Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joan Tower, Grechaninov (Who?) Lead Classical Grammy Award Nominees

Classic Arts News   Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joan Tower, Grechaninov (Who?) Lead Classical Grammy Award Nominees
The last score that Peter Lieberson composed for his late wife, the beloved mezzo Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, and a piece commissioned by a consortium of 65 American orchestras are two of the three leaders among the classical nominees for the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Those two discs, each with three nominations, are surpassed only by an improbable sleeper — a recording of a cappella Russian church music sung by two choirs far from the major American classical music centers. That recording, which has been greeted with rave reviews by whichever critics have heard it, garnered nominations in five categories.

The Lieberson work is Neruda Songs, a setting of five sonnets by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda jointly commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a vehicle for Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. The Nonesuch release of the songs — recorded in concert by the late mezzo and the BSO with conductor James Levine in November 2005, just months before her death from cancer the following summer — was nominated for Best Classical Album, Best Classical Vocal Performance and Best Classical Contemporary Composition. (Earlier this week, Neruda Songs earned Lieberson the 2008 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.)

Also competing for the Best Classical Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition, as well as for Best Orchestral Performance, is Joan Tower's Made in America. That score, commissioned by a consortium of 65 orchestras in all 50 states, was the inaugural project of the Meet the Composer/League of American Orchestras "Made in America" program, which allows small U.S. orchestras to band together and co-commission from a major American composer an original work which none of them could afford individually. The Naxos recording of Tower's Made in America is performed by the Nashville Symphony under conductor Leonard Slatkin.

Surpassing both of those discs, with five nominations, is the Chandos Records release of Passion Week, a cycle of Russian Orthodox sacred music for the week before Easter written by Russian-American composer Alexander Grechaninov (1864-1956) and performed by the Phoenix Bach Choir and the Kansas City Chorale under conductor Charles Bruffy. (A typical example of the critical reception this record has received comes from Tim Ashley of London's Guardian: " ... you're locked into something almost unbearably moving. It's ravishingly sung by two American choirs ... a glorious disc.") Passion Week is nominated for Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance, Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Surround Sound Album (a non-classical category); in addition, the disc is one of five cited in the nomination of Blanton Alspaugh for Producer of the Year, Classical.

Competing with the above three titles for Classical Album of the Year are conductor Riccardo Muti's recording of Cherubini's Missa Solemnis in E with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (EMI Classics) and "Homage: The Age of the Diva" by soprano Renée Fleming with the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater (aka the Kirov Orchestra) under Valery Gergiev (Decca Classics).

A complete list of the classical Grammy nominees is below. The 2008 Grammy Awards will be presented on February 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Best Classical Album
(Award to the artist(s) and to the album producer(s) if other than the artist.)

  • Cherubini: Missa Solemnis in E
    Riccardo Muti, conductor; Wilhelm Meister, producer (Ildar Abdrazakov, Herbert Lippert, Marianna Pizzolato & Ruth Ziesak; Bavarian Radio Symphony Choir & Orchestra)
    [EMI Classics]

  • Grechaninov: Passion Week
    Charles Bruffy, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Kansas City Chorale & Phoenix Bach Choir)

  • "Homage: The Age of the Diva"
    Ren_e Fleming; David Frost, producer (Valery Gergiev; Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre)
    [Decca Records]

  • Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs
    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Dirk Sobotka, producer (James Levine; Boston Symphony Orchestra)
    [Nonesuch Records]

  • Tower: Made in America
    Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Tim Handley, producer (Nashville Symphony)

Best Orchestral Performance
(Award to the conductor and to the orchestra.)

  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
    Osmo V‹nsk‹, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra)
    [BIS Records]

  • Shostakovich: The Golden Age
    Jos_ Serebrier, conductor (Royal Scottish National Orchestra)

  • Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

  • Tower: Made in America
    Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Nashville Symphony)

  • Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Serenade to Music
    Robert Spano, conductor (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording
(Award to the conductor, album producer(s) and principal soloists.)

