The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Famed radio station WQXR names the best 100 recordings of 2019. Listen to samples of them here | December 28, 2019

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By Jacob Stockinger

Did you get a gift card for the holidays?

Are you looking how to spend it by either purchasing CDs or subscribing to a streaming service?

Help and guidance are available.

Few names in the airing of classical music carry more prestige than the famed radio station WQXR in New York City.

To check out the radio station’s choice of the best recordings of 2019 is also to see where the worlds of recording and concertizing are heading.

Such trends include rediscovering neglected composers and championing new music as well as women composers, such as Clara Schumann, and composers of color, such as the American composer Florence Price (below), who has often been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio this past year.

But you will also find noteworthy recordings of such classics as Johann Sebastian Bach – and two of his rarely heard cousins instead of his sons – and well as outstanding recordings of symphonies and piano sonatas (below, the set by Igor Levit) for the upcoming Beethoven Year to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of the composer.

And you will also find names of outstanding performers you may not have heard of — such as the exceptional Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang (below), a Van Cliburn Competition gold medalist whom The Ear would like to see perform here.

Here is a link to 25 picks with commentaries– plus another 75 titles and samples, without commentary, to round out a Top 100.

Happy listening!

https://www.wqxr.org/story/best-classical-recordings-2019/


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2 Comments »

  1. I should add a musician who is younger:

    Rachel Barton Pine (performs all kinds of music and all well; overcame huge adversity and remains buoyant and pleasant; an enormous, bubbly personality; her foundation is doing good work).

    Catch her interview over at WPR and you’ll see what I mean.

    Comment by fflambeau — December 31, 2019 @ 10:47 pm

  2. Since things here are so slow, how about a question? Who is your most admired classical musician (now performing) and why?

    For me:

    Gidon Kremer (most innovative; top of the class in violin; supports other musicians). Number 2: Yo Yo Ma (for similar reasons).

    Comment by fflambeau — December 31, 2019 @ 10:38 pm


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