Best of the Year Discs for 2005

by | Jan 1, 2006 | Best of the Year | 0 comments

Classical/Reissues/Jazz/Pop (incl. Hi-Res Formats)

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This is our 21st annual Best of the Year list (!) and as usual, we make no definitive claims for the list. It is predicated on the personal tastes of all our contributors and also on what was available to us, but with an equal emphasis on both the musical and sonic quality of each disc (except for some of the reissue material). All of these discs have been reviewed in AUDIOPHILE AUDITION during the past year and can be quickly located for their reviews using our handy site search engine at the upper left-hand column of every page.


Amadeus Quartet – A Tribute to Norbert Brainin – DGG 477 5739

J.S. BACH: Six Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051 – Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra – 2 Multichannel SACD, Tacet S101

J.S. BACH: The Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, BWV 1001-1006 – Gidon Kremer – ECM New Series 1926/27 (2 CDs)

J.S. BACH Cantatas – Thomas Quasthoff, Bass-baritone/Berlin Baroque Soloists/Rainer Kussmaul, Director / Members of the RIAS Chamber Choir/Daniel Reuss, Chorus Master – DGG 00289 474 5052 – Multichannel SACD

J.S. BACH: Vols. 1 & 2 The Keyboard Concertos — Angela Hewitt, piano/Australian Chamber Orchestra — Hyperion (2-discs) multichannel SACD – SACD A67307 & 8

Balalaika Favorites – Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra – Mercury Living Presence 3-Channel SACD 475 6610

BALAKIREV: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Concerto No. 1 in F# Minor, Op. 1; Overture to King Lear; In Bohemia; Tamara – Howard Shelley, piano/ BBC Philharmonic/ Vassily Sinaisky, conductor – Chandos CHAN 241-29

BARTOK: Concerto for Orchestra; Dance Suite for Orchestra; Hungarian Peasant Songs – Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra/Zoltan Kocsis – Hungaroton Classic multichannel SACD HSACD 32187

BARTOK: The Three Piano Concertos – Krystian Zimerman, piano (No. 1)/Chicago Symphony Leif Ove Andsnes, piano (No. 2)/Berlin Philharmonic Helene Grimaud, piano (No. 3)/London Symphony Orchestra Pierre Boulez, conductor – DGG B0003885-02

BEETHOVEN: String Quartets Op. 127 and Op. 132 – Hagen Quartet DGG 477 5705

BEETHOVEN: Complete Cello Sonatas and Variations – Pieter Wispelwey, cello/ Dejan Lazic, piano – Channel Classics MultiChannel SACD CCS SA 22605 (2 CDs)

LEONARD BERNSTEIN: Mass – Jerry Hadley, tenor/Soloists of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble/Radio Choir Berlin/State and Cathedral Choir Berlin/Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin/Kent Nagano – Harmonia mundi multichannel SACD HMC 801840.41 (2 discs)

LEONARD BERNSTEIN: The American Decca Recordings DGG 477 0002

BERLIOZ: Requiem Op. 5 (Grande Messe des Morts) – Charles Bressler, tenor/ Univ. of Utah Civic Chorale/ Univ. of Utah A Capella Choir/ Utah Symphony Orchestra/ Maurice Abravanel – Vanguard/Classic Records – DVD-A, Dolby Digital 4.0., 192K stereo DVD-A, 96K stereo DVD Video (2 discs) HDAD 2012

BIBER/MUFFAT: Der Turken Anmarsch – John Holloway, Violin; Aloysia Assenbaum, Organ; Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Harpsichord – ECM New Series ECM 1837

The Boston Praise Collective – From Exile to Exaltation (Choral Ensemble with instrumental accompaniment) – Dissonance Resolved Records Multichannel SACD

Hommage a Nadia Boulanger – Cascavelle VEL 3081

Wolfgang Schneiderhahn plays Brahms Concerto; Bach; Fibich –
Opus Kura OPK 2020

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor; Tragic Overture; Academic Festival Overture – London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop – multichannel SACD Naxos

BRAHMS: Music for Two Pianos = Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op. 56b; Sonata in F Minor, Op. 34b – Emanuel Ax, piano/ Yefim Bronfman, piano – Sony SK 89868
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 Artur Rubinstein/Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony RCA Multichannel SACD 66378-2
BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 5 Schuricht/Stuttgart Radio-Sym Hanssler CD 93.146

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 8; German Romantic Overtures Karajan/BPO – EMI 4 76901 2

ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E Major – Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa – Philips multichannel SACD 470 657-2

ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 8 in C Minor (Haas version) – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Bernard Haitink – RCO Live Multichannel SACD RCO 05003, (2 discs)

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (1873 Version) – Jonathan Nott/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra – Tudor multichannel SACD 7133

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO: The Well-Tempered Guitars – 24 Preludes and Fugues for Two Guitars, Op. 199 – Duo Favori – Tacet 141 (2 CDs)

CHANT WARS: Sequentia and Dialogos – Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Multichannel SACD 82876-66649-2

CHOPIN: 12 Etudes, Op. 10; 12 Etudes, Op. 25 – Freddy Kempf, piano- BIS MultiChannel SACD 139

Boris Christoff Vocal Recital – MDV 012

DEBUSSY: Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune; La Mer; La Boite a joujoux (orch. Caplet); 3 Preludes (orch. Matthews)  – Berlin Philharmonic/ Sir Simon Rattle – EMI Classics 7243 5 58045 2

DEBUSSY: Preludes, Books I and II – Pascal Roge, piano – Onyx 4004

Bryan A. Crumpler, Clarinets – “Monochrome” = DESPORTES: Caracteres; BERTOUILLE: Concertino for 4 Clarinets; BARBER: Adagio for Strings, for solo clarinet and clarinet choir; PETER SCHICKELE: Monochrome III for nine B-flat clarinets; DONDEYNE: Symphonie des Clarinettes – Who’s That Guy WTG-000

DVORAK: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104; Dumky Trio in E Minor, Op. 90 – Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello/ Isabelle Faust, violin/ Alexander Melnikov, piano The Prague Philharmonia/ Jiri Belohlavek conductor- Harmonia mundi HMC 901867

ELGAR Conducts ELGAR, 1926-1933 Naxos 8.111022

“Stokowski Rhapsodies” – Works of LISZT; ENESCO; SMETANA [also on SACD: WAGNER Sel.- Symphony of the Air/Leopold Stokowski] RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra /Stokowski
1) RCA/JVC xrcd JM-XR24019
2) RCA Living Stereo multichannel (3-channel) SACD

CÉSAR FRANCK: Symphony in D Minor; STRAVINSKY: Pétrouchka – Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Franck); Boston Symphony Orchestra (Stravinsky) Pierre Monteux cond. – RCA Red Seal Living Stereo multichannel SACD (3-chan.) 82876-67897-2

GIOVANNI GABRIELI: Music for San Rocco – Gabrieli Consort and Players, Paul McCreesh, director – DG/Archiv 00289 477 0862 – 2 Multichannel SACDs

GERSHWIN: An American in Paris; Catfish Row Suite (from Porgy & Bess); Rhapsody in Blue; Cuban Overture; Promenade – St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin cond./Jeffrey Siegel, piano – Vox/Mobile Fidelity Multichannel SACD, MFSL UDSACD 4007

“La Casa Del Diavolo” = Works of GLUCK; C.P.E.. BACH; LOCATELLI; W.F. BACH; BOCCHERINI – Enrico Onofri, solo violin/Ottavio Dantone, harpsichord/Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini – Naive OP 30399

CHARLES GRIFFES: The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan, The White Peacock, Three Poems of Fiona McLeod, Bacchanale, Clouds, Poem for Flute and Orchestra, Three Tone Pictures – Barbara Quintiliani, soprano/Carol Wincenc, flute/Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta – Naxos American Classics 8.559164

HOWARD HANSON: Suite from Merry Mount; Bold Island Suite; Symphony No. 2  “Romantic;” Fanfare for the Signal Corps – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel – Telarc Multichannel SACD-6064

KARL JENKINS: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace – Soloists/National Youth Choir of Great Britain/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jenkins – Virgin Records 7243 8 11015.2

Reginald Kell: The Complete American Decca Recordings – DGG 477 5280

Miliza Korjus, 1912-1980 – Hanssler CD 94.509

Kronos Quartet and vocalist Asha Bhosle — You’ve Stolen My Heart (Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood) — Nonesuch PRO 301696

“Kremerland” = Works of LISZT; CHIZNIK; VUSTIN; KANCHELI; BAKSHI; PELECIS; DUNEYEVSKY – Gidon Kremer, violin and conducting Kremerata Baltica – DGG B00003392-02

Sviatoslav Richter plays LISZT – Palexa CD-0537

MAHLER: Symphony No. 6 in A Minor – Berlin Philharmonic/ Claudio Abbado – DGG Multichannel SACD (2 discs) 00289 477 5684

