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





ALBERT RUBENSON (1826-1901): Symphony in C, Symphonic Intermezzo in G Minor, 3 Pièces Symphoniques, Drapa. We should no longer be amazed at the sheer number of unknown Swedish composers from the 19th century nor at Sterling's laudable work in resuscitating their music but surprises like this still delight. Rubenson studied in Leipzig with Gade (among others) and wrote his only symphony in 1847. Its first movement, not surprisingly, has a lot of Mendelssohn and Schumann in it but there is a clear, northern feel to the second movement - a scherzo-like intermezzo with affinities to Gade and folk music and the finale is a deliciously rumbustious concoction in the vein of Mendelssohn's "Scottish" music. Although he wrote no more symphonies, Rubenson did write two three-movement symphonic works: the Intermezzo dates from 1860 and uses many more folk motifs while still retaining a Schumannian Romanticism. The 3 pièces (1871) are, in effect, a suite of symphonic dances, alternating folkish themes with salon style. All lovers of Gade, Schumann and Mendelssohn will be in Sterling's debt for this fine release. Umeå Symphony Orchestra; Roy Goodman. Sterling CDS-1029 (Sweden) 04A001 $15.98

HEINO ELLER (1887-1970): Violin Concerto in B Minor, Symphonic Poems: Twilight, Dawn, Phantoms, In the Shade and in the Sunshine, The Singing Fields. Eller is the father of Estonian classical composition and this recording contains all five of his orchestral tone poems in addition to the 1933 violin concerto. Revised in 1964, the concerto is a one-movement work in three sections which seems to filter the 19th-century grand style through an early 20th century prism. Twilight (1917) is a brief, lyrical mood piece while 1920's Dawn is Eller's first work for large orchestra, largely drawing on French impressionism. Phantoms (1924) is the largest on the tone poems - a colorful, moody and vividly orchestrated piece inspired by a visit to the Parisian catacombs; In the Shade... of two years later is a pastoral piece with intimations of Estonian folk music while The Singing Fields (1951) stands apart from all the rest by dint of its Soviet-era monumentality and rather blunt simplicity (using an Estonian folk song in true Socialist Realism fashion). Viktor Pikaizen (violin), Estonian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peeter Lilje & Vello Pähn. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9123 (Germany) 04A002 $16.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Anadyomene (Adoration of Aphrodite), Flute Concerto, Op. 63 (Dances with the Winds), On the Last Frontier - Fantasy for Chorus and Orchestra. Rautavaara's resonant, organic style of orchestral composition is shown to magnificent advantage in Anadyomene, an epic seascape in music, unforgettably powerful. The flute concerto uses the four members of the flute family for maximum dramatic potential, and the work functions like a dramatic presentation in which the principal character is transformed and displays many character and costume changes in response to the events covered in the narrative; the work grips the attention from start to finish. The Last Frontier is a fantastically evocative setting of an adaptation of the strange final section of Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym", at once disturbing and gripping in its conjuring of a final journey into the unknown, which the composer, in his seventh decade, compares to the last journey he is now in a position to anticipate himself. Patrick Gallois (flute), Finnish Philharmonic Choir, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam. Ondine ODE 921 (Finland) 04A003 $17.98

MOISHEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 145 for Strings, Chamber Symphony No. 4, Op. 153 for Strings and Clarinet. These somewhat misleadingly titled "chamber symphonies" - they are fully symphonic works of a half-hour duration each, and scored for a large body of strings (and a clarinet and triangle in No. 4), similarly to the composer's conventionally entitled Symphonies Nos. 2, 7 and 10 - are tonal, deeply felt and wonderfully expressive in a manner somewhere between Shostakovich and Prokofiev, though without the ironic bitterness expressed in their different ways by these composers; Vainberg's obvious sincerity of feeling is indeed one of the most remarkable characteristics of his music, expecially considering his place in 20th-century history, both musical and political. Bengt Sandström (clarinet), Umeå Symphony Orchestra; Thord Svedlund. Olympia OCD 651 (England) 04A004 $16.98

ERIC CHISHOLM (1904-1965): Third Sonatina on Four Ricercars, Cameos, Scottish Airs, Sonatine Ecossaise, Night Song of the Bards. Chisholm was a fascinating, if little-known figure in music history. A close friend of Sorabji, he succeeded in persuading that most reluctant of performers to participate several times in his concert series (in Glasgow, during the depression), as well as Bartok, Hindemith, Szymanowski - his powers of persuasion must have been formidable. He accomplished so much on behalf of other contemporary composers, in addition to his work as organist, pianist, conductor and educator one wonders how he found time for a parallel career as composer. And yet in this sphere too he was prolific. The piano music is not especially demanding, and he was certainly not one of the great composers of our century, but there is a quirky, eclectic individualism which is impossible to ignore, and this, as well as his unique place in the history books (the more one finds out about him, the more one suspects that there were actually 4 or 5 Erik Chisholms running around non stop, tirelessly working for the history of 20th-century music as they saw it), makes this disc self-recommending. Murray McLachlan (piano). Olympia OCD 639 (England) 04A005 $16.98

JOHN TAVENER (b.1944): Mandelion, BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): Sieben Sterne, WILFRID MELLERS (b.1914): Opus Alchymicum, JANET GRAHAM (b.1948): 3 Pieces, JAMES ILIFF (b.1923): Trio, PATRICK GOWERS (b.1936): Toccata and Fugue, ALAN RIDOUT (1934-1996): The Seven Last Words, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Pari Intervallo, DIANA BURRELL (b.1948): Arched Forms with Bells. This fascinating set of contemporary organ music (by probably the only organist capable of doing justice to all of it) includes world premiere recordings of Fernyhough's daunting Sieben Sterne, one of the composer's most striking works, and Mellers' large-scale alchemical fantasia, as rich and complex a work as one might expect of one of Britain's most far-ranging musical minds. Most of the music here is on the fringes of tonality or beyond, but all the composers handle the instrument with such skill (and it has to be said, have the most persuasive of all advocates in Bowyer) that the ultimate impression is of a musical journey of unquestionable sure-footedness, however unfamiliar the terrain. Most highly and enthusiatically recommended. 2 CDs. Kevin Bowyer (Marcussen Organ in the Chapel of St. Augustine, Tonbridge School). Nimbus NI 5580/1 (England) 04A006 $33.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Concerto grosso, Op. 6/7, ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (after the Concerto grosso, Op. 6/7 by G.F. Handel), LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 131, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and Orchestra, Op. 17. A fine example of imaginative programming, this release offers works for string quartet and orchestra from the Classical, Romantic and early modern period with Schoenberg's rarely performed transcription of a Handel concerto grosso (which shows his love of baroque music even and especially in the way he "updates" it) accompanied by its model. Spohr's late work (currently unavailable on CD) will make a nice pendant for collectors of his violin concertos on cpo. The Lark Quartet, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra; Jean-Louis LeRoux. Arabesque Z6723 (U.S.A.) 04A007 $16.98

BAX - Premiere Recordings from Chandos

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): In Memoriam, Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra, The Bard of the Dimbovitza. Another disc of Bax premieres from Chandos brings us the 1916 In Memoriam, a lament for one of Bax's Irish acquaintances and in the dark, haunted idiom associated with the post-Rebellion works. The Concertante was written for Harriet Cohen in 1948 after she suffered a hand injury; reserved, generally modest and lyrical, it is by no means a counterpart to his large-scale Winter Landscapes. The Bard of the Dimbovitza is a five-part song-cycle from 1914 setting pseudo-Romanian folk poems (actually written by the Queen of Romania). There is no Romanian color in the work; instead, the passionate, Russian-influenced Bax of the early 1910s is to the fore in this brilliant, colorfully scored music. Jean Rigby (mezzo), Margaret Fingerhut (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Vernon Handley. Chandos 9715 (England) 04A008 $16.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): The Unknown Richard Strauss, Vol. 4 - Die Frau ohne Schatten - Fantasia, Die Liebe der Danae - Symphonic Fragment, Die Ägyptische Helena - Symphonic Fragment. Today, arrangers and conductors produce recordings of "Opera Without Words" to make great music more palatable to those with an aversion to the voice. Richard Strauss was doing this decades ago: the 20-minute tone-poem taken from Die Frau was created in 1946, 30 years after the opera's composition, and concentrates almost entirely on the music associated with the Dyer and his Wife - clearly the most moving and touching music in Strauss' eyes. The 12-minute "fragment" from Die Liebe was begun by Strauss shortly after the work's 1944 premiere and was finished by the conductor Clemens Krauss in 1952 while the "fragment" from Die Ägyptische Helena brings us back to modern ways, the conductor of this recording having assembled a 22-minute sequence of music from Act One. Bamberg Symphony; Karl Anton Rickenbacher. Koch Schwann 3-6533-2 (Germany) 04A009 $16.98

ROMUALDO MARENCO (1841-1907): Teodora - excerpts from the ballet. The genre of late Romantic Italian ballet has been mostly neglected - the names of Drigo and Minkus are the only ones known at all to collectors - making this release of 72 minutes of music from Marenco's 1889 production set in Byzantine Rome very welcome. Simple plots, easy melodies, much orchestral color and extravagant sets and costumes (the notes usefully compare the style to Tiffany glassware and Lalique jewelry) typified the genre and Teodora is an excellent example of this ballet of excess which was soon to be consigned to oblivion by the new wave of the "essentials-only" Ballets russes. Full synopsis included. Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra; Silvano Frontalini. Bongiovanni GB 2140 (Italy) 04A010 $16.98

RENZO BOSSI (1883-1965): Violin Concerto in C, Op. 15, Dittico for Strings, Op. 28bis, 8 Canzoni for Strings, Op. 23bis, Bianco e Nero, Op. 21. Son of the composer/organist Marco Enrico Bossi, Renzo abandoned the reliance on Northern European models of his father's generation in favor of a loosely structured style of constrasting and succeeding episodes - amply demonstrated in his predominantly lyrical concerto of 1905 and the "symphonic contrast" Bianco e Nero of 1913 and rearranged for cello and orchestra (heard here) in 1934. The Canzoni look back at baroque Italian forms while still retaining Bossi's personal voice. Luca Aretini (violin), Moldova Symphony Orchestra; Silvano Frontalini. Bongiovanni GB 5046 (Italy) 04A011 $16.98

WALTER RABL (1873-1940): Quartet for Violin, Cello, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 1, ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 3, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Clarinet Trio, Op. 114. In May of 1998 we offered a clarinet quintet by Stefan Krehl from 1901 which breathed the melancholy air of late Brahms to a T. Now, we have another forgotten German composer, Walter Rabl, whose 1897 clarinet quartet was dedicated to Brahms and is equally redolent of that master although its high-spiritedfinale rather suggests a more youthful Brahms. Echoes of Wagner and Richard Strauss also inform a genuinely captivating work by a talented composer who, unfortunately, put aside composition in favor of earning a living as a conductor. Ensemble Kontraste. Thorofon CTH 2368 (Germany) 04A012 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 4 - 10 Kompositionen, Op. 79a, Silhouetten - 7 Stücke für Klavier, Op. 53, Blätter und Blüten - 12 Klavierstücke, o.op. Written between 1898 and 1902, the Blätter und Blüten were intended for sophisticated amateurs and rarely go beyond Schumann in their intimate acquaintance with Romantic piano tradition; likewise the op. 79a of 1901-03. The Silhouetten, however, leave teh sphere of domestic music-making and approach the style of Brahms' late piano works. Markus Becker (piano). Thorofon CTH 2314 (Germany) 04A013 $16.98

JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): Memories, Op. 7/3, Capriccietto, Op. 7/6, Lullabies, Op. 33, 8 Pieces, Op. 12, Fantasy-Polonaise, Op. 5, Dumka, Op. 7/5. We offer volume 3 of this series since it contains several pieces not currently available on CD, broadening our perspective of this fine late Romantic Czech composer whose gift for intimacy in his solo piano works is as gratifying as the large scale, highly emotional canvasses of his big orchestral works. Neil Immerman (piano). Meridian CDE 84382 (England) 04A014 $16.98

MOZART CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Choro for Piano and Orchestra, Sonatina No. 4 for Piano, Danse negra, Em Memoria de um Amigo, Ponteios Nos. 22, 24, 30, 45, 46 & 49. Guarnieri's Choro comprises a moody, passionate first movement, a love-song marked Nostalgico and a dance-like, highly rhythmic finale. The Sonatina also has rich Brazilian folk influences as do the Ponteios (Preludes) which vary widely in mood. A fine introduction to a modern, approachable composer whose recorded catalogue is still very skimpy. Caio Pagano (piano), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Hallmark Classics 350712 (England) 04A015 $6.98

CARL KOHAUT (1726-1784): Lute Concerto in F, BERNARD JOACHIM HAGEN (c.1720-1787): Lute Concerto in A, JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Lute Concerto in D Minor, JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Cassation in C for Lute, 2 Violins and Cello. The lute's twilight years saw it attempt to find a repertoire in the pre-Classical period of the early to mid-1700s and this delightful release of original works and contemporary transcriptions affords an unusual picture of this archaic instrument in inchoate Viennese Classicism. Hopkinson Smith (lute), Chiara Banchini, David Plantier (violins), David Courvoisier (viola), Roel Dieltiens (cello). Auvidis/Astrée E 8641 (France) 04A016 $18.98

BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): Requiem, SF. B660 "cantato secondo l'usanza Venetiana". Marcello is one of many Venetian contemporaries of Vivaldi who has been all but obliterated by the latter's popularity in the 20th century. This requiem, dating from c.1728-33 and one of his last works, employs a multitude of stylistic and expressive forms ranging from the sumptuous contrapuntalism of its third Kyrie to the raging discords of the Rex tremendae to create a masterly and powerful whole. Vocal Soloists, Athestis Chorus, Academia de li Musici; Filippo Maria Bressan. Chandos Chaconne 0637 (England) 04A017 $16.98

JOHN STANLEY (1712-1786): 6 Concertos for Strings, Op. 2. Published in 1742, Stanley's concertos follow the model of Corelli rather than that of Handel and their sequences of dance movements and fugues have much charm and ingenious writing as well as movements of warmth and richness of harmony. Collegium Musicum 90; Simon Standage. Chandos Chaconne 0638 (England) 04A018 $16.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1724): 6 Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 4. In Italy, the sonata for violin and basso continuo remained the standard by which composers judged each other well into the Classical period. Viotti's set dates from 1782 and contains much characteristic melody, singing lines, thematic variety and a fine combination of expressive display and technical agility. Emmanuele Baldini (violin), Marco Decimo (harpsichord). Agora AG 063.1 (Italy) 04A019 $16.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): Violin Concertos, Vol. 4 - in E Minor, D.56 "Bagna le piume in Lete...", in C, D.4, in F, D.63 and in G, D.75. Dynamic's series continues with three premiere recordings of early works (pre-1735) in which Vivaldi's influence is always present yet shaped by Tartini's softer, lyrical and more refined sensitivity. L'Arte dell'arco; Giovanni Guglielmo. Dynamic CDS 220 (Italy) 04A020 $17.98

MICHELE MASCHITTI (1664-1760): 4 Concerti Grossi, Op. 7, 2 Sonatas, Op. 3, Nos. 4 & 5. Another musician highly thought of in his time is rescued from oblivion: Neapolitan by birth, Maschitti lived most of his extraordinarily long life in Paris where, as an admirer of Corelli, he combined French and Italian styles in his music. These works will appeal especially to those who appreciate the latter's concertos and sonatas. Camerata Anxanum. Bongiovanni GB 5063 (Italy) 04A021 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Symphonies in C, P.31, in B Flat, P.18, in E Flat, P.17 and in D Minor, P.20. This second volume of period-instrument performances of Michael Haydn's symphonies brings four fully mature and satisfying works from the 1780s, demonstrating again the stature of these symphonies - worthy of standing just beneath Mozart's and Joseph Haydn's. Capella Savaria; Pál Németh. Hungaroton HCD 31810 (Hungary) 04A022 $16.98

FLORIAN LEOPOLD GASSMANN (1729-1774): 6 String Quartets (Sinfonie). Although designated both as quartets and symphonies, these works are performed here as the latter as befits the indications in their scores for soli as opposed to tutti passages. All in three movements - slow-fast-minuet - these are tuneful, varied and original examples of the early Classical symphony. Ensemble Vox Aurae. Agora AG 178.1 (Italy) 04A023 $16.98

JAN NEPOMUK VENT (1745-1801): Symphony in E Flat, JOSEF MYSLIVEâEK (1737-1801): Symphony in B Flat, JAN K¤TITEL VAHAL (1739-1813): Symphony in G Minor, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K.525. The main event here is the CD premiere of Vent's symphony, undated, but probably from the early 1770s, which can stand with Mozart's early works in the same genre and which has its own distinctive use of wind instruments (Vent is mostly known today for his transcriptions of Mozart's opera scores for wind ensembles). The rarity of its couplings makes this a desirable disc for collectors of Classical Bohemian symphonies. Virtuosi di Praga; OldÞich Vlãek. Multisonic 31 0399 (Czech Republic) 04A024 $16.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): Trio concertant No. 2 in C, KASPER KUMMER (1795-1870): Trio in F, Op. 32, FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE (1759-1803): Trio in B, Op. 61/5, LEONARDO DE LORENZO (1875-1962): Divertimento brillante, Op. 29, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Divertimento in B, K.439b. Although Kummer's piece dates from the Romantic period and De Lorenzo's from 1927, all of these works are constructed in a polished, elegant Classical style and in the spirit of late 18th century outdoor wind music. Trio Divertimento (flute, clarinet & cello). Paula PACD 84 (Denmark) 04A025 $16.98

FRANÇOIS CUPIS DE CAMARGO (1732-1808): 6 Duos, Op. 3 for 2 Cellos. This new budget-priced series debuts with a brand-new recording of duos by this Walloon cello and violin virtuoso who remains known today mostly as a pedagogue. These works date from 1770 and are in high Classical style with exquisite melodies which make full use of the sonorous qualities of the instruments. Michel Tournus & Florian Lauridon (cellos). Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6710-2 (Germany) 04A026 $6.98

FANNY MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847): Das Jahr, Nachspiel, Klavierstücke in G and A Flat. This world premiere recording of the original 1842 manuscript version of Das Jahr offers a completely different June as well as many other more subtle alterations from the printed version. Wolfram Lorenzen (piano). Troubadisc TRO-CD 01419 (Germany). 04A027 $16.98

ANTONÍN DVO¤ÁK (1841-1904): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - 6 Mazurkas, Op. 56, Impromptu in D, B.129, Dumka, Op. 12/1, Furiant, Op. 12/2, Humoresque in F Sharp, B.138, Suite in A, Op. 98, 2 Piano Pieces, B.188. Written for publishers who needed the composer's caché to help sales, the mazurkas and other occasional pieces here are nonetheless identifiably by the great Bohemian master. The Suite, from 1894, will be more familiar to collectors in its later, orchestral guise; the original piano version is rarely heard. Radoslav Kvapil (piano). Supraphon SU 3398 (Czech Republic) 04A028 $10.98

BED¤ICH SMETANA (1824-1884): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Souvenirs de Bohéme, Opp. 12 & 13, Sonata in G Minor, 7 Album Leaves, Pensée Fugitive, Andante in F Minor, 4 Polkas, Romance in B Flat, Andante in E Flat. A few mature works, such as the Bohemian Souvenirs (polkas) from 1859-60 rub shoulders with brief study pieces and Smetana's only piano sonata. Composed in 1846, it makes use of Berlioz' idée fixe while otherwise following proper academic procedures. (Collectors of this series will note that Kontrapunkt is currently without U.S. distribution.) Ivan Klansky (piano). Kontrapunkt 32266 (Denmark) 04A029 $16.98

THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): Scherzo, Op. 8, JOHANN CARL ESCHMANN (1826-1882): Lebensbilder, Op. 17, Nos. 1, 2, 4, 7, 11 & 12, WILHELM BAUMGARTNER (1820-1867): 9 Lieder from Eine Frühlingsliebe, Op. 12, Noch sind die Tage der Rose, Op. 24/1, FANNY HÜNERWADEL (1826-1954): Morgenlied, Im Frühling, RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883): Eine Sonate für das Album von Frau M.W., Notenbriefchen für Mathilde Wesendonck, HEINRICH SCHULZ-BEUTHEN (1838-1915): Der Waisenknabe, Neger-Lieder und Tänze, Op. 26, Nos. 1-3 & 9. This anthology collects compositions by Zürich composers who would have been part of Wagner's circle during his time spent living in that city. Of particular interest are Eschmann's Schumannesque character pieces and Schulz' odd settings of American "minstrel songs" (including Oh! Susanna). Zsuzsa Alföldi (soprano), Christoph Keller (piano). Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6153 (Switzerland) 04A030 $18.98

ANTON URSPRUCH (1850-1907): 4 Lieder, Op. 8, 8 Lieder, Op. 23, 7 Liebeslieder nach Texten von H. Heine, Op. 6, 2 Lieder nach Dichtungen von W. Jordan, Op. 25. Urspruch studied with I. Lachner and Raff and composed a symphony and a piano concerto in addition to a large quantity of songs. Unlike many of his colleagues, he set poems made famous in their lieder by Schubert and Schumann and it is interesting to see Urspruch's solutions to the problems of marrying the heritage of Beethoven and Schubert with the contemporary world of Brahms and Wagner. Heike Hallaschka (soprano), Michael Biehl (piano). MD&G 603 0869 (Germany) 04A031 $17.98

ANTONIO BAZZINI (1818-1897): 6 Morceaux Lyriques, Op. 35, 3 Morceaux, Op. 46, 3 Morceaux Caractéristiques, Op. 45. Like the works by the violinists at the top of the next column, Bazzini's were written for his own use and to cater to the mid-19th century audience's preference for sentimental program music tinged with regret, passion, sadness and joy (each set has descriptive titles to ease one's appreciation of the idea in hand). Roberto Noferini (violin), Bruno Canino (piano). Bongiovanni GB 5085 (Italy) 04A032 $16.98

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881): Grande Sonate, Op. 12, Rêve, Op. 53/5, Romance, Op. 7/2, Romance, Op. 40/1, Lamento, Op. 48/18, Rêverie, Op. 22/3. The sonata is a youthful work, dating from 1840, but on an epic scale with a wide emotional range and echoes of composers from Bériot and Rode to Schubert and Mendelssohn. The accompanying pieces come from the composer/violinist's stock-in-trade: short, alternately dreamy and passionate encore pieces with which to send home happily his audiences after a concert. Michael Guttman (violin), Yoko Kikuchi (piano). ASV DCA 1050 (England) 04A033 $16.98

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880): Fantaisie brillante, Op. 20, Chanson polonaise, Op. 12/2, Polonaise brillante, Op. 21, Dudziarz, Légende, Op. 17, Obertas, Op. 19/1, Scherzo-tarantelle, Op. 16, Gigue, Op. 23, Romance sans paroles, Op. 9, Kujawiak, Polonaise concertante, Op. 4, Sielanka, Op. 12/1. Unlike Vieuxtemps' shorter works which concentrate more on mood and atmosphere than on overt virtuosity, Wieniawski's pieces were calculated for the most part to dazzle and amaze their listeners and they certainly do - especially the Fantaisie brillante which uses motifs from Gounod's Faust for all manner of violinistic fireworks. Joanna Madroszkiewicz (violin), Manfred Wagner-Artzt (piano). MD&G 603 0863 (Germany) 04A034 $17.98

STEPHEN HELLER (1813-1888): 6 Mélodies sans paroles, Op. 78, Rêveries du promeneur solitaire d'après J.-J. Rousseau, Op. 101, Dans les bois, nouvelle série, Op. 128, Dans les bois, 3e suite, Op. 136. Heller was seen as a successor to Mendelssohn, Chopin and Schumann and, in truth, his music evolved little after the deaths of those composers in the late 1840s. This is music full of Schumann's nature-romanticism (op. 128 actually refers to titles from Schumann's Waldszenen) and the atmosphere of Der Freischütz (op. 136 is a six piece suite using well-disguised themes from Weber's opera whose characters appear in its titles). A satisfying release for lovers of early German Romanticism. Marc Pantillon (piano). Claves CD 50-9805 (Switzerland) 04A035 $16.98

IGNAZ LACHNER (1807-1895): Piano Trios in B Flat, Op. 37, in G, Op. 45, in D, Op. 58, in D Minor, Op. 89, in E Flat, Op. 102 and in C, Op. 103. Collectors familiar with Lachner's string quartets on Amati will be glad to have this bonanza of piano trios (with viola instead of cello) exhibiting all his characteristic colorful harmonies and sonorities. The work's dates are unknown but they are firmly in the conservative early Romantic idiom. 2 CDs. Stefan Muhmenthaler (violin), Anna Barbara Dütschler (viola), Marc Pantillon (piano). Claves CD 50-9802/3 (Switzerland) 04A036 $33.98

ALBERT DIETRICH (1829-1908): Sonata in G, Op. 19, HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Sonata in G Minor, Op. 17, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Bilder aus Osten, Op. 66, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Variations on a Theme by Schumann, Op. 23. A tasty collection of rare four-hand piano music from the Brahms-Schumann circle brings two full-fledged sonatas and a Schumann work still little performed. Patricia Verhagen & Paul Komen (piano). Globe GLO 5188 (Netherlands) 04A037 $16.98


IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Symphony in C, Op. 81, Piano Concerto No. 6 in B, Op. 90 "Concert fantastique", Overtüre zu Schillers Trauerspiel "Die Jungfrau von Orléans", Op. 91. Moscheles the piano virtuoso only wrote two works without including his own instrument and they are both recorded here: the concert overture (1834) which presents a personality study of Joan of Arc, and his 1829 symphony. The latter is quite Beethovenian in its use of thematic transformation, many of the works themes being derived from a core motif which appears in the slow introduction to the festively extrovert first movement. A dreamy adagio is followed by a frenzied minor-key scherzo whose trio is a soft, lilting waltz. The finale, with a slow introduction, rounds a wonderfully enjoyable work off in scintillating fashion. The piano concerto (1834) is conceived in sonata form but as one continuous movement, recalling Beethoven's formal innovations in his sonatas. Though virtuosity is present, the work, like the symphony, depends on close working of its main themes - again derived from short motifs. Liu Xiao Ming (piano), Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder); Nikos Athinäos. Signum X-96-00 (Germany) 04A038 $17.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 32 - An 1816 Schubertiad: Der Geistertanz, D494, Des Mädchens Klage, D389, Licht und Liebe, D352, Beitrag zur fünfzigjährigen Jubelfeier des Herrn von Salieri, D407, Zum Punsche, D492, Ritter Toggenburg, D397, Vedi quanto adoro (Dinone abbandonata), D510A, Naturgenuss, D422, An die Sonne, D439, Entzückung, D413, Das grosse Halleluja, D442, Grablied auf einen Soldaten, D454, Schlachtgesang, D443, Das war ich, D174A/450A, Die verfehlte Stunde, D409, Zufriedenheit, D501, Der Entfernten, D331, Der Wanderer, D489/493, Gott im Ungewitter, D985, Gott der Weltschöpfer, D986. This is the third and last of recitals devoted to the songs of 1816, containing fragments, part-songs and unaccompanied choral works which are relevant to the main body of lieder. The series is now approaching its final few volumes. Lynn Dawson, Ann Murray (sopranos), Ann Murray (mezzo), John Mark Ainsley, Daniel Norman, Christoph Prégardien, Michael Schade, Toby Spence (tenors), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), London Schubert Chorale; Stephen Layton. Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion CDJ 33032 (England) 04A039 $17.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): String Quintets, Vol. 4 - Quintet No. 7 in G Minor, Sextet in C, Potpourri. At long last, the series of Spohr's quintets is completed with this fourth volume. The quintet (1850) and the 1848 sextet are both products of the year of revolution - 1848 - with the latter full of the joy and optimism which Spohr felt when it appeared that a united, democratic Germany would emerge. The melancholy and unease which inform the quintet pay unfortunate tribute to the failure of such hopes and the succeeding repression (felt particularly by Spohr himself). The 1807 Potpourri (for violin and string quartet) is a delightful showpiece using a Russian folk theme and a theme from Mozart's Don Giovanni. New Haydn Quartet, Attila Falvay (violin), Sándor Papp (2nd viola), Tamás Varga (2nd cello). Marco Polo 8.223600 (New Zealand) 04A040 $14.98

UMBERTO GIORDANO (1867-1948): Il re. Giordano's novella in 3 scenes was written in 1929 for Toti dal Monte, with whose retirement the work dropped out of circulation. Unusual in 20th century opera as a vehicle for an old-fashioned coloratura soprano, it assimilates the light, transparent textures of Wolf-Ferarri into a late Romantic idiom. Irina Muratbekova (soprano), Manuel Beltran-Gil (tenor), Michele Porcelli (baritone), St. Petersburg Orchestra and Chorus; Stanislav Gorkovanko. Stradivarius STR 33466 (Italy) 04A041 $16.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): String Quartets after the Piano Sonatas, Op. 2, Nos. 1-3. Published in 1828, these transcriptions of piano sonatas may have had some help or tacit approval from Beethoven himself (the second movement of the quartet Op. 2/1 was replaced by that from the violin sonata Op. 12/2 - Beethoven himself had taken the piano sonata's slow movement from his piano quartet WoO 36/3, perhaps meaning that he didn't want to use the movement three times). At any rate, collectors of oddities will not hesitate. Bamberg String Quartet. Cavalli Records CCD 206 (Germany) 04A042 $17.98

JOHANN MATTHESON (1681-1764): Der für die Sünde der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus. The text Mattheson used here is the "Brockes Passion" which had already been set by Keiser, Telemann and Handel before he set his own version in 1718. Grand and theatrical, with a large orchestra (including shawm and glockenspiel!), Mattheson writes beautiful melodies for the voice, anticipating early Classical style in his relegation of harmony to expressiveness. Unperformed for 250 years until now, Mattheson's Passion will be of interest to any collector of baroque oratorios. 3 CDs. German texts. Mechthild Bach, Dorothee Wohlgemut (sopranos), Kai Wessel (alto), Wilfried Jochens, Gerd Türk (tenors), Eddehard Abele (bass), Motettechor Speyr, Accademia filarmonica Köln; Marie Theres Brand. Cavalli CCD 401 (Germany) 04A043 $53.98

GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924): 3 Fugues, 3 Minuets, Scherzo in A Minor, String Quartet in D, Crisantemi, ALFREDO CATALANI (1854-1893): String Quartet in A, Serenatella, A Sera. Catalani's early quartet, unlike Puccini's 8-minute long single-movement, is a 32-minute, four-movement work on Germanic models and an interesting addition to the catalogue of chamber music by opera composers. Quartetto Puccini. ASV DCA 909 (England) 04A044 $16.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 36, Violin Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 58. Stormy and passionate, the second symphony may be Bruch's finest and it's good to have a brand new recording of the least known of his violin concertos too - another gripping, turbulent minor key piece which is unjustly neglected. Andreas Krecher (violin), Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra; Gernot Schmalfuß. MD&G 335 0868 (Germany) 04A045 $17.98

THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): 10 Characterstücke, Op. 25, Legenden, Op. 18, Ideale, Op. 33, Adagio quasi Fantasia, Op. 12. Kirchner's adeptness at the Romantic miniature is on display in this sequence of character pieces - many dark and troubled - after the manner of Schumann. David Ianni (piano). Marco Polo 8.225062 (New Zealand) 04A046 $14.98

CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Pomona - Ballet in One Act, Tiresias - Ballet in Three Acts. What is it about the British Isles that makes inevitable the suppression of reputation of its sons (and daughters) of genius? Of his generation, Lambert is probably the composer most deserving of that appellation, and yet his music is largely unknown, although the recent enterprising series of discs from Hyperion (of which the best is probably his masterwork, Summer's Last Will and Testament, an unforgettably moving score, of which echoes will be found in these ballets) makes a valiant case for his reappraisal. Ballet is a thread which runs through Lambert's brief, meteoric career, and its dramatic possibilities brought out much of the best of his colorful musical language and sense of drama. Tiresias was his last completed work, and he died shortly after the premiere - some have fancifully suggested, as the result of a broken heart over the work's poor critical reception. What those critics were thinking is, mercifully, lost to us; the work is throughout exceptionally fine; vivid in orchestration, inspired in thematic and dramatic content and flawless in its evocation of the settings and events of the unsettling and psychologically charged and complex myth. English Northern Philharmonia; David Lloyd-Jones. Hyperion CDA 67049 (England) 04A047 $17.98

HUBERT PARRY (1848-1918): The North Wind, The Soldier's Tent, CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Prince Madoc's Farewell, The Fairy Lough, Op. 77/2, 2 Songs of Faith, Op. 97/4-5, Chieftain of Tyrconnell, IVOR GURNEY (1890-1937): 4 Elizabethan Songs (orch. Finzi), In Flanders (orch. Howells), By a bierside (orch. Howells), GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Let Us Garlands Bring, Op. 18. Following the lead of Wolf, Richard Strauss and Mahler, English composers began, about the turn of the century, to embrace the genre of the orchestral song, gladly taking the opportunity the orchestra offered of intensifying the effect of the text through its myriad palette of instrumental timbres. This collection brings a very representative sample of such songs composed or orchestrated from piano originals between 1893 and 1917 (except for Finzi's Shakespeare cycle from 1943 and his orchestration of Gurney's Elizabethan songs from 1942). Most of the settings are relatively concise - and Howells' orchestrations of Gurney's In Flanders and By a Bierside are particularly moving as they are almost contemporary with his original compositions - but Parry's The Soldier's Tent is a 10-minute operatic scena in all but name which was written in response to British victories in 1900 in the Boer War. Christopher Maltman (baritone), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67065 (England) 04A048 $17.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Messa Eucharistica. When we offered recordings of Perosi's string quartets in several of our recent catalogues, we expressed some anticipation of hearing his other music, such was the positive impression created by the quartets. This mass does not disappoint. A relatively early work, it may not plumb the emotional depths of the later chamber music, but it is moving and deeply felt, written in a flowing, classical style, allowing the composer's melodic gifts free rein. The most striking characteristic is the wholly natural choral writing, at once beautiful and moving. The organ works and other choral music here exhibits similar characteristics of gentle, liturgical profundity in a relatively conventional harmonic idiom, wholly appropriate to the context of the music. Joan Parabell Sole (organ), Polifonisti Romani; Ildebrando Mura. Sarx Angelicum ANG 97046 (Italy) 04A049 $16.98

EBBE HAMERIK (1898-1951): The Traveling Companion - Fairy-tale Opera in 4 Acts, Summer for Baritone and Orchestra. The son of Asger Hamerik (see RI catalogues passim), Ebbe Hamerik was an acclaimed composer and conductor in his own right, until his untimely death in a boating accident. The music is based upon diatonic relationships out of which more chromatic textures develop, but it is throughout very accessible, and the fairy-tale subject allows the composer to introduce folk elements into the highly appealing score. This release is the first of a radio performance produced in1974. The coupling, Summer is a Nielsenesque pastoral for baritone and orchestra, setting nature-scenes with exquisite atmosphere. Soloists, Poul Elming (baritone), Danish National Radio Choir, Danish Philharmonic Orchestra South Jutland; Francesco Cristofoli. Danacord DACOCD 507 (Denmark) 04A050 $17.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Sonate à 7, Op. 221 for Oboe, Flute, Harp and String Quartet, 2 Monodies pour Hautbois, Op. 231, Le Repos du Tityre for Oboe d'amore, Op. 216, Monodie pour Cor anglais, Op. 216, 14 Pièces, Op. 179 for Oboe and Piano. More delightful chamber music from this prodigious Alsatian composer (who played the oboe as a youth) - the unique instrumentation of 1949's Sonate à 7 has the soloist weaving themes through the basis of the quartet while the flute and harp provide detached commentaries; the 14 pieces of op. 179 (1942), like last month's Chants de Nectaire, are miniatures of an astonishing diversity. The remainin pieces are for solo oboe and make full use of the instrument's pastoral associations. Lajos Lencsés (oboe, cor anglais), Gaby Pas-van Riet (flute), Parisii Quartet, Lucia Cericola (harp), Kalle Randalu (piano). CPO 999 614 (Germany) 04A051 $15.98

HUGO ALFVÉN (1872-1960): Sleeping Forest, Romans, Meditation, Vallflickans Dans, TOR AULIN (1866-1914): 4 Akvareller, 2 Character Pieces, Minnesblad, VALBORG AULIN (1860-1928): Elegie, ALGOT HAQUINIUS (1886-1966): Swedish Dance, Nocturne, ARMAS JÄRNEFELT (1869-1958): Berceuse, TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Spring Nights, Arioso. This is the predecessor of the Nosag CD we offered in February titled "Swedish Turn of the Century 1900" - a collection of nostalgic, romantic Swedish parlor compositions for violin and piano which capture the atmosphere of the "National Romanticism" of the late 19th century - music of easily assimilated, attractive melodies which were meant to be played at home gatherings by amateur musicians. An evocative series which will continue... Semmy Stahlhammer (violin), Love Derwinger (piano). Nosag CD 024 (Sweden) 04A052 $16.98

EMIL VON SAUER (1862-1942): Etudes de Concert Nos. 21-30, Les Délices de Vienne, Le Retour, Couplet sans Paroles, Scherzo Valse, Boîte a musique, Echo de Vienne. Volume Two of Sauer's concert etudes bring more of the fastidious pianistic aesthetic of this master musician, split between descriptive genre pieces and "technical" etudes with a substantial fill-up of more than a half hour of separate pieces, half of which celebrate the Viennese waltz. A window into the performing practice of the past. Oleg Marshev (piano). Danacord DACOCD 488 (Denmark) 04A053 $16.98

ARTHUR DE GREEF (1862-1940): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Violin Sonata No. 2 in C Minor, Sonata for 2 Pianos in C Minor. The violin sonatas date from 1896 and 1933 respectively although the former one was extensively revised in 1932, explaining the wide stylistic variety of the work: a cyclical principle is used in music which has much of the impulsiveness of Richard Strauss and Rachmaninov in it but also elements of the classical purity of Brahms and Grieg. The second sonata is closer to the dark, broodingly impassioned world of Lekeu while the two-piano sonata (1928) is expressive and harmonically rich. Nico Baltussen (violin), Catherine Mertens (piano), Luc Devos (piano). Classic DOM 2910 24 (Belgium) 04A054 $10.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 2 - Suite, Op. 5, Romance in F, Op. 25, The Flower's Tale, Op. 30, Variations on a Hungarian Song, Op. 72, Solo from the Opera The Violin Maker of Cremona, Op. 40a. This well-varied collection includes an archaizing suite sprinkled with Hungarian musical idioms from 1881 and The Flower's Tale of 1889 - a fine example of the Romantic character piece in a suite of six short pictures depicting the flowering and loss of love. Shorter works include a salon-style Romance from the late 1880s and a virtuoso set of variations which Szigeti premiered in 1912. Ferenc Szecsödi (violin), István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31812 (Hungary) 04A055 $16.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Ritornelle und Fughetten, Op. 68, Serenade Op. 1 (first movement), Serenade, Op. 27 (from the opera Don Ranudo), 2 Klavierstücke, Op. 29. Schoeck wrote very little for piano and all of his mature works are collected here. Of particular interest is the cycle of 10 Ritornelles and Fughettas which he wrote for his pianist daughter in 1953: forced into obscurity after the Darmstadt school swept aside tonality after the Second World War, the aging composer retreated to Bach to reaffirm his own place in the Germanic musical tradition Jean Louis Steuerman (piano). Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6146 (Switzerland) 04A056 $18.98

EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): Cello Sonata, Op. 58, EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Cello Sonata, Op. 36, JOONAS KOKKONEN (1921-1996): Cello Sonata, INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): Fantasia sopra Laudi. This collection of Scandinavian works for cello ranges from the Romanticism of Grieg and Sjögren to Lidholm's 1977 tribute to his colleague Hilding Rosenberg - a brief but concentrated piece which takes as its starting point a motif from the latter's 1947 Laudi for acapella choir. Kokkonen's sonata dates from 1975-76 and its long lines and massive, sculptural style produce music of both harsh austerity and passionate energy. Petja Svensson (cello), Bengt-Åke Lundin (piano). Caprice CAP 21590 (Sweden) 04A057 $16.98

FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849)/LEOPOLD GRÜTZMACHER (1835-1900): 12 Nocturnes, CHOPIN/GREGOR PIATIGORSKY (1903-1976): Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, op. posth. Grützmacher was first cellist at Bayreuth and understood as well as anyone how to make these famous, heart-meltingly beautiful pieces sing on his own instrument. Piatigorsky's is equally adept, the whole disc making for a guilt-free wallow in gorgeous sonorities and heeavenly music. Kousay H. Mahdi Kadduri (cello), Oszkár Morzsa (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31814 (Hungary) 04A058 $16.98

FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849)/PAULINE VIARDOT (1821-1910): 12 Mazurkas, VIARDOT: 2 Songs, ISABELLE COLBRAN (1785-1845): 5 Canzoncine e Petits airs italiens. Viardot, a famous singer but also a more than competent composer, transcribed these mazurkas with Chopin's help in 1840 or 1841 and performed them in 1842 with the composer himself at the piano. The texts complement the spirit of the music and the whole makes for an agreeably unusual listening experience (the practice was not unheard of: many songs were set, for example, to movement s from Beethoven's symphonies, inter alia). Colbran, the famous mezzo-soprano, published her Rossinian settings of Metastasio between 1807 and 1809. French & Italian texts. Amarilli Nizza (soprano), Enrica Ciccarelli (piano). Agora AG 200.1 (Italy) 04A059 $16.98

HENK BADINGS (1907-1987): Kwintet No. 4, HERMANN AMBROSIUS (1897-1983): Suite in B Minor for Wind Quintet, Op. 57, 3 Fugues, MARCO PÜTZ (b.1958): 5 Charakteristische Stücke for Wind Quintet, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Kleine Kammermusic, Op. 24/2. Its original purpose as music for outdoors runs through this collection of music for wind quintet which offers a Hindemithian work by the Dutch composer Badings, a late Romantic suite by Hans Pfitzner's star pupil, Ambrosius and a set of pieces by the Luxemburger Pütz, each of which is dedicated to the members of the quintet on this recording. Quintette à Vent du Conservatiore de Luxembourg. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9101 (Germany) 04A060 $16.98

JAN VAN GILSE (1881-1944): Nonet for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and String Quintet, String Quartet (unfinished), Trio for Flute, Violin and Viola. Van Gilse led a frustrated and unfulfilling life as both composer and conductor and these three works (all first recordings) generally attest to that fact with their predominantly moderate tempi and melancholic touches of nostalgia. The style is late Romantic, with echoes of Reger, Mahler and Richard Strauss; the nonet (1916) is the longest work (in four movements and 33 minutes); the quartet, from 1922, consists of a fragementary adagio and a scherzo/trio while the 1927 trio contains the lightest music here - fittingly given the instrumentation. Viotta Ensemble, Ebony Quartet. NM Classics 92056 (Netherlands) 04A061 $16.98

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (b.1912): Concerto Capriccio for Harp and Orchestra, Serenade for Lydia de Cadaqués for Flute and Orchestra, LLUIS BENEJAM (1914-1968): Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, SALVADOR BROTONS (b.1959): Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 70. The Brotons is very much the trombone concerto that Shostakovich didn't write - and is none the worse for that. Montsalvage surrounds the delicate and modal-chromatic solo material with an orchestral framework of bright glittering colors and heterogeneous textures. The Benejam has an easy-going Milhaud-jazzy feel to it, with maybe a hint of Bernstein. All three works are extremely approachable and just plain fun, while remaining original and interesting. Magdalena Barrera (harp), Magdalena Martínez (flute), John Harle (saxophone), Ricardo Casero (trombone), Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya; Lawrence Foster. Claves CD 50-9808 (Switzerland) 04A062 $16.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Concerto for Orchestra, Symphony No. 2 (original version). Gerhard attempted to revise his second symphony in 1967, eight years after its premiere but he never finished the job and the results were edited and published posthumously as Metamorphosis (Symphony No. 2) already recorded in this series. The original version has a neo-classical equilibrium compared to the blatancy which the revision added with its heavy use of brass and percussion. However, the work still remains a cerebral work although an emotional core can just be detected, a core of frustration, disappointment and smoldering anger. The 1965 Concerto for Orchestra is an imaginative and virtuosic work based on a tone row and with brass writing and an almost constant use of percussion which suggest Varèse. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9694 (England) 04A063 $16.98

LEX VAN DELDEN (1919-1988): Violin Sonata, Op. 82, PETER-HAN WAGEMANS (b.1952): Great Expectations, Op. 26, LEO SAMAMA (b.1951): Mirage, GEERT VAN KEULEN (b.1943): Herz, BOUDEWIJN TARENSKEEN (b.1952): The End. These works share the common characteristic of sounding unmistakably 20th-century while acknowledging an unshakable debt to tradition. The sonata by van Delden is finely structured and expressive, in a tonal language that, while traditional, he makes his own. Samama's work, for solo viola, is a virtuoso showpiece of the first order, a kind of demonic "flight of the bumblebee", full of scurrying scales and harsh sounds, exploiting the rich timbre of the instrument. The van Keulen is intentionally static - the composer himself has suggested that it can hardly be played too slowly, and as an in memoriam piece it makes a profound statement. The End is based on the idea of a work consisting entirely of final chords, as though we are hearing the last moments of a huge number of different works, creating a curiously odd and disturbing effect. Isabelle van Keulen (violin), Ronald Brautigam (piano). NM Classics 92043 (Netherlands) 04A064 $16.98

WILLEM PIJPER (1894-1947): Piano Sonata, KEES VAN BAAREN (1906-1970): Sonatina, DANIEL RUYNEMAN (1886-1963): Sonatine, HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Pavane & Menuet, LEO SMIT (1900-1943): Suite, RUDOLF ESCHER (1912-1980): Arcana. Clarity and concision are common factors in these Dutch piano works from the middle decades of the century. In some cases - Pijper and van Baaren - this is a post-Webernian economy of means; in others, a neoclassical approach, as in the attractive Sonatine by Ruynemann; or a French-influenced, quasi-impressionistic sound-world in which a little is made to stand for a lot, as Andriessen and Smit achieve here. The Escher stands a little apart from these principles; although there is some French influence the work is on an epic scale and pianistically ambitious. A fascinating collection. Ronald Brautigam (piano). NM Classics 92045 (Netherlands) 04A065 $16.98

GIACOMO SETACCIOLI (1868-1925): Sonata in E Flat, Op. 31, MARCELLO PASSERI (b.1915): Sylvestram Musam Meditamur, Op. 47, HENRI TOMASI (1901-1971): Concerto, CARLOS GUASTAVINO (b.1914): Sonata, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Première Rhapsody. The Italian Setaccioli's late Romantic sonata evokes the qualities of midday, night and dawn in its three movements; Guastavino, though Argentine, lived in Great Britian for much of his life and his sonata combines Latin American and European traits while Tomasi's work is typically brittle, spiky and sometimes jazz-influenced. Passeri, a student of Dallapiccola, draws on the world of Virgil's Eclogues for his updating of the shepherd's pastoral monologue. Antonio Signorello (clarinet), Véronique Garnier (piano). Kicco Classic KC030CD (Italy) 04A066 $17.98

ALEXANDER BLECHINGER (b.1956): Piano Works: Hellbrunniade, Op. 85, 2 Préludes, Op. 16, 3 Passacaglias, Op. 45, Frühling, Op. 17. Vocal Works: 3 Weltenlieder, Op. 88, 3 Intime Lieder, Op. 24 for Mezzo-Soprano, Piano, Violin and Cello. 6 Stimmungen for Solo Violin. Incorporating deft touches of jazz, ragtime, waltzes, Liszt, light opera and a general sense of cheerful well-being, Blechinger's Rhapsody of Hellbrunn (bei Salzburg) sets the stage for this recital of colorful, eminently approachable tonal music with an almost Hollywood flavor - as though a film composer were skillfully to write what the members of a cinema audience would expect to hear from a "classical" composer's pen at various different times in music history. The vocal and violin pieces occupy a similar popular-classical æsthetic, and even when a dissonance occurs, it merely provides local color for the scene in the gypsy camp; one never senses that the composer wishes to shock us. Pleasing, unpretentious stuff. German notes and texts only. Samuel Perez (piano), Brigitta Telberg (mezzo), Junko Tsuchiya (piano), Daniel Mason (violin), Erwin Ira (cello). Bella Musica BM 31.2226 (Germany) 04A067 $16.98

FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Suite for Strings, There is a willow grows aslant a brook, The Two Hunchbacks, Threads, Rosemary, Canzonetta, Berceuse, Serenade. Unaccountable not imported for U.S. distribution by BMG, this collection contains two premiere CD recordings: The Two Hunchbacks was a 1910 fairy-tale play for children set in the Belgian Ardennes for which Bridge wrote five pieces of incidental music based on Belgian folk melodies. The Act III prelude with its touching cor anglais solo has the Gallic grace of much of Bridge's early music and the robust Entr'acte which ends the suite reminds us that Stanford was his teacher. Threads was a 1921 comic play which sank from sight after 28 performances; Bridge's incidental music, however, stole the headlines. The two intermezzi from the play recorded here are a gentle, wistful andante, full of nostalgic regrets and an exuberant Viennese waltz. Special European Import - Limited Quantities. Britten Sinfonia; Nicholas Cleobury. Conifer 75605 51327 2 (England) 04A068 $19.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Taillefer - Ballade for Chorus, Soloists and Orchestra, Op. 52, Die Tageszeiten for Male Choir and Orchestra, Op. 76, Wandrers Sturmlied for Chorus and Large Orchestra, Op. 14. These three large-scale works are part of a large quantity of choral-orchestral music by Strauss which is today neglected. Taillefer (1902-3) is a vast (128 orchestral players, not counting full percussion panoply!) setting of an Uhland poem about William the Conqueror's bard which has the Battle of Hastings as its thunderous climax. The 20-year-old composer set the first 38 lines of Goethe's Wandrers Sturmlied in a style reminiscent of Brahms' Gesang der Parzen while the Tageszeiten takes a lighter, more elegant path which anticipates the mood of Der Rosenkavalier and Daphne in its depiction of four times of day. Special European Import - Limited Quantities. Johan Botha (tenor), Michael Volle (baritone), Felicity Lott (soprano), Ernst-Senff Chor Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic; Michel Plasson. EMI 7243 5 56572 2 (England) 04A069 $19.98

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Baroque Transcriptions and Settings of Works by Lully, Rameau, Corelli, Schobert, Loeillet, Dandrieu and Scarlatti. Volume 3 of Marco Polo's Godowsky cycle gives us Godowsky's transcriptions of baroque keyboard works, bringing Godowsky's unsurpassed knowledge of just what was possible on the modern piano to bear on material which might seem unexpected. Yet so great was Godowsky's innate musicianship that these transcriptions serve only to extend our appreciation of the musical content (as is also the case with the Chopin Studies, once the shock of his apparent audacity has worn off). Here he adds interesting and unexpected counterpoints, reinforces bass lines, sometimes underlining the music's origins, sometimes suggesting something quite different. There can be few more complete validations of the artistry of transcription than these masterly recompositions. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Marco Polo 8.223795 (New Zealand) 04A070 $14.98

ANDREW TOOVEY (b.1962): The Juniper Tree - Opera in One Act, Embrace for 2 Pianos, Adam for Ensemble, Fallen for Soprano and Violin. The Juniper Tree retells a grisly story out of the Brothers Grimm, in a language reminiscent of Maxwell Davies music-theatre works of the 1970s. With its themes of accidental death and forgiveness, it generates a stifling, oppressive atmosphere. Embrace is two piano works to be rehearsed separately by two pianists, only coming together at the performance. Adam is a violent, strident work, uneasy in its exploration of the different meanings of the title, including the name of a friend of the composer who committed suicide. Jacqueline Horner (soprano), Marcia Bellamy (mezzo), Nick Hariades (tenor), Richard Morris (baritone), Eos; Charles Peebles, Yvar Mikhashoff & James Clapperton (pianos), Ixion Ensemble; Michael Finnissy, Jacqueline Horner (soprano), Charles Mutter (violin). Largo 5141 (Germany) 04A071 $16.98

HANS STÄHLI (b.1950): Symphonic Poem Tokachi, String Trio in A, CHRIS FRANKLIN (b.1950): String Quartet No. 1. Tokachi was written to commission by the Japanese state of that name for a celebration. It is an unashamedly romantic piece of programmatic picture-painting that suggests film music (in the best sense of the term), while standing perfectly well on its own feet. The string trio is also a diverting work, gently entertaining and alluding to classical and romantic models enough to generate a sense of nostalgia without sounding like pastiche. By profession a non-classical musician, Franklin writes chamber music in a style which combines conventional romanticism with a Nymanesque quasi-minimal (though never taken to the extremes of such an avowed process-music composer) repetitive exploration of the lush underlying harmonies implicit in the material. Tomoaki Aiba (tenor), Obihiro Chorus Association, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra; Naohiro Totsuka, Heidelberg String Trio, other artists. Antes Edition 31.9109 (Germany) 04A072 $16.98

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): String Quartets Nos. 3-5. Vanbrugh Quartet. Hyperion CDA 67078 (England) 04A073 $17.98

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Variations, Op. 22, Aubade (Study No. 4), Gaudí (Study No. 3), 5 Bagatelles, Mosaic (Study No. 6), Haydn Variations. John McCabe (piano). BMS 424 (England) 04A074 $17.98

John McCabe has been a respected figure as both composer and pianist in Britain for decades, but recordings of his music have been in short supply until relatively recently (EMI recorded some orchestral works in the 1970s). As pianist he is well known for his work on Haydn's sonatas, of which he made the then definitive complete recording for Decca. Not surprisingly, allusions to Haydn turn up throughout his string quartets and piano music. McCabe's music is highly chromatic and makes much use of lively and constantly changing rhythms, and it has a definite if indefinable "British" feel to it. Variation-form has always been important to McCabe, and the piano disc contains two sets of variations, including possibly his most important piano work, the Haydn Variations. The composer is his own impressive advocate here.

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): The World's Ransoming for Cor Anglais and Orchestra, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. Christine Pendrill (cor anglais), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-989 (Sweden) 04A075 $17.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Symphony "Vigil". Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-990 (Sweden) 04A076 $17.98

Now that MacMillan's music has reached a level of maturity at which the expressive power of his voice is not dissipated in youthful exuberance and visceral excitement for its own sake, it is apparent that he is one of the most individual and interesting composers to have emerged from the British Isles in recent years. His Easter triptych (his strong Catholic faith has been a mainstay of the composer's inspiration since his music first exploded onto the world stage) is a work of the past several years, the two works on the first CD being parts 1 and 2, and the Vigil Symphony on the second forming the final part. Complex as it is, MacMillan's music is firmly rooted in tonality, and his use of plainchant as a motif, and the presence of a strongly lyrical solo part - a cor anglais in The World's Ransoming, and the solo protagonist of the concerto - emphasizes the singing, vocal, expressive and essentially human quality which is emerging as one of MacMillan's most striking characteristics. The symphony is pure program music - unusual nowadays - offering a quite harrowing picture of the dark night of the soul as Christ and the world awaited the light of resurrection. This is disturbing music - very dark - and yet the movement into light and ecstasy is so inexorable, and so sure-footed is the composer as our guide, that listening to the symphony is a compelling experience, and one unlikely to be forgotten swiftly after the event. The cosmic dance forged by the composer here bears no comparison other than Turangalila - which it resembles, but not too closely. In this triptych we see a major composer emerge, and these discs deserve the highest recommendation.

TRISTAN KEURIS (1946-1996): Piano Concerto, JAN VAN VLIJMEN (b.1935): Piano Concerto. Keuris' piano concerto develops a massive block structure based on intervallic relationships and sudden paroxysmal outbursts of toccata-like figuration in which the piano and orchestra participate equally. Vlijmen's work is more active and conventionally concerto-like, with extended percussive episodes, though both share a modern musical language which could not have existed before Messiaen. René Eckhardt, Sepp Grotenhuis (piano), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; Lucas Vis. NM Classics 92070 (Netherlands) 04A077 $16.98

MIGUEL GÓMEZ-MARTÍNEZ (b.1949): Sinfonia del descubrimiento, 5 Canciones sobre poemas de Alonso Gamo. The "Symphony of Discovery" refers to Columbus' discovery of America, and although not strictly program music, contains thematic elements which suggest ideas linked to the historical events concerned. Gómez-Martínez' musical vocabulary is broadly tonal though unmistakably of our time, and he eschews any kind of freakish effects in favor of solid musical argument, cogently expressed. In the vocal works here, setting poetry of Alonso Gamo - especially the first song - his lyrical gift and powerfully expressed development of musical ideas combine to complement the poetry perfectly, and the result has considerable emotional force. Marussa Xyni (soprano), North German Radio Choir, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; Miguel Gómez-Martínez. MD&G 329 0862 (Germany) 04A078 $17.98

FRIEDRICH GULDA (b.1930): Concerto for Cello and Winds, ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Cello Concerto in D. What an odd coupling! - might be an understandable first reaction to seeing this disc. But then again, it's hard to think of a better, and there is something satisfyingly appropriate anyhow in associating the music of two outstanding musicians of their own times who both shook up the establishment; the one as the musical half of Gilbert and -- and the other by being an elegant classical pianist who is also a brilliant and showy jazzman. Once one gets over the eyebrow-skyrocketing entrance of the rhythm section in the first movement of the Gulda, the whole piece is great fun, moving effortlessly between the world of the serious concert hall, that of light classics, and modern big band jazz. The Sullivan is a very agreeable work in Mendelssohnian vein, with a hint of a big tune aria from the world of operetta in the middle movement, and elsewhere going through the dramatic romantic gestures one might expect with great aplomb. A thoroughly enjoyable disc. Martin Ostertag (cello), Southwest German Radio Orchestra; Klaus Arp. Amati ami 9703/1 (Germany) 04A079 $17.98

KALEVI AHO (b.1949): Bassoon Quintet, Quintet for Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. This disc couples two major and important chamber works written 17 years apart by one of Finland's most important and original living composers. The bassoon quintet is the earlier work, and in it the composer charts a progression from deliberately superficial parodic music through material of a transitional nature, active and even violent at times, towards the final cadenza, finale and epilogue, which explore far deeper emotional territory. The other quintet, for an unusual but amazingly expressive combination of instruments, is a superb work which deals in psychological conflicts and contrasts throughout, maintaining a high degree of intensity. Aho's tonally based language and original and skilled instrumentation form an ideal vehicle for his musical argument and drama. Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble. BIS CD-866 (Sweden) 04A080 $17.98

ALFRED MENDELSSOHN (1910-1966): Suite for Solo Cello, ARAM KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978): Sonata-Fantasia for Solo Cello, NIKOLAI ROSLAVETS (1881-1944): Meditation for Cello and Piano, ALEXANDER MOSSOLOV (1900-1973): Legende, RODION SHCHEDRIN (b.1932): In the Style of Albéniz, LEO· JANÁâEK (1854-1928): Pohádka, Presto for Cello and Piano. This recital of music for cello from Central and Eastern Europe brings one CD premiere: the Romanian Mendelssohn's 1960 work, a set of terse, stylized dance movements. The Roslavets and Mossolov pieces are fairly rare and well-worth having. Karen Kaderavek (cello), Randall Hodgkinson (piano). GM Recordings CM2063 (U.S.A.) 04A082A $16.98

This month we present a collection of recordings from the PAULA label.

A small Danish independent, PAULA has not had U.S. distribution for many years. These are our own special imports, in limited quantity.

JÖRGEN JERSILD (b.1913): Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Fantasia for Solo Harp, Für gefühlvolle Spieler - 2 Impromptus for 2 Harps, Fantasia e canto affettuoso for Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Harp, Pezzo elegiaco for Solo Harp. Sonja Gislinge (harp), Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä, various other soloists. Paula PACD 75 (Denmark) 04A082B $16.98

JÖRGEN JERSILD (b.1913): 3 pièces en concert, 15 klaverstykker til Julie, Jeu polyrythmique, Fantasia for Piano Solo. Jersild's piano music is exceedingly pianistic, and displays a strong sense of craftsmanship as well as a folk-like sensibility most detectable in the modal structure of the melodic and scalar material. Polyrhythms and a piquant harmonic sense abound, whether in the delightful children's pieces or the more complex and fascinating Trois pièces, the etudes and especially the large and ambitious fantasia, an epic journey through a wild uncharted northern landscape. This impression is heightened by the music on the harp disc, in which the modality and timbres recalls celtic harp music and evoke an ancient mysterious art. The concerto in particular is a marvellously evocative work, full of nature-sounds and a lonely human drama. Hans Pålsson (piano). Paula PACD 61 (Denmark) 04A083 $16.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Piano Sonata No. 2, "Ex est", In the Autumn Lamp's Flickering Rays, Insektarium, Le Béguinage. A committed late romantic out of his time, Langgaard wrote a considerabele amount of piano music, which may be seen as containing his most intimate thoughts. Rejecting modernist tendencies, he strove for beauty, which he equated with spirituality and especially in the sonata we sense the struggle between the composer's ideals and the antagonistic outside world in the 1930s, expressed through the music. In the Autumn Lamp's Flickering Rays is a Lisztian tone-poem, while the odd Insectarium, consisting of nine tiny movements, contains some odd special effects for evocative purposes - just once or twice - like knocking on the wood of the piano to suggest insect sounds - one has the feeling that the composer arrived at these unexpectedly modern results with no reference whatsoever to the developments taking place around him, which makes them all the more bizarre and unusual. Le Beguinage returns us to romantic confrontation - between a deliberately cloying harmonic security and violent outbursts thrown into direct opposition. Teddy Teirup (piano). Paula PACD 31 (Denmark) 04A084 $16.98

JØRGEN BENTZON (1897-1951): Sonatina, Op. 7, FLEMMING WEIS (1898-1981): Music for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon, SVEND ERIK TARP (b.1908): Taffelmusik, BO ANDERSEN (b.1963): Invocation for Solo Flute, GUDRUN LUND (b.1930): "Talks", Op. 136, FLEMMING FRIIS (b.1961): November. Jørgen Bentzon's elegant Sonatine shows clearly the composer's affinity with his teacher, Carl Nielsen. Weis' music has something in common with the lightness of touch and irony of Poulenc, and is most attractive, which is also true of the Tarp, a most diverting little suite. The two Andersen works are in the form of free fantasies, and range widely in their tonality, giving an improvisational air to their content. "Talks" is program music, of a sort - the instruments engage in different types of discussion - and knowing this programme, the music is amusing and entertaining. The most serious work here is the Friis, which alternates an elegiac melancholy and ironic scherzo-like material (in the Shostakovich mold). Trio Divertimento. Paula PACD 94 (Denmark) 04A085 $16.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (b.1919): Clarinet Sonata, Op. 63, Quartetto for Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 566, HERMAN D. KOPPEL (b.1908): Variazioni Libère for 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet and Percussion, Op. 98, Variations for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 72, POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Throne for Clarinet and Piano, Tattoo for One for Clarinet, BENT SØRENSEN (b.1958): The Songs of the Decaying Garden for Solo Clarinet, Troll-Playing for Solo Clarinet. "One tablespoonful internationalization, two tablespoonfuls fresh sea air and just a taste of sour dodecaphony, though mainly in the melodic content". So said Bentzon about Danish contemporary music in the 1950s, and it will do very well as a description of his energetic and memorable clarinet sonata of 1950. The Stravinskyan Koppel works also fit into the broad category suggested by Bentzon's bon mot. Both Sorensen and Ruders make use of an extended tonal language in their works, and Ruder's Throne, the second longest work here (after the Bentzon sonata) is especially powerful, a melancholy, rhapsodic composition. Various Artists. Paula PACD 78 (Denmark) 04A086 $16.98

HERMAN D. KOPPEL (b.1908): Sextet, Op. 36, KARSTEN FUNDAL (b.1966): The Land of Mists, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Sextuor, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Le Tombeau de Couperin (arr. Hans Abrahamsen). Hans Abrahamsen's transcription for wind quintet of the orchestral version of the Ravel is quite masterly, betraying none of the work's origins in different guises. Fundal studied with Nørgård, and his The Land of Mists is polyphonically complex and rather modern-sounding, yet undeniably evocative. Koppel was very influenced by Nielsen in his early years, and while this quintet does not sound like the older composer, it has something of the same energy and joyous progression of material through harmonic contrasts. Det Hyske Ensemble. Paula PACD 77 (Denmark) 04A087 $16.98

