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Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, A Jazz Symphony, Solo Piano Works: Jazz Sonata, Can-Can, Sonatina, Death of Machines, Little Shimmy. All reference books list only one piano concerto for Antheil, composed in 1926. This is what is called Piano Concerto No. 2 here. The first is a single-movement work of 1922 which was edited for performance apparently only recently by an associate of the soloist here. Lasting a bit over 21 minutes, this very youthful work breathes the Stravinsky of Petrushka and Le Sacre although its very loose construction will baffle attempts at quick analysis. The second concerto is actually the latest work on the disc and, in its bubbly neo-classicism, is very unlike the hard-edged, wilfully difficult and showy solo works with their glissandi, extended acciaccaturas, harsh repetitions of tones or chords, ragtime and jazz syncopations and bewildering metrical variety - these are among the truest examples of Antheil's "badboyism". Markus Becker (piano), North German Radio Philharmonic; Eiji Oue. CPO 777 109 (Germany) 03H001 $15.98

> Number of exclusive items in this month's catalogue: 41


1. The mail-bag from Prague which contained all my re-orders of the Belorussian compilation from January (01H063) and the two Gavrilin discs just below the preceding appears to have been lost. I don't know how long it is going to take to get the thing either traced or replaced so your patience (and mine too!) is going to have to stretch a bit longer.

2. 02H042 (Kuhlau) turned out to be another casualty of the destruction at the distributor described in last month's Note 1. He had a few undamaged copies which I sold but several more of you are back-ordered. I hope I can fill these back-orders during this month.

3. Over 35% of this catalogue consists of items available nowhere else in the U.S, including several BIS items which have not yet been released here. Next month, I will have a dozen Musique Suisses titles, ten of which will not have been released here either. In addition, there will be more Russian labels and, finally the first batch of Slovak (and Brazilian!) music on the Slovart label.

KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Sinfonia for Strings, Op. 53, Suite No. 7, Op. 29, Intermezzo, Adagio amoroso for Violin and Strings, Prelude and Fugue. cpo's Atterberg series, like BIS' Sibelius, continues now beyond the symphonies to occasional and smaller-scale pieces. All these works are for string orchestra, ranging in size from the 29-minute Sinfonia of 1953, which also exists as a string quintet (giving the work a chamber feel although neither version is considered the primary one), to the little three-minute Prelude and Fugue, a 1933 transcription of a 1917 organ piece. The Adagio amoroso is Atterberg's last work (1967) and has a sad, valedictory feel to it; the Intermezzo (1921) is quite Elgarian and the suite (1926) an eclectic sequence of short pieces culled from the incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. More Atterberg next month, including the Violin Concerto. Camerata Nordica; Ulf Wallin (violin). CPO 777 156 (Germany) 03H002 $15.98

FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934): Der Geburtstag der Infantin, Ein Tanzspiel, Der Wind, Festwalzer und Intermezzo, Valse Lente. This enterprising release brings together all five extant dance works which Schreker composed between 1908 and 1910, originally inspired by the Wiesenthal sisters who left the Vienna Court Opera ballet corps to devote themselves to the new interpretive dance genre known as "Ausdruckstanz". This original version of Geburtstag includes scenes Schreker left out of his 1923 suite, including the scene in which the dwarf sees his ugliness in a mirror. This work made Schreker's name almost overnight and these compositions straddle the Jugendstil and Expressionist periods, certain nascent stylistic moments in them to come to maturity in his later operas. Lucerne Symphony Orchestra; John Axelrod. Nimbus NI 5753 (England) 03H003 $15.98

CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Orchestral Songs: 4 Poèmes d'Edmond Haraucourt, Op. 7, Poèmes d'Automne, Op. 13, La jeune Tarentine, Op. 23/1, La Prière du mort, Op. 17/2, Épiphanie, Op. 17/3, Le Sommeil de Canope, Op. 31/1 Orchestra: Études antiques, Op. 46, Nos. 2-4, Vers la Plage lointaine, Op. 43/2, Chant funèbre à la mémoire des jeunes femmes défuntes, Op. 37 for Double Chorus, Organ and Orchestra, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Chanson de Mélisande (orch. Koechlin). All of Koechlin's songs are from the early part of his career, 1890-1910, and he orchestrated most of them shortly after writing the piano originals (the piano scores being exceptionally intricate and complex). In fact, he had not yet had much formal musical education at the time the highly emotional, very operatic Clair de lune of Op. 7 was written in 1890. These are almost all large-scale works, using the whole orchestra, as Koechlin experiments with far-flung modulations, unresolved suspensions and dissonances, creating expansive and long-breathed melodies and filigree harmonies. Mixed in are four short orchestral pieces, the 1898-1909 Vers la Plage a hypnotic evocation of a South Pacific night, and 1902-07's Chant funèbre, a 21-minute setting of the Latin Requiem which Koechlin uses to evoke a vivid tableau of grief and suffering with no light at its disconsolate end. 2 CDs. French-English texts. Hänssler Classic CD 93.159 (Germany) 03H004 $35.98

RUTLAND BOUGHTON (1878-1960): Trumpet Concerto, IAIN HAMILTON (1922-2000): Concerto for Jazz Trumpet, Op. 37, TONY HEWITT-JONES (1926-1989): Concerto for Trumpet and Strings, JOHN CARMICHAEL (b.1930): Trumpet Concerto. Can you think of a real, true Romantic Trumpet Concerto? Well, Boughton's 1943 work fits the bill perfectly. Those familiar with his brand of English late Romanticism will know just what to expect - yes, the instrument brings one up suddenly just because it's a trumpet surfacing in a romantic piece of music but one adjusts quickly and wonders why it wasn't done by anyone else. Hewitt-Jones comes pretty close (1986) but there are elements of light music in his concerto as well. Carmichael's (1972) is the sort of brassy display piece redolent of royal processions and military display while Hamilton's short 1958 display piece is exactly what its title promises, written for the trumpeter the British felt was their Harry James during his salad days in the 1930s and 40s. John Wallace (trumpet), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Simon Wright. ASV White Line WHL 21529 (England) 03H005 $17.98

JOSEPH JONGEN (1873-1953): Piano Quartet, Op. 23, Trio for Piano, Violin and Viola, Op. 30. Having fallen through the cracks when its previous U.S. distributor expired, this 2003 release makes its first appearance now. Dating from 1902, the big (48 minutes) quartet is actually one of Jongen's mandatory compositions resulting from his winning the Belgian Prix de Rome and is a fairly unique synthesis of Franck, Chausson and D'Indy with the young composer's own developing voice - think Franckian cyclical form and seriousness but leavened with an outgoing and genial humor. Dating from five years later, the unusually scored trio is of similar character (although a relatively svelte 30 minutes in length) and was a repertoire staple of the great violist Lionel Tertis, who, with Belgian colleagues, performed it often during the First World War. Ensemble Joseph Jongen. Cyprès CYP1638 (Belgium) 03H006 $17.98

ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972): String Quartets No. 1, Op. 13, No. 2, Op. 29, No. 3, Op. 46 and No. 4, Op. 55. We finally got a batch of these in, so that those of you who enjoyed Casasdesus' other chamber music disc on this label (05G013) can now have more of his characteristic modal language and those traits which one also associates with those composers he most performed - Ravel, Debussy and Fauré - namely, a keen sense of color, proportion, clarity and delightful lyricism. Composed while on his various concert tours, these quartets cover most of his career, dating from 1930, 1940, 1950 and 1957. Manfred Quartet. Opus Millésime GCK 20041 (France) 03H007 $16.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Piano Works, Vol. 3 - What the Minstrel Told Us, A Mountain Mood, The Maiden with the Daffodil, Pæan, A Hill Tune, Mediterranean, The Princess's Rose Garden, 2 Russian Tone Poems, Lullaby, Sleepy-Head. A group of (mostly) highly atmospheric miniatures, often redolent of Debussy and Scriabin, many of which were inspired by the young Bax's muse, Harriet Cohen. Ashley Wass (piano). Naxos 8.557769 (New Zealand) 03H008 $7.98

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Orchestral Works, Vol. 7 - Symphony No. 2, Op. 4 (1934 version), Symphony No. 4, Op. 11, Romanza for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 23a, Cinquanta Variazioni Piccole, Op. 8, Barcarola d'una notte d'estate, Op. 14/6. Premiered in 1923 but revised in 1934, the second symphony describes an odd upward arc, from its two-minute "Entrata drammatica" to the nine-minute Andante mesto (with tasty hints of folk music) and finishing in the 12-minute Sonata grande finale. The Fourth was Sæverud's first single-movement symphony (1937), less strident than his first three, more polyphonic and with many chamber-like passages. The 40 Variazioni are elegantly dispatched in under six minutes - a bit of a "musical joke" (or musical stunt!); the Barcarola a cool orchestration of a piano original of 1940 and the Romanza a calm and beautiful six-minute work from 1942 which contrasts strongly with such other war pieces as the Sinfonia dolorosa. Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS CD-1262 (Sweden) 03H009 $17.98 >

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Orchestral Works, Vol. 8 - Overtura Appassionata, Op. 2b, Divertimento No. 1 for Flute and Strings, Op. 13, Peasant Brooch Tune, Op. 14/2, Rondo Amoroso, Op. 14/7, Goatsong Variations, Op. 15, Siljudance, Op. 17a, Small Bird Waltz, Op. 18/2, Mill Tune, Op. 22/2, Her Last Cradle Song, Op. 22/3. One of Sæverud's first orchestral works, the Overtura is what remains of two symphonic fantasies composed in 1921 (and finally revised in 1939). Darkly romantic and brooding at times, it also displays that eruptive force which so characterizes many of his later works. While the Divertimento of 1939 is a straight-forward, four-movement piece of 14 minutes which was commissioned for educational purposes, the remainder of the disc is taken up by Sæverud's orchestrations of various piano pieces written during the 1940s, some brief and some, like the 11-minute Siljudance, a colorful, full-scale orchestral dance in the Romantic tradition. Note that neither of these two titles has yet been released in the U.S. Vidar Austvik (flute), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS CD-1032 (Sweden) 03H010 $17.98 >

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3. Alwyn waited until 1949 to bring out his first symphony, after having picked up much valuable experience in composition and orchestration from the film score work he had done over the previous decade. It was now that he began to use the characteristic procedure of using strings, brass, and winds as blocks which enabled him to produce the massive climaxes and perorations in his symphonies which sound as if many more instruments were being used than actually were. His romantic inclinations were generally given free rein and his slow movements often have beautiful melodies of deep feeling (as especially in No. 1). The Third is a three-movement work from 1956 whose haunting, nocturnal slow movement is surrounded by stormy and passionate outer ones, the Allegro con fuoco finale recalling the fierce, warlike character of Holst's Mars. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557648 (New Zealand) 03H011 $7.98

WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Symphony No. 4, Sinfonietta for String Orchestra. The fourth symphony (1959) is possibly Alwyn's most instantly appealing - a broadly conceived, three-movement piece full of dynamic energy in which thrilling brass fanfares punctuate the forward-moving, optimistic language and it rounds out the four symphony cycle (which the composer had conceived as such, with the suggestion of a theme which opened the First appearing in the coda of the Fourth's finale) in brilliant fashion. A late work, the somewhat more introverted 1970 Sinfonietta is based on a phrase from Berg's Lulu which appears in various guises in its three movements. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.557649 (New Zealand) 03H012 $7.98

