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The Romantic Piano Concerto - 34

Gabriel Pierné

GABRIEL PIERNÉ (1863-1937): Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 12, Poëme symphonique in D Minor, Op. 37, Fantaisie-Ballet in B Flat, Op. 6, Scherzo-Caprice in D, Op. 25. The complete works for piano and orchestra by this organist, educator and prolific composer. Earliest are the Fantaisie-Ballet and the concerto (1885 and 1886 respectively), both written during his stay in Italy as Prix de Rome winner and both with interesting connections to Saint-Saëns, both musical and extramusical. The Fantaisie is a work of glittering virtuosity dedicated to pianist Caroline Montigny-Rémaury - the same woman who received Saint-Saëns' similarly bright and sparkling Wedding Cake, Op. 76 the very same year. The concerto, a loosely constructed three-movement work resembles Saint-Saëns' second concerto in its Allegro-Scherzando-Final movement sequence while the central movement includes a seemingly conscious imitation of the older master (the work was dedicated to another female pianist who was to receive Africa, Op. 89 from Saint-Saëns a couple of years later). The 1890 Scherzo-Caprice is a short, eight-minute tour-de-force while the final piece, dating from 1903 is quite different: darker, more somber and melancholy with a consolatory second section and with chromatic themes which suggest the Franck of Les Djinns. Stephen Coombs (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA 67348 (England) 12F001 $17.98

This month, we offer over a dozen items on the new VMS label from Austria. This label is run by the same man, Dieter Heuler, who founded and operated Schwann (and, then, KOCH Schwann) for its entire existence before it was bought by Universal Classics last year and wound up. Its close resemblance to Schwann will be a welcome sight to many collectors and we hope that it will continue along Schwann's path with its own productions soon (for now, it is releasing previously unissued material from various sources).

In addition, we offer 10 to 15 Divox titles - most of which are pre-1997 and which are here for customers who may not have had access to them before (Divox has not had U.S. distribution for at least 4 years now.)

We offer you our best wishes for the holiday season and let's all hope that the economy improves in 2004 and enables Records International to keep offering the kind of repertoire which is so increasingly hard to find out there!

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

In Flanders' Fields, Vols. 33 and 34

LODEWIJK MORTELMANS (1868-1952): Morning Mood, Myth of Spring, Helios, In Memoriam (Elegy I), Daybreak and Sunrise from the Opera Children of the Sea for Chorus and Orchestra, Mignon for Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra. Mortelmans is known in his native land for his piano miniatures and songs, making this disc of orchestral works truly rare. The latest work here, and his last work for large orchestra, is as early as 1922 (Morning Mood) and everything is rooted in mid-19th century Romanticism although there are touches of Impressionism in the opening music from his 1915 opera Children of the Sea and in the 1894 tone poem Helios. Generally speaking, however, Mortelmans luxuriates in richly orchestrated tapestries of sound with both Gallic and Germanic influences which will be quite impossible for collectors to resist. BRTN Philharmonic Orchestra Brussels; Fernand Terby, Nina Stemme (soprano), Flemish Choir, Flemish Radio Orchestra; Zsolt Hamar. Phaedra 92033 (Belgium) 12F002 $16.98 >

MARINUS DE JONG (1891-1984): Piano Concerto No. 1 in D, Op. 21, 6 Preludes for Piano, Op. 5, Ex vita mea for Piano, Op. 3a, Indian Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha for 2 Pianos. Young Belgian composers who studied at the Antwerp Conservatory in the first decade of the 20th century were subjeted to heavy Russian influence and that is present throughout these works by De Jong. The earlier the work, the more heavy the influence and the 1917 suite of seven movments, Ex vita mea, sounds like echt Rachmaninov, glowing with a burnished, melancholy intensity which is also present in the preludes of 1921 where Scriabin is also noticed. The concerto, De Jong's first of three, dates from 1924 and, again, Rachmaninov and Scriabin are the most obvious models although there is a hint of Richard Strauss as well. By 1936, when the final four of these pieces were written, these influences had been assimilated into a more personal, yet firmly late 19th century Romantic style. Jozef de Beenhouwer (piano), BRTN Philharmonic Orchestra Brussels; Silveer van den Broeck, Daniel Blumenthal (second pianist). Phaedra 92034 (Belgium) 12F003 $16.98 >

NATANAEL BERG (1879-1957): Symphony No. 4 "Pezzo Sinfonico", Traumgewalten, Song of Songs for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra. The earliest piece here is the 1911 Traumgewalten, an 11-minute symphonic poem based on a Lenau poem which depicts a nightmare in music that would have been very "modern" for its time and place - almost early-Schoenbergian in its expressionistic tormented quality. The symphony (1918) was the result of a bet with Kurt Atterberg as to who could produce a Swedish symphony without melancholy and introspection which would last less than 20 minutes. Atterberg may have won with his Sinfonia Piccola but, though Berg's 21-and-a half minute work violated the time restriction, its four movements are as sunny and carefree as their titles indicate: "A Reverie", "Fairy Frolics", "Romance" and "Delirium of Life". Dating from 1924, the Song of Songs lasts nearly 40 minutes and, while its subject matter is the ever-popular Old Testament text, it is not an excuse for a bath in pseudo-Oriental colors, its impassioned climaxes earned rather than cheaply bought and its eroticism innate rather than overt. Swedish-English texts. Karin Ingebäck (soprano), Mathias Zachariasen (tenor), Swedish Radio Choir, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Mats Rondin, Manfred Honeck, Patrik Ringborg. Phono Suecia/Musica Sveciae PSCD 721 (Sweden) 12F004 $16.98 >

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Ivan the Terrible, Op. 116 - Incidental Music for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Ballad of an Unknown Boy, Op. 93 - Cantata for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra. Perhaps this will be the ultimate collector's Ivan: the 97 minutes recorded here includes all of Prokofiev's music for Eisenstein's 1944/46 films plus a series of liturgical texts in the original Old Church Slavonic. The coupling dates from 1944 and may be one of the composer's biggest failures: setting a long poem about a young boy whose family is killed by invading German troops and who exacts revenge by throwing a grenade into an SS Mercedes during their retreat, Ballad is a series of rather larger-than-life colorful portraits but which Myaskovsky felt lacked melody and which Shostakovich thought was "too episodic". 2 CDs. Russian (Cyrillic)-English texts. Ludmila Kunzetsova, Viktoria Smolikova, Elena Kozneva (mezzos), Tatiana Zheranzhe (alto), Vladimir Sytnik (tenor), Sergei Toptygin (baritone), Alexander Tsylinko, Mikhail Makhov (basses), Russian State Symphonic Cappella and Symphony Orchestra; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 10153 (England) 12F005 $33.98

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Le Pas d'Acier, Op. 41, L'enfant prodigue, Op. 46. These two late 20s ballets have never been readily available, Neeme Jarvi's Chandos recordings of the mid-80s being the exception, so, since cpo is apparently embarking on a series of Prokofiev ballets (we offered the complete Stone Flower some years past), we felt it was necessary to offer new recordings of these avant-garde compositions. Those who know the metallic onslaught of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 2 will enjoy the (slightly) less percussive Le Pas d'Acier, from which the composer derived his symphony while the music for "The Prodigal Son", although only two years later (1929), is rather more warm and sensitive than its predecessor. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski. CPO 999 974 (Germany) 12F006 $15.98

Vernon Handley's new mid-price complete Bax cycle

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphonies Nos. 1-7, Tintagel, Rogue's Comedy Overture. You know whether you are a Baxian stout enough to contemplate three complete symphony cycles on your shelves. We will only quote here from Andrew Achenbach's review in the December Gramophone: "Let me say straight away that superlatives are in order here, though even seasoned Baxians will, I suspect, be startled by the propulsive vigour and sinewy srength of these perfromances... Truth to tell, I'm still reeling from the impact of this magnificent set; its insights are copious... and I can guarantee that Handley's Bax will continue to reward, excite and stimulate for many years to come." 5 CDs including one full-length disc of a BBC interview with conductor Handley about each of the symphonies. Mid-price. BBC Philharmonic; Vernon Handley. Chandos 10122 (England) 12F007 $59.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphony No. 7, Tintagel. Here is the last release in this highly-regarded cycle. Described in Achenbach's review, "Lloyd-Jones' enjoyable Naxos version reinforced for me the difference between the convincing and utterly convinced (i.e. Handley)", this is certainly a fitting completion to the Naxos cycle no matter how you look at it. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557145 (New Zealand) 12F008 $6.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Oliver Twist - Complete Original Score, Malta, GC - Part Two. The Bax bonanza continues with this complete, 60-minute score from David Lean's 1948 film Oliver Twist compiled for this recording by Graham Parlett from materials discovered since Muir Matheson's suite which enabled him to restore some truncated or jettisoned episodes. The coupling is twelve minutes of music from the second reel of the 1942 documentary Malta, GC (which also includes a few bars cut from the final soundtrack). BBC Philharmonic; Rumon Gamba. Chandos 10126 (England) 12F009 $16.98

The Newest Bantock release from Hyperion

GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): Overture to a Greek Tragedy, The Wilderness and the Solitary Place, Pierrot of the Minute, The Song of Songs (Second, Third and Fifth Days). The sixth volume in Hyperion's Bantock series offers a wide variety of styles, from 1911's Overture (specifically, to dipus at Colonus) - a 17-minute tone-poem cum overture in a mixture of Elgarian and Germanic moods - to the short (six minutes) The Wilderness - a frothy "oriental" piece of exotica - to the better-known Pierrot of 1908 which is a fanciful "comedy overture" which was at one time the most popular new British work after Elgar's Symphony No. 1. Bantock's Song of Songs is a sprawling monster of a work, never performed in its entirety and so hard to guess at its full length (begun in 1912, the full score was not completed until 1926) although the longest abridged performance seems to have lasted around 90 minutes. Here we are given 41 minutes consisting of the full "Second Day", orchestral interludes from the "Third Day" and the love duet between the Shulamite and her Shepherd which takes up most of the "Fifth Day". Bantock is more willing to luxuriate in opulent textures and enjoys the more erotic portions of the text, producing much colorful and exotic music in keeping with the Pantheistic currents that were afoot at the time in European music (i.e. Bax's Spring Fire, Schmitt's Tragedy of Salome, etc.) Texts included. Elizabeth Connell (soprano), Kim Begley (tenor), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Hyperion CDA 67395 (England) 12F010 $17.98

