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Hans Huber

Symphonies Nos. 4 & 8

HANS HUBER (1852-1921): Symphony No. 4 in A "Academic", Symphony No. 8 in F. This symphony cycle comes to its end with works from the end of Huber's career. Yes, the end - the fourth symphony, in its final form, dates from 1918 and is a reworking of a fifteen-year-old concerto grosso which had been intended for the students and teachers of the Basel Conservatory (never performed). Its origins remain: the string section principals form a group of soloists and a piano provides a quasi-continuo function. An organ is also included and it has a solo to start the passacaglia finale. Highly contrapuntal and rhythmically terse, the three fast movements recall similar works of Reger (the only time Reger's name occurs in connection with Huber!). The eighth symphony (1920) is, like Beethoven's work in the same key, a happy, spring-like work although without the rhythmic insistency. Flowing song is the order of the day with only a serious middle section in the slow movement's charming romance departing from the genial mien of this appealing gem of joie de vivre. The notes inform us that Huber withdrew a Symphony in A, replacing it by his Böcklin Symphony (No. 2); will this be recorded too? Stuttgart Philharmonic; Jörg-Peter Weigle. Sterling CDS-1057 (Sweden) 07E001 $15.98

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The Berkeleys, Father and Son - Volume One

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): Symphony No. 1, Serenade, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra, Coronach for Strings. This is Volume 1 in a father-and-son series and offers the first of Lennox's four symphonies, dating from 1940 and, in its use of the textures and language of French neo-classicism, demonstrates the composer's family links to France, his friendships with Ravel and Poulenc and his six years of study with Nadia Boulanger (although the manner in which the material progresses owes much to the "organic growth" style of Sibelius, whose symphonies were, at the time, very influential in Britain). The 1939 Serenade is a brief, 12-minute work with three sunny movements and a surprising slow Lento conclusion which seems to hint at the gathering clouds of war. Michael wrote in a very approachable and conservative idiom for the first part of his career before, rather against the grain, adopting a tougher, more dissonant musical language in the late 1980s. His horn concerto (1984 but revised in 1994) makes use of traditional horn-playing techniques and incorporates the "Passion Chorale" from Bach's St. Matthew Passion among its melodic elements but the melodies are often warped by dissonance as glissandi and other modern orchestral techniques are employed. Coronach (1988) is similar in its use of a tragic Scottish ballad, distorted to produce a lament exploring the complex emotions of grief. David Pyatt (horn), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9981 (England) 07E002 $16.98

Musica Sveciae Modern Classics - New Release (Josef Jonsson symphonies)

JOSEF JONSSON (1887-1969): Symphony No. 1, Op. 23 "Nordland", Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 34. Jonsson was almost entirely self-taught and practically never left the town of Norrköping where he moved when he was three, meaning that only a benign and forward-looking (backward-looking?) enterprise like Musica Sveciae could afford to honor him like this. Although an autodidact, Jonsson was helped greatly in getting his music performed by Stenhammar; later both Atterberg and Adolf Wiklund supported and performed his works. Jonsson was not of the group of Swedish National Romantics, preferring the European/German language of Reger and others. His first symphony (1919-22) is a big, four-movement work of 50 minutes whose four movements each have a poetic preface drawn from poems which reflect different aspects of nature and temperament. The first is energetic and forceful, the second a mystical, lyrical sort-of forest scene, the third a pastoral Allegretto and the finale (over 20 mintes) a monumental struggle between light and dark. Ten years later the second symphony (1928-30) is in only three brief, objective and concentrated movements (lasting only 21 minutes): a rhythmically urgent Allegro energico, a scherzo with an adagio embedded within and a dance-like finale. Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Lü Jia. Phono Suecia/Musica Sveciae PSCD 720 (Sweden) 07E003 $16.98 >

American Works for Organ and Orchestra

WALTER PISTON (1894-1976): Prelude and Allegro for Organ and Strings, LEO SOWERBY (1895-1968): Concertpiece for Organ and Orchestra, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 36, MICHAEL COLGRASS (b.1932): Snow Walker for Organ and Orchestra. Colgrass' 1990 work is a vividly realized depiction of various aspects of Inuit mythology and culture which makes full use of the new organ of Chicago's Orchestra Hall (from representations of the Snow Walker himself - the spirit of death and resurrection - to that of glittering snow and ice, the aurora borealis and native throat-singing). The more conservative couplings are good to have in new recordings, especially Sowerby's 1951 Concertpiece with its brilliant and virtuosic outer sections surrounding a meditative central episode, and Piston's 1943 work which expresses tragedy and determination. David Schrader (Casavant Frères organ of Orchestra Hall, Chicago), Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar. Cedille CDR 90000 063 (U.S.A.) 07E004 $16.98

GIORGIO FEDERICO GHEDINI (1892-1975): Violin Concerto "Il Belprato", Musica da Concerto for Viola, Viola d'amore and String Orchestra, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): 6 Humoresques for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 87, Nos. 1 & 2 and Op. 89, Nos. 1-4. Sibelius's rarely played, rarely recorded Humoresques are widely varying late Romantic pieces, exploring many of the tropes of soloist vs. orchestra characteristic of the 19th century (and not ever sounding particularly like Sibelius), make an odd coupling with Ghedini's two concertante works. The 1947 concerto is in five brief movements and is in the composer's icy-cold, highly chromatic, neo-Baroque style while the warmer Musica da concerto of 1953 brings the baroque front and center in the second half of its course where the viola d'amore, with its resonating sympathetic strings, provides a strikingly sensual contrast with the modern language it and its orchestral accompaniment are speaking. Mela Tenenbaum (violin, viola, viola d'amore), Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Pro Musica Prague; Richard Kapp. Essay CD 1075 (U.S.A.) 07E005 $16.98

GIORGIO FEDERICO GHEDINI (1892-1975): 4 canti su antichi testi Napoletani, 4 strambotti di Giustiniani, 4 liriche dal Canzoniere del Boiardo, 3 canti di Shelley, 3 unpublished songs. This series of song cycles (dating from 1925-35) shows Ghedini's wide variety of responses to the poetry, from the intense expressiveness of the old Neapolitan songs, the voice carrying all the expressivity with a bare-bones accompaniment to the Shelley poems where the voice is subjugated to harmonic and timbral effects which convey the sense of the texts. Evocative and dramatic, this recording makes us wonder what Ghedini's operas are like... Italian-English texts. Tiziana Scandaletti (soprano), Riccardo Piacentini (piano). Nuova Era 7365 (Italy) 07E006 $17.98

FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Piano Music, Vol. 4 - Música Callada, El pont, Muntanya (Dansa). The 28 pieces of "Music Without Sound" (1959-67) are Mompou's musical testament, brief yet penetrating little essays which have some echoes of popular music. The two shorter couplings are world premiere recordings. Jordi Masó (piano). Naxos 8.554727 (New Zealand) 07E007 $6.98

Halvorsen - Fossegrimen - Complete Incidental Music

JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Fossegrimen, Op. 21, Norway's Greeting to Theodore Roosevelt, Op. 31. Described as a "troll-play in four parts", Fossegrimen premiered at the Oslo National Theatre in 1905 and Halvorsen, the Theatre's music director, composed the music. Having become intimately acquainted with the Hardanger fiddle, its players and their folk repertoire over the previous ten years (also transcribing 17 Hardanger fiddle tunes in 1901 as a commission from Grieg), the composer not only used the instrument in this incidental music but performed as soloist at the premiere. The playwright's descriptions of enchanted nature (trolls, gnomes, master-fiddlers, singing waterfalls and mountains) appealed strongly to Halvorsen and helped him create the enchanting 53 minutes worth of music recorded here complete for the first time (there are 19 numbers, of which 14 are purely orchestral). The 1910 commission for an address by the Nobel Prize-winning former President of the United States weaves the American national anthem together with various Norwegian folk tunes - an occasional piece but outstandingly constructed. Øyvind Blunck (tenor), Per Vollestad (baritone), Åshild Skiri Refsdal (soprano), Joachim Sebastian Kjesbu (vocal), Ginnungagap Choir, Arve Moen Bergset (Hardanger fiddle, violin, vocal), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Terje Mikkelsen. Simax PSC (Norway) 07E008 $18.98

SIR JOHN BLACKWOOD MCEWEN (1868-1948): String Quartets, Vol. 1 - No. 4 in C Minor, No. 7 in E Flat "Threnody", No. 16 in G "Quartetto provençale" & No. 17 in C Sharp Minor "Fantasia". This series will cover the majority of McEwen's 19 (!) string quartets, an output which, by the evidence of these four, is vary varied in style and form. Covering 42 years, the quartets recorded here range from the 1905 Fourth, daring at the time with its echoes of early Bartók in the first movement, scherzo based on the coda of Beethoven's op. 127 and the two Scottish-based final movements to the 1947 Fantasia, a single-movement, 11-minute piece with a somber, pessimistic Andante enfolding a central Allegro with a nostalgic, Dvorákian feel. The Seventh (1916) is a war-inspired lament, dark and agitated with late-Elgarian overtones and a touching conclusion while the sun-drenched Sixteenth (1936) is a vivid evocation of the moods and colors of Provence. Chilingirian String Quartet. Chandos 9926 (England) 07E009 $17.98

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - 4 Ogives, Première Pensée Rose Croix, Sonneries de la Rose Croix, Prière, 4 Préludes, Danse Gothiques, Prélude de la Porte héroïque du Ciel. Schleiermacher, having completed his Cage cycle, continues to settle into his Satie intégrale, offering works from 1886-94. Monophonic melodies, seemingly randomly harmonized, make up the Sonneries and the Danses are anything but - nine sections in which the basic building blocks are entirely contained in the first and which reoccur in different sequences, punctuated by irregular rests, throughout, leaving an overall impression of sorrow and loneliness ( a similar compositional style animates, if that's the right word, the four preludes). Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). MD&G 613 1064 (Germany) 07E010 $17.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Die schweigsame Frau. This ignored step-child of Strauss' career was forced off the stage by the Nazis after three performances in 1935 (Jewish librettist - Stefan Zweig) and has never gained a place for itself in the composer's uvre after the war either. Sort of a "grand operetta", the music is generally light, and a vein of late-summer warmth and generosity appears in most of the work (although some unbelievable character turns and situations interfere) which is based on Jonson's comedy "Epicoene". It is generally thought to need a first-class bass in the role of Sir Morosus to carry it off and this Bavarian Radio production which, oddly, has languished in the vaults since 1993, does offer Kurt Moll in that role. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Kurt Moll (bass), Cyndia Sieden (soprano), Deon van der Walt (tenor), Reinhild Runkel (contralto), Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Pinchas Steinberg. Koch Schwann 3-6581-2 (Germany) 07E011 $33.98

