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Felix Weingartner

Symphony No. 1

FELIX WEINGARTNER (1863-1942): Symphonic Works, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 1 in G, Op. 23, König Lear, Op. 20. Recorded by the orchestra he took over in 1927 and in the hall where he conducted them, this new Weingartner series promises to be something special based on this initial release. The 22-minute tone poem (1895) was the composer/ conductor's first large orchestral work and it shows the influence throughout of Weingartner's teacher and benfactor, Liszt; in fact, in its highly strung, violently passionate course, it's kind of like Battle of the Huns or Mazeppa on steroids. The symphony dates from three years later and is a generally genial, sunny work in four movements - the first, full of pastoral warmth with the main theme recalling a Rubinstein piano sonata which pushed the young Weingartner toward music, the second is an Allegretto alla marcia with a tinge of melancholy, the third a scherzo with Mendelssohnian dash and lightness and the finale a boisterous movement with the suggestion of folk-dance (yes, four fast movements!). Basel Symphony Orchestra; Marko Letonja. Surround Sound Multi-channel SACD Hybrid. CPO 999 981 (Germany) 09G001 $15.98


New Old Label: We have almost more than a dozen titles on the Swiss label, Jecklin, in this month's catalogue (a Records International exclusive since the label has no U.S. distribution). All but two or three of these have never been distributed in the U.S. Jecklin had no U.S. distribution from around 1993 or so, when it left KOCH International.

More New Label: There are also a handful of new VMS titles (the Austrian label run by the former founder of Schwann - and then, KOCH Schwann - which we debuted back in December last year and which we can now tell you stands for Vergessene Musikalische Schätze - Forgotten Musical Treasures)

New New Label: You'll see a couple of Oehms Classics CDs in here. Herr Oehms was the man who founded Arte Nova and, like Günter Hänssler, has fled his first-born and started a new mid-price label.

AND, of course, the Hungarotons might be late in arriving....

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

MIECYSLAW VAINBERG (1919-1996): Symphonies, Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 61, Sinfonietta No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 74, Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Op. 47/1. The fourth symphony (1957, revised in 1961 before its premiere) originally had the movement headings "Toccata", "Serenata", "Intermezzo" and "Rondo", which give a feeling of its intent. High energy in the first, a slightly sad second with waltz rhythms, a third which begins and ends gently after rising to a passionate climax and a whirling, headlong dance-like finale all combine to produce a symphony which even the Party authorities liked. The 1960 second Sinfonietta may have a veiled program of nostalgia for Vainberg's Polish roots, especially in its dreamy finale which is an orchestration of one of the composer's songs (entitled "Remembrance") while its lively first movement has reminiscences of Bartók. The 1949 Rhaposdy, written at a time of great danger for Soviet composers (especially Jews like Vainberg), shows that Vainberg, like his good friend Shostakovich, could write excellent music while following the Party's Socialist-Realism strictures. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice; Gabriel Chmura. Chandos 10237 (England) 09G002 $17.98

ROBERT SIMPSON (1921-1997): Symphony No. 11, Variations on a Theme by Carl Nielsen. How long it's been since a Simpson CD was released can be gauged by the fact that this is the first since we took over RI in July of 1997! His last symphony dates from 1990 and is in two movements, a 13-minute Andante of often chamber-type scoring, largely polyphonic and generally tranquil and serene, followed by a 15-minute Allegro vivace which opens with light, Mendelssohnian wind scurryings and delicate string flickering and builds up steam into a muscular, Beethovenian energy. The Nielsen Variations (1983) take a theme from the incidental music to the play Ebbe Skamulsen (has this ever been recorded?) and submit it to nine variations of Simpson's typical protean ingenuity and vitality and finish with an 11-minute Finale which begins with a calm string fugato and builds up a fierce momentum to culminate in a powerful finale. City of London Sinfonia; Matthew Taylor. Hyperion CDA 67500 (England) 09G003 $17.98

JOHN CORIGLIANO (b.1938): The Pied Piper Fantasy, KATHERINE HOOVER (b.1937): Medieval Suitei, CHEN YI (b.1953): The Golden Flute. Corigliano's theatrical (if you're seeing it live) fantasy from 1981 has been recorded for RCA (remember when RCA was RCA and it still made classical music recordings?) by its dedicatee, James Galway, so we offer this new release for its companion items. Hoover's orchestration of a flute/piano piece (1983) receives its first recording, a five-movement suite (lasting 19 minutes) which both quotes and meditates upon medieval source material as well as creates its own mood-pieces suggesting its movement headings ("Virelai", "The Black Knight", "The Drunken Friar", "On the Betrothal of Princess Isabelle of France, Aged Six Years" and "Demon's Dance"). Chen Yi wrote her piece in 1997 (for Galway also) and, as often, she evokes the timeless sound of Chinese wind instruments in her freely tonal three-movement work of 16 minutes length. Alexa Still (flute), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Sedares. Koch International Classics 7566 (U.S.A.) 09G004 $16.98

RICHARD DANIELPOUR (b.1956): A Child's Reliquary for Piano Trio, In the Arms of the Beloved for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. Richard "Don't call him neo-Romantic or post-Modern" Danielpour may be writing the most attractive, gorgeously orchestrated/instrumented music of anyone today. You can hear all sorts of influences in these pieces, but they are usually used for pointed and telling effect - for instance, the sudden appearance of a Satie-esque interlude in the second movement of A Child's Reliquary, a piano trio written in memory of the 18-month-old son of conductor Carl St. Clair, which succeeds a playful section which seems to recall happier times and precedes a concluding section which is almost manically frantic. Or the beginning of the double concerto, a work suggested by 13th century Persian poetry, which has the rarified and perfumed atmosphere of Szymanowski. Each of these works has as many different expressions as it does movements and all of them are openly communicative, often richly colored and speak with emotions we can all recognize. Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio, Iris Chamber Orchestra; Michael Stern. Arabesque Z6767 (U.S.A.) 09G005 $16.98

LOWELL LIEBERMANN (b.1961): Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 32, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 77, Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, Op. 28, Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 46, 2 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 4. Liebermann is certainly among the most performed and recorded of contemporary composers because, like Danielpour above, he writes music which is readily understandable and which readily communicates with the listener. Although these chamber works are more abstract and, thus, free of the extramusical associations of the above pieces, their use of time-honored instrumental combinations and musical language would enable any composer from Haydn to Ravel to recognize their genres. Of course, the musical times post Ravel will leave a mark on any composer sensitive to those mid-century struggles and, while Liebermann never goes beyond the bounds of tonality and always uses melodic themes, there is no mistaking that these are late 20th century works (1971 to 2000 to be exact). William Terwilliger (violin), Andres Diaz (cello), Andrew Cooperstock (piano), Erika Eckert (viola). Albany TROY 684 (U.S.A.) 09G006 $16.98

LOWELL LIEBERMANN (b.1961): 6 Songs on Poems of Henry W. Longfellow, Op. 57, Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, Op. 41, Final Songs, Op. 21, 3 Dream Songs, Op. 53, A Poet to his Beloved, Op. 40, Night Songs, Op. 22. Songs have also been high on Liebermann's list of important genres and this collection shows his interest in 19th as well as 20th century poets (Whitman, Langston Hughes, Robert Graves, Yeats and others are included). Needless to say, the same qualities outlined above of craftsmanship, emotional communicativeness and approachability inform these satisfying additions to the American song canon. Texts included. Robert White (tenor), Lowell Liebermann (piano). Arabesque Z6770 (U.S.A.) 09G007 $16.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Film Music, Vol. 2 - 49th Parallel (ed. Hogger), The England of Elizabeth (ed. Hogger), The Dim Little Island (reconstr. Hogger). There is much glorious music in the 39-minute suite of music from the 1940 Ministry of Information film 49th Parallel, some of it in V-W's finest pastoral vein (he was working on the Sym. No. 5 at the time), a menacing Nazi march, some jazzy material looking ahead to the scherzo of the Sym. No. 6 and other pieces reminiscent of his settings of hymn-tunes. The England of Elizabeth goes well beyond Muir Matheson's Three Portraits suite to give us 24 minutes which covers nearly all the original music used in the film while the little, ten-minute propaganda documentary Dim Little Island (1949) is mostly composed of reworkings of the Five Variants on "Dives and Lazarus". Emily Gray (soprano), Martin Hindmarsh (tenor), Chetham's Chamber Choir, BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10244 (England) 09G008 $17.98

FEDERICO MORENO TORROBA (1891-1982): 3 Nocturnos for 2 Guitars and Orchestra, Puertas de Madrid for 2 Guitars and Orchestra. It's interesting to find out that Torroba wrote not only many dozens of zarzuelas and solo guitar pieces but also many works for guitar(s) and orchestra, most of which remain in manuscript. The two recorded here date from 1969 and 1974 respectively and take their inspiration from such Spanish folk types as the bolero, fandango and jota while often producing a tonal ambiguity due to the modal origins of the thematic material. The orchestration is colorful and sometimes impressionistic-sounding while the melodies are often enmeshed in a harmonic web which has a greater overall effect than the actual melodies. +Que2 (i.e. mas que dos), Orquesta del Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Salamanca; Jorge Ledezma Bradley. Verso VRS 2013 (Spain) 09G009 $18.98

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882-1967): Méditation on a Theme by Claude Debussy, 9 Stücke, Op. 3, Valsette, 7 Stücke, Op. 11, Dances of Marosszék, 12 Children's Dances. Yes, a Jandó disc not on Naxos! Collectors may recall one or two on Koch Schwann from the early 90s and this 1991 recording (never issued, apparently) seems to belong to that group. Unlike Bartók, Kodály did not write much for the piano. The pieces here (77 minutes of them) comprise everything he wrote after 1900 (which can be counted as all of his mature pieces for the instrument). Both Opp. 3 (1909) and 11 (1917-18) show a characteristic mixture of Hungarian folk elements and Debussian harmonies while the Marosszék dances need no commentary. The Children's Dances are the latest, dating from 1945 and a symbolic effort to begin post-war reconstruction, again using folk melodies with all of the old composer's inventiveness. Jenö Jandó (piano). VMS 131 (Austria) 09G010 $17.98 >

KNUDÅGE RIISAGER (1887-1959): Sonata, Op. 22, 2 Morceaux, 4 Pieces from Slaraffenland, Op. 33, Sonatine, Waltz from the Ballet Tolv med posten, Op. 37, 4 Pieces for Children, 4 Épigrammes, En glad trompet and other piano pieces. Known mainly for his many ballets, Riisager left a small but significant group of piano pieces which stand out for their modern quality, not sounding like any other Danish composer of his period. The sonata is the most important, dating from 1931, and, in its mechanistic and dissonant quality (produced by bitonality), it belongs to the Bartók-Prokofiev-"constructivist" axis of the period. The Epigrammes are the earliest works here (1921) in which one hears the only reference to Carl Nielsen which Riisager may have ever written. The 1950 Sonatine is bright and neo-classical and the remaining pieces, several of which are ballet music transcriptions, fill out an attractive disc. Mid-price. Christina Bjørkøe (piano). Dacapo 8.226004 (Denmark) 09G011 $9.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Piano Music, Vol. 4 - Bachianas Brasieiras No. 4, Poema Singulo, A Fiandeira, Simples Coletânea, Valsa Romântica, For 2 Pianos: Carnaval das Crianças, Francette et Piá. In addition to the original piano version of the Bachianas, the other two larger-scale works are both for two pianos, "Children's Carnival" of 1920 and Francette et Piá of 1928, and both are inspired by children or children's songs or written with children in mind. Sonia Rubinsky (piano), Tatiana Rankovich (second piano). Naxos 8.555717 (New Zealand) 09G012 $6.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): String Quartets Nos. 1-17. The Brazilian composer was at his least colorful and most abstract in his string quartets. In fact, there is a high level of dissonance and atonality in many of the later works, such that many lovers of the composer of Forest of the Amazon are put off entirely while many collectors of 20th century chamber music are as enthusiastic over the quartets as the former are over the tone poems. 6 CDs. Budget-price. Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Original Dorian releases. Brilliant Classics 6634 (Netherlands) 09G013 $33.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): String Quartet No. 4 (Orion String Quartet), ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 35 for Violin, Viola and 2 Cellos (Alexander Kerr [violin], Kirsten Johnson [viola], Timothy Eddy, Eric Kim [cellos], ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Moz-Art for 2 Violins (Todd Phillips, Daniel Phillips [violins]). This recording from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival of 2002 unfortunately duplicates the unusually instrumented Arensky quartet which we offered from the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival last December, but it does offer the brand-new Harbison quartet, a 20-minute work in the traditional four movements which is wholly tonal, very approachable and sure to appeal to collectors of contemporary chamber music. Koch International Classics 7551 (U.S.A.) 09G014 $16.98

OLIVIERO BALLIS (1540-1616): Canzonette amorose spirituali, GIOVANNI BATTISTA CALETTI (1577-1642): Madrigali, Book I. First recordings of 44 madrigals and canzonette from the late 16th century by two composers from Crema who are still only bare mentions in Grove, which add to our knowlege of the milieu in which Monteverdi, Palestrina and Marenzio held top places. Italian texts. Nuova Musica di Crema; Bruno Gini. Tactus TC 5703301 (Italy) 09G015 $11.98

ADRIANO BANCHIERI (1567-1634): Sinfonie ecclesiastiche. Banchieri has been better known in modern times for his secular madrigal comedies but was considered a sacred composer of the highest standard by his contemporaries. To help right that situation, here is a world premiere recording of a collection of French chanson-type polyphonic sacred pieces (1607) performed by singers with instrumental accompaniment. Ars Renata Vocal Ensemble, Sonatores Pannoniae, Ars Longa Chamber Ensemble; László Virágh. Hungaroton HCD 32194 (Hungary) 09G016 $17.98

FRANCESCO COLOMBINI (1588-1671): 14 Concerti ecclesiastici, Op. 7, 9 Motetti concertati, Op. 6, 2 Canzone, 3 Correnti. And, one generation later, works in the same genre as above (1628) performed in a vivid, memorable (if less smoothly fashioned) manner which it seems only native Italians can produce. The solo organ works in tabulature may be by another composer named Francesco Colombano. Modo Antiquo; Bettina Hoffmann. Tactus TC 585301 (Italy) 09G017 $11.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Filandra e Selvino, DOMENICO ZIPOLI (1668-1726): Dell'offese a vendicarmi for Baritone and Continuo. Given the recent stream of sacred works by Scarlatti being given their first recordings, this half-hour long farcical intermezzo from 1698, with an old woman, sung by a tenor, hankerin' after an old gardiner, comes as something of a shock. The coupling is a cantata by the Jesuit who died in Argentina - written before he left Europe - whose character is the Roman Lucretia and which wraps two impassioned vengeance arias around a deeply affecting central love aria for her husband and family. Somehow, the only version of this to have come down to us is for a bass voice (!). Italian-English texts. Vincenzo Sanso (tenor), Carmelo Corrado Caruso (baritone), Silvio Risaliti (cello), Strumentisti della Scuola "G. Verdi" di Prato; Fausto Nardi. Bongiovanni GB 2315 (Italy) 09G018 $16.98

TOMMASO BERNARDO GAFFI (1667-1744): La forza del divino amore. Dating from 1690, this oratorio in which St. Teresa de Avila and her brother Rodrigo are eventually convinced (after much spiritual turmoil) by Divine Love that it's really not necessary to go out and seek martyrdom (but the food in the convent is so horrible!) is remarkable for its inclusion of a solo trumpet along with two violins in addition to the continuo. Italian-English texts. Leona Peleskova, Marivì Blasco (sopranos), Sergio Foresti (bass), Ensemble "Pian & Forte"; Antonio Frigé. Chandos Chaconne 0710 (England) 09G019 $17.98

ANTONIO CALDARA (1670-1736): Il giuoco del Quadriglio, Cantatas: Lungi dal' idol meo, Vicino a un rivoletto, Suonata da camera in G Minor, Op. 2/2. Two early solo cantatas from Caldara's Roman period (1709-16), one of which was written for his new, contralto, wife and is full of florid lines for both her and his own instrument, the cello, and a 25-minute serenate teatrale from 1734 for three sopranos and contralto written for the Hapsburg empress, full of bright, cheerful and delightful music add to our still-slender catalogue of recorded Caldara vocal music. Italian-English texts. Julianne Baird, Laura Heimes, Judith Pannill (sopranos), Patrice Djerjian (contralto), The Queen's Chamber Band; Stephen Alltop. Albany TROY 705 (U.S.A.) 09G020 $16.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Trios for 2 Violins and Harpsichord in C Minor, E, D and G Minor, Canon all'unisono for 2 Violins, Cello and Harpsichord in F, 2 4-Voice Canons, JOHANN FRIEDRICH FASCH (1688-1758): Canon Sonata for 2 Violins and Harpsichord in D Minor, JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1696-1765): Canon Sonata for 2 Violins and Harpsichord in A. This unusual release adds to our knowledge of Graupner which has been stimulated by the series of his keyboard and chamber music on the Analekta label. Unusual, since this disc is based on the Art of Imitation, everything here being concerned exclusively with counterpoint and with canon (in addition to Graupner's two four-voice canons, there are two three-voice canons from the Kontrapunkttraktat and one for two-voices by Tommaso Vitali. Antichi Strumenti. Stradivarius STR 33632 (Italy) 09G021 $17.98

NICOLAS CHEDEVILLE (1705-1782): Le Printems ou Les Saisons Amusantes. Although it isn't as shocking as hearing Sid Vicious singing My Way, this disc of earlier arrangements of well-known pieces has a tart, tasty tang to it, due mostly to the presence of the hurdy-gurdy. What we have here are six concertos dealing with various seasonal events ("Spring", "The Pleasure of Summer", "The Harvest", "Autumn", "The Pleasure of St. Martin's Day" and "Winter") which Chedeville adapted in 1739 from nine of Vivaldi's Opus 8 concertos (obviously including The Four Seasons) whose unique sound-world should appeal to all baroque collectors. Matthias Loibner (hurdy-gurdy), Encirco Casazza (violin), Chiara de Ziller (recorder), Les Eclairs de Musique. Arts 47669 (Germany) 09G022 $12.98

JOSEPH HERRANDO (c.1721-1763): 6 Sonatas for Viola d'amore and Continuo. These 1754 soantas have much to recommend them - they are Spanish, at a time when the violin was not a popular instrument in Spain; they were written for something called "violin d'amore" and are here played on a five-string viola d'amore (instead of the usual six or seven-stringed instrument) with four sympathetic strings; and, they were dedicated to the famous singer Farinelli. In early Classical style, they are three-movement works with sonata-form first movements, song-form slow movements and dance-type final movements (one being a fugue and another a pastorale). Delicious stuff, especially for collectors of unusual instruments! Marianne Rônez (viola d'amore), Elisabeth Taschner (cello), Ernst Kubitschek (harpsichord). Cavalli Records CCD 260 (Germany) 09G023 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1717-1788): Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 12 - Sonatas in B Minor, W.62/22, in E Minor, W.65/30 and in A Minor, W.62/21, from Petite Pièces, W.117: La Prinzette (21), L'Aly Rupalich (27), La Gleim (19), La Stahl (25), La Bergius (20), La Buchholz (23). Another combination of sonatas and Bach's contribution to the French character piece made popular by Couperin, all the works dating from 1755-58 and with the usual wide variety of difficulty, substance, ideas and subtleties one expects from this fecund composer. Miklós Spányi (clavichord). BIS CD-1198 (Sweden) 09G024 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 6 - in C, E and two in E Flat, Hob. XV: 27-30. The final volume in this series brings Haydn's finest trios. The first three (1794) were dedicated to Therese Jansen-Bartolozzi, a pianist in London reckoned the equal of Clementi, Dussek and Cramer, and they are the most demanding of Haydn's trios in terms of the keyboard part. The final trio of 1796 is remarkable for its Mozartian, cantabile style, its wealth of thematic development and occasional pre-echoes of Schubert and early Romanticism. Trio 1790. CPO 999 829 (Germany) 09G025 $15.98

CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES (c.1745-1799): Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 - in D, Op. posth. No. 2, No. 10 in G, in D, Op. 3/1. The first budget-price series of the famous black composer's violin concertos continues with works both early and late. More than vehicles for virtuosic display, these pieces have very lyrical and expressive slow movements and inventive outer movements, very modern and not at all like the old-fashioned concertos written around the same time by Haydn, Hofmann or Dittersdorf. Qian Zhou (violin), Toronto Camerata; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.557322 (New Zealand) 09G026 $6.98

JACQUES WIDERKEHR (1759-1823): Oboe Sonatas in E Minor, C & in F. Composed around 1815, these sonatas have an early Romantic sensibility which peeks out now and then from their Classical surface. With spoken texts by the oboist (in English) concerning the character of the keys from a work on the same by the contemporary musicologist Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart [1939-1791). Bart Schneemann (oboe), Paolo Giacometti (fortepiano). SACD Hybrid, Surround Sound Multi-channel. Channel Classics CCS SA 19204 (Netherlands) 09G027 $21.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSÍK (1760-1812): Concerto in B Flat for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 63, CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Symphony in D Minor. Recorded 1962 (Franck) and 1960 (mono - Dusík). Previously unissued, the Czech Radio recording of the Dusík proves that, in 1806, Beethoven wasn't the only composer writing what could be called a proto-Romantic piano concerto. Dusík's harmonies, broad layout, full use of the piano with notable octave and chording techniques, point directly to Chopin and the effect is the more potent in a 44-year-old recording with a conductor and soloists of the old school. Mid-price. Frantiek Maxián, Jan Panenka (pianos), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; John Barbirolli. Supraphon SU 3779 (Czech Republic) 09G028 $10.98

LUIGI MOSCA (1775-1824): L'Italiana in Algeri. This is the libretto which, five years later and with moderate additions and subtractions, gave Rossini a significant success in 1813. It's uncertain if Rossini knew Mosca's opera but, since his mother had one of Mosca's works in her repertoire, it's sure he knew who Mosca was. Still in the Neapolitan style of the last operas of Paisiello and Cimarosa, this L'Italiana will give pleasure to aficionados of the period even if it isn't a buried gem. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Agata Bienkowska (soprano), Donat Havar (tenor), Wojciech Adalbert Gierlach (bass), Chamber Choir Ars Brunensis, Czech Chamber Soloists Brno; Brad Cohen. Bongiovanni GB 2275/76 (Italy) 09G029 $33.98

Hummel World Premieres

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Violin Concerto in D (compl. Hogger and Shelley), Potpourri (mit Fantasie) for Viola and Orchestra in G Minor (ed. Franz Beyer), Op. 94, Variations on a Theme from "Das Fest der Handwerker" for Piano and Orchestra in B Flat, Op. 115 (ed. Hogger and Shelley), Adagio and Rondo Polacca for Violin and Orchestra in A (ed. Hogger and Shelley). Only the Potpourri has been recorded before; the concerto, whose authorship is not completely confirmed, is an undated manuscript in the British Library but it has all the hallmarks of this composer while the Op. 115 variations date from 1829-30, part of a series of piano/orchestral works written for a six-month tour of Paris and London. James Ehnes (violin, viola), London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 10255 (England) 09G030 $17.98

MAURO GIULIANI (1781-1829): Guitar Concerto No. 1 in A, Op. 30, Guitar Concerto No. 2 in A, Op. 36. Such is the quality and affect of these concertos that, had they been piano concertos, they would surely be among the most recorded of the genre of the Classical period. Here, we not only have a top-quality period-instrument orchestra accompanying, but the soloist plays Giuliani's original Pons l'Aîné 1825 guitar. Mid-price. Edoardo Catemario (guitar), Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck. Arts 47688 (Germany) 09G031 $12.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Flute Quintet in B Minor, Op. 107, ANDREAS JAKOB ROMBERG (1767-1821): Flute Quintets in A Minor, Op. 21/4 & in B Flat, Op. 21/5. Tuneful, melodious, genial in nature, these flute quartets epitomize the type of music enjoyed and performed by gifted amateurs in the late Classical period (no, the Ries does not sound like Beethoven here but, then again, Beethoven doesn't sound like Beethoven in his flute chamber music either). William Bennett (flute), Novsak Trio, Mile Kosi (second viola). Jecklin JD 633 (Switzerland) 09G032 $17.98 >

JOSEPH KREUTZER (1790-1840): 4 Trios for Flute, Violin and Guitar, Op. 9. Dating from 1823, these are serenade-like pieces with the flute and guitar having the most soloistic work with limited technical difficulties but plenty of fast passagework required. Gragnani Trio. Thorofon CTH 2488 (Germany) 09G033 $17.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Grands Variations on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" for Piano and String Quartet, Op. 73, PETER HÄNSEL (1770-1831): String Quintet in G. Czerny's 27-minute long treatment of the German national anthem is as virtuosic and glitteringly colorful as any piano fancier would want while Hänsel's string quintet, discovered by a member of the group which recorded it here just before this 1985 recording, is a pleasing addition to the archive of Viennese Classicism. Maureen Jones (piano), Die Kammermusiker Zürich. Jecklin JD 608 (Switzerland) 09G034 $17.98 >

GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Piano Works,Vol. 4 - Quelques Riens pour Album. And now, those of you collecting this Rossini complete piano edition can pick up this remarkable collection of 24 short pieces (lasting almost 79 minutes), all of which seem to date from the last four years of the composer's life. Detailed and interesting notes discuss the pieces individually and possibilities for seeing them as four parts of a complete whole. Stefan Irmer (piano). MD&G 618 1260 (Germany) 09G035 $17.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Flute Concertos in E, E Minor, G and in D, Concerto for Flute in F with Obbligato Clarinet and Trombone, Theme and Variations for Flute and Orchestra in A. Almost as amazing as the quality of these works, composed when Mercadante was 18 to 23 years old, is the fact that they are almost alone as examples of concerted music by an Italian known as an opera composer to have remained in the repertory and remained (relatively) popular. 2 CDs. Mario Carbotta (flute), Angelo Teora (clarinet), Marco Piazzai (trombone), I Solisti Aquilani; Vittorio Parisi. Dynamic CDS 446/1-2 (Italy) 09G036 $35.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Mass for 2 Tenors, Bass and Organ, Tantum ergo for Tenor, Chorus and Organ, Grande Sinfonia sopra i motivi dello "Stabat Mater" del Rossini for Organ, Sinfonia per organo omaggio a Bellini, GIUSEPPE DALLA VECCHIA (1806-1848): Sinfonia Caratteristica nell' opera "I due Figaro" del Mercadante for 2 Organs. It was not uncommon for composers in the first half of the 19th century to write masses for organ instead of orchestra, due to the cost of getting the required number of players, as in this example by Mercadante, possibly from around 1840. The organ transcriptions help showcase the period organ used here which, like most of its Italian cousins, had many stops designed to help imitate sounds of the orchestra. Cnobium Vocale; Maria Dal Bianco, Enrico Zanovello, Marco Ruggeri (organs of the parochial church of Agugliaro, Vicenza). Tactus TC 791301 (Italy) 09G037 $11.98

FRANZ LACHNER (1803-1890): Sängerfahrt, Op. 33, 3 Lieder from Der Sänger am Rhein, LoO 10, 4 Lieder from Sängerfahrt, Op. 96, 5 deutsche Gesänge, Op. 49. The first release entirely devoted to lieder by this friend of Schubert contains exclusively Heine settings, some of which Schubert also set, most of which date from 1830-1. Generally cheerful and relaxed, they are a valuable indication of what the majority of early Romantic song-writers were up to in a less well-documented period which has long been overshadowed by Schubert. Mid-price. German texts. Rufus Müller (tenor), Christoph Hammer (fortepiano). Oehms Classics OC 328 (Germany) 09G038 $10.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Lieder and Ballads, Vol. 19 - Der Feldherr, Op. 66/1, Der Weichdorn, Op. 75/2, Die Einladung, Op. 70/1, Maisuna am Brunnen, Op. 10 H. II, 1, Ali und Fatme, Op. 10, H. II, 2, Serbischer Liederkreis, Op. 15, Allmacht Göttes, Op. 89/3, Des Mädchens Wunsch und Geständni, Op. 89/4, Die Oasis, Op. 10 H.I, 4, Lied eines Vögeleins in der Oasis, Op. 10, H.I, 5, Die Sterne, Op. 69/4, Die Jungfrau und der Tod, Op. 9, H.II, 5, An die Muse, Graf Eberhads Weissdorn, Op 9, H. IV, 5, Der fünfte Mai, St. Johannes u. das Würmlein, Op. 35/1, Salvum fac regem, Der Teufel, Op. 129/1, Ewige Liebe. One of the longest ongoing projects, this Loewe edition shows no sign of slackening. This new disc brings the, by now, expected combination of gripping ballads, musical legends and folk-derived miniatures, again covering almost all of the composer's chronological uvre. German-English texts. Ingeborg Danz (soprano), Cord Garben (piano). CPO 999 906 (Germany) 09G039 $15.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Ugo, conte di Parigi. This 1832 production was Donizetti's first at La Scala and, due to the convoluted plot, it failed while the music was deemed a success with its many beautiful and intricate ensembles. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Doina Dimitriu, Carmen Giannattasio (sopranos), Yasuharu Nakajima (tenor), Sym Tokyurek (alto), Chorus of the Donizetti Theatre, Bergamo, Fondazione Orchestra Gaetano Donizetti di Bergamo; Antonino Fogliani. Dynamic CDS 449/1-2 (Italy) 09G040 $35.98

FRIEDRICH THEODOR FRÖHLICH (1803-1836): Passion Music Overture in F Minor, Concert Overture in B Flat, Christmas Mass (Missa I), Fantasie for Violin and Piano. Another composer valued by Schumann who died early (this one by jumping into a river), Fröhlich was influenced by Mendelssohn's revival of Bach in the 1828 mass (called Christmas due to his inclusion of the Offertory) with Handel and Mozart's influence also apparent. The big Concert Overture (1832) is less polyphonic than the more severe Passion Music Overture of 1835 while true early Romanticism comes to the fore in the 1832 violin/piano fantasy. Lisa Larsson (soprano), Regina Jakobi (contralto), Bernhard Gärtner (tenor), René Koch (bass-baritone), Aargau Vocal Soloists, Choir of the Alte Kantonsschule Aarau, Aargau Symphony Orchestra; Räto Tschupp, Andreas Friedrich (violin), Karl-Andreas Kolly (piano). Jecklin JD 713 (Switzerland) 09G041 $17.98 >

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): 5 Minuets with 6 Trios, D 89, Galop and 8 Ecossaises, D 735, 16 Ländler and 2 Ecossaises, D 734, Waltz, D 776, Grazer Galopp, D 925, 9 Valses Nobles, D 969, 5 German Dances with 7 Trios and Coda, D 90. An authentically Viennese way to hear these dances - an ensemble of two violins, viola and double bass (all but the latter members of the Vienna Philharmonic), which was also a popular formation for the Viennese waltz composers (see elsewhere in this catalogue for a Lanner disc by these artists). Ensemble Wien. VMS 113 (Austria) 09G042 $17.98 >

THEODOR KIRCHNER (1823-1903): 16 Preludes, Op. 9, 7 Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 13. This title did have distribution from 1988-92 but we offer it again for any Romantic piano collectors who may not have it. Kirchner's muse was a miniature one but he could call up a passionate and thunderous storm of emotion in some of his 1858 preludes (dedicated to Clara Schumann) while others can be as sweet and dreamy as his 1871 set of "Songs without Words". Gisela Ungerer (piano). Jecklin JD 618 (Switzerland) 09G043 $17.98 >

W.T. BEST (1826-1897): Festival Overture in B Flat, Concert Fantasia on Old English Airs, Andante in G, Sonata in G Minor, Adagio in F Sharp, A Christmas Fantasy on Old English Carols, Toccata in A, Andante Religioso in F, Allegro Festivo in E Flat, Introduction, Variations and Finale on "God Save the Queen", Fantasia, Christmas Fantasia on Popular English Melodies, Pastoral, Sonata in G, Andante in C, Fantasia and Fugue in E Minor, Andante in E, Christmas Pastorale, Fantasia on a Chorale, Allegretto in B Flat, March for a Church Festival. Best was practically single-handedly responsible for creating the career of the virtuoso, traveling organist and of the creation of the town hall/concert hall organ (even Hans van Bulow was overwhelmed by his playing). His compositions have been ignored until now in favor of his multitudinous transcriptions and arrangements of other composers' music but, as can be heard on these discs, at its best, it is on a par with such French contemporaries as Guilmant and Widor. 2 CDs. Christopher Nickol (organs of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin and of the McEwan Hall, Edinburgh). Priory PRCD 681 (England) 09G044 $33.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 256 (just kidding) Vol. 12 - String Quintet No. 2 in G, Op. 111, Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25. Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano). Naxos 8.554412 (New Zealand) 09G045 $6.98

GEORG WILHELM RAUCHENECKER (1844-1906): String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): String Quartet in B Flat. Rauchenecker's quartet dates from 1874 and has a Brahmsian lyricism with a dash of Wagner added while Goetz' only piece in the genre is a revised version from 1866 of an earlier work of similar melodic ease and youthful elan. World premiere recordings. Winterthur String Quartet. Jecklin JD 703 (Switzerland) 09G046 $17.98 >

ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): String Quartets 1-14, Quartet Movement in F, B.120, Quartet Movement: Andante appassionato, Cypresses, Terzetto in C for 2 Violins and Viola, Op. 74, 2 Waltzes, Op. 54. This was a very highly acclaimed cycle when it came out on single discs on the Bayer label during the late 1980s and early 1990s and, at Brilliant's price, it outdoes the Naxos single discs both in quality and in price! 10 CDs. Budget-price. Stamitz Quartet. Brilliant Classics 99949 (Netherlands) 09G047 $55.98

Sinding - Violin Concerto No. 1

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Violin Concerto No. 1 in A, Op. 45, Romance in D, Op. 100, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, Serenade in G Minor, Op 69b: Lento assai. Instead of lamenting the coupling, let's look at the positive side and enjoy a late romantic violin concerto which most of us will never have heard before. Dating from 1898, Sinding's work is fairly short (only 21 minutes) and its opening movement recalls the Mendelssohn finale and shares its ebullience while the slow movement is inward and lyrical and the giocoso finale the longest of the concerto. The Romance (1910) is a ten-minute work of Romantic lyricism which receives its world premiere recording here. Henning Kraggerud (violin), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset. Naxos 8.557266 (New Zealand) 09G048 $6.98

ANATOLY LYADOV (1855-1914): Polonaise in Memory of Pushkin, Op. 49, About Olden Times, Op. 21b, Scherzo, Op. 16, Nenie, Op. 67, Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32, Dance of the Amazon, Op. 65, From the Apocalypse, Op. 66, Polonaise for the Unveiling of the Statue of Anton Rubinstein, Op. 55, 8 Russian Folksongs, Op. 58, Kikimora, Op. 63, The Enchanted Lake, Op. 62, Baba-Yaga, Op. 56, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Stenka Razin, Op. 13, MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Kamarinskaya, ALEXANDER BORODIN (1833-1887): Polovtsian Dances, In the Steppes of Central Asia. A close look at the Lyadov list will show most collectors two or three items which they will probably not ever have heard of and the whole Lyadov Disc 1 has apparently never been available (at least in the U.S.), making this a slam-dunk at its ridiculously cheap price. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Krasnoyarsk Symphony Orchestra; Ivan Shpiller (Liadov), London Symphony Orchestra; Yondani Butt, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Loris Tjeknavorian (rest - original 1994 and 1996 ASV recordings). Brilliant Classics 92138 (Netherlands) 09G049 $10.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Symphony No. 6 in C Minor, Op. 58, Characteristic Suite in D, Op. 9. The teen-age composer's Op. 9 suite is chock-full of Russian and "oriental" color, according to the musical precepts of Balakirev and the "Mighty Five" while his mature symphony is a remarkable succession of dark and light movements. Russian State Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 10238 (England) 09G050 $17.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): 4 Pieces, Op. 78, 5 Pieces, Op. 81, Dances champêtres, Op. 106, 4 Pieces, Op. 115, 3 Pieces, Op. 116. This is a specialty disc: the repertoire is not deathless or (terribly) under-recorded but here we have a recording made in Sibelius' country home at Ainola, using his own Steinway which a public subscription bought him in 1915. There are eight historic photos and sketches of the house and certain types of collector might like to know that 1950s Telefunken and Neumann tube microphones were used since they best suited the small acoustic. Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Heini Kärkkäinen (piano). Ondine ODE 1046-2 (Finland) 09G051 $17.98

Reznicek - Der Sieger - Schlemihl's Succesor

EMIL NIKOLAUS VON REZNICEK (1860-1945): Der Sieger. This 48-minute tone poem was given its premiere exactly one year to the date (Dec. 18, 1913) after that of Schlemihl. The note-writer makes a case (at great length) for this being a satire against Richard Strauss, supposedly a good friend of Reznicek's (the title-page of the music gives "a Symphonic-Satiric Contemporary Picture" after the title) and there is a lot of Ein Heldenleben and Sinfonia Domestica in the first movement (which has its own title "Ascent and Female Companion"). The second movement is a dance of death ("The Dance Around the Golden Calf") built around various distorted waltz motives while the huge finale ("Death") abruptly changes to a hyper-Mahlerian/Brucknerian depiction of The End. Whatever you make of it, Der Sieger is an extravagantly orchestrated, dazzlingly colorful work which teems with turns and moments you will want to hear again and it will make you, like the logorrheic note-writer, hope that the apparently-lost third tone poem of an intended trilogy (Frieden) will turn up. Beate Koepp (alto), Cologne Radio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski. CPO 999 898 (Germany) 09G052 $15.98

HENRY HOLDEN HUSS (1862-1953): Piano Trio in D Minor, Op. 23 "Munich", MORTIMER WILSON (1876-1932): Suite "From My Youth", Op. 5, ADOLPH M. FOERSTER (1854-1927): Serenade, Op. 61. Those collectors of lush, impassioned Romanticism who buy this disc will find themselves in possession of the finest unknown piano trio they will have heard in years. Huss, who is known for his piano concerto which Hyperion recorded a couple of years ago in their "Romantic Piano Concerto" series, wrote this four-movement work of 40 minutes in 1886 with the version recorded here being the final one of 1892. Quite simply, the passion and personality which flow through this work make many of the unknown European pieces in this genre which flow through these pages seem anodyne in comparison and the final movement has a climax which rivals anyone's. Wilson's short suite (1911) turns out to be the last four of eight movements (the others were discovered too late to record here) and are cute little character pieces whose titles tell all: "Funeral of a Calico Cat", "Love-Song of an Alpine Doll", "Tin-Soldier Dress-Parade" and "Over the Little Blue Tea-Set" while Foerster's three-movement Serenade of 1907 is a cut above the salon style with its memorable and heart-easing melodies tinged with a more serious manner. The Rawlins Piano Trio. Albany TROY 692 (U.S.A.) 09G053 $16.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): L'Abbaye for Choir and Organ, Op. 16, Choral sur une basse donnée de Renée Philippart for Organ, Op. 98a, Choral in F Minor, Op. 90b, 3 Sonatines for Organ, Op. 107. A youthful work, dating from 1899-1902 (about the same time as the first part of The Jungle Book), L'Abbaye is an impressionistic picture of the voices of the past as inspired in Koechlin by the contemplation of a ruined abbey (the composer's own photograph of it appears on the cover). Although its eight movements are those of a mass (minus an opening Prélude and an Interlude), the work is not sacred, rather evoking the sounds and mood of a long-gone institution. The organ Sonatinas (1929) are in the spirit of his piano Sonatinas - alternations of solemnity and lightness - while the two Chorales (1924 and 1927) are larger-scale, evoking tradition through Bach while dabbling in polytonality. Ensemble Vocal Français; Gilbert Martin-Bouyer, Jean Galard (organ of Saint-Médard Church, Paris). Skarbo DSK 2034 (France) 09G054 $18.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): 7 Elegien, Perpetuum mobile, 7 kurze Stücke zur Pflege des polyphonen Spiels, Prélude & Etude en arpèges. Pöntinen's second Busoni disc for cpo is headlined by the elegies of 1907, which the composer recognized as the first items in his truly mature voice, all but one of which are either reconsiderations of previously written music or items which would be used again later in larger-scale works. The seven "short pieces" and the Prélude et Étude both date from 1923 and are dedicated to technical problems of piano playing (the former being part of the huge Klavierübung), again drawing on older music (both Busoni's and others), full of inventiveness and creativity which belie their "pedagogical" purpose. Roland Pöntinen (piano). CPO 999 853 (Germany) 09G055 $15.98

GUILLAUME LEKEU (1870-1894): Piano Quartet, String Quartet, Molto adagio for String Quartet. Since the previously available recordings of this repertoire are either out of print (Ricercar) or on labels now defunct (Koch Schwann), we are glad to make available again these astonishingly emotional works, full of pain, grief and melancholy (a few rays of sunshine come through in the six-movement quartet of 1887, which seems to take Beethoven's late quartets as a formal and spiritual model) remarkable for such a young composer. Speigel String Quartet, Jan Michiels (piano). MD&G 644 1266 (Germany) 09G056 $17.98

CLEMENT HARRIS (1871-1897): For Solo Piano: Ballad in F Minor, 2 Studies, Lied of Peter Cornelius, Op. 4/1, 4 Etudes de Concert, Songs of the Sea for Baritone and Piano, Forget Me Not for Baritone and Piano, Romance for Violin and Piano, Romance for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. This young English composer's star burned very brightly for seven years, from the time in 1889 when he left England for the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, to the spring day when he was killed by Turks fighting as a volunteer for the independence of Greek Epirus. In the meantime, he was accepted as a pupil by Clara Schumann, became a good friend of Siegfried Wagner and hopelessly in thrall to the music of his late father, Richard, and wrote the chamber works included here. The piano pieces are true etudes in every respect, indicative of his compositional and technical talents while both Romances are models for introducing Wagnerian musical concepts, structural practices and harmonic systems into chamber music. Texts included. Ulrich Urban (piano), Andreas Hartmann (violin), Anna Niebuhr (cello), Alexander Roske (clarinet), Henryk Böhm (baritone). VMS 124 (Austria) 09G057 $17.98 >

Coleridge-Taylor - Violin Concerto

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 80, ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53. You've been asking for it for months and, at last, after Avie's change of distributors led to several months of unavailability, here it is! Dvorák was Coleridge-Taylor's favorite composer and it shows in his lovely, lushly melodic first movement where there also may be hints of negro spirituals. The second movement is a gorgeous and lyrical idyll while the finale has moments of repose among its more vivacious activities. The orchestra was formed in 2000 of members of the disbanded National Symphony Orchestra (which made some recordings for Marco Polo) and, given that they are all basically free-lance musicians scraping a living, this recording is astonishing in its quality. Philippe Graffin (violin), Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Hankinson. Avie AV0044 (England) 09G058 $16.98

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Nonet in F Minor for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, String Trio, Double Bass and Piano, Op. 2, Clarinet Quintet in F Sharp Minor, Op. 10, 4 African Dances for Violin and Piano, Op. 58. Only the clarinet quintet appears not to be available on CD right now. It's a warm, melodious work tinged with Dvorakian melodies and harmonies and, like the 1894 Nonet of the year before, a student work written while the composer was at the Royal College of Music under Stanford. The latter appeared on the AFKA label three or four years ago while the 1904 African Dances - rather more salon than Africa in them - were recently issued by Dutton Epoch. Kelly Burke (clarinet), John Fadial (violin), Mary Ashley Barret (oboe), Lynn Huntzinger Beck (horn), Craig Brown (double bass), Michael Burns (bassoon), Andrew Harley (piano), Janet Orenstein (violin), Scott Rawls (viola), Brooks Whitehouse (cello). Centaur CRC 2691 (U.S.A.) 09G059 $16.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Mujeres Españolas, Op. 17 and Op. 73, Mujeres de Sevilla, Op. 89, Danzas Andalusas, Op. 8, Bailete, Op. 79. The Spanish Moraleda label no longer being available in the U.S. along with its dozen or so volumes of the complete Turina piano music, this re-issue is a welcome sampling of the various aspects of the composer's piano style. Character piece, Iberian folk color, dazzling technical difficulty are all filtered through influences as disparate as Debussy, Moszkowski and Franck, making this useful choice for collectors who may not have devoted themselves to the previously-mentioned integral. Sara Davis Buechner (piano). Original 1990 Connoisseur Society release. Koch International Classics 7590 (U.S.A.) 09G060 $16.98

