January 2006        
 February 2006        
 March 2006        
 April 2006        
 May 2006        
 June 2006        
 July 2006        
 August 2006        
 September 2006        
 October 2006        

January 2005   January 2004  January 2003  January 2002  January 2001
February 2005   February 2004  February 2003 February 2002  February 2001
March 2005   March 2004  March 2003 March 2002 March 2001
April 2005   April 2004  April 2003 April 2002  April 2001
May 2005   May 2004  May 2003 May 2002 May 2001
June 2005   June 2004 June 2003  June 2002  June 2001
July 2005   July 2004  July 2003  July 2002  July 2001
August 2005   August 2004  August 2003  August 2002  August 2001
September 2005   September 2004  September 2003  September 2002  September 2001
October 2005   October 2004  October 2003  October 2002 October 2001
November 2005   November 2004   November 2003  November 2002 November 2001
December 2005   December 2004  December 2003 December 2002 December 2001

 January 2000
 February 2000
 March 2000
 April 2000
 May 2000
 June 2000
 July 2000
 August 2000
 September 2000
 October 2000
 November 2000
 December 2000
 January 1999
 February 1999
 March 1999
April 1999
 May 1999
 June 1999
 July 1999
 August 1999
 September 1999
 October 1999
 November 1999
 December 1999
 January 1998
 February 1998
 March 1998
 April 1998
  May 1998
 June 1998
 July 1998
 August 1998
 September 1998
 October 1998
 November 1998
 December 1998
 July 1997
 August 1997
 September 1997
 October 1997
 November 1997
 December 1997
Zweers & De Lange

First Symphonies

BERNARD ZWEERS (1854-1924): Symphony No. 1 in D, DANIEL DE LANGE (1841-1918): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 4. Back into their Dutch Romantics series, Sterling offers two first symphonies which, though they date from 1881 and 1868 respectively, contain practically nothing within them stylistically beyond Schumann. Haydn and Beethoven even figure into Zweers' youthful work and its sharp, buoyant rhythms, memorable themes and general genial quality make it impossible to not love. De Lange uses a form of cyclic procedure, à la Franck or Berlioz in his work and also uses old Dutch folk songs in his finale. If you're a fan of early Romanticism - say, the period between Beethoven and Schumann - this is the disc for you! Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Ed Spaanjard, Anthony Halstead. Sterling CDS 1068-2 (Sweden) 04H001 $16.98

Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: 35 (Marked Ø)


1. NORWAY IN MUSIC - an 18-disc series on the Simax label has not been completely available in the U.S. for around ten years. Some titles in this series were never imported here at all. I'm going to offer them on a special-order basis. If you're interested in this series click on the link "Norway in Music" or ask me for a printed list (complete with write-ups, just like the regular catalogue). Orders will be compiled and filled during the month of May. Composers in the series: Ludvig Irgens-Jensen (1894-1969); Christian Sinding; Fartein Valen (1887-1952); Pauline Hall (1890-1969); Arvid Kleven (1899-1929); Sverre Jordan (1889-1972); Eivind Groven (1901-1977); Edvard Fliflet Bræin (1924-1976); David Monrad Johansen (1888-1974); Olav Kielland (1901-1985).

2. The Toccata Classics release of Sir Donald Tovey's Symphony is going to be the cover item for next month. NOTE: I'm probably going to have it in stock early in April. If you know you want it, ask for it. Otherwise, you can wait to read about it next month. There will be plenty to go around.

3. The Belorussian anthology and other Prague-sourced back-orders from January appear to be irretrievably lost. Prague still wants me to wait. If you want to use your credits, please do so while we hope that a replacement shipment will eventually be put together.

4. Accord February titles: The French never shipped these until early March, at which time they screwed up the paperwork and the shipment sat in Customs for three weeks before it was sent back to Paris because Accord couldn't find the employee responsible for the error since he was on vacation. Supposedly, this shipment is being re-sent sometime this month.

www. recordsinternational.com e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com

The Wasps - World Premiere Recording!

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): The Wasps. Except for a broadcast in 1972, the complete musical score which Vaughan Williams wrote for the Cambridge Greek Play of 1909 has never been heard or recorded. The composer's widow commissioned conductor Igor Kennaway to prepare an edition of the score and David Pountney wrote a new text to replace the bowdlerized Edwardian translation of Aristophanes' original. The whole thing lasts 105 minutes, the two main characters (Procleon and Anticleon) both played by the same narrator and the chorus consisting of a half-dozen each of tenors and basses. The spoken melodramas will delight anyone who grew up on Monty Python, drawing from the same source of British music-hall humor while the music engagingly reminds us of pre-World War I England, almost hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world. This was VW's biggest work of its kind to date and the most striking portion is a 21-minute choral Parabasis which comes at the end of Act II and which anticipates the Vaughan Williams of Serenade to Music and The Pilgrim's Progress. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Texts included. Henry Goodman (narrator), Richard Suart (chorus leader), Hallé Chorus and Orchestra; Mark Elder. Hallé CD HLD 7510 (England) 04H002 $17.98

KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 7, Overture in A Minor, Op. 4, Värmlands Rhapsody, Op. 36. There are no other recordings currently available of the large-scale overture which the young Atterberg completed early in 1911, a 13-minute piece of attractive late Romanticism which, of course, critics of the time found "modern" although acceptable. The concerto (1913) is of similar conservative (to us) manner, full of welling emotions and psychological ebb and flow and a bit unusual in that its lovely, elegiac slow movement is the shortest of the three. The Rhapsody (1933) is suggested by landscape and based on folk song; it and the concerto have only one other recording on CD. Ulf Wallin (violin), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Roger Epple. CPO 777 106 (Germany) 04H003 $15.98

ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (1897-1986): Symphonies, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 4 in C Sharp Minor, Symphony No. 5 in D, Symphony No. 6 "In Memoriam" with Chorus. Another major symphonic space will be filled with the completion of this new series. It begins with the three works of the war years, the first, completed in 1939, showing Tansman's characteristic nervous energy and extrovert neo-classical inclinations but also with a very French sense of color. Both composed in Los Angeles, the Fifth (1942) sounds like a war piece: a first movement full of ominous foreboding, a pensive Intermezzo followed by the relief of a Stravinskian scherzo before a finale which alludes to material from all the preceding movements. The Sixth, with a final chorus setting a text of Tansman himself, is dedicated to those who died for France and is more compact than its predecessors but still referring much to French music and to Stravinsky. French-English text. Melbourne Chorale and Symphony Orchestra; Oleg Caetani. Chandos SACD hybrid 5041 (England) 04H004 $21.98

Flemish Connection, Vol. 5

ARTHUR DE GREEF (1862-1940): Piano Concerto No. 2 in B, 5 chants d'amourfor Soprano and Orchestra, Humoresque for Orchestra. The deletion of the entire old Marco Polo back catalogue means that this new release is the only available version of De Greef's 1930 concerto, a marvelously old-fashioned late Romantic work whose movement subtitles, "Angoisse", "Séparation" and "Sursum Corda" appear to describe the separation and reuniting of two lovers. The 1891 Humoresque is a breezy little scherzo-like piece of six minutes while the song cycle veers from delicate to luxurious in its colorful orchestration. French-Enlish texts. Artur Pizarro (piano), Charlotte Riedijk (soprano), Flemish Radio Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Etcetera/Klara KTC 4013 (Netherlands) 04H005 $17.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Eugene Onegin, Op. 71 (adapt. Edward Downes) for 2 Speakers, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Pique Dame, Op. 70a (arr. Jurowski) for Orchestra. The latest in Capriccio's series of incidental and film music consists of a 76 minute disc of the score for a Pushkin anniversary (1936) stage play (banned before performance) of Eugene Onegin - all the music save three numbers (performed here in the original solo piano score version) orchestrated from an untouched piano score found recently in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art which was prepared by Pavel Lamm (1882-1951). The second disc presents 34 minutes of music for Mikhail Romm's unfinished film from the same year. 2 CDs. Mid-price. English translations (no Russian texts). Khulpan Khamatova, Jakob Küf (speakers), Boris Statsenko (baritone), RIAS Chamber Choir, RSO Berlin; Michail Jurowski. Capriccio 67 149 (Germany) 04H006 $19.98

ARMAS LAUNIS (1884-1959): Aslak Hetta. Picked by Gramophone as one of the year's top releases, this Finnish opera was released in Europe last summer but, after a few nags from us over the last six months, its U.S. distributor has finally made it available. The Sept. Gramophone says it best: "...echoes of Puccini, though never so sterong as to suggest slavish imitation, and the style is broadly post-Wagnerian. There are even occasional affinities with Janácek. But these elements, together with motivic borrowings from Sami folk music, make for a distinctive and attractive blend, compellingly direct in its communicative vigour and rising to some thrillingly sustained climaxes... the folk music element sets off the prevailing opulence of harmony and scoring with an element of raw asceticism...". Dating from the late 1920s, its subject is the rebellion by a Sami (i.e. Lapp) leader against Norway in 1852. 2 CDs. Finnish-English libretto. Aki Alamikkotervo (tenor), Raili Viljakainen, Anna-Kristiina Kaappola (sopranos), Raimo Laukka (baritone), YL Male Voice Choir, Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo. Ondine ODE 1050-2D (Finland) 04H007 $35.98

Three New Hungaroton Special Imports

SÁNDOR BALASSA (b.1935): Violin Concerto, Op. 3, Sons of the Sun for Orchestra, Op. 54, Pastorale and Rondo for Violin and Horn, Op. 66. Hungaroton's fourth and newest Balassa issue is hot out of the Budapest pressing plant! Unlike the last issue (09G072) which we offered in September of 2004, the major work here is not recent, the violin concerto being a late student work of 1964-65. At the time, students had to compose in the conservative, national idiom (which Balassa was to come back to in the early 90s anyway) and this three-movement work of 38 minutes is firmly in the Kodály/Bartók tradition, a beautiful piece with plenty of Romantic flavor and attractive orchestration. From the composer's newer period, equally folk-based but in a deeper-felt and much more personal style, the 24-minute tone poem Sons of the Sun of 1995 was one of many Hungarian musical tributes to the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the country and incorporates an earlier work by Balassa, Hungarian Chant. Márta Ábrahám (violin), Péter Füzes (horn), Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ádám Medveczky. Hungaroton HCD 32355 (Hungary) 04H008 $17.98 Ø

ISTVÁN LÁNG (b.1933): Symphony No. 7 for Soprano, Contralto, Piano and Orchestra (Anna Herczenik [soprano], Tamara Takács [contralto], Ilona Prunyi [piano], Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; László Tihanyi), Sempre in tensione for Flute, Violin and Viola (Zoltán Gyöngyössy [flute], Péter Somogyi [violin], Balázs Tóth [viola]), Inquieto for Shakuhachi and Electronics (István Matuz), Ist es möglich ohne B-A-C-H? for Harpsichord (Anikó Horváth). Typically, this is a stylistic mélange of contemporary methods, which the composer somehow manages to meld into a voice that is recognisably his own. Through the unfamiliar sound of the Japanese bamboo flute or extended playing techniques on a western flute (Sempre) he produces highly unusual sonorities with which to color the restless, fluid textures of his works. Half the disc is taken up by the symphony, a tense and dramatic work in which the piano soloist acts as a participant in the drama, sometimes interrupting proceedings altogether for an extended soliloquy. With its unconventional instrumentation and vivid imagery, the work takes on a shadowy narrative structure, almost more operatic than symphonic - a disturbing narrative whose subject is death, and whose contemplation raises questions but, as the ambiguous ending of the work makes clear, no answers. No texts. Hungaroton HCD 32357 (Hungary) 04H009 $17.98 Ø

