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George Antheil

Symphony No. 3

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Symphony No. 3 "American", Tom Sawyer, Hot-Time Dance, McKonkey's Ferry, Capital of the World. A valuable addition to the existing Antheil discography, the previously unrecorded symphony (1936-39, rev. 1946) is full of the brash American sounds you would expect from this source. The booklet notes tell the story of its origin in a cross-country trip and its various revisions and movement retitlings. More American boisterousness follows in three works from 1948-49, although the Hot-Time Dance sounds a lot more Romanian than American, while Iberianisms are the musical currency in 1953's Capital of the World. Virgil Thomson called the latter work, a ballet inspired by Hemingway's short story of the same name, "the most original, striking and powerful American ballet score with which I am acquainted" while the note-writer duly points out some startling pre-echoes of West Side Story which, indeed, can just be heard in its three movements. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hugh Wolff. CPO 777 040 (Germany) 11G001 $15.98

HERBERT MURRILL (1909-1952): Cello Concerto No. 2 "Song of the Birds", GEORGE DYSON (1883-1964): Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne for Cello and Orchestra, HAYDN WOOD (1882-1959): Philharmonic Variations for Cello and Orchestra, EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Soliloquy for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 57. Although in the "British Light Music" series, this collection of concertante works for cello and orchestra is well into the "serious" music category, as can be guessed by the inclusion of the Rubbra (the only piece here which is not a world premiere recording). Murrill's single-movement work (1951) is based on a Catalan folk-song given him by Casals, to whom the concerto is dedicated and Dyson's work (1936) is a concerto in all but name with some lovely English pastoralism in its Prelude and summer dance-like quality in its Fantasy while Wood's 1939 variations, a rare example outside his usual run of light music and popular songs, could almost be an English Rococo Variations. Mid-price. Raphael Wallfisch (cello), BBC Concert Orchestra; Vernon Handley. ASV White Line WHL 2153 (England) 11G002 $11.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Symphony No. 6 (rec. 1974), Ouverture Méditerraneénne, Op. 330 (1954 - mono), Kentuckiana (1953 - mono), Cortege Funèbre (1968 - mono), 4 Chansons de Ronsard for Voice and Orchestra (1974). True Milhaud collectors will want this disc especially for its two early mono rarities - the 1948 Kentuckiana which uses (no kidding) no fewer than 20 folk tunes woven together contrapuntally in its seven-minute length and yet sounds not in the least cacaphonous - and the 1953 overture, a genial and breezy six-and-a-half minutes of Milhaud in an Ibertian mood. The Cortege (1939) is in the composer's most characterisitic polytonality and is a slight enlargement of music for a film in tribute to dead Spanish Republican soldiers. French-English texts. Paula Seibel (soprano), Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester. First Edition FECD-0031 (U.S.A.) 11G003 $17.98

EUGENE GOOSSENS (1893-1962): 4 Sketches for Flute, Violin and Piano, Op. 5, 3 Pictures for Flute and Piano, Op. 55, 5 Impressions of a Holiday for Flute or Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 7, Suite for Flute, Violin and Harp, Op. 6, Pastorale et Arlequinade for Flute, Oboe and Piano, Op. 41. The majority of this music dates from 1913-14 when Goossens was discovering his own voice which turned out to be French-inspired throughout his life. These works are light in manner, clear in texture and look to Debussy and, perhaps, Stravinsky in style. Even the latest works here, the 1935 Pictures, were inspired by French flute players who had settled in the United States (Goossens was in charge of the Cincinnatti Symphony at the time) and would surely, in turn, have inspired them with nostalgia for the streets of Paris. London Chamber Music Group. Chandos 10259 (England) 11G004 $17.98

JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Cello Sonata in G Minor, Piano Trio No. 2 in E, The Holy Boy. Less frequently recorded than his exact contemporary Bridge, Ireland's music is of a generally melancholic nature and does not have the break in style which Bridge made after the First World War when his compositions clearly moved into a more modern world. Collectors who love Bax will respond equally well to Ireland, whose first violin sonata of 1909 has a similar long-breathed rhapsodic mood with much poignant introspection, contrasted in the outer movements with more virile passion. The 1917 piano trio is a single-movement work of 15 minutes and is a window onto the devastation caused the composer by the slaughter on the continent with a particular passage evoking the British "boys going over the top of the trenches" while the cello sonata (1923) was inspired by the countryside of the Sussex Downs with a dreamy slow movement surrounded by a striving first and a turbulent finale which ends with touches of Debussian impressionism. Daniel Hope (violin), Julian Lloyd Webber (cello), John McCabe (piano). ASV Gold GLD 4009 (England) 11G005 $17.98

SILVESTRE REVUELTAS (1899-1940): Sensemayá, Ocho por radio, Planos, Caminando, Este era un rey, Hora de Junio (arr. Limantour), El renacuajo paseadr, Pieza para 2 Instrumentos, Hommaje a Frederico García Lorca, JOSÉ POMAR (1880-1961): Preludio y Fuga ritmicos. This live recording, made last November, offers several newly discovered pieces from the estate of Revueltas as well as what was probably the composer's final fair copy edition of the Hommaje. The rude health of Mexican/Aztec folklore blends with a Stravinskian attitude in most of these pieces (hard to believe that the ultra-folk sounding Ocho por radio was actually derived from an algebraic equation!) and an added treat is the five-minute prelude and fugue by Revueltas' radical Communist friend Pomar. Ebony Band Amsterdam; Werner Herbers. SACD Surround Sound Hybrid disc. Channel Classics CCS SA 21104 (Netherlands) 11G006 $21.98

LADISLAV VYCPÁLEK (1882-1969): Cantata of the Last Things of Men for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 16 (rec. 1957), Otakar Ostrãil (1879-1935): Suite for Large Orchestra in C Minor, Op. 14 (rec. 1954). Vycpálek's music makes its second appearance in Supraphon's "Karel Anãerl Gold Edition" with this 1922 cantata (actually the first of a trilogy of such works, of which the final one, Czech Requiem, was previously released) of 42 minutes, based on Moravian folk poetry. Not happy, dancing folk poetry, though... the first three sections set a single poem about the death of a man surrounded by grasping family and acquaintances who hope to inherit. Then, his soul and body remonstrate with each other before a second poem, philosophically beginning "What is Man?" concludes. Tightly arranged from the germ-cell of the original folk melody, Vycpálek writes modal music firmly rooted in imitational polyphony with passacaglia and fugue the favored forms. Ostrcil's five-movement suite from 1912 is cool, linear-oriented, somewhat free with tonality and looks forward (its central variations movement's echoes of Romanticism notwithstanding) to the spruce, no-nonsense productions of Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Hindemith. Czech-English texts. Drahomíra Tikalová (soprano), Ladislav Mráz (baritone), Pragure Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Karel Anãerl. Supraphon SU 3695-2 (Czech Republic) 11G007 $10.98

GÖSTA NYSTROEM (1890-1966): Symphony No. 4 "Sinfonia Shakespeariana", Sinfonia Tramontana (Symphony No. 6). As its subtitle suggests, the fourth symphony (1952) has literary connections, in this case sharing some thematic material with music Nystroem wrote for a stage production of The Tempest in 1934. Mottoes from the original score are printed (see if you think a movement is missing from the recording - the notes talk about four movements but there are only three tracked and a discussed lento is either really short or not there at all) if you like that sort of thing but, really, both this and the 1965 Tramontana (referring to the wind which comes from the mountains to the north of the French Riviera) are similarly full of alternating dramatic and lyrical episodes which could or could not be attached to any type of program. In the fast movements (or moments) one can often imagine the sea which has been and continues to be so important to Swedish composers but, unlike them, Nystroem can score his quieter and slower moments with an enchanting Impressionist transparency which is one of his trademarks. Malmö Symphony Orchestra; B Tommy Andersson. BIS CD-1082 (Sweden) 11G008 $17.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Symphony No. 8 "The Journey", Violin Concerto. It is impossible not to think of Finland's most famous composer when listening to the first movement of the 1999 symphony, commissioned for the centenary of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It seems to describe a vast, northern landscape, a physically cold landscape, with a winning spiritual warmth which makes one want it to go on longer than it does. A short scherzo with unplumbed depths of potential power glides smoothly by, running into a tranquillo slow movement of quiet and noble repose before the finale (con grandezza) builds up to a great fortissimo, the composer himself likening it to a river bursting out and joining a limitless sea. It's comforting both to listen to and to know that such music is still being written as little as five years ago. The concerto, recorded a decade or so ago on Ondine, dates from 1977 and much of it, especially the first of its two movements, has a similar feel to it, a feel of a smoothly running engine, an onward movement, an ongoing journey which never ends. Jaakko Kuusisto (violin), Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1315 (Sweden) 11G009 $17.98

WILLIAM MATHIAS (1934-1992): Intrada for Small Orchestra, Op. 54, Horn Concerto, Op. 93, Threnos for String Orchestra, Hobed o Hilion for Baritone and Strings, Songs of William Blake for Baritone, Celeste, Harp, Piano and Strings, Op. 82. As anyone knows who owns the two Nimbus and two Lyrita recordings of Mathias' symphonies and other orchestral works, this prematurely deceased Welsh composer writes positive, emotionally appealing music in a tonal 20th century idiom which anyone who likes classical music can appreciate but which is not neo-anything. This 79 minute disc brings us a buoyant, short Intrada (1971), a shimmering and richly evocative 34-minute song-cycle (1979), an alternately outgoing and inward four-movement horn concerto (1984) with some shades of Shostakovich, and a deeply moving 18-minute threnody for strings (1990) which, taken together, give a good picture not only of Mathias but of life itself. Texts included. David Pyatt (horn), Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone), John Gibbons (piano), Welsh Chamber Orchestra; Anthony Hose. Metronome MET CD 1066 (England) 11G010 $17.98

ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 17, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor. If you know and love the Poulenc, you will pretty much enjoy the other two. Milhaud's concerto dates from 1942, in California exile, and its funèbre slow movement may be in tribute to the Nazi occupation of his native country but the outer movements brim with the rollicking jollity, spicy dissonances and Latin American flavors of much of his other music while Casadesus (1933) writes in much the same idiom as the members of Les Six but with less of the polemical carefree "bad-boy" abandon, producing a brilliant, rhythmically driven work in bright, neo-classical style. Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov, SWR Kaiserslautern Radio Orchestra; Alun Francis. CPO 999 992 (Germany) 11G011 $15.98

ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): 12 Miniature Studies, Reflections, Pentasonata, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): 5 Preludes, Op. 2, 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5, 10 Aphorisms, Op. 13. Panufnik was a considerable pianist in his day, and although his magnum opus is his cycle of 10 symphonies his piano concerto is a major work, and his small but concentrated output for solo piano is also very fine. The 12 studies alternate fast/loud and slow/quiet pieces, each with a distinct character. The abrupt contrast between suspended, meditative music and ostinato-driven activity has always been an important feature of Panufnik's style, and it is displayed to great advantage here. Pentasonata is an important work in Panufnik's output; spare and economical in texture, it exposes the composer's compositional preoccupations - form, structure and internal relations and his highly original use of tonal harmony - with clarity and precision. The early yet characteristic Shostakovich works are also well worth acquiring, if you don't already have them. Raymond Clarke (piano). The Divine Art 25018 (England) 11G012 $16.98

LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): Tartiniana for Violin and Orchestra, 2 Pezzi for Orchestra, Piccola Musica Notturna, 5 Frammenti Sinfonici dal Balletto "Marsia", Variazioni per Orchestra. At last, this composer gets an orchestral disc on a major label with a first-rate orchestra. Under the influence of Schoenberg since he was 20 years old and, later, of Webern, Dallapiccola was nevertheless Italian and his lyrical and expressive impulses always took precedence over the twelve-tone rows from which most of his music is derived (Marsia has Respighian and Impressionistic qualities and Tartiniana, in the tradition of Respighi and Casella's similar "updatings" of baroque music) is tonal, although with some modern clashing harmonies) meaning that, even in a fairly rigorous piece like the 2 Pezzi, the listener will first notice the elegant, lean orchestration and the atmospheric effects it creates. James Ehnes (violin), BBC Philharmonic; Gianandrea Noseda. Chandos 10258 (England) 11G013 $17.98

HEINRICH SCHEIDEMANN (c.1595-1663): Organ Works, Vol. 5 - Magnificat IV Toni, Angelus ad pastores ait, Kyrie domincale, Fugue in D Minor, Confitemini Domino primo, Praeambulum in G, Vater unser im Himmerlreich II, Omnia quae fecisti, Magnifcat VIII Toni (second version). The latest issue in this series of the dominant North German organ composer of the first half of the 17th century who assimilated his teacher Sweelinck's polyphony and virtuosity with other elements to create his own, personal style. Julia Brown (Brombaugh organ, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, OR). Naxos 8.557054 (New Zealand) 11G014 $6.98

GIOVANNI LEGRENZI (1626-1690): 17 Sonate a due e tro, Op. 2. Published in Venice in 1655 these duo and trio sonatas are more than halfway along the path from early to high Baroque. Named after local Italian noble families (after the manner of the portrait pieces of the French harpsichordists), these sonatas are notable for their marked thematic character and concentrated, intensifying elaboration which proved fascinating to J.S. Bach a few generations later. Parnassi musici. CPO 777 030 (Germany) 11G015 $15.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Sacred Music, Vol. 1 - Dixit Dominus, RV 595, Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV 630, Jubilate, o amoeni chori, RV 639, Gloria, RV 588. Trailing along behind Hyperion's ground-breaking Vivaldi sacred edition comes this beginning of a budget-priced cycle by the Canadian ensemble Aradia. Festive brilliance, gloomy melancholy and dramatic changes of mood and texture are the hallmarks of Vivaldi's muse and this series will appeal to those who weren't able to indulge at full price. Jane Archibald, Michele de Boer (sopranos), Anita Krause (mezzo), Nils Brown (tenor), Peter Mahon (countertenor), Giles Tomkins (bass), Aradia Ensemble and Chorus; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.557445 (New Zealand) 11G016 $6.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Hier ist mein Herz, geliebter Jesu for Soprano, Tenor, 2 Violins and Continuo, Recorder Quartets in G Minor and in A Minor, Weiche, Lust und Fröhlichkeit for Soprano, Oboe, Violins, Viola and Continuo, Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht in deinem Zorn for Tenor, Oboe, Violin and Continuo, Overture in D "Perpetuum mobile" for Strings and Continuo. Four claimed world premiere recordings (all three cantatas and the ingeniously busy overture) highlight this new Telemann release as well as a note from the conductor/recorder soloist delineating the difficulties and beauties of Telemann's music from the performer's view (i.e. far more difficult than Handel's coloratura arias or Vivaldi's violin concertos!). German-English texts. Dorothee Mields (soprano), Benoît Haller (tenor), Balthasar Neumann Ensemble; Han Tol (recorder). Carus 83.165 (Germany) 11G017 $17.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Overture in F for Transverse Flute, Tenor Viola d'amore, 2 Chalumeaux, Horn and Orchestra, Sinfonia in F for 2 Horns, 2 Transverse Flutes, 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Orchestra, Trio in C Minor for 2 Violins and Continuo. The German arm of the Graupner renaissance (another Canadian issue on Analekta did not arrive in time - look for it next month) brings us a 32-minute overture in conservative French style, richly scored with unusual solo instruments, a more galant symphony and an Italianate trio sonata. Nova Stravaganza; Siegbert Rampe. MD&G 341 1252 (Germany) 11G018 $17.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Oreste, HWV A11. This is a pastiche Handel made in 1734 using music from eleven of his own operas for the arias and ballets (all of which are listed in the notes) as well as apparently composing two new numbers of ballet music. Handel completists will certainly want to have this since the work involved in adapting such material is significant and it has produced a work of significant dramatic impact. (Why everyone involved is Greek will be explained in the booklet notes if you buy the set.) 2 CDs. Libretto included. Maria Mitsopoulou, Mata Katsuli (sopranos), Mary-Ellen Nesi (mezzo), Nicholas Spanos (counter-tenor), Antonis Koroneos (tenor), Petros Magoulas (bass), Camerata Stuttgart; George Petrou. MD&G 609 1273 (Germany) 11G019 $35.98

Arias from the operas...

JOHANN MATTHESON (1681-1764): Cleopatra, GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Giulio Cesare in Egitto, JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra, CARL HEINRICH GRAUN (c.1703-1759): Cleopatra e Cesare. Eleven arias from four of the 70-odd operas with the infamous Egyptian queen at their center are performed by a young Canadian soprano whose recent international appearances have been garnering her very high praise. The Mattheson excerpts receive their world premiere recordings. Italian-English texts. Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano), Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon. CBC SMCD 5233 (Canada) 11G020 $16.98

JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Trio Sonatas in F, D Minor & C for Oboe, Violin and Continuo, Violin Sonata No. 5 in E Minor, Oboe Sonata in G, Sonata in F for Chalumeau, Oboe, Bassoon and Continuo. The oboe has been substituted for another violin in several of these sonatas, most recorded for the first time and from manuscript and the rare presence of the chalumeau is another reason to buy this disc in addition to the elegance of the melodies by this most Italianate of German composers. Epoca Barocca. Chandos Chaconne 0711 (England) 11G021 $17.98

JOSEP PRADAS (1689-1757): Cantata Ah, del célebre confín, JOAN BARTER (1648-1706): Respirad, flores, fragrencias, Ruy Señor, clarín del albor, JOAQUIM GARCÍA (c.1710-1779): Adjuva nos Deus, Facta est quasi vidua, JOAN PLA (c.1720-1770?) or JOSEP PLA (1728-1762): Trio Sonata in F, SALVADOR REIXAC (c.1725-1780): Sonata in F. This collection of Catalonian chamber music ranges from the 1724 cantata by Pradas (in Neapolitan style) to the early classical sonatas by Pla and Reixac (which use the oboe as melody instrument) and the short motets by García, including local genres such as the tono (Barter). Josep Benet (tenor), Diatessaron. La Ma de Guido LMG 2056 (Spain) 11G022 $16.98

GEORG GEBEL (1709-1753): Christmas Oratorio 1748, New Year's Oratorio 1748. Gebel synthesizes galant-style writing with echoes of 17th century baroque and provides plenty of ear-catching color and splendor (flute, bassoon, trumpets and kettledrums in Christmas and oboes, horns and trumpets in its companion) and, most importantly, he writes "good tunes" the better to enable the listeners of the time to wrap their minds around the wholesome message provided by the mix of Biblical texts, hymns and verse. German-English texts. Monika Mauch (soprano), Kai Wessel (alto), Nico van der Meel (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass), Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia; Bernhard Klapprott. CPO 999 993 (Germany) 11G023 $15.98

PADRE ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): 6 Organ Quintets. These remarkable works were discovered fairly recently by the late English organist Donald Joyce and apparently were written, like the organ duets, for performance by Soler's royal pupil, Prince Gabriel of Spain. The number of movements varies from five to three (the latter finishes, however with a 22-minute theme and variations!) and, free from the demands of the market, Soler poured all of his imagination and ingenuity into them. Textures and combinations have a wide range and styles range from looks back at the late Baroque to galant and early Classical. Spanish folk music appears from time to time, emotions run the gamut from gravity to festive brilliance and all hands are given their share of virtuosic work. Quite unusual! 78:40 and 79:33 disc timings give plenty of value for money also. 2 CDs. Rasumovsky String Quartet, Paul Parsons (organ). Guild GMCD 7280/1 (England) 11G024 $33.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Sonata, FERDINANDO BONAZZI (1754-1845): Suonata, Pastorale, MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Sonata, LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Sonata, FRANCESCO CANNETI (1807-1884): Finale a 2 organi nell'opera Aida di Giuseppe Verdi, GIUSEPPE BUSI (1808-1871): 4 Sonatas for 2 Organs, ANON. (19th cen.): Sonata. This disc-full of sonatas demonstrates the popularity of an Italian genre - the work for two organs - which ranges from the galant style of Galuppi and Bonazzi through the classical styles of Clementi, Cherubini and Busi to the new genre of the operatic organ transcription of Canneti. Luigi Celeghin, Bianka Pezic (organs of the Basilica Pontificia Maria SS. della Misericordia, Ascoli, Italy). Naxos 8.557131 (New Zealand) 11G025 $6.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Mitridate, Rè di Ponto, K 87. The 14-year-old composer's fourth opera to a libretto based on Racine's play "Mithridate" was premiered at the end of 1770 and contains ample expressive power and vocal virtuosity, poured into the conventional operatic form of the period. Probably only the second recording of the opera (at least on CD), this is on period instruments and was made in 2001, apparently a Brilliant Classics original. 3 CDs. Italian libretto. Marcel Reijans (tenor), Francine van der Heyden, Marijje van Stralen Johannette Zomer (sopranos), Cécile van de Sant (mezzo), Musica ad Rhenum; Jed Wentz. Brilliant Classics 92344 (Netherlands) 11G026 $16.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Oboe Quintet in C Minor, K 406 (K 388), Oboe Quartet in F, K 370, BERNHARD CRUSELL (1775-1838): Divertimento in C, Op. 9, JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Oboe Quartet in B Flat. Transcription collectors will enjoy the Mozart piece, a unattributed version of one of his late string quintets and it turns out that the J.C. Bach piece is also a transcription (although contemporary with the composer) of a two-movement string quartet of 1776. Crusell's little, ten-minute Divertimento adds a original dash of fresh melodic invention to the mix. Max Artved (oboe), Elise Båtnes (violin), Tue Lautrup (violin, viola), Dimitri Golovanov (viola), Lars Holm Johansen (cello). Naxos 8.557361 (New Zealand) 11G027 $6.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Sonata in C, Op. 32, Sonata in C, Op. 48, Grande Sonate in B Flat, Op. 74, 3 Fugues, Op. 64. Three world premiere recordings distinguish these duets from the Bohemian virtuoso pianist/ pre-Romantic composer. The late (1811) B flat sonata has a particularly striking funeral march and the C major (1901) a Larghetto of almost Beethovenian depth while the fast outer movements of all three have the sparkle expected of Dussek. Adrienne Soós and Ivo Haag (piano duet). Hungaroton HCD 32276 (Hungary) 11G028 $17.98

