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9.2.09

Grammy Nonsense

A lowly personal assistant dropped some fliers in the Staples Center parking lot last night, to announce the winners of the classical Grammy awards. Here, briefly, are the results:

Best Classical Album
Weill, Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny, A. D. Griffey, P. Lupone, A. McDonald, Los Angeles Opera, J. Conlon [EuroArts]

A very strange choice, because it was also given the nod for Best Opera Recording, although honestly none of the five nominees would have probably been my choice for this category.

Available from Amazon
Best Orchestral Performance
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 4, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, B. Haitink [CSO Resound]

Probably the best choice of the five nominees. A well-deserved recognition for a distinguished career.

Best Opera Recording
Weill, Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny, A. D. Griffey, P. Lupone, A. McDonald, Los Angeles Opera, J. Conlon [EuroArts]

Lully's Psyché (Boston Early Music Festival), Monteverdi's Orfeo (Concerto Italiano), and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin (Metropolitan Opera) all seem much more deserving.

Available from Amazon

Available from Amazon
Best Choral Performance
Stravinsky, Symphony Of Psalms, Berlin Philharmonic, S. Rattle [EMI Classics]

Liked it: "Rattle chooses to perform it in the 1948 revised version, in which, according to Eric Walter White, most of the changes are corrections and additions of articulation marks, with a few parts added for low brass and timpani. The only major change is in the last movement's tempo markings, making especially the final section not as fast. [...] In all three symphonies, Rattle focuses on the activity of intersecting rhythms, in a reading that is viscerally exciting."

Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra
Schoenberg/Sibelius, Violin Concertos, H. Hahn, Swedish RSO, EP Salonen [Deutsche Grammophon]

Loved it, especially the Schoenberg: "In the Schoenberg, Hahn's narrow, pitch-centered tone, alternately electric and honeyed, converses polyphonically with the agitated orchestra in the first movement. As one would expect, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra deftly through the complicated, percolating score. The sound is appropriately balanced and warm, with the solo prominent but never unnaturally so."

Best Instrumental Soloist without Orchestra
Piano Music Of Salonen, Stucky, And Lutoslawski, Gloria Cheng [Telarc]

Good on her. I need to pull that off the shelf again.

Available from Amazon
Best Chamber Music Performance
Carter, String Quartets Nos. 1 And 5, Pacifica Quartet [Naxos]

The obvious choice, to honor the centenarian, and my review was glowing. It seems the most deserving, with Stephen Hough and Takács Quartet's Brahms a close second.

Best Small Ensemble Performance
Spotless Rose: Hymns To The Virgin Mary, Charles Bruffy, conductor; Phoenix Chorale [Chandos]

I would have gone with Meredith Monk's Impermanence.

Available from Amazon
Best Classical Vocal Performance
Best Classical Contemporary Composition

Corigliano, Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan, H. Plitmann, Buffalo Philharmonic, JoAnn Falletta [Naxos]

Corigliano's piece also got Best Classical Contemporary Composition, which I think was the right call. The vocal performance category should have gone to Anne-Sofie von Otter's Terezín album.

Best Classical Crossover Album
Simple Gifts, The King's Singers [Signum Records]

Gabriela Montero was robbed.

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