TIBOR PIKÉTHY (1884-1972): Christmas Phantasy for Chorus and Organ, Op. 95, For Organ: Improvisation on the Hungarian National Anthem, Op. 51, Pastorale, Op. 63, Easter Phantasy - Alleluja, Introduction and Fugue in C, Op. 31, GÁBOR LEHOTKA (b.1938): Suite Française for Organ, 3 Motets from the Cycle Amor Sanctus for Chorus and Organ. Pikéthy had nothing to do with Hungarian folk song, instead tending toward late southern European Romanticism, his use of the national anthem and a Hungarian Christmas song being in the manner of a late Romantic central European composer. His student, Lehotka, consciously formed an eclectic style using homophony, polyphony, consonance, dissonance and chance in a unified and Classically proportioned form. An interesting and different byway of 20th century organ music. Latin and Hungarian texts. Gábor Lehotka (organ of the Church of the Franciscan Order, Vác), Vox Humana Chorus of Vác; József Maklári. 1997 release. Hungaroton HCD 31749 (Hungary) 04H010 $17.98 Ø

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Sinfonietta, In the Faery Hills, November Woods, The Garden of Fand. Baxians now have a first-rate version of the 1932 Sinfonietta, a work in the late orchestral style of his Northern Ballads and previously only available on an old, 1987 Marco Polo release. And fans of Handley's recent Bax symphony cycle will want his versions of three of the best tone-poems. BBC Philharmonic; Vernon Handley. Chandos 10362 (England) 04H011 $17.98

DMITRY KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Piano Concertos No. 1, Op. 9 & No. 2, Op. 23. Hard to believe, but this is the only CD of the first concerto currently available (and only one other of the second). Of course, the "Youth" Third is the best-known, but it's instructive (and enjoyable!) to have Kabalevsky's first two piano concertos (1928 and 1935) in hand for all that they are indebted to Rachmaninov (in the first) and Prokofiev (both - but for different reasons; by 1935, Prokofiev was a suitable model to prevent being devoured by the State's musical-police). In-Ju Bang (piano), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.557683 (New Zealand) 04H012 $7.98

DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Execution of Stepan Razin for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 119, October, Op. 131, 5 Fragments, Op. 42. The 1964 Exectuion, a half-hour long symphonic poem about the 17th century Cossack hero, is in the grand Russian cantata tradition of Prokoviev's Alexander Nevsky in its magnificent choral and orchestral soundscapes, powerful climaxes and colorful Russian folk elements, while the 13-minute October is a 50th anniversary Revolution commemoration - are coupled with the almost unknown Fragments which are "practice runs" from 1935 for the Sym. No. 4. Russian-English texts. Charles Robert-Austin (bass-baritone), Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Naxos 8.557812 (New Zealand) 04H013 $7.98

ARNOLD COOKE (1906-2005): Violin Sonata No. 2, Cello Sonata No. 2, Viola Sonata. Cooke was a student of Hindemith and, like his teacher, wrote much chamber music for small formations in the spirit of gebrauchmusik. These works, all first recordings, date respectively from 1951, 1980 and 1937 and demonstrate what Cooke brought himself to this genre, something one usually doesn't associate with Hindemith: a gift for lovely, often lyrical melody. Along with what a music writer called his "emotional reserve, urbanity, and unassertive individuality", this produced a personal style which places Cooke with such compatriots as Lennox Berkeley and fellow Hindemith student Walter Leigh. Susanne Stanzeleit (violin), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Morgan Goff (viola), Raphael Terroni (piano). British Musical Society BMS432CD (England) 04H014 $18.98 Ø

BIAGIO MARINI (1597-1663): Curiose invenzioni from Op. 8: Sonata due corde, Canzon quinta, Sonata sopra la Monica, Capriccio a modo di lira, 2 Balletti, Sonata 11 à 2, Capriccio per decima quarta, Sonata variata, Sonata in ecco, Canzon quarta, Sonata d'inventione, Pass'emezzo concertato. Dating from 1626, the huge Op. 8 contained a wide variety of pieces, many of which are distinguished by their virtuosic solo violin parts (which marks out many of those collected here). Although recorded in 1998, we never offered this title and can't find a record of it's having been available before, so check your shelves! Monica Huggett (violin), Galatea; Paul Beier. Stradivarius STR 35705 (Italy) 04H015 $8.98

GIACOMO CARISSIMI (1605-1674): Pulchra et decora, Laxentur caeli, Veniat dilectus meus, Emendemus in melius, Alleluja, jubilat Ecclesia, Beatum virum, Militia est vita hominis, Salve, amor noster, Ardens est cor nostrum, Domine quis habitabit, Dicite nobis, Annuntiate gentes. First recordings of the first five motets listed above, from a Bolognese manuscript which shed new light on a previously unknown early style of Carissimi. Il Cantar Novo; Pietro Ceccarelli. Tactus TC 602801 (Italy) 04H016 $11.98

ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1639-1682): Vola, vola in altri petti (Rosita Frisani, Anna Chierichetti [sopranos], Gianluca Belfiori Doro [alto], Riccardo Ristori [bass], Fulmini quanto sa quel sembiante lusinghiero for Soprano, Bass and Continuo (Cristiana Presutti, Ristori), Furie del nero tartaro for Bass, Violins and Continuo (Ristori). The small quantity of Stradella's secular vocal works on disc gets a nice boost with these first recordings, typically intense and expressive. Vola, vola is a 39-minute serenata from 1674 which appears to be the first case of a score directing the division of the orchestra into concerto grosso and concertino. Italian-English texts. Alessandro Stradella Consort; Estevan Velardi. Bongiovanni GB 2326 (Italy) 04H017 $16.98

GIUSEPPE TORELLI (1658-1709): 6 Sinfonie a tre and 6 Concerti a quatro, Op. 5. If this is a re-issue, Stradivarius don't want us to know about it, so check your collections. It's unique in being an entire opus number without a trumpet being anywhere near! Published in 1692, these are actually six trio sonatas (Sinfonie) and six orchestral concertos, and the opus is an important experiment in the evolution of "orchestral concertos". Insieme Strumentale di Roma; Giorgio Sasso. Original 19?? release. Stradivarius STR 35702 (Italy) 04H018 $8.98

JOHANN SIGISMUND KUSSER (1660-1727): Composition de Musique - Suites 1-3. This remarkable series of orchestral suites was published by Kusser in 1682. No one knows when he composed them nor how they can have sprung so Lullian and fully-formed from such a young man but what we said about Kusser's music last October can only be repeated here: a vivid aural spectactle sure to be enjoyed by collectors of French baroque orchestral music! Budget-price with 2006 Musicaphon catalogue enclosed. Les Enchantants; Klaus Westermann. Musicaphon M 56854 (Germany) 04H019 $5.98

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1751): Balletti a tre, Op. 3 for 2 Violins, Cello and Harpsichord. Dating from 1701, these are trio sonatas (the title suggested probably by collections of the same name by Vitali) of three and four dance movements fully in the Corellian style. Ensemble Benedetto Marcello. Bongiovanni GB 5628 (Italy) 04H020 $16.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): St. Mark Passion, TWV 5:40. Yet another example of the astonishing power and concentrated dramatic imagination of a 74-year-old composer who only seemed to get better as he headed toward his eighth decade. The live recording helps the dramatic effect; no English notes. 2 CDs. German texts. Friederike Holzhausen, Susanne Gorzny (soprano), Michael Zabanoff (tenor), Matthias Vieweg, Sören von Billerbeck (basses), Chamber Choir of the Biederitzer Kantorei, Telemann Consort Magdeburg; Michael Scholl. Amati ami 2302/2 (Germany) 04H021 $35.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Orchestral Suite in B for 2 Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Continuo, TWV 55:B4, Concerto grosso in G for Strings and Continuo, TWV 52:G1, Concerto grosso in G for 2 Flutes, Bassoon, Strings and Continuo, TWV 53:G1, Flute Concerto in E, TWV 51:E1, Violin Concerto in G, TWV 51:G4, Sonata in G Minor for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello and Continuo, TWV 44:33. Now, a Russian period instrument group brings us two discs of Telemann, one in major keys and one in minor. All but the last two works as listed above are claimed as first recordings. We print the TWV numbers and let you check your shelves! Pratum Integrum Orchestra. Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0032005 (Russia) 04H022 $18.98 Ø

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Orchestral Suite in A Minor for 2 Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Continuo, TWV 55:a3, Concerto in E Minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Continuo, TWV 52:e3, Concerto in E Minor for 2 Flutes, Violin, Strings and Continuo, TWV 53:e1, Sonatas for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello and Continuo in F Minor, TWV 44:32 and in B FLat, TWV 44:34. Claimed as a first recording, the orchestral suite is in full French style, with movements entitled "Les Plaisirs", "Furies" and "Les Matelots" in addition to the usual dance-types. Pratum Integrum Orchestra. Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0042004 (Russia) 04H023 $18.98 Ø

NICOLA PORPORA (1686-1768): Orlando. This 1720 piece marked the premieres of both Farinelli and the librettist, Metastasio. An opera seria in all but its four-part form, it is a remarkable reminder of how important Porpora was on the baroque Italian stage. This version has cut out three parallel characters (but kept their best arias) and restructured the libretto in Ariosto's chronology but, as is argued by the conductor/editor, this is precisely the sort of thing baroque composers did to make pieces clearer and more attractive to particular audiences. 2 CDs. Italian-French libretto. Robert Expert (countertenor), Olga Pitarch, Betsabée Haas (sopranos), Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara; Juan Bautista Otero. K 617 177/2 (France) 04H024 $35.98

BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): 6 Sonatas for Flute and Continuo, Op. 2, 2 Harpsichord Sonatas, Toccata and 2 Fugues for Harpsichord. The flute sonatas are very early works, simple and direct with many attractive, quickly remembered melodies. A bonus is nearly 20 minutes of solo harpsichord music (date unknown), more contrapuntal and learned in nature. Il Rossignolo; Ottaviano Tenerani (harpsichord). Tactus TC 683802 (Italy) 04H025 $11.98

FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (1687-1762): 4 Keyboard Pieces, SILVIUS LEOPOLD WEISS (1686-1750): 8 Transcriptions of Lute Pieces, JOHANN ADAM REINCKEN (1623-1722)/JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Sonata in A Minor, BWV 965. The art of baroque transcription - Geminiani transcribing movements of his own op. 4 violin sonatas, the very young Bach doing a Reincken trio sonata and a set of anonymous transcriptions of Weiss lute pieces from a manuscript in the British Library. Olga Martynova (harpsichord). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CM 0072004 (Russia) 04H026 $18.98 Ø

SEBASTIAN BODINUS (1700-1760): Sonatas I-VI. Our third offering of Bodinus' music in the last 13 months. These works come from a collection in a Slovak church and, while titled "Sonatas", are really trio sonatas (or quartets, if you count the basso continuo) just like those offered previously with the exception that, here, two violins are used instead of flute and violin with the first violin having the customary soloistic material and Telemann's style forming the most obvious basis. Musica Aeterna. Slovart Records SR-0008-2 (Slovakia) 04H027 $17.98 Ø

