We recommend: theartsdesk's Classical CDs of the Year | Classical music reviews, news & interviews
We recommend: theartsdesk's Classical CDs of the Year
Ten of the year's best classical releases
Bach: Complete Keyboard Works Ivo Janssen (Void)
- Enterprising Dutch pianist Ivo Janssen’s complete Bach set is an inexpensive way to acquire every scrap of the composer’s keyboard output. There’s everything here – wit, drama, poetry, humour and pathos, all delivered with consummate ease. Find Bach Complete Keyboard Works on Amazon
Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies La Chambre Philharmonique/Emanuel Krivine (Naïve)
- Riccardo Chailly’s dynamic Leipzig cycle may have stolen the headlines when it appeared in the autumn, accompanied by a Barbican residency, but this French period-instrument cycle is a joy. Giddy, propulsive readings played with panache, and evidence of Beethoven’s ability to shock and surprise. Find Chailly's Beethoven Symphonies on Amazon
Percy Grainger Edition (Chandos)
- A genuine maverick is given the recognition he deserves in this epic, 19-disc box set. The funkiest folk song arrangements you’ll find anywhere jostle for attention with music of bewildering originality. Glorious. Find The Grainger Edition on Amazon
Martin: Der Sturm (Hyperion)
- Thierry Fischer conducts the first recording of this cool, bewitching opera, a German-language setting of Shakespeare’s TheTempest. Frank Martin’s music effortlessly synthesises jazz, impressionism and dodecaphony. Find Der Sturm on Amazon
Martinů: The Six Symphonies BBC SO/Jiri Belohlavek (Onyx)
- The most underrated cycle of 20th-century symphonies in idiomatic performances, recorded live in London. Find Martinů on Amazon
Poulenc: Orchestral works Anima Eterna/Jos van Immerseel (Zig Zag)
- Period instrument performances of Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Concert champêtre, alongside the Suite française. Pungent, earthy and entertaining. Find Poulenc on Amazon
Alexandre Tharaud plays Scarlatti (Virgin)
- Joyous performances of a generous selection of Scarlatti’s miniature keyboard sonatas, played by a French pianist who’s alert to every detail and quirk. Delicious. Find Alexandre Tharaud Plays Scarlatti on Amazon
Schoenberg: Orchestral works Berlin Philharmonic/Sir Simon Rattle (EMI)
- Simon Rattle conducts repertoire in which he excels, with his Berlin orchestra responding with zeal. The Accompaniment to a Film Scene is uniquely unsettling, and the orchestration of Brahms’s G Minor Piano Quartet has to be heard to be believed. Find Rattle's Schoenberg on Amazon
Gustavo Dudamel conducts Bruckner, Nielsen and Sibelius (DG)
- Live recordings made by this charismatic Venezuelan with the excellent Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Dudamel gives us incandescent readings of Nielsen’s 4th and 5th symphonies and a shattering Bruckner 9. Find Dudamel on Amazon
ECM Lockenhaus Edition (ECM)
- Violinist Gidon Kremer’s Austrian chamber music festival is celebrated in this reissue, featuring stylish performances of music by the likes of Stravinsky, Schulhoff, Shostakovich and Poulenc, together with new live recordings of works by Messiaen and Strauss. Find Kremer's Lockenhaus on Amazon
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