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Ernest Bloch

Israel Symphony


ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Israel Symphony for 2 Sopranos, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Baritone and Orchestra, Suite for Viola and Orchestra. The least well-known of the works making up the "Jewish cycle", the Israel Symphony (1912-16) is, in fact, only the first of were was intended to be three parts of a massive work which would cover all of Jewish history. In three sections, it uses elements derived from cantillation, brass, shofar-like fanfares, motives associated with cantorial chant and some themes borrowed from Bloch's unfinished opera Jézabel to paint a musical picture of the holidays of Yom Kippur and Sukkot (the vocal soloists appear only in the last section, singing short, fragmentary texts). The suite (1917-19) has also been recorded in its piano form (and as transcribed for cello); rather more exotic-sounding than its disc-mate, it was inspired by the music and culture of Java, Sumatra and Borneo. Adriana Kohutková, Katarína Kramolisová (sopranos), Terezia Bajaková (mezzo), Denisa Hamarová (alto), Michal Macuha (baritone), Slovak Radio Orchestra; Dalia Atlas, Yuri Gandelsman (viola), Atlas Camerata Orchestra; Dalia Atlas. ASV DCA 1148 (England) 02F001 $17.98


The defective Arensky/Taneyev disc from December (12F046 ) will be available at the end of this month. We'll ship it with March orders or separately, as the occasion merits. This month, the Haydn trio disc (02F030 ) sold out before we could get our shipment and will be automatically back-ordered.

The Newest Albany SO American Music Release

MORTON GOULD (1913-1996): Symphony No. 2 "On Marching Tunes", JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Cello Concerto, STEVEN STUCKY (b.1949): Son et Lumière, GABRIEL IAN GOULD (b.1974): Watercolors for English Horn and Orchestra. Gould's symphony was premiered 48 hours before D-Day in 1944 by Vladimir Golschmann and the NYPO on the radio and may not have been performed again before the Albany Symphony's concert in 1999 (after which this recording was made). As you might expect, the snare drum gets quite a work-out, especially in the first and third movements, "Variations" and "Quickstep" while the second, "Bivouac" is a moodly, melancholy nocturne and the finale, "Memorial", the longest of the movements at 13 minutes, is a grave, steady procession. Of the new works, Stucky's (1989) depicts the play of colors and shimmering effects of light through short, busy ostinato patterns and orchestration which pits unusual instrumental groups against each other. Gould (1998) is after the same effect - the play of light on water - and the orchestra helps the english horn soloist suggest the fluid qualities of refraction and reflection, opacity and transparence in what is essentially a modern Impressionist piece. Harbison's concerto (1993) features a large gamelan-like percussion section in the orchestra as the work's three movements move from a rather Eastern-influenced sound-world to home in the West. David Finckel (cello), Robert Sheena (english horn), Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 605 (U.S.A.) 02F002 $16.98

WILLIAM BOLCOM (b.1938): Lyric Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, MICHAEL DAUGHERTY (b.1954): Spaghetti Western for English Horn and Orchestra, LESLIE BASSETT (b.1923): Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Bolcom's concerto was written for James Galway in 1993 and, at his request, includes both authentic Irish folk tunes and other material in Irish folk style throughout its four movements; the title of the concerto conveys its general aspect and the movement headings "Leprechaun", "Waltz-Clog", "Memory" and "Bespoke Rondo" convey the spirit of good, but not cheap, fun. Daugherty's vivid Technicolor muse is as alive as ever in 1998's Spaghetti Western, whose three movements ("Empty Streets", "Gold Rush/The Phantom Stagecoach" and "Noon of Fire") paint imaginary scenes from Sergio Leone-type Westerns and, more to the point, evoke the bizarre, yet utterly right scores which Ennio Morricone provided for Leone and a dozen other Italian directors. As much fun as the Metropolis Symphony! Bassett's concerto (1999) is a single-movement piece of almost 18 minutes and, though it doesn't share the teasing titles of its disc companions, it is another thoroughly enjoyable piece, often riveting through its kinetic energy, sometimes producing almost otherworldly soundscapes. Amy Porter (flute), Harold Smoliar (english horn), Clifford Leaman (sax), University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra; Kenneth Kiesler. Equilibrium EQ 63 (U.S.A.) 02F003 $16.98

LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah"for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra, Concerto for Orchestra "Jubilee Games". Even though almost none of you have shown any interest in the previous Bernstein releases in this series, perhaps this one will appeal since Jubilee Games has only one other recording (the composer on DG in 1988) and is possibly his most neglected work. It's an odd sequence of movements: "Free-Style Events" an aleatoric noise-fest, "Mixed Doubles" working under the same pretence as Bartók in his "Giuoco della coppie" from his Concerto for Orchestra, "Diaspora Dances" with Lenny working in his most familiar territory - dancing rhythms and sleazy popular music references and the final "Benediction" whose unreal atmosphere of peace contrasts strongly with everything which has gone before it. Helen Medlyn (mezzo), Nathan Gunn (baritone), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos American Classics 8.559100 (U.S.A.) 02F004 $6.98

EDUARD TUBIN (1905-1982): Complete Symphonies, Vol. 5 - Symphony No. 9 "Sinfonia semplice", Symphony No. 10, Symphony No. 11 (unfinished). The final volume of this series brings the last two symphonies and the single-movement fragment of the eleventh, which was meant to be a full-sized four-movement work and whose eight minutes suggest that Tubin still had plenty to say at the age of 76. The ninth (1969) is a two-movement work which constantly flickers between darkness and light, depression and optimism whose title refers not merely to form and orchesrtation but also to spiritual clarity. The tenth (1973) is a 24-minute single movement which subsumes the four sections of a regular symphonic form and which seems to look down from Olympian heights of peace spiritual strength upon all of the various human emotions which Tubin experienced during his taxing life and career. Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 172 (Finland) 02F005 $16.98

Basque Music Collection, Vol. 7

AITA DONOSTIA (1886-1956): Preludios Vascos (2nd series), Acuarelas Vascas, Basque Rhapsody, Distant Feast, For Chorus and Orchestra: Los Ferrones de Mirandaola, Les trois miracles de Sainte Cécile, Méditation douloureuse from La vie profonde de Saint François d'Assise. "Aita" is Basque for "Father"; the composer (also a noted expert in Basque folklore), born José Gonzalo Zulaica, became a member of the Capuchin order and his "composer-name" is a nickname by which the local people knew him. The compositions here date from 1906-32 and, with the exception of the rather Gallic-sounding music for the sacred play "The Three Miracles..." and for the Méditation (actually a setting of Christus factus est), everything else consists of orchestrations of Basque folk-songs collected by the composer himself (think of it as a disc of Basque Dances à la Enescu or Dvorák). Donostia's musical schooling came in Paris, so his orchestral palette is late Romantic with ever so slight suggestions that he knew Impressionism as well. Andra Mari Choir, Basque National Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal. Claves CD 50-2305 (Switzerland) 02F006 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): String Quintet in G, String Quartet in A Minor. This quintet is not the one on a Chandos disc from six or seven years ago; that was an 11-minute, single-movement piece from 1933, while this is a full-length, four-movement work of 38 minutes dating from 1908. Written at his Irish west-coast hideaway, Glencollumcille, a fine example of his heart-on-sleeve Irish works, absolutely dripping with folk music and naive, youthful vigor. Violinist Paul Barritt edited the piece, whose many difficulties can be attributed to Bax's youthful thoughtlessness about performing possibilities, for this recording. The quartet dates from 1902 (again not otherwise available), one of two he wrote at the Royal Academy of Music. Bax had made one trip to Ireland at this time and there are some Irish-sounding tunes but also some rather Bohemian ones too which suggest an interest in the late chamber works of Dvorák. Divertimenti Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7131 (England) 02F007 $16.98

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Flute Sonata, Op. 120, Oboe Sonata, Op. 85, Clarinet Sonata, Op. 109, Horn Sonata, Op. 101. The third Bowen disc from Dutton brings us four instrumental sonatas written between 1927 and 1946 although with Bowen, steadfastly conservative throughout his long, prolific life, this has no meaning for the style of the pieces themselves. Late Romanticism with, in the oboe sonata, a touch of impressionism (which may owe more to the impressionistic, pastoral quality of the instrument itself), animates all of these lovely, richly melodious and utterly enjoyable sonatas. Endymion Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7129 (England) 02F008 $16.98

ALAN BUSH (1900-1995): Piano Quartet, Op. 5, Phantasy for Violin and Piano, Op. 3, Cello Sonata, Op. 120, 3 Contrapuntal Studies for Violin and Viola, Op. 13. The earliest two works date from 1923-25 and will be a delight to anyone who collects the chamber music of such composers as Bax, Clarke, Moeran and, especially, Ireland, whose influence is strong throughout the Phantasy. The quartet, a 30-minute work in three movements pushes late romantic passion to the edge of dissonance and polytonality and can be enjoyed, accordingly, both by conservatives and progressives! The cello sonata, possibly Bush's last work (1989) is strikingly youthful, optimistic and full of life, the writing modal, the personality demanding more recordings of the composer's many other compositions, both orchestral and chamber. London Piano Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7130 (England) 02F009 $16.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Violin Sonatas No. 1 in E, Op. 18, No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 26 & No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 38, Cradle Song, Op. 9/1, 3 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 28. For those who missed it the first time, this re-issue is well worth exploring for those who enjoy the kind of English chamber music represented above. Especially so since, for Howells, instrumental music was an early interest (all these works written between 1917 and 1923) which, after the death of his nine-year-old son, gave way to a long career of primarily sacred music. These youthful works, full of melody, passion and painstakingly crafted, will appeal to almost any chamber music lover. Paul Barritt (violin), Catherine Edwards (piano). Original 1993 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55139 (England) 02F010 $10.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Piano Concerto in B Flat, Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Piano Sonata. The pianist here has championed Bliss' 1939 concerto (originally written for Solomon) lately, making this recording a valuable addition to the work's recorded catalogue. The concerto is firmly in the romantic tradition, energetic, ebullient, forward-striding and full of taxing virtuosity with the slow movement's Adagietto providing a respite of magical calm and simplicity. The 1952 sonata is also romantic and heroic with Donohoe more intense than the Chandos recording by Philip Fowke in 1991 while the shorter, 12-minute two-piano concerto (an arrangement of a 1921 work for piano, tenor and orchestra, finally reconfigured in the version heard here in 1950) is jaunty and carefree, almost Stravinskian in its outer sections with a meditative central section. Peter Donahoe (piano), Martin Roscoe (second piano), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557146 (New Zealand) 02F011 $6.98

