Einojuhani Rautavaara and Kaija Saariaho recordings are up for a prize in this year's Gramophone Awards. The British magazine awards each year the best recordings in several categories; the Finns occupy two thirds of the nominee list in the category for contemporary music. Both recordings have been released by Finnish record company Ondine, and also the featured orchestras and conductors are Finnish.
The Rautavaara album, including the composer's two latest concertos and early orchestral work Modificata, has been hailed already in several magazines. For example, Gramphone chose it as the Recording of the Month in early 2012. The world premiere recording of Incantations and Towards the Horizon features Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor John Storgårds with the soloists Truls Mørk (cello) and Colin Currie (percussion).
The Saariaho album was received with equal enthusiasm, and got a lot of attention also in the French music magazine Diapason, including the title of "Diapason d'Or". The album includes Saariaho's clarinet concerto D'Om le vrai sens, orchestral work Laterna Magica and the Leino Songs. The soloists are clarinettist Kari Kriikku and soprano Anu Komsi, and Sakari Oramo conducts the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The third nominee is an album by Danish composer Per Nørgård, released by BIS.
The winner will be announced on 27 September.