WERNER WEHRLI (1892-1944): String Quartet No. 2 in G, Op. 8, String Quartet No. 3 in B, Op. 37, Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano in D Minor, Op. 11/3, Cello Sonata in D, Op. 47. The second quartet, written between 1916 and 1918, is a gorgeous piece full of personal, Romantic feeling with several passages which evoke pastoral vistas in mountain valleys; only some advanced use of chromaticism prevents us from thinking it a mid 19th-century work. The horn trio (1921) is also glowingly Romantic in nature, inspired by Brahms harmonically but also by Franck and Debussy. The later works are rather more severe in style, with the third quartet (1937) having a harsher mood, full of subtle counterpoint and combinations producing dissonances which recall contemporary Swiss quartets by Bloch and Honegger. The brief, 12-minute cello sonata from the following year has two elegiac, polyphonic movements and a finale which dabbles in polyrhythms and bitonality. Euler Quartet, Gunars Larsens (violin), Jakob Hefti (horn), Gerhard Pawlica (cello), Anne de Dadelsen (piano). Jecklin JS 301 (Switzerland) 09G061 $17.98 >

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Vocal Works, Vol. 1 - 8 geistliche Gesänge for 4-8 part Mixed Choir, Op. 138, 3 Motetten for 7-8 part Mixed Choir, Op. 110. While the Op. 110 pieces (1910-12) contain some of Reger's most difficult, highly chromatic and densely contrapuntal works in any genre, and have been less often performed because of these difficulties, the geistliche Gesänge of 1914 (whose proofs were found by his deathbed) were written in a straightforward setting of "new simplicity", in which only some complicated dynamic demands still stand out. German-English texts. North German Radio Choir Hamburg; Hans-Christoph Rademann. Carus 83.154 (Germany) 09G062 $17.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Symphony No. 3 "Liturgique", Rugby, Pacific 231, Mouvement symphonique No. 3, Pastorale d' été. We offer this Honegger disc since it contains all of his three Mouvements symphoniques - the effervescent scherzo Rugby of 1928 (in which it would be very hard to find a rugby match), the train-inspired Pacific 231 (1923) and the abstract No. 3 of 1933, a Furtwängler commission whose angular, hard-edged character and restless rhythmic activity aroused Nazi hostility. The inclusion of the 1920 description of summer in the Alps, Pastorale d'été, brings three lesser-heard pieces together at budget-price. New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos 8.555974 (New Zealand) 09G063 $6.98

ANTON WEBERN (1883-1945): Movement for String Orchestra in D Minor (fragment), Langsamer Satz, 5 Movements, Op. 5 (arr. Webern), FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/WEBERN: 6 German Dances, D 820, SCHUBERT/GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911): Andante con moto from String Quartet in D Minor, D 810 "Death and the Maiden", SCHUBERT: Quartet Movement in C Minor, D 703, 5 German Dances with 7 Trios and Coda, D 90. We offer this "Dialogue Schubert-Webern" disc for its World Premiere Recording of a five-minute fragment of a work for string orchestra which Webern wrote in 1904 while still heavily under the influence of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. Festival Strings Lucerne; Achim Fiedler. Oehms Classics OC 333 (Germany) 09G064 $10.98

Genesis Suite - ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Prelude, NATHANIEL SHILKRET (1889-1982): Creation, ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (1897-1986): Adam and Eve, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Cain and Abel, MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): The Flood, ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): The Covenant (The Rainbow), IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Babel. This conglomeration of music by (mostly) European exile composers was put together by Shilkret and performed in December of 1945 in Los Angeles. High art meets low art; Europe meets Hollywood. Basically, Hollywood wins. Except for Schoenberg's Prelude, in which there is no narration (and in which, paradoxically, the innate rigidity of 12-tone composition puts rather a structured order to Chaos), the remaining 49 minutes of the score is like film music for all that the various composers work in their own styles, having had no opportunity to know what their fellows were producing in this fairly unique composition. Capitol/EMI released a 1945 recording made by the orchestra and conductor who premiered the work (with a later, 1951, narration grafted on) a couple of years ago but any new recordings were hamstrung by the loss of all but two of the seven pieces of music. The final three (Shilkret, Tansman and Toch) were reconstructed for this recording from condensed scores filed in 1946 at the copyright office, making this the first modern recording. No texts. Tovah Feldshuh, Barbara Feldon, David Margulies, Fritz Weaver, Isaiah Sheffer (speakers), Ernst Senff Choir, RSO Berlin; Gerard Schwarz. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559442 (U.S.A.) 09G065 $6.98

JOLY BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988): Cello Concerto, Divertimenti Nos. 1 and 2, Staccato Brilhante, Nocturno for Strings. The Nocturno (1944) is in the style of Vaughan Williams and the first Divertimento (1959-61), based on Portuguese folk music, is also delightfully refreshing and wholly tonal. The remaining pieces are late works, the second Divertimento (1978) is often dissonant yet deeply haunting and memorable and the cello concerto (1988) also approachable while not being facile and needing a couple of hearings to understand its intricacies. The Staccato, while late, is a brilliant overture or encore-piece of two minutes. Mid-price. Jan Bastiaan Neven (cello), Algarve Orchestra; Álvaro Cassuto. Marco Polo 8.225271 (New Zealand) 09G066 $9.98

RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): Works for Piano, Vol. 1 - Noctuary, Impromptu on the name of Haydn, Tango after Syrinx, 3 Romantic Pieces, Impromptu on a theme of Henri Dutilleux, 3 Excursions, Memento, Theme from "Eustace and Hilda", Sonata, Fantasy, 5 Studies, Scena I, 7 Diversions, Taking a line for a walk, Seven Days a Week, A Week of Birthdays. There are three groups of pieces here: the first, going from the 1954 sonata to the 1974 Scena I use somewhat modern techniques, from the Bartók/Hindemith language of the former to the free tonality and extended playing techniques of the latter. The largest group here, encompassing the whole first CD, are resolutely tonal pieces from 1981-99 and which often show off the composer's pianistic technical prowess while the third comprises pedagodical pieces from the first half of the 1960s where Bennett manages to produce material which stays within the limits of the technical requirements while still being attractive and interesting in their own right. Two more volumes will follow, one of piano duos and duets and one with the Piano Concerto and other orchestral works. 2 CDs. Special price. Metronome MET CD 1068/1069 (England) 09G067 $24.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Sonata No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Sonata No. 2, Dream in Exile, Burlesque, Nereid, In a Vodka Shop. Now that Chandos has re-released Eric Parkin's complete Bax piano series at mid-price, here comes a new cycle at budget-price. Collectors who love the stormy passions of Bax's first two sonatas (1910 and 1919), both single-movement works whose form may have been inspired by Liszt but whose music traces its descent from Scriabin and Lyadov, will probably want to have different versions of these works. For what it's worth, the new performances are from 17% to a third longer than Parkin's, significant differences which will add to the interest of this new release. Ashley Wass (piano). Naxos 8.557439 (New Zealand) 09G068 $6.98

E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Serenade in G, In the Mountain Country, Rhapsody No. 1 in F, Rhapsody No. 2 in E, Nocturne for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra. Collectors new to Moeran, who may have made his acquaintance through the Naxos disc of the Symphony and Sinfonietta will want to pick up this reissue of the two numbered Rhapsodies (1922 and 1924) and their predecessor, In the Mountain Country of 1921. The earliest work shows that the voice of Moeran in the 1937 symphony was already present at the earlier time and the other two works are similarly full of folk-style music (Moeran always created his own "folk" elements) while the 1934 Nocturne is a nostalgic, twilight-suffused piece with much Delian beauty. This was the first recording of the complete eight-movement Serenade (1948), a relatively light-hearted work which is still identifiably Moeran. Mid-price. Hugh Mackey (baritone), The Renaissance Singers, Ulster Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Original 1988 and 1990 Chandos releases. Chandos 10235 (England) 09G069 $12.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): A Colour Symphony, The Enchantress for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Cello Concerto. Although the Colour Symphony is practically standard repertoire now, as recordings go, this reissue offers the vigorous 1970 cello concerto (which has only one other recording) and the 1951 dramatic scena The Enchantress. The latter is a substantial, 18-minute work based on the second Idyll of Theocritus in which a scorned lover performs witchcraft in order to get her man to come back to her. Written for Kathleen Ferrier and imaginatively scored, it's a great deal of fun, even if you didn't read it in the original Greek. Mid-price. Linda Finnie (mezzo), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Ulster Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Original 1987 and 1991 Chandos releases. Chandos 10221 (England) 09G070 $12.98

SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Piano Sonata, CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Concord Sonata. The repertoire is familiar; for all of you Hamelin collectors out there! Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67469 (England) 09G071 $17.98

Hungaroton Special Imports - not released in the U.S.

SÁNDOR BALASSA (b.1935): Valley of the Huns, Op. 69, Prince Csaba for String Orchestra, Op. 46, Dances of Mucsa, Op. 50. Just issued two months ago, this is the third of Hungaroton's three Balassa issues currently available. This composer may be seen as the main living follower of Kodály and Bartók's manner of using Hungarian folk melos whether subtly, as in the 1999 symphonic poem whose title comes from the Swiss valley said to still harbor descendants of Attila's people and in Prince Csaba (Attila's youngest son - Hungarians identify with this ethnic group, Balassa here looking to them as saviours of the race who will return to protect Hungary in times of dire need) or in more colorfully overt manner as in the 1994 Mucsa dances, whose folk origins and rhythmic verve sweep all before them. 1994 and 2001 recordings. Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; László Kovács, Tamás Vásáry, Concentus Hungaricus Chamber Orchestra. Hungaroton HCD (Hungary) 09G072 $17.98 >

FERENC SZABÓ (1902-1969): Ludas Matyi - Suite No. 1, Lyric Suite, String Trio, Song of the Wolves for Chorus. Szabó is a rarity among Hungarian composers. Instead of being oppressed by the Communist government, either openly or tacitly forced to not "rock the boat" too much with his compositional style, Szabó joined the Party in 1927, emigrated to the Soviet Union in the mid 1930s and came back to Hungary as a political officer of the Red Army in 1945, later becoming a composition professor at the Academy of Music as an ideological bulwark of the Communist government. Ludas Matyi was a 1950 film score (the title character was a youthful peasant who becomes a hero through struggle against oppression, a typical Communist theme), from which this 32-minute suite is excerpted. Obviously, Szabó sticks to the demands of Socialist Realism, but his studies with Kodály are still evident in his use of folk material. The Lyric Suite (1936, while living in Moscow) has an undertone of nostalgia for his native land, the choral Song of the Wolves is a good example of what the leader of the "Anti-alcoholist Workers' Association"'s choir would produce in 1929 and the 1927 string trio catches the composer at the very point where his political idealism began to force a musical divorce from his teacher Kodály. Hungarian State Orchestra; Gyula Németh, Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus; Zoltán Vásárhelyi. Hungaroton HCD 31986 (Hungary) 09G073 $17.98 >

