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ERNEST PINGOUD (1887-1942): Le prophète, Chantecler, Flambeaux éteints, Le fétich, Le chant de l'espace. A near exact contemporary of Vaino Raitio, whose highly charged, intoxicatingly colored tone poems appeared on Ondine five years ago, Pingoud arrived in Finland from Russia in 1918, a fully-fledged composer of excellent pedigree (he had studied with Siloti, Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Reger), escaping the turmoil of the revolution. A concert of his works in Helsinki shortly after his arrival caused a sensation, but also led to a wholly undeserved reputation for rampant modernity. Symphonic poems form the backbone of Pingoud's output, and in this respect a parallel with Richard Strauss is apparent. Like Strauss Pingoud is a master of orchestral color but Pingoud's preoccupations are more mystical, less pictorial than Strauss' - æsthetic/philosophical considerations are of paramount importance and the influence of Scriabin is often audible. The music is grounded in Romanticism, above all, and abounds in dramatic gesture and overt emotionalism. There is a radiant incandescence to much of this music, and an expressionist sensibility at times bordering on theatricality and with the hot-house atmosphere also to be found in Scriabin and Raitio. From the mysterious, Wagnerian opening of The Prophet, which soon gives way to drama of almost cinematic vividness of imagery, and echoes of Sibelius and Richard Strauss, to the pastoral scherzo Chantecler, to the nocturnal pathos of Extinguished Torches to the late Song of Space, with its Scriabinesque striving, (completed four years before Pingoud committed suicide), we are presented with a composer of striking originality, capable of melding diverse influences from the best traditions of European orchestral composition into a rare alloy which is unmistakably of our century while drawing on a wealth of Romantic imagery. Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo. Ondine 875 (Finland) 01-001 $17.98

JOHN FERNSTRÖM (1897-1961): Symphony No. 6, Op. 40, Symfonisk prolog, Op. 88, Intimate Miniatures for Strings, Op. 2. Another fine Scandinavian symphonist appears! The son of Chinese misssionaries, Fernström became a composer, conductor, teacher and painter who had a lasting effect of Swedish musical life as a pedagogue. He also wrote 12 symphonies and his sixth, of 1939, is the first to appear on CD. The composer himself described his style as a "fusion of an impressionistically colored harmony with classical formal principles"; this four-movement work has an intensely combative opening movement with much vivid use of brass and low winds, a calm meditation for a slow movement and an incisive, polyrhythmic scherzo, again with much idiomatic use of the winds. The finale combines march rhythms and other motifs to end in a general uproar. The op.88 (1949) is in much the same vein - a sonata-form 10-minute work written for the Malmö SO's 25th jubilee. Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Cecilia Rydinger Alin, Musica Vitae; Wojciech Rajski. BIS 903 (Sweden) 01-002 $17.98

GÖSTA NYSTROEM (1890-1966): Sinfonia espressiva, Sinfonia seria for Flute, Strings and Percussion. Nystroem is both better-known than his coeval Fernström and a little more distant in musical personality. The Sinfonia espressiva (1935-37) is a spare work, more "Scandinavian" in its quality of contemplation and inwardness; its two slow movements carry the majority of expressive weight while the scherzo and fugal finale exhibit a sharply chiselled tautness. From 1963, the Sinfonia seria is in two movements, each of which describes a journey from calm through force and tension back to calm again in an atmosphere of meditative austerity. Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Paavo Järvi. BIS 782 (Sweden). 01-003 $17.98

OTTO OLSSON (1879-1964): Introduction and Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 19, Klaverstykker, Op. 2, Nos. 1 & 4, 6 Scherzi, Op. 9, Nos. 1, 2, 4 & 5, Pianostyck, Op. 18b/2, Eligiska danser, Op. 34, No.s 1, 2 & 5. Olsson's only work for instrument and orchestra dates from 1905 and features the elegiac character which is present in so many of the choral and organ works for which he is best known. All the character pieces for piano date from 1901-08 and are finely constructed, appealing examples of Swedish late Romanticism. Irène Mannheimer (piano), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Gunnar Staern. Sterling 1024 (Sweden) 01-004 $15.98

KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Cello Concerto, Op. 21, Cello Sonata, Op. 27. The concerto, written between 1917 and 1922, is a rhapsodic work lasting over half an hour. While some sections sound like middle-period Sibelius, the specifically Nordic moments of the work are relatively few as Atterberg's eclecticism provides a veritable grab-bag of styles current in northern European musical thought at the beginning of this century. The singing, lyrical-rhapsodic quality of the concerto is replicated in the sonata of 1925. Werner Thomas-Mifune (cello), RSO Berlin; Karl Anton Rickenbacker. KOCH Schwann 315852 (Germany) 01-005 $16.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): 3 Preludes from Irrelohe, Von ewigen Leben for Soprano and Large Orchestra, 4 Kleine Stücke for Large Orchestra, Prelude to a Grand Opera for Large Orchestra. This compliation of works from the last stages of Schreker's career brings back to the catalogue much striking, atmospherically-scored late Romantic music. The preludes from the opera Irrelohe (1924) still show some of the overheated, Mahlerian opulence of Schreker's turn-of-the-century compositions; Von ewigen Leben (1927), a setting of two Whitman poems uses its orchestral forces in an economical fashion to produce delicate, pastel shadings; the 4 "Little Pieces" (1930) are vignettes ("Timoroso", "Violente", "Incalzando" and "Gradevole") which originally bore the title 4 Kleine Stücke für ein Film - like Schoenberg's Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, these pieces serve a general, not specific function. The "Prelude" dates from 1933 and was originally intended to accompany Schreker's unfinished opera Memnon; in sonata form, it is like a large-scale romantic tone-poem, with much characteristically exotic orchestration leading to a tranquil conclusion. Claudia Barainsky (soprano), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Peter Ruzicka. KOCH Schwann 364542 (Germany) 01-006 $16.98

SIEGFRIED WAGNER (1869-1930): Glück - Symphonic Poem, Bruder Lustig - Overture, Sonnenflammen - Prelude, Rainulf und Adelasia - Prelude. Those who have not been collecting cpo's complete Siegfried Wagner series will find a useful collection here of preludes, an overture and a long symphonic poem. Of course, Siegfried's overtures and preludes are symphonic poems too! Faithful to his teacher Humperdinck in style, Wagner did not take any notice of the momentous changes in German opera after 1900: these are tuneful, conservative works, attaining somewhat greater depths in the 1923 tone poem dedicated to a fellow composer who fell fighting for Greek independence in 1897. Frankfurt Radio Symphony; Dimitri Kitaenko. KOCH Schwann 314212 (Germany) 01-007 $16.98

ROBERT HERBERIGS (1886-1974): Cyrano de Bergerac, ARTHUR MEULEMANS (1884-1966): Horn Concerto No. 1, MARINUS DE JONG (1891-1984): Horn Concerto in F, Op. 145, PROSPER VAN EECHAUTE (1904-1964): Night Poem. This disc of Flemish Romantic horn concertos opens with Herberigs' 1912 work - a sort of cross between concerto and symphonic poem which depicts aspects of Rostand's famous literary character. Meulemans' concerto dates from 1940 and provides brilliant and memorable work for the soloist; De Jong's piece, although from as late as 1966, is traditional in form and content with a folk-influenced rondo finale. Finally, van Eechaute's 1938 Night Poem uses the horn in evocative rather than virtuosic fashion. André van Driessche (horn), BRTN Philharmonic Orchestra Brussels; Alexander Rahbari. KOCH Discover 920299 (Belgium) 01-008 $6.98

ERNEST FARRAR (1885-1918): Rhapsody No. 1: The Open Road, Op. 9, Variations for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 25, The Forsaken Merman, Op. 20, Heroic Elegy, Op. 36, English Pastoral Impressions, Op. 26. Killed in action on only his second day at the front little more than a month before the Armistice, Farrar represents an immensely talented composer who had just reached his maturity when death intervened. He left 40 opus numbers, 11 for orchestra; all five here are premiere recordings and range from the 1908 Open Road, an Elgarian-tinged work rather more like a comic "overture" to the 1918 Heroic Elegy, written four months before his death and ironically dedicated "To Soldiers" - a moving lament with a central funeral march all the more effective for being restrained. The biggest work is the half-hour tone poem The Forsaken Merman from 1914 which exhibits Lisztian theme-transformation, late-Romantic tonality and influences including Delius, Elgar and Wagner in the tale of a merman and his children forsaken by their human wife/mother. The English Pastoral Impressions, of 1915, are three in number ("Spring Morning", "Bredon Hill" and "Over the Hills and Far Away"); these contain tunes of the modal pentatonic British type manipulated in an entirely personal way which will delight any lover of Vaughan Williams or Delius. Howard Shelley (piano), Philharmonia Orchestra; Alasdair Mitchell. Chandos 9586 (England) 01-009 $16.98

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): The Warriors, Youthful Suite, Molly on the Shore, Irish Tune from County Derry, Shepherd's Hey!, Country Gardens (Version A), Early One Morning, Handel in the Strand, Mock Morris, Dreamery. Grainger's riotous 1917 "Music to an Imaginary Ballet", featuring depictions of "shining black Zulus", "flaxen-haired Vikings", "negrito Fijians" and "cannibal Polynesians" (among other warrior-types) by massive percussion groups, off-stage brass and huge orchestra is featured here in a new performing version which is the first to go back to manuscript sources. Youthful Suite is a 1949 compliation of five pieces written between 1899-1901 and uses the composer's indefatigable capacity for exotic and brilliant orchestration in representing an English waltz, a "Norse Dirge", "oriental" music, an Anglo-Irish march and an English dance. The remaining short pieces are given in the original 1949 Grainger reworkings requested by Leopold Stokowski who recorded them (but, as usual with this conductor, with many alterations and deletions) for RCA in 1951. Volume 6 in Chandos' Grainger Edition. BBC Philharmonic; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9584 (England) 01-010 $16.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Symphony in E Flat, In Memoriam, 3 Jewish Poems, Macbeth: 2 Interludes. Here is the World Premiere Recording of Bloch's final symphony, composed at his Agate Beach compound in Oregon in the last decade of his life. Originally intended to be a third Concerto Grosso, this four-movement, 25-minute work inhabits the same world of economy, relative reserve and rigorous neo-classicism of those pieces. In Memoriam, from 1952, is a brief elegy for the pianist Ada Clement which manages to say much sparingly in its five minutes. From the other end of Bloch's long career are two Technicolored, film-score like compilations of music written for his opera Macbeth (1903-1910), whose opulent orchestration, extreme dynamic levels and passionate climaxes will delight lovers of Decaying Romanticism. Likewise the 3 Jewish Poems of 1913, whose exotic modalities typical of the Eastern Mediterranean are artfully combined with western forms and tonality to give us an erotic "Danse", a "Rite" which wraps a hieratic procession around a central sacrificial act and a closing "Cortège funèbre", an intense expression of grief at the death of the composer's father. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Dalia Atlas Sternberg. ASV DCA 1019 (England) 01-011 $16.98

