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Hans Huber

Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


HANS HUBER (1852-1921): Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 36, Piano Concerto No. 3 in D, Op. 113. Its unusual to hear a minor-key piano concerto written by a 26-year-old open with a very quiet orchestral introduction, followed by a melancholy, nostalgic solo entrance but that's what happens here and, in fact, the whole first movement is in a slow tempo, followed by another one before a Litolffian scherzo lightens things and a more robust finale with the most glitter of the composition. The Third (1899) also has a slower-tempo first movement which turns out to be a passacaglia on the bass of the finale's principal theme. Mendelssohn comes to mind in the scherzo which is followed by a brief, slow Intermezzo before, again, a sunny finale. Huber wrote these concertos for particular acquaintances, not for his own concert use, which probably accounts for the almost "anti-virtuoso" effect but, make no mistake about it, these are "Romantic Piano Concertos", just with more dreaming and brooding than usual; and what could be more Romantic than that? Dan Franklin Smith (piano), Stuttgart Philharmonic; Michael Jurowski. Sterling CDS-1056-2 (Sweden) 01F001 $16.98

Please note new shipping charges -

UPS shipping rates are going up again on Jan. 5 and the zonal rates now in use by the U.S. Postal Service have resulted in our losing money on many shipments even after our last rate adjustment. We will also need to charge $1.00 extra on very heavy opera box-sets such as those released by Opera Rara; these items almost always push weights into a category beyond what we are charging for shipping. The postage increase for these sets will be noted in their blurbs.

USA: 1 CD - $4.00

2-3 CDs - $5.00

4-7 CDs - $7.25

8-11 CDs - $7.85

12-15 CDs - $8.25

16-18 CDs - $8.75

19 CDs and above - FREE

Please allow for each CD in a multi-CD set.

December Item Availability Nightmares:

Chandos' distributor, KOCH International, was unable to supply The Poisoned Kiss (12F011) until Christmas Eve. They were also unable to provide the Bax symphony box after about December 7. These will, however, have arrived by the time this catalogue is in your hands. Needless to say, this caused great delay in filling orders (not to mention damage to our cash flow), many of which may only be arriving in your hands after New Year's Day. Unfortunately, this is just another sign of the times in the classical music business. The defective Taneyev/Arensky (12F046) has still not been remanufactured.

Records International Imports:

2003 brought the largest number of specially imported titles since we took over the business in 1997. We would like to continue doing this but continued slowness in sales and the plummeting value of the dollar against the Euro are making it increasingly difficult. We certainly hope that sales pick up in 2004 since we enjoy finding and offering titles which have no U.S. distribution, but we will need your help in keeping it up!

FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Phantasm for Piano and Orchestra, Vignettes de Danse for Small Orchestra, There is a Willow Grows Aslant a Brook, Summer, Coronation March, Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance). The Coronation March of 1911 receives its world-premiere recording here and Bridge's penchant for remote harmonic excursions and modal inflections may help explain why it was not successful in the competition into which it was entered! Sir Roger de Coverley's orchestral version is also a first recording while the Vignettes - three 1938 orchestrations of earlier piano pieces done for a light music publisher - are delightful and unknown. Collectors will be more familiar with the remaining works: the 1914 Summer, a rare excursion into English pastoralism yet with personal touches; the 1927 There Is a Willow, a dark and bleak depiction of the drowning of Ophelia; and the 1931 Phantasm, a single-movement piano concerto of 24 minutes with its haunting waltz and spectral marches which contemporary audiences found so hard to understand. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10112 (England) 01F002 $17.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 3, Sonata No. 4 "Parce nobis, Jesus", Aubade, Écrasez l'infâme, Andante Religioso, Short Violin Sonata. Except for the Aubade - the work of a 14-year-old, these are all late works and, except for Écrasez l'infäme ("Crush the Abomination" - one of Langgaard's many bizarre compositions where Brahms, cacophony and childlike purity shoot on and off stage), all are world premiere recordings, none of the works having been published until 2002. Everything else dates from 1949 and1950, the third sonata seemingly a pure Romantic pastiche - except for the fact that, structurally, everything is "wrong", the fourth confronts Faith with Doubt in suitably skewed musical ways, the Short Sonata has its equivalents in its contemporary symphonies - compressed dramatically down to 3-7 minutes, while the Andante religioso, originally with organ accompaniment, is a serene piece which rather seems to end Langgaard's violin compositions with a whimper and a moan. Sergei Azizian (violin), Anne Øland (piano). Dacapo 8.226006 (Denmark) 01F003 $16.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): From Jewish Life, Suites for Solo Cello Nos. 1-3, Méditation hébraïque, Nirvana, Nigun. This poorly-documented new release appears to juxtapose Bloch's late solo cello suites (1956-7) with earlier Jewish-themed works but nothing is said in the notes about any of the works except the suites and the 1924 Méditation hébraïque. So, we must assume that Nigun is part of the early 1920s Bloch, since its character places it along with the Méditation and with From Jewish Life of the same year. However, Nirvana (not to be found in Bloch's work-list in either the 1980 New Grove or the last Baker's) is a fascinanting seven-and-a-half minute piece whose meditative, hypnotic quality evokes the Indian sub-continent. Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello), Pascal Amoyel (piano). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901810 (France) 01F004 $17.98

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Cipressi, Op. 17, Il raggio verde, Op. 9, Alghe, Op. 12, I naviganti, Op. 13, Lucertorlina, La Sirenetta e il pesce turchino, Op. 18, Passatempi, Op. 54, Vitalba e Bianco-spino, Op. 21, Questo fu il carro della Morte, Op. 2, Epigrafe, Op. 25, Cantico, Op. 19. These are all youthful pieces, dating from 1913-1928, well before the composer's emigration to the U.S. and are evocative and atmospheric works which depict flora and fauna and the sea in a language which is indebted to Debussy and Ravel with a native Italian lyricism. Jordi Masó (piano). Naxos 8.555856 (New Zealand) 01F005 $6.98

PHILIPPE GAUBERT (1879-1941): Complete Works for Flute, Vol. 1 - Madrigal for Flute and Piano, 3 Aquarelles for Flute, Cello and Piano, Divertissement grec for 2 Flutes and Harp, Soir païen for Voice, Flute and Piano, Tarentelle for Flute, Oboe and Piano, Pièce romantique for Flute, Cello and Piano, Médailles antiques for Flute, Violin and Piano, Suite for Flute and Piano. This new release contains all six of the composer's chamber works for his own instrument which share the remainder of his uvre's qualities of clarity of form, economy of means and warmth of expression (the Chandos two-disc set of Gaubert contained only works for flute and piano). Fenwick Smith (flute), Sally Pinkas (piano) and other artists. Naxos 8.557305 (New Zealand) 01F006 $6.98

EMILIA GUBITOSI (1877-1972): Piano Concerto, ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Scarlattiana for Piano and Small Orchestra, FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Indianische Fantasie, Op. 44. Scarlattiana, from 1926, is a neo-classical work in the exact genre of Pulcinella (and not far off in chronology either) which Casella used as a solo vehicle for touring; its five sections last just under half an hour and are ingenious elaborations of a few Scarlatti sonatas. The long-lived Gubitosi wrote her single-movement, 20-minute concerto in 1943 and it, too, is neo-classical, distinguished by clarity of structure, transparent orchestration and an often highly virtuosic piano part. Mono. Sergio Fiorentino (piano), RAI "Scarlatti" Orchestra (?); no conductors listed. RAI recordings from Naples (3/3/64; 3/10/72 & 12/29/59 respectively). Fabula Classica FAB 29908-2 (Italy) 01F007 $17.98

DOMENICO MONLEONE (1875-1942): Il mistero. Premiered in 1921 as part of a double-bill with Pagliacci, with a libretto based on a short story by the same Sicilian author who wrote Cavalleria rusticana, and with a similar plot of adultery and murder, this little, 40-minute one-acter will appeal to all lovers of Italian verismo. At mid-price and with a 1998 radio recording (no live audience sounds here), this is a real bargain! Detailed, if rather obscure, academic, notes. Italian libretto. Lisa Houben (soprano), Sim Tokyurek (contralto), Carlo Torriani (tenor), Fulvio Massa (baritone), Tirana Radio Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Pacitti. Myto Discovery 033.HO79 (Italy) 01F008 $10.98


MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 76, Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41. Vainberg was the only member of his family to survive the Nazi invasion of Poland and he still had to survive the criminals who ruled the Soviet Union - Lavrenti Beria had his father-in-law assassinated in 1948 and Vainberg himself was falsely accused in 1953 of campaigning for the establishement of a Jewish republic in the Crimea. Shostakovich bravely intervened on his behalf (while personally undertaking to raise Vainberg's daughter in case the composer was condemned to death), continuing a relationship which began in 1943 when the elder composer enthusiastically praised Vainberg's first symphony. Vainberg's Fifth dates from 1962 and was dedicated to Kyrill Kondrashin. It was written at the time Shostakovich's Fourth was finally premiered and there are many references to Shostakovich's symphony's sound-world (and also to Hindemith in the final movement). The Sinfonietta of 1948 was based on Jewish material which the composer treated in the manner of Bartók. Ironically, at this particular point in time, this was good: Vainberg received a glowing notice from the Chief Musical Party Hack of the time, Tikhron Khrennikov (so impressive, apparently, that the "old" New Grove [i.e. not the one no one can afford today] quotes it quite extensively) See page 8 for more Vainberg releases. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice; Gabriel Chmura. Chandos 10128 (England) 01F009 $17.98

An Imporant Tveitt Restoration!

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): Baldur's Dreams - Symbolic Play for Dance and Orchestra, Telemarkin for Sung and Spoken Voice, Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra. Baldur's Dreams was the young Tveitt's major opus - originally conceived as a three-hour work for singers, reciter, dancers (100 of them!) and large orchestra (with 9 pentatonically tuned drums!). This never happened but a couple of works did get performed whose music came from Baldur's Dreams: a purely orchestral version in Norway in 1938, a suite of dances in Paris in 1939 and, after the war, when Tveitt believed that the score of the suite which had been sent fromParis to London had been destroyed in the German Blitz, a reconstructed work he called Dance of the Sun God, which burned in the fire of 1970 which destroyed Tveitt's house, and The Sun God Symphony, a work reconstructed from a radio recording of 1958 by the Norwegian composer Kaare Dyvik Husby (which was recorded several years ago on BIS). Now, intensive work on the charred, water-stained fragments from the house-archive (deposited with the Norwegian Music Archives by the composer) has enabled Husby and the Russian composer Alexei Rybnikov, helped by a 1938 radio recording of the orchestral premiere, to reconstruct a 90 minute version which will surely be the closest we can come to the original Baldur's Dreams. Saturated with folk melody, orchestral color and exotic sounds, both vocal and percussive, (medieval Norway as imagined by Tveitt), this is a gigantic testament to a brilliant young composer's vision. Telemarkin is a 26-minute cantata from 1974 which celebrates the eponymous geographical region of Norway and in which the wealth of folk motifs is accentuated by the solo hardanger fiddle. 2 CDs. Norwegian-English texts. Solveig Kringelborn (soprano), Ulf Øien (tenor), Magne Fremmerlid (bass), Jon Eikemo (recitation), Trine Øien (mezzo), Arve Moen Bergst (hardanger fiddle), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS CD-1337/1338 (Sweden) 01F010 $35.98

