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Ernst Mielck

Symphony in F Minor Concert Piece in E Minor

ERNEST MIELCK (1877-1899): Symphony in F Minor, Op. 4, Concert Piece in E Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 9. Mielck was a Finnish composer born into a musical family who studied with Bruch among others and who wrote some dozen chamber and orchestral works before his death from tuberculosis two days before his 22nd birthday. The two works recorded here are from his last two years of life; the symphony having been premiered in 1897 before Mielck's 20th birthday and the Concert Piece dating from 1898. The latter is based on Finnish folk-themes and is a piano concerto in all but name with robust, "masculine" writing for the soloist in the first movement, a slow movement almost Chopinesque in its delicacy and a finale with a march-like theme subjected to a short series of variations. The symphony is a 41-minute long work in the traditional four movements which, in a significant way, was a break with the "new thought" being practised by Sibelius and Järnefelt who were writing rhapsodies, suites and symphonic poems at that time. Here is a formally thought-through work with an inner connection between all four movements, a constant cresendo in the musical expression and a fully assimilated contrapuntal skill. There may be suggestions of Brahms, or Bruckner or Mendelssohn or Dvorák briefly audible but, in the main, this is a heart-breaking monument to a talent which could have gone who knows how far with even half of a normal life-span. Liisa Pohjola (piano), Turku Philharmonic Orchestra; Hannu Lintu. Sterling CDS-1035-2 (Sweden) 12B001 $15.98

Villa-Lobos Symphonies, Vol. 1

HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Symphony No. 1, Symphony No. 11. These symphonies suggest that Villa-Lobos was a natural symphonist, with a complete command of symphonic structure and a mode of musical argument well suited to expression in this form. The first is quite conventional in layout, with striking themes and a harmonic structure which occasionally strays in the direction of bitonality, reminiscent of Milhaud, ,but no further. The eleventh sounds more like a "20th-century symphony", and if anything is even more musically concentrated. There is little Brazilian "national color" in either work, though the composer's trademark colorful orchestration and busy textures might be interpreted in that light. Both symphonies are strong and striking musical statements, which it would be good to have an opportunity to hear in our concert halls occasionally, where they would substitute appropriately for Prokofiev, for example. Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra; Carl St. Clair. CPO 999 568 (Germany) 12B002 $15.98

ALEXANDER TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977): Symphony No. 3 in F Sharp, Op. 83, Symphony No. 4 in E, Op. 91, Piano Concerto No. 6, Op. 99. The third symphony (1952) is a brilliant work with much use of brass and Oriental melodies in the first and third movements (the latter of which builds to an extraordinary climax). Although Tcherepnin's cosmopolitan background is everywhere apparent, there are moments when this symphony could have been written by Malcolm Arnold. The fourth, from 1959, is in only three movements - a brash first, a waltz for the second, and an extraordinarily bleak andante finale based on ancient Russian chant. The concerto is from 1965 and sandwiches a Bartokian slow movement between two high energy fast ones. Noriko Ogawa (piano), Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui. BIS CD-1018 (Sweden) 12B003 $17.98

ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1956): Le Dit des Jeux du Monde, Concerto da Camera for Flute, English Horn and Strings. "The Story of the World at Play" was the young Honegger's breakthrough composition, helped by the fact that the music drama which it accompanied - part ballet, part musical theatre, part audio-visual poem - had a premiere (in 1918) which provoked a Rite of Spring-like disturbance. The work falls into ten dances, two intermezzos and an epilogue and contains a wide variety of striking music, none more so than the central "Man and Woman" which is a 5-minute depiction of intense erotic desire and lovemaking whose boundless atonal chromaticism evokes the freely atonal Schoenberg or Scriabin (with a trumpet again representing the male). The accompanying chamber concerto (1948) is a transparent, idyllic and rustic jewel which could not be more different from the work of the young, "scandalous" Honegger. Étienne Plasman (flute), Nicolas Chalvin (english horn), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Timpani 1C1050 (France) 12B004 $18.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Romance, Op. 1, Mazurka, Bizarrerie, Serenade, Idylle, Chanson de matin, Op. 15/2, Chanson de nuit, Op. 15/1, La Capricieuse, Op. 17, Gavotte, Salut d'amour, Op. 12, Etude-Caprice, May SOng, Virelai, In Hammersbach, Carissima, Adieu, 5 Etudes Characteristiques, Op. 24. These small pieces remind us of two things; that the violin was Elgar's instrument, and that he had a profound knowledge of its capabilities, and that the genre of small salon pieces which flourished in the 19th century was one which could yield little, unguessed-at gems when practised by a composer of Elgar's genius. There is, of course, little of Gerontius, the symphonies, the great concertos here, though an occasional turn of phrase will suggest something familiar from those and other established masterworks. What we have here are delightful miniatures, some exploring an unfashionable sentimentality or easy pathos, but all finely crafted and an essential if neglected aspect of this remarkable composer. Marat Bisengaliev (violin), Benjamin Frith (piano). Black Box BBM 1016 (England) 12B005 $16.98

JESÚS GURIDI (1886-1961): Danzas viejas, Casvonia, Lamento e imprecación de Agar, ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Soirées de Barcelona, SALVADOR BROTONS (b.1959): Impromptu, Op. 37, CARMELO A. BERNAOLA: Perpetuo, Cántico y Final, Nocturno. Two Basque and two Catalan composers, one of each composing using folk songs and dances (Guridi and, uncharacteristically for the only Spanish student of Schoenberg, Gerhard) and the other two, living, composers offering a brilliantly virtuosic gem (Brotons) and a lyrical nocturne along with a more brilliant piece (Bernaola). Sure to delight all Hispanophiles. Albert Nieto (piano). RTVE 65039 (Spain) 12B006 $16.98

ADOLF BUSCH (1891-1952): Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Quartet for Harp, Celeste, Flute, Alto Saxophone and Female Voices, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Trio for Viola, Tenor Saxophone and Piano, Op. 47, ANTON WEBERN (1883-1945): Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22, JOAQUIN NIN (1879-1949): Le Chant du Veilleur for Mezzo-Soprano, Alto Saxophone and Piano, CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Épitaphe de Jean Harlow for Flute, Alto Saxophone and Piano, Op. 164. The longest work here is also one of the most unusual and utterly enchanting you'll ever hear: Villa-Lobos' 1921 quartet for the most unlikely groupings of instruments and wordless female voices paints a magical picture with the bell-like sounds of the celeste, a virtuosic part for the harp, the suave urbanity of the saxophone and the ethereal timelessness of the voices combining to weave an enchanting spell. The Webern is utterly characteristic of the composer, yet how soft and appealing it sounds on these instruments! Busch's 1925 quintet is firmly rooted in Germanic Romantic sensibilities. Kyle Horch (saxes) and other artists. Clarinet Classics CC 0029 (England) 12B007 $17.98

CECIL ARMSTRONG GIBBS (1889-1960): Prelude, Andante and Finale, Op. 112, Dale and Fell, Threnody for Walter de la Mare, A Spring Garland, Op. 84, Almayne, Op. 71, Suite for Strings. Gibbs is known in his native England almost entirely for his copious collection of songs yet he also wrote three symphonies and much chamber and instrumental music. This release concentrates on works for string orchestra and, notwithstanding his reputation for light music and works for amateur choral societies, the 1946 Prelude, Andante and Finale is a composition of passionate intensity perhaps connected with the loss of his son in battle during the war. The Threnody (1956) is a heartfelt lament for a life-long friend while the remainder of the pieces here are of a pastoral and cheerful character, even the Suite, which antedates Gibbs' death by only a year. Guildhall Strings; Robert Salter. Hyperion CDA 67093 (England) 12B008 $17.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): Concertino for Flute, Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 49, Introduction and Allegro for Solo Violin, Op. 24, Duo for Cello and Piano, Op. 81/1, Oboe Quartet, Op. 70, Elegy & Toccata for Violin and Piano, Op. 33, Petite Suite for Oboe and Piano, Sextet for Clarinet, Horn and String Quartet, Op. 47. Although a contemporary of Walton and Tippett and a friend of Britten, Berkeley's distinctive musical personality is due to his connections with France, including study under Nadia Boulanger and admiration for Ravel and Poulenc. The longest work here, his 1955 sextet, is a mixed string and wind work which is close the style of Ibert, Poulenc or Françaix. The other works date from 1927 to 1971 and all have a certain compactness and clarity which make Berkeley such a unique voice. Endymion Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7100 (England) 12B009 $17.98

Romantic British Works for Cello and Piano

WILLIAM HURLSTONE (1876-1906): Cello Sonata in D, HAMILTON HARTY (1879-1941): Romance & Scherzo, Op. 8, Waldesstille, Schmetterling, CHARLES HUBERT HASTINGS PARRY (1848-1918): Cello Sonata in A. Hurlstone's sonata is fresh and classical-sounding and many of its themes have the unmistakeable character of English folk-song. Harty's op. 8 (1903) has more than a bit of the high-society salon about it while the other two pieces (1907) are more emotionally restrained yet still witty and virtuosic. The oldest work is Parry's, from 1879 when he was still struggling for recognition. Lasting nearly half an hour, it is composed of two broad and noble outer movements and a slow movement of great emotional intensity and drama. Andrew Fuller (cello), Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7102 (England) 12B010 $17.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 11, 4 Pieces, Op. 29, Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 31, Variations on a Phrygian Theme for Solo Violin, Op. 105, Violin Sonata No. 3, Op. 133. The first sonata (1925) is Rubbra's earliest surviving instrumental work and exhibits the young composer's admiration of both John Ireland's second and Debussy's only works in the same genre while the second, from 1931, established him as a composer almost overnight, being taken up by the violinist Albert Sammons. Its first two movements are romantic, with a singing violin line and, in the slow second movement, a deeply reflective mood evocative of some tragedy while the finale is a ferociously rhythmic dance of perpetuum mobile quality. The third sonata dates from 35 years later and is one of Rubbra's characteristically enigmatic late works with a notably chromatic and dissonant slow movement. Krysia Osostowicz (violin), Michael Dussek (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7101 (England) 12B011 $17.98

JOHN IRELAND (1879-1962): Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, Phantasie Trio in A Minor for Piano Trio, Holy Boy for Cello and Piano. We offer this historical recording both for the sake of completeness in this new Dutton Labs Epoch series release and because of the historical value of having the composer at the piano in both of his wonderful violin sonatas - the second, recorded in 1930 for Columbia, has never been published before. Frederick Grinke (violin), John Ireland (piano) [rec. 22 & 23 Nov. 1945], Albert Sammons (violin), John Ireland (piano) [rec. 7 Oct. 1930], Grinke (violin), Florence Hooton (cello), Kenneth Taylor (piano), Hooton (cello), Lawrence Pratt (piano) [both rec. 17 Nov. 1938]. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7103 (England) 12B012 $17.98

TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Suites Nos. 1 & 2 for Violin and Piano, Mälarlegender for Piano, Ein Nachtstück for 2 Violins, Viola and Cello, Capriccio amoroso, Poem & Arioso for Violin and Piano, 3 Dance Miniatures for 2 Violins, Improvisata for Piano. Though these are all short works (the Nachtstück - Rangström's only work for string quartet - is the longest at 13-minutes) the brooding, stormy and romantic heart of the composer is evident in most of them, even in the two suites (subtitled In modo antico and In modo barocco respectively). The Nachtstück (1909) has a mood akin to Debussy's string quartet while the other large work, the "Legends of Lake Mälaren" - three musical vignettes based, like many of Rangström's most romantic works, on works by Strindberg - are ardently lyrical. Mid-price. Mats Jonsson (piano), Tale Olsson (violin), Holmen Quartet. CPO 999 689 (Germany) 12B013 $10.98

JACOB DRUCKMAN (1928-1996): Divertimento for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello and Harp, Aria: Theme by Francesco Cavalli, Delizie contente che l'alme beate for Wind Quintet and Tape, Bó for Percussion, Harp Bass Clarinet and 3 Women's Voices, String Quartet No. 3. This disc presents an interesting and revealing cross-section of the works of a cosmopolitan composer who nonetheless remains very American in voice. Druckman uses classical models and themaic material as the foundation for an individual style which embraces atonality, as in the early Divertimento, electroacoustic techniques (which combine with winds to present a crystalline fragmentation of a theme by Cavalli, usefully played as a separate track preceding Druckman's treatment of it), and unusual modern ensemble writing, heard in the subtle yet cumulatively powerful Bó. The string quartet again sees Druckman applying his 20th-century methods within a form revered by generations of classical composers, and making it his own. Various Artists. New York Philomusica 5 (U.S.A.) 12B014 $15.98

MARC NORMAND COUPERIN (1663-1734): Livre de Tablature de Clavescin. This newly discovered anthology (recorded from manuscript) introduces a new member of the Couperin family, a cousin of François. It contains 57 pieces, including many fine works composed or arranged by Couperin as well as pieces by Chambonnières, d'Angelbert, Le Bègue and Hardel. Davitt Moroney (harpsichord). Hyperion CDA 67164 (England) 12B015 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Concerto in A Minor for Recorder, Viola da Gamba and Strings, Concerto à 6 in E Minor for Transverse Flute, Violin and Strings, Overture in A Minor for Recorder and Strings. More examples of Telemann's seemingly endless inventiveness and store of melody with the 34-minute overture standing out in its mixture of French and Italian styles. Les Borádes de Montréal; Manfred Kraemer. Atma ACD 2 2193 (Canada) 12B016 $14.98

JOHAN DAVID HEINICHEN (1683-1729): Concertos in E Minor and in A Minor for 2 Oboes and Orchestra, S. 222 & 212, Concerto in D Minor for Transverse Flute and Orchestra, S. 225, Concerto in E Minor for Transverse Flute, Violin and Orchestra, S. 218, Concerto in G Minor for Oboe, Transverse Flute and Orchestra, S. 238. Heinichen wrote concertos in the Venetian style for the Dresden court which valued virtuosity and display above all else and this collection of wind concertos from the early 1700s fits the bill handily and advances the composer's importance not just as a theoretician but as a creative master. Laurence Dean (flute), Martin Stadler (oboe), Hariett Herrle (oboe), Fiori musicali; Thomas Albert (violin). CPO 999 637 (Germany) 12B017 $15.98

CARLOS SEIXAS (1704-1742): Keyboard Sonatas Nos. 6, 8, 12-14, 29, 33, 51, XXIII and XXV. The clavichord is an ideal instrument for Seixas' expressive sonatas. These pieces range in length from less than three minutes to No. 13's twenty-four; the latter's magisterial allegro and yearningly melodic adagio lead to a dazzling presto. Influences range from the tentos of the 17th century Portuguese organ masters to the galant style of early Haydn and there are even some moments which recall the empfinsamer stil of C.P.E. Bach. Bernard Brauchli (clavichord). Stradivarius STR 33544 (Italy) 12B018 $16.98

FRANCISCO COURCELLE (1702-1778): Misa "Exsurgat Deus", Responsorio "Reges Tharsis", JOSÉ DE NEBRA (1702-1768): Vísperas de la Virgen "Laetatus Sum", PADRE ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): Villancico "Ya de noche y por las calles". An Italian born of French parents, Courcelle spent his career after 1734 at the court of Spain and his mass (1748) is a bright, cheerful piece with much of the baroque still about it (attractive high trumpets and obbligato flute and oboe supporting the soloists frequently). De Nebra's responsory inhabits similar territory and Soler's villancico, using the motifs of Spanish popular dance, makes for a delightful secular finish to an interesting concert. Angeles Tey, Kym Amps (sopranos), Scott Cameron (alto), Miguel Bernal (tenor), Gregorio Poblador (bass), RTVE Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Grover Wilkins. RTVE 65086 (Spain) 12B019 $16.98

CHRISTIAN CANNABICH (1731-1798): Symphonies Nos. 47-52. Originally published as op. 10 in 1772, these six three-movement symphonies contain vivacious outer movements framing charming and lyrical slow movements. Many of the compositional elements we now call "Mozartean" are present, espcially in the somber power of the opening movement of No. 50 or the skittish finale of No. 47, making it likely that the young Mozart learned at least some of his orchestral sound and sensuousness of his writing from his good friend Cannabich. Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia; Uwe Grodd. Naxos 8.554340 (New Zealand) 12B020 $5.98

NICCOLÒ JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Veni Creator Spiritus, Ciaccona, Op. 5/13, Sinfonia, Veni Sponsa Christi, NOCOLA PORPORA (1686-1768): Qui habitat in adjutorio, EMANUELE BARBELLA (1718-1777): Ninna-nonna per prender sonno, NICOLA SABATINO (1708-1796): Vola turtur de nido, PASQUALE CAFARO (?1716-1787): Sepulto Domino. Jommelli's pieces use an expressive force and a dramatic power allied to vocal virtuosity and an elaborate orchestral accompaniment to revolutionize these ancient forms. Porpora and Sabatino concentrate energy and perpetual motion in passages which alternate with evocations of Gregorian chant. Volume 9 in the series "Treasures of Naples". Roberto Invernizzi (soprano), Coro Mysterium Vocis, Cappella de' Turchini; Antonio Florio. Opus 111 OPS 30-254 (France) 12B021 $17.98

IGNAZ VON BEECKE (1733-1803): String Quartets in G, M. 11, in B Flat, M. 16 and in G, M. 9. This is a delightful discovery - three string quartets by a friend of Gluck and Haydn dating from the high Classical period and demonstrating an outstandingly expressive melodic talent in the service of the demanding Vienna quartet style. Sure to appeal to those who love Haydn's quartets. Mid-price. Arioso-Quartett. CPO 999 509 (Germany) 12B022 $10.98

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 1 - No. 6 in F, No. 7 in D, No. 8 in B Flat, No. 9 in A and No. 10 in E Flat. These five trios (despite their low Hoboken numbers) date from 1784-5 and, like most his works in this genre, were written for the entertainment of skilled amateur musicians. Haydn's characteristic esprit and organizational care are everywhere apparent and the minuets have surprisingly expressive middle parts in the minor. First of what promises to be the first integrale on period instruments. Mid-price. Trio 1790. CPO 999 466 (Germany) 12B023 $10.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782): Symphonies Concertantes, Vol. 4 - in C for 2 Violins and Cello, in E Flat for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon and in G for 2 Violins, Cello and Flute, Violin Concerto in C. The first two works are in two movements, in the French style, with long, leisurely andantes followed by quick, cheerful allegros. The violin concerto has a vigorous Italian spirit in its outer movements and a profound, serious adagio (the work was just discovered in 1997) while the final piece is of uncertain authenticity (it may be by J.C.F. Bach) but enjoyably pleasant and light nonethless. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 627 (Germany) 12B024 $15.98

NICCOLÒ ZINGARELLI (1752-1837): Sinfonie Milanese in D Minor, E & in D, Sinfonia Funebre in C Minor, Sinfonias in D, E Flat & in E Minor. The "Milanese" symphonies date from 1781-89, the first revisiting the Sturm und Drang period of Classicism while the other two recall Mozart's middle-period works with original use of solo oboe and violins and a very catchy sense of melody. The remaining works date from Zingarelli's Neapolitan period (1815-1836) and are single-movement works in "overture" style but which have a much more colorful orchestral palette. Donetsk Symphony Orchestra; Silvano Frontalini. Bongiovanni GB 2214 (Italy) 12B025 $16.98

MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Missa Sancta Theresiae, Te Deum. Freed from the time and textual constraints imposed upon him by the Prince-Archbishop Colloredo in Salzburg, Haydn created perhaps his grandest, largest-scale of his 30 masses in 1801 for wife of Emperor Francis I. Festive and joyous, this first recording will surely help the younger Haydn take his rightful place in musical history as a brilliant composer of sacred music. Mária Zádori (soprano), Lúcia Megyesi-Schwartz (mezzo), József Mukk (tenor), László Jekl (bass), "Jeunesses Musicales" Choir, Erdödy Chamber Orchestra; Domonkos Héja. Hungaroton HCD 31865 (Hungary) 12B026 $16.98

JOSEPH LEOPOLD EYBLER (1765-1846): Christmas Oratorio. Eybler was highly thought of by his close friend and teacher Mozart and this 1784 oratorio will provide much evidence of why. Setting an anonymous text, Eybler exhibits vivid powers of musical representation, skillfully employing the wind instruments and writing elaborate voice leadings for the strings. His use of form is original and, though Mozart's and Haydn's influence is clearly apparent, the young composer demonstrates a winning, lyrical originality all his own. German-English texts. Sabine Ritterbusch (soprano), Waltraud Hoffman-Mucher (alto), Harry van Berne (tenor), Jelle Draijer (bass), Alsfelder Volakensemble & Bremer Domchor, I Febiarmonici; Wolfgang Helbich. CPO 999 667 (Germany) 12B027 $15.98

MICHEL CORRETTE (1707-1795): Symphonies des Noëls Nos. 2, 4-6, Concertos Comiques Nos. 4, 17, 19, 24 & 25. Both the symphonies and the concertos are based on French and foreign popular tunes (whose titles are given in the booklet) of the17th and 18th centuries, their effect flowing from the contrast between the "common" origins of the themes and Corrette's learned treatment of them. Delightful, "light" listening; period instruments. Arion. Atma ACD 2 2192 (Canada) 12B028 $14.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): Complete Fortepiano Sonatas, Vol. 2 - Sonatas C. 45-68. The pianist makes the argument that Cimarosa's brief sonatas - grouped here into three-movement works with minor-key slow movements à la Kirkpatrick with Scarlatti - were almost all sketches of ideas (or experiments) intended for his operas. The delicate colors of this Schantz fortepiano allow an intimacy of communication which lends pleasing credence to the idea. Andrea Coen (fortepiano). Stradivarius STR 33415 (Italy) 12B029 $16.98

