Best Of The Year Discs for 2002

by | Jan 1, 2003 | Best of the Year | 0 comments

Classical/Jazz/Rock (incl. both Hi-Res Formats)    

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Here is our 18th annual Best of the Year List, continuing the service first offered in 1985 with the public radio version of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION. As usual, we make no definite claims for this list. It is predicated on our personal tastes and also on what was available to us, but also with an equal emphasis on both the musical and sonic quality of each CD (excepting some of the reissues. This year for the first time we are including choices in rock.)

– John Sunier


JOHN ADAMS: Naive And Sentimental Music; Mother Of The Man; Chain To The Rhythm – Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen – Nonesuch 79636-2

J.S. BACH: Concertos, Vol. II = Violin Concerto in G Minor BWV1056, Concerto for oboe and violin in C Minor BVW 1060, Violin Concerto in A Minor BWV 1041, Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor BWV 1043, Violin Concerto in E Major BWV 1042, Concerto for 3 violins in D Major BWV 1064 – Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Hudson – Tacet DVD-Audio DVD D1111

BACH: 7 Harpsichord Concertos; Triple Concerto BWV 1044 – Richard Egarr, harpsichord/The Academy of Ancient Music/Andrew Manze – Harmonia mundi 097283.84 – (2 CDs)

BACH: The Art Of The Fugue – Les Violon Du Roy/Bernard Labadie – Dorian xCD-90297

BACH: The Brandenburg Concertos – English Chamber Orchestra/Johannes Somary – The Bach Guild/Vanguard Classics multichannel SACD (2 discs) – VSD 513/514:

BACH: Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord – Giuliano Carmignola, v./Andrea Marcon, harpsichord – Sony Classical S2K 89469 (2 CDs):

BARBER: Violin Concerto; Souvenirs (Ballet Suite); Serenade For Strings; Music For A Scene From Shelley. James Buswell, violin. Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop. Naxos 8.559044:

BARTOK: String Quartets Nos. 1 – 6 / Vertavo String Quartet – Berit Cardas, 1st Violin ; Oyvor Volle, 2nd Violin; Henninge Landaas, Viola; Bjorg Vaernes, Cello – Simax Classics PSC 1197

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in B Flat, Op. 130 (with alternative sixth movement in place of normal Grosse Fugue, Op. 133) – The Lindsays – ASV stereo SACD – DCA 9117

DUPRE – FRANCK – WIDOR – Michael Murray at the organ of St. Sulpice, Paris – Telarc multichannel SACD-60516

WILHELM FURTWANGLER: Symphony No. 2 – Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim – Teldec Classics 0927 43495 2 (2 CDs):

HAYDN: String Quartets, Op. 76; Op. 77; Op. 103 – Amadeus String Quartet – DGG 289 471 762-2 (3 CD’s)

MOZART: Requiem; J. C. BACH: Introitus and Kyrie from the Totenmesse – Soloists, choir and orchestras of the Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Valdhoven – multichannel SACD Channel Classics CCS SA 18102

The Film Music of JERRY GOLDSMITH – London Sym. Orch./Jerry Goldsmith cond. – Telarc SACD-60433, multichannel SACD

PHILIP GLASS: Philip on Film – Kronos String Quartet, et al. – Nonesuch 79660-2 (5 CDs)

HANDEL: Complete Violin Sonatas – Andrew Manze, v./Richard Egarr, harpsichord – Harmonia mundi HMU 907259:

The Coronation of King George II, 1727 – HANDEL’S Coronation Anthems and ceremonial music by PURCELL, BLOW, TALLIS, GIBBONS and others – Choir of The King’s Consort/The King’s Consort/Robert King – Hyperion SACDA67286 – 2 multichannel SACDs


ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD: Music from the Films – The Sea Hawk, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Captain Blood, The Prince and the Pauper – London Symphony Orchestra/Andre Previn – DGG 28937 13472-5:

LAGQ Latin – Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (John Dearman, William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, Andrew York – Telarc multichannel SACD 60593

MAHLER: Symphony No. 10 (Deryck Cooke’s performing version) – Berlin Philharmonic/Sir Simon Rattle – EMI Classics DVD-A 4 92394 9

MAHLER: Symphony No. 6 – San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas – Multichannel SACD, 2 discs, San Francisco Symphony 821936-0001-2

WYNTON MARSALIS: All Rise – Marsalis, trumpet/Paul Smith Singers/Northridge Singers of California State University/Morgan State University Choir/Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra/Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen – Sony Classical S2K 89817 (2 CDs)

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jesus – Steven Osborne, piano – Hyperion CDA67351/2 (2 CDs)

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Turangalila Symphonie (complete) – Michel Beroff, piano; Jeanne Loriod, ondes martinot; London Sym. Orch./Andre Previn – EMI Classics multichannel 4.0 DVD-A 7243 4 92398 90:

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ for mixed choir, seven instrumental soloists and very large orchestra – (Soloists include Roger Muraro, piano, plus flute, clarinet, cello, marimba, vibraphone and xylorimba)/Choir of Radio France/Radio France Philharmonic/Myung-Whun Chung – DGG 471 569-2 (2 CDs)

IGNAZ MOSCHELES: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 in E Flat Major & No. 3 in G Minor; Anticipations of Scotland: A Grand Fantasia – Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Howard Shelley, pianist & conductor – Hyperion CDA67276

MOZART: The Four Flute Quartets – Wolfgang Schulz, flute/Gaede Trio – Tacet 4.0 24/96 DVD-A:

Peacock Pie = JACOB: Concertino; GIBBS: Peacock Pie, Concertino; ROOTHAM: Miniature Suite; MILFORD: Concertino in E; DRING: Festival Scherzo – Martin Roscoe, piano/Guildhall Strings/Robert Salter – Hyperion CDA67316:

POULENC: Concerto for Organ; PETIT: Concertino; BARBER: Toccata Festiva – Dame Gillian Weir, organ/English Chamber Orchestra/David Hill (in Poulenc) & Raymond Leppard, conductors – Linn Records multichannel SACD CKD 180

POULENC: Violin-Piano Sonata; DEBUSSY: Violin-Piano Sonata in G Minor; ST.-SAENS: Violin-Piano Sonata No. 1 in D Minor – Midori, violin/Robert McDonald, piano – Sony Classical stereo SACD-(only) SS 89699

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3; SCRIABIN: Etudes; Liu Yang River – Lang Lang, piano/St. Petersburg Philharmonic/Yuri Temirkanov – Telarc multichannel SACD-60582:

MAX REGER: Reger and Romanticism – London Philharmonic Orchestra/Leon Botstein, conductor. Telarc CD-80589:

RESPIGHI: Belkis, Queen of Sheba Suite; Dance of the Gnomes; The Pines of Rome – Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue – Reference Recordings RR-95CD (HDCD)

NINO ROTA: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 – Dmitry Yablonsky, c./I Virtuosi Italiani/Daniel Boico – Chandos 9892

JOLY BRAGA SANTOS: Symphony No. 2; Crossroads Ballet – Bournemouth Symphony Orch./Alvaro Cassuto – Marco Polo 8.225216

RODRIGO Complete Orchestral Works Vol. 1 – Soleriana, Zarabanda lejana y Villancico, Cinco Piezas Infantiles – Asturias Sym. Orch./Maximiano Valdes – Naxos 8.555844:

FREDERICK RZEWSKI = RZEWSKI PLAYS RZEWSKI: Piano Works, 1975-1999. Nonesuch (7 CDs)

Shifting Landscapes = JOHN ADAMS: Fearful Symmetries for Orchestra, The Chairman Dances; LEPO SUMERA: Symphony No. 2 – Symphony Orchestra of the Norrlands Opera/Kristian Järvi – CCn’C Records 01912 Multichannel SACD
BRITTEN: Cello Suites – Truls Mørk, Cello – Virgin Classics 5 45399 2 3:

RODION SHCHEDRIN: Carmen Suite, Concerto No. 1 “Naughty Limericks,” Concerto No. 2 “The Chimes” – Russian National Orchestra/Mihail Pletnev – DGG 289 471 136-2

SCHOENBERG: Gurrelieder–Karita Mattila, sop/Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo/Thomas Moser, tenor/Philip Langridge, tenor/Thomas Quasthoff, bar/Simon Rattle, cond/Berlin Philharmonic/Berlin and Leipzig Radio Choirs–EMI 557303 (2 CDs)

SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2 in D Major; TUBIN: Symphony No. 5 in B Minor – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi, Conductor – Telarc SACD 60585 -Multichannel SACD

ZYGMUNT STOJOWSKI: Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor; Piano Concerto No. 2 in A flat major – Jonathan Plowright, p./BBC Scottish Sym. Orch./Martyn Brabbins – Hyperion CDA67314

GEIRR TVEITT: A Hundred Hardanger Tunes – Suite No. 1; Suite No. 4 “Wedding Suite” Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset – Naxos 8.555078

Twentieth Century Contrasts = MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: Strut; LUKAS FOSS: For Toru; WM. BOLCOM: Concerto-Serenade; JAMES HANNA: Downs; ALEC WILDER: Five Love Songs; QUINCY PORTER: Music for Strings; PIAZZOLLA ADAMS: Todo Buenos Aires; HENRI PENSIS; Fantasy on Two Christmas Carols – Miramar Sinfonietta/Henri Pensis – Albany Records TROY509

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lake in the Mountains; Six Studies in English Folksong; Phantasy Quintet; Violin Sonata in A minor; String Quartet No. 2 in A minor – The Nash Ensemble: Ian Brown, piano; Marianne Thorsen, violin; Elizabeth Wexler, violin; Lawrence Power, viola; Louise Williams, viola; Paul Watkins, cello – Hyperion CDA 67313:

JOHN WILLIAMS: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Elegy for Cello and Orchestra, Three Pieces for Solo Cello, Heartwood – Yo-Yo Ma, cello/Recording Arts Orch. Of Los Angeles/John Williams – Sony Classical SK 89670::

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: A Sea Symphony – Christine Goerke, Soprano/Brett Polegato, Baritone/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Spano, Conductor/Norman MacKenzie, ASO Director of Choruses – Telarc multichannel SACD-60588


Duke Ellington and His Orchestra – “…and his mother called him Bill” – RCA Bluebird 9026-63744-27

Bobby Previte: The 23 Constellations of Joan Miró – Ensemble cond. By Kirk Nurock – Tzadik TZ 7072

Brad Mehldau – Largo – Warner Bros. 9 48114-2

Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans- Know What I Mean? – Analogue Productions CAPJ 9433 -Hybrid Stereo SACD

The Benny Goodman Quartet – Together Again! (Goodman, clarinet; Teddy Wilson, piano; Lionel Hampton, vibes; Gene Krupa, drums) – RCA Bluebird 09026-63881-27

Gary Burton & Makoto Ozone – Virtuosi – Concord Jazz CCD-2105-2

Jason Moran, solo pianos – Modernistic – Blue Note 72435-39838-2 6

Charlie Christian: The Genius of the Electric Guitar, 1939-1941 – Reissue produced by Michael Brooks & Michael Cuscuna – Columbia Legacy 65564 (4 CD set)

Miles Davis – Tutu (with Marcus Miller, Adam Holzman, George Duke, Michael Urbaniak & others) – Warner Bros. DVD-A 9 48429-9

Monty Alexander – My America – Telarc multichannel SACD 6355-2

Dave Holland Big Band – What Goes Around – ECM 1777 440 014 002-2

The Quintet – Jazz at Massey Hall (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Max Roach) – Debut/Fantasy DCD-124-2

Artie Shaw Self Portrait – nearly 100 selections by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra from l936 thru 1954 on 5 CDs – Bluebird boxed set 09026 63808-2

Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach – Money Jungle – Blue Note 7243 5 38227 2 9

Al di Meola – Flesh On Flesh – with Anthony Jackson, contrabass; Gumbi Ortiz, congas; Mario Parmisano, acoustic piano, synth, marimba & calliope; Alejando Santos, flutes & panpipes; Ernie Adams, drums; etc. – Telarc CD 83543

Ray Brown Trio – Some of My Best Friends Are…Guitarists (Ray Brown, bass; with John Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis, Russell Malone, Kenny Burrell, Bruce Forman and Ulf Wakenius, guitar; Geoff Keezer, piano; Karriem Riggins, drums) – Telarc CD83499

Weather Report – Mysterious Traveller (Incl. Wayne Shorter, sop. & tenor sax & Lyricon, tack piano; Joe Zawinul, piano, vocals, Melodica, synth, organ, percussion, Fender Rhodes; Miroslav Vitous & Alphonso Johnson, bass; Dom Um Romao & Ray Baretto, percussion; Skip Hadden & Ismael Wilburn, drums) – Columbia Legacy multichannel SACD (only) CS 65112

Joe Lovano – Viva Caruso (with Joe Lovano Street Band, Opera House Ensemble) Woodwind Orchestrations by Byron Olson – Blue Note 72435 35986-2 4

Bobby McFerrin – Beyond Words (with Chick Corea, piano; Bass/guitar/percussion, Richard Bona; Drums, Omar Hakim; Percussion, Cyro Baptista & guest soloists) – Blue Note/Angel 7243 34201 2 3

Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus (with Tommy Flanagan, piano; Doug Watkins, bass; Max Roach, drums) – Prestige/Fantasy/Analogue Productions Mono SACD CAPJ 7079SA

Clark Terry – One On One (with Monty Alexander, Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Tommy Flanagan, Benny Green, Sir Roland Hanna, John Lewis, Marian McPartland, Junior Mance, Billy Taylor and others) Multichannel SACD – Chesky SACD231

Charles Mingus – Tijuana Blues – Bluebird 09026-63840

The Larry Goldings Trio (Goldings, B3; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Bill Stewart, drums/cymbals/gongs) – Moonbird – Palmetto/Hi Res Music stereo DVD-A HRM 2004

Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar – Swing Live (with Peter Appleyard, vibes; Allen Vache, clarinet; Bernard Purdie, drums; Michael Moore, bass) Chesky DVD A “2/4/6 disc” CHDVD222

Invisible Nature – John Surman (sop. & bar. Sax, bass clar., synthesizers); Jack DeJohnette (drums, electronic percussion, piano) – ECM 1796

Regina Carter, violin – Something for Grace – Atlantic 82975-2

Michael Camilo – Triangulo (with Anthony Jackson, bass; Horatio Hernandez, drums) – Telarc Jazz multichannel SACD SACD 63549

Jim Hall & Basses (Scott Colley, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, George Mraz, Christian McBride) – Telarc CD-83506

Pat Metheny Group – Imaginary Day – Warner Bros. DVD-A 9 46791-9


BARTOK: Concerto for Orchestra – JVC xrcd JMCXR-0007

BELA BARTOK: Concerto for Orchestra; The Miraculous Mandarin – New York Philharmonic/Pierre Boulez – Sony Classical SACD (only) SS 87710

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7; MOZART: Symphony No. 41 – Hans Knappertsusch conducts Munich Philh. and Vienna Philh. – Urania SP 4202

BEETHOVEN: Fidelio – Ferenc Fricsay cond. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande w/Metternich, Anders, Werth, Frick – Gebhardt JGCD 0045-2

