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Joseph Marx


JOSEPH MARX (1882-1964): Natur-Trilogie (Eine Symphoniesche Nachtmusik, Idylle - Concertino über die pastorale Quart, Eine Frühlingsmusik). This may be the most remarkable find of the last year. Marx offers music here which combines the ethereal delicacy of French Impressionism (especially in the Idylle) and the rapt, sensuous, intoxicating, metaphysical ecstasy which one associates not only with Mahler (to think first of a fellow Austrian) but also of Scriabin and Bax (in his earlier flights of Celtic pantheistic fantasy). These three works were always intended to be performed as a cycle, the first composed in 1922 and the other two in 1925 but the difficulty and complexity of the scores led to cuts being made for all performances which did take place (under such conductors as Böhm, Reiner, Krauss and Oswald Kabasta) making this recording probably the first time Natur-Trilogie has been performed in its original form. Richly-colored, brilliantly orchestrated, brimming with romantic and lyrical passion, this work all but exudes the heady perfume of a surreal, nocturnal Mediterranean atmosphere in its first section, which is followed by a somewhat more chaste, pastoral second and which revisits the territory of ecstatic communion with nature in its third. The notes point out that this work is "not quite as resonant or opulent as the monumental earlier Autumn Symphony...". Since this is the first of a seven-volume series of Marx's orchestral music, we are assured of finding out just what that means in the near future! Bochum Symphony Orchestra; Steven Sloane. ASV DCA 1137 (England) 04E001 $16.98


WILLIAM SCHUMAN (1910-1992): Symphony No. 4, Piano Concerto, Credendum (Article of Faith). The catalogue of American music expands again with these new Schuman recordings. Credendum was also issued by Albany on a disc licensed from old Columbia recordings but this new version is in better sound, the better to enjoy the stirring brass and thunderous percussion of the outer movements. The concerto comes from 1942 and uses a rather small orchestra which pulsates with lean, driving energy in the outer movements while the slow movement is a languorous city-scape with some of the mood of the "Lonely Town" pas de deux from Bernstein's contemporary On the Town. The symphony (1941) uses a much larger orchestra and has the characteristic Schuman touches of blocks of strings opposing winds and brass, prominent timpani and a restless succession of musical thoughts. Some hear echoes of the war-time Shostakovich in the darker, moodier sections but we think the symphony sounds completely American in the vast-open-spaces style of Copland and Harris. John McCabe (piano), Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. SACD Hybrid. Albany TROY 566 (U.S.A.) 04E002 $16.98

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Symphony No. 5, Violin Concerto, Kentucky Spring. The symphony (1943, recorded 1965 - stereo) was dedicated to the USSR and its Koussevitzky/BSO premiere was broadcast to the Soviet Union by shortwave radio. Later, in 1958, Harris became the first American to conduct his own music in the Soviet Union with this work. Thus, it's a war symphony, an American's response to Shostakovich's Leningrad and it's laid out as a kind of Prelude, Chorale and Fugue. The central movement starts out funereally but gradually changes into a soaring hymnody and the finale begins like Shostakovich but a dance-like element comes to the fore and takes the work through conflict to a brilliant conclusion. The concerto (1949, recorded 1985, DDD) is a 27-minute, single-movement work in which the soloist plays constant dance-like variations over orchestral chorales while Kentucky Spring (1949, recorded 1960 - mono) is a high-spirited, joyous scherzo of 11 minutes which replicates the composer's memories of springtime in Kentucky. Gregory Fulkerson (violin), The Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Lawrence Leighton Smith. First Edition FECD-0005 (U.S.A.) 04E003 $17.98

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994): Symphony No. 1, Theme, Variations and Fugue, Sea Cliffs, Intermezzo from The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Flagello remained a Romantic at heart although his harmonic and rhythmic procedures were due to the innovations of the 20th century, meaning that all of these works are instantly approachable, contain memorable themes and leave the listener wanting more. The symphony (1964-68) reflects its turbulent times in its constantly anxious, dark and agitated personality (except for lyrical island of calm in the slow movement) but eventually reaches a triumphant conclusion at the conclusion of its large, final-movement passacaglia (shades of Brahms' Fourth) while the variations (1956) grip you with their kaleidoscopic torrent of emotions. With the two, quieter, mellower shorter works included, you'll have one of the best times you'll ever have with 20th century music! Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Amos. Naxos American Classics 8.559148 (U.S.A.) 04E004 $6.98

ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Cello Concerto, Op. 17, Symphony No. 22, Op. 236 "City of Light". The concerto (1936) was one of a few works which the composer saved when, in 1940, he destroyed around 1,000 (!) of his compositions. It already has elements of his mature style - rich, sonorous chords and evocative old modes although it does not have the polyphony which was practically omnipresent in later works. In slow-fast-slow format, the music if often lusciously Oriental and meditative and sure to appeal to collectors of Hovhaness. Janos Starker (cello), Seattle Symphony; Dennis Russell Davies, Alan Hovhaness. Symphony: original 1992 Delos release; Concerto: World Premiere Recording. Naxos American Classics 8.559158 (U.S.A.) 04E005 $6.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 6, String Quartet No. 7, Op. 96. The form of the first quartet (1921) is based on Beethoven's Op. 131 - a set of loosely connected, contrasting sections of alternating moods and characters held togther by rather brief motivic material. Generally at the limits of tonality, the work also shows the influence of Bartók in its drivingly rhythmic scherzo and shows the young composer's fascination with complex counterpoint in its final section. Dating from 1942, the seventh quartet is serial with the tone-row used almost always broken up into small fragments which are used as patterns and which combine in various ways. The work is almost light-hearted compared to the much more rigid and disciplined serialism which was to follow. Petersen Quartet. Capriccio 67 015 (Germany) 04E006 $16.98

VIKTOR ULLMANN (1898-1944): Symphony No. 1 "Von meiner Jugend", Symphony No. 2 in D, Don Quixote tanzt Fandango (all reconstr. Bernhard Wulff [b.1948]), 6 Lieder, Op. 17 for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (ed. Geert van Keulen [b.1943]). Recordings of the PianoSonatas Nos. 5 & 7, which Ullman produced in Theresienstadt in 1943 and 1944, have pointed out that the scores contain indications for orchestration, sometimes in detail. Bernhard Wulff has done this, creating, in effect, Ullmann's Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 and the aphoristic, short-winded, reflective and introverted nature of the scores comes out far better in this form than in the versions for solo piano where the instrument often did not have the resources to render Ullmann's thoughts. "Don Quixote Dances the Fandango" is another Theresienstadt score, completed on March 21, 1944, a difficult-to-decipher sketch with many deletions and corrections, for which Wulff again has done yeoman service. The 6 Lieder, on anthroposophic texts (Ullmann, like Scriabin, belonged to this philosophical persuasion) date from 1937 and typify, in their ambiguous harmonies and pounding rhythmic motifs, the musical language found in the other works on this disc. They were orchestrated by Dutch composer van Keulen in 1994. German-English texts. Juliane Banse (soprano), Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne Philharmonic; James Conlon. Capriccio 67 017 (Germany) 04E007 $16.98

Musica Sveciae Modern Classics - Penultimate Releases

YNGVE SKÖLD (1899-1992): Symphony No. 2, Op. 36, Violin Concerto, Op. 40. Sköld was a child prodigy who was referred to by his teachers as the "Swedish Mozart" and whose op. 1, a piano sonata, dates from as early as 1914. Shy and incapable of self-promotion, Sköld was also deeply conservative and wrote in a late Romantic idiom all of his career - a combination which, of course, led to neglect well before the end of his composing life. The symphony here dates from 1937 and was premiered by Fritz Busch to great critical acclaim, Atterberg and Peterson-Berger both praising it highly. The idiom offers reminders of Sibelius in the expansive vistas and dogged inflexibility of its first movement while the lovely slow movement is all Nordic gloom and melancholy. The concerto (1941) offers tremendous technical challenges for the soloist in the outer movements (a tarantella finale which is particularly memorable) while its slow movement is an island of National Romantic calm and lyricism. Tobias Ringborg (violin), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Tuomas Ollila. Phono Suecia/Musica Sveciae Modern Classics PSCD 719 (Sweden) 04E008 $16.98 >

MELCHER MELCHERS (1882-1961): Symphony in D Minor, Op. 19, Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 23. Like Sköld above, Melchers' own music was little appreciated in his life-time but for a different reason - although conservative also in his tastes, Melchers was much interested in French music and culture, spending 14 years in Paris and moving in the circles which included Matisse (whose sketch of the composer is on the booklet back), Satie, Picasso, Modigliani and Tailleferre. The symphony (1926) combines French and Nordic characteristics not unlike the manner in which Madetoja did also (the latter's Symphony No. 3 was written in the same year) although the overwhelming presence in Melchers' symphony is Cesar Franck. The concerto (1931) is a somewhat lighter work, with more transparent textures, light and charming in its first movement, elegiac shifting to passionate in its second and with an airy, playful rondo finale. Johan Ullén (piano), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Mats Rondin. Phono Suecia/Musica Sveciae Modern Classics PSCD 717 (Sweden) 04E009 $16.98 >

TOR AULIN (1866-1914): Violin Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 11, Konzertstück for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 7, Dances from Gotland, Op. 28, Swedish Dances, Op. 32. It's been a while since we've been able to offer any romantic violin concertos (again - too bad about Hyperion's stillborn series), so this new arrival from Sweden is doubly welcome. Aulin was a violinist himself and wrote the Gotland and Swedish dances on this disc originally for violin and piano before orchestrating them in 1910 and 1913. With their brilliant and colorful instrumentation, these works are worthy counterparts to Bruch's Swedish Dances and Grieg's Norwegian Dances. There is a mystery as to whether there actually is a Violin Concerto No. 1 but No. 2 dates from 1893 and its outer movements' melodies display a Romantic melancholy with somewhat "Nordic" melodies tinged with a Slavic flavor. The 1891 Konzertstück, dedicated to Aulin's teacher Sauret, is fanciful and virtuosic in the manner of the Franco-Belgian violin school. Tobias Ringborg (violin), Gävle Symphony Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Sterling CDS-1050 (Sweden) 04E010 $16.98

DAVID DIAMOND (b.1915): Symphony No. 3, Kaddish for Cello and Orchestra, Psalm. Many of you will have this recording and the one below on their original Delos issues but we offer them here in their new Naxos incarnation for those who may not own them yet. Diamond's music is both classically structured and exuberantly emotional, wedding Bachian counterpoint and Ravelian color. Janos Starker (cello), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Original 1991 Delos release. Naxos American Classics 8.559155 (U.S.A.) 04E011 $6.98

WALTER PISTON (1894-1976): Suite from The Incredible Flutist, Fantasy for English Horn, Harp and Strings, Suite for Orchestra, Concerto for String Quartet, Wind Instruments and Percussion, Psalm and Prayer of David. Piston also uses traditional forms, often identifiably neo-classical (like the suite here) and often tending toward the small-scale (the 11 pieces making up the suite from Piston's most famous work - The Incredible Flutist - a fine example). Glen Danielson (english horn), Therese Elder Wunrow (harp), Juilliard String Quartet, Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Original 1992 Delos release. Naxos American Classics 8.559160 (U.S.A.) 04E012 $6.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Die Gezeichneten. A 1984 live recording with a fine cast, of Schreker's mixture of sensuality, violence and abnormal psychology originally premiered in 1918. 2 CDs. German libretto, English synopsis with track points. Kenneth Riegel (tenor), Janis Martin (soprano), Theo Adam (bass), Hermann Becht (baritone), ORF Choir, Arnold Schönberg Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Orfeo d'Or C 584 022 I (Germany) 04E013 $33.98

REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Complete Choral Music - He That Dwelleth in the Secret Place of the Most High, Ave Maria for Female Voices, There is No Rose for Male Voices, Chorus from Shelley's "Hellas" for Female Voices, Come, O Come, My Life's Delight, My Spirit Like a Charmed Bark Doth Float, Daybreak for Voice and String Quartet, Music, When Soft Voices Die, Now Fie on Love for Male Voices, A Lover's Dirge, When Cats Run Home and Light is Come, Philomela, Weep You No More, Sad Fountains, Away, Delights for High Voices and Piano, Nacht für Nacht for Soprano, Alto and Piano, Spirits for High Voices and Piano, For Tenor, Baritone and Piano: Take, O Take Those Lips Away, Sleep, Hymn to Pan. Covering the period from 1906-1943, basically Clarke's entire composing career, these pieces have only recently been rediscovered when the publication of the Ave Maria and Chorus from Shelley's "Hellas" by Oxford University Press in the late 1990s alerted scholars and performers to the composer's choral works. Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge; Geoffrey Webber, Jeremy Bines (piano). ASV DCA 1136 (England) 04E014 $16.98

JAN PIETERSZOON SWEELINCK (1562-1621): Complete Keyboard Works. Around 12 hours of the music of the most important composer for later baroque keyboard music. Sweelinck was familiar with English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese music, making him probably the most widely knowledgable composer of his time and all of this learning went into his keyboard works which, for the most part, fall into the three types of toccata, fantasia and variations. (Even we're not going to list all of them here!) 9 CDs for the price of 5. Organists: Bernard Winsemius, Peter van Dijk, Fredy Eichelberger, Leo van Dosselaar, Bert Matter, Vincent van Laar, Stef Tuinstra, Reinhard Jaud, Liuwe Tamminga (8 Dutch, 3 German, 1 Austrian and 1 Italian organs), Harpsichordists: Pieter Dirksen, Siebe Henstra, Bob van Asperen, Pieter-Jan Belder, Menno van Delft, Glen Wilson. NM Classics 92119 (Netherlands) 04E015 $89.98

SAMUEL SCHEIDT (1587-1654): Tabulatura Nova I. An homage to, and greatly influenced by, Scheidt's great teacher Sweelinck, this work (in three volumes) is a compendium of fantasias, toccatas, echo pieces, fugues, dances and, most importantly, sets of variations on chorales and popular songs of the period. The complexity of the two- to four-part writing eclipses even that of his teacher and was one of the first German collections of original keyboard compositions, rather than transcriptions of vocal works (a soprano sings some of the verses in the variations on chorale tunes). 2 CDs. Franz Raml (harpsichord and organ), Christina Landshamer (soprano). MD&G 614 1155-2 (Germany) 04E016 $35.98

JUAN DE ARAÚJO (1646-1712): Aquí, aquí valentones, Aquí zagales, aquí pastores, FRAY JOSÉ MANUEL ÚBEDA (c.1760-1823): Introito from Misa para el día de difuntos, LUCAS RUIZ DE RIBAYAZ (1626-?): Gallardas, Achas y buelta del acha, Marionas, gaytas & zarambeques and bacas from Luz y norte musical, TOMÁS DE TORREJÓN Y VELASCO (1644-1728): No puede amor from La púrpura de la rosa, JUAN DE LIENAS (fl.1617-1654): Lamentatio in coena Domini, GASPAR FERNANDES (c.1570-1629): Nohaya más dulce alegría, Mi niño dulce y sagrado, ANTONIO DE SALAZAR (1650-1715): Oigan un vejamen, Tarará qui yo soy Antoniyo, JUAN ARANYÉZ (?-1649): Un sarao de la chacona, and seven anonymous pieces. Examples of early baroque music from Central and South America, both sacred and secular, performed by a vocal ensemble with virginal, plucked instruments, flutes, viola da gamba and various percussion instruments (some native and exotic). Spanish, Chiquitano texts. Ensemble Villancico; Peter Pontvik. Caprice CAP 21688 (Sweden) 04E017 $16.98 >

GIUSEPPE VALENTINI (1680-1746?): 7 Idee for Violin, Cello and Continuo, Op. 4. The previous release by this composer on Tactus was titled Bizarrie; owners of that will recall his penchant for the unusual: uncommon tonalities, a lot of chromaticism, virtuosic passages in high tessitura, all wrapped up in a very Corellian idiom which many movements (from 5 to 7 in these pieces) in dance-like character. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Orfei Farnesiani. Tactus TC 682290 (Italy) 04E018 $23.98

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1645-1704): Messe à 8 voix et 8 violons et flûtes, Motet pour les Trépassés à 8. Charpentier was one of very few composers during the reign of the Sun King to occupy himself with the genre of the mass and this one is his third (early 1670s). Both pieces here show his youthful style, influenced by his studies in Rome with Carissimi. Mária Zádori, Gabriella Jani (sopranos), Péter Bárány, Zoltán Gavodi (countertenors), Rezsö Kutik, András Regnhart (tenors), István Kovács, Máté Sólyom-Nagy (basses), Purcell Choir, Orfeo Orchestra; György Vashegyi. Hungaroton HCD 32146 (Hungary) 04E019 $16.98

JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Introitus: Requiem Aeternam, Graduale in Missa pro Defunctis, K 146, Kirchensonate in G Minor, K 320, Ave Regina, Ave Regina caelorum, K 205, Sonata a Santo Sepolcro, K 376, Alma Redemptoris Mater, K 186, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, K 151, Pastorale, K 396, Ad te, Domine levavi, K 153, Communio: Lux Aeterna, In expositione funeris: Libera me, Domine, K 54. Fux could write large-scale sacred works of impressive grandeur but this new release concentrates on smaller-scale pieces associated with penitence, meditation and piety most often peformed around Advent and Lent. Graz Cathedral Choir, Men's Voices of the Graz Choralschola, Armonico Tributo; Lorenz Dutschmid. CPO 999 850 (Germany) 04E020 $15.98

GEORG FREDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Un'alma innamorata, ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Lungi dal vago volto, GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Gott will Mensch und sterblich werden, SAMUEL CAPRICORNUS (1628-1665): Surrexit pastor bonus, TARQUNIO MERULA (c.1595-1665): Cantate Jubilate, DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707): Singet den Herrn, DANIEL PURCELL (c.1664-1717): Amintas. Four sacred and three secular examples of the cantata for solo voice, violin and continuo which cover over a hundred years and whose composers (English, Bohemian, German, Italian) provide a wide variety of effects and styles. Texts and translations included. Linda Perillo (soprano), Cordaria; Walter Reiter. Signum SIGCD033 (England) 04E021 $17.98

CHARLES DIEUPART (c.1667-c.1740): 6 Suites de Clavecin. We offered an arrangement of this original set of suites for flute and basso continuo in March of last year (03D024). Here is the first version, whose thematic relationships with several pieces in Bach's English Suites (Bach's borrowing - not Diupart's) will be that much more evident in the solo keyboard version. Joseph Payne (harpsichord). Centaur CRC 2617 (U.S.A.) 04E022 $16.98

JEAN-FRANÇOIS DANDRIEU (1682-1738): Pièces pour clavecin from Livres 1-3. Like Dieupart above, Dandrieu is another member of the generation which produced Louis Couperin and Rameau and whose contribution to the genre of the French suite is important but who, like others in similar situations in other times, has been neglected. This mid-price selection offers very attractive music in the style of Couperin and with the same expressive titles for the pieces. Betty Bruylants (harpsichord). Pavane ADW 7473 (Belgium) 04E023 $10.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Oboe Concertos in C Minor, D Minor, D and in E Minor, Concertos for Oboe d'Amore in A and in G. One can always count on a seemingly limitless imagination for melody and form in Telemann as a result of his wide experience and synthesis of French, German and Italian elements and these oboe concertos (probably all from 1717-21) are no exception, some even looking forward to the Empfindsamstil of C.P.E. Bach. Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht (oboes). Passacaille 901 (Belgium) 04E024 $17.98

JOHANN JOACHIM AGRELL (1701-1765): Concertos for Flute, Obligato Harpsichord and Strings in A and in B Flat Minor, Concerto for Flute, Fortepiano and Strings in G, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings in A. Although dating from 1748, a time when German musical centers were experimenting with Sturm und Drang, these double concertos (a very rare combination of solo instruments at the time) by this little-known Swedish composer working in Nuremberg are firmly in the galant style with the soloists engaged in lively conversation and the orchestra supporting them homophonically. Wilbert Hazelet (flute), Matthew Halls (harpsichord, fortepiano), Music for Awhile. Cavalli Records CCD 423 (Germany) 04E025 $17.98

JOSEPH-HECTOR FIOCCO (1703-1741): Missa Solemnis in D, Ave Maria, Homo Quidam. This Flemish composer's style is mostly galant but his interests were wide-ranging, so that Flemish counterpoint rubs shoulders with Italianate melodies and ornaments and dance-rhythms associated with the French school of Couperin and Lully. Hilde Coppé (soprano), Jean Nirouët (alto), Jan Van Elsacker (tenor), Jan Van der Crabben, Werner van Mechelen, Dirk Snellings (basses), Capella Brugensis, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense; Patrick Peire. Naxos 8.557120 (New Zealand) 04E026 $6.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Gustavo Primo, Re di Svezia. A rare example of opera seria from 1740, some years before the beginning of Galuppi's period of great fame (made with comic opera). This is the first libretto provided by Goldoni, who was to be the composer's most successful supplier; the form is recitative-aria with only one duet, one trio and one quartet. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Edit Károly, Mónika González (sopranos), Mario Cecchetti (tenor), Gariella Létai Kiss (mezzo), Savaria Baroque Orchestra; Fabio Pirona. Hungaroton HCD 32103-04 (Hungary) 04E027 $33.98

JAN ZACH (1699-1773): Requiem solenne in C Minor, Te Deum, Jan Antonín KoÏeluh (1738-1814): Messa curta e solenne in D. Zach was an important link between Baroque and Classical periods (he even re-orchestrated many of his works in a more up-to-date style) and his requiem is an intenesly expressive work in fine early Classical style. Nephew of the better known Kozeluh, Jan Antonin's 1801 mass is in the proto-Romantic style of Haydn's late masses. Vocal soloists, Prague Chamber Choir, Prague Chamber Orchestra; Pavel Kühn. âesk Rozhlas) CR 0190-2 (Czech Republic) 04E028 $14.98 >

Contemporaries of Mozart New Release

SIR WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822): Symphonies Nos. 2, 8, 12-14 & 17. This distinguished astronomer, discoverer of the planet Uranus, wrote 24 symphonies between 1760-64 (making him only technically a "Contemporary of Mozart"). They are all in three movements with some sonata-form influence in the firsts, lyrical, song-like seconds and brisker, often triple-time finales. These are not unlike Haydn's very early symphonies. London Mozart Players; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 10048 (England) 04E029 $16.98