FRANCISCO JUNCÁ Y CAROL (1742-1833): Mass No. 22 "Cesalfaut", Motet "Gaude Maria Virgo". The Spanish-only notes provide no information about the composer or the date of the composition of these items but they fit into the late 18th century style of Haydn's masses, with the soloists given bright, graceful parts and the woodwinds entrusted with prominent roles in the orchestration. Sure to please anyone interested in late 18th century sacred music. Soloists, Chorus of the Jacinto Guerrero Conservatory of Toledo, RTVE Symphony Orchestra; Enrique García Asensio. RTVE 65111 (Spain) 12B030 $16.98

ANDREA LUCHESI (1741-1801): 6 Sonatas for Piano and Violin Obbligato, Op. 1. A remarkable find. Luchesi was maestro di cappella at the same court where Beethoven's grandfather had been in charge and the young Beethoven spent much time with Luchesi in the court musical activities. How startling to find "Beethovenian" characteristics sprinkled here and there in Luchesi's sonatas published six years before Beethoven's birth! These are works which look ahead from the late Classical period to the Romantic ideal - especially their several meditative, melodically intense andantes. Maria Grazia Baiocchi (piano), Carlos Garfias (violin). Agora AG 210.1 (Italy) 12B031 $18.98

ANDRÉ-MODEST GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Richard Coeur de Lion, Denys Le Tyran. Premiered in 1784, "Richard the Lion-Hearted" represents Gretry at his peak both as a forerunner of Romanticism in his use of historical subject matter and the decisive role of a single individual (he also evokes archaic qualities in his music) and as a crystallizing force in the creation of opera-comique. An interesting coupling is the one-act "Dionysius the Tyrant" from 1794. A "revolutionary" opera put on during the Terror, it fails in marrying conventions of the old opera-comique to a politically correct plot - which ensured the displeasure both of the public of the Terror and of the judges of the Restoration period. 2 CDs. French libretti. Soloists, Choruses, Orchestra del Giovani del Conservatorio "Claudio Monteverdi"; Fabio Neri, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia; Francesco Vizioli. Nuova Era 7327/28 (Italy) 12B032 $33.98

FRIEDRICH KUHLAU (1786-1832): Piano Works, Vol. 1 - 3 Sonatinas, Op. 20, 6 Sonatinas, Op. 55. Kuhlau's 19 sonatinas, like many similar works by Czerny and Clementi, were written to strengthen the skills of good amateur players while not neglecting the composer's own innate muicality and melodic charm. Virtuoso writing of crystalline lightness and a winning fluidity of discourse prevail throughout these works. Op. 20 dates from1819 and Op. 55 from 1823. Loredana Brigandí (piano). Nuova Era 7307 (Italy) 12B033 $16.98

FRIEDRICH KUHLAU (1786-1832): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - 3 Sonatinas, Op. 59, 3 Sonatinas, Op. 60, 4 Sonatinas, Op. 88. These three sets date from 1824, 1825 and 1827 respectively and all three carry on the didactic purpose of the whole set of 19. Amusingly, all three sonatinas of Op. 60 are based on themes taken from Rossini's opera Armida (1817), just then becoming known in German lands. Loredana Brigandí (piano). Nuova Era 7308 (Italy) 12B034 $16.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Piano Concerto in F, Op. 17, Grande concerto militaire for Piano and Orchestra in B Flat, Op. 40, Piano Sonata in A Flat, Op. 64 "Le Retour a Paris". The fascinating, impassioned and rhapsodically romantic sonata of 1807 is joined here by the early 1792 concerto in high Mozartian style and the glittering and martial "military" concerto of 1798. Marco Laganà (piano), Orchestra "Benedetto Marcello"; Dario Lucantoni. Bongiovanni GB 5066 (Italy) 12B035 $16.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1709-1785): Piano Sonatas Nos. 3 in A, No. 7 in G Minor, No. 8 in B, No. 9 in G Minor, No. 10 in F and No. 12 in F Minor. Galuppi's 90+ piano sonatas are all but unknown, making this 1993 recording of six of them - in style somewhere between Scarlatti and Haydn - a valuable acquisition. Previously available but absent for several years in theU.S. Wolfgang Glemser (piano). Ars Produktion FCD 368 329 (Germany) 12B036 $15.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1709-1785): Gloria for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, Regina Coeli for Soprano Solo, Arietta Pastorale, Himnus de Spiritu Sancto, Christe Redemptor, Et Incarnatus Est. The Gloria is an exuberant, sunlit work dating from 1761 and lasting the better part of 44 minutes! It and the short Regina Coeli and three arie da chiesa provide more data for a proper assessment of this early Classical composer. Ocsana Kobzeva, Elena Cioric (sopranos), Beata Ganzel (mezzo), Antonio De Lucia (tenor), Viorel Kojocaru, Pitor Racovis (basses), Orchestra and Chorus of the Moldavian National Accademy; Silvano Frontalini. Bongiovanni GB 2239 (Italy) 12B037 $16.98

JOHANN STAMITZ (1717-1757): Oboe Concerto in C, JOSEPH BEER (1744-1811): Clarinet Concerto No. 1, JOSEPH FIALA (1748-1816): Concertante in B Flat for Clarinet, Cor Anglais and Orchestra. Tasty concertos from the mature Classical period in recordings limitedly available in the U.S. a couple of years ago. Joost Hekel (clarinet), Paul van der Linden (oboe, cor anglais), Concerto '91; Ricardo Kanji. Erasmus WVH199 (Netherlands) 12B038 $10.98

VÁCLAV VINCENC MA·EK (1755-1831): Serenada in D Sharp, PAUL WRANTIZKY (1756-1808): Harmonie in F, JOSEPH TRIEBENSEE (1772-1746): Partita in E Flat, JOSEF MYSLIVEâEK (1737-1781): Octet No. 3 in B Flat. West German Wind Soloists. The Bohemians excelled at the wind harmonie and these rustic, tangy and outdoorsy works (once briefly available in the U.S.) are fine examples of the genre. First recording of the Triebensee. Ars Produktion FCD 368 357 (Germany) 12B039 $15.98

JOSEP TEIXIDOR (18th cen.): String Quartet No. 1 in B Flat, GAETANO BRUNETTI (?1744-1798): String Quintet in D, Op. 1/5, LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1705): String Quartet in G Minor. All three of these composers served at the royal court in Spain and these compositions come from Spanish archives, introducing us to the Haydnesque quartet by Teixidor and the spontaneous and colorful quintet by Brunetti (one of 63 in the archives!) Sure to appeal to all collectors of Spanish Classicism. Cuarteto Cassadó with Dmitri Furnadjev (2nd cello). RTVE 65084 (Spain) 12B040 $16.98

FRANZ KROMMER (1759-1831): Partitas in F, Op. 73, in F, Op. 57 and in E Flat, Op. 79. Full of appeal, virtuosic and inventive, Krommer's wind ensemble pieces stand on the boundary between late Classical and early Romantic. First recording of Op. 73. Ensemble Philidor. Calliope CAL 9264 (France) 12B041 $17.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Piano Works, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 13, Variations, Op. 15, Rondò Brillante, Op. 109, Pot-Pourri, Op. 58-59. Hummel's second sonata was published in 1805 but dates much earlier and already shows his personal style separating from the influence of Mozart and Beethoven in the brilliant writing and sparkling virtusosity which also inform the contemporaneous variations and which go even further in the 1824 Rondo. The Pot-Pourri mixes the best of two works based on themes from a forgotten Hummel opera. Giuliana Corni (piano). Dynamic Series 2000 S 2035 (Italy) 12B042 $13.98

JI¤I ANTONÍN BENDA (1722-1795): Piano Concerto in B Minor, Sonata in E for 2 Violins and Harpsichord, FRANTI·EIK BENDA (1709-1786): Trio No. 6 in E for Violin, Viola and Harpsichord, Sonata in A for Cello and Harpsichord, JAN JI¤I BENDA (1713-1752): Violin Concerto in G. The performers here are all direct descendents of the Bohemian Benda family and they give a recital of works both known and obscure by their ancestors who played such and important role in the transition from the late Baroque to the early Classical period. Modern instruments. The Benda Musicians. FSM Adagio FCD 91 004 (Germany) 12B043 $10.98

JOHANN PHILIPP KRIEGER (1649-1725): 6 Trio Sonatas, Op. 2. Krieger's 1693 trio sonatas receive their world premiere recording here: works which, stylistically, belong to the Italian sonata da chiesa genre but mixed with German stylistic conventions and attractive variations of form. Mihoko Kimura (violin), Peter Wendland (viola da gamba), Michael Freimuth (theorbo), Siebe Henstra (harpsichord, organ). Prezioso CD 840.402 (Germany) 12B044 $15.98

GIACOBO BASEVI detto CERVETTO (1682-1783): 6 Trios for 3 Cellos. Published in 1745, these trios, written in the early galant style, are the oldest known works explicitly written for three cellos and are both an outgrowth of the Baroque trio sonata and and example of an early form of the Classical string trio. A Jewish composer of Italian heritage produced these works in London, himself a reflection of the complex multi-cultural interchanges taking place in that city in the early 18th century. Cologne Cello Trio. FSM FCD 97 259 (Germany) 12B045 $15.98

ANDREA ZANI (1696-1757): Concerti, Op. 4 Nos. 1, 4, 5-7. These five concertos (for violin and flute) were published in 1735 and represent a transitional passage from late Baroque to early Classical where the solo instrument is liberated from the tutti, in fact, in these concertos, the highly virtuosic solo parts are often introduced by the soloist himself and do not derive from statements made by the tutti. Affecting emotional expression and proficient use of contrapuntal color add to the enjoyment. Cappella Palatina; Giovanni Battista Columbro. Agora AG 220.1 (Italy) 12B046 $18.98

CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Quatuor Concertant for 4 Pianos, Op. 230, 2me Quatuor Concertant, Op. 816 for 4 Pianos. These works, separated by 21 years, provide a pot-pourri of variations on popular opera tunes for 8 hands at 4 pianos (what could be more natural?); the first one (1830) plunders Bellini, Auber and Rossini as well as Paganini's La Campanella while the later one has its way with Mozart, Balfe, William Wallace (!), Donizetti, Flotow and Meyerbeer. Wallow if you will... Baynov Piano Ensemble. Ars Produktion FCD 368 331 (Germany) 12B047 $15.98

PADRE DAVIDE da BERGAMO (1791-1863): Sonatinas in F, C and D, Sinfonia in D, Elevaziones in D Minor, B, D Minor and in F, La vera piva montanara, Sonata in G. Here's a real oddity! Discussing Italian organ music is a bit like discussing the Germanic sense of humor and this disc is out to show us something! Father David studied under Mayr (among others) and was a popular organist throughout his lifetime as a Franciscan priest. However, the works here show a decidedly secular point of view: this, after all, was the period when operatic fantasies held sway among the public and the Father's music is, indeed, highly operatic, making use of the most colorful registrations. Don't let a title like Elevazione make you think of Franck's Elevations... these are romantic arias à la Donizetti or Rossini! Great fun! (Oh, and be sure to listen for Deutschland über alles in the Sinfonia... and the bagpipe imitiation... and the... oh, you get the idea!)Andrea Marcon (Serassi organ of S. Agostino Cathedral, Treviso). Divox Antiqua CDX 79606 (Switzerland) 12B048 $16.98

