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Recordings Of The Year 2010

This is the eighth year that Musicweb International has asked its reviewing team to nominate their recordings (or music books) of the year. Reviewers are not restricted to discs they had reviewed, but the choices must have been reviewed on MWI in the last 12 months (December 09-November 10).

139 selections have come in from 26 members of the team, the choices as always reflecting a remarkable diversity of music: all periods and style of music are well represented. Again demonstrating the health of the classical music industry when many are saying the opposite, is the observation that the selections come from 63 different labels.

Two recordings were chosen three times: Elina Garanca's Habanera on DG, and the late Sir Charles Mackerras's second set of Mozart symphonies on Linn. Seven others were chosen twice:
•  Vasily Petrenko's Liverpool Shostakovich 10 on Naxos (with the 5&9 release also getting a pick)
•  Volume 13 of The Cardinall’s Musick Byrd Edition on Hyperion (Vol. 11 was doubly chosen in 2009)
•  Elina Garanca's Carmen on DG
•  Unknown Britten on NMC
•  Gershwin by Grofe on Harmonia Mundi
•  Osmo Vänskä's Beethoven symphony set on BIS
•  Angela Gheorghiu & Roberto Alagna in Puccini's La Rondine on EMI

As for the last two years, Naxos is Label of the Year, with 13 nominations, with the majors having a better year, EMI second with 11 and DG third with 8.

No Composer of the Year as there wasn't one with a dominant number of nominations, so I have chosen instead to select an Artist of the Year - Sir Charles Mackerras - with four nominations in total (3 for the Mozart, and another for Dvorak tone poems on Supraphon) and in honour of his passing.

Click on the cover image to read the full review.

Arthur BUTTERWORTH Symphony 5, Three Nocturnes, Coruscations, Gigues Royal Scottish Ntl O/Arthur Butterworth rec. 2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7253

Arthur Butterworth has long been a friend of MusicWeb International. I was instrumental in promoting a performance of his fourth symphony for his 75th birthday review. I was absolutely delighted when Dutton recorded this last year coupled with the First symphony and the viola concerto (review). Now from Dutton we have the fifth symphony in another splendid recording again with Arthur Butterworth conducting. This is music of an old school romantic and the good news is that he recently completed his sixth symphony in his 86th year! Len Mullenger


Arthur HONEGGER Les Aventures du Roi Pausole Mattijs van de Woerd, Opera Trionfo
Nieuw Ensemble/Ed Spanjaard rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9152

The CD of the Year must for me represent a special and enthralling experience. It needs to be up there with the spine-tingling discoveries of your first experiences in classical music. Astonishment should play its part. For this reason and after a great deal of deliberation, given the breadth of choice, I have this year selected Honegger’s 1930 operetta Les Aventures du Roi Pausole on Brilliant Classics and at bargain price. It’s all here in a series of compact vignettes all separately tracked: amorous entanglements, innocence, allure and seduction – all perfectly polished, chuckling and superbly finessed. Totally captivating.


Habanera Elina Garanca (mezzo) Coro Filarmonico del Regio di Torino, Nazionale SO della RAI/Karel Mark Chichon rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8776

Choosing between the pair of triply-nominated recordings wasn't easy, particularly when I had picked the Mackerras in my selections. However, I remained impartial and non-sentimental, and went for Habanera, because of the extra weight two selections of another Garanca recording - Carmen.



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