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Ferdinand Ries

Symphonies Nos. 7 & (8) in E Flat

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Symphony No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 181, Symphony in E Flat, WoO 30. If you've collected the other six symphonies in this series, you won't need our urging to get this final installment. The E Flat symphony was composed around the same time as the Symphony No. 6 (1822) and, while there is still plenty of Beethoven in it, there is also a goodly dose of late Haydn. Ries' final symphony came after a gap of thirteen years, in 1835, and has much in common in its general mood and personality with Beethoven's Seventh. And now that the Ries series is finished, what? Well, we can hope that cpo provides us with the other Fesca symphony... Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Howard Griffiths. CPO 999 904 (Germany) 04F001 $15.98


1. Last month, various distributors ran out of our six best-selling titles well before mid-month, which delayed shipments to many customers. The vast majority of orders will have been shipped and received by the time you read this. One title (03F010 - the Rouse, on Ondine) has just come back in as this catalogue goes to print and back-orders will be filled this month.

2. Marco Polo has become a mid-price label beginning with this month's new releases.

3. Beginning in May, we hope to offer five or six Hungaroton titles each month which are not being imported for general distribution. The majority of these discs are of 20th century Hungarian composers, many of whom will be familiar to collectors, and a substantial portion (at least a third) of the music is orchestral.


Again, Arizona does not observe DST, so, as of this month, Records International is on the equivalent of Pacific Daylight Time. Please time your calls accordingly!

Frederic Lamond - Symphony in A

FREDERIC LAMOND (1868-1948): Symphony in A, Op. 3, Ouvertüre aus dem schottische Hochlande, Op. 4, Sword Dance from the Opera Eine Liebe im Schottischen Hochlande, EUGEN D'ALBERT (1864-1932): Overture to Esther, Op. 8. A disc of orchestral music by famous Scottish-born pianists; what will they think of next? (And when?) D'Albert's overture has already appeared on Naxos with the piano concertos but we have here all of Lamond's orchestral music (a cello sonata, piano trio and piano suite make up the entire rest of it). The symphony probably dates from 1889 but was only published, after two revisions, in 1893. Lasting just over half an hour, it's in the usual four movements with a genial, lyrical, Brahmsian quality which yet does not disguise its youthful spirit; a glimpse of something Scottish appears in its rather Beethovenian scherzo. Not surprisingly, there is much more overt Scottishness in the remaining two works, the overture having a pentatonic first theme with a drone base and the Sword Dance an actual reel. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67387 (England) 04F002 $17.98

Lyapunov - Symphony No. 2

SERGEI LYAPUNOV (1859-1924): Symphony No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 66. This is a major release for collectors of Russian music. The only other CD recording of this massive symphony was a Russian-made Melodiya which was available briefly in the early 1990s, of a 1969 recording by Svetlanov with his own orchestra, the USSR State Symphony. That clocked in at 49:40. This live recording made in Paris on November 27, 1998, takes 60:27! What a difference almost 30 years can make, especially when you're now 70 years old, conducting a work whose premiere you gave back in 1951, when you were just out of short pants, with the Leningrad Philharmonic! Completed in December of 1917 when, as many of you might recall, there were a few other events occurring around St. Petersburg, this was always meant to be a huge, loving tribute to the 19th century Russian National Romantic Symphony. Lyapunov was the most important folk-song collector of his generation and Russian folk music is evident throughout the symphony's four movements. The long, slow introduction to the first movement may recall the Liszt of the Faust Symphony but every other influence one will hear is either Russian folk-inspired or Russian composer-inspired (Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky obviously). Making this release even more desirable is a two-page statement from Svetlanov titled "How I Was Chased out of Russia in the Era of Democracy", which goes a little way toward explaining his shocking dismissal by the Minister of Culture in 1999. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Evgeni Svetlanov. Naïve/Radio France V 4974 (France) 04F003 $16.98

JOHANNES VERHULST (1816-1891): Symphony in E Minor, Op. 46, Overture in B Minor, Op. 2, Overture in C Minor "Gijsbrecht van Aemstel", Op. 3, Overture in D Minor, Op. 8. Dating from 1841, the symphony has plenty of influences which can plainly be heard - Spohr and Schubert in the introduction to the opening movement, rhythmic reminiscences of the Eroica in that movement proper, a slow movement with Haydnesque figurations but Schumannian harmonies and a scherzo and finale in the clean, bright flow of Mendelssohn's similar movements. Two of the accompanying overtures are world premiere recordings; all three come from 1835-37 and are apprentice works but none the less attractive and, in the case of the Gijsbrecht van Aemstel, festively brilliant in a Handelian (via The Consecration of the House) manner. Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 10179 (England) 04F004 $17.98

FRIEDRICH SCHNEIDER (1786-1853): Symphony No. 17 in C Minor, FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Concerto for Violin and Strings in D Minor, Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 11. It's unlike cpo to uncover a lost symphonic composer and not devote an entire disc to him but collectors of late Classical/early Romantic symphonies will want Schneider's four-movement, 24-minute work anyway. Somewhere in amongst early Schubert and mature Spohr, it is lively, melodically and rhythmically intersting and quite enjoyable. Why No. 17? Schneider himself described the first 14 of his 23 symphonies as youthful works and this one, composed within two years of the Mendelssohn and in the same key, makes for a good program builder. Hiro Kurosaki (violin), Cappella Coloniensis; Sigiswald Kuijken. CPO 999 932 (Germany) 04F005 $15.98

CHARLES TOMLINSON GRIFFES (1884-1920): The White Peacock, 3 Poems of Fiona McLeod for Soprano and Orchestra, Bacchanale, Clouds, 3 Tone Pictures, Poem for Flute and Orchestra, The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan. The newest collection of Griffes' poetry-inspired, impressionist-flavored short orchestral works comes from Naxos. Color, mood and nuance are all important in these evocative, entracingly beautiful pieces and some Russian-sounding passion makes appearances, as in the dramatic sections of The Pleasure Dome but in general, this is music of hazy, shimmering and shifting harmonies which suggests poetic states of mind. No texts. Barbara Quintiliani (soprano), Carol Wincenc (flute), Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta. Naxos American Classics 8.559164 (U.S.A.) 04F006 $6.98

TOIVO KUULA (1883-1918): Autumn Mood, Long I Stared into the Fire, Morning Song, Summer Night in the Churchyard, Epilogue, The Kiss, Marjatta's Song, Sinikka's Song, Blue Maiden, Saturday Evening, Ice Flowers, Old Autumn Song, Night on the Moor, Come, My Sweetheart, Imandra's Song, Sailing in the Moonlight, LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Autumn Song Cycle, Op. 68. Recent Ondine releases have made a good case for Madetoja's refined, often Gallic-sounding songs (and, most importantly, provided texts and translations). We offer this release for the 56 minutes of the tragically short-lived Kuula's songs, closer to the German lied tradition although drawing on the folk music of his native Ostrobothnia. The lack of texts is perplexing in this day and age but collectors of the region and period will get enough out of the music, no doubt, as presented. Mid-price. No texts. Kirsi Tiihonen (soprano), Satu Salminen (piano). Marco Polo 8.225177 (New Zealand) 04F007 $9.98

JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Les malheurs de Sophie, Les bosquets de Cythère, Concertino for Piano and Orchestra. Two more rarities by this genial French composer (along with his well-known 1934 Concertino) are offered by this label several long years after their first dip into his repertoire. The longest piece here is the 1935 ballet Les malheurs, based on a 19th century French children's novel, which lasts almost 35 minutes and which comprises a sequence of short dances orchestrated with Françaix's customary skill and sparkling with wit and general carefree levity. "The Groves of Cythera" comes from 1946 and is a suite of six waltzes with an introduction which run the gamut from tender to dapper to rumbustious. Perhaps an effort to bring back more carefree, pre-war times? Philippe Cassard (piano), Ulster Orchestra; Thierry Fischer. Hyperion CDA 67384 (England) 04F008 $17.98

JOSEF TAL (b.1910): Symphonies Nos. 4-6. If you bought the first volume of Tal's symphonies a couple of months ago (01F012), you will know what to expect: tough, terse, uncompromising single-movement works which are constructed from tiny cells and which are elaborated in ways which require an advanced music degree to understand but which are, nevertheless, approachable enough to the committed listener who prizes modern symphonic music which does not subscribe to any doctrine. The fourth was written in 1985 for the 50th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic, the fifth in 1990, commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic on the occasion of Tal's 80th birthday, with the sixth (not a commission) following closely thereafter. North German Radio Philharmonic; Israel Yinon. CPO 999 922 (Germany) 04F009 $15.98

IGOR MARKEVITCH (1912-1983): Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 7 - J.S. Bach: The Musical Offering for 3 Orchestral Groups and solo Violin, Transverse Flute, Cello and Harpsichord. Written for and first performed at the 1950 Strasbourg Bach Festival, Markevitch's is just the latest in a long line of attempts to present Bach's puzzling collection of short pieces as a coherent whole. He presents it in the form: Ricercar à 3; what he called "Theme with Variations" in which he reordered the various canons (and wrote an inversion of one) to create an ascending curve of tempo; the Sonata (with a canon interpolated); and the Fuga à 6. Markevitch also dispersed three orchestral groupings antiphonally across the stage, strings on left and right and the instruments that play the Sonata (with continuo group and four solo instruments) in the center. Mid-price. Rémy Baudet (violin), Hans van Loenen (transverse flute), Jeroen Reuling (cello), Dirk Luijmes (harpsichord), Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Marco Polo 8.225120 (New Zealand) 04F010 $9.98

DAVID DIAMOND (b.1915): AHAVA - Brotherhood for Narrator and Orchestra, Ma Tovu, Psalm 29, L'kha Dodi and Psalm 93 from Mizmor L'David for Cantor, Organ and Chorus, ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Mi Khamokha for Tenor, Organ and Chorus, MORTON GOULD (1913-1996): Hamma'ariv Aravim for Tenor, Organ and Chorus, DOUGLAS MOORE (1893-1969): Vay'khullu for Soprano, Baritone, Organ and Chorus. AHAVA is the major work here, a 31-minute work from 1954 whose narrator reads various texts appropriate to the event for which the piece was commissioned - the 300th anniversary of the birth of American Jewry. Like many other narrator/orchestra works which come from the post-war period, there is a lot of idealism in word and music and the latter is particularly American-sounding in the Copland, Harris vein. The other half of the disc is devoted to music for prayer services by Diamond and three other composers whom you might not expect to have written in this genre! Texts included. Theodore Bikel (narrator), Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz and other artists. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559412 (U.S.A.) 04F011 $6.98

REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Prelude, Danse Bizarre and Nocturne for 2 Violins and Piano, Dumka for Violin, Viola and Piano, Molto moderato in G for Violin and Piano, Violin Sonata in D, Comodo e amabile and Adagio for String Quartet. First recordings of three pieces from Clarke's student days (1907-09), very Brahmsian in their discourse, right down to the borrowing from his second piano concerto in the full-length, 24-minute sonata; there are also imitations of his "gypsy" music. The two quartet movements date from 1924 and 1926 and show the influence of Debussy while the 1941 Dumka returns to the gypsy melancholy of Brahms and Dvorák. Lorraine McAslan (violin), David Juritz (second violin), Michael Ponder (viola), Ian Jones (piano), Flesch Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7132 (England) 04F012 $16.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Complete Chamber Music - Violin Sonatas Nos. 0, 1 & 2, Sonata for Solo Violin, Morcecau de Concours and Arioso for Violin and Piano, Sonatine for 2 Violins, Sonatine for Violin and Cello, Paduana for Cello Solo, Cello Sonata, Prélude for Double Bass and Piano, Viola Sonata, Piano Trio, Sonatine for Clarinet and Piano, Rapsodie for 2 Flutes, Clarinet and Piano, Danse de la chève for Flute Solo, Romance for Flute and Piano, Petit Suite for 2 Flutes and Piano, 3 Contrepoints for Piccolo, Oboe/English Horn, Violin and Cello, Colloque for Flute, Celesta, Violin and Viola, Introduction et Danse for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Intrada for Trumpet and Piano, Hommage du trombone, exprimant la tristesse de l'auteur absent, J'avais un fidèle amant for String Quartet, Chandon de Ronsard, 3 Chansons de la petite sirène, String Quartets Nos. 1-3, Pâques à New York for Mezzo Soprano and String Quartet. Originally released on four single CDs twelve years ago (now out-of-print), this Honegger chamber set contains quite a bit of music which is otherwise unavailable. The majority of his chamber music came from the years before 1921 (the violin sonata No. 0 being a lovely, late Romantic work in the vein of Ropartz or D'Indy) while the second and third string quartets (1934-6 and 1936-7), stretching the bounds of tonality, are perhaps his finest works in the collection. 4 CDs for the price of 3. Dong-Suk Kang (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano), Quatuor Ludwig and other artists. Original 1992 Timpani releases. Timpani 4C1079 (France) 04F013 $56.98

CLAUDIN DE SERMISY (c.1490-1562): Leçons de Ténèbres, 6 Motets. This and the two other Curiosita releases listed below break new ground for independent labels in that they are reissues of LPs not previously released on CD. They are short (in the 40s, minute-wise) but the budget-price offsets this and the repertoire explains the difficulty of coupling the works with anything else pre-existing in the label's catalogues. Sermisy was one of the most important French composers of both sacred and secular music during the second quarter of the 16th century and the works here, all sacred, come predominantly from his early period. Texts and translations included. Ensemble Clément Janequin. First CD release. Original 1983 Harmonia Mundi LP release. Harmonia Mundi Curiosita HMX 29001131 (France) 04F014 $8.98

ÉTIENNE MOULINIÉ (c.1600-after1669): Cantique de Moÿse, 3 Fantaisies à 4 for Viols, Espoir de toute âme affligée, Motets Veni sponsa mea and O bone Jesu. Popular for his youthful airs de cour, Moulinié turned, as a mature composer, to such works as the 26-minute Cantique recorded here - serious vocal works showing a great skill and ingenuity in handling voices in which he united counterpoint with the dramatic flair of Italian dramatic music. French-English texts. Les Arts Florissants; William Christie. First CD release. Original 1980 Harmonia Mundi LP release. Harmonia Mundi Curiosita HMX 29001055 (France) 04F015 $8.98

MICHEL LAMBERT (c.1610-1696): 9 Airs de Cour, DUFAUT (d. before 1682-6): Pavane for Lute, DU BUISSON (d.1710): Plainte sur la mort de M. Lambert. Known principally for his huge output of airs - in his case, predominantly "serious" works on the themes of love and death - Lambert was remarkably popular, in some cases, spoken of in the same breath as Lully. French texts. René Jacobs (countertenor), Konrad Jünghanel (theorbo, baroque lute), Wieland Kuijken (bass viol), Mihoko Kimura, Dirk Verelst (violins). First CD release. Original 1981 Harmonia Mundi LP release. Harmonia Mundi Curiosita HMX 29001061 (France) 04F016 $8.98

STEFANO LANDI (1587-1639): La morte d'Orfeo. Dating from 1619, this groundbreaking mixture of tragedy and comedy (clumsy Satyrs, a thoroughly comic Charon who offers Orpheus the waters of Lethe in a drinking song) is a significant milepost on the way to baroque opera. Multiple characters whose personalities are sketched in recitative (there are only six arias) provide culminating ensembles at the end of each of the five acts. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Italian libretto. John Elwes (tenor), Johanna Koslowsky (soprano), Currende, Tragicomedia; Stephen Stubbs. Accent ACC 30046 (Belgium) 04F017 $17.98

JOHANN JACOB FROBERGER (1616-1667): The Unknown Works, Vol. 1 - Partitas in D Minor (2), E, F Sharp Minor, B Minor, G Minor and C Minor, Allamand in D Minor, Sarabande in C Minor, Capriccio in A Minor, Fuga in D Minor, Toccata 2di Toni in G Minor. Recent discoveries and scholarship over the past four or five years have identified many new keyboard pieces by this crucially important composer who linked Italian styles to central and northern Europe. This well-filled disc is the first of two which will contain them all. Siegbert Rampe (harpsichord, clavichord, organ). MD&G 341 1186-2 (Germany) 04F018 $17.98

CATALDO AMODEI (1649-1693): Cantatas: Su l'ore che l'aurora, Tra l'erbette il piè sciogliea, Va', ché l'hai fatto a me, Già col manto dell'ombre, Colà dove il Sebeto, Lieve al piè, grave al passo, GIOVANNI ZAMBONI (?-?): Sonata for Lute in C Minor, BERNARDO STORACE (?-?): Passagagli sopra Alamire for Harpsichord. Amodei's cantatas (all but one of the pastoral, erotic variety) are distinguished by effective music- and word-painting with rich melodies and dense harmony, ranging from pure recitative, through arioso to stanza-based arias. Italian-English texts. Emma Kirkby (soprano), Jakob Lindberg (archlute, theorbo), Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord). BIS CD-1415 (Sweden) 04F019 $17.98

JOHANN PACHELBEL (1653-1706): Easter Cantatas: Deus in adjutorium, Christ lag in Todesbanden, Halleluja! Lobet den Herrn, Christ is erstanden, Jauchzet dem Herrn, Magnificat in C. The Magnificat and three of the five cantatas (those dealing with the Resurrection) are magnificent, brass-filled (five trumpets in some pieces) celebratory pieces which can stand with any baroque work of their type. The remaining two cantatas are sensitive and intimate, equally masterful, and demonstrating why Bach may have had Pachelbel's Christ lag before him when writing his early BWV 4 on the same text. German-English texts. La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata; Roland Wilson. CPO 999 916 (Germany) 04F020 $15.98

ÉLISABETH JACQUET DE LA GUERRE (1665-1729): Cantatas: Judith, Le sommeil d'Ulisse, Sonata in D Minor for Violin and Continuo, ANDRÉ CAMPRA (1660-1744): Le Lis et la Rose. This remarkable French woman composer's cantatas are vividly dramatic and emotional works, strongly Italianate in style, characteristics which come through in her violin sonata as well. French-English texts. Cecilia's Circle. Centaur CRC 2670 (U.S.A.) 04F021 $16.98

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Concertos in C for Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola and Harpsichord, in C Minor and in E Flat for 2 Oboes, 2 Violins, Viola, Bassoon and Continuo, in A for Violin, 2 Violins, Viola and Bass, in D Minor for Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola and Continuo, Overture in G for 2 Oboes, 2 Violins, Viola, Bassoon and Continuo. First, lovers of Bach's large-scale orchestral works discovered that Telemann's overtures were also extraordinarily enjoyable; now, Telemann collectors will need to begin collecting Fasch, who not only left behind at least 87 overtures but who, as a youth, was good enough to pass some off as being written by Telemann. In form and length too, this 32-minute overture is in that category while the concertos (none even reaching ten minutes) are shorter but no less appealing. Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), Veronika Skuplik (violin), La Stravaganza Köln. CPO 777 015 (Germany) 04F022 $15.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Concertos for 2 Violins, Viola da Gamba, Strings and Continuo in G, RV 578 and in D, RV 565, Concerto for Violin, Viola da Gamba, Strings and Continuo in A, RV 546, Concerto Funèbre for Violin and Viola da Gamba in B Flat, RV 579, Concerto Il Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio for Violin, Cello, Strings and Continuo in F, RV 544, Concerto for 4 Violins, Cello and Continuo in B, RV 580, Concerto con molti Istromenti in C, RV 555. Three of Vivaldi's concertos specify the viola all'inglese, now pretty much agreed upon as having been a member of the viol family; these concertos are recorded here on the viola da gamba as well as two concertos for "multiple instruments". Bruno Cocset (cello), Manfredo Kraemer (violin), Le Concert de Nations; Jordi Savall (viola da gamba). Alia Vox AV 9835 (Spain) 04F023 $17.98

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764): Castor et Pollux. Although the tray card claims that this is the 1754 version of this opera, the conductor has conflated at least the Chaconne ending of the original 1737 version here and has added percussion not extant in the score. Still, that will hardly matter at the price and this score, so important to the French-style triumphing in the Querelle des Bouffons, is still regarded as Rameau's greatest work, full of ethereal, nostalgic beauty punctuated with more tautly energized music for its "action" sequences. 2 CDs. French libretto. Colin Ainsworth (tenor), Joshua Hopkins (baritone), Monica Whicher, Meredith Hall (sopranos), Opera in Concert Chorus, Aradia Ensemble; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.660119-19 (New Zealand) 04F024 $15.98

JOHANN GEORG PISENDEL (1687-1755): Sonatas for Violin and Continuo in E Minor, D, C Minor and in G Minor, Sonata for Solo Violin in A Minor. Now recognized as one of the most important violinists in the virtuosic tradition in Dresden which began with Carlo Farina, Pisendel's few authenticated sonatas are finally being noticed. This recording includes a four-movement version of the E minor work (see below for an alternate, three-movement version) as well as an anonymous G minor work in Pisendel's hand and the C minor sonata previously attributed to Bach as BWV 1024 and which may also be by our composer here. Anton Steck (violin), Christian Rieger (harpsichord). CPO 999 982 (Germany) 04F025 $15.98

JOHANN GEORG PISENDEL (1687-1755): Sonatas for Violin and Continuo in E Minor, D and in E Flat, Sonata for Solo Violin in A Minor, JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Sonata No. 6 for Violin and Continuo in B, ANON.: Sonata in E Flat for Violin and Continuo, WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784): Harpsichord Sonata in F. In addition to the authentic Pisendel sonatas, there is one here in his hand which is likely by him as well as an interesting anonymous scordatura sonata of the south German school, one of Haase's much less virtuosic but much more vocally melodious sonatas and a keyboard piece by W.F. Bach which seems to imitate Dresden violin style. A richer continuo group also increases the appeal of this offering as opposed to the solo harpsichord in the cpo recording above. Martina Graulich (violin), Ute Petersilge (cello), Stefano Demicheli (harpsichord), Thomas C. Boysen (lute, theorbo, guitar). Carus 83.162 (Germany) 04F026 $17.98