LUISE ADOLPH LE BEAU (1850-1927): Cello Sonata in D, Op. 17, JOHANNA SENFTER (1879-1961): Cello Sonata in A, Op. 10, NADIA BOULANGER (1887-1979): 3 Pièces , CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): 3 Romanzen, Op. 22. Le Beau (known to RI customers for the Relief CD of her piano music some months back) wrote her compact cello sonata in 1878, entering it anonymously in a competition which it won; lasting barely 16 minutes, it distills a lifetime of echt-Romantic feeling into its three movements. Unlike her short-lived sister, Nadia Boulanger felt she had nothing to offer as a composer, yet these early (1915) Impressionistically-tinged pieces tell another story. Senfter (until now known only from a hard to find Wergo CD of her piano works) wrote her sonata in 1913. The largest work here, it shows the influence of Reger and Wagner in its dense, orchestral textures and its extreme ventures in tonality. Felicitas Stephan (cello), Elena Margolina-Hait (piano). FSM FCD 97273 (Germany) 12B049 $15.98

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Kinderstücke, Op. 72, Grand Duo, Op. 3, Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 62, Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 67/1, MENDELSSOHN/IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Duo Concertant en Variations Brillantes. The Grand Duo is a transcription of the B Minor Piano Quartet; the booklet notes say nothing about the circumstances of the transcriptions of this or of the Kinderstücke or "Songs without Words", but, even if Mendelssohn was not the transcriber, the pieces work very well in this medium. The jointly-composed Duo Concertant is based on themes from Weber's La Preciosa. Duo Egri & Petris. Hungaroton HCD 31855 (Hungary) 12B050 $16.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Sonata in D Major, Op. 89, FREDERICK SHEPHERD CONVERSE (1871-1940): Valzer Poetici, Op. 5, JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Sonata in D, Op. 89. Multiple piano/multiple pianist month continues with this release which duplicates the Rheinberger described on page 8 but which adds the very rare "Poetic Waltzes" of the American Frederick Converse. Dating from1896 (the year Converse sailed for Germany to study with Rheinberger), these seven pieces breathe much the same air as Brahms' Liebeslieder waltzes. Rubinstein's 1871 sonata is a vast 43-minute work, impetuous and brimming with brilliant and challenging writing. Dana Muller & Gary Steigerwalt (piano 4 hands). Centaur CRC 2390 (U.S.A.) 12B051 $16.98

ANTONÍN DVO¤ÁK (1841-1904): Piano Works, Vol. 4 - Humoresques, Op. 101, Poetic Moods, Op. 85. This set of Dvorák's complete piano music closes with two works: the 1889 Poetic Moods, a13-piece set of expressions of various emotional states, and the 1894 Humoresques which represent the musical ideas that came to the composer during his American sojourn which did not end up in his orchestral or chamber compositions of that period. Radoslav Kvapil (piano). Supraphon SU 3399-2 (Czech Republic) 12B052 $10.98

JACQUES-NICOLAS LEMMENS (1832-1881): Organ Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, "Pontificale", Organ Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, "O Filii et Filiae", Organ Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Prélude à 5 parties in E Flat, Pastorale in F, Cantabile in B Minor, Prière in E, Fanfare in D, Laudate Dominum de Caelestis for Soprano and Organ. Lemmens was a Belgian who taught, among others, Guilmant and Widor and who founded the first organ schools in Europe. A life-long love of Gregorian chant inspires much of his work, particularly the items here recorded; far from being musty and academic though, such movements as the Fanfare and the Marche Pontificale of the first sonata are magnificent, rousing pieces which use all the colors of this fine organ to great effect. Claudia Adrario (soprano), Jozef Sluys (Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Abby Church of Saint-Etienne, Caen). Prezioso CD 820.230 (Germany) 12B053 $15.98

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Complete Lieder, Vol. 1 - 6 Gesänge, Op. 3, 6 Gesänge, Op. 6, 6 Gesänge, Op. 7, 8 Lieder und Romanzen, Op. 14. Brahms' earliest songs (1853-54) are not available on a single disc, making this first of a complete series doubly valuable. German-English texts. Mid-price. Juliane Banse (soprano), Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (piano). CPO 999 441 (Germany) 12B054 $10.98

GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911): Symphony No. 4 in G (arr. chamber ens. by Erwin Stein [1885-1958]). Stein's arrangement dates from 1920 and was made for Arnold Schoenberg's "Society for Musical Performances" - the same group which was responsible for Schoenberg and Webern's arrangements of everything from Schubert to Johann Strauss (making "new music" more accesible) which was performed in private for members only. This reconstruction from full score was made at the behest of the Britten-Pears Foundation. Daniel Hellman (boy soprano), Northern Sinfonia; Howard Griffiths. Novalis 150 156-2 (Switzerland) 12B055 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Des Sängers Fluch, Op. 139, Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 97. German-English texts. "The Minstrel's Curse" is a setting of an Uhland ballad which Schumann wrote during three weeks in January 1852. It contains some of the composer's most vivid and dramatic writing (ranging from an insouciant "Provençal Song" to powerful and visionary tortured chromaticisms as the curse is laid in the final lines) in its tale of a harper and his young singer who perform at the court of a tyrannical king with a horrible outcome. Hanne Fischer, Marianne Rørholm (mezzos), Roland Wagenführer (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Bo Anker Hansen (bass), Danish National Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Michael Schønwandt. Chandos 9760 (England) 12B056 $16.98

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/THEODOR W. ADORNO (1903-1969): Kinderjahr - 6 Pieces from Album für die Jugend, Op. 68 for Small Orchestra, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Carnaval Op. 9, SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 2 in C, Op. 61. In 1913-14, at the behest of Nijinsky, Ravel orchestrated the entire Carnaval cycle of Schumann but, unfortunately, only four pieces have survived, showing a sensitive approach in which the Frenchman rarely goes beyond the techniques familiar to Romantic music. In 1941 the composer/philosopher Adorno set six pieces from Schumann's "Album of Youth" which follow the course of the year. For a student of Berg and a confirmed atonalist, Adorno is very faithful to the notes of the original, producing a strikingly attractive (tonal) 14-minute work. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Dirk Joeres. BIS CD 1055 (Sweden) 12B057 $17.98

EDOUARD LALO (1823-1892): Violin Concerto in F, Op. 20, Concerto russe for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 29, Overture to Le Roi d'Ys, Scherzo in D Minor. The time is ripe for new recordings of Lalo's two violin concertos; dating from 1873 and 1879 respectively, the former has a delightful, song-like andantino and a jolly, bravura finale while the latter is a pungent and melancholy work which employs two Russian folk-songs borrowed from Rimsky-Korsakov's "Collection of 100 Russian Folk Songs" - a worthy, yet unaccountably neglected Russian companion to Lalo's famous Symphonie espagnole. Olivier Charlier (violin), BBC Philharmonic; Yan Pascal Tortelier. Chandos 9758 (England) 12B058 $16.98

JOSEPH RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Tarantella in B for Piano 4 Hands, Op. 13, Große Sonate for Piano 4 Hands, Op. 122, Fantasie for Piano 4 Hands, Op. 79, Duo for 2 Pianos, Op. 15, Toccata for Piano, Op. 12. Over a quarter of Rheinberger's output was for piano or piano duo (which may surprise organ fanciers); many of the four-hands works were for personal domestic music-making or dedicated to famous friends (von Bülow and Moscheles figure in the works recorded here). These works will appeal to anyone interested in Romantic music or piano literature in general. Jürg Hanselmann & Sandra Hanselmann-Kästli (pianos). Prezioso CD 800.010 (Germany) 12B059 $15.98

FILIPPO MARCHETTI (1831-1902): Ruy Blas. Premiered in 1869, this opera's libretto, based on Victor Hugo's tale features a typical Hugoesque antithesis - an ignoble aristocrat (Don Sallustio) and a high-minded plebeian (Ruy Blas, who wins the Queen of Spain's love and committs suicide when his imposture is exposed by the Don). A sprawling, large-scale work, it is somewhat reminiscent of Meyerbeer. 2 CDs. Italian-English texts. Mario Malagnini (tenor), Dimitra Theodossiou (soprano), Alberto Gazale (baritone), Coro Lirico Marchigiano "Vincenzo Bellini", Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana; Daniel Lipton. Bongiovanni GB 2237/38 (Italy) 12B060 $33.98

FERDINANDO PAËR (1771-1839): La gloria al massimo degli Eroi, GIOVANNI PACINI (1796-1867): Triste istoria, La Rampogna, GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1968): Egle ed Irene, GIOVANNI TADOLINI (1789-1872): La potenza d'amore, SAVERIO MERCADANTE (1795-1870): Virginia, Il sogno, GIOVANNI SIMONE MAYR (1763-1845): Luci mie belle, MICHELE CARAFA (1787-1872): Calipso. This second volume of Opera Rara's series of Italian salon music brings a variegated collection of songs and cantatas (mostly based on classical texts) which were written by the most acclaimed composers of their day especially for the salotto - the domestic environment where members of high society could relax in a sophisticated atmosphere and be entertained by the company and conversation of their peers and by the "occasional" compositions of some of Italy's greatest composer. The usual embarassingly luxurious booklet (92 pages) and Italian-English texts. Nelly Miricioiu, Majella Cullagh, Enkelejda Shkosa (sopranos), Bruce Ford (tenor), William Mateuzzi, Garry Magee (baritones), Susan Drake (harp), Nigel Black (horn), Paul Watkins (cello), David Harper (piano). Opera Rara ORR 208 (England) 12B061 $18.98

RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883)/MAX REGER (1873-1916): Overture to Tannhäuser, Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber from Die Walküre, Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Prelude and Love-Death from Tristan und Isolde, WAGNER/PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935): Bacchanale - Le Vénusberg from Tannhäuser. Commissioned by C.F. Peters, Wagner's publisher for the Wagner year of 1913, Reger's transcriptions were made for professional pianists and are notable for his ability to retain the orginal sonic splendor, mood and atmosphere by pianistic means. Dukas' single transcription is equally successful. Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz (pianos). BIS CD-976 (Sweden) 12B062 $17.98

GABRIEL PIERNÉ (1863-1937): Preludio e Fughetta, Op. 40/1, Nocturne en forme de Valse, Op. 40/2, Étude Symphonique, Op. 40/3, Passacaille, Op. 52, Étude de Concert, Op. 13, Scherzando de Concert, Op. 29, Sérénade à Izeÿl, Variations in C Minor, Op. 42. This wide-ranging recital shows off most of Pierné's compositional aspects - from the austere, Bachian Prelude and Fughetta and the dazzlingly virtuosic Passacaglia to the delicate, Franckian chromaticisms of the Nocturne and the grand monumentality of the Étude symphonique - there will be something here to appeal to every Romantic piano fancier. Enid Katahn (piano). Gasparo GSCD-302 (U.S.A.) 12B063 $16.98

FERRUCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Piano Concerto in C, Op. 39. Hyperion's "Romantic Piano Concerto" series turns its attention, slightly inappropriately, to the monumental Busoni concerto, which is some distance from being the grand, overblown Romantically conceived extravagance its size alone might suggest to the unwary. The work functions like a series of huge, classically-conceived frescoes, each on a different subject in philosophy, art and life - and if this makes it sound like not too much fun, just try the fantastically boisterous fourth movement, an ode to transcendentalised vulgarity second to none in music! Hamelin's formidable talents are well displayed, and Mark Elder's contribution, who has for some years now shown himself to be a Busoni conductor of the very first rank, and who achieves some rare insights into Busoni's masterly orchestration here - so important in this concerto - also deserves comment. Marc-André Hamelin (piano), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Men's Voices of the CBSO Chorus; Mark Elder. Hyperion CDA 67143 (England) 12B064 $17.98

GEORGES ENESCO (1881-1955): Torso, Impressions d'enfance, Pièce sur le nom de "Fauré" for Solo Piano, Aubade, Violin Sonata No. 3, Op. 25 "Dans le caractère populaire roumain". Joining Enesco's ever-popular third sonata with its amalgam of authentic folk-fiddle style playing and classical sonata structure are three rarities. Torso (1911) is the opening movement of a sonata left unfinished and is a piece of great rhythmic complexity, impassionedly lyrical with 19th century romantic harmonies. Impressions (1940) depicts an idealized nature past in an idiom somewhere between late Debussy and mature Bartók with Enesco's characteristically Romanian flavoring. The Orfeo Duo. Marquis Classics MAE 239 (Canada) 12B065 $16.98

AUGUST ENNA (1859-1939): The Sketch Book, 5 Piano Pieces, Poetical Tone Pictures, 2 Piano Pieces, Short Stories. Enna was best-known as Denmark's most successful 19th century opera composer but we have here a collection of short piano pieces which follow in the Schumann/Mendelssohn tradition of Albumblätter and Songs without Words. A delightful little by-way for fanciers of high quality Romantic salon music. Ida âernecká (piano). Classico CLASSCD 261 (Denmark) 12B066 $14.98

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): 4 Novelletes, NIELS W. GADE (1817-1890): Novelletten, Op. 53, Novellette, Op. 58/2. Gade's vernal, fresh, dewy Novellettes should be as popular as the string serenades by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Suk; Coleridge-Taylor's contribution to the genre (1903) are a little more high-energy, with a touch of operetta or the musical to sections of them but nevertheless still in the same vein. Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim; Vladislav Czarnecki. ebs 6094 (Germany) 12B067 $17.98

FRANCISCO ASENJO BARBIERI (1823-1894): Highlights from the zarzuelas Jugar con fuego, Los diamantes de la corona, Pan y Toros & El barberillo de Lavapiés. Excerpts from three of the most popular of all Spanish zarzuelas by the composer who did much to advance the genre. Soloists, RTVE Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Enrique García Asensio. RTVE 65041 (Spain) 12B068 $16.98

Stavenhagen - Piano Concerto No. 1

BERNHARD STAVENHAGEN (1862-1914): Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 4, 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 2, 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 5, 3 Klavierstücke, Op. 10. Once a widely acclaimed pianist, now deleted from the most recent Grove, Stavenhagen's concerto is in the grand manner along the Wagner/Liszt axis, not without some superficiality but with plenty of great tunes and brilliant pianism. Andreas Pistorius (piano), Vogtland Philarmonie Greiz/Reichenbach; Doron Salomon. Ars Produktion FCD 368 354 (Germany) 12B069 $15.98

HILDA SEHESTED (1858-1936): Suite for Trumpet in B Flat and Orchestra, AXEL JØRGENSEN (1881-1947): Suite for Trombone and Orchestra, Op. 22, THORVALD HANSEN (1847-1915): Sonata for Trumpet and Orchestra, LEIF THYBO (b.1922): Concerto for Trumpet, Trombone and String Orchestra. Sehested was a fellow student and lifelong friend and supporter of Carl Nielsen and her 1904 suite has some of that composer's clean lines, fresh manner and terse, clear definition. Jørgensen's work is neo-classical mixed with romanticism; Hansen's sonata a cheerful 10-minute confection, and Thybo's 1982 piece speaks in a breezy neo-classicism. Ketil Christensen (trumpet), Carsten Svanberg (trombone), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Henrik Vagn Christensen. Rondo Records RCD 8359 (Denmark) 12B070 $18.98

JOSEF SUK (1874-1935): Love Song, Ballad, JAN KUBELÍK (1880-1940): Mélodie, FRANTI·EK DRDLA (1869-1944): Souvenir, OSKAR NEDBAL (1874-1930): Valse Triste, LEO· JANÁâEK (1854-1928): Violin Sonata, Dumka, Romance, ZDENùK FIBICH (1850-1900): Poem, ANTONÍN DVO¤ÁK (1841-1904): Notturno. "Bohemian Violin" usefully interweaves light, frothy, sentimental melodies by violinist Kubelík, Drdla and Nedbal with heartfelt, probing and "serious" works by Janácek (especially) and his contemporaries to provide a full picture of the Czech "encore"violin literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Oliver Butterworth (violin), John Bingham (piano). Meridian CDE 84365 (England) 12B071 $16.98

HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880): Étude-Caprices for 2 Violins, Op. 18, JEAN-DELPHIN ALARD (1815-1888): Duo for 2 Violins, Op. 27/3, MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Suite for 2 Violins and Piano, Op. 71. Two of the world's up-and-coming brilliant violinists (both under 18) perform rare, virtuosic and utterly Romantic repertoire to the hilt in this must-have for any serious violin fancier. Ilya Gringolts, Alexandr Bulov (violins), Irina Ryumina (piano). BIS CD-1016 (Sweden) 12B072 $17.98

GEORGY CATOIRE (1861-1926): Caprice, Op. 3, Intermezzo, Op. 6, 3 morceaux, Op. 2, Prélude, Op. 6/2, Scherzo, Op. 6/3, Vision (Étude), Op. 8, 5 morceaux, Op. 10, 4 morceaux, Op. 12, 4 préludes, Op. 17, Chants du crépuscule, Op. 24, Poème, Op. 34/2, Prélude, Op. 34/3, Valse, Op. 36. Catoire's piano pieces require superlative technique and get it here; the music is somewhat reminiscent of Scriabin in its rapidly changing character and shifts of key. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). Hyperion CDA 67090 (England) 12B073 $17.98

DAG WIRÉN (1905-1986): Romantic Suite, Op. 22, "Places, Please!", Op. 32, Concertino for Flute and Small Orchestra, Op. 44. First recording of Wirén's ballet music for a 1957 production about - well, a ballet production and what goes on getting it on stage. The choreographer died and the production cancelled; the music has never been recorded until now. It, as well as the suite and the concertino, are in the composer's characteristic bright, laconic, compact and often pastoral style. A bonus for fanciers of Scandinavian music of the 20th century. Jan Bengtson (flute), Dala Sinfonietta; Stefan Karpe. Nosag Records CD 041 (Sweden) 12B074 $16.98

ALOIS HÁBA (1893-1973): Overture for Large Orchestra, Op. 5, KAROL RATHAUS (1895-1954): Suite, Op. 29, GRETE VON ZIERITZ (b.1899): Japanische Lieder for Voice and Chamber Orchestra, FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): 4 kleine Stücke for Large Orchestra, ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): 3 lustige Märsche, Op. 44. Titled "Franz Schreker in Berlin", this enterprising release contains music from five composers who were active in the exciting years of the 1920s when Berlin was the capital of the new-music world (amazingly Grete von Zieritz is still alive today!). Worthy of Decca's Entartete Musik series, this CD offers 70 minutes of decadent, periodically dissonant, highly chromatic Late Romanticism which would make any Fascist cough up blood and many others to get out the red scarf and start humming the Internationale. 'Nuff said? German texts. Barbara Hesse-Bachmaier (mezzo), Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder); Nikos Athinäos. Signum SIG 102-00 (Germany) 12B075 $17.98

MAX D'OLLONE (1875-1959): String Trio in A Minor, Piano Quartet in E Minor, String Quartet in D. D'Ollone was a pupil of Massenet and won the Prix du Rome in 1897; during his stay in that city, he composed the string quartet recorded here, a work surprisingly placid, peaceful and inward-looking for a 23-year-old whose natural grace resembles that of his teacher or Saint-Saëns. The trio dates from the middle of D'Ollone's career (1920) and uses a much more advanced harmony with places bordering on atonality; a lively and syncopated first movement, a whimsical scherzo and a vehement finale set off a dreamy, poetic slow movement. The piano quartet (1949) is a more romantic sounding work, fluctuating between a melancholy idealism and a southern taste for brightness and clarity. Patrice D'Ollone (piano), Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco. Pierre Verany PV799061 (France) 12B076 $16.98

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 2 - Sonata No. 9 in C Minor, Op. 139, Suite in the Old Style in F, Op. 93, 3 Compositions, Op. 79d. Reger's final (1915) violin sonata effectively sums up a life-long preoccupation with the genre (a quarter of his entire opus was written for violin and piano). A passionate intensity radiates from its long first movement and finale with a theme and eight variations bracket an intimate largo and brief scherzo. The suite (1906), in which Reger completely transforms baroque models, has been recorded several times in its orchestral transcription; the Op. 79d show a completely different aspect of the composer: three easy pieces for amateur performance from 1904. Mid-price. Ulf Wallin (violin), Roland Pöntinen (piano). CPO 999 643 (Germany) 12B077 $10.98

POUL SCHIERBECK (1888-1949): Violin Sonata, Op. 3, 2 Fantastiker Etuder, Op. 4, Den Kinesiske Fløjte for Voice and Piano, Op. 10, Sou'wester, Sweater and Shag, Op. 31 for Piano, "I Danmark er jeg født", for String Orchestra, Op. 43, Capriccio for Wind Quintet, Op. 53. Born only five years earlier than Rued Langgaard, Schierbeck considered himself (and was considered by others) to be a lone figure, belonging neither to the generation of Nielsen and Glass nor that of Riisager and Ebbe Hamerik. Known primarily for his songs and cantatas (indeed Grove speaks of nothing but these and his single opera), Schierbeck appears here as a late Romantic of decidedly original aspect, especially in his 1912 violin sonata, seasoned with pungent dissonances and markedly rhythmic. The first of the "Fantastic Etudes" (1914) depicts a horrifying scene from De Maupassant's The Horla and the second is an expressionistic depiction of night wind. Everything here is well worth getting to know and will have you wondering what his symphony might sound like! Marianne Granvig (violin), Rosalind Bevan (piano), other artists. Classico CLASSCD 290 (Denmark) 12B078 $14.98

