Best of the Year Discs for 2004

by | Jan 1, 2005 | Best of the Year | 0 comments

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

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This is our 20th 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 and record numbers using our handy site search engine at the upper left-hand column of every page.


J. S. BACH: Solo & Double Violin Concertos = Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins BWV 1043; Concerto in A Minor for Violin; Concerto in E Major for Violin; Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins – Andrew Manze & Rachel Podger, violins/The Academy of Ancient Music – Harmonia mundi multichannel SACD HMU 807155

BACH: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I – Till Fellner, piano – ECM New Series 1853

SAMUEL BARBER: Vanessa – Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti Vanessa, Ellen Chickering; Erika, Andrea Matthews – National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Gil Rose – Naxos 8.669140-41 2 CDs

ANTON BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9, with doc. of the Final Fragment – Vienna Philharmonic/Nikolaus Harnoncourt – RCA Red Seal multichannel SACD + standard CD – 2CD 82876 54332-2

BEETHOVEN: Complete Music for Piano and Cello – András Schiff, piano/Miklos Perényi, cello – ECM New Series 1819/20 (2 discs)

BEETHOVEN: The Complete String Quartets, Vol. 2: Op. 59 & 74 – Auryn Quartet – Tacet T125 (2 CDs)

WIILLIAM BOLCOM: Songs of Innocence and of Experience – Soloists/choruses/ symphonies/Leonard Slatkin – Naxos American Classics 8.559216-18 ( 3 discs)

BRAHMS: Requiem – La Chapelle Royale/Collegium Vocale/ Orchestre des Champs Elysees/Philippe Herreweghe – Harmonia mundi: SACD stereo HMC 801608

CHOPIN & LOEWE Piano Concertos – Mari Kodama/Russian Nat. Orch./Kent Nagano – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 026

ELGAR: Violin Concerto; VW: The Lark Ascending – Hilary Hahn, violin/Sir Colin Davis – DGG multichannel SACD B0003026-02

HAVERGAL BRIAN: Symphony No. 1 “The Gothic” – Soloists/Slovak Opera Choirs/Slovak Folk Ens. Chorus/Lucnica Chorus/Bratislava City Choir/Bratislava Children’s Choir/Youth Echo Choir/Slovak Radio Sym. Orch./Slovak Philharmonic Orch. & Choir/Ondrej Lenárd – Naxos 8.557418-19 (2 discs)

HANDEL: Messiah (complete) – Soloists/Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh – Archiv multichannel SACD 477 066-2 (2 discs)

PIETRO ANTONIO LOCATELLI: From “L’Arte del Violino III:” Concertos Nos. 11, 5 & 12 – Sandrine Cantoreggi, violin/Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Carlo Jans – Turtle Records multichannel SACD TRSA0018

MAHLER: Sym. No. 2, “Resurrection” – SF Sym./Tilson Thomas – SF Sym. multichannel SACD 821936-0006-2 (2 discs)

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor “Resurrection” – Latonia Moore, sop./Nadja Michael, mezzo-sop./Vienna Singverein/Vienna Philharmonic/Gilbert Kaplan – DGG SACD (2 discs) 474 594-2

MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 – Laura Claycomb, soprano/San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas – San Francisco Symphony multichannel SACD 821936-0004-2

MAHLER: Symphony No. 5 – Berlin Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado – DGG multichannel SACD 477 071-2 (2 discs)

TIGRAN MANSURIAN: Monodia: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra; Concerto for Violin and Orchestra; Lachrymae for Soprano Saxophone and Viola; Confessing with Faith – Kim Kashkashian, Viola / Leonidas Kavakos, Violin / Jan Garbarek, Soprano Saxophone – Munchen Chamber Orchestra; Christoph Poppen, Conductor, with The Hilliard Ensemble – ECM New Series 1850/51 472 7842

MESSIAEN: Turangalila-Symphonie – Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano/Takashi Harada, Ondes Martenot/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly – Decca multichannel SACD 470 627- (2 discs)

W.A. MOZART: Requiem – Christine Schafer, soprano; Bernarda Fink, alto; Gerald Finley, bass; Kurt Streit, tenor; Arnold Schoenberg Choir/Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Multichannel SACD 82876 58705 2

