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Alexander Moyzes

Symphonies Nos. 11 & 12

ALEXANDER MOYZES (1906-1984): Symphony No. 11, Op. 79, Symphony No. 12, Op. 83. This symphony cycle comes to its end with works from 1978 and 1983. The Eleventh has the same formal structure as the Tenth although it shares its mood more with the Ninth and that symphony's tragic, Shostakovichian voice. At this point in his career, Moyzes was writing highly concentrated music, based on tightly constructed motivic and harmonic development although the terse lyricism and rhythmic trenchancy familiar from the previous two symphonies are still present in both these works. The Twelfth, like Prokofiev's Seventh, is slightly startling for its lack of conflict and its generally meditative, philosophical nature but this is what we should expect from a 77-year-old composer who lived through almost every major event of the 20th century (sometimes too close for comfort) and his swan-song is a gentle, thoughtful coda to a brilliant career as both symphonist and first major Slovak composer. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ladislav Slov·k. Marco Polo 8.225093 (New Zealand) 06D001 $15.98

Stupid Label Tricks follow-up:

We were able to supply almost all of the Reinecke (04D042) orders when those CDs finally arrived but, upon reordering, we were back-ordered (!) so, for those of you who still haven't received your Reinecke, we can only hope that resupply will occur sometime this month. Those of you who have been waiting a long time for (02D005 - Ivanovs) will be shocked to know that Campion has finally seen fit to resupply their distributor after three months. Unfortunately we don't know yet whether this particular title is in the shipment...

This month's nightmare comes to us courtesy of Naxos of America which was unable to resupply us on the Atterberg (05D009) after our initial order. So, we wait....

NOTE: In order to let you know which titles in each catalogue are going to be more-or-less 'ephemeral', the items carrying this symbol - * - next to the price denote titles which have no regular U.S. distribution. This means not only that you are unlikely to find them somewhere else in the U.S. but that they were difficult to find, buy and import and that, while back-orders may be possible, it will most likely be a while before we will be able to get them again after our inital stock sells out. Please let your ordering (and patience) be guided accordingly!

ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (ed. Colin Matthews), MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 88a. Benjamin's Romantic Fantasy of 1937, premiered by Heifetz and Primrose, is an almost-forgotten gem of late Romanticism with some motifs seemingly derived from Mahler's Fourth and with telling use of the French horn - a symbol of echt-Romanticism - blended skilfully with more neo-classical material. The horn also plays a part in establishing the Romantic atmosphere of the 19-year-old Britten's concerto (almost 100% Britten, composer Colin Matthews really only had to prepare an almost complete manuscript score for publication); but the neo-classical composer appears in the amalgam of Celtic jig, tarantella and Latin American rhythms of the finale. Bruch's work (1911), forgotten as soon as it was premiered (after Schoenberg's first two dodecaphonic pieces), could have been written by a younger follower of Brahms or Schumann in the mid-1850s. Benjamin Schmid (violin), Daniel Raiskin (viola), Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Lior Shambadal. Arte Nova 74321 89826 2 (Germany) 06D002 $4.98

REINHOLD GLIERE (1875-1956): Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 100 (compl. Lyatoshinsky), Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 25. Begun in the year of his death, Gliere's violin concerto exists only as the first movement which was completed and orchestrated from sketches by the Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky. Lasting 17-and-a-half minutes, the movement has an immediately memorable first theme, somewhat exotic in character, which wends its way through rich, lush orchestration which is utterly anachonistic for 1956 but also utterly appealing to anyone who loves the music of such late 19th-century Russians as Glazunov. The symphony, from 1907 and recorded by Chandos recently, is a 50-minute work with pronounced folk elements in all four of its movements and firmly in the heroic-romantic tradition of Borodin and Glazunov. Yuko Nishino (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra; Yondani Butt. ASV DCA 1129 (England) 06D003 $16.98

REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Viola Sonata, Morpheus, Lullaby (1909), Lullaby (1913), I'll Bid My Heart Be Still, PAMELA HARRISON (1915-1990): Viola Sonata, JANELLA GOULD (b.1926): Oh Can Ye Sew Cushions, FREDA SWAIN (1902-1985): English Reel. Clarke's passionate, rhapsodic sonata has had many recent recordings so it's a little unfortunate that this new release offers it again and leaves only brief two or three-minute trifles for Gould and Swain. However, Harrison's 1946 sonata is a valuable addition to the catalogue, its clear-cut writing and general urbanity (reminiscent of the music of her teacher Gordon Jacob) occupying a different pole from Clarke's sonata. Helen Callus (viola), Robert McDonald (piano). ASV DCA 1130 (England) 06D004 $16.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1956): Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Six Choral Songs - to be Sung in Time of War, Mass in G Minor. Hickox's VW series continues, as usual including little-heard items along with a symphony. The choral songs date from 1939 and set excerpts of poems by Shelley which the composer has titled as songs of Courage, Liberty, Healing, Victory, Pity and Of the New Age. Although only 12 minutes in length, these are mature VW and, as Hickox's symphony performances are so outstanding, they make this release almost mandatory for collectors of this composer's symphonic úuvre. Texts included. Richard Hickox Singers, London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9984 (England) 06D005 $16.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1956): The Lake in the Mountains for Piano, 6 Studies in English Folksong for Cello and Piano, String Quartet No. 2, Phantasy Quintet. A fine new release of VW chamber music which includes the rarely heard The Lake in the Mountains of 1941, adapted by the composer from a part of his score for the film 49th Parallel - an atmospheric four-minute piece which sounds not unlike Ireland. The folk-song which so many either love or hate VW for is at its purest form in the 6 Studies of 1926 and is less obvious but still present in the 1912 Phantasy Quintet. The other two works are later, the quartet from 1943, a predominantly bleak work which manages to end in a spirit of serenity, and the 1952 sonata which itself has a troubled first movement, a sardonic scherzo and a variation-form finale that similarly finds rest at its close. The Nash Ensemble. Hyperion CDA 67313 (England) 06D006 $17.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Visions and Prophecies, Five Sketches in Sepia, Piano Sonata, Enfantines, In the Night, Nirvana. Practically all of Bloch's piano music is contained here and it dates from two phases: 1922-23 brought the suites of small pieces Five Sketches, Enfantines and In the Night and Nirvana - often highly chromatic, these works have reminiscenses of both Debussy and Scriabin (the Children's Corner-like Enfantines direct in appeal and discreet in its educational points). The sonata of 1935 is more hard-edged and dissonant (including a brutal march-finale) while Visions and Prophecies (1940) is nothing other than a reworking of Voice in the Wilderness (for cello and orchestra) which omits one segment of the original and its coda. Margaret Fingerhut (piano). Chandos 9887 (England) 06D007 $16.98

ALEXANDER ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942): String Quartets No. 1 in A, Op. 4, No. 2, Op. 15, No. 3, Op. 19, No. 4 (Suite), Op. 25, 2 Movements for String Quartet, Maiblumen bl¸hten ¸berall for Soprano and String Sextet. This Dutch quartet have come to the forefront of interpreters of 20th-century composers and their Schoenberg box-set which we recently offered did so well that we decided to also offer this Zemlinsky cycle which is augmented by the rarely-heard 1898 Maiblumen, a 10-minute setting of a Richard Dehmel poem which fits stylistically and chronologically with Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht of the following year. 2 CDs. Schoenberg Quartet, Susan Narucki (soprano), Jan Erik van Regeren Altena (viola), Taco Kooistra (cello). Chandos 9772 (England) 06D008 $33.98

The British Symphonic Collection - Volume 8

EDWARD GREGSON (b.1945): Contrasts: A Concerto for Orchestra, ALUN HODDINOTT (b.1929): Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 127, JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Concerto for Orchestra. This series, remarkable for coming from a Danish label, continues with three very approachable, tonal orchestral concertos from two well-known British composers and one who belongs in their company. Gregson made his name in the repertoire for brass and wind bands before venturing into the classical orchestral genre (including concertos for piano, for clarinet and for violin during the 1990s); the piece recorded here dates from 1983 and was originally called Greenwich Dances. Its three movements are based on the four-note horn call at the beginning of the work and the outer movements are both in dance-like mood - the first with darker, sinister undertones and the third lighter and more optimistic - while the central Elegy takes a plaintive theme through several climaxes toward a closing passacaglia. Hoddinott, today's most senior Welsh composer, uses a large battery of 23 percussion instruments in his 1986 concerto which allow him to add more varieties of color to his music. A motif inspired by the cooing of a pair of doves in the composer's garden gives the atmospheric first movement its base while a spectrally nocturnal slow movement leads into a a finale of almost constant energy and brutal climaxes punctuated by sudden reflective interludes. McCabe's concerto (1982) is a single-movement work in nine sections, a sort of passacaglia on a theme heard during the introduction; a lighter central trio of sections is surrounded by outer sections of darker, urgent and more romantic mood. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 384 (Denmark) 06D009 $15.98

KARL WEIGL - Symphony No. 5

KARL WEIGL (1881-1949): Symphony No. 5 'Apocalyptic Symphonyî, Phantastisches Intermezzo for Orchestra, Op. 18. At last, we have one of this late Romantic composer's six symphonies! Like many other Jewish composers resident in Austria or Germany, Weigl's life was saved by a 1938 escape from the Third Reich and a move to New York but, also like many others, his career was ruined as he was forced to take teaching jobs in order to live. However, Weigl never stopped composing and this symphony, written in 1945 and dedicated to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, shows us how a composer steeped in the tradition of Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler (hired by the latter as repetiteur at the Vienna Opera after being educated by Robert Fuchs and having been a colleague of both Zemlinsky and Schoenberg) would write more than ten years after the destruction of his musical world. The symphony has four movements ('Evocationî, 'The Dance Around the Golden Calfî, 'Paradise Lostî and 'The Four Horsemenî) whose titles, especially the last three, are evocative of the historical situation. This is a symphony Mahler might have written had he undergone the trials Weigl did. The earlier Phantastische Intermezzo (1921) is a whirling, effervescent score with orchestration of a virtuosic, glittering brilliance which has affinities with both the contemporary French school, Scriabin and early Stravinsky. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Sanderling. BIS CD-1077 (Sweden) 06D010 $17.98

HALSEY STEVENS (1908-1989): Symphony No. 1, Symphonic Dances, Sonata for Solo Cello. Often overlooked since he was neither at the perceived geographical musical center of American life (his career was spent in Los Angeles rather than in New York) nor a purveyor of trendy compositional schools, Stevens' attractive, mostly neo-classical and American Nationalist compositions are ripe for rediscovery. The 1958 Symphonic Dances are almost a three-movement symphony, with the big-skies Copland persona vying with a Stravinskian neo-classicism throughout while the single-movement symphony from 1945 seems to pack more incident into its 15-minute length that would be thought possible. Some parts of this symphony date from 1938, which may explain why such composers as Honegger and Martinu come to mind while its seamless flow from section to incident-rich section recalls Sibelius in technique. The cello sonata (also 1958) is in a neo-baroque five-movement, fast-slow-fast-slow-fast form and employs chromatic but tonal language with a severe grace and sobriety in its slow movements while exhibiting rhythmic and melodic poise in the faster ones. If you don't have these recordings, excellently refurbished from CRI LPs, you're missing out on a wonderfully communicative American composer. Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Akeo Watanabe, London Philharmonic Orchestra; George Barati, Gabor Rejto (cello). CRI American Masters Series CD 892 (U.S.A.) 06D011 $17.98