GIACOMO PUCCINI, SR. (1712-1781): Psalms Dixit Dominus, De profundis, Laudate Pueri. Yes, it his great-great-grandfather. Writing for an orchestra which included, at times, Geminiani, Boccherini (father and son) and Manfredini, it's not surprising how much virtuosity is demanded in the allegro movements of these psalm settings (dating from between 1741 and 1755). The language is still late baroque, with a hint of the Empfindsamkeit wafting from over the Alps. Julia Gooding (soprano), Adolph Seidel (bass), James Gilchrist (tenor), Jonathan Peter Kenny (countertenor), Kantorei Saarlouis, Ensemble UnaVolta; Joachim Fontaine. Arte Nova 755070 (Germany) 04H028 $4.98

WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784): 2 Sonatas in F for Flute and Piano, Trio for 2 Flutes and Piano in A Minor, Trio for 2 Flutes, Piano and Cello in D, Trio for 2 Flutes, Harpsichord and Cello in D, Sonata for Flute, Harpsichord and Cello in E Minor. A brand-new recording from Berlin Classics (nice to see!) brings an hour's worth of the idiosyncratic music of J.S.' favorite son. Some virtuoso features and modulations anticipate the 19th century and melodies change direction and character without warning in these flute chamber pieces whose dating is uncertain but probably all of which pre-date 1750. Wilbert Hazelet, Marion Moonen (flutes), Jacques Ogg (harpsichord, fortepiano), Jaap ter Linden (cello). Berlin Classics 0017802BC (Germany) 04H029 $18.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Danket dem Herrn, Heilig, Wq 217, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Easter Oratorio, BWV 249. Danket dem Herrn is a late (1785) piece in Bach's most modern style - think Haydn's Creation - coupled with a an earlier Heilig which the score for the former instructs be inserted at the high point of the later score. Together they make for a 40-minute oratorio of more than usual stylistic interest. German-English texts. Joanne Lunn (soprano), Elisabeth Jansson (alto), Jan Kobow (tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (bass), Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra; Frieder Bernius. Carus 83.212 (Germany) 04H030 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Concertos for Oboe, Strings and Continuo in E Flat, Wq 165 and in C Minor, Wq 22, Oboe Sonata in G Minor, Wq 135, Trio Sonata in D Minor for Flute, Oboe and Continuo (from J.S. Bach BWV 1036). Quite a bit of unusual stuff here, from the trio sonata whose origin is unknown (J.S. Bach's authorship was always doubted), to a (modern, we assume) oboe transcription of the C Minor piano concerto of 1775 (which also exists in a flute version) and an apparently original oboe concerto from 1765. The oboe sonata dates from 1735, offering a glimpse of very early C.P.E. Hermitage Chamber Orchestra, Alexei Utkin (oboe). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CM 0112004 (Russia) 04H031 $18.98 Ø

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): String Trios, Vol. 4 - Nos. 19-24, Hob. V: 20, D3, G1, 21, 11 & D1. And this series continues, apparently picking up speed... Vienna Philharmonia Trio. Camerata CMCD-28044 (Japan) 04H032 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Keyboard Sonatas from Op. 5: No. 1 in B Flat, No. 3 in G, No. 4 in E Flat, from Op. 17: No. 2 in C Minor, No. 4 in G, No. 5 in A. Half of each of J.C.'s sets of keyboard sonatas (1766 and 1773) are here performed on the harpsichord. This may fill some gaps in catalogues given that the only complete sets of either opus number are fortepiano recordings. Olga Martynova (harpsichord). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CM 0052004 (Russia) 04H033 $18.98 Ø

SAMUEL ARNOLD (1740-1802): 6 Overtures, Op. 8, Incidental Music from Macbeth, Overture to the Opera Polly. Dating from 1771, the overtures are three-movement symphonies in the style of J.C. Bach and ultimately derived from the Mannheim style. For Macbeth in 1778, Arnold used Scottish folk material to produce eight short pieces of incidental music lasting 18 minutes. Toronto Camerata; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.557484 (New Zealand) 04H034 $7.98

HENRI-JOSEPH RIGEL (1741-1799): 6 String Quartets, Op. 10. Here's a real find! Expecting French two-movement quatuors concertants typical of the period (1773)? Not a bit of it. These three-movement works are not far off the Haydn Sun quartets which were composed the year before (but not published until 1774). Half are in minor keys and the air of Sturm und Drang is very present. Quatuor Franz Joseph. Atma ACD2 2348 (Canada) 04H035 $16.98

MAXIM BEREZOVSKY (early1740s-1777): Sinfonia in C, 2 Arias from Il Demofonte, Harpsichord Sonatas in B Flat, F and in C, Violin Sonata in C, Concerto for Strings "Cast Me Not Off in the Time of Old Age". Everything here but the violin sonata are first recordings, the fruits of very recent musicological research in both Italy (where Berezovsky was a student of Martini from 1769-73) and Russia. The ten-minute symphony may be the very first by a Russian and it could also be the overture to the opera from which the following two arias come. Rounding off the piece is the only work certain to predate the Italian tour - a 2003 transcription for string quartet of a sacred concerto, a genre Berezovsky wrote much in during his earliest composing years. Pratum Integrum Orchestra (period instruments). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0022003 (Russia) 04H036 $18.98 Ø

ANTON FERDINAND TIETZ (1742-1810): Symphony No. 4 in C, Violin Concerto in E Flat, Quintet No. 6 in D Minor for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Bass, Quartet in D Minor for 2 Violins, Viola and Bass, Op. 1/5, Duet in C for Violin and Cello. Another example of post-Soviet gains for collectors: the 70s Grove really knows nothing about Tietz' works (he lived in Russia from 1771 on), unaware that he wrote symphonies and concertos and that most of what's here, at least, has a strong flavor of German Sturm und Drang. This disc is a real eye-opener for collectors of the late Classical period! Pratum Integrum Orchestra (period instruments). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0022004 (Russia) 04H037 $18.98 Ø

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): String Quintets, Vol. 2 - 6 Quintets, Op. 11 (G. 271-76). Eleven months after the first volume, we can all wallow again in the zest, flair and sense of color which Boccherini poured into all of his works, with both Spanish and Italian flavors present in these pieces which, like their immediate predecessors, were composed in 1771. 2 CDs. La Magnifica Comunità. Brilliant Classics 92889 (Netherlands) 04H038 $10.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Symphonies in D (Murray A21) and in G Minor (Murray A42), Violin Concerto in D Minor (Murray C9), Horn Concerto in D Minor, (Murray C38). Only the violin concerto is shared with last month's cpo release (but these performances are on period instruments). If either of the symphonies is duplicated by the Chandos and two MD&G recordings (on modern instruments), it's impossible to tell since they use a cataloguing system different from Murray. Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin), Helen MacDougall (horn), Pratum Integrum Orchestra. Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0012005 (Russia) 04H039 $18.98 Ø

JOHANN MATTHIAS SPERGER (1750-1812): Double Bass Concerto in D, JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1813): Double Bass Concerto in D. New double bass concertos come along less often than those for other instruments. This first recording of Sperger's work is striking for its use of trumpets and drums and its Sturm und Drang-like slow movement. Only one other recording of the Vanhal too, in its original key. Zsolt Fejérvári (double bass), Erkel Ferenc Chamber Orchestra. Hungaroton HCD 32341 (Hungary) 04H040 $17.98

DMITRY BORTNYANSKY (1751-1825): Overture and Aria from the Opera Quinto Fabio, Aria Vas orner le sein de Themire, Canzonetta "Ecco quell fiero istante", Motets: In convertendo dominus, Ave Maria, Salve Regina, Montes valles resonate, Fugue. All these works come from 1775-8, during the composer's apprenticeship in Italy with Galuppi and are, not surprisingly, very Italianate in style. The ten-minute opera overture can also stand alone as a symphony. Pratum Integrum Orchestra (period instruments). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0042003 (Russia) 04H041 $18.98 Ø

DMITRY BORTNYANSKY (1751-1825): Sinfonia concertante for Piano and Harp, Harpsichord Sonatas in B Flat, C and F, Quintet in C for Piano, Harp, Violin, Viola da Gamba and Cello, Harpsichord Concerto in D (first movement), March in C for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns and Bassoon. This disc deals with Bortnyansky's Russian, mature, period, the works mostly written in 1787 and 1790. The quintet is almost Mozartian in its rich thematic structuring and we also have the first recording of the first movement of a lost keyboard concerto. Pratum Integrum Orchestra (period instruments). Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0052003 (Russia) 04H042 $18.98 Ø

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Harmoniemusik of The Abduction from the Seraglio, K.384. Conductor and editor of the score, Blomhert sketches his reasons in the notes for believing Mozart himself did this transcription of 61 minutes of music from the opera. This is generally accepted as of 2005. Wind Ensemble of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Bastaan Blomhert. Pentatone Classics SACD hybrid PTC 5186 088 (Netherlands) 04H043 $18.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Don Giovanni (arr. String Quartet by Johann Nepomuk Went [1745-1801]). Here's the well-known Went transcribing for strings instead of winds! Artis Quartet. Orfeo C 664 061 A (Germany) 04H044 $18.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Clarinet Quintet in C Minor after the Wind Serenade, K. 388/406 (trancsr. Vincent Gambaro [1746-after1810), Clarinet Quintet in B after String Quartet , K. 575 (transcr. Franz Josef Rosiniack [1748-1823]), Adagio after K. 580a (transcr. Franz Beyer), Adagio after Aria K. Anhang C 3.30 (transcr. ?). ... while these three arrangers add clarinet to string quartet in their unusual transcriptions of works for winds and for strings. Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Mannheim String Quartet. Orfeo C 644 061 A (Germany) 04H045 $18.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791) /JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Concertos No. 22 in E Flat, K.482 and No. 26 in D, K.537. The third release in this series (I'll try to have the second for May) continues to delight as pupil fills in the solo indications in master's published version, no doubt remembering, for example, the premiere of the "Coronation" concerto and how Mozart played it. Orchestra, solo and Hummel's ornamentation are contained in the piano part with the other three instruments either accompanying or reinforcing the piano. Fumiko Shiraga (piano), Henrik Wiese (flute), Peter Clemente (violin), Tibor Bényi (cello). BIS CD-1537 (Sweden) 04H046 $17.98 Ø

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Piano Sonatas No. 18 in E Flat, Op. 44 "The Farewell", No. 24 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 61 "Èlégie harmonique" & No. 26 in A Flat, Op. 64 "Le retour à Paris". Although the last two sonatas listed above have been recorded before (three others of Le retour are currently available), the 28-minute Op. 44 of 1800, dedicated to Clementi, has its first CD appearance here. Dussek's most ambitious work yet at the time of its composition, it combines Mozartian manners with a kinetic energy in the first movement, looks back to baroque-style pathos in the slow one, has a rhythmically and contrapuntally intricate waltz-like minuet and a song-like sonata rondo finale. Markus Becker (piano). CPO 777 020 (Germany) 04H047 $15.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1829): Piano Concertos No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 and No. 4 in G, Op. 58 in String Quartet arrangements by ? and Alexander Pössinger [1767-1827]. The Fourth's arrangement was done between the completion and publication of the concerto and has Beethoven's alterations to the solo part in the manuscript. Heidrun Holtmann (piano), Concertino München. Musicaphon M 56849 (Germany) 04H048 $16.98

JOSEPH WÖLFL - The Symphonies!

