Tuesday, 19 February 2019

BBC Music Magazine Awards : Vocal

It's hard to take the BBC Music Magazine Awards nominations seriously.  Out of "nearly 200" discs chosen, three in each category.  But how can anyone really compare Adam Fischer's Mahler 1 with Currentzis's Tchaikovsky 6 or Peter Oundjian's John Adams ? Or Opera Rara's Semiramide with  the Early Opera Company's Acis and Galatea with John Adams Dr Atomic ? There is, however, no obvious bias for the choices in the Vocal Category, but art song isn't populist, so goodness knows what the logic is.

The three Vocal choices:

Schumann and Mahler Lieder : Florian Boesch Malcolm Martineau, sensitively performed with insights into different forms of Lieder.  Among the best on record of Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, which is saying something in a crowded field.  Please read my review HERE

Mirages : Sabine Devielhe with Alexandre Tharaud and Les Siècles conducted by François-Xavier Roth - French Orientalism - selections from the Belle Epoch and Maurice Delage's Quatre Poėmes hindous. Please see my review HERE.

Enfer : Stéphane Degout,  Raphael Pichon, Pygmalion -  a Mass for the Underworld, comprised of excerpts from Rameau and Gluck, featuring seriously Bad Guys from the Baroque, brilliantly put together theme by theme,  parodying a sacred Mass.  Shocking, though this was apparently done in baroque times.  Fabulously flamboyant performances, showing how powerful and edgy HIP can be.  I haven't reviewed this but have been listening to it for months

How do you choose between these three ? Mirages is a good debut album, and Boesch's Schumann and Mahler an essential addition to the discography.  But Dégout's Enfer is more than great performance.  Conceptually, it's in a whole new world (pun intended) and shakes up preconceptions about period performance. This one's in a league of its own.  Deserves an award in its own category ! 

No comments: