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Symphonies by

William Sterndale Bennett


Cipriani Potter

WILLIAM STERNDALE BENNETT (1816-1875): Symphony in G Minor, Op. 43, CIPRIANI POTTER (1792-1871): Symphony No. 7 in F. The first thing to note is that this Bennett symphony is not the same as the G minor symphony released on the defunct Unicorn-Kanchana label in 1990. That was a youthful work of 1835; this one comes from 1864 (with a fourth movement, a Romanza which is placed third, added in 1867) and is going to delight lovers of Mendelssohn. This symphony sounds like Mendelssohn in the way that Ries' symphonies sound like Beethoven. It dovetails nicely with its disc-mate since 1866 was the year Bennett took over as Principal of the Royal Academy of Music from Potter whose symphony of 1826 is plainly modeled on Beethoven's first two symphonies in its rhythmic propulsion and general lyrical and genial quality (one might think of Schubert except that his symphonies were unknown in England at the time Potter wrote his ten symphonies). Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 634 (Denmark) 10H001 $16.98


1. Cyprès Sale! To welcome this fine Belgian label back to the U.S. after almost two years, we've selected 14 of their most attractive titles (mostly on page 12) to offer at the price of $13.98 for the month of October only. All of these have been in our pages before but at $17.98 and $18.98. In addition, we have two Jongen titles from last year which never got released in the U.S. (10H002 and 3); these are also only $13.98 each for the month of October only. A couple of other Cyprès titles from before we took over RI in mid 1997 are also included elsewhere in the catalogue.

2. The return of ABC Classics will happen in November's catalogue. In fact, the shipment of some 25 titles will actually be in my hands by October 10, so I can guarantee it (well, short of my own sudden death, at least)!

3. September was a slightly better-than-average month so I can look forward to survival through the end of the year. For November or December, depending on space, I'll have a batch of Globe and Etcetera titles which have never had U.S. distribution due to, in Globe's case, lack of representation and, in Etcetera's case, the death of its owner two years ago which almost caused the disappearance of the label itself.

www. recordsinternational.com e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Cello Concerto, Op. 18, Impressions d'Ardennes, Op. 44, Fantaisie sur deux noëls populaires wallons, Op. 24. These three fairly early works provide a rich feast for collectors of late Romanticism. The big (35 minutes) concerto was written in 1900 when the young Jongen's mind was still pointing toward Germany with Brahms and Bruch the main influences with just a touch of Wagner and, in the rondo finale, perhaps even of Tchaikovsky in heroic mode. The Fantaisie (1902) shows D'Indy's influence in its colorful, southern-looking treatment of the Walloon themes (Lekeu had been similarly inspired by D'Indy ten years earlier in his Fantaisie sur deux airs populaires angevains) which provides a very sunny 15 minutes. The latest is the Impressions (1913), a tone poem not published until 1931 due to the war. In its 15-minute span, it traces an arc from its slow, misty prelude to a kind of rustic dance which turns into a full-voiced hymn of joy, stopped for a moment by the Angelus and then returning to a triumphal conclusion and the music shows Jongen brilliantly absorbing Franck, D'Indy and Debussy into his own increasingly personal language. Marie Hallynck (cello), Belgian National Orchestra; Roman Kofman. Cyprès CYP1634 (Belgium) 10H002 $13.98 >

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Concert à cinq for Flute, Harp and String Trio, Op. 71, Sonate-Duo, Op. 109, Danse lente in G Sharp Minor, Op. 56, Adagio for Violin and Viola in E, Op. 22/1, 2 pièces en trio for Flute, Cello and Harp, Op. 80. These chamber pieces span 37 years of Jongen's career but the major work is the 1923 Concert, a 22-minute work in three movements follows neither Franckian Romanticism nor Debussian Impressionism but exists in their neighborhood, the neighborhood which was Jongen's personal, not-easily-described style. The two pièces en trio (1926) are the closest in style and the 1938 Sonate-Duo with its uninhibited freedom and fantasy the farthest away, but everything here will appeal to collectors of the individual byways of late Romanticism. Ensemble Arpæ. Cypres CYP1632 (Belgium) 10H003 $13.98 >

LEEVI MADETOJA (1887-1947): Okon Fuoko, Op. 58 - Complete Ballet. Composed during the period 1925-27, this ballet set in medieval Japan is now seen as Madetoja's crowning achievement; back then, it almost derailed his career, possibly due to the spoken melodrama part of its performance (which, at Madetoja's later suggestion, has been cut out of this recording - the Danish songs, however, remain). Unlike his fellow Finnish composers, Madetoja was most heavily influnced by French music and spent as much time in that country as he could afford with the result that Okon Fuoko has the sound of early 20th century Paris although the Impressionistic parts are relatively small. The whole ballet, as recorded here, lasts 77 minutes; Madetoja produced only one suite which has been recorded several times. Danish-English texts. Helena Juntunen (soprano), Tuomas Katajala (tenor), Oulu Chamber Choir, Oulu Symphony Orchestra; Arvo Volmer. Alba ABCD 184 (Finland) 10H004 $16.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Ciranda das sete notas for Bassoon and Strings, ANDRÉ JOLIVET (1905-1974): Concerto for Bassoon, String Orchestra, Harp and Piano, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon and String Orchestra, SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings. Although nothing is new to disc, this collection is about as eclectic as can be, each composer miles apart from all the othes stylistically with only the bassoon to connect them, from Villa-Lobos' typically warm and relaxed Brazilian sound (1933) to Gubaidulina's stark and avant-garde piece of 1975. Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), Matthias Höfs (trumpet), Vida Izadi (harp), Tomoko Takahashi (piano), Potsdam Chamber Akademie; Maurice Bourgue. Capriccio 67 139 (Germany) 10H005 $16.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Chamber Symphonies No. 1, Op. 43 "Le Printemps", No. 2, Op. 49 "Pastorale", No. 3, Op. 71 "Sérénade", and No. 5, Op. 75 "Dixtuor d'instruments à vents", L'Enlèvement d'Europe, Op. 94, L'Homme et don Désir, Op. 48. We thought the coupling was unusual enough to merit inclusion though the recording itself has changed labels and is 13 years old. Four of the mini-symphonies (1917-22), each no more than five minutes long, show Milhaud in his best Les Six manner, tunes forward but no development; L'Homme just recently showed up on a Naxos issue but 1927's mini-opera on the Rape of Europa is also hard to find. Original 1992 Adda release. Cyprès CYP 2609 (Belgium) 10H006 $13.98 >

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Piano Quintet, Violin Sonata, String Quartet No. 3. Harris' meatiest, most essential compositions are his chamber works where his deep conservatism (the piano quintet's three movements are "Passacaglia", "Cadenza" and "Fugue", the quartet is a series of four preludes and fugues and the sonata is in a slow-fast-slow-fast sonata da chiesa form) is fruitfully allied to his love of modality to produce works which are "composers' compositions". These are the sorts of pieces which having a score in hand will render thrilling but which non music-readers will instinctively sense are important, serious and, yes, even approachable. Accompanied by one of the worst sleeve notes in captivity, shot through with grammatical errors in addition to a general incomprehensibility of thought (am I glad I quit teaching!), this is a collector's item in more ways than one. Third Angle New Music Ensemble. Koch International Classics 7515 (U.S.A.) 10H007 $16.98

RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960): 4 Songs, Op. 24, 5 Celtic Love Songs, Songs of Womanhood, Op. 33, 3 Songs, Op. 39, Symbol Songs, Sweet Ass. Boughton's songs stand quite apart from his operas and his orchestral music due to their choice of unusual texts. As a lifelong Communist, it's not surprising that he set texts by the Socialist Edward Carpenter or by suffragette Mary Richardson but the love songs and the simple domesticity of Sweet Ass suddenly seem to throw him back into the time-honored tradition of Schumann (although not in style, of course)! Texts included. Louise Mott (mezzo), Alexander Taylor (piano). British Music Society BMD431CD (England) 10H008 $18.98 >

ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): Piano Sonatas No. 1, Op. 14, No. 2, Op. 31, No. 3, Op. 44 and No. 4, Op. 56, Variations d'après l'hommage à Debussy de Manuel de Falla, Op. 47. World premiere recordings of the first and third sonatas (and, of course, first CD recordings for all). The sonatas date, chronologically, from 1930, 1941, 1948 and 1957 and all have the Gallic clarity of expression and transparency of texture you would expect with the earliest having the strongest affinities with Ravel while the fast outer movements often suggest a Slavic sympathy (with the French-period Prokofiev especially). The variations, also obviously very much in a French vein, date from 1951. Opus Millesime also has a disc of Casadesus' four string quartets which we are endeavoring to get (their distributor keeps ordering it and never getting it), so this and the following release are not the end of the Casadesus-as-composer discoveries. Jean-François Bouvery (piano). Opus Millesime GCK 20042 (France) 10H009 $17.98

ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): 24 Préludes, Op. 56, 6 Enfantines, Op. 48, Toccata, Op. 40, Impromptu, Op. 67/4. This recording comes from Texas (!). The préludes (1924) were dedicated to Ravel and they are the next best thing to finding unknown Ravel: the same elegance and purity, the same interest and hommages to French baroque music and the same allusions to contemporary popular dance and song. The Enfantines (1949-53) are little character pieces written for daughter Thérèse and are pastiches of Schumann and Prokofiev while the 1968 Impromptu is a gently melancholy in memoriam for Dinu Lipatti and the 1946 Toccata a crackling virtuoso piece dedicated to son Jean. John Owings (piano). Opus Millesime GCK 20043 (France) 10H010 $17.98

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Ô Lachrymosa, Op. 48, Monolog der Stella, Op. 57, Durch die Nacht, Op. 67, Die Nachtigall, Op. 68, Wechselrahmen, Op. 189, Two Silent Watchers, Op. 222. Only Durch die Nacht has been on CD recently (in our May catalogue, 05G069) so this new release is especially useful since it covers the whole of Krenek's career. If you are familiar with the expressionist angst of the just-mentioned, you'll be shocked by the simple, pure lyricism and melodies in Ô Lachrymosa (1926) and the concert-aria form of Monolog (1928). On the other hand, the chaotic quality of 1964's Wechselrahmen, with jagged soprano writing, serial accompaniment broken up by expressionistic touches including playing inside the piano, and the recitative-style of Watchers (1975) where the piano and voice hardly have any connection at all, will appeal to avant-gardists. German-English texts. Ilana Davidson (soprano), Debra Ayers (piano). Capriccio 67 133 (Germany) 10H011 $16.98

ANTONIO JOSÉ (1902-1936): Sinfonía castellana, Suite ingenua for Piano and Strings, Preludio and Danza popular from the opera El mozo de mulas, Evocaciones, Marcha para soldados de plomo (orch. Alejandro Yagüe). Executed at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, José proves to have been a great loss to music. His early (1923) symphony has fast outer movements based on Burgos folk-songs generally written in a late Romantic style while the two inner movements have the refinement and atmosphere of French Impressionism. Folk songs from Burgos are, in fact, employed in all of the remaining pieces recorded here and José's skill at orchestration makes for a very colorful and enjoyable discovery. Alberto Rosado (piano), Castile and León Symphony Orchestra; Alejandro Posada. Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557634 (New Zealand) 10H012 $6.98

LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): For Solo Piano: Sonatina canonica su capricci di Paganini, 3 episodi dal balletto "Marsia", Quaderno musicale di Annalibera, Inni for 3 Pianos, For Violin and Piano: 2 studi, Tartiniana seconda. This disc contains the complete works for violin and piano and for solo piano. Most are early works in which the composer pays homage to his country's musical past (Paganini and Tartini) while the episodes from the ballet Marsia have a very French aspect to them, as does the 1935 Inni (here triple-tracked) with the only dodecaphonic piece being the 1951-2 Quaderno in which, however, the love of Bach comes through as strongly as the technique with which it was composed. Duccio Ceccanti (violin), Roberto Prosseda (piano). Naxos 8.557676 (New Zealand) 10H013 $6.98

ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Lousadzak for Piano and Strings, Mihr, Ko-ola-u and Vijag for 2 Pianos. After several months' delay, this much-requested new release finally appears. The artists might seem odd for a work by Hovhaness but they in fact premiered the double concerto in Moscow in 2004. Composed fifty years earlier, it incorporates neo-Renaissance polyphony, Indian melodies and rhythms, polytonality and functional dissonance. The 1944 Lousadzak, with its complete abandonment of western notions of harmony or theme-and-development, winds up sounding like a bizarre precursor to Minimalism and its aleatoric sections drew laughter from the New York Philharmonic at its rehearsals for the premiere. The two-piano pieces - two from 1945-6 and one from 1962 - continue the use of Indian and Armenian musical elements. Martin Berkofsky (piano), Globalis Symphony Orchestra; Konstantin Krimets, Atakan Sari, Sergei Podobedov (pianos). Black Box BBM 1103 (England) 10H014 $17.98

FRANCESCO D'AVALOS (b.1930): Maria di Venosa. Here's something different! Conductor/composer D'Avalos calls this 1992 work a "music drama". Based on the composer Gesualdo's notorious murder of his wife, the work lacks a libretto as such, with characters apparently miming their activities while D'Avalos' original music - acting like a massive tone-poem with leitmotivs for the main characters - accompanies them. Characters only sing when it is likely that a human being would do so in real life and D'Avalos includes several period compositions (including by Gesualdo himself). While leaving the more lengthy musicological/philosophical discussions of this "music drama" style to the reader who buys the disc, the best way to describe Maria di Venosa is as a kind of tone-poem cum film score full of tonal, evocative music based in late Romanticism which one listens to while reading the booklet's detailed description of the action and texts where singing occurs (there is no recitative). 2 CDs. Special price. Susan Bullock (soprano), Hillary Summers (contralto), Apollo Voices, Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra; Francesco d'Avalos. Chandos 103535 (England) 10H015 $24.98

PIETRO LAPPI (1575-1630): 23 Canzone. Gabrieli fans may particularly enjoy the massed brass sonorities (11 instrumentalists on period instruments) of these canzone published in 1616. The notes include a long and touchingly poetic evocation (with photos) of the poor church in Brescia where Lappi labored as choirmaster for almost 40 years. Sonatores Pannoniae; László Borsódy, Balázs Bozzai (violin, viola), Zsolt Kalló (violin), Gábor Rac (viola), Csilla Vályi (cello), Csaba Sipos (double bass), István Györi (lute, percussion), György Vashegyi (organ). Hungaroton HCD 32295 (Hungary) 10H016 $17.98

DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707): Sacred Cantatas, Vol. 2 - Das neugebor'ne Kindelein, Quemadmodum desiderat cervus, Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes, Dixit Dominus Domino meo, An filius non est Dei, Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, Jesu, komm, mein Trost und Lachen, Herr, nun läßt du deinen Diener, Jesu dulcis memoria. The first volume of this series was in our March 2003 catalogue (03E018). These short (the longest is barely 12 minutes) cantatas set Lutheran chorale verses and Latin and Bible texts and vary widely in style, from the Italianate style of Carissimi to the more simple Northern European type. German/Latin-English texts. Emma Kirkby (soprano), Michael Chance (counter-tenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass), The Purcell Quartet, Clare Salaman (violin, viola), Rachel Byrt, Jane Rogers (violas), Reiko Ichise (viola da gamba), William Hunt (violone). Chandos Chaconne 0723 (England) 10H017 $17.98

HEINRICH IGNAZ BIBER (1644-1704): Missa Christi resurgens, 2 Fanfares à 2, Sonatas I, III, V, VII, XI & XII. This 50-minute mass had never been performed in modern times until last year when the musicians here did the honors. Dating from 1673-4 and probably written for a Salzburg Cathedral Easter celebration, this is one of those polychoral masterpieces (two choirs, a string band and a brass band in the four choir lofts of the cathedral) which delights in antiphonic splendor and its world premiere recording should delight all lovers of Biber. The English Concert and Choir; Andrew Manze. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907397 (U.S.A.) 10H018 $17.98

PIETRO ANTONIO FIOCCO (1654-1714): Le retour du printemps, Aria Dimmi, Amor, Cantata Tutto acceso d'amore, Sonatas in C and in G. A 45-minute divertissment from 1699 very much in the style of Lully is joined by short vocal and instrumental works in the Italian style, representing both sides of this Venetian-born, Belgian resident composer. La simphonie du Marais; Hugo Reyne. 2000 release. Cyprès/Musique en Wallonie CYP 3616 (Belgium) 10H019 $13.98 >

PIERRE BOUTEILLER (c.1655-c.1717): Missa pro defunctis, 5 Motets. Like Charpentier, Bouteiller lived and composed away from the French court (Poitiers in this case). Dating from around 1690, his requiem, for two voices and continuo, mixes old-fashioned contrapuntal writing with the newer melodic style and the motets, with their soaring melismas, look toward the emotional Italian style. Suzie Leblanc (soprano), Stephan Van Dyck (tenor), Les Voix Humaines. Atma ACD 2 2259 (Canada) 10H019A $16.98

JOHANN SIGISMUND KUSSER (1660-1727): Festin des Muses - Suites in G Minor, F and D Minor. Born in Bratislava, Kusser studied with Lully and worked extensively in Germany, England and Ireland. These suites, published in 1700, are in the Lullian idiom while showing their composer to have a rich melodic and harmonic imagination. Horns, recorders, flutes, a trumpet and percussion add to the color of the manuscript's oboe, bassoon and strings, producing a vivid aural spectactle sure to be enjoyed by collectors of French orchestral music. Aura Musicale; Balázs Máté. Hungaroton HCD 32337 (Hungary) 10H020 $17.98

GEORG BÖHM (1661-1733): Das Himmelreich ist gleich einem Könige, Ach, Herr, komme hinab, Mein Freund ist mein und ich bin sein, Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, Herr Zebaoth. Acnowledged today as having had a decisive influence on the teenage Bach, none of Böhm's nine remaining cantatas has been recorded until now. They show the transitional period between the severe, polyphonic old German style and the newer, more melody-based, Italian influenced (sometimes quasi-operatic) one which was Bach's starting point. German-English texts. Irmela Brünger (soprano), Inga Schneider (mezzo), Beat Duddeck (altus), Jörn Lindemann (tenor), Markus Flaig (bass), Capella Sancti Georgi, Musica Alta Ripa; Ralf Popken. CPO 777 143 (Germany) 10H021 $15.98

FRANÇOIS COUPERIN (1668-1733): Messe à l'usage ordinaire des paroisses, Messe propre pour les couvents de Religieux. Composed at the tender age of 22, these organ masses display a skilful polyphony while borrowing from contemporary secular music to produce music with a palpable sense of fresh inspiration. Presented here without the plainchant sometimes included in recordings. 2 CDs. Jean-Baptiste Robin (Clicquot organ of Poitiers Cathedral). Naxos 8.557741-42 (New Zealand) 10H022 $13.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Ich danke dem Herrn von ganzen Herzen, TWV 7:14, Halt, was du hast, 8:9, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, 8:7, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, 7:30, Es segne uns Gott, 8:8, Hamburgische Trauermusik. Although one motet and one Psalm setting are probably as early as the first decade of the 18th century, the remainder of the pieces here are from Telemann's Hamburg period. German-English texts. Ruth Ziesak, Sonja Erwied (sopranos), Arnon Zlotnik (alto), Jan Kobow, Michael Berner (tenors), Konstantin Wolff (bass), Rastatt Vocal Ensemble, Les Favorites; Holger Speck. Carus 83.166 (Germany) 10H023 $17.98

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683-1764): Suites from Platée, Pigmalion and Dardanus. While the operas themselves, for the most part, still languish unperformed, suites of their richly orchestrated music, full of outstandingly personal and attractively rhythmic, melodic and harmonic turns of phrase continue to bring us valuable and enjoyable concerts such as this. European Union Baroque Orchestra; Roy Goodman. Naxos 8.557490 (New Zealand) 10H024 $6.98

JOHANN DAVID HEINICHEN (1683-1729): Concerto in G for Oboe, Bassoon, Cello and Harpsichord, Sonata in C Minor for Oboe, Viola da Gamba and Continuo, Sonata in C Minor for Oboe and Bassoon, Concerto in D for Violin, Viola da Gamba, Cello and Continuo, Sonata in C Minor for Oboe, Violin and Continuo, Sonata in G Minor for Oboe and Continuo, Sonata in B for Violin, Oboe and Bassoon. This collection of instrumental pieces, all built around the oboe, attests not only to Heinichen's fantasy and gift for mixing voices and tone colors, but also to the brilliance of the soloist at the Dresden court who would have performed them. Epoca Barocca. CPO 777 115 (Germany) 10H025 $15.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Teseo. A July 2004 taping of a live performance of Handel's fifth opera at Potsdam. 5.1 surround sound, 166 minutes, English subtitles, spoken synopsis and score. Jacek Laszczkowski (countertenor), Maria Riccarda Wesseling (mezzo), Miriam Meyer (soprano), Lautten Compagney Berlin; Axel Köhler. Arthaus Musik DVD 100709 (Germany) 10H026 $30.98

JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Ouvertures in G Minor, FWV K: g2, D Minor, K: d4, and G, K: G15 for 3 Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Continuo. The Fasch revival continues apace with this new release, further confirming his equality with Heinichen and Telemann as an orchestral overture composer of standout individuality, mixing French with Italian elements in a winning fashion. Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht. Fuga Libera FUG502 (Belgium) 10H027 $17.98

PHILIBERT DELAVIGNE (c.1700-1750): Les Fleurs, Op. 4, Suites de Pièces à 2 Musettes, Op. 1, Nos. 3 & 5. Bagpipe fans take notice! The Breton bagpipe appears in 13 of the 34 tracks on this new release. The popular craze for things Arcadian and pastoral in rococo France made this peasant instrument very popular; Les Fleurs is 24-piece representation of types of flower with the bagpipe, hurdy-gurdy (four tracks), flute, violin and two recorders mixing and matching up for duets. Ensemble le berger fortuné. Hungaroton HCD 32201 (Hungary) 10H028 $17.98

