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Bernard Zweers

Symphony No. 2

BERNARD ZWEERS (1854-1924): Symphony No. 2 in E Flat, Concert Overture Saskia, Suite from the Incidental Music for Vondel's "Gijsbrecht van Aemstel". The first "Dutch Romanticism" release from Sterling! Diepenbrock and this composer were of similar age but Zweers was known as the more nationalistic of the two (his third symphony "To My Fatherland" is his best-known work). The second symphony (1883) opens with a first movement which has the surging energetic optimism of Schumann's Rhenish symphony. The andante sounds strangely like an import from a Russian ballet and the following allegretto is not too different in style while we're back to robust, Germanic music in the finale. The fill-ups are an overture (1906) and five preludes (1892) from theatre works based on nationalistic Dutch texts. Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra; Antoni Wit, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland; Jean Fournet, Lucas Vis. Sterling CDS-1061-2 (Sweden) 07G001 $16.98


For the first time ever, we are having a sale for orders received between Aug. 17 and Sept. 17. The labels on sale are: cpo ($12.98), the Naïve family - Montaigne, Valois, Astrée, Naïve and Opus 111 ($14.98, mid-price $11.98), Hyperion ($14.98, mid-price Helios $8.98) and Harmonia Mundi ($14.98, Curiosita $10.98, budget-price $5.98). Catalogues are available only from cpo and Naïve; print-outs available for the other labels.

NOTE: July and August new releases are not part of the sale! This is a back-catalogue sale! Please let us know if you want catalogues/print-outs this month and they will be shipped with your July order or, if you don't order in July, along with your August catalogue.

Some notes about SACD Hybrid CDs:

The hybrids we've offered so far (BIS, Albany, cpo) are the same price as regular CDs. Not all record labels do this; this month we have Chandos and Channel Classics hybrids which are several dollars more expensive. There appears to be no reason for this but these titles are not available in any other format (all Channel Classics discs will be expensive hybrids from now on). So, if you want 'em, here they are. We're not carrying many since we can't gauge the demand but availability is not an issue.

www.recordsinternational.com e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com

OTTO KLEMPERER (1885-1973): Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Merry Waltz, Marcia funèbre, Recollections, Scherzo. Klemperer's symphonies are as much unlike his conducting style and repertoire as Furtwängler's are like his own. Mahler is almost always in the background, mostly in details of orchestration but also in the funeral march theme which begins the first symphony (1961) but, unlike Mahler, the theme is finished after less than a minute. A banal-sounding second subject could have been a theme for an American TV western of the early 60s; the second of the work's two movements is a set of variations on the Marseillaise - which you don't realize until past halfway when the thing blurts out in a Shostakovichian satirical way. It's almost like Ives is fighting his way out of Klemperer's subconscious. The second symphony (1968) will be familiar to diehard collectors from its EMI LP and CD issues with the composer conducting and they will know its many Mahlerian moments which suddenly disappear just when you think that Klemperer is into something on that kind of scale; its odd scherzo with the gemütlich horn-led trio; its twelve-tone fugal finale - also alarmingly short... But they will now get to hear the original middle movements of the symphony which Klemperer substituted with the ones in both recordings: a Recollections with a quote of Brahms' Third Symphony and which sounds like one is inside the mind of a half-awake conductor, hearing his dreams, and a scherzo which is the most fully Mahlerian piece here. Filling out the disc, in addition to the Merry Waltz which was the second symphony's EMI disc-mate, is a funeral march from a 60s opera named Thamar - very atmospheric and gloomy in its concise four minutes. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Alun Francis. CPO 999 987 (Germany) 07G002 $15.98

JOSEPH MARX (1882-1964): 11 Songs for High Voice and Orchestra, 6 Songs for Middle Voice and Orchestra, Verklärtes Jahr for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. With this disc of orchestral songs (Verklärtes Jahr is a cycle from 1930-32, the others orchestrations of piano originals from twenty years earlier), Marx takes his place alongside Mahler, Richard Strauss, Schreker and Korngold with his shimmering colors and harmonies and late Romantic melodic richness. German-English texts. Angela Maria Blasi (soprano), Stella Doufexis (mezzo), Bochum Symphony Orchestra; Steven Sloane. ASV DCA 1164 (England) 07G003 $17.98

ANDRÉS ISASI (1890-1940): Symphony No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 23, Suite No. 2 in E, Op. 21. We first met this composer in one of Claves' series of Basque music recordings. This purely orchestral disc is even more attractive. The symphony (1931) is a full-length (44 minutes) work in the traditional four movements and in a Central European style which has nothing to do with the Iberian peninsula. Flowing, often upwardly-surging melody characterizes much of its outer movements and a heartfelt Straussian lyricism runs throughout but especially in its slow movement with a solo violin weaving lovely lines of melody. The 12-minute suite is lighter and more piquant in its three movements (Idyll, Burleske and Fugue) but not much less enjoyable. Bilbao Symphony Orchestra; Juan José Mena. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557584 (New Zealand) 07G004 $6.98

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): The Turtle for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 5, Piano Concerto No. 4 "Northern Lights", Op. 130. Most of you will have purchased the Naxos recording coupling these two piano concertos. We offer this disc for its very unusual third item - a 29-minute setting of a prose excerpt from Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (the turtle crossing a highway in Chapter 3) which Tveitt composed with Flagstad's voice in mind (the notes give no date, so it was before her death in 1962) although she never attempted it. For all the ephemeral quality of the scene Steinbeck describes, Tveitt constructs a gripping dramatic scene using the resources of a large orchestra to vividly paint the action in a manner having nothing to do with his usual Old Norse influences. In fact, there is much in the piece to compare with Barber's Knoxville although Tveitt is not as richly romantic (but who is, compared to Barber?). Text included. Ingebjørg Kosmo (mezzo), Sveinung Bjelland (piano), Håkon Austbø (piano, Op. 130), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS CD-1397 (Sweden) 07G005 $17.98

Bach Transcriptions by Conductors

STANISLAW SKROWACZEWSKI (b.1923): Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565, EUGENE ORMANDY (1899-1985): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, ERICH LEINSDORF (1912-1993): Herzlich tut mich verlangen, HENRY WOOD (1869-1944): Suite No. 6 for Full Orchestra, MALCOLM SARGENT (1895-1967): Air on the G String, JOHN BARBIROLLI (1899-1970): Sheep May Safely Graze, DIMITRI MITROPOULOS (1896-1960): Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542, VITTORIO GUI (1885-1975): Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, OTTO KLEMPERER (1885-1973): Bist du bei mir?, WALTER DAMROSCH (1862-1950): A Mighty Fortress is Our God. Five first recordings (in the digital domain, probably more than that). BBC Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin. Chandos SACD Hybrid CHSA 5030 (England) 07G006 $24.98

ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): North American Square Dance, JEAN COULTHARD (1908-2000): Excursion - Ballet Suite, DOUGLAS LILBURN (1915-2001): Diversions for Strings, GEORGE DREYFUS (b.1928): Serenade for Small Orchestra, PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Rustic Dance, Eastern Intermezzo, Colonial Song, Gay but Wistful, The Gum-suckers' March. Most of this music by Australian, New Zealand and Canadian composers is light music or on the border thereof. Lilburn's short suite from 1947, written for a tour by the Boyd Neel Orchestra, has the character of English string serenades; Dreyfus' five-minute piece (1967), colorfully orchestrated, was written for Australian youth orchestras; Benjamin's is a suite of American and Canadian fiddle tunes and Coulthard's a sentimental recollection of youthful holidays. Symphony Nova Scotia; Georg Tintner. Original 1990 CBC release. Naxos Tintner Memorial Edition 8.557244 (New Zealand) 07G007 $6.98

EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): The Dawn of Spring, Op. 12, Symphonic Epilogue, Op. 108, For Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra: Leben, Traum und Tod, Op. 55, Ode an die Musik, Op. 92, For Soprano and Orchestra: Lied der Welt, Op. 54, Vision, Op. 99, 5 Sonnets of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Op. 52. While waiting for the next volume in cpo's symphony cycle (due next month), this predominantly vocal release greatly fills out our picture of this important 20th century composer. The Dawn of Spring is one of Wellesz' earliest works, an eight-minute piece from 1912 whose heady atmosphere of expressionism calls to mind similar works from that period by Rudi Stephan, Zemlinsky or Schreker. The Browning settings are not unlike early Schoenberg (Erwartung for example) while the two closely following opus numbers have the emotional swell of Mahler or Strauss. Then, we jump to the 1960s and the composer's late, stripped-down style - still expressionist at heart although more atonal, intense and less easy on the ear although no less rewarding, especially for those who want to follow the Second Viennese School down to the early 1970s. German-English texts. Regina Klepper (soprano), Sophie Koch (mezzo), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Roger Epple. Capriccio 67 077 (Germany) 07G008 $16.98

EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Octet for Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and String Quintet, Op. 67, Geistliches Lied for Medium Voice, Violin, Viola and Piano, Op. 23, 5 Cherry Blossom Songs, Op. 8, BERTHOLD GOLDSCHMIDT (1903-1996): Fantasy for Oboe, Cello and Harp, The Old Ships for Baritone and Piano, HANS GÁL (1890-1987): Violin Sonata in B Flat Minor, Op. 17, 5 Songs for Medium Voice and Piano, Op. 33, MÁTYÁS SEIBER (1905-1960): Violin Sonata, Op. 17, FRANZ REIZENSTEIN (1911-1968): Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn, VILÉM TAUSKY (b.1910): Coventry - A Meditation for String Quartet, PETER GELLHORN (1912-2004): Intermezzo for Violin and Piano, LEOPOLD SPINNER (1906-1980): 2 kleine Stücke for Violin and Piano, KARL RANKL (1898-1968): They from War, Op. 10, Böhmisches Rekrutenlied from Op. 6, The Whim all for Baritone and Piano. Recorded in association with a 2002 series of concerts at the Wigmore Hall in London entitled "Continental Britons - The Émigré Composers", this new release offers an overview of the Jewish composers who fled to England during the 1930s and remained there for the rest of their lives. The largest-scale works are Wellesz' 1948 octet (Austrian late Romanticism wearing some Second Viennese clothing), Gál's 1920 sonata (sweely expressionistic... is that an oxymoron?) and Seiber's 1960 sonata (bracing yet atonal) but all the pieces repay listening and open a window onto a group of composers who are less well-known than they should be. 2 CDs. Mid-price. No song texts. Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, Christian Immler (baritone), Erik Levi, Konstantin Lifschitz (piano), Paul Silverthorne (viola), Nurit Pacht (violin). Nimbus NI 5730/1 (England) 07G009 $22.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 29, FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Chamber Symphony. Recorded on London's Entartete Musik series back in 1997 and out of print, Krenek's first violin concerto (1924) is an anxious, tense, dark work of considerable intensity with Schoenberg and late Romanticism in an uneasy balance and contrasts tellingly with Schreker's expressionistic, colorful orchestral opulence. Hanna Weinmeister (violin), Musikkollegium Winterthur; Heinrich Schiff. Farao Classics B 108014 (Germany) 07G010 $16.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Sonatine, Op. 5/1, 12 Variations in 3 Movements, Op. 79, Piano Piece in Seven Parts, Op. 197, Echoes from Austria, Op. 166, Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 240. This useful release contains milestones from 68 years of Krenek's composing career. The Sonatine (1920) is still tonal, if brittle and written with extreme brevity, the 12 Variations (1937) a landmark in composition using classic Schoenbergian dodecaphonic methods, the sneakily modernized Echoes (1958) in which artless ländler receive contrapuntal treatment, the Piano Piece (1967), superficially structured in mirror-image form (like the Variations) but playfully chaotic in its variance of meter and juxtapositon of tonal and atonal events and, finally, the 1988 sonata which is facile, motivically clear yet pervaded with a characteristic melancholy. Till Alexander Körber (piano). Capriccio 67 078 (Germany) 07G011 $16.98

