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

Theodore Kullak

Alexander Dreyschock

The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol. 21

THEODOR KULLAK (1818-1882): Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 55, ALEXANDER DREYSCHOCK (1818-1869): Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 137. Volume 21 of "The Romantic Piano Concerto" brings two real rarities. Kullak was a superb virtuoso, renowned for a superlative technique, who nevertheless gravitated toward teaching, opening his own academy in Berlin which had an enrollment of 1000 students at its peak. His 1850 concerto belnds noble poignancy and dramatic fire with echoes of Bellini, Chopin (in the lyrically passionate slow movement) and Weber while providing the performer with with many passages of formidable technical difficulty. Dreyschock until now has been known in recordings only by his Concertstück. Known in his lifetime for extraordinary (and showy) feats of pianistic prestidigitation - especially in his own compositions for the left-hand only - one might not expect depths of inwardness and subtle emotions in his concerto and so it proves. This is a light, brilliant work in the style of Mendelssohn which happily bubbles along with the sort of champagne brilliance that appealed to the audiences of the period salon. The pianist provides detailed, enthusiastic notes with highly enjoyable quotes from contemporaries of both pianists. Piers Lane (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Hyperion CDA 67086 (England) 08B001 $17.98

ROBERT RUSSELL BENNETT - Abraham Lincoln, SIghts and Sounds

ROBERT RUSSELL BENNETT (1894-1991): Abraham Lincoln: A Likeness in Symphony Form, Sights and Sounds (An Orchestral Entertainment). Famous for his orchestrations of such Broadway hits as Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Show Boat and The King and I, Bennett also wrote more than 200 "serious" classical pieces. Both works here date from 1929 and were entered together in an RCA Victor-sponsored competition (which also saw Copland's Dance Symphony among others); each won a fifth of the grand prize. Lincoln is more a suite than a symphony, in four movements musically depicting the president's character ("His Simplicity and His Sadness", "His Affection and His Faith", "His Humor and His Weakness" and "His Greatness and His Sacrifice"). Popular American tunes are heard here and there in this lushly orchestrated, earnestly communicative work which straddles the border between serious and "light" music. Sights and Sounds also has its pictorial aspects (movements subtitled "Union Station", "Highbrows", "Lowbrows", "Electric Signs", "Night Club", "Skyscraper" and "Speed") but is more abstract in its manner being, as its composer described it "an abstract painting showing every brilliant and difficult orchestral color of which I could think..." - in short, a brilliant and sparkling concerto for orchestra in a popular idiom. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Naxos 8.559004 (New Zealand) 08B002 $5.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): A Midsummer Night's Dream. Max Reinhardt's 1934 film provided Korngold with his first Hollywood work - in this case expanding and adapting Mendelssohn's original music into what proved to be 116 minutes of score. Exhibiting not only his characteristically brilliant knack for orchestration but also his remarkable knowledge and obvious love of Mendelssohn's music, Korngold adapted music from various of the symphonies, Songs without Words, chamber works and lieder to produce a homogeneous symphonic whole. Sixty minutes of the score are presented here along with detailed notes and a "listening guide" by Korngold scholar Brendan G. Carroll. Texts included. Celina Lindsley (soprano), Michelle Breedt (mezzo), Scot Weir (tenor), Michael Burt (bass), Berlin Radio Choir, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gerd Albrecht. CPO 999 449 (Germany) 08B003 $15.98

ELIE SIEGMEISTER (1909-1991): Piano Music Vol. 1 - American Sonata, On this Ground, Theme and Variations No. 2, Piano Sonata No. 4 (Prelude, Blues and Toccata), Piano Sonata No. 5. Kenneth Boulton (piano). Naxos 8.559020 (New Zealand) 08B004 $5.98

ELIE SIEGMEISTER (1909-1991): Piano Music Vol. 2 - Sunday in Brooklyn, Piano Sonata No. 2, Theme and Variations No. 1, Piano Sonata No. 3, From These Shores. Kenneth Boulton (piano). Naxos 8.559020 (New Zealand) 08B005 $5.98

This incisive, clear-cut and very American music will certainly remind some of Copland. The early works even seem to owe a debt to Gershwin. American folk-music and jazz were important components of Siegmeister's style, and while his works of the 1960s and 1970s explore a far more free-ranging tonality, which makes them less immediately accessible or "popular" in style, they are never obscure or excessively complex. The Theme and Variations No. 2, on a remarkably concise motif, is a tour de force of economy turned to the end of dramatic expression. The later sonatas show signs of a return to a highly sophisticated use of Americana and a more chordal, accessible harmonic language. The interesting thing here is that for all the fact that his mature music is essentially atonal, it remains so inflected with popular idioms as to remain very approachable. The expertise of his piano writing undoubtedly contributes markedly to this accessibility as well.

ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 56, Sonata a tre for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. 62. If Casella is representative of neoclassicism (would that it were so), we could actually do with more of it. The triple concerto falls under that banner of questionable merit, but such is Casella's gift for writing memorable music which carries the listener forward through its own irresistable momentum that there is never any suggestion of reactionary adherence to classical models. Bartók is perhaps the comparison that springs most strongly to mind here, actually. The slow movement is downright Romantic. The trio sonata is a reworking in decidedly modern vocabulary of a trio of Clementi, which emerges as a post-romantic work of some power in its own right (and never sounds like an "arrangement" of a classical work). Trio Kreisleriana, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon; Max Bragado Darman. Koch Schwann 3-6725-2 (Germany) 08B006 $16.98

JULIUS WEISMANN (1879-1950): Tanz-Fantasie, Op. 35, 4 Klaverstücke, Op. 78, Traumspiele, Op. 76, Fugenbaum, Op. 150 (selection), Etudes, Op. 109 (selection), Suite, Op. 95. This selection of pieces from throughout Weismann's career shows a wide variety of styles, from the Schumann-inspired Romanticism of the Tanz-Fantasie (1910) to the veiled, iridescent, impressionistic poetry of the Traumspiele (1920) to the Hindmithian Etudes and Suite (1931; 1927) and finally to the two preludes and fugues from the Bach-inspired Fugenbaum of 1943-46. Weismann is a forgotten late Romantic who attempted to bridge the gap between Brahms and the music of his own time and who, on the evidence presented here, greatly deserves rediscovery. Birgitta Wollenweber (piano). MD&G 605 0877 (Germany) 08B007 $17.98

HOLST- A Cotswold Symphony and other premieres

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): Symphony in F, Op. 8 "The Cotswolds", Walt Whitman Overture, Op. 7, A Hampshire Suite, Op. 28/2, Ballet Music from The Perfect Fool, Scherzo for Orchestra. This long-awaited recording brings us the 26-year-old Holst's first major orchestral work. Yet to find his true voice, A Cotswold Symphony nevertheless shows the young composer beginning to find the importance which folk-song would hold in his later works. The brief first movement is in march-time and the second (performed separately now and then as one of Two Portraits) is a deeply felt Elegy, bold and intense. The scherzo contrasts lumbering barn-dance and thistledown fast music, seeming to depict a country fair while the finale carries on in a bucolic good humor, not uninfluenced by Brahms and Dvorak. The Walt Whitman Overture (1899) is a vigorous and delightful piece in 19th-century Germanic tradition. A Hampshire Suite, from 1911 and originally for military band, is heard here in Gordon Jacob's 1945 orchestration. Munich Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 284 (Denmark) 08B008 $14.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22, Original Versions (1896) of Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of the Island and Lemminkäinen's Homeward Journey, Appendices: Second ending of Lemminkäinen's Homeward Journey (1897 version) excerpt from Lemminkäinen in Tuonela (1896 version). Volume 45 of the complete BIS Sibelius contains 29 minutes of world-premiere recordings - the original versions of two of the tone poems (Lemminkäinen's Homeward Journey is nearly twice as long with much extra thematic material while Maidens... differs mostly in scoring and dynamics). Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1015 (Sweden) 08B009 $17.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Piano Works, Vol. 5 - Bunte Blätter, Op. 36, 7 Fantasiestücke, Op. 26, 10 Kleine Vortragsstücke, Op. 44. As is well-known by this point in this series, Reger wrote many of his collections of short piano pieces "for teaching purposes" - works which capable amateurs could play and which earned him valuable income as he worked on his more complex chamber and orchestral works. The op. 44 pieces are particularly simplified as to structure and technical difficulty while the other two sets (both with titles borrowed from Schumann) are more individual: stylistically eclectic although owing much to Brahms' idiom. Markus Becker (piano). Thorofon CTH 2315 (Germany) 08B010 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Piano Works, Vol. 6 - 6 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 99, 8 Episodes, Op. 115. "Basically, we are all disciples of Bach" wrote the young Reger and in his preludes and fugues (1906-07) the composer's approximation in his own music to that of Bach almost becomes a fusion. The Episodes of 1910 are again in Reger's mature style, showing his peculiar harmonic sense in works that hint at the Romantic character piece while being quite individual. Markus Becker (piano). Thorofon CTH 2316 (Germany) 08B011 $16.98

RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960): Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Oboe Concerto No. 1 in C. Boughton's gorgeous, Elgarian symphony from 1937, dramatic and colorfully scored, and his oboe concerto from the year before, more astringent yet with an opulently Straussian slow movement, are restored to the Hyperion catalogue in their mid-price Helios series. Any lover of English orchestral music who did not buy it before has no excuse now! Sarah Francis (oboe), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Helios CDH 55019 (England) 08B012 $10.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Feuersnot. Strauss' second opera, from 1901, is an ironic and bawdy tale of love and magic on Midsummer's Eve in 12th century Munich and pokes less than gentle fun at both the city and Wagner in a score of heartfelt, upbeat and humorous proportions. 2 CDs. German libretto. Julia Varady (soprano), Bernd Weikl (baritone), Tölz Boys' Choir, Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Fricke. Arts 47546 (Germany) 08B013 $21.98

HUGO ALFVÉN (1872-1960): Symphony No. 3 in E, Op. 23, Dalarapsodi, Op. 47, Legend of the Skerries, Op. 20. Alfvén's flair for colorful orchestration is to the fore in these, by turns, elegiac, melancholy, turbulent, dramatic and exuberant orchestral works. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Naxos 8.553729 (New Zealand) 08B014 $5.98

PIETRO MASCAGNI (1863-1945): Ave Maria, La tua stella, La stella di Garibaldi, Messaggio d'amore, Alla luna, Pena d'amore, Rosa, Sintomi d'amore, Risveglio, Allora ed ora, M'ama non m'ama, Ballata, L'addio di Palamidone, A Lilia, Serenata, Sera d'ottobre, Stornelli marini, Ad Adelaide Cairoli, Spes ultima, Ascoltiamo!, Bimba bionda!, La luna, Ballata di maggio. Spanning the years 1880-1917, these songs were written for the middle-class bourgeoisie - commercial, easily enjoyable and sentimental with an occasional vein of gallantry or coquettishness. Although of modest intent, the formal structure of these romanzas allowed them to be appropriated directly by the composer into several of his operas; at their best, they capture a vivid sense of turn-of-the-century Italian sensibilities. Italian-English texts. Anastasia Tomaszewska-Schepis (soprano), Angel Rodriquez (tenor), Fausta Cianti (piano). Bongiovanni GB 2235 (Italy) 08B015 $16.98