LAURIDS LAURIDSEN (1882-1946): Prelude in C Minor, Op. 19/1, 7 Preludes from Op. 25, Pastorale, Op. 19/2, 6 Chorales from 22 Koralbearbejdelser, Fuga, Op. 19/3, 8 Spiritual Songs. Lauridsen was a church organist and composer, whose music, while resolutely tonal, owes much to the rich contrapuntal textures of Max Reger, with whose extensive output for organ he was presumably famliar. These works all have a late-19th century feel to them, and within this context are deeply satisfying. The organ chorales and preludes in particular have a spiritual solemnity that reminds one of the religious works of Bruckner. Lars Thodberg Bertelsen (baritone), Inge Beck (organ of St. Catharine's Church, Ribe). Paula PACD 85 (Denmark) 04A088 $16.98

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): 6 Spiritual Songs, HANS MATTHISON-HANSEN (1807-1890): Organ Fantasia No. 4 "Lover den Herre", Organ Fantasia No. 2 in G Minor, PETER MØLLER (b.1947): 4 Songs, Chorale Fantasia upon "Den Mørke nat forgangen er", JESPER MADSEN (b.1957): 3 Organ Chorales. The 19th-century music on this disc represents fine, if unfamiliar, examples of church music typical of its time. Matthison-Hansen was a renowned improvisor, and these striking fantasias supposedly sprang from his improvisations. Møller's vocal music follows traditional models and is less intense and dramatic than the organ works listed elsewhere in this catalogue, and his Chorale Fantasia shares a reflective quality with the Visby Organ Book (04A092). Madsen was a student of Møller, and his three brief pieces demonstrate a ready and natural acquaintance with the organ. Ulrik Cold (bass), Inge Beck (organ of the Grundtvigskirken, Esbjerg). Paula PACD 95 (Denmark) 04A089 $16.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): Trio for Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord, Op. 133, PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Heyday's Night for Treble Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord, MOGENS CHRISTENSEN (b.1955): Tropics for Violin, Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord , RICARDO ODRIOZOLA (b.1965): Ashen Hours for Violin, Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord, ERIK BACH (b.1946): Bagatel No. 6 for Violin, Treble Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord, JOHN FRANDSEN (b.1956): Tivoli for Violin, Treble Recorder, Cello and Harpsichord. The Holmboe especially, and also the Norgård, are the most content-filled works here, and show clearly the scope of ideas that a small-scale ensemble can express in the hands of a natural symphonist. The Bach and Frandsen are delightful little divertimenti, while the Odriozola, with the Christensen, more modern in language than the other works here, contains some fascinating ideas and sounds. Tropics uses a kind of dissonant slow minimalism to suspend time to hypnotic effect. Euterpe Ensemble. Horizon 9301 (Denmark) 04A090 $16.98

LEIF MARTINUSSEN (b.1941): 7 Pieces for Organ, Op. 16, Toccata No. 1, Op. 10, Cantabile, Op. 20, Fantasy, Op. 7, Toccata No. 2, Op. 14, Ode to Light, Op. 21 for Mixed Choir, Danish Images from the Past, Op. 28, Nos. 2 & 3 for Mixed Choir (with other hymns and vocal polyphony). Martinussen's music is conventionally diatonic, and achieves a sense of meditative religious tranquillity through its fine harmoic sensibility and the occasional use of recognisable hymn or church music. The vocal settings are very refined and beautiful. Eileen Kay Vandermark (organ of the Christianskerken, Fredericia), Vocal Ensemble KOR-X; Mads Bille. Paula PACD 105 (Denmark) 04A091 $16.98

PETER MØLLER (b.1947): 12 (5 Large and 7 Small) Pieces for Organ. Peter Møller (organ of the Sanct Maria Cathedral, Visby). Paula PACD 103 (Denmark) 04A092 $16.98

PETER MØLLER (b.1947): Apocalyptic Meditations, 10 Preambles, The Transfiguration, Largo from "Resurrection Symphony". Peter Møller (organ of the Sanct Maria Cathedral, Visby). Paula PACD 111 (Denmark) 04A093 $16.98

So here we have a Danish organist-composer writing epic works with religious inspiration in a tonal language which owes nothing to Messiaen, with whom he did not study, and who may be one of the finest organ composers of our time. Surprised? We were. Møller's handling of his instrument is flawless, and the music dramatic and powerful, with all the expressive capabilities of the "King of Instruments" fully exploited. If organ music from Bach to Messiaen by way of Widor and Langlais does anything for you, you owe it to yourself to hear these discs. The Apolcalyptic Meditations and Transfiguration are the most impressive works here; the Visby Organ Book demonstrates the composer's versatility by way of some surprisingly moving and profound meditations, homages to earlier organ styles, and Møller's trademark dramatic scenes from the Bible (the book of Revelation is a favorite, for reasons that may become apparent).

PER GUNTHER (b.1933): 24 Chorale Fantasias over Danish Hymn Melodies. These skillfully constructed chorales are based on well-known Danish hymn tunes, and were composed by Gunther over many years in his capacity as church organist at Trinity Church in Esbjerg. The original melodies are beautiful, and the composer's respectful embellishments of them, some meditative, some virtuosic, allowing a degree of dissonance when appropriate within a strongly tonal framework, form a wonderful set of new chorale preludes which form a compelling combination of the traditional and the modern. Inge Beck (organ of St. Catharine's Church, Ribe). Paula PACD 109 (Denmark) 04A094 $16.98

GION ANTONI DERUNGS (b.1935): Il semiader. "The Dreamer" is a psychological drama in which the inner motives and visions of a character become more important than the external world in which he finds himself deceived and falsely accused. The music is accessible and dramatic - it never goes far beyond the territory of Britten's operas - and one can envision this work being highly effective on stage. Linguists will note that this is sung in the rare Romance language formerly known as Rheto-Romance which is spoken by a mere couple of tens of thousands of people in the upper valleys of the Rhine and Inn rivers in Switzerland. 2 CDs. Romansh-German libretto; English synopsis. Claudio Danuser (tenor), Judith Graf (soprano), Lucretia Lendi (mezzo), Chor Ad Hoc, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; Sylvia Caduff. Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6140 (Switzerland) 04A095 $37.98

ARTHUR SCHNABEL (1882-1951): Dance Suite, Piano Sonata. You saw it first here, folks! - this is not the world premiere recording of the lively Dance Suite, which sounds throughout as though it were trying to be modern despite itself (and largely not succeeding - most of it doesn't go far beyond La Valse); we offered that last year in a recording by Donald Isler. Still, this all-Schnabel disc is welcome in broadening our overall perception of the great Classical pianist who was also a surprisingly (though it has to be said from this historical perspective, hardly excessively) forward-looking composer. The big, tough sonata - post-Busonian, in the sense of Otto Luening perhaps - flirts with either tonality or with atonality, depending on your point of view. It is not the obvious "big piano piece" of an acknowleged master-pianist; it is rather the meticulously executed major piece of music of a composer whose command of his chosen language was total. Geoffrey Tozer (piano). Chandos 9673 (England) 04A096 $16.98

ZSOLT DURKÓ (1934-1997): Piano Concerto, The Revelation to John, Ludus stellaris. A composer with a strong sense of tradition, Durkó took only what he felt he needed from the Avant-garde - mainly in terms of providing performers with quasi-aleatoric expressive freedom in specific passages of his music. Unusually, Ludus stellaris has an extramusical source for its pitch material, in the form of a graphical transcription of a star map. The work is then quite freely improvised, based on cells determined by the note-row resulting from the graph. Elsewhere, as in the concerto, there is an improvisational element, but the music is based on the composer's own thematic material, and the result is a rhapsodic but highly organised structure - in this case, sounding not a great distance from the later works of Lutoslawski. Finally, the oratorio, one of Durkó's last works, marks a partial return to tonal elements as functional features of the musical argument, contributing to the work's powerful emotional impact. Klára Körmendi (piano), Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra; Lionel Friend, Lucia Medgyesi-Schwartz (mezzo), József Mukk (tenor), László Szvétek (baritone), Jenö Jandó (piano), Hungarian National Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; András Ligeti, National Philharmonic Orchestra's Chamber Orchestra; János Petró. Hungaroton HCD 31818 (Hungary) 04A097 $16.98

GEORGE BARATI (1913-1996): Cello Concerto, Harpsichord Quartet, Chamber Concerto. This Hungarian-born cellist, conductor and composer wrote music that is agreeably free of -isms, with a bold modern identity that allows it to express a good deal while never seeming overly concerned with how it does it. Full of bold, strongly delineated rhythms and striking harmonic excursions which never stray fully into atonality, the music is colorful and orchestrated with a sure touch. A very "public" piece, the cello concerto insists on the soloist being prepared to make bold and expressive statements in an idiom to which any audience accustomed to Bartók or Prokofiev could respond. The harpsichord quartet is more "modern"-sounding, and seems to speak a more private language, though the exquisitely clear and delightful instrumentation introduces a sensual element into a tough argument. The Chamber Concerto is a delight, in a rather tongue-in-cheek Shostakovich-like idiom. The 83-year-old composer was still in full creative flood when mysteriously murdered in an apparently random attack several years ago, and this disc makes a fitting tribute to a fine creative mind of great versatility. Bernard Michelin (cello), London Philharmonic Orchestra; George Barati, Baroque Chamber Players of Indiana, Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy. CRI CD 794 (U.S.A.) 04A098 $16.98

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Piano Sonata, Op. 1, Little Suite, American Ballads (Set 1), Toccata for Piano, Occupation & Contemplation from Piano Suite in 3 Movements, ROBERT EVETT (1922-1975): Chorale en rondeau from Piano Sonata No. 2, CARLOS CHAVEZ (1899-1978): Sonatina for Piano. This is a remarkable disc, documenting as it does a remarkable creative collaboration - or actually, two such. In 1987, 74-year-old Johana Harris went into the recording studio to record, basically, whatever she felt represented her musical taste and skill at its best, regardless of commercial considerations (which had not entered the equation at that time). Inevitably she included music of her late husband Roy, the tough-minded autodidact composer of some of the most strongly-grained American music of our century. Here is his early, in-your-face sonata, dramatic and declamatory; and the more sophisticated, though no less individual, later works, perhaps influenced in style by the intimate proximity of so polished and characterful a performer. The harmonic richness of the American Ballads - masterfully interpreted here - stands in fascinating contrast to the abrasiveness of the sonata, yet both are recognizably from the pen of a composer of unfettered imagination and individuality -who found his ideal interpreter in his partner of 43 years. Johana Harris (piano). CRI CD 818 (U.S.A.) 04A099 $16.98