MÁTYÁS SEIBER (1905-1960): Quartetto lirico (String Quartet No. 3), MICHAEL TIPPETT (1905-1998): String Quartet No. 2 in F Sharp, Boyhood's End, The Heart's Assurance, Songs for Ariel. Recordings of Tippett's cantata (1953) and song cycle (1951) by the artists who gave the premiere performances join with valuable historical recordings by the Amadeus quartet of Tippett's 1942 quartet (tonal) and Seiber's dodecaphonic work of 1951 in this 78 minute reissue in EMI's British Composers Series. Mono. Mid-price. No texts. Amadeus Quartet, Peter Pears (tenor), Noel Mewton-Wood, Benjamin Britten (piano). Original 1953 and 1965 Decca releases (Tippett) and 1956 EMI release. EMI 5 85150 2 (England) 02F012 $12.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): The Turn of the Screw, Op. 54. This 1955 opera does considerable justice to Henry James' tale of ghostly possession and struggle between good and evil. A vivid atmosphere is conveyed by a rather small orchestra, Britten able to convincingly tighten the screw throughout the work, which is set in two acts and sixteen scenes, all of which are introduced by ingenious, variously orchestrated versions of the same motif. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Philip Langridge (tenor), Felicity Lott (soprano) Sam Pay (treble), Eileen Hulse (soprano), Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble; Steuart Bedford. Original 1994 Collins Classics release. Naxos 8.660109-10 (U.S.A.) 02F013 $13.98

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): 4 Songs for Voice and Violin, Op. 35, 6 Songs for Soprano and Piano, Op. 16, Vedic Hymns for Baritone and Piano, Op. 24, 12 Humbert Wolfe Settings for Tenor and Piano, Op. 48, Margrete's Cradle Song for Soprano and Piano, Op. 4/2, The Heart Worships for Baritone and Piano. Almost half of Holst's total song ouput is included here, dating from 1896 to 1929 with the majestic Vedic hymns and the varied fantasies and reflections of the Humbert poems making up the largest groups. Texts included. Susan Gritton (soprano), Philip Langridge (tenor), Christopher Maltman (baritone), Louisa Fuller (violin), Steuart Bedford (piano). Naxos 8.557117 (U.S.A.) 02F014 $6.98

GIROLAMO DIRUTA (c.1550-after 1610/12): 4 Toccatas, 4 Ricercares, Inni del Primo Tuono, VINCENZO BELL'HAVERE (c.1530-1587): Toccata, GABRIELE FATTORINI (16-17th cen.): 2 Ricercari, CLAUDIO MERULO (1533-1604): Toccata, ANDREA GABRIELI (c.1510-1586): 2 Toccatas, ANTONIO ROMANINI (16th cen.): Toccata, ANTONIO MORTARO (d.1619): Canzon "l'Albergona", ADRIANO BANCHIERI (1568-1634): 2 Ricercari, LUZZASCO LUZZASCHI (c.1545-1607): Toccata, 2 Ricercari, GIOSEFFO GUAMI (1542-1611/12): Toccata, PAOLO QUAGLIATI (c.1555-1628): Toccata. This the practical part of the first Italian treatise devoted solely to keyboard playing, compiled by the composer Diruta and printed in two parts in 1593 and 1602, including both pieces of a technical nature as well as some of a more purely aesthetic bent. Marco Ghirotti (organ of Spilimbergo Cathedral, Pordenone, Italy). Tactus TC 555401 (Italy) 02F015 $11.98

ALFONSO FERRABOSCO THE YOUNGER (c.1575-1628): Consort Music for Viols in 4, 5 & 6 Parts. Today's most acclaimed gambist offers a program of works for viol consorts by the composer most responsible for dragging English music into the Baroque period; these monumental dances, "fancyes" and "consorts" combine sinuous ricercar themes with the rhythms and verve of the canzona. Hespèrion XXI; Jordi Savall (viola da gamba). Alia Vox AV 9832 (Spain) 02F016 $17.98

GIACOMO CARISSIMI (1605-1674): Missa "L'homme armé" for Three-Part Choir, Exurge cor meum for Tenor, 2 Violins and Continuo, O vulnera doloris for Bass and Continuo, Extremum Dei judicium for Chorus, 2 Trumpets, 2 Violins and Continuo. The Mass shows the composer working with a tradition of counterpoint as old as the earliest settings of the mass with the famous song as cantus firmus while the kaleidoscopic way the theme is worked is purely Baroque. The other major work, the oratorio on the Last Judgement, is thoroughly modern for its period, intense, dramatic and straightforward in its sense of momentum. Makoto Sakurada (tenor), Salvo Vitale (bass), I Madrigalisti Ambrosiani; Gianluca Capuano. Stradivarius STR 33653 (Italy) 02F017 $17.98

SIGMUND THEOPHIL STADEN (1607-1655): Seelewig. World Premiere Recording of what is described as the "first German opera", although the question of genre is discussed more fully in the copious notes. Dating from 1644, this is an odd combination of pastoral, Italian setting and allegorical characters who represent the argument between received religion and reason (guess who wins?) in music stylistically Italian. German-English texts. Monika Mauch, Heidrun Luchterhandt (sopranos), Sebastian Hübner (tenor), I Ciarlatani; Klaus Winkler. CPO 999 905 (Germany) 02F018 $15.98

MATTHEW LOCKE (1621/2-1677): Complete Keyboard Music - Melothesia, Musicks Hand-maide, The Present Practive of Musick Vindicated. Locke's keyboard works were important in the history of the development of the suite and are among the first English baroque works for such instruments. Modern court dances and popular tunes furnish most of the material for the harpsichord pieces (and for the virginals, used for ten of the 53 items on the disc) while the nine organ works are ceremonial in style. Terence Charlston (harpsichords, virginals, organ). Deux-Elles DXL 1047 (England) 02F019 $16.98

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): Messe à 4 churs, Salut de la veille des 'O', Le reniement de St. Pierre, Salve regina à 3 churs. The large-scale work here is the early mass for four choirs, probably from around 1669-70 and firmly in the Roman polychoral tradition. Charpentier makes much use of antiphonal effects and varying combinations of voices, including soloists. The Salut is a series of seven antiphons which begin with the exclamation "O", using only male voices while the "Renouncement of St. Peter" is a dramatic account for voices and continuo of Peter's denial of Christ. Ex Cathedra; Jeffrey Skidmore. Hyperion CDA 67435 (England) 02F020 $17.98

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): Marches pour les Trompettes, Te Deum, 3 Motets, H. 202, 291 & 365, Messe de Mr. de Mauroy, Leçons de Ténèbres, H. 135-137, Méditations, H. 380, 381, 386-88. We may have offered one of these discs before, but, at the price, we felt it necessary to make this special price reissue available to Charpentier collectors. 3 CDs. Le Concert Spirituel; Hervé Niquet. Glossa GSP 98003 (Spain) 02F021 $31.98

JOHANN PHILIPP KRIEGER (1649-1725): Cantatas: Surgite cum gaudio, Absorta est mors, O Jesu, du mein Leben, Ihr Christen freuet euch, Quis me territat, Sonatas for Violin, Viola da Gamba and Continuo in D & in G Minor. These works combine the North German style of Buxtehude, Tunder and Weckmann with the Italian concertante-style and recitative-like passages which Krieger learned first-hand on a tour of Italy to create a forward-looking synthesis. German andLatin texts. Heidrun Luchterhandt (soprano), Kai Wessel (alto), Christfried Bierbruch (bass), Hamburger Ratsmusik; Simone Eckert (viola da gamba). Thorofon CTH 2467 (Germany) 02F022 $16.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Concertos and Chamber Music, Vol. 1 - Sonata in F for 2 Violins, Viola and Continuo, Concertos: in C for Recorder, in G for Viola, in G Minor for Recorder & in F Sharp Minor for 2 Violins. A new Telemann series is always good news! Musica Alta Ripa. MD&G 309 1189-2 (Germany) 02F022A $17.98

WILHELM GANSPECKH (1687-1770): Partita for 2 Violas d'amore and Continuo, JOHANN CASPAR GANSPECK (17th-18th cen.): Maria schönste Bluemen zirt for Soprano, 2 Violas d'amore and Continuo, ANTON HUBERTY (c.1722-1791): Duetto for 2 Violas d'amore, Un ruisselet bien clair for Soprano and Viola d'amore, ATTILIO ARIOSTI (1666-c.1729): Pur al fin gentil Viola for oprano, Viola d'amore and Continuo, HEINRICH IGNAZ BIBER (1644-1704): Partia VII in C Minor from Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa. An almost psychedelic design from this fashion-conscious label is unable to completely obliterate concise and remarkably good notes (and texts and translations) and really unusual repertoire which will appeal not only to collectors of viol music. Monica Mauch (soprano), Affetti Musicali; Marianne Rònez (viola d'amore). Winter & Winter 910 096-2 (Germany) 02F023 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Cantatas: Lungi dal vago volto for Voice, Violin and Continuo, RV680, Perfidissimo cor! Iniquo Fato! for Voice and Continuo, RV674, Amor, hai vinto for Voice and Continuo, RV651, Qual per ignoto calle for Voice and Continuo, RV 677, All'ombra di sospetto for Voice, Flute and Continuo, RV678. Vivaldi's 37 surviving cantatas are all set in the Arcadian world of lovelorn shepherds and fickle nymphs and are distinguished by the composer's careful and skillful mood depictions. No texts. New Chamber Opera, The Band of Instruments. ASV GAU 339 (England) 02F024 $17.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Partitas, Vol. 3 - in C Minor, Februarius in G, III in D. The C minor work is the most Bachian, especially in its opening prelude and allemande; the Februarius is a shorter suite of charming, easier dance pieces which contains the only sommeille to be found in German harpsichord literature while the D major partita has a remarkable chaconne finale which is one of the first virtuoso passages in the history of harpsichord music. Geneviève Soly (harpsichord). Analekta FL 2 3181 (Canada) 02F025 $16.98

MICHEL BLAVET (1700-1768): Flute Sonatas, Op. 2: Nos. 2 " La Vibray", No. 3 "La Dhérouville" & No. 4 "La Lumague", Flute Sonatas, Op. 3, Nos. 2 & 3, 2 Préludes de Mr. Blavet, Gigue en rondeau de Mr. Blavet. Blavet transferred the French goûts reunis violin style to the flute; his op. 2 combines programmatic titles and dance movements à la suite with the Corellian sonata da camera style while op.3 shows a more modern, galant manner. Frank Theuns, Marc Hantaï (flutes), Martin Bauer (viola da gamba), Ewald Demeyere (harpsichord), Wim Maeseele (theorbo). Accent ACC 23154 (Belgium) 02F026 $17.98

