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Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

(Collectors of 19th-century Romanticism take note of Symphony No. 5.)

ALEXANDER MOYZES (1906-1984): Symphony No. 5 in F, Op. 39, Symphony No. 6 in E, Op. 44. Although the booklet notes are parsimonious to the point of absurdity, it appears that Moyzes's fifth symphony is a 1947 overhaul and refurbishing of his father, Mikulás Moyzes (1872-1944)'s Little Mountain Symphony of 1937. Even though only ten years separate the two, it is clear from hearing it that Moyzes père was an unreconstructed late Romantic and Alexander seems to have done little "modernizing" of the symphony. Agreeably rough-hewn and full of rich, tangy East Slovak folk melodies, this symphony could have come out of the 1870s or 1880s. The sixth symphony (1951) uses the thematic material of an earlier Concertino for Large Orchestra of 1933 and the origin of the themes in a still-youthful Moyzes guarantees another wonderfully conservative late Romantic work sure to please anyone who collects Suk or Novak. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ladislav Slovák. Marco Polo 8.225090 (New Zealand) 07D001 $14.98

HENRY HADLEY and American Late Romanticism

HENRY HADLEY (1871-1937): Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 64, The Ocean, Op. 99, The Culprit Fay, Op. 62. Although of the same generation, Hadley's music vibrates with a much more vigorous, Romantic pulse than that of Carpenter. The Ocean (1921) is a fine late Romantic sea-scape (no hint of Debussy regardless of its date) which depicts a storm at sea, cavorting Naïads and, finally, the quiet serenity of the eternal ocean. The Culprit Fay (1908) is in the water-fairies-and-sprites genre, airily and delicately orchestrated; if you played it blind to someone he might guess that Dukas left a companion piece to The Sorcerer's Apprentice which had only just been discovered. Dating from 1911, the fourth of Hadley's five symphonies contains four movements subtitled with the cardinal points of the compass. "North" is a robust and rugged movement meant to portray some frozen clime; "East" is the Far East with typically colorful "Orientalisms" but the other two directions are American ones and "South" is a slow movement which makes use of spirituals and ragtime rhythms while the closing "West" is big, buoyant and energetic movement complete with Native American themes. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; John McLaughlin Williams. Naxos American Classics 8.559064 (U.S.A.) 07D002 $5.98

JOHN ALDEN CARPENTER (1876-1951): Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Adventures in a Perambulator. While Adventures (1914) is an extroverted work, depicting a full day in the life of a babe in a stroller in music of great humor and bright orchestral colors, the two symphonies (each lasting less than 20 minutes) are much more inward pieces, peaceful and gently lyrical rather than outgoingly Romantic. The first (1940) is a reworking of an earlier symphonic attempt from 1917 condensed into a single-movement work in five sections full of mercurial changes of tempo and mood. The second is a 1947 revision of a 1934 piano quintet and its three movements are cultured, modest and unostentatious. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; John McLaughlin Williams. Naxos American Classics 8.559065 (U.S.A.) 07D003 $5.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Symphony No. 6 "Det Himmelrivende", Symphony No. 7 (1926 version), Symphony No. 8 "Minder ved Amalienborg". A new recording brings us the first recording of the Symphony No. 7 in the version printed at Langgaard's own expense in 1927, the first of his symphonies to abandon the expressionism and apocalypicism of his first six, trading that in for a neo-Romanticism which was his response to the cool, pure clarity of the then-prevailing neo-Classicism. Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir; Thomas Dausgard. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224180 (Denmark) 07D004 $14.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Golgotha. Having had several requests over the past year or so, we are glad to again be able to offer this 1989 release. Composed in 1949, Golgotha was Martin's Passion Oratorio and he was inspired by Rembrandt's etching "The Three Crosses". Rather than a liturgical setting, Martin provides the seven "pictures" of the Passion which are interspersed with contemplative meditaions of St. Augustine; the most dramatic moments are given to a homophonic chorus. Performed in a German version authorized by the composer. 2 CDs. German text. No English notes. Martina von Bargen (soprano), Margit Hungerbühler (alto), Freidhelm Decker (tenor), Joachim Gebhardt (baritone), Martin Blasius (bass), Chorus of the Erlöserkirche Bad Homburg, Frankfurt Wind Ensemble, Offenbach Chamber Orchestra; Hayko Siemens. Vengo Records 21.401 (Germany) 07D005 $33.98

MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Atlántida (arr. Halffter), El sombrero de tres picos. Made in 1977, this is the only studio recording of Ernesto Halffter's completion of Falla's incomplete, life-long scenic cantata which mixes Greek mythology with Columbus and the spread of Spanish Catholicism (106 minutes long here). Catalan-English texts (Atlántida), Spanish-English texts. 2 CDs. Mid-price EMI Special Import re-issue. Enriqueta Tarrés (soprano), Anna Ricci (mezzo), Eduardo Giménez (tenor), Veincente Sardinero (baritone), Children's Chorus of Our Lady of Remembrance, Spanish National Chorus and Orchesta; Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Victoria de los Angeles (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra; Frühbeck de Burgos. EMI 5 65997 2 (England) 07D006 $21.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Symphony No. 2, Op. 40, Symphony No. 5, Op. 74, Peterloo, Op. 97. Groves conducts the Second which was commissioned by Bournemouth for him in 1953 while the composer handles his remarkable Fifth of 1960. The latter is marked out by a first movement full of tributes to musicians who died young while the third, scherzo-like movement uses bongos and a deep tom-tom to unique effect. Peterloo is a 1968 overture marking the 100th anniversary of the death of a dozen people in a riot over political reform in Manchester and has all of Arnold's characteristic vim and vigor. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Sir Charles Groves, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Malcolm Arnold. EMI CDM 5 66324 2 (England) 07D007 $11.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Symphony No. 5, Op. 74, Symphony No. 6, Op. 95. Naxos' new Arnold symphony cycle, recorded "in the presence of the composer" continues with the 1960 Fifth (see left), two of whose movements come in within three to five seconds of Arnold's own recording (guess he was paying attention at the sessions), and the Sixth (1967), a tense, emotionally anxious work which uses jazz rhythms in its first movement and mixes a Shostakovichian restiveness with bossa nova percussion in its slow movement to produce a mood of gritty urban aggression. The symphony's end is a striking massive close which is forced, ambivalent and inhibited. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Andrew Penny. Naxos 8.552000 (New Zealand) 07D008 $5.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Dante, 5 piezas sobre cantos populares españoles (arr. Ferrer) for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, La Maja y el Ruiseñor for Soprano and Orchestra, Intermezzo (from Goyescas). A 31-minute tone poem from that guy that wrote all that Spanish piano music? Yes and coming from the later part of his career, composed in 1907-8 and premiered in New York in 1915 around the same time as his operatic version of Goyescas. In two movements (Dante e Vergilio and Paolo e Francesca), the writing is indebted to Wagner in its harmonies and melodies with touches of early Scriabin in the depiction of the famous ill-fated lovers in the second part. Catalan composer Anselm Ferrer (1882-1969) orchestrated five of Granados' piezas, giving us a colorful and pleasing five-movement suite of 24-minutes length. Texts and English translations. Frances Lucey (soprano), Nancy Fariola Herrera (mezzo), Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; Adrian Leaper. ASV DCA 1110 (England) 07D009 $16.98

HEINRICH VON HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900): Cello Sonatas No. 1, Op. 52, No. 2, Op. 64 & No. 3, Op. 94. The Herzogenberg renaissance continues apace with these sonatas composed between 1886-95. The first, given the composer's Brahmsian bent, opens with an almost violently passionate first movement; the second movement is a moving elegy while the variation finale seems to quote from the older composer's Haydn Variations. The second uses a theme reminiscent of the beginning of Brahms' second symphony and has a scherzo of Schubertian nostalgia. The third sonata, just predating the heart-breaking piano quartet offered in last month's catalogue (with an erroneous opus number), is an oddly light-hearted piece which has melodies very close to those of popular folksongs. Mid-price. Claudius Herrmann (cello), Saiko Sasaki (piano). CPO 999 625 (Germany) 07D010 $10.98

ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): 7 Hungarian Folksongs, Waldelfelein, 6 Poems by Victor Heindl, Op. 14, Im Lebeslenz, Op. 16. Dohnányi's complete song uvre is contained in these three cycles and one stand-alone piece. The Hungarian settings date from 1922, songs chosen from the collection Kodály and Bártok published in 1906 and set simply and strophically. The remaining pieces date from 1905-07 and show most particularly the influence of Schumann in the way the piano helps reflect the state of mind of the poems and tries to convey some of the inexpressible nuances of their mood. Hungarian/ German-English texts. Ingrid Kertesi (soprano), Márta Gulyás (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31949 (Hungary) 07D011 $16.98

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Clarinet Concerto in A Minor, Op. 80, GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, Op. 31. Dating from 1902, Stanford's single-movement, three-section concerto was dedicated to the soloist who premiered Brahms' clarinet works, Richard Mühlfeld - who refused to perform it. Except for the Irish character of the finale, the work couldn't be more warmly and melodiously Brahmsian (particularly the second movement). Finzi's 1949 concerto is actually longer but has one similarity in the lilting, English folksong-like finale. The first movement pits an excitable orchestra against a pastoral soloist while the slow movement is a tension-and-release piece of some plaintiveness. Mid-price. Thea King (clarinet), Philharmonia Orchestra; Alun Francis. Helios CDH 55101 (England) 07D012 $10.98

WILLIAM WOLSTENHOLME (1865-1931): Toccata in B Flat, HUGH BLAIR (1864-1932): Sunset Hour, Postlude, EDWIN LEMARE (1865-1934): Intermezzo "Moonlight", AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Passacaglia, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Variations on a Shape-note Hymn (Wondrous Love), ANDREW CARTER (b.1939): Trumpet Tune, Aria, MARK BLATCHLY (b.1960): Variations on the Agincourt Song. A couple of American rarities stand out in this collection: Copland's Passacaglia was a piano work but it was played on an organ right after the composer wrote it (in Paris, while studying with Nadia Boulanger); later Copland had it transcribed for organ. Barber's piece (1959) was written for organ, taking a hymn tune from the first half of the 19th century as its base.Wolstenholme's and Blair's pieces are nice examples of English Romantic miniatures; Lemare's Intermezzo is enchanting light music with a charming melody. For virtuosity there is Blatchly's work which is dedicated to this organist and which steadily builds up the digital difficulties in its 14-minute course. Adrian Partington (Willis organ of Reading Town Hall, England). Priory PRCD 687 (England) 07D013 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Fantasy Sonata for Viola and Harp, Legend for Viola and Piano, Concert Piece for Viola and Piano, Viola Sonata. A fine collection of Bax's music involving the viola from an unusual source! Nothing here is new but if you don't have these wonderfully evocative chamber works, often tinged with Irish melancholy, this is the first chance to have them at this ridculously low price. Budget-price. Ivo-Jan van der Werff (viola), Simon Marlow (piano), Hugh Webb (harp). Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6762-2 (Germany) 07D014 $6.98

ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Padmâvatî. This 1923 two-act opera, based on historical characters from 14-century India, is remarkable for its mixing of ballet and opera, with extended sections danced, not sung, and with much use of a wordless chorus. Add to this the fact that many of the dance interludes, with their hypnotic rhythms, make quite authentic use of Eastern musical techniques, and you have a true rarity. This is the English premiere, recorded in July 1969 at the London Coliseum. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Super-budget price. Rita Gorr (soprano), Albert Lance (tenor), Gérard Souzay (baritone), BBC Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra; Jean Martinon. Gala GL 100 573 (Netherlands) 07D015 $9.98

PETRONIO FRANCESCHINI (ca.1650-1680): Suonata a 7 con due Trombe in D, GIUSEPPE TORELLI (1658-1709): Concerto VI for 2 Violins, Trumpet, Viola, Bass and Basso Continuo in D, Suonata con Stromenti e Trommba 1690 for Trumpet and Strings in D, DOMENICO GABRIELLI (1659-1690): Sonata D.XI.5 for Trumpet and Strings in D, Sonata D.XI.4 for Trumpet and Strings in D, ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713): Sonata à 3 for Trumpet, 2 Violins and Basso Continuo in D, GIOVANNI BONAVENTURA VIVIANI (before1672-after1693): Sonata for Trombetta Sola and Organ in C, ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1644-1682): Sinfonia of Il Barcheggio for Trumpet, Violin and Basso Continuo in D, FRANCESCO MANFREDINI (c.1688-c.1748): Concerto con una o due Trombe for Trumpets and Strings in D. The baroque trumpet gets a little back from the recent spate of natural horn releases with this collection of early baroque trumpet concertos featuring one of the finest modern performers on this very difficult-to-play instrument. Friedemann Immer, Graham Nicholson (baroque trumpets), Concerto Köln. MD&G 605 0271 (Germany) 07D016 $17.98

BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): 10 Sonatas for Harpsichord, [Op. 3], Laberinto sopra il clavicembalo, La stravaganza. The third Chandos Marcello world premiere release in the last couple of years brings a set of unpublished sonatas from the early 1710s which combine French influences, galant manners and a florid realization of the figured bass like that in the young Domenico Scarlatti. The set concludes with a 15-minute chaconne (La stravaganza) and an odd little piece in bizarre notation which is probably a musical joke. Roberto Loreggian (harpsichord). Chandos 0671 (England) 07D017 $33.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Overture in F for 2 Corni da caccia, 2 Oboes, Strings and Basso Continuo, Concerto in D for Violin, 3 Corni da caccia and Strings in D, Overture in D for 2 Corni da caccia, Trumpets and Strings, Concerto in F for 2 Corni da caccia and Strings. The natural horn specialists who've recently given us discs of music by Oestreich and Reicha now participate as soloists in these overtures and concertos which will delight both horn collectors and Telemann fans. Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik; Deutsche Naturhorn Solisten. MD&G 605 1045 (Germany) 07D018 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): St. Luke Passion 1744. This is a 1973 recording issued for the first time on CD and it brings us the third of Telemann's 46 Passion settings to appear in the last couple of years. Unlike the previous two, this one provides texts and translations which make it easier to enjoy Telemann's characteristic back-to-basics approach to the genre - instead of writing arias comparable to dramatic scenas, the composer sticks primarily to chorale verses and Bible texts. German-English texts. 2 CDs. Uta Spreckelsen (soprano), Theo Altmeyer (tenor), Adalbert Kraus (tenor), Gerhard Faulstich (baritone), Gerd Beusker (tenor), Frankfurter Madrigalensemble, Hessian Chamber Orchestra; Siegfried Heinrich. Cantate C 57623 (Germany) 07D019 $31.98

REINHARD KEISER (1674-1739): Scenes from Die verdammte Staat-Sucht, Der gestürzte und wieder erhöhte Nebucandezar, Der geliebte Adonis and La forza della virtù, Concerto for 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Basso Continuo, Sonata à 3 for Flute, Viola d'Amore and Basso Continuo. Keiser's sudden popularity continues with this collection of scenes from operas (Der geliebte Adonis recently released on cpo) interspersed with instrumental works, all dating from 1697-1704 when his star was beginning to rise in Hamburg. German-English texts. Elisabeth Scholl (soprano), La Ricordanza. MD&G 505 1037 (Germany) 07D020 $17.98

ANTONIO CALDARA (1670-1736): 7 Sonatas for Cello and Basso Continuo. Although known for his vocal works, Caldara was a cellist originally and these sonatas are one of only three sets of instrumental works by him to survive. The others are early; these date from 1735 and exalt the expressive, "vocal" characteristics of the cello with the style embracing both the high baroque of Caldara's youth and the new galant style. Mid-price. Marco Frezzato (cello), L'Aura Soave. Tactus TC 670302 (Italy) 07D021 $11.98

PIETRO CASTRUCCI (1679-1752): Concerti Grossi, Op. 3, Nos. 4-6, 9, 11 & 12. A student of Corelli, Castrucci was another Italian composer/violinist who spent most of his career in England and his Concerti grossi of 1736 are bright, expressive works which combine the influences of his master and of his contemporary, Handel. Handel Festival Orchestra Halle; Anton Steck. Glissando 779 034-2 (Germany) 07D022 $17.98

GOTTFRIED HEINRICH STÖLZEL (1690-1749): Christmas Oratorio - Cantatas 6-10. Like Bach's Christmas Oratorio, this is not a through-composed work - it consisted of 10 cantatas to be performed from Christmas through Epiphany. (The first volume of this set was released in 1998.) This completion only serves to increase the reputation of this highly original and independent composer whose reputation was much damgaged by the loss of a large part of his works during the tenure of his successor at the court of Gotha, Jirí Antonín Benda. German-English texts. Britta Schwarz (mezzo), Henning Voss (alto), Jan Kobow (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass), Weimar Baroque Ensemble; Ludger Rémy. CPO 999 735 (Germany) 07D023 $15.98

JOSEF ANTONÍN STEPÁN (1726-1797): Keyboard Sonatas in E Flat, B & in A. Known as Joseph Steffan in the Vienna in which he spent most of his career, this is yet another Bohemian composer whose contributions to Viennese Classicism are only now being recognized. These sonatas are late works, from the first half of the 1770s and are in four movements with minuets in all and a slow introduction to the B major sonata. Binary and sonata forms characterize the initial movements with dance types for the finales, all in an idiom which combines the expressiveness of C.P.E. Bach and the tunefulness of Mozart's many Viennese contemporaries. Christine Sartoretti (harpsichord). Doron DRC 5015 (Switzerland) 07D024 $17.98

JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1813): Missa Pastoralis in G, Missa Solemnis in C. Although never employed as a church musician, Vanhal wrote over fifty masses. The Pastoralis (no later than 1782) partakes of the simplicity and rustic charm characteristic of such pieces but the composer uses the drone bass and yodelling vocal patterns in a sophisticated and effective manner while the Solemnis (before 1778) belongs to the mainstream of the 18th-century Viennese mass tradition in which Mozart and Haydn worked. Vocal Soloists, James Tibbles (organ), TOWER Voices New Zealand, Aradia Ensemble; Uwe Grodd. Naxos 8.555080 (New Zealand) 07D025 $5.98

LEOPOLD HOFMANN (1738-1793): Flute Concertos, Vol. 1 - in G, D, A & D. Hofmann wrote 13 flute concertos which make fine use of the instrument's agility and delicacy of tone color to which the composer adds his characteristic fast passage work and delicate, filigree ornamentation all of which result in courtly, clear-textured, elegant works in a light style. Kazunori Seo (flute), Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; Béla Drahos. Naxos 8.554747 (New Zealand) 07D026 $5.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Overtures to Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Scuffiara, Il Duello Comico, L'Osteria di Marechiaro, Nina, ossia la pazza per amore, Le Due Contesse, L'Idolo Cinese, La Molinara & Le Zingare in Fiera, Sinfonia funebre, Sinfonia in tre tempi. The majority of these overtures come from Paisiello's finest period in the 1780s; from three to five minutes in length, they are simply orchestrated with memorable melodies and much dynamic play - classic examples of the Italian overture style. The Sinfonia funebre, itself only just over six minutes in length, was written for the funeral of Pope Pius VI in 1799. Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; Enrique Mazzola. Dynamic CDS 376 (Italy) 07D027 $17.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Symphony in D, Oboe Concerto in G, Symphonie concertante for 2 Violins and Orchestrea in D, Symphony in D. Everything here dates from Rosetti's high maturity (1781 onward) and is in the finest Classical style. Although the second D major symphony has only three movements, it is possibly Rosetti's last work in the genre and it looks forward to Romanticism. All else sparkles like mature Mozart and Haydn. Christian Specht (oboe), Stefan Czermak, Akiko Tanaka (violins), Hamburg Symphony; Johannes Moesus. MD&G 329 1036 (Germany) 07D028 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Mass in C, Hob. XXII:5 "Missa Sanctae Caeciliae", Mass in D Minor, Hob. XXII:2 "Missa sunt bona mixta malis". The C major mass (1766) is the longest Haydn ever wrote with each movement of the Ordinary divided into several more, yielding 18 movements (and five fugues!). Splendidly sonorous orchestration adds gravity to it all. The filler is an unfinished 1768 Kyrie and part-Credo for a stylus a cappella mass which Haydn abandoned. Latin-English texts. Susan Gritton (soprano), Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo), Mark Padmore (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (bass), Collegium Musicum 90; Richard Hickox. Chandos 0667 (England) 07D029 $16.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Symphonies Concertantes, Vol. 5 - for 2 Violins and Cello in C, for 2 Flutes, 2 Violins and Cello in D, for 2 Oboes, 2 Horns, 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello in E Flat. These works of the 1760s are full of delightful things - especially the E Flat piece which, with its bevy of solo instruments, is in the vein of Mozart's Serenata notturna. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 628 (Germany) 07D030 $15.98

FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): 3 Wind Quintets, Op. 68, Horn Sonata in E Minor, Op. 44. Danzi's quintets are four-movement works, in almost every respect except orchestration, actually symphonies. The horn sonata (1813) was the first ever written for this instrument in a minor key. Michael Thompson Wind Quintet, Michael Thompson (horn), Philip Fowke (piano). Naxos 8.554694 (New Zealand) 07D031 $5.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Sonata, Op. 92a, Capriccio, Sonata, Op. 81. World premiere recording of op. 92a which is an arrangement of a four-hand sonata (whether by Diabelli or by Hummel himself is uncertain), a pleasant and flowing work in Biedermeyer style. The brief Caprice is also a first recording - a sort of perpetuum mobile in fugal style. Giuliana Corni (piano). Dynamic Series 2000 S 2038 (Italy) 07D032 $13.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Overture in C, Op. 12, Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 131, Nonet, Op. 31. Pure music, not inspired by other subjects and not a prelude to a stage work, the 1808 overture is a lovely small helping of pure Romanticism. Dating from 1845, the innovating quartet concerto has an undercurrent of elegiac resignation in all movements which looks ahead to mature Brahms. Leipzig String Quartet, Leipzig Chamber Orchestra; Sebastian Weigle, Ensemble Villa Musica. MD&G 307 0849 (Germany) 07D033 $17.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Music for Violin and Harp, Vol. 1 - Sonata Concertante for Violin and Harp in D, Op. 115, Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp in E Minor, Sonatas for Violin and Harp in C Minor & in B Flat, Op. 16. The ethereal, sometimes pianistic-sounding harp makes for an excellent partner to the violin and Spohr's famous singing violin line leads the way in these tasty romantic chamber works in which the harp (Spohr's wife was a brilliant harpist and all these works were written for their own performance) gets as much to do as the string player. Sophie Langdon (violin), Hugh Webb (harp), Susan Dorey (cello). Naxos 8.555364 (New Zealand) 07D034 $5.98

JAN VÁCLAV HUGO VORÍSEK (1791-1825): Sonata quasi una fantasia in B Flat Minor, Op. 20, 6 Variations in B Flat, Op. 19, Fantasia in C, Op. 12, 6 Impromptus, Op. 7. Strongly influenced by Beethoven and Schubert, Vorísek was a major figure in the transition from Classicism to Roman-ticism and in many of his works an almost bel canto quality singing line looks ahead to Chopin. These works, while not exactly popular, have been recorded before but we offer this release due to the outstanding fortepiano - a copy of an 1823 Bradmann. Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano). Opus 111 OP 30241 (France) 07D035 $17.98

PETER A. HEISE (1830-1879): Tornerose for Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Bergliot for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. Tornerose is the Danish cognate of the German Dorneroschen, so we have here the "Sleeping Beauty" story of the Brothers Grimm. Lasting 49 minutes, this is a secular cantata with three solo characters (the prince, princess and an old hermit), chorus and orchestra which dates from 1873 and stands in the tradition founded by Gade with "The Elf-King's Daughter" but which owes much of its early Romantic feeling to Schumann (compare his four choral ballads from the end of his life which Chandos have been coupling with symphonies in their new series). Bergliot (also set later by Grieg) comes from 1866 and sets a poem by Bjørnson after a tale from the Poetic Edda; the eponymous character is the wife of a Norse nobleman who, along with his son, was treacherously murdered by King Harald Hårderåde. It, too, partakes of German early Romanticism. Danish-English texts. Helle Charlotte Pedersen (soprano), Michael Kristensen (tenor), Stephen Milling (bass), Canzone Choir, Marianne Rørholm (mezzo), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Frans Rasmussen. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224132 (Denmark) 07D036 $14.98

CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN (1813-1888): Symphony for Solo Piano, Op. 38, Nos. 4-7, Salut, cendre du pauvre!, Op. 45, Alleluia, Op. 25, Super flumina Babylonis, Op. 52, Souvenirs: 3 Morceaux dans le genre pathétique, Op. 15. Even nowadays, there is still a sizeable body of Alkan's music which is far from over-represented on disc. The exception to this here, of course, is the wonderful Symphonie, comprised of four of the minor key studies, and it is especially gratifying that a pianist of Hamelin's stature has chosen to supplement this work with less familiar repertoire, enhancing our appreciation of Alkan's originality and brilliance. The Morceaux are early works, from the time when his striking originality was beginning to assert itself. Super Flumina Babylonis and Salut date from around the same time as the Symphonie, and demonstrate other aspects again of the composer's unique voice in his mature output. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67218 (Engalnd) 07D037 $17.98

ANTONIO BAZZINI (1818-1897): Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 3 - 6 Morceaux Lyriques, Op. 35, 2 Morceaux fantastiques, Op. 43, Menus propos! Causieres Musicales, Deuxième suite, Op. 48, La Ronde des Lutins, Op. 25. Bazzini's most famous piece is here - the Ronde des Lutins of the Mendelssohian/demonic spirit which so captivated listeners in the mid-19th century. The op. 43 Morceaux have its later cousin - a Danse des Gnomes which follows a markedly Romantic Ballade. The longer suite of op. 35 typically illustrate the sentimental, popular tone of this aspect of Bazzini's uvre which was aimed at competent amateurs and salons (as opposed to his six string quartets, but will we ever be offered those?). Luigi Alberto Bianchi (violin), Aldo Orvieto (piano). Dynamic CDS 292 (Italy) 07D038 $17.98

GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1821-1889): Studienkonzert in F Sharp Minor, Élégie No. 2 in E Minor, Introduction et variations sur La Carnaval de Venise, Rêverie, Introduzione e gavotta, Élégie No. 1 in D, Fantasia "La Sonnambula". More Italian string virtuosity from the high priest of the double bass: the shorter pieces are divided between the fantasy/variation type and the short elegiac works while the undated "Study-Concerto" is a half-hour long, full-fledged concerto (if an orchestral version was made it no longer exists) in the grand manner with a highly virtuosic first movement with Verdian swagger, a slow movement like a vocal scena and a good-humored, high-spirited finale. Dariusz Mizera (double bass), Elisabeth Westenholz (piano). Kontrapunkt 32281 (Denmark) 07D039 $16.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): 12 Two-part Songs, Op. 48, NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-108): 2 Duets, Op. 47, 2 Duets, Op. 52, PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): 6 Two-part Romances, Op. 46. This collection of very rarely performed Russian duets features Rubinstein's 1855 collection of original Russian poetry, poetry adapted from German and folksongs and shows the composer, known as an assimilator to the Germanic classical tradition, as quite capable of producing thoroughly Russian music in delicate miniature. Of the other two composers' Russian credentials there is no doubt but Rimsky also contributes a strikingly "oriental" Song of Songs in his op. 47. Excellent, lavishly produced booklet in slip-case. Russian (Cyrillic)/English texts. Urszula Kryger (mezzo), Jadwiga Rappé (alto), Jerzy Knetig (tenor), Tomasz Herbut (piano). Dux 0306 (Poland) 07D040 $16.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26, Violin Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 58. The first release in a new cycle of the violin concertos is also the first digital one. A good shelf-mate for the old Philips set! Isabelle van Keulen (violin), Bamberg Symphony; Gilbert Varga. Koch Schwann 3-6522-2 (Germany) 07D041 $16.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Complete Lieder, Vol. 4 - 5 Lieder, Op. 47, 7 Lieder, Op. 48, 5 Lieder, Op. 49, Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 57. Pub-lished in 1868, the first three sets of songs contain much composed 15 or more years earlier - songs of love's joy or sorrow, evening merriment, transitoriness and melancholy reminiscing. The op. 57 (1871), along with Die schöne Magelone and the 4 Ernste Gesänge, represent Brahms' only collections of settings from a single source. German-English texts. Mid-price. Juliane Banse (soprano), Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (piano). CPO 999 444 (Germany) 07D042 $10.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): Symphony No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 6, Symphony No. 2 in A, Op. 27 "Pastorale". Colorful Russian Romanticism in the vein of Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov. 1989 Marco Polo original release. George Enescu State Philharmonic Orchestra; Richard Edlinger, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Johannes Wildner. Naxos 8.555410 (New Zealand) 07D043 $5.98

SIGISMOND THALBERG (1812-1871): Grande fantaisie et variations sur des motifs de la Norma, Op. 12, Grande fantaisie et variations sur des motifs de I Capuletti, Op. 10, Fantaisie sur des motifs de Beatrice di Tenda, Op. 49, Fantaisie sur des motifs de La Straniera, Op. 9, Grande caprice sur des motifs de La Sonnambula, Op. 46. Exploiting the full range of technical possibilities available to mid 19th century pianos, Thalberg offers a glimpse into a forgotten period and preserves music from some forgotten operas. 1991 Marco Polo original release. Francesco Nicolosi (piano). Naxos 8.555498 (New Zealand) 07D044 $5.98

PAUL JUON (1872-1940): Piano Trio, Op. 17, Trio-Caprice, Op. 39, Piano Trio, Op. 60, Litaniae for Piano Trio, Op. 70, Legende for Piano Trio, Op. 83, Suite for Piano Trio, Op. 89. Russian-born of Swiss parents and spending most of his life in Berlin, Juon was neither Russian, Swiss nor German but a bit of all of these as these trios, covering the years 1901-1932, demonstrate. Russian folk elements are strongest in the first trio although they appear again in the second (1908) and third (1915) amongst more Brahmsian material. All three works are in the typical form of Romantic classical music - three movements with the second trio adding a scherzo - and Juon clearly never had a problem with furnishing grateful melodies and writing with a rhapsodic freedom while still staying in formal bounds. After the dislocation of the war however, he produced two single-movement trios perhaps under the influence of the popular Cobbett-inspired "Phantasy" works emanating from Britain. Litaniae (1920) fluctuates between a quiet, mournful anxiety and more bright, extroverted periods while Legende (1930) is a tone-poem without program, wandering through various late Romantic moods. The Suite is brief, five-movement bagatelle which evokes city life (Berlin) with jazz in the background. 2 CDs. Altenberg Trio Wien. Challenge Classics 72002 (Netherlands) 07D045 $35.98

ANTONIO SMAREGLIA (1854-1929): Nozze Istriane. Dating from 1895, this was Smareglia's only attempt at veristic opera. The story is set in his native Istria and the characters and events are truly veristic but the music lacks the coarseness (and shouting) of contemporary versimo. Instead, the composer lavished special care on providing delicately transparent accompaniment for the voices and there are scenes of Rossinian subtlety. The accompaniment is often dense and expressive with a rich vein of Italian melody and an undercurrent of Slavonic melancholy. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Svetla Vassilieva (soprano), Ian Storey (tenor), Alberto Mastromarino (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Verdi, Trieste; Tiziano Severini. Bongiovanni GB 2263/64 (Italy) 07D046 $33.98

