From some delightful Debussy to a bewitching Berlioz opera, via a scintillating set of Schubert sonatas, here are the recordings that stood out this year. T he imminent collapse of the classical recording industry has been predicted so regularly and so tediously over the last two decades that each year in which it remains in rude health seems like a bonus. Of course it evolves, as all cultural industries do, but while the predominance of the previously all-conquering multinational groups — such as Sony Classical, Warner Classics and Universal Deutsche Grammophon and Decca — continues to diminish, and the number of leading artists exclusively contracted to them declines, the vigour of newly created labels, often tailored to a niche, continues to generate a healthy spread of interesting releases. Still very much with us too are CDs themselves. In the classical market at least, there remains a lot of ground for digital downloads to make up and there is little sign so far of discs being decisively superseded. But the amount of the existing repertory made available online increases steadily, and the recent decision of ECM to make its entire catalogue available on Spotify shows the way that this forward-looking label thinks things are going.
Music writers spend their days guiltily staring down literally dozens of unheard new recordings that pile up as the year goes on, with more coming in each day. So it has been an arduous and frustrating but also inspiring and illuminating exercise to narrow our favorites down to five each, for a list of 25 gorgeous releases that covers a huge amount of chronological and stylistic ground. Fortunately, Ms. In the United States, at least, Ms. Rana has not yet acquired the reputation of some other young pianists. Major orchestras ignored the th birthday this year of Amy Beach , but Hyperion did not in this fine release, recorded with tangible commitment by all concerned.
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This page is for major events and other topics related to the year in classical music. List published by Musical America . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Overview of the events of in classical music.
Born in to a poor Jewish family in an Austro-Hungarian village now in the Czech Republic a region that was rife with anti-Semitism , Serkin moved to Vienna at the age of nine, without his parents, to study music. He worked closely with Arnold Schoenberg from the age of fifteen until his career took off suddenly, at seventeen, when he was chosen by the famous violinist Adolf Busch to be his accompanist. Busch, perhaps the most intellectually demanding German violinist of the time, took Serkin into his family and quickly made him no mere accompanist but a musical partner and collaborator; they formed an authentic duo of musical equals. Serkin made his career in the U. But he seemed to extract the music from its sedimented cultural traditions to reach a notion of humanistic universality, an ideal of equality. Not a natural technician, he practiced obsessively, throughout his life, and his performances in these recordings reflect his sense of titanic struggle to realize the ideas and emotions that he found in the works that he played. He bypassed the surface sheen of ingratiating sounds to render the beauty of that struggle; his piano tone is itself the sound of struggle, filled with the meeting of metal and wood and evoking spiritual exaltation through physical and intellectual exertion. The recordings in this set run from through , carrying Serkin from the ages of thirty-eight through eighty-two. The frenzy of such performances is a rage of virtue, the sound of a passionate devotion that borders on possession. The center of his musical life was the thirty-two Beethoven sonatas, but, unlike other pianists devoted to Beethoven, there were many that he never recorded—for that matter, that he never performed publicly.