The list this year doesn't seem at all bizarre.
The San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas and Mahler all at the same time are a slam dunk at the Grammys. This year they won Best Classical Album for Mahler 8. The soloists are Erin Wall, Elza van den Heever, Laura Claycomb, Katarina Karneus, Yvonne Naef, Anthony Dean Griffey, Quinn Kelsey, and James Morris. They also won for Best Choral Performance.
Marin Alsop's Bernstein Mass is an interesting also ran.
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé with James Levine conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra won Best Orchestral Performance, but I couldn't find a picture. I could not find this recording on any version of Amazon.
The Best Opera Recording went to Billy Budd with Adam Green, Alasdair Elliott, Andrew Kennedy, Andrew Staples, Andrew Tortise, Daniel Teadt, Darren Jeffrey, Gidon Saks, Hugo Shepherd, Ian Bostridge, Jonathan Lemalu, Kyle Kean, Laurie Benson , Mark Stone, Matthew Best, Matthew Rose , and Nathan Gunn. Daniel Harding is the conductor. With no women in the cast I probably won't buy it.
The rest of the list is also interesting: Messiaen: Saint François D'Assise, Musto, John: Volpone, Shostakovich: The Nose and Tan Dun: Marco Polo.
Journey To The New World, by Sharon Isbin with Joan Baez & Mark O'Connor won for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (Without Orchestra). She is listed as Artist, Composer, Conductor. This is making me curious.
Yes, I skipped Askenazy doing Prokofiev.
Intimate Letters (Janacek & Martinu) performed by the Emerson String Quartet won for Best Chamber Music Performance.
Renée Fleming won Best Classical Vocal Performance for Verismo.
I feel compelled to mention all the other nominees:
Bach by Anne Sofie von Otter.
Bel Canto Spectacular by Juan Diego Flórez.
Recital At Ravinia Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Un Frisson Français Susan Graham.
The only ones I own are Recital at Ravinia, a truly wonderful recording, and Verismo. Several of these sound interesting.
It is curious to note that none of the winners goes back before 1890 in repertoire. They are out of synch with the current direction of at least the singing part of classical music.
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