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Offline Brewski

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"Best of 2008" Lists
« on: December 19, 2008, 09:03:26 AM »
Reports are starting to come in on the "Best Recordings of 2008," and here is an interesting compilation from Jens F. Laurson on Ionarts.

Feel free to post additional lists here.

--Bruce
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 11:29:14 AM by bhodges »
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Offline knight66

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 01:38:48 AM »
Bruce, Thanks for that link, I enjoyed reading through it. None of my own hits from the year there. However, the Prokofiev box sounds like it is a winner and it is nice to read unqualified praise for Jarvi Snr for a change.

Mike
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jlaurson

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 01:53:49 PM »
None of my own hits from the year there.

Do share... what most tickled your fancy this year?

Cheers,

jfl

(http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-recordings-of-2008.html)

Offline knight66

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 02:28:39 PM »
Well, I tend to specialise in vocal discs. In no particular order.

The new Halle Dream of Gerontius conducted by Elder. I have reviewed it on the 20th Cent choral thread.

David Daniels singing Bach, reviewed on the vocal recital thread.

Nielsen Alladin suite on Naxos, fun music, highly crafted.

Goligov; the songs and chamber piece from his disc Oceana, but not the title piece.

Mozart Magic Flute in English conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, beautifully paced and sung.

Karajan: the EMI vocal set of 71 discs. So many famous recordings; I am months later still mining it.

Mike
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Offline Brian

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 02:43:07 PM »
ClassicsToday have chosen their top ten, which has a decidedly French flavor (Roussel, Debussy, Alkan, Saint-Saens, Bizet, and an album from pianist Alexandre Tharaud, among other things...). As for my own "Best" list - well, here are my five favorites (alphabetical by composer):



ANTILL | Corroboree
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
James Judd / Naxos


A stunning, exuberant Australian ballet receives its first recording in decades - maybe the first complete recording ever? But what fun it is! This is a minor masterpiece in the gloriously zany tradition of Revueltas and Australian Aboriginal folk music, complete with a humongous percussion arsenal and a bull-roarer, an instrument which plays a major part in the final climax and which sounds like, well, an extremely angry cow. This is fun music, big music, crazy music, a tremendous brew of diverse influences given one of the most thrilling orchestral performances I've ever heard, in dry acoustics that let every instrument be heard. As intriguing a listen (if you don't take it too seriously) as it is an important discovery. Probably my favorite CD all year. Pity that the "Aboriginal art" on the CD's cover is so obviously fake.




BRAHMS | Symphony No 4, Hungarian Dances (selections)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Marek Janowski / Pentatone


Given the excellence of Janowski's Brahms cycle so far, it's no surprise that this is a terrific Fourth: thrilling first movement, perfectly-paced slow movement, cheery scherzo, and a finale with all the appropriate emoting. Strong momentum and phenomenal playing from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; the incredible audio - whether you listen in SACD or regular - is just icing on the cake. But there's more icing, too, actually: in contrast to Marin Alsop's recent coupling of the Brahms Fourth to a clutch of Hungarian Dances, here Janowski makes the programming choice sound sensible. In fact, these are delightful performances of the dances (those orchestrated by Brahms and Dvorak, to be exact). I'm very glad to have them! Incidentally, the Pittsburgh/Janowski recording of Brahms' Second and Third Symphonies also came out this year, and if I expanded this top five to, say, a top six, it would also be on the list.




CHOPIN | Preludes
Alexandre Tharaud / harmonia mundi

Like the Oscars, this isn't really so much a vote for this disc as a vote for Alexandre Tharaud, a superb young pianist with great lyrical tone and a healthy fondness for mixing Chopin with Mompou on disc and in recital. This is a beautiful CD for sure, although I thought the fourth prelude came across rather "fake"; if I'd heard Tharaud and Jean-Guihen Queyras' collaboration on the Debussy and Poulenc cello sonatas, though, that would probably be in this spot instead.




KARLOWICZ | Symphonic Poems, Volume 1
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit / Naxos


Two big discoveries for me here: the tone poem "Episode at a Masquerade," which covers just about every emotion in the late-romantic gamut, opening with some delightfully exuberant orchestral partying and closing in sorrow, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, which plays all of this music with a hugely appealing, utterly unique sound. Great woodwinds, great ensemble playing, and some intriguing music in the Straussian mode. I can't wait to hear this orchestra in more music - perhaps in Volume 2 of this series, which I've yet to pick up...




