Friday, January 25, 2013

Awards 2012 - Concerto

Delius: Double concerto; Violin concerto; Cello concerto
Tasmin Little; Paul Watkins; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis

"To those Delius skeptics—and I must admit I was one of them—I say this: If any recording of the composer’s music can make you into a believer, this is it. Perhaps it took SACD technology to finally reveal all of the delicate tints, shadings, and exquisite combinations of colors embedded in Delius’s orchestral textures. Tasmin Little and Paul Watkins seem to rise from their immersion in these pellucid waters as holy messengers delivering the good news. This is one fantastic recording, graced by gorgeous playing, and not just by Little and Watkins, but also by the BBC Orchestra under the keen stewardship of Sir Andrew Davis. All, including Chandos’s engineering and production team, are to be congratulated." - Jerry Dubins, Fanfare.
"A most interesting further point is that these three concertos were recorded over just two days: the concentration and application of consistent musicianship towards this composer's major concerted works is surely unique in recording history and has contributed to the realization of the greatness of this music in a way that makes the acquisition of this disc an urgent necessity." - Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review. 

Shostakovich: Piano concertos; Violin sonata. Alexander Melnikov; Isabelle Faust; Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Teodor Currentzis [Harmonia Mundi]
Berg, Beethoven: Violin concertos. Isabelle Faust; Orchestra Mozart/Claudio Abbado [Harmonia Mundi]
Nielsen, Tchaikovsky: Violin concertos. Vilde Frang; Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Eivind Gullberg Jensen [EMI] 
Beethoven: Complete works for piano and orchestra. Howard Shelley; Opera North Orchestra [Chandos]

2012 was Delius's 150th birthday, so this winning disc makes a fine celebration. This category proved to be something of a titanic struggle, which I thought Isabelle Faust might win; American Record Guide's review of her Berg concerto will appear in a future installment of "Did you even listen to the same CD?"

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