My Year-End Picks for 2011…Sort Of

This being the end of the year, and the fact that this is a music-oriented blog where I’ve been keeping up (or trying to keep up with) the artists and relevant releases, I have to confess that I don’t really have the extensive lists that people have been posting on their respective pages. BUT I do like these a lot, and having listened to them all the way through as one should (I listen a few times before I write about them), I can safely say they are worthy of inclusion for any kind of year-end best releases list.

A big reason for the short list is simply because I’m unemployed and don’t have the money to purchase CDs like I used to. There have been a few opportunities to hear some great recordings that I will definitely list on here as my favorites for the year, but it just won’t be a Top 50 or Top 25.

And even though it’s comprised mostly of classical/new music, I’ve decided the addition of Mark Mandeville and This Frontier Needs Heroes (both being indie folk recordings) is not so crazy given that lots of people have hip-hop and rock on their lists with the classical releases.

My apologies for any exclusions.

And they are in no particular order:

1. Hilary Hahn & Valentina Lisitsa
Charles Ives Sonatas
Deutsche Grammophon (UMG)
(Ed: Er, ok, this time it was particular ;))

2. Leah Kardos
Feather Hammer
Originally self-released by Kardos
Later re-issued on Bigo & Twigetti

3. Keeril Makan
Target
Featuring Either/Or and California E.A.R. ensembles; Alex Waterman, cello;
Jennifer Choi, violin; David Shively, percussion; Lauren Rubin, soprano
Starkland

4. Dale Trumbore & Gillian Hollis
Snow White Turns Sixty
Dissonant Gorgeous Productions

5. Mark Mandeville & Old Constitution
Nobody’s Favorite Records

6. The Lincoln Trio
Notable Women
Featuring music by Lera Auerbach, Jennifer Higdon, Stacy Garrop,
Augusta Read Thomas, Laura Schwendinger and Joan Tower
Cedille

7. David Lang
this was written by hand
Featuring Andrew Zolinsky, piano
Cantaloupe Music

8. Drew Baker
Stress Position
Featuring Marilyn Nonken, piano
New Focus Recordings

9. yMusic
Beautiful Mechanical
Featuring music by Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Ryan Lott,
Gabriel Kahane, Annie Clark and Shara Worden
New Amsterdam Records

10. Todd Reynolds
Outerborough
Features music by Todd Reynolds as well as various other composers
Innova

11. John Luther Adams
Four Thousand Holes
Featuring Stephen Drury, piano; Scott Deal, perc. and
The Callithumpian Consort
Cold Blue Music

12. Vicky Chow
Works For Piano By Ryan Anthony Francis
Tzadik

13. The Pridonoff Duo
Virtuosity Squared
Featuring music of Liszt, Gershwin and Douglas Knehans
Ablaze

14. This Frontier Needs Heroes
The Future
Heroic Endeavors

15. Kiera Duffy
The Complete Songs of Richard Strauss, Vol. 5
Featuring Roger Vignoles, piano
Hyperion

16. So Percussion
Steve Mackey: It Is Time
Cantaloupe Music

17. ensemble et. al.
When The Tape Runs Out
Self-released

18. Andy Akiho
No One To Know One
Featuring Nicole Camacho, flute; Mariel Roberts, cello, and others
Innova

19. Heirlooms
Heirlooms Live, Vol. 1
Self-released

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6 thoughts on “My Year-End Picks for 2011…Sort Of

  1. Not online much over the holidays, but soooo glad I saw this and have bookmarked it. Looks like a very interesting list, and lots on there new to me! Happy holidays, and looking forward to another great year of music in 2012!

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