ALEXANDER TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977): Symphony No. 2, Op. 77, Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22, Suite for Orchestra, Op. 87. The concerto dates from 1923 (mono recording from 1961) and is a single-movement work in the composer's signature nine-step scale, polyphonic, brittle and spiky in the manner of similar works of the period by Prokofiev and Ravel. The symphony (1951 and a stereo recording from 1965) is a four-movement work of 24 minutes which is colored by Tcherepnin's post-war emotions and experiences in Paris (the piece was commissioned in 1945 but it took him six years to complete it), with grief, despair and hope mixing together in a welter of emotions. The suite (1953 and a mono recording from 1954) is a four-movement ("Idylle", "Conflicts", "Nostalgia" and "Rondo") depicting life in a city and contains both concrete depictions of, e.g. bird sounds and church bells, and abstract suggestions of states of mind and emotion. Alexander Tcherepnin (piano), Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney. First Edition Music FECD-0024 (U.S.A.) 07G012 $17.98

KAREL HUSA (b.1921): The Trojan Women, 2 Sonnets from Michelangelo. The Sonnets (1971) is a pair of short musical responses to two of the Italian artist's poems, "The Night" and "To God", which use free atonality to represent the thoughts and feelings conveyed in the texts (included with translations). Lasting 44 minutes, the 1980 ballet covers several events concerning the survivors of the sack of Troy before they are led off into slavery and the music here too is often atonal, sometimes depending on modern techniques to produce striking effects of sonority (which could be said too of the Sonnets), while still containing the necessary rhythms the genre requires above all. Louisville Orchestra; Akira Endo, Jorge Mester. First Edition Music FECD-0023 (U.S.A.) 07G013 $17.98

DOMENICO BELLI (?-1627): Aria di Fiorenza, Ardo, Occhi belli occhi celesti, O miei giorni fugaci, Vergine bella, Anima ohimè, Voi pur da me partite, Di vostri occhi, Qui fra mille trofei, Occhi belli a me severi, Apre l'huomo infelice, LORENZO ALLEGRI (c.1573-1648): Ballo del Ninfe, Ballo della Serena, GIOVANNI BATTISTA BUONAMENTE (?-1642): The award stickers from the French press with which labels are proud to adorn their discs completely cover the front of this 1999 release of music by the most radical monodist of the early 17th century, whose vocal works focus on the pain of sorrow and fear of death in a style which was considered practically unsingable at the time. Italian-English texts. Guillemette Laurens (voice), Le Poème Harmonique. Alpha 002 (France) 07G014 $15.98

GIOVANNI GIROLAMO KAPSBERGER (1580-1651): 18 Villanellas and Arie passegiate, 4 Sinfonie à 4. A carefully chosen mixture of "common peoples'" music - the villanella and the chromatically virtuosic arie punctuated by several early instrumental pieces which are, in effect, sonatas for two instruments and continuo. Italian-English texts. Johanette Zoner (soprano), Pino de Vittorio, Hans-Jörg Mammel (tenors), L'Arpeggiata; Christina Pluhar. Alpha 012 (France) 07G015 $15.98

NICOLAUS À KEMPIS (c.1600-1676): 11 Symphoniae and 7 Motets. This Flemish composer was the first in northern Europe to write violin sonatas and trio sonatas (in the 1640s, under the name Symphoniae) which are in the virtuoso and colorful Italian style while his motets are more in the subdued, traditional Northern European style. Texts included. Céline Scheen (soprano), Stephan Van Dyck (tenor), Dirk Snellings (bass), Ensemble Clematis; Stéphanie de Failly. Musica Ficta MF 8007 (Belgium) 07G016 $15.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): Roland. Dating from 1685, this was Lully's next-to-last opera, by contemporary accounts his favorite and successful enough that it was performed in Paris regularly until 1750. Brilliant characterization of the title hero, often through imaginative uses of keys, multiple divertissements to enrich the action with splashes of color and the grand style demanded by the court of the Sun King make this work a must-have for all baroque specialists. 3 CDs. Mid-price. French-English libretto. Nicolas Testé (bass), Monique Zanetti, Anna-Maria Panzanella (sopranos), Olivier Dumait, Robert Getchell (countertenors), Lausanne Opera Chorus, Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. Ambroisie AMB 9949 (France) 07G017 $38.98

ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1644-1682): La Susanna. By the time this oratorio was composed in 1681, Stradella had already written all of his operas and his skill in depicting character, in counterpoint and in dramatic style were at their peak and the tale of the virtuous wife wrongly accused by two sex-crazed old judges gave him the material he needed to create a vivid representation which is a dramma per musica in all but name. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Emanuela Galli, Barbara Zanichelli (sopranos), Roberto Balconi (countertenor), Luca Dordolo (tenor), Matteo Bellotto (bass), Ensemble Aurora; Enrico Gatti. Glossa GCD 921201 (Spain) 07G018 $35.98

IGNAZIO ALBERTINI (c.1644-1685): 10 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo. Another composer to add to the short list of those who ended their lives by being murdered, Albertini appears to have spent most of his career in Vienna. His music shares northern traits with such other Austrian composers as Schmelzer and Biber with technical demands being high, with strong contrasts and smooth transitions and with highly rhythmic sections of virtuosic, dance-like character. Hélène Schmitt (violin), Jörg-Andreas Bötticher (harpsichord, organ), Karl-Ernst Schröder (theorbo), David Sinclair (violone). Alpha 028 (France) 07G019 $15.98

CARLO AMBROGIO LONATI (c.1645-c.1710): 6 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo. Lonati stands out too: while in his service to Queen Christina in Rome, he was known as "The Queen's Hunchback". From his sonatas, it is clear that Lonati was one of the most brilliant violinists of his time (which Veracini was happy to confirm later in the 18th century). Half of his only 12 existing sonatas are recorded here, two in scordatura tuning, one with an opening chaconne which itself is half again as long as any of the other sonatas and which contain such a plethora of bowing and fingering problems that Lonati might well also be called the Locatelli of the 17th century. Christoph Timpe (violin), Accademia per Musica. Capriccio 67 075 (Germany) 07G020 $16.98

JOHANN PAUL VON WESTHOFF (1656-1705): 6 Suites for Solo Violin, Suite in A for Solo Violin. These are the first multi-movement works in existence for solo violin and date from 1683 and 1696 (the six suites), the first steps in the genre which would lead to Bach's masterpieces. Westhoff was clearly a brilliant violinist and these pieces remain rare not only because of the checkered history and quality of the sources but also because of their demands on left-hand technique. Kolja Lessing (violin). Capriccio 67 083 (Germany) 07G021 $16.98

PHILIPP HEINRICH ERLEBACH (1657-1714): Ouverture No. 5 in F, Ouverture No. 6 in G Minor, Sonata Seconda in E Minor for Violin, Viola da Gamba and Continuo, Sonata Terza in A for Violino Discordato, Viola da Gamba and Continuo. Of Erlebach's 120 instrumental works only 12 survive, six each of overtures (1693) and sonatas (1694), so this is a pretty representative section. He was the only German composer of his period to produce overtures in the style of Lully while his sonatas are very Italian in their craftsmanship, making Erlebach one of the earliest composers to unite both with the folk music elements of his native Germany. Berliner Barock-Compagney. Capriccio 67 074 (Germany) 07G022 $16.98

JOHANN JOSEPH FUX (1660-1741): Ouvertures in D Minor, B Flat, G Minor & in B Flat. Fux remains one of the most neglected Austrian baroque composers, especially with regard to his instrumental music, making this new release of four orchestral suites (mixing Italian and French styles with native Austrian folk flavor) particularly welcome to baroque music collectors. Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht. Passacaille 905 (Belgium) 07G023 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Cantatas: O mie porpore più belle, RV 685, Alla caccia dell'alma e de' cori, RV 670, Amor, hai vinto, RV 683, Care selve, amici prati, RV 671, Cessate, omai cessate, RV 684. These "opera scenes in miniature" make the ultimate expressive demands on the vocalist, eschewing the superficial virtuosity which often informs Vivaldi's soprano voice cantatas in which the star castrati had to be catered for. Italian-English texts. Max Emanuel Cencic (countertenor), Ornamente 99; Karsten Erik Ose. Capriccio 67 072 (Germany) 07G024 $16.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): 6 Orchestral Suites after "Die Kleine Kammermusik". In 1716 Telemann produced a set of six "partitas" consisting of a prelude followed by six "arias", many of which were dances of bold, national folkloric character. Sometime between then and 1728, he orchestrated these pieces and provided each of them with a new French overture, turning ten-minute suites into 19-17-minute suites, each with their own striking and affective character. This is the world premiere recording of these orchestrations. 2 CDs. La Stagione Frankfurt; Michael Schneider. CPO 999 994 (Germany) 07G025 $31.98

FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (1687-1762): The Enchanted Forest, Concerti grossi in B Flat & in D Minor, Op. 7, Nos. 6 & 4. "The Inchanted Forrest", to give it the composer's own spelling, was a 33-minute long work in concerto grosso style intended to accompany a dance pantomime based on Tasso's "Gerusalemme liberata" so one could call it a late baroque tone poem. The 1746 concerti are unusual for their formal design as well as content, at times suggesting the early style of Boccherini! La Stagione Frankfurt; Michael Schneider. Capriccio 67 081 (Germany) 07G026 $16.98

