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Symphony No. 2

CORNELIS DOPPER (1870-1939): Symphony No. 2 in B Minor, Päân I in D Minor, Päân II in F Minor. Dopper wrote seven symphonies between 1896 and 1917 and then dried up as far as that genre was concerned. This one dates from 1903 and is still a work of youth - genially rambling (over 43 minutes), with the flavor of the open air and the countryside in its long first movement. A scherzo follows which borders on the popular dance-band (i.e. Straussian) genre; the third movement adagio sostenuto is remarkable for its brassy, solemn fanfares which seem to refer to the Calvinist choral tradition while the rondo finale whirls its repetitive, rhythmically insistent way to a brass-punctuated close. The "Paeans" date from the war and are described as "Symphonic Studies"; each has its elements of heroic struggle and somber tragedy and make for a perfect counterweight to the ebullience of the symphony. Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9884 (England) 04C001 $16.98

OTAR TAKTAKISHVILI (1924-1989): Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, MILY BALAKIREV (1836-1910): Tamara. Many collectors' prayers are at least partially answered here as the 1950 first concerto of this Georgian composer makes it to CD in a new recording (why Balakirev had to provide the filler is beyond us...). Conservative, in the romantic Russian vein, the concerto is in four movements and uses Russian rather than Georgian or other Caucasian folk motives throughout. Perhaps, though, the dam has leaked, if not broken, and we will see more orchestral works and concertos from the Caucasus region. Jungran Kim Khwarg (piano), Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; Dong Hyock Hyun. Cambria CD-1120 (U.S.A.) 04C002 $16.98

GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): Piano Concerto No. 1 in F, Op. 1, Piano Concerto No. 5 , Op. 156. Tveitt's first concerto comes from 1930, a bare 20-minutes in length, but enlivened by the striking and haunting Norwegian folk melodies which are woven into a brilliantly colorful and imaginative orchestral fabric which shows the influence of the young Prokofiev or Bartók. The fifth concerto (1954) startles immediately with the closeness of its primary theme to that of Uranus in The Planets. Big-boned and loose-limbed like Tveitt himself, this work lasts over half an hour and, surprisingly, its stylistic affinities are ranged with British music: Holstian austerity mixing with the glamor of Grainger and the rich orchestral backdrop of, say, Alwyn's film scores. All this even though the first movement is in the tempo and style of the springar and the finale of the halling - Norwegian folk dances. It may be better to say, though, that the multiplicity of styles and influences may just be, in fact, Tveitt himself, and leave it at that. Håvard Gimse (piano), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset. Naxos 8.555077 (New Zealand) 04C003 $5.98

LEO SMIT (1900-1943): Complete Works - Orchestral: Voorspel voor Teirlinck's "De Vertraagde Film", Concerto for Viola and Strings, Concertino for Cello and Orchestra, Sonate Concertante for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, 6 Silhouetten, Concertino for Harp and Orchestra, Forlane et Rondeau, Schemselnihar - Suite for Large Orchestra, Concerto for Piano and Winds, Chamber: Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Suite for Piano, Flute Sonata, Quintet for Flute, String Trio and Harp, 2 Hommages for Piano, La Mort for Soprano, Viola and Piano, String Quartet (unfinished), Sextet for Piano and Winds, Divertimento for Piano Four Hands, Trio for Flute, Viola and Harp, Suite for Oboe and Cello, Kleine prélude van Ravel for Alto and Piano, De bruid for Female Chorus, 12 Pieces for Piano Four Hands. Not since the Vermeulen box have the Dutch taken care of one of their own like this! Smit, whose career was cut short by his murder in Sobibor, was a neo-classicist from his earliest compositions although in some early works, such as the 1928 quintet for flute, string trio and harp and the 1926 trio for flute, viola and harp, there is evidence of an equal understanding of the French Impressionists. For the most part, Smit's music is placid, unruffled with only a trace of melancholy in some slow movements while some pieces, like the 12 Pieces (1941) and the Hommages (1928-30) have the tart high spirits of a Françaix or a Poulenc. The 1922 suite Silhouetten, with its car horn and whip, is a nod toward Satie and Milhaud while the 1940 viola concerto is the first work to feel the oppression of the times, a taut, dark and dramatic work with much nervous energy. 4 CDs. Various artists. Donemus CV 90-93 (Netherlands) 04C004 $75.98

GRAHAM WHETTAM (b.1927): Sinfonia Intrepida. The composer was inspired by trips through war-ravaged Europe beginning with Rotterdam in the 1950s and to Dresden and Warsaw in 1971 to write this tribute to the indomitability of the human will to create, recreate and rebuild. Using a large orchestra, Whettam laid out his plan in three movements: the first symbolizes the destruction of the old and the second the stillness of desolation (the pulse of the music near motionless) while the third - the longest and the heart of the symphony - is a brilliant tour de force of headlong velocity which, after a grand statement of a chorale theme, terminates in a massive C major chord underpinned by seven (!) timpani. The huge scale, broad concept, the large themes and the blazing intensity of the finale set Whettam apart from his contemporary fellow British composers and place him more in line with the Shostakovich of the Leningrad symphony. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sir Charles Mackerras. Redcliffe Recordings RR 016 (England) 04C005 $16.98

VISSARION SHEBALIN (1902-1963): String Quartets, Vol. 3 - No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 34, No. 7 in A Flat, Op. 41 & No. 8 in C, Op. 53. The sixth dates from 1943 and, as was necessary at the time, it provides positive and optimistic music during the year in which the Nazi-Soviet struggle could have gone either way. No. 7 comes from 1948, the year Shebalin, along with Shostakovich, Prokofiev and others, were viciously attacked as "formalists"; there is much more folk music in this quartet although not cynically so: Shebalin was always close to the roots of Russian song. It didn't help; he was removed from his post as director of the Moscow Conservatory. By 1960, Shebalin had been given a few weeks to live, was crippled by a circulatory problem and had to compose left-handed; but these were somewhat happier days politically and this shows particularly in the strongly chromatic adagio of the eighth quartet. One more volume to come... Krasni Quartet. Olympia OCD 665 (England) 04C006 $16.98

JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): Sonata, 5 portraits de jeunes filles, Scherzo, Eloge de la danse (6 Épigraphes de Paul Valéry), 5 Bis, 8 Variations on the Name of Johannes Gutenberg, La Promenade d'un Musicologue Éclectique. Although spanning the years 1932-87, the style of these brief pieces remains remarkably consistent; his character portraits are in the tradition of Rameau and Couperin and Chabrier and Ravel provide the examples for the sonata and Scherzo. The "5 Encores" are riotous little gems and the Gutenberg variations a model of deft, laconic composition. Budget-price. Annette Middelbeek (piano). Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6756-2 (Germany) 04C007 $6.98

FLORENCE PRICE (1887-1953): Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Mississippi River Suite, The Oak. The first black woman composer to attain national recognition, Price reflects the romantic nationalist style of her period while making especial use of African-American musical forms in her compositions. About the origins or history of The Oak, nothing is known; it is a 13-minute tone-poem which, after a morose introduction, features an expressive series of musical passages tending toward the introspective. The suite is a half-hour trip down the mighty Mississippi whose sub-heading, "The River and the Songs of Those Dwelling Upon its Banks", is as perfect a description as one could ask for, mixing original melodies with instantly recognizable traditional ones. The symphony surely would have delighted Dvorák, dating from 1940 and a conscious attempt to represent "a cross-section of present-day Negro life and thought with its heritage of that which is past..." Laid out in the classic four-movement form, it is rich in beautiful (original) melodies with a tinge of French Impressionism in the orchestration, jazz and Latin American dance forms and, in its scherzo, Juba Dance, characteristic antebellum African-American dance rhythms. The Women's Philharmonic; Apo Hsu. Koch International Classics 7518 (U.S.A.) 04C008 $16.98

MICHAEL MAULDIN (b.1947): High Places, 3 Jemez Landscapes, Dawn at San Juan Mesa, Enchanted Land - Suite for Narrator and Orchestra, Fajada Butte: An Epiphany. Mauldin's music is suffused with the colors, shadows, light and smells of the sacred places of northern New Mexico. Dating from 1973-1995, these pieces use no Native American themes (except for a Huron carol which inspired 3 Jemez Landscapes) but rather are the composer's expression of the thoughts and feelings he has when visiting these ancient sites, many associated with the Anasazi. The music is richly orchestrated, tonal and very accessible to anyone who enjoys a composer who actually tries to communicate with his audience. New Mexico Symphony Orchestra; Michael Mauldin. Private label (no number) 04C009 $11.98

IGOR MARKEVITCH (1912-1983): Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 5 - La Taille de l'Homme for Soprano and Orchestra. Originally intended as the first part of an evening-long concert but interrupted by the breaking out of the war in 1939, La Taille sets a text by the Swiss writer Raduz (of Soldier's Tale fame). The text emphasizes the stark, disspassionate neutrality of man's place in the universe and contrasting that with the richness of his terrestrial environment (the second movement of the Sonate is a gorgeous pastoral idyll and the work's Prelude also luxuriates in nature). This music contrasts with a dispassionate, relentless, often brutal voice which was far too apt, coming at the very beginning of the impending Holocaust and driving home the utter insignificance of the individual in an unfeeling universe. French-English texts. Lucy Shelton (soprano), Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Marco Polo 8.225054 (New Zealand) 04C010 $14.98

CHRISTOPHER MOHR (b.1953): From the Realm of the Shadow. When the first words in the liner notes, written by the composer himself, are "When I was a college student, I was invited to join six other guys in a gang rape", you know you're in for something different. This work gestated for 22 years after that point; in Mohr's words, this "music drama" is "the unfolding discovery of that healing peace which even the most reprehensible acts cannot destroy". In three acts (preceded by an overture), the work begins with a rape, follows through the pregnancy and birth of the child, its rearing, growth to adulthood, death in battle and an apparent transfiguration. All vocals, solo and choral, are wordless and the western symphony orchestra is augmented with tsymbaly, tambouras, an oud, microtonal cello and bassoon, synthesizers, pipe organ, early music instruments and a variety of Brazilian, Haitian and Hawaiian percussion instruments and the score's polystylism includes every period from Medieval to early 20th century as well as Middle Eastern, jazz, folk, Indian, Balinese and rock. Any attempt to pocket-characterize this score would be futile. The adventurous need not hesitate but even the somewhat timid may be enticed by the budget-price to take the leap. 2 CDs. Soloists, National Choir and Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos American Classics 8.559089-90 (U.S.A.) 04C011 $11.98

