The Grammy award nominations were announced this week, and if you haven’t been paying close attention to classical recordings of the past year, you’re in luck—we have, and we have links to reviews of many of the nominated discs to help you get a sense of what’s in the running.
“Best Opera Recording”
Ghosts of Versailles, John Corigliano, Pentatone.
“It is not satirizing, subverting, pastiche-ing or deconstructing anything; it’s just quite lovely and memorable. … There really hasn’t been anything quite like Ghosts of Versailles, before or since, imperfections and all. This CD is an essential release.” —Joshua Rosenblum, August 2016
Giulio Cesare, Handel, Decca.
“Breathtaking music-making coupled with a production that is frivolous at best and, at worst, utterly incoherent vandalism.” —Adam Wasserman, November 2016
Cold Mountain, Jennifer Higdon, Pentatone.
“About two-fifths of the opera … is the kind of strong, original, ear-grabbing writing one would expect from Higdon … But much of the remainder of the piece … is soft-edged, prairie-tinted prettiness. It’s superficially attractive but artistically anonymous.” —Joshua Rosenblum, June 2016
Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart, Deutsche Grammophon.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin “never loses sight of the work’s comedy, but his effervescent reading also reveals the emotional resonance that makes it a humanistic masterpiece. … [He] offers a reading so well gauged, and so bursting with life, that it continually provoked me to think, ‘What a wonderful opera!’” —Fred Cohn, December 2016
Król Roger, Szymanowski, Opus Arte.
“An insightful, artistically masterful production of a gripping, gorgeous opera.” —Joshua Rosenblum, March 2016