January 2001   January 2000  January 1999  January 1998  
 February 2001   February 2000  February 1999  February 1998  
 March 2001   March 2000  March 1999  March 1998  
 April 2001   April 2000  April 1999  April 1998  
    May 2000  May 1999  May 1998  
    June 2000  June 1999  June 1998  
   July 2000  July 1999  July 1998  July 1997
   August 2000  August 1999  August 1998  August 1997
    September 2000  September 1999  September 1998  September 1997
    October 2000  October 1999  October 1998  October 1997
   November 2000  November 1999  November 1998  November 1997
    December 2000  December 1999  December 1998  December 1997



Violin Concerto

Suite for Violin and Orchestra

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Violin Concerto in D, Op. 74, Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 32. As a student Stanford was a more than competent violinist and he developed a life-long friendship with Joseph Joachim with whom he often performed at Cambridge University musical events. The Suite was written in 1888 and premiered by the great German violinist at an all-Stanford concert in Berlin. Adopting the baroque dance suite form, the piece is in five movements (Overture, Allemande, Ballade, Tambourin and Rondo Finale) and mixes Baroque mannerisms with Romantic style. The concerto (1899) is on a grand, Brahamsian scale (over 38 minutes here) with a long, lyrical first movement, an elegiac slow movement and a high spirited finale whose main theme is based on a Gaelic tune. Anthony Marwood (violin), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67208 (England) 12C001 $17.98

PETER ERASMUS LANGE-MÜLLER (1850-1926): In the Alhambra, Op. 3, Renaissance, Op. 59. In the Alhambra was Lange-Müller's first major orchestral work (1876) and was based on the travel account of a fellow Dane of the famous Moorish palace in southern Spain. Its five movements describe halls, courts and the Garden of Lindaraja in the exotic style typical of the time (see Saint-Saëns' Algerian Suite for example): no actual Moorish or Spanish melodies but an entirely self-created fantasy musical style rich in color and faux Orientalisms. Lange-Müller's two great strengths were miniatures and songs and Alhambra represents a fine example of the former. Renaissance takes care of the latter; dating from 1901, it is the incidental music to a play by Holger Drachmann about the aging painter Tintoretto. Consisting of a prelude and six songs which show off the composer's fount of lyric melody to fine effect. Danish-English texts. Michael Kristensen (tenor), Guido Paevatalu (baritone), Danish National Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Michael Schønwandt. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224109 (Denmark) 12C002 $14.98

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): 4 Caprices, Op. 18/1, 2 Pièces caractéristiques, Op. 25, 6 Tonstücke in Liederform, Op. 37, 6 Characterstykker af H.C. Andersen, Op. 50, 6 Etudes instructives, Op. 53, 6 Fantasiestücke, Op. 54. Hartmann's piano compositions span a period of 60 years and this new release concentrates on works from the period of 1835-55. The majority are in lied-form (including the Caprices and the op. 25 pieces) although Hartmann is much more involved with his harmonic workings than with his melodies, meaning that even though op. 18 was dedicated to Mendelssohn, the Caprices are closer to etudes than to "Songs Without Words". The Andersen pieces are of particular interest since the famous writer penned his poems after having heard Hartmann's music. Nina Gade (piano). Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224162 (Denmark) 12C003 $14.98

EDUARD FRANCK (1817-1893): Cello Sonata in F, Op. 42, RICHARD FRANCK (1858-1938): Cello Sonata in D, Op. 22, Serenade in C, Op. 24. Fermate continues its championship of the Franck family with this their third release and second of cello sonatas. Both composers remained conservative to the core, with Eduard's sonata (published in 1882 but almost certainly composed near the time of its fellow - 1846) redolent of Mendelssohn and Beethoven while son Richard's sonata (1903) follows in the footsteps of Brahms, Grieg and Reinecke. Thomas Blees (cello), Roswitha Gediga (piano). Fermate FER 20031 (Germany) 12C004 $16.98

GEORGES CZIFFRA (1921-1993): Le vol du bourdon - paraphrase after Rimsky-Korsakov, Tritsch-Tratsch Polka - paraphrase after Johann Strauss, Fantaisie roumaine - improvisation in gypsy style, Valse triste - paraphrase after Vecsey, Danse hongroise No. 5 - after Brahms, JOHANNES BRAHMS/CZIFFRA): 15 danses hongroises. If you love wonderfully over-the-top Romantic piano virtuosity, then you have already placed your order for this CD without even reading this far. Some may question the good taste of Cziffra's transcriptions of the Brahms Hungarian Dances (too bad), but no one could doubt the sheer pianistic inventiveness of the writing, nor the staggering technique which gave rise to it (and it must be admitted that by the 1980s he was past his best, but occasionally mannered as these performances may be, the unbridled exultation in pianism for its own sake is clearly undimmed). Cziffra may have lacked Godowsky's complete understanding of the possibilities of the piano - that's OK, so did virtually everybody else - but his transcriptions were similarly very clearly done with the intention of demonstrating his unique vision of just how far piano technique could go beyond the accepted norm. Five pieces here were recorded in the 1950s, when Cziffra's technique was so improbable as to suggest a pianola with emotions, and if you care about pianos at all you owe it to yourself to hear his transcription of the Flight of the Bumblebee in this version. Mid-price. Georges Cziffra (piano). EMI CDM 5 66162 2 (France) 12C005 $11.98

Below are four mid-price re-issues on the Swedish Society label which cover four of Sweden's most important composers of Romantic organ music. Particularly notable is Andrée's 1892 second symphony which makes use of a 12-member brass ensemble, performed here on period instruments.

ELFRIDA ANDRÉE (1841-1929): Organ Symphony No. 1 in B Minor, Organ Symphony No. 2 in E Flat with Brass Ensemble, Symphonic Poem in E Minor, Andantino in E Minor, Andante in G, Melodie in C Sharp Minor, Choral and Variations in D Minor, Fuga con spirito in E Flat. Mid-price. Ralph Gustafsson (organ of St. Maria Magdalena Church, Stockholm). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1085 (Sweden) 12C006 $11.98

GUSTAF HÄGG (1850-1928): 4 morceaux, Op. 12, 4 Orgel stycken, Op. 22, Méditation, Op. 16, Festmarch, Sorgmarsch, Aftonbön, Elegi, Festspel till koral 55. Mid-price. Ralph Gustafsson (organ of St. Maria Magdalena Church, Stockholm). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1080 (Sweden) 12C007 $11.98

OSKAR LINDBERG (1887-1955): 5 Preludes, Melodi i folklig ton, Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, Concert Fantasy, Marcia funebre, Wedding March, Sonata in G Minor, Music for the Book of Job, Introitus solennis, Funeral Music, I denna ljuva sommartid, 4 Chorales, 3 Chorales, Variationer över en gammal dalakoral, and other short pieces. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Ralph Gustafsson (organ of St. Maria Magdalena Church and Leksand Church, Stockholm). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1081-82 (Sweden) 12C008 $18.98

EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): 24 Legends, Op. 46, Preludes and Fugues in G minor, Op. 4, in A Minor, Op. 49 & two in C, Opp. Posth., Fantasie, Op. 15, Kanon in A Minor, Preludes in D, C & A Minor, Fugue in A Minor, 2 Small Preludes for André Pirro. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Ralph Gustafsson (organ of St. Maria Magdalena Church, Stockholm). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1083-84(Sweden) 12C009 $18.98

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Symphony No. 4 "1942", Symphony No. 5 "Joyous", Decatur at Algiers. If the fourth symphony (released on Naxos in April of 2000) made Antheil sound like the American Shostakovich, a classic "war symphony" from beginning to end, the first movement of the 1947-48 fifth will call to mind the racing music of the scherzo to Prokofiev's Fifth from just a few years earlier. However, the ensuing adagio molto is a lovely, dreamy work which breathes peace and contentment while the finale takes off again in the style of a Shostakovich scherzo although with a touch less acidity. Decatur at Algiers (1943) is a brief nocturne with a touch of Eastern exoticism. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hugh Wolff. CPO 999 706 (Germany) 12C010 $15.98

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Violin Concerto No. 2 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 45, Pastorale, phantaisie et fugue for String Orchestra, Op. 23, Romance for Cello, Harp and String Orchestra, Op. 29, Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 15, Carnival for Small Orchestra, Op. 5. Three world premiere recordings highlight this set devoted to the great Hungarian violinist and teacher (a three-page list of Weiner's colleagues, students and friends printed in the booklet turns up many well-known names), the largest of which is his 1957 concerto for which he went back to a violin sonata of 1918 and refashioned it into a four-movement piece which is melodious as it is conservative. The Pastorale, etc. dates from 1938 (and exists also in a version for string quartet) and showcases Weiner's marvellous sense for lyricism in its first two movements before borrowing a Hungarian folk tune as the subject for its fugal finale. The Carnival dates from 1907 - an 11-minute humoresque full of brilliant ideas and subtle humor. 2 CDs. Antal Szalai (violin), János Starker (cello), Melinda Felletár (harp), György Sebök (piano), Budapest Chamber Symphony; Zsolt Hamar, Tibor Varga. Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 018 (Hungary) 12C011 $35.98

MIECZESLAW KARLOWICZ (1876-1909): Recurring Waves, Op. 9, Eternal Songs, Op. 10, Lithuanian Rhapsody, Op. 11, Stanislaw and Anna Oswiecim, Op. 12, A Sad Tale (Preludes to Eternity), Op. 13, An Episode During a Masquerade, Op. 14. These symphonic poems, all composed between1904 and 1909, are firmly in the Lisztian-Straussian camp of philosophy expressed through music: the Recurring Waves are the bitter thoughts and happy memories of a man ill-treated by fate and approaching death; the Eternal Songs are those "of Everlasting Longing", "of Love and Death" and "of Eternal Being"; A Sad Tale has the subtitle "Preludes to Eternity" and is a musical representation of a world of fears and psychological torments; Stanislaw and Anna is a Polish version of Romeo and Juliet only with brother and sister while An Episode (left incomplete by Karlowicz' hiking accident in the Tatra mountains and completed by the noted Polish conductor Grzegor Fitelberg) has a murky subject matter although there are indications that it may deal with lost and irretrievable love. So, those of you who love to wallow in Strauss or Liszt's more cerebral tone poems will certainly enjoy this collection. These are 1991 recordings, not available before in the west - not the Wislocki recordings which appeared on Olympia. 2 CDs. Silesian State Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Salwarowski. Dux 0132/33 (Poland) 12C012 $33.98