FRANCIS POTT (b.1957): Cello Sonata, Hunt's Bay, Farewell to Hirta. The major work here is the cello sonata, an extended elegiac composition in memory of the composer's parents, tonal and in extended traditional form, emotionally charged, making full and fine use of the cello's expressive capabilities. This may be one of the finest cello sonatas to come out of the British Isles this century. The two solo piano works are in the best tradition of modern romanticism - they are both highly evocative sea pieces, owing something perhaps, to late Frank Bridge. David Watkin (cello), Howard Moody (piano), Francis Pott (piano). Guild GMCD 7141 (England) 01-012 $14.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): Requiem in E Flat for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Tantum ergo for Soloists and Large Orchestra, ETIENNE-NICOLAS MEHUL (1763-1817): La Chasse du Jeune Henry - Overture, MARC-ANTOINE DESAUGIERS (1742-1793): Buffon - Cantata for 2 Voices, Chorus and Orchestra, FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Symphony in G Minor, Op. 5/6, RODOLPHE KREUTZER (1766-1831): Paul et Virginie - Overture, NICOLAS DALAYRAC (1753-1809): Nina - Overture, LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Ecce panis for Tenor and Orchestra. The major work here is Pleyel's Requiem; of unknown date, for unknown purpose, this work is in the tradition of Haydn and Mozart, setting the traditional Requiem texts in music of classical restraint and melodious affect. The Tantum ergo and Cherubini's brief motet round out the first disc in similar fashion. CD 2 contains two premiere recordings of works by Mozart's contemporaries in Paris: Desaugiers' cantata dates from 1784 and celebrates a famous French naturalist. Strikingly, a bass aria describing the birth of the universe seems to prefigure Haydn's famous representation of Chaos in The Creation of 14 years later. Daleyrac's overture to a play produced in 1786 was fondly remembered by Berlioz years later! 2 CDs. French-English texts. Claire Louchet, Sandrine Piau (sopranos), Catherine Cardin (mezzo), Hervé Lamy (tenor), Jacques Bona, Jean-Louis Jardon (basses), Ensemble Vocal Jean-Pierre Loré, Ensemble Vocal Pythagore, Orchestre Français d'Oratorio; Jean-Pierre Loré. Erol 90001 (France) 01-013 $37.98

ANTONIO CASIMIR CARTELLIERI (1772-1807): Gioas, Re di Giuda. Premiered in 1795, this "azione sacra" takes its libretto from the Old Testament's account of Athalia, worshipper of Baal and usurper of the throne of the Jews and Jehoash (Gioias in Italian), the one heir to the throne who survived massacring at her hands. Cartellieri has taken a somewhat stiff, baroque libretto and added duets and trios, a revenge aria and an impressive madness aria for Athalia which, along with the huge (for its time) orchestra, make for a majestic and satisfying listening experience. 2 CDs. Italian-German texts, English notes. Katharina Kammerloher (mezzo), Thomas Quasthoff (baritone), Bachchor Gütersloh, Detmold Chamber Orchestra; Gernot Schmallfuß. MD&G 338 0748 (Germany) 01-014 $37.98

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Gesù al Limbo, Il Giudizio Finale, Te Deum. Ten excerpts from Salieri's last oratorio "Jesus in Limbo", written in 1803, show a master at the height of his powers in music ranging from dramatic and devotional to pastoral and joyous; "The Final Judgement" (1787) juxtaposes choruses represnting the Blessed and the Damned in music of great agitation, drama and intensity while the serene Te Deum dates from 1819 and looks backward to the 18th-century Neopolitan style. Sonia Peruzzo (soprano), Nicola Yovanovich (tenor), Maria Teresa Toso (alto), Mario Scardoni (bass), Cappella Musicale della Catedrale di Verona; Alberto Turco. Bongiovanni 2167 (Italy) 01-015 $16.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Violin Concertos No. 3 in A G25/W3, No. 14 in A Minor, G66/W14, No. 18 in E Minor, G90/W18. Volume 4 in this series of the complete Viotti violin concertos brings us the early A major from 1780 with a memorable maestoso opening movement, Tartinian andante and Mozartian rondeau finale; the A minor, from 1788, is Viotti's first in a minor key and has a freely rhapsodic allegro, a melancholy siciliana and a long but charming rondo devoid of showy virtuosity; written during the French Revolution sometime between 1790 and 1793, No. 18 has an intense pathos which bleeds over from its opening allegro into the central andante and is only dispelled in the concluding presto. Symphonia Perusina; Franco Mezzena (violin). Dynamic CDS 150 (Italy) 01-016 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Symphonies in D (P41), A (P6), G (P8), D (P11) and D (P42). Michael Haydn's symphonies have had their day in the sun recently, offering much pleasure to lovers of Mozart and Joseph Haydn's symphonies and proving that this Haydn was extremely talented as well. This is the first recording of any of these works on period instruments and a work such as P11 is only increased in stature by historically informed performance, especially one at this level. Capella Savaria; Pál Németh. Hungaroton HCD 31706 (Hungary) 01-017 $16.98

JOHANN LADISLAUS DUSSEK (1760-1812): Piano Concertos in F Major, Op. 17, F Major, Op. 27 and B Flat, Op. 40 "Concert militaire". These three works date from Dussek's London period (1792, 1794 and 1798 respectively); the first is the most classically restrained and Mozartian while op. 27 shows some advancement toward the ethos of Romanticism in its lyrical, expressive urgency while op. 40 carries the trend further with elements that look ahead a decade to Weber and Beethoven. Maria Garzón (piano), New Rhine Chamber Orchestra; Jan Corazolla. Koch Schwann 364312 (Germany) 01-018 $16.98

FRANZ XAVER MOZART (1791-1844): Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 1, Violin Sonata in B Flat, Op. 7, Cello Sonata in E, Op. 19, Violin Sonata in F, Op. 15. Only the 11-year-old F.X. Mozart's piano quartet has appeared before on CD - its virtuosic piano part is proof the son inherited his father's performing skills. The violin sonatas date from 1808 and 1813, still using his father as a model in music of finely chiselled classical beauty. The cello sonata is the most original, dating from 1820 and, in its unusual modulations, rich chromaticism and the turn of its melodies showing the influence of Beethoven and a bit of the style of Schubert as well. Ravinia Trio, Hartmut Rohde (viola). Divox CDX-29309 (Switzerland) 01-019 $16.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Eduardo e Cristina. Pressed for time to produce the music for this drama set in Sweden concerning the love and secret marriage between a girl and an imprisoned Swedish soldier, Rossini recycled numbers from Adelaide de Borgogna, Ricciardo e Zoraide and Ermione and added some newly-composed music. Premiered in 1819, this is its world-premiere recording. Given the lack of recordings of at least the last two items mentioned as sources for this music, this live recording from the "Rossini in Wildbad" festival is a valuable addition to the catalogue, containing as it does much delightful, characteristic music. Very helpful notes assist one's appreciation of Rossini's ingenuity in cobbling this piece together. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Carmen Acosta (soprano), Eliseda Dumitru (contralto), Omar Jara (tenor), Konstantin Gorny (bass), Czech Chamber Chorus, I Virtuosi di Praga; Francesco Corti. Bongiovanni 2205/06 (Italy) 01-020 $33.98

GAETANO PUGNANI (1731-1798): Werther: Melodrama in 2 Parts after Goethe. Composed around 1790, Pugnani intended his work to be a "musical translation" of Goethe's novel, then all the rage in Europe. Probably it was a type of melodrama but only orchestral parts have survived and it is uncertain, due to their varied forms and lengths, what sort of recitation or acting the music was intended to accompany. For this recording, an Italian translation of Goethe has been used to highlight the musical numbers which range from tone-poem-like scene painting to characteristic dances and a musical storm sequence. There is more music here than in many melodramas; it is consistently fresh, evocative and altogether worth rescuing from the two centuries of obscurity into which it had fallen. 2 CDs. Texts in four languages. Graziano Piazza (Werther), Luca Occelli (narrator), Orchestra Barocca Academia Montis Regalis; Luigi Mangiocavallo. Opus 111 OPS 30-197/198 (France) 01-021 $35.98

JOHANN SCHOBERT (c.1735-1767): 2 Sonatas, Op. 5, 3 Sonatas, Op. 6. Written for gifted amateurs, these sonatas are not the accompanied sonatas common in the early classical period; all three instruments (violin, cello and harpsichord) meld into a unified whole in music of gravity and seriousness, full of deep sonorities and emotional fluidity which belies their composer's reputation as a harpsichord virtuoso. The Four Nations Ensemble. ASV GAU 172 (England) 01-022 $16.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Grande Symphonie in F, Wq 183/3, Grande Symphonie in E Flat, Wq 183/2, Symphony for Strings in B Flat, Wq 182/2, Symphony for Strings in E, Wq 182/6, Organ Concerto in G, Wq 34. Final extravagance of the baroque or early foreshadowing of Romanticism? Either way, the whiplash shifts in emotional states in C.P.E. Bach's mid-1770s symphonies still grip and startle the listener. In a useful coupling, a 1755 organ concerto shows early signs of Bach's high Empfindsamkeit style as well as offering many opportunities for virtuosity on behalf of both soloist and orchestra. Christine Schornsheim (organ), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901622 (France) 01-023 $17.98

WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784): Harpsichord Concerto in F, F44, Harpsichord Concerto in A Minor, F45, Symphony in F, F67, Harpsichord Concerto in E Flat "Unfinished", F42. Bach's eldest son had an unstable personality and was unable to have a secure professional career but he had his father's fluency as a harpsichordist and was a talented composer whose unfinished E flat concerto (1750) shows affinities with the future Empfindsamkeit style so associated with his brother Carl Philipp. The rest of these works date from the 1730s or 1740s and feature brilliant orchestral writing and intensely emotional writing for the soloist. Guy Penson (harpsichord), Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht. Ricercar 206312 (Belgium) 01-024 $17.98

