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Paul von Klenau

Symphony No. 7 "Storm"

PAUL VON KLENAU (1883-1946): Symphony No. 7 "Die Sturmsymphonie", Jahrmarkt bei London for Alto and Orchestra, Klein Idas Blumen (Ballett-Ouverture), Gespräche mit dem Tod for Alto and Orchestra. The "Storm Symphony" dates from 1941, the year after Klenau returned to Denmark after spending most of his life in Germany and the composer himself assures us that the title is not programmatic, referring only to the character of the work. A rhythmic figure with a certain peculiar, almost Langgaardian obsessiveness, acts as first movement first subject but also underlays much of the rest of the symphony (and the scherzo has its Brucknerian aspects as well). The symphony will certainly please late Romantic collectors. The "Little Ida's Flowers" ballet-overture (1961), however, is almost Tchaikovskian in its exotic array of musical colorings (with harp, celeste and mandolin employed delightfully in places) while the Jahrmarkt (which also has an English title: "Bank Holiday - Souvenir of Hampstead Heath") of 1922 is an 18-minute exercise in French-like impressionism (Klenau as a conductor always kept new music before the audiences of his various positions). The song cycle "Conversations with Death", also from 1916, breathes the Mahlerian-Straussian air of German Late Romanticism. German-English texts. Susanne Resmark (alto), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Jan Wagner. Dacapo 8.224183 (Denmark) 01E001 $15.98

Well, we thought that we were going to have 15 new Naxos titles in this month's catalogue. Unfortunately, Naxos of America could produce only one of them before shutting down from before Christmas until after this catalogue had to be at the printer. As you can see from the paucity of titles on Chandos, ASV (none), BIS, Hyperion (none), things aren't exactly looking better for 2003 than they did for the last two months of last year.

Still, there is nothing to do but hang on and keep hoping. February Chandos titles are the best in six months and perhaps the new Sterling title which was announced in Europe last month will finally be offered here.

Uzeyir Hajibeyov: 4 Azerbaijani Operas

Hajibeyov was the founder of European-style classical music in Azerbaijan. Until he came along, music was an improvised matter, with illiterate singers and instrumentalists recreatingworks from a long oral tradition. Hajibeyov wrote the first Azerbaijani opera (Leyli and Majnun), the first musical comedy, was responsible for the first performance on stage by a woman, introduced four-part harmony and, in 1945, published an analysis of the principles of Azerbaijani folk music. The recordings offered here come, of course, from the Soviet period but only two are mono and the worst of those two sounds better than many of the Italian "pirate" unusual repertoire operas we often offer in these pages.

UZEYIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): Leyli and Majnun. Premiered in 1908, this five-act opera on a "Romeo and Juliet"-like theme (although based on an oral traditional legend more than a thousand years old), will sound like nothing you've heard before unless we're talking about field recordings of Azerbaijani folk singers. For extended portions, the soloist is accompanied only by the tar and entire segments feature specific mugams - wholly improvised. Traditional European harmony appears only in segments where the chorus helps to advance the action and in brief orchestral interludes. When you have heard this piece, calling something Karayev or Amirov wrote "exotic" seems like rank cliché! 2 CDs. Libretto available on-line in downloadable PDF format at www.hajibeyov.com. Zeynab Khanlarova (soprano), Arif Babayev (tenor), Orchestra and Choir of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre; Kazim Aliverdibeyov. Azerbaijan International AICD 1301/1302 (Azerbaijan) 01E002 $27.98 >

UZEYIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): If Not This One, That One. Dating from 1911, this is the second of Hajibeyov's three early musical comedies and its plot, dealing with the arranged marriage of an unwilling young woman would be trite in European opera but, at the time this work was written in Azerbaijan, the idea that young people should be able to choose their spouses was social radicalism. This is the only existing recording of the work, made for the radio in1953. Mono. Libretto available on-line in downloadable PDF format www.hajibeyov.com. Sona Aslanova, Kamal Karimov, Azerbaijan Radio Choir and Orchestra; A. Hasanov. Azerbaijan International AICD 1303 (Azerbaijan) 01E003 $13.98 >

UZEYIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): The Cloth Peddler. The third musical comedy came after the above in 1913 and continues the theme of freedom of choice for young people in choosing marriage partners. The work is also more European sounding with harmony predominant and voices accompanied by orchestra rather than by tar. 2 CDs. Libretto available on-line in downloadable PDF format www.hajibeyov.com. Rashid Behbudov (tenor), Fidan Gasimova (soprano), Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra; Niyazi. Azerbaijan International AICD 1304/1305 (Azerbaijan) 01E004 $27.98 >

UZEYIR HAJIBEYOV (1885-1948): Koroghlu. Dating from 1938, this opera, also known as "Son of a Blind Man", was Hajibeyov's crowning achievement. A heroic opera in the grand tradition, its hero leads a peasant uprising against the unjust, oppressive khans and beys who ruled their country under the Turkish empire. Stalin was present at the work's Moscow premiere and loved the work since it followed Soviet ideology (but, given the time it was written, was probably aimed at Soviet oppression rather than Turkish!) and the composer won the Lenin Award the same year. 2 CDs. Mono. Libretto available on-line in downloadable PDF format www.hajibeyov.com. Lutfiyar Imanov (tenor), Firangiz Ahmadova (soprano), Orchestra and Choir of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre; Niyazi. Azerbaijan International AICD 1306/1307 (Azerbaijan) 01E005 $27.98 >

JOHN DONALD ROBB (1892-1989): Symphony No. 1, Viola Concerto, Op. 24. A previous Opus One CD contained the second movement of the symphony along with other works by Robb and other composers. Designated by its composer as playable by itself "Elegy for Our War Dead" is a somber yet flowing tribute to American dead in World War II. The symphony (for string orchestra) whose central movement it is dates from 1946 and opens with a neo-classical, Bartokian first movement (with solo strings in a concerto grosso-like interplay with the orchestra) and ends with an extended theme-and-variations finale based on a folk-like theme. The concerto dates from 1953 and each of its three movements ("Dance", "Alabanza" and "Indita") employs themes derived from Mexican folk music with emphasis on orchestral color, rhythm and solo virtuosity. Dariusz Korcz (viola), National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One CD 183 (U.S.A.) 01E006 $11.98

DANIEL CATÁN (b.1949): Florencia en el Amazonas. Here's an opera for Puccini lovers, and although it owes a great debt to that Italian verismist, it's stylistically solvent enough to stand on its own. Thisravishing drama takes place on an Amazon steamboat, and revolves around one of the passengers, a world-famous diva, returning after 20 years to where she hopes she'll find her long lost lover. She never does, but her love for him, as well as that between another couple on board, is eventuallyreconciled with some of the most gorgeous music to grace the operatic stage in many a year. This is a live performance and there are three applause breaks, but each of them provides welcome relief, as you'll have an uncontrollable desire to applaud yourself. Buenísima! 2 CDs. Spanish-English libretto. Houston Grand Opera; Patrick Summers. Albany TROY 531/32 (U.S.A.) 01E007 $33.98

LENNOX BERKELEY (1903-1989): The Berkeley Edition, Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra, Op. 84, MICHAEL BERKELEY (b.1948): Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra, Secret Garden. This release should appeal even to those collectors who are not particularly fond of Michael Berkeley since his 1977 oboe concerto (written for Janet Craxton only four years after his father's Sinfonia Concertante for the same soloist) is a work of ardent lyricism and rhythmic urgency in two long, slow movements wrapped around a nimble scherzo and its final Elegy is dedicated to Michael's godfather, Britten, who had recently died and uses motifs from the War Requiem. Although Secret Garden (1997) is much newer and more thorny to conservative ears, its 15-minute length is not unapproachable and is tonal and melodic (although the melodies are often fragmentary and acidic) and the piece ends with a reference to the Sibelius Fifth. Lennox's concise, 14-minute symphony of 1969 uses serial techniques but the symphony's harmonic language makes it appear tonal with cross-references tightly binding its three sections together. The Sinfonia Concertante leans toward melody rather than asperity and its rare, five-movement form offers many opportunities for graceful lyricism as well as taut, rhythmic edginess. Nicholas Daniel (oboe), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10022 (England) 01E008 $16.98

JOSEPH HOLBROOKE (1878-1958): String Quartet No. 1 "Fantasie in D Minor", String Quartet No. 2 "Impressions", Clarinet Quintet in G, Eileen Shona for Clarinet and Strings, Song of the Bottle, The Last Rose of Summer, Mavourneen Deelish. Everything here was written before the end of the First World War and the idiom is late Romantic (sometimes, one might say, "hyper-Romantic"). The first quartet was written in 1905 for the Cobbett Competition and its three section headings are those of Beethoven's Les Adieu piano sonata ("Departure", "Absence" and "Return"), the music providing a romantic updating of the earlier composer's conceit while the second quartet (1915) is in two short movements (Serenade. Belgium - 1915 and Russian Dance. Russia - 1915), originally titled "War Impressions" although there is little warlike in the music. The clarinet quintet of 1910 is one of many Holbrooke works inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and it comes with a two couplet quote from the poem Ligeia. The remaining works are movement excerpts from two Folksong Suites which double in the composer's catalogue as the third and fourth (or fourth and fifth) string quartets. The Rasumovsky Quartet, Richard Hosford (clarinet). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7124 (England) 01E009 $16.98

RICHARD ARNELL (b.1917): Piano Trio, Op. 47, String Quintet, Op.60, Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op. 168, Music for Harp for Flute, Violin, Viola and Harp, Op. 72a, Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. Arnell spent much of his career in the U.S., having been caught here along with Britten, Peter Pears and others in 1939 when war broke out. His symphonic output runs to seven and he has been described as "the English Rachmaninov" for the melodic splendor of these scores although, with none of them recorded, we'll have to take this on faith. The works recorded here date from 1946-1991 and are all tonal, attractive and, thus, were ignored by the BBC during the years under William Glock when melody was a dirty word. Although Arnell is still living and still composing, there is much needed to be done to resurrect his reputation and these chamber works are, at least, a start. Locrian Ensemble. Dutton Epoch CDLX 7122 (England) 01E010 $16.98

