Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) have won Recording of the Year at this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards for their glorious recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Nos 1, 2 and 5.
It’s a triumphant celebration of ten years since Petrenko became the youngest ever principal conductor in the Liverpool ensemble’s history, and an affirmation of a brilliant musical partnership. The disc, recorded by Onyx Classics, won the public vote and Orchestral Award before topping the jury vote to be crowned the best recording of 2016.
‘It’s great recognition for the orchestra and I’m very grateful to everyone who participated in the Tchaikovsky project,’ Petrenko told BBC Music Magazine in an interview published in the May issue. ‘I would also like to give my gratitude to everyone who voted for us and to everyone who has already got the CD. And if they haven’t yet, then they are in for a treat!’
The winning album, the first in a two-disc Tchaikovsky series, features brilliantly fresh performances of the rarely played Winter Daydreams (No. 1) and Little Russian (No. 2) symphonies, as well as an exhilarating account of one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular works, the Fifth Symphony. It proved to be a winning cominbation.
‘The string sound is beautifully warm, the wind playing pungent, and the symphonies superbly shaped and paced,’ said the Awards Jury. ‘There’s idiomatic Slavonic fire and passion here without an ounce of flab.’
‘Tchaikovsky is not just the cry of emotions. He was a philosopher,’ says Petrenko. ‘He had a lot of thoughts about the fate of Russia and about his own fate. I’m very glad that this orchestra and the audience here recognised him as a thinker. It’s a very special feeling to play this music in Liverpool.’