A Vaughan Williams opera Premiere Recording

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): The Poisoned Kiss. Vaughan Williams' least-known and least-heard opera occupied him from 1927 to 1936 as he and his librettist struggled with the tone of the libretto which included much spoken dialogue (omitted here but summarized in the extended synopsis/commentary) and which ranges from music-hall song and Gilbert & Sullivan to almost-grand-opera. Based on two sources, the earlier of which is Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter, the story tells of a Magician and an Empress, enemies, and their children - the Magician's daughter who has been raised on poisons in order to ensure that when she and the Empress' son meet and fall in love, her kiss will kill him. Hobgoblins, witches and fairies are among the attendant creatures and everything turns out all right in the end with Magician and Empress, daughter and son and servants of the latter marrying. Vaughan Williams produced much memorable and beautiful music, lyrical and fresh, full of melodic invention and often in folk-style although not quoting folk-song. This version dates from 1956, the third and last revision, in which Ursula Vaughan Williams did extensive pruning of outdated topical references and replaced much prose with rhyming couplets. Libretto included. 2 CDs. Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo), Roderick Williams (baritone), James Gilchrist (tenor), Janice Watson (soprano), Adrian Partington Singers, BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10120 (England) 12F011 $33.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): St Nicolas, Op. 42, Christ's Nativity, Psalm 150, Op. 67. The cantata St. Nicolas (1948) came in the wake of Peter Grimes and was written for a professional tenor, amateur chorus, string orchestra, organ and percussion. Lasting 45 minutes, it tells the story of the saint's life in nine sections in music which is quite charming and occasionally dramatic. Christ's Nativity is the work of an 18-year-old composer in which one can hear intimations of the soon-to-come, large-scale A Boy is Born while the short psalm setting, from 1962 and for the centenary of the composer's prep school, is another example of Britten's facility in providing music for young performers which is never simple or condescending. Texts included. Philip Langridge (tenor), Tallis Chamber Choir, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Singers, New London Childrens' Choir, London Schools Symphony Orchestra; Steuart Bedford. Original 1996 Collins Classics release. Naxos 8.557203 (England) 12F012 $6.98

LUIGI ROSSI (1598-1653): Giuseppe, figlio di Giacobbe, GIACOMO CARISSIMI (1605-1674): Historia di Ezechia. Rossi was one of the finest composers of chamber cantatas in the Baroque period and also important in the development of opera and there is much operatic flavor in his oratorio on the story of Joseph, which probably dates from the early 1640s. There being almost no action, the work concentrates on the expression of emotions in simple and eloquent forms. Carissimi's much shorter work is a brief depiction, in Latin, of King Hezikiah's petition to God for extension of his life. No texts. CappellAntiquA; Bernhard Pfammatter. Divox Antiqua CDX 75239-2 (Germany) 12F013 $17.98 >

TARQUINO MERULA (1594/5-1665): Ballo detto Pollicio, Ballo detto Eccardo, Ruggiero, Chiacona, Capriccio Cromatico a 4, GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): Canzone sopra Romanesca, Canzone sopra Ruggier, BIAGIO MARINI (1597-1665): Sonata sopra La Monica, Passacaglio a 4, CARLO FARINA (c.1600-1649): Capriccio Stravagante a 4, MARCO UCCELLINI (1603-1680): Aria sopra "La Bergamasca", Aria sopra "Caporal Simon". This 1997 release explores the wide variety of 17th century Italian music for strings, through which runs constantly the strains of popular dance music. Frescobaldi with his skillful counterpoint, Merula's virtuosic energy, Marini's concentration on expressive melody and Uccellini's embrace of the popular dance form in and of itself are examples of the various ways composers reacted to it. Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. Divox Antiqua CDX 79603-2 (Germany) 12F014 $17.98 >

GIOVANNI LEGRENZI (1626-1690): La morte del cor penitente. Much like Rossi's work at the top of this column, this oratorio (probably written in 1761), eschews action for the representation of emotions. The characters are personifications (Sinner, Penitence, Hope) and arias depict emotional exaltation, indignation and dialectic confrontation as the Sinner gradually surrenders to his anguish and accepts his punishment while the world of opera seria is not far away. (1996 release) Italian-English texts. Mario Cecchetti (tenor), Roberta Invernizzi, Elisabetta de Mircovich (sopranos), Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. Divox Antiqua CDX 79504-2 (Germany) 12F015 $17.98 >

AGOSTINO STEFFANI (1654-1728): Suites from the Operas Henrico Leone, I trionfi del fato, Niobe regina di Tebe and Amor vien dal destino. Churchman and diplomat as well as composer, Steffani spent most of his adult career in Germany where his operas were crucial in establishing a Germanic operatic tradition. The suites recorded here are contemporary - published in the first decade of the 18th century - and they have, at times, the grandeur and sweep of the finest Handel (upon whom Steffani had great influence, especially with his chamber duets). Two of the individual movements here use chorus and one also employs a wind machine (whether a "period" wind machine or not, we are not told). (2000 release) Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. Divox Antiqua CDX 79811-2 (Germany) 12F016 $17.98 >

ALESSANDRO SCARLATTI (1660-1725): Toccata aperta d'organo, Fuga del 2o tono, Toccata per organo in C, Toccata per cembalo d'ottava stesa, Toccata in Alamire, Fuga del 3o tono, Varie partite obbligate al basso, Fuga del 1o tono. Almost all of Scarlatti's keyboard music is late and is notable for its technical and harmonic innovation (things which scandalized theoreticians of the period). The Italian organ used here is silvery and bright and the harpsichord (its sole work here is the remarkable toccata of 487 bars, lasting just over 22 minutes) is a copy of a 1697 Italian instrument, both well matched to Scarlatti's music. (1994 release) Andrea Marcon (harpsichord, organ of San Giacomo, Polcenigo, Friuli). Divox Antiqua CDX 79403-2 (Germany) 12F017 $17.98 >

ALESSANDRO POGLIETTI (?-1683): Passacaglia, SEBASTIAN ANTON SCHERER (1631-1712): Intonatio I quarti toni, II, III, IV, JOHANN KASPAR KERLL (1627-1693): Passacaglia, FRANÇOIS ROBERDAY (1624-1680): Fugue 2ème + Caprice sur le même sujet, GEORG MUFFAT (1645-1704): Toccata VI, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Voluntary in G, JOHN BLOW (1649-1708): Voluntary in C, JOHANN JAKOB FROBERGER (1616-1667): Toccata III, Canzon V, Capriccio III, Toccata VI "da sonarsi alla Levatione", Fantasia I sopra Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La, ANONYMOUS (Spanish baroque): Obra de falsas cromaticas, Obra de Lleno de I tono. Volume 2 in a series titled "The Heritage of Frescobaldi" brings us both composers directly influenced by him (including the South German school - Kerll and Froberger) and those farther off (Purcell's Voluntary is Frescobaldian while Blow's actually opens with nine bars of Frescobaldi's Toccata XII). The organ is a fine example of 17th century Venetian organ-building and the notes cover music, organ and the church itself. (1999 release) Andrea Marcon (organ of Sant' Andrea, Riva). Divox Antiqua CDX 79805-2 (Germany) 12F018 $17.98 >

GIOVANNI B. PESCETTI (1704-1766): Sonata in C Minor, BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Sonata per flauto, Sonata in D Minor, GIUSEPPE A. PAGANELLI (1710-1783): 3 Arie "Sub elevatione", GIOVANNI B. CERVELLINI (18th cen.): Pastorale and Sonata in F, GAETANO VALERI (1760-1822): Sonata III, Sonata IX, Sonata VI, ANDREA LUCCHESI (1741-1801): 2 Sonatas in F, IGNAZIO SPERGHER (1734-1808): Sonata V, NICCOLO MORETTI (1763-1821): Sonata "ad uso Offertorio" & "ad uso Sinfonia". Classical organ works from Venice played on a 1787 organ built by Gaetano Callido, whose life and career are well-documented in the notes, which stress the characteristically beautiful timbre of the flute, the singing diapason and the lively trombones, all of which would have been known to the composers who wrote these pieces. (1998 release) Andrea Marcon (organ of San Leonardo, Treviso). Divox Antiqua CDX 79703-2 (Germany) 12F019 $17.98 >

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Instrumental and Vocal Music, Vol. 2 - Die Krankheit, so mich drückt (cantata), Sonata for Harpsichord and Violin in G, Ouverture for Viola d'amore, Strings, Harpsichord and Bassoon in D Minor, Sprich, mein Herz - Aria for Soprano. Quite frankly, everyone who loves Bach and Telemann should be collecting this and its Analekta companion solo keyboard series. Graupner will likely be seen as the major discovery of the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to Geneviève Soly who is devoting herself exclusively to his music worldwide now. It's hard to listen to the sonata here (c.1741) without thinking of Bach's viola d'amore sonata and Graupner's orchestral overtures (86 in all) recall Telemann in more ways than just their prolific number (the composer was studying, along with Fasch, in Liepzig while Telemann was leading that city's Collegium Musicum). German-English texts. Ingrid Schmithüsen (soprano), Hélène Plouffe (viola d'amore), L'Ensemble des Idées heureuses; Geneviève Soly. Analekta FL 2 3180 (Canada) 12F020 $16.98

FRANÇOIS CAMPION (1685-1747): 10 Pièces in B Flat, 7 Pièces in G, 4 Pièces in A, 6 Pièces in E, 9 Pièces in D. Campion was the dominant composer for the guitar in the first third of the 18th century, composing works of groundbreaking complexity (he may have been the only composer to write fugues for the guitar). These suites of pieces come from his 1705 publication Nouvelles Découvertes sur la Guitarre and are firmly in the tradition of Lully and the music of the court of Louis XIV. Eric Bellocq (baroque guitar). Frame CD FR0244-2 (Italy) 12F021 $16.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): Messa per San Marco, 1766, Concerto a 4 in D, FERDINANDO GIUSEPPE BERTONI (1725-1813): Kyrie a 4 concertato per la Ducal Cappella di San Marco. An interesting example of a Christmas Mass at St. Mark's in Venice, since only the Gloria and Credo were composed by the maestro di cappella (Galuppi), while the Kyrie was entrusted to the first organist (Bertoni) while the other parts were replaced by a motet and instrumental compositions (hence the concerti). Galuppi turned in this often thrillingly theatrical 1766 work before leaving for his three-year stint at Catherine the Great's court in St. Petersburg. Athestis Chorus, Academia de li Musici; Filippo Maria Bressan. Chandos Chaconne 0702 (England) 12F022 $16.98

GEORG CHRISTOPH WAGENSEIL (1715-1777): Concerto for Alto Trombone and Orchestra, JOHANN GEORG ALBRECHTSBERGER (1736-1809): Concerto for Alto Trombone and Strings, LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-1787): Concerto for Alto Trombone and Strings, JEAN-PAUL FRISCH (b.1945): Trombone Concerto. We offer this for the Frisch, one of those rare cases where a 20th century composer has written a concerto fully in Classical style (a bit longer than average - 19 minutes here) without it sounding like cheap pastiche. The harmonic turns give it away and make for a thoroughly enjoyable perfomance piece for a still little-used solo instrument. Marc Meyers (trombone), Latvian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; Carlo Jans. VMS 108 (Austria) 12F023 $17.98 >

