We are delighted that Helen Charlston’s album Battle Cry: She Speaks with lutenist Toby Carr on Delphian has won the public vote for BBC Music Magazine's Vocal Award. This is her second album, which follows The Isolation Songbook released in 2021 - a set of 15 newly commissioned songs and duets written during lockdown as a musical response to the changing world in which we found ourselves.
Battle Cry's selection of modern and seventeenth-century works aim to revisit but also to re-balance the obsession of earlier music with female abandonment and lament. The stories of women such as Dido and Ariadne have been told and retold throughout history, and Helen reconsiders the assumed helplessness of those often seen as being left behind by male adventure and success. The album includes a recent commissioned work by composer Owain Park, which explores new possibilities for an instrumental pairing – that of voice and theorbo – which remains little explored in contemporary music. As a treat for the audience, Helen performed yesterday evening with Toby at the awards ceremony.