GOTTFRIED HEINRICH STÖLZEL (1690-1749): Chamber Cantatas, Vol. 2 - Zorn'ge Sterne, lasst mich sterben, Flieht, ihr Schaffe, flieht von hinnen, Zu guter Nacht, ihr stolzen Türme und Paläste, Ja, mein Engel, dieses Herze..., Ihr Augen, laßt den Tränenbächen..., Ihr stillen Seufzer, gehet, Ich bin es schon gewohnt, Von den Enfluß zweier Sternen. Stölzel was one of the very few Germans who wrote chamber cantatas in the Italian style, i.e. German texts but using Italian literary tropes and in an operatic style (several of these cantatas have their origins in the composer's no longer extant operas). German-English texts. Dorothée Mields (soprano), Jan Kobow (tenor), Les Amis de Philippe; Ludger Rémy. CPO 999 910 (Germany) 04F027 $15.98

I Puccini - Volume 5

GIACOMO PUCCINI SR. (1712-1781): Motet Fulget sol aurata coma, ANTONIO PUCCINI (1747-1832): Overture to Spartaco, Regina Coeli for Chorus, Soloists and Instruments, DOMENICO PUCCINI (1772-1815): Salve Regina for Soprano and Obbligato Instruments, MICHELE PUCCINI (1813-1864): Dulce lignum for Bass and Orchestra, Kyrie for 4 Voices, GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924): Cessato il suon dell'armi for Tenor, Soloists and Orchestra, LAMBERTO LANDI (1882-1950): Poema Sinfonico per la glorificazione di Giacomo Puccini. Unlike the previous issues in this series, the new one includes all five generations of the musical Puccini family on the same disc. From the early Classicism of Giacomo senior to the 19-year-old Giacomo junior's Romantic cantata (which shows more than a few elements of his later style), one can watch the history of music progress through this gifted family from Lucca. A nine-minute symphonic tribute (a bit stiff in style but well-meant) from a Milanese teacher/composer whom Puccini knew well rounds off this collection. Italian/Latin texts. Vocal soloists, Cappella "S. Cecilia" della Catedrale di Lucca, Coro del Duomo di Castelnuovo, Orchestra "Città Lirica"; Gianfranco Cosmi. Bongionvanni GB 2349-2 (Italy) 04F028 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Complete Violin Concertos - in B Flat, P53, in G, P52 & in A. World premiere recordings of the latter two concertos listed above. Like its B flat companion, the G major concerto dates from the composer's time at Grosswardein in Hungary (1760-3) while the A major comes from Salzburg in 1775 (and adds oboes and horns to the strings-only orchestra of the first two although its style is still rather "early Classical"). Ferenc Erkel Chamber Orchestra; Barnabás Kelemen (violin). Hungaroton HCD 32057 (Hungary) 04F029 $17.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Symphonies in C, P2, in F, in G & in C, P35. World premiere recordings of very early symphonies, the first three possibly predating Haydn's first regular job at Grosswardein (1760) and showing a young composer attempting to pass a symphonic final exam, so to speak. The C major (P35) comes from 1761 and adds trumpets in a work which has affinities with theatre music (and an intimate, string quartet Andante). Savaria Baroque Orchestra; Pál Németh. Hungaroton HCD 32202 (Hungary) 04F030 $17.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Lo sposo burlato. First recording of this 1778 dramma giocoso whose only manuscript was preserved in the city where it was written, St. Petersburg. With a first-rate libretto (and a wonderful role for a bass-baritone - the singer of which role would later star in the composer's Il barbiere di Siviglia and La serva padrone) and Paisiello at his best (the work was specially ordered by Catherine the Great), this is one of the finest examples of its genre. Italian-English libretto. Luciano di Pasquale (bass), Patrizia Cigna (soprano), Coro Opera, Orchestra Teatro e/o Musica; Paolo Paroni. Bongiovanni GB 2261-2 (Italy) 04F031 $16.98

JOHANN FRIEDRICH REICHARDT (1752-1814): Erwin und Elmire. Lasting just over 81 minutes (hence the low price), this singspiel dates from 1793, one of many settings Reichardt did of Goethe libretti. The music is elegant and simple, with accompanied recitative, and the equally simple, unclichéd libretto both make for a pleasurable look into a genre and period not overly noticed. 2 CDs. Mid-price. German-English libretto. Simone Kermes (soprano), Jörg Dürmüller (tenor), Cappella Coloniensis; Andreas Spering. CPO 999 860 (Germany) 04F032 $17.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Gradus ad Parnassum, Op. 44. Lasting just over 284 minutes in these recordings made in July of 2002 (multiple pianists probably made it a much more approachable project, logistically speaking), here is one of the ultimate and most famous teaching manuals in musical history. Far more than just a bunch of finger exercises, it also contains many significant experiments and thoughts by a cutting-edge composer of his time and it comes with 15 pages of useful and well-translated notes. 4 CDs. Mid-price. Andrea Bacchetti, Bruno Canino, Luca Rasca, Francesco Cipolletta, Maurizio Baglini, Paolo Zannini, Gianluca Luisi, Enrico Pompili, Roberto Proseseda, Marco Sollini (piano). Arts 47687-2 (Italy) 04F033 $51.98

Symphonies Concertantes

BERNHARD HENRIK CRUSELL (1775-1838): for Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon in B Flat, Op. 3, GEORG ABRAHAM SCHNEIDER (1770-1839): for Violin and Viola in D, Op. 19, FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): for Flute and Clarinet in B Flat, Op. 41, FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): for 2 Clarinets in E Flat, for Clarinet and Bassoon in B Flat, AUGUST RITTER (between 1760-1820): for 2 Bassoons in F, PETER VON WINTER (1754-1825): for Violin, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon in B Flat, CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723-1787): for Violin, Oboe and Clarinet in B Flat, IGNAZ JOSEPH PLEYEL (1757-1831): for Violin and Piano in A, Op. 57, LEOPOLD KOZELUCH (1747-1818): for Piano, Mandolin, Trumpet and Double Bass in E Flat. For those of you wondering what had happened to the Dieter Klöcker Edition, this eruption of EMI LPs (apparently never before issued on CD) will be a welcome surprise. 3 CDs. Mid-price. Soloists of Consortium Classicum; Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Iona Brown. Original 1977 EMI releases. CPO 777 009 (Germany) 04F034 $26.98

ANTOINE DE LHOYER (1768-1852): Concerto for Guitar and Strings, Op. 16, 3 duos concertants, Op. 31. Here is a complete reclamation from oblivion - a French guitarist whose concerto should stand with Giuliani's and whose uvre with those of Sor and Carulli (who dedicated several works to Lhoyer). The concerto (1799) is missing a slow movement which the guitarist here has supplied from that of the third op. 31 duo. The duos date from 1814 and are lovely, atmospheric pieces in typical Classical form and style. Philippe Spinosi (guitar), Josiane Rabemananjara (second guitar), Ensemble Matheus; Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Opus 111 OP 30396 (France) 04F035 $16.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): 13 German Dances, K. 600, Nos. 1-6, K. 602, Nos. 1-4 & K. 605, Nos. 1-3, 11 Contradanses, K. 534, 535, 587, 603, Nos. 1 & 2, 609, Nos. 1-4 and 610, 12 Minuets, K. 599, Nos. 1-6, K. 601, Nos. 1-4 and K. 604, Nos. 1 & 2, Symphonies in D, K. 202, in A, K. 201 & in G, K. 199. Offered primarily for its discful of 36 late dances, boisterously and robustly performed on period instruments. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck. Original issue date not provided (late 1980s?). Novalis Diamond Classics 150.709-2 (Switzerland) 04F036 $15.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)/PETER LICHTENTHAL (1780-1853): Requiem, K. 626. Doctor, composer, musicologist and friend of Mozart's son, Carl Thomas, Lichtenthal made many transcriptions of Mozart works for domestic purposes. This version of the Requiem works particularly well in the sections where counterpoint and fugue are important and less well where texts brought out a particular musical response from Mozart but it will surely appeal to all collectors of transcriptions and of Classical string quartet repertoire. Kuijken Quartet. SACD Hybrid. Challenge Classics CC 72121 (Netherlands) 04F037 $17.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550. We offer this for transcription lovers - even though the notes tell us nothing of the date or the identity of the transcriber (from the photo of the two organists, in "Sunglasses After Dark" mode, we assume it's theirs). Jordi Vergés, Fabio Ciofini (Estadella organ of St. Mary's Church, Matarò, Spain). Loft Recordings LRCD 1061 (U.S.A.) 04F038 $17.98

Cherubini World Premiere!

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Mass in F "Di Chimay" for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. Composed in 1809 for a commission from the Belgian village of Chimay (which had no mezzo-soprano or baritone, explaining the odd vocal requirements), this 73-minute masterpiece was Cherubini's first mass since several written while he was a teenager in Italy. Taking off from Haydn's Harmoniemesse, Cherubini adds a wealth of counterpoint (Palestrina had been a major course of study in his youthful years) and produces a mass which is a milepost on the way from Mozart's C minor and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Herbert Lippert (tenor), Ildar Abdrazakov (bass), Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Riccardo Muti. EMI 5 57589 2 (Italy) 04F039 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)/FERDINANDO CARULLI (1770-1841): First movement of Symphony No. 104 in D (Carulli's Op. 15), LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)/ CARULLI: Andante variée from Piano Sonata, Op. 26, HAYDN /FRANÇOIS DE FOSSA (1775-1849): String Quartet in E, Hob. III:8, MAURO GIULIANI (1781-1829): Grandi Variazioni concertanti for 2 Guitars, Op. 35, ANTON DIABELLI (1781-1858): Serenade in F, Op. 63. Some delightful classical guitar pieces for the collector of odd transcriptions! Heinrich Albert Guitar Duo. MD&G 603 1235-2 (Germany) 04F040 $17.98

Beethoven World Premiere!