KAROL SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937): Lieder der Märchenprinzessin, Op. 31, Vokalise-Etude, 8 Lieder, Op. 17, 3 Berceusen, Op. 48, Slopiewne, Op. 46bis, 7 Lieder from Op. 54, Lieder des verliebten Mezzins, Op. 42. With the exception of the Dehmel songs of op. 17, these songs are all post-1915, when Szymanowski truly found his own voice. The colorful arabesques, melismata and ornamentally embellished melodies of the "Songs of the Fairy Princess" leave no doubt that she is from the East while the five songs of Slopiewne uses the scale and rhythms of the Tatra highlanders in an exploration of "old Polish" culture. The "Love Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin", however, reach an unparalleled summit of erotic and sensual ecstasy. Texts in French, German, Polish and, here and there with no plausible explanation, English. Claudia Barainsky (soprano), Axel Bauni (piano). Orfeo C 480 981 A (Germany) 12B079 $18.98

GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Alphabet, Les joues en feu, 3 Interludes, 6 Poèmes de Paul Eluard, 4 Chants de la France malheureuse, 3 Poèmes de Max Jacob, 3 Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin, Printemps. The eleventh volume in Timpani's "La Mélodie Française" brings us two Georges Aurics: the Groupe de Six mainstay, the young agitator who attacked grandiloquence and romantic excess with sharp darts of wit is represented by the first three groups listed above, dating from 1914 (!) and from 1920. Far from here is the Auric of the 1930s and 40s who bares his soul in the torment of occupied France in 1943 with the "Four Songs of Unhappy France" or sets six love couplets of Eluard from 1940-48 for his wife, pieces full of dark passions, poignancy and melancholy. A stimulating collection. French-English texts. Sonia de Beaufort (mezzo), Martial Defontaine (tenor), Alain Jacquon (piano). Timpani 1C1049 (France) 12B080 $18.98

MANUEL PALAU BOIX (1893-1967): Symphony No. 2 in D "Murciana", RICARDO LAMOTE DE GRIGNON Y RIBAS (1889-1962): Fantasía on Motifs from Various Works by Maestro Serrano. Palau's second symphony was premiered in 1944 and is an irrepressible confection using a variegated collection of folk tunes from Murcia. Alternating sweeping, big-hearted lyricism with rhythmic interludes punctuated by Spanish percussion, the first movement leads into a lentamente slow movement with a tinge here and there of Impressionism but the high spirits of the composer burst out in a vivacious center section. The scherzo is rollicking and the finale is positively cheeky, boiling over with exuberance (and with various odd, impertinent noises from brass and percussion) reminding us of the sheer joy which can be had in certain places on the Iberian peninsula. Lamote's fantasy (no date given) delivers more gorgeous melody, based on various motifs from zarzuelas of José Serrano (1873-1941). RTVE Symphony Orchestra; Manuel Galduf. RTVE 65027 (Spain) 12B081 $16.98

HANNS EISLER (1898-1962): 3 Lieder for Middle Voice and Chamber Orchestra, Divertimento for Wind Quintet, Op. 4, Tagebuch des Hanns Eisler, Op. 9, Suite No. 5 for Chamber Orchestra "Dans les rues", Nonet No. 2, Galgenlieder, Tempo der Zeit, Op. 16, 14 Ways of Describing the Rain, Op. 70, Sätze for Nonet, Op. post. This set gives us a very comprehensive picture of the two sides of Hanns Eisler's creative personality; the Schoenberg pupil (though he never embraced dodecaphony), who wrote well-crafted and expressive works for the concert stage in the prevailing modern style of the time, and the brilliant communicator, always concerned not to write over the heads of his audience. In this latter mode he often sounds not unlike Weill (and not obviously much below Weill at his best, either). Even in the early, obviously Schoenberg-influenced works there is a tendency towards satire and irony, economy of expression and a direct mode of expression which was to serve him well in his later, sardonic, politically motivated works. 2 CDs. Mid-price. Various Artists. Berlin Classics 9354 (Germany) 12B082 $23.98

CZESLAW MAREK (1891-1985): Volume 4 - Triptychon, 2 Meditations, Op. 10, Sarabande & Toccata, Op. 27, 2 Pieces, Op. 4, Ballade, Op. 7, Petite Valso, 12 Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 3. Marek was a natural and inventive composer for the piano, tending towards the Romantic for the most part, rather than following the forward-looking path grounded in a strict classicality of his teacher, Busoni. Chopin was clearly a major influence, but there is also a detectable strain of French impressionism and the colorful harmony of Szymanowski. All these works should appeal to lovers of fine piano music in the romantic mold without straying far into 20th-century styles of writing. Marie-Catherine Girod (piano). Koch Schwann 3-6518-2 (Germany) 12B083 $16.98

ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): Symphony No. 4 "New York", Pandora Suite. Gerhard's fourth symphony is a massive, grand surrealist vision of New York, the city whose Philharmonic commissioned it. Visually, one thinks of Dalí or Picasso as equivalents; in poetry, Lorca. Complex and functioning on many, subtle levels, the work is also a tour de force of orchestral sonority, as one might expect from so sonically creative a composer at this advanced stage in his career. The Pandora ballet suite is from several decades earlier, and is more tonal, making more obvious use of Catalan folk material, but in keeping with its subject, which is a 20th-century interpretation of the Pandora myth, it is also a dark work, hovering constantly on the fringes of nightmare and disintegration. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Bamert. Chandos 9651 (England) 12B084 $16.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (b.1919): Symphony No. 5, Op. 61 "Ellipser", Symphony No. 7, Op. 83 "De tre versioner". It is quite astonishing that a composer whose output is of legendary dimensions should manage to be so consistent in the quality of his work. Not everything is on the same level of inspiration, of course, but there is never a sense of having heard something before, a dozen symphonies or a hundred opus numbers ago. These two muscular post-Nielsenesque symphonies from the 1950s are dynamic and driven, with the composer's familiar sense of tension and the control of ebb and flow handled in masterly fashion. With their expanded tonality and propulsive momentum, these two works alone would mark Bentzon out as one of the most noteworthy Scandinavian symphonists of the generation after Nielsen and Sibelius. Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; Ole Schmidt. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224111 (Denmark) 12B085 $14.98

NIELS VIGGO BENTZON (b.1919): Organisazione Populare Nos. 1-4, Op. 349-352. Throughout his long career, Bentzon has written for the organ intermittently but always idiomatically, and there is a fair number of works for the instrument in his output. These four pieces form a suite dedicated to four of Denmark's most prominent organists. "Popular" does not quite describe the style, though the music is certainly most approachable. It is contrapuntally conceived with great skill, as one might expect of Bentzon, but it is harmonically rich and varied, and has an elegant simplicity which serves to offset the occasionally complex textures. Flemming Dreisig (organ of the Helligånds Church, Denmark). Danacord DACO CD 518 (Denmark) 12B086 $17.98

FRANK CORCORAN (b.1944): Symphony No. 2, Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 4. Corcoran's symphonies are tough and sinewy, yet surprisingly harmonically satisfying, for all their abrupt, even violent, sounds and stark contrasts. In his provocative and illuminating booklet essay, the composer speculates on the function of music - in general, not just his own - and the way in which it draws order out of chaos (and of all the arts, music is after all the one most suited to the direct expression of both these properties, and the relationship between them). In a way, this contrast is the subject of these works, which incorporate unformed, unmetrical sounds suggesting chaotic nature, which turn out to lead inexorably in a constructed and coherent direction. This makes for challenging listening, and a good deal of tonal ambiguity (going far beyond anything Carl Nielsen imagined, but one suspects that the Dane might have understood what is going on here psychologically); this is certainly what the composer intends, and there is so much going on here that the works feel dramatically compressed. An exciting encounter with a freely ranging musical spirit. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Coleman Pearce. Marco Polo 8.225107 (New Zealand) 12B087 $14.98

JOHN BUCKLEY (b.1951): 3 Preludes, And Wake the Purple Year, 3 Lullabies for Deirdre, The Silver Apples of the Moon, The Golden Apples of the Sun, Winter Music, Oileáin. Never less than evocative and intricate, much of Buckley's piano music draws on literary inspiration - Yeats, Brontë, and traditional folk-tales. As with the Foulds piano works offered in last month's catalogue (and curiously sharing with them a similar affinity with Messiaen's harmonic language, though obviously from a different historical perspective), the phrase "impressions of time and place" seems tailor-made for these highly characterful pieces. A master colorist, Buckley achieves a chromatic impressionism which brings his subjects marvellously to life. Anthony Byrne (piano). Marco Polo 8.223784 (New Zealand) 12B088 $14.98

PAUL SCHOENFIELD (b.1947): Piano Concerto "Four Parables", ANTONÍN DVORÁK (1841-1904): Piano Concerto in G Minor. Schoenfield's concerto relates four stories drawn from the composer's own experience, all with an odd quirk, and a touch of the sinister - a debate over the fate of a paralysed man who had been a notorious murderer; an elegy for a young man who died because his religion forbade medical treatment, and so on. These strange tabloidesque narratives suit Schoenfield's eclectic, vernacular style - there is a lot of jazz in here, and a kind of survey of popular American styles, as though the stories are being told us as we wander through the endless arcades of some Americana junk-shop, an almost over-explicit act of scene-setting. But make no mistake; this is music written for concert performance with consummate skill and understanding of the forces involved (incorporating a solo part of considerable virtuosity). Sit on the edge of your seat alternately laughing out loud and biting your nails in anxiety at this musical equivalent of a Tim Burton movie. Andreas Boyde (piano), Dresden Symphony Orchestra; Jonathan Nott, Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Johannes Fritzsch. Athene ATH CD21 (England) 12B089 $18.98

NED ROREM (b.1923): Sun for Soprano and Orchestra, String Quartet No. 3. Sun is, like many of Rorem's works, a very personal expression of feelings - in this case, the composer's responses to texts about the sun in its many aspects and relations to humanity. There can be few contemporary composers as concerned with the direct expression of feelings as Rorem, and as always his language is profoundly tonal, though never stale. The quartet uses a 12-note sequence, but it is not used as a note-row, and here as in the vocal work, vivid imagery abounds, and music which conjures very specific ideas and emotions. Lauren Flanigan (soprano), Manhattan School of Music Orchestra; Glen Barton Cortese, Mendelssohn String Quartet. Newport Classics NPD 85657 (U.S.A.) 12B090 $16.98

PETER DICKINSON (b.1934): Piano Concerto, Outcry: A Cycle of Nature Poems for Contralto, Chorus and Orchestra, Organ Concerto. This disc reissues a long unavailable EMI recording from the late 1980s, adding Outcry which was recorded by Conifer, so check your collections. If you don't have the original issues, this CD is well worth having. Dickinson's two keyboard concertos are impressively original works, strong on dramatic gesture and confrontation, expressionistic and highly charged, Outcry having something in common with Britten (of the War Requiem), the Organ Concerto not shying away from dissonance but maintaining a constant undercurrent of harmonic tension. Taut, powerful works, repaying close attention. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra; David Atherton, Meriel Dickinson (mezzo), London Concert Choir, City of London Sinfonia; Nicholas Cleobury, Jennifer Bate (organ), BBC SO; Atherton. Albany TROY 360 (U.S.A.) 12B091 $16.98

