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The best of 2013?

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Initial post: 20 Dec 2013 19:30:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2013 20:13:13 GMT
enthusiast says:
I don't buy too many new just out CDs - they tend to cost more - but I wonder: what were the best new CM records of the year? My own list is short:

Two CDs of Bach violin concertos:
Double & Triple Concertos (SACD,works on all players)
Bach: Concertos (Viktoria Mullova)

Two involving Bartok Violin Concertos
Bela Bartok: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Isabelle Faust
Bartok: Concerto No. 2 / Eotvos: Seven / Ligeti: Violin Concerto

Let us have your tips.

Posted on 20 Dec 2013 21:41:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Dec 2013 21:52:32 GMT
Malx says:
Wonderful double CD set of late Beethoven Sonatas
Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

Posted on 21 Dec 2013 05:25:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2013 05:31:48 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Released in the last six months: the latest Aho symphony from BIS - along with an excellent Minea and Double bass Concerto
Aho: Symphony No. 15 [Osmo Vänskä, Jaakko Kuusisto, Dima Slobodeniouk, Eero Munter] [BIS: BIS1866]
and the new Naxos DSCH#4
Shostakovich: Symphony No.4 [Vasily Petrenko] [Naxos: 8.573188] from Liverpool.

90% of my purchases were downloads, so I only bought a couple of dozen physical discs this year and many of those were box-set reissues or 'Pennies & Postage' Pre-Owned discs. The only other really new recordings among them were the Dudamel Mahler Symphony No.9 and the Petrenko Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, 'Leningrad' [Vasily Petrenko | RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573057]. I suspect that they were probably issued late in 2012 rather than this year.
Like 'enthusiast' I don't buy many new issues. Apart from the higher cost I like to allow the dust of critical acclaim to settle for a year or two.
The outstanding exceptions were the four listed, which I was prepared to buy purely on spec / reputation.

If we can broaden the discussion to the best CM collecting experience of 2013 I would nominate the above four discs along with ...
- the Joly Braga Santos Symphonies - fifteen year old recordings first tipped off via YouTube by JR and available on MarcoPolo ... truly surprising; and
- the Aho 4th, 7th and 11th Symphonies on BIS; and
- the Hummel arrangement (BIS bundle) of Mozart Piano Concerti; and
- Leif's Saga Symphony; and
- the fabulous Belohlavek Martinu Symphony set on Onyx; and
- Brautigam's Moonlight and Pastorale Sonatas (a revelation on fortepiano)
These are the performances that have been both purchased *and* been played most regularly through my music system this year.
(The most depressing experiences include my stubborn perseverance in buying and playing the complete Schnittke and -almost complete- Pettersson Symphonies. These fine composers desperately needed better weather or better health... or both.)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2013 08:13:33 GMT
Mandryka says:
Art of Fugue -- Les Voix Humaines
Scarlatti sonatas vol 3 -- Enrico Baiano
Missa Solemnis DVD -- Harnoncourt
Bach English Suites -- Ketil Haugsand
Schubert G major Quartet -- Cuarteto Casals
Cherkassky 1971 concert
Arrau Mozart concert from Tanglewood
Scarlatti Sonatas -- Leonardo Carrieri
Beethoven sonatas (with op14s) -- Pollini
Mendelssohn Quartets -- Ebène

Does anyone like the new B minor mass from Savall?

Posted on 21 Dec 2013 10:01:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2013 15:36:49 GMT
Does anyone like the new B minor mass from Savall?

I do and it is one of my choices of 2013

Another choral work - Sir Colin Davis' LSO Live Berlioz Requiem

The continuing flood of material from the archives means that not all new releases are new recordings. In this category is more Berlioz, from Sir John Barbirolli. A live recording from 1969 of the Symphonie Fantastique with the SWF Symphony Orchestra, Baden-Baden. This is easily the best recorded of the various versions from Barbirolli and a fine performance of one of his specialities.

A disc I have mixed feelings about but I am sure will repay further listening has works by Jean Mouton (the main work is the Missa Dictes moy toutes voz pensees) from the Tallis Scholars.

