January 2004  January 2003  January 2002  January 2001  January 2000  January 1999  January 1998  
   February 2003 February 2002  February 2001  February 2000  February 1999  February 1998  
   March 2003 March 2002 March 2001  March 2000  March 1999  March 1998  
   April 2003 April 2002  April 2001  April 2000 April 1999  April 1998  
   May 2003 May 2002 May 2001  May 2000  May 1999   May 1998  
  June 2003  June 2002  June 2001  June 2000  June 1999  June 1998  
   July 2003  July 2002  July 2001  July 2000  July 1999  July 1998  July 1997
   August 2003  August 2002  August 2001  August 2000  August 1999  August 1998  August 1997
   September 2003  September 2002  September 2001  September 2000  September 1999  September 1998  September 1997
   October 2003  October 2002 October 2001  October 2000  October 1999  October 1998  October 1997
    November 2003  November 2002 November 2001  November 2000  November 1999  November 1998  November 1997
   December 2003 December 2002 December 2001  December 2000  December 1999  December 1998  December 1997

Heinrich Schulz-Beuthen

Symphony No. 5

HEINRICH SCHULZ-BEUTHEN (1838-1915): Symphony No. 5 for Large Orchestra and Organ, Op. 36 "Reformation Hymn", Die Toteninsel, Neger-Lieder und Tänze, Op. 26, Abschieds-Klänge, Op. 28. Born in Beuthen, Silesia, Schulz spent much of his career in Zürich (which explains his adoption by Swiss conductor Adriano) and wrote eight symphonies (and left unfinished two more) in addition to two large works for piano and orchestra and much else. The fifth symphony dates from 1884 and is in a Lisztian, multi-section, single-movement form lasting just over 18 minutes. Luther's hymn is subjected to all the develoments which a thoroughly modern composer of the time could ask for and, after a chromatically dissonant climax, ends in a triumphant peroration (the organ is not a solo instrument in this work and makes its solo appearances rarely and quietly). Schulz' own response to Böcklin's famous series of depictions of "The Isle of the Dead" comes from 1890 and is an 11-minute exploration of the dramatic tension between a dirge-like, descending theme and a rising theme depicting the search for redemption. The "Negro Songs and Dances" are among the first of their type in Europe, predating Dvorák's Ninth Symphony by some 12 years and are charming and unpretentious, almost balletic in nature (Oh, Susannah! is one of them) while the brief "Sound of Farewell" of 1880 is a delightful little suite of four lightweight, gently bittersweet character pieces. Anastasiya Sidelnikova (organ), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Sterling CDS 1049-2 (Sweden) 02E001 $16.98

GEORGE TEMPLETON STRONG (1856-1948): Ondine, From a Notebook of Sketches: Suites Nos. 1-3. Ondine (1883) may be the finest Strong piece to appear on the three CDs of his orchestral works from Naxos. A 26-minute long tone poem which tells the familiar tale of the water-sprite and her human lover, sticking closely to Fouqué's novella, the piece relies on leitmotifs for its main characters and bears the influences of Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Schumann and Dvorák. The three suites are orchestrations made in the early 1940s of piano pieces from the 1890s and, in many ways, reflect an old composer's nostalgic memories of his youthful romanticism. Such titles of individual movements as "The Elves Blow the Horn", "The Cemetary - Sarabande of the Dead", "Youth of Athens", "Entering the Parthenon", "Jack the Giant-Killer" and "The Dreams of Cinderella" will convey the arch-romantic style and substance of these character pieces which are well worth wallowing in in the first complete performance since Ansermet conducted excerpts in 1941-2. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Naxos American Classics 8.559078 (U.S.A.) 02E002 $6.98

GIUSEPPE MARTUCCI (1856-1909): Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75, Symphony No. 2 in F, Op. 81. Yes, it's unlikely - a Swedish label offering Italian Romantic symphonies with a Malaysian orchestra but, here it is... Now that the ASV versions are only available as part of a 3-CD set, this 80+ minute disc offers the distinctly un-Italian sounding symphonies by this pianist, conductor, teacher and composer who helped revive the composition of purely orchestral music in Italy. Most of the influences come from Germany (Brahms, Schumann, Wagner) but the first movement of the Second (1904) has a very Sibelian feel to it with its ruslting strings and restless energy. Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Kees Bakels. BIS CD-1255 (Sweden) 02E003 $17.98

WILHELM KIENZL (1857-1941): Don Quixote, Op. 50. A work on the grand scale, this opera premiered in 1897 and its failure brought the composer to cease writing for the stage for 13 years. Why did it fail? Kienzl freely mixed comic and tragic scenes which apparently confused audiences. That's hardly likely to bother us, though and we can just sit back and enjoy over three hours of gorgeous romantic music (there are several moderate-size orchestral interludes as well as a ballet in the middle of the second act) performed by a huge orchestra (eight horns and trumpets, cow horn, 4 guitars...) which proves Kienzl was a brilliant orchestrator. 3 CDs. German-English libretto. Thomas Mohr (baritone), Michelle Breedt (mezzo), James Wagner (tenor), Berlin Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Gustav Kuhn. CPO 999 873 (Germany) 02E004 $47.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Symphony No. 3 "The Camp Meeting", Washington's Birthday, The Unanswered Question (version No. 2), Central Park in the Dark, "Country Band" March, Overture and March "1776". Although there may not appear to be much new here, except for the brief overture 1776 intended for an unwritten Revolutionary War opera, conductor Sinclair is the foremost Ives scholar around today and he offers such delights as: in the symphony, the restoration of several chromatic "shadow lines" from Ives' manuscript which were not included when Lou Harrison and Henry Cowell did their editions of the work; a battered, out-of-tune upright piano as the lead piano in Central Park in the Dark; and a heterogeneous wind group (two flutes, two clarinets) in The Unanswered Question for purposes of internal balance. Northern Sinfonia; James Sinclair. Naxos American Classics 8.559087 (U.S.A.) 02E005 $6.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Piano Music, Vol. 6 - 7 Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles, El jardí d'Elisenda, Parranda-Murcia, Pastoral, Danza característica, Sardana, Serenata, Jácara, Países soñados - Palacio encantado en el mar, 3 Impromptus. Three short world premiere recordings are included in this latest volume of the Spanish Romantic composer's complete piano works, edited by the pianist on these recordings. Granados' combination of luminous harmonies, rich palette of pianistic color and dollops of Iberian folk and dance music make his characteristic suites of short pieces consistently enjoyable. Douglas Riva (piano). Naxos 8.555723 (New Zealand) 02E006 $6.98

ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Capriccio in B Minor, Op. 2/4, Winterreigen, Op. 13, 6 Piano Pieces< Op. 41, 3 Singular Pieces, Op. 44. The composer's warm, Romantic lyricism, original harmonic sense and flair for virtuoso piano writing are evident throughout these pieces which cover a 55-year period, from the very Brahmsian Capriccio of 1896/7 through the Schumann-homage of Winterreigen (1905) and the 1945 Six Pieces and their expanded harmonic palette to the late, 1951 Singular Pieces in which a dissonant, "modern" idiom prevails. Lawrence Schubert (piano). Naxos 8.554800 (New Zealand) 02E007 $6.98

JOSEPH BONNET (1884-1944): Complete Works, Vol. 1 - Variations de Concert, Op. 1, 12 Pièces pour Grand Orgue, Op. 5. Student of Tournemire, Guilmant, Widor and Vierne and elected unanimously to the post at St. Eustache by a jury of Guilmant, d'Indy, Gigout, Vierne and Tournemire, Bonnet was renowned as a virtuoso both in France and England and in the U.S., where he founded the organ program at Eastman School. All of his compositions date from 1908-13 and the pieces recorded here are in the classical style of thematic writing, development, variation, canon and fugue and greatly enriched by their variety of instrumentation. Frédéric Ledroit (organ of the Cathedral of Angoulême). Skarbo DSK 1024 (France) 02E008 $16.98

E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Complete Piano Music - Bank Holiday, The White Mountain, On a May Morning, Toccata, 2 Legends, 3 Piano Pieces, 2 Pieces, Theme and Variations, Summer Valley, Stalham River, 3 Fancies, Irish Love Song. All but the 2 Pieces were written before Moeran turned 31, so they don't show much of the mature composer but there is a wealth of music inspired by the folk music of both Norfolk, where the composer grew up, and the west of Ireland, where he sought solitude in order to compose. Some pieces show the influence of his teacher Ireland, one, dedicated to Delius, suggests some of that composer's characteristics, a few are reminiscent of Peter Warlock, with whom Moeran shared a cottage in the mid 20s and one of the 3 Piano Pieces seems to have been inspired by his friend Bax's November Woods. Good to have this music finally available on a major label and more easily available! Una Hunt (piano). ASV DCA 1138 (England) 02E009 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): String Quartet No. 3 in F, Lyrical Interlude for String Quintet, Cathaleen-ni-Hoolihan. The final quartet is from 1936, long after Bax's symphonies and most of his orchestral works although some of his youthful Irish inspiration is still to be heard, the composer himself suggesting that its first movement "was probably influenced by the coming of spring in beautiful Kenmare". After a lyrical slow movement, there is a somewhat sinister scherzo with a dreamy trio and a rough, roubust finale. The work's disc companions are a movement from a youthful E major quartet which was probably written in 1903 and the slow movement of a 1908 string quintet (revised for two violas). Maggini Quartet , Garfield Jackson (second viola). Naxos 8.555953 (New Zealand) 02E010 $6.98

JOAQUIN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Concerto in modo galante for Cello and Orchestra, Concierto de estío for Violin and Orchestra, Concierto como un divertimento for Cello and Orchestra, Cançoneta for Violin and String Orchestra. This new series moves back into lesser-known Rodrigo with this disc of concertos: in modo galante was written for Cassadó in 1949 and draws its inspiration from Boccherini and 18th-century Spain with gently irony and a popular feel to its melodies; de estío dates from 1943 and Vivaldi was its structural inspiration (Preludio, Siciliana and Rondino) with a light and nimble first movement, a melancholy but lyrical second and a finale with a hint of Catalan folk music as well as polytonality; como un divertimento (1981) was premiered by Julian Lloyd-Webber and its colorful atmosphere is accentuated by xylophone and celesta while the soloist is given truly virtuosic work to do. The Cançoneta is a little, four-minute piece from 1923 which has a clear Impressionistic influence. Asier Polo (cello), Mikhail Ovrutsky (violin), Castile and León Symphony Orchestra; Max Bragado Darman. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.555840 (New Zealand) 02E011 $6.98

