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Vincent Persichetti

Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 & 7

VINCENT PERSICHETTI (1915-1987): Symphony No. 3, Op. 30, Symphony No. 4, Op. 51, Symphony No. 7 "Liturgical", Op. 80. Persichetti has always had a presence in the record catalogues but the majority of his works recorded have been the wind-band pieces and his chamber music like the Parables and Serenades. Two of these symphonies receive their world premiere recordings here, the third (1946 and described by the composer as a "war symphony") and the seventh (1958). Anyone familiar with American symphonies of the 20th century (Copland, Harris, Antheil especially) will immediately recognize the idiom of the third whose four movements are marked "Somber", "Spirited", "Singing" and "Fast and brilliant" and which describe the music better than we could. The Liturgical is based on material from Persichetti's first volume of Hymns and Responses for the Church Year and is in a single, 25-minute movement with five sections of varying moods and tempos. The fourth (1951) is well-known to collectors for its Haydnesque sense of humor and general geniality. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 771/772 (U.S.A.) 08H001 $16.98


1. Raff Cello Concertos: OK, I'm not making this up... The Tudor shipment arrived in Brussels from Switzerland before the end of June, there to be consolidated with the new releases of several other European labels in one big (and cheaper) shipment. Major paperwork hassles accompanied the trickle of the other labels into the Belgian port (apparently extra security measures from the U.S. side make such shipments likely to be delayed at any point except that, sometimes, they go through just as fast as they ever did, except that, sometimes...). 48 hours before the aircraft on which the shipment was booked was scheduled to depart (July 21), workers found that the Tudor shipment had apparently been run into by a fork-lift and much of it damaged. This apparently had happened either upon or shortly after its arrival three weeks earlier but no one bothered to notice. Since this is a trans-shipment from one country to another through Belgium, Belgian customs has to get involved and inspect the damage. This could take another two weeks, meaning that, now, the earliest I can expect the Raff (and the back-ordered Shakespeare Overtures) is around mid-August.

2. I should have some unusual Czech and Russian titles not distributed in the U.S. for the September catalogue. There should also be several new Acte Préalable titles from Poland for September and/or October depending on their release date.

3. Rautavaara's DVD opera, Rasputin (08H081) was sold-out at its distributor even though our order was placed far in advance. Presumably it will be back in stock in time for me to have it before mid-month.

4. It now also looks more than likely that I'll have a batch of ABC Classics titles from Australia. ABC Classics has not had U.S. distribution since leaving the Naxos/Marco Polo family of labels in 1998 and there will be many discs (not only of Australian music) which will be very attractive to collectors.

5. See later in the catalogue (Items 86 to 99) for some overstock NM Classics titles (the label has been absorbed by Donemus which, unfortunately, has left the U.S. market for what I can only hope is only a limited time.. Limited quantities - no back-orders on these discs).

6. Supraphon's Karel Ancerl Edition is ON SALE for the month of August only! All CDs in this 42-title set are $7.98 per disc. I don't have catalogues to send out. Most of you will have one or more of these discs already and there are catalogues inside the booklets. (Amazingly, you can't find a list of them on the Supraphon web-site!) If necessary, I can probably find a way to get customers a printed version. Orders must be in by Monday August 29.

7. If any collectors of conductors on DVD are interested in the Part I of the brand-new Günter Wand Edition on the TDK label, just order it using that name. The repertoire is Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8 and 9, Haydn: Symphony No. 76 (never commercially recorded by Wand) and Schubert: Symphony No. 8. All are live recordings from the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival made in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001. 4 DVDs, LPCM Stereo, English notes. $75.98

The Flemish Connection, Volume 4

LODEWIJK DE VOCHT (1887-1977): In Exile, Towards a Higher Light, JEF VAN HOOF (1886-1959): Symphonic Introduction to a Festive Occasion, PETER BENOIT (1834-1901): Overture and Entr'acte Valse from Charlotte Corday, Tale in F (orch. Mortelmans), LODEWIJK MORTELMANS (1868-1952): Evangelical Diptych, ARTHUR MEULEMANS (1894-1966): Evasions, GASTON FEREMANS (1907-1964): Praeludium & Fughetta from The Bronze Heart. Collectors will welcome the return of this series with the original label, Klara, now in partnership with Etcetera (we don't know the status of Flemish Connection, Vol. 3). Benoit's overture (1876) opens things up with the Marseillaise and several French revolutionary songs mixed up with a Charlotte Corday theme and passages from the recitative at the beginning of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth to produce a huge, swaggering mini tone-poem of almost ten minutes length. De Vocht's two 12-minute tone-poems channel the grief and agony of an exile (he fled to Holland in 1914 when the Germans invaded Belgiumand produced the work shortly thereafter) and of a father who has just lost both his sons (which happened in 1925, prompting the second work which has a prominent part for solo cello). Mortelmans offers a concise depiction of the Passion(1896); Meulemans an abstract, expressive 12-minute piece from 1954 which is a study in contrasting musical ideas while Van Hoof's piece is a memorable, optimistic, energetic piece belying its having been written under Nazi occupation in 1942. Flemish Radio Orchestra; Jan Latham-Koenig. Etcetera/Klara KTC 4002 (Netherlands) 08H002 $17.98

KNUDÅGE RIISAGER (1897-1974): Qarrtsiluni, Op. 36, Månerenen, Op. 57. Although the volcanic thrust and drive of the nine-minute ballet score Qarrtsiluni of 1938 - a combination of The Rite of Spring and Bolero - is unique in Riisager's uvre (of which Dacapo has already given us also Slaraffenland and 12 by the Post), the later and much longer ballet score to "The Moon Reindeer" (1957 and over 47 minutes in length), often more lyrical in nature, still has the same distinctive orchestration and rhythmic elan. "The Moon Reindeer" uses Lapp folk motifs in its tale of a maiden turned into a reindeer by a magician as its predecessor used at least one Greenlandic folk motif. Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Bo Holten. Dacapo 8.226022 (Denmark) 08H003 $15.98

GIANFRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882-1973): Sonata a tre for Piano Trio, Dialogo I Con Manuel de Falla "in memoria" for 2 Pianos, Dialogo II for 2 Pianos, Dialogo III Con Jacopone da Todi for Voice and 2 Pianos, Sonatina for Cello and Piano, Parafrasi for Solo Violin, Armenia for Violin and Piano, Il canto della lontanaza for Violin and Piano. The works here cover a period from 1917 to 1962 and, with Malipiero's multiple stylistic periods, it's impossible to try to categorize them all. The largest scale piece is 1927's Sonata a tre which lasts half an hour; dedicated to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, it is unusual in that the first movement is for cello and piano, the second for violin and piano and only the third has all instruments playing together. Abandonment of any kind of traditional form and the use of a variety of modes alongside traditional diatonicism are major characteristics in addition to Malipiero's willingness to just let his inclinations take him to wherever they want to. Italian-English texts. Aldo Orvieto, Marco Rapetti (pianos), Lucia Sciannimanico (soprano), Andrea Vio (violin), Teordor Campagnaro (cello). Stradivarius STR 33557 (Italy) 08H004 $17.98

ANTHONY LOUIS SCARMOLIN (1890-1969): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Quintet: In Retrospect for Piano and String Quartet, For Violin and Piano: Romance, Petite Mazurka de Concert, Valse caprice, Evocation, Una Discussione, Remembrance, Strephon - Pastoral Dance, Melodie d'amour. Yet more Scarmolin, this time from string players of the New York Philharmonic. The first quartet (1940) is richly late Romantic in style with a hint of the Mediterranean while the second (1955) while still in the Romantic idiom, is more austere in its harmonies and uses some polytonality. The piano quintet was written for a period instrument group of viols and harpsichord in 1938; rescored, it has a dark, somber quality which is very affecting. The early (1907) Una discussione is Scarmolin in his avant-garde, Ivesian phase while the remainder of the violin/piano pieces are attractive, well-turned and never cloying salon works. Vladimir Tsypin (first violin), Lisa GiHae Kim (violin), Vivek Kamath (viola), Brinton Smith (cello), Eric Bartlett (cello - In Retrospect), Susan Walters (piano). MSR Classics MS 1135 (U.S.A.) 08H005 $10.98

FRÉDÉRIC DEVREESE (b.1929): Variations and Theme for Piano Quintet, WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Piano Quartet, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Phantasy for Piano Quartet. Devreese's 16-minute work (2002) takes two themes from a Belgian film (composer Yves Hanchar) and, beginning with them woven together in counterpoint, gradually works back to the end of the work and the themes' simple presentation; attractive music (not sounding at all like a film score), offered here for our devotees of this composer. Marcato Piano Quartet. Etcetera KTC 1267 (Netherlands) 08H006 $17.98

JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Soprano and Guitar: Coplas del Pastor Enamorado, Folias Canarias, 3 Villancicos, Flute and Guitar: Aria Antigua, Serenata al Alba del Día, Soprano, Recorder, Cornet and Guitar: 3 Líricas Castellanas, Impromptu for Harp, Preludio y Ritornello for Harpsichord, 2 pequeñas fantasías for Guitar. Some of the most unknown Rodrigo you'll ever hear - delicate chamber pieces and vocal works which are steeped in Spanish folk music and in music of Spain's baroque past and which span over fifty years from 1935 to 1987. They may seem slight but many have a stillness, a sense of history, at their center which suggests an unchanging Iberian music which Rodrigo was plugged into throughout his long, productive life. Spanish-English texts. Christine Wolff (soprano), Kathrin Görne (guitar), Regina Wirsching (flute), William Dongois (cornet), Katja Reiser (recorder), Beni Araki (harpsichord), Domenica Reetz (harp). Carpe Diem 16261 (Germany) 08H007 $17.98

LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): Dialoghi for Cello and Orchestra, Three Questions with Two Answers for Orchestra, Variazioni for Orchestra, 2 pezzi for Orchestra. A great follow-up to Chandos' Dallapiccola release of last November (11H013), this new release offers two more important, large-scale orchestral scores written for American institutions. Dialoghi (1960) was premiered by Cassadò and, like Three Questions of three years later, is laid out in classic Schoenbergian dodecaphonic style and is in the composer's characteristic five-movement form with fast, expositive movements alternating with slower ones in which themes disintegrate in almost pointillistic fashion. Both works also have violent eruptions of percussion embedded in their rigorously clear and transparent orchestration, which serve to remind one of the admitted effect Varèse's Deserts had on Dallapiccola when he first heard it in 1959. Jean Guihen Queyras (cello), RAI National Symphony Orchestra; Pascal Rophé. Stradivarius STR 33698 (Italy) 08H008 $17.98

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Derby Day, Sonata alla toccata. Another series begins with the very approachable, sometimes outright Romantic Alwyn, some thirteen years after Chandos did a cycle of his works at full price. The first concerto (1930) is a single-movement work of adventurous form and somewhat neo-classical tendencies but the second (1960) is a half-hour long thunderer of Rachmaninovian sweep. Derby Day (1960) is in the vein of Arnold's occasional overtures and the solo piano sonata of 1947 is both neo-classical and lyrical with a quite Romantic finish. Peter Donohoe (piano), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.557590 (New Zealand) 08H009 $6.98