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Piano Transcriptions - The Carman's Whistle (Byrd), Now, o now, I needs must part (Dowland), Hornpipe from "Water Music" (Handel), Handelian Rhapsody (Cyril Scott), Air and Dance (Delius), 4 Irish Dances (Stanford), Beautiful Fresh Flower (Chinese melody), Ramble on Love (Richard Strauss), Cradle Song (Brahms), Après un rêve, Nell (Fauré), Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's "Flower Waltz", The Man I Love, Love Walked In (Gershwin), Lullaby from "Tribute to Foster" (Stephen Foster). Grainger's brilliance as a pianist can be glimpsed in this selection of his transcriptions of other composers' music with the most dazzling virtuosity on display in the Tchaikovsky piece but with his sheer love of melody and mood exemplified in such items as the Brahms Lullaby, the Delius and the two Fauré songs. First recording for the Handelian Rhapsody which began life as a single-movement sonata written for Grainger by Cyril Scott and then "dissected" by its receipient. Piers Lane (piano). Hyperion CDA 67279 (England) 07E012 $17.98

EDWARD SHIPPEN BARNES (1887-1958): Symphony pour orgue, Op. 18, Second Symphony for Organ, Op. 37, Solemn prelude, Op. 24. Barnes was an American who left an important organ tutor and founded the choir of Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City. He spent some time at the Schola Cantorum where he was most impressed by Widor and Vierne and it is the latter whose symphonies Barnes' own two (1918 and 1923) most resemble. The 1916 Solemn Prelude is a rhapsody of 10 minutes, showing less French influence. Simon Nieminski (Wicks organ of St. Mary's Cathedral, Peoria, IL). Pro Organo CD 7131 (U.S.A.) 07E013 $16.98

JOHANN KASPAR KERLL (1627-1693): Missa In fletu solatium obsidionis Viennensis, Sonata a 3, Ama cor meum a 4, Triumphate sidera a 18, Passacaglia in D Minor, Tota pulchra es Maria a 10, Canzona a 3, Admiramini fideles a 2, Angelorum esca a 12. Although most of what we know of Kerll today has to do with his organ works, he was most celebrated in his own time for his sacred music and chamber works, both of which this new release bring examples of. In particular, the 1683 mass "As Consolation and Lament over the Siege of Vienna" has an oppressed tone, expressed through extreme chromaticism and agitated vocal repetitions, which reflects the horrors of the Turkish siege (which the composer himself lived through). Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble; Arno Paduch. Christophorus CHR 77249 (Germany) 07E014 $17.98

SEBASTIANO MORATELLI (1640-1706): La faretra smarrita. The first recording of any work by Moratelli, all of which were believed to be lost until recently. "The Lost Quiver" is a serenata dating from after 1690, an occasional and light piece but nevertheless indicative of the "expressive power and naturalness" which his musical contemporaries valued. Italian-English texts. Hermann Oswald (tenor), Verena Krause (soprano), Thomas Ruf (bass), Salzburger Hofmusik; Wolfgang Brunner. CPO 999 851 (Germany) 07E015 $15.98

JOHANN PAUL VON WESTHOFF (1656-1705): Suites I-VI, NICOLA MATTEIS (d.c.1695): Musica grave, Andamento malinconico, Fantasia in B Flat, Alemanda facile, Scaramuccia, JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (c.1620-23-1680): Sonata Quarta in D, HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ VON BIBER (1644-1704): Passacaglia in G Minor. Richly polyphonic abstract movements and lighter dances (Matteis) and sequences of four stylized dances - some of the most demanding non­scordatura music which came out of Germany in the 17th century (Westhoff) make fine additions to the baroque violin catalogue. Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin). Hyperion CDA 67238 (England) 07E016 $17.98

MICHEL RICHARD DE LALANDE (1657-1726): Grand Motets for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra: Deus noster, refugium, S 54, Exaltabo te, Domine, S 56, PIERRE DU MAGE (1676-1751): Suite du Premier ton for Organ. Lalande's fame rests on his 77 grands motets produced for the chapels of Louis XIV and XV and many of these works stayed in the repertoire of the royal chapel until 1792. The settings are colorful and dramatic with serious or poignant moments bringing rich harmonies in the tradition of Charpentier and such emotions as joy and praise bringing forth music of great nobility and power. Separating the two motets is an organ suite by a student of Louis Marchand which, unlike the preludes and fugues of the German tradition, is a series of eight short movements which move through a variety of colors and moods and which make great use of such typically French voices as the Tierce en taille and Basse de trompette. Stéphanie Révidat (soprano), Stephan Van Dyck (counter-tenor), Thomas Van Essen (tenor), Alain Buet (bass), La Maîtrise de Bretagne, Le Parlement de Musique; Martin Gester, Aline Zylberajch-Gester (organ of the Abbey of Saint-Michel en Thiérache). Opus 111 OP 30217 (France) 07E017 $17.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Flute Concertos in D, A and F, Concerto for 2 Flutes in A, Concerto for 3 Flutes in F, Sinfonias in F, G & G Minor. As Alessandro's important cantatas and oratorios are being rediscovered, so his smaller body of instrumental music is now being investigated, this recording of Corelli-like concertos coming (with one exception) from manuscripts in the Diocese of Münster. Martino Noferi (recorder), Il Rossignolo; Ottaviano Tenerani. CPO 999 856 (Germany) 07E018 $15.98

FRANÇOIS COUPERIN (1668-1733): Les Nations: Premier Ordre "La Françoise", Second Ordre "L'Espagnole", La Sultane, Douzième Concert à 2 Violes. Couperin's two ordres with national subtitles are long (22 and 30 minutes respectively) combinations of the sonata da chiesa and the sonata da camera whose deeply affective suave sensuousness, punctuated by outbreaks of festive exuberance, cast a light on the inward, humane aspects of the vainglorious court of the Sun King. The Purcell Quartet, Susanna Pell (bass viol). Chandos 0684 (England) 07E019 $16.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Giustino. Even moreso than last month's Cato in Utica, we have here an excellent example of a Vivaldi opera, Giustino being from his prime, performed in Rome in 1727 as the second opera of Carnival. Conductor Velardi has restored the entire score from a manuscript which had many parts cut, leading to over four-and-a-half hours of music. As common at the time, Vivaldi borrowed some music from earlier works, both vocal and instrumental, but the borrowed pieces are among the best he wrote and the new arias are not much poorer. The choruses are more elaborate too, in keeping with Roman expectations; many of the arias are of such beauty as to bear inclusion in any Vivaldi aria-collection. Italian-English libretto. 4 CDs for the price of 3. Manuela Custer (mezzo), Silvia Bossa (soprano), Gianluca Belfiori Doro (male alto), Alessandro Stradella Consort; Estevan Velardi. Bongiovanni GB 2307/10 (Italy) 07E020 $50.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): La Senna Festeggiante, RV 693. Only three of Vivaldi's serenate survive intact and this example of the genre - a cross between an extended cantata and a miniature opera. It appears to have been written to celebrate the coronation of French king Louis XV which occurred in 1722, although no certain performance date is known before 1726. Regardless of the mysteries surrounding the work's purpose and date, the music provides a very virtuosic part for the solo bass, less so for the women's roles, is particularly interested in French style and employs a considerable range of styles with respect to its rhythms and harmonies. Italian-English texts. Juanita Lascarro (soprano), Sonia Prina (alto), Nicola Ulivieri (bass), Concerto Italiano; Rinaldo Alessandrini. Opus 111 OP 30339 (Italy) 07E021 $17.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Orchestral Excerpts from Samson, Joseph and His Brethren, Semele, Jephtha, Susanna, Judas Maccabeus and Solomon. A kind of "Oratorio Without Words", the counterpart to Chandos' earlier "Handel and the Opera" release. Three to five excerpts from each of the oratorios listed above, opening with overture and usually ending with an aria transcribed for instrumental performance (not a modern idea - these performances use scores issued by Handel's English publisher John Walsh in 1748, showing that there has always been an audience who'd like to skip over the "vocal bits"!). Collegium Musicum '90; Simon Standage. Chandos 0685 (England) 07E022 $16.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Apollo e Dafne, Incidental Music from The Alchemist. Apollo is an early work (1710), a series of recitatives and arias which show Handel's early mastery at expressing the dramatic moment and its ensuing emotions; an anonymous pirate spirited away from Italy and to England some of the music from Handel's first Italian opera, Rodrigo (1707), and used it for a revival of Ben Jonson's comedy (contributing a minute-long prelude as well). Italian-English texts. Olga Pasichnyk (soprano), Robert Pomakov (bass), European Union Baroque Orchestra; Roy Goodman. Naxos 8.555712 (New Zealand) 07E023 $6.98

JOHAN HENRIK FREITHOFF (1713-1767): Notturno in B Flat, Sonata for Transverse Flute Solo in G, Sonata 2/Trio in G Minor, Sonata for Solo Violin in E, Notturno a tres in E, Sonata a tres in A, Trios in E, G & D. A true rara avis: a Norwegian baroque composer! Much of Freithoff's early life is unknown but he may have studied with one of the Sammartinis in Italy (the trio in G minor recalls them). His compositions are on the border between Baroque and Rococo and there are some folk elements in the Sonata a tres. A violin virtuoso as well as a diplomat, translator, secretary, poet and traveller, Freithoff has been called "The Telemann of the North" although the thing he most has in common with Telemann is that he died the day before the great German. Norwegian Baroque Orchestra Soloists, Ketil Haugsand (harpsichord). Simax PSC 1220 (Norway) 07E024 $18.98

THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): 8 Sonatas or Lessons for the Harpsichord. Published in 1756, these pieces must have been gathered together from various times, as is suggested by the various influences one can hear in them. The form varies from two-movement to four-movement and Domenico Scarlatti is present in a couple, while others are in the new galant style while still others show evidence of the German Empfindungstil. Ewald Demeyere (harpsichord). Accent ACC 21145 (Belgium) 07E025 $17.98

