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MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
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Ralph Moore
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Jonathan Woolf
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   Len Mullenger

Recordings Of The Year 2021

This is the nineteenth 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 2020-November 2021).

The 136 selections have come from 29 members of the team and 71 different labels, the choices this year reflecting as usual, the great diversity of music and sources.

Of the selections, two have received three nominations:
• Simpson's symphonies 5 & 6 on Lyrita
• Gustavo Dudamel's Ives symphony cycle on DG

and five have received two:
• the PaTRAM Institute's More Honourable than the Cherubim on Chandos
• the Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana pairing on Naxos
• Maliszewski's orchestral works on Dux
• the Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia boxset on Sony
• chamber works of Nino Rota on Alpha

Of the labels, Naxos and Deutsche Grammophon headed the field with nine nominations, with BIS close behind with eight.

Click on the cover image to read the full review.  

Choosing one recording from the more than 2000 reviews we published in the last twelve months is a near impossible task, yet pick one we must.

In some years, there is a significant composer anniversary which produces an outstanding release that makes for a suitable choice. In other years, the selection is determined by a recording which garners a significant number of nominations, both in the Recording of the Year awards, but also throughout the year as a Recording of the Month or a Recommended tag. This year the final selection met both those criteria.

Robert SIMPSON Symphonies 5 & 6 - London SO/Andrew Davis, London PO/Sir Charles Groves rec. 1973/80 LYRITA SRCD.389

So it came down to a choice between the Simpson and the Ives, both having collected three nominations - either would have been a worthy winner. The decision to pick the Simpson was made partly because it is the centenary of his birth, and because it also gained an "honourable mention" from one of the reviewers in his ROTY preamble, as well as three Recommended awards (out of three reviews) throughout the course of the year.

Read the three reviews by clicking on the cover image here, but a few quotes from those reviews are appropriate: "one of the most revelatory archive/historical discs of the year" (Nick Barnard), "the closing pages which are absolutely electrifying here" (David McDade), "a thrilling, visceral complimentary experience" (Richard Hanlon).

Reviewers A-L Reviewers M-Z

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