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Kalliwoda

Symphony No. 3

JOHANN WENZEL KALLIWODA (1801-1866): Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 32, Overture No. 12 in D, Op. 145, Introduction and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra in B Flat, Op. 128, Introduction and Rondo for Horn and Orchestra in F, Op. 51. This Bohemian composer's seven symphonies are important links between the late Classical and early Romantic periods. Five and Six appeared on a Centaur disc almost 13 years ago and, after this smorgasbord release, you can anticipate a Kalliwoda mini-orgy in the next several months as both Orfeo and cpo have all-symphony discs coming. Kalliwoda also wrote an amazing 24 orchestral overtures which are, for all intents and purposes, symphony first movements. The one here, from 1843, ends making you expect a slow movement which never comes. The concerted works are part of a very large collection of those too, most falling into the slow introduction-fast second-part form of the horn work here. The 34-minute symphony (1830), in the traditional four movements, will delight all collectors of the genre as Kalliwoda combines Beethovenian motivic and thematic transformation with a Weberian sound which anticipates Schumann. Dieter Klöcker (clarinet), Radovan Vlatkovic (horn), Hamburg Symphony; Johannes Moesus. MD&G 329 1387-2 (Germany) 06H001 $17.98


Ø Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: 17


NOTES:

1. Remaining Norway in Music orders will ship with June orders and, after almost three months, I finally got back-orders of 02H002 (Danish Piano Concertos, Vol. 4) in and these will be filled this month also.

2. The Edward German symphony and other Dutton Epoch releases advertised last December in Gramophone will be in next month's catalogue.

3. I'm planning to offer a batch of Aurora titles from the 1980s and 1990s in the same fashion as Norway in Music. Aurora was and is a contemporary label and the audience for it will be rather smaller than for the late Romantic and neo-Classical style of the composers on Simax' NIM. I'd like to get some idea of how many of you would be interested in such Norwegian composers as Arne Nordheim, Kåre Kolberg, Egil Hovland, Knut Nystedt, Øistein Sommerfeldt, Halvor Haug and Ragnar Søderlind. Much of this music appeared on Norwegian Philips LP in the late 70s and early 80s and nothing is new to the U.S. but most of it has not been available for more than a decade.

4. There may be new ABC Classics and Accord releases for July.

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


RICHARD ARNELL (b.1917): Symphony No. 3, Op. 40, The New Age, Op. 2. This symphony belongs with the most remarkable of any of those which belong to the 20th century genre of War Symphony. Written in the U.S. between 1944-45 (Arnell, like Britten, was stranded in New York by the outbreak of the war), this six-movement (!), 62-minute work is a towering achievement of symphonic craft, orchestration and emotional intensity. The notes suggest that Arnell may have been inspired to write it by the broadcast of the Shostakovich Seventh in New York in 1942. Great issues are obviously at stake in its first two movements which run the gamut from brooding intensity to aggresive energy while the slow movement is a slowly growing arc of funeral march like music. A biting scherzo offers Russian elements (troika rhythms especially) and a short andante leads into an 18-minute finale which, through much heroic striving, ends in a rioutous celebration. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Martin Yates. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7161 (England) 06H002 $18.98

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 - Kullervo Overture, Op. 15, Väinämöinen Sows the Wilderness for Tenor and Orchestra, Op. 46, Little Suite, Op. 12, Autumn, Op. 68 for Soprano and Orchestra, Okon Fuoko Suite No. 2, Op. 58 (compiled by Arvo Volmer). Another valuable new release in this series, particularly for the early (1913) Kullervo Overture. More conservative and Romantically oriented than Madetoja's later, French-influenced works, this 14-minute overture is an episodic tone-poem which recounts several events in the Kalevala hero's life and whose epic style is about as close to Sibelius as Madetoja was ever to come. The orchestral Vaäinämöinen song (1919) promises a similar style with its mystery-shrouded opening but then turns into a relaxed pastoral with sound pictures of weather and birds evoking a pantheistic bliss. Little Suite is a delicate orchestration of three piano pieces and Autumn a 1940 orchestration of a restless, emotionally fraught song cycle of 1932 while, in the Okon Fuoko suite, conductor Volmer helps fulfill Madetoja's unfinished intentions by crafting a second group of excerpts from the 1930 ballet into an attractive 21-minute sequence. Finnish-English texts. Kirsi Tiihonen (soprano), Tuomas Katajala (tenor), Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 211 (Finland) 06H003 $16.98

CHARLES TOMLINSON GRIFFES (1884-1920): Roman Sketches, Op. 7 (orch. Craig Leon), ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Symphonic Serenade in B, Op. 39. First recording of the middle two segments of Griffes' Roman Sketches, orchestrated by Craig Leon in 2004 (he also touched up Clouds from the original manuscript in the Fleischer Collection). The second, "Nightfall", has an exotic Oriental influence and an occasional piquant dissonance while "The Fountain of Aqua Paola" has a harp and celeste which create luxuriously Impressionistic textures in the quiet opening while the highly chromatic climaxes suggest the opera preludes of Schreker. Korngold's 1947 Serenade, premiered by Furtwängler in 1950, is a richly orchestrated 35-minute work in four movements (including a gripping Mahlerian slow movement) which has only been recorded twice before on CD and, though this recording is not part of the quasi-series of Korngold which ASV had been putting out over the last decade, it fits in nicely with those three other issues. London Symphony Orchestra; Simone Pittau. ASV Gold GLD 4020 (England) 06H004 $17.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Elegy for Viola, String Quartet and String Orchestra, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Suite for Viola and Orchestra (Group I), YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): Viola Concerto in C Minor, Op. 25, WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Viola Concerto in A Minor. An attractive British program (the third recording of the Bowen in 18 months!), with only one other recording of the 1917 Howells Elegy for the dead at the battle of Mons and one other of the Vaughan Williams - although this release offers only 3 of the possible 8 movements of his 1934 suite of character pieces. Helen Callus (viola), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Marc Taddei. ASV DCA 1181 (England) 06H005 $17.98


Bicentennary of Chilean Orchestral Music, Vol. 3

PEDRO HUMBERTO ALLENDE (1885-1959): Cello Concerto, JORGE URRUTIA BLONDEL (1903-1981): Pastoral de Alhué, Op. 27, CARLOS RIESCO (b.1925): 4 Dances. Written in 1914, the gorgeous, 23-minute cello concerto combines late Romantic effusiveness and melody with a clarity of orchestration which must owe something to the time spent in France just before its composition and, in its lovely song-like slow movement, the cool, meditative nostalgia Chileans identify as one of their principal characteristics. Blondel's 11-minute tone-picture from 1937, an evocation of a rural village in central Chile and an hommage to Ravel is, well, Ravelian, while Riesco's suite of dances (1953 and premiered in Israel by Fricsay!) uses no folk music, being stylized pieces in a generally neo-classical style making colorful use of a large orchestra and some exotic percussion. Jan Müller (cello), Chile Symphony Orchestra; David del Pino Klinge. SVR Producciones ABA-SVR-7000-3 (Chile) 06H006 $17.98 Ø


Bicentennary of Chilean Piano Music, Vol. 2

ENRIQUE SORO (1884-1954): Sonata No. 3 in D, DOMINGO SANTA CRUZ (1899-1987): 5 Poemas trágicos, Op. 11, CARLOS LAVIN (1883-1962): Suite Andine, CARLOS RIESCO (b.1925): Sonata, FERNANDO GARCíA (b.1930): 9 relatos, SANTIAGO VERA RIVERA (b.1950): 3 Temporaríás. The majority of the music on this disc is tonal and conservative. Soro's sonata of 1923 is harmonically somewhat modern but in four-movement classical form; Santa Cruz (1929) acknowledges Scriabinesque nightmare and fantasy in his short, highly chromatic, tonality-stretching "poems"; Lavín, from the same year, couldn't be more different in his three little Impressionist sketches lasting a bit over six minutes; Riesco (1959) began his second stylistic period with encouragement from his teacher Messiaen to concentrate on color and rhythm; García (1997) and Rivera (1980) employ modern techniques although the former's set of nine impressions from childhood, while atonal and employing aleatoric techinques, allow the listener to associated sound with the titles of the impressions. Armands Abols (piano). SVR Producciones ABA-SVR-6000-2 (Chile) 06H007 $17.98 Ø


ERNST PEPPING (1901-1981): Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 3 "Die Tageszeiten", Piano Concerto. This is a major release in two ways. First, it's the first documentation since I've been running Records International to appear of a composer, until now practically unknown (except for a disc of organ music) who was privileged during the Third Reich. Second, it contains three significant works in the symphony genre. Not surprisingly, these symphonies, which date from 1939, 1942 and 1944 (Böhm premiered the First and Furtwängler did the Berlin premiere of the Second), are very approachable and in a style which marries neo-classicism with Romanticism. Pepping was best-known as a reformer of Protestant church music, which was in keeping with Nazi musical ideals, but the symphonies aren't exactly a back-to-Bach enterprise, being almost as modern as Hindemith in some ways (Hindemith of the late 30s and 40s - not of the 20s!). Michael Kater's book "The Twisted Muse" devotes several pages to Pepping. While he was not a Nazi, he subscribed to their musical ideals even if he didn't write musical puffery for the regime and Kater's note that, in 1938, some of his works were performed to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hitler's assumption of power makes it clear that they were older, pre-existing pieces. Amazingly, 60 years after the events, cpo's notes do everything they can to steer clear of the question of being an artist in Nazi Germany and note the complete disconnect between Pepping's earlier music and what we hear here, which came about during the mid 1930s, as worthy of note but unworthy of explanation. The 1950 concerto, from the period after the war when, as the note-writer puts it, Pepping was "regarded as a blameless artist in postwar Germany", sticks to the attractive, conservative style of the symphonies. Probably less "calculating" than Kater thinks but more passively involved than the note-writer would want to admit, Pepping, hardly omniscient, inhabited, willy-nilly, a world of grays which no one today likes to think exists, especially in today's "you're either with us or against us" culture. The music is attractive, not monumental or earthshaking, and this release, whose recordings were made 12-14 years ago (political reasons for their languishing in the archives?) will be a must-have for all kinds of collectors. 2 CDs. Volker Banfield (piano), Northwest German Philharmonic; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 777 041 (Germany) 06H008 $31.98

KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN (1905-1963): Sonata "27. April 1945", Jazz-Toccata and Fugue, Sonatine, Kleine Suites, Nos. 1 and 2, Sonata No. 1. Hartmann, of course, as a Socialist and pacifist, had to use the "internal exile" option and disappeared within Germany during the war. Amazingly, this new release is the only recording of Hartmann's piano music available on CD. Everything here dates from before 1932, except for the April 27 sonata, and show the influences of early Hindemith and neue Sachlichkeit with a few infusions of jazz and popular music. The sonata, however, was inspired by what Hartmann and his family saw on that date - a death-march of prisoners from Dachau being force-marched south for extermination before the American and British forces could reach them. Hartmann uses Jewish chant-like melodies in the first movement and Russian partisan songs in the second and third to express his compassion, impotent though it had to be, for the miserable masses of suffering human beings whom he saw strung out before him on that date. Wolfgang Döberlein (piano). Musicaphon M 56856 (Germany) 06H009 $15.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Alpbach-Quintet for Wind Quintet and Percussion, Op. 180, Suite for Clarinet and Strings, Op. 148a, Sonatina for Flute and Clarinet, Op. 92/2b, Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 108, Little Suite for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 28, Monologue for Clarinet Solo, Op. 157, Invention for Flute and Clarinet, Op. 127a. The 61 minutes of chamber music with clarinet recorded here cover 38 years, from the neo-classical Little Suite of 1924 to the serial Alpbach of 1962 and the majority of it is Krenek in experimental mode, using serial procedures but always with his own personal adjustments. For collectors of the 20th century avant-garde in its less confrontational aspects. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Zoltán Gyöngyössy (flute), Béla Horváth (oboe), Attila Jankó (bassoon), Gábor Bizják (horn), László Tömösközi (percussion), Péter Somogyi (violin), Ildikó Cs. Nagy (piano), String Orchestra. Hungaroton HCD 32363 (Hungary) 06H010 $17.98


