January 2003  January 2002    January 2001  January 2000  January 1999   January 1998  
 February 2003  February 2002  February 2001  February 2000  February 1999   February 1998  
 March 2003  March 2002  March 2001  March 2000  March 1999   March 1998  
 April 2003  April 2002  April 2001   April 2000  April 1999  April 1998  
   May 2002  May 2001   May 2000  May 1999  May 1998  
   June 2002   June 2001  June 2000  June 1999  June 1998  
   July 2002  July 2001  July 2000  July 1999  July 1998  July 1997
   August 2002  August 2001  August 2000   August 1999   August 1998  August 1997
   September 2002  September 2001  September 2000  September 1999  September 1998  September 1997
   October 2002  October 2001  October 2000  October 1999  October 1998   October 1997
   November 2002  November 2001  November 2000  November 1999  November 1998  November 1997
   December 2002  December 2001   December 2000  December 1999  December 1998  December 1997


Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2


SERGEI BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952): Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 52 th symphonies received performances in Germany in 1938 and 1938 (they were written in 1934 and 1937), the scores were believed lost until the writer of the notes for this recording discovered that, somehow, the Fleisher Collection in Philadelphia had gotten copies of full score and parts of both works. This led to the first performances of the symphonies in over 60 years in Scotland and in Ukraine and, of course, the present recording. The First is the longer work (39 minutes to 32) but each has a deeply sad and eloquently lamenting slow movement in which Bortkiewicz pours out his grief for his lost homeland. Lively scherzos use Russian and Ukrainian folk themes and rousing finales seek to dispel the effects of the preceding slow movements . Tchaikovsky is still the predominant influence with a healthy (or do I mean the opposite?) does of Rachmaninov, with Liszt and Chopin providing the ultimate foundations. One of the biggest finds in years for symphony collectors! BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67338 (England) 10E001 $17.98

JÓN LEIFS (1899-1968): Baldr, Op. 34. Leifs spent more time on Baldr than on any other of his many large-scale compositions. Described as a "choreographic drama without words" (there actually are some words but very few and far between - texts taken from the Prose and Poetic Eddas), Baldr tells of the divine battle between the eponymous son of Odin, fairest of the gods and the evil Loki who, through a trick, manages to kill Baldr in the end. Written between 1943-47, the work shows the effects of living in the Third Reich with a Jewish wife (Leifs was finally able to leave in early 1944) as well as the breakup of his marriage and the death of his youngest daughter a week before the work was completed. A hurricane in act one and an earthquake and volcanic eruption in the final scene mark Leifs' first attempt at portraying the fierce powers of nature which were to mark his later tone-poems Geysir, Hekla, Detifoss and Hafís. This was also the first time he used for percussion such items as anvils, pistols, cannons, rocks and metal chains and the old Nordic wind instrument, the lurs, is included as well. The palpable sense of cathartic struggle which informs Baldr throughout make it a compelling experience just as the orchestration and BIS' typically wide-ranging recording make it an audiophile spectacular. Icelandic-English texts. Gunnar Gudbjörnsson (tenor), Schola Cantorum, Hördur Áskelsson (organ, carillons), Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Kari Kropsu. BIS CD-1230/1231 (Sweden) 10E002 $35.98

GASPAR CASSADÓ (1897-1966): Cello Concerto in D Minor, CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): Clarinet Concerto in E Flat, Op. 74 (arr. Cassadó), Grand Potpourri for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 20. Although the documentation of this release feels it unneccesary to provide dates for anything, this two-movement, 27-minute concerto by the "other" great Catalonian cellist of the 20th century is a deeply romantic work, glowing with the rhythms and colors of the flamenco while also recalling, in its slow final movement, Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Cassadó also produced many transcriptions and arrangements of classical composers' works and his version of Weber's second clarinet concerto makes for a slightly more "vocal", sonorous piece which both cellists and Classical collectors could appreciate. Martin Ostertag (cello), Baden-Baden Philharmonic; Werner Stiefel. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9178 (Germany) 10E003 $17.98

HILDING ROSENBERG (1892-1985): Symphony for Winds and Percussion, BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): Concertino for Cello, Winds, Percussion and Piano, JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962): Concerto for Cello and Winds, MATS LARSSON GOTHE (b.1965): Concerto for Cello and Winds. The newest (and longest, at 26 minutes) work here, by Gothe and dating from 1999, was written for the soloist here and was based on a common interest in Lutoslawski's 1970 cello concerto. Interpreting a sense of "desperation and pain" and an expression of "isolation and sense of impotence" in Lutoslawski's experience at the time his concerto was written, Gothe's piece is dark and expressionistic although also allowing for the elegiac character of the solo instrument. Ibert and Martinu wrote their concertos in Paris within two years of each other (1924-5) and both, while patently the products of two different mind-sets, are full of the joy in experimentation with jazz and other popular idioms which inform the music of that place and period. Rosenberg's Symphony comes from 1966 and has its origin in a television production of a ballet titled The Tower of Babel and its 19-minute, five-movement length offers evocative, finely etched depictive music. Torleif Thedéen (cello), Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble; Hermann Bäumer. BIS CD-1136 (Sweden) 10E004 $17.98

LEO ORNSTEIN (1892/3-2002): Suicide in an Airplane, A la Chinoise, Op. 39, Danse sauvage, Op. 13/2, Poems of 1917, Op. 41, Arabesques, Op. 42, Impressions de la Tamise, Op. 13/1, Piano Sonata No. 8. Only about 15 minutes of the music on this 77-minute disc were included on the Naxos release of this past July. Here, we have Ornstein's last piano sonata, written in 1990 and what we wrote back in July, "a profusion of memorable melodies in the works/movements which are not violently dissonant or challengingly complex (although both occur side-by-side in 1988's seventh sonata). Impressionism, Scriabin, Spanish Romanticism, Russian-Jewish music, Antheil of "bad-boy" mien..." stands both for the Eighth Sonata as well as the other works from the teens and early 20s. Indispensible stuff! Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67320 (England) 10E005 $17.98

WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Piano Quartet, Anon in Love for Tenor and Guitar, Valse from Façade for Piano, Passacaglia for Cello Solo, Violin Sonata. As with Vaughan Williams this past June, the Nash Ensemble give us now a collection of chamber works by a composer much better known for his orchestral pieces. The early (1918-21) piano quartet is under the influence of Howells and Ravel, with a Stravinskian rhythmic drive which was to become one of Walton's mature characteristics while the latest work, the Passacaglia of 1979 is a somber, private work. Texts included. The Nash Ensemble, John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Craig Ogden (guitar). Hyperion CDA 67340 (England) 10E006 $17.98

ALBAN BERG (1885-1935): Complete Chamber Music - String Quartet, Op. 3, Lyric Suite, Hier ist Friede, Op. 4/5 for Piano, Harmonium, Violin and Cello (arr. Berg), 4 Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 5 (arr. viola by Guittart), Adagio from Chamber Concerto for Violin, Clarinet and Piano (arr. Berg). This Dutch group continue their traversal of the Second Viennese School with Berg's total chamber output which includes the first recording of the composer's own arrangement (1917) of the longest of the op. 4 Altenberg Lieder, done as a gift for Alma Mahler and her daughter. As he did for their Schoenberg box, violist Henk Guittart also provides his own transcription, here of the very brief, forward-looking clarinet pieces which followed the Altenburg songs. Schoenberg Quartet, Pierre Woudenberg (clarinet), Bob Zimmerman (harmonium), Sepp Grotenhuis (piano). Chandos 9999 (England) 10E007 $16.98


PAUL BUTTNER (1870-1943): Symphony No. 4 in B Minor, Heroic Overture. Buttner was a prominent figure in German musical life, as composer, critic and pedagogue, until 1933 when, as a Social Democrat with a Jewish wife, he was stripped of his positions and forced to live under regular harassment, making a rough living as a private music teacher. His fourth symphony was finished in 1918 and its tempestuous scherzo, emotionally intense slow movement and fiery finale bear witness to the war during which it was composed. The overture dates from 1925 and its 14-minute length (we know of no programmatic content) is of symphonic proportions. Buttner's teacher was Draeseke and the student carries on his master's late Romantic style in fine fashion. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans-Peter Frank, Gerhard Pfluger. Sterling CDS-1048 (Sweden) 10E008 $16.98

FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Dance Rhapsody, 5 Entr'actes from Emile Cammaerts' play The Two Hunchbacks, Dance Poem, Norse Legend, The Sea. The rarity here is the 1908 Dance Rhapsody which is a 19-minute, single-movement work with two waltzes, an intermezzo right out of Swan Lake and a quickstep finale; a cut in the original score has been restored for this recording. Also rather unknown is the five-movement suite from the 1910 production of a play by a Belgian author which is based on folk-tunes provided by the writer. Rather well-known by now, The Sea (1911), full of color and brilliant orchestration, is the English La Mer while Dance Poem, from only two years later, is a symphonic waltz in six sections in which Bridge first moves away from his early, richly tuneful and colorful idiom. Norse Legend, a 1938 orchestraton of a 1905 violin/piano piece makes the final piece of another gorgeous program. BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10012 (England) 10E009 $16.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Film Music, Vol. 1 - Suites from Scott of the Antarctic, Coastal Command and Th e People's Land. The 41-minute score to Scott, virtually complete, allows the listener to get a better idea of the deeply spiritual element in the composer's score, in which the explorer's journey to the Pole is a symbol of man's courage in the face of implacable Nature. Coastal Command is a 1942 documentary on the work of the flying-boats which patrolled off Iceland and the North Sea; its eight sectons, lasting 24 minutes, are a richly varied and evocative suite. Premiere recording of the 13-minute music for The People's Land, a 1943 color film describing the work of the National Trust. This recording presents Vaughan Williams' music, chiefly based on folksongs, complete (it was composed the year before and cut to fit the film). Merryn Gamba (soprano), Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10007 (England) 10E010 $16.98

NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Symphony No. 27 in C Minor, Op. 85, Cello Concerto in C Minor, Op. 66. Premiered four months after the composer's death, his final symphony is an unapologetic successor to the 19th century tradtion of Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Rachmaninov with Myaskovsky's typical gloomy mien always present but eventually washed away by a joyous finale. The 1944 concerto, one of Myaskovsky's best-known pieces, is a response to the trials of the war years and managed to express the strain and anguish while not being condemned by the authorities. Alexander Ivashkin (cello), Russian State Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 10025 (England) 10E011 $16.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Story of a Real Man, Op. 117. This is the only recording of Prokofiev's last opera, made in Moscow in 1961. Based on a novel which itself was based on the real-life story of a Soviet war hero who came back from being shot down behind enemy lines and losing his feet to frostbite but who returned to fly in the Battle of Kurst, the opera was suppressed in 1948 during the worst of the post-war Zhdanov cultural terror. A brave attempt to compose a genuine Soviet opera which would succeed where Semyon Kotko failed, Prokofiev provided much deeply touching music for the love duets as well as folk-like music (quite unlike him) but there are also places where the required, Socialist realist, 100% optimism is undercut by darker music. A remarkable operatic valedictory from this fine composer. 2 CDs. Russian-English libretto. Evgeni Kibkalo (baritone), Glafira Deomidova (soprano), Georgi Shulpin (tenor), Mark Reshetin (bass), Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre; Mark Ermler. Chandos 10002 (England) 10E012 $33.98