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Piano Trio in E Flat, Op. 63, Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 1/3. This is a transcription, by an unknown but quite skilled and accomplished hand, of the youthful string quintet, Op. 4. The booklet carries an interesting, well-argued note about whether Beethoven approved the transcription and the reasons for its having the opus number it has. Long unavailable in any edition, the record label/music publisher has just issued the first modern edition. Sure to appeal to collectors of classical piano music. Osiris Trio. Raptus Records 303.68.34 (Netherlands) 04F041 $17.98

FERNANDO SOR (1778-1839): 9 Ariette Italiane, 12 Seguidillas. A recent ASV release offered eight of the Seguidillas coupled with various solo guitar works. The Ariette are later works, from Sor's residence in London (1815-23), and were wildly popular among both critics and performers for their delightful melodies and marriage of music to word. Italian/Spanish-English texts. Margarida Lladó (voice), Xavier Coll (guitar). La Ma de Guido LMG 2054 (Spain) 04F042 $16.98

GEORGE ONSLOW (1784-1853): String Quintets in B Flat, Op. 33 and in E Minor, Op. 74. Onslow wrote 34 string quintets and his utter mastery of the medium is evident in these, the 11th and 30th of the series. The earlier one (1827-8) is the more demanding, sober in its first movement themes, dramatic in the slow movement and rising to violin-concerto virtuosity in the finale while the 1847 work is more expressively romantic and more cheerful but both have Onslow's imaginative sounds and harmonies and contrasts of language. Ensemble Concertant Frankfurt. MD&G 603 1233-2 (Germany) 04F043 $17.98

CARLO SOLIVA (1791-1853): Giulia e Sesto Pompeo. Soliva wrote only five operas, all between 1816-24; seeing the meteoric rise of Rossini, he decided to change careers and went off to Poland and Russia to work as a teacher and administrator. This one is his fourth (1818) and is an energetic work, full of action and which gives the orchestra a lot more attention than most composers of his time were accustomed to do. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Italian-English libretto. Elisabetta Scano (soprano), Patricia Spence (mezzo), Carlo Vincenzo Allemano, Donato di Stefano (tenors), Swiss Radio Chorus, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; Angelo Campori. CPO 999 825 (Germany) 04F044 $17.98

ANTON EBERL (1765-1807): Piano Trios in A Minor & in B Flat, Op. 10, Grande Sonate in G Minor for Piano, Op. 39, Variations sur un Thème Russe for Piano and Cello, Op. 17. The two "trios" (the cello part is ad libitum) are in Eberl's early, Mozartian style while the piano sonata, possibly the last work he ever wrote, has a Beethovenian feel while also seeming to anticipate the sound world of Field and Chopin's nocturnes. Playel-Trio St. Petersburg. Christophorus CHR 77259 (Germany) 04F045 $17.98

HEINRICH AUGUST MARSCHNER (1795-1861): Piano Trio in D, Op. 135 (The Rubbra Trio; 4/16/47), Piano Trio in F, Op. 167 (The Semino Trio; 12/17/52). Thanks to Symposium, one can now imagine oneself sitting down in front of the wireless on a cold night at 10:50pm in the England of April of 1947, wondering how much longer food and fuel rationing was to continue, tuning in the Third Programme and listening to a broadcast of Marschner's fourth piano trio (with composer Edmund Rubbra on piano and William Pleeth on cello). Captured on acetate, this is still likely to be as good a chance as you're going to have of hearing these poetic, echt-Romantic chamber works from a remarkably prolific composer whose non-operatic works are still hardly known at all. Symposium 1260 (England) 04F046 $17.98

JEAN BAPTISTE SINGELÉE (1812-1875): Solos de Concert, Opp. 74, 77, 83, 84, 86, 91-93, Caprice, Op. 80, Fantaisies, Opp. 50, 60, 89 & 102, Souvenir de la Savoie - Fantaisie, Op. 73, Adagio et Rondo, Op. 63, Fantaisies Brillantes, Opp. 75 & 86 Concertino, Op. 78, Concerto, Op. 57. Singelée (who was represented on the BIS collection of various saxophone composers a couple of months ago) wrote 25 pieces for the new instrument - more than any other single composer. This collection has 18 of them, full of delightful melodies and brilliant passagework, evoking the lustre of a bygone age. Christian Peters (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones), Yoriko Kieya (piano). MD&G 603 1229-2 (Germany) 04F047 $17.98

THOMAS D.A. TELLEFSEN (1823-1874): Violin Sonata in G, Op. 19, Cello Sonata, Op. 21, Piano Trio in B Flat, Op. 31. Like his piano music which we've offered in the past on the Polish Acte Préalable label, the Norwegian Tellefsen's chamber music has the dual inspiration of Nordic folk-song and of Chopin's Polish traditions. The works recorded here (lasting 81 minutes in all) date from 1855-61 and are written in the conservative style so dear to Parisian critics and concert-going public - clear sonata form in the outer movements, diatonic themes and symmetrcial structures. Einar Steen-Nøkleberg (piano), Atle Sponberg (violin), Øystein Birkeland (cello). Simax PSC 1226 (Norway) 04F048 $18.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Cello Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 18, Cello Sonata No. 2 in G, Op. 39, 3 Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 11. All these passionately romantic works come from Rubinstein's early period (1852-57) in which Mendelssohn and Beethoven loom large, along with the vitality of early Brahms. The cello generally carries the melodic weight while the brilliant pianist which the composer was is often seen in the accompaniments. 2 CDs. Michal Kanka (cello), Jaromír Klepáã (piano). SACD Hybrid discs. Praga PRD 250 210.11 (Czech Republic) 04F049 $35.98

JOHANN BAPTIST CRAMER (1771-1858): Reminiscences de Paganini, HENRI HERZ (1803-1888): Marche et rondo sur la Clochette, Paganini's Last Waltz, Rondò de Paganini, JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Walzer à la Paganini, Op. 11, IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Gems à la Paganini - Fantasia No. 3, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): 6 Études de concert d'après des caprices de Paganini, Op. 10, 6 Études d'après des caprices de Paganini, Op. 3, FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Grande fantaisie de bravoure sur la Clochette de Paganini, FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): Souvenir de Paganini, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Paganini Variations, Op. 35. A second volume of tributes to Paganini from composer-pianists of the same period offers first recordings of Cramer's potpourri (quotations from five Paganini compositions), Herz' two trifles and large-scale variations (a cut above much of this sort of material from the period) and the young Johann Strauss' 1828 waltz (although we are not told whose version this solo piano piece is). Schumann's large-scale sets of etudes are not exactly over-recorded and the mid-price of the set makes it a sure thing for all Romantic piano fanciers. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Marco Pasini (piano). Dynamic CDS 441/1-2 (Italy) 04F050 $17.98

ALFONS DIEPENBROCK (1862-1921): Choruses from "Gysbrecht van Aemstel" for Choir and Orchestra, Hymn to Rembrandt for Soprano, Female Choir and Orchestra. Dating from 1892-95 but recorded here in the richer orchestration of 1912, the four choruses from a Dutch epic poem show the young Diepenbrock (who didn't feel he'd truly learned orchestration until around 1901) well able to created a varied color palette using the multiple tools at his command and the shortest of the pieces, the "Chorus of the Amsterdam Maidens" has a bracingly Mendelssohnian verve to it. From 1906, the setting of a fulsomely purple tribute to the great Dutch painter is coeval with a large-scale Nietzsche setting Diepenbrock was planning and has an ecstatic, transcendental Wagnerian quality throughout which belies the textual impetus. Dutch texts. Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano), Netherlands Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Ed Spanjaard. Donemus Classics CV 121 (Netherlands) 04F051 $18.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Complete String Quartets, Vol. 1 - No. 3 in G, Op. 26 "Slav", No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 70. At last - a new Glazunov string quartet cycle which actually might get completed! The third is a four-movement work whose parts were all written as single pieces which the composer stitched together in 1888. All have unmistakably Russian folk material but the big one is the "Slav Holiday" finale - the longest of the four movements - whose orchestral possibilities led Glazunov to orchestrate the piece later as op. 26bis. The fifth (1898) is a richly melodic "pure music" work built on thematic development which dates from between the Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7. Utrecht String Quartet. MD&G 603 1236-2 (Germany) 04F052 $17.98

REINHOLD GLIERE (1875-1956): Sextet in C, Op. 11, Octet in D, Op. 5. Like Taneyev, one of his teachers, Gliere composed a lot of music for strings (three sextets, four quartets, 8 duets for violin and cello, 12 violin duets and 10 cello duets) and the talent for and creativity in counterpoint of his master are also evident in these works. Also present is a wealth of gorgeous melody, mostly identifiably Russian in character, making these two youthful works (1900 and 1905) absolute must-haves for collectors of Romantic chamber music. Berlin Philharmonic String Octet. MD&G 308 1196-2 (Germany) 04F053 $17.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): Snowflakes, Op. 47, With a Sharp Pole-Ax, Op. 1/2, Lullaby, Op. 7/4, Night, Op. 5/2, She Was Yours, Op. 7/1, Lullaby, Op. 1/5, The Collector of the Bell, Op. 35/2, Evening, Op. 20/1, Night, Op. 20/3, I Love You, Op. 48/3, And I Dreamed of a Faraway Land, Op. 63/5, In the Evenings, in the Hours of Sad Dreams, Op. 51/5, Cat, Op. 89/4, The First Snow, Op. 89/2, Auntie Agashka, Op. 96/3, Prayer, Op. 93/1, Flower, Op. 93/3, Youth, Bitterly Weeping, Op. 93/5, To a Cupbearer, Op. 93/7, Evening, Op. 97/6, The Rosy Reflection of Sunset, The Speckled Hen, Op. 85/1, Lullaby, Op. 84/3, Tari-tari, Op. 85/4. Ranging across the composer's career, this recital (recorded way back in 1996 but never released) usefully groups songs together by genre, i.e. childrens' songs (13), "Russian National Lyricism" (8), "Impressionist/Symbolist" (5), songs on folk texts (3), leaving four Pushkin settings by themselves. Grechaninov used different styles for different types of text, so this is quite useful and one can hear a range from dreamy impressionism to nationalist declamation and Russian liturgical harmonies (in Pushkin's Prayer). English translations - no Russian texts. Georgine Resick (soprano), Warren Jones (piano). Bridge 9142 (U.S.A.) 04F054 $16.98

NIKOLAI MEDTNER (1864-1956): From 12 Lieder von Goethe, Op. 15 - Nos. 2-10, 9 Lieder von Goethe, Op. 6, Das Veilchen, Op. 18/6, Suite-Vocalise in F Minor, Op. 41/2, Sonate-Vocalise in C, Op. 41/1. Medtner's songs are not heard much, on the stage or on disc due to the pianistic difficulties and, as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf once attested after recording several of them with the composer at the piano in 1950, they were among the hardest things she ever had to sing. It's particularly interesting to compare Medtner's often wildly different settings of poems familiar to us from Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart while pianist Tozer (an accepted Medtner specialist) feels that the two works making up opus 41 are the finest things the composer ever did. These vocalises together take up over 33 minutes of this disc; these are not little trifles like Rachmaninov's. One is despairing, melancholy and shot through with grief and sorrow (composed in 1922 just after Medtner fled the Russian civil wars) while the other is all radiance and pure beauty (it appears to have been written some four years later). You won't easily forget either one. German-English texts. Susan Gritton (soprano), Geoffrey Tozer (piano). Chandos 10093 (England) 04F055 $17.98

ÉMILE JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950): Suite de danses, Poème alpestre, 13 petites variations sur "La Suisse est belle", Suite from the Comédie lyrique "Sancho". This originator of the Méthode Jaques-Dalcroze for coordinating music and body movement pretty much stopped composing after 1914 when his teaching took up most of his time. These pieces date from 1895-8 and 1911 (the Suite de danses) and inhabit a stylistic world of their own somewhere between Gallic late Romanticism and what would come to be known as neo-classicism. Not surprisingly, rhythmic ingenuity runs throughout these short pieces and suites; the Poème alpestre is the most conventionally pictorial of them, depicting a Swiss mountain scene with horncalls, shepherds' songs and a thunderstorm. Ansermet was a great admirer of Jaques-Dalcroze as a composer and his tradtional repertoire should help collectors decide if it will appeal to them as well. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Sterling CDS-1057-2 (Sweden) 04F056 $16.98

Premiere Saint-Saëns Ballet!

