AllMusic's Favorite Classical Instrumental Albums of 2012

AllMusic's Favorite Classical Instrumental Albums of 2012

By AllMusic Staff

Dec. 17, 2012


Audiophiles have found much to praise in the classical releases of 2012, because many noteworthy hybrid SACDs and high definition CDs appeared on the market over the course of the year. Listeners who revel in realistic, spacious, and vivid multichannel recordings could find exceptional offerings from super audio leaders PentaTone, Tudor, Linn Records, Chandos, and Oehms, while even the standard releases from Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Hyperion, and other major labels showed the highest quality reproduction and engineering. Of course, performances matter the most, though it seems obvious that musicians play their best when given a splendid audio showcase. As this list clearly shows, there were many artists who rose to the challenge and produced extraordinary results in the fields of keyboard, chamber, and orchestral music.

Blair Sanderson

Pierre-Laurent Aimard - Debussy: Préludes, Books 1 & 2

Joshua Bell, Jeremy Denk - French Impressions

Lidija Bizjak, Sanja Bizjak - Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps; Petrouchka

Darryl Brenzel, Mobtown Modern Big Band - The Re-(W)rite of Spring

Brodsky Quartet - Petits-Fours: Favourite Encores

Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra - Carl Nielsen: Symphonies Nos 1 & 6

Stéphane Denève, Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Stéphane Denève Conducts Debussy

Gustavo Dudamel, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela - Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"; Overtures

Gustavo Dudamel - Discoveries

Alban Gerhardt, Cecile Licad - Fauré: Cello Sonatas

Matthew Halls, Retrospect Ensemble - Bach: Harpsichord Concertos

Marc-André Hamelin - Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3

Philippe Herreweghe, Royal Flemish Philharmonic - Franz Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 6 "The Little" & 7 (8) "Unfinished"

Daniel Hope, André de Ridder - Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Marek Janowski, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - Bruckner: Symphony No. 3

Leila Josefowicz, Esa-Pekka Salonen - Salonen: Out of Nowhere - Violin Concerto; Nyx

Daniel Kawka, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain - Pierre Boulez: Memoriale; Derive 1; Derive 2

Yolanda Kondonassis - Solo Harp: The Best of Yolanda Kondonassis

Kari Kriikku, Anssi Karttunen, Magnus Lindberg - Magnus Lindberg: Chamber Works

Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks

Juanjo Mena, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Falla: Works for Stage and Concert Hall

Paul Meyer, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra - Louis Spohr: The Forgotten Master

Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble - Schubert: Complete Symphonies

Jonathan Nott, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Miklós Perényi - Britten, Bach, Ligeti

Cédric Pescia - John Cage: Sonatas & Interludes

Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic - Bruckner: Symphony No. 9

Robin Ticciati, Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony - Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Leonore Overture No. 3

Mitsuko Uchida, Cleveland Orchestra - Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 21

Jaap van Zweden, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra - Bruckner: Symphony No. 8

Simone Young, Hamburg Philharmonic - Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Stephen Eddins
Callithumpian Consort,Stephen Drury - John Luther Adams: Songbirdsongs
Ethel - Heavy
Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony - John Adams: Harmonielehre; Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Kronos Quartet - Music of Vladimir Martynov
Peter Gregson - Gabriel Prokofiev: Cello Multitracks
Andreas Seidel, Steffen Schleiermacher - Morton Feldman: Violin & Piano
John Zorn - John Zorn: Rimbaud
James Manheim
Yury Martynov - Beethoven/Liszt: Symphonies Nos. 6 et 2

Midori Seiler, Jos van Immerseel - Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Violin & Piano

Mayke Rademakers, Matthijs Verschoor - Rachmaninov, Shostakovich: The Sonatas

Cuarteto Casals - Schubert: String Quartets, D.87 & D.887

Gustavo Dudamel, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Dances and Waves: Schönbrunn Summer Night Concert 2012