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Vianna Da Motta

Piano Concerto, Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra

JOSÉ VIANNA DA MOTTA (1868-1948): Piano Concerto in A, Fantasia Dramática for Piano and Orchestra, Ballada for Piano, Op. 16. One of the greatest pianists of his age, Da Motta was also a renowned teacher, musicologist and important composer in the history of Portuguese music. He studied with both Liszt and von Bülow and later began a new edition of the former's works for Breitkopf & Hartel with Busoni. His early (1885) concerto is a two-movement work in which Portuguese folk influences sometimes awkwardly co-exist with Teutonic form and styles. The solo role is very virtuosic, of course, but also musically rewarding. It was never performed until the night before this recording in July of 1999. A more mature composition, the 1893 Fantasia is a one-movement work which adapts the fluid structure of Liszt's concertos whose three sections are clearly definable and interrelated. The Ballada, for solo piano, dates from 1905; based on two popular Portuguese songs, it is a dramatic and virtuosic work - probably the composer's most mature piano work. Artur Pizarro (piano), Orquestra Gulbenkian; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67163 (England) 11C001 $17.98

AUGUST SÖDERMAN (1832-1876): Concert Overture in F, Zohrab, Wedding March from The Wedding at Ulfåsa, Karl XV's Funeral March, Intermezzo (A Sailor's Life), Burlesque, 8 Swedish Folk Songs and Dances, Festpolonäs, Bellman Melodies for Orchestra, Swedish Festival. This second volume of orchestral music by Sweden's first "national romantic" composer features a Mendelssohnian concert overture and a Gallic, opera comique-style overture to a play about a gypsy, Zohrab, and his romantic escapades. The remainder of the disc is given over to music either composed for state occasions or derived from Swedish folk music, giving Söderman a chance to demonstrate his enviable ability to produce disarming and delightful melodies. The Swedish Festival which closes the disc is still used at state occasions today. Symphony Orchestra of Norrlands Opera; Roy Goodman. Sterling CDS-1040-2 (Sweden) 11C002 $15.98

NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): String Quartet in E Minor, J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900): String Quartet Fragment in G, String Quartet Fragment in A. Hartmann never completed a string quartet, leaving behind these two works which each lack a final movement (both finales exist in partial, but abandoned, form). The G major piece dates from 1848, the time of Liden Kirsten and the second symphony, and has a fine, melodious second movement romance while the A major is probably from the early 1850s and plumbs greater depths, with an aggressive first movement, calm and lovely andante and a rather mournful intermezzo. Only available recordings of the Hartmann; Gade's unpublished quartet (1851) has been recorded before - a light and airy piece, charming and tuneful. Cailin Quartet. Classico CLASSCD 337 (Denmark) 11C003 $15.98

NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Piano Sonata, Op. 28, WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): 3 Fantasias, Op. 11, EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Piano Sonata, Op. 7. Gade's only sonata dates from 1838 but was reworked extensively before publication in 1854. It is a stormy Romantic piece with echoes not only of Schumann and Mendelssohn but also of Schubert and Beethoven with a particularly striking brooding third movement and a heaven-storming virtuosic finale. Stenhammar wrote little for his own instrument but these three fantasies (1895) are his finest works, inspired by Brahms and Schumann. Grieg's sonata (1865), dedicated to Gade and still among his lesser played works, makes an obvious coupling with its youthful and fiery vigor. Alexander Vaulin (piano). Classico CLASSCD 332 (Denmark) 11C004 $15.98

ZDENùK FIBICH (1850-1900): Violin Sonata in D, Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 10, Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op. 27, Clear Night, Song without Words for 2 Violins and Piano, Concert Polonaise for Violin and Piano. Here are Fibich's complete works for violin and piano, ranging from the youthful, refreshingly bright and inventive sonatina (1869) through the 1876 sonata, sweetly melancholic in its slow movement, all high spirits and rhythmically bouncy in its three others, to the charming short pieces which date from between 1873 and 1882. Josef Suk (violin), Josef Hála (piano). Supraphon SU 3473-2 (Czech Republic) 11C005 $16.98

JULIUS RÖNTGEN (1855-1932): Violin Sonata in F Sharp Minor, Op. 20, Piano Trio No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 50, Cello Sonata No. 5 in B Minor, Op. 56. The late Romantic style of this Dutch composer is utterly ingratiating and, though he was attracted by newer music, such as Debussy, and folk musics of other lands, such as the Scandinavian countries, his personal voice is always rich, warm, melodious and memorable whether in the youthful energy of the Schumannian violin sonata or in the comfortable, gemütlich, Brahmsian quality of the 1904 piano trio. Alexander Kerr (violin), Gregor Horsch (cello), Sepp Grotenhuis (piano). NM Classics 92089 (Netherlands) 11C006 $17.98


SERGEI LYAPUNOV (1859-1924): Sonata in F Minor, Op. 27 (Nicholas Walker), ALEXIS DE CASTILLON (1838-1873): 3 Pensées fugitives (Frederic Chiu), EUGEN D'ALBERT (1864-1932): Ballade in B Minor, Op. 16/4 (Andreas Bach), ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942): Arabeske, Op. 29/2 (Vladimir Stoupel), JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): In a Landscape (Alexei Lubimov), GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): The Man I Love, Fascinating Rhythm, Embraceable You (arr. Meinders), HAROLD ARLEN (1905-1986): Over the Rainbow (arr. Meinders), FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Suleika, Trockne Blumen (arr. Meinders) (Frédéric Meinders). Danacord DACOCD 539 (Denmark) 11C007 $17.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Complete Works for Violin and Piano - Sonata in G, Op. 6, Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11, Tanzlied des Pierrot from Die tote Stadt, Op. 12, Marettas Lied sur Laute from Die Tote Stadt, Caprice fantastique, Serenade from Der Schneemann, Gesang der Heliane from Das Wunder der Heliane. Only the 1912 sonata was originally written for violin and piano; the op. 11 work is a suite culled from a reduction of a full-scale orchestral work while all the rest are Korngold's own transcriptions of various popular pieces from several genres, many popularized by Kreisler. Mid-price. Sonja van Beek (violin), Andreas Frölich (piano). CPO 999 709 (Germany) 11C008 $10.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Märchenbilder, Op. 3, 4 Waltzes, Don Quixote. Astoundingly accomplished works from the pre-teen and barely teen-aged Korngold fill this first volume in a series. The six Don Quixote sketches date from 1909 (although the last one - dealing with the Don's death - was even earlier, from 1907) and already show the peculiar and individual harmony of the adult composer, with the opening bars already looking forward to the bleak, tortured chromaticism of Der Wunder der Heliane twenty years later. The seven 1910 "Fairy-tale Pictures" have an even richer, more expressive harmony as well as the kind of memorable tunes which would flower in Korngold's film scores. Alexander Frey (piano). Koch International Classics 7427 (U.S.A.) 11C009 $16.98

ALEXANDER GRECHANINOV (1864-1956): Symphony No. 5 in G Minor, Op. 153, Missa oecumenica, Op. 142. The symphony (like the mass, composed in 1936) is an uninhibitedly conservative work in the heroic Russian style which recalls Borodin's Second in both mood and its motto theme of hammering octaves. Though written at a time when the world was once again plunging into darkness and such haunted works as Berg's Violin Concerto, Walton's first, Vaughan Williams' fourth and Shostakovich's fifth symphonies were tapping the zeitgeist, neither the symphony, nor the grand and radiant mass offer anything but faith, hope and confidence. The mass, powerful and life-affirming, sets the Roman liturgy with imagery derived from Russian Orthodox, Gregorian and Hebrew chant and achieves an impressive scale and majesty. Tatiana Shurova (soprano), Ludmila Kuznetsova (mezzo), Oleg Dolgov (tenor), Dmitry Fadeyev (bass), Margarita Koroleva (organ), Russian State Symphonic Capella and Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 9845 (England) 11C010 $16.98

JOSEPH-ERMEND BONNAL (1880-1944): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2. Highly praised by the likes of Vierne, Dukas, Ravel, Boulanger, Schmitt and Sauguet, Bonnal is quite forgotten today (perhaps New Grove 2 will deign to include him), yet from the evidence of these two quartets (1919 and 1934) he is someone worth rediscovering. The first quartet has its echoes of Debussy and Ravel, especially in its first movement, but its richness of melody and counterpoint, its wealth of moods and of invention, its vigor and rich palette of color mark it out as an individual creation. Born in Bordeaux, Bonnal had a life-long interest in the southwest of France and, particularly, in Basque folk music and his second quartet's slow second movement alternates Gregorian chant with a Basque shepherd's song while its bright, colorful finale is a musical evocation of the Basque region. Quatuor Debussy. Arion ARN 68504 (France) 11C011 $17.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Concerto grosso for 2 Pianos and Chamber Orchestra, for Two Pianos: 3 Czech Dances, La Fantaisie, Impromptu. One of Martinu's most performed works, the 1937 Concerto grosso has had few recordings; its strong rhythmic drive and verve are exceeded only by the same qualities in the 1943 double piano concerto. From Martinu's early period in Paris, the 1929 La Fantaisie is a strikingly rough, cold and constructivist piece, quite out of keeping with his mature voice and all the more interesting for that. Clinton-Narboni Duo, Talich Chamber Orchestra; Vladimír Válek. Elan CD 82422 (U.S.A.) 11C012 $16.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Song of the Soul (in intimate communication and union with the love of God) for Chorus and Strings, Op. 78, 4 Mediaeval Latin Lyrics for Baritone and Strings, Op. 32, Inscape for Mixed Choir, Strings and Harp, Op. 122, Veni, creator Spiritus for Mixed Chorus and Brass, Op. 130, Advent Cantata: Natum Maria Virgine, Op. 136 for Chorus and Orchestra. Rubbra's first and last compositions were choral works and he composed choral music all his life. His deep interest in religious and philosophical ideas (one of his symphonies was dedicated to Teilhard de Chardin) gave all of his works a spiritual dimension and he was particularly attracted to texts which express the spiritual through the sensual, a fine example of this being the 1951 Song of the Soul to a text by St. John of the Cross. Three works are premiere recordings. Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus, City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9847 (England) 11C013 $16.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (1919-2000): Toccata, Op. 10, Partita, Op. 38, Woodcut, Op. 65, Kaleidoskope, Op. 86. The 1941 Toccata avoids expectations by grinding along, tank-like in its momentum; the Partita (1945), again neo-classical in name and form, remains a work of dark, brute force, alternating between slow sections fraught with menace and trip-hammer, toccata-like fast sections. Woodcut (1947) is an extended fantasy in nine brief sections, sharply chiselled and full of violent dynamic extremes while all trace of form has evaporated from the rapidly changing aural images of the aptly-titled Kaleidoscope (1952). Anker Blyme (piano). Danacord DACOCD 531 (Denmark) 11C014 $17.98

GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983): Concertino for Harp and Piano, Harp Sonata, Vocalise pour voix élevée, 6 Chansons Françaises, La Rue Chagrin for Voice and Piano, Piano Solo: Impromptu, Romance, 2 Pastorales, Valse Lente, Sicilienne, Fleurs de France, Partita. This collection is an excellent illustration of the composer's concision, freshness, spontaneity and sparkling grace. French texts. Art Nouveau Ensemble. Nuova Era 7341 (Italy) 11C015 $17.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): 5 Motets, 4 Carols, Missa à 3, Op. 98, Lauda Sion, Op. 110, The Beatitudes, Op. 109, 5 Madrigals, Op. 51, 2 Madrigals, Op. 52, Mass in Honour of St. Teresa of Avila. This collection of the composer's unaccompanied choral music covers 47 years of work and includes both sacred and profane pieces, informed by the same mixture of intense spirituality and pleasure in earthly delights as the orchestrally accompanied pieces above. Voces Sacrae; Judy Martin. ASV DCA 1093 (England) 11C016 $16.98

HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): Complete Orchestral Works - Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2 "Le Double", L'Arbre des songes for Violin and Orchestra, 2 Sonnets by Jean Cassou for Tenor and Orchestra, Timbres, espace, mouvement avec interlude, Métaboles, Tout un monde lointain for Cello and Orchestra, Mystère de l'instant, The Shadows of Time, JEHAN ALAIN (1911-1940): Prière pour nous autres charnels (orch. Dutilleux) for Tenor, Baritone and Orchestra. A follower of no school, a disciple of no master, Dutilleux has followed his own Muse for more than half a century now, producing works which invariably resound with striking combinations of sound, producing works of rare beauty and imagination. Included on the fourth CD is a live performance of his latest work, written for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Paris. 4 CDs for the price of 3. French/English texts. Olivier Charlier (violin), Boris Pergamenshikov (cello), Martyn Hill (tenor), Neal Davies (baritone), Edward Burrowes (treble), BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier. Chandos 9853 (England) 11C017 $50.98

JUAN BAUTISTA JOSÉ CABAILLES (1644-1712): 9 Tientos, Paseo and Passacaglia. Cabanilles was the greatest Spanish 17th century organ master and his music is typically Spanish in that it continues Renaissance style rather than the characteristically baroque style found elsewhere in Europe. The majority of his pieces are tientos - usually a series of imitative sections on different themes but with toccata-like figurations and some counterpoint. Some feature sharp dissonances, unusual melodic intervals and unexpected harmonic progressions. Sandro R. Müller (Rieger organ, Abtei Marienstadt, Westerwald). Cybele 020.104 (Germany) 11C018 $16.98

JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687): Trios pour le coucher du Roy, CHARLES BOCQUET (c.1570-1615): 3 Passamezzi for Solo Harp, JEAN-HENRY D'ANGLEBERT (c.1629-1691): Tombeau de Monsieur de Chambonnières for Solo Harp, GIOVANNI BATTISTA VITALI (1632-1692): Sonata a tre, Op. 2/6, Sonata a tre, Op. 5 "la Guidoni", GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): Canzon prima, Canzon terza, GIOVANNI LEGRENZI (1626-1690): Sonata a tre, Op. 4/1 "La Bernarda", ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713): Sonata a tre, Op. 1/5, Sonata a tre, Op. 1/8. Performing on flute, viola and harp, this trio attempts to recreate the French and Italian instrumental environment of the mid-17th century, from the canzona and the Italian sonata da chiesa to French trios. Much of this repertoire has not been previously recorded. Trio Tanis. Calliope CAL 9887 (France) 11C019 $17.98

REINHARD KEISER (1674-1739): Croesus. Dating from 1711, this is probably the finest work by Germany's foremost baroque opera composer. Because Keiser adhered neither to the French nor to the Italian school and because he was utterly unlike Handel (who nevertheless borrowed many melodic ideas from Keiser's operas), he fell rapidly into oblivion after his death. But his seemingly inexhaustible fund of melodic ideas and his rich orchestral writing, often marked by unusual and colorful sonorities (Croesus was the first Hamburg opera to use chalumeaux) make for exciting and satisfying listening. 3 CDs for the price of 2. German-English libretto. Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Werner Güra (counter-tenor), Roman Trekel (tenor), RIAS-Kammerchor, Knabensolisten Knabenchor Hannover, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; René Jacobs. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901714.16 (France) 11C020 $35.98

WILLIAM BOYCE (1711-1779): David's Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (Dublin version), Ode on St. Cecilia's Day "The Charms of Harmony Display", David's Lamentation (extracts from London version). First performed in 1736 (the Dublin revision of 1740 is performed here), David's Lamentation is a dramatic scene propelled by music of remarkable color and intensity with arias and recitatives which recall Pergolesi and Gluck rather than the expected Handel. Texts included. Patrick Burrowes (boy soprano), William Purefoy (alto), Andrew Watts (counter tenor), Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor), Michael George (bass-bartione), Choir of New College, Oxford, The Hanover Band; Graham Lea-Cox. ASV GAU 208 (England) 11C021 $16.98

JEAN-JOSEPH CASSANÉA DE MONDONVILLE (1711-1772): 6 Pièces de Clavecin en sonates avec accompagnement de violon, Op. 3. This 1990 release from Rousset's very early recording days offers rococo repertoire from 1741 which abounds with life, energy, elegance and virtuosity with affinities not only to Duphly and A.-L. Couperin but even to Schobert. Christophe Rousset (harpsichord), Florence Malgoire (violin). Pierre Verany PV.790093 (France) 11C022 $17.98

NICCOLÓ JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Miserere "Pietà, Pietà, Signore" for 2 Sopranos, Strings, Organ and Continuo, 5 Duetti Sacri for 2 Sopranos and Organ. Written only a few months before his death, the Miserere became an unintentional spiritual testament; it it, Neapolitan cantabile manner and contrapuntal-imitative styles stand side by side. Italian texts. Sylva Potter, Giovanna Manci (sopranos), La Magnifica Comunità, Maurizio Ciampi (organ). Nuova Era 7330 (Italy) 11C023 $17.98

CAROLUS ANTONIUS FODOR (1768-1846): Piano Sonatas in F Sharp and in F, Op. 2, JOHANN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Rondo-Polonaise in D, HENRI MESSEMAECKERS JR. (1824--?): Grande Marche Funebre, CAROLUS EMANUEL FODOR (1759-c.1799): Air du Tonnelier. Late Classical Dutch piano music, recorded on an Anton Walter copy fortepiano, demonstrating a conservative bent from these composers, where the empfindsam stil and Mozartian classicism go hand in hand. In a slipcase with lavish booklet. Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano). NM Classics 92103 (Netherlands) 11C024 $17.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): String Quartets, Vol. 1 - in B, Op. 1/2, in F Minor, woO Op., in C, woOp., in G Minor, Op. 1/3, in D, Op. 1/4. Influenced neither by Haydn nor by Mozart, Kraus wrote quartets unique in their unusual form and in the powerful emotions they express. There is great melodic beauty and a few rays of sunshine but melancholy and profundity are the most common characteristics of these marvellous works. Performed on period instruments by a quartet, three of whom are members of Concerto Köln. Joseph Martin Kraus-Quartett. Cavalli Records CCD 224 (Germany) 11C025 $17.98

GEORGIUS ZRUNEK (1736-1789): Missa prima in F pro festis Natalitiis, JI¤Í PAVLICA (b.1953): Missa brevis. Originally attributed to Edmund Pascha, the pastoral mass recorded here is by this unknown Franciscan monk. Written not for the monastery but for performance to the people, it juxtaposes Latin texts with healthy doses of Slovak dialect. Pavlica is the leader of Hradist'an, a Bohemian dulcimer ensemble, and he created his own pastoral mass in the spirit of those of the 18th century - a charming and spirited tribute to his musical ancestors. Tereza Merklová (soprano), Petra Noskaiová (alto), Ales Jenis (baritone), Ales Procházka (bass), Antonín Stehlík (baritone), boys' voices from Boni Pueri, Ars Brunensis Chorus, Hradist'an, Brno Chamber Orchestra; Roman Válek. Supraphon SU 3475-2 (Czech Republic) 11C026 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Vom Pagen und der Königstochter, Op. 140 for 2 Mezzo-Sopranos, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120. This second Chandos release coupling a symphony with a choral ballad brings us a work composed in 1852 while Schumann was plagued by convulsions and nervous fits. Lasting over 32 minutes, the texts are by Emanuel Geibel, drawing from medieval Germanic folklore. The colorful poems give Schumann ample scope for picturesque, varied music, including such Romantic genre pieces as a hunting chorus, a mermaids' chorus and a wedding chorus. German-English texts. Hanne Fischer, Marianne Rørholm (mezzos), Roland Wagenführer (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Bo Anker Hansen (bass), Danish National Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Michael Schønwandt. Chandos 9846 (England) 11C027 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Choral Works, Vol. 1 - 3 Gedichte von Emanuel Geibel, Op. 29, 4 Gesänge, Op. 59, 6 Lieder, Op. 33, 5 Lieder von Robert Burns, Op. 55, Beim Aschied zu singen, Op. 84. The choral music of Schubert, Schumann and, to a lesser extent, Brahms, represents the pinnacle of German Romanticism and this new series intends to record everything Schumann wrote for mixed chorus, women's chorus and male chorus as well as the three choral songs which Clara wrote for her husband's birthday in 1848. German texts. Studio Vocale Karlsruhe; Werner Pfaff, Renner Ensemble; Bernd Engelbrecht, Ira Maria Vitoshinsky (piano). ebs 6034 (Germany) 11C028 $17.98

PHILIPP SCHARWENKA (1847-1917): Stimmungsbilder, Op. 57, Lieder un Tanzweisen, Op. 54, Herbstbilder, Op. 59, XAVER SCHARWENKA (1850-1924): 2 Waltzer, Op. 44. It's good that Philipp's works occupy most of this disc since he is almost utterly neglected. These are all Romantic character pieces, full of beautiful melodies and are wonderfully atmospheric. Xaver's waltzes reveal a more extrovert personality, in keeping with the fact that he was not only a composer and teacher but also a travelling virtuoso. Kölner Klavier-Duo. Koch Schwann 3-1575-2 (Germany) 11C029 $16.98

