Recording of the Week Gramophone Awards nominations
It is amazing to think that we’re fast approaching Gramophone Awards time again. Generally considered the most significant honours bestowed on the classical record industry the Awards were first presented in 1978: three decades on, we look back over the 30 Records of the Year and celebrate music-making by some of the finest artists of our time.
The early years were dominated by operas with four of the first five awards being given to opera recordings. However the variety quickly broadened and looking at the 30 winners as a group they present quite an eclectic mix, ranging from the Tallis Scholars singing 15th Century composer Josquin des Prés to Piano Concertos of the relatively unknown Scharwenka & Sauer, but also including plenty of more main stream repertoire such as Bach Cantatas, Mahler Symphonies and Brahms Piano Concertos.
Sir Charles Mackerras leads the way with three winners (all Czech operas), while fellow conductors Claudio Abbado, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Simon Rattle and Herbert von Karajan all have two winners, as does pianist Stephen Hough with two of his many fabulous contributions to Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series.
You can view all 30 previous Records of the Year winners here, and it is a good time to fill any holes in your catalogue, as they’re currently all 20% off.
So, on to this years finalists. As usual each record company was able to nominate a proportion of its annual release, and Gramophone critics then voted to produce the top three in each of the 15 categories. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on September 26th, but I always find it exciting at this stage to see how many of your favourites made it through and to try and predict the winners. You’ll probably recognise quite a few of them from the weekly newsletters, as I’m pleased to say that many of the ones I picked up on at the time seem to be there. You can browse all this year's finalists here.