As the old year wanes, many of us are subject to bouts of introspection. The several BMInt writers who are not immune to that tendency have each submitted lists of their favorite CDs and concerts of the last season. We thank them for their reflections. More are expected, so check back. Some have chosen to nominate concerts they have reviewed while others have chosen from concerts which they merely attended. During the past 12 months BMInt has published over 600 reviews and articles, so this epistle must needs place a severe test on the memories of the participants. But this exercise also gives us all yet another reminder of how much to be grateful for the musical life of Boston and its environs. We salute all of our players, writers and presenters. And I add my wishes for a Happy New Year to the readers of this site who on a good day number over 5000. The discourses on these pages and their re-postings on Facebook and Twitter speak volumes to the relevance of the art we celebrate.
Britten’s War Requiem at Symphony Hall, Nov. 24, BUSO and BU Symphonic Chorus
BSO at Tanglewood, July 14, Nelsons, July 14 all-Dvořák program
Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catán at BU
Larry Bell’s Unchanging Love
Celebrating 40 Years of James Levine
Boston Baroque’s new 24-7 Internet radio station with live streaming of concerts (hosted on its website, bostonbaroque.org and on TuneInRadio & iHeartRadio) here
Boston Baroque Monteverdi’s Ulisse in Jordan Hall
Odyssey Opera Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt
Seraphim Singers “The Short Twentieth Century: Choral Music from 1914 to 1990”
San Francisco Symphony playing in Boston’s Symphony Hall
Patricia Kopatchinskaja in Violin Concerto No. 2 of Béla Bartók at Discovery Series, Zander, Sanders Theater
BSO with Christoph von Dohnányi in Resurrection Symphony of Gustav Mahler
Takács Quartet in the even-numbered string quartets of Béla Bartók,
BSO Golijov St. Mark
Melnikov playing Shostakovich Op. 87: and here
Penderecki and Dohnanyi sextets at CMCB
Eroica Trio at ISGM
Argento double bill by Odyssey Opera
London Haydn Quartet with some flawless execution in the HIP style with Erich Hoeprich
A Far Cry in a cunningly devised program with Schnittke’s Monologue Kim Kashkashian
Colin Carr’s masterful set of three Bach cello suites at BoCo
For the best concert I personally took part in: Elijah, in German, with Cantata Singers
Marc-André Hamelin’s Chopin recital, recorded in 2009
Gerald Finley and Julius Drake’s CD of Schubert’s Winterreise.
Curiously, the studio disc has levels of nuance and shading that I found missing in their recital appearance here
Colin Carr’s 2012 remake of the six Bach cello suites from Wigmore Hall
Jeremy Denk’s 2013 recording of the Goldberg Variations
Bronfman and von Dohnányi in the Beethoven piano concertos: Here, here, and here
Marc-André Hamelin in Dream Partnership
Under Kissin’s Spell
Daria Rabotkina’s Star Rises
Sivan Magen, harp, “Fantasien”
Sergey Schepkin, Bach French Suites
Gil Shaham at Tanglewood
NEC Phil Salonen LA Variations
Muir Quartet Wolf and Dvorak
Sokolov in Amsterdam
Rach 3 with Matsuev
Rach 3 with Trifonov
BSO Brahms Requiem
Hvorostovsky for Celebrity Series
Honeck BSO Eroica
Pappano/Covent Garden Le Nozza di Figaro
Sunrise Murnau 1927
Boston Chamber Music Society at Kresge: Brahms et alia
Pianist Garrick Ohlsson at Rockport, various
Borromeo Quartet at the Gardner: Dvorak
I beg to include two genuinely lol moments provided by rising pianists: Pavel Nersessian’s Hindemith Tanzstücke and Vadym Kholodenko’s Beethoven Opus 14 no. 2.
WCRB’s BSO Concert Channel: To my ear, it seems that like three-quarters of everything available here from the last year is top-drawer: well-recorded, well-played, most satisfying to reexperience.
Beilman and Kalish. Beethoven piano and violin sonata
Lesser. Bach suites
NEC Philharmonia’s premier of the revised Leon Kirchner Music for Flute and Orchestra, Jordan Hall, November 5.
Soyeon Kate Lee’s piano recital at the Gardner Museum October 14.
Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphonie, Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux Aquitaine, March 2.
Albany Symphony’s recording of John Corigliano’s Conjurer and Vocalise.
Marc-André Hamelin playing Claude Debussy’s Images and Préludes II.
5 Comments [leave a civil comment (others will be removed) and please disclose relevant affiliations]
Did any of you guys hear the Gewandhaus/Chailly all-Mendelssohn program at Symphony Hall? It was among the top orchestral concerts of my lifetime. I still see in my mind’s eye those first violins, bowing and phrasing in rare unison of spirit and intention.
Comment by Joel Cohen — December 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm
Oops it wasn’t actually all Felix — there was some Ludwig, too. Same evaluation, however.
Comment by Joel Cohen — December 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm
For me one of the outstanding concerts was Andras Schiff playing the Goldberg Variations (with all the repeats) then the Diabelli Variations and then a Beethoven encore. The music was uniformly compelling. Similar to a Wagner opera, the concert seemed long before it started but short when it ended.
Comment by Herbert Rakatansky MD — December 23, 2014 at 6:59 am
Sorry – that was in 2013, But it seems like more recently.
Comment by Herbert Rakatansky MD — December 23, 2014 at 7:03 am
Favorite recital of 2014? Evgeny Kissin’s Schubert and Scriabin, capped off by one of the most magnificent performances I think any of us will ever hear of Chopin’s Op 53 Polonaise as a final encore.
Even so, the most magical 7 minutes of piano that I heard this year were Maurizio Pollini’s incomparably tender Schumann Arabeske. From the opening measures I sensed this music issuing from the loftiest wisdom and profoundest depth of heart. Bravo!
Comment by nimitta — December 23, 2014 at 11:14 am
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