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Felix Weingartner

Symphony No. 3

 

 

 

FELIX WEINGARTNER (1863-1942): - Symphonic Works, Vol. 4 - Symphony No. 3 in E, Op. 49, Lustige Ouvertüre, Op. 53. Those of you who've already wondered at the markedly different qualities (and quantities) of the first three recorded Weingartner symphonies will be positively amazed at this massive eruption of creativity. In four movements lasting just over 65 minutes, this work is aptly compared by the note-writer to a wildly, freely-growing hothouse plant of gargantuan proportions (Herr Notewriter's own style is just as prolix, never settling for an eight-word phrase when six subordinate clauses, piles of adjectives and lumps of adverbs can be poured upon us). You need a detailed road-map to follow the themes and their luxuriant variations (which one can also compare to the filigree in much Viennese fin de siècle art); or you can just sit back and wallow in the sheer immensity of the sound (the description of this as a "gigantic" orchestra was never more apt... 6(!) horns, heckelphone?, organ ad lib. - the wind section is larger than most chamber orchestras), the lushness of the melodies (many waltzes go shimmering by) and, in the scherzo, the diabolically-hammering rhythms. Basel Symphony Orchestra; Marko Letonja. CPO SACD hybrid 777 100 (Germany) 07I001 $13.98 Sale price

 

 


Ø Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: 15


NOTES [July 2006]:

1. ALL CPO TITLES ON SALE THIS MONTH!

Our cover item is $2.00 off the regular cpo price while all other titles on the label are $1.00 off ($14.98) through the month of July. New 2006 cpo catalogues are available on request. Or use the cpo Web-site - part of parent company www.jpc.de (you'll find a search option for cpo on the left-hand side of the jpc home page, after you've clicked on the British flag to get English text).

2. Since the response to the question in last month's notes about Aurora CDs was so underwhelming and since June sales were equally underwhelming and I can't afford to have the Aurora discs blurbed, this idea will be anaesthetized for a suitable period and perhaps revived later in the year.

3. No ABC Classics or French Accord yet but August should have a number of new releases from the latter and, perhaps, a Goossens piano disc from the former. Also - some never-before-available and new-release Capriccios as well as a special cover surprise for symphony fans in general and Roentgen fans in particular!

4. Dutton Epoch collectors: The release with the Bowen violin concerto and Piano Concerto No. 1 is not a U.S. August release as we'd hoped. We must be patient and wait for September!


JOSEPH-GUY ROPARTZ (1864-1955): Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Symphony No. 5 in G. The Second was a failure at its 1901 premiere and Ropartz chose to forget about it to the extent that, when asked if he had a copy in 1955, he had no idea if any still existed. Fortunately, it was in the archives of Edition Salabert and proves to be an interesting attempt to de-Franckify his style. Oddly, many of the individual themes are quite Franckian but the cyclical form is much abbreviated (where one can find it at all) and the piece is really a throwback to the Classical Symphony, full of memorable melodies and an interesting collision of Wagner, Franck, Bruckner and Mahler in its adagio. Completed in 1944, the Fifth is essentially lyrical, richly polyphonic, full of luminous orchestration and gentle melodies with a final movement remarkable for its sparkle and joyous energy - music as a refuge during a time of war. Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy; Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Timpani 1C1097 (France) 07I002 $18.98

VINCENT D'INDY (1851-1931): Poème des rivages, Op. 77, Istar - Symphonic Variations, Op. 42, Diptyque méditerranéen, Op. 87. Getting remarried at 69 to a 33-year-old woman seems to have knocked a lot of the Gregorian/counterpoint/metrical complexity stuffing out of D'Indy. The two late works recorded here revel in the sun of the Mediterranean climes where the composer and his wife moved after the wedding. Poème (1921) is the longest - a four-movement suite depicting Agay on the Côte d'Azur (a musical sunrise), Mallorca (a depiction of brilliant, life-giving sunshine), Falconara in the Adriatic (a train-ride which anticipates the more notorious one to come shortly from one of D'Indy's students - Arthur Honegger) and the Gulf of Gascony (storm music clearing up into a transcendental, joyous calm). The Diptyque is a shorter, two-movement work from 1926, "Morning Sun" and "Afternoon Sun", both calm, lyrical and refined. Somewhat earlier, Istar (1897) is a theme-and-variations notable for the naked theme being revealed only at the end, as the goddess Ishtar after having removed all her garments on her way, through six doors (variations) to liberate her lover from the realm of the dead. Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Emmanuel Krivine. Timpani 1C1101 (France) 07I003 $18.98

EDWARD GERMAN (1862-1936): Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Overture - The Tempter, Prelude - Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Willow Song. All but one of these works come from 1890-97, well before German's name was indelibly associated with evocations of Renaissance England due to the wild success of his light opera Merrie England in 1902. The symphony (1890) was based on a student work of three years earlier and is a four-movement work in traditional form of 32 minutes. Not as weighty as, say, Parry's Fourth of the year before, it is a well-constructed, attractively orchestrated piece with memorable themes (especially the main theme of the final movement) which every now and then has one thinking of Mendelssohn and Dvorák but whose other, rather indefinable quality may just be that of "English Romantic orchestral music" which, after all, we're only really getting to know in any depth these past two decades. Hamlet, a 20-minute symphonic poem from 1897, is an essay in a genre all but ignored by English composers (the notes provide a road-map of the action depicted), Romeo an atmospheric ten-minute prelude to a stage play of 1895 and The Tempter a brief, effective seven minute overture to a melodramatic pot-boiler (1893). From 1922, The Willow Song was inspired by Desdemona's words in Othello and its mournful melancholy suggests the composer's own lament for brighter days gone by. BBC Concert Orchestra; John Wilson. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7156 (England) 07I004 $18.98

MONTAGUE PHILLIPS (1885-1969): Charles II Overture, Op. 60, Hillside Melody, Op. 40, Hampton Court, Op. 76, Phantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 16, Festival Overture, Op. 71, In Old Verona: a Serenade for Strings, In May Time, Op. 38, Empire March, Op. 68. Collectors who bought the first Phillips disc on Dutton (08G099) back in August 2004 will know that the line between "serious" and "light" music is very thin here. The Phantasy (1912) is the most "serious" in form and process but such short works as Hillside Melody and Festival Overture have self-manufactured folksong in them and sound like something Vaughan Williams might have collected and adapted while the Empire March, a war piece from 1942, is as rousing as anything Elgar or Walton concocted. Matthew Trusler (violin), BBC Concert Orchestra; Gavin Sutherland. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7158 (England) 07I005 $18.98

BENJAMIN DALE (1885-1943): Violin Sonata in E, Op. 11, English Dance, Prunella, Holiday Tune, Ballade, Op. 15. Like his huge piano sonata (once available on English Continuum some 12 years ago), Dale's 1922 violin sonata, lasting 40 minutes, is in sonata/theme-and-variations/intro-and-finale form and, except for the Ballade, was the last significant composition of his. Like the roughly contemporary violin sonatas of Bax, Ireland and Dunhill, there is an elegiac quality throughout the work which flows into passionate utterances and then ebbs again into quite reserve, suggesting perhaps the knowledge increasingly evident of the loss of a brighter, happier pre-war world. Lorraine McAslan (violin), Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7157 (England) 07I006 $18.98

JULES CRESSONNOIS (1823-1883): L'invitation au voyage, LÉO DELIBES (1836-1891): Départ, Bonjour, Suzon!, Regrets!, CHARLES LECOCQ (1832-1918): La cigale et la fourmi, La chauve-souris et les deux belettes, ÉMILE PESSARD (1843-1917): Le spectre de la rose, Oh! quand je dors, BENJAMIN GODARD (1849-1895): Chanson du berger, Guitare, L'invitation au voyage, Viens!, PAUL PUGET (1848-1917): Madrid, Comment, disaient-ils, PAUL (1852-1933) & LUCIEN (1860-1909) HILLEMACHER: Soupir, Si mes vers avaient des ailes, L'invitation au voyage, Ici-bas, Sérénade, ÉMILE PALADILHE (1844-1926): Psyché, Les papillons, La chanson des blondes, Danse indienne, HENRI DUPARC (1848-1933): L'invitation au voyage. A collection of French song from the period of the belle époque, a time when "serious" composers were expected to be able to write lighter fare and vice versa (note ballet composer Delibes and operetta composer Lecocq and violinist/composer Godard) and the music-buying public could support a huge number of well-trained composers who, when not writing deathless music, were always writing eminently civilised music. What's here in this 78 minute recital is probably just the tip of the iceberg. French-English texts. John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion French Song Edition CDA 67523 (England) 07I007 $18.98

KURT WEILL (1900-1950): Quodlibet, Op. 9, Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. Although Weill's two symphonies are fairly well represented in the catalogues, Quodlibet is not. Quid est Quodlibet? It's a 22-minute suite from a children's pantomime of 1922 called Zaubernacht apparently dealing with same E.T.A. Hoffmann work that Tchaikovsky used for his Nutcracker ballet. Sleeping children, moonlight, dreams, fairies and toys coming to life are the events the music underlines and there is a strong flavor of Busoni, including direct quotations, in it. Horenstein, Weingartner and Zemlinsky championed the work but it was soon eclipsed by Mahagonny and Dreigroschenoper. Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Antony Beaumont. Chandos SACD hybrid 5046 (England) 07I008 $21.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Cello Concerto, Op. 32, Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 29. Composed in 1968 and 1966 respectively after having done the majority of his major film scores, these concertos demonstrate a striking creativity with Rózsa's Hungarian roots evident everywhere in both works. In the cello concerto, passionate outer movements surround songful and impassioned slow movements in compositions that are open-hearted and strongly communicative. Written for Heifetz and Piatigorsky, the 30-minute work is suffused with the Hungarian color and rhythms which permeate practically all of Rózsa's concert scores. Philippe Graffin (violin), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), BBC Concert Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. ASV Gold GLD 4018 (England) 07I009 $17.98

GEORGY SVIRIDOV (1915-1998): Piano Trio in A Minor, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67. Yet another rare chamber work by a Soviet composer known for other kinds of composition and, yet again, coupled with the Shostakovich second trio because both were written around the same time. Sviridov's is a year later - 1945 and revised in 1955 - and is in four movements titled "Elegy", "Scherzo", "Funeral March" and "Idyll". No prize for figuring out the source of the two elegiac movements; the scherzo has the expected Shostakovichian irony and borderine manic energy and, also as expected, the "Idyll" is a hopeful look into what turned out to be anything but a pleasant future. Two other recordings were briefly available, one on Olympia in the mid 90s, one on Arts and Electronics in the 80s but both labels are, of course, extinct. DAR trio. Classical Records CR-064 (Russia) 07I010 $17.98

HARRY DONALD HEWITT (1921-2003): Symphony No. 1, Op. 40/1, Symphony No. 32, Op. 478, Preludes Nos. 5, 8, 9 and 13 from 24 Preludes for Strings, Op. 19. A major American symphonist with 32 works in the genre, Hewitt is certainly deserving of more widespread credit than has so far been the case. On the evidence of his first and last symphonies he is a composer who arrived at a personal language that suited him at an early stage, and seems not to have felt the need to respond much to the vagaries of musical fashion since. Both works are firmly grounded in tonality - the fairly conventionally laid out First, in three movements, more so than its single-span companion. Admirers of the Scandinavian 20th-century symphonists, Robert Simpson and late Havergal Brian, or from our own shores, Sessions' under-rated symphonies will find this basically familiar terrain, though the territory is new enough to warrant detailed exploration. Both works combine a neoclassical precision and clarity with a very Romantic sense of drama and direct emotional impact, expressed in the harmonically far-reaching vocabulary of the early 20th century. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One 196 (U.S.A.) 07I011 $11.98

