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Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

ALEXANDER MOYZES (1906-1984): Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 31, Symphony No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 16. Along with Cikker and Suchon, Moyzes represents the "Big Three" of modern Slovak orchestral music. His father was a pioneer figure in the development of Slovak national music but it was his teacher, the composer Vitezslav Novák who directed his concentration on Slovak music. Moyzes wrote 12 symphonies and his first dates from 1929 but was revised in 1937 and now bears a higher opus number. A four-movement work lasting over forty minutes, it is still demonstrably a student symphony, deriving much of its form and content from late Central European Romanticism but aware of the Second Viennese School although never atonal. The Second was also revised (1932/41) and ended up being a two-movement work (although still nearly 40 minutes in length) in which the dramatic and vivid Allegro impetuoso demonstates Moyzes' orchestrational abilities while the final Allegro marcato offers echoes of Prokofiev and of Slovak folk music along its contrapuntal way. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ladislav Slovák. Marco Polo 8.225088 (New Zealand) 05B001 $14.98

JOHN HARBISON (b.1938): Symphony No. 3, Flute Concerto, The Most Often Used Chords for Orchestra. The 1994 concerto floats on airy breezes, with gossamer orchestration and a sunlit delicacy. The Most Often... (1992) is a jeu d'esprit taking as its departure the "fundamentals of music" pages found on covers of music composition books - its Toccata, Variazioni, Ciaccona and Finale become a concerto for orchestra shot through with brilliant colors and expertly orchestrated. The symphony dates from 1990 and evinces the same love of melody and juxtaposition of instruments and instrumental groups to create attractive, ear-catching sounds. In five short movements, each with its own personality and sound world, the symphony is even more delightful than its companions. Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller. Albany TROY 390 (U.S.A.) 05B002 $16.98

MORE GEORGE ANTHEIL - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Symphony No. 1 "Zingareska", Symphony No. 6 "after Delacroix", Archipelago. What are the odds of having two recordings of Antheil's Sixth released in two months time? A much finer orchestra and an even finer recording (amazing for a radio broadcasting hall) make the Sixth an even more viscerally exciting work with its influences of Shostakovich and Prokofiev assimilated into the composer's mature style. The first symphony dates from 1922 and is at the beginning of Antheil's "bad boy of music" reign of terror. Its first movement is an Ivesian collage of influences ranging from Bruckner to Stravinsky while the second and last movements throws in even more Stravinsky (principally Petrushka) as well as some rude sound effects culled from jazz and ragtime. By contrast, the third movement doloroso elevato brings some atmospheric, quiet yet disquieting night music à la Bartók. Archipelago is a no-holds-barred 1935 rumba which could have been written by Milhaud. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hugh Wolff. CPO 999 604 (Germany) 05B003 $15.98

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Cello Concerto, Op. 7, Symphony No. 8 "Minnesota". The 1931 cello concerto was withdrawn for revision which was never finished; what we have here is the first recording of a completion by the Norwegian bassoonist/composer Robert Rønnes (who also revised the same composer's bassoon concerto earlier in this series). Still predating Sæverud's mature style, the concerto is highly contrapuntal and its harmonies approach atonality at times; the soloist, while being more primus inter pares than usual, still has extraordinarily difficult work. The 1958 symphony, commissioned for the 100th anniversary of Minnesota's statehood, is almost a four-movement tone-poem which opens in the dim mists of the first Norwegian immigration ("Once upon a time...") and finishes with a quasi-machine-music "Man and the Machine". Truls Mørk (cello), Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. BIS-CD 972 (Sweden) 05B004 $17.98

RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER (1901-1953): Suite for Wind Quintet, Diaphonic Suite No. 1 for Oboe, Diaphonic Suite No. 2 for Bassoon and Cello, String Quartet, Suite No. 2 for Piano and Strings, Diaphonic Suite No. 3 for 2 Clarinets, Diaphonic Suite No. 4 for Oboe and Cello, Suite for 5 Wind Instruments and Piano. As an American composer who embraced modern trends while remaining aware of American folk music (on which she became an authority),Seeger developed a highly individual voice, challenging and musically intelligent while remaining directly expressive and communicative. With her complex counterpoint and casual use of whatever dissonance resulted from it, she was somewhat ahead of her time, especially during the 1920s and 30s, when her compositions reached their most powerful and individual. It is noticeable that in the one work here that dates from after her huge study of folk music, the Suite (1952), the language is less thorny, though no less thoroughly worked out, and as always, the music is compelling and full of ideas. A splendid composer, long overdue for reappraisal. Mid-price. Ensemble Aventure, Pellegrini Quartet. CPO 999 670 (Germany) 05B005 $10.98

RICARDO CASTILLO (1894-1966): Berceuse, 2 Barcarolles, Nocturne, L'eau qui court..., Scène pastorale, Poème Pastoral, Guatemala - serie de impresiones, San Andrés Xecul, Suite en Re, Un petit rien, 3 Nocturnes, Danza de los Seres Misteriosos, 8 Preludes, 7 Pieces. These are the complete piano works of this Guatemalan composer, stretching from the first six listed above which date from his time in Paris and which distill Chopin through Fauré and Schumann through Debussy, to his nationalistic period (Guatemala - 1936 and San Andrés Xecul - 1940) and beyond to his most mature style, culminating in the seven pieces composed at various times in the last ten years of his life. As a sequence of miniatures amounting to 45 tracks, this is an illuminating counterpoint to Castillo's large-scale orchestral works. Massimiliano Damerini (piano). Marco Polo 8.225077 (New Zealand) 05B006 $14.98

DAVID DIAMOND (b.1915): Piano Trio, String Trio in G, Piano Quartet. More chamber works new to CD: the 1936 quartet, conceived in six movements played attacca, and evincing a mix of late Romanti-cism tempered by a bracing neo-Classicism. The 1937 string trio mixes a similar neo-classical verve in its strongly rhythmical outer movements which surround an often melancholy, lyrically brittle slow movement. Notre Dame String Trio, Ralph Votapek (piano). Centaur CRC 2437 (U.S.A.) 05B007 $16.98

SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM (b.1942): Piano Concerto, JOHAN HAMMERTH (b.1953): Piano Concerto No. 1. Sandström's 1990 concerto is a glorious piece of unaffected Romanticism, with no apparent ironic intent, just virtuosic piano bravura enough to satisfy the most ardent enthusiast for the genre, big flowing tunes, warm, lush orchestration to wallow in - it's all here. The most obvious comparisons - 'models' might be too strong a term - are Rachmaninov, Prokofiev's third concerto, Shostakovich's second and Gershwin's Concerto in F. Hammerth composed his first concerto (of two so far) in the same year, and while it takes more account of the past 60 years of music history than Sandström's, his concerto is still very much of a Romantic sensibility, very tonal, though venturing into deeper psychological waters than the older composer. Comparisons here: Sallinen in orchestral textures, Ronald Stevenson's second concerto, and some elements of Prokofiev other than the easy-going Third. Both pieces are splendid, and it is hard to see why anyone would fail to enjoy them. Bengt-Åke Lundin (piano), Gävle Symphony Orchestra; Göran W. Nilson. Caprice CAP 21608 (Sweden) 05B008 $16.98

EINAR ENGLUND (1916-1999): Cello Concerto, Aphorisms (Symphony No. 6) for Chorus and Orchestra. A relatively early work (1954), the cello concerto is an introverted and lyrical work which emphasizes the meditative character of the solo instrument and the spirit of Bartók is discernible throughout. Dating from 1984, the sixth symphony sets Finnish translations of texts by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Classical balance and restraint do not preclude rhythmic punch (a central scherzo does not include the chorus) while the texts are set in a sparing fashion akin to Sibelius' Kullervo symphony. Finnish-English texts. Jan-Erik Gustafsson (cello), Tampere Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Eri Klas. Ondine ODE 951 (Finland) 05B009 $17.98

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): The Unknown Richard Strauss, Vol. 9 - The Ruins of Athens. In 1924 Strauss and his usual librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal decided to give two of Beethoven's less successful stage works another chance. Combining The Creatures of Prometheus with The Ruins of Athens by adding a German character passionate about Greek culture and merrily transposing scenes, adding and subtracting music and texts and generally having a high old time. The result is mostly Beethoven, music-wise, but filtered through a Straussian, pro-Germanic consciousness which makes, if nothing else, for a highly unusual (and, yes, enjoyable) musical experience. German-English texts. Bodil Arnesen (soprano), Yaaron Windmüller (baritone), Franz Josef Selig (bass), Bamberg Symphony Chorus and Orchestra; Karl Anton Rickenbacker. Koch Schwann 365362 (German) 05B010 $16.98

