BBC Music Magazine Awards 2007

The Winners

BBC Music Magazine, the UK’s best-selling classical music magazine, launched its own unique CD Awards in 2006. In a fresh collaboration between the listening public and the music critics, an expert jury from the reviewing team of BBC Music Magazine put forward the 18 nominations and these were voted on by the public.

The winning discs were announced on 9th April, together with four special jury awards - see below for details.

The Jury: Andrew McGregor (Radio 3); Dr Berta Joncus, Christopher Dingle, Professor George Pratt, David Nice, Professor Jan Smaczny; Daniel Jaffe, Helen Wallace and Oliver Condy (BBC Music Magazine).

Category Award Winners

Bach Cantatas

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Ton Koopman

The jury says… 'Koopman’s irrepressible enthusiasm and impish wit remain undiminished as he ends his immense 12-year project recording all Bach’s cantatas. Assured vocal soloists, fluent choir and impeccable instrumentalists all meet Bach’s often cruel demands with superb control of style and technique.' GP

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Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno

Natalie Dessay, Ann Hallenberg, Sonia Prina & Pavol Breslik, Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

The jury says… 'Technically superb, reassuringly stylish, this is an outstanding performance of Handel at the height of his powers and enjoying Oscar-like acclaim in Italy. Haim and her outstanding solo team are in turn graceful, imaginative, stylish and immensely exhilarating in this splendid recording.' GP

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Jury Award Winners

Award for Technical Excellence in Recording

Stockhausen: Stimmung

Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier

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DVD of the Year (documentary)

Maxim Vengerov - Living the Dream

A film by Ken Howard

Maxim Vengerov (violin), Mstislav Rostropovich, Benjamin Yusupov

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Newcomer of the Year

David Fray

Piano works by Bach & Boulez

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Premiere Recording of the Year

Kagel: All Things Change

Netherlands Chamber Choir, Schönberg Ensemble Amsterdam, Reinbert de Leeuw

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Other Finalists

Coleridge-Taylor: Piano Quintet, Ballade & Clarinet Quintet

The Nash Ensemble

The jury says… 'Coleridge-Taylor is best-known, when he’s remembered at all, for his Violin Concerto…but the Nash Ensemble offers us delightful chamber music from the 1890s, of which the Clarinet Quintet is the real find. Dvorak is often the muse; enthusiastically recommended for English romantics.' AM

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Marin Marais: Suitte d'un Goût Etranger

Jordi Savall, Philippe Pierlot, Pierre Hantaï, Rolf Lislevand, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Andrew Lawrence-King, Pedro Estevan

The jury says… 'Jordi Savall’s pioneering musical and scholarly contributions culminate in this disc. His performance suggests a spiritual connection with Marin Marais. Savall animates the poetry of these works, re-inventing their beauty with stunning execution and expressiveness. Pristine sound quality and a generous booklet make this an outstanding package.' BJ

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Bolivian Baroque, Volume 2

Arakaendar Bolivia Choir, Florilegium

The jury says… 'This joyous collection from Florilegium and the newly-created Arakaendar Bolivia Choir provides a vibrant aural picture of the musical heritage from the 18th Century missions. Motets, instrumental sonatas, Villancicos and Bassani’s Missa Encarnación are captured in gutsy, thoroughly enchanting performances.' CD

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Bach: Cello Suites

Steven Isserlis

The jury says… 'No recording of the Suites better captures the expressive nature of the preludes and retains the functional heritage of the dances. Isserlis’ phenomenal technique creates a sense of masterly ease in this cellists’ tour-de-force, matched by fine recording from Hyperion.' GP

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Rachmaninov: Etudes tableaux

Rustem Hayroudinoff

The jury says… 'These forthright, beautifully weighted performances keep the emotion in check but never at bay. Op. 39 No. 7 emerges as one of Rachmaninov’s greatest creations in a drama of life and death with playing equal even to the greatness of Richter.' DN

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Bellini: La Sonnambula

Jaël Azzaretti, Natalie Dessay, Francesco Meli, Carlo Colombara & Sara Mingardo, l’Opéra de Lyon, Evelino Pidò

The jury says… 'Rapture, passion, languor – the artists, and Dessay in particular – weave a magic web that illuminates Bellini’s peculiar genius. Musicality, dramatic delivery and brilliance of technique combine to generate an emotional depth out of material often considered clichéd. With his robust top range, Melfi has electric exchanges with the heroine, while Dessay’s performance is simply jaw-dropping.' BJ

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Janacek: Katya Kabanova

Welsh National Opera, Carlo Rizzi

The jury says… 'This English-language performance captures the visceral impact of Janacek’s great tragedy with unerring immediacy. Vividly recorded with magnificent orchestral playing, the drama is delivered with a superb sense of ensemble and pungent characterisation from all involved.' JS

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Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3, etc

Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Heini Kärkkäinen (piano), Tapiola Sinfonietta, Kees Bakels

The jury says… 'From the violin’s emphatic first entry in the concerto, over the orchestra’s shimmering hush, to the invigorating romp through the Allegro Appassionato, this is a disc of pure delight with stunning performances, especially from Jean-Jacques Kantorow, of a marvellous programme.' CD

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Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4

Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard

The jury says… 'These performances, including the revelatory first version of the fourth symphony, succeed in providing a genuinely new, and entirely convincing, approach to two familiar works. Chamber-like instrumental lines and a powerful sense of impetus combine here powerfully.' JS

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Terezín / Theresienstadt

Anne-Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Bengt Forsberg (piano), Christian Gerhaher (baritone) & Gerold Huber (piano)

The jury says… 'The poignant history of the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto, its musicians and composers is now well known. This recital of songs and chamber works brings a broad range of the repertoire to life in performances of the deepest insight and sincerity.' JS

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Richard Strauss - The Complete Songs, Volume 2

Anne Schwanenwilms, Roger Vignoles

The jury says… 'Most unusual of today’s great Straussian sopranos, Schwanewilms chooses Lieder tailored to her beauty of line – perfectly complemented by Vignoles – and ability to change colour on a note. Her dramatic skill reaches its zenith of strangeness in the three Ophelia Songs.' DN

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For details of the 2007 awards, click here.

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