HERMAN D. KOPPEL (1908-1998): Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 3, Op. 39, Symphony No. 4, Op. 42. A half-hour long, single-movement Scandinavian symphony of a tense, often icy, sometimes angry character with an ebb and flow that could be imagined to be suggestive of the sea... Allan Pettersson, right? Wrong. Koppel's third symphony is, like the second, a "war symphony", written in the safety of Sweden during the winter of 1944-45 when it was by no means assured that Denmark would survive the Second World War intact. As in the previous symphony, the most recognizable influence is Carl Nielsen, Koppel's teacher and, in its general character, you could call this symphony "Shostakovich meets Nielsen". The fourth symphony (1946) is even more a reaction to the devastation of the war (and, perhaps, of his mother's Polish Jewish family) with its 16-minute first movement built on threatening ostinatos which approach the insistence of minimalism by the time the climax is reached. A short intermezzo is grotesque and sardonic, perhaps influenced by late Bartók before another long movement (13 minutes) returns with marches and more ostinatos which reach a stage of warlike brutality before a thin, wan conclusion. It's plain now that there is one more essential 20th century symphonist to add to the shelves. Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Moshe Atzmon. Dacapo 8.226016 (Denmark) 01F011 $15.98

JOSEF TAL (b.1910): Symphonies Nos. 1-3, Festive Vision. The first of two discs which will give us all six of Tal's symphonies introduces us to a composer of short (the longest is 17:30), highly concentrated, single-movement works which make no concessions to listeners looking for an easy listen. None of the symphonies is like or can be derived from any other - each stands alone in its techniques and construction. The first (1953) uses an old Persian Jewish lament for its basic motivic material, the second (1960) a twelve-tone row and the third (1978) a short original motif. All are subjected to various, and often ingenious, working with driving bursts of rhythmic energy, broad dramatic gestures and extremes of dynamic being the major qualities which link them. (It's worth noting that his twelve-tone symphony concentrates on rhythm and sound to such an extent that the style would not be immediately apparent to the average listener.) The Festive Vision of 1957 - at eleven minutes, only a minute shorter than the second symphony - fits into the series by virtue of its similar development of two brief themes, one of which is actually a catchy melody. These works, heard several times and listened to closely, will repay all collectors of music which is, paradoxically, as uncompromising as it is approachable if one takes the time to properly hear it. North German Radio Philhamonic; Israel Yinon. CPO 999 921 (Germany) 01F012 $15.98

ORLANDO GIBBONS (1583-1625): 3 Fantasias a 3, JOHN COPRARIO (c.1570/80-1626): Fantasia Suite, WILLIAM LAWES (1602-1645): Sett No. 1, JOHN JENKINS (1592-1678): Fancy & Ayre, [Fantasia] a 3, MATTHEW LOCKE (1621/2-1677): Suite in D Minor, CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON (1605-1669): [Suite] in D, JOHN BLOW (1649-1708): Sonata in A, Ground in G Minor, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Sonata XX in D. Here is the first in a projected series of eight CDs dedicated to tracing the development of the trio sonata in England, France, Germany and Italy. The works here span most of the 17th century, from Gibbons' and Coprario's first three-part pieces (from composers who, like Lawes, were known mostly for their viol consort music), through the increasing standardization of Jenkins and Locke and finally to the fully-fledged trio sonatas of Blow and Purcell. London Baroque. BIS CD-1455 (Sweden) 01F013 $17.98

HEINRICH SCHEIDEMANN (c.1595-1663): Organ Works, Vol. 4 - Magnificat I Toni, Benedicam Domino, Jesus Christus, unser Heiland (III), Praeambulum in F, Canzona in F, Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, Praeambulum in D Minor, Mensch, willst du leben seliglich, In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr (II), Praeambulum in G Minor, O Gott, wir danken deiner Güt, Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn (II), De ore prudentes procedit mel (after Lassus), Magnificat V Toni. The newest volume of music by this important North German composer who follows in Sweelinck's footsteps, carrying on that master's polyphony and virtuosity while developing the genre of the chorale arrangement. Julia Brown (Brombaugh organ of Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, OR). Naxos 8.555876 (New Zealand) 01F014 $6.98

FRANCESCO CAVALLI (1602-1676): Statira, principessa di Persia. Premiered in Venice in 1656, the score for this drama, exotically peopled with Persians, Arabs and Armenians and set in the Middle East, is incomplete and a later Naples version has been used to prepare this recording. Cavalli's Venetian original is plain in his famous lamenti, lean and concise style and effective ensemble scenes while the hand which contributed to the Neapolitan revisions is responsible for the works sinfonias, arias with added violin parts and in the comic scenes. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Dionisia di Vico (mezzo), Giuseppe de Vittorio (tenor), Giuseppe Naviglio (bass), Cappella de'Turchini; Antonio Florio. Naïve/Opus 111 OP 30382 (France) 01F015 $27.98

FRANCESCO FOGGIA (1604-1688): Psalmodia Vespertina. This performance of five psalms, a Magnificat and two Marian antiphons is coupled with Gregorian chorales to imitate a vespers service in mid-17th century Rome. Five voices and continuo perform music whose style is very much up-to-date with the new Baroque virtuosity and Foggia's harmonies can be strikingly bold. CapellAntiquA; Bernhard Pfammatter. Divox Antiqua CDX-70207-2 (Switzerland) 01F016 $17.98 >

MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): Te Deum, Messe de Minuet pour Noël, Dixit Dominus. One of four extant settings, this Te Deum (probably from 1692) has all of the splendor and pomp one associates with such works and the trumpets and drums are particularly evident. On the other side of the affect field is the lovely, pastoral Christmas Midnight Mass (maybe 1694), which combines ten popular French carol melodies with standard liturgical elements. On this recording, in the places where the text indicates that the organ should play arrangement of the carols, four original noëls are sung (including one from French Canada in the original Huron language). Aradia Ensemble; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.557229 (New Zealand) 01F017 $6.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Agar et Ismaele Esiliati. Another of the oratorios (really short operas, in everything but name, to get around the Pope's ban on the genre) the young Scarlatti composed for Queen Christina in Rome (this one in 1683), this tale of the casting-out of Hagar and Ishmael by Abraham has all of the color, drama and balance between arias and ensembles that we have now come to expect from Scarlatti. Italian-English texts. Karina Gauvin, Melissa Fogarty (sopranos), Jennifer Lane (mezzo), Nathaniel Watson (baritone), Seattle Baroque; Ingrid Matthews. Centaur CRC 2664 (U.S.A.) 01F018 $16.98

REINHARD KEISER (1674-1739): Cantatas: Salvate il mio sposo, La bella cantatrice, Il geloso sprezzante, Von dem Landleben, Über den 62. Psalm, Von der Musik, Non sà dire, Qual nova crudeltate. From Musicalische Land-Lust of 1714, Divertimenti serenissimi (1713) and with three other Italian cantatas undated, these slight pieces represent Keiser's personal definition of the cantata - an excerpt from an opera, reduced to one person - and contain the typical operatic material: great emotional swings, psychological metamorphoses and other such stuff of soliloquies. Accompaniment is limited to viola da gamba, harp, organ and baroque guitar/chitarrone. Italian, German-English texts. Susanne Rydén (soprano), Capella Orlandi Bremen. CPO 999 956 (Germany) 01F019 $15.98

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764): Orchestral Suites from Dardanus and Le Temple de la Gloire. 67 minutes of endlessly varied, fresh and colorfully orchestrated music in two suites from operas of 1739 (Dardanus) and 1745, ranging from brilliant overtures and tender airs to pastoral scenes and rousing dances. Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon. CBC SMCD 5229 (Canada) 01F020 $16.98

MICHELANGELO ROSSI (1602-1656): Toccata VII, BERNARDO STORACE (1637-1707): Ricercare, Balletto, Ballo della Battaglia, BERNARD PASQUINI (1637-1710): 3 Arie, GIOVANNI PESCETTI (1704-1766): Sonata in C Minor, DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757): Sonatas in G, K.328 &153, Sonatas in C, K.513 & 199, BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Sonata per flauto, GIUSEPPE PAGANELLI (1710-1783): Aria II "Sub Elevatione", GAETANO VALERI (1760-1822): Sonata III, PADRE DAVIDE DA BERGAMO (1791-1863): Suonatina in F, 2 Elevazioni in D Minor, Sinfonia col tanto applaudito inno popolare. Andrea Marcon (organs in Treviso). Divox Antiqua CDX-75228-2 (Switzerland) 01F021 $17.98 >

MARCO UCCELLINI (1603-1680): Aria 13 sopra "Questa Bella Sirena", BELLEROFONTE CASTALDI (1580/1-1649): Sonata 7, Sonata 5, Ritornello primo, TARQUINIO MERULA (1595-1665): Chiacona a 3, GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): Canzona 5 detta "La Tromboncina", Toccata cromatica per l'Elevazione, Canzon 13 detta "La Bianchina", ANDREA FALCONIERI (1585-1656): La Gioiosa fantasia, Bayle de los dichos Diabolos, Fantasia Padre Falla, Folias echa para mi señora doña Tarolilla de Caralenos, GIOVANNI BASSANO (c.1558-1617): Suzanne un jour, SALAMONE ROSSI (1570-1630): Sonate 12 sopra "La Bergamasca", Sinfonia a 3, GIOVANNI PAOLO CIMA (1570-after 1622): Sonata a 3, GIOVANNI BATTISTA BUONAMENTE (d.1642): Sonata 10 sopra "Cavaletto zoppo", Gagliarda 10, BARTOLOMEO DE SELMA Y SALAVERDE (?-1638): Vestiva i colli. This collection of brief Italian instrumental pieces spans the period 1585-1650 and illustrates the movement from vocal works being transcribed for instruments to new, purely instrumental pieces without canzone originals. Most occupy a middle-ground and the variety of composers offers a very wide sampling of the happy musical and intellectual ferment which produced what became the High Baroque. Thse works use varying instrumentation, from solo to any combination of the following instrumentarium: two recorders, cello, violoncello piccolo, harpsichord, organ, theorbo and archlute. La Turbulente. Naïve/Astrée E 8884 (France) 01F022 $16.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Rosmira fedele. This was Vivaldi's last opera, produced in Venice in 1738 and it was also part-pastiche. Although the composer reworked much of the music he borrowed (some of it from himself), this recording gives us the chance to hear six arias by Hasse, Pergolesi, Handel, Antonio Mazzoni (then only 20 years old), Giuseppe Antonio Paganelli and Antonio Gaetano Pampani. In fact, the most remarkable thing about the opera is how seamless it plays, given the manner in which it was stitched together (both by Vivaldi and by the modern editors who had to deal with lacunose scores). 3 CDs for the price of 2. Italian-English libretto. Marianna Pizzolato, Claire Brua (mezzos), Salomé Haller (soprano), John Elwes (tenor), Ensemble Baroque de Nice; Gilbert Bezzina. Dynamic CDS 437/1-3 (Italy) 01F023 $35.98

LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-1787): Sinfonia di caccia for 4 Horns and Strings, Sinfonia "Die Bauernhochzeit", Sinfonia Burlesca, Sinfonia in G "Neue Lambacher". It's nice to see Papa Mozart get a full disc of his own, with the Neue Lambacher rightly under his name and with the "classical light music" pieces sounding even more bizzare and diverting (salterio, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy included in the Sinfonia Burlesca) on period instruments. L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra; Michi Gaigg. CPO 999 942 (Germany) 01F024 $15.98

GIOVANNI BONONCINI (1670-1747): La nemica d'amore fatta amante. Bononcini's fame was made early through a series of serenatas (somewhere between an oratorio and a small-scale opera, generically) he produced in Rome between 1692 and 1697. This one, dating from 1693, is a three-character piece - nymph, shepherd and satyr - of typical pastoral character and is a fine example of his uncomplicated style, elegant, expressive melodies and rich orchestration (a couple of arias have solo instruments accompanying). Italian-English libretto. Adriana Fernandez (soprano), Martin Oro (countertenor), Furio Zanasi (baritone), Ensemble 415; Chiara Banchini. Zig Zag Territories ZZT 030801 (France) 01F025 $17.98

ANTON ZIMMERMAN (1741-1781): String Quartets in E Flat, B & in F, Op. 3. A couple of Zimmerman's symphonies were confused with ones by Haydn and this group of string quartets, dating from somewhere in the mid-1770s, could also be easily taken for Haydn by the average listener. They are often written in a symphonic style and their expressive melodies set them above the more shallow, "salon"-style quartets of many of his contemporaries. Musica Aeterna Soloists. Naxos 8.553952 (New Zealand) 01F026 $6.98

Overtures and Arias from 18th century Zarzuelas by: JOSÉ MELCHOR DE NEBRA BLASCO (1702-1768): Iphigenia en Tracia, Amor aumenta el valor, VINCENTE MARTÍN Y SOLER (1754-1806): La madrileña, ANTONIO RODRÍGUEZ DE HITA (1724-1787): La Briseida, LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Clementina. A useful release which spotlights a very little studied genre. These pieces are in the early Classical style, influenced by Italian opera but integrating Spanish folk songs and rhythms like the jota, the fandango and the seguidilla. Spanish-English texts. Maria Bayo (soprano), Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. Naïve E 8885 (France) 01F027 $16.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): Complete String Concertos, Vol. 2 - Violin Concerto in D, Serenade for Violin, Cello, String Orchestra and 2 Horns. Many of Pleyel's concertos exist not only in numerous manuscripts (which attests to their enduring popularity) but also sometimes in many versions. The violin concerto here is Pleyel's first, dating from 1785-87 but, in 1788, he furnished it with a new finale, replacing a long (11-minute) virtuoso rondo with a chasse finale of half the length, complete with hunting horns. Both versions are recorded here. The Serenade (1780) is a four-movement orchestral version of an original seven movement chamber work and, like its companion, is in the classical style of Boccherini, Haydn and Stamitz. Vilmos Szabadi (violin), Péter Szabó (cello), Erdödy Chamber Orchestra; Zsolt Szefcsik. Hungaroton HCD 32241 (Hungary) 01F028 $17.98

BERNHARD ROMBERG (1763-1841): 3 Sonatas for Harp and Cello, Op. 5. Romberg was a virtuoso cellist and he provided himself with much graceful music in the style of Mozart and Viotti where lyrical melodies and hints of folksong periodically give way to bursts of virtuosity. Rachel Talitman (harp), Didier Poskin (cello). Talent 86 (Belgium) 01F029 $15.98

JOHANN BAPTIST CRAMER (1771-1858): Piano Sonatas in A Minor, Op. 53 "L'Ultima", in B Flat, Op. 58 "Les Suivantes No. 2", in E Minor, Op. 59 "Les Suivantes No. 3", in E, Op. 62 "Le Retour a Londres", in D Minor, Op. 63, in E, Op. 69 "Amicitia" and in F, Op. 74 "Il Mezzo". As a performer, Cramer may have been the most famous of the group of composer-pianists who make up the "London Piano School" but his music has been ill-served on record. This group of sonatas is from Cramer's latest period (1813-27) and includes all but three of his last 10 works in the genre. Cramer owned and played on Broadwoods throughout his life and one of the main reasons he stopped composing as early as he did was that he did not like the advances in piano-making technology. These sonatas are generally dramatic, often dark - approaching Schubert in many cases - and contain many passages which are muddied or lost on a modern piano; there is much treasure here for collectors of deeply felt, inward-looking piano music of the early Romantic period. 2 CDs. John Khouri (1813 Broadwood fortepiano). Music & Arts CD-1128 (U.S.A.) 01F030 $33.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)/JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K466, Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K503. Hummel combined Mozart's original orchestra part, the solo line and added his own ornamentation and cadenzas to produce what is, in effect, a transcription for solo piano which could stand alone; the other instruments merely accompany or reinforce the piano writing. His decorations of the piano part - double stopping, trills, appoggiaturas, parallel thirds, sixths and octaves and more - are valuable historical documents which enable us to track not only Hummel's own virtuosity but the tastes of his times and the evolution of the fortepiano. Fumiko Shiraga (piano), Henrik Wiese (flute), Peter Clemente (violin), Tibor Bényi (cello). BIS CD-1147 (Sweden) 01F031 $17.98

IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): 12 Charact-eristic Studies, Op. 95, 2 Études, Op. 98, 2 Études, Op. 105, 4 Grandes Études de Concert, Op. 111, Grande Étude de Concert, Op. 126. The op. 95 pieces last 46 minutes and are firmly in the Romantic style, each study having a descriptive title (in fact, all but the op. 105 etudes have them). Most possible technical hurdles are there to be overcome but these are actually secondary to the intrinsic merits of the music itself, which covers a wide emotional and psychological landscape. Piers Lane (piano). Hyperion CDA 67394 (England) 01F032 $17.98

HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869): Zaïde, Op. 19/1, La captive, Op. 12, La belle voyageuse, Op. 2/4, GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911): Adagietto from Sym. No. 5, RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883): Wesendonck Lieder (orch. Henze), Siegfried Idyll. We offer this utterly bizarre example of program-building for the rare orchestral songs of Berlioz (16 minutes in all), although Henze's slender, sweet orchestration of the Wensendonck songs is a treat, too. French-English texts. Yvonne Naef (mezzo), Capella Istropolitana, Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Heer. Claves CD 50-2309 (Switzerland) 01F033 $16.98

LOUISE FARRENC (1804-1875): Air russe varié, Op. 17, 9 selections from 30 Études dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs, Op. 26, Valse brillante, Op. 48, Nocturne, Op. 49, Variations brillantes, Op. 15. The Air russe is more poetic than the briliant Variations brillantes, showing both sides of Farrenc's variation manner while the Nocturne and Valse are good examples of her character pieces. Her major etude set dates from 1838 and is a major compendium of piano technique although advanced students were intended to play it as well as professional pianists. Konstanze Eickhorst (piano). CPO 999 879 (Germany) 01F034 $15.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Songs and Duets, Vol. 3 - Gruß, Op. 19a/5, Sonntagslied, Op. 34/5, Entsagung, Op. 9/11, Die Sterne schau'n in stiller Nacht, Op. 99/2, Frühlingslied, Op. 34/3, Schilflied, Op. 71/4, Altdeutsches Lied, Op. 57/1, Keine von der Erde Schönen, Schlafloser Augen Leuchte, Suleika, Op. 57/3, Der Mond, Op. 86/5, Wie kann ich froh und lustig sein?, Abendlied, Op. 8/9, Morgenlied, Op. 86/2, Im Frühling, Op. 9/4, Romanze (aus dem Spanischen), Op. 8/10, Tröstung, Op. 71/1, Pilgerspruch, Op. 8/5, Minnelied im Mai, Op. 8/1, Nachtlied, Op. 71/6, FANNY MENDELS-SOHN (1805-1847): Wenn ich in deine Augen sehe, Sehnsucht, Op. 9/7, Suleika und Hatem, Op. 9/12, Das Heimweh, Op. 8/2, Im wunderschönen monat Mai, Aus meinen Tränen spreißen. And, yet more of Mendelssohn's effortless, facile song uvre, so gratefully written for the voice, so light and easy on the ear, plumbing no great emotional depths, to be sure, but sparkling little jewels of their kind. German-English texts. Sophie Daneman (soprano), Sarah Connolly (mezzo), Mark Padmore (tenor), Stephan Loges (baritone), Eugene Asti (piano). Hyperion CDA 67388 (England) 01F035 $17.98

Il Salotto, Volume 6

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Predestin-azione, Lamento per Bellini, Non m'ami più, La campana, CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Dal suo gentil sembiante, GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): La partenza, GIOVANNI PACINI (1796-1867): La sventura, SIR MICHAEL COSTA (1806-1884): Perchè due cori insieme, Felice età dell' oro, COUNT ANTONIO BELGIOJOSO (1787-1854): Il biglietto amoroso, ACHILLE PERI (1812-1880): Sotto il salice piangente, ANGELO SAVINELLI (18-18): T'amo dell'idol mio, MICHAEL WILLIAM BALFE (1808-1870): Sempre pensoso e torbido, PRINCE GIUSEPPE PONIATOWSKI (1816-1873): All'amante lontano, SIR JULIUS BENEDICT (1804-1885): Ecco quel fiero istante, MELESIO MORALES (1838-1908): La Farfalletta, VINCENZO GABUSSI (1800-1846): La Calabraise, LAURO ROSSI (1810-1885): Aurette che placide. Rejection, betrayal, the pain of departure and of separation and that gnawing uncertainty - all those wonderful things Love brings you are the subjects of this group of Italian salon songs for solo voices and varying types of ensemble. Italian-English texts. Laura Claycomb (soprano), Bruce Ford, Dominic Natoli, Nicola Rossi Giordano (tenors), Manuela Custer (contralto), Roberto Servile, Dean Robinson (baritones), Brindley Sherratt (bass), David Harper (piano), Richard Bissill (horn). Opera Rara ORR 227 (England) 01F036 $19.98 Please add $1.00 extra for shipping this item.

LOUIS FERDINAND (1772-1806): Piano Trio in A Flat, Op. 2, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Piano Quartet in E Flat, Op. 47. Prince Louis' trio (published in 1806) is another remarkable pre-Romantic composition which uses traditional Classical form but, for all of the Haydnesque traits of its construction, goes way beyond that model with its virtuosic piano part (more like a concerto than a Haydn piano trio), significant melodic material given to both string instruments and the detailed instructions in the score regarding embellishments and the variance of expression when themes return. Heard blind, one might think that this work was written twenty or thirty years later than it was. Context (on period instruments). Zephyr Z-125-03 (U.S.A.) 01F037 $16.98

HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 16, Piano Quartet in E, Op. 6. Goetz himself acknowledged his stylistic debts to Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin but that does not make his chamber music any less enjoyable than it does that of, say, Raff. The 39-minute quartet (1867) is predominantly lyrical, flowing and mellifluous with a bubbly scherzo providing the main contrast while the 1874 quintet (using double bass like Schubert in the Trout Quintet) is a more concentrated (24 minutes) and highly dramatic work whose epigraph likely refers to the composer's suffering from the tuberculosis which would kill him only two years later. Pro Arte Piano Quartet, Paul Marrion (double bass). ASV DCA 1157 (England) 01F038 $17.98

Tchaikovsky World Premiere Recording!