GEORG LICKL (1769-1843): String Quartets No. 1 in D Minor, No. 2 in G & No. 3 in C Minor. Born in Austria, this composer finished his life writing sacred music in the Hungarian city of Pecs. These quartets, published in 1797, are four-movement works in the serious style of Haydn and Mozart with a few traces of quatuor concertante soloistic activity. Authentic Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 32220 (Hungary) 11G029 $17.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Fidelio (transcr. Wenzel Sedlak [1776-1851]), Sextet in E Flat, Op. 71, Rondino in E Flat, WoO 25. A court clarinettist and avid arranger of operas, symphonies and other music by other composers for wind bands, Sedlak's Fidelio appeared in early 1815, only a few months after the premiere of the revised opera itself. Comprising ten of the sixteen arias plus the overture, it is a brilliant example of one of the most common and popular genres of its time and is well-coupled with Beethoven's own 1796 sextet and an undated Rondino which may have originally been intended for the op. 103 octet. Period instrument wind lovers will really enjoy this! Nachtmusique; Eric Hoeprich. Glossa GCD 920606 (Spain) 11G030 $18.98

GASPARE SPONTINI (1774-1851): Fernando Cortez. Commissioned by Napoleon and premiered in 1809 this was a propaganda work with the title character (i.e. Napoleon) a magnanimous military leader capable of an unexpected reconcilation with the native Aztecs (i.e. the Spanish with whom Napoleon was having such a hard time at the moment) bloodthirsty religious fanatics. This 1951 revival cut about an hour's worth of music, especially in ballet scenes. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Renata Tebaldi (soprano), Gino Penno, Piero De Palma (tenors), Italo Tajo (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro San Carlo, Naples; Gabriele Santini (12/15/51). Istituto Discografico Italiano IDIS 6441/42 (Italy) 11G031 $28.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Mass in E Flat, Op. 80, Te Deum in D, Quod in urbe, Op. 88. This was Hummel's first of his five Esterhazy masses, dating from 1804 and he had access to Haydn's advice when writing it which will explain the militaristic quality of several of its sections as well as the carefully colored sonority and even the atmospheric use of the timpani. The Te Deum dates from the end of 1805 and, though a bit lacking in individuality (it was written in five days after the Peace of Pressburg), it makes a festive noise while the Quod in urbe (c. 1806) is an unusual setting for four-part choir and orchestra, again with striking use of timpani. Susan Gritton (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo), James Gilchrist (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Collegium Musicum90; Richard Hickox. Chandos Chaconne 0712 (England) 11G032 $17.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): La gazzetta. This standard farce (fat old cuckold, shrewd young wife, sly disguised lover...) dates from six months after the premiere of The Barber of Seville in 1816 and was a failure, apparently not being performed again until three years before this Italian radio recording. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Synopsis included. Italo Tajo (baritone), Angelica Tuccari (soprano), Alessandro Scarlatti Chamber Orchestra of Naples (RAI); Franco Caracciolo (9/27/60). Opera d'oro OPD-1413 (U.S.A.) 11G033 $10.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il borgomastro di Saardam. Well, we can tell you that this was premiered in 1828 and that its title character is a buffo bass (and that Capecchi can also be heard in five excerpts from La Cenerentola, L'elisir d'amore, Il campanello, Don Pasquale and Falstaff in recordings from 1949 to 1971 after the end of the opera on the second CD) but beyond that, you're on your own. No other information provided except a track-list. Although, having Googled the title, we can report that doing so will lead you to a web-site which has the complete Italian libretto (www. Karadar.com). For Donizetti completists! 2 CDs. Renato Capecchi (bass), Philip Langridge (tenor), Ans Philippo (soprano), Pieter van den Berg (baritone), Gewestelijc Orkest South Holland; Jan Schaap (5/12/73). Living Stage LS 1104 (Italy) 11G034 $31.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Alfonso und Estrella, D 732. Written in 1821 (premiered in 1854), this is a true romantic opera, leaving behind Schubert's earlier Singspiel productions, with orchestrally accompanied recitatives, large chorus and orchestra with rich orchestration and striking harmonic progressions when the action gets hot. The connections with Weber, whose Freischütz premiered while Alfonso was being composed, are more than just temporal and even the casual listener will recognize Schubert in this wonderfully dramatic and entertaining score. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Eva Mei (soprano), Rainer Trost (tenor), Alfred Muff (bass), Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Lirico, Cagliari; Gérard Korsten. Dynamic CDS 451/1-2 (Italy) 11G035 $35.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)/FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 21 - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125. Leaving only Nos. 7 & 8 in the Beethoven symphony transcription series, of which we're picking and choosing, given the prior existence of the Hyperion set... Konstantin Scherbakov (piano). Naxos 8.557366 (New Zealand) 11G036 $6.98

CARL REINTHALER (1822-1896): Jephtha und seine Tochter. Recorded seven and a half years ago and having sat "in the can" since then, Rein-thaler's oratorio proves to be quite a discovery. Premiered in 1855, it was the composer's first major work and one which he never surpassed the rest of his career. Obviously patterned on the biblical oratorios of Mendelssohn, it is a strongly characterized work, theatrically dramatic, orchestrally rich in color and effects and inventive in the uses of the chorus; much else in it looks forward to Brahms (whose German Requiem was premiered by Reinthaler with his highly acclaimed Bremen chorus). A major addition to the 19th century choral/orchestral repertoire. 2 CDs. German-English texts. Sabine Ritterbusch (soprano), Jürgen Sacher (tenor), Richard Salter (bass), Bremen Cathedral Choir, Bremen Chamber Symphony; Wolfgang Helbich. CPO 999 938 (Germany) 11G037 $31.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Ave Maria, Op. 12, Gesänge for Female Voices, 2 Horns and Harp, Op. 17, Marienlieder, Op. 22, Der 13. Psalm "Herr, wie lange", Op. 27, 2 Motets, Op. 29, 3 Quartets, Op. 31, 3 geistliche Chöre, Op. 37, 5 Lieder for Male Choir, Op. 41, Weltliche Gesänge, Op. 42, 12 Lieder und Romanzen for Female Chorus, Op. 44, Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, 7 Lieder, Op. 62, 3 Quartets, Op. 64, Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65, 2 Motets, Op. 74, 4 Quartets, Op. 92, 6 Lieder und Romanzen, Op. 93a, Tafellied, Op. 93b, Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103, 5 Gesänge, Op. 104, Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109, 3 Motets, Op. 110, 2 Quartets, Op. 112a, Zigeunerlieder, Op. 112b, 13 Kanons, Op. 113, Missa canonica, WoO 18, 7 Volkslieder for Soloist, Choir and Piano, WoO 33, 14 Volkslieder, WoO 34, 12 deutsche Volkslieder, WoO 35, Kleine Hochzeitskantate, Dem dunkeln Schoß der Erde. Brand-new recordings from last year, original to Brilliant Classics, this is a rare opportunity to have Brahms' entire uvre of a capella choral works and for a ridiculously low price to boot. (Includes the non-SACD version of the repertoire we offered on a single-disc last month on 10G049). 8 CDs. Budget-price. Chamber Choir of Europe; Nicol Matt. Brilliant Classics 92179 (Netherlands) 11G038 $44.98

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): In my native country, Op. 43/3, Gade, Op. 57/2, Homesickness, Op. 57/6, Homeward, Op. 62/6, Watchman's Song, Op. 12/3, Cradle Song, Op. 68/5, Waltz, Op. 38/7, Folksong, Op. 12/5, Elegy, Op. 38/6, Melody, Op. 47/3, Norwegian Melody, Op. 12/6, Melody, Op. 38/3, Summer Evening, Op. 71/2, Canon, Op. 38/8, Sylphe, Op. 62/1, At your feet, Op. 68/3, Butterfly, Op. 43/1, Notturno, Op. 54/4, Phantom, Op. 62/5, Gone, Op. 71/6, Arietta, Op. 12/1, Remembrances, Op. 71/7. Fortepiano collectors will want to hear the gorgeous singing quality of this instrument as well as the effects offered by the two soft pedal options which convey a veiled, impressionistic sound in the more melancholy of these pieces, all of which have been selected for their suitability to this instrument. Heidi Kommerell (1829 Streicher fortepiano). MD&G 604 1271 (Germany) 11G039 $17.98

ROBERT FUCHS (1847-1927): Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2 - No. 2 in D, Op. 33, No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 68 & No. 6 in G Minor, Op. 103. Like Raff always able to write beautiful melodies, Fuchs wrote six violin sonatas between 1877 and 1915 which will interest anyone who collects the compositions of the Brahms circle of composers. The 1883 second sonata has a Schubertian beauty of melody while its two discmates, dedicated as they were to famous violinists (Joachim and Adolf Busch), ramp up the technical difficulties a bit but never to the disadvantage of melody and the final work has a lovely Brahmsian melancholy in its first movement. Ursula Maria Berg (soprano), Oliver Triendl (piano). Thorofon CTH 2512 (Germany) 11G040 $17.98

RICHARD FRANCK (1858-1938): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 14, Violin Sonata No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 35, 3 Pieces, Op. 52. The son of the now-well-recorded Eduard Franck continues to catch up to his father's discography with these violin/piano works from 1890, 1903 and 1910, respectively. Unlike Fuchs, the sonatas are four-movement works with particularly inward and soulful slow movements and, also unlike him, are less virtuosic, plainly leaning more toward the bourgeois amateur market. Nonetheless, they are attractively Late Romantic in style (Reinecke and Brahms being the models) with occasional hints of the newer technique of developing variation which Schoenberg plucked from late Brahms for his own innovating uses. Christoph Schickedanz (violin), Bernhard Fograscher (piano). SACD Surround Sound Hybrid. Audite 92.515 (Germany) 11G041 $16.98

PIERRE DE BREVILLE (1861-1949): Violin Sonata No. 1 in C Sharp Minor, JOSEPH CANTELOUBE (1879-1957): Suite: Dans la montagne. Breville's sonata is the work of a composer in his ripe maturity (1919) and its 37-minute course reveals the expected affinities with Fauré and Franck (with the latter of which he studied); there is much studied complexity and emotion which some might find overwrought (but this is Romantic music, isn't it?) but which should appeal to collectors of the Franck circle. On the other hand, the lightly-tutored Canteloube's suite is his first work other than songs (1905) and its long, two-year genesis was the result of what amounted to a correspondance course with D'Indy. Spontaneous, full of youthful vigor and with traces of the local folk color which would infuse his Chants d'Auvergne (and a slight dash of Debussy in the finale), the 32-minute work is like a refreshing stay in the south of France. Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano). Hyperion CDA 67427 (England) 11G042 $17.98

