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Houston, TX 77098

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Recommended Recordings for 2015

SMETANA: String Quartets
Pavel Haas Quartet
Supraphon SU4172-2

Having done Haas and Janacek, the quartet travels back to Smetana, the beginning of Czech string quartet repertoire.




BIBER: Missa Salisburgensis
Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall, cond.
Alia Vox AVSA9912

Jordi Savall and his Ensemble turn in an outstanding performance of this middle Baroque masterpiece.



National Brass Ensemble
Oberlin Music 15-04

Members from orchestras across the nation recreate the classic album"the Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli" in glorious SACD sound.



RADU LUPU: Complete Recordings
Decca 4788772

The complete recordings of Radu Lupu, issued by Decca but including his recordings for EMI, Sony & Teldec. Is Alex Ross right that he is "probably the greatest pianist alive"?





RESPIGHI: Lauda per la Natività del Signore • POULENC: Quatre motets pout le temps de Noél • LAURIDSEN: O magnum ysterium • SANDSTRÖM: Es ist ein Rose entsprungen
Berlin Radio Choir, Nicolas Fink & Māris Sirmais, cond.
Carus 83.473

Lesser known Christmas works deserving of a larger audience.



JACQUES MAUGER: Great Trombone Concertos
Indesens 79

An unusual solo instrument, but Mauger demonstrates just how well the trombone works as a concerto soloist.




SUCHOŇ: Symfonietta Rustica • Baladicka Suita • Metamorfozy
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, cond.
Chandos 10849

Twentieth-Century Slovak works that, with their lush orchestration and use of folk song, sound like they are from the late Nineteenth.



SUK: Asrael Symphony • Ripening • A Summer's Tale
Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra, Kiril Petrenko, cond.
CPO 555009

The next director of the Berlin Philharmonic leads performances of the major works of this neglected Czech master.



WAGNER: Der Ring des Nibelungen
Vienna Philharmonic, Sir Georg Solti, cond.
Decca 478 8370

Not a new recording, but this is the best mastering to date of these classics recordings. And they are finally at a budget price of $55.




SHOSTAKOVICH: The Execution of Stepan Razin • The Sun Shines Over Our Motherland • The Song of the Forests
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi, cond.
Erato 0825646166664

As Paavo Järvi and his Estonian orchestra found out, these cantatas Shostakovich wrote for official Soviet functions can still be controversial decades after their official purpose has passed.



Marth Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammopohon 479 4647

Packaged in original-jacket facsimiles and sequenced more-or-less by release date, this stunning, limited edition box set holds the entirety of this marvelous pianist's recorded legacy from 1960-2014 with Deutsche Grammophon and Philips.