ALEXANDER TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977): Piano Concertos No. 2, Op. 26, No. 4, Op. 78 "Fantasie" and No. 6, Op. 99. For curious customers who haven't yet tried the Tcherepnin series ongoing on BIS, this budget-price issue will be of some service. The second concerto (1923) is a single-movement work of 17 minutes whose personality is of untroubled insousiance with some of the percussive qualities of Prokofiev and the more obvious influences of such composers as Ravel, Stravinsky and Honegger. The fourth concerto (1947) is from Tcherepnin's "Oriental" period, full of pentatonic melodies, delicately scored but also with a firm sense of drama. Actually a set of three tone poems with piano obliggato, it tells three stories from Chinese folklore. The Sixth (1965) and sandwiches a Bartokian slow movement between two high energy fast ones. Murray McLachlan (piano), Chetham's Symphony Orchestra; Julian Clayton. Original 1995 Olympia release. Regis Forum FRC 9110 (England) 07I012 $8.98

WILHELM KEMPFF (1895-1991): Piano Trio in G Minor, Quartet for Piano, Flute, Violin and Cello in G, Op. 15. No worries about Schnabelian atonality or complexity here! The Brahmsian (with a bit of extended tonality) piano trio is the work of an anguished 16-year-old who just got kicked out of the Conservatory while the coupling, dating from around ten years later has a Swedish folk-song-colored slow movement and a tarentella finale - a memento of the Swedish Queen helping the composer recover from nervous collapse with a long vacation in Italy. Darius Burnecki (piano), Andrea Schumacher (violin), Astrid Sulz (cello), Ingrid Hasse (flute), Antonella Pagano (piano, op. 15). Original 1995 release. Arte Nova ANO 342520 (Germany) 07I013 $4.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Intimations of Immortality for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 29, For St. Cecilia for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 30. Probably his finest mature work, Intimations sets poetry by Wordsworth which, generally, laments the passing of the instinctive, intuitive freshness of childhood with the growth into adulthood, texts which particularly resonated with a composer whose youth and early maturity were wracked by death in his family and loneliness (his musical talent was not elsewhere evident in his family). Lasting almost 40 minutes, this work is the finest example of how a literary-minded and scholarly man who is also a gifted composer can seem utterly at one with his poet. Thrilling, moving and gently sad, Finzi's great choral work sends chills down the spine of anyone with sensibility. Texts included. James Gilchrist (tenor), Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; David Hill. Naxos 8.557863 (New Zealand) 07I014 $7.98

ANDREA GABRIELI (1510-1586): Missa brevis in G, ANON.: Proper In Purificatione Sanctae Mariae Virginis, Miserere mei Deus, Sopra la morte d'Adriano, (Anon.) for Organ: Toccata del X tono, Ricercari del V & VI toni, Canzona "qui la dira". The Mass is from Gabrieli's time in Munich, dating probably from 1562, and is in the homophonic style, brief in construction, simple in counterpoint, demanded by the Council of Trent. Added is a plain chant Proper taken from the monophonic repertory of St. Mark's in Venice. Cora da Camera del Concentus Musicus Patavinus; Fabio Framba (organ), Chola Gregoriana Scriptoris. Tactus TC 510701 (Italy) 07I015 $11.98

DARIO CASTELLO (fl.1620-29): Sonate concertate in stil moderno, Op. 2, Nos. 1-4, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 & 17. This selection from a publication of 1629 gives a colorful example of the cutting-edge of musical composition in Venice of that period, when Monteverdi towered above such other innovators as Cavalli and Biagio Marini. Solo sonatas, duos, trios and and three à 4 instrumentations are presented here with a rich continuo chosen from salterio, theorbo, guitar, harpsichord, gamba, double harp and positive organ. Musica Fiorita; Daniela Dolci. Tactus TC 590301 (Italy) 07I016 $11.98

MARCIN MIELCZEWSKI (d.ca.1651): Complete Works, Vol. 4 - Canzonas: seconda a 2, quinta a 3, seconda a 3, prima a 2, quarta a 3, prima a 3 and terza a 3, Sub tuum praesidium, Deus in nomine tuo, Veni Domine, Salve Virgo Puerpera. During the middle of the 17th century, Mielczewski was known throughout Europe and many of his works continued to be performed decades after his death. This six-CD series (the first three were offered in May) contains mostly newly rediscovered compositions plundered by the Nazis from Cracow and discovered not long ago in the Preussische Kulturbesitz in the former East Berlin. Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense; Lilianna Stawarz. Pro Musica Camerata PMC 021 (Poland) 07I017 $16.98 Ø

MARCIN MIELCZEWSKI (d.ca.1651): Complete Works, Vol. 5 - Vesperae Dominicales I and II. These three volumes contain canzonas and church concertos, vesper settings and masses with anything from six-voice choirs to two four-part choirs, with accompanying pairs of violins and four trombones (or three trombones and bassoon) with basso continuo. Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense; Lilianna Stawarz. Pro Musica Camerata PMC 022 (Poland) 07I018 $16.98 Ø

MARCIN MIELCZEWSKI (d.ca.1651): Complete Works, Vol. 6 - Missa super "O gloriosa Domina", Missa Cerviensiana, Missa triumphalis, Missa Sancta Anna. Deluxe presentation with oversize booklets in slipcases and full Latin texts (but Polish translations). Soloists and Chamber Choir of the Warsaw Chamber Opera, Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense; Lilianna Stawarz. Pro Musica Camerata PMC 026 (Poland) 07I019 $16.98 Ø

DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707): Cantatas Alles, was ihr tut mit Worten oder mit Werken, BuxWV 4, Aperite mihi portas justitiae, 7, Befiehl dem Engel daß er komm, 10, Magnificat, Jesulein, du Tausendschön, 63, Kommst du, Licht der Heiden, 66, An Filius non est Dei, 6, Das neugeborne Kindelein, 13, Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes, 77. Given that there are 114 sacred vocal works by Buxtehude in existance, it's amazing that so few have been recorded and that the few that have been get duplicated. Although only one of these Festiche Kantaten is not otherwise available on disc, the others have only one or two other recordings. All are upbeat, bright and cheerful works, making one think that living in mid 17th century Lübeck might not have been such a bad thing! German texts. Musica Lingua, L'arpa festante; Stephan Schreckenberger. Genuin GMP 020403-1 (Germany) 07I020 $17.98 Ø

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Concerto for 2 Horns and Timpani, Bassoon Concerto, Trumpet Concerto, Flute Concerto, Concerto for 2 Trumpets and Timpani. Less virtuosic than his harpsichord partitas (due to the quality or availability of the musicians in the Darmstadt court orchestra), Graupner's concertos are notable for their play of light and shade, instrumental color and his knowledge of the character of each of the (sometimes rather less-used) instruments. The bassoon concerto, almost twice as long as any of the other works here, is a particularly fine example and is more technically demanding as well. Antichi Strumenti. Original 2002 release (offered in January 2003 as 01E017). Stradivarius Echo STE 11011 (Italy) 07I021 $8.98

BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): 6 Cello Sonatas. First international CD release and a blast from the past for period-instrument collectors. The sonatas probably date from 1712-17 and are in a very conservative, Corellian style. Anthony Pleeth (cello), Richard Webb (continuo cello), Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord). Original 1978 L'Oiseau Lyre release. Explore Records ECP0012 (England) 07I022 $13.98

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Symphonies in B Flat, G Minor and A Minor, Violin Concerto in A, Chalumeau Concerto in B Flat, Concerto for Violin and Oboe in D Minor. With his close connections to the famous Dresden orchestra, Fasch was able to write opulantly instrumented works and virtuosic concertos (like those recorded here) while, generally, a predilection for a Vivaldian style is freshened with rich harmonies and well-thought-out motivic work which appealed to a German audience. Christian Leitherer (chalumeau), Meike Güldenhaupt (oboe), Martin Jopp (violin), Main Baroque Orchestra Frankfurt. Aeolus AE-10017 (Germany) 07I023 $17.98

THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): Overtures to Thomas and Sally and to Alfred, Eight Overtures in 8 Parts. As was the practice with other composers of the period, Arne collected the overtures to eight of his stage works (three are identifiable but the other five almost surely belong to his many lost masques and operas) and published them as a set in 1751. All but two are in the French style invented by Lully while the remaining two (and the other pair recorded here) are in the more up-to-date Italian sinfonia style. Collegium Musicum 90; Simon Standage. Chandos Chaconne 0722 (England) 07I024 $17.98

JOHANN WILHELM HERTEL (1727-1789): Symphonies in A and in F, Violin Concerto in B Flat, Oboe Concerto in G Minor, Harp Concertoin F. The only available CD devoted to Hertel's orchestral music offers two string symphonies of around ten minutes length which show, once again, the very personal varieties of responses to the end of the Baroque and beginning of the Classical periods while the concertos - especially the ones for violin and oboe - are longer and very much in the early Classical style, with slow movements of Empfindsamkeit style in the manner of C.P.E. Bach. Martin Jopp (violin), Meike Güldenhaupt (oboe), Johanna Seitz (harp), Main Baroque Orchestra Frankfurt. Aeolus SACD hybrid AE-10027 (Germany) 07I025 $17.98


A Dutch Symphony Discovery!

JOSEPH SCHMITT (1734-1791): Symphonies in D, Op. 1/1, in B Flat, Op. 6/2, in G and in E Flat "The Hurdy Gurdy", Flute Quartets in E Minor and in G, Op. 3, Nos. 3 & 6. A priest, composer, pedagogue and music publisher born in Germany, Schmitt spent the latter part of his career in Holland where he helped found the first public concert hall in Amsterdam. A student of Abel, he wrote a dozen or so symphonies in a stylistic progression from early works to later ones which takes in the Mannheim School, the empfindsamkeit of C.P.E. Bach and the style of early Haydn (many of Schmitt's works were attributed to the latter). We had a (different) flute quartet of his in our August 2005 catalogue but everything on this disc is a first recording. An important release for collectors of the Classical symphony! New Dutch Academy; Simon Murphy. Pentatone Classics PTC 5186 039 (Netherlands) 07I026 $19.98


MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Concertante for Organ (Harpsichord), Viola and Orchestra in C, P.55, Flute Concerto in D, P.56, Violin Concerto in B Flat, P.53. The claviorgan gives us both organ and harpsichord in the attractive, full-length (30-minute) Concertante which, nevertheless, is rather chamber-like in its interplay of the solo instruments with a string orchestra. The violin concerto, also with strings only, is more virtuosic while the flute concerto adds a pair of horns to the strings. Claudio Brizi (claviorgan), Luca Ranieri (viola), Mario Ancillotti (flute), Luca Arcese (violin), I Solisti di Perugia; Thomas Indermühle. Camerata CMCD 28069 (Japan) 07I027 $17.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Serenata in D, FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Symphony in D "La Chasse", JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Arias for insertion into L'impresario in Angustie (Cimarosa), La Metilde ritrovata (Anfossi) and La Frascatana (Paisiello). The younger Haydn's 1785 serenade is one of those gigantic outdoors works which were used at university term-end, aristocratic weddings and other important large-scale activities (a genre which Mozart employed several times as well). This 42-minute work is in seven movements with an opening and closing marcia. Collectors may have the Hoffmeister on Orfeo (we offered it in Sept. 1997) but that disc has been deleted and this recording is on period instruments. Papa Haydn's 1779 insertion arias are truly rare (and written for his mistress!). No texts. Ursula Fiedler (soprano), Concilium musicum Wien; Paul Angerer. Cavalli Records CCD 449 (Germany) 07I028 $17.98

