Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Awards 2007: Symphony

Beethoven: Symphonies nos.1-9
Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Philharmonia Orchestra/Charles Mackerras

Owen E Walton is forthright on MusicWeb: "I will say immediately that this latest cycle is perhaps the finest that I have heard, if such a statement does not appear absurd. For here we have all the gains of historically informed performance and up to date research without the studied caution that so many conductors have brought to the period performance movement in recent years... To have the greatest works of one of our finest composers conducted with such understanding by one of the late-twentieth century’s finest and most enquiring conductors would be a privilege even at full price. At Hyperion’s modest price tag this is certainly the Beethoven set to have". This category represents the first time I've had to invoke a particular eligibility criterion: only one entry from a recording series is allowed among the finalists. In this case, two of Paavo Järvi's Beethoven symphony recordings made it to the shortlist, but I dropped the lower-ranked one (of the 4th and 7th symphonies).

Beethoven: Symphonies nos.3 & 8. Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi [RCA]
Ives: Symphonies nos.1 & 4. Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton [Hyperion]
Schumann: Symphonies nos.2 & 4 (Mahler versions). Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly [Decca]
Villa-Lobos: Symphony no.2; New York Skyline Melody. Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Carl St.Clair [CPO]

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