JOSEPH WÖLFL (1773-1812): Symphony in G Minor, Op. 40, Symphony in C, Op. 41, Großes Duett in D Minor for Piano and Cello, Op. 31. Two brilliant, original and thoroughly captivating symphonies from a composer you may know only from his piano and chamber music. Dating from 1803 and c.1808, these are big-boned, full-blooded pre-Romantic symphonies which can stand with those of Méhul, Vorisek, etc. Pratum Integrum Orchestra. Caro Mitis SACD hybrid CD 0022005 (Russia) 04H049 $18.98 >Ø

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): L'Enchantment d'Oberon, Op. 116, Le Retour à Londres, Op. 127, O du lieber Augustin, Piano Concerto in A. First recording of the 1831 Retour, a typical "Introduction and Rondo" which makes use of English folk-like modal tunes. L'Enchantement (also known as Oberons Zauberhorn) makes use of motifs from Weber's opera during its extended, 17-minute course. The concerto, one of two early ones in A, is probably from around 1798 and quite Mozartian in places while, surprisingly, the set of variations on O du lieber is for orchestra only - no pianist required! London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 10374 (England) 04H050 $17.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Clarinet Trio in B Flat, Op. 28, Clarinet Sonata in G Minor, Op. 29, Sonate sentimentale for Clarinet and Piano in E Flat, Op. 169. The Ries explosion continues with one of the first clarinet sonatas in existence (only Vanhal preceded him), a full-sized, 25-minute work from 1809, experimenting with sonata form in Ries' original way - as he did in the 1810 trio whose four movements (including a scherzo) suggest the larger scale of sonata or string quartet. Dating from 1814 (but published much later), the second sonata was written on Ries' honeymoon and is an elegant musical depiction of peace, happiness and equilibrium (as suggested by its French subtitle). Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Armin Fromm (cello), Thomas Duis (piano). CPO 777 036 (Germany) 04H051 $15.98

FRANZ XAVER MOZART (1791-1844): Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. 14, Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Sharp, Op. 25. Chances are that F.X. would have had a much better and more appreciated career than he did if he hadn't been Mozart's son and if he hadn't spent most of it in Lemberg/ Lvov/L'viv in what is now Ukraine. His only two concertos (1811 and 1818) fit nicely into the pre-Romantic picture along with those by Hummel, Clementi, Field, Ries, etc. Henri Sigfridsson (piano), International New Symphony Orchestra L'viv; Gunhard Mattes. Novalis 150 175-2 (Switzerland) 04H052 $16.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Lieder & Ballades, Vol. 20 - Der Treuergebene, Op. 9, H.III,4, Mahomet's Gesang, Op. 85, Hinaus! Hinauf! Hinab!, Johann von Nepomuk, Op. 35/2, Jünglings Gebet, Die Helden-braut, Das heilige Haus in Loretto, Op. 33/2, Wohin, o Seele wirst du eilen?, Op. 13/5, Das Glockenspiel der Phantasie, Op. 89/1, Dein Auge, Op. 89/2, Du Geist der reinsten Güte, Op. 89/5, Mit jedem Pulsschlag leb' ich dir, Op. 89/6, Mondlicht, Op. 107/1, Wach auf!, Op. 9, H.VI,1, An Aphrodite, Op. 9, H.IX,4, An die Grille, Op. 9, H.IX,5, Auf sich selbst I & II, An die Leier, Der Bräutigam, Op. 9, H.X,3. The latest in this mammoth collection of gripping ballads, musical legends and other vivid miniatures - a priceless unit of German song history. German-English texts. Robert Wörle (tenor), Cord Garben (piano). CPO 999 978 (Germany) 04H053 $15.98

HEINRICH WILHELM STOLZE (1801-1868): Die Wohltemperierte Orgel, Op. 58. Based, obviously, on Bach, this large-scale cycle is carefully composed so that all the preludes and fugues form an organic whole. Dating from 1861, it forms part of a comprehensive "School for Organ" like that of his contemporary J.C.H. Rinck with whom and with Gustav Merkel, Stolze can be grouped stylistically. Performed on Stolze's own restored organ. 2 CDs. Reinhard Kluth (organ of the Stadtkirche, Celle). Motette DCD M13061 (Germany) 04H054 $33.98

MIHÁLY MOSONYI (1815-1870): String Sextet in C Minor, ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): String Sextet in B Flat. These two works, both from the early periods of their respective composers (1844 and 1893) are full of heart-meltingly beautiful melodies, conservative in the best sense (meaning Brahmsian for Dohnányi and the Austro-German early Romantic vein for Mosonyi). Gorgeous stuff! Budapest Sextet. Hungaroton HCD 32300 (Hungary) 04H055 $17.98

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Trio, Op. 1/1, Trio de salon, Op. 1/2. Only one other recording of either of these works from Franck's teen-age years is available on CD. Even though both were composed before 1840 and contain a lot of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Weber, they also already use the cyclical thematic compositonal which was to become permanently associated with Franck. Damien Pardoen (violin), Luc Tooten (cello), Stéphane de May (piano). Pavane Deluxe ADW 7500 (Belgium) 04H056 $16.98

CARL GREITH (1828-1887): Der Heilige Gallus. A remarkable work for a 20-year-old Swiss composer, this oratorio was praised by no less than Hans von Bülow. The opening chorus quotes from Schubert's Deutsche Messe and the whole 68-minute work goes on in fine early Romantic style, telling us at length and with much musical felicity along the way, why the Swiss town of St. Gallen has that name. German texts. Theresa Plut (soprano), Stefan A. Rankl (tenor), Claudio Danser (baritone), Michael Haag (bass), Oberthurgau Chamber Choir, Collegium Musicum St. Gallen; Mario Schwarz. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6207 (Switzerland) 04H057 $18.98 Ø

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 15 - Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90, Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98. For two pianos, not piano four-hands. Silke-Thora Mathies, Christian Köhn (pianos). Naxos 8.557685 (New Zealand) 04H058 $7.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Moses, Op. 67. Composed in 1894, this was Bruch's first foray into the religious oratorio. The work is in four sections: "At Sinai", "The Golden Calf", "The Return of the Scouts from Canaan" and "The Promised Land"; the second contains much vividly dramatic and striking music, the third acts as a "slow movement" and the work's finale closes with a grandly effective lament of Israel for Moses' death. Collectors can compare and contrast this liver recording from 2004 with the studio Orfeo recording which we offered in 1999 (06A009). 2 CDs. Peter Lika (bass), Stefan Vinke (tenor), Birgitte Christensen (soprano), Kantori Maulbronn, Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg; Jürgen Budday. K&K Verlagsanstalt 96 (Germany) 04H059 $35.98

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Fatum, Op. 77, Operatic Orchestra Excerpts: The Queen of Spades (Overture), The Voyevoda (Overture), The Maid of Orleans (Entr'acte, Danse des Bohémiens, Danse des Polchinelles et des Histrions), Cherevichki (Danse russe, Danse des Cosaques), The Enchantress (Introduction, Danse des Histrions), Mazeppa (Gopak), The Oprichnik (Act IV dances). 67 minutes of orchestral music from the lesser-known operas. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos 8.554845 (New Zealand) 04H060 $7.98

ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): 4 Duets, Op. 20, Moravian Duets, Op. 32, 4 Duets, Op. 38, 2 duets w/o opus number, In Nature's Realm, Op. 63, 4 Choruses for Mixed Voices, Op. 29, Russian Songs, 3 Male Choruses on Folk Texts, Op. 43, Bouquet of Czech Folk Songs, Op. 41, Choral Songs for Male Voices, A Czech's Song, 5 Choruses for Male Voices on Lithuanian Folk Songs, Op. 27, 2 Irish Songs, 5 Choruses for Female Voices, My Home (adapted from Largo of Sym. No. 9). No notes at all but full Czech-English texts for this brand-new (recorded March-June of 2005) set of Dvorák's complete choruses and duets. Mostly folk-oriented, some with piano accompaniment, they offer nearly three hours of music which most collectors of this composer will never have heard - except for several songs which will be instantly recognizable from their use in various of his orchestral works. 3 CDs. Prague Singers; Stanislav Mistr. Brilliant Classics 92883 (Netherlands) 04H061 $16.98

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Complete Songs, Vol. 5 - 4 Romances, Op. 10, 3 Songs from "Peer Gynt", Op. 23, Reminiscences from Mountain and Fjord, Op. 44, 6 Poems by Holger Drachmann, Op. 49, A Simple Song. This series crawls along (Vol. 1 dates from 1993!) with its third pianist and the songs range from the early (1865 or so) op. 10, with no trace of Scandinavian stylistic elements, to the very sophisticated art songs of the Drachmann settings of Op. 49 (1889). Danish-English texts. Monica Groop (soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano). BIS CD-1457 (Sweden) 04H062 $17.98

LEOS JANÁCEK (1854-1928): Suite for Orchestra, Op. 3, Our Father, Lord Have Mercy!, Lachian Dances. This fascinating disc contains works written between 1891 aand 1901, a period when Janácek began to move away from Dvorákian Romanticism and toward what became his instantly recognizable style. The Dances (1891) are very close to Dvorák but the suite, cobbled together using motifs from the one-act opera The Beginning of a Romance begins to show an emancipation while the 15-minute Our Father (for tenor, choir, harp and organ), from 1901, has more affinities with the mature style of Jenufa, which was finished only two years later. The little Our Father, from 1897, is a miniature example of his rhythmic and repetitive approach to religious texts. Czech-English texts. Livia Ághová (soprano), Birgit Remmert (alto), Peter Straka (tenor), Pavel Daniluk (bass), Sabine Thiel (harp), Peter Dicke (organ), North German Radio Choir, Cologne Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Orfeo C 059 051 A (Germany) 04H063 $18.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - No. 5 in A, Op. 13, No. 7 in E Flat. This 1977/8 recording of quartets from 1880 and 1903 continues the valuable Russian reissue of this excellent quartet's cycle of Taneyev's nine works in the genre (Olympia had not only begun a new Taneyev series which died along with the label after the first issue, they issued this very series back in the 80s - all, of course now long out of print). At the time of these recordings, three of its members had been with the group since its foundation in 1946 and, within the Soviet Union, it was valued as highly as the more famous Borodin Quartet. Taneyev Quartet. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9934 (Russia) 04H064 $16.98

Foerster - Orchestral Premieres!

