried to be their 176th sale last week–but the Reference Recordings label tried their best not to let me buy it. I haven’t been able to find it on Rdio or Spotify, and it’s not available for download from iTunes or Amazon.

    I’m sure the Reference Recordings label has thought carefully about how best to generate revenue from this recording, and I hope they succeed and thrive. But as a listener and a fan, it’s frustrating not to be able to listen to it or purchase it digitally.

    • sdReader says:

      It’s on German Amazon, with a red cover, Matt. And Mr. Honeck is quite a talent in my view — for reference to another current SD story, twice the artist Mr. Nelsons is!

    • RR Twitter follower says:

      It’s a great recording. It was sold out for awhile, and it will be available digitally soon is what they’ve said on Twitter.