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Julius Roentgen

Three Symphonies

JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Symphony in A Minor, Symphony in C Minor, Bitonal Symphony. Only two youthful symphonies preceded the C minor symphony of 1910, a full-scale, four-movement work of 29 minutes in which Roentgen's conservatism is firmly established: it sounds like Brahms writing the Schumann Fifth. But Roentgen also liked to use more modern trends when he liked them and there is a strong whiff of Debussy in the 1930 Bitonal Symphony (in which bitonality is a spice, not a sauce), a single-movement work in six segments of just over 15 minutes. Coming from 1931 (he wrote around nine symphonies in his last two or three years of life), the A minor symphony is another single-movement, four-section piece of just under 19 minutes which uses the cyclical principal and a return to the Romantic language of Brahms. North Netherlands Orchestra; Hans Leenders. Cobra Records 0017 (Netherlands) 08I001 $17.98 Ø


Ø Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: 17

 

NOTES (August 2006):

1. IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ! Although the order for the three Roentgen titles occupying the first three spaces in this month's catalogue was placed in early July, the Dutch label, Cobra Records, having run out of stock, saw fit not to remanufacture until late last week. The discs will not be at their Belgian shipper until Aug. 3 or 4 and not at my U.S. source until Aug. 8 or 9 - meaning not in my hands until the end of next week at the earliest. Thus, if you are ordering any or all of the three Roentgen discs, unless you specifically ask me to CHARGE the remainder of your August order AND HOLD it until the Roentgens arrive, I will back-order the Roentgens and ship everything else in normal fashion.

2. For some time into the future, the new Capriccio titles which you will find in these pages will be available only here. Their distributor will not be offering them to any other retailers. They are being imported directly from Capriccio in Germany and are higher priced because they are being billed in euros: this is a currency exchange-rate problem, pure and simple.

3. You will probably find out from classical press sources that Lyrita has agreed with Wyastone Estates (i.e. Nimbus, resurrected) to finally issue their entire catalogue over the next 18 months, to coincide with the label's 50th anniversary in 2009. The tentative target date for the first U.S. release is October. The previously existing 37 Lyrita CDs will come first. The rest - and we can only hope that the Decca material which appeared on Lyrita LPs will be included, as well as the original Lyrita mono recordings - will follow. More details as I get them.

4. I'm planning to do a DVD sale, probably starting with the EuroArts label, within the next month or two. This will probably be done as a separate mailing so I'd like some feedback on how many of you would be interested in receiving the flyer when it's ready.

5. For everyone waiting for special import (Ø) back-orders: I'm hoping to have a new shipment coming in from Prague by Sept. 1. For those waiting for the Chilean orchestral disc in the June catalogue (06H006): I'm trying to find a reasonably cost-effective way of getting small quantities of discs from Santiago. The label won't mail them since they say the packages will be stolen before they get out of Chile and I'm making next to nothing by having them sent DHL or UPS since, on average, that costs more than $3.00 per disc. I may just have to raise the price on future releases to $19.98.

6. For at least the next few months we will be conducting an experiment in the form of updated catalogue supplements during the month. New items arrive somewhat unpredictably and sporadically during the month, and we will offer some of these as soon as they arrive rather than pretending they're not there until it's time to put out the next catalogue. So: there will be a catalogue supplement accessible via a link from within these notes, and this will have items added to it during the month. Please order items from the supplement by their catalogue number - they will not have been assigned our own numbers yet. Also please note that most, but not necessarily all, of these items will appear in the regular catalogue the following month - so there may be a few 'supplement only' items depending upon availability and so on.

e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com


JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Chamber Music, Part 1 - String Quartets in C and in G Minor "Fancy", 6 Chinesische Lieder for Soprano and Piano, Op. 66. Roentgen, with six sons who all had artistic talent of one kind or another, wrote a lot of chamber music: 18 string quartets and 14 cello sonatas to begin with. Although he remained pretty loyal to Brahmsian late Romanticism, he was aware of more modern developments but never experimented with his era's avant-garde and, unlike most German composers, he had very little of the dark, brooding romantic personality. Generally, Roentgen just wanted to have fun. Thus, the "Fancy" quartet (1917) whose subtitle may be a reference to the 17th century English gamba consort genre has a minor-key first movement but which is inspired by old polyphony. The remaining three are light, elegant and folk-inspired in that order. At 16 minutes, a third less long, the 1925 quartet is a classic example of condensed, but not dense, ideas and thought while the set of songs, from Hans Bethge's collection which inspired Mahler, are subtle and suggestive without any romantic excess. German texts. Párkányi Quartet, Julia Bronkhorst (soprano), Hans Eijsackers (piano). Cobra Records 0013 (Netherlands) 08I002 $17.98 Ø

JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Chamber Music, Part 2 - Piano Quintet in G, Serenade for Wind Quintet, Trio for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon, Op. 86, Charon and Vision for Baritone, Piano and Winds. Completed two months before his death, the piano quintet has the most vigorous and optimistic first movement you'll ever want to hear (subtitled "Sentendo nuova forza", in the spirit of Beethoven's op. 132 "convalescent" string quartet), although the gentle final andante is clearly valedictory music. Roentgen's rare neo-classical tone can be heard in the 13-minute wind trio from 1917 while the 1928 wind quintet is an Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge commission - a playful piece which gives each instrument a theme in the first movement and then lets them develop in the four succeeding movements. The vocal pieces are not miniatures: Charon (setting an English text) is an undated, six-minute evocation of the grim ferryman and Vision (1923) an atmostpheric, eight-minute deathbed vision from the young poet Hans Sallenbach. Párkányi Quartet, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden (piano), Euterpe Wind Quintet, Pierre Mak (baritone), Hans Eijsackers (piano - songs), Pauline Oostenrijk (oboe), Barrbara Deleu (flute), Bram van Sambeek (bassoon). Cobra Records 0016 (Netherlands) 08I003 $17.98 Ø


Freitas Branco - World Premiere of the Violin Concerto!

LUÍS DE FREITAS BRANCO (1890-1955): Violin Concerto, JOLY BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988): Crossroads, Divertimento No. 1. Written in 1916 (Portugal being one of the very few safe places to be writing music in Europe at that period!), Freitas Branco's concerto is a large-scale, late Romantic concerto of some ambition for such a young composer. The work is predominantly lyrical, with few emotional outburts and little overt virtuosity - even more impressive for having come from the pen of a young man - rather more melancholy and mournful in character than vigorous and energetic (but those latter qualities stand out the more impressively for their infrequent appearances). The two Braga Santos works have appeared fairly recently on Marco Polo but collectors of Portuguese music or of Romantic violin concertos will certainly need to have this impressive and often gripping 32-minute work. Alexandre da Costa (violin), Extremadura Symphony Orchestra; Jesús Amigo. Disques XXI CD 2 1521 (Spain) 08I004 $17.98


JOHANN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Symphonies in C Minor, Op. 23, in E Flat, Op. 14, in D, Op. 52 and in D Minor, Op. 58, Variations on "Wilhelmus van Nassauwe". No numbers are used for the symphonies since their chronological order is not the same as their opus numbering; like some of Ries' symphonies, early works were only published later with later opus numbers. Chronologically, these would be the third through the sixth symphonies (meaning only one is duplicated from the DG Archiv release of a couple years ago). Op. 23 (c.1805) and Op. 14 (1803) come from a stylistic world similar to that of Haydn's London symphonies and Op. 14 also has a theme with striking similarities to Mozart's E flat symphony (No. 39). Op. 52 seems to belong to the same period and may be earlier than Op. 23 while, as collectors already know, the Op. 58 (1819) is clearly the work of a composer who's heard Beethoven. The nine-minute set of variations on what used to be the Dutch national anthem has concertante solo parts for clarinet, bassoon, flute, violin and cello. 2 CDs. Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Anthony Halstead. Challenge Classics CC72147 (Netherlands) 08I005 $35.98

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 4 "Folk Song Symphony" for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra. Announced as the "first release of a projected Naxos cycle of the thirteen Harris orchestral symphonies" (which means they'll be duplicating 7 & 9), this release brings yet another recording of the almost-chestnut Third and now allows us to rest the old Golschmann Vanguard recording of the big choral-orchestral folk-song spectacular written in 1939, a year after the third. NOTE: This is only the second recording of the Third which lacks a common one-minute or so cut (Neeme Järvi on Chandos also did the full score). Colorado Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Marin Alsop. Naxos American Classics 8.559227 (U.S.A.) 08I006 $7.98

HOWARD HANSON (1896-1981): Concerto for Organ, Harp and Strings, Op. 22/3 (Joseph Jackson [organ]), Nymphs and Satyr - Ballet Suite, Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth for Piano and Strings (Gabriela Imreh [piano]), Serenade for Flute, Harp and Strings, Op. 35 (Andrew Bolotowsky [flute]), Summer Seascape No. 2 for Viola and Strings (Adriana Linares [viola]), Pastorale for Oboe, Harp and Strings (Jonathan Blumenfeld [oboe]). A nice collection of short pieces in Hanson's unabashedly romantic style which covers 53 years of his career, from the 1926 organ concerto to the 1979 Nymphs and Satyrs (although the theme used in the Fantasy Variations dates from even earlier - the 1917 Concerto da Camera for piano and string quartet). Of particular interest in the 1965 Summer Seascape No. 2 which appears to be a conceptual sketch for his sixth symphony which was given by the New York PO the following year. Jacqueline Pollauf (harp), Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Spalding. Naxos American Classics 8.559251 (U.S.A.) 08I007 $7.98

DOUGLAS COATES (1898-1974): Violin Concerto in D (Colin Sauer [violin], BBC Northern Orchestra; Charles Groves. 1951), E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Violin Concerto (Campoli [violin], BBC Symphony Orchestra; Adrian Boult. 1954). We can only hope that this is the first in a series of similar releases: music broadcast once by the BBC, chosen from among many unsolicited manuscripts which were constantly sent to the radio by composers hoping for a performance. Committees of composers and critics read over the scores and recommended for or against performance and now, after a period of confidentiality, these reading reports are now public. We know that Herbert Howells was critical of Coates' orchestration while Gordon Jacob found much merit in the score (although he also found "dubious passages") while critic Mosco Carner recommended it for "regional performance" while finding that it tended "to become rhapsodic" - a term of abuse at a time when tonal music was being extinguished as far as possible by the BBC. Composed in 1934, accepted for performance in 1945, Coates' concerto was finally broadcast only on March 15, 1951. It's a charming, lyrical score with two attractive, romantic themes and would fit right in with the current renaissance of tonal British 20th century music - except that the composer, distressed at the reception of the piece by the orchestra and at the negative remarks of the readers, apparently destroyed not only this score but also those of a cello concerto and a violin sonata. Great sound restoration on this one (78rpm acetates); the Moeran (very worn tape) is more problematic but it shows Campoli milking it for all the emotion and virtuosity it's worth - very different from the much more subjective reading by Lydia Mordkovitch in the only other currently available recording of the work on Chandos. Divine Art 27806 (England) 08I008 $16.98

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Symphony No. 1 (BBC Symphony Orchestra. June 11, 1952), Symphony No. 2 (Hallé Orchestra. Oct. 25, 1953). Sir John Barbirolli. As the May Gramophone puts it, "...the music-making is thrilling, with Barbirolli (No. 1's dedicatee) extracting every ounce of passion and drama from Alwyn's driven inspiration." Yes, it's expensive - the Barbirolli Edition series is at full-price for some reason... Dutton Barbirolli Edition CDSJB 1029 (England) 08I009 $18.98

DOREEN CARWITHEN (1922-2003): ODTAA (One Damn Thing After Another), Concerto for Piano and Strings, Bishop Rock, Suffolk Suite. Also known as Mary Alwyn, wife of the composer, Carwithen, like her husband, wrote a lot of film music throughout her career, leaving little room for "serious" concert music. Here are two concert overtures, ODTAA (1945) and Bishop Rock (sea-music - the Rock is a light-house - 1951), a full-length (29 minutes) piano concerto from 1948 and a light-musicish suite from 1964. If you collect English music and missed this the first time, now's your chance. Mid-price. Howard Shelley (piano), London Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Original 1997 Chandos release. Chandos 10365 (England) 08I010 $13.98

