Quarterly Critic’s Choice

The best and most interesting new releases of the previous three months are awarded a place on the Quarterly Critic’s Choice. Evaluation criteria are artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, and sound quality. From 2014 onward, the Long Lists are stored directly with each Quarterly Critic’s Choice.

NEW: Long List 2/2024, published on 5th April 2024

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Lutoslawski: The Symphonies

Witold Lutoslawski: Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic. Symphonies Nos. 1-4. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen. 2 CD. Sony 88765440832

Chamber Music

Carl Maria von Weber: Six Sonatas

for Piano & Violin op. 10, Piano Quartet op. 8. Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Boris Faust, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. harmonia mundi HMC 902108

Keyboard Music

Götterdämmerung. Wagner Transcriptions

for two pianos by Alfred Pringsheim, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Max Reger. Piano Duo Yaara Tal & Andreas Groethuysen. Sony 88765441592

Keyboard Music

The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll

Michel Bouvard, Gerard Brooks, Ronald Ebrecht, Jean-Pierre Griveau, Olivier Latry, Eric Lebrun, Kurt Lueders, Thomas Monnet, David Noël-Hudson, Pierre Pincemaille, Daniel Roth, Carolyn Shuster Fournier. 3 DVD, 2 CD. Fugue State Films 2305043 (Naxos)


Richard Wagner: Die Walküre

Nina Stemme, Anja Kampe, Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko et al., Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev. 4 SACD. Mariinsky MAR 0527 (Note 1)

Choral Music

Benjamin Britten: The Sacred Choral Music

Choir of New College Oxford, Edward Higginbottom. 2 CDs. Novum NCR 1386 (harmonia mundi)

Lieder and Vocal Recital

Poèmes – Debussy

Claude Debussy: Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire, Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, Deux Romances, Fêtes Galantes, Le promenoir des deux amants, Nuit d’étoiles, Fleur des blés. Stella Doufexis, Daniel Heide. Berlin Classics 0300524 BC (edel)

Early Music

Carlo Gesualdo: Sesto Libro di Madrigali 1611

La Compagnia del Madrigale. Glossa GCD 922811 (Note 1)

Contemporary Classical Music

Michael Reudenbach: Szenes, Stills

Works 1991-2009. 2 CD. Edition RZ ed. RZ 10021-22 (Eigenvertrieb)

Historical Recordings

Legendary Van Cliburn: Complete Album Collection

Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Fritz Reiner et al. 28 CD, 1 DVD. RCA Red Seal 88765407232 (Sony)

Crossover Productions

KAMINSKI ON AIR: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Author & Direction: Stefan Kaminski after Richard Wagner. With Stefan Kaminski, Stefan Brandenburg, Sebastian Hilken, Hella von Ploetz, Natascha Zickerick. 4 DVD. DIE THEATER EDITION 10137 (harmonia mundi)

Film Music

John Williams: Lincoln

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, John Williams. Sony 88725446852

Music Film

Maestro Or Mephisto: The Real Georg Solti

A film by Andy King-Dabbs. Plácido Domingo, Angela Gheorghiu, Kiri Te Kanawa, Valery Gergiev, Murray Perahia et al. Arthaus Musik 101662 (Naxos)

Music Film

Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner: El Encuentro

A film by Norbert Wiedmer & Enrique Ros. Tigran Mansurian, George Gruntz, Felix Saluzzi et al. ECM DVD 5051 (Universal)


Tobias Becker Bigband: Life Stream

Neuklang NCD 4068 (New Arts International)


Peter Brötzmann’s Long Story Short

Peter Brötzmann et al. 5 CD. Trost TR 112

World Music

Ana Moura: Desfado

Universal 0602537228584

Traditional Ethnic Music

Various Artists: South India

Music of the Nilgiri Hills. Ocora Radio France OCR 560250/51 (harmonia mundi)

German language Singer/Songwriters

Manfred Maurenbrecher: no go

Reptiphon 06686 (Broken Silence)

Folk and Singer/Songwriters

Richard Thompson: Electric

Proper Records PRPCDX 108 (Rough Trade)


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away

Bad Seed BS 001 CD (Rough Trade)

Independent (until 2014)

Rhye: Woman

Island 0602537169528 (Universal)

Nu & Extreme (until 2014)

Metaboman: Ja/Noe

Musik Krause MKCD/LP 005 (Kompakt)

Blues and Blues-related

Robben Ford: Bringing It Back Home

Provogue PRD 7388 2 (Rough Trade)

R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop

Bilal: A Love Surreal

bbe 312392 (Alive)

Spoken Word

Oskar Pastior: Lesen gehn ...

Poems, read and partial commented by Oskar Pastior, Urs Allemann, Oswald Egger, Péter Esterházy, Michael Krüger, Michael Lentz, Herta Müller, Ulf Stolterfoht and Ernest Wichner. 2 CD. Hörbuch Hamburg ISBN 978-3-89903-380-9

Recordings for Children and Youth

Robert Louis Stevenson: Die Schatzinsel

Georg Eilert, Andreas von der Meden, Uwe Friedrichsen, Joseph Offenbach et al. 2 CD. Sauerländer audio ISBN 978-3-411-81213-4