Monday, January 17, 2011

Awards 2010: Orchestral

Gershwin: "Gershwin by Grofé - Original orchestrations & arrangements"
Lincoln Mayorga; Al Gallodoro; Harmonie Ensemble New York/Steven Richman
Harmonia Mundi

David Hurwitz on Classics Today calls our winner "a wonderful disc in every respect", while John Quinn on MusicWeb says "I think we have something rather special here", not least because of the presence of clarinettist/saxophonist Al Gallodoro, who started playing with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in 1936 - and indeed his opening solo on Rhapsody in Blue comes partly from a 1938 recording! Ronald E Grames in Fanfare describes the album as "an absolutely terrific program, one that does full justice to a repertoire too often abused... [Lincoln Mayorga] certainly knows how to swing, something others who assay this literature may talk about, but few come close to achieving". Brian Reinhart, in a second review on MusicWeb, says "It has been my favorite Gershwin album since I heard the first five minutes... It is one of that tiny handful of records which actually makes life seem sunnier, which actually makes me a happier person".
Several of the tracks on this album are "songs without words", whereas a couple of our runners-up have in fact got significant vocal contributions - Sandrine Piau takes on Britten's Les Illuminations and the Villa-Lobos disc features both a choir and a soloist. Nothin' but orchestra, though, for Prokofiev and the less-well-known Uuno Klami.

Britten: "Unknown Britten". various soloists; Northern Sinfonia/Thomas Zehetmair [NMC]
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet. London Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev [LSO Live]
Klami: Northern Lights; Cheremissian Fantasy; Kalevala Suite. Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgards [Ondine]
Villa-Lobos: Forest of the Amazon. Anna Korondi; Saõ Paulo Symphony Orchestra & Choir/John Neschling [BIS]

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