NICCOLÒ FIORENZA (d.1764): Concertos for Recorder, 3 Violins, Viola and Continuo in C minor and in F Minor, Concerto for Recorder, 3 Violins and Continuo in G Minor, Concerto for Recorder, 2 Violins and Continuo in A Minor, Trio Sonatas for 2 Violins and Continuo in D minor and in B Minor. Fiorenza brought a Venetian spirit and Vivaldian influence to Naples and the latter is audible in everything here (the concerto manuscripts are dated between 1726 and 1728) while certain passages also have a galant character which also points to the future. Festa Rustica; Giorgio Matteoli (recorder). ASV GAU 331 (England) 02F027 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Violin Sonatas in B Flat & in D, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Violin Sonatas in G, BWV 1021, in E Minor, BWV 1023 in C Minor, BWV 1024 & in G, BWV 1019a (with alternative movements). We offered a sister disc to this in October of 2002 (10E024); here are two more sonatas by C.P.E., one from 1731, a student work still very much under "Papa"'s influence, and a mature work from 1763 in full Empfindsam stil. The lesser-recorded "continuo" sonatas (1021 and 1023), another one in Pisendel's hand which may not be by J.S. Bach (1024) and the motley 1019, which had three versions, of which several are conflated here, make up an interesting release. Jacqueline Ross (violin), David Ponsford (harpsichord), Richard Boothby (viola da gamba). ASV GAU 345 (England) 02F028 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Complete Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 10 - Capriccio "Acht Sauschneider müssen seyn" in G, Hob. XVII/1, Arietta con 12 variazioni in E Flat, Hob. XVII/3, Arietta con 12 variazioni in A, Hob. XVII/2, Fantasia in C, Hob. XVII/4, 6 Easy Variations in C, Hob. XVII/5, Andante con variazioni in F Minor, Hob. XVII/6, Adagio in F, Hob. XVII/9, 20 Variations in G, Hob. XVII/2, Andante con variazioni in D, Hob. XVII/7, Andantino con variazioni in A, Hob. XVII/8, Allegretto in G, Hob. XVII/10, Andante con variazioni in B Flat, Hob. XVII/12, Aria con variazioni in C, Hob. XVII/15, Adagio in G, Hob. XV/22, Allegretto con variazioni in A, Hob. XVII?A3, Allegretto in G, Hob. III/41IV, Variationen über "Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser", Hob. III/77II, Il Maestro e lo Scolare in F, Hob. XVIIa/1, 12 Menuette, Hob. IX/11, 2 Menuette, Hob. IX/3, 2 Menuette, Hob. IX/8, 12 Deutsche Tänze, Hob. IX/12, 2 Märsche (for Sir Henry Harpur), Hob. VIII/1, Marsch, Hob. VII/3/3bis. We haven't been offering BIS' Haydn keyboard series, but, with this new mid-price issue, chock-full of real rarities, we couldn't resist. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano). BIS CD-1323/1324 (Sweden) 02F029 $35.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): 4 Trios for 2 Flutes and Cello, Hob. IV:1-4, 3 Trios for Piano, Flute and Cello, Hob. XV 15-17. The two-flute trios were written in England in 1794 and the other three trios for an English publisher in 1790; all are late Haydn, meaning that depth of feeling allies itself with the expected consummate craftsmanship to produce "occasional" music which easily outlasts the temporal purposes for which it was written. Camerata Köln. CPO 999 920 (Germany) 02F030 $15.98

FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Missa pro defunctis. This work dates from 1760 and this is its original title but, when published over twenty years later, it went by the title "Messe des morts". Lasting just over 90 minutes, this recording was made from the original manuscript which had been much edited, cut and rearranged for, seemingly, each of its subsequent 13 performances, none of which presented it whole. Although early, there is an elemental power, especially in the Sequence - the longest part of the mass and with many striking effects from huge divided wind and brass choirs - which looks forward to Romanticism. A live recording in the Royal Chapel at Versailles adds dramatic effect. 2 CDs. Salomé Haller, Ingrid Perruche (sopranos), Katalin Varkonyi (mezzo), Cyril Auvity (countertenor), Benoît Haller (tenor), Alain Buet (baritone), Namur Chamber Choir, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy; Jean-Claude Malgoire. K 617 152/2 (France) 02F031 $35.98

JOHANN BAPTIST KRUMPHOLTZ (1742-1790): Sonatas for Harp, Violin and Cello in E Flat, in G & in F, Op. 12, Nos. 2-4, Sonatas for Harp and Violin in E Flat & in F, Op. 8, Nos. 4 & 5. Krumpholtz was the most celebrated harp virtuoso of his century and wrote much lovely music for his instrument in which a depth of emotion is often present in slow movements which can surprise those expecting a non-stop run of pretty, tinkling sounds. Andrea Vígh (harp), Vilmos Szabadi (violin), Csaba Onczay (cello). Hungaroton HCD 32153 (Hungary) 02F032 $17.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): Piano Concerto in B Flat, Concerto in G for 2 Flutes and Orchestra, 6 Quartets for Oboe or Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello, Sextet in G for Piano, String Quartet and Bassoon, Sextet in F for Piano, Harp, Violin, Viola da Gamba, Cello and Bassoon. Here is a veritable bonanza of chamber music by this extraordinarily gifted melodist (as an opera composer should be!) with a significant percentage using the piano as a solo instrument. Thoroughly operatic in approach (the slow movement of the keyboard concerto is a Recitative and Aria!), this set will delight all Classical period collectors. 2 CDs. Andrea Coen (fortepiano), L'arte dell'Arco; Federico Guglielmo. Stradivarius STR 33604 (Italy) 02F033 $35.98

MANUEL BLASCO DE NEBRA (1750-1784): Keyboard Sonatas: III in D, V in D Minor, Op. 1/5 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 1/1 in C Minor, VI in S Minor, Op. 1/2 in B Flat, Pastorelas: I in G, IV in B Minor & VI in E Minor. In the tradition of Scarlatti and Soler, this Sevillan composer wrote binary sonatas (of rather more intensive treatment than Scarlatti) of a technically demanding nature and three-movement Pastorelas (Adagio-Pastorela-Minuet) whose middle movements, in particular, are full of lively rhythmic invention. Carole Cerasi (harpsichord, fortepiano). Metronome MET CD 064 (England) 02F034 $17.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): 2 Sonatas for 2 Pianos in B Flat, Opp. 1a & 12, Sonatas for Piano Four-Hands in C, E Flat & in G, Op. 3/1-3, in C, Op. 6/1 and in E Flat, Op. 14/3. All of these sonatas date from Clementi's earliest period, published between 1779 and 1784 (although all were written years before publication) and show a gifted young composer setting himself and solving various formal and technical problems. Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov. CPO 999 935 (Germany) 02F035 $15.98

FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano in A, D, F, G Minor, E Flat & in F. Identical programs from two different labels in the same month! These sonatas were published in the year of the composer's death and, with one exception, are three-movement works in late Classical style. 2 CDs. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Ildikó Cs. Nagy (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32058-59 (Hungary) 02F036 $35.98

FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano in A, D, F, G Minor, F & in C. There is a small difference here, though: this recording uses a C clarinet for four of the works but a B clarinet for the E flat work (transposed to F here) and an A clarinet for the A major work. The F major work above is transposed to C here also. Your choice! Both use modern instruments. 2 CDs. Luigi Magistrelli (clarinet), Claudia Bracco (piano). Bayer 100346/47 (Germany) 02F037 $35.98

ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): 6 duetti for 2 Violas. These early duos, written somewhere between 1780 and 1790, prefer a singing line to virtuosity and in which there are occasional echoes of Haydn and Mozart. Francesco Lattuada, Carlo Barato (violas). Tactus TC 751803 (Italy) 02F038 $11.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN HEINRICH RINCK (1770-1846): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - 12 Exercices from 30 Exercices à deux parties dans tous les tons, Op. 67, 3 Divertissements, Op. 41 for Piano Four Hands, Sonatas for Piano Four Hands in F, Op. 50 & in B Flat, Op. 86. Here are most of the remainder of Rinck's piano pieces (first volume offered last October - 10F028), with more salon-style offerings in the Divertissements, a dozen more Exercises from his Well-Tempered Clavier-like set which continues Bach's model into the early Romantic period, and two sonatas whose intent for advanced students and/or the salon do not take away from their freshness and melodic charm. Oliver Drechsel (1825 Rancke fortepiano), Egino Klepper (secondo). Verlag Dohr DCD 019 (Germany) 02F039 $17.98 >

JOHANN CHRISTIAN HEINRICH RINCK (1770-1846): Organ Works, Vol. 1 - 20 Selections from Praktische Orgelschule, Op. 55. The "Practical Organ School" of 1819-21 is meant to follow in the footsteps of such other organ-training manuals as those by Kittel, Knecht, Türk and Werner (although Rinck does not include written instructions, leaving these for his "Theoretical-Practical Organ School" of some twenty years later). It contains about 120 pieces whose styles range from Bach, Handel and Mozart to the early Romantic, some suitable for church and some for concert performance. Jens-Michael Thies (Dreymann organ of the Evangelical Church, Biebesheim/Rhein). Verlag Dohr DCD 021 (Germany) 02F040 $17.98 >

FERNANDO SOR (1778-1839): Violin Concerto in G, Overture from Il Telemaco nell'Isola di Calipso", CARLOS BAGUER (1768-1808): Symphony in G, MATEO FERRER (1788-1864): Symphony in D. Although recorded in 1993, this disc of Catalan classical period composers was only released in 2002 (not previously available in the U.S.) and fills a couple of holes in the catalogue with its Rossinian, four-minute symphony by Ferrer and Sor's violin concerto in high Classical style. Montserrat Cervera (violin), Catalan Chamber Orchestra; Joan Pàmies. La Ma de Guido LMG 2051 (Spain) 02F041 $16.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Amusement for Piano and Violin in F Minor, Op. 108, Sonata for Piano and Violin Concertanti in C, Op. 14, Sonata for Piano in F, Op. 5/2 with Accompaniment for Violin, Variations alla Monferina in D for Piano and Cello, Op. 54. Hummel's ability to write sunny, melodious, virtuoso music which seldom comes near any kind of turbulent emotion is well-known to all by now, so we'll just point out that these pieces are rarely heard and even more rarely recorded. Triangulus. Meridian CDE 84439 (England) 02F042 $17.98

NICCOLÒ PAGANINI (1782-1840): Complete Music for Solo Violin - 24 Capricci, Op. 1, Sonata, M.S. 83, Caprice d'adieu, M.S. 68, Capriccio "Nel cor più non mi sento", M.S. 44, God Save the King, M.S. 56, Inno patriottico, M.S. 81, Sonata, M.S. 6, Tema variato, M.S. 82. In which almost all of the "other works" are equally crammed full of finger-busting pyrotechnics and other wizardry, all performed by a 26-year-old Serbian violinist with impressive credentials who's being actively promoted by this label. 2 CDs. Stefan Milenkovich (violin). Dynamic CDS 402/1-2 (Italy) 02F043 $35.98

An early Finnish Romantic opera

FREDRIK PACIUS (1809-1891): Die Loreley. The third and last opera by this German-born Finnish composer was one of his old age, premiered in 1887. Stylistically, it is firmly in the age of Spohr, Pacius' teacher, and of French Grand Opera - a through-composed work with effective tableaux (like the wonderfully Romantic storm finale of the first act and its depictions of spirits elsewhere). Wildly popular with the Finnish public precisely for its conservatism, it received eight performances and was never heard from again. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Soile Isokoski (soprano), Raimo Sirkiä (tenor), Dominante Choir, Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1393-1394 (Sweden) 02F044 $35.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): 4 Duette for Soprano and Tenor, Op. 78, In Der Nacht, Op. 74/4, Tragödie I-III, Op. 64/3, 4 Duette for Soprano and Tenor, Op. 34, Widmung, Op. 25/1, Du bist wie eine Blume, Op. 25/24, Geisternähe, Op. 77/3, Mein schöner Stern, Op. 101/4, Aufträge, Op. 77/5, CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): 6 Lieder, Op. 13, CLARA & ROBERT SCHUMANN: 6 Gedichte aus Friedrich Rückerts "Liebesfrühling, Op. 12/Op. 37. For those of you not collection Hyperion's Schumann Edition (or those of you wanting to hear native speakers singing), this set of 16 duets (three by Clara) and 11 songs (six by Clara) is a delightful tribute to their mutual creativity and a beautiful little example of early German Romanticism. German-English texts. Petra-Maria Schnitzer (soprano), Peter Seiffert (tenor), Charles Spencer (piano). Orfeo C 224 031 A (Germany) 02F045 $18.98

