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Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7

GEORGE MACFARREN (1813-1887): Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Symphony No. 7 in C Sharp Minor. Macfarren has been dubbed "the English Beethoven" and no less an authority than Grove has noted that "it is Beethoven who springs to mind most frequently" in his symphonies. This goes to show how not being able to listen to the music in question can lead to unwarranted assumptions. Macfarren was the only English composer of his generation who persisted in writing symphonies and his obvious model was that German composer whom the English took most firmly to their hearts in the first half of the 19th century - Mendelssohn. The seventh symphony is dedicated to Mendelssohn but both of them recall the latter (especially his earlier works like the Symphony No. 1 and the Midsummer Night's Dream incidental music) in their orchestral textures - the wind being especially prominent in punctuating and commenting on the action - the clarity of design, burgeoning youthful vigor (even though both symphonies are in minor keys, the overall affect is of youthful energy, not desperation or gloom) and even such a bizarre thing as the use of a serpent in the wind section for much of the seventh symphony. Both of these works (1833 and 1840 respectively) will repay repeated listening and will delight collectors who specialize in early Romantic symphonic music. Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra; Werner Andreas Albert. CPO 999 433 (Germany) 12A001 $15.98

PETERSON-BERGER - Symphony No. 2

WILHELM PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942): Symphony No. 2 "Sunnanfärd", Romance in D for Violin and Orchestra, Oriental Dance, Prelude to Sveagaldrar. Dating from 1910, the second symphony is Peterson-Berger's largest, most expansive and most Romantic symphony. Its subtitle "Journey on Southerly Winds" tells its tale - the common Romantic ideal of northern European artists: a journey to the Mediterranean and the well-spring of western European culture. Although Peterson-Berger never actually made it to Italy until ten years later, this did not prevent him from spinning a beguiling tale of a trip: "Becalmed"; "Voyage"; "The City of Roses"; "The Procession of Dionysus"; "In the Temple of Eros"; "Symposium"; "Homesickness" and "For Southerly Winds" tell the tale in words but the music itself is some of the most magnificent the composer ever produced, covering a span from Nordic nature lyricism to Wagnerian drama and even shades of impressionism. Dating from the same year as his third symphony (1915), the violin romance is an extended instrumental song, impassioned and eloquent. Ulf Wallin (violin), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Michail Jurowski. CPO 999 564 (Germany) 12A002 $15.98

ASGER HAMERIK (1843-1923): Symphony No. 6 in G "Spirituelle", Op. 38, NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Novelletter in F, Op. 53 and in E, Op. 58. Published in Leipzig in 1897 and written, as were all 8 of his symphonies (seven of which were published), while director of the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, the sixth symphony is for strings only. Having heard only the first two symphonies, we can say only that this one feels more "Scandinavian" than those in its light, spare scoring and in its graceful, sunlit melodies although the heritage of Beethoven and Schumann are still evident in its rhythmically insistent scherzo and inward-looking Andante sostenuto. Anxiously awaited is Dacapo's new recording of the third and fourth symphonies which is unaccountably late in arriving at these shores. Gade's string orchestra Novelleter (1874 and 1883 respectively) make a perfect coupling with their Romantic sensibility which looks back to Schumann and Mendelssohn. Deutsche Kammerakademie; Johannes Goritzki. CPO 999 516 (Germany) 12A003 $15.98

HAKON BØRRESEN (1876-1954): String Sextet in G, Op. 5, String Quartet No. 2 in C Minor. The rediscovery of Børresen continues with two chamber works from opposite ends of his career. The sextet (dedicated to Grieg) dates from 1901 has a pentatonic, Nordic tone to it and in its use of repetition of short rhythmic motifs, looks forward to the second symphony of three years later. The quartet comes from 1939 and demonstrates the mature Børresen's late Romantic style, a style which by this time had caused him to be forgotten. However, Børresen represents a late-Romantic tradition in Danish music represented otherwise only by Louis Glass and Ludolf Nielsen, this group standing apart from the modernism of Carl Nielsen and from the conservative tradition of Hartmann and Gade, and this disc is another valuable piece in the Scandinavian musicological puzzle. Copenhagen Classic. CPO 999 613 (Germany) 12A004 $15.98

JOHN BLACKWOOD MCEWEN (1868-1948): Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity. McEwen's elaborate setting of a portion of Milton's ode "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" dates from 1901-05 and manages to synthesize the barbaric, oriental rhythms of the Russian National School with the tormented chromaticism and heavy orchestral textures of Franck and the hyper-emotionalism of Chausson with the English choral tradition of Parry and Elgar. This was the composer's last large-scale work for chorus and orchestra and is a strikingly original monument to an original musical thinker only now being rediscovered. Janice Watson (soprano), Brighton Festival Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra; Alasdair Mitchell. Chandos 9669 (England) 12A005 $16.98

AMY BEACH (1867-1944): Solo Piano Music, Vol. 3 - 4 Sketches, Op. 15, Fantasia Fugata, Op. 87, Transcription of Richard Strauss' Serenade, 5 Improvisations, Op. 148, Tyrolean Valse-fantaisie, Op. 116, Eskimos, Op. 64, Nocturne, Op. 107, From Grandmother's Garden, Op. 97. The third and final volume of Beach's piano music further confirms her status as a versatile composer, running the gamut from the early Four Sketches which produced a virtuoso piece, Fire-Flies, which was taken up by Busoni, Rosenthal and Hoffman, to the advanced op. 148 of 1938 which has a gravity and intensity of expression worthy of late Brahms but updated with bittersweet recollections of pre-World War I years, spiky syncopations and Native American influences. Eskimos (1904) is perhaps the most exotic of the pieces on this disc, using Inuit melodies worked out in Western European tradition. Joanne Polk (piano). Arabesque Z6721 (U.S.A.) 12A006 $16.98

LÉON BOËLLMANN (1862-1897): Nocturne, Op. 36, Aubade, Op. 15/1, Feuillet d'Album, Op. 15/2, Impromptu, Op. 15/4, Valse-Caprice, Op. 20, 10 Improvisations, Op. 28 Intermezzo, Danse Galiléenne, Ronde Française, Op. 37, Sur la Mer, Op. 38. This recital presents a valuable cross-section of Boëllmann's tragically short career, from the early, charming fin-de-siècle genre pieces of op. 15 through the introspective, more personal Improvisations to the startlingly seething and turbulent late works (the Nocturne immediately recalls the Toccata from his famous organ Suite gothique). Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano). Skarbo D SK 1987 (France) 12A007 $16.98


JOSÉ PABLO MONCAYO (1912-1958): Sinfonía, ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Danzón No. 2, SILVESTRE REVUELTAS (1899-1940): La Coronela. Here is the world premiere recording of Moncayo's symphony (1942-44). His second work after the well-known Huapango (1941), the symphony is in the traditional four-movement form with scherzo placed second. Devotees of 20th century Mexican music will perhaps be surprised that someone so freely rhapsodic as Moncayo chose to use the form at all (there is a second, incomplete, symphony also), but they will not be surprised by the music: the wide-open, Western feeling, the palpable presence of Mexican folk and popular music (most obvious in several eloquent statements from solo trumpet) and the insistent, often varied rhythms. Revueltas' unfinished 1940 ballet "The Lady Colonel" was offered in its premiere appearance in the U.S. on CD in our July 1998 catalogue; it now turns out that here is not only the world premiere recording but one of a score which conductor Diemecke has supplemented and subtly changed (details in the notes). The Mexican orchestra provides a rather more idiomatic, roughly vigorous reading. On Márquez' Danzón No. 2 see below. Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México; Enrique Arturo Diemecke. Spartacus SDX 21027 (Mexico) 12A008 $12.98

ARTURO MÁRQUEZ (b.1950): Danzón No. 2, JAVIER ÁLVAREZ (b.1956): Metro Chabacano, MARLOS NOBRE (b.1939): Convergencias, Op. 28, ALEJANDRO GARCÍA CATURLA (1906-1940): 3 danzas cubanas, CARLOS CHÁVEZ (1899-1978): Chapultepec, OSCAR LORENZO FERNÁNDEZ (1897-1948): Batuque, DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707)/CARLOS CHÁVEZ: Chaconne in E Minor. Pulsating rhythms define all of these short, rarely-encountered compositions from contemporary Latin American composers and all are imbued with an essential passion and energy. Márquez' Danzón No. 2 is the longest work here (at just under 10 minutes) and its addictive blend of shifting melodies and rhythms was concocted as a tribute to a type of dance native to Veracruz. Caturla uses Afro-Cuban rhythms in his three characteristic dances (unfortunately, his day job was as a judge and he was gunned down by a criminal whom he had sentenced); Revueltas' mini tone-poem uses sones jotted down during a trip to the island in Michoacan which gives his work its title; Chávez's piece arranges three popular Mexican numbers: a march, a waltz and a revolutionary song while the Brazilian Nobre constructs an unmistakably Latin American sound through the use of abstract elements. As a calm center, Chávez' 1937 transcription of a Buxtehude organ piece has a moving nobility. Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra; Keri-Lynn Wilson. Dorian xCD-90254 (U.S.A.) 12A009 $16.98

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Chôros No. 11 for Piano and Orchestra. Composed in 1928, the Chôros No. 11 is, along with its predecessor, with Forest of the Amazon and possibly with a couple other of Villa-Lobos' tone-poems, the grandest, largest-scale monstrosity that the composer ever concocted. Synthesizing Brazilian, Indian and popular music in writing both lucid and complex - now hushed and confindential, now of an elemental and irresistible force seldom found in music - this work is like a gigantic concerto grosso with a long and difficult solo cadenza for the piano included. There really is nothing like Villa-Lobos at his most grandiose: the man was a "maximalist" the way Webern was a miniaturist. Ralf Gothoni (piano), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo. Ondine ODE 916 (Finland) 12A010 $17.98


FERNANDO OBRADORS (1897-1945): El Poema de la Jungla, GABRIEL RODÓ (1904-1963): Symphony No. 2. Obrador's "Poem of the Jungle" dates from 1938 and is inspired by Kipling. It is a three-movement suite of highly charged, brightly-colored music which sounds like it could have been written for a major Hollywood adventure spectacular. Much contains music which may have originally been envisaged for ballet and themes seem to represent certain characters (no analysis of the music was left behind). This is a spectacular listening experience and, in this work, Obradors is practically a European Villa-Lobos: the power and spectacle are there, only lacking the Afro-Indian themes which spice up the latter's music. Rodó's 1957 symphony is an entirely different matter: written in response to the death of Sibelius, this is a work of bleached color and concealed desperation - not unlike the post-war music of the Darmstadt composers except that Rodó's language remains resolutely tonal. A final movement which ends in what seems to be a hard-won hope is the culmination of three movements of brooding pessimism and disenchantment. This disc is the first in a series of 20th century Spanish orchestral works which promises to be quite ear-opening. Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria; Adrian Leaper. ASV DCA 1043 (England) 12A011 $16.98