GAVIN GORDON (1901-1970): The Rake's Progress (Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden, Constant Lambert. March 18, 1946), CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Music for Orchestra (Philharmonia Orchestra; Lambert. July 2, 1948), ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Miracle in the Gorbals (British Ballet Orchestra; Lambert. April 16, 1945), WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Façade (Ensemble; William Walton. Nov. 11, 1929 - premiere recording of excerpts). Valuable examples of Britain's premiere ballet commissioner, arranger and conductor. The first ever recording of music from Bliss' Miracle has the six excerpted numbers jumping off the page with a visceral excitement and sense of occasion while the first ever recording of Walton's Façade has both Lambert and Edith Sitwell declaiming the texts in what obviously has to be considered the authentic style. Until a recent recording of The Rake's Progress on ASV, this four-number suite was the best and longest representation of Jacob's score while Lambert's own Music for Orchestra, a 12-minute piece with himself introducing it, is his first significant orchestral work, dating from 1927 and is available only here (both are from BBC transcription discs). Dutton CDBP 9761 (England) 08I011 $8.98

GEORGE SCOTT-WOOD (1903-1978): Serenade to Evening for Piano and Orchestra (Arthur Dulay [piano]), London Caprice (New Promenade Orchestra; George Scott-Wood. May 18 and Feb. 7, 1949), CHARLES WILDMAN (aka WILLY MATTES) (1916-2002): Vienna Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Jacqueline Blanchard [piano], Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Charles Wildman. Date unknown), OSCAR STRAUS (1870-1954): From Strauss to Straus (selection), Overture to The Waltz Dream, March, Tiralala Waltz and My Hero from The Chocolate Soldier (New Symphony Orchestra; Oscar Straus. June 14, 1947), ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948): Intermezzo from Act III of The Jewels of the Madonna, Intermezzo from Act II of The Four Peasants, Minuet and Furlana from The Curious Women, Overture from The Secret of Susanna (Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich; Ermanno Wolf-Ferarri. June 21, 1947). For collectors of composers conducting their own music, with substantial sequences of 12 minutes of Wolf-Ferrari and 27 minutes of Oscar Straus. And, for collectors of the really unusual, an eight-minute piano concerto in echt Viennese style by the pseudonymoous Wildman and two light music pieces by Scott-Wood. Dutton CDBP 9760 (England) 08I012 $8.98

FRÉDERIC D'ERLANGER (1868-1943): Les cent baisers (Sept. 27, 1937), ALEXANDER DARGOMIZHSKY (1813-1869): Dances slaves et tziganes (Sept. 27,1937), LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)/JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Scuola di ballo (July 26-27, 1939), EMMANUEL CHABRIER (1841-1904)/VITTORIO RIETI (1898-1994): Cotillon (Aug. 9, 1938), IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Le baiser de la fée (July 26-27, 1939). Released on Pearl at full-price eight years ago, the D'Erlanger, Françaix and Rieti ballet suites are available only through these historical recordings and Dutton adds the equally hard-to-find eight-minute Dargomyzhsky piece of exotic color and four excerpts from the Stravinsky (which, as it was revised in 1950, must contain original versions of some of this music). London Philharmonic Orchestra; Antal Dorati. Dutton CDBP 9757 (England) 08I013 $8.98

ANGELO NOTARI (1566-1663): Canzona Passagiata, GIOVANNI PAOLO CIMA (c.1570-c.1622): Sonata per Cornetto over Violino in D Minor, JOHANNES KAPSBERGER (c.1580-1651): Toccata Decima, Passacaglia, Toccata seconda "arpeggiata", FRANCESCO CORBETTA (1615-1681): Preludio, Couranto, Sarabanda, Ciaconna, CARLO FARINA (c.1600-1640): Sonata detta la Marina, GIOVANNI ANTONIO PANDOLFI MEALLI (c.1660): Sonata la Cesta, Sonata la Stella, Sonata la Vinciolina, GIOVANNI BATTISTA GRANATA (?-1646): Toccata, Corrente, Giga, NICOLÒ CORRADINI (?-1646): Sonata la Sfondrata, BARTOLOMÉ DE SELMA Y SALAVERDE (c.1638): Canzon Terza. Early Italian violin sonatas (with theorbo/guitar and lirone for continuo), interspersed with solo plucked instrumental pieces, showing the period when the instrumental canzona was metamophosing into the sonata. La Sfondrata. Aeolus AE-10016 (Germany) 08I014 $17.98

GUILLAUME BOUZIGNAC (c.1590-c.1640): Te Deum, Motets: Ecce festivitas amoris, Ecce homo, Unus ex vobis, In pace, in idipsum, Ha! Plange, Vulnerasti cor meum, Alleluia, venite amici, Flos in flores, O Mors, ero mors tua, Clamant clavi, Ecce Aurora, Dum silentium, Jubilate Deo, Salve, Jesu piissime, Ave Maria, Tota pulchra est. Never having been attached to the royal court or chapel, Bouzignac stands apart from his contemporaries especially in his unique expressiveness, born of the fragmentation of the polyphonic structure through abrupt juxtaposition of sharply contrasting textures. Orlando Gibbons Viol Ensemble, Les Arts Florissants; William Christie. Original 1993 Harmonia Mundi release. Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951471 (France) 08I015 $7.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): Petits motets: Omnes gentes, Regina coeli, O sapientia, Laudate pueri, Salve Regina, Exaudi Deus, Anima Christi, Ave coeli, Dixit Dominus, O dulcissime, Domine salvum regem. These short motets for three treble voices and continuo occupy a special place in Lully's output, being written in the Italian style of Carissimi, graceful and fluent with constant play of imitation between the voices. Les Arts Florissants; William Christie. Original 1987 Harmonia Mundi release. Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951274 (France) 08I016 $7.98

CAROLUS HACQUART (c.1640-c.1701): From Harmonia parnassia: Sonatas Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8 & 9, Motets from Cantiones sacrae: Miser es, Domine quae est fiducia tua, Nunc loquar, Domine. Published in 1686, the set of sonatas is remarkable for its blend of Italianate sonata da chiesa style with folk-song elements, dances and even a French overture - a personal mixing of styles also evident in his sacred motets. Céline Scheen (soprano), Stephan Van Dyck (tenor), Dirk Snellings (bass), Ensemble Clematis; Stéphanie de Failly & Leonardo Garcia Alarcón. Musica Ficta MF8006 (Belgium) 08I017 $15.98

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): Messe à 8 voix et 8 violons et flûtes, Te Deum à 8 voix avec flûtes et violons. Charpentier was one of very few composers during the reign of the Sun King to occupy himself with the genre of the mass and this one is his third. Both pieces here may be from 1672 and show his youthful style, influenced by his studies in Rome with Carissimi. Le Concert Spirituel; Hervé Niquet. Glossa SACD hybrid GCDSA 921611 (Spain) 08I018 $18.98

VINCENT LÜBECK (1654-1740): Complete Organ Works - Praeludia in C, G Minor and D Minor, Praeambula in F, E, C Minor and G, Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, Nun lasst uns Gott, dem Herren, Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, In dulci jubilo. Although only nine certain organ works by Lübeck survive, they confirm his place alongside Bruhns and Buxtehude as the most important organist/composers of the north German school. The music derives from Buxtehude stylistically but is far more virtuosic. Friedhelm Flamme (Treutmann organ of Stiftskirche St. Georg, Grauhof bei Goslar). CPO SACD hybrid 8777 198 (Germany) 08I019 $15.98

LUDOVICO ANTONIO RONCALLI (1654-1713): Capricci Armonici for Spanish Guitar - Suites No. 1 in G, No. 2 in E Minor, No. 3 in B Minor, No. 4 in D, No. 7 in D Minor & No. 8 in C. Published in 1692, Roncalli's sole extant work is one of the earliest to feature suites for a solo instrument, serving as a model for Bach. Each begins with a preludio and allemanda and follows with a series of dances. Giacomo Parimbelli (guitar). Tactus TC 651801 (Italy) 08I020 $11.98

GIOVANNI LORENZO GREGORI (1663-1745-): 10 Concerti grossi, Op. 2, ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1644-1682): Sonata di viole, 3 Symphonies from Cantata per il santissimo Natale, Sonata in due cori, Sinfonia. Gregori's set of concerti (1698) may be the first to bear the title "Concerti grossi" and it has a separate part added in the fourth concerto for solo violin, making it an important stage in the development of the genre. There is very little purely orchestral music by Stradella available so this is a doubly interesting release. Capriccio Basel. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 091 (Germany) 08I021 $18.98 Ø

EVARISTO FELICE DALL'ABACO (1675-1742): Violin Sonatas in D Minor, Op. 1/2, in G Minor, Op. 1/5, in A Minor, Op. 1/4 and in G, Op. 1/8, Sonatas for 2 Violins and Continuo in G, Op. 3/4, in A, Op. 3/12 and in B Minor, Op. 3/3. Dating from 1702/3 and 1712-15, these two collections vary in genre between sonata da chiesa and da camera and have been selected to best show an admittedly uneven composer's melodic inventiveness, variety and expressive power as expressed through often unconventional structures. Insieme Strumentale di Roma. Stradivarius STR 33740 (Italy) 08I022 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999, Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992, Er kam, lobsingt ihm, TWV 1:462. We've had several examples of late Telemann for the concert hall; now, three cantatas for church performance from 1759 and 1762. As one would expect from the former, these are quite modern in style as Telemann never stopped absorbing new trends in composition. In fact, he had the same attitude for texts: two set texts by late teen-age poets and the longest - Komm, Geist, setting Klopstock (35 at the time) is also, coincidentally, the more conservative-sounding work. German-English texts. Dorothée Mields (soprano), Elisabeth Graf (alto), Knut Schoch (tenor), Ekkehard Abele (bass), Michaelstein Chamber Choir, Telemannisches Collegium Michaelstein; udger Rémy. CPO 777 064 (Germany) 08I023 $15.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Harmonischer Gottesdienst - Christmas Cantatas Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 68 & 72, Cantatas for Easter and Pentecost Nos. 17, 19, 12, 28, 31, 32 & 33, Cantatas for the Church Year after Trinity Nos. 44, 47, 48, 54, 55, 57 & 64, Missa brevis, TWV 9:14, Motet Deus Judicium Tuum, TWV 7:7, Cantata Alles redet itzt und singet, TWV 20:10. At the end of 1728, Telemann published his "Harmonic Divine Service" - a 72-cantata series which covered all the Sundays and festivals of the church year, of which 21 are presented in this boxed reissue of earlier releases. The formal unity of the cycle is leavened by Telemann's customary versatile and imaginative style as he varies the color of each piece with, in his own words "all kinds of striking inventions". The fourth CD contains three works from three different periods of Telemann's career. 4 CDs. German texts. Budget-price. Barbara Schlick, Monika Frimmer (sopranos), David Cordier (alto), Christoph Prégardien, Berhard Hirtreiter, Rufus Müller (tenors), Gotthold Schwarz, Stephen Varcoe (basses), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Herman Max and many other vocal and instrumental soloists. Original 1990, 1997 and 1999 Capriccio releases. Capriccio 49 498 (Germany) 08I024 $33.98 Ø

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Solomon. One of his finest, with magnificent, intricate choruses and rapturous, intimate love music (and, of course, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba where it belongs!). 2 CDs. Libretto available on-line. Ewa Wolak (contralto), Elisabeth Scholl, Nicola Wemyss (sopranos), Knut Schoch (tenor), Junge Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra; Joachim Carlos Martini. Naxos 8.557574-75 (New Zealand) 08I025 $15.98