FRIEDRICH KIEL (1821-1885): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Suite, Op. 28, Variations on an Original Theme in A Minor, Op. 23, 5 Etudes, Capriccietto, Op. 4, Bilder aus der Jugendheit, Op. 1, 2 kleiene Sonaten, Op. 6 for Piano Four Hands, 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 71, 6 Klavierstücke, Op. 72. There seem to be fewer pieces on this third volume of the Kiel series which suggest the salon, the suite especially offering full-blooded early Romanticism (and containing, as its first piece, Kiel's only keyboard sonata) and the op. 1 "Pictures from Youth" very Schumannian while the latest pieces approach the world of mature Brahms. Oliver Drechsel (1868 Stöcker fortepiano), Wilhelm Kemper (secondo). Verlag Dohr DCD 013 (Germany) 02F046 $17.98 >

LÉON CHIC (1819-1916): Solo sur la Tyrolienne, HYACINTHE KLOSE (1808-1880): Daniel (Fantaisie dramatique d'après E. Depas), JEAN-BAPTISTE SINGELÉE (1812-1875): Caprice, Fantaisie, Concerto, Solo de Concert, JULES DEMERSSEMAN (1833-1866): Fantaisie sur un thème original, Deuxième Solo (Cavatine), Premier Solo (Andante et boléro), JÉRÔME SAVARI (1819-1870): Fantaisie sur des motifs du Freischutz, PAUL AGRICOL GENIN (1832-1903): Variations sur un thème espagnol, Solo de concours du Conservatoire, JOSEPH ARBAN (1825-1889): Caprice et variations. A fascinating look at the earliest stage of composition for the saxophone (all but two pieces here date from within 25 years of the instrument's invention) by a group of composers associated with Adolphe Sax or with promoting the instrument's use in circles beyond the military band. Claude Delangle (saxes), Odile Delangle (piano). BIS CD-1270 (Sweden) 02F047 $17.98

LÉON MINKUS (1826-1917): Don Quixote. Collectors will note that this orchestra made a recording of Don Quixote for the Capriccio label some years ago with a different conductor. Those who don't have it will enjoy this 1869 three-act ballet by Marius Petipa and premiered in Moscow which is set around the wedding of Camacho from the second part of Cervantes' novel. 2 CDs. Sofia National Opera Orchestra; Nayden Todorov. Naxos 8.557065-66 (New Zealand) 02F048 $13.98

FRANZ WÜLLNER (1832-1902): Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 30, 26 Variations on an Old German Folk-Song for Piano Four Hands, Op. 11, 22 Variations on a Theme of Schubert for Cello and Piano, Op. 39. Known principally as a conductor (he led the premieres of both Rheingold and Walküre), Wüllner wrote mostly piano music, chamber works and vocal pieces. His 1871 sonata can stand among similar pieces by other coevals of Brahms (Goetz, Goldmark, Draeseke, etc.) in which the lyricism of Mendelssohn is not as overarchingly present as it is in, for example, the music of Raff. The cello variations (mid 1870s) are closer to salon-style (the theme is from one of the 12 Waltzes, D.145) but the 1860 piano four-hand variations, a work Wüllner often played with Brahms, has a virtuosity which goes beyond the drawing-room. Suyoen Kim (violin), Tobia Bredohl (piano), Alina Kabanova & Tobias Bredohl (piano duet), Konstantin Manayev (cello), Yekaterina Titova (piano). Verlag Dohr DCD 020 (Germany) 02F049 $17.98 >

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Works for Chorus and Orchestra - Triumphlied for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 55, Schicksalslied, Op. 54, Nänie, Op. 82, Ave Maria, Op. 12. The Triumphlied was composed to celebrate the crushing of the hated French in the Franco-Prussian War and has been almost completely neglected since the end of the First World War due to its "nationalistic" overtones. If you didn't get it in the DG box-set in its Brahms Edition over a decade ago, now's your chance to hear one of the most thrilling, glorious pieces in Handelian fashion since Beethoven's Consecra-tion of the House overture. Its disc-mates are equally gorgeous in their own, more sedate and lamenting ways but we're offering this disc for the Triumphlied! German-English texts. Bo Skovhus (baritone), Danish National Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Chandos 10165 (England) 02F050 $17.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four-Hand Piano Music, Vol. 10 - String Quartets in C Minor and in A Minor, Op. 51, Nos. 1 & 2. Yes, even string quartets... Well, if you've been collecting the rest of this series, you're certainly not going to stop now, are you? Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano). Naxos 8.557056 (New Zealand) 02F051 $6.98

ANTON RICHTER (d.1853): 6 Quartets for Handhorns, HARRY HÖFER (b.1921): Mass No. 1 for 10 Handhorns and 3 Alphorns, French Hunting Music (12 pieces) for 12 Parforce Horns. Really rare stuff for you natural horn maniacs out there! Deutsche Naturhornsolisten. MD&G 605 1188-2 (Germany) 02F052 $17.98

ALEXANDRE GUILMANT (1837-1911): Symphony No. 1 in D Minor for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 42, Symphony No. 2 in A for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 91, Marche Élégiaque in C Minor, Op. 74/1. Although these symphonies (actually, orchestrations of the First and Eighth organ sonatas, Op. 91 dating from Guilmant's 74th year) are not unknown to record collectors, this mid-price audiophile (24/96) recording is a fabulous way to wallow in all of their growling, dark-hued, often fugally thrilling splendor. Edgar Krapp (organ of the Bamberg Concert Hall), Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Fedoseyev and Sebastian Weigle (op. 74). Arts 47662-2 (Germany) 02F053 $11.98

JOACHIM ANDERSEN (1847-1909): Ungarische Fantasie, Op. 2, Ballade et Danse des Sylphes, Op. 5, Variations Drolatiques, Op. 26, Allegro Militaire, Op. 48 for 2 Flutes and Orchestra, Pirun Polska (Polka du Diable), Op. 61, Deuxième Morceau de Concert, Op. 61. Andersen was a founder member and first flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and is the author of 188 flute etudes still in use today. These premiere recordings offer the sort of thing flutist/composers were fond of producing - highly virtuosic and lightly melodic pieces which were easy to appreciate for audiences and athletically fun for the soloist to play. Three of the works here are theme-and-variations pieces with the Morceau standing out for its minor-key drama and intensity. Thomas Jensen (flute), András Adorján (flute, Op. 48), South Jutland Symphony Orchestra; Giordano Bellincampi. Danacord DACOCD 604 (Denmark) 02F054 $16.98

HANS ROTT (1858-1884): Symphony in E. This was the first recording of Rott's symphony (by the orchestra which gave it its first performance as well) and, if you didn't buy it or its BIS counterpart at full-price, there's no excuse now for not finding out about this truly astonishing piece by a fellow student of Mahler. So much in this 58-minute symphony anticipates Mahler and so many thematic links connect to the younger composer that it seems that Mahler must have, consciously or unconsciously, been influenced by Rott. One of the great what-might-have-beens (and a great insanity story, too!). Mid-price. Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra; Gerhard Samuel. Original 1989 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 22140 (England) 02F055 $10.98

LUDWIG THUILLE (1861-1907): Piano Quintet in E Flat, Op. 20, Piano Quintet in G Minor. The E flat quintet, from 1901, is a major work among the "minor" composers whom it is our business to offer. The emotional power and depth which come through in every bar really do make it, as the notes suggest, the most important Austro-German work in the genre between Brahms and Pfitzner. The other quintet is the work of an exuberant and fervent 19-year-old, and none the worse for that! Falk Quartet, Tomer Lev (piano). ASV DCA 1171 (England) 02F056 $17.98

PIETRO MASCAGNI (1863-1945): Isabeau. This 1911 work (a setting of the Lady Godiva legend), premiered in Buenos Aires, was described by the composer as a return to "the romanticism which inspired so much of Italian opera". It is conservative in many ways but the note-writer makes a case for seeing in it elements of the Decadent/ Symbolist genre associated with Debussy's Pelleas. What is clear, though, is that the orchestra has pride of place, many passages being symphonic in nature - especially the interlude during which the title character makes her naked ride - while there are no arias as such, declamation breaking out into arioso on necessary occasions. 1982 live recording 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Lynne Strow Piccolo (soprano), Henk Smit (baritone), Adriaan Van Limpt (tenor), Netherlands Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Kees Bakels. Bongiovanni GB 2341-2 (Italy) 02F057 $33.98

UMBERTO GIORDANO (1867-1948): Mala Vita. After the student work Marina, this was the young Giordano's second opera (1892) and its success won him a stipend from the publisher Sonzongno (its success in Germany and Austria - the subject was considered too shocking by Italian audiences). Another slice of low-class Sicilian life involving a tubercular dyer, the prostitute he wants to save and his recalcitrant mistress, this will appeal to all lovers of verismo. World Premiere Recording. Italian-English libretto. Maurizio Graziani (tenor), Paola Di Gregorio (soprano), Maria Miccoli (mezzo), Umberto Giordano Lyric Chorus, Orchestra Lirico Sinfonica della Capitanata; Angelo Cavallaro. Bongiovanni GB 2348 (Italy) 02F058 $16.98

HUGO ALFVÉN (1872-1960): Revelation Cantata for Chorus, String Quartet, Harp, Celesta, Harmonium and Organ, Op. 31, Cantata for the 450th Anniversary of Uppsala University for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 45. Two more of the ten cantatas Alfvén wrote for various secular and sacred occasions, but, most importantly, to make money! Although not top-drawer stuff, the Revelation cantata (1913) seems to have inspired him to deliver a strongly dramatic setting of various passages from the Book of Revelation while the weight and gravity of the Uppsala work (1927) remind us that universities' missions were once taken far more seriously than they seem to be today. Swedish-English texts. Malmö Opera Choirs and Opera Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Sterling CDS-1058-2 (Sweden) 02F059 $16.98

EDWARD JOSEPH COLLINS (1886-1951): Volume 5 - Songs: The Daffodils, The Pines, The Wooded Lake, Death of the Leaves, Butterflies, Magdalene, To a Little Child, Prayer for C.H.S., The Faded Violet, Music When Soft Voices Die, The Fog, The Bayadère, A Piper, Annabel Lee, Song and Suds, Suite for Cello and Piano, Prayer for Cello and Piano, Arabesque for Violin and Piano. Collins' songs are divided into miniatures - suble and sparely accompanied - and ballads, which are full of romantic melody and pianism. The major work here, though, is the cello suite of 1933 - a29-minutework in four movements whose craggy harmonies and rhythms applied to late 19th century form suggests an affinity with Ives' similar works which end up sounding uniquely American. Texts included. Patrice Michaels (soprano), Elizabeth Buccheri (piano), Parry Karp (cello), Frank Almond (violin), Jeffrey Sykes (piano). Albany TROY 641 (U.S.A.) 02F060 $16.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): String Quartet No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 4 "De la Guitarra", CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10. Turina's quartet dates from 1910 and is from his time as a student at D'Indy's Schola Cantorum. In five movements and lasting just over 31 minutes, it is a fascinating work, marrying Debussian harmonies (as much as Turina could get away with under D'Indy) with the Franckian cyclic style which was hammered home to Schola students. There are also several obvious instances of Spanish folk music, not only in the central Zortzico movement. Well worth investigating for collectors of the period where late Romanticism met Impressionism. Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Urtext JBCC 075 (Mexico) 02F061 $17.98