FRANTISEK BENDA (1709-1786): Violin Concerto in E Flat, JI¤Í ANTONÍN BENDA (1722-1795): Viola Concerto in F, Bendas Klagen (arr. C. Benda). Though dating from as late as 1775, Jirí's viola concerto is of the same late Baroque/early Classical style as Frantisek's violin concerto of about 1760 with aria-style slow movements and rondo finales. Bendas Klagen is a cantata which dates from 1792, in which the composer laments the loss of youth and the painful nostalgia which is all he has left, the vocal part arranged by the newest Benda in the family for cello. Ariane Pfister (violin), Josef Suk (viola), Suk Chamber Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra; Christian Benda (cello). Naxos 8.553994 (New Zealand) 07E026 $6.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 8 - Sonatas in E, W.62/17 & in E Flat, W.65/28, 9 Petites Pièces from W.117. All these works were written between 1754-7 with the sonatas showing Bach's typically elegant, expressive melodies and his sometimes eccentric twists and turns. The Petites Pièces are taken from a total of 26 (1754-8) and are the composer's tribute to the character pieces of Couperin and Dandrieu (their titles sometimes identical, i.e. La Capricieuse and Les Langueurs tendres) which suggest character traits or depict contemporary personages. Miklós Spányi (clavichord). BIS CD-1087 (Sweden) 07E027 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Mass in E Flat, Hob. XXII:4 "Große Orgelmesse", Mass in C, Hob. XXII:8 "Missa Cellensis". The Große Orgelmesse (1768 or 1769) is one of Haydn's most unusual, both for its key and for its use of the doleful sounding cor anglais instead of the usual oboes while the use of a small chamber organ acknowledges a tradition in Austrian church music. The Missa Cellensis (1782), however, is in the broad C major tradition of Austrian mass composition although it has an unusually unsettling Benedictus. Susan Gritton (soprano), Louise Winter (mezzo), Mark Padmore (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (bass), Ian Watson (organ), Collegium Musicum 90; Richard Hickox. Chandos 0674 (England) 07E028 $16.98

ANTONIO CASIMIR CARTELLIERI (1772-1807): Clarinet Quartets Nos. 1, 2 & 4. Presentiments of Mendelssohn, reminiscences of Haydn and Mozart, anticipations of late Beethoven... all these are present in the many works of Cartellieri which the note-writer is familiar with. These clarinet quartets may not show all of these traits but they do show a personal style and are on the cutting-edge of contemporary clarinet technique (the composer may have met Baermann father and son during his later years and the compositions use note series which required the latest in clarinets at the time they were written). Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 1097-2 (Germany) 07E029 $17.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Complete String Quintets, Vol. 1 - No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 33/1, No. 2 in G, Op. 33/2. Dating from 1813-15, Spohr's first two string quintets are outstanding examples of his combination of Classical with early Romanticism and of melodic lyricism with technical virtuosity. Original 1994 Marco Polo release. Danubius Quartet, Sándor Papp (viola). Naxos 8.555965 (New Zealand) 07E030 $6.98

CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Meine Lieder, meine Sänge, Er an Sie, Reigen, Das Mädchen an das erste Scheeglöckchen, Canzonetta (Heitere Tage, Mädchen erfähret), Romanze, Canzonetta (Weh! Dass gescheiden), Liebe-Glühen, Die Schäferstunde, An den Mond, Was zieht zu deinem Zauberkreise, Mein Verlangen, Lass mich schlummern, Herzlein, schweige, 3 Pieces for 2 Guitars, Op. 3, Durch die Wälder for 2 Guitars. These are the simplest of Weber's songs, more like folksongs than Lieder, with texts dealing with courting, nature-dreaming, historic scenes and simple festivities; the guitar accompaniments and solo pieces underline the rustic, "natural" bent of the series. German texts. Signe Asmussen (mezzo), Jan Sommer (guitar), Volkmar Zimmermann (second guitar). Classico CLASSCD 410 (Denmark) 07E031 $15.98

FRIEDRICH SILCHER (1789-1860): Overtures in E Flat and in C Minor, Variations on the Folksong "In einem kühlen Grunde" for Piano, Divertissement II after Carl Maria von Weber's "Freischütz" for Flute and Piano, 6 Choruses for Male Choir, 6 Choruses for Mixed Choir, 3 Choruses for Women's Choir, Gesänge der Jugend for Women's Choir and Piano. We offer this 1990 release for collectors who may have missed it before. Known primarily for his choral songs, of which this release gives examples for all three voice possibilities, Silcher also wrote two concert overtures in the early Romantic style of Mendelssohn and Weber which are offered here along with two charmingly simple chamber pieces. German texts. Südfunk-Chor; Rupert Huber, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Uros Lajovic, Robert Dohn (flute), Susan Wenckus (piano). Carus 83.119 (Germany) 07E032 $17.98

RAMON CARNICER (1789-1855): Fantasy in E Flat, ANTONIO ROMERO (1815-1886): Primer solo de concierto, Estudio No. 10, Fantasía sobre motivos de "Lucrezia Borgia", ERNESTO CAVALLINI (1807-1874): Fiori rossiniani, GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Introduction, Theme & Variations, Fantasy in E Flat, ROSSINI/IWAN MÜLLER (1786-1854): Fantasy on "Una voce poco fa". Early Romantic Spanish clarinet music, coupled with two originals by Rossini (whose influence in Spain during the early 19th century was supreme) and a transcription by a German-Russian clarinettist instrumental in the development of the instrument. Joan Enric Lluna (clarinet), Nigel Clayton (piano). Harmonia Mundi HMI 987029 (Spain) 07E033 $17.98

AUGUSTE FRANCHOMME (1808-1884): Cello and String Quintet: Variations sur des thèmes russes et écossais, Op. 6, Fantaisie sur une mélodie de Schubert, Op. 39, Deuxième Air russe varié, Op. 32, Fantaisie sur "Le Chant d'adieux", Op. 9, For 2 Cellos: Caprices, Op. 7, Nos. 6, 7, 9 & 11, Études, Op. 35, Nos. 5 & 11, Nocturnes, Op. 15, Nos. 1 & 3. Technical virtuosity and expressive beauty share the stage in these compositions, full of drama, lyricism and Romantic passion by a composer who is an important link in the French cello tradition Ensemble Explorations; Roel Dieltiens. Original 1997 Harmonia Mundi release. Harmonia Mundi Musique d'abord HMA 1951610 (France) 07E034 $8.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Grande Sonate for Piano and Violin in D, 20 Concert Variations on a Theme by Krumpholz for Violin and Piano, Op. 1. These remarkable pieces are the work of a 16- and 15-year-old, respectively. The variations take a simple and sweet theme and manage to avoid monotony throughout their 26-minute length. The sonata has violin writing so demanding that it sounds more like a 19th centuy concerto than a turn-of-the-century sonata and spectacular virtuosity is also demanded of the pianist. Never published, this is also one of the longest classical-romantic sonatas ever composed, at almost 42 mintes! Erika Raum (violin), Anton Kuerti (piano). CBC MVCD 1150 (Canada) 07E035 $16.98

FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): Rondo in C Minor, Op. 1, Variations sur un air national de Moore, Rondo in C, Op. 73, Tarantella in A Flat, Op. 43, CHOPIN/SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Sonata in B Flat, Op. 35. This 2001 release was never offered here, the second in an ongoing series featuring the rare Pleyel double grand piano (two keyboards, one body) in rare Chopin duo and duet pieces (the op. 1 Rondo is the first recording) and the equally rare Saint-Saëns transcription of the B flat sonata. Duo Egri & Pertis (Pleyel Double Grand Piano). Hungaroton HCD 31917 (Hungary) 07E036 $16.98

SIGISMOND THALBERG (1812-1871): Fantasias on Semiramide, Op. 51, La donna del lago, Op. 40bis, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Op. 63 and Moïse, Op. 33. Rossini is the vehicle here for over 70 minutes of the demonstration of Thalberg's technical prowess. Among the peaks of the genre of the opera transcription! Francesco Nicolosi (piano). Original 1992 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555501 (New Zealand) 07E037 $6.98

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881): Viola Sonata in B Flat, Op. 36, Viola Sonata (Unfinished), Op. post. No. 14, Elégie for Viola and Piano, Op. 30, Capriccio for Viola Solo, Op. posth. No. 9, FÉLICIEN DAVID (1810-1876)/VIEUXTEMPS: La Nuit. Vieuxtemps also played the viola (and often did so in performing string quartets, of which he wrote three) and left a smallish uvre of chamber music for this instrument. Unlike his violin concertos or other solo violin pieces, these works are generally lyrical and don't demand outsize virtuosity, except for the first movement of the "unfinished" sonata and the end of the final movement of the op. 36 sonata. Roberto Diaz (viola), Robert Koenig (piano). Naxos 8.555262 (New Zealand) 07E038 $6.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Complete Lieder, Vol. 6 - 9 Gesänge, Op. 69, 4 Gesänge, Op. 70, 5 Gesänge, Op. 71, 5 Gesänge, Op. 72. The majority of these songs date from 1877 with a few from a year or two before. Op. 69's nine songs have a feminine lyrical first-person voice (Brahms referred to them as Mädchenlieder), op. 70 has remembrance as a theme while love, the old tried-and-true, dominates the remaining two cycles. Generally reserved emotionally and introspective, the collections are spiced-up by some Bohemian and Serbian folk-songs. German-English texts. Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Juliane Banse (soprano), Helmut Deutsch (piano). CPO 999 446 (Germany) 07E039 $15.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 7 - Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73, Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90. Brahms' own arrangements, aimed at domestic audiences, reveal the qualities of these symphonies in a fresh and fascinating light. Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano). Naxos 8.554822 (New Zealand) 07E040 $6.98

EMMANUEL CHABRIER (1841-1894): 10 pièces pittoresques, Bourrée fantasque, Impromptu in C, Habanera, 4 pièces posthumes, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): A la manière de Chabrier. The Pièce pittoresques (1881), superficially in the salon style, were described by Cortot as instead having a "savoury and wholesome poetic quality" and the virtuosity which flashes here and there is anything but empty. The remaining works are similarly full of charm, verve and a delight in exploring keyboard colors. Alain Planès (piano). Original 1993 Harmonia Mundi release. Harmonia Mundi Musique d'abord HMA 1951465 (France) 07E041 $8.98

HANS ROTT (1858-1884): Symphony in E, Pastorales Vorspiel. The third recording of the proto-Mahlerian symphony is coupled with the new to CD "Pastoral Overture" of 1877 whose Mahlerian elements are counterbalanced by a very Brucknerian fugato at the work's close (Rott was a student of Bruckner). The slightly cracked notes posit Brahms as a major destroyer of young talent in late 19th century Germany (Wolf, Rott, von Herzogenberg); even Schumann is mentioned in this respect. Well, I said "cracked"... Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies. CPO 999 854 (Germany) 07E042 $15.98