  • Alb_niz: Pepita Jim_nez
    Jos_ De Eusebio, conductor; Enrique Baquerizo, Carlos Chausson, Plšcido Domingo, Jane Henschel & Carol Vaness; Michael Haas, producer (Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid)
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

  • Donizetti: Dom S_bastien, Roi de Portugal
    Mark Elder, conductor; Carmelo Corrado Caruso, Giuseppe Filianoti, Vesselina Kasarova, Simon Keenlyside & Alastair Miles; Patric Schmid, producer (The Royal Opera Chorus; The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden)
    [Opera Rara]

  • Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel
    Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel & Jennifer Larmore; Brian Couzens, producer (Sarah Coppen, Diana Montague & Sarah Tynan; New London Children's Choir; Philharmonia Orchestra)
    [Chandos Opera In English]

  • Lully: Th_s_e
    Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, conductors; Howard Crook, Ellen Hargis, Laura Pudwell & Harry Van Der Kamp; Renate Wolter-Seevers, producer (Boston Early Music Festival Chorus & Orchestra)

  • Verdi: La traviata
    Zubin Mehta, conductor; Piotr Beczala, Paolo Gavanelli & Anja Harteros; Andreas Caemmerer & Felix Gargerle, producers (Choir of the Bavarian State Opera; Bavarian State Orchestra)
    [Farao Classics]

Best Choral Performance
(Award to the choral conductor, and to the orchestra conductor if an orchestra is on the recording, and to the choral director or chorus master if applicable.)

  • Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
    Simon Rattle, conductor; Simon Halsey, chorus master (Thomas Quasthoff & Dorothea R‹schmann; Berlin Radio Choir; Berlin Philharmonic)
    [EMI Classics]

  • Cherubini: Missa Solemnis in E
    Riccardo Muti, conductor; Peter Dijkstra, chorus master (Ildar Abdrazakov, Herbert Lippert, Marianna Pizzolato & Ruth Ziesak; Bavarian Radio Symphony Choir & Orchestra)
    [EMI Classics]

  • Grechaninov: Passion Week
    Charles Bruffy, conductor (Kansas City Chorale & Phoenix Bach Choir)

  • Penderecki: Symphony No. 7, 'Seven Gates Of Jerusalem'
    Antoni Wit, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, chorus master (Boris Carmeli, Ewa Marciniec, Aga Mikolaj, Wieslaw Ochman, Olga Pasichnyk & Romuald Tesarowicz; Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir)

  • Schoenberg: Gurrelieder
    Michael Gielen, conductor; Howard Arman & Michael Gl‹ser, choir directors
    (Melanie Diener, Ralf Lukas, Yvonne Naef, Andreas Schmidt, Gerhard Siegel & Robert Dean Smith; Bavarian Radio Choir & MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg)
    [H‹nssler Classic]

Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
(Award to the instrumental soloist(s) and to the conductor.)

  • Barber/Korngold/Walton: Violin Concertos
    Bramwell Tovey, conductor; James Ehnes (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra)
    [CBC Records]

  • Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4
    Christoph Eschenbach, conductor; Lang Lang (Orchestre de Paris)
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

  • Nielsen: Clarinet & Flute Concertos
    Simon Rattle, conductor; Sabine Meyer & Emmanuel Pahud (Berlin Philharmonic)
    [EMI Classics]

  • R‹zsa: Violin Concerto, Op. 24
    Dmitry Yablonsky, conductor; Anastasia Khitruk (Russian Philharmonic Orchestra)
    Track from: R‹zsa: Violin Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante

  • Tchaikovsky/Saint-SaêŠns/Ginastera
    Ari Rasilainen, conductor; Sol Gabetta (Munich Radio Orchestra)
    [RCA Red Seal]

Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
(Award to the instrumental soloist.)

  • Beethoven Sonatas, Vol. 3
    Garrick Ohlsson, piano
    [Bridge Records, Inc.]

  • Haydn: Piano Sonatas
    Marc-Andr_ Hamelin, piano

  • "Louisiana - A Pianist's Journey"
    Kenneth Boulton, piano
    [Cambria Master Recordings]

  • "Solo Piazzolla"
    Manuel Barrueco, guitar

  • 20th Century Piano Sonatas
    Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano

Best Chamber Music Performance
(Award to the artists.)

