Best of the Year

Best of the Year Discs for 2001


Published on January 1, 2002

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

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Here is our 17th annual Best of the Year List, continuing the service first offered in 1985 with the public radio version of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION. As usual, I make no definite claims for this list. It is predicated on my personal tastes and that of my contributors 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.)

- John Sunier

CLASSICAL

JOHN ADAMS: El Niño – Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Dawn Upshaw, Willard White – vocal soloists/Paul Hillier Theatre of Voices/London Voices/German Symphony Orch., Berlin/Kent Nagano – Nonesuch 79634-2 (2 Cds)

Ahn Trio – Ahn-Plugged (Lucia, piano; Angella, violin; Maria, cello) – EMI Classics 57022

ARNOLD OVERTURES – A Sussex Overture; Beckus the Dandipratt; The Smoke, The Fair Field, Commonwealth Christmas – London Philharmonic/Arnold – Reference Recordings RR-48CD

BACH: Complete works of Bach in 140 volumes – Helmut Rilling, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, et al. – Edition Bachakademie set, Hanssler (172 CDs!)

BACH: Mass in B Minor; Magnificat; Cantata BWV 80 (A mighty fortress is our God) – Soloists/La Chapelle Royale/ Collegium Vocale/Philippe Herreweghe – Harmonia mundi (2 CDs plus CD-ROM) HMX 2908110.12

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 – soloists/Choir of German State Opera, Berlin/Berlin Staatskapelle/Daniel Barenboim – Teldec 8573-83063-9 – DVD-A

HECTOR BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique; Love Scene from Romeo et Juliette – Cincinnati Sym. Orch./Paavo Jarvi – Telarc SACD-60578

BERNARD HERMANN – The Film Scores = The Man Who Knew Too Much: Prelude; Psycho Suite; Marnie Suite; North by Northwest; Vertigo Suite; Torn Curtain; Fahrenheit 451 etc. – Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen – Sony Classical SACD SS 62700

Conga-Line in Hell = DEL AGUILA: Conga-line in Hell; MARQUEZ: Danzon No. 4; NANCARROW: First Piece for Small Orchestra; SIERRA: Cuentos; CATURIA: First Cuban Suite; GUARNIERI: Flor de Tremembe – Camerata de las Americas/ Joel Sachs; Duane Cochran, piano – Dorian COR-93230

DEBUSSY: Preludes: Books I & II – Joan Rowland, piano – Surround By Entertainment DVD-A, SBE 1002-9

PAUL DUKAS: Fanfare to La Peri; La Peri ballet; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Symphony in C – Cincinnati Symphony orchestra/Jesus Lopez-Cobos – Telarc SACD CD-80515-SA

“Elegies” – Romances and Elegies for Viola and Piano. Kim Kashkashian, viola. Robert Levin, piano. ECM New Series ECM 1316

Sacred Feast – Gaudeamus – Directed by Paul Halley – DMP multichannel SACD -09

GLADIATOR – More Music from the Motion Picture (Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard) – Decca Enhanced CD 440 015 192-2

The Film Music of Sir Arthur Bliss: THINGS TO COME, CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA, THE ROYAL PALACES, WELCOME THE QUEEN, WAR IN THE AIR – BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba – Chandos 9896

DVORAK: Stabat Mater, Op. 58 Giuseppi Sinopoli conds. Staatskapelle Dresden DG 289471033-2

PHILIP GLASS: Symphony No. 5 – Requiem, Bardo, Nirmanakaya – Soloists/Morgan State Univ. Choir/Hungarian Radio Children’s Choir/Vienna Radio Sym. Orch./Dennis Russell Davies – Nonesuch 79618-2 (2 CDs)

PHILIP ON FILM – Film Works by Philip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Dracula, La Belle Et La Bete, Anima Mundi, Kundun, Mishima, The Secret Agent, The Thin Blue Line, The Man In The Bath, Diaspora, Facades – Mostly conducted by Michael Riesman with various soloists and ensembles – Nonesuch Boxed set – 79660-2 (5 Cds)

FRANZ HAYDN: Complete String Quartets. Angeles String Quartet. Universal/Philips 464 650-2 set

HOVHANESS: Sonata for Harp and Guitar, Op. 374, “Spirit of Trees.” Concerto for Harp and String Orchestra, Op. 267. “Upon Enchanted Ground” for Flute, Cello, Giant Tam Tam and Harp, Op. 90, No. 1. Sonata for Harp, Op. 127. “The Garden of Adonis.” Suite for Flute and Harp, Op. 245. Yolanda Kondonassis, harp/I Fiamminghi/Rudolph Werthen. Telarc SACD – CD-80530

BENJAMIN LEES: Piano Concerto No. 2; ALLEN SHAWN: Piano Concerto; CRESTON: Dance Overture; ANDREW BISHOP: Crooning – Ian Hobson, p. (Lees)/Ursula Oppens, p. (Shawn)/Albany Sym. Orch./David Alan Miller – Albany TROY441

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” – Emiko Suga, sop./Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto/Shinyukai Choir/Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa – Sony Classical S2K 89374

OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Turangalila Symphony; L’ascension – Francois Weigel, piano/Thomas Bloch, Ondes Martenot/Polish National Radio Symphony Orch./Antoni Wit – Naxos 8.554478-79 (2 CDs)

M O R I M U R – (Music of J.S. Bach) – The Hilliard Ensemble/Christopher Poppen, baroque violin – ECM New Music 1765

After Mozart – Gidon Kremer & Kremerata Baltica – Nonesuch 79633-2

MOZART: The Complete Piano Concertos – Malcolm Bilson, fortepiano/John Eliot Gardiner, conductor. The English Baroque Soloists. Archiv 463

Anne Sofie Von Otter Meets Elvis Costello – For the Stars – DGG 469 530-2

PIANISTS AS COMPOSERS: Compositions and transcriptions by Bauer, Casadesus, Chasins, Cherkassky, Cortot, Friedman, Gabrilowitsch, Gould, Hamelin, Hofmann, Horowitz, Iturbi, Johannesen, Levitzki, Levy, Lewenthal, Pennario, Philipp, Rosenthal, Sancan, Sapellnikoff–Donald Manildi, piano–Élan 82415.

PIAZZOLLA: The Four Seasons; TCHAIKOVSKY: The Seasons – Philharmonic Cellists/Alfredo Marcucci, bandoneon – Orfeo C 128001A

PROKOFIEV: Sonatas 1 for Violin and Piano in F Minor, Op.80; Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in D, Op. 94a; Sonata for solo violin, Op.115. Evgueni Bushkov, violin; Stephen Prutsman, piano. Harmonia Mundi HMN 911656

SERGE PROKOFIEV: The Seven Symphonies; Lt. Kije Suite – Berlin Philharmonic/Seiji Ozawa – Deutsche Grammophon 463 761-2 (4 Cds)

RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances; Etudes-Tableaux; Vocalise – Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue – Reference Recordings HDCD RR-96

RACHMANINOFF: Concerto No. 3 in E Minor – Arcadi Volodos, p./Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/James Levine; RACHMANINOFF: 6 solo piano works – Volodos, p.- Sony Classical SACD SS 64384

TERRY RILEY: Requiem for Adam; The Philosopher’s Hand – The Kronos Quartet; Terry Riley, piano, (Philosopher’s) – Nonesuch 79639-2

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade; Russian Easter Overture – Atlanta Sym. Orch./Robert Spano – Telarc CD-80568

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: Concert de Gaudi for Guitar and Orchestra; TAN DUN: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra – Sharon Isbin, guitar/Gulbenkian Orch./Muhai Tang – Teldec New Line 8573 81830-2

VERDI: String Quartet; BENJAMIN BRITTEN: String Quartet No. 3. Verdi Quartet – Hanssler Classic CD 98.394

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons; Concertos for Double Orchestra RV 581 & 582 – Mozart Players/David Juritz – Naxos 5.110001 – DVD-A

JAZZ

The Anthony Wilson Trio – Our Gang (Wilson, guitar/Joe Bagg, Hammond B3/Mark Ferber, drums) – Groove Note GRV2008-2 Gold

Bach 2000 – Dave Matthews and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra – Milestone MCD-9312-2

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

First Time! – The Count Meets the Duke – Historic one-time session with the Basie Band and Ellington Orchestra together! – Columbia Legacy SACD CS 65571

Buena Vista Social Club – The Players and Singers of the son de Cuba – Produced by Ry Cooder – World Circuit/Nonesuch 79478-9 DVD-Audio

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Double Live – From the USA & UK (with Bobby Militello, alto sax; Alec Dankworth, bass; Randy Jones, drums) – Telarc 2CD-83400

Dave Brubeck – The 40th Anniversary Tour of the UK – (with Bobby Militello, alto sax; Alec Dankworth, bass; Randy Jones, drums) Telarc SACD-83440-SA

Gary Burton, vibes & ensemble – Libertango (Music of Astor Piazzolla) – Concord Jazz CCD-4887-2

Celebrating the Music of Weather Report – All-star players – Telarc DVD-A-73473

Sarah Jane Cion – Summer Night – Naxos Jazz 86071-2

Skies Of America, Ornette Coleman /London Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Measham – Columbia/Legacy CK 63568

Birth Of The Cool – Miles Davis & Kai Winding & ens.- Capitol Jazz 30117

Miles Davis & Gil Evans – Sketches of Spain – Columbia Legacy SACD CS 65142

Joey DeFrancesco with guest Jimmy Smith – Incredible! – Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival – Concord Jazz CCD-4890-2

Flim & The BB’s – TriCycle (Billy Barber, piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers; Bill Berg, drums/percussion; Flim Johnson, 5 string Alembic basses & Oberheim synth.; Dick Oatts, alto, soprano and tenor sax, flute, clarinet) -DMP SACD-08

FINDING FORRESTER – featuring Bill Frisell, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman – Sony Music Soundtrack CR85350

In Montreal – Charlie Haden, double-bass; Egberto Gismonti, guitar & piano – ECM 1746