GEORGE WHITEFIELD CHADWICK (1854-1931): Euterpe, Angel of Death, Aphrodite, Melpomene, Thalia. Collectors will note that there are 36 minutes of Chadwick's music here not previously available on CD: Euterpe (1902) is quite Brahmsian in form and melody, like a cross between the Academic Festival and Tragic overtures; Thalia (1883) a broadly good-humored imaginary stage comedy while 1918's Angel of Death (like Aphrodite inspired by a painting) has a Straussian program akin to Death and Transfiguration in its depiction of an artist about to put the finishing touches to his creation and being stopped by the Angel of Death. Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Kenneth Schermerhorn. Naxos American Classics 8.559117 (U.S.A.) 07E043 $6.98

CHARLES MARTIN LOEFFLER (1861-1935): Music for Four Stringed Instruments, String Quartet in A Minor, Quintet in One Movement for 3 Violins, Viola and Cello. The largest and best-known work here is the 1917 Music, written in memory of the first American airman to be killed in World War I. Based throughout on plainchant associated with ressurection and redemption, the piece also makes unusual demands on the cellist, including changing the tuning of strings while playing on them. The 1889 quartet is one of Loeffler's earliest completed works and it and the quintet, which followed five years later, are both still in late Romantic style, free of the Impressionism which was to characterize much of his mature work. DaVinci Quartet, Cora Cooper (third violin). Naxos American Classics 8.559077 (U.S.A.) 07E044 $6.98

GEORGE MACFARREN (1813-1887): Chevy Chace, HUGO PIERSON (1815-1873): Romeo and Juliet, Op. 86, ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Macbeth, FREDERICK CORDER (1852-1932): Prospero, ALEXANDER MACKENZIE (1847-1935): Britannia - A Nautical Overture, Op. 52, HUBERT PARRY (1848-1918): Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy, EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Froissart, Op. 19. When this collection of overture-tone poems was first issued, it was (with the obvious exception of the Elgar - even the Parry and Sullivan had never been recorded before) an ear-opening introduction to the Romantic riches in the musical archives of England and Scotland. Since then, unfortunately, we have seen more music only from Mackenzie. If you missed this the first time around, don't do so now! Original 1991 Hyperion release. English Northern Philharmonia; David Lloyd-Jones. Helios CDH 55088 (England) 07E045 $10.9

AUGUST FRIEDRICH MARTIN KLUGHARDT (1847-1902): Schilflieder, Op. 28, CHARLES MARTIN LOEFFLER (1861-1935): 2 Rhapsodies, ROBERT KAHN (1865-1951): Serenade, Op. 73, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Trio for Viola, Heckelphone and Piano, Op. 47. The heart of this release is a pair of "lieder without words" works: Klughardt's 1872 piece interprets instrumentally a five-song cycle by Lenau about the (traditional) grieving lover while Loeffler recast two songs in instrumental form (complete song texts are printed to help enjoyment). This is echt-Romanticism at its most pictorial. Han de Vries (oboe, baritone oboe), Henk Guittart (viola), Iva Janssen (piano). Chandos 9990 (England) 07E046 $16.98

ADOLPHE BIARENT (1871-1916): Piano Quintet in B Minor, Cello Sonata in F Sharp Minor. These late chamber works uphold the quality established in the two discs of orchestral music on this label. The 1914 quintet is dark and anxiety-ridden, with bold harmonies and chromaticism in a language still heavily influenced by Franck while the sonata (1915), written during the dark days of the war, wavers between despair and the poignant nostalgia for a better time. Danel Quartet, Diane Andersen (piano), Marc Drobinsky (cello). Cyprès CYP4611 (Belgium) 07E047 $18.98

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Dekameron, Op. 69, 7 charakteristische Stücke, Op. 32, Aphorismen, Op. 51. Another interesting collection of atmospheric piano pieces of improvisational and impressionistic-romantic character from this late Romantic German composer known primarily for his organ compositions. Ernst Breidenbach (piano). CPO 999 772 (Germany) 07E048 $15.98

MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ (1876-1909): Eternal Songs, Op. 10, Lithuanian Rhapsody, Op. 11, Stanisaw and Anna Oswiecim, Op. 11. These melancholy, mystical, often folk-inspired tone-poems now receive the treatment of a world-class orchestra and conductor along with typically opulent Chandos engineering and they've never sounded better nor seemed of greater musical value. BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier. Chandos 9986 (England) 07E049 $16.98

YORK BOWEN - Symphony No. 2

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, FREDERICK AUSTIN (1872-1952): Symphonic Rhapsody Spring, EDGAR BAINTON (1880-1956): Symphonic Movement Genesis. All of these works come from the period 1907-11 but Bowen's is the stand-out due to its heavy Tchaikovsky Pathétique influence (a work which had wide circulation and a great effect on many composers of the time). In the outer movements this Russian flavor jostles for position with a Ravelian-inspired sound which would crystallize into the mature Bax idiom while the light, dancing scherzo flirts with Impressionism; Bowen's own voice can best be heard in the lyrical slow movement in which an expressive horn solo (the composer's own instrument) stands out amongst other original touches (such as a solo string quartet and double bass and high string harmonics). Austin's rhapsody has a forward-looking complexity and colorful orchestration and, if anyone, Delius is called to mind in the more vigorous moments of the score. Bainton's piece is the 19-minute opening movement of a choral symphony Before Sunrise and it deals with Life and Death, Love and the Victory of the Soul of Man in music as emotionally-charged and turbulent as its subjects. Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 404 (Denmark) 07E050 $15.98

MATTHIJS VERMEULEN - Symphonies, Vol. 1

MATTHIJS VERMEULEN (1888-1967): Symphony No. 2 "Prélude à la nouvelle journée", Symphony No. 6 "Les Minutes heureuses", Symphony No. 7 "Dithyrambes pour les temps à venir". The second symphony (1920) was not performed for 30 years and a look at its score will tell you why: cluster-like chord formations, extreme chromaticism and complex rhythmic patterns (every member of the orchestra gets material which verges on the unplayable), extreme instrumental registers, the collision of blocks of sound which never coalesce, and more. This piece is a sort of wall-of-sound whose energy and barbaric spirit resemble Stravinsky's Sacre and whose appearance, fully formed out of no precedents, is like that of Ives' music. The Donemus recording is a 19:20 headlong frenzy; Rozhdestvensky's is much better recorded and, at over 28 minutes, provides tempo contrasts which (we hope) must be in the score but which were ignored for whatever reason. Dating from 1956-8, the sixth symphony came after the 45-minute long, gigantically orchestrated fifth (which sounds like its 100 musicians are playing as loud and as many notes as possible without rest for the entire duration) and it returns to relative brevity (about 25 minutes) and simplicity (the whole work is based on the notes la-do-re - in French l'adoré "the beloved"). The music (shades of Messiaen in some sound combinations) works its way in repetition and variation in a sort of spiral which moves gradually via a long crescendo to its climax. The seventh (1965), shorter, procedes in similar fashion, forty or so related episodes moving along a path to a climax. This should appeal to Langgaard, Ives and Antheil collectors. Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Chandos 9735 (England) 07E051 $16.98

KAIKHOSRU SORABJI (1892 -1988): Villa Tasca, Passeggiata veneziana. The more we learn about this unique composer, through the emergence of new editions of the music, new performers and new recordings, the more extraordinarily multi-faceted and brilliant his creative personality turns out to be. Exploring Sorabji's art and craft is like wandering the passages and shafts of a gem mine; every newly illuminated face glows with previously unguessed-at riches. This disc is a fine example of this; in his excellent and comprehensive booklet essay the performer alludes to the misconception of Sorabji as predominantly 'the dour composer of hour-long fugues', and we know about his suffocatingly beautiful 'tropical nocturne' genre - but here are two extended examples of his love of Italianate warmth and the intense illumination of the Mediterranean sun. Villa Tasca is an large-scale evocation of the Sicilian mezzogiorno, the haunting quasi-tropical languor of this unique time and place and the volcanic passions so incompletely suppressed in nature as in man. Passeggiata is a wildly imaginative fantasia on the Barcarolle from the Tales of Hoffmann - hardly the stuff of dour fugues - incorporating a gorgeous nocturne, a headlong tarantella (just try not to smile at some of the acrobatics Sorabji expects of his dancing revellers!), and the now-familiar complete mastery of and exultation in the expressive possibilities of the piano, far exceeding the efforts of the 'complexicists' who followed him, while achieving a sense of organic 'rightness' in the handling of the instrument that recalls Chopin, Busoni and Rachmaninov rather than the mechanical complexities which have become fashionable since. A major release. Jonathan Powell (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9067 (U.S.A.) 07E052 $18.98

LEO ORNSTEIN (1892 -2002): Piano Sonatas Nos. 4 & 7, Suicide in an Airplane, A Long Remembered Sorrow, Tarantelle, Impressions of the Thames, Danse Sauvage, A Morning in the Woods. The first thing you notice here is the wide stylistic variety, not just over time (these works span a period of 75 [!] years) but even within movements or sections of the same work. The second thing is the profusion of memorable melodies in the works/movements which are not violently dissonant or challengingly complex (although both occur side-by-side in 1988's seventh sonata). Impressionism, Scriabin, Spanish Romanticism, Russian-Jewish music, Antheil of "bad-boy" mien... the impressions one gets are mind-boggling. We need more of Ornstein's piano music! Janice Weber (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559104 (U.S.A.) 07E053 $6.98

LUIS GIANNEO (1897 -1968): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Music for Children, Bailecito, 2 Etudes, 5 Little Pieces, In the Altiplano, 7 Pieces for Children, 3 Argentinian Dances, Christmas Carol, The Little Road to Bethlehem. It's a mystery why almost no one bought the first volume of this set, offered in May (05D011). If this had been a "world premiere recording" of recently discovered Ginastera piano works, we would have sold out. Yet Gianneo (Argentinian too) is no less folk-inspired and no more modern than his Argentinian compatriot and all of the works on this volume come from his third period of composition, characterized by the combination of folk music and neo-classicism which produces a style of wonderful simplicity and economy of resources. So what's not to like? Dora De Marinis, Elena Dabul, Pervez Mody, Fernando Viani (piano). Marco Polo 8.225206 (New Zealand) 07E054 $15.98

