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Symphonies Nos. 8 & 9

Memories of a Child's Sunday

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Symphony No. 8 "San Francisco Symphony", Symphony No. 9, Memories of a Child's Sunday. Harris is sometimes regarded as a figure whose music conveys a sense of aspiration and vision but he was also capable of inwardness and charm with a lightness of touch which may surprise those accustomed to his large-scale works. Such a touch is exhibited in the 1945 Memories, dedicated to Artur Rodzinski (then conductor of the New York Philharmonic) and his family, which is an evocation of a childlike joy in sounds of the spirit of play. In three movements: "Bells", "Imagining Things" and "Play", it is one of Harris' most straightforward and approachable compositions. Commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco Symphony, the Symphony No. 8 (1962) shares with Harris' Canticle of the Sun a representation of several aspects of the life of St. Francis of Assisi (the city's patron saint). A pathbreaking work for its composer, this symphony employs a wider range of textures and instrumental color than ever before and Harris' deep pantheism reigns unbridled in incandescent music of airy harmonies, glistening orchestration and light, chamberlike textures. The ninth symphony dates from the same year, commissioned by the Philhadelphia Orchestra, and its five movements bear subtitles from the U.S. Constitution and Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Unlike its warm, lyrical and radiant predecessor, it is aggressive, strife-torn, bittersweet and at times desperate with an optimism of sorts, but one hard-gained. Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 350 (U.S.A.) 07B001 $16.98

GEORGE LLOYD (1913-1998): Concerto for Violin and Strings, Concerto for Violin and Winds. These two concertos are vintage Lloyd, and Lloyd at his best. While the symphonies are for the most part romantically lush (though tuneful and memorable) these works are more personal, more directly communicative of emotional content. They are perhaps closest in style to the "odd man out" among the symphonies - the powerful Seventh. There is a real inwardness and depth to the slow movements - three in all - and a sense of personal anguish and longing which has always run beneath the surface of Lloyd's best music. And of course, there are the almost irritatingly memorable (as in: "how does he do that? I can't get this tune out of my head!) lively movements as well. Lloyd devotees will need no encouragement; those who have been wary of such unabashed romanticism may find this a useful way to approach a fine and individual composer who followed no school or fashion, but just wrote what he wanted to. Cristina Anghelescu (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra; David Parry. Albany TROY 316 (U.S.A.) 07B002 $16.98

ALFRED HILL (1870-1960): Symphony No. 5 in A Minor "The Carnival", Short Symphony (No. 10) in C, As Night Falls - Poem for Orchestra, A Rêverie, Regrets, Tribute to a Musician. Collectors of Hill's music will already know that his symphonies are mostly expansions of earlier string quartets and so with these two, both of which are firmly rooted in the German Romantic tradition and could have been composed by coevals of Mendelssohn, Grieg or Dvorak. The shorter pieces are in the same vein but Hill is not an epigone and his conservatism, caused as much by separation in Australia and New Zealand from the currents of European music in the 20th century as by native bent, and strong craftsmanship produced works which can stand alongside those of other second-rank 19th century German Romantic composers (such as Raff). Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Wilfred Lehmann. Marco Polo 8.223538 (New Zealand) 07B003 $14.98

ILDEBRANDO PIZZETTI (1880-1968): Canti della stagione alta (Concerto for Piano and Orchestra), Sinfonia del fuoco (for the film Cabiria), Preludio per Fedra. Although Pizzetti headed a movement which reacted against the "melodic indulgences" of Puccini and Mascagni, the prelude to his 1915 opera Fedra is opulently colorful and intensely expressive. The "Song of the High Seasons" dates from 1930 and is a three-movement piano concerto which, more than anything else, calls to mind an Italian Rachmaninov in many places. The 1914 film Cabiria was a four-hour spectacular on the subject of the Punic Wars; the 11-minute Sinfonia del fuoco (with added chorus) accompanies a scene of Carthaginians sacrificing their children to the god Moloch. Susanna Stefani (piano), Boris Stasenko (baritone), Städtischer Opernchor, Chemnitz, Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie; Oleg Caetani. Marco Polo 8.225058 (New Zealand) 07B004 $14.98

JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Symphony in G, Violin Concerto No. 1, Les malheurs de Sophie - excerpts. Françaix' music is always delightful, composed with a light touch and a playful disdain for convention, though always expressed in terms of tonality - real tonality, with key-signatures! - the more pointed to make his sly musical animadversions on tradition. A kind of up-to-date Poulenc at times, Françaix has a rare gift - to be able to write melodically tuneful and appealing music that nonetheless keeps the listener's attention through carefully judged unpredictability. And so it proves with the works featured here; a violin concerto in D major, which has several honorable forebears - a true virtuoso concerto with a formidable solo part (and a peculiarly French predilection for striking wind writing in the orchestra), which manages to be appealing, surprising and satisfying all at once. The ingenious symphony, in memory of Haydn, toys with symphonic form in the same way as the concerto has its playful way with the romantic concerto. Yuriko Naganuma (violin), Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean Françaix. Erol ER 97002 (France) 07B005 $18.98

ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): The Veil of Pierrette, Op. 18, Suite in F Sharp Minor, Op. 19, Variations on a Nursery Tune for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 25. The Veil of Pierrette was a mimed entertainment from 1909 whose four published scenes form a suite opened by a tearful and dramatic "Pierrot's Love-Lament" and followed by three movements of pure extroverted fun. From the same year, the neglected suite demonstrates the composer's brilliant handling of orchestration and symphonic forms and contains many immediately appealing tunes. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9733 (England) 07B006 $16.98

GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): The Wandering Scholar, Op. 50, Suite de ballet, Op. 10, A Song of the Night, Op. 19/1. Holst's last opera premiered in 1934 only a few months before his death. A brief (25-minute) comedy with no set pieces or overture, its tunes are written in rhythms similar to those of folk dance but never quote actual songs. 1899's Suite de ballet is light music but individual for all that while the Song of the Night (1905), Holst's last orchestral work before he discovered folk song, reflects the popular violin encores of the day. Ingrid Attrot (soprano), Neill Archer (tenor), Alan Opie (baritone), Donald Maxwell (bass), Northern Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9734 (England) 07B007 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphony No. 2 in E Minor and C, November Woods. Bax's second symphony (written in 1924 although not heard until 1929) is a massive work which begins and ends in darkness, its middle movement an almost Elgarian outpouring of noble eloquence, sandwiched between outer movements which alternate between tense and purposeful music and lyrical and gracious moments (first movement) and a now-marching, now-dancing progression which almost reaches an optimistic climax (final movement). November Woods, of 1917, is one of Bax's most evocative tone-poems, its depictions of icy, wind-blasted forests representing turbulent personal emotional experiences of the time. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.554093 (New Zealand) 07B008 $5.98

HARTMANN - Father and Son - A New Series from Danacord

EMIL HARTMANN (1836-1898): Cello Concerto in D Minor, Op. 26, Hakon Jarl, Op. 40, Hærmændene på Helgeland, Op. 25, J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): Hakon Jarl, Op. 40, An Autumn Hunt, Op. 63b. In a series which will encompass works by the Langgaard, Hamerik, Bentzon and Helsted families, the opening edition contains works by the grand old man of Danish Romanticism, J.P.E. and his son Emil. Hakon Jarl is a useful comparison - the elder Hartmann's being a concert overture (1844) in his high Nordic style while his son's work (1859-98) is a much longer symphonic poem of international rather than Danish tone. The latter's 1879 cello concerto is compact in the manner of Saint-Saëns' first and offers the soloist lovely singing melodies while the powerful op. 25 overture to a play of Ibsen's approaches Tchaikovsky in style. Kim-Bak Dinitzen (cello), The Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland; Jean-Pierre Wallez. Danacord DACOCD 508 (Denmark) 07B009 $17.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Damayanti, Op. 78, Kyrie, Sanctus & Agnus Dei, Op. 35, Jubilate, Op. 3. Bruch's teen-age Jubilate was used as an occasion for a polemical review which launched him into fame but which prevented him from ever living up to its artificial expectations - a brilliant, joyous work but still the work of a student. The three Mass movements date from 1870 and form a sort of Missa Brevis: one which the composer himself was intended for the concert hall rather than the cathedral and whoses sensitive choral writing, excellent instrumentation and melodic expressivity are thoroughly satisfying. For those of you who enjoyed last months double-Bruch-oratorio offering of Odysseus and Moses (06A008 & 06A009), the 31-minute Damayanti (1903), based on one of the most popular tales from the Sanskrit epic the Maharbharata, revisits his life-long interest in exotic subject-matter in a score of colorful drama (three scenes - one for the title character, one for a chorus of penitents and a third for them together) which almosts demands staging. Aleksandra Baranska, Elzbieta Towarnicka, Halina Matuszek (sopranos), Cracow Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra; Roland Bader. Koch Schwann 3-1253-2 (Germany) 07B010 $16.98

JOSEPH-GUY ROPARTZ (1864-1955): String Quartet No. 4, Prélude, Marine et Chansons for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harp, Piano Trio in A Minor. Like Paul Le Flem and Jean Cras, Ropartz hailed from Brittany but, unlike them and their often-shimmering impressionism, he embraced a more mainstream and traditional approach to composition. The 1918 trio shows a very personal use of the Franckian cyclical form in a work in which the rhythms of the sea underlie its witness to the tragedy of the World War which traces an unmistakeably optimistic path from darkness to light. The final two works (1928 and 1935 respectively) show Ropartz' late style in which any trace of Franck is banished and in which a classical concision, transparency of texture and modesty of means predominate. Stanislas Quartet, Sylvie Tournon (flute), Béatrice Huvenne (harp), Alexis Galperine (violin), Cecilia Tsan (cello), Jean-Louis Haguenauer (piano). Timpani 1C1047 (France) 07B011 $17.98

SERGEI LYAPUNOV (1859-1924): 7 Preludes, Op. 6, Variations sur un théme russe, Op. 49, 6 Morceaux faciles, Op. 59, Fêtes de Noël, Op. 41, Prélude, Op. 40/1, Petite Fugue, Op. 57/1, Chant du Printemps, Op. 57/2, Elégie, Op. 40/2, Lesghinka, etude d'exécution transcendante (style Balakirev), Op. 11/10. All but the op. 41 and the Lesghinka are claimed as first recordings and whether they are or not, they give a good overview of the piano music of this rather neglected Russophile composer, student and almost double of Balakirev. The op. 6 preludes have hints of early Scriabin and Rachmaninov about them; the variations are a Mussorgsky-esque take on a model like Brahms' Handel Variations and the Easy Pieces a salon-like reminiscence of childhood. Marco Rapetti (piano). Dynamic S 2029 (Italy) 07B012 $13.98

ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Love Songs, Op. 83, JOSEPH BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951): Erotikon, Op. 24, Love Songs, Op. 96, ZDENIK FIBICH (1850-1900): 6 Songs, Op. 12, VÍTùSLAV NOVÁK (1870-1949): Erotikon, Op. 46 (selection). The almost wholly neglected field of Romantic Czech lieder receives a welcome look here with many CD premieres of love songs by Fibich (imbued with a gentle folk lyricism), Foerster (mature, philosophically meditative pieces) and Novak (flowing melodies and richly harmonic writing) as well as Dvorak's better-known cycle. German/Czech - English texts. Zdena Kloubová (soprano), Vûra Müllerová (piano). Panton 81 9008 (Czech Republic) 07B013 $16.98

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Vaardag, Op. 75/3, Pinselilje, Op. 90/3, Rav, Op. 19/2, Liden Kirsten, Op. 18/4, Der skreg en fugl, Op. 18/5, Det er Sommerkvæld som da, Op. 36/7, Sylvelin, Op. 55/1, Den Jomfru gik i Valmu-Vang, Op. 50/5, Det var sig den lille Høne, Op. 50/1, Valmu i Vange, Op. 50/6, Herrens moder, høje, mile, Op. 50/11, Flyver en bange Fugl af Lund, Op. 50/2, Der flakker så føde stjerner, Op. 128/1, Den sorte vin, Op. 128/3, Barcarole, Op. 128/4, Im Walde liegt ein stiller See, Op. 77/2, Maria Gnadenmutter, Op. 15/1, Wiegenlied, Op. 15/5, Viel Träume, Op. 11/4, Ein Weib, Op. 11/5, Schifferlied, Op. 11/1, Wie glänzt der helle Mond, Op. 1/5, Mir glänzen die Augen, Op. 1/1, Rös'chen biß den Apfel an, Op. 1/4, Ich fürcht' nit Gespenster, Op. 1/3, Alle meine Weisheit, Op. 1/4, Das Lied von Bißchen Sonnenschein, Op. 85/6, Es starben zwei Schwestern, Op. 15/3. Sinding wrote more than 250 songs in his long career and this selection offers examples from all periods: from the early songs to folk-style texts of German poets to the later settings of Norwegian and Danish poets. Sinding uses folk-like melodies (but not actual transformations of folk-songs), diatonic in general with a few incursions of late Romantic chromaticism and although his model is Liszt more than Grieg, the latter held his romanser in the highest regard. Norwegian/German texts, English translations. Bodil Arnesen (soprano), Erling Ragnar Eriksen (piano). Naxos 8.553905 (New Zealand) 07B014 $5.98

DMITRI BORTNYANSKY (1751-1825): Sacred Concertos, Vol. 1 - Concertos Nos. 1-9. A pupil of Galuppi, Bortnyansky later became director of the Russian imperial court chapel choir and wrote for them some fifty sacred a cappella concertos. The early ones (as these are on this first disc) are invariably festive and brilliant, sacred in content but secular in style, in an Italianate vein which draws on Russian and Ukrainian folk songs and uses much contrapuntal ingenuity. Russian State Symphonic Capella; Valery Polyansky. Chandos 9729 (England) 07B015 $16.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): Symphonies, Vol. 2 - in C Major, VB 138 "Violin obligato", in F, VB 130, in A, VB 128, Sinfonia buffa, VB 129. Kraus' symphonies feature the unexpected and the dramatic and it is no surprise to find in them many forward-looking stylistic devices which anticipate music of the Romantic era. Three of the works on this recording are world premieres - all of them will delight the collector of classical and early romantic symphonic repertoire. Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Naxos 8.554472 (New Zealand) 07B016 $5.98

CARL STAMITZ (1745-1801): Clarinet Concertos, Vol. 2 - No. 7 in E Flat, No. 8 in B Flat, No. 10 in B Flat & No. 11 in E Flat. Among the first concertos to be written for the clarinet's newly expanded capabilities, these works exude the charm of 1770s Paris where they were probably written. Kálmán Berkes (clarinet), Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia. Naxos 8.554339 (New Zealand) 07B017 $5.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Cello Sonatas, Vol. 1 - in A, G4, in F Minor, in G, G5, in C Minor, G2 & in C, G17. Boccherini's 34 extant cello sonatas cannot be exactly dated but his style did not change very much over his entire career and is complete characteristic of the period dominated by Haydn. The technical resources of the cello are exploited for maximum effect in these sonatas, with double-stopping and use of the highest register both striking and highly musically done. Christian Benda (cello), Sebastian Benda (fortepiano). Naxos 8.554324 (New Zealand) 07B018 $5.98

FEDELE FENAROLI (1730-1818): Stabat Mater, Mottetto per l'Immacolata Concezione, Pange Lingua, Trattenimento per organo. Now forgotten, Fenaroli was maestro di capella at the Santa Maria di Loreto Conservatory in Naples, oversaw the creation of the new A. Pietro a Majella Conservatory and taught, among others, Cimarosa, Mercadante and Zingarelli. His compositions were mostly sacred, written in the Neopolitan style and this disc provides a good example of his melodic facility and conservative taste (preferring the strict contrapuntal style) as well as a pervasive sense of low-key yet still intense religious feeling. Alessandro Casari (male soprano), Mircea Mihalache (male alto), I Solisti della Accademia Musicale Napoletana; Maurizio Ciampi (organ). Nuova Era 7306 (Italy) 07B019 $16.98

MICHAEL ERNST HEINSIUS (1710-1764): 6 Sinfonias, Op. 2, NICOLAAS LENTZ (1720?-1782): Concerti a 6 stromenti in B Flat & in C. Little is known of these two Dutch composers but their music is delightful: Heinsius' symphonies - in the standard three movements - have flowing melodies as well as striking dissonances while Lentz's two works - harpsichord concertos in all but name - already lean from the Baroque to the galant style. Orchestra "Van Wassenaer"; Makoto Akatsu (violin). BIS CD-984 (Sweden) 07B020 $17.98

JOHAN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Sonata in D, Op. 33, AUGUST EBERHART MÜLLER (1767-1817): Grande Sonata in C, Op. 38, WILHELM RICHTER (1st. half 19th cen.): Duo concertante in A Minor, Op. 10. "Biedermeier Sonatas" is the title of this disc and "Biedermeier" they are: homely, salon-style pieces concerned with poetic expression and delivered with sparkling virtuosity. The term has become pejorative but it need not be when the style is practised by such fine minor masters as these. The vigorous concertante writing in the first movements, sentimental, slightly languid melancholy in the slow ones and playful, lively finales are thoroughly enjoyable. Francesca Pagnini (flute), Paolo Bidoli (piano). Dynamic S 2024 (Italy) 07B021 $13.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA GRAZIOLI (1750-1820): Sonata in G, DOMENICO ZIPOLI (1688-1726): Suite in B Minor, BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Sonata in D, GIOVANNI GIUSEPPE CAMBINI (1746-1825): Piano Concerto in G, Op. 15/3, LORENZO DE ROSSI (1720-1794): Andantino in G. This mixed bag of Italian keyboard compositions brings a concerto by Cambini from 1780 - a brilliant work in the Parisian galant style - and an early Classical sonata from Galuppi. New to CD are a marvellously melodic and expressive sonata from the late 1700s by Grazioli which looks ahead in its rapt adagio to the Romantic era and a baroque suite by Zipoli. De Rossi's brief andantino is in early Classical style. Litsa Koutalari-Ioannou (piano), Orchestral Ensemble; Bedros Papazian. Gega GR 53 (Bulgaria) 07B022 $16.98

MANUEL ARENZANA (c.1762-1821): Mass in D, Salve Regina, Responsorio para Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Dixit Dominus. Volume 6 of "México Barroco", which explores the musical archives of the city of Puebla, offers a large-scale mass in the style of Haydn or Cimarosa. The orchestra has a predominant part, passages for soloists are frequent and of operatic quality; in addition, many of the themes used recall popular tunes, making Arenzana somewhat of a "Pre-Nationalist" figure in Mexico. Irasema Terrazas (soprano), Gabriela Thierry (mezzo), Flavio Becerra (tenor), Chorus and Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City; Benjamin Juárez Echenique. Urtext UMA 2010 (Mexico) 07B023 $16.98

GEORG CHRISTOPH WAGENSEIL (1715-1777): Symphonies in G Minor, B Flat, C, G and B Flat. Wagenseil's 63 symphonies enjoyed wide circulation in Europe during the late 18th century and he was considered, along with Hasse and Gluck, the finest composer of his day in Vienna. This collection brings us a variety of his symphonies from the G Minor of the early 1760s (Sturm und Drang in the style of C.P.E. Bach) and the 1750 C Major overture to the opera Vincislao (a five-minute work in the old Italian sinfonia form) to the B Flat work of 1764 (well on the way to the Classical symphony). L'Orfeo Barockorchester; Michi Gaigg. CPO 999 450 (Germany) 07B024 $15.98

ANTONÍN ·TùPÁN (1726-1797): Sonata No. 2 in G & No. 5 in A, Capriccio No. 1 in G Minor, No. 2 in F, No. 3 in G, No. 4 in A & No. 5 in C Minor. Hailed in the New Grove as a "herald of the Classical style", Stepán will certainly give collectors an earful here! All of these works are undated and it is hard to estimate dates when one is confronted with seeming presentiments of Beethoven and Weber at the same time as one is noticing the Mozartean cantabile and melodic chromaticism and the Haydnesque keyboard style and structural ingenuity - not to say eccentricity. It is easy to conclude that Stepán was an innovative and brilliantly creative composer whose discovery is long overdue (and he wrote over 40 piano concertos!!). Robert Hill (fortepiano). MD&G 620 0870 (Germany) 07B025 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Piano Concertos in C, D and F, Op. 13, Piano Concerto in D Flat. The next installment in this series brings three concertos from the six of Op. 13 published in 1777. The orchestra has been expanded to include flutes, oboes and horns and the solo is certainly meant for the piano; there is an interesting mixture of styles which range from "Mozartean" to late baroque, all ingeniously woven together in these delightful concertos. The E Flat work is an almost identical twin of a Sinfonia concertante recorded earlier in this series. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead (fortepiano). CPO 999 601 (Germany) 07B026 $15.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Il mondo alla roversa. Dating from the same year as Il mondo della luna (1750) (from our January catalogue), "The World Upside-Down" is also a satire, set in a world in which women have taken the upper hand and have enslaved the men. The lively ensemble finales and the way in which the music, more than mere accompaniment, is bound to the text are characteristic of this innovative composer. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Lee So Yun (soprano), Barbara di Castri (mezzo), Elisabetta Lombardi (mezzo), Claudio Ottino (baritone), Intermusica Ensemble; Franco Piva. Bongiovanni GB 2230/32 (Italy) 07B027 $50.98

CARLO CECERE (1706-1761): Concerto in A, GIUSEPPE GIULIANO (18th cen.): Sinfonia for Mandolin and Orchestra, Concerto in G, DOMENICO GAUDIOSO (18th cen.): Concerto in G, ANONYMOUS (18th cen.): Concerto in E Flat. The tart, homely sound of the mandolin, so evocative of the Italian peninsula, is heard to great advantage in this collection of 18th century concertos. Dorina Frati (mandolin), Symphonia Perusina. Dynamic CDS 193 (Italy) 07B028 $17.98

LUDWIG ABEILLE (1761-1838): Grand Concerto for Piano Duet and Orchestra, Op. 6, CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Concerto for Piano Duet and Orchestra, Op. 153. Abeille spent his career at the court of Württemburg and was known mostly for his vocal music; this duet concerto, from 1793, is up to date in its Mozartian style and figurations and as that master put it, "falls agreeably on the ear". Czerny's work (no date given) shows his exquisite wit as well as the expected glittering passagework which is self-recommending to collectors of his (and Hummel's) piano concertos. Cologne Piano Duet, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Florian Merz. Koch Schwann 3-6450-2 (Germany) 07B029 $16.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Bassoon Concerto in F, Clarinet Quartet in E Flat, Introduction, Theme and Variations in F for Oboe and Orchestra, Op. 102. Hummel's unpublished bassoon concerto ironically remained in the repertoire while his piano concertos have only been rediscovered lately but its virtuosic solo part, charming Romanza and Weberesque rondo are from the same world, as indeed are the vividly colored quartet and the brilliantly virtuosic Introduction, Theme and Variations. Claudio Gonella (bassoon), Diego Dini-Ciacci (oboe), Fabrizio Meloni (clarinet), Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia; Diego Dini-Ciacci. Naxos 8.554280 (New Zealand) 07B030 $5.98

CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): 3 Romances, Op. 11, Sonata in G Minor, Soirées Musicales, Op. 6, Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann, Op. 20, Romance in A Minor. This collection showcases the finest of the piano works of Robert Schumann's wife: the fanciful Soirées which Robert mined for several ideas used in his later piano pieces, the youthful, free Romanticism of the op. 11 Romances, the masterly elegance of the post-marriage sonata and the finest, and one of the last of her compositions, the brilliant Variations. Yoshiko Iwai (piano). Naxos 8.553501 (New Zealand) 07B031 $5.98

ANTON REICHA (1770-1836): 24 Trios for 3 Horns, op. 82. These players continue to unearth the most unusual repertoire for one of the most unusual instrumental combinations; Reicha, known for his symphonies, concertos and wind quintets, shows a characteristic facility, wit and great ingenuity in this set of music (lasting over 66 minutes) for three horns. Deutsche Naturhorn Solisten. MD&G 605 0864 (Germany) 07B032 $17.98

ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): 3 Dueti Concertanti for Violin and Viola, Op. 15. A virtuoso on both violin and viola, Rolla was also a teacher of Paganini and was much admired by the latter. His duets, in fact, require Paganinian technical ability: no other examples of this genre can compare with these works, where violin and viola, on equal terms, intertwine tracing acrobatic passages of dazzling virtuosity. Salvatore Accardo (violin), Luigi Alberto Bianchi (viola). Dynamic CDS 252 (Italy) 07B033 $17.98

Two Scandinavian Romantic Operas

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): Liden Kirsten. Hartmann evokes the atmosphere of medieval Danish ballads in his 1846 "Little Kirsten". The text is by Hans Christian Andersen and comes from a medieval tale of love and mistaken identities on the eve of a young woman's entry into a nunnery. Originally, the music was to have been cobbled together from extant folk sources (as in Kuhlau's Elf-Hill) but Hartmann eventually provided a fully original score which, while suggesting Danish folk melodies, does not actually use any. The music is affecting, tuneful and appealing in its early Romantic idiom and the release is self-recommending for lovers of Scandinavian and other early Romantic opera. 2 CDs. Danish-English libretto. Inger Dam-Jensen (soprano), Poul Elming (tenor), Kirsten Dolberg (contralto), Danish National Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Michael Schønwandt. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224106-07 (Denmark) 07B034 $29.98

EDUARD BRENDLER (1800-1831): Ryno or The Knight Errant. Brendler left his only opera incomplete, having composed 8 and orchestrated 6 of its 14 numbers before his sudden death, and it was finished by his friend Prince Oscar and by Franz Berwald's cousin J.F. It is the only example of central European early Romantic opera in Sweden and in form and harmony resembles Weber, Marschner and Spohr with colorful orchestration and an individual and advanced harmonic style. 2 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Anders Lundström (tenor), Ann-Christine Göransson (soprano), David Aler (baritone), Members of the Choir of Stora Teatern, Göteborg, Göteborg Symphony Orchestra; Anders Wiklund. Sterling CDO-1031/2 (Sweden) 07B035 $31.98

CESARE PUGNI (1807-1870): Esmeralda - Excerpts from the Ballet. Pugni wrote music for all or part of 300 ballets in his career, which included almost 15 years as imperial composer for ballet in St. Petersburg. Esmeralda was produced in London in 1845 and sets the story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The fanciful charm and expressive quality of Pugni's writing is vividly conveyed in the 23 scenes recorded here (including a marvellously melodramatic organ piece composed by Leon Boëllmann). Odessa Symphony Orchestra of Opera and Ballet; Igor Shavruk. Adro Records (no number) (U.S.A.) 07B036 $16.98

JOSEF REICHA (1752-1795): Double Concerto in D, ANTONÍN VRANICKY (1761-1820): Double Concerto in B Flat. These double concertos, from Bohemians with somewhat more famous brothers, are filled with a typically winning combination of graceful and imposing allegros, introspective and heartfelt adagios and folk-tinged rondo finales. Classical collectors need not hesitate. Shizuka Ishikawa (violin), Karel Fiala (cello), Musica Bohemica; Jaroslav Krcek. GZ Classics L1 0154-2 031 (Czech Republic) 07B037 $6.98

TOMMASO GIORDANI (c.1703-1806): Harpsichord Quintets in A, C and G, Opp. 1/3, 5 & 6, Flute Quartets in D and G, Op. 2/5-6. One on London's most popular and successful composers during the second half of the 18th century, Giordani wrote in the galant style and his pieces are very challenging technically while also drawing delightfully attractive effects from the combinations of instrumental timbres. L'Astrée. Opus 111 OPS 20-233 (France) 07B038 $17.98

JEAN-FRÉDÉRIC EDELMANN (1749-1794): 4 Sonatas, Op. 5, 2 Sonatas, Op. 7. The first recordings of this highly innovative, forward-looking composer appeared in our January catalogue (01A045); now his opus 5 - innovative and recalling C.P.E. Bach as well as looking ahead to Beethoven and Schubert - and his opus 7 - conservative pieces paying homage to the baroque suite - appear in this second volume from Calliope. Sylvie Pécot-Douatte (fortepiano). Calliope CAL 9236 (France) 07B039 $17.98

IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 84, SIGISMUND THALBERG (1812-1871): Piano Trio in A, Op. 69. Both were brilliant, showy virtuosi but for these ventures into classical chamber forms, both Moscheles and Thalberg subordinate glitter to concern for proper form. Motivic transformation in the Beethoven mode distinguishes the former's trio while Thalberg shows a lushness of melodic invention in the service of Classical thematic development (and a couple of episodes of contrasting digital dexterity requiring stupendous piano technique are worked in for contrast). Göbel-Trio Berlin. Signum X98-00 (Germany) 07B040 $17.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Les Soirées Italiennes, 5 Songs. Written in 1836 in emulation of Rossini's set of the same name, Mercadante's Soirées have the same format of 8 ariettes and 4 duets; they, and the five accompanying songs, all demonstrate a fine lyric gift, a strong sense of atmosphere and stylish and effective piano writing. Italian-English texts. Nelly Mircioiu, Yvonne Kenny, William Mateuzzi, Bruce Ford, Alastair Miles, Garry Magee with David Harper (piano). Opera Rara ORR 206 (England) 07B041 $18.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il Giovedi Grasso. Dating from 1829, this one-act farce is in the Rossinian tradition (the composer had just succeeded that master in his position in Naples) of tight rhythms, captivating plots (this one via Molière) and picturesque characterization. Italian libretto. Bruna Rizzoli (soprano), James Loomis (bass), Italian-Swiss Radio-Television Orchestra; Edwin Loehrer. Nuova Era 1131 (Italy) 07B042 $16.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): La Clementina. This is an abridged, Italian translation of a zarzuela which Boccherini composed for private performance in 1786. Brilliant and lyrical pieces alternate and there are some particularly affecting sorrowful arias for one of the female leads. No texts but an important milestone in the history (and the revivification) of the zarzuela genre. Elena Rizzieri, Fernado Corena, Italian-Swiss Radio-Television Chorus and Orchestra; Edwin Loehrer. Nuova Era 1131 (Italy) 07B043 $16.98

RAYMOND LEWENTHAL - The Classic CBS Alkan Recordings

CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN (1813-1888): Sonatine, Petit conte, Le tambour, La vision, Marcia funèbre sulla morte d'un papagallo, Les diablotins, Étude, Scherzetto, Gros temps, Les soupirs, Barcarollette, Héracles et Démocrite, Le frisson, ADOLF VON HENSELT (1814-1889): Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 16, XAVER SCHARWENKA (1850-1924): Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 56 (finale), ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1884): Piano Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 70. One of the most important musicians involved in the resurrection of Alkan's reputation (with broadcast, recital and editing in 1963-63), Lewenthal's classic recordings both of this composer and of many other then-forgotten Romantics have always been desired by CD collectors. Here are some LP classics, recordings made in London and New York in 1969-70 which deserve a place in any collector's permanent archive. 2 CDs. Raymond Lewenthal (piano), London Symphony Orchestra; Charles Mackerras, Eleazar de Carvalho. Elan CD 82284 (U.S.A.) 07B044 $33.98

AUGUST GOTTFRIED RITTER (1811-1885): Organ Sonatas in D Minor, Op. 11, in E Minor, Op. 19, in A Minor, Op. 23 and in A, Op. 31. Ritter was regarded as the foremost German improviser on the organ during his long career as cathedral organist in Magdeburg. His four sonatas date from the mid 1840s to 1856 and are all in single movement, multi-section form and are distinguished by a wide palette of registrations and a turbulent romantic spirit which ranges from stormy fast passages to slow ones of such finely-spun delicacy that time seems to stand still. Ursula Philippi (Sauer organ in, Sibiu, Transylvania). MD&G 320 0866 (Germany) 07B045 $17.98

