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Hermann Bischoff

Symphony No. 1

HERMANN BISCHOFF (1868-1936): Symphony No. 1 in E, Op. 16. Bischoff was a life-long friend and disciple of Richard Strauss, who helped him no end both in his 20s and 30s as a composer and, after the collapse of the German economy in 1929, with a cushy job at the German copyright office which rescued the composer and his wife from destitution. Most of what Bischoff wrote was lieder - a couple of overture/tone poems and a second symphony make up the orchestral works. This symphony, 62 minutes in length, was premiered in 1906 and can almost be viewed also as four consecutive symphonic poems. There is quite a bit of the Till Eulenspiegelish Strauss in the boisterous first movement which may or may not represent a young artist having trouble focusing on what he wants to do, but that influence is absent from the slow movement, often light, nimble and Gallic (in the sense of Saint-Saëns) scherzo and the broadly flowing, optimistic and uplifting finale. That no particular composers loom largely in these movements is a testament to Bischoff's molding of Romantic symphonic tradition into his own voice which, after the second symphony, went silent for the last quarter century of his life. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 777 111 (Germany) 11I001 $15.98


Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: [Ø] : 19


NOTES [November 2006]:

1. It's time for the DVD SALE IN DECEMBER. Every DVD on the Opus Arte, Arthaus Musik, TDK, EuroArts and Juxtapositions labels will be on sale for the month of December. See our web-site for details December 1. If you need printed listings, please request them during November and they'll be mailed to you right after Thanksgiving.

2. There are no Lyrita titles in this month's catalogue due to the lateness in the month of the distributor's street-date. Why they need street-dates when the only major record chain which would have carried Lyrita is now being picked clean at liquidation is beyond me but who am I to complain?

3. The Roentgen symphony back-orders will be filled this month (for those of you who didn't already get them the last ten days or so of October). One shipment to me was destroyed utterly (fragments of jewel-boxes, little slivers of CDs) by a Postal Service sorting machine in Philadelphia. Its replacement was lost in the mail. A second replacement, sent to me directly from Europe by DHL, finally made it through. Accord back-orders (Offenbach, Matalon, Méhul) were also in the destroyed box and missing packages and I now have these to send you as well.


World Premieres of Norwegian Romanticism

JOHAN PETER SELMER (1844-1910): Prometheus, Op. 50, Carnival at Flanders, Op. 32, JOHAN SVENDSEN (1840-1911): Sigurd Slembe, Op. 8, Zorahayda, Op. 11. Selmer was, in his time, at the foremost edge of the musical avant-garde in Norway, advocating and writing programmatic tone poems which often came with long, bar-by-bar, intimately calculated synchronization with the story (rather like film music before film!). The 19-minute Carnival, in the tradition of Berlioz and Svendsen's own Carnival in Paris and Norwegian Artists' Carnival, uses carillon tunes from a Dunkirk church for two of its motifs and the massive, two-movement, 33-minute Prometheus was inspired by Max Klinger's series of paintings, Selmer attempting to minutely illustrate each panel with music highly innovative for its time. Svendsen's aren't first recordings but Sigurd Slembe, an 1872 programmatic overture based on a Norwegian medieval hero of the restless, wandering, fighting mode so popular in Romantic art, was on a short-lived German label (we offered it in January of 1999) and Zorahayda (on the defunct Norwegian NKF label) meticulously programmatic like Selmer, is based on a Washington Irving translation of a Moorish legend. Latvian National Symphony Orchestra Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Jurowski. Simax PSC 1233 (Norway) 11I002 $18.98 Ø


ALFREDO CASELLA (1883-1947): Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 48, Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, Op. 56. Not much orchestral Casella out there, so this is a feast! Dating from 1928, the violin concerto (of which this is the only available CD recording) was written for Szigeti, who premiered it in Moscow. Casella's neo-classicism is warmer and much less spiky or angular than Françaix, or Stravinsky or Prokofiev and both these works (the triple concerto is from 1933) come with a warm infusion of romantic feeling with the violinist getting significant cadenzas in all three movements and the soloists in the triple concerto functioning like the concertino in a baroque concerto grosso. Brisk but not break-neck, amiable but not breathlessly witty, Casella's is a voice we really should hear much more of. Matthias Wollong (violin), Danjuio Ishizaka (cello), Frank Immor Zichner (piano), RSO Berlin; Vladmir Jurowski, Michael Sanderling (op. 56.). Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 099 (Germany) 11I003 $18.98 Ø

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Serenade in F Minor, Op. 3, Carnival, Op. 5, Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song, Op. 30, Divertimenti Nos. 3, Op. 25, 4, Op. 38 & 5, Op. 39. Works from very early in Weiner's career and from his ripe maturity, all of them full of colorful Hungarian character. The Serenade (1903) is a four-movement work whose Hungarian character is the generalized type of the late Romantic period, before the professional collection of folk-songs began. It's very much in the Dvorák/Brahms vein of local color while the boisterous, infectiously rhythmic Carnival of 1905 is a worthy successor to Dvorák's work of the same name. Dating from 1949 and 1951, the three Divertimenti are 10-13 minute suites of five dances each, mostly authentically collected with a few of Weiner's own creation sprinkled in. Throw in the Variations (also from 1949) and you have an authentic set of "Hungarian Dances" to enjoy in the same vein as those by Brahms and Dvorák. North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc; László Kovács. Hungaroton HCD 32424 (Hungary) 11I004 $17.98

WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Symphony (rec. 1960 - mono), BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970): Symphony in One Movement (1953 version; rec. 1987), GYÖRGY LIGETI (1923-2006): Lontano (rec. 1987), IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Concerto for Piano, Winds, Double Bass and Kettledrum (1930 version; rec. 1985). Collectors of post-war German music will find this an indispensible release. LP collectors will recall the Fortner symphony from a DHM box-set but this might be its first appearance on CD (the final movement is on an archival DG reissue). Dating from 1947, it is a steely, rough-edged neo-classical work with energy to burn and not unlike the symphonies we offered several months ago on cpo by Pepping. This is also the only currently available version of Zimmermann's 15-minute symphony, also a thorny, harsh-spirited work with roots in Darmstadtian dodecaphony but which the young composer was already infusing with personal, expressive elements. Nikita Magaloff (piano), North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (Fortner); Günter Wand. Profil PH05042 (Germany) 11I005 $16.98

BERND ALOIS ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970): Extemporale, Scherzettino, Intermezzo, Fugato - Finale, Capriccio, Intermezzo, Enchiridion, Exerzitien, l'après-midi d'un Puck, Hommage à Johann Strauß, Konfigurationen. Written between 1938 and 1956, Zimmermann's entire two-hand piano repertoire shows his development from his student days, coming to terms with a divorce from Late Romanticism and the path he took toward the appropriation of serialism, his personalization of which became his late, final language. Needless to say, with 33 tracks and 68 minutes, much of what's here is aphoristic and finely chiseled. This brand-new release is the only available recording of Zimmermann's piano music. Tiny Wirtz (piano). Aulos AUL 66143 (Germany) 11I006 $17.98 Ø

VIRGIL THOMSON (1896-1989): Cello Concerto (Nashville Chamber Orchestra; Paul Gambill), 4 Portraits for Cello and Piano (arr. Luigi Silva [1903-1961]), A Portrait of Frederic James for Cello and Piano, CHARLES FUSSELL (b.1938): Right River for Cello and String Orchestra (New England String Ensemble; Susan Davenny Wyner), 2 Ballades for Cello and Piano. Most collectors will want this disc for Thomson's warm and melodically rich concerto composed between 1945and 1950. Some 24 minutes in length, its movements carry suggestive titles: "Rider on the Plains" (a vista of rolling prairies in galloping 6/8 time), "Variations on a Southern Hymn" and "Children's Games". Cellist Silva's arrangement of four of Thomson's 140-odd "portraits" (composed in 1940 while he was living in Paris) was published in 1942 and, though you may not know the people depicted, they also carry descriptive titles such as "Bugles and Birds" and "Tango Lullaby". Fussell's works, while wholly abstract in concept, are also attractive and approachable. Emmanuel Feldman (cello), Joy Cline Phinney (piano). Albany SACD hybrid TROY 883 (U.S.A.) 11I007 $16.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Violin Concerto, A Colour Symphony. A major British work is restored to the catalogue with this new recording of the violin concerto. Written between 1953-55, a commission by the BBC for Campoli, Bliss chose to highlight particular aspects of playing for which the soloist was known - a singing, bel canto, beauty of tone and phrasing (especially in the first movement and the slow portion of the finale) and "wonderful command of spiccato" (in the fast, in modo zingaro, portion of the finale). An airy scherzo, inspired by Berlioz' "Queen Mab" music, is the center movement of a very large-scale, Romantic work of over 41 minutes which any lover of violin concertos or of British music will want to have. Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10380 (England) 11I008 $17.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): On Christmas Night, Fantasia on Christmas Carols for Organ and Strings, The First Nowell. First recording of the 1924 "masque" or ballet score On Christmas Night. Lasting almost half an hour, the scenario is that of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" - fifteen little settings allowing Vaughan Williams to weave magical sound webs using various English carol melodies, making you wish, even in Arizona, that there could be frost on the windowpanes while listening to it. The Fantasia, originally for chorus and orchestra, is offered here in a slightly more intimate scoring for organ and strings, while the disc is rounded off by the nativity play during the composition of which the composer died, leaving only about a third to be finished by Roy Douglas. Texts included. Sarah Fox (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone), Joyful Company of Singers, City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10385 (England) 11I009 $17.98

TIBOR SERLY (1906-1978): 6 Dance Designs for Orchestra, Concertino 3x3 for Piano and Orchestra (Lynn Kao [piano]), Concerto for Violin and Wind Symphony (Carla Trynchuk [violin]). Serly developed a modal-diatonic response to dodecaphony, which he rejected, as a necessary development after the relentless chromaticism of the Romantic era. There is a somewhat neoclassical element of lightness of touch and clarity, especially evident in the sparkling rhythms and open textures of the fascinating and ingenious - and hugely enjoyable - Concertino. Serly's system results in a kind of modality, and the principle of the piece is that the piano plays a 3-minute piece, then the orchestra plays one, then the two are discovered to fit together to produce a cohesive whole which suddenly develops an intoxicating whiff of polytonality. The concerto is the most obviously 'Hungarian' piece here, unsurprisingly in view of Serly's modal approach to harmony and the nature of the solo instrument, having something of a folk-like feel (in a Bartókian sense) to it. Throughout the composer's vivid sense of orchestral color and rhythmic vitality are hugely enjoyable. Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Albany TROY 876 (U.S.A.) 11I010 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Violin Sonata No. 1 in E, Violin Sonata No. 3, Original second and third movements of Violin Sonata No. 1. Wass continues his Baxian work for Naxos with chamber music: the very turbulent and romantic first sonata (1910-15, revised twice more in 1920 and 1945) was inspired by his headlong fall for a Ukrainian girl whom he followed back to Russia the following year. The original second and third movements (first recordings) are a heart-on-sleeve slow and sombre and a headlong Allegro molto vivace (contrasting with the final version's scherzando second and Smooth and Serene finale) - both are longer than their final replacements. The two-movement third sonata of 1927 is derived almost entirely from Irish elements, the mature composer looking back at the dramatic emotions of youth which the Celtic island fired in his soul. Laurence Jackson (violin), Ashley Wass (piano). Naxos 8.557540 (New Zealand) 11I011 $7.98