LUIS MISÓN (d.1766): El Maestro de Baile, PABLO ESTEVE (d.1794): Ya sale mi guitarra, BLAS DE LASERNA (1751-1816): Ya que mi mala fortuna, ANTONIO ROSALES (c.1740-1801): El Vizcaíno, PABLO DEL MORAL (fl.1765-1805): La Competencia de las dos hermanas. This release is devoted to the Spanish genre of the tonadilla - originally a short guitar-accompanied song but which developed into short stage pieces which were concerned with national melodies and dances and aspects of popular life. Colorful and full of Iberian dance rhythms, the tonadilla was the precursor to the zarzuela. Very detailed notes (arrogantly abridged by 40% for the English version while English translations are dispensed with entirely although it's not very hard to follow the simple action). Spanish-French texts. Ensemble Elyma; Gabriel Garrido. K617 151 (France) 12F024 $17.98

FRIEDRICH WILHELM RUST (1739-1796): Piano Sonatas No. 3 in E Flat (Andantino), No. 11 in F Sharp Minor & No. 12 in D, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Danses espagnoles Nos. 2, 5 & 10, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Saudades do Brasil Nos. 1, 8 & 9, Tango des Fratellini, ALEXANDER TANSMAN (1897-1986): 3 Préludes en forme de Blues, Blues from Novelettes, ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Tango in D, EMMANUEL CHABRIER (1841-1894): Habanera. Forty minutes of this homage to poet/pianist/ composer who died in 1994 are devoted to the late Classical sonatas by Rust in private recordings made and issued by the Valprivas Cultural Center in 1978. Although a glance at the Grove article on the composer will alert you to a massive hoax committed by his grandson (and respected Bach editor), who rewrote several sonatas to pass them off as "forward-looking", prophetic works, it is uncertain whether they refer to piano or to violin sonatas. In any case, these sonatas, with intensely expressive and inward-looking slow movements, can be enjoyed today without regard to whether they date from 1785 or 1885. Jean-Joël Barbier (piano). Gallo CD-1002 (Switzerland) 12F025 $18.98

JOSEF MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781): Violin Concerto No. 4 in B Flat, GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Violin Concerto No. 22 in A Minor, LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Violin Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, Op. 47 "in modo di scena cantante", FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Rondo for Violin and Strings in A, D438. These bracing, period instrument performances of fairly unusual repertoire were among the first to be issued of such material outside the genre of the symphony (and it's too bad that they have not been enthusiastically followed up), with the best-known pieces (the Spohr and the Viotti) gaining quite a bit through the authentic approach while the Schubert seems to increase in stature by virtue of the instruments used. Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin), The Brandenburg Orchestra; Roy Goodman. Original 1996 Hyperion release. Helios CDH 55157 (England) 12F026 $10.98

JOÃO DE SOUSA CARVALHO (1745-1798): Overture to L'amore industrioso, CARLOS SEIXAS (1704-1741): Sinfonia in B Flat, ANTÓNIO LEAL MOREIRA (1758-1819): Sinfonia, MARCOS PORTUGAL (1762-1830): Overture to Il Duca di Foix, JUAN CRISÓSTOMO ARRIAGA (1806-1826): Overture to Los esclavos felices, Symphony in D. The first in a series of recordings of this brand-new Portuguese orchestra brings, in addition to the well-known Arriaga symphony and overture, some rather rare Portuguese music: the late baroque sinfonia by Seixas (better known for his hundreds of keyboard sonatas) and three opera overtures (the one by Moreira from 1803, still in the Italian style, cannot be attached to a specific opera) dating from 1769 (Carvalho and rather Haydnesque) and 1803 (Portugal and showing the influence of Cimarosa). Algarve Orchestra; Álvaro Cassuto. Naxos 8.557207 (New Zealand) 12F027 $6.98

LEOPOLD ANTON KOZELUCH (1747-1818): Moisè in Egitto. Dating from 1787, this was one of the last greatly successful Italian oratorios to be performed in Vienna. Written for the Vienna Tonkünstlersozietät (like Dittersdorf's Giob, recently recorded by cpo as well as Haydn's Il ritorno di Tobio), the oratorio is highly dramatic, unashamedly operatic at times in its psychological portrayal of the characters. It has only orchestrally accompanied recitative and the choral parts are carefully elaborated while the first part ends with a impressive storm scene which may have been suggested by Haydn's above-mentioned oratorio of three years before. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Simone Kermes, Linda Perillo (sopranos), Markus Schäfer (tenor), Tom Sol (bass), Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert; Hermann Max. CPO 999 948 (Germany) 12F028 $31.98

MANUEL CANALES (1747-1786): String Quartets in B Flat, in E and in C, Op. 3, Nos. 4-6. The influence of Boccherini (not suprisingly for this Spanish composer) and of Haydn are felt in these quartets, which were published in London in 1782 but are probably a few years older. Canales' integration of folk-like themes, his delicacy and sensitivity to contrast make these works on the European periphery original and very pleasing. We offered the first three quartets in this series in August 2000 (08C022). Cambini Quartet. La Ma de Guido LMG 2049 (Spain) 12F029 $16.98

FRANÇOIS DEVIENNE (1759-1803): Flute Concerto No. 7 in E Minor, Flute Concerto No. 2 in D, JEAN BAPTISTE BRÉVAL (1753-1823): Symphonie Concertante for Flute and Bassoon (arr. Devienne). This release in Naxos' "The Flute Collection" seems to have gotten misplaced, as it bears a 2001 publication date. Devienne's highly virtuosic compositions are among the best of their generation as well as perfect models of classical style and his original concertos are accompanied here by his transcription of a work originally for oboe and horn. Marc Grauwels (flute), Alain De Reijckere (bassoon), Walloon Chamber Orchestra; Bernard Labadie. Naxos 8.555918 (New Zealand) 12F030 $6.98

FRANZ KROMMER (1759-1831): Flute Quintets in E Flat, Op. 66, in D Minor, Op. 92 & in E Flat, Op. 104. These are remarkable works by any measure. All have four movements, ranging from 20 to 30 minutes in length and often demanding great virtuosity from both flute and violin (Krommer played both) and each has its own voice and style: the earliest, from 1809, breathes the Viennese air of Mozart and Haydn while the middle work (1815) has the marked sforzati and piano/forte dynamics of early Romanticism with a particularly striking slow movement - somber and Schubertian. The latest (1821) is almost symphonic in breadth and its harmonies and modulations are those of early Romanticism. Bruno Meier (flute), Stamitz Quartet. VMS 102 (Austria) 12F031 $17.98 >

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Mass in C, Op. 86, Elegischer Gesang, Op. 118, Meeres-stille und Glückliche Fahrt, Op. 112. Having been composed for the same occasion and same patron (Prince Esterhazy) as Haydn's late masses, this 1807 work makes a nice pendant to Hickox's Haydn mass series as well as offering two rarely-recorded (certainly rare on period instruments) choral works, the Elegischer Gesang with its echoes of the contemporary Fidelio and the Goethe setting of two contrasting sea-mood pictures. German-English texts. Rebecca Evans (soprano), Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo), Mark Padmore (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Collegium Musicum 90; Richard Hickox. Chandos Chaconne 0703 (England) 12F032 $16.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Sonatas in F Minor, Op. 20, in F Sharp Minor, Op. 81 & in D, Op. 106. By now Hummel's sonatas are not really rare repertoire anymore but it is gratifying to think that, when they are recorded by a more "mainstream" pianist like Hough, they are establishing themselves in the repertoire. Stephen Hough (piano). Hyperion CDA 67390 (England) 12F033 $17.98

JOSEPH WÖLFL (1773-1812): Cello Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31, HÉLÈNE LIEBMANN (1796-after1835): Grande Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 11, JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Variations alla Monferina, Op. 54, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Andantino in B Flat, K.Anh.46(374g) (compl. Annette Isserlis). Since Beethoven is generally credited with having invented the genre of the cello sonata, it is instructive to have this collection of works for cello and piano (two of which have Sonata in the title) which either predate or are almost contemporaneous with his Op. 69 sonata of 1807-08. Wölfl's (before 1805) divides the thematic material evenly and has much original melodic invention while Liebmann's (after 1810) has a similar democratic distribution of material and a Mozartian grace and eloquence. Hummel's 15-minute set of variations (c.1810-14) has all the verve and good humor one associates with him. Sebastian Comberti (cello), Maggie Cole (fortepiano). Cello Classics CC1011 (England) 12F034 $18.98

LOUIS FERDINAND (1772-1806): Piano Quintet in C , Op. 1, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Piano Quintet in E Flat, Op. 44. The second volume in this mini-series spotlight's Prince Louis' quintet which was published in 1803 (but written earlier?). His influence on Schumann is the point of this series and just looking at the traycard tells you that the Prince's work is unusual - how many 40-minute long chamber works can you name from around 1800? This work shows the early relationship between the piano quintet and the piano concerto with the soloist having plenty of opportunity to behave both as soloist and chamber musician (and there is a really unusual use, again, for the time, of sul ponticello in the trio of the minuet). Context (on period instruments). Zephyr Z-123403 (U.S.A.) 12F035 $16.98

FRANZ XAVER MOZART (1791-1844): Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 1, Violin Sonata in B Flat, Op. 7, Cello Sonata in E Minor, Op. 19, Violin Sonata in F, Op. 15. Recordings of music by Mozart's son have been few and far between (including those on the now defunct Schwann label), which is why we offer this nine-year-old title for anyone who may not have it. The op. 1 is the work of a brilliantly talented 11-year-old pianist but the others are adult pieces, the big cello sonata of around 1820 inhabiting the world of Beethoven and Schubert. Mid-price. (1994 release) Ravinia Trio, Hartmut Rohde (viola). Divox CDX-29309 (Switzerland) 12F036 $12.98 >

LOUISE FARRENC (1804-1875): Nonet in E Flat for Wind Quintet, String Trio and Double Bass, Op. 38, Trio in E Flat for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 44. Unable immediately to recall whether the repertoire here duplicates anything on an early 90s (and, at any rate, on a now-defunct label) Carlton Classics release, we offer this coupling of sunny, freshly melodious chamber music in the vein of Mendelssohn and Mozart from 1850 and 1856, respectively, by the woman who produced such fine symphonies (the 19th century would have called them "manly"). Mid-price. (1994 release) Consortium Classicum; Dieter Klöcker (clarinet). Divox CDX-29205 (Switzerland) 12F037 $12.98 >

FRIEDRICH KIEL (1821-1885): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 2 - 6 Impromptus, Op. 79, 4 zweistimmige Fugen, Op. 10, Walzer for Four Hands, Op. 47, 3 Romanzen, Op. 5, Hongroise, Walzer for Four Hands, Op. 48, 4 Reiseerinnerungen, Op. 38, 3 Reiseer-innerungen, Op. 41. In these pieces, as in those on the first volume in this set (10F035), one finds stylistic elements which range from the neo-baroque to the Schumannian Romantic and technical demands which serve students and amateurs to professional concert pianists. Especially noteworthy are the two four-hand waltzes, substantial pieces for amateurs which each last around 12 minutes and the "Holiday Reminiscences", the earlier of the sets offering some local Italian color, the later more robust Alpine impressions. Oliver Drechsel (1868 Stöcker concert piano), Wilhelm Kemper (secondo). Verlag Dohr DCD 011 (Germany) 12F038 $17.98 >

Ottoman Court Music

CALLISTO GUATELLI (1820-1899): Ottoman March, March of the Ottoman Exhibition, GIUSEPPE DONIZETTI (1788-1856): Sultan Abdulmecid March, DIKRAN CUHACIYAN (1837?-1898): Sultan Abdul-Hamid March, YESARIZADE AHMED NECIB (1813-1883): Sultan Abdul-Hamid March, RIFAT BEY (1820-1888): Sultan Abdul-Hamid March, ITALO SEVELLI (?-1930?): Sultan Memed V March, HENRI FURLANI (1870?-1940?): Tambourin, Rigaudon, SEHZADE AHMED NIHAD (1883-1954): A Sapling in Flower, MAHMUD NECMEDDIN (1878-1913): Motherland (Polka), Long Live Liberty, MEHMED BURHANEDDIN (1885-1949): Grand March, HATICE SULTAN (1870-1928): Waltz, AYSE SULTAN (1887-1960): March for Abdulmecid II, FEHIME SULTAN (1875-1927): Constitution Galop, SULTAN ABDULAZIZ HAN (1830-1876): Invitation to the Waltz, SULTAN MURAD V HAN (1840-1094): Polka Mazurka, The Prayer, Dance for Castanets, 3 Mazurkas, 2 Polkas, Scottish Dance, Romance, Aydin Havasi. Of the fifteen composers on this highly unusual disc, eight were either Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, their sons or, in one case, daughter. Four others were associated with the state music school and three could be described as "miscellaneous" but all are given brief sketches in the accompanying notes to this live recording of a concert in Ankara. The Sultans hired their music teachers and court composers from France and Italy and the result was a plethora of marches, waltzes and other types of popular/salon music in the style of those countries. We suspect, although the notes don't say anything specific, that some or many of these works have been arranged for piano and string quartet for ease of presentation. Vedat Kosal (piano), Henschel Quartet. VMS 103 (Austria) 12F039 $17.98 >

Wagner's Symphony on Period Instruments

RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883): Symphony in C (original 1832 edition), Siegfried Idyll. Certain collectors, upon the issue of EMI's Norrington Wagner disc back in the late 80s (or was it early 90s?), may have said "Why not the symphony? It would be perfect on original instruments." Well, here it is in this new release, performed by the "Electoral Saxony" Philharmonic, an orchestra based in the Saxon spa town of Bad Elster which specializes in Baroque, Classical and Romantic performances on authentic instruments (the notes acknowledge that this requires close ties with the artisans who make copies of period instruments). Its Beethovenian fire and moments of a reckless, surging power come through so much better in the authentic seating arrangement, not to mention the instruments themselves; the Siegfried Idyll is performed on instruments as they would have been strung/built around 1870 and, authentically again - one player to a part. Bracing! Chursächsische Philharmonie; Florian Merz. VMS 112 (Austria) 12F040 $17.98 >

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890): Les Béatitudes. Finally finished in 1879 after more than ten years of off-and-on work, this grand oratorio was considered by Franck to be his finest work but it was never performed complete until the year after his death and very little since then. It also has been a work which seems to appear on record/CD only on very obscure labels which are very hard to find (remember Charlin?). Now Helmuth Rilling has done it on Hänssler Classic but VMS has unearthed this excellent 1962 Paris recording which might be thought much more authentic in style and which certainly has historical interest beyond the fact that it vividly communicates the drama in a work which had a poor text and which represented a world of thought and feeling rather alien to us today. 2 CDs. Mid-price. French texts. Denise Monteil, Christiane Chantal (sopranos), Simone Couderc, Mona Kérys (mezzos), Denis Joly (alto), Marcel Huylbrock, Jean Brazzi (tenors), André Jonquieres, Louis Maurin (baritones), Pierre Marret, Xavier Depraz (basses), Chur Elisabeth Brasseur, Les Petits Chanteurs de Chaillot, Pierre Cochereau, Pierre Chapelet (organ), L'Orchestre Académie Symphonique de Paris; Jean Allain. VMS 104 (Austria) 12F041 $21.98 >

STANISLAW MONIUSZKO (1819-1872): In Summer, A Goldfish, A Little Flower, Prophecies, In the Spinning Room, Woman Spinning, Sophia, Little Wandering Bird, A Wild Rose, Mother, You Are No More, The Reaping Girl's Evening Song, Song, A Young Lad, Dou You Know That Land?, Ophelia's Song, Krakowiak, Duettino, 6 Contradanses & Waltz for Piano. Moniuszko had the misfortune to be adopted by the Polish public as Chopin's successor after the latter's early death and these expectations caused him trouble later in his career when he tried to advance beyond nationalism in his music. However, as a songwriter, an easy nationalism runs through most of his c. 300 songs and these unpretentious, tuneful and easily appreciated pieces reveal the composer's obvious affinity with popular culture and his deep wellspring of lyrical talent. About ten minutes' worth of solo piano pieces leaven the recital. German and English translations. Krystina Rorbach (soprano), Theresa Labri (mezzo), Maciej Paderewski, Krystina Malkowska (piano). VMS 121 (Austria) 12F042 $17.98 >

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 9 - Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15, Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80. The concerto is the more apt for this series since it was originally conceived as a sonata for two pianos. Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (piano duet). Naxos 8.554116 (New Zealand) 12F043 $6.98

GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875): Roma, Patrie, Op. 19, Overture in A, March funèbre in B Minor, Petite suite d'orchestre, Op. 22 (Jeux d'enfants), Les quatre coins, Carmen - Suite No. 1, Suite from L'Arlésienne, Symphony in C. Collectors who may have missed some of the very obscure Bizet available will probably not find it at a better price. The Rossinian overture (at 13 minutes, not an insignificant effort) dates from the same year (1855) as the symphony, the funeral march was originally to be the prelude to an opera titled La coupe du Roi de Thule (which Bizet declined to compose in 1869), Les quatre coins is a three-minute piece originally to have been included in Jeux d'enfants but excised by Bizet while the half-hour suite Roma (1860 with subsequent revisions dating all the way to 1871) and the aggressively jingoistic Patrie (from three years after the thrashing by the Prussians in 1871) are not unknown but are also not much recorded. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse; Michel Plasson. Original 1993 & 1994 EMI releases. EMI Rouge & Noir 5 85252 2 (France) 12F044 $17.98

HANS KOESSLER (1853-1926): 5 Klavierstücke, Walzer, Die verlorene Wette, BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Etude for the Left Hand, Fantasie I, Fantasie II, Scherzo. Who? Why the coupling? Koessler was the teacher, not only of Bartók, but also of an entire generation of Hungarian composers - Kodály, Dohnányi, Weiner and Kálman to name the most famous (Bartók quarrelled with him and stopped studying with him in 1902; Kodály thought Koessler was fine...). His five pieces date from 1913 and are typical late Romantic character pieces in the Germanic tradition while the lengthy (ten minutes) waltz probably dates from the 1920s and was dedicated to Emil von Sauer. Bartók's four pieces date from 1903 and are full of the expected influences: Liszt, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Brahms. Jenö Jando (piano). VMS 105 (Austria) 12F045 $17.98 >

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quintet, Op. 14 (Paul Rosenthal, Ilya Teplyakov [violins], Alexei Koptev [viola], Leonid Shukayev, Peter Rejto [cellos]), ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 35 (Ik-Hwan Bae [violin], Paul Coletti [viola], Michal Kanka, Peter Rejto [cellos]). Chamber music collectors and lovers of counterpoint will really get into Taneyev's 39-minute, three-movement quintet of 1901 whose final movement (lasting over 21 minutes) is a set of variations on a simple theme which culminates in a triple fugue which throws in themes from Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko. Arensky's work (also using two cellos), from 1894, is wholly Russian in material and more modest in scale, with an ancient Slavonic chant used in the first movement, a Tchaikovsky song in the second and a patriotic hymn in the fugal finale. Mid-price. NOTE: There is a pressing fault on this disc and it is in the process of being remanufactured. Please order now and we will fill orders when the disc becomes available during the month. Arizona Friends of Chamber Music F03-2 (U.S.A.) 12F046 $11.98 >

ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): Suite No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 7, Suite No. 2 "Silhouettes", Op. 23, Suite No. 3 "Variations in C", Op. 33. Although recorded in 1995, these suites were not issued until now and have no competition. The second and third were piano duet originals, the earlier a set of five witty character studies in the vein of Schumann and the later a loose, 30-minute set of variations on a brief theme which range in style from the baroque and classical to Chopin while the first suite is the most vividly Russian in color. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Dmitry Yablonsky. Naxos 8.553768 (New Zealand) 12F047 $6.98

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Les Aventures de Mercure for Orchestra & Socrate for Voice and Orchestra (Mady Mesplé [soprano], Orchestre de Paris; Pierre Dervaux), Messe des pauvres for Chorus and Organ (Chur René Duclos; Jean Laforge, Gaston Litaize [organ of St. François-Xavier, Paris]), Gymnopédies Nos. 1 & 3 (orch. Debussy) (Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire; Louis Auriacombe), Geneviève de Brabant for Soprano, Tenor, Reciter and Orchestra (instr. Desormière) (Mady Mesplé [soprano], Jean-Christophe Benoit [tenor], Pierre Bertin [reciter], Chur de Théatre National de l'Opéra de Paris, Orchestre de Paris; Dervaux), Les Pantins dansent for Orchestra (Orchestre des Concerts Lamoreaux; Aldo Ciccolini), Le Piège de Méduse for 4 Voices and Ensemble (Pierre Bertin, Hubert Deschamps, Joseph-Marie Falcucci, Marie Laurence [voices], Soloists of Orchestre des Concerts Lamoreaux; Ciccolini, Choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes) for Violin and Piano (Yan-Pascal Tortelier [violin], Ciccolini [piano]). What a bonanza of rare Satie! Much of this material is unavailable anywhere else and, more to the point, it gives a much more rounded picture of the composer than does his solo piano music. Just to mention the bigger works: the "Mass of the Poor" is from 1895, Satie's Rosicrucian period, and uses modal harmonies and repetition with slight variations; Geneviève is an 1899 puppet play with a pungent whiff of the cabaret and music-hall; Le Piège is a 1913 farcical comedy to Satie's own texts using only three winds and three strings with noisy percussion; at 38 minutes, Socrate is the longest work here, a 1918 setting for woman's voice and strings of French translations of Plato's Phaedo whose calm vocal writing, metrical rhythms and cool instrumental timbre combine for a curiously affecting, noble and dignified effect; Mercure, however, is a frivolous romp in Satie's neo-classical style (Picasso was the designer and Massine choreographer-dancer in the mythological farce). No texts. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Original 1967-74 EMI releases. EMI Rouge & Noir 5 85189 2 (France) 12F048 $17.98

