Now that it’s been more than a year since classical ensembles could perform in their usual configurations, we’re starting to see the last wave of pre-pandemic live recordings, as well as more stripped-down and personal interpretations.
An eclectic March brought us a recital from cellist Steven Isserlis that celebrates the upcoming 150th birthday of writer Marcel Proust, experimental electro-acoustic music from Nicolas Horvath, and ballet compositions from 20th century Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.
The uniquely staged 63rd Grammy Awards ceremony was dominated by women, as Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé, and Fiona Apple all claimed trophies. Take a look at how AllMusic reviewed the Grammy-winning albums, from pop to jazz to classical and everything in between.
As we warmed up to the idea of a brighter 2021, the Vienna Philharmonic rang in the year with a New Year’s Day concert, recordings of new and rarely heard operas were plentiful, and we sifted through a plethora of other symphonies, sonatas, and concertos.
Beyond the overall list of the year’s best archival releases, our editors chose to go deeper and individually share their favorite deluxe editions, box sets, compilations, and reissues from 2020. From A-listers to worthwhile obscurities, there’s a lot to explore.