Apocryphal Bach Cantatas, Vol. 2

Uns ist ein Kind geboren, BWV 142 (?), Das ist je gewißlich wahr, BWV 141 (Telemann), Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hölle lassen BWV 15 (Johann Ludwig Bach [1677-1731]), Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt, BWV 160 (Telemann). Another revival of worthy cantatas (after all, once worthy enough to have been thought to be Bach's) which have fallen by the performance and recording wayside after their authenticity began to be questioned in the 20th century. German-English texts. Dorothee Mields (soprano), Henning Voss (alto), Henning Kaiser (tenor), Ralf Grobe (bass), Alsfelder Vocal Ensemble, I Febiarmonici; Wolfgang Helbich. CPO 999 985 (Germany) 07G027 $15.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)/JOHN CHRISTOPHER SMITH (1712-1795): Gideon. Smith was Handel's friend, collaborator and heir to his manuscripts after his death, enabling him to produce three pastiches (Nabal has already been recorded) like this one from 1769. Most of the music comes from Handel operas and oratorios while the overture and six vocal items were taken from Smith's opera Dario of 1746. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Barbara Hannigan, Linda Perillo (sopranos), Knut Schoch (tenor), David Cordier (countertenor), Junge Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra; Joachim Carlos Martini. Naxos 8.557312-13 (New Zealand) 07G028 $13.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): La Diavolessa. Dating from 1755, only a year after their most successful opera buffa (Il filosofo di campagna), this Galuppi/Goldoni collaboration catches both composer and librettist at the height of their creativity, the quality of the text allowing Galuppi to wed character with music in a manner uncommon for the genre. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Kremena Dilcheva (alto), Matthias Vieweg (baritone), Tom Allen (tenor), Lautten Compangey Berlin; Wolfgang Katschner. CPO 999 947 (Germany) 07G029 $31.98

CHARLES AVISON (1709-1770): Concertos after Scarlatti Sonatas Nos. 3, 5, 6, 9, 11 & 12. The immense popularity among both amateurs and professionals in England inspired Avison to produce in 1744 a dozen concerti grossi whose movements were transcribed from various movements of Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas (and, in several cases, movements composed by Avison himself). Avison was a popular and successful composer in his own right and he was excellent in capturing the spirit and fire as well as the delicacy of the Italian composer. Cafe Zimmer-mann. Alpha 031 (France) 07G030 $15.98

CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723-1787): 6 Concertos for Flute and Strings, Op. 6. Those nostalgic for the "good old days" (of way back to 30 years ago) will enjoy this performance of all but one of Abel's flute concertos - melodic, lively galant pieces from before 1758 or 1759 with expressive arioso slow movements - on modern instruments with the orchestra that pioneered the baroque rediscovery back in the 60s. Edward Beckett (flute), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. ASV DCA 1178 (England) 07G031 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): St. John Passion. Dating from 1772 when Bach was musical director in Hamburg, this passion setting is actually a pastiche, the majority of its music taken from a 1741 Telemann setting of the same Gospel story, with four arias and duets by Stölzel, a closing chorus from his father's version and two newly composed arias of his own. The source is from the recently returned archives of the Berlin Singakademie which were plundered by the Soviets at the end of the Second World War. 2 CDs. German-English texts. Elisabeth Scholl (soprano), Alexadnra Petersamer (contralto), Gunnar Gudbjörnsson (tenor), Jochen Kupfer (bass), Zelter Ensemble of the Singakademie Berlin, Capriccio Baroque Orchestra Basel; Joshard Daus. Capriccio 60 103 (Germany) 07G032 $29.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 11 - Sonatas in B Flat, W.65/20, in C, W.65/16 & in G Minor, W.65/17, Fantasia in E Flat, H.348. All of these works from 1746-7 have elements of the Fantasy about them - long, sweeping roulades and rhythmic vagaries, unmeasured passages - as well as passages which suggest dramatic recitatives and opera dialogues and the copy of a 1749 Silbermann fortepiano helps bring out their revolutionary qualities. Miklós Spányi (fortepiano). BIS CD-1195 (Sweden) 07G033 $17.98

FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Sinfonia à più stromenti in C Minor, Op. 6/3, Symphonie à grand orchestre "La Chasse" in D, Op. 15/3, Symphonie à 17 parties in F, Symphonie concertante du ballet de "Mirza" for Violin, Flute and Orchestra. This excitingly played recording by one of the world's top period-instrument ensembles does full justice to four of Gossec's over-60 symphonies, selected to cover his entire compositonal career from 1762 to the magnificent, large-scale Symphonie à 17 parties of 1809. Worth having even if you have some of these symphonies on ASV with the modern-instrument Orchestre de Bretagne. Concerto Köln. Capriccio 67 073 (Germany) 07G034 $16.98

FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): 6 String Quartets, Op. 15. Dating from 1772, these quartets are among the first examples of their genre in France. In two-movement form (like many of the same period by Boccherini or Saint-Georges), they follow an allegretto or larghetto with either a minuet or an anglaise. Demonstr-ating the cosmopolitanism prevalent in Paris at the time, these quartets sample the expressiveness and dynamic play of the Mannheim school, the simplicity and charm of the French school and the melodic elegance and harmonic refinement of Haydn and Mozart. Quatuor Ad Fontes. Alpha 025 (France) 07G035 $15.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): La Frascatana. It's been a good run for Paisiello lately and this 1774 comic opera with the usual tangle of competing lovers and would-be lovers continues it. Remarkably, for a period when operas were rarely given twice, this work had a performance history (documented in the notes) lasting 35 years after its premiere and all over Europe. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Katia Velletaz (soprano), Laurent Dami (tenor), Michele Govi (baritone), Geneva Chamber Orchestra; Franco Trinca. Bongiovanni GB 2358/59 (Italy) 07G036 $33.98

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): La passione di nostro Signore Gesu Cristo. The young Salieri producd this setting of Metastasio's Passion poem in 1776. Covering events after the crucifixion and burial but before the resurrection, the work derives its drama and intensity from accounts by eyewitnesses and Salieri makes good use of conventional operatic techniques (recitative-aria and solo-chorus) to convey a quasi-operatic drama. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Melba Ramos (soprano), Franziska Gottwald (contralto), Florian Mock (tenor), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass), Das Neue Orchester; Christoph Spering. Capriccio 60 100 (Germany) 07G037 $29.98

ANTONIN VRANICKY (1761-1820): Trio in C for 2 Oboes and English Horn, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Trio in C for 2 Oboes and English Horn, Op. 87, Variations on "Là ci darem la mano", WoO 28. Dating from the mid to late 1790s when he wrote a lot of chamber music for wind instruments, Beethoven's oboe trio is a full-length work in four movements as is Vranicky's - both in the Classical tradition of outdoor serenade-type music. Period instruments. Marc Schachman, John Abberger (oboes), Lani Spahr (english horn). Naxos 8.554550 (New Zealand) 07G038 $6.98

JOSEPH EYBLER (1765-1846): String Trio in C, Op. 2, IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): 3 Concert Trios, Op. 11. Both of these composers' trios are in the trio concertant style, with the instruments often contending for solo honors but, while Pleyel's (1787) are in two fast movements, colorful and full of melodic ingenuity as typical of French tastes at the time, Eybler's (1798) is a 27-minute work in four movements and is fully in the style of late Viennese Classicism. Belvedere Trio Vienna. Hungaroton HCD 32219 (Hungary) 07G039 $17.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Concerto in C, Op. 34, Rondo brillant in A, Op. 56, Rondo brillant in B Flat, Op. 98. Also known as Op. 34a and Op. 36, the C major concerto is Hummel's longest by far and has a symphonic cut and thrust which recall another concerto premiered in 1809 - Beethoven's Emperor. Here also are world premiere recordings of two rondos from 1814 and 1824, each 16 minutes in length and each rather like a telescoped slow movement/rondo finale of full scale concerto, the latter making use of a delectable Russian folk tune. London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 10216 (England) 07G040 $17.98

JOSEPH MAYSEDER (1789-1863): Violin Sonata in E Flat, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Minor, Op. 47 "Kreutzer", 6 German Dances, WoO 42. The second in a series called "Beethoven Explored" (we didn't offer the first one since the unusual piece was only a set of variations by Archduke Rudolf), this new title offers a brilliant sonata by a famous and brilliant violinist - a member of the Schuppanzigh string quartet - which the violinist, in his copious and garrulously informative notes, identifies as a response to the challenge of Beethoven's Kreutzer. It has the ring of something special too - like Ries' symphonies do in that genre - and should reward collectors who can put up with "innovative programming" and don't mind duplicating the Beethoven. Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin), Aaron Shorr (piano). Metier MSV CD2004 (England) 07G041 $16.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 5 - Quelques reins pour album, Album de Chaumière. Still our favorite of the three ongoing Rossini piano series because of the unique and enchanting sound of the period piano, this one finally reaches volume five. The riens have only tempo indications for titles but the po-faced wit which informs much of this uvre is never more in evidence than here while the "Cottage Album" has such Satiesque pieces as "Inoffensive Prelude", "Petite Valse: Castor Oil" and the final two: "A Deep Sleep" and "Rude Awakening". Pity about the hybrid high price but, at least they're cheaper than Chandos' hybrids... Paolo Giacometti (1837 Erard piano). Channel Classics SACD Hybrid CCS SA 20504 (Netherlands) 07G042 $21.98

The Romantic Piano Concerto - 35

HENRI HERZ (1803-1888): Piano Concerto No. 1 in A, Op. 34, Piano Concerto No. 7 in B Minor, Op. 207, Piano Concerto No. 8 in A Flat, Op. 218. How Schumann loved to hate Herz because his music and his success did not come from painful struggle and privation! This new volume captures both ends of Herz' long career as pianist/composer with works from 1828, 1864 and 1873 (the latter two Konzerstücks in all but name, lasting only 18 and 14 minutes, respectively). The first concerto has all the hallmarks of the virtuoso concerto from the lengthy, stormy orchestral introduction to practically every showy, hair-raising difficulty Herz was capable of performing at the keyboard (and he had few real rivals here). The last two concertos are actually much less demanding on the soloist and much more concerned with melody and expressivity in playing. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Howard Shelley (piano). Hyperion CDA 67465 (England) 07G043 $17.98

HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869): La Belle Voyageuse, L'Origine de la Harpe, Le Chasseur Danois, Chanson à boire (+tenor), Adieu Bessy, Petit Oiseau, Le Jeune Pâtre Breton (+horn), Chant guerrier (+tenor), Les Champs, Le Chant des Bretons, Le Matin, Le Coucher du Soleil, Premiers Transports (+cello), Elégie, Chant Sacré (+soprano, mezzo, 2 tenors and baritone). Although Berlioz was among the first French composers to solidify the genre of the mélodie (as opposed to the earlier romance), very few of his songs have been available on record. This collection is varied in both voices and instruments and has much of the characteristic innovation and unexpected touches of genius one might expect from this source. French-English texts. Jérôme Correas (bass-baritone), Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano). Alpha 024 (France) 07G044 $15.98

SIGISMUND THALBERG (1812-1871): Fantaisie et Variations sur "Euryanthe" de Weber, Grande Fantaisie sur des motifs de "La Donna del lago" de Rossini, "Mi manca la voce" de l'Opéra "Mosè" de Rossini, Felice Donzella - Romance italienne de J. Dessauer, Grande Fantaisie sur l'Opéra "Beatrice di Tenda" de Bellini, La Romanesca - Air de danse du XVIème siècle, Grande Fantaisie et Variations sur l'Opéra "I Capuleti ed i Montecchi" de Bellini. A full hour of world premiere recordings by one of the finest who ever did this sort of thing - "a God at the piano" as Schumann himself put it. Duo Egri & Pertis. Hungaroton HCD 32154 (Hungary) 07G045 $17.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Overture to Hermann und Dorotha, Op. 136, Konzerstück, Op. 86, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Variations on a Theme by Schumann, Op. 23, JOSEPH JOACHIM (1831-1907)/BRAHMS: Overture to Shakespeare's Henry IV, Op. 7, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/BRAHMS: 16 Ländler, D366. An unpublished Joachim overture, a batch of meltingly lovely Ländler from the young Schubert and Schumann's own remarkable transcription of his work for four horns and orchestra (one of four transcriptions he made of this piece) distinguish this release. Duo Egri & Pertis. Hungaroton HCD 32003 (Hungary) 07G046 $17.98

EDUARD FRANCK (1817-1893): String Sextets in E Flat, Op. 41 & in D, Op. 50. Although it was published in 1882, the E flat sextet here sounds like the work of a young man, more specifically, a young Brahms, with the heart-easing melodic qualities which flowed through the latter composer's first sextet (and there's a hint of Dvorak in its scherzo). Published posthumously, the second work has the dark, retrospective, autumnal quality of, well, of Brahms' late clarinet works and is equally gorgeous although it tugs at the heart rather than caressing it. Edinger Quartet, Leo Klepper (viola), Mathias Donderer (cello). Audite 97.501 (Germany) 07G047 $16.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Complete Piano Suites, Vol. 4 - No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 91, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/RAFF: Suites Nos. 3 in C, BWV 1009 and No. 6 in D, BWV 1012. This final volume brings us Raff's most-recorded (five times) suite - the Fourth of 1859. Nearly 40 minutes in length, it is one of the weightiest of Raff's compositons, with a glowering and virtuosic Fantasia e Fuga followed by a Giga con variazioni whose ominous power gives the lie to its seemingly jocund name. A Cavatina shows more familiar Raffian lyricism but gloomy romantic emotions erupt in its central section while the concludng Marcia brings the whole edifice to a rousing, virtuosic conclusion. Alexander Zolotarev (piano). AK Coburg DR-0009 (U.S.A.) 07G048 $16.98 >

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Symphony No. 7 in B Flat, Op. 201 "In den Alpen", Jubelouvertüre, Op. 103. Collectors of comparative performances will enjoy this 1991, never-released recording of the Seventh, in which Albert takes a much more leisurely stroll through the mountains - seven and a half minutes longer than Stadlmair in last month's Tudor offering of the same symphony. Philharmonia Hungarica; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 5289 (Germany) 07G049 $15.98

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): Mass in D Minor. Karl Schumann put it best in his notes for the DG Originals Jochum reissue of Bruckner's Masses: "humble pleading and triumphal climaxes, mysticism and radiant certainty, contrapuntal gravity and symphonic drama" - as the shill would say: "Now on SACD!"... Isabelle Müller-Kant (soprano), Eibe Möhlmann (mezzo), Daniel Sans (tenor), Christof Fischesser (bass), Chamber Choir of Europe, Württemberg Philharmonic Reutlingen; Nicol Matt. Brilliant Classics SACD Hybrid 92212 (Netherlands) 07G050 $13.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Rinaldo for Tenor, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 50, Gesang der parzen for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 89, Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53. This cantata, completed in 1868 but mostly dating from 1863, this setting of a section of Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata is as close as Brahms ever got to opera; echoes of Fidelio and Der fliegende Holländer occur and an impressive orchestral prelude and magnifcent concluding chorus make this very rare work a must-have for collectors. German-English texts. Stig Andersen (tenor), Anna Larsson (contralto), Danish National Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Chandos 10215 (England) 07G051 $17.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Messe de Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, Organ and Orchestra, Op. 54, Partsongs for Unaccompanied Chorus: Romance du Soir, Op. 118, Les Fleurs et les arbres, Op. 68/2, Des pas dans l'allée, Op. 141/1, Calme des nuits, Op. 68/1, Les Guerriers, Op. 84, Les Marins de Kermor, Op. 71/1, Partsongs for Chorus and Piano: Chanson de grand-père, Op. 53/1, Salut au Chevalier Printemps, Op. 151/2, Aux conquérats de l'air, Op. 164, Pastorale. Written in only eight days in 1878 as a posthumous thank-you to the civil servant who had died and left him 100,000 francs in order to free him up entirely for composition, Saint-Saëns took a middle path between the grandeur of Berlioz and the intimacy of Fauré in this now-imposing, now touchingly simple work. The part-songs (which take up almost exactly half of this 73 minutedisc) range from Saint-Saëns' entire career, from the charming Pastorale of 1855 it the heroic Aux conquérants of 1921, the majority in a light and direct style tailored for the Parisian and provincial choral societies for which they were written. French-English texts. Marie-Paule Dotti (soprano), Guillemette Laurens (mezzo), Luca Lombardo (tenor), Nicolas Testé (bass), Chorus of Swiss Radio, Lugano, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; Diego Fasolis. Chandos 10214 (England) 07G052 $17.98

ANTONIN DVORÁK (1841-1904): 8 Love Songs, Op. 83, 6 Songs from the Dvur Kralové Manuscript, Op. 7, Oh, What a Perfect Golden Dream and Downcast am I so often from Cypresses, Op. 2, Obstacles, Meditation, Lime Trees, 3 Songs, Op. 82, 4 Songs in Folk Tone, Op. 73, 7 Gypsy Songs, Op. 55. Outside of the Biblical Songs and, maybe, the Gypsy Songs, one doesn't see much Dvorák lieder recorded, making this new release the more valuable. Both kinds of Dvorák are here: the folk-inspired (op. 73, op. 55 and the two op. 2 settings) as well as the earlier, more generalized European Romantic (the op. 83 love songs are very early works, inspired by the unrequited love for one of his piano students in 1865 and full of youthful woe). Either way, there is much that is beautiful here and the recording helps give the composer a place in European song history as well. Czech/German-English texts. Bernarda Fink (mezzo), Roger Vignoles (piano). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901824 (France) 07G053 $17.98

JOSEF BAYER (1852-1913): Die Puppenfee, 14 Excerpts from Sonne und Erde. Dating from 1888, "The Fairy Doll" was Bayer's most successful and famous ballet, surviving in the Vienna State Opera repertoire to this day. Its simple charm is quite evident; the notes contain an entertaining view of Bayer's talent by the young Franz Schmidt who, as cellist in the Vienna Court Opera orchestra, had to play quite a bit under the composer... This is the first recording of any music from the 1889 "Sun and Earth", consisiting of the prelude and music from two of its four scenes, amounting to fifteen minutes. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Mogrelia. Naxos 8.557098 (New Zealand) 07G054 $6.98

HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): Orchestral Songs (Mitsuko Shirai [soprano], RSO Berlin; David Shallon): Mignon, Anakreons Grab, In der Frühe, Gebet, Neue Liebe, Schlafendes Jesuskind, Karwoche, Auf ein altes Bild, Wo find' ich Trost?, Seufzer, Er ist's!, Gesang Weylas, Denk es, o Seele, An den Schlaf, Mignon (second version), In dem Schatten meiner Locken from Der Corregidor, 9 Songs from Spanisches Liederbuch (Shirai, Josef Protschka [tenor], Harmut Holl [piano]) Fragment from the Opera Manuel Venegas (Shirai, Protschka, Cornelius Hauptmann [bass], Christoph Späth [tenor], Oliver Widmer [baritone], Württemberg Chamber Choir Stuttgart; Hartmut Höll [piano]). When first issued, this set contained ten first recordings of songs which Wolf orchestrated in 1889-90 and, although he should be viewed along with Mahler as a pioneer of the orchestral song, his reputation in this regard still lags. This was also the first recording of the 34 minutes of Wolf's Spanish opera on which he was working when he finally broke down and was committed to an asylum in 1897. German-English texts and libretto. Original 1990 and 1992 Capriccio releases. Capriccio 67 091/92 (Germany) 07G055 $29.98

EMIL VON SAUER (1862-1942): Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, 5 Morceaux de difficluté moyenne, Petite Scène de Ballet in D, Menuet (Vieux style) in B Flat, Polka de Concert in A, Galop de Concert (Etude-Galop) in A Flat. You romantic concerto collectors have been waiting a long time for this one and it's well worth the wait. In a single-movement lasting 31 minutes, thematic transformation ties together its four distinct sections which run the gamut of emotions from glittering hauteur to romantic ardor and which demand the virtuosity you would expect of this great composer-pianist. As filler we have a set of 1909 morceaux which are not quite children's pieces but not virtuosic exercises either and four other, lighter pieces (the Polka de Concert being the most ambitious) also dating from the first decade of the 20th century. Oleg Marshev (piano), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; James Loughran. Danacord DACOCD 596 (Denmark) 07G056 $16.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Complete Score to the 1926 Film Der Rosenkavalier. In 1926, fifteen years after the spectacular premiere of the opera, the silent film of Der Rosenkavalier was introduced in Germany to the movie-going public with the composer conducting the theater orchestra. The film adaptation was written by Hofmannsthal, the librettist. He and Robert Wiene, the director (of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" fame), constructed the new work as a silent film, not as a direct adaptation of the opera, but with significant changes. Strauss threw himself into the project with characteristic energy and brilliance. The result was that the film music was devoid of voices, the orchestration was frequently changed to fit the differing circumstances of opera house and movie theater, a considerable amount of new music was added, and the three and one-half-hour opera was reduced and transformed into 147 minutes of superb music, exquisitely performed here by Janowski 2 CDs. Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Marek Janowski. Capriccio 60 097 (Germany) 07G057 $29.98

ZDENEK FIBICH (1850-1900): Piano Quartet in E Minor, Op. 11, Quintet for Piano, Clarinet, Horn, Violin and Cello in D, Op. 42. Written in 1874 while he was having a hard time professionally and privately in Vilnius, Lithuania, the quartet has a distinctly balladic mood full of Schumannian emotion and struggle and its Prague premiere the following year helped elevate Fibich to a new level of recognition. The quintet dates from 1894 and comes from the height of his relationship with his student Anezka Schulzová, which triggered his immense piano series of Moods, Impressions and Remeniscences; this flamboyant four-movement work, full of the ebb and flow of the emotions of love, from tranquil joy to the transports of passion, is like a wide-screen, THX-sound film version of the piano's television origianl. Marián Lapansk (piano), Ludmila Peterková (clarinet), Vladimíra Klánská (horn), Members of the Panocha Quartet. Supraphon SU 3487 (Czech Republic) 07G058 $16.98