ANATOL LYADOV (1855-1914): Baba-Yaga, Op. 56, From the Apocalypse, Op. 66, Polonaise for the Unveiling of the Statue of Anton Rubinstein, Op. 55, The Enchanted Lake, Op. 62, Mazurka "Village Scene by the Inn", Op. 19, Kikimora, Op. 63, 8 Russian Folksongs, Op. 58, Scherzo in D, Op. 16, Polonaise in Memory of Alexander Pushkin, Op. 49. A consummate miniaturist, Lyadov's most famous orchestral works (Baba-Yaga, Kikimora and The Enchanted Lake) weave a gossamer web of delicate sounds, using a full-sized orchestra but one in which only relatively small groups of instruments play together at the same time. A fairy-tale atmosphere is brilliantly created to tell the fairy-tale stories of these mini-tone-poems and the Chandos recording is the finest these pieces have ever received. The lesser-known pieces have the same characteristics: the folksongs are lovely miniatures, delicately represented and even the outgoing, ceremonial polonaises speak in refined manner in their orchestral tuttis. BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 9911 (England) 07D047 $16.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 16 - Verbena madrileña, Op. 42, Recuerdos de la antigua España, Op. 48, Poema fantástico, Op. 98, Desde mi terraza, Op. 104, Recuerdo a mi Obdulia. This huge series comes to an end with the volume entitled "Memories". While Turina wrote much "absolute" music that was not particularly "Spanish", almost everything here uses Spanish folk or dance elements and, thus, is heavy in Iberian "atmosphere". Also included is the composer's final work - "From my terrace" of 1947, a little, three-movement suite evoking the view from the apartment which Turina rarely left during his final years. Antonio Soria (piano). Moraleda 6416 (Spain) 07D048 $16.98

JOSÉ POMAR (1880-1961): La Quimera, El Juglar, 2 Mazurkas, Sonatina, Prelude in G, El ex-convento de San Francisco en Pachuca, Sonata in F Sharp Minor (El Presagio). El ex-convento (1912-19) is a five movement suite describing the composer's impressions of an old Franciscan convent which offers a rarely heard genre: Mexican Impressionism. The sonata (1913) is an unusual work in five movements whose first movement's uncertain atmosphere, limned with hesitant chromaticisms, seems to foretell some sort of danger which is fulfilled in the final movement after a brief journey through three half-lit internal moodscapes - a marriage of late Romanticism and Impressionism. The remainder of the works are from Pomar's more youthful period (1898-1907) and draw on traditional European Romanticism. Daniel Noli (piano). Urtext JBCC 041 (Mexico) 07D049 $17.98

OSKAR MERIKANTO (1868-1924): Passacaglia, Op. 80, 3 Postludes, Op. 88, Concert Fantasia, Prayer, Wedding Hymn, Fantasia and Chorale "Finland in Mourning", Sarabande in D Minor (Bach), Evening Song (Schumann), Sarabande in E Minor (Bach). The complete works for organ by Finnish organist/composer Merikanto are partly in the Germanic tradition (Passacaglia and transcriptions of keyboard works by Bach and Schumann) and partly in the tradition of Finnish National Romanticism (the Fantasia and Chorale's second half is based on a hymn in the Finnish hymnal [although written by the Russian Bortnyansky] and which had overt links to contemporary political events). Jan Lehtola (Walcker organ in the Martini Church, Doesberg). Ondine ODE 973 (Finland) 07D050 $17.98

IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI (1860-1941): 12 mélodies sur des poésies de Catulle Mendès, Op. 22, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Clair de lune, Si vous n'avez rien à me dire, Aimons-nous, Ave Maria. Dating from 1903, Paderewski's cycl,e setting texts in which sadness, tragedy and a sense of loss predominate, was the first large-scale collection of songs by a Polish composer on foreign texts. Paderewski's rich harmonies and deep feeling for the subjects produced a deeply touching and expressive set of (almost) minature tone-poems-with-words. French-Polish texts. Stefania Toczyska (mezzo), Jeff Cohen (piano). Dux 0197 (Poland) 07D051 $16.98

BORIS TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996): Music from the Films Aibolit - 66 and Balazminov's Marriage. These film-score suites, while very Russian, owe a great debt to western nazz and popular music of the 30s and 40s. They are a series of numbers for chamber ensemble, soloists and small vocal groups, which come off like something out of a "Marxist Brothers" movie. Some of the selections featuring the piano will bring back memories of Chico's fancy finger-work. Two of the vocal soloists sound like the Russian counterparts of Baby Snooks and Jimmy Durante. These suites stand on their own, unlike the majority of film score excerpts which are so tenuous that they need a visual element to sustain them. Brilliant orchestration and catchy rhythms make this a very engaging listening experience. Solists, State Cinematographic Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the USSR; Amin Khachaturian. Boheme CDBMR 907085 (Russia) 07D052 $16.98

EDUARDO ANGULO (b.1954): Guitar Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 "El Alevin", Die Vögel for Guitar and String Quartet, Op. 21. This young Mexican composer offers two concertos and a chamber work in the late Romantic style of such Latin American/Mexican/Spanish composers as Ponce or Rodrigo, producing colorful orchestrations in the concertos (the first concerto's finale is a huapango, the whole second a kind of hymn to nature [the Alevin is a small Mexican salt-water fish] and the quintet a depiction of pelicans, vultures and a closing aubade) with much grateful work for the soloist . Anyone who likes romantic music of Latin origins will enjoy this easily approachable and highly enjoyable disc. Michael Troester (guitar), Saxon String Quartet, Cologne Radio Orchestra; Arthur Fagen. Thorofon CTH 2418 (Germany) 07D053 $16.98

JEAN DAETWYLER (1907-1994): Concerto No. 2 for Alphorn, Flute, String Orchestra and Percussion, PAUL HUBER (b.1918): Concerto for Hammered Dulcimer and String Orchestra, HEINZ MARTI (b.1934): Muotathaler Nachtmusik for String Orchestra and Schwyzerörgeli. More music for Swiss folk instruments and orchestra (do the Swiss do this more than other nations or do they just record it more?): Daetwyler's second (of five) concertos for the alphorn (1983) has three subtitled movements ("Nature in its mystery and complexity"; "Lamento" and "Village Dance") and Marti (1998) uses a form of accordeon with the fetching name of "Little Swiss Organ" in a work which uses folk melodies of the valley of the Muotha river. Huber (1994), however, tries to extend the compass of his folk instrument, allowing only a few reminiscences of dance-like tunes in the outer movements while using the dulcimer as a "regular" solo percussion instrument in late Romantic style music in the rest of the work. Solists, Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Howard Griffiths. Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6167 (Switzerland) 07D054 $18.98

EZRA LADERMAN (b.1924): Violin Sonata, Duo for Violin and Piano, Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano, Fantasy for Solo Cello. The sonata and Theme and Variations date from 1954 and 1957 and use a moderately advanced tonal language, motivic construction not without melodic content to create modern yet approachable music. The 1971 duo is a little more thorny, juxtaposing angular and dramatic materials which result in outbursts of violent energy and the 1988 cello fantasy continues these preoccupations, providing the soloist with a tough yet expressive showpieces. Erick Friedman, Kyung Hak Yu (violin), Elizabeth Parisot (piano), Patrick Jee (cello). Albany TROY 434 (U.S.A.) 07D055 $16.98

ALFRED REED (b.1921): Symphony No. 5, Armenian Dances, Parts 1 & 2, The Music-Makers, A Springtime Celebration, Pro Texana. The works here range from 1943 (the march Pro Texana) to 1994 (the symphony) and all display the enormous range of versatility of the modern, fully integrated wind orchestra. The symphony was commissioned by this orchestra and has a brilliant, virtuoso first movement, a slow movement based on a Japanese folksong and a finale which bustles with American vigor. The Armenian dances (1972 and 1975) are settings of authentic folksongs from the collection of Komitas, freely treated and developed for the present ensemble. Senzoku Gakuen Symphonic Wind Orchestra; Alfred Reed. Walking Frog Records WRF 140 (U.S.A.) 07D056 $16.98

ZDENEK LUKÁS (b.1928): Sinfonia brevis, Op. 265 ZDENEK JONÁK (1917-1995): Chamber Symphony, PAVEL STANEK (b.1927): The Great Journey 1492 - Columbus, EVZEN ZÁMECNÍK (b.1939): The Lachian Sun, OTMAR MÁCHA (b.1922): Saxophone Weeping, KAREL HUSA (b.1921): Al Fresco. And now, a disc of Czech music for the slightly smaller formation of the concert band, all tonal (Lukás provides a bit of Janacekian dissonance in his 1995 piece) and easily approachable. Zámecník uses Lachian folksongs for his 1988 miniature tone poem; Husa's piece is a transcription of one of his Three Frescoes for orchestra of 1947. Czech Army Central Band; Karel Belohoubek, Viliam Béres. Clarton CQ0016-2 (Czech Republic) 07D057 $16.98

CHARLES CAMILLERI: Trio "New York", for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, Divertimento No. 1 for 2 Clarinets and Piano, Sarajevo 99 for Clarinet and Piano, Tibet for 2 Clarinets, Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, Orbits for Solo Clarinet, American Portraits for 2 Clarinets. The wide variety of Maltese composer Camilleri's influences is demonstrated here with works like Orbits (using the same note series used by Stockhausen in his Gruppen), Sarajevo 99 (sad beginning, happy ending, Bosnian folk elements), Tibet (1999, evoking the meditative and ritual music of that country), Divertimento No. 1 (an homage to Manuel de Falla) and two inspired by American elements (New York from 1971-98 inspired by the hectic life of the city and American Portraits of 1969 in four movements - Manhattan Arpeggios, Apollo, Miles of Silence [Miles Davis that is] and Pollock). David Campbell, Godfrey Mifsud (clarinets), Susanne Stanzeleit (violin), Julian Jacobson (piano). Meridan CDE 84407 (England) 07D058 $17.98

JOHN VEALE (b.1922): Violin Concerto, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Violin Concerto, Op. 15. Disheartened by the cold shoulder he (and tonal composers like him) received during the William Glock tenure at the BBC, Veale composed practically nothing from his Symphony No. 2 of 1965 until the early 1980s when his creative muse came back in full force and he began his violin concerto in 1982, completing it in 1984. Veale's music is rich and neo-romantic in nature - a slightly harder George Lloyd, for instance - and the concerto is characterised by diametrically polarised moods in its first movement while the second movement's love music concentrates on agony as much as ecstasy. The finale alternates between euphoric exuberance and wistful melancholy, completing the most surprisingly, sheerly enjoyable 35 minutes you're likely to spend this year with an unknown contemporary composer! Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9910 (England) 07D059 $16.98

