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 Awards, BBC Music Magazine Awards 2018 - The Winners!

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2018I'm coming to you direct from Kings Place in London this evening, where winners of this year's BBC Music Magazine Awards ceremony have just been announced.

The coveted Record of the Year award has gone to Bernard Haitink and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for their leisurely, luminous account of Mahler 3 on BR Klassik (one of our Recordings of the Week back in January 2017 - you can read our full review here).

Among the other winners are John Nelson's barnstorming live account of Berlioz's Les Troyens (starring Joyce DiDonato, Michael Spyres and Marie-Nicole Lemieux) with the Strasbourg Philharmonic, which has already been fêted as one of the great recordings of 2017 by The New York Times, The Times, and us here at Presto, and the magnificent début recording of American dramatic mezzo Jamie Barton (read Katherine's interview with her about the album of Dvořák, Mahler and Sibelius here).

Orchestral and Recording of the Year

Gerhild Romberger (contralto), Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

'Haitink’s first recording of Mahler's Third Symphony was half a century ago in Amsterdam. The view hasn’t changed too much – a measured survey of the immense opening movement through to a mesmerising account of the great final Adagio – but the playing of the Bavarian Radio Symphony is outstanding, and beautifully captured in concert.'

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Bram van Sambeek (bassoon), Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Okko Kamu, Dima Slobodeniouk

'This collection of contemporary works for the oft-neglected bassoon is a revelation. Vital new pieces by Fagerlund and Aho highlight the fire and heart of the instrument, Bram van Sambeek delivers flawless performances, the Lahti Symphony are on fire, and the sound quality is top-notch.'

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Joyce DiDonato, Michael Spyres, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Orchestre et Choeur philharmonique de Strasbourg, John Nelson

'Erato’s much-anticipated recording of this four-hour epic, made live in Strasbourg at concerts conducted by Berlioz specialist John Nelson, did not disappoint. It captures thrilling performances from Joyce DiDonato as Didon and from Michael Spyres, at the peak of his powers, as Énée, and from a supporting cast of impressive strength.'

Available Formats: 4 CDs + DVD Video, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Bart Jacobs (organ), Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier

'Music played an important part in Lutheran worship. Marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Vox Luminis and director Lionel Meunier offer an illuminating exploration of Luther’s hymns and Gospel translations in settings by many of JS Bach’s predecessors. All is warmly performed, and wonderfully presented in a generously illustrated book format.'

Available Format: 2 CDs


Jamie Barton (mezzo), Brian Zeger (piano)

'The long wait for Jamie Barton’s debut recital disc was worth every minute. Barton, double winner of 2013’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, is wonderfully idiomatic in Dvořák and Sibelius, and she and her pianist give a performance of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder that is up there with the greatest.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Emmanuel Pahud (flute), Renaud Capuçon (violin), Bertrand Chamayou (piano), Edgar Moreau (cello), Gerard Caussé (viola), Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp)

'This is luxury casting for Debussy, with a clutch of the finest Francophone musicians from across the generations coming together for the occasion. Their readings of the late sonatas are packed with glorious detail, while Renaud Capuçon, Bertrand Chamayou and Edgar Moreau make a great case for the early Piano Trio.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Fenella Humphreys (violin)

'This gutsy and exhilarating disc completes violinist Fenella Humphreys’s laudable project to commission and record six companion pieces to Bach’s Partitas. Featuring splendid new compositions by Sally Beamish, Peter Maxwell Davies and Adrian Sutton alongside works by Bach, Ysaÿe, Stravinsky and Sibelius, the disc is performed with great precision and verve.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Jury Awards


BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Oliver Knussen

'Brimming with youthful energy and Haydnesque, impish wit...Aimard brings fluent delicacy to the concertos and the orchestral soundings. He is matched in filigree precision by co-protagonists...Carter’s very last, centenarian works...prove concise, poetic and delightfully mischievous as ever.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Julien Brocal (piano)

'Even in a very crowded field there are new things to say. Even more to the point is the fact that this young French pianist says them with complete naturalness, for there is nothing contrived or attention-seeking about his approach to such well-known repertoire.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC


Various artists

'A relatively straightforward yet informative examination of Reger's life and works that is thankfully bereft of gimmicky visual effects....All in all, this is a hugely rewarding achievement that should persuade us all to revisit our preconceptions of Max Reger's place in music history.'

Available Format: 6 DVD Videos