The 10 Best Records of 2012, or wasting Your Time For One More Year

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  • Paul Buchanan

You don't need this list of my 10 favourite discs of 2012. But I do. So, here goes...

Isabelle Faust:  Berg/Beethoven Violin Concertos (Harmonia Mundi) Berg's music advances like an enormous torso of natural energy, whilst Faust rides the wave with a surfer's skill. Stunning.

Andras Schiff: J S Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier (ECM) By not using the pedals, Schiff has had to carve all the colour out of Bach's masterpiece by sheer dexterity.

Fly: Year of the Snake (ECM) Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard tear the trio format inside out.

Neil Young: Psychedelic Pill (Reprise) How to grow old, loudly and disgracefully.

Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway (Concord) Mining the Brill Building song catalogue has brought forth some of Elling's most affecting singing.

The Killers: Battle Born (Lizard King)  If we must have stadium rock, then let's have it The Killers' way.

Paul Buchanan: Mid Air (Linn) At moments, Buchanan's songs, in all their precious fragility, are genuinely spine-tiingling.

Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando (ACT) No one else understands rhythm in such a cerebral way as Iyer.

Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas (Columbia) Funny, mordant and inexhaustible. Just like Leonard.

Isabelle Faust: J S Bach, Violin Sonatas and Partitas (Harmonia Mundi) Faust takes Bach onto the high wire, and completes the most dazzling version of the sonatas and partitas for solo violin.