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Organ Concerto

Beethoven Variations

Fine II


JÓN LEIFS (1899-1968): Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 7, Variazioni pastorale on a Theme by Beethoven, Op. 8, Fine II (Farewell to Earth) for Vibraphone and Strings, Op. 56, Dettifoss for Baritone, Mixed Choir and Orchestra, Op. 57. A rough-hewn grandeur evoking the irresistable forces of nature has informed much of the music of this Icelandic composer which has been recorded in the last decade or so. Here are two early and two late works - the organ concerto (completed in 1930 although begun as early as 1917) sandwiches a Bachian passacaglia of gradually building power between a brief introdution and an equally brief finale of almost barbaric fierceness in which jagged organ chords do battle with deafening blows from an extravagant percussion section while the Beethoven variations (worked on between 1920 and 1930) shift midway through from a polite, classically-oriented personality to a much more modern-sounding series which make use of Icelandic folk styles. Fine II is one of two works Leifs composed in 1963 to be used as final movements if he were to die with a composition unfinished and its mood of peaceful optimism is one of the few such bright spots in the composer's music. Dettifoss (the name of a spectacular waterfall) is another of Leifs' descriptions of Iceland's natural wonders with the choir representing the waterfall and the baritone the poet who visits in search of inspiration. All but Fine II are world premiere recordings which further illustrate the uncompromising and striking originality of this neglected Scandinavian composer. Björn Steinar Sólbergsson (organ), Reynir Sigurdsson (vibraphone), Loftur Erlingsson (baritone), Hallgrím Church Motet Choir, Iceland Symphony Orchestra; En Shao. BIS CD-930 (Sweden) 05A001 $17.98

HAKON BØRRESEN (1876-1954): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 3, Serenade for Horn, Strings and Timpani, Nordic Folk Tunes for String Orchestra. Two late works make their CD debut - the 1944 horn serenade, typically romantic in its rhythmically emphatic outer sections which frame a dreamily expressive allegretto, and three folk tunes from Iceland and the Faroe Islands which were collected by Børresen's beloved teacher Svendsen and which the composer set for strings as a 70th birthday present for the Danish queen in 1949. Schmidt's performance of the 25-year-old composer's first symphony, indebted delightfully in every way to Svendsen, is characteristically quick-witted and brisker than its Marco Polo/Dacapo alternative. Xiao-Ming Han (horn), Saabrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt. CPO 999 578 (Germany) 05A002 $15.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): Symphony No. 3, Op. 100, Cantata Praise the Lord, Op. 65. Grechaninov's third symphony (1923) is one of the most genial works ever to come from a Russian composer, sparkling with high spirits and good nature. Its scherzo is worthy of Glazunov and the succeeding theme and variations are not far off that mark either. A buoyantly optimistic first movement and a bustling, vigorous, dance-like finale wrap these two movements in a package of complete delight. Dating from 1914, the cantata could not have been performed in Russia due to the Orthodox Church's ban on the use of instruments in worship, so Grechaninov gave in to his frustration and produced a sumptuous choral and orchestral feast which is infused with the spirit of Russian choral declamation. Ludmila Kuznetsova (mezzo), Russian State Symphonic Capella and Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 9698 (England) 05A003 $16.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Symphony No. 8, Op. 132 "Hommage à Teilhard de Chardin", Symphony No. 5, Op. 63, Ode to the Queen, Op. 83. The depth of Rubbra's religious feeling was never expressed more intensely than in his eighth symphony (1958) whose mysical intensity pays tribute to the great Catholic theorist and philosopher and has a Holstian other-worldly feel to it. The fifth is a buoyant of 1948 whose post-war optimism and lightness of touch combine with characteristic Rubbra solemnity in a thoroughly satisfying symphonic experience. Ode to the Queen, performed four days after Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, is Rubbra's only song-cycle its two brilliant outer pieces surround a soul-searching central one. World premiere recording of the Ode. Susan Bickley (mezzo), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9714 (England) 05A004 $16.98

RUDI STEPHAN (1887-1915): Liebeszauber for Baritone and Orchestra, Musik für Orchester, Musik für Geige und Orchester, Musik für 7 Saiteninstrumente. This valuable budget-priced re-release of recordings originally made in 1983 offers a strikingly original talent for our consideration: Stephan's style was beginning to become distinct from his influences at the time he was killed on the Eastern Front in Galicia. Strauss, Zemlinsky, Wagner, Reger, Mahler, early Schoenberg and Debussy are influences which can be detected at various times in the four works here and Stephan's music will appeal to anyone who enjoys orchestral textures which can be both luscious and rhapsodic as well as lean and sinewy (in what some refer to as "Decaying Romanticism") - an absolute must if you don't already have it! Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Hans Maile (violin), Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin; Hans Zender. Koch Schwann Musica Mundi (Germany) 05A005 $6.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Finnish Fantasy, Op. 88, Finnish Sketches, Op. 89, Karelian Legend, Op. 99, Ouverture solennelle, Op. 73, Wedding March, Op. 21. Volume 9 of Naxos' Glazunov series brings together his Finnish and Karelian based works: the Fantasy (1909) makes ingenious use of a single folk-song, the composer's dazzling gift for development and colorful orchestration drawing it out into a 15-minute mini tone-poem. The two Sketches of 1912 are more modest in length and intent but the Karelian Legend (1916) is again a finely honed, folk-influenced work which begins in idyllic calm, builds in excitement and intensity to a rhythmic climax before dying away. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Igor Golovschin. Naxos 8.553839 (New Zealand) 05A006 $5.98

CAMILLO SCHUMANN (1872-1946): Organ Sonatas No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 12, No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 16, No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 29, No. 4 in F, Op. 67, No. 5 in G Minor, Op. 40 and No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 110. Schumann's six sonatas date from 1899 to late in his career and span styles from the dreamy romanticism of the first to the more archaizing second, the mystical darkness and extreme dynamics of the third, all leading to the large-scale grand symphonic sonata of the Guilmant and Widor type of the sixth. A fertile hunting-ground for collectors of the Late Romantic Organ Sonata. Reinhard Kluth (Matthias-Kreienbring organs in Düsseldorf, Eschwege, Greve, Langförden, Osnabrück and Waldbröl). MD&G 606 0173 (Germany) 05A007 $35.98

RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883)/LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI (1882-1977): Die Walküre: Wotan's Farewell and Magic Fire Music, Tristan and Isolde: Symphonic Synthesis, Parsifal: Symphonic Synthesis from Act III. Bamert, a former assistant to Stokowski, continues his Chandos series of homages to his master with this set of quasi tone-poems "synthesized" from the operas. The largest here is 1932's synthesis of Tristan und Isolde in which Stokowski inserts a 17-minute selection of music from all three acts between the Prelude and the Liebestod, much of the vocal lines being entrusted to the cello section and to the violins. The Parsifal synthesis dates from 1933 and that from Die Walküre from the following year - both featuring the same inspired workmanship by a master-craftsman of the orchestra. This is the first stereo recording of any of these three pieces. BBC Philharmonic; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9686 (England) 05A008 $16.98

ARTHUR BLISS - Miracle in the Gorbals - CD premiere!

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Miracle in the Gorbals (complete ballet), Discourse for Orchestra, Music from Things to Come. Here is the first recording of the complete score to Bliss' second (of four) ballets: Miracle in the Gorbals (1944) had a rather melodramatic scenario set in Glasgow's dock neighborhoods where a mysterious Christ-like stranger brings a young suicide back to life and is set upon and murdered by a fearful mob for which Bliss provided 18 sections of music which begins and ends in an ominous D minor, which are skillfully and subtly related to each other and which vividly convey the transmutation of an ugly and sordid act into a visionary (and sometimes eerie) experience. Discourse receives its premiere recording in its 1965 revision (with substantially expanded woodwind, brass and percussion); originally commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra in 1957, this is absolute music which develots a motif in six different sections in what amounts to a virtuoso concerto for orchestra. Bliss' evocative suite from the film score to H.G. Wells' Things to Come (1936) has been recorded before but makes for an entertaining bonus to a very enterprising and worthwhile release. Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Naxos 8.553968 (New Zealand) 05A009 $5.98

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Concerto for String Orchestra, Concertante pastorale for Flute, Horn and Strings, Light Music for Strings, Suite for Recorder and Strings (orch. J. McCabe), Elegiac Rhapsody for Strings, Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra. Rawsthorne's characteristic qualities of clarity, concision and craftsmanship are on display throughout this disc which offers premiere recordings of the 1951 Concertante pastorale - a piece whose sweet and lyrical nature contrasts with the Elegiac Rhapsody's sorrowful and angry lament for the death of a poet friend (1963). The string concerto (1949) is a classic example of the restless and edgy precision which marks much of his work as a whole. John Turner (recorder), Conrad Marshall (flute), Rebecca Goldberg (horn), Northern Chamber Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.553567 (New Zealand) 05A010 $5.98

JOHN TAVENER (b.1945): The Protecting Veil for Cello and Orchestra, In Alium for Soprano, Tape and Orchestra. Tavener's hymn to the Mother of God has become one of the most popular works of the late 20th century and those who have yet to sample it can, at budget price, now enter into its spirit of simple comtemplativeness and hearfelt lament and judge for themselves. In Alium is an intriguing mixture of "sugary" music and "churchy" harmonies and makes use of quadrophonic sound techniques and overdubbed and live soprano voice in a typically contemplative work. Maria Kliegel (cello), Eileen Hulse (soprano), Ulster Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos 8.554388 (New Zealand) 05A011 $5.98

WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, Sinfonia concertante for Piano and Orchestra, Variations on a Theme by Hindemith, March for A History of the English Speaking Peoples. The 1963 Variations anchor this new release - a masterful and hugely enjoyable showcase written for Szell's Cleveland Orchestra - while the original, 1927, version of the Sinfonia concertante is remarkable for its spiky and spicy Stravinskian dash (it was written for Diaghilev as a ballet but rejected by the choreographer). Peter Donohoe (piano), English Northern Philharmonia; Paul Daniel. Naxos 8.553869 (New Zealand) 05A012 $5.98

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Concerto in modo misolidio for Piano and Orchestra, Concerto a cinque for Piano, Oboe, Trumpet, Violin and Double Bass. The rarely heard Concerto a cinque of 1933 is a sort of modern translation of a Corellian concerto grosso with late Romantic colors applied in an anachronistic but wholly enjoyable and truly Respighian fashion. The Concerto in modo misolidio (1925) draws from Gregorian chant in a moody, dark-hued work which is given a much brisker performance than on its Chandos debut (more than 5 minutes shorter): an approach which pays dividends to the first-time listener. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Howard Griffiths, Capella Istropolitana; Ewald Danel. Naxos 8.553366 (New Zealand) 05A013 $5.98

HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Complete Lieder, Vol. 1 - Ständchen, O schneller, mein Roß, Ständchen, Lied Werners aus dem "Trompeter von Sackingen", Kuckuckslied, Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, Mein Liebchen ist kein stolzes Schloß, Die schlanke Wasserlilie, Jugendlieder 1-6, 7 Lieder, Op. 2, 3 Lieder, Op. 3. This first volume in a series which will bring us all 115 of Pfitzner's lieder contains works which predate 1890, many rarely recorded but all of which show glimpses of the mature composer's gift for text-setting. German-English texts. Julie Kaufmann (soprano), Donald Sulzen (piano); Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Michael Gees (piano); Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Rudolf Jansen (piano). CPO 999 228 (Germany) 05A014 $15.98

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Frösöblomster, Books 1-3. These lyrical, miniature, deftly crafted character pieces are a delightful trove of melody (Peterson-Berger's gifts as a song writer work just as well for these small musical sketches); anyone still unacquainted with them will have no excuses now that they have made their first appearance at budget price. Niklas Sivelöv (piano). Naxos 8.554343 (New Zealand) 05A015 $5.98

HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): String Quartet in D Minor, Italian Serenade in G, Intermezzo in E Flat. It is good to have Wolf's youthfully impassioned quartet - begun in 1879 but not finished until 1884 - available on CD again. Its intense first movement and a long ethereal slow movement give the work a sense of passionate confession and restlessness while the 1886 Intermezzo and the evergreen Italian Serenade show this instrospective composer's "light" side. Auryn Quartet. CPO 999 529 (Germany) 05A016 $15.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 - Sonata No. 5 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 84, Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 1. Reger's 1890 sonata understandably looks back to Brahms and other predecessors while his 1905 piece is one of his sunniest - full of hope, optimism and playfull lightness. Ulf Wallin (violin), Roland Pöntinen (piano). CPO 999 452 (Germany) 05A017 $15.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Overture in G for 2 Horns, Timpani and Strings, Overture in D for 2 Transverse Flutes and Strings, Cantata Es begab sich, daß Jesus in eine Stadt mit Namen Nain ging for Soloists, 2 Chalumeaux, Oboe and Strings. Graupner's two overtures (from around 1730) are contrasting: the G major work centers around the hunt and has much work for the two horns and timpani (as well as a charming and very unusual movement which imitates a bird) while the D major is in the French-Italian tradition of a sequence of courtly dances. Both are full of vigor and good enough tunes to make one wonder what the other 79 of his overtures are like! The cantata dates from 1737 is a reflective piece which benefits greatly from the subdued, other-worldly tone colors of the two chalumeaux. German-English texts. Barbara Schlick (soprano), Hein Meens (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (bass), Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 592 (Germany) 05A018 $15.98

GEORG MUFFAT (1635-1704): Indissolubilis Amititia, Saeculum, Nobilis Juventus, Ciacona Propitia Sydera, Quis hic?, Coronatio Augusta. This series of suites and concertos combines German, Italian and French influences in a colorful patchwork of brilliant music (the sound effects in Indissolubilis Amicitia are referred to in the manuscript) by one of the most original composers of the Austrian baroque (of which latter, two more new releases follow below). Armonico Tributo; Lorenz Duftschmid. CPO 999 635 (Germany) 05A019 $15.98

JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (c.1621-1680): Sonatae unarum fidium, Sonata No. 100 in D, ANON.: Contrapunct sopra la baßigaglos d'Altro. Trio Florilegium. Cavalli Records CCD 217 (Germany) 05A020 $17.98

CARL AMBROGIO LONATI (b.c.1650): Sonata VII in G Minor, JOHANN ERASMUS KINDERMANN (1616-1655): Sonata terza, (JOHANN HEINRICH?) SCHMELZER : Sonatina amorosa, GIOVANNI MARIA BONONCINI (1642-1678): 3 Giguen, Op. 2, HEINRICH BIBER (1644-1704): Sonata No. 6 in C Minor, ANON.: Fantasia in D, Sonata in A Minor, Sonata in D Minor.

Titled "Violino discordato", the second CD above is collection of works comes entirely from a late 17th century manuscript in Austria which has ten works in scordatura tuning. Facilitating special technical effects on the violin as well as providing a given tonality a particularly mellow, harmonious timbre, scordatura really only became popular in Austrian and southern Germany during the last half of the 17th century. Schmelzer is somewhat well-known but most of the composers on the second disc are not and these two CDs will delight anyone with an interest in the baroque violin repertoire. Veronika Strehlke (violin), Egino Klepper (positiv organ). Cavalli Records CCD 211 (Germany) 05A021 $17.98

GIUSEPPE SAMMARTINI (1695-1750): 12 Trio Sonatas for 2 Transverse Flutes, Bassoon and Harpsichord. This set of trio sonatas dates from 1727, the year before Sammartini moved to London where he became one of the leading composers in England until his death. Rooted in the late Baroque, these works show the composer's skilled contrapuntism and gift for lyricism and melody. 2 CDs. Accademia Farnese. Mondo Musica MM 96029 (Germany) 05A022 $37.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): Stabat Mater No. 3 in C Minor. Stylistic variety is the keyword in this setting: operatic inflections, hints of folk music and a devotional, rather than strictly liturgical, dimension combine in a tasty mix. Arias (accompanied by various instruments) alternate with choral sections until the final Quando corpus where soloists and choir combine in a quasi-concerto fashion to bring this generally tender and intimate work to its conclusion. Elena Bertocchi (soprano), Sergio Rocchi (tenor), Giovanni Guerini (bass), Coro Polifonico "Antiche Armonie", Chamber Orchestra "Incontri Europei con la Musica"; Pieralberto Cattaneo. Dynamic CDS 242 (Italy) 05A023 $17.98

JOHANN STAMITZ (1717-1757): Symphonies in F, Op. 4/1, in E Flat, Op. 4/4, in E Flat, Op. 4/6, Sinfonia Pastorale in D, Op. 4/2. Volume two of Stamitz' symphonies brings four works dating from the early 1750s - the composer's peak of fame as leader of the Mannheim orchestra. The sophistication of their structures and the brilliance of their orchestration further the reputation of a composer who is still today better known than heard. Northern Chamber Orchestra; Nicholas Ward. Naxos 8.554447 (New Zealand) 05A024 $5.98

FRANZ XAVER RICHTER (1709-1789): 6 Sonatas for Harpsichord, Flute and Cello. Another main Mannheim luminary, Richter spent over 20 years at the court, composing symphonies and concertos and, in particular since the Elector of Mannheim played the flute, much chamber music for this instrument. This set dates from 1759 and demonstrates a characteristic mix of styles, with the early classicism associated with the Mannheim school underpinned by the Italian baroque tradition. Lausanne Bach Ensemble. Doron DRC 5012 (Switzerland) 05A025 $16.98

JOHANN GOTTFRIED ECKARD (1735-1809): Sonatas in F Minor, Op. 1/3, in A, Op. 1/4 and in F, Op. 2/1, Menuet d'Exaudet avec 6 Variations in B Flat. The second recording to appear in the last year or so of this pioneer of the fortepiano in France brings admirable performances of the F Minor sonata, steeped in C.P.E. Bach's empfindsamer Stil, the single-movement A major which Mozart used as the slow movement of his K.40 piano concerto and the galant F major sonata. Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano). Zig Zag Territoires ZZT 9806 (France) 05A026 $16.98

DMITRI BORTNYANSKY (1751-1825): Alcide. Composed in 1778 during his ten-year stay in Venice, Alcide tells the tale of Hercules' dilemma when confronted with the choice of taking the path of Hedonism or of Virtue. Somewhat static in terms of "action", there is nevertheless a fine, fiery chorus of monsters near the end followed by a "Dance of the Furies" as Heracles takes the latter path. Taught largely by Galuppi, Bortnyansky demonstrates here in this premiere recording why he was known as "the Ukrainian Mozart". 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Natalia Datsko (soprano), Marina Zagorulko (soprano), Olga Pasichnyk (soprano), Patrick Garayt (tenor), "Gloria" Chamber Chorus Lviv, "Leopolis" Chamber Orchestra of Lviv; Jean-Pierre Loré. Erol ER 98001 (France) 05A027 $37.98

ANTON REICHA (1770-1836): Horn Quintet in E, Op. 106, Grand quatuor concertant for Flute, Cello, Bassoon and Piano in E Flat, Op. 104. The more of Reicha one hears, the more one should be amazed at the cultured, witty, urbane and yet quite original quality of his compositions. This third volume in MD&G's series of works for winds and string quartet brings a work for horn from around 1825 showing the composer's unquenchable desire to explore new formal directions in his works, often ignoring the principles of "classical-sonata" form, filling his pieces with his own inimitable catchy, fresh and carefree themes and providing a listening experience of pure joy. The 1824 Grand quatuor is every bit its equal; this series continues to be a revelation for lovers of the late Classical/early Romantic period. Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 0515 (Germany) 05A028 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Piano Concertos, Op. 7 Nos. 1-6. cpo's J.C. Bach series continues with this set of concertos from 1770 in which Anthony Halstead, known primarily as a horn player, performs the solo part on a late 18th century Broadwood fortepiano; as published by the composer, the accompaniment is limited to two violins and one cello. Delightful, life-enhancing early Classicism which should delight you as much as it did Mozart! Members of the Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead (piano). CPO 999 600 (Germany) 05A029 $15.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Amusement for Piano and Violin, Op. 108, Grand Rondeau brillant for Piano and Violin, Op. 126, Introduction et Variations concertants sur un Air allemand for Piano and Violin, Viola Sonata, Op. 3. Hummel's chamber music, unsurprisingly, gives primacy to the piano, whether in the delicately Mozartian Amusement or in the overtly virtuosic Rondeau and variations (all three new to CD). Luigi Alberto Bianchi (violin, viola), Aldo Orvieto (piano). Dynamic CDS 192 (Italy) 05A030 $17.98

BERNHARD HENRIK CRUSELL (1775-1838): Clarinet Concertos No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 1, No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 5 and No. 3 in B Flat, Op. 11. Crusell's stylistically eclectic concertos have dashes of Mozart, Rossini, Spohr, Beethoven and Weber and display a straightforward melodic charm and a lyrical impulse which make them practically irresistible, especially at budget price! Per Billman (clarinet), Uppsala Chamber Orchestra; Gérard Korsten. Naxos 8.554144 (New Zealand) 05A031 $5.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Symphonic Fragments D 615, D 708A and D 936A. Originally recorded in 1979, this was one of the first (if not the first) issues which dealt with completions of some of Schubert's orchestral fragments - works which remained in piano score but with indications of orchestration. Since then, Brian Newbould's versions were recorded by Marriner on Philips and other recordings of the "Symphony No. 10" have appeared but this East German effort (orchestrated by the conductor here) is definitely worth hearing and collectors who didn't get it the first time will want to take advantage of its limited availability now. Deleted Title: Quantities Limited to Stock on Hand. Staatskapelle Dresden; Peter Gülke. Ars Vivendi 2100216 (Germany) 05A032 $14.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Adelia. Performed in Rome during Carnival of 1841, Adelia is an old-fashioned work (mostly due to the wishes of the Roman censors): a soprano showcase, it has a full-scale solo scene for the title character in each of its three acts and the final act's happy ending had to be grafted onto a pre-existing libretto. Donizetti used several pieces from Gabriella de Vergy (1838) in preparing this happy denouement which concludes an opera which may be "backward-looking" in its Rossinian tendencies but which the composer thought highly of and which will bring much enjoyment to collectors of his dramatic works. Italian-English libretto. Mariella Devia (soprano), Octavio Arevalo (tenor), Stefano Antonucci (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice; John Neschling. BMG Ricordi RFCD 2029 (Italy) 05A033 $37.98