CAMILLE SAINT-SÄENS (1835-1921): Javotte, Ballet from Incidental Music for the Play Parysatis. Lasting just under an hour, Javotte is an 1896 ballet with a rather unpretentious village love-story as its basis, whose music contains all the sparkle and wit one would expect of Saint-Saëns (along with occasional echoes of Delibes and Mendelssohn). The eight minutes of music associated with a 1902 play were sketched on an island in the Nile and are in the composer's most colorful "exotic" style. The Queensland Orchestra; Andrew Mogrelia. Marco Polo 8.223612 (New Zealand) 04F057 $9.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Scènes de la csárda: No. 1, Op. 9, No. 2 "My Little Flute", Op. 13, No. 3 "The Waters of Maros", Op. 18, No. 4 "Hejre Kati", Op. 32, No. 5 "The Wavy Balaton", Op. 33, No. 6 "The Yellow Beetle", Op. 34, No. 7 "Kossuth's Melody", Op. 41, No. 8 "So They Say", Op. 60, No. 9 "Czinka Panna's Time", Op. 65, No. 10 "Memoirs from Szalatna", Op. 69, No. 11 "The Willow's Withered Branch", Op. 82, No. 12 "My Little Turtle-dove", Op. 83, No. 13, Op. 102 & No. 14 "On the Themes of Lavotta", Op. 117, 6 Poèmes hongrois, Op. 27, 6 Nouveaux poèmes hongrois, Op. 76. Those of you collecting the Hungaroton Hubay violin series will note that only the first four Scènes have appeared there... and none of the dozen Poèmes hongrois. The former were composed over the period 1879 to 1920 and contain many alluring "gypsy" tunes of the type beloved by and used by Brahms, Liszt and many other composers which passed for authentic in the days before Bartók and Kodály. The first set of poèmes (1885) is dedicated to the Bohemian violinist Frantiek OndÞiãek and the second (1899) to Jacques Thibaud; both use popular, folk-like melodies, the second set being rather more elaborate. 2 CDs. Hagai Shaham (violin), Arnon Erez (piano). Hyperion CDA 67441/2 (England) 04F058 $35.98

JOHN BLACKWOOD MCEWEN (1868-1948): String Quartets, Vol. 3 - No. 2 in A Minor, No. 8 in E Flat & No. 15 A Little Quartet "in modo scotico". Another batch of intriguing quartets from this prolific Scot: the earliest (1898) lasts, at 29 minutes, about as long as the other two put together and it is the most conservative, a four-movement work in late Romantic style with a memorably sad Scottish-themed slow movement. The eighth (1918), in a compact, three-movement form, chromatic, uneasy and with a mysterious slow movement has some of the character of contemporary French music, while the fifteenth (1936) is full of bagpipe drones and syncopations and has a finale - a virtuosic reel - demanding a virtuosity from all the players (but the cellist in particular) which suggests why it apparently was never performed in public. Chilingirian Quartet. Chandos 10182 (England) 04F059 $17.98

EDWARD JOSEPH COLLINS (1886-1951): Volume 6 - Hymn to the Earth for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Variations on an Irish Folksong, Cowboy's Breakdown. The latest item in the Collins torrent features a 1929 oratorio to the composer's own texts which shares with Mahler the inspiration of nature. In six sections, lasting 37 minutes, the Hymn is generally anchored in the late Romantic English choral tradition from Mendelssohn through Elgar to Vaughan Williams although its fourth movement, a soprano solo's invocation of spring, has more than a bit of the popular stage about it. The Variations are the third "Irish Rhapsody" which Collins produced between 1927 and 1931 and shares the melancholic tone painting of its predecessors while Cowboy's Breakdown is a brief (two minutes) morsel of Americana. Texts included. Jeni Bern (soprano), Jane Irwin (mezzo), Peter Auty (tenor), Henry Waddington (bass), Royal Scottish National Chorus and Orchestra; Marin Alsop. Albany TROY 650 (U.S.A.) 04F060 $16.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): The Wand of Youth, Suites Nos. 1 and 2, Op. 1, Dream Children, Op. 43, Nursery Suite. Lovely, sometimes sentimental, often sparklingly witty evocations of childhood seen from 40 years later, The Wand of Youth is a reworking of childhood themes. Nursery Suite (1930), tender and wistful, is Elgar's last look back at childhood. New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.557166 (New Zealand) 04F061 $6.98

HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Der widerspenstigen Zähmung. Tuneful, but harmonically less adventurous than, say, Wagner, Goetz' 1874 Taming of the Shrew setting follows in the Spohr, Lortzing, Marschner line of German Romantic opera. 1955 recording. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Gottlob Frick (bass), Annelies Kupper, Elisabeth Lindermeier (sopranos), Marcel Cordes (baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus and Orchestra; Joseph Keilberth. Gala GL 100.735 (Italy) 04F062 $10.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Complete Piano Suites, Vol. 2 - No. 6 in G, Op. 163, No. 7 in B Flat, Op. 204, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/RAFF: Suite No. 2 in G for Solo Cello, BWV 1008. Formally neo-baroque, melodically and harmonically Romantic, Raff's final two suites date from 1871 and 1876 while his 1868 Bach transcriptions are as faithful to the originals as the keyboard will allow, with no added-on Romantic virtuosity à la Liszt. Alexander Zolotarev (piano). AK Coburg DR-0007 (U.S.A.) 04F063 $16.98 >

Bohuslav Martinu° (1890-1959): Mirandolina. Martinu had long wanted to write an opera to a libretto by the famous Goldoni but didn't actually get around to it until 1954 when he created this setting of La locandiera. The composer produced his own edition of the Italian libretto and, although he himself admitted that the opera is in "Czech style", he effectively produced a warm and affectionate tribute to and updating of a 200-year-old tradition of comic opera. The music is in the style of his works of the 1950s with local color added in orchestral interludes like the Saltarello which begins Act 3. This was recorded over three performances at the 2002 Wexford Festival in a co-production with the BBC (several firsts here for Supraphon, when you count the orchestra too!). 2CDs. Italian-English libretto (although, the Italian runs complete, by itself, before the English-French-German-Czech section). Daniela Bruera (soprano), Massimiliano Tonsini (tenor), National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus; Riccardo Frizza. Supraphon SU 3770-2 (Czech Republic) 04F064 $35.98

ARTHUR LOURIÉ (1892-1966): Suite, Concerto da Camera for Violin and String Quartet, NIKOLAI ROSLAVETS (1881-1944): String Quartet No. 3. Although Lourié was a leader of the Russian avant-garde, the works recorded here come from a later period, the suite (his third string quartet, from 1924) captures the mood of the dance-suite of olden times with a prelude containing peasant dance tunes, a sarabande, a simple, devout Hymne and a closing Marche funèbre. From even later, the Concerto da camera (1947) evolves from neo-baroque styles, through romantic virtuosity, an asymmetrical waltz and an affectionate parody of restaurant tunes and Kreislerian salon-music to a concluding, sixth movement which seems to anticipate the tangos of Piazzolla. Roslavets' 12-minute quartet (1920) uses the B-A-C-H theme in a marriage of polyphony with some of the style of late Scriabin. Leipzig String Quartet, Christian Ockert (double bass - Concerto da camera). MD&G 307 1192-2 (Germany) 04F065 $17.98

WILLEM VANOTTERLOO (1907-1978): Symphonietta, HENK BADINGS (1907-1987): Concerto for Bassoon, Contrabassoon and Wind Orchestra, GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Divertimento for Winds and Percussion, JACQUES CASTEREDE (b.1926): Fanfare for Lafayette, Bohuslav Martinu° (1890-1959): Concertino for Cello, Winds and Percussion. The two Dutch works are the biggest new items here, with Badings' concerto dating from 1964, written in memory of Hindemith, in neo-classical style and quoting the late composer. Conductor van Otterloo's Sinfonietta is a four-movement mini-symphony from 1943 in late romantic in style. Auric's 1965 piece has all of the vim, vigour and vinegar one would associate with this member of Les Six and Casterede writes a brief, four-minute work in the style of late 18th century military bands. William Buchman (bassoon), Lewis Kirt (contrabassoon), Christopher Costanza (cello), DePaul Wind Ensemble; Donald DeRoche. Albany TROY 628 (U.S.A.) 04F066 $16.98

HARALD GENZMER (b.1909): Piano Trio No. 1 in F, Piano Trio No. 2, Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano. The first trio is only Genzmer's third chamber composition, dating from 1943, and its three short movements (only 13 minutes in all) show the purest form of his teacher Hindemith's neo-classical style. The second trio comes from 1964 and, while still Hindemithian (Genzmer remained faithful all his life in this respect), it makes greater demands on theplayers and the composer adds a witty Burleske movement to the usual three. Genzmer plays the clarinet and his 1974 quartet, also in four movements, is an updated homage to the Viennese classics in form although thoroughly modern (by Genzmer's lights) in musical material. It's somehow nice to know that the composer lived long enough to see his thoroughly enjoyable and readily approachable music appreciated again by the music-loving public. Ingolf Turban (violin), Wen-Sinn Yang (cello), Eduard Brunner (clarinet), Oliver Triendl (piano). Thorofon CTH 2495 (Germany) 04F067 $16.98

GUNNAR BERG (1909-1989): Historical Recordings, Volume 1: Piano and Orchestra - Essai acoustique (Aloys Kontarsky, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt - 10/7/77 - released on cassette by Dansk Musik Antologi), pour piano et orchestre (Béatrice Berg, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Miltiades Caridis - 9/28/66 - Unicorn-Kanchana LP release), Frise (Elisabeth Klein, Members of the DRSO; Tamás Vetö - 10/18/77 - Point LP release), Uculang (Béatrice Berg, Aarhus SO; Kari Tikka - 11/21/73. First release). Berg, like his earlier namesake, took dodecaphony as a starting point for the thematic construction of his works, though, also similarly, there is a harmonic richness which frequently disguises the strictness of the compositional method. Also noteworthy is Berg's frequent use of traditional forms - canons, allusions to traditional dance forms as encountered in Baroque suites, and the like. Jagged, fragmentary pointillism suggests an indebtedness to Webern, while paradoxically, occasional fragments of long-breathed melody hint at Nielsen's influence, though these fleeting glimpses are as close as the music ever gets, and even then, it is the Nielsen of the sixth symphony rather than the more opulent earlier works that is suggested. Berg's orchestration, with much use of shimmering untuned percussion, is another trademark which lends this unusual composer a genuine stamp of individuality. Highly recommendable. 2 CDs. Danacord DACOCD 611-612 (Denmark) 04F068 $33.98