HENRI DUPARC (1848-1933): Sérénade, Chanson triste, Le manoir de Rosemonde, L'invitation au voyage, Phidylé, Testament, Sérénade florentine, Soupir, La vague et la cloche, Extase, La vie antérieure, Le galop, Lamento, Elégie, La fuite. The rarified world of Duparc's songs is one of classical collecting's most exclusive areas, as last month's Gramophone's four-page contemplation of a century's worth of performances of what is only a 16-song uvre will demonstrate, criticism delving down to the syllabic and microtonal level. For those of you curious about these hyper-sensitive, mostly melancholy, deeply Romantic songs, the Naxos price will give you an easy entry to 14 of them and Duparc's only other work, a duet (with Emily Pulley, soprano). French-English texts. Paul Groves (tenor), Roger Vignoles (piano). Naxos 8.557219 (New Zealand) 11G043 $6.98

AMY BEACH (1867-1944): The Rainy Day, Ariette, Op. 1/4, When far from her, Op. 2/2, Empress of Night, Op.2/3, Le Secret, Op. 14/2, Ecstasy, Op. 19/2, Within thy Heart, Op. 29/1, Sleep, Little Darling, Op. 29/3, Nacht, Op. 35/1, Forgotten, Op. 41/3, Dearie, Op. 43/1, Far Awa', Op. 43/4, 3 Browning Songs, Op. 44, Come, ah Come, Op. 48/1, Canzonetta, Op. 48/4, 4 Songs, Op. 51, Go not too Far, Op. 56/2, Shena Van, Op. 56/4, Baby, Op. 69/1, Hush, Baby Dear, Op. 69/2, A Prelude,, Op. 71/1, O Sweet Content, Op. 71/2, Ein altes Gebet, Op. 72/1, Der Totenkranz, Op. 73/2, The Candy Lion, Op. 75/1, A Thanksgiving Fable, Op. 75/2, In the Twilight, Op. 85, The Host, Op. 117/2, May Flowers, Op. 137, I sought the Lord, Op. 142, Though I take the wings of morning, Op. 152. Beach was best known in her time for her short piano pieces and her songs so it's good to finally have a representative selection of the former. There are 36 of her total of 117 presented here, some in French and German (texts and translations for all are included); short, generally quiet with a narrow range of emotion, with plenty of delicate, pretty melody, these are songs intended for bourgeois consumption with a few rising to the level of the Romantic lied. Katherine Kelton (mezzo), Catherin Bringerud (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559191 (U.S.A.) 11G044 $6.98

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Complete Organ Works - Pièce pour Grand Orgue, Chant de May, Op. 53/1, Menuet-Scherzo, Op. 53/2, Andante cantabile, Op. 5/1, Communion, Op. 5/5, Pastorale, Op. 5/2, Offertoire, Op. 5/3, Prélude et Fugue, Op. 121, Elégie, Cantilène, Papillons noirs, Op. 69/11, Prélude Elégiaque, Op. 47/1, Pensée d'Automne, Op. 47/2, Petite Pièce, Petit Prélude, Toccata, Op. 104, Offertoire sur l'Alma Redemptoris Mater, Cantabile, Op. 37/1, Improvisation-Caprice, Op. 37/2, Prière, Op. 37/3, Choral, Op. 37/4, Scherzetto, Op. 108/1, Prière, Op. 108/2, Gaudeamus, Légende (compl. Whiteley), Improvisation-Pastorale, Marche Religieuse, Op. 38/1, Larghetto, Op. 38/2, Sarabanee dans le Stle Ancien, Op. 23a (arr. Whitely), Sonata Eroica, Op. 94. Apparently a reissue of two out-of-print single discs, this almost complete (four pieces are lacking) cycle shows us Jongen as organ composer (known primarily as an organist, he has lately been represented on disc by chamber and orchestral music). While some of his larger-scale pieces have a Wagnerian flow with a French atmosphere, later works demonstrate a master of organ color with subtleties of impressionistic quality. 2 CDs. John Scott Whitely (organs of York Minster, Notre Dame de Laeken, Brussels and St. Judes, Detroit). Original 1989 and 1991 Priory releases. Priory PRCD 731 (England) 11G045 $33.98

MIKHAIL IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935): An Evening in Georgia for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Harp, MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Der Zweifel for Violin, Cello and Harp, JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Sonata for Violin, Cello and Harp, Op. 34/1, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124, ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Elegiac Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Introduction and Allegro for Flute, Clarinet, Harp and String Quartet. A collection of chamber music containing harp which embraces just over 100 years of fairly unusual repertoire, especially the two Russian rarities while the Dussek is not commonly heard either and everything offers its own colorful and satsifying soundscape for chamber music enthusiasts. Fibonacci Sequence. Deux-Elles DXL 1090 (England) 11G046 $16.98

NIKOLAI MEDTNER (1880-1951): Canzona matinata, Op. 39/4, Sonata tragica in C Minor, Op. 39/5, Arabesque in A, Op. 7/2, Sonata-Ballada in F Sharp, Op. 27, Hymn in praise of toil, Op. 49/1, Novelle in C Minor, Op. 17/2, Skazka in D Minor, Op. 51/1, Skazka in F Minor, Op. 26/3, Primavera, Op. 39/3. After a hiatus and a move to a different distributor, the third volume of Medtner's 1947 EMI recordings is released, including three previously unpublished recordings (the Novelle, Hymn and Primavera). Nikolai Medtner (piano). Appian Publications and Recordings APR 5548 (England) 11G047 $17.98

RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883-1944): String Quartet in G, GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): String Quartet in E Minor, GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924): Crisantemi. The Verdi and Puccini are standard repertoire by now but the Zandonai lasts longer than the other two put together (31 mintes) and is full of bold, virile melodies in its outer movements, has a catchy presto scherzo and a long adagio whose density of texture and depth of emotion is remarkable for a 21-year-old composer. Quartetto d'archi di Venezia. Dynamic CDS 461 (Italy) 11G048 $17.98

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Trio in D Minor for Oboe, Clarinet and Cor anglais, Op. 49/1, Sonata for Clarinet Solo, Op. 110, Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in B, Op. 139b, Quintet for 2 Clarinets, Oboe, Bassoon and Horn in C Minor, Op. 30. The wind trio is rigorously polyphonic and often seems to be imitating the registration of an organ (of course, Karg-Elert was, with Reger, the most important organists and composers of organ music of his time) while the quintet is almost a sunny late romantic serenade in style. The clarinet works, dating from around 1919, are far more advanced in tonality (or lack of it), especially the solo work and we should recall that among the composer's attractions were the works of Scriabin, Debussy and Schoenberg. Csaba Klenyán (clarinet), Fruzsina Káli Fonyódi (oboe), Ilona Csizmadia (cor anglais), József Gábor (piano), Lajos Rozmán (clarinet), Béla Horváth (oboe), György Lakatos (bassoon), Peter Soós (horn). Hungaroton HCD 32166 (Hungary) 11G049 $17.98

YURI SHAPORIN (1887-1966): The Decembrists. An opera which occupied the composer for the better part of 30 years and two previous versions, the final product of his labors was premiered in 1953. The subject was an anti-tsarist military uprising in St. Petersburg in 1825. The high point of Shaporin's career, it was also a major achievement for Soviet opera with the chorus (ah, the good old masses!) given a lion's share of the action, evoking the tradition of Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Borodin's Prince Igor. The music has enough acceptable modern touches to let us know we are in the 20th century while still cleaving to the demands of Socialist Realism and should appeal very much to collectors of Russian opera whether they have the 1958 LPs of this recording or not. 2 CDs. Mono. Detailed synopsis included. Al. Ivanov (baritone), A. Pirogov, Ivan Petrov (basses), Grigory Nelepp (tenor), Bolshoi Theatre Chorus and Orchestra; Alexander Melik-Pashaev. Preiser 90574 (Austria) 11G050 $33.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): 3 Poèmes, Nature morte, 6 Poèmes, 6 Poésies de Jean Cocteau, Chanson, 3 Chansons, 3 Poèmes de Claudel, 3 Psaumes, Céline, Panis Angelicus, Ô Temps suspends ton vol, JACQUES LEGUERNEY (1906-1997): Poèmes de la Pleïade, 1st, 5th and 7th Collections. Collectors of the French mélodie will enjoy this unusual coupling since neither composer is well represented in the genre (Leguerney isn't well represented in any genre!). Honegger's texts are by expressionist and symbolist poets and he paints dramatic pictures with independent piano parts which the composer states could be played without the voice, as little tone-pictures. Leguerney sets Renaissance poetry but with the typically French concision and marvellously idiomatic writing which drew the attention of (and performances by) such luminaries as Souzay and Bernac. French-English texts. Rachel Joselson (soprano), Réne Lecuona (piano). Albany TROY 691 (U.S.A.) 11G051 $16.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Concerto quasi una fantasia for Violin and Orchestra in B Flat, Op. 21 (Stefi Geyer [violin], Tonhalle Orchestra; Volkmar Andreae. 2/6/47), Horn Concerto, Op. 65 (Dennis Brain [horn], Collegium Musicum; Paul Sacher. 5/4/56). Collectors will enjoy this 1997 issue of historical Schoeck recordings, with the celebrated heartbreaker (of Schoeck as well as of Bartók) Steffi Geyer performing the 1912 violin concerto and with the incomparable Dennis Brain doing the honors for the 1951 horn work. Jecklin JD 715 (Switzerland) 11G052 $17.98 >

GIDEON KLEIN (1919-1945): Partita for Strings, VIKTOR ULLMANN (1898-1944): Piano Sonata No. 7, 3 hebräische Knabenchöre, 3 Hölderlin Lieder, PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944): Studie for String Orchestra, HANS KRASA (1889-1944): Passacaglia and Fugue for String Trio, Overture for Small Chamber Orchestra, Brundibar, KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN (1905-1963): Piano Sonata "27.April 1945", Concerto funèbre for Violin and Orchestra, String Quartet No. 2. This reissue of various repertoire by Jewish composers who died in the Holocaust and of the anti-Nazi German Hartmann derives from Fonit Cetra recordings of 1995 and 1996 with various artists and contains some fairly unusual repertoire worth exploring both for seasoned collectors of the genre and is an excellent starting-point for those new to music and musicians suppressed by Nazi Germany. 3 CDs. Budget-price. Hommage 70011890-HOM (Germany) 11G053 $16.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 2. Alfred Frankenstein's description of the 1951 violin concerto says it all: "grandly scaled, highly dramatic composition, making marvelous use of the long lines and soaring lyricism which define the grand style so far as violin playing is concerned, but with an elegance and finesse especially characteristic of Martin". The piano concerto, from 1967, was written for the soloist here and is an athletic, demanding, virtuosic piece in its torrentially dramatic outer movements with a slow movement of an intensely elegiac quality. Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin), Paul Badura-Skoda (piano), Luxembourg Radio Symphony Orchestra; Frank Martin. Original 1972 Candide LP release and 1988 Jecklin CD release. Jecklin JD 632 (Switzerland) 11G054 $17.98 >