JAN VACLAV STICH-PUNTO (1748-1803): Horn Concerto No. 5 in F, FRANCESCO ANTONIO ROSETTI (1750-1792): Horn Concerto K 3:42 in E, OND¤EJ ANTON (1754-1817): 4 Horn Calls. In the flood of period instrument recordings available nowadays, the horn has received short shrift as a solo instrument. This new release makes some amends, offering two Classical concertos which have "chasse"-style final rondos as well as four period horn calls for authentic atmosphere. Hansjörg Angerer (natural horn), Ensemble Sol-sol-la-sol; Howard Arman. Koch Schwann 3-6502-2 (Germany) 05A034 $16.98

CONSTANTIN HOMILIUS (?-?): Quartet in B Flat, Op. 38, JOHAN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1696-1765): Sinfonia in C, ANTON WUNDERER (1850-1906): 3 Quartets, FRANZ STRAUSS (1822-1905): 3 Quartets, JEAN DÉSIRÉ ARTÔT (1803-1887): Allegro No. 11 (from 12 Quartets), NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1744-1908): Notturno, EUGÈNE BOZZA (1905-1991): Suite for 4 Horns in F, HERMAN JEURISSEN (b.1952): Lustige Streiche. From Molter's late baroque sinfonia through the Romantic quartets of Wunderer and Strauss and the astringent Gallic quality of Artôt's Allegro to Jeurissen's jeu de esprit, this intrepid quartet of horn players offers yet another intriguing collection of rare music sure to appeal to all fanciers of this noble instrument. Detmold Horn Quartet. MD&G 324 0324 (Germany) 05A035 $17.98

BARTOLOMEO CAMPAGNOLI (1751-1827): 6 Quartets for Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello. Pedagogue and violinist as well as composer, Campagnoli combined German "sense" with Italian "sensibility" in these half dozen flute quartets which date from 1783 - not long after Mozart's four works in the same form and very close to them in their easy tunefulness and grace. Academy European Soloists. Mondo Musica MM 96058 (Germany). 05A036 $18.98

FERDINANDO PAËR (1771-1839): Sonatas in B Flat, A and in E Flat. Composed around 1810, these three sonatas show a typical mix of Italianate melody and Viennese classical form with a strong whiff of the opera house in the bel canto-style melodies. Andrea Di Renzo (fortepiano). Stradivarius STR 33535 (Italy) 05A037 $16.98

AUGUST SÖDERMAN (1832-1876): Catholic Mass, Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar. Söderman's works had a great influence on succeeding generations of Swedish composers, especially through his use of stylistic elements from folk music. However, the main work on this release, a mass from 1875, shows his great admiration for Liszt and Wagner in its use of massive sonorities, its dramatic effect, its resounding splendor and its intense, personal lyricism. Die Wallfahrt, begun in 1859 but not finished until 1866, is a more direct product of Söderman's brief period of study in Leipzig - a secular legend on a religious subject whose brilliantly colorful setting owes much to Schumann. Swedish-English texts. (Previously released on LP in 1986 in the Musica Sveciae series). Ann-Christine Biel (soprano), Birgitta Svendén (mezzo), Claes-Håkan Ahnsjö (tenor), Curt Appelgren (bass), Music High School's Large Choir, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Per Borin. Sterling CDS-1030 (Sweden) 05A038 $15.98

JOHANNES BERNARDUS VAN BREE (1801-1857): Grand quatuor No. 3 in D, JOHAN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25/1, HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): Italienische Serenade. van Bree was the first important Dutch composer of the 19th century and as a conductor, he championed the symphonies of Beethoven and Mendelssohn - sympathies which inform his fluent, lyrical and sunnily Romantic quartet which probably dates from 1848. Wilms' quartet, from c.1806, is in Mozartian Classical style but with a few striking pre-echoes of Romanticism. Mid-price. Nomos Quartet. NM Classics Extra 98010 (Netherlands) 05A039 $9.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Decimino in E Flat for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello, Contrabass and Piano, Variazioni in F, String Quartet in E Flat, Decimino in C for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Contrabass. The two Decimini are from Mercadante's late period (from 1856 or later) and are richly memorable, experimental in their instrumentation and, as might be expected from this composer, with many lyrical melodies of operatic quality. The quartet is an early work, its almost solo-like viola part suggesting the concertante-type quartets of Spohr. Polimnia Ensemble. Agora AG 202.1 (Italy) 05A040 $16.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): String Quartet No. 17 in D, Solo for Oboe and Piano, Oboe Sonata, Larghetto e Allegro for Flute, Bassoon and Piano, Studio for Clarinet, Moderato for Winds and Organ, Marcia in F. The quartet (1825) is Haydnesque with an Italian cantabile quality all Donizetti's own; the Solo has the character of an operatic aria while the sonata and the Larghetto e Allegro have a more Viennese quality. The remaining pieces are charming miniatures of pleasant fluency and appeal. Polimnia Ensemble. Agora AG 203.1 (Italy) 05A041 $16.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Prelude, Theme and Variations for Horn and Piano, Le Beurre for Piano, Variazioni for Clarinet and Small Orchestra, Serenata for Small Ensemble, La Promessa & L'Invito for Soprano and Piano, Harp Sonata, Allegretto for Harp, Andante con variazioni for Harp and Violin, Fantaisie for Piano and Clarinet, Une Larme for Cello and Piano, Toast pour le Nouvel An for Vocal Quartet, Duetto buffo di due gatti for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano and Piano. This release collects a series of chamber compositions from every period of Rossini's career from the 1809 variations for clarinet and orchestra to the works collected under the title Péchés de vieillesse, all the latter dating from after 1829. Polimnia Ensemble. Agora AG 201.1 (Italy) 05A042 $16.98

NICCOLÒ JOMMELLI (1714-1774): 6 Trio Sonatas for Flute, Oboe and Harpsichord. Published in 1753, these trio sonatas by a composer almost exclusively associated with the stage are in a typically Italianate late Baroque/ early Classical style, with long-breathed, lyrical slow movements and fresh, light fast ones. Accademia Farnese. Mondo Musica MM 96020 (Germany) 05A043 $18.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): 6 Flute Quartets. Undated but probably from the last decade of the 1790s, these two-movement quartets follow the Mozartian example of grace, fluency and lyrical melody in the typical 18th century genre of incidental/salon music. Accademia Farnese. Mondo Musica MM 96021 (Germany) 05A044 $18.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE ANTOINE FORQUERAY (1699-1782): Orchestral Transcriptions and Chamber Music Extracts from Pièces de Viole (Paris 1747). This well-filled selection of harpsichord pieces was orchestrated (according to historical performance practice) for an ensemble of violin, viola, cello, viols and continuo by the performing group and it works wonderfully - there is a majesty and austere dignity to the slow pieces and an enlivinging vigor in the faster ones which a solo harpsichord cannot produce. Charivari Agréable Simfonie. Signum UK SIGCD008 (England) 05A045 $16.98

VÁCLAV JAN TOMÁSEK (1774-1850): 6 Eclogues, Op. 35, 2 Allegri Capricciosi di Bravura, Op. 84, Dithyrambs in C Minor, Op. 65/1 & in F, Op. 65/3, Rapsodia in F Minor, Op. 41/1. A valuable successor to the Supraphon release in this past January's catalogue, this new CD offers a further sampling of Tomásek's early romantic character pieces: the complete op. 35 Eclogues - lyrical and light; the two Dithyrambs - more colorful, more demanding technically and more restless; and the two Allegri which anticipate Chopin in their intense, flamboyant full-blown Romanticism. Phyllis Moss (piano). Centaur CRC 2411 (U.S.A.) 05A046 $16.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Complete Keyboard Concertos, Vol. 8 - Concertos in G, H.444, in F, H.443 and in B Minor, H.440. These works date from 1753-59 (H.444 was actually intended for the organ although it differs not at all in style from its compatriots here) when Bach's concertos were even more individual than their predecessors and with a comparable intensity of expression. Miklós Spányi (tangent piano), Concerto Armonico. BIS CD-867 (Sweden) 05A047 $17.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Péchés de vieillesse - Album pour les enfants adolescents. Book 5 of Rossini's "Sins of Old Age" is presented complete on an 1865 Pleyel - perfect for this inimitable mixture of naive didacticism, salon music and Satie-like irony. Michele Campanella (piano). Agora AG 206.1 (Italy) 05A048 $16.98

MILY BALAKIREV (1837-1910): Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 1, Tamara. Balakirev's first concerto is a short, single-movement work heavily indebted to Chopin, written when the composer was 18; the symphony, completed in 1908, has a memorable scherzo alla cosacca which is influenced by Glinka's Kamarinskaya, a sweetly lyrical Romanza and a rumbustiously outgoing polacca finale. However, the symphonic poem Tamara (1867-1882) leaves both in the shade with its sensuous and voluptuous depiction of a murderous seductress. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 9727 (England) 05A049 $16.98

WOLDEMAR BARGIEL (1828-1897): Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 2 - Trio in F, Op. 6, Adagio for Cello and Piano, Op. 38, Violin Sonata in F Minor, Op. 10. The next volume in this series of music by Robert Schumann's brother-in-law brings us his 1851 trio, a large work (39 minutes long) which is completely in the orbit of Schumann: adventurous harmonies, blurring of the bounds of classical sonata form and a wealth of polyphony - items which both incurred the displeasure of conservative musical circles and yet earned it a bland reception by Liszt's circle who, of course, found it too conservative. Nonetheless, anyone collecting Romantic chamber music will be quite happy to make its acquaintance as he will the violin sonata from 1854. Distressed by the news of Schumann's recent committment to the mental asylum in Endenich, Bargiel poured out his soul in a passionately pathetic and gloomy work with themes of a Beethovenian intensity eased only slightly by second subjects of a Schumannian Romanticism. Trio Parnassus. MD&G 303 0806 (Germany) 05A050 $17.98