KARL WEIGL (1881-1949): String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 20, String Quartet No. 5 in G, Op. 31. Weigl was a student of Fuchs and Zemlinsky and was a friend and colleague of Schoenberg and Webern but his artistic muse looked back, not forward, and though he stayed on good terms with Schoenberg all his life, Weigl's music developed along paths similar to Zemlinsky. The first quartet here dates from 1904 and is rather sprawling (44 minutes) and still part of the idiom in which Schoenberg and Webern were writing at that time (think Pelleas und Melisande or Im Sommerwind). Twenty-nine years later, the language is very similar but the fifth quartet is stripped to its essentials (26 minutes in performing time here). Sure to appeal to all collectors of the early Second Viennese School or late Romanticism. Artis Quartett Wien. Nimbus NI 5646 (England) 12C013 $17.98

PANCHO VLADIGEROV (1899-1978): Complete Works for Piano Duo - Rhapsodie Vardar, Op. 16, La Danseuse orientale, Op. 10/2, Suite Bulgare, Op. 21, Romance et Cake-Walk, Chimmy de concert, Danse Suedoise, Fox-Trot, Valse Fantastique, Op. 2/4, Danse roumaine No. 3, from Danses bulgares, op. 23: Bilyana, Grande Ronde, Mar Dimitroljo. In 1976-77, Vladigerov chose thirteen pieces - originally for piano, violin and orchestra - from his uvre (composed between 1915 and 1942) and reworked them for piano duo. Of varied genres - virtuoso dances, light salon-type pieces, stage reminiscences and Bulgarian nationalist pieces - these works in their new guise still retain the coloristic richness and pictorial quality of the originals while being imagined specifically for the special sound of two pianos. Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov. CPO 999 733 (Germany) 12C014 $15.98

ALEXANDER TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977): Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Toccata No. 1, Op. 1, 8 Preludes, Op. 9, Sonata No. 1, Op. 22, Le Monde en Vitrine, Op. 75, Canzona, Op. 28, 7 Études, Op. 56, Message, Op. 39. Containing works composed between 1919 and 1946, this first volume of Tcherepnin's piano music ranges from early works with reminiscences of Scriabin and Prokofiev (Toccata, Preludes and the first sonata) to the pentatonic explorations of the etudes (1938) and the glittering salon-style virtuosity and grotesquerie of the 1946 Showcase, this release goes hand-in-hand with BIS' symphonic series in bringing to light the wide-ranging creativity of this Russian/French/American who also spent extended periods of time in China and Tokyo. Murray McLachlan (piano). Olympia OCD 681 (England) 12C015 $16.98

GIOVANNI BUONAVENTURA VIVIANI (1638-1692?): Capricci armonici, Op. 4. What are the chances that we'd get two "world premiere recordings" of Signore Viviani's op. 4 in the same month? Hungaroton's offers only violin, cello and harpsichord and omits two trumpet sonatas which are part of the collection; in addition, the sheer variety of continuo instruments here makes for easier protracted listening. The baroque bassoon is particularly wonderful! Gunar Letzbor (violin), Andreas Lackner (trumpet), Roberto Sensi (viola da gamba), Luciano Contoni (archlute), Katalin Sebella (bassoon), Wolfgang Zerer (harpsichord,organ). Arcana A 302 (France) 12C016 $17.98

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1751): 12 Concerti a cinque, Op. 5. Dating from 1707, Albinoni's op. 5 concertos are taut and vital, all in three movements (fast-slow-fast) with much solo writing for the first violin and even some for the cello. A fine example of pre-Vivaldian concertos. Collegium Musicum 90; Simon Standage. Chandos 0663 (England) 12C017 $16.98

GIUSEPPE MATTEO ALBERTI (1685-1751): 12 Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo. Published in 1720, this set of sonatas is notable for its humor, typically Italian lyricism, carefully placed "theatrical" effects and brilliant violin writing. 2 CDs for the price of one. Davide Amodio (violin), Franck Bernède (cello), Luciano Còntini (lute), Alessandro De Marchi (harpsichord). Bongiovanni GB 5604/5 (Italy) 12C018 $16.98

JEAN-JOSEPH MOURET (1682-1738): Divertissements pour les comédies de Marivaux.. Mouret is known today only for his fanfares (Masterpiece Theater for instance) but in his time he was famous for the music he composed for comedies on the stage. This included both dances and arias and this new release brings 37 examples from several plays by the noted playwright Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux. Sylvie De May, Isabelle Desrochers (sopranos), Gilles Ragon (tenor), Michel Verschaeve, Christian De Smet (baritones), La Compagnie Baroque; Michel Verschaeve. Assai 222042 (France) 12C019 $16.98

JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Flute Concertos in B Minor, C, G &D, Sinfonia in G for 2 Transverse Flutes, 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Flute Sonata in A, Trio in E Minor for 2 Transverse Flutes and Basso Continuo. Laurence Dean, Christina Ahrens (transverse flutes), Hannoversche Hofkapelle. Probably composed between 1725-35, Hasse's flute works are in the galant style, full of grace, charm and serenity with memorably pleasing melodies. Christophorus CHR 77228 (Germany) 12C020 $17.98

JEAN-FRÉDÉRIC EDELMANN (1749-1794): Keyboard Sonatas Opp. 6, Nos. 1-3, Op. 8, Nos. 1 & 3, Op. 10, Nos. 1-3. Dating from 1778-82, these sonatas are miniature dramas, dripping with intense emotions, with movement headings straight out of the Romantic period. At times they sound like reductions of orchestral originals, such is Edelmann's gift of color. Sylvie Pécot-Douatte (fortepiano). Calliope CAL 9296 (France) 12C021 $17.98

MISS PHILHARMONICA (early 18th cent.): Divertimento for Flute, Violin, Cello and Harpsichord in D Minor, ANNA BON DI VENEZIA (c.1738-c.1767): Divertimento for Flute, Violin, Cello and Harpsichord in D Minor, Op. 3/3, FRANZISKA LEBRUN (1756-1791): Sonata in E Flat for Violin and Harpsichord, Op. 1/2, CECILIE MARIA BARTHeELEMON (c.1770-after 1826): Sonata in F for Flute, Cello and Harpsichord, Op. 1/2, HELENE LEIBMANN(?1796-?): Grande Sonate for Cello and Harpsichord, Op. 10, Grand Trio for Violin, Cello and Harpsichord in A, Op. 11. This is volume one of a three-volume (at least) collection of pieces by women composers associated with royal courts during the 18th and 19th centuries. Everything here is distinctively melodic and enjoyable, from the turn of the century baroque divertimento of "Miss Philharmonica" (as the published work dubs her) to the early Romantic cello sonata and keyboard trio of Leibmann. Irene Schmidt (flute), Jaroslav Sveceny (violin), Vladimir Kissin (cello), Fine Zimmermann (harpsichord). Stadt Unna UBC 1801 (Germany) 12C022 $16.98

JOHANN STAMITZ (1717-1757): Clarinet Concerto in B Flat, CARL STAMITZ (1745-1801): Quartet in E Flat for Clarinet, Horn, Viola and Cello, Op. 8/2, Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio, Op. 14, JOHANN/?CARL STAMITZ: 2 Quartets in E Flat for Clarinet, Horn, Violin and Cello, FRANZ XAVER POKORNY (1728-1794): Clarinet Concerto in B Flat, ANON. (18th c.): Clarinet Concerto in E Flat. Three first recordings of clarinet music by Bohemian composers: the concerto dates from the last decade of the 18th century and is in early classical style while the two quartets of uncertain origin (the manuscripts have only "by Sr. Stamitz") are paired with two others by the son. Philippe Cuper (clarinet), Jean-Jacques Justaffré (horn), Talich Chamber Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, Les Virtuoses de l'Opéra; Philippe Cuper. Clarinet Classics CC0030 (England) 12C023 $17.98

ANTON DIABELLI (1781-1858): Grande Sérénades for Flute, Clarinet and Guitar No. 3, Op. 66, No. 4, Op. 95 & No. 5, Op. 105. Mid-price. Written for salon performance, these graceful serenades make soloistic use of all three instruments and run the gamut of emotions from gently melancholy to opera buffa style boisterousness. Arilicansemble. ASV Quicksilva QS 6248 (England) 12C024 $10.98

PIETRO-PAOLO BENCINI (c.1675-1755): Ave Maria, Missa de Oliveria. Bencini was an important figure in Roman musical circles. These works are polychoral, the second choir not independent but merely magnifying the first. The music, unheard for two hundred years, is of fine quality, especially Bencini's fugues which are reminiscent of Bach. A Sei Voci; Bernard Fabre-Garrus. Astrée E 8806 (France) 12C025 $17.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Clarinet Concerto in E Flat, KV C 14.06, Variations after KV 382 in D Flat for Clarinet and Orchestra, Sinfonia concertante for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon in E Flat, KV C 14.01 = 297b. The E Flat concerto comes in a version for oboe also and is probably by an Eastern European musician of the early 19th century. Nonetheless, it is a lovely, memorable work with many themes which recall Mozart's own. The variations (on the Rondo in A for piano and orchestra) come from a manuscript acquired by Simeon Bellison, later to become the principal clarinettist of the New York Philharmonic. Mi-Young Chon (oboe), Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Jan Schroeder (horn), Karl-Otto Hartmann (bassoon), Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. MD&G 301 1000-2 (Germany) 12C026 $17.98

CARL DITTERS VON DITTERSDORF (1739-1799): Sinfonia concertante for Double Bass, Viola and Orchestra in D, Double Bass concerto in E, Harp Concerto in A. This old favorite is a reissue of a 1978 Da Camera Magna LP, offering somewhat Romantic performances of two concertos involving the double bass and a harpsichord concerto performed on the harp. Günter Klaus (bass), Philipp Naegele (viola), Rachel Talitman (harp), Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra. Bayer Records 100 322 (Germany) 12C027 $17.98

GAETANO LATILLA (1711-1788): La finta cameriera. Italian-English libretto. Born in Bari, Latilla made his name in Naples and this is his most famous opera. Originally called Gismondo, its libretto was revised and the work retitled for its 1738 Rome premiere. The work was highly influential in shaping the Italian opera tradtion which culminated in the Venetian drammi giocosi. 2 CDs. Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Giuseppe De Vittorio (tenor), Giuseppe Naviglio (baritone), Cappella de' Turchini; Antonio Florio. Opus 111 OPS 30-275/76 (France) 12C028 $35.98

FEDERIGO FIORILLO (1755-after1823): Violin Concerto No. 1 in F, GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Violin Concerto No. 13 in A. This re-issue of a Hyperion 1986 original brings together two similar late 19th century concertos, both full of brilliant writing for the soloist as well as opportunities for a singing cantilena with jaunty rondo finales. Fiorillo's is noteworthy for its use of the orchestral horns to accompany the soloist in its finale. Mid-price. Adelina Oprean (violin), European Union Chamber Orchestra; Jörg Faerber. Helios CDH 55062 (England) 12C029 $10.98

