April 06, 2016

Warner Classics claims four BBC Music Awards including Recording of the Year

Pappano's Aïda wins BBC Music Magazine's Recording of the Year & Best Opera; Philippe Jaroussky honoured, and more.

Warner Classics and Erato has taken four of the eleven prizes in the 2016 BBC Music Magazine Awards, it was revealed last night in a ceremony at Kings Place in London. 

The coveted Album of the Year award went to Warner Classics' monumental 3CD studio recording of Verdi's grand opera Aïda. With maestro Antonio Pappano directing vast orchestral and choral forces alongside an all-star cast (Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier), this is the latest in a string of impressive accolades for this milestone release. Baritone Ludovic Tézier, who sang Amonasro, and record producer Stephen Johns accepted the award at last night's ceremony.

This superlative recording was made in the studio in Rome with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – just when the days of large-scale opera studio recordings were believed to be a thing of the past.

"Several things came together in this recording," Sir Antonio told BBC Music Magazine: "Right place, right time, right singers, right conductor, right orchestra and chorus, right hall."

Aïda also took the Opera Award. "Sir Antonio Pappano knows his Verdi – as is in evidence in a performance of the Italian’s Egypt-inspired opera that is as musically brilliant as it is dramatically convincing. The orchestral playing is scintillating, the starry soloists utterly sublime," opined BBC Music Magazine.

From the colossal grandeur of Aïda to the intimacy of French poetry in song: the Vocal Award went to French counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky for Greenhis double album of Verlaine-inspired mélodies on Erato.

Accepting the award in person, Jaroussky said it was a true pleasure to have been able to sing this repertoire, rarely associated with the counter-tenor voice.

The DVD Award went to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées' stylish, searingly intense production of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites on Erato. The opera singer Rosalind Plowright collected the award on behalf of the creative team and castmates including Patricia Petibon, Sophie Koch, Véronique Gens and Sandrine Piau.

“The visionary who decided to mount Poulenc’s opera was Michel Franck, who, four years before secured the services of the four best French opera stars with the dream to have them all on one stage at one time in a French opera in Paris. Olivier Py’s outstanding production deserves this recognition”

The winners of the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016 were announced at an exclusive Awards ceremony at Kings Place, London. The Awards were hosted by Oliver Condy and BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie, and attended by artists and representatives from across the classical music industry, as well as BBC Music Magazine readers.

The winners of the 2016 Awards have also been published in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine, on sale today. The winning albums are available now on iTunes in the Mastered for iTunes format and a special BBC Music Magazine curator playlist is available at Apple Music.