  • "On The Threshold Of Hope"
    Artists of the Royal Conservatory Ensemble (Richard Margison, Joaquin Valdepeê±as & Diane Werner)
    [RCA Red Seal]

  • Saint-SaêŠns/Poulenc/Devienne/Milhaud
    Oleg Maisenberg & Sabine Meyer
    [EMI Classics]

  • "Strange Imaginary Animals"
    Eighth Blackbird
    [Cedille Records]

  • Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets, Souvenir de Florence
    Ying Quartet (James Dunham & Paul Katz)

  • 30 Songs of the Russian People
    Joseph Banowetz & Alton Chung Ming Chan
    Track from: Balakirev and Russian Folksong
    [Toccata Classics]

Best Small Ensemble Performance
(Award to the ensemble and to the conductor, if any.)

  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
    Swiss Baroque Soloists

  • "Bridges - Eddie Daniels Plays the Music of Frank Proto
    Frank Proto, conductor; Eddie Daniels; Ensemble Sans Frontiêëre
    [Red Mark]

  • Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
    Kenneth Slowik, conductor; The Smithsonian Chamber Players & Santa Fe Pro Musica
    [Dorian Recordings/ Sono Luminus]

  • "Music For Compline"
    Stile Antico
    [Harmonia Mundi]

  • Stravinsky: Apollo, Concerto In D;
    Prokofiev: 20 Visions Fugitives

    Yuri Bashmet, conductor; Moscow Soloists
    [Onyx Classics]

Best Classical Vocal Performance
(Award to the vocal soloist(s).)

  • "Gitano - Zarzuela Arias"
    Rolando Villaz‹n (Plšcido Domingo; Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid)
    [Virgin Classics]

  • "Homage: The Age of the Diva"
    Ren_e Fleming (Valery Gergiev; Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre)
    [Decca Records]

  • Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs
    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (James Levine; Boston Symphony Orchestra)
    [Nonesuch Records]

  • "The Russian Album"
    Anna Netrebko (Valery Gergiev; Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre)
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

  • Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op. 37
    Sarah Connolly (Simon Wright; Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra)
    Track from: Elgar: Sea Pictures

Best Classical Contemporary Composition
(A composer's award. For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.)

  • Amarg‹s: Northern Concerto
    Joan Albert Amarg‹s (Lan Shui, conductor; Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR)
    Track from: "Movements - Michala Petri Plays Amarg‹s/B‹rtz/Stuckey"
    [OUR Recordings]

  • Chesky: Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra
    David Chesky (Rossen Gergov, conductor; Symphony Orchestra Of Norrlands Opera)
    Track from: "Urban Concertos"
    [Chesky Records]

  • Higdon: Zaka
    Jennifer Higdon (eighth blackbird)
    Track from: "Strange Imaginary Animals"
    [Cedille Records]

  • Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Sings Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs
    Peter Lieberson (James Levine, conductor; Boston Symphony Orchestra)

  • Tower: Made in America
    Joan Tower (Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
    Track from: Tower: Made in America

Best Classical Crossover Album
(Award to the artist(s) and/or to the conductor.)

  • "The Jazz Album - Watch What Happens"
    Thomas Quasthoff
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

  • "A Love Supreme: The Legacy of John Coltrane"
    Turtle Island Quartet

  • "Spirit of the Season"
    Craig Jessop & Mack Wilberg, conductors (Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Orchestra at Temple Square)
    [Mormon Tabernacle Choir]

  • "Whirled Chamber Music"
    Quartet San Francisco
    [Violinjazz Recordings]

  • "Wolfgang's Big Night Out"
    Brian Setzer (The Brian Setzer Orchestra)
    [Surfdog Records]

Best Engineered Album, Classical
(An engineer's award. Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • "Garden Of Dreams"
    Keith O. Johnson, engineer (Jerry Junkin & Dallas Wind Symphony)
    [Reference Recordings]

  • Grechaninov: Passion Week
    John Newton, engineer (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)

  • Nielsen: Clarinet & Flute Concertos
    Arne Akselberg & Tobias Lehmann, engineers (Sabine Meyer, Emmanuel Pahud & Simon Rattle/Berlin Philharmonic)
    [EMI Classics]

  • "Spirit Of The Season"
    Bruce Leek, Fred Vogler & Trent Walker, engineers (Craig Jessop, Mack Wilberg & Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
    [Mormon Tabernacle Choir]

  • Strauss: Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration
    Lawrence Rock, engineer (Lorin Maazel & New York Philharmonic)
    [Deutsche Grammophon]