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Guitar Quintet, Op. 143, Ecloghe for Flute, English Horn and Guitar, Fantasia for Piano and Guitar, Op. 145, Sonatina for Flute and Guitar, Op. 205, romancero Gitano for Chorus and Guitar, Op. 152. This release usefully collects a series of chamber works involving the composer's favorite instrument, the guitar. New to the catalogue is the 1966 Ecloghe which uses Southern Italian folk styles in its four brief, appealing movements; the remainder, though rarely recorded, have a characteristic sunny, care-free quality and wealth of calm, extended melody which is Castelnuovo-Tedesco's most valuable trait. Arturo Tallini (guitar), I Solisti di Roma, Ensemble Vocalise; Alberto Galletti. Agora AG 204.1 (Italy) 05A051 $16.98

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): 31 Shakespeare Songs. Between 1921-25, Castelnuovo-Tedesco composed 33 songs from Shakespeare's plays and all of those for voice and piano are recorded here. These intimite settings are highly melodic, with an innocent yet piquant charm while the music's sonorous impressionism is serenely appealing. English texts. Anne Victoria Banks (soprano), William Wellborn (piano). Marco Polo 8.223729 (New Zealand) 05A052 $14.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Piano Sonata, Op. 20, The Vintner's Daughter (12 Variations on a French Song), Op. 23, 6 Bagatelles, Op. 12, Variations for Piano, Op. 9, Kaleidoscope, Op. 19, Valse crépusculaire. We have here Rózsa's complete music for solo piano, most of it in his characteristic nationalist vein, from the earliest Variations (1931) on a theme of clearly folksong origin and the Bagatelles (1932) - epigrammatic and finely-wrought miniatures akin to those in Bartók's Mikrokosmos, through Kaleidoscope (1947) - similarly Hungarian in character to his major work: the piano sonata of 1948. Demanding virtuoso technique, this is Rózsa's least "popular" work and its astringent harmonies and percussive, dissonant piano style mark the closest he ever came to his countryman Bartók's language. Sara Davis Buechner (piano). Koch International Classics 7435 (U.S.A.) 05A053 $16.98

CHARLES TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939): Musique orante, Op. 61, ERNEST CHAUSSON (1855-1899): String Quartet (unfinished), Op. 35, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): String Quartet, Op. 121. Musique orante, Tournemire's only work for string quartet (1933), plots a 15-minute course of emotions varying from grave introspection to an almost Schoenbergian (early Schoenberg, that is) expressive intensity. Chausson's last work (unfinished, in three movements) exhibits his taste for rigorous intellectualism; Fauré's quartet, also his last work, intense and passionate, makes a suitable coupling. Gaggini String Quartet. Cyprès CYP2614 (Belgium) 05A054 $17.98

MARK OLIVIER-DUPIN (b.1954): Fantasia on Arias from "La Traviata" for Violin and Orchestra, ANTONIO PASCULLI (1842-1924): Grand Concerto on Themes from Verdi's "I Vespri Siciliani" for Oboe and Orchestra, GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): String Quartet in E Minor (arr. Turovsky). Pasculli, a virtuoso oboist, composed dozens of Fantasias and Paraphrases on famous opera arias for his own use; this one not only emphasizes his instrument's natural singing quality but also gives it florid passagework of exceptional difficulty. Olivier-Dupin shows that the art of the Fantasia is still alive in the late 20th century with his set of six contrasting and entertaining variations - all in an idiom which only rarely suggests it is of this century. Philippe Magnan (oboe), Alexander Trostiansky (violin), I Musici di Montréal; Yuli Turovsky. Chandos 9662 (England) 05A055 $16.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Piano Trios No. 2 in D Minor & No. 3 in C, Duo No. 2 for Violin and Cello, 5 Short Pieces (Trio No. 1). This mid-price collection usefully brings together all three of Martinu's piano trios, the first of which (1930) shows the composer's neo-Baroque style and use of vigorous and dissonant polyphony. The other two (1950 and 1951) show the mature composer's love of constant forward momentum, in dark-hued yet energetic music which ultimately reflects a life-enhancing optimism. Angell Piano Trio. ASV Quicksilva QS 6230 (England) 05A056 $10.98

CARLOS GUASTAVINO (b.1912): Preludes on Argentine Children's Songs, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Piano Sonata No. 1, CECILIA PILLADO: Amazones Variations. Guastavino's 1952 preludes are delightful little pieces based on songs which he learned as a child; pianist Pillado's set of variations uses jazz along with South American rhythms to evoke a journey down the Amazon River. Cecilia Pillado (piano). Berlin Classics 1185 (Germany) 05A057 $16.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): String Octet, Op. posth., Piano Quintet, Op. posth., String Quintet, Op. posth. The piano quintet, though not published in Bruch's lifetime, dates from 1886 - a work written for amateur friends whom he had made while holding a conducting position in Liverpool - and is full of graceful writing without complex technical demands. The octet and string quintet (1918 and 1920 ) are both led by a taxing part for the first violin and represent one last melodic outburst by a lonely and isolated composer reaffirming his deep seated roots in the mid-19th century. Ensemble Ulf Hoelscher. CPO 999 451 (Germany) 05A058 $15.98

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): Symphony in F Minor, Adagio from String Quintet (arr. Fritz Oeser). Bruckner's first symphony, from 1863 (known variously as the Study Symphony or the "Symphony No. 00"), is finely crafted for all that it shows few signs of his mature voice (the rhythmic scherzo is recognizably his) as it formally assimilates the techniques of Schumann, Mendelssohn and Beethoven but this is the finest orchestra yet to record it. A further bonus is Bruckner scholar Oeser's arrangement of the Adagio from the composer's mature masterpiece for string quintet. Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ondine ODE 920 (Finland) 05A059 $17.98

CHARLES MARTIN LOEFFLER (1861-1935): 3 Rhapsodies for Baritone, Clarinet, Viola and Piano, L'Archet for Soprano, Women's Choir, Viola d'Amore and Piano, 4 Poems for Tenor and Piano, Op. 15, Les paons for Piano, Prière for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano. Loeffler was described in his time as "decadent" or "symbolist", after the French poets he loved, and his music, in its free forms, fluid melodies and rhythms and unusual harmonies, evokes a range of moods, from the sensuous and exquisite to the strange and macabre. Deidra Palmour (mezzo), Hood College Chamber Singers, Robert Baker (tenor), Edward Crafts (baritone), Noel Lester (piano). Koch International Classics 7460 (U.S.A.) 05A060 $16.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Messe à 4 Voix for Soloists, Choir and Organ, Op. 4. Written in 1856 - the same year as the composer's Urbs Roma symphony - this mass is in the "concert mass" tradition and demonstrates Saint-Saëns' already characteristic technical command, varied style and easy melodic gift in music which is often strikingly evocative, intimate and often original. Anna Rotti (mezzo), Giuseppe Gloria (bass), Complesso Vocale "Musica Laus", Gruppo Vocale "Cantus Firmus"; Massimo Nosetti, Roberto Bertero (Zanin organ of the Santa Rita Basilica, Torino). Syrius SYR 141325 (France) 05A061 $18.98

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 - 6 Mazurkas, Variations on a Theme by Mozart, The Skylark, Variations on the terzetto from "A Life for the Tsar", Polonaise in E, Grande Valse in G, Cotillon in B Flat, Valse mélodique, Andalusian Dance "Las Mollares", Bolero, Tarantella, French Quadrille, Polka, Contredanse "La couventine", Contredanse in G, Galop, Valse-favorite, A Farewell Waltz. A series of charming dances brings this series to its conclusion. Victor Ryabchikov (piano). BIS CD-981 (Sweden) 05A062 $17.98

HENRI BROD (1799-1838): Wind Quintets in E Flat, Op. 2/1, in F, Op. 2/2 and in C, Op. 2/3. Absent from modern musicological dictionaries, Brod was an oboist, instrument maker and a student of Anton Reicha, whose 28 wind quintets provided the model for these three works. Brilliant and bright-spirited, they revel in exploiting each instrument's technical capabilities to the limit, making use of the many recent improvements in the key mechanisms of woodwinds and horns. Anyone who enjoys Reicha's quintets will know what to expect and will be delighted by these works. Albert Schweitzer Quintet. CPO 999 498 (Germany) 05A063 $15.98

LES VENDREDIS - 16 Pieces for String Quartet by Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931), Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936), N. Sokolov (1859-1922), Jazeps Vitols (1863-1948), Maximilian D'Osten-Sacken (18??-1???), Anatoly Liadov (1855-1914), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Nikolai Artsybushev (1858-1937), Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) and Alexander Kopylov (1854-1911). A spirit of collaboration among members of the Belyayev circle of Russian composers (all of whom were pupils of Rimsky-Korsakov) produced this compiliation of miniatures for string quartet, one of at least five such compendia composed in the same time frame. Les Vendredis, so titled for the Friday concert nights at the music patron, publisher and amateur musician Belyayev's home, is quite heterogeneous, with neo-baroque dance-form movements cheek-by-jowl with pastiche, stylization and pieces of unashamed frivolousness. Dante Quartet. ASV Quicksilva QS 6229 (England) 05A064 $10.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Jubilee Hymn: O King of Kings for Chorus and Organ, JOHN HULLAH (1812-1884): Three fishers went sailing for Contralto, Piano and Cello, ALEXANDER MACKENZIE (1847-1935): Dormi, Jesu for Contralto, Piano and Cello, WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT (1816-1875): Romance for Piano, Op. 14/2, ROBERT PEARSALL (1795-1856): O who will o'er the downs so free? for Chorus, PHILIP ARMES (1836-1901): Victoria for Chorus, JOHN LIPTROP HATTON (1809-1886): To Anthea for Tenor and Piano, MICHAEL BALFE (1800-1880): When I beheld the anchor weigh'd for Tenor and Piano, The Sands of Dee for Soprano, Tenor, Contralto and Piano, JOHN GOSS (1800-1880): If we believe that Jesus died for Chorus and Organ, BRINLEY RICHARDS (1817-1885): Pastoral for Piano, PRINCE ALBERT (1819-1861): Gruss an den Bruder for Soprano, Piano and Clarinet, GEORGE MACFARREN (1813-1887): Pack, clouds, away for Soprano, Piano and Clarinet, for Soprano, Piano and Clarinet, WALTER CARROLL (1869-1955): The Stars & Nature for Chorus, WALTER MACFARREN (1826-1905): L'Amitié - Caprice for Piano, MAUDE VALÉRIE WHITE (1855-1937): To Mary for Soprano, Tenor, Contralto and Piano, HENRY BISHOP (1786-1855): Home! Sweet Home! for Soprano, Tenor, Contralto and Piano, GEORGE C. MARTIN (1844-1916): Short Festival Te Deum in A for Chorus and Organ. A concert of Victorian music on the occasion of the centenary of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee with characteristic pieces by composes both famous and less known. The Midlands Chorale; Robert Williams, Ian Wass (organ), John Talbot (piano), Fiona Murphy (cello), Wilfred Goddard (clarinet). BMS 422 (England) 05A065 $17.98

