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.

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Schönberg / Kolja Blacher, Markus Stenz

Arnold Schönberg: Pelleas und Melisande op. 5; Violin Concerto op. 36. Kolja Blacher, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Markus Stenz. Oehms Classics 4260034864450 (Naxos)

Orchestral Music & Concertos

Schumann: Complete Concertos & Piano Trios Vol.1

Robert Schumann: Violin Concerto D minor, WoO 23; Piano Trio No. 3 op. 110. Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov, Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado. CD and DVD, harmonia mundi HMC 902196

Chamber Music

Dmitri Schostakowitsch: String Quartets

Nos. 1, 8, 14. Borodin Quartet. Decca 4788205 (Universal)

Keyboard Music

Domenico Scarlatti: Piano Sonatas

Claire Huangci. 2 CDs, Berlin Classics 0300603 BC (Edel)

Keyboard Music

William Hamilton Bird: The Oriental Miscellany

Airs Of Hindustan. Jane Chapman. Signum Classics SIGCD 415 (Note 1)


Giuseppe Verdi: Les Vêpres Siciliennes

Lianna Haroutounian, Bryan Hymel, Michael Volle, Erwin Schrott et al, Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano, Direction: Stefan Herheim. 2 DVDs, 1 Blu-ray, Opus Arte 0825646164349 / 0825646164318 (Warner)


Antonio Salieri: Les Danaïdes

Judith van Wanroij, Philippe Talbo, Tassis Christoyannis et al., Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset. 2 CDs, Ediciones ES 1019 (Note 1)

Choral Music

Joby Talbot: Path Of Miracles

Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson. SACD, harmonia mundi HMU 807603

Lieder and Vocal Recital

Héroïque – French Opera Arias / Bryan Hymel

French Opera Arias by Rossini, Berlioz, Verdi, Gounod et al. Bryan Hymel, Prager Philharmoniker, Emmanuel Villaume. Warner 0825646179503

Early Music

Antonio Caldara: Trio Sonatas

Amandine Beyer, Leila Schayegh, Matthias Spaeter et al. Glossa GCD 922514 (Note 1)

Contemporary Classical Music

Tristan Murail: Le Partage des eaux, Contes cruels, Sillages

Wiek Hijmans, Seth Josel, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Pierre-André Valade. Aeon AECD 1222 (Note 1)

Historical Recordings

Gulda – Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier

Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. Friedrich Gulda. 4 CDs, MPS 0300650 MSW (Edel)

Crossover Productions

Anders Jormin, Lena Willemark, Karin Nakagawa

Trees Of Light. ECM 2406 (Universal)

Music Film

Barbara Hannigan – Concert & Documentary

Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Barbara Hannigan. Direction: Barbara Seiler, Michael Beyer. DVD, Accentus ACC 20327 (harmonia mundi)

Music Film

Brett Morgen: Cobain – Montage Of Heck

DVD / Blu-ray, Panorama Entertainment 5053083041014 / 5053083041038 (Universal)


Benjamin Schmid Jazz Quartet: Hot Club Jazz

Gramola 99069 (Naxos)


Rolf Kühn Unit: Stereo

MPS 0210290 MS1 (Edel)

World Music

Pygmies women from northern Congo

Various: Femmes Pygmées de la Sangha / Pygmies women from northern Congo. Ocora Radio France OCR 560243 (harmonia mundi)

Traditional Ethnic Music

Marina Lledó: Noche Rara

Youkali 017 (Galileo)

German language Singer/Songwriters

Manfred Maurenbrecher: Rotes Tuch

Reptiphon 06690 (Broken Silence)

Folk and Singer/Songwriters

Harald Haugaard: Lys og Forfald

Westpark Music 993222 (Indigo)


Jamie xx: In Colour

Young Turks / XL Recordings 889030012227 (Indigo)

Hard and Heavy

Armored Saint: Win Hands Down

Metal Blade 03984153842 (Sony)


Tocotronic – Das rote Album

Vertigo 4726055 (Universal)

Club and Dance

Nick Höppner: Folk

Ostgut Ton OSTGUTCD 33 (Rough Trade)

Electronic and Experimental

Holly Herndon: Platform

4AD 111002 (Indigo)

Blues and Blues-related

Dr. Will feat. San2: Cuffs Off

Downhill Records DH 083 (Galileo)

R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop

Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

Interscope 4730068 (Universal)

Spoken Word

Thomas Kling – Die gebrannte Performance

Ulrike Janssen and Norbert Wehr (editors): Thomas Kling – Die gebrannte Performance. Readings by Thomas Kling, conversations with Gabriele Weingartner and Hans Jürgen Balmes. 4 CDs with backing band, Lilienfeld Verlag ISBN 978-3-940357-49-6

Recordings for Children and Youth

Salah Naoura: Hilfe! Oma kommt zurück!

Mechthild Großmann. 3 CDs, Oetinger audio ISBN 978-3-8373-0854-9