GUSTAV JENNER (1865-1920): Trio in E Flat for Clarinet, Horn and Piano, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Horn Trio, Op. 40, 6 Songs (arr. Hackleman). Jenner was Brahms' only composition student so it is not surprising to find his 1900 trio full of Brahmsian influences. Nonetheless, it is an entertaining piece with much highly developed counterpointing between the wind instruments. Martin Hackleman (horn), Jane Coop (piano), Martin Beaver (violin), James Campbell (clarinet). CBC Records MVCD 1133 (Canada) 11C030 $17.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Serenade No. 1 in D, Op. 11 (nonet version), 4 Chorale Preludes for Organ (orch. Paul Angerer). op. 11 was originally written as a nonet for winds and strings but Brahms destroyed the original manuscript after producing the orchestral version; English conductor and composer Alan Boustead made this reconstruction in 1987. Prima La Musica; Dirk Vermeulen. Eufoda 1298 (Belgium) 11C031 $18.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 3 - Pfélude blageur, Des Tritons s'il vous plait, Petite Pensée, Une Bagatelle, Mélodie italienne; une Bagatelle, Petite Caprice, Échantillon de Blague mélodique sur les Noires de la Main droite, Mélodie candide, Prélude italien, Échantillon du Chant de Noël à l'italienne, Impromptu tarantellisé, Valse torturée, Marche et Réminiscences pour mon dernier Voyage, Un petit Train de Plaisire, comico-imitatif. This wonderful series continues with another full helping of Rossini's Sins of Old Age abetted by the gorgeous, evocative sounds of this jewel-like Erard piano. Paolo Giacometti (1849 Erard piano). Channel Classics CCS 16098 (Netherlands) 11C032 $17.98

GIACOMO MEYERBEER (1791-1857): Hirtenlied, CONRADIN KREUTZER (1780-1849): Das Mühlrad, OTTO NICOLAI (1810-1849): Variazioni concertanti, Op. 26, FRANZ BERWALD (1796-1868): Echo from Near and Far, LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1849): 6 deutsche Lieder, Op. 103, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Romance from Die Verschworenen, Der Hirt auf dem Felsen. A few lesser-known pieces join Schubert's shepherd in this delightful recital of works for soprano, clarinet and piano, with Meyerbeer and Kreutzer conjuring up similar Arcadian scenes while Nicolai offers Italian texts set to themes borrowed from Bellini's La Sonnambula and Berwald rounds things off with a Swedish setting. Texts and translations included. Julia Broxholm (soprano), Fred Ormand (clarinet), Martin Katz (piano). Danacord DACOCD 538 (Denmark) 11C033 $17.98

MODEST MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881): Piano Music, Vol. 1 - Polka, Souvenir d'enfance, Scherzo, Jeux d'enfants-les quatre coins, Niania et moi, Première punition, Une larme, Intermezzo symphonique, Au village, Impromptu passioné, La capricieuse, Méditation, La couturière, Rêverie, En Crimée. It's remarkable how little attention is paid to Mussorgsky's "other" piano pieces; the composer was thought to be the equal of Anton Rubinstein as a pianist and his shorter piano works run a wide gamut of emotions and impressions and make for a thoroughly enjoyable listen from beginning to end. Nina Kavtaradze (piano). Danacord DACOCD 551 (Denmark) 11C034 $17.98

En un Salón de Habana - Habaneras and Contradanzas from Cuba (1830-1855). Music by Manuel Saumell, Sebastián Iradier and others. 15 selections recreating the atmosphere and music of Cuban salons in the second quarter of the 19th century. The band consists of soprano, tenor, 2 violins, flute, clarinet/basset horn, double bass, percussion and Felipe Sánchez (guitar). Axivil Criollo. RTVE 64073 (Spain) 11C035 $16.98

Habaneras - by José Paquin, J. Trayter, Jesús Romo, J. Ruiz Gasch, Manuel Massoti Littel, Federico Torroba, Ricardo Lafuente Aguado, Tomás Garbizu, Sebastiál Iradier and Armando Bernabéu. The habanera, with its slow, rhythmic motion, evokes loves left and lost on far shores and was one of the most popular of all the Spanish love songs, especially in the 19th century, from which most of these examples come. Performed a cappella by the famous Spanish chorus. Orfeón Donostiarra; José Antonio Sainz Alfaro. RTVE 65117 (Spain) 11C036 $16.98

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 28, Songs: Keep those eyes, A Birthday, Genevieve, Our Idyll, 5 Southern Love Songs, An Explanation, Life and Death, The Guest, O mistress mine, If I could love thee, Love's Mirror, The Gift Rose, The Willow Song, A Summer Idyll, A Vision, Love's Passing, Thou art. The composer of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast was surprisingly prolific, even though until very recently most of his output languished unacknowledged even by those who know Hiawatha from its many performances by English choral societies. His music typically combines a free-spirited joie de vivre with a genuine and most attractive melodic gift, which seemed to flow spontaneously throughout his ridiculously short adult life, cut short by pneumonia at 37. The songs display a gift for simple yet memorable tune-writing, accompanied by unfussy and apposite piano parts. The sonata is a soulful piece, which perhaps comes closest to the Englishness often ascribed to Elgar. Moira Harris (soprano), Wills Morgan (tenor), Wilson Collins (violin), Richard Black (piano). Musaeus MZCD101 (England) 11C037 $16.98

EMILE JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950): String Quartet, 8 Novelettes et Caprices for Piano Trio, 4 Danses Frivoles for Violin and Piano, Rondo Scherzando for Violin and Piano. Unusual for being in five movements (there are two intermezzi along with the fast outer movements and slow central movement), the quartet (1896) is also noteworthy for the individuality of its language, eschewing the cyclic form so popular among French composers at that time. Jaques-Dalcroze had a particular melodic gift and, while evident in every movement of the quartet, is even more audible in the accompanying works for piano trio and for violin and piano. Ensemble Stanislas. Gallo CD-1040 (Switzerland) 11C038 $18.98

JACQUES-NICOLAS LEMMENS (1823-1881): Sonata No. 1 in D Minor "Pontificale", Sonata No. 2 in E Minor "O Filii", Sonata No. 3 in A Minor "Pascale", Prélude à 5 parties in E Flat, Fanfare in D, Cantabile in B Minor, Prière in E, Finale in D. Lemmens laid the groundwork for the entire French school of organ playing which still exists today in Dupré's students. As a composer, he wrote fairly little; these are his only three sonatas and they show his achievement in uniting the old German style with more modern influences, producing a synthesis of classical tradition and Romantic expressiveness. Ben van Oosten (Schyven/Van Bever organ at Notre-Dame de Laeken, Belgium). MD&G 316 0975 (Germany) 11C039 $17.98

ÁNGEL BARRIOS (1882-1964): Angelita, Juanele, Danza de la cautiva, Suite Seguidilla Gitana, La Ronda, Alcaicería, En las cuevas del Darro, Guajiras, MANUEL INFANTE (1883-1858): Gitanerías, Gracia, Danse andalouse, Sevillana, Pochades andalouses. Barrios was a regionalist in his piano pieces which are full of dances characteristic of Granada and which are characterized by imitation of the guitar. Infante spent most of his life in Paris and his pieces are, thus, more cosmopolitan in their Iberianism but, like Barrios', still full of lively melodies. Eugenia Gabrieluk (piano). Marco Polo 8.225164 (New Zealand) 11C040 $14.98

GIUSEPPE PERSIANI (1799-1869): Ines de Castro. Persiani wrote only 11 operas, eight of which were produced between 1825-29, all in Bellinian mould and all but one of which (the last) were successful at home and abroad. Ines (1835) is his most famous and is in Donizettian style with standard four-part arias a la Donizetti and Bellini. The subject has inspired more than 20 operas and ends with a almost-standard-for-that-time mad scene. The soprano part is especially taxing, covering a two octave range. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Maria Dragoni (soprano), Massimiliano Gagliardo (baritone), José Sempere (tenor), Coro Lirico Marchigiano "Vincenzo Bellini", Filharmonica Orchestra Marchigiana; Enrique Mazzola. Bongiovanni GB 2263/64 (Italy) 11C041 $33.98

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Cherevichki. Tchaikovsky's only comic opera is an 1885 revision of an original 1875 Vakula the Smith. Based on Gogol's short story Christmas Eve, the tale involves a blacksmith, his witch mother, the Devil and the blacksmith's love interest, Oxana. Although the original production was true to Gogol's fantastic, fairy-tale style, it failed and Tchaikovsky extensively revised it, eliminating much richly developed orchestral music and adding and highlighting small vocal numbers in which lyricism predominates over declamation. Still, there is much lovely music here, including an extended addition in Act 3 (the St. Petersburg music) which looks ahead to such ballets as Sleeping Beauty and such operas as The Queen of Spades. 3 CDs. Russian-English libretto. Valeri Popov (tenor), Ekaterina Morozova (soprano), Albert Shagidulin (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico, Cagliari; Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Dynamic CDS 287/1-3 (Italy) 11C042 $53.98

CIPRIAN PORUMBESCU (1853-1883): Ballade for Violin and Orchestra, IOAN SCARLATESCU (1872-1922): Bagatelle, CONSTANTIN DIMITRESCU (1847-1928): Romanian Peasant Dance, IOSIF IVANOVICI (?1845-1902)/CONSTANTIN BOBESCU: Waves of the Danube, GRIGORAS DINICU (1889-1949)/PANTCHO VLADIGEROV (1899-1978): Hora staccato, GEORGES ENESCO (1881-1955): Romanian Rhapsody No.1 in A, Op. 11. This is an abbreviated version of a 1990 Electrecord CD which was aptly titled "A Romanian Prom Concert" and which is long out of print. Lovely, moody, folk-tinged music, decent recordings. If you never got the original, this isn't half bad at mid-price! Mid-price. Stefan Ruha (violin), Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra; Emil Simon. Tuxedo Music TUXCD 5033 (Switzerland) 11C043 $10.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Penthesilea. You will be nailed to the wall by this brazen, savage adaptation of Kleist's play. The only comparandum can be Strauss' Elektra for its ferocious intensity. A mixture of song, melodrama and spoken word, the score uses 10 clarinets (!) at various pitches, only four violins, two pianos and many dissonant trumpet calls to produce a sound picture rather like a lurid, expressionistic painting. 2 CDs. German texts. Yvonne Naef (mezzo), James Johnson (baritone), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, Basel Symphony Orchestra; Mario Venzago. Pan Classics 510 118 (Switzerland) 11C044 $35.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Aïs for Baritone, Percussion Solo and Orchestra, Tracées, Empreintes, Noomena, Roáï. A small but hardy number of hearts will beat faster upon seeing "Orchestral Works, Vol. 1". Xenakis has mostly been represented by chamber works since his orchestral scores are both difficult to play and often require very unusual and large instrumental formations. It's probably safe to say that no amount of attempted description here can do justice to the wild, often percussive, wall-of-sound quality which informs most of these pieces but it's worth mentioning that Aïs is weird, even by Xenakis' standards. Spyros Sakkas (baritone), Béatrice Daudin (percussion), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Timpani 1C1057 (France) 11C045 $18.98