TCHAIKOVSKY | Symphony No 6
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach / Ondine


Rejoice! The Philadelphia Orchestra is still resplendent in this music! Eschenbach leads a rather "conservative" performance, choosing not to go the white-hot route of excited interpreters like Gatti and turning in a Pathetique that hits the 50-minute mark. But it's powerful just the same, and the Philadelphia Orchestra is simply great. I don't know how many times I've listened to this CD since I bought it a few months ago, but it's plenty, certainly. (Also an SACD hybrid - and the sound is as excellent as you'd expect from Ondine and from this late a date.)

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
BRAHMS | Symphonies 2 and 3 (Pittsburgh SO / Janowski / Pentatone)
BRAHMS (arr. JOACHIM) | Hungarian Dances for Violin and Piano (Hagai Shaham / Arnon Erez / Hyperion)
FIESTA | Latin American Classics (Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela / Gustavo Dudamel / Deutsche Grammophon)
GRIEG | The Complete Orchestral Music (Bergen PO / Ole Kristian Ruud / BIS re-release)
LANGGAARD | Symphony No 1, "Mountain Pastorals" (Danish National SO / Thomas Dausgaard / Dacapo)

I agree with Mr Laurson's citation of the Langgaard Symphony No 1 on Dacapo; a good time was had by all, both performers and listeners, in the making of that disc.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 02:52:10 PM by Brian »

Drasko

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 03:23:07 PM »
here is an interesting compilation from Jens F. Laurson on Ionarts.

In the end I’ll have to go with Böhm, whose sparse Bruckner discography contains only the Fourth (on Decca – a reference recording, also), the Seventh (trice), and the Eighth (also trice) of which this recording the finest Seventh.

and 3rd with VPO, also on Decca, was coupled with 4th on Double Decca, possibly still available.

jlaurson

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 05:11:36 PM »
here is an interesting compilation from Jens F. Laurson on Ionarts.


In the end I’ll have to go with Böhm, whose sparse Bruckner discography contains only the Fourth (on Decca – a reference recording, also), the Seventh (trice), and the Eighth (also trice) of which this recording the finest Seventh.

and 3rd with VPO, also on Decca, was coupled with 4th on Double Decca, possibly still available.

Thanks for the correction!

There were so many recordings in the end, I had to cheat and expand my list.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-recordings-of-2008-almost-list.html

Strangely enough, the Tharaud Preludes didn't even make that list, although I love the pianist. (He had been my top choice in 2006 and in 2005.
And in 2007 he was included, too.)

Daniels' Bach disappointed me - live and on CD. The Cantata bits are more pleasing than the parts from the Passion(s), but ultimately I'll go back to Daniels only for Handel, not Bach.

I do like the ClassicsToday choices - although three of those discs I haven't heard yet.

Offline Sorin Eushayson

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 06:22:40 PM »
Here are a few of my picks...



A passionate performance from Spering and Das Neue Orchester.



Clear and transparent sonorities lend themselves to the power of these works.  The '6th' piano concerto is finally given the attention it deserves, unfortunately without its trademark cadenza.

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2008, 03:47:32 AM »
Sarge's Top Ten 2008












Sarge
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 04:09:31 AM by Que »
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Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2008, 04:01:24 AM »

There were so many recordings in the end, I had to cheat and expand my list.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/12/best-recordings-of-2008-almost-list.html


Thanks for cheating, Jens  :D  That "almost-best-of list" is perhaps even more interesting than your official Top 10. This has been a very good year.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Online Sergeant Rock

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2008, 04:05:32 AM »

ANTILL | Corroboree
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
James Judd / Naxos


BRAHMS | Symphony No 4, Hungarian Dances (selections)
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Marek Janowski / Pentatone


CHOPIN | Preludes
Alexandre Tharaud / harmonia mundi

KARLOWICZ | Symphonic Poems, Volume 1
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit / Naxos


TCHAIKOVSKY | Symphony No 6
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach / Ondine


Thanks for the list, Brian. Four out of five have now been placed on my wishlist.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline The new erato

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 04:14:25 AM »
  

  

 

 

 

My ten best purchases this year.

The Chandos d’Indy + the Roslavets Chamber Concerto on Hyperion were close calls and on another occasion might well have ended upon the list!

I have excluded box sets.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 04:41:36 AM by Que »

jlaurson

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 09:43:42 AM »
Thanks for cheating, Jens  :D  That "almost-best-of list" (here) is perhaps even more interesting than your official Top 10. This has been a very good year.

Sarge

I don't know if any of you buy CDs on ArkivMusic, but they kindly have just put all my "Best of 2008" choices on sale...