GRANVILLE BANTOCK (1868-1946): 5 Songs from the Chinese Poets, Captain Harry Morgan, Jester Songs, Drinking Song: Hafiz to the Sultan Timour, Celtic Songs, Ghazals of Hafiz, The Singer in the Woods, Song to the Seals, Pippa Passes, A Woman's Last Words, I Go to Prove My Soul, Invocation to the Nile, The Mood Maiden's Song, The Bluebell Wood, Ozymandias. Bantock wrote around 400 songs so this collection can only suggest some of his favorite areas and styles: the late Victorian obsession with the art and music of Persia, China, India, etc. was matched by his interest in his own heritage (Scottish/Celtic) and a period of intense conectration upon Browning - all are included here in songs which range from drawing room ballads to serious concert hall settings. Texts included. Jean Rigby (mezzo), Peter Savidge (baritone), David Owen Norris (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7121 (England) 01E011 $16.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): 12 Lieder, "Op. 5 So Gott und Papa will", 6 einfache Lieder, Op. 9 (excerpts), 4 Lieder des Abschieds, Op. 14, 3 Lieder, Op. 18, 5 Lieder, Op. 38, Unvergänglichkeit, Op. 27 (excerpt), 3 Lieder, Op. 22 (excerpt), Reiselied, Vesper, Die Geniale, Nachts, Die Gansleber im Hause Duschnitz. All but three of the 13-year-old Korngold's first set of Eichendorff lieder were unpublished and this collection adds three further songs to texts by the same poet - all in the late 19th century lied tradition of Mahler, Wolf, Strauss and Marx. There are later works from his Hollywood period (and one early song will be found not only in a simplified later version but also provided a theme in the score of The Sea Hawk) as well as songs from in between, the op. 22 lieder characterized by Korngold as studies for his opera Das Wunder der Heliane. German-English texts. Dietrich Henschel (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (piano). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901780 (France) 01E012 $16.98

EDUARDO TOLDRÁ (1895-1962): 6 canciones castellanas, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Tonadillas, JESÚS GURIDI (1886-1961): 3 canciones castellanas, JAIME OVALLE (1894-1955): Canção brasileira, Op. 21, XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (1912-12002): 2 canciones negras, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Mélodies populaires greques. Some very attractive and unusual Iberian song repertoire here with Toldrá's 1941 set full of warm Mediterranean sensuality and Granados' (1914) offering both sheer vocal virtuosity and tragic profundity in its exploration of the world of majos and their women. The Guridi songs are warm and lyrical, touched with authentic folk style and the recital closes with a seductively luxuriant song from Brazil. Spanish/French-English texts. Maria Bayo (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano). Naïve V 4933 (France) 01E013 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): L'Olympiade. Dating from 1734, when Vivaldi's theatrical career in Venice was near its end, this setting of a Metastasio libretto (against whose supporters and representatives of musical innovation Vivaldi had vainly struggled for years) appears to have been the composer's attempt to co-opt his rivals although the libretto is significantly modified both with respect to characters' psychology and as to the actual nuts-and-bolts of recitatives and arias. The highly developed arias are a concession to prevailing Neapolitan style but Vivaldi remains his own man in his treatment of the orchestra. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Sara Mingardo (contralto), Sonia Prina (alto), Riccardo Novaro (baritone), Laura Giordano (soprano), Concerto Italiano; Rinaldo Alessandrini. Opus 111 OP 30316 (France) 01E014 $53.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Ach, Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Du aber, Daniel, gehe hin, Sei getreu bis in den Tod, Trauer-Actus "Ach wie nichtig, ach wie flüchtig", Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz. These cantatas are early works, all but one probably dating from Telemann's student years in Hildesheim and Leipzig between 1697 and 1705 and they show a complete mastery of the late 17th century compositional style of the sacred concerto while also looking forward to the aria-style cantata. Sei getreu is particularly attractive for its graceful melodic lines and rich instrumental accompaniments. German-English texts. Cantus Cölln; Konrad Junghänel. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901768 (France) 01E015 $17.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Partita I in C, Partita X in A Minor, Partita in A. This is the first volume in what will be an almost complete cycle of the 40 partitas and three other keyboard works by the friend of Handel and the man whose refusal of the post of Cantor at St. Thomas' in Leipzig allowed Bach to get the job. Predominantly in the French style, Graupner also assimilates Italian and German influences in these suites of various numbers of dances (including less-known ones like the loure and the sommeille). Runs and scales which are used at length demand virtuosity while a playful sense of humor is also always present. Geneviève Soly (harpsichord). Analekta FL 2 3109 (Canada) 01E016 $16.98

CHRISTOPH GRAUPNER (1683-1760): Concerti for 2 Horns, Timpani and Strings, for Bassoon and Strings, for Clarino and Strings, for Recorder and Strings & for 2 Clarini, Timpani and Strings. Less virtuosic than his harpsichord partitas (due to the quality or availability of the musicians in the Darmstadt court orchestra), Graupner's concertos are notable for their play of light and shade, instrumental color and his knowledge of the character of each of the (sometimes rather less-used) instruments. The bassoon concerto, almost twice as long as any of the other works here, is a particularly fine example and is more technically demanding as well. Antichi Strumenti. Stradivarius STR 33581 (Italy) 01E017 $17.98

Fiesta Criolla - A fête celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe in Sucre in 1718 with music by ROQUE JACINTO DE CHAVARRÍA (1688-1719) and songs and dances from the indigeneous Andean inhabitants. This is another in the popular genre of recreations of musical events from the past, this time of a fiesta in Sucre (Bolivia) for the Virgin of Guadalupe. About half of the 78 minutes of music consists of villancicos and Salve services in Castilian by the Spanish/Indian composer Chavarría and the other half works in both "serious" and "popular" styles by known younger contemporaries and anonymous pieces. Comes with a free, limited edition DVD of the performance last May in Moselle after which this recording was made. Spanish-French texts. Ensemble Elyma, Ars Longa de La Havane, Cor Vivaldi, Els Petits Cantors de Catalunya; Gabriel Garrido. K617 139 (France) 01E018 $17.98

JOHANN DAVID HEINICHEN (1683-1729): Concerto a 7 in G for 2 Oboes, 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Continuo, Concerto in G Minor for Oboe and Strings, Ouverture in G, Concerto in A for Oboe d'Amore and Strings, Concerto in D for Violin and Strings, Ouverture in G for 2 Oboes, Bassoon and Strings. Never a practitioner of the complex North German baroque style (and, in any event, with much of his music meant for festive court occasions), Heinichen's style mixes French, German and Italian elements and many of the works recorded here have the sunny and lively quality of Vivaldi. Il Fondamento; Paul Dombrecht. Passacaille 921 (Belgium) 01E019 $17.98

CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Trio Sonatas in A and in A Minor for Flute, Violin and Continuo, Sonata in G for Flute and Harpsichord, Sonata in B Minor for Violin and Harpsichord, Sonata in C for Viola da Gamba and Continuo. Chamber music by this Bach is rather rare so this new release, which offers items from a 30 year period in his career is valuable for the light it throws upon this aspect of his creativity. The two trio sonatas are very early (1731 and 1735) and are suave, galant and florid, more Telemann than J.S. Bach! The 1746 gamba sonata combines elegant sweetness with moments of Sturm und Drang emotion and the flute sonata (1754) might have entertained Frederick the Great, Bach's employer, although he almost certainly couldn't have played it. The 1763 violin sonata, however, looks ahead to the classical period in its siciliano final movement. Music's Re-creation. Centaur CRC 2556 (U.S.A.) 01E020 $16.98

WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784): Flute Concerto in D, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Flute Concerto in D, LEOPOLD HOFMANN (1738-1793): Flute Concerto in D. From the 1740s on, Berlin became the center of the flute-playing and -composing world with Frederick the Great its huge benefactor. This new release makes use of scores from the Berlin Sing-Akademie which had been unavailable since World War II. This is the only copy of W.F. Bach's 1774 concerto while C.P.E.'s was known only in a harpsichord version. Christian Gurtner (transverse flute), Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselböck. CPO 999 888 (Germany) 01E021 $15.98

JOHANNES SPECH (?1767-1836): 3 String Quartets, Op. 2. Collectors who have enjoyed the Festetics Quartet's earlier resurrections of early classical string quartets by Bengraf and Grill will welcome all the more this trio of works in the high Classical style by a Hungarian composer who spent most of his career in Budapest. A student of Haydn, Spech is known, if at all, for his experiments in the early Hungarian romantic song, but these quartets show a familiarity with all the important composers of the period. The quartets' polyphonic elaboration shows thorough knowledge of Haydn's quartets, there is evidence of Beethoven's early quartets and a cantabile thematic invention evoking Schubert while Mozart's spirit is also in evidence. Festetics String Quartet. Hungaroton HCD 31945 (Hungary) 01E022 $16.98

LEOPOLD KOZELUCH (1747-1818): 19 Scottish Songs. Like Haydn, Beethoven, Weber, Hummel and Pleyel, Kozeluch was also induced by the Scottish folksong collector George Thomson to arrange tunes for voice and piano (or piano trio) and the Bohemian composer contributed 110 Scottish settings (less than a third of the number Haydn ultimately supplied!) in which collectors will find the familiar clashes between authentic folk music and Viennese classical harmony. Texts included. Henk Lauwers (baritone), Diane Andersen (fortepiano). Talent 76 (Belgium) 01E023 $15.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): David, König in Jerusalem. Oddities of this sort (literally defined as "pastiches") turn up in contemporary sources fairly frequently but they are unusual when created in the 20th century as this one has been by the German stage director, dramaturg and librettist Richard Bletschacher (b.1936). The majority of the work consists of the Italian cantata Davide penitente, K.469 (itself based by Mozart entirely upon his C Minor mass, K.427) and the music to Thamos, König in Ägypten, K.345. With texts translated into German and with five Mozart concert arias thrown in (as well as a piece of the Flute and Harp concerto for David's harp playing), this 1998 "scenic oratorio" seems to have had significant success in its Munich premiere. As none of the music is at all altered (and most of it is not very well-known), this may appeal to lovers of Mozart and collectors of true oddities! 2 CDs. German texts. Sibylla Rubens (soprano), Alison Browner (mezzo), Christian Elsner (tenor), Bavarian Radio Choir, Munich Radio Orchestra; Leopld Hager. Orfeo C 173 022 H (Germany) 01E024 $37.98

