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The best of the best

The best of the best

Last year’s Award winners were a truly stellar bunch and the ceremony that we held at St John’s, Smith Square, was a real coming-together of some of the great names in the world of classical music: Riccardo Chailly, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir James Galway, Alfred Brendel, the Nightingale String Quartet, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alison Balsom and Leonidas Kavakos were all there. This year, judging by the reviews in the pages that follow, could well see a comparably high-profile list of winners.

ast year’s Award winners were a truly stellar bunch and the ceremony that we held at St John’s, Smith Square, was a real coming-together of some of the great names in the world of classical music: Riccardo Chailly, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir James Galway, Alfred Brendel, the Nightingale String Quartet, Benjamin Grosvenor, Alison Balsom and Leonidas Kavakos were all there. This year, judging by the reviews in the pages that follow, could well see a comparably high-profile list of winners.

The Awards process starts with a long list of recordings drawn from a 12-month period (with a little flexibility to allow for late arrivals and so on). The majority were reviewed between July 2014 and June 2015, and all were selected on the warmth of their reception, and our contributors could also add any recording that was deemed to have been excluded unfairly. This produced a list of about 700 titles. Specialist panels then reduced the individual genre lists to produce a more manageable group on which the Round 1 voting took place. This produced six recordings for Round 2 – and any critic could opt into as few or as many categories as he or she felt able. And the Round 2 list is what forms this free digi-mag: 72 recordings in 12 categories. In the pages that follow you can read the original reviews of all of those recordings and speculate on which might emerge victorious. (We then narrow the list to three per category in our September issue, published on August 14, and

The Awards process starts with a long list of recordings drawn from a 12-month period (with a little flexibility to allow for late arrivals and so on). The majority were reviewed between July 2014 and June 2015, and all were selected on the warmth of their reception, and our contributors could also add any recording that was deemed to have been excluded unfairly. This produced a list of about 700 titles. Specialist panels then reduced the individual genre lists to produce a more manageable group on which the Round 1 voting took place. This produced six recordings for Round 2 – and any critic could opt into as few or as many categories as he or she felt able. And the Round 2 list is what forms this free digi-mag: 72 recordings in 12 categories. In the pages that follow you can read the original reviews of all of those recordings and speculate on which might emerge victorious. (We then narrow the list to three per category in our September issue, published on August 14, and the winners will be revealed on our website at gramophone.co.uk on August 27 with full analysis and coverage of the special awards in our Awards issue, published on September 18.)

gramophone.co.uk on

27 with full analysis and coverage of the special awards in

Once again, the Instrumental category is one of the strongest with pianists Grigory Sokolov, Piotr Anderszewski, Benjamin Grosvenor, Peter Hill and Igor Levit lined up against the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani (who also appears among the Baroque Instrumental contenders). But looking through all 12 genres of music the quality of music-making is striking and in a category like Recital, imagination and flair too are abundant – these programmes have been assembled with enormous style and theatricality. The Opera category has shifted largely towards DVD, something I’m sure the composers would feel entirely appropriate – opera as an audio-only experience would have struck many of

Once again, the Instrumental category is one of the strongest with pianists Grigory Sokolov, Piotr Anderszewski, Benjamin Grosvenor, Peter Hill and Igor Levit lined up against the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani (who also appears among the Baroque Instrumental contenders). But looking through all 12 genres of music the quality of music-making is striking and in a category like Recital, imagination and flair too are abundant – these programmes have been assembled with enormous style and theatricality. The Opera category has shifted largely towards DVD, something I’m sure the composers would feel entirely appropriate – opera as an audio-only experience would have struck many of them as most peculiar!

This year we’re delighted to continue our partnership with the

This year we’re delighted to continue our partnership with the downloading and streaming site qobuz.com – if you click on the sleeves in the following pages you’ll have an opportunity to stream and download most of the contending recordings.

sleeves in the following pages you’ll have an opportunity to stream and download most of the contending recordings.

– if you click on the

It’s been a strong year and I hope you find music-making that both engages and uplifts: great musicianship is not in short supply

It’s been a strong year and I hope you find music-making that both engages and uplifts: great musicianship is not in short supply and here are 72 examples of the best! James Jolly July 2015

Gramophone Awards 2015 – key dates: August 27 the category winners will be revealed on gramophone.co.uk September 17 Gramophone Awards ceremony in the evening with live coverage on the Gramophone website, Twitter and Facebook the category winners will be revealed on gramophone.co.uk

Gramophone Awards ceremony in the evening with live coverage editorial gramophone.co.uk advertiSinG phone 020 7738 5454 email gramophone@markallengroup.com gramophone.co.uk phone 020 7738 5454 email gramophone.ads@markallengroup.com

Special diGital edition produced by James Jolly and James McCarthy advertiSinG SaleS manaGer Esther Zuke / 020 7501 6368

Gramophone is published by MA Business & Leisure Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, United Kingdom

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