Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Archangelo, Bach Collegium Japan, Iestyn Davies, Joyce DiDonato, Christian Gerhaher, Matthias Goerne, Murray Perahia and the Silesian Quartet among the artists and ensembles triumphing in 40th anniversary year of the Gramophone Awards

12 winning recordings now compete for the coveted Recording of the Year prize, announced on September 13 alongside other special awards


Gramophone today [Friday 1 September] announced the winners of the 12 categories of its annual Classical Music Awards, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. One of these recordings will now go on to win Recording of the Year, which will be announced at the glittering ceremony on September 13 at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2, alongside other special awards such as Artist of the Year, Young Artist of the Year, the Lifetime Achievement Award and Label of the Year.

For the second year running, the ceremony will be broadcast live on, so that thousands of music lovers from all over the world can tune in to see the biggest names in classical music attend this prestigious event, as well as performances by award winners past and present. The whole ceremony will also be available to watch at and on Classic FM’s Facebook page.

In the Baroque Instrumental category, Adrian Chandler and his period-instrument ensemble La Serenissima win for their aptly-named ‘The Italian Job’ disc, which focuses on works from four Italian cities with a rich musical heritage from composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli and Caldara to name a few. (Avie)

Having previously won the Recital Award in 2012 for their ‘Arias for Guadagni’ disc, the award-winning combination of countertenor Iestyn Davies, Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen this year claim victory in the Baroque Vocal category for their ‘JS Bach: Cantatas BWV54, 82 & 170’ recording. (Hyperion)

In the Chamber category, renowned ensemble the Silesian Quartet take the prize for their recording of the complete string quartets by the rarely-performed Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz, a recording described by Gramophone as being full of “intense emotion, boundless imagination and thrilling formal mastery”. (Chandos)

Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki win the Choral category for their recording of Mozart’s C Minor Mass, noted by Gramophone as ranking “alongside the period-instrument benchmarks”. Previous Gramophone Award-winner Carolyn Sampson also features on this disc as the solo soprano. (BIS)

Former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year (and nominee for 2017 Artist of the Year) Isabelle Faust takes the Concerto Award for her recording of Mozart violin concertos with Giovanni Antoniniand Il Giardino Armonico in a win that echoes back to the very first Gramophone Awards 40 years ago, where another disc of Mozart concertos also took the top prize. (Harmonia Mundi)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra win the Contemporary Award for their ‘Musica Viva 22’ disc, which features recordings of works by Sir George Benjamin,Tristan Murail and György Ligeti, conducted by Benjamin himself. This win for the BRSO comes after their victory in the same category last year for their recording with Barbara Hannigan of Hans Abrahamsen’s ‘Let Me Tell You’. (Neos)

It was a Dowland recording featuring Julian Bream that claimed the Early Music Award at the very first Gramophone Awards back in 1977, and in a serendipitous move a Dowland recording also takes the Award this year. Viol consort Phantasm win for their ‘Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears’ album, noted by Gramophone for having “all the hallmarks of a classic recording”. (Linn)

Murray Perahia sees off competition from Daniil Trifonov and Beatrice Rana to claim victory with his ‘Bach: French Suites’ recording in the Instrumental category, significant this year for being an all-piano affair. (Deutsche Grammophon)

The DVD recording of Zurich Opera’s 2015 production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, featuring Christian Gerhaher’s sensational debut in the title role, wins the Opera Award. Gerhaher was noted by Gramophone in this production for his “great lyrical beauty”. (Accentus)

Taking their second award of the night, Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini also claim the Orchestra award for their ‘Haydn Symphonies: No 12; No 60, ‘Il Distretto’, No 70’ recording, referred to by Gramophone as having the potential to be “the period-instrument Haydn cycle by which all others are measured”. (Alpha)

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato’s album of Baroque opera arias focusing on conflict and resolution and the search for relevance in music for the world around us, ‘In War and Peace’, claims the top prize in the Recital category. “A joyful musical homecoming”, this deeply personal recording is accompanied by Il Pomo d’Oro and Maxim Emelyanychev. (Erato)

German baritone (and another nominee for 2017 Artist of the Year) Matthias Goerne takes the Solo Vocal Award for his album of Brahms lieder with accompanist Christoph Eschenbach. After singing on previous winning recordings and being nominated in this category in 2010, this is Goerne’s first solo Gramophone Award win. (Harmonia Mundi)

James Jolly, Editor-in-Chief at Gramophone, said: “Another vintage year for recorded classical music that illustrates the extraordinary talent that’s all around us. It’s great to see artists returning to the Awards, but equally wonderful to be celebrating new talent in such a variety of genres and different periods of music.”

The Gramophone Classical Music Awards are presented in association with the Pan-Armenian Symphony Orchestra, Qobuz, Naim and the BPI, with individual awards supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Classical:Next, the European Foundation for Support of Culture, E Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers, Help Musicians UK, IDAGIO, the PPL & PRS for Music, Presto Classical, Primephonic, Qobuz and Mrs Joan Jones. The Medici.TV stream is sponsored by E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers and IMG Artists.

Gramophone’s Awards issue is published on September 14 and will contain full information on the Awards and Award winners.


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