Luka Sorkoãeviç (1734-1789): Overture in G, Symphonies Nos. 1-7, Sinfonia in G, Eroice Staccato, Sonata in A for Violin and Continuo, Trio in G for Flute,Violin and Continuo. This Croatian composer from Dubrovnik wrote in a transitional style from late baroque to early classical with an orchestration of pairs of oboes and horns with strings. There are also echoes of Mannheim ornamentation in these very tuneful, brief but delightful symphonies. Salzburger Hofmusik; Wolfgang Brunner. CPO 999 678 (Germany) 04E030 $15.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 5 - in D, G, F Sharp Minor, E Flat Minor & in G, Hob. XV:24-26 and 31-2. All of these trios date from Haydn's times in London, Hob. XV:32 being the earliest - a light entertainment from 1792. The usual creative variety is to be found, with the F sharp minor work of 1795 being a monumentally serious work among other more glittering pieces. Trio 1790. CPO 999 828 (Germany) 04E031 $15.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): 4 Duos for Violin and Viola, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Duos for Violin and Viola, K. 423 & 424. The story of Mozart helping out his ill friend Michael Haydn by finishing a set of six duos for violin and viola commissioned by the Archbishop of Salzburg (and saving Haydn's paycheck by doing so) is familiar as are his duos. Haydn's other four duos (in which the viola is almost always just an accompanist) are not, making this 1990 recording, not issued until now, welcome. 2 CDs. Susanne Lautenbacher (violin), Ulrich Koch (viola). Bayer 100 414/15 (Germany) 04E032 $35.98

JOHANN GOTTLIEB NAUMANN (1741-1801): Aci e Galatea. This was Naumann's last opera, literally, as he died before either the piano reduction or the German adaptation could be made. The work embeds the chorus into the action, alternating with the soloists rather than having independent movements and the action itself moves along quickly in short segments linked by secco recitative. The orchestra is as important as the soloists in music which is proto-Romantic in style and which has a tender, melancholic quality suffused with good-natured sympathy for its characters. 2 CDs. Italian-German libretto. Brigitte Geller (soprano), Martin Homrich (tenor), Klaus Häger (baritone), Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra; Frieder Bernius. Orfeo C 222 022 H (Germany) 04E033 $37.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Petit Concert Italien for Soprano, Harp, Horn and Orchestra, Cantatas for Soprano and Strings: Tirsi a Fille, Fille a Tirsi, La Scusa for Soprano and Orchestra. Here is something really unusual - the Petit Concert opens with seven-minute sinfonia which is followed by an expressively intense aria. Then we have a four-minute duet for harp, horn and orchestra in galant style, followed by a tense and dramatic recitativo, wrapping up with another aria which finishes in a virtuosic display for the soloist. The other cantatas are fascinating mixtures of affect and style also - especially the pastoral pair (Tirsi a Fille has a complex, ten-minute long recitative obbligato). Italian-English texts. Patrizia Cigna (soprano), Intermusica Ensemble; Franco Piva. Bongiovanni GB 2538 (Italy) 04E034 $16.98

SIEGMUND FREIHERR VON SECKENDORFF (1744-1785): Wend', o wende diesen Blick, Es war ein Bu(h)le, Hans an Veit, Gretchen an Veit, Liebes-Treue, Das Thal der Liebe, Alise, An die Liebe, An Laura, früh, An Laura, abends, Nacht-Ständchen, Antwort im Traume, Wilhelms Geist, Liebeserscheinung, O weh, o weh, hinab in's Thal, Darthulas Grabes-Gesang, Trost der Sehnsucht, an Fatimme, Das Veilchen, Der Fischer, Proserpina (I and (II), Füllest wieder's liebe Thal, Der König von Thule. A mixture of highly emotional, melancholy love songs and narrative pieces approaching the ballad form make up this release of rare song from Goethe's Weimar (almost half of the songs are to texts by the composer, half of the rest by Goethe). German-English texts. Jan Kobow (tenor), Ludger Rémy (fortepiano). CPO 999 817 (Germany) 04E035 $15.98

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Falstaff. This 1799 production was one of the first operas to derive from "The Merry Wives of Windsor" (although Salieri's librettist did away with Anne and Fenton and the plot concentrates on Mr. and Mrs. Ford, Page and Mistress Page and Falstaff himself). This is classic opera buffa with ensembles predominating, much parody of opera seria style and long, complicated finales. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Pierre-Yves Pruvot (baritone), Salomé Haller (soprano), Simon Edwards (tenor), Hjördis Thébault (mezzo), Les Chantres de la Chapelle, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy; Jean-Claude Malgoire. Dynamic CDS 405/1-2 (Italy) 04E036 $35.98

Frantiek Vincenc KramáÞ (Krommer) (1759-1831): Symphony No. 1 in F, Op. 12, Concertino for Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 70. This is Krommer's first symphony, published in 1798, and its models are late Mozart and Haydn (the monothematic first movement can only be compared, among symphonies Krommer would have known, to Mozart's Haffner). The Concertino (c.1808) immediately belies its name by being 34 minutes long and in five movements. With an unusual orchestration (no first violins and only horns from the wind section) and a lack of tutti episodes, this is more akin to the genre of the divertimento; the violin has pride of place in this piece. Magdalena Bílkova-Tu°mová (flute), Jan Budín (clarinet), Bohuslav Matouek (violin), Berg Chamber Orchestra; Peter Vrábel. NESL/Matous 0003-2 (Czech Republic) 04E037 $14.98 >

Josef Reicha (1752-1795): Double Concerto in D, Antonín Vranick (1761-1820): Double Concerto in B Flat. Just two examples of what was an important genre for Bohemian composers of the classical period and of which we have next to nothing on disc - the double concerto. Here the uncle of the more famous Reicha and one of the Vranicky brothers provide fine examples in the high Classical style: a long, sonata-form first movement, a gentle, melodious slow movement and an insistently tuneful rondo-finale. Shizuka Ishikawa (violin), Karel Fiala (cello), Musica Bohemica; Jaroslav Krãek. GZ L1 0154-2 (Czech Republic) 04E038 $14.98 >

ANTONÍN REICHA (1770-1836): Piano Trios in E Flat, D Minor & in C, Op. 101, Nos. 1-3. These late trios (1824) are harbingers of early Romanticism. In four movements, with minuet placed second, they have all the melodic charm and glittering piano writing you would expect from this composer. Over 79 minutes of music. Kubelik Trio. GZ L1 0366-2 (Czech Republic) 04E039 $14.98 >

ALESSANDRO GRAZIOLI (1770-1834): 21 Organ Sonatas. Although the date of composition of these brief, single-movement sonatas is not known, they are in the galant style - monothematic, with variations on the theme rather than any thematic development - which predominated in Venice (Grazioli's home for his entire life) and Naples. Alberto Guerzoni (organ of the Church of San Bartolomeo Ap., Rovigo). Tactus TC 770701 (Italy) 04E040 $11.98

ANSELM HÜTTENBRENNER (1794-1868): Lerchenlied, Spinnerlied, Der Hügel, Frühlingslied-chen, De Seefahrt, Seegras, Die Sterne, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Im Freien, D 880, Die Gebüsche, D 646, Sehnsucht, D 516, Die Götter Griechenlands, D677, Atys, D 585, Der Fluß, D693, Einsamkeit, D 620. This live recording from the Salzburg Festival on Aug. 10, 1972, offers quite unusual Schubert (the 21-minute "cantata" Einsamkeit, to texts by Mayrhofer, is one of the most remarkable things the composer ever conceived) in addition to seven lieder by his good friend Hüttenbrenner, the latter revealing a mastery of craftsmanship and less proximity to Schubert in terms of form and text treatment which makes us hungry to hear more (however unlikely that may be) No texts (typical German arrogance). Gundula Janowitz (soprano), Irwin Gage (piano). Orfeo d'Or C 592 021 B (Germany) 04E041 $16.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): 6 Wind Quartets (arr. Friedrich Berr [1794-1838]). These are none other than the well-known Sonate a quattro which are known in several other arrangements (notably for string quartet) but which were originally for the unusual combination of two violins, cello and double bass. Like other arrangers, Berr omitted the third due to its solo for the double bass whose humorous effect is hard to reproduce in a wind quartet and, instead, included Rossini's 1812 Andante e Tema con variazioni in F. Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 0207-2 (Germany) 04E042 $17.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886)/LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Symphony No. 2 in D, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Naxos 8.550457 (New Zealand) 04E043 $6.98


FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886)/LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Symphony No. 1 in C, Symphony No. 3 in E Flat "Eroica". Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Naxos 8.555354 (New Zealand) 04E044 $6.98


FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886)/LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Symphony No. 6 in F "Pastoral", Symphony No. 4 in B Flat. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Naxos 8.557170 (New Zealand) 04E045 $6.98

We hadn't offered any of the releases in the sporadic Naxos Liszt Complete Piano Music series lately but Scherbakov may be the best pianist to attack the Beethoven Symphony transcriptions since Cyprien Katsaris, so, with the release of the newest in the series (Syms. Nos. 4 & 6), we decided to offer the three available to date.

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Organ Sonata in G, Op. 28, Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (transcr. John). There's not much to say about this - organ aficionados will know John's reputation as a transcriber of such major orchestral works as Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Handel's Water Music and keyboard works such as Schumann's Toccata and the Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D Minor. Here is a sheerly delightful Enigma on a 1924 four-manual organ which was moved from the ballroom of Glen Tanar House to the Temple Church in 1954. Keith John (organ of The Temple Church, London). Hyperion CDA 67363 (England) 04E046 $17.98

EMI Imports - 2 for the price of 1

These are all well-known, classic recordings about which nothing more need be said except "If you don't have them on CD, you won't find a better deal!"

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Das Paradies und die Peri, Op. 50, 9 Romanzen und Balladen for Mixed Choir. 2 CDs. Edda Moser (soprano), Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Günter Wewel (baritone), Chorus of the Düsseldorf Städtischen Musikverein, Düsseldorf Symphony; Henryk Czyz, Hartmut Schmidt. Original 1974-5 EMI releases. EMI Double Forte 5 75664 2 (Germany) 04E047 $17.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Szenes aus Goethes "Faust". 2 CDs. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Edith Mathis (soprano), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Walter Berry (bass), Chorus of the Düsseldorf Städtischen Musikverein, Tölz Boys' Choir, Düsseldorf Symphony; Bernhard Klee. Original 1982 EMI release. EMI Double Forte 5 75667 2 (Germany) 04E048 $17.98

CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN (1813-1888): Grande Sonate, Op. 33 "Les Quatre Ages", 4 Études from Op. 39, La Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer from Op. 31, Allegro barbaro from Op. 35, Sonatine, Op. 61, 3 Grande Études pour les deux mains séparées et réunies, Op. 76, 3 Études de bravoure, Op. 16. 2 CDs. Ronald Smith (piano). Original 1971, 1974 & 1977 EMI releases. EMI Double Forte 5 75649 2 (England) 04E049 $17.98

IVAR HALLSTRÖM (1826-1901): Duke Magnus and the Mermaid. This was not only Hallström's first opera (collectors will have his Bergtana on Sterling) but also the first Swedish Romantic National opera (1867). The composer skillfully created his own imitations of folk music and gives such music to the lower-class characters of the opera while using Central European Romanticism as the language of the aristocracy. The work is based on one of those ubiquitous legends about sea nymphs luring men but also deals with the antagonism between the aristocracy and the people. 2 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Ingela Bohlin (soprano), Lars Johansson (baritone), Vadstena Academy Choir, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Marco Polo 8.225214-15 (New Zealand) 04E050 $31.98

GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1821-1889): Complete Works for Double Bass, Vol. 4 - Gran Duo Concertante for Violin and Double Bass, Fantasia per 2 Contrabassi Dalle Canzonette di Rossini, Duet for Clarinet and Double Bass, Passioni amorose for 2 Double Basses, Duet for Cello and Double Bass. Not much need be said for collectors of this series of Italianate melodies and virtuosic bass playing... Gergely Járdányi (double bass), Kálmán Berkes (clarinet), Miklós Perényi (cello), Vilmos Szabadi (violin), Ödön Rácz (second double bass), Budapest Chamber Symphony; János Ács. Hungaroton HCD 32100 (Hungary) 04E051 $16.98

JOSEF RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Musica Sacra, Vol. 7 - Mass in G (St. Crucis), Op. 151*, Mass in A for Womens' Choir, Op. 126*, 9 Advent Motettes, Op. 176, Christus factus est, Op. 107/5*, Meditabor, Op. 133/2. * - World premiere recordings of two more short masses and a motet from 1881-2. Rastatt Vocal Ensemble; Holger Speck, Thomas Berning (organ). Carus 83.158 (Germany) 04E052 $17.98

WILHELM KIENZL (1857-1941): String Quartets No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 22, No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 99 & No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 113. Purchasers of February's Kienzl opera Don Quixote will know what to expect here - an uninterrupted flow of gorgeous, golden Straussian melody. This is especially true of the second quartet (1917) which opens uneasily and with a sense of sorrow (Kienzl had just moved to Vienna and was seeing the damages of the war for the first time) before recovering. The third quartet is the work of a 71-year-old yet some of the melodies in it could almost be from a Korngold film score while the first quartet (1880) still breathes the air of Schubert and Schumann. Thomas Christian Ensemble. CPO 999 805 (Germany) 04E053 $15.98

GEORGES ENESCU (1881-1955): Piano Quintet, Op. 29, Piano Quartet No. 2, Op. 30. These works from the 1940s demonstrate the density of thought and subtlety of expression of this neglected composer who manages to synthesize the music of French and German Romanticism and to transcend it through his own creativity to produce deeply-felt works which rarely give up their secrets on one hearing. The Solomon Ensemble. Naxos 8.557159 (New Zealand) 04E054 $6.98

New Recordings of Unusual Prokofiev from Chandos

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Songs of Our Days for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone, Choir and Orchestra, Op. 76, On the Dnieper, Op. 51. Very rare is the 1937 Songs of Our Days, a setting of nine texts (some taken from Pravda, some pseudo-folk songs, two painful Stalin hymns), all in C or G major, the writing simple, melodic and witty; obviously, this was a great success (unlike Prokofiev's Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution of the same year which was not performed until 1966). There have been recordings of On the Dneiper (perhaps two) but it's worth having this new one of the 1931 Paris ballet which turned out to be Diaghilev's last commission and which marks a turning-point in the composer's style from his early style and what he himself called the later "new simplicity". Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Victoria Smolnikova (mezzo), Igor Tarasov (baritone), Russian State Symphonic Cappella and Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 10044 (England) 04E055 $16.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Hail to Stalin for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 85, Egyptian Nights, Op. 61, Flourish, Mighty Homeland, Op. 114, Incidental Music from Hamlet, Op. 77, Autumn, Op. 8. The rarest item here is probably Egyptian Nights, the incidental music for a 1934 play which conflated Pushkin, Shaw and Shakespeare. In seven sections, the music vividly depicts, among other things, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, the dying Cleopatra and, in the final piece, a brutally militaristic Roman war machine. Hail to Stalin (1939) and Flourish (1947) don't get a lot of attention anymore due to their glorification of the monster who murdered millions of his own people and of the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution but Prokofiev's writing for the chorus in the latter is not far off from War and Peace while he stresses the supposedly "folk"-style elements of the former and blasts through the sycophantic parts of the text at warp speed, producing a lyrical and noble theme which could have come from Romeo and Juliet. The Hamlet music (1938) includes four Ophelia-songs among a total of ten short items while Autumn (which, in the original Russian, is really "Autumnal") is the young composer's 1910 dip into a Rachmaninovian melancholy, perhaps suggested by the recent death of his father. Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Tatiana Sharova (soprano), Andrei Baturkin (baritone), Russian State Symphonic Cappella and Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 10056 (England) 04E056 $16.98

DMITRI KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor (revised version), Op. 23, Piano Concerto No. 3 in D, Op. 50, The Comedians, Op. 26, Overture to Colas Breugnon, Op. 24. The two piano concertos make for an interesting comparison, given that, superficially anyway, they are almost identical: tuneful, dancing first movements and fast, virtuosic finales. But the Second (1935/6) has an anxious first movement cadenza, a dark funeral march for a slow movement which could have been by Shostakovich and a finale of sardonic wit which rises to a percussive and frightening climax. The third, from 1953, when it was possible not to fear for your life every moment of every day any more, is much less complex structurally (although the piano virtuosity does not diminish much) and uses tunes of folk-like simplicity in its slow movement and its finale is pure, bubbling high spirits. This revision of the second concerto involves major recastings in the final two movements, the latter of which seems to drive home the reminder of Stalin's terror which was at its height when the concerto was originally written. Kathryn Stott (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 10052 (England) 04E057 $16.98

Rare Romantic Czech Masses - Special Direct Import

ANTONÍN LIEHMANN (1808-1878): Mass No. 1 in D Minor, JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): Mass in B, ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Hymnus ad Laudes in Festo Ss. Trinitatis, Ave maris stella, Ave Maria, O Sanctissima (these four items for Soprano, Baritone and Organ), Mass in D. Village music teacher Liehmann tutored the teen-aged Dvorák in Zlonice and, although there is no other information easily available about him, we do know that this mass dates from 1858 and is in a tuneful, conservative style which would not have seemed advanced to Schubert. Suk's mass dates from 1888 and is just the sort of apprentice work one would expect from a prodigiously talented 14-year-old. 2 CDs. Various soloists, Czech Radio Choir, Plsen Radio Orchestra; Josef Hercl, Lubomír Matl, Stanislav Bogunia. Vltava (âesk Rozhlas) CR 0027-2 (Czech Republic) 04E058 $29.98 >

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): String Quartet in G, Op. 2, String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 70. Although the op. 70 quartet appeared on a Swiss Pan issue we offered sometime last summer, the 1894 op. 2 appears for the first time on CD. This was Grechaninov's first large-scale composition (finished just before his first symphony) and it has a narrative style which suggests some of the epic images conjured up by Borodin and Glazunov. Dating from 1913, the other quartet is from a different world, suggesting the synthesizing of elements from Debussy and Scriabin and showing a craftsmanship far beyond the composer's youthful effort. Utrecht String Quartet. MD&G 603 1157-2 (Germany) 04E059 $17.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 19, String Quartet in D Minor. Busoni's first quartet is the work of a teenager (1880-82) whose German professor (anti-Wagner) had instilled a love of Mozart and Bach in his pupils and the work shows it in its many fugal episodes and generally early-Romantic atmosphere. The second quartet is only as late as 1887 but, though there are many reminders of Brahms, there is also evidence of a young composer stretching his wings, particularly in the great variety of (often brief) motifs and their constant development. Quartetto Webern. Tactus TC 860201 (Italy) 04E060 $11.98

World premiere recording of a large-scale work by Sorabji

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): Toccata No. 1. This 75-minute disc is devoted to a single work of Sorabji, and a very fine example indeed it is of the sort of thing he is, or was, principally known for before recent performances of early rhapsodic quasi-expressionistic works, lighter pieces and extended langorous tropical-mood works began to demonstrate that the expressive range of this extraordinary figure in 20th-century music was wider than even his long-time admirers had realised. This is to say that the First Toccata, from a couple of years before Opus Clavicembalisticum, has a certain amount in common with that watershed in Sorabji's output. The quicksilver cadenza will certainly call to mind the fantasia and cadenzas in OC, while the fugues, culminating in the anticipated massive and apocalyptic coda-stretta, are also of the type familiar from other large-scale mature works of the composer. It has to be said, though, that Sorabji never repeated himself, and the extent to which all his fugues - which typically share unusually long-breathed subjects of similar construction, very comprehensively worked - have an unique character, is truly remarkable. The first, and longest, section of the work is the chorale prelude and passacaglia - the latter putting the theme through every possible pianistic device in a half-hour so concentrated it feels like five minutes. The chorale prelude is unlike anything else of Sorabji's that has so far been recorded; slow-moving in even eighth-notes, spare of texture except for some gorgeous moments of harmonic resolution, it harks back to severe pre-classical forms in its austerity. Altogether a fascinating work, providing yet another view of the development of this unique figure in 20th-century music. Jonathan Powell (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9068 (U.S.A.) 04E061 $18.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphony No. 6, Into the Twilight, Summer Music. Many consider this symphony from 1935 the peak of Bax's symphonic achievement, a work characteristically exhilarating, tempestuous and dramatic in the composer's ususal three-movement structure with the final movement being particularly ambitious in form. The earlier couplings are from Bax's Irish period (Into the Twilight - 1907) and a brief, lyrical evocation of a sunny clime in southern England from 1921. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557144 (New Zealand) 04E062 $6.98

JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962): Les Rencontres, Histoires, Matin sur l'eau, Scherzetto, Française, Toccata sur le nom d'Albert Roussel, L'espiègle du village de Lilliput, Valse, Félicie, Nanteuil - waltz, Le vent dans les ruines, Noël en Picardie. Sophisticated and charming, Ibert's piano works combine the elegance of Poulenc with the eloquence of Debussy, while retaining the composer's own distinctive voice. The two cycles are typical in their strongly characterised evocations of their subjects - finely drawn little watercolour sketches full of personality and charm. Most of the other little pieces, many receiving their world premiere recordings here, are similarly slight but beautifully crafted, but two items stand out; works dating from the First World War, Le vent and Noël, the first a wind-over-the graves evocation of the battlefield (owing not a little to the last movement of the Chopin second sonata); the other an extended bell-piece of considerable depth and poignancy. A fine collection, showcasing a skillful and sometimes surprisingly profound composer, much of whose output has been unaccountably neglected since his death. Denver Oldham (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9014 (U.S.A.) 04E063 $18.98

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): 6 pequeños valses, Op. 7 (also Op. 25), 6 danzas españolas, España - 6 hojas de álbum, Op. 165. None of these works are in Albéniz works list in Grove, where the expectation of finding many missing pieces was mentioned. The waltzes date from 1882 and are in a typically pan-European salon style while the danzas of 1887 have a hint of the nationalism which was to be the composer's most important contribution to his country's music while España (1889-90) shows that quality to be firmly established. Alberto Gómez (piano). Tañidos SRD-270 (Spain) 04E064 $16.98 >

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): 6 baladas intimas, Art thou gone forever, Elaine?, 2 fragmentos de prosa de Pierre Loti, 4 mélodies, 5 Rimes de Bécquer, A Nellie, 2 Cançons, Cançó de Barberine, Il en est de l'amour, Separated, Will You Be Mine?. Who'd have thought that Albéniz would have been such an eclectic song-setter - 15 in English, 6 in Italian, 5 in Spanish and 4 in French? (Even better, and surprisingly for this label, there are English translations of the 15 songs in other languages.) Apparently, only one of these songs was performed in the composer's lifetime, making this integrale a true world-premiere recording. Remarkable also is the variety of styles encompassed, from almost trivial, salon-style pieces to Italian bel canto to a German lied-style treatment to Impressionism. No lover of late Romantic song will be disappointed by this delightful collection. Antonio Comas (tenor), Mac McClure (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0025 (Spain) 04E065 $18.98