HELEN TOBIAS DUESBERG (b.1919): Requiem, Violin Sonata No. 1, Suite for Wind Quintet. Daughter of the Estonian composer Rudolf Tobias, Duesberg studied in Estonia from 1937-43 and in Berlin from 1943-47 - which means that she must have some harrowing and fascinating stories to tell. You won't find out about them from the notes, however, which also say next to nothing about the works here but have plenty of room for bios and lists of the orchestra and chorus. The requiem (the orchestration is said to have been "completed" by the conductor here, whatever that means) is a big work of 47 minutes in an attractive style which mixes Romanticism with more modern, sometimes dissonant elements (used where dramatically appropriate). The 21-minute sonata has a character of expressiveness and sonority which make one think immediately of Szymanowsky and Ravel and is a real keeper while the short wind quintet is in colorful, neo-classical style. Dita Kanina (soprano), Antra Bigaca (mezzo), Andris Pujats (tenor), Krisjanis Norvelis (bass), SONORE Choir, RLB Symphony Orchestra; Andrejs Jansons, Andris Baumanis (violin), Ventis Zilberts (piano), Wind Quintet of the Latvian national Opera. New York Latvian Chamber Choir NYLCC 006 (U.S.A.) 08H010 $16.98

RUDOLF TOBIAS (1873-1918): Julius Caesar, ARTUR LEMBA (1885-1963): Symphony in C Sharp Minor, HEINO ELLER (1887-1970): Twilight, Dawn, Elegia for Harp and Strings, 5 Pieces for String Orchestra, KALJO RAID (1922-2005): Symphony No. 1, VELJO TORMIS (b.1930): Overture No. 2, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten. An obvious coupling, this reissue combines all the Estonian orchestral music which Järvi made for Chandos in the late 80s, where one can follow the progression from late 19th century European Romanticism (Lemba's 40-minute symphony of 1908) through the beginnings of the use of folk music (Eller's Twilight and Dawn ) to the well-known minimalist style of Pärt. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Scottish National Orchestra; Neeme Järvi. Original 1987 and 1989 releases. Chandos 251-26 (England) 08H011 $17.98

FREDERIC MOMPOU (1893-1987): Propis del temps d'Advent, Cantar del Alma, 2 cantigues del rei Alfons X, el Savi, Ball Rodó, MANUEL BLANCAFORT (1897-1987): Goigs al St. Crist de la Bona Mort, Ave Maris Stella, A dónde te escondiste?, Tripticum Sacrum, Cançó dels nous accents. As one would expect from their piano music, these short liturgical cycles and pieces have an almost severe, often nearly static austerity which suits their contemplative purpose admirably. David Malet (organ), Chamber Choir of the "Enrique Granados" Auditorium of Lleida; Xavier Puig. Ars Harmonica AH130 (Spain) 08H012 $16.98

PETER PHILIPS (1560/61-1628): Complete Keyboard Works, Vol. 1 - Fantasia in F, Fece da Voi a 6 in G, Pavana & Galliarda Dolorosa in C, Bon jour mon Cueur di Orlando, in G, 2 Galliards in A Minor, Chi fara fede al Cielo di Alessandro Striggio inn G, Le Rossignuol (Lasso) in C, Almande in D Minor, Margotte Laborez (Lasso) in G, Pavana & Galliarda in G, [Den lustelijken mei] in G, Almande d'amor in G, Che fa (Marenzio) in A Minor, Deccio Dunque partire (Marenzio) in D Minor, Veni Sancte Spiritus in C, Benedicam Bominum (Vecchi) in G Minor. Next to Byrd, the most published English composer of his period, Philips left a small amount of keyboard music notable, especially in his intabulations of current madrigals, for its fantastic ornamentation and dense figuration while his dance pieces are distinguished by their fine polyphonic balance. An instrumentarium of two baroque organs, two clavichords, harpsichord and virginals makes this a must both for the repertoire and for the collector of early instruments. Siegbert Rampe (organs of St. Andreaskirche, Soest, Netherlands and of St. Stephanskirche, Tangermünde, Germany, clavichords, harpsichord, virginals). MD&G 341 1257-2 (Germany) 08H013 $17.98

JEAN-HENRY D'ANGLEBERT (1628-1691): Pièces de clavecin, 5 Fugues for Organ Airs d'après M. de Lully. The finest harpsichord music we have between Chambonnières and the beginning of the 18th century, stuffed with ornaments demanding great virtuosity but full of expressive beauty as well, D'Angelbert also transcribed several pieces of Lully's orchestral music (also performed here in their original versions). 2 CDs. Céline Frisch (harpsichord, organ of Charles Nicolle Hospital chapel, Rouen), Café Zimmermann; Pablo Valetti. Alpha 074 (France) 08H014 $29.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): Lully Edition, Vol. 5 - Le Triomphe de l'Amour. After previous issues in this series which demonstrated the genres of petit opéra, ballet and comédie-ballet, this live recording of the 1681 opéra-ballet brings us a step closer to the grand French baroque opera whose peak would be reached in the next generation by Rameau. 2 CDs. Special price. French libretto. Françoise Masset, Julie Hassler (sopranos), Renaud Tripathi (countertenor), Jean-Louis Georgel (baritone), Philippe Roche (bass), La Simphonie du Marais; Hugo Reyne. Accord 476 1053 (France) 08H015 $21.98

JOHANN GEORG CONRADI (c.1645-1699): Ariadne. The earliest surviving score from the repertory of the Hamburg opera, this 1691 setting of an alternate version of the Ariadne legend is an important document in the history of German opera. While its recitatives are highly charged and dramatic, in the Venetian style, the bulk of the rest of the music is quite French in taste and style. 3 CDs for the price of 2. German-English libretto. Karina Gauvin, Barbara Borden (sopranos), Marek Rzepka (bass), James Taylor (tenor), Orchestra and Chorus of the Boston Early Music Festival; Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs. CPO 777 073 (Germany) 08H016 $31.98

JOHANN JAKOB WALTHER (c.1650-1717): Sonatas for Violin and Continuo Nos. 6-9, Aria, Imitatione del Cuccu, JOHANN PAUL WESTHOFF (1656-1705): Suites for Solo Violin Nos. 1, 4 & 6. Westhoff's suites got a complete recording last July ( 07G021) but the majority of this disc is devoted to Walther's equally virtuosic set of sonatas from 1676, more varied with elaborate chordal passages, arpeggios, rapid scales and lyrical passages of vocal quality. Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin), Paula Chateauneuf (theorbo), Richard Tunnicliffe (bass viol), Timothy Roberts (harpsichord, chamber organ). Etcetera KTC 1224 (Netherlands) 08H017 $17.98

FRANCESC VALLS (1671-1747): Cantata De una medrosa noche, TOMÀS MILANS (1672-1742): Zarzuela al Santísimo, ANTONI LITERES (1673-1747): Cantata Ah, del Rústico Pastor, JOSEP CARCOLER (1698-1776): Stabat Mater, JOAN ROSSELL (1724-1780): Lamentation III del Dijous Sant. This 1999 release, not previously available in theU.S., offers a series of examples of the late baroque in Catalonia. Simplicity and directness the hallmarks, with an admixture of Italian and native Spanish styles which occasionally move into the galant style. Spanish texts. Begoña Lopez (soprano), Inés Moraleda (mezzo), Jordi Casanova (tenor), Mapa Harmónico; Francesc Bonastre. Columna Musica 1CM0055 (Spain) 08H018 $18.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Concerti e cantate da camera, Vol. 3 - Recorder Concerto in C, RV87, Flute Concerto in F "Tempesta di mare", RV98, Recorder Concerto in G Minor, RV103, Cantatas: Amor, hai vinto, RV683, Lungi dal vago volto, R680, Vengo a voi, luci adorate, RV682. We keep offering the new releases in this brilliantly performed, gorgeously packaged ongoing series (this volume does double duty as No. 26 of "Tesori del Piemonte"), although almost none of you buy them, since, sooner or later, something very hard to find will probably turn up which you'll want... Italian-English texts. Laura Polverelli (soprano), L'Astrée; Giorgio Tabacco. Opus 111 OP 30381 (France) 08H019 $16.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Ouverture burlesque, TWV55:b8, Concerto in E Minor for Flute and Recorder, TWV52:e1, Burlesque de Don Quixote, TWV55, Concerto polonois in G, TWV43:G7, Grillen-symphonie, TWV50:1. Some of Telemann's most picturesque works are gathered together in this recording by Cleveland's period instrument orchestra. Apollo's Fire. Koch International Classics 7576 (U.S.A.) 08H020 $16.98

FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (1687-1762): 6 Sonatas for Cello and Continuo, Op. 5, From Pièces de clavecin: Prelude, Vivement in D (after Op. 4/1), Tendrement in G Minor (after Op.1/6), vivement in D Minor (after Op. 4/4), Sonata after Op. 5/4 in B Flat from "Second Collection of Pieces for the Harpsichord". Overshadowed as a composer by his teacher Corelli and two other contemporaries, Vivaldi and Handel, Geminiani was yet one of the most brilliant violin virtuosi ever. Hence, the complete neglect of his only opus number for the cello, published in 1746 in Paris and whose considerable virtues are fully conveyed here, along with interspersed solo harpsichord pieces. Alison McGillivray (cello), David McGuinness (harpsichord), Eligio Quinteiro (alto guitar), Joseph Crouch (cello). Linn SACD hybrid CKD 251 (Scotland) 08H021 $19.98

NICOLA SABATINO (c.1705-1796): Solo di violoncello and Strings in G, NICOLA FIORENZA (?-1764): Cello Concertos in F and in A Minor, LEONARDO LEO (1694-1744): Cello Concerto in A, NICOLA PORPORA (1686-1768): Cello Concerto in G. A collection of two generations of Neapolitan composers' contributions to the Naples "cello school" with Porpora's being the most important but with Sabatino and Fiorenza happy new discoveries of somewhat lesser rank. Gaetano Nasillo (cello), Ensemble 415; Chiara Banchini. Zig Zag Territories ZZT 050302 (France) 08H022 $17.98

FRANCESCO VERACINI (1690-1768): 6 Disser-tazioni sopra l'Opera Quinta del Corelli. Not published until 1961, perhaps composed after 1745, this rewriting of one of the most famous and important violin sonata works in history is interesting both for Veracini's interest in counterpoint in his reworkings and for the relative lack of showy intervention and excessive virtuosity. Many of his contemporaries thought that Veracini had a screw loose; this is the sort of thing which would give ammunition to both sides of that debate. Federico Guglielmo (violin), Andrea Coen (harpischord). Stradivarius STR 33709 (Italy) 08H023 $17.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): 6 Sonatas for 2 Violins and Continuo, Sonata XII in G for Violin and Bass, Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Continuo "Il Trillo del Diavolo". Although known for such virtuosity as is on display in the famous "Devil's Trill" sonata, Tartini was always enamored of folk music and the "simple life" of nature and this comes to the fore in the six sonate a tre (although there is much chromaticism to spice things up also), as well as in Sonata XII, which is built around a popular song of the era. Marco Rogliano (violin), Ensemble Respighi. Tactus TC 692004 (Italy) 08H024 $11.98

