Who sold the most CDs in 2016? Nope, not Adele, David Bowie, Coldplay, or Beyoncé. None other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the king of CD sales this year, moving more individual discs than any recording artist.
Even diehard classical music fans might find that hard to believe, but it's true. Over 1.25 million Mozart CDs have been sold this year, thanks to the massive new release Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition, billed as the biggest box set ever released. With 200 discs per set, Universal Music Group only had to move 6,250 copies of the collection (currently retailing for about $340) to hit that number. Of course, that's still a lot of Mozart.
The big hit, which marks the 225th anniversary of Mozart's death, is gratifying for the staff at Universal (including Decca and Deutsche Grammophon) who carefully curated what the label called "most authoritative, complete and scholarly box set ever devoted to the work of a single composer."
The set is sure to continue selling copies into the holiday season, with many Mozart buffs likely having a very short list of the gifts they'd like to find beneath the tree this year.