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): String Quartet No. 2, Op. 68, Lyrische Musik for Flute, Viola, Cello and Piano, Op. 88, String Trio, Op. 13, Divertimento for String Trio, Op. 95. Another welcome selection of the worthy neo-classical music of this fine Swiss composer. Only the string trio is early (1926) but even there, Burkhard's trademarks are evident: succinctness of form, arioso and recitative-like melodic structures and songful melodies. The 1943 quartet and the 1949/51 Lyrische Musik are much denser in structure and a grim melancholy is present in both (the latter is in memoriam Georg Trakl) while the 1954 Divertimento, by contrast, is friendlier, playful, almost cheery. Aria Quartet, Philippe Racine (flute), Jürg Wyttenbach (piano). Novalis 150 159-2 (Germany) 05B011 $16.98

WILLY BURKHARD (1900-1955): Cello Sonata, Op. 87, Romanze for Cello and Piano, Suite en Miniature for Cello and Piano, Op. 71/2, FRANK MARTIN (1890-1974): Ballade for Cello and Piano, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Sonatine for Cello and Piano, Cello Sonata. This recital places Burkhard (see above) amongst his Swiss contemporaries, all of whose music contains varying doses of conflict, tumult, darkness and resignation although Honegger's 1920 sonata has a bubbling carefree finale to mitigate its other tensions and his own transcription of a 1922 clarinet sonatina is a very Gallic romp. Markus Nyikos (cello), Jaroslav Smykal (piano). Musikszene Schweiz CD 6161 (Switzerland) 05B012 $18.98

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957): Violin Sonata in G, Op. 6, Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11, Sonett Für Wien (In Memoriam), Op. 41, Caprice Fantastique (The Goblins), Op. 3, Gesang der Heliane, Op. 20, Serenade from Der Schneemann, Pierrots Tanzlied and Mariettaslied from Die Tote Stadt, Op. 12. Korngold's complete works for violin and piano, from the amazingly bold, invigorating 1912 sonata whose depth of emotion is remarkable for a 16-year-old to this violinist's own transcription of a melancholic song from 1952 (Sonnet für Wien). Along the way are first recordings of Korngold's own transcriptions of arias from Die Tote Stadt and Das Wunder... as well as that made (and never performed or recorded) in 1932 by a Hungarian violinist who wanted a display piece à la Bazzini's "Goblin's Rondo". Detlef Hahn (violin), Andrew Ball (piano). ASV DCA 1080 (England) 05B013 $16.98

KURT WEILL (1900-1950): Highlights from Marie Galante and Davy Crockett. World premiere recordings of two rarities: Marie Galante was a 1934 French musical which starred Odette Florelle, the actress who became famous for her role in the French film version of The Three-Penny Opera. Its main character - a poor young prostitute - and its milieu - Panama, where she's been lured by an unscrupulous ship captain, provided familiar territory for Weill; the ten selections recorded here include both vocal/instrumental and instrumental only. Davy Crockett dates from 1937; another musical, this one was never finished because Knickerbocker Holiday came along and Weill's fame was made. Five numbers have been restored for performance from original manuscripts. Entertaining byways. French-English texts. Joy Bogen (soprano), Thomas Hrynkiw (piano), Orchestra of St. Luke's; Victor Symonette. Koch Schwann 3-6592-2 (Germany) 05B014 $16.98

DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Symphonies Nos. 1-12. The whole collection of Milhaud's spiky, polytonal, eclectic series of symphonies at low mid-price. 5 CDs. Special Price. Basel Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alun Francis. CPO 999 656 (Germany) 05B015 $44.98

Resolicitation - All Back Orders Cancelled!

SYLVIE BODOROVÁ (b.1954): Pontem Video - Concerto for Organ, Strings and Percussion, Planctus for Viola and Orchestra, String Quartet Dignitas Homini, Ventimiglia for Trumpet and Percussion Sextet, Concerto dei fiori for Violin and Strings. This item, originally offered as 08B043, excited such demand and our European suppliers such a lack of ability to meet the demand, that we are reoffering it now. A sample of the original review: "This is tremendously impressive music, original and highly expressive... drama and conflict aplenty, doubt and uncertainty, but set against a powerful and determined musical argument which always leads surely in the direction of truth." Various artists incl. Prague Symphony Orchestra; Jiri Belohlávek, Miroslav Kejmar (trumpet). Panton 71 0522 (Czech Republic) 05B016 $16.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Violin Concerto in C (unfinished), 12 German Dances, WoO 8, Musik zu einem Ritterballett, WoO 1. The date of this fragmentary first movement of a violin concerto is uncertain - between 1790 and 1792 most likely - has been "rounded off" rather than "completed" (no extra music written) here and the soloist provides his own cadenza, providing 13 minutes of youthful Beethovenian music. The rare Ritterballet score (1791) and the 1795 German Dances make apt couplings. Marco Rogliano (violin), Sassari Symphony Orchestra; Roberto Tigani. Bongiovanni GB 5061 (Italy) 05B017 $16.98

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Christ on the Mount of Olives, Op. 85. Beethoven's only oratorio, dating from1803 (the period of the third piano concerto and second symphony) anticipates the triumphant humanity of Fidelio and the sublime exaltation of the Missa Solemnis. First performance on period instruments. German-English texts. Simone Kermes (soprano), Steve Davislim (tenor), Eike WIlm Schulte (bass), Chorus Musicus, Das Neue Orchester; Christoph Spering. Opus 111 OPS 30-281 (France) 05B018 $17.98

MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Sonatas for Piano and Violin in F, Op. 3/4, in B Flat, Op. 3/5, in C, Op. 3/6, in E Flat, Op. 15/1, in C, Op. 15/2 & in B Flat, Op. 15/3. The op. 3 pieces (1779) are simple, two-movement works like Mozart's early pieces in the genre with violin providing only underlining and the piano able to stand alone; the companion pieces date from 1786, are in three movements, and are much more complex with the instruments duetting frequently. Manuel de Col (piano), Stefano Grossi (violin). Dynamic Series 2000 S 2021 (Italy) 05B019 $13.98

GAETANO DONIZETTI (1798-1848): Columbo ossia La scoperta dell'America., Flute Sonata in C, Moderato for Cello and Piano in G, Studio for Clarinet in B Flat, Trio for Flute, Bassoon and Piano, GIULIO BRICCIALDI (1818-1881): Fantasia for Flute and Piano. Donizetti's 18-minute cantata was first staged in 1838; the chorus represents the sailors in a three-part work which seems rather like the introduction to a grand opera. The accompanying pieces are trifles but pretty ones. Italian-English texts. Stefano Antonucci (baritone), Gregorio Magno Choir, Trecate, Savona Youth Orchestra; Massimo de Bernart. Bongiovanni GB 2200 (Italy) 05B020 $16.98

SIGISMUND NEUKOMM (1778-1858): Quatuor pour être exécuté à la Grotte tuonante près le Scoglio di Virgilio dans le Golfe de Naples, 3 Pieces for Slide Trumpet, OTTO NICOLAI (1810-1849): Sonata No. 1 in F for 2 Horns, BERNHARD CRUSELL (1775-1838): Horn Concerto in F (first mov. arr. Frans Preumayr [1782-1853] for horn and brass), 4 Pieces for the Band of the Swedish First Lifeguard Regiment, GIOACCHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): 3 Duets for 2 Horns, PRINCE CARL FRIEDRICH VON LÖWENSTEIN-WERTHEIM- FREUDENBERG (1783-1849): Music for the Wertheim Harmoniemusik. A rare and valuable disc of period instrument performances of Classical and early Romantic music for brass instruments. London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble; Christopher Larkin. Hyperion CDA 76119 (England) 05B021 $17.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Der Tod Jezu. Another product of Telemann's remarkably fertile late period, this Passion oratorio dates from 1755 and sets fresh poetry from the Klopstock school with music which anticipates the early Classical period while being anchored in Bachian baroque. German-English texts. Dorothee Mields (soprano), Britta Schwarz (alto), Jan Kobow (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass), Magdeburg Chamber Choir, Telemann Chamber Orchestra, Michaelstein; Ludger Rémy. CPO 999 720 (Germany) 05B022 $15.98