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994): Overture Burlesca, A Goldoni Overture, Credendum for Violin and Orchestra, Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3. Flagello disdained the academic formalism of the post-war years and paid for it by having his works ignored for much of his career. His works follow in the great romantic symphonic tradition filtered through studies with Vittorio Giannini and Pizzetti and his personal voice seems to include a slightly bitter melancholy which is often to be glimpsed beneath the surface of even his fastest, most virtuoso movements. The second concerto (1956) has elements of film music in it with thundering octaves and dreamy soliloquies while the third (1962) shows a greater terseness and density of texture while the melodic flow and virtuoso opportunities are still present. Credendum is a heartfelt 1973 tribute to Flagello's recently deceased father which traces a path from impassioned sorrow through contemplation to a warmly lyrical close while the two overtures have the sparkle and brio of The School for Scandal or The Wasps. Elmar Oliveira (violin), Tatjana Rankovich (piano), Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosice; David Amos. Artek AR-0002-2 (U.S.A.) 07D060 $16.98

NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2. Dating from 1972, the first concerto is the more dramatic of the two with the flavor of Martinu and Poulenc in its first movement, a large brass section and extrovert and virtuosic writing for the soloist, especially in the finale. From the following year, the second conerto calls for a smaller, classically-sized orchestra and is lighter and calmer in demeanor but both works have all of Rota's characteristics: melodic and harmonic chromaticism with rich and memorable themes, extreme clarity of structure and well-balanced scoring. Dmitry Yablonsky (cello), I Virutosi Italiani; Daniel Boico. Chandos 9892 (England) 07D061 $16.98

PETER BOYER (b.1970): Celebration Overture, Titanic, 3 Olympians, The Phoenix, Ghosts of Troy, New Beginnings. Boyer is another young composer with the urge to communicate and to communicate directly to listeners and he makes use of the entire history of Western classical and popular music in his extravagantly and brilliantly orchestrated compositions. He particularly acknowledges his debt to film music, naming John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein and Bernard Herrmann along with Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Britten, Corigliano, John Adams and others. Influenced as well by popular music, Boyer's compositions are brief, almost MTV-like snapshots of moods, scenes and personae; the above titles will show a bent for classical antiquity and each section of 3 Olympians, Ghosts of Troy (six sections) as well as the longest work here, the 13-minute Titanic are like soundtracks to film (video?) realizations of the foundation material. Wildly colorful and brilliantly recorded with very wide dynamic range. London Symphony Orchestra; Peter Boyer. Koch International Classics 7523 (U.S.A.) 07D062 $16.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Piano Concerto, Parody-Fantasia for Piano, Bermuda Triangle for Tenor Saxophone, Amplified Cello and Electric Organ, 5 Songs of Experience for Vocal Soloists, Chorus, String Quartet and Percussion. This CRI retrospective offers the 1978 piano concerto, one of Harbison's first two works to begin the exploration of the romantic idiom which became his mature voice. The Blake songs (1971) a direct influence of the choral writing of Stravinsky while the other two works (1970 and 1968) show Harbison's earliest influences - those of the Second Viennese School and of jazz (Bermuda Triangle makes evocative use of a Hammond electric organ to attain its tense, mysterious atmosphere). Robert Miller (piano), American Composers Orchestra; Gunther Schuller, Albert Regni (sax), Helen Harbison (ampl cello), Robert D. Lewin (organ), Cantata Singers and Ensemble; John Harbison. CRI CD 875 (U.S.A.) 07D063 $17.98

COLIN MATTHEWS (b.1946): Pluto - The Renewer, GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): The Planets, Lyric Movement for Viola and Small Orchestra. Kent Nagano commissioned Pluto from Matthews in 1999 and Matthews produced a six-minute pendant to Holst's popular suite which begins in the unearthly, quiet choral ending of Neptune and continues with soft pedal points, evocative orchestral color and the shining effect of harp and celesta interrupted twice by sudden outbursts before vanishing back into the distant choir once more. Timothy Pooley (viola), The Hallé Orchestra, Ladies of the Hallé Choir; Mark Elder. Hyperion CDA 67270 (England) 07D064 $17.98


ALFONSO LENG (1884-1974): La Muerto de Alsino, PEDRO HUMBERTO ALLENDE (1885-1959): La Voz de las Calles, GUILLERMO RIFO (b.1945): Suites from Al Sur del Mundo and Ritual de la Tierra. Leng was a full-time dentist and self-taught composer who made important contributions to both fields throughout his long life. La Muerto... is a 20-minute tone poem dating from 1920-21 which depicts an Icarus-Ariel type character from a Chilean novel in music greatly influenced by Wagner, Richard Strauss, Scriabin and Debussy. Allende was a composer, researcher and teacher of several generations of Chilean composers; his 1920 "Voice of the Streets" is an impressionistic tone poem based on Santiago street songs. Rifo trained as a percussionist and has founded university degree programs in popular music composition and performance; Al Sur... is a suite of music for a 1982 documentary of Chilean flora and fauna (moody and evocative, using extended tonality) while Ritual is a 1988 ballet whose plot is based on the extermination of a race of natives in Tierra del Fuego (more overtly rhythmic and violent, with some discreet electronic enhancement). Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional Juvenil; Guillermo Rifo. SVR-3006-6 (Chile) 07D065 $16.98

PRÓSPERO BISQUERTT (1881-1959): 1945 - Poema Sinfónico, CARLOS RIESCO (b.1925): Ballet La Candelaria, JORGE URRUTIA-BLONDEL (1903-1981): Pastoral de Alhué (Homenaje a Ravel). Riesco's ballet (1955) is set in a coastal village during the blessing of candles and the arrival of a stranger in the village, the attraction of a local girl to him and the jealousy of the local men provide the framework for music depicting the bustle of the people, the reticence of the stranger, dances of various characters (a habanera in the final scene) and fiesta representations - all in an idiom which flows from Stravinsky and Ravel (Riesco's teachers include Diamond and Nadia Boulanger). Bisquertt's 25-minute work expresses the emotions stirred up by the approach of the war, finishing in a "Triumphal Jubilation"; the music has Impressionistic influences as well as those of late Romanticism and the composer's strengths are in melodic invention and expressiveness. Urrutia's brief piece uses a Ravel-sized orchestra to proper effect. Mono recordings 1954, '65 & '73. Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile; Victor Tevah, Orquesta Filamónica de Santiago; Juan Mateucci. SVR ABA-SVR-900000-2 (Chile) 07D066 $16.98

JUAN LÉMANN (1928-1998): Obertura de Concierto, Music from the Ballet Leyenda del Mar, Variations for Piano, Pieza para Dúo for Violin and Cello, Quartet for Piccolo, 2 Flutes and Harpsichord. Lémann's chamber works (all from 1962) are dodecaphonic while his two orchestral pieces (1986 and the ballet from 1979) are freely atonal, the overture a short but exciting piece and the ballet a 26-minute legend about a female sea deity which uses an orchestra heavily weighted toward winds and percussion and which presents in its three movements a savage and often drivingly rhythmic sound picture. Only the Pieza is a mono recording. Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile; Patricio Cobos, Victor Tevah and other artists. SVR-MHA-3006-9 (Chile) 07D067 $16.98

FEDERICO HEINLEIN (1912-1999): 10 Songs, Queridas aguas for Soprano and Ensemble, Divertimento for Piano, Imaginaciones for Piano, Despedida en invierno for Piano. Heinlein's fine cello sonatina is one of the most appealing works on the cello and piano disc offered elsewhere in this month's catalogue, so it comes as no surprise to discove that his songs and piano music share a similar gift for melodic appeal and an individual approach to phrase-shaping and the vocal line. The language is tonal, with rhythmic inflections that suggest nationalistic influences. Even in the more harmonically adventurous (more chromatic, but nowhere near atonal) ensemble piece, Queridas aguas, the clarity and lucidity of the vocal line is of paramount importance. The brief piano works are all on the lighter side, with unexpected bluesy suggestions, and not only in the piece commemorating Gershwin; they nicely round out this portrait of a fine composer of approachable and beautifully written music. Carmen Luisa Letelier (contralto), Elvira Savi (piano), Ensemble Bartok. SVR ABA-SVR-900000-1 (Chile) 07D068 $16.98

FEDERICO GUZMAN (1836-1883): Barcarolle, Op. 78, Vals de Salon "Papillon d'Or", Op. 48, Scherzo e danza, Op. 54, Vals, Op. 52, Menuet, Op. 89, Chaconne, Op. 75, 2 Nocturnes, Op. 32 & 72. A collection of piano miniatures in salon style under the influence of Chopin, Schumann and Mendelssohn from this Chilean composer who was the first professional composer in his country after independence, who travelled widely and many of whose piano works were published by Schott. Bárbara Perelman (piano). Chimuchina Records (no catalogue number) (Chile) 07D069 $16.98

JUAN ORREGO-SALAS (b.1919): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 46, PRÓSPERO BISQUERTT (1881-1959): Aires Chilenos, EDUARDO MATURANA (b.1920): String Quartet, GUSTAVO BECERRA-SCHMIDT (b.1925): String Quartet No. 2 "Del Viejo Mundo", FERNANDO GARCÍA (b.1930): 4 Intro-specciones, SANTIAGO VERA-RIVERA (b.1950): Glipticas, CARLOS BOTTO (b.1923): 3 Caracteres, Op. 53. This set presents a cross-section of 20th-century works from Chile for the quartet medium. The works span some 70 years and a considerable range of styles, though even in the most recent pieces, avant-gardism and extended playing techniques are largely absent. The Garcia almost seems to deliberately suggest certain works of Stravinsky - Le sacre, and some of the neoclassical scores - while elsewhere, the shade of Shostakovich's quartets looms large. Botto's brief piece and Orrego-Salas' extended 4-movement quartet are perhaps the closest to romantic models, and both are very appealing; the Botto warmly characterful, the Orrego-Salas contrapuntally rigorous and tautly argued and dramatic. Even in the works which pay explicit homage to Chilean folk music - most notably the Bisquertt - there is greater emphasis on the principles of European quartet composition as it has been understood through the centuries than on 'local color' and attempts to make the string quartet sound like something it is not; thus this whole collection will appeal to anyone interested in the development of 'mainstream' quartet writing in the 20th century. 2 CDs. String Quartet of the Conservatory of Music of the Universidad Austral de Chile. SVR HE-SVR-3006-10 (Chile) 07D070 $33.98