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791): Die Zauberflöte (arr. H. Ehrenfried). Here Mozart's arranger is a contemporary whose name actually appears on the published work. Mozart's last opera produced a flood of arrangements, especially since the composer did not live long enough to do his own or to oversee others'. Ehrenfried manages to reproduce all of the stylistic variety of the score with this arrangement for flute quartet with principal vocal parts given to the flute and others to the strings. Konrad Hünteler (flute), Rainer Kußmaul (violin), Jürgen Kußmaul (viola), Roel Dieltiens (piano). MD&G 311 1138-2 (Germany) 01E025 $17.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Mass in B Flat, Op. 77, Mass in D, Op. 111, Alma virgo for Soprano and Orchestra. Hummel took up where Haydn left off writing masses for the name day of Princess Esterhazy and he produced five, all of which will be recorded by Chandos. The two here date from 1808 and 1810 and have no soloists. Wind instruments are often given prominence, the Glorias and Credos are the most majestic portions, ending in fugal sections while both masses end quietly, quite unlike the exultant closes of Haydn's masses. The Alma virgo of 1805, in which a solo oboe is also prominent, does, however, have the Haydnesque splendor often absent in the larger-scale works. Susan Gritton (soprano), Collegium Musicum 90; Richard Hickox. Chandos 0681 (England) 01E026 $16.98

JACQUES WIDERKEHR (1759-1823): Sonatas in E Minor and in F for Fortepiano and Oboe, Trios in C and in D Minor for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon. Born in Strasbourg, Widerkehr sought his fortune in Paris in 1783 and wrote 15 sinfonia concertantes in which winds were often prominent, as befits a public enthusiastic for them as well as soloists and instrument makers who were constantly improving flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons. His two sonatas are reminiscent of Mozart and Beethoven in their fantasy and freedom while the trios are written like miniature symphonies with a broad and refined pallette of expression. Omar Zoboli (oboe), Felix Renggli (flute), Alberto Guerra (bassoon), Jean-Jacques Dünki (fortepiano). Pan Classics 510 119 (Switzerland) 01E027 $18.98

CARLOS BAGUER (1768-1808): Symphonies in E Flat, B Flat & in E Flat. This Catalan composer produced symphonies in late Classical style in four movements (with pairs of oboes and horns with strings) which are in the spirit of Haydn, remarkable since the courts of Spain were dominated by Italian influence. Until these recordings appeared in 1985, Baguer was not known as a symphonist; if you missed this release on its first appearance, don't hesitate now! Queen Sofia Chamber Orchestra; Gonçal Comellas. Original 1985 Ensayo release. Ensayo ENY-CD-9741 (Spain) 01E028 $16.98

LAURO ROSSI (1810-1885): Il Domino Nero. Although he wrote 29 works for the stage, Rossi was primarily known as a teacher and administrator, spending 28 years as director of the Milan, and then, Naples Conservatories. One of his contemporaries, noted librettist Felice Romani, considered him to be Donizetti's successor in opera buffa, so every collector of the genre should be pleased to make the acquaintance of this work which was premiered in 1849. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Chiara Taigi (soprano), Luis Damaso (tenor), Mario Buda (baritone), Coro Lirico Marchigiano "Vincenzo Bellini", Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana; Bruno Aprea. Bongiovanni GB 2328/9 (Italy) 01E029 $33.98

LORENZO PEROSI (1872-1956): La Trasfigurazione di N.S. Gesù Cristo. This 1898 oratorio followed Perosi's brilliant success with La Passione etc., and uses the same eclectic mix of styles, Gregorian melodies, Renaissance polyphony, Bach, Handel and Wagner which struck a common chord in the Italian music-loving public of the turn of the 20th century. Simple, self-effacing, devotional, full of warm, sentimental melodies in a style of lyrical sincerity, this work contains a characteristic directness and unaffectedness of expression and deep religious feeling. Latin-English texts. Gianni Puddu (tenor), Franco Podda, Marco Camastra (baritones), Carlo Tallone(bass), Ensemble vocale "Fons amoris", Coro "Polifonica 10", Orchestra "Nuova cameristica" di Milano; Arturo Sacchetti. Bongiovanni GB 2296 (Italy) 01E030 $16.98

KARL PILSS (1902-1979): Sonatine for Oboe and Guitar, SIR ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Oboe Quintet, ROBERT HENRIQUES (1858-1914): Suite for Oboe and Piano, FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): 2 Interludes for Oboe and Piano (arr. Fenby), PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935): Alla Gitana for Oboe and Piano, PIETRO LOCATELLI (1693-1764): Sonata in G for Oboe and Guitar. Bliss' 1927 quintet explores the combination of oboe and string sonorities in various ways, from a singing lyricism to rapid staccato effects, in a work written for Eugene Goossens and inspired by Bax's oboe quintet of five years earlier. Pilss (who just appeared with a trumpet sonata last month) provides a later work (from the 1970s) utterly relaxed and pastoral in effect while Henriques (another Dane, not to be confused with Fini Henriques) produced his equally delighful and outdoorsy suite in 1909. Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida (oboe) and other artists. Boston Records BR1050CD (U.S.A.) 01E031 $16.98

Choral Music of the 19th and 20th centuries bySchubert, Rossini, Rheinberger, Milhaud, Britten, Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Richard Strauss, Reger, Dvorák, Janácek, Mendelssohn, Arthur Sullivan, Kaj-Erik Gustafsson (b.1942), Alfred Koerppen (b.1926) and Bernd Englbrecht (b.1968). An unhackneyed concert of music for male choir which includes the rare nine-minute (longest piece here) The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard by Britten and five shorter works by younger representatives of the 20th century. No texts. Cantabile Limburg; Jürgen Faßbender. Carus 83.115 (Germany) 01E032 $17.98

New Titles from Acte Prealable

THOMAS D.A. TELLEFSEN (1823-1874): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - Valse in D Flat, op. 27, Ballade, Op. 28, Mazurka in A, Op. 33, Tarantelle, Op. 6, Nocturne in G Minor, Op. 17, Adagio et Rondo, Op. 10, 4 Mazurkas, Op. 3, Bruraslaatten, Op. 26, Huldredansen, Op. 9, Mélodies écossaises, Op. 42, Nocturne in F, Op. 2, Pavane de la Reine Elisabeth, Op. 44. This third and final volume from the Chopin friend/student and Norweigian composer/pianist domiciled in Paris brings more works whose titles would make you expect Chopin knock-offs but which turn out to have Norwegian musical roots for all that they may bear Polish dance titles. And, for the first time, we find three collections of dances titled with their original Norwegian names. Malgorzata Jaworksa (piano). Acte Prealable AP0064 (Poland) 01E033 $16.98 >

ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): Oberek, Pastorale e Danza, Burlesque, Introduction and Allegro, Pleiads, Capriccio, Espressioni, Spanish Fantasia, Niggunim - Hassidic Melodies, Capriccio in Blue. Although everything here except the 1955 Oberek comes from 1979 or later, these works are almost entirely based on dance, folk or popular sources (Espressioni, of 1990, is the most "advanced" of the pieces but it is still resolutely tonal) and the three largest-scale pieces, the 1979 Gershwin tribute, the Spanish Fantasia of 1985 and Niggunim (1991) are thoroughly enjoyable in their evocations of American jazz and blues, Iberian colors and, in the most authentic work here, musicologically speaking, melodies of the almost extinct Polish Hassidic culture. Andrzej Gebski (violin), Joanna Lawrynowicz (piano) Acte Prealable AP0089 (Poland) 01E034 $16.98 >

MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): Organ Works, Vol. 4 - Fantasia on the theme S-A-B-A, Sekwens, Dies Irae, Ecce Lignum Crucis, Canzona, Regina Poloniae, Stained Glass Windows. This fourth volume of Sawa's organ music offers more traditionally formulated pieces, the first three on the list above being bipartite "fantasy and fugue" compositions (the Fantasia on S-A-B-A commissioned for the 2001 dedication of the organ recorded here). The Canzona, too, closes with a fugue but it has some of the Gallic character of Jehan Alain and Stained Glass Windows is also French in its attention to color and sheer beauty of sound. Regina agreeably offers a folk-song and two church songs in an atmosphere of simple joy and celebration. Joachim Grubich, Jan Bokszczanin (organ of Peter and Paul Church, Warsaw). Acte Prealable AP0093 (Poland) 01E035 $16.98 >

TADEUSZ SZELIGOWSKI (1896-1963): Wind Quintet, GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1906-1969): Wind Quintet, Incrustations for Horn and Chamber Ensemble, WOJCIECH KILAR (b.1932): Wind Quintet. Szeligowski's 1950 piece is almost neo-romantic, Bacewicz' from 1932 almost primitively neo-classical and Kilar's from 1952 right in between. The late Incrustations (1965), while not exactly atonal, is concerned with sound and color rather than with themes and form. Cracow Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Acte Prealable AP0044 (Poland) 01E036 $16.98 >

ROBERT FUCHS (1847-1927): Fantasie in C, Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme, Fantasie in E Minor, Fantasie in D Flat. Fuchs did not write anything for the organ until 1909 and the D Flat Fantasie here dates from 1917, making these the works of an old, assured composer and they sound exactly like what you would expect given Fuchs' reputation as a melodist above all. The counterpoint uses real, memorable melodies and Fuchs' "serenade" mood is often evident with only a few abrupt rubato sections obtruding. Gorgeous stuff, even for non-rabid organ collectors. Peter Planyavsky (Rieger organ of St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna). Motette CD 12691 (Germany) 01E037 $16.98

Songs in Praise of Beer by JOHANN JACOB LOEWE VON EISENACH (1628-1703), MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806), CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826), EDUARD HERMES (1818-1905), VINZENZ LACHNER (1811-1893), LUDWIG LIEBE (1819-1900), FRANZ ABT (1819-1885), RUDOLPH TSCHIRCH (1825-1872), ALBERT ELLMENREICH (1816-1905), CARL REINECKE (1824-1910), GUSTAV MERKEL (1827-1885), ADOLF JENSEN (1837-1879). The notes to this unique collection point out the paltry number of lieder or opera arias devoted to the prosaic barley juice as opposed to the mass of such compositions devoted to wine (with prominent examples of each) and also note that the beer-songs here included often consider wine-drinkers to be decadent while beer-drinkers are down-to-earth types of fellows! (Did you know that Richard Strauss' mother was a member of the Pschorr brewing family?). There's really not much more to say than to point out that there's also a song here called "Hangover Breakfast". What more could beer-drinkers need? German texts. Jürgen Ochs, Martin Nagy (tenors), Claus Temps, Hans-Jürgen Förter-Barth, Ulrich Braun (basses), Ira Maria Witoschynskyj, Joachim Draheim (piano). Antes Edition BM-CD 31.9133 (Germany) 01E038 $17.98