CONSTANTINO GAITO (1878-1945): Cello Sonata, Op. 26, MARLOS NOBRE (b.1939): Desafio, FRANCISCO MIGNONE (1897-1986): Modinha, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Sonatina, EDUARDO DIAZMUÑOZ (b.1953): Zonante for Solo Cello, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Le Grand Tango. The Argentine Gaito's 1918 sonata highlights this release of impassioned, hot-blooded and intensely emotional music from South American composers, four of which are premiere recordings. Eduardo Vassallo (cello), Cristina Filoso (piano). ASV Quicksilva CD QS 6224 (England) 08B016 $10.98

VÁCLAV PICHL (1741-1805): Symphonies in B Flat, Z23, in E Flat, Z24, in G, Z22, in C, Z21 and in D, Z16 "Diana". Latest in the "Contemporaries of Mozart" series. Pichl was another of the seemingly inexhaustible number of Bohemian composers who made their names in Austria in the mid 18th century, leaving 89 symphonies (of which 36 authentic ones still exist). These five works date from 1769-70 and will appeal to anyone who loves the young Mozart's symphonies although there is much that is reminiscent of Haydn here especially in the tender, thoughtful slow movements. London Mozart Players; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9740 (England) 08B017 $16.98

GIUSEPPE MARIA CAMBINI (1746-1825): Sinfonia concertante No. 12 in C Minor for 2 Violins and Orchestra, Symphony in E Minor, Symphony in F, Sinfonia concertante No. 5 in B Flat for Oboe, Bassoon and Orchestra. Cambini was one of the most popular composers of the Sinfonia concertante in Paris, the city where its popularity approached mania. The two recorded here date from 1776-78 and feature captivating melodic lines with both festive joy and melancholy in the music which steers completely clear of virtuosity and counterpoint, being concerned with what was most important to its audience - melody and more melody. The same preoccupation with melody characterises the slow movements of the symphonies (1785) but their outer movements are altogether more dense in texture, with an original use of thematic material and effective contrasting of orchestral timbres with the F major work having the seriousness of intent of the Sturm und Drang school. Academia Montis Regalis; Luigi Magiocavallo. Opus 111 OPS 30-244 (France) 08B018 $17.98

JOHANN LUDWIG BÖHNER (1787-1860): Aurora Galopp for Large Orchestra, Op. 76, Fantasie for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 1, Serenade in F for Orchestra, Op. 9, Introduction and Variations for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 27. The second volume of Böhner's music from Es Dur brings more highly entertaining, engaging and enjoyable music from his most creative period (1811-15 for these works). The Serenade is a lovely work, flowing and tuneful and with a depth usually foreign to such pieces while the two bassoon pieces are brilliantly written for both soloists and orchestra while the Galopp (from 1838) is as good as many by Johann Strauss himself. Klaus Thunemann (bassoon), Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha-Suhl; Hermann Breuer. Es Dur ES 2030 (Germany) 08B019 $17.98

JOHANN GEORG LICKL (1769-1843): 2 Sextet sfor 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and 2 Bassoons in E Flat, Op. 11, Quintet for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and Bassoon, Op. 21, Cassatione for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon. Lickl studied in Vienna with Haydn and Albrechtsberger and wrote a dozen operas and singspiels all of which were performed in Schikaneder's theater. However, after 1804, with a post at the cathedral in Pecs, he devoted himself to religious music of all kinds. These wind pieces apparently date from this period; they are tuneful, cheerful and perfectly suited to the form to which Mozart and Reicha contributed so much and are sure to appeal to collectors of this genre. Calamus Ensemble. MD&G 603 0859 (Germany) 08B020 $17.98

NICCOLO' JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Requiem in E Flat for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass and Orchestra, Veni Sponsa Christi in C Minor for Soprano and Orchestra, Veni Sponsa Christi in A for Soprano and Orchestra. Adding to the paucity of recordings of Jommelli's music, this release brings us an hour-long requiem from 1756 when the composer was resident at the Würtemberg court in Stuttgart, a work which reflects the serene, contemplative reaction to death of the Reformist church in its fluent and decorous style. Elena Cioric (soprano), Beata Ganzel (contralto), Antonio De Lucia (tenor), Viorel Kojocaro (bass), Chorus of the National Academy of Moldova, Moldova Symphony Orchestra; Silvano Frontalini. Bongiovanni GB 2215 (Italy) 08B021 $16.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Complete Violin Concertos, Vol. 6 - No. 5 in C, No 6 in E and No. 23 in G. Viotti's last nine concertos were written in England and used larger orchestras, had more expressive slow movements and fewer violinistic pyrotechnics; the one recorded here (1793) could well have been by Haydn, whose first London symphonies were then taking the English capital by storm. The other two works date from Viotti's Parisian period and are lighter, frothier and more display-oriented. Symphonia Perusina; Franco Mezzena (violin). Dynamic CDS 238 (Italy) 08B022 $17.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): The Violin Concertos, Vol. 5 - in B Flat "Non sospirar, non piangere...", in F, in D Minor & in C. These concertos date from 1721-25, all from Tartini's early period in which Vivaldian models are evident, combined with evidence of the composer's budding fanciful innovations which were to come. L'Arte Dell'Arco; Giovanni Guglielmo. Dynamic CDS 239 (Italy) 08B023 $17.98

?MOZART! Vol. 6 - Serenade after KV 614 for 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, 2 Bassoons and Double Bass in E Flat (by Johann Christian Stumpf [d.1801]), 3 Fragments KV 384 for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinet, 2 Horns and 2 Bassoons, Nonet after KV 428 for Flute, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns, 2 Bassoons and Double Bass in E Flat (by Johann Simon Hermstedt [1778-1846]). The final volume in this series of dubious Mozart attributions concludes with arrangements of the last string quintet and the string quartet no. 16 (as well as three legitimate fragments), the latter being interesting for its early romanticism under the influence of Spohr (Hermstedt was the dedicatee of Spohr's four clarinet concertos). Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 0499 (Germany) 08B024 $17.98

FRANZ KROMMER (1759-1831): Partitas in E Flat, Op. 45/1, in B Flat, Op. 45/2 & in E Flat with 2 Solo Horns. Krommer's 1803 partitas are symphonies in all but name and instrumentation, each in the standard four movements - the opening and closing ones bustling with drive and energy with slow movements which move along and minuets with folk-like airs. The partita without opus number is in three movements and is like a concerto for the two horns who are accompanied by the remaining winds. Michael Thomson Wind Ensemble. Naxos 8.553868 (New Zealand) 08B025 $5.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Suite in G, TWV 55:Anh. G1 "La Putain", Suite in E Minor for Flute and Strings, TWV 55: e10, Suite in E for Strings, TWV 55: E 1. The astounding variety and quality of Telemann's 135 "overture-suites" is finally beginning to be appreciated and this new recording brings us three works of widely differing style: the G major suite, subtitled "The Whore" is Germanic: robust, folksy and raw with movement sub-headings such as "Witches' Dance", "At the Lousy Inn" and "Uncle Michael's Beard to Pull" giving some idea of its picturesqueness. At the other end of the spectrum is the sophisticated, elegant and sensitive E minor work of a French sensibility while the remaining suite has a similar tone but with a distinctly Italian melodic content. Capella Savaria; Pál Németh (flute). Hungaroton HCD 31741 (Hungary) 08B026 $16.98

NICOLA PORPORA (1686-1768): Il Gedeone. Part of a series chronicling music at the Viennese Imperial court this new release brings us Porpora's 1737 oratorio on the subject of Gideon and his liberation of the Israelites from the Midianites - a lavish display of brio and imaginative wealth with virtuoso parts for the vocal soloists and dense textures and vividly emotional orchestral music which makes the whole work come across like an opera for a gala court occasion. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Kai Wessel (counter-tenor), Ulf Bästlein (bass), Linda Perillo (soprano), Vokalensemble Nova, Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck. CPO 999 615 (Germany) 08B027 $31.98

JOHANN STAMITZ (1717-1757): 6 Orchestral Trios, Op. 1. Stamitz' trios (1754-55) represent an adjustment between his familiar large-scale orchestral style and the melodic intricacy of his chamber music and could be performed either by a trio or by a full orchestra. Here, the former option is taken (two violins and cello with double bass and harpsichord continuo), offering a fine period instrument alternative for collectors of Mannheim symphonic repertoire. Pro arte antiqua Praha. Arta F1 0083 (Czech Republic) 08B028 $16.98

JOSEF MYSLIVEâEK (1737-1781): 6 Sonatas for 2 Cellos and Continuo. Recently discovered in the library of Prague University, these undated sonatas are apparently transcriptions of earlier works, the first three being pre-Classical in style (although all are pre-Classical in their three-movement form) while the latter three are closer to the style of the young Mozart, whom the composer particularly admired. Michal KaÀka, Frantiek Host (cellos), JiÞí Hudec (double bass), Jaroslav TÛma (harpsichord). Praga PRD 250 132 (Czech Republic) 08B029 $17.98

VÁCLAV JAN K¤TITEL TOMÁ·EK (1774-1850): 6 Eclogues, Op. 35, 6 Eclogues, Op. 51. The third Tomasek disc of the year brings more of these lovely, pastoral and lyrical precursors of Schubertian early Romanticism - the op. 51 works not having been represented at all in the previous two collections which we have offered. Jaroslav TÛma (fortepiano). Arta F1 0086 (Czech Republic) 08B030 $16.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): Il Maestro di Cappella, FERDINANDO PAËR (1771-1839): Il Maestro di Cappella. Cimarosa's parody of an operatic rehearsal is joined here by a shortened, one-act version of an 1821 opera by Paër which features a kapellmeister as main character whose unfinished opera Cleopatra provides opportunity to parody contemporary Italian operatic conventions. Italian texts. Fernando Corena (basso buffo), Jacqueline Martel (soprano), Luigi Pontiggia (tenor), Orchestra of Swiss-Italian Radio; Leopoldo Casella. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6155 (Switzerland) 08B031 $18.98