JOAQUIN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 - Concierto para piano y orquesta (rev. Achúcarro), Música para un jardín, Preludio para un poema a la Alhambra, Homenaje a la tempranica, Juglares. More rarities here: the piano concerto is a revamping (1996) of the Concierto Heroico of 1942 which balances the piano against the orchestra better and eliminates two virtuoso cadenzas; the Homenaje (1939) is a tribute to a famous zarzuela which uses a well-known theme from the work; the Preludio of 1928 is a miniature symphonic poem evoking the famous palace at evening while Juglares (1923) was Rodrigo's first orchestral work - a brief, tripartite, five-minute essay from before his studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum. Daniel Ligorio Ferrandiz (piano), Castile and León Symphony Orchestra; Max Bragado Darman. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.5557101 (New Zealand) 02E012 $6.98

JOAQUIN TURINA (1882-1949): Sinfonía sevillana, Danzas fantásticas, Ritmos (Fantasía coreográfica), La procesión del Rocío. Although he wrote much less orchestral music than Rodrigo, these pieces have, if possible, an even greater helping of rich, authentic Spanish color. All three movements of the 1920 symphony ("Panorama", "Por el río Guadalquivir" and "Fiesta en San Juan Aznalfarache") offer poetry, idealized Andalusian nationalism and marvellous, often subtle, orchestration. The Danzas Fantasticas of 1919 are based on the Aragonese jota, the Basque zorcico and the Andalusian farruca while the ballet Ritmos (1928) consists of a sequence of more generalized dance forms. La procesíon helped make Turina's reputation in 1912 and its Impressionistic scoring reminds us of the composer's period of study at the Paris Schola Cantorum. Castile and León Symphony Orchestra; Max Bragado Darman. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.555955 (New Zealand) 02E013 $6.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): String Quartets Vol. 3 - Nos. 4, 5 & 7 "Concerto da camera". The fourth and fifth quartets were written in Paris in 1937-8 but were forgotten until the late 1950s when they had their first public performances in Prague. They come from a time when the composer was beginning to use Bohemian and Moravian thematic material more regularly but still have the astringency of harmony of his Parisian works of the early 30s. Coming from 1947, written in New York, the last numbered quartet shows a simplification of style, with a greater clarity of texture and Martinu suggested a debt to Haydn in its classical structure and feeling. Martinu Quartet. Naxos 8.553784 (New Zealand) 02E014 $6.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Complete Piano Works - Puppets I-III, Butterflies and Birds of Paradise, 3 Danses Tcheques, Borová (7 danses tcheques), 3 Esquisses, 8 Preludes, Les Ritournelles, Esquisses de Danses, Fenêtre sur le Jardin, Fantaisie et Toccata, Etudes and Polkas (3 Books), Sonata. Now at mid-price, this survey of Martinu's piano works stretches from the early Puppets (1912-18 and mostly stylized dances, often with popular overtones), through the brief Impressionistic period of Butterflies... (1920), to the mixture of neo-classicism and Czech folk music of the late 20s to the Ritournelles of 1932 which are the first which collectors of the orchestral Martinu would recognize. The Fantaisie (1940) and the sonata (1954) represent the composer's mature period, the latter a close relative of the Fantaisies Symphoniques. 3 CDs. Mid-price. Emil Leichner (piano). Original 1990 Supraphon release. Supraphon SU 3656-2 (Czech Republic) 02E015 $32.98

FILIPPO ALBINI DA MONCALIERI (1587-1632): Musicali Concenti for 1, 2 and 4 Voices, Opp. 2 & 4. These light-hearted and easy-to-listen-to madrigals were written for the Duke of Savoy in 1623 and 1626 when the absence of Sigismonda d'India gave Albini his big chance. Full of the usual Arcadian themes and praise of the House of Savoy, these pieces tend toward appealingly spntaneous verse songs with erotic or humorous subject matter and are immediately attractive. They are performed here with recorder, viola da gamba, lirone, double harp, theorbo, baroque guitar, chitarrone, harpsichord, organ and percussion. Monica Piccinini, Anna Simboli (sopranos), Luigi Pagliarini (tenor), Gli Affetti Musicali; Claudio Chiavazza. Stradivarius STR 33624 (Italy) 02E016 $17.98

JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (1620/23-1680): 11 Sonatas and 2 Balletti. This release explores music for wind instruments (the instrumentarium includes cornetts, trombones, trombas, and piffari in addtion to strings, dulcian, harpsichord, organ, chitarrone and timpani) which, like his better-known violin pieces, push the instrumentalists to their limits, both in polychoral pieces and in the more modern concertato styles. Musica Fiata; Roland Wilson. CPO 999 878 (Germany) 02E017 $15.98

DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707): Alles, was ihr tut, BuxWV 4, Gott, hilf mir, Bux WV 34, Fürwahr, er trug unsere Krankheit, Bux WV 31, Das neugeborne Kindelein, Bux WV 13. The first two cantatas balance each other nicely with the former a relaxed, serene work and the other dramatic and expressive. BuxWV 31 is an Easter cantata, full of minor-key stress and suffering while BuxWV 13 is from Christmas and is in the intimate form of the Liedkantate. German texts. Barbara Ullrich (soprano), Heidi Rieß (mezzo), Oly Pfaff, Friedreich Melzer (tenors), Bruce Abel (baritone), Stuttgart Motet Choir, Ensemble '76 Stuttgart; Günter Graulich. Original 1980 Carus LP release & 1992 CD re-issue. Carus 83.134 (Germany) 02E018 $17.98

BARTOLOMEO LAURENTI (1644-1726): 12 Suonate per camera e violino, e violoncello, Op. 1. Laurenti was perhaps the most significant composer of the Bolognese school before Corelli and his thematic inventiveness exhibited in this set of violin sonatas published in 1691 (all with three dance movements preceded by a slow introduction) has elements of striking anticipation of that later maestro Orfei Farnesiani. Tactus TC 641201 (Italy) 02E019 $11.98

ANTOINE FORQUERAY (1672-1745): Harp-sichord Music, Vol. 2 - Suites No. 2 in G, No. 4 in G Minor and No. 5 in C Minor with excerpts from Suites No. 1 in D Minor and No. 3 in D (the latter by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Forqueray). The second volume of five suites worth of harpsichord transcriptions of Antoine's viola da gamba music, with embellishments added and harmonies expanded by his son Jean-Baptiste-Antoine and published in 1747. Luc Beauséjour (harpsichord). Naxos 8.553717 (New Zealand) 02E020 $6.98

PAOLO BENEDETTO BELLINZANI (1680-1757): 10 Sonatas for Flute and Continuo, Op. 3. Like many composers of his generation, Bellinzani emulated Corelli in his compositions and this set of sonatas from 1728 shows contrapuntal skill and melodic gifts which could be compared, if not actually with Corelli, with colleagues such as Albinoni, Marcello or Veracini. Like Corelli, Bellinzani closes his set with an 8-minute-long virtuoso La Follia. I Fiori Musicali. Tactus TC 682702 (Italy) 02E021 $11.98

FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (1687-1762): The Inchanted Forest, Concertos in D and in G. The Inchanted Forest is a suite of music composed for a show at the Sale des Machines in Paris - a series of spectacular exhibitions of scenic effects, mime, machines and optical illusions. Dating from before 1754 (the date of the premiere), the music is much simplified compared to Geminiani's earlier style, generally homophonic and galant although much of it could actually be concerti grossi in a new guise. Orchestra Barocca Italiana; Ryo Terakado. Stradivarius STR 33630 (Italy) 02E022 $17.98

JOHANN JOACHIM QUANTZ (1697-1773): Flute Sonatas in D, G Minor, C and D Minor, Sonatas for 2 Flutes in D and in E Flat. A representative sampling of the more than 200 sonatas and other works for flute which Quantz composed for Frederick the Great, his patron's conservatism showing in a richly varied music which nevertheless remains firmly in late Baroque style, full of lively counterpoint and expressive melodies. Mary Oleskiewicz (transverse flute), Stephanie Vial (baroque cello), David Schulenberg (harpsichord, fortepiano), Jean-François Beaudin (second transverse flute). Naxos 8.555064 (New Zealand) 02E023 $6.98

GIUSEPPE SAMMARTINI (1695-1750): 4 Organ Concertos, Op. 9, Organ Sonatas in C and in G. These concertos were published posthumously, in 1754, and are late Baroque in style, employing the ritornello form most often while the fourth concerto has something of the galant style in it. The organ is a restored instrument from 1802 in Isera (Trentino) and single strings are employed in the accompaniment. La Risonanza; Fabio Bonizzoni (organ). Glossa GCD 921505 (Spain) 02E024 $18.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA SAMMARTINI (1700-1775): 7 Notturni for Flute, 2 Violins and Continuo. Although his symphonies, so important in the history of the genre, still don't get recorded, at least we are getting some Sammartini thanks to this Italian label. These Notturni date from the late 1750s and are in the galant style with a touch of the lyricism and drama of Neapolitan opera. Ensemble "Il Rossignolo". Tactus TC 704401 (Italy) 02E025 $11.98

LOUIS GABRIEL GUILLEMAIN (1705-1770): Amusement for Solo Violin, Op. 18. That wild and crazy guy who died of 14 self-inflicted stab wounds is back! Recorded here are 30 pieces from a much longer work called Amusement, published in 1762 and Guillemain's last work. Beginning with a 6-minute piece titled La Furstemberg, the series continues with shorter pieces in various styles: theme and variations, dance movements, rondos, and so forth. Although always virtuosic and often manic, these pieces are still more concerned with expression and color than the Caprices which were offered by this label last year. Gilles Colliard (baroque violin). Emec E-054 (Spain) 02E026 $16.98 >

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 9 - "Damensonaten": 6 sonates pour le Clavecin à L'usage des Dames, H. 184-5 & 204-7. Like his Leichte Sonaten, these works (composed in 1765-66) for cultivated ladies often require more proficiency than their title might indicate and, although they are mostly light and delicate, they sometimes display classic Bachian complexity, unpredictability and excitement and are in no way unrepresentative of their composer. Miklós Spányi (clavichord). BIS CD-1088 (Sweden) 02E027 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Gioas, Rè di Giuda. Bach's only attempt at oratorio failed in 1770 for reasons which will be quite attractive to collectors today: he tried to mix the recitative-aria style of traditional Metastasian dramaturgy with major choral scenes à la Handel. The public was unmoved but we can enjoy seven rousingly dramatic choruses (the worshippers of Baal are always good at this sort of thing) as well as the emotionally nuanced richly melodious and highly virtuosic arias he gave to his soloists. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Kai Wessel (alto), Ulrike Staude (soprano), Mechthild Georg (mezzo), Markus Schäfer (tenor), Rhein-ische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 895 (Germany) 02E028 $31.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Berlin Harpsichord Concertos in D Minor, B Flat, F Minor, E, F and G, 6 Harpsichord Concertos, Op. 1, 6 Piano Concertos, Op. 7, 6 Piano Concertos, Op. 13, Piano Concerto, Op. 14. 6 CDs. Special price. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead (harpsichord, fortepiano). Original 1994-99 CPO releases. CPO 999 930 (Germany) 02E029 $52.98