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Oprichnik. After the withdrawn Voyevode, this 1874 opera (set among Ivan the Terrible's palace guard - the oprichniks of the title) was Tchaikovsky's first attempt at the stage. He cannibalized Voyevode for much of the music of the first of Oprichnik's four acts - this is the lightest, most Russian folk-sounding music in the opera - but managed to construct a dramatic Act III which builds to a striking ensemble/chorus climax. Act II is impressive for its integration of Russian Orthodox hymn motives and Act IV has some virtuosically orchestrated Russian dances. This should have wide appeal among collectors of Russian opera and of Romantic opera as a whole. 3 CDs. No Russian libretto-English translation. Vsevolod Grivnov (tenor), Vassily Savenko (bass), Elena Lassoskaya (soprano), Irina Dolienko (contralto), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. Dynamic CDS 430/1-3 (Italy) 01F039 $53.98

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Symphony No. 7, Elegy in Memory of Samarin for String Orchestra, Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 48. Completed by Semyon Bogatyryev from sketches which Tchaikovsky later used for his Piano Concerto No. 3 and for his Andante and Finale for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 79 (and, for its scherzo, a piano piece from op. 72), this reconstruction has been surprisingly neglected by record companies. The short Elegy (1884) was later used as an entr'acte in the 1891 incidental music for Hamlet. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Sergei Skripka. Talent 83 (Belgium) 01F040 $15.98

Sir Arthur Sullivan Premieres!

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): The Prodigal Son, Boer War Te Deum. The hour-long oratorio was produced in 1869 for the Three Choirs Festival and helped to further seal Sullivan's success as a composer and, particularly, as an English composer (getting commissions from the major provincial festivals was the highest calling). A major signpost on the way from Mendelssohn's Elijah to Elgar's Gerontius, the work is still quite in the style of the former. Sullivan treats the characters personally and almost operatically and adds more than a little "local color" to his orchestration. The Te Deum was the composer's last work, finished four months before his death. Scored for full military band, strings and organ, it is a grand, majestic and reverent work of 16 minutes whose dignity and theme of praising God, to the exclusion of any iota of flag-waving jingoism, puts it firmly in the tradition of the significant amount of sacred music Sullivan composed for the church in his early period. Texts included. Claire Rutter (soprano), Catherine Denley (mezzo), Mark Wilde (tenor), Garry Magee (baritone), The London Chorus, The New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 67423 (England) 01F041 $17.98

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Irish Rhapsodies No. 1, Op. 78, No. 2 "Lament for the Sons of Ossian", Op. 84, No. 3 for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 137, No. 4 "The Fisherman of Loch Neagh and What He Saw", Op. 141, No. 5, Op. 147 and No. 6 for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 191, Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 126, Concert Variations upon an English Theme "Down among the Dead Men", Op. 71 for Piano and Orchestra. Stanford's series of Irish Rhapsodies accompanied Chandos' Stanford symphony cycle and are now excerpted and reissued at mid-price, along with the second piano concerto and another work for piano and orchestra, the latter two of which are the only items in this set which do not derive entirely from Irish folk melodies. Collectors who don't have these works need only think of the equation: Brahms~German folk-music as Stanford~Irish folk music. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Margaret Fingerhut (piano), Ulster Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Original 1987-92 Chandos releases) Chandos 0210116 (England) 01F042 $26.98

AMY BEACH (1867-1944): String Quartet, Op. 89, Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 34, Dreaming, Op. 15/3 (transcr. for cello/piano by composer), Pastorale for Woodwind Quintet, Op. 151. The single-movement, 13-minute string quartet from 1929 is Beach's most forward-looking work, built around three Inuit tunes and distinguished by a lean, often dissonant contrapuntal language. The half-hour long violin sonata is another story, however: this is warm and passionate with rich chromatic harmonies and which develops motives with a Brahmsian economy. The remaining two works are quite brief, the backward-looking, conservative six-minute Pastorale from 1941 and the lyrical Dreaming, an 1892 piano piece rearranged 35 years later for cello and piano. Ambache. Chandos 10162 (England) 01F043 $17.98

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): Macbeth (1847 version). Between 1969 and 1983, the BBC Concert Orchestra made recordings of five Verdi operas in versions seldom heard today, all of which will be released by Opera Rara. In the 1847 Macbeth presented here the innovative aspects of the opera stand out much more clearly than in the 1865 version. This version makes far heavier demands on the two principals and Rita Hunter, a dramatic soprano known for her Brunnhilde, could more easily cope with the demands of the original, more florid version of the role of Lady Macbeth. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto (part of a 176-page book). Peter Glossop (baritone), Rita Hunter (soprano), John Tomlinson (bass), Kenneth Collins (tenor), BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra; John Matheson. Opera Rara ORCV 301 (England) 01F044 $39.98 Please add $1.00 extra for shipping this item.

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Chout, Op. 21. There is (we believe) only one other available recording of the complete Chout (not counting the Rozhdestvensky Russian Melodiya CD), making this new release in cpo's short series of Prokofiev ballets even more desirable. Full of Russian folk flavor as well as the composer at his satirical and grotesque best, this 1921 work is exquisitely orchestrated and worthy of being better known. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Jurowski. CPO 999 975 (Germany) 01F045 $15.98

ARAM KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978): Violin Concerto, Concerto-Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra. Full of local Armenian color as well as Slavic brooding and full-blooded, robust orchestration, Khachaturian's 1940 violin concerto is still one of his best-known works and its instantly memorable themes are among the 20th century's most well-loved. However, the Concerto-Rhapsody, written in 1961 for Leonid Kogan, is much less known. Lasting almost 24 minutes and in single-movement form, it has its moments of exotic color (especially in its faster middle section) but seems to show a composer also trying to demonstrate that he could produce high quality, "absolute" music as well. Mihaela Martin (violin), National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos 8.555919 (New Zealand) 01F046 $6.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 67, NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 44. There is not a moment of lugubrious brooding or melancholy in Myaskovsky's 1938 violin concerto (qualities that inform many of his symphonies), written for Oistrakh. Lasting 38 minutes, with a first movement twice the size of the remaining two together, a broad, singing, contented lyricism characterizes the first and slow movements, with a faster, dance-like finale rounding the work off. Vainberg's concerto comes from 1960 and is of sterner mien, particularly in the outer of its four movements where Shostakovich (as often in his music) comes to mind; this is a far more dramatic work than Myaskovsky's and gives the soloist extremely few opportunities for rest. Ilya Grubert (violin), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.557194 (New Zealand) 01F047 $6.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Trio for Flute, Viola and Piano, Op. 127, TATIANA NIKOLAYEVA (1924-1994): Trio for Flute, Viola and Piano, Op. 18, REYNALDO HAHN (1875-1947): Romanesque for Flute, Viola and Piano, 2 pièces for Flute and Piano, 4 Portraits de danseurs for Piano, MAURICE DURUFLÉ (1902-1986): Prélude, Récitatif et Variations for Flute, Viola and Piano, Op. 3. An unusual collection of trio, duo and solo works from these French and Russian composers with Hahn's pieces predominantly light, airy and archaically inspired, Duruflé's trio not unlike Ravel and Debussy, Vainberg (1979) again showing affinities with Shostakovich and the brilliant pianist Nikolayeva (1958) provides a formally unusual (eight short movements) trio in an attractive European style which sounds more English or French than Russian. Sharon Bezaly (flute), Nobuko Imai (viola), Ronald Brautigam (piano). BIS CD-1439 (Sweden) 01F048 $17.98

SAMUIL FEINBERG (1890-1962): Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1, Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 2, Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 3, Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 6, Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 10, Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 13. Almost forgotten today, Feinberg was one of the foremost pianists and teachers in the history of the Soviet Union (his was only the second complete recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and his Beethoven was equally prized) but, as a composer, his fame was even smaller. This is the first of two discs which will contain all 12 of his piano sonatas and these early pieces (the first three date from 1915-16 and the others, respectively, from 1918, 1921 and 1923) will be a must-have for anyone who loves the music of Scriabin and is interested in that magical period of Soviet music before the late 1920s when the blow of ideological conformity fell. These are all single-movement works, very chromatic, highly original in their harmonies and with a general sense of sorrow, struggle and nervous unease, reflecting an anguished inner world but which, here and there, is somewhat lightened by touches of nostalgic, charming melody. Nikolaos Samaltanos, Christophe Sirodeau (piano). BIS CD-1413 (Sweden) 01F049 $17.98

RENÉ GERBER (b.1908): Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra, Clarinet Concerto, Les Heures de France for Orchestra. (No, the clarinettist isn't named! Moldovans get no respect...) For that matter, neither, in the notes, do the works themselves. We can tell you that the longest work, Les Heures, dates from 1939 and that the last of its ten sections (about a third of the piece's length) uses a French song for metamorphosis, but that's the sum total of all booklet information. Still, collectors of this, the fourteenth disc devoted to Gerber from this Swiss label will not need to be prodded to acquire such lyrical, genial music in the composer's typical tonal/modal idiom in which the most "modern" stylistic influence is neo-classical. Moldavian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Silvano Frontalini. Gall CD-976 (Switzerland) 01F050 $18.98

SÁNDOR VERESS (1907-1992): 3 Quadri for Piano Trio, Piano Trio in B Flat, Memento for Viola and Double Bass, Canti Ceremissi for Voice and Piano, Introduzione e Coda for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Piano Trio in F Minor. Veress is the link between the Hungarian generation of Bartók and Kódaly and that of Ligeti and Kurtág and his late chamber works - the Memento, the Quadri and the Introduzione e Coda - are close to the world of the latter composers although folk music or rhythms are always present at one lever or another. The longest work here is the early piano trio, a work by a highly talented 17-year-old whose late Romantic influences are those one would expect. The Canti are settings of nine Cheremissian folk songs (in Hungarian translation) from 1945 in which Veress-as-ethnomusicologist continues the work of the first two masters listed above. Hungarian-English texts. Gábor Takács-Nagy (violin), Claudio Veress (viola), Raphael Rosenfeld (cello), Katalin Halmai (mezzo), Zsolt Fejérváry (double bass), Lajos Rozmán (clarinet), Dénes Várjon (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32013 (Hungary) 01F051 $17.98

CARLISLE FLOYD (b.1926): Of Mice and Men. This 1970 Steinbeck adaptation has been Floyd's most popular opera after Susannah. Like most of his other operas, Of Mice and Men uses a musical language quintessentially American-sounding, whose textures imply open space and whose wide intervals suggest human loneliness (especially important to this story). Although one feels that one is listening to music taken direct from the popular music of the west, no actual folk songs are used, Floyd managing to suggest all of that through his original composing. Much of the music here has an aching lyricism (George and Lenny also require more blustery music in their quarrels) and the work concentrates on the odd relationship between the two male characters, the simple-minded Lenny's music innocent, George's more complicated, but is perfectly capable of suggesting menace and horror when necessary. A major release for American opera collectors. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Gordon Hawkins (baritone), Anthony Dean Griffey (tenor), Elizabeth Futral (soprano), Joseph Evans (tenor), Houston Grand Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Patrick Summers. Albany TROY 621/22 (U.S.A.) 01F052 $33.98

