Grammy Award voters once again showed their love for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, which earned a nod for best chamber music/small ensemble performance for its recording of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” in the nominations announced Tuesday morning.
The SCPO's crosstown counterpart the Minnesota Orchestra also made the list of 2018 Grammy nominees for best orchestral performance with its recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony, another in a steady stream of nods under conductor Osmo Vanska.
Minnesota was otherwise shut out of the long list for the 2018 Grammys, unless you count a pair of expats. Bob Dylan’s third collection of American Standards, “Triplicate,” made the cut for best traditional pop vocal album, whatever that means. And former Minneapolitan Justin Roberts, who started singing kids songs while teaching for Step by Step Montessori Schools, landed his third nomination for best children’s album with “Lemonade.” Roberts now works out of Chicago.
Already a Grammy winner with its 1978 recording “Copland: Appalachian Spring” and a semi-regular nominee, the SPCO netted its latest nomination under the direction of Eastern European violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, one of its artistic partners.
As Star Tribune contributor Terry Blain explained in a write-up last November, Kopatchinskaja arranged Schubert’s quartet movements for 20 strings with added solos and kindred works by such composers as John Dowland and György Kurtág. “This is not ‘Death and the Maiden' as we normally hear it," Blain wrote. The record was made over three different performances at Ordway Concert Hall and issued last fall via the Alpha label.
As for Minnesota Orchestra's Mahler recording: "Vanska’s astute musicality and his aversion to histrionics makes for a highly satisfying listen," Blain wrote. That recording was released via the Swedish label Bis.
The SPCO and Minnesota Orchestra will find out if they can add another trophy to their cases at the Grammy ceremony Jan. 28 in New York.