Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski has today [Thursday 12 April] received the coveted Recording of the Year award for his inspiring Schumann album, at the 2012 BBC Music Magazine Awards.
Anderszewski, a perfectionist who is still famous for having left the stage at the Leeds Piano Competition when he did not feel he'd played well enough, also won the Instrumental award for his recording, which ranges from the mercurial Humoreske to his own version of the rare Studies for Pedal Piano, and the composer's final, haunting Gesänge der Frühe. Voted for by the public and an expert jury of critics, this recording represents the very best of more than 1,500 albums reviewed by BBC Music Magazine in 2011.
Piotr Anderszewski commented: “I feel very honoured to win this award – it has arrived at a special time for me, as I’m currently taking some time off, and it represents a sort of reconnection with the profession.
“Gesänge der Frühe is very extreme – it took me a lot of thought, work and years until I started to feel I had connected myself to the spirit of this music.”
This year’s winners also include celebrated countertenor Andreas Scholl in the Vocal category, for his beautifully programmed Purcell recital; London-based choir Tenebrae, who received two nominations in the Choral category and take the award for their Victoria Requiem recording; and the Jerusalem Quartet, who win their third Chamber award for an album of Mozart Quartets. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet picks up the Orchestral award this year with Yan-Pascal Tortelier for Ravel’s Piano Concertos; while René Jacobs wins his second award in the Opera category for his new reconstruction of Handel's Agrippina with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
The first-ever DVD to win by public vote is a live film of Claudio Abbado conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, triumphing over two opera productions in the performance category.
Jury awards go to exciting young Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi (Newcomer of the Year), Paul McCreesh for his recording of Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts (Technical Excellence), and Peter Raymont’s film Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (DVD Documentary). The Premiere Recording award goes to Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Night’s Black Bird and The Shadow of Night, conducted by up-and-coming talent Ryan Wigglesworth with the Hallé Orchestra.
Oliver Condy, Editor of BBC Music Magazine, said: “This year’s winning recordings are all essential additions to everyone’s library, but what strikes me is just how much dedication and passion has gone into each and every one. From Piotr Anderszewski’s years spent honing piano repertoire before entering the studio, through to hundreds of singers sourced for our winning Technical Excellence recording, it’s clear that musicians and record producers are engaging their audiences more and more.”
The BBC Music Magazine Awards are the only classical music awards in which the main categories are voted for by the public. The magazine’s website received more than 42,000 votes to select the winners in each of the seven categories: Orchestral, Choral, Vocal, Opera, Chamber, Instrumental and DVD Performance. An expert jury selected winners in the remaining categories.
The 2012 BBC Music Magazine Awards will be presented tomorrow, 12 April, at an exclusive Awards ceremony at Kings Place, London. The Awards will be hosted by Oliver Condy and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme presenter James Naughtie, and attended by artists and representatives from across the classical music industry. Performers will include Andreas Scholl, Tenebrae and Francesco Piemontesi, while presenters include legendary pianist Alfred Brendel, Radio 3 presenter Suzy Klein, jazz pianist Julian Joseph and composer and broadcaster Sir Michael Berkeley.
The winners of the 2012 Awards feature in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine, on sale 13 April 2012.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE AWARDS 2012 WINNERS
RECORDING OF THE YEAR & INSTRUMENTAL AWARD
• Piotr Anderszewski
Schumann: Humoreske; Studies for Pedal Piano (Virgin Classics)
'Anderszewski proves to be utterly compelling and persuasive, teasing out an astonishing range of colours throughout.’
• Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier
Debussy: Fantaisie; Ravel: Piano Concertos (Chandos)
‘A dazzling palette of colours; magical tone and impeccable phrasing; sensitivity to every mood combined with an unerring instinct for Ravel’s finely-turned forms.’
• Alexandrina Pendatchanska (Agrippina); Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs
Handel: Agrippina (Harmonia Mundi)
‘Agrippina herself is a manipulative monster… and a performance as thrillingly realised as this from René Jacobs and his outstanding cast proves the dramatic worth of the original score.’
• Tenebrae/Nigel Short
Victoria: Requiem Mass, 1605; Lobo: Lamentations (Signum Records)
‘Tenebrae seem to have everything – deep musical insight, technical finesse and an utterly mesmerising balance and poise.’
• Andreas Scholl with Accademia Bizantina
Purcell: O Solitude! (Decca Classics)
‘It might be a new Golden Age of the countertenor, but few can equal the sheer beauty of tone and dramatic instinct displayed by Andreas Scholl.’
• Jerusalem String Quartet
Mozart: String Quartets K.157, 458 & 589 (Harmonia Mundi)
‘I defy anyone not to find something new in these scintillating performances. From the opening bars we are in the midst of a riveting conversation…’
• Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado
Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Accentus Music)
‘The three-minute silence between the final, ineluctably slow and soft bars of the Adagio and the storm of audience applause says it all…’
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
• Francesco Piemontesi
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24
Liszt Vallée D’Obermann; Handel: Suite in B, HWV 434
‘Clarity of thought is complemented by clarity of touch, incisive intellect by a good dose of fantasy… this is seriously classy pianism.’
AWARD FOR TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE IN RECORDING
Grande Messe des Morts
Gabrieli Players & Consort; Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus; Ensemble Wroclaw; Chetham’s School of Music Symphonic Brass Ensemble/Paul McCreesh
‘McCreesh recognises that Berlioz sought more than mere noisy grandeur and the results are fascinating. The Tuba Mirum is simply awesome, while other parts have a Renaissance-like transparency.’
AWARD FOR PREMIERE
Night’s Black Bird; The Shadow of Night; The Cry of Anubis
Owen Slade (tuba); The Hallé/Ryan Wigglesworth
‘Grim but beautiful nocturnes, full of poignant menace; Ryan Wigglesworth and the Hallé give performances of amazing concentration, accuracy and passion.’
AWARD FOR DVD (DOCUMENTARY)
• Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Could
A film by Michèle Hozer & Peter Raymont
(Drakes Avenue Pictures)
‘This lovely film serves to humanise Gould, reverently demythologising a man whose musical example remains provocative, inspiring and utterly unique.’
For further information, photos and MP3 samples of any of the nominated recordings, please contact:
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NOTES TO EDITORS
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2012 Jury
Hilary Finch - Music critic, The Times
Anthony Pryer - Lecturer in aesthetics and musical historiography at Goldsmith’s College, London
Eric Levi - Reader in Music and Director of Performance at Royal Holloway, London
Calum Macdonald - Editor of Tempo
Andrew McGregor - Presenter, CD Review – BBC Radio 3
Helen Wallace (Chair) - Consultant editor, BBC Music Magazine
Oliver Condy - Editor, BBC Music Magazine
Rebecca Franks - Reviews editor, BBC Music Magazine