FERENC FARKAS (1905-2000): The Magic Cupboard (Margi László [soprano], Alfonz Bartha [tenor], József Dene [bass-baritone], Hungarian Radio and TV Chorus and Orchestra; Viktor Vaszy), Songs (multiple soloists; Ferenc Farkas [piano]) : Malaysian Daydreams, 3 Songs, Guillevic Songs, Hommage à Alpbach, Forgotten Melodies, 5 Songs on Poems by Transylvanian Poets, Calendar for Tenor, Harp, Double Bass, Wind Quintet and String Quartet (Endre Rösler [tenor], Szécsi String Quartet, Budapest Wind Quintet; Ferenc Farkas). Farkas' first stage work was begun as early as 1928 but not finished and premiered until 1942. Based on a 1001 Nights tale, its music shows both the influences of Bartók and Kodály as well as the colorful style of Rimsky-Korsakov as filtered through one of Farkas' mentors, Respighi (at times, Janácek is suggested in the matching of music to speech rhythms). This 88-minute score is a mono recording from the late 1950s and is supplemented by 54 minutes worth of songs (both mono and stereo recordings) covering much of Farkas' career, from 1943 to 1982 2 CDs. English plot summary, Hungarian libretto and texts. Hungaroton HCD 32419-20 (Hungary) 03H013 $35.98

SHIRO FUKAI (1907-1959): 4 mouvements parodiques, Création (Ballet Music), Image symphonique "Chantes de Java". Another French-oriented Japanese composer appears in the newest installment of this series. Fukai studied entirely in Japan and learned every score of Ravel and Stravinsky. Later in his career he eschewed the more violent boldness of the latter and made the French composer the goal of his emulation. The four "Parodies" (1936) are brief pieces which are clever/cheeky hommages to Falla, Stravinsky, Ravel and Roussel (although here it is Rousselian processing of Bartókian materials) while the 1942 "Songs of Java" is a 13-minute exercise in crescendo à la Boléro. The suite from the 1940 ballet is the only work here which uses Japanese musical themes but the mood is dominated by Ravel. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra; Dimitry Yablonsky. Naxos Japanese Classics 8.557688 (New Zealand) 03H014 $7.98

PEETER CORNET (c.1560-1626): Toccata, 7 Fantasias, 2 Courantes, Tantum ergo, Salve Regina (The Cardinall's Musick; Andrew Carwood). A colleague in Brussels of Peter Philips and John Bull, Cornet is becoming recognized as one of the leading keyboard composers of the early 17th century thanks to the reappearance in the 1980s of the manuscript which contains the majority of his compositions which show a thorough knowledge of Sweelinck and the English virginalists as well as the music of Spain and Italy. James Johnstone (harpsichord, organ) ASV Gaudeamus GAU 335 (England) 03H015 $17.98

JOHANN HERMANN SCHEIN (1586-1630): Exaudiat te Dominus, Beati omnes, CHRISTOPH BERNHARD (1627-1692): Aus der Tieffen, Gott, sei mir gnädig, WOLFF-ERNST ROTHE (17th c.): Nun danket all Gott. A snapshot of Protestant church music in early 17th century Wroclaw using manuscripts from its university library. We had sacred songs by Bernhard in the January catalogue (01H013) and, while Schein is fairly well-known, nothing is known about Rothe, whose sacred concerto was dedicated to the rulers of Wroclaw. No texts. Harmonologia, Concerto Palatino; Jan Tomasz Adamus. Dux 0485 (Poland) 03H016 $16.98

GIOVANNI PAOLO COLONNA (1637-1695): Il Transito de San Gioseppe. Colonna's first oratorio, dating from 1678, is a string of secco recitatives and arias with only one aria for each character being fully accompanied by the strings (although Lucifer gets a trumpet in one of his!), and will shed more light on the genre as it gained maturity in the second half of the 18th century. 2 CDs. Italian texts. Laura Antonaz, Patricia Vaccari, Barbara Zanichelli (sopranos), Elena Biscuola (mezzo), Marco Scavazza, Matteo Bellotto (baritones), Ensemble Les Nations; Maria Luisa Baldassari. Tactus TC 630391 (Italy) 03H017 $23.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): Rinaldo. Handel's first London opera, staged in 1711, wowed English audiences with its new Italian vocal style and its great variety of orchestral effects (although the listeners could hardly know that the composer had recycled much earlier music from his Italian period to get the opera ready for the stage in only two weeks). 3 CDs. Italian on-line libretto. Kimberly Barber, Marion Newman (mezzos), Laura Whalen (soprano), Sean Watson (baritone), Opera in Concert, Aradia Ensemble; Kevin Mallon. Naxos 8.660165-67 (New Zealand) 03H018 $26.98

CHARLES AVISON (1709-1770): 6 Concerti grossi, Op. 3, 8 Concerti grossi, Op. 4. Published in 1751 and 1755 respectively, these works are firmly in the Corelli and Geminiani style although Avison experiments with his harmonic language and with the number of movements. Many remained among his most popular - the Op. 4/4 being part of the repertoire of the Concerto of Ancient Music until 1812! 2 CDs. The Avison Ensemble; Pavlo Beznosiuk. Naxos 8.557905-06 (New Zealand) 03H019 $15.98

GOTTFRIED AUGUST HOMILIUS (1714-1785): Cantatas, Vol. 1 - Der Herr ist Gott, der uns erleuchtet, Selig seid ihr, wenn ihr geschmähet werdet, Heilig is unser Gott, der Her Gott Zebaoth, Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen. Almost unknown today, Homilius, Kantor of the Dresden Kreuzkirche, was in important link between Bach (not coincidentally writing around 200 cantatas) and the Classical period. It's estimated that two of these cantatas were written before 1784 while the others are undated. All have Classical elements or anticipations of the same, with counterpoint giving way to singable melody and everything oriented toward a charming and folklike simplicity. German-Engllish texts. Vasiljka Jezovsek (soprano), Anne Buter (alto), Hubert Nettinger (tenor), Christian Hilz (bass), Dresdner Kreuzchor and Baroque Orchestra; Roderich Kreile. Carus 83.183 (Germany) 03H020 $17.98

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1734-1782): Symphonies Concertantes, Vol. 6 - in B Flat for Oboe, Violin, Cello and Piano, C 48, in C for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Cello, C 43, Piano Concerto in G, C 60B), Cadenza in C for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello. Yes, it has been since July 2001 that Vol. 5 was released and no, we don't know why this has been sitting in the can since it was recorded in September of 2001 but here it is containing not only two more Symphonies concertantes but also an alternative, longer and presumably earlier version of the piano concerto Op. 7, No. 6 (already recorded in the complete Op. 7 by cpo), and a cadenza attributed to the Symphonie Concertante in G, C45. The Hanover Band; Anthony Halstead. CPO 999 845 (Germany) 03H021 $15.98

FRANÇOIS JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734-1829): Messe des Morts. In March of 2001 (03C020), we offered a Naxos recording of this work from 1760, full of novel instrumental effects which anticipated Berlioz, coupled, on 2 CDs, with a symphony. That used four soloists, not the three used here, and was on modern instruments. Thus, we feel that collectors may like to have this 1980 recording on period instruments and remastered for SACD (and at a very attractive price - part of a new, "mid-price" SACD line from Capriccio) Eva Csapó (soprano), Hildegard Laurich (alto), Alessandro Corbelli (baritone), Cologne Radio Choir, Capella Coloniensis; Herbert Schernus. Original 1980 Capriccio release. Capriccio SACD hybrid 71 043 (Germany) 03H022 $14.98

IVAN KHANDOSHKIN (1748-1809): 6 Duos for 2 Violins, For Violin and Piano: NIKOLAI AFANASSIEV (1821-1898): Rencontre - Parler d'amour, CESAR CUI (1835-1918): Valse from Petite Suite, MILY BALAKIREV (1837-1910): Impromptu, MODEST MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881): Gopak (arr. Rachmaninov), PETER TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Chanson sans paroles, Op. 2/3 (arr. Kreisler), SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): Romance, ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): 4 pièces, Op. 30, SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873-1943): Romance, Op. 6/1, EFREM ZIMBALIST (1889-1985): Fantasie sue des thèmes d'opéra "Le Coq d'or". Khandoshkin's are the only violin duos in Russian music. Based on folk songs, they give the first violinist a very showy and virtuosic task while the second accompanies in folk music fashion. Each is preceded by the actual folk song on which they are based. Fairly unusual violin/piano pieces from the rest of the 19th century make up an interesting and well-filled disc. Alexander Brusilovsky (violin), Nathanaelle Marie (second violin), Igor Lazko (piano). Suoni e Colori SC 53005 (France) 03H023 $17.98 >

FRANCESCO AZOPARDI (1748-1809): Messa de Morti. Now, Gega brings us the first large-scale Maltese composition, a requiem mass from 1792 for the death of Leopold II of Austria. Although it's uncertain with whom Azopardi studied in Naples, this 68-minute work has all the ingredients and style of the Classical period. Strongly dramatic, with occasional word-painting, it juxtaposes the free concertato style in most of the arias with the stile antico in the choruses, according to contemporary taste. Live recording 2004. Rosabelle Bianchi (soprano), Claire Massa (mezzo), Frans Mangion (tenor), Albert Buttigieg (bass), Collegium Musicum Choir and Orchestra; Dion Buhagiar. Gega GR 98 (Bulgaria) 03H024 $16.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Partita in F for 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 3 Horns, 2 Bassoons and Double Bass, Sextet in B for Oboe, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and Bassoon, Quartet in E Flat for 2 Clarinets and 2 Horns, Partita in E Flat for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Horns and 2 Bassoons. An attractive collection of wind pieces of varied instrumentation, the last two listed of which of which are claimed as first recordings. The Partitas are the large-scale works, the first with a typically rollicking Chasse finale, while the other two, six-movement works, are smaller-scale and briefer though no less pleasure-giving. Swiss Wind Soloists (modern instruments). Classico CLASSCD 633 (Denmark) 03H025 $16.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (c.1750-1792): Symphonies in G (Murray A39) and in B Flat (Murray A45), Violin Concertos in D (Murray C6) and in D Minor (Murray C9). The first of Rosetti's five extant violin concertos to see CD are in fine Mozartian style with the winds as prominent as one would expect from this composer while the symphonies (none duplicating any already available on disc) are a scintillating addition to the catalogue, especially the B flat with its rollicking, hunting-horn finale and startlingly unusual soft close. Anton Steck (violin), Kurpfälzisches Chamber Orchestra; Johannes Moesus. CPO 777 028 (Germany) 03H026 $15.98

JUSTIN HEINRICH KNECHT (1752-1817): Die durch ein Donnerwetter unterbrochne Hirtenwonne, GAETANO VALERJ (1760-1822): Organ Sonatas Nos. 2, 5 & 6, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788): Sonata in D. Intended to showcase a newly restored Slovak organ, this release also offers much unusual repertoire, the most interesting being Knecht's 1794 25-minute long "musical portrayal" of a thunderstorm approaching and disrupting a peaceful gathering of singing shepherds which anticipates Beethoven's orchestral portrait of the same thing. Ján Vladimír Michalko (organ of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Spisská Nová Ves, Slovakia). Diskant DK-0070-2 (Czech Republic) 03H027 $14.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Piano Sonatas in G Minor, Op. 34/2, in A, Op. 50/1 and in E Flat, Op. 41. It would be nice to have a new Clementi sonata cycle but this release appears to be a one-off by the 2005 New Orleans International Piano Competition Gold Medalist. Still, since the Spada complete cycle is currently unavailable, this may fill some gaps on collectors' shelves. Tanya Bannister (piano). Naxos 8.557453 (New Zealand) 03H028 $7.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): String Quartets, Op. 2, Nos. 4-6. The completion of this 1784 set of very Haydnesque quartets, the first three of which appeared in the January catalogue (01H030). Enso Quartet. Naxos 8.557497 (New Zealand) 03H029 $7.98