JAN K¤TITEL VAHAL (1739-1813): Symphonies in A, in G Minor and in D. For those of you searching your shelves and needing Bryan catalogue numbers (which are omitted from this reissue), the numbers are, in the order above: A2; g2 and D4. That said, the first two are in the style of middle-period Haydn and the latter late-period Haydn. A quarter longer than the first two, the D Major work is a grand, celebratory work with glowing horns and prominent timpani. Mid-price. Prague Chamber Orchestra; OldÞich Vlãek. Original 1990 Supraphon release. Supraphon SU 3651-2 (Czech Republic) 02E030 $10.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Pulcinella Vendicato. Dating from 1770, this is an example of a single-act farsa which was performed after a two-act commedia per musica which, in this case, shared the same librettist. The genre prefers ensembles to solo arias and moves along at a helter-skelter pace with no overture and no time for monologue arias or other reflective moments (and, at just under 79 minutes, there's plenty of ground to cover). The story employs the usual rivalries for the hand of a woman but also includes a genie-in-a-bottle and magic wand section before concluding with the usual and expected happy ending. Italian-English libretto. Giuseppe de Vittorio (tenor), Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Cappella De'Turchini; Antonio Florio. Opus 111 OP 30205 (Italy) 02E031 $17.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Sonatas in G, WO14, in A, Op. 2/4, in G Minor, Op. 8/1, in B Flat, Op. 8/3 & in F Minor, Op. 13/6. All of these sonatas date from before 1786, the F minor work having the dynamic extremes and propulsive rhythms of the young Beethoven but the earlier ones showing Clementi moving from the simplest galant writing (as in the G major work without opus number from around 1768) to the profusely decorated melody of the A major on the path to early Romanticism. Susan Alexander-Max (fortepiano). Naxos 8.555808 (New Zealand) 02E032 $6.98

GIUSEPPE MARIA CAMBINI (1746-1825): 6 Trii concertantii (Flute Trios), Op. 26. These trios for flute, violin and viola were published in 1782 and are in two movements: an allegro in sonata form and a minuet or rondo finale. Bearing a Viennese stamp, they also catered to contemporary Parisian taste in their dynamic contrasts, play of harmonic progressions and exchange of material between the voices with the flute or violin usually leading but with the viola also given some role in the conversation. Trio Tourte. Tactus TC 740302 (Italy) 02E033 $11.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): Ginevra de Scozia. Premiered in 1801, Ginevra is one of the long line of Ariodante operas which date back to Handel and Vivaldi. The most striking thing about Mayr is his orchestration (he was known as the composer who united Italian melody with Germanic orchestration), his colorful instrumentation and rich harmonies reminiscent of Mozart, Haydn and Gluck, often using solo instruments to accompany voices (this opera may have the first instance of the cor anglais used in this manner) with his woodwind writing especially felicitous. This recording was made over several nights of live performances in the same opera house in Trieste which hosted the premiere. The live audience becomes part of the composition in a manner which true opera buffs will appreciate. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Elizabeth Vidal (soprano), Anonino Siragusa (tenor), Daniela Barcellona (soprano), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Lirico "Giuseppe Verdi" Trieste; Tiziano Severini. Opera Rara ORC23 (England) 02E034 $59.98

ANTONÍN REJCHA (1770-1836): Clarinet Concerto in G Minor (reconstr. E. Buschmann), Introduction and Rondo in F for Horn and Orchestra, Introduction and Variations on a Theme of Dittersdorf in B for Clarinet and Orchestra, Theme and Variations in G for Bassoon and Orchestra. It's Dieter Klöcker, so it must mean forgotten music rescued from archives: the clarinet concerto is an incomplete manuscript whose outer movements were completed for this recording while the slow movement was furnished by German-Russian clarinetist/composer Ivan Müller's slow movement from his Clarinet Concerto No. 3. As reconstituted, the piece is strongly reminiscent of the minor key concerti of Weber and Spohr. The Dittersdorf variations are preceded by an introduction written by Frédéric Blasius, for whom the work was written while the horn piece is modeled on Cherubini's sonatas for horn and strings. Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Sarah Willis (horn), Karl-Otto Hartmann (bassoon), Prague Chamber Orchestra; Milan Lajãík. Orfeo C 170 021 A (Germany) 02E035 $18.98

ANTONÍN REJCHA (1770-1836): Piano Quintet in C Minor, Trio in E Flat for 3 Cellos. The quintet is a large (43 minutes) work from late in Reicha's career (Paris, 1826), utterly innocent of the incipient Romanticism surrounding him, in perfect Viennese Classicism and in a technique as flawless as that which he taught his legions of famous pupils. The odd cello trio of 1807 is also a substantial work lasting over 27 minutes in the usual four movements and which seems to have been stimulated by a meeting with Haydn and the study of his baryton trios (similar tessituras, left-hand positions) and which also has echoes of Boccherini. Kocian Quartet, Jaroslav Tu°ma (fortepiano), Michel Kanka, Petr Hejn (cellos). Praga Digitals PRD 250 179 (Czech Republic) 02E036 $17.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Music for Violin and Harp, Vol. 2 - Sonata in D, Op. 114, Sonata in G, Op. 115, Fantasie on Themes of Danzi and Vogler in B Minor, Op. 118, "Mary's Aria" from Des Heilands letzte Stunden, "Lied der Emma" from Der Erbvertrag. The second volume of (mostly) works written by Spohr for performance by himself and his harpist wife includes the longest and finest of his sonatas (Op. 115 of 1809), more subtle and lyrical than its predecessors. The Op. 114 (from 1810-11) is a two-movement work with the second a potpourri of themes from The Magic Flute. Also noteworthy is the aria from the oratorio Des Heilands which was arranged in memory of his wife in 1835, the year after her death. German-English texts. Sophie Langdon (violin), Hugh Webb (harp), Alison Smart (soprano), Roger Montgomery (horn), Susan Dorey (cello). Naxos 8.555365 (New Zealand) 02E037 $6.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Complete String Quintets, Vol. 3 - No. 5 in G Minor, Op. 106, No. 6 in E Minor. Op. 129. The fifth quintet, composed just after the death of Spohr's daughter at 19, is dark and somber in its first two movements but happier and more carefree in its second half while the 1945 sixth also has a melancholy first movement and a reflective slow movement before a fast and agitated finale. Haydn Quartet, Budapest, Sándor Papp (second viola). Original 1993 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555967 (New Zealand) 02E038 $6.98

KAROL LIPINSKI (1790-1861): Violin Concerto No. 2 in D, Op. 21 "Concerto Militaire", Violin Concerto No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 24, Violin Concerto No. 4 in A, Op. 32. "The other Paganini" Schumann called this Polish violinist/composer although these concertos do not contain quite the same number of virtuosic demands as do those of the Italian maestro but the concept of the soloist as a "singer/actor" and the orchestra the stage set is quite similar. The second concerto is over twice the length of the other two, which are in single-movement form (in fact, the "Military" movement - the first - is longer than either by itself). Albrecht Breuninger (violin), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Wojciech Rajski. CPO 999 787 (Germany) 02E039 $15.98

CHARLES-AUGUST DE BERIOT (1802-1870): Violin Concerto No. 1 in D, Op. 16 "Military", Violin Concerto No. 8 in D, Op. 99, Violin Concerto No. 9 in A Minor, Op. 104. On the other hand, Beriot's "Military" concerto is a single-movement, 12-minute quickie from 1826 which shows his early debt to Paganini, especially in left-hand pizzicato. The other two concertos date from 1855 and 1858 and demonstrate the mature composer's operatic elegance and fluency of style. Takako Nishizaki (violin), RTBF Symphony Orchestra, Brussells; Alfred Walter. Original 1990 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555104 (New Zealand) 02E040 $6.98

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): Overture to Il finto Stanislao (arr. octet Andreas N. Tarkman [b.1956]), VERDI/TARKMANN: Verdiana - Composizioni da camera for Voice and Piano arranged for Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, VERDI/EMANUELE MUZIO (1821-1890): Luisa Miller - excerpts arranged for String Quartet. Lasting about half an hour, Tarkmann's arrangements of seven songs which Verdi wrote between 1838-45 (with rudimentary piano parts) provide the voice with an approximation of the mature composer's instrumental style and, with the addition of a prelude adapted from an interlude in I Lombardi, produces a chamber cantata with overture. Muzio was a student of Verdi and a conductor/composer who promoted his teacher's operas; this Luisa Miller set of overture and six numbers, lasting about 39 minutes, is one of many string quartet reductions done at the behest of Verdi and his publisher Ricordi. Italian-English texts. Carola Guber (mezzo), Arte Ensemble Hanover. CPO 999 849 (Germany) 02E041 $15.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Scherzo in G Minor. The first complete recording of the Breikopf Urtext Edition edited by Joachim Draheim which was published over the period 1993-2001. Small body of strings, wind-dominated sound, Schumann's metronome markings observed (as well as dynamics, phrasing and repeats). Also included is Draheim's orchestration of the only remaining movement from a C minor symphony of 1841. 14 pages of notes in very small print make this the most copiously documented Schumann cycle in existence. 2 CDs. Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 431-32 (Denmark) 02E042 $33.98

ÉTIENNE-NICHOLAS MÉHUL (1763-1817): Overtures to Mélidore et Phrosine, Ariodant, Joseph, Horatius Coclès, Bion, Le jeune sage et le vieux fou, Le trésor supposé, Les deux aveugles de Tolède, La chasse du jeune Henri. As owners of his symphonies will know, Méhul is a genuinely early Romantic and this collection of overtures, dating from 1794-1807, have the same ethos with extremes of tonal and harmonic writing, chromaticism which shocked the public of his time, and a propensity for tone-painting which look forward to the tone poem. (Horn and hunt fanciers will want to have the last overture listed above with its brazen parts for four horns). Orchestre de Bretagne; Stefan Sanderling. ASV DCA 1140 (England) 02E043 $16.98

ANTONIO CASIMIR CARTELLIERI (1772-1807): Clarinet Quartet No. 3 in B Flat, Clarinet Quartet in D, Divertimento in E Flat for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, 2 Horns, Bassoon, String Quartet and Double Bass. The fifth release from MD&G continues to open our eyes to a highly original late Classical composer whose creativity is reminiscent of his contemporary, Beethoven. Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 1098-2 (Germany) 02E044 $17.98

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Mass in A, Op. 12. Completed in 1860, just after Franck accepted the position at St. Clotilde, this mass immediately precedes the important compositions of his late period. The work has symphonic dimensions and a broad harmonic palette which add to its sense of religious fervor. Live recording from 1979 with soloists given a slightly increased role (the chorus dominates in the original version). Edith Wiens (soprano), Raimundo Mettre (tenor), Ivo Ingram (bass), Swabian Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra Gmünd; Hubert Beck. Original 1993 Audite release. Audite 95.431 (Germany) 02E045 $16.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): 6 Études, Op. 81, 3 Morceaux, Op. 71, 5 Morceaux, Op. 69. These appear to be world premiere recordings and the pianist/composer provides unusually cogent notes which trace out the individuality of his methods of composition which are rarely mentioned by writers who like to dwell on Rubinstein's propensity for pretty melodies and his crime of not being particularly Russian. So, we have a set of etudes which reconcile a rich, ornate melodic line with technical demands which are substantial yet not showy, and two sets of short pieces in which one can enjoy the composer's assimilation and love of German Romanticism. Fabio Grasso (piano). Solstice SOCD 202 (France) 02E046 $16.98 >

