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




KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor, Op. 37, Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 7. The piano concerto is a full-throated, dizzyingly romantic work from 1927-35 whose first movement sounds now like a Swedish Rachmaninov and now like the score to an echt-Hollywood romance of the 1930s. The piano is treated as an equal of the orchestra - more a symphony with piano obbligato than a true concerto. The second movement is a deeply elegiac andante, full of nature lyricism, magic and melancholy in which the piano has a more soloistic role and the finale, marked furioso, is in rondo form with Nordic harmonies and much brilliant and demanding work for the soloist. No lover of piano concertos can fail to be seduced by this intoxicating work. The violin concerto dates from 1913-14 and again has a technically demanding role for its soloist but also much appealing music of exuberant, songful brilliance. Again, the andante has a melancholy, Nordic romanticism and melodic beauty while the finale is energetic and unmistakeably Swedish. Dan Franklin Smith (piano), Christian Bergqvist (violin), Gävle Symphony Orchestra; B. Tommy Andersson. Sterling CDS-1034-2 (Sweden) 09B001 $15.98

MUSICA SVECIAE - Modern Classics, Vols. 4 & 5

VIKING DAHL (1895-1945): Maison de Fous, MOSES PERGAMENT (1893-1977): Krelantems och Eldeling - Suite. Dahl's 1920 ballet is set in a madhouse whose grotesque inmates - a Harlequin, a woman in mourning-dress, a prince in rags - have their solos to dance to music of free dissonance, melancholy but lyrical melody and various influences of Russian and French music in the air at that period. Pergament's ballet dates from 1922-27 and was written for the Ballets Russes, inspired by Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. This suite fromthe ballet displays a contrapuntal density and brilliant instrumentation underlaid by percussive rhythmic figures (a 1977 recording previously available on Caprice LP; the Dahl is brand-new). Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud, Stig Westerberg. Phono Suecia PSCD 704 (Sweden) 09B002 $16.98

SIGURD VON KOCH (1879-1919): Violin Sonata in E Minor, HILDING ROSENBERG (1892-1985): Violin Sonata No. 2, H. MELCHER MELCHERS (1882-1961): Violin Sonata, Op. 22. The earliest of these Swedish violin sonatas is von Koch's, from 1913 and its impulsive passion and freely handled development place it firmly in the late Romantic tradition. Rosenberg's 1940 sonata is a cool, vigorous neo-classical piece whose brevity gives it the feeling of a divertimento. Melchers' was a life-long musical Francophile and his sonata (1926) looks back to Franck, D'Indy and Chausson (while admitting a touch of Debussy) while keeping the pianist very busy as "interlocutor" as well as "sounding board". Cecilia Zilliacus (violin), Bengt-Åke Lundin (pinao). Phono Suecia 705 (Sweden) 09B003 $16.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): A Kent Yeoman's Wooing Song, Hymnus Paradisi. Premiere recording of the early 30s secular cantata which features Howell's in unusually extrovert mood and written as a wedding gift for friends. It makes a bright conclusion after the 1938 Hymnus, a work seemingly awash in ecstasy but which in fact was a theraputic act by Howells' which helped him come to terms with the death of his son from polio at the age of nine; a gorgeous work which ends in warmth and consolation. Joan Rodgers (soprano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Alan Opie (baritone), BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9744 (England) 09B004 $16.98

JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): The Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Kleine Sonate, Op. 51, Für Mich, Op. 76, Neues für dich, Op. 116, Miss Sona-Tina, Op. 18. A composition student of Hans Gal and Joseph Marx, Takács, like his compatriot and colleague Bartók, was also a collector of folksongs and his teaching stints in Egypt and the Philippines enabled him to amass quite a bit of exotic material, some of which appears in pieces throughout these three CDs. The first disc is predominantly filled by teaching material - akin to Bartók's For Children - composed between 1943 and 1986. "For Me" and "Something New for You"are 22- and 26-piece suites which are filled with touching, evocative, boisterous, melancholy and charming miniatures which anyone who loves Bartók will enjoy. Aima Maria Labra-Makk (piano). Pepperland PEP 97201 (Austria) 09B005 $16.98

JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): The Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Sonatine, Op. 2, 3 Bagatelles, Op. 10, Toccata, Op. 54, Twilight Music, Op. 92, Klänge und Farben, Op. 95, When the Frog Wandering Goes. Comprising concert pieces, this volume contains three early works from 1927, 1929 and 1944: the second Bagatelle uses Arab folk themes), the Sonatine uses Impressionistic and Hungarian elements while the Toccata is in the vein of Debussy and Ravel. Twilight Music (1971) obtains unusual tone colors through the use of pedal effects, wide leaps, clusters and other techniques while "Sounds and Colors" (1974) refer to various techniques of the 20th century avant-garde. Aima Maria Labra-Makk (piano). Pepperland PEP 97202 (Austria) 09B006 $16.98

JENÖ TAKÁCS (b.1902): The Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Humoreske, Op. 1, Rhapsodie, Op. 45/1, Toccata and Fugue (for the Left Hand), Op. 56, Partita, Op. 58, Sounds and Silences, Op. 78, 4 Epitaphs, Op. 79, Le Tombeau de Franz Liszt, Op. 100, Konzertetüde (Toccata No. 2), Op. 120. More concert pieces: the Humoreske (from 1918) in the style of Reger and his teacher Marx, the 1939 Rhapsody is vividly colored and in improvisational Hungarian style, the Partita (1954) is Takács' only 12-tone piece, Sounds and Silences (1964) push the limits of tonality, the Epitaphs (1964) are dedicated to Hindemith, Debussy, Berg and Bartók and the Tombeau (1977) is a monumental and demanding funeral lament. Aima Maria Labra-Makk (piano). Pepperland PEP 97203 (Austria) 09B007 $16.98

RAPHAËL FUMET (1898-1979): L'Ange des Bois for Piano, Lacrimosa for Viola and Piano, Barcarolle for Viola and Piano, Ode Concertatne for Flute and Piano, La Rose for Violin and Piano, Toccata for Organ, La Nuit for String Orchestra. Son of Dynam-Victor Fumet, whose organ music has been recently recorded, Raphaël never heard a note of his music performed, working as a teacher and writing for posterity. This first CD devoted to his work presents a strong personality working in the late romantic tradition but with a typically French clarity of texture and directness of approach. Many of the works conceal strong emotions beneath a dark, vaguely wistful melancholy; La Nuit is a striking and visionary evocation of the starry night which is almost expressionist in its mystical quasi-ecstasy. Gérard Caussé (viola), Bruno Rigutto, Ichiro Nodaira (piano), Gabriel Fumet (flute), Jean Mouillère (violin), Jean Galard (organ), Jean-Jacques Wiederker Chamber Orchestra. Arion ARN 68475 (France) 09B008 $16.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): String Quartets No. 2, 12 & 16. Volume four of this cycle brings us a rhapsodic, early quartet (1915) with a dreamily lyrical scherzo and slow movement and the composer's penultimate work (1955): a virtuosic piece with a bravura finale which puts the first violinist to the test, a desolate, riveting slow movement and rich, invention-packed fast movements. The twelfth quartet (1950) is remarkable for its energetic atonality which nevertheless admits snatches of Brazilian folk motifs. Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Dorian DOR-93179 (U.S.A.) 09B009 $16.98

ANDREI ESHPAI (b.1925): Symphony No. 7, Piano Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Orchestra with Solo Trumpet, Piano, Vibraphone and Double Bass (Concerto Grosso). This disc presents three of the most appealing works of a great virtuoso among composers of the former Soviet Union. The dazzling Concerto for Orchestra, with its suggestions of jazz and stunning use of the orchestra - Eshpai's flair for colorful orchestration compares favourably with that of his teacher, Khachaturian - is a tour de force of orchestral technique, brimming over with excitement. The Second Piano Concerto is likewise full of event and effect, alternating a pulsating drive with lyrical music of great reflective tenderness. Finally, the grand and serious seventh symphony reflects with that peculiarly Russian soulfulness and tragic involvement on philosophical questions that are never defined but undoubtedly have to do with the transience of life and the uncertainty of redemption; stark outbursts of despair and the final silence of resigned mortality. An unforgettably powerful work, with many factors in common with the Shostakovich of the middle symphonies. Mono/Stereo. Andrei Eshpai (piano), USSR State Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov. Albany TROY 341 (U.S.A.) 09B010 $16.98

JOHN BUCKLEY (b.1951): Symphony No. 1, Organ Concerto. The organ concerto is in three sections; two toccatas, the second a varied recapitulation of the first, framing a lyrical central slow movement. Full of rhythmic vitality, the work abounds in shifting meters and propulsive momentum. The vocabulary and textures of the organ writing are somewhat reminiscent of Messiaen, and the combination of sound and energy is thrillingly exciting. The first symphony of some five years earlier shares the concerto's energetic vitality and explosive orchestral gestures, as well as the dramatic contrasts which characterise much of Buckley's music. Peter Sweeney (organ), National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Colman Pearce. Marco Polo 8.223876 (New Zealand) 08B011 $14.98

OLE SCHMIDT (b.1928): Jeanne d'Arc - Music for Carl Theodor Dreyer's Film. Some of our customers will remember James Bernard's new score for the silent film Nosferatu which we offered in March of 1998. As then, so now: in 1983, Danish conductor and composer Ole Schmidt was asked to furnish a new score for Dreyer's 1927 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc for a "premiere" in Los Angeles that summer. This recording contains 58 of the 82 minutes of music (the exact length of the film, of course) Schmidt composed. Much of the music is subdued, as much of the film involves Joan's interrogation sections; a wordless soprano accompanied by a guitar suggested itself for the intense close-ups of the actress' face in many scenes. The music, tonal and with recourse to quasi-medieval suggestions, rises to more violent heights for the scene of judgement followed by the burning at the stake. Nina Pavlovski (soprano), Erling Møldrup (guitar), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224112 (Denmark) 08B012 $14.98

HENRIETTE BOSMANS (1895-1952): Concertstück for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Poème for Cello and Orchestra. The 1923 Poème shows the remains of Bosmans' early adherence to 19th century Romanticism in its ardent solo lines and its expressive and imposing accompaniments while the 1929 Concertstück shows the composer moving towards a French-influenced brilliance and clarity, The Concertino (1929), considered her best work, is refined and tasteful in orchestration, transparent in sound and brims with geniality, spirit and good humor. Jacques Zoon (flute), Ronald Brautigam (piano), Dmitri Ferschtman (cello), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Jac van Steen, Ed Spanjaard. NM Special 92905 (Netherlands) 08B013 $9.98

HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Organ Concerto, HENK BADINGS (1907-1987): Concerto for Harp and Small Orchestra, LÉON ORTHEL (1905-1985): Scherzo No. 2 for Orchestra, MARIUS FLOTHUIS (b.1914): Flute Concerto. The mighty figures of Bach and Sweelinck stand behind Andriessen's impressive 1950 concerto made up of a massive passacaglia and a flighty, tumbling toccata while Bartók - especially in "night music" mode - is the major influence in Bading's 1967 harp concerto (18 of whose 22 minutes are either grave or lento). Bartók is also the comparandum in Orthel's 1957 scherzo: a somber, grim and obsessively rhythmic work inspired by the uvre of Hieronymus Bosch while Flothuis' flute concerto of 1944, which was composed during the composer's internment by the Nazis, has an idyllic quality belying its place of origin; as the composer put it: "A counterbalance against all the misery around you." François-Henri Houbart (organ), Ellen Versney (harp), Raymond Delnoye (flute), The Brabant Orchestra; Marc Soustrot. Donemus CV 77 (Netherlands) 08B014 $18.98

LILI BOULANGER (1893-1918): Faust et Hélène for Soprano, Tenor, Bass and Orchestra, Psaume 24, D'un soir triste, D'un matin de printemps, Psaume 130: Du fond de l'abîme. New to CD is the 30-minute long Faust et Hélène, a scena which Boulanger composed in 1913 for the Prix de Rome competition. From the beginning, where a chromatically sinister leitmotif casts a dark shadow over a tonally uncertain orchestral introduction, a premonition of disaster runs through the whole work, which is worthy of standing beside the intensely emotional Psaume 130. French-English texts. Lynne Dawson (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo), Bonaventura Bottone, Neil MacKenzie (tenors), Jason Howard (bass), City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier. Chandos 9745 (England) 08B015 $16.98

BERNARD HERRMANN (1911-1975): Souvenir de Voyage for Clarinet and String Quartet, String Quartet Echoes, JEROME MOROSS (1913-1983): Sonata for Piano Duet and String Quartet in G. It's good to have Herrmann's last two concert works back in the catalogue: the 1965 quartet a bleak and confessional "series of nostalgic emotional remembrances" in the composer's own words, and the 1967 clarinet quintet, richly nostalgic and melancholy (both works have echoes from his film scores). Moross' 1975 work, on the other hand, is spontaneous, energetic, upbeat and utterly accessible. The Texas Festival Chamber Ensemble. Albany TROY 301 (U.S.A.) 08B016 $16.98

SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Caritea regina di Spagna. This 1826 work combines the florid manner of Rossini's lyric dramas with the pathos of Bellini and Donizetti (while antedating the latter composer's most characteristic works in this respect) to mark a new stage in Mercadante's style. English synopsis - Italian libretto. 3 CDs. Nana Goradze (soprano), Jacek Laszczkowski (tenor), Bratislava Chamber Chorus, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia Opera; Giuliano Carella. Nuova Era 7258/60 (Italy) 09B017 $50.98

JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1813): Symphonies, Vol. 1 - in A (Bryan A9), in C (C3), in D (D17) and in C (C11). Vanhal has been one of the most neglected 18th century Bohemian composers as far as his symphonies go. This release - enticingly labeled Volume One - goes a long way toward redressing this slight. These are marvellous symphonies, worthy of standing by Haydn's middle-period works. A9 (c.1775-78) is in a remarkable (for the time) single-movement, three section form with a cello solo in the central section and much vigorous writing in the outer movements with clarinos cutting through the texture brilliantly. From the other end of his career, C3 dates from c.1760-62 and is in "overture" form, brilliant and exciting with a stomping rhythm in its presto finale. But everything here is delightful... classical symphony collectors need not hesitate! Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; Uwe Grodd. Naxos 8.554341 (New Zealand) 09B018 $5.98

FRANZ DANZI (1763-1826): Bassoon Concertos in G Minor and C, Bassoon Concerto No. 1 in F, Bassoon Concerto No. 2 in F. Danzi's bassoon concertos have an abundance of charm and represent a link between the Classical and Romantic periods. Offering the soloist ample scope for virtuosity, these works also take advantage of his ability to produce a singing tone in each of their slow movements. All but one of the two F major concertos are new to the catalogue. Albrecht Holder (bassoon), Neubrandenburger Philharmonie; Nicolás Pasquet. Naxos 8.554273 (New Zealand) 09B019 $5.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Violin Concerto No. 9 in A, Piano Concerto No. 7 in G. As a welcome addition to Dynamic's complete Viotti violin concerto series, this compatriot label offers us a 1793 piano concerto, adapted by J. L. Dussek from the Violin Concerto No. 23, dating from Viotti's London period when his works were competing with Haydn's for the favor of the English public. It's pre-Romantic, early Beethovenian sensiblility (and rarity in this version) will appeal to classical collectors. Guido Rimonda (violin), Cristina Canziani (piano), Orchestra Camerata Ducale. Bongiovanni GB 5092 (Italy) 09B020 $16.98

ALESSANDRO ROLLA (1757-1841): 3 Gran Duetti Concertanti for Violin and Viola, Op. 7, 3 Gran Quartetti Concertanti for String Quartet, Op. 2, 3 Trii Concertanti for String Trio, Op. 1, Violin Sonatas in E Flat and in G, Divertimento in G. This bargain box offers a wealth (4 hours and 21 minutes!) of fine late classical chamber music from one of the late 18th century's finest string players and composers for strings. 4 CDs for the price of 2. La Camerata Ducale di Parma. Symphonia SY 99167 (Italy) 09B021 $37.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Sonatas for Harpsichord and Flute in C, H 573 & in E, H 506, Sonata for Oboe and Basso Continuo in G Minor, H 549, 2 Duos for 2 Clarinets, H 636, Pastorale for Oboe and Bassoon, 6 Sonatas for Fortepiano, Clarinet and Bassoon, H 516-521. Bach's wind music does not have the intensity of expression, the empfindsamer stil, which one associates with his solo keyboard music or with his symphonies and concertos. The latest works here - the sonatas for fortepiano, clarinet and bassoon - are piano trios in all but name, dating from 1768, while the closest to the "usual" C.P.E. Bach would be the two flute sonatas which date from the late 1740s when the composer was in the early years of his service to Frederick the Great. Fiati con Tasto Köln. CPO 999 508 (Germany) 09B022 $15.98

PHILIPP CHRISTOPH KAISER (1755-1823): Sonatas in D and in E Flat for Piano, Violin and 2 Horns, Christmas Cantata for 2 Sopranos and String Quartet, 5 Songs, JOHANN BRÜNINGS (c.1760-18??): Piano Sonatas No. 2 in C and No. 3 in E Flat. Kaiser was the first composer to set Goethe (a good friend of his) to music. His small-scale songs and chamber pieces are finely crafted examples of high classicism. The Swiss Brünings' piano sonatas are in similar style, attesting to the vigor of musical life in Zürich at the end of the 18th century. The Ceruti Quartet, Dave Lee, Chris Davies (horns), Roy Howat (piano), Oliver Lewis (violin). Guild GMCD 7163 (England) 09B023 $16.98

LE CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES (1739-1799): 3 Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, Aria con Variazioni. Published in 1781, these sonatas are in the galant style, each in two movements with violin and keyboard equal partners. Full of graceful melody and, in the B Flat work, some Turkish exoticism in the minuet, these works have more than a little of the young Mozart in them and will appeal to all collectors of the classical period. Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Brigitte Haudebourg (harpsichord). Arion ARN 55445 (France) 09B024 $13.98

FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE (1759-1803): 4 Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord. Devienne's sonatas are undated but are certainly from the late 1780s or 1790s and his ease of melodic invention, pre-romantic intimations and lifetime as performer on various wind instruments combine to produce entertaining enjoyment in which both instruments get an equal share in the honors. Michel Debost (flute), Brigitte Haudebourg (harpsichord). Arion ARN 55436 (France) 09B025 $13.98

JOHANN SCHOBERT (c.1740-1767): 6 Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 14. One can hear from these sonatas (advertised as for "optional" two violins and cello but performed here on the silvery sounding tangent piano) why the young Mozart was so impressed by Schobert: finely constructed music, immaculately polished and with memorable melodies. Unfortunate that the young composer died of mushroom poisoning along with six fellow diners! Mario Martinoli (tangent piano). Stradivarius STR 33460 (Italy) 09B026 $16.98

OTTO MALLING - More Danish Romanticism

OTTO MALLING (1848-1915): Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 43, Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 36. Another forgotten Danish Romantic, Malling was a notable figure in Danish music in the last decade of the 19th century and wrote most of his orchestral music before 1900 after which he turned increasingly to organ and choral sacred music. The concerto (1890) is a delight: the first movement full of minor-key arch-romantic sighs and agonies with octave playing a la Tchaikovsky and glissades a la Saint-Saëns, the second movement a Notturno of captivating beauty and the finale a boisterous dance with Nordic character. The trio, from 1889, is generally light, bright and charming with only the third movement (another Notturno) injecting a touch of sweet melancholy while Nordic folksong flavors the outer movements. Amalie Malling (piano), Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider (violin), Morten Zeuthen (cello), Danish Radio Sinfonietta; Petter Sundkvist. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224114 (Denmark) 09B027 $14.98

HARMONIOUS FAMILIES, VOl. 2 - Niels & Axel Gade

AXEL GADE (1860-1921): Violin Concerto No. 2 in F, Op. 10, NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Capriccio for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor, Hamlet, Op. 37, Echoes of Ossian, Op. 1, Overture to Mariotta. Axel Gade's 1899 concerto is a wonderful find for lovers of the Romantic Violin Concerto - dramatic and fiery in the first movement which is followed by a pastoral serenade, its cheerful finale is flamboyantly virtuosic - a genuine romantic virtuoso concerto. Father Niels' 1868 Capriccio is an elegant, entertaining virtuoso "encore" piece; new to CD is the brief overture to his 1850 singspiel Mariotta, typically cheerful and melodious. Christina Åstrand (violin), Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland; Iona Brown. Danacord DACOCD 510 (Denmark) 09B028 $17.98

WILHELM STENHAMMAR (1871-1927): Scenes from the Opera Tirfing. Dating from 1898 Tirfing was described by its composer as a "mystical saga-poem" and is based on a Viking saga about the daughter of a dead Viking warrior, Hervor, and Tirfing, the sword with the magical power to destroy everything. Stenhammar was entirely under the spell of Wagner at the time he composed this work. Great, long monologues by Hervor play a large part, giving concentrated depictions of her development and fate. Three of them were recorded here along with two other scenes (totalling 57 minutes) at a live concert performance in Stockholm this past March. Heady, powerful stuff which will delight Wagnerians and Scandinavophiles alike (Scandinavophiles?). Swedish-English texts. Ingrid Tobiasson (mezzo), Carina Morling (soprano), Jesper Taube (baritone), Royal Opera Orchestra, Stockholm; Leif Segerstam. Sterling CDO-1033-2 (Sweden) 09B029 $15.98