ANATOLY ALEXANDROV (1888-1982): 6 Preludes, Op. 1, Obsession passÈe, Op. 6, Piano Sonatas No. 3, Op. 18 & No. 4, Op. 19, 3 Studies, Op. 31, Romantic Episodes, Op. 88, Nos. 6 & 10, Elegy and Waltz, Op. 89, Visions, Op. 111. A fascinating overview of the long career of this forgotten Russian late-Romantic whose stylistic changes followed the history of 20th century Russian music. Beginning with early to middle Scriabin (exuberance and refinement of sound), via Rachmaninov and Medtner (dense thematic concentration), Alexandrov ended up writing music in what would seem to be 'Soviet realistî style, except that he held no public positions and would not seem to have needed to kowtow to the regime. There is literally something here for everyone who collects 20th century piano music. Hamish Milne (piano). Hyperion CDA 67328 (England) 06D012 $17.98

ANTON SCHOENDLINGER (1919-1983): String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3, Violin Sonata No. 2, Viola Sonata. It's hard to believe that a composer who had the life Schoendlinger had could write a piece as ethereally buoyant and full of joy as the 1954 viola sonata which came just after he finished his studies with Eisler in East Berlin (prior to this he had been conscripted into the Yugoslav army, imprisoned by the Nazis, conscripted into the German Army, wounded and had his leg amputated in 1943). The later works here are more 'modernî sounding, highly chromatic in places but still using modal themes and grounded in counterpoint, reflecting his self-admitted aesthetic closeness to Hindemith. But what did he get for his pains? The East Germans fired him from his teaching and radio positions because he refused to adhere to the tenets of 'socialist realismî. Contemporanea Ensemble. Real Sound RS 051-0034 (Italy) 06D013 $16.98 *

GIOVAN BATTISTA LEONETTI (1575-1630): Primero Libro de Madrigali for 5 Voices, Basso Continuo and Harpsichord, Missa Primi Toni, Missa il tempo Ë breve, Missa Furtiva. Both of these works, secular and sacred, were published in Crema in 1617 and demonstrate the common practice of musical emulation as Leonetti cites, in his madrigals, Monteverdi and Gesualdo and in his masses, Palestrina and Monteverdi, weaving references into his works which the educated 17th-century listener would grasp and recognize the originality with which Leonetti treats them. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Italian texts. Coro 'C. Monte-verdiî di Crema, Nuova Musica de Crema; Bruno Gini. Tactus TC 571290 (Italy) 06D014 $23.98

PAVEL JOSEF VEJVANOVSKØ (1639-1693): Vesperae sancti Venceslai. A reconstruction of a vespers service as it would have sounded in the town of Krom*eÞÌ during the 1660s or 1670s, with prayers interspersed with choral antiphons and instrumental numbers (the latter two by Vejvanovsky, the former Gregorian chant). Luk·â S·dovsk* (soprano), Martin Pt·*cek (countertenor), Jaroslav BÞezina (tenor), Michael PospÌâil (bass), Boni Pueri, Musica Florea; Marek tryncl. Supraphon SU 3535-2 (Czech Republic) 06D015 $16.98

MARC ANTOINE CHARPENTIER (1643-1704): AndromËde, Le Ballet de Polieucte. AndromËde represents the new musical score whichCharpentier provided for a 1682 revival of Pierre Corneille's machine play of 1650. Comprising an overture, nine instrumental numbers, eight choruses, five vocal solos and two sung duos, the music forms a cantata-like structure which lasts for some 42 minutes. (Lully's PersÈe - see below - was premiered only three months before this version of the same myth opened.) Polieucte is a 13-number suite of allegorical dances which seem to have been composed for a 1680 Jesuit college's theatrical production (of which the vocal numbers have not survived). FrenchñEnglish texts. New Chamber Opera, The Band of Instruments; Gary Cooper. ASV Gaudeamus GAU 303 (England) 06D016 $16.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): PersÈe. Long considered, along with Atys, the finest of the tragÈdies en musique which Lully concocted with his librettist Quinault, PersÈe, adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, premiered in 1682. It is most remarkable for its choruses which are placed to accentuate the main thrust of the drama but this is not to overlook the many effective divertissements and the ingenious and refined duos and trios. The notes effectively describe the political parallels between Perseus and Louis XIV which, as often, made the work so particularly germane to its performers and audience at the time. 3 CDs. French-English texts. Paul Agnew (countertenor), Anna Maria Panzarella, SalomÈ Haller (sopranos), 'Les Chantres de la Chapelleî, Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. AstrÈe E 8874 (France) 06D017 $53.98

MICHEL PIGNOLET DE MONTCLAIR (1667-1737): DeuxiËme Concert, JACQUES MARTIN HOTTETERRE LE ROMAIN (1680-1761): TroisiËme Suite, PremiËre Livre, SIEUR DE SAINTE-COLOMBE (fl.c.1691-1701): Concert 'Le Retourî, Tombeau 'Les Regretsî, JACQUES MOREL (fl.c. 1700-1740): Chaconne en trio, PremiËre Livre, MARIN MARAIS (1656-1728): Suite ¦ 2 Violes, PremiËre Livre. Several decades of French chamber music, with the master-pupil sequence of Sainte-Colombe-Marais-Morel (the former two providing music for viols with and without continuo, the latter adding flute to bass viol and continuo) and MontÈclair and Hotteterre using various recorders and continuo. Tientos. ASV Gaudeamus GAU 240 (England) 06D018 $16.98

GIUSEPPE SAMMARTINI (1695-1750): 6 Solos for German Flute, Violin or Oboe, Op. 13. Each of the solo instruments gets two sonatas here (with cello, bassoon and harpsichord continuo) in these technically assured, attractively lyrical works in the international baroque style with shades of the galant, whose popularity is attested by their publication ten years after the composer's death. Ensemble J.M. Anciuti. Tactus TC 691902 (Italy) 06D019 $11.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Cato in Utica, RV 705. Vivaldi's proantepenultimate opera and his last of three to libretti by Metastasio, Cato was produced in Verona in 1737. Only the second and third acts exist in manuscript; conductor Malgoire and the author of the booklet notes have reconstructed the first act from the libretto and comparisons with other Vivaldi operas of the period (and also found two of the missing first act arias in other Vivaldi operas). Very detailed notes explain the choice of arias for the reconstruction. The libretto (already set by Leo, Vinci and Hasse) is set in Africa after Julius Caesar has assumed control over most of the Roman soon-to-be-empire and mingles political struggles, value conflicts and, of course, love affairs. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Simon Edwards (tenor), Liliana Faraon (soprano), Jacek Laszczkowski (male soprano), Philippe Jaroussky (alto), La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy; Jean-Claude Malgoire. Dynamic CDS 403/1-2 (Italy) 06D020 $35.98

NICCOLO JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Miserere for 2 Sopranos, Strings and Basso Continuo, 6 Duettini Sacri for 2 Sopranos and Basso Continuo. Composed only a few months before his death, Jommelli's Miserere was so popular as to rival Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Unlike his usual style, this work is somber and severe with dissonant and chromatic harmonies tellingly used to underline appropriate places in the text (although there are still places for the singers to demonstrate their virtuosity). The duets, probably dating from around 1770, are simpler and lighter, based on linear and consonant harmony. Italian-English texts. Loredana Bacchetta, Silvia Testoni (sopranos), Ensemble Fons Amoris; Giorgio Ubaldi. Bongiovanni GB 2523 (Italy) 06D021 $16.98

CHARLES AVISON (1709-1770): 12 Concertos for Strings after Harpsichord Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. Avison, a fine harpsichordist, music teacher and critic also wrote sixty concertos in addition to this set of twelve based on material from 29 genuine Scarlatti sonatas (some material otherwise unidentifiable probably was Avison's own). His own command of string technique can be observed throughout these elegant, buoyant and virtuosic works which take the measure of any string band willing to try them. 2 CDs. Mid-price. L'Ensemble Berlin. Koch Schwann 3-1318-2 (Germany) 06D022 $16.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Complete Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 11 - Concertos in C Minor, H.448 and in B Flat, H. 413, Sonatinas in G, H.450 and in E, H.455. Another disc which contrasts the two-movement, 'easy listeningî sonatinas from 1762-3 with the more involved, virtuosic and complicated concertos. Themselves 20 years apart, the two concertos also show Bach producing much more relentless, driven works around 1760 than he did back in 1740. All but the C minor concerto are world-premiere recordings. MiklÛs Spanyi (tangent piano), Concerto Armonico. BIS CD-1097 (Sweden) 06D023 $17.98

CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723-1787): Ouvertures in C, Op. 5/4, in C, Op. 14/5, in D, Op. 7/3 & in C, Op. 1/2, Sinfonias in E Flat, Op. 4/3 and in B Flat, Op. 17/2. Although these symphonies (they are all three-movement, fast-slow-fast works) date from all periods of Abel's career, the stylistic differences are small. They are Classical symphonies with an active wind section and dance-like or minuet finales and are worthy to stand with those of Abel's good friend and business partner, Johann Christian Bach. (Only one of these works is included on either of the two cpo CDs of Abel symphonies.) Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht. Passacaille 903 (Belgium) 06D024 $17.98

ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): 6 Concertos for 2 Obbligato Organs. The lute-like sound of the lautenwerk enhances the mixture of Baroque and Rococo passages and ornamentation and the sonorities Soler produces in this set of two-movement concertos which have the composer's characteristic Iberian flavor with their employment of ostinato and local dance rhythms like the fandango and bolero. John Paul, Shawn Leopard (lautenwerke). Centaur CRC 2550 (U.S.A.) 06D025 $16.98

JOHANN GEORG ALBRECHTSBERGER (1736-1809): 3 String Trios, Op. 9, JOHANNES MATTHIAS SPERGER (1750-1812): 3 String Trios. Contrasting string trios from the Classical period: Albrechtsberger wrote 28 and his approach varies widely both as to number of movements and form of movements. Sperger wrote his for domestic use - the pieces are half as long and the violin part (which could be exchanged for flute or oboe) always leads. Belvedere Trio Wien. Hungaroton HCD 32109 (Hungary) 06D026 $16.98

CARL STAMITZ (1745-1801): Orchestral Quartet in F, Op. 4/4, JAN KÄTITEL VA=HAL (1739-1813): Violin Concerto in G, JIÄI ANTONÕN BENDA (1722-1795): Harpsichord Concerto in G Minor, FRANTIEK XAVER RICHTER (1709-1789): Symphony in F Minor. A very attractive disc of rarely-heard symphonies and concertos by four of the hundreds of Bohemian composers who migrated to Germany, Austria and France in the first half of the 18th century. Vanhal's concerto was only recently discovered and Richter symphonies are very rare. The idiom ranges from the galant to early Classical. Josef Suk (violin), Zuzana R¤i"kov· (harpsichord), Talich Chamber Orchestra; Jan Talich. Lotos LT 0106-2 (Czech Republic) 06D027 $16.98 *

