7 years ago

About BBC Music Magazine  BBC Music Magazine is the world’s best-selling classical music monthly. Covering all aspects of live events, broadcast and recordings, each issue carries a complete BBC work and provides a comprehensive and expert guide to classical music. BBC Music Magazine has a monthly circulation of 40,958 (ABC Jan-Dec 2013).


Voting open at from

Friday 17 January – 28 February 2014

Voting for the ninth annual BBC Music Magazine Awards, the only classical music awards in which the main categories are voted for by the public, will open on Friday 17 January on the BBC Music Magazine website. This year’s shortlist represents the very best of more than 1,300 recordings reviewed by BBC Music Magazine, the world’s best-selling classical music monthly, in 2013, and features leading names from the international classical music world.

BBC Music Magazine’s Editor Oliver Condy says:

“From ravishing Wagner to captivating Britten, this year’s nominations are as fascinating and enticing as ever – and the artistry is as exceptional as it’s ever been.”

This year the new category of Concerto has been introduced in response to the volume of high quality performances. Three outstanding female instrumentalists have risen to the top: Isabelle Faust with Bartók’s Violin Concertos, Alisa Weilerstein with Elgar’s Cello Concerto and violist Tabea Zimmermann playing Hindemith. 

Composer anniversaries have made their mark, with Benjamin Britten represented in three recordings, his War Requiem, plus the operas The Rape of Lucretia and Peter Grimes from the ‘Grimes on Beach’ project at the Aldeburgh Festival. The Vocal category is dominated by men, with Christopher Purves singing Handel, tenor Jonas Kaufmann performing Wagner and Matthias Goerne shedding new light on 20th-century Austrian composer Hanns Eisler.

The Choral category features only 20th- and 21st-century works, including two exciting premiere recordings by Petrassi and Arvo Pärt. Exquisite performances of Baroque music on period instruments include Rachel Podger’s Guardian Angel disc, Bach’s English Suites performed by Richard Egarr and Couperin’s Suites for viola da gamba by Paolo Pandolfo.

A surprise hit in the Orchestral category is the São Paolo Symphony’s performance of Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony under Frank Shipway which will go head-to-head with Edward Gardner’s Szymanowski disc with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly’s Brahms Symphony cycle with the Gewandhaus Orchestra.   

Recordings in seven categories including Orchestral, Concerto, Opera, Choral and Instrumental, will be presented for public voting, which will run from 17 January to 28 February on the BBC Music Magazine website, Audio excerpts from each of the recordings will be available on the site to help voters choose their favourites, and all voters will be entered into a draw to win a Cambridge Audio hi-fi worth £900, a Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 speaker worth £430, plus a copy of each of the nominated recordings.

The winners of the BBC Music Magazine Awards will be announced at an exclusive awards ceremony held on 8 April 2014 at Kings Place, London. In addition to the voted awards, there are four Jury Awards: Recording of the Year, Premiere Recording, Best Newcomer and Best DVD. This year’s jury was made up of a quartet of leading music critics, with Andrew McGregor, presenter of CD Review on BBC Radio 3, BBC Music Magazine editor Oliver Condy, consultant editor Helen Wallace and reviews editor Rebecca Franks.



Leipzig Gewandhaus/Riccardo Chailly

Brahms: Symphonies 1-4 etc. (Decca)
‘Chailly combines fiery athleticism with the warmly blended tonalities of the wonderful Leipzig orchestra. The results tingle with immediacy and a pulsating sense of momentum’

BBC Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner

Szymanowski Symphonies (Chandos)

‘Edward Gardner shows again that he has become one of the finest interpreters of Szymanowksi – right across the composer’s distinct stylistic periods.’

São Paolo Symphony Orchestra/Frank Shipway

Strauss: Alpine Symphony (BIS)

‘A blistering, no-holds-barred account of Strauss’s musical mountain-climb… celebrating the red-hot playing of the rapidly emerging Brazilian orchestra, and, not least, Frank Shipway – an unsung hero of British conducting.’


Richard Egarr (harpsichord)

Bach: English Suites (Harmonia Mundi)

‘Egarr coaxes remarkable, expressive sounds from the harpsichord. The dances are exemplary from the “demons” gigue to a languid, spontaneous-sounding Sarabande.’

Rachel Podger (violin)

Guardian Angel: works by Bach, Biber, Tartini, Pisendel (Channel Classics)
‘Surrender yourself to the ingenuity of Bach, Pisendel, Biber and Tartini in the hands of someone who speaks their language as effortlessly and fluently as you could wish.’

Arcadi Volodos (piano)

Mompou: piano works (Sony)

‘With his velvet piano sound, consummate musicianship and visionary belief in Mompou’s neglected piano music, Volodos has made one of 2013’s most unforgettable discs. Beautifully recorded, each piece on this impeccable programme is a highlight.’