GUSTAV UWE JENNER (1865-1920): Violin Sonatas No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 8, No. 2 in B Flat & No. 3 in E Flat. The first two sonatas date from 1893, the B flat actually the earlier one and a sunny, youthful and joyful mood prevails throughout its four movements with Brahmsian influences traceable to that composer's early to mid-period works. The A Minor work, however, has more of the feel of late Brahms, opening in a melancholy vein and using compositional devices similar to those of Brahms' late string quintet (op. 111) and the clarinet quintet. The third (1903) is in only three movements and much more succinct, concentrating intensively on thematic development and the contrast between sharp and flat keys. NOTE: Originally offered 12/01 (12D039) Rainer Schmidt (violin), Saiko Sasaki (piano). Divox CDX-29806 (Germany) 12F049 $17.98 >

SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Vanessa, Op. 32. Premiered in 1958, this neo-romantic grand opera won the Pulitzer Prize and was subsequently the first American opera ever to be performed at the Salzburg Festival (where the public loved it and the critics, predictably, savaged it). Everything about this opera is Romantic with a capital "R", from the setting - a gloomy, shadowed house in a nebulous "Northern Europe" - to the characters - Vanessa, her beauty fading, still carrying the torch for Anatol who deserted her twenty years before, her callow niece and Anatol's opportunistic son - to the music, which is full of romantic melody and harmony without ever suggesting anachronistic pastiche. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Ellen Chickering (soprano), Ray Bauwens (tenor), Andrea Matthews (mezzo), Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka", National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Gil Rose. Naxos American Classics 8.559140-41 (U.S.A.) 12F050 $13.98

The Quebec Mozart

ANDRÉ MATHIEU (1929-1968): Concerto de Quebec, RICHARD ADDINSELL (1904-1977): Warsaw Concerto, GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): Concerto in F. Mathieu was composing at the age of four and was soloist in a piano concertino at the age of seven. He made his Town Hall debut at ten and both Emile Vuillermoz and Rachmaninov pronounced him a genius. What happened? It's a bit unclear but Mathieu never completed any significant compositional studies (World War II interfered with studies in France) and, after reaching a peak of fame in 1950, flamed out and died an alcoholic and in poverty. The concerto recorded here exists in six different scores and Lefevre spent a decade working on a performing version of it. The result is pure Rachmaninov, plain and simple - surging, unabashed Romanticism with a prodigiously difficult solo part but whose episodic construction and formal weakness betray Mathieu's skimpy education. Still, it's mind-boggling stuff and as comforting as a dense chocolate soufflé on a cold night and the pianist's enthusiasm ("Think of the music as an uncut diamond...") carries the day. Alain Lefèvre (piano), Quebec Symphony Orchestra; Yoav Talmi. Analekta AN 2 9814 (Canada) 12F051 $16.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Service Sacré. Commissioned in 1947 by a temple in San Francisco, Milhaud's Service Sacré is one of only two compositions in which the Hebrew liturgy forms the basis for a full-scale musical work on the scale of the countless Western European Mass settings (the other being Bloch's Avodath Hakodesh). Milhaud intended this work to speak to all faiths, in the manner which so many Mass settings can, while still being utterly faithful to the liturgy and, more to the point, to the liturgical tradition of the Jews of his native Provence. Although his characteristic use of polytonality and polyrhythms is present, a sense of ancient tradition comes through in a synthesis which will appeal to anyone who enjoys such large-scale, choral-orchestral religious works. English texts. Yaron Windmüller (baritone), Rabbi Rodney Mariner (reader), Prague Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Gerard Schwarz. Naxos American Classics Milken Archive 8.559409 (U.S.A.) 12F052 $6.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Symphony No. 10 "Amerindia". This sprawling work from 1952 is rather more "oratorio" than "symphony", with its four choirs singing in Portuguese, Latin and the indian language Tupinamba (only the first of its five movements is instrumental), fusing European and Native American cultures in the composer's characteristic way and evincing a clear dramatic development. Not yet having appeared in cpo's Villa-Lobos symphony cycle, the Tenth was recorded by Koch International Classics in Santa Barbara three or four years ago but, if you don't have that one, the notes here are much more detailed and texts and English translations are included. Francisco Vas (tenor), Enrique Baquerizo, Santos Ariño (baritones), Coral Universitat de Illes Balears, Coral Reyes Bartlet, Tenerife Chamber Chorus, Chorus of the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Tenerife, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra; Víctor Pablo Pérez. Harmonia Mundi HMI 987041 (Spain) 12F053 $17.98

ADOLF BUSCH (1891-1952): Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 15, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 56. Those collectors worried about whether "Busch the composer" will sound like "Schnabel the composer" can rest easy. This music is actually in the tradition of Brahms and Reger (the latter was Busch's composition teacher and, later, accompanist in concertizing). Both works have the Regerian tendency to be seeming to push through the bounds of tonality without, however, actually doing it and Reger's other love - dense counterpoint - is present, although to a lesser extent, in the 1915 trio while the sonata (1941) shows a thinning out of such polyphony Gottfried Schneider (violin), Christian Brunnert (cello), Dieter Lallinger (piano), Alfons Kontarsky (piano - sonata). VMS 109 (Austria) 12F054 $17.98 >

PHILIPP JARNACH (1892-1982): 3 frühe französische Lieder, Sonatina for Flute and Piano, Op. 12, 4 Lieder für mittlere Singstimme mit Klaverbegleitung, Op. 7, Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 13, 5 Gesänge, Op. 15, Das Amrumer Tagebuch for Piano, Op. 30, Sarabande for Piano, Op. 17/2. NOTE: We offered this title in December of 2000 (12C065) and had several back-orders which we could not fill and cancelled since wew could not get more copies. Please reorder if you still need this title! Aside from his useful completion of Busoni's Doktor Faust, for which he is principally remembered today, Jarnach was in his own day an estimable composer and pianist in his own right. These songs and chamber and piano works display the talents of a composer unquestionably deeply influenced by the great Busoni, but also with an individual voice in which French elegance and sophistication and the Romantic German lied play an important part. There is little evidence of the serial preoccupations of the early-mid 20th century, and the music might even be described as backward-looking, although the best of it might be better seen as sideways-glancing - at Busoni - and it is all very finely wrought and seriously expressive. Those who admire Busoni should not hesitate to investigate this further evidence of his influence over one of his most talented disciples and collaborators. Martin A. Bruns (baritone), Heinrich Keller (flute), Kolja Lessing (violin, piano). (1994 release) Divox CDX-29801 (Switzerland) 12F055 $17.98 >

EDUARD STEUERMANN (1892-1964): Piano Trio, ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951): Verklärte Nacht for Piano Trio (transcr. Steuermann, 1932). Steuermann was not only a student of Schoenberg, he also was a pianist who performed in most of that composer's "Society for Private Musical Performances" and was almost always the first performer of new works for the piano by his teacher, Berg and Webern. The majority of his compositions come from his years in the U.S. (after 1937) and the trio recorded here dates from 1954. Although it is composed using Schoenberg's twelve-tone system, Steuermann breaks many of its rigid rules and allows tonal harmony rather liberally leading one to suspect that, when the work was premiered at Darmstadt, it was already seen as backward and outdated. Mid-price. Ravinia Trio. (1993 release) Divox CDX-29107 (Switzerland) 12F056 $12.98 >

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): In the Hothouse, Toccata, Fantaisie Espagnole, Valse Fantaisie: Hommage à Johann Strauss, Pastiche: Hindu Merchant's Song (Rimsky-Korsakov), Pastiche: Habanera from Bizet's "Carmen", Pastiche: Chopin's Valse, Op. 64/1, Le jardin parfumé - Poem for Piano, Nocturne: Djâmî, Gulistan - Nocturne for Piano, Introito and Preludio-Corale from Opus Clavicembalisti-cum, Prelude, Interlude and Fugue, Fragment for Harold Rutland, Fantassiettina sul nome illustre dell'egregio poeta Christopher Grieve ossia Hugh M'Diarmid, "Quaere reliqua hujus materiei inter secretiora", St. Bertrand de Comminges: "He was laughing in the tower", MICHAEL HABERMANN (b.1950): A la manière de Sorabji: "Au clair de la lune". NOTE: The majority of these recordings are from the now defunct Musicmasters label. In addition, most of the repertoire has been recorded elsewhere as well. For this reason, since this is a direct import, we are taking pre-orders for this box set and will fill them in January and/or February. Here is a list of the pieces (and their timings) not available anywhere else: Fragment for Harold Rutland (2:47), Nocturne: Djâmî (22:12), In the Hothouse (6:05), Toccata (3:33), Valse Fantaisie: Hommage à Johann Strauss (15:22) and Introito and Preludio-Corale from Opus Clavicembalisticum (13:15) (the last otherwise available only on the entire 4CD set of Opus Clav on Altarus with John Ogdon). 3 CDs for the price of 2. Michael Habermann (piano). British Music Society BMS427-429 (England) 12F057 $35.98 >

ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Organ Sonata, Op. 92, Four Winds Suite for Organ, Op. 223, 10 kleine Choralvorspiele for Organ, Op. 211, Orga-Nastro for Organ and Tape, Op. 212, Opus 231 for Violin and Organ, Opus 239 for Horn and Organ. This is only about a third of Krenek's music involving the organ and, stylistically, it covers three periods from tonal music strongly influenced by dodecaphony to serial to his late free style but one doesn't need a degree in 20th century composition techniques to appreciate the effect which the intricacy and exacting craft give every piece here. More often than not, this disc can be enjoyed as a sequence of structures of brilliant primary tone colors and, in the works with violin and with horn, the masterful way in which the composer blends and contrasts the differing instrumental sounds. Martin Haselböck (organs of the Augustinerkirche and the Frauenkirche Baden, Vienna), Ernst Kovacic (violin), Jeff von der Schmidt (horn). VMS 115 (Austria) 12F058 $17.98 >