ATSUTADA OTAKA (b.1944): Fantasy for Organ and Orchestra, TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955): Memory of the Sea (Hiroshima Symphony), TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): Suite from the TV Series Nami no Bon, Music from the Film Ran. Another side of Takemitsu is seen here in these two suites of TV/film music (together lasting half an hour): Nami no Bon was a series focussing on the generational divide between Japanese-Americans of the first and second generations in wartime Hawaii and it brings forth surprisingly "Western"-sounding music, much of it sad in nature. Kurosawa's Ran brings more stylized music which is still not what we expect to hear from this composer of slow, delicate musical brush-strokes. The Fantasy (by the conductor's brother) is a half-hour long single movement work which unfolds in blocks of sound, often at the edge of inaudibility, shot through with glittering percussion and woodwinds, a description which, come to think of it, applies fairly well to Hosokawa's symphony also. Bryan Ashley (organ), Sapporo Symphony Orchestra; Tadaaki Otaka. Chandos 9876 (England) 04C012 $16.98

TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): And Then I Knew 'twas Wind for Flute, Viola and Harp, Itinerant for Solo Flute, Masque for 2 Flutes, Le Fils des Etoiles for Flute and Harp, Toward the Sea for Flute, Viola and Harp, Eucalypts for Flute, Viola, Oboe and Harp, Air for Solo Flute. A collection of typical Takemitsu: ravishing sounds, timbral variety, structurally intricate forms which yet seem to appear out of darkness and return spontaneously. The best metaphor for Takemitsu's chamber music remains that of the bold, yet delicate ink strokes on a pure white background of Japanese calligraphy. Auréole, Patricia Monson (second flute), Robert Ingliss (oboe). Koch International Classics 7449 (U.S.A.) 04C013 $16.98

JOHANN ADAM REINCKEN (1623?-1722): Partita No. 1 in A Minor, Ballett: Partite diverse in E Minor, Toccata in G, Suite in G, Selections from Partitas Nos. 2-6. Known far and wide as an improviser (Bach made the trip to Hamburg to hear him and later transcribed two of his works), Reincken left little written-down music. His solo harpsichord works here are in the North German style (Buxtehude was an acquaintance and played with Reincken) while the chamber pieces mix the sonata da chiesa and da camera styles. The Purcell Quartet. Chandos Chaconne 0664 (England) 04C014 $16.98

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1751): 12 Trio Sonatas, Op. 1. Like many of his soon-to-be-famous contemporaries, the young Albinoni emulated the great Corelli in his 1694 op. 1 although, unlike his elder, he used the slow-fast-slow-fast sonata da chiesa format exclusively in this set which shows a firm command of counterpoint as well as the ability to write pleasing melodies. Parnassi musici. CPO 999 770 (Germany) 04C015 $10.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Matthäus-Passion 1766. One can only marvel at the 85-year-old composer's ability to not only compose at all but to keep up with the musical times in this newly edited (by the conductor) Passion. One must marvel though without English notes or translations of the text. 2 CDs. Altonaer Kantorei, Hamburger Telemann-Orchester; Johannes Pausch. al segno as 2027 2 (Germany) 04C016 $35.98

JOHANN ADOLPH HASSE (1699-1783): Il Cantico de' tre fanciulli. Using the same Biblical story which produced Belshazzar (and, later, Nabucco), Hasse provides an oratorio which looks both to Italian models - the da capo arias of Neapolitan opera - and to German polyphony. Hasse later reorchestrated the work to suit more modern tastes but this version is that of the 1734 Dresden premiere with its delicate, rococo manner. 2 CDs. Italian-German texts. Gillian Keith (soprano), Gabriele Heirdeis (soprano), Dean Kustra (altus), Simone Vondung (contralto), James Tolksdorf (bass), Chamber Choir of the Theresiengymnasium Munich, Camerata Fulda; Harald Kraus. Koch Schwann 3-6587-2 (Germany) 04C017 $33.98

JEAN BAPTISTE MASSE (c.1700s-c.1757): 6 Sonatas for 2 Cellos, Book One. This obscure member of the Comédie Française orchestra is apparently second in importance only to Boismortier in the history of the French cello sonata. Ranging from elegant to rustic, with a seamless mixture of French and Italian styles, these pieces are more technically demanding than anything else of their period (Book I dates from 1737; Book 2 from 1739) except, perhaps, the sonatas of Barrière. Brandywine Baroque. Dorian DOR-93222 (U.S.A.) 04C018 $17.98

JEAN BAPTISTE MASSE (c.1700s-c.1757): 6 Sonatas for 2 Cellos, Book Two. Like their companion sonatas above, these are all four movement works in the slow-fast-slow-fast Corellian form with dance movements taking either third or fourth position. Brandywine Baroque. Dorian DOR-93223 (U.S.A.) 04C019 $17.98

18th Century British Symphonies

THOMAS ERSKINE (EARL OF KELLY) (1732-1781): Periodical Overture No. 17 in E Flat, JOHN COLLETT: Symphony in E Flat, Op. 2/5, WILLIAM SMETHERGELL (fl.1770-1805): Symphony in B Flat, Op. 5/2, JOHN MARSH (1752-1828): A Conversation Sinfonie in E Flat, THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): Symphony No. 4 in C Minor, CARL FRIEDRICH ABEL (1723-1787): Symphony in E, Op. 10/1. The British Classical symphony has always been something of a black hole in the record catalogues, making this collection all the more welcome. Erskine studied in Mannheim under Stamitz for three years and his piece (and that of Collett, whose symphony is dedicated to the Earl) are in the typical Mannheim manner. Abel's is in the best galant style, Smethergill and Marsh fall somewhere in between while Arne's restlessly agitated minor key symphony is the most striking here. The Hanover Band; Graham Lea-Cox. ASV GAU 216 (England) 04C020 $16.98

THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): Complete (7) Trio Sonatas. Halfway between the baroque and the galant, Arne's works sometimes add movements or subtract them and displace the slow-fast Corellian sequence of movements; more interestingly, there is a richer harmonic pallette in slow movements and a fresh vitality in quick ones. Collegium Musicum 90. Chandos Chaconne 0666 (England) 04C021 $16.98

FRANZ IGNAZ BECK (1734-1809): Stabat Mater for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. Dating from 1783, this is likely Beck's masterpiece (he wrote four sets of symphonies between 1758-66) and it was premiered under the composer at Versailles. The music is rich and complex in its variety with harmonies looking ahead to the 19th century but also with a firm grasp of contrapuntal style. Sandrine Piau, Heidrun Kordes (sopranos), Derek Lee Ragin (countertenor), Christophe Einhorn (tenor), Klaus Mertens (baritone), SWR Vokalensemble, La Stagione Frankfurt; Michael Schneider. Koch Schwann 3-6583-2 (Germany) 04C022 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): String Quintets in G, F, C & F, Divertimento in B Flat. Only the first three quintets listed above are dated (two from 1773 and the other from 1784) but the C major work inspired Mozart to write his first quintet, K174 (also in 1773), so the style and affect of these works can be easily surmised. 2 CDs. Budget-price. Concilium Musicum Wien. Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6759-2 (Germany) 04C023 $13.98

JOHANN ANDRÉ (1741-1799) or JOHANN ANTON ANDRÉ (1775-1842): Flute Quartet in G, Op. 78/1 after Mozart's Piano Sonata for 4 Hands, K497, Flute Quartet in D, Op. 78/3 after Mozart's Piano Trio in E Flat, K498, Flute Quartet in D, Op. 81/1 after Mozart's Violin Sonata in D, K378, Flute Quartet in D, Op. 81/2 after Mozart's Violin Sonata in G, K380. Either father or son provided these arrangements published in 1799 which, from the introduction of the new "solo" instrument, provide musical links and connections which the ear would not otherwise hear in the original versions. Budget-price. Ensemble Sans Souci Berlin. Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6769-2 (Germany) 04C024 $6.98

AUBER - Comic Opera Premiere

DANIEL-FRANÇOIS ESPRIT AUBER (1782-1871): Les Diamants de la Couronne. Dating from 1841, this tale of a female Zorro who steals diamonds which turn out to be fakes but that's OK because she's really the Queen and sold the jewels to keep ministers from embezzling them and to have hard cash in the royal treasury so as to do right by her people (breathe!) is from Auber's high maturity, at the same level as Le domino noir of four years previous. 3 CDs. French libretto. Ghyslaine Raphanel (soprano), Myléne Mornet (soprano), Christophe Einhorn (tenor), Armand Arapian (baritone), Cori Spezzati, Orchestre de Picardie; Edmon Colomer. Mandala MAN 5003/05 (France) 04C025 $53.98

DOMENICO VINCENZO MARIA PUCCINI (1771-1815): Piano Concerto in B, MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Piano Concerto in C, JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Rondo Brillante, Op. 56 for Piano and Orchestra. The Puccini's grandfather has left us a lovely, Mozartian concerto which seems more like large-scale chamber music than a virtuoso concerto; Clementi provides us with the large-scale fireworks. Budget-price. Klaus Hellwig (piano), Cracow State Philharmonic; Roland Bader. Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6743-2 (Germany) 04C026 $6.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Piano Quartet in F Minor, Op. 41, Grand Sonata in F for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op. 65, Piano Sonata in A Flat "Le Retour à Paris", Op. 70. The piano quartet dates from 1800 and, as might be expected with this virtuoso pianist, his own instrument leads the way in all three movements,while (more or less) sharing the stage with the flute in 1807's Grand Sonata. Susan Lynn (violin), Norbert Blume (viola), Christina Shillito (cello), Christine Croshaw (piano), Clive Conway (flute). Meridian CDE 84383 (England) 04C027 $17.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): 3 Duos Concertants, Op. 69, Duo in F, Op. 26. Originally for harp and piano, these duos (1810-11) were often performed on two pianos and the use of two Broadwood grands (the 1801 model, the more robust, is used for the original piano part and an 1808 model, lighter in tone quality, for the harp part) from the same period renders these works in all their period glory. Janine Johnson, John Khouri (fortepianos). Music & Arts CD 1081 (U.S.A.) 04C028 $16.98

FRIEDRICH WITT (1770-1836): Quintet in E Flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 5, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Quintet in E Flat for Piano and Winds, Op. 16, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Quintet in E Flat for Piano and Winds, K. 452. Known for his scissors-and-paste job combining two Haydn symphonies into a work which turn-of-the-century musicologists incredibly believed to be the work of the young Beethoven, Witt produced this quintet at an unknown date but it is clearly modelled on that on Beethoven (this time, no plagiarism), and will certainly appeal to collectors of late Classical/early Romantic chamber music. Anton Kuerti (piano), James Campbell (clarinet), James Mason (oboe), James Somerville (horn), James McKay (bassoon). CBC Records MVCD 1137 (Canada) 04C029 $17.98

