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GRAMOPHONE CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS 2020

Label of the year: ALPHA CLASSICS
"Founded in 1999, the Paris-based label has had an exceptional year, with stand-out releases including tonight’s presenter Kate Lindsey’s superb L’Arianna (featuring cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti, Handel and Haydn) with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen, Barbara Hannigan’s arresting album of music by Grisey, Haydn and Nono La Passione, Anna Prohaska’s lockdown Bach project Redemption, and of course Martin Helmchen’s Beethoven concertos with Andrew Manze and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin." (Gramophone) ALPHA CLASSICS on NaxosDirect

Special Achievement Award - Robert von Bahr (BIS)
"This year’s prize goes not to a performer or organisation, but to the maverick Swedish record-producer and engineer who founded BIS in 1973, and has been much praised over the years for his commitment to embracing new formats and environmentally-friendly packaging, as well as his recent practical support of his artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges. Among those who sent messages of congratulation were the conductors Osmo Vänskä and Andrew Litton, the pianists Yevgeny Sudbin, Noriko Ogawa and Alexandre Kantorow, and the soprano Carolyn Sampson – who performed Schubert’s An die Musik with Joseph Middleton in tribute to Von Bahr." (Gramophone) BIS RECORDS on NaxosDirect
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Image WINNER: BEETHOVEN 250 AWARD
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5
Martin Helmchen (piano), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Andrew Manze

"The first instalment of Helmchen’s Beethoven cycle with Manze and the DSOB impressed reviewer Michelle Assay with its ‘artistry, poetry, stylish musicianship and, perhaps above all, rapport between soloist and conductor’ in December 2019, and was later described as ‘interpretative gold’ in International Piano as well as being nominated for an International Classical Music Award. The second volume (featuring Concertos Nos. 1 and 4) was released on Alpha in April." (Gramophone)


kr 159
Image WINNER: RECITAL
SI J'AI AIMÉ
Sandrine Piau; Le Concert de la Loge / Julien Chauvin

‘With her silvery tone, immaculate sense of line and telling if understated way with words, Piau is very much at home in this repertory’
(Gramophone)

kr 159
Image WINNER: CHAMBER
BARTÓK Piano Quintet. VERESS String Trio
Vilde Frang; Barnabás Kelemen; Lawrence Power; Nicolas Altstaedt; Alexander Lonquich ?

‘I think it fair to say that Kelemen, Frang, Katalin Kokas, Altstaedt and Alexander Lonquich sell this lovable product of youthful creative excess more securely than any of their predecessors on disc, certainly any that I have encountered’
(Gramophone)

kr 159
Image WINNER: CHORAL
BACH St Matthew Passion
Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki ?

‘If Bachians have found Suzuki’s performances a touch imperturbable on occasion, this recording throws down the gauntlet on almost every level. A revelatory reading of an eminent Bach interpreter in his prime’
(Gramophone)

kr 299
Image WINNER: SOLO VOCAL
JANÁCEK The diary of one who disappeared, etc
Nicky Spence & Julius Drake with Václava Housková and Victoria Samek?

‘He sings with sensitivity and intelligence, projects the words with consistent clarity and covers this wonderful cycle’s broad emotional range movingly and convincingly’
(Gramophone)

kr 169
Image WINNER: EARLY MUSIC
GESUALDO Madrigali, Libri primo & secondo
Les Arts Florissants / Paul Agnew

‘The sheer inquisitive delight that these singers bring to Gesualdo’s extraordinary world indicates a very exciting series ahead’
(Gramophone)

kr 169
Image WINNER: Young Artist of the Year
Natalya Romaniw

"The Welsh soprano began the year as Madam Butterfly at English National Opera, and last month returned to the company as a ‘vocally plush and sensuous’ (The Telegraph) Mimì in their drive-in performances of La bohème at Alexandra Palace. Her debut solo recording Arion: Voyage of a Slavic Soul (with the Czech/British pianist Lada Valešová, featuring songs by Rimsky-Korsakov, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Janácek and Novák) was released on Orchid Classics in May and was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, with Mark Pullinger observing that ‘Romaniw is a great talent. The plush richness of her soprano is astonishing’." (Gramophone)


kr 159
Image WINNER: Concept Album of the Year
From the Ground Up: Chaconnes

Samuel West, Baba Israel (narrators); O/MOD?RNT, Hugo Ticciati
"Featuring chaconnes by JS Bach, Purcell, Piccinini and Pellegrini as well as more recent examples by Dusan Bogdanovic and Johannes Marmén and group improvisations by the ensemble, O/Modernt’s second album on Signum was praised in Gramophone last July for the players’ ability to ‘bring the genre’s inherent sexiness and sway to every note’ and for Ticciati’s solo performance of the Ciaccona from Bach’s Partita in D minor which ‘warms into gloriousness’." (Gramophone)


kr 159
Image WINNER: Lifetime Achievement Award
Itzhak Perlman

"The first violinist to win this award since his mentor Isaac Stern in 1999, Perlman (who turned 75 a few weeks ago) vowed to ‘get some more records under my belt and maybe win another!’ in his twinkly acceptance-speech, which was preceded by warm tributes from the composer and conductor John Williams and Perlman’s student Randall Goosby, who described bonding with his teacher over a mutual love of chicken nuggets. James Jolly also paid homage to Perlman’s ‘artistry, musicianship and sheer beauty and power of sound’ as well as his ‘triumph over physical adversity’." (Gramophone)

kr 299
Image WINNER: Orchestra of the Year
The Philadelphia Orchestra

"A third of the votes for this audience-led award went to the American orchestra, founded in 1900 and currently under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who succeeded Charles Dutoit in 2012; their recent successes on record include a live recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (awarded five stars in BBC Music Magazine, who described it as ‘brilliant music-making that will leave you breathless’) and a multi-award-winning Rachmaninov project with Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov." (Gramophone)


kr 159
Image The Philadelphia Orchestra
kr 349
Image The Philadelphia Orchestra
kr 159
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