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Top 10 Classical Albums, May 2013

by Seth Colter Walls

Top 10 Classical Albums, May 2013


We start with Lara Downes taking on "Tango," a jazzy little piano item by Igor Stravinsky. We follow it up with a piece from David Lang's new album, which boasts playing by Bryce Dessner from The National (among others). Cut to another great album of Bach cantatas from Masaaki Suzuki. And then we're ready for a hot new piano concerto from Magnus Lindberg, played by the New York Philharmonic and soloist Yefim Bronfman.

Welcome to May's Classical Roundup, in which we also catch up on some albums we may have missed while celebrating jazz appreciation month, over in the genre next door. Janine Jansen gives us a sharp take on Arnold Schoenberg's late-romantic masterpiece Transfigured Night, while the Minnesota Orchestra continues to make the case that they know the symphonies of Jean Sibelius better than anyone.

And while difficult to classify as strictly classical, the downtown New York vocal eminence Shelley Hirsch guests on an album from a European drums-cello-saxophone trio that knows how to embrace some post-John Cage ideas about noise and cacophony. Plus, we have some stray gems from Philip Glass and Erich Wolfgang Korngold strewn about, in between the longer pieces. Check out all the intensity, beauty and experimentation over in the appended playlist.