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Jan Lisiecki, Matthias Goerne, Beethoven Songs makes CBC Music's 'Canada best classical albums of the year'

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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.

 

Jan Lisiecki, Matthias Goerne, Beethoven Songs (Deutsche Grammophon)

 

One of the best discoveries of 2020 was that Jan Lisiecki, soloist extraordinaire, is also a fine collaborative pianist - especially remarkable, since this was his first experience playing Lieder. Lisiecki's label, Deutsche Grammophon, paired him with seasoned German baritone Matthias Goerne, who praised Lisiecki's fluency and confidence, and compared their collaboration to "surfing the same wave." In Beethoven, the pair makes a splash, with Goerne scaling his formidable voice down to Lieder dimensions and employing a lovely transparent tone in his high register, and Lisiecki exhibiting an innate sense of timing, elegant touch and playfulness when required.

 

SEE THE FULL CBC ARTICLE