JOHANN ADOLF HASSE (1699-1783): Cantatas Ah, troppo è ver!, Bella, mi parto, a Dio, Se il cantor trace, oh Dio, Concerto for Mandolin, 2 Violins and Basso Continuo in G, Harpsichord Sonata in C, Sonata for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo in G, Op. 3/4. Acclaimed throughout 18th century Europe for his operas, Hasse's Italianate cantatas, setting texts by Metastasio which usually celebrate the voluptas dolendi or "the pleasure of sorrow" are interspersed with some of his equally numerous chamber works which also partake of the Italian style. Italian-German texts. Kai Wessel (altus), Musica Alta Ripa. MD&G 309 0944 (Germany) 05B023 $17.98

GIUSEPPE SARTI (1729-1802): Miserere in F Minor. Like so many famous 18th century composers, Sarti is little heard today; this Miserere dates from 1766 but more richly orchestrated thirty or so years later (the version heard here). Deeply meditative and solemn, dramatic moments rarely break through but are all the more effective for their rarity; concertante sections for solo instruments and a grand fugue to round things off add to the enjoyment. Tamiko Okada (soprano), Irene Olavide (alto), Victor Micalleff (tenor), Alberto Bianchi (bass), "Lauda Sion" Chorus of Faenza, Chorus and Orchestra of the Ferrara Conservatory; Gianfranco Placci. Dynamic CDS 281 (Italy) 05B024 $17.98

BALDASSARE GALUPPI (1706-1785): 7 Concerti a Quattro. These works, performed here by modern instruments in a 4-4-3-2-1 array, are in the classical form of three movements but the contrapuntal and imitative working of the parts looks back to the Baroque while the melodic style and symmetrical construction look ahead to early Classicism. L'Offerta Musicale. Tactus TC 700701 (Italy) 05B025 $17.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Gli Astrologi Immaginari. Paisiello's 1779 opera buffa is in the then-typical genre of gentle social criticism of the habits of the aristocracy is full of verve and originality with four spectacular arias for the female lead, both brilliant and lyrical while the baritone has a hilarious aria which parodies the learned style of ancient philosophers. Italian libretto. Carmen Lavani (soprano), Angela Vercelli (mezzo), Giancarlo Montanaro (baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of Swiss-Italian Radio-TV; Bruno Rigacci. Nuova Era 1251 (Italy) 05B026 $17.98

ANTONIO SALIERI (1750-1825): Overtures to Il Talismano, Eraclito e Democrito, Cesare in Farma-cusa, Il Ricco d'un giorno, La Secchia rapita, Axur, Re d'Ormus, Les Danaïdes, Don Chisciotte alle nozze di Gamace, La Grotta di Trofonio, Il Moro, Armida and L'Angiolina. Slovak Radio Symphony; Michael Dittrich. Naxos 8.554838 (New Zealand) 05B027 $5.98

SIGISMUND THALBERG (1812-1871): Piano Concerto in F Minor, Op. 5, Souvenirs de Beethoven: Grande Fantaisie pour le piano sur la 7e Symphonie de Beethoven, Op. 39, Nocturne, Op. 28, Canzonette Italienne, Op. 36/5, Un Soupir. Thalberg's concerto is an early work and has much of the delicacy and fragrance of Chopin's concertos although the virtuosity is much more emphasized. The Beethoven fantasy is a truly guilty pleasure - 17 minutes of fun with the final movement of the Fifth also making an appearance! Francesco Nicolosi (piano), Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Mogrelia. Naxos 8.553701 (New Zealand) 05B028 $5.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Bianca e Falliero. A rarity with a brilliant cast in a recording from 1986. 2 CDs. Italian libretto. Budget-price. Katia Ricciarelli (soprano), Marilyn Horne (mezzo), Chris Merrit (tenor), Prague Philharmonic Chorus, London Sinfonietta Opera Orchestra; Donato Renzetti. Hommage HOM 1838 (Germany) 05B029 $10.98

JOHANN NEPOMUK HUMMEL (1778-1837): Rondo, Op. 11, Caprice, Op. 49, Variations on a theme from Gluck's "Armide", Op. 57, Rondo all'Ungherese, Op. 107/6, La bella capricciosa: Polonaise, Op. 55, Sonata, Op. 13. A charming hour-and-a-quarter of Hummel's elegant melodies, brilliant fingerwork and bright-eyed good cheer gets the full Chandos treatment. Howard Shelley (piano). Chandos 9807 (England) 05B030 $16.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): The Schubert Edition, Vol. 35 - Gott in der Natur, D757, Schwestergruss, D762, Der zürnende Barde, D785, Pilgerweise, D789, Dass sie hier gewesen!, D775, Lachen und Weinen, D777, Greisengesang, D778, Du bist die Ruh, D776, Die Wallfahrt, D778A, Gondelfahrer, D809, Der Sieg, D805, Gebet, D815, Lied eines Kriegers, D822, Totengräbers Heimwehe, D842, Bootgesang, D835, Coronach, D836, Lied des gefangenen Jägers, D843, Der Tanz, D826. Almost at the wire now: another fascinating and diverting collection of lieder, duets and part songs brings us ever closer to Schubertian completeness. German-English texts. Lynne Dawson, Geraldine McGreevy (sopranos), Philip Langridge (tenor), Thomas Hampson, Maarten Koningsberger, Christopher Maltman (baritones), Neal Davies (bass), London Schubert Chorale, Graham Johnson (piano). Hyperion CDJ33035 (England) 05B031 $17.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Complete Part Songs for Male Voices. Although several of Schubert's part songs have appeared (for various reasons) in Hyperion's mammoth Schubert Edition, this collection from cpo was the first to record all of the Romantic master's works in this not inconsiderable genre. There are about 110 works for "more than one male voice" with or without accompaniment and these are all presented here (accompaniment is by fortepiano). Many were drinking songs or "party" songs but, as Schubert grew older (everything is relative!), these pieces took on greater significance and he reset some several times. This is the German equivalent of French "salon music" and should be known just as well. 5 CDs. German-English texts. Special Price. Die Singphoniker. CPO 999 659 (Germany) 05B032 $44.98

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745): Responsoria pro Hebdomada Sancta. Premiered in Dresden in 1723 (the same Holy Week as Bach's St. John Passion was given in Leipzig), Zelenka's 27 responsories were written for the Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday of Holy Week and are couched in the old-fashioned polyphonic style of Palestrina but with many of the composer's own idiosyncratic mannerisms. The predominantly tragic music is accompanied by 3 violas da gamba and alto, tenor and bass trombones in addition to the usual continuo instruments. 2 CDs. Capella Montana; Ludwig Gossner. MD&G 605 0964 (Germany) 05B033 $35.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Baryton Octets in G,Hob.X:4, in A, Hob.X3 and in D, Hob.X:2. This second volume of baryton octets offers three more works which not only feature the peculiar, tenor-whine of Haydn's princely patron's favorite instrument's sympathetic strings, but also extraordinarily difficult parts (both high and low-lying) for the pair of horns involved. Haydn Sinfonietta Wien; Manfred Huss. Koch Schwann 3-1492-2 (Germany) 05B034 $16.98

CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826): 18 Favourite Walzes for the French Empress, Marie Louise, 8 Variations on an Air from "Castor and Pollux", Waltz, Max-Waltz, 10 German Dances, Op. 4, Grand Polonaise, Op. 21, 7 Ecossaises, Polacca brillante, Op. 72. So many of Weber's best-known themes and melodies are based on the dance that it comes as no surprise that he composed so many stand-alone dances; some of these were even published anonymously but all are full of the infectious brio of the composer of Invitation to the Dance... Eva Schieferstein (piano). Koch Schwann Musica Mundi 3-6731-2 (Germany) 05B035 $6.98

MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Overture, 4 Dances and Epilogue from A Life for the Tsar, Valse-Fantaisie, Kamarinskaya, Capriccio brillante on the Jota Aragonesa, Souvenir d'une nuit d'été à Madrid. Over 38 minutes of music from Glinka's first opera, A Life for the Tsar (1836) highlight this vividly performed and recorded disc. Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Loris Tjeknavorian. ASV DCA 1075 (England) 05B036 $16.98

ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV (1865-1936): Symphony No. 6 in C Minor, Op. 58, The Forest, Op. 19. A welcome back to the 1887 The Forest, 21-minute tone poem in the style of the Russian nationalist composers, which shares Vol. 13 of Naxos' Glazunov series with one of the composer's most popular symphonies. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Anissimov. Naxos 8.554293 (New Zealand) 05B037 $5.98

VICTOR HERBERT (1859-1924): Auditorium Festival March, Irish Rhapsody, Columbus Suite, Selections from Natoma. A disc of full-fledged orchestral pieces, from the 1902 suite depicting events on Columbus' journey to the New World to the brilliant collection of Irish songs and dances from 1893 and the selection of music from Herbert's opera Natoma (1911) in which he uses Indian music and themes of Indian character. A rousing 1901 march for the Pittsburgh Symphony rounds things off. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Keith Brion. Naxos 8.559027 (New Zealand) 05B038 $5.98