HENRI SAUGET (1901-1989): 6 mélodies sur des poèmes symbolistes, Îles, L'espace du Dedans, Force et faiblesse, Comme à la lumière de la lune, Visions infernales. Sauget is known for his refined simplicity, clarity and restraint, his music quite tonal, often modal; he might have been a member of Les Six. His operas are also known for their humor and wit, which is why these songs will come as somewhat of a surprise for collectors who know Sauguet from other genres: these are serious works lacking in any frivolity or even sarcasm. Especially noteworthy are the set of Max Jacob settings "Infernal Visions" (1948), which effectively convey a hallucinatory, disordered and frightening interior world. French-English texts. Jean-François Gardeil (baritone), Billy Eidi (piano). Timpani 1C1070 (France) 04F069 $18.98

Sorabji - Piano Sonata No. 4

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): Piano Sonata No. 4. Even by the standards of the increasingly remarkable portrait of this unique composer that has been emerging in recent years, the Fourth Sonata is without question one of the most major works to have made it to performance and recording thus far. Predating Opus Clavicembalisticum by a year, this work follows on from the First Toccata (offered a year ago this month - 04E061) in revealing fully, for the first time, the principal features of the composer's mature style; the use of vastly extended Baroque forms, the free experimentation in building large-scale structures through the interplay of themes and thematic fragments, and the opulent and extravagantly ornamented 'tropical nocturne', a genre to which he returned repeatedly throughout his career. In the case of the 4th Sonata, this last gives rise to one of the most beautiful movements to have come to light in Sorabji's output; the 36-minute "Count Tasca's Garden", which, like "Gulistan" from a decade later, epitomizes the composer's use of luxuriant texture and ambiguous, shifting yet indescribably rich harmony, at its most extreme at this middle phase in his life. The last movement is also an intriguing structure, starting with a quicksilver toccata over a pedal, and then breaking out into a bizarre and diabolical scherzo, whose lightning changes of mood display Sorabji's instrumental imagination to the fullest. There follows a very thoroughly worked double fugue, culminating in an apocalyptic coda in which juxtaposed harmonies built up layer upon layer like some vertiginous surrealistic mountain landscape push the resources of the piano beyond most composers' limits with full orchestral forces at their disposal; a stunning culmination to a mighty work. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Jonathan Powell (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9069 (U.S.A.) 04F070 $37.98

HAFLIDI HALLGRÍMSSON (b.1941): Passía, Op. 28. A commission to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Iceland, Hallgrímsson's work is an ambitious, large-scale setting of texts by the 17th century poet and priest Hallgrímur Pétursson dealing with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Alongside these Hymns of the Passion, Hallgrímsson has chosen poems by 20th century Icelandic poets, treating themes of the loneliness and isolation of humankind, specifically using the metaphor of the vastness of the sea as a recurring motif. Given the seriousness of its subject matter, it comes as no surprise to encounter a work of sombre hue and brooding, shadowy disposition. With echoes of Sibelius and other, more recent Scandinavian symphonists, the music is tense and powerful, predominantly tonal and full of long, flowing vocal lines. One may also detect some similarities with the more 'public', liturgical sections of Britten's War Requiem, and here and there in the organ writing, the dissonant opulence of Messiaen, though here the colors are far more muted. Altogether a gripping, rather harrowing emotional experience, mysterious and questing, and ultimately, as profound a religious statement as anything in music can be at our time in history. Icelandic-English texts. Mary Nessinger (mezzo), Gardar Thór Cortes (tenor), Motet Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Hallgrím Church; Hördur Áskelsson. Ondine ODE 1027-2 (Finland) 04F071 $17.98

DANIEL S. GODFREY (b.1949): String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3, Romanza for String Quartet. If Debussy and Ravel had lived in the late 20th century, they would have produced string quartets which sound like Godfrey's. In fact, the second quartet (1993) could almost be by one of the French composers, with its lush, shimmering harmonies and occasional piquant touches while the third (2001) has plenty of the same atmosphere, both works being in three-movement form, resolutely tonal - each movement in a particular key - with thematic transformation used to produce a cyclic, unifying effect. Adapted from an early (1974) quartet, the Romanza is a slow, warm and personal aria which interweaves two song-like motives. Cassatt String Quartet. Koch International Classics 7573 (U.S.A.) 04F072 $16.98

DAG LUNDIN (b.1943): Sonatina Primavera, Iceland Variations, 7 Pieces from From My Travelbag, Glengarrys Ballad Variations. Lundin's music is resolutely tonal, sometimes neo-classical in style, sometimes more late Romantic with touches of the Nordic sounds of Grieg and, more recently, Sæverud and Lars-Erik Larsson. His Sonatina (1992) has a Nordic-tinged first movement, a siciliano nocturne and a virtuoso toccata finale. The Iceland Variations are the major work here, a half-hour-long work based on an Icelandic folk tune whose variations are couched in old genres (Sarabande, Humoresque, Berceuse etc.) and in which the solitary, bleak landscapes of the island are often evoked. The origins of the remaining pieces are European folk-songs of various provenance, most attractively presented and, in the case of the Scottish Glengarry, varied. Solveig Wikman (piano). Nosag Records CD 088 (Sweden) 04F073 $16.98

HENRY MARTIN (b. late 1950s?): Preludes and Fugues Nos. 13-24. This, the second half of a set of 24 preludes and fugues, is a delightful CD, which should give much pleasure to any piano enthusiast. Without breaking any new musical ground, Martin gives us a refreshing new take on the idea of an extended set of preludes and fugues, which has intrigued so many and so varied composers since Bach. Wryly incorporating influences as diverse as Chopin, ragtime, Debussy, jazz, Scarlatti and Bach himself, these tremendously enjoyable and readily accessible works constantly turn up new twists and turns to intrigue and entertain. Make no mistake, though - this is not 'light music', but thoroughly crafted and idiomatic piano writing, pianistically conventional, yes, but musically inventive and varied, and loads of fun. Henry Martin (piano). Bridge 9140 (U.S.A.) 04F074 $16.98

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Piano Concerto No. 2 (Sinfonia Concertante), Concertante Variations on a Theme of Nicholas Maw, Six-minute Symphony, Sonata on a Motet. With his dual career as pianist (specialising in the Classical repertoire, especially Haydn) and composer, McCabe has always run the risk of not being afforded his due worth on the strengths of his own best music - being difficult to classify always carries that danger. However, the recordings that have emerged over the years reveal a distinguished and individual voice, albeit a slightly unfashionable one during the years when most of these works were written - clearly tonal music in conventional forms wasn't quite the thing to do in the 1970s, which did Ronald Stevenson, Alan Bush and George Lloyd (among many others) no favors either at the time, equally unfortunately. In any case, these meticulously crafted, sprightly works are very welcome to the catalogue; the concerto occupies the territory of a kind of British Prokofiev 3rd, while the Concertante Variations have something of the character of Moeran or Vaughan Williams, with McCabe's somewhat more astringent harmonic sense suggesting a slightly more modern idiom. The Six-minute Symphony is exactly that - a full symphonic structure, masterfully concise, scored for strings. The Sonata also for string orchestra, which derives from Tallis, will inevitably draw comparison with Vaughan Williams' great Tallis Fantasia, and it is not overstating the case to suggest that this stately and eloquent work is not at all embarrassed by the comparison. Tamami Honma (piano), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra; Donatas Katkus. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7133 (England) 04F075 $16.98

FLORENCIO ASENJO (b.1926): Symphony for Strings, Crystallizations: A Symphony in Nascent Estate, Concerto for Wind Instruments. The fine symphony, an early (1948) work in the composer's output, is as warmly Romantic as anything of his we have heard, and in its progression from darkness to light, follows a clear narrative trajectory, with, in musical terms, suggestions of Pettersson, Sibelius and Elgar along the way. The Crystallizations symphony, four decades later, has a similar ready approachability, an appealing work which the composer likens to a kind of musical Cubism, an analogy that works well if one takes it to imply the building of a large and multifaceted structure from motivic elements of clearly delineated and easily discernable form. The concerto is likewise an attractive work, with an intriguingly polytonal (yet never atonal to the ear) finale, rhythmically sprightly and harmonically inventive. Slovak State Philharmonic Kosice; Kirk Trevor. MMC 2127 (U.S.A.) 04F076 $16.98

CHEN YI (b.1953): Duo Ye, STEVEN STUCKY (b.1949): DreamWaltzes, WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Krzesany, BRUCE MACCOMBIE (b.1943): Chelsea Tango, ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Danzón No. 2. The title of this disc, "Dances of our Time", pretty much tells the tale - five dance-inspired orchestral pieces from around the world. Chen Yi's piece (1985) was inspired by a welcome dance from a Chinese ethnic minority when she visited their village, Stucky's is a 1986 waltz-fantasy in which Viennese style walztes keep trying to break through music representing the present day, MacCombie (1991) provides a sparklingly original American dance fantasy (regardless of the title, there is no Latin American flavor here) while Márquez's and Kilar's pieces have been recorded before (the former more than once, the latter's now-wild and boisterous, now quietly introspective Polish mountain-dance fantasy was on a Naxos disc two years ago). Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui. BIS CD-1192 (Sweden) 04F077 $17.98

BEHZAD RANJBARAN (b.1955): Cello Concerto, CHEN YI (b.1953): Eleanor's Gift for Cello and Orchestra, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Cello Concerto, Op. 22. This is a must-have for anyone who loves the cello, loves cello concertos, loves 20th century American music or just loves good music, period. The Iranian immigrant Ranjbaran wrote his work between 1998 and 2000 on a commission from a foundation to celebrate the life and thought of Thomas Jefferson but such abstractions are far removed from the instant communicativeness of his music. Attractive themes, well-marshalled and developed, assembled in the time-honored three-movement form make his 30-minute concerto a deserving companion and successor to his discmate Barber's. You'll want to play it over again as soon as you're finished! Paul Tobias (cello), Virginia Symphony Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta. Albany TROY 648 (U.S.A.) 04F078 $16.98

ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH (b.1939): Symphony No. 2 "Cello", Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Chamber Symphony. Zwilich was one of the original neo-Romantics, at a time when that sort of thing had yet to become fashionable, and she has remained one of the most unspoilt and unironic practitioners of unfashionable composition. She studied with Carter and Sessions, but resisted the complexity of the one and the serialism of the other, and as these immensely personable and communicative works demonstrate, opted for a very direct style of utterance that is at once immediately accessible, resolutely tonal, and wholly original. Sharon Robinson (cello), Jaime Laredo (violin), Louisville Orchestra; Lawrence Leighton-Smith, Albert-George Schram. Original 1990 and 1995 Louisville releases. First Edition FECD-0004 (U.S.A.) 04F079 $17.98

JOAN TOWER (b.1938): Silver Ladders, Music for Cello and Orchestra, Sequoia, Island Prelude for Oboe and String Orchestra, Island Rhythms. These recordings present a comprehensive picture of Tower's orchestral style from the 1980s, dramatic, tonal, ostinato-driven and rhythmically vital. Her frequent use of repeating patterns sometimes superficially suggests the more exuberant type of Romantic Minimalism, though the music is typically developed through more conventional harmonic and rhythmic means than through strict 'process' mechanisms. The composer's lively orchestral palette and stylistic similarities to great, and familiar, European models - Shostakovich and Sibelius not infrequently came to mind when listening to these bold and characterful works - make this a most desirable and readily approachable disc. Lynn Harrell (cello), Peter Bowman (oboe), St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, Louisville Orchestra; Lawrence Leighton-Smith. Original 1985 and 1990 Nonesuch releases and 1991 Louisville release (Island Rhythms). First Edition FECD-0025 (U.S.A.) 04F080 $17.98

Electrecord CDs now with U.S. distribution

The Toduta and Terényi CDs are manufactured in England and are of the design once marketed in the West by Olympia. These may have been available before but not at this price. The other two are all-Romanian issues.

