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Our 10 Favorite Classical Albums Of 2015

The San Francisco Symphony's recording of two Beethovenian works by John Adams is one of our picks for 2015.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony's recording of two Beethovenian works by John Adams is one of our picks for 2015.

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.