The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: In 2019 who died? What recordings won prizes? What music had its premiere? Here is a comprehensive and detailed worldwide retrospective from Wikipedia

January 2, 2020
2 Comments

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By Jacob Stockinger

A new year is always a good time to do a review and take a look backward to assess the previous year.

Many local publications – newspapers and magazines — do Best of the Year round-ups.

But The Ear has never seen a more comprehensive list with major news and almost daily entries around the world than he found in Wikipedia, which has retrospectives going back to 2009 and looking forward to 2029.

In short, all the reviws are well worth exploring for the reminders they hold that, as the proverb goes, “Ars longa, vita brevis” or “Art is long, life is short.” (It is usually quoted in Latin translation from the original ancient Greek that was written by Hippocrates.)

There are seven different categories to click on, each with long entries. If you hover the cursor over the names or words that are spelled in blue, you will see more text and often a photograph. The categories are:

EVENTS

NEW WORKS

NEW OPERAS

ALBUMS

DEATHS

MAJOR AWARDS

REFERENCES

There are so many details that you may want to check out just one or two categories at a time over several days.

Here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_in_classical_music

Do you know of someone or something – especially of local importance, such as the death in October of longtime Madison music critic John W. Barker (below, in a photo by Mark Golbach) – that did not make the list? Please leave word in the Comment section.

And here’s hoping that 2020 brings us even more important and memorable new and old music, but less loss.


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Classical music: Gramophone Magazine announces its 2012 awards for best classical recordings, artists and labels. Do you see evidence of a Brit bias?

October 6, 2012
4 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

Gramophone Magazine (below), the Britain-based periodical that remains the most respected magazine of classical music in the world, this week announced the winners of its 2012 prizes for recordings.

Some of the names are probably familiar, such as conductor Claudio Abbado (below top) and pianist Murray Perahia (below middle), who won in a new category, and pianist  Leif Ove Andsnes (below bottom) in chamber music. Pianist Maurizio Pollini won in the historical category for his very early set of the complete Chopin etudes. You night also recognize the name of singer Danielle de Niese, who has performed in Madison at the Wisconsin Union Theater, as has Perahia.

But some other names are new or unfamiliar to many such as the Maltese tenor Joseph Callejo (below), the young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, violinist Isabelle Faust, composer Eric Whitacre and the record label Naïve.

The Ear thinks he detects something of an English bias in the choice of winners — artists, labels, repertoire — but that is an old observation or, to some, an accusation. Besides, the Grammy Awards (below) certainly often seems to favor US artists and labels.

Not for nothing is it called the Recording Industry on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anyway, reading about these awards is one of the good ways to spend just a little time catching up on the global classical music scene and what is new and noteworthy in it. And holiday gift-gifting is just around the corner.

Here is link to an introductory story:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/gramophone-awards-2012-announced

And here is a link to the list of winners — with lots of links and audio samples —  by categories and to FREE sample downloads available through iTunes:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2012

You can also find a lot of the artists’ remarks about the Gramophone awards by going to YouTube and typing the artist’s name into search engine.

And here is a link to a story about the awards on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence” blog. It offers background and names of the winners upfront, along with some audio samples from the winning recordings:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/09/27/161736077/the-2012-gramophone-awards-some-surprises-lots-of-repeated-familiar-names


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