La Rimembranza (Il Salotto, Vol. 5)

Songs, Duets and Trios by VINCENZO GABUSSI (1800-1857), ANTONIO CARLOS GOMES (1836-1896), COUNT GIUSEPPE PONIATOWSKI (b.1816), SIR MICHAEL COSTA (1808-1884), LUIGI ARDITI (1822-1903), COUNT MARCO AURELIO MARLIANI (1805-1849), CARLO PEDROTTI (1817-1893), COUNT POMPEO BELGIOJOSO (b.1800), GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901). This latest in Opera Rara's survey of 19th century salon songs focuses on London and Milan where nationalistic passions ran high in the latter but only opera-house politics in the former. No matter, with one minor exception, even Milan was only up for having fun with its cast of home-grown and imported (Polish royalty) talent and the recording even manages to serve up a world premiere recording of a recently discovered Verdi song. Italian-English texts. Jennifer Larmore, Majella Cullagh (sopranos), Bruce Ford,Antonio Siragusa (tenors), Manuela Custer (contralto), Russell Smythe (baritone), David Harper (piano). Opera Rara ORR223 (England) 01E039 $18.98

FRANCO ALFANO (1876-1954): Cyrano de Bergerac. How do you know Alfano? As the composer who competed Puccini's Turandot? The 1980 Grove agrees; not too complimentary about this opera, though: "...still capable, on occasion, of a truly moving pathos." (Yeah, but wouldn't we like to hear his two symphonies?). The Opera Grove (1994) has condemned him as purveying "the official simplistic neo-classical style of Italian fascist music" and that his post-1927 scores "have largely been forgotten". So, this 1936 commedia eroica based on the immortal Rostand source will have the anti-fascists after unwary buyers, eh? The work breathes a haunted, nocturnal atmosphere which is bittersweet, fragile and dreamlike (at one point, the vocal writing is influenced by Debussy's Pelléas, at another, Mussorgsky is suggested in its Oriental atmosphere) and a short appreciation by the recording's conductor notes the composer's tonal richness, musical originality and ability to evoke a wealth of tone colors from a standard orchestra with traditional instruments. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Manuela Uhl (soprano), Roman Sadnik (tenor), Simon Pauly (baritone), Kiel Opera Chorus, Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra; Markus Frank. CPO 999 909 (Germany) 01E040 $31.98

RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883-1944): I Cavalieri de Ekebù. Suddenly it's Zandonai season at Gala! After Conchita last month, we now have this opera from 1925 based on the same moralistic story which provided a role for Greta Garbo in the silent film "The Atonement of Gösta Berling". The composer experimented with harmony within the late-verismo tradition, with dissonant chords and percussive effects in the Act 2 "theatre music" which recall Puccini in Turandot (except that Turandot had not been premiered yet!). 2 CDs. No libretto. Budget-price. Mono. Live recording 1/16/57. With seven bonus tracks of Barbieri from various other Italian operas. Mirto Picchi (baritone), Fedora Barbieri (mezzo), Rina Malatrasi (soprano), Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the RAI, Milan; Alfredo Simonetto. Gala GL 100.711 (Italy) 01E041 $10.98

HENRIETTE RENIÉ (1875-1956): Harp Concerto in C Minor, GABRIEL PIERNÉ (1863-1937): Concert Piece in G Flat, Op. 39, CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Concert Piece in G, Op. 154, FRANÇOIS-ADRIEN BOÏELDIEU (1775-1834): Harp Concerto in C, Op. 82. The main treat here is the world premiere recording of Renié's 1901 concerto. A soloist and pedagogue, she embodied the tradition of French harp playing before Lily Laskine took up the thread and her concerto, as might be expected, is a dream for harpists to play, full of virtuosic technical technical demands but full of the Gallic classical spirit and a worthy piece to follow Saint-Saëns (as it does here, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic's 29-year-old solo harpist). Xavier de Maistre (harp), Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie; Shao-Chia Lü. Claves CD 50-2206 (Switzerland) 01E042 $16.98

ERNST TOCH (1887-1964): Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 38, Peter Pan, A Fairy Tale for Orchestra, Op. 76, Pinocchio: A Merry Overture, Big Ben: Variation Fantasy on the Westminster Chimes, Op. 62. This new release ensures that cpo doesn't get all the glory in the current spate of Toch recordings. Three of these are early works, the piano concerto dating from 1926 when its chromatic atonality was cutting-edge for its day although its affinities with neo-classicism (and clear melodic contours) contrast with the dark expressionism many Germanic composers were producing at that time. Big Ben (1934) was at one time Toch's best-known work and it is a tour-de-force in its varying (and often cleverly hiding) the famous bell-tune in orchestration which is always light and airy. Pinocchio (1935) has many reminders of Bartók and Prokofiev in its short, 7-minute span while the latest piece here, 1956's Peter Pan (originally just "A Fairy Tale" until Toch's son-in-law suggested, three years after the Disney film, that he add this to the title) is Mendelssohn for the 20th century, airy and elfin, with an evolving tonality which gets halfway to atonality but never alerting the listener as to its "modernity". Todd Crow (piano), North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg; Leon Botstein. New World 80609 (U.S.A.) 01E043 $16.98

ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 28, ANDRÉ JOLIVET (1905-1974): Violin Sonata, JEAN MARTINON (1910-1976): Duo, Op. 47 "Musique en forme de Sonate", OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992): Thème et Variations. The largest-scale work here is the misleadingly titled "Duo" by Martinon from 1956 which is a four-movement sonata lasting over 25 minutes. Here and there jazz rhythms help to carry along a work which is dark in character, not unlike Bartók in places, Honegger in others and also with some roots still in late Romanticism. Roussel's 1925 sonata uses an Indian mode in its first movement and blues rhythms in the second subject while the final two movements are a slow, melodic one and a fast, rhythmically varied finale. Jolivet's work must have seemed quite avant-garde in 1932: the instruments usually are busy with their own material and seem rarely to work together, melody is not very much in evidence, giving way to dense counterpoint and many passages which point to Jolivet's teacher at the time - Edgard Varèse. Felicia Terpitz (violin), Bernhard Fograscher (piano). Amati ami 2101/1 (Germany) 01E044 $17.98

HENRI MARTEAU (1874-1934): Clarinet Quintet, Op. 13, MAX REGER (1873-1916): Clarinet Quintet, Op. 146. Reger and Marteau, a French-born violinist, were close friends until a remarkable event involving a sodden-drunk Reger and his vicious wife (who both accused Mrs. Marteau of getting him drunk- 22 glasses of beer are mentioned - and then beat the stuffing out of her husband) one night in 1910 led to their estrangement. (Now that's what liner-notes should be!) Still, although collectors will be familiar with Reger's last major work, full of autumnal colors and an atmosphere of regret and resignation, many will not know Marteau's work for the same forces from 1906 which shares with Reger's the same predilection for moderate tempos to highlight the clarinet's singing tone and the same "prosaic" style of composition with free-flowing structures not tied to classical forms. Ensemble Acht. Thorofon CTH 2428 (Germany) 01E045 $16.98

DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921): Cerdaña (5 Études pittoresques), Baigneuses au Soleil, En Vacances (1st volume). Séverac was French by nationality but by nature he faced south, which is why he appears on this new label usually devoted to Spanish and Catalan composers. Now that the EMI complete set of piano music is out-of-print, this disc is a good way to meet a composer who, in such pieces as Bagneuses, descriptive of outdoor scenes, sounds more than a bit like Debussy but who, when painting colorful pictures of festivals, church bells (as in Cerdaña), adopts the romanticism of Albéniz or Mussorgsky. Albert Attenelle (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0040 (Spain) 01E046 $18.98

VICTOR EWALD (1860-1935): Brass Quintets Nos. 1-3, Opp. 5-7, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Petite Suite for Brass Septet, Tiera for Brass Septet and Percussion. Every now and then a new recording of some or all of the Russian Ewald's quintets appears and their lyricism and sheer musicality strike even non-brass fans while his understanding of the developing idiom of the brass quintet is what mainly interests aficionados. Sibelius wrote a handful of pieces for brass ensemble which are not often heard and these brief works, which add a cornet and tenorhorn to the usual quintet instruments (and percussion in the case of the 1899 Tiera), are a tribute to the brass bands which were part of Finnish musical life from the composer's early childhood. The Wallace Collection (on period instruments). Deux-Elles DXL 1042 (England) 01E047 $16.98

BOHUSLAV MARTINU (1890-1959): String Quartets Nos. 3 & 6, Duo for Violin and Cello, 3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola. The third quartet, written in Paris in 1929, has elements of contemporary French influence as well as occasional Debussian textures while the sixth, from New York in 1946 has some of the infectious ostinato rhythms of the contemporary symphonies but is even more noteworthy for its Bartókian textures and rhythms. The fill-ups are of similar provenance, the duo from 1927 and the Madrigals from 1947, although more suited to private musicmaking. Martinu Quartet. Naxos 8.555783 (New Zealand) 01E048 $6.98

In Flanders' Fields, Vol. 29

VICTOR LEGLEY (1915-1994): Concertino for Oboe and Strings, Op. 100, WILLEM KERSTERS (1929-1998): Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra, Op. 2, JACQUES LEDUC (b.1932): Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra, Op. 10, FRITS CELIS (b.1929): Kareol for English Horn and Orchestra, Op. 61b, AUGUST DE BOECK (1865-1937): Fantasy for Oboe and Orchestra. Everything here is tonal, most of it is a neo-classical vein (De Boeck's little fantasy is a late Romantic ray of sunshine on a cloudy day) with Leduc expanding tonality a little bit and Celis striking the only minor-key note with his short piece using as title Parsifal's castle and which affects a lonely and desolate atmosphere. Piet van Bockstal (oboe, english horn), Czech Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra (Brno); Herman Engels. Phaedra 92029 (Belgium) 01E049 $16.98 >

FRÉDÉRIC DEVREESE (b.1929): Benvenuta, ENNIO MORRICONE (b.1928): Primo Studio (from 4 Studi) for Solo Piano, ADRIAN WILLIAMS (b.1956): Jizo, NINO ROTA (1911-1979): Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992): Verano Porteño. Concert pieces by film composers for clarinet, cello and piano (except for Morricone's etude which closes the disc and which, with its ingenious construction and quiet hypnotic intensity makes us want to hear its three fellows). Rota's work will probably be familiar to collectors by now; Devreese's comes from a film of the same name which is South American in its language ("Dream", "Habanera", "Valse" and "Tango") and has the same sort of fatalistic, worldly weariness as much of Piazzolla's work; Williams' triptych is the piece which sounds most like actual film music in its depiction of three Japanese gods who protect children. New Art Trio. Phaedra Classics 292013 (Belgium) 01E050 $16.98 >