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Violin Concerto in A, Concerto for Flute and Oboe in G, Concerto a 4 for Oboe in C, Overture (Suite) in E Minor, Overture (Suite) in B Flat. Fasch's importance as a transitional composer between late Baroque and early Classical is becoming ever more recognized. No dates of composition are available for the contents of this disc but one can easily hear Vivaldi's influence in the violin concerto; a spirited interchange between soloists marks the double concerto while the suites, each in six movements, suggest Telemann, especially in their highly enjoyable and idiomatic wind writing. Ensemble Barocco Padovano Sans Souci; Aldo Fiorentin. Dynamic CDS 201 (Italy) 01-025 $16.98

HEINRICH BIBER (1644-1704): Trombet-undt Musicalischer Taffeldienst, 3 Arien, Harmonia Romana, 5 Balletti, 5 Balletti Lamentabili. This collection of some of Biber's less-known (but still wonderfully pungent) works has been put together as a cycle which might represent a Carneval day in the city of Kremsier (KromeÞiÏ): thus, we have an Intrada, music to greet the guests, dinner music and various types of dances. A drunken night-watchman bellowing in an abominable low Austrian dialect makes two appearances as well. A well-planned program which is great fun! Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor. Symphonia SY 95143 (Austria) 01-026 $18.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern, D 797, FRANZ SCHUBERT: Allegro in A Minor "Lebensstürme", D 947. Nothing to be afraid of here! Schoenberg made arrangements in 1904 of the three Rosamunde entr'actes and two ballet musics and then revised a duet arrangement of the overture by Jan Willem Frans Brandts Buys, all for Universal-Edition of Vienna and all well before his dodecaphonic days. True lovers of this music will be interested in how Schoenberg's relayering and adapting has rendered the structures of Schubert's music transparent. Piano Duo Trenkner-Speidel. MD&G 330 0763 (Germany) 01-027 $18.98

JULIUS RÖNTGEN (1855-1932): Piano Concerto in D, Op. 18, 2 Concertos for Piano and Orchestra (1929-30). The Dutch are finally beginning to pay homage to their Romantic composers and Röntgen has been benefitting the most lately. Here are three of his seven piano concertos, from opposite ends of his career. Op. 18 dates from 1879 and shows the young composer's newly discovered love of Brahms in the grandiose structure of its first movement, a pastoral theme reminiscent of Brahms' second symphony and in its Hungarian Dances-like finale. The companion works are two single-movement pieces (although the second contains three sections in its single movement) composed in 1929 and 1930 and dedicated to Donald Francis Tovey. While Brahmsian elements remain, there is also material that shows Röntgen's awareness of Fauré, Reger and Rimsky-Korsakov and all three of these works are imbued with an obvious, unmitigated joy of music-making. Folke Nauta (piano), Orkest van het Oosten; Jurjen Hempel. Donemus CV 64 (Netherlands) 01-028 $18.98

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): String Quartet in E Flat, Op. 4, String Quartet in F Sharp, Op. 13, Pastorale, Fantasy and Fugue, Op. 26 (String Quartet No. 3). Weiner was the Hungarian composer who, in his youth, won all the prizes and received all the attention while his compatriots Bartók and Kodály were ignored or misunderstood. This release helps in rediscovering this very talented composer whose conservatism has condemned him to obscurity now. The first quartet is a vibrant, youthful work from 1906. speaking the language of German Romanticism with a Hungarian accent; the second, from 1921, contains elements of stress but a native songfulness runs throughout and the elfin scherzo is delightful. Dating from 1938, the last quartet is the only one to use an actual folk melody (in its fugue). Auer String Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 31687 (Hungary) 01-029 $16.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Sonate Romantique in D, Op. 22, Impressions de la Puszta - 3 morceaux caractéristiques hongrois, Op. 44, 6 Stücke, Op. 121. Known principally as a violin virtuoso, secondarily as a brilliant teacher, Hubay also left more than 400 compositions, half for his own instrument. This recording is labelled "Vol. 1", so who knows where it will lead? The sonata here is early, from 1886, in the tradition of Beethoven and Brahms. The Impressions, of 1893, has the expected, Hungarian, folklore-inspired tone while the 6 Stücke, his last work for violin with an opus number, dates from 1925 and is in the genre of the Germanic character-piece (Brahms and Schumann being the antecedents), each section with a title depicting its subject. Ferenc Szecsödi (violin), István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31733 (Hungary) 01-030 $16.98

ZDENùK FIBICH (1850-1900): Moods, Impressions and Reminiscences: Impressions, Op. 47 Part 4 (Nos. 314-330), Reminiscences, Op. 47, Part 1 (Nos. 331-339). Volume 10 contains the most overtly erotic pieces of this entire cycle (Nos. 314-330) which use a very rich palette to create unbridled musical renderings of ecstasy. Nos. 331-339, "Reminiscenses" in which the composer, as it were, looks somewhat dispassionately back at his tempestuous love affair, begins with his first meeting with the beloved Anezka and follows with several more reminiscences of happy times past. Two more volumes to go! Marián Lapansk (piano). Supraphon SU 3253 (Czech Republic) 01-031 $16.98

ANTONÍN DVO¤ÁK (1841-1904): Poetic Tone Pictures, Op. 85. Dating from 1889, this cycle of 13 miniature tone-poems is in the tradition of Schumann and Liszt while featuring Dvorák's unmistakable bent for melody and the use of Czech folk elements. Gerald Robbins (piano). Genesis GCD 110 (U.S.A.) 01-032 $16.98

JAKOB ADOLF HÄGG (1850-1928): Cello Sonata, Op. 1, EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): Cello Sonata, Op. 58. Åke Olofsson (cello), Margot Nyström (piano). Hägg's 1872 sonata is a young man's passionate statement of his arrival on the musical scene while Sjögren's (from 1912) shows that composer's interest in the late 19th century French school (Fauré, Saint-Saëns and Franck especially). Also included are 4 transcriptions of songs by the above composers and 3 by John Jacobsson (1835-1909), adding to this disc's novelty value. Proprius PRCD 9041(Sweden) 01-033 $17.98

ALEXIS CHAUVET (1837-1871): 13 Offertoires, 4 Elévations, 2 Préludes, Rentrée de Procession, Morceau for Organ No. 16. The offertoires are based on Noël themes which give them their pastoral, naive manner; Chauvet was an important link in the French organ tradition between Boëly and Guilmant. Jacques Amade (organ). Chamade 5647 (France) 01-034 $16.98

ARTHUR FOOTE (1853-1937): Suite in D, Op. 54, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): 3 Rhapsodies sur les thémes Bretons, Op. 7, JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1991): Suite Médiévale, PAUL DE MALEINGREAU (1887-1956): Suite, Op. 14. Foote's quaint, tuneful and conservative suite makes pleasant listening; Saint-Saëns' work contains the brio of Celtic folksongs while Langlais' suite uses threads of medieval plainchant worked into original melodies to provide a rich fabric joining past and present. De Maleingreau's work dates from 1919 and is remarkably expressive with touches of autumnal nostalgia. Haig Mardirosian (organ). Centaur CRC 2368 (U.S.A.) 01-035 $16.98

LOUIS VIERNE (1870-1937): Spleens et Détresses, 4 Poèmes Grecs, 5 Poèmes de Baudelaire. The sense of oppression, gloom and repressed anger which characterizes so much of Vierne's music is a perfect match for the poetry of Verlaine (Spleens et Détresses) and Baudelaire and brings forth much evocative, if spiritually distressing, music from this benighted and unlucky composer. In contrast, the Poèmes Grecs of 1930 radiate the sunny warmth of the Mediterranean in luminous, often impressionistic textures. Mireille Delunsch (soprano), Christine Icart (harp), François Kerdoncuff (piano). Timpani 1C1040 (France) 01-036 $17.98


LEON JESSEL (1871-1942): Parade of the Tin Soldiers, FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Gold and Silver, GABRIEL PIERNÉ (1863-1937): March of the Little Lead Soldiers, JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825-1899): Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, HUGO ALFVÉN (1872-1960): Swedish Polka, PAUL LINCKE (1866-1946): Glow Worm Idyll, CHARLES GOUNOD (1818-1893): Funeral March of a Marionette, ÉMILE WALDTEUFEL (1837-1915): The Skaters, JONNY HEYKENS (1884-1945): Serenade, JOSÉ PADILLA (1889-1960): El relicario, ERNESTO BECUCCI (1845-1905): Tesoro mio!, JOSEPH HELLMESBERGER (1828-1893): Ball Scene, JAROMÍR WEINBERGER (1896-1967): Polka from Schwanda the Bagpiper, OSCAR FETRÁS (1854-1931): Moonlight on the Alster, JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): The Entry of the Boyars. Following up their two volumes of "British Light Music Classics", Corp and his London band now visits Europe for 15 similar favorites. Some of the names are familiar and some aren't but much of the music will be, especially to older collectors! New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 66998 (England) 01-037 $17.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Violin Sonata in D, Op. 16, Violin Sonata in E, Op. 46, Violin Sonata in D, WoO 22, Albumblatt, WoO 70. Like Bartók, Schoeck was smitten by the beautiful Hungarian violinist Stefi Geyer and he produced his violin concerto, the Op. 16 sonata and the Albumblatt for her. As might be expected, the sonata (from 1909) boils with the turbulent emotions of young love; it's the sonata Schumann might have written for Clara if they'd lived at the turn of the century. Receiving its world premiere recording in its unrevised version of 1905, the sonata without opus number is still rooted in 19th century Romanticism although not as heated as its successor. From 1931, the E major sonata is constructed along cooler, more neo-Classical lines but a pulse of underlying Romanticism is still evident. Paul Barritt (violin), Catherine Edwards (piano). Guild GMCD 7142 (England) 01-038 $14.98

BRUNO WALTER (1876-1962): Violin Sonata in A, HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Violin Sonata in E Minor. Walter's sonata was one of the last of his compositions, dating from 1910. As might be expected, it is a young man's work, seething with passion, anguish and exultation and dense counterpoint. A slow movement habanera has a demonic element - more Mephistopheles than Carmen - while the final movement has Mahlerian qualities in the solo part. Pfitzner (Walter's good friend) wrote his sonata in 1918 and its turbulent first movement has much in common in spirit with the Walter; a dreamlike, meditative slow movement precedes a finale surprising (in view of Pfitzner's reputation for severity) in its relative lightness and effervescence. Vita Wallace (violin), Ishmael Wallace (piano). VAI Audio 1155 (U.S.A.) 01-039 $18.98