JOSEF BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951): Meine Jugend, Op. 44, Festive Overture, Op. 70, Symphony No. 4 in C Minor "Easter", Op. 54. The Festive Overture of 1907 is great fun: all the pageantry you'd expect along with hints of Janacek, Dvorák and Bruckner. A loosely autobiographical work from 1900, the 16-minute My Youth is an agreeable, often pastoral work not without its representations of more difficult times in the young Foerster's life. The second CD appearance of the massive and psychologically heavy symphony adds 5:30 to the 1985 Smetacek recording on Supraphon. If you don't know the work, you're probably not going to miss this opportunity while fans can study the significant differences in interpretation. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lance Friedel. Naxos 8.557776 (New Zealand) 04H065 $7.98

EMIL NIKOLAUS VON REZNICEK (1860-1945): Theme and Variations after Chamisso's Poem "Tragische Geschichte" for Large Orchestra and Baritone Solo (Feb. 12, 1960), RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Overture to Guntram, Op. 25 (March 20/23, 1956), HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Overture to Käthchen von Heilbronn, Op. 17 (Jan. 20, 1956), MAX REGER (1873-1916): Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 132 (Nov. 5,1950). This Schuricht series throws up some more unusual Romantic repertoire with Reznicek's 1921 work (17 minutes in length) which deals with a tragicomic hero in the sarcastic, witty and musically subversive manner familiar to us now from cpo's recordings of his large-scale tone-poems. Mono. German-English texts. Barry McDaniel (baritone), Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Carl Schuricht. Hänssler Classic CD 93.154 (Germany) 04H066 $17.98

ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): Rafael, Op. 37, (Victor Kalujsky [tenor], Zara Dolukhanova [soprano], Alexei Korolev [bass], USSR State Radio Orchestra and Choir; Viktor Smirnov [rec. 1957]), DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suite from The Gadfly (State Cinematography Orchestra; Smirnov [rec.1957-8]). Arensky's second opera dates from 1894, a one-act piece based on a sentimental fiction involving the painter Raphael, his model and a censorious Cardinal. Lasting just under 37 minutes, the music is strikingly like Tchaikovsky's last opera, Iolanta (premiered a year earlier). The sound may be a little grisly and there are no English texts at all, much less libretto, but when do you expect to get the chance to hear it again? Marans. No catalogue number (Russia) 04H067 $12.98 Ø

MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861-1925): Missa pro defunctis for Choir and Organ, Op. 83, Tempo di Suonata for Organ, Op. 3[b], Chant du soir, Op. 92/1, Trauerzug, Op. 132/2, In memoriam, Op. 113/4. A 38-minute mass from 1893, written under the influence of the Cecilian Movement (a reform of church music intended to go back to the ideals of Palestrina) has Bossi inspired by rather than following slavishly the Renaissance master while the remainder of the release is given to two medium-sized and two short organ pieces. Euridice Chorus of Bologna; Pier Paolo Scattolin, Andrea Macinanti (organ of the Cathderal of Saluzzo). Tactus TC 862702 (Italy) 04H068 $11.98

ALBERTO WILLIAMS (1862-1952): Symphony No. 7, Op. 103 "Eternal Repose", Poema del Iguazú, Op. 115. We imported this sole recorded example of the late Romantic Argentinian composer's orchestral music way back in Sept. 1997. Since it was not widely available in the U.S., we offer it again at half the price it was over eight years ago. Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; Adrian Leaper. Arte Nova ANO 433290 (Germany) 04H069 $4.98

LOUIS GLASS (1864-1936): Violin Sonata in E Flat, Op. 7, HAKON BØRRESEN (1876-1954): Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 13, FINI HENRIQUES (1867-1940): Mazurka, Op. 35, Wiegenlied. Two very different Danish violin sonatas, Glass' young work (1888) still rooted in Schumann/ Gade lyricism while Børresen's from 1907 has elements of concerto virtuosity as well as the flavor of Nordic Romanticism of the brand of his teacher Sinding. Henriques' little Kreisleresque showpieces make up a well-differentiated disc. Arne Balk-Møller (violin), Christina Bjørkøe (piano). Dacapo 8.226005 (Denmark) 04H070 $15.98

LOUIS GLASS (1864-1936): Suite from Incidental Music for The Elf-Hill, Op. 67, POUL SCHIERBECK (1888-1949): Prelude for Strings "In Denmark I was Born", Op. 43, FINN HØFFDING (1899-1997): Symphonic Fantasia No. 2 "There's No Doubt About It", Op. 37, J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): Overture to The Raven, Op. 12, C.E.F. WEYSE (1774-1842): Gypsy Dance from The Feast at Kenilworth, AUGUST ENNA (1859-1939): Overture to The Little Match-Girl. Music inspired by the literature of Hans Christian Andersen, covering 108 years from the early Romanticism of Hartmann and Weyse to the atmospheric, post-Romantic 1940 fantasy of Høffding. 1986 Unicorn-Kanchana LP release. Odense Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt. Dacapo 8.226047 (Denmark) 04H071 $15.98

JOSEPH GUY-ROPARTZ (1864-1955): Suites of Incidental Music from Pêcheur d'Islande and dipe à Colone, Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. Ropartz' career is pretty well covered here: the "Iceland Fisherman" music is as early as 1890 and probably the first orchestral representation of the sea in the composer's oeuvre (the other two movements are a more conventional love scene and a colorful Breton dance sequence). The music for the Oedipus tale is from 1914 and has at its center a luminous depiction of a pastoral landscape while the 1928 Rhapsodie, again using Breton folk motifs, is in Ropartz' elegant and concise late mode. Henri Demarquette (cello), Orchestre de Bretagne; Kirill Karabits. Timpani 1C1095 (France) 04H072 $18.98

RICARDO CASTRO (1864-1907): Chanson d'automne, Je t'aime, Le secret, Les larmes, Je veut t'oublier, Son image, GUSTAVO CAMPA (1863-1934): En mai!, La brise du printemps, Berceuse, Sur les ondes, Sérénade humoristique, À la bien aimée, Souvenir, Viens dans ces bras (w/Marisa Canales [soprano], Gustavo Martín [cello]), Aubade, Envoi de fleurs, Consolation, Peines cachées. Here's a surprise release which reminds us of the cultural imprint left by French occupation of Mexico. These are French mélodies in every sense of the word, full of the refined subtleties and sensitivity to text which one expects of, say, Massenet, who, not coincidentally, praised Campa's compositions highly. French-Spanish texts. Gustavo Cuautli (tenor), Sergio Velásquez (piano). Urtext JBCC 097 (Mexico) 04H073 $17.98

LUDOLF NIELSEN (1876-1939): Lackschmi, Op. 45 - Complete Ballet, Overture to the Opera Isbella, Op. 10. Composed in 1921, Nielsen's Indian-themed ballet was a great success with 23 stagings over three years at the Royal Ballet in Copenhagen. The music is derived largely from whole-tone and pentatonic scales - nothing like Carl Nielsen's mostly diatonic Aladdin of 1919 - and contemporary critics compared its wealth of color to Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin. The eight-minute filler comes from a 1907 opera not premiered until 1915 when Nielsen's style had developed in a different direction. Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 777 072 (Germany) 04H074 $15.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): 2 Lieder, Op. 2, 5 Lieder, Op. 3, 5 Lieder, Op. 4, 5 Mutterlieder, Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen, Lied der Fiorina, Waldeinsamkeit, Überwunden, Ein Rosenblatt, Vernichtet is mein Lebensglück, Entführung, Ave Maria (2), Das feurige Männlein, Und wie mag die Liebe dir kommen sein?. 19 of the 28 songs here come from the period of Schreker's studies with Fuchs where word painting, if it appears at all, is generalized and clear textures, lucid form and a pliably melodic vocal line are paramount. Five of the others received their first recordings at the time this CD was originally released in 2000. The harmonic complexity, chromaticism and emotional intensity of his operas are more to the fore in these later efforts. No texts. Noëmi Nadelmann (soprano), Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Adrian Baianu (piano). Arte Nova ANO 721260 (Germany) 04H075 $4.98

HANS GÁL (1890-1987): String Quartets No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 16 & No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 99, Improvisation, Variations and Finale on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 60b. Another month and another Gál! This is volume one in a series (of works for string quartet? of chamber music? - Meridian doesn't say) and does even more for his resurging reputation. The first quartet comes from 1916 and its melodiousness and craftsmanship are straight from the Schubert-Bruckner tradition while, as you might expect, the 1972 Fourth is more freely chromatic and harmonically complex though almost just as approachable and the 1934 filler a masterpiece of understated wit and pithy charm. The Edinburgh Quartet. Meridian CDE 84530 (England) 04H076 $17.98

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23, Cantatas: Der Herbst, Op. 36 for Soprano and Piano Trio, Der Sonntag, Op. 63 for Bass-Baritone and Piano Trio, ARMIN SCHIBLER (1920-1986): Cantata Die Hochzeit, Op. 15 for Alto and Piano Trio. Burkhard's early (1929) quartet is a spare, inward, three-movement piece inspired by Bach and chorales. His two cantatas are different from each other though: the op. 36, to poems by Morgenstern, uses Schoenbergian dodecaphonism in its expressionistic nature-painting, while "Sunday" (1942), which sets prose texts by the 19th century Swiss author Jeremias Gotthelf, is a pithy, unsentimental response to the earthy texts, with much use of parlando. Schibler sets Gotthelf also (1946) and was inspired by his teacher Burkhard's setting, from which it doesn't depart greatly in terms of style. German texts. Moser Quartet Bern, Iris Eggler (soprano), Michael Kreis (bass-baritone), Judith Lüpold (alto), Olive E. Wetter (piano). Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6228 (Switzerland) 04H077 $18.98 >

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): The Organ Works - 2 Trio Sonatas, Op. 18, Fantasie, Op. 32, Prelude and Fugue, Sonatine, Op. 52, Fantasie and Chorale on "Ein Feste Burg is unser Gott", Op. 58, Partitas on "Grosser Gott, wir loben dich" and "Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten", Choral-Triptychon, Op. 91, Variations on Hassler's Chorales "Aus tiefer Not" and "In ducli jubilo", Op. 28, 4 Movements from Volume 3 of Musikalischen Übung, Op. 39. Most of these works, composed before 1935, have two sources, the tradition of Bach in which Burkhardt experiments and gains a personal voice and Lutheran chorales. The largest scale ones are 1939's fantasy and chorale on Ein Feste Burg which is drenched in the fear and forboding of that time period, and the 1953 Triptychon, also dramatic but following church tradition in depicting the Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection. 2 CDs. Christoph Wartenweiler, Hansjürg Leutert, André Manz, Monika Henking, Heinz Wehrle, Heinrich Gurtner, Bernhard Billeter, Rudolf Meyer, Verena Lutz, Heinz-Roand Schneeberger, Theodor Käser, Hans Vollenweider (Kuhn organ of the Ref. Kirche, Amriswil). Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6194 (Switzerland) 04H078 $37.98 >

LOUISE TALMA (1906-1996): The Ambient Air for Flute, Violin, Cello and Piano, Lament for Cello and Piano, 7 Episodes for Flute, Viola and Piano, Variations on "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" for Tenor, Oboe and Piano, Conversations for Flute and Piano, Soundshots for Piano, Full Circle for Chamber Orchestra. Although Talma was one of the foremost American neo-classical composers and only woman to win two Guggenheim Fellowships (consecutively in 1946-7), you won't hear any of the music which made her famous here. These are all works of her 70s and 80s, spare in texture, somewhat impressionistic (especially in The Ambient Air, which depicts rain, fog and wind), often slow and melancholy with her earlier neo-classicism present in a ghostly manner. Ambache Chamber Orchestra & Ensemble; Diana Ambache. Naxos American Classics 8.559236 (U.S.A.) 04H079 $7.98

PETER MIEG (1906-1990): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, ERIC GAUDIBERT (b.1936): Albumblätter for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, JOST MEIER (b.1939): Horn Concerto. We offer this primarily for the Mieg's concerto, whose personal brand of neo-classicism has been available on Jecklin. Dating from 1942, this concerto comes from a period many of whose scores Mieg later withdrew; more complex than his later style, there are elements of polyphony, polyrhythm and polytonality present here to go along with a percussive solo part on the Prokofiev/ Stravinsky axis. The other two concertos, in their quasi-tonal modernism, don't really fit with the Mieg although the Gaudibert does have a "night-music with scurrying insects" quality to its series of miniatures which is somewhat individual. Adrienne Soós, Ivo Haag (pianos), Felix Renggli (flute), Bruno Schneider (horn), Neuchâtel Chamber Orchestra; Jan Schultsz. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6234 (Switzerland) 04H080 $18.98