WILHELM FRIEDEMANN ERNST BACH (1759-1845): Sinfonia in G, Sinfonia in C, Vater unser, Columber oder Die Entdeckung von America, Westphalens Freude - Kantate auf die Rückkunft des Königs. The last of the composing Bach offspring wrote comparatively little and the majority of it before 1800 so that both the vocal pieces and the symphonies here do not go beyond middle-period Haydn in style although, that said, they are quite attractive and satisfying works. German-English texts. Vocal Soloists, Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 672 (Germany) 12C030 $15.98

ADALBERT GYROWETZ (1763-1850): 3 String Quartets, Op. 44. This Bohemian composer of at least 50 string quartets and 40 symphonies was a life-long devotee of Haydn, who was a friend of his and whom he helped with introductions on Haydn's first trip to England in 1793. He composed up to the end of his long life and remained musically devoted to Haydn until the end which will give collectors some idea of the delights to be found in this set of quartets which date from 1804. Salomon String Quartet. Hyperion CDA 67109 (England) 12C031 $17.98

ANTONIN REICHA (1770-1836): Quintet in B Flat for Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola and Bass, Octet in E Flat for String Quartet, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Double Bass, Op. 96. The third of 25 volumes in cpo's reissue of clarinettist Dieter Klöcker's EMI recordings opens with the unusual, single-movement bassoon quintet (1826) which serves as an appetizer for the large-scale, 40-minute octet of 1817 with its "heavenly length" not the only thing Schubertian about it (although Beethoven also has a look-in). Mid-price. Consortium Classicum; Dieter Klöcker. CPO 999 742 (Germany) 12C0 $10.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): 7 arie acccademiche for Soprano and Orchestra, G.544-550. "Academic" in the title means for performance in subscription concerts (academies in late 18th century argot), so banish any thought of academic aridity. These seven arias are all to texts from works by Metastasio and, dating from the late 1780s or mid-1790s, they represent Boccherini at the height of his melodic and expressive powers. Italian-English texts. Adelina Scarabelli (soprano), Sonorum Concentus Roma; Federico Amendola. Koch Schwann 3-1525-2 (Germany) 12C032 $16.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): La Romanzesca e l'uomo nero. Opera Rara, in its usual lavish style, attacks one of Donizetti's least known stage works, an 1831 farsa which has fun with the then-prevailing literary duels between classicists and romanticists. The amount of detective work needed to understand the sources, characters and even most of the action is startling - and fully documented in the luxurious booklet. Italian-English libretto. Elisabetta Scano, Pietro Spagnoli, Bruno Praticò, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; David Parry. Opera Rara ORC 19 (England) 12C033 $18.98

HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869): Béatrice et Bénédict. After the epic rigors of Les Troyens, Berlioz turned to the light-hearted antics of Shakespeare's arguing, baiting Sicilian lovers and it is plain that he thoroughly enjoyed returning to Italian themes with triple meters, street dances, tambourines and guitars. A new, live recording by one of today's greatest Berliozians. French-English libretto. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Enkelejda Shkosa (mezzo), Kenneth Tarver (tenor), London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Colin Davis. LSO Live LSO 0004 CD (England) 12C034 $21.98

SIEGFRIED WAGNER (1869-1930): Complete Overtures, Symphony in C, Ekloge, Sensucht, Glück, Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär, Violin Concerto, Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, Das Märchen vom dicken fetten Pfannekuchen for Baritone and Orchestra. This re-issue packages all of Wagner fils' orchestral works - four volumes of opera overtures, preludes and intermezzi and three discs of symphonic poems, concertos and the symphony. Siegfried remained loyal in style to his teacher Humperdinck all his life, producing music which at its best has hearty exuberance and lyrical charm. Even the symphony and the violin concerto are relatively light-mannered and easy going. Mid-price. 7 CDs. Ulf Hoelscher (violin), Andrea Lieberknecht (flute), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra, Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 655 (Germany) 12C035 $62.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Suite from The Tempest, Op. 1, In Memoriam - Overture in C, Symphony in E "Irish". All of Sullivan's "serious" music dates from the 1860s and this collection offers a CD premiere - the orchestral suite from his 1861 incidental music for Shakespeare's The Tempest. Seven of the twelve numbers are contained in it and in some places one can perhaps hear pre-echoes of the composer of comic operas. Like his symphony of 1864, however, the main influences are of Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn and this goes for the 1866 overture which was inspired by the sudden death of his father. BBC Philharmonic; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9859 (England) 12C036 $16.98

GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Cello Sonata in B Minor, Cello Sonata in F Sharp Minor, Hamabdil for Cello and Harp, Pibroch for Cello and Harp, Elegiac Poem for Cello and Piano, Sonata in G Minor for Solo Cello. Known primarily for his large scale choral/orchestral pieces, Bantock wrote little chamber music but of what he did, quite a bit was for the cello. The unaccompanied sonata (1924) seems to have been prompted by hearing Kodaly's work in the same genre and is a freely rhapsodic, singing work. The two accompanied sonatas come from the 1940s although the first was sketched as early as 1900. These are late 19th century in conception, expansive and fond of gradually changing repetition and the earlier one also incorporates many passages for unaccompanied soloist. Andrew Fuller (cello), Michael Dussek (piano), Lucy Wakeford (harp). Dutton Laboratories CDLX 7107 (England) 12C037 $16.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Piano Trio, Op. 68, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 138, Oboe Sonata in C, Op. 100, Phantasy for 2 Violins and Piano, Op. 16, Suite "The Buddha" for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 64, Duo for Cor Anglais and Piano, Op. 156, Meditazioni sopra "Curs Désolés", Op. 67 for Oboe and Piano. These chamber works cover Rubbra's entire career, from the 1927 Phantasy to the 1980 Duo. Worthy of special mention are the calm beauty and quiet passion of the first piano trio, the brilliance of the oboe writing in the sonata and the severe, Shostakovichian intensity of the second piano trio. Krysia Osostowicz (violin), Jane Salmon (cello), Michael Dussek (piano), Melinda Maxwell (oboe, cor anglais), Helen Keen (flute). Dutton Laboratories CDLX 7106 (England) 12C038 $16.98

REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Midsummer Moon for Violin and Piano, Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola, Rhapsody for Cello and Piano, 2 Pieces for Viola and Cello, Cortège for Piano, Epilogue for Cello and Piano, Chinese Puzzle for Violin and Piano, Lullaby for Viola and Piano, Passacaglia on an old English Tune for Cello and Piano, Lullaby for Violin and Piano, Morpheus for Viola and Piano. Clarke's compositions demonstrate a highly personal fusion of impressionism, a Blochian intensity and ardor, melodic elements derived from English folk song and a strong sense of dissonance. Motives are worked and reworked almost obsessively and in almost all of these works there is a sense of despair and desolation; the cello and piano Rhapsody (1923) is her longest and most complex score and richly rewards repeated listending. Lorraine McAslan (violin), Michael Ponder (viola), Justin Pearson (cello), Julian Farrell (clarinet), Ian Jones (piano). Dutton Laboratories CDLX 7105 (England) 12C039 $16.98

NIELS GADE (1817-1890): Symphonies, Vol. 1 - In the Highlands, Op. 7, Allegretto, un poco lento, Symphony No. 2 in E, Op. 10, Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, Op. 47. The third complete set of Gade symphonies begins with a release that includes two world premiere recordings: of a discarded slow movement from the eighth symphony and of a second Scottish-based overture. The overture dates from 1844 and is a bit more generalized than the pungent Echoes of Ossian, using Scotch snap rhythms and bagpipe-like grace notes rather than bardic melodies. In this respect, it is similar to the second symphony, which, due to its less "Nordic" feel as opposed to its predecessor, never had the latter's success. As might be expected, Hogwood directs performances which stress the Classical qualities of these scores with brisk tempos and a light touch. Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Hogwood. Chandos 9862 (England) 12C040 $16.98

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Symphony on Two Russian Themes, Valse-Fantaisie, Overture, Dance and Chernomor's March from Ruslan and Ludmila, Kamarinskaya, Overture in D, Capriccio brillante, Souvenir d'une nuit d'été à Madrid. We offer this Glinka collection so soon after one appeared on ASV because this release contains an 18-minute "suite" from the opera Ruslan and Ludmila, consisting of a series of warm, lyrical dances and the march accompanying the evil genius of the tale - the originator of a whole line of such pieces from other Russian composers. BBC Philharmonic; Vasily Sinaisky. Chandos 9861 (England) 12C041 $16.98

AHMET ADNAN SAYGUN (1907-1991): Symphony No. 1, Op. 29, Concerto da camera, Op. 62. A real no-brainer at this ridiculous price! Saygun was the dean of Turkish classical (Western classical, that is) composers, the first to unite the monophonic folk tradition with European polyphony. He was also a collector of folk music and accompanied Bartók on one of the latter's collecting expeditions. The symphony dates from 1953 and uses folk melodies in every movement, not least the mesmerizingly rhythmical aksak-based finale. Wind instruments are used most effectively in the inner two movements, producing an effect like the bird-song of a Turkish Messiaen. Throughout, the ghost of Bartók hovers, now closer, now further away and the mood has a tense uneasiness which recalls some of the Hungarian master's works of the late 30s. The concerto, much later (1978), is also modal in nature and, while still using Turkish and Balkan folk music, is a more taut and original conception. Northern Sinfonia; Howard Griffiths. Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6746-2 (Germany) 12C042 $6.98

ERNESTO HALFFTER (1905-1989): Sonatina - Ballet in One Act, Automne Malade for Soprano and Orchestra, 2 Canciones for Soprano and Orchestra, Rapsodia Portuguesa for Piano and Orchestra. Halffter was a student and life-long friend of Falla, whose evocation of the Spanish baroque, combined with the Ravel/Roussel current in French music to determine his own early style which might be called Romantic Lyricism. Sonatina was written in 1928 and contains a set of stylized Spanish baroque dances which integrate both Falla and Stravinsky. Halffter's delicate colors and transparent orchestration make for particularly deligfhtful and civilized listening. Three orchestral songs lead to the Rapsodia of 1940, a single-movement, three-section work which unfolds in the style of 19th century national fantasias and whose melodic richness and atmospheric orchestration demand repeated hearing. Ana Rodrigo (soprano), Francisco Martínez Ramos (piano), Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; Adrian Leaper. ASV DCA 1099 (England) 12C043 $16.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Ivan the Terrible. This new recording includes not only every note which Prokofiev wrote for Eisentein's two-part unfinished historical epic, but also the music for scenes whichwere ommitted from the final cut of the film as well as music from the Russian Orthodox liturgy which the filmmaker and composer selected for use in the picture. All of the changes made by Abram Stasevich in his conversion of the film score into an oratorio have been removed. A wide-range recording and authentic Russian soloists and chorus invest this grand composition with an utterly authentic, exciting air. 2 CDs. Irina Chistyakova (contralto), Dmitri Stefanovich (bass), Yurlov State Choir, Children's Choir of Studio Vesna, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Fedoseyev. Nimbus NI 5662/3 (England) 12C044 $35.98

