Monday, January 17, 2011

Awards 2010: Living composer - Vocal

Rorem: "On an echoing road"
The Prince Consort

Ned Rorem, we are informed by Raymond S Tuttle in International Record Review, "has composed more than 600 songs over more than six decades... His taste in poets is excellent... [his] songs sound just as natural as the poems sound when they are simply spoken - in both senses of 'simply'! There are never too many notes; the music fits the texts like a second skin". This collection "is one of the most elegant releases of recent memory", says Philip Greenfield in American Record Guide. "Musical elements are delectably in balance every step of the way; youthful, attractive voices, and poetic but superbly controlled piano accompaniments at the service of an art-song composer whose melodic phrases talk through the words of a poem with Astaire-like balance and control... the sound places you in the middle of a salon with singers surrounding you with songs they truly love. How do you turn that down?"
Here we have solo voices plus piano, while our runners-up comprise two choral collections and a pair of operas - one conducted by the conductor of last year's Recording of the Year, Marin Alsop.

MacMillan: The Sacrifice. Christopher Purves, et al; Orchestra of Welsh National Opera/Anthony Negus [Chandos]
Briggs: Mass for Notre Dame & other choral works. Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton [Hyperion]
Adams: Nixon in China. Robert Orth, et al; Colorado Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop [Naxos]
Rautavaara: Choral works. Schola Cantorum of Oxford/James Burton [Hyperion]

No comments: