Sunday, 4 January 2015

My "Keep to Hand". Start of 2015

My “keep to hand” CD rack has only fifteen spaces, and these are occupied by recordings I am reluctant to shelve away more permanently, for the time being. The rack contents change over the course of the year and in no way reflect “best” or “favourite”; simply recordings I know I will want to come back to shortly. Some are there mainly because of the music; some because of the performances. Some have been there quite a long time. Some, a shorter time. At the start of 2015, the 15 slots in the rack are filled by (in random order):
  • Wieniawski, Conus, Vieuxtemps violin concertos. Soo-Hyun Park. 69 minutes. Onyx. Lovely music. Well played by all concerned, and well recorded.
  • Schubert – Quartet D810 and Quintet D956 – Pavel Haas Quartet. Supraphon. Probably a new classic recording of two classic chamber works.
  • Schubert – Piano sonatas D850 / 958 / 959 / 960 – Leif Ove Andsnes. EMI
  • Shostakovich – Violin Concertos 1 and 2. Christian Tetzlaff. Ondine
  • Pergolesi – Stabat Mater. Julia Lezhneva / Philippe Jaroussky. Erato
  • Khachaturian and Shostakovich violin concertos. James Ehnes. Onyx
  • Sarasate – Fantaisies. Volker Reinhold. DGM. So good to have a collection of Sarasate opera fantasies, well played and in one place.
  • Ravel / Shostakovich. Piano Trios. Smetana Trio. Supraphon.
  • Janacek/ Smetana / Prokofiev. Josef Spacek. Supraphon
  • Rachmaninov 3 / Prokofiev 2. Yuja Wang. DGG
  • Igor Levit – Bach Partitas. Sony.
  • Igor Levit – Beethoven late sonatas. Sony
  • Marc-André Hamelin: Schumann / Janacek. Hyperion
  •  Kreisler / Zimbalist / Ysaÿe – Fine Arts Quartet. Naxos. Rarely heard music, good to listen to, well played and recorded.
  • Schubert – Sonatas D845 and 960. Maria Pires. DGG. Another instant classic recording.
Interesting how well the smaller European labels do (Supraphon, Onyx, Ondine, Sony-Germany). And how relatively young all the performers are (apart from Maria Pires). As all the voting forums say: this list is not necessarily representative !

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