HERMANN BERENS (1826-1880): String Trio in C Minor, Op. 86/2, ERNST VON DOHNANYI (1877-1960): Serenade in C for String Trio, Op. 10, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1792): Flute Quartet in D, K.285. Berens was a German conductor and composer who spent the majority of his career in Sweden. No date is given for this half-hour long string trio but the opus number would indicate a mature work - perhaps of the 1860s or 70s. The spirit of Schumann is strong in its somewhat agitated allegro while the dreamy Romanticism of early Brahms informs its andante. A liltingly pastoral scherzo is followed by an equally Brahmsian finale. Ars Amata Zürich. Quantaphon 25.818 (Switzerland) 07B046 $16.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9 (Carnaval de Pest) (arr. Liszt), Tristia - La vallée d' Obermann (arr. Eduard Lassen [1830-1904]), Orpheus (arr. Saint-Saëns), LÁSZLÓ LAJTHA (1892-1963): Trio concertant, Sonatine for Violin and Piano. At a time when Liszt's transcriptions of other genres for solo piano are becoming increasingly well-known, it is good to have these examples which go in the other direction: the Rhapsody was dedicated to the violinist Ernst in 1848 while Lassen (music director at the Weimar court) made his in the late 1870s and had the work corrected and added to by Liszt himself. Saint-Saëns' transcription of the noble, lyrical symphonic poem dates from the mid 1880s. Lajtha's neo-baroque trio and Sonatine date from 1929 and 1930 respectively, the former a technically challenging work which provides all three players with parts of soloistic virtuosity. Takács Piano Trio. Hungaroton HCD 31815 (Hungary) 07B047 $16.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINÒ (1916-1983): Concerto for Violin and Piano, Violin Sonata in C, Violin Sonata in D Minor, Violin Sonata No. 1, Impromptu, Elegy, 5 Short Pieces. This first volume of the complete works for violin and piano contains world premiere recordings of three works: the 1909 Elegy, a mournful, virtuosic (for the piano, not the violin) and atypically dramatic piece which carries the cryptic subtitle "Evil Returns"; the 1910 "Concerto", perhaps Martinu's humorous attempt to bewilder the listener since this is a playful sonatina-like piece full of simple joy and good-naturedness; and the 1929 Five Short Pieces, from the end of the composer's "jazz period" which take a rhythmic idea and exploits it to the full. Rarely heard are the agitated, jazzy and provocative First Sonata (1929), the D Minor sonata (1926) - a transitional work mixing native Bohemian elements with Parisian jazz styles and the 32-minute C Major sonata (1919) which points openly to Franck's A Major sonata as its late-Romantic model. 2 CDs. Bohuslav Matouek (violin), Petr Adamec (piano). Supraphon SU3410 (Czech Republic) 07B048 $33.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINÒ (1916-1983): Violin Sonata No. 2, Violin Sonata No. 3, 7 Arabesques, Arietta, Sonatina in G, Intermezzo, Rhythmic Etudes, 5 Madrigal Stanzas, Czech Rhapsody. This second volume brings works from 1930-45, from the Hindemithian second sonata and the jazz-tinged Arabesques and Rhythmic Etudes to the gently lyrical Madrigal Stanzas and the air-borne, tuneful and syncopated third sonata which is from the same period and style as the buoyant Fifth Symphony (1944). 2 CDs. Bohuslav Matouek (violin), Petr Adamec (piano). Supraphon SU3412 (Czech Republic) 07B049 $33.98

JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Decorations, Sonatina, 3 Pastels, 2 Pieces, Summer Evening, Leaves from a Child's Sketchbook, Rhapsody, The Towing Path, Merry Andrew. Influenced by Ravel, Stravinsky and Gershwin, Ireland's piano music reflects his love of literature, Celtic mysticism (the novels and stories of Arthur Machen intersecting in these regards), often suffused with a bittersweet quality of nostalgia or regret but always with a winning, gentle lyricism. John Lenehan (piano). Naxos 8.553889 (New Zealand) 07B050 $5.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Suite No. 6 "Milano", Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Adagio in C. "Perosi International" moves on in July with the first release of purely orchestral works by this forgotten (and rapidly being rediscovered Italian composer): the Adagio (from around 1900) is a 13-minute epitome of serenity and gentle melody - exactly what one might expect from the composer of the various sacred works we have offered in the past year or so. The clarinet concerto dates from 1930 and inserts a similarly dreamy, rapt slow movement between two bouncy vivos which convey a joie de vivre (along with an orchestrational technique) which may surprise those who only know Perosi's sacred works. The suite dates from around 1907 and is incomplete, lacking a slow movement, but the outer movements provide a wealth of colorfully orchestrated music in a predominantly lyrical, often melancholy atmosphere; a sure delight for collectors of the late Romantic period. Vincenzo Mariozzi (clarinet), "G.B. Viotti" Orchestra of the "G. Carisio" International Academy of Music; Arturo Sacchetti. Bongiovanni GB 5088 (Italy) 07B051 $16.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Mosé. Unlike his seven previous oratorios with their Latin texts taken from the Gospels, Mosé is set in Italian, the music is much more richly orchestrated with choral parts of almost Verdian quality and characters who might have been perfoming on the stage. In fact, much to the pious Perosi's dismay, the work was actually staged once without his permission. Completed in 1901 and premiered by Toscanini, the work falls into a prologue ("Moses among the Midian shepherds") and three parts: "The Burning Bush", "Exodus" and "The Crossing of the Red Sea". The wealth of color, inspiration and the means by which Perosi conveys his passionate response to these monumental set-pieces can only make us hope that more of what the composer called his "vocal-symphonic poems" will be recorded during this remarkable Perosi revival. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Marco Camastra (baritone), Tatiana Korra Elmazi (soprano), Carlo Tallone (bass), Choruses "Polifonica 10" and "Orlando di Lasso" of Milan, "G.B. Viotti" Orchestra of the "G. Carisio" International Academy of Music; Arturo Sacchetti. Bongiovanni GB 2233/34 (Italy) 07B052 $33.98

JEAN ROGER-DUCASSE (1873-1954): String Quartet No. 2 in D. A disciple of Fauré, Roger-Ducasse managed both to not stray far from the stylistic path of his master and also to develop his own style which furthered and amplified that of his teacher. His second quartet was finished in 1952 and is a work of serene, ardent and grave beauty, lasting more than 50 minutes but which envelops the listener in a world of pastoral charm and solemn contemplation. Only available recording (of the world premiere performance of Feb. 27, 1954). Mono. Quatuor Loewenguth. Mandala MAN 4934 (France) 07B053 $17.98


BOHUSLAV MARTINÒ (1890-1959): Fantasia for Theremin, Oboe, Piano and Strings, PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Free Music #1 for 4 Theremins, JOSEPH SCHILLINGER (1895-1943): Melody, Mouvement électrique et pathétique, FRIEDRICH WILCKENS: Dance in the Moon, ISIDOR ACHRON (1892-1948): Improvisation, JORGE ANTUNES (b.1942): Mixolydia for Theremin and Tape, VLADIMIR KOMAROV (b.1940): Voice of Theremin, LYDIA KAVINA (b.1967): Suite for Theremin and Piano, In the Whims of the Wind for Theremin, Coloratura Soprano and Piano. Everyone's favorite weird instrument from bad sci-fi soundtracks has a literature for it! Martinu, no less, wrote his very atmospheric chamber piece in 1944, using the oboe as a mediating instrument between the strings and oboe and the piano. The other works are showpieces for the theremin, exploiting both its other-worldly sonorities as well as its wide range of tone, making for a party disc of the best kind! Lydia Kavina (theremin), Joshua Pierce (piano), Elizabeth Parcells (soprano), Kristen Fox (oboe), The Portland String Quartet. Mode 76 (U.S.A.) 07B054 $16.98

HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Complete Lieder, Vol. 2 - 4 Lieder, Op. 4, 3 Lieder, Op. 5, 6 Lieder, Op. 6, 5 Lieder, Op. 7, 5 Lieder, Op. 8, Tiefe Sehnsucht, 3 Lieder, Op. 10. Pfitzner's early song cycles show the influence of Schumann both in the importance of Heine in them and in the melancholy, world-weary tone and subjective late romanticism which informs them. This second volume covers the years 1888-1895 and the latest cycle here, to texts of the enraptured romantic Eichendorff, points to the first fully mature period of the composer's career. German-English texts. Julie Kaufmann (soprano), Donald Sulzen (piano); Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Michael Gees (piano); Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Rudolf Jansen (piano). CPO 999 364 (Germany) 07B055 $15.98

SALVADOR BROTONS (b.1959): Symphony No. 3, Op. 59, Catalan Lands, Op. 57 - Rhapsody for Orchestra, Poems of Oar and Sail, Op. 75 for String Orchestra. As any collectors will know who have purchased some of the piano music by Brotons which has appeared in our catalogues recently, this young Catalonian composer writes approachable, tonal-modal music with a fine ear for color and, now that we have examples of his orchestral music, we can hear that he also has great skill at orchestration. The symphony, for chamber orchestra, eschews any programmatic associations but nevertheless manages to convey a certain quality of Mediterranean light and warmth. The Rhapsody uses both original and Catalan folk themes in a single-movement work of fresh, clear lyricism touched by a gentle melancholy while the Poems, inspired by poetry concerned with the life of a fishing village, evoke various aspects of the sea, from gentle to brutal. Vallès Symphony Orchestra; Salvador Brotons. Moraleda 4896 (Spain) 07B056 $16.98

Yugoslavian Orchestral Music

STEVAN HRISTI C (1885-1958): The Legend of Ohrid - 4 Suites from the Ballet, JOSIP SLAVENSKI (1896-1955): Balkanophonia, Op. 10. Hristic's ballet (completed after World War II) tells the tale of lovers separated by an attack of Janissaries and the trials and tribulations of the hero as he rescues his bride-to-be. The locations are always exotic and the music in the richly colorful school of the late Russian Romantics with a leavening of Impressionism in the third suite. Hristic uses folk motifs from Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania in his kaleidoscopically variegated score which should delight anyone who loves Slavic ballet music. Slavensky will be a familiar name to LP collectors of rare obscurities and his 1928 Balkanophonia (premiered in its definitive version by, of all people, Erich Kleiber) shows a more individual voice, closer to Bartók in the power of its expression and with a piquant harmonic language which brings out the beauty of its woven threads of Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian folk-like motives. Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR; Moshe Atzmon. CPO 999 582 (Germany) 07B057 $15.98

JANIS IVANOVS (1906-1983): Symphony No. 3 in F Minor, Cello Concerto in B Minor, The Cloudy Mountain. All these works date from 1938: the symphony elegiac and resigned in the outer movements, rapturously expressive in the slow movement and jovial and energetic in the scherzo; The Cloudy Mountain includes Latgalian folk melodies while the three-movement concerto is traditional in its lyrical and melodic slow movement, sonata-based first movement and lively finale. Maris Villeruss (cello), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Imants Resnis, Leonids Vigners. Campion Cameo 2009 (England) 07B058 $16.98