NICCOLO JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Armida Abbandonata. Premiered in 1770 on Jommelli's return to Naples after 17 years in Germany, Armida was a huge spectacle with several breath-taking coups de théâtre in its staging. It also introduced the programmatic recitative to the genre and was densely orchestrated, rhythmically complex and very chromatic. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Ewa Malas-Godlewska, Véronique Gens (sopranos), Claire Brua, Laura Polverelli (mezzos), Gilles Ragon (tenor), Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. Ambroisie AMB 9983 (France) 10H029 $56.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Quartet in D for Piano, Flute and Viola, H.538, Sonate en trio in F for Bass Recorder, Viola and Continuo, H.579, Sonate en trio in C Minor for 2 Violins and Continuo, H.579 "Sanguineus und Melancholicus", Quartet in A Minor for Piano (with Cello), Flute and Viola, H. 537. The trio sonatas (1749 and 1755) demonstrate Bach's finest Sturm und Drang style, especially the former which represents a conversation between the two personality types of its subtitle while the two late quartets of 1788, while still uniquely Bach's own style, are yet aware of the late Classical world of Haydn and Mozart. Les Boréades. Atma ACD 2 2322 (Canada) 10H030 $16.98

CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787): La corona, Trio Sonatas in C and in G Minor. Following the success at the Austrian court of Il Parnaso confuso (released on the same label with these same artists within the last year), Empress Maria Theresa commissioned this sequel from Gluck later in 1765, also to be sung by the same four of her daughters but La corona was never performed due to the death of the Emperor. In one act, lasting just over 84 minutes, it shares the qualities of its predecessor: arias full of decorated repeats and fioriture dancing lightly over a Greek mythology-sourced libretto by Metastasio. Italian-English libretto. Julianne Baird, Danielle Munsell Howard, Mary Ellen Callahan (sopranos), Patrice Djerejian (contralto), The Queen's Chamber Band; Rudolph Palmer. Albany TROY 791-792 (U.S.A.) 10H031 $33.98

GIROLAMO ABOS (1715-1760): Dixit Dominus, BENIGNO ZERAFA (1726-1804): Te Deum, FRANCESCO AZOPARDI (1748-1809): Sinfonia No. 22, Vade Anania. The latest in the series of Maltese sacred music, this release offers a 1795 sinfonia of seven minutes in the old, sonata da chiesa form by Azopardi, an 18-minute Te Deum from 1746 in late Baroque style and an extended, 39-minute Dixit Dominus (1758) which is melodically appealing, in early Classical style, and suggests that its composer was rather less conservative than many of his fellow countrymen (both in this century and in the following one). Gillian Zammit (soprano), Clare Massa (mezzo), Joseph Aquilina (tenor), Anthony Montebello (bass), Jubal Mixed Choir and Orchestra; John Galea. Gega GR 95 (Bulgaria) 10H032 $16.98

ERNST WILHELM WOLF (1735-1792): Symphonies in E Flat, F, C and D. Wolf joins the recorded list of important symphonists with this new release of three undated works and one from 1786 (all composed between 1772 and 1791, 22 other survive in addition to these). The early D major work is a seven-minute Singspiel overture but the others are full-scale pieces of 17, 24 and 17 minutes, many with strikingly original solo parts for wind instruments, intriguing variations in sonata-form and a strong dose of the Mannheim style. Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Weimar; Nicolás Pasquet. Naxos 8.557132 (New Zealand) 10H033 $6.98

ANTON KRAFT (1749-1820): 3 Cello Sonatas, Op. 1, Grand Duo for 2 Cellos, Op. 5. Dedicatee of Haydn's D major cello concerto and his pupil and long-time colleague at Esterhaza, soloist in the premiere of Beethoven's Triple Concerto and premiere cello soloist of his time, it's not surprising that Kraft's sonatas (published in 1790) have a very Haydnesque quality and sense of humor or that the later Grand Duo has forward-looking, Beethovenian traits. Balázs Maté (cello), Miklós Spányi (fortepiano), István Györi (guitar), Dénes Karasszon (cello). Hungaroton HCD 32292 (Hungary) 10H034 $17.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Oboe Concertos, Murray C31, 33 & 28 (Lajos Lencsés [oboe], Slovak Chamber Orchestra; Bohdan Warchal), Clarinet Concertos, Murray C62 & 63 (Dieter Klöcker [clarinet], Southwest German Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg; Holger Schröter-Seebeck), Concertos for 2 Horns, C60, 56Q, 57 & 58, Notturno for 2 Flutes, 2 Horns and Strings, B27 (Klaus Wallendorf, Sarah Willis [horns], Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic; Johannes Moesus), Bassoon Concertos, C69, 73, 74 & 75 (Eckart Hübner [bassoon], German Chamber Academy Neuss). Sub-mid-price reissue of over four hours worth of wind concertos, the genre for which Rosetti was most renowned. 4 CDs. Special price. Original 1991, 1999, 2002 and 2003 releases. CPO 777 166 (Germany) 10H035 $34.98

FRANZ ANTON HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812): Quintets for Oboe, Violin, 2 Violas, and Bassoon in B, D Sharp and C, Quintets for Oboe, Horn, 2 Violas and Bassoon in E Flat and in F. A companion disc to Tudor 7075 (containing works in only the latter formation listed above also, as here, on modern instruments), Hoffmeister here adds a violin and subtracts a horn in three movement works of greater differentiation between winds and strings (the bassoon remains equally busy in both formations) Simon Fuchs (oboe), Primoz Novsak (violin), Michel Rouilly, Katja Fuchs (violas), Jakob Hefti (horn), Manfred Sax (bassoon). Tudor SACD hybrid 7124 (Switzerland) 10H036 $17.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): Sisara. In what may be a new record, there are 27 (yes, 27!) sponsors' logos on the back of the booklet for this recording of Mayr's 1793 Biblical oratorio. The work is operatic throughout (with two overtures) and the scoring is remarkably colorful (oboe, bassoon and two horns accompanying one aria; a sleep scene using a cor anglais for striking effect; a flute and harp to evoke a pastoral landscape in one scene); the period instruments add to the pleasure of these 93 minutes. 2 CDs. Latin-English texts. Vanessa Barkowski (mezzo), Talia Or, Stefanie Braun, Petra van der Mieden (sopranos), Simon Mayr Choir, Accademia I Filarmonici di Verona; Franz Hauk. Guild GMCD 7288/9 (Switzerland) 10H037 $33.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Septet in D Minor for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Horn, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 74, Septet for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Violin, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 114 "Military". Brilliant pianism and attractive tunes can be found througout the eight movements of these two septets from 1816 and 1829 with a trumpet adding martial sounds to the latter. Capricorn (modern instruments). Original 1991 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55214 (England) 10H038 $10.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Il diluvio universale. Reconstructed from its post-1837 Paris materials for this 1985 performance, Il diluvio dates from Donizetti's early tenure in Naples (1830), its Biblical sources producing a far less virtuosic and frothy composition than one would have expected at the time. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Yasuko Hayashi (soprano), Martine Dupuy (mezzo), Ottavio Garaventa (tenor), Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Communale, Genoa; Jan Latham Koenig (live 1985). Bongiovanni GB 2386/87 (Italy) 10H039 $33.98

LOUISE FARRENC (1804-1875): Nonet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, String Trio and Double Bass in E Flat, Op. 38 (Philippe Bernold [flute], François Leleux [oboe], Romain Guyot [clarinet], André Cazalet [horn], Gilbert Audin [bassoon], Guillaume Sutre [violin], Miguel da Silva [viola], François Salque [cello], Vincent Pasquier [double bass]), Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in E Flat, Op. 44 (Guyot, Salque, Brigitte Engerer [piano]), Variations Concertantes for Violin and Piano, Op. 20 (Sutre, Engerer), Mélodie in A Flat for Piano (Engerer), Études, Op. 26, Nos. 17 & 18 (Jean-Frédéric Neuburger [piano]). Previously recorded in 1995 on the defunct Carlton Classics label, the quasi-orchestral, half-hour long nonet, composed in 1849 after her three symphonies, is a work which all Farrenc or Romantic music collectors should have. The later trio, of equal length, is pure chamber music, worthy of inclusion on the series of Louvre concerts in January of this year along with works by Robert Schumann, from which these live recordings were made. Naïve V 5033 (France) 10H040 $16.98

ALEXANDER DARGOMYZHSKY (1813-1869): The Sierra Nevada is Clothed in Mist, I Am in Love, My Beauty, Passionate Worries Rush Me, Titular Councillor, The Teardrop, Lileta, The Fire of Desire is Ablaze, Awakening, May God Help You, My Friends, Do Not Judge, Good Folks, Bored and Sad, The Old Corporal, Do Not Call Her Divine, The Prayer, The Night Zephyr Blows Fragrantly, Is It Your Voice I Can Hear?, I Am Sad Because I Love You, Late at Night in the Open Plains, The Miller, Blue Eyes, Hide Me, O Night Storm, I Died with Happiness, I Loved You, Garden, How Charming a Face, Lord of My Days, Thou and You, The Kiss, The Worm, I Confess, Brother, The Devil Take Me!. The Russian song and romance remain the least recorded of all European romantic vocal repertoire. This new offering has the best notes I've seen in years, discussing the genres themselves and Dargomyzh-sky's place in musical history while the songs themselves run the gamut from simple folk-like melodies to salon ballads to high-class art songs. Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Anatoly Fokanov (baritone), Emese Virág (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32279 (Hungary) 10H041 $17.98

HUGO SCHUNCKE (1823-1909): Oboe Concerto in A Minor, JOHANN WENCESLAUS KALLIWODA (1801-1866): Morceau de Salon, Op. 228, JOSEPH GUY ROPARTZ (1864-1955): Pastorale et Dances for Oboe and Orchestra, CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931): Fantasiestücke for Oboe and String Orchestra, Op. 2. The major work here is the 24-minute, early Romantic concerto by Schuncke (the brother of the very short-lived and much lamented composer Ludwig, whose piano works were recorded by Accord in the 1980s), whose minor-key stresses in the first movement resolve into an unusual bolero finale. Nielsen's mysterious Op. 2 (arranged here by an equally mysterious "T. Sulyok") is not in his Grove works list but is an attractive pair of, presumably, very youthful works while Ropartz' two-part work is a ten-minute excursion into woodsy, Breton Romanticism. Lajos Lencsés (oboe), Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bernhard Güller. Capriccio 67 134 (Germany) 10H042 $16.98

LOUIS MOREAU GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869): Piano Music, Vol. 8 - Home, Sweet Home, Op. 51, Chant de guerre, Op. 78, Pensive, Op. 68, Le chant du martyr, Ses yeux, Op. 66, Pastorella e Cavalliere, Op. 32, Radieuse, Op. 72, Dernier amour, Op. 63, Variations de concert sur l'hymne portugais, Op. 91, La mélancolie, Jérusalem, Op. 13. The urge be complete means that what was originally intended to be a five or six disc series only now sees its penultimate release. Collectors invested in this series are certainly not going to stop now! Philip Martin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67536 (England) 10H043 $18.98

Draeseke Symphony Premiere!

