Rather than compile a list of the past year's high-profile, star-driven classical releases, I've chosen some hidden surprises — delectable items which might not otherwise pop up on many people's radar, but which deserve (and reward) attention. I've always taken more pleasure in listening to something a bit different, rather than making exhaustive comparisons among multiple iterations of standard repertoire. The soul may respond to a particularly felicitous new rendition of Beethoven's Fifth, but why not venture into uncharted territory and bring home some fresh fruit?
A mural by Diego Rivera graces the cover of the Detroit Symphony's release of MotorCity Tripych by Michael Daugherty.
Michael Barone is the host of the public radio programs Pipedreams and The New Releases. Click here for more entries in our Best Music of 2009 series.