Chailly wins Record of the Year

Chailly wins Record of the Year


norman lebrecht

September 17, 2014

The Gramophone magazine awards have been announced:



riccardo chailly





·         Sir James Galway awarded Lifetime Achievement


·         Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the worlds oldest orchestra, win Recording of the Year for Brahms symphony cycle  150 years after relationship with composer began

·         Sir Neville Marriner awarded Outstanding Achievement in his 90th year


·         Leonidas Kavakos crowned Artist of the Year in international public vote

Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzigs monumental cycle of Brahmss four symphonies has been crowned Recording of the Year and was presented to the conductor at the event. The recording, issued on Decca, beat over 600 new releases to win the coveted prize.


The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig  the worlds oldest orchestra  cherishes its historical ties to Brahms. The composer himself conducted the orchestra for the Leipzig premieres of his first, second and third symphonies, as well as the world premieres of several other landmark pieces, making this a fitting homage to the great composer.



  • Michael Schaffer says:

    I haven’t heard the Brahms set yet, but I am pretty sure I will get it. I found the Beethoven set outstanding, as much a “revelation” as new interpretations of repertoire I have heard many hundreds of times before can probably be.

  • newyorker says:

    Chailly is excellent, and so is Brahms…
    But I don’t know which is more surprising: 1. That orchestras still feel inclined record Brahms cycles in 2014; or 2. That the public is surprised that the sales of classical css is faltering in light of these redundant choices.

  • milka says:

    And one wonders why ?

  • Max Grimm says:

    “The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig – the world’s oldest orchestra – …”

    I thought the Royal Danish Orchestra had laid claim to that title.

    • sdReader says:

      Yes, nobody knows what is the world’s oldest orchestra.

      If you go by some kind of official foundation date, it may be accurate but is meaningless. If you go by de facto operation, the date is unclear.

      And what does “orchestra” mean? A 16th-century Kapelle, like Lassus’ musicians in Munich? Recognizably balanced winds and strings as at Versailles? The 1750s symphony orchestra in Mannheim?

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      I didn’t catch that earlier, but yes, you are right of course – the GOL is not the oldest orchestra by far, nor do they claim to be. They aren’t the oldest orchestra in Germany either. Nor is it the Staatskapelle Dresden which does have a very long continuous history. But supposedly the oldest orchestra in Germany is the one in Kassel.

      • sdReader says:

        Michael, what is its claim exactly?

        • Max Grimm says:

          The orchestra of the Staatstheater Kassel is credited with being the oldest German orchestra with an uninterrupted existence since 1502.

          • Michael Schaffer says:



            “The oldest German orchestra is considered to be the orchestra of the Hessisches Staatstheater (Hessian State Theater) Kassel founded by landgrave Wilhelm II in 1502 when a “trumpter” named Henschel Deythinger joined the music ensemble of the Kassel court. This trumpet player and further eight wind players formed the Kassel court emsemble and as such one of the first dedicated instrumental ensembles under an appointed director and so created the foundations for the development of the “orchestra” as a cultural institution. The oldest roots of the German and European ensemble and orchestra culture go even deeper, even back into the 14th century.

            Renowned orchestras with long traditions, e.g. the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, die Staatskapelle Weimar oder die Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin, were formed in the 16th century, and more at the courts of German nobility in the 17th and 18th century. The orchestras founded at courts and churches were then followed in the 19th and 20th century by the development of an orchestra culture supported by the emerging bourgeois middle class. From the 1920s on and after the Second World War, the radio orchestras and other publicly funded orchestras were established.”

          • sdReader says:

            I see.

            It’s stupid, isn’t it? Not worth discussing.