VYACHESLAV ARTYOMOV (b.1940): Scenes for Violin, Clarinet, Bass, Piano and Percussion, Star Wind for Violin, Cello, Horn, Piano and Glockenspiel, Ave, Maria for Soprano, Boys' Choir and Chamber Orchestra, Tempo Costante for Chamber Orchestra, Pietà for Cello and Chamber Orchestra. This music is as concentrated and single-minded in its promotion of philosophical ideals as it is eclectic in its influnces. Above all, the composer seems to want to wring every last ounce of emotion out of his subject matter, and to this end he employs sentimental popular idioms, jazz-like rhythms and sounds, religious imagery and bold, colorful gestures. Milhaud is sometimes suggested; sometimes Prokofiev, occasionally Messiaen, but also popular culture and folk music, in an amalgam that is both directly communicative and impossible to classify. Always intriguing, and often much more than that; genuinely spiritual and serious in its message. Various Artists. Boheme 002124 (Russia) 11C046 $16.98

OSVALDAS BALAKAUSKAS (b.1937): Concerto Brio for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Concerto for Oboe, Harpsichord and Strings, Ludus modorum for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Concertino for Piano and Strings. Lithuania's leading composer, Balakauskas created his own serial technique which avoids the dissonances typical of such music but, given his attraction to jazz rhythms, one would never guess that any of these works were serial. In fact, the concerto for oboe and harpsichord (1981) has a bright neo-classical feel which would not be out of place in Ibert or Martinu and both the Concerto brio (1999) and the Concertino (1966) have melodic and harmonic patterns reminiscent of jazz. Rusne Mataityte (violin), Romualdas Staskus (oboe), Sergejus Okrusko (harpsichord), Edmundas Kulikauskas (cello), Margrit Julia Zimmerman (piano), St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Vilnius; Donatas Katkus. BIS CD-1058 (Sweden) 11C047 $17.98

EINO TAMBERG (b.1930): Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, Op. 79, Concerto grosso, Op. 5, A Sentimental Journey with a Clarinet, Op. 96, Nocturne, Op. 90. Tamberg's overall æsthetic is expressively neoRomantic, and this is evident in his two wind concerti presented on this disc. His mildly dissonant, predominantly tonal language lends itself well to the dialogue between the sultry sounds of saxophone and clarinet and the colorful though economical orchestral textures favoured by the composer in concertante works. With occasional nods in the direction of Bernsteinesque jazziness (though actual jazz inflections would be hard to identify), both works are dramatic and vigorous. The Concerto grosso is an earlier work, and has more in common with the sub-Shostakovich Soviet-era Eastern European genre, though this is not to deny its originality, or the exquisite craftsmanship with which the composer handles his forces in hommage to the Baroque form to which this delightful and very approachable work pays tribute. Villu Veski (saxophone), Toomas Vavilov (clarinet), Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Vollmer. Antes Edition 31.9151 (Germany) 11C048 $17.98

RENÉ EESPERE (b.1953): Invocatio for Baritone, Percussion, Organ and Choir, Glorificatio for Soprano, Tenor, Organ and Choir, De amore aeterno for Choir, Festina lente for Choir, Ritus for Choir, Sub specie quietatis for Percussion and Choir, 2 Jubilationen for Soprano, Organ and Choir. While based on texts that are not explicitly religious, or denominational at least, the choral works of Eespere have a sense of ritual, of contemplation that elevates their subject matter to the realm of spiritual quest. At times the music has the coolness and detachment of plainchant, though the rich sonorities and harmony on which the composer calls at key moments suggests a greater degree of romanticism. The composer's use of choral texture and sound is original while seeming totally natural and idiomatic for the forces involved. Rando Piho (baritone), Kaia Urb (soprano), Tiit Kogermann (tenor), Hille Poroson, Tarmo Eespere (organ), Chamber Choir of the Senior Music School of Tallinn; Evi Eespere, National Male Choir of Estonia; Ants Üleoja. Christophorus CHR 77233 (Germany) 11C049 $17.98

MIKIS THEODORAKIS (b.1925): Electra. The prolific Mr Theodorakis turned his attention to opera only in relatively recent years. The first thing you can do is to resist the temptation to try to compare Theodorakis' version of the Greek tragedy with a certain earlier treatment of the same subject. It is with considerable pleasure that it may be stated that his opera does not attempt to occupy the same musical or dramatic territory a Strauss' masterwork, and that it succeeds admirably on its own terms. Rich, lush and brooding, it suggests a Romantic musical world a generation earlier than Strauss' - closer to Zemlinsky, perhaps, or the neo-Romantic throwbacks in the harmonies of John Adams or Philip Glass. But this is not minimal music in any sense, and it is not warmed-over 19th-century gestures either, but rather a natural continuation into 20th-century terms, with due acknowledgement paid to artistic developments of our time such as film and popular song, of the operatic tradition of Italy, which lends itself very naturally to the depiction of ancient Greek drama (which, let's face it, could have been designed to provide plots for Italian opera), especially when the reinterpretation is carried out by a composer of Theodorakis' gifts for drama and melody combined. This is perhaps the most beautiful and wholly successful work of this composer that we have ever offered, and anyone who has ever been attracted even in passing to any of his music will find that this opera explores all the best characteristics suggested elsewhere in his output. 3 CDs. German-English libretto. Galina Dolbonos (soprano), Vladimir Feljaer (tenor), Daria Rybakova (mezzo), St. Petersburg State Academic Capella; Mikis Theodorakis. Intuition Int 3312-2 (Germany) 11C050 $53.98

JADE RECORDS - Music from Australia

COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Bassoon Concerto, Flute Concerto, Clarinet Concerto, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Moonscape, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Nocturne for Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Afternoon in Maroochydore for Orchestra. Colin Brumby's woodwind concerti (the clarinet concerto also appears on JAD CD 1042) are approachable, tonal works in neo-classical forms and neo-romantic colors, which allow ample opportunity for the soloists to wax eloquent and display their virtuoso technique in music of great popular appeal (potentially at least - it is hard to imagine these works failing to delight audiences when afforded the opportunity to be heard in public). The construction of the pieces is ingenious, and the composer's melodic gift as undeniable as it is attractive (the appearance of the Dies irae in the last movement of the bassoon concerto is a delightful stroke of wit). The lively flute concerto has something in common with Shostakovich in less serious vein, and the clarinet concerto is a virtuoso showpiece of considerable accomplishment. Paul Blackman (bassoon), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, Vernon Hill (flute), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Hiroyuki Iwaki, Paul Dean (clarinet), Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Wilfred Lehmann, Dulcie Holland (piano). Jade Records JAD CD 1062 (Australia) 11C051 $16.98

COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Piano Concerto No. 1, Symphony No. 1 "The Sun", Three Baroque Angels for Choir and Orchestra, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Frivolous Playtime for Mandolins, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Sunset over Monash Park N.S.W. for Orchestra. This is almost exclusively a Colin Brumby disc, featuring his charming and easy-going choral works to texts inspired by church decorations in Europe, and his more substantial piano concerto and symphony from the 1980s. Brumby is an unabashed neo-romantic at heart, and both works share an opulence and richness of harmonic contour that would be hopelessly old-fashioned were it not for the fact that the music is just so good that one forgets about fashion altogether. The concerto owes more than a little to Rachmaninov (with a nod in the direction of the less aggressive end of Prokofiev's output in the genre). The symphony opens with an almost Brucknerian sense of space and grandeur, and develops along grandly opulent lines that owe something to Elgar or Vaughan Williams. This is one of the most appealing discs in this highly recommendable Australian series. Wendy Pomroy (piano), West Australian Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Robert Boughen, 30th Intervarsity Choral Festival Choir, Queensland Youth Orchestra; John Nickson. Jade Records JAD CD 1082 (Australia) 11C052 $16.98

COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Violin Concerto No. 2, Clarinet Concerto, South Bank Overture, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Afternoon Light for Piano, LAWRENCE BARTLETT: The Andersen Rhumba for Piano, COLIN SPIERS: ZYJ for Trumpet and Piano, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Rondino Pastorale for Mandolins. Colin Brumby gets the lion's share of this disc, and emerges as a composer of warmly Romantic music of considerable character and depth. He uses classical forms and conventional tonality to produce music of vitality and originality - if you detect a hint of Shostakovich here, of Elgar there - perhaps some of the better British film music of some decades ago too - the music is none the worse for that. Throughout it is immensely approachable and winning, without ever becoming tiresomely 'popularistic' for its own sake. It is hard to imagine anyone not enjoying the two concerti especially. The Spiers and Bartlett works are easy-going and highly entertaining, and provide delightful interludes in the program. Jan Sedivka (violin), Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert, Paul Dean (clarinet), Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Wilfred Lehmann and other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1042 (Australia) 11C053 $16.98

ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Piano Concerto, Op. 135, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Phoenix and the Turtle for Orchestra, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Remembering Alan Spence for Piano, Arias & Interludes for Mandolin and String Trio, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Farewell my Friend (An Elegy for David) for Piano. Eric Gross' big, bold piano concerto is the main work here, and a particularly noteworthy one it turns out to be. It is cast in a Romantic mold, with as much pianistic virtuosity as one might wish for, and an harmonic vocabulary strongly reminiscent of the big names among tonal composers of the 20th century (especially Prokofiev, with whose piano concertos this work shares a considerable amount of common ground). Robert Allworth is represented by two works, the brief piano piece which gives the disc its title, and an odd, dodecaphonic work for mandolin and strings in 18 brief and contrasting movements. The Brumby is a lovely work in elegiac mood, incorporating the unexpected sonority of the harpsichord in a piece which is oddly reminiscent of Sibelius' Valse Triste or The Swan of Tuonela. Sally Mays (piano), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Ann Carr-Boyd, Dulcie Holland (piano), other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1067 (Australia) 11C054 $16.98

ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Piano Sonata, 2 Bagatelles for 2 Mandolins and Recorder, BETTY BEATH: River Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Moonscape for Orchestra, Antubconseas for Orchestra, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Romantic Song for Piano, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Maladies of Love for Piano, MARY MAGEAU: Contrasts for Solo Cello, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Bassoon Concerto. The Brumby is the same as on JAD CD 1062, and is as delightful here as in its other coupling. The other main works on this disc are Beath's atmospheric song cycle with orchestra, Allworth's piano sonata, which is a work of some seriousness and drama, and the two orchestral works by Eric Gross, the one a dramatically foreboding work punctuated by fanfares, the other ethereal and mysterious. The solo cello piece by Mageau is a starkly dramatic work, aptly named Contrasts, and it, like the unusually scored Bagatelles by Allworth (on material by Schoenberg and Webern) is in a more modern idiom than much of the music in this series, though still very approachable. Betty Beath (piano), Jan Delpratt (soprano), Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Richard Mills, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas and other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1038 (Australia) 11C055 $16.98

DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): String Quartet, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Australia Suite for Orchestra, Atlas Shrugged for Cello and Piano, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Michael's Meanderings for Cello and Mandola, Sydney Harbour Blues for Piano, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Flute Concerto - Slow Movement. The main works here is Holland's string quartet, very English-sounding; this could be the landscape described in Vaughan Williams' or Holland's teacher, John Ireland's music as much as anything one might encounter in Australia. Tonal, modally inflected, and with an atmosphere of gentle melancholy and nostalgia, concealing a suppressed passion which breaks free at key moments, this is a fine and cogently argued essay in the medium. Allworth's orchestral suite evocatively describes places in Australia and the feelings associated with them. This is a tonal work in an appropriately Romantic and colorful idiom. Orpheus String Quartet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1068 (Australia) 11C056 $16.98

COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Masques for Orchestra, Captain Logan's Fancy for Organ, 3 Guitar Pieces, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Elegy for Flute and Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Splendour of the Truth for Piano, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Cadenza 2 for Mandolin, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Quasar PKS 2142-75 for Piano. The disc takes its title from the ballet score by Brumby which by its subject matter explores a range of different character studies. As with other works by Brumby in this CD series, the music is tonal and colorful, in this case suggesting Balakirev, the early Stravinsky ballets and Vaughan Williams in roughly equal measure, though the music never sounds directly derivative of any of these composers. Captain Logan is a set of variations for organ on an Australian folksong, and this time one thinks of the sort of thing Grainger might have done with similar material (and not just because one variation is entitled "flogging"). The remaining works are all brief and very accessible, from the gentle, unassuming impressionism of Boyd's piano work and Holland's flute and piano piece, to Allworth's neo-Baroque prelude and Gross's sparkling mandolin work. The disc ends with three miniatures by Brumby, idiomatically written for solo guitar. Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Colin Brumby, David Kinsela (organ), other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1043 (Australia) 11C057 $16.98

DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Piano Trio, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Visions of Mary Immaculate for Organ, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Prelude to Paradise for Organ, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Violin Concerto No. 2. This disc couples Brumby's lushly Romantic concerto (Tchaikovsky could have written parts of it had he survived into the 20th Century), which also appears on JAD CD 1042, with Dulcie Holland's piano trio, which has more of a 20th-century bite, despite having been written some 40 years earlier. The fact that Holland studied with John Ireland in London will surprise no-one on acquaintance with this work. There is a restrained passion here, set against a pastoral yet brooding backdrop that will remind many of the fine chamber works that were being written in England (and Ireland, and Scotland) between the wars. Allworth's organ music, which appears to reflect a strong devotion to Catholic dogma, has something in common with Messiaen's harmonic language, and achieves an ecstatic yet meditative atmosphere with sonorous precision. Gross' brief Prelude is a gentle elegy, and makes an appropriate encore-like coupling. Shirin Lim (violin), Claire Oremland (cello), Greg Roberts (piano), Lawrence Bartlett (organ), Jan Sedivka (violin), Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. Jade Records JAD CD 1066 (Australia) 11C058 $16.98

ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Mandolin Concerto No. 2, MARY MAGEAU: Concerto grosso for Flute, Cello, Harpsichord and Orchestra, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Humours for Solo Violin, Shade of Summer for Piano, BETTY BEATH: Songs from the Beasts' Choir for Soprano and Piano, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Fiji Moon for Piano,ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Labyrinth for Mandolin, LAWRENCE BARTLETT: Ceremonial Te Deum for Choir and Organ. The most impressive work here is Gross' second mandolin concerto, which explores more serious musical arguments than the first, while making the most of the solo instrument's unusual and striking tonal characteristics. Holland is represented by a work for solo violin, which consists of three movements of contrasting character, all of soulful melodiousness, and her own performance of a wistfully nostalgic piano piece. Beath's song cycle is inventive and melodiously lovely, and conjures a great sense of atmosphere with comparatively simple means. Both the Carr-Boyd and Allworth are atmospheric nocturnes, with an impressionistic sense of color and evocative mood, for two very different instruments. The Bartlett is grand and heroic, in solemn ceremonial vein - it recalls some of the big moments from Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. Paul Hooper (mandolin), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, Brisbane Baroque Trio, Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Wilfred Lehmann, other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1032 (Australia) 11C059 $16.98

ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Quartet for Mandolin and String Trio, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Album Leaves for Mandolin Duo, Album Leaves for Mandolin and Organ, LAWRENCE BARTLETT: Tarantella for Mandolin and Organ, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Suite Veronese for Harpsichord. It might seem perverse to write twentieth-century music incorporating the mandolin in combination with organ, or strings, but actually its bright, penetrating tone lends itself well to ensemble music of this kind, in much the same way that the harpsichord has found a niche in modern music, and its ability to produce strummed textures makes it an interesting halfway point between the classical guitar and the harsichord. The Allworth is not unlike Messiaen in the organ harmonies, though the presence of the mandolin adds an unique tone color; his work for two mandolins functions like a dialogue between the two instruments, each taking it in turn to make a statement while the other provides a background or waits its turn. Eric Gross' quartet suggests English chamber music between the wars - Rawsthorne or Bridge, perhaps. Carr-Boyd's harpsichord piece pretends to be a Suite "in the olden style" though the constant intrusion of modern discords and jazzy inflections suggests a humourous refraction of one's expectations. Various artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1023 (Australia) 11C060 $16.98

WILLIAM SCHUMAN (1910-1992): Symphony No. 5 (Symphony for Strings), MORTON GOULD (1913-1996): Spirituals for Strings, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, with Harp and Piano, SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Adagio for Strings. Schuman's symphony, which the composer preferred to call "Symphony for Strings" was a 1943 commission from Koussevitzky which he cast in the classical three movements which feature exquisite melodic inventiveness in the vigorous first movement, intimate Larghissimo and jazz-inflected finale. Copland's famous concerto, inspired by Benny Goodman, is performed here in the composer's original version which clarinettist Neidich studied in the Library of Congress and which contains quite a bit of virtuosic writing for the soloist which Copland later either changed or gave to the piano due to its difficulty. This version was never published and has never been recorded until now. Charles Neidich (clarinet), I Musici de Montréal; Yuli Turovsky. Chandos 9848 (England) 11C061 $16.98

GEORGE WALKER (b.1922): String Quartet No. 2, Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, Violin Sonata No. 2, Wind Set for Wind Quintet, Tangents for Chamber Orchestra. Lilacs is a setting of Whitman; a poignant and dramatic work with a strongly lyrical vocal line and strikingly original orchestration. The composer's harmonic language is predominantly tonal, with some jazz inflections; what are described in the notes as 'special effects' in the sonata certainly do not constitute extended playing techniques as they might be understood in Donaueschingen. A composer of solid and thorough technique and seriousness of purpose, Walker has contributed some estimable chamber works, as well as two orchestral works of real originality and power, based on the evidence of this disc. El Paso Festival Quartet, Faye Robinson (soprano), Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra; Timothy Russell, Gregory Walker (violin), George Walker (piano). Summit DCD 274 (U.S.A.) 11C062 $17.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Duo for Flute and Piano, Piano Sonata No. 1, Fantasy Duo for Violin and Piano, Simple Daylight for Soprano and Piano. Harbison's poised and beautifully crafted music is here showcased in a collection of chamber works from the late 1980s, preceded by one thought lost by the composer for many years, from the 1960s. Songlike lines are important to the composer, whether in instrumental works such as the flute and piano duo or that for violin and piano, or in actual songs, in this case the cycle to texts by Michael Fried, haunting and deceptively uncomplicated for the listener as they make considerable demands on the performers). Moments of high drama tend to be hinted at rather than declaimed histrionically, and even in the piano sonata, a work of great impressionistic atmosphere and color, there is a sense of hearing a detailed account of dramatic events recounted by an expert storyteller, rather than of being bombarded by expressionistic virtuoso extravagances. Fenwick Smith (flute), Randall Hodgkinson (piano), Judith Gordon (piano), Rose Mary Harbison (violin), Robert Levin (piano), Karol Bennett (soprano), John McDonald (piano). Archetype Records 60104 (U.S.A.) 11C063 $16.98

PETER SCHICKELE (b.1935): String Quartet No. 1 "American Dreams", String Quartet No. 5 "A Year in the Country", Piano Quintet No. 1. Schickele's ability to unselfconsciously blend all kinds of American music, from popular to folk to country to jazz to classical, has become his main characteristic. This naturally leads to another characteristic shared by all three works here: they're all very enjoyable, easily approached and memorable, with substance instead of surface gloss. American Dreams is so titled because of its creation of American-style music (in five movements) rather than actual borrowing of existing music (except for one case of notated birdsong, a Navajo melody and a folk dance). The fifth quartet is in eight movements and describes a fifteen month span in and around the composer's country home in Woodstock, New York while the piano quartet - the shortest of the pieces - is also the most abstract yet unmistakeably American. Fun, good-humored notes by Schickele. The Audubon Quartet, Peter Schickele (piano). Centaur CRC 2505 (U.S.A.) 11C064 $16.98

LUKAS FOSS (b.1922): 3 American Pieces, ROBERT WARD (b.1917): Appalachian Dances and Ditties, KENNETH FRAZELLE (b.1955): Fiddler's Galaxy, AARON BACHELDER (b.1970): Nomos for Violin and Percussion. Ward's and Foss' pieces are in the same American tradition of folk-classical melding as several of the movements in the works on the above CD. Frazelle's two-movement work adds geographical specificity with tunes (and bowings and phrasings) from the Appalachian town of Galax, VA where a unique style of fiddle playing has existed since the early 19th century while Bachelder's piece employs vibraphone, bongos, temple blocks, water bowl, tototoms (high and low), suspended cymbals, Chinese opera gongs, finger cymbals, claves, water bell, woodblock and flexatone (whew!) in its 15-minute set of quasi-variations which sound a lot more attractive and interesting than the notes which describe the compositonal idea. Sarah Johnson (violin), Jane Hawkins (piano) and other artists. Albany TROY 407 (U.S.A.) 11C065 $16.98