PHILIPP SCHARWENKA (1847-1917): String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 117, String Quartet in D, Op. 120, Piano Quintet in B Minor, Op. 118. A couple of months ago, Olympia offered "Volume One" of Philipp Scharwenka's chamber music and now, after so little on behalf of this composer, there comes another packed (80 minutes) CD full of wonderfully conservative Romantic music. In fact, even Beethoven might have thought some of this music contemporary with his own, especially the still, stoic yet affecting In Memoriam slow movement of the D Minor quartet. All three of these pieces date from around 1910 yet all speak the language of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, making a collection which will appeal to all dyed-in-the-wool romanticists. Mannheim String Quartet, Thomas Duis (piano). MD&G 336 0889 (Germany) 09B030 $17.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Concerto Ballata for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 108 Chant du ménestrel for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 71, 2 Pieces for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 20, À la mémoire de Gogol, Op. 87, À la mémoire d'un héros, Op. 8. The three concerted pieces for cello are both tender and passionate, exploring the singing quality of the instrument while still demanding the utmost dexterity and virtuosity from the soloist. Two homages make up the rest of the disc, miniature tone poems in size, the one (to Gogol) elegiac, the other dramatic. Volume 11 of the Glazunov series. Alexander Rudin (cello), Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Igor Golovchin. Naxos 8.553932 (New Zealand) 09B031 $5.98

JACQUES OFFENBACH (1819-1880)/MANUEL ROSENTHAL (b.1904): Offenbachiana, Gaîté Parisienne. Conductor Rosenthal was commissioned to write a ballet score based on Offenbach's operettas and produced, in 1938, Gaîté Parisienne, a sparkling score which has remained in the Monte Carlo Ballet's repertoire since its first performance (although, amazingly, it was originally rejected until Stravinsky intervened!). Offenbachiana is the result of a fortnight spent in Berlin in 1953 waiting for a defective piece of recording equipment to be flown in from America (Rosenthal was to record Gaîté with the RIAS orchestra). A veritable concerto for orchestra based on Offenbach themes, the work offers solo parts for brass, percussion and clarinet. The 92-year-old conductor made this recording in 1996, treating the two works as tone poems, with slower tempi in order to concentrate on the detail of the orchestration, making this a must-have even if you have other recordings of each work. Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo; Manuel Rosenthal. Naxos 8.554005 (New Zealand) 09B032 $5.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (1763-1845): Che Originali! Highly regarded by Bellini and his student Donizetti, Mayr was an important link in the passage from 18th-century to 19th-century opera and he anticipates aspects of Rossini's melodic style while showing much affinity with the refined operatic language of Cimarosa and Mozart. Che Originali! is his tenth opera, dating from 1798, a mix of intermezzo and opera buffa which satirizes the period's culturally narrow-minded bourgeiosie. Italian-English libretto. 2 CDs. Thomas Gropper (baritone), Stefanie Früh (soprano), Stephen Caira (tenor), Georgian Chamber Orchestra; Franz Hauk. Guild GMDD 7167/8 (England) 09B033 $33.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Devotion. This 1943 period drama based on the lives of the Brontë sisters was described by the reviewer for the New York Times as "...a ridiculous tax on reason and an insult to plain intelligence." It is generally agreed today that the only worthwhile thing about the film is its score, which is why the Marco Polo team of restorer John W. Morgan and conductor Stromberg chose it for their third Korngold revival in this ongoing series. This sweeping score is imbued with all the passion and romance which the cardboard events on screen lacked and is an excellent example of the composer's inability to write anything beneath his best. The orchestration is extremely elaborate and much of its intricate detail is lost on the original soundtrack, making this recording (which contains 70 minutes of the 100 Korngold composed) a real ear-opener for those who may have actually sat through the film. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225038 (New Zealand) 09B034 $14.98

FRANZ WAXMAN (1906-1967): Mr. Skeffington. Completed in 1944 this glossy soap opera starred Bette Davis as a beautiful but self-absorbed and shallow woman and her suitors and eventual marriage to the character who supplies the film's title. Rather better than Devotion it nonetheless did not fare well with critics either and Waxman's score suffered accordingly as the film dropped from sight. This score is practically an homage to Richard Strauss, whom the young Waxman often saw conduct in Dresden and whom he greatly admired. Vigorous and satisfying, rich yet restrained in its orchestration, imaginative yet direct in its treatment of motifs and melodies and its climactic scene, of Davis' character descending a staircase, has eerie parallels to the Marschallin's music in Der Rosenkavalier. A magnificent score for film music collectors and Straussians alike! Moscow Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225037 (New Zealand) 09B035 $14.98

MANUEL ROSENTHAL (b.1904): Les Soirées du Petit Juas for String Quartet, Saxophon'Marmalade for Alto Sax and Piano, La Belle Zélie for 2 Pianos, Juventas for Clarinet, String Quartet and Double-Bass, 3 Pièces for Harp, 2 Flutes, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double-Bass. A sense of style and elegance worthy of Ravel, and astonishing breadth of expression characterise Rosenthal's music. From Gershwinesque classical jazz - Saxophon'Marmalade opens with a blues that sounds like the dissipated cousin of Gershwin's Summertime - to elegant, teasing transcriptions of 18th-century harp music, to a Ravelian two-piano suite, to delightful character-pieces for string quartet, Rosenthal seems equally at home and capable of entertaining and characterful expression. Even the much later and less "popular" Juventas retains the characteristic playfulness and lightness of touch of the earlier works. "Stravinsky with a human face" (with apologies to those of you who believe that Stravinsky possessed one of his own) might characterise this elegant explorer of the byways of 20th-century idioms. Various artists incl. Danel Quartet, Daniel Blumenthal & Marie-Catherine Girod (pianos). Calliope CAL 9894 (France) 09B036 $17.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Divertimento, Op. 86, Tanzsuite. Volume 6 of "The Unknown Richard Strauss" usefully couples the two suites which the composer arranged from keyboard pieces by Couperin. The Tanzsuite (1923) is the rarer but the skill and imagination with which Strauss orchestrated them is equal to those in the better-known 1943 Divertimento and there are some wonderfully off-beat settings sure to delight Straussians of all stripes. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacher. Koch Schwann 3-6535-2 (Germany) 09B037 $16.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Enoch Arden, Op. 38, The Castle by the Sea. Dating from 1897, the 62-minute long melodrama of Tennyson's epic-length poem was a great success for Strauss as he traveled across German-speaking Europe with famed actor Ernst von Possart performing it. The notes to this recording make a good case for listening to this as film music - Strauss provides music to deepen the listener's understanding of character's thoughts and emotions and leaves exposition and action alone. The Castle by the Sea dates from 1899 and is performed in English - the original being a poem by Uhland - and the work is rather more like a lied where the voice speaks rather than sings. Paul Schmidt (narrator), Yvar Mikhashoff (piano). Mode 78 (U.S.A.) 08B038 $16.98

LEO· JANÁCEK (1854-1928): Suites from the Operas The Excursions of Mr. Broucek, From the House of the Dead, The Cunning Little Vixen. New to CD is the 23-minute suite, selected and arranged by Jaroslav Smolka, of music from the opera The Excursions of Mr. Broucek, Janácek's rarely heard 1920 fantasy opera (whose title character travels to the Moon and to the 15th century) which contains much unusual, striking and characteristic music. Prague Symphony Orchestra; JiÞí Bûlohlávek. Supraphon SU 3436 (Czech Republic) 09B039 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): 8 Improvisationen, Op. 18, 5 Humoresken, Op. 20, Träume und Kamin, Op. 143, In der Nacht. The two early sets of pieces date from 1896 and show both Reger's technical prowess and sense of humor in works based on the model of Schumann but with the composer's typical wide diversity of style. "Dreams by the Fireside" were written the year before his death and are otherwise unavailable on CD. Lasting more than half an hour, this is a weightier, more serious cycle of highly descriptive mini tone-poems which, though stylistically quite varied, are all, essentially, lullabies. In der Nacht (1902) tells of nocturnal dangers, mysteries and surprises. Markus Pawlik (piano). Naxos 8.553331 (New Zealand) 09B040 $5.98

New from Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol. 1

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Violin Concerto No. 1 in A, Op. 20, Violin Concerto No. 2 in , Op. 58, Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61. In what we can only hope will be as wide-ranging a series as their "The Romantic Piano Concerto", Hyperion launches a new series of concerto recordings with the three violin concetos of Saint-Saëns. Only the third has gained currency in concert and in recordings - an 1880 work dedicated to Sarasate full of memorable themes, coloruful harmonies and memorably original. But Concerto No. 1 (actually the second chronologically, dating from 1859) was also dedicated to the brilliant Spanish violinist and it is impulsive and mercurial in its two allegro sections which surround a graceful and elegant slow section - all wrapped up in one, 14-minute movement. The earliest work dates from the preceding year, in the usual three movements and, while not as original as his mature works, still shows Saint-Saëns' gift for flowing melody and effective orchestration. Philippe Graffin (violin), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67074 (England) 09B041 $17.98