PIETRO LOCATELLI (1695-1764): 6 Concerti grossi, Op. 7. This set was published in 1741, although certainly composed earlier, and it offers a very attractive variety of interplay between groups of instruments, a solo violin in places, an ad lib harpsichord, very varied numbers of movements and tempo sequences and, in the final concerto, subtitled "Il Pianot d'Arianna", highly expressive, operatic instrumental recitatives. Recorded in 1994, we're unsure if this modern-instrument recording has been released in the U.S. before. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra; Hartmut Haenchen. Berlin Classics 0012572BC (Germany) 08H025 $18.98

JEAN-MARIE LECLAIR (1697-1764): Sonatas 5, 7, 10 & 12 from Book 4, Op. 9 of Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo. Published in 1743, these sonatas are the composer's most Italianate, very emotional and expressive with demands on the violinist's technique which may derive from the frequent contacts Leclair had with Locatelli in the period just before writing them. Luis Otavio Santos (violin), Alessandro Santoro (harpsichord), Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda (viola da gamba). Ramée RAM 0403 (France) 08H026 $17.98

JEAN BARRIÈRE (1707-1747): 6 Sonatas for Cello and Continuo. Deriving from four books of cello sonatas published between 1733 and 1740, these excerpted sonatas demonstrate Barrière's amazing technique, assimilation of the Italian style while keeping a French touch in the subtlety of his discourse and instrumental color. Performed with two to four continuo instruments. Bruno Cocset (cello, bass viol, tenor cello), Les Basses Réunies. Alpha 015 (France) 08H027 $17.98

JOHANN KROPFGANS (1708-c.1770): For Lute, Violin and Cello: Sonatas in G & in D, Divertimenti in F & in B Flat, Concerto in C Minor. These utterly charming pieces date from around 1760 and are fully in Classical style. The lute and violin are equal partners when the lute isn't taking center stage and the style recalls the delicate and tuneful cassations of Mozart, Haydn and lesser lights of the same period. Performed by a California and Washington-based ensemble, which says something about American classical music labels... Galanterie. Profil PH05012 (Germany) 08H028 $16.98

JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1697-1765): Sinfonia No. 99, GEORG DRUSCHETZKY (1745-1819): Concerto for 6 Timpani, Partita in C, JOHANN CARL CHRISTIAN FISCHER (1752-1807): Symphony with Obligato Timpani, JOHANN CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Sinfonia for 2 Horns, Timpani, Strings and Continuo. A great follow-up to the all-Druschetzky timpani concerto disc on Hungaroton a couple of months ago (04G041), this brings elegant court symphonies of Molter and Graupner and Fischer's work, which may be the first timpani concerto. Dresden Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; Alexander Peter (timpani). Naxos 8.557610 (New Zealand) 08H029 $6.98

GREGOR JOSEPH WERNER (1695-1766): Pastorella for Organ and Strings in D, JOHANN GEORG ZECHNER (1716-1778): Concerto for Organ and Strings in F, MARIANUS KÖNIGSPERGER (1708-1769): Pastorella for Organ and Strings in F, Op. 18/8, JOSEPH ANTON AUFFMANN (1720?-1778): Concerto for Organ, 2 Horns and Strings in E Flat, Op. 1/1, JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Concerto Rondo for Organ and Strings in F, Op. 17/3, JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Concerto for Organ, 2 Horns and Strings in C, H.XVIII/5. Although the title of this reissue is "Organ Concertos of the Classical Era", these are, with the exception of the Haydn, modest, unassuming pieces of pastoral charm and simple, rustic quality, aided very much by the homely sound of the period instruments. Mid-price. Franz Haselböck (organ), Capella Academica Vienna; Eduard Melkus. Original 1990 release. Hännsler Classic CD 94.052 (Germany) 08H030 $12.98

JIRI ANTONÍN BENDA (1722-1795): Harpsichord Concertos in F, F Minor, G & B Minor. We just offered these very concertos on a 1994 Syrius recording in our June catalogue (06G033) but, for inveterate collectors and/or fans of the performers, we also offer this brand new recording which cuts almost ten minutes off the total timing (arguing, one might think, for sprightlier and brisker interpretations). CPO SACD hybrid 777 088 (Germany) 08H031 $15.98

FRANZ IGNAZ BECK (1734-1809): 6 Symphonies, Op. 1. In releases from 1996 and last August (08G033) cpo introduced us to a critically important symphonist, rediscovered in the early 20th century, who is now credited with being the most obvious predecessor of Haydn, Boccherini and Beethoven due to his early use of dual thematic material, motivic working-out and bold harmonic progressions. These are earlier and shorter symphonies but just as striking in their bold harmonies and dramatic intensity. New Zealand Chamber Orchestra; Donald Armstrong. Naxos 8.554071 (New Zealand) 08H032 $6.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Guitar Quintets, Vol. 2 - Quintets in D Minor, G.445, in E, G.446 & in B Flat, G.447. Boccherini transcribed 12 piano quintets for a guitar-playing nobleman and the surviving nine of these are being recorded by this Catalan period instrument ensemble (no, Vol. 1 isn't already available; go figure...) who, for reasons of extra flavor, use castanets in the trio of the B flat work's minuet - a usage which could well have been heard in Spain at the time the pieces were written. Almodis Chamber Ensemble, Ludovica Mosca (castanets). Columna Musica 1CM0140 (Spain) 08H033 $18.98

FRANZ KROMMER (1759-1831): Oboe Quintets in C and E Flat, VII:12 & 13, Oboe Quartets in C & in F, IX:21 & 22. Collectors will be familiar with Krommer's flute quintets, of which he wrote 11, three of which were offered in these pages in December of 2003 (12F031) (in fact, the op. 66 there is identical to the E flat piece here, Krommer's works now being numbered according to a new thematic catalogue) and both quintets (two violas) and quartets (only published in 1959) have all of the attractive traits which one associates with this late Classical composer. Sarah Francis (oboe), Tagore String Trio, Jonathan Barritt (viola). Regis RRC 1201 (England) 08H034 $9.98

CHARLES BOCHSA (?-1821): Grand Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, JAN KRTITEL VANHAL (1739-1813): Clarinet Sonata No. 3 in B Flat, ANTON EBERL (1765-1807): Clarinet Sonata in B Flat, Op. 10/2, JEAN BAPTISTE EDOUARD DUPUY (1770?-1822): Introduction and Polonaise. Bohemian Bochsa's big (27-minute) sonata from 1808 is generally lyrical in nature, in accordance with the style preferred in his adopted home of Paris, although it makes good use of the entire range of the instrument. Vanhal's sonata (1801) is warmly lyrical and sophisticated in its dialogue between the instruments (think of his flute chamber music) while Eberl's work (1800) is an accompanied piano sonata, although no less attractive and romantically forward-looking for that. Karl Leister (clarinet), Ferenc Bognár (piano). Camerata CMCD-28060 (Japan) 08H035 $17.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): 2 Piano Concertos in C, Overture to Sisara. Prepared from manuscript for this recording, these two concertos are undated and when they were written in anybody's guess. The style is that of middle period Mozart or late Haydn (the Paisiello concertos would be a good comparison but with a little of Beethoven in the second concerto!) and this issue will be a must-have for all collectors of Classical concertos. The filler is a dramatic overture to an oratorio of 1793. Piero Barbareschi (piano), Chamber Orchestra of Etruria; Paolo Ponziano Ciardi. Tactus TC 761301 (Italy) 08H036 $11.98

FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): 3 Wind Quintets, Op. 67. Never previously available in the U.S., these two recordings of Danzi's wind quintets are not premieres (Naxos has modern instrument versions of them) but will be a must-have for lovers of the bracing and invigorating sonorities of period instruments. Das Reicha'sche Quintett. 1996 release. New Classical Adventure 9909844-215 (Germany) 08H037 $17.98 >

FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): 3 Wind Quintets, Op. 68. See above. Das Reicha'sche Quintett. 1999 release. New Classical Adventure 96 03 817 (Germany) 08H038 $17.98 >

JOSEPH LEOPOLD EYBLER (1765-1846): String Trio in C, Op. 2, Quintet in D for String Quartet and Double Bass. This large-scale quintet will delight chamber music lovers. In six movements (two minuet/trios and two slow movements), it gives the quartet strings soloistic opportunities which are not flashily virtuosic but which still make the highest demands on technical capabilities. The quintet is undated but probably comes from five years either side of the turn of the 19th century; the shorßer (29 minutes) string trio (1798) is memorable for the concertante role of the viola. Quintett Momento Musicale. MD&G 603 1321-2 (Germany) 08H039 $17.98

FRANZ XAVER SÜSSMAYR (1766-1803): Requiem, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Requiem, K.626. For hardcore collectors, we offer this first recording of the second of two manuscript requiems by Mozart's pupil. Dating from after 1791, it uses the vernacular and was seemingly designed for a simple service since he writes music for only one stanza of each movement (repeating it as long as the text runs) as in a hymn. Only one run-through, therefore, is recorded, leading to the 18-minute recorded time. One will hear hints of Mozart's Ave verum corpus and, in the Sanctus, a bit of Papageno! German-English texts. Maria Jette (soprano), Jennifer Larmore (mezzo), James Taylor (tenor), Eric Owens (bass), St. Olaf Choir, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Andreas Delfs. Limestone Records E-2802 (U.S.A.) 08H040 $16.98

Classical Dutch Piano Concertos

CAROLUS ANTONIUS FODOR (1768-1846): Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 12, JOHANN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Piano Concerto in E, Op. 3, JOSEPH SCHMITT (1734-1791): Quartet for Piano, Flute, Violin and Cello in D, Op. 9/1. The two concertos are still firmly in the late Classical period, like Mayr's (at left), very much in the Haydn, J.C. Bach mold. Wilms' dates from 1798 and is played here on the silvery­sounding tangent piano (as is the brief Schmitt quartet of 1778, somewhere between Sturm und Drang and Rococo in character) while the Fodor (1802), written for a more advanced instrument, is played on a Walter-like fortepiano. Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano, tangent piano), Ensemble Cristofori. Alpha 052 (France) 08H041 $17.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1837): Grand Septuor for Piano, Clarinet, 2 Horns, Violin, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 25, Grand Otetto for Piano, Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 128. This release will take collectors back to budget-LP times; the septet (1808) was the very first of its genre - piano and mixed winds/strings - and its funeral march slow movement is very reminiscent of Beethoven's Eroica. The 1816 octet is an almost piano concerto-like work and Beethoven is again the model, especially in the grand beginning of its first movement. Linos Ensemble. CPO 999 937 (Germany) 08H042 $15.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Zemire und Azor. Spohr's version of the "Beauty and the Beast" theme, using the same libretto Grétry set 47 years earlier, dates from 1819. It followed Faust, an important opera in the history of the German stage but is much lighter than that work, Spohr admitting to being influenced by Rossini in his coloratura writing. This performance is sung in German with English dialogue. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater; Christopher Larkin. Albany TROY 787/788 (U.S.A.) 08H043 $33.98

