January 2003  January 2002    January 2001  January 2000  January 1999   January 1998  
 February 2003  February 2002  February 2001  February 2000  February 1999   February 1998  
 March 2003  March 2002  March 2001  March 2000  March 1999   March 1998  
 April 2003  April 2002  April 2001   April 2000  April 1999  April 1998  
 May 2003  May 2002  May 2001   May 2000  May 1999  May 1998  
   June 2002   June 2001  June 2000  June 1999  June 1998  
   July 2002  July 2001  July 2000  July 1999  July 1998  July 1997
   August 2002  August 2001  August 2000   August 1999   August 1998  August 1997
   September 2002  September 2001  September 2000  September 1999  September 1998  September 1997
   October 2002  October 2001  October 2000  October 1999  October 1998   October 1997
   November 2002  November 2001  November 2000  November 1999  November 1998  November 1997
   December 2002  December 2001   December 2000  December 1999  December 1998  December 1997
Ernst Levy

Symphony No. 10 "France"

ERNST LEVY (1895-1981): Symphony No. 10 "France". Opus One continues to do well by this fine composer who has been so forgotten due to the various upsets and dislocations which the Second World War brought to so many talented European artists of all types. The tenth of Levy's fifteen symphonies was written in 1944 in Maine (except for the third movement which predates it by some months). In five movements, it centers around that third movement, Elegy Française, a 16-minute threnody for fallen France in two sections: polyphonic Dorian mode melody and graceful sarabande. Preceding it is a dark, uneasy march of Mahlerian overtones and a short intermezzo with horn solo follows it, linking it to the even longer finale which begins with a double fugue and concludes with a set of metamorphoses of a monody which synthesizes the main elements of the symphony and includes, in the hopes of a future of freedom, the carillon from Bizet's Arlesienne and a trumpet call evoking the Marseillaise. The first movement is of hymn-like, noble and graceful character with more than a bit of the out-of-doors, wide-open-horizons mood of Copland and Harris. National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; George Marriner Maull. Opus One CD 188 (U.S.A.) 12E001 $11.98

The utter lack of "big-ticket" releases will be clear from our cover item this month. This was not unexpected since four of the six U.S. distributors do not offer December new releases but in past years there have been so many high-quality November releases that it was tough to choose a cover item (leaving several for the December cover choice as well). January will tell if the independent record companies are going into a decline along with the majors. We do know that Naxos and its distributed labels will have a whopping 42 items in the January catalogue; we can only hope that all the rest will be as fruitful!

Credit card customers please note:

We have switched to a different credit card fulfillment company and we now require the following additional information from you:

1. The three digit number which follows your credit card number on the back of your card (usually on the strip where you sign your name)

2. Billing address. Please provide ONLY IF different from mailing address.

We're sorry for any problem but it should be a one-time inconvienence and the new fulfillment entity saves us money (especially good given the horrible state of sales in this economy!).

Classical Music from Azerbaijan

FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): Azerbaijan Capriccio, Kurd-Afshari (symphonic mugam), KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982): Leyli and Majnun, SULTAN HAJIBEYOV (1919-1974): Karvan, OGTAY ZULFUGAROV (b.1929): Holiday Overture. Amirov's Kurd-Afshari was one of two symphonic mugam (a new genre which he created based on a folk music form which alternates improvisational passages with rhythmically strict ones in song or dance style) which helped win him a State Prize from the USSR in 1949 while the Azerbaijan Capriccio (1961) is a shorter, overture-style piece. The combination of folk styles and motifs with picturesque and colorful orchestration is typical not only of Amirov but of the rest of the composers on this disc. Karayev, however, studied with major Russian composers (Shostakovich and Alexandrov) and was even more of an innovator, combining a Prokofievian chromaticism with Azerbaijani folk modality as early as the 1940s, when his symphonic poem Leyli and Majnun (from a tale of doomed love by a 12-century Azerbaijani poet) was written. Hajibeyov's 1945 "Caravan" follows in Ippolitov-Ivanov's sandy footprints as a colorful caravan approaches, passes and recedes into silence and Zulfugarov's overture (1961) is a brief, bustling piece that injects local color into the standard Soviet "four minutes of hell-raising" format. Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra; Yalchin Adigozalov. Azerbaijan International AICD 1201 (Azerbaijan) 12E002 $13.98 >

KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982): 4 Excerpts from Seven Beauties, 3 Excerpts from In the Path of Thunder, FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): 6 Excerpts from Nasimi, 3 Excerpts from Arabian Nights. Samplings of complete ballets by these two most famous Azerbaijani composers. Seven Beauties (1952) is based on poetry by the same poet who inspired Leyli and Majnun (above) and is similarly colorful while In the Path of Thunder, a 1958 ballet based on a South African novel about racial prejudice, uses themes from that country. The two Amirov ballets (1977 and 1979 respectively) are much more folk-suffused in their style, positively brimming with exotic colors and orchestration. Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra; Yalchin Adigozalov. Azerbaijan International AICD 1202 (Azerbaijan) 12E003 $13.98 >

VASIF ADIGOZAL (b.1936): Piano Concerto No. 4, HAJI KHANMAMMADOV (b.1918): Concerto for Tar and Orchestra. Adigozal's 1995 piano concerto is aligned along the Ravel-Bartók-Prokofiev axis for its first two movements with a brisk lyricism, much rhythmic definition and percussive solo writing but also with plenty of Azerbaijani local color added before its finale heads for the epic-Romantic regions familiar to collectors of Soviet socialist realist concertos. The tar is a fretted, long-necked lute-like instrument which, here at least, can also sound at times like a mandolin and at other times like a sitar; Khanmammadov's concerto (1968) seems astonishingly virtuosic to the Western listener and the orchestration is completely in the style of the other composers we've been dealing with here. Murad Adigozalzade (piano), Ramiz Guliyev (tar), Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra; Yalchin Adigozalov. Azerbaijan International AICD 1203 (Azerbaijan) 12E004 $13.98 >

KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982): 4 Preludes, FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): Ballad, Ashug's Song, Nocturne, Humoreska, Lyrical Dance, Waltz, Lullaby, Toccata, VASIF ADIGOZAL (b.1936): Elegy, 6 Preludes, UZEIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): Without You, ISMAIL HAJIBEYOV (b.1949): 3 Sketches in the Spirit of Vatto, RAFIG BABAYEV (1936-1994): 2 Pieces. Amirov's pieces are the closest to pure folk music here while Karayev's preludes (composed between 1951-63) are part of a 24-piece set, based on polyphonic forms and moving from simple to complex (would have been nice to have a complete recording!). Adizogal's preludes have, of all things, a Gallic elegance about them. Murad Adigozalzade, Ulviyya Valiyeva, Tamilla Guliyeva, Elnara Hashimova (piano). Azerbaijan International AICD 1204 (Azerbaijan) 12E005 $13.98 >

UZEIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): Overture, 2 Arias and Dance from Koroglu, Askar's Aria from Arshin Mal Alan, KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982)/JOVDAT HAJIYEV (b.1917): Mardan's Aria from Vatan, MUSLIM MOGOMAYEV (1885-1937): Overture and Aslan Shah's Aria from Shah Ismail, Nargiz' Aria from Nargiz, FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): Sevil's Aria from Sevil. This is a collection of opera arias and orchestral interludes, the lion's share of which belong to Hajibeyov, the father of Azerbaijani classical music. Opera fans will perhaps want to wait until next month when we will be offering four complete Hajibeyov operas; others will enjoy sampling the typically folk-inspired and colorful music on offer here from operas all of which are famous in their homeland. No texts. Garina Karimova (soprano), Mukhtar Malikov (tenor), Azerbaijan International AICD 1205 (Azerbaijan) 12E006 $13.98 >

KARA KARAYEV (1918-1982): 3 Preludes for Piano and String Orchestra, FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): Nizami for String Orchestra, AGSHIN ALIZADE (b.1937): Jangi for Oboe and Orchestra, HASAN REZAYEV (b.1928): Chahargah (mugam rhapsody) for Tar and Orchestra, GAMBAR HUSEINLI (1916-1961): The First Love for Tar and Orchestra, VASIF ADIGOZAL (b.1936): Carnation for Tar and Orchestra, AZER REZAYEV (b.1930): Meditation & Gaytaghi for Tar and Orchestra, UZEIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): Arazbari, Ashugsayaghi. Taking up nearly half of this disc is Amirov's 1947 string symphony in tribute to an ancient poet, demonstrating that he can provide exotic color without winds and percussion. An equal space is given to five works for tar and orchestra which show other composers' affinity for the native folk instrument and their various ways of integrating it with the western orchestra. Karayev's brief preludes for piano and strings and Alizade's two-minute "Warrior" for oboe and orchestra fill out the last disc of this series. Ramiz Guliyev (tar), Oleg Grechko (oboe), Azerbaijan State Chamber Orchestra; Yashar Imanov, Murad Adigozalzade (piano). Azerbaijan International AICD 1206 (Azerbaijan) 12E007 $13.98 >

PEROSI - Piano Concerto

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Scherzo in A for Small Orchestra. This is the eighth in Bongiovanni's series of Perosi's secular music and the second of orchestral music. The Scherzo was the composer's first orchestral work, dating from 1902 and lasting almost 15 minutes with a six-part fugue in its central section, polyrhythms in spots, fluctuations between A major and A minor and a charming slower section with chamber-like scoring and solo work for flutes, oboes and clarinets. The piano concerto (1916) is a Brahmsian monster: 47 minutes long in the usual three movements (Mosso, Andante and Vivo), full of melody, autumnal rumination and dreamy, Germanic romanticism in the first two with a slightly more vigorous aspect to its finale. Mario Delli Ponti (piano), Orchestra Sinfonica "Carlo Coccia" Arturo Sachetti. Bongiovanni GB 5117 (Italy) 12E008 $16.98

LUDVIG IRGENS-JENSEN (1894-1969): Japanischer Frühling for Soprano and Orchestra, Passacaglia for Orchestra, Pastorale religioso, Canto d'omaggio. "Japanese Spring" was written in 1919 as a voice/piano work which the composer later orchestrated in 1957 and his youthful interest in Mahler (the poems are translations of Japanese orginals on nature and life by Hans Bethge, whose translations of Chinese poems provided the texts used by Mahler in Das Lied von der Erde) is vividly present in the orchestrations of the mature composer. The Passacaglia (1926-7) won a prize in a 1928 competition in honor of the Schubert anniversary and it became, for 40 years, the most performed work world-wide of the generation of Norwegian composers after Grieg, Svendsen and Sinding. It is neo-classical in inspiration but romantic in style with Bruckner, Brahms and Reger the major influences (with Bach standing in the background, of course). The Canto (1950) is a set of variations on one of his own songs, written for the 900th anniversary of Oslo while the Pastorale religioso (1939) is based on an earlier choral song and was performed at the funerals of both Irgens-Jensen and his parents. Ragnhild Heiland Sørensen (soprano), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Eivind Aadland. Simax PSC 1164 (Norway) 12E009 $18.98