SADAO BEKKU (b.1922): Prince Arima. There are no notes about this 1967 opera in the booklet and only a very sketchy synopsis which lets us know that the title character is a tragic, 7th-century prince involved in a revolt against the current leader. However, collectors who bought the Bekku orchestral disc the month before last will know that he writes in a tonal, quite approachable, European style, often neo-Classical or late Romantic in orientation. The music here is similar; in fact, it could have been written by an American or an Englishman as well as anyone else. The lyrical flow tends to be uninterrupted by major set-piece arias; one only wonders at what emotions are being expressed and which characters are singing at any particular time. Still, for collectors of exotica, there can't be much that is more exotic than the Japanese language accompnaied by western European classical musical traditons. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Kei Fukui (tenor), Yoko Oshima (soprano), Kazuko Nagai (mezzo), Michio Tatara (baritone), New Japan Philharmonic; Hiroshi Wakasugi. Camerata CMCD-20001-2 (Japan) 01F053 $35.98

NORMAN DELLO JOIO (b.1913): Homage to Haydn (rec. May 14. 1974), The Triumph of St. Joan. Both works are well worth resurrecting (even though the St. Joan symphony has a stereo recording, this is the March 13, 1952 recording made after its Louisville-commissioned premiere the preceding Dec. 5, at which Martha Graham mimed the work to her own choreography), the Homage a genial, light-hearted, tribute to Haydn in which that composer's inventiveness, craftsmanship and humor are mimicked with melodies and rhythms which are unmistakeably 20th century. The longer symphony is in three movements, subtitled "The Maid", "The Warrior" and "The Saint", in which Dello Joio captures the different qualities which Joan of Arc needed to perform her remarkable feats, all couched, of course, in the communicative language, based on late Romanticism, which was the composer's gift to music-lovers of the last century. Louisville Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, Robert Whitney. First Edition FECD-0019 (U.S.A.) 01F054 $17.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Piano Concerto, Kammermusik No. 2, Op. 36/1, Concert Music for Viola and Large Orchestra, Op. 48. Nothing here is particularly unusual - the majority of the music is in Hindemith's typical neo-Baroque/neo-Classical style in which elements from one period engagingly meet and mix with those of another. We're not sure why this was selected as a First Edition re-issue but, for those who are collecting the series, here it is. All DDD recordings from the mid-1980s. Lee Luvisi (piano), Raphael Hillyer (viola), Louisville Orchestra; Jorge Mester, Lawrence Leighton Smith. First Edition FECD-0022 (U.S.A.) 01F055 $17.98

National Orchestral Association, Vol. 1

BENJAMIN LEES (b.1924): Piano Concerto No. 1 (Joseph Bloch [piano], National Orchestral Association; John Barnett - 10/30/63), ERNEST GOLD (b.1921): Piano Concerto (Marisa Regules [piano], National Orchestral Association; Leon Barzin - 1/8/45). Pierian begins a trip down memory lane for LP collectors with this first volume of recordings made by the National Orchestral Association. Lees' concerto dates from 1954 and is a vibrant, often insistently motoric/rhythmic piece which will remind one, at various times, of Ravel, Prokofiev and Poulenc. Gold's concerto is that of a very young adult (1943) and was excoriated by the New York Times upon its premiere (this recording) for being "undistinguished" and sounding like "cannily orchestrated film music". It does make one think of Addinsell in its first movement but there are more echoes in the other two movements which sound characteristically American (no little accomplishment given that Gold only emigrated to the U.S. in 1938!). Pierian 0010 (U.S.A.) 01F056 $16.98

ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1909): Symphony No. 2 in A, Op. 22, Suite No. 3 "Variations", Op. 33, Overture to The Dream on the Volga, Op. 16, Intermezzo in G Minor, Op. 13, Introduction to Nal and Damayanti, Op. 47. Two rare opera overtures lead off this second Chandos Arensky release, the later one suggesting its Indian setting in its short Introduction while another rarity, the Intermezzo, is almost Mendelssohnian in its character. The symphony, rather short at 22 minutes, is an interesting formal experiment in cyclical structure and, though not particularly Russian in character, will certainly please all late romantic orchestral collectors. BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 10024 (England) 01F057 $17.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Hugh the Drover. Almost unknown when it was recorded ten years ago, this opera is full of the English folk manner and with plenty of authentic English folk songs into the bargain. Although it was not performed until 1924, the work was finished before the First World War and represents Vaughan Williams in the full flush of his career-changing discovery of English folk-song. A work both unsophisticated and highly polished, this is an apt companion for last month's The Poisoned Kiss. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Rebecca Evans (soprano), Bonaventura Bottone (tenor), Sarah Walker (mezzo), Alan Opie (baritone), Corydon Singers, New London Children's Choir, Corydon Orchestra; Matthew Best. Original 1994 Hyperion release. Hyperion Dyad CDD 22049 (England) 01F058 $17.98

JOSEPH BONNET (1884-1944): Complete Works, Vol. 2 - 12 Pièces nouvelles, Op. 7, Chant triste, 3 Poèmes d'Automne, Op. 3. All of Bonnet's compositions date from the small window of 1908-1913 and were mostly for his own use on his many organ tours both at home and abroad (he founded the organ department at the Eastman School as well as at the Montréal Conservatory) and the 12 pièces show the typical range of virtuosity and organ color which would be expected of Guilmant's student and successor while the Poèmes stem from a recital in Marseilles where the composer attempted to capture in music the effects of the Provençal countryside on him. Frédéric Ledoit (organ of the Cathedral of Angoulême). Skarbo DSK 1026 (France) 01F059 $16.98

BASIL HARWOOD (1859-1949): Complete Organ Works, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 2 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 26, Rhapsody, Op. 38, In an Old Abbey, Op. 32, Christmastide, Op. 34, 2 Sketches, Op. 18, Wedding March. Dating from 1912 to 1924, the works recorded here uphold the late Victorian tradition of organ composition with In an Old Abbey looking back nostalgically to Brahms and the two single-movement works celebrating English musical history with Christmastide based on plainsong and the Sarum Sequence and Rhapsody's dark, sepulchral tone stemming largely from the use of Tallis' Third Mode Melody. Adrian Partington (organ of Birmingham Oratory). Priory PRCD 684 (England) 01F060 $16.98

FERDINANDO PAER (1771-1839): Organ Concerto in D, JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1991): Thème, Variations et Final for Organ, Strings, 3 Trumpets and 3 Trombones, Choral médieval for 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones and Organ, CHARLES-MARIE WIDOR (1844-1937): Salvum fac populum tuum for 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones and Organ, ENJOTT SCHNEIDER (b.1950): Echo Concerto for Organ and String Orchestra, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Wir danken dir Gott - Prelude for Organ and Orchestra. What we have here are two 24-minute organ concertos about 200 years apart but equally approachable (Schneider is a composer of film music, among many other genres, so he knows how to communicate and his three-movement work based on the Echo and Narcissus myth engagingly mixes baroque rhythms, Franckian melody and harmony and a touch of modern minimalism, Paër's probably dates from 1795-6 and both benefit from being recorded in a large cathedral, not having the organ "grafted on"), two world premiere Langlais pieces (in manuscript fresh from his surviving heirs) of eleven and three minutes, respectively, and Widor's 1916 (!) anticipation of the end of the First World War. Franz Hauk (Klais organ of Liebfrauenmünster, Ingolstadt), Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Ingostadt; Markus Poschner. Guild GMCD 7264 (Switzerland) 01F061 $16.98

JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1991): Improvisations on B.A.C.H., Aus tiefer Not (both Cavaillé-Coll organ of St. Clotilde, Paris), on a French Christmas Song (Christensen organ, no location listed) and on Puer natus est (Reiger organ of the Marienstatt Cistercian Abbey). For organ collectors who prize recordings of great masters performing, and, especially, improvising, this disc will be attractive. The Ste. Clotilde improvisations were recorded in 1980; there are no dates for the others, unfortunately typical of Motette's often careless documentation. Motette CD M10371 (Germany) 01F062 $16.98

Romualds Jermaks (b.1931): 5 Latvian Folk Songs for Piano Four Hands, Talivaldis K< eniÚ (b.1919): Sonata for 2 Pianos, Imants Mearaups (b.1958): 2 postludes aprés Chopin for Piano Four Hands, Selga Mence (b.1953): Songs for 2 Pianos, Imants Zemzaris (b.1951): "Three Sisters" Fantasy for 2 Pianos, Dace Aperans (b.1953): Haiku for 2 Pianos, Andris Vecumnieks (b.1964): Quasi Campanella for Piano Four Hands, Paraphrase after J.P. Rameau's "Two Hens". The cover of this release says "Latvian Music Series, Vol. 1" (although two of the composers were born in North America and another one lives there), but we've seen too many series never get past volume one to get our hopes up, so let's just take this one as it comes and be happy for what we get. Everything is tonal - one would expect as much from settings of Latvian folk songs and from works based on Chopin, Rameau and Paganini - but Kenins' sonata is unmistakeably a 20th century work even if its composer is firmly in the Romantic tradition. Mence's four Songs are works which are the dramatic tone-pictures created through imaginative use of the sonorities of the piano, Aperans' Haiku are in the spare, descriptive spirit of their inspirational source and Zemzaris' piece is a distillation of incidental music for the Chekhov play. Antra and Normunds VÓksne (piano duo). Angelok CD-7701 (U.S.A.) 01F063 $10.98