The Hyperion LISZT Edition - The Penultimate Release - Vol. 56

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): The Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 56 - Orpheus (Symphonic Poem No. 4), S511b, Orgel-Fantasie und Fuge in G Minor (Bach) (first version), S463i, Mes joies (Chopin), (Moja pieszczotka, second version), S480/5ii, Widmung (Schumann), (short draft), S566a, Marche pour le Sultan Abdul Medjid-Khan (Donizetti) (simplified version), S403bis, Caritas (nach Rossini), (La charité, first version), S552a, Il penseroso (first version), S157b, Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (first version), S157c, En mémoire de Maximilian I, (Marche funèbre, first version), S162d, Album-Leaf in A Flat (Portugal), S166b, Album-Leaf (Première Consolation), S171b, Schnitterchor (Pastorale - Schnitterchor) (Prometheus, first version), S507a, Künstlerfestzug (first version), S520i, Festklänge (Symphonic Poem No. 7), S511d, La caritá (Rossini) (La charité, simplified version), S552b, La serenate e l'orgia - Grande Fantaisie sur des motifs des Soirées musicales de Rossini (Première grande fantaisie, first version), S422i, Introduction des Variations sur une marche du Siège de Corinthe (Rossini), S421a, Morceau en F, S695, Fantasie über englische Themen, S694, Anfang einer Jungendsonate, S692b, Album-Leaves: Andantino in E Flat, S163a (incomplete), Ah, vous dirai-je, maman, S163b, in C Minor (Pressburg), S163c, in E, (Vienna), S164a, in E Flat (Leipzig), S164b, Exeter Preludio, S164c, in D (Detmold), S164d, Magyar, S164e, in A Minor (Rákóczi-Marsch), S164f, in E, S166a, in A Flat, S166c, Lyon Prélude, Op. 166d, Prélude omnitonique, S166e, in E (Leipzig), S163d, Berlin Preludio, S164g, Braunschweig Preludio, S166f, Serenade, S166g, Andante religioso, S166h. Mazurka in F, S221a, Gaudeamus igitur - Paraphrase (second version), S240ii, Rapsodie hongroise II (alternative text), S244/2bis, Rapsodie hongroise X (alternative text), S244/10bis, Rapsodie hongroise XV (alternative text), S244/15bis, Magyar Rapszódia (Rapsodie hongroise XVI, first version), S244/16i, Rapsodie hongroise XVIII (with first version of coda), S244/18i, Mephisto-Polka, S217i, Rapsodie hongroise XVIII (with second version of coda), S244/18ii, 2 further Cadenzas to Un Sospiro, S144/3bis, Album-Leaf (from the Agnus Dei of the Missa Solemnis, S9) (Poco adagio aus der Graner Messe), S167c, Album-Leaf (from the Symphonic Poem Orpheus, S98), S167d, Album-Leaf (from the Symphonic Poem Die Ideale, S106), S167e, St. Stanislaus fragment (Library of Congress), S688a, Winzerchor (Prometheus) (incomplete), S692e, La Mandragore - Ballade de l'opéra "Jean de Nivelle" incomplete), S698, Glasgow fragment, S701f, Operatic aria and sketched variation, S701h, Valse infernale (Meyerbeer) - theme, S701h2, Allegro maestoso (Étude in F sharp major?) (incomplete), S692c, Rákóczi-Marsch (first version, simplified), (incomplete), S692d, Harmonie nach Rossinis Carità (La charité) (incomplete), S701j, Marie-Poème (incomplete), S701b, Andante sensibilissimo, S701c, Melodie in Dorische Tonart, S701d, Dante fragment, S701e, Polnisch - sketch, S701g, Korrekturblatt (to an earlier version of La lugubre gondola), S701k, Mazeppa (Symphonic Poem No. 6), S511c, Valse in A, S210b, Ländler in D, Op. 211a, Dumka, S249b, Air cosaque, S249c, Marche funèbre, S226a, Magyar tempo, S241b, Pásztor Lakodalmas - Mélodies hongroises (Festetics, with elaborations by Liszt), S405a, Einleitung und Coda zu Raffs Walzer in D Flat, Op. 54/1, S551a, Einleitung und Coda zu Rubinsteins Étude in C (sur des notes fausses, 1868), S554a, Einleitung und Coda zu Smetanas Polka (de salon, Op. 7/1), S570a, Einleitung und Schlußtakte zu Tausigs 3. Valse-Caprice (Wahlstimmen, Op. 250) (Johann Strauss), S571a, Dritter Mephisto-Waltzer (first draft), S215a, Petite Valse (Nachspiel zu den drei vergessenen Walzer), S695d, Grande Valse di Bravura - Le bal de Berne (first version), S209. A look at what may be the longest listing in Records International's history proves the truth of this volume's title: "Rarities, Curiosities, Album-Leaves and Fragments". We need say no more other than to point out that the final volume will be along before the end of the year with the final versions of the Hungarian Rhapsodies. Gorge yourselves! 4 CDs. Leslie Howard (piano). Hyperion CDA 67414/7 (England) 09B042 $71.98

FERRUCIO BUSONI (1866-1924)/EGON PETRI (1881-1962): Selections from Die Brautwahl. Given that Busoni's most appealing and lyrically delightful opera is already available, complete, in several recorded versions, the principal attraction of this disc of selections with piano accompaniment must be that the piano reduction was done by Busoni's most illustrious piano student, Egon Petri. It is a skillful and accomplished arrangement. Hearing selected numbers from the opera in this fashion reinforces the impression of the sheer quality of Busoni's vocal writing, though it is interesting to note that there is a qualitative difference between Busoni's writing for the voice in opera and his actual songs with piano accompaniment, in which piano and voice form an ideal dialogue for characterizing his texts. Here one misses the orchestral texture and highly developed sense of theatre of this very Italian (when it suited him) composer; simply put, this sounds like a rehearsal score, though one of undoubted historical and musical interest. Patrizia Cigna (soprano), Enrico Facini (tenor), Carlo Morini (baritone), Alessandro Calamai (baritone), Marco Vincenzi (piano). Kicco Classic KC 037 CD (Italy) 09B043 $17.98

20th Century Mexican Symphonic Music - 3 Volumes

JOSÉ PABLO MONCAYO (1912-1958): Bosques, GERARDO DURÁN (b.1954): Nepantla, CARLOS JIMÉNEZ MABARAK (1916-1994): Sinfonía de un movemiento, LUIS SANDI (1905-1996): Tema y Variaciones, ARMANDO LAVALLE (1924-1994): Obertura Colonial, MARIO KURI-ALDANA (b.1931): Canto Latinoamericano. Lavalle and Kuri-Aldana's brief pieces are in flamboyant Mexican folk style but Durán's Nepantla weaves a more impressionistic and mystical web of sound in its depiction of a town where the Aztecs often summered. Mabarak's symphony is serial but approachable and easily followed while Sandi's variations are touched by a cool neo-classicism. Moncayo's Bosques is less well-known than his Huapango but is no less rhythmically colorful. Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico; Eduardo Diazmuñoz. Clasicos Mexicanos SDX 21231 (Mexico) 09B044 $12.98

EDUARDO HERNÁNDEZ MONCADA (1899-1995): Primera Sinfonía, SALVADOR CONTRERAS (1912-1982): Danza Negra, ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Son, FEDERICO IBARRA (b.1946): Primera Sinfonía, DANIEL CATÁN (b.1949): Tu son, tu risa, tu sonrisa. There is rather little in the way of picture postcard music on this volume. Contreras' work is a threatening, lumbering beast liberally laced with percussion and brass and a hint of the macabre about it. Moncada's 1942 symphony (premiered by no less than Mitropoulos) has its elements of Mexican nationalism - rhythms which suggest a huapango, horns playing something close to a son - but they are subordinate to the musical argument in a work which deserves more exposure than it has gotten. Ibarra's symphony (1991) is for chamber-sized forces and is tightly wound and high-octane fueled; Catán's short work is brightly pictorial, full of spicy Caribbean rhythms and with a large percussion section while Márquez' Son is an exciting dance-oriented piece which marked its composer's first great success in 1986. Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico; Eduardo Diazmuñoz. Clasicos Mexicanos SDX 21009 (Mexico) 09B045 $12.98

ARMANDO LUNA PONCE (b.1964): Elegía, MARIO LAVISTA (b.1943): Ficciones, SAMUEL ZYMAN (b.1956): Soliloquio, DANIEL CATÁN (b.1949): En un doblez del tiempo, LEANDRO ESPINOSA (b.1955): Obertura a Ifigenia Cruel. This third volume contains the newest music in the series and each of the composers here presents a personal approach to composition in the late 20th century. Catán is the most traditional while Lavista's piece is the most striking (it should appeal to people who like Lutoslawski although it's not like Lutoslawski exactly...) but no one here is the least influenced by the Darmstadt Monster and everyone is primarily concerned with communication. Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico; Eduardo Diazmuñoz. Clasicos Mexicanos SDX 21232 (Mexico) 09B046 $12.98

HANS EKLUND: Requiem for Soloists and Orchestra. For all its large scale, this is an intimate, personal work, eschewing grandiloquent gestures and images of the day of judgement in favour of a solemn, introspective setting of the mass, with an emphasis on human striving for divine guidance and a plea for understanding and judgement. Setting only the text of the requiem mass, complete, and in a rather conventional tonal language, this work will appeal to those to whom genuine feeling and a moving meditation on the mysteries of the human condition, unadorned by the additional considerations textual or musical, makes the most powerful statement. Marianne Mellnäs (soprano), Rolf Leanderson (baritone), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Cathedral Choir, Stockholm Motet Choir; Gustaf Sjökvist. Phono Suecia PSCD 18 (Sweden) 09B047 $16.98

STEPHEN PERILLO: Lullaby for Orchestra, Crushed Tomatoes, Requiem for a Goldfish, Brass Symphony. Perillo by day is the president of the international tour company Perillo Tours; by night he composes, having studied at Boston University with David del Tredici. The four tone poems recorded here pour pop-influenced music into the classical molds of sonata, rondo and fugue. They are resolutely tonal, do not outstay their welcome and have a pleasant, non-condescending sense of humor which went down pleasantly with this listener (the one who normally writes the classical and romantic blurbs...). Russian Festival Orchestra; Yuval Waldman. Centaur CRC 2445 (U.S.A.) 09B048 $16.98

PETER RUZICKA (b.1948): ...Inseln, Randlos... for Violin, Chamber Choir and Orchestra, Die Sonne Sinkt for Baritone and Orchestra, Gestalt und Abbruch for Voices, ...Vorgefühle... for Orchestra. Ruzicka's music, as represented here, is intense and uncompromising; less concerned with thematic development than with the presentation of ideas which are often strikingly vivid, suggesting a kind of hallucinatory intensity of sensation. The melismatic lines of the solo violin in the concerto are traced against constantly shifting, transforming blocks of unison or cluster sound in orchestra and choir; the choice of a cover painting "after Dalí", with its implications of the fluid metmorphosis of solid objects, is particularly apposite. Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Deutsches-Symphonie Orchester Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor; Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andreas Schmidt (baritone), RSO Frankfurt; Peter Ruzicka, NDR-Chor; Werner Hagen, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra; Peter Ruzicka. Thorofon CTH 2402 (Germany) 09B049 $16.98

JÁNOS VAJDA (b.1949): String Quartet No. 1, String Quartet No. 2, Piano Sonata, Violin Sonata. In the 1980s, Vajda turned away from the avant-garde in favor of, as he described it, attempting to make something new and individual from "the treasures of the past", rather than trying relentlessly to discover sounds and textures without precedent. The result in these scores from the 1990s is music which owes much to Bartók and Shostakovich (especially the latter in the two quartets), and to classical forms and models, while clearly expressing a voice of great individuality. Vajda is clearly not afraid to be called conservative; his style is so much his own that adherence to classical structures and harmony strengthens his position as a composer with something meaningful to say, and the means to say it. Danubius String Quartet, New Haydn String Quartet, Márta Erdei (piano), Eszter Perényi (violin), Sarolta Harsányi (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31797 (Hungary) 09B050 $16.98