A Newly Discovered Victim of World War I

CECIL COLES (1888-1918): Overture: The Comedy of Errors, Scherzo in A Minor, Fra Giacomo for Baritone and Large Orchestra, 4 Verlaine Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, From the Scottish Highlands for Orchestra, Behind the Lines for Small Orchestra. Gustav Holst knew Cecil Coles pretty well for several years but, after his death while helping evacuate casualties from the battlefield at the age of 29, Coles' music pretty much vanished. This is the first commercial recording of any of his works. His concert overture (1911) runs through a broad spectrum of emotions with echoes of Mahler and Richard Strauss while his scherzo of 1910 may have been intended as part of a symphony. The finest work here is Fra Giacomo, a powerfully dramatic scena which tells a grim tale of a cuckolded husband's revenge; it was completed in 1914 before Coles entered the service as a sergeant-bandmaster. Behind the Lines was Coles' final work - only one of its four movements survives in full score (conductor Brabbins orchestrated a second one - a poignant Cortège which inevitable foreshadows the composer's own) and a color photo of the blood- and mud-stained manuscript brings home the conditions under which it was composed. Texts included. Sarah Fox (soprano), Paul Whelan (baritone), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67293 (England) 07E055 $17.98

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Symphony No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 13, Symphony No. 2 in A, Op. 17 , Symphony No. 3 in C, Op. 21, Romanian Rhapsodies Nos. 1, Op. 11 & No. 2, Suite d'Orchestre No. 1, Op. 9, Suite No. 2, Op. 20, Suite No. 3, Op. 27 "Villageoise", Concert Overture in A, Op. 32, Intermède, Op. 12. Released singly between 1993-96 and boxed in 1997, we have not offered this set of Enescu's symphonies, rhapsodies and suites before. At the price, it is a ridiculously easy recommendation for collectors who may not be familiar with Enescu's symphonies and suites and the recordings and performances are far better than the old Electrecord recordings which appeared in the West via Olympia. There are several more single discs of orchestral and chamber music by Enescu on Arte Nova and we hope to be offering them in the not-too-distant future. 4 CDs. Budget-price. "George Enescu" Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal. Arte Nova 74321 49145 2 (Germany) 07E056 $19.98

HERMANN ZILCHER (1881-1948): Goethe-Lieder, Op. 51/II, 4 Lieder, Op. 14, 4 Lieder, Op. 13, 5 Lieder, Op. 10, 4 Lieder, Op. 40, 2 Lieder from Dehmel Lieder, Op. 41. Another late Romantic composer continues being rediscovered. Zilcher's earlier period lieder are in a traditional form and style with the piano mostly paralleling the vocal line. The subject, as so often with this genre, is love in all its aspects but the later three sets of songs show a more advanced harmonic language (the Dehmel settings) and touches of Impressionism (the Goethe settings) while the piano part becomes emancipated from the voice and the declamation stylistically approaches that of Wolf. German texts. Christa Meyer (mezzo), Konrad Jarnot (baritone), Carl-Heinz März (piano). Orfeo C 190 021 A (Germany) 07E057 $18.98

EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Die Bakchantinnen. Dating from 1934, this setting of Euripides was Wellesz' last stage work before he was forced to flee to England in 1938 and, with the exception of a short chamber opera for a society at Oxford in 1951, his last stage work of any kind. The idiom is late Romantic, rather less frenzied and hysterical than the music Wellesz (or Hindemith, or Korngold, or Schreker) might have written during the 20s - let's call the general atmosphere one of unease rather than derangement. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this work is how the way in which Agave and Kadmos eventually lose their sense of reality and rationality and join the ecstatic mobs of Dionysos' followers mirrors the situation between the German people and the Nazis at exactly the same time, the composer, in retrospect, seeming a more than a little prophetic. 2 CDs. German libretto. Thomas Mohr (tenor), Michael Burt (baritone), Roberta Alexander (soprano), Berlin Radio Choir, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gerd Albrecht. Orfeo C 136 012 H (Germany) 07E058 $37.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): String Quartets Nos. 1-18, Octet. It would seem that three of these discs have never been released in the U.S., making the special price apt. From the early Impressionistic quartets and the two lamenting works in the wake of World War I, to the Fifth (1920), the first to assiduously apply Milhaud's principle of polytonality, to the somewhat more complex pieces of the 1940s and 50s, this cycle is so heterogeneous in style and affect as to make easy categorisation impossible. Better to just say that it is a treasure-trove of music for all collectors of string quartets in particular and of 20th century music in general. 5 CDs for the price of 3. Véronique Dietschy (soprano), Quatuor Parisii with Quatuor Manfred (Octet). Naïve V 4900 (France) 07E059 $53.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Viola Sonata No. 1, Op. 240, Viola Sonata No. 2, Op. 244, 4 Visages for Viola and Piano, Op. 238, Élégie pour Pierre for Viola, Timpani and 2 Percussionists, Op. 416, Sonatine for Violin and Viola, Op. 226. The sonatas, Visages and Sonatine were all written for the violist of the Pro Arte Quartet between 1941-44 and are charming, lyrical and, in the case of the Visages - character pieces depicting women from California, Wisconsin, Brussels and Paris - witty. The remaining piece is a world premiere recording: a brief, 3-minute elegy upon the death of Pierre Monteux (1965), a dark, mysterious work which remains unpublished. Kenneth Martinson (viola), Christopher Taylor (piano), Nicholas Kitchen (violin), Frank Epstein (timpani), Craig McNutt, Robert Schulz (percussion). Centaur CRC 2479 (U.S.A.) 07E060 $16.98

Contemporary Bulgarian Composers, Vol. 3

VELISLAV ZAIMOV (b.1951): Largo for 12 Cellos, YASSEN VODENITCHAROV (b.1964): 2 Bagatelles for Piano, Clarinet and Percussion, ANDRIAN PERVAZOV (b.1963): Excerpts from Ziggurat for 3 Amplified Flutes and Tape, ARTIN POTURLIAN (b.1943): Worlds for 2 Pianos, BOJIDAR PETKOV (b.1940): Toccata for 2 Pianos, JULIA TSENOVA (b.1948): = 3.14 for Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Ensemble. This is one of those useful samplers that sends collectors like us scurrying around looking for further releases by some composer of whom we had never previously heard but whose work has struck a particular resonance. Remember when this used to have to be accomplished by sorting through dusty boxes of LPs in flimsy cardboard sleeves in basement import record stores? We have a much easier time of it these days. Anyway, Zaimov's heartfelt Largo for 12 celli is alone worth the price of admission. The two works for two pianos, by Poturlian and Petkov, share a Soviet-era plain-spokenness and propulsive energy (we're not very far from Khachaturian and Prokofiev here), while the more lyrical work of Vodenitcharov and especially the darkly glowing textures of the symphonically ambitious song cycle by Tsenova lend a depth to the program and suggest ample opportunity for further investigation of these composers. Various artists. Gega GD 253 (Bulgaria) 07E061 $16.98 >

ROWELL ROGERS: Warrior Dreams, WILLIAM HEINRICHS: Dream Sequence, STEVEN WINTEREGG (b.1952): Visions and Revelations for Horn and Orchestra, JODY ROCKMAKER (b.1961): Interchangeable Parts, SCOTT ROBBINS: The Heart's Trapeze. None of these pieces exactly break entirely unfamiliar ground - their antecedents are all fairly well exposed to view, though they are all different, and none might be described fairly as derivative. But they are all striking and characterful works with personality and a strong sense of movement. Rogers' brash and exciting Warrior Dreams pairs off nicely with Robbins' similarly ebullient Heart's Trapeze and Rockmaker's propulsive concerto grosso (all very tonal), while Heinrichs pays tribute to impressionism in a pallette of rich colors suggestive of the Romantics and Ravel and Debussy. Winteregg's work, essentially a horn concerto with something of the history of the instrument written into its progression, explores images from the Book of Revelation in a vocabulary with something of the direct pungency of Stravinsky and some original instrumental timbres. A varied and enjoyable disc. Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladimír Válek. MMC 2107 (U.S.A.) 07E062 $16.98

STEPHEN ALBERT (1941-1992): Wind Canticle for Clarinet andOrchestra, BERNARD RANDS (b.1934): "... body and shadow ...", DONALD CROCKETT (b.1951): Roethke Preludes, DAVID HEUSER (b.1966): Cauldron. Four approachable and likeable orchestral works (with brief spoken introductions by the composers) by contemporary Americans, each with an unmistakably original voice. The Rands, essentially a concerto for orchestra, contains the most sophisticated music and packs the greatest emotional punch. An extended work of drama and fantasy, its masterly orchestration and compositional thoroughness make it an especially memorable experience. The other pieces are more obviously tonal and readily accessible, and the delicately evocative touches of timbre in Crockett's evocations of poems by Roethke are an especial delight, while Heuser's energetic curtain-raiser is most appealing. The poetry of Albert's deeply emotive music, radiated sincerity and humanity, and underlines the tragedy of his premature death in 1992 in depriving us of a voice of true originality and profound feeling. Kevin Schempf (clarinet), Bowling Green Philharmonia; Emily Freeman Brown. Albany TROY 490 (U.S.A.) 07E063 $16.98

PAUL CHIHARA (b.1938): Forever Escher for Saxophone Quartet and String Quartet, Shinju (Ballet in One Act), Wind Song (Cello Concerto). Since he turned away from academic preoccupations with serial atonality, Chihara has produced some of the most accessible yet original scores from a contemporary American composer, both in the media of film and accompanimental music and for the concert stage. His incorporation of musical 'found objects' - jazz riffs, quotations from his own and earlier music, into scores such as Forever Escher - which processes material in a manner analogous to the intricate metamorphoses of the Dutch artist - provide a richness of texture in which the comfortingly familiar is presented in ways which are both new and unexpected. The evocative ballet score Shinju is atmospheric without being abstract (and includes the intriguing device of electronically processed traditional Japanese music as part of its fabric). The profoundly lyrical Wind Song, a subtle and melancholy, understated cello concerto of great lyricism and eloquence, is the high point of this disc, an intensely emotional work which continues the tradition of the Romantic concerto reimagined in an approachable contemporary idiom. Amherst Saxophone Quartet, Arcata String Quartet, The Ballet Arts Orchestra; Paul Chihara, Jeffrey Solow (cello), American Symphony Orchestra; Gerhard Samuel. New World 80597 (U.S.A.) 07E064 $16.98

SHULAMIT RAN (b.1949): Fantasy Variations for Cello, Soliloquy for Piano Trio, Verticals for Piano, Excursions for Piano Trio. In these passionate and emotionally involving chamber works, Ran may be seen as an exponent of a kind of neo-expressionism, loosely derived from the Second Viennese school, especially Berg. Although the harmonic language is very free and chromatic, there is always a sense of classical restraint and poise which structures even the most rhapsodic and emotionally extrovert passages (which abound in this deeply impassioned music). In her more recent works, there has been a noticeable tendency to employ modal melodic structures which pay direct homage to the composer's upbringing in the middle east - these long melismatic lines further extend her expressive vocabulary in the direction of human-scaled emotional intensity. Highly recommended. Natasha Brofsky (cello), The Peabody Trio. New World 80554 (U.S.A.) 07E065 $16.98

Malcolm Arnold - World Premiere Recordings!