JOSEPH BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689-1755): Suite from Les Voyages de l'Amour, Op. 60, Sonate à 4 in E Minor, Op. 34/3, Sonata quinta for Cello and Continuo, Op. 26/5, Troisième Suite de Clavecin, Op. 59, Sonate pour un dessus et deux basses, Op. 37/2, Concerto in G, Op. 21/3, Concerto à 5 in E Minor, Op. 37/6, "La Casa Dolce" - Sixième Gentillesse pour 2 dessus et basse, Op. 33/6. Widely derided for becoming wealthy by writing easy music for the general public, Boismortier's reputation even now still requires restoration. Ranging widely over his 102 opus numbers, this collection gives a good idea of the freshness and originality of his best music. La Cetra d'Orfeo; Michel Keustermans. Pavane ADW 7497 (Belgium) 08I026 $10.98

FRANÇOIS-ANDRÉ DANICAN PHILIDOR (1726-1795): Tom Jones. Premiered in 1765 (the 1766 revised version is performed here), less than 16 years after the publication of Henry Fielding's famous novel, Philidor's opera is an important waystation along the road to the classic form of the French opéra-comique. As one knows from this genre, there is no accompanied recitative - everything not sung is spoken but the well-translated libretto keeps both us and the live audience amused in our separate languages and, while Tom is rather pale in characterization, the Western family (that of his beloved, Sophie) are sharply drawn and enjoyable and the ensembles are particularly attractive. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Sebastien Droy (tenor), Sophie Marin-Degor (soprano), Opéra de Lausanne, Le Sinfonietta de Lausanne; Jean-Claude Malgoire. Dynamic CDS 509/1-2 (Italy) 08I027 $35.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Requiem in C Minor (world premiere recording), Missa Sancti Joannis Nepomuceni, Te Deum in D. This strikingly powerful requiem is one of the discoveries of the year for this period. Existing solely in one manuscript copy (in the Hungarian National Library) and dated to around 1792, its lack of publication or existence in other archives suggests Haydn had a particular reason for writing it - the note-writer argues that it was for his recently deceased friend, Mozart. Regardless, it immediately belongs with the finest requiems of the late Classical period. Kammerchor Cantemus, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein; Werner Ehrhardt. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 084 (Germany) 08I028 $18.98 Ø

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): La serva padrona. This two-character intermezzo in two acts premiered in St. Petersburg in 1781. Presented with an eight-minute prologue (in costume) which sets the scene and gives a bit of information about Paisiello (vis-a-vis Pergolesi's intermezzo of the same title), three-camera coverage, 4:3 ratio (regular TV), artist and other (director, costume designer) bios, and mono sound (surprisingly). The stage director plays the mute servant (addresses to a mute servant who needn't be there in a sound-only recording sure would look stranger on stage...) and does some comic business on stage between acts. English subtitles. Live recording April 17, 2004 - Teatro Sangiorgi, Catania. Tiziano Bracci (baritone), Gabriella Colecchia (soprano), Orchestra del Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania; Marco Zuccarini. Fabula Classica DVD FEB 602 (Italy) 08I029 $26.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1753-1824): Prima Sinfonia Concertante in F for 2 Violins and Orchestra (ed. Quaranta), ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): Viola Concerto in E Flat (rev. Cicacci), LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Quintettino in C, Op. 30/6 "La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid". The Viotti appears to date from 1787 and was once arranged by Steibelt for violin and piano. The notes, next to useless, seem to indicate that Felice Quaranta edited it for its intended pair of violins in 1960. Nothing is said about the date or history of the Rolla; however neither have any current CD competition. Paolo Franceschini, Luca Arcese (violins), Luca Ranieri (viola), I Solisti de Perugia. Camerata CMCD-28073 (Japan) 08I030 $17.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART? (1756-1791): Cor Sincerum, Jesu, amore meus, Mens sancta Deo (2 versions), Jesu dulcis memoria, Offertorium "Salve Regina", Domine Deus salutis meae, Plasmator Deus, Die Hoffnung dient zum Stabe. Discovered by Dieter Klöcker while delving through piles of forgotten manuscripts in (mostly) Eastern Europe, these sacred arias for voice and obbligato instrument (clarinet, Klöcker being their discoverer and soloist here, bassoon (Karl-Otto Hartmann) and violin (Josef Suk)) are attributed to Mozart and are very much in his style (the German aria has a cadenza by Süßmayr). Whether they've been authenticated by now or not, they remain attractive listening for collectors of this period. Latin-German texts. Helen Donath (soprano), Suk Chamber Orchestra; Klaus Donath. Original 1989 Panton release. Arts Archives 43012 (Germany) 08I031 $12.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Molto allegro, K72a*, Eine kleine gigue, K.574, Adagio in B Minor, K.deest*, Fuga a 3, K.153, from the London Sketchbook: K. 15a, K.15b, K.15gg, K.15h & K.15r, Thema, K.Anh.38, Adagio in D Minor, K.Anh. 34 (385h)*, Contredanse "Das Donnerwetter", K.534, Adagio in D Minor, K.593 (Anh.35)*, March, K.408/1, Tema con variazioni (from Flute Quartet, K.285b and Gran Partita, K.361), Adagio for Harmonica, K.356 (617a), Menuett, K.94 (73h), 7 Variations on the Dutch Song "Willem van Nassau", K.25, Quaerite primum regnum Dei, K86 (73v)^, Quaerite primum regnum Dei (G.B. Martini's revised version), [Contrappunto a 4], K.620b (compl. Simon Sechter [1788-1867])^, Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh' darein (Bach BWV 153), [Contrappunto a 4], K.620b (compl. Christoph Albrecht [b.1944])^, Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 - Finale of Act II^, Sonata in D for 4 Hands, K.381 (123a) - Allegro molto^, March funèbre del Sigr. Maestro Contrapunto, K453a^, Canon Lieber Freistadtler, leiber Gaulimauli, K.232^. On the theory that Mozart was almost as active as an organist as he was as a pianist but that he must have improvised a lot since hardly any original compositions for organ remain, this release concentrates on contrapuntal fragments (completed by several hand) and transcriptions and dances adapted for organ - performed on historical Italian organs, on two of which Mozart (and his father) performed during their tour of Italy. (* - compl. André Isoir [b.1935]) Liuwe Tamminga (organs of San Tomaso Cantuariense, Verona; San Domenico, Bologna; San Petronio, Bologna), Luigi Mangiocavallo (second organ of San Petronio^). Accent ACC 24172 (Belgium) 08I032 $17.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Modulierendes Präludium (F-C) K.624 (626a) II. Teil, I (K6: Anh. C 15.11)*, Fantasie in C Minor, K.396 (385f) (compl. Maximilian Stadler [1748-1833]), Fugues in E Flat, K.153 (375f) and in G Minor, K.154 (385k) (compl. Simon Sechter [1788-1867])*, Sonata Movement in G Minor, K.312 (189i; K6: 590d)*, Sonata Movement in B Flat, K.400 (372a) (compl. Stadler)*, Adagio in B Minor, K.450, Fugue in E, K3 Anh.109viii; K6: Anh. C 27.10) (compl. Alexander Klengel [1784-1856])*, Fantasie in D Minor, K.397 (385g), Rondo in A Minor, K. 511, Prelude and Fugue in C, K.394 (383a). A collection of rare and world premiere (*) keyboard fragments (26 minutes worth of the latter): yes, there apparently are still bits of unrecorded Mozart! Concise, clear notes walk you through each of pieces whether better-known or unknown. Annette Töpel (piano). Musicaphon M 56874 (Germany) 08I033 $15.98

JOSEPH WEIGL (1766-1846): Die Schweizer Familie. Weigl's two most successful works, this one from 1809 and Das Weisenhaus from the year before, are gentle, pastoral and romantic love stories, much more in the early Romantic tradition - concerned with orchestral color (and Swiss folk color too) - than in the Singspiel genre which was still quite popular. Translated into several languages, this lyric opera was popular throughout Europe and will appeal to collectors of pre-Romanticism. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Tobias Müller-Kopp (baritone), Petri Mikael Pöyhönen (tenor), Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo), Marília Vargas (soprano), Chorus and Orchestra Dreieck; Uri Rom. Guild GMCD 7298/9 (Switzerland) 08I034 $33.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): 12 Kontretänze, WoO 14 (Nos. 11 and 12 by Kaspar Karl von Beethoven [1774-1815]), 12 German Dances, WoO 8, 6 Minuets, WoO 9, 11 Mödlinger Dances, WoO 17 (ascr.). Beethoven (and, twice, his younger brother) writes pop music! Which is what it was - country dances and German dances for public balls and minuets for private balls (all three of these sets probably date from around 1795). The Mödling dances, if they are by Beethoven, are late works, provided at the request of a group of musicians who played at a particular inn (which Beethoven frequented?). L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra; Michi Gaigg. CPO 777 117 (Germany) 08I035 $15.98

GEORGE ONSLOW (1784-1853): String Quintet in C Minor "The Bullet", Op. 38, String Quintet in C Minor, Op. 67. A rare piece of programmatic music in Onslow's output, The Bullet dates from 1829 when, in fine pre-Dick Cheney fashion, the composer took a bullet in the face from a friend in a boar hunting party. C minor is Onslow's most expressive key and he was obviously planning an emotionally revealing work to begin with, the first movement having been completed before the accident which allowed him to produce a minuet "Dolore", a slow movement "Convalescenza" and a finale "Guarigione" ("Recovery"). Again in C minor, the companion piece of 1843 goes back to the typically technically demanding "pure" music with Onslow's characteristically unique harmonic and melodic constructs. Quintett Momento Musicale. MD&G 603 1390 (Germany) 08I036 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): La Gazzetta. Nobel Prize-winning playwright and stage director Dario Fo was lured out of retirement to do this 2005 Barcelona production (he designed the sets and costumes as well). Set in a Mediterranean resort during the 1920s, the production is a gorgeous combination of colorful costumes, constant movement (mime, dance and circus - the scenery moving even when the players aren't). People who (like me) have a hard time warming up to Rossini in a sound-only format should absolutely see this production. With attractive principals, a fine comic buffo singer-actor in Praticò and the already-mentioned splendid visuals, captured by multiple cameras, this is a fabulously enjoyable two and a half hours. 2 DVDs. Stereo or 5:1 surround. 16:9 anamorphic wide-screen. Including interview with Dario Fo, illustrated synopsis and cast gallery. English subtitles. Cinzia Forte (soprano), Agata Bienkowska (mezzo), Bruno Praticò (bass-baritone), Charles Workman (tenor), Intermezzo Choir, Orchestra Academy of the Gran Teatre de Liceu; Maurizio Barbacini. Opus Arte DVD OA 0953 D (England) 08I037 $39.98

GIROLAMO SALIERI (1794-after1838): Adagio, Theme and Variations on a Theme by Rossini, Andante, Theme and Variations on a Theme by Bellini, Theme and Variations on a Theme by Pacini, Introduction, Theme and Variations, GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Introduction, Theme and Variations. Brilliant clarinet virtuosity from a genre well-known to collectors of the period, with the added novelty that the composer was the nephew of the famous Antonio. Giuseppe Porgo (clarinet), Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pfrozheim; Sebastian Tewinkel. Genuin GEN 85053 (Germany) 08I038 $17.98 Ø

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1956): Piano Quartet in C Minor (ed. Draheim), Piano Quartet in E Flat, Op. 47. Schumann was still only 18 when he left unfinished this early piano quartet. A previous recording (11F043) makes use of a different completion although, I can't say which (Wolfgang Boetticher's of 1979?). Draheim's was done expressly for the performers here, will be published in 2008 and was first performed in February of last year. Trio Parnassus. MD&G 303 1414 (Germany) 08I039 $17.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Harp Concerto in E Minor, Op. 182, Flute Concerto in D, Op. 283, Ballade for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 288. Three other recordings of each concerto exist but none at budget-price and the Ballade (the last opus number of Reinecke's catalogue) exists in only one other recording. Flutist Gallois has done his own editing of the flute concerto, which has numerous differences between its orchestral and piano scores. Fabrice Pierre (harp), Patrick Gallois (flute), Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Naxos 8.557404 (New Zealand) 08I040 $7.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): 4 Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 22, Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano, Op. 274, Sextet for Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon and 2 Horns, Op. 271. Only available CD recording of the early Fantasy Pieces, flowingly melodic, easy on the ear (with a German Dance in the third place). The late sextet, whose first movement is notable for its almost orchestral sonorities, has only one other recording. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Ildikó Cs. Nagy (piano), Gergely Ittzés (flute), Ilona Csizmadia (oboe), György Lakatos (bassoon), Gábor Bizják, Gábor Tóth (horns). Hungaroton HCD 32277 (Hungary) 08I041 $17.98