MIKHAIL NOSYREV (1924-1981): Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 2. We offered Nosyrev's third and fourth symphonies back in February and were impressed by the intensity and expressivity of the scores of a composer who was imprisoned in 1943 for "counter-revolutionary activity" and whose subsequent artistic life was officially ignored. These works date from 1965 and 1977 respectively and are equally stark: powerful and expressive with much of the emotional language familiar to us from Shostakovich's symphonies and string quartets (and D-S-C-H makes an appearance in the second symphony's first movement coda). Anyone who loves 20th century Russian symphonic music will want to have both these discs. St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Verbitsky. Olympia OCD 660 (U.S.A.) 09B051 $16.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Suites from the Films The Maxim Trilogy, Belinsky and Pirogov. Here is Shostakovich in epic mode, providing edifying music for the masses being instructed in Soviet heroism and patriotism by film-maker Grigori Kozintsev. The three films of the Maxim Trilogy (about a simple proletarian youth who joins the Bolshevik party and gets to meet Lenin) came out between 1935-38 and Shostakovich used a chorus both here and in the 1950 Belinsky (a biography of a 19th century revolutionary democrat). Such cues as "Fighting on the Barricades", "Demonstration" and "The Strength of the People" provide exactly the sort of in-your-face, rabble-rousing loud-and-fast music you'd expect. Pirogov was a 19th century surgeon and anatomist (who took part in the heroic defense of Sebastopol in the Crimean War) and his biography (1953) is more lyrical with a charming waltz and fun scherzo. Brilliant sound delivers the full force of the propaganda! Belarus State Chorus, Belarus RTV Symphony Orchestra; Walter Mnatsakanov. Citadel CTD 88135 (U.S.A.) 09B052 $14.98

EUGENIO TOUSSAINT (b.1954): Danzas de la ciudad, Suite de las ciencias, Suite from the Ballet Días de los Muertos. Toussaint began his career as a jazz musician and composer (working in the States with Herb Alpert and Paul Anka among others) and this background comes out clearly in the first two works here which use string quartet, bass, various wind instruments and percussion. Danzas de la ciudad is a suite of five movements which represent a geographical panorama of the heart of Mexico City; the music is whimsical, bouncy and rather like upscale salon music translated to the late 20th century with a Hispanic flavor. The longer "Suite of the Sciences" was a commission for the opening of a Science Hall at a university and its eight movements illustrate such concepts as "The Structure of Matter", "Energy", "Astronomy", etc. in piquant, imaginative and always fascinating fashion. For a traditional chamber-sized orchestra, Toussaint's suite from his 1997 ballet juxtaposes Mexican ("The Days of the Dead") and American (Halloween) aspects of the celebration of All-Saints' Eve while telling the tale of a poor Mexican family migrating to the North. The ghost of Revueltas is present in the Mexican half of the score while a more abstract music influenced by jazz and rock infuses the American half. Camerata de las Américas; Jesús Medina. Urtext JBCC 021 (Mexico) 09B053 $16.98

SAMUEL ZYMAN (b.1956): Encuentros, JOSÉ PABLO MONCAYO (1912-1958): Sinfonieta, Huapango, BLAS GALINDO (1910-1993): Poema de Neruda, RICARDO CASTRO (1864-1907): Minueto, Op. Posth., ALFREDO CARRASCO (1875-1945): Preludio Sinfónico, JOSÉ MARÍA CHÁVEZ (19th cen.): Overture to La Huerfanita, ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Danzón No. 4. An intoxicating mixture of Mexican music from the late 19th century to the present day. Only Moncayo's Huapango (and, perhaps, Márquez' Danzón No. 4 previously offered in our December 1998 catalogue) are at all familiar; Carrasco's prelude is lushly romantic, anticipating Hollywood romantic film score-music while Chávez' overture could easily have been a minor overture by Rossini and Castro's minuet is redolent of 19th century drawing rooms. Zyman's "Encounters", composed for the Mexican Pavillion at Expo '92, is a brilliant showpiece of Mexican rhythms and tunes and Moncayo's Sinfonieta contains the same motoric excitement as Huapango but conveyed through a transparent, chamber orchestra means. Quite a feast! Orquesta de las Américas; Benjamín Juárez Echenique. Urtext JBCC 020 (Mexico) (Mexico) 09B054 $16.98

CARLOS GUASTAVINO (b.1912): Clarinet Sonata, PAQUITO D'RIVERA (b.1948): Danzón for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Lecuonerías for Clarinet, Vals Venezolano for Clarinet and Piano, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Fantasia concertante for Clarinet, Piano and Cello, IGNACIO CERVANTES (1847-1905): Danzas Cubanas for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, OSVALDO LACERDA (b.1927): Valso-Choro for Clarinet and Piano, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Milonga del ángel (arr. Zinger), Tanguango. An attractive recital of Latin-American music for clarinet with the Argentine Guastavino's mellow, lyrical and romantic sonata and Villa-Lobos' angular, thorny trio (with cello taking the place of the original bassoon) the major works. The attractive fillers include the Cuban Cervantes'homage to native dance forms , clarinettist D'Rivera's brief and likeable essays in dance form, and the Brazilian Lacerda's refined piece based on the famous dance so beloved by Villa-Lobos. Paquito D'Rivera (clarinet), Gustavo Tavares (cello), Pablo Zinger (piano). Mix House MH0002 (Brazil) 09B055 $18.98

CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Violin Sonatas Nos. 2-4. Like Villa-Lobos, Guarnieri absorbed Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian musical characteristics into his music along with a healthy dose of French influence (he studied with Koechlin and Boulanger). His sonatas are melodic and passionate with lyrical slow movements and quicker movements which evoke a hot-blooded equatorial climate. The fourth sonata appears on CD for the first time. Tânia Camargo Guarnieri (violin), Laís de Souza Brasil (piano). Mix House MH0003 (Brazil) 09B056 $18.98

KAROL RATHAUS (1895-1954): Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 27, Suite for Orchestra, Op. 29, Serenade for Orchestra, Op. 35, Polonaise Symphonique, Op. 52. This second CD devoted to Rathaus' music contains earlier works than that from KOCH International Classics: the suites and serenade date from 1929-31 and are tight-lipped and restless with an intense energy even in the slow movements. Even the serenade has a manic intensity to it rather than the relaxed, lighter touch its title suggests but all of Rathaus' music are brilliant in their handling of melody, harmony and orchestration. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Centaur CRC 2402 (U.S.A.) 09B057 $16.98

FERENC FARKAS (b.1905): Cantus Pannonicus, Saint John's Fountain, Vivit Dominus, Waiting for Spring. Cantus Pannonicus dates from 1959 and sets 15-th century Latin poetry using harpsichord, guitar and mandolin (and omitting violins and violas from the orchestra) in order to achieve a condensed, neo-classical style which recalls Renaissance music. St. John's Fountain (1946) is a lyrically ardent work celebrating ecstatic love and the effervescence of nature. Vivit Dominus (1982) is a formal and dignified hymn of praise while Waiting for Spring (1967) is a majestic, tender and finally festive invocation of the season. Everything is tonal, approachable and colorful. Margit László (soprano), György Melis (baritone), Budapest Chorus, "Jeunesses Musicales" Chorus, Chorus and Children's Chorus of the Hungarian Radio and Television, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian State Orchestra; Miklós Forrai, András Farkas, János Ferencsik. Hungaroton HCD 31852 (Hungary) 09B058 $16.98

LÁSZLÓ LAJTHA (1892-1963): Marionettes, Op. 26 for Flute, Harp and String Trio, 3 Nocturnes, Op. 34 for Soprano, Harp, Flute and String Quartet, Harp Quintet No. 2, Op. 46. Composed between 1938-48, these three chamber works are of Lajtha's most French style, in which the influence of Debussy and Ravel comes to play on Hungarian folk references. Sparkling, cheerful, transparently scored and inspiriting to listen to, these pieces will brighten anyone's day and add to a rightly ever-increasing recorded catalogue of music by this 20th century Hungarian master. Ildikó Iván (soprano), István Matuz (flute), Tamás Rónaszegi, Péter Sárosi (violin), Emil Ludmány (viola), Katalin Vas (cello), Júlia Szilvásy (harp). Hungaroton HCD 31776 (Hungary) 09B059 $16.98

ACHILLE LONGO (1900-1954): Piano Trio in B Flat, Oboe Sonata in B Flat, Cello Sonata in A, Sonatina for Violin and Piano in E. Longo's music offers an intriguing mixture of the late Romantic with neo-classicism and impressionism which meld into an original voice. The trio (1937) seems an homage to Franck and cyclic form, the early (1922) sonatina is close to the music of Les Six, with the two sonatas (1933 and 1925 respectively) containing diverting flashes of various styles. Certainly worth a listen for collectors of tonal 20th-century chamber music. Aldo Ciccolini (piano), Giuseppe Falco (oboe), Bruno Espiola (cello), Enzo Ligresti (violin). Phoenix Classics PH 98416 (Italy) 09B060 $16.98

GIUSEPPE MARTUCCI (1856-1909): Fantasy in D Minor, Op. 32, Variations, Op. 58, MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): La Sirenetta e il Pesce Turchino, Notturno e Tarantella Scura, Alt Wien, Duo Pianism, Napolitana. Martucci's late Romanticism and Castelnuovo-Tedesco's eclectic, always appealing and tuneful duo piano works (each composer's complete uvre) make for entertaining companions in this disc of world premiere recordings. Aldo Orvieto, Filippo Quarti (pianos). Phoenix Classics PH 98410 (Italy) 09B061 $16.98

PAUL KERMAN/SAMUEL DUSHKIN (1891-1976): Chant des Séphardim, Danse galicienne, Chant des juifs du Yemen, LAZARE SAMINSKY (1882-1959): Chasidic Suite, Op. 24, JOSEPH ACHRON (1886-1943) /LEOPOLD AUER (1845-1930): Hebrew Lullaby, ISSAY DOBROWEN (1891-1953): Mélodie hébraique, MARC LAVRY (1903-1967): 3 Jewish Dances, Op. 192, PAUL BEN HAIM (1897-1984): 3 Songs without Words, NICOLE AMANI (1872-1904)/MISHA ELMAN (1891-1967): Orientale, LOUIS LEWANDOWSKI (1821-1894): Hebrew Melodies. This useful collection brings together a variety of Jewish music, mostly from Russian expatriates, many of whom studied under Lyadov and Rimsky-Korsakov. The modal characteristics of Jewish music, whether from the shtetl or from Yemen, are exotically present throughout and, in the Hebrew Melodies of Lewandowski, we have the same watered down by German Romanticism but still important for being among the first collections of their type. Leila Rásonyi (violin), Erika Mayer (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31768 (Hungary) 09B062 $16.98

THORKELL SIGURBJÖRNSSON (b.1938): Kisum for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Hässelby Quartet, Copenhagen Quartet, Visit - String Quartet. KISUM (think "Musik" from another point of view . . .) is a kaleidoscopic collage of references to music as sound, of all kinds; sounds of nature, folk songs and dances, abstract sounds which represent nothing but themselves. It is divided into four sections which explore different aspects of music, some very abstract, some genially tonal and even popular. The three quartets each have a motif which guides the musical material; two musical acronyms, and a little scene in honour of Grieg (on his 150th anniversary). The composer's highly concentrated musical language, which does not shy away from tonality, while expanding it to, and sometimes beyond, the limits, translates well to the idiom of the quartet, and these works all make a powerful and coherent statement. Gunnar Egilson (clarinet), Ingvar Jónasson (viola), Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson (piano), Saulesco Quartet, Copenhagen Quartet, Oslo String Quartet. ITM 7-11 (Iceland) 09B063 $18.98

ASC Productions - Records International Exclusive Imports!

