The shortlist for the 2019 Annual Gramophone Awards has been announced, and IMG Artists is delighted to congratulate its extraordinary nominated artists. Celebrating its 42th year, the “Oscars for Classical Music” will be announcing the winners at the awards ceremony in London at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms on October 16.

Congratulations to all of the artists whose celebrated recordings have inspired listeners this year.

Concerto

Kirill Gerstein, piano for Busoni Piano Concerto, Op 39 with Sakari Oramo piano; Boston Symphony Orchestra

Harriet Smith writes in her review:

“Gerstein has great clarity and the finesse of the ensemble with orchestra is remarkable (especially when you consider this is live).

“This new account from Gerstein and Oramo is impressive, and anyone who loves the Busoni Concerto will want to add this to their shelves.”

Kirill Gerstein is managed in association with Enticott Music Management 

 

Contemporary

Alice Coote, Leonora Palma; Rod Gilfry, Alberto Roc; David Portillo, Eduardo in Thomas Adès The Exterminating Angel

Gramophone writes:

“Getting up-close and personal with Adès’s conglomeration of 15 or so principals, a hundred-odd instrumentalists and squealing ondes martenot is far more easily done via this directorially magnificent filming than in any opera house.”

Stéphane Degout, King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence

Gramophone’s Richard Fairmen writes:

“Everyone in the cast fits perfectly, headed by the double act of King and Gaveston, sung by Stéphane Degout and Gyula Orendt”

Vladmir Jurowski, conductor Rod Gilfry, Claudius; Christopher Lowrey, Guildenstein and The Glyndebourne Chorus; London Philharmonic Orchestra in Hamlet 

Andrew Mellor from Gramophone says:

“It is a triumphant one: a huge and heartening endorsement of operatic and theatrical principles in an age of musical plurality and patchy experimentation. The music revels in the beauty of Shakespeare’s words”

 

Opera

Gerald Finley, Dr J Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams Doctor Atomic

Pwyll ap Siôn writes in their review:

“Stripped of its staging, the opera’s dramatic narrative is allowed to unfold through the music itself rather than through characters’ actions. Gerald Finley is imperious once more as Oppenheimer – a cold, rational exterior finally exposing doubts and fears that lurk underneath, as heard in the emotionally charged ‘Batter my heart’ at the end of Act 1.”

 

Orchestral

Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor for Bernstein Symphonies – No 1, Jeremiah; No 2, The Age of Anxiety; No 3, Kaddish. Prelude, Fugue and Riffs with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Gramophone writes:

“There’s something of Bernstein’s dynamism and eclectic, all-embracing nature in the person of Antonio Pappano whose penchant for, and love of, jazz for starters ticks one of the many boxes that this music demands”

“She [Beatrice Rana] and Pappano communicate great kinship in the piece and that inexorable build to the cathartic peroration has impressive inevitability.”

 

Recital

Anna Devin¸ soprano on Mozart in London

David Vickers in his review for Gramophone says:

“Anna Devin masterfully portrays Emirena’s anxiety and pitiful plight in ‘Deh lascia, o ciel pietoso’.”#

“There are excellent performances of some of the fledgling Mozart’s London pieces interspersed among an abundance of rarely investigated repertory that was researched and edited especially for the occasion; over a dozen of the pieces receive their premiere commercial recordings.”

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor on Anima sacra

Gramophone writes:

“Some really excellent concert performances in London – both in recital and opera – have whetted the appetite for the Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński’s debut solo release. ‘Anima sacra’ doesn’t disappoint.”

“Orliński rides this densely textured accompaniment with ease. It’s an attractive voice that has something of Jaroussky about it (the unworked purity, the easy legato) but with the greater focus and muscularity of a young Scholl, Zazzo or Davies.”

 

Solo Vocal

Stéphane Degout, baritone on Debussy Harmonie du soir

Mark Pullinger from Gramophone writes:

“Degout is a singer of pure class. He has recorded six of these songs before (a recital on Naïve, 4/11), since when his high baritone has darkened. It’s now a touch more oaken (he said farewell to Pelléas recently and undertook his first Verdi role – Rodrigue – this year in Lyon) but it’s still an elegant, polished instrument. ‘Soupir’, the first of the Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, is gorgeously sung, bathed in autumnal melancholy.”

Julius Drake, piano; Allan Clayton, tenor on Liszt The Complete Songs, Vol 5

Gramophone writes:

“In the fourth ‘Lorelei’ from 1860, with its weighty, turbulent piano-writing, Drake unleashes a virtuoso storm as the boat founders on the rocks and Clayton’s rapt vocal line fragments into terrified, expressionist parlando.”

“Drake, meanwhile, invests every phrase with weight and meaning, and is, as ever, outstanding.”

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