ELLEN FULLMAN: Change of Direction. Fascinating! And, more importantly, rather beautiful. Composers who write for home-made, or custom-made instruments run the risk of creating special effects for their own sake, or of expending a lot of time and trouble on something of limited musical expression that might better be done, nowadays, with a synthesizer - but here, Fullman has created music especially for the aptly named "Long String Instrument" - it is 90 feet long in its current incarnation - that makes possible a fully acoustic exploration of the harmonic series implied by very long, longitudinally vibrating stretched strings in just intonation. The results are wonderful! - otherworldly in the sense of taking the listener outside his or her expectations of the way music should sound; in some ways this is very close to a realisation of a completely natural "free music" as envisioned by Grainger. Ellen Fullman, Elise Gould, Nigel Jacobs (long string instrument). New Albion NA 102 CD (U.S.A.) 04A100 $16.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): String Quartet, MICHEL HOSTETTLER (b.1940): String Quartet, JEAN BALISSAT (b.1936): L'Or perdu for Reciter and String Quartet, WILLIAM BLANK (b.1957): Fragments I, JEAN PERRIN (1920-1989): String Quartet, HENRI SCOLARI (b.1923): La sérénité, JULIEN-FRANÇOIS ZBINDEN (b.1917): String Quartet, Op. 60. A unifying characteristic in this diverse recital of string quartets by French-Swiss composers of this century is a profound seriousness of purpose, allied to impeccable crafsmanship. Martin's late work is a taut structure, in which the composer's unfailing sense of polyphony shows to great advantage. The Hostettler is a study in concision and concentration, while the Balissat, which takes as a point of departure for each movement a poem by Jean Cuttat (read by a narrator between movements), expands or comments on these texts in a manner that is stylish, accomplished and highly personal. Blank's is the most "modern" work here; a collage of fragments, as the title suggests, which combine to comment on the possibilities of the quartet medium. The Perrin is a somber, lyrical work, uneasy and emotionally charged, in a freely tonal idiom, while the Scolari deliberately avoids unusual playing techniques and explores the expressive possibilities of the quartet with great concentration in a serial, highly linear style. Zbinden's work is very approachable and tonal, with something of Bloch and something of jazz to be detected here and there. This collection will not fail to stimulate lovers of fine and unfamiliar chamber music. 2 CDs. Quatuor Sine Nomine. Musiques Suisses CTS-M-57 (Switzerland) 04A101 $37.98

NANCY GALBRAITH (b.1951): String Quartet No. 1, Incantation and Allegro for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Aeolian Muses for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano, Rhythms and Rituals for Piano and Wind Quintet. Alternately rhythmically insistent and dynamic, and tenderly melodic, Galbraith's music falls into a kind of modern-romantic category which allows the composer's individual voice to be heard uncluttered by the constraints of any particular school of composition. In the fast movements - the outer sections of the quartet, the Allegro (whose accompanying "Incantation" is hauntingly lovely), Rhythms and Rituals - some minimalist influence is certainly present - somewhat John Adams-like. Galbraith does not take refuge in overly simple harmonic progressions, and even when the music is most incisively rhythm-driven there is still a sense of harmonic argument. All these pieces are well worth getting to know. Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Renaissance City Winds, Cynthia Koleda DeAlmeida (oboe), Nancy Goeres, Will Genz (bassoon), Thomas Thompson (clarinet), Luz Manríquez, Ralph Zitterbart, Patricia Prattis Jennings (piano). Elan 82414 (U.S.A.) 04A102 $16.98

KARL MICHAEL KOMMA (b.1913): Piano Trio, Dialog mit Schubert for Piano Trio. Komma is a distinguished musicologist and music educator, and his music has all the hallmarks of music written by a composer thoroughly schooled in 20th-century techniques, in a vaguely post-Second-Viennese style, though perhaps more opulent in texture than this might suggest. Komma's framework for two Schubert fragments provides an interesting modern perspective and commentary on their gentle romanticism. Trio Parnassus. MD&G 303 0865 (Germany) 04A103 $17.98

ELLIS B. KOHS (b.1916): Passacaglia for Organ and Strings, K.11, Chamber Concerto for Viola and String Nonet, K.28, Toccata for Harpsichord, K.25, A Short Concert for String Quartet, K.28, Sonatina for Violin and Piano, K.26. Kohs has been described as "an essential romantic in modernist clothing", and that sums it up rather nicely. Just as one is getting used to a slightly acerbic, post-Hindemith tonal-yet-dissonant harmonic language, the composer goes and disconcerts the listener with a sudden burst of the most sumptuous harmony. The tough and tautly argued Chamber Concerto, with its scurrying scherzo and intense variation-form finale is especially strong, as is the somewhat autobiographical (in the sense, if not the sounds, of Ein Heldenleben) and musically varied Short Concert. Various Artists. CRI CD 795 (U.S.A.) 04A104 $16.98

HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Mosaic Quartet (String Quartet No. 3), 26 Simultaneous Mosaics, Suite for Wind Quintet, Movement for String Quartet (String Quartet No. 2), Return, Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harp, Polyphonica, Quartet Euphometric, Quartet Romantic, String Quartet No. 1 "Pedantic". Spanning the period from 1916 to 1963, this multi-faceted collection shows almost every aspect of Cowell's style: tonal, atonal, open form (a la Cage's "chance" compositions), precisely pre-composed, cerebral, accessible. His "dissonant counterpoint" is much in evidence but there are also immediately approachable works like Return with its Asian ritualisms and the flute quartet with its tonal effervescence. A valuable look at an American original. 2 CDs. Musicians Accord, The Colorado Quartet. Mode 72/73 (U.S.A.) 04A105 $33.98

BO NILSSON (b.1938): Frequenzen for 2 Flutes, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Guitar, Double Bass and 2 Percussionists, Quantitäten for Piano, Stunde eines Blocks for Soprano and 6 Players, Zwanzig Gruppen for Piccolo, Oboe and Clarinet, Rendez-vous for Piano, Déjà vu for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, Der glückliche for Mixed Choir and Soprano, Revue for Chamber Orchestra, Fragments for Marimba and 5 Gongs, Flöten aus der Einsamkeit for Soprano and 9 Players, Endepunkt for Brass Quintet, Brief an Gösta Oswald for Soprano, Alto, Women's Chorus, Loudspeaker Groups and Large Orchestra, Stenogramm for Organ, 3 Szenen for Chamber Ensembles, Fatumeh - Madonna for Reciter, Soloist, Chorus and Orchestra and other works. As a representative of the Swedish avant-garde, Nilsson is hard to categorise, so wide-ranging are his accomplishments. The works from the 1950s are recognisably Darmstadt material, but as the 1960s progressed, a course away from the spiky, fragmentary atonality of the previous decade may be charted, especially in the vocal music, towards a more linear and richly textured idiom. Throughout his career, Nilsson had an uneasy relationship with the analytical-cerebral aspects of the avant-garde, and it appears that the sensuousness and concern for tone color which keeps finding their way into the music may have been the reason for this. The composer's forays into film and TV music, while accepting no compromise, also point to a concern to approach a wider audience. 3 CDs. Texts and translations included. Various artists. Phono Suecia PHCD 105 (Sweden) 04A106 $50.98

ZEZ CONFREY (1895-1971): African Suite, Wise Cracker Suite, Moods of a New Yorker, 3 Little Oddities, Kitten on the Keys, Dizzy Fingers, Meandering, Jay Walk, Sparkling Waters, Amazonia, Blue Tornado, Coaxing the Piano, Stumbling (Paraphrase), Rhythm Venture, Fourth Dimension. Spanning the years from 1921 to 1959, this collection of Jazz Age bon-bons captures a musical world full of the energy and optimism of a young America - from the famous Kitten on the Keys and the syncopated novelties Dizzy Fingers and Meandering to the urbane, evocative and frequently virtuoso Moods of a New Yorker. A more innocent era irresistably captured. Eteri Andjaparidze (piano). Naxos 8.559016 (New Zealand) 04A107 $5.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 14 - Auf Ferienreisen, Op. 133, Disputationen, Op. 243, Neckerei, Op. 262, Blaubart-Quadrille, Op. 206, Künstler-Gruß, Op. 274, Die Zeitgenossen, Op. 162, Die Tänzerin, Op. 227, Springisnfeld, Op. 181, Die guten, alten Zeiten, Op. 26, La Simplicité, Op. 40, Bellona, Op. 94. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Dittrich. Marco Polo 8.223574 (New Zealand) 04A108 $14.98

OSCAR STRAUS (1870-1954): The Chocolate Soldier. This is the first recording of Straus' 1908 romantic comic opera - based on Shaw's Arms and the Man - set to lavish Viennese melodies and recorded live in an English translation. 2 CDs. Sung in English. Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Newport Classics NPD 85650/2 (U.S.A.) 04A109 $33.98

STEPHEN FOSTER (1826-1864): Beautiful Dreamer, Soirée Polka, Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!, We are Coming, Father Abraam, 300,000 More, Linger in Blissful Repose, Santa Anna's Retreat from Buena Vista, Farewell! Mother Dear I Go, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, That's What's the Matter, Hard Times Come Again No More, Summer Longings, I'm Nothing but a Plain Old Soldier, My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night. This surprising release uses a "baroque approach" consisting of countertenor and harpsichord, supported by period violins, recorders, cello, bassoon and Civil War drums and cymbals, to create a strikingly original perspective on these famous parlor ballads, among the most moving and tender ever written. Jeffrey Dooley (countertenor), Kathryn Cok (harpsichord). Lyrichord LEMS 8036 (U.S.A.) 04A110 $16.98

BERNARD HERRMANN (1911-1975): Music from the Films The Man Who Knew Too Much, Citizen Kane, On Dangerous Ground, North by Northwest, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Torn Curtain, The Twilight Zone, Marnie, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Cape Fear, Jason and the Argonauts, The Naked and the Dead, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Three Worlds of Gulliver, Obsession, Psycho, Mysterious Island, The Trouble with Harry, Vertigo and Taxi Driver. Here is one of the most all-inclusive samplers of Herrmann's film music, covering widely varying styles and orchestral forces, all in new digital recordings. 2 CDs. City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Paul Bateman & Nic Raine. Silva America SSD 1093 (England) 04A111 $33.98

THE GREAT BRITISH FILM MUSIC ALBUM - Music from the Films Frenzy (Ron Goodwin), Oliver Twist, Malta G.C. (Arnold Bax), Coastal Command (Ralph Vaughan Williams), Hamlet (Patrick Doyle), A Night to Remember (William Alwyn), Far from the Madding Crowd (Richard Rodney Bennett), The Battle of the Bulge (Benjamin Frankel), The Red Shoes (Brian Easdale), Horrors of the Black Museum (Gerard Schurmann), Conquest of the Air (Arthur Bliss) and Breaking the Sound Barrier (Malcolm Arnold). From horror to war, from suspense to the classics, the finest British composers of the 20th century contributed memorable film music and this well-filled issue provides a fine overview of some of their finest accomplishments. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Kenneth Alwyn & Paul Bateman. Silva America SSD 1094 (England) 04A112 $16.98

RAY COLCORD: The Paper Brigade - Original Soundtrack. This sleeper score from a film about rival paperboys (!) mixes Korngold, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Prokofiev with a Danny Elfman-like panache. Exuberant, full orchestral fun!. Citadel STC 77122 (U.S.A.) 04A113 $14.98