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THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS / CLASSICAL

L.A. Phil-influenced 'Neruda' in a good spot

December 07, 2007|Mark Swed | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has done well with this year's Grammy nominations. Peter Lieberson's "Neruda Songs," which the orchestra premiered and co-commissioned with the Boston Symphony, has garnered nominations for best classical recording, best vocal performance and best contemporary work.

The Nonesuch recording of a live performance by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and the Boston Symphony under James Levine is probably a shoo-in in all three categories, given the powerful immediacy of the score (it was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award this week) and the intensely moving performance by the composer's late wife.

In addition, the Philharmonic's first recording in Walt Disney Concert Hall -- with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- got a nod for best orchestral performance.

The good news is that both discs, which were news a year ago, are still in print.

The weird news is that Gustavo Dudamel's first recordings -- with his Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra -- were overlooked. But word travels slowly over the classical Grammy grapevine.

The further weird news is that overall the classical Grammy nominations are a mishmash, to which there appears neither rhyme nor reason.

mark.swed@latimes.com

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