Recording of the Week Last thoughts on 2007, first on 2008
With the year fast drawing to a close we have one final chance to have a look back over the past year's releases and a quick peek forward into 2008 and what joys (or otherwise) it is likely to bring.
Looking back first, this week the BBC Music Magazine announced the shortlist for their slightly confusingly named 2008 awards (which assesses the best recordings of 2007!). There are 18 discs included and to me it seems a fairly accurate selection of what should be there. We've set up a special BBC awards page for them on the website and also negotiated pretty keen deals with the labels which means all the single discs are just £10.99 and the multi-disc sets are similarly reduced. The winners are decided by public vote on the BBC website and we've put the link to the voting page on our BBC awards page so please exercise your right and vote for your favourites! In the absence of any new releases this week we've also listed them below.
Looking ahead, you'll be pleased to hear that Hyperion have now cleared the huge debt they suffered after the lost court case in 2005, and you'll see an increase in the number of monthly releases from them. In February they'll release the third disc in Ex Cathedra's series of Latin American Baroque music following the huge successes of New World Symphonies and Moon, Sun & All Things.
In January, tenor Jonas Kaufmann releases his first disc for Decca (Romantic Arias) following the Gramophone Award he won with his disc of Strauss Lieder on Harmonia Mundi. I expect his fame to grow over the year and by the end of it to be challenging Rolando Villazon as the leading tenor of his age.
Harmonia Mundi celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and we've got a very exciting series of offers and promotions to help celebrate that remarkable achievement with them (more on this next week), but I know a lot of you will be keen to hear that the final volume of the Paul Lewis Beethoven cycle is currently scheduled for May.
There will of course be a lot more, and I'll keep you up-to-date every week in this column with the most exciting ones, but in the meantime it only remains for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and to say a very big 'thank you' for your custom and loyalty over the past year.