CONRADIN KREUTZER (1780-1849): Clarinet Quartet in E Flat, Piano Quartet, Quintet for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Viola and Cello. None of these works can be dated with precision but the fine, large piano quintet was published in 1834 and it and the piano quartet have a similiarity in the concertante writing for the pianist to similar works by Czerny, Moscheles and Kalkbrenner although Kreutzer is a lot more considerate of the accompanying instruments than those piano-obsessed virtuosi. The clarinet quartet is a similarly lovely, lyrical early Romantic work. Consortium Classicum. Orfeo C 512 991 A (Germany) 08B032 $18.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Alahor in Granata. The exotic culture of Moorish Spain captivated Donizetti to the point that no fewer than eleven of his operas are set in that milieu. Alahor in Granata (1826) is a highly inspired, elegant and beautiful example of "bel canto", full of refined melodies and requiring great vocal agility. Excellent and copious notes. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Simone Alaimo (bass-baritone), Patricia Pace (soprano), Vivica Genaux (mezzo), Orquesta "Ciudad de Granada"; Josep Pons. Almaviva DS-0125 (Spain) 08B033 $37.98

GEORGES ONSLOW (1784-1853): Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7, Sonata in F Minor, Op. 22. Dating from 1810 and 1823 respectively, Onslow's duet sonatas are classic examples of Germanic early Romanticism, their declamatory chords, calculated pauses and sharp, sudden contrasts akin to the style and sensibility of Spohr, Weber and Schubert. Genevieve Chin & Allen Brings (piano four-hands). Centaur CRC 2393 (U.S.A.) 08B034 $16.98

JOHN FIELD (1782-1837): Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Flat, Piano Concerto No. 4 in E Flat. Field's genial lyricism and gentle romanticism and his elegance and charm made his piano works important precursors to Chopin and this series presents his concertos with the proper grace and musical sophistication. Benjamin Frith (piano), Northern Sinfonia; David Haslam. Naxos 8.553771 (New Zealand) 08B035 $5.98

JOHANN SAMUEL ENDLER (1694-1762): Sym. No. 11 in D, GEORG JOSEPH VOGLER (1749-1814): Les rendez-vous de chasse , WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Horn Ct.o No. 1 in D, K.412, JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Sym. No. 73 in D "La Chasse". Hunting music featuring the horn in two little-heard works by German composers Endler and Vogler. Period instruments. Christian-Freidrich Dallmann (horn), Darmstädter Hofkapelle; Wolfgang Seeliger. Christophorus CHR 77220 (Germany) 08B036 $17.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINÒ (1890-1959): The Marriage. Commssioned in 1952 by NBC for its television series "Opera Theater", this adaptation of Gogol is a cheerful, naturally flowing and easily apprehensible work which returns to Martinu's poeticism of the 1930s in its use of a small chamber orchestra, simpliticy of plot and use of predominantly tonal musical structures. The Marriage is a classic chamber opera full of light "Mozartian" chamber scenes which tells the tale of three suitors for the hand of a rich merchant's daughter using highly stylized music and a rich mixture of styles and procedures. Performed here in a Czech translation of the original English libretto. Mid-price. Mono. Czech-English libretto. Vladimír Bauer (baritone), Jaroslav Ulrych (tenor), Libuse Lesmanová (mezzo), Brno Janácek Opera Orchestra; Václav Nosek. Supraphon SU 3379 (Czech Republic) 08B037 $10.98

EUGENE ZADOR (1894-1977): Christopher Columbus, Studies for Orchestra. Recorded in 1975 (the Barrymore narration was recorded in 1951) and issued on Orion LPs, these recordings bring back into the light a remarkable Hungarian-American composer who wrote dozens of operas and orchestral works of a colorful, late Romantic character. Christopher Columbus was his twelfth, from 1939, composed during his flight from Hungary to the U.S. and whose dramatic flair and grateful melodies adumbrated Zador's move to Hollywood soon after. The Studies date from 1970 and combine accessible Hungarian folk melodies with the composer's lucid and often unusual orchestration to form an eight-movement suite of broad appeal. Lionel Barrymore (narrator), Robet Patterson (baritone), soloists, AmericanSymphony Orchestra and Concert Choir of Long Island; Laszlo Halasz, Westphalian Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Cambria CD-1100 (U.S.A.) 08B038 $16.98

CARLOS JIMÉNEZ MABARAK (1916-1994): Balada del Venado y la Luna, Balada de los ríos de Tabasco, Sala de Retratos, Symphony No. 1, Symphony in One Movement, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Encantamiento y Zarabanda from Le Hija de Cólquide, Sinfonía India. Previously available on the French Forlane label in the early 90s, these Mabarak pieces are welcome back to the catalogue. The Symphony in One Movement is dodecaphonic but all the other pieces are tonal, richly so, imbued with the woods and tropical forests and with the Mexican popular soul. New is the Symphony No. 1, from 1945, a charming, neo-classical work in which the influence of Ravel is present. 2 CDs. Special Price. Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, "Carlos Chávez" Symphony Orchestra; Fernando Lozano. Spartacus/Clásicos Mexicanos SDJ 221022 (Mexico) 08B039 $21.98

RODLOFO HALFFTER (1900-1987): La Madrugada del Panadero, ARMANDO LAVALLE (b.1924): Obertura Colonial, MARIO KURI ALDANA: Canto Latinoamericano, GERALDO DURÁN: Nepantla, CARLOS JIMENEZ MABARAK (1916-1994): Symphony in One Movement, LUIS SANDI (b.1905): Tema y Variaciones. From the neo-classical Halffter suite through the bright and brashly exuberant Lavalle overture, the irresistable fiesta of the Canto Latinoamericano via the cool nocturne of Durán to Sandi's brief but eventful variations, this collection of 20th century Mexican orchestral works is delightfully approachable. Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra; Herrera de la Fuente. Spartacus/Clásicos Mexicanos 21006 (Mexico) 08B040 $12.98

ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): Psalm 83, Psalm 23, Op. 14, Psalm 13, Op. 24, Three Ballet Pieces. New to CD is Psalm 83, composed in 1900 as a tribute to the composer's late father but never performed until 1987. The ballet pieces date from 1902 and are excerpted from Der Triumph der Zeit, an incomplete ballet which also produced Ein Tanzpoem (recently released on EMI). Fine examples of Zemlinsky's early period of late Romanticism. Berlin Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacher. Koch Schwann 3-1486-2 (Germany) 08B041 $16.98

MANUEL ENRÍQUEZ (1926-1994): Pentamúsica, FEDERICO IBARRA (b.1946): Juegos Nocturnos, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Soli #2, ANA LARA (b.1959): Aulos, MARIO LAVISTA (b.1943): 5 Danzas Breves. Ibarra's work is engaging and lively; tonal and full of color and unexpected twists and turns. Both the Enriquez and Chávez pieces treat the instrumentalists more as discrete soloists, exploiting the discursive potential of interaction between their heterogeneous characters. Chávez' Soli #2 does this in the context of a highly organized framework, while the Enriquez is more free in form, allowing the conversation to range where it will. Ana Lara's Aulos conjures a strange archaic atmosphere through the exploitation of unfamiliar scales based on overtones, and harmonically ambiguous drones. The Lavista piece is lively and neoclassical, an appealing ensemble piece. Mexico City Woodwind Quintet. Spartacus/Clásicos Mexicanos 21018 (Mexico) 08B042 $12.98

SYLVIE BODOROVÁ (b.1954): Pontem Video - Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion, Planctus for Viola and Orchestra, String Quartet Dignitas Homini, Ventimiglia for Trumpet and Percussion Sextet, Concerto dei fiori for Violin and Strings. This is tremendously impressive music, original and highly expressive. The composer's seriousness of purpose is apparent in her frequent use of solemn chorale-like material and contemplative themes from which complex structured edifices are constructed. There is nothing simplistic about these works, yet their elaborations are built on such firm foundations of tonality and masterfully telling orchestration that the listener is never in danger of straying from the path of the spiritual journey on which the composer seeks to lead us. There is no misty-eyed New Ageism here either; there is drama and conflict aplenty, doubt and uncertainty, but set against a powerful and determined musical argument which always leads surely in the direction of truth. Vûra HeÞmanová (organ), Jan Pûruka (viola), Prague Symphony Orchestra; JiÞí Bûlohlávek, Miroslav Kejmar (trumpet), Václav Hudeãek (violin), Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Zimmerman. Panton 71 0522 (Czech Republic) 08B043 $16.98

ADOLF FREDRIK LINDBLAD (1801-1878): Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 19, Symphony No. 2 in D. Lindblad's first symphony is a work of youth, dating from 1831 and it speaks the language of Mozart's final symphonies and Beethoven's early ones with reminders of Haydn here and there in felicitous orchestration remarkable for the fact that this was the composer's first orchestral work. The second symphony is from his maturity (1855) and, although somewhat less exuberant, it still shows its Mozartian and Beethovenian pedigree but with elements showing that Lindblad had assimilated the Romantic sensibilitis of Mendelssohn and Schumann. The works have been recorded once before but the brilliance of this recording and the sharp, clear-eyed response of a chamber orchestra present the symphonies in an even more appealing light. Uppsala Chamber Orchestra; Gérard Korsten. Marco Polo 8.225105 (New Zealand) 08B044 $14.98

MIHÁLY MOSONYI (1815-1870): Piano Trio in B Flat, Op. 1, Grand Nocturne for Piano Trio. Both these works seem to date from the 1840s (the Grand Nocturne is undated and may not have ever been performed until 1995), when Mosonyi's name was Michael Brand and he wrote in the German romantic tradition. Thus, the B Flat trio is in traditional Viennese classical form and style with the expected influences of Beethoven and Hummel. The Grand Nocturne, while sharing these influences, is serenade-like in form, with five movements opening with a March and proceeding through a Menuetto, Theme and Variations, Scherzo and Finale. It is an ambitious work, with constantly varying moods and demanding much of its performers. Kassai Trio. Marco Polo 8.225042 (New Zealand) 08B045 $14.98

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 11, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 70, Caoine (A Lament), Op. 54/1, 5 Characteristic Pieces, Op. 93. Stanford's first sonata (1877) is deeply indebted to Beethoven in structural control and to Schumann in its harmonic resource, poetic gesture and lyrical intensity; the second sonata (c.1898) is in four-movement form and its tender euphony is reminiscent of the rich lyricism of Brahms' first two violin sonatas. The 1905 Characteristic Pieces are colorful, sophisticated pieces which were probably intended for the same market at the Irish Fantaisies, of which Caoine is one. Paul Barritt (violin), Catherine Edwards (piano). Hyperion CDA 67024 (England) 08B046 $17.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1904): Symphony No. 3 in E, Op. 51, Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44. Record companies are beginning to pay more attention to Bruch's symphonies and "other" violin concertos! This new release offers the 1887 symphony, with a romantically charming first movement, solemn and ardent adagio and a fiery scherzo. The concerto (1878) was written for Sarasate and emphasizes ardent emotion over brilliance (two slow movements were unusual at the time). Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), London Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9738 (England) 08B047 $16.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Symphony No. 3 in F , Op. 153 "Im Walde", Symphony No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 167. Raff's third symphony (1869) is a fluent, colorful piece which depicts the moods and the denizens of the Romantic forests of central Europe with scoops of Mendelssohn and Dvorak seasoned by dashes of Lizst, Berlioz and Wagner. The 1871 fourth (one of only two Raff symphonies without sub-titles) has another very Mendelssohnian scherzo, a slow movement modeled on that of Beethoven's seventh symphony's and relaxed outer movements full of attractive, outdoorsy wind scoring. A useful entry for anyone who has not collected the Marco Polo full-price series of Raff symphonies. The Milton Keynes City Orchestra; Hilary Davan Wetton. Helios CDH 55017 (England) 08B048 $10.98

