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24.12.05

Best of 2005: Addendum

I haven't listened to enough of this year's new recordings to be able to put together a Top 10 List of my own (here is Jens's Best of 2005). However, here are links to some of my thoughts on a few of this year's recordings:


Cecilia Bartoli, Opera Proibita, with Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski (Decca 475 6924) -- Cecilia Bartoli's New Disc (October 6, 2005)
Richard Strauss, Daphne, with Renée Fleming, WDR Orchestra Cologne, Semyon Bychkov (Decca 475 6926) -- Renée Fleming at the Kennedy Center (October 19, 2005): comments on CD mixed in with review of the live performance

Jens adds, "Fleming's recording is a gift to Strauss lovers and will hopefully bring Fleming lovers into the former's fold, if they are not already. The record collector, however, is not likely to give up his Böhm/Wunderlich/Güden recording up so easily. But the fact that it took 41 years to come up with a recording that seriously scratches on the classic is an achievement."
Gidon Kremer, Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J. S. Bach (ECM New Series 1926) -- Bach's Unaccompanied Violin Bible (November 17, 2005)
Trio Mediæval, Stella Maris (ECM New Series 1929)-- Trio Mediæval (CD review at bottom of the concert review, December 13, 2005)
Andreas Scholl, Arias for Senesino (Decca 475 6569) -- Andreas Scholl Conjures Senesino (November 21, 2005)
Osvaldo Golijov, Ayre, and Luciano Berio, Folk Songs, Dawn Upshaw (DG 00289 4775414) -- Stale Ayre (December 6, 2005)

This CD was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition, not Best Classical Crossover Album, where it probably belongs. In my opinion, it cannot hold a candle to its main competition, William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience (Naxos), which I am still planning to review.

Jens says that he is going to take a second (allegedly more positive) chance with Ayre when he reviews another non-classical classical record, the Asha Bosle/Kronos Quartet Bollywood collaboration "You've stolen my heart."
Renée Fleming, Sacred Songs (Decca 477177) -- Voices from Heaven (via the Marketing Department): Sidebar Comments (September 19, 2005)

It's been quite a year of listening for us here at Ionarts. Judging by our little catalogue, we have published more concert reviews this calendar year than the previous year and a half combined. So it's very hard to cull our schedule of listening, between two critics, down to the ten best concerts Ionarts heard in Washington this year. Here's how it comes down, in chronological order:
  1. Boris Godunov, Kirov Opera (January 22, 2005)
  2. Evgeny Kissin at Strathmore (April 8, 2005)
  3. Kremerata Baltica at Shriver Hall (May 3, 2005)
  4. Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin at Library of Congress (May 14, 2005)
  5. BSO, Fazil Say (September 23, 2005)
  6. Nikolaj Znaider with National Symphony Orchestra (October 7, 2005)
  7. Strauss's Daphne, with Renée Fleming (October 20, 2005)
  8. Cecilia Bartoli at the Kennedy Center (October 28, 2005)
  9. Mitsuko Uchida at Strathmore (November 18, 2005)
  10. Trio Mediæval at the Kennedy Center (December 13, 2005)

3 comments:

Frank Pesci, Jr. said...

Buon Natale!

Akimon said...

I guess the two entries are about best recordings of the year, i.e. albums, but 'tis was a good year for opera DVDs; that is, I will not pretend to know anything about Verdi, Puccini and other perenial favourites, but for Baroque operas, it was a true motherlode of great releases: just few weeks ago, Christophe Rousset, leading Les Talens Lyriques and an A team of singers in Handel's Serse; also a wonderfully deranged version Handel's Teseo from Potsdam Opera, and earlier this year, after fifteen bleeding years of teasing us, the French TV finally released from their clutches and onto DVD the famous Les Arts/William Christie's production of Les Indes Galantes. Feast for ears and eyes!
and in terms of this years' releases, I can't believe that Ionarts is still mum on Sandrine Piau's "Opera Seria" Handel recital, possibly the best album of Handel's sopranos arias ever... Gramophone did notice it and it was up for Best Vocal Performance of the Year, I think, and I have certainly worn a hole in my copy. FYI and Wesolych Swiat!
Monika

jfl said...

well, someone tell NAIVE to send their releases our way and we'll review'em allright. but i cannnnt doit raaat now, because eym allready to darn drunk.