Issue 38:2
Nov/Dec 2014
Magazine Contents

Want List

Due to my assumption a year ago of duties as assistant editor for Fanfare , I now have considerably less time available to review CDs and...

As usual, I’ll try to sneak in more than the regulation five by running through my runners-up first. Steven Isserlis’s and Olli Mustonen’s account of the...

My full review of this fabulous set appears elsewhere in this issue. Were this set nonexistent, someone would have to imagine one nearly as good, but...

Last year, few releases turned up regularly for listening in my household, once they were reviewed. The reverse holds true over the last 12 months. Compiling...

This year I find myself engaged by a variety of keyboard instruments, beginning with the magnificent organ of London’s Royal Festival Hall. Gillian Weir was still...

After writing for Fanfare for several years now, I may say that I’m getting somewhat more facile in my writing of reviews. Practice hasn’t made perfect,...

My Want List leads off with the master of all experimentation, John Cage, and Microfest’s release is itself an experiment in presentation that’s brilliantly successful. Starting...

For this listener the indisputable event of the year had to be the culmination of Masaaki Suzuki’s 20-year quest to record all of Bach’s sacred cantatas....

It is always difficult to know how to “play” a Want List. My general rule of thumb is to highlight terrific performances of music that is...

David Dahl (b. 1937) was professor of organ for 30 years at Pacific Lutheran University and has also composed several volumes of music for his instrument....

It’s been an interesting, if not wholly satisfactory, year for the Alkan and Busoni concerns. Vincenzo Maltempo is the latest pianistic comet to attempt the Alkan...

My Want List is narrow in scope, being devoted to only two composers, Mahler and Strauss. I was thrilled by the new Alpine Symphony on Decca...

The music of Bach rarely affords definitive interpretations. With such a wide range of interpretive approaches, and the sheer number of exceptional musicians tackling the music...

In over 10 years of preparing annual Want Lists, I can’t think of a year that has been more exasperating than this one. My five allowed...

Two of the recordings on this list are here because they should cause a reappraisal of their composers’ music and its place (or lack thereof) in...

Once again, the discipline of picking but five favorite releases for the year proved difficult, despite my own restriction of not choosing a release I reviewed...

In alphabetical order: Andrew Davis’s recording of Holst’s Choral Symphony is only the third ever, and the first in a generation. It’s a stunner, and soprano...

Two thousand and fourteen brought some exceptional works to the forefront. A live recording of Rossini’s Semiramide from the Wildbad Festival demonstrates that there is no...

The CDs I’ve reviewed in the last year have been centered in the German symphonic repertory, with few new pieces to discover. But the juxtaposition of...

By way of explanation, I reviewed the Cage and DeLio releases in Fanfare 37:5 and 37:3 respectively. The Shostakovich reissue was a Hall of Fame selection...

The new complete West Side Story is my recording of the year. For the first time, Leonard Bernstein’s monumental score is performed by a nearly perfect...

Those sensational Singaporeans have done it again—turned in a recording of unfamiliar material with all the verve, panache, and technical perfection that have come to define...

It occurred to me while considering this year’s Want List that I’ve recently reviewed five programs for violin unaccompanied so exceptional that, taken together, they might...

Jascha Horenstein, one of the great conductors of the 20th century, was unaccountably neglected by the major record labels. Most of his studio recordings appeared on...

Emanuel Feuermann is a name I remember from my childhood. My parents loved his playing and we owned several of his recordings. One of the great...

Picking only five recordings every year is both my least favorite and most absolute favorite activities—all for different reasons. As always, I do not consider these...

Fanfare ’s editors always warn us to hold our Want Lists until our final review for the November/December issue has been written; I waited until six...

In his debut recording, Igor Levit’s uncommonly persuasive playing of Beethoven’s last five piano sonatas garnered a lot of critical acclaim; deservedly so. A collection of...

John Adams’s monumental (three-movement symphony in all but name) Harmonielehre has fared extremely well on disc, having previously received excellent recordings by conductors Edo de Waart,...

The Metropolitan Opera has been smarting from the critical drubbing it endured for the Robert Lepage Ring cycle, introduced in 2010, so it’s gratifying to note...

This has been a good year for the late Romantics, Strauss in particular. His two turn-of-the-century one-act shockers have been especially well served. All too often,...

Is anyone else as infuriated as me by Warner’s childish, petty wiping out of the EMI and Virgin names and logos? A takeover is one thing,...

I enjoyed Michael Antonello’s traversal of Bach’s violin concertos as much as any CD this year. Antonello’s playing features a wonderful blend of strength and tenderness,...

Universal and Warner Classics keep pumping out completist reissue boxes like there’s no tomorrow (which is probably the case for the silver disc). I have spent...

Readers who saw my review of Janne Mertanen’s recording of the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos in 38:1 will not be surprised to find it as...

As usual the field of first recordings of 20th-century music (my chosen specialty) offers a plethora of possibilities. At the summit of my selections is of...

Bach’s great Mass has never lacked for great recordings, or for dreadful ones, for that matter. This DVD from last year’s Leipzig Bach Festival is a...

These Want Lists are difficult for me, because, Lord knows, I want everything . (It’s a good thing I share my house with no one except...

Characteristically, I struggled with this year’s list: Long a fan of his playing, I wanted to include Gilbert Kalish’s new recording of Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert...

In each period, it seems, a few new early performance groups arise, some old favorites continue their march towards illuminating this fascinating musical era, and new...

My Want List for this past year is a vocal one, since opera, Lieder, and musical theater have always been my passions. I cannot imagine myself...

Two chant discs are chosen for special values. Ecce Fiat , the debut disc from the Benedictines in Oklahoma, is a unified program (chants for the...

This is a particularly difficult task for me this year. I haven’t reviewed enough discs to make a winnowing process necessary. Many of the discs I...