PROSPER VAN EECHAUTE (1904-1964): Suite Ancienne, Pastorale, Canzonetta, Berceuse, LODEWIJK MORTELMANS (1868-1952): Saidjah's lied, Intermezzo in A, Fra Angelico's Dancing Angels, Het Wielewaalt en Leeuwerkt, Nachtmijmering, JOSEPH RYELANDT (1870-1965): Nocturne, 5 Phantasiestücke, ARTHUR DE GREEF (1862-1940): Coucher de Soleil, PETER BENOIT (1834-1901): Third Fantasy. Flemish composers are suddenly everywhere in these pages and this new release makes a fine companion to last month's Phaedra disc of piano works by Jongen, De Vocht and (again) Mortelmans. Van Eechaute's suite, the longest work here, is very much in the style of Ravel while De Greef's "Sunset" mixes late Romanticism with Impressionism (Mortelmans is in the same stylistic territory also). Firmly in the Romantic school are Benoit and Ryelandt, the latter's Phantasiestücke showing its Schumannian and Brahmsian heritage throughout. Peter Vanhove (piano). Pavane ADW 7463 (Belgium) 10E013 $15.98

Missa Mexicana

JUAN GUTIÉRREZ DE PADILLA (c.1590-1664): Missa Ego flos campi, Villancico, Jácaras, Corrente, Cumbées, Marizápalos and Guaracha by Francisco Escalada (fl.1677), Santiago de Murcia (fl. 1714), Juan Cabanilles (1644-1712), Francisco de Vidales (d.1702), Joan Cererols (1618-1676), Miguel Pérez de Zavala (fl.1690) and Juan García de Zéspedes (1619-1678). A recreation of a mass as it might have been performed in 17th century Mexico with the body of the work, Padilla's Missa Ego flos campi, decorated by various local dances (both instrumental and sung). The latter were designed to give the locals something with which they were familiar and allow the performers here to use a quartet of Mexican baroque guitars along with the usual early baroque instrumentarium. Spanish-English texts. The Harp Consort; Andrew Lawrence-King. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907293 (U.S.A.) 10E014 $17.98

ANTONIO CALDARA (1671-1736): 5 Trio Sonatas from Op. 1, Cello Sonatas Nos. 5 & 14, Chiacona, Op. 2/12. Caldara's op. 1 was published in 1693 and show a genial contrapuntal talent with a not-too-personal expressiveness and the liberation of the cello from its continuo role (they were probably composed for church use with the composer playing the cello). The 16 (!) cello sonatas were published in 1735 and are regarded as the most significant such collection of the baroque period after those of Vivaldi and Costanzi; dance-like finales, opening and slow movements like opera seria arias and galant-like second movements show how far the composer had come in his career. Parnassi musici. CPO 999 871 (Germany) 10E015 $15.98

LOUIS-NICOLAS CLÉRAMBAULT (1676-1749): Cantatas: Orphée, L'Isle de Délos, Trio Sonatas in E Minor & in G "La félicité", Harpichord Suite in C Minor. Clérambault's reputation was made with his cantatas (there are 25 of them) and the 1710 Orphée is a benchmark for the genre, mixing psychological subtlety with the depiction of a vast range of emotions. The trio sonatas are relatively unassuming, charming works as is the early (1704) harpsichord suite. French texts. Ann Monoyios (soprano), Les Coucous Bénévoles. CBC Records Musica Viva MVCD 1152 (Canada) 10E016 $16.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Suite Burlesque de Quixotte in G, Suite in A for Vioin, Strings and Continuo, Concerto in D for Strings and Continuo, Suite in D for Viola da Gamba, Stings and Continuo, Suite in A Minor for Strings and Continuo. Although the Don Quixotte suite has become somewhat popular in recordings, most of the rest of the pieces on this disc are much less well-known and two are recorded from manuscript. The D major concerto is a rare departure from the suite format, being in the four-movement sonata da chiesa style; the suite in A minor follows the Cervantes-inspired work in moving away from dance movements to a sequence of character pieces while the other two suites (each with a prominent solo instrument) are more in the French style of sequences of dances. Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble. BIS CD-1226 (Sweden) 10E017 $17.98

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Overtures in C, BWV119[a], in B Flat, BWV 97[a], No. 1 in C, BWV 1066, No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1067[a], No. 3 in D , BWV 1068[a] & No. 4 in D, BWV 1069[a]. First recordings of Rampe's reconstructions of the original versions of Bach's four known overtures (here in instrumentation for two oboes, two violins, viola, bassoon and harpsichord (No. 1), solo violin, two violins, viola and continuo (No. 2), two oboes, bassoon, two violins, viola and continuo (No. 3) and three oboes, bassoon, two violins, viola and continuo (No. 4)) and two cantata movements which have been proved to be movements of other, no longer extant overtures. 2 CDs. Nova Stravaganza; Siegbert Rampe (harpsichord). MD&G 341 1131-2 (Germany) 10E018 $35.98

VINCENZO ALBRICI (1631-1690/96): 10 Concerti sacri for 1, 2, 3 Voices and Instruments. This practically unknown Italian composer spent time in both Germany and England but the longest portion of his career in any one place was 15 years in Dresden. These sacred concertos are drawn from these years and show his introduction of a harmonic idiom completely different from that used by Schütz in his sacred concerti and a strong sense of drama. Cappella Augustana; Matteo Messori. Musica Rediviva MRCD 008 (Sweden) 10E019 $16.98

PHILIPPE DUGUÉ (?-?): Sonate en Trio, Op. 4, Nos. 1 & 4, CHARLES BUTERNE (?-?): Sonata, Op. 2/4, JEAN-BAPTISTE DUPUITS (?-1759): Sonata No. 1, Op. 3, JACQUES CHRISTOPHE NAUDOT (1762-?): Sonate en Trio, Op. 14/4, JEAN-NOËL MARCHAND (1700-1781?): Duo Op. 1/3,, RAVET (?-?): Sonate "La Champetre", Op. 2, CHARLES BÂTON (?-1758): Sonata Op. 3/6. Stereotyped in its time as a melancholy and monotonous instrument which beggars played in the street to arouse pity in passers-by, the vielle à roue, to give it its French name, is featured in this delightful collection of French baroque pieces by (mostly) anonymous composers. Matthias Loibner, Riccardo Delfino (hurdy-gurdys), Laurent Le Chenadec (bassoon), Thomas Wimmer (viola da gamba), Norbert Zeilberger (harpsichord). CPO 999 864 (Germany) 10E020 $15.98

GEORG DONBERGER (1709-1768): Missa Dominus fortitudo mea in E Minor, Te Deum in C, FRANZ TUMA (1704-1774): Sonata in E Minor for 2 Violins, Trombone and Continuo, JOHANN GEORG ZECHNER (1716-1778): Cantilena de B.M.V. for Alto, 2 Violins and Continuo, JOHANN ADAM SCHEIBL (1710-1773): Concerto for Organ, Strings and Continuo in F. This collection presents composers who were all active around the same time in Vienna. As was common at the time in performances, Donberger's 1759 mass (still very much in the late baroque style of his teacher Caldara) has Tuma's sonata inserted after the Gloria and Zechner's aria after the Credo with the Scheibl organ concerto following the mass as accompaniment to the communion. Ibolya Verebics (soprano), Sibylle Kamphues (alto), Christoph Wittmann (tenor), Yuli Alexandrovich Khomenko (bass), Freiburger Domkapelle, Concilium Musicum Wien; Paul Angerer. Ars Musici AM 1330-2 (Germany) 10E021 $17.98

FRANCISCO CORSELLI (1705-1778): Overtures and 2 Marches from Achille in Sciro and Il Farnace, Overture to Santa Clotilde, Christmas Cantata A ti, invisible Ruiseñor Canoro, Cantata Hasta aquí, Dios amante, Lectio segundo in Sabato Sancto. Just last month we offered a Vivaldi disc of Il Farnace with Corselli's "implants"; now we have a whole disc of music by this early Classical composer, born in Italy but resident in Spain whose contrasts of dynamics and soloistic use of winds point ahead to high Classicism. Spanish-English texts. Nuria Rial (soprano), El Concierto Español; Emilio Moreno. Glossa GCD 920307 (Spain) 10E022 $18.98

EGIDIO ROMUALDO DUNI (1709-1775): Giuseppe Riconosciuto. Duni was known as one of the fathers of the opéra comique in France but this "azione sacra" dates from just before his departure for Paris in 1758. Although in the traditional two parts and recitative-aria form (with a duet ending the first part and chorus ending the second), Duni exhibits both some stylistic features of the Neapolitan school as well as some passages of extraordinary modernity. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Nicola Sette (tenor), Assia Polio (mezzo), Rossella Ressa (soprano), Orchestra Barocca del Festival Duni di Mater; Vito Paternoster. Bongiovanni GB 2305/6 (Italy) 10E023 $33.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Violin Sonatas in C & in D Minor, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Violin Sonatas No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1014, No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1018 & No. 6 in G, BWV 1019. Collectors of C.P.E. will want to overlook the Papa Bach sonatas and snap up the two (of eight) sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord which date from 1745 and 1731 (rev. 1747) and which have all the style and substance one would expect of this composer at that period. Jacqueline Ross (violin), David Ponsford (harpsichord). ASV Gaudeamus GAU 308 (England) 10E024 $16.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA CIRRI (1724-1808): 6 Cello Concertos, Op. 14. Cirri spent much of his career in London, taking part in the famous Bach-Abel concerts at which the 8-year-old Mozart performed among other things. These concertos were published there in 1780 and the technical demands on the soloist are comparable to those Boccherini makes while the melodic and motivic invention are delectable. 2 CDs. Aura Musicale; Balázs Máté (cello). Hungaroton HCD 32125/6 (Hungary) 10E025 $33.98

LEOPOLD HOFMANN (1738-1793): Oboe Concertos in C and in G, Concertos for Oboe and Harpsichord in F and in C. Hofmann is really getting the star treatment from Naxos, which is only fitting since he was the most prolific and popular composer of concertos in Vienna in the mid-18th century. The oboe/harpsichord concertos are unusual in their instrumentation and are rich in melodic invention, colorful solo parts and technical resource while the oboe concertos have all of the above and particularly gravely beautiful adagios. Stefan Schilli (oboe), Jenö Jandó (harpsichord), Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; Béla Drahos. Naxos 8.553979 (New Zealand) 10E026 $6.98

LUIGI CHERUBINI (1760-1842): Les deux journées. Less than a year after we offered a historical performance of this little, 3-act, 78-minute comédie lyrique on the Myto label, here comes a brand-new recording with a brilliant cast and one of the finest period-instrument ensembles around. Premiered in January 1800, this was Cherubini's greatest success in his lifetime and, during the next 30 years, was performed throughout Europe. Weber, Marschner, Spohr and Wagner all conducted it and the latter called it "one of the standard works in any well-organised operatic repertory". French-English libretto. Yann Beuron (tenor), Mireille Delunsch (soprano), Andreas Schmidt (bass), Chorus Musicus Köln, Das Neue Orchester; Christoph Spering. Opus 111 OP 30306 (France) 10E027 $17.98

JOHANN RUDOLF ZUMSTEEG (1760-1802): Die Entführung, Des Pfarreres Tochter von Taubenhain. This carries, inexplicably, a 1983 publication date and, since this is so far back into my youth, I can't possibly tell whether Records International's predecessors offered it. However, we have here two ballads from 1794 and 1792 respectively, which are the pioneering and ancestral works to which both the young Schubert (Hagars Klage of 1814) and, especially Loewe (see cpo's continuing ballad cycle) looked as models for the ghastly, bizarre, gruesome and nocturnal sound-worlds with an orchestral piano sound, dramatically impressionistic picture-setting, urgent declamation and abrupt changes of expression (see Schubert's Schiller settings of Die Bürgschaft and Der Tauscher). German-English texts. Bernd Weikl (baritone), Wolfgang Sawallisch (piano). Orfeo C 074 021 A (Germany) 10E028 $18.98

JOHANN EVANGELIST BRANDL (1760-1837): Bassoon Quintets in B Flat, Op. 14, in B Flat, Op. 52/1 & in F Minor, Op. 52/2. The op. 52 quintets are separated from their disc-mate by 26 years yet all three are in clear Classical style with no hints of Romanticism. The 1798 work uses the bassoon in concertante fashion and folkish melodies predominate while the later two add a fourth movement and are formally more predictable. Calamus Ensemble. MD&G 603 1133-2 (Germany) 10E029 $17.98

JOHANN BAPTIST CRAMER (1771-1858): Piano Concertos No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 16, No. 7 in E, Op. 56 & No. 8 in D Minor, Op. 70. Cramer considered himself a "latter-day Mozartean" and his concertos, all written for himself, are conservative, graceful, elegant and clear in style and form. The second (1797) and seventh (1816) are still quite evidently in the late Mozartian, early Beethovenian classical mode but the eighth (probably composed around 1820) is a highly original, experimental piece which, if its date of composition is correctly assumed, is a precursor of such pieces as Weber's Konzerstück, Mendelssohn's first concerto and the concertos of Liszt. This is its world premiere recording. London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 10005 (England) 10E030 $17.98

CONRADIN KREUTZER (1780-1849): Duo in C for 2 Clarinets, 6 Waltzes for Wind Sextet and Contrabass, JOSEPH KREUTZER (1790-1840): Trios for Flute, Clarinet and Guitar, Op. 16 & Op. 9/3. An hour's worth of sheer musical pleasure from the Kreutzer brothers - salon music or background music, to be sure, but tuneful and delightful stuff nevertheless and an ideal way to cleanse the listening palette. Italian Classical Consort. Bayer Records 100 343 (Germany) 10E031 $16.98

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Ivanhoé. In 1826, Rossini was commissioned to write a "pastiche" on this novel which was that period's "international best-seller". The term describes the compilation of a new work from elements of pre-existing works. Here Rossini used only his own compositions, using pieces of Semiramide, La Cenerentola, Bianca e Faliero, Armida, Maometto II, Aureliano in Palmira, La gazza ladra, Sigismondo, Torvaldo e Dorliska, Mosè and Tancredi, adding some recitative and a few minor orchestral parts. In effect, this was a "greatest hits" compliation for its time and the rarity of some of its sources allow us to enjoy it as such today. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Simon Edwards (tenor), Inga Balabanova (soprano), Soon-Won Kang (bass), Bratislava Chamber Choir, Orchestra Internationale d'Italia; Paolo Arrivabeni. Dynamic CDS 397/1-2 (Italy) 10E032 $35.98

ALBERTO MAZZUCATO (1813-1877): Messa Solenne for Soloists, Male Chorus and Orchestra. Mazzucato's mass does not indulge in the then-popular style of pouring operatic arias, passion and color into a sacred vessel and calling it a mass. Rather, he uses a polyphonic style of great intensity, arias of great expressivity without being vehicles for virtuosity to achieve a dignified result. Riccardo Botta (tenor), Massimiliano Fichera (baritone), Enrico Giuseppe Iori (bass), Coro Polifonico di Ruda, I Virtuosi de Aquileia; Daniele Zanettovich. Bongiovanni GB 2311 (Italy) 10E033 $16.98

ANTONIO BAZZINI (1818-1897): String Quartets Nos. 1-6. Bazzini wrote his quartets after his retirement from the concert stage (they date from 1864-92). As the Austro-German tradition was practically the only one to look to for guidance in the genre, these quartets are predominantly in the mood, style and manner of Schumann, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms (the last quartet seems to be an old man's fond nostalgia for the lost world of Viennese Classicism) and only once, in the sixth quartet's third movement saltarello, does Bazzini acknowledge any Italian musical heritage. 3 CDs. Venice String Quartet. Dynamic CDS 418/1-3 (Italy) 10E034 $53.98

GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1821-1889): Grand Duo Concertante for Violin, Double Bass and Orchestra, Passioni amorose for Cello, Double Bass and Orchestra, Gran Duetto for Clarinet, Double Bass and Orchestra, Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra. A more varied example of works from this contrabass specialist than one might have expected makes for enjoyable listening. Michael Rieber (double bass), Ingolf Turban (violin), Yves Savary (cello), Nicole Kern (clarinet), Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen; Martin Studer. EBS 6126 (Germany) 10E035 $17.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): 6 Etudes, Op. 23, 6 Barcarolles, Opp. 30/1, 45bis, 50/3, in G, Op. 93/4 & Op. 104/4. The etudes, from 1849-50, fulfil all expectations of virtuosic grandeur and, sometimes, appalling difficulty while the Barcarolles, composed over a period of 33 years, are often sad, always eloquent and show the qualities of maturity and reflection which make a perfect counterpart to the fireworks of the études. Alexander Paley (piano). Marco Polo 8.223894 (New Zealand) 10E036 $15.98

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880): Souvenir de Posen, Op. 3, Kujawiak in A Minor, Polonaise brillante in D, Op. 4, Souvenir de Moscou, Op. 6, Capriccio-Valse in E, Op. 7, Romance sans paroles in D Minor, Op. 9, 8 Études-Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 10, Le Carnaval russe, Op. 11, 2 Mazurkas de salon, Op. 12, Scherzo-Tarantelle in G Minor, Op. 16, Thème original varié, Op. 15, Légende, Op. 17, 8 Études-Caprices for 2 Violins, Op. 18, 2 mazourkas caractéristiques, Op. 19, Fantaisie brillante sur "Faust", Op. 20, Grande Polonaise de concert in A, Op. 21, Gigue in E Minor, Op. 23. Whether or not this are all of it, there are 156 minutes worth of Wieniawski's music for solo violin, two violins and violin/piano here, performed by four Polish violinists and which represent both virtuosic display pieces and character/salon style pieces - probably the most complete collection you can get in one place. 2 CDs. Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Bartlomiej Niziol, Piotr Plawner, Daniel Stabrawa (violin), Elzbieta Stabrawa, Andrzej Tatarski (piano). CD Accord ACD 106-2 (Poland) 10E037 $35.98

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): Kol Nidrei for Viola and Piano, Op. 47, Romance for Viola and Piano, Op. 85, 6 Pieces for Piano, Op. 12, 8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83. Bruch's Kol Nidrei (1881), originally for cello and orchestra, is played in this viola/piano version by the composer himself, the melodies used coming from an 1815 collection of Hebrew melodies and from the Service of Atonement. Dating from just after Bruch's retirement in 1911, the Romance has a heart-easing beauty. The op. 83 Pieces are well-known but the op. 12 piano cycle (1860) is one of only four keyboard works by the composer. Charming and often naïve, they suggest Mendelssohn and the Schumann of Kinderszenen. Plane-Dukes-Rahman Trio. ASV DCA 1133 (England) 10E038 $16.98

ALBÉRIC MAGNARD (1865-1914): Hymne à la justice, Op. 14, Suite dans le style ancien, Op. 2, Chant funèbre, Op. 9, Ouverture, Op. 10, Hymne à Venus, Op. 17. Except for the symphonies, these five works make up all of Magnard's oeuvre for orchestra: the early, chamber-orchestra-sized Suite of 1888 which demonstrates his skill and ability to write charming pastiches, the Chant funèbre (1895) a tragic 16-minute tribute to his father, the very obscure Ouverture from the same year, bright and vigorous tailing off into a long, calm epilogue, the 1902 hymn to Justice (inspired by the Dreyfus affair) whose intense colors and emotions border on the over-the-top and the 1904 hymn to Venus, a lyrical, poetic work which moves between poles of female tenderness and virile passion. Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Mark Stringer. Timpani 1C1037 (France) 10E039 $18.98

ERNEST FANELLI (1860-1917): 3 Tableaux symphoniques from Le Roman de la Momie, LOUIS-ALBERT BOURGAULT-DUCOUDRAY (1840-1910): Rhapsodie cambodienne. Fanelli's 50-minute set of tableaux (two parts, three pieces in each part) were inspired by Théophile Gautier's 19th century novel "The Romance of the Mummy", a typical example of the French rage for orientalism. Hailed by Antheil as a precursor of musical impressionism, Fanelli provides a rich score (1883-6) which seems to anticipate, among others, Debussy, Respighi, Bartók and Stravinsky and is one of the earliest examples of French music where tone-painting is abandoned for pure sound and instrumental color. The accompanying rhapsody (1882) is more romantic in its use of authentic Cambodian melodies but is none the less enjoyable for that. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Marco Polo 8.225234 (New Zealand) 10E040 $15.98

SIEGFRIED WAGNER (1869-1930): Scenes and Arias for Soprano from Der Schmied von Marienburg, Op. 13, Der Kobold, Op. 3, Sternengebot, Op. 5, Schwarzschwanenreich, Op. 7, Der Heidenkönig, Op. 9, Der Friedensengel, Op. 10, Rainulf and Adelasia, Op. 14 and Sonnenflammen, Op. 8. The soprano parts in Siegfried Wagner's operas cover a broad spectrum although many of them are, at bottom, child-women burdened by fate who lose their innocence mostly through disappointment in love. This series of newly-recorded arias continues to be a gold mine for collectors who don't want to invest in the complete operas being recorded by Marco Polo and cpo (the latter has Die heilige Linde coming soon). German-English texts. Dagmar Schellenberger (soprano), WDR Rundfunkchor Köln, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 794 (Germany) 10E041 $15.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Cello Sonatas No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 28 & No. 3 in F, Op. 78, Caprice & Kleine Romanze, Op. 79e, Caprice in A Minor. The second volume of works for cello and piano brings the 1898 second sonata which sounds fairly Brahmsian though a bit chromatic to us but which infuriated critics at the time, and the 1905 third with its odd, furtively nocturnal second movement and variation form third reminding us of the many marvelous variation works Reger wrote between 1903-05. Five-and-a-half minutes of lighter Reger is included as a filler. Reimund Korupp (cello), Rudolf Meister (piano). CPO 999 884 (Germany) 10E042 $15.98

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Symphony in F Sharp Minor, Op. 143, Cathedral Windows, Op. 106, Canzone in G Flat, Jesu, Op. 46b, meine Freunde, Op. 87/2. The half-hour long symphony, of 1930, was never published or performed during the composer's lifetime but it is one of his most engaging works, technically demanding and colorful. The Cathedral Windows (1923) uses mostly Christmas melodies of Gregorian origin for a six-piece suite of elegant, impressionistic, chamber-like music while the second chorale from op. 87 is itself almost a symphony, with a ghostly and cataclysmic Inferno, a heavenly Canzone and a lively, dance-like fugal finale. Hans Fagius (Frobenius organ of Aarhus Cathedral). BIS CD-1184 (Sweden) 10E043 $17.98

Swedish Turn of the Century - Vols. 2-4

TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Poem, Capriccio Amoroso, EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): 2 Lyrical Pieces, 4 Songs (transcr. Tor Aulin), WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): 2 Sentimental Romances, Op. 28, KARL VALENTIN (1853-1918): Adagio, Op. 17, Sonata movement, AXEL RAOUL WACHTMEISTER (1865-1947): On th eWater, To Mrs. Ebba Nissen. We offered volume one of this series way back in 1999 and are glad to finally have the rest of it in stock. Like the Phono Suecia release below, these pieces for violin and piano were composed almost exclusively for private performance by middle-class amateurs. Some of these pieces are well-known but most are rarely played; all, however, are romantic, full of melody and revealing of the particular personality of their composer. Semmy Stahlhammer (violin), Love Derwinger (piano). Nosag CD 033 (Sweden) 10E044 $16.98

TOR AULIN (1866-1914): 4 Pieces, Op. 16, TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Partita, Suite, EMIL SJÖGREN (1853-1918): Poem, GUNNAR EK (b.1900): Fantasy, GUNNAR DE FRUMERIE (1908-1987): Andante serioso, Op. 67b, ERLAND VON KOCH (b.1910): Cantilena, 2 Dances, Sicilienne, RICHARD OHLSSON (1874-1940): Berceuse, MOSES PERGAMENT (1893-1977): Menuett, Chanson, Romance, Canzonetta, Valse Melancolique, WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Suite, HEINZ PROVOST (1890-1959): Intermezzo, HILDING ROSENBERG (1892-1985): Suite. Since the first two volumes of this series went alphabetically from A-W, we must be thankful for their success, which caused another two well-filled discs of this attractive, stylistically variegated music of Nordic Romanticism. 2 CDs Semmy Stahlhammer (violin), Elisabeth Boström, Love Derwinger (piano). Nosag CD 2048 (Sweden) 10E045 $33.98

Swedish Piano Music 1910-1945 - Vol. 2

WILLIAM SEYMER (1890-1964): Summer Sketches, Op. 11, INGMAR MILVEDEN (b.1920): Sonatina, OLALLO MORALES (1874-1957): 2 Fantasies, Op. 15, TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Fiddler's Springtime, HENNING MANKELL (1898-1930): 2 Nocturnes, KNUT HÅKANSON (1887-1929): 10 Variations and Fugue on a Swedish Folk Song. Most often heard in middle-class salons, these romantic character pieces are firmly in the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann while incorporating the folk influences from Grieg and the "Nordic Impressionism" of Rangström and Peterson-Berger. Even the Spanish-born Morales' sonorous and impulsive fantasies of 1920 have a Nordic sound in addition to influences from French Impressionism and his native Spain. Niklas Sivelöv (piano). Phono Suecia/Musica Sveciae PSCD 718 (Sweden) 10E046 $16.98

Acte Prealable New Releases from Poland

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): S. Casimiro, Rè di Polonia. Why Scarlatti from Poland? This 1705 oratorio may have been inspired by the queen of Poland who, after the death of her husband in 1697, moved to Rome. This recording was prepared from manuscript and there is no record of the work having been performed at least in the 20th century. The work is designed as a series of secco recitatives and arias with two duets and the "characters" are personifications of virtuous and sinful qualities in the soul of Poland's patron saint, Casimir. The style of baroque opera predominates, with the profane "characters", as often, getting the fast, exciting and colorful parts. Italian-English texts. Krzysztof Szmyt (tenor), Anna Mikolajczyk (soprano), Marcin Ciszewski (contralto), baroque orchestra; Jerzy Zak (lute). Acte Prealable AP0025 (Poland) 10E047 $16.98

Ignacy Feliks DobrzyÒski (1807-1867): String Sextet in E Flat, Op. 39, JÓZEF ELSNER (1769-1857): Septet in D for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, String Trio and Double Bass. If you enjoyed the Dobrzynski string quintets we offered last month, the 1849 sextet with its virtuosic violin parts and plentiful use of Polish folk motifs, will bring just as much pleasure. Elsner's septet, from 1830, is quiteunusual in that the piano is not used as a solo instrument - it often seems to be merely another part of the bass line although it is liberated somewhat in the slow movement (unusual particularly since Elsner is often credited with being Chopin's teacher!). Magdalena Adamek (piano), Camerata Vistula; Andrzej Wróbel. Acte Prealable AP0067 (Poland) 10E048 $16.98

PAWEL KOCHANSKI (1887-1934): Down, Wild Dance, Flight, ANTONI SZALOWSKI (1907-1973): Suite for Violin and Piano, KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937): Roksana's Song from King Roger, Dance from Harnasie, JOAQUÎN NIN (1879-1949): 4 Spanish Songs, Andaluz from Spanish Suite, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Suite from El amor brujo, Spanish Songs. This is a tribute to the violinist Pawel Kochanski, all of the works here either transcribed by him, composed by him or dedicated to him. His own set of three pieces date from 1920 and are virtuosic etudes for his own use on stage (Szymanowski wrote the piano parts but claimed no credit to avoid problems with his publisher). The Falla "Spanish Songs" are six of the seven Canciones populares españolas; Nin's songs add virtuosity to the simple old Castilian melodies in Kochanski's transcriptions while the Spaniard dedicated Andaluz to the Pole. The young Szalowski dedicated his 1931 suite (an introduction, aria, dance and toccata with much bitonality) to Kochanski. Malina Sarnowska (violin), Agata Józwik (piano). Acte Prealable AP0061 (Poland) 10E049 $16.98

KAROL RATHAUS (1895-1954): String Quartets No. 3, Op. 41, No. 4, Op. 59 & No. 5, Op. 72. Polyphony and intensive motivic transformation play important roles in Rathaus' quartets. They are atonal although actual dodecaphony only appears in the fifth quartet; the others flirt with tonal relations and feature intricate rhythmic play and the layering of the different voices in a Bartókian fashion. Rathaus' voice is that of expressionism and late Romanticism, transformed by the currents of the German avant-garde of the 10s and 20s and his third quartet, in particular, has a constant sense of unease, anxiety and mystery while the fourth is the most harmonically consolidated and friendly to the ear. World premiere recordings. Amar Corde Quartet. Acte Prealable AP0069 (Poland) 10E050 $16.98

PIOTR PERKOWSKI (1901-1989): Les Masques, 4 Krakowiaki, Op. 12, Easy Pieces, Sonata, Op. 8. One of Perkowski's teachers was Szymanowski and there is some of that composer's influence here, especially in the set of 14 Masques, written between the World Wars. The sonata, a 19-minute work from 1926, is more influenced by post-Impressionist French composers although Perkowski's great Polish teacher also has a look-in. The Easy Pieces are bright and characteristic of their type, as are the set of four Polish dances. With no modernistic influences or tendencies, this should appeal to collectors of both French and Polish piano music of the 20th century. Marcin Lukaszewski (piano). Acte Prealable AP0072 (Poland) 10E051 $16.98

EDWARD PALLASZ (b.1936): 13 Songs, JOSÉ DE LIMA SIQUEIRA (b.1907): 4 Songs, MANUEL M. PONCE (1882-1948): 4 Songs, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): 7 Canciones populares Españolas. This unusual song collection's common thread is folk-song, with Falla's well-known cycle leading the way for works in similar vein by the Mexican Poncé and the Brazilian composer who visits Afro-Brazilian folk material for his short set. The Pole Pallasz offers 13 songs and his range of expression is wider, moving from Polish folk elements to a more French affect. Texts in original languages. Ewona Sawulska (soprano), Jolanta Skorek-Münch (piano). Acte Prealable AP0063 (Poland) 10E052 $16.98

KRZYSZTOF MEYER (b.1943): Concerto retro for Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harpsichord, Op. 39, Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 5, Sonata for Solo Flute, Op. 52, Au delà d'une absence (String Quartet No. 16), Op. 89. Meyer can produce music of some complexity and modernity but, except for the early (1962) piano sonata which is strictly dodecaphonic, this music is tonal (neo-classical in the Concerto retro of 1976 which is a delightful, relaxed six-movement suite in the baroque style which so many Polish composers seem to enjoy doing). The Au delà... is a tribute to the quartet cycle of Shostakovich; the 16th quartet reference in the work's title refers to the next in the series of 24 quartets the great Russian composer would have written had he lived long enough and Meyer has written a quasi-Shostakovichian piece which, however, is rather more relaxed and genial than many listeners would associate with that composer. Wilanów Quartet, Elzbieta Gajewska (flute), Krzysztof Meyer (piano, harpsichord). Acte Prealable AP0076 (Poland) 10E053 $16.98

ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): 7 Folk Songs for Soprano and Piano, A Small Sonata for Piano, Erotyki for Soprano and Piano, Musica Concertante for Piano, Pastorale e Danza for Violin and Piano, Michelangelo Sonnets for Baritone and Piano, Espressioni for Violin and Piano, 3 Don Quichote Sonnets after Cervantes for Baritone and Piano, Piano Trio. Most of these works are traditional in language, the folk songs being straightforward harmonizations and the other song cycles no more avant-garde in their techniques than Shostakovich. The most advanced language is to be found in the 1990 Espressioni which uses some aleatoric techniques but the other instrumental works are all very approachable and show the care for form and clarity one would expect from a Boulanger student. No texts. Malgorzata Armanowska (soprano), Józef Frankstein (bass-baritone), Magdalena Adamek, Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha (piano), Warsaw Trio. Acte Prealable AP0059 (Poland) 10E054 $16.98

