CD Reviews | CTD (Briefly Noted) | JFL (Dip Your Ears) | DVD Reviews


Best Recordings of 2012 (#3)

Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2012. My lists for the previous years: 2011, (2011 – “Almost”), 2010, (2010 – “Almost”), 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.

# 3 - New Release

A.Schoenberg, L.v>Beethoven, J.Haydn, A.Berg, An die ferne Geliebte op.98, Adelaïde op.46, The Book of the Hanging Gardens op.15, Altenberg Lieder, 3 Songs
C.Gerhaher, G.Huber, Sony 1935432

available at Amazon
Schoenberg, Beethoven, Haydn, Berg, "Ferne Geliebte
C.Gerhaher, G.Huber

The title suggests a Beethoven-focus, but “Ferne Geliebte” is really Christian Gerhaher’s achievement to get a major label to record Schoenberg’s song cycle “Hanging Gardens”. It’s a vote of confidence by Sony in the finest, certainly most natural living Lied-baritone to let him sing, so Gerhaher, “one of the last great, truly great song cycles, set to that incredibly fascinating not-love story by my far-and-away favorite poet, Stefan George” so Gerhaher himself. Bookended by heartbreakingly beautiful renditions of Beethoven’s best, An die ferne Geliebte, and Adelaïde, this is as perfectly presented a release of challenging beauty as I can imagine. An instant yes-love story. Berg and Haydn fill out the demanding and rewarding recital.

Note: It looks like the version available on is a CD-R on Demand, which is BS. Perhaps best get it from the UK or German outlet, instead.

# 3 – Reissue

D.Shostakovich, Six String Quartets, Jerusalem Quartet, Harmonia Mundi Gold 508392

available at Amazon
DSCH, SQ4ts 1,4,6,8,9,11,
Jerusalem Quartet
HMU Gold

Ever since we’ve come across the Jerusalem Quartet at ionarts (at the Terrace Theater in 2005, at the JCCGW in 2006, sabotaged at the Library of Congress in 2007, at the Barns in 2012), we’ve loved their playing… most especially their Shostakovich performances. I have not heard that much zest since the Borodin (especially in their Melodiya cycle)… yet they add beauty to brawn. They are still the only quartet from which I am actively hoping for a complete Shostakovich String Quartet cycle to add to the glut of excellent Shostakovich String Quartet cycles (like the Mandelring’s such cycle). That the Jerusalemites are taking their merry time (assuming they’re working on such a cycle at all) is only fine: Better get it right and for the ages than rushing anything. Read “Dip Your Ears No. 80” for a review of their two Shostakovich releases so far, now combined on this most welcome 2-disc Harmonia Mundi Gold re-release.

-> Best Recordings of 2012 #1 - 10

No comments: