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HAVERGAL BRIAN (1876-1972): Symphony No. 2, Festive Fanfare. Of the large early symphonies from Brian's most striking creative period, when he was at the height of his powers, the second has been the most grevious omission from the record catalogue until now. Huge and tragic (though not as huge as the Gothic, and sustaining a more consistent theme or mood), the work was referred to by the composer as "Man in his cosmic loneliness", which gives a powerful clue as to the prevailing atmosphere of the piece. The work begins quietly and ambiguously; although resolutely tonal overall, there are many moments in this work when the harmony is so adventurous as to suggest a kind of atonality. The music builds in intensity - remember the shattering power of the Gothic's second movement, surely one of the greatest funeral marches ever written? - this music is first cousin to that, and then the first movement allegro crashes in, recalling the pile-driving force of the first movement of the Gothic, (which has no slow introduction, however). Restless and concentrated, the music is driven forward until it is suddenly interrupted by a strange otherworldly passage, related in mood to the introduction, after which in a conventional allegro form, the faster music returns and brings the movement to a close, out of which rises the slow movement, the beginning of the "Main Action" of the piece. Stark and dolorous, this movement shares with the finale the position of the heart of the work; certainly it carries the most emotional weight, and is quite devastating in its relentless exploration of the theme of "loneliness". There follows the extraordinarily dynamic "battle scherzo" in which musical invention runs at so intense and concentrated a level as to suggest that the whole movement is in imminent danger of flying apart under the contradictory energies seething in the music. But it is the finale that sets the seal on this symphony as one of Brian's most profound and powerful works. A huge funeral march, building towards a crushing climax hammered out on full orchestra, shattering in its effect, its position at the close of the work makes this easily Brian's most tragic work - even the cosmic battles of the Gothic were followed by a kind of redenmption - and the coda is bleak beyond description. Yet like all great tragedy, the effect is ultimately cathartic, and one comes away from this great work with the feeling of having been offered a glimpse of the mechanism of the universe at work. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Tony Rowe. Marco Polo 8.223790 (Hong Kong) 04-001 $14.98

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Symphony No. 3 in B Flat Minor, Op. 5, Violin Concerto, Op. 37. Sæverud's third symphony makes its premiere here and what a find it is! Unlike his later, terse and brusque symphonic works, this 45-minute long piece breathes the air of Nordic nature-music with echoes of both Sibelius and Nielsen, the latter especially in the original use of a large woodwind section through out the symphony and the former in its overall general sense of deep waters running under a placid surface which is occasionally disturbed by flashes of characteristic individuality. By 1956, when the violin concerto was premiered, Sæverud had become regarded as a moderate during a period of extreme avant-garde experimentation; the concerto may be in the classical three movements and the composer called it "a 'classical' concerto with melodies that are as beautiful as possible" but Sæverud's lyricism is an uncompromising one and thoroughly in keeping with the rest of his doughtily plain-spoken oeuvre. Trond Sæverud (violin), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS 872 (Sweden) 04-002 $17.98

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Valzer carissimo, Waltz for a Little Girl, 5 Capricci, Op.1, Easy Pieces, Op. 14, Symphonic Dance, Op. 17, Birdcall Variations, Op. 36, Tunes and Dances from Siljostøl, Op. 22. For those collectors not interested in owning Sæverud's complete piano works in Simax's 3 CD set, this single disc provides a useful overview of the composer's work, ranging from the wild and restless op. 1 Capricci of 1919 to the haunting Birdcall Variations of 1968 and the Waltz for a Little Girl from the 1980s. Jan Henrik Kayser (piano). Arioso KPCD 02 (Norway) 04-003 $17.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Angel of Dusk (Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra), Symphony No. 2, A Finnish Myth for Strings, Fiddlers, Op. 1 for Strings. A large part of Rautavaara's career is illustrated here in works which range from his opus 1 - Fiddlers, a treatment of five Bothnian folk tunes dating from 1952 - via the dissonant and rhythmic Symphony No. 2 of 1957 whose chamber music textures sometimes recall Stravinsky, to the 1980 double bass concerto Angel of Dusk which makes a welcome reappearance in the CD catalogue. An excellent starting point for collectors who have not yet sampled Rautavaara's original voice. Esko Laine (double bass), Tapiola Sinfonietta; Jean-Jacques Kantorow. BIS 910 (Sweden) 04-004 $17.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Symphony No. 1, Violin Concerto. Dating from 1952-53, the first symphony is a spiritual self-inquisition of anger, anguish and brooding punctuated by outbursts of violence. Possibly connected with the composer's heart attack in 1952 the work balances frenetic action with moments of stasis in an unsettling and powerful statement of angst which ends in anticlimax. The concerto dates from 1942-45, is also probably autobiographical in its central movement's dark introversion - Gerhard brooding on his exile from Spain. The first movement uses Catalan and Spanish folk motifs and the finale quotes the Marsellaise in addition to the Sardana, Catalonia's national dance, in an obvious tribute to the Allies' victory and a rude gesture to Franco. Olivier Charlier (violin), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9599 (England) 04-005 $16.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Alegrías for 2 Pianos, Dos Apunts, Soirées de Barcelona, 3 Impromptus, Pandora for 2 Pianos and Percussion. Three of these works are piano transcriptions of movements from ballets: Alegrías from 1943, Soirées from 1936-38 and Pandora from 1943-44 (the latter two were offered in their orchestral versions in our catalogue no.261, 08-048). Using Catalan and other Spanish folk melodies these are the antithesis to Gerhard's craggy, large-scale late symphonic and vocal works. The brief "Two Sketches" from 1921-22 show the composer moving away from the saturated textures of impressionism and the Impromptus, of 1950, are his first published serial compositions. Andrew Ball, Julian Jacobson (pianos), Richard Benjafield (percussion). Largo 56636 (Germany) 04-006 $16.98

PIERRE BARTHOLOMÉE (b.1937): Fredons et Tarabusts - Serenade for Large Orchestra, Humoresque for Orchestra. "Fredons et Tarabusts" is a summation, or celebration, of Bartholomée's twenty years as chief conductor of the Liège Philharmonic. Scored for a very large orchestra, which is handled with skill born of long experience in every aspect of orchestral texture, this seven-movement work lasting 45 minutes unfolds like an organic tapestry, or a journey through a vast landscape under constantly changing illumination. Bartholomée's vocabulary sounds misleadingly tonal, being based on structures growing out of simple intervals, though the dissonant complexity achieved in the music's more energetic sections especially, belies this superficially straightforward means of constructing a harmonic language. Rhythmical shifts and irregularities also give rise to an unusual degree of unsettling yet purposeful progression towards the music's final, ambiguous goal. Liège Philharmonic Orchestra; Pierre Bartholomée. Cyprès 7603 (Belgium) 04-007 $17.98

KURT SCHWERTSIK (b.1935): Vienna Chronicles 1848 (Book 1), Dracula's House-and-Court Music: A Transylvanian Symphony for Strings, Symphony in MOB-Style. Like his friend (and conductor here) HK Gruber (whose vocal work Frankenstein!! is equally clever and appealing), Schwertsik writes accessible, witty music whose stylistic influences can range from Stravinsky to the Beatles. Vienna Chronicles is a set of five dances and an epilogue in which the form of the 19th century Viennese dance piece is run through a Prokofiev-Stravinsky gauntlet, producing original results; Dracula's House-and-Court Music is nothing more than a tuneful string serenade in the manner (if not style) of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak - its title and equally vivid movement headings were added post-composition... and the Symphony, from 1971, takes Sgt. Pepper era Beatles as its starting point for five-movement work again in serenade manner. All of this is hugely enjoyable, melodic and appealing (and immensely irritating to many of Schwertsik's and Gruber's more "serious" coevals!). Vienna Radio Symphony; HK Gruber. Largo 56627 (Germany) 04-008 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX - Premiere recordings of Chamber Works

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Octet for Horn, Piano and String Sextet, String Quintet, Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Harp and String Quartet, Threnody and Scherzo for Bassoon, Harp and String Sextet, In Memoriam (1916) for Cor Anglais, Harp and String Quartet. Four of these works date from the mid-1930s; only the In Memoriam (1916) is as early as 1917 yet the fantastic and legendary quality of earlier Bax is still evident in the marvellous opening movement of the concerto while the quintet has the same monumental, brooding quality of the symphonies. The octet and Threnody are in similar, two-movement form: meditativeness followed by high-spirited scherzi while the earliest work is a heartfelt acknowledgement of loss and separation which refers to the Easter Rising. Margaret Fingerhut (piano), Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble. Chandos 9602 (England) 04-009 $16.98

GORDON JACOB - Symphony No. 2, Little Symphony

GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Symphony No. 2 in C, A Little Symphony, A Festive Overture. Jacob's orchestral works have been largely ignored as a result both of his reputation as a composer for brass band and of chamber works for winds and because of the general oblivion into which so many worthy English composers fell around the end of the 1950s who did not belong to the avant-garde. This first in a series called "The British Symphonic Collection" brings an utterly delightful 1957 "classical" symphony whose clear, concise and extrovert four movements cloak the classical model in contemporary language. The 1963 overture is equally enjoyable but the main work is the symphony. Written between 1942-45 the work contains equal proportions of dynamic, vigorous and optimistic music and eloquent, meditative sections which remind us that this is also a "war symphony". Munich Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico 204 (Denmark) 04-010 $14.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Piano Concerto, Op. 31, Cello Concerto, Op. 32. Composed in 1966 and 1969 respectively after having done the majority of his major film scores, these concertos demonstrate a striking creativity with Rózsa's Hungarian roots evident everywhere in both works. Passionate outer movements surround songful and impassioned slow movements in compositions that are open-hearted and strongly communicative. Admirers of this composer's film scores need not hesitate an instant. Evelyn Chen (piano), Brinton Smith (cello), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Sedares. Koch International Classics 7402 (U.S.A.) 04-011 $16.98

ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Violin Sonata in C Sharp Minor, Op. 21, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by E.G. for Piano Solo, Serenade for String Trio, Op. 10, Ruralia Hungarica for Violin and Piano, Op. 32c. Making its CD premiere here is the 18-minute set of variations and final fugue from 1897 which show the 20-year-old composer flexing his creative capabilities with ingenious and virtuosic variations on a Schumannesque theme. The Hungarian folk flavorings of the violin set of Ruralia Hungarica balance the Brahmsian structure and affect of the sonata, both little recorded while the Serenade looks back to the early 19th century in its form and character. Tasmin Little (violin), Martin Roscoe (piano), James Boyd (viola), Hannah Roberts (cello). ASV DCA 994 (England) 04-012 $16.98

ARNO BABADJANIAN (1921-1983): Heroic Ballade for Piano and Orchestra, Nocturne, LORIS TJEKNAVORIAN (b.1937): Piano Concerto, Op. 4. Conductor/composer Tjeknavorian's dates from 1961 (revised in 1974) and follows in the 20th century Armenian tradition of large, emotional gestures and a slow movement of rapt oriental poetry with sinuous woodwind textures, all of it in exotically colored orchestration. Babadjanian's Heroic Ballade dates from 1950 and is a sprawling, multi-sectioned work of epic breadth, a riot of sensual colors and melodic eloquence. The most startling piece here, though, is the Nocturne (date not given): a vinyl-upholstered lounge piece for piano, guitar, rhythm section, brass and strings which conjures images of an Armenian Liberace! Armen Babakhanian (piano), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Loris Tjeknavorian. ASV DCA 984 (U.S.A.) 04-013 $16.98

CARL MICHAEL ZIEHRER (1843-1922): Vol. 1: Wiener Bürger, Op. 419, Loslassen!, Op. 386, Liebesrezepte, Op. 434, Die Tänzerin, Op. 490, Landstreicher-Quadrille, Op. 496, Clubgeister, Op. 452, Bürgerlich und romantisch, Op. 94, Auersperg Marsch, Op. 111, Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!, Op. 442, Pfiffig, Op. 384, Österreich in Tönen, Op. 373. A new series begins featuring this Austrian bandmaster who poached musicians from the dance orchestra of his rival, Eduard Strauss, and rivalled the Strauss family in the composition of waltzes, marches and operettas in later 18th century Vienna. Razumovsky Sinfonia; Alfred Walter. Marco Polo 8.223814 (Hong Kong) 04-014 $14.98

GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875)/PETER BREINER (b.1957): Carmen Concerto, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Valses poéticos (arr. Breiner). Breiner, a Slovak composer/conductor, has taken themes from Bizet's Carmen and used them to concoct a 50-minute guitar concerto of "Light Classics" mode which, although a bit long, uses the melodies and develops them in such a musical and satisfying way that criticism is stifled. Norbert Kraft (guitar), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Breiner. Naxos 8.553114 (Hong Kong) 04-015 $5.98

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Fantasia for Guitar and Piano, Op. 145, Guitar Quintet, Op. 143, Sonatina for Flute and Guitar, Op. 205, Romancero Gitano for Mixed Choir and Guitar, Op. 152. These guitar chamber works, all written between 1950 and 1965 are a valuable collection highlighting a less well-known aspect of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's uvre. In neo-classical and/or neo-romantic style (the Romancero sets texts of García Lorca), all these pieces are instantly approachable and very appealing. Mats Bergström (guitar), Donna Lee (piano), Anna Norberg (flute), Tale Quartet, Gustaf Sjökvist's Chamber Choir. Proprius PRCD 91242 (Sweden) 04-016 $17.98


ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): Symphony in D Minor (world premiere recording of fourth movement), Waldgespräch for Soprano, 2 Horns, Harp and Strings, Frühlingsbegräbnis for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Maiblumen blühten überall for Soprano and String Sextet. At the time Marco Polo recorded the D Minor symphony (of 1892) 8 years ago the final movement was believed to be lost, breaking off after 39 bars. Later, the missing bars were found elsewhere in the Library of Congress and the symphony is now recorded complete. There is a brio reminiscent of early Dvorák in this finale which goes well with the Brahmsian first movement, Dvorakian scherzo with its Schubertian trio and the slow movement with its hints of Bruckner. Waldgespräch (1896) and Maiblumen... (c.1903) are also world-premieres, still late-Romantic but showing a more personal approach to orchestration while the Frühlingsbegräbnis of 1902 is a 22-minute work of warmly expressive melodic lines and sumptuous orchestral colors. Edith Mathis (soprano), Roland Hermann (baritone), North German Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Antony Beaumont. Capriccio 10 740 (Germany) 04-017 $11.98

ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): Der König Kandaules. Zemlinsky's last opera but one (also left incomplete) was begun in Vienna in 1935 and was carried to New York when the composer fled the Nazi takeover of Austria. The orchestration was completed by Antony Beaumont (from a complete short score) and the opera receives its world-premiere recording here. Based on André Gide's play Le Roi Candaule (ultimately from Herodotus), the story tells of the eponymous Persian king whose pathological need to be seen as happy causes him to force a loyal servant to view his beautiful wife naked, an act which ultimately leads to his own murder by Gyges, the servant. The theme of bizarre psychology and forbidden sex runs through many of Zemlinsky's operas; this was his intended summum opus. Collectors of the composer's other recorded operas will not be disappointed. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. James O'Neal (tenor), Monte Pederson (baritone), Nina Warren (soprano), Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Capriccio 60 071 (Germany) 04-018 $16.98

VICTOR E. NESSLER (1841-1890): Der Trompeter von Säcklingen. Remembered only for this opera and Der Rattenfänger von Hameln, Nessler produced the musical equivalent of the widely popular sentimental poetic romances of the mid-19th century which derived from fairy-tales and sagas. Produced in 1884 Der Trompeter proved to be startlingly successful and was damned by "serious" critics. Its tale of a trumpeter banished for seeking the hand of a baron's daughter but who returns in the nick of time to save said baron from a peasant's revolt and to discover that he is, in fact, of noble ancestry and can marry the lovely Maria after all, is hardly the stuff of striking originality. But the tuneful folkiness of the score and the romantic sentimentality of the libretto (based on a popular epic poem) turned the piece into a quaint yet sparkling guilty pleasure which can be enjoyed today as a delightful confection. 2 CDs. German libretto. Hermann Prey (baritone), Regina Klepper (soprano), Franz Hawlata (bass), Cologne Radio Choir and Orchestra; Helmuth Froschauer. Capriccio 60 055 (Germany) 04-019 $16.98

RICHARD STRAUSS - World Premiere Recording of Early Piano Trios

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Piano Trio No. 1 in A, AV37, Piano Trio No. 2 in D, AV 53. Strauss was very prolific in his youth but we are only getting to hear some of these works lately. The first trio was written in a day and a half in 1877 and is in purely classical style with a minuet and finale right out of the Vienna of 1790. A more ambitious work, the 1878 trio pays tribute to early Romanticism in its elegance and melodiousness. Odeon Trio. Capriccio 10 820 (Germany) 04-020 $11.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): String Quartets No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10, No. 2 in C, Op. 16, No. 3, Op. 22, No. 4, Op. 32, No. 5 in E Flat, No. 6 in E Flat (1945), No. '0', Op. 2, Overture to "The Flying Dutchman" as played at sight by a second-rate orchestra at the village well at 7 o'clock in the morning, Militärminimax. A special price reissue couples all extant seven of Hindemith's quartets with his subversive send-ups of military band music (Minimax) and spa orchestras; the Kocian Quartet are brilliant in these and especially relish the expressionistic idiom of the first five quartets. A bargain worth taking! 3 CDs for the price of 2. Kocian Quartet. Praga 250 113.115 (Czech Republic) 04-021 $35.98

IGOR MARKEVITCH (1912-1983): Galop, Noces for Piano, Serenade for Violin, Clarinet and Bassoon, L'Envoi d'Icare for 2 Pianos and Percussion. "The Flight of Icarus", recently recorded in its orchestral version by Marco Polo appears here in the composer's own transcription which is compelling in its own right and conveys fully the inventiveness of the piece. The Galop is a two-minute exercise in mayhem; Noces a charming three-movement work reminiscent of Satie and the Serenade is Hindemithian in its motoric business. Markevitch Ensemble Köln, Kolja Lessing, Christopher Lyndon-Gee (pianos), Franz Lang Percussion Ensemble. Largo 56639 (Germany) 04-022 $16.98

Slightly out of sequence, the Josef Strauss Edition continues...

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Complete Edition, Volume 11 - Bon-Bon-Polka, Op. 55, Dioscuren-Quadrille, Op. 32, Gedenkblätter, Op. 178, Die Emancipirte, Op. 282, Schwalbenpost, Op. 203, Maskengeheimnisse, Op. 102, Victoria, Op. 228, Les Géorgiennes, Op. 168, Hochzeits-Klänge, Op. 242, Die Schwätzerin, Op. 144, Lust-Lager-Polka, Op. 19. Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Alfred Eschwé. Marco Polo 8.223571 (Hong Kong) 04-023 $14.98

GIACOMO MEYERBEER - Orchestral Marches

GIACOMO MEYERBEER (1791-1864): Fest-Ouverture im Marschstyl, Festmarsch for the Centenary of Schiller's Birth, Krönungsmarsch from "Le Prophete", Fackeltänze Nos. 1-4 for Prussian Royal Weddings. Here are practically all of Meyerbeer's non-operatic works. Large-scale marches, the "Torch Dances" were originally written for military band and performed at royal wedding ceremonies in Berlin. Orchestrated later, they still retain a large brass presence which anchors their august, celebratory majesty. The other three pieces are of similar nature. Hannover Radio Philharmonic of North German Radio; Michail Juowski. CPO 999 168 (Germany) 04-024 $15.98

CHARLES VALENTIN-ALKAN (1813-1888): Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 39 (orch. Klindworth), 3 Concerti da camera, Op. 10. Alkan's massive (and massively difficult) "concerto" for solo piano consists of three movements; Karl Klindworth (1830-1916), a conductor and pianist, orchestrated the huge first movement (with Alkan's apparent consent, seeing as the composer looked over the first draft and made detailed comments) in 1872 and revised it in 1902 when it was finally premiered. Klindworth's orchestration makes the accompaniment richer and more elaborate and he made many subtle changes, resulting in a work which might better be said to be a reconception of Alkan's original along the lines of Chopin, Liszt and Wagner. The solo part remains brilliant and virtuosic throughout. The couplings are the teenage Alkan's three mini piano concertos dating from 1831-33, the third of which Hugh Macdonald has reconstructed from an 1873 Andante romantique. Dmitry Feofanov (piano), Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Robert Stankovsky. Naxos 8.553702 (Hong Kong) 04-025 $5.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26, Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44, Violin Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 58, Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 75, Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46. This masterly set of Bruch's complete works for violin and orchestra, dating from the late 1970s is finally reissued at mid-price. Neither the Serenade, a late work of 1901 which uses both Nordic and Spanish elements (the latter in honor of its dedicatee, Sarasate), nor the third concerto of 1891 whose first movement is of Beethovenian proportions and which revisits strongly classical models, is otherwise available. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Salvatore Accardo (violin), Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig; Kurt Masur. Philips 462 167-2 (Netherlands) 04-026 $16.98