HUMMEL- World Premiere Piano Concerto

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Concerto in A, S4/W24, Piano Concerto in F, Op. post. 1, Theme and Variations in F, Op. 97. First recording of an early concerto from the 1790s, not surprisingly at that period in Hummel's life, quite devoted in style to Mozart. The F major is the composer's last concerto (1833), more dramatic and making use of a larger orchestra. The Theme and Variations dates from 1820 but its Mozartian style may point to its being a revision of an earlier work. London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 9886 (England) 04C030 $16.98

ANDREAS ROMBERG (1767-1821): String Quartets, Vol. 2 - in A Minor, Op. 2/2, in G Minor, Op. 16/2 & in B Minor, Op. 30/1. With his 1799 set of op. 2 quartets, Romberg was recognized by critics as being in the same league as Haydn. The op. 16 and op. 30 quartets show him poised on the cusp of Romanticism. Destined for history's dustbin only because Beethoven innovated so remarkably in this medium, Romberg's quartets remained highly thought of during his lifetime. Leipzig String Quartet. MD&G 307 1026 (Germany) 04C031 $17.98

ANDREAS ROMBERG (1767-1821): 3 Flute Quintets, Op. 41. And now, Romberg's fluffy side, with dance movements, occasional reflections of 18th century Sturm und Drang and variations on well-known melodies. Re-issue of a 1992 Marco Polo release. Vladislav Brunner (flute), Viktor Simcisko (violin), Milan Telecky (viola), Ján Cút (viola), Juraj Alexander (cello). Naxos 8.554765 (New Zealand) 04C032 $5.98

MAURO GIULIANI (1781-1829): Guitar Concerto in A, Op. 30, LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1749-1805): Sinfonia with Obbligato Guitar. Boccherini's piece is a reworking of an oboe quintet and was written for the Marquis de Benavente who commissioned the famed guitar quintets. 1st period instrument performance of the Giuliani. Richard Savino (baroque guitar), Portland Baroque Orchestra; Monica Huggett. Koch International Classics 7448 (U.S.A.) 04C033 $16.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Le Songe, ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH (1788-1831): 40 Variations on a Theme by Beethoven, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): 11 Bagatelles, Op. 119. Ries' work, written in 1814 as a calling-card on his arrival in London, is a strikingly forward-looking quasi-fantasy in seven sections of Chopinesque figuration and affective harmonies. The Archduke's 1818 variations exploit every conceivable means to achieve variety and were well thought-of by his teacher, Beethoven. Susan Kagan (piano). Koch International Classics 7521 (U.S.A.) 04C034 $16.98

FERDINAND RIES (1784-1838): Octet in F Minor, Op. 128, LOUIS FERDINAND PRINCE OF PRUSSIA (1772-1806): Octet in F, Op. 12, KARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Notturno brilliant in E Flat, REICHSGRAF MORITZ VON LICHNOWSKY (1771-1837): 7 Variations on a Theme by Paisiello for Piano. EMI recordings from 1974 - part of the Dieter Klöcker Edition. The Ries and Czerny are early Romantic and the other two items more conservatively Classical. Consortium Classicum; Dieter Klöcker. CPO 999 745 (Germany) 04C035 $10.98

CARL REINECKE - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 134 "Hakon Jarl", Symphony No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 227. Reinecke's Second is practically Mendelssohn's Sym. No. 3-and-a-half: the piece's slow introduction immediately has that windswept Scottish atmosphere and the whole symphony carries on from there. It was written in 1875 but, switch the "7" to a"4" and nobody would blink an eye. Making it even better is that Reinecke was a consummate professional with a melodic facility second to none, making for a work that will repay repeated listening. The third dates from around 1895 and the septuagenarian composer has added Brahms to his Mendelssohnian and Schumannian influences and the youthful vigor and flare of the second symphony are, for the most part, replaced with a maturity of tone which can, nevertheless, still provide a gossamer scherzo and rousing finale. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Howard Shelley. Chandos 9893 (England) 04C036 $16.98

JULIUS RÖNTGEN (1856-1932): Aus der Jugendzeit, Op. 4, Introduktion, Scherzo, Intermezzo & Finale, Op. 16, Thema mit Variationen, Op. 17, 7 Pieces from 2. Zyklus von Walzern. Except for the waltz cycle (1884), all of these pieces were written before the composer's twenty-second birthday and the two largest works, the opp. 4 and 17, are deeply indebted to Schumann and to Brahms respectively although Röntgen's own prolific facility and compositional skill demand admiration. A must-have for any dyed-in-the-wool German romanticist! Cologne Piano Duo. Koch Schwann 3-1841-2 (Germany) 040C037 $16.98

MAX VON SCHILLINGS (1868-1933): String Quartet in E Minor, String Quintet in E Flat, Op. 32. What a thoroughly distasteful man Schillings was and yet what rich, emotional and memorable music he could write! The quartet is the work of a 19-year-old head-over-heels in love with Wagner, whose influence is most obvious in the slow movement, after and opening movement with echoes of Schubert's late quartets. The quintet was Schillings' last major work (1927) and, perhaps ironically given the composer's anti-Semitism, the influence most palpable (or the contemporary artist most attuned to Schillings' spirit at this time) was Korngold! The scherzo has prefiguations of The Adventures of Robin Hood and the finale seems to refer to Korngold's symphony in F sharp minor. Wiener Streichquintett. CPO 999 608 (Germany) 04C038 $10.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Complete Lieder & Ballades, Vol. 14 - Der Wirtin Töchterlein, Op. 1/2, Die verfallene Mühle, Op. 109, Mädchen sind wie der Wind, Op. 9/4, Der heilige Franziskus, Op. 75/3, Der Schatzgräber, Op. 59/3, Die wandelnde Glocke, Op. 20/3, Der getreue Eckart, Op. 44/2, Die Glocken zu Speyer, Op. 67/2, Der Mönch zu Pisa, Op. 114, Der alte Goethe, Op. 9, Friedericus Rex, Op. 61, Das Erkennen, Op. 65/2, Abschied, Op. 3/1, Melek am Quell, Op. 10/6, Der Edelfalk, Op. 68/2, Landgraf Philipp der Großmütige, Op. 125/1, Das Grab zu Ephesus, Op. 75/1, Harald, Op. 45/1. Yet another collection of settings of poetry rich in the supernatural, legendary quasi-historical characters and other typical Loewe fascinations. German-English texts. Kurt Moll (bass), Cord Garben (piano). CPO 999 414 (Germany) 04C039 $10.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Violin Concerto in G, Op. 46, CÉSAR CUI (1835-1918): Suite Concertante for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 25. All the way back to 1985 for this recoupling of Marco Polo originals - the 37-minute concerto in the finest German Romantic tradition from the Europeanizing Rubinstein nicely coupled with the "Mighty Five" member's small-scale, folk-based suite. Takako Nishizaki (violin), Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra; Michael Halász, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Kenneth Schermerhorn. Naxos 8.555244 (New Zealand) 04C040 $5.98

PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Clarinet Concerto, Horn Concerto, Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon and Strings, Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Harp and Orchestra, Violin Concerto, Organ Concerto, Der Schwanendreher for Viola and Orchestra, Trauermusik, Tuttifäntchen - Suite, Konzertmusic for Strings and Brass, Op. 48, Kammermusiken, No. 4, Op. 36/3, No. 5, Op. 36/4, No. 6, Op. 46/1 & No. 7, Op. 46/2. The latest recoupled, special-price box set of Albert's trail-blazing complete orchestral Hindemith series. 4 CDs. Special-price. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 784 (Germany) 04C041 $31.98

PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935): Sonata in E Flat Minor, FLORENT SCHMITT (1870-1958): 2 Mirages, HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): Sonata. Ogdon was probably as close to being unique and unparalleled as any musician of the 20th century. His performance of the gorgeous, haunting - and very difficult - Dukas sonata is superb was one of the highlights of the original LP set, and remains as fresh as ever now. Similarly, Dutilleux' early work, a strong and concentrated work, receives a fine account, and the Schmitt - much less well represented in the catalogue - is a welcome part of this intriguing and highly enjoyable recital. Mid-price. John Ogdon (piano). EMI 5 65996 2 (France) 04C042 $11.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Suite de Concert for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 28, NIKOLAI MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950): Cello Concerto, Op. 66. CLassic recordings from 1956 of two rather neglected works by star Russian soloists. A new recording of the Taneyev is on offer elsewhere in this catalogue; Myaskovsky's 1944 concerto is a two-movement work with a sad, mourning quality to its first, typcial of this inward-looking, somewhat depressive composer, but which recovers with a rhythmically incisive, robust second movement. Mid-price. David Oistrakh (violin), Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), Philharmonia Orchestra; Nicolai Malko, Sir Malcolm Sargent. EMI 5 65419 2 (France) 04C043 $11.98

BAX - World Premiere Recordings

SIR ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): London Pageant, Concertante for 3 Wind Instruments and Orchestra, Suite from Tamara (orch. Parlett), Cathaleen-ní-Hoolihan. A major addition to the Bax discography begins with the 1937 London Pageant, a Coronation piece which manages to be more of a tone-poem depicting the bustle and verve of a great city than the typical march-and-trio which the genre demanded. Although a late work, the Concertante (1948) finds Bax in wistful, tragedy-stricken Irish mood in its first movement, in which a cor anglais represents the ill-fated love between Irish nationalist Robert Emmiet and Sarah Curran in 1803. The scherzo second movement uses a solo clarinet while the broad, mostly peaceful lento features a solo horn; all are brought together in a brilliant finale. The work (never published) was lost in 1964 fire at publishers Chappell and was restored from a photographic copy for this recording. Parlett continues to do fine work on Bax's behalf with a 23-minute suite from the 1911 ballet Tamara (never orchestrated and abandoned by the young composer as his style rapidly matured), orchestrating it in the manner of The Truth About the Russian Dancers and From Dusk till Dawn, both of which pay homage to Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Glazunov. Cathaleen-ní-Hoolihan is a 1905 orchestration of the slow movement of a 1903 student string quartet which was prefaced by a quote from Yeats - a gently sad, quiet piece which apparently had never been performed before this recording. BBC Philharmonic; Martyn Brabbins. Chandos 9879 (England) 04C044 $16.98