BORIS TISHCHENKO (b.1939): Yaroslavna, Op. 58 (Leningrad Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Dmitriev), Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 (Kirov Opera and Ballet Chamber Orchestra; Igor Blazhkov). The 90-minute ballet from 1974 tells the same tale as Borodin's opera Prince Igor but in a characteristically updated musical language, Tishchenko's interest in medieval Japanese gagaku music coming out in the bleak, nearly static and emotionally chilling depictions of barren steppe and approaching disaster but Russian folk-song also used (but not in simple, Romantic style). The chorus comments upon the action and sometimes acts as a character while sonorism and aleatory episodes heighten the emotional impact in an almost cinematic way. The symphony (1967) 2 CDs. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9931/9932 (Russia) 04H081 $33.98

GIACINTO SCELSI (1905-1988): The Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Suite No. 10 "Ka", 4 Illustrazioni, Sonata No. 3, 5 Incantesimi, Un Adieu. Fifth in the ongoing Scelsi series on Mode but third in the piano portion thereof, this new release covers both early and late works. The sonata comes from 1939 and incorporates twelve-tone textures along with unusual spacing of intervals and chords; the piece ends with the feel of Ives' impressionistic piano sonorities. And, of course, the other, later works, where sound has a ritual, incantatory purpose and all the resources of a modern piano are used, often, but not always, to violent effect, leaving us with the unusual Un adieu (of uncertain date, probably mid-70s), which has a diatonic melody played against chromatic harmony which produces a strange, almost sentimental affect. Aki Takahashi (piano). Mode 159 (U.S.A.) 04H082 $17.98

AHMED ADNAN SAYGUN (1907-1991): String Quartets No. 1, Op. 27, No. 2, Op. 35, No. 3, Op. 43 & No. 4, Op. 77 (fragment). Balancing Turkish elements (the more abstract and sometimes newly created, based on rhythms and modes rather than ever quoting folksong) with Western compositional techniques, Saygun's quartets more, perhaps, than his orchestral works, show the skeleton of the structure of his attempts to combine two musical worlds. The first two quartets (1947 and 1958) will appeal to anyone who has Bartók as a starting point while the two later ones get rockier and thornier as sheer creativity takes over from a mere synthesizing of sources. A must-have for collectors of 20th century string quartets. 2 CDs. Quatuor Danel. CPO 999 923 (Germany) 04H083 $31.98

HEINRICH SUTERMEISTER (1910-1995): Piano Concerto No. 2, Divertimento No. 1 for String Orchestra, Poème funèbre for String Orchestra, Sérénade pour Montreux. These four pieces cover most of Sutermeister's career, from the Paul Sacher-commissioned Divertimento of 1936 whose three fast movements are driving and passionate and whose adagio is bitterly sad, to the piano concerto (1954) in its three movements ("March", "Chorale" and "Fanfare and Hymn") giving the impression of neo-classical drive and verve, the Poème, a 7-minute elegy for Hindemith from 1965 and to the 1970 Sérénade, a two-movement piece whose characteristic energy is accompanied by the most optimistic tone of all these compositions. Sinfonietta Schaffhausen; Paul K. Haug. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6223 (Switzerland) 04H084 $18.98

ROLF LIEBERMANN (1910-1999): Freispruch für Medea. A version of the myth of Medea and Jason and the Argonauts, Liebermann's opera is a tense and concentrated music drama lasting a little over an hour, of fairly conventional operatic layout. Characters are clearly defined; vocal lines are melodic, and although the music pushes the boundaries of tonality there are no avant garde special effects or alternative playing techniques, unless one counts the inclusion of a Gamelan orchestra to provide exotic color in the opening scene set in Colchis, to underline the strangeness of the rituals of Medea's people to the intruding Greeks. The dramatic elements of the story are played up in music of high expressionism and hard-driven declamatory style, alternating with restrained and sombre (and more overtly tonal) music for the characters' emotional development. Françoise Pollet (soprano), Aage Haugland (bass), Jochen Kowalski (countertenor), Hamburg State Opera Choir, Arum Sih Gamelan Orchestra, Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. 1995 release. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6126 (Switzerland) 04H085 $18.98 Ø

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Piano Trio, Op. 24, ALEXANDER VEPRIK (1899-1958): 3 Folk Dances, Op. 13b, DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Piano Trio, Op. 67. Vainberg's and Shostakovich's trios are startlingly similar in form and style, the former's one year later (1945) and one sees Shostakovich's use of Jewish themes in a different light by the side of the Jewish Vainberg's work. Of course, the two were close friends by this time and played their newest works to each other so one imagines that both would be glad to have their trios recorded side by side. Too bad Hänssler couldn't do more for the under-served Veprik but we must be grateful for the 4:49 of Jewish folk dance-inspired pieces we do get. Dmitry Sitkovetsky (violin), David Geringas (cello), Jascha Nemtsov (piano). Hänssler Classic CD 98.491 (Germany) 04H086 $17.98

JEAN PERRIN (1920-1989): 6 Préludes, Op. 45, Sonata, Op. 10, 4 Intermezzi, Op. 29, 2 Petites Pièces. The collections of short pieces here, covering a span of years from 1973 to 1986, are dark, glowing jewels of obsessive, gloomy, sometimes hypersensitive character which share the mood, if not the letter, of late Scriabin. The set of Préludes is the largest work here (at just under 27 minutes) and their variety of tone, luxuriance of sound and shifting, uncertain harmonies will appeal to any collector of brooding, psychologically complex music. The sonata, of 1954 (revised 1980) is of very similar style, perhaps owing to the late revision. Jean-François Antonioli (piano). Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6216 (Switzerland) 04H087 $18.98 Ø

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3, Improvisation and Fugue. There is only one other recording of all three of these sonatas; unlike his often riotous symphonies and concerti grossi with their often off-the-wall polystylism, the sonatas, written every other year from 1988 on, are very dark, often very slow and very enigmatic pieces. The outer ones seem to mirror each other, both in slow-fast-slow-fast form where the slow movements, always marked Lento, are one-voice recitatives or chorales, often harrowingly ascetic and pregnant with, well, pregnant with what? The faster movements are often aggressive, the increased tempo not accompanied by any lightness of mood. Schnittke's assertion that much lies hidden in his works invites the collector of 20th century piano music to listen to these sonatas again and again to try to find out what that might be, at least for himself. Igor Chetuev (piano). Caro Mitis CM 0092004 (Russia) 04H088 $18.98 Ø

AMARAL VIEIRA (b.1952): Te Deum in stilo barocco for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 213, Missa Choralis for Chorus, Piano and 2 Horns, Op. 282. If someone played this to you blindfolded and told you it was a 20th-century edition of a previously unknown work by Handel you would very likely believe them. But it's very skillfully done, and without a trace of irony. The Missa, with its pared-down accompaniment of piano and two horns sounds more recent - Rossini, perhaps - though the instrumentation and some chromatic coloration in the piano part hints at a 20th-century idiom, just a very conservative one. In any case, a very appealing work, tonal throughout, of course, and rhythmically lively - if Eisler in his most populist mode had undergone a Damascene conversion and attempted to write a liturgical work, it might well have sounded something like this. Slovak Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Mario Kosik. Slovart Records SR-0025 (Slovakia) 04H089 $17.98 Ø

AMARAL VIEIRA (b.1952): Prologue, Fugue and Final, Op. 193, Suite - The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, Toccata, Op. 208, Introitus, Op. 195. These works are fine and eloquent, and written with exemplary idiomatic accomplishment for the organ. Very little here could not have been written by Cesar Franck, and in many cases, such as the impressive and lively Toccata, the composer's models hail from a good deal further back but these sumptuous and highly attractive works make for very enjoyable listening. Rich chromatic harmony sometimes recalls Liszt, or when modally tinged, Grainger in full 'sentimental' mode. The meditative movements of the Seven Last Words are genuinely affecting, with their sense of solemn liturgy. And the big moments bring us full-blown organ romanticism of which any late-19th-century composer would have been proud. Iain Quinn (organ of the Church of Intercession, New York). Slovart Records SR-0028 (Slovakia) 04H090 $17.98 Ø

VLADIMÍR GODAR (b.1956): Cello Sonata, Emmeleia for Cello and Piano, David's Refreshing Harp-Playing for Cello and Piano, Gilgamesh's Lament for Bass and Cello, Barcarolle for Cello, Strings, Harp and Harpsichord. The cello version of the Barcarolle employs much the same material as the violin version on the disc below, making the most of the darker-toned solo instrument's contribution to the crepuscular atmosphere of the piece. The timbre of the cello is exploited for tonal underlining, whether in the unusual but effective partnership with bass voice in the Lament, or the pared-down textures of the outer movements of the sonata, which go beyond minimalism to the edge of silence. The central movement of this work, breaks out of minimalist mode in favor of aggressive ostinato-driven writing, a dynamic synthesis of Prokofiev and high romantic drama; the most emotionally intense and gripping work on a disc that explores a surprisingly wide range of musical and affective territory. Jozef Lupták (cello), Eleonóra Skutová-Slanicková (piano), Adriana Antalová (harp), Peter Mikulás (bass), Bratislava Chamber Soloists; Anton Popovic. Slovart Records SR-0027 (Slovakia) 04H091 $17.98 Ø

VLADIMÍR GODAR (b.1956): Barcarolle for Violin, Strings, Harp and Harpsichord, Sequence for Violin and Piano, Meditation for Violin, Strings and Kettle Drums, Variazioni facili for Piano Trio, Suite for 2 Violins. These pieces are all 'polystylistic', though in their reliance on tonality they avoid venturing as aggressively far afield as, say, Schnittke - Kancheli is a closer comparison. Much of the Barcarolle is somewhere between the meditative minimalism of Pärt and 'ambient' music, though periodically there are more musically active episodes that might have wandered in from earlier forms of Impressionism. The whole has an atmosphere of mist-shrouded beauty that is quite beguiling. The Dies Irae gets a thorough workout here in a 25-minute fantasia for violin and piano which sounds curiously like the sort of thing Ronald Stevenson might do with the same material. The suite of tiny movements is attractive, falling somewhere between neoclassicism and Bartók, while the Variazioni facili is a delicate and deceptively simple work. The Meditation returns to the Shostakovich-derived Kancheli mood of the Barcarolle, sharing with it a sombre, insistent quality and brooding atmosphere. Juraj Cizmarovic (violin), Zuzana Cizmarovicová (piano), Eugen Prochác (cello), Peter Hamar (second violin), Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina; Martin Majkút. Slovart Records SR-0047 (Slovakia) 04H092 $17.98 Ø