LEO· JANÁCEK (1854-1928): Hradãany Songs, Wolf Tracks, Rhymes, 4 Moravian Male Choruses, Kapar Ruck. This budget-priced reissue offers a perfect introduction to Janácek's significant uvre of choral music with Rhymes setting anonymous verses for voices and chamber ensemble; the remainder are for unaccompanied chorus or with piano accompaniment but, even if you don't think you like this sort of thing, the spirit of Czech folk music is as charming in vocal form as it is in Janácek's orchestral textures! Vocal Soloists, Zdenek Jílek (piano), Members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir; Josef Veselka. Supraphon SU 3295 (Czech Republic) 01-040 $6.98

TùPAN LUCK (b.1919): Divertimento for Wind Quintet, RUDOLF KAREL (1880-1945): Nonet, Op. 43, PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944): Wind Quintet, Op. 10, GIDEON KLEIN (1919-1945): Divertimento. Like his fellows here, Lucky was interned at Buchenwald and Auschwitz but survived to become a successful film composer (a hand injury suffered in the camps ended his career as a pianist). His 1974 divertimento unites folk idiom with a more modern style. Academia Wind Quintet Prague, Members of the Panocha Quartet, Members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimír Válek. Supraphon SU 3339 (Czech Republic) 01-041 $16.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 2/141, String Quartet No. 10, Op. 85, String Quartet No. 17, Op. 146. Vainberg's first quartet dates from 1937; the manuscript was probably lost in Poland when the composer fled the Nazis since the sound of the work and the odd opus subscription point to an extensive reworking of it in 1985, as suggested by its free atonality and daring and difficult rhythms. The final quartet, from 1987 shows a Shostakovichian concision and a serene calm coupled with high spirits the composer could finally afford. From 1964, the tenth quartet again shows a similar viewpoint and language to that of Vainberg's great friend and admirer, Shostakovich. This release allows us further insights into a composer who is often thought of as an epigone of Shostakovich but who, in fact, influenced the great Russian composer as often as he was influenced by him. Gothenburg Quartet. Olympia OCD 628 (England) 01-042 $16.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1980-1959): Bergerettes, H. 275, 5 Pièces brèves (Piano Trio No. 1), H. 193, Piano Trio No. 2, H. 327, Piano Trio No. 3, H. 332. Martinu's three piano trios, are full of Bohemian character, even the two written in America, with the composer's typical mordant harmonisation and buoyant rhythms. The Bergerettes are the most obvously folk-derived works here, maintaining a strong link to Dvorak and Smetana, while the late trios are gritty and determined pieces, the last, one of his last American works, being especially powerful, framing a heartfelt andante worthy of Shostakovich with two driving motoric allegro movements. Trio des Iscles. Grave GRCD 4 (France) 01-043 $18.98


HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): The Emperor Jones, O Papagaio do Moleque, Chôros No. 7, Suite Floral, Danças Africanas, ALFRED HELLER: Feliz Aniversario. Historical live recordings of three works by this master of orchestral color which are available nowhere else: Emperor Jones is a 21-minute ballet dating from 1956 based on Eugene O'Neill which employs a somewhat smaller orchestra than, say, Forest of the Amazon, but which seethes and sparkles with the same exotic colors and rhythms. O Papagaio is another ballet - a 12-minute tale of a child and his kite which does battle with the kites of wicked neighbors. This July 12, 1959 live recording was the last Villa-Lobos ever conducted. A 1934 recording, made in Brazil, of the Chôros No. 7 (1924) is of startlingly good quality, effectively capturing this piece's lazy, languid atmosphere. Accompanying are the premiere recording of Heller's 71st birthday tribute to Villa-Lobos and two piano cycles reissued from a deleted Etcetera disc. Symphony of the Air; Heitor Villa-Lobos, Alfred Heller (piano). Etcetera KTC 1216 (Netherlands) 01-044 $17.98

GEORGE WALKER (b.1922): Serenata for Chamber Orchestra, Lyric for Strings, Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Orpheus for Chamber Orchestra, Folk Songs for Orchestra. Lyric, from 1946, is in the tradition of Copland and Barber in its simple, human expressiveness; the remainder of the works are late: Serenata (1983) is an astringent three-movement work in a modern, though still tonal idiom. Poème is a dramatically expressive, lyrically intense mini-concerto from 1991 and Orpheus a vividly colored (especially dramatic use of the brass) depiction of Orpheus' trip to the underworld which uses a narrator and music filled with jagged flashes of emotion. The Folk Songs (4 in number) date from 1990 and here too, joyful abandon is at a premium, coming only fitfully in the final setting. Gregory Walker (violin), Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Edwin London. Albany TROY 270 (U.S.A.) 01-045 $16.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Piano Quintet, Violin Sonata, Ballade for Flute and Piano, Ballade for Cello and Piano, 4 Sonnets à Cassandre. The only CD recording of the 1932 violin sonata reveals an ebullient spirit with overtones of Debussy which belies Martin's rather undeserved reputation for severity. The early (1919) piano quintet shows perfectly his German grounding and predilection for French melody which betokens his Swiss heritage while the four sonnets, also only available here, actually add a sensuousness which is unusual for this composer. Britten-Pears Ensemble, Iain Burnside (piano). ASV DCA 1010 (England) 01-046 $16.98

WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Shakespeare Songs, Widmungen, Farewell, 4 Gesänge, Nachgelassene Lieder, Terzinen. Mostly known for larger scale works, this well-filled disc of lieder provides a useful thumbnail sketch of a significant contemporary German composer. The 4 Hölderlin songs (1933) and the Shakespeare songs (1946 - set in English) show great sensitivity to word setting and melodic accopmaniments of fine mood-painting skills. Widmungen (4 more English Shakespeare settings) and Farewell are from 1981 - the composer uses dodecaphonic techniques but with the same expressive intensity. The Terzinen, of 1963 (dedicated to Fischer-Dieskau and Reimann), even incorporates aleatoric liberties for the pianist. Ralf Lukas (bass-baritone), Christopher Lincoln (tenor), Stella Doufexis (mezzo), Axel Baumi (piano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Aribert Reimann (piano) Orfeo 433 971 (Germany) 01-047 $18.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): 4 Gedichte aus "Atemwende", Das Rot, Gesänge, Op. 1, Neue Alexanderlieder. Rihm's freely expressionist style is present already in his op. 1 set from 1968-70 which sets expressionist poets, as does the Atemwende set (Paul Celan) from 1973. Rihm shows greater maturity and potency in Das Rot (1990) a song cycle of romantic desolation from Karoline von Günderrode (1780-1806) in which long passages of hypnotic intensity are broken by emotional outbursts quite Schubertian in effect. Ursula Hesse (mezzo), Yaron Windmüller (baritone), Axel Baumi (piano), Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Siegfried Mauser (piano), Ulrike Stöve (soprano), Tatiana Blome (piano). Orfeo 434 971(Germany) 01-048 $18.98

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE (1844-1900): Hymnus an die Freundschaft, Ermarnarich (Symphonische Dichtung), Nachtklang einer Sylvesternacht for Violin and Piano and 10 other brief piano works. This sampling of the great philosopher's short, romantic piano pieces includes three items not previously available on CD. For completists and for those curious but who did not purchase the full-price Newport Classics discs. Elena Letnanova (piano), Kuniko Nagata (violin). Talent DOM 2910 31 (Belgium) 01-049 $10.98

SÁNDOR VERESS (1907-1992): Sancti Augustini Psalmus contra partem Donati for Bass, Choir and Orchestra, Elegie nach Walther von der Vogelweide for Baritone, Harp and Strings, Das Glasklänge-spiel for Mixed Choir and Chamber Orchestra. Hungarian composer Veress wrote comparatively little vocal music, but what there is is highly impressive, on the strength of this CD. The Sancti Augustini Psalmus, written during World War II, marks the high point of the composer's early period. Tonal but highly chromatic, owing much to the great European polyphonic choral tradition stretching back to Palestrina, the work is serious, powerful and deeply moving. The much later Elegie and The Glass Sound Game (to poems by Hesse) are both dodecaphonic, but no less emotionally expressive - indeed, given the expressionist and passionate nature of the texts set, this is an appropriate language for the composer to have chosen. All three works provide an intense and involving experience for the listener. Claudio Danuser (baritone), László Szvétek (bass), Bartók-Chor Miskolc, Hungarian State Choir, North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra Miskolc; Janos Meszaros. Musikszene Schweiz CD 6131 (Switzerland) 01-050 $18.98

ISANG YUN (1917-1995): Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Small Orchestra, Images for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Cello. Yun has striven throughout his long compositional career to find a personal voice which melds the traditions of his native Korea with the 12-tone techniques which he absorbed in post-war Europe after his emigration following the Korean war. The music has an Oriental stasis and calm coupled to sophisticated construction techniques based on note-rows determined by the composer's own rules, which interweavre monophonically, again recalling the music of the East, predominantly linear. The Double Concerto is not at all a virtuoso showpiece, being instead a narrative argument, in fact based on a Korean fairy-tale. Images has a pictorial content, in which the melodic lines represent different perspectives on 6th/7th century frescoes. Heinz Holliger (oboe), Ursula Holliger (harp), Aurèle Nicolet (flute), Hansheinz Schneeberger (violin), Thomas Demenga (cello), Saabrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies. Camerata 30CM-108 (Japan) 01-051 $17.98

SHIN-ICHIRO IKEBE (b.1943): Crepa in 7 Capitoli - Concerto da Camera for Violin, 3 Violas, Cello and Double Bass, Sonata for Violin Solo, Tu sens la terre et la rivière for Flute, Guitar, Violin, Viola and Cello, Strata IV for Cello and Double Bass, Quatrevalence for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, Strata V for String Quartet. These meticulously organised chamber works use a variety of different forms to present music in which structure and metamorphosis of material are of more importance than harmony or timbre per se. The result is music which is tautly argued and persuasive without being romantically sensual, and which sounds resolutely Western - the shade of Bartók is never far distant, and the music seems to have progressed from this starting point towards our own time, though bypassing the avant garde schools of the 1950s and 1960s. Various performers. Camerata 30CM-463 (Japan) 01-052 $17.98