A Fabulous Finnish Symphonist - new series from cpo

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): A Solemn Overture (King Lear), Op. 75, Symphony No. 1, Op. 24, Symphony No. 7, Op. 71 "The Dreams of Gandalf", Chorali. With the current flood of recordings of Einojuhani Rautavaara, supplemented by such composers of the younger generation as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg, one of the most important Finnish composers of the 20th century seemed to be in danger of getting lost in the shuffle. Now, cpo begins its "Sallinen Edition", designed to record the major orchestral works. Sallinen was one of the first Finnish composers to turn his back on serialism and complex modernism with works like the first symphony recorded here (originally just called Sinfonia when it was written in 1971-2) and Chorali of 1970. These single-movement works of similar length (11 to 14 minutes) are based on the organic development of small motivic units and the use of orchestral color and other techniques which, while not exactly screaming "Sibelius!", at least are willing to acknowledge the existence of a musical tradition behind them which extended farther than Darmstadt. In the newer works here (1996 and 1997), Sallinen seems to have experienced the same sort of shift in style and substance which Penderecki did in Poland. Both the overture and the symphony (using materials from a planned ballet The Hobbit whichfoundered on copyright problems) are warm, expressive, tonal works which have no hint of neo-romanticism or minimalism but communicate with an immediacy which Sibelius would have understood and welcomed. Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic; Ari Rasilainen. CPO 999 918 (Germany) 12F059 $15.98

JiÞí Gemrot (b.1957): Piano Quintet, Sylvie Bodorová (b.1954): Mysterium Druidum - Quintet for Harp and Strings, Bohuslav Martinu° (1890-1959): Quartet for Oboe, Piano, Violin and Cello, Duo No. 1 for Violin and Cello. This year's Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival had a Czech theme, with several world premiere performances of works commissioned for the festival, of which the two recorded here were most prominent. Gemrot's quintet is a powerfully communicative two-movement work lasting just under half an hour and it combines a bracing, often dark-tinged neo-classicism which pays homage to Honegger and Prokofiev with just enough of the motoric, repetitive material from minimalism to produce a gripping, often exciting synthesis of mid-century and modernity. Bodorová's harp quintet's title was inspired by a Celtic archaeological find near her studio and, though only around half the length of her compatriot's work, has her characteristic quality of brightness, clarity and optimism, the soloist's instrument rippling like pure, silvery water or ringing like golden sunshine through the string textures. Mid-price. Prazak String Quartet, Ewa Kupiec (piano); Katerina Englichova (harp), Jennifer Frautschi, Ik-Hwan Bae (violins), Nicole Divall (viola), Felix Wang (cello); Allan Vogel (oboe), Ewa Kupiec (piano). Arizona Friends of Chamber Music F03-1 (U.S.A.) 12F060 $11.98 >

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Suite for Voice and Violin, MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): 3 Sephardic Songs for Soprano and Harp, JOAQUÍN RODRIGO (1901-1999): 4 Madrigales Amatorios for Soprano and Piano, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Cantos del Tucumán for Voice, Flute, Violin, Harp and Drums, Op. 4, MAURICE DELAGE (1879-1961): 4 poèmes Hindous for Nonet and Soprano, OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Il tramonto for Voice and String Quartet, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): 5 Chansons populaires grecques for Voice and Harp. Even if these performances weren't as fine as they are, just as a matter of programming, this would be one of the finest song recitals we can recall on disc. Respighi's chromatically tinged sunset, Ginastera's representation of the rugged character of mountainous northern Argentina using native song and dance elements (and the native drum, the caja), Rodrigo's 16th-century-inspired love madrigals, Villa-Lobos' very rare three-song suite drawing from three regional Brazilian folk traditions, Castelnuovo-Tedesco's gorgeously melodious Sephardic love songs with the harp recalling even more his Jewish heritage, Ravel's brief and charming settings of authentic Greek folk songs, and Delage's masterful evocation of microtonal Hindu singing (using the largest forces here - a nonet comprising oboe/english horn, string quartet, harp, two clarinets/bass clarinet and two flutes/piccolo)... sheer pleasure from beginning to end! Mid-price. Texts and English translations included. Jennifer Foster (soprano), American String Quartet, Katerina Englichova (harp), Benny Kim (violin), Rick Rowley (piano) and other artists. Arizona Friends of Chamber Music F03-3 (U.S.A.) 12F061 $11.98 >

Albanian Piano Music

FEIM IBRAHIMI (1935-1997): Tokatë for Piano, KOZMA LARA (b.1930): 4 Piano Pieces, PELLUMB VORPSI (b.1957): Variations for Piano (Ballad) on a Popular Theme, ALBERTO PAPARISTO (b.1925): 3 Piano Pieces, RAMADAN SOKOLI (b.1920): Nocturne No. 2, ÇESK ZADEJA (1927-1997): 4 Pieces, TONIN HARAPI (1928-1992): 7 Piano Pieces, SIMON GJONI (1926-1991): Song of Bravery, ARIAN AVRAZI: Tokkata, J. PAPADHIMITRI: Nina-Nana, A. KOMINO: Children's Dance. On the one hand, Enver Hoxha's 41-year dictatorship (which ended in 1985) enthusiastically promoted Western classical music education, sending numerous outstanding performers and composers to study in the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc states. On the other hand, it was forbidden to perform anything written after the death of Stalin, anything by Shostakovich or anything dodecaphonic or Impressionistic. Thus, everything recorded here had to be "for the People" and its sources were, naturally, the long and rich tradition of Albanian folk music. Folk melodies, dance rhythms and the imitation of folk instruments are the building blocks for all of these works but the tradition is varied and rich enough that there is ample pleasure to be had, without a sense of surfeit, throughout the 73 minutes of music here. Kirsten Johnson (piano). Guild GMCD 7257 (England) 12F062 $16.98

Music of Max Stern

Stern was born on Long Island, studied at the Eastman School of Music and moved to Israel in 1976. He has lived in Beer-Sheva, in the Negev Desert, since 1979. We offer five of his ten self-produced CDs this month and will offer the other five in December. Note: Nos. MS 1-3 were offered by our predecessors pre-1997.

MAX STERN (b.1947): Haazinu - Cantata for Contrabass and Orchestra, Balaam and the Ass for Trombone and Percussion, 3 Ancient Pieces for Flute and Guitar, Rainbow for Saxophones, Psalterion for Harp. The main work here is the 1989 Haazinu, a 31-minute, single-movement work which expresses the fundamental basis of Jewish law and life and is based on Deuteronomy's "The Song of Moses". Although the spirit of synagogue chant is evoked and a Yemenite tune and a Hasidic nigun are used in the composition, this is not a romantically Jewish-flavored dip into local color. The double bass, sometimes rough and raucous, sometimes more smoothly powerful, represents the voice of Moses in a work which is more abstract than pictorial but which repays close listening. Balaam is an unusual combination of extended playing techniques and onomotopoeic sounds used to depict the Biblical story, combining the worlds of the avant-garde and children's music (it was selected for use in the Israeli public school system). The Ancient Pieces (1983) are derived from authentic Jewish Oriental and Sephardic prayer-poems; Rainbow (1985) is an aleatoric piece whose structure follows the "Flood" narrative while Psalterion (1987) is a melodious, evocative work originally written for harp but here recorded on a (very realistic sounding) synthesizer. Gary Karr (double bass), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Arthur Fagen, Stuart Taylor (trombone), Gene Cipriani (percussion), Wendy Eisler-Kashi (flute), Orly Lavan (guitar), Roger Greenberg (saxophones). Max Stern MS 1 (Israel) 12F063 $16.98 >

MAX STERN (b.1947): Bereshith: Creation of the World for Soprano, Flute and Chamber Orchestra, Song of the Morning Stars for Orchestra, Piyutasia: Sephardic Fantasy for Flute and Piano, Sonnet for Orchestra, Serenade to a City for String Sextet. One of Stern's most strikingly dramatic works, Bereshith (1991) describes the mystery, wonder and exhilaration of the creation of the world as expressed by a cherub while the solo flutist flutters above, below and throughout the orchestral texture like a bird. Song (1979) is a seven-minute celebration of the dawn of creation which, although written after the composer's arrival in Israel, has a lot of the Copland/Harris transcendental joy-of-nature feel to it while Piyutasia (1989) is based on Jewish material from Morocco, Yemen and Turkey with the piano part imitating a Middle Eastern folk instrument (the kannun). Sonnet and Serenade are early works (1967 and 1968) and are in the style most prominently represented by Symphoniae from last month (11F079). Amalia Ishak (soprano), Avihai Ornoy (flute), Ashdod Chamber Orchestra; Luis Gorelik, Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva; Uri Mayer, Wendy Eisler-Kashi (flute), Alan Sternfield (piano), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Martin Cannelakis. Max Stern MS 2 (Israel) 12F064 $16.98 >

MAX STERN (b.1947): 4 Festivals for Chorus, Prayer for Israel for Chorus, Magnificat Hebraica for Bass-Baritone and Chorus, Out of the Whirlwind - Holocaust Cantata for Bass-Baritone, 2 Sopranos, Piano, Violin, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Harp, Percussion and Chorus. Four Festivals (1971) are simple children's choruses, based on traditional Jewish festival and holiday songs; Prayer (1988) is a contemporary hymn recently added to the Jewish prayerbook although quite traditional in style; the Magnificat (1996) derives its antiphonal choral textures from ancient psalm singing practices. The big work, though, is the 1997 cantata (37 minutes) which uses the three Terezin Songs offered last month (11F081) and framing them with choruses whose textures derive from synagogue idioms to produce a dramatic work which opposes the fears and hopes of children with the struggle between faith and doubt and the demands for justice of adult Holocaust victims. Ioan Tibrea (bass-baritone), Sherry Zannoth, Carmen Gurban (sopranos), Antifonia Choir; Constantin Ripa. Max Stern MS 4 (Israel) 12F065 $16.98 >

MAX STERN (b.1947): Seven Voices (Psalm 29) for Soprano, Strings and Percussion, Sabbath (Psalm 92) for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Jacob and the Angel for Harp and Piano, Arise, Shine! for Orchestra, Eshkolot for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone. The two psalm settings for soprano and orchestra are, in turn, earthy and rhythmic, and luminously mystical while the battle between Jacob and the Angel brings the opposition of brutality (the perfomers strike the bodies of their instruments, scrape the strings, blow kazoos, stomp their feet, hiss, etc.) and sensual beauty. Arise, Shine! (1975 but revised in 1998) is another very American (i.e. Copland/Harris) sounding overture which bursts with optimism, while the semi-aleatory brass trio Eshkolot (1984) brings complex sonorities and textures derived from an initial three-note cell. Kristyna Valouskova (soprano), Talich Chamber Orchestra; Max Stern, Brigitte and Reinhard Langnickel (harp & piano), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Post, Igal Meltzer (trumpet), Zohar Sheindorf (horn), Yaaron Herring (trombone). Max Stern MS 6 (Israel) 12F066 $16.98 >

MAX STERN (b.1947): Messer Marco Polo - Act III, Scenes 1 & 2. This opera, based on the novel of the same name by Donn Byrne (1889-1928), was finished in 1999 and offered Stern much opportunity to produce exotically colored music, including his characteristically employed Jewish folk and liturgical music. These scenes from Act III deal with Marco Polo's arrival in China, set at the court of Kublai Khan and, the larger scene (43 minutes), set in a Chinese garden, a dialogue with Golden Bells and Li Po (which was the same scene and with the same characters as last month's disc containing the Garden scene from Act II). Libretto included. Kristna Valouková (soprano), Thomas Krejci (baritone), JiÞí Kalendovsk (bass), Pavel Klecka (bass-baritone), Milan Pelikan (tenor), New Prague Contemporary Music Ensemble; Max Stern. Max Stern MS 10 (Israel) 12F067 $16.98 >

