Pablo Heras-Casado Wins Three Record Academy 2020 Awards

Pablo Heras-Casado has recently been awarded with three Record Geijutsu titles in the Symphony, Orchestra and Concert categories granted by the renowned Japanese magazine, for his recordings with the label harmonia mundi, in the 58th edition of the Record Academy Awards.

The album with the recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Choral Fantasy, released in mid-2020, was chosen as the winner in the Symphony category.

The album containing Manuel de Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos and El Amor Brujo, performed by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, was the winner in the Orchestra category. This recording has previously been awarded the Diapason d’or, Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Trophée Radio Classique awards.

The jury also awarded the Concerto Prize to the album featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Coriolan Overture and Prometheus’ Creatures Overture, which features pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout and the musicians of the Freiburger Barockorchester.

The Record Academy Awards, created in 1963, are organized by the renowned magazine Record Geijutsu and are given annually to the best classical music albums selected by a jury of critics and specialised journalists. Last August, Pablo Heras-Casado was chosen as Artist of the Month by the magazine, and at the end of December the maestro will return to Japan to conduct Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.

Press quotes

“Heras-Casado’s poised but light-footed rhythmic acumen combines with his inerrant instinct for the perfectly sculpted, living, breathing phrase, to create strikingly original interpretations to be savoured with gusto. (…) It is one of the finest, most deeply perceptive and thrilling performances of Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto on record (…) Rarely have the strings sounded more formidable or the piano more plaintive. The Rondo is a true Vivace as Beethoven intended, bracing in its variety of detail, from the subtlety of the bowing that introduces the movement to the sheer delicacy of the ensemble interaction throughout. It unfolds in a veritable terpsichorean delirium, resulting in an all but overwhelming impression of supernal joy”.

Patrick Rucker – Gramophone, October 2020

“Pablo Heras-Casado’s recording of the Ninth Symphony is probably unique in its inner restlessness and agility. The whole concept of Heras-Casado’s Ninth makes sense, with a restless, urgent preparation for the finale, which although without pathos, has strong emotional moments. On the second CD the Choral Fantasy equals the excellence of the symphony”.

Pizzicato, July 2020

“The sound is spectacular, rich and detailed, and Heras-Casado paces the music most convincingly. He’s especially strong on the mysterious element, tapping into a Stravinskian, Firebird-ish vein. His molding of Falla’s sensual woodwind lines is peerless, his rhythmic acuity ensuring an exciting ride”.

Opera News