FRANTISEK VÁCLAV MÍCA (1694-1744): Symphony in D, Op. 25, JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 63. Earlier last year, David Kirk was lamenting in Fanfare the lack of a good, up-to-date stereo version of the Dussek when reviewing the mono version we offered on Supraphon in late 2004 with Barbirolli conducting the Czech Philharmonic (the soloists were Maxian and Panenka). Centaur even more recently (apparently unknown to Kirk) reissued a 1968 Vienna recording with the Volksoper and Paul Angerer conducting (Toni and Rosi Grunschlag). So here is an up-to-date, live recording from November of 2001, coupled with the ten-minute early Classical symphony probably not by Frantisek Václav but by his nephew Frantisek Adam. Igor Ardasev, Renata Ardasevová (pianos), Czech Chamber Philhar-monic Orchestra Pardubice; Milos Formácek. Amabile AM 0027-2 (Czech Republic) 03H030 $14.98 >

GIOVANNI MORANDI (1777-1856): Sinfonia marziale in D, Introduzione, Tema, Variazioni e Finale in F (2 pieces), Sonata in B Flat, Pastorale in F, Sinfonia con l'imitazione della banda militare in F, Gran Sonata in F, Gran Marcia militare in C. Morandi wrote these works for nuns at a convent near his home and, while not virutosic by any means, they are full of melody and color and sound great on this characterful little 18th century church organ. Federica Iannella, Giuliana Maccaroni (organ of Santuario di Sta. Maria Goretti Corinaldo, Ancona). Tactus TC 771301 (Italy) 03H031 $11.98

NICOLÒ PAGANINI (1782-1840): Grand Sonata in A, Sonata No. 4 in D, Ghirbizzi, Nos. 15, 16, 22, 37 & 38, Sonata No. 30 in A, Sonata No. 6 in F, Sonata No. 14 in F, Caprices for Solo Violin Nos. 5, 11 & 24. A little slice of Paganini's huge guitar output, showing many facets, from the Ghiribizzi, based on popular operatic tunes, to the small-scale but carefully constructed sonatas to the only truly virtuosic work here, the big 21-minute Grand Sonata. Marco Tamayo (guitar). Naxos 8.557598 (New Zealand) 03H032 $7.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Marino Faliero. Donizetti's first opera in Paris (1836) was overshadowed by the success, earlier in the season, of Bellini's I Puritani but remains a remarkable work for its lead bass role and for several bass and baritone numbers. Stereo (radio) studio recording. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Marisa Galvany (mezzo), Giuliano Ciannella (tenor), Liciano Montefusco (baritone), Cesare Siepi (bass), Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of RAI Milan; Elio Boncompagni (Sept. 14, 1976). Bongionvanni GB 2408/9 (Italy) 03H033 $33.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Masses No. 1 in F, D105, No. 2 in G, D167, No. 3 in B, D324, No. 4 in C, D452, No. 5 in A Flat, D678, No. 6 in E Flat, D950, Offertorium in D, D135, Tantum ergo in E Flat, D962, Deutsche Messe, D872, Stabat MaterI, D175, Intende voci, D963, Magnificat, D486. Not, perhaps, drenched in the Schubert personality you know from the lieder, symphonies, sonatas and chamber music, the masses are nevertheless a significant part of his uvre, covering his entire career and this budget-priced set is the best deal you'll find to own them all! 5 CDs. Budget-price. RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Markus Creed, Bulgarian National Choir, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra; Georgi Robev. Capriccio 49 438 (Austria) 03H034 $41.98

A Glinka Orgy!

Mostly new recordings from a well-produced French label, these five releases offer as complete and as well-performed and -recorded a Glinka instrumental and song collection as you're likely to find.

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Chamber Music, Vol. 1 - Sextet in E Flat for Piano and Strings (Kun-Woo Paik [piano]), Divertissement sur des thèmes de "La Sonnambula" de Bellini for Piano and Strings, Sérénade sur des thèmes de "Anna Bolena" de Donizetti for Piano, Harp, Bassoon, Horn, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. Yves Henry (piano), Alexander Brusilovsky, Jeannie Wells-Yablonsky (violins), Zoltan Toth (viola), Nathaniel Rosen (cello), Benjamin Berlioz (double bass), Amaury Wallez (bassoon), André Cazalet (horn), Frédérique Cambreling (harp). Suoni e Colori SC 53002 (France) 03H035 $17.98 >

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - String Quartets in D and in F. Quatuor Anton. Suoni e Colori SC 53003 (France) 03H036 $17.98 >

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Chamber Music, Vol. 3 - Viola Sonata in C Minor, Trio pathétique in F Minor for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano, Nocturne for Harp, Variations on a Theme of "Die Zauberflöte" for Harp, Septet for Oboe, Bassoon, Horn, 2 Violins, Cello and Double Bass (frag.). Igor Lazko (piano), Michel Lethiec (clarinet), Jean-Pierre Arnaud (oboe), Christophe Beau (cello) and other instrumentalists as in Vol. 1. Suoni e Colori SC 53004 (France) 03H037 $17.98 >

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Complete Songs, Vol. 1 - My Harp, Do Not Tempt Me Needlessly, The Poor Singer, Consolation, Ah, My Sweetheart, Heart's Memory, "I Love" You Said, Bitter, Bitter it is for Me, Tell Me Why, Pour un moment, Why Do You Cry?, 9 Italian Songs, 2 Italian Canzonettas, Sing Not, O Beauty, in my Presence, Disenchantment, The Maids Once Told Me, Grandfather, Shall I Forget?, O Gentle Autumn Night, O Thou Black Night, A Voice from the Other World, Il desiderio, The Conqueror. Sung in Russian and Italian but no Russian texts - English translations (Italian texts.) Alexei Martynov (tenor), Alexei Lubimov (fortepiano). Suoni e Colori SC 253332 (France) 03H038 $17.98 >

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Complete Songs, Vol. 2 - Venetian Night, L'iniquo voto, Say Not that Love Will Pass, The Leafy Grove Howls, Call Her Not Heavenly, I Had But Recognized You, I Am Here, Inezilla, The Night Review, Stanzas, Doubt, The Fire of Longing Burns in My Heart, Where is Our Rose?, Sing Not, O Nightingale, The Wind Blows, The Night Zephyr, Wedding Song, The Bird-Cherry Tree is Blossoming, If I Shall Meet You, I Recall a Wonderful Moment, The Song of Illinichna, Rachel's Song. Sung in Russian, texts in English. Alexei Martynov (tenor), Alexei Lubimov (fortepiano). Suoni e Colori SC 253333 (France) 03H039 $17.98 >

Mendelssohn Opera Premiere!

FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Der Onkel aus Boston. Finished when he was 14, Der Onkel was Mendelssohn's biggest operatic attempt other than Die Hochzeit des Camacho. A full-length, three-act composition, it is in the German romantic opera style rather than the Singspiel, shorted rather by the loss of the third act dialogue (the arias and ensembles are performed here). This live recording of an October 2004 concert performance presents an attractive, but by no means mature, work in the best light possible. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Kate Royal, Julia Bauer (sopranos), Carsten Süß, Lothar Odinius (tenors), Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart; Helmuth Rilling. Hänssler Classic CD98.221 (Germany) 03H040 $35.98

PROSPER AMTMANN (1809-1854): Fantasia on "Norma", La flûte du Berger, Fantasia on "Martha", Rákóczy - Marche hongrois, Fantaisie, Air varié. The researches of a Hungarian scholar published in 1981 have brought to light this highly virtuosic music, demanding much bravura from its performer, by a completely forgotten flute virtuoso and composer whose fame was Europe-wide in the 1820s and 30s but whose career was cut short by stomach cancer. Zoltán Gyöngyössy (flute), András Kemenes (piano). Hungaroton HCD 32390 (Hungary) 03H041 $17.98

LUDVIG MATHIAS LINDEMAN (1812-1887): Variations and Fugue on the Chorale "Hvo veed, hvor nær mig er min ende", Coronation March, 3 Fugues on BACH, Variations on the Chorale "Hvo ikkun lader Herren råde". An excellent example of the learned church musician and organist (who also collected much folksong material), Lindeman's music is devoid of any folk materian or the lyricism of, say, Mendelssohn or Schumann. Instead, he writes fully in the Bach tradition and the first set of variations listed above, dating from 1836, is a contrapuntal masterpiece of well over half an hour which will appeal to organ collectors of most stripes. Kåre Nordstoga (organ of Oslo Cathedral). Simax PSC 1214 (Norway) 03H042 $18.98 >

CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896): For Piano: Scherzo, Op. 14, Romanze, Op. 21, Toccatina, Op. 6, 2 Romances, Op. 11, Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 20, 3 Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22, Piano Trio, Op. 17. Clara is now pretty well taken care of on CD and everything here, except for the brief Toccatina, seems to have at least two or three recordings currently available but super-budget price and the program will certainly appeal to many. Micaela Gelius (piano), Sreten Krstic (violin), Stephan Haack (cello). Arte Nova ANO 721060 (Germany) 03H043 $4.98

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Septet for Piano, String Quartet, Trumpet and Double Bass, Op. 65, Sarabande, Op. 93/1, Wedding Cake, Op. 76, Prelude to Le Déluge, Op. 45, Carnival of the Animals. A good sprinkling of rare Saint-Saëns at super-budget price, making up over half the disc. London Festival Orchestra; Ross Pople. Arte Nova ANO 378570 (Germany) 03H044 $4.98

NICOLAI VON WILM (1834-1911): 2 Vortrags-stücke, Op. 79, LEONE SINIGAGLIA (1868-1944): Romanze, Op. 3, IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870): Feuillet l'Album de Rossini, Op. 138, FRANZ JOSEPH STRAUSS (1822-1905): Theme and Variations, Op. 13, Les Adieux, CARL GOTTLIEB REIßIGER (1789-1859): Elegia, Op. 153, CAMILLE SAINT-SÄENS (1835-1921): Romance, Op. 67, CARL CZERNY (1791-1857): Andante and Polacca. After a hiatus of more than five years, this German label from the Polish horn player is back with a new release containing several rarities along with a couple of better-known pieces. Zbigniew Zuk (horn), Piotr Zuk (piano). Zuk Records 327 (Germany) 03H045 $17.98

JOSEF LABOR (1842-1924): Quintet in D for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, Op. 11, WALTER RABL (1873-1940): Quartet in E Flat for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 1. Although these composers are over a generation apart, the works recorded here are separated by only four years. Rabl, a young man in 1896, produced in his opus one a tribute to Brahms and his Richard Mühlmann clarinet-inspired style of his late years although there is too much vigor overall to describe it as "autumnally Brahmsian" (Brahms liked it well enough to set Rabl up with his publilsher Simrock). Labor, blind from the age of three and known mostly as an organ composer (and teacher of Schoenberg), definitely does write an autumnal work, full of easy melodies which meander through lovely landscapes of the mind and deliver what sentimentalists might describe as "heart's ease". Orion Ensemble. Cedille CDR 90000 088 (U.S.A.) 03H046 $16.98

PABLO SARASATE (1844-1908): Complete Works, Vol. 2 - La dame blanche de Boildieu, Op. 3, El canto del ruiseñor, Op. 29, Peteneras, Op. 35, ¡Viva Sevilla!, Op. 38, Zortziko Miramar, Op. 425, Gondoliéra Veneziana, Op. 46, L'Esprit Follet, Op. 48, Fantasy on "Romeo and Juliet" of Gounod, Op. 5. Right away we have the next in this series, this new volume devoted to very rarely heard Sarasate. Angel Jesús García (violin), Orquesta Pablo Sarasate; Miquel Ortega. RTVE 65063 (Spain) 03H047 $17.98