BIS' Latest Brazilian Symphony Release

CLAUDIO SANTORO (1919-1989): Symphony No. 4 (w/Choir) "Sinfonia da Paz", Symphony No. 9, Frevo, Ponteio for String Orchestra. The Fourth is a three-movement work from 1954 with a choral finale and which dates from the years when Santoro, good Brazilian Communist that he was, was abroad much, touring Europe and the Soviet Union. The notewriter finds elements of Socialist Realism in it but it seems to be just plain, Romantic, approachable music with plenty of Brazilian folk melos suggested (and obvious influences of Villa Lobos). The Ninth (1982) ended an almost 20-year symphony drought while Santoro was in political exile and, while Brazilian folk music is still evident, this is still completely tonal, but a harder-edged work, with a short, driving scherzo which recalls Shostakovich. São Paolo Symphony Orchestra and Choir; John Neschling. BIS CD-1370 (Sweden) 06H011 $17.98


PANCHO VLADIGEROV (1899-1978): Piano Trio, Op. 4, For Violin and Piano: 2 Improvisations, Op. 7, Ratschenitza, Op. 18/2, Vardar - Rhapsodie Bulgare, Op. 16, 2 Morceaux, Op. 20. Very early works - all written between 1916 (the very Romantic, half-hour long piano trio) and 1926 (the Morceaux) - which show the young composer in the style he would keep for the rest of his life: Romantic nationalism, in the vein of Kodály, Enescu and Khachaturian. Just to show that he was open to influences of the period, one can hear the influence of Debussy in the "Poème Érotique" of Op. 7 and Ravel in the "Orientale" of the Op. 20/2. Collectors with fond memories of Balkanton orchestral recordings will have to be content with this attractive chamber music while we hope for larger-scale enterprises in the future! Édua Amarilla Zádory (violin), Rudolf Leopold (cello), Katalin Hegedüs, Endre Hegedüs, Raluca Stirbat (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32301 (Hungary) 06H012 $17.98

JUAN GUTIÉRREZ DE PADILLA (c.1590-1664): Felix namque, Exsultate iusti in Domino, Dixit Dominus, Salve Regina, Sancta et immaculata, Ave Regina caelorum, Missa Ave Regina, Pater peccavi, Domine Dominus noster. Brilliant, inventive double-choir works from a Spanish composer who moved to Mexico in 1622 and spent the rest of his life working at the cathedral in Puebla. Los Angeles Chamber Singers' Capella; Peter Rutenberg. Rubedo Canis Musica RCM 12006 (U.S.A.) 06H013 $17.98

GIACOMO CARISSIMI (1605-1674): Missa Sciolto Havean Dall'alte Sponde, Cantata Sciolto havean dall'alte Sponde, Motets Suscitavit Dominus, Exurge cor meum, Ardens est cor nostrum. A parody mass from a cantata also by Carissimi (1653 for the cantata; the mass is undated) is filled out be three motets from 1664 and 1670 to produce a full-length liturgical work as it might have been performed in 17th century Italy. Usefully, the cantata itself is also recorded in order to have sacred and profane Carissimi side by side. No texts. Cristina Miatello, Lavinia Bertotti (sopranos), Claudia Cavina (contralto), Sandro Naglia (tenor), Furio Zanasi (baritone), Le Istituzioni Harmoniche; Marco Longhini. Original 1995 Stradivarius release. Stradivarius Echo STR 11008 (Italy) 06H014 $8.98

ANTONIO BERTALI (1605-1669): Sonata in D Minor for 2 Violins, Viola da Gamba and Bassoon, Ciaconna in C for Violin, Sonata in G for 2 Violins and Bassoon, JOHANN MICHAEL NICOLAI (1629-1685): Sonata in A Minor for Violin and Viola da Gamba, Sonata in C for Violin and Bassoon, JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (c.1623-1680): Sonata variata in D Minor for Violin and Viola da Gamba, ADAM DRESE (c.1620-1701): Sonata in A Minor for 2 Violins and Viola da Gamba, Sonata in A Minor for Violin and Viola da Gamba, SAMUEL CAPRICORNUS (1628-1665): Ciaconna in D for Violin and Viola da Gamba, NATHANAEL SCHNITTELBACH (1633-1667): Ciaconna in A for Violin, ANON.: Ciaconna in C for 2 Violins and Viola da Gamba. An hour's worth of music from the 17th century "Partiturbuch", a collection assembled as a gift for the Duke of Gotha which includes music from the Viennese court, the Hanseatic cities of the north and smaller ducal courts throughout Germany. Ensemble Echo de Danube. Naxos 8.557679 (New Zealand) 06H015 $7.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Cantatas Già lusingato appieno, Il Nerone, L'Orfeo, Serenata "Notte ch'in carro d'ombre". Daddy Scarlatti's star is really rising as the new recordings keep pouring out. Highlights here are the serenata's dense, romantic sensuality, a positively cartoonish Nero bloodthirstily ranting in megalomaniacal fashion (with one in tarantella style!) and the longest work - the 24-minute Orpheus setting, vivid in dramatic scene painting and operatic in impact. Italian-English texts. Elisabeth Scholl (soprano), Modo Antiquo; Federico Maria Sardelli. CPO 777 141 (Germany) 06H016 $15.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): La Giuditta. The first (1693) of two treatments of this subject, this is a strongly dramatic work of 77 minutes, moving from beginning to end in a cumulative sweep of psychological effect; the emotionality of the work owes something to Stradella. Italian-English texts. Céline Ricci, Adriana Fernández (sopranos), Martín Oro (alto), Vincenzo Di Donato (tenor), Bruno Rostand (bass), Le Parlement de Musique; Martin Gester. Ambronay AMY 004 (France) 06H017 $18.98

FERDINANDO DE' MEDICI ? (1673-1713): 2 Preludi cantabili, Passgagli pastorali, 6 Arie alla francese, Preludio de botte, 2 Tochatas, Preludio, Passagagli, Alemanda, GIOVANNI DE MACQUE (c.1545-1614): 2 Gagliardas, Ricercare, FRANCESCO LAMBARDI (1587-1642): Toccata, LUIGI ROSSI (1597-1653): Passacaille, GIOVANNI BATTISTA MARTINI (1706-1784): Sonata III, MANUEL BLASCO DE NEBRA (1750-1784): Pastorela IV, ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): Fandango. Two centuries of Italian and Spanish keyboard music, centered around the first recording of the fifteen pieces contained in the Medici Harpsichord Book which the note-writer makes a mild case for having been the compositions of the music patron Ferdinando de' Medici (whose sight-reading abilities were remarkable and who also had taken composition courses). Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord). Deux-Elles DXL 1083 (England) 06H018 $16.98

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1751): 12 Sinfonie e concerti a cinque, Op. 2. This collection, published in 1700, includes such unusual characteristics as two distinct and concertato viola parts in the symphonies and a third, ripieno, violin in the concertos (giving an effect halfway between the Corellian concerto grosso and the Vivaldian solo concerto), and five-part fugues as the second movements of all the symphonies. Insieme Strumentale di Roma; Giorgio Sasso. Original 1999 Stradivarius release. Stradivarius Echo STR 11009 (Italy) 06H019 $8.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Sacred Music, Vol. 2 - Laudate pueri Dominum, RV 600, Stabat Mater, RV 621, Canta in prato, ride in monte, RV 623, Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV 625. The second of eleven CDs in this new series which should appeal to collectors new to Vivaldi's sacred music and those who haven't been collecting the Hyperion complete edition. Latin-English texts. Tracy Smith Bessette (soprano), Marion Newman (contralto), Aradia Ensemble; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.557852 (New Zealand) 06H020 $7.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Motet In furore iustissimae irae, RV 626, Sinfonia "Al Santo Sepulcro", RV 169, Psalm Laudate pueri, RV 601, Concerto for Violin and Organ in D Minor, RV 541, Concerto in F for Violin, Strings and Harpsichord "Per la Solennità di San Lorenzo", RV 286. The latest collection of sacred vocal and instrumental works from the huge collection of Vivaldi manuscripts and autographs in the University of Turin library. Latin-English texts. Sandrine Piau (soprano), Stefano Montanari (violin), Accademia Bizantina; Ottavio Dantone. Naïve OP 30416 (France) 06H021 $16.98

GEORG FRIEDRICH KAUFFMANN (1679-1735): Harmonische Seelenlust. This serial publication of organ preludes (1733) represented the first such edition since Scheidt's Tabulatura nova in 1624. This recording offers just over a third of the 98 preludes on 63 chorales, four of them adding an oboe placed, as the composer put it, so as to imitate an organ stop. Maurizio Croci (Treutmann organ of the Stiftskirche, Grauhof, Germany), Kerstin Kramp (oboe). Stradivarius STR 33704 (Italy) 06H022 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Cantata for Pastor Joh. Jacob Schäffer, H 821m, Cantata for Pastor Joh. Christoph Friderici, H 821g, Choruses: Leite mich nach deinem Willen, H 835, Mein Heiland, meine Zuversicht, H 830, Amen! Lob und Preis und Stärke, H 834. In the Hamburg half of his career, Bach composed 18 cantatas for the installation of pastors and preachers. This music has been neglected both because of its "occasional" nature and because the music itself, looted by the Russians, did not return to Berlin until 2000. So we should not be surprised by the quality of these pieces (from 1175 and 1785), the depth of some of the choruses and the beauty of some of the arias. German-English texts. Himlische Cantorey, Les Amis de Philippe; Ludger Rémy. CPO 777 108 (Germany) 06H023 $15.98

CLAUDE-BENIGNÉ BALBASTRE (1729-1799): 20 pièces de clavecin. The connection between the music composed and the effect it had on instrumental design is behind this new release. Balbastre was quite interested in keyboard instrument design and the twenty works recorded here (most from before 1759) are played on the instrument most appropriate to the music. Two 36-page booklets - one devoted entirely to an interview with the performer. 2 CDs. Mitzi Meyerson (harpsichord, fortepiano). Glossa GCD 921803 (Spain) 06H024 $37.98

JAN KRTITEL KRUMPHOLTZ (1747-1790): Simphonies Concertantes in F and in B Flat for Harp, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 5, Simphonies in F and G for Harp and Orchestra, Op. 11. Late in the last century, we offered a first volume of concertos by this composer on this label (a second seems mysteriously to have been missed). Here, with different artists, is the third volume of Clarton's Krumpholtz series, containing first recordings of pairs of three-movement works from 1779 and 1784 in Paris, full of the glittering artistry and easy melodies which the cognoscenti of the French capital demanded. Hana Müllerová (harp), Vojtech Spurny (piano), Prague Philharmonia; Jaroslav Krcek. Clarton CQ 0035-2 (Czech Republic) 06H025 $16.98 Ø