MANDALA Special Imports - Limited Quantities

MANUEL BLANCAFORT (1897-1987): Complete Piano Works - El parc d'atraccions, Record, Jocs i dances al camp, Notes de antany, Cançons de muntanya, 5 nocturns, Camins, Pastoral en sol, Homenatge a Chaplin, Cants íntims I, Sonatina antiga, Romanza, Intermedia & Marcha, Tonada intermitent, Cants íntims II, 3 consejos de Turina. Blancafort was a life-long friend of Mompou and, to a certain extent, shared his predilection for short, pithy and elegantly understated compositions. Catalan folk-song is more present in his early works than his later ones but always there is a Gallic clarity and a neo-classical symmetry influenced by Stravinsky, Debussy and Ravel. 3 CDs. Antoni Besses (piano). Mandala MAN 4874/4876 (France) 05B039 $56.98

FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Complete Piano Works. The complete trove of Mompou's estraordinarily haunting, exquisitely melancholy, often incantatory, sometimes almost naive piano uvre from this noted Catalan pianist at a special price. 4 CDs for the price of 3. Josep Colom (piano). Mandala MAN 4809/12 (France) 05B040 $56.98

MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Canto de los remeros del Volga, Serenata, 4 piezas españolas, Canción, Mazurka, Fantasia baetica, Homenaje "pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy", Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas. Falla wrote little for the piano but his two largest works, the 1899 "Four Spanish Pieces" and the 1919 Fantasia baetica (written for Rubinstein), demonstrate his ability to evoke local color through imitation of the guitar and the employment of gypsy rhythms. Josep Colom (piano). Mandala MAN 4816 (France) 05B041 $18.98

XAVIER MONTSALVATGE (b.1912): 3 divertissements, ANTONIO RUIZ-PIPO: 5 Encajes, FEDERICO MOMPOU (1893-1987): Suburbis, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Cartas de amor, Allegro de concierto, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): Cubana, ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909): Tango, APOLINAR BRULL (1845-1905): Triste recuerdo, PADRE JOSÉ LARRAÑAGA (c.1730-1806): Sonata in F "La valenciana", Sonata in G, SEBASTIÁN ALBERO (1712-1756): Sonata in C, PADRE ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): Sonata No. 25. An overview of 200 years of Spanish keyboard music offering several items and composers new to the catalogue. Ester Pineda (piano). Mandala MAN 4852 (France) 05B042 $18.98

ALO×S CLAUSSMANN (1850-1926): Messe pour orgue, Scherzo, Op. 10, Méditation, Op. 56/2, Fantaisie héroique, Op. 67/3, Cavatine de Raff, Scherzo, Op. 16, Antienne, Op. 16, Minuetto, Op. 10, Toccata, Op. 64/3. A student of Gigout, Claussmann married French and German organ styles with strongly architectural writing but also subtle modulations and unusual harmonies in music that is always well-crafted whether nostalgic, heroic or meditative. Hervé Désarbre (John Abbey organ of Renaison, Loire). Mandala MAN 4927 (France) 05B043 $18.98

JOSEPH WOELFL (1773-1812): Piano Sonatas, Op. 33: in C, in D Minor & in E. A friend of Mozart and friend and rival (a friendly rival though) of Beethoven, Woelfl represents Mozartian Classicism in its final flowering with, here and there, intimations of early Romanticism in these sonatas written in 1805. Laure Colladant (pianoforte). Mandala MAN 4860 (France) 05B044 $18.98

JOSEPH WOELFL (1773-1812): Duos for Piano and Harp, Opp. 29, 37 & 44. These duos date from 1804-07, a period when more than one composer tried his hand at this unusual combination of instruments and Woelfl manages music of charm and elegance with both soloists on an equal footing and a wealth of attractive thematic material. Laure Colladant (pianoforte), Catherine Michel (harp). Mandala MAN 4862 (France) 05B045 $18.98

JOSEPH WOELFL (1773-1812): Piano Trios, Op. 23: in D, E & in C Minor. Dating from 1799-1801, these trios are inspired by Mozart's late trios and by Haydn's late quartets. In addition, the piano part has made considerable strides from Woelfl's earier works, showing a Beethovenian inspiration along with a Clementian technique. Laure Colladant (pianoforte), Elizabeth Balmas (violin), David Simpson (cello). Mandala MAN 4887 (France) 05B046 $18.98

SEBASTIÁN ALBERO (1722-1765): 30 Keyboard Sonatas. First discovered and published as late as 1978, these sonatas by a Spanish contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti are grouped into two books of fifteen and were conceived in pairs (in the same key and either slow-fast or fast-fast with different rhythms and characters). Some of the music seems to look forward to the galant style and will appeal to anyone who enjoys the sonatas of Scarlatti and Soler. 2 CDs. Laure Colladant (pianoforte). Mandala MAN 4841/42 (France) 05B047 $37.98

ABEL DECAUX (1869-1943): Clair de lune No. 1 "Minuit passé", VINCENT D'INDY (1851-1931): La pluie, HENRI DUPARC (1848-1933): Aux étoiles, DEODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1921): Sur l'étang, le soir, GABRIEL DUPONT (1878-1914): Le soir, dans les pins, ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Danse au bord de l'eau, ERNEST CHAUSSON (1855-1899): Paysage, ERIC SATIE (1866-1925): Españaña, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Ondine, Jardins sous la pluie, Les sons, les parfums, les couleurs se répondent, Clair de lune, La Sérénade interompue, La puerta del vino, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Jeux d'eau, Alborada del gracioso, GABRIEL FAURÉ (1848-1924): Nocturne No. 8, EMMANUEL CHABRIER (1841-1894): Habanera. A musical stroll through the sounds, fragrances and colors of French music in Debussy's time, including many works by composers either less-known for their piano music or less-known period. 77 minutes of evocative, often entracing music. Jean-Pierre Armengaud (piano). Mandala MAN 4895 (France) 05B048 $18.98

JEAN-YVES BOSSEUR (b.1947): Memoires d'Oubli for Clarinet, Flute, Piano, Cello and Orchestra, Stream for Accordion, Portrait de Genevieve Asse for Harpsichord, Harp and Cello, Empreintes Nocturnes for Piano, Satie's Dream for Voice and Ensemble. Sounds and sonic textures are important features of Bosseur's music, as exemplified by the unusual combinations of instruments (not excluding electro-acoustic transformations of the voice, in Memoires . . .) that he chooses. Stream,the title of the accordion work, suggests something about the thought-processes in general here - a stream of consciousness in which disparate ideas, styles and thematic material can blend, merge or coexist without interaction. Or perhaps the analogy of an abstract painting (as in the homage to Geneviève Asse) is appropriate; the abstract yet active surface texture and patterns of the music onto which the listener's consciousness can impose form according to one's own expectations acquire a symbolic quality of expression as they progress. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; François-Xavier Bilger, Angel Luis Castaño (accordion), Andréa Cohen (harpsichord), Véronique Ghesquière (harp), Macha Yanuchevskaya (cello), Jean-Pierre Armengaud (piano), Evelyne Razimovsky (voice), Groupe Intervalles. Mandala/MFA MAN 4803 (France) 05B049 $18.98

JEAN-YVES BOSSEUR (b.1947): Messe for 5 Soloists, Mixed Choir and Instrumental Group. Bosseur's Mass, while not being a conventional setting - it includes instrumental interludes, and settings of psalms and prayers in addition to the usual sections of the Mass - is less abstract than the ensemble works on the other disc offered this month. The principle reason seems to be that the composer, with the weight of tradition behind him, has assembled his unmistakably modern collage from fragments of material which, in some cases, are recognisably centuries old. So a phrase of plainchant will appear, and immediately the ear will be baffled to hear it incorporated into a dissonant, or sprechstimme texture, only to emerge again. The small forces again suggest a modern interpretation (though by no means a literal imitation) of an early-music ensemble. Dominique Visse (counter tenor), Bruno Boterf (tenor), Vincent Bouchot (baritone), François Fauche (baritone), Marc Busnel (bass), Valence University Choir, Pierre-Adrien Charpy (organ), Barbara Degrima (double bass), Philippe Lavergne (clarinets), Mathieu Lusson (viola da gamba). Mandala MAN 4921 (France) 05B050 $18.98