JULIUS REUBKE (1834-1858): Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor, Scherzo and Mazurka for Piano, Sonata on the 94th Psalm for Organ, Trio in E Flat for Organ. Collectors who don't have the youthful piano scherzo and mazurka (Chopin and Mendelssohn are the chief influences) or equally early organ trio (three minutes - no other recording) may find this new SACD release appealing (the Lisztian piano sonata is actually not very well represented in the catalogues these days either). John Owings (piano), H. Joseph Butler (Casavant organ of Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas). Pro Organo SACD hybrid SACD 7201 (U.S.A.) 08I042 $16.98

THÉODORE DUBOIS (1837-1924): Works for Piano and Strings, Vol. 1 - Piano Trio No. 1 in C Minor, Piano Trio No. 2 in E, Promenade sentimentale, Canon, Cantilène. Dubois waited juuust a little bit to write his first piano trio: 1904, when he was 67. This and his second trio (1911) could have been written 50 years earlier and their easy lyricism, tunefulness and sense of repose are impossible not to like. The academician that Dubois was can still be glimpsed in the counterpoint of the first trio's finale (but it's a jolly counterpoint) and in the little Canon (1922) but, generally speaking, this is Classicism in the style of Saint-Saëns (who was the pianist in the first trio's premiere). Two sentimental salon pieces make up this first volume. Trio Hochelaga. Atma ACD2 2362 (Canada) 08I043 $16.98

FELIPE GORRITI (1839-1896): 5 Versos para el Magnificat, La Esperanza, Marcha fúnebre in F Minor, Cuarteto, Sub tuum praesidium*, O Salutaris*, Plegaría, Marcha fúnebre in C Minor. Active as teacher and keyboardist in the Basque regions, Gorriti was an important link between the Spanish organ's Classical and Romantic periods. Arantza Ezenarro (soprano*), Esteban Elizondo Iriarte (Stoltz-Frères organ of Santa María Church, Tolosa, Spain). Aeolus AE-10531 (Germany) 08I044 $17.98

JULES MASSENET (1842-1912): Chérubin. A soprano en travestie role originally intended for Mary Garden (at the 1905 premiere) and, a couple of decades ago a happy vehicle for Frederica von Stade, this Comédie chantée is perfectly described by Rodney Milnes in Opera Grove: "...short on melody and memorable set numbers, and long on deftly set dialogue that approaches Straussian fluency and ease". The Strauss comparison really comes through in the music which, although condemned by Milnes as "boulevard fare", sounds positively urbane and debonair to a harassed and tired ear at the beginning of the 21st century. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Michelle Breedt (mezzo), Patrizia Ciofi, Carmela Remigio (sopranos), Giorgio Surian (bass-baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Emmanuel Villaume. Dynamic CDS 508/1-2 (Italy) 08I045 $35.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quartets, Vol. 3 - No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 7 & No. 8 in C. An 1896 revision of an 1886 work, the Third has only two movements, and Allegro and a Theme and Variations and overall is relatively simple and transparent compared to some of the heavily contrapuntal quartets. Unpublished, "No. 8" actually dates from 1883 and has a very Mozart-via-Tchaikovsky feel. Taneyev Quartet. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9935 (Russia) 08I046 $16.98

ARTHUR DE GREEF (1862-1940): Piano Trio in F Minor, GUILLAUME LEKEU (1870-1894): Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 70. Although De Greef's trio dates from 1935, it is as Romantic in its language and gestures as the short-lived Lekeu's 1891 work, although, at 22 minutes, a bit more than half its length. The importance of melody to De Greef is ever-present in such indications as Dolce cantando e molto esspresivo and ben cantando which appear regularly throughout the ever-lyrical score. It's hard to believe that there is currently only one other CD recording of Lekeu's hyper-romantic, turbulent, emotionally raw score, making this coupling ideal for any collectors who still may not know it. Piano Trio Narziss und Goldmund. In Flanders' Fields, Vol. 46 Phaedra 92046 (Belgium) 08I047 $17.98 Ø

ROBERT KAHN (1865-1951): Cello Sonata, Op. 37, 3 Stücke for Cello and Piano, Op. 25, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Cello Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38. Kahn's sonata dates from 1902 and is an amiably galumphing thing in its outer movements with a slow movement that opens lyrically and builds to a passionate climax but it isn't the autumnal Brahmsian piece you will expect if you have his clarinet trio we offered (06G058) in June of last year. For that, you have to go back five more years to the short set of op. 25 pieces. Rebecca Rust (cello), Fritz Schwinghammer (1914 Grotrian-Steinweg piano). Cavalli Records CCD 269 (Germany) 08I048 $17.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Menuetto in B Flat, [Waltz] in D Flat, 6 Impromptus, Op. 5, Intermezzo and Ballade from Karelia Suite, Op. 11, Sonata in F, Op. 12, Molto sostenuto from The Wood-Nymph, Op. 15, Allegretto in F, JS 23, Caprizzio in B Flat Minor, Lento in E, JS 119, Allegretto in G Minor, JS 225, [Caprice], Op. 24/3 (first version), Andantino in F, Op. 24/7 (first version), Menuetto in B Flat, Marche triste, JS 124, [Allegro] in G Minor, The Cavalier, JS 109. Volume 59 (if you're keeping count) of the Complete Sibelius provides us with 30 minutes (out of 80 total) of world premiere recordings of music from manuscripts donated by the Sibelius family to Helsinki University in 1982. The pieces date from 1891-1903, a few being first versions of later works and others being short movements not belonging to any other works, completed and abandoned for various reasons. BIS' typically exhaustive notes tell all. Folke Gräsbeck (piano). BIS CD-1272 (Sweden) 08I049 $17.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Moderato-Allegro Appassionato in C Sharp Minor, JS 131, [3 Pieces], JS 28, 17/149, 14, Allegretto in B Flat, Fuga für Martin Wegelius, JS 85, String Quartet in A Minor, JS 183. Another 28 minutes of brand-new Sibelius from 1888-89: all but the A minor quartet and the Fuga are world premiere recordings with the Moderato-Allegro Appassionato a substantial piece of more than ten minutes whose breadth and first theme anticipate the symphonic score Kullervo of 1892. The group of three pieces contains music originally intended for a no-longer-surviving melodrama (The Little Mermaid). Tempera Quartet. BIS CD-1476 (Sweden) 08I050 $17.98

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Passacaglia, 44 Variations and Fugue on the Opening of Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, Alt Wien, After Schubert: Das Wandern, Gute Nacht, Ungeduld, Moment musical in F Minor, Ballet Music from "Rosamunde", After Johann Strauss II: Künstlerleben, After Weber: Invitation to the Dance. An early entry into the Godowsky CD catalogues, this highly-regarded issue offered a rather Schubert-based look into the pianist/composer's characteristically brilliant but never shallow transcriptions - more "transformations" than transcriptions, rich in thematic development and theme-inversion and with rich counterpoint. Rian de Waal (piano). Original 1991 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55206 (England) 08I051 $10.98

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Eva. This "socialistic operetta" premiered in Vienna in November of 1911. The title character is a just-turned 20-year-old god-daughter of a group of factory workers who want to shield her from the amatory intentions of the young factory owner. (Lehár really always was on the look-out for the new and novel.) The press of the period compared the silvery, sparkling quality of much of Eva's music (which gives much work to woodwinds) to that of Der Rosenkavalier which premiered the same year. Recorded over three nights last August at the Lehár Festival Bad Ischl, with complete dialogues (30 minutes in all; native German speakers will certainly be better off here!). 2 CDs. No libretto. Morenike Fadayomi (soprano), Reinhard Alessandri (tenor), Chorus of the Lehár Festival Bad Ischl, Franz Lehár Orchestra; Wolfgang Bozic. CPO 777 148 (Germany) 08I052 $31.98

PAVEL CHESNOKOV (1877-1944): Cherubic Hymn, Eternal Counsel, Op. 40/2, From My Youth - from All-Night Vigil, Op. 21, Let My Prayer Come True, Op. 24/8, Judicious Robber, Op. 40/3, Don't Reject Me When I Turn Old, Op. 40/5, The Lord is with Us, Op. 40/6, Funeral Service, Op. 39 - excerpts. A companion to March's Chesnokov issue on this label (03H085), this release offers a selection of sacred concertos (for soloist with choir) along with 25 minutes of excerpts from the Op. 39 Funeral Service which appeared there. Male Choir of St. Petersburg. Russian Lyre RLCD 017 (Russia) 08I053 $16.98 Ø

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): 4 Gedichte, Op. 62, Stimmungen und Betrachtungen, Op. 53, An mein Weib, Op. 54, Nos. 2, 4 & 5, 10 Epigramme, Op. 56, 2 Gedichte, Op. 43, 8 Gedichte, Op. 52, 3 Songs from Op. 59/II. The first disc devoted to Karg-Elert's not insignificant song uvre. Everything here dates from 1905-7 and there is a curious desire both to experiment with complex and unusual rhythmical and metrical patterns in the keyboard and in adventurous harmonies and dissonances - much like the impressionist and quasi-atonal things one finds in his organ and solo piano works - while tending toward the conservative Romantic era in choice of texts. A near-operatic intensity of emotion infuses many of these works and suggests the fin de siècle stage styles of Richard Strauss, Zemlinsky and Schreker. German texts. Markus Schäfer (tenor), Ernst Breidenbach (piano). New Classical Adventure SACD hybrid 60152 (Germany) 08I054 $18.98 Ø

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Die Gezeichneten. A huge recumbent broken statue lies across the 100+ foot stage of the Felsenreitschule in this live performance from last year's Salzburg Festival, with eerie, multi-story galleries towering over it, through which landscape move the darkly garbed characters, looking somewhat like creatures out of The Matrix or Herzog's Nosferatu, all lending powerful visuals to Schreker's opulently decadent libretto and music. It really is like watching an expressionist film updated to the present day and once again proves why some stagings absolutely need to be seen as well as heard! (See: www.signandsight.com/features/285.html) 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, PCM stereo, Dolby and Dolby Surround, English subtitles. Robert Brubaker (tenor), Anne Schwanewilms (soprano), Michael Volle (bass), Robert Hale (bass-baritone), Vienna State Opera Choir, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Kent Nagano. EuroArts DVD 2055298 (Germany) 08I055 $29.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Quintette instrumental for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harp, Duo for Violin and Viola, 5 Songs (transcr. Flute and Harp), The Jet Whistle for Flute and Cello, Song of the Black Swan for Violin and Harp. The two largest-scale items here are also rarely-heard: the 1957 Quintette whose lush first-movement sonorities and exquisitely noctural and atmospheric second movement suggest the exotic landscapes one immediately associates with this composer; and the 1946 duo, this time pure, abstract music with intricately worked counterpoint. The flutist and harpist of this ensemble arranged five songs from various periods of Villa-Lobos' career to produce a 14-minute suite of graceful melodies. mobius. Naxos 8.557765 (New Zealand) 08I056 $7.98

HANS GÁL (1890-1987): Suite for Cello and Piano, Op. 6, 2 Scottish Rhapsodies for Cello and Piano, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Cello Sonata in D, Op. 78 (arr. Paul Klengel [1854-1935]). Gal's 1919 suite is a four-movement piece lasting 21 minutes in neo-baroque form (Präludium, Burleske, Aria, Capriccio) and style. The two unpublished and previously unrecorded Rhapsodies come from the other end of his career, 1960. And at least the Brahms is a transcription and not just more duplication. Rebecca Rust (cello), Frederick Blum (piano). Cavalli Records CCD 281 (Germany) 08I057 $17.98

ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Symphony No. 2, Suite, Op. 37, Ogelala "Ballettmysterium", Op. 53. Not previously offered in these pages, this eleven-year-old title offers one of only two recordings of the 1922 ballet based, supposedly, on American Indian themes which Schulhoff heard in a Berlin phonographic archive. One of the many primitivistic works of the period inspired by The Rite of Spring, it's certainly worth more than the price of this disc by itself for its 36 minutes of then avant-garde excitement. From the same year, the suite is a six-movement orchestral rendering of jazzy popular dance styles while the symphony (1932) shows a more toned-down style (presumably in keeping with the Prague concert public for whom it was intended) - although it still has a "scherzo alla jazz". Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Oliver von Dohnányi, Marcello Viotti (symphony). Original 1995 release. Arte Nova ANO 278020 (Germany) 08I058 $4.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): By Footpath and Stile for Baritone and String Quartet, Op. 2 (world premiere recording), For Baritone and Piano: Earth and Air and Rain, Op. 15, To a Poet, Op. 13a. Dating from 1922, By Footpath is a 23-minute cycle to Hardy poems which shows that Finzi early shared the poet's preoccupation with death and the transience of life (having at such a young age already lost three brothers, his father and teacher Ernest Farrar). Earth and Air and Rain (1932) brings Finzi to full maturity in another Hardy series (not intended as a cycle, as the previous one was) while the To a Poet is a six-poem set (one of four) gathered together after the composer's death by Howard Ferguson, Finzi's wife and son which has a strikingly wide variety of texts and an equally compelling compositional response to each. Texts included. Roderick Williams (baritone), Iain Burnside (piano), Sacconi Quartet. Naxos English Song Series 8.557963 (New Zealand) 08I059 $7.98

GOFFREDO PETRASSI (1904-2003): Sestina d'autunno "Veni Creaetor Igor" for Mandolin, Guitar, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Percussion, Seconda Serenata-Trio for Mandolin, Guitar and Harp, Dialogo Angelico for 2 Flutes, LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): Parole di S.Paolo for Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Flutes, 2 Clarinets, Viola, Cello, Harp, Percussion and Piano/Celesta, Tartiniana Seconda for Violin and Piano, Quaderno Musicale di Annalibera for Piano. Equally divided between these two composers (literally 32 minutes of music for each), this new release brings much unusual Petrassi, from the little Dialogo of 1948 (ethereal, neomodal and diatonic) and the 1962 Serenata-Trio (a diaphanous work of destructured sonority, its glimmering and tenuous trills and tremoli always threatening to disintegrate) to the late (1982) hommage to his mentor and teacher Stravinsky in which the same propensity for arabesques and atmosphere predominates although the string instruments add more stability while sudden rhythmic interjections and unexpected outbursts bring drama. Two of the Dallapiccola pieces are so well-known as to require no mention but the Parole of 1964, inspired by St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians is another fine example of how the composer could derive melody and rich expressivity from a note-row. Latin-English texts. Cristina Zavalloni (mezzo), Ensemble Dissonanzen; Claudio Lugo. Mode 166 (U.S.A.) 08I060 $17.98

JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1991): Suite médiévale, Suite brève, Suite française. Two short, one long, all written in 1947 and 1948, these are among Langlais best-known pieces. So why are there only one or two other recordings of them available? The organist here was a student of Langlais and played most of these pieces for him at Ste. Clotilde or elsewhere. Pierre Cogen (organ of Saint-Esprit, Mannheim). Aeolus AE-10081 (Germany) 08I061 $17.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): The Return of Odysseus, Op. 119, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Suite Française, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Toward the Unknown Region. World premiere recording of Arnold's 1976 cantata. Poet Patric Dickinson dehydrated The Odyssey down to a couple of hundred witty and inspired lines, the chorus representing sailors, the women of Ithaca and Penelope's suitors, the whole tale of Odysseus' wanderings told by the sailors and the denoument by the full chorus as narrators. Although Arnold derives his style from the rich legacy of English choral cantata tradition, there is plenty of subversive humor, both vocal and musical, in these 28 minutes and any collector of the genre or, of course, of the composer will want to have this new release regardless of its odd couplings. Texts included. City of Glasgow Chorus, Orchestra of Scottish Opera; Graham Taylor. Divine Art 25035 (England) 08I062 $16.98

MALCOLM WILLIAMSON (1931-2003): Symphony for Voices, English Eccentrics Choral Suite, Requiem for a Tribe Brother. The jagged lines and rhythms of 1962's symphony immediately make one realize that this isn't going to be another Englishy choral music disc and it isn't. Unfortunately, there are no texts (beyond the Latin texts of the requiem) and the useless notes don't tells us what might be behind such movement titles as "Terra Australis", "Jesus", "Envoi" and "New Guinea". The same problem with the Eccentrics ("Goose-weather", "An Amateur of Fashion", "The Quacks" and more) of 1964. The requiem, for an aboriginal friend (1992) is gentle, intimate and obviously deeply felt (with a male voice part imitating the didgeridoo in the Introit). Joyful Company of Singers; Peter Broadbent. Naxos 8.557783 (New Zealand) 08I063 $7.98

BERNARD REICHEL (1901-1992): Symphony No. 2 (Basel Radio Orchestra; Bernard Reichel. Jan. 26, 27, 1972), Overture for Strings, Prélude et Ricercare for Violin, Flute and Strings (Jean Jaquerod [violin], Pierre Wavre [flute], String Orchestra; Reichel. June 14, 1981), Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra (Paulette Zanlonghi [harpsichord], Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; Reichel. Jan. 25, 1961), Suite Symphonique (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Jean-Marie Auberson. Nov. 23, 1966), Gloria in Excelsis for Tenor, Women's Chorus and Orchestra (Eric Tappy [tenor], Lausanne Women's Chorus, OSR; Robert Mermoud. April 2, 1972), Viola Concerto (André Vauquet [viola], OSR; Reichel. Aug. 29, 1961), Cantate de Noël for 2 Sopranos, Tenor, Organ, Chorus and Orchestra (Hélène Morath, Simone Mercier [sopranos], Tappy [tenor], André Luy [organ], Youth Choir and Girls' Choir of the Ecole de Villamont, Lausanne CO; André Charlet. Dec. 17, 1960), La vision d'Ézéchiel for Alto, Chorus, Organ and Orchestra (Brigitte Balleys [alto], Luy [organ], Psallite, Collegium Academicum Geneva; Philippe Cart. May 20, 1987), Emmaüs for Soprano, Tenor, Organ, Chorus and Orchestra (Evelyne Brunner [soprano], Charles Jauquier [tenor], Luy [organ], Choir of the Radio Suisse Romande, Lausanne CO; Charlet. April 20, 1973), Ô Dieu quand je t'implore for Soprano, Flute, Harpsichord and String Orchestra (Basia Retchitzka [soprano], Pierre Wavre [flute], Anne Gallet [harpsichord], String Orchestra; Reichel. June 14, 1981), 3 Psaumes, 4 Motets (Groupe Vocale Michel Hostettler. Nov. 12, 1981 and April 13, 1979), Sanctus (Romand Chamber Choir; Charlet. 1986), Le conte d'été ou Le dragon à sept têtes for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Piano, Chorus and Orchestra (Retchitzka [soprano], Camille Bierens de Haan [mezzo], Vincent Girod [tenor], Philippe Grüffel [baritone], Groupe vocal Piccola Opera, Lausanne CO; Reichel [piano, conductor]. July 17, 1975), Sonata a tre for Flute, Violin and Piano (Raymond Meylan [flute], Rama Jucker [cello], Werner Giger [piano]. May 25, 1965), Sonatine for Viola and Piano (Hermann Friedrich [viola], Theodor Sack [piano]. 1958), Piano Trio (Steiner Piano Trio. Sept. 9, 1970), Concert printanier for Flute, Violin, Viola and Piano (Quatuor Urfer. 1958), 10 Préludes - À la mémoire d'un ami disparu for Piano (Charles Dobler. Jan. 18, 1979), Sonata brève for Flute and Piano (Domenig Oetiker [flute], Richard Huber [piano]. 1977), Suite brève for Piano (Christiane Montandon. 1965), Images for Piano (Dobler. April 25, 1983), Divertimento for Flute, Violin, Oboe, Bassoon and Piano (Irène Gaudibert [flute], François Gottraux [violin], Patrick Marguerat [oboe], Benedetta Targa [bassoon], Nicole Hostettler [piano]. July 6, 2003), 12 Lieder-Gedichte von Goethe (Natacha Ducret [singer], Dominique Lipp [piano]. Jan. 5, 2004), 6 Goether Lieder (Retchitzka [soprano], Magali Schwartz [mezzo], Vincent Girod [tenor], Philippe Huttenlocher [baitone], Montandon, Reichel [piano four hands]. Nov. 27, 1969), Sonate en trio dans le style ancien for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon (Gaudibert [flute], Marguerat [oboe], Targa [bassoon]. July 7, 2003). This Swiss composer has appeared in these pages once before, in October of 2000 (10C068), also on this label, also conducted by his son Daniel although the repertoire there is not included here. Reichel studied with Ernst Levy and was a friend of Frank Martin. His personal musical language derives from a mixture of folk music, hymns and medieval modalities which often gives it the dark gravity and sweep which you often find in Honegger and Martin, acknowledging the Romantic tradition and disdaining dodecaphony while remaining a modern composer. Five discs are orchestral (counting, of course, the impressive and often dramatic oratorios), three of chamber or solo piano works and one of choral music. Sound is predominantly stereo but the mono recordings are of the most exemplary kind, everything deriving from Swiss Radio archives. For collectors of this period, country and musical style, Reichel is a "sleeper" of the best kind. 9 CDs. Mid-price. No texts. Gallo CD-1180 (Switzerland) 08I064 $116.98


Paul Sacher: Conductor and Advocate

IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Monumentum pro Gesualdo di Venosa ad CD annum, Abraham and Isaac for Baritone and Chamber Orchestra (Derrick Olsen [baritone]. Hebrew-English texts), A Sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer for Alto, Tenor, Speaker, Chorus and Orchestra (Jeanne Deroubaix [alto], Hugues Cuénod [tenor], Olsen [speaker], English texts), Symphony in Three Movements. Bavarian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 19, 1965), JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Symphony No. 39 in G Minor (Dec. 8, 1961), BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Memorial to Lidice (April 2/3, 1964), FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Ballade for Cello and Small Orchestra (Heinrich Schiff), BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (both Jan. 16, 1985). Southwest German Radio Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Ritorno degli Snovidenia for Cello and Orchestra (Mstislav Rostropovich. Jan. 20/21, 1977), DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Les Malheurs d'Orphée, Op. 85 (Philippe Huttenlocher [baritone], Ulrike Sonntag [soprano], Basel Chamber Choir. French libretto. May 7/8, 1987). Basle Chamber Orchestra, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Oboe Concerto in C, K.314/285d (Heinz Holliger), WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Aulodie for Oboe, Winds, Percussion and Strings (SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg. May 26, 1966), HEINZ HOLLIGER (b.1939): 2 Liszt Transcriptions for Large Orchestra, Turm-Musik for Flute, Small Orchestra and Tape (Aurèle Nicolet, Basel Symphony Orchestra; Heinz Holliger. Feb. 12/13, 1987). Stravinsky, Bartók, Honegger, Martin, Martinu, Fortner, Lutoslawski, Carter, Hindemith, Boulez, Britten, Dutilleux, Berio, Henze, Birtwistle, Rihm - the list reads like a Who's Who of 20th century music, and all of them were commissioned by Paul Sacher (1906-1999) for one of his two chamber orchestras, the Basel Chamber Orchestra and the Collegium Musicum of Zürich. This tribute offers both complete concerts (of some pretty rare Stravinsky) and excerpts from concerts covering the period 1961-85 and Sacher's young conducting colleague (and veteran oboist) Heinz Holliger is also represented in two of his own works from 1987. The 138-page book which accompanies this set (three languages) contains an appreciation of Sacher (and Holliger) and notes on each of the works performed as well as an English synopsis of the Milhaud opera which has only French libretto. For collectors, hearing Sacher in Mozart and Haydn will be almost as interesting as the repertoire on which he made his living and reputation. All this and the astonishing fact that, in the mid 1990s, he was listed as the world's third wealthiest man! 4 CDs. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6240 (Switzerland) 08I065 $75.98