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880): Violin Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 14, Fantaisie Brillante sur "Faust", Scherzo Tarantelle, Op. 16, Kujaviak, Obertas. Another mid-price reissue couples the little-heard or recorded first concerto of Wieniawski, a virtuosic product of his late teens, with a grand fantasy on operatic melodies from 1868. The Scherzo tarantelle of 1855 is a moto perpetuo exercise while the two short pieces based on Polish folk dances are available only here on CD. Vadim Brodsky (violin), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Arts 47313-2 (Germany) 04-027 $10.98

CLEMENS AUGUST KIEL (1813-1871): Horn Concerto in F, Op. 23, RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Horn Concerto No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 11, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (orch. Ansermet), CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Concertino for Horn and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 45. Kiel (ignored both by Grove and Baker's) was a student of Spohr; his concerto runs the gamut of emotions from furious, virtuosic emotion to expressive cantilena. Schumann's piece (one of the first for valve horn) gains in warmth and tone color from Ernest Ansermet's 1941 orchestration. Zbigniew Zuk (horn), Kraków Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Höltzel. Zuk Records 100955 (Poland) 04-028 $10.98

FELIX OTTO DESSOFF (1835-1892): String Quartet in F, Op. 7, String Quintet in G, Op. 10. Another member of Brahms' wide circle of friends and colleagues, Dessoff is known today (if at all) as a conductor. These two chamber works, dating from 1878 and 1880 respectively are shot through with sunshine and high spirits, breathing the clear air of unsullied Romanticism - more in serenade style with not a whiff of academicism. If you respond to the eternal vernal charms of Brahms' Serenade No. 1, you will treasure these works. Bartók Quartet (op. 7), L'Ensemble. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9023 (Germany) 04-029 $16.98

JOHAN SVENDSEN (1840-1911): Polonaise, Variations on a Norwegian Folk Tune, HALFDAN KJERULF (1815-1868): The Wedding in Hardanger, OLE BULL (1810-1880): Solitude, RIKARD NORDRAAK (1842-1866): 2 Dances from Maria Stuart, Olav Trygvason (all orch.Halvorsen), JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Entry of the Boyars, Danse Visionaire, EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46. This collection highlights the "Golden Age" of Norwegian music history with a series of works strongly informed by national romanticism and with many rarities by lesser-known composers (Bull's and Nordraak's pieces are all dance-derived works). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Per Dreier. Carlton Classics 30367 00832 (England) 04-030 $9.98

JULES MASSENET (1842-1912): Ballet Suites from El Cid, Cendrillon and Thais. This enterprising new release of ballet suites culled from their operas offers the only CD recording of an extended suite from Thais and adds 4 pieces to the short suite from Cendrillon which appeared nine years ago on Marco Polo. In addition, the first digital recording of the El Cid suite, full of Gallic Iberianisms, adds to our enjoyment of Massenet's fertile musical mind and considerable prowess in providing variegated musical interludes to his romantic vocal works. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Sir Neville Marriner. Capriccio 10 569 (Germany) 04-031 $11.98


ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Falstaff or The Three Tricks. One of Salieri's last operas and one of the first to derive its plot fromShakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff was produced in 1799 in Vienna. It is very much an 18th-century opera buffa which takes liberties with Shakespeare's original (no Anne and Fenton; Mrs. Ford visits Falstaff disguised as a German woman - an excuse for comic mixture of German and Italian dialogue; only the Fords run any risk of marital separation) but which offers several enjoyable parodies of opera seria conventions. The arias are few, the ensembles many with complicated finales. A worthwhile issue of a composer whose dozens of operas are still little-known. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Romano Franceschetto (baritone), Lee Myeounghee (soprano), Giuliano de Filippo (tenor), The Madrigalists of Milan, Orchestra Guido Cantelli of Milan; Alberto Veronesi. Chandos 9613 (England) 04-032 $33.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Sinfonie concertanti: in G for 2 Flutes, 2 Violins and Cello, in G for 2 Violins and Cello, in E Flat for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon. Concerto a più istrumenti in D for 2 Violins and Orchestra. Various Soloists; Budapest Strings; Béla Bánfalvi (violin). Capriccio 10 747 (Germany) 04-033 $11.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Sinfonie concertanti: in E Flat for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and Bassoon, in C for 2 Violins and Cello, in E Flat for 2Oboes, 2 Horns, 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello, in E for Flute, 2 Violins and Cello. Various Soloists; Budapest Strings; Béla Bánfalvi (violin). Capriccio 10 772 (Germany) 04-034 $11.98

Volumes 2 and 3 of Capriccio's series of J.C. Bach's Sinfonie concertanti continue to turn up urbane, delightful, elegant and witty music with slow movements often showing Italianate melodic traits.

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): 3 Symphonies, Op. 9 (two versions). The op. 9 symphonies, published in 1773, were among the London Bach's "greatest hits". It's also been discovered that they are arrangements of originals with richer wind instrumentation (flutes, bassoons and clarinets) and cpo have recorded both versions here, making for a fascinating tour of Bach's compositional workshop. Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 487 (Germany) 04-035 $15.98

JOHANN GOTTLIEB GRAUN (1702-1771): Concerto for Violin and Viola da Gamba in C Minor, Concerto for Viola da Gamba in A Minor, Trio for 2 Violas da Gamba and Basso Continuo in G, Sonata a tre for Viola da Gamba, Violin and Basso Cembalo in A. Written in a combination of baroque and empfindsamkeit styles, the two concertos (rare ones for this instrument) date from the 1760s and Frederick the Great's court in Berlin. The trios are technically complex and mix Italian, French and German styles in music of great originality. Christophe Coin, Vittorio Ghielmi (gambas), Gilles Colliard (violin), Ensemble Baroque de Limoges. Auvidis/Astrée E 8617 (France) 04-036 $18.98

FRANCESCA LEBRUN (1756-1791): Six Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin, Op. 1. The sister of Franz Danzi, married to composer/oboist Ludwig August LeBrun, was famous throughout Europe as a singer but also published two sets of sonatas for piano and violin in London in 1780. Typical of such works at the time, the piano takes the leading role and has the more grateful, and difficult, music in these two-movement works featuring a sonata-form first movement and a minuet or rondo finale. Monica Jakuc (fortepiano), Dana Maiben (violin). Dorian Discovery DIS-80162 (U.S.A.) 04-037 $13.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Violin Concerto No. 23 in G, Sinfonie concertanti in F and B Flat for 2 Violins and Orchestra. Viotti's compositions are always of greater than average interest and his G major concerto (early 1790s) is one of his finest. The Sinfonie concertanti (of 1787) are fine late examples of this classical genre. Mauro Ranieri, Roberto Baraldi, Alberto Martini (violins), Accademia dei Filarmonici; Aldo Sisillo. Naxos 8.553861 (Hong Kong) 04-038 $5.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Divertimenti: in C for Oboe, Viola and Violone; in C for Violin, Cello and Violone; in E Flat for Viola, Cello and Violone, Quartet in C for Violin, English Horn, Violoncello Piccolo and Contrabass. Intimate chamber works (all but the oboe divertimento - which is from 1772 - dating from around 1790), calling for unusual instrumental combinations and producing a variety of special instrumental color: delightful examples of cultured, "civilized" works for domestic use. Piccolo Concerto Wien. Symphonia SY 97154 (Italy) 04-039 $18.98

LOUIS FRANÇOIS DAUPRAT (1781-1868): Horn Quintets in F and in E Flat, Op. 6, Nos. 1 & 3, WILHELM GOTTLIEB HAUFF (1755-1807): Horn Quintet in E Flat, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Horn Quintet in E Flat, K.407. Unlike the sextet for six horns offered last month, Dauprat's quintets here are for the more conventional horn and strings. They are late classical works with equal consideration given to the strings and, of course, an interesting and virtuosic horn part. Hauff, an organist and composer at Nijmegen whose two-movement quintet in early Classical style was edited from manuscript for this recording. Zbigniew Zuk (horn), Camerata Quartet. Zuk Records 311 (Poland) 04-040 $10.98

JOSEF MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781): String Quartets in C, G, F, A, B Flat and E Flat. "Quintets" were often performed as symphonies and vice versa in the Classical period; this set of six works from the late 1770s is performed by an ensemble of eight string players and again shows why this Bohemian composer was so popular and so highly thought of by Mozart (among many others). Ensemble Vox Aurae; Giancarlo de Lorenzo. Agorá AG 133.1 (Italy) 04-041 $16.98

FERNANDO SOR (1778-1839): Mazurka, Six Waltzes, Les Favorites des Salons, Les Cuirassiers, Six Waltzes (Second Set), Les Choisies. Dating from Sor's London period of 1815-23, these waltzes and quadrilles (danced to as well as listened to) represent a high point of professional, well-crafted salon music as well as the transitional point between the classical minuet and contradance and the romantic waltz. Josep Maria Roger (fortepiano). Cantus C 9618 (Spain) 04-042 $18.98

JOHANNES FRØHLICH - An early Danish symphonist premiered!

JOHANNES FREDERIK FRØHLICH (1806-1860): Symphony in E Flat, Op. 33, NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Symphony No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 20. Frøhlich's 1833 symphony can truly be called the first Danish romantic symphony, anticipating J.P.E. Hartmann's Symphony No. 1 by three years. The work is a combination of Classical form and personal inspiration with lively counterpoint and dynamic orchestration. The minuet and trio are as eccentric and delightful as anything you'll hear and the volatile rondo finale highly spiced. A characterful and original composition which makes Gade's Mendelssohnian Fourth seem bland by comparison! Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Hogwood. Chandos 9609 (England) 04-043 $16.98

ALEXANDER CAMPBELL MACKENZIE (1847-1935): Violin Concerto in C Sharp Minor, Op. 32, Pibroch: Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 42. Mackenzie's concerto of 1884-85, written with Joachim in mind, ended up being premiered by Sarasate. In traditional three-movement form, the work is closer to Bruch than to the virtuoso Wieniawski or Vieuxtemps concertos with a dark, brooding opening movement, a lyrical center and a finale based on the Polish krakowiak. Written expressly for Sarasate four years later, the Pibroch fantasy is a close cousin to Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. In three sections, Rhapsody, Caprice and Dance, the pieces quotes and elaborates on Scottish songs in its last two movements while the initial rhapsody features quasi-improvisational writing for the soloist of great freedom. Malcolm Stewart (violin), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Vernon Handley, David Davies. Hyperion CDA 66975 (England) 04-044 $17.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Messa di Requiem. Originally begun as a work in memory of Bellini, this mass was never finished, only published as it existed in 1870 and, ironically, its first performance occurred on the occasion of the removal of Donizetti's remains to a grander site. Lacking a Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, the work is nevertheless a large-scale (lasting more than an hour), powerful and compelling work which is one of Donizetti's most important non-operatic compositions. Tiziana K. Sojat (soprano), Vittorio Giammarrusco (tenor), Marcel Rosca (bass), Jaroslava Horska-Maxova (mezzo), Zdenek Hlavka (baritone), Virtuosi di Praga, Prague Chamber Choir; Alexander Rahbari. Koch Discover DICD 920519 (Belgium) 04-045 $6.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il Campanello. Donizetti really enjoyed himself with this one-act farce (he also wrote the libretto) which was produced in 1836, the bell of its title being a shop-door bell which continuously interrupts Don Annibale from enjoying his wedding night. As one might expect, the opportunities offered for humor and buffo business by the situation are well-taken in highly entertaining music. Italian-English libretto. Giorgio Gatti, Francesca Rinaldi, Daniela Gentile, Orchestra and Chorus of the "G.B. da Palestrina" of Cagliari; Giorgio Proietti. Bongiovanni 2207 (Italy) 04-046 $16.98

HEINRICH BERTÉ (1857-1924)/FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Das Dreimädlerhaus. Here is the German original of the operetta which came to be known as Blossom Time in the U.S. (arranged by Romberg) and Lilac Time in the U.K.. Premiered in 1916, it uses melodies by Schubert and is based on distorted version of his life which originated in the German novel "Schwammerl" by R.H. Bartsch. Another guilty pleasure; it's fun just trying to identify all 35 of Schubert's works plundered for adaptation as vocal numbers! Thomas Dewald (tenor), Bernhard Schneider (tenor), Bernhard Hüsgen (baritone), Cologne Radio Orchestra; Alfred Waller. Capriccio 10 550 (Germany) 04-047 $11.98

ANDRÉ DA SILVA GOMES (1752-1844): Mass in B Flat for 5 Voices and Orchestra, Christmas Matins. Gomes arrived in São Paolo in 1774 and spent 50 years as church musician and composer; the mass, from around 1800, sets only the Kyrie and Gloria in music of early Classical style. The Matins, eight responsories for choir sung at dawn on Christmas Day, date from 1774. Brasilessentia Vocal and Orchestal Ensemble; Vitor Gabriel. Paulus 11107-4 (Brazil) 04-048 $16.98

FRANCESCO GASPARINI (1661-1727): Il vecchio avaro, Sinfonia a 4, Sinfonia a 2, Sonata del primero tono. This 1720 work is actually 3 "intermezzi" in which the miser and a female character representing the outside world's threats to his wealth was based on Molière's L'Avare. While this work was on the cutting edge of musical fashion at the time of its premiere, the companion instrumental works look back to the early baroque. Italian-English libretto. Gloria Banditelli (soprano), Antonio Abete (baritone), Il Viaggio Musicale; Alessandro Bares. Bongiovanni 2210 (Italy) 04-049 $16.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Die Auferweckung des Lazarus, Op. 132, Salvum fac regem, Psalm 23, Op. 100, Psalm 121, Op. 101, Psalm 51, Psalm 61. Loewe's last oratorio, performed in 1864, traces a course from gloom and melancholy to a burst of grandeur when Jesus summons Lazarus from the tomb. On a smaller scale by far than the great oratorios by Mendelssohn, Loewe's works were planned for parish or school performance and show a lack of outsized emotion and grandiose gesture but a grateful cantabile flow in the vocal writing. Originally composed for piano or organ accompaniment, the work was orchestrated in 1913 Gottfried Grunewald, using as examples Loewe's great earlier oratorios with orchestra. The accompanying works are for a capella choir (both mixed and male) and demonstrate the aptitude for word-setting that one would expect from this great ballad writer. Katharina Kammerloher (contralto), Eva Krichner (soprano), Markus Marquardt (bass-baritone), Berhard Schneider (tenor), Cologne Radio Choir and Orchestra; Helmuth Froschauer. Capriccio 10 581 (Germany) 04-050 $11.98


We offer again a selection of titles from this Portuguese label, funded by the state and devoted entirely to Portuguese music. None of these titles have been offered by Records International since 1991. Portugalsom's new release program offers only two to four items a year; we hope to have two new releases before long.

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Symphony No. 2 in D. Of uncertain date but probably from somewhere in the decade before 1820, this marvellous symphony both looks back to Haydn and contemporaneously at Beethoven and Schubert. At least as impressive for collectors of early Romantic symphonies as VoÞiek's symphony, it will be a must-have for those collecting Chandos' 'Contemporaries of Mozart' series. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; Claudio Scimone. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4131 (Portugal) 04-051 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Te Deum in F. Possibly written in 1818 or 1819, this large-scale work shows Italianate influence in its operatic use of accompanied melody and Rossinian elements seem to pop up too. Márta Szücs (soprano), Ildikó Komlóssy (mezzo), Gábor Kállay (tenor), József Gregor (bass), Hungarian Radio and Television Chorus, Hungarian State Orchestra; Mátyás Antal. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4028 (Portugal) 04-052 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Requiem in C Minor, Op. 23 "In Memory of Camões". Dating from between 1817 - 1819, this traditionally structured mass stands closer to Cherubini than to Mozart's shining example and may be Bomtempo's greatest religious work. Ana Pusar-Jeric (soprano), Heidi Riess (contralto), Christian Vogel (tenor), Hermann Christian Polster (bass), Berlin Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Heinz Rögner. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4162 (Portugal) 04-053 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Quintet in E Flat, Op. 16, Serenata for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, 2 Horns, Bassoon and Double Bass. Imre Rohmann (piano), Kodály Quartet, Ilona Prunyi (piano), János Bálint (flute), Kálman Berkes (clarinet), Tibor Maruzsa, Sándor Endródi (horns), Lászlo Hara (bassoon), Zsolt Tibay (bass). Portugalsom CD 870006/PS (Portugal) 04-054 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Sonatas No. 1 in F, Op.1 , No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 9/1, No. 4 in C, Op. 9/2. Nella Maissa (piano). Portugalsom CD 870038/PS (Portugal) 04-055 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Sonatas No. 6 in A Flat, Op.15/1 , No. 7 in G Minor, Op. 15/2, No. 11 in E Flat, Op. 20. Nella Maissa (piano). Portugalsom CD 870039/PS (Portugal) 04-056 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Piano Sonatas No. 5 in C, Op. 13 , No. 8 in G, Op. 18/1, No. 9 in F Minor, Op. 18/2, No. 10 in E Flat, Op. 18/3. Nella Maissa (piano). Portugalsom CD 870040/PS (Portugal) 04-057 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Fantasy, Op. 14, Variations on a Theme from the Opera "Allessandro in Éfeso", Op. 22, Variations on a Theme from the Opera "La Donna del Lago", Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 21. Nella Maissa (piano). Portugalsom CD 870042/PS (Portugal) 04-058 $13.98

JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Fandango, Op. 4, Paisiello Variations, Op. 6, Variations on "God Save the King", Op. 8, 12 Etudes, Op. 19. Nella Maissa (piano). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4134 (Portugal) 04-059 $13.98

A conspectus of brilliant piano compositions, from the Cherubiniesque sonatas to the sparkling virtuosity of the Fandango and operatic variations, not forgetting the classical piano quintet and the outdoorsy serenade (really a sextet for piano and winds).

CARLOS SEIXAS (1704-1742): Harpsichord Concerto in A, Symphony in B Flat, Overture in D, ANON.: Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor. The most important figure in 18th century Portuguese music after Scarlatti, Seixas' symphony is in early classical style while the concerto and "overture" look back to the Baroque; so too the anon. work from the same period. János Sebestyén (harpsichord), Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; János Rolla. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4154 (Portugal) 04-060 $13.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRAÇA (1906-1994): The Tragic History of the Sea, Travels through My Country. Travels... (originally for piano - 1953) is a collection of 19 short pictorial pieces inspired by Portuguese folksong and lushly orchestrated in a style influenced by Ravel and Debussy; the companion work, from 1943, sets 7 texts which depict the sea's beauty and violent power. Oliveira Lopes (baritone), Hungarian Radio Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Gyula Németh. Portugalsom 870003/PS (Portugal) 04-061 $13.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRAÇA (1906-1994): Concertino for Viola and Orchestra, Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Divertimento for Winds, Timpani, Percussion, Cellos and Double Basses. The 1957 Divertimento, an example of 20th century outdoor music, was written for performance at the Portuguese pavilion at a music festival; the concertinos (1962 and 1954) are single-movement works (in three sections) which demonstrate much idiomatic writing for the instruments and use of national color. Ana Bela Chaves (viola), Helena Sá e Costa (piano), Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; János Sándor. Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4129 (Portugal) 04-062 $13.98

FREDERICO DE FREITAS (1902-1980): Dance of the Foolish Girl, Suite Medieval. The 1940 ballet is composed in nationalistic style while the 1959 suite is inspired by medieval Portuguese poetry. Ploiesti Philharmonic Orchestra; Carol Litvin. Portugalsom 870012/PS (Portugal) 04-063 $13.98

RUY COELHO (1889-1986): The Princess with the Iron Shoes, Summer Walks, Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2. Dating from 1912, the ballet is indebted to the Russian futurists; Summer Walks, from 1934, is a depiction of the composer's favorite Portuguese landscapes. The sonatas (c.1910 and 1923 respectively) are in the grand, late Romantic manner. RDP Symphony Orchestra; Silva Pereira, Vasco Barbosa (violin), Grazi Barbosa (piano). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4144 (Portugal) 04-064 $13.98

Classical and Romantic 1-act operas- Treasures from EMI's vaults licensed and re-issued by cpo at mid-price.

Of these nine one-act operas or operettas (for most of them are comic in nature), only Schubert's Die Verschworenen is available in a modern recording (Weber's Abu Hassan exists in two historical recordings). Made in Munich between 1974 and 1978 with EMI's finest singers of the period and reissued at mid-price, this is a veritable gold-mine of delightful music in brilliant perfomances. Synopses but no librettos are included.

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Die beiden Pädagogen. Here is the 12-year-old Mendelssohn's third operatic effort involving a wealthy landowner's son, the son's preference for his pretty cousin over his studies and his schoolmaster (and his impersonator). Lost until 1960, it is a valuable vocal equivalent to Mendelssohn's precocious instrumental works from the same period. Krisztina Laki (soprano), Adolf Dallapozza (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Wallberg. CPO 999 550 (Germany) 04-065 $10.98

CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Abu Hassan. This singspeil from 1811 takes its plot from one of the 1001 Nights tales; apparently inspired by Mozart's Entführung aus dem Serail, Weber gave this work much more richness and variety than the majority of contemporaneous singspiels. Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Edda Moser (soprano), Kurt Moll (bass), Orchestra and Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera; Wolfgang Sawallisch. CPO 999 551 (Germany) 04-066 $10.98

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787): Der betrogene Kadi. Gluck's French original (Le Cadi dupé - 1761) is performed here in a contemporary German version by the composer Johann André. A fine example of the rage for things Turkish, the opera makes great use of Janissary music and instruments but also has tender lyricism for its lovers. Helen Donath (soprano), Anneliese Rothenberger (mezzo), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Walter Berry (bass), Orchestra and Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera; Otmar Suitner. CPO 999 552 (Germany) 04-067 $10.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Der vierjährige Posten, D. 190. This singspiel from 1815 tells of a young soldier who deserts in order to be married; only one example of each musical form (aria, duet, trio, etc.) is included, leading scholars to believe that this may have been an exercise for future vocal works. Helen Donath (soprano), Peter Schreier (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Wallberg. CPO 999 553 (Germany) 04-068 $10.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Der Verschworenen, D. 787. Dating from 1821-22 this singspiel sets Aristophanes' story of war-weary women deciding to withhold their favors from their menfolk in medieval Germany; it shows some Rossinian influence and is lively and witty with charming melodies and warm harmonies. Edda Moser (soprano), Gabriele Fuchs (soprano), Kurt Moll (bass), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Wallberg. CPO 999 554 (Germany) 04-069 $10.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, Op. 89. Mendelssohn's deft command of orchestral color is evident in this slight liederspiel of 1829 which focuses on the attempt of a rogue to impersonate the absent son of a local magistrate. Helen Donath (soprano), Peter Schreier (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Wallberg. CPO 999 555 (Germany) 04-070 $10.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Der Zwillingsbrüder, D. 647. Completed in 1819, this was Schubert's first theatrical commission, a farcical love story with mistaken identities in a pastoral setting; its tender, lyrical melodies and fine tone-painting eclipse average works in the genre. Helen Donath (soprano), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Kurt Moll (bass), Munich State Opera Chorus, Bavarian State Opera Orchestra; Wolfgang Sawallisch. CPO 999 556 (Germany) 04-071 $10.98

ALBERT LORTZING (1801-1851): Der Opernprobe. Premiered on the day before its composer's death, this one-act comedy satirizes an opera-obsessed country squire while including the usual disguises and mistaken identities at the scene of an opera rehearsal at a country house. Building on Weber's achievements in orchestration, the music music pokes fun at the pathos and artificiality of Gluck's successors. Kari Lövaas (soprano), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Walter Berry (bass), Orchestra and Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera; Otmar Suitner. CPO 999 557 (Germany) 04-072 $10.98

EUGEN D'ALBERT (1864-1932): Die Abreise. A one-act opera dating from 1898, this three character piece concerns a husband and wife whose marriage has cooled and the husband's friend Trott, whose arrival and (over)enthusastic encouragement of the former to take a trip leads to their reconciliation. The light-hearted score has none of Tiefland's verismo, looking back, instead, at Cornelius and Lortzing. Peter Schreier (tenor), Edda Moser (soprano), Hermann Prey (baritone), Philharmonia Hungarica; Janos Kulka. CPO 999 558 (Germany) 04-073 $10.98

JAN K¤ITITEL KRUMPHOLTZ (1747-1790): Harp Concertos No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 4, No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 4, No. 5 in B Flat, Op. 7. Jana Bouková (harp), Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra; JiÞí Bûlohlávek. Clarton CQ 0018 (Czech Republic) 04-074 $16.98

JAN K¤ITITEL KRUMPHOLTZ (1747-1790): Harp Concertos No. 3 in E, Op. 6/1, No. 4 in D, Op. 6/2, No. 6 in F, Op. 9. Jana Bouková (harp), Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra; JiÞí Bûlohlávek. Clarton CQ 0029 (Czech Republic) 04-075 $16.98 These well-filled discs offer over two and a half hours of delightful classical harp concertos from a composer most associated with that instrument. All are in three movements with sonata form first movements, middle movements ranging from brief romances to soulful adagios and toe-tapping rondo final movements, injected here and there with elements of bracing rusticity. There are few harp concertos around from any period but if anyone has been charmed, say, by that of Boeildieu, he will be bewitched by this sparkling collection.

JOHN BAPTIST CRAMER (1771-1858): Fy let us a'to Bridal, The Braes of Ballenden, GEORGE F. KIALLMARK (1804-1887): Scottish Melody, ALEXANDER CAMPBELL MACKENZIE (1847-1935): Scenes in the Scottish Highland, GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1865-1946): Three Scottish Scenes, ERIC CHISHOLM (1904-1965): Harris Dance, RONALD STEVENSON (b.1928): South Uist Folksong Suite, A Wheen Tunes for Beirns tae Spiel, Three Scottish Ballads. A curious compendium of diverse styles from composers of widely varying æsthetics, spanning more than 150 years and tied together more by the idea of "Scottishness" than by any perceptible unifying musical characteristics. Nonetheless a highly enjoyable recital of unfamiliar music, much of which is receiving its recorded premiere here, and in the case of the Chisholm, representing the first appearance of any of a remarkably gifted composer's work on commercial recordings. The Cramer sounds rather like Clementi; Mackenzie's music is a throwback to Mendelssohn, while the Englishman Bantock is the first, chronologically speaking, to write music that sounds self-consciously Scottish in inflection, with much use of the "Scotch Snap". Chisholm was both a fascinating character who was a major driving force in Scottish music, and a prolific composer; he is represented here by a brief, somewhat Bartókian dance. Finally the disc presents the composer who more than any other has taken Scottish music and made it international, as MacDiarmid did with Scottish poetry; Ronald Stevenson, who celebrated his 70th birthday last month. These three brief works, full of innovative and original piano writing - whether at the technical level of a virtuoso or a child - are as magnificently evocative of the soul of Scotland (as refracted through the humanising prism of folksong and folklore) as the great trilogy of novels "A Scots Quair" of Lewis Grassic Gibbon. This is music with an eloquence and deceptive simplicity under which lie profound depths, the like of which is seldom to be encountered in the music of today. Ronald Brautigam (piano). Koch Schwann 315902 (Germany) 04-076 $16.98

EMILE WALDTEUFEL (1837-1915): Edition, Vol. 8: La berceuse, Op. 161, Joujou-Polka, Op. 135, Illusion, Op. 204, Mariana, Op. 185, Désirée, Op. 132, Entre nous, Op. 144, Sur la plage, Op. 234, Joie envoiée, Op. 198, LOUIS WALDTEUFEL (1801-1884): Grand galop du chemin de fer. More delightful waltzes, marches and polkas from Waldteufel with a guest appearance by his father! Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Alfred Walter. Marco Polo 8.223686 (Hong Kong) 04-077 $14.98

Blue Moon is a Spanish label which is producing a series of historical zarzuela recordings (the Spanish version of operetta). These contain the finest works sung by performers steeped in zarzuela tradition (including famous names such as Hipolito Lazaro) and who, it must be remembered, were singing new and recent compositions at the time these recordings were made. Booklets are in Spanish only but contain sung portions with synopsis in place of dialogue.

AMADEO VIVES (1871-1932): Doña Francisquita. Dating from 1923, this is considered Vives' masterpiece. 1929 recording. Blue Moon BMCD 7501 (Spain) 04-078 $16.98

EMILIO ARRIETA (1823-1894): Marina. This was the most popular of Arrieta's more than 50 zarzuelas, premiered in 1855. 1930 recording. Blue Moon BMCD 7502 (Spain) 04-079 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Trio in B Minor for Violin, Viola and Piano, Op. 2, Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 102. Reger wrote only one "real" piano trio, the 1908 op. 102, which is one of the most easily approachable of his late works with a fine flow of line and melody; the earlier one, from 1891 and with viola instead of cello (of which this is the only currently available recording), is from the composer's Brahmsian period and will appeal to any collector of late Romantic chamber music. Trio Parnassus. MD&G 303 0751 (Germany) 04-080 $18.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Le sette parole di N.S. Gesù Cristo sulla croce. Here is a glimpse of a genre almost forgotten today: the religious oratorio. Perosi used an eclectic mix of styles; one can hear plainsong, Renaissance polyphony, Wagner and even Mascagni, mixed into a style of lyrical sincerity, almost of naiveté. This work dates from 1913 and contains a characteristic directness and unaffectedness of expression and deep religious feeling. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Fiorenza Cossotto (mezzo), Gianni Puddu (tenor), Carmelo Caruso (baritone), Carlo de Bortoli (bass), "Ruggero Maghini" Chorus of Turin, Orchestra "G.B. Viotti" dell'Academia Internazionale di Musica "G. Carisio". Bongiovanni 2208-9 (Italy) 04-081 $33.98

PAUL JUON (1872-1940): Arabesken for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, Op. 73, Wind Quintet in B, Op. 84, HANS HUBER (1852-1921): Sextet for Piano and Winds in B. Huber's late Romantic sextet (1898), in four movements, has a Brahmsian, symphonic breadth and heart-warming, expansive high spirits; its lively finale makes virtuoso use of a Swiss folk melody. Juon's 1930 quintet is transparently light and spirited while his "Arabesques" of 1940 are made up of four freely imagined studies of variegated sound and mood. Swiss Wind Quintet, Michiko Otaki (piano). Koch Discover DICD 920481 (Belgium) 04-082 $6.98

MOZART - New works for clarinet and orchestra!