IVAN KHANDOSHKIN (1747-1804): 3 Solo Violin Sonatas, Op. 3, 6 Old Russian Songs for Violin and Viola or Cello. No dupication of material here with 03H023; those duos for two violins date from 1794 and these Old Russian Songs, specifiying viola accompaniment (varied here) come from 1783. The Op. 3 sonatas, (c.1800) are virtuosic showpieces, like multi-movement caprices, which anticipate Paganini, combining brilliant technique, strong emotionality and, often, whimsical humor. Anastasia Khitruk (violin), Dmitry Yakubovsky (viola), Kyrill Yevtushenko (cello). Naxos 8.570028 (New Zealand) 06H026 $7.98

JEAN LOUIS DUPORT (1749-1819): 21 Etüdes with an accompaniment of a second cello, SEBASTIAN LEE (1805-1887): 40 Easy Studies with an accompaniment of a second cello, Op. 70. A previous 3 CD set of etudes by Popper proved surprisingly popular, so here's another similar disc from the same cellist and label. Duport will be familiar to collectors and his group of exercises (which take up around two-thirds of these discs) date from around 1813; Lee was a German cellist (first chair at the Paris Opera) who, after retiring in 1868, wrote a method and several groups of etudes for students. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Martin Rummel (cello), Sebastian Hartung (second cello). Musicaphon M 56878 (Germany) 06H027 $15.98

JOSEF REICHA (1752-1795): Cello Concertos in D and in A, Op. 4/1, Concerto for Violin and Cello in D, Op. 3. Very elegant and Classical concertos with catchy rondo finales. This Reicha didn't write as much as his famous nephew Antonin and connoisseurs of the high Classical period will want this reissue. Mikael Ericsson (cello), Jana Vlachová (violin), Czech Chamber Orchestra; Ondrej Kukal. Original 1995 Panton release. Supraphon SU 3873 (Czech Republic) 06H028 $10.98

PAVEL VRANICKY (1756-1808): Symphonies in C, Op. 11, in D, Op. 36, in D, Op. 52 and in C. These symphonies have a rough vitality, especially in their finales, and masterful motivic and thematic transformation, which suggests the young Beethoven mixed with late Haydn (impressive slow intros to all four first movments). If you don't have these, don't miss them now! Dvorák Chamber Orchestra; Bohumil Gregor. Original 1990 and 1993 Supraphon releases. Supraphon SU 3875 (Czech Republic) 06H029 $21.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): An das Klavier, Die Henne, Schweizer Rundgesang, Anselmuccio, Die Mutter bei der Wiege, Der Mann im Lehnstuhl, An -als ihm die - starb, Das Rosenband, Der Abschied, Die Welt nach Rousseau, Daphne am Bach, An mein Mädchen, Ein Lied um Regen, An den Wind I and II, Das schwarze Lieschen aus Kastilien, Der nordische Witwer, Ein Wiegenlied: Seht doch das kalte Nachtgesicht, Ich bin Vergnügt, Hans und Hanne, An eine Quelle, Phidile, Ich bin ein deutsche Jüngling, Ein Wiegenlied: So schlafe nun, du Kleine, Rheinweinlied, Gesundheit. Written between 1783 and 1788, Kraus' German songs are only a portion of his compositions in the genre but they provide a useful comparandum to the rather small amount of lieder (besides Mozart) from this period. Texts available on-line. Birgid Steinberger (soprano), Martin Hummel (baritone), Glen Wilson (fortepiano). Naxos 8.557452 (New Zealand) 06H030 $7.98

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Lo sposo de tre e marito di nessuna. Early Cherubini: dating from 1783, this was the second of only two ventures into the field of opera buffa with all of the high and low characters, some deriving from commedia dell'arte, of that Neapolitan genre. What's new, though, is the young composer's employment of the orchestra to underline character (especially prominent) and of what would then have been heard as unorthodox harmonies. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Maria Laura Martorana (soprano), Emanuele D'Aguanno (tenor), Giulio Mastrototaro (baritone), Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia; Davide Livermore. Dynamic CDS 503/1-2 (Italy) 06H031 $35.98

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): String Quintet in E Minor, GEORGE ONSLOW (1784-1853): String Quintets in E Minor, Op. 19 and in G Minor, Op. 51. All three works are claimed as world premiere recordings (the Cherubini for its complete version), but I'll let you collectors out there consult your own lists and shelves. Early and late works from Onslow show his progression to a "serious", later style while Cherubini's 1837 work, over half an hour long, is practically completely devoted to intensive motivic development; its own "seriousness" should appeal to all chamber music devotees. Diogenes Quartet, Manuel van der Nahmer (cello). CPO 777 187 (Germany) 06H032 $15.98

FRIEDRICH WITT (1771-1837): Concerto for 2 Horns and Orchestra in F, FRANZ XAVER POKORNY (1729-1794): Concerto for 2 Horns, 2 Flutes and Strings in F, LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-1787): Concerto for 2 Horns, Strings and Continuo in E Flat, Sinfonia da caccia for 4 Horns, Strings, Timpani and Continuo in G, ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Horn Concerto in F. Repertoire otherwise unavailable from the early days of period instrument recordings. Hermann Baumann (horn), Mahir Çakar, Christoph Kohler, Jean-Pierre Lepetit (other horns). Concerto Amsterdam; Jaap Schröder. Original 1981 Teldec? recording. Arts Archives 43049-2 (Germany) 06H033 $12.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Complete String Quintets, Vol. 4 - No. 7 in G Minor, Op. 144, Sextet in C, Op. 140, Potpourri for 3 Violins, Viola and Cello, Op. 22. The often melancholy quintet of 1850 is joined by the 1848 sextet, a melodically rich work which sparked a new interest in the genre, and the unusually-scored Potpourri which includes variations on a Russian folk-tune and Mozart's Là ci darem la mano. New Haydn Quartet, Attila Falvay (third violin), Sándor Papp (second viola), Tamás Varga (second cello). Original 1998 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555968 (New Zealand) 06H034 $7.98

FRIEDRICH ERNST FESCA (1789-1826): 3 String Quartets, Op. 1. Fesca left 16 string quartets and it's a measure of his contemporary importance that the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung contained more mentions of Fesca's quartets during the last ten years of his life than of those by any other composer. However, his painstaking craftsmanship and harmonic wit are not the heaven-storming heroics of Beethoven or the intimate emotional dramas of Schubert so here we are in 2006 with first recordings of these solid, worthy pieces. Authentic Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 32302 (Hungary) 06H035 $17.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): The Art of Finger Dexterity, Op. 740. These fifty studies are almost all in ABA-coda form and were not intended for concert performance but work well enough in small groups that way anyway. Some have a Schubertian atmosphere, some seem to be painting landscapes, but most should appeal to collectors of virtuosic Romantic piano music. Francesco Libetta (piano). VAI Audio 1241 (U.S.A.) 06H036 $17.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Piano Works, Vol. 6 - Prélude italien, L'innocence italienne and La candeur française, La Venitienne - Canzonetta, Une pensée à Florence, Saltarello à l'italienne, Barcarolle, Impromptu tarantellisé, La Savoie aimante, Marche, Une bagatelle - In nomine patris (Mélodie italienne), Échantillon du chant de Noël à l'italienne, Première Communion, Tarantelle pur sang (avec traversée de la procession). As you can tell, the motif for this volume of Irmer's collection, performed on a 1901 Steinway D, is Italy. 78 and a half minutes of attractive, catchy and memorable melodies, sometimes (but not always) with a whiff of the stage, sometimes almost of recital-stage quality, but all of it full of Rossini's almost unique mixture of melancholy and joie de vivre. Stefan Irmer (piano). MD&G 618 1386-2 (Germany) 06H037 $17.98

IGNACY FELIKS DOBRZYNSKI (1807-1867): Grande Valse, Op. 63, Impromptu, Op. 54, 2 Nocturnes, Op. 23, 2 Mazurkas, Op. 37, STANISLAW MONIUSZKO (1819-1872): Valse No. 2, JULIUSZ ZAREBSKI (1854-1885): Grande Polonaise, Op. 6, EUGENIUSZ PANKIEWICZ (1857-1898): 2 Mazurkas de Concert, Op. 3, HENRYK MELCER (1869-1928): Valse à la Chopin, Nocturne, SIGISMUND STOJOWSKI (1870-1946): Mazurka Fantasque, Op. 28/1, PIOTR MOSS (b.1949): Form IX. A need to find forgotten Polish composers writing in the shadow of Chopin (for a French Radio program) led Polish composer Piotr Moss to exhume these scores from the Warsaw National Library. A glance at the titles will immediately make this 1997 release, never before distributed in the U.S., mandatory for Romantic piano collectors. Véronique Briel (piano). Dux 0265 (Poland) 06H038 $16.98 Ø

FANNY MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847): Reise Album. First complete recording of Fanny's musical journal of her family's trip to Italy during 1839-40 with an hour's worth of music consisting of five songs, four duets, a vocal quartet (texts by Goethe, Heine, Lenau, Geibel and husband Wilhelm Hensel) and eight piano pieces. German-English texts. Dörthe Maria Sandmann (soprano), Ulrike Bartsch (alto), Philip Mayers (piano), Ensemble Vokalzeit. Coviello Classics SACD hybrid 50505 (Germany) 06H039 $18.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): 3 Psalmen, Op. 78, Hear my prayer, 6 Sprüche für das Kirchenjahr, Op. 79, Magnificat, Op. 69/3, Ave Maria, Op. 23/2, Die deutsche Liturgie, Laudate pueri, Op. 39/2, Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt, Beati mortui, Op. 115/1. Still infrequently recorded, Mendelssohn's large body of sacred choral music, with its beauty and serenity coupled with superb contrapuntal craftsmanship, is a bridge between the Bachian baroque idiom (remember that he helped revive Bach's reputation in the early 19th century) and the richer Romantic style of Brahms. German-English texts. Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge; Richard Marlow. Chandos 10363 (England) 06H040 $17.98

JOHANN CARL ESCHMANN (1826-1882): 2 Gedichte, Op. 2, 5 Lieder, Op. 7, 2 Heimgekehrte, Op. 10, Zwiegesang, Op. 11, An Louise von C., Op. 32, Aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers, Op. 34, Aus glücklichen Tagen, Op. 48, In stiller Nacht, Op. 49. And more drawing-room Romanticism in the Schumann-Brahms vein from this Swiss composer, whose attractive piano pieces have already appeared on this label. German-English texts. Yvonne Howard (mezzo), Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor), Kathron Sturrock (piano), Andrew Fuller (cello - op. 11), Nicholas Korth (horn - op. 10). Guild GMCD 7295 (Switzerland) 06H041 $16.98

GAETANO BRAGA (1829-1907): Il Ritratto. No, not the Brazilian Braga - the one you know as a cellist/composer. He wrote nine operas and this one, from 1858, is a pleasant, reactionary throwback to opera seria, one lovely tune after another rolling by, with a couple of brilliant soprano arias - very much out of date in 1858, but that means nothing in 2006 to lovers of easy, Italianate melody and composers who knew how to please an audience. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Liliana Marzano (soprano), Aldo Di Toro (tenor), Denver Martin Smith (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of Stagione Lirica Teramana; Marco Moresco. Bongiovanni GB 2392/93 (Italy) 06H042 $33.98

