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Romantic Symphony

Violin Concerto


CARLO GIORGIO GAROFALO (1886-1962): Romantic Symphony, Violin Concerto. Until its Moscow revival in 1994 (largely due to the efforts of the conductor on this recording), the Romantic Symphony had only been performed complete once - in St. Louis in 1915! Tullio Serafin performed its Andante and scherzo but that was it until eight years ago. In its size (40 minutes), thematic development, orchestration, musical architecture and melodic inventiveness (not to mention the waltz rhythms which steal in rather often), this work belongs more to the Viennese tradition than to the Italian. The concerto (the poor notes provide little information, like date of composition) is in the late 19th ccentury tradition as well although it is a little lighter in style than the symphony and might be said to be, therefore, more Italianate. Sergei Stadler (violin), New Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Joel Spiegelman. Marco Polo 8.225 (New Zealand) 04D001 $15.98


More labels lose U.S. distribution:

As of this writing, the following labels have lost U.S. distribution:

Thorofon, Christoforus, Gega, Kairos, Ars Musici, Simax, Aurora, Musicaphon, Signum UK.

We are able to get some of these direct and will be trying to get others as well.

As the Tower Records situtation isn't getting any better, distributors are loath to offer many labels which sold practically only at Tower. Also, the bankruptcy of Valley Record Distribution a few months ago has not only hurt several independent distributors but also threatens small, independent labels who have a lot of inventory tied up at Valley.

Also, we need to point out that many distributors are bringing in skeleton quantities of new release items. It has gotten to the point where we cannot even count on getting resupplied two weeks after our initial order! As an example, Naxos of America has been unable to resupply the Fsy CD we offered in January (01D046) since late January; in fact, until we called to ask, they didn't even have the title on re-order from Europe even though they were obviously sold out and were beginning to accumulate back-orders. (Ditto for the Scherber symphony - 12D003)

So, we need to make the following very clear: if you see something in the catalogue now, and you want it now, then ORDER IT NOW! If you order it towards the end of the month, or a month or two later, there's no telling how long it will take to supply it if our initial stock has run out. Those of you who wait several months to build up an order are finding that it takes much longer for that order to be filled precisely because of the shrinking inventories of the classical distributors.

EMIL BOHNKE (1888-1928): Piano Concerto, Op. 14, Symphony, Op. 16. Those of you who nabbed the Bohnke piano sonata and other piano pieces in February (02D058) will know what to expect: doom-laden atmosphere, towering, nightmarish shadows, creeping unease - a general feeling of neurotic angst; isn't it wonderful? (Those who are back-ordered on the sonata just need to be patient as there is no U.S. distributor for RS and our avenues of acquisition are sometimes agonizingly slow.) The symphony was Bohnke's last completed work and it was premiered six months after his death in an auto accident by Erich Kleiber. Its movement headings - 'Brooding and uneasy', (Scherzo), 'At a slow walking pace, suffering and resigned' and 'Passionately turbulent' - signify the composer's quest for the ultimate expressivity and the work is just as you might expect, full of passionate contrasts with a mood of desperation always near. (For more Expressionism, see page 10!) Robert-Alexander Bohnke (piano), Bamberg Symphony; Israel Yinon. Koch Schwann 3-6420-2 (Germany) 04D002 $16.98

ERKKI MELARTIN (1875-1937): Aino. This is Melartin's only opera (1907), loosely based a tale from the Kalevala and, though lacking in real dramatic incident (being instead concerned with philosophical, or, to be more exact, theosophical, and pantheistic concepts), it is charmingly lyrical and helped lay the foundations for later Finnish opera development. The composer uses the Wagnerian leitmotiv (identifying 22 of them in his own analysis of the opera), some of which use Finnish melodic elements and dance rhythms but also Wagnerian chromaticism. The 'action' is fairly easy to follow with the synopsis in the English notes and the work should appeal to any collector of Wagnerian opera or of Scandinavian Romanticism. 2 CDs. Finnish libretto. Ritva-Liisa Korhonen (soprano), Sauli Tiilikainen (baritone), Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo), Pia Freund (soprano), Aki Alamikkotervo (tenor), Donimante Choir, Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Ulf Sderblom. BIS CD-1193/1194 (Sweden) 04D003 $35.98

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): Concerto No. 1 for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra, Op. 163, Concerto No. 2 for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra, Op. 252 'Three Fjords', Nykken, Op. 187. The Hardanger fiddle, with its strange timbre and rich overtones (there are four, sympathetic, strings beneath the main ones which are not touched by the bow), was a source which Tveitt exploited often in his compositions. To him, it was the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Unlike his suites of 'Hardanger fiddle tunes' which both BIS and Naxos have offered, these two concertos (1955 and 1965) employ the actual folk instrument and bring it into art music as an equal instrument. The sound itself is captivating and utterly original and the notes provide much detail about construction of the instrument and the tunings available and necessary for incorporation with a modern symphony orchestra. Nykken (1956) is a 16-minute 'symphonic painting' which follows a detailed program provided by the composer, adapted from an old Norse saga. Arve Moen Bergset (hardanger fiddle), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS CD-1207 (Sweden) 04D004 $17.98

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Suite from the Play Chess, Op. 5, Dance Vision, Op. 11, Comedy Overture, Op. 53, Symphony No. 3 in A, Op. 55. World premiere recordings of two youthful works: Chess was a play whose subject was a sleeping knight's nightmare and its four movements, including a solemn, serious Finnish folk dance, already gives some indication of the composer's musical style and his command of the orchestra and instrumentation are already assured (this was his first orchestral piece). From the following year (1911), Dance Vision is an unusual work, probably the most Impressionistic Madetoja wrote, opening with short motifs in a subtle play of orchestral colors before a waltz appears and carries on, with several interruptions, to a determined end. The symphony(1927) was a breath of fresh air on a Finnish music scene usually known for more portentous utterances, Gallic in its elegance of expression. Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Vollmer. Alba ABCD 162 (Finland) 04D005 $16.98

MOSES PERGAMENT (1893-1977): String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Violin Sonata in B Minor. Born in Finland, educated in Germany, granted Swedish citizenship in 1919, Pergament was the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant whose musical training was almost all auto-didactic; as a violinist, he benefitted from 30 rigorous months of training by Leopold Auer. Both these works were begun in 1918 and completed in Paris between 1920 and 1922 (while the composer was also writing a ballet score for Diaghilev). The sonata shows a mixture of the Nordic idiom of Grieg and Sinding with Jewish motives remembered from the cantors of the synagogue - at times Bloch comes briefly to mind. The quartet, however, takes Richard Strauss as a starting point but also contains a Scriabinesque piling of climax upon climax in the first movement before the music shatters into a cloud of fragments. A variation movement follows, on an Alandish folksong, then an ingenious, brief scherzo before the fevered temperament returns in a passionate finale. Lysell Quartet, Nils-Erik Sparf (violin), Bengt Forsberg (piano). Phono Suecia/Musica Sueciae Modern Classics PSCD 711 (Sweden) 04D006 $16.98

NILS BJØRKLANDER (1893-1972): 4 Archipelago Sketches, YNGVE SKØLD (1899-1992): Prelude and Fugue: quasi una fantasia, Op. 20, BROR BECKMAN (1866-1929): Garden Flowers, Op. 20, GUSTAF HENTZE (1879-1946): Impromptu, Op. 12, Ballad in D Flat, Op. 11, INGEMAR LILJEFORS (1906-1981): Andante and Scherzo, Op. 13, GOTTFRID BERG (1889-1970): Wanderings, LENNART LUNDBERG (1863-1931): Nocturne, Op. 61/2, Concert Etude in A Minor, Op. 19. This is the first of two volumes of Swedish piano music from 1910-45 and most of the composers represented here follow in the Nordic tradition started by Sderman and Grieg with influences from German late romanticism and French impressionism. Skld is more neo-baroque in his imposing prelude and fugue while Liljefors combines a Nordic tone palette with modern influences of the Hindemith/BartÛk variety. Hans PÂlsson (piano). Phono Suecia/Musica Sueciae Modern Classics PSCD 715 (Sweden) 04D007 $16.98

NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Harp Concerto, Bassoon Concerto, Trombone Concerto, Castel del Monte - Ballad for Horn and Orchestra. Only the horn piece has been previously recorded, offering Rota fans, and all fans of good, melodic, tonal contemporary music, a bonanza of unheard concerti. The harp concerto is the earliest (1947) but all four works (the others dating from 1966 - trombone - and the mid 70s) are in Rota's typical style with immediately appealing melodies, some neo-modal in type, ingratiatingly festive outer movements or sections and slow movements or sections with a touch of melancholy or, in the case of the trombone concerto, a tense and troubled atmosphere. The overall effect, as will practically everything Rota composed, is a feeling of an encounter with life-affirming grace. Luisa Prandina (harp), Paolo Carlini (bassoon), Andrea Conti (trombone), Guido Corti (horn), I Virtuosi Italiani; Marzio Conti. Chandos 9954 (U.S.A.) 04D008 $16.98

GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b.1911): The Saint of Bleeker Street. This opera opened on Broadway just after Christmas in 1957 and has been successfully revived many times since in various locales. Focusing on the brother-sister love between a sick, devout Catholic girl who wants to become a nun and her abrasive, atheist brother, The Saint explores a dichotomy which the composer himself suffered - faith versus intellect. The immediacy of the music's idiom elicited some critical brickbats at the time from people expecting the Little Italy scenario with all of its colorful characters to demand the genre of verismo but such occurrences as ribald bridal tributes and popular melodies of the day mixing with Gregorian chant will seem to us today exactly what it is and what Menotti is so gifted at: sticking to an expressive idiom which audiences can understand. Libretto included. Julia Melinek (soprano), Timothy Richards (tenor), Pamela Helen-Stephen (mezzo), John Marcus Bindel (bass-baritone), Spoleto Festival Choir and Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9971 (England) 04D009 $33.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): String Quartet No. 8 in D Flat, Op. 18, String Quartet No. 9 in C, Op. 26. These quartets are separated by the First World War, which led to a five-year silence for Toch. Dating from 1910, the eighth is in an unusual five movements in which the first four are of almost identical length while the fifth is almost twice the length of any of its predecessors. The composer's early style remains though: neo-classical with doses of chromaticism with moods ranging from strained lyricism and neurosis to a genial pastoral well-being. The ninth quartet, premiered in 1920 , shows a strongly renewed tonal idiom with echoes of Richard Strauss and Mahler in the first movement, a graceful scherzo, melancholy third movement and a remarkable finale, martial in its vigor, building up to a close with broad, jagged intervals which advertise the emergence of a new idiom, that of the mature composer. Verdi Quartet. CPO 999 686 (Germany) 04D010 $15.98

