Ever since we broke the news a few hours back that Beethoven’s back on top, the wires have been buzzing with speculation as to how Decca got Daniel Barenboim’s new Beethoven set to the top of the Nielsen Soundscan chart – itself the most accurate tracker of real sales in the US.
Our sources at Universal have been sworn to silence, but some of the other moles who report to Slipped Disc from lowly parts of the musical ecology tell us of a deal that was done between Universal and Apple to promote Daniel Barenboim’s Beethoven for All on the front page of every iTunes store (except Japan who release in September), right up there with Justin Bieber.
Both a more popular ‘best of’ with music from the symphonies, sonatas and concertos (the last two sets coming later in the summer) and the complete symphonies were released to as wide a download audience as possible and at a sweetheart price. The new ‘Mastered for iTunes’ format is also a much Improved sound quality.
Easy, really, when they put their minds to it. You wonder why they ever bother with the crossover trash.
UPDATE: Here’s a Decca press release, 24 hours behind Slipped Disc:
For Immediate Release
DOUBLE CHART HITS FOR DECCA’S BEETHOVEN FOR ALL WITH DANIEL BARENBOIM AND THE WEST-EASTERN DIVAN ORCHESTRA
TOPS BILLBOARD’S CLASSICAL TRADITIONAL CHART
Two CD Set of Highlights From Beethoven for All: Music of Power, Passion and Beauty Debuts at #1; 5-CD Set of Symphonies Nos. 1-9 Debuts at #3
June 28, 2012 (New York, NY) – Decca’s Beethoven For All 2-CD highlight set and 5-CD symphony set debuted at #1 and #3 respectively on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart, marking a significant first week in the launch of this landmark recording series. From this first installment of these dual releases on June 19th and extending through the fall to the holidays, Beethoven For All includes recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s complete symphonies, piano concertos and piano sonatas with conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim – one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of our time.
The five-CD set of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 1-9 sees Barenboim leading the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an ensemble acclaimed the world over for imbuing fresh, irresistible life into the classics. Of Barenboim’s concerts with this orchestra of multi-national talent, The New York Times said that the conductor’s “penchant for spontaneous music-making clearly excites these young players,” resulting in performances that are “impassioned and risky.” Individual releases of all nine Beethoven symphonies were also mastered especially for iTunes.
The two-for-one CD set of highlights from the complete Barenboim-Beethoven series features select movements from the new recordings of the symphonies, piano concertos and piano sonatas and is a must-have for classical aficionados, the casual classical consumer, and the newly curious to explore this composer’s iconic work.
In a bold marketing campaign typically reserved for pop music releases, Beethoven For All was supported with a national TV advertising campaign showcasing how the composer is an inspiration to many. Additionally, social media and on-line visibility were incorporated into the marketing efforts ultimately reaching a sizable group of consumers.
Paul Foley, General Manager of Decca & Deutsche Grammophon U.S. comments, “Beethoven For All is a truly special series that we feel confident has broad appeal to a variety of music consumers who crave quality recordings. This strong first week reinforces our belief that classical music truly is for all.”
For more information please visit: www.beethoven-for-all.com/us/