PIERRE-AUGUSTE-LOUIS BLONDEAU (1784-1865): 3 String Quartets after Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, Op. 2. Transcription goes the other way too! These are three of twelve (!) Beethoven piano sonatas which Prix de Rome winner Blondeau made during the first decade of the 19th century. They are so ingeniously done that anyone who didn't know the originals might think that Beethoven had transcribed Blondeau's quartets for solo piano. Beethoven had harsh words for people who did this sort of thing and, though he mentioned no one by name, it's hard not to think Blondeau was his target. Still, these are cleverly done and should appeal to collectors of transcriptions and quartet fanciers in general (note: one movement from an original piano sonata is exchanged for one from Beethoven's Op. 12/2 violin sonata). Quatuor Ad Fontes. Alpha 072 (France) 08H044 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 2 - 4 Mendiants, 4 Hors d'uvres, Miscellanée pour piano. These two Rossini piano series (the other on MD&G) are appearing in such desultory a fashion that we may not have either finished by the end of the decade but it's always good to have a new release from someone (even if the actual recording of this one is almost five years old!). Excellent notes tell not only about the foul-mouthed parrot pictured in Les Raisins (from the Mendiants) but also much about the rhythmic and harmonic experimentation which is going on underneath such seemingly simple music. Marco Sollini (piano). Chandos 10319 (England) 08H045 $17.98

HEINRICH MARSCHNER (1795-1861): Hans Heiling. A few CD recordings exist of this colorful, atmospheric, Romantic opera with its tale of a gnome-king and his love for a mortal woman but we had to offer this live video of a performance last year since watching a stage performance is often more gripping than just hearing disembodied voices. Attractive sets and lighting and believable-looking soloists all add to the pleasure. 2 DVDs. Markus Werba (baritone), Anna Caterina Antonacci, Gabriele Fontana (sopranos), Herbert Lippert (tenor), Boys' Chorus, Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Renato Palumbo. Dynamic DVD 33467 (Italy) 08H046 $39.98

FRANZ BERWALD (1796-1868): Reminiscence of the Norwegian Mountains, Konzertstück for Bassoon and Orchestra, Wettlauf for String Orchestra, Ernste und heitere Grillen, Elfenspiel, Overture to The Queen of Golconda. The rarest of Berwald although not unrecorded; the four tone-poems all date from the 1840s, when the composer produced his mature symphonies and, though under ten minutes each, are identifiably Berwald with their fresh ideas and striking harmonies. The bassoon piece is the longest (at 12 minutes) and earliest piece here (1828) and is rather Mozartian in style. Patrik Håkansson (bassoon), Gävle Symphony Orchestra; Petri Sakari. Naxos 8.555370 (New Zealand) 08H047 $6.98

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): La forza del destino. This series of original versions of Verdi operas, broadcast by the BBC in the 1970s, continues with the original 1862 St.Petersburg version of this popular work. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto (and usual massive illustrated book). Roderick Kennedy (bass), Martina Arroyo (soprano), Kenneth Collins (tenor), Peter Glossop (baritone), BBC Singers and Concert Orchestra; John Matheson. Opera Rara ORCV 304 (England) 08H048 $59.98

ARISTIDE HIGNARD (1822-1898): Tout simplement, Au printemps, Notre étoile, Berceuse, Les deux troupeaux, La douce attente, Daphné, Les gabiers, Souvenirs d'ecosse, Chanson scandinave, Chanson turque, La Tankadère, ALFRED DUFRESNE (1822-1863): En avant lees Zouaves!. All you'll notice on the cover of this new release is "Jules Verne" in large letters. It is his poetry which is set here by his long-time friend Hignard (whose name is miniscule by comparison) in songs written between 1848 and 1862. A few adventure poems perhaps foreshadow the future subjects of Verne's novels but the majority of these pieces deal, of course, with love, some looking back to opéra-comique pastoralism and others influenced more by Romantic German lieder and still others partaking of the French fascination with Orientalism. Warning: this CD is just under 40 minutes in length. French-English texts. Françoise Masset (soprano), Emmanuel Strosser (piano). Mirare MIR 001 (France) 08H049 $18.98

JOHANN CARL ESCHMANN (1826-1882): Caprice-Etude, Op. 36, Lyrische Blätter, Op. 12 and Op. 15, 4 selections from Was einem so in der Dämmerung einfällt, Op. 8, 3 selections from Frühlingblüthen, Op. 14, Romanze, Op. 1/1. After releasing a disc including his op. 9 Fantasiestücke for violin and piano, Guild now brings us a whole disc of this Swiss Romantic's piano music. There is much of Schumann here and of Mendelssohn but, oddly enough, both Brahms and Wagner praised Eschmann's music and a little of both may also be heard here (although, as Brahms was the younger composer, which way did the reminiscence flow?) Jeremy Filsell (piano). Guild GMCD 7273 (Switzerland) 08H050 $16.98

Romantic Danish Concertos

EMIL HARTMANN (1836-1898): Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 19, Cello Concerto in D Minor, Op. 26, Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 49. These were Hartmann's only works in the concerto genre (1876, 1879 and 1890 respectively) and were largely written in Germany or with German performance in mind where they were often found to have attractive "Nordic" qualities - qualities which were not found at all when performed at home in Denmark! His father-in-law Gade's gently lyrical and very amiable style is the closest comparandum, which should delight all collectors of Romantic concertos. Christina Åstrand (violin), Stanimir Todorov (cello), Per Salo (piano), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Hannu Lintu. Dacapo SACD hybrid 6.220511 (Denmark) 08H051 $15.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Das Lied von der Glocke, Op. 45. With at least a dozen large-scale vocal/orchestral pieces unrecorded, it's unfortunate that cpo brings us one which was recorded by Thorofon in 1995. Nevertheless, for collectors not familiar with the work, this setting of a Schiller poem (a leading German cultural monument by the early 19th century) is bursting with lavish melody, rich harmony and an epic sweep which will, today, approach the level of kitsch but which is evidently heartfelt and which itself can stand as a monument to the aspirations of 19th century German intellectuals: "Unity, Joy, Peace". German-English texts (Bulwer Lytton's verse translation). 2 CDs. Eleonore Marguerre (soprano), Annette Markert (alto), Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor), Mario Hoff (baritone), Prague Philharmonic Chorus, Kühn Mixed Chorus, Staatskapelle Weimar; Jac van Steen. CPO 777 130 (Germany) 08H052 $31.98

GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875): Nocturnes in F and in D, Caprices in C Sharp Minor and in C, Variations chromatiques, La Chasse fantastique, Romance sans paroles, Thème, Valse in C, 3 Esquisses musicales, Grande valse de concert, Marine, Magasin des familles, Les Chants du Rhin, 4 préludes. Over half the music here wasn't even published until 1948, works written between the ages of 13 and 18, which are in the salon style but which bely their author's age at every step. The "mature" works include a very rare genre for France of his day - the very original Variations chromatiques, dedicated to Stephan Heller - a very atmospheric and stormy Nocturne (in F) and a six-movement tone-picture (Les Chants) based on a contemporary poet. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Setrak (piano). Original 1984 release. Harmonia Mundi HMX 2905223 (France) 08H053 $17.98

The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 37

EDUARD NÁPRAVNÍK (1839-1916): Concerto symphonique in A Minor, Op. 27, Fantaisie russe in B Minor, Op. 39, FELIX BLUMENFELD (1863-1931): Allegro de concert in A, Op. 7. Known to his peers as an unmatched conductor who premiered almost every important Russian opera of the 19th century, the Czech-born Nápravník wrote four symphonies and four operas in addition to the piano/orchestral works receiving their world premiere recordings here. The Concerto symphonique dates from 1877, a 31­minute work whose three movements are played attacca and which follow the Romantic concerto form of a big first movement with a theme apparently suggested by the Dies irae of Verdi's Requiem (which Nápravník had conducted just before writing the concerto), a tender Larghetto whose central section rises passionately, and a jocular, virtuosic finale (with Russian folk elements) which builds to an exalted, hymn-like finale. The Fantaisie (1881) is a virtuosic 12-minute work based on three Russian folk songs (including the omnipresent "Volga Boatmen") written for Vera Timanova, one of Liszt's favorite pupils. Blumenfeld, who took over some of Nápravník's conducting chores at the Mariinsky Theatre when the latter's health began to decline with age, wrote his Allegro de concert in 1889. It's march-like main theme and "oriental" second theme are subjected to much ingenious working-out amidst figurations indebted to Lisztian keyboard devices in a rousing 14-minute span. Evgeny Soifertis (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Titov. Hyperion CDA 67511 (England) 08H054 $18.98

GIOVANNI SGAMBATI (1841-1914): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 4 - Mélodies poétiques, Op. 36, 5 Improvvisi, Introduction et Etude brillante in F, Etude triomphale in A. Published in 1903, the op. 36, containing 13 pieces, appears to have been assembled from compositions of various dates in the past and Schumann, Grieg, Wagner and even Rachmaninov are recalled at times. The unpublished Improvvisi contain a Brahmsian and a Scriabinesque piece among others while the two etudes, of unknown date, make up the rest of what should be the penultimate number of this series. Pietro Spada (piano). 2001 release. Arts 47590 (Germany) 08H055 $9.98

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Complete Songs, Vol. 3 - Puisque j'ai mis ma lèvre, Tristesse d'Olympio, Hymne, Op. 7/2, Sylvie, Op. 6/3, Poème d'un jour, Op. 21, Nell, Op. 18/1, Notre amour, Op. 23/2, Le secret, Op. 23/3, Chanson d'amour, Op. 27/1, Fleur jetée, Op. 39/1, Les présents, Op. 46/1, Shylock, Op. 57 (2 Mélodies and four segments of incidental music arr. two pianos by Léon Boëllmann [1862-1897], Sérénade: Le bourgeois gentilhomme, La bonne chanson, Op. 61, Le ramier, Op. 87/2, Le don sliencieux, Op. 92. The penultimate volume of this new Hyperion "French Song Edition" series continues, as before, with a cross-section of Fauré's songs from throughout his career with the Shylock music rather a rarity as it was originally orchestral and the masterpiece La bonne chanson with its virile joy and optimism standing above all the rest. French-English texts. Felicity Lott, Jennifer Smith (sopranos), John Mark Ainsley, Jean­Paul Fouchécourt (tenor), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), Ronan O'Hora, Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion CDA 67335 (England) 08H056 $18.98

CHARLES TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939): L'Orgue Mystique - Complete - Le Cycle de Noël, Op. 55, Le Cycle de Pâques, Op. 56, Le Cycle après la Pentecôte, Op. 57. For those of you who've given up hope on Cybele completing their disc-by-disc version of this massive liturgical cycle, this ultra-cheap set, on several historic organs, will surely make your collecting day! 12 CDs. Budget-price. George Delvallée (Cavaillé-Coll organ of Sainte-Croix Cathedral, Orléans, Cavaillé-Coll organ of the abbey church of Saint-Ouen, Rouen, Cavaillé-Coll organ of the basilica Saint-Cernin, Toulouse and grand organ of Notre-Dame La Dalbade de Toulouse). Recorded 1995-99. Accord 476 1059 (France) 08H057 $73.98