Arkiv Music, WETA 90.9 Best of 2008

Offline donaldopato

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2008, 04:39:17 PM »
I annually do a "baker's dozen" list on my weblog http://donaldopato.blogspot.com/

So here are mine, in no particular order:

1) Foulds "A World Requiem" Chandos 5058 Soloists and Chorus, BBC SO Leon Botstein.

After laying unheard for some 80 years, A World Requiem was performed in November 2007. The recording of that event was soon released by Chandos. Intended to be performed annually to commemorate WWI, this pacifist leaning work begs comparison to Britten's "War Requiem". Wonderful performance, fascinating work. There is talk of performing it publicly again soon.

2) Ernö Von Dohnányi Violin Concerti # 1 and 2 Naxos 8-570833 Michael Ludwig Violin, Jo Ann Faletta Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Lyrical, dramatic, virtuosic works, # 2 written in 1949 is a bit darker and spicier harmonically.

3) Music for Shakespeare's "The Tempest", by Arthur Sullivan and Jean Sibelius Reference Recordings 115 Michael Stern Kansas City SO.

Yes I am prejudiced and have an autographed copy. All that aside, this is a well done recording of some spectacular seldom heard music. The Sibelius is of his late years and is brooding, dark and powerful. The Sullivan is early (he was 19) but mature and colorful. Just so you don't think I am just highlighting a local favorite, Classics Today gave it their highest rating of 10/10 for performance and sound.

4) Messiaen Turangalîla-Symphonie St Louis SO 5186320 (available through the St Louis SO) Hans Vonk St Louis SO

Vonk got a bad rap in St Louis. The reticent and dour Dutchman wanted to make music, not fundraise. The Orchestra almost went bankrupt and Vonk died way to young of ALS. His recorded and musical legacy is just now getting the acclaim it deserves. This is a spectacular Turangalîla.

5) Mahler Symphony # 4 St Louis SO 5186323 Hans Vonk, Esther Heideman, soprano St Louis SO available as above.

Same comments apply here. A great performance, one of the best. Heideman is child-like without being cloying and sweet.

6) Arnold Philharmonic Concerto, Symphony # 6, Beckus the Dandipratt Overture, ETC. LPO 13 Vernon Handley London Philharmonic.

I heard Haitink perform the Philharmonic Concerto when it was new, written for the orchestra in 1976 for its American Tour. A section of the second movement, a fascinating duet for harp and snare drum, stuck with me for over 30 years. Recordings were none or elusive until I found this 2006 release. The passage I remember is just as harmonically and rhythmically interesting as I remembered. Now LSO has gone and released a Haitink recording of the work... gotta have that one too.

7) Roussel Symphony # 2, Pour une Fête de Printemps, Suite in F  Naxos 8-570529 Royal Scottish National Orchestra Stéphane Denève

Second edition of the symphonies of this somewhat neglected French master. The 2nd is every bit as fine as the much more well known 3rd, but with its dark texture and overall gloomy mood, it is more of a challenge to listen to. But the rewards in doing so are many.

8 ) Siegmund von Hausegger "Natursymphonie" CPO 777-237-2 WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne Ari Rasilainen

If you like Mahler, Strauss or just plain long, richly scored works, this is your ticket. Von Hausegger wrote only a few orchestral works, so he put it all in this son of "Alpinesinfonie".

9) Elgar Cello Concerto Walton Cello Concerto Orfeo C 621 061-A Daniel Müller-Schott Oslo Philharmonic Previn

Müller-Schott is a fine cellist and this dark, brooding yet satisfying Elgar approaches the level of the legendary du Pré recording. I don't much care for Walton, but this is a convincing performance of his weakest concerto. If a performance makes me enjoy Walton, it has to be good. Previn's experience and ease with Walton and English music contributes a lot to this outstanding recording.

10) d'Indy Orchestral Works Vol 1 Chandos CHAN 10464 Rumon Gumba, Iceland SO

This disc, 1st of a projected series, shows that d'Indy wrote more than his once famous but now rarely heard Symphony on a French Mountain Air. "The Jour d'été à la montagne" (1905) is another mountain inspired show piece, Strauss' Alpinesinfonie through Debussy's ears. The other works, "Souveniers" and "La Foret Enchantée", are colorful and quite well done.

11) Villa Lobos Chôros # 11, 5 and 7 BIS 1440 John Neschling, Cristina Ortiz Piano, Sao Paulo State SO

Volume 1 of the complete Chôros from Brazil's premiere composer. # 11 is a huge hour long continuous piano concerto that has to be taxing to play, but a delight to hear. # 5 "Alma brasileira" is a short solo piano piece. # 7 is a wonderful and exotically scored tone poem. Wonderful stuff! The other two discs in this series are equally as good.

