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Van Morrison, The Healing Game. One of his later albums, but with some great tracks - the title track, The Burning Ground and This Once Was My Life (with Georgie Fame's call-and-response backing voca

God what an innocent I was (am) - never realised the Sweetest Girl was about H. Will have to try to find my copy now and listen again. And Jacques Derrida - Scritti Politti changed my life - in a sm

Liza, That song you mentioned a while back (you asked if you were crazy to like it), the band's name escapes me, well it's on the radio all the time now and now I like it. (They remind me of Meatloaf,

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Strauss:  Sinfonia Domestica/Don Juan//Weber:  Der Freischütz Overture (Furtwängler/Berliner Philharmoniker)  (is Sinfonia Domestica my least favorite piece in the mainstream classical repertoire, or is it the Roman Trilogy?) (Of course, there's always Ein Heldenleben lurking in the background)

Bruckner:  Symphony No. 9 (Furtwängler/Berliner Philharmoniker)

Wagner:  Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Zeppenfeld/Wagner/Vogt//Thielemann/Staatskapelle Dresden)

Creed/SWR Vokalensemble:  Christmas Carols

Yotam Haber:  Torus:  Chamber Music 2007-2014 (Mivos Quartet/Contemporaneous Ensemble)


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Various:  Phil Spector:  Back to Mono (1958-1969) (culminating in A Christmas Gift for You) (you know what?  it's true:  this stuff is as good as ABBA)

Homilius/Rolle/Förster:  Christmas Cantatas (Willens/Kölner Akademie)

Brockroclofs/Margareta Consort:  A German Christmas:  17th Century Music for the Time of Advent and Christmas (another really good Christmas album) (even if the leader's name makes you think she should be doing "Rock Lobster")

Yotam Haber:  Torus:  Chamber Music 2007-2014 (Mivos Quartet/Contemporaneous Ensemble)

Frith/Tewari/Ergün:  Lock Me Up, Lock Me Down (don't miss this)

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Krommer:  6 Clarinet Quartets (Klöcker/Consortium Classicum)

Stravinsky:  Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra/Concerto for Piano and Winds (Entremont//Stravinsky/Craft/Columbia Symphony Orchestra)

Albinoni:  Trio Sonatas Op. 1 (L'Arte dell'Arco)

Rihanna:  Anti (I don't want to be argumentative, but you listen to this and you wonder why would anybody even play Dua Lipa)

Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra:  All My Yesterdays

The Besnard Lakes:  Volume One

Invisible System:  Steet Clan

Hahn:  String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2/Romance/Variations Chantantes sur un Air Ancien/Deux Improvisations sur des Airs Irlandais/Piano Quintet (Dania Tchalik/Quartour Tchalik) (it's remarkable that everyone who plays on this wonderful album is a sibling) (I mean of each other -- it wouldn't be remarkable if they were all siblings of someone)

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Stravinsky:  Pulcinella Suite/Scherzo Fantastique/Feu d'Artifice/Scherzo à la Russe (Stravinsky/Columbia Symphony Orchestra/CBC Symphony Orchestra)

Veronique Gens//Hervé Niquet/Münchener Rundfunkorchester:  Visions (works for voice and orchestra by Bruneau/Franck/Niedermeyer/Godard/David/Fevrier/Saint-Saëns/Massenet/Halévy/Bizet) (heaven)

Ohmme:  Fantasize Your Ghost

Palestrina:  Missa Papae Marcelli/Tu Es Pastor Ovium/O Bone Jesu [get your mind out of the gutter][this isn't, "I Sure Do Know How to Love Him"]/Confiltemini Domino/Ad Te Levavi Oculos Meos/Benedixsti, Domine/Veritas Mea et Misericorda Mea/Jubilate Deo/Confirma Hoc, Deus/Ave Maria (Palombella/Sistine Chapel Choir) (it is highly ironic that, in this Golden Age of performance of Renaissance choral music, when such music is sung better than at any time since the Renaissance -- and maybe even better than then -- the Sistine Chapel Choir no longer cuts it)

Teddy Edwards & Houston Person:  Horn to Horn (heaven)

Yuka Honda:  memories are my only witness

Iggy Pop:  Preliminaires

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Kraus:  Proserpina Overture/"Du i Hvars Oskuldsfulla Blick"/"Ma Tu Tremi"/"Ch'io Mai Vi Possa"/Zum Geburtstage des Königs Gustav III, IV & V Overture/"Purvum quando Cerno Deum"/Äfventyraren Overture/"Sentimi, Non Partir!"/König Gustav III Begrafnings-Kantat Overture/"Hir Mina Ümma Suckar Klaga" (Groop//Häkkinen/Helsinki Baroque Orchestra) (if ever there was an underappreciated composer . . . .)