MIKIS THEODORAKIS (b.1925): Symphonietta, Etat de Siège. These two deeply personal works take their subject matter from the years of the Greek civil war, when Theodorakis was imprisoned, deported and experienced at first hand the sufferings of a people under the state of war. The Symphonietta is a predominantly dark-hued work, with elements of Greek folk music woven into a tapestry of almost Mahlerian passion and tragedy. Etat de siège sets a poem of a fellow-prisoner in music of a similar character, with the folk-melody element to the fore, in keeping with Theodorakis' parallel career as a popular melodist; it is the seamless melding of these two styles that gives this music its expressive power. Maria Farantouri (contralto), Kostas Thomaidis (baritone), Henning Schmiedt (piano), International Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra; Mikis Theodorakis. Intuition Classics INT 3259-2 (Germany) 12B092 $16.98

JOSEPH JAMES: Requiem after J.S. Bach. This disc puts a whole new spin on the idea of transcription, in several senses. For one thing, "Joseph James" is an enharmonic juxtapositioning of two unrelated musical ideas - the composers Stanley Joseph Seeger and Francis James Brown. And then, the requiem itself is composed of orchestral and vocal transcriptions - some more free than others, but all honoring the style of the original music - of keyboard works by J.S. Bach. The whole emerges as a very convincing mass which just might be by Bach, maybe with politically incorrect (by modern purist standards) editorial amendments to the harmony and orchestration by some Stokowskian romantic non-academic performer. Much more than a parody, a most appealing oddity, and a fine piece of music. Sumi Jo (soprano), Ruby Philogene (mezzo), David Wilson-Johnson, David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), Edward Burrowes (treble), London Choral Society, Oxford Camerata, Philharmonia Orchestra; Stephen Barlow. Black Box BBM1023 (England) 12B093 $16.98

JOSEPH JAMES: Concerto for 3 Bouzoukis and Orchestra, NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): 8 Greek Dances. Two different takes on the idea of traditional Greek dances; Skalkottas' early, tonal recreations in bright, lively and original orchestration of regional dances; beautifully atmospheric and authentic-sounding, without a hint of kitsch. The Joseph James work incorporates "local color" in the form of Bouzouki solo parts (which Skalkottas does not - he used a conventional symphony orchestra). Although this inevitably gives a slight suggestion of Greek peasant dances in a Hollywood film, the material is so sensitively handled and the dances so invigorating as to dispel any doubts. The real gems here are the stunning Skalkottas dances, though. Costas Rialas (bouzouki), Philharmonia Orchestra; John Gibbons. Novelbond 3 (England) 12B094 $16.98

JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Consuelo's Dream, This is Prophetic, Alone...again or at last, GRAHAM FITKIN (b.1963): Bob, Watching, Pam & Jim & Jim & Pam, MICHAEL NYMAN (b.1944): If, Why, ARVO PÄRT (b.1935): Spiegel im Spiegel, DAVID BOWIE & BRIAN ENO: Warsawa. Arrangements for saxophone and ambient-keyboards and strings of pieces (some of which are taken from larger works, like the extracts from two of John Adams' operas) by some of our most approachable tonal-romantic-minimalist composers. Largely agreeable, sultry, soft sounds for late-night listening or as a background to a sophisticated seduction. The arrangements are very successful examples of their type. Simon Haram (saxophones, EWI, synthesizers), Members of the Michael Nyman Band. Black Box BBM 1018 (England) 12B095 $16.98

ÉDITH CANAT DE CHIZY (b.1950): Exultet: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Siloël for 12 Strings, Moïra: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. Perhaps because of her own training as a violinist, there is a strong element of string textures dominating these works - two with soloist, and the other, the concentrated and intense Siloël, full of pent-up energy, for 12 strings. With her emphasis on large-scale forms and ambitious subject-matter, though, she handles the resources of the large orchestra required in the concertos with consummate skill. She views the pure texture of sound as being of the greatest importance (and has worked in the electroacoustic field, further exploring this) but there is never a sense of sound for its own sake; textures growing from harmony above all, predominate. Thus she has achieved a vocabulary ideally suited to the expression of her religious and mystical subject matter in closely-argued and vitally expressive terms. Laurent Korcia (violin), Sonia Wieder-Atherton (cello), Philharmonie de Lorraine; Pascal Rophé. Timpani 1C1048 (France) 12B096 $18.98

MEYER KUPFERMAN (b.1926): Phantom Sonata for Viola and Piano, A Nietzsche Cycle for Soprano, Horn and Piano, EZRA LADERMAN (b.1924): Nonette for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Violin, Cello and Piano, Meditation on Isaiah for Cello Solo, IAIN HAMILTON (b.1922): Sonata for Flautist for the Family of Flutes and Piano, 5 Scenes for Trumpet and Piano, Hyperion for Piano, Clarinet, Horn and Piano, ALVIN BREHM (b.1925): Sextet for Piano and Strings. This set gives a cross-section of some of the music being written in the 1960s and 70s by four composers from, or resident in, New York. A variety of different instrumental combinations are to be heard here, used in strikingly different ways. Brehm's Sextet is broadly atonal and formally concentrated, while Kupferman's music is more freely rhapsodic, with a greater sense of tonal centres. Three works by Scots-born Iain Hamilton explore the virtusosic and expressive capabilities of, respectively, the flute (all sizes!), the trumpet, and french horn. 2 CDs. Various Artists. New York Philomusica 3 (U.S.A.) 12B097 $31.98

ALESSANDRO GREGO (b.1950): Langsam for Oboe, Electronics, Flute, Harp, Choir and String Orchestra, The choice for Flute and Strings, Metropolis for Piano, L'Aura for Piano and Electronics, ...la quiete for Oboe, and Voice. This work consists of a series of movements each of which create a specific mood, the sequence of which suggests a journey of memory towards a spiritual goal. The composer has worked in the field of film and television music, and the character of these reflective and highly atmospheric works, together with the presentation of the CD, in which the movements are matched with a brief text and a visual image conveying a spiritual reflection in the natural world, puts this release on the fringes of new age musical contemplative meditation. Various artists incl. Roberto Fabbriciani (flute), I Solisti di Fiesole; Nicola Paszkowski. Agora AG 209.1 (Italy) 12B098 $18.98

ELIE SIEGMESTER (1906-1991): Clarinet Concerto, PAUL CRESTON (1906-1985): Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, RENÉ STAAR-ALAN LEVY (b.1932): Just an Accident? for Soprano, Narrator and Orchestra, GWYNETH WALKER: An American Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Siegmeister's engaging concerto pays homage to the solo instrument's long tradition in jazz, though studiously avoiding jazz clichés - this is Siegmeister's very personal view of jazz and blues music - refracted through his quirky musical prism, not slavishly imitated in an uneasy "crossover" work of the kind that too often ends up being neither one thing nor the other. Walker's American Concerto also plays with musical traditions outside the classical mainstream - elements of folk-rock and jazz; tonal, readily accessible and entertaining. The Creston, too, is tonal and highly approachable - Creston had a gift for writing memorable music that never tried to be more sophisticated than it needed to be, and this delightful little mini-concerto is full of felicitous touches of inventiveness throughout. The Levy tells the stories of Webern's, Granados' and several other odd, accidental deaths in narration over a background of "theatrical" music, interspersed with the soprano's refections on the transience of life and the possible permanence of a legacy founded in art or memory. Robert Alemany (clarinet), Joan Yarbrough (piano), Melissa White (violin), Louise Toppin (soprano), Robert Russell (narrator), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Paul Freeman. Albany TROY 356 (U.S.A.) 12B099 $16.98

RICHARD ADAMS: Brutal Reality, ARTHUR BLOOM (b.1964): Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, EVAN CHAMBERS: Concerto for Fiddle and Violin, JOHN FITZ ROGERS (b.1963): Verge, KAMRAN INCE (b.1958): Fest for Chamber Ensemble and Chorus. This is a fun disc with a serious side. All the music is based in tonal or modal harmony, and all the pieces have a ready appeal without falling into the trap of over-ingratiating easy-listening. The Adams is an energetic perpetuum mobile, more like Stephen Montague than Adams' more famous namesake. The Bloom is a playful updating of the idea of a Baroque concerto, with solo sections (the chocolates) set in a ritornello-matrix (the box). Chambers knows the folk-fiddle from his own performance experience and writes idiomatically for this unusual combination in a most expressive double concerto. The Rogers transcribes ideas from Pictures at an Exhibition into a highly compressed little work drawing on many different musical styles. The Ince is a tour de force, sometimes quasi-minimalist , sometimes folk-like, sometimes darker and far less obvious than these influences might suggest (think Nyman's Z and 00, or Draughtsman's . . .), sometimes exuberantly abandoned. I guarantee you won't play this disc just once after you buy it. Jill Levy (violin), Nollaig Casey (fiddle), Albany Symphony Orchestra, Present Music Ensemble; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 354 (U.S.A.) 12B100 $16.98

STEVE MARGOSHES: This is Forever - Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, Symphonic Suite from Fame - The Musical, A New Hungarian Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, Anything is Possible - Ballade for Trumpet and Orchestra, America on Parade. Light music lushly scored for symphony orchestra and soloists. Margoshes is best known for the musical Fame, and for film music, and although these are works with a definite claim on the lighter end of the concert repertory, they are very much from the mold of stage and screen accompaniment. Slight, far more so than music of Bernstein or Burgon sharing a similar background, but enjoyable nonetheless. Steve Margoshes (piano), Barnabás Kelemen (violin), György Geiger (trumpet), Budapest Symphony Orchestra; László Kovács. Hungaroton HCD 31913 (Hungary) 12B101 $16.98

SVEN ERIK WERNER (b.1937): The Most Incredible Thing, FUZZY (b.1939): The Woman with the Eggs, FINN HØFFDING (1899-1997): It's Perfectly True!, HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (1805-1875): It's Perfectly True!. These musical illustrations of Hans Christian Andersen stories are musically delightful, and by no means as slight as the concept of "musical fairy-tales" might suggest. Werner's work, by far the most extended, contains some marvellous music, sometimes reminiscent of Sibelius. "Fuzzy" (the TV personality name of composer Jens Wilhelm Pedersen) sets the story in a frame of Grieg-like consonant color (and indeed incorporates a few winking quotes from the Peer Gynt music). Høffding's tone-poem (aptly compared in the booklet notes to Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice) has a Nielsenesque air to it. As it does not set the text, the narrator reads this story on a separate track. The stories are printed in English in the booklet. Vigga Bro (recitation), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Jan Wagner. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224099 (Denmark) 12B102 $14.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Partita-Variations, Nach Bach, Sonata-Fantasia, Carnival Music, Four Short Sonatas, Variations on an Original Theme. Rochberg, now in his 80th year, is something of an undervalued American national treasure. An astoundingly versatile composer, who has never made versatility or eclecticism an end in itself, his music has run the gamut from early, tonal, romantic works which sound completely unaffected and not at all concerned with fashion, via atonal and strictly dodecaphonic music, which also manage not to sound dated, to his late style, which incorporates elements of tonality and atonality with apparent indifference to formal musicological considerations, but uses them as appropriate for the maximum expressive and emotional effect. Of course, he always did this - the 1956 Sonata-Fantasia is a tense, gripping work of great emotional content, and is cast in dodecaphonic mold throughout. It is possible to play this 2-CD set from start to finish and to feel as though one had heard a varied recital of individual music with no hint of sameness or repetition; a tribute to Rochberg's inventiveness and expressive idiom in whatever language he chooses. 2 CDs. Sally Pinkas (piano). Gasparo GSCD 340/2 (U.S.A.) 12B103 $33.98

