Favorite classical music of the year

Easy picks this time around, I enjoyed three new issues much more than any others:

Igor Levit, Shostakovich, Preludes and Fugues Op.87, plus a disc of Ronald Stephenson [On DSCH], three discs.

Vikingur Olafsson, Mozart & Contemporaries, two discs.

Daniil Trifonov, Bach: The Art of Life.  The Art of the Fugue, plus a batch of shorter pieces by Bach family members, two discs.

Three absolutely blockbuster piano releases this year.

Usually I listen to weirder stuff, but I discover that through concerts and meeting up with people, so this year was a “classics of the classics” year for much of my listening.

I also greatly enjoyed three stellar Beethoven recordings:

Eugene Albulescu, Beethoven Piano Concerto #1.

Toke Møldrup and Yaron Kohlberg, Beethoven works for piano and cello.

van Baerle Trio, Beethoven complete works for piano trio.

In all three cases, who has ever heard of these people?  Obscure, even to me!  And yet they are making better music than even the Beethoven titans of the past.  There is a lesson in that.

I may have mentioned these before, but I am still listening to them and still enthralled:

Marek Janowski, Bruckner’s 4th symphony, the Suisse Romande version, not the 1992 recording.

Jean-Paul Gasparian, Chopin.

Tanguy De Williencourt, Beethoven Bagatelles L’Integrale.

Teodor Currentzis, Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

I hope you are all devoting sufficient time to what are some of mankind’s greatest and most profound achievements.


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