FELIX DRAESEKE (1835-1913): Symphony No. 1 in G, Op. 12, Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, WoO 38 "Symphonia Comica", Overture to Gudrun. World premiere recording of the 1912 Comica. In the past, critics have seen it as the result of a composer taking refuge from new music by burrowing into his past but American Draeseke scholar Alan Krueck (whose label, AK Coburg we've been offering over the past several years with its Raff and Draeseke instrumental music), sees it differently: "The harmonies and phrasings in the work, put it parallel with the most adventuresome writing of a Strauss or Reger at the time... the contented expression of an older statesman happy in the mastery of his craft." Highly enjoyable but not for those wanting a monumental Germanic symphony! More monumental is the 11-minute overture to the 1882 opera Gudrun North German Radio Philharmonic; Jörg-Peter Weigle. CPO 999 746 (Germany) 10H044 $15.98

HEINRICH SCHULZ-BEUTHEN (1838-1915): 3 Clavierstücke im ernsten Stil, Op. 16, Stimmungs-bilder in freier Walzerform, Op. 17, 5 Clavierstücke in Suitenform, Op. 19, 4 Clavierstücke im heroischen Stil, Op. 22, 3 Clavierstücke in Sonatenform, Op. 23, Abschieds - Klänge Gedenk-Blätter, Op. 28. First appearing in these pages as our February 2003 cover item (Symphony No. 5), Schulz' piano music, a copious part of a copious uvre gets a good sampling here. All but the Abschieds-Klänge were composed in 1873-4 and the works vary from Schumannesque and Brahmsian miniatures to quasi-sonata structures (op. 22 rather more sonata-like than the op. 23 "in Sonatenform" suite) and will be right up the alley of Romantic piano collectors. Kirsten Johnson (piano). Guild GMCD 7277 (Switzerland) 10H045 $16.98

JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Suite for Organ, Violin and Cello, Op. 149, 6 Pieces for Violin and Organ, Op. 150. Collectors who enjoyed the recent Naxos issue of both Rheinberger's sets of music for violin and organ (04G055) will want to have the suite op. 149 (a generoud 33 minutes in length) since it includes many ravishing melodies of which even Schubert might have been proud. Paul Barritt (violin), Richard Lester (cello), Christopher Herrick (organ). Original 1996 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55211 (England) 10H046 $10.98

ÖDÖN MIHALOVICH (1842-1929): 7 Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonck, 6 Gesänge, 8 Gedichte, 7 Lieder, 6 Gesänge, Rastlose Liebe, Im Herzen trüb' und traurig. Successor to Liszt as head of the Academy of Music in Budapest, Mihalovich was a lifelong friend of Wagner and von Bülow and, as you might expect, his music has very little Hungarian color in it being, rather, attached to the New German School of his acquaintances. His complete songs set texts by Uhland, Lenau, Kerner and Fallersleben in addition to those present in the list above. German-English texts. Andrea Meláth (mezzo), Attila Fekete (tenor), Emese Virág (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32043 (Hungary) 10H047 $17.98 >

ERNESTO VIEIRA (1848-1915): Concerto for Flute and Piano, MATHIEU-ANDRÉ REICHERT (1830-1880): Fantaisie Melancholique, Op. 1, GIULIO BRICCIALDI (1818-1881): Fantasia on Verdi's "Macbeth", Op. 47, THEOBALD BÖHM (1794-1881): Souvenir des Alpes, Op. 31/5. Flute collectors will want Vieira's work which truly does have an orchestral piano part and really is a concerto. The remaining pieces are all associated with the Royal Conservatory of Lisbon, Reichert's 12-minute fantasy of around 1855, another significant addition to the recorded repertoire. João Pereira Coutinho (flute), José Bon de Sousa (piano). La Ma de Guido LMG 4003 (Spain) 10H048 $16.98

VINCENT D'INDY (1851-1931): Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 29, MAX BRUCH (1838-1920): 8 Pieces, Op. 83. D'Indy's trio dates from 1888, the beginning of his mature period, and is somewhat Franckian in its use of the same theme throughout its four movements but has an amiable Brahmsian quality as well. Bruch's glowingly romantic set of miniatures are well-known. Amici Ensemble. Naxos 8.557347 (New Zealand) 10H049 $6.98

LEOS JANACEK (1854-1928): The Eternal Gospel for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, The Ballad of Blaník, The Fiddler's Child for Violin and Orchestra, Suite from The Excursions of Mr. Broucek for Orchestra (arr. J. Smolka and J. Zahrádka). All lesser-known Janácek with the least-known probably the 1913 Eternal Gospel which is a four-section piece (lasting almost 19 minutes) setting a text by Jaroslav Vrchlicky whose visionary humanity brought some strikingly joyful and lyrical music instantly recognizable as Janácek. There is also some lushly scored, spectacular music from the Mr. Broucek opera diptych (19085-1917) but everything here will surely delight lovers of this composer who want to explore some of his unfathombaly neglected byways. Czech-English texts. Gweneth-Ann Jeffers (soprano), Adrian Thompson (tenor), Elizabeth Layton (violin), Edinburgh Festival Chorus, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Ilan Volkov. Hyperion CDA 67517 (England) 10H050 $18.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Piano Trio in D, Op. 22, Piano Quartet in E, Op. 20. You won't find much Russian-sounding music here (except for a Cossack-dancelike motif in the trio) but you will find elaborately and intricately composed music in late Romantic style with a slow movement main theme in the quartet which starts out, note-for-note like "Blue Moon" (Rodgers and Hart were Taneyev fans?). Barbican Piano Trio, James Boyd (viola). Dutton Labs CDSA 6882 (England) 10H051 $18.98

The Romantic Cello Concerto - New series from Hyperion

EUGEN D'ALBERT (1864-1932): Cello Concerto in C, Op. 20, ERNÖ DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Konzertstück in D, Op. 12, GEORGES ENESCU (1881-1955): Symphonie concertante in B Flat Minor, Op. 8. Although all of these single-movement, multiple-section concertante works have been recorded on CD, the D'Albert (on defunct Schwann) is long out-of-print and the Enescu (on defunct Olympia) is more recently out-of-print. Both D'Albert and Enescu's were written in 1899, the former a warm Germanic and Brahmsian work, the latter one of the 19-year-old Romanian's first mature works, showing an amazingly long-breathed sense of motivic development. Dohnanyi (1903-4) is as conservative and Brahmsian as D'Albert. Alban Gerhardt (cello), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar. Hyperion CDA 67544 (England) 10H052 $18.98

EUGÈNE YSAYE (1858-1931): Sonata for 2 Solo Violins, op. posth., DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Duo, Sonatine, Op. 231, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Sonatine. Ysaÿe's rare sonata (1914) is a major work in three movements lasting 34 minutes and includes Romanticism, the expected flights of virtuosity, and even a bit of impressionism. Milhaud's pair, lasting 13 minutes together, are elegant, stripped-down neo-classicism and Honegger's 1920 work, eight minutes in length, is a neo-classical tribute to Milhaud. Thomas Christian, Daniela Preimesberger (violins). CPO 777 159 (Germany) 10H053 $15.98

JENÖ HUBAY (1858-1937): Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 8 - 2 Pieces, Op. 37, 2 Pieces, Op. 38, Song of the Nightengale, Op. 39, 3 morceaux, Op. 66, Walzer-Paraphrase, Op. 105, Scènes de la Csárda: No. 5, Op. 33 "The Waves of Lake Balaton", No. 6, Op. 34 "Yellow Maybeetle", No. 7, Op. 41 "Kossuth Song" and No. 8, Op. 60 "It is said". Those of you doggedly collecting this long-evolving cycle and who eschewed the complete Scènes de la Csárda which recently appeared on Hyperion, will be glad to see four of them on this new release, along with the usual mix of salon-style pieces from throughout Hubay's career. Ferenc Szecsödi (violin), István Kassai (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32312 (Hungary) 10H054 $17.98

ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Piano Music, Vol. 5 - Suite Espagnole, Suite Ancienne No. 2, Arbola Azpian, Pavana Capricho, Sonata No. 4. Life after Iberia continues in this useful series, focusing on the rest of Albéniz' piano uvre (the four books of Iberia were parcelled out one to a volume of the first four CDs). This biggest piece here is the Suite Espagnole of 1886, at the beginning of the composer's ermergence as consciously working in a Spanish national style, which contains eight pieces (only four of which were in the composer's original publication, the others having been added later by various other publishers). The two-movement Suite Ancienne,from roughly the same period, attests to one of Albéniz' other loves - 18th century music - and the Arbola is a Basque dance. The sonata of 1887, on the other hand, is an equally elegant and grand work in a pan-European style. Miguel Baselba (piano). BIS CD-1443 (Sweden) 10H055 $17.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Feldeinsamkeit, The Things our Fathers Loved, Memories, The Houstatonic at Stockbridge, Swimmers, The Cage, The Greatest Man, General William Booth Enters into Heaven, Remembrance, Berceuse, West London, Tom Sails Away, When Stars are in the Quite Skies, Weil' auf mir, Ich grolle nicht, Du alte Mutter, Where the Eagle, Walking, Yellow Leaves, The Side Show, Élégie, The New River, Like a Sick Eagle, Ann Street, Slugging a Vampire, Thoreau, Serenity, Tolerance, Charlie Rutlage, 1, 2, 3, A Song - For Anything. We feel that you can never have enough Ives, especially his songs when so few recordings of them appear. This small fragment of his 200-odd total runs the gamut from the four German songs in 19th century Lied style to such hallucinatory, expressionist songs as General William Booth and Tom Sails Away. Texts included. Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano). Hyperion CDA 67516 (England) 10H056 $18.98

MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): El corregidor y la molinera, FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA (1899-1936): Canciones españolas antiguas. Two real rarities here well worth picking up if you didn't get them ten years ago at full price: Falla's original pantomime-farce version of the later ballet El Sombrero de Tres Picos (this version was performed in 1917 with a small orchestra of 17 players and then revised and reorchestrated for a 1919 premiere in the better-known version) and eleven old Spanish folksongs arranged by the famous poet and playwright (transcribed anonymously and published after his death), performed here by the young flamenco singer Ortega. Spanish texts. Ginesa Ortega (singer), Orquestra de Cambra Teatre Lliure; Josep Pons. Original 1995 Harmonia Mundi release. Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951520 (France) 10H057 $7.98

FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): In terra pax (Christine Buffle [soprano], Iris Vermillion [mezzo], Daniel Galvez-Vallejo [tenor], Philippe Rouillon [baritone], Christophe Fel [bass]) Pilate (Ildiko Komlosi [mezzo], Fabrice Dalis [tenor], François Le Roux [baritone], Fel [bass]), Golgotha (Tatiana Lisnic [soprano], Lioba Braun [mezzo], Claude Pia [tenor], Gilles Cachemaille [baritone], Jérôme Varnier [bass]). These radio recordings from 2000 and 2002 are part of the Munich Radio Orchestra's Paradisi Gloria series (we offered the Markevitch, Zemlinsky, Korngold and Bloch volume of psalm settings last October on 10G010). Golgotha (1945-48), in the great tradition of Passion oratorios, is the best represented of the works on this collection (we've offered at least two versions of it this century) and In terra pax, an apocalyptic vision of peace at the end of long suffering which was written in 1944 to celebrate the coming end of World War II, has had a Decca Ansermet re-issue and a new Chandos recording in 1995, but Pilate (1964), a 31-minute piece which which focuses on Pilate as a man believing in Jesus' innocence yet possessed by the devil, is otherwise unavailable. 3 CDs. No texts. Bavarian Radio Choir, Munich Radio Orchestra; Marcello Viotti. Profil PH04037 (Germany) 10H058 $50.98