JAROMÍR WEINBERGER (1896-1967): Schvanda the Bagpiper. One of the world's most popular operas (over 4000 performances in 20 languages by 1990) is also one of the least recorded (not since CBS in the 1980s), making this live Wexford Festival production a welcome bargain. Premiered in 1927, it is the best-known Czech opera after The Bartered Bride and absolutely full of local Czech color (the title character playing the quintessential folk instrument of many cultures) with over 30 minutes of purely orchestral interludes including the world-famous "orchestral favorite" Polka. 2 CDs. No libretto but a very detailed synopsis. Matjaz Robavs (baritone), Tatiana Monogarova (soprano), Ivan Choupenitch (tenor), Larisa Kostyuk (mezzo), Wexford Festival Opera Chorus, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus; Julian Reynolds. Naxos 8.660146-47 (New Zealand) 11G055 $15.98

PERCY WHITLOCK (1903-1946): Organ Sonata in C Minor, 5 Short Pieces, Fantasie Choral No. 1 in D Flat. Two Whitlock sonatas in three months... Well, for those of you interested in the composer or this organ, here are the early (1929) Short Pieces - two light concert pieces, two sweetly melodic slow ones and a rousing finale - and the 1931 first of two Fantasie Chorals whose titular reference to Franck is audible chiefly in the big spaces required for its leisurely main theme to make its greatest effect. John Scott (organ of St. Paul's Cathedral). Hyperion CDA 67470 (England) 11G056 $17.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): 16 Melodies, For Piano Solo: 15 Little Variations, Sonatina, Echo, Berceuse. Except for the five-minute Little Variations, everything here is a world premiere recording, led by the 42-minute long song cycle of 1941 whose kaleidoscopic range of writing for both voice and piano recalls the 32 Piano Pieces of the previous year (already released on BIS). Voice and piano often move independently but there are none of the wide vocal leaps in, say, Webern or Schoenberg and many portions of many songs will actually sound tonal. The Sonatina (1927) is polytonal with echoes of jazz and Hindemith while the little Echo (1946) and Berceuse (1941) are wholly tonal, Romantic little surprises. Greek-English texts. Angelica Cathariou (mezzo), Nikolaos Samaltanos (piano). BIS CD-1464 (Sweden) 11G057 $17.98

WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Aulodie for Oboe and Orchestra (1/21/66), ANTON WEBERN (1883-1945): 6 Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6 (5/21/66), 5 Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10 (2/9/68), Cantata No. 1 for Soprano, Choir and Orchestra, Op. 29 (1/21/66), OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): Trois petities liturgies de la Présence Divine for Piano, Ondes Martenot, Choir and Orchestra (1/21/66). Günter Hänssler launches a Günter Wand Edition with two releases of which this is volume 2 (the first is the Mozart Haffner Serenade and a concert aria, which is why we're not offering it); who knew that, way back in his youth (i.e. his 50s) Wand was a committed performer of 20th century music? He premiered the now well-known Messiaen piece recorded here throughout West Germany (to torrents of audience consternation) and started carrying the banner for Webern as early as 1948 (the late cantata is very seldom heard or recorded). The Fortner Aulodie (1960, rev. 1966) is an 18-minute piece in serial style, inspired by the aulos of ancient Greek music, which teems with technical demands and was written for the performer whose world premiere recording is captured here. Lothar Faber (oboe), Tiny Wirtz (piano), Anita Westhoff (soprano), Monique Matagne-Cavailles (ondes martenot), Bavarian Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Günter Wand. Profil PH04057 (Germany) 11G058 $16.98

LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Dance Suite, ERIC EWAZEN (b.1954): Colchester Fantasy, ANDRÉ PREVIN (b.1929): 4 Outings, MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS (b.1944): Street Song, ANTHONY DILORENZO (b.1967): Fire Dance. Dominated by American composer/conductors, this disc of music for brass quintet offers a wide variety of American musical styles (in fact, most of them appear in Previn's piece - from jazz to Hollywood) and includes Bernstein's last published composition (1990), a five-minute suite of dances dedicated to various musical friends. The Chandos connection is made most literally with Ewazen's suite, whose movements are named after pubs in the English town of Colchester, Chandos' headquarters since the late 1980s. Center City Brass Quintet. Chandos 10260 (England) 11G059 $17.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): 4 Pièces, Op. post., Sonatina, Op. 52/1, Theme and Variations, Op. 77, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Lament, Worry Beads, Impromptu, Sonata in One Movement. Although not formally in Chandos' "Berkeley Edition" we offer this disc of guitar music, two of whose pieces were written for Julian Bream, in hope that it might persuade collectors not otherwise prone to buying a guitar disc. 20th century guitar music is not a sound-alike landscape of salon stylings like so much Classical and Romantic guitar music can seem and, except for the early 1928 Pièces for Segovia, the rest of the music here is never less than interesting and, with Michael Berkeley, occasionally challenging. Craig Ogden (guitar). Chandos 10261 (England) 11G060 $17.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Hamlet, Op. 32 - complete incidental music, Hamlet (1954 production, incidental music), King Lear, Op. 58a. A companion disc to last month's reissue (10G005) which featured music from Hypothetically Murdered, this release offered the world premiere recording of the complete incidental music to the satirical 1932 theatre production of King Lear (not to be confused with the 1964 film score, whose music appeared on Naxos three months ago, 07G106). Consisting of 30 numbers lasting 45 minutes (five of which were orchestrated by Gerald McBurney from the piano scores since the scenes were cut from the play before it opened), the music is in the same abrasive, flippant, discordant vein as the Hypothetically Murdered music. Also included are two new pieces Shostakovich wrote for a 1954 stage play of Hamlet in which the director of the later film (Kozintsev) used a set of music the composer had previously written for a production of King Lear. This latter music (25 minutes) contains ten Fool's songs which form a group which should stand with Shostakovich's other voice and orchestra works like the Symphony No. 14 and the song-cycles to the poetry of Tsvetaeva and Michelangelo. English original texts included. City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Mark Elder. Original 1995 Cala release. Signum SIGCD 052 (England) 11G061 $17.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (1919-2000): Variations on "The Volga Boatmen" for Solo Cello, Op. 354, Cello Sonata, Op. 43, Cello Sonata No. 3, Op. 268. Although 24 years separate the sonatas, they share a similar idiom with echoes of Bartók, Carl Nielsen and Hindemithian neo-classicism but with the Third (1971) much more stripped down, a few motives rhythmically varied providing all of the material for its 14-minute course while the 24-minute op. 43 is in a more traditional four-movement form. The 22-minute variations (1977) vary the famous melody with extremes of tempo and articulation as well as irony and satire implicit. Niels Ullner (cello), Rosalind Bevan (piano). Dacapo 8.226015 (Denmark) 11G062 $15.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Ballet Variations for Large Orchestra, Concertino for Piano, Wind Orchestra and Percussion, Das Vokaltuch der Kammersängerin Rosa Silber for Orchestra, Chamber Concerto for Piano, Flute and Strings, 4 Intermezzi from "Boulevard Solitude". Wergo continues to delve deeper into Henze's early years with this well-filled release. Everything here dates from 1946-52 and the genial, sometimes spiky, neo-classicism is positively Gallic in flavor. The Ballet Variations even have a piano solo inspired by Franck's Symphonic Variations while the rest of the work is very Stravinskian. Milhaud, Sauguet and Poulenc are the influences behind the Concertino and the Chamber Concerto (with a nod to Hindemith and Henze's teacher, Wolfgang Fortner, in the latter) while the orchestral interludes from the 1952 opera Boulevard Solitude, while very evocative and tonal, are the first to show the path the composer would take to his personal sound-world. Christopher Tainton (piano), Matthias Perl (flute), North German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Ruzicka. Wergo WER 6663 2 (Germany) 11G063 $19.98

PETER SCULTHORPE (b.1929): Earth Cry, Memento Mori, From Oceania, Kakadu, Piano Concerto. This quasi "greatest hits" disc offers collectors the first budget-price sampling of the colorful and richly evocative music of this Australian composer. The greatest influences on his music are the vast landscapes and aboriginal cultures whose chants are often used overtly or covertly, as in 1988's Kakadu (where birdsong also plays a part). The use of the didgeridoo in what is perhaps Sculthorpe's most famous work, Earth Cry (1986), gives it a ritualistically overpowering emotional quality but, in Memento Mori (1993) - a meditation on the environmental destruction of Easter Island - the Dies irae is used to equally telling effect. The piano concerto (1983) has rich infusions of Japanese and gamelan influence grafted onto the western concerto tradition while From Oceania (1970/2003) uses the orchestra as a giant percussion instrument. Tamara Anna Cislowska (piano), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Judd. Naxos 8.557382 (New Zealand) 11G064 $6.98

PIERRE MAX DUBOIS (1930-1995): Flute Sonata, Novelette for Flute and Piano, Pop-Variations for Flute and Piano, Incantation et Danse for Solo Flute, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Quartet for Flutes, Berceuse et Rondo capriccioso for 2 Flutes, La piccolette for Piccolo and Piano, Mini-Quatuor for 2 Piccolos, and 2 Tubas. We keep offering new releases of Dubois' music in hope that more collectors will catch on to how delightful and enjoyable his music is. Anyone who likes Poulenc or the French-Impressionist tinged music of Stravinsky or Prokofiev or who likes the mood of the French chanson, the world of Paris between the wars will be glad to have met Dubois. Yes, he didn't compose between the wars but his sense of joy in simple pleasures, pure and transparent forms and willingness to "merely" entertain make his music anything but anachronistic! Gergely Ittzés (flute, piccolo), Alex Szilasi (piano), TeTraVERSI Flute Quartet, Zsuzsanna Ittzés (flute, piccolo), Roland Szentpáli, Sándor Papp (tubas), Solti Chamber Orchestra; Ferenc Gábor. Hungaroton HCD 32269 (Hungary) 11G065 $17.98

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2. This is the first disc to result from a highly unusual project; the commissioning of a cycle of ten quartets from one composer by Naxos playing at being an artistic patron in the sense that composers of the classical era and their aristocratic benefactors would have recognized quite well. The prolific Maxwell Davies is probably one of few living composers ideally suited to such a project - always a composer of unusual fluency, his output has accelerated dramatically in the past several decades. No longer the iconoclastic 'bad boy' of the British avant garde, Davies continues to utilise classical and pre-classical forms, but nowadays as elements in a far more conventional harmonic vocabulary. The nature-painting that has frequently preoccupied the composer, a long-time resident of the austere yet haunting landscape of the Orkneys, is a recurring feature of these quartets. An auspicious beginning to what may in time come to be seen as a defining feature of quartet writing in our time. Maggini Quartet. Naxos 8.557396 (New Zealand) 11G066 $6.98

JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (b.1943): Sparrows for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Harp, Percussion, Piano, String Trio and Instrumental Ensemble, Soaring for Flute and Piano, Distant Runes and Incantations for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and String Quartet, 2 Poems of Aguedo Pizarro for Soprano, Crotales and Piano, Music of Amber for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Piano Trio. Schwantner's music is immediately identifiable by its luminous textures, bewitching sounds (the crotales, harp and piano are critical for this, as well as various kinds of percussion) and impressionistic delicacy which seems to combine Debussy, George Crumb and Messiaen. The works here date from 1979 to 1986 and are generally high on atmosphere and, in the second of Music of Amber's two movements, even a bit on energy. Texts included. Britta Stallmeister (soprano), Florian Hölscher (piano), Holst-Sinfonietta; Klaus Simon. Naxos American Classics 8.559206 (U.S.A.) 11G067 $6.98

NICOLA LEFANU (b.1947): String Quartet No. 2, Catena for 11 Solo Strings, Concertino for Clarinet and String Orchestra, Cancion de la luna for Countertenor and String Quartet. LeFanu shares with her mother, Elizabeth Maconchy, a gift for dramatic and economical music, highly expressive and not readily classifiable according to any particular school or dogma. Take for example the highly concentrated quartet, in which familiar instrumental timbres and a harmonic language on the edge of atonality (yet with ample use of perfectly judged tonal referents or dramatic punctuation) combine in a deceptively familiar yet wholly individual way. Or the lyrical (and more overtly consonant and melodic) Concertino, in which sixteen tiny movements of widely contrasting character are melded into a convincingly cohesive whole. The powerfully evocative Catena, representing the play of light over a Pyrenean landscape, is utterly convincing, and manages to move seamlessly between tonality and microtonality by way of highly inventive chromaticism without ever sounding contrived. LeFanu is a composer of remarkably consistent quality, well worth investigating further, with this disc as an admirable starting point. Fiona Cross (clarinet), Nicholas Clapton (countertenor), Goldberg Ensemble; Malcolm Layfield. Naxos 8.557389 (New Zealand) 11G068 $6.98

STÅLE KLEIBERG (b.1958): Requiem for the Victims of Nazi Persecution. The latest of three works this Norwegian composer has written on the subject of genocide and ethnic cleansing was written for and premiered in Washington National Cathedral in 2002. Kleiberg follows Britten's War Requiem in adding English-language poetry to the Latin mass, in this case commissioning three poems from Glasgow poet laureate Edwin Morgan ("The Yellow Triangle: Jews", "The Brown Triangle: Gypsies" and "The Pink Triange: Homosexuals") which follow, respectively, the Dies irae, Kyrie and Agnus Dei. The tonality is no more advanced than Britten either and the general mood is quiet and contemplative, with a few outbursts from the relatively small orchestral forces in the original poetic settings. In all, a piece which should appeal to collectors of contemporary music, even conservative ones. (And yes, we're still trying to get Kleiberg's symphony disc on the Aurora label; we special-ordered it almost two months ago...) Texts included. Noémi Kiss (soprano), Catherine King (mezzo), Christian Hilz (baritone), Choirs and Chamber Orchestra of Washington National Cathedral; Michael McCarthy. Simax PSC 1257 (Norway) 11G069 $18.98

MARK ALBURGER (b.1957): Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21, LEO KRAFT (b.1922): L'Unicorno, HAROLD SCHIFFMAN (b.1928): Concertino for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra, HILARY TANN (b.1947): Water's Edge. Kraft's sprightly chamber concerto for horn and strings is tightly organized, with a truly virtuosic concertante part for the soloist. Similarly tonal, with much the same level of pungent dissonance and freely chromatic harmonic ambiguity is Tann's evocative tone-poem, drawing on abstract forms from nature with an almost Sibelian economy. Schiffman's concertino is laid out along conventional formal lines, and occupies a slightly terse æsthetic which seems more closely related to his teacher, Sessions, than his other teacher, Dohnanyi. Alburger's music is entertaining, and borrows from the composer's contemporaries and classical models with tongue in cheek and obvious affection, rounding out a most attractive disc. David Jolley (horn), William Meredith (oboe), North/South Chamber Orchestra; Max Lifchitz. North/South Recordings N/S R1037 (U.S.A.) 11G070 $15.98

JAY REISE (b.1950): Sonata Rhythmikosmos, 6 Pictures from "The Devil in the Flesh", Yellowstone Rhythms for Bassoon and Piano, Satori for Soprano and Piano. This intricate and beautifully crafted music rejects both romantic excess and modernistic aggression and angst, and relies for its considerable emotional effect on drawing the listener into a musical landscape so convincingly constructed that one accepts its rules without question. Reise's rhythmic methods are complex and unusual; his harmonic constructions, though ambiguous, are relatively familiar and based in a tonality that Scriabin would not have found unfamiliar. Enthusiasts for music that demonstrates the extension of the possibilities of piano technique - you know who you are, you buy all the Sorabji, Godowsky and Busoni CDs we offer - will find the Sonata Rhythmikosmos essential listening. Marc-André Hamelin (piano), Charles Ullery (bassoon), Jody Karin Applebaum (soprano). Albany TROY 665 (U.S.A.) 11G071 $16.98

TOSHIRO MAYUZUMI (1929-1997): Samsara, Essay for String Orchestra, Pieces for Prepared Piano and Strings. These works embody the mystery and static contemplation and tranquility of the philosophies and theater of the east without resorting to picturesque orientalism. Prepared piano (simulating gongs and traditional Japanese plucked instruments) apart, it is the subtle and shifting orchestral timbres, not infrequently employing microtones, that give these works their atmospheric and hypnotic quality. Benjamin Owen (piano), Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, Akira Endo. First Edition FECD-0030 (U.S.A.) 11G072 $17.98

ROBERT IAN WINSTIN (b.1959): Trumpet Concerto, Spirituals for Violin and Orchestra, Opening Night Overture, Symphony No. 5 "Symphony of Song", Goodbye Brother for Chorus and Orchestra, Scherzo Burlesque, Orvieto: A Memorial, Cuckoo Waltz, September 11, 2001 - 9:05am. Winstin has spent a great deal of his career doing sterling work in music education and working with young musicians, and there is a certain didactic element and a lot of obvious enthusiasm for sharing music that he likes with receptive audiences. The DVD contains eight 'music videos' filmed in a homespun, home-movie style (apart from the most recent, 'Christmas Music', which has the appearance of a Public TV production) featuring various aspects of Winstin's activities. The CD features Winstin's compositions, which are all very approachable and undemanding, obviously written with great sincerity and no concern at all for trying to be fashionable, up-to-date, or 'different'. A charming slice of Americana which should appeal to those who dislike ivory-tower exclusivity in 'serious' music. CD + DVD. Yuriy Kornilov (trumpet), Danielle Economy (violin), Philharmonia Bulgarica, Kiev Philharmonic; Robert Ian Winstin. ERM Media ERM-6703 (U.S.A.) 11G073 $18.98

JOHN BEALL (b.1942): Raven Rock, THOMAS DELIO (b.1951): Than, TYLER C. WHITE: Elegy for the Orphans of Terror, IGOR KORNEITCHOUK (b.1956): 3 Haiku & a Poem for Baritone and Orchestra, SY BRANDON (b.1945): I am Music for Choir and Orchestra, ELDAD TSABARY (b.1969): June 5th, 1973, CHIHCHUN LEE: Fan-Jen, JACCO MULLER: Mirage, FORREST COVINGTON (b.1957): A Winter's Poem, HOWARD FELDSHER (b.1936): Concerto Grosso. This well-intentioned series sets out to prove the point that there is a considerable diversity of high quality music being written by contemporary composers. None of these works breaks any new ground in compositional technique; by the standards of Donaueschingen and Darmstadt they are all quite conventional. Plus or minus a special effect or two, tonality is the order of the day, and it is fair to say that if you enjoy any of the works included you will probably not find anything offensive about any of the others. An undemanding and enjoyable program which will very likely lead listeners to investigate further some of the fine composers featured. 2 CDs. Alexander Krunev (baritone), Bulgarian National Opera Choir, Philharmonia Bulgarica; Robert Ian Winstin. ERM Media ERM-6692 (U.S.A.) 11G074 $29.98

CARL RUGGLES (1876-1971): Evocations - Four Chants for Piano, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Seven Anniversaries, LEON KIRCHNER (b.1919): Piano Sonata, ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Piano Sonata, LUKAS FOSS (b.1922): Fantasy Rondo. A valuable snapshot of several important American composers in the early part of their careers, this collection, entitled "American Piano Music of the 1940s" shows how great the influence of Copland's syncopations, diatonicism and widely spread harmonies was on a large part of a younger generation. These are most strongly evident in Foss' 1946 rondo and in Bernstein's 1943 miniatures but they are also present in Carter's 1946 sonata although its complexity of structure and sense of architectural scope point toward his later style. Ruggles, the only non-youngster here, was a stand-alone phenomenon, influenced by Ives' individuality more than anything in his music while Kirchner's 1948 sonata shows, in its driving and irregular rhythms, odd meters and cluster-like textures, the influence of Bartók and other Europeans. Sara Laimon (piano). Albany TROY 685 (U.S.A.) 11G075 $16.98

JOHN TAVENER (b.1944): Schuon Hymnen, Butterfly Dreams, The Second Coming, Birthday Sleep, As one who has slept, The Bridal Chamber, Exhortation and Kohima, Shûnya. Tavener's mystical meditations may have taken a new direction recently, with his apparent renunciation of orthodox religion, but in essence he continues to do very much the same thing he has done for decades now, and if you respond well to it you will likely find much spiritual enlightenment in these mostly brief choral works (one with organ accompaniment, and one with the gently persistent drone of a struck temple bowl). Tavener is skilled in writing reassuringly tonal music with sudden unexpected modulations, against which a simple and unrelated discord may be thrown to symbolize that which needs to be rejected in the pursuit of spirituality. Philip Glass, another kind of minimalist, has often done much the same thing, only generally faster. There is a genuine luminous beauty in Tavener's choral textures, and listened to alone in a darkened room they certainly evoke an atmosphere of spiritual contemplation, albeit of a slightly ill-defined type. Polyphony; Stephen Layton. Hyperion CDA 67475 (England) 11G076 $17.98

MARTIN AMLEN (b.1953): Sonatas Nos. 6 & 7, 5 Preludes, 8 Variations, IRVING FINE (1914-1962): Music for Piano, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): 4 Piano Blues. Amlin belongs to the small but select group of contemporary composer-pianists who write piano music that cannot help but be instrumentally idiomatic and wholly identifiable as belonging to their own individual style because they write with the authority of performers completely versed in the potential of the instrument. Rhythmically incisive though deceptively unstable - he delights in tripping up one's metrical expectations through unexpected irregularity of meter or sudden syncopated accents - and harmonically rich in a basically tonal idiom, Amlin seeks not to expand the vocabulary of the piano through extended technique, but to say new things in a language not fundamentally dissimilar to that of composers of a century ago. If this is conservatism, it doesn't really advertise itself as such, and if his use of traditional forms - variations, fugue - suggests an attachment to the past, his freely rhapsodic treatment of his material, and the hidden mechanisms (including elements of dodecaphony, not rigidly adhered to) speaks of the eclecticism of our times. Andrew Willis (piano). Albany TROY 674 (U.S.A.) 11G077 $16.98