LUIGI DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975): Ulisse. Premiered in 1968, this was Dallapiccola's last opera and the composer himself said that it also defined his life, his own quest, which ends the opera when Ulysses finds God. Working from his own libretto which weaves extracts from texts by Antonio Machado and Thomas Mann with the Homeric source materials, Dallapiccola telescopes the action into two days, one in the palace of King Alkinoos (with flashbacks narrated therein) and the other back at home in Ithaca to take care of the suitors. The work is entirely dodecaphonic, using 12 related 12-note rows which both act as leitmotifs in themselves and from which various symbols are derived without any of the polemicising of such contemporaries as Nono or Stockhausen, making the work possible for collectors who find the subject appealing to follow and to gain pleasure from without too great an effort. For collectors of 20th century high points, this is certainly a collector's item. Live recording made by Radio France May 6, 1975. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Claudio Desderi (baritone), Gwynn Cornell (mezzo), William Workman (baritone), Denise Boitard (soprano), Chur et Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Ernest Bour. Naïve V4960 (France) 12F068 $33.98

RENÉ LEIBOWITZ (1913-1972): Flute Sonata, Op. 12b, 3 Pièces for Piano, Op. 19, Serenade for Baritone, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Horn, Harp and String Trio, Op. 38, "Marijuana" - Variations non serieuses for Violin, Trombone, Vibraphone and Piano, Op. 54, 3 Poèmes de Georges Bataille for Baritone and Piano, Op. 73, Motifs for Speaker, Flute, Clarinet and Piano Trio, Op. 74, Petite Suite for Piano, Op. 75, Chansons Dada for Childrens' Voices, Clarinet, Horn, Cello and Piano, Op. 76b, Suite for Wind Quintet, String Trio and Double Bass, Op. 81, 4 Lieder for Baritone and Piano, Op. 86, 3 Intermezzi for Piano, Op. 87. Conductor, teacher and leftist intellectual, Leibowitz also wrote over 90 compositions for various combinations which are almost entirely unknown today. The main reason for this is that he never abandoned Schoenberg and his twelve-tone technique, continuing to use it for all of his compositions, seeing in it a useful combination of constructive discipline and inventive freedom, so that, when Boulez pronounced Schoenberg "dead" at Darmstadt in 1951, serial music came to dominate the contemporary environment and Leibowitz as composer was ignored. This collection of works covers the period 1944 to 1970 and is a must for any collector of Schoenberg and his school. Mid-price. Johannes M. Kösters (baritone), Ensemble Aisthesis. (1996 release) Divox CDX-29303 (Switzerland) 12F069 $12.98 >

TYZEN HSIAO (b.1938): 1947 Overture for Chorus and Orchestra, Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 53, Symphony "Formosa", Op. 49, Cello Concerto in C, Op. 52, Violin Concerto in D, Op. 50, An Angel from Formosa. Born in Taiwan, Hsiao studied in his native land, Japan and in the United States. His music is firmly rooted in late 19th century Romanticism (the piano concerto is indebted in places to both Chopin and Rachmaninov) although the 1947 Overture (at 20 minutes, really more of a tone-poem) has a grandiose, triumphalist feel akin to similar works by Soviet composers. All the works here use themes either taken directly from Taiwanese folk music or derived from the style and often they symbolize the suffering, struggle and ultimate triumph of the Taiwanese people in overcoming oppressive overlords. Anyone who loves National Romanticism from any country will find much to enjoy here in this well-filled (128 minutes), mid-priced set. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Anatoly Sheludyakov (piano), Kirill Rodin (cello), Alexander Trostiansky (violin), Moscow State Chorus, Russian Federal Orchestra; Vakhtang Jordania. Angelok CD-9912/13 (U.S.A.) 12F070 $21.98

Contemporary Chorale Arrangements from Germany

RAINER LAUTENBACH (b.1962): Fantasy on "Christum wir sollen loben schon", SERBAN NICHIFOR (b.1954): Chorale Prelude "Christum wir sollen loben schon", Freut euch, ihr lieben Christen, Chorale Fantasy: Vom Himmel hoch, NORBERT FRÖHLICH (b.1960): Mit den Hirten will ich gehen - Ricercare, HORST BITTER (b.1928): Mit den Hirten will ich gehen - Meditation, BERNHARD WEBER (b.1959): Stern über Bethlehem - Chorale Partita, HANS-JOSEF WINKLER (b.1965): O herrlicher Tag, o fröhliche Zeit - Chorale Prelude, NORBERT LAUFER (b.1960): Kommt herbei, singt dem Herrn - Chorale Prelude, Gehet hin an alle Enden - Chorale Prelude, MANFRED NIEHAUS (b.1933): Reich des Herrn - Chorale Fantasy, MICHAEL PENKUHN (b.1962): Ein Schiff, das sich Gemeinde nennt - "Play Jazz!" for Organ, FREIDHELM AUFENANGER (b.1955): Herr, gib uns Mut zum Hören - Chorale Meditation, PETER HASTEDT (b.1970): Wir haben Gottes Spuren festgestellt - Chorale Prelude, HELMUT BRAND (b.1959): Weiß ich den Weg auch nicht - Fantasy, JÜRGEN BLUME (b.1946): Lass uns in deinem Namen, Herr - Chorale Prelude, JÜRGEN BORSTELMANN (b.1963): Ins Wasser fällt ein Stein - Meditation, RICHARD BEYER (b.1958): Ich lobe meinen Gott - "Toccata-Carioca" for Organ, ANDREAS WILLSCHER (b.1955): Nun wollen wir singen das Abendlied - Meditation, PETER BARES (b.1936): Bevor des Tages Licht vergeht - "Choralspiel", RUDOLF HALACZINSKY (1920-1999): Bevore des tages Licht vergeht - Meditation, op. 87. This mid-priced set contains only a fraction of the compositions written in 1997 for a competition held in Cologne in order to update the Evangelical Chorale-book, whose new edition came out in 1996 . Collectors interested in the German organ and chorale tradition will enjoy hearing the fruits of labor of three generations of composers, some of whom, as a careful glance at their descriptions of their works (in plain-face after the italic hymn name) above will show, make use of popular elements. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Johannes Quack (organ of the Christuskirche, Schwelm). Verlag Dohr DCD 004 (Germany) 12F071 $17.98 >

WILLIAM THOMAS MCKINLEY (b.1938): Violin Concerto, Symphony of Winds, Sinfonie Concertante. Collectors of this prolific composer who is always approachable if you are willing to meet him halfway - never pandering to audiences but always giving their brains something to wrap themselves around as well as their ears - will surely enjoy this new collection of works. The concerto (1995) is a "four seasons" affair but winter has a galumphing, Prokofievian plod, spring is rather dissonant and violent (but so are spring storms and the rebirth of life), summer brings a Porgy and Bess quote in its humid, often melancholy progress while autumn is sardonic and swinging by turns. The Symphony (1988) runs the gamut from jarring to lyrical with busy percussion throughout and the single-movement Sinfonie of 1985 is a dazzlingly energetic workout for various orchestral soloists whose main points of reference are 20th century neo-classicism and jazz. Janet Packer (violin), Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra; Jerzy Swoboda, Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra; Joel Suben. MMC 2119 (U.S.A.) 12F072 $16.98

KENT KENNAN (b.1913): Piano Quintet, Sonata for Violin and Piano "Sea Sonata", Night Soliloquy for Flute and Piano, Scherzo, Aria & Fugato for Oboe and Piano, Threnody for Violin and Piano. A wonderfully enjoyable recital of chamber music from an unjustly little-known American composer. The Sea Sonata (1937) is the biggest work here, an unashamedly lyrical and romantic work rich in melody and harmony but which is still demonstrably of the 20th century. The piano quintet dates from 1935, while Kennan was a student at Eastman, and though there are echoes of late Romanticism, it too is a work of inspired melodic invention that every collector of American chamber music should have. The shorter works are equally enjoyable and the whole disc makes one want to hear his symphony which won him the Prix de Rome in 1936! Austin Chamber Music Center; Felicity Coltman (piano). Pierian 0017 (U.S.A.) 12F073 $16.98

LARRY BELL (b.1952): The Book of Moonlight for Violin and Piano, Op. 31, In Memory of Roger Sessions for Solo Violin, Op. 29, Just As I Am for Violin and Piano, Op. 62, 4 Pieces in Familiar Style for 2 Violins, Op. 41, Late Night and Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony for Violin, Piano and Narrator, Op. 35, Sleep Song for Violin and Piano, Op. 18. Those of you who bought Bell's piano and orchestral discs last month (11F091 and 11F092) will need no convincing to acquire more of this melodious, heartfelt and expressive music (even the homage to Sessions smooths off some of the elder composer's rough edges). The longest work here is the Book of Moonlight, a set of six nocturnes which refer to popular and classical themes associated with moonlight and the most unusual is Late Night... which sets an essay dealing with the threat of nuclear annihilation and is structured as a series of variations on the opening measures of the Mahler Ninth's last movement with the effect of unrelieved conflict. Ayano Ninomiya (violin), Larry Bell (piano), Steve McConnell (narrator). North/South Recordings N/S R 1033 (U.S.A) 12F074 $15.98

BUXTON ORR (1924-1997): A Carmen Fantasy, Elegy, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Cello Sonata in C, Op. 65, SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Cello Sonata, Op. 119, Adagio from Cinderella, Op. 97bis. We offer this import for the two Orr pieces, both world premieres, the Elegy from 1994 is chilly and dissonant and then warm and sorrowing while the 1985 Carmen Fantasy was written at the request of cellist Robert Cohen and gives cellists the same sort of showpiece that Waxman gave to violinists. Dagmar Spengler (cello), Oliver Drechsel (piano). Verlag Dohr DCD 017 (Germany) 12F075 $17.98 >