STÅLE KLEIBERG: String Quartet, Sonata for Flute and Piano, 2 Poems by Montale, Piano Trio, 3 Shakespeare Sonnets. Neo-romantic chamber music and songs by a young Norwegian composer who has absorbed considerable influence from the warmer climes of the Mediterranean countries (try to listen to the opening of the Flute Sonata without smiling!) The music is muscular and directional when the composer wants it to be - the second movement of the Flute Sonata or the finale of the Trio, for example - and subtle and pastoral when its subject demands it; the vivid imagery and mood-pictures of the best 19th-century romanticism are alive and well in Kleiberg's æsthetic. Oslo String Quartet, Trio Nidaros, other artists. Hemera HCD 2922 (Norway) 01-053 $17.98

TIMOTHY KRAMER (b.1959): Colors from a Changing Sky, LESLIE BASSETT (b.1923): Elaborations, ROBERT STARER (b.1924): The Ideal Self, ELIZABETH BELL: Variations and Interludes, ALLAN CROSSMAN (b.1942): Gypsy Ballads, STEFAN WOLPE (1902-1972): Stehende Musik, BERNARD RANDS (b.1934): 3 Espressioni, THOMAS WHITMAN (b.1960): Romanza, ELAINE F. LEBENBOM: Piano Sonata, WILL OGDON (b.1921): 7 Piano Pieces, ORLANDO JACINTO GARCÍA (b.1954): Images of Wood and Wire. This collection of piano music by American composers covers a great deal of ground, some of it familiar, some less so. Kramer's Colors is virtuosic and makes much use of harmony for timbral coloration, and as a general rule, even the works which are functionally atonal, such as Bell's, use tonal centres and triadic harmonies extensively. Some of the works use alternative approaches to the piano - direct contact on the strings for example - but only briefly, as dabs of unfamiliar color rather than as an end in themselves. The two best known composers here are probably Starer, whose The Ideal Self is a technical tour de force using traditional forms in a decidedly modern vocabulary, and Wolpe, whose rhythmically vital, spikily atonal music anticipates many developments of later decades - the piece was written in 1925. Crossman's Gypsy Ballads is the most extended piece, 9 tone poems after Lorca, strongly characterful, suggesting folk songs with harmonically complex modern accompaniments. Lebenbom's 11-minute Piano Sonata is a tough, dramatic, tautly argued work, while Garcia writes luminous process-music, concerned primarily with timbre. A fascinating traversal of a rich legacy of new music. 2 CDs. Max Lifchitz (piano). North/South R 1014 (U.S.A.) 01-054 $33.98

NMC Special Offer

Overstocks of earlier titles from this British new music label. Quantities limited. First come, first served.

HOWARD SKEMPTON (b.1947): Lento. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Mark Wigglesworth. NMC D005 (England) 01-055 $4.98

ROGER SMALLEY (b.1943): Pulses. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Richard Bernas. NMC D017M (England) 01-056 $6.98

ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): Piano Concerto, Op. 33, Symphony in One Movement, Op. 29. Peter Serkin (piano), London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen, BBS Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Richard Bernas. NMC D023 (England) 01-057 $8.98

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): Melencolia 1 for Clarinet, Harp and 2 String Orchestras, Ritual Fragment, Meridian for Mezzo-Soprano, Horn, Cello, 6 Sopranos and Instrumental Ensemble. Antony Pay (clarinet), Michael Thompson (horn), Christopher van Kampen (cello), Mary King (mezzo), London Sinfonietta, London Sinfonietta Voices; Oliver Knussen. NMC D009 (England) 01-058 $8.98

ROBIN HOLLOWAY (b.1943): Second Concerto for Orchestra. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Oliver Knussen. NMC D015M (England) 01-059 $6.98

ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Adagio, Vivace. Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), London Symphony Orchestra; Hugh Wolff. NMC D010S (England) 01-060 $4.98


DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Moskva, Cheremushki. This is the premier recording of an oddity; a full-blown stage work by the mature Shostakovich and an overt political satire to boot. It was the years of the Krushchev "Thaw" that made this exercise in inserting multiple tongues into myriad cheeks a possibility, and the result, while slight and unassuming compared to the epic symphonies and string quartets, shows an ever-present aspect of the composer given free reign to come out and play. The story concerns the relocation of Muscovites into new improved apartments and the problems caused them by corrupt officials; there are also soap-opera-like romantic subplots. In the end everything is solved through the intervention of magic. The music is what you might expect of Shostakovich writing an operetta with such a plot - knowingly lowbrow, full of cunning self-references, jibes at popular music and western musicals, and Russian folk music. Immensely listenable and amusing stuff! 2 CDs. Russian-English libretto. Andrei Baturkin (baritone), Irina Gelakhova (mezzo), Mikhail Goujov (bass), Russian State Symphonic Capella, Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Chandos 9591 (England) 01-061 $33.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 61, Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 67, Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Op. 47/1. Vainberg's fourth symphony dates from 1957 and features a fast-moving toccata, a second movement, introduced by a waltz-like theme, in the manner of a serenade, a slow movement full of touching beauty building to a passionate climax and a finale of folk-like dance rhythms. The concerto, from 1960, is also in four movements, for massive orchestra and non-stop soloist which follows a pattern similar to the symphony, especially in its languorous, romantic adagio and its wild, dance-like finale. The Rhapsody (1949) is a richly-orchestrated (and politically safe) exercise in local color. Leonid Kogan (violin), Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; Kirill Kondrashin, USSR State Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov. Olympia OCD 622 (England) 01-062 $16.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (b.1934): Concerto grosso No. 1 for 2 Violins, Prepared Piano and Strings, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Tabula rasa for 2 Violins, Prepared Piano and Strings, HENRYK GORÉCKI (b.1933): Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings. Three works by three composers who represent the approachable face of contemporary music. All were regarded as unacceptably avant-garde in the 1960s, and all embraced a more popular idiom in the 1970s, drawing on an eclectic range of influences from the past. Pärt's work is one of his best known compositions, which ushered in the contemplative, spiritual "slow minimalism", so much imitated in recent years, and is heard here in an unfamiliar version for two violins, prepared piano and strings. Gorecki's harpsichord concerto is a sparkling little divertimento, not at all in the same serious mode as his best-known work, and Schnittke's Concerto Grosso is a fascinating amalgam of styles and ideas, crafted with the composer's customary skill. Eleonora Turovsky, Natalya Turovsky (violins), Catherine Perrin (harpsichord/prepared piano), I Musici de Montréal; Yuli Turovsky. Chandos 9590 (England) 01-063 $16.98

VALENTIN SILVESTROV (b.1937): Cantata for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Ode to the Nightingale for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Cantata for Choir a capella, Diptych for Choir a capella. Silvestrov was considered one of the leading (or most notorious) avant-garde composers of the Soviet Union. From the 1970s on, he became more concerned with melody, and vocal works became important in his output, of which a representative selection from the earliest to the most recent is presented here. Although his language is highly chromatic and often dissonant, it nonetheless achieves a surprising beauty and lyricism, with many of the inflections familiar from choral folk-music of Eastern Europe. Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka"; Evgen Savchuk, Kiev Camerata; Virko Baley. Megadisc MDC 7842 (Belgium) 01-064 $18.98

ALEXANDER KNAIFEL (b.1943): A Silly Horse - 15 Tales for Singer and Pianist. These fifteen poems by Vadim Levin explore the world of childhood through the logically distorted looking glass of "Alice" in a musical language that is highly organised - the work divides into seven sections which function as the movements of a quasi-symphonic structure. The poems are surreal, or satirical, or both, and express the strange way in which the child's mind makes sense of complex reality. The music makes a good deal of use of silence, and of wide-ranging, open accompaniments to long vocal lines, which have little in the way of tonal centres, heightening the feeling of unreality. Tatiana Milentieva (soprano), Oleg Malov (piano). Megadisc MDC 7844 (Belgium) 01-065 $18.98

CARLETON MACY (b.1944): Faust, GUSTAVO BEYTELMANN (b.1945): Pièce concertante, EUGENE BOZZA (1905-1991): Aria, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Saxophone Concerto in E Flat. The soulful, vocal sound of the saxophone makes it an ideal concertante instrument, and it is surprising that more composers have not taken it up in this context. Bozza's aria sets a plaintive songlike solo line over a simple accompaniment, tonal, melodic and full of pathos. The Beytelmann is also highly appealing, ingeniously suggesting the sultry milieu of the saxophone's origins within a piece of genuine concert music. Macy's Faust is also tonal, blues- and jazz-influenced, and arrestingly communicative, while one of the staple works that introduced the saxophone to the concert stage, Glazunov's burnished and elegant concerto, opens this highly appealing disc. Jean-Pierre Baraglioli (saxophone), Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; Valery Avramenko. Daphénéo 9709 (France) 01-066 $18.98

ANTHONY PAYNE (b.1936): Time's Arrow. An extended tone-poem lasting almost a half-hour, Time's Arrow tackles no less a subject than the creation, existence and destruction of the universe according to the oscillating big bang theory of cosmology (and may thus presumably be accounted remarkable for its brevity!). Payne is the composer who has recently done remarkable work in the reconstruction of Elgar's Third Symphony, and English Romanticism is certainly a jumping-off point in his music, which nonetheless strays into very advanced territory indeed. Structurally the piece begins with a slow introduction, representing the formless void, followed by an "explosive exposition" leading to music of powerful dynamism propelled by successions of block chords in complex metres and much use of tenor drums, suggesting an affinity with Panufnik. Increasingly the music slows its headlong "expansion" until a still centre of universal stasis is reached, after which the music quasi-palindromically retraces its steps to the final collapse into singularity. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis. NMC D037S (England) 01-067 $8.98

MICHAEL FINNISSY (b.1946): Red Earth. This may be one of Finnissy's most striking works, or at least, one that makes the most impact on first acquaintance and continues to fascinate after repeated listening. Part of the reason for this is its powerful visceral impact - inspired by the vast impersonal and inhospitable landscapes of Australia as seen from the air, and their inherent implications in terms of mankind's place in the world, Finnissy has created a vast teeming canvas in full orchestral color. The music is complex, but does not primarily seem to belong to the "complexicist school" of which Finnissy has sometimes been designated a member - rather the effect is of a powerful and disturbing emotional response which disguises the means by which the composer achieves his ends. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D040S (England) 01-068 $8.98

