49. “Lascia ch’io pianga” (Handel) / In War and Peace: Can music change the world? Opera star Joyce DiDonato would like to think so. She divides her latest album between arias of war and peace, searching for serenity within chaos — and encouraging her listeners to discuss via the hashtag #TalkPeace. In “Lascia ch’io pianga,” we find the mezzo-soprano plying Handel’s unfailing formula — dropping a melody of uncommon beauty into a scene of tear-filled desperation. DiDonato’s ardent performance is enough to, at least momentarily, make you believe the world is safe and sound. –Tom Huizenga