JOHANN GOTTLIEB NAUMANN (1741-1801): Betulia Liberata. Remarkably, this oratorio was premiered four years after its composer's death, having been held by the Prince Elector of Dresden after it had been turned in late, due to illness, by Naumann in 1796. It sets a Metastasio text which would have been quite dated by that time and Naumann cuts many of the recitatives while being quite up-to-date in accompanying them with full orchestra which is also instrumental in conveying psychological aspects of the character's arias too. Perhaps figuring that the work was eternally "for the drawer", Naumann also provided particulary complex choruses which stymied the performers at its posthumous premiere. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Markus Schäfer (tenor), Nele Gramß, Salomé Haller (sopranos), Harry van der Kamp (bass), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO SACD hybrid 777 063 (Germany) 07I029 $29.98 Sale price

WOLGFANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Concerto in D for Harpsichord and Orchestra, K40, Concerto in D for Fortepiano and Strings, K107/1, Concerto in C for Harpsichord and Orchestra, K246 "Lützow". Our acknowledgement of the latest Mozart marketing frenzy will be this disc of not-quite-original concertos (the K40 is a pastiche of sonata movements by Honauer, Eckart and C.P.E. Bach and the K107/1 an arrangement of three J.C. Bach sonatas) and the so-called "Lützow" concerto with its very rare written-out continuo part. The cover uses a drawing discovered only in 1991, perhaps of the young Mozart, perhaps by Johann Joseph Zoffany, to whom two other portraits of the young composer are attributed. Salzburger Hofmusik; Wolfgang Brunner (keyboards). Profil PH06033 (Germany) 07I030 $16.98

ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): 6 Flute Quartets. Probably dating from the first or second decade of the 19th century (when other works in the genre were appearing from Cambini and Viotti - not to mention those of Mercadante and Paisiello), these elegant, tuneful works were designed for professional players, with equally distributed solo parts, virtuosic passages, occasionally difficult positions and rhythmic complexity in which agility, ensemble playng and lyricism are the main goals. Mario Carbotta (flute), Members of the Erasmus Quartet. Tactus TC 751805 (Italy) 07I031 $11.98

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Les Abencerages. Cherubini is now credited with having had critical influence on both the opéra comique tradition which led to Carmen and on the tragédie lyrique tradition which led, via Spontini and Meyerbeer, to Romantic grand opera. This new release offers a valuable piece in that tradition with the first ever release of a 1975 Italian radio recording, without audience, of this 1813 tragédie lyrique. Note that the only other available CD recording is a 1956 Italian translation of a two act version (this is the three-act original). 2 CDs. French libretto. Margherita Rinaldi (soprano), Francisco Ortiz (tenor), Jean Dupouy (bass), RAI Milan Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Peter Maag. Arts Archives 43066-2 (Germany) 07I032 $25.98

KAROL LIPINSKI (1790-1861): Violin Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 14, Rondo alla Polacca in E, Op. 13, Variations de Brvoure sur une Romance militaire in D, Op. 22. At last, the other volume of this two-disc series, containing one of the longest violin concertos of the late Classical period (premiered in 1824). At 42:28, this is in Beethoven and Paganini length territory but, of course, Lipinski being a violin virtuoso, the latter is the necessary comparandum. Shorter on surface glitter, Lipinski's concerto treats its tunes with respect and its slow movement, unlike Paganini's perfunctory sound-blips, is ten minutes long and gorgeously written. Albrecht Laurent Breuninger (violin), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Wojciech Rajski. CPO 999 912 (Germany) 07I033 $14.98 Sale price


Czerny Symphony World Premiere!

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Symphony No. 2, Op. 781, Symphony No. 6 in G Minor. Czerny's last symphony dates from 1854 and, at 33 minutes, is rather shorter than the others which have appeared on the German Signum label (like No. 2 here). Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Schubert all provide stylistic material which Czerny works into his own magisterially orchestrated voice with an exciting first movement recorded at a really cracking pace, a scherzo where Felix collides with Ludwig and a ripping finale. Yee haw! Kaiserslautern Radio Symphony Orchestra; Grzegorz Nowak. Hänssler Classic CD 93.169 (Germany) 07I034 $17.98


FERDINAND HÉROLD (1791-1833): La somnambule. Dating from 1827, this ballet is seen by conductor Bonynge as being the first true Romantic ballet. There are intriguing pre-echoes of Donizetti's opera on the same libretto from four years later (Tchaikovsky also used a tune from here in Eugene Onegin). Luxurious presentation, with a slipcase containing a 100-page book with many color reproductions of period dance constues from Bonynge's own library, two sets of detailed notes and synopsis. Orchestra Victoria; Richard Bonynge. Melba Recordings SACD hybrid MR 301087 (Australia) 07I035 $17.98

GIACOMO MEYERBEER (1791-1864): Semiramide. This 1819 production was the last of over forty settings of a Metastasio libretto (Rossini's, four years later, used a story by Voltaire as basis) and just predates Meyerbeer's explosion into fame. Great vocal vituosity is demanded of all three main roles, the musical language constantly emphasizes grandeur as well as the dimensions of the numbers (i.e. a 17-minute first act finale). Strong Rossinian feel too. 2 CDs. Libretto on Naxos web-site. Deborah Riedel (soprano), Filippo Adami (tenor), Fiona James (mezzo), Wojtek Gierlach (bass), Altensteig Rossini Choir, Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra; Richard Bonynge. Naxos 8.660205-06 (New Zealand) 07I036 $15.98

FRANZ BERWALD (1796-1868): Piano Quintets in C Minor, Op. 5 and in A, Op. 6. These works, dating from 1853 and 1857, are given the full Viennese treatment here (a pioneering recording at the time) and the opulence may entice owners of the Naxos 1997 release with Swedish artists. Vienna Philharmonia Quintet, Eduard Mrazek (piano). Original 1975 Decca release. Explore Records EXP0003 (England) 07I037 $13.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Das Sühnopfer des neuen Bundes. Loewe wrote much choral/orchestral music, both sacred and secular, and it's nice to finally have a sample of it recorded. Dating from 1847, this is a Passion Oratorio which owes something, in its strong dramatic feeling and biblical recitatives and chorales, to the 1829 revival of Bach's St. Matthew Passion by Mendelssohn, while still being generally composed in a contemporary, Romantic musical language. 2 CDs. Texts and translations on Naxos web-site. Nathalie Gaudefroy (soprano), Christianne Stotjin (contralto), Jacky da Cunha (tenor), Henk Neven (bass), Ensemble Vocal et Instrumental des Heures Romantiques; Udo Reinemann. Naxos 8.557635-36 (New Zealand) 07I038 $15.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Arpeggione Sonata, D 821, Lied der Mignon in A Minor, D 877/4, FRÉDERIC BURGMÜLLER (1806-1874): Nocturne in A Minor, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Sonatine in C Minor, WoO 43a, Air russe - Theme and Variations in A Minor, Op. 107/7, All arr. Vincenz Schuster: LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Tempo di Polacca in A from the Opera Faust, BERNHARD ROMBERG (1767-1841): Adagio in E, UKRAINIAN/GERMAN FOLKSONG: Moderato in A Minor (Schöne Minka). If you don't have the very old DG recording of the Schubert (not easily had when it finally was issued on CD) or you don't know the wonderful, ethereal and melancholy sound of the arpeggione (so called only by Schubert; it was variously known by other names, including "bowed guitar" and "cello-guitar"), you really should hear this new release which also offers an arrangment of an equally melancholy Beethoven trifle and three arrangements by its only contemporary performer. Gerhart Darmstadt (arpeggione), Egino Klepper (fortepiano), Björn Colell (guitar). Cavalli Records CCD 242 (Germany) 07I039 $17.98

JOHAN WENZEL KALLIWODA (1801-1866): Symphony No. 5 in B Minor, Op. 106, Symphony No. 6 in G Minor, Op. 132. These two symphonies were released almost 13 years ago on the Centaur label with a Czech radio orchestra. Collectors who already know Kalliwoda and who have that recording may want this one for the added brio, point and bite of period instruments (the orchestra here changed its name last year from "Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra"). Others just becoming familiar with this Bohemian composer will learn further why contemporaries, including Schumann, felt that he was offering a new approach to the post-Beethoven symphony. Hofkapelle Stuttgart; Frieder Bernius. Orfeo C 677 061 A (Germany) 07I040 $18.98

DOMENICO LIVERANI (1805-1877): La Gaité, 2 Frammenti di un album giovanile, Cujus animam (Rossini's Stabat Mater), Cavatina (Verdi's Traviata), Serenata (Schubert), La Promessa (a Soirée musicale of Rossini), Duettino (song of Ronchetti Montviti), STEFANO GOLINELLI (1818-1891): 2 Morceaux de Salon, Op. 124, GOLINELLI/LIVERANI: Mazurka, Op. 125. An example of the Italian romantic clarinet school and its love for substituting the instrument for the human voice in arrangements of opera arias and other vocal pieces. Corrado Giuffredi (clarinet), Giuseppe Fausto Modugno (fortepiano). Tactus TC 801201 (Italy) 07I041 $11.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Heimkehr aus der Fremde, Op. 89. Mendelssohn's last completed stage work dates from 1829, written for his parents' silver wedding anniversary (not performed in public until 1851). Described as a "Liederspiel", it is a series of songs with a few terzettos, one duet and a chorus with spoken-word narrative connecting the themes of the songs. Mendelssohn's delicate orchestral talents are on full display here and he masterfully uses them to characterize each of the work's four characters. German-English libretto. Juliane Banse (soprano), Iris Vermillion (alto), Carsten Süß (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (bass), Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Helmuth Rilling. Hänssler Classic CD 98.487 (Germany) 07I042 $17.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Complete Organ Works, Vol. 3 - Prelude and Fugue, Op. 37/2, Sonata No. 3 in A, Op. 65, Fugue in D Minor, Andante in D, Chorale-Partita on "Wie gross ist des Allmächt'gen Güte", Nachspiel in D, Andante con moto in G Minor, Fugue in C, Praeludium in D Minor, Allegro vivace in F, Andante in B Minor, Chorale in A Flat, Allegro moderato e grave in F Minor, Andante alla Marcia in B Flat. This five-volume series is based on the brand-new Breitkopf edition of the composer, a third of which contains only organ works, many items newly discovered (mislaid or stolen during World War II), others with corrections of previous errors. Jennifer Bate (6 English organs). SOMM Céleste Series CD 052 (England) 07I043 $17.98

JULIUS RIETZ (1812-1877): Flute Sonata in G Minor, Op. 42, JOHN FRANCIS BARNETT (1837-1916): Grand Sonata, Op. 41, MAX MEYER-OLBERSLEBEN (1850-1927): Fantasie Sonate, Op. 17. Truly unusual romantic flute repertoire (although we did offer the Barnett back in Feb. 1999 on the now-presumably-defunct Rainbow Classics label) with both the Englishman Barnett and Mendelssohn's good friend and colleague Rietz producing lovely melodies very much in Felix's style (both works dating from around 1870) while Meyer-Olbersleben is somewhat more advanced in style - a bit Brahmsian, perhaps, with his two final movements having Romantic titles, "Ständchen" and "Bacchanale". Hans-Udo Heinzmann (flute), Elisaveta Blumina (piano). Genuin GEN 85517 (Germany) 07I044 $17.98 Ø

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Missa canonica, 2 Motets, Op. 29, 2 Motets, Op. 74, Ave Maria, Op. 12, Geistliches Lied, Op. 30, JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Mass for Double Choir in E Flat, Op. 109. Written in 1856-7 as a canonic exercise and tonic for writer's block, Brahms' short (12:20) mass was not published for 100 years and not performed until 1983. German-English texts. Choir of Westminster Cathedral; Martin Baker. Hyperion CDA 67559 (England) 07I045 $18.98

WILHELM RAMSÖE (1837-1895): Brass Quartets No. 1, Op. 20, No. 2, Op. 29, No. 4, Op. 37 & No. 5, Op. 38. This Danish composer attempted to transfigure the genre of the Viennese classical string quartet into brass sound, producing effective and highly virtuosic pieces which may find sympathetic ears even beyond brass enthusiasts (why a Quintet performing quartets? All works use two trumpets and tuba but two employ a horn and the other two a trombone). Ewald Brass Quintet. Hungaroton HCD 32351 (Hungary) 07I046 $17.98

STANISLAW NIEWIADOMSKI (1857-1936): 21 Songs. Late Romantic in style, with a Polish character (motifs of folk songs often present) and dramatic, reflective and ironic by turns, this is a useful collection of Polish song whose lack of texts will not put off true Romantic song collectors. No texts. Jadwiga Teresa Stepien (mezzo), Mariusz Rutkowski (piano). Dux 0427 (Poland) 07I047 $16.98 Ø

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): 5 Lieder, Op. 8, 5 Mélodies, Op. 17, 4 Mélodies, Op. 23, 4 Lieder einer Rose, Op. 36, 5 Gesänge, Op. 53. Yes, songs - Hubay wrote over 100 of them and, though he composed many in Hungarian national manner, we have here early German lieder (op. 8 from 1876) and later French mélodies (mid-1880s - remember that he had been appointed to the Brussels Conservatoire in 1882 and partook of salon life in Paris when he could). The last two cycles are love poems from his fiancée (whose name was Róza), pre-marriage, and a cycle given her on their honeymoon in 1894. German-French/English texts. Andrea Meláth (mezzo), András Molnár (tenor), Gábor Bretz (bass), Emese Virág (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32374 (Hungary) 07I048 $17.98

WILHELM MIDDELSCHULTE (1863-1943): Organ Works, Vol. 3 - Kanonische Fantasie über BACH und Fuge über 4 Themen von Joh. Seb. Bach, Konzert über ein Thema von Joh. Seb. Bach, J.S. BACH: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for Piano and Organ (piano part by Middelschulte). The German-born, Chicago-based composer concentrates here on Bach in two large-scale examples of his predilection for combining late Romantic organ sound with highly structured, contrapuntal music. Jürgen Sonnentheil (Woehl organ, St. Petri, Cuxhaven, Germany), Philip Mayers (piano). CPO 777 144 (Germany) 07I049 $14.98 Sale price

JOSEPH LAUBER (1864-1952): Sonata in una parte, Op. 50, FIDELIO F. FINKE (1891-1968): Sonata, PAUL JUON (1872-1940): Sonata, Op. 78, SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Sonata in B Flat, Op. 121. An interesting recital of flute music by composers between musical periods (Karg-Elert and Juon's works from the early 20s being at least somewhat familiar entities) with Lauber's single-movement work of 1932 being freely rhapsodic and late Romantic in style while the 1931 Finke piece is more angular, rhythmically insistent in its outer movements, less concerned with the beauty of tone one associates with this instrument. Hans-Udo Heinzmann (flute), Jürgen Lamke (piano). Genuin GMP 04502 (Germany) 07I050 $17.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, Op. 62, 4 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 101, Prelude and Fugue in E Minor. The 1918 op. 101 pieces seem, at a time when modernism was assailing the Academy, to take shelter in the intellectual demands and technical requirements of the previous era and are a towering achievement in their genre. The accompanying works, from 1899 and 1926 and equally impressive, also exist in versions for organ. Stephen Coombs (piano). Original 1996 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55223 (England) 07I051 $10.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Les Heures persanes, Op. 65. If you don't have Leif Segerstam's out-of-print Marco Polo recording from 1993 and you're a Koechlin admirer (whether you know the original piano version or not), you'll want this new, brisker (11 minutes faster) version of the composer's often very quiet, sometimes very advanced in terms of musical language, hypnotically attractive Persian travelogue. Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Heinz Holliger. Hänssler Classic CD 93.125 (Germany) 07I052 $17.98


Vianna da Motta's symphony in a brand new recording!

JOSÉ VIANNA DA MOTTA (1868-1948): Symphony "À Pátria", Overture Dona Inês de Castro. As most collectors will know, there are already two recordings of this Portuguese symphony (1895) available on Portuguese labels (Portugalsom and Strauss). Now we bizarrely add a Russian orchestra to the Hungarian and Portuguese orchestras of the earlier issues. If you have both, Mateus generally charts a moderate course between the extreme leisure taken by Silva Pereira and the brisk, crisp, no-nonsense reading of the Hungarian Mátyás Antal. If you've never heard the work, here's your chance since it's next to utterly impossible to get the Portuguese CDs any longer. Lasting almost 45 minutes in this reading, there's a lot of Liszt and Wagner in Da Motta's language (the first two movements could stand as tone poems in their own right) while the scherzo employs genuine Portuguese folk songs. The couplilng is an early work from Da Motta's 18th year - a 13-minute overture which hints at programmatic sources, more Lisztian than the symphony, but showing that the composer's remarkable skill at orchestration was with him from very early on. St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Mario Mateus. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9938 (Russia) 07I053 $16.98


Peterson-Berger: Complete Piano Music

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Complete Piano Music, Volume 1 - A Gentry Tune, Valse burlesque, Canzonetta, Fuga, Valzerino, Law of the Vikings, Wedding March, Bridal March, The Ladies' Album, 3 Tone-Paintings. Complete except for the better-known Frösöblomster, that is. Presented chronologically, this series provides a look at not only Peterson-Berger's piano uvre but at the social place the instrument held among the Swedish educated middle-class. Considered a woman's instrument, which was used both for moments of soliltary musing and for playing bright, brilliant but not too technically difficult pieces at social gatherings, the piano was provided with typical music. This first volume covers the years 1883-96 and among the well-crafted and tuneful dances, songs and marches, the Tone-Paintings stand out for the way in which Peterson-Berger, practically only here in his piano compositions, provided romantic impressionistic portraits: "In the Forest", "Chiming Bells" and "Seascape". Olof Höjer (piano). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1086 (Sweden) 07I054 $18.98 Ø

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Complete Piano Music, Volume 2 - 6 Piano Tunes, Invention à 2 voci, Gliding Skies, The Star-Boys, Norrland Rhapsody, 4 Dance Poems, Last Summer. Adding to the attractions of this series is this volume's instrument - a 1904 Hornung & Möller piano, recorded at its home of Svaneholm Castle. The chronology here is 1897-1903 with the Piano Tunes in the style (and hopeful financial follow-up) of the Frösöblomster, P-B's only attempt to write a rhapsody à la Liszt on Swedish folk-tunes - the Norrland Rhapsody is 11 minutes long and lyrically introverted, beginning and ending with gentle melancholy. The Dance Poems look back to the living-room music-making of childhood while Last Summer is a six-piece suite of nature impressions inspired by a mountain ramble. Olof Höjer (piano). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1087 (Sweden) 07I055 $18.98 Ø

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Complete Piano Music, Volume 3 - Swedish Folk Music Set, Memories of Travel, Earina, 3 Album-leaves in Dance Form, September. 1904-1920 was a period when Peterson-Berger wrote his first three symphonies, premiered his most important opera, Arnljot, and still maintained a career as music critic for a Stockholm newspaper. His piano writing dropped off; the settings of authentic folk songs date from 1906 and Memories (1908) is a set of hiking impressions like the previous disc's Last Summer. The major work here is 1917's Earina, from the Greek noun for Spring, written while convalescing from an attack of rheumatic fever and containing the most personal and striking music he had yet written in the genre. Olof Höjer (piano). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1088 (Sweden) 07I056 $18.98 Ø

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Complete Piano Music, Volume 4 - Italiana, 3 New Dance Poems, 3 Tone Poems, Solitudo, Anakreontika I and II. Along with two sets of salon-style pieces, Italiana (1922) provides a corresponding keyboard work to his symphony subtitled Journey to the South, with a chaste dancing nymph, rollicking Bacchantes and his own representation of the famous Villa d'Este while Solitudo, also the name of his Fifth Symphony of the early 1930s, follows four light-hearted salon-style pieces with the deeply mysterious "Enigma". The two sets of Anakreontika (1924 and 1935) are mild and somewhat autumnal, lyrical pieces transparently and simply rendered, which echo the reputation of their ancient Greek poet namesake. Olof Höjer (piano). Swedish Society Discofil SCD 1089 (Sweden) 07I057 $18.98 Ø


FELIX NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946): Organ Symphony No. 9, Op. 45, MIECZYSLAW SURZYNSKI (1866-1924): Chant triste, Op. 36, MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): Witraze. Nowowiejsky is one of the more neglected late Romantic composers and we'll offer any recording of one of his nine organ symphonies whenever we find one. This one uses a Polish hymn as its basic material. Surzynski's brief piece is typical of the genre and, previously available on an Acte Préalable release, Sawa's "Stained Glass Windows" is quite French (in the manner of Messiaen) in its attention to color and sheer beauty of sound Jan Szypowski (organ of the Warsaw Archcathedral). Dux 0267 (Poland) 07I058 $16.98 Ø

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Sommernacht, Op. 98/5, Der gute Rat, Op. 98/2, Aus den Himmelsaugen, Op. 98/1, Verlassen hab' ich mein Lieb, Op. 15/9, Um Mitternacht blühen die Blumen, Op. 79c/I, Die Glocke des Glücks, Op. 79c/III/I, Gebet, Op. 4/1, Winterahnung, Op. 4/3, Die Nixe, Op. 62/10, Glück, Op. 15/1, Abschied, Op. 43/4, Stelldichein, Op. 88/2, Sehnsucht, Op. 66/1, Morgen, Op. 66/1, Kindergeschichte, Op. 66/12, Der Himmel hat eine Träume geweint, Op. 35/2, Flieder, Op. 53/4, Gute Nacht, Op. 55/13, Ach, Liebster, in Gedanken, Op. 48/4, Am Dorfsee, Op. 48/6, Mein Traum, Op. 31/5, Lied eines Mädchen, Op. 104/4, Schmied Schmerz, Op. 51/6, Mutter, tote Mutter, Op. 104/3, Friede, Op. 76/25, Zwei Mäuschen, Op. 76/48, Glückes genug, Op. 37/3, Darum, Op. 75/15, Wiegenlied, Op. 142/1, In der Frühe. Reger's lieder are rarely recorded, and, at the time of its original release, a third of these were first recordings. German texts. texts. Frauke May (mezzo), Bernhard Renzikowski (piano). Original 1999 Arte Nova release. Arte Nova ANO 750760 (Germany) 07I059 $4.98

JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): String Quartets No. 1 in D Minor and No. 2 in C Minor, The Holy Boy. Both quartets date from 1897, the first one having gained the young composer a composition scholarship at the Royal College of Music, Ireland having in effect composed it to prove to Professor Stanford that he was worthy of learning to compose... As might be expected, Ireland's mature voice is nowhere to be heard and his models are still Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak but the talent is obvious, the music itself warmly romantic (and even quite individual in the second quartet's evocative Nocturne slow movement) and sure to appeal to all collectors of late Romantic chamber music. Maggini Quartet. Naxos 8.557777 (New Zealand) 07I060 $7.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Piano Sonatas No. 1, Op. 66, No. 2 and No. 3, Sphinx, Op. 63, Rainbow Trout, Rondeau de Concert, Ballad, Victorian Waltz. The op. 66 sonata of 1908 has 497 time signature changes in its 582 bars while still maintaining the composer's characteristic fluidity of utterance - needless to say, each pianist will handle it differently and this version is six minutes shorter than the Dutton Epoch recording we offered last October. Schäfer is also much faster in the second (1933), concerned chiefly with sound and color and somewhat Scriabinesque and only marginally quicker in Scott's final sonata (1956), an odd attempt to write in his early, luxuriant fashion, employing multiple motifs yet in a less flamboyant, more harmonically abstract manner. Rainbow Trout (1913) has a narcotic effect like a Scriabin poème, the Rondeau adds a neo-classical hardness and monothematic intensity, the Ballad (1920) suddenly shifts from an acerbic archaic quality to an eruption of jazz and then to a machine-music like pounding atonality. Victorian Waltz was Scott's last piano piece, from 1963), a morbidly witty dusting-off of a long-gone world. Michael Schäfer (piano). Genuin GEN 85049 (Germany) 07I061 $17.98 Ø

NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Cello Concerto in C Minor, Op. 66, Cello Sonatas No. 1 in D, Op. 12 & No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 81. Only coupling of these works at any price below full-price. A marvellous opportunity if you haven't collected any of the works of this great, melancholy, conservative composer, whose uvre is saturated with both Russian resignation and gloom and Russian folk melody. Kyrill Rodin (cello), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Konstantin Krimets, Andrei Pisarev (piano). Original 1996 Arte Nova release. Arte Nova ANO 544640 (Germany) 07I062 $4.98

NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Piano Sonatas No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 27, No. 5 in B, Op. 64/1, Sonatine in E Minor, Op. 57, Prelude and Rondo-Sonata, Op. 58. Another important repertoire disc rises from its Olympian grave. The sonatas' numbers and opus numbers mean nothing chronologically since no one knows exactly how many Myaskovsky wrote, many are student works or derive from student works, and many were substantially revised late in the composer's life but the fourth is quite Scriabinesque and manic-depressive, the fifth more level emotionally and often quite pastoral in quality and the op. 58 (also known as Song and Rhapsody) a good example of late, lyrical melancholy. Murray McLachlan (piano). Original 1988 Olympia release. Regis RRC 1245 (England) 07I063 $8.98


NOTE:

I once again have a source for the complete Myaskovsky orchestral works which were offered in June of 2001! For discographic details, see that catalogue (06C001). The PRICE, not surprisingly, has gone up, not least because of air-courier charges for delivery. The price now is $303.98 for the 16-CD set. Orders will be taken on a special-order basis only. I'll compile orders for two or three weeks and then place my order abroad. As usual, I will not charge credit cards or ask for payment until the CDs have arrived in my hands. To order, use the 06C001 catalogue number.


ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Partita for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 42, OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Toccata for Piano and Orchestra, SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43. This has been the only CD recording of the Casella, a three-part ("Sinfonia", "Passacaglia" and "Burlesca") neo-classical work of impressive proportions and 29 minutes in length, since it was originally released eleven years ago while the Respighi, equally large-scale, in spite of its name, at over 21 minutes, is of the same general style (both were premiered by their composers with the N.Y. Phil under Mengelberg in 1926 and 1929) but somewhat darker in utterance. Joshua Pierce (piano), RTV Symphony Orchestra of Slovenia; Anton Nanut. Original 1995 Phoenix USA release. MSR Classics MS 1176 (U.S.A.) 07I064 $10.98

JESÚS GURIDI (1886-1961): El Caserío. This 1926 zarzuela was the first of seven stage works Guridi set in Castilian although the Basque zortixo dance rhythm runs throughout. The three act work is in the classic zarzuela structure of consecutive numbers, comprising tender romances, sophisticated ensembles, dramatic choruses and orchestral interludes. The incredibly detailed synopsis takes up four fine-print pages and you probably won't even miss the libretto. Texts available on Naxos web-site. Vicente Sardinero (baritone), Ana Rodrigo (soprano), Emilio Sánchez (tenor), Bilbao Choral Society, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra; Juan José Mena. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557632 (New Zealand) 07I065 $7.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Piano Music, Vol. 5 - Guia Prático I-IX. The first time all of the solo piano pieces in Villa-Lobos' massive folk-music collection have been recorded (the last two sets will appear later). A total of 48 folk or children's songs are included here, arranged in the composer's infinitely inventive ways, many little virtuosic etudes in themselves. Sonia Rubinsky (piano). Naxos 8.570008 (New Zealand) 07I066 $7.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Dawn in a Tropical Forest, Mômo precoce for Piano and Orchestra, Bachianas Braslieiras No. 2 for Orchestra, Dança frenetica. Rather rare budget-priced V-L not widely available in the U.S. in its original release as a special import... Marco Antonio de Almeida (piano), Jena Philharmonic Orchestra; David Montgomery. Original 1996 release. Arte Nova ANO 544650 (Germany) 07I067 $4.98

ALFONSO DE ELÍAS (1902-1984): Romanza, Melodía, Pastoral, Elegía, HIGINIO RUVALCABA (1905-1976): Serenata, EDUARDO GAMBOA (b.1963): Mientra Llueve, JOSÉ SABRE MARROQUÍN (1910-1995): De siempre, Nostalgia, De me patria, CARLOS JIMÉMEZ MABARAK (1916-1994): El retrato de Lupe, MIGUEL BERNAL JIMÉNEZ (1910-1956): 3 danzas tarascas. An anthology of short Romantic violin pieces from Mexican composers born in the first decades of the 20th century (except Gamboa, who is now able to revel in the lush Romanticism which would have earned him approbrium if he had been born one generation earlier). Most are in a general, pan-European Romanticism but Jiménez' set derives from the music of Michoacán Indians. An unusual byway of salon-style compositions from an unexpected source. Luis Samuel Saloma Alcalá (violin), Duane Cochran (piano). Urtext JBCC 110 (Mexico) 07I068 $17.98

MIKIS THEODORAKIS (b.1925): Raven for Mezzo-Soprano, Harp and Orchestra, Adagio for Orchestra, HARALD GENZMER (b.1909): Concerto for Harp and String Orchestra, Fantasia for Solo Harp. Although the notes are next to utterly useless, we can tell you that Theodorakis' Raven (1970) is in a genre he calls "chanson fleuve", so - a "song-stream". It appears to set Poe verses in Greek and its 17-minute length is a gorgeous span of radiant melody with solo flute and cello almost as prominent as the harp. One is set to describe it as having elements of minimalism or new-ageiness but then, when you look at its date, you realize that is is better described as simply "groovy". Genzmer's concerto (1965) is in his highly approachable late style of propulsive, highly rhythmic neo-classicism and both it and the 1968 solo harp piece (only available here on CD) further underline his outstanding virtues of clarity, simplicity and originality. No texts. Carolin Masur (mezzo), Kirsten Ecke (harp), Central German Chamber Philharmonic; Stefanos Tsialis. Genuin GMP 04508 (Germany) 07I069 $17.98 Ø

NED ROREM (b.1923): Violin Concerto, Flute Concerto, Pilgrims. These concertos (from 1985 and 2002 respectively) are atypical in that each is in six movements, but if you consider them "mood suites" highlighting one instrument, you'll have to agree this is contemporary music with something new to say! Rorem, who's primarily known as an outstanding songwriter, would normally do this with words, but here it's his imaginative melodic lines that speak to us. They run the emotional gamut from wistful to sinister with the timpani at times intoning a kind of "stalking bass" that's absolutely hypnotic. They render these works immediately accessible, but his music is brimming over with enough ideas to keep you returning to it again and again. A lovely brief tone-poem, Pilgrims (1958), begins the program. Philippe Quint (violin), Jeffrey Khaner (flute), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; José Serebrier. Naxos American Classics 8.559278 (U.S.A.) 07I070 $7.98

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994): Piano Concerto No. 1, Dante's Farewell for Soprano and Orchestra, Concerto Sinfonico for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra. Collectors of Flagello's turbulently emotional Romantic music will be excited to have three world premiere recordings from the very beginning of his career (1950's piano concerto), the middle (1962's Dante's Farewell, a 14-minute setting of an American poet's text concerning the great Italian poet and an unsettling nocturnal vision) and the end (Concerto Sinfonico was his last completed work, from 1985, and is suffused with the anguish, agitation and dread associated with the psychological and physical decay brought on by the terminal illness Flagello had already begun to suffer from). No lover of American Romanticism (no neo-anything here) will want to be without this. Tatiana Rankovich (piano), Susan Gonzalez (soprano), National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; John McLaughlin Williams, New Hudson Saxophone Quartet, Rutgers Symphony Orchestra; Kynan Johns. Naxos American Classics 8.559296 (U.S.A.) 07I071 $7.98

SULKHAN TSINTSADZE (1925-1992): Folk Miniatures for String Orchestra (Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra), OTAR TAKTAKISHVILI (1924-1989): Megrelian Songs for Tenor, Male Voices and Chamber Orchestra (Zurab Sotkilava [tenor], Rustavi Vocal Ensemble, Leningrad Chamber Orchestra), REDJEB JORDANIA (born late 1930s?): Concerto Classico in D for Solo Percussionist and Symphonic Winds (Alexei Amosov [percussion], Winds and Brass of the Russian Federal Orchestra). Tsintsadze's pieces are orchestrations of some of his first compositions, from the mid 1940s, and these, along with Taktakishvili's 1973 setting of nine folk songs from northwestern Georgia, are firmly in the Soviet tradition of music for the masses, artfully adapted for western orchestras (with a famous Georgian vocal group appearing in the latter). These recordings are from 1978 and 1973 respectively, the latter transferred from LP. Jordania is presumably the father of the conductor and his 31-minute percussion concerto is the longest work here. The recording is new (although undated) and the work also uses much Georgian folksong, except for which it might have been written by a Frenchman or by Prokofiev in the mid-1930s. Vakhtang Jordania (conductor). Angelok CD-7770 (U.S.A.) 07I072 $10.98