WILLIAM GRANT STILL (1895-1978): Afro-American Symphony, AMY BEACH (1867-1944): Symphony in E Minor, Op. 32 "Gaelic". Bridge Records, in association with the Library of Congress, has commenced a reissuing program of the famous "Society for the Preservation of the American Musical Heritage" series of recordings made by Karl Krueger between 1958 and 1970. The remastering has brought an added vividness and presence to the original recordings (at least of the two CDs listed here). A short-lived series on the Library's own label has been long out of print. This recording of Still's symphony takes a full six minutes longer than Järvi's on Chandos - and rightly so for the changes come in the adagio second movement "Sorrow" and the lento final movement "Aspiration" and evince a deeper understanding and empathy with the moods expressed through the use of melodies borrowed from the blues and from spirituals. This was the first recording of Beach's symphony and, though cut, will be wanted by collectors anyway. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Krueger. Bridge 9086 (U.S.A.) 08B049 $16.98

EDWARD MACDOWELL (1861-1908): 2 Fragments after the Song of Roland, Op. 30, Hamlet/Ophelia, Op. 22, Lancelot und Elaine, Op. 25, Lamia, Op. 29. Macdowell's four symphonic poems date from 1884-1890: all begun while studying in Germany. Employing the means and aesthetic of the "progressive" Liszt/Wagner school of composition, they also reveal MacDowell's sense of drama and early skill as an orchestrator. A particularly valuable re-issue as there are still no modern recordings currently available of any of these richly imagined and opulently scored tone poems. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Krueger. Bridge 9089 (U.S.A.) 08B050 $16.98

DANIEL STERNEFELD (1905-1986): Mater dolorosa. Apparently, comparisons have been made between this, Sternefeld's only opera, and the works of Richard Strauss, and extravagant as this may appear, it is not without foundation. Mahler - specifically Das Lied von der Erde - also comes to mind. Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's story of a mother's reconciliation with the gentle hand of Death, who takes her infant and thus spares him the suffering that life had to offer, the opera is somewhat static, but profoundly moving, containing much music of a somber, almost painful beauty. Want an opera to put alongside your copies of Lambert's Summer's Last Will and Testament, Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony and Das Lied? This is it. 2 CDs. Flemish-English libretto. Marie Terese Letorney (soprano), Lucienne Van Deyck (contralto), Tom Sol (baritone), Flemish Radio Choir, Zeffireti Choir of Antwerp, Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra; Grant Llewellyn. Marco Polo 8.225068-69 (New Zealand) 08B051 $29.98

UMBERTO GIORDANO (1867-1948): Madame Sans-Gêne. Giordano's only full-length comic opera was premiered by Toscanini in New York in 1915 and involves a laundress (who becomes Dutchess of Danzig), her lover (the Duke) and Napoleon (!) over a period of 19 years from 1792-1811. As befits an opera which begins in the Paris of poets, revolutionaries and aristocrats, Giordano's idiom is more robust and vigorous than passionately lyrical, making use of French Revolutionary songs also to be found in Andrea Chenier. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Mirella Freni (soprano), Giorgio Merighi (tenor), Valter Borin (tenor), Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Modena, Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Emilia Romagna "Arturo Toscanini"; Stefano Ranzani. Dynamic CDS 247/1-2 (Italy) 08B052 $35.98

UMBERTO GIORDANO (1867-1948): Mese Mariano, Il Re. A second recording within months of Il Re is accompanied by Giordano's 1910 Mese Mariano, whose plot surprisingly anticipates that of Puccini's Suor Angelica. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Partizia Ciofi (soprano), Nicholas Rivenq (baritone), Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia; Renato Palumbo. Dynamic CDS 231/1-2 (Italy) 08B053 $35.98

JOSEPH BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951): Complete Works for Violin and Piano - Fantasia , Op. 128, Sonata in B Minor, Op. 10, Prinzessin Gänseblümchen - Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 35, Elegy for Violin Solo, Zbiroh Suite for Viola and Piano, Op. 167, Ballad, Op. 92, 2 Impromptus, Op. 154, Sonata quasi fantasia, Op. 177. All but the Fantasia and Sonata quasi fantasia are world premiere recordings. Foerster branched out considerably from the music of Smetana and Dvorak as he gained his mature style, assimilating influences from Brahms and Grieg to Tchaikovsky and Mahler. The earliest work here is the 1889 sonata, in typical late Romantic style; six of these works date from after Foerster's 66th year and show his characteristic lyricism, emphasizing the melodic element while relaxing formal restrictions and using innovative harmonies. 2 CDs. Josef Suk (violin, viola), Josef Hála (piano). Supraphon SU 3401 (Czech Republic) 08B054 $33.98

VILÉM BLODEK (1834-1874): Love Songs, Op. Posth., Die Kapelle, JOHANN FRIEDRICH KITTL (1806-1868): Trost, Op. 21/6, Die Spinnerin, Op. 4/4, Das tote Herz, Op. 4/5, Ins stille Land!, Op. 4/6, Zur Nacht, Op. 21/2, Winterlied, Trostlos, Op. 21/3, Denkst du wohl mein?, Op. 21/1, Ständchen, Op. 13/3, Wilde Rose, Op. 3/6, Das Sternchen, Op. 21/5, Liebesglück hat tausend Zungen, Op. 3/2, Lieb' hat eine treue Schwester, Op. 3/1, Die Abfahrt des Corsaren, Op. 15. Blodek is known mostly for his popular one-act opera In the Well, almost as influential in its time as Smetana's Bartered Bride. He wrote rather little, his career being cut short by mental illness, and these 14 German songs comprise his entire effort in this genre. Relatively uncomplicated, a few of them are through-composed and feature emotionally charged contents. Kittl, a pupil of Tomasek and friend of the young Wagner, wrote similarly tuneful and simple lieder which often served as gifts or mementos to personal friends. German texts. Petr Matuszek (baritone), Petr JiÞíkovsk (piano). Supraphon SU 3408 (Czech Republic) 08B055 $16.98

BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): Richard III for 4 Pianos, 16 Hands (arr. composer), Composition in G Minor for 2 Pianos, 8 Hands, Sonata Movement in E Minor for 2 Pianos, 8 Hands, Rondo in C for 2 Pianos, 8 Hands, Triumphal Symphony: Scherzo (arr. composer) & Finale (arr. Joseph Proksch) for 4 Pianos, 16 Hands. Unusual repertoire doesn't get a lot more unusual than this: ensemble piano playing was an important part of musical instruction in the Prague of Smetana's student years and when he opened his own schools, the composer continued the tradition, both adapting famous orchestral pieces, adapting his own works and writing original compositions. This recording, made live last year at the Prague Spring festival, will be sure to interest piano fanciers. Petr JiÞikovsk, Michal Rezek, Jana Macharáãková, Hanu BartoÀ, Adam Skoumal, Daniel Wiesner, Jaromír Klepáã, Ale Bárta (pianos). Studio Matous MK 0048-2 (Czech Republic) 08B056 $18.98

HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Complete Lieder, Vol. 3 - 5 Lieder, Op. 11, Untreu und Trost, 4 Lieder, Op. 15, An den Mond, Op. 18, 2 Lieder, Op. 19, 2 Lieder, Op. 21. This release covers the years from 1901-1907 and here Pfitzner's mature style is more in evidence - dramatic expressionism, visionary impressionism, characteristic chromaticism pushing the boundaries of tonality. Many of these come together in his biggest song composition to date, the Goethe setting of An den Mond of 1906. The parcelling-out of songs, matching content to voice and personality type of this excellent group of singers continues to pay dividends in interpretation. German-English texts. Julie Kaufman (soprano), Donald Sulzen (piano), Iris Vermillion (mezzo), Axel Bauni (piano), Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Michael Gees (piano), Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Rudolf Fansen (piano). CPO 999 461 (Germany) 08B057 $15.98

Orchestral Music by 20th Century Women Composers

ELIZABETH MACONCHY (1907-1994): Nocturne, CHEN YI (b.1953): Ge Xu (Antiphony), TERA DE MAREZ OYENS (1932-1996): Introduzione, JEAN COULTHARD (b.1908): Music to St. Cecilia, TANIA LEON (b.1943): Bata, NICOLA LEFANU (b.1947): Preludio 2, BARBARA KOLB (b.1939): All in Good Time, GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983): Petite Suite, DOREEN CARWITHEN (b.1922): Suffolk Suite. This may be the disc of the month; every piece is strong, affecting and memorable and the variety of styles, tone colors and orchestrations is astounding. Yi and Leon use native elements (Chinese and Afro-Cuban respectively) to create vivid and exotic timbres; Maconchy's disarmingly titled Nocturne opens up sounding like a Bernard Herrmann/Brian de Palma film score and is more eventful and gripping in its six and a half minutes than many symphonies; Carwithen (William Alwyn's widow) produces a four-movement suite of English folk-inspired music in the Vaughan Williams and Holst tradition and, for fanciers of tougher, more modern language (although still quite approachable), Lefanu and Oyens deliver the goods. Foundation Philharmonic Orchestra; David Snell. Atma ACD 2 2199 (Canada) 08B058 $17.98

Sorabji - Piano Sonata No. 2

KAIKHOSRU SORABJI (1892-1988): Piano Sonata No. 2. Sorabji's extraordinary, tumultuous, coruscating second piano sonata takes up where the first, thrillingly presented by Marc-André Hamelin on Altarus AIR-CD-9050, left off. If the first sonata was a magic-carpet ride (as its performer memorably described it), the second, a darker, stormier work, is more like a magic carpet ride through a succession of tornadoes. This flirtation with post-post-late-Scriabin quasi-atonality is almost as far in this direction as the composer ventured, and the work has throughout an unsettled and unsettling quality, as well as moments of exquisite lushness and sensuality (which would later develop in the direction of Sorabji's suffocatingly beautiful "tropical nocturne" style), and outbreaks of almost unprecedented (for their time) pianistic vehemence. Live recording of first modern performance (and U.S. premiere), with negligible audience noise and studio-quality sonics, played by a remarkable young composer-pianist hitherto unrepresented on CD who seems set to be a rising star both as performer and composer in the near future. Tellef Johnson (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9049 (U.S.A.) 08B059 $17.98