KARL GOLDMARK (1830-1915): Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 1 - 8 Charakterstücke, Arabella, die Flatterhalfte, Märchen, Klage, Begegnung, Ungeduld - Novelette, Ungarische Fantasie, [Klavierstücke in D Flat and D Minor]. Unlike most composers, Goldmark wrote the majority of his pieces for the piano in old age. The set of Charakterstücke date from 1903-1909 and all the other items on this disc are equally late. Still, the models - as Goldmark remained conservative all his life - are Schumann and Liszt (but look for a Wagner quote in the D Flat [Klavierstücke]) - and the Romanticism is warm and affectionate. Tihamér Hlavacsek (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32387 (Hungary) 06H043 $17.98

FILIPPO MARCHETTI (1832-1902): Romeo e Giulietta. Marchetti was part of the transition from Verdi (without the sharp psychological characterizations and with much elegiac, sentimental melody) to Catalani and verismo and there are obvious nods to La traviata and Ballo in maschera in this 1865 work which preceded the only opera the composer is still known for - Ruy Blas. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Roberto Iuliano (tenor), Serena Daollo (soprano), Bratislava Chamber Choir, Orchestra Internazionale D'Italia; Andriy Yurkevych. Dynamic CDS 502/1-2 (Italy) 06H044 $35.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Symphony No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 28, Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 36, Symphony No. 3 in E, Op. 51, Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 44, Konzerstück in F Sharp Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 84, Swedish Dances, Op. 63. The only symphony cycle since the Masur set on Philips back in 1988 but, even though there's only 12 more minutes of music here than on the Philips 2 CD set, that's out of print and this may appeal to SACD buyer and to collectors who'd like a complete set for comparison. Ursula Schoch (violin), Neue Philharmonie Westfalen; Johannes Wildner. 3 CDs. ebs SACD hybrid 6141 (Germany) 06H045 $53.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26, Konzerstück in F Sharp Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 84, Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 42. A rather short disc for Naxos (53:27) but we offer it for the less frequently heard couplings to the evergreen concerto. Maxim Fedotov (violin), Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.557689 (New Zealand) 06H046 $7.98

MODEST MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881): Sorochintsy Fair (compl. Vissarion Shebalin [1902-1963]). This new recording from 1996, a solid, professionally done studio job, is the only one currently available on CD. Conceived in 1874 (from a story by Gogol), this comic opera remained unfinished at the composer's death and, after various attempts at completion by Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui and Nikolai Tcherepnin, Shebalin completed the orchestration with Pavel Lamm editing the texts and this version, recorded here, was published in 1933. The work itself is full of peasant humor and good spirits, marking a sharp turn from realism to nationalism in Mussorgsky's style. 2 CDs. No libretto. German Kuklin (bass), Svetlana Zapizniak (mezzo), Vitaly Petrov (tenor), Chorus and Orchestra of the Ekaterinburg Opera Theatre; Evgeni Brazhnik. Ural no catalogue number (Russia) 06H047 $33.98 Ø

GIOVANNI SGAMBATI (1841-1914): Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 4 - 2 Studi da Concerto, Op. 10, Musica per concorso, 3 Impromptus, Op. 29, 3 Impromptus (second set), Noël for Piano Four Hands, Fragments: Rapsodia, Improvvisando, Allegro vivace, Transcriptions: Introduction et Etude brillante, Op. 41 (work "Reveil des Fées" by Emile Prudent [1817-1863]), L'Emir de Bengador (Romance by Princess Lise Trubetzkoy). The op. 10 studies are among Sgambati's rare virtusoso concert pieces, sounding like a soundtrack for an early Mario Bava horror film set in a crumbling Alpine castle; for the rest, a couple of teaching pieces, more typical salon-style pieces (the Impromptus) and some unpublished and unrecorded fragments. At least one more volume to follow. Francesco Caramiello (piano), Filippo Siano (Noël). Tactus TC 841904 (Italy) 06H048 $11.98

ASGER HAMERIK (1843-1923): Symphony No. 7 for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 40, Requiem for Contralto, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 34. Hamerik's symphony cycle is now complete with his choral work of 1887. A three-movement work lasting 35 minutes, with a solo mezzo in the middle movement, the piece originally carried the title "Life, Death and Immortality" - although the "Death" second movement has much of a scherzo about it. The texts are Hamerik's own and the style commensurate with his first six symphonies. The Requiem clocks in at almost 44 minutes, dates from 1898 and, in structure, follows Hamerik's one-time teacher, Berlioz. The composer wrote little else after this piece and, although surely unintentional given how long he was still to live, its large scale, often grandiose and spectacular in orchestration, seems to act as the peroration for Hamerik's career. Danish-English texts. Randi Stene (mezzo), Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir/DR; Thomas Dausgaard. Dacapo 8.226033 (Denmark) 06H049 $15.98

EUGÉNE GIGOUT (1844-1925): Complete Organ Works, Vol. 5 - Suite de 3 Morceaux, Intermezzo, Rapsodie sur des Airs populaires du Canada, Cortège, 10 Pieces from 100 Pièces Bréves Nouvelles, Transcriptions: Fantaisie Dialoguée, Op. 35 (Boëllmann), March Religieuse (Balorre), Air Celebre de la Pentecôte (Bach), Tollite Hostias (Saint-Saëns). The final volume in this series is a bit of catch-all but, for those who collected the first four, you're probably going to want to complete the set. Gerard Brooks (Cavaillé-Coll organs of Perpignan Cathedral). Priory PRCD 765 (England) 06H050 $16.98

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908): Mlada. Strangely, this is the only available CD recording of this colorful opera-ballet, made by the charismatic young Svetlanov in 1962 and restored and released in 2001 by his estate. The genre was already long-dead by 1892 when the piece was premiered (the title character is a ballerina, not a singer), but Rimsky's sudden fascination with Wagner (check out the Act III prelude) and the spectactle of huge numbers of brilliantly costumed dancers on lavishly set stages was irresistable and he produced a characteristic score which, while not possible to have the same impact as the visuals just mentioned, will still delight collectors of Russian nationalist opera. The wide-ranging, deep stereo image once again proves that Soviet vinyl was usually the problem - not the recording technology. 2 CDs. No libretto. Tatyana Tugarinova (soprano), Vladmir Makhov (tenor), Nina Kulagina (mezzo), Alexey Korolev (bass), USSR Large Chorus and Radio Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov. Russian Disc RDCD 00700-01 (Russia) 06H051 $33.98 Ø

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet, Op. 24, Songs of the Sea, Op. 91, Songs of the Fleet, Op. 117. Though Irish, Stanford was a Protestant and a committed British patriot and these settings of patriotic, not to say jingoistic, poetry by Tennyson and Sir Henry Newbolt were just the thing to get a young British man's heart racing in the great decades of British naval supremancy when they were composed - 1886 to 1910. Sure-fire must-haves for collectors of British choral music but, of course, the rousing, full-scale battle music the orchestra provides in The Revenge (the accompaniments for the song sets run from chamber textures to full-roar also), make these of interest to orchestral buyers too. Texts included. Gerald Finley (baritone - op. 91 and 117), BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos SACD 5043 (England) 06H052 $21.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Oresteia. Although the Belorussian State Opera recording from 1966, which was licensed to DG, has never been issued on CD, this previously unknown recording suddenly pops up as Vol. 7 in a Preobrazhenskaya series! At 133 minutes (which includes both the 17-minute concert "overture" and the real, two-minute prelude), about 60 or so minutes are missing but the booklet actually tells us which parts were cut in order to fit the requirements of radio presentation. The brilliant contrapuntal quartet right before Orestes murders his mother and Aegisthus appears to be gone, although not noted as such, but the psychologically compelling scene of the Furies tormenting Orestes at the beginning of Act III is here to enjoy. Excellent mono sound. 2 CDs. No libretto. Victor Morozov (bass), Sophia Preobrazhenskaya (mezzo), Mikhail Dovenman (tenor), Nina Serval (soprano), Leningrad Radio Choir, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra; Gemal Dalgat. (Recorded Jan. 8 and 15, 1958.) IM Lab IMLCD077 (Russia) 06H053 $33.98 Ø

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Complete Works for Wind Quintet - Harmony Music, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 "The Farmyard" and 5, 6 Promenades, 4 Dances, 5 Intermezzos, Adagio cantabile "Mrs Winslow's Soothing Syrup", Andante con variazioni "Evesham Andante". For the idiosyncratic ensemble of two flutes, oboe, clarinet and bassoon (what Elgar and his friends could play), these pieces all date from 1878-9 and range from a minute or so in length to the symphonic proportions of Harmony Music No. 5 (in four movements and lasting over 27 minutes). Performed on the BBC in 1976 by the ensemble here, these works may never have been heard in public before; the recording (analogue) was made two years later and were issued on CD at mid-price in 1992. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Athena Ensemble. Original 1978 Chandos releases. Chandos 241-33 (England) 06H054 $17.98

SERGEI LYAPUNOV (1859-1924): Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 61 (USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sergei Gorchakov. 1948), ALBERT LEHMAN (b.1915): Violin Concerto (USSR RSO; Alexei Kovalev. 1951), ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 82 (Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Kirill Kondrashin. 1952). Although many of you will want to have this, mono and all, for the only currently available CD recording of Lyapunov's concerto (a little less melodically memorable than Glazunov's, but what wouldn't be?), Lehman's concerto from 1951 is the big winner. It, in fact, is also more melodically memorable than the Lyapunov and, since it was written in 1951, it had to be in an approachable style (it's also the longest piece here, at almost 27 minutes). It could have been written 50 or 75 years earlier but that's not a slight - a hauntingly memorable melody which sounds Japanese binds the outer movements together, with a short Andantino in the center. Lehman was a Volga German, like Schnittke, and I wish I could tell you more about him but this release, sponsored by the Sitkovetsky/Davidovich family, cares nothing about the music - not a word about the composers. If you don't mind mono sound (absolutely clear with almost no hiss), you're going to love the Lehman! Yulian Sitkovetsky (violin). Artek AR-0028-2 (U.S.A.) 06H055 $16.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - in C Minor, Op. 75 & in F, Op. 124. Coming only a year after the Second, the Third (1915) shows the same tendencies in harmony and counterpoint, Grechaninov being a cosmopolitan composer aware of such new styles as those of Debussy, Scriabin and the German late Romantics, while his fourth and last quartet comes from 1929 when he was in the fifth year of exile, living in Paris. The first movement quotes meaninfully from Beethoven's fifth symphony and there are Russian elements in the slow movement - a look back at happier times - while the final two movements are generally upbeat, youthful-sounding and the work ends with a sunny coda. Utrecht String Quartet. MD&G 603 1388 (Germany) 06H056 $17.98

PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935): Symphony in C, Polyeucte (BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier), L'Apprenti sorcier, La Péri (w/Fanfare) (Ulster Orchestra; Tortelier), Piano Sonata in E Flat Minor, Prélude élégiaque, La Plainte, au loin, du faune... (Margaret Fingerhut [piano]). A well-filled budget-priced basket of Dukas, with the symphony and sonata his two largest-scale works. Only one other budget-price recording of the symphony exists. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Original 1989, 1990 and 1994 Chandos releases. Chandos 241-32 (England) 06H057 $17.98

PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935): Piano Sonata in E Flat Minor, ABEL DECAUX (1869-1943): Clairs de lune. Dukas' king-sized sonata (45 minutes here), produced at a time when France was in a deep period of Beethoven-worship, has several other recordings and is offered here, of course, for its pianist. Decaux, however, would have made the disc appear just for his set of four wildly forward-looking works on their own. Dating from 1900-07, they were the only thing he ever wrote, firmly in the Poe via Mallarmé and Baudelaire literary genre of gibbous moon, nocturnal luminescences, motionless ghosts and murky shadows - in short, the nightmare world of Gaspard, except that didn't come out until 1908. Some chords suggest the Schoenberg of Das Buch der hängenden Gärten - but that didn't appear until 1909; other uses of keyboard color suggest Debussy's prelude Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest - but that didn't exist until 1909 also. You get the idea: where did this guy come from and why didn't he write anything else? Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67513 (England) 06H058 $18.98

ETTORE POZZOLI (1873-1957): 31 Studi di media difficoltà, Idillio, 27 Studi a moto rapido, 16 Studi sulle note ribattute, Riflessi di mare. Composer, pianist and teacher at the Milan Conservatory, Pozzoli produced all of his teaching etudes between the world wars and the three most important groups are gathered here along with two concert works, one pastorally inspired and a group of three characteristic sea-pieces which could also double as etudes. 2 CDs. Francesco Libetta (piano). Nireo 001/2 (Italy) 06H059 $35.98

REINHOLD GLIERE (1875-1956): String Quartets No. 1 in A, Op. 2 & No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 20. Do not buy these world premiere recordings if you despise pseudo-folk melodies, kitschy Orientalisms, luscious late 19th century harmonies, tunes that stick in your head for hours after hearing them only once or if you cannot eat at least a whole pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream at a single sitting. Composed in 1900 and 1905, these quartets could easily be newly discovered works by Borodin or Rimsky-Korsakov in his most nationalist mood. It's no wonder (as if we needed to be reminded) that Gliere became a prized showpiece of Soviet musical life. The most fattening chamber music wallow you're likely to have this year! Pulzus String Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 32401 (Hungary) 06H060 $17.98

ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948): Idillio-Concertino for Oboe, Strings and 2 Horns, Op. 15, Concertino for English Horn, Strings and 2 Horns, Op. 34, Suite Concertino for Bassoon, Strings and 2 Horns, Op. 16. Dating from 1932, 1933 and 1947, these three suites, identically-scored in their accompaniment, with the pairs of horns giving a delicate wash of color to the string orchestra, came close to what would be considered light music today - or, if you like, carried on the serenade tradition of Mozart's wind-based open-air compositions. Each provides 19 to 24 minutes of genial musical relaxation centered around rapt and meditative slow movements. Piet Van Bockstal (oboe, english horn), Luc Loubry (bassoon), West Saxon Symphony Orchestra; Hans Rotman. Talent SACD hybrid DOM 2929 90 (Belgium) 06H061 $17.98

JOSEPH MARX (1882-1964): Italienisches Liederbuch (complete), Wie einst, Nocturne, Hat dich die Liebe berührt, Selige Nacht, Barkarole, Jugend und Alter, Marienlied, Zigeuner, Pierrot Dandy, Frage und Antwort, Und gestern hat er mir Rosen gebracht, Christbaum. Marx's æsthetic is the richest, fullest Romanticism, but hints of the modernism in the air in the turbulent first decade of the 20th century keep surfacing - for example in the unstable, glittering pyrotechnics of the surreal Pierrot Dandy, or the extraordinary range of expression in the Whitman setting 'Youth and Age' - a most unusual choice for a lieder composer, with Whitman's characteristic extrapolation from personal to universal concerns (the textures achieved here are quasi-orchestral; the brief piano coda is pure Bruckner). Even in the songs that more closely conform to the conventions of the Romantic lied, the abandoned and infatuated lovers, nature symbolism and intimations of mortality are handled with an unusually acute sense of dramatic contour and precisely etched characterisation. Also noteworthy is the (sometimes extreme) virtuosity and sophistication of the piano parts - coupled to an exquisite sense of balance with the voice, which is never overpowered even by the densest piano textures. First complete recording of Italienisches Liederbuch. German-English texts. Sarah Leonard (soprano), Jonathan Powell (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9061 (U.S.A.) 06H062 $18.98

EDGAR BAINTON (1880-1956): String Quartet in A, HUBERT CLIFFORD (1904-1959): String Quartet in D. Bainton spent the First World War in a German internment camp with, among others, Benjamin Dale, and wrote his quartet there (Ruhleben) in 1915 before making a few small cuts and adding a fourth movement in 1920. The piece is generally genial - nothing to do with the circumstances under which it was written - and with the attractive blend of English pastoralism and French Impressionism which many young British composers were trying out at the time. Clifford's dates from 1935 and appears to have had a program attached which was abandoned before completion. A little more "serious" than Bainton but still with plenty of attractive melodies in its fast movments, this quartet is developed entirely out of the material of its opening adagio. The Locrian Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7163 (England) 06H063 $18.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Trio for Piano, Violin and Clarinet, Romance for Clarinet and Piano, Clarinet Sonata in E (all World premiere recordings), Clarinet Sonata in D, Piano Trio in B Flat, Folk-Tale for Cello and Piano. Yes, there's still unrecorded Bax out there - 34 minutes of it on this disc which has what were apparently the first two movements of an unfinished clarinet sonata from the composer's 18th year and a trio from 1906 (another version extant has a viola in place of the clarinet) which is one of the most ambitious of his youthful works. No question about the value of this disc! Robert Plane (clarinet), Gould Piano Trio. Naxos 8.557698 (New Zealand) 06H064 $7.98

EDRIC CUNDELL (1893-1961): String Quartet in C, Op. 27, ELIZABETH MACONCHY (1907-1994): Oboe Quintet (Helen Gaskill [oboe]), CECIL ARMSTRONG GIBBS (1889-1960): String Quartet No. 7, Op. 73, ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): String Quartet No. 1 in G. In 1932 the English newspaper The Daily Telegraph ran a chamber music competition whose three winners got recordings and performances by this famous quartet. Deleted in 1936, these recordings have not been available again until now. First Prize: Cundell with a virile and energetic score of bounding good humor with a melancholy slow movement. Second: Maconchy, whose folk-music infused quintet is dozens of times more instantly approachable than her late string quartets; and Third: Gibbs, with slow openings to all three movements, a fascinating slow movement with a fast, light-as-a-feather center part and catchy final fugue. The Bax is particularly valuable as the work was in the Griller's repertoire for years and all the sides recorded were single-takes. Griller Quartet. Recorded 1933 except Bax - 1941. Dutton Labs CDBP 9762 (England) 06H065 $8.98

HUMPHREY PROCTER-GREGG (1895-1980): Violin Sonata No. 3 in F, Horn Sonata in A, Clarinet Sonata, Westmoreland Sketchesfor Piano, Nos. 23-26. Given that Procter-Gregg wrote four violin sonatas, two cello sonatas and one each for viola, horn, clarinet and oboe, you might think of him as an English Hindemith. Actually, a really melodic Hindemith would be a better term. The Englishman has the same knack for showing off each instrument in its best light, making use of its most appealing capabilities and characteristics but he also concentrates on singable lines and melody, melody and melody (even though the melodies are actually derived from smaller motifs). The emotional range is not extremely wide - from the double-time high-spirits of a good long walk in the country to a thoughtful reverie are the limits - but that, in itself can be a relief from high-strung emotionalism. Very attractive stuff! Richard Howarth (violin), Nicholas Cox (clarinet), Robert Ashworth (horn), Ian Buckle (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7165 (England) 06H066 $18.98

ALLAN PETTERSSON (1911-1980): Symphony No. 12 "The Dead in the Marketplace". This choral symphony was a commission, for the 500th anniversary of the founding of the University of Uppsala, received by the composer in early 1973. Having chosen texts by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda dealing with the slaughter of Chilean workers in 1946 in a government suppression of left-wing and Communist political and labor groups, Pettersson suddenly found himself touched by serendipity when, later that year, the Chilean military ousted elected leftist President Allende. It was unavoidable that his work be seen as a response to this event (although it really wasn't), especially since, by the time of its premiere in 1977, it could hardly appear otherwise. In nine sections, lasting around 53 minutes, the chorus continuously active, the symphony is part of Pettersson's life-long protest against man's cruelty to man and a cry for justice and for a release from violence, pain and misery only, unlike the majority of his music, the abstract becomes concrete with the existence of Neruda's texts. (Set in a Swedish translation, the texts are supplied with only a German translation. For "legal reasons" according to a note in the booklet, neither the original Spanish nor an English translation could be printed.) Swedish-German texts. Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Manfred Honeck. CPO 777 146 (Germany) 06H067 $15.98

FUMIO HAYASAKA-HUMIWO (1914-1955): 17 Piano Pieces for Chamber, Melodies of Romance Nos. 3 & 4, Nocturne, Portrait, Musical Box. The notes to this disc are in Japanese only but the composer will certainly gain respect when he is identified as the writer of the score for Kurosawa's epic "The Seven Samurai". The series of Piano Pieces is reserved, quiet, with that sense of stillness which is hard to define but often present in music from the Far East. Once or twice Satie came to mind but there is usually the sense of deeper levels of emotion and thought, the tempo indications using such unusual adjectives as "umoristico", "impaziente", "dolente", "aussi calma que possibile, delicatamente", "amabile" and "umoroso", only a few sounding overtly Japanese. We may hear more of Hayasaka soon: there's already a Naxos disc out in Japan with his Piano Concerto... Aki Takahashi (piano). Camerata CMCD-28061 (Japan) 06H068 $17.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 18 (rec. 1963), String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 66 (rec. 1961). Important historical recordings of very rare repertoire with excellent notes (yes, I said excellent notes on a Melodiya CD!). The quintet was written in 1944 and has, of course, many similarities with Shostakovich, especially his own 1944 piano trio. In five movements, four of them moderate or fast, with a big, 13-minute largo whose contrapuntal style also recalls Taneyev, this is a fine piece of Soviet war music written by a composer whose sufferings were not over yet. The single-movement, sonata-form, 15-minute quartet, from 1959, will also recall works of very similar form by Shostakovich. Mono. Borodin Quartet, Moisei Vainberg (piano). Melodiya CD 10 00979 (Russia) 06H069 $16.98 Ø