PETER ZAGAR (b.1961): Apocalypsis Iohannis for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Mixed Choir and Strings, Clarinet Quintet, Clarinet Trio (both Opera Aperta Ensemble), Music for Video (VENI Ensemble), 4 Pieces for Strings. Polystylism in a tonal, largely neo-romantic context seems to be a popular movement among active Slovak composers; these works all pay homage to models from the mid-20th century, when neo-movements started to make themselves felt. The Pieces have more than a bit of Bartók about them, and neo-classical Stravinsky is in the background of the classically-structured trio and quintet, the latter a lively offbeat rustic dance-piece, after a deceptively brooding opening that suggests that the piece might go in a different direction altogether. The Apocalypsis avoids the large-scale histrionics that the title might suggest, referring instead to Baroque and Romantic models, sounding sometimes like Bach, sometimes like Brahms, and not infrequently referencing the uneasy incisiveness of Stravinsky's dipus Rex. Jana Pastorková (soprano), Petra Noskalová (mezzo), Camerata Bratislava, Bratislava Chamber Soloists; Anton Popovic. Slovart Records SR-0032 (Slovakia) 04H093 $17.98 Ø

MIRO BÁZLIK (b.1931): Spectra - Metamorphoses and Commentaries to the First Part of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Pastoral Ballad, Flock-master's Elegy, Ballad of Wood. Bázlik simultaneously developed a career as pianist and proponent of composition through mathematical analysis of music, latterly inspired by Xenakis, and then moving into the realm of electroacoustic music. Spectra ingeniously re-imagines music from Bach's Well-tempered Klavier in terms of computer-manipulated sounds which sometimes resemble an impossibly complex carillon, or evoke an instrument of indeterminate timbre performing in a strange, dreamlike acoustical space. In Pastoral Ballad and Shepherd's Elegy a variety of transmogrified pipings and flutings provide a pastoral element in a synthetic landscape. Wood is the most extreme example of electronic transformation; the nature of the acoustical sounds on which it is based is frequently obscured and the structure and timbres of the work are determined entirely by the composer's mathematical compositional principles - an uncompromising work, but an effective one. Slovart Records SR-0033 (Slovakia) 04H094 $17.98 Ø

Musique Suisses Special Imports

Most of these are new releases; the older ones were never offered in these pages and we don't believe that they were imported by their distributor but you might want to check your shelves anyway

JÁNOS TAMÁS (1936-1995): String Quartet (Arion String Quartet), Clarinet Quartet (Adiran Zinniker [clarinet], Stefan Läderach [violin], Dario Viri [viola], Regula Schüpbach [cello]), Nicht Tag, nicht Nacht... (Michela Scali [oboe], Ursula Merz [english horn], Reto Wildeisen [clarinet], Thomas Hunziker [bass clarinet], Thomas Zimmermann [horn], Patrik Lüscher [bassoon]), Musik in der Dämmerung for Flute and Piano (Susanne Guthauser [flute], Hans Jürg Bättig [piano]). When he committed suicide in 1995, Tamás was still arguably developing his personal style, as suggested by the progression of techniques evident in this programme of meticulously crafted and capricious chamber works. Both quartets - relatively early works - betray the powerful influences of Bartók and neoclassicism on the composer at the time, and sound demonstrably 'Hungarian'. The driven outer movements of the quartet are thrillingly energetic; the nocturnal slow movement is right out of 'Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. The later works have programmatic titles, reflecting the composer's increasing philosophical preoccupations, and seem constantly to strive for a state of ecstatic calm, though hard-won and approached only through unstable music of metrical restlessness and harmonic indeterminacy. The late pieces are sparer of texture, but seem more personal, and more directly expressive. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6233 (Switzerland) 04H095 $18.98 Ø

URS JOSEPH FLURY (b.1941): Cello Concerto in A Minor (Pierre Fournier [cello], Vienna Volksoper Orchestra; Urs Joseph Flury), Vineta for Large Orchestra (Biel Symphony Orchestra; Flury), Sinfonietta for String Orchestra (Vienna Chamber Orchestra; Flury). A conservative Romantic born out of his time, Flury nevertheless possesses an identifiable individuality which prevents the music sounding like a naïve pastiche of his preferred models. If Vineta, with its undulating strings and plaintive horn calls spends much of its duration in territory well explored by Wagner and Tchaikovsky, it nonetheless sustains interest throughout. The eloquent concerto does sound as though it was written in this century - here the names which come up for comparison are Elgar, Rodrigo, and Shostakovich. Warmly affectionate jazz inflections in the middle movement recall Gershwin. The Sinfonietta is an attractive work of the divertimento genre, incorporating dance rhythms - several waltzes and a tango - a wistful serenade and a robust march by way of a finale. 2001 release. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6185 (Switzerland) 04H096 $18.98 Ø

MARIO BERETTA (b.1942): Alpsegen for Low Voice and Orchestra (Claudio Danser [bass-baritone], Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek), Lichtstücke for Piano (Alexei Botvinov), The Alphorn and the Sea for Alphorn and Piano Quartet (Matthias Kofmehl [alphorn], Werner Bärtschi [piano], Arlette Hock [violin], Markus Wieser [viola], Eva Burkard-Böhi [cello]). Unabashedly post-Romantic in both inspiration and expression, these works share direct emotional impact and ready appeal. The impressive 'Alpine Blessing' evokes the nature-painting tone poetry of Mahler, Strauss and Sibelius, without explicitly referring to them; the composer's late-20th century credentials are established through some dissonant outbursts, but also through some insistent quasi-minimalist gestures; mostly, though, it is the tradition of 20th-century music that made the least dramatic departures from its historical predecessors that Beretta belongs to, even at times recalling the harmonic lushness and inventive orchestration of Khachaturian. The piano pieces are cast in an uniformly romantic-minimalist mould, using 19th-century harmonies while avoiding the strict repetitiveness of minimalism per se. Modal nature-painting again takes centre-stage in the chamber work, which pits the 'primitive' sound of an alphorn against a variety of musical styles and textures contributed by the forces of a piano quartet. 2002 release. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6186 (Switzerland) 04H097 $18.98 Ø

ULRICH STRANZ (1946-2004): Tachys for Large Orchestra and Solo Strings (Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lothar Zagrosek), Szenen I-III for Orchestra (North German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacher), Symphony No. 1 "Grande Ballade" for Saxophone Quartet and Large Orchestra (Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Räto Tschupp), Music for 2 Cellos and Orchestra (Thomas Grossenbacher, Rafael Rosenfeld [cellos], Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra; David Zinman. Tachys (1974), in its use of dodecaphony draped in rich harmony, pays homage to the music of sixty years earlier; at times a distorted but clear reminiscence of Strauss or Mahler is plainly apparent. The three 'scenes' were written as a ballet score; the tension and tragedy of the characters is reflected in the obsessive and uneasy music, which nonetheless remains the most obviously tonal of the works here. Tension and its release through action is again characteristic of the powerful symphony. Apart from the unusual incorporation of the saxophone quartet into the texture and some telling use of string harmonics, the work eschews extended techniques, but Stranz here achieves a most unusual sound-world, and the harmonic language, while not conventionally tonal, makes use of progressive intervallic relationships to propel the music in a satisfyingly dynamic manner. The intense and concentrated Music, with its unusual shared concertante part, begins in media res with an abrupt call to attention that Shostakovich might have done, and then progresses through a sequence of episodes with a strong sense of harmonically driven direction and a clear feeling of inexorable motion. Musiques Suisses/Grammont Portrait MGB CTS-M 94 (Switzerland) 04H098 $18.98 Ø

DANIEL GLAUS (b.1957): Sephiroth Symphonies: No. 1 for Chamber Orchestra, No. 2 (consisting of Chessed for Violin and Viola, Geburah for Flute and Oboe and Tiphereth for Alto Flute, Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Accordion, Violin and Cello), No. 3 for Large Orchestra, No. 4 for Violin and Orchestra. Hansheinz Schneeberger (violin), Basel Sinfonietta; Fabrice Bollon. The Kabbalistic system of the 'Sefirot' has been central to Glaus' compositional uvre. In codifying the transitional phases between this world and a purely spiritual one, the possibilities for infinite expression of the entire content of known and unknown time and space are present, and through the widest possible variety of instrumental and sonic combinations, this is what Glaus has attempted in this series of interconnected works. Much of the music is static, with greater or lesser degrees of surface activity; the underlying pulse is on a geological, if not astronomical timescale. The music at times seems like a vast coiled spring, a well of potential energy that could at any moment be released in a convulsion on a cosmic scale. In fact, this never happens, though fleeting percussive outbursts erupt through the texture like solar flares, hinting at the possibility of supernova; this generates the compositions' remarkable tension, which is not supplied through conventional musical development. The works for solo instruments contain the highest level of individual expressiveness and virtuosity, and some extended technique; the orchestral masses of sound will please disciples of Lachenmann, no doubt. The complex heterophony of the fourth 'symphony' - the violin concerto 'Malkut', with its florid violin line and densely textured orchestral backdrop, acts as a summation of the preceding works, and makes a strong case for listening to the cycle as a whole. 2 CDs. Musiques Suisses/Grammont Portrait MGB CTS-M 96 (Switzerland) 04H099 $37.98 Ø

EDWIN ROXBURGH (b.1937): Clarinet Concerto (Linda Merrick [clarinet], Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra; Edwin Roxburgh), Saturn for Orchestra (Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra; Peter Stark). Difficult to classify in terms of specific 'schools' of composition, the concerto has something of the multi-layered activity of the British complexicists, but the work is essentially too romantic in inspiration to fall into that category. Much emphasis is placed on the versatility of tone of the solo instrument, and the work functions like an intricate mosaic in which small intricate coloured cells are developed into an organic whole. Saturn is a multi-section tone poem based on our modern knowledge of the planet. The varied movements, which suggest characteristics of Saturn's many moons, incorporate elements of various musical styles, from impressionism through the expanded palette of live electronic effects. In general the work is more romantic and harmonically accessible than the concerto, an ideal introduction to the composer's work. NMC D119 (England) 04H100 $17.98

JAMES DEMARS (b.1952): Piano Concerto, Piano Quartet (Jonathan Swarz [violin], Nancy Buck [viola], Thomas Landschoot [cello]), Dedicaçe for Cello and Piano, Tapestry II for Piano. DeMars is another composer who writes tonal, approachable music without any nods to minimalism, neo-Romanticism or anything else while still acknowledging the history of 19th and 20th century music. His 1997 concerto is one of the best of its kind we've offered in these pages. Generally bright and upbeat, its four movements are not only based on the seasons but each was written during the season it deals with and pertinent fragments of Shakespeare are attached as subscriptions to each movement. The clarity of texture and orchestration are of a type the French would appreciate and the moods conjured are impressionistic in the literal sense of the word. The lack of literal tone-painting and the quality of the themes and composing style allow the individual listener a grateful freedom to wander in and to investigate their compelling world. The piano quartet, a short, single-movement piece of some 14 minutes is quite different but equally fascinating; blending Arabic and American Indian themes, it sounds like something Henry Cowell would appreciate were he still alive. Caio Pagano (piano), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Summit Records DCD 443 (U.S.A.) 04H101 $17.98