RACHEL KNOBLER (b.1924): 7 Songs for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, 2 Vocalises, Solo Viola: Elegy, 2 Nigguns, Improovisations. Knobler was a Polish Jew who lost most of her family in the Holocaust. The songs and the two vocalises here date from 1986-98 and, while owing their general character to late Romanticism, are derived from Chassidic culture and, in the case of the vocalises, chant. The solo viola compositions likewise deal with the loneliness and isolation of the individual and his desire for union with God - prayers in instrumental form. The predominant mood is contemplative and sorrowful, the work of a humanist with some faith still left in her fellow humanity. German-Polish texts. Agnieszka Monasterska (mezzo), Boguslawa Hubisz-Sielska (viola), Mariusz Sielski (piano). Acte Prealable AP0057 (Poland) 10E055 $16.98

MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): Organ Music, Vol. 2 - Surrexit Christus hodie, Ecce lignum Crucis, Lamentacje, 4 Partitas. We offered the first volume of Sawa's organ music in 1999, introducing collectors to the mixture of traditional sources (Polish church songs, Gregorian chant and folk music) and modern compositional techniques in the manner of Messiaen and, say, Petr Eben. The 1978 "Lamentation" is the most striking and emotional work here, full of awe-inspiring effects in its desire to depict an atmosphere of fear and terror. The remainder of the program uses the above-mentioned sources in suites of (mostly) quite, contemplative music, the 1989 Surrext Christus hodie being an exception in its masterful building of tension and release. Marietta Kruzel-Sosnowska (Hillenbrand organ of the Lutheran Holy Trinity Church, Warsaw and Kaminski organ of St. Andrzej Bobola Church, Warsaw). Acte Prealable AP0068 (Poland) 10E056 $16.98

ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): Solo Chorus: 6 Orthodox Carols, Alleluia, Chwalitie Imia Gospdnie, Blazen muz, Osanna II, Woskreseinije Christowo, Wsiakoje dychanije, Mala Liturgia Prawoslawna for Chorus and Orchestra, LUDOMIR MICHAL ROGOWSKI (1881-1954): All-Night Vigil (final movement). Various choruses, Capella Bydgostiensis. This is Orthodox sacred music which should appeal to collectors of such works by Russian and Bulgarian composers. Particularly noteworthy is Twardoski's "Small Orthodox Liturgy" which includes and orchestra and which begins in the grave serious manner of Janacek's Glagolitic Mass and ends up in a bright spirit of rejoicing which is like the 20th century equivalent of the 18th century Czech pastoral masses. Rogowski's piece was written on the murder of the King of Yugoslavia in 1934 and is full of mourning and darkness (this is performed here by a Belgrade choir; most of these pieces were recorded at a choral festival in Poland with different groups for each work). Acte Prealable AP0058 (Poland) 10E057 $16.98

MIECZYSLAW SURZYNSKI (1866-1924): Concerto for Organ and Orchestra in G Minor, Op. 35, Improvisations, Op. 36, Improvisations on the Polish Sacred Song "O Holy God", Op. 38, Sonata in D Minor, Op. 34. The 1904 concerto was believed lost in a fire at the Warsaw Philharmonic in 1939 but a copy turned up in Poznan in 1990, leading to a new edition and the present recording. A noble first theme is balanced by a joyous, melodic second in the sweeping first movement, a short, pastoral scherzo follows and the finale uses quotations from Polish patriotic songs in a grand manner before the whole work ends in a more tragic mood. This will fit right in with the major French organ concertos of its period in your collections and its solo companions also satisfyingly mix a Slavonic voice with the grand French manner. Jerzy Dziubinski (Hillenbrand organ of the Lutheran Holy Trinity Church, Warsaw), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Jacek Rogala. Dux 0360 (Poland) 10E058 $16.98

ANTÔNIO FRANCISCO BRAGA (1868-1945): Jupyra - Opera in One Act, Cauchemar for Orchestra. The next in BIS' series of Brazilian music brings us an 1899 opera about the clash of native cultures with that of the urban European colonists in music which blends the style of Brazilian popular songs with Italian verismo elements and a synthesis of European trends going back to Braga's teacher Massenet. Cauchemar is a brief (7-minute) 1895 tone poem inspired by a quotation from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", whole romantic in both theme and composition. Italian libretto. Eliane Coelho (soprano), Mario Carrara (tenor), Phillip Joll (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of São Paolo; John Neschling. BIS CD-1280 (Sweden) 10E059 $17.98

JEAN CRAS (1879-1932): Piano Quintet, String Quartet No. 1 "À ma Bretagne". Fine examples of this naval officer's sensuous love affair with the joy of composition and with his native Brittany, the 1909 quartet clear, simple and warm, the 1922 quintet much more colorful, with the exotic colors of North Africa and the clear air and surge of the sea sharing pride of place. Quatuor Louvigny, Alain Jacquon (piano). Timpani 1C1066 (France) 10E060 $18.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Symphony No. 3 "A Guerra", Symphony No. 9, Ouverture de l'Homme Tel. The 1919 third symphony, subtitled "The War" was meant to convey the composer's impressions and feelings of World War I and formed the first part of a trilogy (No. 4 "Victory" and No. 5 "Peace" followed). Using Villa-Lobos' customary large orchestra, the work begins with a first movement evoking normal life in peacetime; a short scherzo subtitled "Intrigues and Whispers" leads to the huge slow movement (almost half the length of the whole symphony) "Suffering" which depicts the horrors of war while the finale "Battle"continues the onslaught of devatastion and misery. Far removed is the much shorter (only 19 minutes) four-movement ninth symphony (1952) which was premiered by Ormandy in Philadelphia and which is entirely abstract in concept but full of easily followed themes with the manner never departing much from Romanticism and Impressionism. The odd little overture, orchestrated in 1952 from a 1929 work, is in the style of the Parisian avant-garde and, yes, the William Tell theme does get tweaked toward the end. Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Carl St. Clair. CPO 999 712 (Germany) 10E061 $15.98

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 130 "Aurora Borealis", Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger for 2 Pianos and Orchestra. The Variations of 1939 is a 31-minute double piano concerto in a single movement which allows the composer's fantasy full rein with a Hardanger tune sung to him by a dairy-maid near a huge glacier. Free and rhapsodic, variations come and go, some return, some are brief, others much longer but the flow of gorgeous romantic-tinged music never ends. The piano concerto, one of four to have survived his catastrophic house fire, dates from 1947. Its three movements ("The Northern Lights awakening above the autumn colors"; "Glittering in the winter heavens" and "Fading away in the bright night of spring") tell you all you need to know about the inspiration, for which Tveitt provided much brilliant piano pyrotechnics, the result seeming to run the gamut from a Griegian Nordic romanticism all the way to moments of Messiaenic transcendance and joy in the pure sound of the piano. Håvard Gimse, Gunilla Süssmann (pianos), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset. Naxos 8.555761 (New Zealand) 10E062 $6.98

LYUBOMIR PIPKOV (1904-1974): Symphony No. 4, LAZAR NIKOLOV (b.1922): Meditations, DIMITAR TAPKOFF (b.1929): Microsymphony, SIMEON PIRONKOFF (1927-1999): Requiem for an Unknown Young Man. All these pieces are for string orchestra with Pipkov's being the earliest in style (no date is given for it), rather like a combination of Stravinsky and Honegger and very like many of the works for strings written during the mid-century for Paul Sacher in Basel. Tapkoff's Microsymphony (1992) mixes tonality and aleatory techniques in its brief, 8-minute length; Nikolov's Meditiations is a transcription on his 1970 String Quartet No. 2 and uses 12-tone methods which, nevertheless, still carry the sound of tonality while Pironkoff uses the most up-to-date techniques of his time (the work was composed in 1968), being especially reminiscent of what Penderecki was up to at the same period. Sofia Soloists; Plamen Djurov. Gega GD 273 (Bulgaria) 10E063 $16.98

ELISABETTA BRUSA (b.1954): Firelights, Adagio, Wedding Song, Requiescat, Suite Grotesque, Favole. As in the first volume of this composer's works which we offered in August, neo-romanticism, a bit of minimalism and a lot of orchestral color clothe these short pieces often based on fables or tales (Favole literally being a sequence of seven children's stories). The Requiescat (at 16 minutes, the longest single item here) is a freely structured musical prayer inspired by the spiritual aura of many famous requiems and Brusa supplies another haunting Adagio for strings as well. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Fabio Mastrangelo. Naxos 8.555267 (New Zealand) 10E064 $6.98

JEAN DAETWYLER (1907-1994): Dialogue avec la nature for Alphorn, Piccolo and Orchestra, Concerto for Alphorn and Orchestra, FERENC FARKAS (1905-2000): Concertino Rustico for Alphorn and String Orchestra. If you didn't spring for this 14 years ago at full-price, there's no excuse now not to enjoy this huge, primitive-sounding instrument. The fact that Leopold Mozart both wrote joke pieces and wrote a piece for alphorn make one assume that this is a joke instrument but the three contemporary works demonstrate its usefulness as a concert instrument. Daetwyler's pieces evoke the relationship between man and nature and Farkas' brief essay makes particularly clever use of the alphorn's rich timbre. Jozsef Molnar (alphorn), Capella Istropolitana, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra; Urs Schneider. Original 1988 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555978 (New Zealand) 10E065 $6.98

E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Symphony in G Minor, Sinfonietta. The 1924 symphony, commissioned by Hamilton Harty has been described as "one of the finest pieces of nature music ever written" and it makes much use of Irish and Norfolk folk song in creating an evocative picture of the countryside. The Sinfonietta, of 1944, stands alone in Moeran's output as an attempt to create new forms, its orchestration being comparatively spare and, although inspired by the Shropshire countryside, its manner is much more clear and spacious. This recording will stand alongside the conductor's ongoing Bax cycle as a brilliant new interpretation of still under-recorded British music. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.555837 (New Zealand) 10E066 $6.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Sinfoniettas No. 1, Op. 48, No. 2, Op. 65 & No. 3, Op. 81, Concerto for Flute and Strings, Op. 45, Concerto for Oboe and Strings, Op. 39. For anyone who has yet to discover the wide emotional range of Arnold's personality, which can go from high spirits imbued with both folk and popular music elements to brooding seriousness and even to the brink of despair, this budget-priced issue from 1997, made after concerts at the Royal Festival Hall to celebrate the composer's 75th brithday, is just the ticket. Anna Pyne (flute), Malcolm Messiter (oboe), London Festival Orchestra; Ross Pople. Arte Nova 74321 46503 2 (Germany) 10E067 $5.98