Early, Unpublished Vaughan Williams

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Quintet in C Minor for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, String Quartet in C Minor, Quintet in D for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Cello and Piano, 3 Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes for String Quartet, Scherzo for String Quintet, Nocturne and Scherzo for String Quintet, Suite de Ballet for Flute and Piano, Romance and Pastorale for Violin and Piano, Romance for Viola and Piano. Five of these chamber works were withdrawn by the composer and never published in his lifetime; most have apparently never been performed since the neighborhood of 1918. The string quartet and quintet in D both date form 1898 and the influences are Dvorak and Brahms and the piano quintet of five years later is similarly Brahmsian. In fact there is very little of the mature Vaughan Williams present in most of these pieces (except, of course, the 1940/41 Welsh hymn tune preludes) but the music is always fresh, vital and well-made - sure to attract both VW collectors and lovers of late Romantic chamber music. 2 CDs. The Nash Ensemble. Hyperion CDA 67381/2 (England) 12E010 $35.98

GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983): Piano Trio, Calme sans lenteur for Piano Trio, Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, Violin and Piano: Sonatine, Berceuse, Adagio, Pastorale. Darius Milhaud said "The music of Germaine Tailleferre is always twenty years old", a statement convincingly demonstrated by these chamber works. Though they come from a 68-year-long period (1910-1978), they are always youthfully fresh, sparkling with joy and optimism, graceful and bright. The piano trio gives the best example: originally a three-movement work written during 1917-18, the composer took it out of the drawer in 1978, discarded the slow movement (also recorded here) and added two newly composed ones, yet the work is practically seamless in form and style. The second violin sonata is a transcription of a violin concerto from 1936 and the Adagio a transcription of the slow movement of a 1924 piano concerto for Cortot. Cristina Ariagno (piano), Massimo Marin (violin), Manuel Zigante (cello). Timpani 1C1063 (France) 12E011 $18.98

GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983): 6 chansons françaises, MAURICE EMMANUEL (1862-1938): 21 Chansons Bourguignonnes, JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1992): 5 Mélodies. Tailleferre's songs are simple and lucid, evoking the artlessness of children's songs and Langlais adds unexpected harmonies to his equally simple songs but the lion's share of this disc goes to 21 of the "30 Burgundian Songs" which scholar-composer Emmanuel took from various 15th and 16th century sources and to which he adds asymmetic rhythms, modal cadences and atmospheric harmonies to both "update" and mediate the old songs for a modern audience. French-Hungarian texts (!) Enikö Butkai (soprano), Till Alexander Körber (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32070 (Hungary) 12E012 $16.98

RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883-1944): Conchita. Coming from 1911, three years before his most famous opera, Francesca da Rimini, Conchita showed the young composer imbibing the then exotic colors of Debussy and Richard Strauss. The opera is a mixture of verismo, rich harmonic impressionism and Spanish exoticism. Puccini turned down the novel upon which Conchita was based as a possibile source for a libretto for an opera of his own due to the story's close similarity to Bizet's Carmen, telling you all you need to know about what to expect in this live recording from 1969. 2 CDs. No libretto. Budget-price. Includes 51 minutes of Francesca da Rimini with Ilva Ligabue and Aldo Protti from 1976. Antonietta Stella (soprano), Aldo Bottion (tenor), RAI Turin Chorus and Orchestra; Mario Rossi. Gala GL 100.708 (Italy) 12E013 $10.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA FONTANA (d. c.1630): 12 Sonatas for Recorders, Violin and Chitarrone. Counterpoint and proportion are the basis of Fontana's one-, two- and three-part sonatas from the first decades of the 17th century eith the 16 century canzone being more evident in influence than the stile nuovo then beginning to form the new baroque style. Icarus Ensemble. Claves CD 50-2203 (Switzerland) 12E014 $16.98

FRANZ TUNDER (1614-1667): Jesus Christus, wahr' Gottes Sohn, Herr Gott, dich loben wir, Christ lag in Todesbanden, Prelude in F, Was kann uns kommen an für Not (2 settings), Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, Prelude in G, Auf meinen lieben Gott, Canzona, Prelude in G, In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr, Prelude in G. Tunder was Buxtehude's predecessor at St. Mary's Church in Lübeck and the relative lack of published organ works (this is his complete uvre) emphasizes the extent to which he must have improvised. This recording is made on a brand-new organ in Sweden which is the result of intensive research on all aspects of 17th century North German organ building, making it the first example we can think of of a "period instrument copy" of an organ. 2 CDs. Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (North German Organ, Örgryte Nya Kirka, Göteborg, Sweden). Loft Recordings LRCD 1048/1049 (U.S.A.) 12E015 $35.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VITALI (1632-1692): 3 Passagalli, Op. 7, 9 Sonatas, Op. 5, Balletto, Op. 13. All of these works were published after 1670 and they exhibit a wavering between the newer, contrupuntal style and the older style of the canzone. The performers use recorder and soprano viol for the soprano parts and guitar, archlute or vihuela with cello for the bass part. Quadro Hypothesis. Tactus TC 632201 (Italy) 12E016 $11.98

HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ VON BIBER (1644-1704): Requiem à 15 in Concerto, Battalia à 10. Like a previous issue from these performers of Biber's Missa Bruxellensis, this world premiere recording of the Requiem was recorded in the Cathedral in Salzburg with instrumental and choral groups occupying antiphonal positions in balconies on each side of the building with another instrumental compliment on the floor in front of the altar. Recorded live in 1999, this mass, probably from 1687 for the funeral of Biber's patron Archbishop, is, unlike many of the period, full of jubilation and exultation. Even the Dies irae is a divine and righteous battle - no fear and trembling here - and the whole piece ends with the joy of assurance of a soul having ascended into heaven. La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Le Concert de Nations; Jordi Savall. Alia Vox AV 9825 (Spain) 12E017 $17.98

FRANCESCO BARSANTI (1690-1772): 5 Concerti Grossi, Op. 3. Brilliant, glitteringly contrapuntal concerti grossi far beyond Corelli, Handel or Vivaldi in the latter aspect, these works (published in 1742) are some of the finest ever to come out of Scotland. Scotland? Yes, Barsanti lived there from 1735-43. Trumpets and drums add to the brazen splendor... Auser Musici. Tactus TC 690201 (Italy) 12E018 $11.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Gloria e Imeneo, RV687, La Senna festeggiante, RV693. The second recording of La Senna in four months is 13-minutes longer than its predecessor on Opus 111, presumably due to the completion of its final recitative. Now 85 minutes in length, it is joined here by the hour-long 1725 serenata which celebrated the wedding of France's Louis XV in Venice. Like its companion, many of its sections are recyclings from previous works (including the opera Giustino) but, also like it, the work was put together with great care is a valuable addition to our knowledge of a genre with which Vivaldi is not usually associated. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Tuva Semmingsen (mezzo), Hilary Summers (alto), Charles Daniels (tenor), Andrew Foster-Williams (bass). The King's Consort; Robert King. Hyperion CDA 67361/2 (England) 12E019 $35.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Cantata Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut, JOHANN DAVID HEINICHEN (1683-1729): Sonata in C Minor for Oboe, Viola da Gamba and Continuo, GEORG FRIEDRICH KAUFFMANN (1679-1735): Cantata Unverzagt, beklemmtes Herz, JOHANN ERNST PRINZ VON SACHSEN-WEIMAR (1696-1715): Concerto in C for Strings, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Cantata Mein Herz schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, ANON.: Concerto in G Minor for Oboe and Strings. Two cantatas, two concertos and a sonata from contemporaries of Bach's Weimar period. Graupner's setting of the same text Bach set in 1713 comes from the year before and is much shorter and less intense. Kauffmann's is the simplest - only two violins and continuo accompany the voice and all three arias are in the same key. Ernst's concerto is here reconstructed from Bach's harpsichord transcription of it (BWV 984); the anonymous oboe concerto is likely to have been by the Price as well. German-English texts. Andrea Hornung-Boesen (soprano), Ensemble musica poetica Freiburg; Hans Bergmann. Hännsler Classic CD 98.408 (Germany) 12E020 $15.98

FRANTISEK BENDA (1709-1786): 10 Symphonies. This reissue brings us the seminal recordings of Benda's symphonies made between 1969-73 and is also a tribute to the orchestra "Ars rediviva" and their flutist-conducter Munclinger who did yeoman work on period performance practice and produced good editions of works which had been neglected for centuries. The booklet gives a lot of valuable information on Munclinger and his orchestra as well as on these symphonies which fit somewhere in the transitional period before the high Classical era. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Ars Rediviva; Milan Munclinger. Supraphon SU 3646-2 (Czech Republic) 12E021 $21.98

CRISTIANO GIUSEPPE LIDARTI (1730-1795): Concerto for Harpsichord with Violin and Bass, Harpsichord Sonata, Duetto Primo for Flute and Harpsichord, Duetto Quinto for Violin and Harpsichord. Austrian-born, Lidarti spent most of his career in Italy and these pieces evidence a gift for melody and inventiveness; the harpsichord plays the most significant role in all of these works. Auser Musici, Paola Poncet (harpsichord). Tactus TC 733701 (Italy) 12E022 $11.98

CLAUDE BALBASTRE (1724-1799): 18 Pieces for Organ. Performed on the same organ (after various restorations) Balbastre played from 1756-95, the current titulaire (since 1973) of Saint-Roch offers a collection of short pieces the majority of which come from a Balbastre manuscript in the Versailles Municipal Library. Françoise Levéchin-Gangloff (Clicquot/Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Church of Saint-Roch, Paris). Skarbo DSK 1013 (France) 12E023 $16.98

JOÃO DE SOUSA CARVALHO (1745-1798): Testoride Argonauta. Dating from 1780, this is entirely in the form of Italian opera seria, with both accompanied and secco recitative, only one duet and one ensemble but with written out repeats of the da capo arias which often vary significantly from the first part. Carvalho's orchestration is a cut above the average, with particular attention paid to using the wind instruments. 1990 recording. (We assume this is a reissue...) 2 CDs for the price of 1. Elizabeth von Magnus (soprano), Curtis Rayam (tenor), Orchestre baroque du Clemencic Consort; René Clemencic. Nuova Era 7376 (Italy) 12E024 $17.98

BARTOLOMEO CAMPAGNOLI (1751-1827): 6 Introductions and Fugues, Op. 10, 7 Divertimenti, Op. 18. Recommended for study by even Paganini, the Divertimenti are each meant to be played entirely in one position and are not written in any predictably Classical convention, Italian folk-song being rather a more obvious source than contemporary conventions. The fugues are preceded by brief introductions and, though probably written at least partially in hommage to Campagnoli's master Nardini, the style is well past the galant. 2 CDs. Davide Amodio (violin). Dynamic CDS 419/1-2 (Italy) 12E025 $35.98