GUSTAVO BECERRA -SCHMIDT (b.1925): Cello Sonata No. 3, FERNANDO GARCÍA (b.1930): Serie for Solo Cello, Viajando con Paul Klee, Cuaderno de Zoología for Cello and Piano, FEDERICO HEINLEIN (1912-1999): Sonatina for Cello and Piano, SANTIAGO VERA-RIVERA (b.1950): 3 Temprarias for Piano, Arkana I for Cello and Piano. A certain austerity marks the style of Becerra's sonata, despite its obvious romantic origins; this is a restrained and classical-sounding romanticism, free of superfluous gesture. This austerity goes even further in Garcia's works, which involve serialism, though with an overlay of expressionistic drama which is especially appropriate in the brief pieces after Klee. Visual imagery again comes to the fore in the 'Zoology Notebook', which contains aleatory and serialism, some direct contact on the piano strings, and then obviously descriptive music of an appealingly lighter character, which nonetheless does nothing to weaken the overall structure of the work. The Heinlein is full-bloodedly romantic, while the Santiago-Rivera, while somewhat experimental, are works of considerable and immediate appeal, with highly colored harmonies which vaguely suggest Messiaen at times. Héctor Escobar (cello), Ximena Cabello (piano). SVR HE-SVR-3006-7 (Chile) 07D071 $16.98

JUAN ORREGO SALAS (b.1919): Violin Sonata, Op. 9, CLAUDIO SANTORO (b.1919): Violin Sonata No. 4, KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Sonatina for Violin and Piano, FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): 8 Preludes for Piano, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Pampeana No. 1 for Violin and Piano. This is a real mixed bag but an appealing and varied one considered as a recital program. Frank Martin's ingenious and refined preludes are followed by an early work of Stockhausen, written when he was a student of Martin, and revealing a young composer absorbing the trends of the early decades of the century, pre-dating the extraordinary departures (some might say excesses) of his later years of fame. The Sanotoro and Ginastera have demonstrable nationalistic roots set in an early 20th-century European-style chamber music context, while the Salas, the earliest work here, is lyrically neoclassical and finely wrought in an uncomplicated yet emotionally charged style. Fernando Ansaldi (violin), Frida Conn (piano). SVR-1013-1 (Chile) 07D072 $16.98

MIGUEL LETELIER (b.1939): Raveliana for Recorder and Guitar, Pequeño Libro for Piano, 3 Canciones for Ensemble, Harpsichord Sonata, Instantes for Orchestra. Letelier's songs and chamber works show a great debt to Ravel and Debussy, and while the harpsichohrd sonata pays an obvious tribute to Bach, it nonetheless strays into obviously 20th-century territory, a very welcome addition to modern repertoire for the instrument. The orchestral piece, five movements on ecological themes is the most modern work - and arguably the most original - here, conforming less to earlier models and forms than the other pieces, and painting vivid tableaux in dazzling orchestral colors. Various artists incl. Jorge Hevia (piano), Ensemble Bartok, Frida Conn (harpsichord), Spanish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Max Valdés. SVR ABA-SVR-900000-5 (Chile) 07D073 $16.98

IDA VIVADO (1916-1989): Series Alternadas for Piano, PABLO ARANDA (b.1960): DI for Piano Quartet, JUAN LÉMANN (1928-1998): Eólica for Solo Cello, LENI ALEXANDER (b.1924): Paisajes for Flute and Piano, LUIS ADVIS (b.1935): Invitación al Vals for Flutes and Horn, EDUARDO CÁCERES (b.1956): Entrelunas for Cello and Piano, GABIREL MATTHEY (b.1955): Sonata for Solo Clarinet, CIRILO VILA (b.1937) & ALDRÉS ALCALDE (b.1952): Will for Percussion and Piano, JUAN AMENÁBAR (b.1922): Feed Back for Violin HERNÁN RAMÍREZ (b.1941): 3 Cánones y 3 Bagatelas for Brass Quintet. Various artists. Associación Nacional de Compositores de Chile ANC-6003-2 (Chile) 07D074 $16.98

RAFAEL DÍAZ (b.1965): Abro la Ventana for Orchestra, CARLOS ZAMARA (b.1968): Wind Quintet No. 1, PABLO DÉLANO (b.1950): Balada de la Estrella for Female Choir and Harp, Noche for Mixed Choir and Harp, JORGE MARTÍNEZ (b.1953): Forma for Alto Saxophone and Tape, EDGARDO CANTÓN (b.1963): Musica en espera de su imagen for Orchestra, FERNANDO GARCÍA (b.1930): Glosario for Flute, Oboe and Guitar, CRISTIAN MORALES-OSSIO (b.1967): Oda for Recorder and Violin, BORIS ALVARADO (b.1962): Ollaqui for Flute, Clarinet, Piano Trio, Marimba and Percussion, ANDRÉS MAUPOINT (b.1968): Imágenes for Orchestra. Various artists. Associación Nacional de Compositores de Chile ANC-6003-3 (Chile) 07D075 $16.98

ALEJANDRO GURAELLO (b.1951): Vetro for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, GUILLERMO RIFO (b.1945): Fejelé for Flute and Percussion, CARLOS RIESCO (b.1925): Compositio Concertativa for Violin and Piano, SANTIAGO VERA-RIVERA (b.1950): Sonata al Jazz for Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Violin and Cello, CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b.1926): Danzas populares andinas for Flute and Guitar, EDWARD BROWN (b.1948): Canto en 13 tonos for String Quartet, JORGE SPRINGFIELD (b.1953): Golpes for Flute, CECILIA CORDERO (b.1945): Ábaco for Piano Trio, FERNANDO CARRASCO (b.1953): Leftraro for Percussion Quartet. Various artists. Associación Nacional de Compositores de Chile ANC-6003-4 (Chile) 07D076 $16.98

As one might expect of a series that sets out to showcase the music of an entire nation during a century, there is a great deal of stylistic diversity here. It should be noted that in fact, all the music here was composed well within the second half of the 20th century, most within the past 10 years, so the technical resources of the entire century were available to the composers at the time of wrtiting. Trends which appear to have bypassed Chile, on the strength of this collection: minimalism, neo-classiciam and strict serialism. Elements that commonly appear; rhythmic vitality and percussively emphatic dancing motifs (Cáceres, and these are common characteristics here); jazz (Guarello, Vera-Rivera, Cáceres), and some elements of extended playing techniques and sonorous timbral preoccupations familiar from the Italian avant-garde styles that emanated from Darmstadt. The influence of traditional Andean rhythms and timbres are also to be felt in many of the wrorks here. While not everything will appeal to all listeners, there is a fascinating variety here which repays study and will certainly prompt the adventurous collector to a closer investigation of the output of at least some of the featured composers.

GALINA USTVOLSKAYA (b.1919): Piano Concerto, Symphony No. 1 for 2 Boy Sopranos and Orchestra. These early works (1946 and 1955 ) are fascinating for the light they throw on the composer Ustvolskaya was before she developed her own, unique style. The concerto shows much influence of Shostakovich (motifs from the slow movment of his first piano concerto, and the coda of his Symphony No. 7 are hinted at) although Ustvolskaya's use of kettledrums as a dissonant interrupting device at the beginning of the work foreshadow the often savage use of percussion she was to make later on. The symphony sets eight poems dealing with the hopeless life of poor children written by a militant Italian communist whose work was lauded to the skies during Stalin's reign (even translated into Georgian!). We also discover, thanks to the detailed notes, what an unpleasant hypocrite Ustvolskaya turns out to be, reprinting a statement she made in 1999 in Belgium savaging Shostakovich as a man and as an artist even though she and her publisher never failed to exploit the laudatory comments the elder composer constantly made on her behalf and claiming that she never had any affinity with him at all even though anyone with ears can plainly hear that she did. Oleg Malov (piano), Ural Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitri Liss. Megadisc MDC 7856 (Belgium) 07D077 $18.98

SEÓIRSE BODLEY (b.1933): Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 5 "The Limerick Symphony". Although Bodley's two symphonies were both premiered in 1991 and have similar musical aspects although the fifth, at 45 minutes, is 18 minutes longer than the fourth. In the fifth, what seems to be actual Irish folk melodies can be heard here and there, especially in the slow movements and, to a lesser extent, they are present in its predecessor as well. The language is freely tonal with much use of never harsh dissonance and a technique which Bodley calls "developing variation". Not only does is the latter term reminiscent of Vagn Holmboe's main compositional technique but the music itself has a lot of the transparently orchestrated, clear quality of Scandinavian music and both works are free of brutal outbursts, generally good natured and positive in spirit. National Symphony of Ireland; Colman Pearce. Marco Polo 8.225157 (New Zealand) 07D078 $14.98

KEIICHI MORIGAKI (b.1955): Requiem for Orchestra, KUNITAKA KOKAJI (b.1953): Chant d'amour II for Piano and Orchestra, AKIO YASURAOKA (b.1958): Polifonia for Viola and Orchestra, TAKAYOSHI YANAGIDA (b.1948): Memory of Time for Orchestra. Morigaki's Requiem - a requiem for the 20th century - is a very western-sounding work, with Romantic and post-romantic gestures writ large, perhaps veering a little in the direction of film music - good film music - at times. The Kokaji is more abstract, a gentle study in largely non-tonal impressionism in which a rippling piano part plays a major coloristic role. Yasuraoka's work, for solo viola and orchestra, pays a greater degree of homage to traditional Japanese timbres than the other works here, though the solo writing is as Second Viennese as it is anything else. Yanagida's Memory of Time joins the considerable list of musical works which concern themselves with memory; the work itself is satisfyingly memorable, treating its thematic material to haunting transformations and lush orchestration in a style which, though unmistakably of our time, seems reassuringly familiar. Masako Nakai (piano), Yayoi Hasegawa (viola), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Kazuyoshi Akiyama. Camerata 28CM-599 (Japan) 07D079 $17.98

ROGER BRIGGS: Gathering Together, RICHARD CAMPANELLI: The Queen of Air and Darkness: A Symphonic Poem for the Millenium, SALVADOR BROTONS: Virtus, Op. 53, SOTIREOS VLAHOPOULOS: The Dream Wanderer for Piano and Orchestra, JOHN DOWNEY: Ode to Freedom. Briggs' piece is an essay in romantic minimalism, very John Adams; Campanelli's is a self-proclaimed essay in the romantic tone poem genre, with its echoes of the Danse Macabre, Isle of the Dead, Night on the Bare Mountain; dramatic gestures abound, and the piece has a fairy-tale quality, with both the picturesque and grotesque and sinister implications that that implies. Brotons' work is a kind of Four Temperaments in music, except that here the temperaments depicted (vivdly and in a highly accessible tonal language) are the virtues enumerated by Plato. Vlahopoulos' piece is, in common with most of the music here, based more or less loosely on a literary source; in this case a mysterious and intoxicating poem by Alex Demos, which finds an appropriately sensitive response in the music. Finally, Downey's impressive tone poem, exploring the themes of freedom and optimism with boldness and grandeur. Jeffrey Chappell (piano), Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek, Roger Briggs, John Downey, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Vit Micka. MMC 2099 (U.S.A.) 07D080 $16.98