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): String Quartets Nos. 1-3, Theme and Variations for 2 Violins. The three quartets come from throughout Rawsthorne's career, the first (1939) being a ten-minute set of variations (an important form always, as evidenced by the 1937 Theme and Variations which was his first published work), the second (1954) a succinct and precise work of four short movements (with a theme and variations for the fourth) and the third (1965) an austere work of unremitting intensity. Not easy listening (but not atonal) but rewarding for collectors of this genre. Maggini Quartet. Naxos 8.570136 (New Zealand) 11I012 $7.98

GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b.1911): Missa "O Pulchritudo" (Joan Gibbons [soprano], Deborah Fair [mezzo], John Vorassi [tenor], Thomas Sillitti [bass], Composer Festival Orchestra, Live recording 12/12/82, St. James Cathedral, Chicago), LOUIS VIERNE (1870-1937): Messe Solennelle, Op. 16 (Thomas Weisflog [grand organ], Dexter Bailey [choir organ], Live recording 5/20/88, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chicago). Written in 1979, Menotti's 43-minute mass substitutes a passage from St. Augustine's "Confessions" for the Credo (hence the work's subtitle). A non-stop flow of sweet melody and passionate spirituality (the notes, by the tenor soloist, recall the composer dropping to his knees in prayer at the climactic moment of the Sanctus at the dress rehearsal), this is exactly the sort of thing which made Menotti so popular with audiences and so vilified by critics of the period. Mid-price. William Ferris Chorale; William Ferris. Cedille CDR 7001 (U.S.A.) 11I013 $10.98

OLIVIERO LACAGNINA (b.1951): Concerto Serenata (Omaggio a Astor Piazzolla) for Guitar and String Orchestra, OSCAR EMILIO TIRAO (b.1941): Concertango Buenos Aires for Guitar and Orchestra, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Double Concerto "Hommage à Liége" for Guitar, Bandonéon and String Orchestra. A colorful pair of tango-inspired guitar concertos by an Italian and an Argentinian (Tirao played the guitar part at the world premiere performance of Piazzolla's double concerto in 1985) with the Italian Lacagnina also exploring the Mediterranean roots of Piazzolla's music whose elegiac slow movement suggests Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Edoardo Catemario (guitar), Michael Zisman (bandoneon), Orchestra Vincenzo Galilei; Nicola Paszkowski. Arts SACD hybrid 47728-8 (Germany) 11I014 $17.98

JOHN REDFORD (d.1547): Exultet celum laudibus, Sermone blando angelus, Angulare fundamentum, Te lucis ante terminum, Primo dierum omnium, Lucem tuam (3 settings), JOHN BLITHEMAN (c.1525-1591): Eterne rerum conditor, Christe qui lux, Gloria tibi Trinitas (6 settings), THOMAS TALLIS (c.1505-1585): Clarafica me Pater (3 settings), Gloria tibi Trinitas, Iste confessor, THOMAS TOMPKINS (1572-1656): Miserere, Clarifica me Pater, In nomine, ANON.: La Mi Re, Felix namque, A solis ortus (4 verses). An hour's worth of Tudor organ music, mostly based on the elaborate choral works of the period and deriving predominantly from the Mulliner Book. Carl Smith (organs of First Lutheran Church, Nashville and Ackerman Auditorium, Southern Adventist Univ., Collegedale, TN). Naxos 8.570142 (New Zealand) 11I015 $7.98

HEINRICH SCHÜTZ (1585-1672): Edition, Vol. 3 - Historia der Auferstehung Christi, SWV 50, Matthäuspassion, SWV 479, Lukaspassion, SWV 480, Johannespassion, SWV 481, Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz, SWV 478, Dialogues: Weib, was weinest du?, SWV 443, Es gingen zweene Menschen hinauf, SWV 444. Made late last year, these new recordings of the severe and keenly focused Passion settings written when the composer was in his late 70s (and the much earlier "Resurrection History" - a genre peculiar to Dresden - of 1623) are completely up to date with the newest Schütz scholarship, trenchantly explicated in the six pages of notes (the remaining 50 pages are devoted to complete texts and translations). 4 CDs. German -English texts. Gerd Türk (tenor), Bas Ramselaar (bass), Cappella Augustana, Il Sonar Parlante; Matteo Messori (organ). Brilliant Classics 92795 (Netherlands) 11I016 $18.98

FRANCESCO CAVALLI (1602-1676): La Calisto. This Calisto, filmed in 1996 at the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, juxtaposes Monteverdian declamation and new-fangled aria as effortlessly as it juggles the divine and the earthly and contains a bonus 52-minute documentary that discusses the Jacobs-Wernicke production. Featuring the same basic cast with some minor changes as the CD version of 1995. 2 DVDs. Maria Bayo (soprano), Marcello Lippi (bass), Louise Winter (mezzo), Hans Peter Kammerer (tenor), Concerto Vocale; René Jacobs. Harmonia Mundi DVD HMD 9909001 (France) 11I017 $37.98

ALESSANDRO STRADELLA (1639-1682): Amanti, olà, olà! - Accademia d'Amore, Chi resiste al Dio bendato. The Stradella renaissance continues with two more first recordings. The Accademia (1665) is a substantial piece of 52 minutes in which various allegorical figures discuss the effects of love on the human spirit in a sequence of recitative and aria which lack the unbridled virtuosity this composer often demanded of his singers (which can be a good thing!) while the 21 minutes of Chi resiste make somewhat greater demands on vocal technique. Eleven pages of detailed notes add to one's enjoyment and understanding. Italian-English texts. Rosita Frisani, Cristiana Presutti, Anna Chierichetti (sopranos), Gianluca Belfiori Doro (alto), Mario Cecchetti, Makoto Sakurada (tenor), Riccardo Ristori (bass), Alessandro Stradella Consort; Estevan Velardi. Chandos Chaconne 0728 (England) 11I018 $17.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): From Concerti Sacri: Mortales for Soprano, Alto and Continuo, Infirmata for Alto, Violins and Continuo, FRANCESCO MARIA BENEDETTI (1683-1746): Perge cor for Soprano and Continuo, In Convertendo for Soloists, Chorus, Violins and Continuo, ANON. (17th.cen.): Magnificat for Soloists, Chorus, Violins and Continuo, Gaude fiore for Chorus and Instruments. This unusual collection of sacred vocal works comes from the manuscripts of the Biblioteca Capitolare in Aosta and, while it does have the first appearance on CD of the composer Benedetti, it has notes only in Italian and French. Laura Antonaz (soprano), Gabriella Martellacci (contralto), Marco Piretta (bass), Cappella Musica di San Grato; Teresio Colombotto. Stradivarius STR 33721 (Italy) 11I019 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Complete Cello Sonatas, RV 39-47. Six of these sonatas were published in 1740, the rest appeared only recently (and at least one's attribution to Vivaldi is questionable). In the four-movement sonata da chiesa form, Vivaldi experiments wonderfully with all the personalities and sound colors a cello is capable of, the soloist here particularly interested in the operatic qualities of the lovely slow movements. It might have been nice to see the 39 minutes of documentaries on the DVD but it will only play on a PAL-compatible player. So, what's the point of having "all region" DVDs if you don't use them? 2 CDs and 1 DVD (PAL only). Ophélie Gaillard (cello), Ensemble Pulcinella. Ambroisie AMB9932 (France) 11I020 $27.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Griselda, RV718. A late work from 1735 to a very popular libretto of the period (edited here by the young Goldoni), Griselda marked the reconciliation between Vivaldi and the singer with whom he had worked for almost 20 years, Anna Girò, and for whom he pulled out all the stops, making her character the center of every bit of the action, from aria to recitiative to arioso. Two arias which Vivaldi himself crossed out in his manuscript have also been restored for this recording, which has already won the "Diapason d'or" and "Choc" of "Le Monde de la Musique". 3 CDs for the price of 2. Italian-English libretto. Marie-Nicole Lemieux (contralto), Verónica Cangemi, Simone Kermes (soprano), Philippe Jarousky (countertenor), Stefano Ferrari (tenor), Ensemble Matheus; Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Naïve OP 30419 (France) 11I021 $33.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Concertos and Chamber Music, Vol. 4 - Concerto in G for 2 Violins, Viola and Continuo, TWV 43:G5, Ouverture in E for Oboe d'amore, 2 Violins, Viola and Continuo, 55:E2, Concerto in B Flat for 2 Recorders, 2 Violins, Viola and Continuo, 52:B1, Violin Sonata in D, 41:D1, Concerto in A Minor for Recorder, Oboe, Violin and Continuo, 43:a3. Because you can never have enough Telemann. Continuing print the TWV numbers for collectors who want to manage their burgeoning Telemann shelves. Musica Alta Ripa. MD&G 309 1384 (Germany) 11I022 $17.98

PIETRO LOCATELLI (1695-1764): Concerti grossi, Op. 1, No. 2 in C Minor, No. 4 in E Minor, No. 7 in F, No. 8 in F Minor "Pastorale", No. 9 in D & No. 11 in C Minor. Since it's been seven years since any of Locatelli's first set of concerti grossi has been recorded, this new offering seemed a must-offer. At once a tribute to Corelli and a demonstration of the new virtuosity and, with the addition of a viola to the concertino, density of sound and contrapuntal complexity which Locatelli would establish as his characteristic style. Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; Gottfried von der Goltz. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901889 (France) 11I023 $18.98

MICHEL BLAVET (1700-1768): 6 Flute Sonatas "mêlées de pièces", Op. 2, 6 Flute Sonatas, Op. 3, Recueils de Pièces, petits Airs, Brunettes, Menuets etc. - 3 suites, Concerto in A for Flute, 2 Violins and Continuo. Blavet set the standard for flute playing in the first half of the 18th century although, as a composer, he left only these two sets of sonatas. Dating from 1732, the first set show the influences of the French suite and of the Corellian sonata da camera while the 1740 op. 3 is in a more modern, galant style. The suites come from a collection of arrangements of popular and other composers' music with a few original compositions while Blavet's only extant concerto has a pair of bustling, Vivaldian outer movements framing two French gavottes. 3 CDs. Jed Wentz (flute), Musica ad Rhenum. Brilliant Classics 93003 (Netherlands) 11I024 $15.98

JOHANN GOTTLIEB GRAUN (1703-1771)& CARL HEINRICH GRAUN (1703-1771): Concerto in A for Viola da Gamba, Strings and Continuo, Concerto in D for Oboe d'amore, Strings and Continuo, Concerto in E for Flute, Strings and Continuo, Concerto grosso in G for Flute, Violin, Viola da Gamba, Cello, Strings and Continuo. The Graun brothers wrote enough concertos with little attribution possible that the makers of this new recording just ampersand the two, although they will attribute three of the four in their notes. The viola da gamba and oboe d'amore were rare solo instruments in mid 18th-century Europe except, obviously, at the court of Frederick the Great in Berlin. The galant and early Classicism define the styles of the various works; the Concerto grosso has two continuo groups - one with a Silbermann fortepiano! Il Gardellino. Accent ACC 24166 (Belgium) 11I025 $17.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): 7 Concerti a 4. These curious pieces, ranging from 6-11 minutes in length, seem to date from around 1740 and have two baroque-style opening movements, the first Corellian, solemn and slow, then a fugal allegro and a minuet finale, the latter being in the galant style. Ensemble Il Falcone; Fabrizio Haim Cipriani (violin). Dynamic CDS 519 (Italy) 11I026 $17.98