ROBERT WARD (b.1917): Festive Ode, Prairie Overture, Invocation & Toccata, Sacred Songs for Pantheists, QUINCY PORTER (1897-1966): New England Episodes. Ward is in the direct line of Hanson-Harris-Copland diatonic American nationalism and his orchestral works (the ode and Invocation are from 1966 and the overture from 1957) contain music of such sweeping openness and buoyancy that only an American could have written it. The 1951 song cycle is another epic canvas, almost Mahlerian in its scope. Porter's work dates from 1958 and evokes the Puritan past of New England through hymn-like themes which evoke old times in an entirely more subtle and glowing way than his fellow New Englander Charles Ives did! Sylvia Stahlman (soprano), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Zdislav Szostak, Bodhan Wodiczko, William Strickland. Citadel CTD 88142 (U.S.A.) 11C066 $14.98

BENET CASABLANCAS (b.1956): New Epigrams, JOSEP LLUÍS GUZMÁN (b.1954): D'haver-vos foès, JOSEP MARIA PLADEVALL (b.1956): Cadència, PERE CASAS (b.1957): 4 peces per a 11 instruments, JOAN GUINJOAN (b.1931): Self-Paràfasis. This is an interesting program of chamber orchestra works by living Spanish composers in contrasting styles. Casablancas' work is highly concentrated, tumultuous and atonal, requiring considerable instrumental virtuosity. The Guzmán, on the other hand, is a gentle, Romantic, almost sentimental work which takes its time warmly to elaborate a simple melody. Cadència is a dramatic accompanied monologue for cello and ensemble full of passion and not lacking tonal referents in a modern idiom. Casas' work is predominantly driven by irregular, jolting rhythms of great ingenuity, with unexpected harmonic events to create tension. The Guinjoan is tense and economical, contrasting uneasy contemplation with hectic but uncertain activity. London Sinfonietta; Edmon Colomer. Ensayo ENY-2001 (Spain) 11C067 $16.98

WOLFGANG HUFSCHMIDT (b.1934): Lieder ohne Worte - 24 Klavierstücke für Tonband, Trio II - 7 Inventionen über Farben und Bilder, Engel der Geschichte (II) - Flötentöne Nr. XVI. The composer suggests detailed extramusical and social or political messages in his music, but the music itself is quite abstract, and does not automatically suggest programmatic content. The piano pieces with tape part, which suggests an electronically 'prepared' piano à la Cage, are ingenious in their transmutations of piano sonorities into a mechanical, driven texture which seems to hint at some form of commentary on our technological age. Elsewhere, the textures are more pointillisic and less dynamic, though a preoccupation with unusual sonorities for their own sake seems to be a common thread running through all these pieces. Various artists. Cybele 660.101 (Germany) 11C068 $16.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Variazioni canoniche for Chamber Orchestra, A Carlo Scarpa, Architetto ai suoi infiniti possibili for Orchestra, No hay caminos, hay que caminar... for 7 Instrumental Groups. These orchestral works share the preoccupations of Nono's late years; slow progressions of sounds traversing an extended expanse of time, and symbolising immersion in a vast space. The work based on a note-row of Schoenberg, but there is little use of thematic material; it is the quality of orchestration that most recalls Schoenberg's own works, though the processes involved are very different. An emphasis on dark tones might be expected in an in memoriam piece (A Carlo Scarpa) , but the Romantic feel of the work - as though one is hearing snatches of a Mahler symphony through a succession of briefly opened doors - is perhaps less to be predicted, when recalling Nono's works of the 1950s. No hay caminos... takes this distanced, elusive aesthetic perhaps to the greatest extreme ever accomplished by the composer. Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Gielen. Montaigne MO 782132 (France) 1C069 $13.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): La lontananza nostalgiva utopica futura for Solo Violin and 8 Channel Pre-Recorded Tape. This is one of Nono's last works, and like much of the music of his last years, it is introspective and unfolds slowly in layers of irridescent sound. In this case, the texture is mostly made up of electronically transformed recordings of Gidon Kremer's violin playing, which (in live performance) move around the auditorium in 8 channels of amplification, while a live violin soloist (Irvine Arditti, here) also moves around, playing snatches of material from different points around the performance space, on and off stage, and interacting with the prerecorded tape. The result is a strange and haunting journey, fragmented and enigmatic. Irvine Arditti (violin), André Richard (sound projection). Montaigne MO 782133 (France) 11C070 $13.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Im Innersten (String Quartet No. 3), Achtes Streichquartett, Ohne Titel (String Quartet No. 5). Compositional freedom is at the heart of Rihm's vast, and vastly accomplished output; the kind of freedom that comes from having thoroughly absorbed the past and made of it a vocabulary uniquely his own. That having been said, there has definitely been a move away from formal experimentation in recent years, almost back towards a Romantic expressiveness, though here, the lessons of avant-garde modernity have been absorbed into a vocabulary now used for other things. So we have the jagged outbursts and irregular contours that we have come to expect in contemporary string writing, but then there will be a sudden, shocking, unequivocal tonal reference, a quotation from Mahler, a nod in the direction of early Schoenberg. Ultimately this makes these quartets (played with marvellous precision by the incomparable Ardittis) as satisfying and tautly argued a musical dialectic as one is likely to encounter in contemporary chamber music. Arditti String Quartet. Montaigne MO 782134 (France) 11C071 $13.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): The Plague for Speaker, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Epithalamion for Orchestra. This recording of "The Plague" is not a reissue of the old Decca record, which was conducted by Dorati, who gave the premiere, but one made eight years earlier, two years after the premiere. "The Plague" after Camus, is arguably one of Gerhard's most powerful works, wrenching in its emotional intensity and cumulative narrative weight. The chorus carries much of the argument, commenting on and explicating the action in a huge range of different styles - tonal, atonal, shouts and pure noise - while the detached, dispassionate narrator gives more details but is less involved in the action. Although by this stage in his career, Gerhard had often used electronics, but there are none in this works, though the orchestral textures and clusters seem to suggest synthetic sounds at times. The piece is anguished and powerful, an allegory of much of the tortured history of our time. Epithalamion is a hugely exuberant orchestral fantasia, with dazzling percussion effects, in Gerhard's late orchestral style, tonally based while incorporating untuned and aleatoric effects. Michel Lonsdale (speaker), BBC Symphony Chorus, Spanish National Youth Orchestra; Edmon Colomer. Montaigne MO 782127 (France) 11C072 $13.98

AVET TERTERIAN (1929-1994): Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 8. From the very opening of the Seventh Symphony, the insistently pounding brutality of the tympani, it is apparent that this composer's work is likely to be concerned not with the lighter matters of life, but rather with tragic fate and foreboding intimations of impending or recent despair and disaster - and so it proves. Melody and conventional harmony are largely absent, though large-scale symphonic thinking is not; both symphonies, which play continuously for over half an hour each, consist of granitic blocks of sound and textured sonority (clusters and untuned percussive eruptions abound), in which broad washes of intense, dark color are juxtaposed, overlapped, confront each other and collide like elemental forces of nature (it seems entirely appropriate that his second opera is entitled Earthquake, and eerily prefigured a real-life devastating tectonic event that shook the composer's native Armenia in 1988). For raw, elemental power, these works occupy an unusual position in 20th century music. Ural Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitri Liss. Megadisc MDC 7826 (Belgium) 11C073 $18.98

ERNST LEVY (1895-1984): Symphony No. 11, RICHARD MORYL (b.1929): Das Lied. Levy's symphony dates from 1949 and is in one, 39-minute long movement. Beginning with a ponderous and majestic fugue, the piece falls into several sections which lead up to a central funeral march (influenced by the funeral scene from Joyce's Ulysses The work then bursts into a cyclical recapitulation, in reverse order, of the sections which form the first half, closing with a re-working of the massive fugue. The language is 20th-century tonal, with elements of the American nationalists, of Bartók and even, perhaps, the monumentalism of early Sibelius. Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg, Jan DeGaetani (mezzo), New England Contemporary Ensemble; Gerard Schwarz. Opus One CD 182 (U.S.A.) 11C074 $11.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 35, Cello Sonata, Op. 50, Impromptu for Cello Solo, Op. 90c. From the height of his fame, the concerto demonstrates Toch's individual blend of spiky dissonance, wry humor and uneasy lyricism with classical form. Premiered by Feuermann and Klemperer, the work also won publisher Schott's prize for Best Instrumental Composition of 1925. The sonata (1929) was written for Feuermann and its first movement encapsulates the "Back to Bach" approach of many composers in Weimar Germany with its expansion, elaboration and counterpointing of a single motive. Its long slow movement, mysteriously called "The Spider", leads into another neo-Baroque final movement. This is the first recording of the Impromptus written as a birthday present for Piatigorsky in 1963. Steven Honigberg (cello), Eclipse Chamber Orchestra; Sylvia Alimena, Kathryn Brake (piano). Albany TROY 421 (U.S.A.) 11C075 $16.98

HENRY WOLKING (b.1947): Powell Canyons for Trumpet and Orchestra, Forests for Orchestra, Letting Midnight out on Bail for Piano Duo and Orchestra. Wolking is a trombonist, working in a wide variety of musical fields, and his background is in jazz. So it comes as no surprise that his music has elements reminiscent of very sophisticated big band styles, and an unmistakably American flavor. The natural ease with which he integrates piano, bass and drums in a classic jazz lineup into orchestral nature-painting in Powell Canyons is as inventive as it is charming, and the pieces are immensely fresh and appealing. This goes further in the direction of jazz per se (Oscar Peterson, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington - name your favorite non-avant-garde jazzman here) than Gershwin or Bernstein ever did, but echoes of these composers, and an occasional little bitter taste of Weill, are certainly present. Forests is a tone poem for orchestra without so many obvous jazz references, but even here the composer cannot resist the infectious vitality of his jazz style entering the music. Letting Midnight Out on Bail celebrates a century of jazz piano styles, and you can have endless fun identifying them and enjoying the seamless way in which Wolking blends them together and into an orchestral fantasy. John Harbaugh (trumpet), London Symphony Orchestra; Madeline Schatz, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Robert Black, Duehlmeier-Gritton Piano Duo, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda. MMC 2089 (U.S.A.) 11C076 $16.98

EDUARD TUBIN (1905-1982): Symphony No. 2 "Legendaire", Symphony No. 5. This new series of Tubin symphonies kicks off with 1937's second, whose opening evokes the strong atmosphere of wide vistas and white summer nights of the Scandinavian north and which evolves into a powerful work with a Sibelian strength. The fifth was the first to be written in Sweden, where Tubin took refuge in 1944 but which, in its neo-classical lucidity, has no hint of the trying conditions under which it was composed. Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Vollmer. Alba ABCD 141 (Finland) 11C077 $16.98

