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Roy Harris - Symphony No. 2

Morton Gould - Symphony No. 3

ROY HARRIS (1898-1980): Symphony No. 2, MORTON GOULD (1913-1996): Symphony No. 3. Two early symphonies by young composers which have been unaccountably neglected. Both were revised by their composers in response to critical comment but Albany Symphony music director David Alan Miller has tracked down the original versions of both scores (Gould replaced the final movement of his symphony on the advice of Dmitri Mitropoulos) for these world premiere recordings. Harris' dates from 1934 and is in three trenchant movements which last just over twenty minutes and is also full of that peculiarly American sound which people think so characteristic of his Third symphony. Gould's symphony (1947) is his attempt to write the "Great American Symphony" with a serious, anguished and intense first movement followed by a slow movement where tension still lurks below the lazy surface. However, Gould the popularizer appears in the bravura jazz scherzo whose sheer brilliance may have been caused Mitropoulos to suggest that the composer close the work with something slow and somber. Gould supplied a passacaglia and fugue but we have here the original finale which is an optimistic and positive piece. Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 515 SACD Compatible Disc. (U.S.A.) 08E001 $16.98

New European Imports

We are again importing major label titles from England which are not being offered in the U.S. This month we have several Finlandia titles and one from DG. We hope that we will be able to make this a monthly occurrence now.

Japanese Imports from Fontec

The disappointing response to the second batch of Fontecs offered in June has led us to rethink our approach to importing these very expensive items. Perhaps we will have more in next month's catalogue but we will probably import much smaller quantities which will, of course, lead to the possibilites of extended back-orders.

Also for September

Two labels which we have not been able to offer for around three years, Phaedra (from Belgium) and Acte Prealable (from Poland), are likely to appear in next month's catalogue. The latter, in particular, has 40 new releases, many of great interest to collectors of the romantic period (although not all 40 will be in the same catalogue!).


e-mail: sales@recordsinternational.com).

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 35, Tanz-Suite, Op.30 These works come from successive years (1923 and 1924 when Toch's spirits were high and the future bright) and both use very small, one might almost say, chamber forces. Commissioned for a dance class at the conservatory where Toch also taught, the Dance Suite uses violin, viola, double bass, flute, clarinet and percussion in its four original movements (expressing woodland moods for the dance poem entitled "The Woods") and two intermezzos subsequently added to flesh the work out for concert performance. It is in neo-classical style like its disc-mate which uses a string quintet and wind quintet plus percussion to support its soloist (although all players have their individual turns here) in the four movements of the classical symphony: a contrapuntal first, nimble scherzo, texturally dense and expressive slow movement and rondo finale. Susanne Müller-Hornbach (cello), Mutare Ensemble; Gerhard Müller-Hornbach. CPO 999 688 (Germany) 08E002 $15.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 5 (Versions 1 and 2). The new critical edition Langgaard series continues with the composer's best-known symphony, the 1916-20 fourth, subtitled "Leaf-fall" - an autumnal piece in which decay, despair and a valedictory atmosphere hold sway and multiple performance headings indicate the melancholy nature moods which Langgaard wanted to depict. The fifth exists in two versions, the first of which receives its world premiere recording here. A lighter, more extroverted piece, the previously recorded version came with the subtitle "Steppe Nature". In fact, four versions of the work exist, two as tone poems each of which was revised into a single-movement symphony. The new, first version is 14-and-a-half minutes, compared to the second version's 19 but only about half of the music is identical to both. Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Dausgaard. Dacapo 8.224215 (Denmark) 08E003 $15.98

JOAQUIM SERRA (1907-1957): Variations for Orchestra and Piano, Rural Impressions, 2 Symphonic Sketches, Romàntica, Puigsoliu. This fine Catalan composer's reputation has suffered both because he left a small output behind and because he had the misfortune to live during Franco's regime and, as a Catalan, to have his music suppressed on a national and international level. Rural Impressions is a lovely 1927 suite with Catalan folk influences mixed with French Impressionism. Puigsoliu is a brief 8-minute symphonic poem originally written for a type of popular music, 11-member band and orchestrated here by the conductor (a significant Catalan composer in his own right). The Sketches use Andalusian folk-tunes to colorful effect, while the 1931 variations is an 18-minute work which falls into the best European traditions of the genre. Emili Brugalla (piano), El Vallès Symphony Orchestra; Salvador Brotons. Naxos 8.555871 (New Zealand) 08E004 $6.98

ELISABETTA BRUSA (b.1952): Florestan, Messidor, La Triade, Nittemero Symphony, Fanfare. This Milanese composer's works are a pleasant surprise: neo-romantic in language (with a very little dash of minimalism employed in one movement of the symphony), using large-scale orchestral forces with a film-score composer's sense of spectacular color. Florestan is a musical character portrait of the personality of Schumann's fiery alter-ego; Messidor is a lighter, graceful fantasy on the eternal theme of Midsummer Night's Dream-type celebrations; La Triade is Brusa's "storm-piece", suggested by an Aesop fable set in a raging storm and flood; the symphony is a turn on the "course-of-a-day" trope, its three movements beginning with noon and cycling on from there while the Fanfare is just that, bristling with brass and ceremony. Impossible not to enjoy for anyone who collects new, tonal orchestral music! National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Fabio Mastrangelo. Naxos 8.555266 (New Zealand) 08E005 $6.98

FREDERICK SHEPHERD CONVERSE (1871-1940): The Mystic Trumpeter, Endymion's Narrative, Flivver Ten Million. The Mystic Trumpeter (1904) has a program like a Straussian tone poem - Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", organized into five sections ("Mystery and Peace"; "Love"; "War and Struggle"; "Humiliation" and "Joy") although the music itself has a turbulent, yearning ebb-and-flow more reminiscent of Scriabin. Similarly, Endymion's Narrative (1901) is an orchestral romance suggested by Keats' poem, full of struggle and aspiration, while the raucous and sentimental Flivver is Converse's Motor City answer (in 1926) to Honegger's depiction of a steam locomotive. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta. Naxos American Classics 8.559061 (U.S.A.) 08E006 $6.98

CECIL BURLEIGH (1885-1980): Boyhood Recollections, Plantation Sketches, 5 Indian Sketches, Characteristic Pieces, 4 Concert Pieces, Nature's Voices, Impromptu, 6 Fancies, Spanish Dance, Cradle Song. No, not the Burleigh who was Dvorák's student (that was Henry T.); this Burleigh had a couple of pieces show up in the Heifetz Edition and the violinist on this recording, a Heifetz protegé, went investigating. Although he wrote three symphonies and other larger-scale works, much of Burleigh's uvre consisted of romantic, MacDowell-influenced character miniatures and that is what we have here - a total of 39 tracks in all (with a couple of titles in Planatation Sketches which would get you fired today if you used them in a college classroom). Elegant and compact, these will appeal to collectors of the Romantic miniature. Zina Schiff (violin), Mary Barranger (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559116 (U.S.A.) 08E007 $6.98

AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Complete Works for Violin and Piano - Sonata, 2 Pieces, Preludes Nos. 1 and 2, Duo, Hoe Down from Rodeo, Waltz and Celebration from Billy the Kid (ed. Louis Kaufman), Vitebsk for Piano Trio. Most of these pieces were included on a Meridian full-price CD of Copland chamber music which we offered several months ago but this budget-priced release adds one of the Two Pieces (a Nocturne from 1926) and two arrangements - Copland's own of the Hoe Down and Louis Kaufman's of the Billy the Kid pieces. Peter Zazofsky (violin), Paul Posnak (piano), Ross Harbaugh (cello). Naxos American Classics 8.559102 (U.S.A.) 08E008 $6.98

ROY HARRIS (1898-1979): Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 9, Epilogue to "Profiles in Courage" - J.F.K.. The single-movement Seventh, recently offered on Koch International Classics, is a piece of absolute music - the whole work proceeding from a brief motif which appears at the beginning - and yet which is also gripping and emotionally stirring in its quest for and achievement of its final burst of optimism. The Ninth, although much longer (over half an hour) and although it comes with movement headings taken from the U.S. Constitution and Whitman's Leaves of Grass, is a similar work in that its inspirations are conveyed through pure musical ideas, not through any attempt at tone-painting. It, like much of Harris' prior symphonic uvre (as well as Copland's) has that strong backboned, wide-open-spaces, American "can-do" feel to it (it's hard to describe, but like pornography, you know it when you hear it...). The 1963 elegy to John F. Kennedy is typically strong while still poignant. National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos American Classics 8.559050 (U.S.A.) 08E009 $6.98

GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Violin Sonata No. 1 in G, Violin Sonata No. 2 in D, Coronach, Salve Regina. Occupied with massive choral-orchestral works for the first part of his composing career, Bantock attempted almost no chamber music until after he had turned 60. Both of these sonatas date from 1929-32 and, in their almost salon-style lyricism and full-blooded romanticism, either could have been written up to 70 years before that. No self-respecting lover of romantic chamber music will want to be without these or the two earlier, shorter pieces (one lament and one setting of plainsong). Lorraine McAslan (violin), Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7119 (England) 08E010 $16.98

WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): The Quest, The Wise Virgins, Siesta. Walton's only original ballet dates from 1943 and was put together in great haste, during a six-week military leave for choreographer Frederic Ashton, for Sadler's Wells Ballet. The scenario is based on Spenser's The Faerie Queene, featuring St. George and the struggle between good and evil and, at 40 minutes, is one of Walton's largest works. This is only the second recording (and there were only two other performances after its limited opening run); different from the 1990 recording, this uses Walton's original score with smaller forces, observes sixty bars of (hitherto unknown) cuts the composer insisted on and restores some bars missing from the version Christopher Palmer edited for that version. There is more than enough vigorous, attractively orchestrated music here to make one think that The Quest will have a much better future than it had in its first 60 years of life! English Northern Philharmonia; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.555868 (New Zealand) 08E011 $6.98

WILHELM PETERSEN (1890-1957): 9 Lieder aus Shakespeares Dramen, Op. 46, 6 Gesänge, Op. 45, 5 Lieder aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn", Op. 12 (two version), 3 Oden von Klopstock, Op. 13. Petersen, whom some collectors may know for his impressive, massive Mass recorded on Wergo, will also be the subject of the next orchestral release by Cassandra Records (whose first release was music of Kurt Hessenberg). In the meanwhile, Cassandra have imported this lieder recital which shows Petersen in firm late Romantic style, in the line of Pfitzner. German texts. Hans Christoph Begemann (baritone), Matthias Gräff-Schestag (piano). Eigenart 10280 (Germany) 08E012 $17.98