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Concerto for 10 Instruments, Sonatina for Flute, Oboe and Piano, Quintet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Cello and Piano, Suite for Flute, Viola and Harp, Quintet for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano. Rawsthorne's unmistakable style - neoclassical surface elegance and precison, with a great deal of brooding subtext discernable just beneath the surface - is nowhere shown to better advantage than in his chamber music. The concerto is a pithy, concentrated work which states explicity very little of what it means, but has such a wealth of subtext - anguish, uncertainty, even despair - that it will repay many listenings. It may be a cliché to suggest that this kind of repressed understatement is a very British way to deal with strong feelings - but it worked for Elgar, and it works here. The quintet is the other really major work here; unsettled in mood yet exquisitely crafted, every phrase, every note seems pregnant with meaning. The Fibonacci Sequence. ASV DCA 1061 (England) 08B060 $16.98

HERBERT BAUMANN (b.1925): Rumpelstilzchen - Ballet Music. We offered Baumann's appealing, superbly characterised ballet music Alice in Wonderland a few months back; anyone who enjoyed that should not hesitate to acquire this disc also. Baumann has a rare gift; with all the resources of 20th-century compositional techniques at his disposal he illustrates his narratives in a tonal language that suggests enough of Mahler (the peasant/folk material), Kodaly or Shostakovich (in lighter, if acerbic, vein) to seem comfortably familiar. But he is not above pulling out a few aleatoric bars here and there as a special effect. The overall result is joyously appealing and challenging enough never to seem second-hand. Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR; Herbert Baumann. Thorofon CTH 2405 (Germany) 08B061 $16.98

OSVALDAS BALAKAUSKAS (b.1937): Like the Touch of a Sea Wave for Violin and Piano, Retrospective for Piano Trio, Maggiore-Minore for Violin and Piano, Nine Springs for Piano Trio, Rain for Cracow for Violin and Piano, 3 Caprices for Piano, Bop-Art for Cello and Piano. Balakauskas developed a serial technique during his student years which fashions rows out of chord sequences or melodic cells, which can then be manipulated in all the usual ways. In practical terms, this comes out sounding not at all unlike chromatic harmony, with all the exploitation of harmonic tension that that implies. The composer himself refers to this as "consonant serialism". Certainly the music is propelled by a sense of harmonic movement or development, as well as characteristically quirky rhythmic structures. There is an appealing boldness to this music; strong brush-strokes and overemphasized shapes, rather than subtly blended values. Unusual and individual, and full of unexpected twists and turns. Rusne Mataityte (violin), Margrit Julia Zimmerman, Albina Siksniute (piano), Edmundas Kulikauskas (cello). ASV DCA 1063 (England) 08B062 $16.98

ENRIQUE SANTOS (b.1930): Sonata No. 2 "Meiping", Sonata No. 6, Suite Para Niños Traviesos, Suite de los Grindeles. These are recent works, from the last decade, except the 1963 Suite. The two sonatas are especially impressive. Big muscular works, with something akin to Prokofiev (rhythmically), Ginastera (harmonically) and Eckhardt-Gramatté (in 20th-century eclecticism and piano texture). The second sonata, with its programme of outrage at the atrocities carried out in China in the name of the "Cultural Revolution" has a pervading sense of anger and drama, while the sixth, no less tense and dramatic, explores a more purely musical, yet equally cogently argued, dialectic. Daniel Noli, Aurelio León, Eva Maria Zuk (piano). Clasicos Mexicanos SDX 21035 (Mexico) 08B063 $12.98

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): The Valkyrie, Op. 62 - Complete Ballet Music. Dating from 1860, this score for a ballet by Bournonville represents a new development for Hartmann's ballet writing. The epic character of the piece (taken from the Gesta Danorum of the 12th century Saxus Grammaticus) means that the music is much more symphonically conceived, with fewer dance forms, and with rich instrumentation to express the changing moods of nature and the various personalities of the characters who include Vikings, Sicilian Greeks, Anglo-Saxon warriors, mermaids and dwarves. 2 CDs. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski. CPO 999 620 (Germany) 08B064 $31.98

MIHÁLY MOSONYI (1815-1870): Mass No. 3 in F, Pater noster, Ave verum, Ave Maria, Offertorium. Mosonyi's third mass dates from 1849, still firmly in his German period, and is richly romantic and dramatic with Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven still being the main influences. The Offertorium coupled here is from Mosonyi's second mass (1844) and employs an obbligato clarinet. Reina Boelens, Vanessa del Riego Ledo (sopranos), Simone Veder (contralto), Lars Terray (baritone), Liszt Ferenc Chorus and Orchestra, Amsterdam; Peter Scholcz. Hungaroton HCD 31826 (Hungary) 08B065 $16.98

JULIUS REUBKE (1834-1858): Piano Sonata in B Flat Minor, Mazurka in E, Scherzo in D Minor, CHRISTIAN LUDWIG SCHUNKE (1810-1834): Grande Sonata in G Minor, Op. 3. Two of the finest unknown piano sonatas of the Romantic period, unknown only because their authors died at the age of 24.: Reubke's work was dedicated to Liszt (one of whose favorite pupils he was) and the work's emotional questings and conflicts, its majestic grandeur, cyclical form and awesome technical difficulty can only make one bemoan its composer's short life. The same applies to Schuncke, of whom Schumann thought the world and whose 1832 sonata (dedicated to Schumann) shows that master's characteristic freely imaginative, almost eccentric writing with touches of Mendelssohian frolicsomeness in its scherzo and an obsessive, demoniacally Schubertian anxiety in its finale. Reubke's Mazurka and Scherzo (the latter with technical hurdles equal to the sonata) receive their world-premiere recordings. Mario Patuzzi (piano). Dynamic 2000 S2037 (Italy) 08B066 $13.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Piano Sonata No. 1 in A Flat, Op. 7, Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 57, Marche funèbre sur la mort de Beethoven, Op. 146. The 19-year-old Czerny's first piano sonata is a remarkable five-movement work with a fugue using a theme from the finale added on to the traditional four movements. There are foreshadowings of Mendelssohn and Schubert in the intimate first movement and its turbulent central section while the agitated scherzo which follows was often performed by Czerny's most famous student Franz Liszt. The adagio's profundity and striking modulations are positively Beethovenian while the following rondo shows unexpected polyphonic strength and intensity of emotion. The third sonata dates from 1824 and, in its wild passions, endearing tenderness, soaring melodies and compact expression may be seen as Czerny's F minor answer to his famous teacher Beethoven's Appassionata sonata. Anton Kuerti (piano). Analekta FL 2 3141 (Canada) 08B067 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Fantaisies et Finale sur un Thème de Mr. le Baron de Fricken, Quasi Variazioni - Andantino de Clara Wieck, Op. 14 (first version), Impromptus sur une Romance de Clara Wieck, Op. 5 (first version). World-premiere recording of the very first version of what was to become the Symphonic Etudes: completed in January of 1835, the ten Fantaisies and Finale were based on a theme by the amateur flutist father of Schumann's first betrothed (Ernestine Fricken). Five of them are not in the final work and were published in 1873 by Brahms. The quasi Variazioni recorded here later became the slow movement of the F minor piano sonata and contain two more variations than the published version. Gregorio Nardi (piano). Phoenix Classics PH 98401 (Italy) 08B068 $16.98

TERESA CARREÑO (1853-1917): Corbeille de fleurs, Op. 9, Ballade, Op. 15, Plainte, Op. 18, Partie, Op. 18, Un Rêve en mer, Op. 28, Mazurka de Salon, Op. 30, 2 Esquisses Italiennes, Op. 33, Intermezzo Scherzoso, Op. 34, Le Sommeil de l'enfant, Op. 35, Highland (Souvenir de l'Escosse), Op. 38, La Fausse Note, Op. 39, Petite Valse ("Teresita"). One of the late 19th-century's most famous piano virtuosos, Carreño also composed throughout her life and this new release brings world premiere recordings of works which range from an elevated type of salon composition to highly virtuosic pieces containing difficult runs of chords, rapid octave passages and dangerous leaps and trills (the Ballade is a particularly fiery example). Alexandra Oehler (piano). Ars Musici AM 1258 (Germany) 08B069 $18.98

LOUIS-JAMES-ALFRED LEFEBURE-WELY (1817-1869): Premier Duo Symphonique, Op. 163, Deuxième Duo Symphonique, Op. 181, LOUIS MOREAU GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869): Ses Yeux, Op. 66, Printemps d'Amour, Op. 40, La Gallina, Op. 53, Radieuse, Op. 72, Grande Tarentelle, Op. 67. Although characterised as "symphoniques", the two duos of Lefebure-Wely (1865 and 1868 respectively) are really just enjoyable romps with much glittering passagework and a dancing tarantella to close the first duo. As such, they, in their first recordings, make perfect companions to the more familiar five Gottschalk pieces. Geneviève & Bernard Picavet (pianos). ILD 642169 (France) 08B070 $12.98

CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826)/HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869): Der Freischütz. Berlioz, feeling that this marvelous work was underappreciated in France due to its genre (the Singspiel, with its spoken recitatives never caught the French taste), replaced all of the spoken text passages from the original with sung recitatives, carefully integrating these new musical elements into a coherent whole and instilling his own personality into the result. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Anne Constantin, Cécile Perrin (sopranos), François Soulet (tenor), Didier Henry (baritone), Chorus of St. Eustache, Hungarian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; Jean-Paul Penin. L'Empreinte Digitale ED 13100/101 (France) 08B071 $37.98

VÍTùZSLAVA KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940): Military Sinfonietta, String Quartet, Partita for Piano and Orchestra, April Preludes for Piano, Ritornell for Cello and Piano, Waving Farewell for Voice and Orchestra, Love Carol for Voice and Piano. There is always something rather intriguing about an artist whose entire lifespan encompasses about as many years as most of us spend trying to figure out, vaguely, who we are. Kaprálová studied with Vítezslav Novák, and was also a pupil - and apparently rather more than that - of Martinu. The earliest works here - the quartet and Sinfonietta - are accomplished and spontaneous, if not especially individual. The works of a mere several years later - the last few years of her brief life, when the relationship with and influence of Martinu was in full effect, show far greater emotional range. The impassioned Ritornell, her last completed work, has an emotional intensity only hinted at in the earlier works, and the Partita - rather Martinu-like, and none the worse for that - is clear, direct and urgently dynamic. Yes, of course it would be fascinating to know what Kaprálová would have become had she survived to full maturity - but more to the point, there can be no question that the music she actually left is more than worth getting to know. Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra; Frantisek Jílek, Janacek Quartet, Vilém Pribyl (tenor), other artists. Studio Matous MK 0049-2 (Czech Republic) 08B072 $18.98