SERGEI VASILENKO (1872-1956): Quartet on Turkmenian Themes for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Percussion, MIKHAIL IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935): An Evening in Georgia for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano, PAUL JUON (1872-1940): Divertimento in F, Op. 51 for Piano and Wind Quintet, NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908): Quintet in B Flat for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn. Dating from 1932 when he was comfortably settled in with Soviet musical policy, Vasilenko's quartet is in five sections ("Buried City", "My Love Has Gone", "Sunset", "The Lark" and "Through the Desert") in which percussion is added for the final three with the desert depiction ingeniously suggesting orchestral forces. Sure to appeal to anyone who likes Ippolitov-Ivanov's Caucasian Sketches (the latter's five-minute nocturne [1926] is exactly what you'd expect). Juon, on the other hand, is quite cosmopolitan sounding in his 1913 Divertimento where, in places, a certain Gallic jauntiness even prefigures Les Six. Hexagon Ensemble, Paul Jussen (percussion). Etcetera KTC 1246 (Netherlands) 08H058 $17.98

OLALLO MORALES (1874-1957): 6 pequeñas piezas, Suite, Op. 1, Fantaise, Op. 6, Sonata in D Flat, Op. 7, Balada Andaluza. This Swedish composer (yes, Swedish), critic, writer, teacher and administrator kept a lifelong attachement to the country of Spain, from which he moved to his mother's Sweden at his father's death when he was only seven. The Balada Andaluza of 1945, tinged with Impressionism also pays homage to Albéniz but the remainder of the works on this disc are early and not particularly Spanish in character at all. The six pieces (1887-8) and the Fantasie (1890) are the works of a young man coming to terms with Mozart, Schumann and Mendelssohn; the five-movement suite (1900) adds Bach and Grieg to the mix while the large-scale, 35-minute sonata is very Brahmsian, as filtered through the influence of Morales' most important teacher, Stenhammar. Sure to appeal to all Romantic piano collectors. Javier Perianes (piano). Almaviva DS-0137 (Spain) 08H059 $18.98

LOUIS VUILLEMIN (1879-1929): Soirs Armoricans, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): La Mer (transcr. Lucien Garban [1877-1959]), L'isle joyeuse, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Une barque sur l'océan. Obviously, the main attraction here is the Breton composer Vuillemain's "Armorican Evenings", evocative, Impressionistic pictures of life in the sea-towns of Brittany (which are preceded in the score by precise descriptions of what the music is intended to depict and which are read here by the pianist), but Garban's 1938 transcription of La Mer is fascinating also. As a "transcription" - and not a "reduction" - it aims to make the original work sound as if written for the piano (not to try to cram everything possible from the orchestral score into some poor pianist's ten fingers) and the connections thereby made with much of Debussy's piano music are striking. Lydia Jardon (piano). AR Ré-Sé AR 2001-1 (France) 08H060 $17.98

TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Ur King Eriks Visor, WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): Florez och Blanzeflor, Op. 3, Ithaka, Op. 21, PETER LANGE-MÜLLER (1850-1926): Songs by the Sea, Op. 54, OTTO MALLING (1848-1915): The Attack on Copenhagen, Op. 60, PETER HEISE (1830-1879): Prince's Romance from Sleeping Beauty, Wake from Your Slumber from Bertrand de Born, CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931): Bard's Song from The Mother, Op. 41, Just Bow Your Head, O Flower, Op. 21, EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Den Bergtekne, Op. 32, A Swan, Peer Gynt's Serenade. This late 2004 release fell through the cracks and we make up for that now. An hour's worth of Romantic Scandinavian orchestral songs with Rangström's weighty, wild and somber cycle and Stenhammar's pair, matching the light nature romanticism of Florez with the storm-tossed arioso splendor of Ithaka, bracketing smaller-scale but just as attractive pieces by lesser-known composers (the Lange-Müller and Malling are premiere recordings). Danish/Swedish/Norwegian-English texts. Bo Skovhus (baritone), Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR; Michael Schønwandt. Chandos 10249 (England) 08H061 $17.98

MANUEL PONCE (1882-1948): Concierto del Sur, JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Guitar Concerto, JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Fantasia para un Gentilhombre. The Françaix and Ponce concertos are still rarely recorded, making this newest issue in Essay's live concert recordings series attractive. The verve and energy one associates with the French composer are present in his five-movement concerto (no date provided) although the guitar, not exactly the most popular instrument for French composers, makes his Gallic bonhomerie somewhat more cosmopolitan-sounding. Ponce's, however, written for Segovia and premiered by him in 1942, has quite identifiable Mexican and Spanish elements and will appeal to collectors who enjoy Rodrigo. Eliot Fisk (guitar), Philharmonia Virtuosi; Richard Kapp. Essay CD 1088 (U.S.A.) 08H062 $15.98

ILDEBRANDO PIZZETTI (1880-1968): Fedra. Composed between 1909 and 1912 to a challenge by publisher Ricordi to produce something without any influences of Wagner, Debussy or Richard Strauss, Pizzetti turned to a richly elaborate libretto by D'Annunzio and provided music of linear chromaticism and modality with freely declamatory vocal writing and a much more static and contemplative part for the chorus than was his wont. 2 CDs. No libretto. Mercedes Fortunati (soprano), Aldo Bertocci (tenor), Anselmo Colzani (baritone), RAI Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milan; Nino Sanzogno (Oct. 15, 1955). Opera d'Oro OPD-1421 (U.S.A.) 08H063 $10.98

GEORGES TACONET (1889-1962): Violin Sonata in D Minor, Songs: Au bord de l'eau, L'Attente mystique I & II, Chanson aux éternels murmures, Hier, on parlait de choses et d'autres, Élegie, Les Sources, Rondel, En regardant passer la vie, Quand au matin, je vois, Soir, Anges, Goûte, me dit le soir de juin, Chanson. A fellow Norman (like Caplet, Satie, Honegger, Dupré and Duruflé), Taconet wrote sixty songs and a few chamber works and, while devotees of the French mélodie will lament the violin sonata, collectors of French chamber music will likewise lament the songs! Several of the latter are exquisite, inhabiting much the same rarified atmosphere of Duparc while others have a Fauréan melancholy. The sonata, written before 1927, is a lovely, dreamy piece in the same vein as Ropartz and Ravel. French-English texts. Fanny Clamagirand (violin), Virginie Martineau (piano), Dominique Méa (soprano), Carlos Cebro (piano). Marco Polo 8.225300 (New Zealand) 08H064 $9.98

JESÚS GURIDI (1886-1961): Danzas viejas, Cantos populares vascos, Vasconia, 8 apuntes, Lamento e imprecación de Agar, Vals de Mirentxu, Amanecer, Nostalgia. Guridi's greatest successes were in orchestral and operatic fields and his Lamento and Vasconia are his most "orchestral" piano pieces, the former a little tone-picture operatic in its recitative-aria form; the Apuntes mix two-part invention/18th century keyboard inspiration with impressionistic touches while folk music predominates in most of the remaining short pieces. Victoria Aja (piano). Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557633 (New Zealand) 08H065 $6.98

Basque Music Collection, Vol. 8

TOMÁS GARBIZU (1901-1989): Misa Papa Juan XXIII for Choir and Orchestra, Ave Maria for Soprano and Orchestra, 5 canciones vascas for Soprano and Orchestra, Un grano de trigo por un granito de oro for Voice and Orchestra, Final for Harp, Organ and Orchestra. The 32-minute mass (1963) is in a tonal, yet contemporary idiom, rather more French in sound than anything else and is a well-turned example of its type. The real Basque material comes only in the 21-minute set of songs (a total of ten actually appearing as pairs are contrasted in each of the five tracks) all of which are authentic collected folk songs. No texts. Olatz Saitua (soprano), Xavier de Maistre (harp), Esteban Elizondo (organ), Orfeón Donostiarra, Basque National Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal. Claves CD 50-2413 (Switzerland) 08H066 $16.98

RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER (1901-1953): Suite for 5 Wind Instruments and Piano, Violin Sonata, Diaphonic Suite No. 1 for Flute, Diaphonic Suite No. 2 for Bassoon and Cello, 2 Ricercari for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, Preludes Nos. 1 & 9 for Piano, Study in Mixed Accents for Piano, 3 Songs for Mezzo-Soprano, Oboe, Percussion and Piano with Orchestral Ostinato. The violin sonata and two piano preludes here are from Seeger's early style, which was influenced by Impressionism and the post-Romantic, harmonically ambiguous works of composers like Scriabin; the remainder come from during and after her period of study with her future husband and are much more concentrated, often atonal, and experimental. Texts. included. Nan Hughes (mezzo), Continuum. Original 1991 and 1992 MHS recordings. Naxos American Classics 8.559197 (U.S.A.) 08H067 $6.98

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): The Mines of Sulfur. Premiered in 1964, this was Bennett's first full-length opera. The language is serial, as Bennett did not shift to more traditional tonality until later in the decade, but, as Opera Grove puts it, it "owes as much to Britten as to Schoenberg" and it is flexible enough to provide for a wide range of emotional states and dramatic situations. The story, set in the west of England in the 18th century, starts with murder and ends with plague and this recording, made live in Cooperstown last August, conveys a real sense of danger, dread, oppression and suspense and could appeal to a slightly wider audience than the collectors who already know they will want it. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Beth Clayton (mezzo), Brandon Jovanovich (tenor), Kristopher Irmiter (bass-baritone), Caroline Worra (soprano), Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra; Stewart Robertson. Chandos SACD hybrid 5036 (England) 08H068 $35.98

JOHN BARNES CHANCE (1932-1972): Symphony No. 2 for Winds and Percussion, Incantation and Dance, Introduction and Capriccio for Piano and 24 Winds, Blue Lake Overture, Elegy, Variations on a Korean Folk Song. A disc full of attractive, rhythmically ebullient, often jaunty, sometimes elegiac and mysterious music for wind band by this lesser-known, unfortunately short-lived composer should appeal to collectors of the genre. Maria Stäblein (piano), Illinois State University Wind Symphony; Stephen K. Steele. Albany TROY 755 (U.S.A.) 08H069 $16.98

The latest in Jonathan Powell's groundbreaking Sorabji series

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): Rosario d'arabeschi, Gulistan. Rosario d'arabeschi was written as a tribute and gift for Sorabji's long-time friend, the remarkable (and remarkably prolific) English writer Sacheverell Sitwell. Taking his cue from Sitwell's enthusiasm for every aspect of human civilisation, and their shared delight in the art and life of the Mediterranean, Sorabji crammed this 36-minute work with a kaleidoscopic array of all the things he did best - and by so doing, eerily mimics Sitwell's peculiar talent for bringing disparate diversions around a theme together and melding them into a cohesive argument. So we have the familiar, freely fantastic bravura virtuosity in two outer sections, enclosing a passacaglia on two themes, one derived from a musical acronym of Sitwell's first name (S-A-C-H-E-E), employed simultaneously; a mysterious and ornate shadowy slow movement over a pedal point, and a dizzying tarantella, sun-drenched and irrepressible, first cousin to the All'Italiana movement of Busoni's Piano Concerto. Gulistan, by contrast, stays obsessively with one of Sorabji's most idiosyncratic modes of expression throughout; the 'tropical nocturne', of which this work, after the great Sufi poet Sa'di, represents perhaps Sorabji's finest essay in the genre, conjuring an atmosphere of oppressive, poisonous exoticism in musical terms of unparalleled complexity (even for him!) and breathtaking, if unnervingly sinister, beauty. Jonathan Powell (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9083 (U.S.A.) 08H070 $18.98