ALEXANDER TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977): Bagatelles, Op. 5, Message, Op. 39, Vux, Op. 39b, 5 Concert Etudes, Op. 52, Songs Without Words, Op. 82, Sonata No. 2. Spanning the years 1912 to 1961, this recital shows most of Tcherepnin's styles, from the teen-aged Bagatelles with their heavy dose of Prokofiev, the dramatic, percussive Message of 1926 and its remarkably laid-back, gentle coeval, Vux to the Chinese pentatonicism of the etudes (1934-36) to the sonata with its new-found form of expression based on an eight-step scale. Everything shows the hand of a master pianist and a skillful communicator and should appeal to all piano collectors as well as 20th century tonal music specialists. Original 1991 Sony recording. Martha Braden (piano). CRI CD 896 (U.S.A.) 08E013 $17.98

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961): The Grainger Edition, Vol. 18 - Works for Unaccompanied Chorus - My Love's in Germanie, Six Dukes Went A-Fishin', O Mistress Mine, Mary Thomson, Early One Morning, Irish Tune from County Derry, Agincourt Song, Australian Up-Country Song, Recessional, At Twilight, The Gipsy's Wedding Day, Mo Nighean Dubh, Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon, Soldier, Soldier, Jungle-Book Verses, Near Woodstock Town, Love at First Sight. Here are fine examples of Grainger's extraordinary gift for drawing on the resources of folk-song styles (and not infrequently, actual folksong material) to summon up poignant and emotionally complex dramas in very short spaces of time. This kind of heart-on-sleeve emotionality may strike some as over the top, but one can't deny Grainger's complete sincerity - he really believed that the artist should hold nothing back and expose every fibre of his being in his art as in his life. The settings (including a couple of early pieces receiving their world premiere recordings here) are all consummately skillful, and contain many passages of great beauty, and the Grainger trademarks of presenting familiar material with a subtle psychological twist (unexpected chromatic dissonances or a disquieting presentation in the minor mode) are here in abundance. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus; Richard Hickox. Chandos 9987 (England) 08E014 $16.98

JOHANN SCHELLE (1648-1701): Cantatas: Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet, Durch Adams fall, Sacred Concertos: Gott, sei mir gnädig, Eructavit cor meum, Die auf den Herren hoffen, , Ah! Quam multa sunt peccata, Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele. Thomaskantor in Leipzig from 1676 to his death, Schelle was widely admired for his Sunday cantata performances and his fame spread throughout central Europe. His works depart from the strict polyphony of his predecessors and use a lighter and more transparent style like the one being cultivated at the same period in Dresden, although he could still produce a monumental setting such as Eructavit cor meum, in the manner of Johann Rosenmüller. German-English texts. La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata; Roland Wilson. CPO 999 841 (Germany) 08E015 $15.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Palandrana e Zamberlucco - 3 Intermezzi. Three sets of arias and recitatives, each ending with a duet, for stock characters - a lonely old widow and a swaggering youngster - dating, probably from around 1709. World premiere recording. Italian texts. Barbara di Castri (soprano), Gastone Sarti (baritone), Fortuna Ensmble; Roberto Cascio. Tactus TC 661908 (Italy) 08E016 $11.98

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): 6 Sinfonie da Concerto Grosso, 2 Sinfonie for Flute and Continuo. Although composed in 1715, these four-movement works are very conservative, more in the style of Corelli thirty years earlier (performed here on single instruments). Accademia della Magnifica Comunità; Enrico Casazza. Tactus TC 661907 (Italy) 08E017 $11.98

GEORG BÖHM (1661-1733): Organ Works, Vol. 1 - Preludes and Fugues in C and in D Minor, Prelude, Fugue and Postlude in G Minor, Prelude in F, Christ lag in Todesbanden, Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her, Vater unser in Himmelreich, Chorale Partitas: Ach wie nichtig, ach wie flüchtig, Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele. The major works here are the Chorale Partitas, an innovation by Böhm which fused the secular Partita with the sacred Chorale Variation, demanding very colorful use of contrasting registers and which had a strong influence on J.S. Bach. Christiaan Teeuwsen (Reil organ, Bovenkerk, Kampen, Netherlands). Naxos 8.555857 (New Zealand) 08E018 $6.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Cantate da camera for Contralto and Continuo, RV 671 "Care selve, amici prati", 654 "Elvira, anima mia", 670 "Alla caccia dell'alme e de' cori", Concerti: in F for Viola d'Amore, 2 Oboes, Bassoon, 2 Horns and Continuo, RV 97, in G Minor for Flute, Bassoon, 2 Violins and Continuo "La Notte", RV 104, in G Minor for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Violin and Continuo, RV 105. Three of Vivaldi's chamber cantatas - originality of the melodic lines and the dynamic effects invest texts of poor literary quality and standard amorous and/or pastoral "affects" with extraordinary vivacity, charm and poignance. Italian-English texts. Laura Polverelli (mezzo), L'Astrée. Opus 111 OP 30358 (France) 08E019 $17.98

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1750): Arias for Soprano and Strings: Agitato da nembi in D Minor, Non perchè ne sia degna - Il caro mio adorato, Non è colpa, Caro sposo tu parti ed io rimango - Amor di sposo chiede vendetta, Sonatas à tre, Op. 1, No. 2 in F & No. 10 in F Minor, Sonata for 3 Violins and Continuo in E Minor, ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713): Ciaccona in G from Op. 2, ANTONIO CALDARA (1671-1736): Sonatas à tre, Op. 1, Nos. 6 in C Minor & No. 8 in G Minor, La Ventura from Cantate da Camera a voce solo, Op. 3. This beautifully produced release (yes, it's really a Koch release!) is centered on music from the library of the Counts of Schönborn-Wiesentheid in Franconia, with over half of the space devoted to excerpts from a collection of arias by Albinoni, repertoire quite rare on disc. No texts (that's more like Koch...). Ruth Liebscher (soprano), Parnassi musici. Koch Schwann 3-6406-2 (Germany) 08E020 $16.98

AZZOLINO BERNARDINO DELLA CIAJA (1671-1755): Sonata V in C, GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Partita in D Minor, DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757): Sonata in E Minor, K.81, LODOVICO GIUSTINI (1685-1743): Suonata V in D, BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686-1739): Sonata in C Minor, DOMENICO ZIPOLI (1688-1726): Sonata I in B Minor. This recital is built around its keyboard instrument - a copy of a very early fortepiano of 1726 made by Bartolomeo Cristofori, which produces a lovely, soft, veiled sound. In addition, the repertoire is mostly unhackneyed as well, all of it from composers who were in Florence around the time the instrument was built (and most of it composed within a decade of the time as well. Luca Guglielmi (fortepiano). Stradivarius STR 33608 (Italy) 08E021 $17.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)/JOHN CHRISTOPHER SMITH (1712-1795): Nabal. This is a pasticcio, a composite work using a new libretto (by Thomas Morell, who had provided libretti to Handel for Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus, Theodora and Jephtha) and arias from various operas, oratorios, anthems and cantatas with the recitatives presumably provided by Smith himself (aid to Handel in his later years and son of Handel's principal copyist and assistant). Premiered in 1764, Nabal, based on biblical events in the book of Samuel after that character's death, had two performances and vanished from sight until recently. Libretto included. 2 CDs. Stephen MacLeod (bass), Maya Boog (soprano), Knut Schoch (tenor), Junge Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra; Joachim Carlos Martini. Naxos 8.555276-77 (New Zealand) 08E022 $13.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759) /WILLIAM BABELL (c.1690-1723): The Ouverture of Rinaldo, The Ouverture in Joseph, 2 Preludes, Soura Blaze, Lascia ch'io pianga, Sulla ruota di fortuna, No, no chee quest' alma, Vò far guerra, 2 Arias. Babell was a composer/organist/harpsichordist who made several sets of extremely virtuosic transcriptions of overtures and arias from Handel operas. The two sets here feature almost exclusively arias from Rinaldo (as well as two unidentified ones - by Babell himself?). These publications made Babell famous and wealthy during his short lifetime. Claudio Astronio (harpsichord). Stradivarius STR 33514 (Italy) 08E023 $17.98

LUIGI MERCI (c.1695-c.1750): 6 Flute Sonatas, Op. 1. Dating from around 1718, these sonatas are gratuitously virtuosic, full of unusual invention and brilliant technical demands. Added to each work are preludes for solo recorder (from a manuscript in the British Museum) by Pepusch, Bononcini, Albinoni, Eccles, Gasparo Visconti and Carlo Ambrogio Lonati. Sergio Balestracci (recorder), Paolo Tognon (bassoon), Roberto Loreggian (harpsichord). Tactus TC 691302 (Italy) 08E024 $11.98

GIUSEPPE SELLITTO (1700-1777): Drusille e Don Strabone - Intermezzi, DOMENICO SARRO (1679-1744): Pria di lasciarti, La mia costanza. Sellitto's two intermezzi are in the older style of Alessandro Scarlatti, though they date from around 1735 (found in the manuscript of an opera dating from that year and were performed between its acts I and II). The characters are typical (young widow angling for a rich husband; misogynistic swindler) but Sellitto supplies quality lyricism and great sensitivity to word-setting. Italian texts. Antonella Tatulli (soprano), Angelo De Leonardis (baritone), La Confranternità de' Musici; Cosimo Prontera. Tactus TC 706901 (Italy) 08E025 $11.98

IGNACIO JERUSALEM (1707-1769): Qu'el amor, qu'el honor, O golpe suave, Triumphe Maria, Despierta bato, Qué admirais mortales, Gemit sospirat, Rompa ayrado el cielo, Cielos que aquesto miras, Llore yo, Ea feliz vajel, Nave dichosa, En un portal arruinado, LEONARDO LEO (1694-1744): Combite Peregrino, Tú que piedra os have, De Dios el afecto, Ya te proclaman los cielos, Jesus y que finezas, Ni del mar ki del ayre, NICOLA LOGROSCINO (1698-1765): Mi bien amor. This is the first in a series of recordings of material by Italian composers found in the archives of the cathedral of Guatemala. All three composers were born in the region of Puglia although Jerusalem is the only one who actually went to Central America (and put down roots). Many of these pieces are opera arias which have been reset in Spanish as sacred works for the liturgy (Jerusalem composed his pieces for liturgical use but the whiff of the theater is just as strong). Spanish texts. Ensemble Albilonga; Anibal E. Cetrangolo. Tactus TC 701001 (Italy) 08E026 $11.98

IGNACIO JERUSALEM (1707-1769): Lamentationes para el Jueves Santo, Amplius lava me, Vierte blandamente, El viento, airado, brama, TOMÁS OCHANDO (mid 18th cen.): Parce mihi, JUAN BATISTA DEL ÁGUILA (late 18th. cen.): Responsorio octavo de los matines de San Pedro. More florid and virtuosic vocal pieces from Jerusalem, this time from Mexico City archives. Also quite remarkable is Del Águila's piece, a veritable triple concerto for voice, organ and orchestra which is in the Classical style (previously unknown for colonial Spain). Martha Molinar (soprano), Orchestra; Juan Ignacio Corpus. Urtext UMA 2015 (Mexico) 08E027 $17.98