AMILCARE ZANELLA (1873-1949): Piano Trios in E Minor, Op. 23 and in G Minor. A valuable addition to the repertoire of a period not well-covered - i.e. Italian instrumental music of the turn of the 20th century. Zanella seems to have had a sense of humor: he left many piano pieces with bizarre, Satiesque titles (as well as two symphonies and a Concerto sinfonico for piano and orchestra) and the New Grove article mentions chamber works and an opera of somewhat unusual bent. But the two piano trios are relatively conventional, the first (1899) full of the turbulent emotions of youth expressed in an often lyrical style with attractive melodic talent and contrapuntalism indebted to the German Romantic school. The 1923 trio is more rhythmically driven, the piano writing more percussive while German Romanticism still coexists with Debussy, Ravel and Puccini in the general style. Caterina Maria Carlini (violin), Ornella Gattoni (cello), Roberto Guglielmo (piano). Tactus TC 872501 (Italy) 02F062 $11.98

ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948): Piano Trio No. 1 in D, Op. 5, Piano Trio No. 2 in F Sharp, Op. 7. We may have offered this four years ago but, since Nuova Era has turned into a mid-price label, we offer it again. Like Zanella above, Wolf-Ferrari's first trio (1896) is firmly in the German Romantic sphere although there are traces of the special lyricism which were to be so characteristic of his mature music while, only two years later, his second trio is of an entirely different aspect, looking forward to expressionism in the first movement and with a lovely, sad Largo which sounds as if it were coming from a composer at life's end instead of beginning. Mid-price. Trio di Venezia. Originally released in 1999. Nuova Era 7333 (Italy) 02F063 $12.98

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Piano Music, Vol. 5 - Prélude en Tapisserie, Passacaille, 12 petitis chorals, 2 rêveries nocturnes, Nouvelles pièces froides, Les Pantins dansent, Préludes Flasques - pour un chien, Véritables Préludes Flasques - pour un chien, Rêverie de l'Enfance de Pantagruel, 6 Nocturnes, Menuet - à Claude Debussy. Nothing terribly unusual here but we offer it for those of you who are collecting the series. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). MD&G 613 1067-2 (Germany) 02F063 $17.98

DEODAT DE SEVERAC (1872-1921): Cerdaña, En Languedoc. Long available only on hard-to-get French EMI recordings, Severac's piano music can now reach a wider audience more cheaply. This is a good place to start, these two suites of five pieces each evoking the country life of their eponymous regions of southern France, couched in an idiom which combines Impressionism with pictorial late Romanticism. Jordi Masó (piano). Naxos 8.555855 (New Zealand) 02F064 $6.98

GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Oboe Concerto No. 1, EUGENE GOOSSENS (1893-1962): Concerto en un mouvement, Op. 45, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Oboe Concerto in A Minor, GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): A Fugal Concerto for Oboe, Flute and Orchestra, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Soliloquy (orch. Jacob). Leon Goossens had a hand in all of these concertos, either as dedicatee or, in the case of Jacob's 1934 orchestration of an earlier oboe quartet written for Evelyn Rothwell, "hijacker" (as the notes well put it). Brother Eugene's single-movement work of 1927 has a Gallic grace and transparency but Jacob's is pure English pastoralism while the remaining pieces are rather better-known. Ruth Bolister (oboe), Kate Hill (flute), Elgar Chamber Orchestra; Stephen Bell. ASV DCA 1173 (England) 02F065 $17.98

ROGER QUILTER (1877-1953): A Children's Overture (Light Music Society Orchestra; Vivian Dunn), Where the Rainbow Ends - Suite, 3 English Dances (Northern Sinfonia; Richard Hickox), Songs: It was a lover and his lass, Love's Philosophy (Janet Baker [mezzo], Gerald Moore [piano]), 7 Elizabethan Lyrics (Thomas Allen [baritone], Geoffrey Parsons [piano]), Come away, death, Now sleeps the crimson petal (Ian Bostridge [tenor], Julius Drake [piano]), O mistress mine, Go, lovely rose (Frederick Harvey [baritone], Gerald Moore and Jack Byfield [piano]), It was a lover and his lass (Felicity Lott [soprano], Ann Murray [mezzo], Graham Johnson [piano]), Non nobis, Domine (Finchley and Barnet & District Choral Societies, Central Band of the RAF; Wing Cdr. J.L. Wallace), 3 Song Transcriptions (arr. Stephen Hough [piano]). Over half-an-hour of light orchestral music in addition to Quilter's characteristically elegant and refined songs. Mid-price. No texts. Original 1965, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992 EMI releases and 1993 Virgin Classics (Hough transcriptions) release. EMI 5 85149 2 (England) 02F066 $12.98

Víte zslava Kaprálová (1915-1940): 2 Songs, Op. 4, Sparks from Ashes, Op. 5, Apple from the Lap, Op. 10, Forever, Op. 12, Waving Farewell, Op. 14, Carol, Christmas Carol, Seconds, Op. 18, Sung into the Distance, Op. 22, Letter, January for Voice, Piano, Flute, 2 Violins and Cello. These intensely atmospheric songs, brilliantly setting the natural inflection of the Czech language, with their descriptive piano parts stand with almost any contemporary composers in the genre and the generally dark, melancholy images, illustrative of the times in which they were composed, speak volumes of their composer's talent for communication. Czech-English texts. Dana Bureová (soprano), Timothy Cheek (piano), Magda âáslavová (flute), Petr Zdvihal, Jan Valta (violins), David Havelík (cello). Supraphon SU 3752-2 (Czech Republic) 02F067 $16.98

Bax - World Premiere Recordings

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): St. Patrick's Breastplate for Chorus and Orchestra, 2 Nocturnes for Soprano and Orchestra, The Morning Watch for Chorus and Orchestra, To the Name above every Name for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Particularly rare are the two Nocturnes of 1911 which set German texts and whose harmonies derive from Wagner while the rich orchestration suggests the composer's awareness of Schreker and Zemlinsky. To the Name and St. Patrick are both from 1923, the former setting a metaphysical poem of the 17th century in an exultant and celebratory manner and the latter an apparent celebration of Irish independence which produces an almost mystical fervor as well as hints of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. The Morning Watch (1935) has an extended orchestral introduction and is more conservative, generally diatonic, lacking the bold chromaticisms of To the Name. Texts included. Christine Bunning (soprano), Huddersfield Choral Society, BBC Philharmonic; Martyn Brabbins. Chandos 10164 (England) 02F068 $17.98

JANIS IVANOVS (1906-1983): Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, Symphony No. 20 in E Flat. This recording has been listed for at least three years in the Marco Polo catalogue and was never released. But, here it is now at budget-price and Ivanovs collectors will be thrilled to have two more of his moody, often melancholy late Romantic symphonies so inexpensively. The eighth dates from 1956 and has the composer's characteristic folk-derived melodies (the scherzo has a very rustic-village sound to it) and the overall Sibelian/Slavic soul carries through to Ivanovs' final completed symphony (1981) which has a not-unexpected valedictory feel to it - looking back, summing up, recalling life's struggles and closing with vigorous gestures which may not be as heartfelt as they seem on first hearing. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.555740 (New Zealand) 02F069 $6.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): On the Dnieper, Op. 51, Suites from Semyon Kotko and Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60. What a bargain! The complete ballet On the Dnieper from 1932 - Prokofiev's last ballet written before his return to the Soviet Union and which was received in Paris with little better than apathy - as well as the omnipresent Kijé and the composer's own 42-minute suite of music from his opera Semyon Kotko (a work which has little in the sense of true arias and which might be best appreciated in this excerpted version). Add caustically anti-Soviet notes (we know Stalin was a bad guy, really we do!) which are nonetheless amusing and informative, and this release is a real steal! 2 CDs. Mid-price. Boris Statsenko (baritone), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski. CPO 999 976 (Germany) 02F070 $17.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): 4 Marches for Military Band, Op. 69, Anthem, Op. 98, REINHOLD GLIÈRE (1875-1956): Solemn Overture for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 72 (ed. R. Grechesky), ARAM KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978): The Battle of Stalingrad, Op. 74a (ed. R. Peel), DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): March of the Soviet Militia, Op. 139, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Circus Polka, NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908): Concerto for Trombone. There are several rare items in this disc of "Russian Wind Band Classics": two of Prokofiev's four Marches have not been recorded before (cuts by the Soviet publisher in the third have been restored here) and the Anthem is a world premiere. Khachaturian himself provided the 28-minute arrangement for wind band (credited to Boris Alexandrov) for the film The Battle of Stalingrad and Glière's overture is the only one of four works for wind band which has yet been located. Jacques Mauger (trombone), Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra; Clark Rundell. Chandos 10166 (England) 02F071 $17.98

RICHARD OWEN (b.late 1930s): Rain. This is the first Owen opera we've offered, so we were surprised to find out that the composer, who studied with Vittorio Giannini, is a federal judge in Lower Manhattan and that this is the eighth opera he has written (and supplied the libretto to as well). Using a string quartet, double-bass, wind quintet, trumpet, trombone and timpani, Owen presents a chamber-sized work in keeping with the small-scale source, Somerset Maugham's short story about the stripper and prostitute Sadie Thompson and the minister who falls for her while trying to save her soul while they are stuck for several days on the island of Pago Pago, in a steady rain. The music is straightforwardly tonal and very effective and Sadie's role is written for a dramatic soprano, never mind the small-scale of much of the opera. You'll note family members everywhere: the composer's wife has sung Senta and Minnie on the stage of the Met, so this is not nepotism! An appealing 105 minutes which any American opera collector should want. 2 CDs. Lynn Owen (soprano), Marc Embree (bass-baritone), Camerata New York; Richard Owen Jr. Albany TROY 623/24 (U.S.A.) 02F072 $33.98

PIERRE MAX DUBOIS (1930-1995): Rapsodie, Romance, Sonatina, Épitaphe, Sonata di Mady, Coïncidence, Quatuor for 4 Clarinets, Sonata Breve for Solo Clarinet. Dubois' main influences were his teacher Milhaud, Françaix and Prokofiev. His elegant music tends toward modality rather than tonality and everything here has a French elegance which increases one's pleasure in these charming pieces. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Ildikó Cs. Nagy (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32116 (Hungary) 02F073 $17.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): 11 Studies for 11 Players, Piano Concerto in Six Movements. Unusual form marks both of these works (from 1959 and 1969 respectively; stereo recordings from 1965 and 1973), and lean instrumentation too. Eleven Studies uses as few as two players (a percussion duet in the sixth study) and, in addition to the full complement, trios and quartets as well. A theme-and-variations format ties the "studies" together while Rorem's native gift for lyricism is always evident. As, indeed, it is in the somewhat more spiky and dissonant concerto, whose six movements bear the titles "Strands", "Fives", "Whispers", "Sighs", "Lava" and "Sparks" and whose music is often programmatic. Like its disc-mate, the concerto is leanly scored and makes imaginative use of timbre and rhythm. Jerome Lowenthal (piano), Louisville Orchestra; Jorge Mester, Robert Whitney. First Edition FECD-0021 (U.S.A.) 02F074 $17.98