CLAUDE LOYOLA ALLGÉN (1920-1990): Sonata for Solo Violin. Allgén was an eccentric recluse whose life seems to have consisted almost exclusively of his devotion to music and his devout religious beliefs - he undertook theological studies in the 1950s but was apparently never ordained. For the last three decades of his life he lived in crushing poverty which eventually led to his bizarre and tragic death - in a house fire apparently caused by his practice of heating and lighting his home with open flames after the electricity was disconnected for non-payment. So: what is the piece like and why does it last 161 minutes? The answer to the second part is as simple as it is admirable and right; because that is the length of time it took the composer to say what he wanted to say in the way he wanted to say it. There is never any sense of gratuitous padding or distension for its own sake. There is something going on all the time; the music is full of event and tightly organised throughout. Allgén was neither a formal experimenter nor an harmonic innovator, and his use of themes in development and recapitulation, though obviously over an unconventional timescale, aids memory and renders the large expanses of music readily approachable even on first listening. The last movement is even entitled Rondo and is recognisably such, and this and other such structures turn up elsewhere in the piece, which is fairly conventionally laid out: extensively, if freely, developed first movement; central slow movement; and rondo-finale. Harmonically, the language is one of extreme, even obsessive, chromaticism, though very seldom straying into demonstrably atonal territory. For the most part, isolate any ten-minute passage of the piece and the 20th-century composer known for his contribution to chamber music who (in the broadest brush-strokes) comes to mind for comparison is Bartók, followed at a slight remove by Enescu. The violin writing is extremely accomplished, ingenious, virtuosic and idiomatic; Allgén constantly reminds us that he knew exactly what he was about on his own instrument. The bottom line is: does the work sustain interest throughout?, and the answer has to be a pretty resounding 'yes'. The work is emotionally and spiritually far-ranging (and seems to reflect the composer's religious stance), intellectually rigorous and organically satisfying. It is not for nothing that Allgén's final, incomplete work was entitled Horror vacui ("Fear of Emptiness"). By filling every moment of this vast work with event and argument Allgén produced, perhaps unwittingly, a cry de profundis against the vacuity of so much modern life and art. Ulf Wallin (violin). 3 CDs for the price of 2. BIS CD-1381/82 (Sweden) 08I066 $35.98 Ø

ALEXANDER LOKSHIN (1920-1987): Symphony No. 5 "Shakespeare's Sonnets" for Baritone, String Orchestra and Harp, Symphony No. 9 for Baritone and String Orchestra, Symphony No. 11 for Soprano and Orchestra. Lokshin is a major discovery, and should be pretty much self-recommending for any collector enthused by the astounding quality and range of music composed not infrequently in spite of the Soviet regime. Lokshin, like so many others, saw his fortunes oscillate wildly at the arbitrary whim of official cultural doctrine, and his obstinate insistence on composing large-scale works to texts which were either banned or viewed with extreme suspicion on account of their pessimistic nature seems almost to have been calculated to stir up the authorities. His language avoids any trace of the avant garde, seldom in fact sounding as modern as late Shostakovich (who admired his music; other supporters included Mravinsky and Barshai). In the Shakespeare settings there is an uncanny sense of the music matching the archaism of the poetry while remaining clearly of the 20th century - one is reminded of English composers such as Warlock, Vaughan Williams and perhaps above all Lambert, incorporating inflections of Elizabethan styles into their own for 'historical color'. The other works display Romantic influences; the vocabulary is fundamentally tonal with much turn of the century chromaticism; the emotional impact and eloquent expressiveness of the music cannot be denied. Especially moving is the 11th, which concludes a sequence of marvellously varied variations in a generally Mahlerian/early-Schoenbergian vocabulary with a gorgeous nature-poem by Luís de Camões (1524-80) which intriguingly suggests the vocal epilogue of Mahler's 4th. Texts and English translations included. Very highly recommended. Jeffrey Black (baritone), Vanda Tabery (soprano), Recreation, Grosses Orchester Graz; Michel Swierzczewski. BIS CD-1456 (Sweden) 08I067 $17.98

GÜNTER BERGMANN (1910-1998): Stationen (Musikalisches Tagebuch 1936-39) for Piano (Sabine Roderburg. Original 1898 Aulos recording), 8 Studien, Die Brücke, Der Bogen, Gestalten, Anachonismen (Noriko Kitano [piano]), Harmonice Mundi Iovis for Organ (Andrea Bärenfänger [organ of St. Marienkirche, Dortmund. A mathematician and botanist as well as a trained composer, Bergmann left a very small quantity of music but this little 38-minute piano cycle will be of great interest to collectors of music composed during the Third Reich. This eight-movement cycle is an interior musical monologue describing the composer's dread and fears for the future, now and then swept aside by some physical activities (a sail on the lake in the center of Hamburg or a depiction of that city's hop-market, a trip to Brahms' birthplace), but ending in "September 1938" (about which the notes make oblique reference to "the political events of that month" - the notewriting in the fine try-to-pretend-it-didn't-actually-happen style of German notewriting prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union) and "August 1939 - Trauermarsch" which is a remarkable presentiment of the horror and angst to come. A healthy 71 minutes long, the second piano disc varies from the comfortable post-romanticism of the Studies to the apparent programmatic qualities of "The Bridge" and "The Arch" (the notes tell us there is a program but not what it might be - nor do they provide dates of composition which might allow us to assess Bergmann's stylistic progressions, if any) to similar psychologically inward meditations and broodings in the abstract pieces "Forms" and "Anachronisms". The next-to-useless notes tell us Harmonice... was Bergmann's last work and that he died hours after its premiere, so he presumably composed up to the end of his life. A commission from an astronomical society, this fairly brief (19 minutes) suite encodes information about the orbits and positions of Jupiter's moons into music through rhythmic idioms, motives and melodic characteristics. What the notes don't tell you is why the accompanying work on this disc is a "short version" of the same piece, lasting 15 minutes - for a grand total of 34 minutes in all. 3 CDs. Genuin GEN 03011 (Germany) 08I068 $44.98 >

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): The Palace, Op. 68. Sallinen's fifth opera represents a departure, of sorts, from the general trend of his previous work, though the signs were there in The King Goes Forth to France from ten years previously. The Palace is political satire - rather lighter of touch and less grim than that of 'King'; musically too there are elements of a more immediately diverting vocabulary (including very occasional hints of jazz and lighter forms as local color), though Sallinen's musical language has stayed on the same broad track since the 1970s. The usual brooding unease and ostinato-driven agitation are omnipresent; the customary shades of Shostakovich, Busoni, Prokofiev and Sibelius, but with the shadows sometimes breaking into self-caricature, as befits the absurdist nature of the piece. The potential absurdity attendant upon the wielding of absolute power is the subject of the work; depending on one's historical perspective, the worshipped and omnipotent - and almost entirely ineffectual in terms of his own actual actions - monarch who presides over the Palace may have something do do with Haile Selassie, Ceaucescu, the Tzars, the Soviet regime, Saddam Hussein, or none of the above. Utterly detached from the populace and from any semblance of common sense, the King only effectively exists through the machinations of his incredibly corrupt functionaries. Sallinen's music and the sprightly libretto keep this going at a cracking pace, and the whole is both a sharp piece of satire and a satisfying operatic experience. The production is filmed from multiple angles frequently in close-up, not resembling what one would see in the opera house, but effective as an approximation of TV drama style. Subtitles selectable in 6 languages: Aspect ratio 4:3 (regular TV): 2-channel stereo. Bonus feature; a 35-minute documentary incorporating segments on the Festival (held in the photogenic Olavlinna Castle), interviews with Sallinen, other musicians involved, the librettists, etc. (in English). Veijo Varpio (tenor), Jaana Mäntynen (soprano), Sauli Tiilikainen (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of the Savonlinna Opera Festival; Okko Kamu. Arthaus Musik DVD 102 091 (Germany) 08I069 $29.98

MICHAEL HORVIT (b.1932): Concerto for English Horn and String Quartet, Piano Trio, String Quartet No. 2 "The Wide Missouri". Our only previous release of music by Horvit was of a choral/orchestral work called The Mystic Flame (in Dec. 2002) whose Jewish subject and attendant musical language may have been a bit misleading. Horvit's teachers include Copland, Foss, Piston, Porter and Gardner Read, which will give you a good idea of what to expect. Always approachable, Horvit's music never uses facile melodies for their own sake. Where a melody appears it is used for telling effect, especially in the darkly burnished sounds of the english horn in the 23-minute "concerto" of 1984 which makes full use of the instrument's distinctive lyrical voice and in the string quartet (1993) where the whole 27-minute work is based on motivic and thematic material drawn from the song of its subtitle but where the full melody is reserved for the climax. Dating from 1982, the single-movement piano trio is a freely-rhapsodic piece of 22 minutes of a particularly intense, inward and emotional character. Dan Willet (english horn), The Esterhazy Quartet, Timothy Hester (piano), Andrej Grabiec (violin), David Garrett (cello). Albany TROY 851 (U.S.A.) 08I070 $16.98

PETER RÉ (b.1927ish): String Quartets Nos. 1-3, Divertimento for Piano Trio. Ré studied under Hindemith. The performers here of his quartets may remind you of their pioneering series of recordings of the Piston string quartets on the old Northeastern label. Piston's Gallic neo-classicism and Hindemith's businesslike clarity of texture are both reflected in these works. The quartets are all in three movements with fast outer ones and a lyrical slow inner one (from 1957, 1968 and 1987), and they vary little in their musical personality, all being of a concise 12-14 minute length); the Divertimento is from 1976 and of exactly the same character. Excellent examples of the classical idea of chamber music being an intelligent conversation among equal partners. Portland String Quartet, Graybert Beacham (violin), Susan Poliacik (cello), Cheryl Tschanz (piano). Albany TROY 853 (U.S.A.) 08I071 $16.98

ERNEST VAN DER EYKEN (b.1913): String Quartet No. 2 (Nuove Musiche String Quartet), Trio for Flute, Violin and Viola (Denis Pierre Gustin [flute], André Siwy [violin], Thérèse Marie Gilissen [viola]), 2 Melodies for Viola and Piano (Maté Szücs [viola], Jozef de Beenhouwer [piano]), Sonatine for Sofie for Piano (de Beenhouwer), Concerto for 8 Wind Instruments (Bellerophon). Unlike many Flemish composers of his generation, Van der Eyken mostly avoided the conservative influence of the "Benoit School" of teachers at the Conservatory, taking it upon himself to study intensively both Hindemith and the Second Viennese School. Thus, Flemish post-Romanticism is tempered by 20th century modernism in such relatively early works as the 1943 quartet where the theme is atonal but not dodecaphonic and there is much attention given to traditional counterpoint. An intense lyricism is present in the two viola pieces from 1942 - the most the pendulum swings to the conservative, while the trio and wind concerto show the blend at its most efficacious again: lyricism is present but so too is a penchant for crisp and wry harmonies. In Flanders' Fields, Vol. 47 Phaedra 92047 (Belgium) 08I072 $17.98 Ø