LOUIS MOREAU GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869): Piano Music, Vol. 6 - Le Carnaval de Venise, Op. 89, Marche funèbre, Op. 64, Vision, Op. posth., Printemps d'amour, Op. 40, Caprice élégiaque, Op. 56, Colliers d'or, Op. 6, Danse ossianique, Op. 12, Jeunesse, Op. 70, Danse des sylphes, Op. posth., Le Sourire d'une jeune fille, Impromptu, Op. 54, La Favorita (after Donizetti) - grande fantaisie triomphale, Op. 68. The latest in this series of Gottschalk's now elegantly sensual, now fingerbustingly virtuosic piano music wraps two large works - the "grand caprice et variations" of 1852 on the famous "Carnival of Venice" tune and the 1859 Donizetti extravaganza - around a series of salon mazurkas reminiscent of Chopin and other small-scale forms typical of the period. Philip Martin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67349 (England) 02E047 $17.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 153 "Im Walde", Symphony No. 10 in F Minor, Op. 213 "Zur Herbstzeit". The latest budget-priced reissue of symphonies in Raff's wonderful cycle. As we've said on each previous occasion, if you like Mendelssohn and Schumann with a dash of Brahms, you're going to love this! Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Urs Schneider. Original 1991 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555491 (New Zealand) 02E048 $6.98

SALOMON JADASSOHN (1831-1902): Piano Trio No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 85, Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 77, Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 126. Jadassohn came from a Jewish family in Breslau (Silesia) and studied in Leipzig under Hauptmann and Rietz and had Moscheles as a piano teacher (as well as a spell with Liszt in Weimar). Known as a pedagogue and a master of counterpoint (who left several treatises on theory), his students included Busoni, Delius, Grieg and Weingartner among others but his music (extensive, with four symphonies and two piano concertos in addition to much chamber music) has been forgotten. The three works recorded here are late, dating between 1884-97, but still show the influence of Mendelssohn in their scherzos, a melodic gift and the general musical ethos of Schumann (although Jadassohn was a Wagner partisan) in addition to the expected contrapuntal mastery. Birgitta Wollenweber (piano), Matthias Wollong, Jörg Fassmann (violas), Hartmut Rohde (viola), Michael Sanderling (cello). Real Sound RS 051-0036 (Italy) 02E049 $16.98 >

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Complete Organ Works - 3 Preludes, Aria in G Minor (tr. Fuser), Prelude in D Minor, Andante (Fugue) in D Minor (compl. Salvadori), Elevazione, 5 (Little) Preludes, Suite in G for Organ and Strings. New to disc are the Aria, a work for violin and organ, transcribed in 1902, the fragmentary fugue completed in 1958 and the new, extended version from 1914 of the 1906 suite for organ and strings which lengthens the prelude by 28 bars. Andrea Macinanti (Mascioni organ of the Bengivoglio Hall, Bologna [Suite] and Serassi organ of Maria Vergine Assunta Cathedral, Saluzzo), Milano Classica Chamber Orchestra; Alfonso Scarano. Tactus TC 871802 (Italy) 02E050 $11.98

OLE OLSEN (1850-1927): Suite for Strings, Op. 60, Miniature Suite, Op. 68, Vals lento, 2 Anglaises, SIGURD LIE (1871-1904): Suite for Strings (incomplete), SIGURD ISLANDSMOEN (1881-1964): Forest Clearing, Op. 15, Meditation, Op. 17a, Pastoral from Homeward from Babel, Op. 20, Norwegian Lullaby, Op. 17b, Norwegian Love Song, Op. 16, A Dream of Love, Op. 18. Olsen's suites are collections of melodious, charming and easily accessible character pieces whose titles ("Spring", "Dwarfs and Elves", "Northern Lights and Iceberg") instantly reveal the ethos involved. Islandsmoen's pieces date from the 1930s and are homophonic, allowing the simple folk melodies to emerge clearly. Lie's unfinished suite from the mid-1890s is of a similar lyrical character. Light, uncomplicated listening, often vernal in mood. Kristiansand Chamber Orchestra; Jan Stigmer. Intim Musik IMCD 081 (Sweden) 02E051 $16.98 >

HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Der arme Heinrich. Pfitzner's first opera (1891) is a juicy meal of intensely Wagnerian style but very post-Wagnerian, adventurous harmonies, markedly contrapuntal but not overloaded to "decadence". The bizarre tale of a 14-year-old girl who wants to die gruesomely in order that a mysteriously ill knight may live only adds to the voyeuristic appeal of this work which was immediately successful and had performances all over Germany, Austria and in Prague after its 1895 premiere. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Norbert Schmittberg (tenor), Karl-Heinz Lehner (bass), Michaela Kaune (soprano), Dortmund Theatre Chorus, Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra; Alexander Rumpf. Capriccio 60 087 (Germany) 02E052 $27.98

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 28, Cello Sonata, Op. 64, Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 112. Although these three works span most of the composer's career, they are still firmly planted in the late romantic tradition. The suite (1909) was dedicated to and premiered by Kreisler and, Bowen being a fine pianist, both artists are given plenty of virtuosic material; the inner movements have something of the salon about them (a barcarolle and a humoresque) while the outer ones are very much at home on the concert stage. The 1921 cello sonata was written for Beatrice Harrison and Bowen crafted it to suit her personality, the first movement especially reflecting her tendency toward rubato but with a marvellously quiet second movement hinting at personal loss before a furiously dancing finale. Though dating from 1945, the violin sonata continues in much the same vein with passion and heroism succeeded by poise and stillness and ending with a dancing, headlong finale. Endymion Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7120 (England) 02E053 $16.98

ARTHUR SOMERVELL (1863-1937): Clarinet Quintet in G, GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Clarinet Quintet in G Minor. Somervell was known primarily for his song-cycles and choral works but this 1913 quintet is a wonderful, melodious work of late Romanticism which could have been written fifty years earlier. Jacob's quintet (1942) is still late romantic in style although plainly written in the 20th century. He particularly loved writing for wind instruments and it's good to have this 23-year-old recording, performed by the widow of the clarinettist for whom it was written, at mid-price. Thea King (clarinet), The Aeolian Quartet. Original 1980 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55110 (England) 02E054 $10.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): The English Song Series 3 - It was a Lover and his Lass, The Lawyer, The splendour falls, The Water Mill, Tired, Silent Noon, Searching for Lambs, Nocturne, Joy, Shipmate, Joy!, Lord, come away & Come Love, come Lord for Tenor, Viola and Piano, 5 Mystical Songs for Baritone and Piano, On Wenlock Edge for Tenor and String Quartet, Dirge for Fidele. Spanning 60 years, from 1896 to 1956, this collection of songs (some with solo violin accompaniment) remind us that Vaughan Williams could write as exquisitely and sound just as pastorally English in intimate genres as he could in his orchestral and choral compositions. Texts included. Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano), The Duke Quartet. Original 1996 Collins Classics release. Naxos 8.557114 (New Zealand) 02E055 $6.98

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Nuit d'étoiles, Fleur des blés, Voici que le printemps, Mandoline, 5 Poèmes de Baudelaire, Les angélus, Romance, Les cloches, 3 Mélodies, Fêtes Galantes (series 2), 3 Ballades de François Villon. Containing about a quarter of all Debussy's mélodies, this release proceeds chronologically, giving a good example of the composer's maturing style in text-setting and piano writing. The seven single songs are from his earliest period when the mélodie was performed in the salon and the style and content needed to be as vanilla as possible (think Massenet). With the Baudelaire set, Debussy discovered Wagner and chromaticism; the Verlaine settings show the Debussy we all know from things like Pelleas and the progression continues to the 1910 Villon settings, textures hard and sharp, seemingly looking ahead to the neo-classicism of the 20s. French-English texts. Christopher Maltman (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano). Hyperion CDA 67357 (England) 02E056 $17.98

CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Colloque sentimental, Le balcon, ROLF LIEBERMANN (1910-1999): 5 chinesische Liebeslieder for Tenor, Strings, Harp and Piano, RAINIER PRIAULX (1903-1986): Cycle for Declamation for Solo Voice, HENRI CASADESUS (1879-1947): La sommeilleuse, Sur les jolis ponts de Paris, LILI BOULANGER (1893-1918): Pie Jesu, Elle était descendue au bas de la prairie, LÉO PREGER: 3 Songs, CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Die Zeit, Liebe Glühen, Lass mich schulmmern, Ninfe se liete (all for Tenor and Guitar), LOUIS-NICOLAS CLÉRAMBAULT (1676-1749): 7 fables de la Fontaine. Cuenod had a career of over 60 years, making his Met debut at the age of 85, and this enterprising collection of radio recordings from Switzerland focuses on quite unusual repertoire, from the baroque fairy-tale settings of Clérambault to the 1945 oriental exoticism of Rolf Liebermann. Perhaps the rarest bird here is Preger, regarding whom even a Google search turned up empty; we are told that he was a member of the circle of Auric, Rorem and Françaix. Unpublished recordings from Swiss Radio, 1948-65. No texts. Hugues Cuenod (tenor), Maroussia Le Marc' Hadour (piano), Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; Victor Desarzens and Nadia Boulanger, Madeleine Lipatti (piano), Hermann Leeb (guitar), Christiane Jaccottet (harpsichord). Cascavelle RSR 6158 (Switzerland) 02E057 $17.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): 7 Unaccompanied Partsongs, Op. 17, Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, Op. 26, God is gone up, Op. 27/2, Magnificat, Op. 36, My lovely one, Op. 27/1, Welcome sweet and sacred feast, Op. 27/1, Thou didst delight my eyes, Op. 32, Let us now praise famous men, Op. 35. Finzi, not least in his choral music, has come to embody a lyrical, impassioned pastoralism in English music of the 20th century and such works as Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, with its range of moods and beautiful textures, is a fine example while the remainder of the items offered here demonstrate his wonderful talent for word-painting. Choir of St. John's College Cambridge; Christopher Robinson, Christopher Whitton (organ). Naxos 8.555792 (New Zealand) 02E058 $6.98

Egon Wellesz - Complete Symphony Cycle Begins!

EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Symphony No. 4, Op. 70 "Sinfonia Austriaca", Symphony No. 6, Op. 95, Symphony No. 7, Op. 102 "Contra torrentem". Wellesz turned to the symphony only after 12 years in English exile but he then wrote nine of them between 1945-71 and a Symphonic Epilogue, the impetus being both his longing for his native Austria (and, thus, the Austro-German symphonic tradition epitomized by Mahler and Bruckner) and the belief that he was finally mature enough as a composer to tackle what he considered the most important and difficult genre. Left behind by the 20th century like many other composers, Wellesz' problem was not that he wrote anachronistic romantic music but that he did not write in the prescribed, modernist 12-tone style either. He created his own style and pursued it single-mindedly. Thus, although atonality or "free tonality" is present to one extent or another in his symphonies, the first five are mainly in the Mahler/Bruckner tradition while the later four are more personal in character, all in three movements, slow-fast-slow with a greater economy of instrumentation, thin textures broad intervals and an expressive compositional style. These symphonies will appeal both to collectors of late Romanticism and to those who find Benjamin Frankel approachable. Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gottfried Rabl. CPO 999 808 (Germany) 02E059 $15.98

GIANFRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882-1973): Dialogo I con Manuel de Falla (in memoria) for Small Orchestra, Dialogo II for 2 Pianos, Dialogo III con Jacopone da Todi for Soprano and 2 Pianos, Dialogo IV for Wind Quintet, Dialogo V for Viola and Orchestra, Dialago VI for Harpsichord and Orchestra, Dialogo VII for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Dialogo VIII - La morte di Socrate (dal Fedone) for Baritone and Small Orchestra. Written between 1955-57, these pieces fall into the nebulous area of Malipiero's old age which, at least in the next-to-last New Grove, was considered little better than the musings of a quasi-senile old man. However, in the notes to this live recording, the English musicologist, John C.G. Waterhouse is credited with establishing these pieces' importance so, since he is the same author of the Grove article, we must assume he's changed his mind in the last 30 years. Although it's hard to categorize all eight of these works briefly, they are mostly in a tonal, neo-classical style, they are all in single-movement form and they have a predominantly quiet, autumnal quality of the soliloquy about them and, though he still had many more works to write, it is difficult not to see in the final dialogue's setting of texts from the end of Plato's Phaedo, a valedictory statement from a composer who remained hard to pigeonhole all of his career. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Lucia Naviglio (soprano), Giovanni Francesco Cappelluti (baritone), Margherita Profido (harpsichord), Simonide Braconi (viola), Annamaria Strano, Filippo Balducci (pianos), Orchestra Nuova Filarmonia; Domenico Molinini. Stradivarius STR 33620 (Italy) 02E060 $17.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): String Quartet No. 6, Op. 12, String Quartet No. 12, Op. 70. Dating from 1905, the sixth quartet is one of Toch's earliest extant compositions (opp. 1-9 were lost during World War II); the work was accepted by the Rosé Quartet for performance unbeknownst to the 17-year-old composer, whose friend, Joseph Fuchs, had borrowed the score and forwarded it to Arnold Rosé! Its Andante doloroso slow movement aside, this piece has the vernal freshness and melodic charm of Brahms' Serenades. The twelfth quartet began a new period of fecundity after his first 12 years in the U.S. produced only eight compositions. Dating from 1946, the first movement has a tender, flowing, intimate first movement, an adagio with some use of quarter-tones and more dense chromatically and contrapuntally, a third-movement Pensive Serenade and a Vigorous finale marked by shifting meters and a wide spectrum of coloristic effects. Verdi Quartet. CPO 999 776 (Germany) 02E061 $15.98

VIKTOR ULLMANN (1898-1944): Czech "Degenerate Music", Vol. 3 - String Quartet No. 3, Op. 46, Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 45, Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 49, Piano Sonata No. 7. Composed in 1943-44, most of the music here shows Ullmann's roots in the Second Viennese School - Schoenberg, Zemlinsky, sometimes Mahler - not atonal but not exactly melodic either. The seventh sonata, left unfinished at the time the composer was exterminated, may have been intended for orchestration and its finale is the most melodic movement of all the pieces here, a set of variations on an ancient Hebrew folksong with quotations from a Czech Hussite chorale, a Lutheran hymn and the B-A-C-H mottos. Kocian Quartet, Radoslav Kvapil (piano). Praga Digitals PRD 250 180 (Czech Republic) 02E062 $17.98

ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): Suite in A, ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Poème Mystique, JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): 2 Pieces from 4 Pieces, Op. 17, BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): From My Native Land, SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): 5 Melodies, Op. 35bis. The rarity here is the early Zemlinsky work (titled "Serenade" on the CD cover but "Suite" in the New Grove Zemlinsky entry). Dating from around 1895, it is a five-movement work which seems to want to placate a Brahms who was disturbed by some of the modern features of Zemlinsky's first string quartet of the same period. The work radiates a Viennese charm with a lilting waltz for a fourth movement and a very Brahmsian slow movement. Bloch's Poème Mystique of 1925 is his second violin sonata, produced at a time when the composer was considering converting to Catholicism and the work shows signs of a struggle in places (and Gregorian melodies intrude among Hebraic ones) although, overall, the piece is lyrical and mystical. The notes state that this recording is of a revised version which was never published with both inserts and cuts. Sergiu Schwartz (violin), Alec Chien (piano). Roméo Records 7220 (U.S.A.) 02E063 $17.98

BERTHOLD GOLDSCHMIDT (1903-1996): Suite for Orchestra, Op. 5, ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Concertino for Strings, Op. 12, KURT WEILL (1900-1950): Symphony No. 2. World Premiere Recordings of both the Goldschmidt and the Gerhard! Goldschmidt's piece dates from 1927 (recently discovered in the Universal Edition archives and presented to the composer in 1994) and is a suite of five movements in baroque dance-measures ( and a "March") of which only the opening Allemande contains any conscious harmonic archaisms. The remaining movements are entirely contemporary in expression, highly and often dissonantly contrapuntal with the influence of Weill in its March and Chaconne and of Busoni in its spectral, gloomy Sarabande. Gerhard's Concertino dates from the following year and substantial portions of its outer movements were used later in the 1942-43 violin concerto. Highly chromatic and, like Goldschmidt's suite, much concerned with counterpoint, this work is deeply imbued with what Gerhard learned from his teacher, Schoenberg, although it is not atonal and there are stylized Catalan folk elements used and echoes also of Bartók. Kammersymphonie Berlin; Jürgen Bruns. EDA 018-2 (Germany) 02E064 $16.98

BENJAMIN LEES (b.1924): Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 5 "Kalmar Nyckel", Etudes for Piano and Orchestra. Three symphonies in three different forms: the 1956 second is in a traditional three-movement format, the third (1969) prefixes a saxophone/percussion interlude to each of its three movements while the fifth, of 1998, is a single-movement work of almost half an hour. All are tonal but obviously modern works with themes and motives mostly supplanting melodies as means of construction and slow, unquiet music predominates over fast, buoyant music with the fifth having, perhaps, the most direct connection with the listener due to the associations which can be made between the thematic working and the historical inspiration for the piece (the work is named after the ship which brought Swedish and Finnish immigrants to New Sweden in what is now Delaware). The Etudes date from 1974 and present five clear and logically handled exercises which succeed in surpassing their technical reasons-to-live and working as sheer music. 2 CDs. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Stephen Gunzenhauser, James Dick (piano), Texas Festival Orchestra; Robert Spano. Albany TROY 564/65 (U.S.A.) 02E065 $33.98

WALTER PISTON (1894-1976): Viola Concerto, JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Viola Concerto, SAMUEL ADLER (b.1928): Viola Concerto. This is claimed as a first recording of Piston's 1957 concerto, a work written for the teacher of the soloist here and which comes towards the end of Piston's middle period of more relaxed, often neo-romantic music. Harbison was a violist in chamber music and wrote his concerto for the player he never was, concentrating on the instrument's ability to sing though its tenor and alto voices and, though beginning in an ambiguous harmonic environment, it proceeds through its four movements toward a satisfyingly tonal conclusion (the slow movement has some lovely melodies). Adler's concerto was written for this soloist in 1999 and also comes from a violist-composer who uses all aspects of the instrument's range and sound qualities but with lyricism still to the forefront in its first two movements (beautiful pastoral melodies in the second) before the finale ends with verve and energy. Randolph Kelly (viola), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Aleksandrs Vilumanis. Albany TROY 558 (U.S.A.) 02E066 $16.98

HERMANN HALLER (1914-2002): Concerto for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, WLADIMIR VOGEL (1896-1984): Concertino for Flute and Strings, ROBERT BLUM (1900-1994): Concertino for Clarinet and Strings, HANS SCHAEUBLE (1906-1988): Concertino for Flute and Strings, Op. 47. Four 20th century Swiss concertos: Haller's, from 1961, is the longest here (at a mere 17 minutes) and is in a bracing, clean-limbed, neo-classical style with all three movements thematically inter-related; Vogel, the avant-gardist of the early part of the century (look for an all-Vogel orchestral disc soon on the Real Sound label as soon as we can import it), used a highly personal dodecaphonic system to produce formally rigorous and very expressive pieces in his old age, of which this 1979 Concertino is a fine example; Blum wrote much film music and at least six symphonies - his 1974 work is terse, dark and hard-edged while Schaeuble's (1959) is the warmest and most easily approachable. Philipp Jundt (flute), Elisabeth Häfliger (clarinet), Camerata Zürich; Räto Tschupp. Guild GMCD 7250 (England) 02E067 $16.98

EINO TAMBERG (b.1930): Trumpet Concerto No. 1, Op. 42, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Concerto Piccolo über B-A-C-H for Trumpet, Strings, Harpsichord and Piano, ROLF MARTINSSON (b.1956): Bridge - Trumpet Concerto No. 1, Op. 47. The main work here is Martinsson's concerto from 1998, a single-movement work of some 26 minutes which is one of those lip- and lung-busting virtuosic crowd-pleasers so dear to trumpet fans and which manages to explore quiet music as well as loud (there is a passage which uses musical glasses!). A slightly more melodic, less manic Magnus Lindberg might be a good characterization. Pärt's seven-minute work is a 1994 transcription of his well-known Collage while Tamberg's 1972 concerto explores the more conventional, Shostakovichian style of late 20th century romanticism. Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Göteborg Symphony Orchestra; Neeme Järvi. BIS CD-1208 (Sweden) 02E068 $17.98

EDUARD TUBIN (1905-1982): Complete Symphonies, Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 4 "Sinfonia lirico", Symphony No. 7. Yes, we know you've been asking... Finally released, the third volume of the new Tubin cycle brings his wartime (1943) fourth, very Sibelian throughout, and the seventh, of 1958, shorter, in only three movements and using a rather smaller orchestra. Tightly wound and concentrated, the work deals with a struggle against depression with only parts of the second, slow movement, containing lyrical relief before even that is wiped away by a grotesque, embedded scherzo. Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Vollmer. Alba ABCD 155 (Finland) 02E069 $16.98

