Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nereffid's Guide Awards 2011: Classical Albums of the Year

Somehow I have managed to bring you The 5th annual Nereffid's Guide Awards, celebrating the best-reviewed classical albums of the year.

The Nereffid's Guide Awards are created by reading an awful lot of reviews, in print and online, and turning the reviewers' opinions into numbers that can be crunched to reflect some sort of critical consensus and reveal which albums found most favour. This year things are bigger than ever: not only do we have our old favourites - the magazines Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, International Record Review, American Record Guide and Fanfare and the online sources MusicWeb International and Classics Today, plus Klassik Heute, Audiophile Audition, and Classics Today France - but I've also made use of several more online sources that at least provide information about which albums they rated highly: the foreign-language magazines Diapason (France), Luister (Netherlands), Scherzo (Spain), and Pizzicato (Luxembourg), plus the online Resmusica and Muse Baroque, and the Preis der Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik (the German Critics' Prize to you). Not only that, but this year there are two new categories: Archive and Reissue cover all those not-new albums that nevertheless have an impact.

Such attempts to turn a bunch of people's opinions into some sort of statistical fact must of course be taken with a grain of salt, and yet... these may very well be the best-reviewed albums of 2011.
Scroll down the page to see each award in turn, or click on the following links:
Medieval & Renaissance
Baroque - Instrumental
Baroque - Vocal
Solo instrumental
Solo vocal
Opera recital
Living composer - Instrumental
Living composer - Vocal

As always, my gratitude goes out to the musicians, record labels, and composers whose endeavours have added value to the universe, and of course I urge you to buy and enjoy their albums. If you keep scrolling down you'll find a post in which I attempt to regale you with fascinating facts about the process through which I created these Awards. And tune in later for some 8tracks mixes that reveal how good these albums are.

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