Gramophone has revealed the top three recordings in each category for the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2023, widely regarded as the OSCARS of classical music. The Awards celebrate exceptional recordings of the past year and acknowledge artists, ensembles and record labels that have made outstanding contributions to the classical recording industry.
Six nominated recordings in each category were revealed in Gramophone’s special digital magazine on 1 September 2023. Now the field has been narrowed to a shortlist of three, one of which will be chosen to be the winner in each of the 11 categories which will be announced on 4 October 2023. A single album among those winners will go on to win the coveted Recording of the Year.
Having won last year’s VOICE AND ENSEMBLE category for his Bari-Tenor album, Michael Spyres is nominated once more with his latest album Contra-Tenor with Il Pomo d’Oro, up against Véronique Gens and Sandrine Piau’s Rivales with Le Concert de la Loge and Lisette Oropesa’s French Bel Canto Arias with the Dresdner Philharmonie. Sypres and Gens also feature on another nominated album, this time in the CHORAL category – the Choeur et Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire’s recording of Ravel’s Cantates pour Le Prix de Rome, up against the Latvian Radio Choir’s recording of works by John Cage and Concerto Italiano’s recording of Monteverdi’s Seventh Book of Madrigals.
Two of this year’s Orchestra of the Year nominees are also celebrated in the ORCHESTRAL category, with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s recording of Langgaard’s Symphony No 1 competing with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra’sinterpretation of Nielsen’s Symphonies Nos 4 and 5; the category is completed by Sinfonia of London’s album Music for Strings, featuring works by Delius, Elgar, Howells and Vaughan Williams. The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra – another Orchestra of the Year nominee – is acknowledged in the CONTEMPORARY category for its recording of works by Lotta Wennäkoski under conductor Nicholas Collon, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Richard Causton’s La Terra Impareggiabile with Marcus Farnsworth and Huw Watkins under Sakari Oramo and Red Note Ensemble’s recording of James Dillon’s Emblemata.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra earns another nomination in the CONCERTO category, featuring on Timothy Ridout’s recording of Elgar’s ‘Viola Concerto’ and Bloch’s Suite for Viola and Orchestra under conductor Martyn Brabbins. Other nominations in that category include Mahan Esfahani’s album of harpsichord concertos by Kalabis, Krása and Martinů with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Liebreich and Cédric Tiberghien’s recording of Ravel’s piano concertos with Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth.
Gramophone’s 2018 Artist of the Year Rachel Podger is nominated in the INSTRUMENTAL category for her album Tutta Sola, competing with Benjamin Alard’s seventh volume of complete works for keyboard by Bach and Nurit Stark’s album of works for violin and viola by Bartók, Ligeti, Veress and Eötvös. Leif Ove Andsnes – the recipient of last year’s Special Achievement Award – is nominated in the PIANO category for his recording of Dvořák’s Tone Pictures, alongside Krystian Zimerman’sinterpretations of piano works by Szymanowski and Marc-André Hamelin’s recording of the complete rags from William Bolcom.
Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage on the LPO’s own label – the first commercially available recording of the work in over 50 years – is nominated in the OPERA category, alongside Sir Antonio Pappano and Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia’s studio recording of Puccini’s Turandot on Warner Classics. Marc Minkowski and Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine’s recording of Meyerbeer’s Robert Le Diable on the Bru Zane label completes the Opera shortlist.
The Danish Quartet’s album Prism IV, featuring works by Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, is shortlisted in the CHAMBER category with Quatuor Ebène and Antoine Tamestit’s recording of Mozart’s String Quintets, K515 and K516 and Gringolts Quartet’s album of Schoenberg’s String Quartets Nos 1 and 3.
In a year that marks the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s death, The Sixteen’s recording of the composer’s psalms, songs and sonnets of 1611 is nominated in the EARLY MUSIC category with Huelgas Ensemble’s album of Ludwig Daser’s Polyphonic Masses and Les Arts Florissants’ recording of Gesualdo’s Fifth and Sixth Books of Madrigals.
The complete songs of Duparc on Signum featuring Dame Sarah Connolly, Nicky Spence, Huw Montague Rendall, William Thomas and Malcolm Martineau earns a nomination in the SONG category, alongside Cyrille Dubois and Tristan Raës’complete songs of Fauré on Aparté and Andrè Schuen and Daniel Heide’s recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang on Deutsche Grammophon.