FRITZ SPINDLER (1817-1905): Sonatina in C, Op. 157/4, ANTON DIABELLI (1781-1858): Sonatina in G, Op. 151/1, FRIEDRICH KUHLAU (1786-1832): Sonatina in C, Op. 55/1, JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Sonatina in G, Op. 20/1, GEORG ANTON BENDA (1722-1795): Sonatina in A Minor, MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Sonatinas, Op. 36, Nos. 2-6, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Sonatina in F, Anh. 5, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Viennese Sonatina No. 1 in C, DMITRI KABALEVSKY (1904-1987): Sonatina in A Minor, Op. 13/1. Part of this label's "Learning by Example" series for young pianists, this release is also a nice acquisition for repertoire collectors as a glance the above listing will immediately show. Small in size, shallower in emotional content than sonatas, these sonatinas are yet rich in content and satisfying both to play and to listen to. Mordecai Shehori (piano). Cembal d'amour CD 119 (U.S.A.) 12E026 $15.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Sonata in G Minor, Op. 50/3 "Didone abbandonata", Exercise No. 5 in B Flat, Duet in C, Op. 6, Sonata in B Flat, Op. 24/2, Preludio alla Clementi from Op. 19, Sonata IV in D from Scarlatti's Chefs-d'uvres, Sonata in G (Wv 14). A few smaller, rather unknown works (the duo is a miniature delight) share the stage with the big G Minor sonata and make this release worth having, both for repertoire and for those who prefer period instruments. Laura Alvini (fortepiano), Chiara Nicora (second piano). Frame FRO 141 (Italy) 12E027 $16.98

DANIEL GOTTLIEB STEIBELT (1765-1823): Piano Sonata No. 2 in E, JOHANN BAPTIST CRAMER (1771-1858): Piano Sonata No. 2 in G, HANS GEORG NÄGELI (1773-1826): Toccata No. 1 in F Minor, MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Piano Sonata in F Sharp Minor, Op. 25/5, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Piano Sonata in E Flat, Op. 31/3. The unifying theme behind this collection is Nägeli, a composer and publisher who published the works presented here - all late Classical sonatas (except for his own toccata, part of a dozen which he published with a dedication to all of his composer-clients) of varying moods, from Clementi's fashionably minor-key expression to Steibelt's glittering salon-like piece. Hiroko Sakagami (piano). Musikszene Schweiz CD 6193 (Switzerland) 12E028 $18.98

IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Works for Flute and Piano: 4 Divertimenti, Op. 82, Sonata Concertante, Op. 42,. For Solo Piano: La Forza, Op. 51/1, La Tenerezza, Op. 52, Gigue, Op. 58, Pastorale, Grande Etude, Op. 126. The 30-minute Sonata Concertante shows the influence of Beethoven in its rhythmic patterns and dramatic character while the remaining solo piano pieces will be of interest to collectors of early Classical piano music. Clive Conway (flute), Christine Croshaw (piano). Meridian CDE 84388 (England) 12E029 $16.98

LOUIS JAMES ALFRED LEFÉBURE-WÉLY (1817-1870): Meditaciones religiosas, CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Offertoire in B, Domine non secundum in B Minor, Domine Deus in simplicitate, in A, Ave Maria in E Minor, Andantino in G Minor, O Salutaris in D Minor, Sortie in D, Dextera Domini in B Flat, Grand Choeur in C. Five liturgical pieces (one as early as 1835) mixed with short organ pieces by Franck make up half of this disc with 10 meditative organ pieces, designed for liturgical use by Lefébure-Wély. Joris Verdin (Cavaillé-Coll organs in Saint Brieuc, France and Heverlee & Gesves, Belgium), Flemish Radio Choir; Johan Duijck. Klara MMP 027 (Belgium) 12E030 $16.98 >

JOSEPHINE LANG (1815-1890): Traumbild, Op. 28/1, Die Schwalben, Op. 10/3, O sehntest du dich, Op. 14, Schon wieder bin ich fortgerissen, Op. 38/3, Blick' nach oben, Mignons Klage, Op. 10/2, Herbstgefühl, Frühzeitiger Frühling, Op. 6/3, Wenn zwei voneinander scheiden, Op. 33/6, An den See, Op. 14/4, Wie, wenn die Sonn' augeht, Am Flusse, Op. 14/4, Wie glänzt so hell, Fee'n-Reigen, Op. 3/4, Ob ich manchmal dein gedanke, Op. 27/3, Sie liebt mich, Op. 33/4, Erinnerung, Auf dem See in tausend Sterne, Op. 14/6, In weite Ferne, Op. 15/3, Den Abschied schnell genommen, Op. 15/1. This brilliant prodigy captivated Mendelssoh, with both her singing and the quality of her lieder. These examples cover almost the entire period of her composing life. German texts. Heike Hallaschka (soprano), Heidi Kommerell (piano). Audite 97.472 (Germany) 12E031 $16.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Tragic Overture, Op. 81, Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 15. World premiere recording of Brahms' own arrangement of his first piano concerto for piano four-hands Lilya Zilberstein & Cord Garben (piano). Hännsler Classic CD 93.075 (Germany) 12E032 $15.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Fantasie-Sonata in D Minor, Op. 168, Grand Sonata in E Flat Minor, Op. 14 (second version), 3 Morceaux, Op. 2. Don't let the early opus numbers fool you! Raff re-composed a lot of his earlier piano works late in life when he was now in demand and publishers wanted "new" items from him to put out. The Grand Sonata is, in fact, the last of Raff's solo piano compositions, dating from late 1881. The Raff of easy and generous melody takes a back seat here to a craftsman of sometimes rather dense polyphony in all four movements although the slow movement produces melody recognizably Raffian. The Morceaux, rewritten in 1877, are still character pieces but less Mendelssohnian than their original versions while the Fantasie-Sonata of 1871 is a single-movement, multi-sectioned work dedicated to Saint-Saëns with thematically related outer sections surrounding a slow center. Valentina Seferinova (piano). Cahoots Ltd. CAH 001 (England) 12E033 $17.98 >

JOSEF GABRIEL RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Symphony in F, Op. 87 "Florentine". Originally released in 1990, we offer this boisterous, colorful 55-minute symphony for those who may have missed it the first time. Dating from 1875, this was the result of a commission from and a trip to Florence and the sprawling good humor of the piece (with a long, 18-minute adagio inspired by Savonarola's cell leavening the high spirits) and its lack of a tight formal structure are entirely due to its attempt to represent the manifold impressions which this great Italian center of art and culture made on the composer. Northwest German Philharmonic; Alun Francis. Carus 83.112 (Germany) 12E034 $17.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Nursery Suite, Funeral March from Grania and Diarmid, Op. 42, Severn Suite, Op. 87, Meditation from The Light of Life, Op. 29, Woodland Interlude from Caractacus, Op. 35, Suite from The Crown of India, Op. 66. Odds and ends from the height of Elgar's career to the very end: both Severn and Nursery date from 1930/1 and both are assembled from earlier pieces in various genres although both are recognizably Elgarian through and through. Caractacus (1898) is the vulnerable, sensitive Elgar while The Crown (1912) belies its Imperial purpose in its use, again, of a motley collection of unconnected shorter early works. Mid-price. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Charles Groves. EMI CDZ 5 75294 2 (England) 12E035 $11.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Romance for Flute and Orchestra in D, Op. 37, Airs de ballet d'"Ascanio": Adagio and Variation for Flute and Orchestra, Tarentelle in A Minor for Flute, Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 6, Odelette in D for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 162, CHARLES GOUNOD (1818-1893): Concertino for Flute and Small Orchestra, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Fantaisie for Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 79 (orch. Yoav Talmi). A pleasant collection of short Romantic pieces for flute and orchestra, most of which are rather rare (Fauré's Fantaisie was only recently discovered in a Swedish archive and Saint-Saëns' Airs de ballet were added in the year of his death to the score of his opera Ascanio as ballet music), with Devienne's classical concerto as pivot. Sharon Bezaly (flute), Tapiola Sinfonietta; Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Harri Mäki (clarinet). BIS CD-1359 (Sweden) 12E036 $17.98

New Liszt Discoveries from Hyperion!

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): From the Album of Princess Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein: Album-Leaf - Freudvoll und leidvoll, S166n, Lilie, Hryc, Mazurek and Krakowiak, S166m/1-4, Zigeuner-Epos, S695b, Célèbre mélodie hongroise, S243a, La lugubre gondola, S199a, 3 Album Leaves, S163a/1, S166k, S167f, Aux anges gardiens, S162a/1bis, Sunt lacrymae rerum, S162d, Postludium - Nachspiel - Sursum corda!, S162f. It was always thought possible after the huge Liszt series that new material might come to light; here we have the first supplement to that series. From the 17-year-old Liszt's album leaf, which turns out to be nothing other than the earliest known sketch relating to the second piano concerto and album leaves based on Polish dances from 1847 to the first Venice manuscript of La lugubre gondola of 1882, most of this material was derived from or based on pre-existing works but they often show the composer taking entirely different directions with his musical material. Leslie Howard (piano). Hyperion CDA 67346 (England) 12E037 $17.98

HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): Liederstrauss, 11 Heine Lieder, 7 Lenau Lieder. Almost all of these songs date from before Wolf turned 20, with the Heine settings very much indebted to Schumann with a hint of mature Wolf appearing in the last three which he set in 1880. The Lenau lieder are mostly deliriously over-the-top and melodramatic (and lots of fun!) while the almost 10-minute Abendbilder a curious stringing-together of three separate odes which create nature paintings which end with an effective pastoral. German-English texts. Stephan Genz (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano). Hyperion CDA 67343 (England) 12E038 $17.98

HANS FÄHRMANN (1860-1940): Organ Sonata No. 8 in E Flat Minor, Op. 46, DAVID FULLER/ WAGNER: Meistersinger-Triptych. This completely forgotten German organist-composer wrote 14 organ sonatas, all of them as monumentally difficult as Reger's similar pieces yet completely the opposite of Reger in style, being rather a "Richard Strauss of the organ". This 1910 sonata uses a motif from Wagner's Ring and Fuller, whose half-hour long transcription and fantasy on Wagnerian themes follows, makes an ingenious case for hidden progammatic content, which is to be overtly found in most of Hährmann's output. David Fuller (C.B. Fisk organ, Op. 95 at SUNY Buffalo). Loft Recordings LRCD 1015 (U.S.A.) 12E039 $17.98

KARL GOLDMARK (1830-1915): 12 Lieder, Op. 18, Beschwörung, Op. 20, 4 Lieder, Op. 21, 4 Lieder, Op. 34, 6 Lieder, Op. 46. Comprising the bulk of Goldmark's lieder output, these songs date from 1859-79 and, drawing from both the German lied and Viennese choral singing traditions, they set both renowned Romantic poets like Chamisso, Byron and Burns and amateurs of the period. The atmosphere is as diverse as the genre's history with the op. 34 set's melancholic lyricism seeming to prefigure Strauss' Four Last Songs. German texts-Hungarian translations (!). Jutta Bokor (mezzo), Márta Gulyás (piano). Hungaroton HCD 31967 (Hungary) 12E040 $16.98

WILLIAM MASON (1829-1908): Silver Spring, Op. 6, Capriccio Fantastico, Op. 50, Rêverie Poétique, Op. 24, Improvisation, Op. 51, Valse-Caprice, Op. 17, 2 Humoresques de Bal, Op. 23, La Sabotière: Danse aux Sabots, Op. 33, Lullaby, Op. 10, Badinage, Op. 27, Caprice Grotesque, Op. 22, Ballade et Barcarolle, 3 Préludes, Amourette, Op. 48, Valse de Bravoure, Op. 5. Uncle of the best-known member of this New England musical family (Daniel Gregory Mason), William Mason studied in Germany as a pianist under Dreyschock, Moscheles and Liszt and his early compositions are in the brilliant, virtuoso style. Middle-period works are often based on salon-style dance rhythms and have Chopin in the background while his late pieces show great contrapuntal layering and harmonic instability in the manner of late Brahms and Fauré. Kenneth Boulton (piano). Naxos American Classics 8.559142 (U.S.A.) 12E041 $6.98