RÉGIS CAMPO (b.1968): Violin Concerto, Kinderball - 3 Movements for Piano, Livre de Sonates for Organ, Rondo for Tenor Saxophone, Percussion and Celeste. Strangely lighthearted, playful and attractrive music, given that in many ways it is written in a quite modern idiom. Modal scales run around the concerto, with glittering instrumentation that oddly suggests the unbridled celebrations of the Turangalila Symphony. The piano works have impressionism in the background (most noticeably in the third of the set), while the little (though by no means insubstantial) character pieces for organ are again lively and enjoyable, harmonically not so far from Messiaen, and full of wit and wry, teasing allusions to earlier musical styles (the la Folia transcription is priceless). A contemporary CD to have fun with! Nieuw Ensemble; Angel Gimeno, Kanako Abe (piano), Jean-Christophe Revel (organ), Marie-Bernadette Charrier (sax), Proxima Centauri. Mandala/MFA MAN 4948 (France) 05B051 $18.98

EVELINE ANDREANI (fortyish, by the photo): Missa Defunctorum. This is a most unconventional requiem mass, but also a most telling one, which feels rooted in history and the traditions of the impenetrable past. The composer has used both traditional vocal forms and inflections, and traditional instruments, of Corsica. The juxtaposition of the Latin Mass with these unmistakable - and unmistakably Eastern-inflected - folk elements renews attention to the meaning of the Mass for the dead - a solemn event full of mystery and an uncertain hope, eschewing the Romantic depictions of the apocalypse and confident expectation of the power of the church; this is a more primitive interpretation, with the suggestion of an unsophisticated society in which death was a more personal concept. Which is to say, of course, that Andréani has succeeded in recreating this scenario with the utmost skill and sophistication. Members of the ensembles A-Cumpagnia, Soli-Tutti & Futurs Musiques; Denis Gautheyrie. Mandala MAN 4912 (France) 05B052 $18.98

EDISON DENISOV (1929-1996): Complete Piano Works - 7 Bagatelles, Variations 1961, Signes en blanc, Reflets, Pour Daniel, Variations sur un thème de Haendel, 3 Préludes. Encompassing the whole of the composer's career, Denisov's limited output for piano ranges from the early Bartok/Shostakovich influenced Bagatelles, via some rather self-conscious dodecaphony in the 1960s, to the concentrated chromaticism of the recent works, the Preludes (1994) and the "Handel Variations" of ten years earlier. Most of the pieces are short, but these substantial variations belie any suggestion that Denisov is only at ease as a piano miniaturist. The work is endlessly inventive and pianistic; the real discovery on the disc, and a piece which repays close and repeated intention. Avoiding avant-garde effects (and even excessive dissonance), this is a fine example of contemporary piano music at its most intelligent and appealing. Jean-Pierre Armengaud (piano). Mandala MAN 4888 (France) 05B053 $18.98

ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Complete Mélodies et Chansons - 3 poèmes d'amour, 3 mélodies de 1916, 3 mélodies de 1886, Tendrement, J'avais un ami*, Ludions, Petit recueil de Fêtes*, 3 autre mélodies de 1886, Hymne pour le Salut Drapeau, 4 petites mélodies, Le veuf, Je te veux, 3 mélodies sans paroles, l'omnibus automobile, Chez le docteur, Un diner à lÉlysée, Allons-y Chochotte, La Diva de l'Empire. It will come as no surprise that this 69-minute disc contains no fewer than 38 tracks; Satie's harmonic and dynamic tricks, cunning expression, repressed emotions, ironic statements and immaculacy of lines and colors were always easily fitted into extremely short forms and so it is here. At the time this recording was made (late 1995), five of the items here were unpublished and received their first recordings (*) French texts. Anne-Sophie Schmidt (soprano), Jean-Pierre Armengeaud (piano). Mandala MAN 4867 (France) 05B054 $18.98

Acte Préalable - Another Polish label exclusively from Records International

STANISLAW MORYTO (b.1947): Cello Concerto, MACIEJ ZIELINSKI (b.1971): Musica per archi A.D. 1993, BENEDYKT KONOWALSKI (b.1928): Bassoon Concerto, PAWEL LUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Dominum benedicite in aeternum for Chorus and Orchestra. Nothing could ever equal the impact of the cello entry in Penderecki's cello concerto, but Moryto's seems to be trying to run it a close second. After the dramatic opening the music settles down into a modern (well, Rite of Spring modern) vocabulary, with the expressive soliloquy of the soloist a constant feature of overriding importance to the musical argument. Zielinski's "Music for Strings" is a good deal more consonant, and like Lukaszewski, his music falls under the (broad and not always helpful) heading of "New Romanticism". With its sense of movement and accessible language, the Zielinski is a most approachable work, as is the Lukaszewski, an affirmative pæan opening with the pealing of bells and culminating in a glorious resolution. Konowalski's bassoon concerto functions like a discussion, or argument, between the civilised soloist, the usually supportive orchestra and the unruly, and sometimes downright disruptive, extended percussion battery, in an appealing work, sometimes humorous and always entertaining. Tomasz Strahl (cello), Concerto Avenna; Andrzej Mysinski, "Mala Filarmonia" String Orchestra; Marcin Nalecz-Niesiolowski, Bogumil Gadawski (bassoon), "Fryderyk Chopin" Academic Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw; Piotr Borkowski, Catholic Academic Theological Choir, "Stanislaw Moniuszko" Concert Orchestra; Grzegorz Mielimaka. Acte Préalable AP0010 (Poland) 05B055 $16.98

PAWEL LUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Concerto for Organ and String Orchestra, O Adonai for Mixed Chorus, Recordationes de Christo moriendo for Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Missa pro Patria for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, 2 Motets for Mixed Choir. The striking organ concerto doesn't actually sound much like the Poulenc - maybe the Poulenc as reimagined by Bartók in lighter vein. Classically modelled and unequivocally tonal, it is nevertheless harmonically astringent enough to avoid obviousness or sentimentality. Then there are three choral works which share the solemn sense of occasion and devotional reverence of the Antiphons. Finally, the Missa pro Patria blends flawlessly the ordinary of the Mass with texts and prayers in Polish to produce a work of passionate nationalism which is simultaneously a religious celebration of profound devotion. Waclaw Golonka (organ), Orkiestra Barokowa Concerto Avenna; Andrzej Mysinski, Joanna Kozlowska (soprano), Agnieszka Zwierko-Wiercioch (mezzo), "Stanislaw Moniuszko" Concert Orchestra; Grzegorz Mielimaka. Acte Préalable AP0009 (Poland) 05B056 $16.98

WOJCIECH LUKASZEWSKI (1936-1978): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, Musica per archi, Confessioni for Orchestra, Musica da camera for Orchestra, Episodes for Orchestra. The concertino, with its occasional glances in the direction of Shostakovich, is throughout a straightforwardly tonal work, somewhat introverted yet capable of a harder-edged percussiveness at times. The "Music for Strings" and "Confessions" are however, frankly much more the sort of thing one might expect from a Polish composer of our time; brooding and dissonant; their presence in the composer's canon alongside works in a neoclassical and Romantic vein point to a more complex musical personality than one might at first expect. With their disturbed undercurrents and modern compositional techniques - extending to controlled aleatory in places - these late orchestral works are powerful and unsettling (and hard to identify as being by the same composer as the songs on the chamber disc!) Marcin Lukaszewski (piano), Jeunesses Musicales Symphony Orchestra; Jean-Jacques Degremont. Acte Préalable AP0035 (Poland) 05B057 $16.98

GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): 10 Concert Studies, MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Toccata, Fragmenti, JAN FOTEK (b.1928): 7 Preludes, MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): 4 Mazurkas, Scherzino, WOJCIECH LUKASZEWSKI (1936-1978): Toccata, KAZIMIERZ SEROCKI (1922-1981): A piacere. The figure of Chopin looms large - no great surprise - behind much of this CD. It is to the composers' credit that there seems to be no great tendency either to slavishly follow in the footsteps of their great predecessor, nor stridently to avoid doing so. But if you are going to compose mazurkas for the piano in the 20th century - well, you know. If Sawa's pieces take Chopin as a starting point and then take account of 20th-century musical history originating somewhat to the east of Poland, and thereby end up sounding a bit like Ronald Stevenson - well, that is no small recommendation. Fotek's Preludes are exceedingly economical in terms of the material used - brief gestures extended through repetiiton and augmentation, though not at all in minimalist style. Lukaszewski's brief Toccata is, again, in a highly accessible idiom, and contains some references, as it were, to Polish dance forms as used by earlier composers. The most substantial work here is the group of Studies of Bacewicz, hard-edged yet satisfyingly harmonically grammatical, and with the high-energy toccata-like character which the composer exhibits so skillfully. Borkowski's tumultuous Toccata is also a thrilling tour de force of piano technique. An invigorating recital. Marcin Lukaszewski (piano). Acte Préalable AP0016 (Poland) 05B058 $16.98