WILLIAM GRANT STILL (1895-1978): for String Quartet: Lyric Quartet, Danzas de Panama, Suite from Prince and the Mermaid, Summerland, Selections from Little Folk Suites, for Violin and Piano: Pastorela, Blues, Quit Dat Fool'nish. The Lyric Quartet dates from 1960 and consists of three movements, the first melancholy with a playful second section, the second gentle and beautiful, using an Inca melody and the third an energetic romp with jazz associations. The Panamanian dances and the suite are both based on popular melodies while Pastorela (1946) is the other major find here - a 10-minute miniature tone poem for violin and piano which the composer said was inspired by Western landscapes. Oregon String Quartet, Fritz Gearhart (violin), Victor Steinhardt (piano). Koch International Classics 7546 (U.S.A.) 04D011 $16.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Violin Sonata No. 1 'Viole', Violin Sonata No. 2 'Den store Mester kommer'. The first sonata (1915) shows the youthful Langgaard flexing his Romantic muscles in a large-scale, four-movement work lasting almost 40 minutes with much storm and stress and a great deal of virtuosic writing for both instruments. Although written only six years later, the one-movement second sonata is from an entirely different world - that of Langgaard the theosophist who charged his musical themes with apocalyptic significance as 'constructive' and 'destructive' elements do battle with each other until, in the end, the latter is destroyed. The energy, form and philosophical content of the music, created by these opposing 'forces' often produces an Ivesian collage-effect but the dramatic effectiveness of the music is never in doubt. Sergei Azizian (violin), Anne ÿland (piano). Dacapo 8.224153 (Denmark) 04D012 $15.98

HANS GAL (1890-1987): 24 Preludes for Piano, Op. 83. Born in Vienna, Gal spent the majority of his life in England after fleeing the Nazis and had a significant career as an author and musicologist as well as a composer. Gal remained rooted in the Austro-German, Brahmsian tradition, never abandoning tonality but developing a distinctive personal language which is only now beginning to be acknowledged and which always depends on melody no matter how complex it may become. The preludes date from 1960 (24 fugues were to follow in the composer's 90th year); half of them could just as well have been called etudes as they explore all manner of keyboard writing and piano sound, while many others are of a relaxed, graceful character, with a few lively, burlesque-types thrown in for good measure. Alad·r R·cz (piano). Pan Classics 510 141 (Switzerland) 04D013 $17.98

HANS GAL (1890-1987): Serbische Weisen, Op. 3, 3 Impromptus, 3 Marionettes, Op. 74, Concertino for 2 Pianos, Op. 43, Pastoral Tune for 6 Hands (transcr. Goldstone). These are earlier works, the two major items being the 1916 set of 'Serbian Tunes' which G·l collected and assembled while in the Austrian army serving in the supplies department, and the 1934 neo-classical Concertino (here in the composer's own arrangment of an original for piano and string orchestra). The 1958 Marionettes (inspired by the commedia dell'arte characters) and the 1940 Impromptus are also not far from neo-classicism. Goldstone and Clemmow (piano duo). Olympia OCD 709 (England) 04D014 $16.98

CARLO FARINA (c.1604-1639): 10 Sonatas for One or Two Violins and Basso Continuo. Farina's sonatas are among the very first of their genre and they are remarkable for their innovatory and influential virtuoso writing. More like extended fantasies (or stunts), they use techniques such as col legno, sul ponticello, glissandos, scordatura and multiple stopping. Collectors who know his bizarre Capriccio stravagante with its extravagant special effects will know what to expect here. Lukas Friedrich, Christine Busch (violins), Barbara Noeldeke (cello), Hubert Hofmann (archlute), Jrg Hannes Hahn (harpsichord, organ). Christophorus CHR 77248 (Germany) 04D015 $17.98

CAMILLA DE ROSSI (fl. 1707-1710): Santo Alessio. Nothing is known about this composer, one of, amazingly, three women who wrote oratorios and other sacred music at the Vienna court of Emperor Joseph I. Santo Alessio is her fourth and last oratorio and it is really a closet opera: 13 arias and a closing trio are separated by recitatives (the spurned bride of St. Alexius is given a spurned woman's vengeance aria!) and the musical style closely resembles Corelli. Italian-English texts. Graham Pushee (countertenor), Rosa Dominguez, Agnieszka Kowalczyk (sopranos), William Lombardi (tenor), Ensemble Musica Fiorita; Daniela Dolci (harpsichord). Pan Classics 510 136 (Switzerland) 04D016 $17.98

DIOGO MELGAZ (1638-1700): Passion According to St. Matthew, Lamentation for Thursday before Easter, Missa ferialis, Salve Regina, Recordare Virgo, Veni, Sancto Spiritus, In Jejunio et Fletu, Adiuva nos. An interesting look into a little-known Portuguese composer (who spent his career at the cathedral of vora) of the third generation after the famous Lobo and Cardoso. These works demonstrate an impressive power of expression helped by frequent use of chromaticism and a general style hovering between strict traditional polyphony and a more modern declamatory force. Jo"o Paulo Janeiro (organ), Emidio Coutinho (sackbut), Gulbenkian Choir; Jorge Matta. Portugalsom CD 870035/PS (Portugal) 04D017 $13.98

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): Messe de Monsieur de Mauroy. This is the largest-scale of the twelve masses which Charpentier wrote between 1670 and 1702 (masses which, owing to the king's refusal to bow to Rome in matters both political and cultural, were commissioned by smaller, mostly private institutions and individuals). Far from the officially approved religious motets with instrumental accompaniment, Charpentier continued to write in the archaic, austere style which he learned from Carissimi. Marie-Louise Duthoit, Claire Gouton (sopranos), Serge Goubioud (countertenor), Pierre Evreux (tenor), Christophe Sam (bass), Michel Chapuis (organ), Le Concert Spirituel; HervÈ Niquet. Glossa GCD 921602 (Spain) 04D018 $13.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): The 37 Bassoon Concertos. Yes, it's all the Vivaldi you can stand... and then some! These discs came out individually over the period of 1986-91 and received almost unanimous praise for the quality of performance. ASV has boxed them at a sort of 'high mid-price'. Bet ya can't listen to just one! And wouldn't that box look great on your Baroque shelf? 5 CDs. Special price. Daniel Smith (bassoon), English Chamber Orchestra; Philip Ledger, Zagreb Soloists; Tonko Ninic. ASV DCS 552 (England) 04D019 $69.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Serenata eroica - Trauermusik f¸r August den Starken for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. This funeral cantata dates from 1733 and was the first of several large-scale works of the genre which Telemann composed. An imposing work of great grandeur, with soloists representing such abstractions as Time, Majesty, Magnanimity, etc. supported by three great choral sections which map a course from sorrow through transience, majesty and virtue and which ends in a blaze of glory. Kettledrums and trumpets add immeasurably to the effect of the orcestral music, making this one of Telemann's most impressive works. German-English texts. Barbara Schlick, Veronika Winter (sopranos), Hans Jrg Mammel, Andreas Post (tenor), Klaus Mertens, Eddehard Abele (basses), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. Capriccio 67 004/5 (Germany) 04D020 $27.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767):12 Sonate metodiche. Telemann was a significant contributor to the development of the transverse flute and dedicated many solos, trios and quartets to the instrument, not least of which are this set of 12 sonatas (issued in two groups of six in 1728 and 1732). In slow-fast-slow-fast form, the slow movements have ornamentation printed on a separate staff beneath the unornamented music, which also makes these works valuable guides to proper historical performance practice. Telemann's imaginative power shows itself througout in harmonic design and rhythmic nuance in addition to the formal design. 2 CDs. Konrad H¸nteler (flute), Rainer Zipperling (cello), Carsten Lohff (harpsichord). MD&G 311 1110 (Germany) 04D021 $35.98

GREGOR JOSEPH WERNER (1693-1766): Calendarium Musicum, Vol. 1 - Im Jenner, Im Hornung, In dem Merzen, Im April, Im May, Im Brachmonat. At last we get to hear a major work by Haydn's predecessor at the Esterh·zy palace! Dating from 1748, the 'Musical Calendar' is a musical trip through the year with scene paintings ¦ la Vivaldi's Four Seasons alternating with a series of minuets whose time signatures are based on the hours of daylight and darkness at particular times of the month. Each month is represented by four or five pieces and the style is a pleasing mix of late Baroque and early Classical. A Corte Musical; RogÈrio GonÁalves. Gallo CD-1068 (Switzerland) 04D022 $18.98

GREGOR JOSEPH WERNER (1693-1766): Calendarium Musicum, Vol. 2 - Im Heumonat, Im Augustmonat, Im Herbstmonat, In Weinmonat, Im Wintermonat, Im Christmonat. See above. A Corte Musical; RogÈrio Gonsalves. Gallo CD-1069 (Switzerland) 04D023 $18.98

CARLOS SEIXAS (1704-1742): Harpsichord Sonatas Nos. 1, 6, 9, 13-15, 19, 22, 24 & 25. The other Iberian composer who wrote a lot of keyboard sonatas (how many we may never know thanks to the Lisbon earthquake of 1755), Seixas' works are in one to three movements and run the gamut of styles available at the time of baroque-classical transition: baroque toccatas, the galant, the Empfindsam stil, some even reflect the Mannheim style while a very few show the influence of another sonata writer who was a colleague for a while - Domenico Scarlatti. JosÈ Luis Uriol (harpsichord). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4315 (Portugal) 04D024 $13.98

CARLOS SEIXAS (1704-1742): Harpsichord Sonatas Nos. 7, 8, 14, 16, 20, 23, 26, 35 & 43. See above. Cremilde Rosado Fernandes (harpsichord). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4317 (Portugal) 04D024A $13.98

