Music: The Year's Best


LISZT: TWELVE TRANSCENDENTAL ETUDES; HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY NO. 3; SPANISH RHAPSODY (Melodiya/Columbia, 2 LPs). Lazar Berman, the latest superstar from Russia, in an electrifying display of pianistic fireworks.

HAYDN: QUARTETS, OP. 64, NO. 5 ("LARK") AND OP. 76, NO. 2 ("QUINTEN") (Cleveland Quartet; RCA). Two of the most subtle and spirited string quartets—crisply performed—from the pen of the man who virtually invented the form.

FRENCH OPERA ARIAS; FREDERICA VON STADE (Columbia). The U.S.'s current operatic sweetheart gives a few lessons in what the French aria is all about.


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