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): String Quartet, Romance for String Quartet, Solo Piano: 6 Daydreams, Allegro Risoluto, Berceuse, Twilight, 2 Thoughts, Cello and Piano: An Idyll, Slowly, Slowly (arr.Tours), Duo Concertante No. 2. All of the original chamber and instrumental pieces here were written between 1858-68, the two string quartet pieces being the work of a 16-year-old (very Mendelssohnian). The piano pieces are, by turn, reflective, joyful and melancholy in a salon manner (the Allegro risoluto is something more - quite virtuosic and remained unpublished until the 1970s) and the Idyll and Duo concertante show Sullivan's love for his own instrument - the cello). Yeomans String Quartet, Jamie Walton (cello), Murray McLachlan (piano). SOMM CD 233 (England) 12E042 $17.98

XAVER SCHARWENKA (1850-1924): Piano Trios No. 1 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 1 and No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 45, Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 2, Cello Sonata in E Minor, Op. 46a, Serenade for Violin and Piano, Op. 70, Piano Quartet in F, Op. 37. These chamber works by the famous pianist are energetic, richly melodic, harmonically interesting and always full of brilliant work for the pianist although the piano quartet and second trio (mature works of 1876-78) also give the strings much of the responsibility for presenting thematic material. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello) and other artists. Original 1994/5 Collins Classics releases. Hyperion Dyad CDD 22046 (England) 12E043 $17.98

New Titles from Acte Prealable of Poland

ADOLPHO (late 18th c.): Vesperae in F. This work by a next-to-unknown composer is the only surviving piece from the once-large collection of both sacred and secular music which was held by the Redemptorist Bennonites at their church in Warsaw. The music (effectively polyphonic, with some noteworthy solo aria-type insertions here and there) is interspersed with liturgy in order to create an entire Vespers service as it might have been heard at St. Benno's between 1790-1808. The copious notes give a fascinating history of the Bennonites, their services to music and to the people during the Prussian occupation of Poland and more. Musica Sacra, Bennonitae Cantantes, Clementium; Piotr Wilczynski. Acte Prealable AP0083 (Poland) 12E044 $16.98 >

BAZYLI BOHDANOWICZ (1740-1817): 12 Polonaises, Mazurkas inD and in C, Kozak con Variazioni, JÓZEF ELSNER (1769-1854): 3 Rondeaux, MICHAL KLEOFAS OGINSKI (1765-1833): Polonaise célèbre "Les Adiux à la Patrie". A representative sample of Polish keyboard music of the end of the 18th and the very beginning of the 19th centuries. Bohdanowicz' dance-based compositions bristle with meticulous performance instructions which produce a wide range of expression while Elsner's rondos (1801) prefigure early Schubert. Marek Toporowski (harpsichord). Acte Prealable AP0079 (Poland) 12E045 $16.98 >

THOMAS D.A. TELLEFSEN (1823-1874): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Grande Etude, Op. 25, Feuillets d'Album, Op. 16, Impromptu in G, Op. 38, Elégie, Op. 7, Allegretto in A, Op. 20, Grande Polonaise in C Sharp, Op. 18, 6 Mazurkas, Op. 14, Marche Triomphale in E Flat, Op. 29. The Norwegian Tellefsen was a student and close friend of Chopin and spent his entire adult life in Paris where he was also highly sought-out as a teacher and performer. His piano works are not pale imitations of Chopin; Norwegian dance types are alluded to in these mazurkas of 1853-54 and his Grande Polonaise is dramatically expressive and technically demanding, the genre having become internationally stylized by the mid century. Malgorzata Jaworska (piano). Acte Prealable AP0062 (Poland) 12E046 $16.98 >

FELIKS NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946): Roses for Sappho, Op. 51, HENRYK OPIENSKI (1870-1942): Preludes, Op. 13, April, The May Song, Triolet, MAKSYMILIAN GRECKI (c.1840-1870): The Offering, Bogunka, My Song at the Grey Hour, To the May Breeze, STANISLAW WIECHOWICZ (1893-1963): Why Are You Growing Pale?, And Who Made You..., That Cradle, TADEUSZ SZELIGOWSKI (1896-1963): In the Alder Forest, Hop, ANDRZEJ KOSZEWSKI (b.1922): 2 Cradle-Songs. All of these composers were associated with Poznan and this recital gives an interesting picture of Polish song-writing from the short-lived Grecki, who based his style on Moniuszko to Opienski with influences from R. Strauss, Wolf and Debussy), the dramatic recitative-like Sappho songs of Nowowiejski and the variously folk-inspired pieces of the remaining three composers. Polish texts. Maria Pawlaczyk (soprano), Weronika Firlej-Kubasik (piano). Acte Prealable AP0080 (Poland) 12E047 $16.98 >

FELIKS NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946): Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Gavot, Fairy-Tale, 3 Polish Dances, 2 Preludes, 2 Mazurkas, 3 Ballades, Gen Dowbór-Kusnicki Military March, March - Under the Banner of Peace. Known in the west mostly for his organ symphonies, Nowowiejski also composed four symphonies as well as a substantial body of solo piano music, much of which is based on Polish folk elements as are seven of the pieces on this first volume. The preludes and ballades are somewhat sterner stuff (although the dance-pieces glare as much as they smile), offering a glance into the soul of a Rachmaninovian late romantic. Magdalena Adamek (piano). Acte Prealable AP0085 (Poland) 12E048 $16.98 >

JOACHIM OLKUSNIK (b.1927): 3 Bagatelles for Flute and Harp, Epigrams for Piano, Sequences for Violin and Piano, 3 Impressioni for Piano, Elegy for Clarinet and 2 Cellos, Introduction, Arioso and Presto for Piano Trio, Prelude and Passacaglia for Organ. The Bagatelles are startlingly like Ravel in mood and texture but sterner stuff is in store as melody leaves and rhythm, texture and aphoristic motives characterize the Epigrams, Sequences and Impressioni (a tense, mysterious atmosphere entering the works employing strings too) while elements of violence are added to the Elegy (for victims in the Balkans during the late 90s). Various artists. Acte Prealable AP0084 (Poland) 12E049 $16.98 >

KAZIMIERZ ROZBICKI (b.1932): Missa festiva for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. A commission to celebrate a 1000 year church anniversary, this mass (just under 70 minutes in length) is based entirely upon the melody and harmony of the rural Polish church song and it unfolds in "heavenly length" and Brucknerian simplicity (although not Brucknerian majesty - the rejoicing parts of the mass are pastoral in their nature). Magdalena Witczak (soprano), Katarzyna Suska (mezzo), Iuventus Cantans, Filharmonia Koszalinska Symphony Orchestra; Jerzy Kosek. Acte Prealable AP0077 (Poland) 12E050 $16.98 >

PAWEL LUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Vesperae pro defunctis for Gregorian Choir, 2 Mixed Choirs, Small Organ, Large Organ and Orchestra, MAREK JASINSKI (b.1949): Da pacem Domine for Alto, Baritone, Mixed Choir and Orchestra. Lukaszewski's mass for the dead is based on "holy minimalism" but also makes use of the centuries-old traditions of liturgical chant, Gregorian and other and its slow motion, deep feeling and pillowy consonances result in moving, mystical and subtly passionate experience. Jasinski's Da pacem (1995) is a full-throated, intense work in a style which has nothing to do with any kind of minimalism and which, at times, could almost be a film score by someone like Wojciech Kilar. Stirring stuff whose 24 fierce minutes are the perfect chaser to Lukaszewski's work. Ewa Mikulska (alto), Piotr Kusiewicz (tenor), Bogdan Makal (baritone), Jan Szypowski, Stanislaw Moryto (organs), Catholic Academic Theological Choir, Cantica Cantamus, Pueri Cantores Tarnovienses, Czestochowa Philharmonic Orchestra; Boguslaw Madey. Acte Prealable AP0097 (Poland) 12E051 $16.98 >

ANDRZEJ KOSZEWSKI (b.1922): Missa "Gaude Mater" for Mixed Choir, MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Hosanna for Mixed Choir and 4 Instruments, JÓZEF SWIDER (b.1930): Missa Angelica for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): Canticum Canticorum for Soprano and Orchestra, JULIUSZ LUCIUK (b.1927): Msza polska for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Live recordings from the "Gaude Mater" sacred music festivals between 1994-2000 bringing a wide variety of styles: Koszewski's short mass is a clear, fresh, melodic a cappella piece, Borkowski's Hosanna adds brass, percussion and organ to produce nine minutes of barbaric splendor, Twardowski's "Song of Songs" suitable sensuous and exotic, Luciuk's 15-minute "Polish Mass" is predominantly lyrical with some traces of Polish folk influence while Swider's piece - the largest here at 27 minutes - strikes a balance between sophistication and simplicity, remaining very melodic and tonal in both guises. Various Choirs, Soloists and Orchestras. Acte Prealable AP0098 (Poland) 12E052 $16.98 >

MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): B-A-C-H for Organ, 3 Improperia for Organ, Pascha Nostra for Trumpet and Organ, Fresk for Flute and Organ, Humnus in honorem Sancti Petri et Pauli for Organ, Magnificat for Soprano and Organ, Pictures of Dances for Organ, Largo for Violin and Organ, Organ Sonata No. 2. Intensity and wide dynamic extremes have been characteristics of Sawa's organ pieces as displayed in the first two volumes of this series and there has been more than a touch of Messiaen about them as well. Now, the list can be widened to include virtuosic expressiveness as in the fine B-A-C-H and the second sonata - both three-part works with fiery outer movements and reflective centers. The Improperia, based on Polish Lent songs, show Sawa's sacred/meditative mood, contemplative and melancholy while the Pictures of Dances is a kaleidoscopic piece of folk-dance color. A sizable portion of this recording (24 of its 76 minutes) is given over to works with instrument or voice joining the organ and Sawa's inventive approach to problems of balance and color are both convincing and enjoyable. Magdalena Andreew-Siwek (soprano), Grzegorz Lalek (violin), Przemyslaw Marcyniak (flute), Malgorzata Wlodarska (trumpet), Jan Bokszczanin (organ). Acte Prealable AP0081 (Poland) 12E053 $16.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): The Company of Heaven for 2 Narrators, Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra, Te Deum in C for Chorus and Organ, Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Vittoria for Organ. The Company of Heaven was written in 1937 for the BBC and its 40 minutes are divided into three parts, a representation of Chaos, "Angels in Scripture" and "Angels in Common Life and at Our Death". The young composer's facility at writing for voices is already apparent (as is his lack of interest in the English "pastoral" tradition). There are solos in the third part originally written for Peter Pears (probably Britten's first for his lifelong companion) and for the soprano Sophie Wyss, who had sung the virtuosic Our Hunting Fathers the previous year. The composer had yet to turn 21 when he set the Te Deum which uses an ethereal treble solo in its central section and is extraordinarily economical in its harmonic resources (Vaughan Williams called it "eight minutes of C major"... what was eating him?). The organ piece of 1946 is an example of Britten acknowledging musical history as well as, in the fugue, forging ahead on his own road. Texts included. Phyllis Hoffman, Peter Watchorn (narrators), Anne Harley (soprano), William Hite (tenor), Back Bay Chorale and Orchestra, Boston; Julian Wachner, Scott Jarrett (organ), Marsh Chapel Choir, Boston University; Julian Wachner (organ). Arsis CD 134 (U.S.A.) 12E054 $16.98