GIOVAN BATTISTA PERGOLESI (1710-1736): 4 Cantate da camera, Op. 2. These chamber cantatas are in the "pre-galant" style of the generation of Leo, Durante, Vinci and Hasse but still have some of the supple melodic richness of the baroque. Original 1993 release. Italian texts. Alessandra Rossi De Simone (soprano), Ensemble Concerto; Roberto Gini. Tactus TC 711601 (Italy) 08E028 $11.98

CARLO FERRARI (1714-1790): 6 Sonatas for Cello and Continuo, Op. 1. These late baroque sonatas (three-movement, fast-slow-fast with one exception) by a little-known composer are of particular interest for their experimental use of the capotasto on whose technical possibilities their melodic lines are based. Ornella Gattoni (cello), Laura Bertani (harpsichord). Tactus TC 710601 (Italy) 08E029 $11.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA MARTINI (1716-1784): Sonate d'intavolatura per l'organe e il cembalo - Nos. 5-8. These remarkable pieces are the product of a young, conservative mind: five-movement pieces in the sequence Prelude-Fugue-Adagio with two fast dance movments to finish. The polyphony is dense, modulations far-flung, chromaticism marked - in all, these are much closer to Bach than to anything any other Italian musician was writing at the time (around 1740). Susanna Piolanti (harpsichord). Tactus TC 701302 (Italy) 08E030 $11.98

ARCANGELO CALIFANO (early18th cen.): 6 Trio Sonatas for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Continuo. Dating from around 1720, these works are by a cellist in the Dresden orchestra and, not coincidentally, are for the same ensemble as another set of six better known pieces by a gentleman who would have been stationed near Califano in the bass section - Jan Dismas Zelenka, to whom these pieces are indebted in many respects. Ensemble Barocco "Sans Souci". Tactus TC 700301 (Italy) 08E031 $11.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): 3 Cantatas for the House of Esterházy, Hob.XXIVa:2-4 - Destatevi, o miei fidi, Al Tuo arrivo felice, Qual dubbio ormai, Symphony No. 12 in E. These cantatas - two for Prince Nikolaus' name-day (1763 and 1764) and the other welcoming him back from the coronation in 1764 of the Archduke Joseph - are world premiere recordings and are the earliest such pieces extant from Haydn's pen. The arias and duets are technically demanding (and Haydn gives himself a harpsichord solo in Qual dubbio ormai) and each cantata ends with a chorus, separating them from the genre of the Italian chamber cantata. Italian-English texts. Sunhai Im (soprano), Johanna Stojkovic (second soprano), Max Ciolek (tenor), VokalEnsemble Köln, Cappella Coloniensis; Andreas Spering, Micholas Kraemer. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901765 (France) 08E032 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): La Clemenza di Scipione. Premiered in London in 1778, this was Bach's last Italian opera and next-to-last opera of all. To an anonymous, neo-Metastasian libretto, Bach set music with no da capo arias and with a chorus active throughout (the missing secco recitatives are supplied here by Ernest Warburton). One of the remarkable items is a lengthy aria with flute, oboe, violin and cello accompaniment in the second act which almost certainly served Mozart as a model for "Martern aller Arten" in Die Entführung four years later. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Markus Schäfer (tenor), Linda Perillo, Christine Wolff (sopranos), Jörg Waschinski (male soprano), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 791 (Germany) 08E033 $31.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Complete Symphonies. The first truly complete recording of Bach's symphonies is now offered in a box at mid-price. Later this year, cpo's J.C. Bach series will end with a final volume of the Symphonies Concertantes. 5 CDs. Special price. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 896 (Germany) 08E034 $41.98

GAETANO BRUNETTI (1744-1798): 6 Bassoon Quintets, Op. 2. Anticipating Boccherini in the balance among the parts, these four-movement quintets are sometimes in concertante style with the bassoon stepping forward to sing (often in the slower movements) while at other times the wind instrument is an equal player with the strings. World premier recordings. Paolo Carlini (bassoon), Quartetto Sandro Materassi. Tactus TC 742701 (Italy) 08E035 $11.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): 6 Divertissements en Quatuors, DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): 3 Quartets for Flute and String Trio. Although both Haydn and Mozart contributed to the genre of the flute quartet, in the last couple of decades of the 18th century this became the province of Italian composers. The flute is often used as a soloist in both sets of works although the violin also has a few moments in the limelight. Insieme Strumentale di Roma. Stradivarius STR 33567 (Italy) 08E036 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): L'equivoco stravagante. Premiered in 1811, this first Rossinian opera buffa was banned after three performances by censors who found that they had missed a lot of double entendres and other items of questionable taste even after hacking and hewing at the libretto prior to the performance. Rossini ended up cannibalizing it for music which appeared in many later scores. Live recording of a brand-new edition prepared for this performance at the 2000 "Rossini in Wildbad" Festival. 2 CDs. Italian libretto. Petia Petrova (mezzo), Dario Schmunck (tenor), Marco di Felice (baritone), Czech Chamber Chorus and Soloists; Alberto Zedda. Naxos 8.660087-88 (New Zealand) 08E037 $15.98

JOSEPH BEER (1744-1812): Concerto in B Flat for Clarinet and Winds, LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Notturno in C for Winds and Janissary Music, ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Armonia per un Tempio della Notte, "MAESTRO FINALI" (18th-19th c.): Concerto for Clarinet and Winds. Spohr's 32-minute, six-movement Notturno (with expanded wind band and "Turkish" percussion - the other works here use the basic wind octet) and Beer's 20-minute concerto are the major works here, sure to appeal to fans of the clarinet and of classical and early romantic wind music in general. Don Christensen (clarinet), Wind Ensemble; Motti Miron. Koch Schwann 3-1312-2 (Germany) 08E038 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): 28 Song Transcriptions. All but two of Clara's settings of her husband's lieder are contained here. Unlike other transcribers of the Romantic period, Clara was more concerned with personal feeling than public effect and this shows both in the manner of transcription as well as in the choice of songs (mostly intimate and sensitive although several famous ones are included). Cord Garben (piano). Arte Nova 74321 79758 2 (Germany) 08E039 $4.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): 23 Studi obbligatori from Gradus ad Parnassum. This unusual release contains a general introduction to Clementi's magnum opus and specific notes on each of the 23 studies here recorded (these are the 23 which are mandatory for Italian piano students' intermediate examination) by a handful of Italian pianists of all ages. The notes are by the late Vincenzo Vitale, making this a kind of workbook for practising pianists as well as welcome substitute for what we hope will some day be a recording of all 100 Studi. Special European Import. Michele Campanella, Sandro de Palma, Maria Mosca, Vincenzo Vitale, Aldo Tramma, Carlo Bruno, Laura de Fusco, Franco Medori (piano). Warner Fonit 8573 87495-2 (Italy) 08E040 $21.98 >

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Poetic Tone-Pictures, Op. 3, Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7, 7 Fugues, 4 Pieces, Op. 1, 4 Album Leaves, Op. 28. Mostly rare early pieces (all but the Album Leaves from before Grieg turned 23), including seven fugues which date from 1861-2 when the composer was hating his basic musical instruction at the Leipzig Conservatory. Kyoko Tabe (piano). Chandos 9985 (England) 08E041 $16.98

XAVER SCHARWENKA (1850-1924): Sonata No.1 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 6, Impromptu in D, Op. 17, 5 Polish Dances, Op. 3, Polonaise in C Sharp Minor, Op. 12, Eglantine Waltz, Op. 84, Polonaise in F Minor, Op. 42, Valse-Caprice in A, Op. 31. Good news for collectors who never got the full-price originals when on Collins Classics in the early to mid-1990s. This was the first of four Scharwenka volumes Tanyel recorded for that now-defunct label and they cover his entire cosmopolitan range with formal variations from the sonata to exquisitely turned salon miniatures. Original 1992 Collins Classics issue. Seta Tanyel (piano). Helios CDH 55131 (England) 08E042 $10.98

MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Tarantella, Op. 27/2, Barcarolle aus Hoffmans Erzählungen, Valse Mignonne, Rêverie, Expansion, En Automne & Air de Ballet, Op. 36, Nos. 2-5, Albumblatt, Op. 2, Nocturne, Minuetto, Au Crépuscle & Danse Russe, Op. 68, Nos. 1-4, Poème de Mai, Op. 67/1, Serenata, Op. 15/1, La Jongleuse, Op. 52/4, Près de Berceau, Op. 58/3, Chanson Bohème de l'Opéra "Carmen" de Georges Bizet. Moszkowski was almost exclusively a miniaturist - waltzes, mazurkas, studies and other character pieces, all well-crafted and brilliantly written for the piano. This was the first of three volumes of Moszkowski Tanyel recorded for Collins, the others of which will follow soon. Original 1994 Collins Classics issue. Seta Tanyel (piano). Helios CDH 55141 (England) 08E043 $10.98

The Hyperion French Song Edition - Chabrier

EMMANUEL CHABRIER (1841-1894): Complete Songs. There are 43 songs on these two discs - too many even for us to list! Of course, Graham Johnson provides the usual enthusiastic and perceptive notes (the book - not booklet - is 118 pages), arguing that Chabrier fell between two stools, his sophistication (anticipating Poulenc) was before its time and his joie de vivre and sense of humor (Offenbachian) had outlived it. He even sees Chabrier as having been Schubertian in his ability to move from joy to sadness in the same song with astonishing ease. French-English texts. Felicity Lott (soprano), William Buren (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano), with Geraldine McGreevy (soprano), and Toby Spence (tenor) in Duo, Ursula Leveaux (bassoon) in L'Invitation au voyage and Polyphony; Stephen Layton in Ode à la Musique. Hyperion CDA 67133/4 (England) 08E044 $35.98

JULES MASSENET (1842-1912): Suites from Esclarmonde and Cendrillon, Suite No. 1, Op. 13. Massenet mixed graceful melody with technical facility and produced much sensuously beautiful music which has since inspired much hostility. This re-issue of an early original suite and two suites from popular operas is a good example of it and is a worthy companion to the later Naxos original releases of the (original) Suites Nos. 1-7. Original 1991 Marco Polo release. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Kenneth Jean. Naxos 8.555986 (New Zealand) 08E045 $6.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 95 "Dramatic". This 1874 work lives up to its title with its long, moody, slow introduction and its angular, fiery finale and is characteristically rich in both motifs and orchestration. Original 1991 Marco Polo release. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice); Robert Stankovsky. Naxos 8.555979 (New Zealand) 08E046 $6.98