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)/ARIBERT REIMANN (b.1936): ...oder soll es Tod bedeuten?, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/REIMANN: 6 Gesänge, Op. 107 for Soprano and String Quartet, SCHUMANN: String Quartet in A, Op. 41/3. Taking a cue from Schoenberg's incorporating solo voice as a fifth instrument in a string quartet, Reimann first arranges Mendelssohn's accompaniments for quartet - for the most part faithfully and respectfully in Romantic style, but with heightened expressive effects here and there through the use of contemporary playing techniques. The latter are given full rein in Reimann's original linking intermezzi, which freely adapt material from the songs, commenting on them and pointing up the shadowy subtext which becomes increasingly prominent as the cycle progresses through the use of late, unpublished songs which occupy a darker world than that normally associated with Mendelssohn. The Schumann transcriptions are just that - no original Reimann here - and the string accompaniments are wholly convincing, while allowing the quartet sounds and textures to comment on the music while remaining true to the idiom of the songs. Texts and translations included. Christine Schäfer (soprano), Petersen Quartet. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 090 (Germany) 08I073 $18.98 Ø

PETER SCULTHORPE (b.1929): For Solo Cello: Sonata, Requiem, Tailitnama Song, Threnody, Into the Dreaming, For Cello and Piano: Djilile, Parting, Tailitnama Song, From Saibai. Although not released in the U.S. until now, this recording was published in 2002 and derives from a recording made to celebrate the composer's seventieth birthday in 1999. Collectors will already be familiar with Sculthorpe's evocations of the Australian outback and the timeless atmosphere he conjures from the raw material of Aborigine (and, in the case of From Saibai, other Australasian folk music) but such earlier works as the Requiem (1979) which alternates plain-song with more emotional, personal music and the 1959 solo sonata which comes from a largely European-oriented background. David Pereira (cello), Ian Munro (piano). Tall Poppies TP136 (Australia) 08I074 $18.98


Pierre Boulez - Le Domaine Musical, Vol. 1 1956-1964

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Kontra-Punkte for 10 Instruments, Op. 1 (Soloists of Domaine Musical; Pierre Boulez), Zeitmasse for Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet and Bassoon, Op. 5 (Jacques Castagner [flute], Claude Maisonneuve [oboe], Paul Taillefer [eng horn], Guy Deplus [clarinet], André Rabot [bassoon]), Klavierstück VI (David Tudor [piano]), LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Serenata I for Flute and 14 Instruments (Severino Gazzelloni, Soloists of DM; Boulez), PIERRE BOULEZ (b.1925): Le Marteau sans maître for Alto Voice and 6 Instruments (Jeanne Deroubaix [alto], Gazzelloni [flute], Georges Van Gucht [xylorimba], Claude Ricou [vibraphone], Jean Batine [percussion], Anton Stingl [guitar], Serge Collot [viola]), Structures, Livre I for 2 Pianos (Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky), Sonatine for Flute and Piano (Gazzelloni, Tudor), Piano Sonata No. 2 (Yvonne Loriod [piano] OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): Oiseaux exotiques (Loriod [piano], Orchestre de Domaine Musical; Rudolf Albert. Live recording of world premiere.), Cantéyodjayâ for Piano (Loriod), 7 Haïkaï for Piano, Xylophone, Marimba, 2 Clarinets, Trumpet and Small Ensemble (Loriod, Les Percussions de Strasbourg; Boulez), CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Syninx for Solo Flute (Gazzelloni), EDGAR VARÈSE (1883-1965): Density 21.5 for Solo Flute (Gazzelloni), Hyperprism for Small Orchestra and Percussion (ODM; Boulez), Octandre for Small Orchestral Ensemble (Boulez [conductor]), Intégrales for Small Orchestra and Percussion (ODM; Boulez), LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Incontri for 24 Instruments (ODM; Boulez), HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Concerto per il Marigny for Piano and Orchestra (Loriod, ODM; Albert), HENRI POUSSEUR (b.1929): Madrigal III for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion and Piano (Deplus [clarinet], Gérard Jarry [violin], Michel Tournus [cello], Diego Masson, Jean-Charles François [percussion], Fabienne Boury [piano]), Mobile for 2 Pianos (Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky), MAURIZIO KAGEL (b.1931): String Sextet (Soloists of DM; Boulez). Bonus CD: 49-minute interview of Boulez by Claude Samuel on Sept. 14, 2005 and first recording of Le Marteau sans maître (Marie-Thérèse Cahn [contralto], Soloists of DM; Boulez. Disques Vega, 1956). A major celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the first important French modern music festival, directed by Boulez, is given the lavish treatment. A 48-page booklet contains an appreciation and potted history of the period of the Domaine musical covered here (by Claude Samuel) and there are notes for each of the 21 works, often quoting the impenetrable and unintelligible prose of their composers, bringing a tear of nostalgia to the eye for that halcyon period when bludgeoning the clueless musical bourgeoisie through logorrheic obfuscation was a prime sport. A glance at the titles above will show that the vast majority of the works premiered during the first twelve years of the Domaine have become standard repertoire (aside from the disc of works by French composers of an earlier generation whose sympathy for the avant garde generation earned them performance), but there are still obscurities such as Henze's little piano/orchestra piece and a Pousseur or Stockhausen (or Kagel) piece. A bonus disc contains the first ever recording of Boulez' Marteau as well as a long interview with Boulez and a separate booklet containing its English translation. NOTE: The second volume of this series is not being offered here. Another 4 CD box, it contains Boulez (and on a few recordings, Hans Rosbaud) conducting Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern and Berg - a kind of "chestnuts of the Second Viennese School" collection. If you want it, just say so and I'll get it for you (same price). 4 CDs. Accord 476 9209 (France) 08I075 $63.98 Ø


ILJA ZELENKA (b.1933): Piano Sonatas No. 2 and No. 21 "Questions without Answers", 3 Preludes, Music Tales II, Fragment. Zeljenka's piano music forms a significant part of his output as composer - there are apparently at least 23 sonatas - and he has developed a consistent and immediately accessible style which retains individuality while breaking no new ground in terms of piano vocabulary. Clarity of texture pays tribute to Classical-era models, and an harmonic language grounded in tonality renders the music approachable throughout. Prokofiev is the most obvious comparison, though Zeljenka largely avoids the bravura massiveness of the Russian's virtuosic showpieces; however, the motoric incisiveness of several faster movements and a certain acerbity of harmony are definitely common ground. Elsewhere, especially in lighter moments, Poulenc may be briefly recalled, and sidelong glances at Shostakovichian slyness. Magdaléna Bajuszová (piano). Diskant DK-0082 (Slovakia) vv08I076 $15.98

KIMMO HAKOLA (b.1958): Clarinet Concerto, Verdoyances crépuscules for Orchestra, Diamond Street for Solo Clarinet. Insistent and propulsive toccata-like figuration announces early on that this large clarinet concerto will be a high voltage thrill-ride, but as it develops it turns out to cover a great deal more ground, both stylistically and emotionally, than that. Hakola enjoys his pounding, galloping ostinati, which alternate in the first movement with solo clarinet writing of dazzling virtuosity culminating in an extended cadenza of the utmost virtuosic showmanship. But then the slow movement reveals a lush, Romantic aspect of the composer's personality which gives way to a sentimental ballad which develops through variations that take it further in the direction of popular music. Last is an energetic dance in a kind of made-up middle-eastern language (sometimes it sounds like Hovhaness, at others, like a Klezmer band). Verdoyances is similar, minus the make-believe Eastern vocabulary, contrasting relentless ostinato propulsiveness with unexpectedly serene and glowing soundscapes, slowly progressing in Messiaenic harmonies, narrated by an expressive, Romantically lyrical horn solo. Kari Kriikku (clarinet), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo. Ondine ODE 1063 (Finland) vv08I077 $17.98

CECILIA MCDOWALL (b.1951): Seraphim for Trumpet, String Orchestra and Percussion (Paul Archibald [trumpet]), Dance the dark streets for String Orchestra with Piano Obbligato (Nicola Eimer [piano]), Dancing fish for Soprano Saxophone and String Orchestra (Amy Dickson [sax]), Not Just a Place for Violin, Double Bass and String Orchestra (Freya Ritts-Kirby [violin], Benjamin Griffiths [double bass]), Dream City for Flute, Clarinet, String Quartet and Harp, The case of the unanswered wire for String Quartet. Cecilia McDowell has an intriguingly individual voice that is immediately appealing in the manner of a piece of visual art that attracts the eye even before one has fully apprehended what it is, and continues to appeal to the senses while one ponders its meaning and content. Employing a tonal language spiced with Bartókian dissonances, in which echoes of folkish / Vaughan Williamsian modality and folk-dance rhythms, Shostakovich, Britten, McDowall's teacher Robert Saxton, Baroque formal elegance and" (in a tribute to Piazzolla, 'Not Just a Place' or poetry-inspired evocations of Scottish weather, 'Dance the Dark Streets'), abundant atmospheric local colour, suggesting other composers who have treated similar subjects without actually sounding like them, all come together sounding not like an eclectic mixture of unrelated influences, but a coherent personal style. The vivid clarity of the trumpet concerto 'Seraphim', with its energetically dynamic outer movements framing a lonely elegy with muted soloist, encapsulates this idiom, at once instantly attractive, while suggesting greater emotional depths (it is in fact an in memoriam piece, in nature a celebration of a friend's life in the outer movements, a wistful lament in the middle one). Similar strains of lively celebration and subtle melancholy inform the other pieces here; the Russian fable-inspired 'Dancing Fish' and the graphically vivid 'Dream City' (after the life and work of Paul Klee) in particular. Orchestra Nova; George Vass, Tippett Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7159 (England) 08I078 $18.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Partita, AARON JAY KERNIS (b.1960): Sarabanda in Memoriam, BARBARA KOLB (b.1939): All in Good Time, MICHAEL HERSCH (b.1971): Ashes of Memory, JOHN CORIGLIANO (b.1983): Midsummer Fanfare. Kolb encloses a freely meandering quasi-improvisatory passage between two invigorating, rhythmically incisive ostinato-driven sections, as a high-energy curtain-raiser to this splendid showcase of contemporary American orchestral music. Kernis' Sarabande is his own expanded transcription of the slow movement of his second string quartet, already a personal memorial, now enlarged for the public arena as a 9/11 piece. Full of stately mourning and barely suppressed grief, the piece recalls the Barber Adagio and creates a similar intensity of emotional expression. The Hersch is a highly effective study in brooding shadows, with a distinct Sibelian feeling, abruptly interrupted by passages of Shostakovichian drive and intensity (and he seems to share the Russian master's gift for the abrupt intrusion of cinematic slapstick into music of high, even tragic, drama). Corigliano's Fanfare begins teasingly, suggesting a diffuse, atonal soundscape, but halfway through the accreted material flies abruptly apart to reveal the solid structure of an energetic and upbeat brass flourish, and the work gains momentum in a high-energy finale. Harbison's typically ingenious and inventive suite of contrasting movements (with many felicitous and unusual touches of orchestration) combines sophisticated and intellectually lively modernism with elegant neoclassical texture and a neo-romantic sense of mood and emotional engagement. Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar. Cedille CDR 90000 090 (U.S.A.) 08I079 $16.98

PIOTR KLIMEK (b.1973): 7 Words, Pentecost Cantata. These two works based on pivotal doctrines of Christian theology are clearly intended to convey their message with the greatest possible immediate impact, and in this they succeed very strikingly. There is something of Pärt to Klimek's language in his slower, Renaissance-polyphony derived sections, and more than a little of Orff in his insistently pounding dramatic moments. Whispering vocalisations, indeterminate-pitch cluster-tones and percussive shock-tactics (think 1960s Penderecki) are used sparingly and for theatrical scene-setting purposes; for the most part the actual musical material is tonal, and in the case of the eloquently soaring soprano lines of the Pentecost Cantata, quite conventionally melodic and very beautiful. Texts only provided for the seven brief sentences of 7 Words - yes, you read that correctly. Go figure. Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir (soprano), Slawomir Skruszewicz (clarinet), KEA Choir, University of Szczecin, Chamber Orchestra ACADEMIA; Bohdan Boguszewski. Dux 0536 (Poland) 08I080 $16.98