STEVEN DANKNER: String Quartets Nos. 3, 4 & 5. Deceptively neoclassical or neo-romantic, these striking and characterful quartets do not represent a stylistic throwback or indicate a conservative musical outlook. Richly chromatic but never suggestive of atonality, these three works add to the respected canon of this most intimate and expressive of chamber forms. Dankner has a gift for vigorously argued conversational counterpoint and original melodic constructions, in which long-breathed lyrical lines give rise to the recognisable textures of the classical quartet even though his material is simultaneously more akin to Baroque polyphony and 20th-century harmony. Amernet String Quartet. Gasparo GSCD-324 (U.S.A.) 12B104 $16.98

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Omaggio a Burri for Flute in G , Bass Clarinet and Violin, IV Sonata for Piano, Lo spazio inverso for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Celesta, Esplorazione del bianco II for Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin and Guitar, Let me die before I wake for Bb Clarinet, Per Mattia for Violin, Venere che le Grazie la fioriscono for Flute, Piano Trio No. 2. The sonic equivalent of an installation of objects, some created, some found, sometimes piled up in random assemblages, sometimes organised meticulously, Sciarrino's music invites us to experience the act of listening to music as an immersion in the visceral act of responding to sound in the absolute. Take his piano sonata, for example; brutally pounding clusters which after a while cease to cause pain and lull the senses into a strange, alternative state. The idea of the infinite possibilities of the white page - as potential, as palimpsest suggesting the mystery of what has gone before - invests this collection of sound-sculptures with a strange significance. Alter Ego. Stradivarius STR 33539 (Italy) 12B105 $16.98

ALESSANDRO SOLBIATI (b.1956): String Trio, Sonata, Am fuß des gebirgs, Sonetto, Mari. Solbiati's atonal language might seem an odd medium for music in which the composer expresses ideas about objects, images and progressions or journeys (internal ones, from darkness towards light, or from chaos towards order), but he is adept at constructing a sound-world in which the clearly delineated musical "objects" interact in order to form a very convincing narrative structure. These solo and ensemble pieces share a dynamism and direction of purpose of unmistakable clarity. Ensemble Alternance. Stradivarius STR 33542 (Italy) 12B106 $16.98

GÖRAN GAMSTORP (b.1957): Growings for Symphony Orchestra and Tape. Growings is a 50-minute stream of sound which, like a slow-moving river, changes shape and direction while being apparently incapable of diminishing in its inexorable momentum. The composer's use of amplified and computer-modified sounds normally too faint to be perceived in a musical context adds to the abstract, organic sense of the flow of this tide of layered fluid sonic strata. Cumulatively overwhelming in its effect, the work produces something of the unsettling impression of watching a vastly magnified and speeded-up film of some natural process of growth or erosion, without ever being quite aware of the precise identity of the elements in view. A work evocative of the dark reaches of the subconscious, this is perhaps closer to the concept of abstract expressionism in music than some of the post-Webernian pointillistic exercises often described in this way. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Caprice CAP 21570 (Sweden) 12B107 $16.98

GUNNAR VALKARE (b.1943): Symphony No. 1, Viaggio for Accordion and Ensemble, Världen som Bild for Oboe and Choir, Passage 3.5 for Alto Saxophone, Scapes for Orchestra, Funeral Music for Recorder Quartet. From an early career path which led him to question the function and forms of Western art music, Valkare has journeyed via a close investigation of ethnomusicology, especially concentrated in east Africa and leading to experiments with improvised forms, to a compositional æsthetic which now takes in a wide variety of influences while retaining a sense of the traditions of 20th-century Scandinavian music. Strong in harmony and with an appealing folk-derived sound (which is never mannered or imitative, serving only to leaven a mainstream 20th-century vocabulary), the music is individual without sounding experimental, and the composer's frequent unexpected choices of instrumentation provide unusual coloration, presumably derived from his years of thinking outside the western concert tradition. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Cecilia Rydinger-Alin, Geir Draugsvoll (accordion), Camerata Roman; Terje Tønnesen, other artists. Phono Suecia PSCD 115 (Sweden) 12B108 $16.98

LARS-ERIK ROSELL: String Quartet No. 2, Hommage à Terry Riley for 3 Pianos, Naket liv for Baritone and Piano, Änglar Skapelsemakter for Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Organs and Choir. Rosell is an expressionist post-romantic whose preferred mode of expression appears to be large, multifaceted structures composed of small sections of diverse character. Thus "Angels, powers of creation" uses texts by Olov Hartmann and Gabriela Mistral, together with passages from the Book of Revelation, along with organ solos, to build a tableau the totality of which emerges as a single large-scale expanse of thought. The string quartet siimilarly has small movements, some densely textured and energetic, others of an exquisite filigree in solo voices. "Naked Life" sets poems of Artur Lundkvist in a very romantic style, lyrical and overtly emotional. The Hommage à Terry Riley is a tribute to the minimalist, who was an influence on the student Rosell; it does the sort of thing Riley was doing at that time, rather well. Swedish texts.. Zetterqvist String Quartet, Mats Persson, Kristine Scholz, Lars-Erik Rosell (pianos), Mikael Axelsson (baritone), Lise-Lotte Axelsson (piano), Maria Höglind (mezzo), Erik Lundkvist, Lars Fredén (organs), Chamber Choir of the Royal University College of Music in Stockholm; Anders Eby. Phono Suecia PSCD 119 (Sweden) 12B109 $16.98

EGIL HOVLAND (b.1924): Cantus VIII, Op. 129 for Oboe and String Quartet, Cantus III, Op. 103 for Violin and Piano, Magnificat, Op. 44 for Contralto, Flute and Harp, Wind Quintet, Op. 50, Rorate, Op. 55, for Oboe, Organ, Flute, Choir and Chamber Orchestra. Hovland is an unusual composer, in that his music strives - successfully - to be beautiful and lyrical as a first requirement, despite the fact that he has unabashedly made use of many of the most "advanced" compositional techniques of our century, and continues to do so today. The idea of beauty in music may suggest a kind of consonant musical conservatism - but not at all in Hovland's case; he uses note-rows, even aleatoric techniques and electro-acoustic devices (generally not extended instrumental playing techniques, however), to serve his goals. Much of his music relates directly to his religious faith, either expressly, as in the sung Magnificat and Rorate, or through the use of material based on hymn tunes (as in the oboe quintet). Various artists incl. Anne Gjevang (mezzo), Norwegian Wind Quintet, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; Terje Tønnesen. Aurora ACD 5005 (Norway) 12B110 $17.98

Piano Pieces by Great Pianists

ABRAM CHASINS (1903-1987): Prelude in B Flat Minor, Op. 12/5, JOSEF HOFMANN (1876-1957): Nocturne, VLADIMIR HOROWITZ (1903-1989): Danse excentrique, VASSILY SAPELLNIKOFF (1868-1941): Berceuse, Op. 11/3, GRANT JOHANNESEN (b.1921): Improvisation on a Mormon Hymn, MORIZ ROSENTHAL (1862-1946): Prelude in F Sharp, MISCHA LEVITZKI (1898-1941): Valse tzigane, Op. 7, ALFRED CORTOT (1877-1962): Adagio from Chopin's Cello Sonata, Op. 65, LEONARD PENNARIO (b.1924): Midnight on the Cliffs, HAROLD BAUER (1873-1951): Siciliano from Brahms' Haydn Variations, GLENN GOULD (1932-1982): Piano Piece No. 1, ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): Étude No. 7, ISIDOR PHILIPP (1863-1958): Black Swans, OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH (1878-1936): Mazurka mélancolique, Op. 3/2, PIERRE SANCAN (b.1916): Boite à musique, IGNAZ FRIEDMAN (1882-1948): Herbst, ERNST LEVY (1895-1981): Piano Piece No. 6, JOSÉ ITURBI (1895-1980): Pequeña danza española, MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN (b.1961): Ländler, RAYMOND LEWENTHAL (1923-1989): Concert Paraphrase of Glière's "Russian Sailors' Dance". This attention-grabbing collection presents 21 pieces composed (or, in three cases, transcribed) by pianist/composers of a generation when there was not the clear-cut distinction made today between composers and performers. A stimulating, entertaining and thoroughly varied panorama of styles, approaches and temperaments sure to delight any piano fancier. Donald Manildi (piano). Elan CD 82416 (U.S.A.) 12B111 $16.98

BERNARD HERRMANN (1911-1975) & ALFRED NEWMAN (1900-1970): The Egyptian. Herrmann handled the orchestral-only parts and Newman took care of the 11 (out of 30) cues which use a chorus in this historical CinemaScope spectacular based on the novel by Mika Waltari and starring Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Edmund Purdom and Peter Ustinov. The music is as vivid and broad as the wide-screen the film showed on and Marco Polo's booklet is the usual fact-stuffed compendium of notes, cue listings, photographs and reminiscences. Opulence and excess - that's what we want! Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Choir; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225078 (New Zealand) 12B112 $14.98

GEORGES AURIC (1899-1983): Film Music, Vol. 2 - Suite from Orphée, Complainte d'Eurydice, Les Parents terrible (Image musicale), Suite from Thomas l'imposteur, Suite from Ruy Blas. This second volume of Auric film music is also entirely given over to work the composer did for Jean Cocteau (in the case of the costume drama Ruy Blas, Cocteau wrote the screenplay for director Pierre Billon). Much of this music was either cut from the final films or faded-out quickly after establishing a mood and these suites, edited by the conductor, represent the first time much of it has been heard at all. A fine companion to the Chandos release we offered in our October catalogue. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Marco Polo 8.225066 (New Zealand) 12B113 $14.98

LUC FERRARI (b.1929): Chansons pour le corps for Chanteuse, 5 Instruments with Recorded Memories, Et si tout entière maintenant... for Actress, Field Recordings on an Ice-Breaker and Orchestra. Always a composer unrestricted by musical boundaries, Ferrari produces compositions which function like collages - not in the sense of diverse fragments of musical material assembled into a cohesive whole, but in the sense of extramusical ideas, sounds, concepts, assembled into a piece of music in a tonal context - complex harmonic experimentation is not Ferrari's concern. There is a playful sensuality in Ferrari's subject-matter, and in his choice of sounds - instrumental, sung and taped - that make up his multifaceted musical installation. Elisse Caron (chanteuse), Carol Mundinger, Sylvan Frydman (clarinets), Christine Lagniel (percussion), Michel Mauer (piano), Michel Musseau (synthesizer), Anne Sée (voice), Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique; Yves Prin. Mode 81 (U.S.A.) 12B114 $16.98