JOHN CASKEN (b.1949): String Quartet No. 2, GEOFFREY POOLE (b.1949): String Quartet No. 2, DAVID ELLIS (b.1933): String Quartet No. 2, ROBIN WALKER (b.1953): I Thirst, ANTHONY GILBERT (b.1934): String Quartet No. 3, KEVIN MALONE: Fast Forward. Malone's quartet adopts a kind of post-minimal approach, reminiscent of Philip Glass (of the film scores and operas of the late 1980s). The Ellis is elegantly expressive in the restrained manner typical of the composer. The Casken is energetic and tense, concentrated and wiry. Robin Walker's I Thirst is a somber meditation; the title is one of the seven last words of Christ on the cross, and the music has an astringent bitterness coupled with melancholy tenderness. Poole's quartet ingeniously steps outside the quartet tradition in suggesting polyrhythmic structures and textures from other musical cultures. The Anthony Gilbert work is based on Machaut, but only as a thematic starting point; the music is frenetic and rough; a 20th-century evocation of peasant hurdy-gurdy music from a country fair in the 14th century. The Lindsays, Camerata Ensemble, Coull Quartet, Nossek Quartet. ASC CS CD11 (England) 09B064 $17.98

GEOFFREY KIMPTON: The Bridge of Hope, The Upland Path, THOMAS PITFIELD (b.1903): Violin Sonata No. 2 in C, STUART SCOTT (b.1949): Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 46, JEREMY PIKE (b.1955): Processions, STEPHEN PLEWS: Industrial Language, WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): 2 Pieces for Violin and Piano. This attractive recital presents fine and unfamiliar violin music by British composers, some well known (the Walton pieces are gently pastoral and playful respectively), others less so (Pitfield's sonata is an accessible, rhythmically sprightly tonal work) and several not at all familiar, for example Plews, whose Industrial Language has a Prokofiev-like trenchancy and vigor. The two works by Kimpton are soulful and meditative, The Upland Path giving way to music of exultation, and mark the emotional high points of the recital, while Stuart Scott's solo sonata is a tour de force of violin technique, with something of Bartók about it. Andrew Long (violin), Stewart Death (piano). ASC CS CD4 (England) 09B065 $17.98

DAVID FORSHAW (b.1938): 4 Piano Pieces after Charles Messier, DAVID GOLIGHTLY: Piano Sonata No. 1, CHRSTOPHER BEARDSLEY (b.1956): Diptych No. 1 (Stars in a Dark Night), DAVID ELLIS (b.1933): Piano Sonata No. 1, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Theme and Four Studies, JOHN R. WILLIAMSON: 3 Palindromic Preludes. The Pitfield and Rawsthorne works are tonal and make attractive, not too heavyweight additions to the British piano repertoire. The Ellis sonata is more ambitious and serious, but equally approachable. Forshaw's piece was suggested by the structure of certain astronomical objects, and builds up mysterious structures in gestures and Scruabinesque harmony. Williamson's preludes are ingenious and haunting, basically diatonic though sufficiently ambiguous for it not to be obvious where they are going. The Beardsley is an extended composition, somewhat reminiscent of late Bridge, while the Golightly is a tough, somewhat hard-driven work in a somewhat modern idiom but conforming to classical structure and with unexpected touches of romantic harmony. John McCabe (piano). ASC CS CD3 (England) 09B066 $17.98

DAVID ELLIS (b.1933): 4 Songs (of Hope and Desire), Divertimento Elegiaco for Baroque Trio, Berceuse for Clarinet and Piano, A Little Cantata for Soprano and Recorder, Three-note Variables for Piano, Sequentia in tempore Natali Sancti, An Image of Truth for Soprano, Recorder and Piano, String Quartet No. 2, Dewpoint for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano. Ellis was a student at the Manchester College of Music alongside John Ogdon, Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr and Harrison Birtwistle. His music is considerably more conservative than might be suggested by this company, and is well crafted in a readily accessible tonal idiom in which restrained romanticism leavened with a little early 20th-century dissonance prevails. In fact, it is this restraint and calm and the absence of showy virtuosity or expressionistic histrionics which provides these works with their depth and emotionally stirring undercurrents. Various Artists including Coull Quartet, William Byrd Singers. ASC CS CD6 (England) 09B067 $17.98

DAVID GOLIGHTLY: Moods, KEVIN MALONE: The Last Memory, GEOFFREY KIMPTON: Serenade for Clarinet and Piano, DAVID FORSHAW (b.1938): Albireo, JEREMY PIKE (b.1955): Closed Circuit, JOHN REEMAN (b.1946): Plaint, STEPHEN PLEWS: Sketch for Clarinet and Piano. This disc highlights the versatility of the modern clarinet, and all the composers here have found some way to expand its vocabulary while paying tribute to its rich history. Jazz inflections are to be found in Forshaw's and Plews' works. Jeremy Pike uses electroacoustc techniques to enable a solo, monophonic instrument to play polyphonic counterpoint in a meditative slow minimalism of unusual textures. Malone also uses electronic effecs, but to entirely different ends, and his work is more traditional in sound, having at times an almost non-classical rhythmic insistence, produced by echo effects. Kimpton's Serenade is in some ways the most conventional work, instrumentally speaking, but it is an eloquent and memorable one. Golightly uses extended playing techniques in his work, proving that the timbral possibilities inherent in the instrument itself are virtually unlimited. Roger Heaton (clarinet), Stephen Pruslin (piano). ASC CS CD2 (England) 09B068 $17.98

MARTIN READ: Autumn for Mezzo-Soprano, Cor Anglais, Violin, Viola and Cello, Water Music for Ensemble, E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Phantasy Quartet, GORDON JACOB (1895-1984): Oboe Quartet. This intriguing disc combines music inspired by the English Autumn with that most English and autumnal poem, Keats' "To Autumn", and two contemporary poetic responses to it. The music is pastoral in nature, E.J. Moeran's lovely Phantasy Quartet for oboe and string trio being the quintessential musical depiction of the soft colors and fading light of the English countryside at that most haunting time of year. Read's Autumn, which sets the Keats text, is another work in the tradition of romantic, chromatic/modal and unmistakably British music, and so is the charming Water Music. Jacob's music is always well-crafted and agreable, and his oboe quartet is no exception, a most appropriate coupling for the Moeran. Sarah Fryer (mezzo), Camarada. ASC CS CD5 (England) 09B069 $17.98

MEYER KUPFERMAN (b.1926): Winter Symphony, Concerto brevis for Flute and Orchestra. Winter Symphony is a large-scale work, larger than many of Kupferman's symphonies at some three-quarters of an hour, and from the composer's notes one gathers that it is a work representing some personal degree of strife for him. Basically tonal with borrowings from whatever æsthetic system happens to suit him at the time, this symphony is one of Kupferman's most satisfying works to have reached disc so far. A recent work, and apparently a reflection on the passing of years and the composer's perception of his mortality, it is a deeply felt, almost romantic work, brooding and tense, with no apparent distractions due to the composer's almost too ready technique - this piece seems to have come straight from the heart. The flute concerto is similarly concentrated, but lighter in mood, with the composer's love of jazz providing interesting inflections to counterpoint the lively yet civilised sound of the solo instrument. Laurel Ann Maurer (flute), Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo; Meyer Kupferman. Soundspells CD125 (U.S.A.) 09B070 $16.98

ALBERT LEMELAND (b.1932): Laure ou La letrre au cachet rouge - Opera in 3 Acts. A brief opera which functions as a character-study of its three main characters, exploring an aspect of the eternal conflict between the individual and the tyranny of the controlling state, Laure is set during the French Revolution. Tonal and lyrical, it relies on melody and the building of three-dimensional characters to convey the pathos of its personal little tragedy. The action is continuous, with no redundant stage gestures; the narrative runs continuously and the work feels the more concentrated, and appropriately claustrophobic, as a result. Monika Brändle (soprano), Richard Williams (tenor), Claudio Danuser (baritone), Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie; Marc Tardue. Skarbo D SK 5981 (France) 09B071 $16.98

KARL HEINZ FÜSSL (1924-1992): 8 Gesänge nach Hölderlin, Op. 4 for High Voice, Flute, Viola and Harp, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): 6 Hölderlin Fragments, Op. 61, WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Hölderlin Fragmente, HANNS EISLER (1898-1962): Hölderlin Fragmente for Soprano and Piano, WOLFGANG FORTNER (1907-1987): Mette des Lebens for Soprano, Flute, Violin, Horn, Bass Clarinet and Harp, JOSEF MATTHIAS HAUER (1883-1959): Hölderlin Lieder, Op. 6 for Soprano and Piano, WOLFGANG NENING (b.1966): 5 Hölderlin Fragmente for Soprano and String Trio. The precise, probing, enigmatic and Romantically emotionally charged poetry of the tragic Friedrich Hölderlin has, not surprisingly, inspired many composers. The innnate musicality of the texts brought out the most Romantic, lyrical tendencies in even the more unexpected of his interpreters. The common factor running though all these settings, diverse as they are, is that they are all remarkably beautiful and melodic - even Nening's work, which begins aggressively, is soon beguiled into the long melodic line while remaining emotionally intense. Rihm provides a spare yet impressionistic setting, with little in the way of "modern" vocal effects, and the Fortner is downright romantic in style. A diverse yet uniformly satisfying disc. Anna Maria Pammer (soprano), Andreas Juffinger (piano), Ensemble On Line; Simeon Pironkoff Jr. Extraplatte EX 216-2 (Austria) 09B072 $16.98

F. DIARTA-ANGELI: Excerpts from the opera Frossini. F. DiArta-Angeli is the pseudonym used by the composer Gerasimos Nicholas Tsandoulas, who returned to music in the 1980s, having pursued a professional career in other fields prior to this. He is an unabashed Romantic, with roots set firmly in the 19th century. There is a certain Mediterranean flavor to his music, but Mahler is frequently brought to mind in these extracts arranged by the composer from his opera Frossini, whose eponymous tragic heroine was a woman of great beauty who spurned the advances of the Ali Pasha and was executed under false pretences in the 18th century. These extracts, featuring the lead character almost exclusively and setting an ingenious text compiled from various sources by the composer, are highly effective and moving, and leaves one wanting to hear the complete opera. In the meantime, this will do very nicely. Greek-English texts. Stamatina Malakate (soprano), Ann Agathonos (mezzo), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Capstone CPS-8662 (U.S.A.) 09B073 $16.98

