This is just going to be a short update on the recently held ceremony for the 2020 Gramophone awards and the winners that weren’t announced previously. If you want more detail on the individual category winners, check out this previous post.
Recording Of The Year
Recording of the year is the Weinberg Symphonies. Probably well deserved, and I’m happy to see a female conductor win this award, but the music really doesn’t speak to me. If your tolerance/interest of 20th century music is more developed than mine, you should really check this out.
Artist Of The Year – Igor Levit
Absolutely. He really is an outstanding pianist. In this section, Gramophone particularly recommends his album Life (see my review here, I agree), and his complete Beethoven cycle really is a must have (or pretty much everything else he’s recorded for that matter).
Lifetime Achievement – Itzhak Perlman
I just checked my library and I actually have only 5 albums Perlman, so I’m really not an expert. That said, his Brahms and Beethoven violin sonatas with Vladimir Ashkenazy are really nice. I should probably check out more of his repertoire.
Orchestra of the Year – Philadelphia Orchestra
I agree, Yannick Nézet-Séguin really has helped to bring this grand old orchestras which fame dates from the Stokowki and Ormandy era back to life, e.g. with this great Rachmaninov album.
Young Artist Of The Year – Natalya Romaniw
I must admit this is the first time my attention is drawn to this young Russian singer, but I’ll make sure I’ll keep out an eye for her.
Special Achievement – Robert von Bahr
Here’s another award that I 100% agree with. Robert von Bahr, founder and still the boss of the independent label BIS, has released so many recordings I adore, and always very well recorded. I’ve mentioned earlier that independent labels like Alpha (see below), BIS, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, or Naïve are these days in many ways even more significant to the advancement of classical music than the so-called majors.
The Beethoven 250 Award – Martin Helmchen – Andrew Manze – Beethoven concertos No. 2 & 5
Fully agree again, this is a very nice album.
Label Of The Year – Alpha Classics
Another one that is spot on. I’ve hardly ever been disappointed by a release on this great independent French label.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with the choices?