GIORGIO FEDERICO GHEDINI (1892-1965): Musica Concertante for Cello and Orchestra, Invenzione for Cello, Strings, Timpani and Cymbals, Concerto for 2 Cellos and Orchestra. 1941's Invenzione, for all its unconventional orchestration, produces a sequence of delicate, transparent waves of sound, the timpani being used very discreetly as are the cymbals and the only climax coming just before the end and followed by a mild and gentle ending. Much the same quality informs Musica concertante (1962) whose broad, arching melodies and delicately woven counterpoint and harmonies have a pre-classical feel. Likewise, the 1951 concerto has its soloists rise out of a dark, misty opening to partake of conversation in a composition marked by extreme restraint and nostalgic melodic beauty. Werner Thomas-Mifune, Antonio Meneses (cellos), Munich Chamber Orchestra; Hans Stadlmair, Bamberg Symphony; Georg Schmöhe. Koch Schwann 3-1782-2 (Germany) 07B059 $16.98

PANCHO VLADIGEROV (1899-1978): Piano Concerto No. 3 in B Flat Minor, Op. 31, Vardar - Bulgarian Rhapsody, Op. 16, Concerto Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 35, Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra. Vladigerov's music was once widely performed and he had premieres in the 20s in Berlin by such performers as Fritz Reiner; his ability to use the melodic and metrical-rhythmical elements of Bulgarian folk-song and combine them with late Romantic harmonies and a native gift for melody and effective orchestration produced a series of bright, exuberant, lyrical music always infused by the spirit of the dance. All of these works (composed between 1928 and 1943) show these delightful qualities and will whet the appetite for what we can only hope will be more recordings from the Bulgarian Radio archives of Vladigerov's colorful scores. Svetla Slavcheva (piano), Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Vladigerov. Gega GD 203 (Bulgaria) 07B060 $16.98

JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): A Summer's Tale, Op. 29, A Winter's Tale, Op. 9. Composed between 1907-09, Suk's A Summer's Tale blends influences from as wide a field as Richard Strauss, Mahler and Debussy into a distinctive and vivid personal style in a five-movement work lasting more than 50 minutes which depicts Man dogged by the cruelty of Fate and seeking escape in Nature. The coupling is a real rarity: the 1894 (rev. 1926) overture inspired by Shakespeare's play and sounding a good deal like one of Dvorak's late symphonic poems Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Mogrelia. Naxos 8.553703 (New Zealand) 07B061 $5.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Suite Caractéristique, Op. 9, Le Chant du Destin, Op. 84, Prélude, Op. 85/1 "A la mémoire de Wladimir Stassoff", Prélude, Op. 85/2 "A la mémoire de Rimsky-Korsakov". Volume 10 of this series gets down to some rarities: the longest work here is the suite (1884-87) which is, in essence, an eight-movement dance suite whose brightly colored folk allusions are influenced by Balakirev, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov. "The Song of Destiny" (1907) is an extended dramatic overture of varying material, all of which is treated to the composer's inexhaustible orchestrational facility and gift for melody and color while the two preludes are posthumous tributes to two of the most important musical figures in Glazunov's life, their funereal aspect not precluding a grave poetry and, in the case of the second prelude, a quasi-Wagnerian chromatic delirium in places. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Igor Golovschin. Naxos 8.553857 (New Zealand) 07B062 $5.98

MAURICE DELAGE (1879-1961): 4 Poèmes hindous, 3 Mélodies, 3 Poèmes, Toute allégresse, L'Enfant, 7 Haï-Kaïs, Ronsard à sa muse, La chanson de ma mie, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 2 Fables de La Fontaine, Sobre las olas, Les Colombes, 3 Poèmes désenchantés, Un morte de Samouraï. Volume 10 of Timpani's "La Melodie Française" brings us to the individual, refined, fastidious and often exotic (Indian and Japanese subjects receive particularly colorful treatment) of this precise and subtle composer. French-English texts. Sandrine Piau (soprano), Jean-Paul Fouchecourt (tenor), Jean-François Gardeil (baritone), Billy Eidi (piano). Timpani 1C1045 (France) 07B063 $17.98

PETER SCHAT (b.1935): Monkey Subdues the White-Boned Demon. This opera has an unusual origin; a 16th-century Chinese novel, illustrated in line drawings in the 17th century. All the drawings - all 110 of them - are reproduced in the booklet, which is consequently over a half-inch thick. The composer's introductory note suggests that to follow through the book of drawings as the action of the music progresses produces a sense of "cartoon opera", and the CD is tracked to facilitate this. The story is one of journey and quest, in a magical context against a Buddhist background. The music, while referring to Chinese pentatony, is nevertheless recognisably European throughout, with a clearly delineated economy of gesture that ingeniously suggests the line drawings on which it is based. Schat's sure-footed yet unconventional harmonic sense is particularly appropriate to this style of composition. Dutch-English texts included in lavish 302-page (that's right: 302 pages) booklet. Monique Krüs (soprano), Richard Zook (tenor), Gary Boyce (counter-tenor), Tom Sol (baritone), Ensemble Beestenboel; Vincent de Kort. Donemus CV 73 (Netherlands) 07B064 $18.98

PETER SCHAT (b.1935): Etudes for Piano and Orchestra, Symphony II for Orchestra. Once an adherent of serialism, now opposed to it and employing a harmonic language rooted in tonality but according to rules of his own, Schat has returned to two forms which in the most extreme days of avant-garde ideologies would have seemed hopelessly reactionary; the large-scale virtuoso showpiece for piano and orchestra, and the symphony. Etudes, while harmonically ambiguous by conventional standards, is nonetheless far from tonally obscure, and is approachable and enjoyable on many levels. The symphony functioned as a study for Schat's opera Symposion, a study of love and the human striving toward the divine, with Tchaikovsky as protagonist. There is, surprisingly, lush orchestral romanticism here, though refracted through an uncompromisingly modern idiom. Martyn van den Hoek (piano), Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra; Richard Dufallo. Donemus CV 76 (Netherlands) 07B065 $18.98

DAVID RAKOWSKY (b.1958): Attitude Problem Piano Trio, Hyper Blue for Piano Trio, Sesso e Violenza - Chamber Concerto for 2 Flutes and Small Ensemble, 3 Songs on Poems of Louise Bogan for Soprano and Piano, Etudes for Piano Nos. 1 "E-Machines", 2 "BAM!", 7 "Les Arbres Embués", 10 "Corrente" and 14 "Martler". Rakowski is a composer with a sense of humor, and a gift for communicative clarity of expression. Having started out in music as a non-classical player, and then subsequently studying with Babbitt and Berio (among others) he has emerged as a composer who is not afraid of complexity but who seems always concerned to dress it up in appealing colors, viscerally arousing dynamic activity or some other attribute to assure its ready approachability. The largest work here, Sesso e Violenza is a tour de force, which is almost guaranteed to leave the listener breathless by the end. The Triple Helix, Tara Helen O'Connor (flute/piccolo), David Fedele (flute, alto flute), Ensemble 21; Peter Jarvis, Judith Bettina (soprano), James Goldsworthy (piano), Marilyn Nonken (piano). CRI CD 820 (U.S.A.) 07B066 $16.98

JAMES WILLEY (b.1939): String Quartets Nos. 1, 2 & 6. These inventive and tautly constructed quartets deserve a warm welcome. Willey's idiom is broadly tonal, though quirky and more than capable of delivering a surprise or two. Rhythmically, too, the music is lively and in constant motion, never settling into a pattern for longer than is necessary to allow the next phrase to disturb the listener's expectations. The composer's way of suddenly launching into a big, romantic, expressive statement in the midst of all the activity is another characteristic which adds to the emotional impact of the music, which is also at times humourous and lighthearted, or serious and somber. The Esterhazy Quartet. CRI CD 816 (U.S.A.) 07B067 $16.98

MARGARET BROUWER (b.1940): Crosswinds for String Quartet, Horn Sonata, Prelude and Vivace for Clarinet and Ensemble, Diary of an Alien for Flute. Brouwer is a very American composer, in the sense that our country is a melting-pot of diverse cultures all more-or-less at ease with each other, but all conscious of their own identity. She uses 'traditional" folk music of Virginia in Crosswinds, in a context that is very much of the modern concert hall. The atmospheric Prelude and Vivace suggests the landscapes of the west, and the bustle of teeming life in the great cities - a very different interpretation, musically, of the ideas presented in the film "Koyaanisqatsi" (with its totally different score by Glass). The solo flute Diary - a music theatre piece, effectively - contains humourous references to contemporary life (very funny, actually), but the sonata is a more serious work, making a direct appeal to the senses, using a quasi-minimalistic vocabulary and broad sweeps of melody. Cassatt String Quartet, Kristin Thelander (horn), Réne Lecuona (piano), Daniel Silver (clarinet), Cleveland Institute of Music New Music Ensemble; Timothy Weiss, Alice Weinreb (flute). CRI CD 821 (U.S.A.) 07B068 $16.98

DON BANKS (1923-1980): 3 Studies for Cello and Piano, Sequence for Solo Cello, KEITH HUMBLE (1927-1995): 5 Short Pieces in Two Parts, BOZIDAR KOS (b.1934): Evocations, GILLIAN WHITEHEAD (b.1941): The Journey of Matuku Moana. Banks' tightly organised serial Studies provide a compelling opening to this disc, which continues with his looser, free-wheeling (though still finely crafted) Sequence. There is a concentration of argument in Banks' music which can be traced back to his distinguished teachers, and ultimately, to the Second Viennese School. Humble's five pieces also look back to the Second Viennese School, principally to the economy of Webern. Kos' Evocations sounds surprisingly tonal much of the time, and throughout emphasizes the lyrical "long line". It is above all a very beautiful work. Whitehead's work is an extended soliloquy or recitative, with a readily apparent narrative content, and like the other works presented here, is far from unapproachable while never denying its modern vocabulary. Georg Pedersen (cello), David Bollard (piano). Tall Poppies TP129 (Australia) 07B069 $18.98

POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Symphony No. 2 "Symphony and Transformation", Piano Concerto. The symphony opens quietly and unassumingly, but grows and throws out tendrils and branches in a manner that gives a whole new meaning to the term "organic development" in music. The piano concerto is a reflective work, with a pervading sense of menace, even when at its most lively. Again there is a feeling of a continuous organic flow, with little remaining of the conventional star-vehicle concerto structure (apart from a blistering cadenza to the first movement). Rolf Hind (piano), Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Markus Stenz. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224125 (Denmark) 07B070 $14.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): The Maiden and Death - Ballet Suite, Piano Concerto No. 1, Ouvertüre Concertante. Among many other characteristics that make his case unique, Skalkottas is unusual in that he was at ease writing serial and tonal music at any stage in his career. This CD presents world premiere recordings of a large-scale tonal ballet suite from 1938, his early-dodecaphonic piano concerto from seven years earlier (which, given Skalkottas' unusual interpretation of the tenets of dodecaphony, using the term very freely and permitting several note-rows to combine to form thematic material, is scarcely identifiable as such to listen to), and the Ouvertüre concertante, which is from his later period of serial development. The ballet score is immediately appealing, quite romantic. The overture is brittle and intricate, and the most original music here, while the concerto is surprisingly appealing, and sounds not at all as one might expect of a disciple of the Schoenberg school (as Skalkottas was at the time). Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano), Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Nikos Christodoulou. BIS CD-1014 (Sweden) 07B071 $17.98

PAVEL BORKOVEC (1894-1972): Piano Concerto No. 2, KLEMENT SLAVICK (b.1910): Rhapsodic Variations for Large Orchestra, PETR EBEN (b.1929): Piano Concerto. Borkovec's piano concerto is a fine, expressive and energetic work. A student of Suk, Borkovec turned away from the romantic style of his teacher, but later reapproached it in works such as this concerto, which has more than a little in common with Suk's symphonic writing. The same might well be said of Slavicky's variations, a big romantic canvas exploring the possibilities of a haunting folk-tune. Eben's concerto is the most modern work here, and it resembles Prokofiev in some respects, and maybe Shostakovich at times. The piano writing is virtuosic and original. Frantiek Rauch, Antonín Jemelík (piano), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Karel Anãerl. Panton 81 9018 (Czech Republic) 07B072 $16.98

GOFFREDO PETRASSI (b.1904): Sesto Non-Senso for A Cappella Chorus, Sonata da camera for Harpsichord and 10 Instruments, Récréation concertante (Third Concerto) for Orchestra, 4 Inni Sacri for Tenor, Baritone and Orchestra, Noche Oscura for Chorus and Orchestra. A useful collection of Petrassi's powerful and finely crafted music, displaying his range as a composer. There is an energy, a dynamism, about these pieces which is most appealing. The hymns are genuine devotional music; the concerto for orchestra a cogent and compelling exercise in potently argued musical thought. The "Sixth Nonsense", after Edward Lear's nonsense verses, is as avant-garde as the verses themselves, but it is Petrassi's acknowledgement of tradition, used as a springboard for his own inspiration, that brings to mind Busoni (especially in the cantata and the chamber sonata) and gives his music its undoubted expressive weight. Bruno Canino (harpsichord), Rodolfo Malacarne (tenor), Laerte Malaguti (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of the Swiss-Italian Radio; Bruno Martinotti, Mario Rossi, Francis Irving Travis. Aura AUR 153 (Switzerland) 07B073 $5.98

LAURENT PETITGIRARD (b.1950): Cello Concerto, Le Légendaire - Concerto for Violin, Chorus and Orchestra, Hamelin for Solo Cello. Petitgirard's music is broadly tonal and romantically lush, highly colored and although the composer denies programatic content in the cello concerto, this work is clearly expressive of emotional matters and concerns that go beyond the mechanics of the music in a way that the Romantics would have clearly understood. The violin concerto has a more obvious program; that of the intervention of a mysterious stranger who arrives with a message of hope and leaves, the stuff of legend since antiquity. The music is appropriately vivid and leads us surely through the presumed narrative. Hamelin tells a similar story - the pied piper - in 15 pieces of passionate, evocative cello soliloquy which illustrate the Browning text. Gary Hoffman (cello), Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurent Petitgirard, Augustin Dumay (violin), Cracow Radio Chorus, Polish Philharmonic; Laurent Petitgirard. Le Chant du Monde LDC 2781113 (France) 07B074 $17.98

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 70 "Harlekiini", TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): Toward the Sea II for Alto Flute, Harp and Strings, KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orchestra. While Penderecki's concerto is typically eclectic, Sallinen portrays Harlequin in a finale of outrageous homor and virtuosity. Takemitsu, however, explores the beauty of the alto flute's sonorities in an Eastern setting. Petri Alanko (flute), Tapiola Sinfonietta; Okko Kamu. Naxos 8.554185 (New Zealand) 07B075 $5.98

LUCIANO BERIO (b.1925): Points on the curve to find... for Piano and 23 Instruments, Folk Songs for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Sequenza VII for Oboe, Laborintus II for Speaker, Vocal Soloist, Instrumental Ensemble and Chorus. Here is the readily accessible side of Berio, for any disposed to find him unapprocahable or "difficult". His text-setting in the "folk songs" shows a fine sensitivity to the voice and the question of setting diverse texts in a context which enhances them without detracting from their meaning, ingenious and surprising but never distractingly modern or at odds with the sentiments of the originals. Points is an appealing work too, with a lively energy. Even Laborintus, which has more in common with the sound collage feeling of much of Berio's work from the 1960s, has a straightforward directness which leads the listener through the complex relationship between text and music. Antony di Bonaventura (piano), Cathy Berberian (soprano), Heinz Holliger (oboe), Orchestra of the Swiss-Italian Radio; Luciano Berio. Aura AUR 171 (Switzerland) 07B076 $5.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Tryst, Adam's Rib for Brass Quintet, They Saw the Stone had been Rolled Away, Í (A Meditation on Iona). These four tone-poems cover a very wide range of expression indeed. Adam's Rib is basically a slow, somber meditation, building into exultant fanfares but retaining a kind of exultant solemnity, on the miracle of creation, while Tryst contains much more of the highly energetic, extravagant young man's music which first brought MacMillan to the world's attention. With his approachable idiom, the clear message of much of his music, and his bold, colorful (loud!) gestures, MacMillan presents a very acceptable face of sophisticated modern music, as exemplified here by They Saw . . . which is reminiscent of the percussion concerto Veni, veni, Emmanuel which was MacMillan's first piece to achieve real fame. The other work here, Í is nature music - raw, untamed and violent nature, against which man might struggle for generations to achieve the slightest foothold. Not for the fainthearted, the piece nonetheless makes a powerful impact. Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Joseph Swensen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra Brass. BIS CD-1019 (Sweden) 07B077 $17.98

FERENC FARKAS (b.1905): The Sly Students - Suite, Concertino all'antica for Cello and Orchestra, Piccola musica di concerto for Chamber Orchestra, Concertino IV for Oboe and Strings, Planctus et consolationes. Much of the music on this disc might give the impression that Farkas is a close successor to, say, Kodaly, in that it is tonal, tuneful, somewhat Hungarian-folk influenced and lively and appealing. This is not to say that there is anything unapproachable about the lovely oboe concertino, though, even though it flirts with dodecaphony (in a tonal framework, however). The ballet score The Sly Students is a delight, and the other large orchestral work, "Mourning and Consolation', a serious in memoriam work, packs a powerful emotional punch. Miklós Perényi (cello), Jean-Paul Goy (oboe), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; György Lehel, András Farkas, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; Frigyes Sándor, Hungarian State Orchestra; János Ferencsik. Hungaroton HCD 31851 (Hungary) 07B078 $16.98

PIERRE WISSMER (1915-1992): Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6, Sinfonietta Concertante for Flute, Harp and Orchestra. Dynamic and dramatic, Wissmer's symphonic writing recalls that of Honegger, and perhaps Dutilleux. There is a sense of elemental flow that is almost Sibelian (though the music is more thematically oriented than late Sibelius, and has little in common with him in the way it actually sounds) in this writing. At other times there are points in common with Shostakovich, especially the Fourth Symphony. In any case, the composer makes a telling statement on a truly symphonic scale in both these works, as well as the sophisticated and shadowy Sinfonietta concertante. Lorena Barile (flute), Gabriela Russo (harp), Sudecka Philharmonia of Walbrzych; Dominique Fanal. De Plein Vent DPV 9997 (France) 07B079 $14.98

SÁNDOR VERESS (1907-1992): Threnos (in memoriam Béla Bartók), Clarinet Concerto, Tromboniade - Concerto for 2 Trombones and Orchestra. A complex composer, Veress seems to be striving, in different ways, to achieve a philosophical goal in all these works. The Threnody is in some ways the most straightforward; a great mourning procession in memory of Bartók. The clarinet concerto is a work full of tension, seldom relieved even by the climactic outbursts that occur along the way. The spectres of death and spiritual uncertainty seem to haunt every measure. The taut, concise Tromboniade, symphonic for all its concertante element, also seems to hint at eschatological themes, and is far from being a mere virtuoso showpiece for its sonorous soloists. Fabio Di Càsola (clarinet), Branimir Slokar, Armin Bachmann (trombones), North Hungarian Philharmonic Miskolc; Janos Meszaros. Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6132 (Switzerland) 07B080 $18.98

HENRY COWELL (1897-1965): Dynamic Motion, What's This?, Amiable Conversation, Advertisement, Antimony, Timetable, The Banshee, Exultation, Tides of Manaunaun, Aeolian Harp, Hero Sun, Fabric, Lilt of the Reel, 9 Ings, Slow Jig, The Fairy Answer, Set of Two Movements. This excellent tribute to Cowell originated in a large-scale festival centerd on his music which took place in San Francisco in 1997. The breadth of Cowell's inspiration never ceases to astonish, so perhaps it is apt that we get the piano music illuminated from four angles here (there is no duplication of repertoire between performers). It's all here - from the clusters, to the simple and affecting Irish melodies, to the folk tunes accompanied by wild cluster percussion on the piano, to the etherial sounds of gently stroked strings, to the thunderous sonorities of Cowell's other innovations in performance technique. Chris Brown, Sorrel Hays, Joseph Kubera, Sarah Cahill (piano). New Albion NA 103 (U.S.A.) 07B081 $16.98

PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): Piano Sonata, Op. 9, 6 Preludes, Op. 38, VITTORIO GIANNINI (1903-1966): Piano Sonata, NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994): 2 Waltzes, Piano Sonata. The three piano sonatas on this disc, while they would undoubtedly have been considered reactionary, old-fashioned even, in their time, make a strong case for the idea that the big, virtuoso piano sonata is far from a played-out form, even in the latter part of our century. The Giannini is a splendid piece, full of bold bravura gestures and a romantic sense of direct contact with the emotions, without a hint of parody - quite an achievement for a tonal piano sonata from the 1960s! The Creston has the composer's familiar classical structuring and romantic/impressionistic sense of color. And the Flagello also makes a strong impression of a profound musical sensibility within self-imposed restraints of conventional harmony and structure. Tatjana Rankovich (piano). Phoenix USA PHCD 143 (U.S.A.) 07B082 $14.98