JOHANN GOTTLIEB GRAUN (1701/02-1771): Sonatas in D & G for Flute, Oboe and Continuo, CARL HEINRICH GRAUN (1703/04-1759): Harpsichord Concerto in C Minor, ? GRAUN: Concerto for Oboe d'amore, 2 Violins and Continuo, Flute Sonata in C. Late baroque/early Classical concertos and trio sonatas from these brothers (Carl was the preeminent composer of Italian operas in Germany) whose authorship often cannot be identified from each other. Waldemar Dling (harpsichord), Gernot Schmalfuþ (oboes), Andrea Lieberknecht (flute), Andreas Krecher, Martin Schfer (violins), Sofia Chamber Soloists; Emil Tabakov. MD&G 601 0505 (Germany) 04D025 $17.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA MARTINI (1706-1784): 10 Sinfonie a 4 da Camera. These are amongst the earliest of what can truly be called 'symphonies'. The manuscripts carry no date and the works are still predominatlypolyphonic but still, in various movements, look forward to the early symphonies of Haydn while still containing much which looks back at Pergolesi. Given the lack of recordings of symphonies from this period of transition, this is a must-have disc for all lovers of the symphony, from whatever period. Il Rossignolo; Ottaviano Tenerani (harpsichord). Tactus TC 701305 (Italy) 04D026 $11.98

NICOLO FIORENZA (d.1764): Sinfonia fugata a 3 in F Minor, Sinfonia a 3 in G, Sinfonia a 4 in C Minor, Concerto de 3 Violini in A, EMANUELE BARBELLA (1718-1777): Concerto a 4 in D Minor, Concerto per Violino in D. This third and final volume documenting composers of the Neapolitan school brings works by a virtuosic violinist, Fiorenza, whose compositions often mirror his notorious temperament (he was finally dismissed from his teaching post for systematic abuse of students. Barbella's concerto is a concerto in full Classical mode, lasting almost 20 minutes and which was attributed in the past to Haydn. Accademia per Musica; Christoph Timpe. Capriccio 10 881 (Germany) 04D027 $16.98

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787): Il Parnaso confuso. Composed at the end of 1764 for an Austrian royal wedding, this serenata with text by Metastasio is a series of vivid arias portraying three of the Muses who have been enjoined by Apollo to compose suitable songs for the occasion. There is no action but each of the six arias has its own psychological characterization as the Muses realize that there will not be enough time to finish their commission. Italian texts. Vocal Soloists, Gruppo Barocco Musincanto; Adriano Bassi. Agora AG 281.1 (Italy) 04D028 $18.98

JOHANN WILHELM HERTEL (1727-1789): 6 Organ Sonatas, Op. 1. Published in 1756, Hertel's sonatas are in the galant style, with two-part writing - melodies rich in sentiment (of vocal quality in the slow movements) over a simple accompaniment with skillful alternations of harmony and rhythm to maintain interest admirably. Martin Rost (Kindten organ, Gingst/R¸gen). MD&G 320 1103 (Germany) 04D029 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Magnificat in C, Tantum ergo, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Magnificat, Wq 215. A relatively early work, C.P.E. Bach's Magnificat of 1750 shows several styles, ranging from homophony to the learned polyphony of his father in the choruses while the arias have a sensitivity and songfulness which is almost operatic. J.C.'s entry in the same genre (the longest of three although less than a third the length of his elder brother's) dates from 1760 while he was employed in Milan and its operatic qualities are not in doubt (nor are they in the Tantum ergo of the year before which is actually longer). Elisabeth Scholl (soprano), Ruth Sandhoff (contralto), Andreas Karasiak (tenor), Gorrhold Schwarz (bass), Dresden Chamber Choir, La Stagione Frankfurt; Michael Schneider. Capriccio 67 003 (Germany) 04D030 $16.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Opera Overtures, Vol. 3 - Endimione, Temistocle, Lucio Silla, Amadis des Gaules, Ballet Music from Amadis des Gaules. This final volume of overtures to stage works brings one with intimations of the yet-to-come Haffner symphony (Endmione's first movement - 1772), one with some exotic percussion (Temistocle, also from 1772) and that of the composer's final and best opera, Amadis which was written for Paris in 1778-79. In addition, 12 pieces of incidental music from Amadis, lasting 25 minutes are included. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 753 (Germany) 04D031 $15.98

CARL DITTERS VON DITTERSDORF (1739-1799): Oboe Concertos in D, C, G, C & C, Concerto for Oboe d'Amore in A. These are the complete oboe concertos (three others are missing) and, though they are undated, they are all in the style typical of Vienna in the 1760s, with orchestral accompaniment of strings alone or, in a couple of cases, strings and horns. Lajos LencsÈs (oboes), Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; J·nos Rolla. Hungaroton HCD 32062 (Hungary) 04D032 $16.98

FRAN&laqno;OIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Symphonies, Vol. 2 - in G, Op. 12/2, Grande Simphonie in F, Op. 8/2, 'No. 2' in E Flat, Sinfonia a pi stromenti in E Flat, Op. 5/2, Gavotte in D, Suite de Danses. Exuberance and felicitous scoring characterize Gossec's symphonies which, though lacking the angst prevalent in the symphonies of German and Austrian composers of the 1760s, match up in infectious spirt with anything Haydn was writing at the same period. Orchestre de Bretagne; Stefan Sanderling. ASV DCA 1124 (Engalnd) 04D033 $16.98

ERNST WILHELM WOLF (1735-1792): Piano Concerto No. 1 in G, ANTONIO ROSETTI (1750-1792): Piano Concerto in G, JOHANN GOTTLIEB NAUMANN (1741-1801): Piano Concerto in B Flat. Wolf is the new figure here, a director of court music in Weimar from 1768, and his concerto is an intimate work with a very expressive slow movement, a trait shared with Naumann (in his only piano concerto), whose greater fame as an opera composer is evident in his aria-like slow movement. Rossetti's work is much more exuberant and plays to the larger audience for which it must have been written. Christine Schornsheim (fortepiano), Berliner Barock Compagney. Capriccio 67 002 (Germany) 04D034 $16.98

ANDREAS J. ROMBERG (1767-1821): 2 Duos for Violin and Cello, ANDREAS J. ROMBERG - BERNHARD H. ROMBERG (1767-1841): 3 Duos concertants for Violin and Cello. The duos by these cousins have energetic and exuberant first movements and variation-form second movements using popular themes from opera of the period. Barnab·s Kelemen (violin), Kousay H. Mahdi Kadduri (cello). Hungaroton HCD 32030 (Hungary) 04D035 $16.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): Overtures, Vol. 1 - Voldomiro, La baronessa Stramba, Le stravaganze del conte, Il matrimonio segreto, L'infedelt¦ fidele, Il ritorno dde Don Calendrino, Il falegname, Cleopatra, Il convito, La vergine del sole, Il credulo and L'impresarioin angustie. Mostly in the five to six-minute range, some in the earlier Neapolitan three-movement pattern, some in the single-movement, sonata-form style of the contemporary symphony, all of Cimarosa's overtures are characterized by sparkling melody and brilliant orchestration. An alternate version of the overture to the famous Il matrimonio segreto receives its first recording here. Nicolaus Esterh·zy Sinfonia; Alessandro Amoretti. Marco Polo 8.225181 (New Zealand) 04D036 $15.98

CARL FRIEDRICH ZELTER (1758-1832): Viola Concerto in E Flat, FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Viola Concerrto in D, CARL STAMITZ (1745-1801): Viola Concerto in D, Op. 1. In addition to two fairly well-known concertos for the viola (itself not given much solo work in the 18th century), this new release brings us a concerto by Zelter, known primarily as a friend and correspondant of Goethe and composer of choral works and lieder. The concerto is very conservative, firmly planted in the style of Mozart and Haydn, and it has a particularly memorable theme in its brilliant rondo finale. Hariolf Schlichtig (viola), Munich Chamber Orchestra. Tudor 7087 (Switzerland) 04D037 $16.98

ONSLOW - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4

GEORGES ONSLOW (1784-1853): Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 42, Symphony No. 4 in G, Op. 71. These wonderful late Classical/early Romantic symphonies appeared on a tiny French label more than a decade ago (in different performances), so many of you may not have made their acquaintance. In France, Onslow was 'the French Beethoven'; the Germans counted him as one of their own. However you look at it, Onslow joins the ranks of such fine second-rank Beethovenian composers as Louise Farrenc and Ferdinand Ries. And the scherzo of the second symphony will have you swearing that you've heard it before, even if you never have! Hannover Radio-Philharmonie des NDR; Johannes Goritzki. CPO 999 738 (Germany) 04D038 $15.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Adagio, Variations and Rondo on the English Song 'The Pretty Polly'in E Flat, Op. 75, Variations on an Original Theme in A, Op. 76, Variations on a Dutch Song in B Flat, Op. 21, Variations on 'Vivat Bacchus, Bacchus lebe' from 'Die entf¸hrung aus dem Serail' in C, Op. 34/3. The theme-and-variation form was the preferred method for virtuosos to entertain their public and Hummel was one of the greatest pianists of his time, so it is good to have this recording of four sets of variations, two early (1804 and 1809) and two late (1816 and 1817). Almost every possible technical and musical trick will show up somewhere here in these 64 minutes of dazzling (and, yes, quiet and reflective) pianism. Joanna Trzeciak (piano). Pavane ASW 7444 (Belgium) 04D039 $15.98

