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ICMA INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS 2023


Naxos wins ICMA 2023 'Label of the Year' Award
“From the year it was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, Naxos has been one of the most energetic and ground-breaking record companies of the global classical music world. With its budget recordings, Naxos has been very influential in promoting the art of classical music and the habit of collecting records to the masses in even remote parts of the world. Today Naxos owes its reputation to the wealth of its immense catalogue which includes many recordings of some of the most important names in the classical music industry, its huge Naxos Audio Library and network of distribution.” THE NAXOS CATALOGUE

Other ICMA 2023 winners below!
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Image ICMA: SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Complete Piano Music (13 CD)

Pianist Alessandro Marangoni, who has no fewer than 20 recordings on the Naxos label, received this year's ICMA Special Achievement Award for his monumental cycle of Gioachino Rossini’s complete 14-volume Péchés de vieillesse (Naxos 8.501306), recorded on 13 albums. Reflecting the jury's decision, the ICMA stated: ‘Rossini’s Péchés de vieillesse are not an organic collection, but a fascinating, bottomless well of musical miracles written in old age by an ironic, sly, rather depressed and nevertheless brilliant composer. For the first time, thanks to the Italian pianist Alessandro Marangoni, we have a complete recording of this true musical monument, a feat that is the result of many years of research and a passion that has few equals.’

kr 429
Image ICMA: EARLY MUSIC
El Collar de la Paloma
Ibn Hazm of Cordoba
Capella de Ministrers, Carlos Magraner
Capella de Ministrers

In their indefatigable search for forgotten repertoires, Carles Magraner and his Capella de Ministrers turn to Andalusian music, specifically to the Cordovan polymath Ibn Hazm, who a thousand years ago wielded the splendid Neoplatonic treatise that can be heard on this CD. El collar de la paloma (The necklace of the dove) alternates moments of pure improvisation with dance movements — the ones that sustain the musical framework of this programme in which the nay flute, the kanun or the rebec are always allowed to play freely.

kr 189
Image ICMA: BAROQUE INSTRUMENTAL
Bach: Italian Concerto – French Overture
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Hyperion

Mahan Esfahani, the indefatigable missionary of the harpsichord, has added another brilliant recording to his ever-growing discography. His recording journey has been a never ending quest for fresh insights into old baroque works (as well, of course, as modern ones) and for exploring the different colors of his instrument. This recording pays homage to one of the greatest masters of the harpsichord in music history, Johann Sebastian Bach. Esfahani brings his habitual attentive playing to the Italian Concerto, French Overture and last but not least the wonderfully melodious Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo.

kr 169
Image ICMA: BAROQUE VOCAL
Handel: Semele
Ana Maria Labin, Lawrence Zazzo
Millenium Orchestra
Leonardo Garcia Alarcón
Ricercar

This recording of Handel’s Semele under the conducting of Leonardo García Alarcón is an exceptional success and an interpretative triumph. It was made on the stage of the Grand Manège in Namur, a new concert hall in Wallonia, with an outstanding international cast, the Choeur de Chambre de Namur and the Millenium Orchestra.

kr 379
Image ICMA: VOCAL MUSIC
Dissonance
Rachmaninov: Melodies
Asmik Grigorian, soprano
Lukas Geniusas, piano
Alpha
796
Asmik Grigorian and Lukas Geniusas shape concentrated and nuanced gems from Rachmaninov’s romances. Slavic emotional expression never boils over but remains precisely at the service of the music. Grigorian’s instrumental soprano conveys the feelings of loneliness, pain and ecstasy in an intense way and delicately emphasizes the meanings of the poem. Geniusas finds all the colours and moods of the piano textures, ranging from lyrical nature painting to psychological drama.

kr 189
Image ICMA: CHAMBER MUSIC
Into Madness
Bartok – Enescu – Achron
Tassilo Probst, violin
Maxim Lando, piano
Berlin Classics

With their first album German violinist Tassilo Probst and American pianist Maxim Lando play themselves right into the first league. Probst and Lando prove to be equal, technically superior partners whose real strength lies in their rhetoric. Their interpretations are outstandingly expressive, spontaneous, and bring seldom-heard meaningfulness to the works on this CD. Probst and Lando cross-fertilize each other’s inspiration and achieve stunning performances guaranteed to raise the listener’s pulse.

kr 259
Image ICMA: CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Holliger: Lunea
Christian Gerhaher, Juliane Banse, Ivan Ludlow
Sarah Maria Sun, Annette Schönmüller
Philharmonia Zürich, Basler Madrigalisten
Heinz Holliger