OVATION Vol. 3 - Five more Canadian Composer Portraits at Budget-price

GILLES TREMBLAY (b.1932): Fleuves for Orchestra, L'arbre de Borobudur for Gamelan Ensemble, Les Pierres crieront for Cello and Orchestra (Jerôme Pernod [cello], Orchestre National de France; Yves Prin, Luca Pfaff, Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble; Walter Boudreau), TALIVALDIS KENINS (b.1919): String Quartet No. 1, Bonhomme! Bonhomme! for Chorus, Violin Concerto, Piano Sonata No. 3, Partita on Lutheran Chorales for Strings (Quartet Canada, Toronto Festival Singers; Elmer Iseler, Steven Staryk [violin], CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra; John Avison, Chia Chou [piano], I Musici de Montréal; Yuli Turovsky), NORMA BEECROFT (b.1934): 3 pezzi brevi for Flute and Piano, Rasas I for Ensemble, Elegy and Two Went to Sleep for Soprano, Flute and Piano, Piece for Bob for Flute and Percussion, The Living Flame of Love for Chorus, Improvisazioni Concertanti No. 2 for Orchestra, Evocations: Images of Canada (Electroacoustic) (Robert Aitken [flute], Marion Ross [piano], Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec; Serge Garant, The Lyric Arts Trio, Robert Aitken [flute and percussion], The Festival Singers of Canada; Elmer Iseler, National Arts Centre Orchestra; Mario Bernardi), JOHN BECKWITH (b.1927): For Starters for Band and Orchestra, Circle, with Tangents for Harpsichord and Orchestra, Round and Round for Orchestra, A Concert of Myths for Flute and Orchestra (Members of the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Colin Tilney [harpsichord], CBC Vancouver Orchestra; Mario Bernardi, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra; Victor Feldbrill, Robert Aitken [flute], Hong Kong Sinfonietta; Yeh Tsung), BARBARA PENTLAND (1912-2000): Studies in Line for Piano, 3 Duets After Pictures by Paul Klee for Piano Four Hands, Piano Trio, Ephemera for Piano, Trance for Flute and Harp, Tellus for Flute, Cello, Percussion and Keyboards (Angela Hewitt [piano], Barbara Pentland, Robert Rogers [piano four hands], Barbara Pentland [piano], Arthur Polson [violin], James Hunter [cello], Robert Rogers [piano], Robert Aitken [flute], Erica Goodman [harp], Days Months and Years to Come). Rich and sonorous, Tremblay's Fleuves uses the resources of a very large orchestra to evoke the complexity of natural forces, structured yet chaotic. The work inspired by Java and Bali, L'arbre de Borobudur evokes an expanded gamelan, incorporating imitative textures on western instruments with an actual gamelan ensemble, vividly and idiomatically evoking the mystery of the East. The powerful Biblical image of the stones crying out and the mourning song of Buddhist monks are the departure points for the elemental and complex third work here, with its virtuosic, extended cello part. Kenins' works sound positively Romantic by contrast, though in truth his vocabulary is more that of the first third of the 20th century, leaving aside the more progressive elements of the time; the violin concerto is especially fine, somewhat reminiscent at times of Sibelius and Berg. Norma Beecroft is, of the composers showcased here, the one with the most historically identifiable style; these works are predominantly in a rigorous and economical post-Webernian serial idiom. The flute, Beecroft's own instrument, is featured prominently and with obvious skill and affection. Her use of electronics adds sonority and texture without seeming fundamental to the musical argument, which is mainly carried by the tightly structured musical material. John Beckwith's disc opens with a lively and attractive fanfare-like occasional work, whose ready appeal belies its dodecaphonic origins, and elsewhere too he succeeds admirably in exploiting compositional techniques which seldom look as far back as Bartók to create works of undeniable approachability (the dance sections of Round and Round being an exception of sorts, pastiching popular sentimentality with a knowing postmodern wink). Barbara Pentland's story is a rather sad one, of a highly talented composer somewhat stifled by lack of early encouragement, neglect and ill-health. Nonetheless, these solo and chamber works, which appear to be her primary media of choice or necessity, display a throrough and accomplished composer who moved away early in her career from impressionistic chromaticism towards a Webernian concision and tautness of organisation while retaining a very personal lyrical gift. The booklet notes suggest that she was more recognised by academia than audiences, but there seems, on the basis of these finely wrought and expressive compositions, to be little reason why this should be; a composer worthy of serious investigation at least. 5 CDs for the price of 2. CBC Perspective PSCD 2028-5 (Canada) 01F064 $33.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): The House of the Sun. This "tragedia buffa", as its composer calls it, was composed after Rautavaara read a news article in 1987 about two spinster sisters who froze to death in their ramshackle house in Finland which they had inhabited since 1917 when they and their parents fled the Russian Revolution. The libretto is a meditation on the ways life slips past and how people react to its doing so; tragedy mixes with comedy in flashbacks to the sisters' "good old days" and the music is most often lyrical and in Rautavaara's late-romantic style with almost no intrusions of modernistic effects. Not an earthshaking work but curiously affecting, sad but finally uplifting. 2 CDs. Finnish-English libretto. Anna-Kristiina Kaappola (soprano), Raija Regnell (mezzo), Tuomas Katajala (tenor), Tommi Hakala (baritone), Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Mikko Franck. Ondine ODE 1032 (Finland) 01F065 $35.98

ALLA PAVLOVA (b.1952): Symphony No. 1 "Farewell Russia", Symphony No. 3. Farewell Russia is a work for large chamber ensemble, only loosely a symphony; rather a deeply personal set of moods and impressions concerned with the composer's feelings about the changes which have affected her homeland in the past decade or so. Predominantly elegiac and wistful in mood, and largely tonal, the piece reflects the uncertainty of an individual contemplating a beloved nation undergoing profound changes, without in any way attempting to depict the upheavals of those changes themselves. The third symphony is even more straightforwardly tonal and unabashedly Romantic. It occupies a realm of Russian music in which heart-on-sleeve emotion veers dangerously near to sentimentality and is stalked by the spectre of kitsch in a way that no self-respecting modern western composer would be caught dead contemplating (see also various Kabalevsky, Svetlanov, and some Khachaturian, and there are plenty of other examples). But this is good, honest sentimentality, nicely put together, if you feel like a good wallow. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Konstantin D. Krimets, Alexander Vedernikov. Naxos 8.557157 (New Zealand) 01F066 $6.98

RODION SHCHEDRIN (b.1932): Piano Concerto No. 2, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 35, Piano Concerto No. 2 in F, Op. 102. As always, we offer everything Hamelin records, even the Shostakovich concertos - especially when he couples them with one of Shchedrin's six piano concertos! This work from 1966 seems to channel Prokofiev through a twelve-note theme which begins the first movement and which leads to dialogues between soloist and orchestra which work themselves up to a grinding climax. The second movement has some aleatoric sections for the pianist in a driving, highly rhythmic scherzo-like form while the finale is a kaleidoscopic rush through various moods, including jazz combo and film chase scene, to an exhilarating conclusion. Marc-André Hamelin (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Litton. Hyperion CDA 67425 (England) 01F067 $17.98

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): St. Luke Passion. When it appeared in the mid-1960s, Penderecki's huge religious canvas made an impact on both the sophisticated world of the musical avant garde and on the general public that was arguably unprecedented for a work of such uncompromising modernity. This is the masterpiece of Penderecki's avant garde period, indeed, and the clusters, shrieks and howls and spectacular sonic effects carry almost the same shock value today as they did 40 years ago. Hearing the work again - surely the most harrowing account of the Passion ever committed to music - one may find oneself nostalgic for the days when contemporary music was still allowed to be unsafe and (so to speak) R-rated. Izabella Klosinska (soprano), Adam Kruszewski (baritone), Romuald Tesarowicz (bass), Warsaw Boys Choir, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.557149 (New Zealand) 01F068 $6.98

RODOLFO HALFFTER (1900-1987): String Quartet, Op. 24, 3 movimientos, Op. 28, 8 tientos, Op. 35, ERNESTO HALFFTER (1905-1989): String Quartet. Rodolfo's first quartet (1958) is a very attractive piece, written in a modern, tonal language with much Spanish influence, particularly in its varied but omnipresent rhythmic vitality. The Movimientos, from 1962, are technically serial and have a more serious, austere atmosphere but the Spanish rhythmic play keeps one's interest throughout while the Tientos (1973) are little, epigrammatic pieces which explore different means of writing for the strings in a generally tonal language in which the composer's characteristic Spanish personality always comes through. Brother Ernesto's quartet dates from 1923 and breathes the refined Impressionistic atmosphere of Ravel and Debussy, making for a contrasting, yet equally ear-pleasing disc-mate. Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Ensayo ENY-CD-9802 (Spain) 01F069 $16.98

Four More Volumes of In Flanders' Fields

KOEN DEJONGHE (b.1957): 3 Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano, Tijdingen for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, GEORGES LONQUE (1900-1967): Prélude et aria for Cello and Piano, Op. 30, Idoles for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 41, DANIEL GISTELINCK (b.1948): Argomenti for Clarinet and Cello, PAUL JUON (1872-1940): 4 Trio Miniatures from Op. 18 & 24, MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Trio Pathétique in D Minor. This collection of music for clarinet, cello and piano should appeal to all lovers of romantic chamber music. Obviously, the Juon is Romantic (with the composer's usual flavors of Rachmaninov and Slavic folklore), but Lonque's two works from 1943 and 1950 are fully in the Romantic tradition while Dejonghe's pieces add a brittle, neo-classical quality to still quite romantically tonal compositions. Only Gistelinck's five-minute Argomenti shows any evidence of modern compositional techniques. Trio Clarino. Phaedra 92032 (Belgium) 01F070 $16.98 >

VIC NEES (b.1936): Ego flos for Mixed Voices, Concerto per la beata Vergine for Oboe and Choir, 8 Japanese Folk Songs for Mixed Choir and Baritone Solo, Nausikaä for Youth Choir, Soprano, Baritone, Flute and Piano. Nees writes only choral music and does so in a traditional manner. Ego flos sets the texts syllabically and often uses word-painting; the Concerto sets three Marian texts in three-movement concerto-like fashion complete with sonata form in the outer movements while the rich voice of the oboe acts as commentator or accompanist; the Japanese settings manage to combine Eastern monody and western counterpoint while the cantata Nausikaä turns Odysseus' encounter with the daughter of his Phaiakian benefactor into a delightful little pastoral idyll. Flemish and Latin texts. Various soloists, Flemish Radio Choir; Johan Duijck. Phaedra 92035 (Belgium) 01F071 $16.98 >

JOHAN DUIJCK (b.1954): Four-Leaf Clover, Op. 5, Illuminatio, Op. 7, Recognitio, Op. 10, Seven-League Boots, Op. 13, Discretio, Op. 14, The Well-Tempered Pianist. The majority of this disc is devoted to pedagogical pieces (the ones with the, shall we say, "funny" titles), intended for young pianists, simple but not facile, and couched in a modern language which will appeal to listeners of all ages. The remaining three works are similarly enjoyable, though written for professional pianists or advanced students (Illuminatio was an exam piece). Johan Duijck (piano). Phaedra 92036 (Belgium) 01F072 $16.98 >

PETER THYS (b.1962): Icarus for Oboe and Wind Nonet, ALAIN CRAENS (b.1957): Mystery for Wind and String Quintets, STEFAN WELLENS (b.1974): The Dragon Gets Bitten and The Return of The Dragon Gets Bitten for Double Wind Quintet, PETRA VERMOTE (b.1968): Amanecía for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, String Trio, Double Bass, Percussion, Guitar and Piano. This collection of new music for small ensembles, with winds to the fore, offers various types of language, most of which have a strong narrative element. Thys' work is the longest - 21 minutes - and a solo oboe represents Icarus, bassoons and horns his father whose warnings he ignores; his increasing desire to fly and the unfortunate result are expressed in a freely tonal and vivid style. Craens makes a point of returning to the triad but this doesn't mean that there are melodies in his Mystery; modern without being atonal, its language hints at various modern compositional styles. Wellens' sources are funk and rock and he uses a wide color palette for his wind players while Vermote's Amanecía paints gently undulating, mostly quiet sound pictures which have a dreamlike quality. Ensemble Emanon; Edwig Abrath & Raf De Keninck. Phaedra 92037 (Belgium) 01F073 $16.98 >