JOACHIM ANDERSEN (1847-1909): Works for Flute, Vol. 3 - 6 Swedish Polka-Lieder, Op. 50, Fantasies Nationales, Op. 59 (Scotch and Italian), Opera Transcriptions, Op. 45 (The Marriage of Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor and Norma). The largest work, the op. 50, is a set of transcriptions of delightful and inventive vocal works written by singer/composer Isidore Dannström (1812-1897). Thomas Jensen (flute), Frode Stengaard (piano). Danacord DACOCD 642 (Denmark) 03H048 $16.98

MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Deutsche Reigen, Op. 25, 2 Morceaux, Op. 43, Polnische Volkstänze, Op. 55, Aus aller herren Länder, Op. 23, Neue Spanische Tänze, Op. 65. We had not previously offered this scintillating collection of dances which show Moszkowski's innate feel for melody, grace, flow and rhythmic accentuation. Ulrich Koella, Gérard Wyss (piano four hands). 2000 release. Tudor 7060 (Switzerland) 03H049 $17.98

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Songs, Vol. 2 - From Op. 57: Nemt, Frouwe, disen Kranz, No. 1, Riter raet dem Knappen dies, No. 2, Tanzlied, No. 3, Traum durch die Dämmerung, No. 8, Schlagende Herzen, No. 9, Letzter Wunsch, No. 10, Der Narren Regenlied, No. 13, Aus der Ferne in der Nacht, No. 14, From Op. 64: Und wenn in ihrem Liebesglanz, No. 6, Meine Töne, still und heiter, No. 7, Triolet, No. 8, From Op. 77: Im Walde liegt ein stiller See, Spruch, Immer wieder, Auf der Wiese, So gehen die Tage zu Ende, O verzweifle nicht am Glücke, Op. 107/4, Kirschenballade, Op. 109/2, Jane Grey, Op. 109/3, From Op. 38: We want a country, No. 1, Leaves, No. 3, Autumn, No. 4, So You Came Back Again, Op. 69/4, Sylvelin, Op. 55/1, Still Woods, Op. 55/3, The Decline, Op. 55/6, It Hurts to be Sad, Op. 37/5, My Soul is Wandering Happily, Op. 69/3, A Spring Thought, OOp. 68/2, Welcome Back Here Again, Op. 69/1, Narcissus, Op. 90/3, Comfort of the Poor Man, Op. 90/4, Black Ravens, Op. 95/1, The Journey of the Three Kings, A Sail Glides by in the Blue, Op. 128/2, Barcarole, Op. 128/4, Grey Geese, Op. 130/3, Lullaby for the Dark Nordic Winter, Op. 130/5, Morten was Little and Fat!, Cocaine. The second two volumes of this selection (around 100 of the more than 250 songs Sinding wrote) were never released in the U.S. Firmly in the German lied tradition, these songs are unfailingly musical and, while never using folk music, often have a folk-like atmosphere. German/ Norwegian-English texts. Per Vollestad (baritone), Sigmund Hjelset (piano). Simax PSC 1195 (Norway) 03H050 $18.98 >

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Songs, Vol. 3 - Wie glänzt der helle Mond, Op. 1/5, Siehst du den Stern, Op. 11/2, Viel Träume, Op. 11/4, Totengräberlied, Op. 11/6, Ich liege dir zu Füssen, Op. 26/4, Es war im sonnigen Monat März, Op. 26/7, Es sitzen drei Weiber zu weben, Op. 26/8, I'll Wear Any Hat I Like, Op. 4/1, Upon Familiar Paths, Op. 4/3, Sakuntala, Op. 4/4, No Single Leaf's Astir on the Shore, Op. 8/2, How Much We Always Laughed, Op. 8/3, O Mother, Dear Old Mother!, Op. 13/1, With Every Step, Op. 13/2, Often You Sang for Others, Op. 13/7, Amber, Op. 19/2, I Had in Sooth a Sweetheart Once, Op. 19/4, Through Long, Long Years, Op. 17/3, In the Seraglio's Garden, Op. 17/4, A Bird's Cry Rang, Op. 18/5, And There Were Days, Op. 36/3, It is Summer Evening as Before, Op. 36/7, Still I'm Inspired, The Raven Flies by Night, Op. 39/1, There were Roses in the Dales, Op. 39/3, A Maiden Walked in the Poppy Field, Op. 50/5, Stringplay, Op. 40 (14 songs). German/Norwegian-English texts. Per Vollestad (baritone), Sigmund Hjelset (piano). Simax PSC 1196 (Norway) 03H051 $18.98 >

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): 12 Choruses, Op. 27. Written in four to eight parts by the greatest polyphonist since Bach, these choruses from 1909 are some of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire (a strong influence of Old Slavonic church music is also present). Transliterated Russian-English texts. Netherlands Chamber Choir; Tõnu Kaljuste. 2001 release. Globe GLO 5197 (Netherlands) 03H052 $17.98

SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915): String Quartets, Vol. 1 - No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 4, No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 11. More contrapuntal mastery, combined with a generous lyrical gift, in this 1977 recording of quartets from 1890 and 1900. This excellent quartet's cycle of the nine quartets of its namesake composer will replace Olympia's intended complete Taneyev series which died after one issue. At the time of these recordings, three of its members had been with the group since its foundation in 1946 and, within the Soviet Union, it was valued as highly as the more famous Borodin Quartet. Taneyev Quartet. Northern Flowers NF/PMA 9933 (Russia) 03H053 $16.98

FELIX BLUMENFELD (1863-1931): 4 Préludes, Op. 12, 24 Préludes, Op. 17. Blumenfeld's complete preludes were written between 1888 and 1892 and, as one might expect of the pianist who carried on the tradition of Anton Rubinstein and who taught Heinrich Neuhaus and Horowitz, these are pianist's pieces steeped in the 19th century Russian tradition and, further back, to Chopin; in the second set, there is much poetry which can only be described as Rachmaninovian. Certainly a must-have for all collectors of Romantic piano music, this 1998 release is available for the first time in the U.S. Gabriel Gorog (piano). Suoni e Colori SC 53010 (France) 03H054 $17.98 >

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Schlichte Weisen, Op. 76, 5 neue Kinderlieder, Op. 142. "Simple Ditties", composed in 1903 represents what you might call the "anti-Reger": utterly simple and naive texts set to equally simple, abundantly melodious music which really got his critics wondering what he was up to. The Kinderlieder of 1916 are a natural sort of sequel to the big op. 76 collection. Schlichte Weisen contains 60 songs, divided into 6 volumes and, when this recording was issued in 2002, nine were first recordings. 2 CDs. No texts. Frauke May (mezzo), Bernhard Renzikowski (piano). Arte Nova ANO 927610 (Germany) 03H055 $9.98

AYMÉ KUNC (1877-1958): String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor (Gaudeamus Quartet), String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor (Alexander Brusilovsky, Patricia Reibaud [violins], Gennady Fredin [viola], Yan Garac [cello]). Although he won the Prix de Rome in 1902, Kunc is almost unknown because, in 1914, he left Paris and returned to his native Toulouse to head its Conservatory for the rest of his career, retiring in 1944. Yet, his two quartets postdate even that, being finished in 1946 and 1948, and they could have been written fifty years earlier, being completely in the school of Franck in terms of size (75 minutes for both), austerity and seriousness of mood (enlightened only by scherzi which themselves seem neurotically driven) as well as form. Collectors of late Romantic French chamber music will find much to enjoy here. Suoni e Colori SC 253262 (France) 03H056 $17.98 >

ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960): Suite en valse, Op. 39a for 2 Pianos, Walzer, Op. 3 for Piano Duet, BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19 for 2 Pianos. Dohnányi's four-movement, 24-minute exploration of the Viennese waltz is full of vivid color and bustles about most happily, showing his utter ease with that genre. All the more miraculous that such a delightful work was written shortly after he had been unjustly accused of collaboration with the Nazis and had to go into exile in Vienna. The Bartók, a first recording, is performed here in Peter Bartók's 2000 version which reconstructs 28 missing bars from a 1931 version which had been cut (by the composer?) due to censoring of the orchestral version. Duo Egri & Pertis. Hungaroton HCD 32321 (Hungary) 03H057 $17.98

HAMILTON HARTY (1879-1941): A Comedy Overture, Fantasy Scenes (from an Eastern Romance), Piano Concerto in B Minor. Although not claimed as even a CD premiere, we're not aware of another recording of the 12-minute suite Fantasy Scenes of 1919. The notes describe its depiction of four scenes of "Arabian Nights" character but the music itself is pretty thoroughly British, in a colorful, pre-"light music" way. It's been 22 years since Chandos' recording of the concerto with Malcolm Binns and Bryden Thomson and collectors of Thomson's very slow Elgar (and slow Bax) will not be surprised to find Donohoe and Yuasa cutting over seven minutes off the older disc's 37:35. Peter Donohoe (piano), Ulster Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos 8.557731 (New Zealand) 03H058 $7.98

HANS GÁL (1890-1987): Complete Works for Solo Piano - Piano Sonata, Op. 28, Suite, Op. 24, 2 Sonatinas, Op. 58, 3 Skizzen, Op. 7, Three Small Pieces, Op. 64, 3 Preludes, Op. 65, 24 Preludes, Op. 83, 24 Fugues, Op. 108. Covering an incredible 70 years, these discs further help resurrect the reputation of yet another fine composer who struggled to survive and create after being hounded out of German-occupied Europe in the late 1930s. Gál remained firmly based in tonality and his earlier pieces are in the classical tradition, full of humor and lyricism, an endless flow of attractive themes - all without the irony or parody at the base of the then-prevailing "neo-classicism". His Preludes (1960) add this lyricism, humor and clarity of construction to technical problem-solving and the remarkable Fugues (1980) are a distillation of his entire career, boiled down to a Bach-like purity and restraint. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Leon McCawley (piano). Avie AV 2064 (England) 03H059 $33.98

PER LASSON (1859-1883): Crescendo, DAVID MONRAD JOHANSEN (1888-1974): 7 pieces from fra Gudbrandsdalen, Op. 9, ALF HURUM (1882-1972): Miniature, ODD GRÜNER-HEGGE (1899-1973): Intermezzo, Elegie, EYVIND ALNÆS (1872-1932): 4 pieces from 10 Piano Pieces on Norwgian Folk Songs, Op. 39, KLAUS EGGE (1906-1979): Vals Dolce, Op. 1/1, GUNNAR GJERSTRØM (1891-1951): Aria and Minuet from Piano Suite. Many collectors will remember this pianist for his recordings of major repertoire concertos back in the 50s and 60s. This odd little recital was recorded at the end of April 2004, shortly before his death and contains a lot of very unusual Norwegian repertoire from the late Romantic and post-Romantic composers listed above, most of it folk music transcriptions or folk music inspired. Kjell Bækkelund (piano). Pro Musica PPC 9047 (Norway) 03H060 $18.98 >

Etcetera and Globe - More titles, either not offered in the U.S. or long unavailable.