CHRISTOPH SCHAFFRATH (1709-1763): Trio in G Minor for Violin, Oboe and Continuo, Duetto in C for Cello and Harpsichord, Sonata in D Minor for Oboe and Continuo, Sonata in G for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord, Trio in B Flat for Violin, Bassoon and Continuo. Schaffrath moved from Dresden to Berlin in 1740 and the chamber works here are in three styles, the most conservative of which still offers echoes of Vivaldi or Heinichen while his solo instrument/harpsichord duos are the most advanced, anticipating the Classical sonata. Epoca Barocca. CPO 777 116 (Germany) 11I027 $15.98

THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): 6 Cantatas for a Voice and Instruments, Advice to Cloe. Published in 1755, this is the only set of orchestrally-accompanied cantatas to by published by an English composer of the period (the appended Advice dates from 1768). Set in the usual Arcadian settings with mythological characters, shepherds and shepherdesses, with English texts, these works benefit from Arne's close attention to text and orchestral color and a wide variety of moods. Texts included. Mária Zádori (soprano), Timothy Bentch (tenor), Capella Savaria; Mary Térey-Smith. Centaur CRC 2815 (U.S.A.) 11I028 $16.98

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787): Aristeo, Bauci et Filemone. Commissioned to provide an opera-ballet for the wedding of the Duke of Parma and Marie Antoinette's sister in 1769, Gluck mined some of his older stage works, as was common at the time, to come up with a three-part fête, of which the first two are given their first recordings here (the third was an abridgement of Orfeo). 2 CDs. Italian-English libretti. Ditte Andersen (soprano), Ann Hallenberg, Marie Lenormand (mezzos), Magnus Staveland (tenor), Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. Ambroisie AMB 9995 (France) 11I029 $27.98

CHRISTIAN CANNABICH (1731-1798): Symphonies in G, A, E Flat (No. 57), C (No. 22) and in D. The Contemporaries of Mozart series continues with three first recordings (the middle three in the listing) of this Mannheim orchestra composer/violinist. The only dated symphony is also the only four-movement one (the G major from 1760) but collectors of Classical symphonies will know that Cannabich could really capture one's attention with his melodies and short motifs, so no one is going to be unhappy with these new additions to the catalogue. London Mozart Players; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 10379 (England) 11I030 $17.98

FRANÇOIS-JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Symphony in F, Op. 8/2 (excerpt), Symphonie concertante in D for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon, Arias from Sabinus, ANDRÉ-ERNST-MODESTE GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Arias from Céphale et Procris and La Caravane du Caire. A live concert (75 min.) in the little theatre of Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, featuring her two favorite composers, with two documentaries on the building (37 min.). English subtitles. 16:9 wide-screen. PCM Stereo or DTS 5.0 surround. Sophie Karthäuser (soprano), Pierre-Yves Pruvot (baritone), Les Agrémens; Guy van Waas. Armide Classics DVD ARM010 (France) 11I031 $32.98

FRANZ IGNAZ BECK (1734-1809): 3 Symphonies, Op. 4, Overture to L'isle déserte. These symphonies, coming from 1768, are as astounding as all the others you've heard from Beck on this cpo series (and on Naxos too). Not a trace of the galant but, instead, all taut motivic construction and development, the winds interrupting with coarse interjections and underlinings rather than providing attractive support to the strings - things which would not become regular until Beethoven. La Stagione Frankfurt; Michael Schneider. CPO SACD hybrid 777 033 (Germany) 11I032 $15.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Die Hochzeit auf der Alm, Der Bassgeiger zu Wörgl. A singspiel dating from 1768, "The Wedding on the Alpine Pasture" (it's title tells you all you need to know) is a folksy, simple little diversion of 45 minutes whose four instrumental movements were later published under Joseph Haydn's name as a Symphonie périodique. Somewhere between 1773-75, "The Bass Player of Wörgl" made its appearance, its 20 minutes of buffoonery, written in dialect, give another example of what passed for "popular music" of the period. No texts. Dorothee Mields (soprano), Jörg Waschinski (male soprano), Monika Waeckerle (mezzo), Markus Foster (alto), Bernhard Berchtold (tenor), Michael Schopper (bass), Salsburger Hofmusik; Wolfgang Brunner. Profil PH06061 (Germany) 11I033 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Serenade in B Flat, Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra, JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Trumpet Concerto in E Flat, Symphony No. 82 in G Minor "La Poule". Collectors of the younger Haydn will want to have this 31-minute Serenade (the second such multiple-movement Salzburg-type work from him to appear in four months - see 07I028) which probably dates from the late 1760s and is in eight movements, with concertinos embedded for bassoon and trumpet. Wolfgang Bauer (trumpet), Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn; Ruben Gazarian. MD&G 601 1395 (Germany) 11I034 $17.98

JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1799): Violin Concertos in G, B Flat and G. And, given that Vanhal and Cannabich were colleagues, we can say the same about these concertos (longer works, lasting from 20-27 minutes) from pre-1772 and (the B flat) 1777 which are full of elegant and lyrical melody and, in the finales, a driving dynamism akin to the composer's symphonies. Takako Nishizaki (violin), Cologne Chamber Orchestra; Helmut Müller-Brühl. Naxos 8.557815 (New Zealand) 11I035 $7.98

KARL DITTERS VON DITTERSDORF (1739-1799): Il Barone di Rocca Antica. One of the last of a series of Italian comic operas Dittersdorf wrote for the Prince-Bishop of Breslaus between 1770 and 1776, Il Barone is a typical Roman Intermezzo with its four characters - two noble and two servants both males needing flogging into shape by their females. The recording is of a live performance in August of 2005 at the recently restored theatre of the 18th century Gödöllö royal palace. Conductor Németh introduces Dittersdorf and his early Italian stage works and another "extra" tours the palace (only opened to the public after extensive restoration in 2003). The small stage and close quarters give an excellent, if slightly claustrophobic, idea of what performances at royal seats were like in the 19th century. English subtitles. Tamás Kóbor (tenor), Beatrix Fodor, Edit Károly (sopranos), Gábor Bretz (bass), Savaria Baroque Orchestra; Pál Németh. 4:3 format (regular TV), Dolby Digital 5.1 or PCM Stereo. Hungaroton DVD HDVD 32406 (Hungary) 11I036 $35.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): 6 Piano Quintets, Op. 56 (G. 407-412). 6 Piano Quintets, Op. 57 (G. 413-418). All of Boccherini's piano quintets were written between 1797 and 1799, all in four movements, each fully worked out as to thematic material, the piano and the strings taking turns with the abundant melodic material and with attractive hints of Spanish folk song popping up here and there. These new recordings, by a recently formed period-instrument group (Schantz 1805 fortepiano), were made just last year. 4 CDs. Ensemble Claviere. Brilliant Classics 92890 (Netherlands) 11I037 $18.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Guitar Quintets Vol. 3 - No. 4 in G, G. 448 and No. 5 in G, G. 449. Boccherini transcribed 12 piano quintets for a guitar-playing nobleman and the surviving nine of these are being recorded by this Catalan period instrument ensemble (Vol. 1 still hasn't been offered). A change of distributors delayed offering this one but that doesn't explain Vol. 1... Almodis Chamber Ensemble. Columna Musica 1CM0125 (Spain) 11I038 $17.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): Il marito disperato. For this live 2003 revival of Cimarosa's 1785 dramma giocoso, the composer's original sinfonia, parts missing from the printed edition and his original orchestration were restored, along with the buffo bass character's original Neapolitan dialect. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Vassiliki Karajanni, Carmen Giannattasio (sopranos), Bruno de Simone (baritone), Juan José Lopera (tenor), Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo; Antonino Fogliani. Bongiovanni GB 2397/98 (Italy) 11I039 $33.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): An Chloe, K. 524, Die Verschweigung, K. 518, Als Luise die Briefe, K. 520, Un moto di gioia, K. 579, Das Lied der Trennnung, K. 519, Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling, K. 596 (Irmgard Seefried, Erik Werba. Aug. 7, 1958. Mono), Die Zufriedenheit, K. 473, Das Kinderspiel, K. 598, Die kleine Spinnerin, K. 531, Sei du mein Trost, K. 391, Das Veilchen, K. 476, Oiseaux, si tous les ans, K. 307, Ridente la calma, K. 152, Un moto di gioia, K. 579 (Ingeborg Hallstein, Erik Werba. Aug. 19, 1968), Ich würd' auf meinem Pfad, K. 390, Die Zufriedenheit, K. 349, Die betrogene Welt, K. 474, Komm, liebe Zither, K. 351, Das Veilchen, K. 476, Das Lied der Trennung, K. 519, Abendempfindung, K. 523, An Chloe, K. 524, Das Traumbild, K. 530, Dans un bois solitaire, K, 308, Kleine deutsche Kantate, K. 619 (Peter Schreier, Jörg Demus. Aug. 19, 1975), Des kleinen Friedrichs Geburtstag, K. 529, Die kleine Spinnerin, K. 531, Die Verschweigung, K. 518, Der Zauberer,K. 472 (Helen Donath, Klaus Donath. Aug. 14, 1975), Kleine deutsche Kantate, K. 619 (Walter Berry, Erik Werba. July 31, 1981), Das Veilchen, K. 476, Wie unglücklich bin ich nit, K. 147, Dans un bois solitaire, K. 308, Oiseaux, si tous les ans, K. 307, Die Zufriedenheit, K. 473, Der Zauberer, K. 472 (Edith Mathis, Heinz Medjimorec. Aug. 5, 1983), Als Luise die Briefe, K. 520, Das Veilchen, K. 476, Abendempfindung, K. 523, Oiseaux, si tous les ans, K. 307, Dans un bois solitaire, K. 308, Ridente la calma, K. 152, Un moto di gioia, K. 579, Kleine deutsche Kantate, K. 619 (Edita Gruberova, Irwin Gage. Aug. 4, 1984). Mozart's lieder uvre is among his least well-documented and there are several rare songs in this compliation of Salzburg Festival recitals, so we thought that we might as well offer this as part of the ongoing Mozart anniversary celebrations. 2 CDs. German/French/Italian texts. Orfeo d'Or C 709 0662 I (Germany) 11I040 $33.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): String Quartets in C Minor and E (World premiere recordings), String Quartets in G, G Minor & B, Op. 1, Nos. 2, 3 & 6. Kraus' six quartets of op. 1 are a blend of mature Haydn and his own idiosyncratic emotional darkness and turbulence which owes something, in its reluctance to allow any motif or melody too long to parade itself and in its stop-and-start sudden changes of direction, to the style of C.P.E. Bach. The two first recordings here are undated, probably come from before the op. 1 set (1784) but are by no means less mature-sounding in style. Salagon Quartet. Carus 83.194 (Germany) 11I041 $17.98