BORIS BLACHER (1903-1975): The Grand Inquisitor for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra. Blacher's oratorio after Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov", with its themes of oppression and irrational (yet systematically acted upon with the utmost efficiency) intolerance, suggests a powerful metaphor for the Nazi-occupied Europe in which the composer found himself persecuted. Given Blacher's penchant for craftsmanlike, effervescent music painted in bold primary colors, this work, somber in its tonal harmony, spare and ascetic in its textures, and strained and uneasy in mood, may strike some as atypical. Yet the ingenious, propulsive rhythms are here, and the sense of dynamic drama which never failed Blacher. A work approachable and unsettling in equal parts. Siegmund Nimsgern (baritone), Leipzig Radio Choir, Dresden Philharmonic; Herbert Kegel. Berlin Classics 9378 (Germany) 08B073 $10.98

GARETH FARR (b.1968): From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs, Waipoua for Clarinet and Orchestra, Le Temps est à la Pluie, Tabuh Pacific for Balinese Gamelan and Symphony Orchestra, Queen of Demons. The composer is also a percussionist who has worked extensively with symphony orchestras and "ethnic" percussion ensembles. He also works as a professional drag artiste, as the liner notes gleefully inform us. The first of these parallel careers is rather more apparently reflected in his music than the second. There is a great deal of colorful percussion, imaginatively used, in these works, often suggesting Gamelan music. Farr seems (from his commentary on his pieces) to have adopted a stridently anti-nuclear-testing stance, but if this and his titles suggest a well-meaning New Age-y aesthetic, the music is rather tougher than that. There is a great deal of youthful ardor and a genuine sense of atmosphere and foreboding in his portrayal of the ravaged islands of the Pacific. Perhaps Your Humble Correspondent should come clean and admit that I was prepared to thoroughly dislike this disc after brief acquaintance with its packaging; it has now found a place in my permanent collection. Mary Scott (clarinet), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Gareth Farr. Morrison & Co. Trust MMT 2021 (New Zealand) 08B074 $18.98

GARETH FARR (b.1968): Shadow of the Hawk for Cello and Piano, Kembang Suling for Flute and Marimba, Sepuluh Jari for Piano, From Forgotten Forests for Solo Harp, Cadenza for Piano, Flute, Percussion, Violin, Clarinet and Cello. With fewer opportunities to explore the manifold sonorities of the large-scale orchestral percussion battery (the composer appears as marimba soloist in Kembang Suling, and there is ample percussion in the hectically humorous nightmare Cadenza, (but nowhere else here), this disc displays Farr's considerable melodic gift and sense of humor. Cadenza is a particularly enticing piece of black humor - it has the horrifying relentless logic of a J.G. Ballard decay fantasy set succinctly to music. Sepuluh Jari has a slighly sophomoric joke as a program note, but the music itself is a very effective piano toccata. This one's now on my shelf alongside the orchestral disc . . . Various artists. Morrison & Co. Trust MMT 2020 (New Zealand) 08B075 $18.98

JAROSLAV RYBÁR (b.1942): Interludes and Ritornelli for Flute, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, 7 elementi continuali for Piano, Wind Octet, 4 Fantaises after Klee for Piano, String Quartet, 8 Cantos on Poems by Ivan Wernisch for Baritone, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano. Rybár describes his compositional intentions as being to express aspects of an inner world which, of necessity, only he can experience. It follows, then, that his music has an introspective and questing quality. Atonal and based on the interaction of small cells by way of development, the music has the quality of fantasy, sometimes surreal, sometimes with its own internal logic. Various artists. Studio Matous MK 0050-2 (Czech Republic) 08B076 $18.98

LOUIS DUREY (1888-1979): Carillons & Neige for Piano Four-Hands, GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983): 2 Jeux de plein air, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Partita, GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Une Valse, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Scaramouche, La Création du Monde for Piano Four-Hands, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): L'Embarquement pour Cythère, Elégie, Capriccio sur "Le Bal Masqué". An unhackneyed program of music by "Les Six" brings works by Durey, Tailleferre, Honegger and Auric which are not currently in the catalogues: Durey offering two pieces of polytonal impressionism (1916, 1918), Tailleferre recalls childhood pastimes (1918), Honegger's Partita (1940) is austere, sonorous and monumental and Auric's waltz (1949) is popular and refined. Geneviève & Bernard Picavet (pianos). ILD 642129 (France) 08B077 $12.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Concerto for Piano and Strings, Nonet, Concerto for Harpsichord, String Orchestra and Percussion. Gerhard's unique use of serial techniques combined with bright tonality and recurrent Spanish motifs enrich his textures without descending into "folksy" local color. Like the passionate Schoenberg of the First Chamber Symphony, this music carries a great deal of emotional weight, and renders irrelevant the precise techniques used to attain its ends. The slow movement of the harpsichord concerto is dodecaphonic, but it attains such a pitch of shadowy, sinister figuration as to distract one entirely from the mechanisms that propel it. Elsewhere, and especially in the faster, toccata-like movements of this and the piano concerto, there are similarities with Bartók. These works are among Gerhard's most engaging and dynamic, and would provide an excellent example to anyone unsure of his true worth as a major figure in 20th-century music. Albert Attenelle (piano), Ursula Dütschler (harpsichord), Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya; Lawrence Foster. Auvidis/Montaigne MO 782107 (France) 08B078 $18.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Quartettino, Alla Marcia, String Quartet No. 3, Simple Symphony. This second volume of a series contains two rare pieces: the 1930 Quartettino which is a truly remarkable work for a 17-year-old - its restless, chromatic lines as radical as anything in Britain at the time (Bridge was his teacher and Britten had proposed using a travel grant to study with Berg), placing the work in the tradition of the Second Viennese School; and the Alla Marcia, a sinister, Mahlerian movement which later accompanied the penultimate Parade of the song-cycle Les Illuminations. Maggini String Quartet. Naxos 8.554360 (New Zealand) 08B079 $5.98

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Parade, Mercure, Relâche - Parts I and II, 3 Gymnopédies. Satie's outrageous frivolity and humor are to the fore in this disc of rarely heard orchestral works which includes his last two ballets (Mercure and Relâche, both from 1924) - full of brilliant and uninhibited orchestral colors in a return to his earlier "music-hall" style - as well as 1917's better-known Parade, the "Cubist" ballet with obbligato typewriter and siren. Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy; Jérôme Kaltenbach. Naxos 8.554279 (New Zealand) 08B080 $5.98

EMILIO ARRIETA (1823-1894): Marina. This series of zarzuelas continues with one of the all-time "greatest hits". Marina was premiered in 1855 and proved such a success that the composer was persuaded to add recitatives, add extra numbers and turn it into a three-act opera in which form it was produced in 1871. This is the version recorded here. 2 CDs. Spanish-English libretto. Maria Bayo (soprano), Alfredo Kraus (tenor), Juan Pons (baritone), Tenerife Chamber Chorus, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra; Víctor Pablo Pérez. Auvidis/Valois V 4845 (France) 08B081 $37.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Overtures to Maria Stuarda, L'Ajo nell'Imbarazzo, Ugo Conte di Parigi, Scenes from Marino Faliero, Caterina Cornaro, Gianni da Calais, Maria di Rohan, Anna Bolena and Pia de' Tolomei. This disc is largely devoted to new music produced for later performances of these operas; the overture to Maria Stuarda is new (the other two are rare) and there is a new love duet for Anna Bolena, a new finale for Caterina Cornaro and a wonderful cabaletta inserted into Maria di Rohan. With the usual deluxe packaging and copious notes which one has come to expect from Opera Rara. Nelly Mircioiu (soprano), Rockwell Blake (tenor), Garry Magee (baritone), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra; David Parry. Opera Rara ORR 207 (England) 08B082 $18.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Variations II, Eight Whiskus, Music for Two, Ryoanji. This disc presents Cage's precisely controlled and surveyed anarchy through the medium of chamber works - violin, percussion and glass harmonica. There are many sounds here which do not qualify as "music" in conventional terms - but that is largely the point, as is the lack of pre-ordained structure arising out of the random rearrangement and interpretation of the composer's precisely notated directions. There is, as often in Cage, a great deal of boundary-crossing here; the boundaries between media and performance styles, for example, with the violinist interpreting phonemes in speech and sung texts as articulation and gradations of bowing pressure - quite unlike conventional violin playing. Whiskus by the way, is a Cagean neologism, formed by telescoping "whistle" with "Haiku", and descriptive of the kind of writing suggested above. Malcolm Goldstein (violin), Matthias Kaul (percussion, glass harmonica). Wergo WER 6636-2 (Germany) 08B083 $19.98

ENNIO MORRICONE (b.1928): Cadenza for Flute and Tape, 4 Studi for Piano, Rag in frantumi for Piano, Per le antiche scale/La corta notte delle bambole di verto for Flute and Piano, L'Eredità Ferramont/Metti una sera a cena for Flute and Piano, Mosè for Bass Flute, Flute and Piano, Allonsafan/Il Prato for Flute and Piano. Well, we all know about Morricone, don't we? Spaghetti westerns, right? Lots and lots of big, broad, neo-romantic film scores with just enough "ethnic" special effects to achieve heaps of atmosphere - yes we know him, all right. So what's this disc all about? Electroacoustic music? More-or-less atonal piano studies in free rhythm? There are also pieces - the final four on the CD, chamber music arrangements of music from films, which demonstrate that Morricone's individual harmonic sensibility and melodic gift stand up perfectly well on their own without the necessity of accompanying other, visual, action. So our view of the composer is expanded, rather than altered; this is the composer of those stirring musical landscapes and emotive lyricism; but also a "serious" (not that writing for films isn't) composer fully aware of the history of 20th-century music, and as comfortable writing in the one idiom as the other. Fascinating! Roberto Fabbriciani (flutes), Massimiliano Damerini (piano). Koch Schwann 3-1478-2 (Germany) 08B084 $16.98

GORDON CROSSE (b.1937): Cello Concerto, Op. 44, Memories of Morning: Night, Op. 30 for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Some Marches on a Ground, Op. 28. Crosse's music is highly theatrical, as in the monodrama Memories of Morning: Night, which explores the derangement of the first Mrs. Rochester (from "Jane Eyre" ) as a series of tableaux portraying her memories and internal conflicts. His idiom is predominantly tonal, though with plenty of dissonance thrown in as appropriate to the drama of his subject matter. The elegiac concerto, in memory of Dallapiccola, is if anything even more tonal, yet it shares with the earlier work a sense of an impassioned soliloquy by a solo voice, set against an instrumental commentary. Alexander Baillie (cello), Susan Bickley (mezzo), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D058 (England) 08B085 $17.98