JORDI CERVELLÓ (b.1934): Vers L'infinit, SALVADOR BROTONS (b.1959): Phaedo, Op. 54, NARCÍS BONET (b.1933): Homenatge a Gaudí. These three works have much in common with more familiar tone-poems of the romantic era, yet each displays clearly the individual character of the composer. Vers l'Infinit suggests a collaboration between Dvorak, Richard Strauss and Ravel, and makes a strong, cohesive statement. Brotons' chosen idiom is more modern, but not much so; like the Cervelló, the work rises from mysterious beginnings to suggest a narrative of some activity and complexity. Bonet's work draws on techniques of the past to suggest a historical narrative, progressing from somber, archaic beginnings to a bold, triumphant celebration, exploring the same material in the language of the (early) 20th century. Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona; Josep Pons. PDI G-80.3263 (Spain) 05A066 $17.98

JOSEP SOLER (b.1935): Le Christ dans la Banlieue, La Nativitat, La Transfiració, L'Agonia en el Jardí. These symphonic poems are adaptations of orchestral interludes from Soler's operas on religious themes, and are accordingly heavily charged with symbolism and narrative content. The music is stark and dramatic, with a hint of Varèse or Messiaen here and there, and an overwhelming sense of at least the potential for tragedy running throughout. Spanish Radio and TV Orchestra; Osma Vänskä, Berlin Radio Symphony; András Ligeti, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Antoni Ros-Marbá. Anacrus AC 001 (Spain) 05A067 $17.98

JOSEP SOLER (b.1935): Piano Sonata No. 10, 9 peces del ritual de difunts, 3 peces pel ritual de la Trinitat. The piano works occupy a similarly serious expressive world, rendered more acerbic by the limited range of color of the piano and the sparse, open textures. The sonata, consisting of a slow movement followed by a slower one, is pervaded by a sense of tragic ritual, which also preoccupies the requiem pieces. Mourning without resolution or resignation is the predominant mood, and the composer's performances capture this highly charged atmosphere to perfection. Josep Soler (piano). Anacrus AC 002 (Spain) 05A068 $17.98

JOSEP SOLER (b.1935): Piano Sonata No. 3, Partita, Sonata Fragment. Although steeped in the twelve-tone procedures of the Second Viennese School, Soler also immersed himself in the study of Renaissance and early Baroque composers and his large, 39-minute Partita (1980) is significantly influenced by Baroque structures although his language is very much of his own time. Jordi Masó (piano). Marco Polo 8.225083 (New Zealand) 05A069 $14.98

JOAQUIM HOMS (b.1906): Variations on a Popular Catalan Theme, 7 Pieces, 7 Impromptus, 2 Soliloquies. The 1943 Variations point the way toward Homs' later development of an atonal voice which is seen in the 7 Pieces that suggest a development of Schoenberg's technique. The Impromptus (1955-60 and the major work here) represent a more serious application of serialism but in music of great interest and variety. Jordi Masó (piano). Marco Polo 8.225099 (New Zealand) 05A070 $14.98

SALVADOR BROTONS (b.1959): Toccata, MIQUEL ROGER (b.1954): Per a la Liliana, LLORENÇ BALSACH (b.19): Suite Gástrica, DAVID PADRÓS (b.1942): Klagelied, AGUSTÍ CHARLES (b.1960): Seqüències, ALBERT SARDÀ (b.1943): Variacions sobre un tema de F. Schubert, JOSEP SOLER (b.1935): Piano Sonata No. 3. An entertaining recital, containing music that is broadly humorous (Balsach's "Gastric Suite" - the title arrived at via word-play in Catalan, we are told, the music exaggeratedly characterful); charged with emotion (Padrós' Klagelied), and energetic and entertaining (Brotons' Toccata). The large-scale work here is Josep Soler's sonata, which is an extremely fine and pianistic work, encompassing many moods in a vocabulary that is individual and modern yet rooted in romantic tonality. Miquel Álvarez-Argudo (piano). Anacrus AC003 (Spain) 05A071 $17.98

HK GRUBER (b.1943): Der rote Teppich wird ausgerollt, Op. 22, Violin Concerto No. 1, 6 Episoden for Piano Op. 20, 4 Pieces for Solo Violin, Op. 11, Bossa Nova, Op 21e. Gruber is rather unclassifiable as a composer, and this, and some of his forays into music theatre and non-classical genres may engender suspicion as to the value of his concert music as such. This disc dispels any such doubts. The violin concerto is a superb work which, owing as much to the Berg concerto as it does, nonetheless stands as a powerful statement in its own right. It explores a theme which is not clearly stated until the end - a lovely little melody penned by Gruber himself. The early Four Pieces - somewhat between Bartók and Berg - are also highlights of this most desirable disc. Ernst Kovacic (violin), Paul Crossley (piano), London Sinfonietta; HK Gruber. Largo 5124 (Germany) 05A072 $16.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Complete Songs for Male Voice Choir - Book of Life, Hammarskjöld Fragment, Leaves are Leaves, The Singer, 2 Preludes, The Fox and the Sick Cockerel, 2 Finnish Folk Song Arrangements, 4 Serenades, Autumn at the Rivermouth, Ave Maria, 2 Psalms, Christmas Hymn, Legend. Collectors who love Rautavaara's orchestral music will know that, though he experimented with serialism early in his career, he has remained essentially a tonal, communicative composer although not without his dense and thorny aspects and so it is with his choral music. This set of his complete works for male chorus spans the years from 1956 to 1992 and the composer's eclectic taste for texts can be seen by glancing at such poets as T.S. Eliot, Eluard, Whitman, Stefan George, Rilke, Emily Dickinson and Goethe among others. In addition, he sets several excerpts from the Kalevala and its sister text, the Kanteletar. 2 CDs. Special European Import; Limited Quantities. Finnish-English texts. Amici Cantus; Hannu Norjanen. Finlandia 3984-21444-2 (Finland) 05A073 $39.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Music for Solo Piano, Vol. 55 - Grande Fantaisie di bravura sur La Clochette de Paganini, S420, Den Schutz-Engeln Angelus!, S162a/1, Petite valse favorite, S212i, Valse mélancolique, S210, Mélodie polonaise, S249a, Légende No. 2: St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots, S175/2bis, Vierter Mephisto-Walzer, S216b, Valse-Impromptu, S213a, Valse mélancolique, S210a, Le lac de Wallenstadt, S156/2a/bis, Angelus!, S162a/2, Den Cypressen der Villa d'Este - Thrénodie II, S162b, Variations sur Le Carnaval de Venise (paganini), S700a, Hungaria (Poème symphonique No. 9), S511e, Rákóczi-Marsch, S244b, Sunt lavrymae rerum, S162c, 2 Stücke aus der heiligen Elisabeth, S693a, Troisième Valse Oubliée, S215.3a, Grand Galop chromatique, S219bis, Huldigungsmarsch, S228i, Grande Fantaisie sur des thèmes de Paganini - La Clochette et Le Carnaval de Venice, S700i, Angelus! Prière à l'ange gardien, S162a/3, Historische ungarische Bildnisse, S205a, Angelus! Prière à l'ange gardien, S162a/4, Grande Fantaisie (Variations) sur des thèmes de Paganini, S700ii. Titled "...and other first thoughts and second drafts", this latest volume in the Liszt series turns once again to the many alternative thoughts which the composer had on so much of his output. Though many of the items here are the original versions, much beautiful music was discarded in the composer's later revisions and these originals are fascinating as a trace of the creative thought process (22 of the set's 32 items are premiere recordings and 13 of those were prepared by Howard from Liszt's manuscripts). Of major importance are what were probably Liszt's last thoughts on his cycle Hungarian Historical Portraits (explained in great detail in the notes) while virtuosity fanciers will thrill to the brilliant fantasy on La Clochette. 3 CDs. Leslie Howard (piano). Hyperion CDA 67408/10 (England) 05A074 $53.98

DAVID OTT (b.1947): Piano Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Alto Flute and Strings, FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886)/JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): The Black Gondola, FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924)/JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Berceuse élégiaque. Ott's neo-romantic music is instantly approachable and attractive; the concerto for the rarely heard alto flute (1989) takes advantage of the instrument's exotic sound color to allude to both Asian music and French Impressionism and he lets it exude mellowness as well as giving it a fair share of energetic and rhythmically active work. Dating from 1994, the piano concerto is like a modern romantic homage to the Grand Romantic Concerto of the 19th century, setting the heroic soloist against an antagonistic orchestra in its outer movements and providing a brooding, emotionally expressive slow movement. John Adams' transcriptions, especially of the Liszt, are colorful yet subtle and very effective. Christine Michelle Smith (flute), Frederick Moyer (piano), London Symphony Orchestra; Gisèle Ben-Dor. Jupiter J109 (U.S.A.) 05A075 $13.98

WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY (b.1938): Dallas: 1963 for Baritone and Orchestra, Sinfonova, MICHAEL C. VIENS (b.1953): Les Insectes Dansantes, ColorScope for Baritone and Orchestra. Two composers of New England, both writing accessible yet original neo-romantic music which belongs firmly in the tradition of the orchestral tone-poem of the 19th and early 20th century, and proves beyond doubt that the genre is far from dead. Viens' music shows some impressionistic influence, and a bold and appealing rhythmic vitality. McKinley's music, though tonal, is a little more astringent, and this is not inappropriate in the elegy for JFK (Dallas: 1963). Sinfonova also begins in elegiac character, the language not unlike that of Bloch of the Concerti Grossi. Larry Vote (baritone), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Robert Stankovsky; Robert Black, Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz, Volker Schwarz (baritone), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Robert Stankovsky. MMC 2073 (U.S.A.) 05A076 $16.98

GYÖRGY KURTÁG (b.1926): Attila József - Fragments, Op. 20, S.K. - Remembrance Noise, Op. 12, Messages of the Late R.V. Trussova, Op. 17, Scenes from a Novel, Op. 19, Búcsú. Kurtág's fragmentary style might seem inappropriate to vocal music, but actually these songs are remarkably effective - emotionally compelling, even. Indeed, in some songs, the tension mounts to fever-pitch, the little snatches of instrumental sound - "accompaniment" suggests too much; the voice carries the whole weight of the emotional argument most of the time - serve to set the scene most evocatively, especially in the uneasy, even disturbing Messages . . . Adrienne Csengery (soprano), András Keller (violin), Ferenc Csontos (double bass), Márta Fábián (cimbalom), György Kurtág (piano), Budapest Chamber Ensemble; András Mihály. Hungaroton HCD 31821 (Hungary) 05A077 $16.98

SOULIMA STRAVINSKY (1910-1994): 6 Sonatinas, The Art of Fingering, 3 Fairytales, 20 Etudes Pittoresques. Teaching pieces in the tradition of Clementi, or in our own century, Kabalevsky, the Sonatinas are suitable for playing by young pianists - talented ones, of necessity, but they have a youthful joie de vivre that would serve to make them appealing musically to young lively minds and fingers. The Three Fairytales are also appealing, harmonically easy yet with a winking unpredictability that raises them above the commonplace. Elisha Gilgore (piano). Centaur CRC 2370 (U.S.A.) 05A078 $16.98

