The best selling classical discs in the UK during the Christmas run-up are mostly predictable with André Rieu's ‘Mostly Vienna' at the N°1 position. In the line up there's also Andrea Bocelli's ‘Carmen: Duets & Arias', the Cambridge Singers singing John Rutter, and various tenor hits by Jonas Kaufmann and Vittorio Grigolo.
But there are some nice serious inclusions: Paul Lewis' complete Beethoven piano concertos with Jiří Bělohlávek conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Antonio Pappano's star-studdied recording of Rossini's Stabat Mater, and on the Naxos label Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Shostakovich's 10th Symphony.
I'm going with Cecilia Bartoli's Sospiri compilation, and Simon Rattle's The Nutcracker with the Berlin Philharmonic to get me into a Christmassy mood.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.