I am sure more recordings will come to mind later

Added later: More Berlioz - Les Troyens from Pappano/ROH (DVD)

Posted on 21 Dec 2013 11:01:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Dec 2013 10:09:47 GMT
Bruce says:
Sir Simon was more to my taste this year :

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) [+digital booklet]

Rachmaninov/ Mahler: Berliner Philharmoniker (Sir Simon Rattle, The Berliner Philharmoniker) (Live Recording Singapore) (Euroarts: 2058904) [Blu-ray] [2013]

Rachmaninov: The Bells; Symphonic Dances

Mahler Symphony No.9

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 (CD/DVD)

Posted on 21 Dec 2013 22:02:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Dec 2013 22:21:00 GMT
Mandryka says:
There's the new CD from The Orlando Consort, Machault, called Songs from Le Voir Dit. Has anyone had a chance to hear it? Does the booklet contain a translation of the whole of Le Voir Dit? How does it compare with Oxford Camerata?

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 07:01:00 GMT
Yi-Peng says:
I've loved the new Chailly Brahms symphonies from the moment they were released. I have also embraced Gardiner's new Missa Solemnis.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 14:33:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2013 14:42:30 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Sneaky cheating there Bruce.
I clicked on your Bruckner 9 and it came up with
'You Purchased this disc on October 7th 2012' !!!

Fascinated by two of the other Rattle choices.
How do they shape up? I'm not a Lang-Lang-sceptic, though I see that it is fashionable to be one! But I have *so many* Prokofiev 3PCs compared to the others. And I am angsting about whether to get that new Rattle Bells or the old Svetlanov one issued on IRC/BBC - with Alexander Nevsky.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 15:55:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2013 15:55:51 GMT
Bruce says:
Ah you are right - it doesn't seem that long ago!? I will delete it - possibly I was thinking of the Dudamel Mahler 9 and got it mixed up in my mind?

The Lang Lang piano concerto disc is one of my favourites - every time I put it on, it uplifts my spirits - his playing is so joyful! It includes a free DVD and seeing his technique adds to the experience - it is breathtaking.

I have had many other versions of Prokofiev 3rd - but this is very different and it's also an interesting contrast to the other concerto. So as Rattle says in the Prokofiev, he just lets the pianist go and tries to help the orchestra keep up with him - whereas in the other concerto Rattle has to conduct and shape the piece much more - it's more like playing a symphony where the overall sound is more important. And it's great that Lang Lang can do both - dominate as a virtuoso or be a team player.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2013 20:53:31 GMT
Edgar Self says:
Haven't heard Lang Lang in Prokofiev's Third, but saw Kissin play it, and justmissed Prokofiev himself playing it here with the CSO when I was very small, around the time that he also premiered "A Love For Three Oranges" here, finally, after many difficulties. I am impressed with Lang Lang's Chopin concertos, both with Mehta and Vienna P{hilharmonic, which have been out a few years now.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 08:13:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2013 01:30:20 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Some of mine were recorded well before 2013 - even though they may have been released in this calendar year. I'm sure you may well have bought it in 2013. You could have left it in the list... it might encourage others to try and get used to Bruckner's Ninth having four movements. So many critics and music lovers made the error of saying that it sounds just perfect when finishing with the sublime Adagio.
A three movement Bruckner Symphony?
The Adagio sets up tensions that require resolution in the Finale - though I admit I'm still getting used to it.

EDIT.....Seven out of eleven people do not understand that Bruckner would never deliberately write a three movement symphony?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 08:22:06 GMT
Bruce says:
It took me a while - in fact until I read an interview with Rattle, where he explained Bruckner's "trick" or signature - which happens in the 8th as well. So in the finale - all the previous movements' main subjects are reprised and played alongside each other.

But Rattle explained how this meant that you ought to be able to play all these subjects in the same time or pulse and how Bruckner was essentially classical when it came to time - but many conductors get round this by using rubato - whereas it was written to be in tempo. This has changed the way I hear all the movements and Rattle's is now the only version that makes complete sense.

I think this is why I thought of it as 2013 - as I came back to it after reading the interview then and hearing what he was talking about...?