FERDINANDO CARULLI (1770-1841): 3 Romances and 2 Ariettas, Op. 3, Notturno No. 2 for 2 Guitars, Op. 128 (Mauro Bonelli [second guitar]), DOMENICO PUCCINI (1772-1815): Aure amiche, Senza l'amabile, CARLO MICHELE ALLESSIO SOLA (1786-1829): Or che fra nube asconde, Quel cor che mi prometti, Alla vezzosa Clori, Un serto di fiori, Amor è un tiranno, GIROLAMO CRESCENTINI (1762-1846): Languir d'amore, Dove rivolgo, oh Dio?, Tu mi chiedi, Per valli, per boschi, Non v'è più barbaro, GAETANO MARANI (18th cen.-19th cen.): E taglia cor di vederme, Polacca. "Favorite Arias from the Time of Napoleon" covers the period when an explosion of interest in the guitar and the dawn of Romanticism met up with the age of bel canto to produce a wealth of guitar-accompanied song. No texts. Maurizia Barazzoni (soprano), Sandro Volta (guitar). Tactus TC 790002 (Italy) 11I042 $11.98

FERDINANDO PAER (1771-1839): Sofnonisba - highlights. The fourth in Opera Rara's series of highlights with complete libretto in the usual lavish box with 144-page "booklet" which contains all the information which you get in the complete opera recordings from this label. A look at Italian opera pre-Rossini, it shows Paer working in the Mozart-Haydn tradition with, most strikingly, an emotionally charged, multi-movement final scene for Sofonisba the like of which audiences of 1805 had never encountered before. Italian-English libretto. Jennifer Larmore, Rebecca Evans (sopranos), Paul Nilon (tenor), Marco Palazzi (bass), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra; Marco Guidarini. Opera Rara ORR 237 (England) 11I043 $20.98

FILIPPO GRAGNANI (1767-1812): Quartet in A for Violin, Clarinet and 2 Guitars, Op. 8, Trio in D for Flute, Violin and Guitar, Op. 13, Duetto in D for 3 Guitars, Sextet in A for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, 2 Guitars and Cello. Unlike the Romantic German below, this Italian writes guitar chamber music full of sunny Italian and operatic-quality themes and the purpose is pure, mindless pleasure. Consortium Classicum. MD&G 301 1415 (Germany) 11I044 $17.98

WENZESLAUS MATIEGKA (1773-1830): Notturno in G, Op. 21, Serenade in C, Op. 26. One of the best (and most concise) notes you'll ever read on Romanticism, musical Romanticism and its favorite expression - the nocturne and the serenade - makes sure you'll never consider such pieces as these light, throw-away easy listening again. Sérénade à trois (Karl Kaiser [flute], Petra Müllejans [viola], Sonja Prunnbauer [guitar]). CPO 777 190 (Germany) 11I045 $15.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Piano Edition, Vol. 3 - Péchés de vieillesse, Book V - Album pour les enfants adolescents, First recordings: 2 Waltzes in E Flat, Moderato in A Flat. And on they roll, Chandos, Channel Classics and MD&G's Rossini piano series - all of which are proving equally popular among our customers. This particular release offers something new - little pieces from the same general period as the Péchés, written as gifts for important friends of the composer (one of them one of the five Rothschild banking brothers, who saw to the investments which kept Rossini in happy retirement). Marco Sollima (piano). Chandos 10387 (England) 11I046 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 7 - Album de Château. This continues the Château album, containing the remaining eight pieces, some of them less recorded but most with delicious titles like "Pretentious Prelude", "Anti-Dancing Waltz" and "So-Called Dramatic Prelude". Paolo Giacometti (1858 Pleyel piano). Channel Classics SACD hybrid CCD SA 24106 (Netherlands) 11I047 $20.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Il giuramento. "Bel canto pleasures pure and simple, amde to sound light and carefree in a way that is possible only when a great team of singers approaches its task with true verve" says the blurb on the back cover. One of Mercadante's biggest successes and a famous occasion at the time since Domingo stepped in for Peter Dvorsky on only four days notice! 2 CDs. No libretto, English synopsis with track points. Agnes Baltsa, Mara Zampieri (sopranos), Plácido Domingo (tenor), Robert Kerns (baritone), Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht (Sept. 9, 1979). Orfeo d'Or C 680 062 I (Germany) 11I048 $33.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo. Based on the first part of Cervantes' Don Quixote, this melodramma premiered in 1833. Its main character is a deranged and heartbroken husband who discovers, after many tribulations, that his wife does love him. Although not a comedy, there is a buffo character who acts as a foil for the main character's ravings. 2 CDs. No libretto. Gabriella Tucci, Giuliana Tavolaccini (sopranos), Ugo Savarese (baritone), Nicola Filacuridi (tenor), Siena Opera Orchestra and Chorus; Franco Capuana (Sept. 14, 1958). Opera d'Oro OPD 1463 (U.S.A.) 11I049 $12.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il diluvio universale. Premiered in 1830, this is the first of Donizetti's two great ensemble operas (the second is L'assedio di Calais). The emphasis here is on a group of people ­ Noah and his family ­ rather than a pair of lovers or a hapless heroine waiting for her mad scene. This change of focus is heard in the beautiful ensembles which dominate this non-opera. And don't worry, those duets, arias and cabalettas so dear to the hearts of Donizettians are still there. (Not to mention the usual massive 144-page "booklet" with its wealth of information, half-tones of the original singers and color photos of the current singers.) 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Mirco Palazzi (bass), Majella Cullagh (soprano), Colin Lee (tenor), Manuela Custer (mezzo), Simon Bailey (baritone), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra; Giuliano Carella. Opera Rara ORC 31 (England) 11I050 $41.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Sonata in D, Sonata Movement in G Minor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Andante con variazioni, Op. 83a. First recordings of the 10-year-old Mendelssohn's three-movement, 13-minute sonata and four-minute sonata movement - works which obviously came from the gifted child's observation of Mozart and Clementi. Mendelssohn did the piano duo version of the Midsummer Night's Dream overture in 1826 at the same time as the orchestral version but left the remaining nine movements until 1843 (this, too, is a first recording). Duo Egri & Pertis. Hungaroton HCD 32410 (Hungary) 11I051 $17.98

JOHANNA KINKEL (1810-1858): Die Lorelei, Op. 7/4, War hinaus gezogen, Op. 15/6, Der Müllerinn Nachbar, Op. 10/6, Vorüberfahrt, Op. 7/3, Stürmisch Wandern, Op. 18/6, Der Spanische Zitherknabe, Op. 8/1, Schwarze Augen, Op. 17/2, Die Mandoline, Op. 19/1, Nachtlied, Op. 7/1, Die Zigeuner, Op. 7/6, Römische Nacht, Op. 15/1, Gondellied, Op. 8/3, Du nahst, Op. 15/2, Wunsch, Op. 7/2, Blaue Augen,Op. 17/1, Abschied von Italien, Op. 16/3, Gilderoy, Oh, open the Door, Lord Gregory, Auld Rob Morris, Provençalisches Lied, Op. 21/4, Beduinenromanze, Op. 19/4, Abendliednach der Schlacht, Op. 21/5, Auf, wohl auf Ihr Candioten, Op. 18/3, Demokratenlied, Lied von der Eisenbahn, Lied von der Hummel, Wiegenlied, Op. 10/4, Abendfeier, Op. 8/4, Thurm un Fluth, Op. 19/6, Die Geister haben's vernommen, Op. 6/3, Rheinsage, Op. 8/2, An den Mond, Op. 7/5. Space prevents me from trying to summarize the fascinating, unconventional and exciting life of this German woman composer (championed by Mendelssohn, praised by Schumann) but it will suffice to say that collectors of woman composers and German Romantic lieder will not want to be without these first recordings. German-English texts. Ingrid Schmithüsen (soprano), Thomas Palm (1839 Erard piano). CPO 777 140 (Germany) 11I052 $15.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Szekszárd Mass for 4 Part Male Choir and Organ (Honved Ensemble Male Choir; István Kis, Gábor Lehotka [organ]), R.485/b, Prometheus for Soprano, Contralto, 2 Tenors, Baritone, Bass, Reciter, Chorus and Orchestra, R.539. Revised in 1869 from a much earlier mass for male choir, the Szekszárd mass uses a male quartet and male choir, supported by organ, in the traditional six mass sections. The stripped-down feel contributes an intensity of relgious fervor - especially when soloists come forward - which makes this a striking work that might impress collectors who only want orchestral accompaniments for their sacred compositions. The orchestra is certainly there in the cantata which derives from incidental music composed in 1850 for the unveiling of a statue of Johann Gottfried Herder (who wrote the first Prometheus drama in German literature). Lasting over 45 minutes, this work consists of an introduction (using music from what later became the stand-alone tone poem Prometheus) and eight choruses (of various observers of Prometheus' plight) whose moods manage to run the gamut from sorrow to joy. In this form, it was premiered in 1857. German-English texts. Éva Andor (soprano), Erzsébet Komlóssy (contralto), József Reti, Béla Turpinszky (tenors), György Melis (baritone), József Gregor (bass), Adolf Peter Hoffmann (reciter), Budapest Chorus, Hungarian State Orchestra; Miklós Forrai. Original 1969 and 1972 Hungaroton recordings. Hungaroton HCD 32318 (Hungary) 11I053 $17.98

LOUIS JAMES ALFRED LEFÉBURE-WÉLY (1817-1869): Organ Works, Vol. 1 - L'organist moderne, Nos. 1-14, Offertoires, Op. 35, Nos. 1 & 2. Published the year before his death, "The Modern Organist" is a phantasmagorical collection of rustic pastorales, Gothic sorties, pseudo-Bach chorale preludes and fugues, hymn-like communions, prancing offertoires, balletic preludes, soulful cantabiles, strutting marches, fairground waltzes... practically everything you could imagine organ-wise. Three discs will be devoted to this work alone, with four Offertoires from op. 35 added. Richard Lea (organ of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral). Priory PRCD 726 (England) 11I054 $16.98

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Souvenance, Aimer, L'Ange et l'Enfant, La procession, S'il est un charmant gazon, Le vase brisé, Les cloches du soir, Le mariage de roses, Lied, Ninon, Nocturne, Passez! Passez toujours!, Robin Gray, Roses et papillons, L'Émir de Bengador, Le sylphe (Tibor Bogányi [cello]). We are told that this recording contains 80% of Franck's song uvre (with amost 25 minutes time left on the disc, why not all of them?) and they date from throughout his career, early ones under the influence of Schubert and Schumann, later ones sounding a bit more "French" but even these because of the general Wagner mania of the 1880s in France. Liszt was another important influence, meaning that this disc is likely to appeal to listeners beyond those who collect only the French mélodie. French-English texts. Gabriella Létay Kiss (soprano), Adrienne Hauser (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32425 (Hungary) 11I055 $17.98

EUGÈNE GIGOUT (1844-1925): Complete Organ Works, Vol. 4 - 12 pièces, Prelude et Fugue in E. Somehow, I missed offering this fourth volume of the now-complete five-volume Gigout series. Here it is for those of you who asked about it. Gerard Brooks (organ of Laon Cathedral). Priory PRCD 764 (England) 11I056 $16.98

EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): Piano Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 35, Erotikon, Op. 10, WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): 3 Fantasies, Op. 11, Late Summer Nights, Op. 33, Impromptu in G Flat. Sjögren's music epitomized bourgeois, Romantic idealism and makes for a fine, sepia-tinged snapshot of a period which we may long for today but which was execrated by a younger generation while the composer yet lived. The sonata, from 1903, and the set of character pieces (1883) may be separated by twenty years but the style and the personality remain the same: lots of Schumann, a little of Mendelssohn and a touch of Nordic nationalism here and there. The latter is plainly evident in Stenhammar's Late Summer Nights, less so in the Fantasies. Bernt Wilhelmsson (piano). Intim Musik IMCD 099 (Sweden) 11I057 $16.98

HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): Incidental Music from Ibsen's "Das Fest auf Sollhaug" (Mechthild Georg [mezzo], Yoo-Chang Nah [baritone], Cologne Radio Choir), HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): 3 Preludes to Henrik Ibsen's "Das Fest auf Sollhaug". Wolf's only commission didn't turn out so well, at least in his own mind. At one point, early on, he was even considering the piece as a possibility for an opera before his new-found confidence in lied composition, based on realistic "character poetry", foundered on Ibsen's romantic world of fairies, kings and poison-plots. What remains of this 1891 effort are two orchestral preludes, two songs for baritone and orchestra and one for soprano and orchestra, and five chorus/orchestra pieces, lasting, in all, some 26 minutes. Pfitzner's preludes to the three acts of the same play date from 1889-90 (24 minutes), distinctly programmatic in their composition, the publisher describing it in 1903 as an "audio guide" to the play. German-English texts. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Helmuth Froschauer. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 101 (Germany) 11I058 $18.98 Ø

FERRUCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): 2 Lieder, Op. 31, Album Vocale, Op. 30, Altdeutsch Lied, Op. 18/1, 2 Hebräische Lieder, Op. 15, 2 Lieder, Op. 24, Des Sängers Fluch, Op. 39, 5 Goethe Lieder, Reminiscenza Rossiniana. Most of Busoni's 40-odd songs date from before 1885 and are in the late Romantic tradition of Wolf and Schoeck but the Goethe Lieder (1919 and 1924) break new ground with their declamatory style, sparse textures and motoric rhythms. Texts available on-line. Martin Bruns (baritone), Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano). Naxos 8.557245 (New Zealand) 11I059 $7.98

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Edition, Vol. 5 - Paraphrase de Concert on Chopin's Waltz in E Flat, Op. 18, Concert arrangements of Chopin's Waltzes in D Flat, Op. 64/1, A Flat, Op. 64/3, A Flat, Op. 69/1, F Minor, Op. 70/2 and D Flat, Op. 70/3, Arrangement of Chopin's Rondo in E Flat, Op. 16, Contrapuntal arrangement of Carl Maria von Weber's Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65, CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826)/GODOWSKY: Perpetuum Mobile (Rondo from Piano Sonata, Op. 24), FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/GODOWSKY: Ballet Music from Rosamunde, D.797, Moment Musical, D.780/3, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/GODOWSKY: Du bist wie eine Blume, Op. 25/24, ADOLPH HENSELT (1814-1889)/GODOWSKY: Si oiseau j'etais (Étude, Op. 2/6), BENJAMIN GODARD (1849-1895)/GODOWSKY: Canzonetta from Concerto Romantique for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35. The latest in Grante's ongoing series, nicely varied as to source of transcription/arrangement and with almost nine pages of detailed notes by the pianist. Carlo Grante (piano). Music & Arts CD-1189 (U.S.A.) 11I060 $16.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): String Quartet No. 1 "From the Salvation Army", String Quartet No. 2, Scherzo. Revival and gospel hymns are the source of the music for the young Ives' first quartet (1896) while the second carries his famous description of "four men who converse, discuss, argue... fight, shake hands, shut up - then walk up the mountainside to view the firmament." Blair String Quartet. Naxos American Classics 8.559178 (U.S.A.) 11I061 $7.98

ERNST VON DÓHNANYI (1877-1960): String Quartets No. 1 in A, Op. 7, No. 2 in D Flat, Op. 15, & No. 3, in A Minor, Op. 33. These works date from 1899, 1906 and 1926 and, while Dohnányi may employ more chromaticism as time went on and would allow himself the use of expressive dissonances, he, of course, remained throughout his life a confirmed Late Romantic and it is Brahms' influence which is most clearly present througout these three warm and melodious quartets. 2 CDs. Fine Arts Quartet. Aulos AUL 66145 (Germany) 11I062 $27.98 Ø

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Complete Songs, Vol. 3 - 4 liriche su parole di poeti armeni, 2 liriche, 5 licriche, 4 liriche dal Poema Paradisiaco di Gabriele d'Annunzio, 4 arie scozzesi, La donna del sarcofago, La statua. Respighi set quite a bit of folksong, the melancholy sound of Armenian chant coloring the first group here and the broad humor of Scottish dialect infectiously doing the same for the last. In the middle are passionate Romanticism (Shelley texts in Italian translation), Impressionism (in the same group of five liriche) and a freer form and expressionist response to the Crepuscular poetry of D'Anunnzio. Italian/French-English texts. Elisabetta Scano, Andrea Catzel (sopranos), Leonardo de Lisi (tenor), Reinild Mees (piano). Channel Classics CCS 14998 (Netherlands) 11I063 $18.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Piano Music, Vol. 3 - Sevilla, Op. 2, Mujeres españolas (two series), Op. 17 and Op. 73, Mujeres de Sevilla, Op. 89. A youthful work, Sevilla, a three-movement suite, follows Albéniz' advice to concentrate on Spanish folk-song; then, Turina describes 14 types of Spanish women in pellucid sketches shot through with lyricism, humor and great musicality. Jordi Masó (piano). Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557684 (New Zealand) 11I064 $7.98

RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883-1944): Conchita. From the novel by Pierre Louÿs which gave us the Dietrich film "The Devil is a Woman" and the Buñuel masterpiece "That Obscure Object of Desire", this 1911 work was Zandonai's first big success and has rich orchestral writing, evoking a Spanish style, and verismo vocal parts. Good, clear mono sound. 2 CDs. No libretto. Antonietta Stella (soprano), Aldo Bottion (tenor), RAI Orchestra and Chorus Turin; Mario Rossi (Sept. 19, 1969). Opera d'Oro OPD 1462 (U.S.A.) 11I065 $12.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Cello Concerto, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 136, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1834-1921): Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33. Milhaud's concerto (1945) is joyful, sunny and good-spirited with American jazz and popular music permeating it throughout while Martin's 1965 work is tonal and approachable, based mostly on motivic development with rhythmically driven outer movements embracing a slow movement of significant depth and thoughtfulness. Niklas Eppinger (cello), Bochum Symphony Orchestra; Steven Sloane. Aulos AUL 66148 (Germany) 11I066 $17.98 Ø

WILHELM PETERSEN (1890-1957): Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 42, RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 13, Ständchen, Arabischer Tanz, Liebesliedchen, Festmarsch. Petersen was another of the many forgotten German composers who did not fully embrace the avant-garde of the period (although he did dabble in expressive dissonance, especially in his Second Symphony, between 1919 and 1924) and his Grosse Messe of 1930, once available on Wergo, has previously been the only CD appearance of his work except for a lieder disc we offered back in 2002. This quartet is a 1941 reworking of a 1921-2 violin sonata, whose three movements and 34 minutes make significant use of "developing metamorphosis" (to use a term Vagn Holmboe liked). Not Expressionist, rooted in late Romanticism but not opulently Straussian, this is a good example of the concept of "working within and extending 'tradition'" which we need to learn more about as similarly forgotten composers of that German generation come to light again. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Álvarez Quartet. Edition Hera 02121 (Germany) 11I067 $21.98

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Prairie Journal, Letter from Home, Rodeo, Suite from The Red Pony. Two lesser-known pieces make this new release especially worthwhile: Prairie Journal is a 1937, 11-minute evocation of life in the eponymous geographical location and Letter from Home a 1944 piece of six minutes which canjures the feelings of nostalgia a soldier would feel far from home during the war. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta. Naxos American Classics 8.559240 (U.S.A.) 11I068 $7.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Sardakai, Op. 206. Sardakai is Krenek's reworking, so to speak, of Mozart's Così. Commissioned by Hamburg Opera as a companion to the Mozart, it is scored for similar forces and presents itself as a burlesque parody of a form that is itself open to the charge of absurdity; characters incessantly disguise themselves and hide, spy on each other, and indulge in every manner of convoluted intrigue in order to test each other's fidelity and further their own ambitions. Apart from some ironic quotations from classical and romantic operas of the genre being lampooned (one crucial one issuing from a transistor radio), Krenek made no attempt to incorporate the musical vocabulary of his older operatic targets; the music is in the later Krenek's typically eclectic style, with the Second Viennese school audible as a background influence but with ready acknowledgement of lush Romantic harmony, and a generally lyrical and conventional approach to vocal writing, avoiding the fragmented lines and difficult intervals of his forebears. The humor comes over as a little heavy-handed, and for a 'cheeky comic opera' the vocabulary is perhaps rather serious - but with a sense of irony that perhaps the composer didn't intend, listened to without overmuch attention to the parodistic elements of the plot, Krenek's sophisticated and wide-ranging score succeeds in its own right as a worthy addition to the contemporary operatic repertory. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Ksenija Lucic (soprano), Egbert Junghans (bass), Markus Köhler (baritone), Cornelia Entling (mezzo), Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Reinhard Schmiedel. Capriccio 60 129 (Germany) 11I069 $33.98 Ø

MASAO OHKI (1901-1971): Symphony No. 5 "Hiroshima", Japanese Rhapsody. Ohki's ideological journey helps the appreciation of these works: wholly on board with the Japanese conquest and domination of East Asia, he produced his bright and optimistic, folk-melody sourced Rhapsody in 1938 on commission from the NHK broadcasting corporation. But then, surprise!, after the American occupation ended and the full picture of what had happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki became clear, he went 180 degrees and became a Socialist (later traveling and being fêted in the Soviet Union and North Vietnam) and wrote the atmospheric and graphic Hiroshima symphony in 1953, basing it on six paintings by a pair of Japanese artists and adding an Elegy as a postlude. Of course, it isn't Penderecki but, at the time it was premiered, its expressionistic style and bold, dissonant harmonies would have seemed at the edge of the avant-garde. New Japan Philharmonic; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos Japanese Classics 8.557839 (New Zealand) 11I070 $7.98

JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 9 - Concierto serenata for Harp and Orchestra, Sones in la Giralda for Harp and Orchestra, Concierto de Aranjuez. Dedicated to Nicanor Zabaleta, the 1952 Concierto serenata reflects the glories of Spanish music of the past while the Sones, for Marisa Robles, evokes the flamenco rhythms of Seville. Rodrigo transcribed the most famous guitar work of the 20th century for Zabaleta in 1974. Gwyneth Wentink (harp), Asturias Symphony Orchestra; Maximiano Valdés. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.555843 (New Zealand) 11I071 $7.98

HANS SCHAEUBLE (1906-1988): Music for String Quartet, Op. 19, MEINRAD SCHÜTTER (1910-2006): String Quartet, ERICH SCHMID (1907-2000): String Quartet, Op. 4 "in modo classico". A well-varied program of Swiss quartets with Schaeuble's 1936 work in five movements and firmly in the German neo-classical tradition of the period (Hindemith, Pepping, Fortner, etc.). Schütter's is a very late work from 1990 (rev. 1996) which is freely tonal but whose hints of dodecaphonic influences look back to the composer's studies with Dallapiccola in Italy before the war. Schmid was one of very few Swiss composers to whole-heartedly adopt twelve-tone technique in the 30s and 40s, this quartet from 1930-31 (rev. 1934) originating during his studies with Schoenberg. casalQUARTETT Zurich. Guild GMCD 7303 (Switzerland) 11I072 $16.98

PETER RACINE FRICKER (1920-1990): Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon, Op. 5, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Chasse à Valabre. 55 minutes of this disc are devoted to Mozart, Schumann and Britten (the Serenade with Peter Pears from July 30, 1953) but, at a special price, we thought it worth offering for the witty and brilliant Fricker quintet - four fast movements, almost all scherzo-like in character, just over 16 minutes in length - written for Brain in 1947 and recorded here Aug. 24,1957, just eight days before his fatal car crash. Mono. Dennis Brain Wind Quintet. BBC Legends BBCL 4192-2 (England) 11I073 $8.98


Two Chandos Russian Music Series Continue at Last!