LUDOLF NIELSEN (1876-1939): String Quartet No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 5, String Quartet No. 3 in C, Op. 41. Nielsen only wrote three quartets but these two are valuable additions to the recorded repertoire. Coming from 1904, the second is in cyclic form with an outdoorsy, wide-open-spaces feel to its first movement, a scherzo reminiscent of Danish fiddler's music, a funeral march and an energetic and ambitious finale which ties up the cyclic thematic threads. Dating from 1920, the third is painfully autobiographic in its third movement lament for Nielsen's parents, dead during the world-wide flu epidemic during World War I, and which has an intensity of feeling approaching Mahler, and a finale in which happy memories of childhood and folk music do battle with the shocks of war and loss, ultimately winning in the end. The utterly delightful first two movements are those memories of childhood (a sunlit pastorale) and another pastiche of fiddler's music (which Nielsen played in his youth). Aros Quartet. CPO 999 698 (Germany) 01E051 $15.98

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): 3 Poèmes, Chrysilla, Roses du Soir, The Poplars, l'Heure Exquise, Vocalise, I was not Sorrowful, l'Étang, Hymne à Aphrodite, Apparition, Le Faune, Les Chats, La Dernière Fête Galante, 3 Fêtes Galantes, l'Irrémédiable, Arabesque. Here is an opportunity to encounter another facet of this extraordinary composer. Unlike the piano works which make up the bulk of his output, Sorabji's songs are relatively straightforward and, while not undemanding, do not imply the superhuman levels of performance with which his music has become associated, and all are of 'normal' length for concert songs of their type. For one thing, they are mostly early - with the exception of the 1941 Trois poèmes and l'Irremédiable of 1927, all are from 1920 or before, and betray the composer's influences at that time (Debussy, Ravel and Szymanowski, predominantly) to a greater extent than all but the earliest piano works. Although songs form a small part of his output, the voice was of tremendous importance in Sorabji's musical thinking - some of his finest musical commentary in his books and reviews was on the subject of singers and singing, so it is certainly valuable to be able to hear these works from time to time. Texts and translations included. Elizabeth Farnum (soprano), Margaret Kampmeier (piano). Centaur CRC 2613 (U.S.A.) 01E052 $16.98

JOAQUÍN NIN-CULMELL (b.1908): 3 poemas de Gil Vicente, 4 canciones populares de Salamanca, 4 cantiones populares de Cataluña, 4 canciones populares de Andalucia, 5 canciones tradicionales españolas, 6 canciones populares sefardies, 2 canciones populares cubanas, Canciones de la barraca, Si ves un monte de espumas. For lovers of folk song this is a trove of 34 treasures which Nin-Culmell set over most of his career, the earliest dating from 1950 and the latest from as late as 1997. Unlike Roberto Halffter and Gerhard, Nin-Culmell stayed firmly in the late 19th century tradition exemplified by Granados, Albéniz and Falla and there are no startling "modernisms" to be found. The lack of texts is less of an issue here since the songs are traditional and of a simple nature. No texts. Elena Gragera (mezzo), Anton Cardó (piano). Columna Musica 1CM0053 (Spain) 01E053 $18.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, For String Quartet and Piano: Largo risoluto Nos. 1 & 2, Adagio cantabile "The Innate" , Hallowe'en, Scherzo "Holding Your Own" for String Quartet, Adagio sostenuto for English Horn, String Quartet and Piano. Ives' complete works including string quartet are included here with perhaps the least-known being the two Largo risoluto items from 1906 which are darkly brooding pieces of around three minutes in which Ives' proves himself to be way ahead of Schoenberg in terms of atonal construction. The first quartet (1898-1902) exhibits a wide stylistic range with archaism cheek-by-jowl with innovation (and the expected hymn tunes included) and which points toward the mature second quartet of 1907-13 and its humor, brooding thought, experimentation and metaphysical vision. Leipzig String Quartet, Steffen Schleiermacher (piano), Yeon-Hee Kwak (english horn). MD&G 307 1143-2 (Germany) 01E054 $17.98

Ovation, Volume 2 - Five CDs - 5 Canadian Composers

This new volume of Canadian music, with each CD devoted to a single composer, is rather more attractive than the first in that there is more orchestral music and less of the "bittiness" and bewildering variety of genres which plagued its predecessor.

VIOLET ARCHER (1913-2000): Sonata for Flute, Clarinet and Piano, Landscapes for Chorus, 4 Songs for Contralto and Piano, 10 Folksongs for 4 Hands for Piano Four Hands, Divertimento for Saxophone Quartet, Prairie Profiles for Baritone, Horn and Piano, Sonata for Solo Cello (final movement). Aulos Trio, Festival Singers of Canada; Elmer Iseler, Maureen Forrester (contralto), John Newmark (piano), Pierre Beaudet & Guy Bourassa (piano), The Swinging Bovines, Harold Wiens (baritone), David Hoyt (horn), Janet Scott (piano), Shauna Rolston (cello). Archer was inspired by folk material and her studies with Bartók influenced her to collect Canadian and Native American folk-songs which she harmonized, exemplified here by the 1953 set of French-Canadian, Inuit and Nova Scotian folk songs. Her 1944 flute/clarinet sonata has a Gallic charm and transparency with a hint of Martinu in the first movement. The vocal works are vivid depictions, especially the 1980 Prairie Profiles, which reflect the timlessness and vastness of the Canadian grasslands. OSKAR MORAWETZ (b.1917): Carnival Overture, Divertimento for Strings, 3 Songs for Baritone and Piano, Four Contrasting Moods for Piano, Oboe Sonata, Overture to a Fairy Tale. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; Kazuhiro Koizumi, Symphony Nova Scotia; Georg Tintner, Mark Pedrotti (baritone), Stephen Ralls (piano), Francine Kay (piano), Roger Cole (oboe), Linda Lee Thomas (piano), Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; Uri Mayer. Born in Czechoslovakia, Morawetz fled the Nazis and finally arrived in Canada in 1940. Melody was always important to him and his Czech background is plainly evident in the Carnival Overture of 1947 and the string Divertimento of the following year. The later works lose the Czech influences, with the 1956 overture colorful in a general, Germanic way while the oboe sonata and Contrasting Moods, both from 1986, are strongly characterized psychological studies which repay repeated listening. JEAN PAPINEAU-COUTURE (1916-2000): Suite for Piano, 3 Caprices for Violin and Piano, String Quartet No. 2, Départ for Solo Flute, Idée for Piano, Piano Trio. André-Sébastien Savoie (piano), Steven Staryk (violin), Lise Boucher (piano), Orford String Quartet, Robert Aitken (flute), Louis-Philippe Pelletier (piano), Trio Hochelaga. Papineau-Couture studied under Boulanger and moved stylistically from a polymodal, polytonal neo-classicism toward a tonal/atonal chromaticism. The 1943 piano suite is neo-classical and each piece is really an etude addressing a particular playing technique and the 1962 Caprices are still largely neo-classical. The quartet (1967) exhibits a chromaticism aquired from Hindemith in its working of short and persistent motives while Idée (1982) moves farther into the creation of unusual pianistic sounds without playing inside the instrument. The 1997 trio shows a late style with clearly structured, sharp-edged forms, a modernist language and a kind of Apollonian distance. MALCOLM FORSYTH (b.1936): Jubilee Overture, 3 Métis Songs from Saskatchewan for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Fanfare and Three Masquerades for Horn and Wind Nonet, The Kora Dances for Harp Four Hands, 3 Love Poems of John Donne for Chorus, Sketches from Natal for Orchestra. Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; Uri Mayer, Judith Forst (mezzo), CBC Vancouver Orchestra; Mario Bernardi, Carol Lavell (horn), Canadian Chamber Ensemble; Raffi Armenian, Nora Bumanis & Julia Shaw (harp), Pro Coro Canada; Bo Holten, CBC Vancouver Orchestra; Mario Bernardi. Born in South Africa, Forsyth emigrated to Canada in 1968 and the Jubilee Overture dates from his South African days (1963), a youthful work of assured orchestration and festive themes and lively rhythms. Sketches from Natal (1970) recalls childhood experiences hearing Zulu music while the Fanfare... is a humorous work which uses motives of Brahms, Myaskovsky and Schumann. R. MURRAY SCHAEFER (b.1933): Concerto for Harpsichord and 8 Wind Instruments, In Memoriam Alberto Guerrero for Orchestra, Son of Heldenleben for Orchestra and Tape, Epitaph for Moonlight for Chorus, East for Orchestra, Dream Rainbow Dream Thunder for Orchestra. The concerto (1954) was Schafer's first large-scale piece and its breezy, sophisticated neo-classical personality is instantly engaging and the 1959 In Memoriam is gorgeous lament with echoes of film-score about it. Son of Heldenleben (1968) moves into more avant-garde territory with its assembling of note series drawn from the first theme of Strauss' tone-poem while East (1972) assigns 48 arbitrary pitch values to the words of a text from the Upanishads to create a quiet, meditative piece and Dream Rainbow... (1986) is a luminous fantasy with rapid fluctuations in mood and orchestral color. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Mario Bernardi, Montréal Symphony Orchestra; Franz-Paul Decker, Festival Singers of Canada; Elmer Iseler, National Arts Centre Orchestra; Mario Bernardi, Esprit Orchestra; Alex Pauk. 5 CDs for the price of 2. CBC Perspective PSCD 2027-5 (Canada) 01E055 $33.98