FRANTISEK DOUBRAVSKY (1796-1867): Missa pastoralis, Missa solemnis, Requiem in E Flat, Te Deum laudamus. These early romantic sacred works fill a gap in the recorded repertoire of Bohemian music of this genre. The Missa solemnis dates from 1840 and the Requiem from 1830, both relatively brief settings and in a late Classical/early Romantic idiom while the Missa pastoralis (1828) looks back, in its use of Czech Christmas carols, to the pastoral masses of Zach and Mica. Collegium musicum Cesky r·j; JirÌ ZahradnÌk. Vars VA 0138-2 (Czech Republic) 04D040 $16.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Sacred Works, Vol. 3 - Christus, Op. 97 (fragments) for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Kyrie in D Minor for Chorus and Orchestra, Jesus, meine Zuversicht for Soloists, Mixed Choir and Organ, 3 Psalms, Op. 78 for Soloists and Mixed Choir, Jube Domne for Soloists and Mixed Choir. Of greatest interest here are the two fragments of Christus (1847), meant to be the third part of the trilogy which began with Paulus and Elijah, although the choral-orchestral Kyrie of 1825 shows the early results of Mendelssohn's study of Bach and the double-choir motets of op. 78 (1842) show the composer's awarness of another great Germann forebear - Sch¸tz. Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Members of the Bamberg Symphony; Frieder Bernius. Carus 83.105 (Germany) 04D041 $17.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Serenade in G Minor for String Orchestra, Op. 242, Children's Symphony, Op. 239, 12 Tone Poems for String Orchestra. Dating from around 1896, the Serenade is a relaxed, pastoral work which stands comparison with those of Dvor·k and Suk; from the same period, the Children's Symphony weaves together popular and well-known classical motives to demonstrate polyphony to young listeners. The 'tone poems' are a collection of short pieces from various works throughout Reinecke's career which he collected for separate publication late in life. Chamber Orchestra Kremlin; Misha Rachlevsky. Claves CD 50-2107 (Switzerland) 04D042 $16.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Schn Ellen for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 24, Swedish Dances, Op. 63, Serenade for Strings, Op. posth. The ballad Schn Ellen, of 1867, was a resounding success for the young Bruch, eventually becoming the most popular work of its genre in the 19th century (the source of its Scottish musical references and Bruch's ironic misapprehension of the true historical source of Geibel's poem are treated in the notes); the Swedish Dances have been recorded before, as part of Philip's symphony cycle, but the late Serenade is a heartbreaking work. Dating from 1916, when the composer was in dire financial straits and completely out of the musical mainstream of the time, its atmosphere of melancholy gloom is such that you can practically see the shades of Brahms and Schumann filing by, heads down. German-English texts. Claudia Braun (soprano), Thomas Laske (baritone), Kantorei Barmen-Gemarke, Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra; George Hanson. MD&G 330 1096 (Germany) 04D043 $17.98

DAVID POPPER (1843-1913): String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 74, Suite for 2 Cellos, Op. 16, Concert Etudes for Cello and Orchestra; Elfentanz, Op. 39, Jagdst¸ck, Op. 55/2, Papillon, Op. 3/4 & Spinnlied, Op. 55/1. The virtuoso cellist wrote only one quartet, in 1903, although he had much experience in quartet playing, being a member of a quartet whose violinist was Hubay! The work, as might be expected, is based on Schumann and Brahms while the earlier suite for two cellos (1876) is again founded on lyricism and melody, virtuosity left only for the final marcia. The brief cello-orchestra etudes make up as good a picture of this famous, yet little recorded, composer as you are likely to get. JirÌ Hosek (cello), Dominika Hoskova (second cello), David Popper String Quartet, Festival Orchestra of Prague; JirÌ Hosek. Vars VA 0131 (Czech Republic) 04D044 $16.98

OTTO DIENEL (1839-1905): Organ Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 3, Organ Sonata No. 4 in D, Op. 32 'Weihnachts-Sonate', 17 Chorale Preludes from 43 Chorale Preludes, Op. 52. A prominent member of the Berlin school of organists, Dienel wrote four sonatas, all by 1893, each in three movements with the outer movements often embellished by fugal developments; the two recordedhere also feature chorale tunes in various movements. Edward Zimmerman (Hook organ of St. John Cathedral, Providence, RI and Hook organ of South Congregational Parish, Augusta, Maine). Afka SK-552 (U.S.A.) 04D045 $16.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921): String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 112, String Quartet No. 2 in G, Op. 153. Although Saint-Saens waited until his 65th year to write his first quartet, it still has much of the lyrical warmth and infectious rhythmic qualities of the works of his youth. Dating from 1919, the second quartet was the work of a disillusioned man but this shows more in a certain introversion and a touch of melancholy in the slow movement than in any overall shadowing. Rarely recorded and good to have back in the catalogue. Sarastro Quartet. Pan Classics 510 133 (Switzerland) 04D046 $17.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 70, String Quartet No. 4 in F, Op. 124. These richly romantic quartets appeared on Marco Polo over a decade ago. Performances are even better and anyone who is unfamiliar with this composer's chamber music, and who likes the idea of a Reger-Rimsky-Tchaikovsky mixture, should not hesitate. Moscow Quartet. Pan Classics 510 129 (Switzerland) 04D047 $17.98

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): 6 Arias and Choruses from Ivan Susanin, Cavatina from Ruslan and Ludmila (transcr. Rimsky-Korsakov), VLADIMIR REBIKOV (1866-1900): Autumn Leaves, FYODOR AKIMENKO (1876-1945): Nocturne, ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Theme and Variations, VASILY KALINNIKOV (1866-1901): Serenade, SERGEI RACHMINOV (1873-1943): Romance and Scherzo, 2 Russian Folk Songs (arr. Sergei Aslamazian [1897-1978]). Rimsky came up with an early version of 'Opera Without Words' in 1885 when he made the Glinka transcriptions for a student string orchestra which he conducted. And, yes, everything else here is an original composition for strings (the only other transcription being of the folk songs), Rachmaninov's being a student work from 1890. The Akimenko and Rebikov are worthy traditions to the genre of the lyrical, elegiac miniature. Chamber Orchestra Kremlin; Misha Rachlevsky. Claves CD 50-9909 (Switzerland) 04D048 $16.98

JOAQUIN TURINA (1882-1949): Piano Sextet, Op. 7 'ScËne Andalouse', for Viola Solo, Piano and String Quartet, Op. 7, Serenata for String Quartet, Op. 87, El Poema de una SanluqueÒa for Violin and Piano, Op. 28, Erato for Voice and String Quartet, Op. 93, Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 1. This collection of rarely heard Turina offers the 1907 piano quintet, Franckian and utterly unlike Turina's mature style; the 1912 ScÈne Andalouse, in which the solo viola plays the role of a lover meeting his beloved; Erato is from a series of 'The Muses of Andalusia' which adds a wordless voice and the undated Serenata, in its orignal string quartet form, is permeated by a very colorful Spanish style. Amigos String Quartet, Miyako Hashimoto (piano), Philip Dukes (viola), Eileen Hulse (voice), Roland Roberts (violin). Meridian CDE 84443 (England) 04D049 $17.98

Rare French Works for Violin and Orchestra

GABRIEL FAUR (1845-1924): Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 14, JOSEPH CANTELOUBE (1879-1957): PoËme, ERNEST GUIRAUD (1837-1892): Caprice, EDOUARD LALO (1823-1892): Guitarre, Op. 28, Fantaisie NorvÈgienne, CAMILLE SAINT-SAÀNS (1835-1921): Morceau de concert, Op. 62. FaurÈ's concerto is only the first movement of what would have been a traditional three-movement work. The second movement andante was written first and performed in 1878 and later became his op. 75 for violin and piano. The final movement was never finished. However, this was to be a work on a grand scale, as can be seen by the 16-minute movement which survives; like many of the other works on this disc, it was written for Sarasate. It is also good to have something other than the Auvergne songs from Canteloube and this piece (revised in 1938) is a beautiful piece, with little 'local' color but with a significant sense of sublime ecstasy in moments. Guiraud's Caprice of 1884 is a two-movement work (Andante and Allegro appassionato) which follows in the footsteps of Saint-Sens' Introduction and Rondo capriccioso while Lalo's Guitarre is a brief, three-minute encore orchestrated by PiernÈ (the 'Norwegian Fantasy' has been recorded before - it is the original version of what was to become the Rapsodie NorvÈgienne). Philippe Graffin (violin), Ulster Orchestra; Thiery Fischer. Hyperion CDA 67294 (England) 04D050 $17.98

WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): Music from As You Like It, A Dream Play and Romeo and Juliet. This latest Sterling Swedish Romanticism release brings us another side of Stenhammar: incidental music to three stage plays, the longest of which, As You Like It (1920), contains 27 minutes of music (four songs and a chorus included, and a lot of work for the orchestral horn section), much of it amazingly evocative and memorable even in its brevity. Hilding Rosenberg arranged the other two suites for performance, A Dream Play coming from 1916 and Romeo and Juliet from 1922 and, again, Stenhammar provides much memorably attractive music in short doses. Swedish-English texts. Peter Boman (baritone), HelÈn Finnberg, Caroline Sjberg (sopranos), Hedvig Lagerkvist, Thomas Ungewitter (recitation), Helsingborg Concert Hall Choir, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Sterling CDS-1045-2 (Sweden) 04D051 $15.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Tanzwalzer, Op. 53, Orchestral Suite No. 2, Op. 34a 'Geharnischte Suite', Concertino for Clarinet and Small Orchestra, Op. 48, Sarabande and Cortège, Op. 51, Berceuse ÉlÉgiaque, Op. 42. Neeme Järvi returns to Chandos (for how long, we don't know) with this collection which includes two of Busoni's rarer compositions - the Tanzwalzer of 1920 which, for all Busoni's characterizing it as a light-weight orchestral showpiece, yet has a disquieting, Mahlerian aspect to its merriment (the composer used some of this music again in Doktor Faust for festival scenes at the Court of Parma), and the 'Armor-Plated Suite' (1899) whose four movements ('Prelude', 'War Dance', 'Funeral Monument' and 'Assault') portray a military hero in music which seems a little more chrome- than armor-plated. John Bradbury (clarinet), BBC Philharmonic; Neeme Jrvi. Chandos 9920 (England) 04D052 $16.98

FRITZ BRUN (1878-1959): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, THÐRING BRM (b.1944): Album 'Goodbye Seventies', FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Violin Sonata in F Minor, Op. 4, SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Vocalise, Op. 34/14. Brun's 1908 sonata is firmly in the style of Brahms and its youthful freshness also recalls Mendelssohn's early sonata, both of which are here since this CD is part of a series 'Music in Lucerne' (the booklet contains eight full page pen-and-ink drawings done by the 13-year-old Mendelssohn while he was visiting Switzerland). Brm's suite of brief pieces was triggered by the death of a student leader during the 1968 demonstrations (in 1979 of long-term damage from injuries suffered back then); in the form of two tangos, a Nocturne, two Quiet Musics and a treatment of a song honoring the dead man, this is essentially a meditation on the transience of experience lost and the uncertainty of things to come. Brigitte Lang (violin), Yvonne Lang (piano). Gallo CD-1084 (Switzerland) 04D053 $18.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): 15 tudes for Saxophone and Piano, Op. 188, 7 Pieces from Op. 180. These works were a direct response to the reopening of the saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire in 1942, brought about by the dedication of the soloist Marcel Mule. Most of the tudes are in slow tempos, more concerned with expressive control of breathing and beauty of sound than with virtuosity of fingering and articulation (although there are three or four of those too!). Just prior to writing the tudes, Koechlin had reworked seven pieces from his op.180, another set of 15 but written for horn and piano. None is faster than andante - a lovely sequence of 'songs without words'. Federico Mondelci (saxophone), Kathryn Stott (piano). Chandos 9803 (England) 04D054 $16.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Les Confidences d'un Joueur de Clarinette, Op. 141 for Reciter, Clarinet, 4 Horns, Flute, 3 Violins, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, 2 Sonatines for Oboe d'Amore and 9 Instruments. Collectors of Koechlin will know that he composed quite a bit of music which was inspired by film stars; he also composed music for films themselves and Les Confidences is an unusual example. Dating from 1934, this project was a 50-minute film made up of dialogue and musical insertions based on a short story about a love triangle involving a clarinettist, his female cousin and his best friend Waldhorn (a horn player, of course). The two Sonatines date from 1942, the second, in particular, having a remarkable mood of serenity in its first movement and nostalgia in its second before ending in a sort of faun's dance. Philippe Cuper (clarinet), Jean-Louis Capezzali (oboe d'amore), Kammer Ensemble de Paris; Armin Jordan. Gallo CD-1055 (Switzerland) 04D055 $18.98