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Rinaldo and Armida, Op. 49, Organ Concerto, Op. 47, Homage to the Queen, Op. 42a, Little Suite No. 2, Op. 78. Only the Little Suite has been recorded; the organ concerto (1954) is a compact, three-movement neo-baroque piece of 13 minutes in which the soloist is partnered with and within the orchestra and two piccolo trumpets join a third trumpet in the technique and style of Handel's baroque. Homage to the Queen, written for the 1953 coronation, is in the style of a divertissement, with the four elements paying homage to the Queen, introduced by Arnold in his finest pomp-and-ceremony mode while Rinaldo (1954) is a very dramatic setting of the Tasso story which uses leitmotifs throughout. Royal Aarhus Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock, Ulrik Spang-Hansen (organ). Classico CLASSCD 424 (Denmark) 07E066 $15.98

TOBIAS PICKER (b.1954): Thérèse Raquin. Zola's novel about the murder of a husband by his wife and lover and their guilt-ridden descent into madness offers a vehicle for American composer Tobias Picker for which he provides a melodic, often lyrical score with actual tunes, always attractive for the singers and for the audience. The first act, establishing the scene and covering the lovers' plotting and the actual murder, provides music of a baseline "normalcy" which is torn apart harmonically and rhythmically in the second act. As the setting is established and unseen tensions begin to rise in the first act, the music often becomes threateningly ostinato and one can't help calling the scores of Bernard Herrmann to mind. The second act begins with what appears to be 12-tone music but which is actually a distortion of a previous motif; as the guilty couple careen toward their double suicide, the music remains recognizable tonal but with considerable atmospheric touches which evoke fear, anguish and madness. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Sara Fulgoni (mezzo), Richard Bernstein (bass-baritone), Gordon Gietz (tenor), Diana Soviero (soprano), The Dallas Opera Orchestra; Graeme Jenkins. Chandos 9659 (England) 07E067 $33.98

ONDEJ KUKAL (b.1964): Symphony No. 1, Op. 15 "With Carillon", Chamber Symphony for String Orchestra, Op. 16, Concerto for Bassoon and Strings, Op. 14 "Fagottissimo". Around four years ago we offered another Kukal disc on this Czech label which demonstrated a fine, original composer who writes in a very tonal and approachable idiom. Here we have his first symphony (1996-99), a two-movement work which traces a path from inky darkness to blazing light (not a particularly new idea but executed here with great elan and vigor - the martial march-like segment of the second movement really riveting) using all of a good-sized orchestra's colors (Kukal is a conductor as well as a former violinist in the New Vlach Quartet) to produce a gripping new example of the symphonic genre. The Chamber Symphony (1999) is a single-movement, 20-minute work which sounds for all the world like one of the many angst-ridden, forboding pieces written for Paul Sacher's orchestra in the late 1930s. The concerto (1998) offers a variety of styles in its four movements, from a bracing neo-classicism to a moody, film noir score quality to a final movement which has more than a bit of the tango about it. All very attractive and approachable works which should inspire confidence in collectors of new orchestral music! Milan MuzikáÞ (bassoon), Radio Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Chamber Orchestra; OndÞej Kukal. Vars VA 0142-2 (Czech Republic) 07E068 $16.98 >

Music from the Fleisher Collection, Vol. 2

ELIE SIEGMEISTER (1909-1991): Clarinet Concerto, NORMAN DELLO JOIO (b.1914): Concertante for Clarinet and Orchestra, JACOB AVSHALOMOV (b.1919): Evocations for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, BURNET CORWIN TUTHILL (1888-1982): Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 33, FREDERICK SHEPHERD CONVERSE (1871-1940): Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra. Two of these five American works for clarinet and orchestra (the Siegmeister is a re-release) make use of the jazz/blues idiom in parts of their course: Siegmeister's almost throughout its four movements while Tuthill (his father designed Carnegie Hall) uses a blues in his introduction to the 8-minute rhapsody. Dello Joio's two-movement Concertante of 1949 has his characteristic melodic ease and expressiveness and Avshalomov, in 1947, writes absolute music which plays with a variety of rhythms and sonorities. The odd-man out is Converse, whose 7-minute piece, though written in 1938, is still firmly anchored in Brahmsian romanticism. Robert Alemany (clarinet), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta. Albany TROY 502 (U.S.A.) 07E069 $16.98

GUNNAR THYRESTAM (1900-1984): Symphony No. 2 "Sinfonia Bergslagiensis", KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): 3 Excerpts from Bergslagen Serenade, ERLAND VON KOCH (b.1910): Bergslag Overture, HILDING ROSENBERG (1892-1985): Den ljusa sommarnatten from Bergslagsbilder, KRISTINA FORSMAN (b.1970): Berg-slagen for Winds, Brass and Percussion, OLOV FRANZÉN (b.1946): 4 Realities for Narrator and Orchestra. This odd little offering from Sweden is of music celebrating the small central Swedish mining town of Bergslagen, most of it written for the semi-professional orchestra which performs it here. From the young and local (Forsman, a former member of the orchestra, whose Berg-slagen percussively depicts mining activity), to the more national but still obscure (Thyrestam, known mostly for choral music but whose commissioned overture was lengthened into a three-movement symphony with another musical depiction of mining for the first movement [shades of Iron Foundry here], a lovely pastoral second and a dance-like third), to the famous (the most folk-like three movements from Atterberg's 1922 serenade, Rosenberg's "The Bright Summer-Night" from a 1937 film-score for a movie about the region and von Koch's 1984 overture for the orchestra). The longest piece here, unfortunately for non-Swedish speakers, is Franzén's setting of four poems by Gunnar Ekelöf (the composer is also the reciter). Closest to the old genre of the melodrama, the text is supported by atmospheric music (of a modern, yet still approachable style) which also has much to do on its own without the narrator's involvement. Swedish texts. Bergslagen Chamber Orchestra; Glenn Mossop, Klas Sjöblom, Toomas Kapten. Nosag CD 060 (Sweden) 07E070 $16.98

Phono Suecia Overstocks - Very Limited Quantities (2-5 copies each)

JOHANNES JANSSON (b.1950): The Mutation of Death for Soprano and Orchestra, String Quartet No. 3, The Silver Call for Baritone and Piano, The Nightingale for Piano, 3 Movements for Solo Flute. Lena Selinder (soprano), Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Owain Arwel Hughes, Lysell Quartet, Ulf Lundmark (baritone), Stefan Bojsten (piano), others. Phono Suecia PSCD 104 (Sweden) 07E071 $5.98

GUNNAR BUCHT (b.1927): Piano Concerto, Georgica for Orchestra, 4 Chapters from One Spring I Went out into the World for Orchestra, Coup sur coup for Percussion. Hans Pålsson (piano), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Göran W. Nilson, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Leif Segerstam, Ola Karlsson, Kroumata Percussion Ensemble. Phono Suecia PSCD 103 (Sweden) 07E072 $5.98

JAN CARLSTEDT (b.1926): String Trio, Op. 5, Divertimento for Oboe and String Trio, Op. 17, Ballata for Solo Cello, Op. 18, Metamorphoses for Flute, Oboe and String Trio, Op. 30. Mats Zetterqvist (violin), Håkan Olsson (viola), Ewa Rydström (cello), Bengt Rosengren (oboe), Tobias Carron (flute). Phono Suecia PSCD 101 (Sweden) 07E073 $5.98

PETER BENGTSON (b.1961): The Maids. 2 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Anna Eklund-Tarantino (soprano), Eva Pilat (mezzo), Gunilla Söderström (alto), Members of the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Phono Suecia PSCD 96 (Sweden) 07E074 $11.98

LARS SANDBERG (b.1955): Ex-tent for Violin and Piano, Sign-Trace-Promise for Solo Violin, Dis-pensation for Piano, Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Vibraphone, 5 White Pieces for Lute, Re-Sonance for Chamber Orchestra, Steps and Paths for Marimba and Vibraphone. Various artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 89 (Sweden) 07E075 $5.98

HANS HOLEWA (1905-1991): Piano Concerto, Concertino VIII for Guitar and Chamber Ensemble, String Trio, Duettino for Violin and Guitar, Concertino IX for Soprano, Guitar and Chamber Ensemble, Duettino II for Flute and Guitar. José Ribera (piano), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Leif Segerstam, other artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 49 (Sweden) 07E076 $5.98

ANDERS HILLBORG (b.1954): Clang and Fury for Orchestra, Lamento for Clarinet and Strings, Celestial Mechanics for 17 Solo Strings and Percussion, Haut-Posaune for Trombone and Tape. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Chamber Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kari Krikku (clarinet), Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; Juha Kangas, Christian Lindberg (trombone). Phono Suecia PSCD 52 (Sweden) 07E077 $5.98

ANDERS NILSSON (b.1954): Ariel for Oboe and Orchestra, 5 Orchestral Pieces for Piano, Cadenze for Chamber Orchestra, Concerto per organo ed orchestra (Sinfonia concertante). Helén Jahren (oboe), Tapiola Sinfonietta; Bjarte Engeset, Roland Pöntinen (piano), KammarensembleN; Ansgar Krook, Erik Lungkvist (organ), Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Niklas Willén. Phono Suecia PSCD 53 (Sweden) 07E078 $5.98

OLE LÜTZOW-HOLM (b.1954): Chiaroscuro for Piano, Blind Evidence for Chamber Ensemble, Da sotto terra for Solo Violin, Sounding for Ensemble. Love Derwinger (piano), KammarensembleN; B. Tommy Andersson, Anna Lindal (violin), Ensemble Contrechamps; Zsolt Nagy. Phono Suecia PSCD 60 (Sweden) 07E079 $5.98

FOLKE RABE (b.1935): Tintomara for Trumpet and Trombone, 2 Strophes for Choir, Nature, Herd and the Relatives for Horn and Orchestra, Rondes for Chorus, Notturno for Mezzo Soprano, Flute, Oboe and Clarinet, to love for Choir, Pièce for Choir, Cyclone for Electronics, Basta for Trombone. Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Christian Lindberg (trombone), Sören Hermansson (horn), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Göran W. Nilsson, other artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 67 (Sweden) 07E080 $5.98

HANS GEFORS (b.1952): Christina-Scener for Mezzo Soprano, Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra, En Obol for Mezzo Soprano, Clarinet, Trumpet, Cello and Piano, Whales Weep Not! for Choir, L'Invitation au Voyage for Mezzo Soprano, Violin and Guitar. Swedish-English texts. Birgitta Svendén (mezzo), Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano), Per-Arne Wahlgren (baritone), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Niklas Willén, other artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 73 (Sweden) 07E081 $5.98