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Violin Sonatas in C, Op. 12 & in F, Op. 73, Suite for Violin and Piano in F, Op. 14. The C major sonata (1892) is actually Sinding's second, an earlier one having been destroyed, and, in its self-consciously virtuosic and turbulent style, it suggests more a concerto than a sonata with plenty of bravura required of both performers. From a year earlier, the suite (one of three) has a similar brilliance and, save for the short opening movement, could have been a sonata also. The 1905 sonata is a more lyrical, less rhetorically florid piece with plenty of opportunities for elegance and reflection in addition to the requisite heroics. Marco Rogliano (violin), Maurizio Paciariello (piano). ASV DCA 1166 (England) 07G059 $17.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Gerusalemme. This 79-minute oratorio, composed in only 40 days at the beginning of 1900, was recorded live in a cathedral, allowing its two choirs (one off-stage) and large orchestra (with off-stage brass) to have their desired spatial effects. The text covers events from Christ's entry into Jerusalem to his summoning of his disciples to the Last Supper and Perosi maintains an aura of gloomy sorrow and solemnity almost throughout with one or two notes of hope sounding a brighter mood within the general sweet sadness. Those of you who know and love your Perosi will know what to expect and will not be disappointed! Latin-English texts. Marco Camastra (baritone), Gianni Puddu (tenor), Emidio Guidotti (bass), Cento Torri, Lauretana & Pesarese Choruses, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana; Arturo Sacchetti. Bongiovanni GB 2355 (Italy) 07G060 $16.98

JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 1, Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 8, 4 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 17. Now even Suk's chamber music is beginning to be recognized beyond the boundaries of his native country. These works were written before 1900; the composer's teacher, Dvorák, is present in many places (and also a bit of Brahms in the quintet) although far less so than one might expect for Suk's mature style is already evident in his tendency toward introspection and, especially, his rapt lyricism. The Nash Ensemble. Hyperion CDA 67448 (England) 07G061 $17.98

ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Piano Quartet in F Sharp Minor, Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 1, Wedding March for Piano and String Quartet. The world premiere recording of the 14-year-old Dohnányi's piano quartet shows that he was almost as astonishingly precocious as Korngold. In the classical four movements, it speaks the language of Brahms, Schumann and Schubert but never sounds like a pastiche. The four-minute wedding march from 1910 makes a delectable filler along with the previously recorded 1896 piano quintet, which no longer sounds so unusual coming from a mere 18-year-old now that we've heard his earlier piece! István Kassai (piano), Auer String Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 32148 (Hungary) 07G062 $17.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): String Quartets Nos. 1-3. The first movement of the first quartet (1919) must have struck its audience as frightfully modern with the cello playing an intense figure which is then treated in passacaglia fashion for ten minutes in harmonies which weren't common at the time. But, after a slightly uncomfortable and hazy Pastorale, a scherzo based on an Irish folk tune restores order and an Elegy and Rondo Retrospettivo in Debussian harmonies end a 31-minute spell of interesting "modernity". Although dating from over 30 years later (1951), the second quartet shows little change in its musical countenance but No. 4 (1965) is a brief (13 minutes) three-movement work of a highly chromatic and austere nature, in no particular tonality, showing that Scott eventually did move on with the times. Archaeus Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7138 (England) 07G063 $16.98

JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): Violin Sonatas No. 1 in D Minor & No. 2 in A Minor, Berceuse, Cavatina, Bagatelle, The Holy Boy. Winner of a Cobbett prize in 1909, the first sonata is a work full of youthful melodic invention, varied textures and emotions ranging from poignant and intimate to virile and outgoing. The second sonata (1917) was an astonishing success, catching the mood of the war-worn public with its anxious, troubled first movement, affecting elegiac slow movement and vigorous, almost jocular finale. Mid-price. Paul Barritt (violin), Catherine Edwards (piano). Original 1996 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55164 (England) 07G064 $10.98

FRANZ SCHMIDT (1874-1939): Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme, Prlude and Fugue in E Flat, Toccata, Fantasia and Fugue in D, 4 Little Chorale Preludes, Chaconne in C Sharp Minor, Prelude and Fugue in C, Fugue in F, 4 Little Preludes and Fugues, Chorale Prelude on Haydn's Hymn "Gott erhalte", Der Heiland ist erstanden, Prelude and Fugue in A, Toccata and Fugue in A Flat. Dating from 1916 to 1935 Schmidt's organ uvre, while little heard today, establishes him as one of the most important 20th century German organ composers, along with Reger and Johann Nepomuk David and this four-hour set of his complete organ works is at bargain-price in this new re-issue. 4 CDs. Budget-price. Andreas Juffinger (organ of the Jesus Christus Church, Berlin). Original 1988 Capriccio release. Capriccio 67 093/96 (Germany) 07G065 $29.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Poems of the Sea, Voice in the Wilderness for Cello and Orchestra, Violin Concerto. Bloch collectors will welcome the 1922 Poems, three short pieces lasting a total of 12-and-a-half minutes which seem to oscillate between French Impressionism and English sea-shanty tunes à la Grainger. The imposing edifice of the violin concerto seems to evoke ancient magnificence dimly glimpsed through the mists of time (the general effect being similar to Bax and his Celtic music although not like it in style) and we've certainly come a long way when Voice in the Wilderness, from 1938, two years after the concerto and formerly among Bloch's best-known works, is now no easier to find on disc! Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello), Matthias Wollong (violin), RSO Berlin; Fabrice Bollon, Vladimir Jurowski (concerto). Capriccio 67 071 (Germany) 07G066 $16.98

CARLOS LÓPEZ BUCHARDO (1881-1948): Escenas Argentinas, JULIÁN AGUIRRE (1868-1924): La huella, El gato (both arr. Ansermet), LUIS GIANNEO (1897-1968): El tarco en flor, CARLOS GUASTAVINO (1912-2000): Las niñas, OSCAR GIÚDICE (1906-1974): Salmo al Paraná, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Tangazo. This unusual batch of Argentinian orchestral music comes from an unusual place too: the town of Paraná, the capital of Entre Ríos province and its orchestra which Giúdice conducted for a period, inspiring his 1938 evocation of the river which flows through the town and province. Respighi, Debussy and Richard Strauss are influences in some of the other pieces here, composed by men who got their educations in Europe, but local folk song and dance remains the basis for almost all these compositions. Entre Ríos Symphony Orchestra; Gabriel Castagna. Chandos 10185 (England) 07G067 $17.98

PAUL LE FLEM (1881-1984): Piano Quintet, Violin Sonata. Those of you with a taste for the Celtic mysticism and modalities of Bax's early chamber works will devour these two large-scale works by the Breton Le Flem from 1905. Even at this young age, Le Flem wrote accomplished works with the scent of his native Brittany's folklore sometimes filtered through a richly sensual Debussian impressionism made the more noticeable by the presence of the sea and the Breton landscape throughout. Impassioned, moody and somber but with finales full of dancing folk spirit, these pieces are also elaborately worked out in their counterpoint and thematic transformation. Philippe Koch (violin), Alain Jacquon (piano), Quatuor Louvigny. Timpani 1C1077 (France) 07G068 $18.98

BRUNO WALTER (1876-1962): Violin Sonata, KURT ROGER (1895-1966): Violin Sonata, Op. 44, HANNS EISLER (1895-1962): Violin Sonata "Die Reisesonate". Walter's 1909 sonata with its warm mixture of Brahms and Korngold was recorded by Hyperion back in 2001 and Eisler's short, 11-minute piece from 1937 (typically, Talent's notes are lacking information, forcing us to wonder about the piece's sub-title "Travel Sonata") is interesting for its spiky harmonies and generally buoyant nature - less agitprop than his vocal works. Roger is the find here - like his disc-mates a Viennese Jew, he emigrated to New York in 1938, where he wrote this sonata six years later. The mood is late Romantic although the little second movement waltz is sardonically modern and the language is 20th century tonal with much ample melody and heart-on-sleeve emotion without wallowing in it. Hagai Shaham (violin), Arnon Erez (piano). Talent 93 (Belgium) 07G069 $15.98

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Suite for Piano Duet, Op. 18 (Hungarian Folk Dances), 5 Little Piano Pieces, 20 Easy Little Piano Pieces, Op. 27 (Hungarian Nursery Rhymes and Folk Songs), Hungarian Folk Music, Op. 42 (30 Little Piano Pieces for Young People). Everything here dates from the second half of Weiner's life when folk music was his main creative influence. The suite is a transcription of an orchestral piece and is the only full-scale piece here, lasting over 26 minutes. The remainder (all written between 1948-52) are pedagogical folk-song arrangements for young pianists, rich and effective in their harmonization and delightfully colorful for the listener. István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32115 (Hungary) 07G070 $17.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Alexander Nevsky - Complete Film Score. Unlike Temirkanov's 1995 recording, which uses a 1986 "orchestration" by William Brohn, this new recording was compiled from the original manuscript, made available for the first time in 65 years by the Glinka Music Museum and the Central State Archive of Literature and Art in Moscow. Even so, the material was incomplete but, in the few places where necessary, the gaps were filled by reference to the soundtrack itself, sketches, the short score and the Nevsky cantata (taking into account the differing orchestration). The result is probably the final word on Prokofiev's original film score and should be required listening for all of this composer's fans. Marina Domaschenko (soprano), Ernst Senff Choir, RSO Berlin; Frank Strobel. Capriccio SACD Hybrid 71 014 (Germany) 07G071 $21.98

ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Symphony No. 5 "à Romain Rolland", Symphony No. 2, Suite for Chamber Orchestra. Previously available on the defunct Koch-Schwann label, the fifth symphony (1938 but not premiered until 1965) is a four-movement work full of glowering menace, the grinding sounds of a war-machine approaching, struggle, martial hymns and, apparently, ultimate victory. Schulhoff was a committed Communist and Soviet citizen when he wrote this piece and one can't help thinking of Shostakovich although the latter's war symphonies were yet to come and his political ideals may not have been exactly Schulhoff's. From his "bad-boy" years, the suite (1921) is six movements of pure jazz- and popular-based music ("Ragtime", "Valse Boston", "Tango", "Shimmy", "Step" and "Jazz"), while the second symphony (1932) is more eclectic with its four movements drawing from such influences as the composer's opera Flammen, jazz and the prevailing neo-Classicism. Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; James Conlon. Capriccio 67 080 (Germany) 07G072 $16.98

Hungaroton Special Imports - not released in the U.S.

The demand for the first batch of these imports was beyond expectation. Back-orders will be filled next month since Hungaroton's distributor only orders once a month (first week of month) from Hungary and the July order (for August delivery) was the first one available after sales of the June titles began. NOTE: There may be a delay in filling these orders. At press time, we still don't know if stock has arrived in the U.S.