ELLEN TAAFFE ZWILICH (b.1939): Symphony No. 4 "The Gardens" for Chorus, Children's Chorus and Orchestra, Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra, Concerto for Bass Trombone, Strings, Timpani and Cymbals. Rightly regarded as a leading American composer of out time, Zwilich belongs to the tradition that very broadly includes Harris, Copland, Sessions and Carter. Her music tends to be more neo-classical than the last two of these - indeed, there is some writing in the symphony here which sounds a bit like neo-classical Stravinsky, and she certainly adheres closer to tonality than has been fashionable in recent years. The music is highly expressive, and one gets the impression of a composer who feels that music is a means of expounding ideas (this is of course explicitly the case in the symphony, which has a botanical and conservationist theme). The bass trombone concerto also suggests a program, in the manner of a tone poem, though no extramusical sources are hinted at beyond the character suggested by the nature of the solo instrument, for which the concerto is a technical tour de force. The horn concerto is similarly dramatic, with a powerful sense of narrative flow. As approachable as it is, this music is so full of content and event as to represent quite challenging listening, and does not render up all its secrets on first acquaintance. Most recommendable. Michigan State University Children's Choir, Choral Ensembles and Symphony Orchestra; Leon Gregorian. Koch International Classics 7487 (U.S.A.) 12C045 $16.98

PERCY TURNBULL (1902-1976): 7 Character Sketches, 7 Miniatures, Pasticcio on a Theme of Mozart, Sonatina, Dances, Fantasy Suite, 2 Preludes, 3 WInter Pieces. Turnbull was an English composer of the generation that included Tippett, Maconchy, and Rubbra, and while he never achieved the levels of inspiration or accomplishment of these figures, he was a fine composer of elegantly crafted miniatures. He was also an accomplished watercolorist, and it is hard not to draw parallels between the gently evocative picturesqueness of these little piano pieces and pastoral watercolors. The Pasticcio, with variations in the styles of different composers, is ingenious and displays a ready familiarity with diverse classical styles; it is not a comedy piece like the Reizenstein Lambeth Walk variations, but a delightful set of pieces paying tribute to the composer's favorite forebears. The most 'advanced' pieces on this disc suggest Frank Bridge; the whole program is delightfully appealing and will give much pleasure. Peter Jacobs (piano). Somm CD 015 (England) 12C046 $17.98

AUGUSTIN BARIÉ (1883-1915): Symphony, Op. 5, Elégie, 3 Pièces, Op. 7, LÉON BOËLLMANN (1862-1897): Deuxième Suite, Op. 27. A coupling of two promising French composers of different eras provides interesting repertoire: Boëllmann is known for his Suite Gothique but this, his second (and only other) suite probably gives a better idea of his style with modal atmosphere and elegant languor of the prelude, the graceful Allegretto and the exquisite Intermezzo recalling his many genre pieces for the piano (for which he was best known in his life). Barié was yet another blind-from-birth organist whose musical language is inherited from Guilmant and Widor. His symphony's Adagio is of Brucknerian proportions and all of his music here is suffused with an atmosphere of gloomy melancholy. Véronique Le Guen (Cavaillé-Coll organ of St. Francis de Sales, Lyon). Calliope CAL 9935 (France) 12C047 $17.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 4 (compl. John Rutter), Piano Concerto No. 2 in C, Op. 39, Penguinski. Only 11 years apart, these two concertos couldn't be more dissimilar: the first (1914) is a large-scale, glittering, pulsating, heaven-storming Romantic Concerto which makes one think first of Rachmaninov and then, perhaps of Brahms although it is obvious that the young composer also knew his Debussy and Ravel. The score's few missing final bars have been restored by John Rutter; the recording is a world premiere and will appeal to any dyed-in-the-wool fans of big orchestras and big pianism. Dating from 1925, the second concerto is much more compact, its three movements actually being like a single, gigantic sonata-form entity. The performance directions for the outer movements, "Hard and Bright" describe the musical ethos although there isn't a whiff of Prokofievian machinism or Stravinskian neo-classicism - this is Howells' own, mature voice. The slow movement has the character of a dreamy nocturne. Penguinski is a delightful, 4-minute ballet which parodies Stravinsky, especially Petrushka. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9874 (England) 12C048 $16.98

RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960): Concerto for String Orchestra, Aylesbury Games for Orchestra, Concerto for Flute and Strings in D, 3 Folk Dances. The two largest works here - Aylesbury Games and the string concerto - were never performed in their composer's lifetime due to their difficulty. And the latter was written for a professional orchestra (the Boyd Neel Orchestra)! Completed in 1937, the concerto, originally titled "Four English Pieces", is folk-inspired and diatonic for the most part but the contrapuntally adventuresome string writing contains a compendium of effects which render it a worth companion to the great works for strings by Britten, Tippett, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Aylesbury Games (1952), written for Boughton's hometown amateur orchestra, is similar, being a set of three rhapsodic variations on a simple, possibly Hebridean theme. The flute concerto (also 1937), also firmly rooted in folksong, is a virtuosic display piece for the soloist. Emily Beynon (flute), New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 67185 (England) 12C049 $17.98

CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Romeo and Juliet - Complete Ballet, Pomona - Ballet in One Act, Overture to The Bird Actors. As luck would have it, two months after an ASV British Light Music Discoveries CD offered the second act of Romeo and Juliet (1926), we are now offered the whole ballet for the first time on CD. Act One is about a third of the size of the second act and contains five numbers. The brief but lively overture comes from Lambert's early ballet Adam and Eve - which also produced the music for Romeo and Juliet. Pomona (1926) combines echoes of Stravinsky and Satie with backward glances at Purcell and Boyce. State Orchestra of Victoria; John Lanchbery. Chandos 9865 (England) 12C050 $16.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): The Spirit of England, Op. 80, Give unto the Lord, Op. 74, O Hearken Thou, Op. 64, The Snow, Op. 26/1, Land of Hope and Glory (arr. Fagge). The Spirit of England (1917) sets three poems from late 1914 which memorialize the fallen soldiers and their mothers and sisters and wives. The music is deeply felt, never jingoistic because, by the time Elgar finished the piece, the staggering scale of the catastrophe was well-known. The anti-war Britten was moved greatly by the third part "For the Fallen". Included are three short choral/orchestral pieces and the most popular tune Elgar (or many other Englishmen) ever wrote - Land of Hope and Glory - in a 1914 chorus/orchestra version by the founder of the London Choral Society. Mid-price. Texts included. Felicity Lott (soprano), London Symphony Chorus, Northern Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. EMI CDM 5 66314 2 (England) 12C051 $11.98

FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): Fennimore and Gerda. This is the old EMI recording from the 1970s, of course; welcome back! Delius' last opera, the piece encapsulates to perfection the atmosphere of autumnal resignation, fading light and subtle tragedy which pervades almost every measure he wrote, expressed in his unique vocabulary of rich chromatic harmony and sumptuous yet unindulgent orchestration so beloved of his devotees, which drives those who don't 'get it' to distraction. If you are in the former camp, you don't need to be told to buy this; if in the latter, shame on you - buy it anyway, play it with the lights dimmed looking out onto a desolate winter landscape and remembering the tragic dissolution of a past love, and fail to resist this music's inexorable pull toward the beauty of despair. Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Brian Rayner Cook (baritone), Robert Tear (tenor), Danish Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Meredith Davies. EMI CDM 5 66314 2 (England) 12C052 $11.98

BILLY MAYERL (1902-1959): Marigold, Punch, Ace of Hearts, Antiquary, Shallow Waters, Printer's Devil, Sleepy Piano, Railroad Rhythm, GERRARD WILLIAMS (1888-1947): Déjeuner dansant, EUGENE GOOSSENS (1893-1962): Folk-Tune, ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): The Rout Trot, Bliss, WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Old Sir Faulk (arr. Richard Rodney Bennett), CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Elegiac Blues, Elegy, Concerto for Piano and 9 Players. The EMI archives continue to produce gems from the past, like this collection of music that was of a kind to appeal to Richard Rodney Bennett from the wealth of material being written in the UK in the 1920s and 1930s. Not surprisingly there is an emphasis on the jazz/ragtime influenced style that was in the air at the time, in the shorter piano works. The atmosphere of genteel hedonism, experimentation and the will to be politely outrageous (Bloomsbury, Vorticism and all that) tinges all these little pieces - but the despair beneath the impeccable veneer is sometimes devastatingly apparent, and it is left to Constant Lambert, by an order of magnitude the greatest talent of his circle (his mentor, Heseltine, notwithstanding) to give heartrending utterance to the scream beneath the impeccable grooming and polite smiles in his intensely worrying and disillusioned concerto (in which echoes of his masterwork, Summer's Last Will, can be heard). Even his little Elegy goes to emotional places in which the healthy-minded may not wish to dwell. Mid-price. Richard Rodney Bennett (piano), English Sinfonia; Neville Dilkes. EMI CDM 5 65596 2 (England) 12C053 $11.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Horizont umkreist for Orchestra, Op. 196, Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 140, Organ Concerto No. 2, Op. 235. A composer who wrote in virtually every style of the 20th century, sometimes following fashion, sometimes leading it, and sometimes deliberately running counter to it, had just better have a formidable facility in order to avoid sounding faceless - and of course, Krenek had just that. These three works date from his middle to late years, and are all dodecaphonic and serious, tough examples of his mastery of the legacy of the Second Viennese School, and its illustrious predecessor, Mahler. The organ concerto is a good case in point, largely avoiding the grandiose organ effects which many composers exploit in works in this form, it is a tightly argued dialectic between the soloist and orchestra in which mocking, sardonic elements rub shoulders with drama, tragedy and emotional intensity. Both concerti contain highly effective cadenzas for the soloists, and all three works leave an overall impression of late-romantic expressiveness communicated in very 20th-century terms. Ernst Kovacic (violin), Martin Haselböck (organ), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ulf Schirmer, Lothar Zagrosek. Orfeo C 076 001 A (Germany) 12C054 $18.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Symphony No. 2, Cumnock Fair for String Orchestra and Piano, Sinfonietta. It is now apparent beyond question that MacMillan has emerged as one of the outstanding Scottish composers of his generation, a writer of genuinely powerful, emotionally charged music as remarkable for its integrity of content as for its skill in execution. The Sinfonietta opens with a quiet meditation, soon violated with shocking abruptness, and the work never recovers the serenity of its opening, sustaining an uneasy lament to the end. As usual, MacMillan revels in his mastery of large forces, handled with clarity and precision. This is also true of Cumnock Fair, for string orchestra and piano, an attractive work in dances and characterful introspection, yet driving and intense throughout - MacMillan may ground his works in tonality, but there is a restless energy and a lack of resolution that keeps the listener on the edge of the seat whatever the message of the piece. The symphony is likewise a piece in which true repose is seldom encountered, and then only won at considerable cost. There are echoes of Sibelius here - the impersonal, aching glacial clarity of the late works (6th and 7th and Tapiola) - though the orchestral textures are unmistakably MacMillan's own. Highly recommended. Graeme McNaught (piano), Scottish Chamber Orchestra; James MacMillan. BIS CD-1119 (Sweden) 12C055 $17.98

