Classical Top 10, February 2012

Maybe it's all about starting at the beginning. The new year offers several exciting views of the Baroque period, during which the foundations of Western orchestral music were first built. For this edition of the Classical Roundup, there are dedicated Baroque collections from some of music's brightest young female stars -- Met soprano Danielle de Niese and violinist Nicola Benedetti, along with Lara St. John and Xuefei Yang -- and from Italian violin master [Giuliano Carmignola], whose Haydn violin concertos are exhilarating and absolutely definitive (if you have time for only one, start there). The set is rounded out by a New Year's Day concert and a few excellent selections of contemporary chamber music.

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