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Horn Quintet in C Minor, Op. 85, Rhapsody Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in A Minor, Op. 80, Trio in Three Movements, Op. 118. Bowen's lovely, pastoral horn quintet (1927) has a first movement theme which could have come out of Vaughan Williams' Pastoral Symphony (the composer played the horn as well as the viola and piano) and the resemblances are there in the Andante espressivo slow movement as well. The two piano trios (1926 and 1945) help demonstrate why Bowen was forgotten - the 1945 work is no different in idiom than the earlier ones - in his lifetime but also why he should be rediscovered now: a wealth of beautiful melody whose conservatism also sometimes calls to mind Barber. Endymion Ensemble. Dutton CDLX 7115 (England) 04D056 $16.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Piano Quartet, Op. 16, Piano Quintet. The quartet is an early work of 1899, elegantly sculpted and in a general late-romantic idiom with a few evidences of having heard Debussy. The quintet, though, is a much larger-scale work (the work had several revisions and was premiered in 1920 - its actual composition date is unknown) lasting almost 40 minutes, very ambitious and harmonically daring for its time. Entered for a competition, a panel of judges which included Vaughan Williams (who called it 'very long and rhapsodic' and 'it has power and passion and ought to rank high') and another, obviously more conservative judge who observed only 'This is queer work.' Impressively romantic and poetic, this will be a treat for piano-chamber-music collectors. The London Piano Quartet, Marilyn Taylor (second violin). Dutton CDLX 7116 (England) 04D057 $16.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): String Quartet No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 73, String Quartet No. 4, Op. 150, Lyric Movement for String Quartet and Piano, Op. 24, Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn 'O Quando in Cruce' for 2 Violas. Rubbra's four quartets were available in the 90s on the defunct Conifer label and it is good to know that Dutton will be doing all four. Rubbra's compositional philosophy might be said to stress line rather than color (some listeners find his symphonies to lack color) and Rubbra said himself '...colour has fascination, but for me it's no substitue for the real substance of art.' The four voices of the string quartet would seem to be the most apt idiom for such a composer and both of these works (1951 and 1976 respectively) explore the generative power of intervals with the Second building on several contrasted but integrated short sections. Next to these, the early 1927 Lyric Movement (itself the remains of a junked quartet) surprises with its echoes of Vaughan Williams and Howells while the 1962 Meditations, with their deliberate archaisms, oddly prefigures the religiously inspired music of Pärt and Górecki. Dante Quartet, Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton CDLX 7114 (England) 04D058 $16.98

LEONARD SALZEDO (1921-2000): String Quartet No. 2, Op. 3, String Quartet No. 7, Op. 76, Sonata for Violin and Viola, Op. 132. Salzedo was a long-time violinist in the Royal Philharmonic but also had won composition prizes as a student and left a considerable amount of orchestral and chamber music. Although broadly tonal, Salzedo's quartets prize rhythmic complexity and explore tonality's extremes and both of these quartets incorporate Sephardic (and, in the case of the Seventh, Arabic) music. The second quartet (1943) is the more easily approachable of the two; the seventh (1969), written in memory of his father, an amateur cellist, is meant to reflect the older man's conflict between the Sephardic Jewish faith in which he had been brought up and his intellectual attempt to reject it. The sonata (1995) is an energetic, almost obsessively busy piece which makes it sound as though more than two players are performing and makes the most in each of its four brief movements out of very little motivic material. ArchÊus Quartet. Dutton CDLX 7113 (England) 04D059 $16.98

WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941): Solemn Melody for Cello and Organ, Jesu Dulcis Memoria, Interlude in C, Fugue in B Flat, Memorial Melody in C, Reverie for Organ and 2 Voices, Chorale, Solemn Melody, GEORGE THALBEN-BALL (1896-1987): Elegy in B Flat for Cello and Organ (arr. Fisher), Elegy, HAROLD DARKE (1888-1976): Chorale-Fantasia on Darwell's 148th, Op. 20/2, HUBERT PARRY (1848-1918): Chorale Fantasia on the Old 100th, JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): PrÈlude lÈgiaque, Op. 47/1. We offer this to keep the series from Dutton complete but this probably appeals almost exclusively to English audiences; Davies is known to Englishmen of an earlier generation as an effective popularizer of classical music through radio talks (of which 18 minutes worth are included at the end of this disc) and, though he wrote several piano quintets, a symphony and two string quartets, all we have here are one piece for organ and cello (a famous one, very Elgarian) and several others of which one should mention the Memorial Melody, written for the death of King George VI (Davies was Master of the King's Musick). The remainder of the disc is filled out with pieces dedicated to Davies by other organists. Roger Fisher (Rothwell organ of St. George's Church, Headstone, Harrow, Sussex), Andrew Fuller (cello). Dutton CDLX 7108 (England) 04D060 $16.98

Stephen Hough's English Piano Album

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Bagatelles, STEPHEN REYNOLDS (b.1947): 2 Poems in Homage to Delius, 2 Poems in Homage to FaurÈ, STEPHEN HOUGH (b.1961): Valses Enigmatiques Nos. 1 & 2, YORK BOWEN (1984-1961): Reverie d'Amour, Op. 20/2, Serious Dance, Op. 51/2, The Way to Polden (an ambling tune), Op. 76, KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): 6 Studies (Study-Variations), Op. 56, GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Song to the Seals (arr. Hough), EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): In Smyrna, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): The Dew Fairy, Heart's Ease. Or 'Stephen Hough's English Encore Album', since the majority of these pieces are of the light, post-concert, send ëem home humming a tune variety. The exception is the set of variations by Leighton, a work of 1969 characterized by rhythmic inventiveness and harmonic tension, with a densely chromatic central variation which rises in clusters to an angry climax. It is also good to have three more of Bowen's piano pieces, in turn lushly lyrical, wistful and piquantly harmonic. Stephen Hough (piano). Hyperion CDA 67267 (England) 04D061 $17.98

EXPRESSIONISM - Orchestral Works from 1900-1930

ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Elegia eroica, Op. 29, Concerto Romano for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 43, KAROL RATHAUS (1895-1954): Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 27, Ouvert¸re for Large Orchestra, Op. 22, WLADIMIR VOGEL (1896-1984): 2 Et¸den, EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Vorfr¸hling, Op. 12, EUGENE GOOSENS (1893-1962): Suite from Kaleidescope, Op. 18, MAX VON SCHILLINGS (1868-1933): Symphonischer Prolog zu Sophokles' Knig Oedipus, Op. 11, FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Fantastische Ouvert¸re, Op. 15. This is one of the most important releases in years, offering an invaluable glimpse of the wide variety of music which can be subsumed under the title 'Expressionism'. The two large-scale Casella works are priceless - the burtal expressiveness of his Elegia 'to a fallen soldier' of 1916 standing in great contrast to his much more neo-classical organ concerto of ten years later - and so are the Rathaus pieces. The suite (1929) and overture (1928) combine neo-classical tendencies with a darker expressionistic undercurrent. Wellesz' short 1912 tone poem is delicately beautiful, Vogel's Etudes (1930) unique in their intellectual wit while Goosens' 1932 orchestration of a 1918 piano suite, sumptuous and rather Impressionistic, is a useful 'break in the action'. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Martin Schmeding (organ), Klaudyna Broniewska (violin), Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt; Nikos Athinos, J¸rgen Bruns, Christoph Campestrini. Signum SIG X121-00 (Germany) 04D062 $17.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 136, Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 255, Suite Cisalpine sur des airs populaires piÈmontais for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 332, CAMILLE SAINT-SAÀNS (1835-1921): Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor. The Milhaud works are quite possibly the most joyful, sunny and good-spirited items we have ever offered. Composed approximately 10 years apart beginning in 1934, the fast movements are not far off from the infectious tunefulness of Le Búuf sur la Toit and La Creation de Monde while the slow movements are the romantic whisperings of a beloved. Brazilian music is recalled in the first concerto and American jazz and popular music in the second while the third does marvellous things with Piedmontese melodies from medieval to modern. Actually, the concerto movement headings tell you all you need to know: 'Nonchalant', 'Grave', 'Joyeux' and 'Gai', 'Tendre', 'Alerte'. Misanthropes steer clear! Mark Drobinsky (cello), Ekaterinburg Symphony Orchestra; Dimitry Liss, Swedish Radio Orchestra; Stig Westerberg. Doron DRC 3035 (Switzerland) 04D063 $16.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Concerto for Piano 4 Hands and Chamber Orchestra, Hommage ¦ Grieg for Violin and Orchestra, Polphonischer Tango for Chamber Ensemble. For some reason, Martinu's two-piano concerto has not had a lot of recordings, so it is good to have a new one here. Dating from 1942, it has the same style and character of the symphonies composed in the U.S. during the war, with its outer movements full of motoric rhythms and shimmering orchestral sounds and the slow movement a deeply felt meditation. Schnittke's work of 1988 is in a single movement and has his characteristic wavering between complexity and dissonance and naive-sounding diatonicism. The two 5-minute fillers are rarities which will appeal to Schnittke collectors. Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov, Kathrin Rabus (violin), Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR; Eiji Oue. CPO 999 804 (Germany) 04D064 $15.98