REZSÓ KÓKAI (1906-1962): Violin Concerto, ISTVÁN SÁRKÖZY (b.1920): Concerto semplice for Violin and Orchestra - Ricordanze II, JENÓ VÉCSEY (1909-1966): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, ELEK HUZELLA (1915-1971): Concertino lirico for Flute and Orchestra. Collectors who bought and enjoyed last month's similar concerto compilation (08G073) with works by Dávid, Sárai and Mihály will want this companion disc as well. Kókai's 1952 concerto is the largest-scale work here, a 26-minute piece in the traditional three movements fully in the musical and spiritual heritage of Bartók and Kodály (1962 recording) and Vécsey's 14-minute Concertino (1953-6) is a shorter version of the same with a different solo instrument (1959 mono recording). Huzella (1963) takes French Impressionism as his starting point in his atmospheric, 10-minute piece (rec. 1966) while Sárközy is the most modern of the group, his 1973 Concertino semplice alternating between contemporary styles and language which remain pretty mild, and Hungarian folk melos (rec. 1983). Endre Gertler, Dénes Kovács (violin), Zsuzsa Szabó (piano), Attila Lajos (flute), Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; András Kórodi, György Lehel. Hungaroton HCD 31990 (Hungary) 09G074 $17.98 >

GYÖRGY RÁNKI (1907-1992): 1514 - Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, King Pomádé's New Clothes - Suites Nos. 1 and 2. About five years ago, we offered the 2 CD set of King Pomádé as a complete ballet. Those of you who missed it or didn't want to shell out for two discs can enjoy this very ingratiating mixture of Kodály and Bartók on the one hand and Shostakovichian irony and grotesque on the other in the two 1954 suites. 1514 is the date of a Hungarian peasant rebellion and Ránki was inspired by a series of early 20th century woodcuts depicting the events of that revolt in creating this 22-minute, five-movement work (1961) in a vivid, pictorial (sections include such titles as "Breaking down the gates" and "Dózsa at the Bastion") style which is in the Kodály tradition but with a slightly more modern harmonic palette. 1971, 1978 recordings. Endre Petri (piano), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Miklós Erdélyi, Tamás Pál, János Sándor. Hungaroton HCD 31957 (Hungary) 09G075 $17.98 >

MIKLÓS MALEK (b.1945): Trumpet Concerto, Trombone Concerto, Horn Concerto. Malek's primary career has been as a conductor and arranger for Hungarian Radio and TV; a trumpet player by training, he wrote these three concertos for colleagues in the Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1997, 1999 and 2002. Perhaps brass concertos as a genre make one think of Hindemith, whose ghost seems to appear sparingly, while the composer's popular music experience is also often audible. All three works are quite tonal, easy to listen to without being facile and, of course, give the soloists ample opportunity for both virtuosic display and melting lyricism. György Geiger (trumpet), Gusztáv Höna (trombone), Zoltán Varga (horn), Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Miklós Malek. Hungaroton HCD 32249 (Hungary) 09G076 $17.98 >

REZSÖ SUGÁR (1919-1988): Suite for String Quartet (String Quartet No. 2), String Quartet No. 3, Violin Sonata, Baroque Sonatina for Piano, Frammenti Musicali for Wind Quintet and Piano. Sugár's music is all very approachable, grounded in tonality, with varying amounts of colorful folk material. The Sonatina (1943) and the second quartet (early 1950s) are the most folk-tinged while the 1946 violin sonata is more straightly neo-classical. The third quartet of 1969 is the most "advanced" of the pieces here although it is not even as modern as Bartók and remains tonally centered and the Frammenti (1958) are a delightful, serenade-like set of six pieces in which one seems to hear echoes of late Janacek. Recorded 1994, 1995 and 2002. Pro Camera String Quartet, Nelly Söregi Wunderlich (violin), Klára Körmendi (piano), Irén Móré (flute), József Kiss (oboe), László Horváth (clarinet), Jenö Keveházi (horn), József Vajda (bassoon). Hungaroton HCD 32029 (Hungary) 09G077 $17.98 >

PETER MIEG (1906-1990): Triple Concerto dans le goût italien for Violin, Viola, Cello and String Orchestra (Gunars Larsens [violin], Wilhelm Gerlach [viola], Curdin Coray [cello], Festival Strings of Lucerne; Mario Venzago. Rec. 1979), Mit Nacht und Nacht for Tenor and Orchestra (Ernst Haefliger [tenor], Beromünster Radio Orchestra; Erich Schmid. Rec. 1966), Morceau élégant for Flute and Harp (Peter-Lukas Graf [flute], Ursula Holliger [harp]. Rec. 1976), Music for Harpsichord, 2 Winds and 4 Strings (Peter Solomon [harpsichord], Günter Rumpel [flute], Simon Fuchs [oboe], Primosz Novsak [violin], Marius Ungareanu [viola], Carolyn Hopkins Marti [cello], Ronald Dangel [double bass]. Rec. 1993), Cello Sonata (David Riniker [cello], Karl-Andreas Kolly [piano]. Rec. 1993). Yet another of the many 20th century composers to eschew dodecaphony and complexity, Mieg writes in a deceptively simple style, transparent but often with lively rhythmic action as a subtext. His triple concerto (1978) is a good example of the bright quality of his muse, always lucid, generally sunny in disposition, not unlike a turn of the century English string serenade while the 1954 Music... is clearly inspired by Frank Martin's Petite Symphonie Concertante. Oddly, the most romantic sounding piece is the latest one - the 1986 cello sonata, which also makes use of elements of Impressionism and moderate dissonance. German texts. Jecklin JS 314 (Switzerland) 09G078 $17.98 >

PAUL MÜLLER-ZÜRICH (1898-1993): Sinfonietta I, Op. 66, Sinfonietta II, Op. 68, Consenso - Suite for Orchestra, Op. 77. Having started in a late Romantic style, Müller-Zürich later adopted Baroque contrapuntal techniques and arrived at a neo-Baroque and neo-Classical style marked by more modern, but still tonal, harmonies. His two Sinfoniettas (1963 and 1964) are excellent examples of this with the second actually quoting several times from Pfitzner's 1940 symphony, with which it obviously has a kindred spirit. The even later Consenso (1975) is a five-movement suite which is a dialogue with tradition, as suggestions of "hunt music", Tristan, Russian "orientalism" and a quote from Peter Cornelius' Barber of Baghdad are filtered through the composer's personal style. Zurich Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Schweizer. Jecklin JD 663 (Switzerland) 09G079 $17.98 >

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): Mass, Op. 85. Scored for strings, three winds, three brass, timpani and drums, this 1950 setting of the Catholic Mass (by a Protestant, let it be noted) makes up in trenchancy, clear polyphonic lines and crisp, punchy orchestration what it lacks in sheer orchestral (and vocal) size. Although portions of the piece reflect the sense of fear and uncertainty prevailing in central Europe at the time, others, like the Credo and Benedictus have an openly sweet, ingenuous quality which is quite winning. Fifty years on, this mass is recognized as one of the finest of its genre to come out of the post-war years and should be in the collection of anyone interested in the subject. Katharina Beidler (soprano), Michel Brodard (bass), Gabrieli Choir Bern, Bern Symphony Orchestra; Hans Gafner. Jecklin JD 687 (Switzerland) 09G080 $17.98 >

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): Viola Concerto, Op. 93, Sonata for Solo Viola, Op. 59, Kleine Serenade for Violin and Viola, Op. 15, Serenade for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Harp, Violin, Viola and Double Bass, Op. 77. The viola is particularly suited to mourning and lament and this is predominantly what it does in these (tonal but not Romantic) works by Burkhard, in that respect calling to mind Britten's Lachrimae and Hindemith's Trauermusik. The major work is the concerto from 1954 in which death seems to be facing us almost throughout until some outbursts in the finale which seems to end in an affirmation of faith (the composer died of tuberculosis less than ten months later). Counterpoint, polyphony and Bach are the reference points for the solo sonata while the early (1915) Kleine Serenade is the one rather carefree work here. Dating from 1945, the other longer piece is the other Serenade whose six movements, lasting some 22 minutes, are a kaleidoscopic variety of sound and color combinations which provide every instrument with grateful solo opportunities. Christoph Schiller (viola), Orchestra della Radio-TV della Svizzera Italiana; Mario Venzago, Hansheinz Schneeberger (violin) and other artists. Jecklin JD 647 (Switzerland) 09G081 $17.98 >

CZESLAW MAREK (1891-1985): Ländliche Szenen for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 30, Toccata for Piano, Op. 27/2, WLADIMIR VOGEL (1896-1984): Hörformen for Piano and String Orchestra, Variétude & Intervalle for Piano, OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): 2 Klavierstücke, Op. 29. A lovely cycle of Polish folk songs by the Polish-born, Swiss composer Marek from 1929 is at the center of this collection, the original songs being treated in the Kodály/Bartók manner (and what Marek himself called his "Classicistic, late-Romantic style", which also describes his piano toccata). Schoeck wrote little for solo piano, the Consolation (1919) employing a theme from the closing scene of his opera Venus, the pair of pieces being painful reminders of a turbulent love-affair with a pianist. Vogel's wide-ranging avant-gardism is represented by three items, the 1973 Horförmen (ten minutes long) being in twelve-tone style but so transformed by variation in rhythm, form and harmony as to sound freely tonal, and two shorter piano pieces, one from 1932 (Variétude) which has much of the flavor of the Russian avant-garde and 1980's Intervalle, freely tonal and ingeniously worked out from the tiniest of musical material. Polish-English texts. Jeannette Fischer (soprano), Werner Bärtschi (piano), Camerata Zürich; Räto Tschupp. Jecklin JS 306 (Switzerland) 09G082 $17.98 >

OTHMAR SCHOECK (1886-1957): Excerpts from the opera Das Schloss Dürande, Op. 53 (Peter Anders [tenor], Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender [baritone], Maria Cebotari [soprano], Berlin State Opera Orchestra; Robert Heger. Rec. April 1943), Besuch in Urach, Op. 62/36. (Hilde Schoeck [soprano], Othmar Schoeck [piano]. Rec. 1950?). Schoeck's last opera, to a text by a Nazi sympathizer and premiered in Berlin just after the execution of the leaders of the White Rose anti-Nazi conspiracy, while Allied bombs were devastating the city, pretty much destroyed the rest of his career. This recording of chunks linked by an unknown narrator was broadcast by German radio and gives ample evidence of the quality of this ill-starred, late-Romantic work which, on merit alone, would deserve revival and recording. German-English texts and libretto. Jecklin JD 692 (Switzerland) 09G083 $17.98 >