Isabelle Faust (violin) Swedish Radio Philharmonic/Daniel Harding

Bartók: Violin Concertos No. 1&2  (Harmonia Mundi)

‘Faust’s affinity with Bartók has never been in doubt, and this only affirms it further. Together with Daniel Harding, she is equally compelling in moments of fragile intensity and rampaging volatility: this recording stands proudly in her distinguished discography.’

Alisa Weilerstein (cello) Staatskappelle/Daniel Barenboim

Elgar/Carter: Cello Concertos (Decca)

‘Tonally burnished, technically startling, ripely emotional – it’s been years since a new recording of Elgar’s great concerto made this kind of visceral impact. The Carter is commandingly astringent: a magnificent concerto debut from the young American.’

Tabea Zimmermann (viola) Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Hans Graf

Hindemith: Complete Viola Works (Myrios)
‘Hindemith has found a superb advocate in Tabea Zimmermann. Her gorgeously woody tone and intelligent, characterful playing are ideal in this fascinating programme.’


Quatuor Ebène

Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn – Quartets (ERATO)
‘The impassioned playing of the Ebène Quartet bring the works of the Mendelssohn siblings leaping off the page to intense effect. Felix’s late masterpiece benefits as much as Fanny’s neglected but remarkable quartet does from their compelling advocacy.’

Augustin Dumay (violin) & Louis Lortie (piano)

Franck & Strauss Violin Sonatas (Onyx)

‘Two great artists at the height of their powers, perfectly balanced, their gentle, unforced approach producing a sound of exquisite allure… feline grace and slow-burning passion.’

Paolo Pandolfo, Amelie Chemin (viola da gamba), Thomas Boysen (theorbo and Baroque guitar), Markus Hüninger (harpsichord)

Couperin – Pièces de Viole (Glossa)

‘Pandolfo is master of creating richly decorated music from Couperin’s skeletal scores. Barely a note lacks nuance of bowing or an ornamental figure, yet never at the expense of purposefully flowing lines. A superbly recorded disc.’


Matthias Goerne (baritone), Thomas Larcher, Ensemble Resonanz (piano)

Eisler: Ernste Gesänge & other Lieder etc (Harmonia Mundi)
‘This disc is a revelation, with an astonishing range of texture and style. Goerne is sensitive to every expressive nuance of the Austrian’s most intimate writing.’

Jonas Kaufman (tenor), Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles

Wagner: from Lohengrin, Die Walkure, Tannhauser; Wesendonck Lieder (Decca)

‘No other Heldentenor can touch Kaufman in this repertoire: radiance, refinement and expressive eloquence mark out these magnificent performances of narrations and lieder.’

Christopher Purves (baritone) Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen
Handel’s Finest Arias for Base Voice (Hyperion)

‘As villainous king, emperor in love, to a god falling asleep, Purves demonstrates remarkable dramatic versatility and superb vocal facility in every one of his 15 roles.’   


Gabrieli Consort & Players; Wroclaw Phil. Choir, New College trebles, John-Mark Ainsley, Christopher Maltman, Susan Gritton/Paul McCreesh

Britten: War Requiem (Winged Lion/Signum)

‘Intensely focused singing (glinting with young voices), a dramatically persuasive performance, and a gloriously immersive recording. Profoundly moving.’

Estonian Philharmonic Choir, Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis/ Tonu Kaljuste

Pärt: Adam’s Lament (ECM)
‘Lovingly overseen by the composer himself, these luminous recordings are rich in atmosphere, emotional intensity and textures you can reach out and touch.’

Sabina Cvilak, Chorus & Orchestra of Teatro Regio Torino/Gianandrea Noseda Petrassi: Magnificat; Salmo IX (Chandos)

‘Chandos’s excellent series of 20th century Italian music reaches the fascinating and under-appreciated figure of Goffredo Petrassi, Italy’s answer to Stravinsky… Noseda’s performances are ideally invigorating and splendidly recorded.’ 


Britten: The Rape of Lucretia (ERATO)

Ian Bostridge, Susan Gritton, Christopher Purves, Angelika Kirschlager, Claire Booth, Peter Coleman-Wright, Hilary Summers etc Aldeburgh Ensemble/Knussen

‘This outstanding recording, masterminded by Knussen, makes a compelling new case for neglected opera. Each voice delivers a searing, indelible performance, captured live.’

Alan Oke, Giselle Allen, David Kempster, Catherine Wyn-Rogers etc, Chorus of Opera North, Guildhall School of Music, Britten-Pears Orchestra /Steuart Bedford

Britten: Peter Grimes (Signum)

‘Recorded live in conjunction with the Grimes on the Beach project in Aldeburgh, these recordings have a storm-tossed, salty tang about them… A totally gripping issue.’

Christian Gerhaher (baritone)

Romantic Arias: Schubert, Schumann, Nicolai, Wagner (Sony)

‘This CD was clearly a labour of love for Gerhaher, and this quality shines out through each aria… offering a window into his exceptional sensitivity and rare, rapt perfectionism.’ 

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