JOSEPH CURIALE: Gates of Gold, Awakenings (Songs of the Earth), Adelina de Maya, The Multiples of One. This music is big and bold and colorful, and instantly accessible. Gates of Gold is inspired by the Chinese immigration to the United States, and opens with a John Adams-like momentum which gives way to music which suggests a big budget film from a few decades ago, very vivid and cinematic. In general, the music resembles the vocabulary of high quality film music, with a good deal of Hollywoodesque nobility and sentiment, not to say sentimentality. This is not a derogatory statement; Awakening is genuinely moving, as are the two movements dedicated to the composer's sister. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Joseph Curiale. Black Box BBM1050 (England) 12C056 $17.98

EMIL PETROVICS (b.1930): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Rhapsody for Violin Solo, Rhapsody for Cello Solo. Bartók is the obvious comparison in texture and rhythmic vitality, though echoes of Shostakovich - both the quartets and orchestral works - are also very apparent. Both quartets share a lyrical melodiousness; the first has much of the exuberance of expression of a young man's work; the second is darker-hued, more mature, and deeper in emotional content. The fertility of the quartet medium never fails to astonish; this is yet another example of its inexhastible capacity for expressing musical ideas and human ideals. Bartók Quartet, Antal Szalai (violin), László Mezö (cello). Budapest Music Center BMC CD 017 (Hungary) 12C057 $17.98

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): Summer Music for Flute and Piano, Sonatina for Solo Flute, Impromptu for Solo Flute, Winter Music for Flute and Piano, Memento for Flute and Strings. These works for flute, solo, with piano accompaniment, or in one case, with string orchestra are as meticulously crafted and sprightly as one might expect from a composer with so spontaneous a communicative gift as Bennett, who is equally at home on the concert platform, the jazz club or the film-scoring studio. These pieces belong in the 'concert' category, and explore a range of sophisticated techniques both compositional and instrumental, which might surprise the composer's jazz audiences. Throughout, there is a lyrical melodiousness and an emotional range which, while never descending to stark tragedy, nonetheless encompasses a wide diversity of moods and goes far beyond any suspicion of 'light' music. A fine and unusual disc which will appeal to anyone with a particular interest in flute repertoire, and to non-specialists as well. Alexa Still (flute), New Zealand Chamber Orchestra; James Sedares, Susan DeWitt Smith (piano). Koch International Classics 7505 (U.S.A.) 12C058 $16.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Eden: Out of Time & Out of Space for Guitar and Ensemble, Muse of Fire for Flute and Guitar, American Bouquet - Versions of Popular Music for Guitar. Eden is a chamber concerto of philosophical intent and considerable profundity, using the delicate tone of the solo protagonist in a manner as far from the familiar Spanish-influenced dance mode as it is possible to get. Inspired by Yeats' mystical poetry, it opens with great mystery, progresses to some utterly authentic-sounding tin pan alley-derived, even cartoonish action, and then reapplies itself to the unanswerable questions with which it opened. Odd as this may sound, the piece manages to be both challenging and fully comprehensible - in other words, the questions it poses may be extremely difficult and uncompfortable, but they are expressed with crystalline clarity (like Yeats' best poetry). Muse of Fire explores a greater dramatic range than the combination of flute and guitar might suggest itself capable of. The American Bouquet uses American 'popular' tunes from the 20s and 30s in true Nachdichtungen - not mere arrangements, by any means, but immensely skillful original compositions idiomatically written for solo guitar. Eliot Fisk (guitar), Paula Robison (flute), Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Arabesque Z6745 (U.S.A.) 12C059 $17.98

PAUL PATTERSON (b.1947): Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 45, Europhony, Op. 55, Missa brevis, Op. 54. For those familiar with the career of Paul Patterson, the works on this disc date from after his change of direction away from his role as British disciple of Polish avant-gardism (especially 1960s Penderecki, who is at times uncomfortably closely echoed in Patterson's music written in his 20s) toward a greater accessibility and amost Soviet-style boldness and tonality (in other words, more like Shostakovich, Tishchenko, Prokofiev, or perhaps Bartók than Lutoslawski or Penderecki). The concerto for orchestra is colorful and energetic, a showpiece, as the title suggests, with an elegiac slow movement framed by tense and active outer movements.The Mass is an ingenious a cappella setting, economical but catchy and memorable despite its orthodox vocabulary. Europhony was commissoned to celebrate European unity, and is a big, crowd-pleasing divertimento of surprising substance in a variety of moods, as this might suggest; very appealing and in its way as inventive as the concerto. London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Owain Arwell Hughes. EMI CDM 5 66529 2 (England) 12C060 $11.98

ROBERT SAXTON (b.1953): Concerto for Orchestra, Chamber Symphony: The Circles of Light, The Sentinel of the Rainbow for Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Violin/Viola, Cello and Piano/Celesta, The Ring of Eternity. These four instrumental works share literary and metaphysical inspiration, and exemplify Saxton's trademark handling of large forces, in which a great deal of detailed activity produces an almost paradoxical effect of quasi-tonal progression and unity. The music is broadly atonal, but grounded in tonality and providing sufficient tonal referents to suggest functional harmonic movement. Especially striking is the chamber symphony, based on ideas from the Paradisum of Dante's Commdia, an impressive tour de force of instrumental sonority and cumulative energy. BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen. EMI CDM 5 66530 2 (England) 12C061 $11.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Symphony No. 5 in B Flat, Op. 63, Loth to depart, Op. 50/4, MICHAEL HEMING (1920-1942): Threnody for a Soldier Killed in Action, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Violin Concerto, Op. 15 (original version). This is an important release, as it allows us to hear for the first time the performance of the pre-revision version of Britten's violin concerto which was actually its first recording, unissued at the time, conducted by an early champion of Britten's music and a great conductor in his own right, and with an excellent soloist who can stand comparison with anyone who has recorded the piece since. The Rubbra symphony was issued in the 1950s, but this is an especially fine and deeply felt performance of this amalgam of Elgar and Bruckner and well worth having alongside more recent recordings (the little Farnaby transcription was the filler for the original 78s). Mono. British music enthusiasts should not hesitate. Theo Olof (violin), Hallé Orchestra; Sir John Barbirolli. EMI CDM 5 66053 2 (England) 12C062 $11.98

ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Concerto doppio for Flute and Piano with Orchestral Accompaniment and 2 Horns, Three Pieces for String Orchestra, Op. 6, 4 Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 2, Suite for Chamber Orchestra. Three early works not otherwise available highlight this collection of the ill-fated Schulhoff's music. The suite (1921) preserves the exciting jazz/popular rhythms of the period in stylized and exaggerated form and the piece opens with a Dadaesque spoken prologue. The four songs (1913) still have echoes of Tristan while the pieces for string orchestra are the composer's earliest composition for a large ensemble (1909-10) which treats old forms with personal melodic and harmonic effects. German texts. Norico Kimura (soprano), Wally Hase (flute), Heidi Sophia Hase (piano), Tritonus Wimares; Walter Hilgers. MD&G 631 1015-2 (Germany) 12C063 $17.98

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882-1967): 9 Epigrams for One Voice or an Instrument with Piano Accompaniment, Magyar Rondó, Adagio for Violin or Cello and Piano, Cello Sonata, Op. 4, Sonatina for Cello and Piano. Originally written for wordless voice in 1954, the nine Epigrams have a melodic richness and poetic content which make instrumental performances desirable. This is the first recording of the 1918 Magyar Rondo, which Kodály himslef transcribed for his favorite instrument in 1927 while the other little-heard work here, 1905's Adagio is pre-folksong Kodály, whose lyrical atmosphere is rather Brahmsian although Hungarian accents are present too. Markus Nyikos (cello), Jaroslav Smykal (piano). Pan Classics 510 113 (Switzerland) 12C064 $17.98

PHILIPP JARNACH (1892-1982): Das Amrumer Tagebuch for Piano, Op. 30, Sarabande, Op. 17/2 for Piano, Sonatine for Flute and Piano, Op. 12, Sonata for Violin Solo, Op. 13, 3 frühe französische Lieder, 4 Lieder für mittlere Singstimme, Op. 7, 5 Fesänge, Op. 15. Aside from his useful completion of Busoni's Doktor Faust, for which he is principally remembered today, Jarnach was in his own day an estimable composer and pianist in his own right. These songs and chamber and piano works display the talents of a composer unquestionably deeply influenced by the great Busoni, but also with an individual voice in which French elegance and sophistication and the Romantic German lied play an important part. There is little evidence of the serial preoccupations of the early-mid 20th century, and the music might even be described as backward-looking, although the best of it might be better seen as sideways-glancing - at Busoni - and it is all very finely wrought and seriously expressive. Those who admire Busoni should not hesitate to investigate this further evidence of his influence over one of his most talented disciples and collaborators. Martin A. Bruns (baritone), Heinrich Keller (flute), Kolja Lessing (violin, piano). Divox CDX-29801 (Switzerland) 12C065 $17.98

ANDREI ESHPAI (b.1925): A Circle - Apocalypse - Ballet in Two Acts. A Circle is a ballet score on an existential, or eschatological theme, using a wide range of musical material from apparent pastiche of classical and pre-classical dance models to boldly orchestated Soviet-era orchestral extravagance reminiscent of Eshpai's teacher, Khachaturian, to Hollywoodesque popular-style music using non-classical media and beats. This is not the deliberate polystylistic shock tactics of one phase of Schnittke's career; the wildly diverse styles seem to grow out of each other more organically than that. One senses an element of deliberate naughtiness in the introduction of music that sounds like the score to a 1960s B-movie (it isn't really jazz- Eshpai knows how to do jazz, and this isn't it) next to material that might have wandered out of Gayaneh or Shostakovich 2 or 3. Anyway, it's all big and bold and exciting and whatever else, you won't be bored by it. All-Union Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra; Emin Khachaturian. Albany TROY 425 (U.S.A.) 12C066 $16.98

