This year's Grammys, presented in Los Angeles last night, offered an eclectic and at times surprising line-up of winners.
The overall prize, the Best Classical Album, went to Michael Tilson Thomas's SFSO Mahler Eighth, a recording which also took the Award for the Best Engineered Album and the Choral award. The Orchestral category was secured by James Levine's Boston Symphony disc of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé on the orchestra's own label.
The Opera prize went to the Virgin Classics set of Britten's Billy Budd, conducted by Daniel Harding. The rather clumsily titled Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (With Orchestra) went to Evgeny Kissin's disc of Prokofiev's Second and Third Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy (EMI), and the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra) was taken by Sharon Isbin's "Journey to the New World" on Sony Classical (with guest appearances by Mark O'Connor and Joan Baez, surely her first "classical" award).
The Emerson Quartet's DG disc of string quartets by Janacek took the Chamber prize and the Small Ensemble prize went to David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion on Harmonia Mundi USA: Paul Hillier directing Ars Nova Copenhagen and Theatre Of Voices. The Best Classical Vocal Performance went to Renée Fleming's "Verismo Arias" disc for Decca, and the Classical Crossover to Yo-Yo Ma and Friends for "Songs of Joy and Peace" (Sony Classical).
The Best Classical Contemporary Composition was taken by the Percussion Concerto by Jennifer Higdon, recorded live by Colin Currie and the London Philharmonic under Marin Alsop (LPO Records). The producer of the year went, once again, to Steven Epstein.
View all the Grammy nominations in all categories.
See also James Jolly's downloading blog