This is the continuation of Part I of my musings about the 2017 Gramophone Awards.
I had a to-do from this entry, which was to check out Hervé Niquet´s latest Cherubini album.
Cherubini / Plantade: Requiems – Hervé Niquet – Le Concert Spirituel (Alpha 2017)
Not surprisingly for a Hervé Niquet album, this one is really good. I´m not such a big fan of Cherubini in general, but this one is really with checking out.
My rating: 4 stars
I´ll skip the opera section, as I´m not really an opera expert in the first place, and didn’t find anything too interesting in this section to try out.
Haydn: Il Distratto – Haydn 2032 no. 4 – Giovanni Antonini – Il Giardino Armonico
Antonini´s Haydn is as good as ever. This has the potential of being the reference Haydn cycle of the 21st century (but we´ll have to wait another 15 years to find out). See my review of vol. 3. My rating: 4 stars (this is absolute 5 star playing, but I just can´t get myself to give a Haydn symphony 5 stars…)
I’m going to skip Mahler´s 10 by Dausgaard. I´m not enough of a fan of the 10th (which isn’t a complete symphony in the first place) to be able to give a proper judgment here.
Shostakovich Symphonies No. 5 and 9 – Nelsons – Boston Symphony (DG 2017)
This was part of my own top 5 albums of 2016, and yes, this is true 5 star territory!
I´m going to skip again over Sibelius 3 & 6 by Vänskä, I´m not familiar enough with Sibelius symphonic work to really be able to judge. But everybody I know that knows something about Sibelius tends to recommend the Vänskä cycle, so I assume there must be something to it.
Vasily Petrenko´s Tchaikovsky get´s a second recommendation here (after the violin concerto which didn’t impress me much). And sorry, the Pathetique again isn´t my cup of tea, so no comment from my side here. Same comment applies to Bychkov´s recording of the same work, you´ll have to look elsewhere for a review of this.
I´m going to skip over Recital and Solo Vocal categories as well. The only album that appealed to me in the former is Anett Fritsch´s Mozart album, which is quite well done, but for me no match to Sabine Devielhe´s solo album last year.
And in the Solo Vocal, Goerne´s Brahms album is a no brainer, as I love his voice, but again I don’t feel comfortable enough properly reviewing Lieder, this is still a territory I need to explore slowly and cautiously. I´m sure I´ll get there eventually
So, there you have it. As you can see from my two posts here, I´m not fully convinced by this year´s selection.
Is there anything you must buy?
I´d say, the only must-haves in this selection are the Shostakovich with Nézet-Séguin, Perahia´s French Suites, and Suzuki´s c-minor mass (with Gardiner´s Matthew Passion just behind).
Faust´s violin concertos, Antonini´s Haydn, and Niquet´s Cherubini are a very good recording of only nice to have (to my ears) music.
I´d probably pass on most of the others.
What do you think? Am I completely off? Anything I´ve missed? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!