HAROLD FARBERMAN (b.1929): The Music of, Vol. 3 - Concerto for Cathy for Oboe, Strings and Percussion, Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra, Double Concerto for Single Trumpet and Orchestra, Early Hudson Valley Scenes for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussion, Re/Collections for 9 Instruments and Shofars. With his performer's-eye view of orchestral sonorities, especially those of the percussion section, one might expect a sonic extravaganza, and one would not be disappointed. The music is generally uncomplicated, but serves admirably as a vehicle for the composer's sense of humor, of atmosphere and occasion, and above all for the breathtaking range of timbres Farberman draws from his ensembles and soloists. Contemporary music for people who don't like contemporary music. Cathy Gerardi (oboe), Jonathan Haas (timpani), Rumen Gurov (trumpet), Todd Crow, John Van Buskirk (pianos), Rousse Philharmonic, Sofia Symphony Orchestra; Harold Farberman. Albany TROY 688 (U.S.A.) 11G078 $16.98

CHARLES WUORINEN (b.1938): FIVE - Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra (Fred Sherry [cello], Orchestra of St. Luke's; Charles Wuorinen. Previously released on Koch International Classics), The Golden Dance (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; Herbert Blomstedt. Previously released on Nonesuch), Concerto for Amplified Violin and Orchestra (Paul Zukofsky [violin], Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Eliahu Inbal). These three major works firmly proclaim Wuorinen as possibly pre-eminent among American composers working today, after Carter, and the most convincing successor to the older composer in writing music of endless imagination, originality and dramatic expressiveness. Wuorinen allows more obviously 'popular' elements to take center stage in his music - the rhythmic drive of the second movement of FIVE is truly infectious. But in his complex cross-rhythms and endless layers of meticulously scored detail, Wuorinen is the peer of any 'maximalist' composer in the world today. Minutely organised according to dodecaphonic or other systems of musical architecture, the music is paradoxically economical for all its flamboyant virtuosity of compositional technique; quite simply, one feels that there is never a note wasted, a gesture that does not contribute to the thrust of musical argument. No recommendation is too high for this marvellous CD. Albany TROY 711 (U.S.A.) 11G079 $16.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Nuit des Hommes for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, String Quartet, Percussion and Electronics. This economically scored chamber opera or music-theatre piece, is effectively an investigation into the psychology of war on the level of the individual, a theme that demands urgent attention in our time. Nørgård's texts, though, are adapted from the poetry of Apollinaire, and thus relate explicitly to the watershed effect of the First World War on the mechanism of modern warfare. The singers take on several character roles as well as that of commenting chorus. It is his ingenious use of electronics that creates the impression of full and varied orchestration, and the easy virtuosity with which Nørgård moves between a direct and neo-Romantic tonal idiom and abstract, textural, sculptural soundscapes - the electronic sounds are especially effective in the evocation of a hallucinatory atmosphere in which human beings can all too easily relinquish their humanity - combine to make this a powerful and harrowing musical experience. As it draws inexorably to its eerie and pessimistic conclusion, the music compels us through its eloquence to gaze into the abyss which is all too likely to open beneath our feet. French-English texts. Helene Gjerris (mezzo), Helge Rønning (tenor), Bodil Rørbech, Andreas Hagman (violins), Markus Falkbring (viola), Fredrik Lindstrøm (cello), Gert Sørensen (percussion), Kaare Hansen (conductor). Dacapo 8.226011 (Denmark) 11G080 $15.98

ZHOU LONG (b.1953): Poems from Tang for String Quartet and Orchestra, The Rhyme of Taigu for Orchestra, Da Qu for Percussion and Orchestra, The Future of Fire for Chorus and Orchestra. In seeking to evoke a musical recreation of traditions of eighth-century China in contemporary musical terms, Zhou has delved into the history and literature of his country's past (no music survives from the Tang dynasty). The result is an intriguing blend of clearly recognisable orientalism expressed through the expected pentatonic modality, and a colorful Western orchestral palette which most obviously has its origins in early Stravinsky, especially Le sacre and Firebird. Zhou's treatment of the orchestra is unusual - this is a western symphony orchestra playing in conventional manner, but the subtle and delicate textures of his extended quieter music betray an origin outside the western classical tradition, though more energetic passages stray somewhat further west, even suggesting Hovhaness at times. So there is a pleasing flavor of the unfamiliar about this music, even as it remains readily assimilable and approachable. Shanghai Quartet, Johathan Fox (percussion), Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui. BIS CD-1322 (Sweden) 11G081 $17.98

DORIAN LE GALLIENNE (1915-1963): Sonata, MICHAEL BERTRAM (b.1935): Sonatina, 5 Pieces, GEOFFREY ALLEN (b.1927): Sonata No. 4, Op. 29, 3 Piano Pieces, Op. 23, FELIX WERDER (b.1922): Monograph, TIM DARGAVILLE (b.1962): Night Song. Although the music on this disc is indeed 'contemporary' and 'from Australia' most of the composers featured have some European background which lends an international eclecticism to their works, as tends to be true of much Australian art. The disc is worth acquiring for the Le Gallienne sonata alone, a tightly organised, largely tonal work of considerable dynamic and dramatic power. One is also left wanting to know more of the output of Bertram, whose tense and expressive miniatures cover a wide range of emotional and technical territory in very brief spans of time. On the strength of three tiny movements encompassing a wide range of central European mid-20th century styles, the larger-scale works of Jewish emigré Werder will likely also bear investigation. Trevor Barnard (piano). The Divine Art 2-5017 (England) 11G082 $16.98

ROGER DAVIDSON (b.1952): Rhapsody for Trumpet, Strings and Percussion, Meditation and Dance for Clarinet and Orchestra, Meditation for Trumpet and Strings, Mandala for Chamber Orchestra. With influences as diverse as jazz and klezmer and a new age, world-music sensibility, these works have a sense of the exotic while remaining entirely accessible, even comfortable, in their affable familiarity. The modal meditative music is very reminiscent of Hovhaness, with soloists floating long singing lines over mysterious orchestral textures. But then jazzy dance-rhythms break out, reminiscent of Bernstein, Gershwin (and in one extended passage, something that sounds like a deliberate nod to Milhaud's La création du monde). A very enjoyable sequence of pieces, with enough unfamiliar spicy ethnicity to prevent accusations of excessive conservatism. Jeffrey Silberschlag (trumpet), Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Kirk Trevor, Carl St. Clair. MMC 2131 (U.S.A.) 11G083 $16.98

RICARDO LLORCA (b.1962): Concierto italiano for Guitar, Recorder, Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra, The Dark Side for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, 3 piezas académicas for Piano. The concerto is a pleasingly disconcerting exercise in commenting on the music of the past in contemporary terms. Taking passages from arias by Handel and reassembling the music in a kind of fractured mosaic, the composer teases our expectations by juxtaposing his source material in such a way that unexpected bitonality or frank discord occurs in what is still very recognizably music of the Baroque period. The monodrama is an extended sequence of thoughts around the familiar question, "if there is a benevolent God, why do bad things happen?" The music is somber and largely tonal. Then there are the three piano pieces, which explore a wider range of harmonic associations, but seldom stray far beyond Milhaudesque bitonality. Àlex Garrobé (guitar), Pedro Bonet (recorder), Belén González (harpsichord), Chamber Orchestra of the Gran Teatro del Liceu; Guerassim Voronkov, Nancy Herrera (mezzo), Mac Maclure (piano), Raimon Garriga (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0126 (Spain) 11G084 $18.98

ENRIC FERRER (b.1958): Gènesi, JOSEP PAGÈS (1946-2001): Pastoral, IRENEU SEGARRA (b.1917): Nit de vetlla, JORDI ALCARAZ (1943-1985): Retablo, CAMIL GEIS (1902-1986): Fantasia cromàtica, Rosa mística, Turris Davidica, ROBERT DE LA RIBA (1912-1999): Museta, ANTONI MASSANA (1890-1966): Coral, FREDERIC MOMPOU (1893-1987): Pastoral. Catalan organ music of the 20th century, at least as far as this recital goes, remained fairly conservative. Four of the eight composers here are/were either monks or priests and their music is in the tradition of chorale, chant and simple pastorale while only the youngest composer, Ferrer, provides a large-scale piece (15 minutes) in a more modern idiom, with use of clusters, tonal instability and chromaticisms which still impart a great harmonic richness it. Joan Casals (organ of the parochial church, Berga). Ars Harmonica AH 134 (Spain) 11G085 $16.98

ERMANNO MAGGINI (1931-1991): Torso IV for Violin, Double Bass and Guitar, 5 Disegni for Flute and Guitar, Triolgie for Flute, Canto V for Flute, Canto XVII for Flute and Piano, Zwischen Himmel und Erde for Soprano and Flute. A meditative and serious mood predominates here, with occasional flickerings of subdued passion; but this is not new-age meditativeness, but rather an emotionally complete yet undemonstrative musical personality. Throughout the works the language is overwhelmingly tonal, with occasional dissonance. The livelier music has a studied elegance reminiscent of Poulenc; the composer's own voice is most clearly heard in his preoccupation with organic singing instrumental lines, and it is no surprise that his song cycle with flute accompaniment is a most affecting sequence of jewel-like miniatures of intertwining melodic lines. German texts. Orches Trio, Werner Zumsteg (flutes), Jeannette Fischer (soprano), Patricia Thomas (piano). Jecklin JS 311 (Switzerland) 11G086 $17.98 >

FRIGYES HIDAS (b.1928): Trumpet Concerto No. 2, EMIL PETROVICS (b.1930): Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra, LÁSZLÓ DUBROVAY (b.1943): Concerto No. 2 for Trumpet and 15 Strings, KAMILLÓ LENDVAY (b.1928): Concerto for Trumpet and Symphonic Band, ERVIN JEREB (1928-1986): Trumpet Concerto, MIKLÓS SUGÁR: 4 Fanfares (electro-acoustic). Lovers of the thrilling sound of brass concertos who have had their fill of the usual suspects will find a great deal to enjoy in these unfamiliar but varied and highly accessible works. The Hidas, Petrovics and Lendvay are conventional three-movement concertos providing ample opportunities for virtuosic display in a mid-20th century, mid-European idiom. The Dubrovay, with extended techniques, is a study in sonority, while the Jereb - very Bartókian - is a lively showpiece for the soloist. György Geiger (trumpet), Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; András Ligeti, Gyula Jármay, László Kovács, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra; Péter Gazda, Symphonic Band of theHungarian Army; László Marosi. Hungaroton HCD 32251 (Hungary) 11G087 $17.98

