This free digital magazine has become a Gramophone tradition, and is one of the most-read publications we create each year. The premise is simple: to highlight what we consider to have been the finest recordings released over the 12 months (and 13 issues) of the year. All the Editor’s Choice recordings are featured as are the category winners from the Gramophone Classical Music Awards (often there is considerable overlap – as this year again proves).
The 2016 Gramophone Classical Music Awards, presented in association with EFG International and the BPI back in September, provided some of the most satisfying listening for many years. Not only did they celebrate some of the finest classical music ever written (Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabellis, Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, violin concertos by Britten and Korngold, Monteverdi madrigals, Tippett string quartets and Verdi’s Aida to name a handful), but they also offered powerful reassurance that the standard of music-making remains incredibly high. To have artists of the calibre of Vilde Frang, Daniil Trifonov, Igor Levit, Andris Nelsons, Antonio Pappano, Véronique Gens and our latest Young Artist of the Year, Benjamin Appl (again to pick just a few) performing for us was a treat indeed.
For the first time, the Awards were streamed over the web by medici.tv and joining us live for the ceremony in September were over 7000 people; this figure has now passed the 34,000 mark as many more people caught up with it later. The number of terrific musicians who joined us at St John’s Smith Square is proof that Gramophone is an important part of their world. It also suggests that the web is becoming an increasingly important destination for classical music programming that hasn’t succumbed to the belief that we all have an attention span of no longer than 30 seconds.
Whether you buy your music on CD, download it or stream it, there’s bound to be something in the digimag that will pique your interest and, I hope, provide you with the pleasure that a great recording can. Once again, we present this digital magazine in association with Qobuz – simply click on the sleeve image and (provided you live in a country where Qobuz operates) you can sample the majority of recordings as you read.
Start reading now: Gramophone's Recordings of the Year 2016