For the first time since Henryk Mikolai Gorecki’s freak hit quarter of a century ago, music by a living, serious composer was the best-selling album in the USA last week, according to the unarguable Nielsen Soundscan statistics.
Mason Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti, narrowly beat Decca’s Benedictines of Mary to the top spot.
Muti programmed the work in the CSO’s closing concert of the season.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that neither of the top two albums sold as many as 200 copies in the entire USA.
Only four classical albums topped 100 weekly sales.
Business has never been worse.
photo (c) Todd Rosenberg