Mark Levinson Live Recordings at Red Rose Music, Volume One – RRM 01 SACD

JASON MORAN, keyboards – Facing Left – (with Tarus Mateen, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums) – Blue Note 23884

Music for the Motherless Child – Martin Simpson, guitar; Wu Man, pipa – Water Lily Acoustics stereo WLA-CS-49 SACD

Art Pepper + Eleven – Pepper, tenor & alto sax and clarinet; Arr. & cond. By Marty Paich – Contemporary/JVC xrcd VICJ-60245

Pilhofer Jazz Quartet – Full Circle – (Herb Pilhofer, piano/Gordy Johnson, bass/Michael Pilhofer, drums/Steve Yeager, vibes) – DMP SACD-14

Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar – Swing Live – (with Peter Appleyard, vibes/Bernard Purdie, drums/Vallen Vache, clarinet; Michael Moore, bass) – Chesky SACD-223

Lalo Schifrin Presents Jazz Meets the Symphony Collection – I – Jazz Meets the Symphony; II – More Jazz Meets the Symphony; III- Firebird; IV – Metamorphosis; V – Conversations with Jazz Stars – Soloists include: Ray Brown, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Jeff Hamilton, Lalo Schifrin, Grady Tate, with The London Symphony and The London Philharmonic Orchestras cond. by Lalo Schifrin – Aleph Records 51702 63342 (5 CDs)

The George Shearing Quintet – Back to Birdland (with Don Thompson, vibes; Reg Schwager, guitar; Neil Swainson, bass; Dennis Mackrel, drums) Telarc CD-83524

TCHAIKOVSKY: The Nutcracker Suite – Interpreted by The Classical Jazz Quartet (arr. By Bob Belden) – Vertical Jazz 5507-2

THE COMPLETE PACIFIC JAZZ RECORDINGS OF GERALD WILSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA – Mosaic Records Boxed Set MD5-198 (5 CDs, 12-inch box)

CLASSICAL REISSUES

Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste – Rafael Kubelik cond. Bavarian Radio Orchestra Orfeo C551 011B

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 21, 23, 30,31 Walter Gieseking EMI 67586 2

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7; Fidelio Overture – Chicago Symphony/Fritz Reiner – xrcd JVC JMCXR-0006

Erna Berger III (Mozart, Schubert, Strauss) Preiser 89537

BOULEZ CONDUCTS RAVEL – Bolero, La Valse, Rapsodie Espagnole, Alborada del Gracioso, Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2 – NY Philharmonic/Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez – Sony Classical SACD SS 89121

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83 Artur Schnabel, piano/Sir Adrian Boult cond. BBC Symphony Orchestra Naxos Historical 8.110665

Arr. By JOSEPH CANTELOUBE: Songs of the Auvergne (selections) – Netania Davrath, soprano/Orchestra cond. By Pierre de la Roche – Vanguard Classics SACD VSD 502

Great Hungarian Musicians: Gyorgy Cziffra, piano Hungaraton Classic HCD 32056

Einem: Dantons Tod (Schoffler, Patzak, Cebotari, Fricsay, cond.) Archipel ARPCD 0009 2

Walter Gieseking: Recordings from Hessian Radio (Falla, Hindemith, Schumann, Beethoven) Music & Arts CD-1074

Ireland: Violin Sonatas, Phantasie-Trio, Holy Boy (Grinke, Sammons, Ireland) Dutton CDLX 7103

Willem Mengelberg conducts Ravel, Kodaly, Debussy (w/Walter Gieseking, piano) Concertgebouw Series APL 101.5506

BBC Legends: David Oistrakh: Shostakovich Violin Concerto Nos. 1&2; Ysaye: Amitie for 2 Violins w/Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Evgeny Svetlanov conducting BBCL 4060-2

Vladimir de Pachmann–the Mythic Pianist, 1907-9127 Arbiter 129

Ruggiero Ricci plays Concertos by Wieniawski (No. 1), Vieuxtemps (No. 5) and Ernst (in F# Minor) and Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy w/Kees Bakels cond. Polish Radio National Symphony One-Eleven CD.10004

Mozart: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 Hermann Scherchen conds. Vienna State Opera Orchestra Westminster 289 471 201-2

Hermann Scherchen conducts Overtures – Rediscovery RD 015

The Great Danish Pianist Victor Schiolor Danacord 2-CD DACOCD 491/2

Schoenberg: Moses und Aron (Greindl, Melchert, Sardi, Scherchen cond) Opera D’Oro OPD-1321

Elizabeth Schwarzkopf: The Unissued EMI Recordings Testament SBT 120

STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring; TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 – The Cleveland Orchestra/Lorin Maazel – Telarc stereo SACD-60563

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 5 and 6 Lovro von Matacic conducts Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Supraphon 2 CD SU 3544-2 012

Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras Integrales Isaac Karabtchewsky conducts Orchestre Symphonique du Bresil (w/Nelson Freire, piano) Iris Music 3CD 3001 843

Wagner: Die Walkure ((Suthaus, Buchner, Muller, Klose, Fricsay cond.) Myto 3 CD 012.H058

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