YORGO SICILIANOS (b.1920): Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 12, Ballade for Large Orchestra, Mellichomeide for Soprano and 11 Instruments, Op. 44. Sicilianos' Concerto is a big, orchestrally bold work, making free use of dodecaphony but actually not going far beyond the Bartók work of the same title of two years earlier, which it sometimes resembles in harmonic thinking. The much later Ballade also stays within a relatively familiar idiom, with a highly colorful orchestral pallette and an almost film-music-like dramatic narrative feeling. It is perhaps this sense of narrative, of program (even when none is explicit) that makes Sicilianos' music so approachable, even when the compositional techniques employed are as advanced as they are. Sanna Ivanòva (soprano), Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria; Alkis Panayotopoulos. Agora AG 179.1 (Italy) 07B083 $16.98

CHRISTOPHER BALL: Concerto for Recorder and Strings "The Piper of Dreams", Scenes from a Comedy for Wind Quintet, Concerto for Oboe and Strings, Pagan Piper for Solo Tenor Recorder, Pan Overheard for Solo Alto Recorder. A clarinettist and recorder player, who played in the Hallé under Barbirolli, Ball has composed and arranged light music for the BBC. His recorder concerto is an appealing and easily assimilated work in English pastoral vein, very skillfully written and never outstaying its welcome, even as, as the composer suggests, the first full-length concerto for the instrument (at 26 minutes). The other pieces are also light and jaunty, adding to the repertoire of peculiarly English light music that is admired the world over. Mid-price. Paul Alden-Taylor (recorders, oboe), The Adderbury Ensemble; Christopher Ball. Pavane ADW 7404 (Belgium) 07B084 $10.98

ELMAR LAMPSON (b.1952): Das Traumlied des Olaf Åsteson - Symphonie, Music for Piano, Percussion and Strings. A characteristic of Lampson's music seems to be the juxtaposition of clusters with episodes of frank tonality. In the case of "The Dream Song", the gentle clusters create a detached, floating textural void against which the foreground figures appear in vivid colors, and then as the tension increases, the dualism of this tonal/totally non-tonal approach heightens the drama immeasurably. The duality of the other work is between "Western" sonorities, of strings and piano, and "non-western", alien sounds of a large percussion battery, ingeniously used. The work as a whole produces a profound sense of stillness, a true departure from the accepted western idea of musical development. Ulrike Bauer-Wirth (piano), Michael Kiedaisch, Markus Hauke (percussion), Staatsphilhramonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Elmar Lampson. col legno 20040 (Germany) 07B085 $18.98

MICHAEL DENHOFF (b.1955): Hebdomaire, Op. 62. Hebdomadaire is a vast cycle of piano works that represents a summing-up of the Denhoff's musical ideals in condensed miniatures, conforming to the composer's view that the piano allows expression of the musical essence, devoid of distracting instrumental devices. The individual pieces cover a wide range of moods and allusions to other composers and classical models, but essentially the style is one of free atonality and the concise exploration of small-scale motifs. It might be hard to imagine a large, expansive work composed along these lines, but in this context, with this kind of skillful piano writing, they pieces work admirably as little, detailed "snapshots", each one illustrating a theme of importance to the composer. 2 CDs. Birgitta Wollenweber (piano). col legno 20011 (Germany) 07B086 $37.98

DIETER BUWEN (b.1955): Die Sephiroth for Saxophone and Organ, Quadrophonia for Solo Organ, RYO NODA (b.1948): Maï for Alto Saxophone, THEO BRANDMÜLLER (b.1948): Enigma II for Soprano/Alto Saxophone and Organ, ALAIN VOIRPY (b.1955): Méditation sur un Sanctus for Alto Saxophone and Organ. Wallowing in the gorgeous noise this disc makes, one almost fails to notice that the music is rather modern and for the most part atonal. The larger part of the program is given over to music by the organist, and the organ of the Ludwigskirche, Saarbrücken is a fine, clear and bold instrument on which to realise his intentions. Die Sephiroth is based on a note-row, but uses it only as a starting point from which, in different movements, other combinations of thematic material or tone color per se become the most important factors. Brandmüller's ingenious palindromically structured Enigma is also a feast for the senses in sound, as is Buwen's solo organ work, somewhat Messiaen-like in its exploitation of added-note harmony for coloristic purposes. Günter Priesner (saxophones), Dieter Buwen (organ). col legno 20036 (Germany) 07B087 $18.98

WALTER BAER: Aoide Seirenon for Violin and Piano, Somnium Daedali for Tenor-Bass Trombone and Piano, Tria Skolia for Clarinet and Piano, Cahier Anatolien for Oboe and Piano, 2 Klavierstücke, Sonatina nostalgica for Violin and Piano. A Swiss composer profoundly influenced by the culture, atmosphere and mythology of the eastern Mediterranean, especially Greece, Baer has created a kind of latter-day impressionism - very free in tempo and pitch-relationships, and seductive in timbre. Although these works have no explicit programatic content, they are clearly intended as atmospheric impressions - sometimes slightly disturbing and enigmatic, as though suggesting half-forgotten legends - of a strange and beautiful landscape. Louise Pellerin (oboe), Josias Just (clarinet), Ulrich Eichenberger (trombone), Urs Bumbacher (violin), Urs Walter (piano). Quantaphon 25.359 (Switzerland) 07B088 $16.98

BRUNO BETTINELLI (b.1913): 3 Expressioni Madrigalistiche, Ave Maria, Bone pastor, Ave verum, O notte, Intellige clamorem meum, Tenebrae factae sunt, Convien al secol nostro, Lauda, Domine, exaudi, Dextera Domine, Respice in me, Domine. These lovely choral works relate strongly to a tradition that stretches back to Monteverdi, while paradoxiacally never sounding "old-fashioned" or containing any hint of parodistic neoclassicism. Expressing sincerity and devout faith, expressed in gentle harmony suitable for ecclesiastical performance, this music provides the spiritual refreshment that the New Age movement strive for, but generally don't achieve as well as this. Coro Jubilate; Paolo Alli. Sarx Records SX 027 (Italy) 07B089 $16.98

JOHN STEWART MCLENNAN (1915-1996): Celebration, Triptych, Threnody. Gunther Schuller does it again! Tireless in his promotion of American music of excellence in which he so strongly believes, Mr. Schuller now presents the music of New England composer John McLennan. There is something oddly, and indefinably "British" about this music - there are what sound like shades of Vaughan Williams and especially the Moeran of the Symphony, though somewhat (not very much) updated in idiom. Whatever the influences or perceived associations, this is fine, strong, personal music, powerfully expressed and cogently argued. It would be good to know more of this composer's music, but this disc alone presents a powerful argument in his favor. Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of Hannover; Gunther Schuller. GM Recordings GM2066CD (U.S.A.) 07B090 $16.98

ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): The Silver Messenger. A tragic love-triangle story with supernatural overtones, The Silver Messenger is told in music of direct utterance, with Spanish inflections and rhythms in a tonal framework with excursions that make the music unpredictable and heighten the sense of uneasy activity in an overheated and sultry landscape in which the course of human destiny just might be shaped by myterious forces beyond our control. The musical narrative draws one in, like a novel which, once started, is impossible to put down. Spanish-English libretto. Vocal Soloists, Bronx Arts Ensemble; Genesio Riboldi. Newport Classics NPD 85651 (U.S.A.) 07B091 $16.98

BENGT HAMBRÆUS (b.1928): Missa pro organo (2 versions), Liturgia pro organo, Triptyque for Organ with MIDI. As organist-composer, Hambræus has an unusual awareness of the power of the church organ to inspire dread, to uplift the spirit, and to suggest to the listener realms of experience outside the run of day-to-day reality. This certainly points to an affinity with Messiaen, and coincidentally, over half this disc is given over to Hambræus' two versions of Missa pro organo, somewhat in the Messiaen idiom, and in memory of the French composer. Even more like Messiaen in the textures and blocks of sound from which it is composed is the earlier Liturgia, while the Triptyque, another "in memoriam" work, this time for the composer's son, incorporates MIDI-controlled electronic effects to expand the already immense repertoire of sounds from his chosen instrument that the composer so readily exploits. Hans Hellsten (organ of St. Peter's Church, Malmö). MAP of Sweden MAPCD03 07B092 $16.98

LARS HALLNÄS (b.1950): Spår for 2 Pianos, BENGT HAMBRÆUS (b.1928): Cercles for Piano, Vortex for 2 Pianos, PETER HANSEN (b.1958): Coulée Verte for 2 Pianos, CARL OLOF-ANDERBERG (1914-1972): 3 Stycken for Piano, Bewegungen for Piano, DROR FEILER (b.1951): Barrikad for Piano 4 Hands, MATS PERSSON (b.1943): Stilleben mit Sweelinck for 2 Pianos and Tape, CLAUDE LOYOLA ALLGÉN (1920-1990): 2 Liturgical Melodies for 2 Pianos, VIKING DAHL (1895-1945): Sensation 1 & 2, Regnväder for Piano, ARNE MELLNÄS (b.1933): Fragile for Piano, BO NILSSON (b.1937): Bewegungen, Schlagfiguren, Quantitäten for Piano, IVO NILSSON (b.1966): lo mismo? for 2 Pianos. This disc is a celebration of the 30-year collaboration between Scholz and Persson as a piano duo. Well known in Sweden for their pioneering work in contemporary music, this disc gives a fascinating cross-section of their astonishing repertoire. Hambræus' style is more spiky and percussive on the piano than in his more familiar organ music, which makes the music sound more "modern". Persson's own work, for two pianos and tape is free-ranging and fantasical, which makes it rather representative of the works here, many of which were written with this duo in mind. Most of the music is atonal, and uncompromisingly modern in idiom. The oddest piece in this context is the impressionistic, Satie-influenced Regnväder by Dahl. 2 CDs. Mats Persson, Kristine Scholz (pianos). Phono Suecia PSCD 106 (Sweden) 07B093 $33.98

LEIFUR THÓRARINSSON (1934-1998): Piano Trio, Mosaik for Violin and Piano, Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, Pente X for Flute, Harpsichord, Cello and 2 Percussionists, Preludio-Intermezzo-Finale for Piano, Serena by the Sea for Violin and Harp. An important Icelandic contemporary composer, Thórarinsson developed a highly individual style, based on serialism, which he embraced wholeheartedly. Thórarinsson studied with Gunther Schuller, who encouraged him and helped him refine his serial technique. The music is complex, though tightly organised; the composer's personality, as expressed through the music, seems also to have been a complicated one, full of contrasts, even contradictions. There are moments of serenity, even repose, but also lightning-strikes of unexpected violence, but however unsettled the music may seem at times there is a sense of inevitability to it which guides the listener through even the thorniest and most forbidding thickets. Caput Ensemble. GM Recordings GM2065CD (U.S.A.) 07B094 $16.98

CHARLES JONES (1910-1997): Sonata da camera for Violin, 2 Violas, Cello, Double Bass, Percussion and Piano, Psalm for Piano, The Seasons for Soprano, Baritone and Ensemble, String Quartet No. 6, Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Emblemata for Organ. Blending a neoclassical cleanliness of line and uncluttered textures with an almost expressionistic sense of drama, Jones' music is something of an enigma, never settling for long into either æsthetic world. At its best it is active and powerful, with a sense of barely suppressed - sometimes not suppressed at all - powerful emotions boiling beneath the academically correct surface. Not really tonal in any meaningful sense, the music is nonetheless structured around a functional use of harmony, and avoids any sense of dry academicism through its relentless questing activity. Various Artists. CRI CD 819 (U.S.A.) 07B095 $16.98


These items are offered on a special price basis. On some times, quantities are limited; first come, first served.