CHAYA CZERNOWIN (b.1957): String Quartet, Afatsim - Nonet, Die Kreuzung - Trio for U, Alto Saxophone and Double Bass, Dam Sheon Hachol - String Sextet, Ina for Live Solo Bass Flute and 6 Pre-recorded Flutes on Tape. Israeli composer Czernowin studied with Ferneyhough, among others, and at times evidences a similar concern for expanding the conventional expressive range of instruments by treating a group of instruments as one composite entity, or conversely, insisting on an unconventional diversity of expression from one instrument. Sometimes this is achieved through innovations in playing techniques (the String Quartet was dedicated to the Arditis, and the reason for this is not hard to find); at others, pre-recorded parts (in the flute piece) produce a true composite out of one instrument. Arditti String Quartet, SONOR, various other artists. Mode 77 (U.S.A.) 09B074 $16.98

MICHAEL WHALEN (b.1965): Rain in the City - String Quartet No. 1, The Gloaming - String Quartet No. 2, The Circles of a Swallow for Octet, The Shadows of October for Clarinet and String Orchestra, Trampoline Harmonies for Clarinet and String Quartet. A highly regarded film and television composer, Whalen is accustomed to writing tonal music in a readily accessible idiom with direct emotional appeal. These compositions - especially the string quartets - are unmistakably of the concert hall, not the film scoring studio, but it would be fair to say that there is a pictorial, or descriptive, element to all the pieces, which enhances their appeal. The Lark Quartet, Stanley Drucker (clarinet), The Whitman Quartet, The Janacek Philharmonic; Dennis Burkh w/Mitchell Estrin (clarinet), Music Amici. Arabesque Z6729 (U.S.A.) 09B075 $16.98

ANDREW IMBRIE (b.1921): Piano Concerto No. 3, Requiem. Imbrie's requiem was written in memory of his son, who died at the age of 19, in 1981. Not surprisingly, it is a heartfelt lament, moving and personal. The composer has chosen to interpolate texts of Blake, George Herbert and Donne into the Latin mass, recalling Britten's War Requiem, which is also a reasonable comparison for the musical language, though Imbrie moves further in the direction of atonality than the mature Britten. The Mass sections have the large-scale, public mourning mood appropriate to their texts, while the poetry is set in a more personal, less dramatic, questioning idiom. The taut and tensely drawn piano concerto contains a wealth of ideas, abstract and interacting on their own, musical, terms, with intense concentration and economy. Alan Feinberg (piano), Lisa Saffer (soprano), New York Virtuoso Singers, Riverside Symphony; George Rothman. Bridge 9091 (U.S.A.) 09B076 $16.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (b.1919): Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 44, Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 77,Piano Sonata No. 9, Op. 194. These sonatas by the amazingly prolific (and even more amazingly, surprisingly consistent in quality of output) Danish composer-pianist are very impressive works. Fundamentally tonal, though adventurously so; classically structured and tightly organised, and romantically expressive (described in this manner, Bentzon sounds like a Scandinavian Ronald Stevenson, and the comparison isn't a bad one), all these works have a great deal to say, and the composer more than possesses the means with which to say it, especially at his own instrument. The 1965 ninth sonata is more improvisatory and tonally wayward than the earlier works, but is clearly from the same pen, and provides a similarly gripping experience for the listener. Most highly recommended. Rodolfo Llambías (piano). Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224103 (Denmark) 09B077 $14.98

BENT LORENTZEN (b.1935): The Planets. The obvious comparisons with Holst, with which the booklet note abounds, are unhelpful. Lorentzen's "Planets" has almost nothing in common with Holst's, excpet for the fact that a quasi-astrological or mythological significance is given to the planets, as opposed to a strictly astronomical or scientific description - no great surprise there. Although a Darmstadt attendee, Lorentzen's music is less avant-garde and more harmony driven than perhaps one might expect, and he uses the coloristic potential of the organ with great skill. Semitonal clusters abound, and the music is metrically free, or complex, but one also encounters humor, a nod to minimalism, and - yes, real melodies - so there is only a small step in the direction of greater modernity from Messiaen to this. Jens E. Christensen (organ of Our Savior's Church, Copenhagen). Kontrapunkt 32298 (Denmark) 09B078 $16.98

SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1931): Musical Toys, Chaconne, Toccata-Troncata, Invention, Sonata. There is a kind of neo-classical, almost anti-romantic economy and clarity in Gubaidulina's music, and the relatively spare textures of the piano music, which does not form a large part of her output (and appears to be all from the 1960s and early 70s, when the composer was leading an uneasy existence within the Soviet regime, with little chance of performance in or contact with, the west), reflect this especially clearly. In the post-Stalin years it was at least possible to incorporate elements of jazz (as in the Sonata) and acknowledgement of moods other than unfailing optimism without risking official censure. The Sonata and the Chaconne are the major works here, the one a harmonically complex, rather atonal work, making use of some direct contact on the strings, the other a tough and thoroughly worked out musical argument. The children's pieces are attractive miniatures which lose nothing to their brevity or picturesque descriptive subject matter. Anne Mette Stæhr (piano). Kontrapunkt 32293 (Denmark) 09B079 $16.98


HANES HEHER (b.1964): String Quartet 1995, 4 Bilder nach Färöischen Texten von Christian Matras for Baritone, Recorder, Cello and Piano, Sonata 1984 for Piano, 4 Brecht-Lieder for Soprano and Piano, Psalmenfragmente for 8 Solo Voices and Viola, 3 Lyrische Stücke for Cello and Piano, 3 Brambach-Lieder for Bass and Piano, 2 Gesänge for Orchestra. The impression that emerges from this "portrait" disc is of a young composer profoundly influenced by the Second Viennese School and with an abundance of technique to put at the disposal of whatever musical ideas occur to him. There is a Bergian sense of drama and color, and a Webernian economy and concern with succinctness - the expressonistic "Sonata" (influenced by the mood of Orwell's "1984") lasts a mere four minutes, an angry, depressed little outburst, highly effective in its intensity. Heher's writing for voices varies between lyrical expressiveness, as in the Brecht-lieder, and sprechstimme vocal effects - the Vier Bilder and Psalmenfragmente exemplify this more angular, percussive style. The orchestral "Two Songs" achieve a formal clarity allied to a logical yet emotionally intense progression of connnected narrative events; the most recent work presented here (in its present form), and in some ways the most mature and satisfying. Various Artists. Extraplatte EX 334-2 (Austria) 09B080 $16.98

POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Regime, Alarm, Cha Cha Cha, Towards the Precipice. "To be played loud", it says on the first page of the booklet. Quite apart from the fact that if you do so, on a suitably equipped hi-fi system, you will ensure yourself a high level of visceral thrills, and your neighbors a persistent headache, this aggressively jocular injunction symbolises something important about Ruders' music. These percussion works (interspersed with "ambient" electronic keyboard interludes) have an engaging dynamism, but the sense of being on a wild ride to somewhere not very nice is constantly present, and the persistent humor is of the very blackest kind. If you like your contemporary music with a sense of humor and a cutting edge that can draw blood, you won't go wrong with this one. Gert Sørensen (percussion, keyboard, sound design). Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224085 (Denmark) 09B081 $14.98

VOLKER DAVID KIRCHNER (b.1942): Orphischer Gesang II for String Sextet, Exil for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Gethsemani for String Sextet, Und Salomo sprach... for Solo Cello, Mysterion for Alto Flute, Horn, Viola d'Amore, Cello and Piano. The common thread running through these beautifully crafted and subtly expressive chamber works is a sense of nocturnal mystery, gloom, even an element of despair. A student of B.A. Zimmermann, and himself a string player, Kirchner has a natural aptitude for the expressive capabilities of stringed instruments, and the seriousness of these compositions, and their philosophical reflection, generally not on the happier aspects of mortal existence, may be a reflection of his teacher's outlook. In any case, the music draws one in, and compels the listener to confront some uneasy truths, and the fact that it does so to such powerful effect sets it somewhat apart from much contemporary music. Ensemble Villa Musica. MD&G 304 0871 (Germany) 09B082 $17.98

RICHARD MAXFIELD (1927-1969): Pastoral Symphony , Bacchanale, Piano Concert for David Tudor, Amazing Grace, HAROLD BUDD (b.1936): The Oak of the Golden Dreams, Coeur D'Orr. This CD celebrates the 1960s; the raucous, experimental, avant-garde 1960s, before minimalism became a smoothly anodyne harmonic mellifluity; before digital synthesizers made experimentation with altered sounds the province of every interested schoolboy. In those days, men were real men. Women were real women. And Musique concrète was a real assemblage of sounds of real life supplemented with funny noises made on real instruments. S ynthesizers were little more than tone generators, plus or minus some added harmonics or distortion. All of which gives you a pretty good idea of what is on this disc. There is none of the ambient, Brian Eno-like mood music that Budd later moved toward, and the aggressive juxtapositions of material in Maxfield's work sounds raw and experimental, even at this remove. Various Artists. New World 80555 (U.S.A.) 09B083 $16.98

FARAD KARAYEV (b.1943): Postludia for 2 Pianos, A Crumb of Music for George Crumb for Ensemble, Klänge einer Traurigen Nacht for Ensemble, Postludia for Ensemble. Karajev's æsthetic is one of extreme subtlety; these pieces seem to whisper their secrets more often than not, in little wisps of sound or gently resonating, floating sonorities. This is minimalism, but not of the harmonically obvious kind; Karajev is perfectly at home with clusters and atonal relations; the music is post-Webernian in that sense. Just occasionally one may be reminded of Pärt, but the music is generally more complex, and more static. Studio for New Music; Igor Dronov. Megadisc MDC 7852 (Belgium) 09B084 $18.98

JAN KRZYWICKI (b.1948): String Quartet, Starscape for Solo Harp, Trumpet Sonata, 4 Songs after Rexroth for Mezzo-Soprano, Harp, Piano and Percussion. Krzywicki's music is overtly emotionally expressive, and the composer seems to have a predilection for shadowy, tense and mysterious themes. The quartet has something of the nature of an in memoriam work, having been written shortly after Krzywicki's father's death. Harmonically rich, it is nevertheless a tense, edgy work, with little sense of repose, even when the music is slow. The nocturnal and mysterious atmosphere of Starscape is also present in the Rexroth songs which combine a profound sense of atmospheric stillness with a feeling of uneasy calm. The trumpet sonata focuses on the instrument's lyrical capabilities, eschewing its fanfare-sounding capabilities in favour of a more somber mood. Unusually moving and involving music. Colorado Quartet, Mary Ann Coppa (harp), Terry Everson (trumpet), Susan Nowicki (piano), Emily Golden (mezzo). Albany TROY 337 (U.S.A.) 09B085 $16.98