SIR ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Violin Sonata No. 2 in D, Violin Sonata No. 3, Violin Sonata in F. The premiere here is of the F major sonata which, unlike many such discoveries, is a mature work. Dating from 1928, the year after the third sonata, it is, like its predecessor, in two movements (Moderato and Allegro). Bax never acknowledged it because he turned it into the 1930 Nonet - a direct orchestration of the sonata. Its moods of enchanted calm and serene and tender contemplation set it off fromthe magnificent and storm-tossed second sonata of 1915 which makes use of a motif from the turbulent tone-poem November Woods. The third sonata is also stormy in its second movement, into which intrudes a striking scene of wild folk dance; the introductory movement alternates between brooding introspection and hesitantly applied youthful Romanticism. Robert Gibbs (violin), Mary Mei-Loc Wu (piano). ASV DCA 1098 (England) 04C045 $16.98

OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Rossiniana, Metamorphoseon Modi XII, Burlesca, Passacaglia in do minore di Giovanni Sebastiano Bach. Less well-known than La Boutique Fantasque, 1925's Rossiniana is an orchestral suite of a brilliant expressivity, taking its music from amongst the Riens of the great composer's old age and elaborating it in true Respighi fashion. The Passacaglia was a 1930 commission from Toscanini in which Respighi's virtuoso and well-orchestrated extroversion played against Bach's spirituality and introspection make the piece more of an interpretation of Bach rather than a transcription of him. The Burlesca of 1906 is a world-premiere recording in which one can already hear the young composer moving away from his models Rimsky-Korsakov and Richard Strauss and toward the iridescent, Mediterranean lustrousness which would soon inform his Roman tone poems. The Metamorphoseon (1930), first heard on Chandos more than a decade ago, remains an imposing edifice which rings the orchestral changes through all twelve church modes. Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra; George Hanson. MD&G 335 1030 (Germany) 04C046 $17.98

MIKHAIL IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935): Jubilee March - Voroshilov, Op. 67, Caucasian Sketches No. 2 - Iveria, Op. 42, Mtsïri for Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 54, Armenian Rhapsody, Op. 48, Turkish March, Op. 55, Turkish Fragments, Op. 62, I Wonder if it is Misfortune from Assya, Op. 30 for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. The rarest item here is the 1922 tone-poem Mtsïri ("lay brother" in Georgian), a 20-minute piece based on a narrative poem by Lermontov which tells of the escape from a monastery of a young man and his subsequent adventures and death after a battle with a leopard. It is Ippolitov-Ivanov's longest single-movement work and is rich in the exotic Russian/Oriental colors of the late 19th century and, especially, Rimsky-Korsakov. Perhaps new to CD are the 1933 Jubilee March - a tribute to the Ukrainian modernizer of the Red Army - and an aria from the 1899 opera Assya. Joining the above is a collection of the Ippolitov-Ivanov known for his use of Caucasian folk music and rich orchestral colors, with source material coming from Georgia, Armenia and Turkey. English translations of song texts. Hasmik Hatsagortsian (soprano), Vardouhi Khachatrian (mezzo), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Loris Tjeknavorian. ASV CDA 1102 (England) 04C047 $16.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Cello Concerto in D (reconstr. Mackerras, Mackie), Overture di Ballo, Symphony in E "Irish", EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Romance (arr. cello). The same fire which consumed Bax's Concertante also destroyed the score of Sullivan's 1866 cello concerto, Mendelssohnian in ethos but compact (just over 17 minutes). For a long time, this 1968 recording of his Irish symphony was the only one (cpo came out with one in 1993) and it is good to have Groves' big-hearted performance of this 1864 work back in the catalogue. Mid-price. Julian Lloyd Webber (cello), London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Charles Mackerras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Charles Groves. EMI CDM 7 64726 2 (England) 04C048 $11.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): The Martyr of Antioch. Lost in guess-which-fire in 1964 (is this getting monotonous?), a new score was copied from the original manuscript for this performance, recorded live in 2000, of Sullivan's 1880 Leeds Festival "Sacred Musical Drama". Setting a text by a late dean of St. Paul's, the composer has a lot more fun with the heathens and the worship of Apollo than he does with the suffering Christians. More theatrical than stultifyingly pious, this should be enjoyed by most Sullivan fans. Catherine Foster (soprano), Gillian Knight (contralto), Stephen Brown (tenor), Gareth Jones (baritone), Stephen Godward (bass), Clive Woods (organ), The Sullivan Chorus, Northern Chamber Orchestra; Richard Balcombe. Symposium 1289 (England) 04C049 $18.98


SIR ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Welcome the Queen, Music from the Films Things to Come, Caesar and Cleopatra, War in the Air, The Royal Palaces Suite. Eleven cues fromthe chopped-up, re-arranged and otherwise bowdlerized Things to Come score (1935), providing 32 minutes of music, have been painstakingly reconstructed for this recording by Philip Lane In-depth notes recount the twisted history of this magnificent music. The score to Caesar and Cleopatra (1944) has its own fascinating tale to tell (Bliss' music was never used; Georges Auric eventually supplied the score; we now have 17 minutes comprising 8 cues in Giles Easterbrook's and Malcolm Binney's edition. Royal Palaces is a 15-minute suite of music from a 1966 BBC/ITV documentary and Welcome the Queen (1954) is included since it was written for a newsreel. BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 9896 (England) 04C050 $16.98

GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Film Music, Vol. 4 - Music from the Films La Symphonie Pastorale, Macao, Rififi, The Wages of Fear. La Symphonie (1946) won a Cannes Grand Prix as well as an award for Auric; Macao (1939) had its production problems due to the necessity of re-shooting all of the scenes in which Erich von Stroheim appeared (an anti-Nazi) so that it could finally be released under German occupation in 1942. Rififi (1954) is a famous film noir and its score is correspondingly gloomy, dissonant and edgily chromatic. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Marco Polo 8.225136 (New Zealand) 04C051 $14.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Oresteia Overture, Op. 6, Entr'acte (The Temple of Apollo at Delphi), Concert Suite for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 28. The 1905 Concert Suite is Taneyev's only concerto score, except for his two-movement early piano concerto and, written for Leopold Auer, uses a baroque suite format (five movements) but all the orchestral colors and soloistic virtuosity of late Romanticism. The picture of Apollo's temple at Delphi comes from the Choephoroe section of Taneyev's massive operatic setting of Aeschylus' Oresteia - a five-minute interlude depicting the nobility and purity of the god's sanctuary while the overture, while based on motifs from the opera, is an entirely separate work and was not used as an overture (the opera begins with a brief prelude). Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ondine ODE 959 (Finland) 04C052 $17.98

ROBERT FUCHS (1847-1927): Complete String Quartets, Vol. 2 - in C, Op. 71 & in A, Op. 106. Datng from 1903 and 1916, Fuchs' last two quartets continue in the paths of Brahms and his disciples. Lyrical works disdaining any violent outbursts of emotion, these quartets display the well-bred eloquence, melodic gift and classical sense of form which distinguish this minor master. For anyone who collects Herzogenberg, Reinecke, Berger or early Reger, these two discs will make welcome additions. Minguet Quartet. MD&G 603 1002 (Germany) 04C053 $17.98

EDWARD MACDOWELL (1860-1908): Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 15, Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 23, Second Modern Suite for Piano, Op. 14. After Naxos' Hyundai comes Hyperion's Lexus version of these two sadly neglected (well, obviously, not any longer) virtuoso American piano concertos. The 23-minute Second Modern Suite is a significant bonus, making for a well-filled virtuosic piano banquet. Seta Tanyel (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67165 (England) 04C054 $17.98

GIAN FRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882-1973): 7 invenzioni, 4 invenzioni, Vivaldiana, Symphonic Fragments from the Opera Il finto Arlecchino. The "Inventions" contain music for a 1933 film "Steel"; surprisingly, except for the last Invention of the first seven, which comes near Prokofiev and Mossolov in their pounding, dissonant representations of a steel factory, the majority of the pieces are pastoral and modal in nature. The operatic fragments run between 18th-century pastiche and Stravinskian neo-classicism while Vivaldiana keeps form, harmony and rhythm of the original Vivaldi concerto movements while dressing them up for a Classical-sized orchestra. Re-issue of a 1991 Marco Polo release. Veneto Philharmonic Orchestra; Peter Maag. Naxos 8.555515 (New Zealand) 04C055 $5.98

NIKOLAI MEDTNER (1880-1951): Piano Works, Vol. 7 - Andante innocente from 3 Dithyrambs, Op. 10, 2 Fairy Tales, Op. 20, 4 Lyric Fragments, Op. 23, 4 Fairy Tales, Op. 26, Theme and Variations, Op. 55, Elf Tale from 2 Fairy Tales, Op. 48, 2 Elegies, Op. 59. This series continues with a gathering-together of odds and ends from both ends of Medtner's career: the beautiful yet minutely imagined Lyric Fragments, the cool beauty (lacking the usual Medtnerian intensity) of the op. 26 Fairy Tales up to the last solo piano composition of the composer, the 1938 Elegies, the first sharp and raw, the other with the character of Russian sacred music. Geoffrey Tozer (piano). Chandos 9899 (England) 04C056 $16.98

ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Volume 5 - Cantos del Tucumán for Voice, Flute, Violin, Harp and Caja Grande, Op. 4, Guitar Sonata, Op. 47, Impresiones de la Puna for Flute and String Quartet, Puneña No. 2 for Solo Cello, Op. 45, Duo for Flute and Oboe, Op. 13, Danza Criolla, Op. 15/1 for Guitar, Milonga for Guitar, Triste Pampeano for Guitar, Danza del Trigo for Violin and Guitar. All but two works date from Ginastera's self-described "objective nationalist" phase (up to 1948), the two largest being the Cantos of 1938, based on folkloric characteristics of the Tucumán region and the Impresiones (1934), the composer's first chamber work which makes use of folkloric material from the Puna (old Incan territory in the extreme northwest of Argentina), a region which also gave us the 1976 Puneña. Spanish-English texts. Olivia Blackburn (soprano), Anna Noakes (flute), Lyric String Quartet, Christopher van Kampen (cello), María Isabel Siewers (guitar) and other artists. ASV DCA 1103 (England) 04C057 $16.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): String Quartets, Vol. 7 - No. 16, Op. 146, No. 18, "Giornata", Op. 153, Sværm, Op. 190b, Quartetto sereno, Op. 197 (op. posth.). The final volume of Holmboe's string quartets brings two more of his characteristically elegant, sharply formulated and refined pieces in his typical idiom in which conflict is replaced by metamorphosis (1981 and 1982). Sværm is a 1992 arrangement of an earlier series of ten violin duos with Via Peria (written for the Kronos Quartet) added to form a suite which is practically a catalogue of the wealth and subtlety of the resources with which Holmboe worked in this genre. Rounding out the picture is the brief (9-minute) Quartetto sereno which the composer left incomplete at his death and which was completed by his, perhaps, most famous pupil Per Nørgård. Kontra Quartet. Dacapo 8.224131 (Denmark) 04C058 $14.98