LEON KIRCHNER (b.1919): Piano Sonata, String Quartet No. 1, Sonata concertante for Violin and Piano, Piano Concerto No. 1, Piano Trio, String Quartet No. 2, String Quartet No. 3 for Strings and Electronic Tape, Lily for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra. This set usefully restores to the catalogue the Columbia and Epic recordings of Kirchner's music from the 1950s and 1960s. Kirchner's studies with Bloch and Schoenberg instilled in him a rigorous technical approach, which is apparent again and again through these works in the economy and precision with which ideas are presented and developed. For all of that the music is volatile and passionate - the piano concerto is a thrilling traversal of emotional outbursts and uneasy, unstable contemplation. The string quartets mark an interesting progression, from the strong influence of Bartók to the electroacoustic experiment of the third quartet in 1966. 2 CDs. Leon Fleisher (piano), American Art Quartet, Eunice Shapiro (violin), Leon Kirchner (piano), Kirchner (pno), New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Dmitri Mitropoulos, Kirchner (pno), Nathan Rubin (violin), George Neikrug (cello), Lenox String Quartet, Beaux Arts Quartet, Diana Hoagland (soprano), Columbia Chamber Solists. Music & Arts CD-1045 (U.S.A.) 08B086 $33.98

JOHN ZORN (b.1953): Cat o'Nine Tails, The Dead Man, Mememto Mori, Kol Nidre. "Tex Avery meets the Marquis de Sade" is the composer's comment on Cat O'Nine Tails, which gives some idea of the diversity of ideas that Zorn is prepared to incorporate into his music. Since this and The Dead Man both have, according to the composer, an intentional sadomasochistic subtext, this would explain some of the unmistakable sound-effects written into the music. Little snatches of popular, light music, classical allusions and alternative playing techniques also find their way into this bewildering collage. Both Memento Mori and Kol Nidre are intensely meditative, static microtonal journeys through a kind of inner space. The Zorn Quartet. Tzadik TZ 7047 (U.S.A.) 08B087 $16.98


DROR FEILER (b.1951): Ember for Orchestra and Tape, ANTOINE BEUGER (b.1955): Fourth Music for Marcia Hafif (3) for Orchestra, MANFRED STAHNKE (b.1951): Trace des sorciers for Orchestra, SILVIA FÓMINA (b.1962): Auguri Aquae: Sound-Movement for Voices and Orchestra, MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Etudes 1-3 for Large Orchestra, BRICE PAUSET (b.1965): Perspectivae Sintagma I (canons) for MIDI-Piano and Electronics, PIERRE BOULEZ (b.1925): Anthèmes (version for Violin Solo, Computer and 6 Loudspeakers), GYÖRGY LIGETI (b.1923): Pour Irina - Etude No. 16 for Piano, BENEDICT MASON: The Four Slopes of Twice among Gliders of her Gravity for Piano, FREDERIC RZEWSKI (b.1938): Scratch Symphony for Orchestra, PETER ABLINGER (b.1959): IEAOV Instrumente und ElektroAkustisch Ortsbezongene Verdichtung for 2 Trombones and 2 Cellos, GÜNTER STEINKE (b.1956): Arcade for Cello and Live Electronics. Lovers of big, bold orchestral cluster-textures will find much to enjoy in Feiler's abstract expressionism writ large, and Beuger's isolated tone-clusters - massive-textured blocks of sound - continue the sense of visceral impact. Kagel's Etudes function much as sound-color studies in the Schoenbergian sense. There are some interesting electroacoustic exercises here also, including Boulez' IRCAM-achieved version of Anthèmes, with the highly sophisticated electronic effects generated by computer in real time. Here, as in Mason's work, spatial perception of the sound effects becomes an integral part of the listening experience. Rzewski's Scratch Symphony (in memory of Cornelius Cardew) returns us to the world of big orchestral sounds - quite euphonious in this case, and with an aleatoric structural element and a propulsive process-music dynamic. 3 CDs. Various artists. Col legno 20026 (Germany) 08B088 $56.98

PAUL CHRISTIAN VAN WESTERING (1911-1991): Suite de Concert, HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Fête-Diue per Organo, MARIUS MONNIKENDAM (1896-1977): Tema con Variazione per la Notte di Natale, Sonata da Chiesa, Toccata II. These works are all unmistakably of our century, but they share a romantic expressiveness and sense of programmatic purpose. van Westering's Suite, which began life as an improvisation by the composer, written down at the request of Feike Asma, who performed the work widely in concert, is a very powerful work, whose heart is a massive funerary procession, a wartime in memoriam. The Andriessen, equally magnificent, also has wartime connotations. The Monnikendam works are lighter in texture and mood, appealing and impressively and imaginatively written for the organ. Jaap Kroonenburg (Garrels organ of the Groote Kerk, Maassluis). Lindenberg LBCD 88 (Netherlands) 08B089 $17.98

ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ (b.1936): Memorial in Two Parts for Violin and Piano, A Garden for RKB for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, 4 Maine Haiku for Piano, Dream Music with Variations for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano. Schwartz is a wide-ranging composer with an established parallel career in academia. Several of the pieces here are elegies for colleagues, and skillfully incorporate references to their subjects, via quotations from their favorite classical works, into a predominantly atonal, note-row structured idiom. Musical textures are important to the composer, and layers of material constantly shift in and out of focus, sometimes unexpectedly revealing a familiar allusion or phrase. Penumbra, Copen-hagen Contemporary Players, Elliott Schwartz (piano). Capstone CPS-863330 (U.S.A.) 08B090 $16.98

HENRY BRANT (b.1913): Orbits - A Spacial Symphonic Ritual for 80 Trombones, Organ and Sopranino Voice., Hieroglyphics 3, Western Springs - A Spacial Assembly for 2 Orchestras, 2 Choruses and 2 Jazz Combos. Brant's speciality is "spatial music" in which the performers are positioned such that the audience is enveloped in sound in a precisely determined way. It will therefore immediately be apparent that 2-channel stereo is not the ideal medium for this music. It is devoutly to be wished that when multi-channel audio DVDs become the norm, we may hear more of Mr Brant's music so presented. As it is, 80 trombones - yes, that's 80 - make an extremely impressive sound. The music, as one might expect, functions more in the nature of a sound-sculpture or sound-mobile perhaps than in the traditional sense of development and argument, but this is not a criticism, merely an observation; done this well, with sonic textures so rich and thrilling, it is easy to get carried away in the sheer visceral exuberance of it all. Various Artists. CRI CD 827 (U.S.A.) 08B091 $16.98

TAKASHI YOSHIMATSU (b.1953): Saxophone Concerto "Cyber-bird", Op. 59, Symphony No. 3, Op. 75. Yoshimatsu's saxophone concerto has a pleasantly light, jazzy quality, which renders it instantly appealing and extremely easy to listen to. There is nothing here to offend lovers of the lighter side of contemporary classical or jazz. The second movement, an elegy for the composer's sister, is redolent of genuine sentiment. The Symphony is a work of some philosophical basis, with more musical content, and has something of the character of an east-west travelogue, full of local color and vibrant orchestral effects. Nobuya Sugawa (saxophone), BBC Philharmonic; Sachio Fujioka. Chandos 9737 (England) 08B092 $16.98

ROBERT WARD (b.1917): Echoes of America for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Appalachian Ditties and Dances for Violin and Piano, Raleigh Divertimento for Wind Quintet, Lamentation for Piano, Scherzo for Piano, Dialogues for Piano Trio. This disc is well entitled "Echoes of America", after the clarinet trio which opens it. The legacy of American folk music - a transmogrified blend of diverse European folk musics brought over by generations of early settlers - is detectable throughout this ingenious, consonant and approachable yet always oddly unpredictable. The works which contain no overt programmatic references share this open-air, innocent though never naïve, quality. Aurora Musicalis, Aspen Wind Quintet, Amadeus Trio, Eric Larsen (piano), Stephen Shipps (violin). Albany TROY 323 (U.S.A.) 08B093 $16.98

JAN NOVÁK (1921-1984): Balletti à 9 for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Métamorphoses in pastorale L.V.B. for Flute, Oboe, 2 Violins, Cello and Piano, Concertino for Wind Quintet. Two volumes of music by expatriot Czech composer Jan Novák, a worthy successor to Martinu, whom he considered his mentor. Works from the 1950s such as the Balletti à 9 and Concertino share the rhythmic incisiveness and dynamism, and quirky unpredictability of meter, of the earlier composer. Also like Martinu, Novák flirted with the influence of jazz. The Métamorphoses are delightful miniatures, taking extremely well-known themes from Beethoven's sixth symphony on rather unexpected (though always consonant and entertaining) jaunts through the Czech countryside. Kammer Ensemble de Paris. Gallo CD-906 (Switzerland) 08B094 $18.98

JAN NOVÁK (1921-1984): Sonata tribus for Flute, Violin and Piano, 2 Preludes and Fugues for Solo Flute, Sonata Solis Fidibus for Solo Violin, Sonata Phantasia for Cello, Bassoon and Piano. The later works featured here have less of the bucolic about them, perhaps, and are more rigorously and tightly organised, by they show the same mastery of polyrhythm as the earlier works, along with an odd yet unclouded sense of harmony that at times strongly recalls Janácek, overlain on classical forms which the composer uses with the utmost skill to marshal his material in readily accessible fashion. Definitely a composer well worth getting to know, and if Volume 3 and on are in the pipeline, so much the better. Kammer Ensemble de Paris. Gallo CD-938 (Switzerland) 08B095 $18.98

FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): String Quartets Nos. 1-3, 8 Movements after Hölderling Fragments for String Sextet. Cerha's string quartets are all recent works - none is more than 10 years old at this point - and all are works of a composer of maturity who, through years of experimentation and assimilation both of the traditions of European 20th-century music and extra-European influences, has arrived at a very individual style whose foundations may yet be traced through a legacy of exposure to other styles and musical cultures. Traces of many folk-musics from around the world may be found here, as well as the Second Viennese school (well assimilated and not very apparent), the classical tradition, speech rhythms and many other diverse elements besides. Cerha uses microtones extensively, often in reference to specific scales found in folk idioms of other cultures, and these and his long - sometimes very long - melismatic lines suggest (without actually sounding anything like either) Indian or Arabic musical structures - the raga, or maqam; a long linear elaboration of a scalar cell. Except that Cerha has a central European grasp of polyphony; a fascinating combination. Arditti Quartet, Thomas Kakuska (viola), Valentin Erben (cello). CPO 999 646 (Germany) 08B096 $15.98

ZOLTÁN GÁRDONYI (1906-1986): Sonata I, Sonata Secunda, Sonata Tertia, Partita sopra "Veni Creator Spiritus". These fine works should appeal strongly to devotees of Baroque and Classical organ music who have always wished that composers closer to our own time would avoid the temptation of associating the organ's potential for massive sonority with extremities of dissonance. This clear and classically elegant music by a contemporary (classmate, indeed) of Bartók recalls the impressive architectural resonances of romantic and pre-romantic organ writing, without ever sounding self-consciously neoclassical, and utilising enough of the techniques of our century (not, however, even venturing as far into modernism as his illustrious contemporary) to avoid any suggestion of reactionary conservatism. Dezsö Karasszon (organ). Hungaroton HCD 31820 (Hungary) 08B097 $16.98


These items are offered on a special price basis. On some times, quantities are limited; first come, first served.