LEO BROUWER (b.1939): Concerto Elegiaco for Guitar and Orchestra, CARLOS FRANZETTI (b.1948): Concierto Del Plata for Guitar and Orchestra, CARLOS GUASTAVINO (b.1914): Jeromita Linares, MANLY ROMERO (b.1966): Spirals, ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): Impresiones de la Puna. All these works have in common a romantic sense of color and atmosphere, expressed in terms of tonality and vibrant harmony. Even Spirals, the most modern piece, with suggestions of jazz improvisation, is immensely approachable and contains many allusions to traditions going back to neoclassicism and before. The Franzetti is a delight; energetic and colorful, a bustling depiction of Argentine life, with a motoric energy in the first movement reminiscent of Orff or Stravinsky, and an eloquent soulfulness in the middle song-like movement. Guastavino's and Brouwer's pieces are both affectionately romantic and lyrical (with the finale of the Brouwer an exciting perpetuum mobile for contrast, remaining harmonically warm and sensuous even as the excitement builds). The Ginastera is a soulful tone-picture with flute solo, a profound contemplation against a desolate yet exhilarating landscape. All of these pieces bear repeated listening, and the disc as a whole is a treasure-trove of generous, moving and beautiful music, highly recommended. Sergio Puccini (guitar), San Francisco Camerata Americana; José Luis Moscovich. Klavier KCD-11093 (U.S.A.) 12A012 $17.98

LEOPOLD HOFMANN (1738-1793): Concertos for Violin and Strings in B Flat and in A, Concerto for Violin, Cello and Strings in G. The second concerto disc in Naxos' "18th Century Concerto" series devoted to Hofmann brings more of his lyrically inspired solos, graceful slow movements and rhythmically buoyant finales. Lorraine McAslan (violin), Tim Hugh (cello), Northern Chamber Orchestra; Nicholas Ward. Naxos 8.554233 (New Zealand) 12A013 $5.98

CHRISTIAN CANNABICH (1731-1798): Flute Quintets, Op. 7: in E Minor, No. 3, in G, No. 4, in D, No. 5 and in G, No. 6. Cannabich two straight months! A good sign: dating from the late 1760s, these quintets are in the galant style and use one and two flutes with varying string accompaniment in excellent examples of the catchy invention and elegant diction of chamber music of this period. Camerata Köln. CPO 999 544 (Germany) 12A014 $15.98

IGNAZ HOLZBAUER (1711-1783): Quintets for Fortepiano, Flute and String Trio No. 1 in G and No. 2 in B Flat, Sinfonia à 3 in G for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Divertimento à 3 in D for Flute, Violin, Double Bass and Guitar. Holzbauer was music director of the Mannheim orchestra which Cannabich led. His chamber works range over a wide stylistic spectrum, from high Baroque trio sonata form to early an Classical tone and, in the quintets, the beginning of sonata form. Camerata Köln. CPO 999 580 (Germany) 12A015 $15.98

JOHANN BAPTIST VANHAL (1739-1813): Flute Sonatas in G, Op. 30/3, in D, Op. 17/1, in D Minor, Op. 43/3, in G, in E Flat and in E (No. 2). Bent Larsen (flute), Sverre Larsen (piano). It is thought that most of Vanhal's chamber music dates from the 1780s when he, Haydn, Dittersdorf and Mozart often formed a string quartet and these world premiere recordings of six flute sonatas sound very much of the "high" Classical period. Classico CLASSCD 237 (Denmark) 12A016 $14.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Freude, du Lust der Götter, Die verliebte Verzweiflung, Der Morgen, Der Stoiker, Trost eines schwermütigen Christen, Das Privilegium, An eine kleine Schöne, An die Natur, An meine Ruhestätte, An den Schlaf, Die Zufriedenheit, Der Frühling, an Röschen, Trinklied, Lyda, Ich hoffe auf Gott, Die Grazien, Phantasie mit Hamlets Monolog, Psalms 65, 88, 93 & 142. This fascinating release shows an important stage in the development of what would become Schubert's and other Romantic composer's most intimate form of expression: the lied. Included are an extended cantata (Die Grazien) and a dramatic rendition of Hamlet's famous monologue but, for the most part, we have here songs emancipating themselves from the voice-basso continuo form of the baroque period. The fortepiano parts, in some songs, could actually be played by themselves as "songs without words"; the expressive style itself is perhaps not as strong (in the bizarre) sense as some of Bach's orchestral and chamber works of the Empfindsamkeit style were, the text being given primary consideration. Valuable documents for lovers of German lieder. German-English texts. Klaus Mertens (baritone), Ludger Rémy (fortepiano). CPO 999 549 (Germany) 12A017 $15.98

LE CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES (c.1739-1799): 6 String Quartets. Dating from the mid-1770s, these quartets, in two movements (a sonata-allegro and a minuet or rondo) are sparkling little miniatures which mirror the contemporary French taste for easily apprehensible and tunefully entertaining chamber music. Jean-Noël Molard String Quartet. Arion ARN 55425 (France) 12A018 $13.98

ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): Sonatas Nos. 13-23. The second volume of Glossa's complete edition of Soler's 120 keyboard sonatas brings more gems which share with Domenico Scarlatti a virtuoso technique, fondness for syncopations and ostinati and frequent use of Iberian dance rhythms. Patrick Cohen (fortepiano). Glossa (Spain) 12A019 $18.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Sehet an die Exempel der Alten, TWV 1:1259, Erhöre mich, wenn ich rufe, TWV 1:459, Ich halte aber dafür, TWV 1:840. Culled from the first and second of Telemann's "concerto years" (1716/17 and 1720/21) and brought together due to their use of the rather exotic cornett in addition to 3 trombones and the usual strings and oboe, these cantatas provide a helpful look at the period when the church cantata style was crystallizing and add three more fine and stylish works by this brilliant composer to the catalogue. Mona Spägele (soprano), Henning Voss (alto), Wilfried Jochens (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass), Bläserkol-legium Leipzig, Telemann Chamber Orchestra Michaelstein; Ludger Rémy. CPO 999 542 (Germany) 12A020 $15.98

LOUIS-FRANÇOIS DAUPRAT (1781-1868): Sextet for 6 Natural Horns, FRÉdÉRIC DUVERNOY (1765-1838): 2ième Nocturne for Horn and Harp, JEAN-FRANÇOIS GALLAY (1795-1864): Caprices for Solo Horn, Op. 32, Nos. 1, 3, 7, 8, 10 & 12, GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Le rendez-vous de chasse for 4 Horns, Prélude, thème et variations for Horn and Piano. Enthusiasts may wallow in the unique sound of the natural horn in this recital which intersperses works by Rossini and Duvernoy with etudes by Gallay - all leading up to the unforgettable sound of Dauprat's sextet where each horn is tuned in a different key. Claude Maury (natural horn), Sophie Hallynck (harp), Guy Penson (fortepiano), Teunis van der Zwart, Rafael Vosseler, Gilles Rambach, Denis Maton, Piet Dombrecht (natural horns). Ricercar 266672 (Belgium) 12A021 $17.98

LOST MUSIC OF EARLY AMERICA - Music of the Moravians. Works by Johann Friedrich Peter, Jeremiah Dencke, David Moritz Michael, John Antes, Simon Peter, Johann A.P. Schultz, Johann Peter Gellner, Johannes Herbst, John Gambold, Johann Christian Geisler, Christian Gregor, Georg Gottfried Müller and J.C. Bechler. This valuable release fills in some of the gaps in our knowledge of the music of the Moravians who settled in and around eastern Pennsylvania during the late 1700s. The (mostly choral) works are grouped by the holidays they were written for: Christmas, Lent and Thanksgiving. Also included is a rondo for piano by John Gambold. Cyndia Sieden, Sharon Baker (sopranos), Boston Baroque; Martin Pearlman. Telarc CD-80482 (U.S.A.) 12A022 $16.98

Leonore - Original 1806 version. World premiere recording

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Leonore oder der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe. Premeried in 1805 as Fidelio and finally revised in the form we know it so well today in 1814 (also as Fidelio), Beethoven's only opera had a tangled history of revisions, additions and cuts. Strangely enough, this is the first recording of the 1806 version, the only one to bear the title Beethoven himself wanted. It contains several major changes both from the 1805 version and from the 1814, all of which are exhaustively documented in the excellent notes and which are also provided in tabular fashion so that listeners can compare sequencing against the 1814 final version. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Pamela Coburn (soprano), Christine Neithardt-Barbaux (soprano), Mark Baker (tenor), Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone), Cologne Radio Choir, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn; Marc Soustrot. MD&G 337 0826 (Germany) 12A023 $35.98

CARL LOEWE (1796-1869): Grand Duo in F for Piano Four-Hands, Op. 18, FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Grand Duo in C for Piano Four-Hands, D 812. Recently rediscovered in the Library of Congress, Loewe's 1829 work makes for an interesting comparanda to his fellow great song-composer's much more famous Grand Duo. The first movement is cheerful, with much technically difficult passagework, the Andante delightful in its variations, the scherzo scintillates and the finale is even more fun with its witty, vocal-like interludes which recall bel canto opera; in fact, its unflagging high spirits make it something of a rarity in the minor-key drenched landscape of the Romantic period from which it comes. Camelia Sima-David Montgomery Piano Duo. Klavier KCD-11094 (U.S.A.) 12A024 $17.98

ELISABETH JACQUET DE LA GUERRE (c.1666-1729): Rondeau in G Minor, MARIANNA MARTINEZ (1744-1812): Sonata in A, FANNY MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847): Lieder for Piano, Op. 4/3, Op. 5/3 & Op. 5/4, CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): Variations in F Sharp Minor, Op. 20, LOUIS FARRENC (1804-1875): Impromptu in B Minor, LILI BOULANGER (1893-1918): D'un vieux jardin, FLORENCE-BEATRICE PRICE (1888-1953): Cotton Dance, Tropical Noon, Nimble Feet, MADELEINE DRING (1923-1977): Color Suite. Of a type we are seeing more frequently these days, this recital blazes a useful path through keyboard music by women composers from the baroque rondeau of Jacquet de la Guerre to the Afro-American spiritual and blues-drenched pieces of American Price and Englishwoman Dring (whose Color Suite is a toe-tapping delight). Along the way we make a first acquaintance with Martinez, a pupil of Haydn, whose sonata is firmly based in Mozartian Classicism and find three marvellous pieces by Fanny Mendelssohn - equivalents of her brother's "Songs without Words" and arguably the equal of many of the latter. Something for everyone and all of it worth knowing! Mònica Pons (piano). Ars Harmonica AH037 (Spain) 12A025 $17.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Concerto No. 4 in E, Op. 110, Concerto for Piano and Violin in G, Op. 17. Hummel's double concerto, dating from about 1805, has much Mozartian influence and its grace and elegance are as disarming as ever in this new recording. The piano concerto, from 1814, is from Hummel's full maturity, meaning fuller orchestration, more adventurous harmonies and excitingly difficult work for the soloist. Hagai Shaham (violin), London Mozart Players; Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 9687 (England) 12A026 $16.98

