Gramophone Awards Shortlist Announced
Gramophone magazine has announced the nominees for the 2014 Gramophone Awards! This "essential guide for those who want to experience the finest classical recordings of our time" includes releases on Accent, harmonia mundi, Delphian, FRA Musica, Gimell, Hyperion and LSO. Congratulations!
The Phoenix Rising. Stile Antico HMU807572
"There’s a forthright quality to the voices of Stile Antico, and especially its sopranos, that suits this English repertoire, balancing beauty with an intensity that reminds us that this is the music of protest and oppression as well as faith. "
MACHAUT. Songs from Le Voir Dit.
The Orlando Consort CDA67727
"This is a dream team... No instruments, just solo men’s voices, singing text where there is text in the manuscripts, vocalising where there is none, always dead in tune, always beautifully balanced."
TAVERNER. Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas. Tallis Scholars
"The more relaxed attitude of the new version, allow[s] every detail to come through with clarity and precision but never pressing too hard."
BARTOK. Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2. Isabelle Faust, Swedish Radio Symphony, Daniel Harding HMC902146
"Sensitivity, subtlety and energy are among Faust’s priorities... hers is a performance whose primary intention is to convey the concerto’s dialogic elements... A super disc and first-rate engineering"
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS. Blake Songs. Mark Padmore, Britten Sinfonia HMU807566
"It’s a lovely piece of programming, refusing to set these musical shadowlands in relief by juxtaposing them with brighter harmonic colors. The silvery greys of 'On Wenlock Edge' find dialogue in inkier textures of ‘I wander by the edge’ a monochrome tapestry of musical shading.”
SCHUBERT. Winterreise. Gerald Finley, Julius Drake CDA68034
"Finley’s rich and beautifully modulated baritone voice is also one that nurtures words and can encapsulate the musical images with which clothes them"
RACHMANINOV. Songs. Evelina Dobraceva, Justina Gringyte, Iain Burnside
"Voices in the ranges of the temperaments and timbres for which they were intended’ – that, along with the interpretative excellence, defines this wonderful set."
Che puro ciel. Bejun Mehta, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, René Jacobs HMC902172
“Mehta is equally vivid in two contrasting arias from Gluck’s Ezio... with Jacobs and the Berlin period band in no-holds-barred support … the most enjoyable, intelligently planned countertenor recital to have come my way in years.”
BUSONI. Late Piano Music. Marc-Andre Hamelin
"Hamelin, playing with unfaltering lucidity and authority, achieves an astonishing triumph even by his exalted standards. As always, Hyperion has done him proud … An album that could never be bettered."
HANDEL. The Eight Great Suites. Danny Driver
"If you want to hear these pieces played on a sleek grand piano using an engagingly post-historical approach, with flawlessly stylish ornamentation and a variety of dynamic nuances, then look no further."
BEETHOVEN. Piano Trios Opp.70 & 97. Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov
HAYDN. String Quartets Op.33. London Haydn Quartet
"These musicians know how to have gentle fun together – and they seem happy to welcome interested listeners in to share it with them."
SCHUBERT. Works for violin & piano. Alina Ibragimova, Cédric Tiberghien
"These performances exhibit that feeling of spontaneous enjoyment..."
BEETHOVEN. Cello Sonatas. Steven Isserlis, Robert Levin
"A cellist who tends towards introversion; a fortepianist who tends the other way. Put them together and something magical happens."
BACH, C.P.E. Magnificat. RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Hans-Christophe Rademann
"Hans-Christoph Rademann and his Berlin forces make the strongest possible case for it, with fresh, athletic choral singing, playing of crackling, fizzing energy and excellent solo work... This is the finest recording of CPE's choral masterpiece I have heard"
BRUCKNER. Symphony No.9. London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
"A new perspective on the argument."
C.P.E BACH. Wurttemberg Sonatas. Mahan Esfahani
"'The “Baroque' rhetoric and “proto-Classical” Sturm und Drang offered by the instrument are caught perfectly by Esfahani’s supple touch and disarming sense of rhetorical pacing."
JS Bach: Orchestral Suites
La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken ACE-ACC24279
"There are few musicians who appear more steeped in their worlds than Sigiswald Kuijken... a mesmerising purpose, natural balance and transparency of sound bring these works alive with quite remarkable results."
Ravel: L’heure espagnole, L’enfant et les sortilèges
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazushi Ono
"In this Glyndebourne production, Stéphanie d’Oustrac leads an excellent cast"