Well, Wednesday evening brought about the Grammy Awards...here's where I agree with the classical ones given:
Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets
Da-Hong Seetoo, engineer
(Emerson String Quartet)[Deutsche Grammophon]
It is an amazing feat to wrangle all of these works, plus the octet with a SINGLE quartet...not only do I recommend this album, but recommend that you watch the "Making of" video...
Producer of the year:
including these albums - Adams: Shaker Loops (Marin Alsop) Bolcom: Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience (Leonard Slatkin, Christine Brewer & Joan Morris) Brahms: Sym. No. 1 (Marin Alsop & London Philharmonic Orchestra) Daugherty: Philadelphia Stories (Marin Alsop & Evelyn Glennie) Glass: Syms. Nos. 2 And 3 (Marin Alsop & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
Stunning selections at a great price...they sound like a million bucks. Listen to some of Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra):
Beethoven: Piano Cons. Nos. 2 & 3
Claudio Abbado, conductor; Martha Argerich
(Mahler Chamber Orchestra)[Deutsche Grammophon]
While she didn't win for chamber music (and probably should have!) these performances are absolutely stunning! Hear some of this charming album.
Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor)
Boulez: Le Marteau Sans Maître, Dérive 1 & 2
Pierre Boulez, conductor; Hilary Summers; Ensemble Intercontemporain
This 80 year old (81 next month!) is still continuing to inspire yougner musicians, and I'm convinced will be remembered for a very long time! Watch an interview here.
The best for last...
Best Classical Vocal Performance
(Rainer Kussmaul; Members Of The RIAS Chamber Choir; BerlinBaroque Soloists)[Deutsche Grammophon]
It seems anything Quasthoff touches (sings) is golden. This was the best decision they could make...I'm almost suprised it won. It is a recording for the ages. Listen to an introduction here.