The artwork doesn’t impress me much, though it does represent the titles of some of the pieces: the white bicycle, the rose blooming, various tangos and a harmonious blacksmith.
There are several pieces by Astor Piazolla, which are complete delights. They are, like the collection itself, impossible to categorise, and everything on an accordion sounds strange and wonderful.
This is music that made me listen in new ways and is still bringing me great pleasure.
And in second place, Jeremy Denk’s recording of the Goldberg Variations. It’s a very, very fine recording. I wouldn’t ever want to have a favourite Goldbergs, but Denk belongs alongside Perahia, Gould and Hantai (and Freddy Kempf’s live version from the Isle of Man festival).
What I really appreciated, though, are his words. He has blogged and written articles about the Goldbergs, and the CD comes with a DVD of illustrated lectures. His words are as beautiful, and his insights as exciting, as is his playing.