Best Of 2018 — Classical Releases
The historic 1959 performance by Nicolai Malko of Igor Stravinsky’s works.
This restored recital from Taiwan’s Novel Hall captures the Fiorentino at the peak of his form in splendid sound
The four Rachmaninov concertos and Rhapsody could hardly be more “authentic” than those presented by the composer in lustrous remastering.
The Backhaus pre-War Beethoven piano sonatas reveal a fleet, thoughtful interpreter of power and persuasion.
Nathan Milstein confirms his repute for absolute mastery in two classic concertos, live from Lucerne.
Hans Rosbaud appears before his Baden-Baden orchestra in spirited, vibrant renditions of two Tchaikovsky symphonies.
The music of Leos Janacek makes a sensational impression under the guidance of Jiri Belohlavek.
Producer Andrew Rose and Pristine add potent interpretations of mid-20th Century scores by the volcanic conductor Jascha Horenstein.
The ever-volatile Serge Koussevitzky electrifies us with his fierce renditions of Sibelius and Schumann.
The brunt of the Fricsay legacy in Richard Strauss here makes its debut, 1949-1954.
Ferenc Fricsay’s post-war Mozart sessions at RIAS return with all their stylistic verve, passion, and immaculate musicianship.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 6 Koussevitzky/BSO Pristine
In this second installment of the Ricci/Argerich Leningrad recitals, they can do no musical wrong.
The neo-Romantic piano music of Josef Suk has an ardent acolyte in Jonathan Plowright.
Nadia Reisenberg’s 1950s Haydn programs receive new and astonishingly cleargloss from Romeo Records.
Great sound and great performances, full of extraordinary insights.
A magnificent achievement, and one that doesn’t come along often.
Rachel Barton Pine presents Disc 2 in what one hopes will be a long and inventive series as she explores music by African American composers.
Hannah Leffler and Cheyenne Cruz have joined forces to create an outstanding group, WoodWired Duo, and the release of their debut album, “In the Loop”—a new musical odyssey!
Iceland brings us Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir and her ensemble Nordic Affect in this rich presentation of soundscapes by contemporary composers.
John Bruce Yeh on clarinet gives wonderful voice to music by Stephenson!
The third time proves the charm for the ever-intrepid Yo-Yo Ma!
There were so many great releases this year. Here are a few more:
HENRI DUTILLEUX: Metaboles, L’Arbre Des Songes “Tree of Dreams” (Violin Concerto), Symphony No. 2 “Le Double”—Augustin Hadelich, violin—Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot—Seattle Symphony Media SSM1007—73:02.
WILLIAM BOLCOM: Piano Rags – The Graceful Ghost Rag. Glad Rag. Raggin’ Rudi. Fields of Flowers. Epithalamium. Poltergeist. Epitah for Louis Chauvin. Old Adam. The Eternal Feminine. The Serpent’s Kiss. Through Eden’s Gates. Knockout: A Rag. Dream Shadows. Incineratorag. Estela: Rag Latino. The Brooklyn Dodge. Spencer Meyer, piano—STEINWAY & SONS 30041—71:44.
JONATHAN DOVE: In Damascus for Tenor and String Quartet—Piano Quintet—Out of Time for String Quartet—Sacconi Quartet—Mark Padmore, tenor—Charles Owen, piano. Signum Classics SIGCD 487, 73:20.
JONATHAN LESHNOFF: Violin Concerto—String Quartet No. 1 “Pearl German”—Reflections—Charles Wetherbee, violin—Carpe Diem String Quartet—Baltimore Chamber Orchestra/Markland Thakar – Naxos 8.559398, 56:34.