Help
Skip to main content

UPDATE: Royal Mail have now resumed shipments on their TRACKED & SIGNED and SIGNED services but delays should be expected, please choose these services if available to you or FEDEX if your order is urgent.

 Awards, BBC Music Magazine Awards 2023: Shortlist

The nominations for this year's BBC Music Magazine Awards have just been announced, with a potential long-list of over 300 five-star recordings from the past twelve months pared down to 27 finalists; this year all nine categories will be decided by public vote.

You can browse the short-list and listen to snippets of the discs below; to place your votes, visit the magazine's website by midnight UK time on Tuesday 28th February. The winning recordings will be announced at a ceremony at King's Place on Wednesday 19th April, where the Recording of the Year and Personality of the Year will also be revealed...

Orchestral

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Mäkelä

'This four-disc survey of Sibelius’s symphonies, and other orchestral works, was quite the calling card for young Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä. Taking on this symphony cycle is something of a rite of passage for Finland’s conductors. The results? ‘Electrifying’ and ‘revelatory’, according to our original review.'

Available Formats: 4 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Elena Urioste (violin), Chineke! Orchestra, Kevin John Edusei, Fawzi Haimor, Roderick Cox, Kalena Bovell and Anthony Parnther

'There was ‘passion and flair’ on display in this collection of orchestral works by Coleridge-Taylor, performed by the brilliant Chineke! Orchestra under conductors Kevin John Edusei, Fawzi Haimor, Roderick Cox, Kalena Bovell and Anthony Parnther. Our review called it ‘one of the biggest and best collections of his music yet released.''

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

Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Agnieszka Duczmal

'In a set of recordings spanning a number of years, conductor Agnieszka Duczmal and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra revived a series of string works by one of Poland’s greatest, and often unsung, musical voices. The gutsy performances were described as ‘dynamic and full of life’ in our June issue review.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Concerto

Johan Dalene (violin), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds

‘How can tone that’s so delicate, fragile almost, also be so full of feeling?,’ asked our original review in the May issue. This recording was a very Nordic affair indeed, the Swedish orchestra and the talented Swedish-Norwegian violinist showcasing an engaging musical dialogue, Dalene a sublimely articulate soloist throughout.'

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

Ophélie Gaillard (cello), Pulcinella Orchestra

'French cellist Ophélie Gaillard took listeners on a ravishing musical tour of Georgian London with this recording. The selection-box of a programme, which also featured vocal and instrumental works, was crowned by virtuoso cello concertos by Cirri and Porpora, not to mention a thrilling Concerto Grosso (La Folia) by Geminiani.'

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

Hilary Hahn (violin), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

'In breathtaking performances of concertos by Dvořák and Ginastera, Hilary Hahn shared not just her usual technical brilliance, but revealed a deeper view of the music somehow. As our original review said, ‘Phrases are now more subtly lingered over, as though on occasion she can hardly bear to let them go.’'

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

Opera

Mary Bevan (Margery), Catherine Carby (Mauxalinda), Mark Wilde (Moore of Moore Hall), John Savournin (Gaffer Gubbins/The Dragon); The Brook Street Band, John Andrews

'This was the premiere recording of German composer John F Lampe’s 18th-century spoof of Italian opera. While it tickled George II in the 1730s, this particular Dragon (loosely drawn from a Yorkshire folk ballad) didn’t take flight. It tickled our reviewer, too, who enjoyed the characterful performances by soloists Mary Bevan, Catherine Carby, Mark Wilde and John Savournin.'

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

Kenneth Kellogg (The Father), Brianna Hunter (The Mother), Aaron Crouch (The Son), Gordon Hawkins (The Reverend); The Washington National Opera, Roderick Cox

'With moving performances by its lead trio of singers, not to mention a luminous Washington National Opera orchestra under Roderick Cox, Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera lingered in the memory. Premiered in 2019 before the murder of George Floyd in the US, its theme of police brutality against young Black men was hauntingly prescient, but not without warmth, tenderness and humour.'

Available Formats: 2 SACDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Julien Behr (Pelléas), Vannina Santoni (Mélisande), Alexandre Duhamel (Golaud), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Geneviève), Jean Teitgen (Arkel), Hadrien Joubert (Yniold); Les Siècles, Chœur de l'Opéra de Lille François-Xavier Roth

'Beneath the robust vocal performances, Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth added a distinctly period flavour to Debussy’s opera, the use of gut strings and early-20th century wind instruments ‘conveying like few other recordings the work’s unique and poignant emotional charge.’'

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Choral

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Kļava

'Cage’s choral music can be a feat of endurance for performer and listener alike, but here it was in good hands, as our August issue review recognised: ‘You can’t but be stunned by the fearless skill of Sigvards Kļava’s choir as they navigate the most jagged, fragmented notes and pitches – the musical equivalent of climbing Mount Everest just with your hands and feet.’'

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

The Crossing, JACK Quartet, University of Michigan Chamber Musicians, University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble

The world’s natural wonders are to the fore in John Luther Adams’s epic work, but so too are its ecological nightmares. The composer is on the money with his messaging, but he matches it with seriously great music, performed here by a stellar line-up of artists. ‘This is a profoundly arresting album,’ as our December issue review put it.'