GYÖRGY KÓSA (1897-1984): Symphony No. 8, Lament for a Bull for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, 5 French Songs for Soprano and Piano, 4 Songs to Poems by Mihály Csokonai Vitéz for Tenor and Piano. Although he studied under both Bartók and Kodály at times during his years in music schools, Kósa was also greatly influenced by the impressionism and expressionism of the 10s and 20s and there is little overtly Hungarian in his music, at least as far as folk influence goes. The 1959 symphony was inspired by the fear of nuclear war and three of its four movements have a feeling of numb paralysis, almost static and full of dread and hopelessness (the other is a nervous, paranoid allegro marcato with elements of a military march). The Hungarian songs (1954) are more lyrical in a manner nodding to late Romanticism while also being generally dark and pessimistic in nature while the 1969 translations of French poetry (Rimbaud, Baudelaire and others) are, oddly, more colorful and easy on the ear. Dating from 1975, the severe and angry humanist cantata pushes the limits of musical style which would have been acceptable to the regime in power at the time and is representative of Kósa's late, "avant-garde" period. Hungarian-English texts (in 4 Songs, Hungarian-French texts). Hungarian State Orchestra; Endre Kemény, Sándor Palcsó (tenor), Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; György Lehel, Alice Németh (soprano), Boldizsár Keönch (tenor), György Kosa (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31982 (Hungary) 07G073 $17.98 >

LÁSZLÓ DUBROVAY (b.1945): Hungarian Symphony, Concerto for Hungarian Folk Instruments and Orchestra, Cantata Aquilarum for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra. These are three of four works which Dubrovay composed between 1997 and 1999 for the Hungarian millenium. Tonal, yet also occasionally using some modern instrumental playing and compositional techniques - but generally only for piquant flavoring and dramatic effect - these pieces inhabit the folk-influenced world of Kodály and, to a lesser extent, Bartók. The symphony is a single-movement work in four sections, lasting 18 minutes, and often has the bold, brassy and colorful feel of good film music. The cantata explores the dramatic, often tragic nature of Hungary's past and offers hope for the future in similar, open-hearted fashion while the tilinkó (a shepherd's pipe), Transylvanian recorder, hurdy-gurdy, Jew's harp and cimbalom illustrate the Eastern aspects of Hungarian folk culture against the Western orchestra (the folk instruments are occasionally played with some of the "avant-garde" techniques referred to above in order to highlight the "struggle" between East and West). Hungarian-English texts. András Molnár (tenor), Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Zsolt Hamar, MATÁV Symphony Orchestra; László Kovács (Concerto). Hungaroton HCD 312065 (Hungary) 07G074 $17.98 >

SÁNDOR VERESS (1907-1992): Violin Sonata No. 2, Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Verbunkos from Nógrád for Violin and Piano, Cukaszöke csárdás for Violin and Piano, Sonata for Solo Violin, 5 Songs on Poems by Attila József for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano. These works are all from Veress' Hungarian period, more specifically between 1932 and 1945. The folk-music style of Bartók is most evident in the 1932 Sonatina; a more modified, personal use of Hungarian folk melos is evident in the songs of 1945 and the Verbunkos and Csárdás (1939 and 1941) while the remaining pieces tend more to the neo-classical although never without Hungarian flavor. Hungarian-English texts. Gábor Takács-Nagy (violin), Márta Lukin (mezzo), Dénes Várjon (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32010 (Hungary) 07G075 $17.98 >

ZSOLT DURKÓ (1934-1997): Violin Concerto, Széchenyi Oratorio for Tenor, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Una rapsodia ungherese for 2 Clarinets and Orchestra. Durkó seems to have been a composer consistent in both quality and style, judging by the three works here, from early, late and roughly the middle of his compositional career. Although the large-scale, four-movement concerto makes some use of quarter-tones, this is mainly heard as a coloristic effect, and the overall impression of the work is fairly harmonically conservative. The early rhapsody makes use of a cimbalom for local color, and both here and in the oratorio the influences of Hungarian folk music and church music are readily apparent, while the shade of Bartók looms large over the entire proceedings. Good, red-blooded stuff, then, if not exactly ground-breaking. Ferenc Szecsödi (violin), Attila Fekete (tenor), Péter Fried (bass), Béla Kovács, Tibor Dittrich (clarinets), Hungarian Radio Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Tamás Vásáry, György Lehel (Una rapsodia). Hungaroton HCD 32027 (Hungary) 07G076 $17.98 >

SÁNDOR BALASSA (b.1935): Karl and Anna, Op. 41. Based on a 1926 novel by Leonhard Frank, this recent work premiered in 1995. The story deals with a pair of prisoners-of-war in a Russian prison camp, one of whom develops an obsession with the other's wife through hearing of her constantly from his fellow. He gets home first, wins the wife and lives happily with her for three years before the husband finds his way home. Amazingly, no tragedy ensues; no double murder or suicide at all. So, a realistic ending to a realistic novel by a noted anti-war socialist writer. Balassa abandoned his later avant-garde tendencies in order to return to a tonality which, although very approachable, is not lushly romantic. Emotional climaxes are satisfying, the full symphony orchestra is used with skill and tact and arioso predominates although there are affecting aria-type sections for the three main characters. Should appeal to anyone interested in tonal contemporary operas. 3 CDs. Hungarian-English libretto. Domokos Kiss (tenor), Tünde Frankó (soprano), Ákos Ambrus (baritone), Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Imre Sallay. Hungaroton HCD 32162-64 (Hungary) 07G077 $53.98 >

KAMILLÓ LENDVAY (b.1935): 4 Orchestral Invocations, Concerto da Camera for Chamber Ensemble, Expressions for String Orchestra, The Harmony of Silence for Orchestra, Scenes for Soprano, Bass and Orchestra. A common factor shared by these works is an original and colorful timbral palette, utilising some unusual or 'prepared' instruments, but mostly exploiting the composer's unerring ear for orchestral sonority. A few aleatoric passages aside, the music is for the most part neither especially modern-sounding nor self-consciously adhering to any particular school of composition; there is in fact a great deal here that Shostakovich would have recognised as tonality, and nothing that would have given Lutoslawski any pause for thought at all. Only one work has an actual programme (Scenes, after Thomas Mann), but in their passionately expressive discourse all the works suggest a composer with a strong sense of narrative and a feeling for cogent, tautly argued musical dialectic. Budapest Symphony Orchestra; György Lehel (Invocations, Scenes), Budapest Chamber Ensemble; András Mihály, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; Frigyes Sándor (Expressions), Savaria Symphony Orchestra; János Petró (Harmony). Hungaroton HCD 32064 (Hungary) 07G078 $17.98 >

BORIS TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996): 6 Études for Organ and Strings, Sinfonietta for String Orchestra, Chamber Symphony, Prelude "The Bells" (orch. Pyotr Klimov [b.1970]). This composer has yet to receive the sort of coverage his predecessors and successors have gotten (he falls right between the Shostakovich and the Pärt/Schnittke generations) and this disc helps considerably in reviving his reputation. A student of Shostakovich, whose influences are heard almost throughout these works, especially the early Sinfonietta (1953) and Chamber Symphony (1967), Tchaikovsky tended toward unshowy, terse, craftsmanlike pieces with the typical sense of irony, sardonic humor and unease which living in those times produced in so many Soviet composers. He has nothing to do with the avant-garde and his Etudes (1976) are striking for their ignoring the organ's coloristic and dynamic resources. Ludmila Golub (organ), Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra; Alexander Rudin. Hyperion CDA 67413 (England) 07G079 $17.98

NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN (b.1937): Variations, Op. 41, 8 Concert Études, Op. 40, Bagatelle, Op. 59/9, Suite in the Old Style, Op. 28, Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 62, Sonatina, Op. 100, 5 Études in Different Intervals, Op. 68. Hyperion's second dip into the music of this unique Russian composer who uses jazz materials in a classical form has attracted the prodigious talents of Hamelin. Often sounding like jazz improvisation, everything here is written out down to the tiniest detail. Kapustin cites Oscar Peterson as his most influential figure but, as the notes put it, the composer has synthesized everything from Scott Joplin to Keith Jarrett and, in the Suite, deals in spirituals and gospel music while, in the Concert Etudes, someone like Scriabin or Lyapunov peeps in to remind us of the composer's origins. The virutosity necessary to perform these pieces is prodigious and, hopefully, will attract collectors of brilliant pianism. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67433 (England) 07G080 $17.98

ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): 2 Sonatinas for Piano, Op. 1, Spiegel im Spiegel for Violin and Piano, Es sang vor langen Jahren for Alto, Violin and Viola, Stabat Mater for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and String Trio, Magnificat for Choir, Nunc Dimittis for Choir, My Heart's in the Highlands for Countertenor and Organ. Of course, we didn't offer this new release because of its vocal works in the composer's tintinnabuli style (although the Es sang... of 1984, to texts by Brentano, isn't exactly over-recorded) - no. We also havehere perhaps the earliest Pärt yet to be recorded, his two piano Sonatinas from 1957 and 1958, lasting together a little over 12 minutes and, before he got involved with serialism or aleatoric methods, firmly in the style of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. For Pärt completists! Chamber Domaine, Stephen De Pledge (piano), Stephen Wallace (countertenor), Choir of St. Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh; Matthew Owens. Black Box BBM 1071 (England) 07G081 $17.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): A Dinner Engagement, Op. 45. This little, hour-long social comedy dates from 1954. Written for the English Opera Group, it has a libretto by Paul Dehn who also provided Britten with Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia (both for the same players also). The former is the model for Berkeley's word-setting, pacing and use of recurring motifs; fast-paced prose dialogue alternatios with short verse arias and ensembles and the small "orchestra" of string quartet, double bass, wind quintet, harp, percussion and piano has a strong French flavor via its winds - a legacy of the composer's studies with Nadia Boulanger and a trait often found in many of his works. Libretto included. Roderick Williams (baritone), Yvonne Kenny, Clair Rutter (sopranos), Robin Leggate (tenor), City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10219 (England) 07G082 $17.98

STEFANO SCODANIBBIO (b.1956): Quando le montagne si colorano di rosa for 2 Guitars, Only connect for Piano, Ritorno a Cartagena for Bass Flute, 2 abismos for Guitar, My new address for Violin, Delle più alte torri for Cello and Electronic Elaboration. For the most part these compositions are on the conventional side of the avant-garde, certainly much more so than the sort of music Scodanibbio is called upon to perform. So when he uses extended playing techniques in the form of amplified key-slaps in a work for bass flute, the effect is of a sort of ethnic percussion instrument, a kind of evocation of a stylized tree-trunk drum. One senses that Scodanibbio takes himself refreshingly unseriously as a composer, which renders these pieces undemanding and diverting, making up in gleeful inventiveness what they aguably lack in profundity. Elena Casoli, Jürgen Ruck (guitar duo), Ian Pace (piano), Mario Caroli (flute), Magnus Andersson (guitar), Francesco D'Orazio (violin), Rohan de Saram (cello). Stradivarius STR 33668 (Italy) 07G083 $17.98