LOU HARRISON (b.1917): A Sonata for Harpsichord, Village Music, 6 Sonatas for Cembalo, Incidental Music for Corneille's 'Cinna', A Summerfield Set, Triphony, A 12-Tone Morning After to Amuse Henry, Largo Ostinato. Works from throughout Harrison's career for various kinds of keyboard instruments are presented afresh here using widely varying tunings (the booklet spends as much time discussing different tunings as it does the music) and four different keyboard instruments. The sonata is a 1999 work written for the soloist here but the remaining pieces date from the late 1930s to around 1950 and have the characteristic wide range of influences, from Domenico Scarlatti to Javanese gamelan music, which we expect from this highly individual composer. Linda Burman-Hall (French double harpsichord, Spanish single harpsichord, fortepiano, tack piano). New Albion NA117 (U.S.A.) 04D065 $16.98

DAVID GAINES (b.1961): Euphonium Concerto, Symphony No. 1 'Esperanto' for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. This is very attractive music. The concerto (think of a chubby trombone... or a slightly anorexic tuba), is in the same neo-classical idiom as the symphony (the first piece of any sort to set an Esperanto text): Gaines acknowledges Ives, Hindemith, Copland and the GÛrecki Third Symphony as his major influences. Without ever sounding like a pastiche of styles, Gaines' music succeeds in creating its own approachable style, with impressive lyricism in slow movements and a real sense of power and purpose throughout both works. JÌri Vydra (euphonium), Kimball Wheeler (mezzo), Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; VÌt Micka. MMC 2113 (U.S.A.) 04D066 $16.98

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): The Planets, The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 18 for Soprano and Orchestra, COLIN MATTHEWS (b.1946): Pluto, The Renewer. Less than six months after the world premiere recording of Colin Matthews' commissioned 'completion' of Holst's Planets, we have a budget-price version of the atmospheric seven-minute tone poem. The Mystic Trumpeter is rather rare, though - an 18-minute 'scena' of 1904 whose several influences, notably Wagner's, combine for a vital and exuberant work which had little parallels in English music of that period (the work itself was unplayed after its 1905 premiere until Matthews and the composer's daughter edited and published the score in 1979). Claire Rutter (soprano), Ladies of the RNSO Chorus, Royal ScottishNational Orchestra; David-Lloyd Jones. Naxos 8.555776 (New Zealand) 04D067 $6.98

fontec - The first in what we hope will be regular offerings of this hard-to-get Japanese label.

AKIRA IFUKUBE (b.1914): Ballata Sinfonica, Sinfonia Tapkaara, Violin Concerto No. 2. This brilliant composer is known in the west, if he is known at all, for having written, among over 250 film scores, the one for 1954's Godzilla (or, to give it its proper Japanese pronunciation, Gojira). For that matter, he wrote the scores for many of the giant nuclear-spawned lizard's subsequent tussles with ever more bizarre monsters. But if this CD were to be your first encounter with Ifukube's music, you could be forgiven for thinking that BartÛk did not die in 1945, he just slipped away to Japan where the 1943 Ballata Sinfonica (OK, so the chronology isn't perfect) and the 1954 Sinfonia Tapkaara brim with violent rhythms and barbaric percussion. Early Stravinsky and Prokofiev are also possible comparisons as the Sinfonia's third and final movement screws up the tension and the momentum such that the explosion of cheers from the audience (these are all live recordings) at the finish actually accentuates the impact of the music. But Ifukube is Japanese and melodies with pentatonic and other eastern scales show up in slow movements or slow sections of these works. Thankfully, the idiom does not change very drastically through the composer's career, as the 1978 single-movement violin concerto has the same insistent rhythms in its outer sections and softer, insinuating melodies in its slow center. There are at least five more Ifukube discs in Fontec's catalogue.... Takeshi Kobayashi (violin), The New Symphony Orchestra; Yasushi Akutagawa. Fontec FOCD 2545 (Japan) 04D068 $24.98

YUZO TOYAMA (b.1930s): Symphonie 'Heimkehr' (No. 1), Cello Concerto, Symphony No. 2, 3 Songs to Poems by Kazue Shinkawa. Toyama writes tonal, dramatic, melodic and approachable music which is nevertheless of its own period. The 1966 first symphony has a Japanese melody in its final movement but it also has moments that remind you of the wide-open-spaces music of 20th century American symphonists as well as dramatic dissonances of the Penderecki or Lutoslawski type; the cello concerto, from the following year, is of similar character. The second symphony (1999) is of a harder cast - more rhythmically insistent blocks of sound, less pure melody - but it is still affecting in its apparent millenial anxiety and unease. Ryosuke Hori (cello), Mika Takeda (mezzo), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Yuzo Toyama. Fontec FOCD 3480 (Japan) 04D069 $26.98

YOSHIHISA TARA (b.1937): Chromophonie, PolyËdre, Moks¦, Vimoks¦. From 1966 TaÔra studied in France with Jolivet, Dutilleux and Messiaen and his 1973 commission from the French Ministry of Culture, Chromophonie, shows those influences most directly with its shimmering chromatic sound curtains out of which varying harmonic elements emerge, metamorphose in timbre and color and disappear again. PolyhËdre (1987), commissioned by the French State, is made up of six parts, each developing a particular atmosphere, like a polyhedron seen from different angles, affording TaÔra more opportunity for creating shimmering, sometimes diaphonous, sometimes cacophonous structures of sound color. Moks¦, Vimoks¦ (1983, a French Radio commission) is a depiction of the movement toward nirvana (the title is Sanskrit, meaning 'separation from worldly existence), i.e. from disturbance and perturbation via concentration to blissful peace. French National Orchestra; Pierre Stoll, Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France; Denis Cohen, French National Orchestra; Jacques Mercier. Fontec FOCD 3410 (Japan) 04D070 $26.98

YOSHIHIRO KANNO (b.1953): Spider for Orchestra and Gagaku Instruments, A Mythical Implosion for Orchestra. A Mythical Implosion (1995) is a three-movement work inspired both by the 50th anniversary of the atom-bombing of Nagasaki and the devastating earthquake that same year in Kobe. Fractal theory provides a heterophonic web of sound in the first movement ('The Fractal Zone') which builds in momentum and tension; the second movement ('Nagasaki') represents the wastelands of destruction of the two cities while the third ('A Metallic Cube') represents the physical reconstruction and is striking for its employment of an idÈe fixe which sounds for all the world like Scriabin updated by Messiaen which weaves in and out of a phantasmagorically colorful orchestral backdrop. Spider (1998) is altogether a different proposition, being a ballet based on a Noh story about a samurai sent to kill a spider. The latter manifests itself as an alluring, lower-class woman with whom the warrior falls in love and eventually must destroy. The music is completely based on Japanese models, supported by native instruments, and, static at times, yet suffused with the mystery of an ancient culture, sounds as stylized as the action it was meant to accompany. Reigakusha (gagaku), Mayumi Miyata (sho), Tokiko Osugi (nohkan), Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; Yoshihiro Kanno, NHK Symphony Orchestra; Tadaaki Otaka. Fontec FOCD 3449 (Japan) 04D071 $26.98

WILLIAM GILLOCK (1917-1993): 24 Short Piano Pieces in All Keys, Classic Carnival, Fine Pieces. Perhaps the oddest of our Fontecs this month is the first of two discs devoted to the piano music of a native Missourian who spent most of his career in New Orleans and Dallas and who was known as 'the Schubert of children's piano music' in tribute to his melodic gift. All of these short pieces display that gift as well as a rare inventiveness and originality of harmony and texture. Each of the 24 Short Pieces has a descriptive title, mostly from nature; Classic Carnival has three movements - 'Royal Concert', 'Religious Procession' and 'Carnival Ball' and Fine Pieces is a 13-piece suite of nature and geographical depictions. Hitomi Ito (piano). Fontec FOCD 20005 (Japan) 04D072 $26.98

MOTOHARU KAWASHIMA (b.1972): Manic Psychosis I for Solo Flute, Dual Personality I for Percussion and Orchestra, cond/act/konTakt/conteraste II for Actor, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion and Piano, Manic Depression III for Piano, Prepared Piano and Orchestra. Kawashima is a young man with a highly developed sense of mischief and a good sense of humor. The largest work here, Manic Depression III (41 minutes) is a piano concerto in which the manic state is represented by the piano and the depressive state by the prepared piano. The composer uses no fewer than 24 famous classical piano pieces (mostly concertos), or, rather, fragments therefrom, with which he deconstructs the classical piano concerto using every manner of playing technique with great ingenuity. Each of the other, shorter, pieces has a similar aspect of 'mental illness' involving the struggle between opposing forces represented in music and, unlike in many CDs from this label, there are not only English notes but there are good ones, well-translated and with an impish sense of humor to help the listener find his way around Kawashima's fancies. Dogen Kinowaki (flute), Yoshiko Kanda (percussion), Ichiro Nodaira (piano), Motoharu Kawashima (actor, prepared piano), New Japan Philharmonic; Kasuhiko Komatsu. Fontec FOCD 2548 (Japan) 04D073 $24.98

TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Volume VII - Utsurohi-Nagi for Sho and String Orchestra with Harp, Celesta and Percussion, Singing Trees - Requiem for Toru Takemitsu for Children's Chorus, Ferne-Landschaft II for Orchestra, Cello Concerto 'In Memory of Toru Takemitsu'. Hosokawa's trademark stasis and fluidity of form are ideally suited to the depiction in music of the calm, airy yet solid structures of the abstract sculpture of Aiko Miyawaki and its surroundings in the Nagi museum, assuming that this is what is pictured on the booklet cover. The use of the Sho - a kind of very sophisticated mouth organ - imparts an unique timbre to the music. The two works in memoriam Takemitsu share an elegiac mood; the choral work starts with onomatapúic whispering sounds from which slow-moving clusters slowly emerge; the concerto, predictably devoid of the confrontational aspects of the conventional westen concerto form, is more of an extended melancholy dialogue, obviously a deeply felt requiem for the Grand Old Man of Japanese-western concert music. Ferne-Landschaft suggests Japanese landscape painting in sound, distant and evocative Mayumi Miyata (sho), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Nachiro Totsuka, The Little Singers of Tokyo; Saeko Hasegawa, New Japan Philharmonic; Ken Takaseki, Julius Berger (cello), Tokyo MSO; Totsuka. Fontec FOCD 3441 (Japan) 04D074 $26.98

