International Classical Music Awards 2014
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Charles Dutoit
During his long and distinguished career, the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit has always tried to convey what he calls a ‘French sensibility’ to the orchestras he has worked closely with. Ever in demand, he has been in charge of many world class orchestras in Europe, America and Asia. His stylish and energetic recorded interpretations, mainly for Decca and Erato, will long be treasured by discerning listeners.
ARTIST OF THE YEA: Andreas Staier
The brilliant harpsichord and piano player Andreas Staier has become a dominant figure in the musical life of Europe. Known for his unique creative projects, such as «Hamburg 1734» or «Delight in Disorder», his productions are always based on the latest discoveries of musicology and he himself undertakes in-depth research. Staier approaches Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann’s music with a fresh vision, while his recordings have considerably expanded the harpsichord and fortepiano repertoire on disc.
YOUNG ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Adrien Boisseau, viola
At his young age, the French viola player Adrien Boisseau is, quite apart from his technical skills and the beauty of his sound, a singularly mature and introspective musician. When questioned about his future, he typically answers that he needs time, time to grow, time to explore music in the depth, thus showing a sense of responsibility that is often lacking in other players of his generation.
LABEL OF THE YEAR: Glossa
Since 1992, Glossa’s catalogue has been built up around some of the most original and adventurous works in the entire recorded repertoire, with a special emphasis on historically informed performances.
CLASSICAL WEBSITE AWARD: Metropolitan Opera Archives
No opera house has matched the Metropolitan over the past 130 years for the sheer quantity of original language performances with world-class singers. And no operatic archive online can surpass the Met’s for accuracy and completeness of information, with the day-by-day chronology enriched by photos, reviews and invaluable statistical data.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden und Freiburg
The SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden und Freiburg is one of the finest orchestras in Germany. With a rich history, a genuine devotion to contemporary music and an outstanding recording catalogue, the orchestra’s importance both locally and internationally is such that the decision by the SWR radio station to merge it with the Radio Orchestra from Stuttgart is simply inconceivable. ICMA urges the SWR to take all possible measures to save this orchestra.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Ludwig van Beethoven Association, Kraków (Poland)
The Polish Ludwig van Beethoven Association offers an impressively broad spectrum of musical activities: artist management, festival organization, promotion, musical education, charity activities and many others, the preeminent achievement being the internationally renowned Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival which, under the guidance of Elzbieta Penderecka, has achieved recognition as one of the most stimulating cultural events in Europe.
CD & DVD CATEGORIES
Erasmus van Rotterdam: In Praise of Folly
Louise Moaty, Marc Mauillon, René Zosso, La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall
Alia Vox AVSA 9895
With this CD-Book the viol player and conductor Jordi Savall pays tribute to one of the most important figures of the Renaissance, the great humanist and theologian Erasmus van Rotterdam. The 6-CD-box intermingles the words of Erasmus with fine period music. Each disc contains marvelous and sensually performed pieces from various composers of that era.
The Scarlatti Restored Manuscript; Domenico Scarlatti, Antonio Soler: Sonatas
Andrea Bacchetti, piano
RCA Red Seal 88765417242
In these rediscovered scores of brilliant keyboard music Andrea Bacchetti combines his usual exquisite musicianship and colorful musical phrasing, full of life and fantasy, with commendable stylistic rigor. This CD confirms that Bacchetti is definitely one of the most interesting pianists in the Baroque repertoire.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, Laudate Pueri, Confitebor tibi Domine
Philippe Jaroussky, Julia Lezhneva, Coro della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana, I Barocchisti, Diego Fasolis
It might not be a new idea to cast Pergolesi’s famous “Stabat Mater” with a soprano and a countertenor, but rarely have two soloists matched the harmony achieved here by Philippe Jaroussky and Julia Lezhneva. Pergolesi’s innovative musical score – that inspired many of the greatest masters of the baroque era – is transformed here into magical sound.
Franz Schubert: Erlkönig
Matthias Goerne, baritone & Andreas Haefliger, piano
Harmonia Mundi HMC 902141
With this Schubert album the baritone Matthias Goerne and the pianist Andreas Haefliger reach rare heights in the art of interpretation. Their performance of these Lieder, which represent musical romanticism at its most inspired, is truly remarkable.
Berlioz: Grande messe des morts, Op. 5
Barry Banks, London Symphony Chorus, London Philharmonic Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis
LSO Live LSO0729
The touching legacy of a great conductor: Sir Colin Davis’ last recording of Berlioz’ Requiem with Barry Banks and the London Symphony Orchestra captures the theatrical dimension of this masterpiece to perfection. As a performances it is even more overwhelming than Davis’ legendary first recording made in 1969.
Benjamin Britten: The Rape of Lucretia
Ian Bostridge, Angelika Kirchschlager, Christopher Purves, Susan Gritton, Peter Coleman-Wright, Claire Booth, Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Oliver Knussen
Angelika Kirchschlager, Ian Bostridge, Susan Gritton, Peter Coleman-Wright and Christopher Purves reveal exceptional psychological insight in this freshly conceived – and technically remarkable – Erato recording under Oliver Knussen’s masterly leadership. A truly worthy tribute to Britten in his anniversary year.
