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Heitor Villa-Lobos



HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Symphony No. 10 "Amerindia". Well, it's everything you'd expect: massed vocal, choral and orchestral forces pounding out Afro-Indian rhythms, a riot of instrumental color and orchestral virtuosity which ultimately leaves the listener shaking his head and wondering what train just hit him. Composed for the 400th anniversary of the founding of São Paulo in 1952, the work only received its premiere in Paris in 1957. More oratorio than abstract symphony, the pieces uses texts by a 16th-century Jesuit missionary which Villa-Lobos sets in the native Tupí language, Latin and Portuguese. Similarly, he uses three musical styles: the native population is represented by long, ongoing melodies with many repeated intervals, the tonally ambiguous music of the Portuguese - the outsiders who force change and adaptation - and the syncopations and cross-rhythms of the resulting Afro-Brazilian population. The orchestra is huge, including quadruple brass, triple woodwinds, a very large percussion section, piano and organ. The five movements are titled "The Earth and its Creatures"; "War Cry"; "Iurupichuna" (a species of magical monkey) and two others whose length would use up the rest of this page. Suffice it to say that this is an orgy of sound, color and rhythm which will delight any hedonist. Tupí/Latin/Portuguese - English texts. Carla Wood (mezzo), Carlo Scibelli (tenor), Nmon Ford-Levine (bass-baritone), Donald Brinegar Singers, USCB Chamber Choir, Santa Barbara Choral Society, Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra; Gisèle Ben-Dor. Koch International Classics 3-7488-2 (U.S.A.) 10C001 $16.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Symphony No. 2, Op. 73, Symphony No. 3, Op. 75. Toch's seven symphonies came in an explosion of creativity which followed his heart attack in 1948. Like Schubert, he wanted to communicate as much as he could when feeling that the time remaining to him was short. The Second (1951) is dedicated to Albert Schweizer and the Third (1955) to a personal friend but was commissioned for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish community in the United States. At various times in his career, Toch was said to follow in the line of Berlioz, Liszt and Strauss and to remind one of Hindemith, Bartók and Prokofiev. This is to suggest that his musical language is rather personal and doesn't stem from any particular historical source; his development of new tone colors, his contrapuntal skill, his inexhaustible store of ideas and wealth of orchestral color (in music which, while sometimes atonal, is never dogmatically serial) will appeal to all collectors of 20th-century symphonic music. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alun Francis. CPO 999 705 (Germany) 10C002 $15.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Macbeth. Previously only two very impressive, highly dramatic interludes from this opera were available on CD; but, here's the whole work, and it's just stunning. Sung in French, this is a powerful drama written when Bloch was only in his 20s. Both German and French influences are present in that Bloch uses leitmotifs, and the music can even sound impressionistic at times. Underlying all this are the familiar Jewish elements that would eventually dominate his style. No English text or libretto are supplied, but who needs them with music as demonstrative as this, and a story as familiar as Macbeth. French notes and libretto. 2 CDs. Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone), Markella Hatziano (mezzo), Latvian Radio Choir, Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Philharmonic Orchestra; Freidemann Layer. Actes Sud AT 34100 (France) 10C003 $31.98

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): The Grainger Edition, Vol. 15 - Green Bushes (1905/6 version), Hill-Song No. 2, The Merry King, Eastern Intermezzo, Colonial Song (1919 version), Spoon River, Lord Maxwell's Goodnight, The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart, The Immovable Do (The Cyphering C), Irish Tune from County Derry, Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon, English Dance No. 1. As is now well known, Grainger produced innumerable versions for vastly varied forces, of the majority of his works. This disc presents orchestral transcriptions of mainly well-known pieces, more frequently performed on the piano or in chamber or band versions. In some cases we hear band pieces for which Grainger provided optional string parts (The Power of Rome); in others, the familiar sound is of one or another of the composer's piano scores - Colonial Song and the Irish Tune, for example. The work that demonstrates most clearly Grainger's true stature as a composer of original music of considerable depth and darkness of hue is the ambitious and uneasy Power of Rome, a powerful score and one of his most extended and ambitious works, which alone is worth the price of the disc. BBC Philharmonic; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9839 (England) 10C004 $16.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Le Livre de la Jungle. The composer spent almost a third of his life working on the various pieces which make up "The Jungle Book" - three songs for soloists, chorus and orchestra and four tone-poems of very varied length. This is only the second recording of the complete work (the Marco Polo omits the songs) and was captured live in 1998 and is already the only one available, due to the deletion of the RCA with David Zinman (to say nothing of the deletion of the whole RCA classical label...). This probably won't stay around long either so, if you don't know this distinctly individual, boldly forward-looking music with great dramatic sense, don't hesitate too long! 2 CDs. French texts. Iris Vermillion (mezzo), Jacque Trussel (tenor), Vincent Le Texier (baritone), Montpellier Opera Chorus, Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Philharmonic Orchestra; Steuart Bedford. Actes Sud AT 34101 (France) 10C005 $31.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): 2 Sonatas for Oboe d'amore with Flute, Clarinet, Harp and String Quartet, Op. 194, Oboe Sonata, Op. 58, Monodie for English Horn, Op. 216/11. This 1990 release offers a collection of works for the oboe and its close cousins from various parts of Koechlin's career. The oboe sonata is the biggest work here, written between 1911 and 1916, and its first movement seems to evoke the great outdoors, its scherzo is like the dance of a forest faun which is followed by a nocturnal reverie and a finale of contrapuntal interplay and bitonality. Lajos Lencsés (oboe d'amore, oboe, english horn), Shoshana Rudiakov (piano), Members of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Audite 97.417 (Germany) 10C006 $16.98

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 2, Op. 35, Ostrobothnian Suite, Op. 52, Tragic Episode and Rapids-Shooting from Juha, Op. 74. Madetoja's first two symphonies have echoes principally of Sibelius but also of Strauss and the Russians of Glazunov's generation. Having studied in France, Madetoja also developed a sharp sense of purpose and proportion. The symphonies have been recorded before but each of the discs in this new series from Finland will have a premiere recording, here the vivid and striking excerpt from the composer's opera Juha. Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 132 (Finland) 10C007 $16.98

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 1, Op. 29, Pastoral Suite, Op. 34, Rustic Scenes, Op. 77, Concert Overture, Op. 7. Both the suite and Rustic Scenes are world premieres and both are depictions of a Finnish summer landscape and harvesting, the former from 1916 (orchestrated by Madetoja from a piano original) and the latter from the music for a 1936 film. Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 144 (Finland) 10C008 $16.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): Preludes for Sinfonietta, Vol. 1 - To the Unsettled Weather, Op. 188/10, To a Living Stone, Op. 172./5, To the Victoria Embankment, Op. 184/8, To a Maple Tree, Op. 168/3, To a Dolphin, Op. 166/2. The ten preludes for sinfonietta ensemble were composed between 1986 and 1991 and all were dedicated to Robert Layton, the English musicologist whom readers will remember as Gramphone's Scandinavian specialist for decades. Although each work's dedicatory title is to something concrete (more or less), these are free, imaginative pieces with Holmboe's characteristic luminous, sometimes numinous quality and underplayed humor - music which at once sounds aesthetic and visionary - and which, of course, uses his life-long metamorphosis technique of transforming the music from very small seeds. Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen; Giordano Bellincampi. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224123 (Denmark) 10C009 $14.98

WILLIAM BOLCOM (b.1938): Concerto for Piano and Large Orchestra, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): The Age of Anxiety (Symphony No. 2) for Piano and Orchestra. William Bolcom is never less than original and inventive, and his 1976 piano concerto, a sometimes-ironic, sometimes genuine celebration of Americana of many kinds, abounds in the kind of spontaneous creativity and compositional lateral thinking which imbue all Bolcom's best works (and to be honest, he is not often far below his best). This concerto is typically difficult to classify stylistically, containing as it does elements of popular culture and jazz, open-textured Coplandism, Romantic sumptuousness, acerbic atonality, and an almost Ivesian willingness to throw everything into the stew and force it somehow to work together. The piece has a distinct edge - it is far from a riotous free-for-all in good humor - and it is this ambiguity which lies at the heart of the work, tense and uneasy. Thus the Bernstein Age of Anxiety is an exceptionally appropriate coupling, treating as it does (and in a comparable vocabulary, a bit less modern) similar philosophical concerns of our century, succinctly summed up in the lines from Weill's Street Scene "funny, you can be so lonely / with all these folks around". The choice of an Edward Hopper for the cover is similarly as obvious as it is inspired. Marc-André Hamelin (piano), The Ulster Orchestra; Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Hyperion CDA 67170 (England) 10C010 $14.98

STEPHEN R. GERBER (b.1948): Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Serenade for Strings. Unlike the works on the Chandos disc offered a couple of months ago (08C080), the two concertos (performed here by their dedicatees) from 1993 and 1994 are less tense and fraught with angst; in fact, the cello concerto is largely pentatonic while the violin concerto is predominantly lyrical. The serenade (1990) has a bit more of an edge to it and is certainly worthy of inclusion in the list of worthy essays in the genre - and not just in the 20th century. Kurt Nikkanen (violin), Carter Brey (cello), National Chamber Orchestra; Piotr Gajewski. Koch International Classics 3-7501-2 (U.S.A.) 10C011 $16.98

TAKASHI YOSHIMATSU (b.1953): Kamui-Chikap Symphony (Symphony No. 1), Op. 40, Ode to Birds and Rainbow, Op. 60. Yoshimatsu's characteristic sound includes elements of minimalism, reminiscences of French Impressionism and an Eastern quality of timelessness in movements which begin quietly and grow unhurriedly into great volumes of sound. Tuned percussion and piano run through his music like glittering jewels and the images he suggests are those of airiness and light: the Ode (1994) is a particularly attractive tribute to his dying sister which is suggested by the idea of birds weaving themselves in and out of a rainbow and the work achieves a luminous quality of transcendent peace. BBC Philharmonic; Sachio Fujioka. Chandos 9838 (England) 10C012 $16.98

JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Christian Zeal and Activity, Fearful Symmetries, Chamber Symphony, 4 Songs from I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky. The rarity here is the 1973 Christian Zeal..., part of Adams' first known work. Conceived as a triptych (the other two portions could not be recorded here due to "rights problems"), it is an astonishingly Ivesian piece which veers between a string choral and an improvised religious sermon (whose performance by a French bass is loads of fun...). Vocal Soloists, Ensemble Diagonales, Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Philharmonic Orchestra; René Bosc. Actes Sud AD 085 (France) 10C013 $15.98

LEO SMIT (1900-1943): Sextet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn and Piano, Quintet for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harp, Duo for Oboe and Cello, Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano. From the time Smit moved to Paris in 1927 until his extermination in the Sobibor death-camp, he was smitten by the music of the French impressionists and neo-classicists and all of these works are in a combination of those styles. The duo could be called neo-baroque as it is a sequence of dance movements (allemande, courante, sarabande, etc.) and though it and the trio were written in 1938 they are, if anything, even more brightly and transparently neo-classical than the other two pieces which date from 1928 and his Parisian years. Ensemble Villa Musica. MD&G 304 0995 (Germany) 10C014 $17.98

