Vote: Favourite release of 2019

It’s getting to be that time again:

a) Favourite albums released in 2019 (Can be a historical performance as long as it was released for the first time this year), and

b) Favourite 2019 recitals (including bootlegs/radio broadcasts)



a) Wee Alkan
Lewenthal Box
Gerstein Busoni Concerto
Honeck Bruckner 9th

b) Zimerman Brahms / Chopin (Paris)
Favorin Liszt Annees (Paris)
Grosvenor Brahms Concerto (Madrid)

(I’ve been busy, so haven’t listened to nearly as much new stuff as I’d like.)


Um, you mean 2019, right?

Oops :blush:

I got lazy and copied it from last year’s post.

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I’m in sleep-walking mode at this hour, but the release which first springs to mind is the APR Murdoch set. New discovery for me, and I really enjoyed his playing.

Live it’s been unusually uneventful. Due to various circumstances every single one of my 2018/2019 concerts were cancelled except Sokolov. On the other hand both from this fall were outstanding. A Sokolov in better form than I’ve heard him since 2011, and an amazing recital from Volodos just a few weeks later. The choice between them isn’t hard however, given my two decade long history of failed attempts to hear Volodos.

I haven’t been very active in the community this year, but from others I loved Brew’s KZ and Favorin recitals as well, and I have to count Aidan Mikdad’s Concertgebouw recital too. I really enjoyed the concert, but what was especially remarkable was to hear playing that advanced from such a young pianist. Other memorable finds include Muza Rubackyte thanks to Fatman, and Murray Perahia thanks to Comme. A friend is currently sending me a cross section of the recitals he has recorded with MP over the years, which I’ve listened to with great interest. He’s not the most exciting or revelatory pianist, but his scrupulous musicianship is a joy to hear. I developed some kind of antipathy towards him already in my late teens which has persisted since, which is why I haven’t paid attention to him in near 20 years.


The big Walter complete Columbia box would be my choice, although I have barely listened through it:)

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Maybe Alexander Gavrylyuk’s Rach, Scrib Prok album for the daring to try to put big instinctual playing on a record when most young mofos playing like 70yo profs these days… respek his mid stage Gav T levels!

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Have to agree with da X that some of the APR releases were stunning this year. Most memorable for me was the Jean Doyen 2-CD set.
Favourite live recital that I attended myself was strangely enough by a totally unknown young Belgian pianist Wouter Valvekens in Amsterdam.
Bootlegs: Da Brew’z, various sheeyatz.


Isn’t that from like 2011?

It might be actually! I bought it on a whim.

I’m out of touch w/ these things but anyway:
It was released in Sept 2018 but I enjoyed Antonio Pompa’s Napoli CD (shared here by someone – thanks). Also his Poulenc-Piaf CD from 5 years before.
I haven’t listened to it yet but I’m going to anticipate Melodiya’s Edison Denisov release (‘The First Concert in the USSR’ - 1990 laughably) as being worthy.

I really enjoyed Hamelin’s recital here which included a perfect set of Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, Feinberg’s Sonata 3 and an extraordinarily delicate first movement of D.960
I still have some Volodos to listen to this Christmas (thanks!) and Levit’s Liszt / Busoni Salzburg recital.
It’s an old live performance from 1964 but Boris Gutnikov’s scorching Mendelssohn VC is one I have to mention. He newly enlivened the work – it’s thrilling.

APR seems very active in reissuing historical piano recordings in recent years, which is a great news for collectors. Next year their plan includes a set featuring Smeterlin’s 78s and live recordings (no details yet), as well as further volumes of the French pianos school, which will mainly be female pianists. The first will be the complete 78s of Alice von Barentzen, followed by the complete 78s of Tagliaferro. Next in the line will be Marguerite Long and Emma Boynet.

On the Italian side, Rhine Classics is preparing the fourth volume of Pietro Scarpini.


I wish they’d turn their gaze towards Szreter. Or more Murdoch, whose discography is very large.

It’s high time for boxsets from the big players with Cherkassky and Gieseking as well. Several of their recordings remain unreissued. Malcuzynski is another with plenty of both 78s and LPs I think would be worth reissuing.


Many of Murdoch’s chamber music recordings can be found at Pristine:

Speaking of his solo recordings, most have already been included in the APR release. The only leave-out ones are his solo Decca recordings, which is about half an hour at most. I think MOT has the plan to release his complete Decca recordings for Eloquence so I do not think there will be a follow-up volume on APR.

I do not think there is any Gieseking commercial recordings remain unissued on CD. It is just some are very difficult to get. His complete EMI output have been released in Japan in 1995 but long OOP. As for Cherkassky, I do not think he recorded a lot in the 78s era? One thing we need to keep in mind is that when APR make plan for releases it only can release things in public domain, and that’s why it favors 78s rather than LPs. And to a large extent what to be released is decided by Mike Spring’s own taste, I have to say.

Malcyzynski… I have talked with Mike once on the possiblity of a volume devoting to him but he said there is not a market big enough for Malcuzynski…

There are several commercial recordings with Gieseking which still haven’t been reissued, the Japanese EMI set wasn’t complete. Plenty of solo 78s with Murdoch and Cherkassky as well.

Gieseking I think is for EMI to handle, but a disc with Cherkassky’s remaining 78s would be a great idea for APR. As would a further volume of Murdoch’s solo Columbias (tru, I don’t care much about chamber music).


I hope one or two CDs of Madeleine de Valmalète will be included too in the series. I keep coming back to her marvellous Ravel and Liszt recordings.

Da Vol sherbert album

Juz kiddn, it wuz borin az hell


Yes, her recordings do worth a reissue. Maybe you shall write to Mike Spring and suggest this.

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I think Gieseking’s HMV recordings were issued completely in Japan? There is one series from Toshiba and another from Shinseido, you need to add these two together to get the complete set.

As for Murdoch follow-up, APR’s consideration of whether to release a further volume is always depending on how well the first volume sells. I am not sure about the sale of the current Murdoch set. Anyway, I have contributed by purchasing it myself. Hope it sells well enough.

I’m still waiting for APR to issue some more Lamond and Hambourg. And a current volume with some of the orphaned Liszt pupil recordings from Friedheim, etc. would seem to make sense.