Daniil Trifonov’s Silver Age pays bracing tribute to fin-de-siecle and post-Revolutionary Russian music; Jonathan Leshnoff’s Third Symphony is smartly-written and affecting. What happens when tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres team up for an album of duets and ensembles from various Rossini operas? Fireworks.
Violinist James Ehnes and pianist Andrew Armstrong’s Beethoven violin sonatas feel and sound absolutely right; Quatuor Ébène’s comes up with one of this anniversary year’s few, true benchmark releases; Nikolai Lugansky’s traversal of three of Beethoven’s late piano sonatas is often admirable.
Mariss Jansons’ ultimate performance, taped live at Carnegie Hall, shows the maestro at the top of his game; François-Xavier Roth’s new recording of pieces by Ravel and Debussy is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair; Diana Damrau’s Tudor Queens, a survey of heroines from three Donizetti operas, is nothing short of terrific.
Agrippina (1709), an enormous hit at the Met this past season, proves, by turns, gripping, sardonic, and exquisite.