PETR EBEN (b.1929): The Organ Music, Vol. 1 - Laudes, Job, Hommage à Buxtehude. Kind of like a combination of Janacek and Messiaen, Eben's music is vivid and brightly colored and possesses an irresistible rhythmic energy with stark dynamic contrasts and unusual and bizarre timbres. Job (1987) is a dramatic 45-minute long tone-poem in eight sections depicting the Biblical character's sufferings and is a fascinating and gripping sonic experience. Halgeir Schiager (organ of Hedvig Eleonora Church, Stockholm). Hyperion CDA 67194 (England) 10C015 $17.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Symphony No. 2, Robert Browning Overture. The symphony starts out as if it were going to be Brahms' Second or Dvorak's Eighth until true Ivesian territory arrives in the second movement. Both works are recorded using the new Ives Society critical editions by Jonathan Elkus. Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Kenneth Schermerhorn. Naxos American Classics 8.559076 (U.S.A.) 10C016 $5.98

GIOVANNI ANTONIO LEONI (c.1590-after 1652): 32 Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo. This is a recording of the first-ever published set of works for violin and continuo. His fame is suggested by the fact that, in 1625, a motet of his was published along with pieces by Frescobaldi and Monteverdi. Any lover of the baroque will want to hear this collection of extraordinarily early violin sonatas, which can really be compared with very little which followed. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Seicento Italiano. Tactus TC 591290 (Italy) 10C017 $21.98

ANTONIO CALDARA (1670-1736): 11 Sonata da camera e Chiaccona for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Op. 2. Caldara was the first Venetian composer to write trio sonatas and this set of eleven (published in 1699) shows the influence of Corelli in the maturity of its counterpoint. Mid-price. "L'Aura Soave". Tactus TC 670301 (Italy) 10C018 $10.98

FRANCESCO BARTOLOMEO CONTI (1681-1732): 4 Cantate con istromenti. Conti spent his career as composer, lutantist and theorbist at the Imperial court in Vienna and his cantatas, using very attractively flutes and chalumeaux to accompany the voice, foreshadow the style of Hasse and Jommelli. Mid-price. Rossana Bertini, Anna Simboli (sopranos), "La Signoria". Tactus TC 680301 (Italy) 10C019 $10.98

JOHANN CHRISTOPH PEPUSCH (1667-1752): 6 Concerts for 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes and Basso Continuo, Op. 8, 6 Secondième Solos for Flute and Basso Continuo. Pepusch's work on The Beggar's Opera has overshadowed his own compositions but these concertos for 2 flutes, 2 oboes and contiuo, interspersed with flute sonatas (probably dating from around 1718), produce lovely sound effects with the four melody parts entwining and soaring over the basso continuo. 2 CDs. Barocco Veneziano. Mondo Musica MM 96035 (Germany) 10C020 $33.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Concerto in E Minor for Recorder, Flute and Strings, Violin Concerto in B Flat, Overture in F Sharp Minor, Concerto in A for 2 Oboes d'Amore, Overture in D. Endlessly inventive, delightfully good-humored, head-and-shoulders above almost all of his contemporaries, it is amazing that we do not sell more recordings of this magnificent composer. Should we stop offering Telemann? Peter Holtslag (recorder), Rachel Brown (flute), Anthony Robson, James Eastaway (oboes d'amore), Collegium Musicum 90; Simon Standage (violin). Chandos 0661 (England) 10C021 $16.98

ERNST GOTTLIEB BARON (1696-1760): Sonatas for Solo Lute in D Flat and G, Concerto for Flute and Lute in D Minor, Duetto for Lute and Transverse Flute in G, Sonata for Oboe and Basso Continuo in D Minor, Concerto No. 1 for Transverse Flute, Lute and Basso Obbligato in C. Germany was an important locale for the flourishing of the lute which occurred in the 18th century. Unlike earlier usage, German composers like Baron wrote concertos and concertato sonatas as well as solo lute pieces. Pier Luigi Polato (lute), Ensemble Barocco Sans Souci. Dynamic CDS 270 (Italy) 10C022 $17.98

FILIPPO MARIA GHERARDESCHI (1738-1808): Lamentazione prima del mercoledi santo in G for Soprano, Viola and Basso Continuo, GIUSEPPE GHERARDESCHI (1759-1815): 2 Sonatas for Harpsichord, Violin and Basso Continuo, ANON.: Sinfonia pastorale in D, Sinfonie in C and in G. Most of the elder Gherardeschi's compositions were sacred, although the 1804 setting of the Holy Wednesday lamentation here also exhibits a theatrical mien that attests to the few operas he composed as well. His nephew's sonatas probably date from the early 1800s and are classical in style, as are the three anonymous overtures in Italian style from the same Pistoiese archive as the music of the Gherardeschi family. Moscow Academy of Ancient Music; Tatiana Grindenko. Agora AG 257.1 (Italy) 10C023 $18.98

THOMAS CHILCOT (c.1700-1766): Organ Concerto in D, Harpsichord Concerto in A Minor, 12 English Songs. Chilcot's two sets of concertos (from 1756 and 1765) are the final representatives of a baroque genre which had its roots in melodic extravagance and the rhetoric of dance; a bit of the new classical style is present as well. The songs, many settings of Shakespeare, date from 1744. Buddug Verona James (mezzo), Charles Daniels (tenor), Andrew Wilson-Dickson (organ, harpsichord), Welsh Baroque Orchestra; Clare Salaman. Meridian CDE 84428 (England) 10C024 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH BACH (1732-1795): Cassandra. Probably the Bückeburg Bach's finest work, this dramatic cantata (Cassandra describes the events during the fall of Troy) dates from the late 1760s, when he was heavily influenced by the Italian musicians at the court, leading to this highly original extended accompagnato recitative with two weighty da capo arias near the close. Italian-English texts. Lena Susanne Norin (alto), Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 593 (Germany) 10C025 $15.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): What art expresses, Blest be the name of Jacob's God, Maker of all! be thou my guard, O let me in th' accepted hour, The Emperor's Hymn, Give to God our thankful songs, Long life shall Israel's king behold, How oft, instinct with warmth divine, The Lord, th' almighty monarch spoke, JOHN STAFFORD SMITH (1750-1836): Horrible is the end of th' unrighteous generation, CHARLES BURNEY (1726-1814): Tell us, O women, SAMUEL WEBBE SEN. (1740-1816): Where, Lord, shall I my refuge see?, WILLIAM SHIELD (1748-1829): My God, my King, with joyful view, JOHAN ARNOLD DAHMEN (1766-c.1808): Hear my prayer, O Lord, O thou that dwellest in the highest heavens, Ye winged inhabitants of the grove, JOHN FOSTER (1752-1822): The God of Gods, the Lord, hath call'd. Haydn's group of English psalm settings dates from the great period of his London Symphonies and his opp. 71 & 74 string quartets yet are almost unknown. This recording sets them alongside music by his circle of friends and shows even more Haydn's influence on English music. Psalmody, The Parley of Instruments; Peter Holman. Hyperion CDA 67150 (England) 10C026 $17.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): The Creatures of Prometheus, Hess 90. Beethoven's own transcription dating from a few months after the ballet's creation in 1801. Steven Samuel Beck (piano). Monument Records 00.01.99 (U.S.A.) 10C027 $12.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): The Schubert Edition, Vol. 37 - Auf dem Strom, D943, Herbst, D945, Bei dir allein!, D866/2, Irdisches Glück, D866/4, Lebensmut, D937, Schwanengesang, D957, Die Taubenpost, D965A, Glaube, Hoffnung und Liebe, D955. "The Final Year" is the title of this final volume in Hyperion's monumental series and contains 20 lieder from 1828, beginning with the horn-accompanied Auf dem Strom. Along with the usual huge booklet, there is also a 52-page index for the entire series. German-English texts. John Mark Ainsley, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Michael Schade (tenors), Graham Johnson (piano), David Pyatt (horn). Hyperion CDJ 33037 (England) 10C028 $17.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Gioas re di Giuda. This was the third of the young composer's three vocal works presented in his hometown of Lucca in 1764-65. The second act, once thought lost, was only recently discovered, giving us the dramatic conclusion to this oratorio about the overthrow of Athalia and the crowning of Joash as King of Judah. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Susanna Rigacci (soprano), William Matteuzzi (tenor), Barbara Di Castri (contralto), Polifonica Lucchese, "Luigi Boccherini" Chamber Orchestra; Herbert Handt. Bongiovanni GB 2253/54 (Italy)10C029 $33.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Stabat Mater del Pergolesi, Sequenza Alleluja in Aeternum for Contralto and Orchestra, 3 Tantum Ergos for Soprano and Strings. Rejiggering Pergolesi's famous Stabat mater was almost a house industry well into the 19th century but Paisiello's 1810 loving and respectful addition of wind instruments to add emotional effects and to enhance the counterpoint make for a work that complements the original and is a joy to hear. Ermonela Jaho (soprano), Sonia Prina (mezzo), Alessandro Codeluppi (tenor), Mikola Mihailovic (bass), Cosarara;Giuseppe Camerlingo.Agora AG 251.1 (Italy)10C030 $18.98

LUDWIG HOFMANN (1738-1793): Flute Concertos in G, D and G. Haydneque works from this sadly neglected colleague and sometime irritant of that great master. Massimo Mercelli (flute), Symphonia Perusina; Alfonso Saura Llacer. Bongiovanni GB 5575 (Italy) 10C031 $16.98

ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH OF AUSTRIA (1788-1838): Serenade in B for Clarinet, Viola, Bassoon and Guitar, Trio in E Flat for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Clarinet Sonata, Op. 2, Theme and Variations from Rossini's "Zelmira", Theme and Variations on "Ja mam Konè" for Basset Horn and Piano. This collection of clarinet chamber music by the Austrian nobleman includes three items not otherwise available - the serenade and the sets of variations. 2 CDs. Luigi Magistrelli (clarinet, basset horn), Claudia Bracco (piano), Alessandro Andriani (cello), Danilo Zaffaroni (bassoon), Marco di Giacomo (viola), Massimo Laura (guitar). Bayer Records 100 307/8 (Germany) 10C032 $35.98

JOSEPH BODIN DE BOISMORTIER (1689-1755): Chaconne from Daphnis et Chloé, Fragments mélodiques, Bassoon Concerto, Deuxième sérénade ou simphonie françoise, Musette Concerto, Entrée des génies élémentaires from Les Voyages de l'Amour. Sounds and colors beyond the ordinary here! The musette not only has the spotlight to itself in its concerto but also can be heard along with a hurdy-gurdy in the Fragments mélodiques, which is nothing more than an extended suite of dances, just like the Simphonie françoise. Boismortier was capable of writing endlessly attractive tunes and this collection will delight any collector of rococo music. Laurent Le Chenadec (bassoon), Le Concert Spirituel; Hervé Niquet. Naxos 8.554456 (New Zealand) 10C033 $5.98

