Saturday, January 28, 2012

Awards 2011 - Orchestral

Britten: Cello Symphony; Gloriana - Symphonic Suite; Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
BBC Philharmonic/Edward Gardner; Paul Watkins

Two Britten discs from Edward Gardner in this category, and he wins with what David Hurwitz on Classics Today calls "outstanding performances, as good or better than the composer's own... In short, this release is a major entry in the Britten discography". For Helen Wallace in BBC Music Magazine, "Three elements stand out: firstly, the dramatic intensity of purpose he finds in all pieces; secondly, the sizzling soloistic detail he draws from the BBC Philharmonic and, thirdly, the depth and scope of the recorded sound". There's little to add, as other reviewers say pretty much the same things.

Halvorsen: Orchestral works, volume 2
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Neeme Järvi; Marianne Thorsen

Britten: Phaedra; A Charm of Lullabies; Lachrymae; Sinfonietta; Two Portraits
BBC Philharmonic/Edward Gardner; Sarah Connolly; Maxim Rysanov

Respighi: Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome; Roman Festivals
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra/John Neschling

Fuchs: Serenades nos.1 & 2; Andante grazioso and Capriccio
Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Christian Ludwig

So, a good year for Chandos, then. Occasionally I question the wisdom of splitting off Symphony from Orchestral (especially when a disc is half-filled with a symphony and half-filled with other orchestral music) but it seems to work well. If we put the two together, then this year there'd be 3 symphony albums and 2 others, and Suk's Asrael would be the narrow winner. But you're not really comparing like with like.

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