RICHARD BARRETT (b.1959): Vanity. By grouping instruments of diverse timbres into subgroups within the orchestra, Barrett has succeeded in creating an instrument ideally suited to express the intention of the 17th Century "Vanity" paintings - still life groupings of commonplace objects invested with metaphysical significance either of themselves of by their juxtaposition. While this music is often extremely complex on a microcosmic level, sometimes microtonal, always teeming with detail, it also possesses a structure of more accessible sound-objects on a larger scale, by analogy with its visual subject matter. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. NMC D041S (England) 01-069 $8.98

DAVID GOLIGHTLY: Three Shadow Portraits, JEREMY PIKE (b.1955): Three Pieces for Piano, JOANNA TREASURE: Piano-song, STUART SCOTT (b.1949): 3 Preludes, Op. 49, MARGARET WEGENER (b.1920): Introduction, Fantasia and Passacaglia, COLIN BAYLISS: Three Impressionist Sketches. It is a fairly safe bet that at least some of these composers, all active in Britain today, will be unfamiliar to many collectors. This CD provides a sample of a wide range of styles, nonetheless demonstrating the degree to which composers, at least in the British Isles, have moved away from academic serialism towards a richer harmonic language, with much emphasis on sonority, intervallic relationships and pianistic devices in their own right. Golightly's pieces are a virtuosic thrill-ride, while Scott's Preludes weave contrapuntal strands of material in harmonic relationships which Harold Truscott would have recognised and approved of. Wegener has provided the piano repertory with a large-scale and striking work making powerful use of traditional forms in a triptych that is both intellectually rigorous and emotionally challenging. Jonathan Middleton (piano). ASC CS CD 1 (England) 01-070 $18.98

JOHN METCALF (b.1946): Paradise Haunts for Violin and Piano, "Rest in Reason, Move in Passion" for Piano Trio, Mountains Blue Like Sea for Cello and Piano, Dance from Kafka's Chimp for Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Piano and Percussion, Inner Landscapes for Piano. Much of the music here occupies a similar meditative world to that of Arvo Pärt, and it is strongly concerned with melody and relatively simple harmony and strongly rhythmic accompaniments. There is something of a "New Age" sensibility about some of these pieces, but they are more thoroughly composed and less improvisatory and meandering than that description might suggest. Approachable and calmly beautiful, this is a very acceptable face of contemporary music. Caroline Balding (violin), Timothy Lissimore (piano), Angell Piano Trio, Richard May (cello), Frances Angell (piano), Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez, Richard McMahon (piano). Lorelt LNT 111 (England) 01-071 $16.98

HAVERGAL BRIAN (1876-1972): Prelude - John Dowland's Fancy, Double Fugue in E Flat, 4 Miniatures, Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, The Land of Dreams, The Birds, The Defiled Sanctuary, Prelude and Fugue in D Minor/Major, 3 Illuminations for Speaker and Piano, 3 Illuminations for Solo Piano. This music has not been available since Peter Hill's pioneering recording, long since unavailable. All of Brian's piano music is early, and the epic scope and tumultuous detail of his symphonies is almost entirely absent. What there is is an undeniable "Englishness" and an appealing use of the kind of progressive tonality, with its unexpected twists and turns, beloved of Robert Simpson and Harold Truscott. The three big fugal works are the most impressive here, tough granitic pieces, tautly constructed. As a bonus this disc contains Brian's most striking and disturbing song, The Defiled Sanctuary, as well as two other songs which Brian also reworked as two of the piano Miniatures. Esther King (mezzo), Tessa Spong (speaker), Raymond Clarke (piano). Athene CD 12 (England) 01-072 $18.98

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Tatiana - Preludes and Russian Dances, Fever - Tone Poem for Tenor and Orchestra, Il Guado - Symphonic Poem for Piano and Orchestra, Concertino for Violin and Orchestra, Eine Vision. Meine Jugendzeit, Donaulegenden Waltz. This disc collects much of Lehár's non-operetta compositions and a variegated lot they are! Tatiana was a serious opera whose three act-preludes suggest that Lehár could have had a career as a "serious" composer; Fever (1915) sets a text about a dying soldier and is an utterly unclassifiable combination of operatic scene, recitative and silent movie score with a hallucination scene in which the Radetzky and Rakoczy Marches collide! Il Guado (The Ford) is an 8-minute piece with constantly active and purling soloist describing a poem (whose text is printed) involving a river's ford. The Concertino is a bright, idiomatic piece (Lehár was an accomplished violinist), Eine Vision is a concert overture from 1907 with Bohemian references while the waltz which ends the program is a melancholy pass through the ruins of former splendor written toward the end of World War I. Robert Gambill (tenor), Latica Honda-Rosenberg (violin), Volker Banfield (piano), Hannover Radio Philharmonic; Klauspeter Seibel. CPO 999 423 (Germany) 01-073 $15.98

MAX VON SCHILLINGS (1868-1933): 2 Symphonic Fantasies, Op. 6 (Meergruß, Seemorgen), Prelude to Act 2 of Ingwelde, Prelude to Act 3 of Moloch, Glockenlider, Op. 22. Making up half of this program are Schillings' two sea-inspired tone poems of 1895 which speak the rich and heady language of Richard Strauss (and Seemorgen even seems to flirt with Scriabin). In similar vein is the brief prelude to an unsuccessful opera (1894) which seems to have been a Norwegian type of Nibelungenlied. The Glockenlieder of 1908 - four songs with orchestral accompaniment - at times seem close to the world of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Robert Wörle (tenor), Berlin Radio Symphony; Stefan Soltesz. CPO 999 404 (Germany) 01-074 $15.98

HEINRICH VON HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900): Mass in E Minor, Op. 87. Herzogenberg's magnificent mass dates from 1894 and originated in the grief caused by the sudden death of his friend of 20 years (and famous Bach scholar) Philipp Spitta. Greatly influenced by Bach, Brahms and the German sacred music tradition, this mass shows a predilection for motivic development and contrapuntal texturing in its Kyrie which owes much to the former two composers. The Credo is the rock-like center of the work, based on a Gregorian intonation formula which is impressively modified throughout. The Benedictus refers back to Beethoven and Schubert while the concluding Agnus dei unites two thematic groups and elaborated in canon techniques. An impressive tribute to a friend and a significant addition to the genre. Barbara Fleckenstein (soprano), Bärbel Müller (alto), Rodrigo Orrego (tenor), Frederick Martin (bass), Bachchor Mainz, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Ralf Otto. CPO 999 372 (Germany) 01-075 $15.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Piano Music, Vol. 4 - The Slave Girl, Legend, What the Minstrel Told Us, Whirligig, Toccata, In the Night, A Mountain Mood, Mediterranean, Serpent Dance, Ceremonial Dance, Dream in Exile, Paean, Salzburg Sonata (movement). After a substantial gap in time, Chandos' Bax piano series concludes with this compendium of short pieces, some of which are piano originals of works later orchestrated. The major work is the stormy, rhapsodic ballad What the Minstrel Told Us, from 1919, which tangles legend and contemporary reality in typical Baxian style. Also of note is the single surviving movement (a lento espressivo) of a lost 1936 piano sonata. Eric Parkin (piano). Chandos 9561 (England) 01-076 $16.98

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): 50 Folktunes from Hardanger, Op. 150, Nos. 1-37. Strong bonds to Norwegian folk tradition characterise many of Tveitt's hundreds of compositions, none more direct than this series of collected folk tunes translated to piano. Modal harmonies predominate and the emotional range of these pieces runs the gamut from devout to burlesque. Anyone who loves the Norwegian folk tradition (and Grieg's similar collections of piano pieces) will be delighted to make Tveitt's acquaintance. (Volume 2 contains Op. 150, Nos. 38-50 and 12 Two-part Inventions, Op. 2. It was not available at press time. Please inquire as it may be in stock by the time you read this.) Håvard Gimse (piano). Marco Polo 8.225055 (Hong Kong) 01-077 $14.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 6 - CHOPIN/LISZT: 6 Chants Polonais S. 480, CLARA SCHUMANN/LISZT: 3 Song Transcriptions, S. 569, ROBERT SCHUMANN /LISZT: 12 Song Transcriptions, MENDELSSOHN/LISZT: 9 Song and Chorale Transcriptions. These elaborate transcriptions of lieder and choral compositions make up the strongest and best-performed offering yet in Naxos' new series of Liszt's complete piano works. Joseph Banowetz (piano). Naxos 8.553656 (Hong Kong) 01-078 $5.98

JOHN FIELD (1782-1837): Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Flat, Piano Concerto No. 3 in E Flat. The liquid urbanity of the young Field's two E Flat concertos (1799 and 1805) is well served by Frith in this new addition to Naxos' "Romantic Piano Concertos" series. Benjamin Frith (piano), Northern Sinfonia; David Haslam. Naxos 8.553770 (Hong Kong) 01-079 $5.98

SIEGFRIED KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Fantasy and Fugue in D, Op. 39, Impressions, Op. 102, Two Tone Poems, Op. 70. Karg-Elert's Impressions , a 12 piece set of character pieces, show the harmonium to its best advantage while the two op. 70 pieces (a Totentanz and a hunting tale) actually suggest orchestral depth and sonorities! Impossible?.... Johannes Matthias Michel (harmonium). CPO 999 522 (Germany) 01-080 $15.98

ALLEN SAPP (b.1922): A Concerto for Chamber Orchestra: The Four Reasons, Imaginary Creatures: A Bestiary for the Credulous, Overture "The Women of Trachis". Rhythmically supple and lively, Sapp's music skilfully blends a range of different styles into a whole which comes across as the least dry and most appealing example of neoclassicism, while unashamedly playing games with dodecaphonic melodies and ostinato figures which sound suspiciously process-music-like. Imaginary Creatures, a virtuosic harpsichord concerto, is especially entertaining and delightful, and should be standard concert fare, whereupon it has all the potential to become hugely popular. The earlier overture is based on incidental music for Sophocles' drama on the death of Hercules, and is the most serious piece here, eloquently illustrating the story in a language that owes something to Vaughan Williams, spiced with Stravinsky. Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; Keith Lockhart. CRI 765 (U.S.A.) 01-081 $16.98

ROBERT ASHLEY: Atalanta (Acts of God). The re-creation, or re-interpretation, of classical mythology and the lives of historical figures is a fictional device of some potency, and Ashley's Atalanta uses such allusions kaleidoscopically, presenting anecdotal texts about the painter Max Ernst, the "shaman storyteller" Willard Reynolds, and the composer-pianist Bud Powell to comment on the roles of image, narrative and music as aspects of the human ideal represented by the suitors of Atalanta. The music consists of Ashley's familiar collage of character narrations against a process-music backdrop composed of keyboard and tape parts. Robert Ashley, Thomas Buckner, Jacqueline Humbert, Carla Tatò, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Paul Shorr. 2 CDs. Lovely Music LCD 3301-2 (U.S.A.) 01-082 $33.98

