There are some recordings that take time to enter the bloodstream, their hold on you increasing with every listen. But there are some that grab from the opening bar, their music and our ears meeting across a proverbial crowded room.
Our Recording of the Year is one such ‘love at first listen’, its opening track, the relatively unfamiliar Prelude and Fughetta in G, BWV 902 gaining instant-hit status under the fingers of pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. Ólafsson’s secret to the album’s success is to adopt a style of playing that stands at the midpoint between objective performance and free interpretation, an approach that gives the impression of standing aside and letting the humanity of the music shine through, uninterrupted. Everyone, he tells me, has their own Bach – and that’s a truth that makes the universal appeal of this extraordinary recording all the more impressive.
We’re excited to reveal the winners of the BBC Music Magazine Awards – all recordings you really must hear. It’s a gladdening thought that potential winners for next year’s awards have already been released, and we’re not yet halfway through 2019.
Talking of recordings: we’re very proud to present as our cover CD this issue a ravishing disc of hymns, songs and anthems performed by 2018’s winners of Radio 2’s Young Choristers of the Year. I do hope you enjoy it.