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Axur, Re d'Ormus. Described by its composer and librettist (Da Ponte) as a Dramma tragicomico, Axur was a refitting of a Beaumarchais libretto which added elements of opera buffa to the powerful spectacle of the latter's creation. There is extensive use of the chorus and much accompanied recitative, both marking it as a 'Frenchî opera and distinguishing it from the many other opera buffas written for Emperor Franz Josef's troupe. Axur became one of the most popular operas in the Viennese court theaters with around a hundred performances in the 17 years after its 1788 premiere. 2 CDs. Italian libretto, English synopsis. Andrea Martin (bass), Curtis Rayam (tenor), Eva Mei (soprano), 'Guido d'Arezzoî Chorus, Russe Philharmonic Orchestra; RenÈ Clemencic. Nuova Era NE 7366-67 (Italy) 06D028 $35.98

VALENTINO FIORAVANTI (1764-1837): I Virtuosi Ambulanti. An opera buffa belonging to the genre so popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries which pokes fun at the vices, manias, stupidities and expedients of theatrical life, I Virtuosi was written for Paris in 1807 and was a resounding success. Fast action, brief dialogues, numerous ensemble pieces and elegant, well-crafted melodies characterize the work of this Roman composer who spent most of his career in Naples as a formidable rival of Cimarosa (who praised his 'parlanteî) and Paisiello. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Patrizia Cigna (soprano), Luigi Petroni (tenor), Alessandro Calamai (bass), Sassari Symphony Orchestra; Roberto Diem Tigani. Bongiovanni GB 2280-81 (Italy) 06D029 $33.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): La Zingara. This early (1822) work is a mix of buffo and serio elements, with characters who speak and sing in Neapolitan dialect offset by aristocratic ones whose stateliness calls to mind Gluck and Beethoven. The musical styles are just as mixed and the rich vocal cast (six baritones, four sopranos, a mezzo and two tenors) are put through some extraordinarily difficult vocal paces (generally handled well by this young cast in a live performance) and the title character gives us a hint of the great heroines of Donizetti's maturity. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Manuela Custer (mezzo), Domenico Golaianni (baritone), Rosita Ramini (soprano), Massimilano Barbolini (tenor), Bratislava Chamber Choir, Orchestra Interna-zionale d'Italia; Arnold Ostman. Dynamic CDS 396/1-2 (Italy) 06D030 $35.98

ANTON FILS (1733-1760): Symphonies in C, E Flat, G Minor, D & A. A Bavarian by birth, Fils was a member of the Mannheim orchestra and, on the evidence of this disc, belongs among the other, more famous Mannheim symphonists. Particularly striking is his emancipation of the wind section and the numerous concertante passages for its soloists. L'Orfeo Barockorchester; Michi Gaigg. CPO 999 778 (Germany) 06D031 $15.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): Symphony in D, Op. 3/1, 2Ëme Symphonie Concertante for Piano, Violin and Orchestra, 6Ëme Symphonie PÈriodique. The symphonie concertante is one of Pleyel's last major works, dating from between 1802 and 1805, long after the vogue for such works had gone but an outstanding example of the genre. The symphonie pÈriodique has a theme very similar to that in Haydn's Drumroll symphony in its first movement but was composed seven years earlier while the 1785 D Major symphony is a thoroughly enjoyable, Haydnesque romp. Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Howard Griffiths. CPO 999 759 (Germany) 06D032 $15.98

ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): Sonatas for Viola and Bass in C, D Minor, E Flat & in A Flat, Duet in F for Viola and Cello, 3 Esercizii for Viola Solo. Rolla's sonatas for viola and bass accompaniment (recorded complete here) are exceptionally elegant, fluent, polished and song-like in an Italianate manner with both instruments treated equally although the only melodic fragments (as opposed to harmonic figuration) belong to the viola. The Exercises, on the other hand, are in the virtuosic etude genre, as befits the composer who, up until recently, has been known almost solely as Paganini's teacher. Alexander Besa (viola), Marco Mosca (cello). Supraphon SU 3616-2 (Czech Republic) 06D033 $16.98

FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Clarinet Quartets in A, B Flat, D & E Flat. These pieces come from an unpublished (and previously unrecorded) set of six whose technical demands, length and thematic elaboration far surpass those in the set of six published in 1802, Hoffmeister demonstrating great familiarity with the expanded bass range of the instrument brought about by Anton Stadler. Dieter Klcker (clarinet), Jana Vlachov· (violin), Petr Verner (viola), Mikael Ericsson (cello). CPO 999 812 (Germany) 06D034 $15.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Grande Sonate in C, Op. 20/1, Grande Sonate in A, Op. 21, Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 125. World premiere recording of the C major sonata which, like op. 21, was originally written for violin and which has the same kind of fast, virtuosic outer movements and songful, expressive slow movement which Ries needed for his own recital performances. A complement to the cporelease as these artists use period instruments. Kousay H. Mahdi Kadduri (cello), PÈter Nagy (fortepiano). Hungaroton HCD 32040 (Hungary) 06D035 $16.98

The Romantic Piano Concerto - 29

IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Piano Concertos No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 56 & No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 58, Anticipations of Scotland: A Grand Fantasia, Op. 75. Although the Zephyr series has already given us the first four Moscheles piano concertos, Hyperion adds another rarity, the 1827 Anticipations of Scotland - another example of the mania for that mist-shrouded land which overcame Mendelssohn and Bruch among many others in the 19th century. This is a 15-minute work with an introduction and a finale wrapped around three Scots popular tunes: Kelvin Grove, Auld Robin Gray and Lord Moira's Strathspey. The piece is firmly in the 'give 'em a few pretty tunes and wow 'em with the virtuoso elaborations' school of showmanship. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Howard Shelley (piano). Hyperion CDA 67276 (England) 06D036 $17.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Sacred Works, Vol. 1 - Hr mein Bitten for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Kyrie in C Minor for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Geistliches Lied 'Laþ, o Herr, mich Hilfe findenî for Alto, Chorus and Organ, Op. 96/1, Hora est for Baritone, Chorus and Organ, Magnificat for Soloists and Chorus, Op. 69/3, Salve Regina for Soprano and Strings, Canticum Simeonis for Soloists and Chorus, Op. 69/1. Here, for completeness' sake, is the first in Carus' Mendelssohn Sacred Works series. Covering most of his composing career, from the lovely Kyrie of 1823 to the op. 69 motets from the last year of his life, these works demonstrate again why at the turn of the 19th century many musicologists still considered the sacred works Mendelssohn's most historically important. Carus' typical contempt for non-German speakers (nine columns of German notes; three each for French and English) is leavened by the provision of English translations of the texts, which one cannot always count on in the later issues in this series. Original 1983 recording. Julia Hamari (soprano), Stuttgart Chamber Choir, Ensemble ë76 Stuttgart; Frieder Bernius. Carus 83.101 (Germany) 06D037 $17.98

GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1812-1889): Works for Double Bass, Vol. 3 - Fantasia Norma, Melodia per violoncello, Capriccio di bravura, RÍverie pour violoncelle ou violon, Auld Robin Gray, Elegie par Ernst, Melodia (Romanza patetica), Fantasia Cerrito, For Soprano, Double Bass and Piano: Tutto che il mondo serra, Une bouche aimÈe. Among these mostly brief items which Bottesini wrote for various occasions, there are two first recordings: the Fantasia Norma is self-explanatory but the premiered Fantasia Cerrito is an 11-minute virtuosic tribute on Bottesini's own themes to Fanny Cerrito, one of the famous ballerinas of the period; the Melodia per violoncello was only discovered in 2000 and the composer would certainly not object to its performance on his own instrument. Also quite unusual are the two songs, one with Italian and one with French texts (to poems apparently written by Bottesini himself), the former of which is a transcription of Chopin's C sharp minor etude, Op. 25/7. No texts. Gergely J·rd·nyi (double bass), Istv·n Lantos (piano), Eva Marton (soprano). Hungaroton HCD 31968 (Hungary) 06D038 $16.98

ADOLPHE ADAM (1803-1856): La Filleule des FÈes. 'The Fairies' God-Daughterî was first staged in 1849 (and the lead ballerina was the same one who danced Giselle). The story takes place in an idealised countryside and centers around the love affairs of the title character and the interventions of good and evil fairies. A very detailed synopsis with track numbers embedded is included. Adam's music, as to be expected, has more than its share of memorable themes and his characteristic colorful orchestration. 2 CDs. Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Mogrelia. Marco Polo 8.223734-35 (New Zealand) 06D039 $31.98

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880): Fantasy on Themes from Gounod's 'Faustî, Op. 20, Legende, Op. 17, PABLO DE SARASATE (1844-1908): Fantasy on Themes from Mozart's 'The Magic Fluteî, Op. 54, ANTONIO BAZZINI (18-18): La Ronde des Lutins, Op. 25 (arr. WrÛbel), NICCOLO" PAGANINI (1782-1840): La Campanella (Rondo from Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 7), GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): Sonata in G Minor 'The Devil's Trillî (arr. WrÛbel, after Kreisler). Not only are there two extensive fantasies on opera themes by famous violinists which last almost half an hour between them to make collectors want this disc. There are two orchestrations (for string orchestra) of pieces originally with keyboard accompaniment which work very well. But on top of this is the sheer cheek of the glossy, fashion-magazine cum publicity-packet production of the packaging. Collectors may have noted that Supraphon was the first Iron Curtain country to produce really Western-quality cover design and packaging after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (will Bulgaria ever get there?); now the Poles have proved that they are up there with the Czechs. The violinist, certainly attractive, is placed before us in 8 (count ëem, 8) full-color photos, in three different outfits and the booklet (with lovely peach-tone pages) gives us extensive notes not only on the music but, of course, on Ms. Duda and her young, burgeoning career. (Her sister is a violinist in the ensemble which offers two CDs worth of modern Polish string quartets at the bottom of page 13 in this issue; Glamour Girl and Proletarian in the same musical family!) Katarzyna Duda (violin), Wroc*aw Chamber Orchestra; Jan Stanienda. Dux 0339 (Poland) 06D040 $16.98 *

FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (1805-1847): String Quartet in E Flat, REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Poem for String Quartet, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D.810 'Death and the Maidenî. One can either curse the programming or enjoy 30 minutes of very rare repertoire - Fanny's four-movement quartet (1834) is full of gracious melody and formal innovation (a slow first movement is followed by a scherzo with fugato instead of a trio) while Clarke's Poem was discovered only in 1993 and is the fourth movement of a never-finished quartet which fuses Debussian harmony and texture with Germanic depth of expression. Lafayette String Quartet. CBC Records MVCD 1149 (Canada) 06D041 $16.98

CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN (1813-1888): Esquisses, Op. 63. Published in 1861, the Esquisses comprise 49 brief pieces whose references range from the French clavecinistes to Chopin and Schumann. Laurent Martin (piano). Original 1992 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555496 (New Zealand) 06D042 $6.98

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): Flute Sonata, Op. 1, JÿRGEN BENTZON (1897-1951): Sonatine for Flute and Piano, NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (1919-2000): Hommage ¦ Hegel for Flute Solo, Op. 381, 6 Variationen ¸ber eigenes Thema, Op. 17. Why the programming? The Bentzons are great-grandsons of Hartmann (kind of an in-bred compositional world in 19th century Denmark). Hartmann's very early piece is, not surprisingly, based on Kuhlau while Jorgen Bentzon's Sonatine dates from 1945 and is inspired by Nielsen and Hindemith as is Niels Viggo's variations from the same year. Bent Larsen (flute), Sverre Larsen (piano). Classico CLASSCD 372 (Denmark) 06D043 $15.98 *

CARL REINECKE (1824-1896): Symphony No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 227, Harp Concerto, Op. 182. Reinecke's 1884 harp concerto remains one of the pillars of the instrument's romantic repertoire and recordings of it are still rather scarce so we offer this excellent new one. If you are comparing versions of the third symphony (who would have thought we'd be saying that a couple of years ago?), this one is slightly broader and more 'Germanicî in touch than the Chandos one with Howard Shelley and the Tasmanian Symphony released last year. Elsie Bedleem (harp), Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt; Heribert Beissel. Signum SIG X117-00 (Germany) 06D044 $17.98

IGNAZ JAN PADEREWSKI (1860-1941): Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 13, Allegro de Concert, Melodia, Op. 16/2. One of Paderewski's least-known compositions, the violin sonata dates from 1885 and was dedicated to Sarasate; its piano part is as virtuosic as that of the violin. The Allegro de Concert is undated and may be the remnant of an intended violin concerto since the violin part ranges through all the usual aspects of Romantic virtuoso technique in the broadly conceived (14 inutes) movement. The Melodia is a transcription by turn-of-the-20th century violinist Stanislaw Barcewicz of a piano piece from an 1886 collection. Konstanty Andrezej Kulka (violin), Waldemar Malicki (piano). Dux 0363 (Poland) 06D045 $16.98 *

GEORGE WHITEFIELD CHADWICK (1854-1931): Symphonic Sketches, Melpomene, Tam O'Shanter, Suite symphonique, Aphrodite, Elegy. Reference has obviated the need for us to hope for recordings of any of this delightfully colorful, romantic and brilliantly orchestrated music from Naxos in their American series by reissuing these fabulous recordings at what amounts to mid-price. If you missed either of these CDs the first time around, now's your chance! 2 CDs for the price of 1. Czech State Philharmonic, Brno; JosÈ Serebrier. Reference Recordings RR-2104CD (U.S.A.) 06D046 $17.98

Orchestrations of Late Liszt Piano Pieces

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1885)/GYORGY SELMECZI (b.1952): Cs·rd·s obstinÈ, Cs·rd·s macabre, 4 valses oubliÈes, Hungarian National Portraits. This is one of the finds of the month! Selmeczi, a Hungarian composer born and educated in Romania, is a brilliant orchestrator who seems to meld perfectly with the furtive, enigmatic muse of the aged Liszt. The Cs·rd·s macabre becomes a worthy rival to Saint-SaÎns' Dance macabre, double basses and low brass a distinctly creepy presence at the piece's opening while the four waltzes have the languid, bleached-out quality of youth remembered in old age, brighter colors flickering here and there. The set of seven Historical Pieces, each dedicated to a Hungarian political or artistic luminary, were only published in their original piano form in the 1950s and there are indications that Liszt intended to orchestrate them himself; Selmeczi has clothed these particularly unknown, puzzling pieces, rich in the building blocks of Hungarian music yet using no folk melodies, in orchestral music of compelling interest. There is no fooling around with 20th-century compositional techniques here - this recording will only accentuate the brilliance and forward-looking qualities of Liszt while making us wonder what Selmeczi's many original compositions might sound like. Camerata Transsylvanica; Gyrgy Selmeczi. BMC CD 060 (Hungary) 06D047 $16.98

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908): The Song of Alexis, Man of God for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 20, The Song of Oleg the Wise for Men's Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 58, After Homer for Women's Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 60, Switezianka for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 44. Switezianka (1897) was finished just after Sadko and has an atmosphere of legend and the presence of an aquatic element characterized by the composer with all of his exceptional orchestrational ability. The other long work, Oleg (1899) sets a martial poem by Pushkin; After Homer (1901), inspired by the Odyssey, has a shimmering, luminous atmosphere and Alexis (1878) uses the music from a pilgrim's chorus in The Maid of Pskov. No Russian texts/French & English translations. Le Chant du Monde/Russian Season RUS 288175 (France) 06D048 $17.98

GUSTAV JENNER (1865-1920): Complete Chamber Works - String Quartets No. 1 in F, No. 2 in G & No. 3 in F, Piano Quartet in F, Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Horn in E Flat. The trio is the work which Jenner presented at his first meeting with Brahms and which was so severely criticized; Jenner finally published it in 1900 and it is a substantial piece of 25 minutes with a challenging piano part. The piano quartet dates from 1905 and its first movement has two themes strongly reminiscent of Brahms' Second Symphony while the slow movement quotes Schubert's op. 99 piano trio. A gripping scherzo and variation finale fill out the work. The string quartets date from 1907, 1910 and 1911 ; the second is dedicated to Jenner's son and has the word 'easyî in its heading and it is a brief, (15-minute) witty piece. Jenner's high musical standards and Brahmsian character are evident in the other two works, of greater length, classical formal construction and much interesting motivic-thematic working. 2 CDs. Mozart Piano Quartet, Wolfram Brandl (second violin), Wolfhard Pencz (clarinet), Olivier Darbellay (horn). CPO 999 699 (Germany) 06D049 $31.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Piano Quartet in E, Op. 20, Piano Trio in D, Op. 22. Although these two works of Taneyev's maturity (1906 and 1907) have been recorded before, the coupling is rare and gives a fine picture of a composer whose ear for richly evocative Romantic musical language was matched only by his scrupulously crafted polyphonic complexity. Mendelssohn Piano Trio, Michael Stepniak (viola). Centaur CRC 2571 (U.S.A.) 06D050 $16.98

AMY BEACH (1867-1944): Lord of All Being, Op. 146, Help Us, O God!, Op. 50, Nunc Dimittis and Peace I Leave with You from 3 Choral Responses, Op. 8, Evening Hymn, Op. 125/2, Te Deum and Jubilate from Service in A, Op. 63, RANDALL THOMPSON (1899-1964): The Eternal Dove, The Best of Rooms, Choose Something Like a Star, Felices Ter, Alleluia. Although one might characterize Beach as a full-blooded romantic, the later pieces recorded here show her perfectly capable of changing with the times, the op. 63 pieces leaving Brahmsian aspects behind and employing characteristics of contemporary (1905-6) English cathedral composition while the 1938 Lord of All Being has airy textures and a firmly 20th-century use of dissonance. Thompson's works are often blithe, euphonious and neo-classical with shadows only falling across such pieces as the Alleluia, written under the shadow of Paris' fall to the Nazis. Texts included. Harvard University Choir; Murray Forbes Somerville. ASV DCA 1125 (England) 06D051 $16.98

FERRUCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Turandot Suite, Op. 41, Two Studies for 'Doktor Faustî, Op. 51, Berceuse ÈlÈgiaque, Op. 42. Composed in 1905 upon reading the play by Carlo Gozzi, Busoni's suite of incidental music had to wait for a production of the play (not to occur until 1911). There are eight segments, lasting some 40 minutes, including three marches, a funeral march, an interlude with the use of the Greensleeves melody, other dances and intermezzi and an alla Turca finale. Rarely recorded in full and very welcome at budget-price. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Samuel Wong. Naxos 8.555373 (New Zealand) 06D052 $6.98

GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911): Symphony No. 10 (Wheeler version, ed. Olson). Deryck Cooke, Clinton Carpenter, Remo Mazzetti and now Joe Wheeler. All have completed Mahler's 10th and now all have been recorded. Wheeler was also English and he began working on his version in 1952, before Cooke. We hear here his fourth and final revision which he felt to be close in kinship with the leaner orchestration of the works of Mahler's last days. Notes from four sources, including the conductor explaining his editing of Wheeler's manuscript, make this an unusually fully documented Naxos release. Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Robert Olson. Naxos 8.554811 (New Zealand) 06D053 $6.98

Japanese Orchestral Favorites

AKIRA IFUKUBE (b.1914): Japanese Rhapsody, YASUSHI AKUTAGAWA (1925-1989): Music for Symphony Orchestra, YUZO TOYAMA (b.1931): Rhapsody for Orchestra, KIYOSHIGE KOYAMA (b.1914): Kobiki-Uta for Orchestra, TAKASHI YOSHIMATSU (b.1953): Threnody to Toki for String Orchestra and Piano, Op. 12, HIDEMARO KONOYE (arr.) (1989-1973): Etenraku. With two exceptions, this collection of well-known (well-known in Japan, of course) orchestral pieces make use of traditional Japanese melodies or the building blocks thereof and/or Japanese instruments. Yoshimatsu, standard-bearer of neo-Romanticism in Japan, will be well-known to collectors from his series of compositions on Chandos (where Threnody to Toki also appears); Akutagawa's 1950 piece is somewhat reminiscent of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Ifukube's Japanese Rhapsody is the earliest work here (1935) and exhibits the sort of rude health which was to characterize much of his later work (the performance of this work on the Fontec CD - 06D067 - is much more taut and gripping) while Koyama uses a wood-cutter's folk-song as the basis for his short piece, Toyama makes use of no fewer than six folk songs in his rhaposdy and Konoye clothes a traditional melody in Western orchestral garb. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Ryusuke Numajiri. Naxos 8.555071 (New Zealand) 06D054 $6.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Violin Concerto 'Quasi una fantasiaî in B, Op. 21, GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875): Symphony in C, FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): The Hebrides, Op. 26. We have the beautiful, unattainable Hungarian violinist Steffi Geyer to thank both for Bartok's concerto and for this one which Schoeck wrote in 1910-11. The subtitle points to its representation of the young composer's feelings of, movement by movement, despair and hope, sorrows and heartache and the reaffirmation of his joy in life. This substantial work has never been accorded the recognition it deserves so, if you don't have it, this new recording (even given the unfortunate 'concertî programming some benighted record labels are still prone to) is an excellent advocate. Hansheinz Schneeberger (violin), Sinfonietta Wetzikon; Christoph Mueller. Swiss Pan SP 51.704 (Switzerland) 06D055 $16.98 *