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

Lisette Oropesa (Theodora), Joyce DiDonato (Irene), Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian (Didymus), Michael Spyres (Septimius), John Chest (Valens); Il Pomo d'Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev

'This is now the benchmark Theodora; it is optimally cast, dramatically intense and luminously beautiful.’ So said our original review in the Christmas issue, and it hits the nail on the head as all involved brought their A-game to Handel’s mighty oratorio.'

Available Formats: 3 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Vocal

Anna Prohaska (soprano), Isabelle Faust (violin)

'This very successful union of words and music was delivered with great panache and engaging chemistry by soprano Anna Prohaska and violinist Isabelle Faust. Our original review said, ‘Their intuitive rapport never falters, and, feeding off each other, the sparks they generate meld the fragments into something greater than the sum of their parts.''

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

Helen Charlston (mezzo), Toby Carr (theorbo)

'Charlston shone on this recording, spotlighting Baroque heroines and tragediennes like Boudica, Ariadne and Dido, with gloriously expressive performances in duo with theorbist Toby Carr. Owain Park’s title work proved a hauntingly contemporary take on Baroque themes, making for a cohesive and eloquent programme.'

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

Sandrine Piau (soprano), Les Paladins, Jérôme Correas

'Sandrine Piau unleashed a ‘ferocious vocalism’ in this frankly dazzling selection of Handel’s sorceress-heroine arias. Magic, sparkle, musicality and vulnerability were the order of the day, the French soprano proving why she remains one of the world’s greatest Baroque singers. As the March issue review declared, ‘Handel confections have rarely been more deliciously served.’

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

Chamber

Belcea Quartet, Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)

'Brahms’s lavish masterpieces were given the five-star treatment (quite literally), thanks to the luxury casting here of Tabea Zimmermann, Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Belcea Quartet. Everything about this recording is of the highest quality, from the warm-hearted performances to the excellent sound quality. You couldn’t ask for more.'

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

Abel Selaocoe (cello)

'Cellist/vocalist Abel Selaocoe might be the star of the show in this debut album recording, but his passion for collaboration shone brightly in performances with fellow cellist Yo-Yo Ma, theorbist Elizabeth Kenny and a host of talented musical friends from groups like Chesaba and Manchester Collective.'

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

Instrumental

Peter Jablonski (piano)

'The Polish composer’s energy and focus is more than apparent in this collection of piano compositions, including her Ten Concret Etudes. The whole was showcased with ‘muscular conviction’ by Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski, who brings intelligence and sensitivity to the keyboard in this much-needed survey.'

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

'Levin proved fearless and insightful in this complete survey of Mozart’s piano sonatas, performed on the composer’s own fortepiano. ‘The whole project is a stunner,’ said our review. ‘Without neglecting faithfulness to the letter, Levin prioritises faithfulness to the spirit. This treasurable set may cast crucial light not only on these sonatas, but also on how we consider the very nature of historical performance.’'

Available Formats: 7 CDs, MP3, FLAC

Rachel Podger (violin)

'Violinist Rachel Podger took us on a real voyage of discovery with this fine recording, which sought to unearth the works that inspired JS Bach’s own solo violin jewels. With ‘an explorative sense of excited discovery', Podger proved that instrumental greatness didn’t just begin with Bach.'

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

Newcomer

Abel Selaocoe (cello)

'The mercurial South African musician scores his second nomination here, highlighting what an impact he is making on the classical music world. His easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians was palpable on this debut recording, which showcased his talents as a cellist, vocalist, composer and communicator.'

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

'This long-awaited first studio recording by the Castalian String Quartet did not disappoint. The musicians were perceptive in their programming and mesmerising in their performances. Of the Thomas Adès, our original review said, ‘The quartet handles this mind-boggling complexity with total assurance to unleash a wonderfully wild zeal.’'

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

Æther Sarah Aristidou (soloist), Daniel Barenboim, Christian Rivet, Emmanuel Pahud; Orchester des Wandels, Chor der Klangverwaltung, Thomas Guggeis

'This debut recital recording by the French-Cypriot soprano was acclaimed in our original January 2022 review as ‘a solid triumph’. Aristidou’s formidable vocal ability is to the fore in a rich and often revelatory programme, which included the premiere of Jörg Widmann’s wordless centrepiece, Labyrinth V.'

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

Premiere

Fenella Humphreys (violin)

'Violinist Fenella Humphreys commissioned a handful of the works presented on this glittering celebration of all things Caprice, alongside other premiere recordings and a few Paganini numbers. Humphreys channelled that composer’s virtuosity for a selection we called ‘diverse but surprisingly cohesive.’'

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

Pavel Giunter (percussion), Rokas Vaitkevičius (cello), Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Karolis Variakojis

'These works for string orchestra by the brilliantly talented Lithuanian composer were composed since the onset of the global pandemic. As our August issue review said, Martinaitytė creates ‘vast shimmering soundscapes that lead the mind somewhere dreamlike and seem to speak directly to the body’s senses in arresting and unexpected ways.''

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