Classical Editor Rob Barnett Seen & Heard Editor Emeritus Bill Kenny Editor in Chief
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David Barker MusicWeb Founder Len Mullenger
Recordings Of The Year 2013
This is the eleventh year that Musicweb International has asked its reviewing team to nominate their recordings 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 2012-November 2013).
The 128 selections have come in from 23 members of the team, the choices this year reflecting as usual, the great diversity of music and sources.
Of the selections, eight have received two nominations:
• world premieres of Vaughan Williams on Albion Records
• Goldberg variations on the claivchord from Paladino
• the 7 disc definitive Eric Coates collection from Nimbus
• Mahler's Symhony 8 in Amsterdam on the RCO label
• Britten's Turn of the Screw from Glyndebourne on FRA Musica
• the 55th and final release in the Bach cantata series from BIS
• rare British opera overtures from Somm
• The Tallis Scholars' 40th anniversary Taverner from Gimell
The nominated recordings come from 65 different labels, and no label scored more than six nominations, very different to previous years, when usually at least two labels would reach double figures. The two leading nominees were BIS and Hyperion, but in a year where there was such a wide spread, it would seem unfair to choose one above another, or ahead of those with five or four nominations.
Gregorio ALLEGRI MiserereGiovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA Stabat Mater, Missa Papae Marcelli, Tu es Petrus Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips
rec. 2005 GIMELL GIMBD641BD-A
It is 40 years since Peter Phillips founded The Tallis Scholars, and perhaps appropriate that they have chosen to move into the "new" technology of Blu-ray audio by re-releasing the most celebrated piece of their repertoire, Allegri's Miserere. Dan Morgan's review describes this as a resounding success, and a landmark. Enough said.
CLASSICAL EDITOR'S RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Benjamin BRITTEN Benjamin Britten 100 - The Complete works DECCA 4785364
Can any performance or recording be the last word on a composer. One hopes not if only for the good of the music’s performing future. This is however as close as anyone can feasibly get to a massive Britten vade mecum so far as the experience of his music is concerned. Performances are reputedly faithful and with the composer’s directing involvement or imprimatur you are most probably hearing this music as he intended. You will be fortunate indeed to own this musically creative audio encyclopedia. It’s an unarguably momentous set with real presence both as to scale and design. It holds Britten’s creative lifetime up to the microphone in his centenary year. Will encourage and satisfy exploration.
Note - this selection runs against the normal Recordings of the Year rules in that it has not yet been reviewed (that will be rectified in the next week or so). However, it was felt that the significance of the release in this year, the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth, meant that its importance would have been diluted too much if it were held back until this time in 2014.