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classical

BEST ALBUMS OF 2012: Jeremy Eichler

Mozart, Piano Concertos.

Mozart, Piano Concertos.

BRITTEN, BACH AND LIGETI: Works for Cello

Miklós Perényi, cello This modern-tilted solo disc, by a Hungarian cellist who deserves to be far better known, is full of playing both wise and electric.

“FERNE GELIEBTE”: Lieder

Christian Gerhaher, baritone; Gerold Huber, piano Warmly burnished and richly expressive performances of German lieder, from Beethoven and Haydn, to Schoenberg and Berg.

ELGAR AND CARTER: Cello Concertos

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Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Daniel Barenboim, conductor Fiercely committed performances of

Elgar’s Romantic staple and

Elliott Carter’s angular modernist essay for cello and orchestra, partnered by Barenboim’s Staatskapelle Berlin.

LIGETI/BEETHOVEN: Works for piano

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Jeremy Denk, piano Ligeti’s exhilarating avant-garde etudes are here wrapped around Beethoven’s luminous Sonata No. 32 (Op. 111) — played with musical intelligence and abundant technique.

THE DEBUSSY EDITION

Issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, this 18-disc box set contains performances from several top-tier interpreters. Modern musical revolution for the price per disc of a latte.

SCHUBERT: Works for Piano, Vol. 2

Paul Lewis, piano The eloquent British pianist continues his survey of Schubert’s piano works, dispensed here with an elusive admixture of refinement and soul.

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: “OUT OF NOWHERE”

Leila Josefowicz, violin; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor Salonen’s gleaming, polyglot Violin Concerto, performed by Josefowicz, was a highlight of the conductor’s visit to the BSO this year. Here it is, recorded with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

MOZART: Piano Concertos

Kristian Bezuidenhout, forte-piano; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra A vital, sparkling musicality underlies these performances of Concertos Nos. 17 and 22.

MOZART: “LA FINTA GIARDINIERA’”

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and soloists; René Jacobs, conductor Jacobs has made yet another startlingly fresh Mozart opera recording, this time turning to an early work deserving of new champions.

BACH: “ST. MATTHEW PASSION”

Simon Rattle, conductor; Peter Sellars, ritualization; Berlin Philharmonic, vocal soloists, and Rundfunkchor Berlin A DVD of Sellars’s touching and deeply humane staging of Bach’s “Matthew Passion,” recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonie.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

“THE ART OF ROMAN TOTENBERG”

The Boston violinist died this year at 101, and Arbiter records released this two-disc survey of remarkable performances culled from over five decades. Totenberg was revered as a teacher. Here he is allowed to speak as an artist.

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