LLUÍS BENEJAM (1914-1968): Violin Sonata , Viola Sonata "Moments Musicals", Cello Sonata in A. Although Catalan by birth, Benejam spent the years after 1954 in Ecuador and then in Alabama where he died. These sonatas, written between 1951 and 1954, are distinguished by a real gift for lyrical melody often with vocal quality, in fast movements as well as in the lovely slow ones. There is no particular national flavor, rather the gentle pastoralism of French Impressionism suffuses all of these thoroughly enjoyable pieces. Evgeni Grach (violin), Ashan Pillai (viola), Damian Martínez (cello), Albert Attenelle (piano). ASV DCA 1167 (England) 07G084 $17.98

AARON AVSHALOMOV (1894-1964): 4 Biblical Tableaux, JAN MEYEROWITZ (1913-1998): Symphony Midrash Esther, SHEILA SILVER (b.1946): Shirat Sara. Composed in Oregon in 1928 during his first, brief stay in the U.S., Avshalomov's Tableaux show the influences of Bloch, Chinese music and the orchestrational practice of Rimsky-Korsakov. Silver's 1985 work, for string orchestra, depicts three scenes from the life of Sarah, Abraham's wife in music which fuses traditional and Hassidic elements with a modern, yet tonal harmonic language. Meyerowitz had his symphony premiered by Mitropoulos and the NYPO in 1957; it is the least overtly Jewish of the works here since the composer had no Judaic training (in fact, was unaware of his identity until he was 18), being rather a four-movement work in a typically 20th century American-Romantic idiom which was inspired by the story of Esther saving the Jews of Persia from the wicked Haman. RSO Berlin, Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz, Yoel Levi. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559426 (U.S.A.) 07G085 $6.98

DAVID AMRAM (b.1930): Symphony "Songs of the Soul", Excerpts from Shir L'erev Shabbat and The Final Ingredient. Amram's symphony was written in 1987 and is entirely based on Jewish melodies from various sources. The first movement is based on an Ethiopian Jewish traditional Passover chant, the second on one of Amram's own development, using the various folk melos of Eastern European Jews and the third, the longest of the three movements, contains klezmer music, a Yemenite sacred tune and a Sephardi secular song. Colorful, soulful and life-affirming, this is one of the finest orchestral works to appear in this series so far. The couplings are excerpts from a 1965 Sabbath Evening Service and a 1966 television opera set in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Texts included. RSO Berlin; Christopher Wilkins, BBC Singers, Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (organ), vocal soloists, University of Michigan Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Kenneth Kiesler. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559420 (U.S.A.) 07G086 $6.98

CHARLES OSBORNE: Symphony in A Flat "Souls". Osborne's symphony is arranged from the music of an oratorio, Souls on Fire, based on the book by Elie Wiesel, which examined the lives and thought of seven influential leaders of the Hassidic movement from the 17th to the 19 centuries. Thus, the symphony is in seven movements, with a prologue and epilogue, and mixes various references to Jewish music with tonal, romantic, approachable material which results in descriptiveness like that of a good film score. Bulgarian National Symphony; Metodi Matakiev. ZC Music Group ZC-9005 (U.S.A.) 07G087 $16.98

DENNIS EBERHARD (b.1943): Shadow of the Swan - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Prometheus Wept (August 6, August 9, 1945) for Bass and String Orchestra. Inspired by the sinking of the Russian submarine "Kursk" in 2000, the concerto is a large, 42-minute work whose styles range from the densely textured polyphonic intensity of Lutoslawski to the simple minimalism of Pärt while Prometheus Wept is quite unusual in borrowing from the tradition of Russian Orthodox chant to acknowledge the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Halida Dinova (piano), Piotr Migunov (bass), St. Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Chernushenko. Naxos American Classics 8.559176 (U.S.A.) 07G088 $6.98

FABIAN MÜLLER (b.1964): String Quartet, String Trio, String Quintet "Rhapsodie", Duo for Violin and Cello. This young Swiss composer takes Impressionism as his starting point, with occasional inflections of Swiss folk music (but, more importantly, impressions musically conveyed of various aspects of Swiss culture and geography), and produces luminous textures and gorgeous music. Those of you who bought and enjoyed the Daniel Godfrey string quartets which we offered a couple of months back (04F072) will find this disc equally approachable and enjoyable. Petersen Quartet, Andreas Wylezol (double bass). Capriccio 67 106 (Germany) 07G089 $16.98

ANDRÉ PREVIN (b.1929): The Invisible Drummer - 5 Preludes for Piano, Variations on a Theme by Haydn, 5 Pages from My Calendar, Paraphrase on a Theme by William Walton, Matthew's Piano Book. Previn's jazz-pianist persona figures through many of these short pieces which date from 1973-90, especially the Invisible Drummer, written for Vladimir Ashkenazy when he expressed an interest in learning jazz technique while Prokofiev is more to the fore in the set of birthday greetings for his five children, Five Pages, but everything here is well-imagined, demanding at least a moderate level of virtuosity (considering that Matthew's Piano Book was written for his advanced beginner son), while being quite enjoyable for the listener uninvolved with the details of their origin. Martin David Jones (piano). Centaur CRC 2671 (U.S.A.) 07G090 $16.98

MICHAEL DENHOFF (b.1955): Unrecending on, Op. 83e for Cello and Piano, Trace d'Etoile, Op. 87 for Campanula and Piano, ...as when no words, Op. 77 for Piano and Far-Cello, Sobre tantas cuerdas, Op. 72a for Campanula and Piano, 7 Bagatelles, Op. 92 for Cello and Piano. Eschewing entirely the virtuosic showmanship of the nineteenth-century instrumentalist-composer, cellist-composer Denhoff writes music of fragility and subtlety, weaving lines of the utmost delicacy between the two instruments. Some of the pieces are expressly written for the campanula, a recent development of the cello with 16 sympathatic resonating strings. Music as insubstantial as this demands close attention from the listener, and it says much of Denhoff's skill and seriousness of purpose that it amply repays such dedicated attention to its most minute details. Michael Denhoff (cello, campanula), Birgitta Wollenweber (piano). Cybele SACD Hybrid 361.401 (Germany) 07G091 $16.98

JOS KUNST (1936-1996): Any Two for Any 2 Woodwinds, No time-cycle for Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Piano, Percussion, Exchange for Fire for Flute, Concertino for Piano, Winds and Percussion. This is music of confrontation, between opposites, between concepts poles apart. Although the music is not especially complicated as music - textures are predominantly open and instrumental lines are presented with almost pointillistic isolation of sound events - the composer clearly expects the listener to work quite hard to appreciate the subtle dialectic of ideas, the abstract notion of activity without clearly defined goals, the music representing a living organism or social group content to be simply alive, without any explanation being offered as to why it behaves the way it does. Considered as investigations into the philosophy of the way we experience music, these pieces are profoundly thought-provoking. The Barton Workshop. Composers' Voice Classics CV 124 (Netherlands) 07G092 $18.98

MARIE SAMUELSSON (b.1956): Rotationer for Orchestra, I Am - Are You? for Horn and Tape, Flow for Chamber Ensemble, Krom for Brass Ensemble, I vargens öga for Alto Saxophone and Tape, Ö for Violin, Den natten for Ensemble, Lufttrumma III for Orchestra. A composer who has worked a great deal in the field of dance and theatre, Samuelsson combines the dense orchestral textures of the European avant-garde with the rhythmic pulsation of modern dance. Her timbral sense is unusual too, using recorded and electronically manipulated natural sounds and instrumental sounds. Repeated ostinato figuration and rhythmic incisiveness propel the music forward, and a good measure of conventional tonality render it immediately accessible and attractive for all its sophistication. Music of ready appeal for those who think that contemporary music is to be enjoyed, not endured. Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Hannu Lintu, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Tuomas Ollila, KammaresembleN; Joakin Unander and other ensembles and performers. Phono Suecia PSCD 147 (Sweden) 07G093 $16.98 >

STEVEN STUCKY (b.1949): Ad Parnassum, Boston Fancies, Partita-Pastorale after J.S.B., Sappho Fragments for Soprano and Ensemble, Nell'ombre, nella luce for String Quartet. The composer makes much use of visual analogies in his notes on the music - either through explicit evocation of Paul Klee 'most musical of painters' in Ad Parnassum or through the contrast of light and darkness in the extended work for string quartet which opens the disc. The relationships between figure and ground and the interaction of coloristic elements to create bold, clear figurative shapes provide apt analogies for the processes at work in Stucky's clear and precisely argued yet atmospheric and evocative compositions. Judith Kellock (soprano), Ensemble X; Steven Stucky, Cassatt String Quartet. Albany TROY 642 (U.S.A.) 07G094 $16.98

ARTHUR CUNNINGHAM (1928-1997): Harlem Suite, Engrams, Phoenix, Blue Bridge, Sille, Blue Bending, Evening Thistle, Quarter Moon, Shadows Under a Window, Moon Shadows, (Untitled). A lot of composers talk about there being no difference to them between the jazz and classical worlds but Cunningham provides one of the most striking proofs of how this is possible in his six-minute piece from 1969, Engrams, written for Natalie Hinderas, in which serial atonality collides with bebop and free jazz. A couple of the other short pieces which follow it in the list above contain similar mixtures of atonality and jazz while the 1970 Harlem Suite - at 20 minutes, the longest piece here - is a nine-movement compendium of jazz, soul, blues, a touch of funk and a sprinkle of Latin American spice from Spanish Harlem. John Ellis (piano). Equilibrium EQ 65 (U.S.A.) 07G095 $16.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Dance No. 4 (Glass, electric organ), MEREDITH MONK (b.1942): Do You Be? (Monk, voice and keyboard), JON GIBSON: Criss Cross (Gibson, sax), GARRETT LIST (b.1933): Where We Are (List and the A-1 Art Band), GORDON MUMMA (b.1935): Schoolwork (Ned Sublette [melodica], Joe Hannan [psaltery], Mumma [cross cut saw]), GEORGE LEWIS (b.1952): The Kim and I (Lewis, trombone and computer), MICHAEL NYMAN (b.1944): Five Orchestra Pieces for Opus Tree (nine performers), PAULINE OLIVEROS (b.1932): The Tuning Meditation (Oliveros, audience, vocals), TOM JOHNSON (b.1939): Secret Songs (Johnson, voice), CHARLIE MORROW (b.1942): Dream Song/Vision Chant (Morrow, voice), BARBARA BENARY: Exchanges (Benary, Malcolm Goldstein, Naaz Hosseini [violins]), PHILL NIBLOCK (b.1933): Four Arthurs (Arthur Stidfole [bassoon], Joseph Celli [oboe]), DAVID BEHRMAN: Touch Tones (Arthur Stidfole [electric drill], Behrman [touch-sensitive switches]), JOEL CHADABE: Solo, TONY CONRAD (b.1940): Untitled Pieces (Conrad, piano), CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE (b.1945): Untitled for Solo Voice, STEVE REICH (b.1936): Drumming, Part One (four drummers). The Kitchen was a storied venue way back when for experimental music, music which could be played on all kinds of non-musical materials and be conjured up from all sorts of electronic and acoustic items. The list of names above contains several who became world-famous and many more who still ply their rough musical trade (a surprising number as faculty members at prestigous universities as a Google search for birthdates showed). Amazing that these people are mostly in their late 60s now, isn't it? Not for the faint-hearted unless you're looking to get rid of a spouse, significant other or piss off the miserable so-and-so who lives above/below you. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Orange Mountain Music OMM 0015 (U.S.A.) 07G096 $16.98