The British Page

ETHEL BARNS (1873-1948): Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 9, Violin Sonata No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 24, Chanson Gracieuse, Danse Négre, Swing Song, Idylle Pastorale, Chant Élégiaque, Polonaise. How is is that a little Atlanta-based U.S. label puts out a disc of early 20th century English chamber music which should have "Dutton Epoch" written all over it? No matter since the music is what counts and Barns fits right into the picture with what the English label has been doing. In fact, Barns was closely associated with Cyril Scott and her fourth sonata (1910) has an impressionistic cast which might be attributed to him. The same year it was published, Barns premiered Scott's violin sonata, op. 59. Her second sonata (1904) is in late Romantic style while the accompanying pieces range from salon-style to encore quality. Nancy Schechter (violin), Cary Lewis (piano). ACA Digital CM 20086 (U.S.A.) 10H059 $16.98

THOMAS DUNHILL (1877-1946): Quintet for Horn and String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 6 "Nitor in adversum", Quintet in E Flat for Violin, Cello, Clarinet, Horn and Piano, Op. 3, Phantasy for Violin, Viola and Piano, Op. 36. The E Flat quintet (1899) is an amiable, outdoorsy piece with a hint of the bucolic Dvorák in its theme-and-variations first movement and the 1899-1900 F minor piece (cryptically using Edmund Burke's motto as its subtitle) is only slightly more stressed in its outer movements while the Phantasy (Cobbett competition fodder again) of 1911 is the most tightly-constructed and mature work here. Endymion. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7152 (England) 10H060 $18.98

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 1, Op. 66, Second Sonata, Sonata No. 3, Sonata in D, Op. 17. Percy Grainger's truncated revision of Scott's first, D major sonata (1901) was included in volume one of this series under the title Handelian Rhapsody; this 13-minute long version is a fine example of Scott's style of "flow for flow's sake". The op. 66 sonata of 1908, lasting some 28 minutes, is remarkable for having 497 time signature changes in its 582 bars while still maintaining the composer's characteristic fluidity of utterance. The little known Second Sonata (1933) is completely different: concerned chiefly with sound and color, it is closer to Scriabin in its 18-minute single-movement form (Gieseking sight-read it and apparently was its only champion). Scott's final sonata (1956) is an odd attempt to write in his early, luxuriant fashion, employing multiple motifs yet in a less flamboyant, more harmonically abstract manner. Leslie De'Ath (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7155 (England) 10H061 $18.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Concerto for String Orchestra, 3 Dances for Violin and Orchestra. Howells' somewhat unorthodox concerto of 1925, richly orchestrated but whose three movements are actually a sonata-form structure with the primary subject a simple diatonic tune, received a slightly mixed reaction at its premiere which threw the composer into a ten-year silence. His string concerto (1935) is in the fine tradition of Elgar and Vaughan Williams while the early Dances of 1915 are still in the late Romantic vein of his teacher, Stanford. Kathryn Stott (piano), Malcolm Stewart (violin), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Original 1992 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55205 (England) 10H062 $10.98

HUMPHREY PROCTER-GREGG (1895-1980): Clarinet Concerto, LEIGHTON LUCAS (1903-1982): Clarinet Concerto, JOHN CARMICHAEL (b.1930): Fêtes Champêtres, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): 6 Studies in English Folk Song. Procter-Gregg's is the most sizable concerto here, a very conservative work dating from around 1940 with not very much of the English pastoral nature about it. Lucas, known more as a film composer, wrote his equally substantial concerto in 1957 for Sydney Fell and it is a very virtuosic piece, again skirting the folk-song/pastoral vein while Carmichael (1963) writes a short piece in the French antique vein of Ravel's Tombeau or Debussy's Suite bergamasque. Ian Scott (clarinet), Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Barry Wordsworth. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7153 (England) 10H063 $18.98

CONSTANT LAMBERT (1905-1951): Romeo and Juliet, Piano Concerto, Prize Fight, The Bird Actors, Elegiac Blues. Except for the three-minute Elegiac Blues, everything here was written before Lambert turned 21. Most have only one other recording and, while ASV got to CD first, it was Plowright who premiered the 1924 piano concerto in its orchestration by Edward Shipley and Giles Easterbrook in 1988. Practically everything here has a strong whiff of jazz and/or the French school of Satie, Poulenc, Milhaud and Auric with Prize Fight, a nine-minute ballet, being the most satirical and anarchical. Jonathan Plowright (piano), English Northern Philharmonia; David Lloyd-Jones. Hyperion CDA 67545 (England) 10H064 $18.98

HANS GÁL (1890-1987): Concertino for Recorder and String Orchestra, Op. 82, IAN PARROTT (b.1916): Sinfonia Concertante for Recorder, Violin, String Orchestra and Percussion, PETER HOPE (b.1930): Concerto for Recorder, Strings, Harp and Percussion, DAVID ELLIS (b.1933): Divertimento Elegiaco for Recorder, String Orchestra, Harp and Marimba, DAVID BECK (b.1941): Flûte-à-Beck - Concerto for Recorder, Strings and Harp, DAVID DUBERY (b.1948): Mrs. Harris in Paris for Recorder and String Orchestra. Many of these concertos have the soloist using every size recorder throughout, giving a variety of sound which will certainly attract people not ordinarily partial to the instrument. All but one date from after 2000 and, while a couple are in the humorous, pictorial vein, Ellis' is as solemn and wistful as a recorder concerto can be and Parrott, too, comes out sounding more "serious" even than Hans Gál, whose Concertino (1961) was written for his recorder-playing daughter. John Turner (recorder), Camerata Ensemble; Philip McKenzie. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7154 (England) 10H065 $18.98

GEORGE DYSON (1883-1964): Symphony in G, Concerto da Chiesa for String Orchestra, At the Tabard Inn. Introduced to collectors by Chandos in 1994, Dyson's 1937 symphony clearly stands with any 20th century British symphony in the line of the great Romantic tradition with its Straussian emotion and poetry, rich harmonies and gorgeous orchestral colors. Its slow movement also has forebodings of disaster but its finale suggests Dyson's most popular work, the cantata The Canterbury Pilgrims (themes from which, incidentally, construct At the Tabard Inn, a brilliant comedy overture in the best English tradition of these works). The Concerto (1949), for solo string quartet and ripieno strings, weaves old hymn-melodies in with themes of Dyson's own creation to produce a work in the fine English string composition tradition from Purcell to Tippett. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557720 (New Zealand) 10H066 $6.98

GEORGE DYSON (1883-1964): Violin Concerto, Children's Suite after Walter de la Mare, Concerto leggiero for Piano and String Orchestra, Concerto da camera for String Orchestra, Concerto da chiesa for String Orchestra. A perfect time for Chandos to reissue at mid-price the balance of the catalogue's recorded Dyson with the 43-minute violin concerto (1941) worthy of standing beside the other wartime British violin concertos by Bax and Walton. The remaining works are of somewhat lighter quality, the De la Mare suite evoking Edwardian nursery nostalgia, the Concerto leggiero a serious, often elegiac work in classical form and the Concerto da camera standing with the Concerto da chiesa in its belonging to the great English string tradition. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Eric Parkin (piano), City of London Sinfonia; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10337 (England) 10H067 $17.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Checkmate - Complete Ballet, Mêlée Fantasque. Rarely heard complete the 1937 ballet is full of striking ideas and colorful orchestration while the 1921 Mêlée, a 12-minute ballet score Bliss considered to be his first, is very Stravinskian. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557641 (New Zealand) 10H068 $6.98

MICHAEL TIPPETT (1905-1975): The Rose Lake, Ritual Dances from The Midsummer Marriage. The Rose Lake was Tippett's last orchestral work (1995) and describes the impression made on him by a lake in Senegal whose milky-green color changes to bright pink in the midday sun. There is a magical, shimmering quality to much of the music, accentuated by much tuned percussion and glittering ostinatos; a beautiful work, extremely approachable. The only other recording came out in 1998 on the now-defunct Conifer label. BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos SACD Hybrid 5039 (England) 10H069 $21.98

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Violin Sonatas in D, Op. 16, in E, Op. 46 and in D, WoO 22, Albumblatt, WoO 70. Schoeck wrote very little chamber music - only five other items in all after the works on this disc - but it is very attractive and in the line of Brahms and Reger, the early (1905) sonata taking after the former and the second (1909) have some affinities with the latter. All but the youthful sonata were inspired by the unattainable violinist Stefi Geyer for whom Schoeck remained madly in love all his life, making the finely structured classicism in all of these works the more remarkable for their lack of surging Romantic passion. Simone Zgraggen (violin), Ulrich Koella (piano). Claves 50-2503 (Switzerland) 10H070 $16.98

WILLIAM GRANT STILL (1895-1978): 3 Visions, 7 Traceries, The Blues, A Deserted Plantation, Africa (arr. Verna Arvey). In addition to a piano version of the orchestral suite Africa, this new release brings 40 minutes of piano pieces composed during the 1930s which use jazz, blues and spirituals to evoke African-American life and history. Mark Boozer (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559210 (U.S.A.) 10H071 $6.98

VIRGIL THOMSON (1896-1989): Violin Sonata, For Mezzo-Soprano and Piano: Praises and Prayers, Two by Marianne Moore, 4 Songs to Poems of Thomas Campion for Mezzo-Soprano, Clarinet, Viola and Harp, Synthetic Waltzes for 2 Pianos. The early Waltzes (1925) and sonata (1930) range from neo-classical to neo-romantic while the songs (from 1951 and 1963) show a gift for lyrical word-setting. Texts included. Contiuum. Original 1988-89 MHS recordings. Naxos American Classics 8.559198 (U.S.A.) 10H072 $6.98

FERNAND QUINET (1898-1971): L'Ecole buissonière for String Quartet, 5 Mélodies orientales for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano, Suite for 3 Clarinets, Charade for Piano Trio, Viola Sonata, Moralités non légendaires for Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Orchestra. Founding cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet and founder of the Liège Philharmonic Orchestra, Quinet wrote most of his music at a young age. The works contained here all date from 1920-30. All but the sonata are suites of 5-8 short movements whose laconic irony and sense of detachment place him alongside Les Six in general terms of style; the sonata (1924) is a four-movement work of just over 18 minutes which leans in some respects more toward Fauré. French-English texts. Quatuor Simon, Marie Kobayashi (mezzo), Jean-Marie Cottet (piano), Jean-Louis Petit Chamber Orchestra. 1996 release. Cyprès/Musique en Wallonie CYP 3604 (Belgium) 10H073 $13.98 >

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Nose, Op. 15. Shostakovich's youthful opera, dating from the end of the wild, open, free-for-all period in Russian arts (composed in 1927-8 but only premiered in 1930, by which time the cultural freeze had begun to descend on Soviet artists) is still rarely performed or recorded. This is the brash, in-your-face Shostakovich of his jazz suites and of much Stravinsky of the same period, the music astringent and angular, often grotesque, with plenty of references to popular music of the period, fast-paced and colorful (the live recording from 2001 occasionally attests to the good time the audience is having with the staging and stage business). The fact that the notes are only in French and that there is no Russian libretto is less of a problem with this work than it would be with many others. 2 CDs. French translation. Andrew Schrder (baritone), Vladimir Matorin (bass), Jennifer Smith (soprano), Lausanne Chamber Chorus, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Armin Jordan. Cascavelle RSR 6183 (Switzerland) 10H074 $31.98