Tor Mann: Carl Nielsen’s Prophet in Sweden Danacord 627-30

MARTINU: Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra; Triple Concerto; Concertino for Piano Trio and Orchestra; Pamatnik Lidicim (Memorial for Lidice) — Trio Wanderer/Tabea Zimmermann, viola/ Gurzenich Ochestra of Cologne/James Conlon — Capriccio multichannel SACD

Surround Yourself With A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare’s play with MENDELSSOHN’s complete incidental music – Actors from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama/Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Jaime Laredo – Nimbus DVD-A (2 sided) NI 9009
Marcel Meyer: Hommage TAHRA TAH 579-580
MOZART: Complete Viola Quintets – Fine Arts Quartet/Francis Tursi – Music & Arts CD-1159

MOZART: Violin Sonatas in C Major, K. 303; D, K. 7; G, K. 301; F, K. 30; E-flat Major, K. 481 – Rachel Podger, Baroque violin/ Gary Cooper, fortepiano (Vol. 2 of series) – Channel Classics Multichannel SACD CCS SA 22805

OFFENBACH: Gaite Parisienne; ROSSINI-RESPIGHI: La Boutique Fantasque – Boston Pops/Arthur Fiedler – RCA Red Seal Living Stereo SACD 82876-66419-2

Julian Olevsky, Vol. IV Encores – Doremi DHR-7863

ORFF: The Ultimate Collection Hanssler 43050-2 (6 CDs)

Music for Organ, Brass and Timpani = Works of G. GABRIELI, R. STRAUSS, BACH, HANDEL, RACHMANINOFF, MONTEVERDI & MUSSORGSKY – Anthony Newman, organ/Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble/Ducan Patton, tympani – Sonoma Records multichannel SACD SAC-001

PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kijé Suite;  STRAVINSKY: Song of the Nightingale  – Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner – RCA Living Stereo/JVC xrcd JM-XR24026

Michael Rabin, 1936-1972 EMI CMS 7 64123 2

RACHMANINOFF: All-Night Vigil (Vespers) – Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Paul Hillier – Harmonia mundi HMU 907384

RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé (Ballet Suites 1 & 2); Mother Goose Suite (complete ballet version); Valses nobles et sentimentales – Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski – Vox/Mobile Fidelity multichannel SACD, UDSACD 4008

Music of RAVEL and DEBUSSY – Nancy Allen,  Harp/ Tokyo String Quartet/ Ransom Wilson, flute/ David Shifrin, clarinet / Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/ Gerard Schwarz – EMI Angel 7243476978  2  1

NINO ROTA: Orchestral Suite “La Strada;” Concerto Soirée for piano and orchestra; Dances for the film “The Leopard” – Benedetto Lupo, piano/ Orchestra of the City of Granada/Josep Pons –  Harmonia mundi HMC 901864

Gregor Piatagorsky plays Schumann; Saint-Saens; Encores Naxos 8.11069

ALEXANDER SCRIABIN:  Sonatas 1 thru 10 — Robert Taub, piano — Harmonia mundi MHX 2907366.67 (2 CDs)

Now the Green Blade Riseth – Stockholm Cathedral Choir / Gustaf Sjokvist, Conductor – Adolf Fredrik Children’s Choir / Gunnel Kyhle, Leader – Johannes Youth Choir / Anders Eby – Bengt Berg, Organ – Proprius PRSACD 9093 – Multichannel SACD

RICHARD STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben; Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle – EMI Classics 3 39339 2

RICHARD STRAUSS: Suite for Orchestra: The Bourgeois Gentleman; Duet-Concertino for clarinet and bassoon; Sextet from “Capriccio” – Daniel Sepec, violin; Nicole Kern, clarinet; Higinio Arrue, bassoon; The German Chamber Philharmonic of Bremen/Paavo Järvi – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 060

Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich in Concert = STRAVINSKY: Suite Italienne from Pulcinella; PROKOFIEV: Cello Sonata; Waltz from The Stone Flower; SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Sonata – DGG B0004047-02

TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D Major; Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor – Christian Tetzlaff/violin Nikolai Lugansky/piano Russian National Orchestra/Kent Nagano – PentaTone Multichannel SACD PTC 5186 022

VERDI: Messa da Requiem – Eva Mei/Bernarda Fink/Michael Schade/Ildebrando D’Arcangelo/Arnold Schoenberg Choir/Vienna Philharmonic/Nikolaus Harnoncourt – RCA Red Seal Multichannel SACD (2 discs) 82876 61244 2