JOHN FERNSTRÖM (1897-1961): Symphony No. 12, Rao-Nai-Nai's Songs - Chinese Rhapsody, Op. 43, Songs of the Sea, Op. 62. Fernström was a late-Romantic composer par excellence - his music was considered rather adventurous in the earlier part of the century, but fell into neglect as unfashionable towards the end of his life. On the strength of the twelfth symphony, he definitely deserves a place in the canon of Scandinavian symphonists who have contributed powerful and rugged tonal symphonies on an heroic scale to the repertoire. Lighter than Pettersson, not as lightweight as Atterberg, we are here somewhat in Rangström's territory. The song-cycle shares with the symphony a sense of nature and drama, while the Chinese Rhapsody is a colorful if slightly naïve travelogue based on themes heard during the composer's childhood in China, where his parents were missionaries. Miah Persson (soprano), Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui. BIS CD-997 (Sweden) 05A079 $17.98

LÁSZLÓ LAJTHA (1892-1963): Missa in tono phrygio "In diebus tribluationis", LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Romance for Cello, Harp and Strings, Op. 29, GYÖRGY RÁNKI (1907-1992): Lament of Jesus. Composed in 1950, at a time when Lajtha was for all intents and purposes persona non grata in his own country, shadowed by the police, forbidden to travel, isolated from the international music community, the Missa in tono phrygio is a startlingly beautiful, uplifing work. Showing Lajtha's life-long affinities with French music and culture, the work has a crystalline transparency whether the mood is of gentle, sorrowful introspection or in the positvely euphoric radiance of the Gloria. Ránki's brief Lament of Jesus is a deeply poignant, grave and tragic setting of an inscription in Lübeck Cathedral. Szent István Király Oratorio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Kálmán Záborszky, Piroska Molnár (cello), Ágnes Polonyi (harp). Hungaroton HCD 31833 (Hungary) 05A080 $16.98

JØRGEN BENTZON (1897-1951): Racconti, Nos. 1-6, Opp. 25, 30, 31, 45, 46 & 49. A pupil of Nielsen and Karg-Elert, Bentzon (the cousin of Niels Viggo, by the way) developed an interesting polyphonic style in a harmonic language clearly derived from that of Nielsen, which he exploited to the full in these appealing Racconti. The character of each instrument determines its musical material - while that may not seem too revolutionary a concept, it is the composer's sure ear for the capabilities of each instrument in specific (and in some cases rather unusual) combinations that gives these pieces their unique clarity and vitality. Randers Chamber Orchestra. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224119 (Denmark) 05A081 $14.98

FREDERICK RZEWSKI (b.1938): The People United Will Never Be Defeated, Down by the Riverside, Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues. The People United is Rzewski's largest and most ambitious piano work, a huge set of variations on a Chilean protest song whose immediate catchy appeal renders it most suitable for variation treatment. In the course of the work, Rzewski pulls out all the tricks inherent in variation form from the perspective of the late 20th century; the work as a whole is tonal and the theme is always present, but there are traces of minimalism, atonality and a kind of "Cook's tour" of 20th-century piano technique. As Rzewski the pianist has technique and some to spare, the work is also a virtuoso showpiece. The North American Ballads, particularly the chillingly mechanical Winnsboro cotton mill, make an appropriate and telling coupling. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67077 (England) 05A082 $17.98

PAUL CHIHARA (b.1938): Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, Forest Music for Orchestra, Willow, Willow for Bass Flute, Tuba, Percussion and 3 Trombones, Logs for String Bass, Branches for 2 Bassoons and Percussion, Driftwood for Orchestra, Missa Carminum Brevis (Folk Song Mass), Magnificat. These strikingly individual works show us a composer of considerable character and diversity. Although Chihara has written music for the popular stage and television, these works do not belong to that side of his musical personality. The saxophone concerto is quite modern and eclectic in style, with elements of jazz as well as a highly developed sense of the saxophone's capabilities in concert music. The music concerned with trees is pictorial and atmospheric, approachable despite the use of clusters as part of the vocabulary, while the choral works have a cool elegance which is most beguiling. Harvey Pittel (sax), Louisville Orchestra; Akira Endo, other artists. CRI CD 815 (U.S.A.) 05A083 $16.98

VINCENT PERSICHETTI (1915-1987): Serenade No. 3, Op. 17, LEON KIRCHNER (b.1919): Trio, CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Largo, Piano Trio. Persichetti's trio relies on tonal centers and clear, spare textures to present its material, while Kirchner's is more florid and ornamented, highly chromatic, though not serial. The Ives works are early, and endearingly romantic, though some unexpected leaps in melody lines and unstable accompanying rhythms hint at the unconventional thinking that was to lead to his later æsthetic approach. The trio especially stands repeated listening and deserves more currency in the repertoire (as do the splendid violin sonatas). The Oberlin Trio. Eclectra ECCD-2028 (U.S.A.) 05A084 $16.98

OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): 5 rechants, O Sacrum convivium!, KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Chöre für Doris, IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): A Hélène, Nuits, Serment. The ravishing tone colors of Messiaen's 1949 5 Rechants (part of a trilogy which includes the song-cycle Harawi and the Turangalîla Symphony), whose subject of love taps the Tristan legend while the 1937 communion motet O Sacrum convivium! is the composer's only choral liturgical work. Stockhausen combines the religious and the erotic in 1950 Chöre für Doris which predates the composer's acquisiton of a personal voice and which is indebted to Hindemith and perhaps to Frank Martin. Xenakis' compositions (two of which are wordless, often using non-verbal sounds like breathing noises; Serment sets the Hippocratic oath) always have a vivid immediacy which strikes the mind as well as the ear. Danish National Radio Choir; Jesper Grove Jørgensen. Chandos 9663 (England) 05A085 $16.98

URSULA MAMLOK (b.1928): Constellations for Orchestra, Polarities for Flute, Violin, Cello and Piano, Der Andreas Garten for Soprano, Flute and Harp, Girasol for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello and Piano, String Quartet No. 2. Mamlok writes serial music, explaining that it is the resulting control over the compositional process that recommends this method to her. The content of the music, however, is highly epressive, with clear, transparent textures, rich, seductive harmonies and widely varied metrical pulse which lends liveliness and energy to these airy, scintillant works. Much of her output is for varied chamber ensembles, and the works on this disc, apart from the invigorating Constellations for orchestra, display facets of the composer's recent works in this medium. Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwartz, Parnassus; Anthony Korf, The Jubal Trio, Cassatt String Quartet. CRI CD 806 (U.S.A.) 05A086 $16.98

CHRISTIAN WOLFF (b.1934): Tilbury 1-5, Snowdrop. The Tilbury pieces (named for pianist John Tilbury) are pieces which rely on extremely minimal cells of pitches, which are then played (with flexible instrumentation and an element of chance in their juxtapositioning in time) in repeating and overlapping combinations. There is, then, a kind of highly structured improvisation to the results, and the pieces develop organically as they progress. Dimitrios Polisoidis (violin, viola), Hildegard Kleeb (piano), Roland Dahinden (trombone, melodica). Mode 74 (U.S.A.) 05A087 $16.98

KAREL GOEYVAERTS (1923-1993): The Seven Seals, For String Quartet. These highly organised, linear works for string quartet stand somewhat apart from the traditional literature for the medium, as Goeyvaerts uses the medium less in its usual form as a dialectical exchange of ideas between four voices than as a vehicle for a continuous narrative in which cyclical and serial structures assert themselves as part of an ongoing, almost programmatic process. The music is largely non-dramatic, taking its time to reveal its ideas in progressions of intervals and thematic statements which unfold with a certain inevitability. Quatuor Danel. Megadisc MDC 7853 (Belgium) 05A088 $18.98

VALENTIN SILVESTROV (b.1937): Symphony No. 4, Postludium - Symphonic Poem for Piano and Orchestra, Monodia for Piano and Orchestra. Silvestrov's orchestral music runs the gamut from textures of the utmost pointillist delicacy to discordant outbursts of shocking intensity. Throughout, there runs an unifying vein of melodic continuity - in the case of the two works featuring piano here, in the soliloquising, rhapsodic monologue of the soloist, against an open, vividly lit landscape of infinite expanse, etched with hallucinatory clarity (the demonstration-quality recording helps). The textures that the composer generates in the symphony for strings and brass are simply extraordinary. Most highly recommended. This is billed as volume one, and we hope this series will continue to bring us works of this quality. Ivan Sokolov (piano), Ural Philharmonic Orchestra; Andrei Boreiko. Megadisc MDC 7837 (Belgium) 05A089 $18.98

GRAHAM KOEHNE (b.1956): The Selfish Giant, Once Around the Sun. This disc contains two ballet scores, which share an easy and atmospheric accessibility. In broad terms the vocabulary is not far from Ravel, the early Stravinsky ballets, and some Milhaud - with a similar emphasis on color and texture, and clear chromatically-inflected tonality. Very appealing works. Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra; Stephen Barlow. Tall Poppies TP115 (Australia) 05A090 $18.98

SAMUEL ADLER (b.1928): Acrostics: Four Games for Six Players, Second Piano Concerto, Choose Life for Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra. The lively and playful Acrostics are described as "games" for 6 players - and that is exactly what they sound like; an elegant and delightful interplay of ideas between the instruments. The piano concerto has an especially expressive and lovely slow movement, and the whole is rounded off by a vigorous and ebullient finale. Choose Life, a celebration of the possibilities of being alive, setting diverse theological and mystical texts, offers a highly emotional appeal to the senses, and contains some music of fine dramatic impact. Alan Feinberg (piano), University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Chamber Ensemble, USM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Timothy Koch. Albany TROY 328 (U.S.A.) 05A091 $16.98

CARL RÜTTI (b.1949): Symbole, Panta Rhei, Parabel, Stundenbuch. Rütti's piano music is harmonically consonant, and it has an appealing quasi-minimal process-music repetitiveness with something of Messiaen's highly colorful harmonies to provide interest. Argument is not the composer's primary concern; what these pieces succeed admirably in achieving is to create a mood and sustain it through considerable pianistic ingenuity. Carl Rütti (piano). Herald HAVPCD 226 (England) 05A092 $18.98

JOHN TAVENER (b.1944): Depart in Peace for Soprano, Violin, Tampura and Strings, My Gaze is Ever Upon You for Violin and Tape, Tears of the Angels for Violin and String Ensemble. Those who respond to Tavener's meditative religiosity will need no encouragement to buy this CD, which contains three works in the genre which he and Arvo Pärt have made their own. In Tavener's case, the modal, simple stillness of the music, with its slow descending chromatic scales, its sustained simple chords and floating vocal lines, engenders a mood in which contemplation of the mysteries of faith and existence is not merely possible, but essential. Patricia Rozario (soprano), BT Scottish Ensemble; Clio Gould (violin). Linn CKD 085 (Scotland) 05A093 $16.98