HELMUT EDER (1916-2005): Divertimento for Coloratura Soprano and 3 Orchestra Groups, Op. 64 (May Sandoz [soprano], Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg; Theodor Guschlbauer), ...Missa est for 3 Soloists, 2 Mixed Choirs and 3 Orchestra Groups, Op. 86. (Eva Lind [soprano], Marjana Lipovsek [mezzo], Robert Holl [bass], ORF Choir Vienna, Arnold Schönberg Choir, Choralschola St. Stephan, Passau, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Leopold Hager). Calling Divertimento "Pleasant entertaining music", as implied by the word, sells the work rather short, as it is really a great deal more than that, a beautifully crafted dramatic scena in four sections, with more than a touch of Busoni, Orff (especially in the third movement, which also seems somewhat incongruously to channel elements of Britten) and Hindemith about it, and a certain expressive seriousness of purpose that these influences might imply. The composer's chosen vocabulary is of the mid-20th century, not especially modern in idiom and entirely accessible while retaining considerable originality. Missa Est, while more a dramatic oratorio than a strictly liturgical mass, suggests a contemporary summing-up of the traditions of the Mass from mediæval Plainchant to the present day. I n all, a fine and excitingly vital work, firmly grounded in tonality and thus readily assimilable while retaining a degree of challenge to the listener through its very diversity of influence. Oehms Classics OC 539 (Germany) 10H075 $13.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Ein Landarzt, Das ende einer Welt. These are two radio operas from 1951 and 1953 respectively, the former setting a Kafka tale and the latter a story from Hildesheimer's Lieblose Legenden. "The Country Doctor", pure nightmare, is dodecaphonic and almost entirely in Sprechgesang and a few instances of echo and acoustic manipulation are added to increase the uncanny and threatening atmosphere. "The End of a World", at 37 minutes,11 minutes longer, has multiple characters, and multiple acoustic effects (sound collages, backward-played tapes, double speed, etc.) as well as a larger instrumental ensemble with plenty of unusual instruments (ocarina, recorders, harmonium, accordion) which help accentuate the social satire (this was Henze's first social satire, to be followed by Der junge Lord, Elegy for Young Lovers and The English Cat). German-English librettos. Roland Hermann (baritone), Roderic M. Keating, Freider Lang (tenors), Isolde Siebert (soprano), Daphne Evangelatos (mezzo), Matteo di Monti (bass), Cologne Cathedral Choir, Cologne Radio Choir, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Markus Stenz. Wergo WER 6666-2 (Germany) 10H076 $19.98

VYTAUTAS BARKAUSKAS (b.1931): Jeux for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 117, Duo Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, Op. 122, 2 Monologues for Solo Viola, Op. 71, Partita for Solo Violin, Op. 12. Combining a quasi-Gallic elegance and charm with Eastern European melancholy and nostalgia, Barkauskas' music incorporates elements of Poulenc and Shostakovich as well as his more recent contemporaries Ciurlionis and Rabinovich. A constant sense of metrical propulsion informs the appropriately playful violin concerto, Jeux, its virtuosic concertante nature tinged with shadowy reflectiveness. Here and there, as in the outer sections of the solo violin Partita, Barkauskas makes subtle use of dodecaphony, but only as a compositional tool; rhythmic freedom and highly chromatic tonality are the principal feature of this music. The Duo Concertante is especially striking, based on the true story of a Japanese diplomat who saved a huge number of potential victims of the Holocaust, the work incorporates elements of Japanese musical characteristics - a kind of timeless stasis and ink-wash subtle melancholy - seamlessly integrated into a dramatic framework which alternates passionate lyricism and tremendous motoric energy, the whole possessing great forward momentum and narrative drive. Philippe Graffin (violin), Nobuko Imai (viola), Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Vilnius Festival Orchestra; Robertas Servenikas. Avie AV2073 (England) 10H077 $16.98

MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (b.1934): Volume 3 - Synchronisms No. 5 (Manhattan School of Music Percussion Ensemble; Jeffrey Milarsky), Duo Capriccioso (Curtis Macomber [violin], Aleck Karis [piano]), Synchronisms No. 6 (Aleck Karis), Quartetto for Flute and String Trio (Speculum Musicae), Synchronisms No. 9 (Curtis Macomber), Chacona (Speculum Musicae). As much a pioneer of what we now call electroacoustic music as his colleagues Luening, Ussachevsky and Varèse, Davidovsky showed even in his earliest works after arriving in the USA an uncanny sense of how to seamlessly integrate electronic materials into compositions for acoustic instruments and ensembles, and the series of Synchronisms, of which three are presented on this disc (including a stunning percussion extravaganza) are perhaps the works that contributed most notably to his reputation as innovator. 'Pitch' and 'melody' are treated as entirely fluid entities; conventional harmony is almost entirely absent, yet the sense of tightly controlled, economical structure, emulating traditional forms in a wholly idiosyncratic timbral vocabulary, is continuously present. Unabashed instrumental virtuosity adds to the direct physical appeal of the works, on a dazzling surface level. This is modern music for the true modern music aficionado; uncompromising and brilliantly original. Bridge 9171 (U.S.A.) 10H078 $16.98

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881): 6 Morceaux de salon, Op. 22, Voix du cur, Op. 53. Philippe Koch (violin), Luc Devos (piano). 2000 release. Cyprès/Musique en Wallonie CYP 3613 (Belgium) 10H079 $13.98 >

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881): Cello Concertos Nos. 1. Op. 46 and No. 2, Op. 50. No. 1 may be the most melodic cello concerto of them all. No conflict here - just acres of noble and exalted cantabile melody which will make you wonder why no one ever performs it. The second concerto is more traditional in its masculine-feminine apportioning of themes in the first movement and it closes with a witty and memorable rondo theme for its finale. Marie Hallynck (cello), Belgian National Orchestra; Theodor Guschlbauer. 2001 release. Cyprès CYP 4609 (Belgium) 10H080 $13.98 >

JOSEPH RYELANDT (1870-1965): Symphony No. 4 for Chorus and Orchestra in E Flat Minor, Op. 55, Idylle Mystique for Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 30. The symphony (1912-13) expresses a fervent, Brucknerian religious faith with a language that synthesizes German high and late Romantic influences with early French Impressionism. Novecento Choir, Gent, Musica Flandrorum, Harelbeke, Mireille Capelle (soprano), Flanders Symphony Orchestra; Fabrice Bollon. 1999 release. Cyprès CYP 1616 (Belgium) 10H081 $13.98 >

ADOLPHE BIARENT (1871-1916): Piano Quintet in B Minor, Cello Sonata in F Sharp Minor. The 1914 quintet is dark and anxiety-ridden, with bold harmonies and chromaticism in a language still heavily influenced by Franck while the sonata (1915), written during the dark days of the war, wavers between despair and the poignant nostalgia for a better time. Diane Andersen (piano), Marc Drobinsky (cello), Danel Quartet. 2002 release. Cyprès CYP4611 (Belgium) 10H082 $13.98 >

JEAN ROGISTER (1879-1964): Lamento et Allegro energico, Adagio, Suite for String Orchestra and Flute in G Minor, Op. 114, Largo dans le style ancien et Scherzo, Adieu for String Orchestra and Viola. Anne Leonardo (viola), Marc Grauwels (flute), Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie; Jean-Paul Dessy. Rogister was drawn to exploring the timbres and sonorities of strings in depth and his musical personality comes out in each of these pieces - a generous lyricism made up of a blend of melancholy and élan and a sense of full, rich polyphony 2000 release. Cyprès/Musique en Wallonie CYP 3617 (Belgium) 10H083 $13.98 >

JACQUES LEDUC (b.1932): Symphony, Op. 29, Le Printemps, Op. 25, Ouverture d'été, Op. 28. Coming from just before we took over Records International, this release introduces a very attractive composer. Leduc was a pupil of Jean Absil and this means that he went the way of brisk, astringent, highly rhythmic neo-classicism with plenty of counterpoint and some areas of polytonalilty. These three works from the late 1960s are delightful, colorful and sometimes lyrical pieces worth getting to know if you don't know Leduc already. 1997 release. Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège et la Communauté française; Pierre Bartholomée. Cyprès CYP 7601 (Belgium) 10H084 $13.98 >

FRÉDÉRIC DEVREESE (b.1929): Gemini for Double Orchestra, Piano Concerto No. 1, Overture for Large Orchestra, Valse Sacrée for Orchestra, Gemini for 2 Pianos, Lullaby for Jesse for Piano, Black & White for Piano, Mascarade for Piano. First disc is devoted to orchestral works: a bright, wind-laden overture celebrating the 25th anniversary of the King of Belgium; the 20-year-old composer's first piano concerto (the one not recorded by Marco Polo) whose raucously unbuttoned amalgam of blues, jazz and technicolor "film-" type music already shows his mature style almost complete. His piano pieces, on the second disc, tend toward suites of short movements generally of fast or moderate tempo with powerful accents and syncopations, intense rhythms and great challenges to the performer's technique. 2 CDs. BRTN Philharmonic Orchestra; Walter Gillessen, Georges Octors, Fernand Terby, Frédéric Devreese, Daniel Blumenthal, Robert Groslot (piano). 1999 release. Cyprès CYP1619 (Belgium) 10H085 $27.98 >

PHILIPPE BOESMANS (b.1936): Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, Conversions for Orchestra. Opulent, even extravagant, orchestral works give a good impression of the post-romantic possibilities of post-Darmstadt orchestral thinking. The concertos are virtuosic showpieces for their respective soloists. Richard Pieta (violin), Marcelle Mercenier (piano), Liège Philharmonic Orchestra; Pierre Bartholomée. 1998 release. Cyprès 7604 (Belgium) 10H086 $13.98 >

LUC BREWAEYS (b.1959): Symphony No. 1 "E poi c'era...", Symphony No. 2 "Komm! Hebe dich...", Symphony No. 3 "Hommage", Symphony No. 5 "Laphroaig" for Chorus, 2 Conductors and Live Electronics, Réquialm for Soprano and Orchestra, Non lasciate ogni speranza for Soprano, Saxophone and Orchestra. A well-filled set for collectors of the Belgian avant-garde and of the Spectral school of composition - plenty of otherworldly mixtures of orchestral color with fans of Xenakis probably likely to enjoy much of it (Brewaeys studied with the latter, along with Donatoni and Ferneyhough). And, let's face it, anyone who had, by 1995, named five works after single-malt whiskies can't be all bad! Mireille Capelle (soprano), Daniel Kientzy (sax), Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. 1995 release. Cyprès CYP 2609 (Belgium) 10H087 $27.98 >

NICOLAS BOLENS (b.1963): ... et derrière moi marchent les étoiles for Violin and Orchestra, 3 Sonetos de Amor for Soprano and Piano, Musique pour Orchestre de Chambre, Sur quelques mots de Rainer Maria Rilke for String Quartet, Jeux d'Ombres for Violin, Viola, Cello andPiano, 3 Tableaux for Piano Trio. The music is directly appealing and playful, although written in a modern idiom; Bolens is not afraid to use elements of folk music, or to pit sections of an ensemble against each other in a kind of game. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Mirijam Contzen (violin), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; Michel Swierczewski, Brigitte Hool (soprano), Nicolas Bolens (piano), Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Ortys Quartet, Ensemble Contemporain du Conservatoire de Genève, Trio Arthur Grumiaux. Cyprès CYP1609 (Belgium) 10H088 $13.98 >

