Joshua Bell’s stunt worked wonders on his CD sales

Joshua Bell’s stunt worked wonders on his CD sales

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norman lebrecht

October 08, 2014

Playing in Union Station with network TV coverage made Joshua Bell’s Bach release the top-selling US classical release of the week, according to Nielsen Soundscan stats.

joshua bell metro

It sold 1,700 copies, exactly the same number as a surprise riser, John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean from the Seattle Symphony Orch (with some help from NPR). Lang Lang’s Mozart album comes in third with 594. Anne Akiko Meyers is 4th with 496.

Are classical sales finally starting to pick up a little?

Comments

  • Perhaps one can hope.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    Who just wrote recently Bell had nothing to sell while submitting a “Joshua Bell” post for the nth time?

  • milka says:

    Will wonders never cease ????!!!!!
    Who will be the next subway virtuoso.
    Does the second audience get a
    share of the profits from the record sales or does Bell keep it all .Was
    the subway system part of this glorious second concert?Do they get paid?Is not the Post embarrassed ?
    PT Barnum was right ………..

    • OhGlorioso says:

      If you hate music and musicians so much whateveryournameis, why do you feel the need to comment here? Or do you troll elsewhere? Take your nasty bitter self there instead please.

    • Mark Henriksen says:

      Any time I hear of a classical musician selling CDs or attracting and audience, I’m happy for their success.

      • Doug says:

        Both of you, Mark and “Oh” you have no stake in the survival a a centuries old tradition and obviously no clue about these matters. You are merely sheep, programmed to bleat when you hear the “bell” ring to present your tasty treat. I suggest you stick to Hollywood.

        • OhGlorioso says:

          Oh please. I’ve been in this professional for decades. There is nothing worse than someone whining about tradition. Josh Bell playing Bach upside down in his underwear on the roof of Universal Studios isn’t going to hurt your precious tradition. Sheesh.

    • William Safford says:

      *Yawn.*

  • OhGlorioso says:

    If you hate music and musicians so much whateveryournameis, why do you feel the need to comment here? Or do you troll elsewhere? Take your nasty bitter self there instead please.

  • rc says:

    Why is this one number 1 and the John Adams number 2 if they sold the same amount during the week?

  • raykohn says:

    If I played in King’s Cross before releasing a CD, how long would it be before I was released from the local nick?

  • nick says:

    I wish there was a way to find out how many people from the subway crowd that actually bought the CD.

  • LucaM says:

    I really don’t get the outrage from this. Yes, it’s a publicity stunt, but what’s so bad if a publicity stunt made some people that never bought a classical music CD to listen at (good) classical music (or know about it) and buy a CD. Between many that will not repeat the experience there can be some that discovered a new musical world and they will be inclined to explore it further.
    Besides, it’s not that Bell gave up “standard” concerts, he just took the music out of the concert halls for once.

  • Milka says:

    I believe the article covering the story
    stated the audience also applauded
    a recording , thinking the music”live”.
    Nothing like a discerning audience……..

  • muslit says:

    He certainly can’t sell based on the quality of his playing.

  • muslit says:

    The quality of his playing can’t match his ‘stardom’.

    • M2N2K says:

      Having no idea how to measure stardom and not being interested in it either, I can only say this: one may not agree with certain things Josh Bell does, but the quality of his playing is actually very high.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        See, that’s what I mean when I say how irrelevant these anonymous “expert contributions” are (in this case, I mean “Muslit”, not you).

        • M2N2K says:

          No, I do not see it that way at all. Relevancy of contributions depends on their content, not on the way they are signed. The fact that you yourself have very easily differentiated between these comments by two equally anonymous contributors proves it.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Which two anonymous posters do you mean? I only responded to, or rather, about “Muslit”, to you. And yes, you are a second anonymous poster but one with a different pseudonym.

          • M2N2K says:

            As you have correctly suggested the answer to your own question: muslit and I are the two that I meant.

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