Variations on an Elizabethan Theme by Imogen Holst, Arthur Oldham, Michael Tippett, Lennox Berkeley, Benjamin Britten, Humphrey Searle and William Walton, Severn Bridge Variations by Malcolm Arnold, Alun Hoddinott, Nicholas Maw, Daniel Jones, Grace Williams, Michael Tippett, Variations on "Sumer is icumen in" by Oliver Knussen, Robert Saxton, Robin Holloway, Judith Weir, Alexander Goehr, Colin Matthews, David Bedford. These three sets of themes and variations by nineteen different men and women is the ultimate "guess 'em" disc, guaranteed to separate the sheep from the goats among those who pride themselves on their knowledge of British composers. You'll be amazed at the high level of inventiveness and consistent quality of each variation; and, considering the disparate, compositional styles involved, how well they all fit together. Ranging from neo-baroque to contemporary, there's a variation here for every taste. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Jac van Steen. NMC D062 (England) 07D081 $17.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): 32 Klavierstücke, 4 Études, Suite No. 1. The Klavierstücke were composed during the summer of 1940 and its complex, extra-musical arrangement and fraught textual history are dealt with in depth in the four-language 84-page (!) booklet. The pieces themselves vary wildly in style and effect (titles range from "Catastrophe in the Old Forest" and "Greek Folk Dance" to Étude fantastique and "Italian Serenade") and are written in a free atonality, not using Skalkottas' later personal dodecaphonic idiom. On exhibit are a huge range of keyboard color, a kaleidoscope of harmonies, rich rhythms motivated by a powerful energy and an eclecticism of musical language that encompasses modal, folkloristic and even jazz material. 2 CDs. Nikolaos Samaltanos (piano). BIS CD-1133/1134 (Sweden) 07D082 $35.98

WERNER EGK (1901-1983): Columbus. Originally an opera for radio, this sounds more like a cantata or oratorio in which the orchestra and chorus are featured more predominately than the solo voices. Egk's music is very lyrical, and in places sounds almost Poulencian. It is highly rhythmic, and even dance-like, with choruses reminiscent of his mentor, Carl Orff. The composer also wrote the libretto, and used Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex as a structural model. It is a very dramatic and engaging work highlighting Columbus's life and death. There are brief spoken sections, which can easily be programmed out if you prefer your music sans dialogue. Mono. 2 CDs. German libretto/English synopsis. Fritz Wunderlich (tenor), Ernst Gutstein (baritone), Lia Montoya (soprano), Bavarian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Werner Egk. Orfeo d'Or C 549 012 I (Germany) 07D083 $33.98

PÁLL ÍSÓLFSSON (1893-1974): 3 Piano Pieces, Op. 5, Glettur, Album Leaves, Variations on a Song by Ísólfur Pálsson. The first Icelandic composer of distinction to live in Iceland all his career, Îsólfsson is primarily indebted in his piano works to Grieg (for his approach to melody and rhythm) and to Reger (textural density, perpetual figurative writing and chromaticism). All of these pieces except the variations date from the 1930s and the collection of 14 "Album Leaves" recall similar groups of character pieces by Reger. The variations were probably composed in the 1960s yet still derive from 19th-century models such as Brahms and Schumann. An agreeable discovery for collectors of Romantic piano music. Nína-Margrét Grímsdóttir (piano). BIS CD-1139 (Sweden) 07D084 $17.98

RUTH CRAWFORD (1901-1953): 9 Preludes, Study in Mixed Accents, JOHANNA BEYER (1888-1944): Dissonant Counterpoint, Gebrauchs-Musik. The preludes were written between 1924-28; amazing in their brevity, clarity and austerity, they use an expanded tonality for an expressionistic purpose which recalls the very late works of Scriabin (and the last prelude evokes another great, unknown American experimentalist and friend of Crawford's, Dane Rudhyar). Beyer was born in Leipzig and died of ALS in New York. Little is known about her life and no photos of her even exist but she was a good friend of Crawford's and her two works (before 1935 and 1936, respectively) are highly dissonant yet graceful and subtly beautiful pieces reminiscent of Schoenberg or Krenek. Sarah Cahill (piano). New Albion NA 114 CD (U.S.A.) 07D085 $16.98

PÁL KADOSA (1903-1988): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 29, Piano Sonatas No. 1, Op. 7 & No. 4, Op. 54, Sonatina on Hungarian Folksongs, Op. 23/d, Kaleidoscope, Op. 61, 6 Etudes, 4 Caprichos, Op. 57, Esquisses, Op. 18/b, Nos. 1, 3 & 5. One of the foremost interpreters of Bartók's piano music, a student of Kodály and teacher of composer György Kurtág and pianists Zoltán Kocsis, Dezsó Ránki, András Schiff and Jenö Jandó, Kadosa's importance as a Hungarian musical figure is self-evident. As a composer, he early turned to expressionism which leavens the folk elements in his 1926 first piano sonata (hints of Stravinsky here too). The brief Sonatina (1935) is very close to its folk song sources while the Concertino (or Piano Concerto No. 2) of 1939 has a lyricism and gaiety unusual for the time when it was composed. The remainder of the works, written between 1954-61, have a tense tone and motoric rhythms which are tempered with lyrical and playful elements. Kornél Zempléni (piano), Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Miklós Erdélyi, Pál Kadosa, Zoltán Kocsis, Dezsö Ránki, Csilla Szabó (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31981 (Hungary) 07D086 $16.98

PAUL BEN-HAIM (1897-1984): Sonatina, Op. 38, Melody and Variations, Op. 42, 2 Suites, Op. 20, Sonata, Op. 49, 5 Pieces, Op. 34. Ben-Haim's greatest influences were Ravel and Debussy mixed with a bit of Straussian late Romanticism but the former are most evident in his piano pieces which, after his emigration to Palestine in 1933, were always concerned with the exploration of Jewish and other Middle Eastern modes and the synthesizing of these musical languages with that of Western European classical music. The works recorded here date from 1933 to 1954 and all of them show Ben-Haim's increasing ability to unite West and East. Gila Goldstein (piano). Centaur CRC 2506 (U.S.A.) 07D087 $16.98

GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Complete Crumb Edition, Vol. 4 - Zeitgeist - 6 Tableaux for 2 Amplified Pianos, Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III) for 2 Amplified Pianos and Percussion. Written in 1987, Zeitgeist searches for a new musical primitivism at a time when the obsession with minimalism was reaching its height around the western musical world as well as the desire to incorporate non-European ethnic musics into the classical tradition. Using typical Crumbian techniques - playing the strings inside the piano, using various objects like a glass or paper strips to damp the strings - the result will be familiar to those who know and love the Makrokosmos series so well, with uncanny, ethereal sounds, obsessive rhythms, polyrhythmic clusters and various other striking sound effects. Susan Grace, Alice Rybak (pianos), John Kinzie, David Colson (percussion). Bridge 9105 (U.S.A.) 07D088 $16.98

GIACINTO SCELSI (1905-1988): String Quartet No. 4, Elohim for String Quartet and Ensemble, Duo for Violin and Cello, Anagamin for Ensemble, Maknongan for Contrabass, Natura renovatur for Ensemble. Instead of another attempt to describe the indescribable, to discuss Scelsi the Mystic as opposed to Scelsi the Avantgardist, why don't we let the composer himself describe his music: "My music is not this or that. It is not dodecaphonous. It is not pointillistic. It is not minimalist. Well: What is it then? One does not know. Sounds are only clothes, garments. But what's inside a piece of clothing is much more interesting, don't you agree?" Well? Klangforum Wien; Hans Zender. Kairos 0012162KAI (Germany) 07D089 $17.98

Delos Deletions

A number of their famed American symphonic releases and a couple of other intersting titles - all in that well-loved spectacular sound which Delos does so well.

PETER MENNIN (1923-): Concertato (Moby Dick), Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 7 (Variation - Symphony). Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3164 (U.S.A.) 07D090 $6.98


DAVID DIAMOND (1915-): Symphony No. 8, This Sacred Ground, Suite from the Ballet TOM. Erich Pearce (baritone), Seattle Girls' Choir, Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Symphony and Chorale; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3141 (U.S.A.) 07D091 $6.98


DAVID DIAMOND (1915-): Symphony No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2, The Enormous Room. Ilkka Talvi (violin), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3119 (U.S.A.) 07D092 $6.98


PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): Symphony No. 3 "Three Mysteries", Partita for Flute, Violin and Strings, Op. 12, Out of the Cradle, Invocation and Dance, Op. 58. Scott Goff (flute), Ilkka Talvi (violin), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3114 (U.S.A.) 07D093 $6.98


WALTER PISTON (1894-1976): Suite from The Incredible Flutist, Suite for Orchestra, Fantasy for English Horn, Harp and Strings, Concerto for String Quartet, Wind Instruments and Percusson, Psalm and Prayer of David. Juilliard String Quartet, Seattle Symphony and Chorale; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3126 (U.S.A.) 07D094 $6.98


ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): America - An Epic Rhapsody, Concerto grosso for Strings and Piano. Seattle Symphony and Chorale; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3135 (U.S.A.) 07D095 $6.98


DEEMS TAYLOR (1885-1966): Through the Looking Glass, CHARLES GRIFFES (1884-1920): The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan, The White Peacock, Poem for Flute and Orchestra, 3 Tone Pictures, Bacchanale. Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3099 (U.S.A.) 07D096 $6.98


DAVID DIAMOND (1915-): Elegy in Memory of Maurice Ravel, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Daphnis and Chloe - Complete Ballet. Seattle Symphony and Chorale; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3110 (U.S.A.) 07D097 $6.98


RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Josephslegende Suite, Symphonia Domestica. Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3082 (U.S.A.) 07D098 $6.98


RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): 2 Waltz Sequences from Der Rosenkavalier, Burleske for Piano and Orchestra, Die Frau ohne Schatten - Symphonic Fantasy. Carol Rosenberger (piano), Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz. Delos DE 3109 (U.S.A.) 07D099 $6.98


LEO SOWERBY (1895-1968): Symphony in G, Fantasy for Flute Stops, Requiescat in Pace. Catharine Crozier (Aeolian-Skinner organ, St. John's Chapel, Groton School, Groton, MA). Delos DE 3075 (U.S.A.) 07D100 $6.98

nkf deletions

The label of the Norwegian Cultural Council, NKF has long provided collectors with wonderfully unusual repertoire from Norwegian composers both in the LP days and more recently on CD. We don't know if it has ceased to exist but it certainly no longer has U.S. distribution. We bought the last handful of CDs left with their former distributor; there are between 3 and 9 pieces of each title listed here. When they're gone, they're gone.