EZRA LADERMAN (b.1924): Piano Sonata No. 2, Duo for Violin and Cello, Duo for Cello and Piano. Tonal and classical - one hesitates to use the term 'neoclassical' for music which seems so much a part of an unbroken tradition - Laderman's chamber works as presented here demonstrate an exquisite sense of proportion and the expressive qualities inherent in the specific timbres of individual instruments. His slow movements have a tender simplicity, free of irony, yet far from unsophisticated. The scherzo of the sonata is ferocious, and the finale of the string duo, a difficult medium handled with mastery and a fine sense of the interactive timbral possibilities of the instruments, has a similar intensity. The much more recent work for cello and piano is if anything even more concentrated, though no less idiomatically written or instantly communicative in direct, expressive, emotional terms, tempered by a powerful intellectual command. Anne Louise-Turgeon (piano), Cathy Robinson (violin), Keith Robinson (cello), Patsy Chang (cello), Elizabeth Parisot (piano). Albany TROY 399 (U.S.A.) 11C078 $16.98

HAUKUR TÓMASSON (b.1960): Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Annual Ring, Spiral, Stemma. This Icelandic composer writes music distinguished by its insistent energy and urgency, in a relatively uncomplicated contedmporary vocabulary. The concerto has a confrontational, almost aggressive quality, not by virtue of harsh sonorities or incessant dissonance,neither of which is the case (for the most part the music is rather consonant), but becuse moments of repose or uneventfulness are almost entirely absent. The soloist is present almost throughout, insistently declaiming a message of expressionistic fervor. The other ensemble works share this quality of hectic, continuous motion, though not in the sense of minimalism, because although the thematic material in a given movement tends to be restricted, it is both more complex and more conventionally developed than in most cases of process music; where some similarity exists, it is in the dynamic momentum which persists whether the music is fast or slow. This is intriguing, original music which appeals on several levels and, one suspects, will continue to fascinate on repeated listening. Sigrún Edvaldsdóttir (violin), Caput Ensemble; Gudmundur Óli Gunnarsson. BIS CD-1068 (Sweden) 11C079 $17.98

TATIANA SERGEYEVA (b.1951): Concerto for Violin, Piano, Harpsichord and Organ, Piano Concerto No. 2, Daphne for Saxophone, Cello and Organ, 3 Songs on Verses by Tatiana Cherednichenko. If you enjoy Schnittke in polystylistic vein then you should get a good deal of pleasure from Sergeyeva's music. The Violin Concerto is for solo violin and keyboard player playing alternately piano, harpsichord and organ, and incorporates an infectious, rollicking jazzy allegro initially for violin and harpsichord by way of a scherzo, preceded by a neo-Romantic introduction, and ultimately progressing via an elegiac quasi-improvisational meditation to a massive outburst for organ and piano (in which the violinist - yes! - assumes the role of pianist) to bring the work to an uplifting conclusion. The songs are strongly characterful and quirky, capricious and whimsical yet serious. Daphne, again for an odd combination of instruments, also borrows from an eclectic range of sources and styles, resulting in music of great vitality and almost total classifiability (except to say that it is far from unapproachable, and contains enough tonal material in the mix to prevent abstruseness). The Piano Concerto is a philosophical work, teeming with contradictions and confrontations as does life itself. It would be most unfair to suggest that this polystylism weakens the music. If you don't mind being entertained while you are being provoked and sometimes inspired, then this CD will find a permanent place in your collection. Vladislav Igolinsky (violin), Tatiana Sergeyeva (piano, harpsichord, organ), Natalia Gorelik-Olenina (mezzo), Urals Academic Philharmonic Orchestra; Dmitry Liss. Boheme 001123 (Russia) 11C080 $16.98

FRANK G. STEWART: Viola Concerto, JACKIE T. GABEL (b.1949): Whale Hunt Dream, PHILIP KOPLOW (b.1943): Elegy for Viola and Orchestra - Martin Luther King, HESKEL BRISMAN: Sinfonia concertante for Viola and Orchestra. The viola, with its rich and sensuous sonority suggests itself as a natural solo protagonist in concertante works, and its comparative neglect is rather odd. The four works here make its expressive qualities very clear. Gabel's Whale Hunt Dream is an atmospheric tone-poem, in which the soloist acts out the part of a native American whale hunter against an orchestral backdrop vividly representing the impersonal, when not actually hostile, natural world. The viola sounds a very human voice against the Nordic-sounding seascape (Sallinen is an apt comparison for the general sound of the work). Brisman's work similarly seems to have some narrative content, though no program is explicit; the vocabulary recalls Shostakovich. The Koplow is more angular, though still basically tonal, and elegiac in mood, as befits its subject. Stewart's concerto seeks to redress the balance in concertante treatment of the viola by providing a concerto in which the instrument is called upon to explore all the technical and expressive possibilities that one would expect in a 20th century violin concerto. The first two movements are somewhat subdued in mood, though emotionally charged; the finale is more energetic and obviously virtuosic. Karen Dreyfus (viola), Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda. MMC 2079 (U.S.A.) 11C081 $16.98

ROSS BOLLETER: Unfinished Business for Ruined Piano, Piano Dreaming for Degrading Pianola, Labyrinth Tango for Accordion, BOLLETER/RICHARD LYNN: Under Rookwood for Double Bass, BOLLETER/RYSZARD RATAJCZAK: That Time (Simulplay II) for Piano/Prepared Piano and Double Bass. Uh, OK, this is weird. Very weird. John Cage would probably have loved it. Ross Bolleter improvises on a ruined piano - quite literally; one that has been left out in the elements for who knows how long? and in which most of the strings and much of the mechanism have deteriorated to the point where any sound they make bears almost no resemblance to the manufacturer's original intent. Two performers improvise in separate cities without being able to hear each other, the results being brought together and 'performed' by radio relays; we hear a pirate tape of a live performance of snatches of accordion playing; three manifestations of a ruined pianola are mixed to produce a strangely disturbing piece of fluid musique concrète - you get the picture. And yet, it would be rash to make fun of these extraordinary exercises; Piano Dreaming, with its ghosts of genteel parlor piano playing wandering through the decayed labyrinth of a microcosm of a civilised society long since decayed almost beyond recognition is in its way as potent a decay fantasy as Europe after the Rain, High Rise or Cities of the Red Night. So next time you are sitting awake at 4am, experiencing the exquisite pangs of withdrawal from your recreational pharmaceutical of choice, contemplating your next excursion into the realm of body art, and putting the finishing touches to the latest draft of your counterculture manifesto, play this CD. Inspiration is guaranteed. Ross Bolleter (piano, accordion), Richard Lynn (double bass). Pogus P21021-2 (U.S.A.) 11C082 $16.98


This 12-CD set comes in a sturdy box covered with photos from the Hubbell Space Telescope. Each individual CD has its own booklet (also with a different Hubbell photo on each booklet), in addition to a large-size booklet which comes inside the box itself.


ANTHONY VAZZANA (b.1922): Whispers and Chants for Soprano, Alto Flute, Horn, Viola, 2 Percussionists and Harp, Buccina for Horn and Piano, Lamentazione for Solo Viola. Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano), Jeff von der Schmidt (horn), Susan Svrcek (piano), Jan Karlin (viola), Southwest Chamber Music; Jeff von der Schmidt.


CHARLES WUORINEN (b.1938): A Winter's Tale for Soprano, Clarinet, Horn and Piano Quartet, Horn Trio, Horn Trio Continued, A Song to the Lute in Musicke & Christes Crosse for Soprano and Piano. Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano), Jeff von der Schmidt (horn), Agnes Gottschewski (violin), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), Southwest Chamber Music; Jeff von der Schmidt.


WILLIAM KRAFT (b.1923): Music for String Quartet and Percussion, Evening Voluntaries for Solo Horn,

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Sonata for Solo Viola, Op. 92/3, JOAN HUANG (b.1938): Settings for 12 Chinese Symbols for Viola, Horn and Piano. Jan Karlin (viola), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), Southwest Chamber Music; Jeff von der Schmidt (horn).


ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): Five Objects Darkly for Bass Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola and Piano,

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Quintet for Piano and Winds, Of Challenge and of Love for Soprano and Piano. Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), Southwest Chamber Music.

RICHARD DERBY (b.1951): Quartet for Flute, Strings and Piano, Duo for Horn and Piano, Soliloquy for Solo Horn. Dorothy Stone (flute), Jeff von der Schmidt (horn), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), Southwest Chamber Music.


HARRY PARTCH (1901-1974): Barstow, LOU HARRISON (b.1917): Suite for Violin and American Gamelan, JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Atlas Eclipticalis, Lecture on the Weather. Mentorship Students fro John Muir High School, Pasadena + Southwest Chamber Music; Stephen L. Mosko, Amy Sims (violin), CalArts Gamelan Ensemble; John Bergamo, John Schneider (baritone and adapted guitar - Barstow).


STEPHEN L. MOSKO (b.1947): Psychotropics for Piccolo/Flute/Bass Flute, Oboe/English Horn, Viola and Piano, String Quartet, Rupuze for Flute and Guitar, God Metot Enob(s) for Piano, Darling for Double Bass. Southwest Chamber Music.


MEL POWELL (1923-1998): 4 Haiku Settings for Soprano and Piano, 2 Prayer Settings for Tenor, Oboe and String Trio, Settings for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, Little Companion Pieces for Soprano and String Quartet, Strand Settings: Darker for Soprano, Die Violine for Soprano, Violin and Piano, Levertov Breviary for Soprano and Piano, Letter to a Young Composer for Soprano. Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano), Gayle Blankenburg (piano), Southwest Chamber Music.


WADADA LEO SMITH (b.1941): Grand Oak Trees at Dawn for Flute, String Quartet No. 1, String Quartet No. 3 "Black Church", Bardsdale for Guitar. Dorothy Stone (flute), Stuart Fox (guitar), Southwest Chamber Music.


ROBERT LINN (1925-1999): Divertimento for Oboe, 2 Horns and Strings, FREDERICK LESEMANN (b.1936): Sir Blue Slips a Trend: 5 Fugues for String Quartet, Doubles for Viola and Horn, Duo for Horn and Piano. Southwest Chamber Music.


MORTON SUBOTNICK (b.1933): Echoes from the Silent Call of Gerona for String Quartet and CD Rom, A Fluttering of Wings for String Quartet and Ghost Box Electronics.