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): A Descent into the Maelstrom - Complete Ballet. This 63-minute ballet suggested by Poe's short story was written for the Australian Dance Theatre in 1986 and performed that year in Adelaide. Later that year, a re-recording was done in studio in New York for the ballet to use for further performances (a recording of the premiere was too poor in quality) but was never commercially released or recorded again. This issue is of a 2002 digital remix/remastering done for release on Orange Mountain. The booklet includes several photos of the original ballet production. Philip Glass Ensemble. Orange Mountain Music ORR 0005 (U.S.A.) 12F076 $17.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Music for Voices (Mabou Mines - June 3, 1972 at the Paula Cooper Gallery), Another Look at Harmony, Part 4. (The Western Wind, Michael Riesman [organ] - Aug. 1989 at the Living Room). More from Orange Mountain's archive of Glass recordings: Music for Voices dates from 1970 and is performed by eight singers sitting in a circle with each part rising and falling in volume with each voice's entry coming on its partner's dynamic peak. Glass can be heard clapping his hands to signal the performers to start different patterns. Lasting 50 minutes, Another Look dates from the same period (1970-75) and is again for eight voices but with the addition of electric organ and marks the arrival of harmonic motion, looking forward to the watershed of Einstein on the Beach. Orange Mountain Music ORR 0004 (U.S.A.) 12F077 $17.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): The Fog of War - Original Soundtrack. Errol Morris' seventh documentary (opening in New York and Los Angeles on the 19th and nationwide in February 2004) examines the career of Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and one of the primary architects of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. This is his third collaboration with Glass and Morris says "I once told Philip that he creates a feeling of existential dread better than anyone else I know of. And this is a movie filled with existential dread. I like to think of it as music for the apocalypse, where the apocalypse is not so much the end of the world but just more of what we've seen before, more of the same." (It took almost 30 years but McNamara finally admitted that he was dead wrong; what do you think the chances are that Uncle Rummy will do the same?) Orange Mountain Music ORR 0010 (U.S.A.) 12F078 $17.98

MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Tantz-Schul. Kagel's starting point for this trip into another of his musical Neverlands is a series of engravings by Gregorio Lambranzi, published in 1716, called "New and Curious Theatrical School of Dancing" (the booklet provides 13 of these engravings, one to a page, but the notes by Kagel himself are quite short). Each engraving has 16-36 bars of dance music below it representing the dance pictured and Kagel takes these as his starting point for ingenious, almost always tonal (but using every resource of the modern symphony orchestra as well as many modern techniques) and thoroughly enjoyable "confronatations" between past and present (the presence of many errors in the music of the engravings themselves only helps Kagel on his way, as he embraces them with vigor rather than correcting them). There are six vocal numbers included among the total of 18. This should appeal to a wider audience than many of this composer's really odd pieces. Original language texts/German translations. Margaret Chalker (soprano), Christoph Späth (tenor), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Mauricio Kagel. Winter & Winter 910 099-2 (Germany) 12F079 $17.98

BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): String Quartet No. 4 for Soprano and String Quartet, Kurze Schatten II for Solo Guitar, Trittico per g.s. for Solo Double Bass, Terrain for Violin and Wind Octet. The quartet, which deliberately echoes Schoenbergs second quartet, deconstructs both the musical vocabulary of earlier quartet writing and the use of language in a set text. The text - an experimental fragmentation of Pound by Jackson Mac Low - flies apart in splintered shards, much as Schoenbergian serialism does in the tense, spiky quartet textures. The solo guitar work, with its microtonal tunings and extended techniques, goes even further in transcending the bounds of traditional music for the instrument while achieving a level of transcendental virtuosity which exploits the timbral possibilities of the instrument to the full. The edgily hyperactive Trittico, for solo contrabass, also extends intrumental virtuosity beyond its normal limits, endcing up sounding more like an ensemble piece than one for a solo instrument. Terrain, written for Irvine Arditti, functions as a fiercely difficult and complex violin concerto in all but name. The wind ensemble sounds almost convdentionally Second Viennese; the violin part is on a wholly different level of instrumental intensity. Brenda Mitchell (soprano), Arditti String Quartet, Magnus Andersson (guitar), Stefano Scodanibbio (double bass), ASKO Ensemble; Jonathan Nott. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782169 (France) 12F080 $13.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Fragmente - Stille, an Diotima, "Hay que caminar" Sognando. This 1990 recording functioned as a kind of memorial tribute to Nono with whom the Arditti Quartet had an especially close relationship. Fragmente - Stille, an Diotima, his only work for string quartet, is an unsettling collage of fragmentary gestures, often on the verge of silence, and punctuated by expressive literal silences which somehow act as equal partners in an eloquent linear narrative of perhaps surprising richness and variety. Similar claims might be made for the even more spare and pointillistic work for two violins, which treats subjects of fate and destiny in music of paradoxical abstraction, yet leaves an impression of graphic storytelling. Listening to these works it is easy to understand why the Quartet found their collaboration with Nono to be so fruitful, and why their tribute is so heartfelt and emotionally gripping. Arditti String Quartet. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782172 (France) 12F081 $13.98

ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Piano Quintet, Quintet for Piano and Winds, Tempo e Tempi for Soprano, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Syringa for Soprano, Baritone and Ensemble, Fragment II for String Quartet, Retrouvailles for Piano. The two quintets are especially striking, giving free rein to the discursive character that typifies Carter's music. The piano and strings work sets up a dialogue which is somewhat confrontational, antagonistic even, between the piano on the one hand, and the ensemble on the other. The quintet with winds is a more co-operative drama, with lively 'conversation' between 'characters' made up of combinations of instruments, not without humor; it is in this work that shades of neoclassical Stravinsky make themselves felt most strongly. Syringa brings together even more disparate fragments of musical and textual material in lively discourse. Greek classical poetry and a 20th-century text appear in a setting of extraordinary richness and (paradoxically) clarity and precision; no neo-romantic wallowing here, though the overall effect is of a tapestry of intricacy and glowing color. Tempo e tempi deserves special mention as well - a song-cycle in typically complex overlapping meters, underpinning a soaring lyrical vocal line. And never dismiss even the smallest of Carter's dedication and occasional pieces - there are two here - which contrive to do exactly what one has come to expect of the composer, only compressed into a tiny span of time. Ursula Oppens (piano), The Arditti Quartet, Lucy Shelton (soprano), Andre Solomon-Glover (baritone), Ensemble Sospeso; Jeffrey Milarsky, Stefan Asbury and other artists. Mode 128 (U.S.A.) 12F082 $16.98

MISATO MOCHIZUKI (b.1969): Si bleu, si calme for Ensemble, All that is including me for Bass Flute, Clarinet and Violin, Chimera for Ensemble, Intermezzi I for Flute and Piano, La chambre claire for Ensemble. These ensemble pieces are quite explicitly and intentionally the offspring of unions between science and music; as the composer states, "Scientific thinking about nature and its mysteries is a great source of inspiration for my work". So, can you hear the theoretical background in cellular manipulation, changes of physical state, planetary dynamics and so on in the music? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer seems to be yes, as Mochizuki has created ingenious musical analogues for the processes described, almost achieving a kind of musical onomatopia in places. Although the vocabulary would have to be descibed as freely atonal, utilising in places some extended instrumental techniques, it never feels aggressively avant-garde, being not infrequently bound together by a pulsing rhythmic element owing more than a little to non-classical types of music. Eva Furrer (flute), Marino Formenti (piano), Sophie Schafleitner (violin), Bernhard Zachhuber (clarinet), Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke. Kairos 0012402KAI (Austria) 12F083 $15.98

The Waltz King on Period Instruments

JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825-1899): Overtures to Die Fledermaus, Der Zigeunerbaron, Csárdas from Die Fledermaus, Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, Nordseebilder, Im Sturmschritt, Neue Pizzikato Polka, Perpetuum mobile - Ein musikalischer Scherz (2nd version), Frühlingsstimmen, An der schönen blauen Donau, Egyptischer Marsch, Éljen à Magyar, Furioso Polka. We asked ourselves - "Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?" - when seeing this new release. Indeed, conductor Jos van Immerseel wasn't too sure of it either. He admits having been brainwashed through music school and conservatory against this genre as "unworthy" of serious musicians but was thoroughly won over when the publisher of the new Strauss Edition suggested the project to him and sent him a pile of scores. The result is this lavishly presented recording (oversized booklet in slip-case) which has separate notes on the Edition, Anima Eterna's approach, the Strauss performance tradition, "Dance Music in the 19th Century" and notes on the pieces recorded here, which range from the very familiar to the more unusual. Orchestre Anima Eterna; Jos van Immerseel. Zig Zag Territories ZZT020601 (France) 12F084 $17.98

W.S. GILBERT (1836-1911)/ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): The Grand Duke. The fourteenth and last collaboration in the lucrative but, by this time, increasingly dysfunctional professional relationship between Gilbert & Sullivan, The Grand Duke premiered at the Savoy in 1896 and ran for 123 performances (not a success by previous standards). After this, it was never performed in England again until the D'Oyle Carte did a concert version in 1975 and recorded the music without Gilbert's dialogue. This new release from Ohio Light Opera contains all the music and all the dialogue (much of which is very entertaining), making it the first complete recording of the work. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Cast, Chorus and Orchestra of the Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Albany TROY 631/632 (U.S.A.) 12F085 $33.98

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): L'Evasion, Solitude, Amelitango, 3 piezas breves, Op. 4, Close Your Eyes and Listen, Le Grand Tango, Years of Solitude, Ave Maria, 20 Years Later, Summit, Novitango, Soledad, Reminiscence. The idea of substituting the bayan (a Russian accordion) for the Argentinian bandoneon was an appealing one and the results bring a slightly different flavor to these hits and lesser-known pieces by Piazzolla. Daniela Grenz (bayan), Julia Polziehn (cello). Verlag Dohr DCD014 (Germany) 12F086 $17.98 >

CONRAD STEINMANN (b.1951): Mare nostrum, Hiérax I, Proteros, Hiérax II, Hymnos an den Schlaf, SOPRHONIOS (7th cen.): Plagios I & II, ATHENAIOS (2nd cen.): Paian delphikos, TRAD. NORTH GREEK: Mandilatos, TRAD. YEMENITE: Dror Yikra/Shabbat, ARCHDIAKON ASMAR, BEIRUT: 8th Kirchenton der Qale Gnizza, CIRCLE OF IOANNIS KOUKOUZÉLES (c.1350): Cherubikon. For those of you who bought and enjoyed our back-page offerings of music of ancient Rome and of ancient Egypt, here is another in that vein. Steinmann, a recorder player who performs with various period-instrument groups, also has made a career out of researching ancient Greek music and instruments, playing three varieties of the aulos here (an ancient Greek double-flute) as well as six different kinds of Renaissance recorders. Conrad Steinmann (aulos, recorders, Calabrian double-flute). Divox CDX-25214-2 (Switzerland) 12F087 $17.98 >

AKIRA NISHIMURA (b.1953): Avatara. An impressionistic haze surrounds this 82 minute cycle of pieces, each depicting a manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu in various legends. More concerned with atmosphere than musical narrative, and largely consonant with excursions into cluster-colored expressionism and rich waves of sound held in pedal, the pieces function as curiously static yet graphic descriptions of their subjects, recalling the frozen dynamism of certain pictorial art of the East. In the booklet notes the composer states that the music is all played on the keyboard with no special treatment of the piano, but there are some instances of what sounds like prepared-piano textures here and there, adding to the rich if somewhat abstract sonic textures. 2 CDs. Aki Takahashi (piano). Camerata CMCD-15024-5 (Japan) 12F088 $35.98