Villa-Lobos - Suites from The Discovery of Brazil

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): The Discovery of Brazil, Suites Nos. 2 & 3, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Saudades do Brasil, Scaramouche for Saxophone and Orchestra. Villa-Lobos compiled four suites of music from his score for the quasi-documentary film Descobrimento do Brasil in which Indian song and the sounds of the rain forest mingle with melodies from Spain and Portugal. Rarely recorded, these two suites last just over half-an-hour and will provide Villa-Lobos collectors with more treasurable music. Milhaud's Saudades ('Longingî or 'Nostalgiaî) is a suite of 12 pieces named after districts of Rio de Janeiro which the composer got to know during his diplomatic posting. Originally written in 1921 for piano, Milhaud orchestrated them in the late 30s and they are brim-full with the sensual rhythms and playful melodies of Brazilian popular music. Jeremy Brown (sax), Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Hans Graf. CBC Records SMCD 5217 (Canada) 06D056 $16.98

ARTURO MARQUEZ (b.1950): Espejos en la arena, EUGENIO TOUSSAINT (b.1954): Cello Concerto No. 2, ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): Cuatro versos (Cello Concerto). M·rquez' big, colorful orchestral works using various regional Mexican popular and folk music as themes have appeared on the Dorian label; now his 2000 cello concerto continues the tradition with the first movement built on the son, the second a danzÛn (the title of several of the pieces recorded on Dorian) and the finale based on a northern Mexican polka. Just as approachable and based just as strongly in popular music is Toussaint's concerto from 1999 which is drenched in jazz, the first movement full of angular rhythms and syncopations and the third indebted to swing music with a slow movement a tribute to the saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Sierra, a Puerto Rican, writes music more abstract while still basically tonal and atmospherically orchestrated. His work's four movements offer an Apollonian-Dionysian dialectic, the movement headings ('Intensoî, 'Emotivoî, 'Vivoî and îRÌtmicoî) showing the progression from intellectual struggle to uninhibited physical celebration. Carlos Prieto (cello), Orquesta de las AmÈricas; Carlos Miguel Prieto. Urtext JBCC 047 (Mexico) 06D057 $17.98

PIERS HELLAWELL (b.1956): Inside Story for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, Quadruple Elegy (in the Time of Freedom) for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, The Still Dancers for String Quartet. Hellawell writes music meant to communicate to its listeners and though he is not a neo-Romantic or a minimalist, he is not a complexicist either and to say that much of his music involves the juxtaposition of blocks of sound means in the fashion of Messiaen rather than of Xenakis or Ohana. The textures of his orchestral pieces are often light, as if full of an energizing brightness, and fragments of melody appear and disappear in Hellawell's ongoing development of rhythmic and harmonic techniques which, although not of recent musical histrory, are derived from it. This music should appeal to collectors of 20th century orchestral music from GÛrecki and Lutoslawski to Part and Tavener although not sounding like any one of these composers in particular. Clio Gould (violin), Philip Dukes (viola), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins, Vanbrugh String Quartet. Metronome MET CD 1059 (England) 06D058 $17.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRA&laqno;A (1906-1994): Piano Sonata No. 4, Toccata, Andante and Fugato, Elegia, Paris 1937 for 2 Pianos. This new release (and we do mean new - it was recorded in 2000) brings several aspects of this composer who wrote much for the piano in addition to the orchestral works we know him for: the sonata (1961) is in a very austere neo-classicism with exhaustive treatment of melodic and rhythmic cells. Paris 1937 is from another world, conjuring up the warm, good-humored mood of pre-war Paris. The Elegy (1953) is a heartfelt tribute to an opponent of the military regime and the small tryptich (1991), one of the composer's last works, is stripped-down and terse, harmonically and melodically. Miguel Henriques (piano), Ana Valente (second piano). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4352 (Portugal) 06D059 $13.98 *

The Hyperion French Song Edition - Louis Durey

LOUIS DUREY (1888-1979): Hommage ¦ Erik Satie, Chansons basques, Op. 23, Le Bestiaire, Op. 17a, 2 Lieder Romantiques, Op. 20, Epigrammes de ThÈocrite, Op. 13, 3 PoËmes de PÈtrone, Op. 15, Inscriptions sur un Oranger, Op. 16, Images ¦ CrusoÈ, Op. 11. The least well-known (and remembered) member of Les Six, Durey never veered from his left-wing leanings and thus never made as great an impression on the public as his cohorts such as Poulenc and Honegger. All of these songs date from 1918/19 and demonstrate that, far from his colleagues in the somewhat artificial group Cocteau created, Durey was most influenced and inspired by Debussy. In addtion to the Schubert Edition style texts, translations and commentaries, there are no less than 18 pages of valuable notes from pianist Johnson on Durey, Cocteau, Les Six and the poets Durey set. French-English texts. FranÁois Le Roux (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion CDA 67257 (England) 06D060 $17.98

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): 7 chansons de ClÈment Marot, Op. 15, TIBERIU BREDICEANU (1877-1968): Floricica de pe apa, Doina Stancutei, EDUARD CAUDELLA (1841-1924): Ochi albastri-s dragalasi, MIHAIL JORA (1891-1971): Primavara, DIAMANDI GHECIU (1892-1980): Si daca..., SABIN DRAGOI (1894-1968): Crizanteme, ACHIM STOIA (1931-1973): C,nd treci, bade, pe la noi, CARMEN PETRA BASACOPOL (b.1926): Zorile-si m,na cerbii de foc, VASILE SPATARELU (b.1938): Somnoroase pasarele, FELICIA DONCEANU (b.1931): Note de primavara, PASCAL BENTOIU (b.1927): April, ERNEST CHAUSSON (1855-1899): Le charme, Op. 2/2, SÈrÈnade italienne, Op. 2/5, Le Temps des lilas, Op. 19, Les Papillions, Op. 2/3, Le Colibri, Op. 2/7, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Nuit d'Etoiles, Romance, GABRIEL FAUR (1845-1924): Notre amour, Op. 23/2, Mandoline, Op. 58/1, AprËs un rÍve, Op. 7/1, En PriËre, Les Roses d'Ispahan, Op. 39/4, Toujours, Op. 21/2. This rising young Romanian soprano has programmed a disc so unhackneyed that it's worth having even without English translations. Over 26 minutes is devoted to songs in Romanian by Romanian composers, all in a style either Romantic or Romantic/French influenced and the remainder of the disc is hardly everyday repertoire either. French and Romanian texts/German translation. Elena Mos&laqno;uc (soprano), Sabine Vatin (piano). Arte Nova Voices 74321 92777 2 (Germany) 06D061 $4.98

JOAQUÕN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Soleriana, Zarabanda lejana y Villancico, 5 Piezas Infantiles. This new series begins with a rarely-heard 40-minute work, Soleriana, from 1953 which is based on the keyboard sonatas of Antonio Soler and which, in a refined, neo-classical style and light scoring, brings to life the pastel rococo style of the original. The accompanying works are both from the 1920s, the Piezas, full of the vigor of youth, and the Zarabanda an orchestration of guitar pieces. Asturias Symphony Orchestra; Maximiano ValdÈs. Naxos 8.555844 (New Zealand) 06D062 $6.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Danzas EspaÒolas (orch. Rafael Ferrer). A very enjoyable orchestration by a contemporary Spanish composer and conductor of this set of twelve piano pieces originally composed sometime during the 1880s. Granados' themes are original but pay tribute to Spanish folk tradition with elegance and finesse, qualities retained in Ferrer's orchestral version. Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra; Salvador Brotons. Naxos 8.555956 (New Zealand) 06D063 $6.98

JASCHA HEIFETZ (1901-1987): Transcriptions of Works by Debussy: Golliwog's Cakewalk, Vivaldi: Larghetto, AlbÈniz: Sevilla, Brahms: Wie Melodien zieht es mir..., Godowsky: Alt Wien, Weber: Rondo, Gershwin: 5 Fragments from 'Porgy and Bessî, Bach: Sarabande, Hummel: Rondo favori, PoncÈ: Estrellita, Milhaud: Brasileira, Schubert: Impromptu in G Flat, Op. 90/3, Dinicu: Hora staccato. A useful sampling of the breadth of Heifetz' range as both violinist and arranger with unusual pieces mixed in with more well-known ones. Elena Denisova (violin), Alexei Kornienko (piano). Arte Nova 74321 72124 2 (Germany) 06D064 $4.98

ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Sicilienne et Burlesque, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Assobio ¦ J¦to, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Danse de la ChËvre, LOWELL LIEBERMANN (b.1961): Flute Sonata, Op. 23, GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Vox Balaenae for Flute, Cello and Piano. Offered primarily for American composer Liebermann's 1987 flute sonata - a 13-minute piece in two movements (a darkly atmospheric lento enlivened by a few emotional quickenings and a quicksilver presto finale) which offered advance notice of his immensely communicative, neo-Romantic style. Judith M¸ller (flute), Cordula Hacke (piano), Emanuel Matz (cello). Arte Nova 74321 91015 2 (Germany) 06D065 $4.98

MARCEL GRANDJANY (1891-1975): Aria in Classic Style for Harp and String Orchestra, PIOTR MOSS (b.1949): RÈmanences for Celtic Harp and Strings, WITOLD LUTOSAWSKI (1913-1994): Double Concerto for Oboe and Harp, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Danse sacrÈe et danse profane for Harp and String Orchestra. Although harp aficionados are likely to have Granjany's short, evocative piece, Moss' 32-minute concerto will appeal not only to them but also to collectors of 20th-century orchestral repertoire. Dating from 1986, the work does what its title suggests - 'reshapingî or reinterpreting the music of various eras in an atmosphere of reverie, recollection and nostalgia counter-balanced by more carefree sections of charm and wit. There are allusions to and stylizations of folk music, waltzes, medieval modes, and more in music which is broadly tonal and approachable with dissonance used for expressive purposes. Alla Sikorzak-Olek (harp), Mariusz P¥dzia*ek (oboe), Amadeus Chamber Orchestra; Agnieszka Duczmal. Dux 0323 (Poland) 06D066 $16.98 *

the second fontec offering

AKIRA IFUKUBE (b.1914): Japanese Rhapsody, Triptyque AborigÈne, Lauda Concertata for Orchestra and Marimba. The 1937 Triptyque is similar to the Japanese Rhapsody of two years earlier in its use of regional folk melodies. We hear the late Ifukube in the 1979 Lauda Concertata, a half-hour long, single-movement concerto (with three sections) which contains Japanese-like melody in the first section, a slower middle and what sounds for all the world like an Irish jig which rushes to a furious, virtuosic conclusion for its finale. The late Ifukube, like the early Ifukube, is an immensely fun composer who really ought to be better-known and more widely available in the West. Keiko Abe (marimba), Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra; Kazuo Yamada. Fontec FOCD 2512 (Japan) 06D067 $20.98 *

AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Works of, Vol. 5 - Birds in Light for Orchestra, Vision in Twilight, Symphony No. 2 'Three Odesî. According to the composer's notes, a kind of mystical spirituality seems to act as the point of departure for various of his works, including these. Musically this translates into a form of impressionism, with rich textures frequently assembled from diverse heterophonic lines, sometimes extending to microtonal washes, though generally gentle and unabrasive. Within these delicate landscapes, the composer incorporates more concrete elements - a modal melody here, a sustained brass chord there - as if to anchor the spiritual journey in the mind of the listener, and suggest there may be physical obstacles to overcome along the way. Thus, for all its employment of modern techniques, the music is never hard to listen to, nor is it facile and uneventful, like too much recent music that has the word ëspiritual' attached to it. If you enjoy Hovhaness and feel like taking a few steps further in the direction of abstraction, this will appeal to you. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Kazuhiro Koizumi. Fontec FOCD 3446 (Japan) 06D068 $24.98 *

TOSHIRO MAYUZUMI (1929-1997): Kinkakuji. Based on a novel by Yukio Mishima, Kinkakuji ('The Golden Pavilionî) was a commission from the Deutsche Oper Berlin and was premiered in 1976. While the theme and idiom of the opera are thoroughly Japanese, Mayuzumi wrote music adapted expressly for the German language which led to criticism that the opera was neither fish nor fowl and that it depended too much on imitation of a Western European musical idiom. Others, however, point to a successful integration of Japanese Buddhist music into the work. Kinkakuji will have to be considered as a useful, early experiment in what is, after all, a very young and extremely sparsely populated genre in Japanese music. There are no English notes or synopsis but familiarity with either Mishima's novel or the German language will help the listener enjoy music, much of which will be in a familiar, late Romantic idiom. 2 CDs. German-Japanese libretto. Vocal Soloists, Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra; Kiroyuki Iwaki. Fontec FOCD 3282/3 (Japan) 06D069 $49.98 *

MICHIO MAMIYA (b.1929): Piano Concerto No. 3, Piano Sonatas No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3 'Springî. One of Mamiya's greatest interests - the folk and popular musics of other countries - is demonstrated by his three piano sonatas. The first (1955) was an attempt to link Japanese folk-song modes with classical counterpoint; the second (1973) was inspired by the avant-garde jazz of Cecil Taylor and the third (1987) takes as inspiration for its single-movement, two-segment form a primitive ShÙ tune and the sound of an African drum ensemble. The 1990 piano concerto has no overt influences, being a 17-minute single-movement work with aggressive motion characterizing the outer portions and a slower, more melodic center. Izumi Tateno (piano), Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Michio Mamiya. Fontec FOCD 3175 (Japan) 06D070 $25.98 *

HIKARU HAYASHI (b.1931): Symphony in G, Winds, At Noon, The August Sun. Hayashi's 1953 symphony could have been written by an Englishman of a generation before, such is the style of the gently breathing molto moderato first movement (with the slightest touch of the pastoral), the dance-like second movement which seems to look back at the 17th century, and the third movement Intermezo with its hints of pentatonic, folk-like tunes. It is only in the finale that you might think of someone else, most likely Shostakovich or Prokofiev. However, the short tone-poem Winds (1974, rev.1982) is from another world altogether, its scrubbing strings and hyperactive winds seeming to provide an expressionistic look at a weather phenomenon. At Noon... (1990) brings us back again to consonance and melody (with a touch of neo-romantic minimalism in its first movement); a soprano sings something in the long third movement but, due to lack of English notes, we have no idea what it is about or what this work is meant to convey. However, Hayashi is a noted film composer and At Noon communicates in the manner of the best film scores. Yumi Aikawa (soprano), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Yuzo Toyama. Fontec FOCD 3132 (Japan) 06D071 $25.98 *

TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Volume VI - Super Flumina Babylonis for Soprano, Alto and Chamber Orchestra, Landscape III for Violin and Orchestra, Ferne-Landschaft III 'Seascapes of Fukuyamaî for Orchestra, Tenebrae for Children's Chorus. The composer's trademark fluid, finely textured music is well represented by these works, two of them expressly related to the faery aquarelles of Japanese landscape painting. The subtle shifts in timbre and texture suggest the mist-shrouded distant landscapes exquisitely. Perhaps more surprising is the extent to which this approach works in the pieces with religious texts. Here, the whispered awe of the musical delivery is entirely appropriate to the hushed reverence of the texts, especially in the crucifixion scene, Tenebrae. Super flumina Babylonis deconstructs the Latin text, using fragmentary syllables as elements in a collage of gently flowing color. Julie Moffat (soprano), Kazuko Nagai (alto), Asako Urushihara (violin), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Ken Takaseki, The Little Singers of Tokyo; Saeko Hasegawa. Fontec FOCD 3420 (Japan) 06D072 $24.98 *

YORITSUNE MATSUDAIRA (b.1907): Figures Sonores for Orchestra, Bugaku for Orchestra, Portrait for 2 Pianos and Percussion, Shun-O-Den: Suite de Bugaku for Orchestra, Variations d'aprËs 3 Mouvements de la Dance SacrÈe for 2 Flutes, 2 Clarinets and 4 Percussionists. Although he studied composition with Alexander Tcherepnin, Matsudaira turned to modern compositional trends in his fifties and produced many works which meld an ear for sonority and the inspiration of ancient Japanese music with both serialism and aleatoric techniques. Such are the works recorded here. Figures Sonores (1957) is concerned with volume, timbre, intensity of sound, the virtuosity of a solo pianist and with the very Japanese concept of Ma - the silent spaces between sounds (very Webernian in concept). Bugaku was recorded live in 1963 at the ISCM festival where it won First Prize, conducted by the avant-garde luminary Maderna, who added some Indonesian percussion to the work (which adds some aleatoric techniques to its serial idiom). Portrait (1968) and Variations...1441 are both partly or mostly aleatory while the 1992 suite from Shun-O-Den is freely dodecaphonic. Various artists incl. Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; Ken Takaseki, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Bruno Maderna, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Kunitaka Koka. Fontec FOCD 2542 (Japan) 06D073 $20.98 *

IVAN WYSCHNEGRADSKY (1893-1979): 24 Preludes en quarts de ton for 2 Pianos, Op. 22, Integrations for 2 Pianos, Op. 49. Long a rarity in used LP catalogues, we are pleased to be able to offer this recording on CD. Although associated with the avant-garde (and collectors inclined to such will want this disc without reading further), it is important to point out to collectors of piano music in general, if not 20th-century piano music in particular, that these pieces are far from grindingly dissonant and atonal. The quarter-tone method does produce sounds which one might describe as 'sourî or 'oddî, but there is often an intimate, gentle quality to these pieces which might appeal to 'regularî collectors who happen to find other 'avant-gardeî techniques, such as Cage's prepared-piano or Cowell's clusters, an attractive, astringent, palate-cleansing aperitif for the rest of their piano main courses. Henriette Puig-Roget, Kazuoki Fujii (pianos). Fontec FOCD 3216 (Japan) 06D074 $24.98 *

HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Das Mdchen mit den Schwefelhlzern. German-English libretto. Lachenmann's opera has something to do with a little match-seller in the street, and his expert sense of sound conjures some remarkably adept scene-setting in the evocation of icy winds and a wintry landscape. It should be pointed out that this is not conventional opera in the sense that characters sing about what they are feeling or doing; the vocal acrobatics required of the soloists - and they are considerable - have very little to do with singing. But that is not the point; as with Lachenmann's large-scale pieces that have no ostensible ëstory' or text, the big picture is the thing; a vast abstract canvas full of detail, with the occasional bold gesture thrown in that might almost be out of the Second Viennese vocabulary, as unexpected and effective as suddenly finding a fully rendered and detailed figure in the midst of an abstract 'splatter' painting or a sentence by Sacheverell Sitwell in a cut-up text. Separated from its stage action - and apparently these performances, in Stuttgart, were spectacular and wildly successful - there is perhaps less to follow, to hold the narrative together, but the piece makes a definite impact, and admirers of Lachenmann's style will not be disappointed. 2 CDs. Elizabeth Keusch, Sarah Leonard (sopranos), Salome Kammer (speaker), Mayumi Miyata (shÙ-player), Yukiko Sugawara, Tomoko Hemmi (pianos), Stuttgart State Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Lothar Zagrosek. Kairos 0012282KAI (Austria) 06D075 $33.98 *

THEA MUSGRAVE (b.1928): Ring Out Wild Bells for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Threnody for Clarinet and Piano, Canta, Canta! for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Pierrot for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Chamber Concerto No. 2. Scottish-American composer Musgrave writes music which manages to be both modern and approachable without being minimalist or neo-Romantic. There are three first recordings here: Canta, Canta! is a brief piece based on a song from a cantata of 1954 which depicts a summer day; Ring Out Wild Bells (2001) is a narrative piece inspired by eight lines from Tennyson's In Memoriam which cover an emotional spectrum from lament to exhilaration; Threnody (1996) uses the Dies irae in the piano while the clarinet expresses grief, anger and lamentation. The other two works were both inspired by composers - Pierrot (1985) is an eight-section depiction of the commedia dell'arte character with several musical links to Debussy's prelude La SÈrÈnade Interrompue and the chamber concerto of 1966 was an homage to Ives. Victoria Soames Samek (clarinets), Gabrielle Byam-Grounds (flute), David Le Page (violin, viola), Matthew Sharp (cello), Mark Troop (piano). Clarinet Classics CC0038 (England) 06D076 $17.98

RUTH SCHONTHAL (b.1924): Sonatina, Reverberations-Nachklnge for Prepared Piano, Variations in Search of a Theme, The Canticles of Hieronymus, Self-Portrait of the Artist as an Older Woman. Schonthal's family fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and via Sweden, Moscow, Japan and Mexico, came to the U.S. where Ruth studied under Hindemith. Bach and Ravel are the inspirations for the 15-year-old girl's Sonatine, written in Stockholm but a more modern idiom prevails in her mature works. Reverberations (1967-74) uses a variety of objects placed on the strings of the piano to help represent the long-repressed memories of Schonthal's forcibly abandoned German culture - fragments of Bach, folk and popular songs, distorted by time and suffering. Of the other works, Canticles is perhaps the most striking, a 1986 homage to the Bosch which, by use of subtle transformations of musical elements, shimmering combinations and interactions, evokes the Dutch painter's theme of the transitory and mutable nature of all things. Throughout this recital, the language remains predominantly tonal and makes for a very interesting look at a composer who should, perhaps, be better-known. Adina Mornell (piano). Academy 0085162ACA (Germany) 06D077 $16.98

Contemporary Bulgarian Composers, Vol. 2

ALEXANDER TANEV (1928-1996): Construction Music, PLAMEN DJOUROV (b.1949): Fantasia for Orchestra, KRASSIMIR KYURKCHIISKI (b.1936): Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, ALEXANDER KANDOV (b.1949): Music for Orchestra, SIMEON PIRONKOV (b.1927): Night Music. A wide variety of stuff here: Kyurkchiiski's 20-minute Handel variations are in the Brahms/Dvor·k mode with very little to suggest they were written in 1985; Kandov's piece is freely atonal while Tanev mines the raucous, brutally rhythmic and orchestrally vivid world of Iron Foundry and early Prokofiev symphonies in his Construction Music. Pironkov, using a palette of colors from BartÛk to Webern as well as some moremodern techniques, paints a nocturne of unquiet and creeping unease which implies that the nightscape is psychological rather than a nature portrait. Djourov, as conductors often do, enjoys employing a wide range of orchestral color (including a solo harpsichord) in his Fantasia which also has a predominantly dark, nocturnal cast, punctuated by outbursts of energy and brooding lyricism. Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dimitar Manolov, Plamen Djourov, Sofia National Opera Symphony Orchestra; Dimitar Manolov. Gega GD 252 (Bulgaria) 06D078 $16.98 * NOTE: We were short-shipped on this item, so expect back-orders.

