Best Of 2018 — Classical Releases

by | Feb 13, 2019 | Best of the Year, Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Best Of 2018 — Classical Releases

Malko Conducts Stravinsky Album CoverMalko conducts Stravinsky   Yves St-Laurent

The historic 1959 performance by Nicolai Malko of Igor Stravinsky’s works.






Sergio Fiorentino Live in Taiwan RH-009Sergio Fiorentino Live in Taiwan   Rhine Classics

This restored recital from Taiwan’s Novel Hall captures the Fiorentino at the peak of his form in splendid sound






Rachmaninoff Concertos, Album CoverRachmaninov plays Rachmaninov    Pristine

The four Rachmaninov concertos and Rhapsody could hardly be more “authentic” than those presented by the composer in lustrous remastering.






Wilhelm Backhaus Beethoven/BachBackhaus Pre-War Beethoven   APR

The Backhaus pre-War Beethoven piano sonatas reveal a fleet, thoughtful interpreter of power and persuasion.






Nathan Milstein, Concertos, Album CoverMilstein plays Mendelssohn and Dvorak in Switzerland   Audite

Nathan Milstein confirms his repute for absolute mastery in two classic concertos, live from Lucerne.





Rosbaud Conducts Tchaikovsky, Album CoverTchaikovsky Symphonies 4-5 with Hans Rosbaud    SWR

Hans Rosbaud appears before his Baden-Baden orchestra in spirited, vibrant renditions of two Tchaikovsky symphonies.






Janacek Glagolitic Mass Album CoverJanacek: Glagolitic Mass  cond. Belohlovek     Decca

The music of Leos Janacek makes a sensational impression under the guidance of Jiri Belohlavek.






Horenstein Conducts, album coverHorenstein conducts Mihalovic, Bartok, and Stravinsky    Pristine

Producer Andrew Rose and Pristine add potent interpretations of mid-20th Century scores by the volcanic conductor Jascha Horenstein.






Serge Koussevitzky Conducts Schumann Album CoverKoussevitzky conducts Schumann, Sibelius, and Casadesus   Pristine

The ever-volatile Serge Koussevitzky electrifies us with his fierce renditions of Sibelius and Schumann.






Ferenc Fricsay Conducts Strauss,Album Cover

Fricsay conducts Richard Strauss    Audite

The brunt of the Fricsay legacy in Richard Strauss here makes its debut, 1949-1954.





Ferenc Fricsay Conducts Mozart Album Cover

Ferenc Fricsay: The Mozart Broadcasts   DGG

Ferenc Fricsay’s post-war Mozart sessions at RIAS return with all their stylistic verve, passion, and immaculate musicianship.





Carlo Zecchi Complete Cetra Recordings Album Cover

Carlo Zecchi: Complete Cetra Solo Recordings    APR

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 6  Koussevitzky/BSO   Pristine






Martha Argerich and Ruggier Ricci Album CoverMartha Argerich and Ruggiero Ricci: 1961 Concerts, Volume 2   Doremi

In this second installment of the Ricci/Argerich Leningrad recitals, they can do no musical wrong.






Joseph Suk, Piano Music CoverSuk: Asrael Symphony cond. Karel Ancerl   SWR

The neo-Romantic piano music of Josef Suk has an ardent acolyte in Jonathan Plowright.






Nadia Reisenberg plays Haydn   Romeo Records

Nadia Reisenberg’s 1950s Haydn programs receive new and astonishingly cleargloss from Romeo Records.






FRESH! Beethoven & Strauss, Album CoverBeethoven Sym 3/ Honeck/Pittsburgh


Great sound and great performances, full of extraordinary insights.





Berlioz Les Troyens/Nelson

A magnificent achievement, and one that doesn’t come along often.






Rachel Barton Pine, "Blues Dialogues"Blues Dialogues/Barton-Pine

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.






WoodWired In The Loop Album CoverWoodWired Duo — “In the Loop” = Works for Flute and Bass Clarinet, by Hannah Leffler and Cheyenne Cruz

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!





Nordic Affect "H e (a) r", Album CoverNordic Affect:  H e (a) r – Icelandic Ensemble, Contemporary Chamber Music – Sono Luminus

Iceland brings us Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir and her ensemble Nordic Affect in this rich presentation of soundscapes by contemporary composers.






Liquid Melancholy, Music of Stephenson for ClarinetStephenson Liquid Melancholy

John Bruce Yeh on clarinet gives wonderful voice to music by Stephenson!






Six Evolutions Album Cover, Yo Yo MaBach Suites/ Yo-Yo Ma

The third time proves the charm for the ever-intrepid Yo-Yo Ma!






THE DOORS OF HEAVEN. Eriks Esenvalds:—. Naxos 8.5790008.







MICHAEL TIPPETT: Symphonies 1 & 2—BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins—Hyperion CDA68203—74:44.







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.


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