Each e-mail from the office of the German Music Critics' Prize (registered association) concludes with the following sentence: The "German Music Critics' Prize"(registered association) is an independent committee currently made up of 140 music critics and experts who honour outstanding new issues of the recording market in 29 areas from classical to rock/pop." That sounds rather dry, but it by no means describes something taken for granted in times when the news are increasingly produced by lobby agencies. More than ever, the German Music Critics' Prize is THE German prize, precisely because it does not follow the interests of associations or enterprises and - as a free union of many independent individuals - because it expresses more than the point of view of individual committees, such as a specialist journal, for example.
It is all the more an honour for us when the independent, lobby-less recording firm TACET - alongside numerous honours in quarterly lists - is specially honoured by this committee. After the prize awarded to me in 2002, the "Hommage à Steuermann" (TACET 186) received the special prize of the jury in 2010. And now, one year later, The Auryn Quartet (under exclusive contract of TACET) "got it" with an annual prize for the complete recording of the Haydn string quartets. No fewer than 14 productions are thus being honoured in one blow! The work on Haydn has been worth it, once and for all; this fact is visible for all to see. The jury attests to exactly what the two violinists Matthias Lingenfelder and Jens Oppermann, violist Stewart Eaton, cellist Andreas Arndt and myself as recording engineer wanted to attain: a meticulous edition, each individual publication rehearsed and produced as if there were only 6 quartets by Joseph Haydn and not 68. For each and every one of these quartets is a masterwork.
Here is the exact wording of the jury's substantiation: "Joseph Haydn is considered the father of the genre. The Auryn Quartet recorded his nearly 70 string quartets cyclically over a period of two years: for the first time in accordance with the source-critical "purified" text, with esprit, alert emotion and highly differentiated ensemble playing within a natural sound space: a small sensation. For such an undertaking, however, one needs a label that is not only absolutely up to date technically, but also prepared to take risks. Already a number of times, the Stuttgart TACET music producers have distinguished themselves through precisely this combination of ability and daringness. For this reason: an annual prize goes to the Auryn Quartet and their producer/recording engineer Andreas Spreer for their epoch-making Haydn - a project which is already now assured of a prominent place in the annals of recording." (On behalf of the jury: Thomas Rübenacker)
Thank you very much for this honour!
Pressemitteilung der Jury zu den Jahrespreisen 2011 (PDF)
Laudationes Jahrespreise 2011.pdf (PDF)