LEONARDO VINCI (c.1690-1730): 12 Sonatas for Flute, Harpsichord and Bassoon. For a few years in the 1720s, Vinci was the leading composer of opera seria after the death of Alessandro Scarlatti, his early death alone preventing him from being better known today. He wrote little chamber music but these sonatas are quite unusual: more like trio sonatas, with the bassoon often having an independent role, they actually fall into the galant style (less counterpoint, more theme and accompaniment) which was not to fully crystallize for another decade and a half or more. 2 CDs. Accademia Farnese. Mondo Musica MM 96015 (Germany) 12A027 $37.98

GIUSEPPE ANTONIO PAGANELLI (1710-1763): 6 Sonatas for Transverse Flute and Bass, Op. 16. More examples of the light, melodious Italian galant style dating from around 1750 whose soloist is given grateful, aria-like melodies close to the style of mid-18th century Italian opera. Academia Farnese. Mondo Musica MM 96020 (Germany) 12A028 $18.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Szenen aus Goethes Faust. Schumann's setting of portions of the Faust legend is one of his most bold works and a highlight of Romanticism. Here is its first recording using period instruments. German-English texts. 2 CDs. William Dazeley (baritone), Camilla Nylund (soprano), La Chapelle Royale, Collegium Vocale, RIAS-Kammerchor, Orchestre des Champs Élysées; Philippe Herreweghe. Harmonia Mundi HMC901661.62 (France) 12A029 $35.98

ANTONIO CALDARA (c.1670-1736): 12 Sinfonie a quattro su "Azione sacra con voce recitante. Dating with one exception from 1724-35, these works are an unusual hybrid of church sonata, overture and symphony which seem to be somewhat expanded versions of introductions to 12 sacred oratorios. In three or four movements, with a short introduction for a narrator, each work has a fugue and a dance-like, secular finale. An interesting look at one aspect the early "symphony" took during the creative flux which began during the late Baroque and which gave it its Classical form a generation later. Mara Persegona (voice), Accademia Farnese; Claudio Ferrarini. Mondo Musica MM 96025 (Germany) 12A030 $18.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): String Trio in C Minor, Op. 249, ROBERT FUCHS (1847-1927): String Trio in A, Op. 94. These two works are in the classic style of late German Romanticism and wear the mantle of Brahms, lightly in the case of Reinecke, more seriously, as usual, with Fuchs, whose work is often shot through with a dark, autumnal quality (his slow movement is a haunting set of variations on a Scottish folk tune). Belcanto Strings. MD&G 634 0841 (Germany) 12A031 $17.98

THE HYPERION LIZST EDITION - The Works for Piano and Orchestra

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Concerto No. 1 in E Flat, S124, Fantasie über Motive aus Beethovens Ruinen von Athen, S122, Totentanz-Paraphrase über "Dies irae" (final version), S126ii, Grande Fantaisie symphonique (on themes from Berlioz's Lelio), S120, Concerto in E Minor for Piano and Strings "Malediction", S121, Concerto in E Flat, Op. posth., S125a, Grand Solo de concert, S365, Hexaméron - Morceau de concert, S365b, C.M von Webers Polonaise brillante, S367. First recording of the Grande Fantaisie symphonique with score and parts corrected from manuscript sources by the pianist who, indefatigably, has done the same for the Grand Solo de Concert (see following note for its various versions) and the Hexaméron, that set of variations by Liszt, Thalberg, Pixis, Herz, Czerny and Chopin of the "March of the Puritans" from Bellini's eponymous opera which Liszt partially orchestrated and Howard has finished. The concerto in E flat, Op. posth. has had several recorded versions recently and this one is again fresh, prepared from manuscript sources by Jay Rosenblatt and with further work on the solo part by Howard. Leslie Howard (piano), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacker. Hyperion CDA 67401/2 (England) 12A032 $35.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Concerto No. 2 in A, S125, De Profundis - Psaume instrumental pour orchestre et piano principal, S691, Concerto pathétique in E Minor, S365a, Totentanz - Phantasie für Pianoforte und Orchester ("De Profundis" version), S126i, Fantasie über ungarische Volksmelodien, S123, WEBER/LISZT: Konzertstück in F Minor, S367a, SCHUBERT/LISZT: Grosse Fantasie "Wanderer", S366, SOPHIE MENTER (1846-1918): Ungarische Zigeunerweisen (Konzert im ungarischen Styl). Here are first recordings of Liszt's version of Weber's Konzerstück with Liszt's piano part (c.1872); of a new version of the 1834/35 De Profundis by Jay Rosenblatt with pianist Howard's completion of the last six bars; and of the 1885/6 collaboration between Liszt and Eduard Reuss which orchestrated the two-piano Concerto pathétique of 1856 (this work itself exists in four other versions, including another for piano and orchestra on the Hyperion release above, as the Grond Solo de Concert, S365). Sophie Menter's 1885 composition on Hungarian Gypsy tunes was probably written with Liszt's collaboration; it was orchestrated by Tchaikovsky in 1892 and forms the third, bonus, disc. Howard's notes elucidate the tangled history of these various pieces as clearly as humanly possible. This superhuman undertaking is now nearing its end. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Leslie Howard (piano), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacker. Hyperion CDA67403/4 (England) 12A033 $35.98

Paderewski's symphony uncut - CD Premiere!

IGNACY JAN PADEREWSKI (1860-1941): Symphony in B Minor (Polonia). An archetypal specimen of the late Romantic symphony (in three movements lasting 75 minutes, it's longer than most of Mahler's and Bruckner's symphonies), Paderewski's monster work dates from 1909 and is one of his last compositions before taking up his political career. Strongly nationalistic in intent and expression, it is generally somber and intense and requires, among other things, three sarrusophones (!), which, along with its length, will easily explain its lack of performances. Its previous LP incarnation was drastically cut; this recording offers it complete for the first time. The Liszt-Tchaikovsky tradition is strongly present in its half-hour long first movement whose alternating martial triumphalism and Slavic introspection lead to a coda punctuated by an organ solo. The Andante is dark and lyrical, the first movement's feverish yearning replaced by something more elegiac; the finale (27 minutes and a miniature tone poem in its own right) seems to trace a progression to a battle with the forces of evil (the krakowiak making appearances throughout). Two moments of tranquility punctuate the movement, which finally rises to a triumphant coda of Wagnerian exultation. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Jerzy Maksymiuk. Hyperion CDA 67056 (England) 12A034 $17.98

MILY BALAKIREV (1837-1910): Symphony No. 1 in C, Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Overture on Three Russian Themes, Symphonic Poem Russia, Symphonic Poem Tamara. No sooner had we lamented the deletion of Svetlanov's Philharmonia Balakirev recordings in last month's catalogue than they reappear in Hyperion's Dyad, mid-price series. Now, the symphonies - No. 1 over thirty years from beginning to completion and No. 2 taking the relatively short period of 1900-08 - as well as the young composer's folksong-inspired Russia (1864) and the exotic savagery and Romantic lusciousness of the late 1870s Tamara can be enjoyed in brilliantly recorded performances from 1991 with the Philharmonia in virtuoso form. 2 CDs for the price of 1. The Philharmonia; Yevgeny Svetlanov. Hyperion CDD 22030 (England) 12A035 $17.98

ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): 6 Caprices, Op. 43, Six Pièces, Op. 53, 4 Morceaus, Op. 25, 4 Études, Op. 41, from 24 Characteristic Pieces, Op. 36: Nos. 3, 13, 15, 16 and 20, from Près de la mer: 6 Esquisses, Op. 52: Nos. 4 and 5. Not a strongly original composer, Arensky was a gifted pianist and was imbued with the spirit of Russian song and he created a large body of inventive, charming, lyrically melodic piano music which is often gently moving through its pervasive sense of a reflective nostalgia. This recital has almost no competition and affords a voice to some worthwhile, distinctive music. Stephen Coombs (piano). Hyperion CDA 67066 (England) 12A036 $17.98

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Lieder, Vol. 2 - Dir sing ich mein Lied, Die Näherin, Ruhe, Ging d nicht eben das Glück, Ich hol'dir vom Himmel das Blau, Im Boudoir, Nimm mich mit, o Herbst, Trutzlied, Ich war sein Mädel, Das erste Mal, Am Bache im Gras, Ich hab' ein Hüglein im Polenland, Vorüber, Sári, Nachtlichter-Marsch, Komm, die Nacht gehört der Sünde. As in the first volume of this series which was offered last month, cpo offers selections from throughout Lehár's career. These songs are usually waltzes, fox-trots, polkas and marches, some taken from operettas; the earlier the song, the more it conforms to established German Romantic lied tradition. Three items here depart from the general light atmosphere - Trutzlied, Ich hab' ein Hüglein... and Nimm mich mit... - which date from the First World War and adopt martial and then resigned and subdued notes. German-English texts. Brigitte Lindner (soprano), Christian Elsner (tenor), Cord Garben (piano). CPO 999 349 (Germany) 12A037 $15.98

The NAXOS American Classics Series

WALTER PISTON (1894-1976): Violin Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto No. 2, Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra. Rigorously eschewing modernism, sensationalism or the trappings of the avant-garde, Piston wrote wonderfully crafted, solidly tonal and heartfelt music. Was there ever a composer of whom one could feel more confident that he knew exactly what he wanted to say, and had at his disposal the means to say it, exactly and with not a not wasted? The genial first violin concerto is here offset by the more melodramatic and emotionally complex second, while the virtuosic Fantasia is intense and, where appropriate, very exciting. James Buswell (violin), National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos 8.559003 (New Zealand) 12A038 $5.98

ANTHONY LEWIS SCARMOLIN (1890-1969): Dance from The Caliph, 3 Miniatures, 3 Preludes, The Sunlit Pool, Invocation, Op. 205, Variations on a Folk Song for Cello and Strings, Op. 192, Arioso, Concert Piece for Trumpet and Strings, Prelude for Flute and Orchestra. This little-known composer is the most startling to be brought to light in Naxos' first issue of their "American Classics" series. Born in Italy and a New Jersey resident most of his life, Scarmolin wrote more than 1100 pieces during a career spent as a high school band teacher. The style in these pieces is generally that of light music, couched in a lush, cinematic style, although the 1947 Invocation - the longest work here at 16 minutes - is a tone-poem which seems to speak of more grave, sometimes heroic matters. A late chromaticism and unstable harmonic palette informs the Concert Piece and Prelude (from 1962 and 1964 respectively) and make for a fascinating ending to a recital full of interest which cannot fail to leave one wanting to hear more from this composer. Miroslav Herák (cello), Petr La Garde (trumpet), Josef Pukovec (flute), Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Naxos 8.559012 (New Zealand) 12A039 $5.98