Missa Mexicana – The Harp Consort / Andrew Lawrence-King, Director – Harmonia Mundi HMU 807293 – Multichannel Hybrid SACD

MOZART: Le Nozze di Figaro – Véronique Gens, Patrizia Ciofi, Angelika Kirchschlager, Lorenzo Regazzo and Simon Kennlyside, with Collegium Vocale Gent and Concerto Köln conducted by René Jacobs – Harmonia Mundi 901818.20 (3 CDs) (Also avail. on SACD)

NIELSEN: Sym. No. 5; STRAVINSKY: Rite of Spring – Cincinnati Sym./Paavo Jarvi – Telarc multichannel SACD 60615

The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 34 = GABRIEL PIERNÉ: Piano Concerto in C Minor; Poeme symphonique in D Minor; Fantaisie Ballet in B flat major; Scherzo-Caprice in D Major – Stephen Coombs, piano/BBC Scottish Sym. Orch./Ronald Corp – Hyperion CDA67348

PROKOFIEV: Cinderella Suite; RAVEL: Mother Goose Suite – Argerich & Pletnev, pianos – DGG multichannel SACD 00289 474 8682

PUCCINI: La Bohème. — Angela Gheorghiu (Mimi), Roberto Alagna (Rudolfo), Elisabetta Scano (Musetta); Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, and Coro di voci bianche del Teatro alla Scala e del Conservatoriao “G. Verdi” di Milano; Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Riccardo Chailly — Decca multichannel SACD 470 614-2 DSA2

RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor; Vocalise – Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer – Channel Classics multichannel SACD CCS SA 21604

SCHUBERT: Die Winterreise – Ian Bostridge, tenor/Leif Ove Andsnes, piano – EMI Classics 5 57790-2

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor; Symphony No. 9 in E Flat Major – Kirov Orchestra, Marinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg/Valery Gergiev – Philips Multichannel SACD 470 651-2

SKROWACZEWSKI: Concerto Nicolo for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra. Concerto for Orchestra. Gary Graffman, piano. Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski – Reference Recordings (HDCD) RR103CD

Bells for Stokowski = SUSATO: Sel. from The Danserye; VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: English Folk Song Suite; DAVID DEL TREDICI: In Wartime; MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: Bells for Stokowski – The Universaity of Texas Wind Ensemble/Jerry Junkin – Reference Recordings HDCD RR-104

CHARLES V. STANFORD: Requiem – Soloists/ RTE Nat. Sym. Orch. of Ireland and RTE Choir/Adrian Leaper – Naxos 8.55501-02 (2 discs)

Cecilia Zilliacus = STRAVINSKY: Divertimento. SIBELIUS: Humoresques 1, 2 & 6, and Romance Op. 78 No. 2. Sven-David Sandström (born 1942) Diabas for solo violin. RAVEL:Tzigane – Cecilia Zilliacus, violin. Anders Kilström, piano – Caprice CAP 21564

VIVALDI: Le Viola da gamba in Concerto – 7 concertos: for violin, gamba, strings & continuo; 2 concertos for 2 violins, gamba, strings & continuo; Concerto for 4 violins; “Concerto Funebre”; Concerto “Protean…”; Concerto with Multi-Instruments – Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall, viola de gamba & director – AliaVox AV 9835

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: A London Symphony (Sym. No. 2); BUTTERWORTH: The Banks of Green Willow: Idyll – London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox – Chandos multichannel SACD CHSA 5001


BACH: Suites for Unaccompanied Cello – Janos Starker – Mercury 3-channel SACD 470 644-2 (2 discs)

SAMUEL BARBER & Leontyne Price Historic Performances – Bridge 9156

BLOCH: 4 Quartets Griller Quartet Decca Original Masters 475 607

Janacek Quartet: The Complete Recordings (DVORAK, MOZART, HAYDN, BRAHMS, JANACEK Etc.) DGG (7 CDs) 474 010-2

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor; BEETHOVEN: Sym. #3 – Barbirolli cond.
Stuttgart Radio-Sym. – Living Stage LS 1023

