Album of the Year? It has been a vintage season for pianos

Album of the Year? It has been a vintage season for pianos


norman lebrecht

December 15, 2017

Is it that time already? Time for the Lebrecht Album of the Year award….

In these diminished times, any year that yields a couple of releases that can rank with, and perhaps displace, the legends of recording history must be counted a good one. On these terms, 2017 was a pretty good vintage. There was an impressive Berlioz Les Troyens from Erato, a Hänssler retrieval of the last known recital of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the first in a promising Chandos series of the orchestral works of Richard Rodney Bennett and, at the opposite end of the scale, a Jonas Kaufmann assault on both tenor and mezzo parts of Das Lied von der Erde – a Sony production of such epic awfulness on every front, including sound quality, that it will stand the test of time in my cabinet of deathless horrors.

Not a bad year, then, and for the piano absolutely epic….

Read on here to discover the album of the year.

And here.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    To have excluded from consideration Rafal Blechacz’s superlative recording of works by J.S. Bach is puzzling. I admire Zimmerman’s new Schubert disc (and even Kissin’s new LvB and Trifonov’s new Chopin) but Blechacz surpassed Zimmerman in every which way albeit in different repertoire. The engineering given the younger Pole was superior too.