Year in Classical: Celebrate!

By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  December 22, 2008

Recordings of the year
Christmas stockings could easily overflow with terrific recordings by Boston musicians. Scott Wheeler's opera The Construction of Boston (Naxos) is an enchanting souvenir of a 2007 Boston Cecilia concert, with a fine cast wonderfully conducted by Donald Teeters. On BMOP's own label, Gil Rose leads John Harbison's complete Ulysses ballet, Charles Fussell's Wilde (baritone Sanford Sylvan as Oscar Wilde), and works by Michael Gandolfi, Lukas Foss, Lee Hyla, and Eric Sawyer. Peggy Pearson's Winsor Music has a CD of Mozart's sublime Gran Partita Serenade conducted and narrated (!) by Craig Smith. On Lorraine at Emmanuel (Avie), the astonishing, heartbreaking Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is accompanied by the Emmanuel Orchestra under Craig Smith and John Harbison (with Christopher Krueger's heavenly flute) in two arias from Bach cantatas and all the arias of the jealous, demented Dejanira in Handel's Hercules. Her loss is still so painful, I was afraid to listen; now I don't want to hear anything else.

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