BERNARD STEVENS (1916-1983): For Solo Piano: Fantasia on "Giles Farnaby's Dreame", Op. 22, 5 Inventions, Op. 14, Theme and Variations, Op. 2, Ballad No. 1, Op. 17, Ballad No. 2, Op. 42, Sonata in One Movement, Op. 25 (all Florian Uhlig [piano]), Fugato, Invention, Fugue à 3, Barcarolle, Haymakers' Dance, The Mirror, Square Dance, Aria, Fuga alla Sarabanda, Nocturne on a note-row by Ronald Stevenson, Op. 51 (Michael Finnissy [piano]), For Piano Four Hands and Two Pianos: A Birthday Song, Fantasia on "The Irish Ho-Hoane", Op. 13, Introduction and Allegro, Op. 29, 2 Dances, Op. 33, Concertante, Op. 55 (Isabel Beyer and Harvey Dagul [duettists]). Stevens remained committed to communication and tradition and the elements of his mature style - concision (most works developing out of motifs introduced at the very beginning), warmth (often with cantabile melody) and the love of counterpoint and variation - are present throughout this generous pairing of keyboard works which should definitely appeal to anyone who bought our recent offering of Kenneth Leighton's piano works on the Delphian label. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7160 (England) 07I073 $18.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Sebastian im Traum for Orchestra, GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911): Symphony No. 6 in A Minor. Yes, these world premiere recordings which you really want but which come coupled with gigantic standard repertoire pieces are really annoying but, you don't actually think that someone else is going to record the Henze, do you? And, the two-disc set is mid-price, making Henze's 14:22 2004 work affordable. Forming a full circle with a very early work, Apollo et Hyacinthus of 1949, this is also a meditation on a poem by Georg Trakl, this time dealing with nocturnal images of a landscape near Salzburg. Shadows, a mortuary, autumnal dreams and images from childhood are the forces behind Henze's somewhat morbid, slightly depressive, dark and moody piece which ranges through tonality and beyond to create what seems like a melancholy farewell to composition (although the composer says nothing concrete in his note). 2 CDs. Concertgebouw Orchestra; Mariss Jansons. RCO Live SACD hybrid RCO 06001 (Netherlands) 07I074 $21.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Voices. Coming from 1973, when Henze was manning the musical barricades and waving the bloody flag, Voices is one of his most typical avant-garde works, setting 22 political poems ranging from Brecht, Italian Renaissance poets and Ho Chi Minh, to contemporary German, Italian, Greek, black American and Cuban poets. The oppressed worker, imperialist war and the isolated individual are the main subjects and the score uses an electronics operator along with 15 instrumentalists playing 70 different instruments from all over the world, transistor radios, and a tape collage including Presidential speeches, gunshots, police sounds, sports commentaries and a Sibelius symphony. Agit-prop from under the counter, still not for the faint-hearted but now with a certain museum quality about it. 2 CDs. Texts and translations included. Sarah Walker (soprano), Paul Sperry (tenor), London Sinfonietta; Hans Werner Henze. Original 1978 Decca release. Explore Records EXP007/8 (England) 07I075 $26.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Violin Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 3, 5 Nachtstücke for Violin and Piano. Henze's first violin concerto (1946) is an amazingly assured work with plenty of personality and a complete grasp of violin and orchestral technique and is probably the earliest of his works available on disc. In four movements (27 minutes), it has much in common with Berg's violin concerto in its ability to make twelve-tone material sound lyrical and approachable with a short second movement whose ferocity plainly refers to the recently ended war. Coming 51 years later, the third concerto consists of three portraits of characters from Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus and, while often more dissonant, is still quite approachable for the mildly adventurous. The short set of violin/piano pieces dates from 1990 and was written for the performers here. Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee, Aaron Shorr (piano). Naxos 8.557738 (New Zealand) 07I076 $7.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1928): Guitar Music, Vol. 1 - Royal Winter Music, 3 Fragmente nach Hölderlin for Tenor and Guitar, 3 Tentos for Guitar, Selbst und Zwiegespräche for Violin, Guitar and Piano, Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesänge for Bassoon, Guitar and String Trio. Most likely for Henze completists, this release covers 30 years of compositions using a guitar, covering a stylistic spectrum from the avant-garde technical virtuosity of Royal Winter Music to the Neue Volkslieder inspired by Austrian peasant songs. Franz Halász (guitar), Colin Balzer (tenor), Débora Halász (piano), Gottfried Schneider (violin), Sophia Reuter (viola), Sebastian Hess (cello), Karsten Nagel (bassoon). Naxos 8.557344 (New Zealand) 07I077 $7.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): A Scotch Bestiary for Organ and Orchestra, Piano Concerto No. 2. Taking basic inspiration from Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, MacMillan has created an organ/orchestral spectacular whose subtitle, "Enigmatic variations on a zoological carnival at a Caledonian exhibition", also throws a glance at Elgar while continuing the composer's characteristic interest in Scottish music (one of the groups of "animals" are "Scottish Patriots"; the "cro-magnon hyena"'s national origins are left unidentified). Commissioned for the opening of the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, this is a work with complex and dark sides - not for the kiddies but quite enjoyable for adults. The concerto was written at the same time and is even more suffused with Scottish references, musical and otherwise, especially to a poem scathingly indicting of Scottish nationalists. A strathspey becomes tortured and grotesque; Burns-like folksongs become horror-film sound effects, a reel goes insane like the tavern music of Wozzeck... again, for the adults who like their folk references with a bit of venom. Wayne Marshall (piano, organ), BBC Philharmonic; James MacMillan. Chandos 10377 (England) 07I078 $17.98

BENT LORENZEN (b.1935): Concerto for Piano and Sinfonietta, Italian Concerto for Trumpet, Trombone and Sinfonietta, Hunting Concerto for Horn, Gun-Shots, Oboe and Strings. Mixing minimalism and sonorism with chromatic nods to Wagner and melodies from popular musical styles from throughout the 20th century (and throughout the world), Lorenzen makes his 2002 piano concerto a thoroughly entertaining 23 minutes (enjoy the slightly macabre "cakewalk" of the third movement, Grottésco!). The Italian Concerto (1999) is a 22-minute work in a single movement but, in its sequence of attacca movements - Preludio-Allemanda-Adagio-Allegro-Sarabanda-Giga - is clearly a baroque suite which gets the same holistic musical treatment (the "talking brass" in the Sarabanda is a delight). The hunting horn is the prey in the briefer (13 minutes) Hunting Concerto and the Wagnerian forest is travestied therein while the soloist updates centuries-old hunting signals before being felled by gunshots in the final movement. For even the mildly adventurous with a good sense of musical humor! Erik Kaltoft (piano), Martin Schuster (trumpet), Niels-Ole Bo Johansen (trombone), Klaus Gottlieb (horn), Henrik Husum (oboe), Århus Sinfonietta; Søren K. Hansen, Thomas Søndergaard. Dacapo Open Space 8.226516 (Denmark) 07I079 $9.98

NIELS MARTHINSEN (b.1963): Monster Symphony, Panorama, The Confessional - Opera Trailer in Four Sections. The title of the main work here might make you think of Michael Daugherty and Marthinsen, like that American composer, loves to write evocative music which makes instant contact with his listeners while possessing a virtuosic technique which makes the orchestra work hard while the audience has fun. Drama, humor, subtlety and broad strokes coexist throughout this three-movement work which is actually a 2004 "remix" of a 1995 symphony in which Marthinsen "strips away" portions of the original score and "writes over" them, producing a completely different composition. Panorama (1993) is a 22-minute "study of slowness", as if all the melodies and quicker music were removed from a late Romantic symphonic score, leaving a statically tonal landscape in which, for lack of anything else happening, harmonic progression is exaggerated. The "opera trailer" is exactly that - four sections of music from his newest stage work (2006) which welds spiky modernism, Spanish folklore and American minimalism with mainstream pop music. Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Michel Tabachnik. Dacapo Open Space 8.226510 (Denmark) 07I080 $9.98

THOMAS KOPPEL (1944-2006): Moonchild's Dream for Recorder and Orchestra, , Nele's Dances for Recorder and Archlute, Los Angeles Street Concerto for Sopranino Recorder, Strings and Celesta. One of four children of the composer Herman, Thomas wrote some very avant-garde music in his very early 20s and was hailed as a bright addition to the classical music scene. Then, the 1967 Summer of Love turned him into a rock musician for five years (extraordinarily successful in Europe) and, after 1973, he became a radical leftist activist and street musician. In the 1990s, he began to write scored music again and, particularly, these three pieces for Michala Petri from 1990, 1991 and 1999 respectively. The orchestral works are both inspired by the poor and street people, Dream being a 19-minute representation of the dream of a poor immigrant child living in a Copenhagen slum (all bright, dreamy and cheerfully unreal) and Street Concerto a shorter (12-minute) piece of high spirits and moral uplift inspired by his time living in L.A. and spending time among its homeless. A certain aging-hippie quality of "peace and light" infuses all three of these works and Koppel's life-story makes them rather interesting listening. Michala Petri (recorders), Lars Hannibal (archlute), Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bo Holten, Kremerata Baltica (Street Concerto). Dacapo 8.226021 (Denmark) 07I081 $15.98

POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Kafka's Trial. Ruders ingeniously combines Kafka's familiar nightmare of the unaccountable persecution of an individual by a faceless, irrational bureaucracy - a fairly universal theme, treated by many writers before Gogol, Kafka and Nabokov terrifyingly codified it for our time - with the real events in the writer's life which seem to have inspired it. This was the double love affair carried on by correspondence which trapped the author and ended in an humiliating confrontation. Ruders and his English librettist, Paul Bentley (his collaborator on the chilling and hugely successful epic opera The Handmaid's Tale) have ingeniously worked the surreal, absurdist humor, genuine pathos and oppressive obsession into the opera; Bentley's utilisation of the influence of the quasi-improvisational, non-linear methods of Yiddish theatre makes sense, or rather, deliciously zany nonsense, of much of the book's irrational nature, and this is picked up to perfection by Ruder's typically inventive score, veering bewilderingly but appropriately between Keystone Kops comedy and noble symphonic utterances. Ruders' music has always been difficult to categorise; a rich stratum of northern-European symphonic thinking in the general Shostakovich/Sibelius/Pettersson category constantly underpins his writing, providing a solid base of harmony and orchestral sonority, but the versatility with which he incorporates whatever elements of other styles occasion demands into his scores, particularly in dramatic works, makes his voice very much his own. 2 CDs. Danish-English libretto. Hanne Fischer (mezzo), Johnny van Hall (tenor), Bo Anker Hansen (bass), Chorus of the Royal Danish Opera, Royal Danish Orchestra; Thomas Søndergård. Dacapo 8.226042-43 (Denmark) 07I082 $31.98

CSABA SZABÓ (1936-2003): Sonatina "Looking Back" in C for Cello and Piano (Péter Szabó [cello], Dénes Várjon [piano]), Passacaglia on the Tune of the Kyrie Eleison of János Kájoni's Szekely Mass for Ensemble (Camerata Transylvanica; György Selmeczi), Sonata for Brass Quintet and Tape (Hungarian Radio Brass Quintet), 3 Transylvanian Folk Songs for Soprano and Piano (Laura Faragó [soprano], Márta Gál [piano], 3 Love Songs to Folk Texts for Mixed Choir, Bride Dancers for Women's Choir, Marriage Songs for Mixed Choir, 5 Madrigals on Latin Texts of Old Transylvanian Poets for Mixed and Male Choirs (Hungarian Radio Chorus; József Makláry, Lajos Vass). Szabo's interests and compositional styles ranged widely, from the folk-music of the Transylvanian songs and the folk-inspired choral settings, to the twelve-tone adaptation of an eight-tone mass tune in his Passacaglia. The sonatina blends elements of folk and modernistic techniques while the brass sonata uses the tape mostly to "multiply" the number of instruments, remaining pretty approachable overall. Hungarian-English texts. Hungaroton HCD 32183 (Hungary) 07I083 $17.98 Ø

ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Sinfonia Mistica, Sinfonia de Sfere. These are quintessential specimens from Panufnik's symphonic canon. The Mistica, like many of Panufnik's works, is based on geometrical or arithmetical constructs - in this case, divisions and elaborations of the number six. The Sinfonia di sfere is even more tightly organised, according to complex geometrical systems, but as always with this composer, the calculations stay firmly in the composer's workshop, translating for the listener as a sense of finely honed structure and precise balance of proportion. In every other respect the music is visceral, high-energy and thrilling in the same way that the most abandoned of Romantic-era epics are. The mystical, meditative element alternates with Panufnik's customary galloping ostinato-driven climaxes (in the case of sfere, heightened by explosive interjections from three sets of drums spaced across the stage, reminiscent of the shattering climax of Nielsen's Fourth), and the composer's adherence to tonal harmony also serves to anchor the music in the emotional realm rather than that of mere cerebral number-games. London Symphony Orchestra; David Atherton. Original 1979 Decca release. Explore Records EXP0014 (England) 07I084 $13.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): The Plague. This striking piece of music-drama is a precise encapsulation of key scenes from Camus' harrowing novel. The dry, factual narration heightens the horror, as the plague runs its inexorable course, first appearing in sickened rats, then swiftly spreading to the stupefied townsfolk, causing hideous deaths, before running its course Ðand disappearing. Gerhard uses spoken narration and Camus' text for the same purpose; a literal, unembroidered telling of the events, unflinching in its depiction of the progress of the foul disease. The chorus is sometimes called upon to whisper, speak or shout in free meter, acting the role of the frightened townspeople, and the musical element of the work, which is broadly atonal - although that is a less meaningful description here than usual, as it is also a player in the drama, providing both descriptive scene-setting (scurrying rats) and psychologically suggestive sound effects. The synthesis of all the elements - one never feels that one is listening to 'a piece of music with narration' or 'a story with musical accompaniment' - is what makes the piece all the more successful in involving the listener in the frightening narrative. Alec McCowan (narrator), National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Antal Dorati. Original 1974 Decca release. Explore Records EXP0005 (England) 07I085 $13.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Synaphai for Piano and Orchestra, Aroura, Antikhthon. Collectors of the Timpani Xenakis series will find this Synaphai, at 11:52, about 3:30 faster and the effect is of a raging, flooded river rather than a monstrous lava flow. Xenakis fans will now also have two versions of the other works here (otherwise available on vol. 2 of the Timpani series and on one of Mode's wandering cycle). Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano), New Philharmonia Orchestra; Elgar Howarth. Original 1976 Decca release. Explore Records EXP0017 (England) 07I086 $13.98

TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): Corona (London version), For Away, Piano Distance, Undisturbed Rest. Corona is as close as Takemitsu gets to Cage - a non-traditionally notated work for any number of pianists who make random choices of articulation, intonation, etc. and whose direction will differ each time it is performed. Here Woodward uses piano, harpsichord and organ, overdubbing and borrowing pitch-material from other Takemitsu works. Of the three shorter pieces, Undisturbed Rest is remarkable for its early date (1952) which exposes echoes of Debussy, Scriabin and Ravel. Roger Woodward (piano). Original 1974 Decca release. Explore Records EXP0016 (England) 07I087 $13.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Chiffres: I for Piano and 7 Instruments, Silence to be beaten (Chiffre II) for 14 Players, III for 12 Players, IV for Bass Clarinet, Cello and Piano, V for Ensemble, Bild (eine Chiffre) for 9 Players, VI for 8 Instruments, VII for Ensemble, VIII for 8 Players, Nach-Schrift (eine Chiffre) for Ensemble. The 'cipher' cycle of pieces from the 1980s exemplify Rihm's highly subjective, organic approach to composition in a breathtaking display of compositional exuberance spread over the widest range of contemporary styles. Although the works largely predate the almost neo-romantic tendencies that have emerged more strongly in Rihm's recent work, the emergence of sudden granitic sound forms or moments of Mahlerian brooding drama lend the pieces a potent emotional impact. Elsewhere, insistent hammered figuration and some (fairly restrained) extended instrumental technique leave us in no doubt of the composer's identity as a leading European avant-gardiste and one who has forged his own individual voice amid the plethora of resources available to the modern composer. Physically confrontational and immediately exciting as the works are, it is in the not infrequent moments of reflective stillness that Rihm's ability to create emotionally charged resonances becomes most apparent. The sixth piece, Bild was commissioned as accompanimental music (not necessarily to be played during the film) for Buñuel's and Dalí's seminal surrealist masterpiece 'Un chien andalou', and the abstract and dreamlike combination of potently affecting - and all too concrete and sharply delineated - imagery might serve as a metaphor for Rihm's etched and detailed musical structures throughout the cycle. 2 CDs. musikFabrik; Stefan Asbury. CPO 777 069 (Germany) 07I088 $29.98 Sale price

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): 11 Lieder nach Gedichten von Heiner Müller, 8 Lieder nach Gedichten von Hermann Lenz, Rilke: 4 Gedichte. Rihm in his early career certainly embraced extended techniques with the best of them, and employed text as raw material to be mined for sonorous fragments,but not necessarily to be presented linearly, adorned with melody. In more recent years, though, acknowledgement of the Romantic tendencies always present in his work have been coming increasingly to the fore, and so it is perhaps not so very surprising to report that these three song cycles are demonstrably of the Lieder tradition - lyrical melodiousness, tonality (early-Schoenberg chromatic, but seldom more than that) and frankly lush, rich accompaniments and all. Rihm is especially effective at the mood of sombre longing and autumnal melancholy which pervades most of these songs, again very much a staple of the tradition. No texts (no excuse!!). Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Siegfried Mauser (piano). col legno WWE 1CD 20228 (Germany) 07I089 $19.98

BERTOLD HUMMEL (1925-2002): Kontraste for Strings, Op. 50, Concertino for Bassoon and String Orchestra, Op. 27b, Adagio for Strings "In Memoriam Benjamin Britten", Op. 62a, CORNELIUS HUMMEL (b.1957): 8 Musiken für 9 Streicher, Adagio memore for Strings, STEFAN DAVID HUMMEL (b.1968): Behind the Quietness for Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet. Bertold Hummel's taut, concentrated music gets the lion's share of this CD, providing a portrait of a composer of thorough technique and individuality of inspiration. The 'Contrasts' are based on a twelve tone series, manipulated to provide the composer with a broad palette of harmony and polyphonic textures. The virtuosic and eventful Concertino, making unexpected use of French folk melodies, which unexpectedly introduce a genial pastoral mood into a generally rigorous æsthetic, is a work of immense appeal, incongruously suggesting Bartók crossed with Vaughan Williams. His son Cornelius' pulsating, dense-textured 8 Pieces suggest a kind of tonal framework and rely on sonority and accumulating rhythmic elaboration rather than polyphony to provide forward motion. The moving elegy for his father has more in common with the older composer's music, closely argued and questing in nature. Stefan David's brief work, also an elegy for his father, is a model of restrained emotion, paying tribute to the elder Hummel's lifelong preoccupation with sacred music. Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), Il Capriccio; Friedemann Wezel. Musicaphon M 55717 (Germany) 07I090 $15.98

AUGUSTA READ THOMAS (b.1964): Gathering Paradise for Soprano and Orchestra (Heidi Grant Murphy [soprano]), JACOB DRUCKMAN (1928-1996): Summer Lightning, STEPHEN HARTKE (b.1952): Symphony No. 3 for Countertenor, 2 Tenors, Baritone and Orchestra (The Hilliard Ensemble). Thomas' Dickinson settings evoke the images of light and energy contained in the poet's mystical verse, the music is vividly and energetically constructed and orchestrated, emphasizing the bright and ecstatic, in a basically tonal idiom. Druckman seems to continue the theme of incandescent energy; his idiom suggests more closely the 'new Romanticism' with which he is associated, and with its insistently propulsive sections the work is a readily accessible modern tone poem for the popular taste. Hartke's symphony sets a very early Anglo-Saxon text, a memento mori for a vanished city, in music of luminous austerity. Despite the unusually imaginative use of a large orchestra, textures are frequently spare; the tonal harmonic language highly expressive while avoiding the excesses of Romantic opulence. New York Philharmonic; Lorin Maazel. New World 80648-2 (U.S.A.) 07I091 $16.98

AUGUSTA READ THOMAS (b.1964): Chant for Cello and Piano, RICHARD WERNICK (b.1934): Duo for Cello and Piano, ROBERT HELPS (b.1928): Duo for Cello and Piano, ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Cello Sonata. Wernick's duo is a strong addition to the cello repertoire, bold, challenging and demanding of performers and listener alike, beginning with a passionately discursive maestoso full of potent counterpoint; then a traditional fast scherzo, before arriving at the heart of the work, an anguished in memoriam - in fact, a 9/11 piece. Helps' highly concentrated work weaves complicated textures of exemplary clarity in his trademark tonal language of extreme chromaticism. Thomas' Chant suggests a single, glowing vocal line, passionate and ecstatic, with the composer's typical Romantically-scaled largeness of utterance and characteristic poetry and drama, in a richly tonal context. Scott Kluksdahl (cello), Noreen Cassidy-Polera (piano). Centaur CRC 2765 (U.S.A.) 07I092 $16.98

SHIN-ICHIRO IKEBE (b.1943): 4 Pieces for Violin and Piano, 3 Concertinos for Violin and Piano, 2 Pieces for 2 Violins, 3 Canons for 2 to 6 Violins. These little pieces effectively form a sequence of teaching works; they were originally written for the composer's daughter and chart her development from children's pieces through more advanced material. Various specific techniques and forms are exploited in some works; other works add to the repertory of players able to play the standard Baroque and classical pieces enjoyed by advanced students. Apart from occasional whole-tone inflections where traditional material is referenced, the pieces fit right in with the Vivaldi, Mozart, Saint-Säens, Seitz, Dvorak and other standards. But they are not mere pastiches with no reason to be heard outside the teaching studio; all are attractive and lively pieces in their own right, instantly appealing and memorable, especially the three more musically sophisticated Concertinos. Isako Shinozaki (violin), Yuri Saiki (piano). Camerata CMCD 28070 (Japan) 07I093 $17.98

MARCELA RODRIGUEZ (b.1951): Séneca. This pithy and economical chamber opera treats the subject of Seneca's reflections on the night of his death, interspersed with scenes depicting his memories. Musically it is precise and pungent, most imaginatively scored for small ensemble, while the three soloists are treated to much grateful and idiomatic, melodic, material. Instrumentally the music has something of neoclassical clarity to it, - and there are certainly echoes of Stravinsky - though overall the language tends further toward atonality than this description might suggest, though with the heightened emotional effect of unexpected passages of sustained lyricism. Spanish-English libretto. Armando Gama (baritone), Irasema Terrazas (soprano), Oscar de la Torre (tenor), Ensemble "Signos"; Oscar Romano. Urtext JBCC 117 (Mexico) vv07I094 $17.98