The Berkeley Edition, Vol. 4

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): Symphony No. 2, Voices of the Night, Op. 86, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Organ Concerto, Viola Concerto. The ways between father and son part here; Michael's 1987 organ concerto began his shift towards modernism with its generally high level of dissonance and use of Lutoslawskian "free-time textures". The orchestra is huge and the organ is sometimes relegated to the background where it combines with the instruments to powerful effect. The viola concerto of 1994 concentrates on the instrument's highest register and the large orchestra is used more sparingly, often in chamber-like textures. It's back to conventional tonality, though, for Lennox's 1959 symphony (here in its 1976 revision), a traditional, four-movement work and for his nne-minute 1973 Voices, which is an impressionistic nocturne. Thomas Trotter (organ), Paul Silverthorne (viola), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10167 (England) 02F075 $17.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto. One of the finest First Edition reissues since it brings us two otherwise unavailable works by a 20th century master composer who wrote a lot more than has been recorded. Although the two concertos are fifteen years apart in date (1950 and 1965), they are in classical, three-movement form, both speak a tonal, easily comprehensible language based mostly on motivic development and they both have rhythmically driven outer movements embracing slow movements of significant depth and thoughtfulness. The overall personality of both these concertos is reminiscent of Martinu and these works will appeal to anyone who likes that Czech master. Paul Kling (violin), Stephen Kates (cello), Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester. First Edition FECD-0020 (U.S.A.) 02F076 $17.98

KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Piano Quintet, Op. 34, Piano Trio, Op. 46, Piano Quartet "Contrasts and Variants", Op. 63. Meridian continues their valuable series devoted to this fine English craftsman's chamber works. In the works on this disc, the piano generally is used as a percussive and rhythmic instrument while the strings provide lyricism and melody. Leighton develops most of his material from intervals which provide both melodic lines and harmony and his linear, contrapuntal textures attest to his deep affinities with Bach, Hindemith and Bartók. As the works here progress chronologically (1959, 1965 and 1972), Leighton's language becomes more spare and, in the quartet, even the multiple movements of the first two works are subsumed into a single-movement work with seven sections. Robert Markham (piano), Edinburgh Quartet. Meridian CDE 84465 (England) 02F077 $17.98

PAUL MATHEY (b.1909): 8 Préludes, Op. 10, 3 esquisses neuchâteloises, Op. 18, 4 Lyrische Stücke, Op. 35, 4 morceaux, Op. 42, Sonate estivale, Op. 44. Cortot wrote warmly of the Préludes, which are attractively Debussy-esque works, impressionistically tonal, a language which Mathey never abandoned throughout his compositional career, although he was well aware of the developments of the Second Viennese School and atonality. Certainly, functional harmonic tensions are present throughout the music here, and the most progressive element that emerges in the later works is an increasing tendency toward rapidly evolving metrical changes, imparting a greater sense of freedom to the music. Somewhat conventional as these works may be, they do not lack originality, and the composer's mastery of the idiom of the piano (not his instrument - he was an organist) is never in doubt. Charles Dobler (piano), Harry Datyner (piano, Op. 18). Gallo CD-1099 (Switzerland) 02F078 $18.98

ANDRÁS SZÖLLÖSY (b.1921): 3 Pieces, JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): Improvisations on Bird Songs, MIHÁLY HAJDU (1909-1990): Hungarian Shepherd Songs, FERENC FARKAS (1905-2000): Rumanian Dances from Bihar, FRANZ DOPPLER (1821-1883): Hungarian Fantasy Pastorale, Op. 26, BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): 3 Folksongs from Csik (arr. János Szebenyi [b.1925]), Hungarian Country Suite (arr. Paul Arma [1905-1987]). Examples of art-music treatment of Hungarian and Rumanian folk music from several members of the generation after Bartók make up half of this enjoyable new release. Authenticity is less exact but charm is ever-present in Doppler's typically colorful Pastorale while Szöllösy's pieces from 1964 is an example of the more modern Hungarian school, still melodious and expressive but less bound to actual folk material. Takács' work (1992), with its dialogues of chirps and twitters, will understandably make listeners think of Messiaen. Adél Oborzil (flute), Mika Mori (piano). Camerata CMCD-28004 (Japan) 02F079 $17.98

BRUCE ADOLPHE (b.1935): Out of the Whirlwind for Tenor, Mezzo-Soprano and Wind Orchestra, Mikhoels the Wise (Act I, Scene 4) for Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra, Ladino Songs of Love and Suffering for Soprano, Guitar and Horn. Ladino Songs sets Jewish folk texts for the striking combination of soprano, horn and guitar, to music which avoids self-conscious folk-like (or even 'ethnic' of any persuasion) quotations, belonging to a timbally rich, rather romantic idiom in which long, singing lines are paramount. A greater sense of Jewish musical material is present in the scene from the opera Mikhoels the Wise. While definitely of our time, the music conforms to the conventions of operatic composition and contains many passages of great beauty. The Holocaust cycle Out of the Whirlwind is necessarily made of the sternest stuff here, but the composer's mellifulous timbres and underlying tonal sense again lend the work a Romantic directness of emotional utterance. John Aler (tenor), Phyllis Pancella (mezzo), College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony; Rodney Winther, Erie Mills (soprano), Nathaniel Watson (baritone), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz, Lucy Shelton (soprano), Eliot Fisk (guitar), David Jolley (horn). Naxos Milken Archive 8.559413 (U.S.A.) 02F080 $6.98

GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Unto the Hills (American Songbook III) for Singer, Percussion Quartet and Amplified Piano, Black Angels for Electric String Quartet. With the latest installment in its survey of Crumb's music, Bridge opens a perfect entry point into Crumb's sound world, and offers a major new work in its premiere recording. The relatively often-recorded, harrowing Black Angels for string quartet (1970) is one of Crumb's greatest hits and a seminal work of the Vietnam War era. What's new on this disc is the highly approachable, nearly 40-minute vocal sequence Unto the Hills (2002), subtitled "Songs of Sadness, Yearning and Innocence". Crumb has taken six Appalachian songs his wife used to sing to their infant daughter, Ann, retained their original vocal lines but bathed them in rich, mysterious, exotic, atmospheric percussion. The familiar tunes include "Poor Wayfaring Stranger," "All the Pretty Horses" and "Black, Black, Black Is the Color." Ann is now a grown-up stage actress and jazz singer, and serves as the vocalist here in what may be assumed to be the work's definitive interpretation. Ann Crumb (soprano), Orchestra 2001; James Freeman, The Miró Quartet. Bridge 9139 (U.S.A.) 02F081 $16.98

WILLIAM FERRIS (1937-2000): Piano Sonata, A Suffolk Memory: A Suite of Impressions for Piano, Epitaph for an Artist, Serenade for a Morning Room, Tune for Ten, Sonatina. Ferris is a conservative composer who writes deeply-felt, imaginative music whose harmonic language the composer Christopher Keene described as "polymodal chromaticism". It appeals instantly to the emotions and is easy on the ear without ever being simple. The sonata (1976) has a tolling-bell quality in its first movement (though bells are not being represented here, the composer seems to revel in the sonorities of the piano for their own sake), a melancholically lyrical and intense slow movement and powerful fugal finale. A Suffolk Memory (1986) is an impressionistic notebook of his sojourn at the Aldeburgh Festival where Ferris and his William Ferris Chorale had been invited to perform by Peter Pears (arriving, sadly, a few weeks after Pears' death). The Sonatina is a charming, nine-minute graduation exercise from 1962 while the three remaining works are finely worked little occasional pieces for various acquaintances. Justin Kolb (piano). Albany TROY 636 (U.S.A.) 02F082 $16.98

ROBERT BAKSA (b.1938): Flute Sonatas Nos. 1-3, Aria for Flute and Piano, Monologue and Soliloquy for Solo Flute. Graceful, essentially tonal and very attractive music with the first sonata (1976) light and lyrical, the second (1997) rather more brooding and melancholy and the third - a 2000 transcription of a 1995 piccolo sonata - again full of high spirits. Mid-price. Katherine Fink (flute), Elizabeth DiFelice (piano). Musicans Showcase MS 1080 (U.S.A.) 02F083 $10.98

HENRI LAZAROF (b.1932): Symphony No. 2, Violin Concerto, Tableaux (after Kandinsky) for Piano and Orchestra. Given the apparent parallels between Lazarof's intricate, dramatic and eclectic music and Kandinsky's richly textured abstract yet potently meaningful paintings, it is perhaps less surprising that the piece is so successful than that it took Lazarof until 1989 to compose a work related to them. The rhythmically incisive and dynamic music, full-bloodedly scored for orchestra and with a finely etched solo part running throughout (and framing the work with solo episodes at beginning and end) this is a compelling and rewarding concertante work in heroic mould. Both the Violin Concerto and the Symphony begin introspectively, soon progressing to the composer's typically dynamic style, the concerto withal very lyrical, more than occasionally recalling the Sibelius concerto; the symphony an exercise in tension and release in clear, concise form. Original 1990 and 1992 Delos releases. Yukiko Kamei (violin), Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Naxos American Classics 8.559159 (U.S.A.) 02F084 $6.98

GLORIA COATES (b.1938): String Quartets Nos. 2-4, No. 7 "Angels" & No. 8. The cover art, a painting by the composer called "Reflections", is an apt visual counterpart to her music: melting, indistinct textures and colors which are, nevertheless, highly symmetrical. Canons, palindromes and other musical structures are often at the base of the swirling waves of sound from which one perceives her music to be woven. The seventh quartet (2000) is a Christmas piece - a bizarre one, with hymn and carol quotations floating through a haze of glissandi and tone-clusters very reminiscent of Xenakis - while the eighth (2002) is a memorial to the victims of 9/11, its three movements moving from complete instability to a hypnotic serenity. (Of interest to 20th century collectors is that this disc was produced by the owner of Metier, the English contemporary music label, and that Michael Finnissy is listed as "conductor" for the organ/quartet work.) Kreutzer Quartet, Philip Adams (organ). Naxos American Classics 8.5591522 (U.S.A.) 02F085 $6.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Caprice Variations for Solo Violin. Lasting, in this performance, 91 minutes, this set of 51 variations dates from 1970, the tail-end of Rochberg's modernist period. Even so, 41 of the variations are in some form of tonality, with connections to Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Mahler and Webern (even the famous Paganini theme appears at the end). The violin used is the "Habeneck" made by Stradivari in his 91st year in 1734 and which used to belong to the short-lived British violinist Ralph Holmes, whose student Skærved was. 2 CDs. Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin). Metier MSC CD92065(a+b) (England) 02F086 $33.98