JOAQUÍN NIN (1879-1949): 10 Villancicos, 20 canciones populares españolas, Le chant du veilleur for Saxophone, Mezzo-Soprano and Piano. Those who purchased the collection of Spanish folk songs by Nin's son (Nin-Culmell) in February's catalogue will know what to expect here. These harmonizations of 10 Christmas songs from the Iberian peninsula (1932) and of 20 Spanish folk-songs (1923) may have a veneer of sophistication and, perhaps, a touch of French influence but they are gorgeously melodious while the chant du veilleur - a Dutch folk-song in a French setting - is in the same general milieu (with a saxophone replacing the original violin accompaniment). Spanish/Catalan/Basque/Galician/French-English texts. Elena Gragera (mezzo), Antón Cardó (piano), Miquel Bofill (sax). Columna Musica 1CM0072 (Spain) 04E066 $18.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Petite Suite, Op. 348, 9 Préludes, Op. 231b, Pastorale, Op. 229, Sonata, Op. 112. This represents the complete organ works by a composer who apparently never played the instrument but which, nevertheless, are delightful and well-written. The large-scale sonata of 1931 has a first movement Etude which presents great difficulties of execution, a Rêverie full of sharp chromaticism although with a tranquil finale and a Final with an implacable march. The Préludes (1946) were mined from the score of an unperformed piece of theatre music whose medieval setting explains the modal, Gregorian and folk-song basis of the pieces. The Pastoral (1941) is soft and cheerful and the Petite Suite (Entrée, Prière, Cortège) is a brilliant and jubilant work written for the wedding of Milhaud's son in 1955. George Baker (organ of Chartres Cathedral). Disques FY FYCD 916 (France) 04E067 $16.98 >

GASTON LITAIZE (1909-1991): 24 préludes litrugiques. Written between 1953-55 and intended for liturgical use, these preludes are essentially modal and of concise proportions, in the spirit of similar works by Franck, Guilmant and Boëllmann, yet entirely Litaize's own in their clarity use of Gregorian modes, folk-like themes, the occasional boisterous rhythms and harmonies which range from subtle to sharp. Marie-Ange Leurent, Eric Lebrun (Callinet organ of Issenheim). Solstice SOCD 207 (France) 04E068 $16.98 >

AXEL B. RECHNAGEL (b.1936): Concerto for Organ, NIELS LA COUR (b.1944): De Profundis, JOHN FRANDSEN (b.1956): Chorale Partita on "The Spirits White Light is Flashing", SVEN ERIK WERNER (b.1937): 7 Postludes, IB NØRHOLM (b.1931): Inquiries - Persuasions, Op. 49. Modern Danish organ works, with la Cour's variations on a 1524 Lutheran hymn and Frandsen's variations on his own original hymn following in the tradition of organ variations on liturgical numbers, tonal and easily approachable and Rechnagel's concerto a bracing, somewhat Gallic example of a purely secular work. Werner's Postludes and Nørholm's Inquiries extend tonality rather more (the latter more than the former), with Werner deriving his tonal material from Messiaen's scale system while some passages in Nørholm's meditation on Mary and Joseph's search for lodging are reminiscent in their coloristic effects to Ligeti. Christian Kampmann Larsen (organs of the Church of Our Lady, Nyborg and of Maribo Cathedral). Paula PACD 140 (Denmark) 04E069 $16.98 >

Pastorale Italiane - Italian organ works from 4 centuries

This three-volume collection specializes in the genre of the Pastorale organistica - works for organ based on the music characteristically performed around Christmas by rustic musicians on such instruments as the bagpipe and shawm. Various techniques were used to imitate especially the drone of the bagpipes, meaning that the capabilities of the organ these works are performed upon makes a big difference as to the effect. The genre persists up to the present day (remember that Musette is French for "bagpipe"), with the performer on the second disc providing his own contribution to the genre.

GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): Capriccio fatto sopra la Pastorale, TARQUINIO MERULA (1595-1665): "Or ch'è tempo di dormire" for Soprano and Organ, BERNARDO PASQUINI (1637-1710): Introduzione alla Pastorale, DOMENICO ZIPOLI (1688-1726): Pastorale, OTTAVIO DURANTE (17th cen.): "Verbum caro factum est", "Angelus ad Pastores ait" for Soprano and Organ, ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713): Pastorale, GIUSEPPE CARCANI (1703-1779): Pastorale, BERNARDO STORACE (17th. cen.): Passacaglia sopra D sol re per # in modo Pastorale, GIUSEPPE A.V. ALDROVANDINI (c.1673-1707): Pastorale, IGNAZIO DONATI (c.1570-1638): "O admirabile commerciuim" for Soprano and Organ, DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757): Pastorale, LUIGI PALMERINI (1768-1842): Pastorale seconda. Francesco Tasini (organ of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bologna), Lia Serafini (soprano). Tactus TC 690001 (Italy) 04E070 $11.98

PADRE DAVIDE DA BERGAMO (1791-1863): Pastorale a 6 for 3 Organists, Pastorale for 2 Organists, GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Échatillon du Chant de Noël à l'Italienne, GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Pastorale, GIOVANNI MORANDI (1777-1856): Pastorale per organo in ricorrenza delle Feste del SS.mo Natale, MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861-1925): Pastorale, Op. 59/2, VINCENZO PANERAI (18th cen.): Suonata a 6 mani for 3 Organists, LUIGI GHERARDESCHI (1791-1871): Pastorella, NICCOLÒ MORETTI (1791-1863): Pastorale, VINCENZO ANTONIO PETRALI (1832-1889): Pastorale, GIROLAMO BARBIERI (1808-1871): Pastorale prima, GIOVANNI BATTISTA CANDOTTI (1809-1876): Pastorale, LUCA SALVADORI (b.1958): Pastorella laziale. Improvvisazione. Luca Salvadori (organ of the Church of San Biagio, Bergamo), Francesco Tasini, Andrea Macinanti (second and third organists). Tactus TC 800001 (Italy) 04E071 $11.98

VINCENZO DI DONATO (1887-1967): Pastorale for English Horn and Organ, FILIPPO CAPOCCI (1840-1911): Andantino pastorale, ROBERTO REMONDI (1851-1928): Musette, Op. 93, ULISSE MATTHEY (1876-1947): Pastorale e Musetta, ARNALDO BAMBINI (1880-1953): Pastorale e Musetta, PELLEGRINO SANTUCCI (b.1921): Siciliana all'antica for Oboe and Organ, MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861-1925): Noël, Op. 94/2, ANTONIO BELETTI (1882-1943.): Echi di sera, ETTORE DESDERI (1892-1974): Pastorale, LUIGI FERDINANDO TAGLIAVINI (b.1929): Corale-Pastorale, CESARE NORDIO (1891-1977): Musetta, LINO LIVIABELLA (1902-1964): Pastorale for Oboe and Organ, LICINIO REFICE (1885-1954): Berceuse, ORESTE RAVANELLO (1871-1938): Inno Angelico, Op. 61d, Noël, Op. 133/1, PIETRO ALESSANDRO YON (1886-1943): Prelude-Pastorale. Andrea Macinanti (organ of the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome), Marino Bedetti (oboe, cor anglais). Tactus TC 900001 (Italy) 04E072 $11.98

GOTFRID HASANOV (1900-1965): Piano Concerto No. ?, ISMAIL HAJIBEYOV (b.1949): Jangi - Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, JOVDET HAJIYEV (1917-2001): Ballada for Piano, ARIF MELIKOV (b.1933): Fading Visions for Piano, AZER REZAYEV (b.1930): Violin Sonata, KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982): Violin Sonata in D Minor, 11 Preludes for Piano. This release is on behalf of the pianist, apparently one of Azerbaijan's finest ever, and the notes tell us nothing about the compositions or the composers. Hasanov seems to have written two piano concertos but there is no indication as to which this is. "Graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory in 1926 where he studied with Kalafati. He is regarded as the first professional Dagestani composer writing the first Dagestani opera Khochbar in 1945 and the first ballet Karachach in 1945. He also did a great deal of ethnographical research into the folk music of the various peoples that live in Dagestan. He composed two piano concertos, one in 1948 and the second in 1959." Thus, the entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Composers on Hasanov and his concerto sounds like a mixture of Prokofiev and Khachaturian, only with Dagestani (?) Azerbaijani (?) folk elements. Must be one or the other... Hajibeyov's Jangi is a brutally exciting and rhythmic six-and-a-half minutes of exoticism, Hajiyev's and Melikov's pieces brief character studies; it's also good to have more of Karayev's polyphonic preludes (four were offered on 12E005) while his violin sonata of 1960, as expected more pan-European in inspiration, has even a little of the neo-baroque in its first movement. Rezayev's sonata returns to the folk-inspired, local-color school (although its first movement sounds rather more Hungarian/Gypsy than anything else!). 2 CDs. (Also includes four Scriabin preludes, 2 Rachmaninov Études-Tableaux and the Gershwin Piano Concerto [go figure].) Farhad Badalbeyli (piano), Arif Manafli (violin), Baku Radio and TV Orchestra; Ramiz Melik-Aslanov. AzEuroTel 280674 (Azerbaijan) 04E073 $27.98 >

DAVID BAKER (b.1931): Concert Piece for Viola and Orchestra, Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, WILLIAM NEIL (b.1954): Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra. Neil's single-movement Rhapsody is pleasant and tonal, the title taken literally as the composer "stitches" together melodies which derive from each other in a series which is predominantly lyrical. Baker's viola piece (1991) is a full-fledged concerto and, unlike the 1975 cello concerto (which was on a recent release in Cedille's African Heritage Symphonic Series - 01E056) which shows the composer's jazz-musician side, is in the tradition of Bartók and Shostakovich, with some lovely old-fashioned romantic melody in its last five minutes. Paul Silverthorne (viola), Milos Jahoda (cello), Sharon Polifrone (violin), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Albany TROY 559 (U.S.A.) 04E074 $16.98

WILLIAM WALLACE (b.1933): Piano Concerto No. 2, Dance Suite, Symphonic Variations, Giga!, Introduction and Passacaglia, Epilogue for String Orchestra. This Canadian-American writes tonal, consonant music of great appeal with the 1999 concerto, the variations (1988) and the Dance Suite of 1989 showing a predilection for a high level of rhythmic interest. Wallace's engagement with tradition shows in his use of established forms - the Allemande, Courante, Minuet and Tarantella of the Dance Suite, the fugue in the first movement of the concerto, that popular stand-by of the Romantic era the Symphonic Variations, and the Introduction and Passacaglia all showing his ability to pour new melodic wine into old bottles. Very enjoyable stuff for lovers of conservative symphonic music. (Everything but the concerto and Giga! come from a 1993 Campion release.) Olga Dudnik (piano), Slovak Radio Orchestra; Kirk Trevor, London Symphony Orchestra; Boris Brott, Warsaw Chamber Orchestra; Marek Sewen. Albany TROY 557 (U.S.A.) 04E075 $16.98

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (1912-2002): 3 Divertimentos, Divagación, 4 Diàlegs, Shubertiada, Pastoral d'Áutome, El Arca de Noé, Sketch, Sonatine pour Yvette, 5 Pájaros en Libertad, 3 piezas para la mano izquierda, Una página para Rubinstein, Berceuse a la memoria de Òscar Esplà, Elegia a Ravel, Alborada en Aurinx, Improviso Epilogal, Alegoria a Turina. Piano music has been a staple of Montsalvatge's output throughout his career, and it reflects his developing tastes and influences as a composer. Beautifully crafted and predominantly tonal, and for the most part brief and economical of construction, these pieces point to the influences of Debussy, Ravel, and in some cases, of Prokofiev. There is nothing particularly ground-breaking here, but the piano writing is thoroughly accomplished and every piece is full of character and personality. A most enjoyable disc. Marta Zabalata, Cariota Garriga, Dagmar Muñiz, Alfredo Armero, Mac McClure, Katia Mitchell, Emili Brugalla, Raimon Garriga (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0036 (Spain) 04E076 $18.98