ZDENEK FIBICH (1850-1900): Symphonies No. 1 in F, Op. 17, No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 38, No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 53, At Twilight, Op. 39, A Springtime Tale for Soprano, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 23. The second and third were briefly available several years back but this electrifying First is new to CD. The stripped-down, clean-textured, Kleiberian virtues of Sejna are still too little known among collectors and to have him performing unusual repertoire like this is a collector's fantasy! 2 CDs. Mid-price. Recordings from 1950-51 and 1961 (Sym. No. 3). Czech-English texts. Drahomirá Tikalová (soprano), Karel Kala (bass), Prague Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Karel ·ejna. Supraphon SU 3618-2 (Czech Republic) 08E047 $21.98

LOUIS GANNE (1862-1923): Les Saltimbanques. This 1899 confection is a colorful circus musical which has preserved the composer's name most of any of his other stage or instrumental works. Ganne was a brilliant composer of light music, especially in dance and march rhythms and Les Saltimbanques provides ample evidence of his facility. 2 CDs. Mid-price. No libretto. Original 1968 EMI release. Special European Import. Mady Mesplé (soprano), Churs René Duclos, Orchestre de l'Association des Concerts Lamoureux; Jean-Pierre Marty. EMI 5 74079 2 (France) 08E048 $21.98 >

OTTO DIENEL (1839-1905): Works, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 11, Sonata No. 3 in F, Op. 18, 15 Choral Preludes from Op. 52. The second and final volume of the organ sonatas of this member of the Berlin school of organists, each in three movements with the outer movements often embellished by fugal developments and with chorale tunes sprinkled elsewhere. Edward Zimmerman. (Hook organ of St. John, Providence, RI [sonatas] and Hook organ of South Congregational Parish, Augusta, ME). Afka SK-553 (U.S.A.) 08E049 $16.98

EUGÈNE GIGOUT (1844-1925): Rhapsodie sur des Airs Catalans, Suite de 6 Pièces, 3 Pièces. Gigout was instrumental in reinstating modal harmony to French liturgical music and his organ compositions, shorter works, none being more than eleven or so minutes in length, are often based on plainchant and all display a secure and fluent grasp of harmony and an elegance of structure and balance. The Rhapsodie (1891) also shows his lighter side in using Catalonian folk tunes as the basis for this nine-minute piece. Gerard Brooks (Cavaillé-Coll organ of Perpignan Cathedral). Priory PRCD 761 (England) 08E050 $16.98

WILHELM MIDDELSCHULTE (1863-1943): Passacaglia in D Minor, Konzert über ein Thema von J.S. Bach, Kanonische Fantasie über B-A-C-H und Fuge über 4 Themen von J.C. Bach. There is no overlap with the cpo release which was offered in February of 2001. These are particularly fine examples of the composer's ability to mix Baroque contrapuntal techniques with the Romantic language of his own era while employing Bach themes and forms in this updated language. Gisbert Schneider (Schuke organ of Erfurt Cathedral. Cybele 050.201 (Germany) 08E051 $16.98

EDGAR TINEL (1854-1912): Sonata in G Minor, Op. 29, Improvisata, FLOR PEETERS (1903-1986): Toccata, Fugue and Hymne sur "Ave Maris Stella", Op. 28, JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Toccata, Op. 104, Priere, Op. 37/3, Sonata Eroica, Op. 94. Three generations of Belgian composers, from Tinel with strong influences of Mendelssohn and Schumann to Jongen and his Impressionistic leanings to Peeters, influenced by both France and Germany and with Gregorian chant an important basis. Katharine Pardee (Rosales and Hutchings-Votey organs of St. James Cathedral, Seattle). Pro Organo CD 7140 (U.S.A.) 08E052 $16.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 4 - Serenade No. 1 in D, Op. 11, Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16. We had not been offering this series but, since last month's Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 were so popular, here are two more releases of orchestral transcriptions. Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano four hands). Naxos 8.553726 (New Zealand) 08E053 $6.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 6 - Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68, Triumphlied, Op. 55 Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano four hands). Naxos 8.554119 (New Zealand) 08E054 $6.98

SIEGFRIED WAGNER (1869-1930): Bruder Lustig. Another of Siegfried's fairy-tale operas, more in the manner and affect of Nicolai than of his father, more Brothers Grimm than the Nibelung, with a typically complicated plot set in the middle ages outwardly involving the struggle between state and local authority but with layers and layers of symbolism (an attempt is made in the notes to elucidate this but only makes matters worse!). 3 CDs. German libretto, English synopsis. Volker Thiess (tenor), Stefan Adam (baritone), Dagmar Hesse (soprano), Marilyn Bennett (soprano), Hagen Theatre Chorus, Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Georg Fritzsch. Marco Polo 8.225245-47 (New Zealand) 08E055 $47.98

SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Works for Harmonium, Vol. 5 - Sonata No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 36, Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 46, Abendgefühl. The large-scale (37-minute-long) second sonata (1912) is a perfect answer to anyone who wonders about the harmonium's use as an instrument in today's world. The first movement, "Enharmonic Fantasy and Double Fugue", contasts virtuoso scales and passages of hymnic character and the B-A-C-H motif is used both here and in the "Toccata" finale, which follows a "Canzone" chorale-like second movement. The 1905 first sonata has its own impressive fugal finale and a first movement "Quasi Fantasia" remarkable for its breadth. Only the little "album leaf" sounds like a harmonium piece in the pejorative manner so commonly applied to the instrument. This should appeal to many lovers of German Romantic organ music. Johannes Matthias Michel (harmonium d'art). CPO 999 843 (Germany) 08E056 $15.98

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959): Symphony in E Flat, Evocations, 3 poèmes juifs. Bloch's late (1954-55) symphony started out to be his third Concerto Grosso but grew out of the size of that form. Characteristic of his late works (and like the Concerti Grossi), the symphony is stripped down to its essentials, the whole work developing out of a four-note motif presented in the first bar and its whole personal that of an intense, rigorous neo-classicism. At the other end of the spectrum are the intensely romantic "Jewish Poems" of 1913, saturated with emotion and orchestral color. In between come the Evocations (1939), originally suggested by Chinese paintings and possessed of an Impressionistic use of the orchestra allied with pentatonic themes to reflect their oriental origins. Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Andrei Boreiko. BIS CD-1183 (Sweden) 08E057 $17.98

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Poème roumain, Op. 1, Vox maris for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 31, Voix de la nature, Op. posth. The 17-year-old composer's opus one lasts over 27 minutes, for the most part sounding like a Lisztian tone poem before Romanian motifs begin occurring and the final third foreshadows the famous Romanian Rhapsodies. Begun in 1929 and still not quite finished at Enescu's death, Vox maris, the tale of a sailor lured to his death by the spirits of the sea, has very atmospheric touches of Impressionism and Expressionism (its wordless chorus represents the Sirens). Voix de la nature is an eight-minute fragment, the first movement of a planned longer piece whose subtitle "Clouds in an Autumn Forest", conveys its moody, lugubrious, gray atmosphere. Florin Diaconescu (tenor), "George Enescu" Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir; Cristian Mandeal. Arte Nova 74321 65425 2 (Germany) 08E058 $4.98

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Symphonie Concertante for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 8, Chamber Symphony, Op. 33, 7 Chansons de Clement Marat for Tenor and Orchestra, Op. 15. The 1901 Symphonie Concertante relies on the musical language of Enescu's teachers, Massenet and Fauré while the song-cycle adds a dash of Impressionism to the mix. Dating from the year before his death, the chamber symphony is a good example of the composer's late style, small musical cells developing and metamorphosing across the twelve instrumentalists in a constant process of organic growth which culminates in a radiant conclusion. Marin Cazacu (cello), Florin Diaconescu (tenor), "George Enescu" Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal. Arte Nova 74321 63646 2 (Germany) 08E059 $4.98

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Octuor in C for 4 Violins, 2 Violas and 2 Cellos, Op. 7, Dixtuor in D for 2 Flues, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons and 2 Horns, Op. 14. The 1900 string octet has the freshness and melodic richness of Schubert and Brahms while being couched in a sonorities more reminiscent of Debussy while the instrumentation of the wind decet of seven years later confers a sublime pastoral atmosphere on similarly romantically-influenced music. Ensembles of "George Enescu" Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra; Cristian Mandeal. Arte Nova 74321 63634 2 (Germany) 08E060 $4.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Symphony No. 3 (compl. Payne). Three recordings of Payne's completion in four years? Who would have thought it? Now, the finest orchestra yet used brings us a committed, live recording which, at mid-price, slots right in between the budget Naxos and the full-price NMC. London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Colin Davis. LSO Live LSO 0019 (England) 08E061 $9.98

FERNANDE DECRÜCK (1896-1954): Sonata in C Sharp Minor, CLAUDE DELVINCOURT (1888-1954): Croquembouches, ALFRED DESENCLOS (1912-1971): Prélude, Cadence et Finale, PAULE MAURICE (1910-1967): Tableaux de Provence, PIERRE SANCAN (b.1916): Lamento et Rondo, CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1951): 7 Études from Op. 188. This recording, in attempting to capture one element of the French school of saxophone composition through pieces written almost exclusively for Marcel Mule (1901-2001) - pieces characterized by refinement of expression, humor both discreet and broad, and an always-present vocal eloquence - also redeems an aspect of French musical culture which has been eclipsed by the post-World War II onslaught of gray Modernism. Claude Delangle (saxophone), Odile Delangle (piano). BIS CD-1130 (Sweden) 08E062 $17.98

FINI HENRIQUES (1867-1940): Vølund Smed - Suite, Suite in F for Oboe and Strings, Op. 12, Air and Livsglædens Galop from the Ballet The Little Mermaid, Romance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 12, Mosquito Dance for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 20/5, Devil's Dance for Violin and Orchestra, 2 Czardas from the ballet Tata. Henriques seems to have been an example of the supremely gifted musician who was never motivated enough or who just never had the psychological wherewithal to write major works in the classical forms (although why Dacapo did not record his only symphony is a mystery). Still, this release provides an attractive sample of his styles, from the Lumbyesque galop from his ballet The Little Mermaid (1909), to the salon/virtuoso miniatures for violin and orchestra (written for his own use) and then to the most "serious" of the works recorded here: the suite of incidental music (1896) to Holger Drachmann's play about the mythological smith Wayland (Vølund) in which we can see that Henriques was quite familiar with Wagner, and the only piece of absolute music here - the suite for oboe of 1894, full of elegance and wit. Christina Åstrand (violin), Max Artved (oboe), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; Giordano Bellincampi. Dacapo 8.224173 (Denmark) 08E063 $15.98