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS (b.1953): Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing. If ever there were music written to epitomise the eerie desolate stillness of the Arctic Circle it is this, composed by a resident of Alaska for more than two decades. The work consists of a chromatic progression of ever-widening intervals, with each section exploring the timbral possibilities of an interval a tone wider than the one before. Slowly changing and mutating like the Aurora Borealis, an apt analogy, and punctuated by the plangent tintinnabulation of tuned percussion, in the course of its hour-long progression the music generates an atmosphere of profound impersonal beauty. Apollo Chamber Orchestra; JoAnn Faletta. New World 80500 (U.S.A.) 01-083 $16.98

MALCOLM FORSYTH (b.1936): Electra Rising - Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Valley of a Thousand Hills for Orchestra, Tre Vie - Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. The cello concerto, written in 1995 for his daughter who plays it in this recording, is an expansive, half-hour work of multifarious delights in four movements. Two are subtitled "cadenza" although the instrument is accompanied - the first sings a romantic melody "With Gossamer Lightness" over a web of strings and harp while the other "Dramatic", is a forceful apostrophe. The second movement recalls the composer's birthplace of South Africa in an exuberant scherzo while the final movement "Paean" is a hymn-like song which concludes in outbursts of radiant virtuosity. Valley..., from 1989, depicts three South African landscapes while Tre Vie (1992) takes the three main roads of ancient Rome as an excuse for much striking, Waltonian-influenced (in his Mediterranean period) music, brilliantly written for the solo instrument and masterfully using the color possibilities of a large orchestra. Amanda Forsyth (cello), William H. Street (sax), Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; Grzegorz Nowak. CBC Records SMCD 5180 (Canada) 01-084 $16.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Sonata No. 2 "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860", 3 Quarter-Tone Pieces for 2 Pianos. Ives' famous "Concord Sonata" is supplemented here by three pieces from 1923-4, the composer's last compositional period, which he called "a study in quarter-tone harmony". They were written for a special two-keyboard piano but are nowadays played on two instruments. The first is simple and almost diatonic, the second reminiscent of Ives' "Ragtime" scherzo style and the third is a transcription of a work for strings which borrows America from Ives' organ variations and comes to a comic climax when the Marseillaise enters on the second piano, decorated with dissonant quarter-tones by its partner. Special European Import - Extremely Limited Quantities. Alexei Lubimov (piano), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (second piano). Erato 0630-14638-2 (France) 01-085 $22.98


DMITRY KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Cello Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 49, Cello Concerto No. 2 in G, Op. 77, Spring, Op. 65. The two concertos, containing many similarities to Prokofiev and Shostakovich are joined by a short, cheerful tone poem. Alexander Rudin (cello), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Igor Golovchin. Naxos 8.553788 (Hong Kong) 01-086 $5.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): Overture Olympie, Symphonies in E Flat, C and C Minor. An excellent introduction to the "Swedish Mozart" at budget price; the C minor symphony is perhaps his finest and receives a sparkling performance here. Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Naxos 8.553734 (Hong Kong) 01-087 $5.98

JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Missa Corporis Christi, Plaudite, Sonat Tuba - Motet, Paries Quidem Filium - Motet. Fux was conservative and loyal to Baroque tradition yet his contrupuntal art helped form the basis for Viennese Classicism and the mass (from 1713) serves as a fine example. Like the mass, both motets feature trumpets, making all three works brilliant and festive. David Cordier (soprano), Drew Minter (alto), Johannes Chum (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass), Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck. CPO 999 528 (Germany) 01-089 $15.98


Parenthesis after title of work contains performer(s) and date of recording.

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): String Quartet No. 3, Op. 16 (Buchberger Quartet - 1986), PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963)/KURT WEILL (1900-1950): Lindberghflug (Ernst Ginsberg [speaker], Betty Mergler [mezzo], Erik Wirl [tenor], Gerhard Pechner [baritone], Berlin Radio Choir and Orchestra; Hermann Scherchen - 1930), IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Piano Sonata No. 2 (Maria Bergmann - 1963), Epitaphium for the Tomb of Prince Max Egon zu Fürstenberg (Kraft-Thorwald Dilloo [flute], Sepp Fackler [clarinet], Hildegard Heckel [harp], In Memoriam Dylan Thomas for Tenor, String Quartet and 4 Trombones (Peter Pears [tenor], Members of SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1954), ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): 3 Lustige Märsche for Winds, Op. 34 (SWF Orchester: Erich Schmid - 1977), HANS HAASS (1897-1955): Capriccio, Fuge und Intermezzo für Mechanisches Klavier (Jürgen Hocker - 1994), ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Serenade, Op. 24 for Clarinet and Orchestra (SWF Orchester; Hans Rosbaud - 1958), ALBAN BERG (1885-1935): Lyric Suite (LaSalle Quartet - 1978), ROMAN HAUBENSTOCK-RAMATI (1919-1994): Credentials or Think, Think Lucky (Cathy Berberian [sprechstimme], SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1961), JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): 12'55.6078 for 2 Pianists (David Tudor, John Cage - 1954), ALOIS HÁBA (1893-1973): String Quartet No. 2, Op. 12 (Leonardo Quartet - 1996), DIETER SCHNEBEL (b.1930): Diapason, Kanon à 13 for Dissimilar Instrumental Groups (Barry Guy [contrabass], SWF; Ernest Bour - 1977), PAUL-HEINZ DITTRICH (b.1930): Areae Sonanates for Instrumental and Vocal Groups (Gisela Evers [soprano], Hanna Auerbacher [mezzo], Elisabeth Künstler [alto], Jansjörg Schellenberger [oboe], Christian Guizien [trombone], Heinrich Schiff [cello], SWF; Ernest Bour - 1973), FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Spiegel II for 55 Strings (SWF; Ernest Bour - 1964), LUCIANO BERIO (b.1925): Sinfonia (Swingle Singers, SWF - Ernest Bour - 1969), ROLF LIEBERMANN (b.1910): Concerto for Jazzband and Symphony Orchestra (Soloists of the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra, SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1954), CRISTÓBAL HALFFTER (b.1930): Planto por las víctimas de la violencia for Chamber Ensemble and Electronics (Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung of the SWF, SWF; Ernest Bour - 1971), HENRI POUSSEUR (b.1929): Quintette à la mémoire d'Anton Webern for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (Members of the SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1955), MAURIZIO KAGEL (b.1931): Zwei-Mann-Orchester (Wilhelm Bruck, Theodor Ross - 1973), ROLF RIEHM (b.1937): O Daddy for Orchestra and Tape (SWF; Kazimierz Kord - 1984), BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): Time and Motion Study III (Schola Cantorum Stuttgart; Clytus Gottwald - 1984), MATHIAS SPERLINGER (b.1944): Und als wir for 54 Strings (SWF; Lothar Zagrosek - 1993), HANS ZENDER (b.1936): Muji no Kyo for Voice, Flute, Cello, Piano, Electronic Organ and Orchestra (Roland Hermann [baritone], Roswitha Staege [flute], Ulrich Heinen [cello], Herbert Henck [piano, organ], SWF; Ernest Bour - 1975), HANSPETER KYBURZ (b.1960): Cells for Saxophone and Ensemble (Markus Weiss [sax], Ensemble recherche; Peter Rundel - 1993), PIERRE BOULEZ (b.1925): Tombeau à la mémoire du Price Max Egon zu Fürstenberg (Eva-Maria Rogner [soprano], Ensmeble Domaine Musical; Pierre Boulez - 1959), Polyphonie X for 18 Solo Instruments (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1951), Poésie pour pouvoir for Sprechstimme and Tape (Michel Bouquet - 1958), Structures for 2 Pianos, Book 2 (Cathy Berberian [voice], Yvonne Loriod, Pierre Boulez [pianos] - 1961), IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): Ata for Orchestra (SWF; Michael Gielen - 1988), Metastaseis (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1955), JÖRG HERCHET (b.1943): Komposition for Trombone, Baritone and Orchestra (Armin Rosin [trombone], Gerhard Faulstich [baritone], SWF; Cristóbal Halffter - 1980), VINKO GLOBOKAR (b.1934): Laboratorium 1973 (excerpt) (Ensemble Musique Vivante - 1973), GYÖRGY LIGETI (b.1923): Lontano (SWF; Ernest Bour - 1967), Atmosphères (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1961), PIERRE SCHAEFFER (b.1910)/ PIERRE HENRY (b. 1927): Orphée 53 - Spectacle lyrique (1953), LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Post-Prae-Ludium for Tuba and Live Electronics (Giancarlo Schiaffini [tuba] - 1987), Due espressioni (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1953), MICHAËL LEVINAS (b.1949): Par-de-là for Orchestra (SWF; Michael Gielen - 1994), YOUNGHI PAGH-PAAN (b.1945): NIM for Large Orchestra (SWF; Michael Gielen - 1987), ANTON WEBERN (1883-1945): 6 Bagatelles for String Quartet, Op. 9 (Juilliard Quartet - 1960), KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN (1905-1963): Adagio (2. Sinfonie) (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1950), KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Anaklasis (SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1960), KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Punkte for Orchestra (SWF; Pierre Boulez - 1963), BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMAN (1918-1970): Sonata for Viola Solo (Albert Dietrich - 1955), HEINZ HOLLIGER (b.1939): Pneuma for Winds, Percussion, Organ and Radios (SWF; Ernest Bour - 1970), HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Schwankungen am Rand (SWF; Ernest Bour - 1975), ANDREAS RASEGHI (b.1964): Chamber Quartet for 2 Violins, Viola and Cello (Auryn Quartet - 1987), OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): Réveil des Oiseaux (Yvonne Loriod [piano], SWF; Hans Rosbaud - 1953), ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Oboe Concerto (Heinz Holliger [oboe], SWF; Michael Gielen - 1988), WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Frau/Stimme for Soprano and Orchestra with Soprano (Isolode Siebert, Carmen Fuggiss [sopranos], SWF; Michael Gielen - 1989), JOHANNES KALITZKE (b.1959): Nachtschleife for Vocal Sextet (London Voices - 1989). The Donaueschingen Music Festival is the oldest and most enduring festival of new music in the world and, paradoxically given its subsequent history, was founded through the largesse of royalty - Prince Max Egon of Fürstenberg (which explains Stravinsky's elegy recorded herein). For 75 years it has seen the premieres of works which have shaken the world of modern music for good and for ill. The list of composers represented in this lavishly produced documentary set is a Who's Who of 20th century music and many of these recordings were made during the premiere of the works themselves. The oldest recording is that of Weill's and Hindemith's Lindberghflug, made in 1930; the rest are about evenly divided between mono recordings of the 1950s and early 60s and stereo recordings - all from the archives of South-West German Radio. Dipping into this embarrassment of riches is like going back in time and recovering the excitement of hearing this music for the first time with its young composers (who today are elder statesmen) present in the audience. An issue of great historical significance! 12 CDs for the price of 10. Col Legno 31899 (Germany) 01-090 $189.98

BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMAN (1918-1970): Dialoge - Concerto for 2 Pianos and Large Orchestra, Monologe - Version of Dialoge for 2 Pianos, Perspektiven - Music to an Imaginary Ballet for 2 Pianos, Photoptosis - Prelude for Large Orchestra. These four large-scale works, full of the dramatic power and thrilling sonorities familiar to Zimmerman's admirers, trace the development of his serial technique from Perspectives of 1955/56, his first work organised entirely along serial lines, to the remarkable Photoptosis of 1968, a shimmering score which explores the idea of light as a medium in itself in music which, though complex, is alternately of such ethereal beauty and visceral impact as to make a direct appeal to the emotions first, and the intellect second. Dialoge is quintessential Zimmermann, a concerto for 2 pianos and large orchestra in which a complex network of thematic, temporal and instrumental relationships is presented to great effect. Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher (piano duet), Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin; Bernhard Kontarsky. Col Legno 20002 (Germany) 01-091 $18.98

LUCIANO BERIO (b.1925): Un Re in ascolto. The world premiere recording of a major opera by Berio with no less performers than Lorin Maazel and the Vienna Philharmonic has to be a major event, and so it turns out to be. Described by the composer as a "musical action" "A King Listens" is a work of imagination, in which the mechanism of drama is examined, through a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Prospero, the principal character of the piece. The stage is represented by the analogy of an island, and the rehearsal of the play and the memories and reflections that it evokes in the theatre director represent his life - and fittingly, having lived out his life, he dies at the end. The music is one of Berio's most ingenious and involving collages of dialogue, representative musical styles and dramatic content, pulling the listener into the midst of the action and the psyche of the characters. 2 CDs. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Lorin Maazel. Col Legno 20005 (Germany) 01-092 $37.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Das atmende Klarsein, ...sofferte onde serene..., Con Luigi Dallapiccola. These works conjure a sound-world that is uniquely Nono's, through the subtle transformation of performed sound by the use of electronic modification. The largest work here is the intoxicating Das atmende Klarsein, which blends choral textures with bass flute, live electronics and a wonderfully inventive tape part in a tapestry of sound which can transport the listener completely to another world. The homage to Dallapiccola functions like a structured work of musique concrète in representing the musical mind of a great composer through the medium of sound - an ambitious aim! The success of these works lies in Nono's unfailing sense of sonority in its own right, as the sculptor perceives shape and structure in the unformed clay. Members of the Südfunk-Chors Stuttgart, Eva Furrer (bass flute), Markus Hinterhäuser (piano) various other artists. Col Legno 31871 (Germany) 01-093 $18.98

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Fireworks and the Profane Waltzes, The Golden Bird, Second Sonata "The Airplane", Jazz Sonata, Mechanisms, Third Sonata "Death of Machines", (Little) Shimmy, Sonata Sauvage, Sonata V, Sonatina für Radio, Sonatina 1932. A combination of frenzied virtuosity and meticulous precision, the piano music of the "Bad Boy of Music" stands the test of time well. The scandal evoked by the dissonance of the music when performed by the composer in the 1920s, and his outrageously embellished stories about his own life and his colleagues have to some extent taken precedence over the music itself in the creation of the "bad boy" image. The music itself shows the unmistakable imprint of a master pianist-composer, and one not excessively concerned with shock tactics; dissonance, clusters, wild rhythms there are to be sure, but also a surprisingly wide pallette of pianistic devices, an unexpected lyricism and a cohesiveness to these finely structured works, which make use of appealing tonality and popular idioms, expecially jazz, to leaven the modernity of his language. Benedikt Koehlen (piano). Col Legno 31880 (Germany) 01-094 $18.98

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Von heute auf morgen, Op. 32. This, the first opera to use the 12-tone method, dates from 1930 and is a one-act domestic farce involving marital discord stoked by what Schoenberg saw as the danger to abiding values in art and life posed by fashion which is ephemeral (hence the title "From Today to Tomorrow"). Refined instrumentation and marvellous wit and invention in the orchestral writing serve a work which, nonetheless, was conceived vocally from beginning to end. German-English libretto. Richard Salter (baritone), Christine Whittlesey (soprano), Claudia Barainsky (soprano), Ryszard Karczykowki (tenor), Frankfurt Radio Symphony; Michael Gielen. CPO 999 532 (Germany) 01-095 $15.98

KNUDÅGE RIISAGER (1897-1974): Slaraffenland (Fools' Paradise): 2 Suites for Orchestra, Op. 33, 12 med Posten (12 by the Mail): 6 Dances, Op. 37, Concertino for Trumpet and Strings, Op. 29, Darduse: Dances, Op. 32. Riisager single-handedly pioneered the neo-Classicist style in Danish music and these orchestral works, all from 1933-1940 show his sources of inspiration in the Baroque and Classical styles. An element of popular burlesque with Stravinskian influence is evident throughout the music for "Fools' Paradise" and "12 by the Mail" while the dances from Darduse are full of illustrative effects. The concertino, in turn, is rigorous and archaizing. Håkan Hardanberger (trumpet), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Dausgaard. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224082 (Denmark) 01-096 $14.98

KNUDÅGE RIISAGER (1897-1974): Variations for Clarinet, Viola and Bassoon, Op. 4, Divertimento for String Quartet and Wind Quintet, Op. 9, Sonata for Flute, Violin, Clarinet and Cello, Op. 15, Music for Wind Quintet, Op. 16, Serenade for Flute, Violin and Cello, Op. 26b. Riisager's bright, astringent, sometimes dissonant early neo-classicism is presented best in this collection of chamber works from 1923-27 and 1936. His op. 16 is especially instructive when compared to the wind quintet of Carl Nielsen (written only five years earlier) which seems positively romantic by comparison! Royal Danish String Quartet, Scandinavian Wind Quintet. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224081 (Denmark) 01-097 $14.98

LLORENÇ BALSACH (b.1953): Gran Copa Especial for Orchestra, Visions Grotesques for Orchestra, Rondó for Chamber Ensemble, Ritmes d'Ultramar for 2 Pianos, String Trio, Música-Màgica for Chamber Ensemble. Balsach is plainly a composer of considerable range, both of ambition and achievement. Gran Copa Especial suggests Sallinen trying to write West Side Story, while Visions Grotesques, the longest and most substantial work here, switches genres and vocabularies with disconcerting fluency, suggesting a series of tableaux or pictures in different styles such as one might encounter on a random stroll through an art gallery. Hints of early Schoenberg and Shostakovich, and a kaleidoscopic juxtaposition of styles make this a fascinating trip through the composer's psyche. The Rondó begins in a less tonally based style, but this is a ruse, and the piece soon finds its way and establishes a clearly defined melodic contour. The 2-piano works are uncomplicated Latin dances, harmonically appealing, and the chamber works are cogently argued and imbued with a strong element of fantasy. Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona; Joan Lluís Moraleda, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Caluna; Isaac Karabtchesky, Ensemble 2e2m; Paul Mefano, Maria Lourdes & Lluís Pérez-Molina (duo pianos), Trio à cordes de Paris, Música XXI; Miquel Gaspà. Ars Harmonica AH021 (Spain) 01-098 $19.98

MIQUEL ROGER (b.1954): Wind Quintet No. 1, Blanca Quartet, Set de Set for Piano, Inventio for Piano, Per a Liliana for Piano, Trilogia for String Trio, 6 Studies for Clarinet, Patinnazo for Transverse Flute. An intriguing collection of chamber works for a variety of different forces in a free harmonic language with tonal referents, notable for its economy of means and the absence of wasted gesture. The aphoristic Set of Seven piano works, and the impassioned, elegiac Inventio are remarkable for their clarity of texture - there is an affinity with the severe, restrained yet passionate music of Alan Bush. The works for string ensembles and winds have more of a Second Viennese flavor to them, while the pedagogical studies demonstrate a thorough understanding of wind writing and achieve a real degree of musical communication in their brief span. Harmonia Wind Quintet, Quartet Enesco, Assumpta Coma, Montserrat Massaguer, Ruth Lluis (piano), Trio de cordes de Paris, Josep Fuster (clarinet), Patricia Mazo (transverse flute). Ars Harmonica AH 013 (Spain) 01-099 $19.98

SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM (b.1942): String Quartet No. 3, MIKAEL EDLUND (b.1950): "brains and dancin'", WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): String Quartet No. 6 in D Minor, Op. 35. Stenhammar's refined yet passionate sixth quartet opens this recording by the gifted young Zetterqvist Quartet. In a traditional four -movement structure, the work is concentrated but romantically expansive. Sandström's third quartet is also surprisingly tonal and expressive; the sound-world is not far from that of Bartók. Edlund's piece is fully notated, yet sounds like an extended improvised dialogue between the instruments, a journey "through the music's imaginary rooms full of voices and atmosphere". Zetterqvist String Quartet. Opus 3 19702 (Sweden) 01-100 $16.98

For all our long-suffering friends seemingly eternally back-ordered on the Widor Symphonie antique, we have good news at last: we have finally been able to order this title direct from Motette since they and their distributor have parted company some months ago. We hope to fill all of your orders before the end of January.


At press time, several Marco Polo new releases had not arrived. If you are interested in the following, please inquire when ordering as they may have arrived by that time:

ASGER HAMERIK (1843-1923): Symphony No. 1 in F, Op. 29 "Symphonie poétique", Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 32 "Symphonie tragique". Helsingborg SO; Thomas Dausgaard .


MAX STEINER (1888-1971): King Kong (Premiere Digital Recording of the original and complete 1933 film score). Moscow SO; William J. Stromberg.