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA (1854-1932): Orchestral Music from The Bride Elect, People Who Live in Glass Houses, El Capitan and Our Flirtations. This first in a series of Sousa provides a hour's worth of sparkling music from four operettas (and we mean sparkling literally in the case of People Who Live in Glass Houses which celebrates champagne and Rheinwein as well as Scotch, Irish, Bourbon and Rye!), the majority of which are (not surpisingly) marches and waltzes. As collectors have found from our previous offerings of two complete Sousa operettas on the Zephyr label, Sousa wanted to become the American answer to Gilbert and Sullivan and, although his libretti could not approach their wit, his music runs them a very close second. Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Keith Brion. Naxos 8.559008 (New Zealand) 12A040 $5.98

BENJAMIN LEES (b.1924): Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles". To write an epic symphony lasting over an hour in a basically tonal idiom in the current musical climate requires a certain boldness of a composer; that and an intense, and intensely personal, vision and a message burning to be put across. Thus Memorial Candles, written to commemorate the Holocaust, and incorporating texts by Nobel Prize-winning poet Nelly Sachs, as well as a concertante violin part to give a first-person dimension to the musical narrative amidst the work's astoundingly wide-ranging emotional landscape. Program music in the best sense, the symphony is dramatically intense and leads the listener through that drama as surely as any operatic or even cinematic treatment of the subject could do. Kimball Wheeler (mezzo), James Buswell (violin), National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Theodore Kuchar. Naxos 8.559002 (New Zealand) 12A041 $5.98

ROBERT MUCZYNSKI (b.1929): Wind Quintet, Op. 45, 6 Duos for Flutes, Op. 34, Moments for Flute and Piano, Op. 47, Fragments for Woodwind Trio, 3 Preludes for Solo Flute, Op. 18, Movements for Wind Quintet, Op. 16, 6 Duos for Flute and Clarinet, Flute Sonata, Op. 14. Unmistakably contemporary yet instantly accessible, tonal, lyrical and effectively written for the instruments, Muczynski's music for winds is a real pleasure to hear. Whatever combination of instruments he turns his hand to, the skill and craftsmanship are never in doubt. Rhythmically buoyant and clear of texture, all these works (which comprise the composer's complete output using solo flute) are inventive and lively,expressing a wide range of moods. Alexandra Hawley, Jean-Pierre Rampal (flutes), Robert Muczynski (piano), Stanford Woodwind Quintet. Naxos 8.559001 (New Zealand) 12A042 $5.98

FRANZ WAXMAN (1906-1967): Goyana: 4 Sketches for Piano Solo, Percussion and Strings, The Charm Bracelet, Sinfonietta for Strings and Timpani, WAGNER/WAXMAN:"Tristan and Isolde" Love Music for Violin and Piano, Introduction & Scherzo for Cello and Orchestra, Auld Lang Syne Variations for Violin, Piano and Strings, ENESCO/WAXMAN:Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra, BIZET/WAXMAN:"Carmen" Fantasie for Trumpet and Orchestra. During the 33 years in which Waxman composed his 144 film scores he never stopped composing "serious" music in his spare time. This new release offers examples of both, with several of the pieces originating for the film Humoresque (and for Heifetz) while the Auld Lang Syne variations (written for a New Year's Eve party at Heifetz' residence), the 1960 Goyana (impressions of four Goya paintings commissioned by the L.A. County Museum) and the 1955 Sinfonietta (in the spare, dark and anxious tone which so many compositions premiered in Central Europe had at the time - it was commissioned by the Zurich Radio Orchestra) attest to Waxman's sense of humor as well as of color and atmosphere in music outside of the cinema. Cristina Ortiz (piano), Mark Kaplan (violin), Vincent Ellegiers (cello), Rodney Mack (trumpet), Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona í Nacional de Catalunya; Lawrence Foster. Koch International Classics 7444 (U.S.A.) 12A043 $16.98

SHOSTAKOVICH - Film Music incl. World Premiere

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Golden Mountains, Op. 30a, The Tale of the Priest and His Worker Balda, Op. 36, Adventures of Korzinkina, Op. 59, The Silly Little Mouse, Op. 56. Shostakovich's film music career affords a fascinating opportunity to appreciate the breadth and sheer virtuosity of this astonishing - and paradoxically, even now somewhat undervalued - composer's abilities. A taste for broad satire, an unabashed taste for blending popular, even vulgar elements into the music, nose-thumbing Monty Pythonesque musical slapstick - who knew? The "Fugue" from The Golden Mountains is simply hilarious, but throughout there are many delicious moments of pastiche. The novelty here is The Silly Little Mouse, a score for an animated cartoon in the form of a children's opera; genuine light music from a genuinely great composer. Belarus RTV Symphony Orchestra, State Cinematographic Symphony Orchestra; Walter Mnatsakanov. Citadel CTD 88129 (U.S.A.) 12A044 $14.98

JANIS IVANOVS (1906-1983): Symphony No. 4 in E Flat "Atlantis", Rainbow - Symphonic Poem in D Flat. This romantically impassioned symphony was originally conceived as a "multimedia" piece, with theatrical and lighting effects added to the music. If this sounds reminiscent of some of Scriabin's visionary excesses, the comparison is not an inappropriate one. With his soaring high trumpet lines, Ivanovs evokes the ecstatic climax of his predecessor's music, while in softer, more sensuous moods there is more than a hint of Impressionism in this music. This is especially true of the subtle and fragile Rainbow, with its delicate washes of shading and color. There is a depth and profundity in these pieces too; they are not all surface atmosphere. Never forget that Ivanovs' ethnic background owes much to Russia and the Nordic lands, in which melancholy and a feeling for the vast implacability of nature are implicit. "Dzintars" Women's Choir, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Vassily Sinaisky. Campion Cameo 2007 (England) 12A045 $16.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Cello Concerto, Stille Musik for Violin and Cello, Cello Sonata No. 1. Schnittke's powerful cello concerto was the first work he wrote after the first of the series of strokes that would ultimately kill him, in 1985. The work is full of anguish and doubt, attempts at resolution and harmony, and dashed hopes. Relatively conventional in technique, recalling Shostakovich and Prokofiev, the piece is moving and unquestionably sincere - not to say that it lacks Schnittke's trademark quirks of orchestration and violent contrasts and juxtapositions, but without the sense of effect for effect's sake which sometimes bothers listeners to his music. If one piece were to be selected to prove that Schnittke was a truly great composer, it might well be this one. Maria Kliegel (cello), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gerhard Markson, Burkhard Godhoff (violin), Raimund Havenith (piano). Naxos 8.554465 (New Zealand) 12A046 $5.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Musica Nostalgica, Epilogue from the Ballet Peer Gynt for Cello, Piano and Tape. Alexander Ivashkin (cello), Irina Schnittke (piano). Chandos 9705 (England) 12A047 $16.98

ALFRED SCHNITTKE (1934-1998): Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3, Variations on a Chord, Five Aphorisms, Prelude and Fugue, Four Pieces, Improvisation and Fugue. Boris Berman (piano). Chandos 9704 (England) 12A048 $16.98

The untimely death of Alfred Schnittke earlier this year, after years of illness, removed from the contemporary music scene one of its most prodigiously gifted, certainly one of its most prolific and versatile composers. The piano disc is extremely valuable in aiding our assessment of this oddly uncategorisable composer (all but the second sonata and the Aphorisms are premiere recordings), as in his early and late piano music, Schnittke avoided the polystylistic tendencies, which some have regarded as excesses, of music from the intervening decades. The sonatas are spare, etched works, dark-hued with flashes of violence. The 1990 Aphorisms are even more ascetic and bleak. The Prelude and Fugue and Improvisation and Fugue from the 1960s are frankly dodecaphonic, but more concerned with pianistic technique than the late works, and also free of distracting "shock" effects or the trademark juxtaposition of apparently contradictory styles which Schnittke sometimes seemed to hide his true musical personality behind. The complete cello and piano works CD contains what is probably one of the composer's best-known works, the first sonata, tough and melancholy, and very effective. The second sonata is a much more spare, modernist score, with little virtuosic display for its own sake, but a good deal of bitterness and anger, as the ailing composer contemplated the coming night. The Peer Gynt music is almost neo-Romantic, despite its use of pre-recorded tape; an extended dramatic concert piece arranged by the composer from his 1986 ballet, it may even be seen as a fitting memorial to the composer, a summation of a turbulent and pain-filled life ending in reminiscence and a glowing affirmation of consonance.

MOISHEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 56, Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 58, Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 73. These are warmly tonal, somewhat conventional but individual and appealing piano sonatas, in which the composer seems to be looking back to the 19th century and expressing what he sees in 20th-century terms. The fifth sonata, billed as a world premiere recording, begins with a big, bold passacaglia and contains a good deal of highly sophisticated piano writing, as one might expect from a composer who was himself a fine pianist. The succinct and dramatic sixth sonata makes use of sharply delineated contrapuntal lines, and rounds off Vainberg's sonata cycle with a striking, virtuosic and inventive fugue. Murray McLachlan (piano). Olympia OCD 596 (England) 12A049 $16.98

HANS HUBER - Symphony No. 5 Swiss Late Romanticism

HANS HUBER (1852-1921): Symphony No. 5 in F "Romantic, The Fiddler of Gmünd", First Serenade (Summer Night) in E, Op. 86. This Swedish label brings us its second Huber CD - a large-scale symphony-cum-violin concerto (unpublished, written in 1906) which was based on a poem of the same title by Justinus Kerner. This is not a concerto; the solo role is not virtuosic, rather the solo violinist represents the protagonist of the poem and the symphony itself, in three movements, follows the narration of Kerner's work in clearly laid-out (and identified) sections. The idiom is lushly romantic with Swiss folk elements flavoring an orchestral language which has some of the richness of Richard Strauss (whom Huber greatly admired) and the feeling of the great Central European forests, so much a part of 19th century Romantic music, is always present. The 1885 Serenade is in the the classic tradition of easily approachable, open-air music which began with Mozart and came down to Huber via Brahms, wrapping the listener in a warm embrace. Hansheinz Schneeberger (violin), Stuttgart Philharmonic; Jörg-Peter Weigle. Sterling CDS-1027 (Sweden) 12A050 $15.98