HEBERT VÁZQUEZ (b.1963): String Quartet No. 1, HILDA PAREDES (b.1957): Uy t'tan for String Quartet, IVÁN NARANJO (b.1977): Uno for String Quartet, JUAN FELIPE WALKER (b.1971): De jaque, sal, gala y luna for Violin, GERMÁN ROMERO (b.1966): Ramas for Amplified Violin, ROGELIO SOSA (b.1977): Espasmo fulgor for Violin and Electronics. Very much an Arditti project, several of the pieces employ the kind of radically extended techniques for which the quartet is renowned - Romero's work, for example, uses the amplified sounds of bow-scrapes as a major musical element, and Sosa uses electronics to create a rich, plastic sculptural medium in which to embed crystalline shards of violin sound. The Vázquez, Naranjo and Paredes contain elements of more conventional quartet writing, though each has its own distinct character; the Paredes treating the instruments as hugely contrasted 'characters' in a sometimes hectic discourse, while Vázquez creates closely-knit textures and restlessly shifting and sliding activity. Arditti Quartet. Mode 165 (U.S.A.) vv07I095 $17.98

HANS-OLA ERICSSON (b.1958): The Four Beasts' Amen - Mass for Organ and Electronics, Melody to the Memory of a Lost Friend XIII for Organ and Electronics, Canzon del Principe for Organ and Electronics, From Höga Visan (A Church Opera): Flügertüren for Organ, Percussion and Electronics, Vocalise for High Soprano and Organ. Amen is a curious synthesis of inventive, though not unconventional, organ music, displaying much allegiance to Messiaen as well as earlier models, and electronic sections in which organ sounds have been so heavily transformed as to resemble synthesized constructions of indeterminate tonality, and quasi-musique concrète passages assembled from 'found sounds' sampled from other organs. Ericsson makes much exciting and bravura use of the spatial and antiphonal possibilities of the modern organ mechanism, as well as the possibilities of alternative temperaments (depending on context either sounding as such or as microtonal colorations) included in the instrument's design. Melody alternates ghostly and distant fragments of material with nightmarish clusters accentuated with electronic sounds, the whole embedded in an electroacoustic haze. Canzon is a transcription of Gesualdo, with added, brief atonal firework flares, while the two sections from Ericsson's 'Church Opera' blend scene-setting sampled sounds to invoke a heightened and impressive sense of atmosphere with music of abstract yet ethereal beauty, subaqueous, luminous and evocative of the infinite. Susanne Rydén (soprano), Tommy Björk (percussion), Hans-Ola Ericsson (various Swedish organs). BIS SACD hybrid SACD-1486 (Sweden) 07I096 $17.98

HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Ausklang for Piano and Orchestra (Massimiliano Damerini (piano), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Eötvös), Tableau for Orchestra (Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans Zender). Ausklang presents an interesting paradox; it closely resembles a piano concerto in the traditional sense of the term, and yet it is unmistakably by Lachenmann. His admirers who want him to be only the prophet of emancipation of orchestral noise may find this a bit hard to stomach, but viewed on its own terms the piece emerges as a solidly structured, exhilaratingly inventive orchestral extravaganza with a well-defined role for the soloist vis a vis the orchestra. For the most part, playing techniques are conventional; of course the orchestral textures are complex, atonal and wildly sonorous, but the extended passages of intervallic or gestural material from the piano, the decay of sounds held up for examination, often sound like a playful avant-garde take on the traditional relationship between solo instrument and symphonic canvas in such a work. The massed orchestral sounds of Tableau continue the idea, as they turn out on close examination to be composed of gestures from more conventional orchestral æsthetics, though melded into a typically Lachenmannic whole. col legno WWE 1CD 31862 (Germany) 07I097 $19.98

FABIÁN PANISELLO (b.1963): Trio II for Piano Trio, Japanese Pictures for Piano, Fulgurar for Piano, I don't feel low for Piano, Moods II for Ensemble and Piano Obbligato, Presencias Transparentes I and II for Ensemble, 4 Poemas de Alejandra Pizarnik for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and Piano. Precision and clarity prevail in Panisello's intricately patterned music. Much of his material is linear in structure, especially in Trio II and the solo piano works, where we encounter extended passages of open texture in which juxtaposed or overlapped patterns produce detailed two-dimensional designs which function not unlike Arabic architectural decoration or middle-Eastern carpet textures (though the musical material is basically atonal, rhythmically complex with some use of microtonal intervals mostly in an ornamental or gestural context, and little extended technique in the experimental sense). Even in the ensemble pieces, of which Moods II is the most extended and the most expressive, the greater coloristic possibilities of the wider instrumental palette are utilised to provide a textured backdrop against which the tightly formally organised foreground material is presented using imitative techniques - hocketing and the like - again with mathematical clarity. No texts. Kym Amps (soprano), Plural Ensemble, Ensemble Varianti; Fabián Panisello. col legno WWE 1CD 20209 (Germany) 07I098 $19.98

PHILIPPE SCHOELLER (b.1957): Cantate Isis for Bassoon and Mixed Choir, TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Voyage II - Concerto for Bassoon and Ensemble, LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Sequenza XII for Bassoon. These very varied works, centered on a 'current' rendering of Berio's much-evolved Sequenza XII (the longest of the set) certainly exploit the bassoon to the full. Hosokawa's concerto demands great flexibility and a huge range of quasi-vocal inflections and timbres from the soloist - it is easy to visualise him as a protagonist in Japanese theatre; the shimmering sonorities of the ensemble are mainly used in scene-setting; the drama centres on the soloist. Schoeller's work places the bassoon in the unfamiliar context of choral texture, into which its eloquent vocal utterances integrate surprisingly naturally. The piece consists of overlapping waves of vocalisation, suggesting ancient incantations and religious chant. Pascal Gallois (bassoon), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Daniel Kawka, Chur Mikrokosmos; Loïc Pierre. Stradivarius STR 33736 (Italy) 07I099 $17.98

GÉRARD GRISEY (1946-1998): Solo pour deux for Clarinet and Trombone, Anubis-Nout for Contrabass Clarinet, Stèle for 2 Percussionists, Charme for Clarinet, Tempus ex machina for 6 Percussionists. The three works for blown instruments, as one might expect of Grisey, explore every timbral possibility that they can offer, involving multiphonics and all manner of extended techniques. Organising his harmonic material according to spectral theories and his temporal relationships mathematically, Grisey constructs works in which the listener's relationship to objective time seems suspended, sometimes dramatically accelerated, at others, slowed to near-immobility. Similarly, the percussion works have little to do with normal perceptions of time in music; both begin in a state of almost suspended animation, only gradually developing a perceptible sense of motion. Even the pulsing heartbeat of Tempus ex machina, against which other events finally start to occur, seems to have less to do with marking the passage of time than suggesting an unmeasurable continuum of eternity. Ernesto Molinari (clarinets), Uwe Dierksen (trombone), Ensemble S. Kairos 0012502KAI (Austria) 07I100 $15.98


English String Miniatures, Vol. 5

PAMELA HARRISON (1915-1990): Suite for Timothy, FRANCIS CHAGRIN (1905-1972): Renaissance Suite, PERCY FLETCHER (1879-1932): Folksong and Fiddle Dance, ALBERT CABAZON (1883-1970): Giocoso, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): Suite navarraise, THOMAS ROSEINGRAVE (1690-1766): Fugue I, Voluntary IV and Fugue III (arr. Humphrey Searle [1915-1982]), JOHN IRELAND (1876-1962): A Downland Suite (compl. Geoffrey Bush [1920-1998]). Several of these composers were better-known for work in stage, film, broadcasting or education while we also get a very rare example of serial composer Searle's venture into light music arrangement. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. Naxos 8.557752 (New Zealand) 07I101 $7.98


JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI (1882-1977): Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3, Sheep May Safely Graze, "Little" Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578, Komm süßer Tod, Chorale from Easter Cantata, Es ist vollbracht!, Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695)/STOKOWSKI: Dido's Lament, GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)/STOKOWSKI: Pastoral Symphony from Messiah, STOKOWSKI: 2 Ancient Liturgical Melodies. A successor disc to Naxos' earlier release of Mussorgsky/Stokowski, sponsored by the Leopold Stokowski Society and conducted by one of Stokie's most distinguished protegés. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; José Serebrier. Naxos 8.557883 (New Zealand) 07I102 $7.98


Husum Festival 2004

EUGENE GOOSSENS (1893-1962): The Punch and Judy Show, SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Anamorfosi, FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810-1849): Meine Freuden (arr. Liszt) (Marc-André Hamelin), JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Capriccio in G, Hob. VCII/1 (Edna Stern), FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Théme varié (Anatol Ugorski), PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Ramble on the Love-Duet from Richard Strauss' "Der Kosenkavalier" (Igor Kamenz), JOESPH MARX (1882-1964): Schmetterlingsgeschichten (Jonathan Powell), ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Concerto Op. 3/9, RV 230 (arr. J.S. Bach), FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Tarentelle (Dargomizhsky), S.483 (Boris Bloch), CÉSAR CUI (1835-1918): Far niente, Op. 40/2 (Elena Kuschnerova), ZYGMUNT STOJOWSKI (1870-1946): Caprice orientale, Op. 10/2, SERGEI BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952): Étude in D Flat, Op. 15/8, A. HARRINGTON GIBBS (1895-1956): Runnin' Wild (arr. Art Tatum) (Jonathan Plowright). Quite light on the unusual repertoire this year, but Marx's little set of "Butterfly Stories" is a world premiere recording. Danacord DACOCD 649 (Denmark) 07I103 $16.98


CHRIS BRUBECK (b.1952): Convergence, Prague Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra (Chris Brubeck [trombone], Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman), River of Song (Rachel Luxon [soprano], Frederica Von Stade [mezzo], Tassajara Symphony; Sara Jobin). One of Dave's sons has devoted much time to perfecting his classical orchestration techniques, the better to produce the sort of high quality light music which is on display here. Convergence (2001) is a three-movement, 16-minute piece commissioned by the Boston Pops which has plenty of jazz and blues in it but also antiphonal brass and an Eastern European sounding folk dance. River of Song (2002) is a setting of poetry by children from 5 to 13 and is quite in the Broadway show-tune style while the 20-minute Prague Concerto of 2004 is as brassily eclectic as Convergence but with a moody and strikingly mysterious slow movement. Koch International Classics 7653 (U.S.A.) 07I104 $16.98

CASPAR REIFF (b.1971) & PETER HALL (b.1946): The Lord of the Rings - Complete Songs and Poems. Licensed from its original Danish makers, this lavishly presented box-set contains musical interpretations of all the poems in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, from the hobbit folk-songs at the beginning to the deeper, often sad laments for the passing of Middle Earth, to the dramatic end of the epic. There are 69 settings in just under four hours of music. All texts are printed in the large-format (5.5"x10") full-color 112-page book which is also full of original drawings and artwork. The Danish and English composers took ten years to complete this project which is one of the more unique "crossover" items we've seen 4 CDs. Mid-price. Elvish/English texts. The Tolkien Ensemble & Christopher Lee; Morten Reylund. Original Classico releases. Membran Music 223520-353 A-D (Germany) 07I105 $42.98