BENOT MERCIER (b.1964): Missa Christi regis gentium, 5 Inventions for Organ. This young Belgian composer produces works in a sort of 'dialogueî with tradition in a way that brings freshness and urgency of communication to his audience. His mass was written for the forces on this recording - two small choirs which normally specialize in early music and which make their way nimbly around textures which can sometimes be quite complex (12-part in some places) yet are always communicative. The organist is not there merely for accompaniment either (in fact, in the Agnus Dei, the choir accompanies the organ), as it is given music of often glittering color. In fact, the generally bright and ethereal, joyful quality of much of this work make a kind of celestial counterpart to the earthiness of Jan·"ek's Glagolitic Mass, i.e. a celebratory mass shorn of all musty cathedral trappings. The organ Inventions, in homage to Bach's use of the term, concern themselves with a systematic exploration of a single musical idea and Mercier's material runs from monody to rich polyphony, with an ear for sound color reminiscent of Messiaen. Namur Chamber Choir, Capella Sancti Michaelis; Olivier Opdebeeck, BenoÓt Mercier (organ). CyprËs CYP 4612 (Belgium) 06D079 $18.98

BENOT MERCIER (b.1964): Clarinet Quintet, Les Niais de Sologne for Ensemble, Les IdÈes Heureuses for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussions, Intonazione for Orchestra. In this release of slightly earlier, non-vocal works, the notes identify Philippe Boesmans and Magnus Lindberg as the major influences on the young Belgian composer. Although not dealing with melody in a neo-romantic sense, Mercier studiously avoids atonal cacophony in these works (coming close to a romantic spirit in the 1999 clarinet quintet, composed as soundtrack to a silent film), often employing counterpoint and complex harmonies in music which always has a sense of energy and forward movement. This is music which should appeal to collectors who appreciate not only Boesmans and Lindberg but Saariaho and Jonathan Harvey as well. Jean-Michel Charlier (clarinet), Quatuor Danel, Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles; Fabian Panisello, Ictus Ensemble; Georges-lie Octors, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Michael Schnwandt. CyprËs CYP4613 (Belgium) 06D080 $18.98

SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Piano Quintet, Introitus for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Dancer on a Tightrope for Violin and Piano. In order to show three aspects of Gubaidulina's career, BIS have reissued the latter two works listed above (the Introitus, of 1978, rich in religious and number symbolism and the Dancer, of 1993, an exercise in conflicting rhythms and non-traditional playing techniques) and coupled it with a newly released recording of the composer's 1957 piano quintet. In five movements, lasting 30 minutes, this is a very Shostakovichian work in its powerful motoric urge and intense contrapuntalism, which is not surprising as it comes from Gubaidulina's third year of study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, before her first significant mature stylistic period occurred. Rieko Aizawa (piano), Kai Vogler, Mira Wang (violins), Ulrich Eichenauer (viola), Peter Bruns (cello), BÈatrice Rauchs (piano), Kyiv Chamber Players; Vladimir Kozhukhar, Gidon Kremer (violin), Vadim Sakharov (piano). BIS CD-898 (Sweden) 06D081 $17.98

20th Century Polish String Quartets - 2 titles

GRAYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): String Quartet No. 4, PAWEL UKASZEWSKI (b.1968): String Quartet, ZBIGNIEW BUJARSKI (b.1933): Quartet for a House-Warming, ALEKSANDER LASO° (b.1951): Relief for Andrzej, HENRYK MIKOLAJ G"RECKI (b.1933): String Quartet No. 1 'It is Already Duskî. The first of these two collections of Polish string quartets offers two which may already be familiar - Bacewicz' 1951 work with its stylized use of folk motifs and GÛrecki's 1988 work for the Kronos Quartet with its obsessively repeated motifs and simple melodies - and three new to disc: Lukaszewski's 6-minute piece from 1994 is a sort of study in velocity; Bujarski's (1980) is closely related to the style of his exact comtemporary Penderecki (to whom it is dedicated) and Lason's (1995) is a brief, slow elegy. Quartetto DafÙ. Dux 0142 (Poland) 06D082 $16.98 *

KRZYSZTOF MEYER (b.1943): String Quartet No. 8, EUGENIUSZ KNAPIK (b.1951): String Quartet No. 1, MACIEJ ZIELI°SKI (b.1931): String Quartet No. 1, TADEUSZ BAIRD (1928-1981): Play, KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): String Quartet No. 2. Penderecki's 6-minute piece and Baird's 1971 10-minute, semi-aleatoric piece are avant-garde, using all the extended playing techniques possible while the remaining works, while none is exactly a hum-along, use more traditional means to produce highly individual, expressive statements with Zielinski (1994) juxtaposing melody and harmony with sterner stuff, Meyer (1985) producing five short movements in an arch form from tranquillity through furious action and back again and Knapik (1980), like Bujarsky above, offering another tribute to Penderecki and his expressive idiom. Quartetto DafÙ. Dux 0374 (Poland) 06D083 $16.98 *

OVATION, Vol. 1 - 5 Canadian Composers

JOHN WEINZWEIG (b.1913): Divertimento No. 1 for Flute and String Orchestra, Divertimento No. 5 for Trumpet, Trombone and Wind Ensemble, Barn Dance from the Ballet Red Ear of Corn for Orchestra, Soprano and Piano: Says What?, Hello Rico, My Dear, Etcetera, Solo Harp: Why Not?, Bluenote, Fine Time, Chorus: Shoppin' Blues, Hockey Night in Canada, Fast for Guitar, Jumpin' Blues for Wind Band, JEAN COULTHARD (1908-2000): Introduction and 3 Folk Songs from Canada Mosaic for Orchestra, The Bird of Dawning Singeth All Night Long for Violin and Orchestra, Of Fields and Forests for Harp, Variations on BACH for Piano, Spring Rhapsody for Contralto and Piano, Quebec May for Chorus and Orchestra, Music on a Quiet Song for Flute and Orchestra, MURRAY ADASKIN (b.1906): March No. 1 for Orchestra, Sonatine Baroque for Violin, String Quintet, Daydreams for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Rondino for 9 Instruments, Wind Quintet No. 1, Musica Victoria for Salon Quintet, JACQUES HTU (b.1938): Symphony No. 3, Op. 18, Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra, Op. 56, Concerto for Trumpet and Small Orchestra, Op. 43, Antinomie for Orchestra, Op. 23, HARRY FREEDMAN (b.1922): Celebration for Saxophones and Orchestra, Toccata for Voice and Flute, Tikki Tikki Tembo for Narrator and Wind Quintet, Pastorale for Chorus and English Horn, Chalumeau for Clarinet and String Quartet, Suite from the Ballet Latulippe for Orchestra. As a mere glance at the works-list above, it can be seen that this first volume in a series devoted to profiling Canadian composers holds a very wide variety of musical genres and there is no space to offer more than brief characterizations of each composer's style. HÈtu's is the only purely orchestral disc and his music reflects his French-Canadian origins and studies with Dutilleux - mostly tonal, terse with passages of strained lyricism. Coulthard's is the next most orchestral disc and her language is securely tonal with many of the pieces here (both orchestral and non-) inspired by folk music. Adaskin was a prolific chamber-music composer and his voice is generally cheery, humorous and neo-classical, even in the string quintet whose fifth instrument is the double bass. Freedman's ballet suite uses Quebec fiddle tunes while his Celebration for jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and his Chalumeau both use jazz and blues styles. Adaskin's collection is the most eclectic (and least orchestral) in terms of the forces required but suffice it to say that nothing in his CD is anything but tonal and approachable although most of our collectors who buy this set (at its remarkable price) will be after HÈtu and the Coulthard. Even this, this is a terrific bargain and will have us anticipating the next issue. 5 CDs. Budget-price. Various artists including Gerry Mulligan (saxes), John Ogdon (piano), Maureen Forrester (contralto). CBC Records PSCD 2026-5 (Canada) 06D084 $33.98

ROBERT KURKA (1921-1957): The Good Soldier Schweik. Having begun life in 1956 as an orchestral suite of character pieces inspired by Czech author Jaroslav Hasek's anti-war satire about an army draftee who outwits his superiors by feigning dimwittedness, The Good Soldier Schweik was turned into a two-act opera by its creator (completed and orchestrated after Kurka's early death by Hershy Kay). In its references to popular musical idioms and its instrumentation and tonal language, the suite was compared to Weill's Three-Penny Music and the opera, in similar proletarian fashion, uses 'singing actorsî familiar with folk music, popular ballads and jazz as well as 'classicalî forms. English libretto and full-color booklet with 19 photos from the production. 2 CDs. Chicago Opera Theater; Alexander Platt. Cedille CDR 90000 062 (U.S.A.) 06D085 $33.98

JAN CIKKER (1911-1989): Resurrection. Based on Tolstoy and to the composer's own libretto, this three-act opera premiered in 1962. The degradation and downfall of its female main character provide the opportunity for a lot of very strong music depicting violent emotional states (Act One is a particularly intimidating scene set in an insane asylum) where the singing sometimes changes over to Sprechgesang. Each act has two scenes divided by an intermezzo in which the characters deliver monologues probing their conscious and unconscious minds and which serve to help move the plot along quicker. The music is not atonal but is often hard-edged in its depiction of the frightful events of Tolstoy's story but there are effective anticlimaxes and moments of relaxation as well which help to balance this effective work. Original 1964 Supraphon recording. 2 CDs. Slovak-English libretto. Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra; Jaroslav Krombholc. Opus 91 2660-2 (Slovakia) 06D086 $33.98 *

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Piano Quintet, MARC BRIQUET (1896-1979): Piano Quintet, ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Piano Quintet No. 2. Martin's early (1920) quintet still has some signs of his mature style still more than a decade away: a predominantly dark atmosphere of tragedy and contemplation (enlived slightly by a tempo di minuetto second movement which itself is rather melancholy). Briquet's work dates from 1931 and is firmly anchored in the late Romantic tradition (think FaurÈ and Wagner). Quatuor Ortys, Adilia Alieva (piano). Cascavelle VEL 3040 (Switzerland) 06D087 $17.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Shard for Guitar, Lumen for Trumpet, Trombone, Harp, Mandolin, Guitar and Vibraphone, Tempo e Tempi for Soprano, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin and Cello, 8 Pieces for 4 Timpani. These brief solo and ensemble pieces, mostly recent, display typical Carter preoccupations, but in a stripped-down form (almost skeletal, in the case of the marvellously vital and exciting solo pieces for timpanist), allowing us to marvel at the clarity of expression, and the intricate inner workings of the music. Even allowing for the economy of resources here, Carter manages to say more in a piece for solo guitar of less than 3 minutes, or a brief aphoristic song from the cycle Tempo e tempi (texts by Montale [a recommendation in itself], Quasimodo and Ungaretti) than many composers might achieve in a cycle of symphonies. This is also a means of ready access to Carter's music for anyone who still believes the old ëdifficult Carter' myth which used to hang around his larger-scale works, and as such is worthy of the highest recommendation. David Starobin (guitar), Susan Narucki (soprano), Speculum Musciae; William Purvis, Daniel Druckman (timpani). Bridge 9111 (U.S.A.) 06D088 $16.98