JOHN DONALD ROBB (1892-1989): Piano Concerto, HAIG BOYADJIAN: Symphony No. 2. And more Robb flows from this eccentric little label from Maine: the 1950 piano concerto, a substantial work of around 28 minutes, uses New Mexican folk-songs as the basis for each of its three movements (Ricardo, El Borreguero and Leonore) and its style is a blend of Prokofiev and late Romanticism. Boyadjian's symphony was commissioned for this recording (!) and is a two-movement work in a modern though still tonal style which is based, in classical style, on two motives whose working-out form the basis for all the music to be heard. Tatiana Vetrinskaya (piano), National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One CD 187 (U.S.A.) 02E070 $11.98

JOHN CARBON (b.1951): Piano Concerto, Rasgos (Sketches) for Violin, Winds, Harp and Percussion, Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra, Ghost Town Sketches. Carbon's piano concerto (1998) is a one-movement work in three sections lasting 22 minutes which has the intensity and gestural language of, say, Brahms or Liszt, and which is melodic and tonal but whose polychordal and dissonant dialogues between soloist and orchestra make clear to which century it belongs. Serenity and melodic tenderness are present also, providing the listener with a richly varied experience. Rasgos (1992) is an interesting set of 12 brief sketches, almost character-pieces, suggested by Goya drawings and titled with lines from Lorca poetry, whose terseness and thinness of texture are inversely fascinating to the proportion of material they contain. Rhapsody (1997) is a virtuosic tour-de-force for its soloist in a variety of moods and textures and it, along with the Ghost Town Sketches of 1994 (where the intent is solely to create moods), are the most abstract, modern-sounding works here. William Koseluk (piano), Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek, Claire Chan (violin), Concordia Orchestra; Marin Alsop, Doris Hall-Gulati (clarinet), New York Chamber Symphony; Gerard Schwarz, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; David Stock. MMC 2120 (U.S.A.) 02E071 $16.98

DAVID L. POST (b.1949): Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra, ROMEO MELLONI (b.1963): Symphony (Chelalis), P. PETER SACCO (1928-2000): Violin Concerto No. 1. Three more examples of thoroughly enjoyable contemporary music which is tonal yet not anachronistic. Post's concerto exploits the soulful, yearning side of the instrument (the composer cites the Dvorák New World Symphony and The Swan of Tuonela to explain the characteristics he appreciates about the English horn) in his 1998 work. Sacco's symphony, from the same year, is also wholly tonal and stylistically heterogeneous with sections sounding like good film music while Sacco's violin concerto (1969) is the most powerful work here, a moving meditation on the horror and futility of war (the composer was a Korean War veteran and the piece was commissioned for the Tokyo World's Fair) with a grim first movement, a slow movement "Prayer for World Peace" with an impassioned solo cadenza, and an exuberant finale which never quite manages to shed its darker thoughts. Donna Marie Cobert (english horn), Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Vit Micka, Lydia Forbes (violin), Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek. MMC 2117 (U.S.A.) 02E072 $16.98

NANCY GALBRAITH (b.1951): Atacama Sonata for Flute and Piano, Inquiet Spirits for String Quartet, Wind Symphony No. 1, Piano Sonata No. 1, 2 Danzas Latinas for Small Orchestra. This collection showcases Galbraith's exceptional communicative powers in music of emotional impact and appealing directness of expression. The flute sonata consists of two lively and colorful outer movements in the composer's trademark modally-inflected, slightly astringent tonal vocabulary, rhythmically incisive with incessant changes of meter, framing an eerily beautiful slow movement, 'in memory of the missing' which utilises breath-tones and multiphonics to - literally - breathtaking effect. The aptly titled Inquiet Spirits is a nervous, uneasy 9 minutes for string quartet, somewhat reminiscent of Bartók. Well-known for her contribution to the wind ensemble repertoire, the composer wrote the Danzas Latinas just in time for inclusion on this recording; a Habanera and Samba - witty and just a little melancholy, teasing the listener's expectations of these familiar forms. The Wind Symphony consists of three movements, which again, like the flute sonata, seem to suggest fantastic landscapes, especially the slow movement. Elsewhere, dynamic rhythms and a hint of minimalism propel the music forward. The Piano Sonata has been taken up by a number of fine pianists, and rightly so, as it presents a clear and cogent musical argument; energetic outer movements framing a slow movement of deep feeling and emotional depth. Alberto Almarza (flute), Luz Manriquez (piano), Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble; Denis Colwell, Patricia Prattis Jennings (piano), Sinfonietta Venus; Jesus Medina. Albany TROY 556 (U.S.A.) 02E073 $16.98

Light Music from Naxos

TANGO GOES SYMPHONY - Tangos by Jacob Gade, Astor Piazzolla, Julián Plaza, Francisco Canaro, Alfredo Gobbi, Cole Porter, Pascual De Grillo, Tito Ribero/L. Diaz Vélez, Peter Breiner/Ján ·trasser, Angel Villoldo/Enrique Discepolo/Juan Carlos Catan and Geraldo Rodriguez/Pascual Contursi/ Enrique Maroni arranged for orchestra by Peter Breiner. A nice variety of examples of this erotic andmelancholy dance in striking symphonic garb. Sefika Kutluer (flute), Juraj Barto (trumpet), Cyril Zelenak (drums), Jujaj Griglák, Boris Lenko (accordions), Razumovsky Orchestra; Peter Breiner (piano). Naxos Light Classics 8.557004 (New Zealand) 02E074 $6.98

PRELUDES AND CHORUSES FROM ZARZUELAS by Ruperto Chapí (1851-1909), Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823-1894), Gerónimo Giménez (1854-1923), Federico Chueca (1846-1908), Amadeo Vives (1871-1932), Manuel Fernández Caballero (1835-1906), Pablo Luna (1880-1942), Reveriano Soutullo (1880-1933) y Juan Vert (1890-1931), Jesús Guridi (1886-1961) and Pablo Solozábal (1897-1988). The Spanish national operetta, the zarzuela depicts popular customs, humor, folk melodies and the idioms and inflections of the spoken language. This selection of preludes, overtures and choruses offers some of the best-known pieces of this popular repertoire. Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra and Chorus; Miguel Roa. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.555957 (New Zealand) 02E075 $6.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light", Angels and Visitations. This is probably the best place to start for collectors who do not know Rautavaara's music. Two things are clear: the title conjures up images of touchy-feely new-ageiness and the music, especially of the symphony (1994) is some of the most inspiring, luminous (one might also say numinous) composed in the final two or three decades of the 20th century, impossible to listen to and not come away with a sense of quiet, relaxed well-being - the sort of thing proper meditation techniques should give one. But, there is no connection between the titles and the bane of the late 20th century - new-age music. Rautavaara does it entirely with melodies (some fragmentary, some long-breathed) and orchestration and, these days, that seems somewhat miraculous. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Hannu Koivula. Naxos 8.555814 (New Zealand) 02E076 $6.98

OTTO-ALBERT TICHY (1890-1973): Messe en l'honneur de l'Enfant Jésus de Prague for Choir, Orchestra and Organ, 7 Motets for Choir, Organ Sonata in E Minor. Lovely, deeply conservative music: the mass (1951) is an homage to the rustic Czech pastoral masses of the 18th century; the motets are the work of a composer deeply committed to the old polyphonic tradition of church music in Europe; the organ sonata (1947) is Romantic in its depiction of inner and outer states of existence and runs the gamut from calm, pastoral melodies to the drama and passion of its depiction of the Resurrection in a movement built on sacred musical themes. Les Chanteurs de Prague Chorus and Orchestra; Stanislav Mistr, Petr âech (organ of St. Venceslas Cathedral, Olomouc). Gall CD-1089 (Switzerland) 02E077 $16.98

ISANG YUN (1917-1995): Symphonies Nos. 1-5, My Land, My People for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Exemplum in memoriam Kwangju. One of the tougher nuts to crack in 20th century music - for dedicated modernists. 4 CDs. Filharmonia Pomorska Budgoszcz; Takao Ukigaya, Chorus and State Symphony Orchestra of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea; Byung-Hwa Kim. Original 1986-93 CPO releases. CPO 999 165 (Germany) 02E078 $35.98

French Classical Opera Reissues on EMI

ANDRÉ MODESTE GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Richard Cur de Lion. Grétry's 1784 comédie is a clear ancestor of Romantic grand opera with its flair for gothic local color and the music frequently evokes archaic qualities; the piece was popular for over 100 years. Mady Mesplé, Danièle Perriers (sopranos), Charles Burles (tenor), Michel Trempont (baritone), Churs de l'I.M.E.P., RTB Chamber Orchestra; Edgard Doneux. Original 1978 EMI release, JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712-1778): Le Devin du village. A classic recording of this Intermezzo from 1752 by the famous philosopher whose simple melodic approach is in the buffo manner. Janine Micheau (soprano), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Michel Roux (baritone), Chur Raymond Saint-Paul, Louis de Froment Chamber Orchestra; Louis de Froment. Original 1956 EMI release. 2 CDs. Budget-price. EMI 575266 (France) 02E079 $14.98

ANDRÉ MODESTE GRÉTRY (1741-1813): L'Amant janoux. Less well-known than Richard and Zémire, this comedy from 1778 yields nothing to them in melodic invention or Ancien Régime charm and has an aria for its female lead comparable to the famous "Songbird" aria in Zémire. Libretto available on EMI Classics web-site. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Bruce Brewer (tenor), Jules Bastin (bass), Mady Mesplé (soprano), RTB Chamber Orchestra; Edgard Doneux. Original 1978 EMI release. EMI 575263 (France) 02E080 $14.98

ANDRÉ MODESTE GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Zémire et Azor. A version of "Beauty and the Beast" from 1771 in four acts with several orchestral entr'actes and a ballet in the second act, Zémire was popular all over Europe. Libretto available on EMI Classics web-site. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Mady Mesplé (soprano), Roland Bufkens (tenor), RTB Chorus and Chamber Orchestra; Edgard Doneux. Original 1975 EMI release, Danses villageoises, Céphale et Procris - Ballet Suite. The Danses are seven items from various Grétry operas while Céphale had its premiere in 1773. Utterly charming stuff! Orchestre de Liège; Paul Strauss. Original 1974 EMI release. EMI 575290 (France) 02E081 $14.98

DANIEL-FRANÇOIS-ESPRIT AUBER (1782-1871): Fra Diavolo. Probably Auber's most famous comic opera, Fra Diavolo (1830) was one of the most perfromed stage works in the 19th century and it still offers tenors some of their most enjoyable music, making this recording with Gedda in the role (and unavailable in the U.S. for some time) a must-have. Libretto available on EMI Classics web-site. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Jane Berbié (soprano), Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Marc Soustrot. Original 1984 EMI release. EMI 575251 (France) 02E082 $14.98

DANIEL-FRANÇOIS-ESPRIT AUBER (1782-1871): Manon Lescaut. Dating from 1856, this is still classified as an opéra comique and it is the first in which the heroine dies, forshadowing Carmen. Complex duets, local (Creole) color, virtuoso arias and much more promise never a dull moment. Libretto available on EMI Classics web-site. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Mady Mesplé (soprano), Peter-Christoph Runge (baritone), Jean-Claude Orliac (tenor), Churs et Orchestre Lyrique de Radio France; Jean-Pierre Marty. Original 1975 EMI release. EMI 575254 (France) 02E083 $14.98

