It is once again time for NativeDSD to celebrate the year in Direct Stream Digital (DSD) music. With over 85 music labels contributing to our listeners’ music enjoyment, there is much to celebrate and enjoy. Each category has two or more albums nominated.
Within each of the 11 Categories, the album with the most votes will win an AOTY Category Award. After the voting period is over, the one album with the overall most votes will also win the AOTY Audience Award.
During 2022, the NativeDSD family of music labels released hundreds of DSD albums in a wide variety of musical genres – from Pop and Rock to Jazz, Electronic Music, Blues, Tango, Samba, Soul and Funk, Swing, World, Gospel, Christmas, Classical and more.
Next comes the difficult part. How does NativeDSD select the nominees for Best DSD Albums of the Year? As has been our tradition, NativeDSD has asked Senior Reviewer Bill Dodd and Technical Advisor Brian Moura to carefully review the year’s DSD releases and bring our listeners 2 to 5 nominations in several musical categories.
Brian Moura and Bill Dodd have selected nominees across 11 Categories.
Today we reveal the Nominations of these 3 Categories:
Soloist with Orchestra
This is a great way to applaud and reward the excellent music and performances that the music labels and artists have brought us this year. And it also is a guide for our listeners to see what we have selected as the best DSD music in 2022. The nominations highlight what you may have missed throughout the year.
Enhance your personal DSD collection as you prepare for some fine holiday musical enjoyment.
Best of all, these albums are available at 25% Off through January 5th, 2023 as part of the Album of the Year sale. Another incentive to read the list and add to your DSD collection right away.
Category: Soloist with Orchestra
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos 2 & 4
Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos 2 & 4€16,99 – €33,49
Anna Fedorova, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Modestas Pitrenas
42522, Channel Classics Records
A recent review of this album by Adrian Quanjer (here) sums it up with “It’s all about passion and poetry”, and I agree. Anna Fedarova plays with surgical accuracy, but with great passion. No, there are no special effects or moments of forced showmanship. She captures Rachmaninoff’s moody presence, but also his magic. Anna Fedorova writes in the liner notes, “For me, it represents the change of the era, a farewell to the past and a dive into a quite terrifying future”. And the Sinfonieorcheter St. Gallen conducted by Modestas Pitrenas provides perfect backing.
– Bill Dodd
Sonoko Miriam Welde: Bruch / Vaughan Williams / Barber€16,99 – €29,99
Miriam Welde, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tabita Berglund / Joshua Weilerstein
LWC1222, LAWO Classics
What a lovely album this is! Sonoko Miriam Welde with some incredibly beautiful late Romantic pieces for violin and orchestra. Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No, 1 in G Minor is from the 1860’s, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending was first performed in 1921, and from the later 1930’s Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto all make this album glow with achingly beautiful music. Welde is accompanied by the Oslo Philharmonic.
– Bill Dodd
Schoenberg Messiaen Ravel
Schoenberg Messiaen Ravel€16,99 – €33,49
Francesco Piamontesi, Jonathan Nott, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
An exciting and sparkling Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major is the primary reason I’m nominating this release. Swiss Pianist Francesco Piamontesi takes no prisoners in his playing, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Jonathan Nott is with him all the way. The rarely heard Schoenberg Piano Concerto and Messiaen’s oddball Oiseaux Exotiques fill out the album of music composed by European composers with an American connection. – Bill Dodd
Category: Jazz Ensemble
When Night Falls
When Night Falls€16,99 – €33,49
Angelo Verploegen, Ed Verhoeff & Eric van der Westen
JL026, Just Listen Records
It’s always a highly anticipated event when Just Listen releases an album with Angelo Verploegen. When Night Falls is his fourth album on Just Listen. Here he is joined by Ed Verhoeff on Guitar and Eric van der Westen on Bass as they play 11 standards all of which offer the trio’s “Ode to the Night.” The album makes for a warm and enveloping evening of DSD listening. Very nice.
– Brian Moura
The Gift (One Microphone Recording)€16,99 – €29,99
Michael Moore & Paul Berner
SL1058A, Sound Liaison
Michael Moore and Paul Berner won an Album of the Year award last year for their Stereo DSD album Amulet. This year they returned to NativeDSD with The Gift – a second One Microphone Recording that was made at the same session that gave us Amulet. Playing a set with 10 well known standards, Moore and Berner masterfully blend their instruments in a way that brings a certain musical magic to each track. This is Jazz music at its finest.
– Brian Moura
Category: Electronic Music
Empty Triangles 2.0 (Exclusive NativeDSD Edition)
Empty Triangles 2.0 (Exclusive NativeDSD Edition)€16,99 – €29,99
by Empty Triangles
SGSEMPT2, AudioDefine Records
Last year, Audio Define brought us the DSD debut album from an electronic rock band named Empty Triangles. The band’s first album was well received and this year they are back with Empty Triangles 2.0. Audio Define calls this new release “a retro-inspired collection of electro-pop recorded to Analog Tape using a collection of historic gear from the 80s and 90s to achieve that signature sound, whilst maintaining a modern production and vibe!” The tracks feature synth-based rock that is very much in the same groove as their debut album. Electronic Music fans will enjoy this one.
– Brian Moura
The New Poetry Of The Fallen Testament (Pure DSD)
The New Poetry Of The Fallen Testament (Pure DSD)€16,99 – €29,99
The Lawn Dogs
HRES2126, Hunnia Records
The New Poetry Of The Fallen Testament is Live to Pure DSD 256 Stereo recording made at SuperSize Recording in Hungary. The Lawn Dogs is a European rock and electronic music band that offers special thanks to Bolcso Bar & Restaurant for providing great food and beer during the recording session. This album offers a lively mix of both rock and electronic music with Hunnia’s fine Pure DSD 256 recording. Definitely an album for fans of this genre to consider.
– Brian Moura
Into The Stratosphere (Exclusive NativeDSD Edition)
Into The Stratosphere (Exclusive NativeDSD Edition)€19,99 – €29,99
SGSSITSDSD, AudioDefine Records
Audio Define ended the year with another electronic music release: Into The Stratosphere by Sunsetron. As with their albums from Empty Triangle, this is an Exclusive NativeDSD Edition created in the Analog Domain and transferred to DSD by producers Stacey Havana and Cask J. Thomson. They note that “Into the Stratosphere premiered in May 2022, receiving widespread acclaim by listeners appreciating the dreamy electronic compositions, hypnotic vocals, and trance-like production.” The album includes both the vocal and instrumental versions of each song. It’s an interesting approach. For me, the instrumental versions win out.
– Brian Moura
Enjoy discovering some of the best DSD albums released in 2022. And remember: all of the nominated albums are 25% Off until January 5th, 2023.
The NativeDSD Team would like to thank Bill Dodd and Brian Moura for having spent an eternity listening to all of the albums released in 2022, and for selecting the albums they believe you should not miss.