GIOVANNI BONONCINI (1670-1747): Cantatas: Misero Pastorello (Pascal Bertin [countertenor]), Il Lamento d'Olimpia (Monique Zanetti [sporano]), Duets: Si fugga, si sprezzi, Luci Barbare, Trio Sonatas No. 2 in G Minor and No. 9 in B Minor. Only Tactus has given Bononcini much of a look-in on CD (a couple of these vocal items have been recorded there), making this fairly recent Etcetera a nice addition to our knowledge of this Italian composer, resident in England's vocal repertoire. Italian-English texts. Fons Musicae. 2000 release. Etcetera KTC 1202 (Netherlands) 03H061 $17.98 >

TOMASO ALBINONI (1671-1751): Cantatas from Op. 4: Amore, Sorte, Destino!, Del Chiaro Rio, Lontanaza Crudel, Ove Rivolgo Il Piede, Parti, Mi Lasci, Poiché al Vago Seren. Italian-English texts. Barbara Schlick (soprano), Roderick Shaw (harpsichord), Nicolas Selo (cello). 1994 release. Etcetera KTC 1181 (Netherlands) 03H062 $17.98 >

PIERRE PHILIDOR (1681-1731): Trios for 2 Flutes and Continuo in G and in E Minor, Suites for Flute and Continuo No. 12 in D, No. 5 in E Minor and No. 6 in B Minor, Suite No. 3 in D for 2 Flutes. Conservative (still very much in the style of Marais, Lully and Couperin, these works were published in the late 1710s) but finely wrought, Philidor's flute chamber pieces are a worthy addition to the repertoire of the French court. Wilbert Hazelet (flute), Kate Clark (second flute), Jacques Ogg (harpsichord), Titia de Zwart (viola da gamba), Mike Fentross (lute, theorbo). 1994 release. Globe GLO 5107 (Netherlands) 03H063 $17.98 >

JIRI ANTONÍN BENDA (1722-1795): Keyboard Sonatas No. 1 in B Flat, No. 5 in G Minor, No. 7 in C Minor, No. 9 in A Minor, No. 13 in E Flat and No. 16 in C, Sonatinas No. 3 in A Minor, No. 6 in D Minor, No. 13 in C Minor, No. 21 in F, No. 23 in G Minor and No. 34 in D. These examples of Empfindsamkeit and Sturm und Drang belong on the same shelf as works similar stylistically by Benda's contemporaries C.P.E. Bach (Benda's six sonatas were published the same year Bach produced a set of six - 1757) and Müthel. Jacques Ogg (fortepiano). 1993 release. Globe GLO 5092 (Netherlands) 03H064 $17.98 >

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Wind Octet in B Flat, Op. 216, Wind Sextet in B Flat, Op. 271, Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe, Op. 202 (arr. flute/piano by E. Kohler [1849-1907]). Reinecke's late (1892 and 1905) wind works stand out in a period when works for wind instruments were practically nonexistent. Of course, they breathe the air of early to mid 19th century Romanticism. Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 1993 release. Etcetera KTC 1155 (Netherlands) 03H065 $17.98 >

ALBERT DIETRICH (1829-1908): Sonata in G, Op. 19, HERMANN GOETZ (1840-1876): Sonata in G Minor, Op. 17, ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Bilder aus Osten, Op. 66, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Variations on a Theme by Schumann, Op. 23. Goetz' sonata is remarkable for its combination of gorgeous lyricism and polyphony while Dietrich's 1870 sonata is straight out of the Schumann-Brahms cupboard (and Bilder aus Osten isn't recorded terribly often). Patricia Verhagen, Paul Komen (piano four hands). 1999 release. Globe GLO 5188 (Netherlands) 03H066 $17.98 >

HUGO WOLF (1860-1903): Im stillen Friedhof, Grablied, Die Stimme des Kindes, Op. 10, Gottvertrauten, 6 geistliche Lieder, Im Sommer, Geistesgruß and Mailied, Op. 13, Nos. 1-3, Fröhliche Fahrt, Op. 17/1, PETER CORNELIUS (1824-1874): Requiem. The geistliche Lieder, a six-song cycle from 1881, has been recorded a few times - it is Wolf's own Winterreise distilled into a fifth of the time it would take to perform Schubert's cycle but the grief, desolation and despair are almost palpable. The other choruses are even earlier, showing a talented young composer with no ties either to the Schumann/Brahmsian past or to the Wagnerian present. Cornelius' Requiem sets a poem by Hebbel of that name, not the mass. German texts. Netherlands Chamber Choir; Uwe Gronostay, Rudolf Jansen (piano). 1993 release. Globe GLO 5105 (Netherlands) 03H067 $17.98 >

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Le danze del Re David, Op. 37, Questo fu il carro della morte, Op. 2, Cipressi, Op. 17, Sonata, Op. 51. Two volcanic, violent, almost demonic pieces are only available here - the 1928 sonata, dedicated to and performed by Gieseking, whose 30 minutes are passed in titanic eruptions of energy and emotion, tinted by music of an eastern, possibly Jewish, character (and some blues in its moody, nocturnal slow movement), and the 1925 "Dances of King David" which use a series of liturgical melodies to produce an exotic and vividly colorful 19-minute cycle. Daniel Blumenthal (piano). 1992 release. Etcetera KTC 1134 (Netherlands) 03H068 $17.98 >

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): Verses for Ensembles for Wind Quintet, Brass Quintet and 3 Percussionists, Refrains and Choruses for Wind Quintet, For O, For O, The Hobby-Horse is Forgot for 6 Percussionists. Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Percussion Group The Hague; James Wood. 1992 release. Etcetera KTC 1130 (Netherlands) 03H069 $17.98 >

AHMED ESSYAD (b.1940): Le cycle d'eau for Flute and Piano. Written between 1985 and 1993, this cycle for solo or duo is an example of this Moroccan-born composer's synthesis of western, Schoenberg-derived tradition with the microtones and modes of Arab music. Pierre-Yves Artaud (flutes), Emmanuel Strosser (piano). 1993 release. Etcetera KTC 1152 (Netherlands) 03H070 $17.98 >

BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): La chûte d'Icare for Clarinet and Small Ensemble, Superscriptio for Piccolo, Intermedio alla Ciaccona for Violin, Études Transcendantales for Flute, Oboe, Soprano, Harpsichord and Cello, Mnemosyne for Bass Flute and Pre-recorded Tape. Nieuw Ensemble; Ed Spanjaard. 1989 release. Etcetera KTC 1070 (Netherlands) 03H071 $17.98 >

KAIKHOSRU SHAPURJI SORABJI (1892-1988): 100 Transcendental Studies - Nos. 1-25. The Transcendental Studies are unique in Sorabji's output; seldom can a composer of so readily identifiable a style have repeated himself so little. But this set is unusual, both in conception and execution. Not too much should be made of the idea of 'difficulty' based on the fact that the title of the set is obviously derived from Liszt's ferociously difficult series of etudes - Sorabji wrote no easy music, was not especially interested in difficulty or otherwise of execution, and in fact it may be argued that those among these works which function as clearly definable 'studies' - in intervals, metrical groupings, articulation and so on - while accessible only to pianists of the highest level, are certainly not more technically demanding than the requirement to perform any number of these tasks simultaneously, as Sorabji almost always does in his compositions. No, the point is that these are pieces of music by Sorabji - he would probably have been horrified at the idea of writing a technical exercise that wasn't - and it is generally the ones that are the least study-like that carry the greatest musical substance. As this cycle progesses (it will be 6 or 7 CDs) we will see that at key points, the composer could not resist breaking quite dramatically out of the confinement of 'writing studies', and writing a characteristic Sorabji composition - a big passacaglia, nocturne, or fugue, for instance (volume 2 will start with one such). These first 25 are all of the shorter species, but even here the variety and originality is nothing short of astonishing. Fredrik Ullén (piano). BIS CD-1373 (Sweden) 03H072 $17.98 >

ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1893-1942): Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): A Jazz Symphony (both Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Wayne Marshall), GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937): Piano Concerto in F (Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gunther Schuller). Rescued from murder by Universal Music, the Koch Schwann-recorded Schulhoff piece (released on that late, lamented label in 1996) gains new life here, its stylistic palette moving from late Romanticism to jazz to Dada and its Japanese wooden drum, laughing devil, car horn, torpedo siren and anvil making it a perfect companion for an Antheil piece (and you can compare performances with the Jazz Symphony on our cover item this month). Michael Rische (piano). Arte Nova ANO 510510 (Germany) 03H073 $4.98

ALBERTO GINASTERA (1916-1983): String Quartets No. 1, Op. 20 and No. 2, Op. 26. Only super-budget recordings of this not-very-recorded-at-all repertoire, the 1948 First in Bartókian-folkloric style (although the beginning of the end for Ginastera in terms of folk elements predominating) and the 1958 Second, a dodecaphonic piece whose rhythmic intensity and fierce lyricism bely the compositional style. Henschel Quartet. Arte Nova ANO 721250 (Germany) 03H074 $4.98

MOISEI VAINBERG (1919-1996): Clarinet Sonata, Op. 28, OSKAR MORAWETZ (b.1917): Clarinet Sonata, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Clarinet Sonata, FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963): Clarinet Sonata. Another little gap in Vainberg's CD catalogue is filled by his 1947 sonata, a 21-minute, three-movement work in a rhapsodic style in which the composer's Jewish heritage is plainly evident throughout although I suspect he doesn't use actual folk material. Morawetz's 11-minute, single-movement sonata (1981) makes use of most the clarinet's capabilities in modern but tonal music and Uncle Lennie's early (1942) piece, of similar length, juxtaposes an introspective lyrical introduction with a more jazzy finale. Julian Milkis (clarinet), Nina Kogan (piano). Suoni e Colori SC 253242 (France) 03H075 $17.98 >

GERMAN GERMANOVICH GALYNIN (1922-1966): Piano Concerto No. 1, GALINA USTVOLSKAYA (b.1919): Piano Concerto, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Chamber Symphony in F, Op. 73a for Strings, Winds and Harp (arr. Rudolf Barshai). Galynin, a brilliant young composer who was too young to be fried by the flames of Zhdanov in 1948, won the Stalin Prize in 1951 for his Epic Poem on Folk Themes (shudder!) but may have been driven by the prevalent fear and paranoia of all artists into the mental illness which contributed to his early death. Before all that, he wrote this 23-minute concerto in 1946 which may be a synthesis of Shostakovich and Prokofiev but which is an original synthesis and which is vastly entertaining and a must-have for any Russian music collector. Both other pieces here date from 1946 also - Ustvolskaya's most conservative and traditional work of all but whose hard-edged and percussive quality and violent sonic mood swings meant that it could not be premiered until 1969, and, cheating, Shostakovich's quartet in Barshai's 1990 arrangement in which, unlike his other arrangements of this composer's quartets, he makes trenchant and telling use of winds. Serhiy Salov (piano), I Musici de Montréal; Yuli Turovsky. Analekta AN 2 9898 (Canada) 03H076 $16.98

JEAN-MICHEL DAMASE (b.1928): Introduction et Allegro, Thème et Variations, Sonata, Apparition, 8 Études, Sonatine. Damase's piano music, like the works involving harp which have appeared in these pages in the past, is in the 20th century French traditon of Poulenc, Ravel and Ibert and his 1953 sonata also has much of the motoric, toccata-like percussiveness of Prokofiev. Covering almost 40 years, this recital shows a mellowing into a more lyrical, neo-classical and always warmly tonal idiom as time went on. Nicholas Unwin (piano). SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 034 (England) 03H077 $17.98

KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Complete Piano Music - 2 Sonatinas, Op. 1, Sonata No. 1, Op. 2, Sonata No. 2, Op. 17, 5 Studies, Op. 22, Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Op. 24, Variations, Op. 30, 9 Variations, Op. 36, Pieces for Angela, Op. 47, Conflicts, Op. 51, 6 Studies, Op. 56, Sonata, Op. 64, Household Pets, Op. 86, 4 Romantic Pieces, Op. 95, Jack-in-the-Box, Study, Lazy-bones, Preludes. Our second three-disc piano intégrale of the month shows this English composer's progression from the quasi-Romantic early works with their echoes of Vaughan Williams and Walton to his later style, sometimes hair-raisingly virtuosic, often surprisingly lyrical, more often dense and abundantly chromatic (with one or two serial excursions). Music for the head and the heart and for discerning contemporary music collectors. 3 CDs for the price of 2. Angela Brownridge (piano). Delphian DCD 34301-3 (England) 03H078 $35.98

Russian Exclusive Imports

(none are of limited quantity although back-orders may take two months to fill)

TIKHON KHRENNIKOV (b.1913): Symphonies No. 1 in D Flat, Op. 4, No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 9 & No. 3 in A, Op. 28. It's not only amazing that Stalin's musical hatchet-man is still alive, having outlived everyone he tormented (and gone some 30 years beyond the current life expectancy in Russia), but he's also proved to be quite Teflon-coated - witness his recent state prize from Vladimir Putin and, from an organization that should know better, the 2003 ENESCO Mozart medal. Let it never be said that crime doesn't pay. The notes to his three symphonies are hagiographical to a Soviet-era degree but that doesn't have anything to do with the works themselves (1935, 1944 and 1973) which will be valuable additions to any symphony collector's shelves. No one said that he couldn't compose and the Socialist Realism to which these pieces adhere was the only route possible for at least the first two symphoies. You'll find the expected influences of Shostakovich (and Prokofiev, Myaskovsky and Shebalin in the First); http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/sovrev/khrennikov/sc029.htm will give you Rob Barnett's interesting take on these works. USSR State Symphony Orchestra; Evgeni Svetlanov. Kapelmeister KAP 008 (Russia) 03H079 $16.98 >

NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN (b.1937): 8 Concert Etudes, Sonata Fantasy, Op. 39, Suite in Old Style, Op. 28, Variations, Op. 41. Although the majority of the music on this disc and its companion below were recorded by Marc-André Hamelin and Steven Osborne for Hyperion, the authority of a composer playing his own piano pieces, especially when his works are so unique and he himself was well-known as an outstanding jazz and classical performer, is generally unquestioned. Anyone with an interest in Kapustin's music will want both of these late 1980s recordings. Nikolai Kapustin (piano). Original 1986 and 1989 Melodiya releases. Boheme CDBMR 007148 (Russia) 03H080 $16.98 >

NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN (b.1937): 24 Preludes in Jazz Style, Op. 53, Dawn, Op. 26, Toccatina, Op. 36, Meditation, Op. 47, Sounds of Big Band, Op. 46, Motive Force, Op. 45. Osborne recorded only 13 of the Preludes complete while several of the smaller pieces here are new to CD. Nikolai Kapustin (piano). Original 1989 Melodiya release. Boheme CDBMR 007149 (Russia) 03H081 $16.98 >

ALEXEI LVOV (1796-1870): Violin Concerto in A Minor "In the Form of a Dramatic Scena", YULY CONYUS (1869-1942): Violin Concerto in E Minor, ANTON ARENSKY (1861-1906): Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 45. Unless my memory's completely shot, this 1986 recording appeared in the west on Olympia (although no internet search could turn up any trace of its having existed). Olympia being well dead and decomposed by now, I've brought in a good batch of these for collectors who may never have had the opportunity to hear the single-movement, quasi-operatic concerto by Lvov from 1840 (he also composed the Tsarist National Anthem in 1833) or the slightly better-known piece by Conyus (1896), once recorded for EMI by Perlman and which is strongly influenced by Tchaikovsky. Mid-price. Sergei Stadler (violin), St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladislav Chernushenko, Vladmir Ponkin (Conyus). Manchester CDMA 156 (Russia) 03H082 $12.98 >

ANDREI PETROV (b.1930): Suite from the Ballet Genesis, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2, IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Petrushka (1946 version). OK, I ordered this not knowing how long the Genesis part was (it's 17:58 and Petrov covers a huge stylistic area in this relatively short time - one segment goes from Morricone to Shostakovich in seconds and American jazz and big band music are also quite prevalent [a very evil Western thing to be emulating in 1971]) but collectors will note the mid-price and there may be some Temirkanov fans out there who would like to hear him in more standard rep in the 1970s. Mid-price. Boys' Choir of the State Choir College, Academic Symphony of the St. Petersburg Philharmony; Yuri Temirkanov. Manchester CDMA 154 (Russia) 03H083 $12.98 >

OSCAR REEDING (?-?): Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 35, FRIEDRICH ZEITS (1848-1918): School Concerto No. 2 in G, Op. 13, JEAN BAPTISTE ACCOLAY (1845-1910): Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor (all arr. Grigory Korchmar [b.1947]), JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750): Concerto for Violin, Harpsichord and Strings in A Minor, BWV 1041, ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Violin Concertos in G and in A Minor, Op. 3, Nos. 3 & 6. The first three names above probably appeared on one of the two Polish Dux CDs we offered which were devoted to "Violin Concertos for Children", but for violin and piano. St. Petersburg cellist/pianist/composer has provided string orchestra accompaniment for these 26 minutes of music, slightly less than half the total disc time true, but then where else will you possibly find these items? Mid-price. Grigory Korchmar (harpsichord), Chamber Soloists of St. Petersburg, Mikhail Gantvarg (violin). Manchester CDMA 134 (Russia) 03H084 $12.98 >

PAVEL CHESNOKOV (1877-1944): Funeral Service, Op. 39-a. Rarer than the Liturgy or All-Night Vigil, the Funeral Service was usually composed for the deaths of particular individuals, Chesnokov writing this one in 1909 upon the passing of his revered teacher Stepan Smolensky. Originally written for large mixed choir, Chesnokov later transcribed it for a small, all-male choir and it is this version which was recorded here in 2003. Of special historical interest is the fact that this work's first performance since before the Russian Revolution was given by these artists on July 17, 1998 when the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were reburied in the Peter and Paul Fortress. No texts. St. Petersburg Male Choir; Vadim Afanasiev. Russian Lyre RLCD 008 (Russia) 03H085 $16.98 >

BO LINDE (1933-1970): Violin Concerto, Op. 18, Cello Concerto, Op. 29. Since Linde is barely known outside of Sweden, this budget-price issue of a brand-new Swedish Society Discofil recording which was released in Sweden only last year, will be a real ear-opener to collectors of both Scandinavian music and of gorgeous, tonal and melodic music in general. Linde studied with Lars Erik Larsson and, although he was influenced by his teacher's neo-classical style, the two concertos here are much more romantic than much of what Larsson wrote; one might even think of him as a Scandinavian Barber. Regarding the warmth and beauty of these two pieces, I think nothing more need be said. Karen Gomyo (violin), Maria Kliegel (cello), Gävle Symphony Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Naxos 8.557855 (New Zealand) 03H086 $7.98

AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): Symphony No. 2, Op. 29 "Symphonic Dialogue", Symphony No. 4, Op. 49, Horn Concerto, Op. 82 "Campane ed Arie", Mauermusik, Op. 7. The third volume of Sallinen's orchestral music brings works from both ends of his career - the nine-minute "Wall Music" from 1962, written in memory of an East German citizen shot and killed by border guards while trying to escape to the West, which is about as avant-garde as Sallinen got (not very, with its opening use of microtones and notes of free duration resolving into freely tonal lamenting music), and the 2002 horn concerto which allows its soloist to be both lyrical singer and playful joker against an orchestral backdrop punctuated by bells and other percussion. The latter is also at the source of the Symphony No. 2 (1972), whose "Dialogue" is between solo percussionist and orchestra while the Fourth, of 1979, is a spiky piece in the manner of Shostakovich's Ninth which finally leaves its irony behind in the final movement, ending in an apotheosis of great power. Esa Tapani (horn), Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Ari Rasilainen. CPO 999 969 (Germany) 03H087 $15.98

YULI GALPERIN (b.1945): Cahier Dominical, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): 3 Fantastic Dances, Op. 5, 24 Préludes, Op. 34. Galperin (who goes by the French transliteration Iouli Galperine) is a Ukrainian who's been based in Paris since 1991. His "Sunday Notebook" (no date given, so we don't know if it was inspired by nostalgia or if it was written before he left the former Soviet Union) is a 26-minute, eight-piece suite which blends a Rachmaninovian Russian romanticism and a Shostakovichian spiky sardonicism with his own personal brand of impressionism and sonorism to produce an enjoyable cycle with a definite dramatic structure. Mikhail Markov (piano). Suoni e Colori SC 53009 (France) 03H088 $17.98 >

SIGMUND GROVEN (b.1946): Legends for Harmonica and Strings, TERJE RYPDAL (b.1947): Modulations for Harmonica and Orchestra, KENNETH SIVERTSEN (b.1961): Seeking Your Peace for Harmonica and Strings, HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Harmonica Concerto, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Chanson de Marin from Suite Anglaise for Harmonica and Orchestra. Rypdal's work is a study in timbre, with a haunting theme set against gently rocking orchestral accompaniment interspersed with subtle dissonant interjections; this is a somewhat modernised relative of Sibelius' dark-hued Swan of Tuonela. The soloist's own suite pays tribute to the Hardanger fiddle tradition - appropriately bringing together two styles which have their origins well outside the concert hall. The work has a fresh, open-air quality, tonal and melodic, sounding like something Grieg might have done had he written for the instrument. Sigmund Groven (harmonica), Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Christian Eggen. Pro Musica PPC 9050 (Norway) 03H089 $18.98 >

ROLF WALLIN (b.1957): 3 Rilke Poems, FINN MORTENSEN (1922-1983): The Weight of Branches, Op. 33, MAGNE HEGDAL (b.1944): AIR: to a Gothic Cathedral for Soprano, Piano and Percussion, OLAV ANTON THOMMESEN (b.1946): The Overtone for Soprano and Ensemble, SYNNE SKOUEN (b.1950): Rug-Rye for Soprano, Cello and Piano, KRESIMIR SIPUSCH (b.1930): 4 Rilke Lieder. These songs, though stylistically diverse, all seem to be intimately connected to the Lied tradition. Wallin's three Rilke settings certainly are, avoiding the more modern and systematic compositional techniques for which he is known. Skouen's 7-minute dramatic scena is a miniature monodrama, while Mortensen, the elder statesman among the composers here, emphasises melody in a serial context, with a pointillistic and understated accompaniment, providing a link back to the first decades of the 20th century. The Hegdal is more fragmentaery, utilising chance techniques (and an enlarged instrumental palette, including percussion), while Sipusch's Rilke settings are a good deal more traditional, eloquent in their economy. Thommessen's wordless vocalise, colorfully scored for ensemble, creates an energetic and sonorous coda to the recital. Norwegian/German-English texts. Guri Egge (soprano), Einar Henning Smebye (piano), Hans Christian Kjos Sørensen (percussion), Øystein Birkeland (cello), Sigyn Fossnes (violin, viola), Hans Christian Bræin (clarinet), Tom Ottar Andreassen (flute), Veard Lund (lute), Peter Szilvay (conductor - Overtone). Pro Musica PPC 9055 (Norway) 03H090 $18.98 >