LORENZO PEROSI (1872- 1956): La Risurrezione di Cristo. Soloists, Coro Polifonico di Milan, Orchestra dell'Angelicum di Milano; Carlo Felice Cillario. Sarx Angelicum ANG 97028 (Italy) 08B098 was$16.98 now$9.98

PEETER VÄHI (b.1955): 2000 Years after the Birth of Christ. Hortus Musicus, The "Bad" Orchestra, Kaia Urb (sop), Peeter Vähi (keybds, drum machine, voice). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9059 (Germany) 08B099 was$16.98 now$10.98

URMAS SISASK (b.1960): Christmas Oratotio, Mass No. 4 "Christmas Mass". Vocal Soloists, Academic Male Choir of Tallinn Technical University, Instrumental Soloists; Jüri Rent. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9061 (Germany) 08B100 was$16.98 now$10.98

RENÉ EESPERE (b.1953): 4 Ritornells, Spieldosen I and II, 6 Preludes, Concentus in D Minor, 4 Ostinati. Tarmo Eespere (pno). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9058 (Germany) 08B101 was$16.98 now$10.98

NICCOLÓ PAGANINI (1782-1840): 3 Duetti concertanti for Violin and Cello, Op. 1, 60 Variationen über Barucabà for Violin and Guitar. Ernö Sebestyén (vln), Martin Ostertag (cel), Boris Björn Bagger (gtr). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9095 (Germany) 08B102 was$16.98 now$10.98

MASATAKA MATSUO (b.1959): Phonosphere, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1706-1975): Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47. Kitu Mitsuhashi (shakuhachi), Masataka Matsuo (tsukeuchi), Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe; Kazushi Ono. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9112 (Germany) 08B103 was16.98 now$10.98

GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Vox Balaenae, NED ROREM (b.1923): Trio for Flute,Cello and Piano, BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano. shawnigan-trio. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9045 (Germany) 08B104 was$16.98 now$10.98

JOHANN VALENTIN MEDER (1649-1719): Chaconne, AUGUST HEINRICH VON WEYRAUCH (1788-1865): 3 Lieder, JOHANN FRIEDRICH LA TROBE (1766-1845): 2 Lieder, ELLA ADAIEWSKY (1846-1925): Berceuse Estonienne, 3 Songs, HEINRICH GREIFFENHAGEN (1857-1908): Gavotte, KULDAR SINK (1942-1995): 3 Naturbilder, ESTER MÄGI (b.1922): Duos im Volkston. Camerata Tallinn (mezzo, Flute, Violin & Guitar). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9031 (Germany) 08B105 was$16.98 now$10.98

EMILIO ARRIETA (1823-1894): Marina. Hipolito Lazaro, Mercedes Capsir, Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Montorio. Mono (rec. 1930). Blue Moon BMCD 7502 (Spain) 08B106 was$16.98 now$8.98

AMADEO VIVES (1871-1932): Doña Francisquita. Felisa Herrero, Emilio Vendrell, Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Montorio. Mono (rec. 1929). Blue Moon BMCD 7501 (Spain) 08B107 was$16.98 now$8.98

JOHAN WIKMANSON (1753-1800): String Quartets, Op. 1, Nos. 1-3. Nils-Erik Sparf, Per Sandklef (vln), Björn Sjögren (vla), Bengt Ericson (cel). Proprius/Musica Sveciae PRCD 9114 (Sweden) 08B108 was$18.98 now$11.98

BERNHARD LEWKOVITCH (b.1927): Piano Sonatas No. 1, Op. 2, No. 2, Op. 3, No. 3, Op. 4 and No. 4, Op. 5, Dance Suite No. 1, Op. 16, Dance Suite No. 2, Op. 17. Anker Blyme (pno). Danacord DACOCD 475 (Denmark) 08B109 was$17.98 now$7.98

MARCELLO PANNI: Recondite Armonie for Harp and Percussion, 3 Danze for Piano Quintet, Veni, Creator No. 1 for Clarinet, Petit Septuor, Canzonette a 3 Voci for Soprano, Flute and Cello, Veni, Creator No. 2 for Trumpet, Seiner Edlen Freundin for Piano, 3 Haiku for Soprano and 4 Instruments, Veni, Creator No. 3 for Trombone. Various Artists. Edipan PAN 3013 (Italy) 08B110 was$18.98 now$10.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): 3 Quarter-Tone Pieces for 2 Pianos, Sonata No. 2 "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860". Special European Import. Alexei Lubimov (pno), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (2nd pno). Erato 0630-14638-2 (France) 08B111 was$19.98 now$12.98

HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): The Voice of Lir, Advertisement, Anger Dance, Amiable Conversation, The Tides of Manhattan, Aeolian Harp, The Hero Sun, Tiger, 6 Ings, Dynamic Motion, The Harp of Life, What's This?, Sinister Resonance, Fabric, Antinomy, The Trumpet of Angus Og, The Banshee, Maestoso, The Lilt of the Reel. Sorrel Doris Hays (pno). Town Hall THCD-48 (U.S.A.) 08B112 was$18.98 now$10.98

MORTON SUBOTNICK (b.1933): Liquid Strata for Piano and Electronics, FREDERICK LESEMANN (b.1936): Nataraja for Prepared Piano, WILLIAM KRAFT (b.1923): Requiescat for Rhodes Electric Piano, RALPH GRIERSON: Sometimes...Not Always for Piano. Ralph Grierson (pno). Town Hall CD-TH24 (U.S.A.) 08B113 was$18.98 now$10.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): A Colone for Male or Female Choir and Instrumental Ensemble, Nuits for 12 Mixed Voices A Cappella, Serment for Mixed Choir, Knephas for Mixed Choir, Medea for Men's Chorus and Instrumental Ensemble. New London Chamber Choir, Critical Band; James Wood. Hyperion CDA 66980 (England) 08B114 was$17.98 now$10.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): 5 Madrigal Stanzas for Violin and Piano, 4 Madrigals for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, 3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola, Madrigal Sonata for Flute, Violin and Piano, Nonet, Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, Sonatina for 2 Violins and Piano, La Revue de Cuisine. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Dartington Ensemble. Hyperion Dyad CDD 22039 (England) 08B115 was$17.98 now$10.98

Spectrum, Spectrum II - 50 Contemporary Works for Solo Piano by Eleanor Aberga, Avril Anderson, Julian Anderson, David Bedford, Richard Rodney Bennett, Diana Burrell, Philip Cashian, Laurence Crane, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Brian Elias, Michael Finnissy, Graham Fitkin, Michael Zev Gordon, Jonathan Harvey, Alun Hoddinott, Gabriel Jackson, Neil Kaczor, Colin Matthews, Edward McGuire, Barry Mills, Stephen Montague, Anthony Payne, Roger Redgate, Edwin Roxburgh, Timothy Salter, David Sawer, Howard Skempton, Dave Smith, John Tavener & Andrew Toovey . These 50 pieces were written at the invitation of Ms Myers in order to increase the repertoire of short bagatelle-like contemporary works for piano. Thirty established names in the British contemporary music scene responded. It is an interesting cross-section of contemporary piano writing, ranging from easy-listening minimalism (Bedford), through pointillistic percussiveness (quite a lot of the pieces) to unexpectedly gentle impressionistic harmony (Finnissy), to real originality and imagination (Montague, Payne). Most enthusiasts for contemporary piano music will find enough here that they don't want to part with to make the set worthwhile, and everybody will find at least a few tracks that they will program their CD players to skip on all future occasions. A fascinating - and fun - collection. 2 CDs. Thalia Myers (piano). NMC D057 (England) 08B116 $35.98

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932): The Gladiator, The Gliding Girl, The Federal, The Presidential Polonaise, The Irish Dragoon: Circus Galop, Sandalphon Waltzes, The Belle of Chicago, Silver Spray Schottische, Foxtrot: Peaches and Cream, Myrrha Gavotte, The Fairest of the Fair, Caprice: The Coquette, Galop: On Wings of Lightning, 3 Quotations, Venus, Hail to the Spirit of Liberty. Volume 3 of Naxos' Sousa series is a compilation of marches, waltzes and other dance forms originally composed for military band but heard here in arrangements for symphony orchestra. Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Keith Brion. Naxos 8.559029 (New Zealand) 08B117 $5.98

JOHAN CARL ESCHMANN (1826-1882): Tagebuchblätter, Op. 26/1, Romanze und Allegro, Op. 24, 3 Lieder from Op. 5, Es schienen so golden die Sterne, Op. 7/2, Mittags, Op. 34/4, THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): 2 Lieder from Op. 4, AUGUST RÖCKEL (1814-1876): 3 Klavierstücke, WILHELM BAUMGARTNER (1820-1867): 3 Lieder, HEINRICH SCHULZ-BEUTHEN (1838-1915): Der Singeschwan, CHRISTIAN GOTTLIEB RABE (1815-1876): 2 Lieder, RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883): Siegfrieds Tod (arr. Breig for piano accompaniment). The companion to a release from this past April, this release brings a selection of (mostly) lieder written by composers who were part of Wagner's circle while he was in his post-1848 exile in Switzerland. Zsuzsa Alföldi (soprano), Steve Davislim (tenor), Christoph Keller (piano). Musiques Suisses MGB 6156 (Switzerland) 08B118 $18.98

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Piano Trio No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 1/2, Piano Trio No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 1/3, Piano Trio No. 4 in B Minor, Op. 2. The B flat trio is actually Franck's first, dating from 1837 while the two B minor works (No. 4 is the original final movement of No. 3) were composed in 1841. They are full of tunefulness and grace with more than a bit of the salon about them and No. 3 has a bit more German influence; charming works which will appeal to all aficionados of unusual chamber repertoire. The Bekova Sisters. Chandos 9742 (England) 08B119 $16.98

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787): Alceste (first version - Vienna, 1767). The second of Gluck's "reform operas" (following Orfeo ed Euridice), which were intended to replace the complicated plots and florid music style of opera seria with a noble simplicity in both action and music, was revised by its author into a much more sophisticated French-language tragédie lyrique in 1776. This is the only available recording of the original version. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Teresa Ringholz (soprano), Justin Lavender (tenor), Drottningholm Theatre Chorus and Orchestra; Arnold Östman. Naxos 8.660066-68 (New Zealand) 08B120 $17.98