Baroque soloists are banned from UK’s classical charts

Baroque soloists are banned from UK’s classical charts


norman lebrecht

June 28, 2017

The guardians of public morality who operate the UK’s ‘Official Classical Artist Albums Chart’ have declared a release by Bjarte Eike and the Barokksolistene to be insufficiently refined for their exclusive weekly listing.

The group’s new release, The Alehouse Sessions, revives vigorously and on period instruments the mixture of music that was played in English pubs in Purcell’s time.


It includes baroque contemplations, sea shanties and bawdy songs.

The Charts keepers say it’s ‘too folk influenced’. (So was Haydn.)

The Charts are presently topped by two albums of Ludovico Einaudi.

Belief is well and truly beggared (sic).


  • Mihail Ghiga says:

    And Bartok? And Enescu? And Stravinski? A prude ignorance unfit for professionals. We live in a time of change, classical music will be unrecognizable in 50 years from now, it’s shifting towards hibridization with all other genres.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Einaudi is the essence of banality, so that’s OK.

    • Mikey says:

      I was at a string orchestra concert last year where the ensemble played three pieces by Einaudi. The first sort of run of the mill minimalist, I guess pleasant but nothing surprising nor really demonstrating why this particular ensemble would champion his music (they came out with an entire album of his staff a few years back).

      Then the 2nd piece started. Unfortunately, I was unable to strangle the heartfelt expletive that escaped my lips (rather loudly). The 2nd piece was the EXACT same harmony as the 1st piece, the same chords in the same order, and the same (by now) tired string effects.

      I was particularly upset to read later the ensemble’s conductor lauding the “genius” of the Italian composer.

      Count me as not a fan.

  • Bruce says:

    Took a quick look at the top 25 or 30 on that list. It currently shows this album at #3….??

  • Derek Williams says:

    Guess that makes me ‘unrefined’ too.

  • John says:

    Lebrecht once again does not understand the situation.

    Both these soloists and Einaudi are allowed in the ‘Official Classical Artist Albums Chart’. Both are excluded from the ‘Official Specialist Classical Chart’. The former is a bad mixture of important recordings and pop crossover, popera, easy-listening, … The latter removes the rubbish, and, controversially, this recording. It is absolutely not the case, as Lebrecht claims, that Einaudi is permitted but these are not.

    The second chart is the most relevant for many (and used by Hyperion, amongst others): the first chart contains so much that would not be recognised as classical music by any serious musician. Of course, one wonders whether much would be lost if both charts were not compiled at all…

  • Mason's Apron says:

    Classical music as an art form largely from the 19th century is on its arse. No one today makes music at home, unless they are Irish, they download stuff, none of my friends would sit for 80 mins in silence for Bruckner 8 for example! They can barely last 4 mins for a song, most of classical music is impossible for folk in their 20s to take in, they all go to Ibiza for heavens sake. no way would they sit for 5 hours for Wagner! Moreover this site would not encourage anyone to listen to classical music, judging by the arrogant comments of many on here, it is like the folk who write in to newspapers complaining for the sake of complaining.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    It is hard to recognize much period instrument playing as being music.

  • doremi says:

    More and more people try to “make music” in silly manners.
    Real musicians will skipp them.