DMITRY KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 9, Piano Concerto No. 4 "Prague", Op. 99, Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 19. Over three and a half years later comes the companion to Chandos' and Stott's first Kabalevsky concerto disc. Not otherwise available, the Prague concerto is a late work from 1979 and, at 12 minutes (sardonic march, introspective slow movement and toccata-ostinato finale) barely lasts longer than the first movement of the first piano concerto. This alone would make one suspect it to be in the composer's line of "youth concertos" and, in fact, it was written as a competition piece for young pianists. The 1931 companion concerto is quite unlike any of Kabalevsky's mature works, a 31-minute piece which is almost always in a reflective, ruminative, lyrical vein, with the late Russian Romantics the main influence but with Ravel and Prokofiev popping up in the rare lively sections. From 1934, the symphony is direct, diatonic, rooted in Russian folk music, showing wit, humor and unpredictability. Kathryn Stott (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Neeme Järvi. Chandos 10384 (England) 11I074 $17.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Symphonies, Vol. 3 - Symphonies No. 14, Op. 117 and No. 16, Op. 131. These two, single-movement, roughly half-hour long works come from 1977 and 1981, when Vainberg was reaching the apogee of his public acclaim in the Soviet Union, soon to be completely eclipsed by the rise of Schnittke, Denisov and Gubaidulina. Shostakovich is everywhere in Vainberg, the two having been close friends for almost forty years, and the mood of these epsiodic symphonies contains much that both composers traditionally dealt with: desolate, almost static soundscapes which slowly metamophose into outbreaks of conflict, despair, anger and grief, manaical circus music appears in No. 14, forming a bridge between the two - No. 16 has a very Shostakovichian scherzo sequence before falling back into a generally slow, introspective decline into its final numbness... Vainberg, at the height of his struggle for recognition, cannot ever lose the memories and heal the wounds of life under a Stalinist state. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice; Gabriel Chmura. Chandos 1034 (England) 11I075 $17.98


DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1 - 5 Preludes, Op. 2, 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5, Aphorisms, Op. 13, Polka, Op. 22, 24 Preludes, Op. 34, 7 Dolls' Dances. Well, we've never offered a complete Shostakovich piano cycle before and this one looks promising, both for the pianist and for the early (and, for that matter, sometimes later) pieces without opus numbers which are probably still being discovered by musicologists and which were unknown as recently as the 1980 edition of Grove. Here, this would mean the Dolls' Dances, which were assembled during the 1950s from portions of his Ballet Suites and from incidental music for The Human Comedy. Boris Petrushansky (piano). Stradivarius STR 33727 (Italy) 11I076 $17.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 1, Op. 12, Sonata No. 2, Op. 61, 3 Pieces (1920), Children's Notebook, Op. 69, Murzilka, 3 Variations on a Theme by Glinka. And the oddities here are the very brief teenage 3 Pieces, a 35-second piece of acid satire, Murzilka - the name of a children's magazine whose publisher was rubbed out in the purges of 1946 - and the 1957 Glinka variations, another official work (for the Revolution's 40th anniversary) which seems to have all kinds of veiled undertones. Boris Petrushansky (piano). Stradivarius STR 33748 (Italy) 11I077 $17.98

ROBERT STILL (1910-1971): Viola Sonata No. 2 (Frederick Riddle [viola], Eric Harrison [piano]), Quintet for 3 Flutes, Violin and Cello (Geoffrey Gilbert, George Crozier, Lionel Solomon [flutes], Jean Pougnet [violin], Francesco Gabarro [cello]), both original 1955 Argo release), Songs: A Song of Pain and Beauty, Ode to a Skylark, The Kingfisher, When I am Dead, Sister Awake, The Siren's Song (Heather Harper [soprano]), Sonnet, August, Beauty Bathing, Awaiting Execution, To Julia, Sunset on the Morea (John Carol Case [baritone], original 1959 Record Society release), The Sea hath many Thousand Souls (Jessica Cash [soprano]), Shall I, wasting in Despair? (Gordon Clinton [baritone], live at the Wigmore Hall, Oct. 31, 1959). From the depths of the out-of-print catalogue come these recordings of a still-forgotten English composer of attractive and approachable music (although, with two of his symphonies on Lyrita LP, we should be hearing more of Still during the next 18 months as the Lyrita CD reissue series goes on). The unusual instrumentation of the flute quintet produces, not surprisingly, a very French sound while the viola sonata is rather somber and reserved and the songs are pretty much in the Finzi/Warlock style of British song writing. Texts included. Ismeron JMSCD 8 (England) 11I078 $17.98 Ø

ROBERT SIMPSON (1921-1997): Symphonies Nos. 1-11, Variations on a Theme by Nielsen. Recorded between 1987 and 1996 (with the Eleventh not following until 2003), these symphonies made a great impression on the classical record industry by completely covering the most important part of what critics already knew was an important voice. Using the great classical form of the symphony, Simpson was still unorthodox in his use of opposing tonal centers or the power of salient intervals to generate his musical material. Material which, whether deeply thoughtful or muscularly energetic (the finale of the Second is like being tied to the front of a runaway train), always conveys a sense of positiveness with a sound which, far from being typically "English", is rather more in the Nordic vein. 7 CDs. Mid-price. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley, City of London Sinfonia; Matthew Taylor. Hyperion CDS 44191/7 (England) 11I079 $79.98

CARL DAVIS (b.1936): Aladdin. Ballet collectors should enjoy this 126-minute score premiered by the Scottish Ballet in 2000. Davis uses pentatonic scales for the Chinese scenes, the drone and modes of the Indian Raga for the Middle Eastern and a colorful variety of Western styles for this exotic production. 2 CDs. Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Carl Davis. Naxos 8.557898-99 (New Zealand) 11I080 $15.98

PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): Symphony No. 3, Cello Concerto. Writing in an unabashedly tonal, highly accessible idiom, Vasks adheres to a style which is directly communicative; his works are overwhelmingly poetic and philosophical in intent, portraying the human condition, passing through passages of strife and conflict (at which points his indebtedness to Shostakovich inevitably comes to the fore), always ending in a sense of optimistic resolution. The symphony exemplifies this process ideally; opening with a mysterious pulsating, ponderous melancholy, then progressing through a climax in angrier mood before subsiding into an uneasy questing central section (Khachaturian enthusiasts will enjoy his use of the flexatone and generally colorful and original orchestration here). The final section broods in Wagnerian solemnity and a somber Swan of Tuonela-derived cor anglais solo and grows in intensity before finally achieving a return to the textures and calm of the opening. The concerto has a similar overall structure, opening with calm, glacial nature-music, beautiful but detached, before entering a world of human strife, incorporating much active and passionate writing for the soloist in two 'toccata' movements (lots of effective Shostakovich and the Dies irae), separated by an impassioned, pivotal 'monologue' with angry interchanges between soloist and orchestra, each featuring a blistering cadenza. Finally the work arrives at a resolution of serene beauty, featuring a Latvian folk-melody and a return to the 'nature music' of the opening. Marko Ylönen (cello), Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgårds. Ondine SACD hybrid ODE 1086-5 (Finland) 11I081 $19.98

SÁNDOR BALASSA (b.1935): The Third Planet - Opera Cantata in Two Parts, Op. 39, Legend for Mixed Chorus, Op. 12. An "opera cantata" composed between 1984-87, The Third Planet is Balassa's lament for the destruction of the environment and is structured along classical recitative-aria-chorus lines (to his own texts) using his (by now well-known to collectors) approachable, dramatic and romantically-derived idiom, grounded in traditionally tonal language but, as you might expect here, using dissonance for expressive effect in what is a despairing lament for the lost beauty of Earth's flora, fauna and waters. Hungarian-English texts. Zuzsa Misura (soprano), Tamara Takács (contralto), Tamás Baróczy (tenor), Kázmér Sárkány (baritone), József Gregor (bass), Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; András Ligeti. Hungaroton HCD 32458 (Hungary) 11I082 $17.98

GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land for StringQuartet, String Orchestra and Percussion (arr. Juan Pablo Izquierdo), Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening for 2 Amplified Pianos and Percussion. Makrokosmos III is one of the most popular two-piano works in modern music. We offer this new release for conductor Izquierdo's arrangement of Black Angels, which is almost a concerto for string quartet and orchestra, allowing the solo quartet players more freedom in their interesting sound creations while the orchestra plays a ripieno role. The quartet isn't amplfied anymore but the overall effect makes one hear the piece with new ears. Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Members of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic; Juan Pablo Izquierdo, Luz Manriquez and Walter Morales (pianos), Nena Lorenz, Brian Spurgeon, Michael Passaris, Mark Shope (percussion), Andrés Cladera (voices, whistle, slide whistle, recorder). Mode 170 (U.S.A.) 11I083 $17.98

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Symphony No. 7 "Seven Gates of Jerusalem". Premiered in 1996, this is a seven-movement choral symphony using, as the composer has done several times in his career, texts from the Old Testament to celebrate the third millenium of the city of Jerusalem. The work fits snugly into Penderecki's late (or mixed) style - approachably romantic but with seasonings of sound colors from his early, avant-garde years - and is conceived on a monumental scale, with the number seven pervading structure and content. At times sounding almost like the backdrop to an old-fashioned Hollywood epic, this score is sure to appeal to those collectors who have snapped up the late symphonies in the ongoing Naxos series Texts available on-line. Olga Pasichnyk, Aga Mikolaj (sopranos), Ewa Marciniec (alto), Wieslaw Ochman (tenor), Romual Tesarowicz (bass), Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.557766 (New Zealand) 11I084 $7.98

GABRIELA MOYSEOWICZ (b.1944): Piano Sonata No. 6 "Noumenon", Rhapsodies Nos. 1 and 3, Norwidiana. Sonorous and dramatic, freely composed without adhering to any particular school of compositional technique, Moyseowicz' piano compositions plainly derive from her parallel career as pianist. The 12 Norwidiana, intermezzi named for a Polish poet, are brief studies in piano texture, hugely varied and harmonically rich, with clearly defined tonal centers established through repetitive gesture as well as a distinct sense of harmonic progression. The three larger-scale works have a freely rhapsodic, somewhat improvisatory character, dynamic contrast and shifting metrical dynamism substituting for readily definable formal structure in works that undeniably achieve a certain monolithic grandeur, suggesting bell sounds and fanfares, vast landscapes and echoing spaces. Gabriela Moyseowicz (piano). Aulos AUL 66149 (Germany) 11I085 $17.98 Ø

