Les Vents Français
The 2015 Gramophone Award nominees have been revealed
Warner Classics and Erato artists have been nominated in five categories of the 2015 Gramophone Awards, with winners to be revealed in a London ceremony on 17 September. Competition is stiff, affirming the high quality of classical music-making and recording we enjoy despite the vagaries of the industry.
In the Recital category: Joyce DiDonato's album of Neapolitan arias and exciting bel canto rarities, Stella di Napoli.
Gramophone praised the American mezzo-soprano's "warm tone, perfect control, a deeply sympathetic portrayal…DiDonato invests the music with tragic grandeur”.
The Erato label's dream-cast recording of Steffani's little-known opera Niobe is among illustrious nominees in the Baroque Vocal section.
"The Boston Early Music Festival’s masterful interpretation of Niobe, regina di Tebe is a vital breath of fresh air…a landmark event in Steffani’s much-deserved rehabilitation,” wrote Gramophone.
“Philippe Jaroussky sounds in his element…where he sings softly mysterious music to invoke the circling spheres (‘Sfere amiche’)…Act 3 requires Jaroussky to unleash a torrent of melismatic virtuosity (‘Trà bellici carmi’).”
“This is a glorious disc. Simply glorious." Thus opened the Gramophone review of Piotr Anderszewski's Bach English Suites, nominated for Instrumental album of the year.
"At every turn, he harnesses the possibilities of the piano in the service of Bach; the result is a clear labour of love, and one in which he shines new light on old music to mesmerising effect,” Gramophone praised the Polish pianist.
In the Chamber category, Gramophone hailed flautist Emmanuel Pahud's ensemble Les Vents Français "a positive dream team, who not only capture the music’s individual spirit but also clearly enjoy doing so."
The magazine crowned the group's 3-CD album Winds and Piano "a compelling compendium of creative variety unified by matchless musicianship.”
Estonian maestro Paavo Järvi is one of ten luminaries in the running for Artist of the Year. "At a time when some other conductors seem to be focusing their recording activity on single-composer projects or on big landmark ventures, Järvi is bucking the trend in...the way in which he views recording as an integral part of his daily musical life."
His most recent recordings include a controversial album of rarely performed Shostakovich cantatas with his home orchestra, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian Concert Choir, as well as Dutilleux and Rachmaninoff albums with the Orchestre de Paris.
View the complete list of Gramophone nominees and read the reviews here.