JOSEPH MARTIN KRAUS (1756-1792): Complete Symphonies, Vol. 3 - Overture in D Minor, VB 147, Symphony in E Minor, VB 141, Symphony in C Minor, VB 148 "Symphonie funèbre", Sinfonia in C Sharp Minor, VB 140. More astonishing discoveries from this innovative German composer resident in Sweden. The unexpected, the dramatic and the surprising are to be expected in Kraus' works as the composer, through his firm grounding in the Mannheim style, the contrapuntal rigor of a J.S. Bach and the dramatic style of a C.P.E. Bach or Gluck. All of these works here reflect the literary Sturm und Drang movement (fitting as Kraus also wrote a tragedy and a book of poetry). Not to be missed! Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Naxos 8.554777 (New Zealand) 10C034 $5.98

LEONHARD VON CALL (1779-1815): Guitar Quartets, Opp. 3, 57, 118 & 121. This Austrian guitarist wrote 138 pieces in his short life but these are the only guitar quartets, well written for each instrument and quite technically demanding while providing pleasant, innocent and exuberant music. Agustín Maruri (guitar), Gilles Colliard (violin), Bruce Whitson (viola), Michael Kevin Jones (cello). Emec E-033 (Spain) 10C035 $15.98

LEONHARD VON CALL (1779-1815): Duo, Op. 87, Serenade, Op. 132, Serenade, Op. 19, Potpourri from German and Italian Operas, JACQUES PIERRE JOSEPH RODE (1774-1830): Polonaise. More of Von Call's light, attractive guitar chamber music, supplemented by the Frenchman Rode's salon-style polonaise. Sabine Dreier (flute), Agustín Maruri (guitar). Emec E-040 (Spain) 10C036 $15.98

FRANTI·EK DOUBRAVSK (1790-1867): Missa choralis, 4 Duettas, 4 Arias, Graduale, Pastorela, Offertorium. Of unknown date, the mass is redolent of the simple, pastoral style of such Bohemian classical composers as Brixi or Ryba. The other works are equally simple flute and violin duets. Radmila Makovcová (soprano), Zdena Lokajová (alto), Jirí Zahradník (bass), Collegium musicum âesk ráj. Vars VA 0108-2 (Czech Republic) 10C037 $16.98

VICENTE MARTIN Y SOLER (1754-1806): Una cosa rara - Harmoniemusik by Johann N. Went, JOHANN N. WENT (1745-1801): Partita No. 1 in C. A wind-band arrangement of a popular Spanish opera and an original work by the ever-busy Went. Collegium Viennense. Pepperland PEP 99012 (Austria) 10C038 $16.98

HEINRICH VON HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900): Piano Quartet in B Flat, Op. 95, Legends for Cello and Piano, Op. 62, String Trio in F, Op. 27/2. Herzogenberg was a good friend of Brahms but, more to the point, he was an almost worshipful admirer of the elder composer and modeled all of his mature compositions on his idol. Since he was also a very talented composer, these pieces are not the scribblings of an epigone but a highly enjoyable addition to the Brahmsian literature of the late 19th century. Mid-price. Belcanto Strings; Andreas Frölich (piano). CPO 999 710 (Germany) 10C039 $10.98

PEDRO ALBENIZ (1795-1855): 5 piezas caracteristicas españolas, Opp. 37-41, Mi delicia, Op. 61, Fantasia on Themes from Verdi's "Nabucco", Op. 36, Fantasia on "I Puritani" by Bellini, Los Jardines de Aranjuez. A student of Kalkbrenner and Herz, Albeniz brought modern piano pedagogy back to Spain and, as composer and pianist, took the prevailing and brilliant French salon style and married it to Spanish folk elements to produce these glittering, virtuosic pieces. Miguel Zanetti, Fernando Turina (piano four hands). RTVE 65054 (Spain) 10C040 $16.98

MARIE GRANDVAL (1830-1907): Grande Sonate, Op. 8, JOHANNA SENFTER (1879-1961): Melodie & Elegie, Op. 13, GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): Violin Sonata No. 5, REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Midsummer Moon, SERRA MIYEUN HWANG (b.1962): Allegory, BARBARA HELLER (b.1936): Lalai-Schlaflied zum Wachwerden?. Grandval's sonata is a breath of spring with Chopinesque piano figuration allied with a Mendelssohnian charm. Both Senfter and Clarke inhabit a rapt, late Romantic landscape; Bacewicz' sonata is characteristically neo-classical while Hwang and Heller produce freely expressive short works which remain accessible. Laura Kobayashi (violin), Susan Keith Gray (piano). Albany TROY 372 (U.S.A.)10C041 $16.98

GUSTAV MERKEL (1827-1885): Complete Organ Sonatas, Vol. 4 - Sonata No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 140, Sonata No. 9 in C Minor, Op. 183, Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, Adagio, Op. 51, Fugue on BACH, Op. 40, 4 Pieces, Op. 46, Prelude in B Flat, Prelude in G. Taut construction and dramatic intensity are the hallmarks of Merkel's late works, especially the Fantasia and Fugue which looks ahead to Reger and the ninth sonata, written in the month of the composer's death; he did not go quietly! Adrian Partington (organs of Lichfield Cathedral and All Saints' Parish Church, Leighton Buzzard). Priory PRCD 549 (England) 10C042 $16.98

BACH/CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1821): Overture from Cantata Wir danken dir Gott, BWV 29, BACH/ALEXANDER SILOTI (1865-1945): Adagio from Violin Sonata in F Minor, BWV 1018, Chaconne from Solo Violin Partita in D Minor, BWV 1005 , BACH/MAX REGER (1873-1916): Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565, BACH/EUGEN D'ALBERT (1864-1932): Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582, BACH/DMITRI KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Toccata and Fugue in D Minor "Dorian", BWV 538. Rarely heard Bach transcriptions from some often surprising sources. Risto Lauriala (piano). Naxos 8.553761 (New Zealand) 10C043 $5.98

GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Historical Recordings, Vol. 1 - The Shulamite's Monologue and The King's Monologue from The Song of Songs, Overture Macbeth, The Glory of the Sun, Overture Circus Life, 4 Chinese Landscapes, Polka, Processional, Narration and Hymn from King Solomon, 2 Songs of Egypt, Now, Pilgrim's Progress. Broadcast recordings from the 1930s made for the composer's private use, this series will offer many items which will probably not be heard in any other performance any time soon... Various artists and conductors. Dutton Labs CDLX 7043 (England) 10C044 $16.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Voice in the Wilderness for Cello and Orchestra, Schelomo. For no good reason, Voice has always been the poor cousin of Bloch's two works for cello and orchestra but this 1936 work, also among the composer's Jewish-inspired pieces, is every bit its 1915 relative's equal in its its vibrancy, harmonic audaciousness and emotional power. Budget-price. Jacopo Scalfi (cello), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Paul Kantschieder. RS 6367-11 (Italy) 10C045 $6.98

HAROLD FRASER-SIMSON (1872-1944): The Maid of the Mountains. Those who enjoyed Hyperion's first venture into turn of the 20th century English musical comedy, The Geisha, will enjoy this 1917 work, more romantic than the latter and with probably even more "hit" numbers. Janis Kelly (soprano), Christopher Maltman (baritone), Michael George (bass), The New London Light Opera Chorus, The New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 67190 (England) 10C046 $17.98

BACH/ROBERT SIMPSON (1921-1997): The Art of Fugue. Feeling that the orchestral and other colors with which many composers dressed up Bach's unfinished masterpiece hide the identities of the four-part writing, Simpson made this arrangement for string quartet which conveys Bach's counterpoint with perfect clarity and sensitivity. Delmé Quartet. Hyperion CDA 67138 (England) 10C047 $17.98

ANDRÉ-ERNEST-MODESTE GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Seizième leçon - Marche des accords, Overtures from Zémire et Azor and Jugement de Midas (both arr. J. L. Dussek), ARMAND-LOUIS COUPERIN (1727-1789): Variations on the air "Que le sultan Saladin", DIEUDONNÉ GAUBERT (1765-after 1828): Passage de l'Achéron par Grétry, FÉLIX GODEFROID (1818-1897): "Une fièvre brûlante" from Richard Cur-de-Lion, "Tandis que tout sommeille from L'amant jaloux, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): 8 Variations in F on "Dieu d'amour" from Les mariages samnites, KV 352, ALEXANDRE-PIERRE-FRANÇOIS BOËLY (1785-1858): Variations on the air "La danse n'est pas ce que j'aime from Richard Cur-de-lion, CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Duo No. 2 on the quartet from "Lucile" by Grétry, Op. 17. This collection of transcriptions of scenes and arias from Grétry operas is just a snapshot of the popularity of the composer's works throughout the 19th century and of the prevalence of the transcription as a means of disseminating music. Guy Penson (harpsichord, fortepianos), Sylvia Bernier (fortepiano), Dirk Vandaele (violin), Frédéric Dussenne (speaker). Cyprè/Musique en Wallonie CYP 3618 (Belgium) 10C048 $18.98

JOACHIM RAFF - Violin Concerto Premieres

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Violin Concerto No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 161, Violin Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 206, Cavatina for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 85/3, Ungrischer for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 203. The first recording of either of Raff's violin concertos brings two lyrical, relatively unruffled works very much in the style of Mendelssohn (for all that contemporary pundits placed the composer in a trio with Wagner and Brahms). The first (1871) is heard here in the violinist August Wilhelmj's 1890 arrangement. Raff's publisher has neither score nor parts of the original and refused to republish them for this recording; Wilhelmj has recomposed about a third of the work and made the soloist's part more virtuosic. The Hungarian melody is in Raff's own orchestration while the famous Cavatina was orchestrated by Edmund Singer in 1874. Michaela Paetsch Neftel (violin), Bamberg Symphony; Hans Stadlmair. Tudor 7086 (Switzerland) 10C049 $16.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): La Princesse jaune, Op. 30, Suite algérienne, Op. 60. Premiered in 1872, "The Yellow Princess" was the composer's first performed stage work, a one-act piece with only two singers and an off-stage chorus which sings only once, intimate and lyrical, more sophisticated than the operettas of its time so that critics didn't know quite what to make of it and, thus, savaged it. Saint-Saëns' well-known penchant for melody and orchestral color finds a perfect outlet in 1880's picture postcard of Algeria, the composer's favorite holiday- and ultimately final resting-place. French-English libretto. Maria Costanza Nocentini (soprano), Carlo Allemano (tenor), Cantemus, Swiss Italian Orchestra; Francis Travis. Chandos 9837 (England) 10C050 $16.98

JOSEPH-GUY ROPARTZ (1864-1955): Missa Te Deum laudamus, Missa brevis in honour of St. Anne, Mass in honour of St. Odile, 5 Motets for 4 Voices, Salve Regina, Ave verum, Ave Maria. The first two short masses listed above (dating from 1926 and 1921 respectively) are softly colored by Gregorian intonations and an extremely light polyphonic treatment adds tenderness and reverence. The third short mass (from 1923) is at times more dramatic and taut, with strongly modulating harmonies and chromaticisms. The remaining motets are characterized by simple harmony, clarity and simplicity. Ensemble Vocal Michel Piquemal, Eric Lebrun (Cavaille-Coll organ of St. Antoine des Quinze-Vingts, Paris); Michel Piquemal. Marco Polo 8.225126 (New Zealand) 10C051 $14.98

