August 01, 2016

The 2016 Gramophone Awards shortlist has been revealed

Philippe Jaroussky, Vilde Frang, Artemis Quartet, Quatuor Ebène, Joyce DiDonato, Sabine Devieilhe all strong contenders.

The prestigious Gramophone Awards shortlist has been announced, showcasing the finest classical recordings over the past year, as chosen by the leading classical music magazine's critics and specialists.

Seventy-two recordings have been shortlisted across twelve categories. The top three recordings in each category will be revealed in next issue of the magazine, which goes on sale on August 12.

There are particularly strong contenders in the Vocal categories, with French soprano Sabine Devieilhe - noted by Gramophone for her "pure, sweet timbre and dazzling virtuosity" - up against the likes of Jonas Kaufmann and Max Emanuel Cencic for her multi-award-winning Mozart album The Weber Sisters (Recital category).

Fresh from singing David Bowie at the BBC Proms in London, French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is in the running for another prize, this time as one of the cast-members in Il Pomo d'Oro's magnificent triple-album recording of the Handel opera Partenopewelcomed by Gramophone as “a landmark event”.

Joyce DiDonato is a strong candidate for the Solo Vocal category for her live double album from Wigmore Hall Joyce & Tony, with her esteemed recital partner Sir Antonio Pappano at the piano in everything from Italian arias to the Great American Songbook.

In Opera, Pappano's Verdi Aïda, the all-star triple album studio recording from Rome, is a clear frontrunner, with tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Rademes - he is nominated again in the same category for his Pagliacci. Gramophone declared soprano Anja Harteros "the most interesting Aïda on record since Callas"; both she and maestro Pappano have been nominated for the public-voted Artist of the Year.

Among the Instrumental selections, Bertrand Chamayou does his countryman Ravel proud in the complete works for solo piano on a double album.  

The Concerto category sees young Norwegian violin virtuoso Vilde Frang holding her own alongside the likes of Janine Jansen, with the recent Gramophone Recording of the Month, her "urgently communicative" Britten and Korngold Violin Concertos.

The Chamber category sees two Erato string quartets nominated for two sublime releases: the French Quatuor Ebène for their Schubertalbum featuring baritone Matthias Goerne and cellist Gautier Capuçon, and the German Artemis Quartet's searing Brahms, their last recording with the late, lamented violist Friedemann Weigle, which cellist Eckart Runge sees as "imbued with a sense of warmth, immediacy, friendship and love that is interwoven with a more spiritual, timeless beauty”.

See the full shortlist of the 2016 Gramophone Award nominees here.