The Listening Room

James Jolly's weekly playlist of the best and most interesting classical recordings on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz

The Listening Room: Episode 43 (31.08.18)

The Listening RoomFri 31st August 2018

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.  

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music, Qobuz 

The tracks:

Orchestral Award

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)

Chamber Award

Dvorak Piano Quintet No 2

Pavel Haas Quartet; Boris Giltburg (Supraphon)  

Choral Award

Pärt Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir / Kaspars Putniņš (BIS)   

Instrumental Award

Brahms Drei Intermezzi, Op 117 

Arcadi Volodos (Sony Classical)

Solo Vocal Award

Ravel Shéhérazade

Marianne Crebassa; Fazil Say (Erato)

Concerto Award

Bartók Violin Concerto No 1

Christian Tetzlaff; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Lintu (Ondine) 

Recital Award

Porpora In procella sine stella

Delphine Galou; Accademia Bizantina / Ottavio Dantone (Alpha)  

Opera Award

Berlioz Les Troyens – conclusion of Act 4

Cyrille Dubois; Joyce DiDonato; Michael Spyres; Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchetsra  / John Nelson (Erato)

Contemporary Award

Dusapin Quatuor VI, 'Hinterland''

Arditti Quartet; Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra / Pascal Rophé (aeon)

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