JORGE PEIXINHO (1940-1995): Superimpositions for Orchestra, Polyptych for Orchestra, Symmetrical Successions II for Orchestra, Four Seasons for Ensemble. These orchestral compositions display a thoroughly original and accomplished mind at work; a composer at ease in the handling of multi-layered instrumental textures with meticulous attention to timbre and constructive processes. The music is highly concentrated; typically constructed of small cells which are varied, superimposed, overlapped and presented in varying degrees of elaboration and instrumental texture. This does not lead to a fragmentary result; quite to the contrary, the overlapping of transformed material gives rise to a flow or momentum which carries the listener through a moving tapestry of great continuity of argument and coherence of expression. Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Andr·s Ligeti, Contemporary Music Group of Lisbon; Jorge Peixinho. Strauss SP 4184 (Portugal) 06D089 $13.98 *

ANTONIO PINHO VARGAS (b.1951): 9 CanÁes de AntÛnio Ramos Rosa for Tenor and Piano, 7 CanÁes de Albano Martins for Baritone and Piano, Nocturno/Diurno for String Sextet, 3 Versos de Caeiro for 12 Instruments. These songs are written with the utmost attention to framing the texts which the composer has selected; poems of aphoristic fragility which could be easily overwhelmed by too active a musical setting. So the accompaniments are accordingly economical; sparse in texture; single notes, a drum-beat, a chorale-like progression of chords. Even the purely instrumental ensemble pieces share this extreme economy, in which a chord, a gong-stroke or a small phrase is made to stand for more than it says, as a line of poetry may (and it is no coincidence that the composer associates poetic phrases even with his non-vocal works. When the music is active it is more obviously tonally based, and in sum, Vargas' idiom is an approachable one, reflecting a refined sensibility. Portuguese-English texts. Rui Taveira (tenor), Pauolo Ferreira (baritone), Jaime Mota (piano), Northern Sinfonia's 'Vaganzaî; Baldur Brnimann. Strauss ST 2299 (Portugal) 06D090 $13.98 *

TERUYUKI NODA (b.1940): Symphony No. 1, Op. 8, Carnaval for Orchestra, Fresque Symphonique. Noda's first symphony is a big-boned three-movement work more in the Western tradition of the 20th-century symphony than having anything much to do with 'Orientalî styles. A satisfyingly bold and dramatic work, the worst one might say of it is that in its compendium of styles in which one may recognise elements of Scandinavian, and Eastern- and Western-European orchestral music (here a bit of Sallinen, there Bartok, early Schoenberg or Berg), a completely individual voice is sometimes hard to recognise. But if the idea of discovering a ënew' symphony of genuine depth and drama appeals to you, this work will not disappoint. The outer movements are propulsive and energetic; the slow movement piles up material in variation form to considerable cumulative mass. The other two works share a bold and exuberant mood, with much energy and colorful orchestration. Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Kazuhiro Koizumi. Camerata 28CM633 (Japan) 06D091 $17.98

Onute Narbutaite (b.1956): Sinfonia col triangolo, Teisutis Makacinas (b.1938): Pacem relinquo vobis, Raminta Serksnyte (b.1975): De profundis, Vidmantas Bartulis (b.1954): I Like Schubert. 'New Romanticismî predominates on this disc - and if this sounds a warning to some, suggesting a warmed-over soggy mess of gestures which ceased to have any meaning in the first few decades of the last century, fear not! This is all tough stuff, with strong bones and a contemporary resonance - the recent influx of Lithuanian music on CD for which (modest cough) we have been responsible, seems to suggest that there is a good deal of that sort of thing going on in that part of the world. Narbutaite's symphony is as dramatically compelling as one might expect from the composer of the strikingly varied Centones meae urbi we offered last month (and probably nearly sold out, so nab your copy now). Her music, full of tension and release, action and reaction, follows no strict formal dogma, and is as emotionally involving as one might wish. The same might be said of Serksnyte, whose language, while less complex, is equally expressive. The word ëminimalism' is used, misleadingly, in the notes; her active and propulsive string toccata has far too many strands of parallel activity to function like a piece of process music, and in any case interrupts itself intermittently for shockingly beautiful moments of pure Sibelius. Makacinas' work is a quasi-religious meditation (actually based on Gregorian chant), and Bartulis deomstrates how much he likes Schubert by meditating on the slow movement of the C major Quintet, repeating favorite phrases and effectively building an extended version of the original. St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra; Donatas Katkus. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMPCCD 007 (Lithuania) 06D092 $16.98 *

CARLOS ISAMITT (1887-1974): Evocaciones Hulliches for Tenor and Piano, ACARIO CATAPOS (1889-1969): Sonata-Fantasia for Piano, MIGUEL AGUILAR (b.1931): Rapsodia for Clarinet and Piano, RAM"N CAMPBELL (b.1911): Sonata de OtoÒo for Piano, JAIME GONZ¡LEZ PI-A (b.1956): Estudio en Tres for Clarinet and Piano, REN¡N CORTS L"PEZ (b.1958): Do est for 2 Guitars, ALIOCHA SOLOVERA ROJE (b.1963): Variazioni per Oboe, Violoncello e Pianoforte, RICARDO ESCOBEDO (b.1961): On Board for Piano, MARIO MORA L"PEZ (b.1967): Sinapsis for Piano Trio, TOM¡S LEFEVER (b.1926): Sinfonia 1964 for Orchestra. Ten different composers are represented here, covering the entire 20th century between them with a fair bit to spare. There is a certain range of musical styles, of course, but it could hardly be said to run the gamut of 20th century techniques. The younger composers - those born in the 50s and 60s - might in general be said to be less concerned with avoiding tonal references in their music, while those of earlier generations employ a range of spiky atonalities, sometimes employing serial techniques but in an apparently relatively casual way. That said, the pieces are all very approachable and characterful, and any enthusiast for the byways of modern music will certainly find a favourite or two among them (for example, I shall be looking out for further releases of works by Roje and Lefever). Various artists. SVR ANC-6003-1 (Chile) 06D093 $16.98 *

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 21 - Stegreif-Quadrille, Op. 80, Steeple chase, Op. 43, Die Vorgeiger, Op. 16, Flora, Op. 54, Lebensgeister, Op. 154, PÈrichole-Quadrille, Op. 256, Immergr¸n, Op. 88, G¸nstige Prognosen, Op. 132, Buchstaben, Op. 252, Waldbleamin, Op. 79, Andrassy-Marsch, Op. 268, Mendessohn/Josef Strauss: Lied ohne Worte. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Koâice); Michael Dittrich. Marco Polo 8.223623 (New Zealand) 06D094 $15.98

FRANZ VON SUPPE (1819-1895): Poet and Peasant, JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Sorgenbrecher Walzer, JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825-1899): Rasch in der Tat, PHILIPP FAHRBACH I (1815-1885): Reiþaus, Op. 121, JOHANN LANNER (1801-1843): Dampfwalzer, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Galop & 8 Ecossaisen, Grazer Galopp, D925, GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901)/ANTONIO CANTI: Rigoletto-Walzer, WERNER THOMAS-MIFUNE: Haydn in South America, WOLFGANG SCHR÷DER: Eine kleine Lachmusik. Fun with German popular dances (and 'seriousî composers) for string trio and double bass. Ensemble Wien. Koch Schwann 3-6524-2 (Germany) 06D095 $15.98

NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Romeo and Juliet - Complete Film Score. Zeffirelli's film was one of the most memorable of all screen adaptations of Shakespeare and Rota's glowing score with its fanfares, pavanes and masques and, especially, its exquisite Love Theme had a great part in its success. This newly recorded complete score is the result of great effort on the part of Silva's producers since Rota's original manuscript score is lost and the 55 minutes of music had to be painstakingly recreated from videos of the film itself and intensive study of the composer's orchestration from scores of similar provenance. City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus; Nic Raine. Silva America SSD 1140 (U.S.A.) 06D096 $16.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Captain Blood - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Conducted by the composer. Tsunami TSU 0141 (Germany) 06D097 $12.98 *

Legendary Horror Films - Original Soundtracks

Original Soundtrack Music from the Horror Films Dracula (Tchaikovsky), King Kong (Max Steiner), Frankenstein (David Broekman), The Bride of Frankenstein (Franz Waxman), She (Steiner), The House of Frankenstein (Hans J. Salter), The Wolf Man (Charles Previn), The Mummy (Tchaikovsky), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Alfred Newman), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (Salter), The Most Dangerous Game (Steiner), The Invisible Ghost, (Johnny Lang - Lew Porter), The Invisible Man (Heinz Roemheld), The Ghost of Frankenstein (Previn-Salter) and Cat People (Roy Webb). Soundtrack Factory SFCD 33566 (Spain) 06D098 $12.98 *

Original Soundtrack Music from The Phantom of the Opera, which consists of excerpts from The Lullaby of the Bells (Edward Ward & George Waggner), Martha (Flotow), Amour et Gloire (opera by Ward & Waggner based on Chopin themes) and Le Prince MasquÈ du Caucasus, an opera contrived from Tchaikovsky's Sym. No. 4, by Ward and Waggner. Also included: from The Mummy - Excerpts from Swan Lake and Die Weisse Hlle vom Piz Pal¸ (Heinz Roemheld). Soundtrack Factory SFCD 33562 (Spain) 06D099 $12.98 *

PIERRE COCHEREAU (1924-1984): 12 Improvisations from a 1969 tour. This set commemorates a summer tour of small French churches without organs to which the great titulaire of NÙtre Dame of Paris towed a 15-stop portable organ (made for him in 1962 by Philippe Hartmann) with his Mercedes 280SL (this ultimately led to the destruction of the car's transmission as the accompanying notes relate, among other amusing incidents). Renouncing his usual theme-and-variations style which he used at cathedral organs, Cochereau chose tunes from which he improvised in a free, Fantasy, style. What is remarkable, even apart from the fact that such an artist did not need to make such tours, is the delight in communication with his audiences and the sheer musicianship Cochereau exhibits, almost rejoicing in the limitations placed upon him by the size and strength of the portable organ. (Six of these improvisations were released on a Solstice/FY LP; the remainder are heard here for the first time.) 2 CDs. Pierre Cochereau (Hartmann organ positif). Solstice SOCD 200/1 (France) 06D100 $33.98 *