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (1912-2002): Violin and Piano: Sketch, Lullaby, Variaciones sobre un tema de Farnaby, 3 Policromías, Cello and Piano: Sonata Concertante, Microrapsòdia, Evocación, Invenció a la Italiana, Madrigal for Mezzo-Soprano, Cello and Piano, Duettino for 2 Violins. These finely-crafted works for combinations of strings and piano (and voice in one case) are generally more Romantic in feeling than the piano works on the disc above. The violin variations "on a theme of Farnaby" are positively Tchaikovskyan (think Op. 50), while the Sonata Concertante for cello and piano - a bit more modern, but only a bit - recalls aspects of the Barber and Prokofiev cello sonatas. This is the largest work here, and definitely deserves to enter the repertoire as a major example of the cello sonata genre. Considerable virtuosity is required of the performers, both here and in the Tres Policromías for violin and piano, which also calls to mind Romantic models, again slightly updated (but not far into the 20th century). Columna Musica 1CM0042 (Spain) 04E077 $18.98

ROEL VAN OOSTEN (b.1958): Harp Concerto, WILLEM JETHS (b.1959): Fas/Nefas for Harp and Small Orchestra, THEO VERBEY (b.1959): Pavane Oubliée for Harp and String Orchestra, JAN ROKUS VAN ROOSENDAEL (b.1960): David and Saul for Harp and Orchestra. A wide variety of styles here: Van Oosten's piece is based on such early 20th century stalwarts as Milhaud, Gershwin and Stravinsky although the fast outer movements also have a motoric, quasi-minimalist quality to them while the slow movement is an icy soundscape where harp and vibraphone shed a silver light onto frozen strings. Jeths uses, basically, one note in his 24-minute single-movement work in which the harpist, using sticks and a tuning hammer in addition to her fingers, attempts to force the note on the rest of the orchestra in a tour-de-force of investigation of and experimentation with colors and timbres. Verbey's 10-minute Pavane is an elegant, sober piece in the tradition of Ravel if not in his style while Van Roosendael relates the Biblical story of Saul and David in a stringently polyphonic (tonal) composition in which David (harp) and Saul (brass players) are introduced along with their friends (strings for David, woodwinds for Saul), have their spat and end with David's lament and Saul's remorse. Godelieve Schrama (harp), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Micha Hamel. NM Classics 92077 (Netherlands) 04E078 $17.98

JOSEP MARIA RUERA (1900-1988): Empúries - 4 Symphonic Poems for Orchestra and Sardana Band, Ambients for String Quartet, Meditació for Piano and Flute. Empúries (a long gestation period but premiered in its final form in 1976 and recorded in 1977 for Spanish Columbia, which recording is remastered for this release) is both more and less exotic than its title might suggest. It is a place-name, where ancient Greeks landed in the 6th century B.C. and established a colony in what is today Catalonia and Ruera, with the Greek modal system in mind, uses pentachords and tetrachords in his creation of these tone poems which evoke the ancient world. The sardana band (drum, cornet, flugelhorn, string bass) makes very limited but effective appearances adding local (and anachronistic) color but Empúries is basically a dance-oriented, thoroughly enjoyable set of romantic symphonic poems which any conservative collector will enjoy. The quartet Ambients (1929) is an homage to Catalan folklore with outer movements again based on a tetrachord (which also appears in the finale of Empúries) with a second movement sardana and a third movement which quietly evokes a monastery chapel. Meditació (1925) is a four-minute piece which belies its title with a full-throated, passionate Romanticism. Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona, Cobla Ciutat de Barcelona; Antoni Ros Marbà, Tàlia Quartet, Jordi Masó (piano), Claudi Arimany (flute). Columna Musica 1CM0058 (Spain) 04E079 $18.98

JOSEP MARIA RUERA (1900-1988): Sardanes for Piano: Tocs de festa, Empúries, la grega, Riells de Fai, La verge Catalana, Esplai, Glossa de l'antic ball de les donzelles de Granollers, Tríptic Laietà, Ones plàcides a Lloret, A l'entorn de la Porxada. In Ruera's hands the Sardana (the national dance of Catalonia) is the equivalent of the Tango to Piazzolla - folk music transformed and transfigured, producing art music but which is so enchanting that its spirit hides the rigorous technique used to produce it. (Note the presence here of the original of what was to become one of the movements of the symphonic work on the offering above.) Jordi Masó (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0057 (Spain) 04E080 $18.98

WILFRED JOSEPHS (1927-1997): Clarinet Quintet, Op. 135, Clarinet Sonata No. 1, Op. 148, Clarinet Sonata No. 2, Op. 149. Melody alert! On the evidence of this release, Josephs is another 20th century English composer who desperately needs discovery. Although well-known in his own country for his film and television scores, his art-music pieces suffered the contempt of the avant-garde programmers in the same way as George Lloyd and so many others. These clarinet works immediately call Brahms to mind for their chronological place in Joseph's uvre (late) and for their close composition (1985 and 1987-88). Well, they also share with Brahms the love for a newly-discovered instrument and the idiomatic writing for it as well as an ability to write lovely melodies and to create vivid moods of the mind and soul. Piquant, poignant and immediately attractive, these three works will delight lovers of 20th century romantic music. Linda Merrick (clarinet), Kreutzer Quartet, Benjamin Frith (piano). Metier MSC CD92058 (England) 04E081 $16.98

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (1895-1963): Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 - Violin Concerto No. 1, Metamorphosen (Violin Concerto No. 2). The first violin concerto (1974-76) marked the end of Penderecki's stylistic transition from the avant-garde to his late-period emphasis on expressivity using harmonic means with their roots in the late 19th century. These two concertos were written for Isaac Stern and Anne-Sophie Mutter respectively and both are in single-movement form of near-Brucknerian proportions (one is 39 minutes, the other 38) in which the soloist weaves in and out of a constantly metamorphosing orchestral fabric which runs the gamut from uneasy lyricism to shattering explosions. Konstanty Kulka, Chee-Yun (violin), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice); Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.555265 (New Zealand) 04E082 $6.98

GYÖRGY LIGETI (b.1923): Études, Books I and II (1-14a). Like Penderecki above, Ligeti rearranged his stylistic repertoire later in his career although he did not go as far as the neo-romanticism which characterizes the Polish composer's late period. Both of these books of etudes (the first one finished in 1985, the second composed between 1988-94 with a third begun in 1995) are in an idiom entirely different from Ligeti's famous avant-garde one of the 60s and earlly 70s. Inevitably, the etude cycles of Chopin and Debussy are present as are the keyboard techniques of Scarlatti and Schumann but African musical culture is almost omnipresent also with its complex rhythmic polyphony. Polyrhythms are present as well as shifting pulses and geometric patterns are used also, along with the rhythmic and metric innovations of Nancarrow (etude 14a was originally conceived for player-piano) and, overall in these cycles, one is liable to find great complexity as often as a deceiving sort of simplicity. Idil Biret (piano). Naxos 8.555777 (New Zealand) 04E083 $6.98

GALINA USTVOLSKAYA (b.1919): Concerto for Piano, Timpani and Strings, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Concerto No. 1 in C Minor for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35, Piano Concerto No. 2 in F, Op. 102. We offer this for the Ustvolskaya, a 16-minute work from 1946 which has plenty of echoes of Shostakovich (in piano texture and in its Leningrad Symphony-style conclusion). The violence of her later works is only intermittent here but, with the only other recordings of the piece (Erato and Megadisc) deleted and unavailable, respectively, this makes for a useful alternative - especially for those who have SACD players. Note: the pianist and the composer corresponded regarding textual differences in various publications of the score and this recording has Ustvolskaya's imprimateur. Ingrid Jacoby (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Charles Mackerras. SACD Hybrid Disc. Dutton Laboratories CDSA 4804 (England) 04E084 $17.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): 5 Fragmente zu Bildern von Hieronymus Bosch for Tenor, Violin, Trombone, Timpani, Harpsichord and Strings, Sonata for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Suite in the Old Style, Concerto for Piano and Strings. New here are the "Bosch Fragments", from 1994 and dedicated to Spivakov. Only two of the five pieces involve the tenor (making for only three and a half minutes out of a total of 23) as Schnittke reflects on the question of earthly sin and heavenly redemption with a trombone representing the voice crying in the wilderness in the first Fragment, the solo violin representing conciliation in the second, longest Fragment and the whole body of players in the fourth. German-English texts. Dmitri Kortchak (tenor), Alexander Ghindin (piano), Moscow Virtuosi; Vladimir Spivakov (violin). Capriccio 67 016 (Germany) 04E085 $16.98

Bronius Kutavic° ius (b.1932): Lokys (The Bear). This is a little gothic nightmare from 2000 courtesy, originally, of the French writer Prosper Mérimée. The tale involves a cursed noble house and a maddened Countess who was attacked by a bear at her wedding decades before - the sort of thing Roger Corman might have shot for American International back in the early 60s. The idiom is a mixture of minimalism and neo-classicism, the former coming through only rarely, and there is a character (One-Eyed Old Woman) with whom elements of folk style are associated. The overall effect is brooding, dark, threatening and claustrophobic and can be recommended to anyone who likes horror films and wishes that there were a comparable genre of opera. 2 CDs. Lithuanian-English libretto. Vladimiras Prudnikovas (bass), Vytautas Juozapaitis (baritone), Irena ZelenkauskaitÎ (soprano), Chorus and Orchestra of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre; Martynas Stakus. Ondine ODE 1021-2D (Finland) 04E086 $35.98

GEORGE FLYNN (b.1937): Pieces of Night. The works by George Flynn that we offered previously suggested clearly the kind of musical and extramusical preoccupations that seem to provide much of the motivation for the composer's output. Disturbing episodes of history appear to move Flynn to his finest creative utterances, and the two discs we have this month contain works related to the Vietnam War, most particularly, the psychological responses evoked by it. Pieces of Night is derived from the ensemble piece American Rest (see below) and consists of three "Nocturnes" - somewhat more accessible in style than Derus Simples or Trinity, though exhibiting the same uneasy, energetic virtuosity in the piano writing (less relentless than in the previous works heard on Southport, though). These sections are separated by percussive "Muscle Spasms", and the effect is of a nightmarish examination of external events interpreted through the personal medium of an almost too close-up view of flayed humanity, physical and psychological - akin to the paintings of Francis Bacon. George Flynn (piano). Southport S-SSD0095 (U.S.A.) 04E087 $12.98

GEORGE FLYNN (b.1937): American Rest for Clarinet, Viola, Cello and Piano. This work, for piano quartet with clarinet substituting for the usual violin, is the original text from which Pieces of Night was derived, and was originally written immediately after the Vietnam War (though revised later), as a meditation on the troubling concepts embodied by that conflict and what the composer sees as disturbing national characteristics exposed by it. Complex and dense of texture as it often is, the music remains relatively straightforward to follow because of the composer's use of mnemonic devices which provide anchors for the listener's attention even over large spans of time. Anguished and almost never reposeful, American Rest nonetheless relies less upon a barrage of instrumental virtuosity than some of the piano works, and consequently emerges as a more considered discourse on important subjects which undoubtedly move the composer deeply. Larry Combs (clarinet), Keith Conant (viola), Christopher Costanza (cello), Stuart Leitch (piano). Southport S-SSD0094 (U.S.A.) 04E088 $12.98