RUDOLF ESCHER (1912-1980): Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Sonata concertante for Cello and Piano, Sonata for Solo Flute, Sonata for Solo Clarinet, Flute Sonata. The 1943 cello sonata is a fine example of its kind - the "war composition" - which expresses the composer's anger, fear, grief and, ultimately, defiance against Holland's Nazi occupiers in language which, while very much his own, would have been recognized by Shostakovich or any other composer in an occupied country of the day. The flute sonata (1979) is in a not much more advanced idiom and is also tense and conflicted - certainly it seems to be doing everything it can to not be another pastoral-type work for this instrument. The solo sonatas (1949 and 1973) are, of course, tonal but freer in language and style. Godfried Hoogeveen (cello), Thies Roorda, Emily Beynon (flute), Céleste Zewald (clarinet), Sepp Grotenhuis (piano). Ottavo ORR C50488 (Netherlands) 08H071 $16.98

MARGARET HUBICKI (b.1915): Piano Sonata, Irish Fantasy for Piano, Goladon Suite for Piano Duet, Full Fathom Five for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, From the Isles of the Sea for Flute and Piano, Lonely Mere and Rigaudon for Cello and Piano, Svolgimento for Violin and Piano, Theme and Variations for String Quartet. Restore her maiden name of Mullins and you will readily appreciate the idiom in which this English composer/teacher wrote. Half of the eight works here were written at the Royal Academy of Music before she turned 21; the 20-minute sonata was the impetus for this recording and its main influence (rich textures, orchestral, virtuosic writing) was that of her teacher, Benjamin Dale. Everything here will appeal to collectors of 20th century conservative English music, with the Svolgimento, the only movement completed of a violin sonata for her husband, a Ukrainian-Canadian violinist who was killed in 1940 during the Blitz, being a particularly poignant and eloquent piece. James Kirby (piano), Annemarie Sand (mezzo), Daniel Pailthorpe (flute), Robert Max (cello), Bochmann Quartet, Frederick Stocken (duet pianist). Chandos 10322 (England) 08H072 $17.98

AUBERT LEMELAND (b.1932): Symphony No. 8 "In Memoriam", Op. 166, Symphony No. 9, Op. 168, Battle Pieces for and String Orchestra with orchestral Piano, Op. 174, ...in ricordo Arturo Toscanini... for String Orchestra, Op. 183b. Lemeland, known for his almost single-minded concentration on World War II and the contributions of American soldiers to the liberation of France, produces, in his ninth symphony, a brilliant, attractive and optimistic piece of music. The composer himself says that it is his most tonal symphony (although there is nothing here which could really be described as atonal) and its rhythmic elan is almost irresistable with bright percussion work from bells and mallet instruments helping to pour radiant aural sunlight all over the musical scene. The war returns in the eighth (1995), a 21-minute single-movement largo using motifs from previous war-associated compositions with prominent woodwinds underlining the elegiac character of the work. Battle Pieces was inspired by poetry from American soldiers dating between 1942-5 and is contemplative, gently elegiac and naively sunny by turns. A good bet for collectors of contemporary symphonies. Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano), Porto National Orchestra; Marc Tardue. Skarbo DSK 3046 (France) 08H073 $18.98

GORDON GETTY (b.1933): Chorus and Orchestra: Young America, 3 Welsh Songs, Victorian Scenes, Male Chorus and Orchestra: Annabel Lee. Getty describes himself as a living, breathing 19th-century composer and his Victorian Scenes describe the more exact compositional milieu in which he is happy to roam although there are little moments of atonality which are used to underline particularly important and dramatic parts of his texts. The latter are mostly of his own writing (or re-writing, as he provides new English texts for the Welsh Songs) although the Victorian Scenes are all Tennyson and Housman. Without sounding like pastiche or epigonism, this is very conservative music which ought to appeal to collectors of 19th century English choral repertoire. Texts included. Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Russian National Orchestra; Alexander Vedernikov, San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Michael Tilson Thomas (Young America and Annabel Lee). Pentatone Classics SACD hybrid PTC 5186 040 (Netherlands) 08H074 $19.98

KRZYSTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Veni Creator, In pulverem mortis, De profundis, Miserere, Benedictus, Stabat mater, Song of the Cherubim, Agnus dei, Benedicamus. Covering a span from 1962 to 1996, these choral works, all stemming from his Catholic faith, often include Slavic elements and range from the dissonance of the Stabat mater of 1962 to the much sweeter setting of the Agnus dei of 1981, the almost archaic-sounding Veni and Cherubim (1987) to the De profundis, taken from the 1996 oratorio The Seven Gates of Jerusalem, in which he uses extremes of dissonance and consonance to moving effect. Netherlands Chamber Choir; Tonu Kaljuste. Globe GLO 5207 (Netherlands) 08H075 $17.98

MAURICE OHANA (1914-1992): String Quartets Nos. 1-3. Economical and spare, Ohana's quartets seem to be based on musical traditions more archaic than the classical quartet tradition, a sense of strangeness and avoidance of convention heightened by the use of divisions of the octave other than the ubiquitous semitone. Dense clustered textures and glissandi also contribute to the highly individual sound of these works, at times suggesting electronic manipulation of the instrumental timbres (which is not the case). Much of the music is slow and lacks a regular pulse, which creates a freely organic impression and a certain impressionistic timelessness; indeed a kind of abstract extension of the colors and moods of impressionism, rendered in more improvisatory, less obviously structured terms than those employed by Ohana's early 20th-century forebears, is central to the nature of this richly eloquent and obliquely meaningful extension of the most enduring form of chamber music. Quatuor Psophos. AR Ré-Sé 2004-7 (France) 08H076 $17.98

EARL KIM (1920-1998): Violin Concerto, Dialogues for Piano and Orchestra, Cornet for Narrator and Orchestra. Kim's 1979 concerto was written for Itzhak Perlman and is rather modernistic in its use of palindromes while not being terribly avant-garde overall. There is much opportunity for lyricism and the use of silence and limpid orchestration suggest the Asian music of Kim's Korean forebears. The nine-minute Dialogues of 1959 juxtaposes lyrical passages with menacing passages recalling the composer's own wartime experiences while Cornet, a 26-minute melodrama (1984) setting an English translation of Rilke's famous poem, will be a harder nut to crack for listeners not accustomed to narration with background music (evocative, generally tonal) but at budget-price worth exploring. Cecylia Arzewski (violin), William Wolfram (piano), Robert Kim (narrator), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; Scott Yoo. Naxos American Classics 8.559226 (U.S.A.) 08H077 $6.98

LÁSZLÓ SÁRY (b.1940): Hungarian Dance '95 for Piano, Blues I for Clarinet and Piano, Echo Rag I for Piano, Kind of a Waltz for Esterházy for Saxophone, Piano and Double Bass, Souvenir for Piano, Tango for Piano, Echo Rag II for Cello and Double Bass, Blues II for Saxophone and 2 Pianos, Broadway Boogie-Woogie for Piano, Echo Rag III for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Blues III for Violin and Piano, Grandmother's Dance for Bassoon, Slow and Brisk for Cimbalom. Calling this collection of 13 pieces for various soloists or small combinations of instruments 'Dance Music', and giving each piece a title that suggests traditional popular forms (Tango, Blues,etc.) has to be viewed as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek exercise; the composer has long been associated with the avant garde - although that term fits these works even less well than the suggestion of light forms contained in the titles. The pieces do in fact correspond to the idea of dance and light, popular styles, but in a highly stylized fashion. So the Tango (written for Yvar Mikashoff) suggests the broken rhythm of a tango, but you could never dance a tango to it; Broadway Boogie-Woogie sounds jazzy, but in a sophisticated Bolcomesque manner, a comparison that works for the Rag movements as well. The Blues movements and Souvenir are unexpectedly soulful and touching, suggesting a more serious side to the exercise, which is more of an emotional and personal statement and less an ironic nose-thumbing exercise than some of the above descriptions might suggest. Various artists, Gábor Csalog (piano). BMC CD 069 (Hungary) 08H078 $16.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Orion for Ensemble and World Musicians. Commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004, this piece was premiered in Athens in June of last year, just before the opening of the Olympics. Working closely with each of the soloists listed below (whose instruments will tell you what part of the world they hail from), Glass produced a multi-cultural, international work of evening-length suggested by responses to and aspects of the aeons-old human activity of stargazing which its title suggests. 2 CDs. Midprice. Philip Glass Ensemble, Eleftheria Arvanitaki (vocalist), Mark Atkins (didgeridoo), Ashley MacIsaac (violin), Wu Man (pipa), Gaurav Mazumdar (sitar), Foday Musa Suso (kora), UAKTI (percussion). Orange Mountain Music OMM 0021 (U.S.A.) 08H079 $21.98

PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Kosmos, GYÖRGY KURTÁG (b.1926): Hommages à P. Eötvös, G. Ligeti & B. Bartók (from Jatekok, Vol. 1), Splinters, Op. 6d, GYÖRGY LIGETI (b.1923): Musica ricercata, BELA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Musiques nocturnes, Variations libres, Tierces mineures, secondes Majeures, Harmoniques, Ce que la mouche raconte, Ostinato and Mélodie dans le brume from Mikrokosmos. This recital explores the connections between a generation and a half of modern Hungarian composers with Bartók and the folk music of their native land in a way more easily apprehended than in single-disc recordings of the single composers themselves. Eötvös' work is that of a precocious 17-year-old inspired by Sputnik's nocturnal path across the heavens with harmonies and (small) size borrowed directly from the master. The same is seen in Kurtág's equally short excerpts from his musical notebooks and the (also) short pieces which make up Splinters (1971) while Ligeti's mathematical experimentations of 1951-53 stem from Mikrokosmos in a less obvious but no less heartfelt manner. Dana Ciocarlie (piano). L'empreinte digitale ED13211 (France) 08H080 $17.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Rasputin. This is very much a grand opera in the romantic mold, in a relatively conservative idiom at the more conventional end of Rautavaara's output. This is not to deny its effectiveness, however ­ the rich orchestration and long, lyrical melodic lines given to the soloists evoke the opulence of the late days of the Tsars and the brooding tragedy and the sense of inexorably approaching apocalypse that preceded the Revolution is expressed by Rautavaara in musical terms that pays direct homage to the quintessentially Russian tradition of Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov, seldom sounding more modern than Shostakovich; occasional forays into a more modernist æsthetic are mostly reserved to highlight the most violent or disturbing aspects of the drama. All in all a rich feast for lovers of the grand operatic gesture. The enclosed booklet contains a cast listing, track index, brief essays and a synopsis of the action in 4 languages. The DVD menu allows selection of subtitles in 4 languages or none, and scene selection; also surround or 2-channel sound. Unfussy camera work appropriately documents a live staging of the work. Matti Salminen (bass), Lilli Paasikivi (soprano), Jorma Hyninnen (baritone), Jyrki Anttila (tenor), Finnish National Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Mikko Franck. Ondine DVD ODV 4003 (Finland) 08H081 $29.98

