Diapason d’or de l’année 2018 revealed

Many congratulations to Murray Perahia, Vilde Frang and Deborah Warner, who each received a Diapason d’or de l’année 2018 at the annual awards ceremony last night, broadcast on France Musique.

Murray Perahia received the Piano Award for his recording of Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 29 & 14 on Deutsche Grammophon. Released in February 2018, the recording was selected as Recording of the Month by both Gramophone and BBC Music magazines, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Gramophone Awards.

“The pulse of the Scherzo is rigorously even, but it has explosive energy; the sheer precisions of the articulation in the finale is a pleasure, as he takes us boldly through its labyrinth of furiously contending ideas … Perahia’s account of the Moonlight Sonata is no less exemplary. He brings out the grave poetry of the Adagio, presents a relaxed and conversational Allegretto, and the finale has charm, rather than the facetious excitement with which many pianists imbue it.” ★★★★★ BBC Music Magazine

Vilde Frang took home the Concerto Award for her recording of Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1 with Mikko Franck and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, released in September 2018. The album also features Enescu’s Octet, for which Vilde collaborated with an impressive line-up of performers: Erik Schumann, Gabriel Le Magadure, Roseanne Philippens, Lawrence Power, Lily Francis, Nicolas Altstaedt and Jan-Erik Gustavsson.

Last night’s honour continues an extremely successful recording career for Vilde, an exclusive Warner Classics artist who has won several awards for previous recordings: Gramophone Award, Edison Klassiek Award, Classic BRIT Award, Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and Echo Klassik Award.

“[In Bartok’s First Violin Concerto] Frang rises to its passionate lyricism and dazzles in partnership with Mikko Franck and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.” BBC Music Magazine

Following a 2018 International Opera Award for the live performances at Teatro Real Madrid, Deborah Warner received the Diapason d’Or de l’année Opera Award for the DVD release of her production of Billy Budd. Filmed live at Teatro Real, the DVD stars Toby Spence as Edward Fairfax Vere, Brindley Sherratt as John Claggart, David Soar as Mr Flint, and Duncan Rock as Donald. Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra of Teatro Real.

The “masterful” (Opera News) production has also been performed at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and will make its UK debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, with original cast-members Toby Spence, Brindley Sherratt, David Soar and Duncan Rock will reprise the roles they created in Madrid, alongside Jette Parker Young Artist and AH Rising Star Dominic Sedgwick.

The Archive Award went to Warner Classics’ 33-CD set of the complete works of Claude Debussy. The box set includes performances by Emmanuel Pahud (Syrinx for solo flute) and Sir Simon Rattle (Images for orchestra with the CBSO), as well as performances by Debussy himself.

“The Debussy centenary begins with a fanfare. Warner plumbs the depths of his entire oeuvre on 33 CDs: adding to the cult scores (and versions) a second half of rarities and never-before-recorded marvels. A gold mine!” Diapason

Listen to the full broadcast of the ceremony on France Musique here.

View full list of winners here.

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