DIMITRI TERZAKIS (b.1938): String Quartet No. 5 (Artemis Quartet), Die Farben des Ozeans for Organ (Almut Rössler), Lieder ohne Worte, Zyklus II & III for One Singer (Gilah Yaron), Liturgia profana for Tenor, Chorus, 2 Cellos and Percussion (Lykourgos Angelopoulos [tenor], Bromma Chamber Choir, Das Moderne Ensemble; Spiros Argiris). Rejecting both avant-gardism and neo-tonality, Terzakis takes his inspiration from music of the ancient past, as well as its descendent through oral history, folk music. The quartet has a strange, archaic quality; while largely consonant and avoiding any suggestion of extended techniques, it also almost never suggests diatonic processes, or formal Western counterpoint for that matter. In the organ work, the emphasis is on a highly ornamented melismatic melodic line, in which accompaniment is entirely subsidiary. Liturgia from 1977 demonstrates the composer's skill in conjuring his evocation of antiquity with larger forces; using texts concerning love and death from a variety of southern and middle-eastern cultures this work has all the resonances of the best of 'world music' without the uneasy and artificial alliances too often encountered in attempts to evoke traditional musics within the western concert tradition. CPO 777 044 (Germany) 10H089 $15.98

JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (b.1943): A Sudden Rainbow, Angelfire for Amplified Violin and Orchestra, Beyond Autumn for Horn and Orchestra, September Canticle for Organ, Brass, Percussion, Amplified Piano and Strings. Enthusiasts for contemporary music that combines originality with a sense of building on the traditions of the past should respond enthusiastically to this new release. A poet and a composer with a deep love of literature and an unfailing sense of evocative imagery, Schwantner has produced here music for which the term 'tone-poem' might have been invented. One might compare Hanson, Bartók, maybe Rosenberg, occasionally Sibelius - though none of these figures sound like direct influences and Schwantner's vocabulary sometimes veers a bit further away from tonality than one commonly associates with them; the link is more in the general sense of harmonic vocabulary, and the fact that such major figures in 20th-century music occur to one is a tribute to the considerable power and eloquence of Schwantner's vision. Vivid and dramatic, the works pay tribute to the Romantic imagination, and in the elegiac, dark-hued September Canticle - a 9/11 piece, perhaps one of the most successful and least self-conscious to have appeared so far, the barely suppressed tragic drama is unforgettably compelling, eloquent and noble. Throughout these pieces shadows and mystery are never far away; Beyond Autumn is far from merely an exercise in nature-painting, more a meditation on the sense of loss and ending evoked by the closing of the year. Angelfire eschews empty virtuosity in favor of a passionate intensity expressed in the dramatic monologue of the omnipresent soloist. Anne Akiko Myers (violin), Gregory Hustis (horn), James Diaz (organ), Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Litton. Hyperion CDA 67493 (England) 10H090 $18.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (1918-2005): Symphony No. 2, Imago Mundi. Rochberg's Second is the first dodecaphonic symphony by an American. The composer called it "hard Romanticism" and it is not doctrinaire dodecaphony; Rochberg developed his own style based on study of Schoenberg and Webern and, perhaps, picked up something from Dallapiccola when the latter was Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome in 1950-51. The composer makes it clear that this work is an unburdening of his war experiences (he was severely wounded at the Battle of the Bulge), compounded by his disgust at the post-war contemporary music scene and his anger and frustration show through in almost every bar of this gritty, impassioned symphony. Imago Mundi (1973) is from an entirely different world, a "Ritual" for orchestra which evokes the hypnotic timelessness of Japanese Gagaku music. Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Naxos American Classics 8.559182 (U.S.A.) 10H091 $6.98

TOKUHIDE NIIMI (b.1947): Fujin Raijin for Japanese Big Drum, Organ and Orchestra, Violin Concerto "Cantus Vitalis", Anima Sonitofor Soprano and Orchestra. Another example of a fine and skilled Japanese composer co-opting elements of Western 20th-century techniques and integrating them into impressive orchestral compositions with elements of oriental sonorities and attitudes without actually transcribing authentic Japanese material. So Fujin Raijin uses the giant Japanese drum and some other esoteric percussion in a matrix of European modernism of a few decades ago, sounding like a non-threatening slightly Hollywoodised interpretation of Ligetian and Pendereckian clusters and mildly dissonant chords. The concerto is more lyrical and meditative, and simpler of texture. The soloist plays a frequently elegiac role, trying to impose tranquility on increasingly agitated opposition by the orchestra. Anima Sonito follows a similar path, the wordless vocal soloist as protagonist in dialogue with orchestra, growing from formless beginnings toward more clearly defined pitch and rhythm-determined material. Eitetsu Hayashi (big Japanese drum), Ryuta Suzuki (organ), Kyoko Takezawa (violin), Rie Hamada (soprano), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Hikotaro Yazaki, NHK Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Bamert (violin cto.). Camerata CMCD 28051 (Japan) 10H092 $17.98

FRANÇOIS-BERNARD MÂCHE (b.1935): Maraé for 6 Amplified Percussions and Tape, Aera for 6 Percussions, Khnoum for Akai S1000 Sampler and 5 Percussions, Le printemps du serpent for 12 Percussions. Mâche's use of percussion and electronics covers a wide range of techniques; Maraé, for instance, consists entirely of recorded natural sounds and unpitched percussion, while Aera uses predominantly pitched instruments, including relatively unfamiliar ones from the East. Even here, though, conventional melody and harmony are absent; combinations of sounds are utilised for their coloristic implications, evoking strange landscapes and ancient rituals. Khnoum uses an electronic sampler, which replays transmuted sounds derived from those of the percussion ensemble; unlike the first two works from about a decade earlier, this piece has a more solemn, ritualistic feel. Le Printemps marks a return to the annotated nature sounds (rain, water, animal noises) of Maraé, in a kind of highly advanced musique concrète, seamlessly integrating subtle percussion sounds with natural ones. Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ju Percussion Group of Taiwan. Accord 476 8038 (France) 10H093 $17.98

MAGNUS LINDBERG (b.1958): Clarinet Concerto, Grand Duo for 13 Winds and 11 Brass, Chorale for Orchestra. In the superb concerto of 2002 Lindberg seems to be moving in the direction of greater lyricism, a more poetic sensibility, greater freedom to allow ideas to take their time to develop within the musical argument, and all without sacrificing the boldness and brilliance of his handling of complex textures. The soloist engages in a non-stop glittering dialogue with the orchestra, progressing through a variety of dramatic 'scenes' in an event-filled journey through an intoxicating landscape of inexhaustible invention. Gran Duo shares this sense of eloquent dialogue, this time between two instrumental groups. The feeling of narrative story-telling is palpable throughout; a subsidiary instrumental grouping will relate a tragic episode, for instance, and then the idea will be taken up and commented upon by its colleagues - you would swear that you can hear a kind of oral mythology in the making. Chorale builds characteristically dense, architectural textures from material based on Bach, an impressive addition to the canon of Bach hommages. Kari Kriikku (clarinet), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo. Ondine ODE 1038-2 (Finland) 10H094 $17.98

LUCA FRANCESCONI (b.1956): Plot II for Saxophone and 15 Instruments, YAN MARESZ (b.1966): Éclipse for Clarinet and 14 Instruments, CLAUDE LENNERS (b.1956): Vol de nuit for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Double Bass and Percussion, JEAN-LUC FAFCHAMPS (b.1960): Letrre soufie: D for Clarinet, String Trio and Percussion, ALEJANDRO VIÑAO (b.1951): Cuaderno del Ritmo for Flute, Clarinet, Perucssion, Piano and String Quintet, GÉRARD ZINSSTAG (b.1941): Hommage à Charles Racine for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Horn, 2 Percussions, Harp and String Trio. Francesconi's work is dynamic and rhythmically buoyant, treating the complex overlapping threads of glittering dynamic music with exemplary clarity. With a background in jazz and training at Juilliard and work at IRCAM, Maresz brings a great deal of quasi-improvisatory freedom and readily communicative appeal to his Éclipse, the lively surface concealing considerable sophistication and seriousness of narrative. Dynamism and hectic activity characterise Lenners' 'Night Flight', which generates considerable accumulated tension during its brief, motoric six minutes. Fafchamps' work is more meditative and incorporates some elements of material with an esoteric, eastern feel, as befits its original inspiration in Sufic art and texts. Viñao has for years been a leading figure in British electroacoustic music, sharing with composers such as Stephen Montague an ability to incorporate the latest technology into sophisticated contemporary music with immediate appeal. The first section of his hugely enjoyable Cuaderno del Ritmo, a brilliant 'transcription' of Debussy's Fêtes is alone worth the price of admission for its sheer cheeky ebullience and inventiveness. Zinnstag's widely varied palette of techniques evokes a shadowy, slightly sinister world (based on the writings of Charles Racine) of hallucinatory clarity and constant ambiguity. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Mireille Deguy (mezzo), Jean-Marc Foltz (clarinet), Olivier Sliepen (saxophone), United Instruments of Lucilin; Mark Foster. Fuga Libera FUG501 (Belgium) 10H095 $17.98

ROBERT KYR (b.1952): Violin Concerto No. 1 "On the Nature of Love", Violin Concerto No. 2 "On the Nature of Harmony", Violin Concerto No. 3 "On the Nature of Peace". These concerti form a kind of narrative set, the composer integrating elements of musical traditions outside that of western concert music - most notably in the use of the gamelan in the second, which along with an emphasis on modal scales lends the music a mysterious and exotic quality. However, his use of clearly defined traditional classical forms (fugue, variations etc.) and the generally uncomplicated nature of his melodic material places the works at the sophisticated end of the 'world-music', somewhat New Age-y spectrum. Even 'Conflict' from the third rapidly resolves the suggestion of violence at the opening into an elegiac lyricism in rich, comforting consonant harmony. Denise Huizenga (violin), Ron Blessinger (violin, concertos 2 & 3), Third Angle New Music Ensemble; Robert Kyr, Pacific Rim Gamelan; Jeffrey Peyton (concerto 2). New Albion NA126 (U.S.A.) 10H096 $15.98

ULRICH LEYENDECKER (b.1946): Symphony No. 3, Violin Concerto. Following neither the post-war Darmstadt culture nor the back-to-Romanticism crew, Leyendecker's symphony (1990-1) and concerto (1995) use a freely tonal language based on layers of sound punctuated with scurrying rhythmic figures where textures thicken and dissolve and waves of orchestral color ebb and flow. The concerto tends to communicate more directly with the listener, due, probably, to the traditional role of its soloist with whom we can identify. Collectors who enjoy masses of orchestral sound color for its own sake will probably like Leyendecker; those looking for melody and form will probably not. Roland Greutter (violin), North German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Johannes Kalitzke. Naxos 8.557427 (New Zealand) 10H097 $6.98

JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Seven Last Words from the Cross, On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, Te Deum. In some valuable and revealing interview texts contained in the notes, MacMillan gives a very complete and succinct explanation of his artistic credo, citing Kenneth Leighton (a currently unfashionable composer of great depth and emotional complexity, like MacMillan an ardent Christian), Messiaen and Shostakovich as among his greatest influences. In a work like Seven Last Words this can be seen as making complete sense. Largely avoiding the 'angry young man' aggression of the large orchestral works which first propelled MacMillan into the limelight, this work is intensely dramatic nonetheless, achieving an overwhelming accumulating tension through deceptively economical means; the depiction of the brutal crucifixion itself is thus rendered all the more shocking. Annunciation progresses from meditation to celebration, a simple evocation of the security invoked by faith. Te Deum is more emotionally and musically complex, beginning in quiet contemplation, simple of texture and tonal of idiom and progressing to a monumental depiction of the rock-like foundation of the Church in Messiaenic blocks of organ sonority before subsiding into a gently lamenting coda. Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia; Stephen Layton. Hyperion CDA 67460 (England) 10H098 $18.98