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): Barabbas Dialogues for 5 Singers, Narrator and 7 Players, Op. 84. Emotionally direct and trenchantly dramatic, Sallinen's orchestral works and operas never fail to convey a passionate intensity on a rare level that can be spoken of in the same terms as Shostakovich, but few others. In this unconventionally scored chamber oratorio, he proves that he can do the same sort of thing without the full resources of the symphony orchestra. Exploring aspects of the Easter story as seen through the eyes of two part-players who have traditionally had a raw deal in Biblical theology - Barabbas and Judas - Sallinen employs cunningly chosen texts from other parts of the Bible, the poetry of Lassi Nuumi and some linking passages of his own in a powerful narrative in which the tension never flags as it progressses through almost an hour of intense but ambiguous emotional drama. Especially telling is the sixth movement, a passacaglia, the emotional heart of the cycle, but throughout the work is clearly on a level with the composer's most successful large-scale scores. Finnish-English texts. Petteri Salomaa (baritone), Riikka Rantanen (mezzo), Juha Kotilainen (bass-baritone), Mari Palo (soprano), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor), Kalle Holmberg (narrator), Mika Väyrynen (accordion), Elina Vähälä (violin), Arto Noras (cello), Ilpo Mansnerus (flute), Michael Lethiec (clarinet), Ari-Pekka Mäenpää (percussion), Ralf Gothoni (piano, conductor). CPO 777 077 (Germany) 08H082 $15.98

VALENTIN SILVESTROV (b.1937): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 5, Exegi Monumentum - Symphony for Baritone and Orchestra. These large-scale, impressive works share a common feature of slow-moving, evolving sonic texture, sounding like an organically derived precursor of spectralism. The collision of huge blocks of sound lends the music a sense of drama on a superhuman scale, and even the Pushkin text sung in Exegi monumentum does little to humanise the impassive natural processes that we perceive at work. These stark and forbidding musical landscapes are interspersed with passages of remarkable beauty, shadow-haunted, as though selected pages from the slow movements of Mahler's 7th and 9th symphonies or Shostakovich's 4th and 8th had been frozen in time, the listener trapped in an unending twilight - not the serene repose of Pärt or Kancheli, but a contemplation of an inescapable journey into the unknown. It's not for nothing that Silvestrov's music deals with eschatological concerns, the infinite, the eternal retreat of matter from matter through unmeasurable space, until nothing remains except perfect isolation. As the clearly discernible models suggested above would indicate, much of the music is surprisingly tonal and Romantically opulent, and it is only in the confrontational relationsips between the tectonic blocks of material that we sense elements of a post-Darmstadt idiom at work. Exceedingly impressive, though not recommended for those of a morbid disposition. Sergei Yakovenko (baritone), Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, Yekaterinburg; Andrei Borenko. 1998 release, previously offered. Megadisc MDC 7836 (Belgium) 08H083 $17.98

ATLI HEIMIR SVEINSSON (b.1938): Bickering for Cello and Orchestra, Concerto Serpintinada for Piano and Orchestra, Moment of Joy for Orchestra, Icelandic Rap for Orchestra. Refreshingly, despite its meticulous craftsmanship and eclcticism of influence, Sveinsson's music doesn't take itself too seriously - much of the music on this disc has an easy-going, divertimento feel. This is not to deny the genuine emotional depth of the slow movements of Bickering and the concerto, nor the sophistication of the various musical vocabularies involved, however. For the most part, though, rhythmically insistent music suggests a connection to popular forms, while avoiding simplistic 'crossover' posturing. Clusters and vocalisations from the performers nod in the direction of the European avant garde, but the music is basically tonal and very approachable. The concerto is the work most likely to win the composer enthusiastic admirers; genuinely original in layout and ingenious in instrumentation, it succeeds in being entertaining while simultaneously presenting a concentrated musical argument. Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello), Anny Gudny Gudmundsdottir (piano), Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra; Oli Gunnarsson, Bernharthur Wilkinson. Smekklysa SMK 24 (Iceland) 08H084 $18.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Mytisk Morgen for Bass Clarinet and 12-part Choir, Morgen-Meditation for Bass Clarinet and 3-part Choir, For Choir: Morgenmyte, Ut Rosa, Wie ein Kind, 2 Nocturnes. These mostly recent works have a mystical, idyllic quality, largely avoiding the modernistic tendencies of Nørgård's earlier periods. Although freely using whatever techniques he chooses, including chordal glissandi and cluster harmonies, the overall impression conveyed by these pieces is one of meditative tranquility. The two settings of Tafdrup's "Morning Myth" are especially striking; all the works from the past few years share a serene, if sombre, beauty. The exception is 1980's Wie ein Kind, from the composer's 'Wölfli period', works inspired by, or setting the 'insane artist' Adolf Wölfli, with its abrupt contrasts of hymnic solemnity and theatrical outbursts, suggesting the poet's inner torment. Danish-English texts. Jens Schou (bass clarinet), Ars Nova Copenhagen; Tamás Vetö. Dacapo SACD hybrid 6.220510 (Denmark) 08H085 $15.98

NM Classics Overstocks

TRISTAN KEURIS (1946-1996): Piano Concerto, JAN VAN VLIJMEN (b.1955): Piano Concerto. René Eckhardt, Sepp Grotenhuis (piano), Nether-lands Radio Philharmonic; Lucas Vis. NM Classics 92070 (Netherlands) 08H086 $4.98

LEX VAN DELDEN (1919-1988): Violin Sonata, PETER-JAN WAGEMANS (b.1952): Great Expectations, Op. 26, LEO SAMAMA (b.1951): Mirage, GEERT VAN KEULEN (b.1943): Herz, BOUDEWIJN TARENSKEEN (b.1952): The End. Isabelle van Keulen (violin), Ronald Brautigam (piano). NM Classics 92043 (Netherlands) 08H087 $4.98

PIET KETTING (1904-1984): Trio Sonata, OTTO KETTING (b.1955): Summer, JAN ROKUS VAN ROOSENDAEL (1960-2005): Kaida, JOEP STRAESSER (1934-2004): Sonata a tre, SYTZE SMIT (b.1944): A Tempo Rubato. Harrie Starreveld (flute), Harry Sparnaay (bass clarinet), René Eckhardt (piano). NM Classics 92022 (Netherlands) 08H088 $4.98

KLAAS DE VRIES (b.1944): Murder in the Dark, WILLEM JETHS (b.1959): Mythos, LÁRUS HALLDÓR GRÍMSSON (b.1954): Sambudar-Sundurthykkja, THEO BRUINS (1929-1993): Sincope, RODERIK DE MAN (b.1941): Momentum, TON BRUYNÈL (b.1934): Le Jardin. Annelie de Man (harpsichord). NM Classics 92038 (Netherlands) 08H089 $4.98

JACOB RAUSCHER (1771-1834): Fanfare, Treurmuzijk, Op. 68, FRANÇOIS DUNKLER Sr. (1779-1861): Grenadiers' March, WOUTER HUTSCHENRUYTER (1796-1878): Overture for Large Orchestra, FRANÇOIS DUNKLER Jr. (1816-1878): 's Gravenhaagsche Spoorweggalop, JOHANNES VERHULST (1816-1891): Grüss aus der Fernen, Op. 7, JOHANNES MEINHARDUS COENEN (1825-1899): Morgendämmerun for Horn and Winds, ALPHONS DIEPENBROCK (1862-1921): Academic Festival March, NICOLAAS ARIE BOUWMAN (1854-1941): Thalia Overture, ALBERT GRUNDT (1840-1878)/JOHAN WILHELM KNOLL (1832-18??): Potpourri Caracteristique "Den Brug over den Oceaan". Dutch National Youth Wind Orchestra; Jan Cober. NM Classics 92080 (Netherlands) 08H090 $4.98

PIETER JOSEPH KESSELS (1856-1928): Fête Sicilienne, FRANS JOHANN SCHWEINSBERG (1835-1913): Rhapsodie Hollandaise No. 1, JAN MORKS (1865-1926): Zeeuwsche Reien, ANTON TIEROLFF (1868-1936): Mazurk' Noble, JOHAN WICHERS (1887-1956): March of the Medici, GERARD BOEDIJN (1893-1972): Halewijn, KOOS VAN DER GRIEND (1905-1950): 5 kleine parades. Royal Netherlands Air Force Orchestra; Josef Suilen. NM Classics 92081 (Netherlands) 08H091 $4.98

RUDOLF ESCHER (1912-1980): Songs of Love and Eternity, Ciel, air et vents, 3 Poems by W.H. Auden, Le vrai visage de la paix, I tast a liquor never brewed. Netherlands Chamber Choir; Ed Spanjaard. NM Classics 92057 (Netherlands)08H092 $4.98

JAN BAPTIST VERRIJT (c.1600-1650): Flammae divinae, Op. 5. Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb (sopranos), Consort of Musicke; Anthony Rooley. NM Classics 92076 (Netherlands)08H093 $4.98

WILLEM DE FESCH (1687-1761): Joseph. 3 CDs. Claron McFadden, Roberta Alexander (sopranos), Nico van der Meel (tenor), Tom Sol (bass), Nationaal Kinderchor, Viri Cantores, Musica ad Rhenum; Jed Wentz. NM Classics 92079 (Netherlands) 08H094 $14.98

JOHANNES VERHULST (1816-1891): De Groene Krans, Op. 29/1, Vergreefs, Op. 27/8, Minneliedje, Op. 27/9, Scheiden, Op. 29/5, Herinnering, Op. 26/12, Een bloempje op de hei, Op. 16/3, 't Meeuwennest, Op. 16/1, Meilied, Op. 26/1, Liedeke van 't looze molenarinnetje, Op. 26/11, Lied van looemen, Op. 26/2, Verwelkt, Op. 16/2, Stuurmans-lief, Op. 27/4, De Lendeboom, Op. 27/5, De tegenwoordigheid der geliefde, Op. 9/3, Minnetroost, Op. 9/5, Liedje, Op. 26/5, Verlangen, Op. 26/9, 2 Lieder, Op. 31, Mei-regen from Kindertoonen, Op. 39/8, 3 Songs from Kinderleven, Op. 20, Bij 't Scheiden, Op. 26/4, Nog een lied van Scheiden, Op. 26/10. Dutch texts. English synopses. Annegeer Stumphius (soprano), Nico van der Meel (tenor), Leo van Doeselaar (fortepiano). NM Classics 92029 (Netherlands) 08H095 $4.98

ALPHONS DIEPENBROCK (1862-1921): 3 Ballads, Op. 1, Mignon, Der König in Thule, Die Liebende schreibt, Hinüber wall' ich, Es war ein alter König, Lied der Spinnerin, Der Abend, Kann ich im Busen heisse Wünsche tragen?, Liebesklage, Celebrität. German texts. English synopses. Roberta Alexander (soprano), Jard van Ness (mezzo), Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Robert Holl (bass-baritone), Rudolf Jansen (piano). NM Classics 92050 (Netherlands) 08H096 $4.98