ÇESK ZADEJA (1927-1997): Toccata, Theme and Variations, FEIM IBRAHIMI (1937-1997): Waltz, Dance, TONIN HARAPI (1928-1992): Sonatina, Evening Song, Theme and Variations, ALEKSANDER KOMNINO: Polyphonic Song, Song, TISH DAIJA (1926-2004): Waltz, JANI PAPADHIMITRI (b.1948): The Little Shepherdess, SIMON GJONI (1926-1991): Prelude in E Minor, Toccata, RAMADAN SOKOLI (b.1920): Albanian Rhapsody No. 2, KOZMA LARA (b.1931): Ballade No. 2, Sonata No. 2, ALBERTO PAPARISTO (b.1925): Scherzo, Dance. As all but one of these composers were also represented on the first volume of this series which we offered in Dec. 2003, I can say the same thing about the music: under Hoxha's dictatorship, it was forbidden to perform anything written after the death of Stalin, anything by Shostakovich or anything dodecaphonic or Impressionistic. Folk melodies, dance rhythms and the imitation of folk instruments are the building blocks for all of these works but the tradition is varied and rich enough that there is ample pleasure to be had, without a sense of surfeit, throughout the 75 minutes of music here. Kirsten Johnson (piano). Guild GMCD 7300 (Switzerland) 06H070 $16.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Country Band March (arr. James B. Sinclair [b.1947]), MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1934): 10 Märsche um den Sieg zu verfehlen, RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883): Huldigungsmarsch, Trauermusik, ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): March in E Flat, KURT WEILL (1900-1950): Berlin im Licht, MARCEL WENGLER (b.1946): Versuche über einen Marsch, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Funeral Music for Queen Mary (arr. Steven Stucky [b.1949]). As varied a group of marches as you're likely to find, with Bruckner's 1865 work for the local Rifleman's Company in Linz perhaps the most unexpected while the deconstructionist method employed by Kagel in his 1979 composition is taken up two years later by the Luxemburger Wengler. Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra; Clark Rundell. Chandos 10367 (England) 06H071 $17.98

PETER LIEBERSON (b.1946): Horn Concerto (William Purvis [horn], Odense Symphony Orchestra; Donald Palma), The Six Realms - Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra (Michaela Fukacová [cello], Odense SO; Justin Brown), 5 Rilke Songs (Lorraine Hunt Lieberson [mezzo], Peter Serkin [piano]). These recent works are typical of the focus of much of Lieberson's mature music; intense emotional expression and close collaboration with soloists, leading to works of great personal expressiveness. The Rilke songs are lovely examples of the Lieder tradition extended to the present day. The Cello Concerto is a Romantically descriptive portrayal of six levels of human consciousness derived from Lieberson's practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Lieberson's language is largely one of freely chromatic tonality, which in combination with his meticulous and varied use of orchestral colour lends this and the Horn Concerto a richness and warmth which renders both works instantly appealing. The latter work emphasises the lyrical capabilities of the horn, in music of great variety and direct emotional utterance. Bridge 9178 (U.S.A.) 06H072 $16.98

FRED LERDAHL (b.1943): Waves (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Original 1992 Deutsche Grammophone release), Time After Time (Columbia Sinfonietta; Jeffrey Milarsky), Marches (Antares), Oboe Quartet (La Fenice). These varied ensemble works display great diversity and ingenuity, and retain a directly communicative accessibility throughout. Frequently employing what the composer refers to as 'spiral' forms - musical ideas expanding in increasing elaboration as a work progresses - these pieces are fundamentally rooted in tonality, though frequently of a somewhat extended kind. References to earlier styles of music also provide a grounding reference for the listener, either entertainingly, as in 'Marches' or by providing a superficially familiar formal framework, as in the exhilarating 'Waves'. Bridge 9191 (U.S.A.) 06H073 $16.98

RICHARD WERNICK (b.1934): String Quartet No. 5, JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): The Rewaking, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): String Quartet No. 3, Op. 40. Here are three distinguished contributions to the genre of string quartet plus voice, started up by Schönberg with his Second Quartet. Wernick's work is a densely chromatic work written in response to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and setting two poems by Hannah Senesh (1921-44) in the elegiac outer movements, separated by two tense and edgy scherzi. The 3rd Quartet is late Ginastera, technically very advanced, with extended playing techniques, quarter-tones and aleatoric passages incorporated into a serial composition which nonetheless achieves great expressive intensity. In no small part this is due to the huge range of expression required of the soprano, incorporated into the ensemble as a member of a quintet, so to speak, like the composer's Schönbergian model. The Harbison functions more like a song cycle (poems by William Carlos Williams) with quartet accompaniment, though as a string player, Harbison writes accompaniments of a very high degree of idiomatic sophistication. Texts and translation included. Benita Valente (soprano), Juilliard String Quartet. Bridge 9192 (U.S.A.) 06H074 $16.98

LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Sequenzas: I for Flute (Nora Shulman N, Paula Robison M), II for Harp (Erica Goodman N, Susan Jolles M), III for Female Voice (Tony Arnold N, Isabelle Ganz M), IV for Piano (Boris Berman N, Aki Takahashi M), V for Trombone (Alain Trudel N, Stuart Dempster M), VI for Viola (Steven Dann N, Garth Knox M), VIIa for Oboe (Matej Sarc N, Jacqueline Leclair M), VIII for Violin (Jasper Wood N, Irvine Arditti M), IXa for Clarinet (Joaquin Valdepeñas N, Carol Robinson M), X for Trumpet in C and Piano Resonance (Guy Few N, William Forman M), XI for Guitar (Pablo Sáinz Villegas N, Seth Josel M), XII for Bassoon (Ken Munday N, Noriko Shimada M), XIII for Accordion (Joseph Petric N, Stefan Hussong M), XIV for Cello (Darrett Adkins N, Rohan de Saram M), VIIb for Soprano Saxophone (Wallace Halladay N, Kelland Thomas M), IXb for Alto Saxophone (Halladay N). Also on the Mode disc: IXc for Bass Clarinet (Alain Billard M), XIVb for Contrabass (Stefano Scodanibbio M first recording), Rounds (Jane Chapman [harpsichord]), Gesti (Lucia Mense [recorder]), Fa-Si (Gery Verkade [organ] first recording), Les mots sont allés... (Rohan de Saram [cello]), Lied (Carol Robinson [clarinet]), Comma (Robinson [e-flat clarinet] first recording), Psy (Michael Cameron [double bass]), Chanson pour Pierre Boulez (Rohan de Saram [cello] first recording), Gute Nacht (Brian McWhorter [trumpet]). Covering 34 years of Berio's career, his groundbreaking series of Sequenzas, each for a solo instrument, was designed to break new performance ground for each of these instruments, setting standards for performance prowess and stamina but also, in many cases, still being quite communicative and relatively approachable for reasonably adventurous listeners. Two collections have appeared simultaneously. The Naxos (N) offers all 14 originals and 2 alternates while the Mode (M) lacks IXb but adds XIVb, as well as nine other works for solo instruments, four of which are first recordings. Mode also includes the verses Berio commissioned from Edoardo Sanguineti to be recited before (or read) performances; here they are recited by Enzo Salomone. Naxos 8.557661-63 (New Zealand) 3 CDs. 06H075 $23.98 Mode 161/3 (U.S.A.) 4 CDs. 06H076 $51.98

GUNNAR BERG (1909-1989): Gaffky's 1-10 (Danish EMI, 1965), Toccata-Interludium-Fugue (Danish Radio, 1974), Sunstones & Granite, Sonata (both studio, 1969), Fantaisie (studio, 1972). These 'historical' recordings are of great significance in providing a comprehensive portrait of this sternly individual and somewhat elusive composer. The early works, using traditional structures already show signs of the composer's originality and questing imagination. F ormally precise, the works explore a harmonic language which constantly pushes the boundaries of tonality. The two movements from a suite with movements named for types of rocks show Berg experimenting with sonority and very free, irregular rhythms. The concentrated and tautly argued sonata marks a return to a more immediately approachable style; the work is fairly dissonant but firmly grounded in tonality, and would pose no problem to audiences familiar with Bartók or Prokofiev. The Gaffky's (named for a bacteriologist because of the scores' graphic resemblance to bacterial cultures and for the idea of development via organic growth from a 'germ') started to be written about a decade after the sonata, and represent the 'mature' style for which the composer had been searching. Intricately detailed, with a pointillist's sense of sonority, the works require the highest degree of concentration on small 'cells' or individual events, within which dynamics and sonority are of immense importance. Rhythmically highly complex and irregular, these pieces have moved away from any real sense of tonal harmony, except incidentally; the whole point lies elsewhere, in the growth of a complicated but cohesive form from sounding fragments arranged according to serial (though not strictly dodecaphonic) principles. 2 CDs. Béatrice Berg (piano). Danacord DACOCD 613-614 (Denmark) 06H077 $33.98

GLORIA COATES (b.1938): Symphony No. 1 (Music on Open Strings) (Sigerland Orchestra; Jorge Rotter. Rec. 1980), Symphony No. 7 (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Olaf Henzold. Rec. 1997), Symphony No. 14 (Munich Chamber Orchestra; Christoph Poppen. Rec. 2003). The most prolific female symphonist in history and what happens? A new release duplicates two already-recorded symphonies! Arrgh! Still, for those of you who don't know Coates from the two cpo orchestral discs (Symphonies 1, 2 and 7), this release is the ultra-cheap way to get to know her language of chorales, canons, palindromes and other simple material, clothed in a wide variety of glissandos and using large orchestras (often of strings only) to do it, leading to effects which the note-writer, Kyle Gann, likens to "massive destruction by alien hordes, a town destroyed by a volcano". Collectors who like the huge sound-masses and glissandos Xenakis makes use of will certainly like Coates and her newest symphony, from 2001-2, adds microtones and early American hymns by the New England composers Belcher and Billings to her bag of sonic tricks. Naxos American Classics 8.559289 (U.S.A.) 06H078 $7.98


Contemporary Bulgarian Composers, Vol. 2

KRASSIMIR KYURKCHIISKI (b.1936): Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, ALEXANDER TANEV (1928-1996): Construction Music, SIMEON PIRONKOFF (b.1927): Night Music (all w/Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dimitar Manolov), ALEXANDER KANDOV (b.1949): Music for Orchestra (Sofia National Opera Symphony Orchestra; Manolov), PLAMEN DJOUROV (b.1949): Fantasia for Orchestra (Bulgarian National RSO; Plamen Djourov). This collection should have a broader appeal than a cursory look at the composers might suggest. Only Kandov's piece is at all atonal (really freely tonal, I suppose) while Kyurkchiiski's 20-minute take on that most recognizable of Handel's themes is practically Hollywood in its brash colorfulness and good cheer, Pironkoff's Night Music uses dissonance atonality as a film score would to suggest the less restful aspects of night and Djourov's 15-minute Fantasia is practically neo-Romantic. The prize, though, is Tanev's Construction Music, which starts off sounding like Iron Foundry for a few seconds but then winds its way through ballet music, Disneyfied musical extravaganza-type delirium and proves itself to be one of the most endearingly goofy things ever to come out of Eastern Europe. Original 1999 release. Gega CD 252 (Bulgaria) 06H079 $16.98


ARTHUR BUTTERWORTH (b.1923): Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 73, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 121, Viola Sonata, Op. 78. Anglophiles with good memories will remember that we offered Butterworth's first symphony seven years ago this month. The Sibelian affinities of that work also transfer to his chamber works, most of which are late, and particularly in the first trio here (1983). From just a bit later, the sonata has Baxian elements in its outer movements - a "Celtic twilight" feel to which Butterworth happily admits while the 2004 second trio is a more boisterous and energetic work with a hint of la chasse to its finale. Terroni Piano Trio, Morgan Goff (viola). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7164 (England) 06H080 $18.98