SOGHOMON SOGHOMONIAN KOMITAS (1869-1935)/SERGEI ASLAMAZIAN (1897-1978): 14 Armenian Miniatures, EDUARD MIRZOIAN (b.1921): Symphony for Strings and Timpani. Aslamazian, a cellist in the Komitas Quartet for over 40 years, arranged this selection of fourteen authentic Armenian folk songs collected by the famous scholar, composer and folklorist Komitas. Simple yet eloquent and heartfelt, these tunes are part of the nationalistic element which forms the background of the music of Khachaturian and so many other Armenian/Soviet 20th century composers. Mirzoian's 1962 symphony is deeply conservative, its models seemingly Bartók and Martinu, although its style follows the Soviet realist trend of Khachaturian with the expected influence of Shostakovich. Armenian Chamber Orchestra SERENADE; Eduard Topchian. Thorofon CTH 2393 (Germany) 12A051 $16.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Der Geburtstag der Infantin, ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Tanz-Suite, Op. 30. Premiere recordings of two forgotten works by German composers of fin-de-siècle Vienna. Schreker's music was written in 1908 for a dance-pantomime based on the same Oscar Wilde story which Zemlinsky set as a one-act opera (this is its first recording in its original, full-length version). Wilde's theme of nature vs. culture is perfectly mirrored in the dissonant music which announces the arrival of the ugly dwarf at the palace of the Infanta while her retainers dance archaic, stylized dances. The tragic denouement of the story is played out to music of detachedly ironic late Romantic sensibility. Toch's "Dance Suite" (1923) was also written for perfomance: its six movements were meant to express the "moods of the forest". Toch was largely self-taught and free of the pull of movements and "isms" to the point that this work often sounds like a testament to the charming musical dance idioms of the dead Austro-Hungarian empire. Kammersymphonie Berlin; Jürgen Bruns. EDA 013 (Germany) 12A052 $17.98

ZDENEK FIBICH (1850-1900): String Quartet in A, String Quartet in G, Op. 8, Tema con variazioni in B. Fibich's chamber works are all early and, in a sense, anomalous in his output which concentrated on opera, melodrama and the symphonic poem - programmatic and dramatic forms which do not lend themselves to such intimate ensembles as the string quartet. Thus, in his two quartets (1874 and 1878), we find him looking for a personal voice while employing the form and language of German Romanticism. The earlier quartet is harmonically complex and adventurous, the latter floats on waves of inspired melody but these (as well as the 1883 Theme and Variations) are sidetracks on the way to Fibich's true calling as a dramatic composer. Nonetheless, we have here well-crafted, beautifully melodious and satisfying works of musical Romanticism. Kocian Quartet. Orfeo C 439 981 A (Germany) 12A053 $18.98

BEDRICH SMETANA (1824-1884): Macbeth and the Witches, VÍTùSZLAV NOVÁK (1870-1949): Pan, BOHUSLAV MARTINÒ (1890-1959): 3 Czech Dances. Classic early 60s recordings of Novák's epic-scale tone-poem from 1910 which revels in a pantheistic communion with nature (the piano version is the original, Marco Polo's orchestral recording came later), Smetana's Shakespeare-inspired nod (1859) to Lisztian virtuosic Romanticism and, as a light dessert, Martinu's early (1926) setting of three Bohemian dances. Pan was a particular speciality of this fine pianist and teacher, making this a particularly desirable release. Frantiek Maxián (piano). Panton 81 9003 (Czech Republic) 12A054 $16.98

E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, String Quartet No. 2 in E Flat, Fantasy-Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello, Piano Trio in D. This new release usefully brings together three early works: the two string quartets (from 1921 and sometime earlier than that) whose rich vein of English pastoralism will delight lovers of, say, Vaughan Williams' pastoral side, and the piano trio (1920-25) in which a similar debt to folk song unites with Brahmsian piano textures. Although much later (1946), the Fantasy-Quartet is just as deeply steeped in folk song, having been written near Norwich where Moeran was brought up and using snatches of two Norfolk folk tunes. Vanbrugh Quartet, Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Joachim Piano Trio. ASV DCA 1045 (England) 12A055 $16.98

CARLOS GUASTAVINO (b.1914): 6 Cradle Songs, La Rosa y el Sauce, SALVADOR MORENO (b.1916): ALba, Canción Tonta, Definición, JESÚS ECHEVARRÍA (b.1951): Como un Pájaro, XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (b.1912): Cantos Negros, ERNESTO LECUONA (1895-1963): Madrigal, De Cara al Sol, Por eso te quiero, Una Rosa blanca, Yo Compadezco, Abril. This unhackneyed recital of Latin American music covers many moods, from the Argentine Guastavino's delicately tender "Cradle Songs" to the sweet and sour irony of Spaniard Montsalvatge's cycle and the romantic warmth of the Cuban Lecuona's pieces. Spanish texts. Encarnacíon Vázquez (mezzo), Alberto Cruzprieto (piano). Clásicos Mexicanos SDX 21033 (Mexico) 12A056 $12.98

DAVID DIAMOND (b.1915): Flute Concerto, ANTAL DORATI (1906-1988): Night Music for Flute and Orchestra, ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Suite for Flute and Strings, Op. 147, BERNARD ROGERS (1893-1968): Soliloquy for Flute and Orchestra. None of these works are currently available on CD which reminds us that even though Delos have done much good work for David Diamond already, there is still more that could be done. Diamond's concerto is quite recent - 1986 - and was written for Jean-Pierre Rampal. It has all of the virtues we have come to expect of Diamond: clear form, communicative melodies and masterly use of a large orchestra which never overwhelms the solo instrument. Dorati's five-movement suite (also for Rampal) traverses periods of night between twilight and dawn in a very evocative way, with much virtuoso work for the soloist and sprinkled with Central European folk flavor. Rogers' brief 1929 Soliloquy is luxurient and expressive while Krenek's 1954 piece is a miniature neo-classical suite. Alison Young (flute), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra; Charles Anthony Johnson. Albany TROY 308 (U.S.A.) 12A057 $16.98

NEVETT BARTOW (1934-1973): Mass of the Bells, Summershadow (Elegy for Orchestra), Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 3, Symphonic Dances, The King of Love My Shepherd Is. A composer who did not live to see his fortieth year inevitably invites speculation as to the progression of his style, had there been time for him to reach old age, but in Bartow's case, it is pretty clear that he knew very well what he was doing even at the age of 23, when he wrote the powerful and ingenious mass recorded here. Basically tonal, as in Poulenc or Vaughan Williams, it is a deeply felt and profoundly spiritual work, remarkably prescient in one who was yet to encounter the shade of his own mortality. Even the early harpsichord concerto sounds like the work of a fully mature composer, though the last completed work, the disturbingly brilliant Symphonic Dances (in which resonate the composer's resilient spirit and the turbulent emotions experienced by a young man who knew he was dying), is the real index of the degree to which we are the poorer through the untimely death of this fine composer. Paul S. Hesselink (harpsichord), Slovak Philharmonic Choir, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Anthony Morss. MMC 2060 (U.S.A.) 12A058 $16.98

DEREK BELL: Symphony No. 2 "The Violet Flame, Comte de Saint Germain", Variations and Musical Quotations "Come on, Northern Ireland, Come on", Divertissement Variations on a Tune Kindly Contributed by Dr. Paddy Moloney for Wind Quintet, Toccata Burlesca for Oboe and Piano, BEINSA DOUNO: Izgryava slunteseto for Flute and Harp, 2 Songs for Tenor and Harp, Gospodi, kolko Te Obicham for Harp. Bell is most widely known as a member of the leading Irish folk group, "The Chieftains", but he is a thoroughly trained classical musician (with a vastly wide-ranging repertoire of musical enthusiasms, including, improbably enough, Sorabji . . . ). The Variations demonstrate the breadth of the composer's skill, as well as his sense of humor; the jingle, composed by Barry Wood and George Jones for the Northern Ireland Development Board is put through every conceivable permutation, including combination with a related theme from Schumann's fourth symphony. The Divertissment is a piece of program music, and is very sophisticated musically, while being vastly entertaining and varied in style and content. The major work here is the symphony, on a mystical theme, and incorporating a beautiful passage for obbligato harps. Bulgarian National Philharmonic Choir, Vratza Philharmonic Orchestra and Wind Quintet; Valeri Vatchev. Athene CD 14 (England) 12A059 $18.98

ROBERT SIMPSON (1921-1997): Canzona for Brass, Media morte in vita sumus for Choir, Tempi for Choir, Eppur si muove for Organ. Simpson is principally known, of course, for his epic post-Nielsenesque symphonies and marvellously eloquent string quartets, as well as for being a distinguished advocate of the principles of tonality in 20th-century music. This disc offers another aspect of this truly great British composer; his choral music, which forms a small part of his output. Well, no great surprise; the writing is skillful, powerful, contrapuntally ingenious and monumental. It is also infused with humanity and - in the case of Tempi which sets Italian musical terminology to appropriate music - humor (and even here, the music is magnificent; this is not a Hoffnungesque joke, in case anyone were wondering). Simpson's only work for organ, which refers to Galileo's contention that the earth is not a stationary body "But it does move", is a vast and thrilling Ricercar and Passacaglia, which gives full rein to the composer's formal and contrapuntal skills - indeed, upon hearing this work, one is surprised that Simpson did not turn to the organ more frequently, as it is a medium in which his special qualities are well realised. Corydon Singers, Corydon Brass Ensemble; Matthew Best, Iain Quinn (organ of Winchester Cathedral). Hyperion CDA 67016 (England) 12A060 $17.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Piano Trio, Op. 54, Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 15, Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 43, Fantasy for Solo Cello, Op. 130, 5 Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 84. Time and time again, Arnold's distinctive and unmistakable voice identifies him as "the English Shostakovich", and so it is here. There is also a vein of pastoral Englishness per se, perhaps derived from Vaughan Williams. As in the symphonies and well-known orchestral works, the music here is resolutely tonal, tough and emotionally expressive. The solo cello Fantasy displays an uncanny craftsmanship in the quality of the cello writing, and contains some of the most "English" turns of phrase, as well as a dry humor, characteristic of the composer. English Piano Trio. Naxos 8.554237 (New Zealand) 12A061 $5.98

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): String Quartet in F (1928), String Quartet in D (1931), String Quartet No. 2, Op. 36. It seems quite unfair that the precociously gifted boy Britten could write so satisfying a work as the F minor quartet (receiving its first recording here) in his mid-teens. Yes, it is a piece of juvenilia, yes, it adheres to classical models and shows the influence of Ravel and Bridge (the latter of whom was teaching Britten at the time), but still . . . it's a lovely piece, and had the composer not gone on to be as great as he did (as exemplified by the 2nd Quartet here, among many other possible examples), this could still be seen as a very fine piece in anyone's oeuvre. Sorrel Quartet. Chandos 9664 (England) 12A062 16.98