More Music from Luxembourg

RENÉ HEMMER (b.1919): Le dernier jugement, Scènes for 15 Instruments, Nomquereine for Trumpet and Orchestra, Rotations, Une vie d'homme for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. Presented chronologically, this survey of Hemmer's orchestral works charts a clear development in his compositional style. "The Last Judgement" is a tone poem in a very Romantic mold - Richard Strauss or Franz Schmidt. Three years later he had adopted strict dodecaphony in Scènes . . ., which nonetheless has something of a neoclassical elegance and economy to it; very approachable, light and lively. Nomquereine and Rotations, also serial works, are closer to Berg in their elevated seriousness and timbral treatment of the orchestra. Already, by Rotations, though, there is an emerging sense of freedom from strict serialism, and by Une vie . . . (late 70s to mid-80s), a confident sense of emotional expressiveness not directly related to any school or doctrine has emerged, making this multi-faceted three-section exploration of the human condition, which draws on all the previous techniques and more besides, the most satisfying and original work on the disc. Jean de Ridder (trumpet), Yannchen Hoffmann (mezzo), Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg; Louis de Froment, Pierro Cao, Marcel Wengler. Editions LGNM 521 (Luxembourg) 10E068 $16.98 >

JEANNOT HEINEN (b.1937): Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 147, Fantaisie for String Orchestra, Op. 107a, Concerto for 2 Violins and Orchestra. Three violin concertos, in one sense or another, by a composer for whom the instrument is obviously of great importance (the brief biographical note does not mention whether it is or was his instrument). His writing for the soloist certainly displays great insight and compositional bravura. None of these works depart by any great distance from the traditional forms of the concerto genre, with the dialogue between soloist and orchestra always a prominent part of the argument. Rhythmic dynamism is a hallmark of the composer's style, with constantly changing meters and in fast movements, an almost frenetic energy. Dora Entcheva, Marie-Denise Heinen (violins), Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg; Manfred Honeck, Pierre Cao. Editions LGNM 531 (Luxembourg) 10E069 $16.98 >

MARCEL WENGLER (b.1946): Concerto for Oboe and Strings, Batuque for Percussion, Symphony No. 2. These three works could hardly be more strongly contrasted, but they have in common a rare and welcome characteristic; they combine considerable originality with a directness of utterance that makes them immediately appealing. Batuque could appeal to any listener, whatever their musical background; a rhythmically lively tour de force for seven percussionists, inspired by a visit to Brazil. The concerto is instantly gripping, from its first gesture, plunging the listener into the argument in media res, with no preparation or introduction, and proceeds in a dramatic narrative with a powerful climax and serene epilogue. This sense of almost cinematic narrative (and the composer has written for film, so this impression may not be illusory) is carried to further extremes in the symphony, which eschews any recognisable symphonic structure, interpreting the word as a 'sounding together' of themes and ideas, in which the 'narrative' may take unexpected turns arising from the unexpected interactions between existing material, or the introduction of new motifs, like characters in a play or film. Thus, although this is the most 'modern-sounding' of the scores here, there is never a sense of musical difficulty or complexity, as the imaginary drama always seems to act as a script to make sense of the music's progression. Fabrice Mélinon (oboe), Luxembourg Percussion, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg; Marcel Wengler. Editions LGNM 541 (Luxembourg) 10E070 $16.98 >

RENÉ MERTZIG (1911-1986): 3 Esquisses for String Orchestra, String Quartet, Piano Trio No. 2. Although the composer apparently cited Richard Strauss as his compositional 'mentor in absentia', the principal influences which can be heard in the pieces on this disc are French, although the introduction to the slow movement of the quartet, arguably the finest work here, has a whiff of Metamorphosen, or Mahler, about it. Elsewhere, there is a restless energy about this quartet, which is resolutely tonal and highly concentrated in form. The string orchestra pieces are slighter, but very atmospheric, with a hint of modality which (somewhat incongruously) suggests Vaughan Williams. The trio is very Ravelian, with an easy-going charm in the outer movements and a sense of exotic mystery in the central slow movement. Orchestre Symphonique de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg; Edgard Kauffmann and other artists. Editions LGNM 551 (Luxembourg) 10E071 $16.98 >

MARCEL WENGLER (b.1946): String Trio, VICTOR FENIGSTEIN (b.1924): String Trio, MARCEL REUTER (b.1973): String Trio, CLAUDE LENNERS (b.1956): Hinder den blitzen, rot. String trios have always tended to be the 'poor relations' of other chamber ensembles, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, but these four suggest that there really is no good musical reason for this. Fenigstein suggests that his is "From the 'cold war', a mixture of hope, mourning, melancholy, defiance . . .", and it is not particularly surprising to discover that he examines these themes in the language of Shostakovich. Wengler's, like the orchestral works on the other disc offered this month, is thoroughly worked and concentrated, with a strong sense of purpose and narrative in the constant interweaving of contrapuntal lines. Reuter's piece is more obviously 'modern', and treats the three instruments alternately as individual characters in argument, and by way of scene-setting, in slow-moving, dense and static dissonant harmony. Lenners' piece, inspired by a line of Eichendorff ("Beyond the lightnings, red") alternates powerful outbursts and dense, scurrying textures and static elements in the strongest possible contrast. Vania Lecuit (violin), Kris Landsverk (viola), Henri Foehr (cello). Anthologie de Musique Luxembourgoise Vol. 7 (Luxembourg) 10E072 $16.98 >

ROLAND WILTGEN (b.1957): Les Lunes de Jupiter, PIERRE NIMAX JR. (b.1961): Segesta, JOSEPH NICOLAUS TORNER (c.1700-1762): Suite in F, JEANNOT HEINEN (b.1937): Missa per Organo, Op. 10b, LUC ROLLINGER (b.1969): Magnificat for Organ and Male Choir. These five works exploit the somorous potential of the organ in a variety of different ways. Wiltgen's astronomical fantasia ascribes different characters to groups of Jupiter's moons - the same sort of idea as the Holst "Planets" but in post-Messiaen, post-Hubble-telescope cinematic terms. The organist's own work also explores some otherworldly sonorities, though in this case the 'distances' involved are the remoteness of ancient history. It is probably not possible to write something called a "mass" for the organ in the 20th century without invoking the shade of Messiaen, and Bach is always somewhere in the background, but Heinen's six short movements are satisfying and original nonetheless, if more conventional than the first two works on the disc. The same might be said of Rollinger's explicity liturgical Magnificat, with choral verses in a homophonic chant style, "illustrated" by Messiaen-like meditations for solo organ. Chur d'Hommes Luxembourgeois 1989, Pierre Nimax Jr. (Klais organ of Saint-Willibrord Basilica, Echternach). Anthologie de Musique Luxembourgoise Vol. 8 (Luxembourg) 10E073 $16.98 >

MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Jane Eyre. Distilling the complexities of the novel down to events at Thornfield and a concentration on the psychological relationships between Jane, Rochester and Mrs. Rochester, Berkeley and his librettist make the love of the couple even more dark and possessive and Mrs. Rochester more tragic than wicked. The music helps describe this introverted, tension-filled world through its basis in tenebrous, suggestive tritones with many glissandi helping to keep the turbulence boiling, even during such scenes as Jane's preparation for her wedding. At just under 72 minutes, this is a lean, stripped-down, powerfully emotional work which seems much shorter than its already concise length. Libretto included. Natasha Marsh (soprano), Andrew Slater (bass), Emily Bauer-Jones (contralto), The Music Theatre Wales Ensemble; Michael Rafferty. Chandos 9983 (England) 10E074 $16.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Piano Sonata, Raising Sparks, For Ian, Birthday Present, Barncleupédie. The most substantial work here is Raising Sparks, setting texts of Michael Simmons Roberts for mezzo and ensemble. From its mysterious and occult opening through a dazzling range of moods (MacMillan has always had a taste for the dramatic, and this work has a strong narrative feel). Treating themes of creation and the potential for the redemption of mankind, the work carries considerable emotional weight. So too does the sonata, later expanded into the composer's second symphony; this was conceived and written during the harsh Scottish winter, and in its spare textures and avoidance of sensuousness it makes a strong, if stark, statement - a high contrast, black-and-white photograph of the empty and forbidding landscape. The three brief occasional pieces are relatively simple and very tonal, again conjuring a wintry landscape, but this time with almost the sense of hymns and folk melodies, using familiar material in a highly inventive manner, not without humor, while retaining something of the dark textures and air of mystery familiar from MacMillan's full-scale concert works. Jean Rigby (mezzo), Nash Ensemble; Martyn Brabbins. Black Box BBM1067 (England) 10E075 $17.98

LEONARDO BALADA (b.1933): Hangman!, Hangman!, The Town of Greed. These two little operas date from 1982 and 1997, the latter a sequel with all of the former's characters repeated. Hangman! Hangman! is based loosely on a cowboy folk-song; The Town of Greed takes the themes of cynicism and greed of its predecessor and ratchets them up to a grotesque caricature, complete with representatives of Wall Street and Philip Morris. Abrasive contemporary orchestral sonorities co-exist with highly melodic vocal lines and the characters are presented, cartoon-like, in an irreverent manner with bullet-like sharpness and directness. Libretti included. Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble; Colman Pearce. Naxos 8.557090 (New Zealand) 10E076 $6.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Singe die Garten for 8-part Choir and 8 Instruments, Wie ein Kind for Mixed Choir, Frostsalme for 16-part Mixed Choir, 3 hymniske ansatser for Mixed Choir, Flos ut rosa floruit, Gaudet mater. Nørgard has written extensively for vocal ensembles of all kinds throughout his long and illustrious career (he is now regarded as the heir to Nielsen and Holmboe in Danish music). He writes totally naturally for choir, whether in simple yet original harmony as in the hymn-like works here, the dramatic fantasy of Wie ein Kind, which refers to the works of the schizophrenic Swiss poet and artist Adolf Wölfli, or the complex, overlapping polyphony for which he is known in his symphonic works. The exemplary clarity of his writing, even in music of considerable density, and his emotionally involving use of opulent chromatic harmony (sounding almost like Grainger at times) in the context of textures and techniques which are quite adventurously modern adds to the beauty and profundity of these superb, striking and individual works. Danish-English texts. Danish National Choir/DR, Athleas Sinfonietta Copenhagen; Stefan Parkman. Chandos 10008 (England) 10E077 $16.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Black Sounds, Cantio Sacra, Phaedra for Mezzo-Soprano and Ensemble. Although you wouldn't guess it from the cover, the main work here is the (undated in the booklet) "monodrama" Phaedra, a 42-minute setting of Robert Lowell's American dialect verse translation of Racine's Phèdre which concentrates solely on the female character and her destructive, incestuous passion in gripping, tonal but modern-sounding music of great dramatic weight and gesture. Black Sounds (1964) is a highly chromatic piece for 17 wind instruments which seems to depict something very unpleasant so well that it comes as no surprise to find that is the musical accompaniment for a dance which describes and act of murder. Cantio sacra, on the other hand, is a 1953 transcription for small orchestra of a chorale tune treated by Scheidt and is a gravely serious meditation which pays tribute to the baroque style. Mary Nessinger (mezzo), Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose. Naxos American Classics 8.559120 (U.S.A.) 10E078 $6.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): Violin Sonata, 2 Petits Suites for Violin and Piano, Duo for Violin and Cello, Duo for Violin and Viola, Scherzo for Piano Quartet, 3 Greek Folk-Song Arrangements for Violin and Piano. Large- and small-scale works are mixed in this collection: the two Petits Suites (1946 and 1949) use dodecaphonic method but embed tonal melodies, of folk-like quality, in the 12-tone harmonic context. The brief Scherzo (1939-40) follows dodecaphonic grammar but without any identifiable tone rows, the six-minute violin/viola duo is freely dodecaphonic while the folk-song arrangements are, of course, strictly tonal. The two large-scale pieces are the violin sonata (c.1940-43), chromatically expressive, and the violin/cello duo (1947), freely dodecaphonic but with references to baroque and folk techniques. All but the second Petit Suite and the Violin/Viola Duo are world premiere recordings. Georgios Demertzis (violin), Maria Asteriadou (piano), Chara Sira (viola), Maria Kitsopoulos (cello). BIS CD-1204 (Sweden) 10E079 $17.98

ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): Old Polish Concerto for Strings, St. Mary Triptych, RAGAL AUGUSTYN (b.1951): Stela for Strings, MACIEJ RADZIWILL (1749-1821): Divertimento, Serenada, FELIKS JANIEWICZ (1762-1848)/WLADYSLAW SLOWINSKI (b.1930): Divertimento concertante for Violin and Strings, ANON. (1759): Symphonia de Nativitate. This horrible example of coupling across 200 years of musicalstyles brings us an anonymous symphony from 1759 which is one of the first extant Polish symphonies of the Classical period; Janiewicz's somewhat galant piece is a transcription by Slowinsky of a trio for two violins and cello; Radziwill's divertimento could also have been called "symphony". It and his Serenade for string quartet (performed here by string orchestra) are both Classical pieces from the late 1790s. Although we now move on to the 20th century, Twardowski's two pieces are inspired by and in the spirit of Polish Classicism and Augustyn's Stela (1987/91) is an in memoriam piece which is more modern in tone but shares Classicism's clear textures and simplicity of form. Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra "Wratislavia"; Jan Stanienda. Dux 0198 (Poland) 10E080 $16.98

PAUL HÖFFER (1895-1949): Suite for Recorder and Piano, HENK BADINGS (1907-1987): Sonata for Recorder and Harpsichord, CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Aubade for Recorder and Piano, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Exercice Musical, ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Pipe, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Villanelle, GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Scherzo. Its a shock to think that at the time this recording was made, four of these seven composers were still alive, so this was very much "New Music for the Recorder" as its title states. Now, the English and Australians are writing a lot for the instrument but this release is useful for the rather un-recorder-like nationalities it represents in the German Höffer and the Dutchman Badings The former's 1947 piece is in a Hindemithian expanded tonality; Badings' sonata (1957), which includes an extended harpsichord solo in its last movement, runs the gamut for its soloist, from brilliant figurations to a simple aria. Karsten Behrmann (recorder), Rita Laugs (harpsichord), Oda Kleeman (piano). Original 1969 Da Camera LP release. Cadenza CAD 800 921 (Germany) 10E081 $17.98

STEFAN WOLPE (1902-1972): Sonata No. 1 "Stehende Musik", Adagio, Tango, The Good Spirit of a Right Cause, Encouragements, Waltz for Merle, Zemach Suite. This overview contains pieces from four decades, from 1920's Adagio, freely tonal in a Busonian manner and the 1925 first sonata which combines the ferocity of Antheil and the musique d'immobilité of Satie, to the aggressively austere march of 1942 called The Good Spirit of a Right Cause, and the second piece of Encouragements - Battle Piece, a 24-minute response to the horrors of war and the aspirations of humanity. The Zemach Suite (1939) is part of Wolpe's attempt to synthsize the traditional music of the Middle East with modern European progressive techniques while 1952's Waltz for Merle is an ironic and mocking parody. David Holzman (piano). Bridge 9116 (U.S.A.) 10E082 $16.98

HERMANN REUTTER (1900-1985): Die Jahreszeiten, 4 Lieder, 5 Lieder, 3 Gesänge, Op. 56, 3 Monologe des Empedokles, 5 Lieder, Op, 58, Chamber Music. Orfeo's "Contemporary Lied" series continues with this selection from Reutter's more than 200 songs. The earliest here, the 1943 op. 56 songs, are unusual in their backward-looking, late Romantic ethos. Die Zahreszeiten (1957) incorporates more declamatory singing into a polytonal harmonic language and the op. 58 set (1947) also inhabits the same stylistic period. All but one of the rest of these works all date from 1972 and show the composer's late style: extremely brief, thinned-out piano parts and much more declamation (at its greatest extent in the Empedocles fragments from 1966). The first three cycles feature Soffel and Bauni and were recorded in 2000; the Fischer-Dieskau pieces date from April, 1980. German texts. Doris Soffel (mezzo), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Axel Bauni, Aribert Reimann (piano). Orfeo C 121 021 A (Germany) 10E083 $18.98

HARALD GENZMER (b.1909): Trombone Sonata, 2 Sonatinas for Trumpet and Piano, Sonata for Bass Tuba and Piano, Horn Sonata, Quintet on Themes of Pachelbel for 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone and Tuba. Hindemith's influence on Genzmer is particularly evident in this collection of sonatas/sonatinas for brass instruments. Like his teacher's, Genzmer's sonatas are always comprehensible to the listener (language always tonal although broadly so at times), enjoyable to play for the performer and never sacrificing virtuosity or musicality. The pieces range from 1965's first trumpet sonatina to the tuba sonata which, having been composed in 1998, is evidence of Genzmer's ongoing acuity and life-force. Brass Primeur, Oliver Triendl (piano). Thorofon CTH 2427 (Germany) 10E084 $17.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Piano Concerto, Concerto for Orchestra, 3 Occasions for Orchestra. A re-release of a 1992 recording of two of Carter's most important and characteristic works and the briefer and newer (1986-89) Three Occasions offers a ridiculously inexpensive way to acquaint oneself with this remarkable American composer. Ursula Oppens (piano), Southwest German Radio Orchestra; Michael Gielen. Arte Nova 74321 27773 2 (Germany) 10E085 $5.98

MATTHIAS BONITZ (b.1951): Siddhartha for Cello and Orchestra. Inspired by a performance he participated in of Also sprach Zarathustra (the composer is an orchestral double-bass player) and several encounters with Hesse's novella, Bonitz wrote this tone poem in 1994. Siddhartha is represented by a solo cello and the work's nine sections depict various events in the course of the character's journey to enlightenment. The language is straightforwardly tonal without sounding old-fashioned, colorful and vividly pictorial. Julius Berger (cello), Württemberg Philharmonic Reutlingen; Norichika Iimori. ebs 6128 (Germany) 10E086 $17.98

MILAN SVOBODA (b.1951): Concerto grosso for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra, Mowgli - Suite from the Ballet. Svoboda is a jazz pianist (leader of his own jazz quartet) and bandleader and one of those modern composers who do not let themselves be pigeon-holed stylistically (or even generically). The Concerto grosso of 1999 wraps two fast, outer movements of restless ostinati and scrubbing strings in neo-classical style around a slow movement where jazz and the spirit of the tango come to the fore (although there is plenty of jazz influence in the fast movements as well). Mowgli is a suite from a 1996 ballet composed for the Prague National Theatre Ballet Ensemble, based on Kipling's The Jungle Book. The noteless liner notes tells us nothing about the action behind the 17 separate sections which make up this 36-minute suite but it adds a jazz band to a full orchestra with plenty of percussion, making for very colorful, evocative music even if we don't know what it's evoking. Oldrich Vlcek (violin), Virtuosi di Praga; Milan Svoboda (piano), Orchestra Contraband. Lotos LT 0110-2 (Czech Republic) 10E087 $16.98 >

ARTURS MASKATS (b.1957): Cello Concerto, Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello, Strings and Percussion, Lacrimosa for Choir, Strings and Organ, Salve Regina for Mezzo-Soprano, Cello and Strings, 3 Poems by Paul Verlaine for Vocal Ensemble, Oboe and Cello. As might be expected of a young Latvian composer, Maskats writes music which is tonal and easily approachable and he mentions Peteris Vasks as the composer for whom he has the greatest respect. However, Maskats' music is not particularly minimalist although there are ostinatos here and there. Rather, there is a sort of French sound to most of these pieces (which date from 1992-96), a lightness of touch, extreme clarity of orchestration, a Gallic sense of humor (Ravel, Martinu and Honegger all come briefly to mind although Maskats does not "sound like" any of them per se). Even the earliest piece, the cello concerto, has these qualities although it is based on elements from two cello concertos by Janis Medins (the work was written in memory of that composer's niece). French-English texts. Antra Bigaca (mezzo), Riga Chamber Players, Latvian Radio Choir; Normunds Sne. BIS CD-1146 (Sweden) 10E088 $17.98

MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (b.1934): Shulamit's Dream for Soprano and Orchestra, Shir ha-Shirim for Soprano, 2 Tenors, Bass and Chamber Ensemble, Biblical Songs for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet and Piano Trio. The impassioned fervour and mystical ecstasy of the Biblical "Song of Songs" permeate these song cycles, which employ a language of lush romanticism, in some ways closer to Wagner than to the Second Viennese School (though the harmonic vocabulary suggests Berg, especially in Shulamit's Dream, an opulent orchestral score). With the sparer textures of the considerably earlier Shir ha-Shirim, there is a greater suggestion of the sonorities of Mediæval music, and this is also reflected in the way in which vocal polyphony is presented. This extended work was the first vocal piece of the composer's compositional maturity, and one can detect the legacy of the extended sound-world of his earlier researches in electronic music here. The Biblical Songs are far closer to the other work from the 1990s, and the vocal writing, though not some of the instrumental textures, are positively Romantic in style. Susan Narucki (soprano), Riverside Symphony; George Rothman, Parnassus; Anthony Korf. Bridge 9112 (U.S.A.) 10E089 $16.98

EZRA LADERMAN (b.1924): Music of, Vol. 4 - Aldo, Simões, Parisot. This trilogy of works for cello ensemble dates from 1994 (the first work - no dates are given for the other two) and, as the titles tell, they were all dedicated to Aldo Parisot (Simões is his middle name), the leader of the Yale cello ensemble for almost 40 years. Parisot is Brazilian and was a champion of the music of Villa-Lobos so, not surprisingly, Aldo is soaked in the atmosphere of Brazilian folk music and could be mistaken for one of Villa-Lobos' works for the same type of ensemble. Those looking for the drama and complexity of Laderman's string quartets, for instance, will find only a bit of it in Simões, the only through-composed piece while Parisot, subtitled "Concerto for Multiple Cellos" is a five-movement work with each movement painting a musical picture of the qualities of famous cellists - Piatigorsky, Casals, Feuermann, Starker and Parisot himself. Lovely, approachable stuff. The Yale Cellos; Aldo Parisot. Albany TROY 454 (U.S.A.) 10E090 $16.98