ALAN BUSH (1900-1995): 3 Concert Studies for Piano Trio, Op. 31, 2 Easy Pieces for Cello and Piano, 2 Melodies for Viola and Piano, Op. 47, Sonatina for Viola and Piano, Op. 88, Concert-Piece for Cello and Piano, Op. 17, Summer Valley for Cello and Piano, Op. 125. The words "Volume One" on the cover of this release will be more than welcome for those few collectors who know how extraordinarily talented Bush was and that, had it not been for his active, outspoken membership in the Communist Party, he would now be counted as one of Britain's foremost 20th century composers. The chamber works offered here cover a period from 1936 to 1988 and it is the earliest, the Concert-Piece, which is a masterpiece. A single-movement work lasting around 19 minutes, it combines a brooding violence with deep lyricism and was intended to reflect the rise of Fascism in Europe. The 1978 Sonatina is really of sonata size and importance - a complex and substantial work which has elements of Vaughan Williams pastoral style in its first movement but which remains personal and distinctive. The shorter works are all approachable, often attractively melodic and atmospheric. Adam Summerhayes (violin, viola), Catherine Summerhayes (piano), Joseph Spooner (cello). Meridian CDE 84458 (England) 12E055 $17.98

RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): Insanity-Fantasia, Flower Vignettes I & II, La Béguinage (Little Piano Sonata), OTTO MORTENSEN (1907-1986): 4 Nocturnes. The truly bizarre side of Langgaard comes out here not so much in the Insanity-Fantasia (which is a 1949 piece reworked from an original dating from 1914-17 and which is not programmatic in fact) but in La Béguinage. This is the name for a house of nuns and the notes go into some depth in explaining its use heading this five-movement piece as a contemptuous broadside. The fun is in the middle movement, a hellish dance of death written without bar lines as spleen gets vented, and in the next - an almost ridiculously jolly one which works its repetitive way up to a final bar over which is marked in the score "Mania religiosa". The Flower Vignettes date from 38 years apart yet have the same titles and keys - but what a difference a lifetime makes! Mortensen's 1978 Nocturnes, by contrast, are surprisingly hyper-Romantic, sounding like odes to Chopin or Field, Verdi, Mendelssohn and Franck respectively. Tove Lønskov (piano). Kontrapunkt 32327 (Denmark) 12E056 $16.98 >

CHARLES TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939): L'orgue mystique, Vol. 7 - 2 Cycles de Pâcques, Op. 56. 2 Cycles après la Pentecôte, Op. 57. After quite a hiatus, the erratic release of this massive cycle continues with the seventh volume. Crafted to ornament liturgical offices, the composer himself suggested that it was also fit for concert performances but, of course, the music serves Christian mysticism and its primary purpose is to create a mood in which the worshipper can lose himself in adoration and plainsong and chorales are the most popular sources and styles to be found in the cycle. Sandro R. Müller (Rieger organ of St. Maria Himmelfahrt, Kleve, Germany). Cybele 050.107 (Germany) 12E057 $16.98

MARCEL DUPRÉ (1886-1971): La France au Calvaire, Op. 49, Festival Alleluia, OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): O sacrum convivium, JEHAN ALAIN (1911-1940): O Salutaris. Dupré's largest and most original choral work dates from 1952-3 and was written for the reconsecration of Rouen Cathedral, destroyed during World War II (his other large-scale choral work, De profundis, was inspired by the destruction of the first World War). Lasting around 65 minutes the work is in eight sections and begins and ends with a personified France at the foot of the crucified Christ begging him to forgive the French their sins. An odd set-up, to be sure, but the interior movements are depictions of six French saints, whose qualities,works and the ways in which they met their deaths provide Dupré with the opportunity to create colorful and passionate portraits. Shorter works by three of Dupré's finest pupils fill out the disc. French-English texts. Helen Neeves (soprano), Catherine Denley (alto), Matthew Beale (tenor), Colin Campbell (baritone), Vasari Singers; Jeremy Backhouse, Jeremy Filsell (organ). Guild GMCD 7239 (England) 12E058 $16.98

DANIEL CATÁN (b.1949): Obsidian Butterfly for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, Highlights from Rappacini's Daughter. The complete Rappaccini's Daughter appeared some years ago in these pages on the Newport Classics label. These 44 minutes of excerpts were recorded in 1991, the year of the opera's premiere in Mexico City. Obsidian Butterfly, like the opera, uses texts by the Nobel prize-winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz. The vivid, almost surreal images of the latter as well as Hawthorne's equally surreal plot for the opera allow Catán to provide richly lyrical music and soaring orchestral motifs. Modern yet completely tonal, the music is colorfully evocative and Catán is masterly in his pointed, yet delicate, use of percussion. Spanish-English texts. Encarnación Vasquez (soprano), Fernando de la Mora (tenor), Jesús Suaste (baritone), Convivium Musicum Chorus, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra; Eduardo Diazmuñoz. Naxos 8.557034 (New Zealand) 12E059 $6.98

EKATERINI KARAMESSINI (b.1967): Song of Dionysos, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone, 3 Horns and Strings, Op. 630, ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1854-1936): Saxophone Concerto in E Flat, Op. 109, JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962): Concertino da camera for Saxophone and 11 Instruments, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Scaramouche, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Rapsodie. Impressionism, neo-classicism and late Romanticism lead into modern Greek composer Karamessini's work, composed earlier this year for the soloist here and which uses the saxophone to depict the shift from Dionysian passion to Apollonian calm in music which has elements of popular styles (or is that just the sound of the saxophone) and luminous orchestration. Theodore Kerkezos (sax), Philharmonia Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Naxos 8.557063 (New Zealand) 12E060 $6.98

âESK ROZHLAS - The Label of Czech Radio

VLADIMÍR SOMMER (1921-1997): Violin Concerto, ·TE PÁN LUCK (b.1919): Nenie for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, JOSEF MATE J (1922-1992): Concerto for Trumpet, Horn, Trombone and Chamber Orchestra. Sommer's violin concerto is the earliest of the three works here, dating from around 1950 just after he had graduated from the Prague Academy of Music and, in its reserved lyricism and attractive melodic invention, resembles Prokofiev. Lucky's piece (1974), as befits its title, is a more serious, not to say occasionally angry and grief-stricken work, written for the performers here and part of his lifelong desire to remember the victims of the Nazis (Lucky suffered particularly in prison and concentration camps during the Nazi occupation). Matej was a trombone player and played in brass bands in his native Lachia and his triple concerto (also from 1974) brims over with boisterous good spirits and joie de vivre. Václav Snitil (violin); Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Václav Neumann, Nora Grumliková (violin), Milo Sádlo (cello), Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava; Otakar Trhlík, Miroslav Kejmar (trumpet), Milo Peter (horn), Zdenek Pulec (trombone), Musici di Praga; Vladimír Válek. âesk Rozhlas CR 0080-2 (Czech Republic) 12E061 $14.98

JAN SLIMÁâEK (b.1939): Musica e canto for Reciter, Chorus and Orchestra, Sinfonietta for Strings, Musica per Orchestra, 4 Intermezzi, De amicitia for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Slimacek was a student of Kabelac and his 1963 Sinfonietta is close to his teacher's general style. The other purely orchestra works, dating from 1967-82 are in a freely tonal style which often flowers into a terse lyricism. A large orchestra is often used very sparingly with single instruments or sections throwing motives back and forth or commenting on them and the atmosphere is often troubled, tense and pregnant with foreboding. Musica e canto is a stylized, almost static work with a sense of ritualistic discharge while the latest piece, De amicitia (1984), returns to an atmosphere of unease and tension for all that it's subject is friendship. Jaroslav Koneãn (reciter), Hana Beranová (soprano), Czech Radio Choir, Plsen Radio Orchestra; Bohumír Lika, Josef Black, Ladislav Kupkoviã, Vit Micka. âesk Rozhlas CR 0165-2 (Czech Republic) 12E062 $14.98

OTOMAR KVE CH (b.1950): R.U.R. - Passacaglia for Orchestra, String Quartet No. 2, Hrubín Variations for Oboe, Harp and String Quartet, Nocturnes for Wind Ensemble, Aufer a nobis for Voice and Organ. Kvech writes his own program notes and displays a great sense of humor which is only slightly helped by the quality of the translation and his music is a winning as his personality. Eschewing all modernist schools, Kvech writes music which concentrates on the eternal verities of melody, rhythm and harmony without dabbling in minimalism or in neo-romanticism. The string quartet, from 1972, is still indebted to Bartók and the other quartet writers you would expect but the other works are those of a distinct individual, showing his sense of humor in his musical writing in the Passacaglia (1986) suggested by Karel Capek's drama about robots of the future; the Nocturnes of 1996 are atmospheric and evocative and an old Hussite song hides in the final movement; the Hrubín Variations of 1999 are perhaps the finest of these works, showing a mature composer working with tradition and offering us his own voice through it. Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stanislav Bogunia, PraÏak Quartet, Jana BroÏková (oboe), Jana Bouková (harp), Kocián Quartet, Prague Conservatory Wind Ensemble; Jaroslav Vodnansk, Pavel âervinka (baritone), Miluka Kvechová (organ). âesk Rozhlas CR 0180-2 (Czech Republic) 12E063 $14.98

MAREK KOPELENT (b.1932): Sonata for 11 Strings "Veronica's Veil", JAROSLAV RYBÁ¤ (b.1942): Dreams and Landscapes (In Memory of B. Martinu), ROMAN Z. NOVÁK (b.1967): Music 4 U, JAN KLUSÁK (b.1934): Invention VIII, JAROSLAV SMOLKA (b.1933): Choral Overture. Live recordings from the 1995 Atelier 90 festival. Atelier 90 was formed in 1990 as an alternative to the Communist-influenced Union of Composers and, as you would expect, its adherents were those who had, more or less, turned their backs on "Music for the Masses" and embraced dodecaphony, aleatoric techniques and all manner of other forms of musical experimentation. What is striking about these five works is how not really avant-garde they are: Klusák's Invention VIII (1974) has an aleatoric central section with the whole work based on a 12-tone row although it sounds more expressive than academic; Smolka's overture (1981) is a 12-tone homage to the oldest extant Czech religious hymn; Rybár's homage to Martinu (1990) is freely tonal with a dreamy, surreal first section and a second one paying tribute to Czech folk sources; Novák's 1994 piece uses a rock drum-kit and a taped drum computer in its young author's perhaps inevitable attempt to mix rock and classical while Kopelent's 1973 work shows some affinities with Penderecki and Ligeti's works of the same period. Prague Chamber Philharmonic; Tomá Hanus. âesk Rozhlas CR 0069-2 (Czech Republic) 12E064 $14.98