African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. 3

DAVID BAKER (b.1931): Cello Concerto, COLERIDGE-TAYLOR PERKINSON (b.1932): Generations: Sinfonietta No. 2 for Strings, WILLIAM BANFIELD (b.1961): Essay for Orchestra, MICHAEL ABELS (b.1962): Global Warming. Abels' 1990 piece ingeniously offers an Irish jig, stops and then offers a Middle Eastern tune which is then remarkably transformed before our ears back into the jig, as an example of the "one world" philosophy which flourished in the aftermath of the collapse of the "other" superpower. Baker is a jazz instrumentalist who also writes classical music and his 1975 concerto for Janos Starker is generally tonal with some modern sound effects with jazz only entering into the third movement. In somewhat similar manner, although with more elements of contemporary popular music and a strongly rhythmic sensibility, is Banfield's Essay (1994), adapted from a movement from a percussion concerto. Perkinson's is the newest piece (1996) and also the most traditional - a four-movement work with the B-AC-H motif as a unifying factor but which also uses American popular songs ("Mockingbird" and "Li'l Brown Jug"), African elements and traditional forms (second movement sarabande and third movement burletta) to literally and figuratively celebrate the concept of inclusiveness. Katinka Kleijn (cello), Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman. Cedille CDR 90000 066 (U.S.A.) 01E056 $16.98

GOTTFRIED VON EINEM (1918-1996): Verdehr-Trio, Op. 97, ERNST KRENEK (1900-1991): Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 107, FRIEDRICH SCHOLZ (b.1926): Thema and Variations for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, ALBAN BERG (1885-1935): Adagio of Chamber Concerto (arr. Berg). 20th century works for clarinet trio, the earliest being Berg's own transcription of the second movement of his chamber concerto done for his 50th birthday in 1935 in which Schoenberg's influence is telling although the work was not strictly dodecaphonic. Krenek's little, 8-minute piece from 1946 is loosely based on Schoenberg's technique but seems tonal due to the way the composer manipulates his material. Von Einem wrote his trio in 1992 for the Verdehr Trio and it is probably the most traditional of the works recorded here, in the traditional four movements and a free tonality. Scholz' piece (1998) is also in a freely treated tonality with a simple melody easily followed through its variations. Trio Contrasts. Cybele 351.001 (Germany) 01E057 $16.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - 12 Bagatelles, 3 Elegiac Pieces, Sonata Seria. The 1952 Bagatelles are purely 12-tone pieces which have poignantly descriptive titles and which demonstrate admirably how a composer can write beautiful and compelling serial music if he really wants to. Two of the Elegiac Pieces come from the mid-1940s but were revised when the third was composed in 1998. With a clear emotional progression and quotes which indicate the context of the piece, these are in turn, a regal yet anguished funeral march, an elegy and a brooding and fearsome contemplation from the vantage point of old age. The sonata was written in 1948 but not published until four years ago and it, too, is grave and serious, using a dense chromatic vocabulary and clearly presented traditional forms. Evan Hirsch (piano). Gasparo GSCD-354 (U.S.A.) 01E058 $16.98

ORLANDO JACINTO GARCÍA (b.1954): Paisaje del Sonido II for Double Bass, String Quartet, Wind Chimes and Glasses, Entre el Anochecer y la Oscuridad for Viola and Orchestra, Imagenes Sonoros for Violin, Sombras Iluminadas for Orchestra. This Cuban emigré seems to be at some pains to make clear that his musical language is not explicitly 'Latin", and this seems to be the case, as most of his compositional emphasis seems to be on slowly evolving and largely meterless sonorous textures that frequently seem to have more in common with the central European avant-garde of the 1960s, though apparently without aleatoric elements and generally with more references to tonal harmony than one might expect to encounter in the works of Ligeti or Penderecki from that time. The most impressive work here is the one for the largest forces, Sombras illuminadas for large orchestra, an imaginary landscape of some considerable brooding power. Luis Gomez Imbert (double bass), Miami String Quartet, Angel Lemus (viola), Valencia Symphony Orchestra; Ernest Martinez Izquierdo, Robert Davidovici (violin), Malaga City Orchestra; Odon Alonso. CRI 900 (U.S.A.) 01E059 $17.98

ADOLF GEBAUER (b.1941): Violin Concerto, String Quartet C-B-B, Divertimento for Strings, Meditation and Fantasia for Organ. Polish-born, to a German father and Czech mother, Gebauer moved to Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II. His works are in an approachable, tonal idiom although motivic working-out prevails over melodic invention (the 1988 string quartet, in five movements inspired by paintings by a German artist, being the best example with everything originating in five-note cell) although the 1977 Divertimento shows how even this can produce music of richly contrasting emotion. The concerto (1979) might remind some of the dark, bustling works of Honegger or Bartók between the wars while the organ work of 1991 effectively contrasts lyrical and toccata-style passages in its brief, ten-minute span. JiÞi Tomáek (violin), Janácek Philharmonia; Jaroslav Soukup, Kocian String Quartet, Musici di Praga; Frantiek Vajnar, Joachim Dorfmüller (organ). Vars VA 0063-2 (Czech Republic) 01E060 $16.98 >

MILO· HAASE (b.1948): Clarinet Quartet, MIROSLAV PUDLÁK (b.1961): Give Me a Fixed Point (electro-acoustic), ROMAN ZDENE K NOVÁK (b.1967): A Look in the Mirror for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, VLASTISLAV MATOU·EK (b.1948): The Book of the 5 Rings (electro-acoustic), PAVEL KOPECK (b.1949): Ritorny for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, JI¤Í KOLLERT (b.1943): Kaleidoscope for Wind Octet. Haase's clarinet quartet of 1996, a short work whose four movements are tense and psychologically fraught, and Kollert's 1992 work for wind octet which has an overall cheerful and breezy manner, impelled by quaint fragments of melody and infectious rhythms, surround three electro-acoustic pieces (The Book of 5 Rings especially striking in its use of ambient sound recorded in three Japanese temples and one waterfall, punctuated with shakuhachi flute phrases) and Novák's short study in instrumental color and contrasts. Various artists incl. Collegium Musicum Pragense; Frantiek Vajnar. âesk Rozhlas CR 0116-2 (Czech Republic) 01E061 $14.98 >

EDUARD TUBIN (1905-1982): Symphonies Nos. 1-9, Toccata, Suite from the Ballet Kratt. As the Alba Tubin cycle seems to be in a hiatus due either to the label or its U.S. distributor (which is not clear to us), this long-overdue mid-price reissue of Järvi's first complete symphony cycle is all the more welcome, especially to those just discovering the composer. 5 CDs for the price of 3. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Neeme Järvi. BIS CD-1402/1404 (Sweden) 01E062 $53.98

MAURICE OHANA (1914-1992): Miroir de Célestine for Harpsichord and Percussion, 2 Pièces for Harpsichord, Sacral d'Ilx for Harpsichord, Oboe and Horn, Sarbande for Harpsichord and Orchestra, Solo Harpsichord: So Tango, Carillons, Tiento. All but one of Ohana's works involving the harpsichord are presented here along with two premiere recordings: Miroir de Célestine is a 1990 recompostion of elements from the composer's opera Célestine which falls into six sections and uses an extensive percussion ensemble (32 instruments). The music ranges from wild, African dances to voluptuous and luminous nocturnal depictions. So Tango is a brief and touching tribute from 1991 to the Argentinian tango master Carlos Gardel. The only work with orchestra, the 1947 Sarabande, is a piece of austere grandeur which works itself up to an impassioned climax before falling away again and the other large-scale piece, Sacral d'Ilx (1975), is Spanish in affect, the harpsichord often evoking the rasgueado of the guitar and at other times providing an evocative, silvery sound depicting the palm-grove of the Spanish town of the title. Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord), Béatrice Daudin (percussion), Fabrice Mélinon (oboe), Miklós Nagy (horn), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo. Timpani 1C1069 (France) 01E063 $18.98

GYÖRGY RÁNKI (1907-1992): King Pomádé's New Clothes. Originally written for the radio in 1950 and based on "The Emperor's New Clothes", this comic opera was revised for the stage in 1953 and this 1968 recording is of a further revised form. Utterly delightful, the work uses Hungarian folk styles (both urban and rural) and varieties of Western popular music - imagine a boogie-woogie which also sounds like a Brahms Hungarian dance - this occurs just before the end - and you'll have an idea of Ránki's talent for assimilation of different musical genres (More than a few times you are reminded of the Kodály of Hary János... and Kodály was one of Ránki's teachers). He is also witty and sharp in his ability to characterize with biting, grotesque results making this 74-minute delight a totally enjoyable spectacle. Hungarian-English libretto. József Gregor (bass), Sándor Palcsó (tenor), József Dene (baritone), Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus, Budapest Symphony Orchestra; Géza Oberfrank. Hungaroton HCD 31971 (Hungary) 01E064 $16.98

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Aleksis Kivi. The title character in this 1996 opera is the founding-father of Finnish-language literature who died insane at the age of 38 in 1872. Rautavaara, as usual, provided his own libretto which assures the closest possible relationship between words and music and much of the text is taken from poetry by Kivi (as well as works by his bitter rival August Ahlqvist who is also a character but whose vicious negativism is symbolized by the fact that his part is spoken word only. The struggle for acceptance by a starving artist is almost a stock topos in art yet Kivi's life reads like an over-the-top libretto in actual truth. Rautavaara's notes are a fascinating look into the mind of a composer and his discussion of his reasons for writing melody when he was trained in dodecaphony (and he uses both techniques simultaneously) is a sign-post for other composers to keep in mind. There is no chorus and the orchestra used is small (with the addition of a synthesizer in the third act when Kivi crumbles into alcohol-soaked madness) but the lovely melodies embedded in tougher music continually draw the listener along in this compelling tragedy. 2 CDs. English libretto. Jorma Hynninen (baritone), Lasse Pöysti (speaker), Eeva-Liisa Saarinen (mezzo), Jyväskylä Sinfonia; Markus Lehtinen. Ondine ODE 1000-2D (Finland) 01E065 $35.98

THEA MUSGRAVE (b.1928): Clarinet Concerto, Autumn Sonata for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, The Seasons. Two large-scale works for clarinet and orchestra, the second making great expressive use of the unusual and massive sonority of the bass clarinet, and an orchestral suite in four movements inspired by paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paint a vivid portrait of the dramatic range and compositional skill of the Scottish-born, U.S.-resident Musgrave, an individual and exciting voice in contemporary music. Showing not the least reluctance to use big sonorities and orchestral color to the maximum, Musgrave's music is as full of visual imagery as anything written in our time. Victoria Soames (clarinets), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Thea Musgrave. Original 1997 Cala release. Offered in August 1997 Records International catalogue. Clarinet Classics CC0035 (England) 01E066 $17.98