INGVAR KARKOFF (b.1958): Texture for Orchestra, Fenix for Orchestra, Carnavalito for Orchestra, A Siberian Tune for Solo Flute, Drömspel II for Violin and Piano, Variations on Gujarati for Brass Quintet. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, SAMI Sinfonietta; Leif Segerstam, others. Phono Suecia PSCD 88 (Sweden) 07E082 $5.98

KARIN REHNQVIST (b.1957): Davids nimm for 2 Sopranos and Mezzo Soprano, Kast for Chamber Orchestra, Taromirs tid for Chamber Orchestra, Puksånger-lockrop for 2 Sopranos and Percussion, Lamento for Orchestra. Susanne Rosenberg, Lena Willemark (sopranos), Agnete Christensen (mezzo), Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; Juha Kangas, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Göran W. Nilsson. Phono Suecia PSCD 85 (Sweden) 07E083 $5.98

ANDRÉ CHINI (b.1945): Mururoa for Violin and Orchestra, Trälåda for Percussion, Trilude for Piano Trio, Illusions/Allusions for Soprano, Oboe and String Quartet, Skål! Kayam! for Alto Guitar, Vårfloden for Piano. Nils-Erik Sparf (violin), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; André Chini, other artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 80 (Sweden) 07E084 $5.98

SVEN-ERIC JOHANSON (1919-1997): Symphony No. 10 "Symphony Chez nous", String Quartet No. 7, Trio for Clarinet, Cello andPiano. Göteborg Symphony Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist, Saga Quartet, others. Phono Suecia PSCD 76 (Sweden) 07E085 $5.98

SIEGFRIED NAUMANN (1919-2001): Il Cantico del Sole for Contralto, Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 8, Messa in onore della Madonna di Loreto for Mixed Choir, Organ and Percussion, Op. 11. Marianne Eklöf (contralto), Jan Arnholtz (baritone), Mikaeli Chamber Choir, Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Anders Eby, Malmö Chamber Choir, Lars-Erik Rosell (organ), Rainer Kuisma (percussion). Phono Suecia PSCD 34 (Sweden) 07E086 $5.98

BO NILSSON (b.1937): Brief an Gösta Oswald for Soprano, Alto Flute and Orchestra, 3 Szenen for Orchestra, Stuned eines Blocks for Soprano, Violin/Viola, Accordion, Trumpet and Percussion. Dorothy Dorow (soprano), Karl-Hernhard Sebon (alto flute), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Francis Travis, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Herbert Blomstedt, Jukka-Pekka Saraste & Leif Segerstam, others. Phono Suecia PSCD 33 (Sweden) 07E087 $5.98

JAN W. MORTHENSON (b.1940): 1984 for Electronic Instruments, Tape and Orchestra, Ancora for String Quartet, Strano for Wind Quintet and Tape. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Berwald Quartet, Aulos Quintet. Phono Suecia PSCD 26 (Sweden) 07E088 $5.98

ARNE MELLNÄS (b.1933): Nocturnes for Mezzo Soprano and Ensemble, Transparence for Orchestra, Rendez-Vous I for Clarinet and Bass Clarinet, L'Infinito for Choir. Maria Höglund (mezzo), Sonanza; Jan Risberg, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stig Westerberg, others. Phono Suecia PSCD 22 (Sweden) 07E089 $5.98

WERNER WOLF GLASER (b.1910): Divertimento No. 2 for Strings and Wind Quintet, Funeral Music for a Girl for Chamber Orchestra, Solo for Oboe, Linnea rezza for Solo Violin. Västerås Chamber Orchestra; Harry Damgaard, others. Phono Suecia PSCD 14 (Sweden) 07E090 $5.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909 -1996): Requiem for Nietzsche. Composed in 1964, this piece is unlike the majority of Holmboe's works and uses a more advanced or experimental musical sound world than one might be accustomed to from the symphonies, sinfoniettas, string quartets, etc. The basic material of the whole piece is a cell built on semitones, both melodically and in clusters and the choral parts encompass the whole range from whispers to mad shrieks. The text is a series of sonnets which integrated references to Nietzsche's life into a recreation of his mental struggles and final lapse into insanity. While still approachable to collectors of modern music, the audacious intensity of this Requiem will startle even regular Holmboe collectors and make it a must for all contemporary music fans. Danish-English texts. Helge Rønning (tenor), Johan Reuter (baritone), Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir; Michael Schønwandt. Dacapo 8.224207 (Denmark) 07E091 $15.98

ROLV YTTREHUS (b.1926): Symphony No. 1, ELIAS TANENBAUM (b.1924): Columbus, DAVID KOWALSKI (b.1956): Double Helix. Tanenbaum's evocative score Columbus brings together a wide variety of stylistic influences, from neo-classicism to deliberate evocation of early musical models (as befits the historical context of the subject of the piece) to romantic warmth and a very tonal level of consonance, most usually employed for coloristic purposes. Some exotic timbres are introduced through the empoyment of a tape part, hinting at an inner, psychological journey in addition to the geographical one. Kowalski's Double Helix is similarly based on tonal harmony, with a narrower range of references. The work has a very definite sense of direction, achieved more through sustained and overlapping patterns than functional harmony. Yttrehus' Symphony is a serial work, not unrelated in its construction to the larger orchestral works of the Second Viennese, with clear and finely etched counterpoint and a wide range of moods, expressed in timbres of evocative, non-programmatic economy and precision. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra; Joel Suben. MMC 2104 (U.S.A.) 07E092 $16.98

LEV ABELIOVICH (1912 -1985): Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 - 3 ; Frescoes, Books 1 & 2. Lev Abeliovich is yet another example of the extraordinary level of composition that was current in the Soviet Union under the Communist regime. Byelorussian and Jewish, his life was profoundly affected by the Second World War, and his harrowing wartime memories surface again and again in his music, which is serious, hard-edged and economical of means, strongly remininiscent of Shostakovich without sounding derivative. The frequent use of ostinato patterns and a propulsive drive and momentum give these works an obsessive quality, not infrequently leavened by flashes of gallows humor. The third sonata, and passages such as the limping, unstable 'requiem' from the first book of frescoes take us into an unsettling world of political and social uncertainty and danger, unerringly portrayed in music of the highest quality. 2 CDs. Special Price. Alexander Tutunov, piano. Altarus AIR-CD-9056. World premiere recording 07E093 $24.98

DOUGLAS LILBURN (1915 -2001): Symphonies Nos. 1-3. Collectors who don't own these works on hard-to-get New Zealand labels will be overjoyed to find a symphonist who combines the best of Sibelius and Vaughan Williams' responses to nature and produces music of austerity and exuberance which is inspired by the landscapes of his homeland but in which a depiction of a mountain range stands for heroic aspiration and the open sky for a passion for life. Even the slow sections are often pregnant with a potential joyous force waiting to burst out. More life-affirming music than this never existed. New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.555862 (New Zealand) 07E094 $6.98

KLAUS IB JØRGENSEN (b.1967): Parodos ("... and the lotos rose, quietly, quietly ...") for Accordion, Clarinet, Percussion, Piano and Cello, Cadenza for Accordion, Distortion - Commentary for 4 Accordions and Percussion, Kommos for 2 Accordions, Temperature for Accodion and Chamber Ensemble. These chamber and ensemble pieces with accordion solo explore the expressive - musical and technical - potential of the instrument, something of which there has been a far greater awareness in Scandinavia in the 20th century than in most other countries, for whatever reason. Jørgensen's music has a remarkable clarity and transparency, against which the accordion, with its wide dynamic range and organ-like sustaining ability, stands out in bold relief as an eloquent solo protagonist. Much of the music is based on tonal forms -especially the material on which "Distortion-commentary" is based, a mediæval monody. "Temperature", the most extended work, is especially striking, a restless fantasia suggesting images of molecules in perpetual activity through music of great thrust and dynamic contour. Various artists incl. The Classical Accordion Duo, ATHELAS Sinfonietta; Jean Thorel. Dacapo 8.224201 (Denmark) 07E095 $15.98

IRWIN BAZELON (1922-1995): Symphony No. 1, Early American Suite for Wind Quintet and Harpsichord, Suite from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. The first symphony (1961) is a single-movement work of half-an-hour whose raw-boned, brazen attack disguises the fact that the work is based almost entirely on jazz elements (phrasing, accents, moving bass lines, brush-drumming and more). Block use of brass and percussion add to the pulverizing effect with flutter-tonguing and glissandi in the former adding further touches of mania. At the other end of the spectrum is the 1965 Early American Suite, a light, charming, rhythmically inventive depiction of aspects of early American life. The music for a John Houseman production of The Merry Wives (1959) is a colorful succession of character sketches in music made bright and pungent by the lack of violins and basses. The Orchestra of Sofia; Harold Farberman. Albany TROY 508 (U.S.A.) 07E096 $16.