DAVID AMRAM (b.1930): Piano Sonata, PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): 6 Préludes, Op. 38, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Piano Sonata, 4 Piano Blues, Cat and Mouse, GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): 3 Preludes. Copland's sonata, evoking, like much of his orchestral music, the wide open spaces of the American west, is the best-known work here; Cat and Mouse was his first published composition. Amram's sonata combines jazz and classical elements in a traditional three-movement form, while Creston's preludesfrom 1945 express solutions to intriguing keyboard technique problems. Barbara Meister (piano). Centaur CRC 2622 (U.S.A.) 02F087 $16.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Borderlines (Violin Concerto No. 2), Dream Play, Voyage into the Golden Screen. The composer's period in which he used his "infinity series" began in 1968 with Voyage, in which two harmonics move at different tempos to create a (potentially) infinite polyphony - a process which looks forward to aspects of spectral music and minimalism. Dream Play (World Premiere Recording) of 1975 advances the "infinity" process further by selecting certain notes of the series for polyphonic construction. Borderlines (another World Premiere Recording), from 2002, inhabits another world entirely, its tense, abrupt, potentially explosive character resulting from the opposition of two types of music - one derived from the twelve chromatic notes and the other from microtonal harmonics - between which the soloist must adjust in her attempts to dialogue with the orchestra. Rebecca Hirsch (violin), Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Giordano Bellincampi. Dacapo 8.226014 (Denmark) 02F088 $15.98

STEPHEN JAFFE (b.1954): Violin Concerto, Chamber Concerto "Singing Figures" for Oboe and 5 Instruments. Jaffe writes tonal, approachable, colorful music and, in the concerto, provides both extroverted virtuosity and quieter lyricism for the soloist, amidst brilliant and sonorous orchestration. The concerto, completed in 1999, lasts 34 minutes and is in the classical, three-movement form with a large-scale opening movement in which complexity and transparency are equally present, a theme-and-variations slow movement of lovely lyricism and a joyful, rhythmic finale. Finished in 1995, the shorter, lighter chamber concerto uses a string trio and two keyboardists (playing piano, harpsichord and celesta) to produce brightly colored, often exuberant music in its outer movements while the central "Water Music" is calmer but with darker undertones in its central section. Gregory Fulkerson (violin), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Donald Palma, Stephen Taylor (oboe), Speculum Musicae; William Purvis. Bridge 9141 (U.S.A.) 02F089 $16.98

DAN WELCHER (b.1948): Violin Concerto, Another Rag for Rags for Violin and Piano, WILLIAM BOLCOM (b.1938): Violin Sonata No. 1, Graceful Ghost Rag for Violin and Piano. Welcher's concerto is a good companion to Jaffe's above, its general sense of caprice and lightheartedness proving the composer's desire to create a work in the spirit of Stravinsky and Prokofiev (the first violin concerto). A twelve-note row binds all three movements but the work sounds more polytonal (in fact, nowhere near "atonal" at all) and its movement headings - "Games and Songs", "March, Quickstep and Duel" and "Lullabye and Tarantella" - will give you excellent ideas of what to expect. Bolcom's sonata was the work of an 18-year-old at the University of Washington and, though it was minimally revised in 1984, it remains full of youthful energy. The short rags make bright and attractive encores. Paul Kantor (violin), William Bolcom (piano), Symphony II; Larry Rachleff. Equilibrium EQ 60 (U.S.A.) 02F090 $16.98

H. LESLIE ADAMS (b.1932): 12 Etudes for Piano. Representing the first half of an ongoing composing project which will total twenty-four in all, these attractive, highly communicative etudes reflect the composer's propensity for a vocal lyricism, being strong on melody, incorporating jazz-inflected syncopations here and using strong Romantic harmonies there, while presenting different technical challenges and exploring different moods, styles and tonalities while always sounding quintessentially American. Maria Corley (piano). Albany TROY 639 (U.S.A.) 02F091 $16.98

JACOBUS KLOPPERS (b.1937): Triptych on Hymn Tunes of Ralph Vaughan Williams, PIOTR GRELLA-MOZEJKO (b.1961): Lachrymae (In Memory of September 11, 2001), VERNON MURGATROYD (b.1941): Méditation sur un thème gregorien, VIOLET ARCHER (1913-2000): Improvisation on "Veni Creator", MONTE KEENE PISHNY-FLOYD (b.1941): Piobaireachd, GEORGE ANDRIX (b.1932): 3 Pieces, G. GORDON NICHOLSON (b.1942): Waiting for Change, REINHARD VON BERG (b.1945): Meditation on "Christ ist erstanden", ROBIN KING: Acclamations. A varied array of Canadian organ music ranging from traditional hymn-tune settings to Grella-Mozejko's serial-based but still quasi-tonal 9/11 memorial which is the longest and most impressive work here. Stillman Matheson (organ of Robertson-Wesley United Church, Edmonton, Alberta). Eclectra ECCD-2063 (Canada) 02F092 $17.98

AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Kala for Marimba and 6 Percussionists, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Tambuco for 6 Percussion Players, JANNIS VLACHOPOULOS (b.1939): Präsens (first movement) for Piano and 6 Percussionists, GISELHER KLEBE (b.1925): Estatico, Op. 30, Adagio und Allegro, Op. 48, MINORU MIKI (b.1930): Marimba Spiritual for Marimba and 3 Percussion Players, ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR (b.1959): Motus II for 4 Percussion Players. After last month's offering of famous percussion works of the 20th century, this disc of lesser-known composers offers seven no less interesting and entertaining pieces which demonstrate the wide variety of music which can be conjured from percussion instruments. Vlachopoulos uses the piano in both a melodic and percussive way, Nishimura's hypnotic piece is quasi-minimalist, Chávez the most pristinely barbaric, but everything possessing its own personality and well worth hearing. SchlagEnsemble H/F/M; Christian Roderburg. Cavalli Records CCD 419 (Germany) 02F093 $17.98

BO HOLTEN (b.1948): The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, First Snow, A Time for Everything, In Nomine, Rain and Rush and Rosebush for Soprano and Chorus. For those contemporary choral collectors out there, Holten's unabashed conservatism ("Modernism has provided an alibi for amateurism.") will be quite attractive, the more so since it does not involve pastiche or neo-"any period" types of writing. The composer is known just as much as a conductor who has explored many Renaissance figures who were practically unknown to the modern audiences and his own pieces are founded in the tradition of western polyphony, to which he is unafraid to allude in, for example, Heaven, a 28-minute setting of six William Blake poems. All works are English settings. Texts included. Catherine Bott (soprano), BBC Singers; Bo Holten. Dacapo 8.224214 (Denmark) 02F094 $15.98

INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): Toccata e canto, Concerto for String Orchestra, Music for Strings, Ritornell, 3 Songs for Soprano and Orchestra. This third and final volume of BIS' tribute to Lidholm contains his earliest music, works dating from 1940-54. Ritornell, the latest and the best-known, begins to show the more avant-garde traits which were to continue in his later works but it still can be appreciated by most listeners as a dramatic and expressive, sometimes violent experience. The other works, to a greater or lesser extent, are still based on a rich polyphony and transparent structure which look back through Lidholm's teacher, Hilding Rosenberg, to Carl Nielsen (although the three brief songs are closer to Swedish National Romanticism). Swedish-English texts. Lena Nordin (soprano), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Lü Jia. BIS CD-1190 (Sweden) 02F095 $17.98

JULIÁN ORBÓN (1925-1991): Danzas Sinfónicas, 3 Versiones Sinfónicas, Concerto Grosso for String Quartet and Orchestra. Born in Spain, Orbón moved to Cuba at the age of 15, left in disgust at the direction Castro's revolution was taking in 1960 and spent the rest of his life in the U.S. All three of these domiciles are present in his music, which combines Spanish roots (from tonadillas to Falla), Cuban music and modern European and American trends. Orbón studied with Copland at Tanglewood and you may think you're listening to Copland in the Danzas Sinfónicas at times, while at others the Latin American verve, color and rhythmic insistency make it clear that this is not music by an American composer. Although tinged here and there with some atonal harmonizations the other two works on this disc share the Danzas' mix of styles, their orchestral color and rhythmic drive. Impossible not to like! Asturian Symphony Orchestra; Maximiano Valdés. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557368 (New Zealand) 02F096 $6.98

FARTEIN VALEN (1887-1952): Complete Songs - With Piano: 3 Gedichte von Goethe, Op. 6, 2 Lieder, Op. 31, 2 Lieder, Op. 39, Mignon: 2 Gedichte von Goethe, Op. 7, With Orchestra: Mignon: 2 Gedichte von Goethe, Op. 7, Ave Maria, Op. 4, 2 Chinesische Gedichte, Op. 8, Darest Thou Now, O Soul, Op. 9, Die Dunkle Nacht der Seele, Op. 32. This disc will be a real treat for anyone with an interest in the evolution of the art song, or who wishes that Schoenberg had written more music in the general æsthetic of the first two quartets. Valen's dissonant, highly chromatic language pushes the boundaries of tonality very much as Schoenberg had to do before arriving at dodecaphony, and this, combined with the intense longing and emotional intensity of his poetic utterance places him among the finest exponents of expressionism in the first half of the 20th century. The orchestral songs in particular stand comparison with those of Berg, and if that sounds like an extravagant compliment, it isn't; the music is really that good. Buy this disc! Siri Tørjesen (soprano), Håkon Austbø (piano), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Christian Eggen. Simax PSC 1168 (Norway) 02F097 $18.98

IVAN FEDELE (b.1953): Scena for Orchestra, Ruah for Flute and Orchestra, Cello Concerto. These three orchestral works demonstrate a compositional personality of strength and originality, a composer who has paid close attention to the sonic perception of his works by the listener, and to their internal dramatic structure. In all three cases one's first impression is of a brooding mysticism, mists moving over the face of the deep - and this scene-setting is accomplished very convincingly indeed. But this impression is deceptive, because as the works develop they turn out to be the very reverse of formless; especially in the concertante works the dialogue between the soloists and orchestra is in turns lyrical and dramatic, and almost creates an impression of narrative, even programme. Despite the orchestral chord glissandi and some extended timbres (more this than unorthodox playiong techniques as such), the music inhabits a world much closer to Romanticism than the avant-garde. Intriguing and satisfying to both emotions and intellect. Giampaolo Pretto (flute), Jean Guihen Queyras (cello), Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI; Pascal Rophé. Stradivarius STR 33650 (Italy) 02F098 $17.98

EUGENIO TOUSSAINT (b.1954): String Quartet No. 1, Estudio Bop No. 1 for Flute Solo, Estudio Bop No. 2 for Piano, Estudio Bop No. 3 for Clarinet and Saxophone Quartet, Estudio Bop No. 4 for Flute, Bass Clarinet and Piano, Pieza Corta for String Quartet, Duo for Flute and Piano, 5 miniaturas de Paul Klee for Flute, Bass Clarinet and Piano, Kaleidoscopio for String Quartet. The four Bop Etudes are attractive and energetic works, with a generally jazzy feel without being jazz compositions as such. This kind of accessible modernity seems to be the genre in which Toussaint is most at home, to judge by the works on this disc and an anecdote told in the booklet about his disenchantment with the "New Complexity" as espoused by Franco Donatoni. Lively rhythms and fragments of very recognisable Latin idioms abound throughout these works, delightful miniatures all, most notably the scintillating Miniaturas after Klee, as well as a strong vein of lyricism offset by angular and spiky sounds - as in the second miniature - which lend the works a vitality and playfulness which is most appealing. Cuarteto Riabov, Ensemble Tres, Cuarteto Latinoamericano and other artists. Urtext JBCC 074 (Mexico) 02F099 $17.98