SERGEI BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Ballade in C Sharp Minor, Op. 42, Elégie in C Sharp, Op. 46, 4 Morceaux, Op. 3, 4 Morceaux, Op. 65, Sonata in B, Op. 9. The composer's earliest surviving and last published works are here, yet the distance between op. 3 (1906) and the op. 65 (1947) is surprisingly small. Dramatic, passionate, virtuosic and possessed of both the soaring melody and brooding melancholy of Rachmaninov (who is especially close in the Ballade and Elégie) Bortkiewicz, belying the fact that the majority of his creative life was spent in Germany or Austria, is Russian through-and-through. Stephen Coombs (piano). Hyperion CDA 67094 (England) 10C052 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 3 - Sonata in B Flat, Op. 107, Little Sonata in D Minor, Op. 103 B No. 1, Petite Caprice in G Minor, Romance in G Minor. Reger "translated" his op. 107 clarinet sonata both for violin and for viola. Regardless of the medium, this musical idyll of inward-looking emotion and great tonal beauty stands at the other end of the spectrum from his counterpoint-obsessed orchestral works. So too does the 1909 "Little Sonata", part of a pair of short sonatas which themselves are part of a 20-piece opus number designated as Hausmusik Mid-price. Ulf Wallin (violin), Roland Pöntinen (piano). CPO 999 725 (Germany) 10C053 $10.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Works for Organ. This massive undertaking occupied several years in the late 80s and early 90s; at this price, it's not just for completists! 12 CDs for the price of 3 Rosalinde Haas (Albiez organ in Frankfurt/Main). MD&G 315 0846 (Germany) 10C054 $53.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Symphony No. 5 in B Flat, Op. 55, Symphony No. 8 in E Flat, Op. 83. The symphony part of this series ends with the intensely Russian Fifth of 1895 and the last complete symphony - the Eighth of 1906. Both have the expected delightful scherzos, the former mercurial, the latter stormy and brilliant and everything brims with Glazunov's melodic gift and colorful orchestration. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Anissimov. Naxos 8.553660 (New Zealand) 10C055 $5.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1868-1957): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - 6 Finnish Folk-Songs, 10 Bagatelles, Op. 34, Pensées lyriques, Op. 40, Kyllikki, Op. 41, The Cavalier, Spagnuolo, To Longing, Mandolinato, Morceau romantique, Dance Intermezzo, Op. 45/2. Mostly intimate and lyrical, Sibelius' piano pieces are far removed from the rough-hewn, craggy wilderness of his orchestral works. Håvard Gimse (piano). Naxos 8.554808 (New Zealand) 10C056 $5.98

BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): From Gyergyó for Recorder and Piano, Sz 35, 2 Hungarian Folksongs for Voice and Piano, Sz 33b, Székely Folksong for Voice and Piano, Sz 30, 4 Slovak Folksongs for Voice and Piano, Sz 35b, 63a, 2 petits morceaux for Piano, Sz 29, 4 Songs for Voice and Piano, Sz 67, Scherzo oder Fantasie for Piano, DD 50, Evening for Voice and Piano, DD 73, Marche funèbre for Piano, DD 75b, Evening for Male Choir, DD 74. Originally only available as part of a 29-CD complete Bartók box, this collection of early works and rarities - all receiving their first recordings - was mostly composed between 1902 and 1907 and will be a valuable addition to the Bartók section of veteran collectors. Hungarian/Slovak-English texts. Andrea Meláth (soprano), Emese Virágh, István Kassai (piano), Gábor Kállay (recorder), Honvéd Ensemble Male Choir; András Tóth. Hungaroton HCD 31909 (Hungary) 10C057 $16.98

A De Falla World Premiere!

MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Fuego Fatuo, Psyché for Voice, Flute, Harp and String Trio, Prologue to La Atlántida, Noches en los jardines de España. Fuego Fatuo ("Will-o'-the-Wisp") was to have been a three-act opera which Falla worked on extensively during parts of 1918 and 1919 but which was never produced and left unfinished. The music was entirely based on Chopin and conductor Antoni Ros Marbá prepared a concert suite from the two acts which had been orchestrated when the material was found in an archive in the 1970s. Lasting 33 minutes, it consists of a dozen or so mazurkas, waltzes and etudes, familiar and less so. Also recorded here are the rarely heard Psyche, which sets a poem by Jean-Aubry from 1924 and the prologue from the unfinished opera Atlantida. RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Antoni Ros Marbá, Angel Gil Ordóñez, Enrique García Asensio, Rosa Sabater (piano). RTVE 65091 (Spain) 10C058 $16.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): El poema de una sanluqueña for Violin and Orchestra, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): El amor brujo. Turina's work originated in 1924 as a piece for violin and piano and has been recorded as such. However, in 1925, the composer orchestrated the first two movements but it is not known why he stopped there. Composer José Luis Turina completed the work by orchestrating the final two movements in 1981, providing a tasty gift to the Spanish repertoire for violin and orchestra, a work which evokes the village of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and which is written in Franckian cyclic fashion. Pedro León (violin), RTVE Symphony Orchestra; Luis Izquierdo. RTVE 65030 (Spain) 10C059 $16.98

First Recordings of Music by Auber

FRANÇOIS AUBER (1782-1871): Overtures to Jenny Bell, L'Enfant prodigue, La Sirène, Le Premier Jour de bonheur, Ballet from La Muette de Portici, Bolero and Air from Vendôme en Espagne, Overture and Ballet from Le Dieu et la bayadère. With the exception of the overture to La Sirène, everything here is either a world-premiere recording or a CD premiere recording taken from the manuscript collection of a Swedish wine merchant who set up a foundation to preserve the archive in 1920. It has been said that Auber is "Champagne in music" and this CD proves it with his splendidly refined and spirited music. Gothenberg Opera Orchestra; B. Tommy Andersson. Sterling CDS-1039-2 (Sweden) 10C060 $15.98

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Songs, Vol. 1 - Songs from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn", Op. 15, Madman's Songs, Op. 22, The Anemone, Op. 28, Der neubestellte Ingarten der Liebe, Op.85, Songs from the Arabian Tale of Antar and Abla and other selected songs. Sinding's entire career is spanned in this first volume of his song output, from the from the German Wunderhorn songs which probably date from the late 1870s and are in full German Romantic style, through the two "Arabian" tales whose piano effects shocked Norwegian audiences in 1882 and the melancholy, neo-Romantic op. 22 to the satirical folk-tinged op. 28 and various other collections right up to his last work from 1936 called, appropriately, "Farewell". The widely varying profusion of styles and emotions keep one's attention all the way through. German/Norwegian-English texts. Per Vollestad (baritone), Sigmund Hjelset (piano). Simax PSC 1194 (Norway) 10C061 $18.98

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): 2 Symphonic Pieces, Op. 14, 2 Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34, Im Herbst, Op. 11, Aus Holbergs Zeit, Op. 40 (arr. Theodor Kirchner), Wedding Day in Troldhaugen, Op. 65/6 (arr. Adolf Ruthardt), Waltz Caprices, Op. 37, Norwegian Dances, Op. 35. A lively collection of (mostly Grieg's own) piano duo transcriptions which, written for home and amateur performance, occupy a place somewhere between the salon and the concert hall. Das Kölner Klavier-Duo. Berlin Classics 1707 (Germany) 10C062 $16.98

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (b.1912): 3 Divertimentos, MANUEL CASTILLO (b.1930): Piano a cuatro, CLAUDIO PRIETO (b.1934): Sonata No. 10, ANGEL OLIVER (b.1937): Apuntes sobre una impresión, DELFIN COLOME (b.1946): Vals banal, JOSE LUIS TURINA (b.1952): Fantasia sobre "Don Giovanni". Every bit as attractive as its chronologically earlier brother in the right-hand column, this disc of contemporary Spanish four-hand piano music flirts with dissonance but never crosses the line into academic didacticism. Castillo's piece is a motoric moto perpetuo, Prieto's, the longest work here (at 18 minutes) comes close to minimalism but remains hypnotic without being simple; Montsalvatge's three divertimentos play 20th century havoc with standard Iberian dance forms... wonderful stuff! Miguel Zanetti, Fernando Turina (piano four hands). RTVE 65023 (Spain) 10C063 $16.98

JOAQUIN TADEO DE MURGUIA (1759-1836): Sonata in G, PEDRO TINTORER (1814-1891): 2 Sonatinas, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): 2 marchas militares, ERNESTO HALFFTER (1905-1989): Serenade, Valse, Marche, JOAQUIN RODRIGO (1901-2000): Juglares, Sonatina para 2 muñecas, Atardecer, Gran Marcha de Lose Subsecretarios. This collection begins with the very Mozartian sonata by Murguia which keeps a permanent dialogue going between the pianists and continues with two sonatinas by the Mallorcan Tintorer - one Mozartian with Mendessohnian virtuosity and the other a bolero in the manner of Liszt (with whom the composer studied) - before arriving at somewhat more common repertoire: the complete four-hand works by Rodrigo and four brief march pieces from Halffter and Granados. Miguel Zanetti, Fernando Turina (piano four hands). RTVE 65033 (Spain) 10C064 $16.98

MANUEL M. PONCE (1882-1948): Rapsodia cubana, Suite cubana, 2 Etudes, 4 Danzas Mexicanas, Piano Sonata. Two-thirds of this CD is taken up by Ponce's Cuban-inspired music whose rhythms and unmistakable and sensual flavor make them some of the most evocative pieces which exist. The brief Mexican dances continue the folk-oriented style but are brought up short by the sonata (1918) which employs elements of his own time - whole-tone scales, a harmony which modulates between tonalty and modality and a percussive treatment of the piano. Edison Quintana (piano). Urtext JBCC 019 (Mexico) 10C065 $17.98

KALEVI AHO (b.1949): Accordion Sonata No. 1, Accordion Sonata No. 2 "Black Birds". Aho's first sonata (1984) was written to stretch the technical and expressive limits of the instrument (which has a manual system that allows extremely wide spans and which sounds more like a chamber organ than the fairgrounds instrument one may first think of) and it does that in a two-movement passacaglia-and-fugue form remarkable for the complexity of its textures and the virtuosity it demands of the soloist. The second sonata dates from 1990 and is a psychological inscape - the birdsong being the abstract twittering of the imagination and of dream (shades of Messiaen in the rendition of the bird-song) - which has great expressive power. Marjut Tynkkynen (accordion). Alba ABCD 104 (Finland) 10C066 $16.98

ERNST LEVY (1895-1984): Third Suite for Orchestra. Levy as pianist was the subject of a historical release on the Marston label two years ago; now the Swiss pianist-composer's orchestral music reaches CD (he also wrote 15 symphonies!) with this nine-movement, 30-minute orchestral suite. The work is tonal and very approachable with several of the segments having a resemblance to the outdoorsy dynamism of Copland or Harris. The remainder of the disc is taken up by a 36-minute conversation between composer and label-owner Max Schubel and the musicologist Siegmund Levarie which introduces Levy and his music (and takes the place of booklet notes). Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One 180 (U.S.A.) 10C067 $11.98