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in E Flat, KV C. 14.04, Variations on a Theme of "Les Mariages Samnites" for Clarinet and Orchestra, KV deest, Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra in F, KV deest, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A, KV 622. The E flat concerto in question is identical with Mozart's "Violin Concerto No. 6"; Klöcker makes the argument that Vienna court clarinettist Anton Stadler (possibly with Mozart's approval) transcribed the work for clarinet. (A manuscript identical to that of the "violin concerto" but for clarinet was discovered only recently.) Aside from the academic aspect, this is a wonderfully Mozartian sounding work and a beautiful clarinet concerto, whatever its provenance. The two sets of variations are ascribed, respectively, to Paris around 1778 and somewhere unknown but possibly around the period of the horn concertos. Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Prague Chamber Orchestra. MD&G 300755 (Germany) 04-083 $18.98

JOAQUIN RODRIGO (b.1901): Música para un jardín, A la busca del más allá, 5 piezas infantiles, Zarabanda lejana y villancico, Per la flor del lliri blau. Unavailable for several years since EMI's deletion of their Rodrigo Edition, all but one of these titles (the Zarabanda) make a welcome return to the catalogue in this brilliant new recording conducted with panache and gusto. Dating from the 1934 Per la flor... to the 1976 A la busca.. these are Wonderfully colorful and original tone-poems which flesh out a composer sadly known mostly for two guitar concertos. Spanish National Orchestra; George Pehlivanian. Studio SM D2618 (France) 04-084 $18.98

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Fuga y mysterio, La muerte del Angel, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Bachianas Brasileiras Nos. 4 (preludio) & 9 , BRENNO BLAUTH (b.1931): Concertino for Oboe and Strings, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Pampeana No. 1, Concerto for Strings, Op. 33. This Argentine orchestra perform a concert of Brazilian and Argentinian works with a new composer: Blauth, a Brazilian whose oboe concertino shows clearly discernible popular origins. Andres Spiller (oboe), Camerata Bariloche; Fernando Hasaj. Dorian 90249 (U.S.A.) 04-085 $16.98

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Four, for Tango, ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Homenaje a Gismonti, JOSÉ EVANGELISTA (b.1943): Spanish Garland, MIGUEL DEL ÁGUILA (b.1957): Presto #2, PAQUITO D'RIVERA (b.1948): Wapango, JAVIER ÁLVAREZ (b.1956): Metro Taxqueña, FREDERICO IBARRA (b.1946): String Quartet No. 2 "Orfico", JAVIER MONTIEL: Variaciones sobre el Capricho No. 24 del Paganini. A diverse collection of music for string quartet by Mexican and Latin American composers, all of whom draw inspiration from the folk traditions of their various countries, offering the listener a spicy, tasty and authentic Spanish American musical "garland". Cuarteto Latinoamericano. New Albion NA 100 (U.S.A.) 04-086 $16.98

FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Cançons i danses Nos. 1-12 & 14, Impresiones Intimas. Here are the complete "Songs & Dances" for solo piano. Composed over a period containing most of Mompou's adult life, these are extremely appealing little pieces, seemingly artless yet haunting, mysterious and compelling and as stylistically free and ambiguous as Scriabin. The Impresiones Intimas are early pieces (1911-14) which illustrate the composer's shy, withdrawn personality. They are mostly melancholic, except for the lively Gitano ("Gypsy") and the agitated Planys ("Lament") No. 4. Artur Pizarro (piano). Collins Classics 15152 (England) 04-087 $16.98

ERNESTO NAZARETH (1863-1934): Odeon - Tango Brasileiro, Gotas de Ouro, Bambino, Adieu, Spalhafatoso, Fon-Fon/Tut-tut/Toot-Toot, Garôto, Primorosa, Elite-Club, Apanhei-te Cavaquinho, Nazareth, Nenê, Ameno Resedà, Bregeiro, Pérolas de Orvalho, Magnifico, A Fonte do Suspiro. Before the Cuban, Lecuona, and long before the Argentinian, Piazzolla, took the inflections and rhythms of Latin music and displayed them on the international concert stage, there was Ernesto Nazareth. "The father of Brazilian Light Music" - acknowledged as such by no less a figure than Heitor Villa-Lobos - wrote a vast number of delightful miniatures for piano, ranging from charming salon music to the kind of sly syncopated character piece full of authentic local color typical of Lecuona at his best. Bregeiro - Tango and Nazareth - Polka in particular may provide a clue - even one a little close for comfort - as to where Milhaud found his inspiration for Suadades do Brasil. Delicious stuff. Jessie De Bellis (piano). Project 230 (Netherlands) 04-088 $14.98

JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Horn Sonata in E Flat, Op. 178, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Horn Sonata, Op. 17, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Horn Sonata in F, WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Horn Sonata, ALEC WILDER (1907-1980): Horn Sonata No. 3. Rheinberger's Romantic sonata and Beethoven's only work for the horn precede three 20th century pieces: Polish composer Kilar's 1954 sonata shows a Hindemithian purposefulness in its outer movements and a gravely, almost Bachian slow movement while Wilder's 1970 sonata is neo-romantically lyrical. Zbigniew Zuk (horn), Zbigniew Raubo (piano). Zuk Records 250332 (Poland) 04-089 $10.98

EMILE RISTORI (1893-1977): Horn Concerto in A Minor, KERRY DREW TURNER (b.1960): Sonata for Horn and Strings, JAN KOETSIER (b.1911): Concertino for Horn and Strings, IVAN JEVTIC (b.1947): Danse d'été for Horn and Strings, ANTHONY PLOG (b.1947): Nocturne for Horn and Strings, MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Fantasy. This program of 20th century concerted horn works begins with a hunt-influenced work by Serbian-French composer Jevtic while Turner's piece is redolent of the wide open spaces of his native Texas. The Swiss Ristori's 1929 concerto speaks a language of Romantic virtuosity; Plog's brief, evocative work is couched in an approachable idiom and Dutch composer /conductor Koetsier's 1977 work, like all the others here, is resolutely tonal and enjoyable to hear. Zbigniew Zuk (horn), Polish Radio Orchestra; Jan Stanienda. Zuk Records 191122 (Poland) 04-090 $10.98

LOUIS GLASS (1864-1936): Violin Sonata No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 7, Violin Sonata No. 2 in C, Op. 29, Cello Sonata in F, Op. 5. Glass' music reflects an enthusiasm for nature, symbolism and impressionism, coming as it did during the period of art nouveau in Europe. The youthful cello sonata (1889) is the most overtly romantic of these three sonatas but all of them are predominantly lyrical and if he was eclisped by his contemporary Nielsen who moved on from National Romanticism, Glass still was a fine composer and left much grateful music of a more conservative bent. Arne Balk-Möller (violin), Henrik Brendstrup (cello), Christina Björköe (piano). CPO 999 548 (Germany) 04-091 $15.98

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908): Christmas Eve: Overture and Suite, Night on Mount Triglav, Overture and Intermezzo from The Tsar's Bride, On the Tomb, Op. 61, Greetings. A 1901 orchestral arrangement of 1872 music for a fairy-tale ballet, Mlada, Night on Mount Triglav depicts a witches' sabbath and other infernal doings in music of typically inventive and colorful quality from this master of orchestration. The rarely heard music from The Tsar's Bride is joined by the only CD recording of On the Tomb, a brief 1904 lament for Belyayev, the amateur musician and publisher who did so much for Russian music in the 19th century. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Igor Golovschin. Naxos 8.553789 (Hong Kong) 04-092 $5.98

Hyperion's and Naxos' Liszt cycles continue -

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Music for Solo Piano, Vol. 49. Schubert Transcriptions: "Wanderer" Fantasy in C, S565a, Impromptu in E Flat, S565b/1, Impromptu in G Flat, S565b/2, Die Rose, S556i/bis. Weber Transcriptions: Jubelouvertüre, S576, Konzertstück, S576a, Polonaise brillante, S455. Leslie Howard (piano). Hyperion CDA 67203 (England) 04-093 $17.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Music for Solo Piano, Vol. 7. Rossini Transcriptions I: Soirées musicales, S424, Ouverture de l'opéra "Guillaume Tell", S552. Kemal Gekic (piano). Naxos 8.553961 (Hong Kong) 04-094 $5.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Music for Solo Piano, Vol. 9. 2 Pieces from the Hungarian Coronation Mass, S501, Urbi et orbi, S184, Ave maris stella, S506, O Roma nobilis, S546a, Weihnachtslied, S502, Zum Haus des Herrn ziehen wir, S505, In festo transfigurationis, S188, L'hymne du pape, S530, Stabat Mater, 11 Chorales, S504b, Sancta Dorothea, S187, Alleluja, S183. Philip Thomson (piano). Naxos 8.553659 (Hong Kong) 04-095 $5.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Fantasie, Op. 18 for Piano, Piano Concerto in C, Op. 34a. Hummel's 1805 fantasy is one of the earliest such works of the Romantic period, in rivalry with Beethoven but also still looking back at the empfindsamer stil of C.P.E. Bach. The C major concerto of 1811 is one of Hummel's least-known such works; its 42 minutes of early romanticism are delightful. Ludovít Marcinger (piano), Bratislava Chamber Ensemble; Pavol Kovác. Opus 91 2633 (Slovakia) 04-096 $10.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Mandolin Concerto in G, s28, Bassoon Concerto in F, Trumpet Concerto in E Flat, s49. These three works of Hummel's twenties were not published in his lifetime but are entertaining curiosities for instruments not normally given solo chances. Keith Harris (mandolin), State Chamber Orchestra of Zilina; Jan Valta, Frantisek Machats (bassoon), Capella Istropolitana; Bystrík Rezucha, Ladislav Stresnák (trumpet), Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ondrej Lenárd. Opus 91 2632 (Slovakia) 04-097 $10.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Military Septet, Op. 114, Parthia in E Flat, s48, Ariette Favorite: Theme and Variations for Piano and Orchestra (rev&arr. V. Horák). The new work here is the Ariette Favorite of which the notes tell nothing and which has no listing in Hummel's catalogue of works. Sounding rather like a variation movement of a late classical piano concerto, it's a pleasant way to pass 12 minutes. The Septet and Parthia are in the fine tradition of outdoor wind music. Rudolf Macudzinski (piano), Bratislava Chamber Ensemble; Vlastimil Horák, Bratislava Chamber Harmony; Justus Pavlík. Opus 91 2634 (Slovakia) 04-098 $10.98