MARCIN BLAZEWICZ (b.1953): We Do Not Live, the Unknown Lives Through Us, That Art Thou - Tat Tvam asi, Om. In its blend of eastern religious thought and European mysticism in an extended electroacoustic essay on the meaning of the self and its relation to the absolutes of the universe, this might have been another example of new-age millennial spirituality; but in fact it turns out to be made of sterner stuff. The shifting textures of sound, slowly transmuting in mysterious ways may sometimes suggest Andriessen, but there is a vein of dogged examination of the dark with unflinching gaze that makes one think of Pettersson. This journey into self-realization is a hard-won victory, not without its painful episodes, and the glimpses of heaven sometimes seem to be through an infinity of intervening apocalypse out of a John Martin painting. Intriguing and undeniably powerful; a provocative philosophical essay in music. Jeunesse Musicale Symphony Orchestra; Marcin Blazewicz. Acte Préalable AP045 (Poland) 05B059 $16.98

GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): The Complete Works for String Quartet, Vol. 1 - String Quartet No. 4, String Quartet No. 7, Piano Quintet No. 1. An accomplished violinist herself, Bacewicz had a thorough knowledge of the possibilities of stringed instruments, and expressed it through a fine and significant series of string quartets, of which No. 4 brought her considerable acclaim after taking first prize in the International Composer's Competition in Belgium. Essentially classical and folk-influenced, this is a most accesible work. Even late in her life, when she wrote the seventh quartet, although well aware of the avant-garde processes afoot at the time (mid-1960s), her writing never moved far in this direction, becoming somewhat more free in terms of its sonic signature, but always controlled by a sense of argument and structure. The first piano quintet is closely related in mood and language to the fourth quartet. Waldemar Malicki (piano), Amar Corde String Quartet. Acte Préalable AP0019 (Poland) 05B060 $16.98

GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): The Complete Works for String Quartet, Vol. 2 - String Quartet No. 2, String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet No. 6. Volume 2 of this valuable series opens with perhaps the composer's most 'modern' sounding quartet, which she considered a turning-point in her compositional development. Although freely making intermittent use of dodecaphony, it is mainly through the exploration of sound and texture that this work breaks new ground in Bacewicz' output. The wartime second and post-war third quartets take us back to more familiar harmonic territory, and the works share a momentum and drive which makes them both tough and simultaneously readily comprehensible. Amar Corde String Quartet. Acte Préalable AP0020 (Poland) 05B061 $16.98

GRAZYNA BACEWICZ (1909-1969): The Complete Works for String Quartet, Vol. 3 - String Quartet No. 1, String Quartet No. 5, Piano Quintet No. 2. The first quartet is an early work, unpublished and unacknowledged by the composer; it is full of youthful ardour and no small accomplishment in technique, though inevitably less individual than the later works. The fifth quartet, by contrast, is a fully mature work, concentrated and tautly argued, with less of the folk-influence of the more obviously "popular"-sounding fourth from Vol.1. The second piano quintet, though contemporary with the seventh quartet, is a more linear and Romantic-sounding work, less fragmentary and experimental. Throughout her career the composer never lost sight of the communicative potential of chamber music, and (much like Shostakovich) a great deal of personal insight is to be found in works for smaller ensembles, like these. Waldemar Malicki (piano), Amar Corde String Quartet. Acte Préalable AP0021 (Poland) 05B062 $16.98

WOJCIECH LUKASZEWSKI (1936-1978): 4 Miniatures for Flute and Clarinet, 3 Songs for Soprano and Piano, Utwór for String Quartet, Suite in the Old Style for Wind Quintet, Piesni Ksiezyca for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra. Rather surprisingly, even in the works from the 1950s and 1960s, Lukaszewski shows no evidence of avant-garde experimentation. These chamber works and songs have an unambiguously romantic feel, extending perhaps as far as France in the early part of the 20th century - this is more evident in the instrumental works than the vocal ones. One assumes that this influence came to bear during his years of study with Boulanger. The flute and clarinet duo work suggests Françaix or Florent Schmitt; the songs, Ravel, or occasionally, Frank Bridge. So, overall, in these works the composer appears as a 20th-century Romantic without a trace of artifice, and with a highly developed sense of style and colour, always approachble and directly communicative. Anna Malewicz-Madey (mezzo), Maria Mitrosz (soprano), Marcin Lukaszewski (piano), Camerata Vistula; Piotr Borkowski. Acte Préalable AP0004 (Poland) 05B063 $16.98

MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): Organ Concerto No. 5, Sequence No. 1 "Dies irae", Fresk gregorianski, Jubilate Deo, Choral Fantasia "Toi qui disposes" for 2 Organs, Liauba for 2 Organs. Organ music forms the greater part of Sawa's output, the organ being the composer's own instrument. Firmly rooted in church organ music of the past, and making use of plainchant motifs (as in the impressive and powerful Dies irae work - effectively a massive fantasia on the well-known theme - where the traditional sequence adds a dimension of ancient ceremonial to the contemporary idiom. Unafraid of dissonance, Sawa nonetheless achieves his glowing polyphonic textures without resorting to unconventional playing of the instrument. The concerto is a monumental work, vigorous and vital, not excessively portentous, with much unexpected lightness of texture, and the presence of chorale melodies and textures of a markedly classical and pre-classical character. A composer of appealing and elevating music, worthy of strong recommendation. Jerzy Dziubinski (organ of the Holy Trinity Church, Warsaw), Camerata Vistula; Maciej Zoltowski. Acte Préalable AP0030 (Poland) 05B064 $16.98

MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Pax in terra II for Female Voice, Percussion and Organ, Limits for Orchestra, Adoramus & Regina caeli for Mixed Choir, Variant for Instrumental Ensemble, Hosanna for Mixed Choir and 4 Instruments, Dram for Orchestra, De profundis for Mixed Choir and Orchestra. Borkowski has developed a vocabulary of post-Webernian concision coupled to a taste in dramatic contrasts of the most extreme kind - even to the point of stridency on occasion, which suggests levels of psychological complexity, and the awareness thereof, which are very much of our time, while his admirably direct and confrontational approach to musical expression is truly timeless. Not easy listening, with pitch-free percussive outbursts, machine-like repetitive textures (going beyond most composers except perhaps 1960s Penderecki for sheer mechanistic ferocity), and then suddenly, a vocal line of aching tenderness; this is music which demands attention and amply rewards it. Various artists incl. Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Choir of the Academy of Catholic Theology, Warsaw, Chopin Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra; Piotr Borkowski and Polish National Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra, Cracow; Ryszard Dudek. Acte Préalable AP0038 (Poland) 05B065 $16.98

MIGUEL A. LINARES (20th cen.): Música para un paisaje for Guitar and Orchestra, FELIU GASULL, ENRIQUE IGOA, CARLO DOMENICONI, MIGUEL A. LINARES (all 20th cen.): Cuentos de la Atlántida for Guitar and Orchestra. Linares' captivating landscape -painting in three movements, inspired by the geography of Tenerife is full of color, Rodrigo-like, tonal and modal, and very approachable. Linares also contributes the final section of the other work, a collaborative piece in honor of the 50th anniversary of Falla's death, and entitled "Tales of Atlantis", all the sections being in some way related to the legend of the lost continent. The diversity of the parts of this collaboration is considerable, for the most part more modern than Linares, in some cases considerably so (Igoa, serial, with much percussion), or somewhat (the Gasull and Domeniconi works use a modern vocabulary but with more conventional textures and orchestral writing). All the pieces are colorful and enjoyable, whatever their 'method', and the disc as a whole will certainly appeal to anyone with an interest in not terribly modern-sounding 20th-century music, or, of course, the guitar, which features prominently throughout. Pablo de la Cruz (guitar), Javier Mas (bandurria), Czestochowa Philharmonic Orchestra; Tomás Garrido. Acte Préalable AP0041 (Poland) 05B066 $16.98