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, Op. 73 “Emperor”; Piano Sonatas 8 “Pathetique” & 23 “Appassionata” Edwin Fischer/Wilhelm Furtwaengler cond. Philharmonia Orch. – EMI 7243 5 74800

FAURE: 13 Barcarolles; Theme and Variations – Germaine Thyssens Valentin, piano – Testament SBT 1215

Sergio Fiorentino Edition, Vol. 4 = LISZT and CHOPIN Orchestral Recordings – Fiorentino, piano w/Vernon Handley cond. Guildford Philharmonic – APR 5584

FRANCK: Symphony in D Minor – Boston Symphony Orch./Charles Munch – BMG/JVC xrcd JMCXR-0018


Clemens Krauss conducts BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1; MOZART: Symphony No. 41- Clemens Krauss/Bremen State Philharmonic Orchestra – Tahra TAH 455

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” – Vincent, Ferrier, Otto Klemperer cond. 1951 Holland Festival – Guild GHCD 2210

Edith Picht, Axenfeld, Last Recital – BRAHMS: Klavierstuecke, Op. 117 119 – Camerata 28CM-637

RAVEL: Daphnis & Chloe (complete ballet) – Boston Symphony/Charles Munch – JVCXR-0222-2

RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome; Fountains of Rome – JVC xrcd JMCXR 0008
R. STRAUSS: Elektra (NY, 1949) – Varnay, Janssen, Nicolaidi, Jagel w/Dimitri Mitropoulos cond. NY Philharmonic – Guild GHCD 2213/14

Stokowski conducts SCHUMANN Symphony No. 2; HAYDn Symphony No. 53; music by R. STRAUSS, MOZART, HUMPERDINCK – Leopold Stokowski conducts Symphony Orchestra – Cala CACD0532

WAGNER: Der Ring des Nibelungens – Hans Knappertsbusch cond. 1956 Bayreuth Festival, w/Varnay, Uhde, Traxel, Windgassen, Greindl – Music&Arts CD-4009 (13 discs)

Bruno Walter conducts BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique and RAVEL: Rapsodie espagnole – Bruno Walter conducts NBC Symphony – Arbiter 133

WALTON conducts WALTON = Cello Concerto (Fournier); Crown Imperial; Facade; The Twelve; Variations on a Theme of Hindemith; Coronation Te Deum – William Walton conducts Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony –
BBC Legends BBCL 4098-2


The Band – The Last Waltz = With guests Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Neil Young – Warner Bros./Rhino DVD-A R9 78260

Don Byron – You Are #6 (More Music for Six Musicians) – Byron, clarinet & bass cl.; James Zollar, trumpet & flugelhorn; Edsel Gomez, piano; Leo Traversa, bass & vocals; Milton Cardona, percussion & vocals; Ben Wittman, drums & percussion; 15 guest performers – Blue Note 32231

Eric Clapton – Reptile – Reprise DVD-Audio (also DTS) 9 47966-9

The Best of Mickey Hart – Over the Edge and Back – 360 Degrees/Ryko DVD-Audio DVDA 10494

Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin – Cheap Thrills – Columbia Legacy multichannel (SACD only) CS 65784

B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Riding With the King – Reprise DVD-Audio 9 47612-9

The Grateful Dead – American Beauty – Warner Bros./Rhino DVD-A R9 74385-93

John Mceuen and Jimmy Ibotson – Nitty Gritty Surround – Special Appearance by Jennifer Warnes – AIX Records AIX 80008 DVD-A

Mofro – Blackwater – Hi-Res Music HRM 2002 Stereo DVD-A

Randy Newman – Little Criminals – Warner Bros./Rhino DVD-A R9 78349

Queen – A Night At The Opera; DTS-1091 DVD-A

Steely Dan – Two Against Nature – Giant Records 9 24719 9

James Taylor – JT – Multichannel SACD, Sony SONSAM69801

Muddy Waters – Folk Singer – Chess CHESA 940 – Single Layer Stereo SACD

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