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concertos 2 & 3 – Byron Janis/Minneapolis Sym./Antal
Dorati – Mercury 3-channel SACD 470 639-2

Paul Schoeffler Recital – Melodram GM 7.0003

Songs of the Auvergne, Vol. 1 & 2 – Arranged by Canteloube and sung in the Auvergne dialect by Netania Davrath, soprano with Orchestra conducted by Pierre de la Roche – Vanguard/Classic Records HDAD 2002

RICHARD STRAUSS; Also sprach Zarathustra; Ein Heldenleben – Chicago Sym./Fritz Reiner – RCA Living Stereo SACD 82876-61389-2


Kenny Barron & Regina Carter – Freefall – Verve 314 549 706-2

Jim Hall – Concierto – with Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Ron Carter, Steve Gadd and Roland Hanna – CTI/Mobile Fidelity stereo SACD

The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Jazz at Oberlin – Fantasy FSA-3245-6 Mono SACD

Don Byron – Ivey-Divey – Blue Note/EMI 7243 5 78215 2 0

James Carter – Gardenias for Lady Day (Carter, Saxes & clarinets; John Hicks, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Victor Lewis, drums) – Columbia multichannel SACD CH 89032

Bill Charlap Trio – Somewhere [The Songs of Leonard Bernstein] (with Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums) – Blue Note 94807

Arne Domnérus, saxophone & Gustaf Sjökvist, pipe organ – Antiphone Blues – Proprius/First Impression Music Stereo SACD 050

Johnny Frigo with Bucky & John Pizzarelli – Live from Studio A in New York City (with Ron Carter, Michael Moore, Butch Miles) – Chesky multichannel SACD 264

Jan Garbarek – In Praise of Dreams (Garbarek, saxophones; Kim Kashkashian, viola; Manu Katché, drums) – ECM 1880

Herbie Hancock – Gershwin’s world – Verve multichannel SACD 80001379-36

Herbie Hancock – The Piano – Columbia Legacy CK 87083

Sir Roland Hanna – Tributaries (Reflections on Tommy Flanagan) – IPO Recordings 104

Joe Henderson – Lush Life, The Music of Billy Strayhorn – Verve multichannel SACD B0001381-36

The Steve Huffsteter Big Band – Gathered Around – 20-piece big band with Huffsteter, Lee Thornburg and Buddy Childers, trumpets; Bill Perkins, sax; Jock Ellis, trombone – AIX Records DVD-A, Video etc. – AIX 80026

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet – LAGQ’s Guitar Heros – Telarc SACD-60598

Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco, B3 organs (with Paul Bollenback, guitar; John Hart, guitar; Andrew Beals, alto sax; Jerry Weldon, tenor sax; Rudolph Petschauer, drums; Byron Landham, drums) – Concord Jazz multichannel SACD-1022-6

Claire Martin – Too Darn Hot! – with Gareth Williams, piano; Geoff Gascoyne, double bass; Clark Tracey, drums; Nigel Hitchcock, saxes; many others – Linn AKD 243 – Multichannel Hybrid SACD

John Metcalfe: Scorching Bay – Black Box BBM1082 (2 discs)

Statesmen of Jazz: A Multitude of Stars (30) – Arbors Records SOJCD 202 (2 discs)

Clark Terry – Portraits (with Don Friedman, piano/Victor Gaskin, bass/Lewis Nash, drums) – Chesky multichannel SACD267

Clark Terry, with Jeff Lindberg and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra – Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess – A440 Music group (no #)

Various Artists – “Happy Birthday Newport: 50 Swinging Years!” 3CD box set – Columbia/Legacy C3K 89076

Gerald Wilson Orchestra – New York New Sound – Mack Avenue Records Multichannel SACD MAC 1019


Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 – Columbia/Mobile Fidelity stereo SACD UDSACD 2013

Blue Man Group – The Complex – DTS DVD-A 69286-01120-9-4

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells 2003 – Warner Music DVD-A -R9 60204

Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time – EMI DVD-A 72435-99316-9-2

Tommy – The Who – Deluxe Edition hybrid multichannel SACD – Geffen B0001386-36 (2 discs)

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