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (b.1939): Image de Moreau, GIJS VAN DIJK (b.1955): Toccata No. 1, ALAN LAURILLARD (b.1946): Nowhere, MICHIEL BRAAM (b.1964): Tivoccatajanssen, LEO SAMAMA (b.1951): Toccata III, Op. 49, MICHIEL BORSTLAP (b.1966): Toccata 10, Toccata 14, VANESSA LANN (b.1968): Recalling Chimes, THIJS DERCKSEN (b.1962): Overstag, CHRISTINA VIOLA OOREBEEK (b.1944): Tremors and Quakes, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Toccatas BWV 910-916. 2 CDs. Ivo Janssen (piano). NM Extra 98015 (Netherlands) 08H097 $9.98

CAROLUS ANTONIUS FODOR (1768-1846): Sonata in F Sharp, Op. 2/2, Air du Tonnelier from Petits Airs, Op. 3, Sonata in F, Op. 2/1, JOHANN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Rondo-Polonaise in D, HENRI MESSEMAESCHERS Jr. (1824-?): Grand Marche Funèbre. Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano). NM Classics 92103 (Netherlands) 08H098 $4.98

GERTRUDE VAN DEN BERGH (1793-1840): Rondeau, Op. 3, Lied, CATHARINA VAN RENNES (1858-1940): 3 Quartette für Frauenstimmen mit Klavier, Op. 24, Schwalbenflug and Herbstimmung from Op. 59 for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, ELISABETH KUYPER (1877-1953): 3 Lieder, Op. 17, Zwischen dir und mir, Herzendliebchen, HENRIETTE BOSMANS (1895-1952): Verses from Maria Lécina for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, IET STANTS (1903-1968): String Quartet No. 2, TERA DE MAREZ OYENS (b.1932): String Quartet Contrafactus. German texts. English synopses. Various artists incl. Frans van Ruth (piano), Dufy Quartet. NM Classics 92018 (Netherlands) 08H099 $4.98

HILDA PAREDES (b.1957): Uy U T'an for String Quartet, Cotidiales for Piano Quintet, Ah Paaxo'ob for 21 Musicians, Can Silim Tun for Vocal Quartet and String Quartet. A composer of Mexican origin, Paredes has travelled widely and although she states that she feels drawn to her native country and uses Mayan (or her native Spanish) titles for her pieces, there is very little in the way of stereotypical 'local color' to be found here. The works are all written for conventional ensembles, used in a manner that would be very much at home in northern European contemporary circles - restrained use of somewhat extended playing techniques, the free interplay of mainly atonal instrumental lines, each given its own individual character in a discursive, not to say argumentative, exchange of ideas. Beneath the music's glittering and active - sometimes hyperactive - surface there is a profound sense of archaic solemnity and timeless repose, which lends the works (especially Can Silim Tun for voices and strings) a unique atmosphere and character. Arditti Quartet, Ian Pace (piano), Die Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble Modern; Stefan Asbury. Mode 149 (U.S.A.) 08H100 $17.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Sonata, Night Fantasies, 2 Diversions, 90+, Retrouvailles. Carter's piano music divides into two parts: the splendid sonata of 1945, concentrated and uncompromising but readily accessible and not lacking conventional pianistic bravura nor harmonic warmth; and everything else. The other works are more obviously based on the composer's trademark superimposition of contrasting strands of material with consummate contrapuntal skill, leading to complex rhythmic relationships and lightning changes of mood as contrasting material collides, combines and flies apart. Even the tiny Retrouvailles of 2000 is a little contrapuntal gem, but it is in the relatively familiar Night Fantasies that this approach is shown to its best advantage, in one of the finest piano works of recent decades. Winston Choi (piano). L'empreinte digitale ED13164 (France) 08H101 $17.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): String Quartets Nos. 1-4, Elegy. This is a very useful set, and Carter completists who omitted to obtain these performances previously should have no hesitation in doing so now. The huge First Quartet, which along with the Cello Sonata and Piano Sonata from a few years previously first established Carter as one of the major composers of our time sounds as fresh today as it always has, notwithstanding the more advanced idiom to which the composer progressed not long after. The Third of 1971 - in which the four players pair off in duos, playing contrasting material of bewildering complexity of co-ordination - is one of Carter's most 'difficult' scores, not least for the performers, but what is striking even here is the passionate eloquence which is never far from the forefront of the musical argument even as the level of activity and comlexity of ensemble reach almost unprecedented levels. The quartets on either side of this one conform more obviously to conventional models; the Second is conversational and relatively genial (though not without its abrupt changes of mood and unpredictable dramatic elements), and the Fourth is one of the composer's most refined and dialectically intense scores, seeming dramatically compressed at an economical 20 minutes. 2 CDs. Special price. Arditti String Quartet. Etcetera KTC 2507 (Netherlands) 08H102 $20.98

MICHAEL DENHOFF (b.1955): El sueño de la razon produce monstruos for Cello and Piano, Op. 32, Los disparates for Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 54, Piano Trio, Op. 74/1, Nachtstück for Piano Trio, Op. 74/2, Two Once so One for String Quartet, Viola and Cello, Op. 66. These works exhibit the most extreme pared-down concentration to the extent that the Goya-inspired Disparates function like brief glimpses at seven of the artist's etchings. These works are very clearly delineated in character, and here and there incorporate surprising elements of straightforward melody and rhythm, or allusions to dance forms amid the (somewhat) extended playing techniques and essentially fragmentary nature of the music. Goya was also an inspiration for the somber and troubling piano trio, which gives the impression of the oppressive textures and shadowy palette of the artist's paintings; this is the second most extended work here, and in may ways the most satisfying. The largest work on the disc is an hommage to Samuel Beckett, and the music's obliquely argued and ambiguous, fragmented narrative aptly suggests the evocative but obscure texts to which it relates. Michael Denhoff (cello), Ulrich Hartmann (viola), Ishizaka Trio, Verdi Quartet, Birgitte Wollenweber (piano). Cybele 660.301 (Germany) 08H103 $16.98

LÁSZLÓ VIDOVSZKY (b.1944): 12 String Quartets, 12 Duos for Violin and Viola. These strange little pieces present constantly shifting patterns based on raw material which seems derived from a number of different musical disciplines not freqently encountered in such close proximity in a single composition. Thus a kind of slow minimalism, rather more dissonant and atonal than one usually associates with the term, rubs shoulders with Pärt-like meditative drones, vaguely modal-sounding melody fragments and microtonal glissandi, or insect rustling and percussive effects with no clearly defined pitch content. In general the material is not complex, though the textures are frequently dense, with all four (or both, in the duos) players playing within a restricted pitch range for much of the time. Auer Quartet, András Keller (violin), Zoltán Gál (viola). BMC CD 075 (Hungary) 08H104 $16.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Three Voices. Originally written for Joan LaBarbara (using two pre-recorded parts and one live), ThreeVoices is here performed by three singers, but the enclosed, sealed, static nature of the music still suggests an internal dialogue taking place within a solitary consciousness. The closeness of pitch range (often a semitone or less) within the part-writing creates a kind of micro-polyphony, and while there is little sense of forward motion, a kind of floating movement is suggested by the interweaving vocal lines. Melody as such is absent, as one might expect, but less predictably there is a warmth and sensuousness to the textures. Eerily haunting and a good deal less abstract, more 'human' than many of Feldman's late instrumental works, the piece is likely to find admirers both among die-hard Feldmanites and those who have generally found his music too inward-looking and obscure. Françoise Kubler, Madeleine Koebelé, Laura Zimmerman (voices), Ensemble Accroche Note. L'empreinte digitale ED13189 (France) 08H105 $17.98

FRANCIS CHAGRIN (1905-1972): The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra, Music from the Films Helter Skelter, An Inspector Calls, The Colditz Story, Greyfriars Bobby, The Four Just Men, The Intruder, Easy Money, Last Holiday and The Bridge. Born in Romania, educated in France and domiciled in England since 1936, Chagrin founded what became the Society for the Promotion of New Music, wrote two symphonies among other orchestral and instrumental pieces and scored over 200 films and television productions. Most of the titles above will not be familiar to Americans but The Colditz Story and Greyfriars Bobby probably are and Chagrin produces solid, atmospheric music for each of the productions excerpted here while The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra is just the sort of witty musical joke you would expect it to be. BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10323 (England) 08H106 $17.98

ERIC COATES (1886-1957): Footlights, The Three Men, The Selfish Giant, London Again, Cinderella, Summer Days, Television March. A brand-new recording of top quality British Light Music from the composer who defined the genre, the works here dating from 1919-46 and accompanied by several period photos of Coates conducting. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; John Wilson. Avie AV2070 (England) 08H107 $16.98

PETER CORK (b.1927): Through the Looking-Glass (The Carroll Ensemble; Peter Cork), A Man of Kent (Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland). The Lewis Carroll suite (for wind quintet, string quartet and piano) was written in 2004, inspired by the 1911 Sir John Tenniel illustrations for the famous book and its 12 movements (lasting around 35 minutes) is in fine light-music style while the booklet provides reproductions of all of the original illustrations. Its 16-minut e companion piece (for full orchestra) dates from 2001 and evokes the Kent countryside. Very attractive stuff which all collectors of light music will enjoy. Campion Cameo 2031 (England) 08H108 $13.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Cox and Box, Trial by Jury. Cox and Box, a collaboration with librettist E.C Burnand, dates from 1866 although Sullivan did not provide orchestration until the following year. Later abridged by D'Oyly Carte, the score has been restored to its original version for this new recording. An apt coupling of the same length in order to fill out the CD was Sullivan's first collaboration with Gilbert from 1875. Libretti included. James Gilchrist (tenor), Neal Davies, Donald Maxwell (baritones), Rebecca Evans (soprano), Chamber Choir of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Trial by Jury), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10321 (England) 08H109 $17.98

Rare and Unique Britten

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Incidental Music from Stratton (English Opera Group Orchestra; Benjamin Britten. HMV recordingOct. 14, 1949), The Rape of Lucretia (Peter Pears [tenor], Joan Cross [soprano], Owen Brannigan [bass], Kathleen Ferrier [contralto], Otakar Kraus [baritone], English Opera Group Orchestra; Reginald Goodall. BBC Broadcast of Oct. 11, 1946). The Oct. 11 broadcast acetates, with Ferrier in fabulous voice, preserve a very little known performance whose few gaps are here filled from a Dutch broadcast from a week later with the same forces. The real rarity, though, is the 16 minutes of incidental music from a play by Ronald Duncan (librettist for Lucretia). These EMI acetates were used for the actual radio broadcast, were never before available to the public and were loaned by the Earl of Harewood specifically for this reissue; the score has been lost, making this the only extant evidence for this Britten score. 2 CDs. No libretto. Pearl GEMS 0231 (England) 08H110 $33.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Winter Legends for Piano and Orchestra (BBC Symphony Orchestra; Clarence Raybould. Nov. 26, 1954), Viola Sonata (William Primrose [viola]. July 22, 1937), A Mountain Mood, A Hill Tune (Oct. 20, 1942). Cohen was Bax's muse and lover during the days when he wrote his most passionate, Celtic-inspired music and, even though she was approaching 59 when this live broadcast of the Winter Legends was made, and also struggling with a hand injury that had forced her into semi-retirement in 1951, this and its earlier disc-mates will be fascinating comparison material for lovers of this composer and collectors of historical performances. Harriet Cohen (piano). Dutton CDBP 9751 (England) 08H111 $8.98