LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Krzysztof Penderecki
Even very early in his life Krzysztof Penderecki won widespread recognition for his achievements as a composer. With his outstanding creative potential, his emotional intensity and the remarkable development of his musical language, he is now deservedly considered one of the most masterly creative artists of our time.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
The excellence of the French school of piano-playing combined with a unique curiosity and a fresh approach to the scores enable Jean-Efflam Bavouzet to bring new life to Ravel, de Falla, Debussy, Pierné as well as to Joseph Haydn.
YOUNG ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Joseph Moog
Joseph Moog is more than a young virtuoso, he is a serious and responsible pianist with beautiful technique, sensitive, intelligent, subtle, curious, capable of focusing on detail without neglecting the whole and of establishing intertextual connections. Such maturity reveals genuine talent!
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Ward Marston
Over the past quarter of a century no one has surpassed Ward Marston in the loving restoration of early recordings both for major record companies such as Naxos (his complete Caruso edition remains unsurpassed) and for his own label Marston Records, which sets the highest standards in this field and reflects its founder’s profound understanding of the great singers and pianists of the past, many of whom have been re-evaluated thanks to his efforts.
LABEL OF THE YEAR: Ondine
Created in 1985 by Reijo Kiilunen, and belonging today to the Naxos group, the Finnish classical record label Ondine — known for the high technical quality of its recordings — has won esteem not only as a strong advocate of Finnish music, but also for the seriousness with which it explores a wide-ranging repertoire, attracting a considerable number of top level international artists and orchestras.
CLASSICAL WEBSITE AWARD: classicalplanet.com
A website that is a genuine meeting place where new talents come into contact with grand maestros and which provides these young musicians with the opportunity to fully develop their vocation.
CD & DVD CATEGORIES
Palestrina Vol. 1
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa Assumpta est Maria – Salve Regina – Ave Maria
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers
Vocal transparency and a perfect homogeneity of sound enhance the intelligibility of the polyphonic language. Here a marvellous ensemble is at work!
Rameau: L’Orchestre de Louis XV
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les Indes galantes, Naïs, Zoroastre, Les Boréades (Orchestral Suites)
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
Alia Vox AVSA9882
A masterful combination of intensity and lyricism, the perfect melding of a clearly defined line and the most delicate details, without ever stifling the fantasy of the soloists. The sound recording is generous and makes the listening experience a delight.
Heinrich Schütz: Musicalische Exequien
Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier
Ricercar RIC 311
For a still young ensemble, it was a real challenge to perform a work requiring such inwardness of expression. Great care is given to conveying the subtlety of the text and the stylistically informed phrasing captures the music in all its intimate beauty.
Slavic Opera Arias
Piotr I. Tchaikovsky – Parachkev Hadjiev – Alexander Borodin – Antonin Dvorak – Bedrich Smetana – Nicolai Rimski-Korsakov – Veselin Stoyanova
Krassimira Stoyanova. Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Pavel Baleff
Orfeo C 830 111 A
Krassimira Stoyanova’s breathtakingly beautiful, even and rich voice suits this repertoire to perfection and captures the full expressive range of the music. Throughout the programme the soprano fascinates with her captivating characterizations, truly connecting with each composer’s intentions.
Etienne Nicolas Méhul – Rodolphe Kreutzer – Antonio Salieri – Christoph Willibald Gluck – François Joseph Gossec – Hector Berlioz e.a.
Véronique Gens, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset
Virgin 50999 070927 2 5
French tragic opera at its most intense and magnificent in seminal performances by Véronique Gens, accompanied by an inspired Christophe Rousset: an anthology that combines favourite arias with little known rarities.
Gabriel Fauré: Messe de Requiem
Philippe Jaroussky, Matthias Goerne, Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris
Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi
This is a wonderful recording. Paavo Järvi creates a gentle atmosphere giving Fauré’s Requiem what the composer wanted to express: a perfect musical translation of eternal peace. Though very different, the voices of Matthias Goerne and Philippe Jaroussky combine richly golden tones with great taste and utter sincerity.
Frank Martin: Der Sturm
Robert Holl, Christine Buffle, Ethan Herschenfeld, James Gilchrist,
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra & Netherlands Radio Choir
Together with an outstanding cast, Thierry Fischer gives the Martin Opera ‘Der Sturm’ a truly masterful interpretation, turning this premiere recording into a major musical event. The Netherlands Radio Orchestra is at its best, playing with genuine expressive fantasy.
RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Robert Schumann: Papillons, Klaviersonate op. 11, Kinderszenen, Fantasie op. 17, Waldszenen, Thema mit Variationen (Geistervariationen)
In these outstanding performances, Andras Schiff proves highly sensitive and totally lucid in lending Schumann’s piano works an ideal clarity of line and texture. With his extraordinary intellectual focus and a very natural spontaneity he captures the particular intimacy of the music.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Septet op. 20 – Sextet op. 71
Scharoun Ensemble Berlin
The Scharoun Ensemble plays not only eloquently and with invigorating energy, their Beethoven renditions are wonderfully articulated, transparent in coloration and consistently beautiful.
Camille Saint-Saëns – Eugene Ysaÿe – Ernest Chausson – Maurice Ravel
Rachel Kolly d’Alba
Orchestre Symphonique de Bienne, Jean-Jacques Kantorow
Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, John Axelrod
Warner Classics 2564671814
Rachel Kolly d’Alba is an inventive and passionate violinist with a genuine feeling for expressive phrasing. Backed by two strong conductors, she surprises us repeatedly with her very personal playing and a rare quality of tone.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Sunhae Im, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck
In a compelling Viennese mood, Manfred Honeck draws our attention to an amazing quantity of details and nuances. His choices, though often very personal, always make sense. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – a truly superb ensemble – and the soprano Sunhae Im prove their excellence.
Krzysztof Penderecki: Viola Concerto – Cello Concerto No. 2
Grigory Zhislin, Tatjana Vassiljeva, Warsaw Philharmonic, Antoni Wit
Naxos 8.572 211
These superbly scored and highly emotional works receive a thrilling interpretation from two equally expressive and virtuoso soloists as well as from the excellent Warsaw Philharmonic under the masterful direction the great Polish conductor Antoni Wit.
Bela Bartók: Concerti, Cantata profana, Divertimento, etc
Tibor Varga, Andor Foldes, Géza Anda, Louis Kentner, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, RIAS Berlin, Ferenc Fricsay
Audite 21 407
After World War II, no other conductor did more than Ferenc Fricsay to establish the greatness of Béla Bartók. His intensely passionate interpretations are legendary. And these recordings, released for the first time on CD, overwhelm us with their brilliant sound quality.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9
Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
Accentus Music ACC 20214
Drained of any residue of hedonism, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony emerges — in Claudio Abbado’s unforgettable reading at the Lucerne Festival — in all its stark nudity.
Carlos Kleiber – Traces to Nowhere
Film by Eric Schulz. With Placido Domingo, Brigitte Fassbaender, Otto Schenk, Veronika Kleiber
Arthaus Musik 101553
Eric Schulz draws the attention to the contradictions and the mysteries of the decidedly strange life of a musical genius. Thanks to the quality of the interviews the film offers answers to a very great number questions about Carlos Kleiber.