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): 6 Sonate per cimbalo. Dating from 1780, these were the only keyboard works Cherubini was to write. In two movements - fast/rondo - they contain an inventiveness and expressive freedom with brilliant and virtuosic writing. Mozart's influence predominates and, if these are not masterpieces, they do fill a gap in our appreciation of their composer. Lya De Barberiis (fortepiano). Fonit Cetra CDC 122 (Italy) 04-099 $16.98

IGNAZ FRIEDMAN (1882-1948): The Bach Transcriptions: Gavotte (BWV 1006), Sicilienne (BWV 1031), Bourrée (BWV 1005), Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659a), Wachet auf (BWV 645), Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 - first movement, Sheep May Safely Graze (Cantata No. 208), Mein gläubiges Herze (Cantata No. 68), Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565). So many of the great pianist-composers of the "golden age" made transcriptions of Bach (as have many other musicians of all persuasions before and since) that it is as instructive to consider Friedman's elegant and instrumentally satisfying transcriptions in the light of those of his peers as it is impossible to avoid doing so. Friedman is generally more literal, less pianistically innovative than Godowsky, and does not plumb the philosophical depths of a Busoni or scale the extrovert virtuoso heights of a Grainger. But he emphasises the soul-searching, emotionally stirring characteristics of the music, and there is an appealing touch of harmonic decadence coupled to his obvious great respect for the original scores, and this, along with the sheer quality of piano writing, gives these transcriptions a certain piquancy. No collector with an enthusiasm for the multi-faceted history of piano transcription will want to be without this disc. Lars Boye Jensen (piano). Classico 190 (Denmark) 04-100 $14.98


HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): The Mask of Orpheus. Birtwistle captures a compelling sense of the power of ritual in his retelling of the Orpheus myth. Ritual repetitions, elaborate patterns and allegorical structures funnel the listener through an amazing combination of song, spoken word, an orchestra of wind, percussion and plucked instruments, electronic tape, sampler and chorus. The work moves convincingly over its three acts to a formidable conclusion in such a way that the listener, groping for explanations in the complexity of the work, is nevertheless carried on to its goal by the power of its musical sounds. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Soloists, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis & Martyn Brabbins. NMC D050 (England) 04-101 $31.98

ROBIN HOLLOWAY (b.1943): Third Concerto for Orchestra. Inspired by scenes of nature, both natural and man-modified, that Holloway witnessed during a trip to South America, this is a compelling work, possibly one of Holloway's best to date. An extended journey through a series of strange landscapes, by turns intoxicatingly beautiful, uncanny, even frightening, the work is continuously fascinating. Interestingly, it is almost entirely athematic, a technique that has often led to speculation on the part of composers of our century - but here, Holloway has succeeded admirably in bringing the technique to fruition. The structure of the piece is determined by the flowing together of fugitive fragmentary motifs, creating shapes and forms like the volcanic and metamorphic structures in a literal landscape. Highly recommended. London Symphony Orchestra; Michael Tilson Thomas. NMC D039 (England) 04-102 $15.98

DAVID BEDFORD (b.1937): Recorder Concerto. In five movements, this 18-minute work also requires its soloist to use five different recorders, ascending from first to fifth movement via bass recorder to sopranino; conversely, the orchestral accompaniment begins with high pitches and light textures and finishes with cellos and basses accompanying the highest pitched recorder. Four fast movements with driving, repeated rhythms embrace a rhapsodic adagio where the treble recorder's song contains the work's emotional core. Piers Adams (recorders), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D045S (England) 04-103 $8.98

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): Clarinet Quintet, Verses and Linoi for Clarinet and Piano, Oockooing Bird and Précis for Piano, PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Hymnos for Clarinet and Piano, Sub tuam protectionem and Stevie's Ferry to Hoy for Piano, ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): Paraphrase on Monteverdi's "Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda" for Solo Clarinet. Roger Heaton (clarinet), Stephen Prustin (piano), Kreutzer String Quartet. Clarinet Classics CC 0019 (England) 04-104 $17.98

ANDREW TOOVEY (b.1962): Red Icon for Orchestra, the (silvery yesclowns tumble!are made per!form for Solo Cello, Shining Forth for Piano Trio, The moon falls through the Autumn for Piano. A student of Michael Finnissy and a part of the movement in British contemporary music that has embraced the driving drumbeats of much non-classical music and absorbed them into orchestral textures of considerable complexity, building tension and then releasing it through aggressive, visceral climaxes, Toovey writes music that is readily understandable even by those not especially attracted to contemporary music. In this respect he stands a little outside the mainstream of European art music in a manner that some will find curiously refreshing. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins, Charles Mutter (violin), Zoë Martlew (cello), Ben Morison (piano), Jonathan Powell (piano). Largo 56635 (Germany) 04-105 $16.98

D.C. HEATH (b.1956): Violin Concerto: The Celtic, Celtic Air, Flute Concerto: The Connemara, The Four Elements. Dave Heath's career has first and foremost been that of a modern jazz musician, and unlike many classically trained musicians he is fully conversant with modern studio techniques and non-classical genres and practices. The works here display a feeling for Celtic folk-derived music and considerable mastery of relatively conventional concert forces. The violin concerto is the most obviously folk-derived work, atmospheric and accessible, ending with a rollicking jig. The flute concerto, for Heath's own instrument (played here by the composer) is a dynamic work not far removed from the style of several recognised British concert composers of our century - Malcolm Arnold, for instance, while The Four Elements, with its innovative use of a huge percussion battery strays further from the "classical" tradition into vivid tone-painting in an almost cinematic vein. The BT Scottish Ensemble; Clio Gould (violin). Linn CKD 073 (Scotland) 04-106 $16.98

KAMILLÓ LENDVAY (b.1928): Concerto for Soprano Saxophone, Orchestra and 12 Female Voices, Violin Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Trumpet and Winds, Pezzo concertato for Cello and Orchestra, Concertino for Piano, Winds, Percussion and Harp. These five brief concertos are remarkable for the way in which the composer has succeeded in tailoring the music to the attributes of the solo instrument and producing results ideally suited to five completely different expressive characteristics, and yet retaining an individual voice throughout. Thus the saxophone concerto alludes to the instrument's jazz background in improvisatory passages, and is bold, dramatic and sensuous: the violin concerto is lyrical with a Second Viennese (mostly Bergian) expressiveness: the trumpet concerto alludes to the instrument's martial background, as well as its unparalleled capacity for hinting at solitary desolation. The cello work pits a heroic solo protagonist against stormy adversity, while the piano concertino, the shortest and earliest of all these remarkably concise works, is a Bartókian virtuoso showpiece in miniature, and the most conventional concerto form, possessing a Romantic intensity of feeling in its beautiful slow movement. Compelling and remarkably varied music, and highly recommended. Various Hungarian soloists and ensembles. Hungaroton HCD 31787 (Hungary) 04-107 $16.98


Our own special imports on the Antes label

EINO TAMBERG (b.1930): Symphony No. 1, Op. 57, Symphony No. 2, Op. 74, Violin Concerto, Op. 64. Tamberg's music has much of the vigor and direct communicative intensity which characterise that of Shostakovich. If specific works of Shostakovich come to mind, the remarkable Fourth Symphony is probably the most valid comparison, in the way in which powerful, cohesive large-scale structures are built of diverse elements cemented by a dynamic rhythmic flow. Undeniably based in tonality, though of a highly extended kind, these three works share a common characteristic of assembling a long melodic contour without the obvious use of large-scale themes. Estonian Radio Orchestra; Neeme Järvi, Irina Botschkowa (violin), Estonian State Symphony Orchestra; Peeter Lilje. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9075 (Germany) 04-108 $16.98

RAIMO KANGRO (b.1949): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Chamber Orchestra No. 2, Op. 36, Concerto for Two for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 48, Gaudeo for Choir, Op. 33. This music has a bracing, open-air muscularity, deriving at least in part from the composer's unabashed use of bold gesture, popular and folk-like elements and a spontaneous dynamism of rhythm. Thematically tonal, the music nonetheless admits unorthodox playing techniques, percussive ostinati and an awareness of contemporary techniques which are nonetheless never exploited gratuitously. His skill in balancing the notoriously tricky medium of dual soloists is especially noteworthy in the two concertante works on this disc. Nora Novik, Raffi Haradjanian (pianos), Mihkel Peäske (flute), Toomas Vavilov (clarinet), Young Philharmonic Orchestra Tallinn; Toomas Kapten, Chamber Choir of the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation; Tönu Kaljuste. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9070 (Germany) 04-109 $16.98

JAAN RÄÄTS (b.1932): 24 Marginalien for 2 Pianos, Op. 68, 24 Estonian Preludes for Piano, Op. 80. Rääts' piano music, as presented on this disc, is tonal and consists predominantly of an almost minimalistic ostinato-patterned mosaic of brief motifs. These miniatures are thus highly approachable and appealing works, with the direct appeal to the senses of some new age or even non-classical music, though without the confusion between duration and profundity that tends to attend the one, or the vacuity of content sometimes associated with the other. If a suspicion remains that these pieces constitute a compendium of "your favorite consonant gestures from the piano literature", it is worth remembering that they really are your favorites, and with good reason. Nora Novik, Raffi Haradjanian (pianos), Peep Lassmann (piano). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9064 (Germany) 04-110 $16.98

ANTI MARGUSTE (b.1931): Concerto piccolo No. 2, Op. 44 for Percussion and Flute Ensemble, Schalmeienweisen, Op. 19 for Shawm and Synthesizer, Schalmeienweisen, Op. 19 for Shawm and Orchestra, See on Eesti for Mixed Chorus, Vanasöna - vana Höbe, Op. 39/2 for Mens Choir, Vanasöna - vana Höbe, Op. 39/4 for Mixed Choir, Naistetoonid, Op. 12 for Women's Choir, Meestetoonid, Op. 22 for Men's Choir, Tass teed, Op. 48 for Mixed Choir, Homo studiosus, Op. 46 for Women's Choir, Sinfonische Runen, Op. 36. This disc promises "a musical portrait" of the Estonian composer Marguste, and a vivid, multifaceted portrait in an astonishing diversity of colors it turns out to be. The strange and unusual tone-colors resulting from unexpected combinations of instruments are probably the most immediately arresting aspect of these works - shawm and synthesizer, 12 flutes and percussion, and the like, are normal parts of the composer's vocabulary - but what stays with the listener is the haunting, evocative quality of the material, perhaps due to the insistent use of simple, human-scaled folksong-derived elements, albeit in most unfamiliar guise. Various ensembles including the Estonian Radio Orchestra; Neeme Järvi. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9076 (Germany) 04-111 $16.98