The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on Wednesday October 4 at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, in the year that Gramophone celebrates its centenary. Featuring performances from the London Mozart Players as well as Award winners past and present, highlights of the ceremony will be streamed on medici.tv and on Classic FM and Gramophone’s website from Sunday October 8 at 7pm (BST). The stream is sponsored by IMG Artists.
CHAMBER (sponsored by Wigmore Hall)
• Bach. Beethoven. Mendelssohn ‘Prism IV’Danish Quartet (ECM New Series)
• Mozart String Quintets, K515 & K516Quatuor Ebène; Antoine Tamestit (Erato)
• Schoenberg String Quartets Nos 1 & 3, Opp 7 & 30Gringolts Quartet (BIS)
• Cage Choral WorksLatvian Radio Choir; Sigvards Klava (Ondine)
• Monteverdi Madrigals Book 7Concerto Italiano; Rinaldo Alessandrini (Naïve)
• Ravel Cantates pour Le Prix de RomeSoloists; Choeur et Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire; Pascal Rophé (BIS)
CONCERTO (sponsored by Musicians’ Union)
• Elgar Viola Concerto Bloch Suite For Viola and OrchestraTimothy Ridout; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins (Harmonia Mundi)
• Kalabis. Krása. Martinů Harpsichord ConcertosMahan Esfahani; Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Liebreich (Hyperion)
• Ravel Piano ConcertosCédric Tiberghien; Les Siècles; François-Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi)
CONTEMPORARY (sponsored by PPL & PRS for Music)
• Causton La Terra ImpareggiabileMarcus Farnsworth; Huw Watkins; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo (NMC)
• Dillon EmblemataRed Note Ensemble; Geoffrey Paterson (Delphian)
• Wennäkoski Sigla. Flounce. SedecimSivan Magan; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Nicholas Collon (Ondine)
• Byrd Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets of 1611The Sixteen (Coro)
• Daser Polyphonic MassesHuelgas Ensemble; Paul Van Nevel (DHM)
• Gesualdo Madrigali, Books 5 & 6Les Arts Florissants; Paul Agnew (Harmonia Mundi)
• Bach The Complete Works for Keyboard, Vol. 7Benjamin Alard (Harmonia Mundi)
• Bartók. Ligeti. Veress. Eötvös.Nurit Stark (BIS)
• ‘Tutta Sola’Rachel Podger (Channel Classics)
OPERA (sponsored by Mascarade Opera)
• Meyerbeer Robert Le DiableSoloists; Chœur de l’Opera National de Bordeaux; Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine / Marc Minkowski (Bru Zane)
• Puccini TurandotSoloists; Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Sir Antonio Pappano (Warner Classics)
• Tippett The Midsummer MarriageSoloists; London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir; Edward Gardner (LPO)
ORCHESTRAL (sponsored by Lark Music Insurance)
• Langgaard Symphony No 1. Cliffside PastoralsBerliner Philharmoniker; Sakari Oramo (Dacapo)
• Nielsen Symphonies Nos 4 & 5Danish National Symphony Orchestra; Fabio Luisi (Deutsche Grammophon)
• ‘Music for Strings’ Delius. Elgar. Howells. Vaughan WilliamsSinfonia of London; John Wilson (Chandos)
PIANO (sponsored by Yamaha)
• Bolcom The Complete RagsMarc-André Hamelin (Hyperion)
• Dvořák Tone Pictures, Op 85Leif Ove Andsnes (Sony Classical)
• Szymanowski Piano WorksKrystian Zimerman (Deutsche Grammophon)
SONG (sponsored by Anderson Financial)
• Duparc Complete SongsSarah Connolly; Nicky Spence; Huw Montague Rendall; William Thomas; Malcolm Martineau (Signum)
• Fauré Complete SongsCyrille Dubois; Tristan Raës (Aparté)
• Schubert SchwanengesangAndrè Schuen; Daniel Heide (Deutsche Grammophon)
VOICE & ENSEMBLE (sponsored by medici.tv)
• ‘Contra-Tenor’Michael Spyres; Il Pomo d’Oro; Francesco Corti (Erato)
• ‘French Bel Canto Arias’Lisette Oropesa; Sächsischer Staatsopernchor; Dresdner Philharmonie; Corrado Rovaris (Pentatone)
• ‘Rivales’Véronique Gens; Sandrine Piau; Le Concert de la Loge; Julien Chauvin (Alpha)