There’s no denying, 2018 has been a good year for the big labels. Where the last two years have been dominated by more boutique fare – with the Heath Quartet’s Bartók cycle on Harmonia Mundi winning in 2017 and Stephen Layton’s Howells carrying off the laurels on Hyperion the previous year – this year saw the big guns fight back thanks to some extraordinary artists delivering gripping interpretations of core repertoire. Nevertheless, although centenary-celebrating Debussy features in our final five, along with the ever-popular Wolfgang Amadeus, the other three winners are more off the beaten track and include at least one ‘contemporary’ work, reflecting, we hope, the more adventurous tastes of Limelight readers. It’s also worth noting a pair of ABC Classics discs among the runners-up, one of which came very close indeed to carrying off the Instrumental Award. Looking back across the 100 discs that made the long list, it’s good for the industry to see 34 labels represented with one in 10 recordings coming out of Australia. It’s also good to see 11 recordings of music by living composers, though only one made it through to the final 25. And now, read on…

The Winners…

Orchestral Recording of the Year 2018

Chamber Recording of the Year 2018

Instrumental Recording of the Year 2018

Vocal Recording of the Year 2018

Opera Recording of the Year 2018

The Limelight Recording of the Year 2018

Recording of the Year, Limelight

Two Takes on a Russian Life

“This is a great honour. I am very excited that the genius music of Shostakovich’s Fourth and Eleventh Symphonies has received such special recognition, and I am also very proud of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as the brilliant recording team. I am very happy that listeners around the world – including Australia – are moved by Shostakovich’s works.” Andris Nelsons

“While Nelsons’ reading of the Fourth has convinced me of its greatness, his account of the Eleventh might convert those who scoff at this greatest score in search of a film. An outstanding issue in what is turning out to be a fine modern cycle.” Warwick Arnold

Read our review here

Read our interview with Andris Nelsons here