TOBIAS PICKER (b.1954): Emmeline. Full marks to Albany for finding and making available this fine tragic opera, based on the true story of a nineteenth century woman who unknowingly married the son she had had during her teenage years, and ended up losing everything - the man who no longer wanted to be son or husband to her, her position in the Maine community to which she belonged, and ultimately all human companionship and contact. If Benjamin Britten had tackled this libretto the results might have sounded something like this and it is intended as a tribute to Picker to say that it is difficult to imagine how, even in the hands of the British master of tormented and alienated operatic characters, it could possibly have emerged more convincingly or movingly. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Patricia Racette, Anne-Marie Owens, Curt Peterson, Victor Ledbetter, Santa Fé Opera Orchestra; George Manahan. Albany TROY 284-85 (U.S.A.) 04-112 $33.98


MAX STEINER (1888-1971): Suites from The Treasure of Sierra Madre and The Charge of the Light Brigade. The 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade is one of Steiner's biggest early period scores; the 35-minute long suite here depicts the major characters and scenes in the film including the Indian massacre of women and children at the remote British outpost and, 16 minutes long, the "Charge" itself. From 1948, Treasure of the Sierra Madre offers music of a more psychological nature, concerned with the characters played by Bogart, Tim Holt and Walter Huston. This suite is 31 minutes long and well worth having too. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Barry Kolman. Centaur CRC 2367 (U.S.A.) 04-113 $16.98

CHARLES CHAYNES (b.1925): Concerto du temps retrouvé for Violin and Orchestra, String Quartet, Visages Mycéniens. Chaynes was trained as a violinist, and this is evident in the skilful accomplishment of the solo writing. A Bergian meditation, expressive and communicative, the work's subject matter is the passage of life and the cyclic influences of the past that shape our present and our destiny - hence the Proustian subtitle and the structure of the work. The dramatic, rhythmically and harmonically free quartet also contains much confident and original string writing, and the two portraits of tormented heroines from mythology demonstrate above all the composer's remarkable ability to write vivid, three-dimensional music, almost cinematic in its imagery. Pierre Amoyal (violin), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Mark Foster, Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco, Orchestre National de France; Michiyoshi Inoue. MFA 216024 (France) 04-114 $18.98

STEFANO GERVASONI (b.1962): Parola - Concerto for Viola, Due poesie francesi d'Ungaretti, Due poesie francesi di Rilke, due posie francesi de Beckett. Gervasoni counts Ligeti, Nono, Ferneyhough, Eötvos and Lachenmann among his influences, which should give a pretty good idea of where he is coming from stylistically. Expanded performance techniques, subtle unexpected sounds etched on the fabric of silence, free or complex rhythms - all combine to produce a strange and fascinating sound-world in which the listener wanders, awed and maybe a little disoriented. Luisa Castellani (soprano), Isabelle Magnenat (viola), Ensemble Contrechamps; Emilio Pomàrico. MFA 216016 (France) 04-115 $18.98

JEAN-LOUIS FLORENTZ (b.1947): Les jardins d'Amènta - symphonic poem, Op. 13, Le songe de Lluc Alcari for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 10, L'ange du Tamaris for Solo Cello, Op. 12. From the striking opening of Les jardins . . . - muted distant fanfares against a heat-haze of string texture -the listener may with justification expect something special, and he or she will not be disappointed. Inspired by the ancient "Book of the Dead", describing a soul's passage through the stages of the afterlife, this work is crammed with evocative imagery, beauiful textures and truly memorable thematic material. If the awesome natural power of Sibelius were to be combined with Khachaturian's sense of color, and the developments in instrumental techniques of the past 30 years were not excluded from the mixture, the result might sound something like this. Highly recommended. Orchestre National de Lyon; Emmanuel Krivine, Günther Herbig, Yvan Chiffoleau (cello), Yves Potrel (cello - Op. 12). MFA 216023 (France) 04-116 $18.98

CLAUDE BALLIF (b.1924): Le livre du Serviteur - deuxième symphonie mystique, Op. 59 for Baritone, 3 Choirs, Children's Choir and Orchestra. Ballif's huge choral symphony, concerned with the nature of service in religious faith, is a serious work in which gratuitous sensationalism is entirely absent, the whole work generating a cumulative sense of mystery and mysticism through the use of glowing, translucent choral textures and orchestral counterpoints which glow like light through stained glass. The use of a synthesizer adds an additional color to the orchestral tapestry without becoming an end in itself, and so deep is the composer's concern to illuminate his faith through music that any suggestion of avant garde freakishness is avoided, however modern the idiom. 2 CDs. Texts included. André Cognet (baritone), Chur et maîtrise de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Bruno Ferrandis. MFA 216017/18 (France) 04-117 $37.98

CLAUDE BALLIF (b.1924): Airs comprimés, Op. 5, Bloc-notes, Op. 37, Pièces détachées, Op. 6, 6 Passe-temps, Op. 38. These short piano works, aptly described as "fantasist", explore a world that is full of sensation, flickering color and light, and dynamic motion. The language is far from tonal, though more than infrequently the kind of coloristic, saturated harmony familiar from Messiaen's piano music is encountered here, along with aleatoric elements, though no unconventional instrumental techniques. The music is as vital and dynamic as any of Stockhausen's notorious Pieces for piano, though maybe Ballif's works have a greater emphasis on sensuality, a less intellectual approach. Philippe Keller (piano). Grave GRCD 5 (France) 04-118 $18.98

GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Sextuor - L'origine des espèces. You know the stuff that Singcircle and the Swingle Singers were doing a decade or more ago? If you liked it - Stimmung and its ilk - you'll love this. With a libretto based on Darwinian theory, and a fantastically co-ordinated ensemble of five contrasting, beautifully clear women's voices of extraordinary expressive range to act it out - the piece has a theatrical component, and is performed live as music theatre - it is guaranteed to hold your attention throughout. Elena Andreyev (cello), Emmanuelle Zoll, Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Françoise Degeorges (sopranos), Valérie Joly (mezzo), Frédérique Wolf-Michaux (contralto). MFA 216004 (France) 04-119 $18.98

NGUYEN-THIEN DAO (b.19..): Les enfants d'Izieu. This is a large-scale cantata which addresses the harrowing question of the extermination of children in the Nazi death camps through the specific story of 44 children from the French town of Izieu. Eschewing music and text of explicit, graphic horror, the composer has instead chosen the power of shadowy suggestion for the most part. The music is thus dramatic, operatic even, but modern as it is, the simple and melodic vocal lines of the children's parts lend the drama a human quality that would have been obscured in a more avant-garde setting. Sophie Boulin (soprano), Béatrice de Vigan (contralto), Eric Trémolières (tenor), Christian Tréguier (bass), Hélène Lausseus (reciter), Maîtrise de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Sylvio Gualda. MFA 216003 (France) 04-120 $18.98


PHILIP MARTIN (b.1947): Piano Concerto No. 2, Beato Angelico, Harp Concerto. Like Vaughan Williams in his second symphony, Irish composer Martin pays tribute to his home city of Dublin in his 1991 piano concerto by tracing a day in the city's life from the still before dawn, through the bustle of morning and midday to the climax at night-time before falling away to a quiet coda as Dublin sleeps again. From 1990, Beato Angelico was inspired by the paintings of Fra Angelico while the harp concerto (1993) contrasts light and darkness, happiness and sadness, in each of its two movements and ends in joyous celebration. Philip Martin (piano), Andreja Malir (harp), National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Kaspar de Roo. Marco Polo 8.223834 (Hong Kong) 04-121 $14.98

ALEMDAR KARAMANOV (b.1934): Symphony No. 3, Piano Concerto No. 3 "Ave Maria". This third recording of Karamanov brings his earliest works heard to date. The symphony (1956-64) was the last work before his epiphany and conversion to Christianity. Its four movements and 40 minutes bring a free-wheeling, eclectic mixture of sonorous structures, jagged imagery, hypnotic dreamscapes and violent climaxes achieved with a stupefying brew of Russian Romanticism, minimalism, jazz syncopations and rock ostinatos... if it existed prior to starting work on the piece, Karamanov may use it. The 1968 piano concerto is in a more muted, still manner, its static quality suited to the intimite, devotional character of the music. Vladimir Viardo (piano), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Antonio de Almeida. Marco Polo 8.223796 (Hong Kong) 04-122 $14.98

FRANZ HUMMEL (b.1939): Gesualdo. The character of the composer and murderer Carlo Gesualdo is one that cries out for operatic treatment. He has already received enthusiastic if eccentric literary coverage from the British composer Cecil Gray (of whom it is unclear whether the composer or the murderer excited greater admiration). Hummel's opera treats the fascinating paradox of a man capable of inflicting the ultimate cruelty on a fellow human being, yet a composer of music expressive of profound understanding and compassion, far more emotionally involving than that of his contemporaries; a man whose social status precluded recriminations, let alone punishment for his crimes, whose failing health caused him more suffering than any human inquisitor could have dreamed. The music provides an admirably dramatic backdrop for the complex characterisations. 2 CDs. German libretto. Ulrich Studer (baritone), Ruth Floeren (soprano), Chorus and Orchestra of Pfalz Theatre Kaiserslautern; Lior Shambadal. Arte Nova 40737 (Germany) 04-123 $15.98

ZDENIK FIBICH (1850-1900): Moods, Impressions and Reminiscences, Op. 47, Part II, Op. 57, Part I. Late arrival!! The eleventh volume of this series brings numbers 340-359 from the whole set. One more to go until completion! Marián Lapansk (piano). Supraphon SU 3254 (Czech Republic) 04-124 $16.98

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Dedikation and Berceuse for Cello, 12 Songs and Piano Pieces (arr.Hedwall, Holmstedt). This unusual offering (with Swedish-only notes) turns out to be a disc of transcriptions of songs, piano pieces and three concerted pieces for solo instrument and orchestra - all rearranged for a 10-piece wind ensemble (with double-bass). Peterson-Berger's songs are among the most popular ever composed in Sweden and it somehow seems fitting, at the beginning of spring, to hear them played by that most vernal of musical ensembles - the wind band. Karl-Ove Mannberg (violin), Ola Karlsson (cello), Östersunds Serenadensemble; Lennart Hedwall. Proprius PRCD 9127 (Sweden) 04-125 $17.98