JACQUELINE FONTYN (b.1931): Aura, Capriccio, Le Gong, Mosaici, Ballade, Bulles (Robert Groslot [piano]), Diurnes (Philippe Terseleer [piano]), Hamadryades (Shoko Hayashizaki, Michael Hagemann [piano duo]), Spirales for 2 Pianos (Groslot, Daniel Blumenthal). On the basis of this pleasingly varied program Fontyn is a highly accomplished miniaturist with an exquisite sense of the coloristic possibilities of the piano. The three Diurnes (as opposed to Nocturnes) evoke the shimmering intensity of light effects, and strongly suggest an extension of impressionism, and this is a common factor among the works represented here. Some of the earlier pieces are based on dodecaphonic principles, though always somewhat freely - most detectable in the sparkling Capriccio (1954), which nonetheless suggests rhapsodic freedom more than any particular compositional method, and elsewhere coloristic effects are definitely the principal concern, as in Le Gong, which ingeniously exploits piano resonance effects. Here and there, as in the interaction between the two players in Spirales a degree of aleatory technique is briefly incorporated, as an extension of the generally free and fluid polyphony of the composer's expressive voice. Aulos AUL 66150 (Germany) 11I086 $17.98 Ø

PHILIPPE HERSANT (b.1948): Cello Concerto No. 2, Heathcliff - Suite from the Ballet. These works are cyclical and share a sense of journeying through a somber landscape of the mind. The concerto is based on an unfilmed Fellini screenplay, and is described by the composer as functioning like an opera without words (with the cello representing the main character in the story). Full of shadowy reminiscence, the music passes through many contrasting episodes invoking diverse musical styles (various dances, etc.), in a richly textured, tonal romantic vocabulary. The ballet score more explicitly illustrates episodes from Brontë's novel, vividly evoking the tragic and oppressive qualities of the story and the melancholy fate that overtakes the characters, in a sequence of six episodes of great dramatic power and romantic sweep, again cast in a lush tonal idiom. Cyrille Tricoire (cello), Orchestre National de Montpellier LR; Juraj Valcuha, Daniel Kawka (Heathcliff) Accord 442 8168 (France) 11I087 $17.98

SIMON BAINBRIDGE (b.1952): Fantasia for Double Orchestra (BBC Symphony Orchestra; Simon Bainbridge), Viola Concerto (Walter Trampler [viola], London Sinfonietta; Michael Tilson Thomas), Concertante in Moto Perpetuo (Composers Ensemble; Bainbridge). These relatively early works by a composer now one of the UK's senior musical figures demonstrate his mastery of orchestral technique in a variety of forms. The Fantasia makes ingenious use of the antiphonal interplay of material divided between two mirror-image orchestral groups - not only in incisive hocketing rhythmic interplay, but also by dividing thematic material between spatially separated groups of instruments, producing a variety of mysterious aural illusions and intriguing sonorities. The concerto is the earliest work here, one of the first large-scale pieces of Bainbridge's mature style, organic and continuously evolving in texture (often very subtle and transparent, displaying a post Second-Viennese concern for meticulously delineated tone-color) and in the varied relationships between the soloist and various instrumental groupings within the orchestra. The little Concertante is the most tonal, and instantly appealing work here, a lively toccata for oboe and accompanying ensemble. NMC D126 (England) 11I088 $15.98

STUART MACRAE (b.1976): Violin Concerto, Sterling Choruses, 2 Scenes from The Death of Count Ugolino for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (Loré Lixenberg [mezzo], Christian Tetzlaff [violin], BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Ilan Volkov), Motus (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Susanna Mälkki). The concerto, premiered at the Proms in 2001, propelled MacRae into public recognition. A substantial four-movement work, it progresses from an introductory first movement, in which material is presented and developed in a constant state of flux, via a sustained and eloquent elegiac and dark-hued slow movement (in memory of Xenakis, whose own music is briefly recalled in a passage of massive, densely orchestrated block chords) and an agitated, febrile scherzo, to a finale which allows the rhapsodic nature of the solo instrument free rein, almost functioning as a concertante tone poem in its own right. Scenes sets a horrific episode from Dante's 'Inferno' in melancholy music that, like the elegiac sections of the concerto, is full of expressive nuance and emotional charge. Less obviously based on tonal centres than the concerto, the work shares with it a sense of lyrical line in the writing for the soloist. Stirling Choruses (purely orchestral) suggests something of the turbulent history of the composer's native Scotland in an agitated tone poem full of distant rumors of war and the glowering presence of the castle that dominates an historically important part of the Scottish landscape. Motus is a high-energy work for small ensemble, with each instrument initially treated as a soloist, and then combining in richer sonorities as the piece progresses. NMC D115 (England) 11I089 $17.98

JOHN MUSTO (b.1954): Piano Trio, Sextet for Clarinet, String Quartet and Piano, Divertimento for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, Piano and Percussion. Comparisons with Bernstein, Ravel, Bartók, Copland and Rorem, among others, can readily be made here and there, but they are not especially helpful in characterising Musto's individual brand of eclecticism. A noted song composer, and a highly accomplished pianist, a strong melodic element is always present, blending impassioned high Romanticism with the world of the cabaret ballad - and a tendency to indulge in the sheer pleasure of an incisive and brilliant piano part. Vigorous cross-rhythmic devices, syncopations and hocketing of a part between instruments adds to the dynamism of these scores - both the sextet and the Divertimento have sections of breathless propulsive energy based on these techniques. Music from Copland House. Koch International Classics 7690 (U.S.A.) 11I090 $17.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesänge for Bassoon, Guitar and String Trio, Der junge Törless for String Sextet, Carillon, Recitatif, Masque for Mandolin, Guitar and Harp, Selbst- und Zwiegespräche for Viola, Guitar and Organ, L'autunno for 5 Wind Instruments. Wild variety here, from works based on film music (Der junge Törless - tonal and representational, the notes telling us what in the film the music is illustrating - and Selbst- from a project which did not end up using Henze's score; he turned the music into a six-minute piece with aleatoric leanings), to Carillon, commissioned by England's Granada TV in 1974 as background music for pre-broadcast day still photo accompaniment (!), to L'autunno, seemingly the only piece of pure chamber music (but where we need to get our minds around the composer's description of his style here as "psychopolyphony"). Actually, most of the music here is tonal but this release is mainly for Henze collectors. Ensemble Villa Musica. MD&G 304 0882 (Germany) 11I091 $17.98

LERA AUERBACH (b.1973): Cetera desunt - Sonnet for String Quartet (String Quartet No. 3), DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110, 6 Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva for Contralto and String Quartet, Op. 143. Auerbach, as recently on BIS, must again share a disc with Shostakovich but this time, connections between them are more evident. Unlike her richly romantic piano/violin preludes (or the piano preludes), this string quartet shares the dark, intense and anxiety-ridden world of much of her Russian forbear's music. In eight short movements, all but one bearing Latin motto phrases, all but two slow (five adagios and two andantes), Auerbach seems to be dealing with emotional and psychological struggle. No Russian texts-English translations. Zoriana Kushpler (mezzo), Petersen Quartet. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 104 (Germany) 11I092 $18.98 Ø

NICOLAUS A. HUBER (b.1951): Seifenoper, Don't fence me in, Traummechanik, First play Mozart. Seifenoper ("soap opera") is an ironic commentary on dramatic conventions, cast in the form of a piece of avant-garde, instrumental music theatre. The music consists of fragmentary gestures interspersed with extended silences, evenly divided between conventionally played instrumental sounds and extended techniques and noise textures of various kinds. Brief - and swiftly interrupted - passages hint at clichés of television and stage drama. The other works employ a similar musical vocabulary to suggest interior monologues, representations of shadowy, ill-defined psychological states - so for example in Don't Fence Me In, meandering instrumental lines are periodically interrupted by episodes of extreme violence. Traummechanik explicitly evokes the unconnected emotional imagery of dreams through a finely balanced interplay of sonic gestures, and First Play Mozart, for solo flute, takes the listener so far from the sound-world of Mozart's music (through the use of breath effects and extended techniques) as to demand, by contrast with the title, an altogether new way of listening to Mozart's music. Ensemble Recherche. Coviello Contemporary CDV 60606 (Germany) 11I093 $17.98

OLAV ANTON THOMMESSEN (b.1946): Corelli Machine, MAGNE HEGDAL (b.1944): Form, KETIL HVOSLEF (b.1939): Serenata per archi, IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Aroura. Thommessen begins with a literal fragment of Corelli and then deconstructs it, throwing still recognisable fragments of material around - into different registers, high up in harmonics, or presenting them in rhythmic juxtaposition quite unlike the original, resulting in a sincere homage and a lively and attractive work in its own right. Form also pays tribute to earlier models, but less explicitly. Tightly organised and sometimes expressionistically atonal, more often post-romantically chromatic, the work has throughout a harmonic richness which is beguiling and belies the complexity and diversity of musical antecedents on display. The Hvoslef is a work of restless energy, largely tonal and somewhat Bartókian in its combination of angularity and harmonic warmth, richly imaginative, sometimes playful, sometimes unexpectedly intimate. Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; Terje Tønnesen. Aurora ACD 5039 (Norway) 11I094 $18.98 Ø

YNGVE SLETTHOLM (b.1955): Aggregations, The Nights Exist, Possible Selections. A student of Morton Feldman, Slettholm writes music that in some respects comes closer to an aural analogy of abstract expressionism than that frequently attributed to his teacher. The works teem with events and changing textures from beginning to end, both static and contemplative and wildly explosive; but there is the sense of having been deposited in an inexplicable (though fascinating) alien landscape, in which progress in a given direction is impossible, or at least irrelevant, as there are no defined goals laid down by the structural determinants (harmonic progression, dynamic contour and rhythmic propulsion) of most music. Vegard Langaas (alto sax), Tom Ottar Andreassen (flute), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Christian Eggen. Aurora ACD 5030 (Norway) 11I095 $18.98 Ø

LASSE THORESEN (b.1949): Chases, Cattle Calls and Charts. This five-movement work represents an attempt to portray folklore using the full resources of contemporary compositional techniques; a comprehensive exercise in nationalism in music. Thus we have noise effects and extended techniques and notated birdsong and animal calls, onomatopically representing the sounds of nature. Melodic lines derived from folksong and Hardanger fiddle playing, and rhythmic foot-stamping introduce elements of folk music, an earthy and immediately accessible aspect of the piece which add to its attractiveness and approachability, like humorous representational images in an otherwise complex abstract work of visual art. There are sections in which the music is just that - instrumental music that sounds like a descendant of Grieg, say, or Sibelius; at others, a kind of musique concrète landscape; at others again, a plaintive an.d evocative reminiscence of archaic musics from a largely forgotten past. Berit Opheim (vocals), BIT20 Ensemble; Jeffrey Milarsky. Aurora ACD 5042 (Norway) 11I096 $18.98 Ø

ARNE NORDHEIM (b.1931): The Dream Ballad. A kind of Norwegian analogue of Dante's Divine Comedy in that it consists of visions of the afterlife narrated by an observer who experienced it while still alive; it originated some time in pre-Reformation Catholicism and has been part of folkloric tradition ever since, but was not written down until 1840. Nordheim's approach to the origins and nature of the work in his dramatic staged setting is to incorporate elements of folk and church music into a framework that remains in his own highly individual voice. We hear plainchant, unadorned and then richly, Romantically harmonised; folk-singing and declamatory vocal acting - almost shouting at times - folk instruments (the Hardanger fiddle and willow flute) alongside the powerful, fluid lava-flows of Nordheim's own orchestral vocabulary, constantly grounded in rich chromatic harmony but overlain with a very modern agglomeration of gliding tones, clusters, imaginative use of percussion and the extended timbres of electronic instruments. 2 CDs. Njål Sparbo (bass-baritone), Unni Løvild (vocal), Torunn Østrem Ossum (mezzo), Frank Havrøy (baritone), Sigve Bøe (tenor), Carl Høgset, Rasmus Høgset (countertenors), Benjamin Isaksen (boy soprano), Åshild Breie Nyhus (hardanger fiddle), Mats Claesson (electroacoustic material), Grex Vocalis Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Ingar Bergby. Simax PSC 1169 (Norway) 11I097 $24.98 Ø