AHMET ADNAN SAYGUN (1907-1991): Symphony No. 1, Op. 29, Symphony No. 2, Op. 30. One of the famous "Turkish Five" who helped blend Turkish and Western classical musics, Saygun was the most influenced by Bartók (whom he accompanied on a folk-music research field trip in 1936), especially in his piano compositions. His first symphony did not see the light of day until 1954 and, although it bears a consecutive opus number, the second dates from three years later. Saygun did not quote Turkish folk music in these works. Rather, steeped in the musical elements of Turkish music, the composer created his own themes and used modal or intervallic constructs and, especially, the often irregular rhythms of his native country's folk music, in his compositions in Western classical forms. Thus, in the slow movement of the second symphony, Saygun refers strongly to the monophonic texture of Turkish art music and its simple unison melodies but then, having established the color, he moves directly into strict imitative polyphony. The last movement of the first symphony has rhythms which strongly resemble folk dances from the eastern Black Sea but these are employed in the classical Western theme-and-variations form (and the second movement of this symphony is a passacaglia). This disc should have general appeal and especially to 20th century tonal symphonic music collectors who will find reminiscenses not only of Bartók but of Shostakovich and Prokofiev in the orchestration. Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Ari Rasilainen. CPO 999 819 (Germany) 08E064 $15.98

GIYA KANCHELI (b.1935): Styx for Viola, Mixed Choir and Orchestra, SOFIA GUBAIDULINA (b.1935): Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. Fan of Kancheli's long, slow music which takes place at very quiet dynamic levels and which is punctuated very sparingly by explosions of sound will know what to expect in Styx, in which the soloist represents a mediation between life and death and which also uses choral interjections of Georgian, English and nonsense lyrics. Gubaidulina is also up to her usual tricks - ascetic and sparse soundworlds blending unstable chromaticism and the pitch-bending of single notes with actual melody and triadic harmonies. Like Kancheli, the work is mainly meditative and the dynamic range rarely rises above piano. Yuri Bashmet (viola), St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre; Valery Gergiev. Special European Import. DG 471 494-2 (Germany) 08E065 $21.98 >

FRIGYES HIDAS (b.1928): Horn Concerto No. 2, MÁTÉ HOLLÓS (b.1954): Cornotturno, GYÖRGY VUKÁN (b.1941): Horn Concerto, TIBOR KOCSÁK (b.1954): Concertino for I.M.. Collectors may possibly know Hidas, whose lovely pastoral oboe concerto featured on a Capriccio disc offered this past January. His 1989 horn concerto is equally delectable, broadly melodic in a manner which approaches neo-Romanticism without crossing that too-sweet boundary. Kocsák, however, does cross it in his Concertino, the first movement of which could be film music, the second pseudo-oriental and the last a bracing scherzo. Hollós' Cornotturno, aside from the best title, lives up to the Notturno's historical image as a quiet, melodic nocturnal intermezzo while Vukán's concerto is the most modern in style - meaning only that it attains the sort of international, tonal language which subsumes all sorts of romantic, folk and modern elements. Imre Magyari (horn), Solti Chamber Orchestra; Ervin Lukács, New Hungarian Chamber Orchestra; János Kovács. Hungaroton HCD 32073 (Hungary) 08E066 $16.98

ERNST LEVY (1895--1981): Cello Concerto, FRANK LEVY (b.1930): Cello Concerto. Opus One brings us yet another issue devoted to pedagogue/composer/pianist Ernst Levy with this recording of his 1947 cello concerto. A single-movement piece in three distinct sections, this is patently the work of a recent immigrant happy to be alive and full of patriotism for his new country, a paean to victory in World War II and a tribute to the power and strength of American muisc as represented in the symphonies of Harris and Copland. His son's concerto, from 1995, which uses a larger orchestra than his father's, is an emotional, romantic and colorful piece with a buoyant, life-affirming rondo finale which rival that of his parent. Scott Ballantyne (cello), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; George Marriner Maull. Opus One CD 185 (U.S.A.) 08E067 $11.98

JOHN PICKARD (b.1963): String Quartets Nos. 2-4. Pickard's quartets are firmly in the classical string quartet tradition which runs through Bartók and Shostakovich in the 20th century. Tonal, vibrant, often powerfully emotional, they yet eschew all "modern" playing techniques in favor of communication through strength of musical ideas rather than special effects. The third's three movements - an angry first, a bleak second and a gentle and graceful third - shows Pickard's ability to convey mood and emotion while the fourth alludes to baroque musical forms (moving from a slow introduction/fast movement opening to a central movement in which each player has soloistic chores toward a richly polyphonic finale which begins in extreme calm and ends in wild energy. Sorrel Quartet. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7117 (England) 08E068

$16.98ANTAL DORÁTI (1906-1988): 7 pezzi for Orchestra, Night Music for Flute and Small Orchestra, American Serenade for String Orchestra. The 7 pezzi are selections from a 1961 ballet Magdalena, whose subject matter we are uninformed about but whose titles ("Assault", "Vortex", "Passion", "Sorcery", etc.) provide some indication of the direction the music is taking. Like a concerto for orchestra, the piece uses every orchestral section in music richly orchestrated, from the most fragile of crystalline textures to massive sonorities. Night Music (1968) takes us through the dark hours ("Evening Antiphon", "Lullaby", "Midnight", "Insects Around the Flame" and "Deep Night - Dawn") in music which is imaginatively varied, the flute always having colorful, virtuosic music against a transparent orchestral backdrop in moods which recall that Bartók and Doráti share the same nationality. Unlike the vast majority of Doráti's music, which was composed after 1955, the American Serenade dates from around 1941, just after his flight from the Nazis, and shows the influence of such American composers as Copland. Sharon Bezaly (flute), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Moshe Atzmon. BIS CD-1099 (Sweden) 08E069 $17.98

KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Piano Trio, Op. 46, Partita for Cello and Piano, Op. 35, Metamorphoses for Violin and Piano, Op. 48, Elegy for Cello and Piano, Op. 5. The three major works here date from 1959-66 and show the composer using both the chromaticism of his early works and the serial procedures (still sounding rather tonal, not unlike the way Frankel was able to also) of his most mature period. The music is always characterized by emotional intensity, its world often dark and anguished, but the emotion is always balanced by a rigorous intellect which makes it quite compelling. Lorraine McAslan (violin), Andrew Fuller (cello), Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7118 (England) 08E070 $16.98

LUIS GIANNEO (1897-1968): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Sonata No. 1, 3 Preludes, 4 Compositions, Variations on a Theme of Handel, Album Intimo, Tarantella, Slow Waltz, My Little Girl. All but four of these works are from before 1920 and show a talented youngster still influenced by German Romanticism (the sonata and the Handel variations) and French Impressionism (the Compositions and Vals Lento). The preludes still have tinges of impressionism but also show an awareness of Albéniz and of Argentinian folk music and the last piece of the Album Intimo (11 years later than its companions) comes from Gianneo's second compositional period in which he sought an Argentinian national language. Dora De Marinis, Elena Dabul, Alejandro Cremaschi, Pervez Mody, Fernando Viani (piano). Marco Polo 8.225207 (New Zealand) 08E071 $15.98

JOAQUIM HOMS (b.1906): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 1, Three Inventions on One Chord, Remembrances, 3 Evocations, Between Two Lines, Carousel Waltz. Although Homs was one of the first Spanish-born composers to adopt serial techniques, there is almost no trace of such procedures in this recital, even given its span of 1945-95. The earliest piece - the sonata - is modernist, certainly, in its brittleness but is hard-edged in a personal way. Between Two Lines (1948) is neo-classical, the Inventions (1958) are studies in keyboard color and rhythm and the very late works (the Evocations and Remembrances) are spare, coldly laconic exercises in metaphysical expressionism. Jordi Masó (piano). Marco Polo 8.225236 (New Zealand) 08E072 $15.98

FERNANDO LOPES-GRAÇA (1906-1994): Album for the Young Pianist, Op. 155, Mornas Caboverdianas, Op. 206, Suite Progressiva No. 8 - In Memoriam Béla Bartók, Op. 126.. Each of these three suites is a collection of pieces composed over many years and each demonstrates a particular aspect of Lopes-Graça's uvre. The Album (1953-64) is a collection of 21 light pieces in the spirit of Bartók's similar works for young pianists; Mornas Caboverdianas (1960-75) is a seven-movement set of harmonisations of popular melodies, again in the judicious, almost scientific, style of Bartók, from the Cape Verde Islands; the Bartók homage is a powerful, austere and technically difficult work of seven movements which builds to a central funeral chant redolent of old Portuguese funeral melodies. Dances on either side of it are intricately polyrhythmic and polymetric with an oriental flavor. Olga Prats (piano). Strauss/Portugalsom SP 4355 (Portugal) 08E073 $13.98

TADEUSZ BAIRD (1928-1981): Divertimento, GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): Kwintet, WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Kwintet, MACIEJ MALECKI (b.1940): Suite, MARTA PTASZYNSKA (b.1943): Poetic Impressions for Piano and Wind Quintet. A wide variety of moods and styles here, beginning with Kilar's 1952 and Bacewicz's 1932 quintets, both very unlike their composers' mature styles, here quite folk-inspired. Baird's piece is serial but reflects his characteristic lyricsm, subtle tone colors and expressive style. Malecki's suite (1984) is firmly back in tonal, neo-classical territory while Ptaszynska adds a piano to the ensemble for her freely atonal, nocturnal-sounding mood piece. Warsaw Wind Quintet, Michiko Otaki (piano). Dux 0241 (Poland) 08E074 $16.98

HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): Les Citations for Oboe, Percussion, Harpsichord and Double Bass, JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912-1997): A Huit for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn and String Quintet, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Piano Quintet No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 45. Dutilleux's "Citations" are from Britten's Peter Grimes (the first movement, originally a stand-alone work, titled "Aldeburgh 85", was a tribute to Peter Pears) and of a motive attributed to Janequin (which Jehan Alain had used in an organ composition; Dutilleux was profoundly affected by Alain's death at the age of 29 during World War II). The work has a sense of the magical, the hieratic about it, with the silvery harpsichord providing an ethereal thread anchored by the double bass. Françaix's piece, scored for the same ensemble as Schubert's octet also has that work's life-affirming optimism, brimming with lyrical polish and rhythmic wit. Esbjerg Ensemble. Classico CLASSCD 362 (Denmark) 08E075 $15.98

Österreichische Musik der Gegenwart

GERHARD WIMBERGER (b.1923): Ausstrahlungen W.A. Mozart'scher Themen for Orchestra, String Quartet, Disegni for Piano, Sonetti in vita e in morte di Madonna Laura for Choir. The orchestral work on themes of Mozart (for the most part not quoted in Mozartean terms, but used as source material for a rich polyphonic tapestry of interlacing textures and timbres) presents itself as an expressive tone-poem of quite ambitious stature in its own right; a work of considerable seriousness and drama, almost symphonic in scope. The piano work is predominantly an exercise in sonority and timbre,while the tense and tightly constructed string quartet, which nonetleless incorporates some aleatoric elements, is more complex and at the same time more directly involving for the listener. The sonnets of Petrarch, for densely textured a cappella chorus, is a dark and brooding work, the most emotionally intense of the four here, and the one that most strongly suggests a composer of considerable depth and originality. Italian-German texts. Mozarteum Orchestra; Leopold Hager, Vienna String Quartet, Siegfried Mauser (piano), South-German Radio Choir; Ruper Huber. Amadeo 445 304-2 (Austria) 08E076 $16.98 >

FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Keintate, Eine letzte Art Chansons. Both of these works take a satirical, though not unaffectionate, sideways glance at popular and sentimental songs - Viennese waltzes, "O du lieber Augustin" and the like. You will hear a great many allusions to familiar (and over-familiar) music, presented in a deliberately theatrical style, as close to cabaret as the concert hall. Sometimes a slightly sinister aspect emerges, a sense of fin-de-siècle world-weariness, but there is nothing excessively portentous here, and the overriding impression is one of witty and lighthearted entertainment. H.K. Gruber (chansonnier), Friedrich Cerha and his friends, Ensemble "die reihe"; Friedrich Cerha. Amadeo 445 306-2 (Austria) 08E077 $16.98 >

(more titles below)

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Symphony No. 6 "At the End of the Day", Terrains Vagues. Nørgård's symphonic writing has always been characterised by its high-energy intensity and organic growth and progression within concentrated forms. This sixth symphony will not disappoint anyone enthusiastic about his earlier work. The first movement recalls late Sibelius (though Nørgård's language is, of course, considerably less tonal) in the way in which almost non-thematic material is developed into a cohesive structure with the inevitability of a Bach fugue. The second movement evokes natural landscape in slow-moving progressions of highly inventive timbres (the orchestra is huge, and contains a number of unfamiliar relatives of the standard orchestral instruments). The finale breaks out in rhythmically agile jubilation, and then evaporates, becoming more transparent though still charged with energy, predominantly in high, bright registers, like the corona around the sun. Terrains Vagues is a set of three linked movements, which continue the processes encountered in the symphony (it was written the following year). Nørgård is one of the major symphonists of our times, and these works point to a heightening of his powers as he enters his 8th decade. Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR; Thomas Dausgaard. Chandos 9904 (England) 08E078 $16.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Complete Works for Two Pianists - Vertical Thoughts I, Intermission 6 (4 Versions), Projection 3, Piano (Three Hands), Two Pieces for Two Pianos, Piano Four Hands, Work for Two Pianists, Ixion - For Two Pianos, Two Pianos. A beautifully-produced, 72-page booklet bound into a hardcover outside with the CD attached to the inside-back-cover. Much fascinating material in the notes (by one of the performers). Feldman collectors will want it as a collector's item even if they have most of the material recorded here. Mats Persson, Kristine Scholz (pianos). Alice Musik Produktion ALCD 024 (Sweden) 08E079 $16.98 >

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Weihnachtsmusik for Piano, Harmonium, 2 Violins and Cello, Transcriptions of Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen (String Quintet, Voice, Flute, Clarinet, Harmonium, Piano, Percussion), Busoni: Berceuse Élégiaque (String Quintet, Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Harmonium), Johann Strauss Sr.: Kaiserwalzer (String Quartet, Flute, Clarinet, Piano), Rosen aus dem süden (String Quartet, Harmonium, Piano). Not all of these transcriptions were for Schoenberg's "Society for Private Musical Performances" (the Kaiserwalzer dates from 1925 and the Christmas Music from 1921) and not all of them may be solely by Schoenberg (the Mahler and Busoni may be collective transcriptions) but they all give a flavor of the evenings of music-making by Berg, Webern, Steuermann, Kolisch and other new-music luminaries at the end of the 1910s. Jean-Luc Chaignaud (voice), Arditti String Quartet, Marc Marder (double bass), Michel Moraguès (flute), Paul Meyer (clarinet), Hakon Austbö (harmonium), Isabelle Berteletti (percussion), Michel Beroff (piano). Naïve/Montaigne MO 782160 (France) 08E080 $13.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Liriche su Verlaine for Soprano and Piano, Y Después for 10-String Guitar, Piano Concerto, Oboe Concerto No. 2. Composed around 1946-7, the three Liriche (not published until 1985) are from the composer's neo-classical period and are lovely, delicate and evocative pieces. The piano concerto of 1957, of course, is anything but! Representing the peak of Maderna's involvement with the latest avant-garde techniques, the work is full of bizarre playing techniques includingplaying and plucking upon the strings with timpani mallets or hands, forearm tone cluster shivers to the keyboard, rapping on and shaking the soundboard and, at the climax of one orchestral crescendo, slamming down the lid of the instrument. The second of three oboe concertos (1962) is often rarified in timbre, the sounds usually delicate and quiet, showing Maderna's ultimate roots in poetry and art while the 1972 piece for guitar is inspired by flamenco music of Andalusia, refracted through Maderna's late, less tumultuous musical language. French texts. Alda Caiello (soprano), Maria Grazia Bellocchio (piano), Elena Casoli (guitar), Omar Zoboli (oboe), Orchestra Sinfonica de Milano Giuseppe Verdi; Sandro Gorli. Stradivarius STR 33574 (Italy) 08E081 $17.98

Österreichische Musik der Gegenwart

MARCEL RUBIN (1905-1995): Symphony No. 10 "Hommage à Chartres", Variationen über einen Bach-Choral, Variationen über ein französisches Revolutionslied, Piano Sonata No. 1. One of Austria's most distinguished composers, Rubin studied with Franz Schmidt and with Milhaud and the latter, along with "Les Six" were the primary influences on his style. Although Rubin explores tonality and harmony to their boundaries, melody remains an important part of his music. These elements, along with a firm grasp of form, illuminate the tenth symphony of 1986, whose expressiveness and spirituality make place it in the line of works inspired by cathedrals dating back to Schumann's Rhenish symphony. The Bach variations (1978) are similarly inspired and similarly belong to another great Germanic genre while the 1976 set of variations shows a more biting, dissonant wit. The 1925 piano sonata, full of expressionist/impressionist Sturm und Drang, makes us want to hear more of the young as well as the old composer. Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Hans Graf, Wolfgang Sawallisch, London Sinfonietta; Anthony Pay, Annegret Huber (piano). Österreichische Musik der Gegenwart 830 003-2 (Austria) 08E082 $16.98 >

RICHARD DÜNSER (b.1959): Violin Concerto, Der Wanderer - Hymne für Orchester, Fantasie in F Minor for Orchestra after Schubert's Fantasy in F Minor for Piano Four Hands. Dünser's inspiration is kindled by the themes of German Romanticism - Eichendorff and Hölderlin lieder (both of which come into play in the violin concerto, along with a Caspar David Friedrich painting) - but, like Henze (whose Symphony No. 7 refers to the same Hölderlin poem as Dünser's concerto), the younger composer's musical tools are those of the Second Viennese School. Using tone-rows in a personal way and an orchestral of Mahlerian size, Dünser's most patent influences are Berg and Webern along with Henze. And, like Berg, Webern and Schoenberg, he indulges in a Schubert transcription - the beautiful four-hand Fantasy - which he brilliantly orchestrates using the instrumentation the "Great" C major symphony. Martin Mumelter (violin), Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Donald C. Runnicles, Iván Fischer, Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Claudius Traunfellner. Österreichische Musik der Gegenwart 830 002-2 (Austria) 08E083 $16.98 >

IVÁN ERÖD (b.1936): Minnesota Sinfonietta for Orchestra, Op. 51, Vox Lucis for Baritone, Oboe and Orchestra, Op. 56, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 42, Schnappschüsse for Flute and Wind Octet, Op. 52. The Hungarian-born Eröd abandoned the serial techniques which he used in his 20s and, since the late 1960s, has written approachable music which is often tinged with elements of traditional music (especially of his native Hungary) and of "light" music and jazz. The Minnesota Sinfonietta (1986), premiered at a Minnesota Orchestra concert at which Steven Stucky's Dreamwaltzes - the thoughts of an American on the Austrian musical tradition - also appeared. Vice versa, Eröd's three-movement, rigorously constructed piece makes trenchant and witty use of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic elements of American music. Both "Snapshots" and the piano trio continue the use of popular elements, the former also winking at the styles of such contemporaries as HK Gruber, Steve Reich and Sándor Balassa and the latter having some dramatic, dark-tinged moments of anxiety in its first movement before its more relaxed final movement. Vox Lucis (1989) is an example of Eröd in "serious" mood - a half-hour long cantata using texts in six different languages and which hymns the intellectual and spiritual light which shines through art. The music is still resolutely tonal and the composer shows a real aptness for the appropriate setting of the words, no matter which language he is dealing with. Original language texts included. Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Pinchas Steinberg, John Shirley­Quirk (baritone), Sara Watkins (oboe), Austrian RSO; Steuart Bedford, Haydn-Trio, Ensemble Kontrapunkte; Peter Keuschnig. Österreichische Musik der Gegenwart 830 004-2 (Austria) 08E084 $16.98 >

GERD KÜHR (b.1952): Stallerhof - Opera in 3 Acts, Concertare for Clarinet and Orchestra, Mundo perdido for Chamber Orchestra. The booklet notes get a good deal of mileage out of the fact that Kuhr, in his operatic writing, makes use of musical symbols (themes or instrumental combinations representing certain characters or states of mind). It may occur to some to wonder how easy it would be to write a piece of narrative music which functions as an opera at all without recourse to some such symbolism (which has been central to the art of opera virtually ever since the form came into being). The important fact is that Kuhr does this extremely skillfully - for a valid comparison, one might look to Britten, whose ability to depict visual and psychological images in purely musical terms is unparalleled in our time. Nor does the comparison end there, because Kuhr, a student of Henze, writes in a clear and accessible style which owes a good deal to conventional tonality, and moreover incorporates vocal writing of fine lyrical/dramatic feeling. The two orchestral works, written slightly more recently, also possess this clean-cut dramatic flair, eschewing avant-garde techniques while never sounding deliberately reactionary and old-fashioned. The link - via Henze - to post-Mahlerian early 20th-century developments in music is quite apparent here, and the result is a boldly expressive vocabulary of a new (but not self-consciously neo-) Romanticism. 2 CDs. German libretto. Hubert Delamboye (tenor), Dorothe Kimmich (mezzo), Raphaela Weil (soprano), Georg Paucker (baritone), Ensemble 20.Jahrhundert; Gerd Kühr, Paul Meyer (clarinet), Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ulf Schirmer, Klangforum Wien; Gerd Kühr. Amadeo 445 305-2 (Austria) 08E085 $33.98 >

FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Baal. Brecht's sociopathic artist, Baal, is brought vividly to life in this boldly expressive opera which owes not a little of its musical language to Wozzeck. Cerha's music inhabits a world of dark and serious Second-Viennese dramatic inspiration, and has little to do with snarky, noir-ish Brecht-Weill collaborations; this is serious stuff! The vocal writing and orchestration are fairly conservative in the early 20th-century tradition, with nothing avant-garde and genuine lyricism, as well as occasional dramatically telling references to popular styles of the time as scene setting. If this kind of dark and portentous tragedy of largely unlikeable characters treating each other badly appeals to you, this is a wholly successful interpretation of the genre. 3 CDs. No libretto. Theo Adam (baritone), Helmut Berger-Tuna (bass), Marjana Lipovsek (mezzo), Emily Rawlins (soprano), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Christoph von Dohnanyi. Amadeo 415 266-2 (Austria) 08E086 $50.98 >