EGON WELLESZ (1885-1974): Violin Concerto, Op. 84, Prosperos Beschwörungen, Op. 53. Although a product of 1961 and 23 years of English "exile", Wellesz' violin concerto opens sounding for all the world like an expressionist film score from the Berlin of the early 1930s - all dark mutterings and shadowy skitterings etched across a mostly nightmarish landscape. "Prospero's Spell" does date from the early 1930s and is made up of five sections each of which describe a figure, situation or quotation from Shakespeare's The Tempest. Wellesz had been quite successful at this time as an opera and stage composer and this half-hour suite unites absolute music with musical dramatism in vividly orchestrated music whose expressionism is absolutely of its time. Andrea Duka Löwenstein (violin), Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht. Orfeo C 478 981 A (Germany) 12A063 $18.98

JOSEF MATTHIAS HAUER (1883-1959): Salambo. "Surprisingly Busonian" will probably be many people's reaction to this fine opera after Flaubert. Yes, the opera is based on a 12-note series and patterns and transmutations resulting therefrom, but Hauer's use of harmony is rich and full of unexpected and appealing twists and turns (it is probably this that brings Busoni most strongly to mind), and the orchestration is colorful and vivid. It was already amply apparent that Hauer was much, much more than an interesting footnote to the history of dodecaphony - but this opera is simply superb, and is probably Hauer's finest work to make it to CD thus far. German-English libretto. Susan Roberts (soprano), Diane Elias (mezzo), Claes H. Ahnsjö (tenor), Rudolf Constantin (baritone), ORF Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lothar Zagrosek. Orfeo C 493 981 A (Germany) 12A064 $18.98

VIKTOR KALABIS (b.1923): String Quartet No. 3, Op. 48, String Quartet No. 4, Op. 62, String Quartet No. 5, Op. 63, String Quartet No. 6, Op. 68. Anyone who admires the pithy, economical, insistent music of Martinu will embrace these tough, concentrated quartets with delight; it is almost as though one has uncovered unknown works by, or from the workshop of, the older Czech master. Firmly centred in tonality, the works explore polytonal boundaries with an openness and freshness which makes them compelling from beginning to end, and their rhythmic vitality throughout is also to be marvelled at. Talich Quartet, Dolezal Quartet, Kroft Quartet, Martinu Quartet. Panton 71 0440 (Czech Republic) 12A065 $16.98

KAREL HUSA (b.1921): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 8, Variations for Piano Quartet, 5 Poems for Wind Quintet. The early (1948) quartet was the last work premiered in his homeland before he was compelled by political events to emigrate. It is a taut, concentrated work which nonetheless breathes in long phrases. The fully mature Variations and the recent 5 Poems are more abstract, perhaps more concerned with sonority and effect, but are no less compelling in their urgent need to communicate. Even at his most modernistic, Husa incorporates enough tonal references to imply harmonic movement, and his inventiveness is nothing short of astounding. Suk Quartet, Jaromír Klepác (piano), Prague String Trio, Prague Wind Quintet. Panton 81 9009 (Czech Republic) 12A066 $16.98

IVANA LOUDOVÁ (b.1941): Rhapsody in Black for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra, Gnómai for Soprano, Flute and Harp, Nocturne for Viola and Strings, Spleen for Orchestra, String Quartet No. 2, Concerto for Percussion, Organ and Winds. A student of Kabelác and Messiaen, among others, Loudová is now regarded as a leading Czech composer and as one of the most successful woman composers in her part of the world. With a distinctive flair for bold, dramatic gesture, her music is exciting and visceral, with great emphasis on tone color. The harmonic language is freely atonal with modal inflections, and the instrumentation is ingenious, whether the ensemble is orchestra with a large percussion battery, as in the percussion concerto, or the restrained, sombre sonorities of the Nocturne. The Rhapsody, with its central protagonist a solo oboe, has no connection with a better known similarly titled work, and is a piece of ballet music with a closely-argued structure. Various soloists, Musici di Praga, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Mario Klemens, Ladislav Slovak, Vaclav Neumann. Panton 81 9001 (Czech Republic) 12A067 $16.98

ILJA HURNÍK (b.1922): The New Clavecin for Piano and Strings, Esercizi for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, Seasonal Madrigals for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Flute and Piano, Concerto for Oboe, Strings and Piano, Aesop for Mixed Choir and Orchestra. Composer, pianist, teacher and writer, Hurník is something of a Renaissance man in Czech music, and also, on the present evidence, a miniaturist of great appeal without compromising his compositional ideals. Somewhat neoclassical, his music sparkles with instrumental inventiveness and joyous virtuosity, and is leavened with a sense of humor and richness of harmony which avoids any risk of bloodlessness when composing in our time without resorting to the excesses of Romanticism or the shock-tactics of the avant-garde. Everything is concise, eloquent and delightful. Anyone who suspects that music in our time has to be hard work owes it to themselves to hear this disc. Ivan Klansky (piano), Musici de Praga; Frantisek Vajnar, Members of the Czech Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Prague Madrigal Singers, Stanislav Duchon (oboe), Ilja Hurník (piano), Czech Chamber Orchestra; Josef Vlach, Czech Radio Mixed Choir, Prague Symphony Orchestra; Martin Turnovsky. Panton 71 0584 (Czech Republic) 12A068 $16.98

Music From Catalonia

EDUARD TOLDRÀ (1895-1962): 6 sonets, Sardana, JOAN MANÉN (1883-1971): Belvedere, MANUEL OLTRÀ (b.1922): Sonatina, 3 estacions. All of these works are tonal and attractive, with often a very French feeling to them, in parallel harmonic progressions and lightness and elegance of touch. The Toldrà Sonets are transcriptions by Joaquim Zamacois of violin pieces, retouched further by the composer and the soloists on this CD. The Oltra Estacions are sophisticated and romantic, while the Manén is very sensuous and somewhat impressionistic, with a folk-like inflection, especially in the dancing finale. Bernat Castillejo (flute), Adolf Pla (piano). La Mà de Guido 2025 (Spain) 12A069 $17.98

MANUEL BLANCAFORT (1897-1987): Cançó de l'úinc camí, Joc, Cançó, Plany, 4 cançons, 3 Cançons de Nadal, La llum de Nadal, Cançons de muntanya, Ceiño da mia aldea. Delicate and subtle, these songs show considerable French influence, while being distinctly Catalan in inflection and derivation from folk models. The accompaniments are simple, unobtrusive and eloquent, and the vocal writing is very refined. The "Mountain Songs", receiving their premiere recording here, are especially beautiful, gentle folk-like miniatures with a lovely sense of the colors and moods of nature. Chantal Botanch (soprano), Joan Amils (piano). La Mà de Guido 2026 (Spain) 12A070 $17.98

EDUARD TOLDRÀ (1895-1962): Canço de passar cantant, Vinyes verdes vora el mar, Cançó de vela, Maig, Romanç de Santa Llúcia, Cançó de comiat, Cançó de grumet, Recança, Canticel, Menta i farigola, FREDERIC MOMPOU (1893-1987): L'hora grisa, Neu, ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Un crit de mercat, Jove flautista, ENRIC MORERA (1865-1942): Cançó tardonal, On ets amor?, JOAN LAMOTE DE GRIGNON (1872-1949): Endreça, Cap al tard, XAVIER TURULL (b.1922): És la claror daurada, MIQUEL ORTEGA: Obsessió lunar, ALBERT MORALEDA: El cant dels ocells. Mostly dating from the early decades of the century, these heartfelt and melodic songs by Catalan composers make very clear that away from the experimental centres of European musical culture there was fine music being written which, while not denying the possibilities of the developments happening in music history, concentrated above all on emotional content and the inherent beauties of the human voice. The French influence may certainly be felt - in some of the Toldrà, certainly the Mompou (the latter to poems by the composer) and elsewhere - but the rich legacy of Catalan popular song (not only in Moraleda's adaptation of the Song of the Birds made famous by Casals) is what really invests these pieces with their distinctive flavor. Dalmau González (tenor), Liliana Maffiotte (piano). Moraleda 7482 (Spain) 12A071 $16.98

JORDI-LLUÍS RIGOL (b.1961): De color d'aigua, Punt Zero, You dream..., Al caer el día..., The dream of the moon, El paseo irrepetible, Memoria de un instante, Monotonia. III part, El jardín de las delicias, El temps que m'he inventat mentre dormies..., Enigma. La màscara del Nou Mel-leni, Música per oblidar, Entre miralls. A composer of choral music and opera, as well as music for eductional purposes, Rigol appears here as soloist in his own quasi-improvisational, somewhat minimalist piano miniatures, which have an accessible consonance and a new-age, if not actually ambient touch to them. Uncomplicated and enjoyable, if not plumbing the depths of technique or meaning. Jordi-Lluís Rigol (piano). Moraleda 8184 (Spain) 12A072 $16.98

FREDERIC MOMPOU (1893-1987): Cançons i danses, Charmes, Scènes d'enfants. Colorful and charming, and delightfully free of any hint of academic constraint, Mompou's piano miniatures are among the most natural sounding expressions of pure musicianship in the literature. Of course, other composers are more sophisticated, but few offer the open-eyed, unfettered spontaneity of these little gems. The Cançons i danses are arrangements of tradtional Catalan melodies, pairing a slow introduction with a more energetic dance in each case, and the evocative result, respecting the original while embellishing it, is nothing short of marvellous. Jordi Masó (piano). Naxos 8.554332 (New Zealand) 12A073 $5.98

JOAQUÍN TURINA (1882-1949): Margot, Op. 11, Recuerdos de mi rincón, Op. 14, Navidad, Op. 16, Jardín de Oriente, Op. 25, La vida breve. Volume 8 of this series brings one original work: 1914's Recuerdos, a musical depiction of characters and mundane events in Turina's old neighborhood. Also here is his reduction of the Intermezzo from Falla's La vida breve. The remaining works are Turina's own piano versions of orchestral music written for various stage works between 1914 and 1922. Not mere transcriptions, these items were made to stand alone as piano pieces and they are full of the same atmospheric pungency and Spanish character as much of the rest of the composer's piano uvre. Antonia Soria (piano). Moraleda 6408 (Spain) 12A074 $16.98