PAWEL LUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Antiphonae for Mixed Chorus, Ave Maria for 2 Mixed Choruses, Beatus Vir for Mixed Chorus. Lukaszewski is one of the leading lights among the younger generation of contemporary Polish composers, and an important composer of sacred music as well (see page 8 for more by this composer). After the experimentation of the 1960s, in which Poland was in the vanguard, there has been an undeniable shift in the direction of 'neo-tonality' in Polish music. In the case of a composer like Penderecki, this has meant a change of emphasis in mid-career; for a composer born in the 1960s, adoption of a basically tonal language was a natural development. Lukaszewski's genuinely devotional and very beautiful "Antiphons" - preceded on this recording by their Gregorian antecedents - expand the repertory of sacred music in terms both affecting and musically highly effective, incorporating sufficient modern harmmonies and rhythmic devices to uneqivocally identify the music as being of our time without ever disrupting the sense of continuation of a centuries-old tradition. This is equally true of the shorter works of praise and devotion with which the major cycle of antiphons is coupled. Acte Préalable AP0029 (Poland) 05B067 $16.98

ZBIGNIEW POPIELSKI (b.1935): Talking with myself for Solo Flute, WITOLD SZALONEK (b.1927): Piernikiana for Solo Tuba, JERZY KORONOWICZ (b.1959): Relacja for Solo Flute, MACIEJ ZOLTOWSKI (b.1971): String Quartet, ANDRZEJ DUTKIEWICZ: Tango mon amour for Cello and Piano, WOJCIECH LUKASZEWSKI (1936-1978): Trombone Quartet, MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Norwidiana 75 for Female Voice and Instrumental Ensemble. As a sampler of 20th-century Polish chamber music, one must assume this to be somewhat representative, though a survey like this just proves how diverse the field is. The Salonek contains about as many alternative playing techniques as anyone has ever put into one piece for solo tuba, the Popielski uses the flute conventionally in a soliloquy, while Koronowicz' piece for alto flute is a more 'interior' monologue, more fragmentary, though very beautiful. Then we have an homage to Eastern music; Zoltowski's is not a conventional string quartet, but an ensemble work for four oriental stringed instruments; W. Lukaszewski's trombone quartet, the most harmonically conventional work here, sounds positively familiar by comparison. The Borkowski is dreamlike and full of the composer's trademark contrasts in sound and dynamics, and the Dutkiewicz, while not a tango for cello and piano in any conventional sense, has a feeling of the big virtuosic narrative for soloist familiar in chamber music from the last several centuries. So, no one will like the whole disc equally, but there is a great deal here to repay study. Various artists. Acte Préalable AP0008 (Poland) 05B068 $16.98

HENRYK GÓRECKI (b.1933): Cantata for Organ, Op. 26, JULIUSZ LUCIUK (b.1927): Assumpta est Maria for Mixed Choir, PAWEL LUKASZEWSKI (b.1968): Stabat Mater for Mixed Choir, MARIAN SAWA (b.1937): Victimae paschalei laudes for Organ, JAN WECOWSKI (b.1931): Ave Maria, Mater mea for Mixed Choir, STANISLAW MORYTO (b.1947): Ecce nunc benedicte, Dominum for Mixed Choir, MARCIN LUKASZEWSKI (b.1972): Parce Domine for Mixed Choir, MARIAN BORKOWSKI (b.1934): Psalmus for Organ. Broadly speaking, there are two schools of organ writing here; Gorecki and Borkowski extend Messiaen's highly colored dissonant language, while Sawa relates back to earlier traditions in organ writing. Some dissonant harmonies aside, the choral works definitely belong to the tradition of plainchant-derived church music, even the Lukaszewski, which contiains the most innovative writing for voices here, without ever detracting from a sense of sincere devotional intent. Andrzej Chorosinski (organ), Schola Cantorum Bialostociensis, Marian Sawa (organ). Acte Préalable AP0005 (Poland) 05B069 $16.98

JÓZEF SURZYNSKI (1851-1919): Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, Op. 12, Andante, Op. 8/8, Postlude in D and 15 other Preludes, Postludes and Chorale Preludes. This collection of short organ pieces (seven of which are joined by a choir) comes from a priest, conductor, theologist, editor and publisher who is largely responisble for starting the modern study of ancient Polish organ music. Following Surzynski's ideas as a reformer of Polish church music, they are linked to the simple polyphonic style of the Roman Renaissance period, characterized by a melodious cantilena and logical formal structure. Julia Smykowska (organ of the Church of the Bare Carmelite Fathers, Poznan), Collegium Cantorum, Collegium Posnaniense. Acte Préalable AP0050 (Poland) 05B070 $16.98

ALEXANDRE TANSMAN (1897-1986): Sonatine for Flute and Piano, Sonatine No. 3 for Piano, Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano, Hommage à Chopin for Guitar, Cello Sonata No. 2, SIGFRID KARG-ELERT (1877-1933): Suite pointillistique for Flute and Piano, Op. 135, ROLAND DYENS (b.19): Songe Capricorne, Libra Sonatina (both for Guitar), GERGELY ITTZÉS (b.19): Mr. Dick is thinking in terms of a blues pattern for Flute, LEO BROUWER (b.1939): Tarantos, Elegio de la danza (both for Guitar). This set features prize-winners from the 1998 competition established in Tansman's honor by the Cultural Society that bears his name. Works by Tansman feature prominently, though there are other unfamiliar works here as well. Tansman's music was very French-influenced, and the works we hear here sound like a kind of Polish Milhaud with Ravel influences. All the Tansman pieces are most accessible and enjoyable. The Karg-Elert is very charming as well, and only the Ittzes and Brouwer really sound modern, and then not all that much. So overall a welcome collection of approachable and mostly unfamiliar music, recorded live by highly commited young performers. Various performers. 2 CDs. Special price. Acte Préalable AP0017/18 (Poland) 05B071 $21.98

WLADYSLAW ZELENSKI (1837-1921): 25 Two-, Three- and Four-Part Preludes for Organ, Op. 38. Considered the foremost representative of dramatic Polish music after Moniuszko, Zelenski also wrote two symphonies, four string quartets and other chamber works. This set of preludes was published in 1881 and, far from being a quasi-teaching piece as the composer suggests in a modest foreword to the score, these are distinctly lyrical, with interesting harmony and, above all, melodic richness, making use of both liturgical and Polish national melodies. Julia Smykowska (Joseph Goebel organ of Poznan). Acte Préalable AP0007 (Poland) 05B072 $16.98

HOWARD HANSON (1896-1981): 2 Yuletide Pieces, Op. 19, 3 Poèmes érotiques, Op. 9, Sonata in A Minor, Op. 11, 3 Miniatures, Op. 12, 3 Etudes, Op. 18, Enchantment, For the First Time, Slumber Song. The vast majority of the music here receives its world-premiere recording; all but 1970's Slumber Song dates from 1917-1920 (Enchantment is from 1935). Already, the essence of mature Hanson is here in the bold outlines, soaring melodies, rich sonorities, layered climaxes and the subtle Northern flavor which runs through so much of the music of this son of Swedish immigrants. Thomas Labé (piano). Naxos 8.559047 (New Zealand) 05B073 $5.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Violin Concerto, Company, Akhnaten (Prelude and Dance). The chugging ostinato rhythms, repetitive pattern-making and simple and slowly changing harmony mark Glass' first major work for orchestra without voices - the violin concerto of 1987. The colors of this and the accompanying pieces are sweet and shimmering, making for the perfect budget priced introduction to "American Minimalism". Adele Anthony (violin), Ulster Orchestra; Takuo Yuasa. Naxos 8.559056 (New Zealand) 05B074 $5.98

Swedish Orchestral Favorites, Vol. 2

LARS-ERIK LARSSON (1908-1986): Lyric Fantasy, Op. 54, Adagio for String Orchestra, Op. 48, Little Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 12, GUNNAR DE FRUMERIE (1908-1987): Pastoral Suite for Flute, String Orchestra and Harp, Op. 13B, TURE RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947): Divertimento elegiaco, KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Suite No. 3 for Violin, Viola and String Orchestra, Op. 19/1, KARL-BIRGER BLOMDAHL (1916-1968): Adagio from The Wakeful Night. Another entirely winning disc of Swedish music with every piece here having a pastoral, folk-like touch somewhere (even modernist Blomdahl's little adagio is folk-influenced). The freshness of spring, the dreams of the short Northern summer and the wistfulness of fall inhabit all of these wonderful, heartwarming works. Sarah Lindloff (flute), Sara Trobäck (violin), Johanna Persson (viola), Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Petter Sundkvist. Naxos 8.553715 (New Zealand) 05B075 $5.98

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)/ANTHONY PAYNE (b.1936): Symphony No. 3. Amazingly, Payne's completion of Elgar's sketches for the Symphony No. 3 is now available at budget price. Since this work really is redolent of the mature Elgar and stands on its own, even those who own the pioneering NMC recording which we offered back in March of 1998 will want to hear Daniel's rendition. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Paul Daniel. Naxos 8.554719 (New Zealand) 05B076 $5.98