HIKARU HAYASHI (b.1931): Quartetto 'Legende', AKIRA MIYASHI (b.1933): String Quartet No. 2, AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Heterophony, TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): String Quartet No. 2 'Urbilder'. These four works occupy a middle ground between ëconventional' 20th-century quartet writing and the kind of ferociously complexicist music which has become an Arditti speciality over the years. Hayashi's Legende opens in elegiac vein, which is interrupted by a burst of violent activity at the commencement of the second movement, after which the mourning mood predominates again. The Miyoshi contains more of the complex and active type of writing which the Ardittis are justly renowned for dispatching by the yard before breakfast, contrasted with a very beautiful sustained slow movement. Nishimura's Heterophony weaves a fluid texture of slow glissandi punctuated by sudden, uinexpected chords or melodic fragments which pay homage to Romantic passions. The Hosokawa is essentially pointillistic and static, with some extended playing techniques. Arditti String Quartet. Fontec FOCD 2534 (Japan) 04D075 $24.98

Portugalsom - Some new to CD, some re-offered after a period of unavailability

VIANNA DA MOTTA (1868-1948): Symphony in A, Op. 13 '¿ P·tria'. This brilliant pianist, student of Liszt, wrote only one symphony (1895), and his teacher and Wagner are major influences, along with Russian nationalism. In four movements, each, in true Lisztian fashion, is headed by a quote from the famous Portuguese poet Cames and the last movement, in itself, encapsulates the darkness-to-light progress of some of the Hungarian composer's tone poems. Hungarian State Orchestra; M·ty·s Antal. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4327 (Portugal) 04D078 $13.98

OSCAR DA SILVA (1870-1958): Dolorosas - musique intime, Op. 11 Images, Op. 6, Scherzo ¦ la Valse, Bagatelles, P·ginas Portuguesas Nos. 9 & 11. All lovers of romantic piano music will want to have Da Silva's Dolorosas - eight of the most grief-stricken, crÍpe-hung expressions of gloom, sorrow and despair you'll ever want to hear. Dating from 1910, the year of his mother's death, they are based on a Schumannian romanticism but elements of Impressionism are present also and, in one, frighteningly delicious Scriabinesque chromaticisms. Misery was never so delicious! Needless to say, Da Silva's Romantic credentials are fully established and carry over for the remainder of this wonderful recital. Miguel Henriques (piano). Portugalsom CD 870037/PS (Portugal) 04D079 $13.98

LUÕS DE FREITAS BRANCO (1890-1955): Symphony No. 1 in F, Antero de Quental. The 1924 symphony is almost more Franckian than Franck's, so this will appeal greatly to those who also enjoy the symphonies of Dukas and Chausson. The 17-year-old Freitas' tone poem, however, is a Lisztian exercise through and through in its depiction of states of mind suggested by the reading of a Portuguese novelist. Startlingly vivid recording too (analogue from 1984) - wide dynamic range. Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Andr·s KÛrodi. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4314 (Portugal) 04D080 $13.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRA&laqno;A (1906-1994): Requiem for the Victims of Fascism in Portugal. The composer consciously chose to set the Latin text of the Requiem (Lopes-GraÁa was an agnostic and very secularly oriented) to add extra solemnity to this cry of anguish for the dissonants who were persecuted under the Salazar regime and, although Shostakovich is a major influence (how could he not be given the circumstances, especially with the composition date being 1979), this work has its own personality and demonstrates a culmination point in the úuvre of a major composer who may yet, along with Braga Santos, be recognized as a fine composer, period, rather than a fine Portuguese composer. Magda Kalm·r (soprano), Tamara Tak·cs (mezzo), Attila F¸lÛp (tenor), Istv·n G·ti (baritone), Kolos Kov·ts (bass), Hungarian State Opera Chorus, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Andr·s KÛrodi. Portugalsom CD 870010/PS (Portugal) 04D081 $13.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRA&laqno;A (1906-1994): String Quartet No. 2, Song of Love and Death for Piano and String Quartet. Shostakovich and Bartók are the main influences in the 1982 quartet; a psychological crisis of some sort seems to have influenced the 1961 companion work, a single-movment piece of 16 minutes which does indeed sound like a dark night of the soul. Oficina Musical do Porto String Quartet, Olga Prats (piano). Portugalsom CD 870036/PS (Portugal) 04D082 $13.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRA&laqno;A (1906-1994): 11 Commendations of the Souls, 12 Pilgrims' Songs. Both sets of choral works here are harmonized folk songs from the composer's vast collection of Portuguese folk tunes. Written over a period fo 20 years, there is a great variety evident, both harmonically and melodically Choir of the Department of Letters of Oporto University; Borges Coelho. Portugalsom CD 870041/PS (Portugal) 04D083 $13.98

MARIA DE LOURDES MARTINS (b.1928): Grotesca, 3 Valsas, Catch, Ritmite, Toccatina, Sonorit· for Piano and Percussion, Sonatina No. 2, 8 Pieces for Five Notes. The early pieces here (Grotesca, the Sonatina, 8 Pieces and 3 Valsas) are tonal and, where appropriate, influenced by Hindemith and BartÛk. The remainder use serial methods and extended playing techniques (Sonorit· requires the pianist to also play several percussion instruments) - an encapsulation of much of 20th century keyboard composition. Attractive for collectors of 20th century piano music of many types. ErzsÈbet Tusa (piano, percussion). Portugalsom CD 870032/PS (Portugal) 04D084 $13.98

FILIPE PIRES (b.1934): Portugaliae Genesis for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Sintra - Music for an Imaginary Short Film, Akronos for String Orchestra. Although Grove tells us that Pires attended the Darmstadt summer courses and that Portugaliae Genesis (1968) marked a turn away from his early neo-classical style, there is no need to fear: this work uses modern techniques here and there but only for dramatic emphasis in a language which uses elements of Arab and Hebrew chant and medieval modes and polyphony. Akronos, of 1964, is an eight-minute Webernian study in sound and silence while Sintra (1969), as an imaginary film score is, ironically, the only strictly serial piece here (8 minutes). Oliveira Lopes (baritone), Hungarian State Opera Chorus, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; J·nos S·ndor. Portugalsom CD 870019/PS (Portugal) 04D085 $13.98

Available again:

JOAO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Sonata No. 5 in C, Op. 13, Piano Sonatas Nos. 8-10, Op. 18/1-3. Nella Maissa (piano). Portugalsom CD 870040/PS (Portugal) 04D086 $13.98

JOAO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 1, Piano Sonata No. 3 & 4, Op. 9/1-2. Nella Maissa (piano). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4318 (Portugal) 04D087 $13.98

JOAO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Quintet in E Flat, Op. 16, Serenata in F for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, 2 Horns, Bassoon and Double Bass. Imre Rohmann (piano), Kodaly Quartet, Ilona Prunyi (piano), other artists. Portugalsom CD 870006/PS (Portugal) 04D088 $13.98

ANTHONY IANNACCONE (b.1943): Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound, West End Express, Night Rivers (Symphony No. 3), From Time to Time: Fantasias on 2 Appalachian Folk Songs, Divertimento for Strings. What the composer calls 'large-audience' (leaning toward abstraction) and 'small-audience' (tonal and accessible) music are both represented here (and, it must be said, the 'large-audience' works are almost as easily approachable as the other two). The Fantasias (2000) weave 'Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair' and 'Shenandoah' into, respectively, predominantly lyrical and expressive and dazzing and festive orchestral backdrops. Non-musical associations attach to both Waiting... (1998) and West End Express (1999), the former the nightmare of being in a fishing boat on Long Island Sound and being enveloped in a sudden storm and the latter a subway ride from Manhattan to Coney Island; the former allows Ianniccone to produce shimmering sea music with a brazen storm at its center and the latter a driving, motoric quasi-toccata in the spirit of Honegger. Night Rivers (1990-92) is a single-movement work of 19 minutes whose organic growth from the material heard in the opening seven bars passes through various cycles of ebb and flow but always with a sense of elemental energy barely contained. This is a must-hear for all collectors of contemporary music. Janacek Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic; Anthony Iannaccone. Albany TROY 486 (U.S.A.) 04D089 $16.98

JAVIER DARIAS (b.1946): Vidres, VÌcmar, Clanivers Teo, Saudades Novas. A mathematician and materials scientist as well as a composer, Javier Darias writes music in which a strong sense of structural harmony and the physical relations between harmonics and overtones underpin what seems to be a basically Romantic sensibility. Granitic block chords and frequent ostinato figuration give the works a strength and solidity as well as a sense of momentum, while the restrained color pallette - quite bleak at times - does not distract from the rugged integrity of the composer's forms and shapes. The sections of the Turangalila Symphony that suggest primitive monolithic statuary, re-expressed in the vocabulary of Sibelius' Fourth Symphony, provides an idea of the general impression created by these powerful, predominantly sombre, sometimes forbidding yet accessible and involving works. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra; VÌctor Pablo. EMEC E-032 (Spain) 04D090 $16.98

LARS EKSTRØM (b.1956): The Dream Age - Rondo for Piano and Orchestra, Suite from Genom Skrvan av en Prisma for Orchestra, Garden of Ice for Ensemble, Sprda Schart for Percussion. Images of ice, crystalline structures and hard edges reflecting and refracting light occur frequently in Ekstrøm's titles and the inspiration behind his works. A preoccupation with a series of bleak landscapes painted by August Strindberg (some of which are reproduced in the booklet) also informs the music on this disc, in which shards of etched timbre are organised into works of resonant beauty and narrative drama. The Rondo, for example - the most extended work here - is a genuine rondo, with the thorough compositional structure that the title implies, but the sound-world is a dreamlike, otherworldly one, and the narrative (unspecified, but suggesting a fantastic journey through a glittering landscape) is as strongly implied as anything in the Romantic literature. These works all inhabit similar territory, but it is so complex and multi-facteted (an apt expression) a world of the imagination that the music implies an inexhaustible array of emotional overtones and experiences, amply repaying repeated listening. Niklas Sivelv (piano), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ondrej Kukal, Stockholm Sinfonietta; Jorma Panula, Sonanza; Jan Risberg, Markus Leoson (percussion). Phono Suecia PSCD 122 (Sweden) 04D091 $16.98