BERNARD REICHEL (1901-1992): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Rhapsody for Flute and Orchestra, Sonata en trio for Flute, Violin and Cello, Octet for 2 Violins, Viola, Double Bass, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and Piano. Reichel's music is influenced by folk music, hymns and medieval modalities which make for meditative and contemplative slow movements and bright, attractively colored fast ones. These works were composed between 1938 and 1950 and all make for grateful listening (the Sonata is a historic recording from 1953; the others are all modern, stereo recordings). Christiane Montandon (piano), Raymond Meylan (flute), Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Reichel. Gallo CD-1028 (Switzerland) 10C068 $18.98

PAUL MÜLLER-ZÜRICH (1898-1993): Concerto in F Minor for Viola and Small Orchestra, Op. 24, 6 Piano Pieces, Op. 10, Violin Sonata, Op. 32, Quartet in C Minor for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 26, Trio for Basset Horn, Viola and Cello. The earliest pieces here, the op. 10, date from 1924-26 and show a transition from neo-Romanticism to neo-baroque styles, to the latter of which Müller-Zürich stuck for pretty much his entire, long career. The viola concerto (1934) is a mono recording from 1961 and has more than a touch of Hindemith about it but it is also in the spirit of Bach. Both the sonata and the piano quartet are unmistakably neo-Baroque with inversions, canons and the like. Gerhard Wieser (viola), Andrew Zolinsky (piano), Roland Roberts (violin), Alan Hacker (clarinet, basset horn), Miranda Davis (viola), Oliver Gledhill (cello), Swiss Radio Orchestra Beromünster; Edmond de Stoutz. Guild GMCD 7194 (England) 10C069 $16.98

EMILE JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950): Songs: 10 Rondes et ballade françaises, Mélodies de jeunesse, 3 ballades françaises, Piano: Humoresque, Op. 45/2, Impromptu-Scherzetto, Op. 3, Valse des Mouettes, Rythmes de danse (excerpts). A student of Delibes and Bruckner, Jaques-Dalcroze wrote over 1200 songs as well as works in every genre except sacred music. The songs recorded here show a melodic gift, playful use of rhythm and harmony and, in the Paul Fort songs, a love of nature a passion for folk song. The composer was also the founder of eurhythmics and the piano excerpts from Rythmes de danse are semi-didactic pieces although in their succession of melancholy, playful and humorous moods, they display his vivid imagination. French texts. Audrey Michael (soprano), Philippe Huttenlocher (baritone), Brigitte Meyer (piano). Gallo CD-1039 (Switzerland) 10C070 $18.98

CHARLES TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939): L'Orgue Mystique, Vol. 1 - Office No. 13: Cycle de Pâques, Op. 56, Offices Nos. 29, 42 & 51: Cycle après la Pentecôte, Op. 57. This massive undertaking required 6 years to complete (1927-32) and was intended by the composer to accomplish for the Catholic liturgy what Bach had achieved through his cantats for the Protestant. Consisting of 51 Offices, each of which make use of the plainsong melodies appropriate for a particular Sunday, , its duration equals the entire organ uvre of Bach. (The music being so sacred and liturgical, it's surprising to have to wonder which is more disturbing... the cover art or the photo of the organist.......) Sandro R. Müller (Schuke organ of the Reformed Church Calvinstraße, Eberfeld, Germany). Cybele 050.101 (Germany) 10C071 $16.98

JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): The Piano Works, Vol. 4 - From Far and Wide, Op. 57, Doubledozen for Small Fingers, Op. 65, 21 Easy Piano Pieces, Op. 111. From this Hungarian composer, musicologist and folk-song collector comes another volume of short piano pieces: op. 57 dates from 1936 and contains 20 folk tunes from as many countries; op. 65 (1958) is a collection of 24 pieces employing styles varying from polyphonic canon to twelve-tone row while op. 111 (1983) is another collection of folk tune from all over the world. Aima Maria Labra-Makk (piano). Pepperland PEP 98204 (Austria) 10C072 $16.98

JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): The Piano Works, Vol. 5 - The Gingerbread House - Ballet for Piano Four Hands and Percussion, Suite Arabe, Op. 15, 4 x 4 Piano Pieces for Four Hands, Op. 106, Diary Fragments for 2 Pianos and Percussion, Op. 95. The Gingerbread House (1952) is a delightful nine-movement suite which tells the Hansel and Gretel story; the Arab Suite dates from 1927 and Takács first period of employment at the Cairo Conservatory and, rather than transcribing folk music, is original music created under North African influence. op. 106 is a suite of 17 pieces in various folk styles from 1980 while op. 93 (1972) is a 12-minute long single movement which depicts a "journey into a dreamscape". Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz (pianos), Michael Kahlig, Kevan Teherani (percussion). Pepperland PEP 98205 (Austria) 10C073 $16.98

ALEXANDER TANSMAN (1897-1986): Violin Concerto, 5 Pièces for Violin and Small Orchestra, 4 danses polonaises, Rhapsodie Polonaise, Danse de la Sorcière from Le jardin du paradis. Dating from 1937, when Tansman was at the peak of his fame, the violin concerto demonstrates the composer's astonishing ability to combine diverse stylistic types into a relatively seamless whole in each movement while providing a solo part which ranges from ghostly harmonics to old-fashioned romantic virtuosity. The five pièces were written for Szigeti and Tansman conjures large-scale sound from a small orchestra. The dances and the Polish Rhapsody are scored with boisterous freshness and elegance, the latter coming to an optimistic conclusion which belies its composition date of 1941. Beata Halska (violin), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bernard Le Monnier. Olympia OCD 685 (England) 10C074 $16.98

LEONARDO BALADA (b.1933): Violin Concerto No. 1, Folk Dreams, Sardana, Fantasías Sonoras. Balada's 1982 concerto has Catalan folk tunes as the basis of all three movements but the composer uses unconvential techniques which allow the theme to appear only after a while and then to become clearer and clearer (in the slow movement, the process is reversed). In Shadows (1994; 1996; 1998), three folk melodies from Latvia, Catalonia and Ireland are treated similarly, the melodies sometimes fragmented and then collected together, sometimes given aleatoric freedom. Sardana (1979), the national dance of Catalonia is an extended tone-poem and homage to the folk form which again is kaleidoscopically dealt with. Fantasías (1987) is the most abstract of the pieces here but its combination of far-out sounds, textures and harmonies and unbridled sense of enthusiasm make for a riotous conclusion to a very worthwhile release. Andrés Cárdenes (violin), Barcelona Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Aeschbacher. Naxos 8.554708 (New Zealand) 10C075 $5.98

SAMUEL JONES (b.1935): Roundings: Musings and Meditations on Texas New Deal Murals, Cello Sonata. Currently Composer-in-Residence of the Seattle Symphony, Jones writes in the tradition of the great American tonalist composers: Barber, Hanson, Thomson, Piston, Copland and Harris. His symphonic suite Roundings was given its premiere earlier this year and falls into seven movements, the first and last of which are historical/philosophical and the remaining five of which depict public murals in Texas dating from the New Deal period. Anyone who likes any of the composers listed above is sure to respond to this new disc with pleasure and that includes the 1996 cello sonata. Amarillo Symphony Orchestra; James Setapen, Emmanuel Lopez (vello), Denise Parr-Scanlin (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559079 (New Zealand) 10C076 $5.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): String Quartets, Vol. 5 - Nos 5, 10 & 13. The fifth quartet (1931), using children's songs as the basis for two of its four movements, brims with the composer's polytonality, polyrhythms and search for unusual tone-colors. The tenth (1946) and thirteenth (1951) leave folk-song behind and are more difficult - extreme chromaticism and atonality characterize the latter while the former has often dense harmonies and periods of dissonance. Regardless, the Brazilian soul manages to be heard in each quartet's adagio movement. Quarteto Latinoamericano. Dorian DOR-93211 (U.S.A.) 10C077 $17.98

VISSARION SHEBALIN (1902-1963): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 29, No. 5 in F Minor "Slavonic", Op. 33, No. 9 in B Minor, Op. 58. Shebalin's fourth and fifth quartets are resolutely tonal, the fifth working with borrowed motifs from folk songs, the fourth using the folk song's natural rhythmical nature. Dating from 1940, the fourth is an homage to Sergei Taneyev and the fifth (1942) a patriotic work written while the Battle of Stalingrad was raging and which won Shebalin the Stalin Prize. Very different from these two quartets is the ninth - Shebalin's last - which was completed only three months before his death and which opens with an almost dodecaphonic theme. Freely constructed in only three movements, the work closes with a rondo that ends in a foreshadowing pianissimo . Krasni Quartet. Olympia OCD 664 (England) 10C078 $16.98

ALBERIC MAGNARD (1865-1914): Quintet in D Minor for Piano and Winds, Op. 8, FLORENT SCHMITT (1870-1958): A tour d'anches, Op. 97 for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano, JEAN FRANÇAIX (1890-1962): Quatuor. An appealing disc of perhaps surprising substance, given the strange obscurity into which these works have (oddly) fallen. The Magnard is a big work, well over half an hour, symphonic in scope and romantic in gesture and texture. At times recalling high-quality Poulenc, it abounds in felicitous touches, such as the unexpected and delightful Arabic-influenced (from a very French perspective) oboe solo in the Scherzo. The Schmitt is the most 'advanced' work, musically, often satirical and acerbic, with a 'serious' heart in the nocturne-sarabande of great beauty and gravity. The Françaix is great fun, as one might expect, with the four winds given licence to play (in both senses) with delightful yet elegantly controlled good humor. This disc is a great horizon-expander for lovers of French music, wind music, or just really well-written and appealing early 20th-century chamber music. Christine Nield (flute), Robert Weiner (oboe), Margaret Donaghue (clarinet), Luciano Magnanini (bassoon), Luiz Benedini (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9028 (U.S.A.) 10C079 $16.98

ELENA FIRSOVA (b.1950): Elegy, Hymn to Spring, LENA LANGER (b.1975): Reflection, GALINA USTVOLSKAYA (b.1919): Sonata No. 2, Sonata No. 6, SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Chaconne, Sonata. This collection of 20-th century piano music by Russian women composers is dominated by Ustvolskaya's relentlessly attacking pair of sonatas in which even the mysterious silences are threatening. Gubaidulina's two pieces are rather better known, the Chaconne with its Shostakovichian influences and the 1965 sonata with its disjointed stew of atonal jazz and dodecaphony. Firsova's pieces areluminous, lyrical and joyful, the Hymn using imitations of birdsong while the 18-year-old Langer's brief piece flirts with minimalism in its brief arc from silence into life and back again. Genia (piano). Black Box BBM 1039 (England) 10C080 $17.98