MICHAEL FINNISSY (b.1946): Alkan-Paganini, Etched Bright with Sunlight, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöthen sind, Stanley Stokes, East Street 1836, Verdi Transcription No. 10, Free Setting, Poor Stuff, O, schöner Mai, Snowdrift. This is a very pleasing sampler of the kind of thing Finnissy is justly renowned for in piano writing. As anyone who has hear him play (or for that matter, has heard him speak of his pianistic entthusiasms among earlier composers) will attest, the composer has a formidable grasp of the possibilities of the instrument. So it is far from surprising to find a very broad range of musical expression, ranging from the formidably complexicist to the surprisingly Romantic. Finnissy has practiced transcription more than almost any other 20th-century piano composer (perhaps second only to Ronald Stevenson in passionate adherence to this still-misunderstood art form), and the multiply-refracted treatments of Verdi, Bach, Paganini and Berlioz that find their way into these pieces bring with them strong suggestions of a quasi-tonal warmth which may surprise some, and lend the program as a whole considerable variety and appealing approachability. Nicolas Hodges (piano). Metronome MET CD 1058 (England) 04E089 $17.98

Rosenberg conducts Rosenberg - Historical recordings from caprice

HILDING ROSENBERG (1892-1985): Symphony No. 3 (version I - abbreviated) "The Four Ages of Man" (Rosenberg [reciter], Radiotjänst Symphony Orchestra, 10/27/48), Symphony No. 4 "The Revelation of St. John" for Chorus, Reciter and Orchestra (Excerpts from original version - Anders de Wahl [reciter], Swedish Radio Choir, Radio Orchestra, 12/6/40), Symphony No. 5 "Hortulanus" for Contralto, Choir and Orchestra (Lorri Lail [contralto], Swedish Radio Choir, Radio Orchestra, 10/17/44), The Holy Night for Reciter, Soloists, Mixed Choir and Orchestra (Olof Widgren [reciter], Kerstin Lindberg-Torlind [soprano], Lorri Lail [contralto], Arne Olson [tenor], Erik Saedén, Leon Björker, Helge Nilsson [basses], Chamber Choir, Radio Orchestra, 12/7&9/49), Orpheus in Town (Radiotjänst Entertainment Orchestra and Concert Society Orchestra, 3/30/48), Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Viola, Oboe, Bassoon, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets and Strings (Gunnar Barter [violin], Lince Berglund [viola], Rolf Lännerholm [oboe], Bruno Lavér [bassoon], Concert Society Orchestra, 12/14/49), Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 22 (Charles Barkel [violin], Radiotjänst Symphony Orchestra, 12/13/48), Pastorale from Suite in D for Violin and Piano, Op. 13 (Lottie Andréason [violin], Rosenberg [piano], 1/14/35). A collector's delight with much otherwise unavailable music (and it's safe to assume that one can consider the interpretations authentic) and a 120-page book including 40 pages of worklist and discography. 3 CDs. Caprice Collector's Classics CAP 21510 (Sweden) 04E090 $50.98 >

Berwald x 2 - Tor Mann and Sten Broman conduct Berwald

FRANZ BERWALD (1796-1868): Sinfonie singulière in C (Mann - 9/29/38; Broman - 4/21/68 [stereo]), Sinfonie sérieuse in G Minor (Mann - 10/25-26/46; Broman - 4/19/68 [stereo]), Overture from Estrella de Soria (Mann - 11/6/41 with rehearsal excerpt from 2/25/59; Broman - 4/21/68 [stereo]). The performance tradition of Berwald's orchestral works is the subject of this set featuring a conductor many collectors will know (Mann) and one who many won't (Broman's dates were 1902-1983). Includes a 100-page book (20 in English, but the performance history and discographies are self-evident). 2 CDs. Caprice Collector's Classics CAP 22032 (Sweden) 04E091 $33.98 >

Peteris Vasks (b.1946): Symphony No. 2, Violin Concerto "Distant Light". Those who think of Vasks as a minimalist will be in for a surprise with the second symphony and those who love Scandinavian symphonies are going to be delighted! This single-movement work of 1998-99, lasting almost 40 minutes, is in the tradition of the great Scandinavian symphonists, from Sibelius to Pettersson while also containing some of the qualities associated with Shostakovich and Giya Kancheli. There is violence and suffering in this work, balanced by the more tranquil and meditative aspect of Vasks' muse as the symphony works its way from a tormented opening to a finale in which a Lativan folk-like melody brings what the composer describes as "a sense of light-filled sorrow". The concerto (1996-97), also in a single movement, lasting about 33 minutes, is much more in the style you've come to associate with Vasks - often meditative and ethereal, with an ebb and flow of underlying nervous tension; Vasks describes the work as "nostalgia with a touch of tragedy". Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgårds, John Storgårds (violin), Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; Juha Kangas. Ondine ODE 1005-2 (Finland) 04E092 $17.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): 36 Greek Dances (+ 3 alternative versions), Overture for Orchestra "The Return of Ulysses". Finally, the CD in BIS' Skalkottas series for everyone who doesn't like Skalkottas because he used a 12-tone system! Almost two full hours of lushly orchestrated Greek dances (some authentically folk-collected, some of the composer's own creation) which use all the modalities of Greek music and show Skalkottas' highly individual way of working with tradition, nver just providing harmonization, but using the original melodies as kernels for expansion, diminution and melodic and rhythmic alternation. His highly personal 12-tone style is on view in the 28-minute overture which is in a large-scale sonata form with a huge fugue as development and which we bet no one would recognize as anything but tonal, so engrossing and entertaining is its effect. 2 CDs. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Nikos Christodoulou. BIS CD-1333/1334 (Sweden) 04E093 $35.98

PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944): Suite, Op. 13, Jaroslav Jeek (1906-1942): Bugatti-Step, 10 Bagatelles, Equatorial Rag, ERWÍN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): 5 Pittoresken, Op. 31, Frantiek E. Burian (1904-1959): Waltz, Leo Janacek (1854-1928): Kleinseiten-Palais, (Without Title), Melodie, Nur blindes Schicksal?, Der goldene Ring, Ich erwarte Dich, BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Par T.S.F., Instructive Duo for the Nervous, film en mineature. Music from 1918-1938 by the Czech "avant-garde", a loose grouping of composers, performers and artists which formed around the art theorist Karel Teige. Schulhoff wrote a manifesto urging conservatory professors to send their students to pubs to learn to write "serious music" and most of these compositions follow his call to use jazz and other popular music forms as a basis (although the Pittoresken were inspired by Dadaism and include a central movement - pre-Cage in effect - of nothing but rests). Haas, on the other hand, provides a five-movment suite without recourse to popular dances, rich in polyrhythms and unusual meters but entirely of his own creation. The Martinu works here do not appear in the recent Supraphon integrale; the six-movement suite film en miniature (1925) was only discovered in 1988. Also curious are the six Janacek pieces, only one more than a minute long and Der goldene Ring, composed four days before his death, being his final composition. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). MD&G 613 1158-2 (Germany) 04E094 $17.98

ERWÍN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Suite dansante en jazz, Piano Sonata No. 1, 5 études de jazz, Second Suite for Piano, 11 Inventionen, Hot Music: 10 synkopierte Etüden. 79 minutes of Schulhoff, much of it from his jazz-influenced period but also including the Ravelian Second Suite and the Dada-inspired Inventionen, some of which have a Debussian quality to them Much is rhythmically intricate and played at high speeds - none is dull! Kathryn Stott (piano). BIS CD-1249 (Sweden) 04E095 $17.98

CHARLES CHAYNES (b.1925): Séquences pour l'Apocalypse, for Brass Quintet and Organ, Chants de l'âme for Baritone and Organ, Vers la Lumière for Organ. The Séquences for the highly impressive combination of organ and brass represent the opening of the seven seals on the book of the apocalypse in Revelations. The composer conjures some immense effects, an almost cinematic depiction of the Great Day of His Wrath. The musical language is largely atonal, with massed clusters and some restrained extended playing techniques, and sometimes the writing approaches Messiaen in highly coloristic combinations of sonorities. The settings of St John of the Cross contain more Messiaen-like organ textures, and a powerfully decalamtory voice part for baritone. The organ preludes occupy a similar æsthetic, with some digressions into clusters; a brilliant and scintillating score in the grand organ tradition. Avignon Brass Quintet, Jean-Marc Salzmann (baritone), Jean-Pierre Lecaudey (Pascal Quoirin organ of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence). Pavane ADW 7467 (Belgium) 04E096 $10.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Variazioni canoniche sulla serie dell' op. 41 di Arnold Schönberg, Varianti for Violin and Strings, No hay caminos, hay que caminar... , Incontri. These works encompass most of the duration of Nono's creative life, from his acknowledged Op. 1, the variations on a note-row of Schoenberg (from the Ode to Napoleon) to the late "No hay . . ." The early work shows its indebtedness to the Second Viennese School the most strongly - the third, 'dramatic' section especially has noticeable affinities with Berg's 3 Orchestral Pieces. Elsewhere, extreme subtety is a dominant feature of this music, and in both the large-scale pieces, early and late, very slow tempi demand attention to the finest nuances of timbre and the balance of meticulously crafted material. This extremely subtle and understated approach lends depth and concentration to the two other pieces, in which the interactions between timbral fragments - mostly serial, though never dogmatically and frequently not very audibly so - become pregnant with meaning through their very lack of demonstrative statement. Mark Kaplan (violin), Basel Symphony Orchestra; Mario Venzago. col legno WWE 1 CD 31822 (Germany) 04E097 $19.98

MIKLÓS MAROS (b.1943): Oolit for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Guitar, Harp, Harpsichord, Celesta, Vibraphone and String Trio, Descort for Soprano, Flute and Double Bass, Dimensions for Percussion Ensemble, Trombone Concerto, Circulation for 10 Strings, Concerto grosso for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra. The brevity and economy of the chamber works here suggest a composer of somewhat unsmiling seriousness of purpose, but it is to the larger-scale works that most listeners will probably return most often to enjoy their economical but expressive power. The trombone concerto - written for, yes, inevitably, Christian Lindberg - is not short of virtuosity for the soloist, though even here, much of the orchestral texture consists of subtle accompanimental rustlings. The saxophone quartet and orchestra Concerto grosso is vastly appealing, with a greater suggestion of tonality and vibrant energy than is common elsewhere on the disc (and even a bit of minimalism among the microtones and sliding clusters). Difficult music to pin down, and rewarding on many levels; highly recommended. The Maros Ensemble; Miklós Maros, Dorothy Dorow (soprano), Ulf Bergström (flute), Martin Bergstrand (bass), Stockholm Percussion Ensemble, Christian Lindberg (trombone), Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra; Doron Salomon, The Chamber Orchestra Europe; André Chini, The Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Philharmonia Hungarica; Georg Alexander Albrecht. Caprice CPO 21670 (Sweden) 04E098 $16.98 >

