Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

'Pure' classical chart launched

Richard Hickox at an Opera Australia rehearsal in Sydney in 2006
The new chart features the late British conductor Richard Hickox

A new chart for "purely classical" music has been launched, the Official Charts Company has announced.

The specialist classical chart will be based on weekly sales of recordings which are 100% classical.

The OCC's long-running combined classical albums chart requires 60% of an album's repertoire to be classical.

Albums like Katherine Jenkins' Sacred Arias would qualify for the combined chart but not the new specialist chart because of its combined repertoire.

The album features works like Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah alongside Panis Angelicus, by 19th Century Belgian composer Cesar Franck.

Within the classical sector, there are many first class performers providing first class recordings which were not registering on the chart radar
Ginny Cooper
BPI

Other albums which would be eligible for the combined classical chart but not the specialist classical chart include Hayley Westenra's Treasure - which features popular songs including Scarborough Fair and Danny Boy.

The new chart was developed by the OCC in consultation with the BPI, the body which represents record labels.

Ginny Cooper, of the BPI's classical committee, said: "Within the classical sector, there are many first class performers providing first class recordings which were not registering on the chart radar as the crossover titles were obviously higher profile and selling more.

"We felt, however, that they were just as valid and wanted to provide an outlet to enable the public to see that sales of pure classical music are still alive and well."

Website updates

The specialist classical chart has been published for the first time in the March edition of classical music magazine Gramophone.

It will appear monthly in the magazine and will be updated each week on the Gramophone website.

The first published chart is topped by the Gala Ensemble with their album The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan.

At number two is Holst - Orchestral Works Vol 1, performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conducted by the late Richard Hickox.

Hickox, who was the musical director of Opera Australia as well as a regular conductor of major UK orchestras, died of a suspected heart attack in November at the age of 60.

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SEE ALSO
UK conductor Hickox dies, aged 60
24 Nov 08 |  Entertainment
Westenra top of classical chart
31 Dec 07 |  Entertainment

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