MAGNUS LINDBERG (b.1958): Piano Concerto, Kraft for Clarinet, Cello, Piano, Percussion and Orchestra. The elemental, hammering power and energy behind most of the half-hour long Kraft (1985) is of such intensity and has such a powerful effect on an audience that it is gratifying to find the liner-notes to this new recording of it describing it (and similar Lindberg works from the same period) as "Brutist". The composer called it "An alliance of the hyper-complex and the primitive" and it will appeal to anyone who enjoys the similarly wonderful brutalities visited upon us by, say, Xenakis. The concerto (1990-94) is of a different order, Lindberg's style having evolved by then and this piece juxtaposes spectral and chromatic harmonies while approaching the classical idea of melody-accompaniment in his own non-tonal way. Magnus Lindberg (piano), Toimii Ensemble, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen. Ondine ODE 1017-2 (Finland) 07G097 $17.98

KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Cendres for Alto Flute, Cello and Piano, Noa Noa for Flute and Electronics, Mirrors for Flute and Cello, Spins and Spells for Cello, Monkey Fingers, Velvet Hand for Piano, Petals for Cello and Electronics, Mirrors for Flute and Cello (Olson version), Laconisme de l'aile for Flute and Electronics, 6 Japanese Gardens for Percussion and Electronics. Three timbral preoccupations of Saariaho's are the flute family, the cello, and the controllable expanded acoustic environment afforded by electronics, and this disc nicely showcases the inventive possibilities that she realises in her writing for all three. The electronic aura superimposed on instrumental sounds in Noa Noa and Six Japanese Gardens suggests that the pieces are being played in a series of halls, some realistic, others like imaginary temples or huge reverberant spaces with an almost alien atmosphere. Even the strictly instrumental compositions - for solo cello, or piano, or combinations of instruments - exhibit a similar degree of exploration of sound within the context of Saariaho's sensuous yet precise musical structures. Wolpe Trio, Andreas Boettger (percussion, electronics), Thomas Neuhaus (electronics). Kairos 0012412KAI (Austria) 07G098 $15.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Triadic Memories. Lasting just over an hour and a half in this performance (tempo is left to the discretion of the performer; Nonken has chosen a steady pulse approximating a resting heartbeat) this is a precisely notated score in which the overlapping decay of sustained notes (played one at a time or in simple combinations) provides a subtle, shifting harmonic progression. Much of Feldman's music frequently sounds slower than this piece, and it is easy to imagine an equally effective, more meditative version at half the tempo or even less. Nevertheless, the exquisite refinement of the composer's sonic and harmonic imagination is readily apparent in a work that is one of his most directly appealing and, listened to appropriately, one of his most hypnotic. The 'arbitrary index points' provided for 'ease of navigation' seem especially redundant in a piece like this, which only really works if experienced in its entirety. 2 CDs. Special price. Marilyn Nonken (piano). Mode 136 (U.S.A.) 07G099 $27.98

JASON ECKARDT (b.1971): After Serra for Flute, Bass Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Tangled Loops for Saxophone and Piano, A Glimpse Retraced for Piano, Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Polarities for Flute, Piccolo, Sleigh Bells, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Sandpaper Blocks, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano and Percussion. Eckardt's music has an agile, organic energy coupled with a finely-judged sense of balance between small-scale details. The instrumental virtuosity of the improviser is also of major importance - witness the thrilling pyrotechnics of Tangled Loops, a jazzy seven-minute accompanied cadenza for saxophone. These pieces call for very little repose, on the part of either performer or listener; a good deal more atonal than most jazz, the works nonetheless have a brightly kinetic appeal in common with the best improvised music, and are both enjoyable and ultimately rewarding of close attention. Taimur Sullivan (sax), Marilyn Nonken (piano), Ensemble 21; Jeffrey Milarsky, Paul Hostetter. Mode 137 (U.S.A.) 07G100 $17.98

LUKAS LIGETI (b. mid 1960s?): Pattern Transformation and Independence for Percussion, Moving Houses for String Quartet, New York to Neptune for Violin, Viola and Cello, Delta Space for Piano. Some composers seem to make a virtue out of eclecticism for its own sake; some may make a whole career out of it. Acknowledging indigenous musics of various parts of Africa, gypsy music, Norwegian folk-fiddling, computer music, jazz, New York experimentalism, minimalism and improvisation and even The Beatles, Ligeti has crafted an appealing mixture of styles that is very easy to listen to and appreciate, even as some of the material, principally in its rhythmic aspects, is actually quite complex. But the music is never less than genial and approachable, with something of the appeal of watching the complex yet patterned motion of a large, colorful mobile. Amadinda Percussion Group, Ethel, Procédé Rodesco-Letort, Kathleen Supové (piano). Tzadik TZ 7099 (U.S.A.) 07G101 $16.98

SIMON BAINBRIDGE (b.1952): Music for Mel and Nora for Oboe and Piano, MELINDA MAXWELL: Sextet for Strings "From Tree to Tree", 3 Pieces for Solo Clarinet, Pelagos for String Trio, Songlines and Cadences for Clarinet and Harp, HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): Nine Orpheus Elegies for Countertenor, Oboe and Harp, SUNGJI HONG (b.1973): Sonata da Chiesa I "The Annunciation" for Oboe and Percussion, ROBERT SAXTON (b.1953): ...from a distant shore... for Solo Oboe. This varied and appealing program consists of music written for and by oboist Maxwell. The pieces from Birtwistle's ongoing set of Orpheus Elegies are the most extended work here, lyrical and melancholy, less abrasive than much of Birtwistle's earlier music. Maxwell's own pieces, and that of Sungji, a former student at London's Royal Academy of Music, are highly chromatic but mostly relatively conservative, though Hong's piece makes some use, in passing, of multiphonics and quarter-tones, while Saxton's solo oboe piece spins a long, mellifluous melodic line. Nothing here is less than thoroughly approachable, and this is an easy disc to enjoy. Melinda Maxwell (oboe) and various artists. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7139 (England) 07G102 $16.98

British Light Music Discoveries - 6

GARETH GLYN (b.1951): Legend of the Lake, CHRISTOPHER SLASKI (b.1974): Frank Lloyd Wright Suite, DAVID FANSHAWE (b.1942): Tarka the Otter, Serenata: Mother and Child, IAIN HAMILTON (1922-2000): Overture 1912, HENRY WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941): March Past of the Royal Air Force, HAMILTON HARTY (1879-1941): Londonderry Air, JOHN FIELD (1782-1837): Rondo in A Flat for Piano and Orchestra (arr. P. Lane). Most noteworthy here are Glyn's 16-minute suite of music from a 1982 film about legends concerning the sacred lakes of Angelsey; Hamilton's 1958 tribute to the world of the music-hall and Slaski's spirited and original 24-minute suite from 2002 which evokes four buildings by the famous architecht. Royal Ballet Sinfonia, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Gavin Sutherland, London Symphony Orchestra; Neil Thomson. ASV WHL 2149 (England) 07G103 $11.98

British by Arrangement - 2

PETER HOPE (b.1930): 3 American Sketches, Mexican Hat Dance, The Lark in the Clear Air, Majorcan Fantasy, ERIC WETHERELL (b.1925): Airs and Graces, ERNEST TOMLINSON (b.1924): Fantasia on "Auld Lang Syne", ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Tango in D, Op. 165/2 (arr. Malcolm Arnold), FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H (arr. Christopher Phelps). Everything here is self-explanantory (you'll know Hope's American stuff and the Majorcan Fantasy comes from - duh! - Majorcan folk music) except for Wetherell's 17-minute suite which derives from German recorder tunes around 1740 which he found in an album his children had been using. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV WHL 2155 (England) 07G104 $11.98

A Weill Broadway World Premiere!

KURT WEILL (1900-1950): The Firebrand of Florence. Both the composer and the critics who reviewed the work's Broadway premiere in late March of 1945 agreed that Firebrand contained the best music he had written in years but the show itself was a failure which closed after just over a month. Hamstrung by poor acting and singing and slow staging (all the work of the producer who hired many performers with almost no Broadway experience), as Weill put it, "the show was killed by production." This live recording of a 2000 BBC concert performance gives us a wonderfully creative and tuneful score (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and a work designed to accomplish the composer's long-time wish of creating a center-ground between high opera and low-brow musical comedy. Libretto included. Rodney Gilfrey (baritone), Lori Ann Fuller (soprano), Geroge Dvorsky (bass), Felicity Palmer (mezzo), BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis. Capriccio 60 091 (Germany) 07G105 $29.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1916-1975): Hamlet, Op. 116/116a. Lev Atovmyan's eight-movement suite (Op. 116a) is incorporated into this complete recording of the original film score for Grigori Kozintsev's 1964 film. In all, there are 23 cues totalling just over 62 minutes, with some music which was faded down in the film now heard for the first time. Compelling and atmospheric music (the use of the harpsichord in Ophelia's music is very effective), this was one of Shostakovich's favorite scores. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitri Yablonsky. Naxos Film Music Classics 8.557446 (New Zealand) 07G106 $6.98

MAURICE YVAIN (1891-1965): Pas sur la bouche - Original Soundtrack to the Film by Alain Resnais based on the 1925 Operetta. Orchestrations, additional music and musical direction by Bruno Fontaine (b.1957). This film is playing in Europe now; whether it will get here or go beyond three or four major cities is doubtful (but it does have Audrey Tautou in it), but no less doubtful than the chance the the director of Hiroshima Mon Amour and Last Year at Marienbad would ever do a frothy, scatter-brained operetta. We haven't heard it but we offer it for you operetta buyers and note that Fontaine has been doing arrangements for Ute Lemper since 1992 and, presumably, knows what he's doing with material from the period. Naive V 4972 (France) 07G107 $16.98

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