There will be something for just about anyone with an interest in 20th century chamber music in this 12-disc set, which features 45 works, of which 25 are world premieres and 35 are first recordings. There is a bewildering (and exhilarating) range of styles and idioms on display here, which will amply repay study while providing much opportunity for sheer enjoyment. Some highlights; Elliott Carter's dramatic and beautiful song cycle, the sumptuous sounds of Harrison's Suite; Wuorinen's formidable Horn Trio, concentrated in argument and form; the eerily evocative subtlety of Subotnick's chamber works with electronics. Cage's wry humor and imaginative experimentation are both amply represented. There is something of an emphasis on modern idioms which do not go out of their way to ingratiate themselves with the listener, but this is not to suggest that there is anything 'difficult' about most of this music, which has been chosen with such care as to present a very convincing case for the quality and variety of concert music in the United States during the century which is about to end. Southwest Chamber Music. Cambria CD 8800 (U.S.A.) 11C083 $134.98

LOU HARRISON (b.1917): Rhymes with Silver. This is a dance score which features the solo cello in an important role and incorporates a variety of dance forms. Given Harrison's musical preoccupations, it is further unsurprising to find that these, as well as the modal language adopted in a large proportion of the work, are frequently derived from music of the east - Turkey, India, Indonesia. Musical forms from the past in Western music are also invoked. The music is rhythmically vital and cast in a readily approachable mold, foregoing intellectual abstruseness in favour of a melodious charm and involving accessibility. Joan Jeanrenaud (cello), David Abel (violin), Benjamin Simon (viola), Julie Steinberg (piano), William Winant (vibraphone, percussion). New Albion NA110 (U.S.A.) 11C084 $16.98

JADE RECORDS - More music from Australia

ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Mandolin Concerto No. 1, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Piano Trio, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): 2 Organ Preludes, Reminiscences of People I Have Known for Flute and Harpsichord, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Theme & Variations for Organ, MARY MAGEAU: Trio for Flute, Cello and Harpsichord, BETTY BEATH: Given the Time for Soprano and Piano. What is it with these Australian composers and mandolins? Now we have Eric Gross' first concerto with this most unorthodox solo instrument. The incisive clarity of the mandolin's sound enables it to hold its own very well against the composer's economical orchestration, and the unfamiliar tone color contributes to the sense of originality in this otherwise conventionally scored though colorful work in a conservative 20th century idiom. Carr-Boyd's Theme and Variations breaks no new ground, though it is an euphonious and attractive work. Mageau's trio, while not plumbing the depths of the Holland, is brightly and unusually scored, with a scintillating sparkle and easy-going demeanor. Paul Hooper (mandolin), Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas, The Montefiore Trio, other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1027 (Australia) 11C085 $16.98

DEREK STRAHAN (b.1935): Suite No. 1 for Solo Cello, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Triptych for Solo Violin, Op. 189, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Lonely Valley for Mandolins, Salute to Jacques for String Quartet, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Saturn for Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): 6 Voluntaries in Honour of St. Catherine Laboure and the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary for Organ, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): All Glory, Laud and Honour for Organ, LAWRENCE BARTLETT: Ceremonial Te Deum for Choir and Organ, RICHARD AUSTIN (b.1943): Impromptu No. 4 for Piano. An appealing and enormously varied program of considerable appeal. Allworth's 6 Organ Voluntaries are somewhat to the classical side of Messiaen; then we have some Palestrina and an organ voluntary arranged from Saint-Saëns third symphony, followed by the recording of Bartlett's impressive Te Deum which also appears on JADCD 1032. But the CD gets away from the church mood, varied as it is, in Holland's piece for mandolins and Gross' solo violin Triptych, reminiscent of Bartók or Enescu. Derek Strahan's solo cello piece is the longest work here, and combines popular and jazz motifs in a variety of dances familiar from our own century (as Bach's solo cello suites used the dance forms of his time) - greatly enjoyable. Georg Pedersen (cello), Alexei Gulianitsky (violin), The Sydney Mandolins, Gagliano Quartet, Lawrence Bartlett (organ), other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1081 (Australia) 11C086 $16.98

BRUCE CALE (b.1939): Cullenbenbong for Bass Recorder and Japanese Temple Bells, DEREK STRAHAN (b.1935): Trans Australia Suite No. 1 for Flute, Viola, Cello, Horn, Violin and Percussion, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): 3 Dances for a New Doll for Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Cremorne Pastoral for Piano, Celesta and Strings, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Fandango for Mandolins, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Antubconseas for Orchestra, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): South Bank Overture. This disc provides a highly appealing, relatively lightweight sampler of music for a variety of different forces by the usual suspects from this enterprising series. Strahan's piece, derived from music for a television documentary, which is not on any of the other CDs in the series, is especially evocative, and the Holland piano pieces, though slight, are very charming. The Cale, also only on this CD, is unusual in that it is more experimental than much of the music on these discs, and evokes ethnic, Aboriginal music, through multiphonics and microtones on bass recorder, and the use of bells. Ian Shanahan (bass recorder and temple bells) and other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1065 (Australia) 11C087 $16.98

ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Songs of Joy for Handbells and Piano, West Wind for Violin and Piano, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Piano Rag, Winter Lament for Piano, COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Little Waltz and Aria for Violin and Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Fantasy for Violin and Piano, A Winter's Day for Piano, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Rondino Pastorale for2 Mandolins, Mandola, Guitar, Bass Guitar and Flute, Habañera Serenade for Violin and Piano, DEREK STRAHAN (b.1935): On the Reef, Suite No. 2 for Saxophone, Organ, Bass Guitar, Jazz Drum Kit, and Percussion. This CD consists exclusively of very approachable pieces, mostly lyrical, though not by any means all simple or 'light' - or for that matter, tonal, though all share a common accessibility and brevity. The Strahan is jazzy, the Gross, a lovely little habañera and a gentle and relaxing pastorale; there is a rag by Dulcie Holland, with the faded sepia charm of old sheet music found in an antique store, and a most unusual piece for piano and handbell by Carr-Boyd. None of it heavy listening, but original and enjoyable. Various artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1061 (Australia) 11C088 $16.98

COLIN BRUMBY (b.1933): Harlequinade for Piano, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Sonatina for Piano, ROBERT ALLWORTH (b.1943): Prelude, Montage, Minnesota Dreaming, Watercolours (all for Piano), Northbridge for Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet, Bagatelle for 2 Mandolins, ERIC GROSS (b.1926): Rondino Tranquillo for Piano, ANN CARR-BOYD (b.1938): Stars for Piano, BETTY BEATH: Asmaradana for Piano, ROY AGNEW: An Autumn Morning for Piano, RAY RESNICK: In Memoriam - Mervyn for Piano, MICHAEL WHITICKER: Winamin for Violin and Piano. This recital of short pieces, mostly for solo piano, is most approachable and varied, though not especially challenging. Allworth's pieces are rather impressionistic and meditative, and the same might be said of the Gross; the Beath makes use of Javanese modes; the Brumby is a set of entertaining and stylish character pieces based on the Commedia dell'Arte. Holland's Sonatina is clear-textured and economical, and contains some slightly uneasy depths generally not encountered elsewhere on the disc. Whitaker's piece for violin and piano is energetic and highly appealing. Altogether an entertaining disc, and proof that unfamiliar music by lesser-known composers can be very much the opposite of hard work to get to grips with. Ray Resnick (piano) and other artists. Jade Records JAD CD 1041 (Australia) 11C089 $16.98

HARRY ROBINSON: The Vampire Lovers - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Another in this well-annotated and lavishly illustrated series by the same composer whose Twins of Evil was offered last month. GDI Records GDICD009 (England) 11C090 $18.98

ERNEST GOLD (b.1921): Film Themes and Suites from It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Young Philadelphians, Judgement at Nuremberg, The Last Sunset, Inherit the Wind, Pressure Point, A Child is Waiting, On the Beach, Saddle Pals, Exodus, Too Much Too Soon. Artemis ART-F 001 (England) 11C091 $14.98

BERNARDO BONEZZI: Entre las Piernas - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. We offer this soundtrack from an unknown Spanish film because its composer wrote, in effect, an homage to Bernard Herrmann for this psychological thriller about two sex addicts who meet and spin off into trouble. 2 CDs. Special price. IMB JMB 02009 (Spain) 11C092 $21.98

ALBERTO IGLESIAS: La camarera del Titanic - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A lovely, romantic score for a film (which has shown up on cable in this country) whose main character is a chambermaid on the doomed ocean liner. IMB JMB 02001 (Spain) 11C093 $16.98

ANTHONY DILORENZO: Dracula - The Seduction. DiLorenzo, composer, trumpeter and member of Proteus 7, composed a full-length, two-act ballet on his own original adaptation of the vampire legend, of which this is a suite. Scored for pairs of trumpets and trombones, tuba, woodwinds and percussion, it takes advantage of a trio of unusual instruments: theremin, bass waterphone (a silver globe filled with water and with protruding spikes which are bowed) and daxophone (made from carved pieces of wood in various shapes which are bowed). Creepy but melodious, the ensemble manages to sound like a small orchestra and DiLorenzo's music is attractive, brilliantly-scored and colorful; a good Halloween listen! Proteus 7. Dorian xCD-90283 (U.S.A.) 11C094 $17.98

SERGEI PROKOVIEV (1891-1953): Alexander Nevsky - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. I.e. - not the suite which the composer produced later on... Sound Track Factory SFCD33550 (Spain) 11C095 $12.98

CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Romeo and Juliet - Second Tableau, Elegiac Blues, PATRIC STANDFORD (b.1939): Celestial Fire, DAVID LYON (b.1938): 3 Dances, BRYAN KELLY (b.1934): Divertissement, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Overture for Farnham, CARLO MARTELLI (b.1935): Promenade, MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): HRH The Duke of Cambridge March, Op. 60a (orch. Lane). Yet another marvellous collection of British light music from ASV with an extended selection by the ever fresh and inventive Lambert and an un-Rawsthornian sounding Rawsthorne piece! Royal Ballet Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra; Barry Wordsworth. ASV White Line WHL 2128 (England) 11C096 $11.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Music from the Films Trapeze, The Roots of Heaven, No Love for Johnnie, David Copperfield, You Know What Sailors Are, The Belles of St. Trinian's, The Holly and the Ivy, The Captain's Paradise, Ballade for Piano and Orchestra from Stolen Face, Symphonic Study Machines for Brass, Percussion and Strings, Op. 30. Paul James (piano), John Bradbury (clarinet), Phillip Dyson (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 9851 (England) 11C097 $16.98

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Orchestrations of 8 Frösöblomster and other piano pieces or songs. Peterson-Berger himself was no stranger to arranging his piano music for orchestra, so there is no guilt about enjoying this collection of 14 pieces which were arranged and recorded by each of the conductors listed below between 1957 and 1974 (Olsson's orchestra were members of the Swedish Radio Symphony while Kjerrman's were really the Swedish Radio Light Music Orchestra). Mid-price. Mats Olsson's Orchestra, Egon Kjerrman's Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Stig Rybrandt, Örebro Chamber Orchestra; Lennart Hedwall. Swedish Society SCD 1109 (Sweden) 11C098 $11.98