The Official biggest selling classical albums of the last 25 years in the UK revealed

Including British acts, international artists and a handful of film soundtracks.

The score for the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, composed by the late James Horner, has been revealed as the Number 1 selling classical album of the last 25 years. 

The record was named the UK's top selling classical collection on Classic FM as part of the station's 25th birthday celebrations, where the Top 300 classical albums (based on Official Charts Company data) were revealed in the Ultimate Classic FM chart.  

Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture has sold more than one million copies in the UK, more than 30 million worldwide and was the Number 1 album in 20 countries. The music has been integral to the phenomenal success of the film, which propelled Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet to stardom and is now the second highest-grossing film of all time.


James Horner (Rex)

The chart covers the Top 300 albums - including 90 compilations and 26 film soundtracks - released since September 7 1992, when Classic FM launched on air. Since that day, sales of classical albums in the UK have topped 106 million.

Sarah Horner, widow of James, 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. Certainly, the public loved it, but what I would say is – and I think this is true for all the composers I know – is that their relationship with the audience was where they felt most emotionally connected in the world and was probably where they could honestly feel loved.

"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."

Meanwhile, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE takes the title as Number 1 classical music artist of the past 25 years, with more than 2.7 million albums sold. Second Nature and Living a Dream were the most popular classical albums released in 2004 and 2005 respectively and both feature in the top ten, along with another seven albums in the chart.

Katherine Jenkins said: “I was 12 when Classic FM was launched and I feel like we have grown up together. I listened as a child, so it was a huge moment for me when they first played my song on the radio - and when they announced my first Number 1, I remember bursting into tears!

"With so many friends and colleagues on the list, to be named the number one artist over Classic FM's 25 years is something I will treasure always. I hope you can hear the cheering all the way from Neath!"

Russell Watson is the most popular male artist, with almost 2.5 million album sales under his belt, while the biggest international classical artist is André Rieu. The ‘King of Waltz’ also has more albums in the Ultimate Classic FM Chart than any other artist – 11 in total – and his albums were the biggest sellers released in six out of the past nine years. 

Rieu thanked the "incredible" support from the British public, adding: "I could not ask for more enthusiastic and loyal fans and every step of the way, Classic FM and its listeners have been with me. I am thrilled and honoured to be the number one international classical artist. Thank you and keep waltzing, Britain!"

The chart also reveals a popularity for singers and composers from Wales, with seven of the Top 20 albums coming from Welsh artists, including Charlotte Church, the Fron Male Voice Choir, Bryn Terfel, Aled Jones and Sir Karl Jenkins, as well as Katherine Jenkins.

John Brunning, who has been with Classic FM for its entire 25 years and hosts the station’s weekly Classic FM Chart show, said: “I’m fortunate to have been a presenter on Classic FM since we took the airwaves 25 years ago and I can remember playing lots of these albums and artists for the very first time.

"Our mission has always been to make classical music relevant and accessible to everyone, and the Ultimate Classic FM Chart shows that the nation’s love of classical music is as strong as ever – whether it’s for the ‘greats’ such as Mozart and Beethoven or, as a whole new generation is discovering, the latest film or video game soundtrack."

MORE: Official Classical Artist Albums Chart Top 50

MORE: Official Classical Compilation Albums Chart Top 50

MORE: Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 30

The Ultimate Classic FM Chart Top 20

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 Titanic James Horner
2 The Voice Russell Watson
3 Encore Russell Watson
4 Pure Hayley Westenra
5 Voice of an Angel Charlotte Church
6 Living a Dream Katherine Jenkins
7 Second Nature Katherine Jenkins
8 Voices of the Valley Fron Male Voice Choir
9 Moonlight Serenade André Rieu
10 The Priests The Priests
11 Serenade Katherine Jenkins
12 Bryn Bryn Terfel
13 Forever Vienna André Rieu
14 Sentimento Andrea Bocelli
15 The Three Tenors in Concert 1994 The Three Tenors
16 The Classical Chillout Album Various Artists
17 Charlotte Church Charlotte Church
18 Sacred Arias Andrea Bocelli
19 Viaggio Italiano Andrea Bocelli
20 The Number One Classical Album 2004 Various Artists

 

The Ultimate Classic FM Chart - Top 20 selling artists (after Various Artists)

POS TITLE
1 Katherine Jenkins
2 Russell Watson
3 André Rieu
4 Andrea Bocelli
5 James Horner
6 Charlotte Church
7 Hayley Westenra
8 Fron Male Voice Choir
9 The Three Tenors
10 Bryn Terfel
11 Aled Jones
12 Lesley Garrett
13 Howard Shore
14 The Priests
15 Ludovico Einaudi
16 John Williams
17 Sir Karl Jenkins
18 Luciano Pavarotti
19 Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
20 Royal Scots Dragoon Guards


The Ultimate Classic FM Chart - Top selling albums released in the following years

POS TITLE ARTIST
2016  One Voice Aled Jones
2015 A Year of Songs Various Artists
2014 Love in Venice André Rieu
2013 Classical Voices Various Artists
2012 Magic of the Movies André Rieu
2011 And the Waltz Goes On André Rieu
2010 Moonlight Serenade André Rieu
2009 Forever Vienna André Rieu
2008 The Priests The Priests
2007 Spirit of the Glen Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
2006 Voices of the Valley Fron Male Voice Choir
2005 Living a Dream Katherine Jenkins
2004 Second Nature Katherine Jenkins
2003 Pure Hayley Westenra
2002 Sentimento Andrea Bocelli
2001 Encore Russell Watson
2000 The Voice Russell Watson
1999 Charlotte Church Charlotte Church
1998 Voice of an Angel Charlotte Church
1997 Titanic James Horner
1996 The Best Opera Album in the World… Ever! Various Artists
1995 Braveheart James Horner
1994 The Three Tenors in Concert The Three Tenors
1993 100 Popular Classics Various Artists
1992 Essential Opera Various Artists

 

The Ultimate Classic FM Chart - Top 10 UK classical artists

POS TITLE
1 Katherine Jenkins
2 Russell Watson
3 Charlotte Church
4 Fron Male Voice Choir
5 Bryn Terfel
6 Aled Jones
7 Lesley Garrett
8 The Priests
9 Sir Karl Jenkins
10 Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

 

The Ultimate Classic FM Chart - Top 10 international classical artists

POS TITLE
1 André Rieu
2 Andrea Bocelli
3 James Horner
4 Hayley Westenra
5 The Three Tenors
6 Howard Shore
7 Ludovico Einaudi
8 John Williams
9 Luciano Pavarotti
10 Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard

 

The Ultimate Classic FM Chart - Top 10 living composers

POS TITLE
1 Howard Shore
2 Ludovico Einaudi
3 John Williams
4 Sir Karl Jenkins
5 Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
6 Michael Nyman
7 William Orbit
8 John Rutter
9 Ennio Morricone
10 Mike Oldfield