Say what you will about the demise of the CD and the battles between downloads and streams, in 2015 the flow of classical music recordings seemed as full and rich as ever.
Devising a list of just 10 was downright painful. We were forced to leave so many terrific albums in the wings, from Giya Kancheli's dark and lyrical Chiaroscuro to a stunning debut recital, "Héroïques," from gifted young American tenor Bryan Hymel.
Our list feels wide-ranging, as open to possibilities as classical music itself. Andrew Norman's recent and rigorously flamboyant orchestral work Play rubs elbows with maximalism from the 17th century in the form of Heinrich Biber's 54-part Missa Salisburgensis. And J.S. Bach, played elegantly by Piotr Anderszewski, sits beside Anna Thorvaldsdottir, a confident new composer from Iceland. With Verdi, Sondheim, John Adams and Dvořák, there's something here for most any musical appetite. Sit back and turn it up loud.—T.H.
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