MAGNE HEGDAL (b.1944): Herbaraium II. The title refers to the type of system of scientific classification which has been developed throughout history, and suggests less a descriptive attempt to depict 'flowers' in music than to group together things - in this case, 57 piano miniatures - which are somehow related in form - in this case, effectively a kind of variation form, as all the individual sections are based on the same initial cells, which have 'grown' differently according to the chance principles employed. So there is a sense of organic growth within each piece, and a feeling of unity as the cycle is heard in toto. It probably doesn't hurt that the composer's own instrument is the piano, so the material chosen for assembly by his chosen technique is ripely pregnant with pianistic possibilities. Herbert Henck (piano). Aurora ACD 5041 (Norway) 11I098 $18.98 Ø

BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): Das Theatre der Wiederholungen. A large-scale piece of music theatre in three sections, incorporating texts by de Sade and Huysmans, William S. Burroughs and transcripts of various accounts of Nazi atrocities, from the Nuremburg trials and elsewhere. Within any given section, small cells of material are repeated obsessively, driving the point home with at times a hectoring intensity, as befits the extreme, not to say cynical, nature of the ideas expressed in the chosen texts. This is not to suggest more than a passing resemblance to conventional minimalism, however, as the cellular material is more often highly dissonant and harmonically complex than not, and rather than progressing through a sequence of readily accessible harmonic progressions, Lang's music relies on the largely atonal interaction of material that may in itself intermittently suggest tonal referents (occasionally you will hear fragments that sound like distorted Michael Nyman or Giles Swayne, and free jazz or even rock, but at others the sound world is closer to the Donaueschingen-Darmstadt axis). The technique of repetition works in tying this eclectic montage of material together and providing a mnemonic framework and a sense of narrative thread in what could otherwise become bewilderingly abstract; the result is perhaps surprisingly entertaining despite its uncompromising seriousness of purpose and aggressiveness of presentation. 2 CDs. Original language texts. les jeunes solistes, Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke. Kairos SACD hybrid 0012532KAI (Austria) 11I099 $21.98

LUNA PEARL WOOLF (b.1973): Après moi, le Déluge for Cello and Choir (Matt Haimovitz [cello], University of Wisconsin-Madison Concert Choir; Beverly Taylor), Orpheus on Sappho's Shore for Soprano, Tenor and Ensemble (Julieanne Klein [soprano], Michiel Schrey [tenor], Ensemble contemporain de Montréal; Véronique Lacroix). Après moi is a passionate, sometimes angry, lament for the destroyed city of New Orleans, ultimately leading to a sense of optimism that rebirth is in fact possible despite the magnitude of the natural disaster and the bureaucratic incompetence that compounded it. Orpheus begins at the end of the familiar myth, postulating a dialogue between the mythical dismembered musician and the mysterious lyric poetess of actual antiquity. Unlike the largely tonal choral work, the composer here adopts an eclectic combination of styles to evoke the transformative nature of the interaction between the characters, who are given strongly delineated musical identities; Orpheus' outrage at his fate is portrayed in sharply etched music which flirts with atonality, while more lyrical moments evoke operatic traditions of the Renaissance, tonal and formally stylised; in the eloquent vocal lines, melodic lyricism predominates throughout. Texts included. Oxingale Records OX2009 (U.S.A.) 11I100 $15.98

CHAYA CZERNOWIN (b.1957): Pnima...ins innere. A piece of music-theatre rather than an opera in any conventional sense, Pnima is a work about the Holocaust and the characters are a young boy and his grandfather, a traumatised Holocaust survivor; the grandfather cannot express his memories of the horror in terms that mean anything to the boy; the boy cannot perceive the nature of the horror, but is nonetheless haunted by it. There is no narrative, no libretto, no words at all. The 'action' - both musical and onstage - evokes the confused and terrified states of mind of the protagonists. The music is not 'musical', consisting of a nightmare soundscape of extended-technique instrumental playing and vocalisations from offstage singers, the whole augmented through electronic sound projection. The faltering attempts by the two characters to communicate their respective internalised trauma is vividly acted out against a stark, minimalist backdrop, with projected images and lighting effects employed to suggest memories and mental images. A half-hour interview (in English) with the composer in which she talks about the inspiration and techniques of the work fills out the disc. 4:3 (TV) aspect ratio, though the action of the opera is letterboxed. Richard Beek, Philip Larson, Tom Sol, Elias Maurides, Ute Wassermann, Silke Storz (voices), Experimental Studio of the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung-SWR, Munich Chamber Orchestra; Johannes Kalizke. Mode DVD 169 (U.S.A.) 11I101 $29.98

STEFFEN SCHLEIERMACHER (b.1960): Auto Werk mit Hup Raum for Ensemble and Tape, Obophon for 6 Oboes, 3 Pieces for Viola and Bass Clarinet, Merseburger Ouvertüre mit F.L. for Organ, Netz Werk for Ensemble and Tape. These works display an appealing combination of total fluency in the compositional techniques of our time (in which Schleiermacher specialises as performer) with the incorporation of expressive, emotional content, and, where appropriate, a sense of humor - the latter avoiding the excessive seriousness of some schools of contemporary music. Auto Werk was commissioned by BMW for performance in a new car factory in Leipzig, and Schliermacher's use of sampled mechanical sounds and spatially presented brass ensembles is both witty and effective in producing a kind of hymn to technology; a computer-age reply to Mossolov's Iron Foundry, perhaps. The organ overture was written for the reconsecration of the organ for which Liszt wrote his Prelude and Fugue on BACH, and again, we encounter the contemporary composer in communion with the past in a vocabulary which takes as its starting point Liszt's extreme chromaticism in certain late works, and functions like a bold and impressive contemporary addition to the organ repertory. The pieces for viola and bass clarinet are by turns playful and emotionally intense, not to say instrumentally challenging. A highly varied program, imaginative and the very opposite of dryly academic. Saxon Wind Ensemble, Michael Schönheit (organ), Ensemble Avantgarde. MD&G 613 1413 (Germany) 11I102 $17.98

ROLAND DAHINDEN (b.1962): String Quartets No. 2 "mind rock", No. 3 "mond see", No. 4 "flying white" and No. 5 "poids de l'ombre". These meditative, deliberately static works make extensive use of gentle, relatively unpitched 'noise' textures to suggest elemental, natural processes and formations. There is a strong connection to visual imagery - light and shadow, graphic textures, inorganic and organic forms in nature. There is little in the way of musical development, and structurally the works are amorphous, the experience of shifting timbres at the present moment being of paramount importance. Subtle spatial interchange of parts heightens the impression of a journey through a detailed yet randomly organised landscape, and in the two quartets where this is of especial importance the recording technique has been chosen to emphasize these effects, especially in headphone listening. Klangforum Wien String Quartet. Mode 175 (U.S.A.) 11I103 $17.98


British Light Music Premieres, Vol. 3

ERNEST TOMLINSON (b.1924): Rhythmic Overture: Highway to the Sun, Lakeside Idyll, Heart's Awakening (from the film Head of the Family), VICTOR HELY-HUTCHINSON (1901-1947): Overture to a Pantomime, CLIFTON PARKER (1905-1989): Elizabethan Express (ed. Philip Lane), PHILLIP LORD (1930-1969): 3 Court Dances, Celtic Suite, ANTHONY HEDGES (b.1931): West Oxford Walks, CARLO MARTELLI (1935): Overture: Celebration Day, JAMES LANGLEY (1927-1994): Ballet Suite. And for those of you collecting this particular Brit Lite series, here's the latest, full of high quality light music with Tomlinson and his student Lord accounting for almost 40 minutes of the well-filled disc's 77. And, because the tradition is still alive and healthy in England, we have a piece from Martelli (remember him, Hammer Horror fans?) premiered just last August. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland, Paul Murphy. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7170 (England) 11I104 $18.98


DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suites from Hamlet, Op. 116a, The Gadfly, Op. 97a, Five Days-Five Nights, Op. 111a, Zoya, Op. 64a, The Fall of Berlin, Op. 82a, the Maxim trilogy, Op. 50a and Golden Mountains, Op. 30a, Incidental Music from King Lear, Op. 58a, King Lear (film music), Op. 137, Alone, Op. 26, New Babylon, Op. 18. The first attempt in the west to attack Shostakovich's large oeuvre of film music, this Capriccio series is now boxed at a very attractive price. 7 CDs. Budget-price. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski, James Judd, Leonid Grin. Capriccio 49533 (Germany) 11I105 $47.98 Ø

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Film Music, Vol. 3 - Suites from Hamlet, Op. 116a, Five Days and Five Nights, Op. 111a, The Young Guard, Op. 75a, The Assault on Krasnaya Gorka for Piano and Orchestra from The Unforgettable Year 1919, Op. 89. And, if you're collecting this series, here's the new one, whose 33-minute suite from the 1960 film Five Days set in Dresden - about the Soviet collaboration in recovering art treasures from the ruins of the city and, yes, actually giving them back to East Germany in 1955 (they never would have done it if they'd known how 1989 was going to turn out!) - is still among the recorded rarities of Shostakovich's film uvre. Martin Roscoe (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 10361 (England) 11I106 $17.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suite from Moscow Cheremushki, Op. 105 (arr. Andrew Cornall), Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1, Suite for Variety Orchestra, Tahiti Trot, Op. 16. The adjective "motlely" perfectly fits this brightly-colored collection of oddities, the most unusual of which is the group of excerpts from Moscow Cheremushki (the complete, two-disc opera, on Chandos, was offered back in January of 1998 - 01-061) which, in their mixture of lowbrow styles, cunning self-references, jibes at popular music and western musicals, and Russian folk music, fit perfectly with the two suites and the lollipop that Tahiti Trot has become. RSO Berlin; Steven Sloane. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 096 (Germany) 11I107 $18.98 Ø

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suites from The Bolt, Op. 27a, The Age of Gold, Op. 22a and The Tale of the Priest and his Servant Balda, Op. 36. Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dmitri Kitaenko. And, if you're an SACD collector or if you don't have one of the other one or two (no longer available) recordings of the Tale of the Priest film music, there's this brand-new release also. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 097 (Germany) 11I108 $18.98 Ø

MAX STEINER (1888-1971): The Son of Kong, The Most Dangerous Game. Made one after the other in 1932 and 1933, these two RKO films used the same sets as King Kong, many of the same actors and, of course, the same composer. Many feel Son of Kong is an even better accomplishment due to the stringent budgetary and time restrictions Steiner suffered but also because of the Runaway Blues - a motif created for Kong's discoverer at the beginning and beguilingly wrapped into the later music in intriguingly resourceful ways to produce a certain all-American feel to the music. The Most Dangerous Game features a score of thrilling excitement which mirrors and immensely enhances the non-stop, breathtaking action sequences of the film. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William Stromberg. Original 2001 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.570183 (New Zealand) 11I109 $7.98