Sir Neville Marriner and Sir James Galway also among the winners.
Riccardo Chailly’s recording of the Brahms symphonies with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on Decca was named Recording of the Year at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014. Sir Neville Marriner, Sir James Galway, Leonidas Kavakos and the Nightingale String Quartet were also among the winners at the special ceremony held in London last night.
Chailly’s Brahms was hotly tipped to win, having proved popular with reviewers in most countrys (though more controversial amongst industry insiders, not all of whom agreed with Chailly’s no-nonsense, back to basics approach). Limelight critic Greg Keane found the results less radical than he’s feared, praising the orchestra who “play gloriously in equally superb acoustics” and concluding, “in the words of another famous reviewer… this is a Brahms cycle ‘to live with’”.
Two musicians with a combined age of 164 were also recipients of awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to legendary flautist Sir James Galway, a popular artist who has sold more than 30 million albums in a long and varied career. A special Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Sir Neville Marriner in his 90th birthday year (he’s just become the oldest conductor to lead a concert at the BBC Proms) and to celebrate a remarkable recording career.
The Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, whose Brahms sonatas with pianist Yuja Wang divided some critics, won the public vote for Artist of the Year. Label of the Year went to Edinburgh-based independent label Delphian Records whose revelatory new recording of Handel’s The Triumph of Time and Truth is Limelight Recording of the Month for October. Founded 14 years ago by Paul Baxter and Kevin Findlan, Delphian have built an impressive catalogue of recordings with special emphasis on choral music, Scottish artists and ensembles and exciting re-discoveries. Check out our exclusive interview with Paul Baxter here.
The Young Artist of the Year Award went to the Copenhagen-based Nightingale String Quartet whose recordings for Dacapo of the quartets by the maverick Danish composer Rued Langgaard can be wholeheartedly recommended to anyone on the lookout for interesting repertoire from an underrated composer.