Bronius Kutavic ius (b.1932): Astuonios Stasio miniatiuros for Flute, Violin and Viola, Onute Narbutaite (b.1956): Winterserenade for Flute, Violin and Viola, Mozartsummer for Flute, Violin, Viola and Piano (Harpsichord), Remigijus Merkelys (b.1964): FlaVio for Flute, Violin and Viola, Osvaldas Balakauskas (b.1937): Rex Re for Flute, Violin, Viola and Piano, Mindaugas Urbaitis (b.1952): Der Fall Wagner for Flute, Violin and Viola. Elements of minimalism (more in common with the driving ostinati which have been a feature of much northern European music of the mid to late 20th century) and a neo-Romantic grounding in tonality seem to be common ground for contemporary Lithuanian composers. But all these works have their own identity, from the delicate and transparent textures of Narbutaite's free adaptations of fragmentary gestures of Schubert and Mozart to the quasi-improvisatory confrontational style of Merkelys' work. Balakauskas employs motoric, driving rhythms to propel his music - not minimalism, but as insistent, if less process-driven. Finally, Urbaitis treats fragments of Wagner to a lively and entertaining kaleidoscopic treatment - clever and good fun. Carsten Hustedt (flute), Ingrida Armonaite (violin), Audrone Psibilskiene (viola), Ute Stoecklin (piano). Guild GMCD 7283 (England) 11G088 $16.98

JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): Passion and Resurrection. Described as a 'liturgical drama', a live recording presents this work as an integral part of a church service, opening and closing with verses and responses from the Book of Common Prayer. The text of Harvey's work proper is extracted from mediæval passion plays. While openly dramatic, even operatic in its treatment of the characters, the music retains much of the sacred atmosphere of the liturgy, even as the tension of the sequence of events mounts - one may well imagine this to be a fine line for the creator of a work of art based on this subject to tread, between the holy and the horrific. With his austere, almost atonal yet harmonically rich language, Harvey seems to be ideally positioned to create a suitably reverential yet dramatically eventful commentary on the central dogma of Western religious thought, and by the time the work concludes in richer, warmer tones depicting the Resurrection, the work is revealed as a fitting additon to the canon of artistic depictions of religious faith. 2 CDs. BBC Singers, Sinfonia 21; Martin Neary. Sargasso SCD 28052 (U.S.A.) 11G089 $33.98

VINKO GLOBOKAR (b.1934): Kvadrat, Toucher, Dialog über Erde, ?corporel, Pensée écartelée, Ombre, Tribadabum extensif sur rythme fantôme. You already know what to expect from the grand master of experimentation in sound, the man who out-Cages Cage, so if this is your sort of thing, this disc will certainly not disappoint. Percussion is only the start of what happens here; every extended playing technique is utilized, electronics and tape are involved; instruments are immersed in water and then extracted (changing pitch and timbre in all sorts of intriguing ways); the performer vocalizes, plays musical toys and other instruments, uses his own body and the surrounding space to generate sounds. As Globokar leaves a great deal to the discretion of the performer, this may be seen as a collaborative effort with Matthias Kaul, who dives right in to this strange sound-world with great gusto. Matthias Kaul (percussion, voice, hurdy-gurdy). Wergo WER 6662-2 (Germany) 11G090 $19.98

RUPERT BAWDEN (b.1958): The Sailor's Tale (chamber opera - Alexander Grove [tenor], Flora McIntosh [mezzo], Andrew Hegge [baritone], Children of Alderman Peel High School, Norfolk, The Creakes Sinfonia; Gary Cheung), 2 Studies (BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Rupert Bawden), The Donkey Dances (Nash Ensemble; Rupert Bawden). Bawden has led, and continues to lead, a bewilderingly varied life, incorporating performing, politics and a 'day job' in emergency medicine, in addition to composing. A composition student of Robin Holloway, he shares with his teacher a fondness for directly communicative music, based firmly in tonality and economical of means. One is tempted to suspect that his preoccupation with being of service to the well-being of his fellow man directly influences the very human element in his music, which is scaled and proportioned for ready assimilation by a wide audience - no ivory-tower complexicism here. 'The Sailor's tale' is a biographical sketch of Admiral Lord Nelson, and puts a very human face on a character from the history textbooks. The ensemble and orchestral works are also attractive and accessible, finely crafted and neo-Romantic in mood, slightly more modern than that in idiom. NMC D093 (England) 11G091 $17.98

ORLANDO JACINTO GARCÍA (b.1954): Fragmentos del Pasado for Guitar and String Quartet (Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Jaime Marquez [guitar]), Vedute sonore da Bellagio (Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra; Alfredo Rugeles), Separación (Daniel Kientzy [saxophone], Reina Portuondo [sound]), Timbres Artificiales (Jaime Marquez [guitar]), Piece #3 for Double Bass and Tape (Robert Black [double bass]). A composer very much concerned with the textures of sound, García writes clear, open-textured music, allowing the listener to fully appreciate every nuance of timbre. While all these works are tremendously active and event-filled, compared to many of those of his teacher, Feldman, there is something of the same obsessive preoccupation with the minutest details of instrumental color. But García's music doesn't sound like Feldman; processes occur more quickly, and textures are generally fuller (especially in the employment of electronics, which the composer handles with great skill). As is commonly the case in music of this genre, evolving textures take the place of musical development, but the presence of readily appreciable rhythms of some regularity, and the employment of the guitar and guitar-like sonorities, obliquely paying tribute to the composer's Latin origins, render the works less abstract than one might otherwise suspect might be the case, given their compositional credo. New Albion NA124 (U.S.A.) 11G092 $16.98

TEIZO MATSUMURA (b.1929): Achime for Soprano, Percussion and 11 Players, 2 Lullabies to Greece for Piano, 2 Poems by the Prince KARU for Soprano and Piano, The Poor Faithful for Tenor and Piano, Pilgrimage for Piano. Harmonically rich and betraying little of their composer's nationality through direct imitation of Japanese musical styles, these works seem deliberately conservative, the composer having consciously kept his distance from the European avant garde. The result is a kind of advanced impressionism, and a delicacy of expression which seems more closely related to Ravel and Scriabin than to much of what has happened since. Yumi Aikawa (soprano), Sumire Yoshihara, Mutsuko Taneya, Yasuo Kotani (percussion), New Philharmony Orchestra; Hiroyuki Takeda, Makoto Tanaka (tenor) and other pianists. Camerata CMCD-28031 (Japan) 11G093 $17.98

JOHN ZORN (b.1953): Necronomicon for String Quartet, Sortilège for 2 Bass Clarinets. Here is a highly virtuosic five-movement string quartet full of intriguing textures somewhat in the complexicist mold, though with unexpectedly consonant extended passages of meditative music between the high energy outbursts of rapid-fire atonal and somewhat technically extended string writing. Textures are always admirably clear, though, both here and in the equally complex work for two bass clarinets; Zorn's skill in instrumental writing is never in doubt. The bass clarinet work does what contemporary pieces for bass clarinet usually do, piling upper-register effects one upon the other, punctuated with percussive sounds and basso profundissimo growls in an ecstasy of bravura sonic thrill-seeking. Crowley Quartet, Mike Lowenstern, Tim Smith (bass clarinets). Tzadik TZ 8006 (U.S.A.) 11G094 $15.98

JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Edition, Vol. 5 - Contredanses, Op. 44, Benefice-Walzer, Op. 33, Bayaderen-Galoppe, Op. 52, Gute Meinung für die Tanzlust, Op. 34, Contratänze, Op. 54, Souvenir de Baden, Op. 38, Zampa-Galopp, Op. 62a, Tivoli Rutsch-Walzer, Op. 39, Montechi-Galopp, Op. 62b, Wiener-Damen-Toilette-Walzer, Op. 40, Der Raub der Sabinerinnen, Op. 43, Das Fest der Handwerker, Tivoli Freudenfest-Tänze, Op. 45. In addition to the usual fare, this new volume of the elder Strauss brings a novelty which surprised the crowds at the Sperl in February of 1831 - a ten-minute "Characteristic Tone-Picture" called "The Rape of the Sabine Women". Consisting of a march, galop and a six-section waltz with introduction and coda, it proved to be as popular as most everything else the young composer produced (although a "march" cannot be danced!). The usual detailed notes on each dance provide a window into period customs and manners as well as the music. Mid-price. Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina; Christian Pollack. Marco Polo 8.225281 (New Zealand) 11G095 $9.98

EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882-1953): Countess Maritza. Performed in English, recorded live at several sessions during the Ohio Light Opera 2003 season, this is the only extant complete recording of every number Kálmán wrote for this beloved operetta (the 173 minute running time will give you some idea of how much more there is here) and, in addition, a tenor aria from the 1932 film version has been included. 3 CDs. Mid-price. Synopsis included. Ohio Light Opera; Steven Byess. Operetta Archives OA 1006 (U.S.A.) 11G096 $28.98

REGINALD DE KOVEN (1859-1920): Robin Hood. First complete CD recording of De Koven's 1891 operetta which, blending Gilbert & Sullivan with continental operetta, paved the way for Sousa and Herbert's contributions to a new American genre and was one of this country's most popular such works of its day. 2 CDs. Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Albany TROY 712-713 (U.S.A.) 11G097 $33.98

GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Clarinet Concerto in C Minor, Op. 31, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Oboe Concerto in A Minor, GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934): A Fugal Concerto, Op. 40/2, JOHN GARDNER (b.1917): Oboe Concerto, Op. 193, Flute Concerto, Op. 220, MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Clarinet Concerto No. 1, Op. 20, Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Op. 115, CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD (1852-1924): Clarinet Concerto in A Minor, Op. 80, PETER HOPE (b.1930): Concertino for Bassoon, JOSEPH HOROVITZ (b.1926): Concertante for Clarinet and Strings, Trumpet Concerto, GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Oboe Concerto No. 1, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Concerto for 10 Instruments, KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Concerto for Recorder, Harpsichord and Strings, Op. 88, Oboe Concerto, Op. 23, HOWARD BLAKE (b.1938): Violin Concerto "The Leeds", CHRISTOPHER GUNNING (b.1944): Saxophone Concerto "On Hungerford Bridge", CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Piano Concerto, ERIC FOGG (1903-1939): Bassoon Concerto in D. Six hours and 24 minutes of English concertos both "serious" and "light" from a wide variety of composers, originally released on more than a dozen ASV discs throughout the last 12 years. 5 CDs. Budget-price. Emma Johnson (clarinet) and other soloists, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Elgar Chamber Orchestra, The Fibonacci Sequence, BBC Concert Orchestra; Charles Groves, Gavin Sutherland, Alan Cuckston, Ivor Bolton, Paul Daniel, Barry Wordsworth, Stephen Bell. ASV recordings from 1992-2003. ASV Resonance RSB 505 (England) 11G098 $41.98

ART TATUM (1909-1956): Tea for Two, St. Louis Blues, Tiger Rag, Aunt Hagar's Blues, Humoresque, Sweet Lorraine, Get Happy, The Jitterbug Waltz, Tatum Pole Boogie, Cherokee, Lover, Come Back to Me!, Elegy, Hallelujah, Willow Weep for Me, Emaline, Yesterdays, I Know That You Know. Improvised and embellished versions of classic tunes (and Dvorák and Massenet also) in the exact way Art Tatum made famous, performed by a pianist who has done similar work for the reputations of Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson while also having won prizes for his world premiere recordings of Liszt's De Profundis and posthumous piano concerto. Steven Mayer (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559130 (U.S.A.) 11G099 $6.98