Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 - NML Team Picks: Our Favorite Albums of the Year

We know that the sheer size of Naxos Music Library can feel a little overwhelming, and that with so many amazing new releases joining the database it can be easy to miss out on an album that would have become a favorite. Even those of us on staff, who spend our weeks in the site, can find it hard to keep up with every new title.

Nevertheless, we have found quite a few favorite releases over the course of 2016, and we would like to share them with you. This is of course no exhaustive list of what we've loved, but these were the albums we found ourselves returning to time and time again. Some of these will be Grammy nominees, or critical favorites you'll see on many year-end lists. Others will be those hidden gems we dug up ourselves and really want you to hear and love as much as we do. Either way, we encourage you to not let these slip by unconsidered.

We've created a playlist of some of the highlights of these favorite albums, which you can find by clicking the appropriate banner in NML. If you are within your institution's wifi network, you might also be able to go directly to the playlist by clicking HERE.

Full albums can be reached by clicking one of that album's tracks in the playlist, or by copying and pasting any of the catalog IDs below into the keyword search in NML.

We know that 2016 has been a weird year for most of us, but it has not been short on excellent music. Enjoy!

Oliver Davis
Kerenza Peacock, violin; Royal Philharmonic; Paul Bateman
Signum - SIGCD469
Michael Daugherty
Tales of Hemingway / American Gothic / Once Upon A Castle
Zuill Bailey, cello; Nashville Symphony; Giancarlo Guerrero
Naxos - 8.559798
Bruno Bavota
Out of the Blue
Bruno Bavota
Dorian Sono Luminus - DSL-92206
Ulvi Cemal Erkin
Symphony No. 2 / Violin Concerto / Köçekçe
Istanbul State Symphony; Theodore Kuchar
Naxos - 8.572831
Aaron Copland
Billy the Kid / Rodeo
Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Litton
BIS - BIS-2164
Crossing Over
Skylark; Matthew Guard
Dorian Sono Luminus - DSL-92200
Emil Tabakov
Symphony No. 8 / 5 Bulgarian Dances
Bulgarian National Radio Symphony; Emil Tabakov
Toccata - TOCC0365

Jennifer Higdon
Cold Mountain
Santa Fe Opera; Miguel Harth-Bedoya
Pentatone - PTC5186583

Music of the Spheres
Tenebrae; Nigel Short
Signum - SIGCD904

Pyotr Il'Yich Tchaikovsky
Serenade in C Major / Souvenir de Florence
The Russian Virtuosi of Europe
Orchid - ORC100052
Samuel Adler
Symphony No. 6 / Cello Concerto
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; José Serebrier
Linn Records - CKD545

Sadie Harrison
The Rosegarden of Light
Cuatro Puntos; Ensemble Zohra
Toccata - TOCC0342

Christopher Rouse
Odna Zhizn / Symphony No. 3 (After Prokofiev)
New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Alan Gilbert
Dacapo - 8.226110

Michael Nyman
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Nashville Opera; Dean Williamson
Naxos - 8.660398

Sergey Prokofiev
Works for Violin and Piano
Franziska Pietsch, violin; Detlev Eisinger, piano
Audite - Audite97.722
Christine Brewer / Paul Jacobs
Divine Redeemer
Christine Brewer, soprano; Paul Jacobs, organ
Naxos - 8.573524


  1. Delighted that NML has enjoyed and appreciated my recording of world premiere works by Samuel Adler,
    long overdue. These are great works which should
    be known and performed. Soloist and orchstra were magnificent and LINN's Philip Hobbs did a masterful
    job with the production. I was thrilled that the CD
    got a Latin GRAMMY Nomination is the "best classical
    album of the year" category. Congratulations to composer, orchestra & soloist, and label,

  2. So grateful for all the support NML have given my third release, Dance. Couldn't have done it without the talent of Paul Bateman, Kerenza Peacock, Huw Watkins and of course, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Especially grateful to amazing designer Rebecca Manley who's front cover designs have drawn so many new listeners towards these releases.
    Oliver Davis