Barsanti:  Concerti Grossi Op. 3 (Ipato/Motzo/Auser Musici)

Strauss:  Tod und Verlärung/Metamorphosen/Vier Lezte Lieder (Janowitz//Karajan/Berliner Philharmoniker)

Various:  Kraut!:  Die Innovativen Jahre des Krautrock 1968-1979 (Teil 2:  Die Mitte) (almost makes me think I don't know what Krautrock is, since most of this stuff doesn't sound like what I think of when I think of it)

Shamir:  Shamir (he just keeps being great)

Sara Serpa:  Recognition

Michi Wiancko:  Rime (Planetary Candidate)

Scriabin:  Piano Sontas Nos. 3 & 5/Preludes/Études (Horowitz)

Vasks:  Works for Piano Trio (Trio Palladio)

Palestrina:  Missa Papae Marcelli/Tu Es Petrus/Gaudent en Cœlis/Sicut Cervus/Sitvit Anima Mea//Guerrero:  Regina Cæli//Victoria:  Missa O Quam Gloriosum/Gaudet in Cœlis (New York Polyphony) (I'm skeptical about singing this stuff one-to-a-part -- but if you're gonna do it, this is about as good as it could possibly be)

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Vanhal:  Symphonies in D Major, C Minor A Flat Minor & G Major (Mallon/Toronto Camerata)

Rossini:  Amici e Rivali (Brownlee/Spyres//Rovaris/I Virtuosi Italiani) (exactly the kind of thing I hate -- but this is done so superbly well, and in such good spirits, it's hard not to be taken in:  I want to be an amico of these guys, too)

3 Cohens:  Tightrope

James Moore & Andie Springer:  Gertrudes

Rebecca Luker:  Anything Goes:  Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter (RIP)

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Boccherini:  Flute Quintets Nos. 2, 4 & 5/Guitar Quintets Nos. 4 "Fandango" & 7 (Les Ombres)

Various:  The Rough Guide to Cumbia

Los Corraleros de Majagual:  The Rough Guide to Los Corraleros de Majagual

Bartók:  Duke Bluebeard's Castle (Ludwig/Berry//Kertész/London Symphony Orchestra) (fuck this is great)

Care Bears on Fire:  I Stole Your Animal

Gutbucket:  Sludge Test

Phoebe Bridgers:  Punisher

Speaker Music:  of desire, longing

Florilegium:  Fatale Flame (chamber and vocal music from 18th Century France by Montéclair/Morel/Leclair/Rameau)

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Beck:  6 Symphonies Op. 1 (Armstrong/New Zealand Chamber Orchestra) (it's amazing that he went on to craft Odelay) (no, just kidding:  this is the guy who played with Esther Phillips)

Mennin:  Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6/Concertante "Moby Dick"/Fantasia for String Orchestra (Miller/Albany Symphony Orchestra)

Taj Mahal:  Taj Mahal

Juan Trigos:  Symphony No. 5 "Nézalhualcoyotl Teuícalhuan"/Sansón Ballet Suite (D'Ingiullo//Trigos/Sinfonia de Oaxaca)

Bruckner:  Symphony No. 8 (Furtwängler/Berliner Philharmoniker) (because nothing says "New Year's Eve fun" like Bruckner)

Frank Sinatra:  Lost and Found:  The Radio Years (this set of rejects from the great A Voice on Air compilation shows that the compilers knew just what they were doing:  this stuff just isn't as good)


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"Blue" Gene Tyranny/Peter Gordon:  Trust in Rock

Schoenberg:  String Quartet in D Major/Chamber Symphony No. 1/Concerto for String Quartet & Orchestra (Schoenberg Quartet etc.)

Beethoven:  String Quartets Nos. 15 & 16 (Tokyo String Quartet)

Krommer:  Clarinet Quintets/15 Pieces for 2 Clarinets & Viola (Brunner/Lallemang/Popper/Amati Quartet)

Mahler:  Symphony No. 3/Kindertotenlieder (DeYoung//Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony)

Teddy Edwards & Houston Person:  Close Encounters

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Maria Schneider Orchestra:  Data Lords (almost as good as its reputation)

Brahms:  Symphony No. 2//Beethoven:  Leonore Overture No. 3 (Furtwängler/Berliner Philharmoniker) (Furtwängler was a very very great musician; but every once in a while you wish the music-making weren't quite so fraught) (also:  Nazis.  Ewwwwwwwwww)

Stravinsky:  Variations -- Aldous Huxley in Memoriam/Abraham and Isaac/Introitus/Requiem Canticles (Bonazzi/Andersson/Bressler/Frisch/Gramm/Gregg Smith Singers//Stravinsky/Craft/Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Columbia Chamber Ensemble)

David Chaim Smith/Bill Laswell/John Zorn:  The Dream Membrane

Franck:  Symphony (Furtwängler/Berliner Philharmoniker) (only 3-1/2 months left till the Fall of Berlin!!!!!!!)

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