Posted on 23 Dec 2013 16:21:19 GMT
enthusiast says:
Harnoncourt also recorded the 4 movement work. I don't know the Rattle so I can't compare them.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 16:29:17 GMT
The version of Bruckner 9 I have from Harnoncourt (RCA) only has a lecture/performance of the completed bits of the 4th movement. Has he made another recording?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 17:11:32 GMT
enthusiast says:
Oh yes - that's correct, Geoffrey - fairly substantial fragments (that I usually listen to without the lecture parts). It is the Naxos disc (I can't remember right now who conducts it) that has a completed fourth movement but I imagine that Rattle in Berlin is superior to that one.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2013 17:42:30 GMT
enthusiast says:
That Art of Fugue from Les Voix Humaines sounds really good in samples, Mandryka. I'm giving it a listen on Spotify.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2013 10:58:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Dec 2013 10:58:46 GMT
Mandryka says:
One thing I like about it is that it's spoken rather than sung. If you like it, you may also like their Purcell Fantasias. For me both discs were a revelation.

This work, AoF, is capable of being performed in a very wide range of styles of course.

Posted on 3 Jan 2014 13:20:33 GMT
Mutter's new Dvorak CD with Honeck conducting is great

John Butt's one voice per part Brandenburgs are very good too and the OVPP approach doesn't bother me at all - it still sounds like concertos not too chamber-like.
Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos

Herreweghe on Phi
Big orchestral sound for a period orchestra - not unlike Bruggen.

Rachel Podger on Channel

BACH Sei Solo. Sonatas & Partitas for Violin. Christine Busch. PHI 2cds
(Christine Busch, leader of the orchestra of Collegium Vocale Gent)

I also like the Freiburger Bach violin concertos, but wouldn't put them on the top of my list of all time favorites.

MOZART: Piano Concertos 23, 25.
Buchbinder on fortepiano(!) and Harnoncourt conducting his usual period band.
The 25th has got to be the wildest I have heard so far and the 23rd is also very good. But I'm still in the newly acquired excitement phase...

BACH Mass in B minor, Live in Fontfroide Abbey, La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall. Alia vox 2 DVD + 2 SACD


have published their best recordings of the year list in a free on-line version:

Posted on 10 Jan 2014 16:05:00 GMT
D. M. Ohara says:
My favourite NEW CD of 2013 is Jeremy Denk in Bach's Goldberg Variations. My reasons are given here:

Posted on 29 Dec 2014 11:14:54 GMT
enthusiast says:
What about 2014? What new/newish recordings (not reissues) stand out as most wonderful among those you acquired in 2014? I bought more CDs than ever this year but hardly any of them were newly issued (or even new). Three recent Bach piano records stand out -

Bach, J.S.: Art of Fugue
Bach: Partitas Bwv 825-830
J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

but, unlike most critics, it is the Aimard one I am most enjoying. The other two seem a little fussy for me (I have quite prejudiced views about what works for Bach's keyboard music).

I have enjoyed much of this series (I really do enjoy Petterson):

Petterson: Symphonies 4 & 16 [Christian Lindberg, Jorgen Pettersson] [BIS: BIS2110]:

And some Mozart piano concertos also stand out, both HIP and both very different

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 23 & 25
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 18 & 22 [Ronald Brautigam, Michael Alexander Willens] [BIS: BIS2044]

And, it is cheating but this was new as a set and had lots that surprised me by being so good and so fresh -

Great Symphonies: The Zurich Years 1995-2014 [Limited Deluxe]

Posted on 29 Dec 2014 17:10:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2014 09:10:39 GMT
One of the best discs of the year came almost at the end - Vaughan Williams Orchestral Works - now I need to try and remember the rest

Here is another - Byrd: The Three Masses

Another outstanding purchase was the Walter/Brahms set already mentioned elsewhere - Bruno Walter Conducts Brahms

This Martinu disc was recommended in the Forum - Martinu Opening of the Wells; The Legend of the Smoke form the Potato Fires; Mikes of the Mountains

Posted on 31 Dec 2014 13:49:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Dec 2014 13:49:32 GMT
Mozart: March In D Major K. 335, Serenade In D Major K. 320 "Posthorn-Serenade" & Symphony In D Major K. 385 "Haffner-Sinfonie" Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien on Sony.
My favorite new album of the year 2014.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2014 14:10:29 GMT
enthusiast says:
Oh yes - I got that too, Rasmus (and on your recommendation, I think). I agree it is great.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2014 14:12:37 GMT
Sigh of relief, enthusiast - the forum comrades recommendation refunds rules won't come into play ;)
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