LEONARDO BALADA (b.1933): SinfonÌa en Negro - Homenaje a Martin Luther King (Symphony No. 1), Cumbres - A Short Symphony for Band (Symphony No. 2), Symphony No. 4 'Lausanne', Persistencies - Sinfonia Concertante For Amplified Guitar and Orchestra. Leonardo Balada may be the Postmodern composer par excellence, insofar as he has clearly assimilated every possible trend or technique of the 20th century and incorporated them all into a vocabulary which is always very recognisably his own. This is a true synthesis of styles, not an eclectic conglomeration, and as such it provides his large-scale works with a dynamic integrity which belies the breadth of inspiration inherent in their construction. The four works here are noticeably from different periods in his career. The fourth symphony contains the most avant-garde elements, combined with folklike and almost popular material. The work for amplified guitar and orchestra pays the most obvious tribute to the composer's Catalan origins, most idiomatically written for the solo instrument against a backdrop of dazzling orchestral color. The SinfonÌa en Negro anticipates the multiculturalism which has become a trademark of Balada's; the earliest work here, it incorporates avant-garde freedoms into a big, brooding, quasi-Romantic structure, and includes references to African-American material. Carnegie Mellon Symphonic Band; Richard E. Strange, Orquesta Sinfonica de La Radio TV Espanola; Enrique GarcÌa Asensio, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Narciso Yepes (guitar), Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya; Leonardo Balada. Albany TROY 474 (U.S.A.) 04D092 $16.98

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): 4 Notturni, Sonata II, Sonata III, Sonata IV, Sonata V. Sonatas - in the sense of sounding objects in time - are exactly what these works are; sonatas having anything to do with sonata form or traditional piano writing they are (as one might suspect) not. Clusters and extremely fast, virtuosic figuration abound, and the works provide a visceral excitement sometimes lacking in the more meditative type of contemporary music written in the past decade or so. In the fifth in particular, there is a sense of the piano being used as a huge percussion section, initially effectively unpitched, but with a more linear component emerging as the piece progresses. The use of highly original pedalling effects selectively to sustain overtones gives the writing a fluid quality, as though one is viewing a piece of abstract sculpture in changing light. The more intimately-scaled Nocturnes explore the subtleties of piano sonority, including action sounds and sounds unrelated to the normal playing of the instrument, to an even greater degree. Nicolas Hodges, Oscar Pizzo, Shai Wosner (piano). CyprËs CYP5603 (Belgium) 04D093 $18.98

MICHAEL FINNISSY (b.1946): Verdi Transcriptions, Books 1 & 2, Snowdrift, To & Fro, Piano Conceto No. 4, Piano Concerto No. 6. Transcription has always been important to Finnissy, perhaps a little unexpectedly if one views him as the composer of works like English Country Tunes, less so when one takes into account his admiration for Godowsky and Busoni. His two books of Verdi Transcriptions sound much as one might expect from ths composer, exploiting considerable instrumental virtuosity and extremes of dynamics. The pieces follow each other attacca, and this, together with the fact that the transcribed material is often taken from relatively obscure accompanimental figures or fragments within Verdi's operas, together with Finnissy's trademark exploitation of the extremes of the keyboard with lines broken up across wide registers, contribute to the impression of a large work by Finnissy, rather than a series of ëoperatic fantasias' in the Lisztian sense. Detecting recognisable Verdi in the piano textures is a fascinating exercise, and the piece challenges the lisener on both emotional and intellecual levels. The two 'Piano Concertos' here are works for solo piano (like the Alkan), with the pianist required to differentiate between solo and tutti passages. They contain some of Finnissy's most psychologically complex music, and also some of his most frighteningly virtuosic, especially the fourth. 2 CDs. Ian Pace (piano). Metier MSV CD92027 (England) 04D093 $33.98

AZIO CORGHI (b.1937): a' nsunnari for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Violin and Cello, consonancias y redobles for Guitar, Petit Caprice (style Offenbach) for Violin Solo, Chiardiluna for Flute and Guitar, ...'promenade' dans l'Óle de la libertÈ for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello. A strong narrative thread is present in Corghi's works - this is especially evident here in the two vocal works, obviously, though even these are of very different types, the one a dream (or rather nightmare); the other a work of poetic oratory. Even though he makes use of some extended playing techniques and aleatory, Corghi's music always contains more or less explicit references and hommages to music throughout history - whether it be Sicilian folksong (as in a' nsunnari), familiar music for guitar (Consonancias . . .), or Paganini and Rossini (Petit Caprice). The sense of forward motion, achieved without recourse to conventional harmonic progession, is also a characteristic of Corghi's music which lends it a sense of through-argument and narrative progression. Annarita Taliento (soprano), Marco Rizzi (violin), Ensemble MUSICA20; Mauro Bonifacio. BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1007 (Italy) 04D094 $18.98

GABRIO TAGLIETTI (b.1955): Piano Trio No. 1, Aria for Violin and Tape, Sfingi for Piano 4 Hands, Lune for Clarinet, Horn and String Trio, Capriccio for Viola and Piano, Piano Trio No. 3 'MARMI'. A motif which may be seen as a common factor between these diverse works for various groupings of instruments (and a tape part, in one case) is the sense of duality between a readily assimilable surface and a disturbing or alien world which may be glimpsed through cracks in the fabric, or out of the corner of one's eye while examining the commonplace. Thus the abrupt contrast between the violin part and the unformed chaos of the electronic sounds in Aria, or the juxtaposed conventional chords and textures with avant-garde outbursts in the trios. The works all possess a dynamic energy - the opening of the string quartet is a tour de force, which abruptly and unexpectedly evaporates into wisps and whispers, and then suddenly rearranges itself into solid moving forms again. Although this is not program music, it is hard not to impose an assumed narrative content onto works which conjure so vividly tangible landscapes filled with figures whose actions are as clearly delineated as they are motivated by psychological ambiguity. Gruppo Musica Insieme di Cremona. BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1058 (Italy) 04D095 $18.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Piano Works, Vol. 4 - Triple-Paced (for piano and version for prepared piano), Totem Ancestor for Prepared Piano, Ad Lib for Piano, Jazz Study for Piano, Music for Marcel Duchamp for Prepared Piano, Works of Calder for Prepared Piano, One2 for 1-4 Pianos, 1 Performer. We are back on more easily approachable ground with Ad Lib and Jazz Study (both being the latter's title - from 1943 and 1942), Triple-Paced (1943 and 1944) and Works of Calder (1949-50) coming from a box of unpublished manuscripts at C.F. Peters examined in 1993. The latter includes a segment of the film soundtrack with Cage on percussion and Burgess Meredith as narrator. Music for Marcel Duchamp is another prepared piano piece, from 1947, leaving One2 as the only recent piece in Cage's late style of performance-theater and indeterminacy (1989). The pianist uses three pianos for this recording Margaret Leng Tan (pianos). Mode 106 (U.S.A.) 04D096 $16.98


WILLIAM BLEZARD (b.1921): Caramba, STANLEY BLACK (b.1913): Overture to a Costume Comedy, JAMES LANGLEY (1927-1994): Overture and Beginners, THOMAS DUNHILL (1877-1946): Tantivy Towers, HERBERT CHAPPELL (b.1934): Boy Wizard, WALTER CARROLL (1869-1955): Festive Overture, MICHAEL HURD (b.1928): Overture to an Unwritten Comedy, LIONEL MONCKTON (1861-1924): The Arcadians, PHILIP LANE (b.1950): A Spa Overture, THOMAS PITFIELD (1903-1999): Concert Overture, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): Sussex Symphony Overture. A 'light overture'? Well, that's just what you call a single-movement piece in this genre, as opposed to all those suites and stuff... These works, many of whose composers will be familiar to collectors of the various 'British Light Music' series we've been offering, vary in length from four to ten minutes and include what may be the first independent musical work inspired by the Harry Potter books - Chappell's Boy Wizard of 2000. The notes quote Chappell describing Harry Potter down to the last detail but the note writer obviously has no idea what the composer was talking about as Harry is nowhere mentioned! Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line WHL 2133 (England) 04D097 $11.98


PETER HOPE (b.1930): Momentum Suite, ADAM CARSE (1878-1958): 2 Sketches, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): English Suite, ERNEST TOMLINSON (b.1924): Graceful Dance, FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): 2 Aquarelles, GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): A Moorside Suite, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): 2 Pieces (arr. P. Hindmarsh). If Holst and Delius 'stooped' to write music capable of being defined as 'Light', did all the other composers represented here 'rise' to write music capable of being grouped with Holst and Delius? Just a genre-busting thought; everything here is of a similar high level of craftsmanship with the influence of English folk-song and dance always running strongly beneath the surface. Northern Sinfonia; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.555070 (New Zealand) 04D098 $6.98

PEACOCK PIE - English (Light) Music for Piano and Strings

GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Concertino for Piano and Strings, ARMSTRONG GIBBS (1889-1960): Concertino for Piano and Strings, Op. 103, Peacock Pie for String Orchestra and Piano, CYRIL ROOTHAM (1875-1938): Miniature Suite for String Orchestra and Piano, ROBIN MILFORD (1903-1959): Concertino in E for Piano and Strings, MADELEINE DRING (1923-1977): Festival Scherzo for Piano and Strings. Although not specifically 'light music', speaking generically, this collection of works for piano and strings (dating from Rootham's 1921 piece to Milford's from 1955) shares a generally bright, cheerful mien which makes them excellent acquisitions for anyone collecting any of the several British Light Music series we've been offering. Yet they will also appeal to collectors of 20th century English music since they inhabit a borderland between the serious concert hall and the domestic salon. Martin Roscoe (piano), Guildhall Strings; Robert Salter. Hyperion CDA 67316 (England) 04D099 $17.98

GEORGES DELERUE (1925-1992): The Black Stallion Returns. London Session Orchestra; Georges Delerue, CARMINE COPPOLA (1910-1991): The Black Stallion. Original sound-track recordings. Zoetrope Film Symphony Orchestra; Carmine Coppola. Prometheus PCD 151 (Belgium) 04D100 $16.98

JAMES BERNARD (1925-2001): Music from the Films Dracula, Dracula, Prince of Darkness, The Scars of Dracula, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Frankenstein Created Woman, The Devil Rides Out and Kiss of the Vampire, Music by various composers from One Million Years B.C., When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Creatures the World Forgot, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, She, The Abominable Snowman, Quatermass II, Hands of the Ripper, Vampire Cirucs, The Vampire Hunter and Curse of the Werewolf. This is the best compliation we've seen of its type, devoted to Hammer horror film scores and with a whole CD's worth of music by Bernard, enhanced by a gorgeous full-color booklet. 2 CDs. Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra; Kenneth Alwyn, Paul Bateman, Nic Raine, Neil Richardson. Silva America SSD 1137 (U.S.A.) 04D101 $23.98