JOAN GUINJOAN (b.1931): Voice and Piano: Núvols, Peixos vermells, Temptació, Raig de lluna, Cant espiritual indi, Tríptic de Setmana Santa, Solo Piano: Suite moderna, Momentos No. 1, Preludio No. 1, Ensayo a dos voces, El pinell de dalt, Chez García Ramos, 3 petites peces, Chorus: Retorn a Catalunya. Begoña López (soprano), Alejandro Zabala (piano), Escolania del Col-legi Sagrats Cors de Barcelona; Frencesc Cortès. Divided between songs and piano music (with one brief choral work, serenely evocative), this disc showcases the Catalan composer's early works, in which he can clearly be heard forging his musical personality from a wide range of influences. The songs in particular are far from avant-garde; some exploit elements of 'local color' in Spanish rhythms and vocal lines; others sound like high quality concert songs from western Europe of some decades before they were actually written. By the 1970s the range of techniques had become more eclectic, and some extended playing techniques are heard in the piano parts of the Tríptic. In the piano works elements of ragtime rub shoulders with an economical and spiky Bartókian fluency. None of these pieces is anything other than approachable, and their rhythmic liveliness and aphoristic directness adds to their appeal. Columna Musica 1CM0073 (Spain) 04E099 $18.98

Rafael Kubelík (1914-1996): String Quartet No. 2, Jan Rychlík (1916-1964): Hommaggi Gravicembalistici for Harpsichord, Klement Slavick (1910-1999): Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, Jan Novák (1921-1984): Dulces Cantilenae for Tenor and Cello, JiÞí DvoÞáãek (1928-2000): Tears for Piano, Ivo Jirásek (b.1920): Pastorale e Saltarello for Oboe and Harp, JiÞí Teml (b.1935): Pantomima for Flute and Piano. The main draw here will likely be conductor Kubelík's string quartet of 1946, a 25-minute work in a style with influences from both Gallic neo-classicism and the composer's compatriot Martinu. Rychlík provides five "updatings" of baroque keyboard forms; Slavicky's wind trio from 1937 has Impressionist affinities but with a hint of Moravian folk rhythms in its final while the remaining, shorter works are all expressive and approachable in their different ways. Martinu Quartet, Zuzana Ru°Ïiãková (harpsichord) and other artists. GZ L1 0422-2 (Czech Republic) 04E100 $14.98 >

British String Miniatures, Vol. 2

GARETH GLYN (b.1951): Anglesey Sketches, PETER WARLOCK (1894-1930): Serenade for the Birthday of Frederick Delius, FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): Air and Dance, MATTHEW CURTIS (b.1959): Serenade, PHILIP LANE (b.1950): Serenata Concertante for String Quartet and Orchestra, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Suite: The Spanish Lady (ed. P. Young, 1956), HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Set of Act-Tunes and Dances (arr. Bliss, 1923). The genre seems to have so many sub-genres, doesn't it? Well, strings only then - but collectors of British light music will know what to expect and this collection includes such rarities as Warlock's very Delian birthday present to his elder colleague, Elgar's biographer's arrangement of music from an unfinished opera to have been based on Ben Jonson's The Devil is an Ass and Bliss' anachronistic setting of Purcell. Mid-price. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line WHL 2136 (England) 04E101 $11.98

KAREL KOMZÁK (1850-1905): Bad'ner Mad'ln, An der schönen grünen Narenta, Fideles Wien, Echtes Wiener Blut, Erzherzog Albrecht, CARL MICHAEL ZIEHRER (1843-1922): Die Landstreicher, Hoch und Nieder, Loslassen, Faschingskinder, Schönfeld-Marsch, Weaner Mad'ln, Das liegt bei uns im Blut, JOSEPH LANNER (1801-1843): Abendsterne, Jagd-Galoppe, Die Romantiker, CARL MILLÖCKER (1842-1899): Carletta, Traum-Walzer (Der Feldprediger), Postscriptum, FRANZ VON SUPPÉ (1819-1895): En Morge, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien, Boccaccio, Die leichte Kavallerie, Dichter und Bauer, Marsch from Fatinitza, JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825-1899): Blindekuh, Eine Nacht in Venedig, JOSEPH STRAUSS (1827-1870): Perlen der Liebe. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Wiener Johann-Strauss-Orchester; Willi Boskovsky. Original 1972-3 EMI releases. EMI 5 75676 2 (Germany) 04E102 $17.98

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): 3 movimientos tanguisticos porteños, Tangazo: Variations on Buenos Aires, Sinfonietta, Milonga del Angel. No, we don't know why this turned up on Chandos either. Still, there's some unusual stuff here, it's all orchestral, the tango is a pretty irresistable dance, and the whole thing was just so infectiously enjoyable in its melancholic way, that we figured the back page was just the place for it! Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen; Gabriel Castagna. Chandos 10049 (Engalnd) 04E103 $16.98

CHRISTOPHER YOUNG: Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II - Original Soundtrack Recordings, RANDY MILLER: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth - Original Soundtrack Recording. Young has become legendary among horror fans for his scores to these and other genre films such as Species, Invaders from Mars and Urban Legend but his powerful and inventive orchestral scores will be appreciated by all collectors of film music. 3 CDs Mid-price. Primetime TVPMCD 809 (England) 04E104 $37.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Complete String Quartets. Long unavailable except (singly and sporadically) through Japanese imports, this cycle from the early 1950s is the "performance practice" equivalent of fatty, buttery Austro-German cuisine - the complete opposite of period-instrument, "historically informed" performances which are the norm today. Who are we talking to? You know who you are... 5 CDs. Mid-price. Vienna Konzerthaus Quartet. Preiser 90530 (Austria) 04E105 $50.98

Piano Music of Azerbaijan - Works by Niyazi, Guliyev, Amirov, Rustemov, Jihangirov, Hajiev and 7 folk songs. This collection of folk and art piano pieces from Azerbaijan is performed by a student of Alexander Goldenweiser who, now in his 70s, lives in the U.S.A. Chingiz Sadykhov (piano). 7/8 Music Productions 030210 (U.S.A.) 04E106 $15.98

The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania - Since Jewish folk music informs so many late 19th and 20th century composers, we thought this exploration into such music from a particular corner of Transylvania would be an interesting source study. The performers play on violins, viola, double bass, guitar with the sometime addition of cimbalom, drums and zongura. Muzsikás MU-002 (Hungary) 04E107 $15.98


âESK ROZHLAS - The Label of Czech Radio

Václav Lídl (b.1922): String Quartet No. 3 , Jan Grossmann (b.1949): Music for Paintings by Karel Haruda, Sylvie Bodorová (b.1954): Dignitas Homini, Václav Kucera (b.1929): The Awareness of Context, Lubos Fiser (1935-1999): String Quartet. Lídl's 1969 quartet is full of the ghosts of the horror of the preceding year and the anxiety which would have held all Czech artists (who were not Communist stooges) in its grip at that time. The music is tonal but stretching tonality's bounds and uses eerie playing techniques throughout to convey its composer's feelings (complete with jaunty, smiling-through-gritted-teeth finale we all know so well from Shostakovich). Grossmann's 1982 piece is inspired as much by the expressive use of colors by the artist as by pictorial representation and his work shuns atonality for a synthesis of melody and abstract sonic expression. Bodorová uses what many call "the new tonality" in combination with some traditional formulas and some methods used by the post-war avant-garde to produce an attractive, unique personal style and her 1988 work also has some echoes of Janáãek (her wonderful harp quintet, commissioned for this year's Tucson Chamber Music Festival and which we heard last month will appear on the Festival's own label and we'll offer it as soon as it becomes available). Kuãera's quartet dates from 1976 and is a gripping 13-minute piece which takes a concise motif and works it through variation, ending with a fugue (the work is an homage to a Czech writer who was murdered in the Holocaust) while Fiser, one of the finest composers nobody knows, gives us a terse, 10-minute piece which is based on a brief motif and whose rhetoric (probably unintentionally) recalls Beethoven's Grosse Fuge. DoleÏal Quartet, Kubín Quartet, Stamic Quartet, Kocián Quartet. Cesky Rozhlas CR 0151-2 (Czech Republic) 05E0x1 $14.98 >

Václav Riedelbauch (b.1947): String Quartet No. 1, JiÞí Matys (b.1927): String Quartet No. 3, Veroslav Neumann (b.1931): String Quartet, Ivo Jirásek (b.1920): String Quartet No. 3 "Meditation", Miroslav Kubicka (b.1951): Conversation for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello. Riedelbauch's 1987 quartet is the longest here (a still relatively short 21 minutes) and was inspired by a collection of poems written by a concentration camp inmate whose impression on the composer is expressed by two short movements - distracted and nervous & dramatic (the tempo indication is eloquent: Furioso, con precisione d'una macchina) - and a much longer finale which works its way through darkness to an understated transfiguration. Matys (1963), Jirásek (1989) and Kubicka (1983) produce 10-13 minute quartets which are in the now-recognizable Czech tradition of using avant-garde techniques for seasoning rather than as the bases of language while melodic fragments and traditional modes of address are still in charge. Neumann (1969) is not too far off this pattern either although his quartet makes discreet use of aleatoric techniques and sounds somewhat more aligned with the Western European avant-garde of that date. Kocian Quartet, Moravian Quartet, Martinu Quartet. Cesky Rozhlas CR 0105-2 (Czech Republic) 05E0x2 $14.98 >

Arnost Parsch (b.1936): Concerto for Dulcimer and Orchestra, Jan Slimácek (b.1939): Concertino for Accordeon, Electravox and Orchestra, Pavel Cotek (b.1922): Concerto for 2 Percussionists and Orchestra, Michal Kosut (b.1954): Jan Santini Aichel for Orchestra. This disc of concertos for unusual instruments begins with a 23-minute, single-movement work for dulcimer which combines the composer's life-long interest in Moravian folk music with techniques of avant-garde and electronic music to produce an approachable work whose unusual sound qualities are appealing throughout. Slimacek makes effective use of the electrovox (much thrill-show eerieness) in his short (and all the more effective thereby), 12-minute, four-movement concerto of 1971 which also mixes a love of folk music with a career partly spent in the electronic studio of Plsen Radio. Cotek's 1967 concerto is in two movements: Timbres (serially organized and concerned with colors) and Rhythms (quite tonal and, well, rhythmic) while Kosut's work (1979) is an homage to a baroque-period architect which mixes baroque musical formulas with more modern techniques to produce rather attractive soundscapes. Helena âervenková (dulcimer), Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsk, Jarmila Jankovcová (accordeon), Jaroslav Vlach (electrovox), Plsen Radio Orchestra; Josef Black, JiÞí Hudec, Václav Voják (percussion), Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc; Jaromír Nohejl. Cesky Rozhlas CR 0149-2 (Czech Republic) 05E0x3 $14.98 >

Frantisek Kovarícek (b.1924): Piano Sonata No. 2, Karel Pexidr (b.1929): Contrasts, Jirí Pauer (b.1919): Monoliths, Elena Petrová (b.1929): 4 Impromptus, Karel Reiner (1910-1979): Rudiments, Cestmír Gregor (b.1926): Sonata in tre tempi. These piano pieces cover a period of more than 20 years with two, Kovaricek's and Gregor's, dating from the late 60s, the former's perhaps reflecting somewhat the turbulence of its year of composition (1968) but both reflecting a free use of then-existing pan-European "New Music" techniques (no formal serialism anywhere on this disc) along with elements of long-recognized tradition. This could be said for the rest of the program as well, Petrová's 1988 Impromptus being the only work which seems to intentionally recall the past with its modal and melodic traits. No collector of 20th century piano music will be disappointed with these varied compositions, all of which have their own distinct personality, etched with fine detail and often with a sense of the dramatic. Josef Hála, Vera Müllerová, BoÏena Steinerová, Jana Palkovská, Daniel Wiesner, Jan Marcol (piano). Cesky Rozhlas CR 0124-2 (Czech Republic) 05E0x4 $14.98 >