JAN NOVÁK (1921-1984): Baletti à 9, JAN TAUSINGER (1921-1980): Hukvaldsky Nonet, SVATOPLUK HAVELKA (b.1925): Nonet, MIROSLAV HLAVÁâ (b.1923): Epizoda pro noneto, VRATISLAV PETR âERNÍK (b.1941): Nonetto per il Re. Novák's 1956 Balleti is a delightful, melodious work very much in the style of Martinu and Tausinger's little piece mixes Janacek with aleatory techniques. Havelka's is a 19-minute, single-movement, broadly tonal work which starts in chaotic mists, rises busily and industriously to a climax and retires into the murk from which it came. Hlavác's small "Episode" is like a nocturne while Cerník mixes neo-classicism and melody with aleatoric and atonal passages to create a drama of struggling opposites. Czech Nonet. âesk Rozhlas CR 0079-2 (Czech Republic) 12E065 $14.98

KAREL HUSA (b.1921): String Quartet Op. 2, OTOMAR KVE CH (b.1950): Mozart's Nostalgia, JI¤Í GEMROT (b.1957): Bucolica, ZDENE K LUKÁ· (b.1928): String Quartet No. 5 "Contrasti per quatro". Claimed as a world premiere recording, Husa's quartet predates his numbered ones (therefore, pre-1948) and is wholly tonal, melodic and thoroughly enjoyable. Gemrot's Bucolica is a 12-minute tonal depiction of that favorite topos of composers - the summer day (complete with thunderstorm). Kvech represents Mozart's life via five quotations from contemporary sources in his (also tonal) work while Lukás' 1999 quartet is another one which uses traditional techniques molded slightly with more modern procedures to produce communicative and satisfying music. Apollon Quartet. âesk Rozhlas CR 0220-2 (Czech Republic) 12E066 $14.98

JI¤Í TEML (b.1935): String Quartet No. 3 "Fantastic Scenes", IVANA LOUDOVÁ (b.1941): Variations on a Theme by Stamic, IVAN KURZ (b.1947): Tone-Circle, ZOJA âERNOVSKÁ (b.1960): String Quartet, IVO BLÁHA (b.1936): String Quartet No. 3. Teml's single-movement work of 1990 uses tonality, melody, rhythm and mildly extended playing techniques to produce an expressionistic tribute to a late friend; Loudová's work is warm and affectionate, with the Classical theme easily heard and followed all the way through; Kurz was inspired by paintings of the Lithuanian artist-composer Ciurlionis to produce his freely expressionistic two-movement work in 1979; Cernovská's first work as a professional composer has a heart-felt chorale as its second and final movement and Bláha combines various playing techniques, a wide dynamic range and micro-intervals to produce images of refined expression. Stamic Quartet. âesk Rozhlas CR 0059-2 (Czech Republic) 12E067 $14.98

JAN RYCHLÍK (1916-1964): Trio for Clarinet, Trumpet and Bassoon, CTIRAD KOHOUTEK (b.1929): Jokes and Smiles - Novelettes for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, VLADIMÍR SVATO· (b.1928): Serenades for 3 Flutes and Piano, JAN ·IMÍâEK (b.1942): 4 Pictures for Wind Trio, JARMIL BURGHAUSER (1921-1997): The Alley of Time for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone. Trust wind instruments to bring out the sunny, witty side of composers. Rychlik (1948) is optimistic and open-hearted, Kohoutek (1991) and Svatos (1995) provide impish humor in their suites of short pieces and Simícek (1994) provides tonal portraits of four Czech artists. Burghauser also shows some witty qualities in his ten-piece suite from 1892, an homage to dance forms from the Renaissance to the present The Philharmonic Wind Trio, Flute Ostraviensis and other artists. âesk Rozhlas CR 0147-2 (Czech Republic) 12E068 $14.98

ALOIS PIOS-SIMANDL (b.1925): Serenade for Brno Brass Band, JAN KAPR (1914-1988): Brno Allegro, PAVEL BLATN (b.1931): 2 Movements for Brass Instruments, EVÏEN ZÁMEâNÍK (b.1939): High Jinks - Cantata for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, Flute, Viola and Brass Band, ZDENE K ·ESTÁK (b.1925): Sonata Sinfonica for Winds, Bells and Kettledrums, PETR EBEN (b.1929): Brass Quintet - Variations on a Chorale Theme, MILOSLAV I·TVAN (1928-1990): Shakespearean Variations for Winds and Percussion. Sestak's work was one of many written for the 80th anniversary of the Czech Philharmonic and, as one would expect of a commemorative piece, it accentuates the brash qualities of the brass instruments and concentrates on drama and conflict. Istvan's 1975 variations is a heterogeneous mixture of genres and styles. Eben's quintet rings the changes on a 15-century Czech hymn while the remaining works, all written for the Brno Brass Band, are full of humor, some jazz, some popular music references and, in Sesták's piece, medieval student poetry. Vocal soloists, Brno Brass Band; EvÏen Zámeãník, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Frantiek Vajnar, Prague Brass Ensemble, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra; Rostislav Halika. âesk Rozhlas CR 0053-2 (Czech Republic) 12E069 $14.98

MAREK KOPELENT (b.1932): Purulent Song for Baritone and Brass Quintet, PETR POKORN (b.1932): August Psalm for Baritone, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, JAROSLAV SMOLKA (b.1933): Metamorphoses for Organ, JAROSLAV RYBÁ¤ (b.1942): A Discourse for 5 Instruments, LUKÁ· MATOU·EK (b.1943): Roots of Time for Orchestra. The two major works here are Matousek's 1981 orchestral triptych which incorporates compositional techniques from the age of polyphony into a modern, atonal idiom, and Smolka's 1982 organ piece similarly applies serial and aleatoric principles to the old forms of Prelude, Passacaglia, Toccata and Chorale. The remaining works also use various modern compositional techniques, sometimes in combination with tradition, sometimes, as in Kopelent's case, as creative ends in themselves. Various artists incl. Prague Brass Quintet, Novák Trio, Dorothea Fleischmannová (organ), Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc; Libor Mathauser. âesk Rozhlas CR 0115-2 (Czech Republic) 12E070 $14.98

VÍTE ZSLAV NOVÁK (1870-1949): Valley of the New Kingdom for Baritone and Orchestra, Op. 31, JOSEF BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951): Pure Morning, Op. 107 for Soprano and Orchestra, BED¤ICH SMETANA (1824-1884): Evening Songs for Tenor and Orchestra, ANTONÍN DVO¤ÁK (1841-1904): Biblical Songs for Alto, Baritone and Orchestra, Op. 99. These would appear to be CD premieres of the Foerster and Novak songs (possibly of the Smetana too) and collectors of these composers will want to have this late romantic music regardless of the lack of texts while the Dvorák, taking up the other half of the disc, and the oldest recording here, an interesting example of a performance tradition pretty much lost today. No texts. Zdenek Otava (baritone), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Rudolf Vaata (1956 - mono), Ludmila âervinková (soprano), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alois Klima (1957 - mono), Beno Blachut (tenor), Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Josef Hrnãír (1969), Marta Krásová (alto), Václav BednáÞ (baritone), Prague Radio Orchestra; Alois Klima (1946 - mono). âesk Rozhlas CR 0106-2 (Czech Republic) 12E071 $14.98

ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK (1914-1991): Sinfonia Sacra, Symphony No. 10, Cello Concerto. This disc usefully couples three major works by Panufnik, culminating in his last major composition, the cello concerto. The Sinfonia Sacra from nearly 30 years earlier remains one of Panufnik's most arresting works, from the opening fanfares through the meditative chant-derived hymn, finally expanded into an enormous final statement which brings the work full circle. The tenth symphony might be seen as doing the same sort of thing but in the sparer, geometrically planned language of the composer's later years. The concerto, in two contrasting movements, is less dependent on the small cells, used as building blocks, that characterise much of the writing in the symphonies; a smaller-scale, more intimate work, it consists of a brooding opening movement and a somewhat Bartókian scherzo, uneasy in mood and eschewing the triumphant peroration or sense of peaceful arrival enjoyed by the symphonic works. Andrzej Bauer (cello), Warsaw Philharmonic; Kazimierz Kord. CD Accord ACD 072-2 (Poland) 12E072 $17.98

JULIUSZ LUCIUK (b.1927): Litany to Our Lady of Suprasl, Marian Suite. Two choral works by one of Poland's leading composers of liturgical music, one with orchestra. The works are tonal and draw on the traditions of church music to express deep and genuine religious feeling, with choral writing of great beauty and a restrained passion born of a deep-seated religious ecstasy. Undeniably conservative in idom, the works have a timeless quality which renders their actual composition dates (1980s and 1990s) irrelevant, as the spontaneous and organic sincerity and inventiveness, and the links to tradition outweigh any sense of musical fashionability. Jadwiga Rappé (alto), Cantica Cantamus, Polish Radio Orchestra; Marcin Nalecz-Niesiolowski. Dux 0370 (Poland) 12E073 $16.98

ANDREW IMBRIE (b.1921): Spring Fever for String Quartet, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Piano, Double Bass and Percussion, Chicago Bells for Violin and Piano, Songs of Then and Now for Girls' Chorus, Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Piano and Percussion. The liveliness of Imbrie's music is matched by the liveliness of his inspiration and inventive imagination. Throughout these three strongly contrasting works there is a sense of forward movement contributed by rhythmic alacrity coupled to an unconventional but unmistakable use of harmonic progression. The choral song-cycle with ensemble accompaniment, setting poetry of Shakespeare, R.L.Stevenson and e.e.cummings, is especially rewarding, each poem (the sequence based around the idea of growing up while retaining a kind of wide-eyed innocence amid growing sophistication, which seems to have something to do with Imbrie's own attitude to his craft) presented in music of charm, clarity and emotional range. Chorissima of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players; David Milnes. Albany TROY 538 (U.S.A.) 12E074 $16.98

ANTAL DORÁTI (1906-1988): Duo concertante for Oboe and Piano, 5 Pièces for Solo Oboe, Notturno and Capriccio for Oboe and String Quartet, Trittico for Oboe and Piano. The Notturno and Capriccio (1926) is one of the few early works which Doráti did not destroy and it still clearly shows the influence of his teachers Kodály and Bartók. The other three pieces come from the first half of the 1980s and free tonality exists side-by-side in some pieces with simple melody (the composer described his style as "recognizably contemporary but not afraid of melody"); in their tonal results and musical sense of humor, Doráti's late compositions can be compared with Mauricio Kagel's works from the same period. Yeon-Hee Kwak (oboe), Chia Chou (piano), Leipzig String Quartet. MD&G 603 1126-2 (Germany) 12E075 $17.98

EZRA LADERMAN (b.1924): The Music of Vol. 5 - 10 Violin Duets, Bassoon Concerto, Sextet for Violin, Viola, Cello, English Horn, Bassoon and Bass Clarinet. Laderman revisited his 1954 bassoon concerto (only given a reading and one performance by a student orchestra) in 2001 at the request of the performers here and, providing a new second movement, reduced the accompaniment to five strings. A great rhythmic dynamism is the most obvious characteristic of the piece which reaches a frenzy of virtuosity for the soloist in the middle of the third movement. The sextet (1997) is a more thorny work, each of the six players being given his own theme in the first movement which is then continuously truncated until a kind of twittering, Klee-like dance results. The second movement exploits the higher registers of the wind instruments and reaches an intense emotional outburst and the finale opposes winds and strings in a rondo-like format providing a sense of release. The violin duos (1998) exhibit a tremendous variety of texture and form, ranging from jazzy riffs to baroque devices. Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project. Albany TROY 537 (U.S.A.) 12E076 $16.98