Academy - The Label of the Akademie der Künste Berlin

HEIMO ERBSE (b.1924): Piano Concerto, Op. 22, Impression for Orchestra, Op. 9, Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano with Orchestra, Op. 32. These serious and economically written works are the product of a highly trained musical imagination of the highest ideals, uncompromising and almost severe. The piano concerto is not at all a romantic vehicle for the soloist, weaving the piano part into the orchestral counterpoint in a way that suggests that were the work to be called 'sinfonia concertante' it would not be inappropriate. Impression is based on Edvard Munch's famous "Scream", but it rigorously avoids being a clichéd orchestral scream-fest in itself, being more a study in harshly delineated lines and contrasts of color, analogous to the works of the great painter. The triple concerto, for the classical forces associated with the genre, is the most warmly romantic of the three works, and the one that allows the greatest soloistic expression. Here as in the other works, the musical vocabulary is of the order of extended tonality of, say, late Tippett, or Boris Blacher (the latter an important mentor to the composer). Horst Göbel (piano), Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht, Vienna Symphony; Peter Keuschnigg, Göbel Trio Berlin, RSO Berlin; Reinhard Peters. Academy ACA 8508-2 (Germany) 10C081 $16.98

HANS ZENDER (b.1936): Stephen Climax. Zender's opera is primarily based upon the Stephen Daedelus material from James Joyce's "Ulysses", while simultaneously incorporating the legend of St Simeon Stylites, in a polystylistic philosophical inquiry into the nature of civilization and the place of the artist within it. The work sounds very theatrical - one imagines it as a total-art-work like Zimmermann's Soldaten - and the musical style - dissonant and atonal, bound together by dodecaphony - is very clearly post-Wozzeck, and both musically and textually suggests a simultaneity of events which combine in a bewilderingly compressed traversal of drama and history. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Vocal soloists, Choir, Children's Choir and Orchestra of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels; Sylvain Cambreling. Academy ACA 8507-2 (Germany) 10C082 $33.98

GISELHER KLEBE (b.1925): Why Does the Sun Have a Ring of Ashes? for 2 Pianos, Percussion and 16 Voice Choir Op. 104, The Scream for Accordion and Percussion, Op. 109, Carillons for Piano Four Hands, Op. 103. The main work here is Why does the sun... , a cantata in tribute to the work of Amnesty International. The texts are poems by Peter Härtling, on subjects which one would anticipate - inhumanity, humanity, freedom, oppression and the like. The declamatory style of the music - atonal, yet reminiscent of Orff's stage works, with vocal whispers and roars and fragmented, angry textures in a basically dodecaphonic matrix, elaborated with free atonality via tuned percussion figurations - is suited to the subject matter and underlines the urgency of the drama. The other two works, both on highly emotive subjects, as revealed in the accompanying notes, strike a similarly uneasy resonance in their musical substance. German-English texts. Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano), Cologne Choir; Volker Hempfing, Helmut C. Jacobs (accordion), Hermann-Josef Tillman (percussion). Academy ACA 8509-2 (Germany) 10C083 $16.98

JOSEF TAL (b.1910): Else (Hommage) for Soprano, Speaker, Viola, Cello, Horn and Piano, 3 Essays for Piano. Else is a dramatic cantata for soprano, narrator and ensemble, which treats the subjects of exile, loss, and the relationship of mythology and history to the life of a contemporary artist - subjects which the composer is eminently qualified to treat, as an exile from Nazi Germany who settled in Israel. A composer of extraordinarily wide-ranging gifts, we learn from the notes that Tal was a pioneer of electronic, later computer, music and notation, but there is none of that in this sharply dramatised and rich score, which occasionally hints at the vernacular of an Eisler or Weill, but mainly inhabits more post-Second-Viennese territory. The tense piano Essays are more obviously modern, utilising the abruptly contrasting dynamics and figurations familiar in contemporary piano music since Boulez' second sonata showed everyone how it could be done. Catherine Gayer (soprano), Joachim Bliese (speaker), Heidrun Ganz (viola), Götz Teutsch (cello), Norbert Hauptmann (horn), Klaus Hellwig (piano), Jeffrey Burns (piano). Academy ACA 8506-2 (Germany) 10C084 $16.98

GERALD HUMEL (b.1931): Universe. Universe is a large-scale solo piano work of ambitious scope and considerable virtuosity. More pianistically conventional by far than the total-serialist mécanique school; less unrelentingly difficult for both performer and composer than the 'maximalists' or 'complexicists', Humel's idiom shares something with Messiaen in harmony, though without the use of cumulative cells to make up extended slow passages. There is sensuality, there is violence, and there is a breadth of philosophical, quasi-mystical expression in the 'higher dissonances' which the composer tempers with distinctly functional tonal centers and harmonic motion. Humel's sure-footed polyphony is also a cohesive force in this gripping and surprisingly accessible pianistic magnum opus. Jeffrey Burns (piano). Academy ACA 8501-2 (Germany) 10C085 $16.98

MARGARET SUTHERLAND (1897-1984): Sonata, DULCIE HOLLAND (b.1913): Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, GERARD BROPHY (b.1953): We Bop, RAY MARCELLINO (b.1964): Whispers of Fauvel, ROGER FRAMPTON (b.1948): Double Dreaming, PAUL SARCICH (b.1951): Matters Arising. This is an immensely appealing disc, of predominantly tonal music which explores the rich sonorities and quasi-vocal flexibility for which the saxophone family is justly renowned. Margaret Sutherland, Bax's Australian woman pupil, provides a warmly romantic, organic work of great charm, while the Holland, by a woman of the following generation, is a lively and attractive work also in an easy-going and accessible idiom. The Brophy pays the most obvious homage to the saxophone's jazz associations, while the Marcellino and Sarcich extend the instruments' idiom to the greatest extend, while remaining sonorously appealing. Margery Smith (saxophones), Daniel Herscovitch, Roger Frampton (piano). Tall Poppies TP132 (Australia) 10C086 $18.98

ROGER REYNOLDS (b.1934): Coconino...A Shattered Landscape, Visions for Solo Violin, Kokoro, Ariadne's Thread, Focus a beam, emptied of thinking, outward... for Solo Cello. Roger Reynolds' strongly visual ensemble pieces, which draw their inspiration from landscape and mythology, utilise spatial effects and electronics (in Ariadne's Thread) to expand the expressive possibilities of the string quartet. Thematic material is of less importance here than the interplay of shifting intensities of light and shade, like the soundtrack to a speeded up film of slow, natural events and effects. The music is simultaneously as free and formless as a force of nature, and as little concerned with formal musical procedures. 2 CDs. Arditti String Quartet. Montaigne MO 782083 (France)10C087 $35.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, Ryoanji, A Flower, 59 1/2, JOËLLE LÉANDRE: hommage à j... Léandre is a contabassist, who provides her own hommage to Cage on this disc, in the form of a tape composition which skillfully incorporates the kind of sounds that one most readily associates with Cage. Elsewhere she appears as soloist, practising the kind of extended playing techniques which his freely experimental music demands - often employing her instrument in a purely percussive role. Joëlle Léandre (double bass), Ninh Lê Quan (percussion). Montaigne MO 782121 (France)10C088 $13.98

JAMES DILLON (b.1951): Ignis noster for Orchestra, Helle Nacht for Orchestra. These two works for large orchestra both show Dillon's formidable technique in the handling of large forces to considerable advantage. A generous composer, to the point of being uneconomical in his means, Dillon's style typically involves a great sense of inclusiveness, with a profusion of details and richness of texture. Atonal and complex, the music is flamboyant and always filled with color and event, with ideas and sounds constantly jostling for supemacy in hedonistic abandon. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Montaigne MO 782123 (France)10C089 $13.98

GEORGES APHERGHIS (b.1945): Récitations for Solo Voice. These "recitations" for solo voice cross and re-cross the boundary between singing and acting, between music and drama. The soloist mouths syllables, words, noises in a continuous barrage of vocal effects, extended singing techniques, and mysterious and oblique characterisations and arguments. The pieces establish a powerful rhythmic component, through the repetition of fragments of text, which function like a rhythmic underpinning to the drama, which is elaborated though text and sound effects. A vocal tour de force, no matter what else it may be. Martine Viard (voice). Montaigne MO 782118 (France)10C090 $13.98

PASCAL DUSAPIN (b.1955): Extenso for Orchestra, Apex for Orchestra, La Melancholia for Solo Voices, Choir, Brass, Orchestra and Tape. These powerful and organic orchestral works suggest a combination of natural, organic processes and the inexorable march of mighty machines - a kind of deus ex machina invoked to explain natural phenomena of awesome power and mysterious origin. Dense, dark sonorities predominate, suggesting great distances and unimaginable timescales. La Melancholia, with voices, is an essay in similar dark textures, this time explicitly relating to the psychological phenomenon of the title, in its various historical and literary manifestations. The work is most impressive, mysterious and tragic, and offers a viewpoint concerning the driving mechanism behind a great deal of human endeavor and despair - a very romantic and dramatic concept, although the dense, dark textures are very much of our time. Vocal Soloists, Churs de Lyon, Lyon National Orchestra; Emannuel Krivine, David Robertson. Montaigne MO 7820124 (France)10C091 $13.98

PASCAL DUSAPIN (b.1955): Time Zones (String Quartet No. 2), String Quartet No. 3, HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): Ainsi la nuit. Dutilleux' marvellously original shadow-play, his only essay to date in the string quartet medium, is here coupled with Dusapin's lengthy and ambitious Time Zones, in 24 sections, which form a kind of musical kaleidoscope of wildly divergent, fragmentary ideas. The relatively austere and formally controlled third quartet seems to look more to the world inhabited by Dutilleux' tightly organised yet poetic essay in instrumental mastery. Arditti String Quartet. Montaigne MO 7820125 (France)10C092 $13.98

ALLEN BRINGS (b.1934): 5 Pieces for Piano, 3 esercizi for Harpsichord, Sonatine for Piano, 6 Praeludia for Organ, Concerto da camera No. 4 for Harpsichord and Strings. A Student of Otto Luening, Brings is currently active as composer and performer in New York and Connecticut. His music is predominantly tonal though highly chromatic, and his keyboard writing very idiomatic. The pieces presented here all have a strong connection to forms and idioms of the past - the harpsichord works, while harmonically conservatively modern, pay tribute to techniques that would have been familiar to Purcell, Scarlatti and others for whom the harpsichord was the keyboard instrument of necessity. The organ works similarly pay homage to Bach, though Messiaen's harmonic thinking is more likely to come to mind. The sparkling chamber concerto is especially attractive, and may remind some of Frank Martin, with a degree of Poulenc's lightness of touch. Genevieve Chinn (piano), Bradley Brookshire (harpsichord), Stephen Tharp (organ), Instrumental Ensemble; Allen Brings. Capstone CPS-8679 (U.S.A.) 10C093 $16.98

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Zyklus, Klavierstück V, Klavierstück IX, Kontakte. This is a useful Stockhausen disc, containing as it does four of his seminal works from the days when he really was in the forefront of the garde most avant, before the enormous operatic megalomania of the past several decades became his predominant compositional characteristic. Completists will already have these works, but anyone who feels guilty that he is not properly represented in their collections will find this a useful sampler. Kontakte was always one of Stockhausen's most interesting works, with its formidable tape part; it really did seem to have broken with tradition. Jonny Axelsson (percussion), Fredrik Ullén (piano). Caprice CAP 21642 (Sweden) 10C094 $16.98

JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): Bhakti for Chamber Orchestra and Quadraphonic Tape. "Bhakti" as the title suggests, is a work based on the Rig Veda, and explores Harvey's mystical preoccupations in music (for chamber orchestra and pre-recorded tape of transformed instrumental sounds) which while not explicitly programmatic seems illustrative, with evocations of vast incalculable spaces, cosmic dances (the latter very Turangalilesque (if that is a word, and if it is not, it should be, given how often Messiaen's great work needs to be referred to in writing about 20th century music)). Anyway, this is a mysterious, mystical journey of real substance, and one that persists in memory long after the last note has faded. Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; Lorraine Vaillancourt. Montagne MO 782128 (France) 10C096 $13.98

HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): String Quartet "Reigen Seliger Geister", Tanzsuite mid Deutschlandlied for String Quartet and Orchestra. Well, it's Helmut Lachenmann, so what did you expect? If you didn't know that the first piece was a string quartet, you would probably be very hard put to identify the instrumentation, for the first 3 minutes at least - the impression is of whispering voices, tiny natural sounds, percussion and perhaps electronics (none of which are present) against which an actual played note sounds like an intrusion. The notes contain the masterly understatement " . . .there is little trace off convention in the handling of the instruments" - and it is a tribute to the incomparable Ardittis that they make this bizarre assemblage into a through-composed structure of some substance (contemporary music students looking for new playing techniques to steal will find this a fertile harvest-ground, by the way). The Tanzsuite pits an amplified quartet against orchestra in a disturbingly fragmentary surrealist landscape, ultimately disturbing, on a visceral level at least, which might also be said of the quartet. Depending on your point of view this might all sound like a recommendation or a condemnation, but one has to admire Lachenmann's all-out flag-waving, barricade-storming modernity, which almost outweighs the actual value of the music (though the dance rhythms presented in clicks and squeaks in the orchestral work are good value of another sort in themselves!)Arditti String Quartet, RSO Berlin; Olaf Henzold. Montagne MO 782130 (France) 10C097 $13.98

MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): String Quartets Nos. 1-3, Pan for Piccolo and String Quartet. The English Organist Kevin Bowyer once said that he could happily listen to Ronald Stevenson reading the phone book. In the same spirit, I could cheerfully listen to the Ardittis attempting to play it (and they'd probably make a good piece of music out of it, too). I am not being unkind about Kagel's early essays in the quartet medium, but merely commenting on the fact that without the dedication of this superb ensemble, his precisely notated and extremely difficult controlled chaos, replete with alternative playing techniques and preparation of the instruments, while not being as wildly divergent from the classical model of the string quartet as Herr Lachenmann's, these works might easily be dismissed as a collection of funny noises. "Pan" and the 3rd quartet, on the other hand, contain some suggestions of really rather delightful "conventional" music - wow, they're almost tonal at times! - and in all the works, the composer's continuously refracting and reflecting textures, glittering like shards of glass, are both original and curiously compelling. Arditti String Quartet, Dietmar Wiesner (piccolo). Montagne MO 782129 (France) 10C098 $13.98

PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Chinese Opera, Shadows, Steine. Perhaps the true successor to Stockhausen, though without the latter's portentousness and with a greater sense of direct communicability, Eötvös habitually explores new sounds and timbres with the self-assurance of an immensely experienced conductor for whom the idioms and methods of modern musics hold no terrors. Chinese Opera is surprisingly tonal - or at least, a good many of the gestures from which it is made up are - but the sounds, at once more original and more seductive than most of the Darmstadt/Donaueschingen orchestral works of recent decades, are very much the composer's own, and rather unlike much of what one has heard before. Spatial differentiation of material is also a part of the compositional approach. Somehow, Eötvös has co-opted the techniques of the avant-garde and used them to create music of considerable appeal on many levels, which is quite an achievement in itself. Klangforum Wien; Peter Eötvös. Kairos 0012082KAI (Germany) 10C099 $16.98

GRÁINNE MULVEY (b.1966): Sextet Uno, Rational Option Intensity, DEIRDRE GRIBBIN (b.1967): How to Make the Water Sound for Piano Trio, And Now the Shadows Are Too Long for Clarinet and Piano, The Sanctity of Trees for Guitar, Giles for Flute. These chamber works by two young Irish composers (both are in their early 30s) exhibit a certain homogeneity of style - which is a good thing, if you like the music. Typically of a good deal of what is coming out of Britain nowadays, there is much emphasis on timbre, a fondness for elaboration (neither composer seems to be a fully paid up complexicist, however), and an enjoyment of pure, singing lines which, while far from the tonal melodies of the past (both composers use serial techniques ad lib) provide a welcome lyricism and linearity to the music. Concorde; Proinnsías Ó Duinn. Black Box BBM 1015 (England) 10C100 $17.98

PATRICK DE CLERCK: Cantos I & II for Soprano and Ensemble, Canto III for Piano and Percussion Duo, Northern Elegies for Voice and Piano, Canto D'Angelo for Baritone and Ensemble. These meditative settings of Russian poets (and one by Michelangelo, and one piece with no text) have something in common with Arvo Pärt, though they are less static, the vocal lines in particular sounding more like conventional lieder in their mellifluous lyricism. An intimate, parlando, quality is common to these settings, eschewing instrumental or vocal acrobatics in favour of sonorous and elegant textures. The second Canto has sections that are a good deal more lively (and which inevitably have something in common with Bartók, given the instrumentation), thus dispelling the impression of de Clerck as a new-age composer of beautiful meditations with little drama (though he seems to be able to do that with the best too). Ekaterina Kichigina (soprano), Nikolai Reshetnyak (baritone), Studio for New Music; Igor Dronov. Megadisc MDC 7847 (Belgium) 10C101 $18.98

BERNHARD LEWKOVITCH (b.1927): 6 Partitas for Brass, 12 Chorales for Brass. Lewkovitch is regarded as Denmark's leading composer of sacred music. These treatments of chorales from traditional church music present the solemn and devotional material in the sumptuous garb of the glowing modern brass ensemble, to telling effect. The Chorale Partitas function like variations or elaborations of the chorales, and one can well imagine them as part of a solemn ceremonial (in much the way that Bach's chorales, or the Art of Fugue contain music that is both timeless and spritually uplifting, though not explicity denominational. The Chorales are simpler in form, though similar in their rich harmonic language, spiced with mild dissonance. Royal Danish Brass. Kontrapunkt 32309 (Denmark) 10C102 $16.98

MFA - New Special Imports

CHARLES CHAYNES (b.1925): Concerto du temps retrouvé for Violin and Orchestra, String Quartet, Visage Mycéniens. There is a refreshingly exultant freedom in these works, a sense of the composer thoroughly enjoying his craft and the evocations that it inspires in him and his listeners. The violin is his instrument, and his virtuosic, deeply felt concerto displays his obvious love for its special qualities. The quartet pays less apparent heed to past conventions, containing passages of frank aleatory, and exploring textures which, while not requiring extended playing techniques, nonetheless employ timbres and instrumental combinations quite unllike conventional quartet writing. The powerfully dramatic characterisations from Greek tragedy use the orchestra in a more conventional manner (still very much of our time), and succeeds in portraying the harshness and cruelty, despair and entrapment by implacable fate of the characters in a manner both spontaneous and highly evocative. Pierre Amoyal (violin), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Mark Foster, Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco, Orchestre Nationale de France; Michiyoshi Inoue. MFA 216024 (France) 10C103 $18.98

PHILIPPE LEROUX (b.1959): Continuo(ns) for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, PPP for Flute and Piano, Air-ré for Violin and Marimba/Vibraphone, Phonie douce for Oboe, Saxophone and Cello, Fleuve for 14 Instruments. Philippe Leroux' works are characterised by a tendency toward feverish motion and activity, with a kind of iridescent sheen to the sounds and textures. This sense of continuity, the incessant (or nearly so) motion of the music, is a principle central to the composer's thinking, and it occurs in all the works here. While there are tonal centres - more in the nature of implied tonality than functional harmony, expressed through repeated notes which provide tonal anchors. The motion of the music occurs through its restless timbral and rhythmic energy, and carries the listener on an exhilarating flow of event and incident.Ensemble Court-Circuit; Pierre-André Valade. MFA 216005 (France) 10C104 $18.98

FRANÇOIS PARIS (b.1961): Sur la nuque de la mer étoilée, L'octobre seul, Les cinq champs de l'ombre blanche, Roque. As with a considerable amount of contemporary European music, that of François Paris is greatly concerned with timbre and the possibilities afforded by unfamiliar sound-spectra - hence the unothodox ensembles, tuning temperaments and instruments (including discreet electronic ones) encountered here. These subtly evocative pieces, taking their inspiration often from written, poetic or visual sources, explore an exciting world of unfamiliar sounds and textures at once as alien as it is welcoming. L'Ensemble Itinéraire; Pascal Rophé, L'Ensemble TM+; Laurent Cuniot. MFA 216006 (France) 10C105 $18.98

DOMINIQUE TRONCIN: Ciel ouvert for Piano, Altitudes for Violin and Cello, PHILIPPE FÉNELON (b.1952): Nit for Viola, JOSHUA FINEBERG: Till human voices for Piano, ALAIN LOUVIER: Clamavi for Cello and Percussion, FRÉDÉRIC DURIEUX: Départ for Clarinet, GÉRARD GRISEY (b.1946): Stèle for 2 Percussionists, TRISTAN MURAIL (b.1947): Unanswered questions for Electric Flute, FRÉDÉRICK MARTIN: Siticen for Trombone, GÉRARD PESSON: La lumière n'a pas de bras pour nous porter for Amplified Piano, ERIC TANGUY (b.1968): Elégie for Violin, JACQUES LENOT: Là eussent dû être des roses for Piano, BETSY JOLAS (b.1926): Music to go for Viola and Cello, PHILIPPE MANOURY: Epitaphe for Flute, Clarinet, Trombone, String Trio and Vibraphone. Dominique Troncin was only 33 when he died, and this disc represents a tribute to a remarkably gifted young colleague of the composers and performers represented. Two works of his own are the largest single contribution here; Messiaen looms large in the background to the piano work, less so in the work for strings. The other works are all brief, serious, more or less dissonant, and share a common characteristic in a plangent, linear lyricism, with sustained sounds predominating, and little of the spiky pointillism which represents the other side of the contemporary chamber music coin. Any of these brief pieces can stand alone as a musical statement in its own right, making this both a moving and sincere tribute and a remarkably cohesive and telling recital. Ensemble Fa; Dominique My. MFA 216007 (France) 10C106 $18.98

JACQUES REBOTIER (b.1937): Requiem for 7 Clarinets, Accordion, Cymbalum, 7 Voices, 7 Dead Persons, Childrens' Choir and Soprano. Although it uses the text of the traditional Mass for the Dead, this is a contemporary rethinking of the meaning of the mass in philosophical terms, its message concerning itself with time, timelessness, and the escape from the passage of time in life and death. Not surprisingly, the musical vocabulary used to express these ideas is non-traditional; this is not the grand Romantic Mass, storming the gates of Heaven on judgement day. The idiosyncratic yet telling instrumentation, and the atonal though only mildly dissonant language - which nonetheless pays quirky tribute to traditional models from time to time - seem to suspend the argument of the text outside traditional concerns of time and religious belief, suggesting a timeless ritual of spiritual reflection. Françoise Kubler (soprano), Les Jeunes Solistes, Accroche-Note, Maîtrise de Dijon; Rashid Safir. MFA 216008 (France) 10C107 $18.98