SIXTEN SYLVAN (b.1914): Horn Sonata, Op. 7, JOHAN KVANDAL (1919-1999): Introduction and Allegro for Horn and Piano, Op. 30, PAUL BASLER (b.1963): 3 Hymn Tune Settings, NIKOLAUS VON KRUFFT (1779-1818): Horn Sonata in E, FRANZ STRAUSS (1822-1905): Fantasie, Op. 2. This collection of unusual horn repertoire offers two pieces from Scandinavia, the Swede Sylvan's 1963 sonata which sets busy modernism next to lyrical, folk-influenced material, and the Norwegian Kvandal's short 1969 piece which also combines folk elements with modern tonalities. Basler's hymn tune settings are of two well-known items (Amazing Grace and Shall We Gather at the River) and one less so (Abide With Me), Richard Strauss' father offers a fantasy based on an obscure waltz by Schubert and Krufft's sonata (1812), the longest work here at 21 minutes, is in the transitionary stage from Classicism to Romanticism. Rebecca Dodson-Webster (horn), Richard Seiler (piano). Centaur CRC 2600 (U.S.A.) 01E067 $16.98

MICHAEL TORKE (b.1961): An American Abroad, Jasper, Rapture - Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra. If you never bought any of Torke's CD releases on Decca's now defunct Argo imprint in the 90s, this new release of his latest orchestral works from 1998-2001 will give you a good idea of why his music was described by Gramophone as "some of the most optimistic, youful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years". The rhythmic energy is constant, ebbing only to surge on later to even greater emotional effects and Torke writes infectious melodies which are supported by a shimmering orchestration partial to high brass and metal percussion. The 28-minute long Rapture is the most obvious example since it is a percussion concerto (the three movements are titled "Drums and Woods", "Mallets" and "Metals") and it reaches states of a ritualistic frenzy, but the other two works here are equally brilliant, insistent and inspiriting. Colin Currie (percussion), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; MarinAlsop. Naxos American Classics 8.5591967 (U.S.A.) 01E068 $6.98

JOBY TALBOT (b.1971): "...similarities between diverse things..." for Piano Trio and Vibraphone, String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Falling for Electric Cello, 6/11/98 for Piano, The Dying Swan for Piano Trio, Blue Cell for Saxophone Quartet, minus 1500 for String Quintet, Vibraphone and Bassoon. Talbot studied with Michael Nyman among others, so collectors will know already sort of what to expect. Active also as a pop musician and film-scorer, Talbot bridges the gap between popular and art music naturally. Half of this disc is devoted to music composed for a 1916 Russian silent film, The Dying Swan, and much of the rest of it has a quiet, dreamy quality (sometimes coming close to sentimentality) underpinned by minimalistic techniques which come and go. Only Falling, which exploits the electric cello's hard, upper edge (and which uses a guitar sample also at its climax) departs wholeheartedly from this ethos. The Duke Quartet, Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Joby Talbot (piano) and other artists. Black Box BBM 1078 (England) 01E069 $17.98

GAVIN BRYARS (b.1943): String Quartet No. 1 "Between the National and the Bristol", String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3. Bryars' three string quartets were all written since he turned away from experimentalism, and all share a slow, meditative and gently poignant atmosphere of long-breathed bittersweet lyricism and the absence of the kind of dialectic drama which has traditionally been the staple of quartet writing. This is not to say that they lack a kind of tension, and the use of scordatura tuning and extended passages in harmonics, as well as pulsating episodes of minimalistic static activity, prevent any suggestion of excessive simplicity or musical uneventfulness. Admirers of Bryars' approachable yet individual idiom will find much to relish here. The Lyric Quartet. Black Box BBM 1079 (England) 01E070 $17.98

GAVIN BRYARS (b.1943): 3 Songs for Vocalist and Orchestra, Violin Concerto "The Bulls of Bashan", By the Vaar for Double Bass and Orchestra, The Porazzi Fragment for Orchestra. Gavin Bryars' music can always be counted on to be readily accessible and harmonious, and because of his wide range of intellectual enthusiasms, to contain some unexpectedly challenging and thought-provoking reference or allusion. The three songs with ensemble set evocative and beautiful texts in a style which has something in common with nightclub jazz, something indefinable to do with the tragic resignation of certain works of Elgar, and a somber-hued sound-world related as closely to "The Swan of Tuonela" as anything else in the literature. Then we have the meditative and subtle concerto (more related to the slow movements of baroque concerti than the virtuosic Romantic idea of the genre), and the similar and ingenious Porazzi Fragment. By the Vaar with the composer as soloist, is related to an interlude in one of his operas and also pays tribute to his background in jazz. Holly Cole (vocalist), Gavin Bryars (double bass), CBC Radio Orchestra; Owen Underhill. CBC SMCD 5223 (Canada) 01E071 $16.98

KEVIN VOLANS (b.1949): String Quartet No. 1 "White Man Sleeps", String Quartet No. 2 "Hunting: Gathering", String Quartet No. 6. The South African's two most famous quartets, written (in the case of White Man Sleeps arranged from a work for harpsichords and viola da gamba) for the Kronos Quartet in 1982 and 1987 respectively, are well-known for their intriguing mix of minimalism and native African musical material. After the end of apartheid in his native country, however, Volans abandoned his experimentation with African-European cross-fertilization and his sixth quartet, of 2000, in one 24-minute movement, is an example of his new style in which he says his aim is "to strip music of its content". The empty canvases of Mondrian and Rothko are behind this new style but there is more going on than there often is in, say Feldman and Volans' previous compositional period still leaves significant traces. The Duke Quartet. Black Box BBM 1069 (England) 01E072 $17.98

LUCIANO BERIO (b.1925): Notturno, Sincronie, Glosse, String Quartet No. 1. The string quartet medium, always fertile ground for experimentation as well as a vehicle for composers' most intimate and personal expression, has been a recurring feature of Berio's output since the 1950s. The Quartet No. 1, a serial work, now sounds like an artifact of its time, though a formidably accomplished one. By the time of Sincronie, seven years later, a far greater degree of sensuality and emotional expressiveness had reasserted themselves, and it would not even be inappropriate to speak of melody, both here and in the significantly later Notturno (1993), shadowy and expressive as the title implies, and less reliant upon alternative playing techniques than had been the case in previous decades. Glosse, from as recently as 1997, suggests a vocabulary primer of modern string quartet gestures, largely unelaborated, but how very lyrical, even Romantic, a lot of these fragments sound! Of all the pieces here, this is the one that one might most easily imagine fitting into a program of Beethoven and Shostakovich quartets, and it is a tribute to the inspiration of the composer and the resilience of the quartet form that it would not seem out of place in such exalted company. Arditti String Quartet. Naïve/Montaigne MO 782155 (France) 01E073 $17.98

KIMMO HAKOLA (b.1958): Clarinet Quintet, loco for Solo Clarinet, Capriole for Bass Clarinet and Cello. A wild sense of humor and a huge joie de vivre inform the music of this Finnish composer. The 1997 quintet is a whopping 42 minutes long, with a 14-minute first movement full of manic activity with the strings chasing the clarinet-rabbit through dense textures while the second movement, twice as long, is tranquil and flowing with allusions to Oriental exoticism and Medieval polyphony wrapped up in romantic nostalgia through which the ecstatic clarinet weaves its eventful path. Capriole (1993) is a breezy and brilliant 9 minutes which takes an odd turn into pseudo-Mongolian folk music while loco is a truly demonic thing to do to a clarinettist who must play a million notes in 20 minutes without drawing a breath (while occasionally punching a bass drum at his side) and where snatches of everything from pop music to klezmer blasts by the listener at the speed of sound. Kari Kriikku (clarinet), Avanti! Quartet, Anssi Karttunen (cello). Ondine ODE 960-2 (Finland) 01E074 $17.98

CHRISTOS HATZIS (b.1953): De Angelis for 3 Mezzo-Sopranos, Soprano and Choir, Everlasting Light for Counter-Tenor, Tenor, Baritone, Percussion and Chorus, Fertility Rites for Marimba and Throat-Singers, Hunter's Dream for Flute Samples and Throat Singers, Footprints in New Snow: A Radio Documentary for Throat-Singers, String Quartet No. 1 "The Awakening". This set collects two categories of works by Hatzis, both based around the idea of the human voice and incorporating 'spiritual' ideas (in a somewhat "New Age" sense) and ingenious manipulations of acoustic material. Footprints is the title of a radio documentary about the Inuit, and especially their throat-singing techniques, a strange and almost inhuman sound, liberally sampled and incorporated into the 'radio-play' format in this work, and various instrumental combinations in the others. The musical material is readily accessible, with a strongly rhythmic element (frequently a kind of pulsating minimalism) alternating with soulful, ultra-romantic, 'tear-jerking' melodies. The choral works on the other disc originate in the one case with the strange and otherworldly music of Hildegard von Bingen and in the other, elements of Orthodox and Catholic ritual music, which address a musical interpretation of religious faith in a similar manner to that in which the Inuit pieces refer to the natural world and the 'nature-music' of those human societies popularly thought to be the most attuned to it. 2 CDs. Texts and translations included. Various soloists, Elmer Iseler Singers, Amadeus Chamber Singers; Lydia Adams, Annalee Pattipatanakoon, Carol Fujino (violins), Douglas Perry (viola), David Hetherington (cello). CBC MVCD 1156-2 (Canada) 01E075 $33.98

PHILLIP RHODES (b.1940): Reels and Reveries for Orchestra, 2 Appalachian Settings for String Quartet, Mountain Songs for High Voice and Piano, Fiddletunes for Solo Violin and Synthesized Strings. This is a collection of works derived from the songs and fiddle music of the Appalachian south where the composer was born in western North Carolina. The song-cycle, the longest work here and dating from 1976 (when this recording was made) uses traditional texts for four of its five pieces but Rhodes' own musical settings which are rather more modern than the other pieces offered here. Reels and Reveries (1992) is based on Bluegrass music and incorporates fragments of four fiddle-tunes while both Fiddletunes and the second movement of the Settings are the same work, the former a virtuosic study for solo fiddler and synthesized strings and the latter a transcription for quartet . Owensboro Symphony Orchestra; Michael Luxner, Veblen String Quartet, Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano), Anne Mayer (piano), Hector Valdivia (violin). Centaur CRC 2597 (U.S.A.) 01E076 $16.98

