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The releases below were chosen from popular critics’ year-end ‘Best of 2011’ lists. 

Featured Releases:

Washington Post - Best of 2011:

FRIEDMAN, J.: String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 (Chiara String Quartet, Matmos)

"Friedman, not yet 40, has written three pieces for the NSO. His wonderful second and third string quartets -- insistent, beautiful and often played around the country -- were finally released on a CD in strong performances by the Chiara Quartet, for whom they were written." - Anne Midgette, Washington Post


PART, A.: Piano Music - Piano Sonatine / Partita / Lamentate (van Raat, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Falletta)

"Arvo Part is beloved for his shimmering, static compositions; but his work for solo piano is neither static nor well known." - Anne Midgette, Washington Post


Houston Chronicle:

WHITACRE, E.: Choral Music (Elora Festival Singers, Edison)

"Eric Whitacre is currently a star in the choral world, and this disc certainly helps to explain why." Colin Eatock, Houston Chronicle


MORAN, R.: Trinity Requiem / Seven Sounds Unseen / Notturno in Weiss / Requiem for a Requiem (Banks, Ridgell, Westenburg)

"Here's another, quite different, 9/11 commemoration. The "Trinity" in the title is a reference to Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York, just a few blocks from Ground Zero."  - Colin Eatock, Houston Chronicle


Chicago Tribune - Best of 2011:

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: String Quartets Nos. 5-8 / MYASKOVSKY, N.: String Quartet No. 13 (The Soviet Experience, Vol. 1) (Pacifica Quartet)

"Listeners who thrilled to the Pacifica's intensely felt concert performances of all 15 Shostakovich quartets last season can relive the experience through this first installment of what promises to be the full cycle on CD, a two-disc set that includes another notable quartet from the Soviet era." - Chicago Tribune


Violin Recital: Pine, Rachel Barton - ALBENIZ, R.B. / CORDERO, R. / ESPEJO, C. / QUIROGA, M. / YSAYE, E. / GONZALEZ, L.J. (Capricho Latino)

"The Chicago virtuoso's recital of Latin-flavored solo violin pieces is a gold mine of fiddle gems, superlatively played, including works written for Pine and pieces and arrangements that appear on disc for the first time." - Chicago Tribune


SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 4 - Symphony No. 10 (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko)

"What many consider the Soviet master's greatest symphony gets its finest digital-era recording to date under the young Russian maestro, whose Shostakovich symphony cycle gets better with each new release."- Chicago Tribune


NPR deceptive cadence Gift Guide:

GORDON, M.: Timber (Slagwerk Den Haag)


NPR Music - from 50 Best albums of 2011:

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" (Stotun, Kucerova, London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, V. Jurowski)


New Yorker Magazine - Classical best of 2011:

Orchestral Music - IVES, C. / ADAMS, J. / BRITTEN, B. / VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, R. (Music for a Time of War) (Oregon Symphony, Kalmar) - Best of 2011:

Piano Recital: Drake, Julius - SCHUMANN, R. / BRAHMS, J. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / SCHUBERT, F. / LISZT, F. / GRIEG, E. (Songs Without Words)
GRIEG, E.: Piano Sonata / Lyric Pieces / Piano Concerto (Slattebrekk, Oslo Philharmonic, Jurowski) (Chasing the Butterfly)
BACH, W.F.: Keyboard Music, Vol. 1 (Berben)
BAX, A.: Piano Quintet in G minor / BRIDGE, F.: Piano Quintet in D minor (Wass, Tippett Quartet)
ZELENKA, J.D.: Votiva (Bernius)
WILD, E.: Piano Music of Earl Wild featuring the Gershwin Arrangements (The) (Xiayin Wang)
HAYDN, J.: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 (Bavouzet) - Nos. 19, 20, 32, 48, 50
WEINBERG, M.: Piano Quintet / SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Piano Quintet (Kirschnereit, Szymanowski Quartet)
BURKE, P.: Awake / GREENSTEIN, J.: Change / FRIAR, S.: Velvet Hammer / MAZZOLI, M.: Magic With Everyday Objects (Now Ensemble)
GORDON, M.: Timber (Slagwerk Den Haag)
CORIGLIANO, J.: Piano Music (Oppens, Lowenthal) - Winging It / Chiaroscuro / Fantasia on an Ostinato / Kaleidoscope / Etude Fantasy
Violin Recital: Pine, Rachel Barton - ALBENIZ, R.B. / CORDERO, R. / ESPEJO, C. / QUIROGA, M. / YSAYE, E. / GONZALEZ, L.J. (Capricho Latino)
JOHNSON, J.P.: Yamekraw / RESER, H.: Suite / GERSHWIN, G.: Rhapsody in Blue (Jazz Nocturne - American Concertos of the Jazz Age) (Rosenberg)
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Sonatas (Complete) (P. Takacs)
BRUCKNER, A.: Symphony No. 7 (Swiss Romande Orchestra, M. Janowski)
SCHUBERT, F.: Symphony No. 9, "Great" (Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Herreweghe)
SCRIABIN, A.: Piano Music (Complete) (Lettberg)


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