RICARDO CASTRO (1864-1907): Près du Ruisseau, Op. 16, Thème Varié, Op. 47, Mazurka, Op. 46, Polonesa, Op. 11, Suite, Op. 18, Plainte, Op. 38/2, Fileuse, Op. 43. Perhaps Mexico's best-known pianist and composer of the 19th century, Castro studied in France and completely assimilated the music of Liszt, Schumann, Chopin and Debussy. Many of those composer's styles can be heard in this selection of piano pieces, much of which show an especial interest in the harmonic innovations of Impressionism and all of whichhave an endearing gentleness seemingly characteristic of Castro himself. A second volume of Mexican-inspired pieces is promised! Eva Maria Zuk (piano). Clásicos Mexicanos SDL21032 (Mexico) 12A075 $12.98

DANIEL BÖRTZ (b.1943): Marie Antoinette. Börtz tells the story of the Queen's passion for the Swedish nobleman Axel von Fersen, against the tumultuous backdrop of the revolution. Court intrigues also play an important part in the story, partly told in flashback as von Fersen anticipates his own death at the hands of a mob just as his beloved queen was killed. The music falls somewhere between Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Wozzeck, incorporating fragments of Purcell and Gluck, a fine dramatic device. Throughout the opera the dramatic content is high, but not without many telling moments of tenderness and lyricism, and the composer has succeeded admirably in creating a genuinely modern opera which tells its story of double tragedy in a manner as involving as popular cinema, without compromising its decidedly serious musical construction. English synopsis, Swedish libretto. 3 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Axel von Fersen, Katarina Nilsson, Fredrik Zetterström. Folk Opera Choir and Orchestra; Kerstin Nerbe. Caprice CAP 22047 (Sweden) 12A076 $50.98

KALEVI AHO (b.1949): Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 7 "Insect Symphony". Aho's single-movement second symphony was written in 1970 while the composer was still a student at the Sibelius Academy. Alarmed at the gap that had opened between modern music and the audience, Aho composed a huge triple-fugue whose three sections alternate in a sort of "intense build-up - relaxation - dramatic climax" sequence where the themes are easy to follow, the absence of tonality practically unnoticeable and the whole effect grand, human and personal. The Insect Symphony is a six-movement piece using themes from Aho's opera Insect Life (based on a play about a drunken protagonist who stumbles into the insect world and comes to see the great similarities between human and insect behavior); most of the music is fast, cheerful and upbeat in keeping both with the nature of insect life and the satirical basis of its parent opera. Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-936 (Sweden) 12A077 $17.98

MARCEL LANDOWSKI (b.1915): 4 préludes pour l'opera des Bastilles, DANIEL-LESUR (b.1908): Sérénade, CHARELS CHAYNES (b.1925): 11 Visages ou l'antifugue, Pour fair le portrait d'un oiseau. This excellent disc brings together works for string orchestral ensembles by three French composers, all striking and original, approachable without seeming over familiar and basically tonal. And, very, very French! The shade of Ravel hovers behind the Daniel-Lesur and the Landowski (which also bears some allegience to the composer's friend, Honegger, in its economical directness and no-nonsense expressiveness). Chaynes' work is in a more modern idiom, but shares a refinement and eloquence with the other works here. Orchestre de Chambre National de Toulouse; Alain Moglia. Pierre Verany PV798042 (France) 12A078 $16.98

HENRI SAUGUET (1901-1989): Sonatine aux Bois, Cantilène Pastorale, PIERRE ONFROY DE BRÉVILLE (1861-1949): Oboe Sonata, MARCEL MIHALOVICI (1898-1985): Sonatine for Oboe and Piano, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Oboe Sonata, Op. 166. This light-hearted collection perfectly captures the quintessentially Gallic mix of wit and melancholy with the astringent and plangent tones of the oboe the ideal protagonist. Sauguet's works date from the 70s; the other three were all written between 1921-28. All, however, share a freshness, lack of pretense, acerbic humor and playfulness which are "anti-Romantic" in the best sense. Fabian Menzel (oboe), Bernhard Endres (piano). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9117 (Germany) 12A079 $16.98

ANDRÉ LAPORTE (b.1931): Night Music for Large Orchestra, Transit for 48 Strings, Suite No. 1 "Das Schloss", Fantasia-Rondino for Violin and Orchestra, The Magpie on the Gallows, Testamento de Otoño for Baritone, Strings and Harp. Laporte's orchestral music is built of contrasts as strong, and as arresting, as the contours of shadow and light in an abstract black and white photograph. Constructing a textured, layered background typically of sliding clusters, the composer then superimposes events - which may be dodecaphonic thematic material or even tonal fragments, or abrupt sonorous outbursts - which stand out in relief and produce an effect of intense light and shade, and in many cases an unsettling, ambiguous inquietude. A powerful experience, and one to be recommended. Yevgeni Bushkov (violin), Dale Duesing (baritone), BRTN Philharmonic Orchestra Brussels; Alexander Rahbari, Karl Anton Rickenbacker, Hiroshi Wakasugi. Koch Discover International DICD 920458 (Belgium) 12A080 $6.98

KARL-ERIK WELIN (1934-1992): String Quartets No. 1 "Eigentlich nicht...", No. 6, No. 7 & No. 9, Op. 62. Welin was known as a flamboyant performer of avant-garde works in the early 60s (Ligeti, Bengt Hambræus and Mauricio Kagel wrote organ works for him) and his self-injury via chainsaw (!) while "performing" a work which required the total destruction of a piano in 1963 not only made the newspapers but also made the current Grove. What a surprise then to find that his music is consonant and, in many places, richly romantic. All these quartets are in single-movement form, the tempi are mostly slow, the atmosphere low-key and the music is built from consonant chord progressions. Direct quotations of Classical and Romantic pop up startlingly but effectively. This music communicates, in its intimate way, as strongly as any power instrument. Tale Quartet. BIS CD-958 (Sweden) 12A081 $17.98

LÁSZLÓ LAJTHA (1892-1963): Trio for Harp, Flute and Cello, Op. 22, Trio for Flute, Cello and Harp, Op. 47, Sonate en Concert for Flute and Piano, Op. 64, 2 pièces pour flûte seule, Op. 69. The two trios with harp date from 1935 and 1949 respectively, the boundaries of the composer's years in Paris and the French-style idiom is effectively blended with vigorous finales based on Hungarian musical material. The flute sonata (1959) is not dissimilar in style, the solo part fully justifying its title of "concerto". István Matuz (flute), Jenö Jandó (piano), Júlia Szilvásy (harp), Katalin Vas (cello). Hungaroton HCD 31647 (Hungary) 12A082 $16.98

EUGÈNE BOZZA (1905-1991): Récit, sicilienne et rondo, HENRI DUTILLEUX (b.1916): Sarabande et cortège, MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Sonatina, ALESSANDRO LONGO (1864-1945): Suite, TERESA PROCACCINI (b.1934): 3 pièces, NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Toccata. A mixed recital that sets out, most successfully, to demonstrate just how involving and varied - and musically fine - 20th-century repertoire for wind soloist and piano can be - in this case the bassoon. The most traditional piece in this collection of tonal and approachable works is the Longo Suite, three movements full of lyricism, charm and in the more vigorous moments, genuine excitement. Procaccini's economical neoclassicism is the most modern-sounding music here, driven and dynamic, containing a slow movement with real pathos. The Castelnuovo-Tedesco and the Bozza are real finds; romantic and communicative music par excellence, and the whole is topped off with Rota's scintillating Toccata. Luciano Magnanini (bassoon), Michele Levin (piano). Altarus AIR-CD-9031 (U.S.A.) 12A083 $17.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Polifonia-Monodia-Ritmica for 6 Instruments and Percussion, Canti per 13, Canciones a Guiomar for Soprano, 12-Voice Women's Choir annd Instruments, "Hay que caminar" soñando for 2 Violins. The principles of Webern taken to their most extreme state; these pointillistic, fragmentary pieces make single notes stand for melodies, an isolated interval for a contrapuntal argument, a single sound event for a thematic development, and in so doing, suspend time, or make it irrelevant. The idea of "song" was important to Nono, and in these whispering fragments we seem to detect the composer's search for an ideal, unvoiced song. Ensemble UnitedBerlin, Angelika Luz (soprano), United Voices; Peter Hirsch. Wergo WER 6631-2 (Germany) 12A084 $19.98

GLORIA COATES (b.1938): Symphony No. 2 "Illuminatio in Tenebris", Homage to Van Gogh for Chamber Orchestra, Fragment from Leonardo's Notebooks "Anima della Terra" for Soloists and Large Otchestra, Time Frozen for Chamber Orchestra. "Illuminatio in Tenebris" is the subtitle of Coates' 2nd Symphony, and also of her painting which adorns the cover of the CD. The phrase provides a clue about the nature of her music too; shadowy, mysterious and abstract, and illuminated by shafts of light and color that operate like the overlapping and interacting colors on the artist's canvas. Rather than operating within the bounds of conventional harmony, the music is built of "planes" of texture, sound events and points which when juxtaposed make up a satisfying whole. While none of these compositions incorporates electronic sounds, it is worth noting that Coates was a student of Otto Luening, a pioneer in electronic music and a great innovator in the techniques of developing complex musical argument out of the layering of constructed sounds. Stuttgart Philharmonic; Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, Musica-viva-ensemble Dresden; Jürgen Wirrmann, Jirina Markova (soprnao), Gerda Maria Knauer (mezzo), Mirolav Kopp (tenor), Piotre Nowacki (bass), Orchester des Internationalen Jugendfestspieltreffens Bayreuth; Matthias Kuntzsch, Ensemble Das Neue Werk Hamburg; Dieter Cichewiecz. CPO 999 590 (Germany) 12A085 $15.98

JEFF HAMBURG: Zey... for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Schuylkill for Strings, Symphony in E for Chamber Orchestra, Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Small Orchestra. "Neoclassical minimalism" - meaning a style blended of the two, not that minimalism has yet become a classical style to be resuscitated - might be a reasonable, succinct description of Hamburg's lively, open-textured and accessible music. Zey . . . is a serious piece, less self-consciously neoclassical than earlier pieces here, concerned with the historical perspective of an European Jew. Elsewhere, Hamburg's teacher, Andriessen rubs shoulders with the Stravinsky of the Rake and Pulcinella. Schuylkill is a "Vltava" for our time, an onomatapoeic representation of the many moods of flowing water, to which Hamburg's style is admirably suited. Nienke Oostenrijk (soprano), Raaf Hekkema (saxophone), North-Holland Philharmonic Orchestra; David Porcelijn. Donemus CV 67 (Netherlands) 12A086 $18.98

WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): Concerto for Orchestra, 3 Poems by Henri Michaux, Mi-Parti, Overture for Strings. The stunning Concerto for Orchestra, which does, yes, have elements in common with an even more famous work of the same title (though the Lutoslawski is, justly, far from rare on the concert platform nowadays), is here coupled with the amazingly original Trois Poèmes, written when there were no real political restraints on the composer's musical vocabulary, the neoclassical Overture, which (in a manner later to become a trademark) compresses almost too much material into a tightly organized structure, and the otherworldly Mi-Parti, a work that creates the impression of wandering through a three-dimensional impressionist-abstract landscape, and one of Lutoslawski's most original works. Anyone lacking any one of these works in their collection should snap up this disc. Camerata Silesia; Anna Szostak, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.553779 (New Zealand) 12A087 $5.98

WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): 2 Studies, Folk Melodies, Variations on a Theme of Paganini for 2 Pianos, Miniatura for 2 Pianos, 5 Songs, "One Word, One Sign" from Songs of the Underground Struggle, "I Would Marry" from 7 Songs for Voice and Piano, Bucolics, Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Piano, Epitaph for Oboe and Piano, 3 Pieces for Young People, Children's Songs for Voice and Piano. Self-critical and exacting, it seems that Lutoslawski virtually never let a note out that was below his best. Hearing his complete piano music in conjunction with songs and chamber works, the sheer consistency of quality is truly remarkable, as is the unmistakable individuality of the composer's voice. Whether writing folk-influenced works à la Bartók, or composing in his own mature style, which developed in the post-Stalinist years; whether composing to raise Polish national spirits during the war (as in the Paganini Variations, which are featured here), or in memory of a fellow composer (Alan Richardson, in the Epitaph), Lutoslawski's stunningly original use of harmony, whether 12-note derived or folkily tonal, and above all the lyrical and romantic soul that will forever link him to his great compatriot, Chopin, mark him out as one of the unquestionable giants of the 20th century. Ann Martin-Davis (piano), Susan Legg (mezzo/second piano), Duncan Prescott (clarinet), Melanie Ragge (oboe). ASV DCA 1046 (England) 12A088 $16.98

MAURICE OHANA (1914-1992): Tombeau de Claude Debussy for Soprano, Piano, Cithare and Chamber Orchestra, Silenciaire for 6 Percussionists and Strings, Chiffres de Clavecin for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra. Timpani bring us their second volume of remarkable music by this neglected French composer. The notes compare his originality with that of Xenakis and Scelsi and there are moments in his music where one can hear this; however, his sense of color and rhythm also remind one of Messiaen, especially in certain transcendental passages which blaze with brass, tuned and untuned percussion, recalling one of the latter master's flights of religious ecstasy. Much of Ohana's music juxtaposes a wildly rich array of percussion with winds and brass, set against a small complement of strings which allows him to construct both imposing and entrancing edifices of sound out of instrumental blocks seemingly diametrically opposed to each other. The results are a perfect entrée for one who may not be conversant with the technical details of much modern music but who has an ear and a love for the possibilities of sound color and the sheer beauty which often results from Ohana's instrumental alchemy. Sylvie Sullé (soprano), Christian Ivaldi (piano), Laure Morabito (zither), Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Timpani 1C1044 (France) 12A089 $17.98

AKIRA TAMBA (b.1932): Mandala - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Orion - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Elemental IV for Solo Cello. In a remarkably successful synthesis of the fragmentary cells of musical material from traditional Japanese Noh plays and the orchestral techniques of European contemporary music, Tamba has produced two large-scale concertos which fulfil the dual role of satisfying the criteria for soloist-virtuosity plus orchestra, and expressing something of the mystery and ambiguity of the East - without ever aping the obvious sounds and gestures of traditional Eastern music. The influence of Messiaen (especially of Turangalila, and especially in the piano concerto) may definitely be detected. The use of a large and boldly utilised orchestra also makes this very exciting music to listen to. Kazuoki Fujii (piano), Shozo Kurokawa (cello), Jacques Wiederker (cello - Elemental IV), Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; Shunji Aratani, Makoto Kokubu. REM 311321 (France) 12A090 $17.98

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934): Piano Concerto, Piccolo Concerto, Maxwell's Reel, with Northern Lights. Maxwell Davies has become exceedingly adept at producing highly effective music in the idiom he has adopted in the past decade or so, as witness the array of "Strathclyde Concertos" for various soloists. The two concertos on this disc postdate that series, and were commissioned by the RPO and written for the present soloists. The piano concerto recalls Prokofiev, especially in the solo writing, while the orchestral textures are often those of the brooding northern seascapes which the composer has made so much his speciality since he shed his avant-garde preoccupations of the 1960s and 1970s. The evocative little piccolo concerto shares with Maxwell's Reel evocations of shimmering light on water, the flow of tides and the eerie glow of the Northern Lights; both works function as nature-paintings, while the piano concerto pays closer homage to the traditional concerto-for-virtuoso-soloist. Kathryn Stott (piano), Stewart McIlwham (piccolo), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Collins Classics 15202 (England) 12A091 $16.98

RÓBERT WITTINGER (b.1945): Symphony No. 5, Op. 54, Concerto for String Trio and Orchestra, op. 58, Sinfonietta for Small Orchestra, Op. 53. These full-blooded, grand symphonic works hark back to the turn of the century and before in their concern for orchestral color and epic scope. The composer has worked in Darmstadt, but these works, with their echoes of Bartók and Berg, show little preoccupation with the avant-garde milieu. The music is both instrumentally and harmonically rich, vital and propulsive. All three works have a brooding quality and great depth of feeling, especially the first movement of the concerto, inspired by close personal loss. Wittinger is versatile enough to sustain a wide range of moods and meanings in his instrumental music, which makes this CD an involving, even electrifying experience throughout. Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie; Christian Kluttig, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Klaus Arp, Members of the Badischen Staatskapelle. Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9122 (Germany) 12A092 $16.98

JOSEPH HOROVITZ (b.1926): Sinfonietta, Oboe Concerto, Trumpet Concerto, Jubilee Serenade, Canzonet, Rondino. A delightful collection of British Light Music by a master-craftsman with decades of experience of ballet, theatre, and radio; the kind of background that England provides and which has produced so much first-rate and exquisitely crafted, tuneful music "on the lighter side" from Ketèlbey and Coates, through Gordon Jacob to the present day. Lovely, unassuming little pieces, not without their own small-scale drama, pathos and pastoral variety of moods. Mid-price. Nicholas Daniel (oboe), James Watson (trumpet), Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Joseph Horovitz. ASV DCA 2114 (England) 12A093 $11.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): For Bunita Marcus. In an essay reprinted in the booklet, Feldman wrote about an introduction that he provided for an artist friend's exhibition, in which he said that the artist "was content 'just to breathe on the canvas'". This hour-and-a-quarter piano meditation invites the pianist 'just to breathe' on the keyboard. Consisting almost exclusively of overlapping single notes, the work is indeed in one long breath, and suspends time hypnotically, in the manner of Feldman's most successful work. Markus Hinterhäuser (piano). col legno 31886 (Germany) 12A094 $18.98

THE LADYKILLERS - Music from the Ealing Films

TRISTRAM CARY (b.1925): The Ladykillers, GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Passport to Pimlico, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Titfield Thunderbolt, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): The Cruel Sea, The Captive Heart, Saraband for Dead Lovers, ERNEST IRVING (1878-1953): Whisky Galore!, GERARD SCHURMANN (b.1929): The Man in the Sky, JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): The Overlanders, BENJAMIN FRANKEL (1806-1973): The Man in the White Suit, MOZART /ERNEST IRVING (1878-1953): Kind Hearts and Coronets. In the 40s and 50s, little Ealing Studios in Britain turned out some of the most delightfully eccentric and subversive comedies ever made, featuring such fine actors as Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway as well as wartime dramas and historical dramas (Stewart Granger and Michael Redgrave appeared among others). A glance at the list above will show that some of England's (and France's ) finest compsers were enlisted to provide scores - England being one place where having written for film did not force "serious" composers to hang their heads in shame. This production is a labor of love which featured Philip Lane reconstructing several scores, composers Schurmann and Cary reconstruction their own and help from Auric's widow who preserved her husbands sketches, all rescuing fine music whose scores were lost either through bureaucratic cost-cutting or being simply mis-laid. A new generation of lovers of film scores and of 20th century English/French composers can now partially relive the unique atmosphere that was Ealing Studios. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Kenneth Alwyn. Silva America SSD 1080 (U.S.A.) 12A095 $16.98

ERIC NORDGREN (1913-1992): Suites from the Ingmar Bergman films Women's Waiting, Smiles of a Summer Night, Wild Strawberries, The Face and The Garden of Eden. This valuable recording rescues some of the work of a composer practically nothing else of whom is available. Nordgren scored 17 Bergman films and the selections from five of them recorded here were resurrected from manuscripts and video copies of the films, leaving all film-score collectors again in Adriano's debt. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Marco Polo 8.223682 (New Zealand) 12A096 $14.98

MIKLOS RÓZSA (1980-1951): Original Motion Picture Soundtracks from Quo Vadis?, Ivanhoe, Madame Bovary and Plymouth Adventure. 70 minutes of some of Rózsa's finest and most characteristic film scores (all but Madame Bovary, which dates from 1949, come from 1951 and Quo Vadis? and Ivanhoe were nominated for Academy Awards), restored using the CEDAR process and sounding much more than serviceable in clear, bright mono sound. Orchestras conducted by the composer. Tickertape tt3001 (Luxembourg) 12A097 $17.98

Our offering of Parry's Job last month exceeded all expectations in sales, so we follow up with two more quintessentially Victorian-era new releases: choral songs by Elgar and "English Lyrics" by Parry, who proves to be as inventive and varied a song composer as he was as an orchestral one.

HUBERT PARRY (1848-1918): The Poet's Song, More fond than Cushat Dove, Music, Take, O take those lips away, No longer mourn for me, To Lucasta, on going to the wars, If thou would'st ease thine heart, To Althea, from prison, Why so pale and wan?, Through the Ivory Gate, Thine eyes still shined forme, Weep you no more, sad fountains, Proud Maisie, Lay a garland on my hearse, When comes my Gwen, Love is a bable, And yet I love her till I die, Under the greenwood tree, On a time the amorous Silvy, O never say that I was false of heart, Ye little birds that sit and sing, Sleep, Julia, Nightfall in winter, Dirge in woods, The Spirit of the Spring, What part of dread eternity, The Blackbird, She is my love beyond all thought, The Faithful Lover. Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Clifford Benson (piano). Hyperion CDA 67044 (England) 12A098 $17.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): 2 Part-songs, Op. 71, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land, 5 Part-songs from The Greek Anthology, Op. 45, Death on the Hills, Op. 72, Go, Song of Mine, Op. 57, The Wanderer, Zut, zut, zut, 2 Part-songs, Op. 73, 4 Part-songs, Op. 53, The Reveille, The Herald, Weary Wind of the West, Evening Scene, The Prince of Sleep. London Symphony Chorus; Vernon Handley. Hyperion CDA 67019 (England) 12A099 $17.98