A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

On their new album, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Thomas Adès guide the listener to far-flung locales, conjured by an odd assortment of composers. Hyperion hide caption

itoggle caption Hyperion

Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012. Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist

Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations. Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa's sweet and silvery voice was perfect for the music of Richard Strauss. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

The London-based a cappella choir Stile Antico brings a program of Christmas music to Cambridge, Mass. Marco Borggreve hide caption

itoggle caption Marco Borggreve

Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Marco Borggreve/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Marco Borggreve/courtesy of the artist

The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style. /De Agostini/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption /De Agostini/Getty Images

From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places. Steph Mackinnon hide caption

itoggle caption Steph Mackinnon