ALVIN CURRAN (b.1938): Inner Cities 1-11. Since this is going to appeal to an extremely small number of collectors, a couple of quotes from on-line reviews should suffice. Fanfare, after describing Curran as an "über-Minimalist", in a review of Inner Cities 1: "(He) draws our attention to the smallest elements of musical expression; harmonic shifts that Mozart achieved in an instant take minutes here, rhythms undulate like molasses oozing under a warm late afternoon sun. Some will be impatient with this approach, but I find this music genuinely beautiful." New Music Box on Inner Cities 10: "Nearly 50 minutes go by until one begins to fathom the magnitude of this unfolding musical orgy. Then, Vandewalle delivers the money shot in the form of a colossal orgasm that sonically encompasses the entire history of Western music. I'm not kidding. It's two minutes of sheer heaven - not to discount the remaining four hours of kick-ass music on this stellar release." Those who want this will know by now. 4 CDs. Daan Vandewalle (piano). Long Distance 0560304 (France) 03H091 $75.98

ROLF MARTINSSON (b.1956): Kalliope for String Orchestra, A.S. in Memoriam, Dreams, At the End of Time for Narrator and Orchestra. A.S. in Memoriam is a tribute to the Schoenberg of Verklärte Nacht, who has influenced his style the most, based on the sound of this piece and of the other works here. Early Schoenberg - the first two quartets, parts of Gurrelieder - is a constant presence throughout Kalliope as well - contrasting character pieces portraying the nine muses and the character that might be assumed to correspond to the arts over which each presided. At the End of Time sets a lengthy text which is narrated by its poet, and then unexpectedly - and rather movingly - turns into a song, utilising a 'big tune' to which it turns out the music has been progressing throughout. Dreams is a kind of musical commentary on Kurosawa's film of the same title, a large neo-romantic tone poem suggesting the contrasting scenes and dramatic contrasts of the film, without sounding like a film score divorced from its origins. Jacques Werup (recitation), Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Christoph König, Markus Lehtinen. Daphne 1022 (Sweden) 03H092 $16.98

ROLF RIEHM (b.1937): Machandelboom. 'The Juniper Tree' is a radio play based on a particularly violent and distasteful fairy-tale, with the usual murder and gratuitously convoluted supernatural revenge ­ all of which may be interpreted as allegory, illustrating social and psychological unpleasantness that nobody is comfortable talking about in adult terms. Riehm's retelling involves a number of narrators reciting the story (with greater or lesser degrees of 'acting'), while the musical accompaniment runs throughout, framing the text in sounds which are sometimes musical - in fragments of many styles, from free jazz to serial avant-gardism to apparent references to cheesy 'horror movie' soundtracks - and sometimes sound effects, from non-musical sources. This constantly personalises the story, relating what we hear to what we know; familiar sounds, a snatch of sentimental music - while allowing the nightmarish unreality of the story to unfold according to its dream-logic. Various vocalists, choruses and instrumentalists. Cybele SACD hybrid 960.501 (Germany) 03H093 $16.98

FLORENCIO ASENJO (b.1926): Tearings, Passion and Apotheosis: A Symphony in Two Movements, Glimpses. While always remaining true to his credo of building large-scale pieces by constantly introducing new and independent material in a constantly evolving tapestry, avoiding repetition, Asenjo nonetheless writes readily accessible works, the listener never overwhelmed by the profusion of ideas. This is partly due to the nature of the material, resolutely tonal and Romantic in sound and inspiration. The symphony presents an essentially emotional journey, in one sustained breath; the progression from despair to - if not quite triumph, then a kind of heroic vindication - is accomplished through the metamorphosis of mood and musical content, rather than the conventions of symphonic form that the overall vocabulary of the music might suggest. The shorter pieces that make up the other two works also succeed in finely capturing a mood or state of mind, sometimes settled, sometimes in flux or transition. Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra; Kirk Trevor. Albany TROY 822 (U.S.A.) 03H094 $16.98

REZA VALI (b.1952): Chant and dance for Flutes, Clarinets, Piano, Celesta and Percussion (Alberto Almarza [flutes], Patrick Leyden [clarinets], Luz Manriquez [piano, celesta], Jon Crabiel, Patricio Hernandez, Damien Bassman [percussion], Nizan Leibovich [conductor]), Folk Songs, Set. No. 12A (Mimi Lerner [mezzo], Irene Schreier [piano], Cuarteto Latinoamericano), Calligraphy No. 4 (Dariush Saghafi [santoor], Cuarteto Latinoamericano), Folk Songs, Set No. 15 (Seattle Chamber Players; Matthew Kocmieroski [percussion]). These striking and original ensemble works exploit the explicitly Persian aspects of Vali's compositional muse, as in the more western tradition-oriented works for quartet which we offered in January. In Chant, through extended playing techniques, he evokes the sound of a Persian bamboo flute from the alto flute; both timbre and musical material are convincingly evocative without being slavishly imitative. The magic continues in the Folk Songs; if these lovely things were billed as skilled arrangements by a western composer of authentic middle-eastern melodies they would be remarkable and convincing enough; the fact that a good proportion of them were composed by Vali just makes his achievement all the more remarkable. Calligraphy No.4 actually employs an authentic Persian instrument and functions much like the 'ethnically'-inspired, modal melodic lines in the works on the previous disc, sub-semitonal intervals and all, invested with added color through the distinctive timbre of the solo instrument. Albany TROY 824 (U.S.A.) 03H095 $16.98

SEBASTIAN CURRIER (b.1959): Quartetset, Quiet Time. Currier's meticulously crafted and effortlessly eclectic style is perfectly suited to the quartet medium, and these two extended cycles showcase to perfection his immediately approachable æsthetic, with its constant winking references to other composers - with Currier one is constantly in looking-glass land, but he never abadons you there; there is always something familiar to hold on to. Generally speaking, his vocabulary is based in tonality, but to make a point here and there, raucous dissonance or occasional unconventional techniques will be employed. And in the seven movements of Quiet Time, the composer incorporates explicit suggestions of electronic techniques beloved of our avant-gardistes - all produced purely on the instruments of the ensemble, and all within a framework of evocative and warmly musical - even, when it suits him, tuneful - forms and textures. Cassatt Quartet. New World 80634-2 (U.S.A.) 03H096 $16.98

DENIS BOSSE (b.1960): Champs de l'Inaudible. These works for trio or solo instruments frequently make use of extremely subtle, fragmentary sounds, with some extended playing techniques. This places great emphasis on the role of the listener in the creative process. As incandescent scraps of musical material whirl, flame and dissolve, one finds oneself filling in a considerable amount of implied detail, which on strict examination turns out not to be there. This is not a new idea; Impressionist painting works in very much the same way. And although technically the connections among Impressionism in different media is far from precise, a loose analogy between Impressionist scores and Bosse's work may be drawn - certainly in terms of the colors of his sound world. Trio Fibonacci. Cyprès CYP4623 (Belgium) 03H097 $17.98

LUCA FRANCESCONI (b.1956): Cobalt Scarlet for Large Orchestra, Rest for Cello and Orchestra. Odd as it undoubtedly sounds to suggest this of the work of a composer of the Darmstadt generation; a Stockhausen pupil; Cobalt Scarlet, a glorious 23-minute tone poem immediately calls to mind Nielsen's astonishing Helios Overture. Francesconi starts in mysterious darkness, subtle shades of occult color begin to emerge, and then suddenly, in violent spasm, an orgiastic dance engulfs the entire orchestra. Consonance for primary colors; wild atonal whooping for blazing light too intense to view directly; interpret it how you will, this is light-painting worthy of J.M.W Turner. Rest is a cello concerto in memoriam Berio (based on a musical monogram representing his name). Fully utilising the resources of a large orchestra, and exploiting the extended range and tone-colors of the solo instrument, it occupies a less Romantic sound-world than Cobalt Scarlet, but is no less organic, building from isolated scattered shards of sound through a succession of powerful climaxes, the whole tied together by an endless thread of cello virtuosity. Anssi Karttunen (cello), RAI National Symphony Orchestra; Roberto Abbado. Stradivarius STR 33703 (Italy) 03H098 $17.98

JOHN KINSELLA (b.1932): Cello Concerto, CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b.1926): Cello Concerto, DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Cello Concerto No. 1 in E Flat, Op. 107. Both the Garrido-Lecca and Kinsella are dedicated to Prieto, and both are virtuoso vehicles which showcase his eloquent singing tone and technical bravura. Garrido-Lecca's concerto, in a conventional three-movement layout, employs some elements of neoclassical incisiveness and clarity, as in the vigorous ostinato-driven vivace section of the first movement, following a tense but lyrical introduction for soloist alone. The slow movement revisits this mood, while the motoric finale is a dynamic rondo punctuated by reflective episodes. Overall the harmonic language recalls Prokofiev or Stravinsky. Kinsella's work is characteristically free of form, unpredictable and wide-ranging; his harmonic language, as in other works of recent years, is largely tonal. The lengthy first movement, full of yearning, highly expressive material for the soloist, has a quasi-symphonic sense of scale - one could easily imagine it as the introduction to an hour-long 'cello symphony'. Instead, an extended cadenza leads to a delightful bravura rondo-finale, which sounds like Shostakovich pastiching Mendelssohn! Carlos Prieto (cello), Xalapa Symphony Orchestra; Carlos Miguel Prieto, Luis Herrera de la Fuente (Shostakovich). Urtext JBCC 083 (Mexico) 03H099 $17.98

ISANG YUN (1917-1995): Novelette for Flute and Harp with Violin and Cello, Piano Trio, Duo for Cello and Harp, Violin Sonata. The free flexibility of the traditional music of his homeland invests Yun's music with a particularly individual flavor. His studies in the west, and his adoption of dodecaphony, avoid any tendency toward uneasy east-west 'fusion' experiments; most of these chamber works sound like highly accomplished central European modernism. The large-scale sonata is especially striking, constantly mixing major and minor modes in a virtuosic tour de force, structurally free of the conventions of sonata form, while retaining a quasi-Baroque sense of structure. Kolja Lessing (violin), Walter Grimmer (cello), Holger Groschopp (piano), Maria Graf (harp), Roswitha Staege (flute). Capriccio 67 116 (Austria) 03H100 $17.98

ISANG YUN (1917-1995): Chamber Symphony I, Tapis for Strings, Gong-Hu for Harp and Strings. The Chamber Symphony, at nearly half an hour, is a substantial work, and plays continuously, as in one long breath. The influence of Yun's teacher, Blacher, is decidedly apparent, but so is Yun's individual voice, with long linear phrases in close register, and the use of microtones, ingeniously mimicking the traditional music of his native Korea. Gong-Hu is essentially a virtuosic harp concerto, with a heightened impressionistic sense of sonority in the composer's characteristic long-breathed lines. Rana Park (harp), Korean Chamber Ensemble; Piotr Borkowski. Naxos 8.557938 (New Zealand) 03H101 $7.98

KAREL GOEYVAERTS (1923-1993): Bélise dans un jardin for 24 Voices and 6 Instruments, Improperia - Cantata for Good Friday for Alto, Double Mixed Choir and 6 Instruments (Vilnius Municipal Choir "Jauna Muzika"; Koen Kessels), Mon doux Pilote s'endort aussi for Mixed Choir (Flemish Radio Choir; Johan Duijck), Erst das Gesicht, dann die Hände, und zuletzt erst das Haar for Chamber Orchestra (Champ d'Action; Kessels), Avontuur for Piano and 10 Wind Instruments (Jan Michiels [piano], Prometheus Ensemble, Champ d'Action; Peter Rundel), Zomerspielenfor 3 Orchestral Groups (BRT Symphony Orchestra; Gianpiero Taverna), Pourque les fruits mûrissent cet été for Renaissance Instruments (Florilegium Musicum de Paris). These seven works span the stage of Goeyvaerts' career between his rejection of serialism in the late 1950s and the emergence of his final theories of compositional technique exemplified in Aquarius. It is not difficult to chart the progression in the composer's thinking during these years. After his controversial abandonment of serialism and aleatory techniques, we hear in the works that immediately followed an emphasis on sonorous richness of texture. This is especially true in the choral works Improperi and Mon doux pilote, which have a ritualistic, quasi-devotional quality. Here and there, in Erst das Gesicht one may be reminded of Andriessen or Pärt, but Goeyvaerts has his own voice; the Stravinskyan wind writing in the incisive and energetic Avontuur is similarly a fleeting impression rather than a compositional device. Avontuur was the predecessor to the Aquarius 'project', and contains elements of layout and repeated gestures that prefigure the final phase of Goeyvaerts' æsthetic journey. The use of 'obsolete' instruments in the extended Pourque les fruits - the nearest thing to process music here, by some distance - lends the hypnotic work an additional air of archaic ritual. 2 CDs. Megadisc MDC 7829/30 (Belgium) 03H102 $35.98