GOTTFRIED VON EINEM (1918-1996): Tulifant - Opera in 3 Acts, Prince Chocolat - Music-Tale in 5 Episodes. Prince Chocolat is a musical fairy tale for speaker and orchestra. It concerns the adventures of a little boy and his companion, a chocolate prince. The music is very simple and straightforward so as to appeal to children, but should also interest adults. It may remind some of Richard Srauss's Bourgeois gentilhomme. Tulifant is a fairy tale, chamber opera designed for children. Like most fairy tales it tells a story, which on one level is quite innocent, while on another, fairly grisly. This is evident in the case of the opera's main character, a Dominican monk who was eventually burned at the stake. The music, again, is simplified, for children, but has Stravinskian overtones, which make it interesting for grownups too. English synopsis. 2 CDs. Manfred Hemm (tenor), Jung Min Lee (soprano), Volker Vogel (tenor), Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Caspar Richter (Tulifant), Maria Schell (speaker), Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Milan Horvat (Prince Chocolat). Amadeo 435 694-2 (Austria) 08E087 $33.98 >

JOSEF MATTHIAS HAUER (1883-1959): Die schwarze Spinne. Described by its composer as a "Deutsches Singspiel", "The Black Spider" was based on two horror stories from the beginning of the 19th century which involved such typical characters as an evil count, his oppressed peasants and a pact with the devil whose betrayal brings the onslaught of the title arachnid. Completed in 1931 and orchestratedin 1932, Hauer's singspiel received its premiere with this recording (May 23, 1966 - mono) at the Vienna Festival. There is no libretto but there is a synopsis and, for serious collectors, a detailed description of the complicated, mathematically produced permutations of the basic tone-row which Hauer used to provide music for the entire work. 2 CDs. Ernst Gutstein, Maurice Besançon (baritones), Althea Bridges, Marilyn Tyler (sopranos), Otto von Rohr (bass), Vienna State Opera Choir, Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Michael Gielen. Amadeo 431 079-2 (Austria) 08E088 $33.98 >

WILHELM ZOBEL (b.1950): Der Weltuntergang! "The End of the World as an Opera", no less! Based on the writings of Jura Soyfer, who died at the age of 26 in a Nazi concentration camp in 1939, this piece inhabits a darkly ambiguous and unsettling world somewhere between cabaret and opera. The story, and Zobl's music, caricature and satirise the least admirable aspects of human behavior (the basic premise being of the 'how would you act if you knew the world was about to end?" type). Musically, sometimes the style recalls Eisler; at other times it suggests traditional operatic forms, but only in order to lampoon them, suggesting that only through irreverent black humor is it possible to come to terms with the kind of societal stupidity that leads to the horrors of fascism and the very real possibility of the world actually ending through our own actions. If this all sounds a bit heavy handed, it is saved from becoming hectoring by the ready accessibility of the music and the dramatic momentum of the fast-moving, at times absurdist, plot. Detailed synopsis and notes in English, no libretto. 2 CDs. Heinz Zednik (tenor), Anne Gjevang (contralto), Anton Scharinger (baritone), Wiener Akademie Chamber Choir, Ensemble Kontrapunkte; Peter Keuschnig. Amadeo 437 554-2 (Austria) 08E089 $33.98 >

ERICH URBANNER (b.1936): Johannes Stein oder Der Rock des Kaisers. Johannes Stein is a melodrama, the subject being the life of an unfortunate woman who disguised herself as a male soldier all her life, having been the illegitimate offspring of a General. The incidental music has a Stravinskyan feel, and when the composer incorporates folksong and soldiers' songs and marches, it takes on a lighter, Poulenc-like texture, though the free atonality that the composer espoused (and then rejected in favor of several other 20th-century trends, settling in more recent years on a more readily accessible style) adds a pungency which goes beyond the expectations of the neoclassical model. Michael Jankowitsch (tenor), Christian Huemer, Walter Wegscheider (baritones), Robert Floreanschütz (bass), Members of Austrian Radio Choirs, Ensemble des 20. Jahrhunderts; Peter Burwik. Amadeo 437 491-2 (Austria) 08E090 $16.98 >

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Symphony No. 1, Op. 7, Symphony No. 2, Op. 12, Symphony No. 3, Op. 16. Recorded in 1985, these were the first CD releases of Krenek's symphonies and never had wide U.S. distribution. All three symphonies date from 1921-22, a product of the young composer's incredible fecundity and brimming imagination at the time. None use traditional tonality but employ traditional structural, rhythmic and harmonic elements and, indeed, seem to be searching for the next step beyond the symphonies of Bruckner and Mahler whose massive points of culmination Krenek employs in most of his movements. The third symphony was consciously scaled down and shows signs of the neo-classical style the composer was to employ in his next period of composition while the personality of the work as a whole is characterized by playful wit, spirited vigor and the hint, even, of parody. 2 CDs. Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lothar Zagrosek. Amadeo 415 825-2 (Austria) 08E091 $33.98 >

Finlandia Special Imports

VELJO TORMIS (b.1930): Ocean, Swan Flight, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22/2, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1868-1918): La Mer. Over half of this disc is taken up by rare orchestral suites by the Estonian composer known primarily for his choral works. One from a ballet and one incidental music for a play, they show all kinds of influences from Sibelius and Prokofiev to Shostakovich and Rautavaara. Special European Import. Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra; Anu Tali. Finlandia 8573-89876-2 (Finland) 08E092 $21.98 >

PETERIS VASKS (b.1946): Cantabile for Chamber Orchestra, Symphony No. 1 for String Orchestra "Balsis", Kantate for Harpsichord, Musica aventus for Chamber Orchestra, Landscape with Birds for Flute. Simple diatonicism, chorales and folk melody are the ingredients in the Latvian Vasks' music whose obsession with the singing line, meditative peacefulness and with beauty of sound puts him firmly in the company of other such Baltic minimalists as Pärt. Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra; Juha Kangas, Aina Kalnciema (harpsichord), Algirdas Vizgirda (flute). Finlandia 8573-82185-2 (Finland) 08E093 $21.98 >

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (b.1958): Mimo II for Oboe and Orchestra, Floof for Soprano and 5 Players, Yta III for Cello, Yta II b for Harpsichord, Yta II for Piano, Yta I for Alto Flute, Meeting for Clarinet and Harpsichord, Nachtlieder for Clarinet and Piano, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. This compilation provides an overview of this brilliant conductor/composer's works from 1978-92. The Bergian Nachtlieder is among the earliest works Salonen still recognizes. Much of his other work is distinguished by a textural clarity, elegance and polish. Special European Import. Jorma Valjakka (oboe), Pekka Savijoki (sax), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Anu Komsi (soprano), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Anssi Karttunen (cello), Jukka Tiensuu (harpsichord), Tuija Hakkila (piano), Mikael Helasvuo (flute), Kari Krikku (clarinet). Finlandia 0927-43815-2 (Finland) 08E094 $21.98 >

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. Dating from 1967/72, the first cello concerto is from Penderecki's violently aggressive works like The Devils of Loudon with the soloist put through his virtuosic paces in the service of neurotic, manic music which has no superficial brilliance whatever. From an entirely different period in the composer's career comes the 1981-2 second concerto, which mixes the Modernist gestures of the first concerto with a more Romantic idiom and which demands just as much virtuosity from the orchestra (it was written for the Berlin Philharmonic). The viola concerto of 1983, which exists in a cello version by Boris Pergamenchikov, is returned to the original version by Noras so that octave relationships are identical to those in the viola version. Like the second cello concerto, this piece alternates violent outbursts with elegiac themes in a predominantly melancholy, autumnal mood. Arto Noras (cello), Sinfonia Varsovia; Krzysztof Penderecki. Special European Import. Finlandia 8573-85575-2 (Finland) 08E095 $21.98 >

MAGNUS LINDBERG (b.1958): Kinetics for Orchestra, Kraft for Clarinet, Piano, Cello, 2 Percussionists and Orchestra, Zona for Cello and Orchestra, Stroke for Cello, Twine for Piano, Ritratto for Chamber Orchestra, Action-Situation-Signification for Ensemble, ...de Tartuffe, Je Crois for Ensemble, Linea d'Ombra for Clarinet, Percussion, Flute and Guitar, Ablauf for Clarinet and 2 Percussionists. This is a particularly valuable collection of music from the 1980s by this brilliant young composer much of whose orchestral music has a maniacal energy and blunt-force power with all the effect of a lava explosion. However, a work like Ritratto also shows a colorful, fleet and breathtakingly agile muse which does not depend on the hammer to make its point. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Special European Import. Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta; Esa-Pekka Salonen, Toimii Ensemble, Endymion Ensemble and other artists. Finlandia Meet the Composer 0630-19756-2 (Finland) 08E096 $16.98 >

URMAS SISASK (b.1960): Omnis una, Alleluia, Kyrie, Deo gratias, Pater noster, Stabat Mater dolorosa, Ave Maria, Credo, O Sanctissima, Ave verum Corpus, Dominus vobiscum, Surrexit Dominus, Ave Regina caelorum, Gloria tibi, Domine, Agnus Dei. This is a selection of 15 of the 24 sacred Latin songs titled Gloria patri..., for which Sisask uses the "planetal scale" - a row of five tones - which he was later to use in the second volume of his Starry Sky piano cycle. Like exercises in counterpoint, these short pieces make use of elements from Gregorian chant to the vocal music of Tormis and Pärt. Latin texts. Special European Import. The Chamber Choir Eesti Projekt; Anne-Liis Treimann. Finlandia 8573-82587-2 (Finland) 08E097 $21.98 >

JAAKKO MÄNTYJÄRVI (b.1963): Pseudo-yoik, 4 Shakespeare Songs, El Hambo, More Shakespeare Songs, Psalm 150 in Grandshire Triples, Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae, Psalm 150 in Kent Treble Bob Minor, Kouta for Choir and Chamber Orchestra. Ever wonder, given the importance of choral singing in Finland and Estonia and the significant number of CD releases of this repertoire, if you could be missing something by not trying one? Well, this would be the one to try. Not only is the style melodic and approachable but the majority of the pieces here are sung in English, perfectly, and often ingeniously, set by the composer (who is a professional English translator). Pseudo-yoik and El Hambo have nonsense texts and are laugh-out-loud wonderful in their Monty Pythonesque sense of humor while the Canticum, a lament for those drowned when the ferry Estonia sank in 1994, is a moving setting of Psalm 107 ("They that go down to the sea in ships...") and Kouta an updating of the Finnish saga-style. The two settings of Psalm 150 intriguingly use change-ringing as a model for their text setting. A real ear-opener for collectors reluctant to experiment in genres not their own. Finnish-English texts. Special European Import. Tapiola Chamber Choir, Sibelius Academy Chamber Orchestra (Kouta); Jannu Norjanen. Finlandia 0927-41563-2 (Finland) 08E098 $21.98 >

The world's largest - and strangest - piece of chamber music?!

