Debussy Riot: Top 10 in Classical

City Paper

Creating a top 10 albums list for classical music is a rather odd task. Reviewing a year’s releases isn’t an accurate way of reviewing the best things that have happened in classical music that year. One of the best things I heard this year was the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s world premiere of Nicolas Campogrande’s “Urban Gardens for Piano and Orchestra” in September, but no matter how much I long to listen to the jazz-inspired concerto again, there is no recording of it. Another one of my favorite performances was the Baltimore Symphony’s incredible “Bernstein & Beethoven” concert last month—although luckily for those who missed it, the BSO recorded the concert for an upcoming CD, and I’m certain that will be a top contender on a future top 10 list. Until then, here’s a list of the recordings that I found particularly gorgeous or memorable or intellectually interesting as I began my foray into classical-music criticism this year.

  1. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, “Dvorák: Symphony No. 8 –  Janácek: Jenufa Suite” (Reference Recordings)
  2. Seattle Symphony Orchestra, “John Luther Adams: Become Ocean” (Cantaloupe)
  3. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, “City Noir” (Nonesuch)
  4. Anonymous 4, “David Lang: love fail” (Cantaloupe)
  5. Boston Modern Orchestra Project,  “Elena Ruehr: O’Keeffe Images” (BMOP/sound)
  6. Rushes Ensemble, “Michael Gordon: Rushes” (Cantaloupe)
  7. New York Philharmonic, “Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4” (Dacapo)
  8. Amit Peled and Noreen Polera, “Tsintsadze: 5 Pieces on Folk Themes – Popper: Tarantella, Op. 33” (Centaur Records)
  9. SOLI Chamber Ensemble, “Música, por un tiempo” (Albany Records)
  10. DeltaCappella, “Michael Ching: A Midsummer Night’s Dream—opera a capella” (Albany Records)
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