It’s that time of year once again when the members of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences rank and rate the albums record companies are relieved to note that we’re still buying.
In one of our favorite categories, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, four American composers—Elliott Carter (Boston Concerto); Osvaldo Golijov (Ainadamar: Fountain Of Tears); Christopher Theofanidis (The Here And Now); and David Del Tredici (Paul Revere’s Ride)—have caught nods for newly released recordings. All except the Carter performance were led by conductor Robert Spano.
Bridge Record’s release Lieberson: Rilke Songs, The Six Realms, Horn Concerto picked up a nomination in the Best Classical Album category, as well as in Best Classical Vocal Performance for Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Patrick Mason also got a nod in the vocal performance category for his performance on Bridge’s Songs Of Amy Beach.
Two American works were recognized in the Best Opera Recording category—recordings of the Glimmerglass production of Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur and the O’Connor/Upshaw/Spano/Atlanta powerhouse production of Golijov’s Ainadamar: Fountain Of Tears. In Best Choral Performance, pieces by Eric Whitacre appear on two of the nominated discs: Requiem [Clarion Records] and Whitacre: Cloudburst And Other Choral Works [Hyperion]. Andrew Russo (performing with Corey Cerovsek and Steven Heyman) also picked up a nomination in the Best Chamber Music Performance category for their work on Corigliano: Violin Sonata, Etude Fantasy.
Over on the jazz side of the fence, the list is full to brimming. Best Contemporary Jazz Album nominations went to The Hidden Land (Béla Fleck & The Flecktones [Columbia]); People People Music Music (Groove Collective [Savoy Jazz Worldwide]); Rewind That (Christian Scott [Concord Jazz]); Sexotica (Sex Mob [Thirsty Ear Recordings, Inc.]); and Who Let The Cats Out? (Mike Stern [Heads Up]).
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album nods went to Some Skunk Funk (Randy Brecker/The WDR Big Band Köln [Telarc Jazz/BHM]); Spirit Music (Bob Brookmeyer/New Art Orchestra [ArtistShare]); Streams Of Expression (Joe Lovano Ensemble [Blue Note Records]); Live In Tokyo At The Blue Note (Mingus Big Band [Sunnyside/Sue Mingus Music]); and Up From The Skies—Music Of Jim McNeely (The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra [Planet Arts Recordings]).
John Williams adds another two Grammy nominations to his ever-expanding list (for his work on Memoirs Of A Geisha and Munich). Hans Zimmer also received two nods (for The Da Vinci Code and Pirates Of The Caribbean—Dead Man’s Chest) and Harry Gregson-Williams was recognized for his score for The Chronicles Of Narnia—The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
Something of a genre mash up, in the Best Instrumental Composition category composers Taylor Eigsti (Argument); Patrick Williams (A Concerto In Swing); John Williams (one nomination for A Prayer For Peace and one for Sayuri’s Theme and End Credits); and Fred Hersch (Valentine) received nominations.
In total, there are 108 categories to be considered by this year’s Grammy voters, and this report only scratches the surface. See the full list here.