TERRY RILEY (b.1935): Keyboard Studies Nos. 1 & 2, STEFFEN SCHLEIERMACHER (b.1960): Hommage à RILEY-REICHlich verGLASSt. Hard-core minimalists will want to hear Schleiermacher's electronic solution to Rileys two Keyboard Studies in which a computer "plays" an electronic keyboard, making both the repetition and, in the second study, the five voices involved, possible to achieve. The scores for these works consist of a few musical formulas and a few pages of nebulous playing instructions, so this solution is as good as any. The pianist also contributes a 17-minute essay in the same genre (also for computer and keyboard). Steffen Schleiermacher (piano), Bernd E. Gengelbach (sound projection). MD&G 613 1135-2 (Germany) 01E077 $17.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 10 - Opening Dance, Furniture Music Etcetera, Suite for Toy Piano, Music for the Film "Works by Calder"for Prepared Piano, Four3 for 1 or 2 Pianos, 12 Rainsticks, Violin or Oscillator and Silence. This Cage series was planned for nine volumes until pianist Schleiermacher made some startling discoveries of scores previously thought lost: Opening Dance (c. 1942) which recalls the pieces for prepared piano although no preparation is specified and Furniture Music Etcetera, written in 1980 for Aki Takahashi and Yvar Mikhashoff and found in the latter's papers after his death. This 20-minute oddity uses quotations from Satie's Musique d'ameublement and passages from Cage's own Etcetera with performers given the choice of how, when and what to play. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano, toy piano, rainsticks), Andreas Seidel (violin). MD&G 613 0798-2 (Germany) 01E078 $17.98

POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Anima (Cello Concerto No. 2), The City in the Sea for Contralto and Orchestra, Paganini Variations (Guitar Concerto No. 2). Using that theme, the Paganini Variations (2000) open like Rachmaninov on LSD and it is nothing short of miraculous how Ruders manages to distort the famous theme during the course of its 22 variations and yet leaves the listener always aware of where it is and what he has done to it. The work is tonal and the soloist must be a super-virtuoso and though there are mighty outbursts of sound, this is not the violent and desolate Ruders of the 80s. In fact, with Anima (1993), Ruders takes Jung's personification of the feminine to heart and produces a prevailingly lyrical and, yes, melodic, concerto which has a gentleness which will shock (and, we hope, delight) hardcore collectors of this composer. The Rachmaninov theme is suggested again by the 1990 City in the Sea where Ruders sets Poe's poem (in English) in his own personal gothic, gloomy and blackly melancholy fashion where the dark contralto voice is always given prominence even though the (very large) orchestra provides wonderfully moody accompaniment. Text included. Michaela Fukacova (cello), Mette Ejsing (contralto), David Starobin (guitar), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Jan Wagner. Bridge 9122 (U.S.A.) 01E079 $16.98

PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Det åbne, Op. 2, Af Tue Bentsøns viser, Op. 27, 3 Magdalene-sange, Stjernespejl, Året, 5 Songs, Op. 14, Fred, Du skal plante et træ, Landskabsbillede, Golgatha, Drømmesang, Himmelfalden. A strong folk-like element runs through these fine songs for baritone and piano, which span Nørgård's career from youth through the last decade. Modality is the most frequently encountered harmonic idiom here, though in the works from the 1960s, when the composer was developing his personal sense of serialism, the results can sound somewhat in common with the vocal writing of the Second Viennese school. In the previous decade, the songs are relatively conventional and melodic, though never without originality, somewhat reminbniscent of Sibelius, especially in the economical yet telling piano accompaniments. The more recent songs return to a melodic simplicity that is both moving and gently profound. A glimpse of the intimate side of an important figure in 20th-century European music. Danish-English texts. Lars Thodberg Bertelsen (baritone), Per Nørgård (piano). Dacapo 8.224170 (Denmark) 01E080 $15.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Symphony No. 7, Ariosi su poesie di Torquato Tasso for Soprano, Violin and Orchestra. This new recording of Henze's 1984 symphony, written for the centenary of the Berlin Philharmonic, comes with notes which now reveal that the composer had seen the work as a kind of "Hölderlin Symphony" which deals with the poet's mental breakdown and the attempts to bring his mind back in the asylum through drug-use and torture (the diabolical scherzo comes in here). Rooted in tonality and in the Austro-Germanic symphonic tradition, this is a work to please collectors who don't care for Henze's earlier symphonies. The coupling is a 1963 song-cycle using texts by Tasso which reflect on the loss of love and which, while flirting with atonality, is generally in an expressionistic, freely tonal style. Italian-German texts. Christiane Oelze (soprano), Christian Ostertag (violin), SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg; Sylvain Cambreling. Hänssler Classic CD 93.047 (Germany) 01E081 $15.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): The Sin of Jesus for Flute, Horn, Trumpet and Cello, De Kooning for Horn, Percussion, Piano/Celesta, Violin and Cello, Samoa for Flute, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Harp, Vibraphone, Piano and Cello, For Aaron Copland for Solo Violin, [Untitled Film Music] for Flute, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Percussion and Double Bass, Jackson Pollock for 2 Cellos, Something Wild in the City: Mary Ann's Theme for Horn, Celesta and String Quartet. This hour-long collection of film music provides about as un-Feldmanesque music as you will find but even then, it only occurs in a few short parts of Samoa (a diatonic horn cantilena with harp arpeggios, a combination Satie/jazz section) and the untitled film score (an actual theme for horn and trumpet which is then treated in big-band style by six brass players). Elsewhere, the composer's propensity for short, epigraphic remarks and pregnant silences are evident even while the music is obviously illustrating something on screen that has a limited time reference for its action. Not for someone who wonders what Feldman is about; perfect for his devotees. All but Jackson Pollock and De Kooning are CD premieres. Ensemble recherche. Kairos 0012292KAI (Austria) 01E082 $16.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Edition, Vol. 5 - Journey to the End of Night for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Bassoon, 4 Songs to e.e. cummings for Soprano, Piano and Cello, The O'Hara Songs for Bass-Baritone, Chimes, Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello, Four Instruments for Chimes, Piano, Violin and Cello, Three Clarinets, Cello and Piano, Between Categories for 2 Chimes, 2 Pianos, 2 Violins and 2 Cellos. Titled "Voices and Instruments" this new Feldman volume has four world premiere recordings, including the two settings for soprano (1949 and 1951 respectively) which make high demands on the performer with their extreme tessitura; Intervals (1961) creates textures of stasis or prolonged color and Between Categories (1969) uses identical ensembles, separated in space, to further develop Feldman's idea of composing as being "between painting and music." Claron McFadden (soprano), Charles van Tassel (bass-baritone), The Barton Workshop. Mode 107 (U.S.A.) 01E083 $16.98

HANS CHRISTIAN LUMBYE (1810-1874): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 6 - 5th of June, Little Prince Christian Carl's Waltz, The Dream of the Warrior, Regards to the Fredericians, Harvest Flower, Op. 208, Sadness Waltz, Echo from the Old Gods at Tivoli Island, Princess Thyra Polka, A Festive Night at Tivoli, Señora Ysabel Cuba's Polka, Pomona Waltz, Tivoli Gondola Galop, Pepita Polka, Nordic Sworn Brother Galop. Tivoli Symphony Orchestra; Tamás Vetö. Marco Polo 8.225223 (New Zealand) 01E084 $15.98

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827-1870): Edition, Vol. 25 - Die Windsbraut, Op. 221, Die Tanzinterpellanten, Op. 120, Margherita, Op. 244, Pauline, Op. 190, Soll und Haben, Op. 68, Faust-Quadrille, Op. 112, Hesperus Balltänze, Op. 116, Mein schönes Wein, Heilmethoden, Op. 189, Euterpe, Op. 82, Die Soubrette, Op. 109. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice); Michael Dittrich. Marco Polo 8.223664 (New Zealand) 01E085 $15.98

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Film Music, Vol. 1 - Music from the films Man with a Gun, Op. 53, Alone, Op. 26, King Lear, Op. 137 and The Maxim Trilogy, Op. 50a (arr. Atovmyan). Unable to stick with the CD premieres which has made this new sub-label so welcome, "Chandos Movies" now plows the Shostakovich film music furrow already well-served by Capriccio and Russian Disc. Since the latter label is dead and the orchestra here is the BBC Philharmonic, many collectors will want to have these well-performed recordings. Shostakovich's film scores are usually best in their adagios and in their depictions of battle or insurrection and the score to 1970's King Lear andthe Maxim Trilogy of 1935-39 provide excellent examples. Alone (1931) was a silent film and the score needed to carry even more weight, so this is more of a symphonic poem than mere film music and, in its depiction of a teacher's unwelcome posting to a Siberian village, it is vivid and affecting. Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 10023 (England) 01E086 $16.98

DEBBIE WISEMAN (b.1963): The Film and Television Music of - Wilde West, Hans Christian Andersen, Before You Go, Tom & Viv, Judge John Deed, Warriors, My Uncle Silas, Simon: An English Legionnaire, Tom's Midnight Garden, Haunted, Othello, Wilde, The Ugly Duckling. One of today's most popular film and TV composers in the UK. Stephanie Gonley (violin), Roderick Elms (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Debbie Wiseman. Silva Classics SILKD 6035 (England) 01E087 $16.98

20 Finnish Folksongs arranged for Orchestra Six Finnish and one Austrian arranger have adapted these authentic Finnish folk songs for full orchestra. One has even set four tunes "in the style of" Stravinsky, Kodály, Bach and Toivo Kuula! These are not Runic-style folk-songs of Kalevala type; they are from the last 300-400 years and are in strophic style. Finnish texts are provided and, proving that this is not aimed at the international audience, brief summaries of more copious Finnish notes. Still, what's not to like? Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1327 (Sweden) 01E088 $17.98

Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano -

Jewish Cabaret, Popular, and Political Songs 1900-1945. Music by Gustav Pick (1832-1921), Irving Berlin (1888-1989), Gerhard Bronner (b.1922), Friedrich Holländer (1896-1976), Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Hanns Eisler (1898-1962), Kurt Weill (1900-1950), Paul Dessau (1894-1979), Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972), Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Adolf Müller (1884-1940), Carl Lorens (1851-1909) and Hermann Rosenzweig. This historically valuable collection is divided into four sections: "From the Periphery to the Habsburg Metropolis", "The Crisis of Tradition and Modernity", "Response and Resistance: Political Songs" and "Zionist and Pioneer Songs". The ensemble: baritone, mezzo, soprano, piano, violin, double bass, percussion and flute. Copious annotations with many illustrations. 2 CDs for the price of 1. Texts and translations included. New Budapest Orpheum Society. Cedille CDR 90000 065 (U.S.A.) 01E089 $16.98