JÜRG BAUER (b.1918): Aphorismen, Ostpreußen-Suite, 3 Stücke im alten Stil, "Klaviermusik 56", Heptameron, Burleske. The "Aphorisms" provide an ideal introduction to Baur's music; brief character pieces, they demonstrate the composer's gift for full yet economical use of his material and slightly astringent tonality. In his later works, represented here by Heptameron from the 1960s, Baur turned towards serialism and dodecaphony, and a less conservative style of piano technique. Oliver Drechsel (piano). Telos TLS 024 (Germany) 05A094 $16.98

SOPHIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings, Duo Sonata for 2 Bassoons, Quasi hoquetus for Bassoon, Viola and Piano. Gubaidulina's association with bassoonist Valery Popov has produced a range of works certain to enrich the bassoon repertoire as they gain wider acceptance. The concerto starts from a series of aphoristic fragments and progresses to a rich tapestry shot through with drama and confrontation, as well as a surprising range of sonorities, very much a trademark of this composer. Some "alternative" playing techniques - microtones and multiphonics - are incorporated into the inventive vocabulary for the instrument employed here; for the most part it is the rigorous musical argument that commands attention. Valeri Popov, Mikhail Bochkov (bassoons), Alexander Bakhchiev (piano), Natasha Gigashcili (viola), Russian State Symphony Orchestra; Pyotr Meshchaninov. Chandos 9717 (England) 05A095 $16.98

BEAT FURRER (b.1954): Die Blinden. "The Blind Ones" is a curiously static drama, which explores the longing for the light of revelation and the dangers which too much understanding may bring to those seeking enlightenment. The music is accordingly disjointed, gestural, oblique and ambiguous. The voices chant in open intervals, punctuated by unsettling percussive outbursts, and the evolving relationship between music and text is as important as the sound of the one or the meaning of the other. German libretto. Linda Watson (soprano), Patricia Caya, Petra Schuwareck (mezzos), Ein Vokalensemble, Klangforum Wien; Beat Furrer. Musikszene Schweiz MGB 6150 (Switzerland) 05A096 $18.98

GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS (b.1953): Nacht. "Night" is a rather unnerving work, on the less than optimistic themes of the loss of reality and of utopian possibilities in society as symbolized by the descent into darkness and unconsciousness. The voices declaim overlapping fragments of texts by Hölderlin against a background of ambiguous, sometimes microtonally tuned, sometimes conventional, sound, which shifts and pulsates, suggesting an unformed, chaotic landscape. German libretto. Julie Moffat (soprano), Waltraus Hoffmann-Mucher (mezzo), Helmut Wildhaber (tenor), Michael Volle (baritone), Johannes Schmidt (bass), Matteo de Monti (narrator), Klangforum Wien; Peter Rundel. Koch Schwann 3-6544-2 (Germany) 05A097 $16.98

PEETER VÄHI (b.1955): Handbell Symphony, with arrangements of music by Bach, Schubert, Johann Strauss and Handel for handbells. A symphony for orchestra and handbells might sound like a gimmick, especially outside the countries where handbell ensembles are a familiar part of the musical landscape. Actually, it works extremely well. The first movement is based, as the notes tell us without identifying it, on a 4-note motif by Pink Floyd (it's from "Shine on you crazy diamond", if you want to know), and the symphony has an accessible and appealing consonance in which the handbells add a rich glowing color to the texture. The remainder of the CD consists of skillfully arrangements of classical works and handbell showpieces. ARSIS Handbell Ensemble, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Aivar Mäe. Antes Edition 31.9103 (Germany) 05A098 $16.98

WILLIAM BOLCOM (b.1938): Eubie's Luckey Day (Rag Obsession), 3 Ghost Rags, The Poltergeist (Rag Fantasy), Dream Shadows, Raggin' Rudi, The Gardenia (Slow Drag), Tabby Cat Walk, California Porcupine Rag, Rag-Tango, Last Rag, Knight Hubert, 3 Classic Rags, Seabiscuits, Fields of Flowers, The Garden of Eden, Lost Lady Rag, Epithalamium. Bolcom made his discovery of ragtime music in 1967 while tracking down what he thought was a chimera - Scott Joplin's "ragtime-opera" Treemonisha (this predated the movie The Sting which developed its sound-track from Gunther Schuller's period instrumentations of Joplin's music. Inspired by this almost-forgotten genre of American music, the composer wrote 22 rags of his own, the majority between 1968 and 1974 and they are recorded complete here for the first time. Ranging from technically tricky to sentimentally simple, they explore a wide range of techniques and styles and make for a consistently captivating collection for dipping into. 2 CDs. John Murphy (piano). Albany TROY 325/26 (U.S.A.) 05A099 $33.98

TERRY RILEY (b.1935): Olsen III. Terry Riley (soprano saxophone), Nacka School of Music Band. Organ of Corti 3 (U.S.A.) 05A100 $16.98

TERRY RILEY (b.1935): Poppy Nogood. Terry Riley (soprano saxophone, organ, time-lag accumulator), Phantom Band All Night Flight. Organ of Corti 4 (U.S.A.) 05A101 $16.98

This invaluable edition documents live performances from the 1960s, at the time when Riley's work was in the forefront of its particular branch of contemporary music. The recordings are fascinating. Of course, by now we have heard what minimalism does, and where it has gone, and it has been absorbed into the vocabulary as yet another tool for the composer's workshop. What is especially enjoyable about these CDs is that we get to re-experience the exhilaration of the time when obsessively repeating pattern music was new, and outrageous, and fun! Olsen III is a big ensemble piece to a cyclic text, in which the composer participates on saxophone. Poppy Nogood is taken from an extended solo performance by Riley in 1968, using electronic organ, saxophone and electronics to build up some extraordinary textures and phasing rhythmic pulsation. Even in the 30 years since, contemporary music has seldom pushed the envelope like this.

This month we bring you nine titles from the Chilean label SVR,which is run by Santiago Vera-Rivera, one of the composers whose works are contained on these CDs. The repertoire is fairly wide, covering not only contemporary Chilean composers but Latin-American composers of the late 19th and 20th centuries as well. These are exclusive Records International imports.

ALFONSO LETELIER (b.1912): Sinfonia "El Hombre ante la Ciencia", 3 Canciones Antiguas for Contralto and Piano, Vitrales de la Anunciación for Sorpano, Female Chorus and Chamber Orchestra. "Church Windows of the Annunciation" is a warmly expressive, tonal cantata, full of gorgeous harmonies and vocal writing. The composer's contrapuntal writing is skillful and telling, and the homophonic choral passages stand out with genuine religious feeling. The effect is of participation in a liturgical event of solemnity and significance, with just a hint of a different cultural background lending a welcome unfamiliarity. The symphony - "Man Before the Sciences" - is in a more modern idiom, but shares the cantata's sense of striving to confront a universal truth, finally expressed in the extended vocal finale (to a text by the composer). Carmen Luisa Letelier (contralto), Cirilo Vila (piano), Chile Symphony Orchestra; Francisco Rettig, Santiago Municipal Theatre Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra; Max Valdés. SVR 3006-2 (Chile) 05A102 $16.98

RENÉ AMENGUAL (b.1911): Wind Sextet, Violin Sonata, Flute Sonata, 3 Songs for Voice and Piano. The lovely, very French-influenced Tres canciones sets the tone for this rediscovery of an extremely fine composer working in a tonal idiom, whose music is full of emotion and lyrical sensibility. The violin sonata sounds a little more modern - a little like Enescu, perhaps. The wind sextet is full of warm expressiveness, oddly reminiscent of Nielsen's wind writing. A delightful discovery. Various Soloists, Jorge Hevia (piano). SVR 3006-3 (Chile) 05A103 $16.98

SANTIAGO VERA-RIVERA (b.1950): Apocalíptika II for Piano and Strings, Arkana I for Cello and Piano, Arkana II for Flute Quartet, Silogístika II for Voice, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Silogístika I for Transverse Flute and Guitar, Preámbulo y Antiprosa for Voice and Piano, Conmutaciones for 2 Flutes and Piano. Vera-Rivera's music is characterised by its free or meterless rhythm, and its modal and whole-tone inflections, suggesting (and in some cases derived from) ancient folk-musics. The Tagore settings weave a vocal line of exquisite simplicity punctuated by delicate yet virtuosic piano interludes. Apocalyptica II sets up an uneasy atmosphere from the outset, full of insect-like scurryings, and again, there is an archaic folk-derived air to the music, while Conmutaciones conjures an atmosphere of meditative minimalism. Per Skoglund (piano), Noruega Chamber Orchestra; Jürg Wyttenbach, Various other soloists. SVR 3006-4 (Chile) 05A104 $16.98

ANDRÉS MAUPOINT (b.1968): 5 Pieces for Piano and String Trio, Piano Sonata, 4 Fascninants for Soprano, Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, 3 Pieces for Cello and Piano, 3 Pieces for Piano on "Tristan und Isolde", Le Fou for Soprano and Piano, Arbol sin Hojas for Violin and Piano. Maupoint is a young composer who is not afraid to express himself with the rash vigor of youth. There is drama aplenty in his work, which can go from catatonic stillness to volcanic ouburst in the space of a few measures. Overall freely atonal, the music nonetheless admits the introduction of a punched-out common chord or fragment of tonal melody as a shock tactic. This is above all music of strong contrasts, highly effective and emotionally charged. Andrés Maupoint (piano), Various other artists. Amigos del Teatro Municipal (no number) (Chile) 05A105 $16.98

GUSTAVO BECERRA-SCHMIDT (b.1925): Partita No. 2 for Solo Cello, CARLOS BOTTO (b.1923): Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 49, LEO BROUWER (b.1939): Sonata for Solo Cello, RODOLFO HALFTTER (1900-1987): Cello Sonata, Op. 26, CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b.1926): Soliloquio II, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Triste, Pampeana No. 2. Becerra-Schmidt's Partita provides an arresting opening to this varied and enjoyable disc. Exploiting the soulful sonority of the cello, the work is nonetheless highly dramatic. The Botto piano sonata is somewhat reminiscent of Ginastera's piano music, while the latter is represented by two melodic and lyrical works. All the pieces on this CD share a melodic soulfulness and overt emotional content, and provide many welcome surprises. Edgar Fischer (cello), María Iris Radrigán (piano). SVR 3006-5 (Chile) 05A106 $16.98

CLAUDIO SANTORO (b.1919): Violin Sonata No. 4, JUAN ORREGO SALAS (b.1919): Violin Sonata, Op. 9, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Pampeana No. 1 for Violin and Piano, FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): 8 Preludes for Piano, KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Sonatina for Violin and Piano. Most people will be buying this for the Santoro and Salas, though Stockhausen's surprisingly conventional early violin sonatina is a nice bonus, and the Frank Martin preludes are perennially fresh and attractive. Santoro's violin sonata is a fine specimen of the genre; tonal and expressive, with an attractive dance-finale, while the Salas is a work of considerable depth and seriousness, somewhat harmonically ambiguous in a tonal framework. Fernando Ansaldi (violin), Frida Conn (piano). SVR 1013-1 (Chile) 05A107 $16.98

CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b.1926): 4 Danzas Populares Andinas, ROBERTO FALABELLA (1926-1958): Violin Sonata, ADOLFO FLORES (b.1941): Estudio, JUAN ORREGO-SALAS (b.1919): Pastoral y scherzo, MANUEL ENRIQUEZ (b.1926): Suite, MOZART CAMARGO GUARNIERI (b.1907): Violin Sonata No. 4. All of this music is approachable, though in a range of styles from simple and appealing arrangements of folk melodies to gentle pastoral tonal interludes, through the two sonatas presented here, which have an Enescu-like dynamism, or the Enriquez Suite, which treads broader emotional territory while remaining most approachable and just a little harmonically spicy. Fernando Ansaldi (violin), Frida Conn (piano). SVR-1013 (Chile) 05A108 $16.98

FEDERICO GUZMÁN (1837-1885): Zamacueca No. 3, Elegía, ENRIQUE SORO (1884-1954): Tonada No. 2, Capricho No. 2, PEDRO HUMERTO ALLENDE (1885-1959): 2 Miniaturas Griegas, Estudio No. 7, DOMINGO SANTA CRUZ WILSON (1899-1987): 2 Viñetas, RENÉ AMENGUAL (1911-1954): Arroyuelo, Tonada, Transparencia, JUAN LEMANN CAZABON (b.1928): Homenaje a Alfonso Leng, Pequeño estudio, LUIS ADVIS (b.1935): 2 Preludes, CIRILO VILA (b.1937): Poema, SANTIAGO VERA-RIVERA (b.1950): 3 Temporarias, JUAN AMENÁBAR (b.1922): Preludio, EDUARDO CÁCERES (b.1955): Seco, fantasmal y vertiginoso. A history of Chilean piano music from the 19th century to now, and all of it unfamiliar to most of us, I dare say. The earlier works have some French influence, and Grieg-like chromatic harmony abounds; some works have a subtle song-like melancholy, and none strays anywhere near the avant-garde; Prokofiev is the most recent comparison worth invoking, for the most part (the exception is the Cáceres, explosive and pointillistically indirect at once). All the pieces are colorful and inventive, and the disc provides a fascinating glimpse of a largely unsuspected area of the piano repertoire. Graciela Yazigi, Elma Miranda, Cecilia Plaza, Deborah Singer (piano). SVR-1026 (Chile) 05A109 $16.98

CARLOS ISAMITT (1887-1974): 3 Evocaciones Huilliches for Voice and Piano, ACARIO COTAPOS (1889-1969): Sonata-Fantasia for Piano, MIGUEL AGUILAR (b.1931): Rhapsody for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, RAMÓN CAMPBELL (b.1911): Sonata de Otoño for Piano, JAIME GOLZÁLEZ PIÑA (b.1956): Estudio en 3 for Clarinet and Piano, RENÁN CORTÉS LÓPEZ (b.1958): Dúo est for 2 Guitars, ALLOCHA SOLOVERA ROJE (b.1963): Variazioni for Oboe, Cello and Piano, RICARDO ESCOBEDO (b.1961): On Board for Piano, MARIO MORA LÓPEZ (b.1967): Sinapsis for Piano Trio, TOMÁS LEFEVER (b.1926): Sinfonía 1964 for Orchestra. Another fascinating sampler of unfamiliar music - unfamiliar composers, too, for the most part. The range of styles and influences is diverse: there is some Scriabin in the air, notably in the Isamitt and Cotapos; Aguilar's music is angular and more consciously modern, while the Campbell is neo-romantic. The Roje variations - inventive and expressive - are a highlight, as is Lefever's succinct, Bergian Sinfonia which sounds like one of the Drei Orchesterstücke, with overtones of Messiaen. Chile Symphony Orchestra; Agustín Cullel, Various other artists. SVR ANC-6003-1 (Chile) 05A110 $16.98

MOZART CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): 20 Estudos. Guarnieri's twenty etudes come in four "volumes", composed respectively in 1949-54, 1962, 1968-70 and 1981-88. Each is dedicated to a pianist, most of whom were close friends, and they offer a formidable challenge to any interpreter with their polyphonic textures and free, often atonal, language although even the casual listener will not fail to appreciate their musical beauty as well. An important addition to the catalogue of piano etudes. Frederick Moyer (piano). Jupiter J108 (U.S.A.) 05A111 $13.98

ERIC FUNK (b.1949): Symphony No. 3 for Clarinet and Orchestra "Hradcany", Symphony No. 4 for Contralto and Orchestra, Op. 75 "This Eventide Seems Split". These two big-boned symphonic structures carry considerable emotional weight, and although not explicitly programmatic, they both contain implicit meaning as designated by the composer and clearly decipherable in the music. The third Symphony is "about" Czechoslovakia, the Czech people and Czech art and music. The solo clarinet plays the part of guide, or cantor, rather than occupying a virtuosic soloist's role. Funk organises his material according to dodecaphonic rules, but the music sounds closer to Martinu or Shostakovich than to the Second Viennese school. The fourth symphony sets an epic poem by Amanda Aizpuriete in a large-scale structure limned in dark colors; the prevailing mood is tragic, the unresolved harmonies lending an ambiguous air to the rich and melodic material. Anna Maria Baeza (clarinet), Czech Radio Symphony; Vladimír Válek, Judith Stabler (contralto), Warsaw National Philharmonic; Jerzy Swoboda. MMC 2076 (U.S.A.) 05A112 $16.98

WILLIAM KRAFT (b.1923): Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Evening Voluntaries for Horn, Veils and Variations for Horn and Orchestra. The composer writes that he had originally doubted that timpani could sustain sufficient interest for a full-blown concerto. He need not have worried. This concerto is so filled with splendid ideas, and the solo writing is so idiomatic that there is never a moment when attention wanes. The same goes for the dramatic piano concerto, that grows out of misty, imprecise opening material into a tour de force of orchestral drama and solo bravura. The other works, featuring solo horn, are similarly powerful, and the composer's free tonal vocabulary is most expressive. Highly recommended to lovers of fine and individual contemporary orchestral music. Thomas Akins (timpani), Mona Golabek (piano), Alabama Symphony Orchestra; Paul Polivnick, Jeff von der Schmidt (horn), Berkeley Symphony Orchestra; Kent Nagano. Albany TROY 302 (U.S.A.) 05A113 $16.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 15 - Ungarischer Krönungsmarsch, Op. 225, Amouretten, Op. 147, Gedenke mein!, Op. 38, Lustschwärmer, Op. 91, Theater-Quadrille, Op. 213, Vielliebchen, Op. 7, Combinationen, Op. 176, Plappermäulchen, Op. 245, Hesperus-Ländler, Op. 220, Winterlust, Op. 121, Die Naßwalderin, Op. 267, Mein Lebenslauf is Lieb' und Lust, Op. 263. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Kulling. Marco Polo 8.223575 (New Zealand) 05A114 $14.98.

EMILE WALDTEUFEL (1837-1915): Edition, Vol. 11 - Retour du printemps, Op. 244, La cinquantaine, Op. 215, Papillons blues, Op. 224, Tendresse, Op. 217, Minuit, Op. 168, Tendres baisers, Op. 211, Autrefois, Op. 167, Près de toi, Op. 193, Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit, Op. 106. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Alfred Walter. Marco Polo 8.223692 (New Zealand) 05A115 $14.98

JOHN BARRY (b.1933): Music from the Films Zulu, The Specialist, The Cotton Club, King Rat, The Tamarind Seed, The Last Valley, Love Among the Ruins, Mercury Rising, Midnight Cowboy, King Kong, Frances, My Sister's Keeper, Hammett, Dances with Wolves, The Deep and Mister Moses. Barry's score for the 1964 historical-adventure film Zulu was somewhat of a breakthrough for him even though it came after he had arranged/scored two James Bond films. All 20-plus minutes of music in the film have been newly recorded in stereo. A wide variety of this gifted composer's other film scores accompanies it, attesting to his almost chameleonic ability to "get inside" whatever genre of film he was working on. 2 CDs. Crouch End Festival Chorus, City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Nic Raine. Silva America SSD 1095 (England) 05A116 $33.98

THOMAS DE HARTMANN (1885-1956)& ßLAURENCE ROSENTHAL (b.1926): Meetings with Remarkable Men - Original Soundtrack. Peter Brook's film, based on Gurdjieff's autobiography, made use of some of the many piano pieces which the latter's student, de Hartmann, wrote during their travels together throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Film composer Rosenthal orchestrated several of these piano works as well as composed a couple of original segments of music, using a large orchestra and such indigenous instruments as a Near Eastern zither (Kanun), Tibetan and Japanese gongs, the Chinese cheng, Persian tar and santur, Turkish zurna and Asian wooden and bamboo flutes, to produce a rich and evocative score redolent of the exotic locations of the story. (The piano originals have been recorded in an ongoing Wergo series which has been offered in these pages over the last 18 months.) Ambrosian Singers, National Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurence Rosenthal. Citadel STC 77123 (U.S.A.) 05A117 $14.98

PAUL BOWLES (b.1910): Concerto for 2 Pianos, Winds and Percussion, Flute Sonata, Music for a Farce, Sonata for Clarinet and Oboe, Hippolytos and Salome, Scenes d'Anabase, Night Waltz. Bowles is a remarkable literary figure, whose best writing - chillingly precise and free of the encumberence of moral preconceptions - is quite unlike anyone else's. His music isn't quite like that. He has pursued a career as composer all his life, and it has involved collaborations with some of the most notable names in the 20th-century arts (Music for a Farce was originally incidental music for an Orson Welles production, for instance; the finale of the oboe sonata is modelled on the rhythm of a passage from a Dada poem by Schwitters). The nature of Bowles' music places it in the mainstream of the 20th century; Prokofiev and Stravinsky come to mind; jazz, and jazz-inflected Milhaud, and some very French-sounding harmonies. The shadowy and enigmatic side of Bowles' character comes most to the fore in the short scenes adapted from incidental music for productions of Wilde and Euripides, the most recent music here. Martyn Hill (tenor), Dietmar Wiesner (flute), Catherine Milliken (oboe), Hermann Kretzschmar & Olga Balakleets (pianos), HCD Ensemble of Frankfurt. Largo 5131 (Germany) 05A118 $16.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Complete Edition, Vol. 15 - Sonatas in A, Op. 50/1, in D Minor, Op. 50/2 & in G Minor, Op. 50/3. This penultimate volume brings us to the end of the cycle of sonatas, published in 1821 and dedicated to Cherubini, which demonstrate the high point of his creativity - dramatic and often almost symphonic in scale. Pietro Spada (piano). Arts 47237 (Germany) 05A119 $10.98