BBC Music Magazine
The BBC Music Magazine team’s current favourites
Oliver Condy Editor
The stress of presenting the BBC Music Magazine Awards on stage is always offset by being able to sit so close to the performers as they play.
This year, watching Víkingur Ólafsson delight us all with a Bach transcription was a genuine education; seamless finger substitution went hand-in-hand with beautifully judged pedalling to produce the most magical legato. A lesson for all of us keyboard players!
Jeremy Pound Deputy editor
One of my favourite classical music anecdotes is how Holst used to walk from Cheltenham to London, scaring the bejeezus out of the local livestock by practising his trombone as he went. Making the same journey recently, but by train not foot, I paid homage to the great man with the Ulster Orchestra’s recording of his charming Cotswolds Symphony as I travelled. The cows that we passed all looked very relaxed.
Rebecca Franks Managing editor
Though a sunny Sunday afternoon wasn’t the ideal time to dive into a gloomy cinema to watch one of opera’s darker offerings, I came away glad that I had taken the plunge. I won’t soon forget the wonderful singing of the cast in Verdi’s La forza del Destino, broadcast from the Royal Opera House. Soprano Anna Netrebko, tenor Jonas Kaufmann and baritone Ludovic Tézier gave their absolute all.
Michael Beek Reviews editor
I popped over to the V&A Museum of Childhood to toast the 30th birthday of NMC Recordings recently. The contemporary music label put on a fine show, with performances of new works for young violin students by Michael Berkeley, Daniel Kidane and Kate Whitley. But even more than those, I enjoyed the performance by violinist Eloisa-fleur Thom of Edmund Finnis’s hypnotic piece Elsewhere.
Freya Parr Editorial assistant
I’ve enjoyed a month of superb work by female writers both on stage and screen, all enhanced by some special scores. The Kyrie theme from Fleabag by Isobel Waller-bridge has been permanently lodged in my brain since the programme’s explosive second and final series finished, and the National Theatre’s recent performance of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls had me floored. Its score by young composer Cassie Kinoshi was a perfectly judged accompaniment.