BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

The Winners

Twenty-one recordings in seven categories were selected by an expert jury for public online voting. The nominations represented the best of all the recordings reviewed by BBC Music Magazine during the year, and featured an eclectic array of household names as well as newcomers to the field.

The votes are now in, and the winning recordings were announced on 9th April, together with the special jury awards.

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Recording of the Year

Elgar: The Apostles

Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

The jury says...‘Elder and co. reveal the imagination, originality and radiant beauty of this score. The cast is excellent, the choral contributions totally committed, the recording atmospheric, and the ram’s horn shofar and Apostles’ Chorus are interesting extras. A profoundly moving contribution to Elder’s Hallé Elgar series.’

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Category Award Winners

Beethoven: String Trios, Op. 9 Nos. 1-3

Trio Zimmermann

The jury says...‘Beethoven’s dazzling string trios were as revealing of the young composer’s talent as they are exposing for performers… here the ensemble is breathtaking, the rhythms bite and their blend of timbres compels, from densely textured to shimmering transparency.'

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Chopin Recital 2

Janina Fialkowska

The jury says...‘By some mysterious alchemy, Fialkowska only has to perform a note of Chopin and instantly it’s inimitable, indelible. The magic lies in her subtle, supple rhythm; an infinitesimal rubato that makes perfect sense of every dance without sacrificing its vital lilt.’

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Handel: Alceste

Lucy Crowe, Benjamin Hulett, Andrew Foster-Williams; Early Opera Company, Christian Curnyn

The jury says...‘This exquisite performance of the reconstructed Alceste is suave and sprightly, the trio of soloists first-rate and soprano Lucy Crowe’s ‘Gentle Morpheus’ a magical highlight.’

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 (four-movement version)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

The jury says...‘This scholarly reconstruction of the fourth movement, premiered here, is astonishingly convincing. The performance of the whole work, graced by fabulous Berlin Philharmonic brass, is exceptional.’

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Elgar: The Apostles

Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

The jury says...‘Elder and co. reveal the imagination, originality and radiant beauty of this score. The cast is excellent, the choral contributions totally committed, the recording atmospheric, and the ram’s horn shofar and Apostles’ Chorus are interesting extras. A profoundly moving contribution to Elder’s Hallé Elgar series.’

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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 2

Angelika Kirchschlager & Julius Drake

The jury says...‘Liszt was one of the great song-composers, and this wide-ranging programme contains some miracles of the Lieder repertory. Kirchschlager brings intelligent musicianship and a stunning range of expressive options.’

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Jury Award Winners

Newcomer Award

Musical Toys - piano music by Gubaidulina, Ligeti & Unsuk Chin

Mei Yi Foo (piano)

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Premiere Award

Saariaho: D'Om le vrai sens, Laterna Magica & Leino Songs

Kari Kriikku (clarinet), Anu Komsi (soprano), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

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Award for Technical Excellence

Wagner: Parsifal

Rundfunkchor Berlin & Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski

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Other Finalists

Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 1

Nightingale String Quartet

The jury says...‘Langgaard composed music which simply can't be ignored, especially in performances as intense as these from this young quartet. Kaleidoscopic images pass by held together by the sure touch of a composer harnessing an exceptionally vivid imagination.’

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William Lawes: Consorts to the Organ


The jury says...‘There’s something irresistible about Lawes’s music…Phantasm and Daniel Hyde are elegant, erudite guides to this strange and beautiful world, relishing each telling dissonance, each mercurial harmonic shift.’

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Mouton: Missa Dictes moy toutes voz pensées

The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips

The jury says...‘Once again, the Tallis Scholars reveal hidden Renaissance masterworks. Phillips sculpts a virile, vigorous sound for these mesmerising works where sonority is never slave to maths.’

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Brahms: Works for chorus and orchestra

Collegium Vocale Gent & Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Philippe Herreweghe

The jury says...‘Herreweghe's refreshingly untraditional approach brings a proverbially un-Brahmsian lightness and clarity of texture to these shorter choral works.’

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Puccini: Il Trittico

Lucio Gallo, Ermonela Jaho, Eva-Maria Westbroek; Royal Opera House, Sir Antonio Pappano, Richard Jones

The jury says...‘We so rarely see Puccini’s whole triptych: here are all three operas in vividly characterised, memorable productions by Richard Jones, superbly performed under Pappano. A treat.’

Also available on Blu-ray

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Massenet: Don Quichotte

José van Dam, Silvia Tro Santafé, Werner Van Mechelen; La Monnaie, Marc Minkowski, Laurent Pelly

The jury says...‘What could have been a romp through an old warhorse is made moving and special by the presence of José van Dam: his performance has a valedictory intensity.’

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Debussy: Preludes & Transcriptions

Alexei Lubimov

The jury says...‘Of all the new recordings released for Debussy’s 150th anniversary, this is the one to which I’ve returned most often. Not just for the two books of Preludes on a pair of carefully chosen period pianos, whose tone colours, timbre and contrast affect every aspect of the music, but for Lubimov’s inspired responses to the changing soundscapes.'

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Diabelli Variations

Andreas Staier

The jury says...‘No other pianist has painted the Diabelli in such colours, taking advantage of all the effects available on the fortepiano…Staier brings miracles of phrasing, touch, pacing and wit to illuminate a thorny masterpiece.’

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Puccini: Suor Angelica

Kristine Opolais, Lioba Braun; WDR SO Köln, Andris Nelsons

The jury says...‘Kristine Opolais’s cool, distinctive timbre underlines the aristocratic background and steely self-restraint of the heroine of Suor Angelica, making her unravelling at the end more powerful and violent.’

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Wagner: Die Walküre

Stig Andersen, Yvonne Howard, Egils Silins, Susan Bullock; Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

The jury says...‘Recorded live in Manchester, this Die Walküre is something very special. With Elder’s huge operatic experience at the helm, the Hallé responds with playing so impressive that it holds its own with the best anywhere. Can the short-lived love of Siegmund and Sieglinde ever have been more movingly portrayed than here, by Stig Andersen and Yvonne Howard?’

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Josef Suk: Orchestral Works

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

The jury says...‘The BBC SO has developed a speciality in Czech music under Jirí Belohlávek, locating a generous, supple, honeyed sound. Sad and enchanting.’

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Beethoven & Berg: Violin Concertos

Isabelle Faust; Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado

The jury says...‘Berg and Beethoven illuminate and transform each other in these performances by Abbado and his hand-picked orchestra, alert to every nuance and detail… Isabelle Faust is a radiant soloist.’

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Goethe-Lieder: Das ewig Weibliche

Marlis Petersen & Jendrik Springer

The jury says...‘An appealing and fascinatingly devised recital programme of Goethe settings from Schubert’s time to the present day… You simply won’t hear lovelier singing.’

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Ferne Geliebte

Christian Gerhaher & Gerold Huber

The jury says...‘Christian Gerhaher’s recitals with pianist Gerold Huber seem less like performance than a private conversation. They make complex music seem simple, and simple music sophisticated.’

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For details of the 2012 and earlier awards, click here.

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