Genius and madness – a theme that has always fascinated Heinz Holliger. A song cycle with diary notes by the poet Nikolaus Lenau was created for the baritone Christian Gerhaher. The composer expanded this into the opera Lunea. The result is a work full of playful creativity, coupled with a great sense for the most subtle tonal colours. This exemplary recording was made during the premiere at Opernhaus Zürich.

kr 349
Image ICMA: ASSORTED PROGRAMS
Salonen: Cello Concerto – Ravel: Duo Sonata
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Dima Slobodeniouk

What Nicolas Altstaedt and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Dima Slobodeniouk draw from Esa-Pekka Salonen’s multi-layered Cello Concerto is fascinating – an exciting expedition into a colourful cosmos of sound. The addition of Ravel’s Duo Sonata for violin and cello may come as a surprise, but is gripping in the unconventionally approached dialogue between the two instruments.


kr 189
Image ICMA: PREMIERE RECORDINGS
Conrado del Campo: String Quartets Nos. 3 & 5
Quatuor Diotima
MarchVivo

The Quatour Diotima provides sensational readings of two of the fifteen string quartets written by Conrado del Campo, a key composer in 20th century Spanish music, unjustly neglected since his death in 1953. This important premiere recording is the beginning of an exciting integral cycle, championed by the young Spanish label MarchVivo, which belongs to the prestigious Fundación Juan March, one of Spain’s leading cultural and musical centres.

kr 189
Image ICMA: VIDEO - OPERA
Hans Abrahamsen: The Snow Queen
Barbara Hannigan, Rachael Wilson, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Rose
Caroline Wettergreen, Dean Power, Kevin Conners, Owen Willets
Orchestra & Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
Cornelius Meister
Andreas Kriegenburg
Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings

The winter music of Hans Abrahamsen finds in the tale of Hans Christian Andersen the appropriate framework for a writing torn between complexity and simplicity. The role of Gerda is brightly and intensely interpreted by Barbara Hannigan, the singer being doubled by an actress, a child, and even a doll! Kay, male role, is sung by a mezzo, Rachael Wilson, vibrant in her commitment. The orchestra, conducted with great inspiration by Cornelius Meister, allows us to hear the icy sound of music with an elusive character, while the filming of Christoph Engel shows us the very beautiful scenography of Harald B. Thor.

kr 359
Image ICMA: VIDEO - PERFORMANCE & DOCUMENTARIES
Metanoia
Bach – Borodin – Morricone – Pärt – Puccini – Villa-Lobos
Manon Galy, violin
Ensemble K – Sequenza 9.3
Simone Menezes
Paul Smaczny
Accentus Music
ACC20550
The music documentary Metanoia sets new standards in terms of content and form. Alongside original musical selections, a trip to Italy and prominent interlocutors, the protagonists explore basic philosophical aspects of music and music reception. By linking the subject with other disciplines such as visual arts, sociology, architecture, dance or technology, they generate new ways of thinking around the topic.

kr 259
Image ICMA: ORCHESTRA AWARD
Karol Mossakowski, organ
As titular organist of the Cathedral in Lille, France, and professor of improvisation, the Polish organist Karol Mossakowski is renowned for both his interpretation and improvisation skills. He won numerous prizes and proved his extraordinary musicality as artist in residence at Radio France and at NOSPR in Katowice. Being one of the most promising artists among the rising figures of the young organ school, his performances have been hailed in the most laudatory terms not only for their great virtuosity but also for the finesse and the rich colours of his deeply musical playing.

kr 189
Image ICMA: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
David Geringas, cello
A life devoted to music, in the purest sense of professionalism and dedication. Cellist, teacher and founder of an orchestra for young talents, David Geringas was always a veritable bridge between Eastern and Western traditions of high-class cello playing. Many of today’s top cellists have studied with him. Many contemporary compositions where written for him. A passionate musician and a brilliant mind, David Geringas is an example of what the music world really needs in the difficult times we live in.

kr 159
Image ICMA: ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ermonela Jaho, soprano
With the unique beauty of her glorious, securely led and magnificently shimmering voice, Ermonela Jaho fascinates with her pure vocal aesthetics. But this is only one side of the singer’s great art, the other being her electrifying theatrical presence. Few singers achieve such a high degree of identification with their roles, such a total veracity and deeply moving emotion. Once on the stage, Ermonela Jaho throws off her own personality like a cloak and fully embodies the character she has to interpret

kr 239
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