Bach Compilation Lone New Addition To Classical 'Hit Parade'

Decca Records' new double-CD set of Bach works, Essential Bach, captures the #15 position on the Billboard classical chart. Tenor sensation Andrea Bocelli holds on to the first position with Sacred Arias.

The new Decca recording Essential Bach settled into the #15 spot on this week's Billboard Top Classical chart in its first week on the list.

The release features a host of acclaimed instrumentalists and conductors, including Andras Schiff, Alicia De Larrocha and Seiji Ozawa.

The compilation, which surveys instrumental and large choral works, is this week's only new addition to the classical chart.

Highlights include a performance of the cello suites by Janos Starker, a selection from the B Minor Mass performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the beginning "Aria" from the Goldberg Variations. A plethora of Bach CDs have hit the market this year to mark the 250th anniversary of his death.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli continues his hold on the #1 position with Sacred Arias. Right behind Bocelli, and still at #2, is the Appalachian Journey album by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyerand Mark O'Connor, while the soundtrack to "Fantasia 2000" retains the third slot. The latter disc features the music of Respighi, Gershwin and Stravinsky.

The tenor trio of Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti continues their march up the classical charts at #11 (up from #15) with the release, Three Tenors: Paris 1998. There were no other titanic shifts in the classical charts this week.

Making up the top 10 are: Andrea Bocelli, Sacred Arias at #1; Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor, Appalachian Journey, at #2; Fantasia 2000, at #3; John Williams, Classic Williams, at #4; Andre Rieu, 100 Years of Strauss, at #5; Kronos Quartet, Caravan, at #6; San Francisco Symphony, Copland the Populist, at #7; The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World at #8; and Harmony, at #9. Yo-Yo Ma steps in again with Simply Baroque, rounding out the list at #10.