ALFRED HOOSE (b.1918): Symphony No. 2, Monograph for Orchestra, MILDRED FINCK: Music for Japheth, Clarinet Concerto. Cognitive dissonance, they call it. Glancing at the CD booklet, and discovering that Mildred Finck studied with Leo Ornstein and John Cage, made all the more bizarre the experience of putting on the CD and hearing a neo-Mahlerian orchestral texture sumptuously enfolding a set of variations cast in a very Romantic mold, meticulously crafted and thoroughly argued. The concerto is also a finely melodic work, sensuous and full of feeling. Hoose also writes big tonal works, of which this disc contains a passacaglia (Monograph), and a splendid symphony full of bold color and expressive atmosphere. Both composers are thus highly approachable - nothing here will give any trouble to an admirer of Prokofiev - while maintaining their own contemporary view of the styles and fashions of the past. Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz, Moravian Philharmonic; Vit Micka, Czech Radio Symphony; Vladimír Válek. MMC 2093 (U.S.A.) 12C067 $16.98

HEINZ RÖTTGER (1909-1977): Dessauer Sinfonie, Sinfonietta for Strings, Violin Concerto. Influenced in his early career by Richard Strauss and Hans Knappertsbusch, Röttger had a long and distinguished conducting career in parallel with his compositional activities. He acquainted himself with dodecaphony, and the works on this CD, from the 1960s, are all thematically based in serialism, though the sumptuous orchestral textures and dramatic expressiveness are very late Romantic. The music never sound like a Romantic throwback, however - certainly no further than Bartók, whose spiky, aggressive textures seem to have been an influence. The sheer inventiveness of the sardonic dance-finale of the concerto, and the lucid and ingenious use of large forces recall the composer's roots in the world of Mahler and Strauss, and suggest that he is an important, though hitherto largely unrecognised, successor to the branch of the Second Viennese School most closely allied to its Romantic forbears. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Heinz Röttger, Gustav Schmahl (violin), Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra; Horst Neumann. Hastedt HT 5314 (Germany) 12C068 $17.98

HASKELL SMALL: Symphony for Solo Piano, Piano Sonata No. 3, 3 Impressions, Introduction and Fugue, Sixty-Second Puzzle. It's reassuring to discover that the tradition of the composer-pianist is very far from ending. Bentzon may be no longer with us, Stevenson no longer performs to the general public - a great loss - and most of the other examples one might think of barely made it into the LP era, if that. But now we discover Haskell Small. Small started out with a great facility in non-classical idioms, and jazz rhythms still pop up in these concert works, but having decided to turn his formidable technique to the creation and performance of finely structured and original piano works with classical-romantic titles and forms and a basically tonal vocabulary. All these works are consummately pianistic and all abound in expressive content; the symphony is the largest and most ambitious, but the organic and propulsive sonata is as successful an essay in its own form, and the other shorter works also add greatly to our understanding of the potential of contemporary piano literature. Highly recommended. Haskell Small (piano). Albany TROY 413 (U.S.A.) 12C069 $16.98

LACI BOLDEMANN (1921-1969): Piano Concerto, Op. 13, 6 Kleine Liebeslieder, Op. 2, Morgenstern Sånger, Op. 5. Boldemann never subscribed to musical modernism and his 1957 concerto is in the vein of Stravinsky, Bartók and even Gershwin, with rhythm being of primary importance. His two sets of songs follow in the conservative style of German late Romanticism. Mid-price re-issue. Dag Achatz (piano), Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Naohiro Totsuka. Swedish Society Discofil SKCD 1 (Sweden) 12C070 $11.98

ALAN BUSH (1900-1995): Woman's Life, 4 Seafarers' Songs, Life's Span, Voices of the Prophets. Why Alan Bush has not received his due recognition as one of Great Britain's most outstanding composers continues to be a mystery of some magnitude. "Because he was a Communist at odds with the British establishment" might have accounted for some degree of turning away by the BBC (for example) at one time, but now it sounds like a feeble excuse. That he followed no fashion or school, but forged ahead regardless, writing tonal music of great integrity and impeccable technique might have earned him no friends in certain contemporary music circles, but the same might be said of Vaughan Williams, and all the latter's symphonies are available in multiple interpretations on record and in the concert hall, while none of Bush's are recorded and concert outings are few and far between. Well, little by little, the balance is being redressed, and this CD now presents Bush as a major song composer, versatile in his poetic inspiration and response thereto and profound in his musical commentary on his texts. His almost ascetic, uncluttered settings - especially Life's Span and Voices of the Prophets - render their philosophy (most untainted by -isms of any kind) both telling and at times almost unbearably moving. Texts included. The Artsong Collective. Musaeus MZCD102 (England) 12C071 $16.98

MAGNE HEGDAL (b.1944): Grande symphonie de salon for Orchestra, For 2 nr. 3 for Piano and Percussion, Rondo II for Ensemble, Annotations for Piano. Hegdal has in the past been a leading proponent of aleatoric music, but in his more recent works there has been a shift in emphasis away from 'pure' musical abstraction toward a more romantic expressiveness. Certainly in the chamber symphony, there is a good deal of harmonic progression, as well as a rhythmic vitality which is most appealing and drives the music forward with great momentum, sometimes at a hectic pace. Although the composer still uses aleatoric procedures, there is in all these works a sense of structure which provides a very definite feeling of movement in a specific direction. The chamber symphony is perhaps the most immediately gripping work, but the others all share a wry sense of humor and a sharply delineated sense of character. Oslo Sinfonietta; Christian Eggen, Cikada Duo, Cikada Ensemble, Geir Henning Braaten (piano). Aurora ACD 5013 (Norway) 12C072 $17.98

GIOVANNI SOLLIMA (b.1962): Viaggio in Italia. Cellist-composer Sollima is adept at presenting history and evoking time and place in music of remarkable appeal and engaging liveliness, while never falling into the trap of oversimplification or 'easy listening'. The previous CD we offered contained pictures from the history of a particular church; this time the composer has cast his net wider, to encompass a journey through the history of Italy, from the middle ages to the present day. This provides ample opportunity for references to Mediæval music and plainsong; atmospheric sound textures in 'found' ambient recordings, and a tonal/modal style with elements of minimalism and occasionally non-classical styles, and a fine sense of heartfelt melody in an idiom as hard to classify as it is easy to assimilate and enjoy. Giovanni Sollima (cello and voice), The Lark Quartet. Agora AG 259.1 (Italy) 12C073 $18.98

GYULA CSAPO (b.1955): Handshake after Shot for 2 Muted Trumpets, Oboe, Electric Organ and a Cardboard Box, Hark, Edward... - hommage to E. Grieg for 2 Dulcimers and Double Bass, Sutraecitations for Tenor, 2 Tuned Glasses, Piano, 3 Clarinets and Noise Sources, Krapp's Last Tape - after Samuel Beckett for Violinist-Actor, Tape Recorder, Sine-Wave Generater with Potentiometer, Stage with Curtain and 4 Spotlights, BirdDayCage (for John Cage's 76th Birthday) for Cello and Piano. Despite the testimonials printed on the CD packaging, from Feldman and Cage among others, this music does not sound particularly experimental. Of course, the unusual instrumentation, and the presence of electonic instruments, places the composer in historical context, but the meditative, consonant, slow-minimalism of the textures suggests both new-age mysticism (especially in the chant-like opening of Sutræcitations) and the somber expressiveness of Pärt, though Pärt has never gone this far in his explorations of the static qualities of music. The most 'avant garde' - and also the oddest and most disturbing - is the work after Beckett, which does very little, rather disturbingly, for the best part of half an hour. Various Artists. Budapest Music Center BMC CD 013 (Hungary) 12C074 $17.98

GIACINTO SCELSI (1905-1988): Suite 10 "ka", 4 illustrazione, LUCIANO BERIO (b.1925): 5 variazione, Sequenza IV, Brin, Rounds, LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): sofferte onde serene The Scelsi pieces have a free, improvisatory quality, encompassing a range of moods of subtle mysticism, with a restrained dramatic tension. There is more activity than in some of Scelsi's meditative works. Like the Scelsi, the Berio pieces are freely atonal, and again they feel somewhat improvisatory, though they are in fact more tightly structured. There is great emphasis on piano sonority, especially in the piano Sequenza. The Nono is a bell piece, for piano and tape, using piano sounds transmuted to suggest the pealing of the bells of a great city, an accumulating wave of sound. This is in some ways the most evocative and fascinating piece here, powerfully atmospheric and laden with dream-imagery. Kenneth Karlsson (piano). Albedo ALBCD 015 (Norway) 12C075 $17.98

ALBAN BERG (1885-1935): Kleiner Walzer in G, Klavierstück in C Sharp Minor, ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Rübezahl from Op. 3, Margit, EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Danse from Op. 17, FELIX PETYREK (1892-1951): Wurstelprater, FRANZ SALMHOFER (1900-1975): Klaverstück in Quarten, Op. 3, ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Burleske No. 2 from Op. 31, HANS GÁL (1890-1987): Capriccio from Op. 24, ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Etude No. 2 from Hot Music, JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): Rhapsodie, Op. 43/1, Valse-Impromptu from Klänge und Farben, Op. 95, GOTTFIRED VON EINEM (1918-1996): Allegro from Op. 3, VIKTOR BERMEISER (1895-1968): Sonatine, Op. 21, ERNST LUDWIG URAY (1906-1988): 3rd movment of Sonata breve in D, EGON KORNAUTH (1891-1959): Walzer from Op. 44, PAUL KONT (b.1920): Mozart Express, Terminal Vienna, RÜDIGER SEITZ (1927-1991): 2 Movements from Sonatine, ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Echoes from Austria, Op. 7, Nos. 1, 2 & 7, ARMIN KAUFMAN (1902-1980): Burla from Op. 79, H K GRUBER (b.1943): 2. Februar 1967, 11. Februar 1967, CESAR BRESGEN (1913-1988): Two Pieces from Studies VII Romanesca, ERICH EDER DE LASTRA (b.1933): Zwistimmige Zwölfton-Jazz-Invention, FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): 3 Pieces from Slowakische Erinnerungen aus der Kindheit, RUPERT GOTTFRIED FRIEBERGER (b.1951): Vielleicht ein Traum?. Almost all the pieces here are substantially under two minutes, and together they present a fascinating kaleidoscope of miniature fragments loosely bound together by their geographical origins, and covering most of the century (from two very early, very tonal and very untypical pieces by Berg from 1908 to Freiberger's Vielleicht ein Traum of 1990). There are a lot of different styles here, romantic tonality, 'decadent' 1920s and 30s music, and a good deal of sardonic wit. Much of the music is resolutely tonal, and occupies the lighter end of the composer's spectra, even in the case of composers principally known for using a less obviously accessible vocabulary (Cerha and von Einem, for example). So overall an appealing disc, quite light in tenor and not anywhere near as historically portentous as it might appear from a list of its contents. Josef Mayr (piano). Extraplatte EX 388-2 (Austria) 12C076 $16.98