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): String Quartet No. 2, String Trio, DAVID ELLIS (b.1933): String Quartet No. 1, String Trio. None of these works is particularly recent - in fact, Ellis' trio is one of the few works to have survived from the composer's student days. All share a taut economy of means, and all make use of traditional forms (passacaglia, chaconne, waltz, sonata-allegro, scherzo and trio and so on), less in a sense of neoclassical derivativeness than as a closely-argued means of establishing a formal structure. Of the earlier generation of English comopsers with whom these two were associated, the model who most obviously springs to mind is Rawsthorne (for whose 65th birthday McCabe's trio was written) in the harmonically astringent yet tonally based language and the clean, unfussy open textures in the string writing shared by all these works - there is nothing of the 'English Pastoral' scene here. A vital and appealing glimpse into the development of two of the UK's elder statesmen among contemporary composers before they achieved this status and began to be fêted in retrospectives on the BBC. Mid-price. Camerata Ensemble. Campion Cameo 2027 (England) 09G084 $12.98

ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): Cello Sonata, Op. 45, HUW WATKINS (b.1976): Cello Sonata, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Cello Sonata in C, Op. 65, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Cello Sonata in D Minor, Op. 125. Goehr's pithy and concentrated sonata feels very classical in its economy, a sense paradoxically heightened by the composer's wholly individual blend of meticulously constructed serialism and highly chromatic, harmonically rich tonality, with the singing melodic line always to the fore, as befits a major composer of opera. A Goehr pupil, Watkins is if anything less modern in his chosen idiom than his teacher, though he seems to have inherited something of Goehr's terseness and economy of utterance; his naturally lyrical voice is very much his own, though, and firmly relates his fine work to the first piece on the disc, from more than 80 years earlier. Paul Watkins (cello), Huw Watkins (piano). Nimbus NI 5699 (England) 09G085 $15.98

GEORGE BENJAMIN (b.1960): Shadowlines for Piano, Viola, Viola for Viola Duo, 3 Studies for Piano, Piano Sonata. The exuberantly youthful sonata, written when the composer was 18 and still a pupil of Messiaen, reminds us why Benjamin was regarded as a prodigious phenomenon when "Ringed by the Flat Horizon" was performed at the Proms in the early 1980s. The work abounds in energy, highly colored harmonies and twittering ornamentation derived from, though not sounding especially like, his illustrious teacher. The contrast with the recent Shadowlines is marked; here the mature composer displays a mastery of counterpoint which though by his own admission is derived from a study of Webern, is very much his own. The Studies still betray the French influence strongly - here the models are Debussy and Ravel, though in a necessarily more modern idiom, and their lightness of spirit is most beguiling. Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Tabea Zimmermann, Antoine Tamestit (violas), George Banjamin (piano). Nimbus NI 5713 (England) 09G086 $15.98

ALESSANDRO SOLBIATI (b.1956): Canto per Ania for Cello and Ensemble, By my Window II for Piano and Ensemble, 4 pezzi for Piano and Percussion, Ach, so früh? for Soprano and 7 Instruments, Mi lirica sombra for Bass Clarinet and Ensemble. These works share characteristics of lyrical restraint and beauty of tone and texture. The composer's chosen vocabulary makes frequent use of tonal referents and elements of jazz and blues which render what might otherwise be a rather abstract and modern idiom instantly accessible. Some extended instrumental techniques, clusters, key slaps and unpitched percussion effects do not detract from the overall impression of melodic narrative, especially in the works where the soloist is an instrument ideally suited to the long melodic line - cello, or voice. A rare combination of unabashed modernism and immediate appeal. German-Italian texts. Valérie Dulac (cello), Ancuza Aprodu (piano), Thierry Miroglio (percussion), Margherita Chiminelli (soprano), Maurizio Longoni (bass clarinet), Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain; Daniel Kawka, Divertimento Ensemble; Sandro Gorli. Stradivarius STR 33681 (Italy) 09G087 $17.98

CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Complete Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Energia for 9 Instruments, Soli I for Winds, Soli II for Wind Quintet, Soli IV for Brass Trio, Sonata for 4 Horns. Chavez brought a powerful intellect to bear on his compositional philosophy, thoroughly absorbing, and then recognising the limitations of, tonal romanticism and its replacement, serialism (of various kinds), and establishing a musical language free of prescribed repetitious structures. He even commented to the effect that the idea of the listener's memory having to be exercised in order to make the most of what is being listened to was a perfectly acceptable concept - and this is borne out in the music, which is very obviously written to be the music that the composer himself wanted to hear, as Elliott Carter has also observed. So all these pieces have an etched clarity, Chavez choosing instrumental sonorities to expose his detailed counterpoint to perfection. Traditional elements such as melodic beauty and incisive rhythmic propulsion are not absent either - Chavez was far too well-rounded a composer for that. Very highly recommended. Cambria CD 8851 (U.S.A.) 09G088 $16.98

ALLEN SHAWN (b. 1950ish): String Quartet No. 4, Episodes for Cello and Piano, Childhood Scenes for Piano, Cabaret Music for Clarinet and Piano Trio, Candles for Clarinet. The chamber and solo works presented here reveal a miniaturist with a fine sense of form and economy - only one of the Childhood Scenes exceeds two minutes, but the set of tiny piano pieces make up a satisfying whole, unified by variation-like treatment of material derived from the opening piece throughout. The composer wears his serial technique very lightly, and the overall impression throughout these works is for a concern with character and free expressiveness, contrapuntally ingenious and rhythmically vital, frequently (as in the finely etched opening movement of the quartet) harmonically rich and very tonal-sounding much of the time. Cabaret's inflections suggest a humorous touch, the idea that 'serious' and fully worked contemporary idioms may be perfectly well placed to be thoroughly entertaining. Music from Salem Quartet, Maxine Neuman (cello), Allen Shawn (piano), Yoshiko Sato (piano), Steven Klimkowski (clarinet), Curtis Macomber (violin). Albany TROY 683 (U.S.A.) 09G089 $16.98

PÉTER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): IMA for Mixed Choir and Orchestra, Cosmos for 2 Pianos, Correspondance for String Quartet. IMA (prayer) is a large-scale work for large forces, a sequel to the composer's Atlantis, and suggests a contemplation of the sunken continent from our present-day perspective - remote and inaccessible, yet haunting our dreams in archetypal images from prehistory. In its dense and atmospheric textures, the work is reminiscent of Saariaho's recent spectralist soundscapes, and Eötvös' mastery of his huge forces creates a compelling sense of drama and atmosphere. Cosmos, originally written by the 17-year-old composer as a response to Gagarin's pioneering space flight (revised in 1999), is described by the composer with a degree of astronomical specificity that has to be tongue-in-cheek. But the ingenious spatial effects and interplay of the wide-ranging material divided between the two pianos certainly evokes vast spaces and endless tracts of time. Correspondences finds Eötvös indulging his love of musical theatricality; no text is performed, but the work utilises the four string players in a sequence of dialogues based on an imaginary series of snatches of conversation between Mozart and his father, based on their correspondence (which is printed in the booklet) - a very effective and unmistakably humorous music-theatre. Cologne Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Sylvain Cambreling, Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher (pianos), Pellegrini Quartet. BMC CD 085 (Hungary) 09G090 $16.98

PÉTER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Intervalles-Intérieurs for Clarinet, Cowbells, Violin, Cello, Trombone and Tape, Windsequenzen for Ensemble. Both works date originally from the 70s, when Eötvös, like many composers, was investigating ways of transferring the natural science of sound into compositional techniques, involving the use of electronics. The tape part of Intervalles-Intérieurs was realised at that time. So to some extent this is a fascinating museum exhibit, but one with unquestionable impact and dramatic tension. "Sequences of the Wind" pays tribute to another natural phenomenon; the many aspects of the movement of air - in nature, in the playing of wind instruments: and also, the principles of Zen Buddhism, which were part of the background to the work when Eötvös visited Japan as part of Stockhausen's ensemble in 1970. The rich harmonics of wind instruments provide the guiding acoustical principles developed into a musical language - a kind of proto-spectralism - by the composer, in a work of considerable visceral impact. UMZE Chamber Ensemble, Klangforum Wien; Péter Eötvös. BMC CD 092 (Hungary) 09G091 $16.98

PÉTER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Snatches of a Conversation for Double-Bell Trumpet, Speaker and Ensemble, Jet Stream for Trumpet and Orchestra, Paris-Dakar for Trombone and Big Band, Jazz Improvisations on themes from Eötvös' opera Le Balcon (Béla Szakcsi [piano], Gábor Gadó [electric guitar]). A brief note by the composer explains how, in 1950s Hungary, he would listen to forbidden jazz broadcasts via shortwave radio; obviously a good deal was absorbed, because these pieces - composed works with some improvisations in the nature of cadenzas - achieve a flawless facsimile of jazz style while remaining unmistakably in the central European contemporary tradition. Marco Blaauw (double-bell trumpet), Omar Ebrahim (speaker), Ensemble für Neue Musik, Markus Stockhausen (trumpet), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Peter Eötvös, László Göz (trombone), Budapest Jazz Orchestra; Gergely Vajda. BMC CD 097 (Hungary) 09G092 $16.98

ROBERT SUTER (b.1919): 3 Nocturnes for Viola and Orchestra, String Quartet No. 2, Ballade von des Cortez Leuten for Speaker, Mixed Choir, Speaking Choir and Chamber Orchestra. An essentially self-taught composer who absorbed influences from Busoni and the Second Viennese School via pupils and disciples of both, which he integrated into his personal style, an unusual and individual synthesis of tonality and free atonality, Suter has composed a considerable body of works exhibiting integrity and tautness of musical argument, without following any clearly defined doctrine or school. The Nocturnes (a Sacher commission) certainly remind one of Berg and Busoni, and here and there of Krenek (whom Suter encountered in Darmstadt) but their æsthetic is very much Suter's own. The tense and economical quartet, a considerably more recent work, is more overtly atonal but classically structured to a degree that paradoxically recalls late Beethoven. The earliest work here, to a text by Brecht, explores themes of the overwhelming of mankind by the forces of nature, the musical langauge here being an amalgam of Busoni and Eisler, with sprechstimme obviously derived from Schoenberg, predominantly lyrical and economically dramatic. Hirofumi Fukai (viola), Basel Symphony Orchestra; Jost Meier, Amati Quartet, Peter Schweiger (speaker), ad hoc-Choir of the Frankfurt Musikhochschule, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Räto Tschupp. Jecklin JS 283 (Switzerland) 09G093 $17.98 >

ERMANNO MAGGINI (1931-1991): Canto XIV for String Quartet, Urakami for Shakuhachi and Double Bass, Canto XVI for Cello and String Orchestra, Canto XXI (Ultimo Canto) for String Quartet. Inveighing against perceived trends in 20th-century music, the composer complained that 'everything is too loud, too shallow", but this should not be taken to imply an unhealthy preoccupation with whispering 'spiritual' musical non-event, but rather an insistence on precise detail and cogently expressed musical dialogue at every level of detail. The closest obvious comparison for the string quartet works here is early (tonal, approaching atonality) Schoenberg (and the strring orchestra one isn't so very far removed from the orchestral Verklärte Nacht, and of all paradoxical associations, Elgar's Introduction and Allegro - surely a coincidence, but a remarkable one), and while Maggini was well schooled in the techniques of serialism, the overriding impression here is of emotionally expressive warmth and richness of harmony and texture. The repeated presence of movement performance directions in terms such as 'appassionato', 'espressivo', 'generoso', 'con passione' makes the composer's aims in interpreting the spiritual content of these works in boldly emotional terms very explicit. Gorgeous, sumptuous and telling, these works deserve the highest recommendation. Gewandhaus Quartet Leipzig, Tadashi Tajima (shakuhachi), Fumio Shirato (double bass), Annick Gautier (cello), Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana; Christof Escher. Jecklin JS 317 (Switzerland) 09G094 $17.98 >