JUSTIN CONNOLLY (b.1933): Sonatina No. 2: Ennead, Op. 26 for Piano, Nocturnal, Op. 33 for Flutes, Piano, Double Bass and Percussion, Tesserae F: "Domination in Black", Op. 15f for Bass Clarinet, Scardanelli Dreams, Op. 37 for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano. Justin Connolly is a member of that generation of British composers that effectively predated the new complexity while exploring a wide range of compositional techniques in an idiom more modern than romantic, while still concerned with Romantic issues of visionary and expressive mysteries. All the works on this disc are in some way concerned with images of darkness and emotional shadows, and in the composer's clear and economical vocabulary, the imagery - almost programmtic at times, especially in the evocations of the sea in Nocturnal - is etched with graphic clarity. Connolly's music is the very opposite of abstract, an interesting comment on a style in which timbre and texture play so important a part in determining the sound of the composer's individual voice - one feels strongly that the technique is always placed firmly at the disposal of the emotional content - a very Romantic concept. German-English texts. Nicolas Hodges (piano), Nancy Ruffer (flutes), Corrado Canonici (double bass), Julian Warburton (percussion), Andrew Sparling (bass clarinet), Sue Anderson (mezzo). Metier MSV CD92046 (England) 07E097 $16.98

ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): El Éxtasis de Santa Teresa for Soprano and Ensemble, Bayoán for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra. These two dramatic cantatas by Puerto Rican composer Sierra emphasize color and vibrancy in keeping with the hothouse passions and lush emotional territory suggested by their texts. St. Teresa's famously sensual, even carnal, expressions of religious love are set in music of Ravelian vividness of color, leaving us in no doubt as to the passionate nature of her expression - there is little of somber reverence here, but much vitality and robust emotional tenderness. Bayoán explores a search for spiritual identity, again with much evocative local color, this time expressive of the love for a beloved homeland, both spiritual and geographical. Relatively conservative in idiom, Sierra's music is direct and accessible, warmly expressive and vital. Spanish-English texts. Angelina Reaux, Wonjung Kim (sopranos), Peter Stewart (baritone), Bronx Arts Ensemble Chorus and Orchestra; Yehuda Gilad, Guillermo Figueroa. Albany TROY 514 (U.S.A.) 07E098 $16.98

LÁSZLÓ MELIS (b.1953): Armenian Legend for Voice, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, String Trio, Double Bass, Piano and Percussion. Described as a 'dance cantata', this is a vibrant, colorful score in a very accessible, even popular, idiom. The composer makes use of Armenian rhythms, modes and texts, to provide unmistakable local color. Rhythmically energetic movements based on pounding percussion underpinning plangent melodic lines, long-breathed and with that unmistakable flavor of the east that pervades Armenian church and folk music, are obviously tailored to the dance element of the piece, and throughout the work, the sense of spectacle and vivid imagery conjure a strong spirit of place, similar to the several most enjoyable CDs of Giovanni Sollima that we have offered, who has done very similar things with bits of Italian hisory with remarkably simmilar musical means. Texts in English translation. Anna Mailyan (vocalist), Ensemble; László Melis. BMC CD 062 (Hungary) 07E099 $16.98

Editions Salabert recordings, now re-issued on Naïve Montaigne

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Oresteia. Xenakis composed around 100 minutes of music for a 1966 performance of a condensed version of Aeschylos' famous trilogy in Ypsilanti, Michigan (yes, really!) and later made a much smaller suite of music which was suitable for performance on its own. In 1987 he added Kassandra, a 14-minute piece for baritone who also plays a psaltery and a percussionist. This live recording was made that year after the first performance of this version. The ancient Greek texts are not provided, so it is hard to tell exactly how this ultra-abridgement holds together dramatically, but Xenakis' music, for an ensemble of childrens' choir, mixed choir, piccolo, oboe, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, tuba, two percussionists and cello, has the savagery and strangeness you would expect as he evokes the horror and fear of the pursuit of Fate which destroyed the house of Atreus. Original 1990 Salabert release. Spiros Sakkas (baritone), Sylvio Gualda (percussion), Choir of the University of Strasbourg Music Department, Maîtrise de Colmar, Ensemble Vocal d'Anjou, Ensemble de Basse-Normandie; Dominique Debart, Robert Weddle. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782151 (France) 07E100 $13.98

GIACINTO SCELSI (1915-1988): String Quartets Nos. 1-5, String Trio, Khoom for Piano and 6 Players. Spanning the period 1944-84, these works cover every major period in Scelsi's career with the first string quartet (1944) being the odd man out, its four movements containing both harmony and counterpoint although the language is both non-tonal and non-serial. The 1958 string trio was the first to focus on single pitches, varied by means of vibrati, tremolos, trills, quarter-tones, harmonics, mutes and other playing techniques. From then on, Scelsi was obsessed with discovering the "third dimension" of music: after pitch and duration, he felt the presence of depth, which made sound into the spherical shape which was the totem of his life (right down to his mystical signature) and which can only be appreciated fully by adopting the meditative capacities of inhabitants of the Far East which, through intense concentration on a single sound, its overtones, etc., can produce a state of profound serenity. This is what Scelsi always aimed at and this collection, using string instruments (the best for producing the sound qualities necessary), is required hearing for anyone interested in the composer. Excellent notes (one on the works, three on the composer and his musical concepts). 2 CDs. Original 1989 Salabert release. Arditti String Quartet, Michiko Hirayama (voice), Maurizio Ben Omar (percussion), Frank Lloyd (horn). Naïve/Montaigne MO 782156 (France) 07E101 $27.98

MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Sankt-Bach-Passion. From its harmonically ambiguous, Busonian opening, this large-scale work is a serious and obviously deeply felt tribute to Bach, placing him as the central historical figure in a work that genuinely functions like one of the great religious oratorios. This is one of Kagel's greatest works, and its innate seriousness of purpose may come as a surprise to those who are used to thinking of the composer as a teasing effects-monger, always ready with a witty allusion or experiment. This piece is not like that at all. An epic, using texts from Bach scholarship, the work stands as a major contribution to the literature that encompasses 20th-century opera, Gurrelieder, Summer's Last Will . . . and similar philosophical choral works since Bach himself. Recommended with a slightly unexpected lack of reservation to anyone with an interest in the art of making big statements in music. 2 CDs. Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (tenor), Roland Hermann (baritone), Peter Roggisch (speaker), Gerd Zacher (organ), Limburger Domsingknaben, NDR Choir Hamburg, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Mauricio Kagel. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782157 (France) 07E102 $27.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Quartetto, Quartetto in due tempi, Cadenza for Violin and String Trio, Widmung for Violin, Dialodia for 2 Violins, Pièce pour Ivry for Violin, Viola for Viola, Ständchen for Violin and Viola. The early quartet from 1946 is a real surprise - there is nothing here remotely to the modern side of Bartók, and the work as a whole shows a young composer working within the classical quartet idiom. Of course, by a decade later, things had changed considerably, but even in the later works the composer's thorough grounding in earlier music, the increased austerity and harmonic economy never detract from a strong sense of historical perspective, nor from the essentially singing quality of Maderna's melodic gift The subtlety and rarefaction of the later pieces is as remarkable as their understated purity and beauty of emotional utterance. Arditt String Quartet. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782158 (France) 07E103 $13.98

PASCAL DUSAPIN (b.1955): Comdia I, II & III for Soprano and 6 Players, Fist for 8 Players, Aria for Clarinet and 13 Players, Hop for 4 x 3 Players, Aks for Mezzo-Soprano and 7 Players, Coda for 13 Players, Attacca for 2 Trumpets and Timpanist. These pieces share a bright clarity and directness of speech, partly derived from the composer's finely attuned sense of spatial relations and an almost classical feel for interacting sonorities within instrumental groupings. In their own ways, they have a dramatic dynamism, either derived from close-textured, restlessly moving music as in Fist and Hop, or from the mysterious, mystical and dreamlike flow of consciouness expressed in the vocal works, especially Aks, with its emphasis on sensuality and timbre. Françoise Kubler (mezzo), Armand Angster (clarinet), Ars Nova; Philippe Nahon. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782150 (France) 07E104 $13.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 22 - Einzugs-Marsch, Op. 171, Die Veteranen, Op. 29, Patti-Polka, Op. 134, Die Sonderlinge, Op. 111, Die Kosende, Op. 100, Rendezvous-Quadrille, Op. 11, Lock-Polka, Op. 233, Die Zufälligen, Op. 85, Elfen-Polka, Op. 74, Flinserln, Op. 5, Sofien-Quadrille, Op. 137. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Albert Geyer. Marco Polo 8.223624 (New Zealand) 07E105 $15.98

ADOLPH DEUTSCH (1897-1980): Suites from Scores to the Films The Maltese Falcon, George Washington Slept Here, High Sierra, Northern Pursuit, The Mask of Dimitrios. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225169 (New Zealand) 07E106 $15.98

ERIC COATES (1886-1957): Cinderella, The Selfish Giant, The Three Bears, Miniature Suite, London (London Everyday), Joyous Youth, The Dam Busters March. With the exception of the Dam Buster's March and London (London Everyday), this disc, titled "The Symphonic Eric Coates", is concerned with the larger-scale compositions of this estimable tunesmith. The first three works listed above are suites inspired by the stories Coates' wife used to read to his son and each of them follows the storyline in such a way as to make it easy for the listener to follow the action. The Miniature Suite and Joyous Youth are youthful works imbued with a sense of well-being but it can be easily said that everything here is full of joyous optimism, orchestral color and Coates' inimitable melodic flair. BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 9869 (England) 07E107 $16.98

DAVID WATTS (b.1952): Metropolis, CHRISTOPHER GUNNING (b.1944): Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra "Hungerford Bridge", PHYLLIS TATE (1911-1985): London Fields, HAYDN WOOD (1882-1959): London Landmarks, ANGELA MORLEY (b.1923): Rotten Row, PHILIP LANE (b.1950): London Salute, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): Festival of London March. The latest in ASV's series of British Light Music mixes the brand-new with the old in music inspired by London: Watts' 1999 Metropolis is a four-movement depiction of the city ("Boom and Bust", "Solar City", "Street Scene" and "The City Never Sleeps") while Gunning's concerto of 1998, inspired by the sound of a saxophone heard on the bridge of the sub-title, is, like Vaughan Williams' London Symphony, a dawn-to-dusk depiction of the rumbustious metropolis. At 19 minutes each, they are the largest-scale pieces here, the remainder being suites (Tate - 1958 and Wood - 1946) describing geographical locales and brief, fanfare or march pieces written for ceremonial occasions. Mid-price. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland, Academy of St. Martin inthe Fields; John Harle (sax), Christopher Gunning, Paul Lewis. ASV White Line WHL 2138 (England) 07E108 $11.98


This 1957 Hi-Fi LP featured Gould in his popular guise as conductor/arranger. Eight pieces by Ernesto Lecuona made up the first side and the second side consisted of Hawaiian War Chant, Falla's Ritual Fire Dance, Ellington's Caravan, Gould's own Tropical, Villa-Lobos' famous Little Train of the Caipira, Mooney's Swamp Fire and Fernandez' Batuque. Percussion is to the fore and the wide sound image is typical of early "hi-fi stereo". This CD comes from Spanish RCA, of all places! RCA 74321 91427 2 (Spain) 07E109 $12.98 >

WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Concerto for Violin and Large Chamber Orchestra, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61. This archive release celebrates the violinist who became concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 19 in 1941. Fortner wrote his concerto for Taschner in 1947 and several successes prompted Furtwängler to invite the latter to perform it with the Berlin Phil in 1949, at one of whose concerts this recording was made. The work is in three movements, lasting some 22 minutes, and is in a Hindemithian neo-classical style with a motoric drive and difficult rhythms in its outer movements and a pungently chromatic slow movement. Very good sound both for this and for the 39-year-old Solti's first recorded Beethoven concerto from three years later. Mono. Gerhard Taschner (violin), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Wilhelm Furtwängler (12/18/49), Georg Solti (3/24/52). MD&G Archive 642 1113-2 (Germany) 07E110 $17.98