ALEXANDER MOSSOLOV (1900-1973): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 34, NIKOLAI ROSLAVETS (1880-1944): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3, ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): String Quartet No. 1. This is Mossolov getting up the establishment's nose in his best fashion: dating from 1926, well before he was squashed by Stalinism, the quartet is a bacchanalia of glissandi, pizzicati, heavy rhythmic chords and other avant-garde sound-effects which nevertheless manages to include a Turkmenian melody in its slow movement and highly chromaticized folk-style melodies in the finale. Call it Expressionistic Barbarism... Roslavets' only two published quartets date from1913 and 1920, the former still in a style influenced by late Scriabin, the latter well into the composer's own twelve-tone period although the effect is similar to Schoenberg and Webern just before their true "12-tone" period. Novosibirsk "Filarmonica" Quartet. Beaux 2019 (Germany) 04C059 $17.98

RODION SHCHEDRIN (b.1932): Cello Concerto "sotto voce concerto", Suite from The Seagull. The 1994 concerto is a kind of requiem for the composer's ancestral town, Aleksin, which Shchedrin visited regularly as a boy and whose quaint old wooden houses were bulldozed in the name of Soviet progress and replaced by concrete apartment buildings and a chemical factory. As its subtitle hints, the work rarely rises beyond a mezza voce tone, suggesting the shepherd's songs young Shchedrin remembered in its pastoral, simple and poignant melodic lines. A brutal march which tears through the finale twice cannot ultimately tread all soft sounds underfoot; the concerto's serene opening theme soars aloft at the close. The music for The Seagull, a ballet based on Chekhov's play, treated five main themes in a series of 24 preludes, three interludes and one postlude; the suite uses most of the themes and includes two of the slapstick-sounding interludes. Marko Ylönen (cello), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Olli Mustonen. Ondine ODE 955 (Finland) 04C060 $17.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 12 - La leyenda de la Giralda, Op. 40, Ritmos, Op. 43, Radio Madrid, Op. 62, Fantasía italiana, Op. 75, Fantasía sobre cinco notas: A.R.B.O.S., Op. 83, Fantasía del reloj, Op. 94. La Leyenda (1926) is a four-movement tone poem depicting an earthquake and a miraculous rescue of Seville's landmark tower, Rítmos (1928) a short ballet of six movements which was never performed, Radio Madrid (1931) a witty depiction of some of Turina's early experiences in broadcasting, op. 75 (1932) a sun-drenched evocation of Naples and its surroundings, the Arbos fantasy an homage to that master's 70th birthday (1934) in the very un-Spanish format of Prelude, Toccata & Fugue and Chorale with Variations, while the "Clock Fantasy" of 1943 depicts three of Turina's favorite hours of the day. Antonio Soria (piano). Moraleda 6412 (Spain) 04C061 $16.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 13 - Tocata y fuga, Op. 50, Partita in C, Op. 57, Pieza romantica, Op. 64, Rapsodia sinfonica, Op. 66 for Piano and Strings, Rincones de Sanlucar, Op. 78, Preludios, Op. 80, Concierto sin orquesta, Op. 88. This disc is primarily Turina in European-genre-format. Except for the Rincones de Sanlúcar (1933), four descriptive/character pieces, these works are devoid of Iberian folk or popular elements and underline the composer's wish to be accepted as a "Composer" rather than as a "Spanish Composer" and they all have roots which can be traced back to Turina's studies in France at the Schola Cantorum. Antonio Soria (piano), Camerata Mediterranea; Gerassim Voronkov. Moraleda 6413 (Spain) 04C062 $16.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Piano Music, Vol. 4 - Apariciones: Valses románticos, A la cubana, Cuentos de la juventud, Miel de la Alcarria: Jota, Valses Poéticos, Rapsodia aragonesa, Escenas infantiles - Miniaturas, Aparición. Although we have not been following this series, this volume stands out since it offers world premiere recordings of the "Apparitions", "Scenes of Childhood" and the jota "Honey from Alcarria", all of which account for a third of the disc and serve to confirm Granados' reputation as the father of Spanish Romanticism. Douglas Riva (piano). Naxos 8.554629 (New Zealand) 04C063 $5.98

PAUL JUON (1872-1940): Rhapsody for Piano Quartet, Op. 37, SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Piano Quartet in E, Op. 20, ALEXANDER BORODIN (1833-1887): Polovtsian Dances (arr. Geoffrey Wilcken). Juon was Taneyev's student and, like him, subscribed to the western-European oriented segment of Russian composers. Both quartets date from 1906 but Juon is more programmatic than his teacher; there is evidence that the music in this quartet derived inspiration from a Swedish story about a defrocked, alcoholic priest who falls in love with a young, married woman. Certainly, there is a heroic striving in the first movement and much dramatic conflict in the passionate third movement (which telescopes slow-movement and finale) while the brief second movement is tinged with folksong. Taneyev's massive (43-minute) work shows his predilection for counterpoint in its long finale while the first movement seems a bit closer to Juon's programmatic style. Taneyev's ease at producing lyrical melodies is demonstrated in the rapt slow movement. The Ames Piano Quartet. Dorian DOR-93215 (U.S.A.) 04C064 $17.98

ANDRÉ JOLIVET (1905-1974): Concerto for Flute and Strings, CLAUDE PASCAL (b.1921): Concerto for Flute and Strings, RENAUD FRANÇOIS (b.1943): Roseaux for Flute and Strings, MAURICE THIRIET (1906-1972): Concerto for Flute and Strings. François' piece from 1997 is the most advanced of the items here, using multiphonics, quarter-tones and other contemporary techniques to create a mysterious, crepuscular atmosphere. However, it is not very much less approachable than Jolivet's 1950 concerto which opposes the spiritual nature of the flute to the terrestrial, primitive nature of the accompanying strings. Pascal's concerto (1996) is a lovely, neo-classical piece with slight intimations of Prokofiev while Thiriet's work (1959) is similarly devoted to elegance, humor and easy approachability. Benoît Fromanger (flute), Munich Chamber Orchestra; Christoph Poppen. Tudor 7069 (Switzerland) 04C065 $17.98

Prokofiev premieres !

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 58, Concertino in G Minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 132 (compl V. Blok). What became the Sinfonia concertante for cello and orchestra has never been recorded in its orginal, complete form (a 1950s Janos Starker recording cut bleeding lumps out of the finale). In its first version, the finale carries all the weight - half of the work's 38-minute length - while the overall feel is more intimate and chamber-like than the more massive Sinfonia concertante. Typically full of bright, sparkling ideas, it is very attractive in its own right. The unfinished Concertino of 1953 was completed by Kabalevsky in 1960 but we have here a version finished by Vladimir Blok, a Prokofiev expert, who follows the composer's original sketches much more closely, getting rid of Kabalevsky's swollen brass and percussion sections and achieving a more delicate, coloristic quality for the score. Alexander Ivashkin (cello), Russian State Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 9890 (England) 04C066 $16.98

GIAN CARLO MENOTTI (b.1911): Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra, Apocalypse, Suite from Sebastian. World-premiere recording of the 1976 Fantasia, a 15-minute work in loose sonata form over which the shadows of Schumann and Elgar hover - instantly attractive andutterly Romantic in nature. Apocalypse (1952) is a vivid rendering of several apocalyptic texts with an intensely dynamic and unpredictable first movement (Improperia), a cool, beautiful and static second (La città celeste) and a third of shimmering exoticism and clamor ("The Angels of War"). Seven scenes from the 1944 ballet Sebastian, from the composer's own libretto, have Menotti's characteristic warmth, tenderness and lovely use of orchestral color. Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Spoleto Festival Orchestra; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9900 (England) 04C067 $16.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Violin Sonata in D Minor (Sonata No. "0"), Première Sonate, Deuzième Sonate, Morceau de concours, Arioso. Dating from 1912, Honegger's unpublished, chronologically first violin sonata inhabits a completely different world from its numbered successors - Faurean melody in the opening movement, an obsessively chromatic Franckian character in its second and a solid, Rousselian rhythm in its finale. Ulf Wallin (violin), Patricia Pagny (piano). Stradivarius STR 33485 (Italy) 04C068 $17.98

PIERRE COCHEREAU (1924-1984): La Marsellaise, Sortie improvisée sur La Marsellaise, Variations sur "Adeste fideles", Symphonie Improvisée, Alleluia de Pâques, Scherzo Symphonique. These are transcriptions of recorded Cochereau improvisations dating from the 1956 symphony, recorded at Boston's Symphony Hall by Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co. to the 1977 Sortie improvisée for a mass attended by France's President Giscard d'Estaing. The disc opens with an acerbic blast of chamades opening the 1970 performance of La Marsellaise at Charles de Gaulle's funeral. Cochereau was known for his light side and sense of humor as well and these are fully brought out in the Alleluia on Easter themes (1973) and the Scherzo of 1974. Recorded with a dynamic range sure to disturb the neighbors! Jeremy Filsell (organ of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral). ASV DCA 1104 (England) 04C069 $16.98

ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960): Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Viola Sonata, Violin Sonatina, Cello Sonatina, Jamaican Rumba for Piano, Tombeau de Ravel for Clarinet and Piano, Humoresque for Violin and Piano, Arabesque for Violin and Piano, Carnavalesque for Violin and Piano. Although born in Australia, Benjamin studied at the Royal Academy of Music with close friends Herbert Howells, Arthur Bliss, Eugene Goossens and Ivor Gurney, which is the frame in which much of his chamber music should be viewed. His 1924 violin sonatina and 1939 cello sonatina are light, neo-classically shaded pieces while the 1942 viola sonata (for Primrose) is somber and darkly impressive. The other sizeable work is the 1958 Tombeau de Ravel which exhibits Benjamin's lifelong strengths of formal structure and innovative ways of reconciling disparate ideas. Tall Poppies Ensemble, Ian Munro (piano). Tall Poppies TP134 (Australia) 04C070 $18.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): 4 Medieval Latin Lyrics for Baritone and String Orchestra, Op. 32, 5 Spenser Sonnets for Tenor and String Orchestra, Op. 42, Amoretti for Tenor and String Quartet, Op. 43, Sinfonietta for Large String Orchestra, Op. 163. One of the finest symphonists of the British musical 'renaissance' that took place in the early 20th century, Rubbra was a versatile composer whose distinctive voice and heartfelt inspiration shines through his works in any medium. These works for strings, three of them setting texts sung by soloists, are no exception. There is a good deal of Elgarian nobilmente here, and a sense of ease in setting words to music worthy of Britten. Other comnparisons who fleetingly come to mind are Shostakovich and Bruckner, and from this exalted company it may be deduced that even without the full symphonic canvas, this disc portrays a composer of truly remarkable accomplishments. Mid-price. Texts and translations included. Martyn Hill (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), Endellion String Quartet, City of London Sinfonia; Hans-Hubert Schönzeler. EMI CDM 5 66936 (England) 04C071 $11.98