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - No. 5, No. 6 "Blaubuch". With the exception of brief periods of stasis, the predominant mood of both these quartets from the early 1980s is one of restless energy, the instrumental textures in a constant state of flux. One would expect from Rihm a complexity of texture and tumultuous sequence of overlapping and colliding events, and one would not be disappointed, even though here he has only four instruments to work with. He is not ashamed of letting his sense of tonality show, which sometimes it does, with breathtaking audacity - but unsurprisingly, for much of the time the music is atonal and even at times almost unpitched, in passages of aggressive, insect chirping and rustling. But Rihm's skill in balancing these disparate elements lends both works - which last half an hour and three-quarters respecively - a sense of cohesion and forward motion which ensures that tension - and attention (for the listener) is maintained throughout. Minguet Quartet. col legno WWE 1CD 20212 (Germany) 09G095 $19.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Ende der Handschrift, 3 Gedichte von Monique Thoné, Lenz-Fragmente, Das Rot. These four cycles date from the last two decades, and explore Rihm's accustomed preoccupation with texts of extreme and contrasting emotional experience, and his sensitivity to the nuances of his chosen verbal material leads to a wide range of musical expression, firmly (if initially surprisingly) firmly rooted in the traditions of the German Romantic Lied. The vocal lines are long, flowing and lyrical, the piano accompaniments restrained and subtle, and, while harmonically and rhythmically complex, never distract from the intensity of the emotional utterance of the songs through the intrusion of their compositional cleverness. German-English texts. Claire Lesser (soprano), David Lesser (piano). Metier MSV CD 92068 (England) 09G096 $16.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Coptic Light for Orchestra, Violin and Orchestra. The richness of texture available in a work for orchestra adds an interesting dimension to these works of Feldman, though they remain quite unmistakably typical of his style. It need surprise no one that Violin and orchestra avoids entirely the traditional rôle of the soloist in a concertante work. Rather, the violinist weaves a subtle and delicate thread - sometimes ethereally in the upper register, sometimes in the warm lower register of the instrument, as a component in a rich, slowly pulsating orchestral background that sometimes eerily resembles an immeasurably slowed down 'Rite of Spring'. Coptic Light, a study in orchestral sonority and color, shimmers and pulses with, if anything, even less sense of forward motion, the repetitive, slowly evolving patterns achieving an hypnotic effect, suggesting the breathing of a mystic in a profound state of meditation. Isabelle Faust (violin), Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Rundel. col legno WWE 1CD 20089 (Germany) 09G097 $19.98

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): La bocca, i piedi, il suono for 4 Saxophone Soloists and 100 Saxophones. What, exactly, you get out of this curious mixed-media presentation probably depends largely on what equipment you're using to play it on. A CD gives you the music, a 38 -minute piece in eight movements, full of Sciarrino's trademark subtle ambient sounds and spatial effects - the ensemble of 100 saxophones which provide a textured background for the four soloists is used sparingly to provide background murmurings rather than the sort of sonic spectacular massed effects that one might expect. A DVD disc has a high-resolution 2-channel audio recording (playable on a DVD-audio player); in a surround-sound system the spatial effects are presumably presented more closely as the composer intended in live performance; if there is any video content beyond a single photograph (also reproduced in the booklet) and some credits, a modest domestic DVD player did not reveal it. Lost Cloud Quartet. col legno WWE 1CD 20701 (Germany) 09G098 $19.98

ROLAND MOSER (b.1943): Neigung (Berne String Quartet), PETER STREIFF (b.1944): Wandelnde Gänge (Euler Quartet), FRITZ VOEGELIN (b.1943): 4 Szenen (Quartetto di Lugano), PETER WETTSTEIN (b.1939): Janus (Carmina Quartet). Moser's quartet Neigung fits nicely into the traditions in place for most of the century up to that point. The increasing fragmentation of material, culminating in a spare, ghostly memorial to Stravinsky, who died during the work's composition, places the quartet firmly in the context of central European chamber music of the time, and contains nothing that sounds even remotely shocking now. Streiff's "Wandering Paths", from a decade and a half later, shows more clearly that the venerable quartet tradition never went away, as for all its exploration of silence as part of the texture of sound, frank tonality is never far away. Voegelin's 4 Szenen, alternating jagged outbursts with tense, uneasy calm, finely demonstrates the expressive power of the medium, made more telling by its very economy. The most recent work, Wettstein's Janus of 1987, makes much use of traditional forms and functional tonality in a context that also includes controlled aleatory, but largely avoiding the extended playing techniques fashionable when the earliest pieces on this disc were conceived. Jecklin JS 283 (Switzerland) 09G099 $17.98 >

HANS ULRICH LEHMANN (b.1937): Tantris for Soprano, Flute and Cello, Stro(i)king for Percussion, Canticum II for Soprano, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Cello, Mirlitonnades for Flute, Osculetur me for Soprano and Bassett Horn, de profundis for Cello, Contrabass Clarinet and Percussion. Literary associations are important in these subtly expressive chamber works - Joyce, e.e.cummings, The Song of Songs, poems by Beckett - and the composer's acute sense of timbre highlights the expressive power of the text or implied programme in the case of the non-vocal works without ever distracting attention away from it. Elements of chance and decisions left to the discretion of the performer provide an element of freedom in the otherwise tautly constructed and controlled compositions. The finely-judged and unusual timbral capabilities of percussion, bassett horn and bass and contrabass clarinets are a constant reminder of the fertility of the composer's sonic imagination, while his long, flowing vocal lines serve to unify the narrative meaning of the richly evocative texts. Kathrin Graf (soprano), Anna-Katharina Graf (flute), Elmar Schmid (clarinets), Walter Grimmer (cello), Isao Nakamura (percussion. Jecklin JD 689 (Switzerland) 09G100 $17.98 >

Traditional Tunes from the British Isles and the New World

Tullochgorum, St. Claire's Defeat, Far Away - Cambelton Snows, Cawdor Fair - Over the Isles to America, Jockey Loves his Moggie, The Flowres of the Forest, Scarborough Fayre, Down Yon Bank, Scotch Cap, Garfield's Blackberry Blossom, Lumps of Pudding, Morning Dew, Farewell & Adieu. Because even Records International customers should lighten up a bit now and then, we offer this collection of traditional tunes performed by Cleveland's new period-instrument orchestra (whose first disc was all-Mozart and, thus, did not appear in these pages). Soprano, violin, flutes, penny whistle, hammered dulcimer, lute, guitar, cello and harpsichord are the forces from which these amusing, wistful, rambunctious and generally lots-of-fun arrangements are crafted. Texts included. Apollo's Fire. Koch International Classics 7577 (U.S.A.) 09G101 $16.98

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932): Music for Wind Band, Vol. 5 - The Minnesota March, The Thunderer, The Charlatan Waltzes, The Pride of the Wolverines, University of Nebraska, The Gallant Seventh, Powhattan's Daughter, Cubaland, George Washington Bicentennial, The Diplomat, The Directorate, Our Flirtation, Sabre and Spurs, The Atlantic City Pageant. Of special note is Cubaland (1925), a 13-minute suite in three parts, which protrays the changing government of the island (Spanish, American and Cuban) with the appropriate musical references. Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion. Naxos American Classics 8.559131 (New Zealand) 09G102 $6.98

JOSEPH LANNER (1801-1843): Neujahrs-Galopp, Hansjörgl-Polka, Die Humoristiker, Sommernachtstraum-Galopp, Die Lebensecker, Amalien-Polka, Neue Wiener Ländler, Die Zapfenstreich, Taglioni-Walzer, Die Romantiker, Tarantel-Galopp, Favorit-Polka, Spanischer Galopp, Genrebilder-Walzer, Steyrische Tänze. Echt-Viennese performances, including less-known dances, in the small ensemble (two violins, viola and double bass) which was characteristic of smaller venues in the Austrian capital city. Ensemble Wien. VMS 134 (Austria) 09G103 $17.98 >

Unknown Operetta Arias

OSCAR STRAUS (1870-1954): Heut bin ich mit dem Glück per Du from Der Bauerngeneral, Frauen, ihr macht unds das Leben schön from Marietta, ROBERT STOLZ (1880-1975): Erst hab ich ihr Komplimente gemacht from Venus in Seide, Dann geh ich hinaus in den Wienerwald from Sperrsechserl, JOHANN SCHRAMMEL (1850-1893): Weana Gmüath, ALFRED GRÜNFELD (1852-1924): Ich sah im Traum ein Mädchen from Der Lebemann, LEO FALL (1873-1925): O Rose von Stambul, Die gehört mein Herz from Die Kaiserin, PAUL ABRAHAM (1892-1960): Ohne Liebe kann ein Herz nicht glücklich sein from Dschainah, LEO ASCHER (1880-1942): Wiener Gemütlichkeit from Hoheit tanzt Walzer, EDMUND EYSLER (1874-1949): Fein, fein schmeckt uns der Wein from Der lachende Ehemann, FRANZ LÉHAR (1870-1948): Wien, du bist das Herz der Welt, Schön ist die Welt, EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1881-1953): Komm, Zigany and Grüß mir mein Wien from Gräfin Maritza, VITTORIO MONTI (1868-1922): Csardas No. 1. An hour's worth of music which concentrates on the "Silver Age" of Viennese operetta, the first third of the 20th century, many of whose composers were driven from their native land and had their works banned. German-English texts. Herbert Lippert (tenor) and his Philharmonic Friends. VMS 123 (Austria) 09G104 $17.98 >

Songs of the Wild West

Traditional songs arranged by OSCAR J. FOX (1879-1961): Round-up in Glory, Greer County, The Old Chisholm Trail, The Hills of Home, The Cowboy's Lament, Riding Along, DAVID W. GUION (1895-1981): All Day on the Prairie, The Bold Vaquero, Home on the Range, The Cowboy's Dream, Lonesome Song of the Plains, Ride, Cowboy, Ride!, Ol' Paint, MARY K. JACKSON (b.1935): Star of the Western Sky, The Strawberry Roan, CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Charlie Rutlage, THOMAS KIMBROUGH (b.1957): The Streets of Laredo, EDWARD WARD (1900-1971): Prairie Schooner from the film Kit Carson, TRAD.: Texas Cowboy, I Ride an Ol' Paint, Night Herding Song. American baritone Kimbrough presents 79 minutes of authentic cowboy songs, many of which have roots in Irish, Scottish and English tunes brought to the U.S. by immigrants. The notes are detailed and provide as much as is known about the songs and short biographies of the two principal arrangers. As long as we have a cowboy in the Oval Office... Texts included. Steven Kimbrough (baritone), Dalton Baldwin (piano), John Darnall (guitar, harmonica). VMS 136 (Austria) 09G105 $17.98 >