JEAN-LOUIS FLORENTZ (1947-2004): Qsar Ghilâne, Op. 18 for Orchestra (Ensemble Orchestral de Paris; John Nelson), Debout sur le Soleil, Op. 8 for Organ (Oliver Latry, organ of Notre-Dame de Paris), Asmarâ, Op. 9 for Mixed Choir (Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris; Nicole Corti). A fascinating eclectic mixture of influences from a composer who was a skilled ethnomusicologist, drawing inspiration from his researches into African and Arabic liturgical musics, encountered first-hand in his travels through Ethiopia, Tunisia and the Middle East. Especially in the organ work, the influences of Tournemire, Alain and (perhaps inevitably) Messiaen, are clearly audible, and all these works share a passionate dramatic intensity and heightened sense of color that are very French. The way Florentz seamlessly integrates birdsong and ethnic falsetto singing into works with a powerfully apparent chromatic-modal harmonic style, spiced up but never dominated by clusters, never fails to enchant, and renders what could easily be a bewildering array of styles readily approachable. Qsar Ghilâne, a landscape for orchestra, is especially impressive - more obviously tonal than the other works, it is as though the great nationalistic Scandinavian composers were somehow transplanted to the equally desolate regions of North Africa and somehow managed to evoke these limitless and pitiless landscapes as vividly as their own. Very highly recommended. Accord 476 7495 (France) 10H099 $17.98

TRISTAN MURAIL (b.1947): Complete Piano Works - Comme un il suspendu et poli par le songe..., Estuaire, Territoires de l'Oubli, Cloches d'adieu, et un sourire..., La Mandragore, Les Travaux et les Jours. The influence of Murail's teacher, Messiaen, is unavoidably apparent, especially in the earlier works. Territoires occupies landscapes which lie between 19th-century Lisztian bravura and the expanded sound-world now familiar to us from electronics and Spectral analysis. The auditory illusions - of microtones resulting from the interplay of overtones, of sustaining, organ-like tones, invoked by the alchemy of the pedals, are here given free rein in music that demanded the evolution of new notational techniques for its expression. The sonorous tributes to Messiaen and Ravel reveal a concern to acknowledge tradition while never being enslaved to it; one has the sense of examining the past though the wrong end of a distorting telescope. The second disc contains a 2003 cycle of pieces in which there is a greater emphasis on narrative and structure and less reliance on coloristic effects than in the earlier works, suggesting that Murail has arrived at a personal voice very much his own in his piano writing, an economical and ambiguous language of considerable cogency and powerful impact. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Marilyn Nonken (piano). Metier MSC CD 92097 (England) 10H100 $16.98

KLAUS SCHEDL (b.1966): Running Man for Ensemble, CARL CHRISTIAN BETTENDORF (b.1973): Nachtstücke und Arie for Soprano and Ensemble, ARMANDO GENTILUCCI (1939-1989): In alto, le stelle for 9 Instruments, HANS-JÜRGEN VON BOSE (b.1953): Befragung for Clarinet and Strings, MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE (b.1960): On All Fours for Chamber Ensemble. All the works here have in common a vigor and tangible joy in the vitality of performance which is tremendously engaging. Bettendorf's Nachtstück is appropriately shadowy, though not in a mysterious half-lit sense; the nightmares and monsters occupying this nocturnal vision are all too solid and potent. Both here and in Turnage's angular and driven work and Scheidl's aggressive Running Man, rhythmic vitality counts for a great deal, even though the timbral and harmonic vocabulary varies widely from piece to piece. Gentilucci provides a meditative contrast to much of the rest of the program, though even here there is a sense of uneasy tension in the shifting layers of sound, and little in the way of genuine repose. Like the other works here, Bose's "Questioning" seems to possess some quasi-programmatic content, though this impression is suggested by the vividness of the musical material rather than any expressed narrative agenda. Piano Possibile; Christian Günther. Cybele 360.501 (Germany) 10H101 $16.98

WOLFGANG PLAGGE (b.1960): Raga for Horn and Piano, Monoceros for Horn, Horn Sonata No. 4, SIGURD BERGE (1929-2002): Horn Trio, TRYGVE MADSEN (b.1940): Trio For Horn, Violin and Piano, JOHAN KVANDAL (1919-1999): Salmetone for Horn, ANDREA CLEARFIELD (b.1960): Into the Falcon's Eye for Horn and Piano. Berge's work for three horns is so rich in its musical material and so ingenious in suggesting a Graingeresque out-of-doors, folk-influenced idiom that it is hard not to believe that you are listening to a full wind symphony. Madsen suggests that his trio is intended as a companion-piece to the well-known Brahms, and, in its warmly Romantic expressiveness it would make an entirely appropriate foil to its illustrious predecessor. Both Plagge and Kvandal also adhere to a Romantic sensibility - their works are unquestionably tonal - but there is never a sense of retrograde nostalgia; Plagge has character pieces and a sonata - yes, a sonata (using fragments of Mediæval church music) - entirely without irony and of instant appeal and vitality. Clearfield utilises the most modern vocabulary here, with some sliding tones providing coloristic embellishments to what is nonetheless a highly approachable and impeccably structured composition with a strong grounding in tonality. Frøydis Ree Wekre (horn), Lisa Ford, Jan-Olav Martinsen (horns), Atle Sponberg (violin), Tor Espen Aspaas, Wolfgang Plagge, Andrea Clearfield (piano). 2L 25 (Norway) 10H102 $17.98

JÜRG BAUR (b.1918): Incontri for Flute and Piano, TOM LORENZ (b.1959): Wadi for Solo Flute, BOJIDAR DIMOV (b.1935): Reflexe for Flute/Piccolo and Piano, GÜNTHER BECKER (b.1924): 3 Inventionen for Solo Flute, BEN SÜVERKRÜP (b.1967): Ohne Blumen for Flute and Piano, DIMITRI TERZAKIS (b.1938): 2 Märchen for Alto Flute/Flute Solo, MANFRED TROJAHN (b.1949): Objet trouvé for Flute and Piano. Lorenz makes subtle use of extended playing techniques (breath tones, bent pitches); most of the other music here does not, though Süverkrüp's piano has some 'prepared' features but his flute writing is primarily lyrical in nature. Baur and Becker both employ dodecaphony, and in general the composers adopt recognisable forms, providing a sense of unity to underscore the vaguely avant-garde æsthetics of the music. Terzakis, with his Mediterranean background, incorporates elements of the East in a work of ornately decorated melodiousness (additional sensuousness provided by the mellow alto flute), while Trojahn's brief and angular piece brings this appealing recital to a sprightly close. Christiane Lorenz (flute), Thomas Leander (piano). Cybele 360.701 (Germany) 10H103 $16.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): The Sea Wolf - Complete, Suite from The Adventures of Robin Hood. Unlike most of his films scores which collectors are familiar with today - opulent and richly Romantic - the music for the 1941 The Sea Wolf is dark, spare, dissonant and fully in keeping with the brutal story which it underlines (Korngold even planned to write an opera based on the London novel). This is its first complete recording and lasts 55 minutes, including music lost when Warner Bros. cut twelve minutes of the film in 1947 and discarded it completely. Also included is the music for a trailer (4:40) which begins with a cue from The Prince and the Pauper (!). BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10336 (England) 10H104 $17.98

FRANZ WAXMAN (1906-1967): Rebecca. This 1940 score was of such striking quality that it caused Waxman to be the supreme composer of "Gothic" film scores for the rest of his 26-year career. 72 minutes of the 124 minutes of full-score have been recorded here, using the original score and parts; only the lack of photographs and extra notes from the original, full-price Marco Polo issue are missing, a three-page condensed version being reprinted here. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Original 1991 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.557549 (New Zealand) 10H105 $6.98

ALEC WILDER (1907-1980): Suite No. 1 for Tenor Sax and Strings "Three Ballads for Stan Getz", Suite for Flute and Strings, Suite No. 2 for Tenor Sax and Strings "For Zoot Sims", Suite for Horn and Strings, Suite for Clarinet and Orchestra, Suite for Horn and Piano. A very attractive example of Wilder's ability to fuse jazz, easy listening (50s and 60s style) and classical music into suites for solo instruments and strings or piano. It tells much about both Wilder and Villa-Lobos, whose finger on the pulse of popular music (the African-American influenced kind, which he had access to both in Brazil and during his stays in the U.S.) was steady, that the two saxophone suites make one think of the popular-music influenced compositons of the latter. Shannon Ford (sax), Sandra Clark (horn), Jocelyn Langworthy (clarinet), Amy Heritage (flute), Valrie Kantoski (piano), The Alec Wilder Project Orchestra; Chelsea Tipton. Riverview Records RR001 (U.S.A.) 10H106 $16.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Fantasia contrappuntistica, Fantasia nach J.S. Bach, Toccata. A welcome reissue of one of Ogdon's most important recordings, showcasing three of Busoni's finest solo piano works. The Fantasia is a different performance (recorded on a separate occasion) from the one offered last month, and this disc is especially noteworthy for Ogdon's haunted, demonic and deeply worrying performance of the Toccata, which relates it more closely to the Mephistophelian element of Doktor Faust than anyone else has ever attempted. Briefly and less than satisfactorily reissued by another label in the 1990s, Altarus' own remastered edition completely supersedes the earlier CD. John Ogdon (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9074 (U.S.A.) 10H107 $18.98

LAURENT PETITGIRARD (b.1950): The Elephant Man. This score is profoundly lyrical and operatically conventional, tonal throughout and emotionally compelling through its clear, plain directness of utterance and undistracted linear narrative line. Ingeniously, the composer chose to write the title role for a female contralto, thus heightening the sense of strangeness and 'otherness' of the character. The abuse and humiliation to which Merrick was subjected is presented both in the music and the staging as a moving human drama, avoiding freakish shock-tactics (the appearance of the Elephant Man is shocking enough, but we feel for him as a vulnerable human being more than we are repelled by his hideous appearance rendered through anatomically correct prosthetic makeup), concentrating instead on the behaviours and motivations of the morally ambiguous characters in their unique and bizarre situation and the way in which they interact within it. English subtitles. Jana Sykorova (mezzo), Nicolas Rivenq (baritone), Robert Breault (tenor), Valérie Conduluci (soprano), Nice Opera Chorus, Nice Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurent Petitgirard (Nice Opera; Nov. 29, 2002). Marco Polo DVD 2.220001 (New Zealand) 10H108 $30.98

LAURENT PETITGIRARD (b.1950): The Elephant Man. A 1999 studio recording of the above with two changes in the main roles. Libretto available on-line. Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), Nicolas Rivenq (baritone), Robert Breault (tenor), Marie Devellereau (soprano), French Opera Chorus, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurent Petitgirard (Opéra Garnier de Monte-Carlo; May 18-22, 1999). Naxos 8.557608-09 (New Zealand) 10H109 $15.98