ERNST VON DOHNANYI: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Minor; Violin Concerto No. 2 in C Minor; Concertino for harp and chamber orchestra – Howard Shelley, piano/James Ehnes, violin/Clifford Lantaff, harp/BBC Philharmonic/Matthias Bamert – Chandos CHAN 10245

RICHARD WAGNER: PRELUDES & OVERTURES = The Flying Dutchman Overture; Rienzi Overture; Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Prelude; Tannhäuser Overture; Lohengrin Prelude to Act III; Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod – Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam/Yakov Kreizberg – Pentatone multichannel SACD B0002TX9F2

Yo-Yo Ma Plays ENNIO MORRICONE – Ma, cello/Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra/Morricone – Sony Classical DualDisc SN 93476

The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East; Mercury Records B0000400-36 (2-discs) Multichannel SACD

Willem Breuker: Original music for theater pieces by Bert Brecht: Drums In the Night; The Rise of Arturo Ui –
The Wm. Breuker Kollektief – Bvhaast 0604 []

Ruby Braff Trio & Quintet – You Brought a New Kind of Love
(Ruby Braff, Cornet; Bill Charlap, Piano; Jake Hanna, Drums; Dick Hyman, Piano; Bucky Pizzarelli, Guitar) -Arbors Records ARCD 19260

Bill Charlap, piano, Plays George Gershwin – The American Soul (with Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums; Phil Woods, alto sax; Frank Wess, tenor sax; Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Slide Hampton, trombone) – Blue Note 60669-2

Billy Childs Ensemble – Jazz Chamber Music Vol. 1 (Childs, piano, with quintet) – Lyric LM-1001

Eric Clapton – Slowhand – Polydor B0003639-36 Multichannel SACD

3 Guitars – Larry Coryell / Badi Assad / John Abercrombie – Chesky multichannel SACD 289

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (with Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly) Columbia/Legacy DualDisc CN 90887

Derek and the Dominos – Layla and other assorted love songs (Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle) – Polydor Multichannel SACD B0003640-36

Electric Light Orchestra – All Over The World: The Very Best of ELO; Epic/Legacy CD

Carlos Franzetti: The Jazz Kamerata, Plays the Music of Miles Davis – featuring Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Claus Ogerman, Clare Fischer, Wayne Short, Steve Kuhn – Chesky multichannel SACD287

“Tone Poets” – 23 mandolinists and 23 guitarists in solos and duos produced by David Grisman –  (2 CDs) Acoustic Disc (HDCD-encoded) ACD-62

Sir Roland Hanna, solo piano – Everything I Love – IPO Recordings IPOC1002

Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra – Not In Our Name – Arr. & conducted by Carla Bley – Verve B0004949-02

Heaven Must Have Sent You –  The Holland/Dozier/Holland Story —Motown /Hip-O  B0004845-0

Keith Jarrett, solo piano – Radiance – (Recorded live in Osaka & Tokyo, 2002) ECM 1960/61 (2 discs)

Billy Joel: My Lives – 4 CDs plus bonus DVD box set – Columbia AC5K 93520

Charles Lloyd, tenor & alto sax & taragato – Jumping the Creek – (with Geri Allen, piano; Robert Hurst, bass; Eric Harland, drums & percussion) – ECM 1911

Mulligan Meets Monk (Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax; Thelonious Monk, piano; Wilbur Ware, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums) – Riverside RISA-1106-6 Stereo SACD

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall. (Thelonious Monk, piano; John Coltrane, saxophone; Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass; Shadow Wilson, drums) – Blue Note 3517

Andy Narell, steel drums & Calypsociation – The Passage (Music for Steel Orchestra) with guests Michael brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Hugh Masekela – Heads Up multichannel SACD

Merl Saunders/Jerry Garcia/John Kahn/Bill Vitt – Live At Keystone, Vol. 1; Fantasy FSA-7701-6 Stereo-only SACD

Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden – CD ArtistShare0001

Bouncing with Bud & Phil – Live at Yoshi’s (Bud Shank & Phil Woods, alto saxes; Mike Wofford, piano; Bob Magnusson, bass; Bill Goodwin, drums) – Capri Records Stereo-only SACD

Mercedes Sosa: Corazon Libre – Mercedes Sosa, vocals; many others – DGG Edge 00289 474 1982

The Tiptons: Surrounded by Horns – Stockfisch multichannel SACD SFR 357.4034.2

4 + Four – Turtle Island String Quartet + Ying Quartet – Telarc multichannel SACD-6063

Gerald Wilson Orchestra – In My Time – Mack Avenue MAC 1025

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