GEORGES APERGHIS (b.1945): Avis de Tempête. Making extensive use of the 'cut-up' technique, most famously explored in literature by William Burroughs (cutting pre-existing material into fragments, randomly reassembling them and searching for 'found objects' to which meaning may be ascribed among the results) this 'opera' treats the idea of 'storms' - literally and metaphorically - as an allegory for breakdown and chaos, especially psychological. Technically, the work exists on three levels; comprehensible text, instrumental sounds, and computer-manipulated sounds. The latter are especially innovative - broken into sufficiently brief sections and presented rapidly enough in random sequence, voices become rain or rushing water; sufficiently speeded up, wind. Ultimately, the work is a dizzying, ever-changing sound-collage; the solidity and richness of the acoustic sounds from the ensemble are wisely employed by the composer to lend a tangible element to the swirling, computer-generated mælstrom. Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Johanne Saunier, Lionel Peintre, Romain Bischoff (voices), Ictus Ensemble; Georges-Élie Octors. Cyprès CYP5621 (Belgium) 03H103 $18.98

PHILIPPE BOESMANS (b.1936): Julie. This succinct one-act setting of Strindberg's disturbing little domestic drama of betrayal and transgression precisely encapsulates the hard-edged drama of the original. Concerned with precise story-telling and presenting the many layers of meaning implicit in the text, the composer avoids experimental modernism and bombast, allowing his three soloists to communicate directly with the listener through their finely-crafted and clearly delineated material. The orchestral part functions in the same way - a model of expressive economy on chamber scale. Although Boesmans' style embraces a broad type of serialism, the over-riding impression is of rich chromaticism - rather to the second-Viennese side of Britten; in general vocabulary it's near Sallinen's operatic output in style. French-English libretto. Garry Magee (baritone), Malena Ernman (mezzo), Kerstin Avemo (soprano), Chamber Orchestra of La Monnaie; Kazushi Ono. Cyprès CYP4626 (Belgium) 03H104 $17.98

FAUSTO ROMITELLI (1963-2004): An Index of Metals. This 'video opera' breaks down both sound and image into component parts, then re-assembles them in an abstract, kaleidoscopic collage. Sometimes the source material is instantly recognisable (a sample from Pink Floyd, for instance); more often they hint at genres or styles but are too fleeting or fragmentary to identify exactly. Often the effect is of layers, as though the composer had written more or less conventional vocal lines, which are partially obscured behind more abstract and atonal material for the ensemble, presented in sharper focus, so to speak; and again overlain with electronically manipulated sound for a further exercise in sonic perspective. The video images are manipulated images taken from photographs or micrographs of real metallic surfaces. Overall, the impression is of a sophisticated video installation (the DVD contains a multi-screen version playable via a PC, as well as a single-screen TV version,which bears this out) - and the extent to which you capture the full 'gallery' effect at home will depend largely on your home theater/surround sound system. Donatienne Michel-Dansac (voice), Ictus Ensemble; Georges-Élie Octors. 1 CD and 1 DVD. Cyprès CYP5622 (Belgium) 03H105 $30.98

GEORGE FLYNN (b.1937): 'Til Death, 4 Pieces, Together. Flynn's characteristically active and complex style intermittently displays a warmer, more melodic side in these duo works. Til Death has the instruments assume characters, first in deceptively easy-going harmony, then building a succession of more or less vehement disagreements, allowing ample opportunity for virtuosic tantrums, before adapting to each other through a variety of changing textures, and finally drawing to an unexpectedly consonant close. In Pieces, Flynn deliberately limits his material, nonetheless constructing works of considerable dramatic impact and virtuosity. Together, the longest and most recent work, is also the most varied. It aids the listener's internal navigation through the use of thematic material which returns, treated in very different fashion, throughout the work. Though broadly atonal and featuring Flynn's familiar high-energy dissonances in its more vigorous passages, the work has a more lyrical and quasi-tonal feel than much of the composer's music so far recorded. Katherine Hughes (violin), George Flynn (piano). Southport S-SSD 0115 (U.S.A.) 03H106 $12.98

CLAUDE VIVIER (1948-1983): Kopernikus, Prologue pour un Marco Polo, Shiraz, Lonely Child, Zipangu, Wo bist du, Licht!, Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (unfinished). Susan Narucki, Claron McFadden, Kathryn Harries (sopranos), Lani Poulson (mezzo), Karl Daymond (baritone), Asko Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble; Reinbert de Leeuw. The Canadian Vivier, who was murdered in mysterious and insalubrious circumstances in Paris, was hailed as a major figure by Ligeti. His voice is an individual and highly distinctive one; one is aware of certain characteristic motivic devices, for example passages of parallel, slow-moving block chords, somewhere between early chant and the Messiaen of Turangalîla; much of the music is slow and often serene, but seldom reposeful; sometimes uncomplicated of texture, but never minimalist; sometimes of glittering complexity of surface texture, but not structurally complexicist. Color is also important; in a kind of proto-spectralism, Vivier uses the natural overtones present in instrumental sounds to create a harmony of unusual richness, necessarily incorporating intervals smaller than a semitone. The DVDs contain a two-part work: first, a completed opera, Kopernikus; second, based on ideas of the composer, an assemblage forming a musical theatre work, including his last work, which may not be complete, and which seems to predict, almost literally, his death. Dreamlike, this 'theater of ideas', of embodied concepts, is compelling - difficult to analyse intellectually; intensely involving on an emotional level. 2 DVDs. Opus Arte OA 0943 D (England) 03H107 $37.98

ROBERT STOLZ (1880-1975): Im Prataer blüh'n wieder die Bäume, Op. 247, Vor meinem Vaterhaus steht eine Linde, Op. 614, Salome, Op. 355, Songs from the Films Das Lied ist aus, Ich liebe alle Frauen, Die lustigen Weiber von Wien, Mein Herz ruft nach dir and Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt, Songs from the Operettas Mädi and Der Favorit. A selection of songs from various sources by the Austrian composer whom a Viennese critic described as the "accredited ambassador of 3/4 time in an age in which the century of the waltz had become totally irrelevant." No texts. Ursula Reinhardt-Kiss (soprano), Eberhard Büchner (tenor), Jürgen Erbe Choir, Berlin Large Radio Orchestra; Robert Hanell. Original 1981 VEB Deutsche Schall-platten release. Berlin Classics 0013562BC (Germany) 03H108 $12.98

Piano Transcriptions by Sergei Yushkevich

Bach: Badinerie and Rondeau from Ouverture, BWV 1067, Air from Ouverture, BWV 1068, Farnaby: La vielle spagnoletta, Le jouet, Soler: Concerto for 2 Organs, Chopin: Lithuanian Song, Schubert: Serenade, Bizet: Seguidilla from Carmen, Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912): Minuet from String Quartet, Prélude from Ukrainian Suite, Shostakovich: Chanson matinale, SERGEI YUSHKEVICH (b.1953): Petite Suite Ukrainienne. Mostly rare piano transcriptions from a Ukrainian pianist who now divides his time between his home and western Europe. Sergei Yuskevich (piano). Suoni e Colori SC53022 (France) 03H109 $17.98 >

Romantic Norweigan Music for Strings

SIGURD ISLANDSMOEN (1881-1964): The Maiden Went up the Highest Mountain , SPARRE OLSEN (1903-1984): Norwegian Love Song, Op. 36/3 (arr. Ketil Vea), Andante Funebre, Op. 60/2, HALFDAN KJERULF (1815-1868): Enchanting Tunes (arr. Olsen), RIKARD NORDRAAK (1842-1866): Taylor's Song (arr. Halvorsen), LEIF SOLBERG (b.1914): Ver Sacrum, OLE BULL (1810-1880): In Moments of Solitude (arr. Halvorsen), The Herd-girl's Sunday (arr. Svendsen), BJARNE BRUSTAD (1895-1978): I Lay Down so Late, AGATHE BACKER GRØNDAHL (1847-1907): Evening Song, Op. 42/7 (arr. Vea), SIGURD LIE (1871-1904): While Humming, Little Kirsten Was Weaving and We Can Only Cry, My Pale, Sorry Child (arr. Halvorsen), IVER HOLTER (1850-1941): Midsummer's Eve Idyll, Op. 4, JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Maiden's Song, Op. 33/4, The Old Fisherman, op. 31, JOHAN SVENDSEN (1840-1911): Romance in G, Op. 26, Last Year I was Tending the Goats, Op. 31. If you liked the old Naxos release "Romantic Norwegian Music", this new title offers more such delights, some with solo violin, most folk-music inspired, all full of attractive and memorable melodies. Gjøvik Sinfonietta; Atle Sponberg (violin). Pro Musica PPC 9048 (Norway) 03H110 $18.98 >

KRISTIAN LINDEMANN (b.1942): 3 Sentimental Songs, 4 Norwegian Songs, Butterfly, Lamento, Letter to George, Romance, Nocturne, Little Piece, Summer Lunch at the Hotel Continental, Opus, Lullaby. Light music for solo piano from a composer who also works in the Norwegian pop genre and whose great-grandfather was a folksong collector whose work provided Grieg with the majority of his folk material. Marina Galiakhmetova (piano). Pro Musica PPC 9046 (Norway) 03H111 $18.98 >

Xenakis Collectors take note!

IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001): Evryali for Piano, Dikhthas for Violin and Piano, Herma for Piano, Palimpsest for Piano, 6 Drums, Winds and Strings, Mists for Piano, A.r. (Hommage à Ravel) for Piano, 6 chansons pour piano. This 1999 release has been reissued, remastered in 96/24-bit and with the first recording of the 1950-51 chansons (made last March), one of the composer's earliest pieces and which shows a distinct kinship with Debussy and Bartók as Xenakis explored his cultural roots. Aki Takahashi (piano). Mode 80 (U.S.A.) 03H112 $17.98

Prague Spring Festival Broadcasts

Tchaikovsky: Sym. No. 4 (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Evgeny Mravinsky. 1957), Rachmaninov: Piano Cto. No. 3 (Lev Oborin, CPO; Leopold Stokowski. 1961), Martinu: Sym. No. 6 (CPO; Charles Munch. 1967), Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (CPO; Igor Markevitch. 1959), Beethoven: Coriolan Overture (CPO; George Szell. 1959), Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (CPO; André Cluytens. 1955), Dvorák: The Wood Dove (CPO; Václav Talich. 1954), Smetana: Vltava, From Bohemia's Woods and Fields (CPO; Karel Ancerl. 1968), Mozart: Piano Cto. No. 20, K.466 (Sviatoslav Richter, CPO; Kirill Kondrashin. 1950), Prokofiev: Violin Cto. No. 1 (David Oistrakh; Prague Symphony Orchestra; Rafael Kubelík. 1947). 72-page, three language book with rare photos. Many unreleased recordings. 4 CDs. Naïve/Andante AN 2151 (France). 03H113 $50.98