DANIEL-FRANÇOIS-ESPRIT AUBER (1782-1871): La Muette de Portici. This grand opéra from 1828 marked the beginning of that genre's history in which magnificent sets and huge crowd scenes and expensive special effects competed for the audience's attention along with the music (Vesuvius erupts in the fifth act finale). Libretto available on EMI Classics web-site. 2 CDs. Budget-price. June Anderson (soprano), Alfredo Kraus (tenor), Ensemble Choral Jean Laforge, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Thomas Fulton. Original 1987 EMI release. EMI 575257 (France) 02E084 $14.98

AKIO YASHIRO (1929-1976): Symphony, Piano Concerto. Yashiro studied under both Boulanger and Messiaen and represents the polar opposite in Japanese Western classical music from his friend and coeval Toshiro Mayuzumi. Regrettably, given the quality of the two works recordedhere, the composer wrote only five pieces after the end of his study period, the paucity of his uvre emulating one of his youthful idols, Dukas. Yashiro was conservative and had no use for the avant-garde (the liner notes have him heckling a performance in Japan in 1962 by Cage). The symphony of 1958 has much of Messiaen in it, mixed with elements of Japanese festival music and material derived from Noh plays while the piano concerto (1964-67) may summon reminiscenses of Bartók or Prokofiev (in its toccata-like finale), Messiaen again and Jolivet. Hiromi Okada (piano), Ulster Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos Japanese Classics 8.555351 (New Zealand) 02E085 $6.98

INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): Music for Strings, THOMAS JENNEFELT (b.1954): Stockholm in May for Trumpet and String Orchestra, BENGT HAMBRÆUS (1928-2000): Labyrinth: A Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra. Lidholm's Music for Strings is early - 1952 - and its expressive, dissonant and aggressive opening movement suggests Bartók and Stravinsky more than the later, more modernistically complex Lidholm; a slow, elegiac slow movement follows but a short coda reinstates the mood of the opening. Jennefelt (2000) has written a real rarity - a concertante work for trumpet that asks for no virtuosic pyrotechnics. Although a central cadenza gives the soloist plenty to do, it is always in the generally simple, somewhat melancholy and lyrical character of the work as a whole where long-breathed melody is the most important element. Hambræus' Labyrinth (1998) is a more complex and mostly atonal piece which nevertheless has a grippingly expressive quality. Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Musica Vitae; Peter Csaba. Caprice 21572 (Sweden) 02E086 $16.98 >

ROLF LIEBERMANN (1910-1999): Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra, Furioso for Orchestra, Geigy Festival Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, Medea-Monolog for Soprnao, Chorus and Orchestra, Les Echanges (Symphonie) for Perucssion. Liebermann's 1954 concerto is his most famous piece, using a jazz band as a concertino group in the manner of the baroque concerto grosso against a full symphony orchestra which explores the genres of Jump, Blues, Boogie-Woogie and Mambo. Furioso is worth any price if you've never heard it: an 8-minute kinetic blast of energy which can only be compared to Iron Foundry in its effect (even though it has a slow central section). World premiere recordings of the Geigy Festival Concerto (1958) which uses four folk tunes from Basel (two of which will sound very familiar under other names) and has an extended drum solo (no kidding! The work commemorates a town festival which involved a marching drummer), and of the Medea-Monolog (1989) which is suitably histrionic and, more than the other works here, veers into atonality. German texts. Simon Nabatov (piano), NDR Bigband, Alfons Grieder (percussion), Rachael Tovey (soprano), Darmstadt Concert Choir, Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra; Günter Neuhold. Naxos 8.555884 (New Zealand) 02E087 $6.98

WALTER BAER (b.1928): Passagen I-III, 2 Klavierstücke, Erscheinungen, Sequenzen. In the two early works here from 1968 (Sequenzen and 2 Klavierstücke), the composer is working in the complex, avant-garde style of Boulez or Stockhausen with all that implies in tonal and timbral contrasts and rhythmic complexity but the remaining works, all written between 1996 and 2000, are quite different. Here, Baer seems to revel in the quality of piano sound for its own sake and produces works of an almost Impressionistic color, in one piece using a stick laid over the strings for a gamelan-type effect, in another producing lovely quiet effects through use of the pedals. The title of the disc is "Sunpainter's Delight" (also the title of one of Passagen II) and the Sunpainter, artist P.K. Hoenich (one of whose paintings is on the cover of the booklet, full of light, color and geometric shapes), inspired three of these pieces. These newer pieces, which make up the vast majority of the disc's time, should appeal to collectors of Impressionism, Messiaen and other 20th century composers who paint with the piano. Andrew Zolinsky (piano). Guild GMCD 7241 (England) 02E088 $16.98

CYRILLUS KREEK (1889-1962): Psalms of David, VELJO TORMIS (b.1930): Latvian Bourdon Songs, SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRØM (b.1942): Hear my prayer, O Lord, Es ist genug, EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Lorca Suite, Op. 72, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): ...which was the son of..., P&laqno;TERIS VASKS (b.1946): Dona nobis pacem for Choir and Orchestra. Titled "Baltic Voices 1", this is the beginning of a series exploring the choral music of the countries bordering the Baltic Sea. There are three world premiere recordings here: Tormis' 1982 piece uses the Latvian folk drone feature as well as effects of distance and movement, Pärt's short work (2000) which is surprisngly not very minimialist at all (execpt in its choice of text - the Bibilical catalogue of Jesus' ancestors back 75 generations) and Vasks' Dona nobis (1997) which appears in its orchestral version for the first time and which is as minimalist as you would expect. Kreek's 1923 Psalm settings marry folksong sources with carefully graded coloring and use of imitation; Rautavaara's settings of Spanish poetry (1973) still sound like Rautavaara while Sandstrøm transforms Purcell's original into a sustained lament which grows both more passionate and slower as it continues. Texts and translations included. Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Paul Hillier. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907311 (U.S.A.) 02E089 $17.98

FERNANDO GARCÍA (b.1930): Urania for Orchestra, Firmamento sumergido for Orchestra, Se unen la tierra y el hombre for Reciter and Orchestra, 4 poemas concretos for Tenor and String Quartet, Naturalezas muertas for Oboe and Chilean Harp, Retrospecciones for Mezzo-Soprano, Alto Saxophone and Piano, Decires de espanto y amor for Soprano and Piano, Tierras ofendidas for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet, América insurecta for Reciter, Chorus and Orchestra. This is a fascinating sampler of the music of a composer of strong and uncompromising, if not always comfortable nor comforting, identity. Boldness and forthrightness of expression seem the principal characteristics of content; in style, a declamatory directness fusing dodecaphony, some traces of still more modernistic techniques, not infrequently punctuated by splashes of conventional harmony writ large, for dramatic effect. The orchestral works are especially impressive, as one might expect from this description; the two settings of Pablo Neruda in particular have an almost hectoring intensity not unlike (in mood - the musical vocabulary is rather different) Pettersson's 12th Symphony. Definitely noteworthy. Various artists. Mono-stereo. SVR ABA-SVR-900000-7 (Chile) 02E090 $16.98 >

RAFAEL DÍAZ (b.1965): Kaweskar for Piano Trio, Puelche for Guitar Quartet, El sur comienza en el patio de mi casafor Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, String Trio and Double Bass, Larica for Soprano, Tenor, 3 Narrators, Violin, Clarinet and Piano Four Hands, El angel de la guarda se le aparece a Juana Catrileo for Recorder and 2 Narrators, Pascual Coña recuerda for Tenor, 2 Narrators, String Trio, Double Bass and Children's Choir, Barcarola for Guitar, Una flor lanzada a la fosa de los desaparecidos for Guitar, Reed Flute and Piano. Using clearly identifiable Latin devices - the composer is after all an ethnomusicological researcher - Diaz has constructed works of great eloquence, most notably the vocal ensemble pieces which blend speech, chanting, polyphony and folk music in a fascinating tapestry of human expression with the resonance of history. The overlapping of Renaissance church music, pre-Columbian ritual music of South America and the colloquial and onomatapic utterances and sounds of the streets and the sophisticated mdern concert hall yields a vivid and moving listening experience with the immediacy and mystery of memory. Various artists. No texts. Private label. No catalogue number (Chile) 02E091 $16.98 >

BRIGHT SHENG (b.1955): String Quartet No. 3, 4 Movements for Piano Trio, 3 Songs for Pipa and Cello, String Quartet No. 4 "Silent Temple". As a composer of Chinese origin who studied and performed folk music during the years of the Cultural Revolution and who subsequently studied in the U.S., Sheng is in an ideal position to write music which is easily accessible to western ears with no small influence from western 20th-century models, while infusing his music with readily identifiable folk melodies from the east. The evocative mystery of the reminiscences of Chinese and Tibetan music blends surprisingly naturally with the suggestions of Bartók, Messiaen, Copland, Perle (he studied with the last of these) and others. In only one work here do we hear 'ethnic' timbres; the gentle yet incisive and flexible pipa, a Chinese lute of great antiquity played here by one of its foremost exponents working in the west, Wu Man. Shanghai Quartet, Bright Sheng (piano), Wu Man (pipa), Nicholas Tzavaras (cello). BIS CD-1138 (Sweden) 02E092 $17.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Violin Sonata, Hekton, Antlitz, Phantom und Eskapade. Two of these works were very early in the composer's output - from the 1970s; the other two are much more recent, from the 1990s. Hekton is (apparently) an unusual instance in Rihm's uvre of music theatre (which is of course lost in CD presentation); it has to be said that even lacking the visual element, or being unaware of it, the work functions perfectly well as a dazzling virtuoso display of instrumental pyrotechnics - perhaps with more hectic surface activity than substance, but thrilling nonetheless. Antlitz and the sonata share a more intimate, finely etched æsthetic, while Phantom und Eskapade, arguably the major work here and a very fine one by any standards, careers between what sounds suspiciously like Romantic drama and expressionistic atonality. Ulf Hoelscher (violin), Siegfried Mauser (piano). CPO 999 883 (Germany) 02E093 $15.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): End of Summer for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, Book of Hours for Flute and Harp, Bright Music for Chamber Ensemble. Composed between 1975 and 1987, these chamber pieces extend our knowledge of an American composer more praised (at least lately) than recorded. Essentially tonal, his musical language is nevertheless individual with a piece such as Book of Hours - an eight-section sequence based on the canonical times of day for Christian prayer - having a quasi-impressionistic feel with the flute and harp never set in opposition to each other while both of the other works have elements of dance (from Chopin to American popular music) as the basis of pieces which would never suggest that to the unenlightened listener. Not hummable stuff, maybe, but, at budget-price, a fine way to get to know a rather neglected composer. The Fibonacci Sequence. Naxos American Classics 8.559128 (U.S.A.) 02E094 $6.98