CIPRIAN PORUMBESCU (1853-1883): Romanian Rhapsody for Orchestra, Ballade for Violin and Orchestra, New Moon for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, 4 Piano Pieces. In addition to the Rhapsody (orignally for piano), in the manner of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, this release brings us about 40 minutes of highlights from an 1882 operetta, New Moon, which is full of local color and Romanian popular music and which became one of Romania's most popular works of its genre. No texts. Stefan Ruha (violin), Vocal Soloists, Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra; Emil Simon, Radio-Television Orchestra; Paul Popescu, Studio Orchestra of the Romanian Radio; Carol Litvin. Electrecord EDC 162 (Romania) 04F081 $12.98

PAUL CONSTANTINESCU (1909-1963): The Nativity - Byzantine Christmas Oratorio. Composed in 1947, this was the second oratorio based on the composer's researches into Byzantine religious music and he weaves a wonderful web of sound in which archaic modal polyphony and Byzantine sacred chants are clothed in 20th century orchestral garb. Emilia Petrescu (soprano), Martha Kessler (mezzo), Valentin Teodorian (tenor), Helge Bömches (bass), "George Enescu" Bucharest Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra; Mircea Basarab. Electrecord EDC 391 (Romania) 04F082 $12.98

SIGISMUND TODUTA (1908-1991): Concerto No. 2 for String Orchestra, Concerto No. 4 for String Orchestra and Organ, Concerto for Winds and Percussion. These taut, occasionally tense neo-classical concertos all come from the 1970s but they have the feel of the great pre-World War II European works for strings by such composers as Bartók and Honegger. Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra; Emil Simon, Tirgu Mures Philharmonic Orchestra; Loránt Szalman, Matei Kozma (organ). Electrecord ELCD 125 (Romania) 04F083 $12.98

EDE TERÉNYI (b.1935): Vivaldiana for String Orchestra, Flute and Harpsichord, Baroque Rhapsody for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Gallant Dances for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord, Swing Suite for Perucssion. As a glance at the titles will reveal, these are neo-baroque works of considerable style and flair (although Vivaldiana suddenly turns into an oddly lop-sided jazz number for a few minutes) while still using snatches of Romanian folk melos for flavoring. Swing Suite, however, is all jazz-based. Gavril Costea (flute), Ecaterina Botár (harpsichord), Cluj-Napoca Chamber Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal, Peter Szeles (cello), Tirgu Mures Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; George Dudea, Collegium Musicum Academicum, G. Dima Conservatory Percussion Ensemble. Electrecord ELCD 124 (Romania) 04F084 $12.98

STAN GOLESTAN (1875-1956): Sonatine, SIGISMUND TODUTA (1908-1991): Flute Sonata, RUDOR CIORTEA (1903-1982): Suite sur des thèmes populaires de Bihor, CIPRIAN PORUMBESCU (1853-1883): Ballade, GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Cantabile et Presto, BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Danses populaires roumaines. This disc of Romanian flute music (the Ciortea and Porumbescu were originally for violin) ranges from Porumbescu's Romantic piece of 1880 and the neo-classically treated folk tunes of Ciortea (1949) to Golestan's Gallic elegance (1932) with a strong folk undertow and Toduta's 1952 sonata where the Romanian influences are more subtle but the personal profile stronger. Radu Cotutiu (flute), Heidi Brunner-Gut (piano). Gallo CD-1110 (Switzerland) 04F085 $18.98

GERHARD STÄBLER (b.1949): Dalí, Traum 1/9/92, Internet 1.1, Internet 1.5, Internet 1.9, Windows 1-5, Total., Von Branntwein und Finsternissen, Hart auf hart. Stäbler is best known as an avant garde performer of a kind of performance art, often utilising a wide range of media in addition to music. Some elements of this style of performance are in evidence here, the pianist being required to play additional instruments and to speak and vocalise in a somewhat improvisatory manner during what are mainly compositions for conventional piano. Other sources of sound - off-station radios and the like - are also employed. A wide range of dynamics, clusters and much use of the piano as a percussion instrument lend these works a lively sense of experimentation, and considerable virtuosity is required of the pianist in negotiating the wide-ranging, rapidly changing textures. Best viewed as avant-garde constructions that happen to utilise a piano rather than as piano compositions in a conventional sense, these works are never less than intriguing, and certainly pack more of a visceral punch than much post-Cage instrumentally conceived music theatre of recent decades. 2 CDs. Paulo Alvares (piano). Metier MSC CD92075 (England) 04F086 $33.98

SYLVANO BUSSOTTI (b.1931): 13 Fogli d'album for Piano, Aquila imperiale, Ganymede. Bussotti has had a long association with the piano, and the "Album Leaves", of which the scores are graphically annotated on photographs, contain much of his encyclopaedic vocabulary of alternative playing techniques for the instrument. The fifty-minute work feels like a huge improvisation, endlessly inventive and unsettling in its violent juxtaposition of dark-hued quasi-Romantic full-textured conventional piano writing, with the most extravagant avant-garde treatment of the piano as a percussion instrument - a whole percussion section, indeed. Then a diversion by way of extreme complexicist keyboard writing, a solemn meditation, and without warning, a return to extended techniques and percussive sounds. The work with violin contrasts the modernism of the piano material with violin writing which makes explicit reference to conventional violin writing of the past, an odd, and telling attempt to reconcile styles centuries apart. Luca Paoloni (violin), Syvano Bussotti (piano). Stradivarius STR 33402 (Italy) 04F087 $17.98

LEE HYLA (b.1952): Violin Concerto, Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, Trans for Orchestra. Despite their modern idiom, or range of idioms, and the frequent complexity of their material, Hyla's works are the very reverse of unapproachable. His harmonic language, for a start, is so firmly rooted in tonality that the first impression given by these pieces is of a conventionally Romantic richness and directness of appeal to the emotions, and it comes as something of a shock to be reminded of the intellectual rigor that plainly went into the construction of the music; a fine example of the processes of the "composer's workshop" being irrelevant to the way the final result actually sounds. Harmony is used functionally throughout, and although in the concertante works the full resources of the solo instruments are called upon, the sense of inexorable progression and cogent musical argument is pursued as completely here as in any work of a hundred years ago. So Hyla's music is a real find, and essential listening for anyone who sees no contradiction between tradition and the use of the full compositional resources of our time. Laura Frautschi (violin), Tim Smith (bass clarinet), Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose. New World 80614-2 (U.S.A.) 04F088 $16.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Symphony No. 6, Concerto grosso No. 2 for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. Far removed from his polystylistic days (the much recorded Concerto grosso, from 1982, is much more in this vein), the sixth symphony (1992) is a dark, brass-dominated work (the strings don't really come into their own until the third movement, four-fifths of the way through the work, with a dolorous lament whose character, if not style, recalls Pettersson) which seems to speak of alienation, anxiety and threats of doom. Tatiana Grindenko (violin), Alexander Ivashkin (cello), Russian State Symphony Orchestra; Valery Polyansky. Chandos 10180 (England) 04F089 $17.98

JUKKA LINKOLA (b.1955): Saxophone Concerto, Sisu for Band, Tango-Tarantella for Trumpet and Band, Wedding Music for Band. With a background in jazz that enabled him to develop a personal compositional style which avoided the avant-garde strictures of the latter part of the 20th century, Linkola emerged as a neo-Romantic composer working within a particularly effective 'crossover' genre. These works for wind band recall at times Bernstein or Dana Suesse in their direct and accessible tonal idiom, and there is also something of the lively lightness of touch of Kabalevsky in the endearingly insousciant and playful melodies for which the composer has a real gift. The music is thoroughly and skillfully composed, and never gives the impression of the kind of point-proving that cross-genre pieces sometimes can; their delightfully breezy character is infectious and thoroughly enjoyable - there is a great deal of uncomplicated pleasure to be had from this enticing disc. Kai Ruskeapää (alto sax), Jouko Harjanne (trumpet), The Guards' Band; Elias Seppälä, Raine Ampuja. Alba ABCD 161 (Finland) 04F090 $16.98

LEWIS NIELSON (b.1950): Violin Concerto, 4 Movements for Violin and Harpsichord, Anagram for Violin and String Orchestra. These works featuring solo violin demonstrate Nielson's freely expressive style, which emphasises emotional tension through the conflict and contrast between widely variant material, rather than adhering to any particularly audible compositional doctrine. The concerto spins long, lyrical lines for the soloist, who is called upon to perform a very virtuosic concertante role - none of this democratic absorption of the soloist into the orchestra here, while the orchestra, developing material derived from the motifs given to the solost, expresses itself with rather more complexity, pushing the boundaries of tonality (though seldom abandoning it altogether - it appears from his rich harmonic sense and the freedom with which he departs from conventional tonality that Nielson is not especially concerned with pursuing the tonal/not tonal agument). Similar clashes of contrasting material occur in the Four Movements, making much of the dramatically opposed sustaining character of the two instruments. The progress from busy heterophonic material toward greater uniformity that marks the progress of the Anagram fantasia (so called because the thematic material is based on musical 'monograms' constructed from the names of the composer and his colleagues) exemplifies the composer's penchant for developing material in a fluid, organic manner. Levon Ambartsumian (violin), Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Mikhail Kukushkin, Vasily Dolinsky (harpsichord), ARCO Chamber Orchestra; Lewis Nielson. Centaur CRC 2665 (U.S.A.) 04F091 $16.98

AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Heterophony, String Quartet No. 2 "Pulses of Light", String Quartet No. 3 "Avian", Monologue for Solo Violin, Threnody for Solo Cello. These works, several of which were written for the Ardittis, or with their especial capabilities in mind, occupy a middle ground in contemporary quartet writing. While there are some extended playing techniques in evidence, the overriding impression is of a clear allegiance to the quartet tradition, at least of the early 20th century if not earlier. The third quartet, with its vivid evocation of birdsongs - many of which cannot be notated by conventional means, making the flexible tuning of stringed instruments particularly suitable for their depiction - is especially characterful, with some intriguing spatial hocketing effects between parts. Despite the obviously modern idiom, none of these pieces is in any sense unapproachable nor particularly challenging for the listener. The extended Threnody for solo 'cello, brooding and timbrally diverse, makes much use of the instrument's range of sonorities and harmonic richness. Arditti String Quartet. Camerata 28CM-524 (Japan) 04F092 $17.98