TOM INGOLDSBY (b.1957): Piano Sonata, Trio for Violin, Viola and Piano, Dialogues for Violin and Piano, After the Eulogy for Violin and Piano. These works rely on the development of succinct motifs in a freely atonal idiom in which rich but clearly delineated harmony plays an important part. Ingoldsby studied with Feldman for a while, and seems to have inherited a willingness for spare textures and simple motifs to take their time to make their point. However, as in the dynamic allegro section of the sonata, or a dramatic marcato passage in Dialogues, we find a greater tendency toward driven and impassioned music, and when Ingoldsby adopts an harmonically fuller idiom in which to dress his thematic motifs, there are suggestions of the late, harmonically ambiguous Scriabin to be heard. The trio begins with a long wandering soliloquy in Feldman mode, revisited later, but as the emotional temperature increases the music becomes more impassioned, and there are several tumultuous climaxes. The Eulogy progresses from an elegiac opening to a dramatic scherzo-like section, rhythmically lively and incisive, before settling into a more pastoral and wistful passage,finally interrupted by an increasingly energetic apotheosis. Adam Summerhayes (violin), Bridget Carey (viola), Alan Brown, Catherine Summerhayes, Clive Williamson (piano). Meridian CDE 84534 (England) 04H102 $17.98

ALAIN LEFÈVRE (b.1960ish): For Piano and String Quartet: Un ange passe, Lylatov, For Solo Piano: Vingt ans (Prélude No. 2), Paris sans toi, Fidèles insomnies, Comme en familie!, Petite mère (Prélude No. 1), Anemos, Orphelin, Au bout de mes rêves, La Callas (Prélude No. 1). Nothing neo- about Lefèvre's romanticism; this is turn-of-the (previous) century sentimental salon music (Ethelbert Nevin, anyone?) dressed up as Rachmaninov (sometimes), Michel Legrand (at other times) or just left as Nevin (for example, Comme en famille). It's very nicely done, though, and lovers of light music in a classical idiom will find much to enjoy here, especially the atmospheric Greek impression Anemos and the heartfelt - OK, heart on sleeve - tributes to the composer's parents. Alain Lefèvre (piano). Analekta AN 2 9276 (Canada) 04H103 $16.98

JOUNI KAIPAINEN (b.1956): Horn Concerto, Op. 61, Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 65. An easy recommendation; Kaipainen was a student of Sallinen, and if you like Sallinen's sinewy, tersely argued symphonic writing, the odds are that you'll enjoy these satisfyingly dramatic, expansive virtuoso showpiece concerti as well. Both works are firmly grounded in tonality of the Shostakovich/ Sallinen/ Pettersson type, and conform to the basic outline of the Romantic concerto, including solo cadenzas. The horn concerto acknowldges the traditional associations of the instrument, so there are suggestions of Mahler's and Strauss' posthorns, and a certain martial element aggressively propelling the music forward. After a restless and harmonically somewhat ambiguous introduction, the cello concerto breaks into a more conventional sonata-allegro, which makes up the bulk of the extended first movement. This is followed by a passionate slow movement and a high-energy finale, which reaches resolution only at the very end. Esa Tapani (horn), Marko Ylönen (cello), Finnish Radio SYmphony Orchestra; Hannu Lintu. Ondine ODE 1062 (Finland) 04H104 $17.98

LUIS DE PABLO (b.1930): Razón Dormida for Chamber Orchestra, Segunda Lectura for Ensemble, Paraiso y tres danzas macabras for Ensemble. Clear of texture and rhythmically incisive, often with disconcerting off-beat accents constantly keeping the listener off balance within a passage with a clearly defined pulse, de Pablo's music is in a constant state of flux. While not conventionally tonal, the music's colorful harmony provides familiar ground from which the composer's flights of imagination can depart. Razón Dormida, inspired by Goya (the title refers to 'The sleep of reason produces monsters') are five grotesques, conjuring absurdity and irrationality through a dark-hued instrumental palette employed with hectic energy and devastating clarity; the music manages to be uncomfortable without ever straying into Grand Guignol shock effects; 'difficult' music that is never difficult to listen to. Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; Lorraine Vaillancourt. Atma ACD2 2353 (Canada) 04H105 $16.98

OLE SCHMIDT (b.1928): Suite for Flute, String Orchestra, Harp and Percussion, Op. 21, Concerto for Flute and String Orchestra, Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 31, Tuba Concerto, Op. 42. Well known for his ground-breaking performances and recordings of post- and late-romantic music, it comes as little surprise that Schmidt the composer largely fits into that same general æsthetic bracket. The suite is a work of neoclassical elegance (exotic and impressionistic, though, in its Intermezzo), with a sense of poise and charm that may have some listeners thinking of Poulenc. The flute concerto is a more 'serious' work, allowing ample opportunity for virtuosic fireworks from the soloist, enmeshed in a shadowy landscape delineated by the strings, and then breaking out into tense dialogue, and occasional conflict, with them. The slow movement, with its sombre and extended theme, increasingly elaborated, is especially memorable. The horn concerto is divided into two strongly contrasting movements; a mysterious, dark-hued largo, first cousin to the scene-setting music of Shostakovich 11, and a lively allegro, somewhere between the last movement of Shostakovich 6 and George Lloyd's 4th. The lively tuba concerto exploits the flexibility and sonorous capabilities of the solo instrument, its three movements passing from agitation through contemplation to a mood of festive gaiety. Ulla Miilmann (flute), David M.A.P. Palmquist (horn), Jens Bjørn-Larsen (tuba), Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR; Ole Schmidt. Dacapo SACD hybrid 8.220515 (Denmark) 04H106 $15.98

LEONARDO BALADA (b.1933): Symphony No. 5 "American", 3 Divertimentos, Quasi un Pasodoble, Prague Sinfonietta. The symphony is described by the composer as 'a trip from the abstract to the ethnic', though as usual in Balada's work the powerful sense of narrative and almost constant use of tonal referents (even when enveloped in his most avant garde cluster sonorities) renders the work anything but abstract, emotionally at least. In this case a persistent interval of a minor third used as an ostinato, a quasi-minimal gesture or a motif gives much of the music a minor-key feel, even as it departs significantly from conventional tonality. The first movement is a 9/11 piece, tense and driven; the second, a lament based on a spiritual,and the finale, a perpetual-motion 'square dance' somewhat Coplandish. The Sinfonietta is an homage to Mozart, and achieves a polystylistic kaleidoscope of classical elements and modern polytonal writing. The Divertimentos are studies in diverse string textures and timbres, employing much use of harmonics in the second, pizzicati in the first, and nervous energy in more conventional writing in the third. Quasi un Pasodoble fuses folk elements, classical harmonies and modern elements in a colorful fantasia, a Dalí-esque surrealist scene in music. Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra; Eduardo Alonso-Crespo. Naxos 8.557749 (New Zealand) 04H107 $7.98

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Naxos Quartets Nos. 5 "Lighthouses of Orkney and Shetland" and No. 6. Volume 3 of this series finds the composer in nature-painting mode, as we first encountered around the time of the second symphony, and evoking the music of antiquity (plainchant in this case) as he has always done, from his early avant-garde music-theatre days onwards. The Fifth onomatopically depicts the play of light on water - a longtime Maxwell Davies motif - and the grandeur of the rocky shores dramatically topped by gleaming lighthouse beams of the title. The Sixth is a large, ambitious work, closely argued and audibly owing something to the composer's acknowledged recent study of Beethoven's quartets. The second movement, which makes use of the plainchant, harks back to the composer's music theatre days, when early music material was frequently used in a jarringly modern idiom; nowadays the language is much more conventional, but the movement is a pizzicato scherzo with trio, intriguingly faithfully transcribing the plainchant melody. The remaining movements encompass a heartfelt adagio - clearly the heart of the piece - and an energetic finale. Maggini Quartet. Naxos 8.557398 (New Zealand) 04H108 $7.98

JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Tausensapperment-Walzer, Op. 61, Ballnacht-Galopp, Op. 86, Der Frohsinn, mein Ziel, Op. 63, Paris-Polka, Robert-Tänze, op. 64, Marianka-Polka (attrib.), Elisabethen-Walzer, Op. 71, Militär-Quadrille (attrib.), Cotillons nach beliebten Motiven aus der Opera "Der Zweykampt", Op. 72, Versailler-Galopp, Op. 107, Rosa-Walzer, Op. 76, Gitana-Galopp, Op. 108. Works from the 1830s when Strauss had reached his zenith of popularity, including the first recording of the Paris-Polka. Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina; Christian Pollack. Marco Polo 8.225284 (New Zealand) 04H109 $9.98

EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882-1953): Arizona Lady. Kálman's last operetta, a tribute to America, where he made his home during the 1940s, was premiered on New Year's Day on Bavarian Radio in 1954. This is a recording of that complete broadcast. 2 CDs. Mono. No libretto. Herbert Ernst Groh (tenor), Esther Réthy (soprano), Benno Kusche (bass-baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Werner Schmidt-Boelcke. Operetta Archives OA 1009 (U.S.A.) 04H110 $25.98

MALCOLM WILLIAMSON (1931-2003): Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Suite from Our Man in Havana, Sinfonietta, Concerto grosso, Overture Santiago de Espada. Practically everything here has an "occasional" origin and "light music" quality, hence its appeance on the back page. The music from Williamson's opera based on Graham Greene mixes Cuban spice and color with some atonal techniques but the rumbustious Proms-commissioned overture and the lightish Concerto grosso are all bright, often brash and bracing audience-pleasers with the Sinfonietta (actually a ballet score with a Prelude later added) providing the most "serious" moments in this collection. Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10359 (England) 04H111 $17.98

NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Symphony No. 6 in E Flat Minor, Op. 23. A performance from almost 20 years after the one available on the late Russian Disc label (Feb. 7, 1959), Kondrashin knocks over seven minues off of the 65:18 of the earlier one. Limited quantities. Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra ("Academic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow State Philharmonics"), State Acadmic Russian Choir; Kirill Kondrashin. Melodiya CD 10 00841 (Russia) 04H112 $16.98

EZRA POUND (1885-1972): 6 selections from the Opera Le Testament, 7 selections from the Opera Cavalcanti, Selection from the Opera Collis O Heliconii, For Solo Violin: Fiddle Music First Suite, Al poco giorno, Frottola, aliter (Nathan Rubin [violin]. This will appeal both to admirers of Pound's poetry, who want to see what he accomplished as an amateur composer and to collectors of the early 20th century avant-garde. Antheil helped Pound write his one-act opera Le Testament (1921), which sets poetry of François Villon, combining troubadour monody with pointillist instrumentation and almost baffling metrical complexity (Cavalcanti [1932] does the same with Italian and Provençal sources). 12 minutes of solo violin music show another light of the same interest, the six-minute Al poco giorno (c.1931) being a setting of a sestina by Dante. A lavishly produced booklet of 82 pages with plenty of notes and history along with many photographs is included. The recordings are assembled from around a half-dozen sources, most of them live performances, some studio recordings from 1972-2001. Italian, Provençal, French, Latin-English texts. Various soloists with The Other Minds Ensemble, The Arch Ensemble, Western Opera Theater, Villon Music Theatre, Conductus Ensemble and ASKO Ensemble, Robert Hughes (conductor). Other Minds OM 1005-2 CD (U.S.A.) 04H113 $17.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Abstract Mirror for String Quintet, Magnetic Field. The latest in this father-son series brings a wartime quartet from Lennox (1941), a piece the composer decades later described as being influence by French music of the early 20th century in its clarity, subtlety and emotional climate - especially that of Poulenc. As you can tell from the titles, Michael's two works (from 2002 and 1995,respectively) are in a more avant-garde style with Magnetic Field, in its progression from and back to a Scelsian obession on the note of F, being the more clearly apprehended on a single listening Chilingirian Quartet, Thomas Carroll (cello). Chandos 10364 (England) 04H114 $17.98