Producer of the Year, Classical
(A producer's award. Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • Blanton Alspaugh
    _㢠"Eternal Rest: M‹ntyj‹rvi, Ticheli, Martin, Clausen" (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)
    _㢠Grechaninov: Passion Week (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Bach Choir & Kansas City Chorale)
    _㢠The Harrington String Quartet: Daniel McCarthy (The Harrington String Quartet)
    _㢠Hartke: The Greater Good (Stewart Robertson & Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra)
    _㢠"Rider on the Plains: Cello Concertos by Virgil Thomson & Charles Fussell"
    (Emmanuel Feldman)

  • John Fraser
    _㢠Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2, Scherzos (Simon Trpceski)
    _㢠"Great Handel" (Ian Bostridge)
    _㢠"Kate Royal" (Kate Royal)
    _㢠Krommer/Spohr: Clarinet Concertos (Julian Bliss, Sabine Meyer & Kenneth Sillito)
    _㢠Schubert: Piano Sonata D.958, Lieder, Fragments (Leif Ove Andsnes & Ian Bostridge)

  • Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
    _㢠"Balakirev and Russian Folksong" (Joseph Banowetz)
    _㢠"Louisiana - A Pianist's Journey" (Kenneth Boulton)
    _㢠"Piano Impromptus" (Jungran Kim Khwarg)
    _㢠20th Century Piano Sonatas (Allison Brewster Franzetti)

  • Judith Sherman
    _㢠"American Virtuosa: Tribute oo Maud Powell" (Rachel Barton Pine & Matthew Hagle)
    _㢠"From Barrelhouse to Broadway: The Musical Odyssey of Joe Jordan" (Rick Benjamin & the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra)
    _㢠G‹recki: String Quartet No. 3 "... Songs Are Sung" (Kronos Quartet)
    _㢠"Strange Imaginary Animals" (eighth blackbird)
    _㢠Tchaikovsky: Three String Quartets, Souvenir de Florence (Ying Quartet)

  • Robina G. Young
    _㢠"As Steals the Morn ..." - Handel Arias & Scenes for Tenor (Mark Padmore, Andrew Manze & The English Concert)
    _㢠Bach, CPE: Symphonies 1-4, Cello Concerto (Andrew Manze & The English Concert)
    _㢠Brahms: Variations (Olga Kern)
    _㢠Music for Compline (Stile Antico)
    _㢠Stockhausen: Stimmung (Paul Hillier & Theatre of Voices)

Non-Classical Categories with Classical Nominees
(Classical nominee(s) listed first.)

Best Instrumental Composition
(A composer's award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or tracks only.)

  • "I Knew Her" (from Notes on a Scandal)
    Philip Glass, composer (Philip Glass)
    Track from: Notes On A Scandal - Soundtrack
    [Rounder/Fox Music]

  • "Ash Wednesday"
    Harry Connick, Jr., composer (Harry Connick, Jr.)
    Track from: "Chanson du Vieux Carr_
    [Marsalis Music/Rounder]

  • "Cerulean Skies"
    Maria Schneider, composer (Maria Schneider Orchestra)
    Track from: "Sky Blue"

  • Deep Six
    Mark Walker, composer (Oregon)
    Track from: "1000 Kilometers"

  • "Spectacle
    B_la Fleck, composer (Chick Corea & B_la Fleck)
    Track from: "The Enchantment"
    [Concord Records]

Best Surround Sound Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

  • Grechaninov: Passion Week
    John Newton, surround mix engineer; Jonathan Cooper, surround mastering engineer; Blanton Alspaugh, surround producer (Charles Bruffy, Kansas City Chorale & Phoenix Bach Choir)
    [Chandos Records]

  • Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5; Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Serenade to Music
    Michael Bishop, surround mix engineer; Michael Bishop, surround mastering engineer; Elaine Martone, surround producer (Robert Spano & Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Chorus)

  • "At War With The Mystics 5.1"
    The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround mix engineers; The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround mastering engineers; The Flaming Lips & Dave Fridmann, surround producers (The Flaming Lips)
    [Warner Bros.]

  • "Fear of a Blank Planet"
    Steven Wilson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Porcupine Tree, surround producers (Porcupine Tree)
    [Atlantic Records]

  • "Love"
    Paul Hicks, surround mix engineer; Tim Young, surround mastering engineer; George Martin & Giles Martin, surround producers (The Beatles)
    [Apple/Capitol Records]

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!