HARALD GENZMER (b.1909): Concerto for Trumpet, Piano and Strings, Miniaturen for Strings, Sinfonietta for String Orchestra, Divertimento di danza for String Orchestra, Sonatina prima for Strings. Genzmer's objectivity and emphasis on craftsmanship and structure put him into the same category as his teacher Hindemith and these pieces for string orchestra show him exploring the possibilites of polyphony and dissonance resulting from the melodic motion of various voices (the 1967 Sonata prima), the clear forms and structures of baroque music (Divertimento di danza - 1953) and the play of rhythms and accents (Miniatures - 1976 and the Sinfonietta of 1955 whose suddenly passionate, grief-stricken largo appears in the same manner in whichHaydn could insert such utterances into generally light-hearted symphonic works of his own). The concerto comes from 1999 and the 90-year-old Genzmer is just as winning with beautiful, crystalline melodies, touches of melancholy and virtuosic solo work. Margarita Höhenrieder (piano), Guy Touvron (trumpet), Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn; Jörg Faerber. Thorofon CTH 2457 (Germany) 12E077 $16.98

MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE (b.1960): Silent Cities for Orchestra, Four-Horned Fandango for 4 Horns and Orchestra, Fractured Lines - Double Percussion Concerto, Another Set To for Trombone and Orchestra. Turnage is known for two things: the violence and aggressiveness of his compositions and their use of jazz elements, rhythms and references. These pieces are no different (Another Set To being the most purely jazz-inspired and giving virtuoso trombonist Lindberg everything he can handle) yet there are also quieter, more brooding and, in Silent Cities, slightly creepy passages (the title comes from Kipling's poem on the graveyards at the Somme) which make the percussion-driven onslaughts seem even more viscerally exciting. Timothy Brown, Michael Murray, Andrew Antcliff, Christopher Larkin (horns), Christian Lindberg (trombone), Evelyn Glennie, Peter Erskine (percussion), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin. Chandos 10018 (England) 12E078 $16.98

CHEN YI (b.1953): Percussion Concerto, THEA MUSGRAVE (b.1928): Journey Through a Japanese Landscape for Marimba and Wind Orchestra, ZHOU LONG (b.1953): Out of Tang Court for Tang Ensemble and Orchestra, ALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000): Fantasy on Japanese Wood Prints for Xylophone and Orchestra, Op. 211. In the "bad", old days, the meeting between East and West involved little more than sprinklings of Asian artifice on Western meat. Here, however, the husband-and-wife team of Chen Yi and Zhou Long have given us works which completely assimilate Western compositional techniques with Chinese musical language to the point where almost anyone interested in East-West fusion will be delighted. It is not surprising, given Hovhaness' studious pursuit of Eastern culture's musics that his work is much more to the authentically Asian side of things than the Scottish Musgrave's (still very ingenious and appealing) composition. Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Deng Haiqiong (guzheng), Wang Guiying (erhu), Zhang Lei (pipa), Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui. BIS CD-1222 (Sweden) 12E079 $17.98

MICHAEL HORVIT (b.1932): The Mystic Flame - A Choral Symphony. This large-scale and ambitious canvas depicts with great detail and comprehensiveness the chronicle of the Jewish people in the 20th century. Setting texts from a wide range of sources - politicians, religious leaders, poets, holocaust victims and survivors - the predominantly tonal music encompasses a great range of expression, while never being distractingly 'difficult'; the message of the texts being of paramount importance here. The marches and ostinato-driven depictions of war and oppression alternate with simple, chamber-textured passages of great intimacy and mourning, and choruses of plaintive beauty, always progressing toward an optimistic conclusion expressing hope for the eventual brotherhood of all humanity. Texts included. Twyla Whittaker (soprano), Katherine Ciesinski (mezzo), Joseph Evans (tenor), Richard Paul Fink (baritone), Moores School Symphony Orchesta & Festival Chorus; Franz Anton Krager. Albany TROY 533 (U.S.A.) 12E080 $16.98

KARL PILSS (1902-1979): Trumpet Sonata, HALSEY STEVENS (1908-1989): Trumpet Sonata, GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Trumpet Sonata, FISHER TULL (1934-1994): 3 Bagatelles for Trumpet and Piano, KENT KENNAN (b.1913): Trumpet Sonata. Even non-brass lovers may enjoy this lovely concert of romantic or post-romantic, tonal music for the trumpet. Antheil's 1951 sonata is perhaps the most immediately appealing with a memorable melody in its first movement and many unexpected harmonic twists and tempo shifts as well as being the most virtuosic of these pieces (for the pianist as well). But Pilss' piece (1935) is deliciously lush and quasi-Straussian in its late Romanticism while the remaining pieces (two from the 50s and one from as late as 1975), while more identifiably "modern", still depend on drama and melody for their different effects. Scott Thornburg (trumpet), Silvia Roederer (piano). Centaur CRC 2554 (U.S.A.) 12E081 $16.98

ARTHUR BERGER (b.1912): Episodes, Fantasy, Rondo, 3 Bagatelles, Partita, 4 Two-Part Inventions, 3 One-Part Inventions, 5 Pieces, Birthday Cards. These pieces range across 61 years and many stylistic changes in Berger's career with the first six works listed above in a style which is basically neo-classical but characterized by a very economical approach, employing compact forms, brevity and transparency; the diatonic skeleton and its fragmentation led Milton Babbitt to describe a work by Berger as "diatonic Webern". From the mid 50s on, the composer uses both dodecaphonic techniques and a less rigorous employment of cells, whose pitch classes are dispersed in various ways (abstract expressionist art was a strong influence on him at the time). Regardless of how academic and obscure this all may look on paper, Berger's music is enjoyable to listen toand collectors who enjoy the piano works of Webern, Schoenberg and Stravinsky should also find much to hold their attention here. Geoffrey Burleson (piano). Centaur CRC 2593 (U.S.A.) 12E082 $16.98

ROBIN HOLLOWAY (b.1943): Gilded Goldbergs for 2 Pianos, Op. 86. Frustrated by his inability to clarify the close-weave canons or manage the more difficult hand-crossing so idiomatic on a two-manual harpsichord, Holloway began his "Goldberg adventure" in 1992 with a handful of transcriptions for two pianos, finding out only somewhat later that Josef Rheinberger had done a two-piano transcription of the whole Goldberg Variations a hundred years previously. Over the next five years, the composer transcribed all thirty of Bach's variations, some in serious fashion and some not so serious (there are homages to Nancarrow and the Hungarian cymbalom as well as to Tippett, Grainger, Scarlatti, and Schumann and Holloway provides a lengthy, humorous and detailed program note as a map for what he did and why. Should delight most piano fanciers, especially at the special price! 2 CDs for the price of 1. The Micallef-Inanga Piano Duo. Hyperion CDA 67360 (England) 12E083 $17.98

AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Karura - Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra, A Stream - After Dark for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Melodies from Light and Shadow for Orchestra. Karura is the name of a Hindu bird-god and Nishimura gives it the oboe as voice in this single-movement concerto from 2000 in which the soloist is practically never silent, singing away in music of demanding virtuosity which is also quite identifiably Asian in effect. A Stream - (1997) gives the piano a monophonic melody with constant tremolos upon which the orchestra comments (Nishimura intends the piano to be similar in character to the lower part of a 17-string koto). Melodies (2000), the largest work here, was inspired by the dark-red glow of sunset on the snow-capped mountains behind Vancouver and is dedicated to Takemitsu. The composer builds textures of sound by various means, including the overlapping of many layers of melodies, and the result is somewhat reminiscent of certain works by Ligeti, Ohana or Taïra. Thomas Indermühle (oboe), Aki Takahashi (piano), Izumi Sinfonietta Osaka; Norichika Iimori, NHK Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Bamert. Camerata 28CM-523 (Japan) 12E084 $17.98

ÁSKELL MÁSSON (b.1953): Frum - A Drum Song, Prim for Solo Snare Drum, MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): The King of Denmark, IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Psappha for Percussion Solo, POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Alarm - a Thriller for Percussion, ECKHARD KOPETZKI (b.1956): Topf-Tanz, MAKI ISHII (b.1936): Thirteen Drums, JOHAN HAMMERTH (b.1953): Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra. The average collector may not have known how compositions for solo percussion could vary so widely in instrumentation and style. From Feldman's (typically) quiet piece which uses no mallets or sticks and must be played only with hands and fingers, to Kopetzki's Topf-Tanz which uses brake-drums and pots in addition to more usual percussion instruments, to Xenakis' 1975 Psappha with its high degree of complexity in its combinations of rhythmical cells (at one point the poor percussionist is playing 15 instruments at the same time), to Ruders' creepy mini-horror-film-score which adds the didjeridoo for atmosphere, to Hammerth's 22-minute concerto with its huge swings between chamber-like transparency and full-throated sound onslaughts, there is enough here to make this disc a demonstration item for its genre. Markus Leoson (percussion), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Heinrich Schiff. Nosag Records CD 071 (Sweden) 12E085 $16.98 >

TOKUHIDE NIIMI (b.1947): For Marimba II, Music for Flute and Guitar - Melos II, Fairy Ring for Clarinet and Piano, Mode Rainbow I-III for 2 Pianos, Lux Originis for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano. These works taken in combination suggest a composer in search of a personal idiom in which to express his philosophical ideas about nature and spirituality. There is a considerable diversity of style here. The attractive and energetic two-piano work, Mode Rainbow, is predominantly minimalistic in style, while most of the other works, especially the more recent ones, are concerned with timbre and occupy a realm of meditative stasis. The marimba work is something of a virtuoso showpiece, somewhat atonal and sounding not unlike many such works for this instrument that seems to exert a fascination over contemporary Japanese composers. Various artists. Camerata 28CM-657 (Japan) 12E086 $17.98

INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): Poesis, Greetings from an Old World, stund, när ditt inre for Baritone and Orchestra, Kontakion. These four orchestral works, spanning more than 30 years, have in common an overt emotionalism and expressionistic extroversion which are characteristic of Lidholm's music. The earliest, Poesis from 1963, is not surprisingly the one that makes the greatest use of avant-garde techniques - extended playing techniques and the like. By contrast, the most recent, stund, när ditt inre ("hour, when your soul"), with its impassioned lyricism, is more conventionally written, but no less striking and individual - perhaps even more so. One might almost find parallels between aspects of the vocal line and its interaction with the strange and strained accompaniment, forever shifting in and out of harmonic focus, and the Busoni of Doktor Faust. Kontaktion, based on a Russian Orthodox hymn for the dead, is a virtuosic yet somber orchestral requiem; here and in Greetings, a conventional orchestra with some added instruments and important solos for selected musicians is used to create a very personal sound-world, inward-looking and humanistic yet dramatic on an epic scale. Peter Mattei (baritone), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Lü Jia. BIS CD-1240 (Sweden) 12E087 $17.98

SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM (b.1942): Fantasia II, ANDERS NILSSON (b.1954): Piano Trio, JOHAN JEVERUD (b.1962): Chamber Music, Chapter 2, GÖSTA F. HANSSON (b.1957): Tribute. This collection of neo-tonal works for piano trio starts with Nilsson's 1998 piece of three movements whose titles ("Trot", "Habanera" and "Rondo") describe their dance-character, the last movement alternating between percussive accents and dreamlike lyricism. Sandström used to write thorny, complexicist music but now he produces such things as this Fantasia II (1989) which is strongly influenced by the tonal language of Brahms and comes with a ponderously chordal piano part, grand rhapsodic gestures and great cresecndos and climaxes. Jeverud's work (early 1990s) is free-flowing and improvisational music built around a modal framework while Hansson combines a sense of tradition with elements of improvisation. TrioMats. Daphne 1015 (Sweden) 12E088 $16.98 >

WILHELM KILLMAYER (b.1927): Heine-Lieder. Killmayer has selected 35 of Heine's poems and divided them generically into four groups with titles taken from the texts of the poems: "In My Dreams", "That's Human" (wonderful, witty and satirical poems you don't often see), "The Old Story" (the hyper-romantic, self-annihilating poetry so dear to Schubert and Schumann) and "The Power of Song". Killmayer sets these texts from the standpoint of a 20th century composer (or from the standpoint of an older man who has seen it all) and brings marvellous psychological insight into the characters of the poet. The music is tonal, sometimes so beautiful it will make your jaw drop, sometimes harsh and declamatory but always full of the razor-sharp mind and empathetic heart of a truly brilliant composer. German-English texts. Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Siegfried Mauser (piano). CPO 999 838 (Germany) 12E089 $15.98

HARRY PARTCH (1901-1974): The Wayward. A set of four separate pieces ("Barstow", "San Francisco", "The Letter" and "U.S. Highball"), The Wayward was Partch's first large theater work, composed between 1941-43 and extensively revised until 1967 when he had created more instruments for its performance and refined his vision. Barstow consists of eight hitchhiker inscriptions from a highway railing in that California desert town; San Francisco is a setting of the "the cries of two newsboys on a foggy night in the Twenties"; The Letter is a "Depression message from a hobo friend" and U.S. Highball (at 26 minutes, over half the length of the whole work) is a musical account of a transcontinental hobo trip. Newband now preserves and performs on Partch's own instrument collection - bizarre-looking microtonal creations ("Chromolodeon", "Spoils of War" and "Cloud Chamber Bowls" are just three of the evocative names) which are mostly either plucked strings or marimba-like percussion instruments and which sound much less weird than they look. Ranging from comedic to tragic, the texts are supported by combinations of instruments which are always rhythmically vital. If you have not heard Partch but like John Cage's experiments with percussion in the 30s and 40s and can imagine what that would sound like with found texts spoken, sung and declaimed, this will appeal. Newband; Dean Drummond. Wergo WER 6638-2 (Germany) 12E090 $19.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): The Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - ONE9 for Sho and 108 for Large Orchestra (played simultaneously). Both works date from 1991 and playing the "number series" piece along with 108 effectively gives us a concerto. Like the other "number pieces", sounds emerge from and recede into a neutral silence and the silence itself is an important element of the piece (the work's length - 43:30 - refers to the famous 4:33). Simple pitches alternate with inexplicable noises, dissonances and even conventional chords while the delicate sounds of the sho (a Japanese bamboo mouth organ) play the aural equivalent of the brushstrokes of oriental calligraphy. Mayumi Miyata (sho), Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mode 108 (U.S.A.) 12E091 $16.98

PELLE GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (b.1932): Mirror Pieces for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Passacaglia for Tabla, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Double for Violin and Piano, Territorial Song for Bass Clarinet, Cello and Piano, In terra pax for Clarinet, Piano and Percussion, Plateaux pour deux for Cello and Percussion. Formality and freedom, serialism and tonal centers coexist with surprising ease in these chamber works by a composer who has been described as 'an established outsider' in Danish music. The 1977 Passacaglia shows the composer's style to good advantage. Bound together by the repeated sequence presented at the outset, the work is largely tonal, though with ample dissonance in certain sections, and strong contrasts between different textures, some rough-sounding, others classically refined. The tabla - not used for local color, but to impart a jazzy rhythmic buoyancy - most attractive - is an example of how an unquestionably modern composer, fully aware of Darmstadt preoccupations can nonetheless write music of almost popular accessibility. An almost sculptural sense of shape and form is apparent in the other larger works here, especially the recent Territorial Song, in which thematic 'objects' face off against each other. Unusual music without ever being self-consciously 'different' for the sake of it. LINensemble. Dacapo 8.224225 (Denmark) 12E092 $15.98

PÉTER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Music for New York for Hungarian Zither, Hurdy-Gurdy, Saxophone, Percussion and Synthesizer "Now, Miss!" for Violin, Electric Organ, Synthesizer and Stereo Tape, Electrochronicle for Electric Organs and Sound Transformation, Dervish Dance for Clarinet. Electronic and electroacoustic music has always tended to fall into two categories; the kind in which a composer discovers how to make a really neat noise and then tries to wrap a piece of music around it, and the kind in which the musical ideas precede the funny noises. These pieces, all of which contain some sort of improvisational element, definitely fall into the latter category, with some of the combinations of sounds - very interesting ones at that - arising almost by accident as a result of combinations of meticulously planned events. In several cases the pieces have been remixed in recent years, from source material produced in the 1970s, to which new elements, including improvisations, have been added - in the case of Music for New York this adds an element of jazz fantasy to what was presumably a more conventional piece of musique concréte in its original form. Even in the most abstract work here - the 1974 tape composition Electrochronicle - we hear what sounds suspiciously like thematic material (though at the time the electronic transformation of timbres was probably what captured people's attention the most). Péter Eötvös, Mesias Maiguashca (electric organs), János Négyesy (violin), Csaba Klenyán (clarinet). BMC CD 072 (Hungary) 12E093 $16.98

GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Die Hamletmaschine-oratorio. This, to texts by Heiner Müller, is a dramatic work - effectively a theatre piece, though without the necessity for stage action. Heavily symbolic, drawing not only on Shakespeare but also Artaud, Greek tragedy and social and political events in the 20th century, the work functions as a nightmarish commentary on the madness of society and the individual. Not surprisingly, the music is intense and disturbing, with an important role played by the chorus, commenting as well as participating in the action. A dark and unrelenting tragedy, then, full of anguished cries and suggesting no solutions, merely commenting on the endless cycle of life and pain. By no means an easy work, but powerful and challenging, and always provocative. Françoise Kubler (soprano), Lionel Peintre, Romain Bischoff (baritones), Geneviève Strosser (viola, voice), Jean-Pierre Drouet (percussion, voice), SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart; Georges-Elie Octors. Cyprès CYP5607 (Belgium) 12E094 $17.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): String Quartet No. 2. 367 minutes and 7 seconds - perhaps Feldman's most extreme example of experimentation with extreme length. Also available as a single DVD-Audio disc for those of you who will be too impatient to get up and switch CDs. 5 CDs for the price of 2. FLUX Quartet. Mode 112 (U.S.A.) 12E095 $35.98

BILL WORLAND (b.1921): Curtain Up!, Broadstairs - Descriptive Suite, Sandman Serenade, Paths of Peace, Intermezzo 45, For Aida, Rhapsodie Tristesse, Amaro Dolce, Honky-Tonk Town, Midnight in Manhattan. Worland has already appeared in Marco Polo's "British Light Music" series and this new release brings more of his attractive, tuneful and bright light music. City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra; Gavin Sutherland. Campion Cameo 2017 (England) 12E096 $13.98 >

VYACHESLAV GROKHOVSKY (b.1945): Russian Caprice for Piano and Orchestra, The Enchanted Wanderer - Symphonic Poem, Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales for Piano and Orchestra, Gypsy Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra. Since the notes tell us nothing about the impulses behind the composition of the symphonic poem, we are left with only the music to go by and it ranges widely, from Liszt to Russian ballet, in its stylistic associations. The Russian Caprice sounds more like popular American music and jazzy elements turn up in the Fairy Tales as well as hints of Khachaturian (who was Grokhovsky's composition teacher) while the Gypsy Rhapsody is colorully just what you'd expect. Kind of a "Russian Light Music" release... Valery Grokhovsky (piano), Vladimir Ivanov (violin), Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vyacheslav Grokhovsky. Campion Cameo 2016 (England) 12E097 $13.98 >

MATTHEW CURTIS (b.1959): Fiesta, Amsterdam Suite, Pas de Deux, Paths to Urbino, 2 Pieces for Small Orchestra, Outward Bound. Two of Curtis' works have appeared in ASV's ongoing series of "British Light Music" releases and most of what appears here is similar in tone, evoking composers like Eric Coates. But there are darker, more "serious" moments too, the slow movements of the suites having a darker atmosphere than often shows up in "light" compositions. The Ballade of 2 Pieces could be the slow movement from a violin concerto and the Pas de Deux has a sinuousness and a hint of Tchaikovsky. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. Campion Cameo 2015 (England) 12E098 $13.98

Les Planètes - Improvisations on the Schyven/Van Bever organ of Notre-Dame de Laeken, Brussels by organist Peter Ewers. This French label continues to fight for the preservation of organ improvisation with this release in which organist Peter Ewers gives his personal impressions of the vastness of space, our solar system and its planets (and comets). A lavish 44-page booklet includes gorgeous color photos of each object of improvisation as well as astronomical and mythological/astrological information. Solstice SOCD 199 (France) 12E099 $16.98 >

Piano Rarities - Husum Festival 2001

ERNST VON DOHNANYI (1877-1960): Rhapsody, Op. 11/4 (Alfredo Perl), LAURA NETZEL (1839-1927): Etude: La Fileuse, Op. 52/1, BELA BARTÓK (1881-1945): 3 Hungarian Folk Songs from the Csik District (Fredrik Ullén), MARKO TAJCEVIC (1900-1985): 7 Balkan Dances, BORIS PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991): Etude No. 3 (Kemal Gekic), PAUL HINDEMITH (1897-1963): Sonata No. 3 (Enrico Pace), GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901)/FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Aida-Fantasy, LOUIS M. GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869): Souvenirs d'Andalousie (Giovanni Bellucci), COR DE GROOT (1914-1993): 2 Homenages, ANTONIO JOBIM (1927-1994): Garota de Ipanema (arr. Meinders), FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Charakterstück, Op. 7/1 (Frédéric Meinders), FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/ LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938): Morgengruss, FREDERIC RZEWSKI (b.1938): Down by the Riverside (Konstantin Scherbakov). The 16th Husum Festival CD arrives at last, with, perhaps, not as many real rarities as we'd like but with Croatian pianist Gekic taking care of two of his compatriots and an etude by the Norwegian woman composer Laura Netzel while the Dutch pianist Meinders offering two brief works by his compatriot as well as his own arrangement of a Brazilian popular song (don't worry - the technical possibilities are thoroughly explored!). Danacord DACO CD 589 (Denmark) 12E100 $16.98