KARL-BIRGER BLOMDAHL (1916-1968): Sisyphos, Chamber Concerto for Piano, Woodwind and Percussion, Symphony No. 3 "Facets", Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. You may very well have these recordings on LP if 20th-century Scandinavian tonality is your sort of thing, but in any case, they are very welcome back on CD. Blomdahl used dodecaphony, but not in any strict sense, and most of the time his brooding orchestral textures seem derived from Sibelius by way of Pettersson, and all these works - especially the marvellous, granitic symphony - make a great impact and provide uneasy but rewarding listening. If you didn't get these pieces the first time around, or feel like an excuse to rediscover them, buy this disc. Royal Orchestra Stockholm; Varujan Kojian, Hans Leygraf (piano), London Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sixten Ehrling. Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1037 (Sweden) 12C076a $11.98

INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): Poesis, Rites, Ritornello. Like the Blomdahl, this disc also consists of reissues of recordings from the 1950s and 1960s which those of us who are into this repertoire acquired our treasured copies of on LP from import stores when they came around the first time. Lidholm's idiom is more modern, less tonal in language and romantic in texture than Blomdahl's, and these 'primitive' - in the sense of Le Sacre - works make as much impact now as when they first appeared. Mid-price. Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Herbert Blomstedt, London Symphony Orchestra; Sixten Ehrling, Stockholm PO; Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt. Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1027 (Sweden) 12C077 $11.98

ERLAND VON KOCH (b.1910): Lappland-Metamorfoser, Impulsi, Echi, Ritmi, Oxberg-Variationer. Three of these works form a trilogy (Impulsi, Echi and Ritmi - from 1964, '65 and '66) and their titles give a good idea of what they are up to. Built on motival transformation, these pieces are tonal yet not melodic, relying for their impact on rhythmic momentum and dynamic contrasts so that, when a soft fragment of melody does appear, its impact is all the greater. The remaining two works are part of another trilogy (1956 and '57) based on folk tunes in which perpetual changes and contrapuntal variations form the basis for a similarly dramatic scenario. Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Stig Westerberg. Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1024 (Sweden) 12C078 $11.98

LARS-ERIK LARSSON (1908-1986): Förklädd Gud for Reciter, Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 24, Missa Brevis for Chamber Choir, Songs of the Naked Trees for Choir. The main work on this reiusse is the cantata or lyrical suite "God in Disguise" which Larsson worked on between 1933 and 1940. It sets texts by a Swedish poet which tell the ancient Greek myth of Apollo journeying among mortals in disguise and is full of the composer's trademark lyricism and light, romantic touch. The music is folk-like in its simplicity and clarity and was purposely meant to lighten listeners hearts for a moment at a time when the Nazis had just invaded Denmark and Norway. Mid-price. Lars Ekborg (reciter), Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Erik Sædén (baritone), Martin Lidstam Vocal Ensemble, Stockholm Radio Orchestra; Stig Westerberg, Orphei Drängar; Eric Ericson. Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1096 (Sweden) 12C080 $11.98

LAURENT PETITGIRARD: Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man. The tragedy of the "Elephant Man", who suffered from a bizarrely disfiguring disease that rendered a normal existence impossible and made him first a circus freak, then a medical freak, then a feted celebrity freak, and ultimately led him to suicide (probably), has been made the subject of works of art before,and this opera seems a particularly apt and sympathetic telling of the tale. Petitgirard's music is quite conservative - neoclassicasl Stravinsky combined with the Bartók of "Bluebeard" - but from the arresting opening onward it is clear that the narrative will be presented most compellingly and movingly, and so it turns out to be. Both orchestrally and in the voice parts the music is lyrically and dramatically convincing, and the overall result is as moving as any of the acknowledged Romantic operas. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), Nicolas Rivenq (baritone), Robert Breault (tenor), Chur Français d'Opéra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurent Petitgirard. Le Chant du Monde LDC 2781139.40 (France) 12C081 $35.98

PETER SCULTHORPE (b.1929): Night Pieces, Singing Sun, Djilile, JOHN TAVENER (b.1944): Ypakoë, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Variationes zur Gesundung von Arinushka, FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Charmes, LEOS JANACEK (1854-1928): In the Mists. A kind of loose spiritual preoccupation links the works in this program. There are many suggestions of chant of one sort or another, most notably in the Tavener, which is - perhaps surprisingly - not the most 'slow-minimalist' piece here, having at times an almost baroque chorale feel to it. The Sculthorpe works tend toward a kind of Oriental stasis and calm. The relatively familiar Janacek is the most sophisticated work, atmospheric and evocative, though the Mompou miniatures have a haunting depth all their own, an almost Satie-esque obliqueness and ambivalence. Intriguing and beautiful. Elena Riu (piano). Linn Records CKD 111 (England) 12C082 $17.98

GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b.1911): Amelia al Ballo - Comic Opera in One Act, Instrumental Interludes from The Unicorn, The Gorgon and the Manticore. This 1937 comic opera was Menotti's first big success and, rarely for this composer, its libretto is in Italian, not English. The story tells of a woman who happens to have both her husband and her lover arrive on the same night to take her to a ball; the music is rhythmically energetic and pleasingly lyrical and, of course, conservative and tonal. Mono recording from March, 1954. Italian-English libretto. Margherita Carosio (soprano), Rolando Panerai (baritone), Giacinto Prandelli (tenor), Chorus and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano; Nino Sanzogno, Instrumental Ensemble; Thomas Schippers. Testament SBT 1179 (England) 12C083 $16.98

JOSEP SOLER (b.1935): String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5, ALBERT SARDÀ (b.1943): String Quartet, MIQUEL ROGER (b.1954): String Quartet No. 2. These substantial quartets all embody the ideal of the string quartet tradition in exploring a closely argued dialectic with a cohesiveness of ensemble and tautness of construction. The influence of Roberto Gerhard - not to be underestimated when considering Catalan music of the 20th century - is most readily apparent in the cases of the two younger composers here. Early Schoenberg - the D Minor Quartet in particular - seems to have exerted a powerful influence on Soler in these works (and via Gerhard, on the whole disc); the fifth quartet of Soler also looks back to Beethoven to compelling effect. There is a great deal to savor in all these fine and serious works, devoid of gimmickry but strong in real musical imagination. Kreutzer Quartet. Metier MSV CD92026 (England) 12C084 $18.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Routine Investigations, The Viola in My Life II, For Frank O'Hara, The Viola in My Life I, I Met Heine on the Rue Fürstenberg. These works are typical of the composer's unique and instantly recognisable style, depending on the precise production of very slow and usually subdued sounds, with time subsumed by the form or progession of the work, and argument entirely absent. Concentration on minute events is of paramount importance; the works explore the relation of silence to sound (I met . . .); the delimitation of time by silence (Routine . . .); the extension of time (The Viola . . .) or suspends it altogether (For Frank O'Hara). Ensemble Recherche. Montagne MO 782126 (France) 12C085 $13.98

DOUGLAS ALLENBROOK (b.1921): 25 Building Blocks, Night Music. 25 Building Blocks is an extended suite for horn and piano which explores fully the technical and expressive qualities of both instuments and partners them in a dialogue of great drama and textural variety. The "night" pieces, for piano, are evocative and full of subtle shading along with their characterisation and drama. The composer's language is a kind of extended but firmly grounded tonality, the sort of thing that Rorem does so well. Admirers of the french horn will want the 25 Building Blocks; anyone interested in American music from Copland on will enjoy the whole disc. John Allanbrook (horn), Douglas Allenbrook (piano). Mapleshade Productions 07682 (U.S.A.) 12C086 $17.98

TALIVALDIS KENINS (b.1919): Schumann Paraphrases and Fugue, JOHN REA (b.1944): Las Meninas, ANN SOUTHAM (b.1937): Remembering Schubert, JACK BEHRENS (b.1935): Hommage to Chopin. Good title. The shades of music of the past are visible through the veil of the present, sometimes more clearly delineated, sometimes obscured and shadowy. Behrens' Chopin piece is a direct tribute, while Southam uses Schubertian harmonies in a gently minimalist context. Kenins is a contemporary Romantic, and is thus ideally suited to compose a piece consisting of transcriptions, paraphrases and commentaries on a variety of Schumann works in a very Schumannesque mood. Rea also uses Schumann as a point of departure, in an extended essay in many styles - all very accessible and ingeniously paying tribute to an enormous range of influences and models (Debussy, Webern, Nancarrow, Chopin, Glass - you get the idea . . .) Mary Kenedi (piano). Echiquier Records ECD 004 (Canada) 12C087 $16.98

TALIVALDIS KENINS (b.1919): Piano Sonata No. 1, MICHAEL HORWOOD (b.1947): Broken Chords, MARY GARDINER (b.1932): A Long Time Ago Into the Future, LARYSA KUZMENKO (b.1956): In Memoriam to the Victims of Chernobyl. This widely varied program of contemporary Canadian piano music nonetheless contains a common thread of overtly expressed emotional issues and a generally tonal language. The Gardiner contains some extended techniques - damped strings and the like - but like the other works it is a very accesible piece. The Kenins is an unabashedly Romantic sonata, lyrical and dramatic, while Horwood's work explores the sonorities of rich piano harmonies in a somewhat romantic-minimal style. In Memoriam, for the victims of the Chernobyl accident, is a powerful work which uses Ukrainian folk material in conjunction with violent outbursts, creating a genuinely tragic mood (which sounds very Russian, not identifiably 'Canadian' in any readily apparent sense). Mary Kenedi (piano). Furiant Records FMDC 4613-2 (Canada) 12C088 $16.98

RAMÓN BARCE (b.1928): 48 Preludes, La nave volante. Most of this set is taken up with the set of 48 preludes based on a system of modes devised by the composer (think of John Foulds' Essays in the Modes). Because they are arranged according to scales which function like modes they give the impression of tonality, though with a slightly odd, exotic flavor. The music is fluid and clear, with open textures exploring a range of moods which often suggest a somber, restrained emotionality. While there are sometimes suggestions of repetitive textures - which helps to establish the sound world of the scale used - this never becomes minimalism as such. Intriguing and different, and always accessible and lyrically melodious. 2 CDs. Eulàlia Solé (piano). Emec E-036/37 (Spain) 12C089 $31.98