12) Mieczyslaw Karlowicz Symphonic Poems Naxos 8 570452 Antoni Wit, Warsaw Philharmonic

Karlowicz would have been a major voice in Polish music at the turn of the century. His death at 30 left us with just a few jewels such as on this wonderful disc. Wit milks this exuberant music for all it is worth.

13) Erkki Melartin Six Symphonies Ondine 931 Leonid Grinn Tampere Philharmonic

Released in 1999, I first heard Melartin's Mahler-esque, romantically charged symphonies for the first time a couple months ago. Melodic, well crafted, a little less dark and quirky than his contemporary Sibelius, his symphonies do have an unique voice and are well worth exploring.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 09:33:37 AM by donaldopato »
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Offline MDL

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2009, 07:12:25 AM »
Sarge's Top Ten 2008



My other half bought me the Miaskovsky set for Christmas and I've really enjoyed what I've heard so far, although I've not made much of a dent in the set. Which symphs would you particularly recommend to a newbie like me?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 09:11:28 AM by Que »

Offline Todd

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2009, 08:26:21 AM »
2008 was a pretty good year for me, though of course I bought mostly discs released in years before 2008.  Since I'm far too lazy to list only the new releases, I'll include my ten favorites, and then another ten or so for good measure.


The Best
Bach – Complete Sacred Cantatas; Harnoncourt/Leonhardt (Teldec)
Beethoven – Complete Symphonies; Bruno Walter w/ NYPO and Philadelphia (1941-1953; United Archives)
Brahms – Complete Symphonies; Rafael Kubelik w/ BRSO (Orfeo)
Debussy – Piano Works Volume 4; Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Chandos)
Dowland – Complete Solo Lute Music; Jakob Lindberg (BIS)
Espana – Piano music of Granados, Albeniz, and Falla; Michel Block (OM Records)
Haydn – The Creation; Paul McCreesh (DG)
Schubert – 11 Piano Sonatas; Christian Zacharias (EMI)
The Master Pianist Youri Egorov (EMI)
Weinberg – String Quartets, Vol 1; Danel Quartet (CPO)


Almost as good as the best
Beethoven – Complete Symphonies; Carl Schuricht (EMI)
Beethoven – Complete Violin Sonatas; Jumppanen / Cerovsek (Claves)
Beethoven – Op 2 Sonatas; Maurizio Pollini (DG)
Duparc – Melodies; Murray, et al (Hyperion)
Enescu – Symphonies, Vox Maris; Foster (EMI)
Janacek – From the House of the Dead; Boulez (DG)
Prokofiev – Romeo & Juliet Suite (arr MTT); MTT (RCA) 
Scarlatti – 14 Sonatas; Christian Zacharias (MDG)
Scarlatti – 49 Sonatas; Christian Zacharias (EMI)
Tchaikovsky – Symphonies 4, 5, 6; Daniele Gatti (Harmonia Mundi)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2009, 10:40:18 AM »
Beethoven – Complete Violin Sonatas; Jumppanen / Cerovsek (Claves)

I wasn't aware of this release; samples do sound very good. It goes high on the wishlist.

Happy New Year, everyone!  :)

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2009, 04:02:58 PM »
2008 was a pretty good year for me, though of course I bought mostly discs released in years before 2008.  Since I'm far too lazy to list only the new releases, I'll include my ten favorites, and then another ten or so for good measure.


The Best
Bach – Complete Sacred Cantatas; Harnoncourt/Leonhardt (Teldec)  0:) 0:) 0:)





  Todd let me just jump in here and say well done! I picked up that Bach sacred cantata set (Leonhardt) a few months ago and have just started playing them.  WOW incredible!  I new I hit the jackpot with this set just by playing the first CD! I love the raw interpretation  0:), this is how Bach wanted his cantatas to sound (an all boys choir on HIP instruments)!

  PS: anyone based in London looking to buy this set head over to HMV on Oxford Street- this set is on sale £100 for 60 CDs!!

  marvin   
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 04:04:50 PM by marvinbrown »

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2009, 04:11:10 PM »
Sarge's Top Ten 2008






Sarge

  Now Sarge  8) if only you can convince our Dr. Karl Henning  8) (he bought it last year) to explore this set further I'd be very happy!!

  marvin

Offline PSmith08

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Re: "Best of 2008" Lists
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2009, 04:14:15 PM »
  Now Sarge  8) if only you can convince our Dr. Karl Henning  8) (he bought it last year) to explore this set further I'd be very happy!!

  marvin

That's a big set. Give him some time. One doesn't digest the Ring or Parsifal in an afternoon, mind you.