ALISTAIR HINTON (b.1950): String Quintet. This may be one of the oddest releases we have ever offered. If oddness were its only distinguishing characteristic, of course, it would hardly warrant comment, but in both ambition and achievement this piece goes so far beyond the merely unusual, into the realms of the truly great, as to be more than worthy of anybody's notice. Yes, it is a piece of chamber music that lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes, it is a string quintet featuring a soprano in the last movement (singing texts by, among others, Delius, Schoenberg, Sorabji and a number of Eastern mystical poets). These facts alone point to an unusual scope. The work, rightly described as 'a vast edifice of epic intimacy' in the extensive notes, is nothing less than an astoundingly precocious spiritual odyssey by a young composer (who to this day cannot understand how he came to be exploring these themes and this type of compositional technique so early in his career), and a piece of music of profound, and at times shatteringly disturbing, emotional intensity. Curiously, much of the musical language pays tribute - occasionally quite artlessly and overtly - to the developments in music around the turn of the 19th-20th century (Mahler, Schoenberg, Richard Strauss - there are some strong echoes of Shostakovich as well - composers with whose music Hinton was acquainting himself, voraciously, in the 1970s). But the message of the music, the constant striving towards an uncertain goal (the activity in the piece is ceaseless - here is no Feldmanesque meditation, but a tumultuous outpouring of ideas and development) - which when it arrives, turns out to be the hardest-won spiritual resignation and repose in all music, perhaps along with Mahler's Ninth Symphony - suggests that in some eerily prescient fashion, this is a work for our own uncertain millennium. Hearing this music will change you; you will not come away from it unmoved. 3 CDs. Sarah Leonard (soprano), Jagdish Mistry, Marcus Barcham-Stevens (violins), Levine Andrade (viola), Michael Stirling (cello), Corrado Canonici (double bass). Altarus AIR-CD-9066 (U.S.A.) 08E099 $56.98

BENJAMIN FRANKEL (1906-1973): Symphonies Nos. 1-7. Serialism with a human face! Frankel's works are the most melodic, approachable and likeable symphonies you'll ever hear and not know what compositional process was used in producing them. Great value even if you already have one of the discs but never got around to buying the rest. 4 CDs. Special price. Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 661 (Germany) 08E100 $32.98

MICHAEL GORDON (40ish?): Decasia. A co-founder of "Bang on a Can", Gordon cites Reich, Glass, Cage, Nancarrow and Partch as his "musical heroes" and he writes here in a form of minimalism less indebted to the regular rhythmic pulses with slow metamorphosis with which Glass can put you in the looney bin. Decasia is both a 62-minute long score for orchestra and the title of the film it was written for, as soundtrack (the film, black-and-white archival footage in various states of decomposition, is projected onto the surface of a giant pyramid, on the inside of which are the audience and the orchestra - it's being done at the 2002 Sundance Festival). Basel Sinfonietta; Kasper De Roo. Canteloupe CA 21008 (U.S.A.) 08E101 $16.98

ARNE NORDHEIM (b.1931): Epitaffio for Orchestra and Tape, Listen for Piano, Evening Land for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, Canzona per orchestra, Colorazione for Hammond Organ, Percussion, Delay, Ring Modulator and Filters, Wirklicher Wald for Soprano, Cello, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Clamavi for Solo Cello, Tenebrae for Cello and Orchestra, The Tempest - Ballet Suite, Tres Lamentationes for Mixed Chorus, Aurora for 4 Singers, Chorus, 2 Percussion Groups and Electronics, The Descent for Recitation, Mixed Chorus, Soprano, Orchestra and Electronic Sounds, 2 Excerpts from The Dream Ballad for Vocalist, Soprano, Baritone, 2 Counter Tenors, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Tre voci for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, Silver Key for Girls' Choir, Quasi Fantasia for Carillon, OHM for Lur and Tape, Solitaire (Electroacoustic), Magma for Orchestra, Pace (Electroacoustic), Greening for Orchestra, Eco for Soprano, Mixed Chorus, Children's Chorus and Orchestra, Solar Plexus for Vocalist, Saxophone, Piano/Organ, Recitation and Percussion, The Return of the Snark for Trombone and Tape, Partita für Paul for Violin with Electronic Delay, Spur for Accordion and Orchestra, Nachruf for Strings. This collection brings together recordings from at least nine record labels many of which were never available in the U.S. and which demonstrate Nordheim from his early, electro-acoustic period to the beginning of the 1990s, by which time he had become an internationally recognized composer and was having his compositions recorded by major independent companies. A look at the list above shows the bewildering array of forms and forces Nordheim has used and the fact that he can be called romantically-inspired and also a "provocateur" demonstrate that he is an original, that he cannot be easily pinned down. 7 CDs. Various artists, orchestras and conductors. Aurora ACD 5070 (Norway) 08E102 $125.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Harmonies 3, 5, 11, 14, 15, 18,19, 26, 28, 35, 38 & 42, GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): 2 Canzoni a basso solo, 4 Canzoni a canto solo. Cage's Harmonies come from a group of 44 which he based on Moravian chorales, using his I Ching method of determining which notes would be used, which combinations of the four parts and the duration of the retained notes. Remarkably, they come out sounding like close relatives of the Frescobaldi canzoni and both sound wonderful on these two instruments: the trombone was already an instrument used by baroque composers while the accordeon, with its ability to sound like an organ one minute and a flute the next. Even baroque collectors would not find this disc difficult to enjoy! Stefan Hussong (accordion), Mike Svoboda (trombone). Wergo WER 6655-2 (Germany) 08E103 $19.98

Music from Chile - 3 New Releases

ROBERTO FALABELLA (1926-1958): Estudios emocionales, (Chile Symphony Orchestra; Georg Ludwig Jochum, r.1960), FEDERICO HEINLEIN (1912-1999): Concertante for Oboe, Bassoon and String Orchestra (Enrique Peña [oboe], Emilio Donatucci [bassoon], Universidad Católica Chamber Orchestra; Enrique Ricci, r.1978), ENRIQUE SORO (1884-1954): Danza Fantastica (CSO; Victor Tevah, r.1953), DARWIN VARGAS (1925-1988): Obertura para tiempos de adviento (CSO; Tevah, r.1963), ALFONSO LETELIER (1912-1994): Preludios vegetales, Op. 36 (CSO; Tevah, r.1978), MARCELO MOREL (1928-1983): Grotesca (CSO; Juan Pablo Izquierdo, r.1960), PROSPERO BISQUERTT (1881-1959): Procesion del Cristo de Mayo (CSO; Tevah, r.1975), ALFONSO LENG (1884-1974): Preludios Nos. 1 & 2 (CSO; Fernando Rosas, r.1966), FRÉ FOCKE (1910-1989): Sinfonietta No. 5 (CSO; Tevah, r.1949), DOMINGO SANTA CRUZ (1899-1987): Preludios Dramaticos, Op. 23 (CSO; Tevah, r.1974), JORGE URRUTIA BLONDEL (1903-1981): Pastoral de Albue (Homenaje a Ravel), Op. 27 (CSO; Tevah, r.1957), PEDRO HUMBERTO ALLENDE (1885-1959): La vos de las calles (CSO; Tevah, r.1985), PABLO GARRIDO (1905-1982): 3 Danzas del Ballet "Adam and Eve" (CSO; André Vandernoot, r.1965), RENÉ AMENGUAL (1911-1954): Sonatina for Piano (Luis Carlos Miranda, r.1964), ANGEL HURTADO (1900-1984): Piano Trio (Jaime de la Jara [violin], Abelard Avendaño [viola], Jorge Román [piano], r.1960), PEDRO NÚÑEZ NAVARETE (1906-1989): Divertimento for Flute, Cello, Guitar and Piano (Javier Gómez [flute], Rodrigo Díaz [cello], Juan Mouras [guitar], Patricia Rodríguez [piano], r.1985). 2 CDs. Mid-price. ANC-6003-7&8 (Chile) 08E104 $21.98

EDUARDO MATURANA (b.1920): 3 Piezas, (Chile Symphony Orchestra; Agustín Cullel, r.1964), LEÓN SCHIDLOWSKY (b.1930): Nueva York (CSO; Victor Tevah, r.1966), JUAN ORREGO-SALAS (b.1919): Obertura festiva, Op. 21 (CSO; Tevah, r.1952), DAVID SERENDERO (b.1934): Interludio (CSO; composer, r.1962), CARLOS BOTTO (b.1923): 10 Preludes for Piano (Elvira Savi, r.1952), OSCAR CARMONA (b.1975): Horizon Carre for Soprano, Piano and 2 Percussionists, IRIS SANGÜESA (b.1933): Cuarteto de Maderas for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, GABRIEL BRNCIC (b.1942): Quodlibet III for Chamber Orchestra (Pan-American Music Festival Orchestra; Antonio Tauriello, r.1968), ANDRÉS FERRARI (b.1971): Monimeinto for String Quartet, PATRICIO WANG (b.1952): Alter Ego for 2 Trumpets, FRANKLIN MUÑOZ (b.1966): Totó for Violin, SERGIO CORNEJO (b.1953): Gran avenida, Paradero 28 (Electro-acoustic), JORGE ROJAS-ZEGERS (b.1947): Mar de Chile, Sindrome Musical for 4 Guitars, Op. 6/1, ARIEL VICUÑA (b.1945): Suite for 2 Flutes, ROLANDO CORI (b.1954): Hermoso es ver bajar de la montaña... for Flute, Guitar, Percussion and Double Bass, GUSTAVO BECERRA (b.1925): 3 Moviles for Harpsichord, MARICIO CÓRDOVA (b.1968): 2 Lorquianas for Soprano, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, MARIO FEITO (b.1971): Preludio en Septiembre for Piano, SERGIO ORTEGA (b.1938): Tacuabe for Reciter and Viola, MARIO ARENAS (b.1953): Temperamentos for Guitar Octet. 2 CDs. Mid-price. ANC-6003-5&6 (Chile) 08E105 $21.98

CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b.1926): String Quartet No. 4, LUIS GASTÓN SOUBLETTE (b.1927): Chile en 4 Cuerdas, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 20. Soubliette's piece (1971) is nothing other than a collection of Chilean folk tunes, many of which date from the baroque period, treated simply and not subjected to any unusual techniques. Garrido-Lecca takes the initial motif of Bach's St. Matthew Passion as the basis for elaboration and development in his single-movement quartet of 2000. Cuarteto Nuevo Mundo. Gobierno de Chile (no number). 08E106 $16.98