Today – Friday, December 11 – the Boston Globe posted lists of the best albums of 2015 as selected by six critics: staffers James Reed, Sarah Rodman, and Jeremy Eichler, plus regular contributors Julian Benbow, Jon Garelick, and Siddhartha Mitter. Those lists will all be in this Sunday’s print edition, too.
Last year, I was able to slip a list of my own into print, in the context of my then-extant monthly series “Newer Music” With that column now discontinued, a listing of the records that moved me most in 2015 migrates to the one place over which I retain complete control.
I’d love to think that I’ll come back to these lists and add helpful little blurbs, but given my track record of late, if I hesitate I might never get this posted, or at least not in 2015. And so, without further ado…
10 albums without which 2015 would have been less rich.
1. Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians – Ensemble Signal/Brad Lubman (Harmonia Mundi)
2. Greg Stuart & Ryoko Akama – kotoba koukan (Crisis/Lengua de Lava)
3. Jeph Jerman & Tim Barnes – matterings (Erstwhile)
4 (tie). Jürg Frey – Mémoire, horizon; Extended Circular Music Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 3 & 7; Architektur der Empfindungen – – Konus Quartett, Mondrian Ensemble (Musiques Suisses)
4 (tie). Jürg Frey – Grizzana and other pieces 2009-2014 – Ensemble Grizzana (Another Timbre)
6. Anna Thorvaldsdóttir – In the Light of Air – International Contemporary Ensemble (Sono Luminus)
7. Paula Matthusen – Pieces for People – Terri Hron, James Moore, Jamie Jordan, Mantra Percussion, Kathleen Supové, Yvonne Troxler, Molly Shaiken, Tiit Helimets, Wil Smith, orkest de ereprijs/Wim Boerman, Todd Reynolds, Yvonne Troxler (Innova)
8. Michael Pisaro – A mist is a collection of points – Phillip Bush, Greg Stuart (New World)
9. Allison Cameron – A Gossamer Bit – Contact (Redshift Music)
10. James Moore & Andie Springer – Gertrudes: music for violin and resonator guitar (New World)
10 more notable albums.
Henri Dutilleux – Métaboles; Violin Concerto, “L’arbre des songes”; Symphony No. 2, “Le double” – Augustin Hadelich, Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony Media)
Lukas Foss – Symphonies Nos. 1-4 – Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose (BMOP/sound)
Ted Hearne – The Source – Ted Hearne, Mellissa Hughes, Samia Mounts, Isaiah Robinson, Jonathan Woody, Courtney Orlando, Anne Lanzilotti, Leah Coloff, Taylor Levine, Greg Chudzik, Ron Wiltrout, Nathan Koci (New Amsterdam)
Jenny Olivia Johnson – Don’t Look Back – Megan Schubert, P. Lucy McVeigh, Amanda Crider, Jessica Schmitz, Eileen Mack, Andrew Delclos, Todd Reynolds, Peter Gregson, David Russell, Melinda Menezes, Lisa Liu, Dan Kozak, Isabelle O’Connell, Eliko Akahori, Jake Penn Kozak, Jude Traxler, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Nathaniel Berman, Adam Weiner (Innova)
Missy Mazzoli – Vespers for a New Dark Age – Mellissa Hughes, Victoire, Glenn Kotche, Lorna Dune (New Amsterdam)
Andrew Norman – Play; Try; Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose (BMOP/sound)
Dmitri Shostakovich – Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District – Passacaglia; Symphony No. 10 – Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons (Deutsche Grammophon)
Sarah Kirkland Snider – Unremembered – Padma Newsome, DM Stith, Shara Worden, Unremembered Orchestra/Edwin Outwater (New Amsterdam)
Scott Worthington – Prism (Populist)
Nordic Affect – Clockworking – compositions by Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hildur Gudnadottir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, Thurídur Jónsdóttir, and Anna Thorvaldsdóttir (Sono Luminus)
Another 10 notable albums.
Alex Cobb – Chantepleure (Students of Decay)
Sarah Davachi – Barons Court (Students of Decay)
Chris Dingman – The Subliminal and the Sublime (Inner Arts)
Mary Halvorson – Meltframe (Firehouse 12)
Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (BMG)
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg/Interscope)
Bill Seaman – f(noir) (Eilean)
Joanna Wallfisch & Dan Tepfer – The Origin of Adjustable Things (Sunnyside)
Kamasi Washington – The Epic (Brainfeeder)
Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower (Relapse)
10 labels to follow.
Original Source: Ten albums without which 2015 would have been less rich, and more.