Gramophone Concept Album Award 2022


Emily D'Angelo mez Das Freie Orchester Berlin / Jarkko Riihimäki

Whisper it quietly for now, but Emily D’Angelo is already well on the way to becoming the complete singer. Her mezzo voice has incredible range, depth and power at the lower end combined with crystalline clarity up top, with lovely weight, poise and balance. Still in her mid twenties, D’Angelo has already made debuts at many of the major opera houses but remains committed to pushing her own musical boundaries by engaging in challenging contemporary music by composers including Ana Sokolović and Unsuk Chin.

Old and new combine to form a compelling synthesis on D’Angelo’s debut album for DG, ‘Enargeia’. Having already championed the music of several female composers, D’Angelo goes ‘to the source’, as it were, by including two antiphons by Hildegard of Bingen. O virtus sapientiae and O frondens virga are nudged gently into a more present-day setting through less-is-more arrangements by Sarah Kirkland Snider and Missy Mazzoli. Even working within these minimal means, D’Angelo’s voice covers a wide expressive span – delicate in O virtus sapientiae against a backdrop of shimmering strings, then full-toned and resplendent in O frondens virga with nothing more than a whisper of a drone as accompaniment, interspersed with lyrical lines on solo cello.

‘Demonstrates with impressive regularity D’Angelo’s ability to enter into the heart of the music’s matter, unleashing its innate spirit’

The disc’s other highlights include Hildur Gunadóttir’s Fólk fær andlit – the Icelandic composer’s haunting response to the mistreatment of refugees in her home country in 2015, Jarkko Riihimäki’s delicate arrangement redistributing Gunadóttir’s interweaving choral lines among divided strings and clarinet. D’Angelo’s solitary, fragile voice adds further pathos to the song’s subject matter while imparting more dramatic weight and intensity to Sarah Kirkland Snider’s edgy, bittersweet The Lotus Eaters than on the original recording on Snider’s Penelope song-cycle (New Amsterdam, 2010).

‘Enargeia’ may not foreground the singer’s technical prowess in the way that an album of Baroque coloratura arias might have done but it nevertheless demonstrates with impressive regularity D’Angelo’s ability to enter into the heart of the music’s matter, unleashing its innate spirit. It will be interesting to see what she’ll come up with next. Pwyll ap Siôn

Gramophone Awards 2022 – The Winners

Select an Award-winner below to read full reviews of each of the winning albums and expert insights from our writers. 

Recording Categories

Opera & Recording of the Year

Korngold: Die tote Stadt (Sols; Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Kirill Petrenko)


Ysaÿe: Six Solo Violin Sonatas (James Ehnes)

Early Music

Josquin: ‘Baisiez Moy’ (Thélème / Jean-Christophe Groffe)


Mahler: Symphony No 7 (Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Kirill Petrenko)


Bartók. Beethoven. Berg: Violin Concertos (Frank-Peter Zimmermann; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Gilbert, Daniel Harding, Kirill Petrenko)


Beethoven: Diabelli Variations (Mitsuko Uchida)

Concept Album

Enargeia (Emily D'Angelo; Das Freie Orchester Berlin / Jarkko Riihimäki)


Abrahamsen: The Snow Queen (Sols; Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera / Cornelius Meister)


’Round Midnight (Quatuor Ebène; Antoine Tamestit; Nicolas Altstaedt)


JS Bach: St Matthew Passion (Sols; Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon)


Rachmaninov: Songs – ‘Dissonance’ (Asmik Grigorian; Lukas Geniušas)

Voice & Ensemble

‘BariTenor’ (Michael Spyres; Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra / Marko Letonja)

Spatial Audio

Ravel: Orchestral Works (Sinfonia of London / John Wilson)

Special Awards

Label of the Year


Artist of the Year

Barbara Hannigan

Young Artist of the Year

Johan Dalene

Special Achievement

Mozart Momentum (Leif Ove Andsnes; Mahler Chamber Orchestra)

Lifetime Achievement

Daniel Barenboim

Orchestra of the Year

Budapest Festival Orchestra

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