Chart hit for Professor John Butt

The University of Glasgow’s award-winning orchestral and choral conductor, Professor John Butt, is riding high in the UK classical music charts.

His latest work, a musical reconstruction of J. S. Bach's first Christmas service in Leipzig, recorded with the Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort, has stormed into the UK Classical Music charts, reaching number three within a fortnight of release.

John Butt

Professor Butt’s recording Bach’s ‘Magificat’ uses the much earlier E flat version rather than the better-known D major version, and has attracted positive reviews from the music press and broadcasters - BBC Radio 3 selected it as CD of the week.

Commenting on its chart success, Professor Butt, musical director of the Dunedin Consort and Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow, said: “The response has been quite remarkable really.

“We tried to recreate how the music would have originally sounded when Bach first performed it, and I think that’s why people like it so much. It’s a marvellous Christmas present for us to be doing so well in the charts especially as it’s not even Christmas yet.”

Professor Butt and the Dunedin Consort are no stranger to musical accolades. Last year they won the Gramophone Award 2014 for “Best Choral recording” and were one of five nominees for "Best Choral Performance" in the Grammy Awards.

First published: 1 November 2015