DONALD ERB (b.1927): Solstice, GEORGE PERLE (b.1915): Lyric Intermezzo, WILLIAM DUCKWORTH(b.1943): Mysterious Numbers, SALVATORE MARTIRANO (b.1927): Isabela. Both Erb and Martirano write music that is somewhat complex, though in the case of Solstice the mood of exultant energy is so infectious that one is largely unaware of the "difficulty" of the music. Perle's idiom is dodecaphonic, though it sounds suspiciously tonal, and this gently persuasive work is most attractive and approachable. Duckworth's Mysterious Numbers is the most obviously harmonically accessible work here, with unusual modal scales employed in a kaleidoscopic sequence of exotic moods - sometimes jazzy, sometimes with an eastern flavor. Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Edwin London. Albany TROY 342 (U.S.A.) 09B086 $16.98

BERNARD RANDS (b.1934): Ceremonial, JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Olympic Dances, WILLIAM KRAFT (b.1923): Concerto for 4 Solo Percussion and Wind Ensemble, KAREL HUSA (b.1921): Les Couleurs Fauves. Ceremonial consists of a solemn, stately, extended melody, repeated with increasing degrees of compexity and ingenuity in instrumentation. Harbison's work represents the athletes of ancient Greece in coolly detached music as sharply delineated and elegantly formed as the statuary and carved friezes whose images inspired it. Kraft is a percussionist, and he puts his incomparable knowledge of the idiom to good advantage in a shimmering exposition of the possibilities of percussion textures, in the context of a thoroughly worked out three-movement concerto of great formal refinement. Husa's work was written in honor of John Paynter, wind ensemble conductor and teacher and is an exploration of the coloristic possibilities of this timbrally diverse and vivid instrumental pallette. New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble; Frank L. Battisti. Albany TROY 340 (U.S.A.) 09B087 $16.98

GIACOMO MANZONI (b.1932): 10 Versi di Emily Dickenson for Soprano and Orchestra, Ode for Orchestra, Scene Sinfoniche per il Doktor Faustus for Chorus and Orchestra. Manzoni's exploration of the coloristic possibilities of the large symphony orchestra is nowhere shown to greater advantage than in Ode, the title used in its original sense of a piece sung. Modern as the composer's music may sound, the fragments from which he weaves his complex tapestries are surprisingly lyrical, and not infrequently suggest shards or splinters from earlier, romantic works. The scenes from Doktor Faustus (after Thomas Mann) predates the composer's opera on the same theme, and is itself highly dramatic and emotionally charged, with a tense atmosphere, heightened as the work progresses. In all three of these works, the sense of pure emotional expression is palpable, and the fragmentary yet continuously flowing musical structure serves to enhance this impression. Lilia Shalomei (soprano), Moldova Chamber Orchestra, Chorus and Orchestra of the Moldavian National Philharmonic; Daniel Pacitti. BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1038 (Italy) 08B088 $18.98

DENIS COHEN: Les Neuf Cercles d'Alighieri for Soprano and Orchestra, Flexus for Flute and Ensemble, Pyramoides for Viola Solo, Il Sogno di Dedalo for Chamber Orchestra. Cohen's music is bold and dramatic, incorporating an abundance of colorful instrumental gestures. Apparently free of constricting schools of composition, he is not afraid of strong rhythmic pulse or metrical freedom; of tonal references or pointillistic sound events to be heard on their own terms. The work based on Dante's "Inferno", full of unease and menace, which sometimes breaks out in unbridled vehemence, is especially powerful. Françoise Pollet (soprano), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lucas Vis, Jean-Luc Menet (flute), Ensemble Alternance; Diego Masson, Pierre Henri Xuereb (viola). BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1051 (Italy) 08B089 $18.98

ALEXANDROS KALOGERAS (b.1961): Hieron, YORGOS HATZIMICHELAKIS (b.1959): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11, JACOVOS HALIASSAS (b.1920): String Quartet No. 1, STELIOS VLAVIANOS (b.1947): Traces No. 5, DIMITRIS SYKIAS: Alnitak - Alnilam - Mintaka. The Kalogeras and Hatzimichelakis quartets are serial and intense, with dense, complex textures and a profound sense of ancient atmosphere, of mysteries to which the answers are not to be found in the modern world. By contrast, the much less modern-sounding, rather neoclassical Haliassas is definitely of our century, and does not look outside it; formally elegant, it is more a work of pure music than the preceding quartets. Vlavianos' work is even more conventionally tonal, a most attractive divertimento, alternating energetic outer movements with a simple cantabile slow movement. Sykias' quartet is mysterious and deliberately ambiguous, formless even, suggesting in its free atonality the randomness of the night sky from which it draws its inspiration (the title is the names of three stars in the constellation of Orion). New Hellenic Quartet. Agorá AG 144.1 (Italy) 08B090 $18.98

SYLVANO BUSSOTTI (b.1931): Nympheo. This series of musical "snapshots", with accompanying texts read by the composer, have a kind of yellowed, nostalgic quality of memory - they are indeed based on memories of the composer's own. The music is subtle, the textures clear but mysterious, like strands of half-remembered experience reinterpreted by current thought. An accretion of heterogeneous materials, the music and the fact of the composer's personality lends coherence and form to what would otherwise be randomly recited diary entries, and produces a surprisingly moving personal statement. Soloists. BMG Ricordi CRMCD 1019 (Italy) 08B091 $18.98

LOU HARRISON (b.1917): Suite for Violin with String Orchestra, Suite for Cello and Piano, Suite for Cello and Harp, For Piano: Western Dance, 3 Waltzes, Gigue & Musette, Polka, Jarabe. Harrison's modal, just-tempered scales and rich harmonic language , as well as his adoption of sounds from other cultures, serve to guarantee that his music never sounds like anyone else's, while remaining as approachable - indeed, the music seems to reach out and approach you rather than waiting for you to make the effort - as anything being written at our end of this century. The gorgeous Violin Suite started life with Gamelan accompaniment, but was reworked by the composer for practical reasons for a relatively conventional Western ensemble. The piano and chamber works are similarly attractive, with moving simplicity alternating with engaging playfulness. Maria Bachman (violin), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Sedares, Nina Flyer (cello), Josephine Gandolfi (piano), Dan Levitan (harp), Michael Boriskin (piano). Koch International Classics 7465 (U.S.A.) 08B092 $16.98

JÓN LEIFS (1899-1968): Studies, Op. 3, HALLGRÍMUR HELGASON (1914-1994): Sonata for Solo Violin, ATLI HEIMIR SVEINSSON (b.1918): Melody and Doubles with Epilogue, TRYGGVI M. BALDVINSSON(b.1965): Adagio. Is it a stereotype, or is there something about the Icelandic landscape which imparts strength to the arts that emanate from that part of the world? Listening to Leifs' remarkable prelude and fugue, which, leaving aside the formidable technical difficulties, are expressively gigantic, one is tempted to believe that the rugged, lonely landscape is reflected in every bar of the music. Helgason's sonata is similarly tough, powerful, tonal but wild-sounding; the composer's study of Icelandic folk music seems to have taken deep root. The Jóhannsson is the most modern work here, and the only strictly dodecaphonic one, and again it has a rugged and uncompromising sense of purpose. Sveinsson expands the conventional pallette of the instrument in some details but his work, the most extended here, is primarily melodic, which may also be said of Baldvinsson's lyrical and atmospheric Adagio. Rut Ingólfsdóttir (violin). ITM 8-10 (Iceland) 09B093 $18.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 17 - Die Sirene, Op. 248, Sphärenklänge, Op. 235, Policinelo-Quadrille, Op. 21, Verliebte Augen, Op. 185, Jocus, Op. 216, Perlen der Liebe, Op. 39, Feuerfest!, Op. 269, Dorschwalben aus Österreich, Op. 164, Wallonen-Marsch, Op. 41, Tag und Nacht, Op. 93, Edelweiss, Op. 148. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Ernst Märzendorfer. Marco Polo 8.223619 (New Zealand) 09B094 $14.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 18 - Armee-Marsch, Op. 24, Die Ersten nach den Letzten, Op.12, Sturm-Quadrille, Op. 3, Gurli-Polka, Op. 78, Brennende Liebe, Op. 129, Normen, Op. 139, Rudolfseimer-Polka, Op. 152, Die Libelle, Op. 204, Aquarellen-Walzer, Op. 258, Colosseum-Quadrille, Op. 175, Im Fluge, Op. 230. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Albert Geyer. Marco Polo 8.223619 (New Zealand) 09B095 $14.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Tip on a Dead Jockey - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This 1957 film was a hard-edged film noir (in genre at least, although shot in color) which produced violent, brooding, menacing and romantically shadowy music from Rózsa which vividly etches the dark side of the human emotions of its main character - a failure striving for redemption played by Robert Taylor. Orchestra conducted by Miklós Rózsa. Tickertape tt 3011 (Germany) 09B096 $16.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): The King's Thief - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Loosely based on the career of Captain Blood, this swashbuckling historical epic starring Edmund Purdom and David Niven allowed Rózsa to supply a typically wide-ranging, vastly accomplished and colorful score. Includes several alternate versions of music recorded but not used in the film; detailed synopsis with track-points. Orchestra conducted by Miklós Rózsa. Tickertape tt 3012 (Germany) 09B097 $16.98

MIKLÓS RÓZSA (1907-1995): Lust for Life - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This 1956 film starred Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh and Rózsa used a veneer of Impressionism here and there to coat his rich and colorful romantic voice in a score which does full justice to the monumental nature of the emotional struggles of the tortured artist. Includes several alternate versions of music recorded but not used in the film; detailed synopsis with track-points. Orchestra conducted by Miklós Rózsa. Tickertape tt 3013 (Germany) 09B098 $16.98

LIONEL MONCKTON (1861-1924): The Arcadians. Monckton sought to emulate Sullivan and wrote many popular light, striking melodies besides the many Edwardian musical shows which came from his fertile pen, of which The Arcadians dates from 1909. Contrasting idyllic Arcady and posh, snooty London, the piece features tuneful and bawdy Edwardian melodies in the Gilbert and Sullivan tradition. 2 CDs. Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Newport Classic NPD 85665/2 (U.S.A.) 09B099 $33.98

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (b.1928): The Piper of Hamelin. The composer provided his own libretto, based on Browning's poem, for this children's opera which premiered in 1970. Flagello's language is resolutely tonal and romantic in nature and this is a diverting, light confection (narrated here by Sesame Street's Bob McGrath) in a premiere recording of the Manhattan School of Music production. Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division; Jonathan Strasser. Newport Classic NCD 60153 (U.S.A.) 09B100 $16.98

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock - Music from The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, Suspicion, Lifeboat, Spellbound, Rope, Under Capricorn, Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot. This 2CD set provides a "must-have" selection of the most recognizable and finest cues from the majority of Hitchcock's finest thrillers in brand-new recordings in the finest, wide-dimensional sound that any audiophile could want. 2 CDs. The City of Prague Philharmonic; Paul Bateman. Silva America SSD 1101 (U.S.A.) 09B101 $33.98