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Sting storms charts with lute music.

MULTI-million-selling pop star Sting stormed to the top of the charts last night - with an album of Elizabethan lute music.

His new LP, Songs of the Labyrinth, released on Monday, rocketed to number one in the classical album charts.

It has also entered at number 24 in the pop music charts - rubbing shoulders with the likes of Scissor Sisters and Razorlight. Sixteenth century composer John Dowland is known to early music specialists, but Sting's interest in his work has taken him into the mainstream, sparking a "lute renaissance", according to his record label.

Sting said of Dowland's work: "For me they are pop songs. Beautiful melodies, fantastic lyrics, great accompaniments.

"I feel that my job as a pop artist is to develop as a musician, and to bring into my sphere elements that aren't necessarily pop, more complex intervals, complex time signatures." Sting collaborated with "skilled lutenist" Edin Karamazov to make the album with the highest level of expertise.

He follows a trend of pop and rock musicians such as Sir Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello, who have turned to classical music.

A spokesman for classical record label Deustche Grammophon, which released Sting's album, said: "We're absolutely delighted. Sting is taking an interesting area of repertoire and popularising it."


CLASSIC RECORDING: Sting is popularising the work of 16th Century composer John Dowland.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 16, 2006
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