EDUARO ANGULO (b.1954): Noche de alebrijes, FEDERICO IBARRA (b.1946): 5 miniaturas, MANUEL M. PONCE (1882-1948): Petite suite dans le style ancien, MARIO LAVISTA (b.1943): 3 bagatelas, HORACIO URIBE (b.1970): String Trio No. 2. The rather under-used string trio medium is here shown to excellent effect in a programme of five works by Mexican composers, all recent apart from the Ponce, who died around the time three of the others were born. Ponce's attractive little suite pays affectionate homage to Baroque styles, and is in a sense the odd man out here, though an appealing one. None of the other works is especially 'modern'-sounding, with neoclassical Stravinsky hovering somewhere in the background to a good deal of the music, with some intriguing writing for the strings, as for instance in the use of harmonics in the central piece of Lavista's three. Angulo's work, witth its danse macabre overtones, and Uribe's somewhat programmatic work are the most substantial, and prove the string trio a versatile and dramatically satisfying medium; the other works are more in the nature of attractive bagatelles, entertaining and relatively lightweight.Trio Coghlan. Urtext JBCC 073 (Mexico) 02F100 $17.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Io, frammento da Prometeo for 3 Sopranos, Small Chorus, Bass Flute, Contrabass Clarinet and Live Electronics, Das atmende Klarsein for Small Chorus, Bass Flute, Live Electronics and Tape. These two works were recorded in concert in 2001, and are linked by their connection with the Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des Südwestrundfunks, Freiberg. To appreciate the spatial aspects of the sound design that Nono created at the Experimentalstudio for these works it is necessary to play the discs back in their multichannel format on a dedicated SACD player. The vocal texts are mostly imagined as pure sound; the drama, especially of the Io tableau, developed into Nono's larger dramatic work "Prometheus", comes from the interplay of tension between overlapping fragments of sound, frequently of great incidental beauty, the whole combining into a tapestry of subtle, restrained passion. Katia Plaschka, Petra Hoffmann, Monika Bair-Ivenz (sopranos), Roberto Fabbriciani (bass flute), Ciro Scarponi (contrabass clarinet), Solistenchor Freiburg; André Richard. col legno WWE 2SACD 20600 (Germany) 02F101 $39.98

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Luci mie traditrici. "My Lights of Betrayal" is a theatre work in Sciarrino's trademark free-floating, stream-of-consciousness style which suggests the most microscopic examination of the psychological states of the characters while virtually eschewing the gross, macroscopic portrayal of events or actions. The story, such as it is, is based on a 17th-century Italian play, which treats an unexceptional tale of betrayal, adultery and murder. Sciarrino also borrows - very freely - from a 17th-century musical source, which appears in three instrumental interludes and is then deconstructed to the point of 'found sounds' in the twitterings and whispers of extended playing techniques which form the eerie, shadowy backdrop to the disintegration and fetishistically observed putrefaction of the characters in the drama. Italian-English libretto. Junko Saito (soprano), Timothy Sharp (bass-baritone), Galina Chernova (mezzo), Ensemble Risognanze; Tito Ceccherini. Stradivarius STR 33645 (Italy) 02F102 $17.98

FREDERIC RZEWSKI (b.1938): Main Drag for Ensemble, Coming Together for Speaker and Ensemble, Attica for Speaker and Ensemble, Les Moutons de Panurge for Ensemble. A curious sort of 'crossover' disc this - or at least, a facet of the idea of boundary-crossing art that extends the genre in a logical contemporary direction that hasn't really had much currency yet. In the past, the idea has generally meant symphony orchestras and rock bands performing together, or jazz finding its way into the concert hall, or electric guitars in contemporary music ensembles, or composers like Frank Zappa or Graham Fitkin using synthesizers and rock instrumentation in 'concert' works. So it makes sense that a progression of this principle would have DJs remixing the works of a living composer of concert music. The "straight" Rzewski on this disc is his two works on the Attica prison revolt, Main Drag, and Les Moutons - all ensemble pieces with a brash, ostinato-driven rhythmic beat, somewhat minimalist and some distance in the non-classical direction from piano works like the People United variations. Then we have remixes based on these works by three different DJs, using samples from the original works in the manner by which dance-club music has for some decades now been produced from samples of pre-existing records. The Rzewski won't scare off anyone who enjoys Nyman, Zappa or Fitkin; the remixes would be right at home in a collection featuring groups like Massive Attack and DJs working in the British "rave" scene. Alter Ego; Frederic Rzewski. Stradivarius STR 33631 (Italy) 02F103 $17.98

FRANK CORCORAN (b.1944): Electro-Acoustic Works: Quasi una Missa, Balthazar's Dream, Sweeny's Farewell, Piano Trio, Third Wind Quintet "Sweeney's Wind-Cries", Rosenstock Lieder for Soprano and Piano Trio. A combination of electroacoustic and instrumental works, this program reveals Corcoran as a composer of exceptional range and great individuality. The song-cycle is oblique and enigmatic, as befits the brief and puzzling texts, and the piano trio has a bracingly aggressive modernity, though less avant garde in its soundworld than the songs, more in keeping with the wind quintet, one of a number of "Mad Sweeney" pieces, related to the Irish legend of the king who went mad and lived the rest of his life as a naked primitive and nature-poet. The electroacoustic works are kaleidoscopic intercuttings of machine-made, natural, musical and human sounds, resonating with a perhaps surprisingly human voice - and then again, perhaps not so surprisingly, given the composer's background in classical languages and philosophy, and his nationality, also that of James Joyce. One could even regard Corcoran's sonic tapestries as an epic Irish synthesis, comparable to the poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid in Scotland. Gaelic-English texts. Hesketh Trio, Daedalus Quintet, Sabine Sommerfeld (soprano), Hamburg Trio. col legno WWE 1CD 20214 (Germany) 02F104 $19.98

KNUT NYSTEDT (b.1915): Apocalypsis Joannis - Symphony for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 155. While this is far from being the first musical work dealing with the Biblical Book of Revelation, it is a most impressive one, which treats its apocalyptic subject matter with the requisite epic scope and grandeur. A commission by the Oslo Philharmonnic, the work is in four movements, the first three instrumental, the finale (longer than the previous three together) with soloists and chorus. The music does many of the things one would wish it to for a musical portrayal of the subject, and it does so with focus, craftsmanship and drama. It does not break any new ground, which is not to say that it sounds derivative; suffice it to say that if you enjoy the full-blooded orchestral canvases of a representative sampling of the following: Sallinen, Rosenberg, Pettersson, Vaughan Williams (of the fourth and sixth Symphonies), Bliss and Shostakovich, you would be well advised to acquire this recording, which is likely to become a firm favorite. 2 CDs. Latin-English texts. Mona Julsrud (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), Oslo Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Arild Remmereit. Simax PSC 1241 (Norway) 02F105 $37.98

Tribute to Sir Fred

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1972): Madame Chrysanthème, FRANÇOIS COUPERIN (1668-1733)/GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Harlequin in the Street, ANDRÉ MESSAGER (1853-1929): Les deux pigeons, FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886)/CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Dante Sonata. Ballets associated with Sir Frederick Ashton in rare, complete recordings, sure to appeal to all collectors of dance music. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Judith Harris (mezzo), Jonathan Higgins (piano), Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Barry Wordsworth. ASV White Line WLS 273 (England) 02F106 $23.98

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932): Music for Wind Band, Vol. 4 - Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Sesqui-Centennial Exposition, Tales of a Traveler, Riders for the Flag, Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co., Coeds of Michigan, Path-finder of Panama, The Glory of the Yankee Navy, Bride Elect Selections, The Aviators, The Stars and Stripes Forever. The latest release, after a significant pause, from this series which will record all 136 marches and numerous other scores (like The Glory of the Yankee Navy, here, based on material from a musical comedy). Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion. Naxos American Classics 8.559093 (U.S.A.) 02F107 $6.98

Norwegian Classical Favorites

ARNE EGGEN (1881-1955): Bjørgulv the Fiddler from Liti Kersti Suite, RIKARD NORDRAAK (1842-1866): Purpose and Valse Caprice from Maria Stuart, JOHANNES HANSSEN (1874-1967): Valdres-Marsch, OLE OLSEN (1850-1927): Funeral March, Op. 41, SIGURD ISLANDSMOEN (1881-1964): Forest Clearing, Op. 15, AGATHE BÄCKER GRØNDAHL (1847-1907): Summer Song, JOHAN SVENDSEN (1840-1911): The Wedding at Dovre, Norwegian Artist's Carnival, Op. 14, Festive Polonaise, Op. 12, JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Entry of the Boyars and five pieces by Grieg and Sinding too familiar to mention. At least half-a-dozen really unusual pieces ("Favorites"?) make this collection of Norwegian music worth having, especially at the price. Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset. Naxos 8.557017 (New Zealand) 02F108 $6.98

RUDOLF FRIML (1879-1971): Chanson ("The Donkey Serenade"), Concert Waltz, Op. 12, Nocturne Amoreux, Staccato Étude, Op. 37, Mignonette, Op. 26, Aubade, Op. 25, Humoresque, Op. 45, Morning Serenade, Egyptian Dance, Op. 41, Cherry Blossoms, Chant sans paroles, Op. 49, Valse Poétique, Op. 13, Iris (Intermezzo), Intermezzo, Op. 85/2, Night in Spain, Valse Lucille, Op. 85/1, La Danse des Démoiselles, Bohemian Dance (Polka), Op. 29, Rémini-scence, Op. 84/1, Water Lilies, Something Seems Tingle-Ingleing from High Jinks, Katinka (trancsr. Henry Levine). Best known for his fabulously successful operettas Rose-Marie and The Vagabond King (among about twenty others), Friml was also an inveterate pianist and writer of piano pieces, leaving a huge quantity of manuscripts behind at his death. This collection contains both kinds of Friml's compositions: the early ones grounded in Czech folk style (the composer studied with Dvorák) and often demanding considerable virtuosity, and those which deal in easy, melodic expressiveness - little pearls of American salon music. Sara Davis Buechner (piano). Koch International Classics 7512 (U.S.A.) 02F109 $16.98

STEVE MARGOSHES (b.19??): In Search of Hidden Treasure, Ballade for Trumpet and Orchestra, The Dream - Symphony for Piano and Orchestra, This is Forever - Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, Romantic Suite from Fame-The Musical. Under the rubric "American Light" (used also for their second Don Gillis disc of a few months ago), Albany offers this collection of mostly original compositions by the man known for writing the famous and popular musical Fame. And this is American light music as it exists today (if it exists today!): easily apprehended melodies, rich orchestration (and some splashy virtuosity thrown in, not only for the trumpet soloist in the Ballad) and, especially in the four-movement, 26-minute-long In Search of Hidden Treasure (inspired by a novel), all the fruity richness and heart-on-sleeve emotion of a high quality romantic film spectacular. (NOTE: Romantic Suite and This is Forever - 23 minutes of the disc's 72-minute length - were released on a Hungaroton CD which we offered sometime in 1999). György Geiger (trumpet), Steve Margoshes (piano), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; László Kovács. Albany TROY 598 (U.S.A.) 02F110 $16.98