Maurice Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales – George Enescu: Sonata op. 24/1 – Claude Debussy: 4 Préludes
Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano
eaSonus EAS 29237
The variety and elegance of Elisabeth Leonskaja’s playing in a repertoire we might not immediately associate with this pianist, her intimate, nuanced command of rhythm and color, the sharpness of her musical intelligence and the assertiveness of her articulation make this recording really rewarding.
Scarlatti Illuminated (Scarlatti – Scarlatti/Tausig – Scarlatti/Friedman)
Joseph Moog, piano
Whether in the original Scarlatti scores or in transcriptions by Tausig, Friedman and Gieseking, Joseph Moog is a committed performer, clearly interested in giving the music an impressive sonority without adding unnecessary weight or pathos, but creating a genuine kaleidoscope of deeply felt music.
Béla Bartok: String Quartet No. 3 – Alban Berg: String Quartet op. 3 – Alfred Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3
Three Quartets n. 3 by the 20th-century composers Bartok, Berg and Schnittke show completely different styles, ranging from late romanticism to folk inspired rhythms and apocalyptic eclecticism. The Signum Quartet finds the right concept for each of these works and their performances combine enthusiasm with unfussy and transparent playing.
Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz 112 – Peter Eötvös: Seven – György Ligeti: Violin Concerto
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Peter Eötvös - Naïve V5285
The composers of all three violin Concertos on this disc are Hungarian, while the soloist, Patricia Kopatchinskaja is from Moldova. Yet she interprets the now classic Concerto by Bartók, the complexly structured piece by Ligeti and Eötvös’ “Seven – Memorial for the Columbia Astronauts,” as confidently and sensitively as if she was a native of Hungary. Eötvös deserves acclaim not only as a composer, but also as the energetic conductor of the recording.
Johannes Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Tragische Ouvertüre, Haydn-Variationen, Liebeslieder-Walzer etc.
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly
Revisiting Brahms with an orchestra of formidable tradition: Chailly responds to this challenge by balancing the sections in an interlacing of colors which develop into a continuous stream. His tempi are totally organic and coherent, and his connection with a superbly responsive Gewandhausorchester is unfailing.
Krzysztof Penderecki: The Complete Symphonies
Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, Krzysztof Penderecki
This recording is very remarkable not only from a musical, but also from historical point of view, containing the composer’s own interpretation of his monumental cycle of symphonies. These five CDs give us the unique opportunity to observe the evolution of this great composer over several decades, and to enjoy his main achievements.
Paul Hindemith: Violin Concerto – Violin Sonatas
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin, Enrico Pace, piano, Paavo Järvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi
A reminder of Hindemith’s close affinity with the violin, this rewarding release treads fearlessly with the greatest of all works he wrote for it. Though the Violin Concerto is a piece with a distinguished discography, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Paavo Järvi find its supercharged energy and lyricism like few other interpreters. An intelligent and fascinating sequence of the sonatas (where Enrico Pace fully matches Zimmermann’s musicianship) completes this highly satisfying collection.
Celibidache – The Berlin Recordings, 1945-1957
Hans Bottermund, Helmut Heller, Lilia d’Albore, Erna Berger, Margarete Klose, Gustav Scheck, Gerhard Puchelt, Tibor de Machula, Raoul Koczalski, Hans Peter Schmitz, Helmut Schlövogt, Karl Rucht, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Sergiu Celibidache - Audite 21.423
Thanks to its great expertise in remastering archive recordings, Audite presents an highly interesting and revelatory overview of the early Celibidache years, with a young, fiery conductor: a far cry from the Zen maestro we knew when he was at the summit of his career.
Sergey Prokofiev: The Gambler
Sergei Aleksashkin, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Vladimir Galuzin, Larissa Dyadkova, Nikolai Gassiev, Alexander Gergalov, Nadezhda Serdyuk, Andrei Popov, Oleg Sychev, Andrei Spekhov, Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev; Laurent Gentot, film director
The Mariinsky Theatre certainly had a wonderful team for its production of Prokofiev’s rarely performed opera The Gambler: the staging is subtle and sensible, the singers excellent on all levels and the orchestra plays superbly under a truly inspired Valery Gergiev.
Refuge in Music – Terezin
A Film by Dorothee Binding and Benedict Mirow, with Anne-Sofie von Otter, Daniel Hope, Christian Gerhaher, Bengt Forsberg, Bebe Risenfors, Alice Herz-Sommer, Coco Schumann
Deutsche Grammophon 477 6546 2
A poignant documentation of Terezin and a moving concert with music written by composers interned in this Nazi concentration camp before they were taken to death camps in the East. Anne-Sofie von Otter and Daniel Hope are tireless in their efforts to draw attention to this repertoire and they deserve recognition not only for their commitment but also for the musical expertise they show while performing Schulhoff, Haas, Krasa, Ullmann …