RAFAEL DÍAZ (b.1965): Fátima for Flute and String Orchestra, El Libro de Horas for Recorders, Viola da Gamba, Guitar and Narrator, Huasquiña for Flute Ensemble, Oda al Perro Vagabundo for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Baritone, Flute and Guitar, Kyrie for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Baritone, Narrator, String Trio and Double Bass, Rogativa for String Quartet, La Otra Orilla for Soprano, Flute and String Orchestra, Luciérnagas for Guitar. Huasquiña is called a "sound voyage" (it describes the eerie atmosphere of a deserted town in northern Chile), and the same description might apply to all these works to one degree or another. Fluid masses of instrumental or choral texture suggest natural phenomena - wind and water - with much employment of gliding tones and densely heterophonic interweaving of independent lines. The works with narrated texts use this kind of atmospheric scene-setting to suggest vast spaces or time - except 'Ode to the stray dog', which, though melancholy, uses more clearly delineated musical material than elsewhere, and the guitar solo Luciérnagas. The composer's abstract impressionistic nightscapes suggest the kind of thing more commonly encountered in electroacoustic music; his powerful evocations of time and space are especially noteworthy through being achieved by acoustic means. Various artists. No label name or number (Chile) 06H081 $17.98 Ø

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Through Thorns for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet, Consolazione: Flos ut rosa for Harp, Sonora for Flute and Harp, Little Dance for Harp, Swan Descending for Harp, Hedda Gabler - Incidental Music for Viola, Harp and Piano, Notes Falling. Spring Sun with Freckles for Harp, King, Queen and Ace - Concertino for Harp and 13 Instruments. These works, all post-1980, belong to the later period of Nørgård's development as composer, with greater emphasis than previously on harmony and consonant sensuousness. The music remains, however, fiercely discursive and concentrated in narrative, as in the chamber concerto Through Thorns, with its metaphorical narrative of the Virgin Mary's spiritual journey culminating in the birth of Christ. The textures and spare yet paradoxically rich - this is due in part to the polyphonic possibilities of the harp, so well understood and exploited here as elsewhere. Frequently encountered as a texture-filling color-wash instrument, the harp as Nørgård uses it is closer to the folk-harp of Celtic and other folk musics, and this is especially apparent in the short songlike solo works on the CD. The incidental music for Ibsen's play consists of 17 highly evocative and varied scene-setting accompaniments. King, Queen and Ace is Nørgård's earlier chamber concerto for harp; three masterful character portraits (of the playing card characters), with echoes of Romanticism but seen through a gently satirical distorting lens of 20th-century perspectives. Tine Rehling (harp), Esbjerg Ensemble; Kaisa Roose. Dacapo 8.226039 (Denmark) 06H082 $15.98

JAN SLIMÁCEK (b.1939): Musica coreografico for Harpsichord, Games for Saxophone Quartet, Piano Quartet, Spell of Wood for Oboe and Piano, Musica per Ottoni, Rhapsody for Clarinet and Piano, Returns for Violin and Piano, 4 Dialogues for Oboe and Piano. These chamber works are succinct, precise and concentrated, and share a certain austerity of style and expression. The energetic abruptness of the piano quartet (1967, and the earliest work here) sets it apart somewhat from the later works. A similar energy suffuses all the works, though, from the incisive harpsichord suite through the wry Games, to the intensely expressive works for solo instruments with piano, the Rhapsody especially notable for its dramatic strength, while the folk influences in Returns and the more lyrical Spells lend them a ready accessibility. Various artists. Cesky Rozhlas CR0173-2 (Czech Republic) 06H083 $16.98 Ø

KARIN REHNQVIST (b.1957): On a Distant Shore for Clarinet and Orchestra (Martin Fröst [clarinet], Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist), Beginning for Piano Trio (Kungsbacka Piano Trio), Arktis Arktis! for Orchestra (Swedish CO; John Storgårds), I Himmelen for Treble Choir and Solo Voices (Adolf Fredrik's Girls Choir; Bo Johansson). With a background in the most modern idioms, but having developed a subsequent fascination with Swedish folk music, Rehnqvist writes readily accessible music despite using a wide range of modern techniques - including microtones, which invoke the flexible tuning of folk-singing. Not surprisingly, the two large orchestral works here, which deal explicitly with nature imagery, have an organic, elemental quality, in which musical form is less apparent than the kind of structure that one encounters in natural forms. On a Distant Shore fully utilises the sonorous capabilities of the instrument (sometimes in combination with two clarinets, leading to some intriguing spatial illusions). The brief choral work invokes folk-singing styles explicitly, while the trio is a pared-down study in organic growth, sonic tendrils emerging from an initially formless and violent sound to form an intricate web of ambiguous material, like a half-remembered ancestral memory. BIS CD-1396 (Sweden) 06H084 $17.98 Ø

GEORGY SVIRIDOV (1915-1998): Small Tryptich for Orchestra, Poem to the Memory of Sergei Esenin for Tenor, Choir and Orchestra, It is Snowing for Choir and Orchestra. One of Sviridov's few orchestral works, the Small Tryptich is a deliberate throwback to the age of high Romanticism, making use of material derived from Orthodox liturgical chant and rich chorales, bell sounds and long, yearning melodies; leaving aside the obviously 20th-century orchestration, much of the material could be by Tchaikovsky or Mussorgsky. As a evocation of Old Russia this brief tripartite tone-poem is about as successful as one can imagine. The richly eloquent Poem is characteristic of Sviridov's most noted idiom, vocal music; both here and in the small Pasternak cantata he blends traditional choral singing with a highly individual use of the voices as part of the orchestral texture for coloristic effect. Moscow Chamber Choir, Moscow Boys' Choir, Yurlov State Russian Academic Capella, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Fedoseyev. Vista Vera VVCD-00067 (Russia) 06H085 $16.98 Ø

JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (b.1943): From a Dark Millenium, In Evening's Stillness..., ...and the Mountains Rising Nowhere, Recoil, Percussion Concerto. Schwantner delights in the coloristic possibilities of large and varied percussion sections in these wind works, and also expands his instrumental palette by adding unorthodox sounding objects (glass and so on), singing and vocalising by the instrumentalists, and keyboards, all leading to a highly characteristic and original sound-world. Millennium, Stillness and Mountains form a loosely associated trilogy, and share a big-boned, granitic massiveness of texture; the underlying language is indisputably tonal, though incorporating untuned sounds and clusters for color. Mountains also contains an exhilaratingly virtuosic piano part; elsewhere the piano is an important part of the percussion section. The concerto gives free rein to the composer's preoccupation with the enormously varied timbral and articulative potential of percussion. The most recent work by nearly a decade, Recoil is a continuation of the composer's wind symphony tradition, with expanded forces but a similar tonal language and rhythmic drive. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Original Klavier releases. North Texas Wind Symphony; Eugene Migliaro Corporon. GIA Recordings CD-657 (U.S.A.) 06H086 $22.98

IVÁN MADARÁSZ (b.1949): King Matthias and the Shoemaker (Boldizsár Keönch [tenor], György Bordás [baritone], Canticum Chamber Chorus, Hungarian Radio Chamber Orchestra; András Ligeti), Tale About Sounds (Jülia Vajda [soprano], István Andrejcsik [baritone], Tamás Altorjay [bass], Szeged Symphony Orchestra; Sándor Gyüdi), Knight Pázmán (as preceding except w/Zoltán Megyesi [tenor]). These works form an unusual sub-genre, with some allegiance to opera, to oratorio, to music-theatre - but with their emphasis on characterful and memorable music, also to instrumental character-pieces and tone-poems. The 'tales' are told by a narrator, with some sung representation of characters, but the almost constantly present musical score is the real point. While using whatever musical sound effects are at his disposal for illustrative effect, the composer largely concentrates on tonal, neoclassical material, sometimes with direct references to folk material or lighter forms - Gershwin, swing bands, music for cartoon films may be briefly evoked as part of the narrative, not infrequently providing a musical interlude during which the 'action' stops. Lyrical, inventive and original, these works are extremely attractive and approachable. No texts. Hungaroton HCD 32349 (Hungary) 06H087 $17.98 Ø

ALEKSANDER LASON (b.1951): Chamber Music No. 5 "Four Seasons", EUGENIUSZ KNAPIK (b.1951): Corale, interludio e aria, MARCEL CHYRZYNSKI (b.1971): Ferragosto for Trumpet, Pianoand Percussion, BOLESLAW SZABELSKI (1896-1979): Aphorisms 9, HENRYK GÓRECKI (b.1933): Muzyczka IV. Szabelski's 1962 work is dodecaphonic, and seems very much a product of the Second Viennese tradition which was developing when the composer was a young man. Górecki's consists of a violent first section, with insistent repeated motifs presented in clashing dissonance, followed by a second part of meditative character. His pupil Knapik adopts a more tonal idiom, with more pronounced minimalist tendencies than his teacher - closer to his famous third symphony; this is an eloquent work with two serious, questing slow movements separated by a sprightly intermezzo. Lason's work combines neo-impressionistic tone-painting with some passages of Ligetian density of texture, always resolving into a basically tonal idiom; minimalistic processes again surface as a propulsive device. Chyrzynski utilises a post-modern vocabulary in which unmistakably populist elements rub shoulders with timbre-centred 'sonorism' for a vivid pictorial, quasi-cinematic effect. New Music Orchestra; Aleksander Lason, Szymon Bywalec. Dux 0420 (Poland) 06H088 $16.98 Ø

JULIUSZ LUCIUK (b.1927): Sanctus Adalbertus Flos Purpureus. Luciuk's natural feeling for the grand gesture and the dramatic is fully expressed here in a large-scale work for soloists, chorus and large orchestra. This oratorio is a warmly lyrical work, with long, haunting vocal lines that bear some resemblance both intrinsically and in their interplay over open-textured chordal accompaniment, to solo voices in Janacek's operas or (a closer comparison) the Glagolitic Mass; here and there one may also detect echoes of the Bartók of Bluebeard in the solo writing and general harmonic language; elsewhere the language is more conservative still, looking back as far as Dvorak. Luciuk is a composer with a wide-ranging vocabulary, but this work deliberately eschews the more modernistic elements present in some of his scores, placing it firmly in the tradition of the Romantic cantata. A compelling and moving work of colorful and dramatic impact and ready appeal. Katarzyna Suska (mezzo), Józef Frakstein (baritone), Kyzysztof Szmyt (tenor), Warsaw Catholic Theology Academy Choir, Czestochowa Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Kosek. Dux 0299 (Poland) 06H089 $16.98 Ø

ZBIGNIEW BUJARSKI (b.1933): Gardens for Soprano and Orchestra, KRYSTYNA MOSZUMANSKA-NAZAR (b.1924): Rhapsody II for Orchestra, 2 Dialogues for Instrumental Ensemble, EDWARD PALLASZ (b.1936): A Girl with Flaxen Hair for Orchestra, 9 Events for Orchestra. Bujarski's Gardens is an extended orchestral song-cycle, predominantly neo-Romantic in overall impression, or at times neo-Bartókian, though not without some occasional elements which sound distantly second-Viennese. The inventive and eventful orchestral interludes and introductions - much more a integral part of the musical argument than mere 'accompaniments' - are especially noteworthy. Moszumanska-Nazar's Rhapsody is a tough, dramatic narrative, opening with a sense of threat or foreboding and maintaining a sense of impending crisis through the constant intrusion of grinding dissonances into a broadly tonal framework throughout. Similarly, the Dialogues maintain a heightened level of tension; here the language is reminiscent of the Scandinavian symphonic 'school' - Sallinen, Rosenberg et al. The two works by Pallasz stand in some contrast to each other; the first is largely conventionally tonal and Romantic; the second, incorporating some aleatoric structural elements, is significantly more abstract and 'modern'-sounding than anything else on the disc, though still texturally rich and far from forbidding to the listener. Elzbieta Towarnicka (soprano), Krakow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Wojciech Czepiel. Dux 0291 (Poland) 06H090 $16.98 Ø

TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Nacht Klänge, TOSHI ICHIYANAGI (b.1933): Music for Piano, Nos. 2, 4 & 7, MAKI ISHII (b.1936): Aphorismen II, KAZUO FUKUSHIMA (b.1930): Suien, JO KONDO (b.1947): High Window, JOJI YUASA (b.1929): Cosmos Haptic. This is Vol. 1 of the "Japan" segment of "Asia Piano Avantgarde" and the styles range from the quite Cagean Ichiyanagi pieces to the preoccupations with the silence between notes and the contrast between sudden attacks and long phases of silence which Fukushima and Hosokawa offer to the aleatoric Aphorisms of Ishii (which also require the pianist to play glockenspiel, tam-tam, claves and maracas) and the pulseless, motionless stasis of Kondo. An actual melody can be heard in Yuasa's work, sweeping in grand style over an ostinato harmony. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). MD&G 613 1385-2 (Germany) 06H091 $17.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Illusions, 2 Intermissions, Extensions 3, Piano Piece 1955, Piano Piece (to Philip Guston), Piano, Palais de Mari. Illusions is the only work here that predates Feldman's adoption of Cage as mentor, and clearly displays the influence of his teacher, Wolpe, serial technique, and a far more conventional approach to piano texture and compositional structure than anything that follows. Already, by the following year, the Intermissions "sound like" Feldman; dynamics are low; textures exceedingly spare; sonority and the decay of individual notes of great importance. Piano from 1977 invites contemplation of quiet chords and extremely slowly meandering monody against which the chords stand out in quiet relief; later in the work strongly accented interjections herald the introduction of denser textures through the use of pedal. Palais de Mari is more oblique and enigmatic still, an exercise in memory and the infinitesimally slow unraveling of intricate patterning. Aki Takahashi (piano). Original 1996 Mode release. Mode 54 (U.S.A.) 06H092 $17.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Piano Works, Vol. 7 - Chess Pieces, Sonatas and Interludes, VITTORIO RIETI (1898-1994): Chess Serenade. World premiere recording of Chess Pieces, a 1944 work which is actually a painting by Cage created for a 1944-45 exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York City: embedded like a fossil in the 64 squares of a 19x19 inch chessboard (ink and gouache on masonite), the piece was not performed until pianist Tan transcribed it and recorded it for a 2006-06 exhibition which marked the painting's first new showing since 1945. Modal and diatonic, the 7:44 work comes off, at first hearing, like a cross between minimalism and "oriental" music. Rieti's little (1:28) piece, also from 1944, depicts a miniature chessboard scenario. The new recording of the Sonatas and Interludes will sound different than any others not only due to the unavoidable changes in the screws, rubber strips, etc. which go into preparing the piano - this recording uses a 9-foot Steinway D rather than the 5'10" Steinway O which Cage used to compose the work; the prepared notes sound with greater clarity and resonance than in any other recording available. Margaret Leng Tan (piano, prepared piano). Mode 158 (U.S.A.) 06H093 $17.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): String Quartets, Vol. 4 - No. 10, No. 12 Quartettstudie. These recent works encapsulate the expressive freedom of Rihm's current musical vocabulary. The 10th Quartet consists of a main movement with a brief and agitated pizzicato prelude (with two abruptly spoken syllables interjected by the players) and a slow, shadowy postlude in largely conventional quartet texture. The central movement makes much of Rihm's emancipation of 'noise' in musical texture, with harsh attacks and extended playing techniques taking the sound of the quartet far from the blended and integrated textures of the classical and Romantic eras. The 12th Quartet is more technically conventional, albeit with some percussive and 'noise' effects, though as it progresses it turns out to be exceedingly complex rhythmically, exploring radically contrasted forms of motion between different parts. The Quartettestudie begins with a passage of explicit tonal harmony - Rihm has never shied away from this as an element in his vocabulary - and progresses into denser layers of sound and motion while never losing the sense of tension-driven harmonic thrust of the opening. Minguet Quartet. col legno WWE 1CD 20227 (Germany) 06H094 $19.98

JESUS RUEDA (b.1961): Cadenza for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Ítaca for 5 Instruments, Concierto da cámara II for 10 Instruments, Bitácora for Piano Quintet, Mas la noche for Chamber Orchestra, Sinamay for Piano and Ensemble, Una leyenda for 4 Instruments. Listening to these works one is struck by the sheer fertility of this young Spanish composer's imagination. The chamber piano concerto which opens the disc teems with energy and invention, with a high-energy, scintillating piano part. This glittering brilliance of timbre seems to be characteristic of the composer; these textures turn up in all the works here. A similar volatility is also present in Rueda's sense of harmony; while the works are not exactly tonal, a strong sense of harmonic progression is often present, and the music is more often consonant than not, notably in the exhilarating and humorous Stravinskyan divertimento-like Chamber Concerto. 'Bitácora' and 'Mas la noche' share a sinister, nocturnal mood, the first fragile and febrile; the second (from the previous year) composed of more solid forms. It is notable that in these earlier works, though separated by only a few years from the three that begin the disc, the language is generally further from conventional tonality, though there are in slower sections lush chordal passages of great beauty. Even the earliest work here - Una leyenda from 1990 - displays Rueda's assured use of his trademark glittering perpetuum-mobile high-register textures. Ananda Sukarlan (piano), Proyecto Gerhard; José de Eusebio. col legno WWE 1CD 20208 (Germany) 06H095 $19.98

ISTVÁN SZIGETI (b.1952): Ritornelli for Flute, Why not? for Flute, Cello and Piano, That's for you for 3 Flutes, Trio for Flute and 2 Cimbaloms, Vari-játékok for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Piano, AD(ri)A for Ensemble, Triple Concerto for 2 Flutes, Bassoon and String Orchestra, Breathlessness for Flute and Ensemble. These works for varied combinations of conventional instruments are readily accessible in an eclectic style incorporating a wide range of influences in a kind of post-modern, 'anything goes' æsthetic. All the pieces share a diverting, entertaining, capricious sense of fun - the writing is sophisticated, but the music is extremely easy to listen to. Several works - Why Not? and That's for You for instance, derive some inspiration from popular music; the trio here and there recalls Poulenc; elsewhere neoclassical Stravinsky and folk music are in evidence. An attractive neo-baroque sense of style permeates the concerto; warmly Romantic harmonies add to the appeal. Breathlessness is a glorious piece of postmodern fun, a technical tour de force for the flute and a quasi-minimalist exercise in co-ordination for the ensemble, it brings a most enjoyable disc to a rousingly virtuosic conclusion. Various flutists (five of 'em) and other soloists, Marcato Ensemble; Gergely Matuz, Erkel Chamber Orchestra; László Tihanyi. Hungaroton HCD 32360 (Hungary) 06H096 $17.98 Ø

BENJAMIN FRANKEL (1906-1973): Curse of the Werewolf, The Prisoner, Love Theme from The Net, Suite from So Long at the Fair. First complete recording of the 34-minute score to the 1959 Hammer film starring a young Oliver Reed as the lycanthrope of the title - the first-ever film score to be completely written in serial technique (although, as with his eight symphonies, he often orders the note rows to produce melodic results). Frankel also used the technique in places in his score for 1955's The Prisoner, the story of a Roman Catholic priest arrested on trumped-up charges in a Communist state and brainwashed into confessing; this 30-minute score offers many possibilities for psychologically dramatic music. Two shorter excerpts from earlier 1950s films make up a 75-minute disc which will be a must for film-score collectors and for Frankel fans. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Carl Davis. Naxos 8.557850 (New Zealand) 06H097 $7.98


More Monstrous Movie Music!

ROY WEBB (1888-1982): Mighty Joe Young, MISCHA BAKALEINIKOFF (1890-1960): 20 Million Miles to Earth (w/Columbia Pictures' Music Library - see below), PAUL SAWTELL (1906-1971): Excerpts from The Animal World. A depth of documentation which makes the old Marco Polo film score booklets look positively parsimonious, color throughout the 40-page booklets, musical scores, stills, recording session photos (Ray Harryhausen wielding special effects cymbals was a nice shot), minutely detailed notes for each track (sometimes more lines than seconds of music) and, on page 39, an apology for not providing more information. What more could film-score collectors want? Oh, the "Columbia Pictures' Music Library" above means that music composed by other people was also culled from the studio library for inclusion into 20 Million Miles: David Diamond (!), George Duning, Werner Heymann, Max Steiner, Daniele Amfitheartrof, David Raksin and Friedrich Hollaender (whew!), all of whom are given their due in the notes. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Masatoshi Mitsumoto. Monstrous Movie Music MMM-1953 (U.S.A.) 06H098 $18.98

HERMANN STEIN (b.1915): This Island Earth (w/additional music by Hans Salter [1896-1994] and Henry Mancini [1924-1994]), RON GOODWIN (1925-2003): The Day of the Triffids, WALTER GREENE (1910-1983): Main Title from War of the Satellites, DANIELE AMFITHEATROF (1901-1983): Main Title from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. The companion piece to the Ray Harryhausen-themed release: "Alien Invasion Films" with the usual 40-page booklet with even more color photos within (and photos of Hermann Stein from just after birth to 1998!). Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Masatoshi Mitsumoto, Kathleen Mayne (Triffids). Monstrous Movie Music MMM-1954 (U.S.A.) 06H099 $18.98


RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Film Music, Vol. 3 - Bitter Springs (composed with Ernest Irving [1878-1953]), The Loves of Joanna Godden, The Story of a Flemish Farm. First recordings of music from the 1947 Ealing film The Loves of Joanna Godden, taking Vaughan Williams' authorized selection of ten episodes with Stephen Hogger adding extra music from the score for this 16-minute suite, and for the 26-minute suite of music for a 1950s Ealing film set in the Australian outback which was aarranged and orchestrated by Irving from 38 bars of thematic material which Vaughan Williams supplied. The score to the 1943 propaganda film The Flemish Farm does not exist and the recording here is of the extant suite which the composer first conducted at a Proms of 1945. Ladies of Manchester Chamber Choir, BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10368 (England) 06H100 $17.98

ANTHONY COLLINS (1893-1963): Symphony for Strings (No. 1), Louis XV Silhouettes, Victoria the Great, Eire, The Song of Erin, Vanity Fair, The Saga of Odette, The Lady with a Lamp, Santa Cecilia. The renowned conductor of the Decca Sibelius cycle from the 1950s and film music composer also wrote much "serious" music but, as we find out from the notes to this release, almost all of it is lost. What we have here is a combination of light music, suites from film scores, an arrangement of songs by Percy French (1854-1920) under the title Eire and the string symphony, written for schools in 1940 in neo-Classical style. Should appeal to all collectors of film and light music while crossing over slightly to "serious" 20th century British music collectors. BBC Concert Orchestra; John Wilson. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7162 (England) 06H101 $18.98