BBC Music Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Once ev­ery so of­ten, a record­ing will have an in­stant, pro­found ef­fect. Lis­ten­ing to our Record­ing of the Year at the end of 2016, I had a strong feel­ing that it would be, at the very least, short­listed for an award. And so it proved. The clar­ity of the sound, the pas­sion of the mu­si­cian­ship, the arc of the sym­phonic nar­ra­tive: Tchaikovsky’s Sym­phony No. 5 has rarely sounded so thrillingly alive, its tri­umphant end­ing so de­fi­ant. It’s a won­der­ful tes­ta­ment to the work that Vasily Pe­trenko and his Liver­pool play­ers have put into their orches­tra since the Rus­sian joined them al­most ex­actly ten years ago.

The BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine Awards, now in their 12th year, shine a spot­light on a record in­dus­try that serves a vi­tal role in giv­ing us all ac­cess to new and es­tab­lished tal­ent – per­form­ers and com­posers. With­out record­ings, vast swathes of mu­sic lovers in ar­eas un­served by live mu­sic would have lit­tle or no knowl­edge of the ex­cit­ing, in­no­va­tive mu­sic projects and pro­grammes that many en­sem­bles and soloists trans­fer from the stage to the stu­dio. And it’s thrilling that world-class record­ings are now just as likely to emerge from small in­de­pen­dent la­bels as they are from the ma­jors, with the ef­fect that most of the tra­di­tional ma­jor la­bels now adopt the cre­ative mind­sets and pro­cesses of their smaller com­peti­tors. The re­sult is a record­ing in­dus­try that takes risks be­cause it can – be­cause there is less to lose. I do hope you not only en­joy our awards cov­er­age this year, but that you rel­ish the mu­si­cal jour­ney that each of our win­ners in­vites you to em­bark upon.

Whether you’re a hard­ened Mahle­rian or just start­ing to dip your toes in the com­poser’s mu­sic (or some­where in be­tween!) our two-part cel­e­bra­tion of his sym­phonies this is­sue (p22) is a fas­ci­nat­ing and il­lu­mi­nat­ing guide to their in­tri­ca­cies and of­ten baf­flingly wide in­flu­ences. And so with your in­ter­est in these mas­ter­pieces re­newed, you’ll no doubt want to seek out the finest record­ings of each one. You need look no fur­ther than p24…

Tchaikovsky’s Sym­phony No. 5 has rarely sounded so thrillingly alive

Oliver Condy Ed­i­tor

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