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Janine, queen of the download

May 4, 2007

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Dutch violinist Janine Jansen has been named “queen of the download” by a british newspaper following her success in the digital platform.

Download purchases of her recording of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, issued on Decca in 2004, accounted for 73 percent of the record’s sales, turning this classical piece a sales phenomenon, according to Billboard magazine.

Born in Utrecht in 1978, Janine Jansen has already recorded a new album, featuring the Mendelssohn and Bruch works, which she had played since the start of her career, including the rare Bruch’s Romance in F for viola and orchestra.

Decca also issued a chamber-ensemble rendition of the Allegro from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor exclusively through iTunes, as an incentive to keep her digital fan base loyal.

Chris Roberts, the chairman of Universal Classics Group, which includes Decca, estimated that sales of the Mendelssohn disc have been evenly split between discs and downloads. “The follow-up was never going to have the same level of appeal, although it did very well,” he said. “But our intention was, we had sort of a splash; now let’s build the career.”

Classical music is one of the genres that digital music downloads have helped revive, becoming the fastest-growing music in the US in 2006, with sales up 23 percent.

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