Home » Stories » Andrew Wan, OSM, Kent Nagano, Ginastera, Bernstein, Moussa: Works for Violin and Orchestra makes CBC Music's 'Canada best classical albums of the year'

Top 10 for Jan

Andrew Wan, OSM, Kent Nagano, Ginastera, Bernstein, Moussa: Works for Violin and Orchestra makes CBC Music's 'Canada best classical albums of the year'

Bookmark and Share

Has there ever been a year during which new albums were as vital to our survival as they were in 2020? CBC Music picks Canada best classical albums of the year, from solo piano to opera and everything in between

With concert halls shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the arrival of new music - along with quarantine videos and live streams - was the closest we got this year to the thrill of live performance. And while records will never replace the concert experience, we're grateful to Canada's classical musicians for the profusion of new music they continue to release for our enjoyment.

Of the scores of new classical albums that came out in 2020, here are the 20 that stood out to us. If you've got money to spend this holiday season, click on the album titles for information on how to purchase and download them. Canada's classical musicians need your support more than ever.

Andrew Wan, OSM, Kent Nagano, Ginastera, Bernstein, Moussa: Works for Violin and Orchestra (Analekta)

We'll treasure this October release as a souvenir of Kent Nagano's tenure as music director of the OSM, which came to an end last spring. Not only did he excel at making bold repertoire choices, but he also loved putting concertmaster Andrew Wan into the spotlight, and this album features Wan in three modern works, including the world premiere of Samy Moussa's Violin Concerto, which successfully imports Romantic harmonies and gestures into a contemporary idiom. Wan's bright tone and precise articulation serve it well, as they do Bernstein's bucolic-sounding Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion. While Ginastera's Violin Concerto places big demands on the soloist, Wan prevails, no doubt inspired by his orchestral colleagues who bring their A game to this complex score.

SEE THE FULL CBC ARTICLE