EDUARDAS BALSYS (1919-1984): Violin Concerto No. 1 (Aleksandras Livontas [violin], Lithuanian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Abelis Klenickis - 1956), Violin Concerto No. 2 (Ingrida Armonaite [violin], Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; Juozas Domarkas - 2003), Dramatic Frescoes for Violin, Piano and Orchestra (Aleksandras Livontas [violin], Olga Steinbergaite [piano], State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Juozas Domarkas - 1970), Introduction and Passacaglia for Organ and Orchestra (Leopoldas Digrys [organ], Members of the State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Juozas Domarkas - 1974), Reflections of the Sea for String Orchestra (State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Juozas Domarkas - 1988), Portraits for Orchestra (State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Juozas Domarkas - 1988), String Quartet (Lithuanian String Quartet - 1965), 5 Excerpts from Egle, Queen of the Grass-Snakes for Violin and Piano (Raimundas Katilius [violin], Larisa Lobkova [piano] - 1981), Concerto for Violin Solo (Raimundas Katilius [violin] - 1988). If you looked at Balsys' entry in the 1980 New Grove, you would find him described as a Romantic Nationalist whose material often derived from folk songs and melodies. The first of these two discs contains that Balsys: a colorful string quartet from 1953 with echoes of Ravel along with the expected Lithuanian folk motifs, a violin concerto from the following year which is richly romantic in nature without sounding like 19th century music, and the pieces from Egle (1963) which are very close to folk song. However, the 1958 second violin concerto is a much more concentrated work, half the length of its 24-minute predecessor, in which folk melody and romantic color meet more modern ideas. The second disc begins with another 24-minute piece - the single-movement Dramatic Frescoes of 1965 - whose stylistic influences are from the mid 20th century (Prokofiev and the Czech orchestral composers in the Macha-Slavicky-Kalabis area, whose dark, tense and oppressive sound-world is particularly evident in the first half of the work) while still admitting Lithuanian folk song in a more highly processed way. The little organ/orchestra piece (1974) throws in some references to western popular music while Reflections (1981) and Portraits (1983) are fully mature works in a modern, yet very approachable style (the 9-minute solo violin piece is all that's left of a third violin concerto and which was premiered two years after the composer's death). Not to be missed for collectors of attractive but not facile 20th century orchestral music. 2 CDs. Lithuanian Music Information Center LMIPCCD 022-23 (Lithuania) 01F074 $33.98 >

WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Missa pro pace for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. Written in 1999 and premiered in September of 2002 (this recordingis of the live premiere), Kilar's 67-minute mass is predominantly meditative, sometimes almost static in its effect, as in the 14-minute opening Kyrie. This is followed by the only fast section of the work, a seven-minute Gloria whose repetitions build excitement, before a solemn, almost ascetic, Credo and a meltingly beautiful Sanctus for the soprano soloist, before the final, 20-minute Agnus Dei builds inexorably (in dynamics if not in tempo) to its glorious peroration. Zofia Kilanowicz (soprano), Jadwiga Rappé (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor), Piotr Nowacki (bass), Lower Silesian Opera Choir, Witold Lutoslawski Philharmonic in Wroclaw; Marek Pijarowski. Dux 0434 (Poland) 01F075 $16.98

LOU HARRISON (1917-2003): Canticle No. 3, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Toccata, ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): October Mountain, EDGARD VARÈSE (1883-1965): Ionisation, HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Ostinato Pianissimo, JOHANNA BEYER (1888-1944): IV. This useful disc contains important percussion works from the eleven years between 1931 and 1942, from Varèse's groundbreaking Ionisation to Harrison's Canticle. Cowell's piece imitates the Javanese gamelan ensemble while Harrison, though historically interested in that ensemble too, was mining Indian and Mexican music for his piece. Chávez' toccata is not Mexican in content, although it uses some native percussion instruments and while Hovhaness uses medieval musical scales and modes in his suite of short movements. Beyer's little, two-minute piece from 1935 is made up of nine rhythmic lines, for which the conductor must choose his own instrumentation. University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble; Thomas Siwe. Equilibrium EQ 62 (U.S.A.) 01F076 $16.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): Brass Quintets No. 1, Op. 79 & No. 2, Op. 136, AXEL JØRGENSEN (1881-1947): Brass Quintet, IB NØRHOLM (b.1931): From the Merry Life of a Spy, Op. 156, MOGENS ANDRESEN (b.1945): 3 Norwegian Dances, ANDERS NORDENTOFT (b.1957): 3 Studies. All but one of these Norwegian brass quintets were written between 1962 and 1999, showing a nice variety of form and of styles with Holmboe's expressive but formally traditional pieces opposing Nørholm's imaginary spy-story, and Nordentoft's etude-like pieces. Jørgensen's 1942 quintet, an unusual piece for that time, is pretty much in the National Romantic tradition while Andresen's Norwegian dances are brief, melodious and immediately communicative. Art of Brass Copenhagen. Dacapo 8.226001 (Denmark) 01F077 $15.98

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): The Palace Rhapsody, Op. 72, KALEVI AHO (b.1497): Tristia, EINOJUAHI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): A Soldier's Mass, Op. 40, TUOMAS KANTELINEN (b.1969): Ghosts (arr. Ampuja). Rautavaara's 1968 piece was rather avant-garde sounding for its time (it has had several recordings already), running the gamut from sarcasm to chorale. Aho's 1999 Tristia is unusual for being a rather quiet, inward-looking piece of low dynamic levels and great sensitivity; Sallinen (1997) used motives from his opera The Palace to produce this 17-minute rhapsody whose gloomy propensities are lightened by tango and jazz material; Kantelinen (2000) writes a playfully rhapsodic work of shifting and changing characters, originally for a 110-player wind ensemble, which was transcribed for standard wind band for this recording. The Guards' Band; Elias Seppälä, Raine Ampuja. Alba ABCD 170 (Finland) 01F078 $16.98

JUDITH WEIR (b.1954): Piano Concerto, Music for 247 Strings for Violin and Piano, Piano Trio, Arise! Arise! for Piano Quartet, Piano Quartet, Distance and Enchantment for Piano Quartet, The Bagpiper's String Trio, The Art of Touching the Piano for Piano, I Broke Off a Golden Branch for Piano Quintet, Ardna-murchan Point for 2 Pianos, El Rey de Francia for Ensemble, The King of France for Piano. One of these discs was previously available on the short-lived but ambitious Collins Classics label; the other was recorded for this set. Weir's eclectic style - grounded in classicism by way of 20th-century Romanticism - presents a sometimes bewildering kaleidoscope of influences as diverse as Beethoven, Rakhmaninov, Stravinsky and non-Western traditions of the kind that sometimes get blended into the homogeneous mass of 'world music', but which she treats as musical entities in their own right, with their own boundaries and borders (much as another Scottish composer with a similar wide-ranging regard for musics of the world in a basically tonal matrix - Ronald Stevenson - has done). Approachable without ever feeling over-familiar, this set is self-recommending for admirers of the composer or those curious to encounter an individual, not to say eccentric, British outsider figure in music. 2 CDs. William Howard (piano), Schubert Ensemble, Domus, Susan Tomes, Petra Casén (piano). (Piano Concerto - Piano Quartet: new recordings; rest: 1990 Collins Classics release.) NMC Ancora D090 (England) 01F079 $31.98

ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): Metamorphosis/Dance for Orchestra, Romanza for Cello and Orchestra, ...a musical offering (J.S.B. 1985)... for Orchestra, Behold the Sun for Soprano and Ensemble, Lyric Pieces for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone and Double Bass, Sinfonia for Orchestra. Another welcome addition to NMC's Ancora series, reissuing recordings made by Unicorn-Kanchana in the 1980s and 1990s. With his formally thorough style grounded in the Second Viennese school, by way of Messiaenic colour and a strain of almost Elgarian Romanticism, Goehr has always sopken with a personal and readily identifiable voice. Another comparison that comes to mind, in his dark-hued and rich yet clearly delineated textures, is Sibelius, with whom Goehr also shares a tautness and concision of form. Of the prodigiously gifted group of musicians who made up the "Manchester School",Goehr is probably turning out to be the one whose work as composer is of the most lasting and timeless value, and this set deserves the highest recommendation. 2 CDs. Moray Welsh (cello), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; David Atherton, Jeanine Thames (soprano), London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen. Original 1981 and 1990 Unicorn-Kanchana releases.) NMC Ancora D095 (England) 01F080 $31.98

GRAHAM FITKIN (b.1963): Kaplan. The title of this set of seven pieces for synthesizers is derived from the central character in Hitchcock's film "North by Northwest". Fitkin is a serious composer whose post-minimalist compositions for ensemble and orchestra are dynamic, highly accessible and resolutely tonal in the manner of the later developments of minimalism, though like many other composers with a grounding in minimalism, he has largely eschewed the slowly evolving processes central to the original idea, in favour of ostinati and frank percussive 'beats' from a tradition that has a good deal less to do with 'classical' music. In terms of content, that is what we have here, for a good part of the time. Now, we are told that Fitkin is concerned to be as involved in all aspects of his music as possible, from conception through final performance. Certainly, one way to achieve this is through the use of synthesizers, which can be co-ordinated with mathematical precision, and studio production techniques not commonly associated with "classical music". So, this CD is packaged and produced like a non-classical album. The music is harmonically smart and slick, and rhythmically lively. It's certainly never less than attractive, and each (untitled) track evokes a definite mood. Ruth Wall, Graham Fitkin (keyboards). Black Box BBM 1086 (England) 01F081 $17.98

FAZIL SAY (b.1970): Black Earth for Piano, Violin Sonata, Silk Road - Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Silence of Anatolia & Obstinacy for Piano and Orchestra, Paganini Variations for Piano, Dervish in Manhattan for Piano, Ney, Double Bass and Drums. Say is a young composer-pianist with a wide repertoire from the classical, romantic and 20th-century (of the Bartók/Stravinsky/Prokofiev persuasion) and an interest in jazz and the folk music of his native Turkey. The ready accessibility of the music and its high energy come from jazz; the modal folk influence is omnipresent, and reminiscences of specific works of Stravinsky (the Symphony in 3 movements, Le sacre), Prokofiev (7th Sonata) lend a comfortable familiarity to his origiinal though not especially innovative idiom. Folk instruments are evoked through some ingenious, not at all intrusive piano preparation, and the overall impression is of a composer eager to please his listeners while never talking down to them with excessive ease of listening. A most enjoyable disc (the Tatumesque/Brubeckian Paganini variations - yes, that caprice - are a riot, alone worth the price of admission). Fazil Say (piano), Laurent Korcia (violin), Gulbenkian Chamber Orchestra; Muhai Tang, Orchestre National de France; Eliahu Inbal, Kuds Erguner Quartet. Naïve V 4954 (France) 01F082 $16.98

MIROSLAW GASIENIEC: Saint John of God for Tenor, Choir and String Orchestra, Saint Hedwig of Silesia for Soprano, Baritone, Guitar, Chorus and String Orchestra. These two 'cantatas in the Baroque style' on the writings of St John of God and the life of St Hedwig of Silesia are pieces faithfully evoking styles from ages past - from Bach to, well, sometimes somewhat later than the Baroque, but little that would have given Beethoven much pause for thought, and nothing that woukd have disturbed Dvorak at all. These are finely wrought and unironic homages to music of a bygone age, written in 1993 and 2001, attractive and devotionally beautiful, though their appeal will probably be greatest to those who would normally collect works from the 1790s rather than the 1990s. Polish-English texts. Wieslaw Ochman (tenor), Aneta Góral (soprano), Rafal Zurakowski (baritone), Krzysztof Pelech (guitar), Witold Lutoslawski Philharmonic in Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra and Choir; Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk. Dux 0426 (Poland) 01F083 $16.98