BERNARD STEVENS (1916-1983): The Shadow of the Glen - Opera, The True Dark for Baritone and Piano. Stevens' comparative neglect, in proportion to the sheer quality of his music, is as inexplicable as that of Alan Bush, to which it may be related in origin. Fashion and politics have played their part in the apparent suppression of the works of both these remarkable composers. Stevens was a master of polyphony, a meticulous craftsman of counterpoint working in a predominantly tonal medium, as intellectually satisfying as it is emotionally powerful, during decades when such things were frowned on as insufficiently 'modern'. These two works share a preoccupation with the shadowy depths of the human spirit; The True Dark, to texts by Randall Swingler, hails darkness as the fundamental state of the soul; The Shadow of the Glen, after Synge, extensively based on the Dies irae, treats human frailties in a manner sometimes ironic, sometimes sorrowful, played out against a brooding landscape in which shadows seem so much more to define shapes than the superficiality of light. Della Jones (mezzo), John Gibbs, Neil Mackie, Divertimenti Orchestra; Howard Williams, Richard Jackson (baritone), Igor Kennaway (piano). Albany TROY 418 (U.S.A.) 04C072 $16.98

MICHAEL MATTHEWS: Symphony No. 1, Out of the Earth for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra. Although the composer acknowledges a strain of mysticism running through his work, and has absorbed influences from many cultures throughout the world, his tautly argued symphony is not the polycultural new-ageish melange that this sort of background might threaten to suggest. I t is rooted firmly in Romantic models, and explores a language that would not have been alien to Prokofiev, or perhaps Holst, or even Dutilleux. There are some aleatoric devices, it is true, but the overriding impression is of a rich and sumptuous, and richly detailed orchestral fabric of considerable power and integrity. The song cycle, setting Native American texts, is more 'modern' sounding, and also suggests a musical idiom not quite of the western concert hall, though not imitating Native American styles. Therese Costes (soprano), Kiev Camerata Orchestra; Virko Baley. Troppe Note/Cambria CD-1415 (U.S.A.) 04C073 $16.98

PETER PAUL KOPROWSKI (b.1947): Flute Concerto, Accordion Concerto, Viola Concerto. A Polish-born Canadian composer who studied with Nadia Boulanger, Koprowski has stated his intention as contributing to how musical language is used rather than to extending the vocabulary for the sake of novelty. All three of these concerti are cast in the mould of traditional concerti, while making use of the freedom of expression available to a 20th-century composer. They might all de described loosely as neo-romantic, and all utilise an harmonic vocabulary which seems to derive from Nielsen and Sibelius, largely bypassing Stravinsky and extending as far as Lutoslawski or perhaps Dutilleux, but no further. All three make abundant use of the virtuoso idioms of the solo instruments, perhaps the most striking in this respect being the accordion concerto, simply because one is unused to hearing it in a role more usually associated with conventional woodwinds, strings or piano. It makes a very effective and eloquent concerto soloist when given material of this quality. Robert Aitken (flute), Joseph Petric (accordion), Rivka Golani (viola), Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Jukka-Pekka Saraste. CBC Records SMCD 5206 (Canada) 04C074 $17.98

RICHARD J. RENDELMAN, JR. (b.1949): Symphonic Overture, Song for My Son, Poems of Margaret Proctor Wood for Soprano and Piano, FRANK LOCH: Remembrance, Transformation. These two composers are both experts in fields outside music, but this is not in any way to diminish their achievements in composition. Granted, both are traditionalists, and there is even a turn-of-the (last) century feel to Rendleman's song cycle (think Ethelbert Nevin), not inappropriately for setting homespun texts celebrating rural Massachusetts. The orchestral works of both composers are sumptuously romantic and unabashedly tonal, with the shade of Copland looming large in the none too distant background. Music as genuinely affecting - and well written - as this never goes out of style, though, and there is a great deal to enjoy here. Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra; Gerhardt Zimmerman, Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz, Kay Lowe (soprano), Scott Tilley (piano), Warsaw National PO; John Yaffé, Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda. MMC 2095 (U.S.A.) 04C075 $16.98

ANTHONY IANNACCONE (b.1943): String Quartet No. 3, Aria Concertante for Cello and Piano, Nos. 1 & 2, Rituals for Violin and Piano. Iannaccone's chamber music has an intimate, highly personal quality; the most recent work here, the third quartet, although not programmatic, seems to resonate with memories and reflections from a rich and varied life which has not been without profound sorrow (whether there were any such influences on the music, the composer has declined to make explicit). In all the works here, the predominant feeling is of tonality, though sometimes the music is expressly atonal, as in the cello and piano works, though always disguised in the harmonically rich and idiomatic writing for the most expressive registers of the stringed instruments. However else the music may be classified, it is full of deep-seated though unsentimental emotion throughout. Arianna String Quartet, Jelinek-Gurt Duo, Pignotti-Mehta Duo. Albany TROY 414 (U.S.A.) 04C076 $16.98

ROBERT MUCZYNSKI (b.1929): Cello Sonata, Op. 25, Time Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 43, Fantasy Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 26, BALÁSZ SZUNYOGH (1954-1999): Trio Serenade. Szunyogh's Trio Serenade is a gently mellifluous work of considerable charm, mostly easy-going and bucolic in mood. Muczynski's sonata is a work of some seriousness, not unlike the Barber sonata and similar in dimensions. In his fast movements, Muczynski achieves a lively rhythmic buoyancy hinting at jazz which adds to the appeal of the works; his slow movements sometimes touch on areas of unexpected depth of melancholy, though these are short-lived and invariably relieved by light and lively resolutions of one sort or another. A very attractive disc of ready appeal. Trio d'Echo. Hungaroton HCD 31877 (Hungary) 04C077 $16.98

OTTO LUENING (1900-1996): 6 Preludes, First Short Sonata, Tango, Song without Words, Sonority Forms I-III, Image, Fourth Short Sonata, Chords at Night, Fantasia Etudes. A truly delightful surprise from the composer many people associate with Babbitt, Ussachevsky and the Columbia University electronic music lab: short, jewel-like piano pieces which are lyrical, playful and charming. Adhering to no particular system, written over a 60 year period (1935-1994), these pieces could not possibly be dated by their sound or structure. Basically tonal, yet sometimes atonal (though not 12-tone), many of these pieces have a Satie-like enigmatic stillness while others seem to filter Chopin through a Satiesque lens. The longest work here (Sonority Forms I from 1983) is 11 minutes long and goes from stately march through a Chopinesque chordal section to an unexpected boogie-woogie with a barrelling bass line before finishing in a grand, reiterated chord ending. This is genuinely surprising and gratifying music which should appeal to anyone interested in 20th century piano music. Marc Peloquin (piano). CRI CD 872 (U.S.A.) 04C078 $17.98

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (b.1939): Image de Moreau, GIJS VAN DIJK (b.1954): Toccata No. 1, ALAN LAURILLARD (b.1946): Nowhere, MICHIEL BRAAM (b.1964): Tivoccatajanssen, LEO SAMAMA (b.1951): Toccata III, Op. 49, MICHIEL BORSTLAP (b.1966): Toccata 10, Toccata 14, VANESSA LANN (b.1968): Recalling Chimes, THIJS DERCKSEN (b.1962): Overstag, CHRISTINA VIOLA OOREBEK (b.1944): Tremors and Quakes, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Toccatas, BWV 910-16. This collection interweaves Bach toccatas with toccatas or toccata-like pieces by a variety of modern Dutch composers. Borstlap is a jazz pianist and recorded two improvisations on a MIDI grand piano which, along with the computer errors, became the two pieces performed here; Oorebeek adds pieces of felt to create fascinating glissando patterns in her Tremors and Quakes while Lann, an American resident in Holland, uses a marimba mallet to hit the una corde pedal and also requires the pianist to sing along tonelessly in several passages. A wide variety, sure to entice contemporary piano fanciers and all set off by the toccatas of the master himself (pianist Janssen has created his own record label to record all of Bach's keyboard music on the piano). 2 CDs. Ivo Janssen (piano). NM Extra 98015 (Netherlands) 04C079 $35.98

GIORGIO FEDERICO GHEDINI (1892-1965): Dimmi, dolce Maria for Voice and Piano, Il pianto della Madonna presso la Croce for Soprano, Baritone and Piano, Di', Maria dolce for Voice and Piano, Canto d'amore for Voice and Piano, 4 duetti su test sacri for 2 Voices and Piano, Ave Maria for Voice and Piano. These dramatic settings of sacred texts occupy an odd and interesting position somewhere between artsongs, opera and church music. The piano accompaniments and introductions also often sound like piano solo works in their own right (one thinks of the piano nocturne movement of Ronald Stevenson's "Border Boyhood" as a similar case). The music is very chromatic and when not deliberately referring to older musical styles, expresses a degree of emotional and romantic ardor which relates it more to the operatic stage than the church. Strong and full-blooded stuff, as appealing as it is emotionally charged. Tiziana Scandaletti, Laura Antonaz (sopranos), Paolo Servidei (baritone), Riccardo Piacentini (piano). Nuova Era 7354 (Italy) 04C080 $17.98

LOU HARRISON (b.1917): Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Javanese Gamelan, Piano Trio. Two world premiere recordings: the 1982 concerto is a typical Harrison combination of East and West, with the violin and cello weaving in and out of a backdrop of pitched percussion, and the 1990 piano trio which, as the composer has written, contains within it the outward events of the time he was writing it: the Bay Area earthquake, his own triple-bypass heart surgery and the death of his mentor Virgil Thomson. One movement, chromatic, is dedicated to Thomson while the remaining three are modal - the whole work being melodic and accessible in nature. Kenneth Goldsmith (violin), Terry King (cello), Mills College Gamelan Ensemble, Mirecourt Trio. Music & Arts CD-1073 (U.S.A.) 04C081 $16.98

PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): Suite for Cello and Piano, Op. 66, OTTO LUENING (1900-1996): Sonata for Cello Solo, NICOLAS SLONIMSKY (1894-1995): Suite for Cello and Piano, GREGOR PIATIGORSKY (1903-1976): Preludio, Prayer, Syrinx, Stroll (all for Cello andPiano), AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Lament, Poeme (Cello and Piano), CHOPIN/COPLAND: Preludes, Op. 28, Nos. 4 & 6 (Cello and Piano), GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): 3 Preludes (arr. King). Everything here is a first recording except for the Slonimsky and Piatigorsky's Syrinx and Stroll. The two Copland pieces are, respectively,a Jewish-tinged lament and an Impressionistic poème; the Chopin transcriptions date from 1918-20. Luening's 1992 sonata fills Baroque bottles with his own peculiar brand of music, Creston's suite is fresh and straight-forward, Piatigorsky's Prayer is an homage to Bloch and Slonimsky's suite is infused with infectious character with each of its six movements portaying a particular musical style or technique. Terry King (cello), John Jensen, Shizue Sano (piano). Music & Arts CD-1076 (U.S.A.) 04C082 $16.98

ROBERT MANNO: String Sextet, 3 Poems for 2 Violins and Piano, A Mountain Path for Piano Trio, Stiller Freund der vielen Fernen for Soprano, Violin and Piano, Fern Hill for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble. Whatever the medium and whether setting words or not, it is apparent that there is a tendency toward the passionately elegiac in Manno's work. The Rilke setting quotes Schubert and Mahler (without sounding especially like either), and there is something of that romantic melancholy common to these composers, though Manno's music is sparer and tends further in the direction of atonality (without reaching that point, however). All these pieces share a feeling for nature and a sense of the inevitability and beauty of farewells. Mid-price. Various Artists. Musicians Showcase MS 1029 (U.S.A.) 04C083 $10.98

PETER SCULTHORPE (b.1929): String Quartet No. 11 "Jaribu Dreaming", Little Serenade, String Quartet No. 13 "Island Dreaming" for Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet, From Noulangie, String Quartet No. 8, Maranoa Lullaby for Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet. This CD is another in the Brodsky's series with Anne-Sophie von Otter, who cannot be portrayed on the cover due to contractural entanglements, leading to the use of a picture of an otter instead, which has outraged some members of the public while the singer herself is said to be amused by and supportive of the manoeuvre. Sculthorpe's quartet works are full of long-breathed melodies and incisive rhythms suggesting, though not directly imitating, aboriginal music. In some works there is an unabashed sentimentality reminiscent of Grainger's nostalgic and intentionally heart-on-sleeve works like "Colonial Song"; elsewhere there is a sinewy evocation of the wild landscape of the composer's native land, with uneasy allusions to the desolation and anti-humanity of the outback. Powerful nature-music, as successful an example of nationalism as any of the obvious examples from Scandinavia. Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Brodsky Quartet. Challenge Classics CC 72007 (Netherlands) 04C084 $17.98

WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Klavierstück No. 6, Nachstudie, Zwiesprache, Auf einem anderen Blatt. These perhaps surprisingly restrained and spare piano works sound almost improvised, with points of sound and their resonances taking on a meaning in and of themselves; the sort of thing that his admirers claim for Feldman's extrended essays. Here, though, the textures generally become more complex; a kind of emotional expressionism more explicit. In the end, though, these works all seem very personal, even private, as though one is eavesdropping on the composer in his workshop. Siegfried Mauser (piano). Kairos 0012122KAI (Germany) 04C085 $17.98

HANSPETER KYBURZ (b.1960): Maelstrom for Large Orchestra in Four Groups, The Voynich Cipher Manuscript for Mixed Choir and Ensemble, Parts for Ensemble. These complex works for large ensembles will appeal to those who enjoy immersing themselves in the kind of orchestral music which has emanated from Donaueschingen in recent years. Kyburz conjures a kind of hectic, displaced acrobatic chaos, appropriate for a musical commentary on Poe's "Descent into the Maelstrom", or to reflect the ambiguities of an indecipherable Mediaeval manuscript. One senses that the composer enjoys throwing just a little bit more information at the listener than the latter can comfortably handle, and his formidable orchestral technique makes him ideally suited to pull off the tumultuous succession of sleight of hand that he intends. SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg; Hans Zender, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart, Klangforum Wien; Rupert Huber, Peter Rundel. Kairos 0012152KAI (Germany) 04C086 $17.98

BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): Differenz/Wiederholung 2. Very avant-garde, and incorporating gestures and forces from well outside even most contemporary concert music (electric guitars, rap-style vocals), as well as an electroacoustic component, Lang's music is challenging - challenging conventional notions of what constitutes music, and of what constitutes coherent, rational argument, as distinct from chaos - embracing which, he seems to say, is the most creative act of all. Salome Kammer, Risgar Koshnaw (voices), Todd (rap vocals), Robert Lepenik (electric guitar), Dimitrios Polisodis (electric violin), Wolfgang Musil (sound projection), Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling. Kairos 0012112KAI (Germany) 04C087 $17.98

KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): From the Grammar of Dreams, Vocal music has been an important part of Saariaho's output throughout her career, and this disc gathers together important works for voices with various ensembles. The flexibility and sensitivity of her vocal lines are among their most immediately noticeable characteristics. Her unconventional accompaniments, featuring some alternative playing techniques and unusual combinations of instruments (soprano, flute and guitar, for example), also suggest a preoccupation with emphasising the evocative, atmospheric aspects of her chosen texts, rather than constructing 'songs' in the conventional Western concert sense. Sometimes the words are even broken down into syllables, making their poetry more one of sound than of meaning. Anu Komsi (soprano), Avanti!. Ondine ODE 958 (Finland) 04C088 $17.98

GEORGE FLYNN (b.1937): Derus Simples. This large and ambitious piano work functions according to a musical interpretation of principles formulated by Kenneth Derus which relate to memory and the nature of the components that make it up. The idea of a small cell of an idea, which is then elaborated into structures of more or less complexity is not a new one, of course - far from it - but this piece elaborates this technique as a major structural element. The music abounds in rippling impressionistic figurations, though with a greater degree of atonality than that description might suggest. Not infrequently the textures and harmonies recall Messiaen. Sections of increasingly elaborate counterpoint demonstrate the principles of the work while also providing some of its most satisfying music. Mid-price. Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano). Southport S-SSD 0085 (U.S.A.) 04C089 $10.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Instruments, Serenata No. 2, Fantasia e fuga, Pièce pour Ivry, Solo. The booklet notes detail the bewildering array of revisions and influences that were brought to bear on the concerto; the resulting work in the form in which we hear it on this disc is admittedly an unsettling combination of styles - in which a great deal of Bartók is to be heard, alongside Dallapiccola, Stravinsky and references to Baroque forms and Bach in particular. It is an energetic work, lively and appealing in a slightly hard-edged manner. The related Fantasia and Fugue, which makes use of the B-A-C-H motif, is more obviously dodecaphonic, and like the unusually scored Serenata, is rather more the sort of thing one might expect from a composer so closely associated with Darmstadt, though again, driving motoric rhythms serve to propel the piece forward in a decidedly non-abstract fashion, and there is plenty of drama and excitement. A very good disc to demonstrate Maderna's value as composer of vital and approachable music per se, in addition to his unquestionable status as a symbol of 20th-century modernism. Aldo Orvieto, Marco Rapetti (pianos), Demoé Percussion Ensemble, Ex Novo Ensemble; Andrea Molino. Stradivarius STR 33536 (Italy) 04C090 $17.98

ROLF URS RINGGER (b.1935): Ballets: Ikarus, Ippòlito. Although Ringger spent a summer at Darmstadt as a callow 21-year-old in 1956, he never subscribed to its philosophy. These two ballets, commissioned by Swiss television, date from 1991 and 1995 respectively and treat their Greek mythological subjects in a freely tonal-atonal wash of sound. A large orchestra and active percussion section provide expressionistic depictions of Icarus trapped in the labyrinth and his ill-fated attempts to fly out of it and Phaedra's unrequited passion for the youth Hippolytos in music which must necessarily lose something without the visual element of the dancers but which, nevertheless, always holds the attention with its strikingly effective orchestration. Basel Radio Symphony Orchestra; Armin Brunner. Tudor 7097 (Switzerland) 04C091 $17.98

ERNST WIDMER (1927-1990): Concerto for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 116, Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 144, Trio Basso for Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Op. 171, Cosmofonia II for Solo Cello, Mobile I for Viola and Piano, Op. 85, Jacarista for Alto, Clarinet and Piano. Ernst Widmer seems to have been a composer at ease writing in a variety of styles of the 20th century, to judge by these chamber works and songs. They are all meticulously crafted and idiomatically written for their respective combinations of instruments. But Mobile I abounds in extended playing techniques and sounds quite avant-garde, whereas the songs (for which no date is given) could have been written 50 years earlier, and would not have been the most "advanced" thing going on then. The clarinet "concerto" has an almost folky, Bartókian feel, while the Trio Basso is fragmentary and modern-sounding, though later, but not as modern as Mobile I, which is considerably earlier. All the pieces, in whatever style, are challenging and intelligent music, though, so this disc deserves a slightly bemused recommendation. Hilmar D. Koitka (clarinet), Emmy Henz-Diémand (piano), Friedérike Latzko (viola), Reimund Korupp (cello), Ulrich Fussenegger (double bass), Béatrice Mathez (alto). Quantaphon 25.950 (Switzerland) 04C092 $15.98

JEAN-LOUIS PETIT (b.1937): Appel for Clarinet and Wind Orchestra, Souffle de feu for Clarinet and String Trio, Solipse I for Bass Clarinet and Piano, Sexus for Clarinet and 13 Strings, Séquentiel for 4 Clarinets, Séquences for Clarinet and String Sextet. Exactly why Petit has written such a variety of works featuring the clarinet in so important a role is not made quite clear, but his conducting career seems to be centred on brass and winds, so presumably he is writing with specific performers in mind. In any case, this is attractive, idiomatically written music for a variety of forces. Appel, for clarinet and band, and Sexus, for clarinet and strings, are vivid and vivacious, and like the other works here, tonal in a post-Stravinskian, neoclassical manner, only occasionally venturing into more dissonant territory. And as virtuoso showpieces for the clarinet, between them, these pieces really show the instrument off to its best advantage. Dominique Vidal (clarinets), Trio à cordes Millière, Jean-Marie Cottet (piano), Atelier Musique; Jean-Louis Petit, Nord-Pas-de-Calais String Sextet. REM 311334 XCD (France) 04C093 $17.98

