Blog

Petr Kratochvil

The year was 1788. Thomas Jefferson, nearing the end of his post as the Ambassador to France, spent his days wandering the streets of Paris, attending concerts and the theater, and combing through bookshops in search of any volumes that would be pertinent to the fledgling United States of America.

In Vienna, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart churned out more than 40 compositions, including the three symphonies that would be his last - numbers 39, 40, and 41.

And across the ocean, as more and more states ratified the U.S. Constitution, General George Washington began the campaign that resulted in his unanimous election as the new nation's first president.

manuscript of the Kyrie of Bach's Mass in B minor
Wikimedia Commons

When we learned that the 2016-2017 concert season in Boston would include no fewer than four major presentations of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor, it seemed almost like too much of a good thing. Almost.

In fact, the opposite has been true, from my perspective anyway. After two of those four performances, the familiarity of the music isn’t what stands out to me. It’s the vast differences in approach that make each performance a new event.

We play a lot of Mozart on WCRB, and for good reason. Though he's getting a little up there in years - his 261st birthday would be this Friday, January 27 - there are still so many wonderful performances and recordings of Mozart's music that prove it is just as relevant, timeless, and powerful as ever. In fact, 2016 was an all-around great year for the Austrian maestro (his CD sales are evidence enough of that).

As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, let's look (and listen) back to some of the best concerts of the year.

Each week, we highlight a new release from the classical world - see which albums from 2016 each member of the WCRB team loved the most!

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