NICCOLÒ CASTIGLIONI (b.1932): Grüezi for Oboe, Daleth for Clarinet and Piano, Alef for Oboe, Gymel for Flute and Piano, Rima for Oboe and Piano, Filastrocca for Wind Quintet, Dulce Refrigerium for Piano. These works for various combinations of wind instruments, with or without piano, share a common lightness of touch, a mercurial fleetness of foot, not without humour. Despite the composer's Darmstadt background, these characteristics lend the pieces a ready appeal; the pointillistic presentation of material, for instance, is often tonal, on a 'cellular' level, so to speak, and the rhythmic liveliness of the (sometimes exceedingly virtuosic) instrumental material carries the music along with dizzying momentum and sprightly playfulness. Occasional glimpses of Baroque and Classical quotations also serve to lighten the mood and reinforce the impression of these works as charming divertimenti, delightfully crafted - this sort of lightheartedness is as rare as it is welcome in a composer of such modern æsthetics. Quintetto Arnold, Peter-Lukas Graf (flute), Omar Zoboli (oboe), Ernesto Molinari (clarinet), Tuija Hakkila (piano). Divox CDX 29209 (Switzerland) 01F084 $17.98 >

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Lumen for Mandolin, Guitar, Harp, Vibraphone, Trumpet and Trombone, Scrivo in vento for Flute, Con leggereza pensosa for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Changes for Guitar, Esprit rude, Esprit doux II for Flute, Clarinet and Marimba, Bariolage for Harp, Inner Song for Oboe, Immer Neu for Harp and Oboe, Gra for Clarinet, Enchanted Preludes for Flute and Cello, 90+ for Piano, Canon for 4 for Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin and Cello. Throughout his long career, Carter has made a frequent practice of writing dedication and occasional pieces for friends and colleagues, and this disc usefully gathers twelve of them together. While it is his medium- and large-scale works that make Carter one of today's pre-eminent composers, these small pieces for solo instruments and small groups are remarkably free of expressive compromise; all inhabit the composer's trademark world of contrasting lines and voices presented with extraordinary clarity. Whether a conscious attempt is made to reflect the character of the dedicatee or not, the pieces all possess a strong and individual character and a lightness of touch which can never be mistaken for frivolity. An attractive side of Carter's complex musical personality, and worth investigating by confirmed admirers of his style and newcomers alike. Nieuw Ensemble; Ed Spanjaard. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782089 (France) 01F085 $16.98

FERNANDO MENCHERINI (1949-1997): Notturno volgare for Clarinet, Playtime No.1 - Alex in Mongolia for 2 Guitars, Rite in Progress for Piano, Notturno for Contrabass, Playtime No. 4 - Dietro l'orologio for Soprano and Tenor Saxophones, 6 Danze for Violin. Mencherini, a most promising talent who died young, wrote music of capricious character and considerable instrumental inventiveness, as exemplified by the works for one or two instruments presented here. Teasing references to tonality and Romanticism rub shoulders with some extended playing techniques and a vocabulary that is in general conservatively avant garde. A playful lightness of touch informs all these attractive pieces, rendering them entertaining and accessible despite their modern idiom. Mid-price. Ciro Scarponi (clarinet), Elena Càsoli, Jürgen Ruck (guitars), Fausto Bongelli (piano), Stefano Scodanibbio (double bass), Federico Mondelci (soprano sax), Massimo Mazzoni (tenor sax), Francesco D'Orazio (violin). col legno WWE 1CD 20207 (Germany) 01F086 $10.98

CRISTÓBAL HALFFTER (b.1930): 7 cantos de España for Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra. This is a recording of the world premiere of Halffter's orchestral song cycle, setting texts which explore the origins of Spanish poetry, both the Spanish tradition itself and its Arabic and middle-eastern forbears. Scored for two singers and large orchestra, the latter amply used in dense, micropolyphonic textures, the whole resonating in vivid colour and the interplay of powerful contrasts. The vocal writing alternates between declamatory and lyrical, always expressive of a linear narrative, while the lush orchestration owes much to early 20th-century atonality and serialism, in which lie Halffter's compositional roots. A compelling work of great emotional impact. Mid-price. María Orán (soprano), Simon Preece (baritone), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Cristóbal Halffter. col legno WWE 1CD 31867 (Germany) 01F087 $10.98

DENYS BOULIANE (b.1955): Une Soirée Vian. This is the kind of thing for which the term 'polystylistic' was invented. A sort of music-theatre work based on the novel "L'herbe rouge" by Boris Vian, a species of meta-novel in which satire and surrealism are combined, the music draws on idioms from the electroacoustic avant garde, jazz and popular music. The basic sound of the ensemble recalls free jazz most strongly, though the electronic transmogrification of sounds and those electronically synthesized suggest the European avant garde, though it must be said that amongst the wild whoops and sprechstimme, much of what is heard is surprisingly tonal and more narrative-pictorial than abstract. The sense of influences as diverse as Ligeti (with whom Bouliane studied), Eisler, crossover jazz-rock and theatre being viewed via distorting fun-house mirrors lends the piece is irresistable, and lends the piece its originality and surreal humour. Mid-price. Ingrid Schmithüsen (soprano), Klaus Hüger (baritone), Michael Niesemann (sax), Michael Riessler (clarinet), Klaus König (trombone), Eberhard Maldfeld (double bass), Gérard Siracusa (drums, percussion), Paulo Alvares (piano, keyboards). col legno WWE 1CD 31888 (Germany) 01F088 $10.98

OLGA NEUWIRTH (b.1968): Bählamms Fest. This disturbing and surreal tale of extreme family dysfunction expressed through dark humor and horrific imagery - a play by Leonora Carrington brought to vivid life in Neuwirth's graphic setting - deals in murder, sadism, brutality and the reversion of human beings to the animal state as metaphor for the unacknowledged bestiality hinted at in psychoanalysis. The music correspondingly abounds in graphic shock tactics; over a basically Second Viennese vocabulary, the full resources of the avant-garde are employed in animal sounds and wild shrieks and percussive effects, heightening the tension and trapping the listener in a terrifyingly claustrohobic world that obeys only its own irrational rules. A harrowing work, not without an element of 'very nasty black humor' in the composer's words, it demands attention and repays it with a rich, if disturbing, theatrical experience. German libretto, English synopsis. 2 CDs. Various vocalists, Lydia Kavina (theremin), Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke. Kairos 0012342KAI (Austria) 01F089 $31.98

JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Edition, Vol. 3 - Es ist nur ein Wien!, Op. 22, Hirten-Galoppe, Op. 28, Josephstädter-Tänze, Op. 23, Wettrennen-Galoppe, Op. 29a, Hietzinger Reunion, Op. 24, Wilhelm Tell-Galoppe, Op. 29b, Frohsinn im Gebirge, Op. 26, Einzugs-Galopp, Op. 35, Sperls-Festwalzer, Op. 30, 3 Ungarische Galoppe oder Frischka, Op. 36, Des Verfassers beste Laune, Op. 31, Sperl-Galopp, Op. 42, Contradanses, Op. 44. Yet more early dance music, the classical Viennese waltz still evolving apace as this chronologically presented series reaches 1831 and with the surprise return to disc of the (at the time of the recording last year) 81-year-old Austrian conductor who will be familiar to most record collectors. Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina; Ernst Märzendorfer. Marco Polo 8.225253 (New Zealand) 01F090 $15.98

HANS CHRISTIAN LUMBYE (1810-1874): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 8 - Velkomsthilsen, Döbler's Zauber Galop, Alhambra, Tivoi Bazar Tsching-Tching Polka, Les Zouaves, Kong Georg den 1.s Honneur Marsch, Rosenborg Polka-Mazurka, Ole Lukøje, Tivolis Damo-Carouselbane Galop, Agnes Polka, Alexandra Polka, Del lille trompet, Alberta vals, Tivolis Rutschbane Galop. Tivoli Symphony Orchestra; David Riddell. Marco Polo 8.225263 (New Zealand) 01F091 $15.98

DAVE BRUBECK (b.1920): The Gates of Justice. Although this release is basically jazz, we offer it to collectors of Naxos' American Jewish Music Series and because its message of reconciliation and cry for social justice transcends any consideration of genre (although not, unfortunately, any consideration of political administration...) Dave Brubeck Trio, Kevin Deas (vocal), Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, Baltimore Choral Arts Society; Russell Gloyd. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559414 (U.S.A.) 01F092 $6.98

Husum Festival 2002: NIKOLAI MEDTNER (1879-1951): Fairy-Tales, Op. 20, Nos. 1 & 2 (Stephen Osborne), Sonata-Ballade in F Sharp, Op. 27 (Konstantin Lifschitz), Mikolajus âiurlionis (1875-1911): 3 Preludes, Op. 20 (Jean Dubé), WILLIAM BAINES (1899-1922): Tides (Nicholas Walker), KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937): Mazurka, Op. 62/2, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Prelude in A Minor, MAX REGER (1873-1916): Marsch der Stiftsdamen (all Kolja Lessing), SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): 10 Pieces, Op. 12, Nos. 1, 2 & 4 (Enrico Pace), HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): O Polichinello, ALEXANDER SCRIABIN (1872-1915): Etude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 2/1 (both Marc-André Hamelin), FRÉDÉRIC MEINDERS: Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix (from Sains-Saëns Samson et Delila), Ain't Misbehavin (Fats Waller), Choro (Meinders), IGNAZ FRIEDMAN (1882-1948): 5 Walzes for Piano Four Hands (Yaara Tal & Andreas Groethuysen). Although there is not a lot of terribly unusual repertoire here, the variety of pianists is a bit more than usual; the uniting theme appears to be birthdate (with the exception of the transcriptions by pianist Meinders) and the playing time (78:21) is generous, so piano collectors will certainly not hesitate. Danacord DACOCD 609 (Denmark) 01F093 $16.98

JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 8 - Concierto pastoral for Flute and Orchestra, 2 miniaturas andaluzas for String Orchestra, Adagio for Wind Instruments, Fantasía para un Gentilhombre for Flute and Orchestra (arr. Galway). Not content with the gorgeous Concierto pastoral (1978), composed especially for him and full of Rodrigo's characteristically evocative Spanish voice, Galway got the composer's OK to transcribe the terminally-famous Fantasía, which sounds almost as good on the flute as on the original guitar. The rare discmates are the 1966 Adagio, which is entirely in the same sound-world of the Fantasía and the early, 1929, Miniaturas, the first of which evokes the Spanish Renaissance and the second of which looks ahead to the other two works on this disc. Joanna G'froerer (flute), Asturias Symphony Orchestra; Maximiano Valdes. Naxos 8.557801 (New Zealand) 01F094 $6.98

ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Rondo sobre temas infantiles Argentinos, Op. 19, 3 danzas Argentinas, Op. 2, Milonga, American Preludes, Op. 12, Nos. 2, 4, 6 & 8, Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 22, Suite de danzas Criollas, Op. 15, CARLOS GUASTAVINO (1912-2000): Sonatina in G Minor, Gato, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Milonga del Angel, Invierno Porteño, Adiós Nonino, Oblivion, Verano Porteño. This is a fabulous deal on quite unhackneyed repertoire from Argentina, from the parent company which owns ASV and Black Box, so we wanted to (literally) get it in under the wire! Niklas Sivelov (piano). Resonance CD RSN3003 (England) 01F095 $7.98