FRANZ HUMMEL (b. 1939): Gesualdo - Opera in 2 Acts. Soloists, Orch. & Choir of Pfalz Theatre Kaiserslautern; Lior Shambadal. 2 CDs. Arte Nova 40737 (Germany) 07B096 was$15.98 now$7.98


GIOVANNI MANE GIORNOVICHI (1735-1804): Violin Concertos Nos. 3, 8 & 9. Paul Yeager, Tania Davison (vln), Starling Chamber Orchestra; Kurt Sassmannshaus. Arte Nova 34019 (Germany) 07B097 was$7.98 now$3.98


DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): 4 Poèmes de Paul Claudel, Op. 26, Les Soirées de Pétrograde, Op. 55, Poème du Journal Intime de Léo Latil, Op. 73, String Quartets Nos. 6-8. Vocal soloists, Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet. Troubadisc TRO-CD 01411 (Germany) 07B098 was$16.98 now$9.98


ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Alegrías, Dos Apunts, Soirées de Barcelone, 3 Impromptus, Pandora. Andrew Ball, Julian Jacobson (pnos). Largo 56636 (Germany) 07B099 was$16.98 now$10.98


JOHANNA SENFTER (1879-1961): 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 77, 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 83, 2 Klavierstücke, Op. 129, Vogelweise, Mazurka, Berceuse. Monica Gutman (piano). Wergo WER 6264 (Germany) 07B100 was$19.98 now$13.98


JOSEF MATTHIAS HAUER (1883-1959): 7 Kleine Stücke, Op. 3, Klavierstücke mit Überschriften nach Worten von Friedrich Hölderlin, Op. 25, Nomos, Op. 19, Nachklangstudien, Op. 16. Herbert Henck (pno). Wergo WER 6609 (Germany) 07B101 was$19.98 now$13.98


PETER MICHAEL HAMEL (b.1947): Violin Concerto, Diaphainon for Orchestra, Gralbilder for Orchestra. Christiane Edinger (vln), Bavarian RSO; Alicja Mounk, Hans Zender, Gerd Albrecht. Wergo WER 6520 (Germany) 07B102 was$19.98 now$13.98


REINHARD FEBEL (b.1952): Variations for Orchestra, Das Unendliche for Orchestra and 2 Voices, String Quartet. RSO Saarbrücken; Michael Zilm, RSO Stuttgart; Jacques Mercier, Arditti String Quartet. Wergo WER 60502 (Germany) 07B103 was$19.98 now$13.98


GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Sextuor - L'origine des speciesfor 3 Sopranos, Mezzo-Soprano, Contralto and Cello. MFA 216004 (France) 07B104 was$18.98 now$12.98


MAX REGER (1873-1916): Violin Sonatas in C, Op. 72 & in C Minor, Op. 139. Renate Eggebrecht (vin), Siegried Mauser (pno). Troubadisc TRO-CD 01413 (Germany) 07B105 was$16.98 now$9.98


MAX REGER (1873-1916): Piano Quintet in C Minor, Op. 64, Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 102. Various Artists. Troubadisc TRO-CD 01414 (Germany) 07B106 $16.98 $9.98


PAUL BEN-HAIM (1897-1984): Serenade for Flute Quartet, DEDDEN PARTOS (1907-1977): Maqamat for Flute and String Quartet, MENACHEM ZUR (b.1942): Flute Quartet, AMI MARYANI (b.1935): Poem for Flute Quartet. Noam Buchman (fl), Israel String Quartet. Music in Israel MII-CD-20 (Israel) 07B107 was$17.98 now$10.98


JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1696-1765): Cantatas Abbandona il caro nido, L'augellin' tra verdi fronde, L'aure grate, Violin Sonatas in D and A Minor, Sonata à 3 in A, Concertinos in E Minor and B Flat for Harpsichord and Strings. Ensemble Trazom. Arte Nova 40742 (Germany) 07B108 was$7.98 now$3.98


JOÃO DOMINGOS BOMTEMPO (1775-1842): Requiem in C Minor, Op. 23. Soloists, Berlin Radio Chorus and SO; Heinz Rogner. Portugalsom SP 4162 (Portugal) 07B109 was$13.98 now$6.98


FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Enter Spring, Summer, Christmas Dance "Sir Roger de Coverley", JOHN FOULDS (1880-1939): April-England, ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): November Woods, FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): Harvest Hymn. Special European Import. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Neville Marriner. Philips 454 444 (Netherlands) 07B110 was$19.98 now$13.98


CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Die Auferweckung des Lazarus, Op. 132. Soloists, Cologne Radio Choir and Orchestra; Helmuth Froschauer. Capriccio 10 581 (Germany) 07B111 was$11.98 now$6.98


FERNANDO LOPES-GRAÇA (b.1906): The Tragic History of the Sea, Travels Through My Country. Oliveira Lopes (bar), Hungarian Radio Chorus, Budapest SO, Budapest PO; Gyula Németh. Portugalsom 870003/PS (Portugalsom) 07B112 was$13.98 now$6.98


ANTONIN DVORAK (1841-1904): 8 Silhouettes, Op. 8, BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): Bagatelles and Impromptus, On the Seashore, Op. 17, BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Etudes and Polkas, LEOS JANACEK (1854-1928): In the Mist, JAN LADISLAV DUSIK (1760-1912): Sonata, Op. 10/2. Hana Dvorakova (pno). Vars VA 0010 (Czech Republic) 07B113 was$16.98 now$9.98


DAVID GOLIGHTLY: 3 Shadow Portraits, JEREMY PIKE (b.1955): 3 Pieces, JOANNA TREASURE: Piano Song, STUART SCOTT (b.1949): 3 Preludes, Op. 49, MARGARET WEGENER (b.1920): Introduction, Fantasia and Passacaglia, COLIN BAYLESS: 3 Impressionist Sketches. (Contemporary British Piano Music) Jonathan Middleton (pno). ASC CS CD 1 (England) 07B114 was$18.98 now$11.98

MAX STEINER (1888-1971): They Died With Their Boots On. Steiner's 1941 score for the Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland Custer biopic is a classic of its kind. Steiner was known primarily for his Western scores and the mythical qualities of his hero allowed him to create a Wagnerian-sized score with motifs for several main characters (including Crazy Horse), and to run riot with two great battle-scenes (one during the Civil War and the climactic, technically extremely difficult Little Big Horn sequence which caused the Russian sound engineer for this recording to remark "Mahler easy, Steiner difficult". Over 70 minutes of music, booklet containing many stills and track-by-track descriptions as well as several essays on Steiner and his music. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225079 (New Zealand) 07B115 $14.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Valley of the Kings - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This 1954 potboiler begins in Victorian England and spends most of its time in Egypt, allowing Rózsa to provide both pastiche 19th century salon-style music and his trademark, powerful and rousing exoticism to create a dramatic, imposing score (at the same time, the composer was working on his violin concerto) which is available now for the first time. Orchestra conducted by Miklós Rózsa. Tickertape tt 3010 (Germany) 07B116 $16.98

EDWARD MACDOWELL (1860-1908): Piano Music, Vol. 4 - 12 Etudes, Op. 39, 2 Fantasy Pieces, Op. 17, Serenata, Op. 16, Second Modern Suite, Op. 14, Etude de Concert, Op. 36. At last, the final volume of this series appears, bringing some of Macdowell's finest piano music in the suite and in the Op. 39 preludes, both characterized by a Romanticism akin to that of Schumann and Grieg and winningly played by the late Barbagallo. James Barbagallo (piano). Naxos 8.559030 (New Zealand) 07B117 $5.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Cello Concertos, Vol. 1 - in C, G.477, in D, G.479, in G, G.480 and in C, G.481. The first of three volumes which will cover Boccherini's complete uvre of cello concertos. A virtuoso cellist himself, the composer's finest and most characteristic works are those which feature his own instrument and any cello-lover or collector of Classical concertos will be delighted by his seemingly inexhaustible fount of melodies combined with passages of exciting virtuosity. Tim Hugh (cello), Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Anthony Halstead. Naxos 8.5542571 (New Zealand) 07B118 $5.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Etudes, Op. 42, Icons, Op. 6, Preludes, Op. 7, Partita, Op. 34, Piano Sonata No. 1 "Christ and the Fishers", Op. 50, Piano Sonata No. 2 "The Fire Sermon", Op. 64. Rautavaara's career has involved a great many stylistic changes, from neo-classicism (1950s) to dodecaphony (most of the 60s) to a luscious romanticism (late 60 and 70s) to a synthesis of any or all of these in his astoundingly personal and communicative late works. The piano pieces recorded here date from 1955 to 1970. Icons (1955) are a set of six vividly colored and expressionistic representations of religious scenes while the preludes are a self-confessed rebellion against the neo-classical style Rautavaara was laboring under while a student of Copland at Tanglewood in 1956. The sonatas (1969 and 1970 respectivey) demonstrate his vivid powers of communication during his "Romantic" period. Laura Mikkola (piano). Naxos 8.554292 (New Zealand) 07B119 $5.98

MICHAEL WOLPE (b.1960): Kaprizma No. 8 for Cello Solo, Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Percussion and String Quintet. A musical journey through history - ethnic and religious history, family history and personal history - is the ambitious programme attempted by Wolpe in this 55-minute concertante work for cello and chamber ensemble. Using material that is explicitly Jewish in origin and sound, coupled with quotations from Bach and German folk music, the composer paints a vivid family portrait that stretches across generations and traces the wanderings of exiles through Europe. The music is heartfelt and passionately emotional, grounded in tonality (or modality when suggested by the folk musics alluded to), and achieves its aims splendidly well. A profound, moving and personal achievement. Julius Berger (cello), Noam Buchman (flute), Orit Orbach (clarinet), Hanan Feinstein (guitar), Chen Zimbalista (percussion), Jerusalem Quartet. ebs 6095 (Germany) 07B120 $17.98