BRIAN FENNELLY (b.1937): Thoreau Fantasy No. 2 (Ambrosial Morning), Lunar Halos for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra, Concert Piece for Trumpet and Orchestra, Reflections/Metamorphoses for Violin and Orchestra, Chrysalis (from A Thoreau Symphony). These are serious and weighty works for orchestra (three with soloist), which suggest a musical personality unafraid of unfashionability, and concerned with precision of expressive technique and directly communicative content. The composer makes extensive use of formal structures, meticulously worked out, and his language is predominantly tonal, though there is some use of dodecaphony and even aleatory, though one senses that these are 'special effects', not employed out of any sense of dogma, but incorporated for expressive purposes. The transparency of his orchestration is always exemplary, and in all respects this is a body of work with much to offer, both emotionally and intellectually. Boguslaw Furtok (double bass), Chris Gekker (trumpet), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Albany TROY 491 (U.S.A.) 10E091 $16.98

GEORGE LOPEZ (b.1955): Das Auge des Schweigens, Blue Cliffs. These works are certainly very striking, and the composer has garnered praise from as important a figure as Wolfgang Rihm. His music is part of an ongoing trend in his output in the direction of multimedia works, with stage action, film and installations, and in this respect there are some affinities with Stockhausen's big theatrically staged concert pieces (like Momente, Trans and Inori). In some of his dense orchestral textures and ominous, unformed sounds, through which violent outbursts tear without warning, Penderecki's more experimental works also come to mind. Spatial disposition of the sounds, and a sense of organic growth (with an almost complete absence of conventional 'thematic' material), especially in the opaque textures of the larger ensemble work "Eye of Silence", are distinguishing characteristics of these works, the visceral impact of which is undeniable. A word needs to be said about the format of this disc and the Gadenstaetter below, also on Durian. No documentation is supplied with the discs, which come in a circular plastic case. Purchasers with Internet access are directed to a website (the URL is printed on the CD), where a list of production credits is given; by clicking on small (not very obvious) alphabetical characters to the right of the names of the composers, pieces and performers, one is taken to subsidiary html documents containing what would nomally be booklet texts. Those without Internet access, though, would appear to be out of luck. Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke. Durian 013-2 (Austria) 10E092 $16.98

CLEMENS GADENSTAETTER (b.1966): Streichtrio II (Friktion), Variationen und alte Themen for Trombone, Guitar, Cello and Double Bass. A student of Lachenmann, much involved in multimedia collaborations with artists working in other disciplines, Gadenstaetter writes music made up of sonorous fragments, with an implied 'meaning' to the sounds themselves. This meaning may be derived from the recollection of the listener of the more familiar context of an instrumental sound, or it may take on a new meaning simply because the sound is presented without context. Interestingly, there is less in the way of extended playing techniques (at least of the more extreme variety) than one might expect; in a sense, the listener is an active participant in the performer, as it is the way in which instrumental sounds which are mostly quite recognisable are heard that provides the musical argument, rather than musical structure per se. Klangforum Wien String Trio, Ensemble Neue Musik Wien. Durian 015-2 (Austria) 10E093 $16.98

WALTER ZIMMERMAN (b.1949): Schatten der Ideen for Piano Quartet, Ursache und Vorwitz for Horn, Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion and Tape, Distentio for String Trio, Shadows of Cold Mountain 3 for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet. Walter Zimmermann writes music that is simultaneously, and perhaps paradoxically, simple and open in texture while being complex in musical material; abstract and consisting of overlapping spirals and shapes in sound while expressing philosophical ideas drawn from a vast array of thinkers and writers throughout the ages. There is even a certain wide-eyed naîvété, perhaps remniscent of Cage or Feldman at their most guile-less, in the way that, for example, in Ursache and Vorwitz, overlapping glissandi (the work consists of little else) suggest the overwhelmed curiosity of the human mind confronted by the mysteries of the cosmos. "Shadows of Ideas" - the title of the first work on the CD - might stand as a cypher of Zimmermann's aims and means in his unusual and individual musical world. ensemble recherche. Mode 111 (U.S.A.) 10E094 $16.98

DIETER KAUFMANN (b.1941): For Clara for Piano and Orchestra, mondieu mondial for Electronics, WOLFGANG LIEBHART (b.1958): Walzer, BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): Hommage à Martin Arnold 2, A Roomfull of Shoes for Electronics. Kaufmann's piano concerto bridges the span of a century, bearing a double dedication to two Claras - Clara Schumann, and the composer's daughter, born in 1983. A frequently tonal and Romantic-sounding piano part is set against an orchestral texture which belongs firmly to our time - an intriguing idea, and one that works really rather well. His mondieu mondial likewise sets disparate ideas (in this case, recorded speech fragments from the Declaration of Human Rights and motets by Dufay) against each other. Lang is represented by his brooding orchestral Hommage to Martin Arnold 2, and, in similar mood though with the sounds extended through electronic manipulation, the densely textured A Room Full of Shoes. Liebhart's Walzer uses the idea of the Viennese waltz as the point of departure for a short orchestral fantasia which incorporates the traditional forms in a manner that may recall Mahler's use of marching bands and rustic dances in an orchestral concert texture. Elena Rozanova (piano), Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Kiradiev. Extraplatte EX 501-2 (Austria) 10E095 $16.98 >

JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): The Riot for Flute/Piccolo, Bass Clarinet and Piano, Nachtlied for Soprano and Piano with Tape, Valley of Aosta for Ensemble and Electronics, Mythic Figures for Tape. These pieces show several aspects of Harvey's compositional personality, and also demonstrate his unerring sense of sonority, whatever his chosen medium. The real gem here - and also the most extended piece - is Nachtlied, setting Goethe and Steiner - texts which meditate on the mysteries of dusk, night and dawn, but here presented as a philosophical meditation on death (the Goethe poem was written at a place that subsequently became the Buchenwald concentration camp, which explains the composer's commingling of the two ideas). An extended vocal line of great beauty, very much related to the lieder tradition, is stalked by a spectral electo-acoustic shadow, derived from the sounds of the actual performers. In this and the electronic aspects of Valley of Aosta (an admitted exercise in interpreting landscape in sound by analogy to the way Turner did on canvas), Harvey's integration of the new sounds into instrumental textures is wholly admirable - without drawing attention to themselves, the inhumanly virtuosic computer-driven sounds become part of the instrumental vocabulary. The Riot (sans electronics) is likewise a whirlwind of exuberance in homage to the trio which performs it here - a 'riot of color', it also contains some riotous references to more 'conventional, classical' music. Het Trio, Jane Manning (soprano), David Mason (piano), Ensemble Musique Nouvelle; Georges-Elie Octors. Sargasso scd 28044 (U.S.A.) 10E096 $16.98

British Light Music Classics, Vol. 4

FREDERICK ROSSE (1867-1940): The Doge's March, ALBERT KETÈLBEY (1875-1959): In a Monastery Garden, SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Petite Suite de Concert, HENRY BALFOUR GARDINER (1877-1950): Shepherd Fennel's Dance, PERCY FLETCHER (1879-1932): Demoiselle Chic, CHARLES ANCLIFFE (1880-1952): Thrills, JOHN FOULDS (1880-1939): Keltic Lament, ERIC COATES (1886-1957): By the Sleepy Lagoon, CHARLES WILLIAMS (1893-1978): A Quiet Stroll, Rhythm on Rails, ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): Jamaican Rumba, FREDERIC CURZON (1899-1973): Dance of an Ostracized Imp, JACK BEAVER (1900-1963): Cavalcade of Youth, FREDRIC BAYCO (1913-1970): Elizabethan Masque, RAY MARTIN (1918-1988): Marching Strings, TREVOR DUNCAN (b.1924): High Heels, PETER HOPE (b.1930): Jaunting Car. In the profusion of British Light Music series from Naxos, ASV and Marco Polo, it is easy to forget that Hyperion was probably the first label to give this genre the kid-glove treatment and, though they are slower in producing new volumes than their competitors, they still produce high-quality results as this new offering shows. A few items are not new to disc but the appearance of Foulds, Coleridge-Taylor and Balfour Gardiner show that, in the first third of the 20th century, the genre gap between "light" and "serious" was not as wide as it is now percieved. The New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 67400 (England) 10E097 $17.98

English Recorder Concertos

JOHN GARDNER (b.1917): Petite Suite, Op. 245, JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Domestic Life, PETER LAWSON (b.1951): Song of th eLesser Twayblade, PHILIP LANE (b.1950): Suite Champêtre, WILFRED MELLERS (b.1914): Aubade, STEPHEN DODGSON (b.1924): Concerto Chacony, KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Concerto for Recorder, Harpsichord and Orchestra, Op. 88, ROBIN MILFORD (1903-1959): 2 Pipe Tunes (arr. Lane), NORMAN KAY (1929-2001): Mr. Pitfield's Pavane. Although not part of ASV's ongoing series of "British Light Music", this collection of works for recorder and orchestra is predominantly in that vein as the titles will tell you. The exception is Leighton's double concerto of 1982, which exploits the intensity and lyricism of the harpsichord along with the recorder's bravura and cantabile qualities in a mainly extrovert and optimistic score of 17 minutes but which ends with a more solemn Elegy. John Turner (recorder), Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line WHL 2143 (England) 10E098 $11.98

LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): West Side Story - Original Score. This recording of Bernstein's theatrical masterpiece presents the score as the composer originally conceived it, before its film and Broadway renditions. Sid Ramin, co-orchestrator of the Broadway version, provides notes and Schermerhorn, a student and protegé of Bernstein, contributes a memoir as well. Soloists, Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Kenneth Schermerhorn. Naxos American Classics 8.559126 (U.S.A.) 10E099 $6.98

GUSTAVE CHARPENTIER (1860-1956): Impressions d'Italie, La vie du poète, 5 Orchestral Songs. It is both unfortunate that there have been no CD releases of stereo recordings of Charpentier's music (except for his opera Louise, beyond which he is a blank page for most listeners) and fortunate that we at least have Pearl to thank for these two extended orchestral works recorded under the composer's own baton in 1928 (Impressions) and 1934 (La vie...). The former is a picturesque, evocative suite which depicts various aspects of Italian scenery and peasant life in its five movements, using folk music and dating from 1887 and his Prix de Rome sojourn while La vie is a "symphony-drama" from 1892 whose 37 minutes contain much music also used later in the opera Julien, ou La vie du poète). The songs date from 1890-96 and were recorded c. 1933. Mono. Symphony orchestra, Orchestre Pasdeloup; Gustave Charpentier, Women's Chorus, Jean Planel, Joseph Lanzone, Germaine Féraldy and Orchestra. Pearl GEM 0176 (England) 10E100 $17.98