ROUMI PETROVA (b.1970): Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Passacaglia on a Traditional Bulgarian Melody for Cello and Piano, 5 Ancient Bulgarian Portraits for Solo Cello. Everything here was dedicated to this cellist by the composer, from the solo cello Portraits of 1996 to the other works from 2003-5. Although the presence of Bulgarian folk music is most apparent in the latter two works, Petrova's heritage comes through in the sonatas as well as she mixes in folk coloring with an attractive, post-Romantic approachability based on flowing melody and traditional compositional methods. Kalin Ivanov (cello), Elena Antimova (piano). MSR Classics MS 1156 (U.S.A.) 08I081 $10.98

TRYGVE MADSEN (b.1940): 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 101. Keyboard collectors will not hesitate to grab this set of preludes and fugues which represents the biggest work if its kind by a Norwegian composer (Bentzon was Danish!). Counterpoint figures in a predominant number of Madsen's circa 130 published works and his intention to imitate Bach's WTK was born as early as the late 1950s although he didn't get around to writing his own twenty-four until 1995-96. While the shadow of Bach is, of course, often present, you'll find Oscar Peterson too - several of the preludes are quite jazz-oriented. Shostakovich also appears a few times (Madsen bought his op. 87 24 as soon as it was published in Norway) and Ravel and Prokofiev also serve as mediating shades more in the background. No tempo or performance instructions are included, leaving the performer wide leeway (and letting one Latin-American influenced prelude sound either like a Tango or a Habanera depending on mood). 2 CDs. Jens Harald Bratlie (piano). 2L SACD hybrid 33 (Norway) 08I082 $37.98

MARTIN MATALON (b.1958): Trame V for Trumpet and Orchestra, Trame III for Cello and Orchestra, Torito catalan for Orchestra. Matalon's Trames are concertante works that explore, in customary free-ranging style, the concepts and implications of the interweaving of instrumental lines, with one afforded a dominant, narrational role. In V, the solo trumpet's contribution is in a constant state of evolution, paying tribute to the many facets of the its contribution to music of all kinds - vaguely jazzy, with the wah-wah mute in the second movement, mysteriously echoing distant bugle-calls in a Romantic landscape, or flamboyantly and apocalyptically assertive elsewhere. Here and in the cello III, the orchestra provides a constantly shifting coloristic backdrop, shimmering or subtly gleaming in shadows of indeterminate tonality; thematic material and any suggestions of harmonic functionality and progression are mainly limited to the prominent solo parts. The variety of textures and the anchoring function of the solo narrative renders the works remarkably accessible and readily navigable in spite of their modern and eclectic idiom. Torito catalan is an orchestral version of music written as accompaniment to Buñuel's 'Un Chien andalou'; more conventional than the Trames, it incorporates recognisable elements of dance and march rhythms and quasi-Romantic (think Mahlerian nocturnes) elements in an appealing, if decidedly unstable, surrealistic tone-poem. Éric Aubier (trumpet), Marc Coppey (cello), Orchestre Nationale de Lorraine; Jacques Mercier. Accord 476 8936 (France) 08I083 $17.98 Ø

TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Atem-Lied for Bass Flute, Memory - In Memory of Isang Yun for Piano Trio, Vertical Time Study I for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Birds Fragments III for Shô (or accordion), and Flutes, Duo for Violin and Cello, "Haiku" for Pierre Boulez for Piano. Atem-Lied, effectively an exploration of the human body/instrument interface in music-making, incorporates breath effects, multiphonics and vocalisations while playing, keyslaps - the gamut of available extended techniques on the instrument. The withdrawn and intimate Memory, an elegy for Hosokawa's teacher, suggests slow breathing in vastly extended meditative phrases, slowly mutating clusters and overlapping single tones. Vertical Time Study I alternates abrupt and complex sounds with 'blank spaces', which the composer partly intends as an aural analogy for the brush-strokes of oriental calligraphy and the contrasting unwritten spaces between. Birds Fragments III also contrasts two kinds of sound; the bass flute (again with vocalised multiphonics and breath effects in abundance) as 'soloist' - human or bird - against a backdrop suggesting nature sounds (here played on accordion). The Duo again suggests the strong, basic shapes of calligraphic brushstrokes,a study in intense sonorities, dodecaphonic and abundantly dramatic. The piano work to celebrate Boulez' 75th birthday is an exercise in lucid sonority, hinted at in the composer's reaction to his early exposure to Boulez' own music, detailed in a touching tribute to the older man reproduced in the booklet in the form of a letter which accompanied the piece. Alter Ego w/Claudio Jacomucci (accordion). Stradivarius STR 33689 (Italy) 08I084 $17.98

GIORGIO BATTISTELLI (b.1953): Experimentum mundi for 16 Craftssmen, 4 Female Voices, Actors and Percussion. This is a piece of music-theatre, more theatrical and less conventionally musical even than the works of Sciarrino that fall into that category and which come to mind for comparison when we hear the whispered textual and textural material and hypnotic percussion-evoked 'scenery'. The trades of eight artisans of various kinds (knife grinder, baker, carpenter, etc) are described (from a seventeenth century encyclopædia) in narration, while their activities are evoked through sound effects produced by the tools of their trades (apparently utilised on stage by genuine practitioners of the various crafts evoked) and by percussion battery, the latter introducing a welcome rhythmic consistency into a frequently abstract aural texture. With the exercise of some imagination it provides an intriguing imaginary theatrical experience for the listener. Live recording with enthusiastic audience reaction at the end but no disturbances during the performance; texts and translations included. Giorgio Battistelli (director). Stradivarius STR 33730 (Italy) 08I085 $17.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): String Quartet No. 4, CHICK COREA (b.1941): The Adventures of Hippocrates, MARC NEIKRUG (b.1946): Piano Quintet. Famed jazz pianist/composer Chick Corea in 'serious' mode here contributes a genial, wholly accessible and nicely crafted specimen to the string quartet canon. Centred on a vaguely fin de (19th) ciècle slow movement, the piece encompasses a waltz, a jazzy 'scherzo', and an energetic finale; rhythmic vitality and energy hint at the composer's background, but for the most part the work is an agreeable if conventional hommage to the established quartet tradition. Neikrug's quintet is a good deal more harmonically adventurous, while retaining a constant sense of tonal centres at least; the interplay and expansion of certain intervallic relationships give rise to a variety of textures which the composer develops into episodes of contrasting mood, tempo and dynamic in a kind of continuous dramatic narrative which he likens to the evocation of a landscape which appears to change with the changing seasons, light and weather. An extended slow section building a powerful climax toward the centre of the piece is especially effective in evoking emotional resonances arising out of the contemplation of this archetypal landscape of the imagination. Harbison's quartet identifies the first violin and 'cello as 'characters' in a series of encounters, like characters in an opera or play. This provides ample opportunity for much meticulously crafted counterpoint and music of wit and elegance, the whole rounded off with an enthusiastic celebration involving the supporting cast as equal partners in the drama. Orion String Quartet, Marc Neikrug (piano). Koch International Classics 7598 (U.S.A.) 08I086 $17.98

CONLON NANCARROW (1912-1997): Player Piano 1 - Studies 1-12. It appears we are going to get a brand-new, complete recording of Nancarrow's 44 player piano studies to supplement/replace the 1977 recording on Arch Records which is no longer available. Copious notes on every aspect of the music, the piano and mechanism and reasons for doing a new cycle (and why the 1988 Wergo recording is unsatisfactory) are contained in MD&G's complete notes. Bösendorfer Grand Piano with 1927 Ampico Player Piano Mechanism. MD&G 645 1401 (Germany) 08I087 $17.98

LILLIAN FUCHS (1902-1995): 16 Fantasy Etudes, Sonata Pastorale, 15 Characteristic Studies, 12 Caprices. Sister of violinist Joseph Fuchs, Lilian was one of the most distinguished violists and teachers of her generation. Her studies combine technical and musical interest (they date from the Caprices of 1950 to the Characteristic Studies of 1965) and are performed here by Lilian's grand-daughter on the composer's own Gasparo da Salò viola. 2 CDs. Jeanne Mallow (viola). Naxos 8.557932-33 (New Zealand) 08I088 $15.98

WILLIAM PRIMROSE (1904-1982): Viola Transcriptions - Nocturne: Andante (Borodin), Litany for All Souls' Day: Adagio (Schubert), Notturno, Op. 42 (Beethoven: Serenade, Op. 8), Träume: Lento (Wagner: Wesendonk Lieder, No. 5), Huella: movido y energico (Aguirre/Heifetz), Ao Pé de Fogueira: Allegro comodo (Valle/Heifetz), La Campanella (Paganini), Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: Aria (Cantilena): Adagio (Villa-Lobos), Adagietto from "L'Arlésienne" Suite (Bizet), None but the Lonely Heart (Tchaikovsky), Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Op. 105/1 (Brahms), EFREM ZIMBALIST (1889-1985): Sarasateana. Performed by the former principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra on Primrose's own c.1600 Amati instrument. Roberto Díaz (viola), Robert Koenig (piano). Naxos 8.557391 (New Zealand) 08I089 $7.98

WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Piano Concerto, Grey Mist for Baritone and Orchestra, Koscielec 1909, Mother of God for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra. The 1997 concerto is the most recent work here, a three-movement piece with two long slow movements of quasi-minimalist construction which build to loud climaxes (think Kancheli) and a deafening final Toccata. Written in either 1976 or 1979, the other three works also use construction arcs of sound rising from almost-not-there to apocalyptic and back again while also partaking of some of the sound-producing techniques of his coeval, Penderecki. Also great for testing the sound-system, getting rid of visiting in-laws and generally disturbing the neighbors. Waldemar Malicki (piano), Wieslaw Ochman (baritone), Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.557813 (New Zealand) 08I090 $7.98

DAVID FROOM (b.1951): Piano Trio No. 2 "Borders", BERND RICHARD DEUTSCH (b.1977): Curriculum vitae, NORBERT STERK (b.1968): Hôtel de la Paix for Voice and Piano Trio, HERBERT LAUERMANN (b.1955): ...übungen im horizontgewinn und traumverlust, JEFFREY MUMFORD (b.1955): in the community of encompassing hours. These works represent are composers' responses to the highly charged poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-73) with its metaphors for her experiences growing up in the Nazi era; interestingly, only one (the Sterk) actually sets any text, the others being for the conventional piano trio. Froom takes imagery from three stanzas of a poem (provided in translation) for movements of violent dissonance, frozen stillness and motoric energy. The Deutsch strays further from conventional tonality while remaining mostly about atmosphere and uneasy, troubled calm than extrovert declamation. Sterk's setting concentrates on sonority and incorporates some microtonal material; even syllables of the text are used as elements in the textures rather than being sung in a narrative sense. Lauermann interprets Bachmann's language in terms of its metaphorical musical equivalent, often resulting in a sharply etched pointillism; an abstraction of vaguely menacing aspect. Mumford uses the same instrumental resources to quite different effect; here the sonority is continuous, in overlapping layers of rich sonic tapestry, largely atonal but with a continuous sense of flow and continuance. Christian Hilz (baritone), Haydn Trio Eisenstadt. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 095 (Germany) 08I091 $18.98 Ø

LERA AUERBACH (b.1957): 24 Preludes, Op. 41, 10 Dreams, Op. 45, Chorale, Fugue and Postlude, Op. 31. As we said in July of 2003 when Auerbach's 24 violin/piano Preludes were offered, "This outrageously talented Russian-born artist is also an award-winning poet and a highly-praised pianist and her 1999 set of preludes (all the major and minor tonalities) has plenty of poetry and of instrumental elan. Lasting 59 minutes, many of the preludes are played attacca which gives the impression of an ongoing psychological drama and both instrumentalists are treated to soloistic writing in an accessible, post-Modernist, often dramatically Romantic idiom which will repay frequent listening." Not much more to add since the piano solo Preludes and the Dreams come from the very same year. Lera Auerbach (piano). BIS CD-1462 (Sweden) 08I092 $17.98