OLE BULL (1810-1880): Works for Violin and Orchestra: Fantasy and Variations on a Theme by Bellini, Adagio from Violin Concerto in E Minor, Adagio Religioso, Polacca Guerriera, Visit to a Summer Farm, La Melancolie. Arve Tellefsen (violin), Bergen Symphony Orchestra; Karsten Andersen. NKFCD 50008-2 (Norway) 07D101 $16.98


JOHAN SVENDSEN (1840-1911): Violin Concerto in A, Op. 6, Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 4. Arve Tellefsen (violin), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Karsten Andersen, Miltiades Caridis. NKFCD 50010-2 (Norway) 07D102 $16.98


JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Norwegian Rhapsodies Nos. 1 & 2, Norwegian Festival Overture, Op. 16, Entry of the Boyars, Bergensiana - Rococo Variations on an Old Melody from Bergen, Wedding March for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 32/1, Andante Religioso for Violin and Orchestra, Passacaglia for Violin and Viola. Stephan Barratt-Due Jr. (violin), Soon-Mi Chung (violin, viola), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Karsten Andersen. NKFCD 50013-2 (Norway) 07D103 $16.98


JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Symphony No. 2 in D Minor "Fatum", 3 Scenes from Norwegian Tales, Air Norvégien, 3 Norwegian Dances, Veslemøy's Song. Terje Tønnesen (violin), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Karsten Andersen. NKFCD 50014-2 (Norway) 07D104 $16.98


CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Serenade for 2 Violins and Piano, Op. 56, Serenade for 2 Violins and Piano, Op. 92, Violin Sonata in A. Stephan Barratt-Due Jr., Soon-Mi Chung (violins), Eva Knardahl (piano). NKFCD 50015-2 (Norway) 07D105 $16.98


CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Piano Concerto in D Flat, Op. 6, Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 21. Eva Knardahl (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Øivin Fjeldstad. NKFCD 50016-2 (Norway) 07D106 $16.98


JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Suite ancienne, Op. 31, Suite from Mascarade, Norwegian Dances Nos. 5 & 6, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in memoriam, Op. 30. Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Ari Rasilainen. NKFCD 5033-2 (Norway) 07D107 $16.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Intimations of Immortality for Tenor, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 29, Grand Fantasia and Toccata for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 38. Two of Finzi's finest works, which incidentally also betray a certain eccentricity, or at least individuality, which sets him firmly apart from any suggestion of English Pastoralism. From the extended solo piano work which effectively constitutes the first part of the Grand Fantasia, to the stunning, and very dynamic, orchestral writing in the toccata, one finds in this work a determined single-mindedness and refusal to conform to convention which reminds one of a very different-sounding composer, John Foulds. The ode after Wordsworth is a beautiful thing, with echoes of resignation and sadness in its soulful contemplation of the passing of life. Original 1989 release. Philip Langridge (tenor), Philip Fowke (piano), Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Richard Hickox. EMI CDM 7 64720 2 (England) 07D108 $11.98

ETHEL SMYTH (1858-1944): Mass in D, Mrs. Waters' Aria from The Boatswain's Mate, The March of the Women. The Mass, a large-scale and extremely impressive work, was the first such piece by this unusual figure in British musical history to achieve success, and insofar as it occurred before the turn of the century (1893) it was an unprecedented milestone in the history of women's music as well. This pre-dated Smyth's preoccupation with the Suffragette movement for women's rights, and was the product of her determination to become a serious composer through dedicated study with major European figures. That she succeeded is evident from this fine piece. Its late-classical/early romantic models are certainly in evidence, but it is a magnificent work in its own right, and not unoriginal either. Stirring stuff, both musically and historically. Texts included. Original 1991 Virgin Classics release. Eiddwen Harrhy (soprano), Janis Hardy (alto), Dan Dressen (tenor), James Bohn (bass), Chorus and Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series; Philip Brunelle. EMI CDM 5 67426 2 (England) 07D109 $11.98

FREDERIC DELIUS (1862-1934): Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3, Cello Sonata, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84, Sospiri, Op. 70, The Farm Yard (Harmony Music No. 4). Issued separately in 1995 and 1996, this reissue offers Elgar which is fairly well-covered today but the Delius sonatas are still rather rare and it is good to hear them again and to see what a different yet still unique music Delius made when working with a single instrument rather than all the colors of his orchestral scores. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Soloists of the London Symphony Orchestra, Israela Margalit (piano). EMI CZS 5 73992 2 (England) 07D110 $23.98

WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): The Bear, Façade, The Wise Virgins. Composed in 1966, recorded the next year and issued on CD for the first time now, The Bear is a 48-minute two-character "farce" from a "vaudeville" by Chekhov wittily set by the composer for a small chamber orchestra. The Wise Virgins is a six-movement suite of music arranged from Bach cantatas for a Sadler's Wells ballet. Original releases 1967, 1972, 1977. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Synopsis included. Monica Sinclair (mezzo), John Shaw (baritone), Norman Lumsden (bass), English Chamber Orchestra; James Lockhart, Fenella Fielding and Michael Flanders (reciters), Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Neville Marriner, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Louis Frémaux. EMI CZS 5 73998 2 (England) 07D111 $23.98


BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): On This Island, Op. 11, 18 Folk Song Arrangements, 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22, Canticle I: My beloved is mine, Op. 40, Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac, Op. 51, Canticle III: Still falls the rain, Op. 55, Winter Words, Op. 52. Most of these vocal works were written for Peter Pears - the vivid and youthfully fresh Michelangelo Sonnets (1940) and the Hardy settings of Winter Words (1953) inwhich Britten's later period leaness and austerity begin to come into view - being the most important. The other substantial cycle predates the Pears relationship, On this Island (Auden settings from 1937), which ranges from neo-Baroque pomposity to tongue-in-cheek cabaret style. Original releases - 1974-76. Sonnets texts included. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Robert Tear (tenor), Philip Ledger (piano), James Bowman (countertenor - Op. 51). EMI CZS 5 73995 2 (England) 07D112 $23.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Re-discovered Works for Violin, Vol. 2 - Elevation, Op. 11, Pastourelle, Op. 4/2, Bavarian Dances Nos. 1&3, Sospiri, Op. 70, Petite Reine - Berceuse, Polonaise in D Minor, Dreaming, Mot'Amour, Op.13/1, Valse on themes by Elgar, Reminiscences, Interlude from The Crown of India, Op. 66, Allegretto - Duet on a theme of GEDGE, Violin Sonata, Op. 82. Except for the sonata and Sospiri, all of the above can truly be called "re-discovered" - either arrangements of other material or violin and piano originals, some dating as early as 1877 and even those with characteristics of the mature Elgar. Marat Bisengaliev (violin), Benjamin Frith (piano). Black Box BBM 1047 (England) 07D113 $17.98


JOHN RUTTER (b.1945): Partita, RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): Suite Française, DAVID FANSHAWE (b.1942): Fantasy on Dover Castle, WILLIAM BLEZARD (b.1921): Battersea Park Suite, MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): March: The Padstow Lifeboat (orch. Lane), MICHAEL HURD (b.1926): Dance Diversions, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): A Miniature Symphony. Perhaps the greatest delight of this fourth volume is Rutter's 1976 Partita (the longest work here at over 20 minutes) which sounds, in its fast movements, for all the world like Americana in the Copland/Gershwin mold. Fanshawe's work manages to inject Moorish and Mediterranean aspects in his eight-minute, otherwise English-in-character fantasy while Bennett's 1961 suite uses French folksong for each of its three movements. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line WHL 2131 (England) 07D114 $11.98

PERCY WHITLOCK (1903-1946): Concert Overture: The Feast of St. Benedict, Ballet of the Wood Creatures, Wessex Suite, Suite: Music for Orchestra, Come along, Marnie, Susan, the Doggie and Me, Holiday Suite, Balloon Ballet, March: Dignity and Impudence. Known primarily as an organist and composer for his own instrument, Whitlock has a new side added courtesy of this latest "British Light Music" release. Everything here is in a delightful, easy-going style with virtuoso orchestration and melodic ease with organ parts skilfully included in several of the pieces. RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Gavin Sutherland. Marco Polo 8.225162 (New Zealand) 07D115 $14.98

HANS CHRISTIAN LUMBYE (1810-1874): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 - Regards to the Ticket-Holders of Tivoli, In the Dusk, The Sleigh Ride, Salute March of King Frederik VII, Marie Elisabeth Polka, Caroline Polka Mazurka, Artist Carnival Locomotive Galop, Hesperus, Telegraph Galop, Salute Galop, Fountain Waltz, Jenny Polka, Memories from Vienna, The Night Before New Year's Day. Tivoli Symphony Orchestra; Tamás Vetö. Marco Polo 8.225171 (New Zealand) 07D116 $14.98

CARL VINE (b.1954): Music from The Potato Factory. A 1999 Australian television mini-series based on a popular historical novel whose plot is not adumbrated but which apparently begins in London and ends in the Australian penal settlement and is full of larger-than-life characters. The music would not be out of place in one of those fine PBS historical romances. Tall Poppies Orchestra; Carl Vine. Tall Poppies TP 148 (Australia) 07D117 $18.98

NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Music from the Films Amarcord, Roma, La Strada and 8 1/2. Suites from the four films recorded live in 1997 by Swiss radio. La Strada has the lion's share - 31 of the disc's 48 minutes. Notes in French, Italian and German only. Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Fabio Luisi. Cascavelle RSR 6134 (Switzerland) 07D118 $17.98

PAUL ANGERER (b.1927): Jagdhornmesse, Capriccio für Parforcehorn, Jagdsuite, Südtiroler Jägerfanfare, Tiroler Jägergruß, Fanfare, 5 Jagdlieder, Nachtwächterruf, Trauermusik, HANSJÖRG ANGERER (b.1955): Fanfare/Jagdruf, JOSEF SCHANTL (1841-1902): Erherzog Rudolf-Fanfare, Gebet der Jäger. So that all natural horn lovers will know that there are still composers alive today writing for the instrument in the hallowed German hunting tradition. Hansjörg Angerer Horn Ensemble. Koch Schwann 3-1476-2 (Germany) 07D119 $16.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Missa Cantuariensis, Op. 49, Missa in honorem Sancti Dominici, Magnifican and Nunc Dimittis in A Flat, Op. 65, Tenebrae Motets, Op. 72, Meditiation for Organ, Op. 79, Prelude and Fugue for Organ, Op. 69. Combining lyrical beauty and intellectual vigor, Rubbra's deeply-felt spirituality informs these sacred choral works - the op. 65 and the Cantuariensis being major contributions to the Anglican repertoire while the Sancti Dominici mass and the Tenebrae motets show the composer in the central tradition of the 20-century Latin repertoire. Two short solo organ pieces make for perfect fillers. Choir of St. John's College Cambridge; Christopher Robinson, Robert Houssart (organ). Naxos 8.555255 (New Zealand) 07D120 $5.98