For aficionados of Mozart or lovers of Beethoven, this news is sure to create a certain sinking feeling.
For those great composers have been beaten to the bestselling classical album of the last 25 years – by the soundtrack to the film Titanic.
The research, by Classic FM, shows that music fans are buying compositions that they are more likely to have heard in the cinema than in the opera house.
Indeed, James Horner’s score from Titanic, the 1997 blockbuster starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, has sold more than a million copies in the UK, was certified triple platinum and claimed the number one album spot in 20 countries.
James Horner’s score from Titanic, the 1997 blockbuster starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, has sold more than a million copies in the UK
And it seems film scores are just as popular now – as Howard Shore, who wrote the score to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is the bestselling living composer – while John Williams, who composed the music for Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter is third, behind Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi.
Horner’s widow, Sarah, told Classic FM: ‘He [James] was a very individualistic thinker, so I don’t know if he would feel like that was his best work.
‘Touching the inner world of the audience was what most composers wish to do, and when he was successful at doing that, I think James felt like he had fulfilled his destiny.’
Both the top ten bestselling classical musicians and albums lists are dominated by modern celebrity opera singers, including Russell Watson, Hayley Westenra and Andrea Bocelli. But topping them was soprano Katherine Jenkins, who has been the bestselling classical music artist since 1992.
Miss Jenkins, 37, occupied nine spots in the top 300 albums and has sold a total of 2.7million albums in the last 25 years, the most popular of which were Second Nature and Living a Dream.
The Welsh singer is in good company on the Classic FM charts, as performers from Wales made up seven out of the top 20 bestselling albums and six of the top 20 artists, more than any other nation.
The bestsellers list was compiled by the Official Charts Company based on UK music sales data.
The research, by Classic FM, shows that music fans are buying compositions that they are more likely to have heard in the cinema than in the opera house