The best (and worst) opera and classical music of 2012
Dog Days and Debussy seized the spotlight with vital, surprising sounds
The best albums
Katharina Rosenberger, Texturen (hat[now]ART)
Rosenberger wrote these pieces between 2007 and 2011; authoritatively played by the Wet Ink Ensemble, their keen, disjunct phrases combined to speak volumes.
Morton Feldman, Crippled Symmetry (Frozen Reeds)
Recorded 12 years ago and newly issued, this disc presented a live rendition of a luxuriantly enigmatic late work by Feldman, played by hand-picked collaborators.
The best events
Dog Days at Montclair State University
Composer David T. Little, librettist Royce Vavrek and director Robert Woodruff fashioned an unforgettable first full-length opera.
Einstein on the Beach at BAM
The groundbreaking Wilson/Glass collaboration returned in visionary triumph and unmistakable joy for Glass’s 75th birthday.
Song from the Uproar at the Kitchen
After years of growing up in public, Missy Mazzoli’s dreamlike opera lived up to great expectations and made a star of Abigail Fischer.
Brooklyn Village at Roulette
Alan Pierson’s hardy Brooklyn Philharmonic mounted a heady paean to its home borough, both nostalgic and of the moment.
Yarn/Wire at Issue Project Room
This adventurous quartet proved the virtue of playing the field with a slate of unconventional commissions.
Philip Glass Ensemble at the Park Avenue Armory
Nearly 40 years after its completion, Music in 12 Parts retained its vertiginous thrills in a fresh traversal by Glass and his band
San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall
Michael Tilson Thomas mixed a smoothie onstage as Jessye Norman typed—and John Cage was honored unforgettably.
David Lang at Zankel Hall
The Pulitzer winner paired his heartbreakingly lovely Little Match Girl Passion with a provocative indie-rock gaze into Schubert's songful soul.
Mantra Percussion at BAM
Timber, Michael Gordon's tour de force for two-by-fours, mesmerized in a superhuman account by Mantra, deftly lit and amplified.
Philharmonic 360 at the Park Avenue Armory
Placed last only because I missed it due to illness, this closely scrutinized, widely acclaimed event demanded citation for exemplifying Alan Gilbert's most daring ambitions for the Phil.
The Metropolitan Opera Ring cycle
Despite genuinely impactful individual performances, seldom has so much hype, labor and money amounted to so little of substance.