Orchestral Award

Vasily Petrenko

Tchaikovsky Symphonies Nos 1, 2 and 5

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko
Onyx ONYX 4150

Reviewed October 2016

Vasily Petrenko celebrates ten years as music director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with these glorious Tchaikovsky performances. The string sound is beautifully warm, the wind playing pungent, and the symphonies superbly shaped and paced. There’s idiomatic Slavonic fire and passion here without an ounce of flab.

Copland

Copland Symphony for Organ and Orchestra; Orchestral Variations; Short Symphony; Symphonic Ode

BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson; Jonathan Scott (organ)
Chandos CHSA 5171 (hybrid CD/SACD)

Reviewed November 2016 

Sibelius

Sibelius Symphonies Nos 3, 6 and 7

Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä
BIS BIS-2006 (hybrid CD/SACD)

Reviewed August 2016

Richard Strauss

Symphonia Domestica; Die Tageszeiten
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Berlin Radio Choir/Marek Janowski
Pentatone PTC5186507

Reviewed October 2015

There are revelations aplenty in this pairing of Strauss’s often overlooked Symphonia Domestica with the virtually unknown Die Tageszeiten. Janowski’s fresh approach brings out the detail and the drama of the Symphonia, while the Berlin Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra are in sublime form for the gorgeous Die Tageszeiten.

Sakari Oramo

Nielsen

Symphonies Nos 1 & 3
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
BIS BIS 2048 (hybrid CD/SACD)

Reviewed March 2015

Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s excellent Nielsen symphony cycle shines with particular lustre in their account of the two least-known works. Both are performed with compelling symphonic purpose, No. 1 with a spring in its step and considerable charm and grandeur, while No. 3 has vigour and atmosphere.

CPE Bach

Hamburg Symphonies
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
Alba ABCD 374 (hybrid CD/SACD)

Reviewed February 2015

It can sometimes take a Finnish musician to hear afresh, and to bring new insight into German repertoire. The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and Sakari Oramo have renewed the sheer surprise factor in these wonderful little 18th-century symphonies, unleashing the ‘bold and imaginative’ character which struck their early listeners so forcibly.