MORTON SUBOTNICK (b.1933): Electronic Works, Volume 2 - Sidewinder, Until Spring. Anybody else out there who'd take off the Black Sabbath LPs every now and then, back in the mid 70s, and put on one of Subotnick's Nonesuch records? Well, just asking... This trip down memory lane brings new 4.1 and 5.1 (respectively) surround sound digital remasterings of 1970's Sidewinder and 1976's Until Spring with original liner notes for the latter by the composer, a new note on both by Subotnick and separate remarks by another note writer. Reading the latter makes it so clear that trying to analyze or describe this music in words bears no relationship at all to the aural effect it has, so...... Mode 133 (U.S.A.) 04F093 $17.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Satyricon. This extravagant theatre of the grotesque brings into play many aspects of Maderna's creative personality, from popular idioms to skillful pastiches of a bewildering variety of musics (Weill, early music, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, musique concrète - the list goes on and on) to more respectful styles derived from Second Viennese preoccupations. Ultimately, this is a recasting of Petronius' satire into a truculent accusatory gesture flung in the face of another notable period of moral decadence in history - our own. And, by the way, the whole is vastly entertaining on many levels, from a kind of Monty Pythonesque silliness to a richly rewarding game of 'spot the reference', to a telling indictment of human weaknesses of all kinds. Multi-language libretto included. Paul Sperry (tenor), Aurio Tomicich (bass), Liliana Oliveri (soprano), Milagro Vargas (mezzo), Divertimento Ensemble; Sandro Gorli. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782174 (France) 04F094 $16.98

MATTHIAS PINTSCHER (b.1971): Figura I for Accordion and String Quartet, Figura II - Frammento for String Quartet, Figura III for Accordion, Figura IV - Passagio for String Quartet, Figura V - Assonanza for Solo Cello, String Quartet No. 4 "Ritratto di Gesualdo", Dernier espace avec introspecteur for Accordion and Cello. No annotation whatsoever is provided in the booklet for this release apart from track listings and credits, so one is presumably intended to go to www.winterandwinter.com, where notes on the music are available. The Figura are a musical commentary on Giacometti's elongated and emaciated bronze figures, suggested by rough-textured music of paradoxical fragility. Here, as in the other works for strings or strings with accordion, the composer makes some use of extended playing techniques, though for the most part the predominant feature of the instrumental textures is the sense of jagged shards of sound flung around, suggesting a different sculptural procedure altogether. As one might expect of a composer associated with operatic works, Pintscher perhaps naturally gravitated toward so obviously a dramatic subject as the strange and brutal life of Gesualdo as inspiration for his 4th quartet, less fragmentary and with more of an obviously narrative line than the other works here, though equally modern in idiom. Arditti String Quartet, Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion). Winter & Winter 910 097-2 (Germany) 04F095 $17.98

CHRISTIAN WOLFF (b.1934): Violist Pieces, Kegama for Violin, Clarinets, Cello, Piano and Percussion, Peace March I ºStop using uranium" for Flute, Peace March II for Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Piano and Percussion, Emma for Viola, Cello and Piano, Digger Song for String Trio and Percussion, From Leaning Forward for Soprano, Bass-Baritone, Clarinets and Cello, 3 Pieces for Violin and Viola, For 5 Players for Trombone, String Trio and Percussion, Exercises 15 (for Piano), 16 (for Clarinet and Cello), 17 (for Trombone) and 18 (for Clarinet, Cello, Valve Trombone and Piano), For 10 Players for Flutes, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trombone, Melodica, String Trio, Double Bass and Percussion, Dark as a Dungeon for Clarinet, Schoenen met veters for Flute, Clarinets, Trombone, String Trio and Double Bass. This set usefully gathers together solo and small-ensemble works from the second half of Wolff's life; somewhat surprisingly, most receive their first recording here. Less of an experimenter than his mentor, Cage, and more musically diverse than Feldman, the other New York composer with whom he is most commonly associated, Wolff remains a somewhat enigmatic figure, apparently content to leave fundamental aspects of the interprtation of many of his works to the performers, and concerned to endow his music witth populist, if not popular, appeal, through the employment of political protest songs, which are presented in so fragmentary a form as to preclude their acceptance by 'the man in the street' - unless one chooses one's street very carefully. Anyway, these pieces further enhance our overall view of an important figure in 20th-century music, making this a welcome addition to the catalogue. 2 CDs. The Barton Workshop. Mode 133/34 (U.S.A.) 04F096 $35.98

GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS (b.1953): in vain for 24 Instruments. This extended work, lasting over an hour without pause, takes the listener deep into the uncharted territory of microtonal composition, in what may be one of the most unapologetic and accomplished examples of the genre yet realised in western music. In a manner analogous to strict serialism, with pitches, meter and durations all determined by the chosen system, Haas applies the fluidity of the microtonal method to rhythm and timbre as well, as sounds flow into each other organically without suggesting conventional rhythms, and instrumental sounds melt into one another with the freedom of intermingling liquids. An interesting psychoacoustic by-product of this music is that once the ear is attuned to it, it seems logical and natural; the first experience of hearing music composed in conventional intervals after it sounds bizarre and none too subtly 'wrong'. But this piece is considerably more than a psychoactoustic experiment; on an emotional level it induces an almost trancelike state of calm, a timeless contemplation of the shifting patterns of light and shadow (it is perhaps significant that the score dictates that the work be listened to ideally in gathering darkness). Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling. Kairos 0012332KAI (Austria) 04F097 $15.98

OSCAR VAN DILLEN (b.1958): de Stad for Ensemble, Stadsgeschiedenis - Electroacoustic Montage of de Stad. "De Stad" for the sort of timbrally intriguing, medium-sized ensemble beloved of many modern composers from the Netherlands, is a celebration of the city of Rotterdam. The six movements, which do not bear programmatic titles, function as a series of "mood pictures", vividly suggesting the complex life, history and evolution of a great city. A strong vein of tonality runs through this highly approachable work, which in its more active sections makes use of post-minimalist driving rhythm, lending a sense of urgency and energy. More meditative slow movements enrich the form of the work, suggesting the diversity and complexity of the city's long and varied history, without resorting to 'complex' music. An electro-acoustic reworking of the piece occupies the final half hour of the disc, using much of the same instrumental material, overlain with recorded sounds which make more explicit the literalness of the portrait of the city in a kind of ambient sound-sculpture. Ensemble "Gelberklang". SACD-CD Hybrid disc. Cybele 361.301 (Germany) 04F098 $16.98

CHARLES WILLIAMS (1893-1978): High Adventure, Model Railway, Young Ballerina, The Bells of St. Clement's, The Dream of Olwen, Cutty Sark, Nursery Clock, The Night has Eyes, Devil's Galop, Starlings, The Voice of London, The Music Lesson, Girls in Grey, The Humming Top, Destruction by Fire, The Old Clockmaker, Little Tyrolean, Throughout the Years, Blue Devils, Jealous Lover, Rhythm on Rails, Sally Tries the Ballet, Cross Country, London Fair. Not officially part of the British Light Music series, this release nevertheless would fit there comfortably. Williams was a composer/conductor who wrote hundreds of cues for radio programs, documentary films, television shows and feature films (he even composed "canned music" which was rented out for use in documentaries or other media productions). The English will find this recording a trip down memory lane; the rest of us can enjoy it for its tunes' cheerful, melodic craftworthiness. Roderick Elms (piano), BBC Concert Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. ASV White Line WHL 2151 (England) 04F099 $11.98

London Pride - A Celebration of London in Song

Chalk Farm to Camberwell Green, Business Girls, A Room in Bloomsbury, A foggy day in London Town, Rhyme, Big Ben Blues, Sweet Thames, flow softly, The Pleasures of Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, Five Am'rous Sighs, Wimbledon Idyll, They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace, Mayfair merry-go-round, While London's fast asleep, Let's go and live in the country, A nightengale sang in Berkeley Square, Take me in a Taxi, Joe, Joyful Noise, London Pride. From Walton's Rhyme and Boyce's Vauxhall tribute to popular songs by Billy Mayerl, Harold Fraser-Simson, Noel Coward and Donald Swann, with contemporary cross-over composers like Richard Rodney Bennett and Jonathan Dove represented also, this selection of material dealing with or inspired by London (chosen by the soprano) is a wide-ranging tribute to a city which now lives more in memory than in fact. Texts included. Catherine Bott (soprano), David Owen Norris (piano). Hyperion CDA 67457 (England) 04F100 $17.98

Shostakovich Film Music, Vol. 2

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suite from The Golden Mountains, Op. 30, Suite from The Gadfly, Op. 97, Music from Volochayev Days, Op. 48. This new volume contains the first recording of music (a nine-minute suite) from the 1937 film Volochayev Days, set during the 1918 Japanese invasion of Russia. The Golden Mountains (1931) gets a six-cue, 14-minute suite which manages to encompass both a reference to Tchaikovsky's "Fate" motif of his Symphony No. 4 and the use of a Hawaiian guitar in the music where a corrupt factory boss trys to tempt the film's hero to help break a strike. The Gadfly's music is well-known and its 42-minute suite has the lion's share of this disc. BBC Philharmonic; Vasily Sinaisky. Chandos 10183 (England) 04F101 $17.98

TONY BANKS (b.1950): Seven - A Suite for Orchestra. Banks is the keyboard player (and one of the founding members) of the rock band Genesis and here is his first attempt to write orchestral music. Well - it's actually orchestrated by someone else, with Banks approving the results. This title appears on the back page because it struck us that this could well be part of the genre of "light music" which the next generation or two will look back on - lush melodies and harmonies, often sounding like film music or background music to other media events - if there is still such a thing as orchestral music in a couple of more generations... Attractive, non-demanding, and nothing particularly "rocky" about it, either. London Philharmonic Orchestra; Mike Dixon. Naxos 8.557466 (New Zealand) 04F102 $6.98

WERNER EGK (1901-1983): Kleine Abraxas Suite (RIAS Symphony Orchestra; Ferenc Fricsay. 1/12/51), MARK LOTHAR (1902-1985): Overture, Ständchen, Fugue and Fox-trot from Lord Spleen (Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Clemens Schmalstich. 11/1930), RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (NBC Symphony Orchestra; Arturo Toscanini. 11/18/45), CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Barn Dance, In the Night (Pan American Chamber Orchestra; Nicolas Slonimsky. 5/15/34), ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): Scherzi from Symphonies Nos. 0-3 (Berlin State Opera Orchestra; Fritz Zaun. 1933 and Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Anton Konrath. 1928), ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Le Festin de l'Araignée - Excerpts (Roussel conducting. 1929). This odd collection of novelties, intended to offer examples of orchestral performing practice from the first half of the 20th century, also has some very unusual repertoire which you are not likely to hear anywhere else! Symposium 1258 (England) 04F103 $17.98