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Classical Music Reviews

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.

Read A Bumper Crop Of Classical Box Sets

December 6, 2013 – Amid a banner year for classical music box sets, advice on what to splurge on.

Conductor James Levine in rehearsal with Russian virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.

Read After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback

November 26, 2013 – Live at Carnegie Hall captures a riveting experience with a beloved conductor, James Levine.


Barbara Hannigan and Bejun Mehta in the Festival at Aix production of Written on Skin.

Watch This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out

October 4, 2013 – In George Benjamin's Written on Skin, human cruelty is inextricably connected to passion and art.


A new collection of Brahms and Mozart recordings by the Stuyvesant Quartet from 1947 conveys a kind of inward grace.

Read A Forgotten Quartet, Reissued And Reevaluated

August 15, 2013 – These Brahms and Mozart recordings convey natural refinement, balance and a kind of inward grace.


San Juan Bautista Mission in California, the inspiration for Kevin Puts' Symphony No. 4.

Read Symphonic Music, American Style: 3 Must-Hear Albums

July 24, 2013 – A trio of orchestral albums from our summer-long search for the Great American Symphony.

Soprano Natalie Dessay, with tenor Charles Castonovo, in Philippe Béziat's documentary Becoming Traviata.

Watch 'Becoming Traviata': A Look At Opera From Behind The Curtain

June 4, 2013 – For a film built from rehearsals on a bare stage, there's a surprising amount of drama.

Ingolf Wunder pays tribute to 300 years of keyboard music on his new album 300.

Read Three Must-Hear Piano Albums

April 23, 2013 – Three new records prove the old box of wires and hammers called the piano still draws top players.

Conductor Colin Davis concludes his cycle of Carl Nielsen's symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Listen Nordic Symphonies And A $100 Guitar: Music We Love Now

February 20, 2013 – Three albums in our ears: clever Nielsen, glowing Finland and a battered electric guitar.


Violist Nadia Sirota.

Listen The New Baroque And A Nod To Minnesota

February 12, 2013 – A bottomless bass sings Handel and a soaring symphony by Sibelius are among this week's picks.


Composer Mohammed Fairouz, whose hour-long chamber opera Sumeida's Song recently appeared on recording and on stage.

Read Lean But Seen: The Joy Of Smaller Opera

February 5, 2013 – An intense yet modestly scaled opera Sumeia's Song by composer Mohammed Fairouz offers a model.

The mountainside Montserrat monastery, north of Barcelona, inspired Paul Moravec to write a cello concerto.

Read Musical Google Earth: Composer Paul Moravec's Sense Of Place

January 22, 2013 – The Pulitzer Prize winner composer has written appealing pieces inspired by far flung locations.

Vissarion Shebalin's music, like that of his compatriots Shostakovich and Prokoviev, was denounced by Soviet officials.

Read Classical Lost and Found: The Lighter Side Of Vissarion Shebalin

January 15, 2013 – A Soviet composer's fortunes swayed with the dictates of the regime, from success to condemnation.

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

Read Leonidas Kavakos: Letting Beethoven Shine

January 8, 2013 – A new recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas keeps the spotlight on the music, not the soloist.

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.

Read In January's Drought, Three Albums Worth Waiting For

January 3, 2013 – January is a slow month for new albums. Still, we offer an exclusive sampler of unreleased treats.

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.

Read When A Thoughtful Cellist Meets An Imaginative Composer

December 18, 2012 – Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist-composer Thomas Adès shine in a recital of disparate pieces.

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