James Jolly introduces complete works from the ten recordings named today as Gramophone's 2018 recording award winners including Arcadi Volodos playing Brahms, Christian Tetzlaff in Bartók and Marianne Crebassa singing French songs
This week’s Listening Room devotes itself to the Gramophone Classical Music Awards - well, I couldn’t very well not, having overseen the whole process. The results, I’m happy to admit, are very satisfactory - sure, there were a few disappointments (Hyperion’s fabulous album of Stravinsky for two pianists from Marc-André Hamelin and Leif Ove Andsnes, had I been a betting man, would have lost me a lot of money), but just a few seconds in the presence of Arcadi Volodos and Brahms hardly makes one regret the outcome - his is seriously amazing piano playing!
Now, while online playlists tend to cherry-pick excerpts (and, yes, there is a Gramophone Awards playlist which does just that) it’s always been the ethos of The Listening Room to honour the composer’s intentions, and when Beethoven, say, wrote a three-movement sonata, that’s how it should be heard. So, with the exception of the Opera winner (four hours!) and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé I’ve opted for complete works or works under a single opus number.
Particular favourites? Marianne Crebassa’s performance of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, the Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg in Dvořák, the astounding sound made by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Pärt and Schnittke, Ravel on period instruments and that amazing recording of Berlioz’s Les Troyens.
Ravel Daphnis et Chloé – Parts 2 & 3
Ensemble Aedes; Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi)
Early Music Award
Mason Ve nobis miseris
Blue Heron / Scott Metcalfe (Blue Heron)
Dvorak Piano Quintet No 2
Pavel Haas Quartet; Boris Giltburg (Supraphon)
Pärt Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš (BIS)
Brahms Drei Intermezzi, Op 117
Arcadi Volodos (Sony Classical)
Solo Vocal Award
Marianne Crebassa; Fazil Say (Erato)
Bartók Violin Concerto No 1
Christian Tetzlaff; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Lintu (Ondine)
Porpora In procella sine stella
Delphine Galou; Accademia Bizantina / Ottavio Dantone (Alpha)
Berlioz Les Troyens – conclusion of Act 4
Cyrille Dubois; Joyce DiDonato; Michael Spyres; Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchetsra / John Nelson (Erato)
Dusapin Quatuor VI, 'Hinterland''
Arditti Quartet; Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra / Pascal Rophé (aeon)