VALERY GAVRILIN (1939-1999): Chimes - Symphonic Miracle Play for Soloists, Choir, Oboe and Percussion, YURI BUTSKO (b.1938): Wedding Songs - Cantata for Soprano, Mixed Choir and 2 Pianos. Chimes is a vital and dramatic work, unusually scored for chorus and percussion, with the contribution of an oboe and vocal soloists. It is highly melodic, recalling Russian folk music at every turn, with uncomplicated harmonies and great rhythmic drive interpersed with episodes of monodic, almost chant-like music; the result might be likened to a combination of Orthodox religious music, folk celebrations and the music of Carl Orff. Most of the texts are by the composer, and allude to the works of Vassily Shukshin, with whom he had collaborated on several projects. Butsko's cantata is also heavily inflected by folk music; an attractive and lively work. 2 CDs. Vocal Soloists, Moscow State Chamber Choir; Vladimir Minin, Sergei Slepniov, Alexei Yushin (pianos). Beaux 2001 (Germany) 04C094 $35.98

TOM JOHNSON (b.1939): An Hour for Piano. OK, here's the deal. This piece of minimal music doesn't do very much. It does this for nearly an hour. While listening to it, you are invited to read the program notes, which also don't do very much and make use of repetitive phrases which comment on the listener's possible reactions to hearing the music while reading the progam notes. That's it. If this sounds like a fascinating experiment in music theatre, or a means whereby you might be able to examine in depth the way you listen to music, then you will enjoy the experience (though for some reason this feels like the sort of 'happening' that might be better experienced in an alternative music festival while surrounded by others all examining various aspects of themselves, the music, the program notes or the event as a whole, than on disc on one's own). If it sounds like a waste of time, then, for you, it probably would be. Frederic Rzewski (piano). Lovely Music, Ltd. LCD 1081 (U.S.A.) 04C095 $16.98

WILLEM JETHS: Fas/Nefas for Piano and Orchestra, Glenz for Violin and String Orchestra, Flux/Reflux for Orchestra, Piano Concerto. If nationalism in music has not become a wholly meaningless concept by the end of the 20th century, one might suggest that "Dutch-ness" is not infrequently associated with characteristics such as one finds in these unexpectedly approachable yet very modern works. We encounter the flexibility of intonation associated with microtones and alternative tuning of instruments; the tonal relationships common to classical models and minimalism; unusual and virtuosic use of sound textures resulting from alternative playing techniques and prepared instruments, and an underlying thread of hommage to the past - to romantic and classical models and indeed, to earlier forms still. But Jeths' big, dramatic concertante works don't really sound like any of the other composers who share these methods; his orchestration is more lush and romantic than many; his absorption of minimalism into a non-minimalist idiom more complete. It is not hard to imagine an enthusiast for Prokofiev's music enjoying these works as much as an admirer of Andriessen. 2 CDs. Tomoko Mukaiyama (piano), Peter Brunt (violin), Folke Nauta (piano), North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra; David Porcelijn, Thierry Fischer. Donemus CV 88/89 (Netherlands) 04C096 $37.98

POZZI ESCOT: Piano Concerto, Christos for Chamber Orchestra, Your Kindled Valors Bend for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano, ROBERT COGAN (b.1932): Polyutterances for 2 Sopranos, String Quartet "America Is". Escot's works are characterised by their shimmering, constantly shifting textures and unusual, delicate yet tough, sonorities. The pieces are atonal and freely rhapsodic, with many strange yet satisfying timbres, achieved without extreme alternative playing techniques. Christos, part of a trilogy "for the Six Million" turns these strange sounds to darker, more menacing ends, with no diminution of originality. Kogan's works are more 'conventionally experimental', with aleatoric combinations of fragments moving around fixed points, with both pieces being deliberately 'open-ended', with no fixed start or conclusion. Randall Hodgkinson (piano), New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra; Tamara Brooks, Kathleen Lotz (soprano), Wendy Crispin (clarinet), Curt Veeneman (piano), Joan Heller, Patrice Pastore (sopranos), The New Events String Quartet. Music & Arts CD-1082 (U.S.A.) 04C097 $16.98

JAN NOVÁK (1921-1984): Dido for Mezzo-Soprano, Narrator, Male Chorus and Orchestra, Mimus Magicus for Soprano, Flute and Piano. Dido is a dramatic cantata, setting Vergil's story in the Latin beloved of the composer, a noted scholar of the language. Musically the work is tonal; more conventional than Janacek in its sonorities, and richer and more texturally varied than the Stravinsky of "Oedipus" which it superficially resembles at times. Martinu may be the best comparison, but Novák has his own voice, characterised by rhythmic buoyancy coupled to a marvellously expressive and warm, romantic harmonic language that recalls Zemlinsky and even Mahler. It is hard to imagine an admirer of the major works of any of the composers listed here being able to resist this magnificent work. Marilyn Schmiege (mezzo), Hans Herbert Fiedler (narrator), Bavarian Radio Men's Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Rafael Kubelik, Makiko Kurokouchi (soprano), Clara Nováková (flute), Dora Novak (piano). Audite 97.457 (Germany) 04C098 $16.98

MICHAEL DENHOFF (b.1955): Mallarmé-Zyklus, Op. 75 - 12 Quartette für 12 Musiker. These twelve quartets for different groups of instruments drawn from a group of twelve musicians (some doubling instruments)- very different, and covering a wide range of durations as well - constitute twelve steps towards, not an understanding, but a comprehension of the ambiguity and shifting meanings of the poetry of Mallarmé. In a manner strangely comparable to Mallarmé's verbal compositions, these pieces progress through an atmospheric sequence (or rather, several possible sequences, as they can be played in 6 different sequences, described in the booklet so that the listener can program his or her CD player accordingly) in which meaning seems to be just on the edge of the imagination, yet constantly elusive. Sometimes the music is reassuringly, if deceptively, tonal, consonant certainly; at others, frankly atonal, though eschewing avant-gardism in the same way as Mallarmé wrote poetry using conventional words, albeit laid out in sequences designed to hint at if not actually conceal precision of meaning. Fascinatingly diverse and strangely beautiful. 2 CDs. Pro Nova Ensemble of the Duisburg Philharmonic; Michael Denhoff. Cybele 360.802 (Germany) 04C099 $33.98

JAN BERAN (b.1959): Santi - Piano Concerto No. 2 - Electronic Version. OK, how's this for polyculturalism? Jan Beran was born in Prague and moved to Switzerland as a child. A professor of mathematics and statistics, he is also an accomplished pianist. His wife is Bengali, and in his music he combines patterns derived from Indian music with Western serialism. The result is a kind of stasis remarkable even in the age of Arvo Pärt and Louis Andriessen, a meditative calm of universal proportions, punctuated by gestures as distant and unapproachable as they are remotely vast and powerful. In this concerto, a gently dissonant chord may pulsate and reverberate for minutes at a time, pranked with subtle scintillations suggesting supernovæ at unimaginable distances. The cumulative trance-like effect is very powerful, and the composer lets the music breathe at its own pace, allowing nearly an hour and a quarter for this somber meditation to run its hypnotic course. col legno 20062 (Germany) 04C100 $18.98

JOSEPH STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 19 - Benedek-Marsch, Op. 199, Frauenblätter Walzer, Op. 47, Souvenir-Polka, Op. 140, Sehnsucht, Polka Mazur, Op. 22, Dornbacher Rendezvous-Polka, Op. 107, Die tanzende Muse, Polka Mazur, Op. 266, Musen-Klänge, Walzer, Op. 131, Nymphen-Polka, Op. 50, Folichon-Quadrille, Op. 115, Eile mit Weile, Polka schnell, Op. 247, Consortien, Walzer, Op. 260. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra; Walter Hilgers. Marco Polo 8.223621 (New Zealand) 04C101 $14.98

KAREL KOMZÁK (1850-1905): Ouvertüre zu Edelweiss, Phantom - Walzer, Thun-Hohenstein-Marsch, Am Gardasee - Polka Mazur, Galopp, Heitere Stunden - Polka française, Bäd'ner Madl'n - Walzer, Echtes Wiener Blut - Marsch, Der etzte Gruß, Maienzauber - Walzer, Erherzog Rainer - Marsch, Neues Leben - Walzer, Louise de Lavallière - Air, Soldantenabschied - Marsch, KAREL KOMZÁK SR. (1823-1893): Volapük - Polka française. A welcome example of Czech light music from two of the members of a three-generation composer/band-leader family. Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Christian Pollack. Marco Polo 8.225175 (New Zealand) 04C102 $14.98

ERNST PEPPING (1901-1981): Symphony No. 2 in F Minor, HEINZ SCHUBERT (1908-1945): Hymnisches Konzert for Soloists, Organ and Orchestra. Good transfers of a rarely heard pair of concerts from 1942 and 1943. Pepping is typical of composers Furtwängler supported in his adherence to German musical tradition, his 1942 symphony combining severe polyphony with lyrical expansiveness and finishing with a passacaglia finale. Schubert's work is just as indebted to the polyphonic tradition and Bach stands tall in the foreground of his influences. Erna Berger (soprano), Walter Ludwig (tenor), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Wilhelm Furtwängler. Russian Compact Disc RCD 25016 (Russia) 04C103 $17.98

ASTOR PIAZZOLA (1921-1992): Tango-Suite, GIL ALDEMA (b.1928): In Chassidic Mood, ORA BAT CHAIM: Rhapsody for Klezmer, GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): Porgy and Bess Suite. A fresh look at the Argentinian tango and at the American classic opera from this Argentinian-born American citizen who was behind the revival of the Klezmer tradition. Between the above two pieces are two Israeli works orginally for other forces but arranged here for clarinet and orchestra. Giora Feidman (clarinet), Berlin Symphony; Lior Shambadal. Koch Schwann 3-6599-2 (Germany) 04C104 $16.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Music for Prepared Piano, Vol. 2 - The Perilous Night, Tossed as it is Untroubled, Daughters of the Lonesome Isle, Root of an Unfocus, Primitive, Mysterious Adventure, And the Earth Shall Bear Again, The Unavailable Memory of, Music for Marcel Duchamp, Totem Ancestor, A Room, Prelude for Meditation. Composed between 1942 and 1947, these pieces range from the turbulent and explosive Primitive and And the Earth Shall Bear Again to the almost static, contemplative The Unavailable Memory of. Music which even haters of late Cage can find hypnotically attractive. Boris Berman (prepared piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559070 (U.S.A.) 04C0105 $5.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Contrary Motion, One+One (two versions), Mad Rush, Two Pages. Except for Mad Rush, these works are from 1968-69, when Glass was formulating his minimalist style after spending some time in India studying Northern Indian music. It is especially true of these early pieces that you will either find them hypnotically fascinating or annoyingly boring. Table? Well, One+One gives the performer two basic rhythmic cells and tells him to beat them out with his hand on a table-top. The manufacturer of the table is not listed in the instrumentarium so we can't tell you whether it is a "period" or a "modern" table. Steffen Schleiermacher (electric organ, table). MD&G 613 1027 (Germany) 04C0106 $17.98