AHMED ESSAYAD (b.1938): L'exercice de l'Amour. This operatic essay in the philosophy of Love - the love of and for the divine, expressed through the corporeal and sensual - associates ideas and poetic images of the mystics of the middle East with a musical language of 20th-century central Europe. Dramatic recitiatives underpinned by choral foundations against a turbulent orchestral accompaniment, dissonant yet as functionally harmonic as the vocal lines are lyrical and expressive, suggest that the search for the Beloved and the Love of the Divine require a journey that is far from a New Age amble through paths of enlightenment. Some of Bernard Nöel's texts hint, too, at a vision of Love attainable only after passage through the purgatory that has been our century. Not an 'easy' work, but one accessible enough to communicate its unease with great eloquence. French-English libretto. Elisabeth Laurence, Sylvie Sullé (sopranos), Gordon Christie (tenor), Stephen Richardson (bass), Chur and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Bruno Ferrandis. MFA 216008 (France) 10C108 $18.98

XU YI (b.1963): Le Plein du Vide for 14 Musicians and Electronics, Wang for Flute, String Trio and Percussion, Yi for String Trio, Echo de la terre profonde for 5 Percussions, Gu Yin for Flute and Percussion, Xiao Yao You for 12 Instruments and Electronics. A Chinese composer who has worked at IRCAM, and utilised electronic media in her music, Xu Yi is a particularly fine example of a peculiarly 20th-century phenomenon; the confrontation and ultimate reconciliation of East and West - typically, Western compositional and instrumental techniques allied to Eastern mystery and poetry. Although traditional Chinese instruments put in incidental appearances in these works, the predominant impression is of tense and dramatic concert works in the idiom of much European music of our century, though with occasional interludes of Oriental stasis and calm. The presence of stark contrasts between abrupt outbursts and slow, mysterious music, often in extreme registers, suggests the confrontation and correpondence of conflicting philosophies. Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain; Daniel Kawka, Ensemble 2e2m, Percussions Claviers de Lyon. MFA 216032 (France) 10C109 $18.98

DENIS COHEN (b.1952): A'Dante for 2 Sopranos and 2 Clarinets, MICHEL PASCAL (b.1958): Liens for Trombone and Digital Effects, GYÖRGY KURTÁG (b.1926): Hommage à Mihaly András for String Quartet, BERTRAND DUBEDOUT (b.1958): Fractions du silence - Deuzième livre for Flute, Oboe and Cello, DENIS LEVAILLANT (b.1952): Attractions for Saxophone Quartet, KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Nuits, Adieux for 4 Voices and Live Electronics. The idea behind this recital is that the various ensembles each perform a piece representative of their repertoire and particular style, the whole giving a taste of the state of French contemporary music today. Inevitably, there is a wide diversity of styles and æsthetics represented here, and not every piece will appeal to everyone. There is a great emphasis on sound and texture, extending to the use of electronics in some cases (as in the transformed and modulated trombone sonorities of Pascal's thrilling "Studio Instrumental". The Levaillant, for saxophone ensemble, is especially appealing; the Dubedout perhaps the most demanding on the listener, but the program as a whole is satisfying and curiosity-provoking. Various performers. MFA 216030 (France) 10C110 $18.98

IVAN WYSCHNEGRADSKY (1897-1979): All works for Bass-Baritone and 2 Quarter-Tone Pianos: L'Évangel Rouge , Op. 8, 2 Songs on Nietzsche, Op. 9, 2 Russian Songs, Op. 29, BRUCE MATHER (b.1939): Uu cri qui durerait la mer, Des laines de lumière. Vishnegradsky is known, if at all, as one of the great iconoclasts of the century - an unrelenting microtonalist, and never mind the problems of performance, instrumentation, etc. And so we have here pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart (his ingenious, standard compromise for the lack of widely available microtonal keyboard instruments), and the vocal intervals of less than a semitone. This disc presents his entire output for baritone and keyboard, and what does it sound like? Why, surprise surprise - it sounds like serious, intense, deeply emotional Russian song cycles - the sort of thing that might be by Shostakovich or Sviridov, or in the earlier generation, Mussorgsky - only with added microtones. Whether you regard the 'ultrachromaticism' (the composer's term) as an enhancement or a distraction will depend as much on your own æsthetic views as on the music itself, but if you like dark Russian philosophy in music, you will like this. Mather, who befriended the older composer, and who had independently worked out similar systems of scales for his own compositions, sounds like the equivalent extension of the French tradition to Vishnegradsky's of the Russian - lighter in texture, more mercurial, but no less original in his own way. English translations of Russian texts; French-English texts. Michel Ducharme (bass-baritone), Pierrette Lepage, Bruce Mather (pianos). SNE-647-CD (Canada) 10C111 $17.98

BEAT FURRER (b.1954): Nuun for Piano and Ensemble, Presto con fuoco for Flute and Piano, still for Ensemble, Poemas for Mezzo-Soprano, Guitar, Piano and Marimba. We have encountered Beat Furrer's hectically active music, which seems to be attempting to arrest the passage of time by the paradoxical process of expanding every temporal increment by filling it with an infinity of detail, in these pages before - and this disc serves as an admirable introduction to the composer for anyone who resisted the adulation we heaped upon his works previously. Louis Andriessen's music often atempts to distort temporal perception with apparently similar aims, but Furrer's material is typically more detailed, more interesting on both microscopic and macroscopic levels, and by acknowledging (in his own individual style, to be sure) the idea of the progress of a musical argumant, Furrer manages to sustain his tumultuous inspiration with less apparent effort (certainly less for the listener). A kind of maximal-minimalism, this music is both unique and sufficiently familiar to be highly accessible. Marino Formenti, Florian Müller (piano), Eva Furrer (flute), Elizabeth Laurence (mezzo), Klangforum Wien; Peter Eötvös, Sylvain Cambreling. Kairos 0012062KAI (Germany) 10C112 $16.98

RAYMOND DEANE: Brown Studies for String Quartet, After-Pieces for Piano, Marche oubliée for Piano Trio, Catacombs for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Sea Changes (with Danse Macabre) for Flute/Piccolo, Piano Trio and Percussion. Irish composer Raymond Deane's music abounds in tumultuous energy - sometimes freely expressed, as in the last movemrnt of the string quartet, and sometimes perceptible as an underlying tension which runs like a tautly stretched band throughout these works. There is a great deal of emotional ambiguity in these works, as well as a deliberate sense of the macabre which comes to the fore in the three ensemble pieces based around the idea of death. His musical language contains a good deal of functional harmony, and there is a strong sense of romantic mood-setting and melancholy - but a whiff of serialism, minimalism or (slightly) expanded playing technique leavens the mixture here and there. It may be coincidence, but especially in the Macabre Trilogy there seem to be similarities with the chamber works of another fine Irish composer, Philip Martin. Altogether a most recommendable disc. Vanbrugh String Quartet, Hugh Tinney (piano), Reservoir; Mikel Toms. Black Box bbm 1014 (England) 10C113 $17.98


FRANZ REIZENSTEIN (1911-1968): The Mummy - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Who knew that a full-fledged "serious" composer had done a sound-track for Hammer (besides Benjamin Frankel's Curse of the Werewolf)? Well, here it is - 58 minutes of fabulously evocative music for this early Hammer film. Lavish 16-page full color booklet. Orchestra conducted by John Hollingsworth. GDI Records GDICD006 (England) 10C114 $18.98

JAMES BERNARD (b.1925): Taste the Blood of Dracula - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. 52 minutes of fabulous music by the composer most associated with the Hammer name and a 16-page full-color booklet crammed with 20 stills and several one-sheets. Orchestra conducted by Philip Martell. GDI Records GDICD010 (England) 10C115 $18.98

HARRY ROBINSON: Twins of Evil - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The whole lavish treatment (again) for this paragon of Hammer skin-and-gore epic from the late 70s. Orchestra conducted by Philip Martell. GDI Records GDICD012 (England) 10C116 $18.98

THE HAMMER FILM MUSIC COLLECTION, VOLUME 2: Music from The Satanic Rites of Dracula (John Cacavas), Demons of the Mind (Harry Robinson), The Mummy's Shroud, The Evil of Frankenstein, Rasputin the Mad Monk (Don Banks), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, The Plague of the Zombies, Frankenstein Created Woman, Quatermass 2, The Hound of the Baskervilles (James Bernard), The Witches (Richard Rodney Bennett), The Vengeance of She, One Million Years B.C. (Mario Nascimbene), Fear in the Night (John McCabe), The Pirates of Blood River (Gary Hughes), To the Devil a Daughter (Paul Glass), The Curse of the Werewolf (Benjamin Frankel), The Abominable Snowman (Humphrey Searle), Dracula A.D. 1972 (Michael Vickers), Vampire Circus, (David Whitaker), The Lost Continent (Roy Phillips), Slave Girls (Carlo Martelli), The Phantom of the Opera (Edwin Astley) and Crescendo (Malcolm Williamson). Orchestras conducted by Edwin Astley, Franco Ferrara, Benjamin Frankel, John Hollingsworth & Philip Martell. GDI Records GDICD005 (England) 10C117 $18.98

ALFRED NEWMAN (1900-1970): Captain from Castile, The Snake Pit - Original Motion Picture Soundtracks. The little-known Snake Pit score makes this double-CD set a real find! 2 CDs. Conducted by Alfred Newman. Tsunami TCI 0620/21 (Germany) 10C118 $27.98

EDMUND MEISEL: The Battleship Potemkin - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The legendary original score composed by the German Marxist composer Edmund Meisel under Eisenstein's supervision was created for the international distribution of the famous 1925 silent film. Over 73 minutes of music, 20-bit digitally remastered and excellent English-only notes with stills and montages. SoundTrack Factory SFCD 33547 (Spain) 10C119 $12.98

JOSEPH KOSMA (1905-1969): La Grande Illusion - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A classic score for one of the two greatest anti-war films. SoundTrack Factory SFCD 33545 (Spain) 10C120 $12.98

JEAN WIENER (1896-1982): Improvisations on Et bonjour tout le monde.. (17), Improvisation sur des airs américains, Improvisation dans le style négro-américain, Improvisation sur un slow de Germaine Tailleferre, Improvisation dans un style personnel. Jean Wiener was an improviser of quite extraordinary gifts - once when asked how he composed his music, he spoke of an inexaustible reservoir inside him, which would provide a stream of as much material as necessary with the turning on of a tap. This is certainly how it appears from these Radio France recordings, mostly from the 1950s, which take dance forms, Bach, popular-style melodies, and explore them with a peculiarly French elegance and charm. Tonal and harmonically straightforward, with the talented improviser's penchant for unexpected but welcome twists and turns, these are delightful pieces which, if notated by some enterprising soul, would make wonderful encores for any classical/romantic piano recital. Jean Wiener (piano). INA Mémoire Vive IMV 030 (France) 10C121 $17.98