ALAN SHULMAN (b.1915): Theme and Variations for Viola and Orchestra, Rendezvous for Clarinet and Strings, Nocturne for Strings, Waltzes for Orchestra, A Laurentian Overture, Minuet for Moderns, The Bop Gavotte, Hatikvah. Shulman was a cellist in the NBC Symphony for its entire existence as well as a founding member of the Stuyvesant String Quartet. During all of his time as a performer, he never stopped writing short orchestral pieces which were often performed by his orchestra, eight of which are offered here in recordings dating from 1941-54 (usually just after the works were written). The gritty, urban style of such composers as Morton Gould and Leonard Bernstein is also to be found in Shulman's music but there is also wit and, in the Nocturne of 1938, a heartfelt emotion reminiscent of Barber's Adagio (although Shulman's piece was written and premiered first). Mono. Emanuel Vardi (viola), Alfred Gallodoro (clarinet), NBC Symphony Orchestra; Frank Black, Samuel Antek, Milton Katims, Leonard Bernstein, Guido Cantelli, NBC Concert Orchestra; Don Gillis. Bridge 9119 (U.S.A.) 02E095 $16.98

THOMAS DANIEL SCHLEE (b.1957): Aurora for Orchestra, Op. 32, Wacht aug, Harfe und Saitenspiel for Harp and Strings, Op. 35, Quia tu es Deus fortitudo mea for Wind Ensemble, Op. 24, Licht, Farbe, Schatten for Ensemble, Op. 38, Alba for Flute and Viola, Op. 26. The works on this CD are all related to the idea of light versus darkness, and color versus its absence. The imaginative sonorous possibilities presented by different instrumental groups are thoroughly investigated, and while thematic material is largely subservient to timbral considerations there are many moments of tender harmonic repose which lend the somewhat abstract music a sustained, lyrical quality. The impression of brightness and vivid colour is conjured through the interaction of shimmering sounds in high instrumental registers, standing in illuminated relief against a darker-hued background. More complex and involving than much timbre-oriented music of the past few decades, these works occupy a region of strange and sensuous beauty. Warsaw Radio Symphony Orchestra; Wojciech Rajski. Extraplatte EX-SP 020-2 (Austria) 02E096 $16.98 >

RICHARD DUBUGNON (b.1968): Piano Quartet, Incantatio for Cello and Piano, 3 évocations finlandaises for Double Bass, 5 Masques for Oboe, Canonic Verses for Oboe, English Horn and Oboe d'Amore, Frenglish Suite for Wind Quintet. This young, French-Swiss composer cheerfully shops around the world of 20th century European music to find ingredients for his attractive, tonal pieces. The piano quartet of 1998 is an homage to Fauré, meaning that it is not a pastiche and doesn't sound like Fauré but is in the general spirit of that master. Similarly, the Incantatio (1996) evokes the world of late Scriabin (the piece was originally meant to be performed by artists wearing robes, lighting candles and carrying out ceremonial gestures!) and its three movements depict the summoning of a spirit, the ectoplasmic apparition and a devilish dance. The other longer work here, the Frenglish Suite (1997), uses an English folk-song as a basis for variations, into which a French folk song intrudes - all in a joyful and colorful atmosphere. Worth a try (especially at the price) for even mildly adventurous chamber music lovers! Viv McLean (piano), Royal Academy Wind Soloists, Richard Dubugnon (double bass), other artists. Naxos 8.555778 (New Zealand) 02E097 $6.98

GEORGES LENTZ (b.1965): "Caeli enarrant..." IV for String Quartet and 4 Cymbals, "Caeli enarrant..." III for 12 Strings, 3 Percussionists and Boy Soprano, From Mysterium ("Caeli enarrant..." IV): Birrung for 11 Strings, Nguurraa for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano and Percussion. Born in Luxembourg but resident since 1990 in Australia, Lentz blends an interest in astronomy and Christian mysticism in a way which recalls Messiaen although the similarity mostly ends there. Silence is important in Lentz' works and, in his later pieces like Birrung and Nguurraa here (Aboriginal words for "star" and "light"), very soft dynamic levels throughout suggest the vastness of space or the existential loneliness of life. The other works can be violent at times (as when the cymbals get going in the third movement of Caeli narrant... IV while harmony ranges from strident density to radiant consonance; serialism and simple modal melodies occur next to each other and much use is made of extended playing techniques. Collectors who like Messiaen may like this; collectors of Xenakis and Ohana probably will. Ensemble 24; Matthew Coorey. Naxos 8.557019 (New Zealand) 02E098 $6.98

JULIA WOLFE (b.1958): Dig Deep, Four Marys, Early That Summer. This new release of music by one of the founders of Bang on a Can brings reissues of Argo recordings of Four Marys (a work which explores the sound quality of a possible dulcimer performance of the Appalachian ballad of the title and which makes much use of expressive and ethereal glissandi) and Early That Summer (Wolfe's biography stresses her love of late Beethoven and Led Zeppelin and the vibrancy of the latter comes through in this quartet) which originally were released in 1996. Dig Deep (1998), commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, offers more in the rock-influenced, heavily rhythmic and aggressive manner. Ethel, Cassatt String Quartet, Lark Quartet. Canteloupe Music CA21011 (U.S.A.) 02E099 $14.98

DAVID RAKOWSKI (b.1958): 22 Etudes from Books II, III & IV. Rakowski writes etudes between his larger-scale works and, on the evidence of this collection of 25 of his current 48 compositions under that name, he is a composer who combines Haydn's surface playfulness and sense of humor with the same composer's depth of intellect, creating music that is subtle, richly complex and teeming with ideas. Covering a wide range of expressivity, from viscerally powerful (an etude for the fists or a harrowingly fast one for crossing hands) to slower, delicately nuanced but still demanding ones (an etude on tenths called "Pitching from the Stretch" or a right-hand etude called "Northpaw"), Rakowski combines technical challenges and geniune musicality in a series of works which should appeal to any piano collector. (And for those of you who remember the possibly apocryphal story about an unplayable piano piece, Rakowski's Etude No. 22, "Schnozzage", makes use of the nose or, if the pianist is too buttoned-down to consider it, he is permitted by the score to have someone stand by to provide a third hand when required.) Amy Dissanayake (piano). Bridge 9121 (U.S.A.) 02E100 $16.98

PRIAULX RAINIER (1903-1986): Suite for Clarinet and Piano, 5 Pieces for Keyboard, Viola Sonata, SADIE HARRISON (b.1965): No Title Required for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, 3 Expositions for Flute, After Colonna for Cello and Piano. This is an important release, because not nearly enough attention has been paid to these two first-rate composers, who are just that - first rate composers, not merely "first-rate women composers". Rainier's rhythmically vital, open-textured and clear music - never a dull or static moment - is eloquent and expressive, which belies its habitual brevity and concision. Harrison's recent works, as represented here, display tremendous technical assurance in the handling of relatively complex textures. Considerably less tonally based than Rainier's music, these pieces nonetheless embody a lucid fluidity which eloquently communicates vivid impressions and ideas. Double Image. Metier MSC CD92056 (England) 02E101 $16.98

JEAN GABRIEL-MARIE (1907-1970): Mireio - Suite provençale, CHARLES LECOCQ (1832-1918): Overture from The Lady and the Maid (arr. H. Nelson), CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Chorale No. 2 in B Minor (orch. C. Phelps), ETHEL SMYTH (1858-1944): 2 Interlinked French Melodies, PETER HOPE (b.1930): 4 French Dances, JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): 2 Pieces, Op. 53a (orch. P. Lane), PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): À Paris, PETER WARLOCK (1894-1930): Capriol Suite (full orchestra version). The binding thread is music which is either French (or Walloon) or inspired by France and this new release of light music from ASV White Line turns up some real unusual material like Ethel Smyth's intermezzo from her light opera Entente Cordiale and the Provençal composer Gabriel-Marie's 1930 suite from the incidental music for a play based on the same subject as Gounod's opera Mireille. Also of particular note are Christopher Phelps' orchestration of Franck's organ piece, using a large orchestra which evokes the world of the composer's only symphony (and Philip Lane does the same, although on a smaller scale, for two of Jongen's organ pieces), and the version of Warlock's Capriol Suite for full orchestra (the string orchestra version being the most recorded). Mid-price. City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Gavin Sutherland, Christopher Phelps. ASV White Line WHL 2147 (England) 02E102 $11.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Fall of Berlin, Op. 82, The Unforgettable Year 1919, Op. 89a. This 45-minute suite of music from the 1949 film The Fall of Berlin offers the most music ever recorded from this score. Among other things you might hear in its 16 tracks is what appears to be Shostakovich working out plans for the scherzo of his Symphony No. 10. Otherwise, there is plenty of tub-thumping and kitsch as both films celebrate Stalin (a rabble-rousing choral "Stalin at Berlin Airport" is part of The Fall of Berlin). In The Unforgettable Year 1919 (1951), the young Stalin is further glorified for his (greatly amplified) role in the defense of Petersburg from reactionary elements in the year of the film's title. In keeping with Marco Polo's film-score series, the 24-page (single-language) booklet includes many film stills and complete synopses of the films themselves as well as discussions of the state of the scores and of the music itself. Moscow Capella and Youth Chorus, Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Marco Polo 8.223897 (New Zealand) 02E103 $15.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda, Op. 36, The Silly Little Mouse, Op. 56. These scores for two cartoons of the late 1930s have been reconstructed as mini-operas for these recordings from 1982-3. Over an hour's worth of music which will be wanted by hard-core Shostakovich completists. Choir and Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Small Opera and Ballet Theatre; Valentin Kozhin, Symphony Orchestra of the Opera Class of the St. Petersburg Conservatory; Boris Tiles. Boheme CDBMR 012192 (Russia) 02E104 $16.98

WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Music from the Films Dracula, König der letzten Tage, Death and the Maiden, The Beads of One Rosary and Pearl in the Crown. Kilar's score helped make 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula one of the most potent film realizations of the classic vampire tale and it will need little introduction for collectors. However, the other long suite here comes from a German film few will have seen about the Anabaptist uprising in Münster in 1534 and Kilar's emotionally-charged string writing and intense choral insertions make this score equally gripping. Briefer excerpts are included from Polanski's 1994 film starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley as well as from two Polish films (1980 and 1972 respectively) directed by Kazimierz Kutz. Cracow Philharmonic Chorus, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Marco Polo 8.225153 (New Zealand) 02E105 $15.98

EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882-1953): Autumn Maneuvers. First complete CD recording of the two-act romantic-comic opera from 1908 featuring some of Kálmán's most haunting, bittersweet melodies in a live recording from the Ohio Light Opera's 2002 Summer Festival in a new English-language performance edition. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Ohio Light Opera; Steven Byess. Albany TROY 562/563 (U.S.A.) 02E106 $33.98