JANE WELLS: Ultramarine for Alto Saxophone, People and Places for Flute, Viola and Cello, One to Another for Soprano, 2 Clarinets, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Wherever Next for Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Piano, Monday's Child for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. This CD gathers together short pieces written for specific ensembles or performances, often with a theatrical or dance element. The pieces are predominantly tonal and consonant, though in some cases - Ultramarine for example - unusual methods are used to generate harmony (in this case, a recorded delay system). There are elements of minimalism in the use of repeated cells to generate movement and build up textures. Agreeable and unpretentious, this is light music in a decidedly contemporary idiom. Mary Wiegold (soprano), Composers Ensemble; Peter Wiegold. Metier MSV CD92043 (Engalnd) 12C090 $14.98

PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Atlantis for Baritone, Cimbalom and Orchestra, Psychokosmos for Cimbalom and Orchestra, Shadows for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra. There is something almost extravagantly expressive about these pieces, as though the composer tired of trying to work out what to leave out of his music, and just wrote these massive all-inclusive scores out of the sheer exuberance of the creative process. Atlantis is the largest work here, and it is also one of the most impressive works by Eötvös that we have offered on CD. Not just a prodigiously gifted disciple of the avant-garde, Eötvös here reveals himself to be a composer of startling originality, both in terms of the unearthly sonorities he has imagined, and for the level of inspirationn in his material, which renders all these ambitious and philosophically challenging works instantly compelling and ultimately memorable. Dietrich Henschel (barition), Márta Fabían (cimbalom), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony; Peter Eötvös, Dagmar Becker (flute), Wolfgang Meyer (clarinet), Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans Zender. Budapest Music Center BMC CD 007 (Hungary) 12C091 $17.98

MARIUS CONSTANT (b.1925): Cyrano de Bergerac - Symphonic Suite. This is a suite from a ballet, punctuated by recitations from Rostand's life of the Quixotic hero. The orchestral writing is bold and characterful, tonal and accessible with a great deal of the stage - possibly even of celluloid - about it. Other useful comparisons might include the Stravinsky of l'Histoire du soldat, and certain works of Milhaud (not the jazz-influenced ones). All in all a larger-than-life score of eccentric appeal, like its subject. Daniel Mesguich (reciter), Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Marius Constant. BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1056 (Italy) 12C092 $18.98

HELMUT OEHRING (b.1961)/IRIS TER SCHIPHORST (b.1956): Prae-Senz for Violin, Cello, Piano and Electronic Keyboard, Foxfire Ins for Guitar, Sexton A for Viola. "Welcome to difficult listening hour", as Laurie Anderson once so memorably said. Actually, that is only true if you have some sort of moral objection to music which incorporates the techniques of the rock studio, elements of popular music, minimalism, musique concrète and electronic music, being presented as concert music. Like the soundtrack to a surrealist film, these pieces use whatever means are at the composers' disposal - which nowadays implies a very large vocabulary - to convey a kind of imaginary narrative. The elements themselves are remarkably consonant, apart from some of the electronically produced or processed sound effects, so in that sense the pieces are actually a good deal more approachable than much Donaueschingen fare, for example. Intriguing, certainly, and capable of suggesting images and emotions more vivid than some of the more convergent-minded musical thought of recent decades. Ictus. Cyprès CYP5602 (Belgium) 12C093 $18.98

NOAM SHERIFF (b.1935): Revival of the Dead - Symphony for Tenor, Baritone, Boys' Choir, Men's Choir and Orchestra, Genesis for Two Boys' Voices, Children's Choirs and Orchestra. A cantata describing the history of the Jews in Europe might be expected to be a work of some seriousness of purpose, and so it proves, but a striking feature of this powerful work is the extent to which the composer eschews obvious shock effects, even when treating so shocking a subject as the Holocaust, and concentrates on a coherently argued dialectic - which is not to say that moments of dramatic impact are absent. They are rendered all the more telling by the way in which they are woven into the fabric of an intense, brooding construction of solid architecture and impenetrable shadows - Britten's War Requiem reimagined by Pettersson, though with unmistakable references to Jewish traditional music and instrumentation, so that one is left in no doubt as to the underlying subject matter, even without following the texts. Genesis sets texts from the first book of the Bible - in Hebrew, and using children's voices to symbolise beginnings and innocence - in a work of solemnity and cumulative power. Yiddish, Hebrew/English texts. Joseph Malovany (tenor), Lieuwe Visser (bass baritone), Tölz Boys Choir, Large Male Voice Choir of Radio Netherlands Hilversum, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; David Porcelijn, Zubin Mehta. Signum SIG X110-00 (Germany) 12C094 $17.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Metamorphosis, Mad Rush, Satyagraha (Act 3, Conclusion), JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): A Room (from She is Asleep), Dream. People who live in Glass Cages shouldn't throw stones, but they can sit and meditate to this lovely CD all day long. Glass is represented by Michael Riesman's transcription of the final aria from Satyagraha - quintessential romantic minimalism; by his five Metamorphoses, gently melancholy progressions of chords, arpeggii and oscillating major and minor thirds; and by Mad Rush, which does exactly the opposite of rushing, madly or otherwise. It probably should be said that Brubaker plays with a great deal more pianistic sensitivity, evenness and romantic color than the composer in his past recordings on piano, which contributes considerably to the hypnotic effect of these pieces as presented here. The two Cage pieces meander, largely content-free, though very atmospheric in a gently improvisatory blur of consonantly imprecise harmonies. Great late-night listening. Bruce Brubaker (piano). Arabesque Z6744 (U.S.A.) 12C095 $17.98

MICHAEL HORWOOD (b.1947): Fugue for Sam, Motility, Tantrum IV. These works are especially successful examples of the electronic or electro-acoustic genre, having been formed out of instrumental sounds and 'found' material by creatively using mostly older (not computer-originated) tape-based techniques. Motility, the largest work here, suggests a soundtrack for a surreal imaginary film made up of extracts from those nature documentaries that show enormously magnified footage of bizarre micro-organisms and natural processes, slowed down to give comprehensibility to their utterly alien lives. The music seems to have so slow a pulse as to be immobile, and yet it is packed with incident, often bizarre, even frightening, yet unexplained and unexplainable. Fugue for Sam uses snatches of conversation and 'found' material, multi-tracked and processed to create a more complex electronic answer to Toch's "geographical fugue". Tantrum IV is music for the stage, a genuinely unsettling combination of unexplained countdowns and sound effects. Furiant Records FMDC4608-2 (Canada) 12C096 $16.98

RONALD BINGE (1910-1979): Saturday Symphony, Saxophone Concerto, The Watermill, Miss Melanie, Man in a Hurry, A Scottish Rhapsody and 25 more short pieces (please don't ask us to list them all....). This compilation is a tribute to one of Britain's finest light music composers and the man who created the famous "cascading strings" sound for the Mantovani orchestra, bringing together recordings from various sources made between 1956 and the mid 70s. In addition to many 3-5 minute long pieces, we also have here a full-length (31 minutes) symphony and a spirited saxophone concerto, both in finest light music fashion. 2 CDs. Mid-price. South German Radio Orchestra; Ronald Binge, National Philharmonic Orchestra; Charles Gebhardt, Orchestra Raphaele; Heinz Hotter, Walter Heller & His Orchestra, The Dreamland Orchestra. ASV White Line CD WLZ 245 (England) 12C097 $23.98

FRANZ WAXMAN (1906-1967): Objective Burma!. This 1944 film had a lot of scenes without dialogue, offering Waxman many opportunities to expoit the massive orchestral forces which he selected for his score. Whether full, colorful orchestral tuttis or simple unison passages, the composer created a textbook of scoring techniques. The usual lavish booklet with stills and multiple notes. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225148 (New Zealand) 12C098 $14.98

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): Music from the Films Murder on the Orient Express, Far from the Madding Crowd, Lady Caroline Lamb: Elegy for Viola and Orchestra, Enchanted April, Love Scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral, Nicole's Theme from Tender is the Night. Composer of classical scores, jazz pianist and accompanist to cabaret artists, there is practically nothing musical which Bennett has not accomplished. This collection of film score suites contain his finest work (two Academy Award nominations). Philip Dukes (viola), BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 9867 (England) 12C099 $16.98

EDISON DENISOV (1929-1996): Music from the Films A Nameless Star, An Ideal Husband, Turtle Tortilla. It may come as something of a surprise to classical collectors that one of the more avant-garde of Soviet composers also wrote music - tonal, conservative music - for more than 60 films. The scores for the first two films listed above (1978 and 1980) were Denisov's personal favorites and they show his characteristic film scoring voice - broad, lyrical melodies, the play of complex rhythms and a wide-ranging gift for orchestration. Popular dance forms are present in all three too, from waltzes to jazz, including a paraphrase of a Scott Joplin rag in An Ideal Husband. Sure to delight all collectors of film scores, although it's unlikely that many will have seen these films! Russian Cinematographic Orchestra; Sergei Skripka. Le Chant du Monde Russian Season RUS 288172 (France) 12C100 $17.98

EDUARD VAN BEINUM - The Radio Recordings. Concertgebouw Orchestra. Standard repertoire by Liszt, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Franck, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók, Stravinsky, Brahms, Respighi, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Reger, Stephan, Verdi and Mozart, a DVD of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, AND - RUDOLF MENGELBERG (1892-1959): Salve Regina for Soprano and Orchestra, HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Miroir de Peine for Soprano and Orchestra, Symphony No. 4, WILLEM PIJPER (1894-1947): Symphony No. 3, HANS HENKEMANS (1913-1995): Viola Concerto, HENK BADINGS (1907-1987): Cello Concerto No. 2, RUDOLF ESCHER (1912-1980): Musique pour l'esprit en deuil, ALPHONS DIEPENBROCK (1862-1921): Te Deum for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra. About 2 full CDs worth of 20th century Dutch music is included in this retrospective box, all recorded in the mid-50s except for the Badings (1941) and the Mengelberg (1939). The music is generally neo-Classical, except for the more Romantic Mengelberg and Diepenbrock and should appeal to collectors who also appreciate the understated and underappreciated art of this fine conductor. 11 CDs. To van der Sluys, Irma Kolassi (sopranos), Klaas Boon (viola), Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp (cello), Erna Spoorenberg (soprano), Nan Merriman (contralto), Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Laurens Bogtman (bass), Tookunstkoor Amsterdam, Concertgebouw Orchestra; Eduard van Beinum. NM Classics 97015 (Netherlands) 12C101 $159.98