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Finger on the pulse

If there’s one genre of music-making that’s enjoying a Golden Age it’s pianism. For the past couple of years, choosing a winner in the Instrumental category has been very tough. The 2017 vintage is no exception – with Murray Perahia, Daniil Trifonov, Beatrice Rana, Cédric Tiberghien, Pavel Kolesnikov and Piotr Anderszewski in the final six, voting will inevitably be tight!

Once again, in the lead up to the Gramophone Classical Music Awards, we focus for a few weeks on the recordings that emerged from the very long list as the result of a specialist vote, and which formed Round 2 (the round in which all the critics vote). The voting period, by the way, covers the 13 issues from July 2016 to June 2017. In the pages that follow we’ve gathered together the reviews of the six recordings in each of the 12 categories: and what a feast of great music and great musicmaking it is! (Each of the reviews is linked directly to prestoclassical.co.uk where you can listen to an excerpt and buy or download.)

This year we mark the 40th anniversary of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards – the first Awards took place in 1977 – and down the years we’ve highlighted quite a few recordings that have soon assumed classic status (Karajan’s Mahler Ninth, Nigel Kennedy’s Elgar Violin Concerto, Stephen Hough’s Saint-Saëns piano concertos, The Tallis Scholars’ Josquin Masses, and Gothic Voices’ ‘Feather on the Breath of God’ to name a few). Last year, we streamed the Awards ceremony live on medici.tv and with the ability to catch-up afterwards – 34,000 people viewed the Awards which contained some cherishable performances and some touching speeches. So, it’s someting we are going to repeat this year – make a date for your diary: Wednesday, September 13 at 6.30pm (UK time, 7.30pm CET, 1.30pm WCT), and thereafter on medici.tv’s website. Meanwhile, the 12 category winners will be announced on September 1 on gramophone.co.uk with the Recording of the Year revealed live at the Awards ceremony itself. See you there! James Jolly July 2017

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