The top 10 classical music downloads on iTunes.

Pop, jazz, and classical.
Sept. 12 2006 12:08 PM

Clicking for Classics

The top 10 classical music downloads on iTunes.

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Then it's back to the loud, with Fritz Reiner leading his Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a raucous interpretation of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." It's a staple at outdoor concerts, where the final sections can be buffed up with cannons for real militaristic power. Like my rock-critic friend and Wagner, this is classical music you can rock out to.

Which brings us to No 1., an alternate version of "Con Te Partiro" featuring Andrea Bocelli and his perfect mate, the soprano Sarah Brightman, titled "Time To Say Goodbye." The arrangement includes the "Bolero" pattern on a drum throughout, along with Brightman's straight-from-a-phonetic-dictionary Italian. That, folks, is the sound of lousy vocal technique.

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With its warhorses and canon of great works, classical music is insulated from a lot of fads. Beethoven's Fifth will probably always be popular, and so will "Carmina Burana." But it's not so far from popular culture that a tenor whose calling card is his biography and who is backed by an effective PR machine can grab the spotlight. Beethoven raged at the heavens for letting him lose his hearing, but then, he never heard Andrea Bocelli.

Marc Geelhoed is the classical music writer forTime Out Chicago and he blogs atDeceptively Simple.

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