JAMES WILSON (b.1922): Menorah for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 122, Pearl and Unicorn for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 20, Concertino, Op. 37. Part of Marco Polo's "Irish Composer Series", this release brings us Menorah, dedicated to the children who died in the Holocaust. The work is freely atonal in its mathematically constructed first movement which is followed by a spiky, rhythmic scherzo and a finale which hints at Brahms' Cradle Song in its slow, tender and nocturnal progression. Pearl... by contrast, is, by turns, a lively and a meditative piece with attractive melodies. Constantin Zanidache (viola), Alan Smale (violin), National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland; Colman Pearce. Marco Polo 8.225057 (New Zealand) 05B077 $14.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 14 - Bunte Reihe, S484. Piano transcriptions of Ferdinand David's "24 Character Pieces for Violin and Piano Through all the Keys"; a true obscurity of much virtuosic vigor which is wonderful to have available by itself at budget price. Valerie Tryon (piano). Naxos 8.553507 (New Zealand) 05B078 $5.98

JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Edward II - Ballet in Two Acts. McCabe's third full-length ballet score dates from 1994, its subject based mostly on Marlowe's famous play and concentrating on King Edward, his homosexual affairs with Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser and the concomittant estrangement from his Queen Isabella, the war against his rebellious barons and the final invasion of England by Isabella. The structure of the music is inherently symphonic and this binds the whole work together far more strongly than the music of most dance pieces. McCabe's powerfully tonal idiom takes various themes and character motifs and develops them through wholly musical, organic processes which co-exist with the balletic demands of the scenario. The atmosphere of constant conflict allows for several powerful set pieces (Death's swath-cutting appearance during the civil war scene, for instance) but the king's love for his male companions also provides for tender and lyrical scenes of great beauty as well. A must-have for collectors of 20th century (tonal) orchestral music. 2 CDs. Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Barry Wordsworth. Hyperion CDA 67135/6 (England) 05B079 $35.98

HANS PFITZNER (1869-1949): Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 27, Piano Trio in F, Op. 8. "...a confused product of a sick imagination groping in the dark.": The Neue Zeitschrift für Musik on Pfitnzer's 1896 trio. Don't you love the Old World's unprejudiced music reviews? A massive, four-movement work lasting over 40 minutes, it does involve a tortuous design of cyclical interconnections but, for anyone whose idea of romantic music didn't stop at Schumann, this must be seen as a remarkable achievement for a young composer. The sonata comes from much later (1918) and is a transparent work in which Pfitzner seems to have wanted to confirm the reputation he had gained as "The Last Romanticist" after the premiere of his opera Palestrina. Benjamin Schmid (violin), Clemens Hagen (cello), Claudius Tanski (piano). MD&G 312 0934 (Germany) 05B080 $17.98

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924): Souvenirs de Bayreuth, 8 pièces brèves, Op. 84, Masques et bergamasques, Op. 112, Dolly Suite, Op. 56, Allegro symphonique, Op. 68. Two rarities surface here: the 1888 results of Fauré's and his friend André Messager's visit to Bayreuth, five very brief duets based on favorite themes from the Ring, and the first movement of an 1867-73 symphony which finally led the composer to realize that his true talents lay elsewhere. The Allegro symphonique was adapted for two pianos by Léon Boëllmann in 1893 (while two of its other movements went into the well-known Masques et bergamasques). Pierre-Alain Volondat, Patrick De Hooge (piano four hands). Naxos 8.553638 (New Zealand) 05B081 $5.98

JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962): Histoires, Petite Suite, Les rencontres, Scherzetto, Pièce romantique, Toccata sur le nom d'Albert Roussel, L'espiègle au village de Lilliput, Française: "Guitarre" pour le piano. A versatile and prolific composer, Ibert did not write a lot for piano but what he did has his characteristic elegance, sense of humor, charm and highly evocative images in an idiom not a long way off fromPoulenc. Hae-won Chang (piano). Naxos 8.554720 (New Zealand) 05B082 $5.98

THEODORE ANTONIOU (b.1935): Ertnos for 10 Instruments, Epigrams for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, Octet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Strings, Aphierossis for Flute, Clarinet and Piano Trio, North South for Piano and Chamber Ensemble. A subtle and intellectual composer, Antoniou gives the impression of large scale and great breadth of content even in these works for chamber orchestra-sized ensembles. His description of his own music as being "abstract program music" may provide a clue as to the processes involved here, as the dramatic element, the sense of a story (even when it is not apparent what the story might be, or even that there is one) is always very strong. Thus Ertnos, the title an acronym derived from the names of two radio stations, divides into six strongly characterised sections, one for each letter of the title - which might sound arbitrary, but actually emerges as a fascinating drama played out through the interactions of these six "characters". In all the works, folk elements are discernable though by no means of overriding importance, and for the most part the langauge is freely atonal and full of instrumental color and variation in texture. Anna Ivanova (soprano), Chamber Ensemble of Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria; Lubomir Denev, Milen Natchev. Agora AG 134.1 (Italy) 05B083 $18.98

INDRA RISE (b.1961): The Return for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, Cello and Accordion, Three Coloured Stories for Piano, String Quartet, Out of the Darkness for Alto Saxophone, Pictures of Childhood for Mezzo-Soprano and Electronics. Rise is a Latvian composer, and she is influenced at least to some extent by the musical traditions of her homeland. What is most notable, though, is the fact that although she makes use of contemporary resources - aleatory, electro-acoustics - they are so completely subsumed in her own musical language as to become simply part of the overall vocabulary. Lyricism and emotional expression are the key features of her style, which might at times be described as neo-Impressionist, at others, neo-Romantic. Underlying the diverse cultural background evident here is a forceful musical personality of considerable incividuality, which is especially evident in the classically structured, tough but heartfelt string quartet, which inhabits a similar world to the Shostakovich of the piano quintet. Various artists including Riga String Quartet. Marco Polo/Dacapo 8.224142 (Denmark) 05B084 $14.98

HANS-HENRIK NORDSTRØM: String Quartet No. 3, Andalusian Reflections for Piano Trio, Flows for 3 Flutes, Sketches from Hirsholmene for Ensemble, Developments for 2 Accordions, 3 Poemas de Federico García Lorca for Mezzo-Soprano and Ensemble. Nordstrøm's music is organic and elemental, and the composer tends to concern himself with nature's wild places and the vast spaces and forces suggested by natural phenomena. Utilising a vocabulary which encompasses everything from noise to consonant harmony (not used as such in a functional sense), these pieces are evocative of place, above all - whether Norway, Andalusia, the Faroe Islands; the composer's preoccupation is with a sonic equivalent of landscape, haunting, desolate and beautiful - and essentially, unpopulated. Zapolski Quartet, Århus Piano Trio, Flutention, Det Jyske Ensemble and other artists. Classico CLASCD 287 (Denmark) 05B085 $14.98

JESUS VILLA-ROJO (b.1940): Cello Concerto No. 2, Passacaglia y Cante for Orchestra and Tape, Cantar con Federico for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra, Septeto. The concerto is a starkly dramatic work in three movements, following a conventional structure, with ample opportunity for solo display. The musical language, while not self-consciously reactionary, is based on tonal foundations, sounding as though from a similar æsthetic to Lutoslawski, and frequently less modern than that. The work is dramatic and predominantly dark-hued. Two of the other works concern themselves with Lorca; without the necessity of functioning as a virtuoso vehicle, they assume a less Romantically influenced idiom; Passacaglia y Cante opens with a sustained and ominous crescendo with an almost Hovhaness-like feel. Septeto is a bold and colorful work, somewhat Stravinskyan-neoclassical in texture and harmonic language. Asier Polo (cello), Alicia Cecotti (mezzo), Orquesta de Córdoba; Gregorio Gutiérrez. Marco Polo 8.225135 (New Zealand) 05B086 $14.98

INGVAR LIDHOLM (b.1921): 3 Elegies and Epilogue for String Quartet, Concertino for Flute, Oboe, Cor Anglais and Cello, 6 Songs for Baritone and Piano, 3 Songs for Mezzo and Strings, 3 Ekelöf Songs for Soprano and 4 Instruments. Ooh, look who the performers are! These performances come from Swedish Radio broadcasts of the 1960s and 70s (the sound is excellent despite a "historical" disclaimer on the CD packaging). In the tonal/romantic nationalist tradition of Sibelius, Rangström and Peterson-Berger, the songs are beautiful and melodically satisfying, with a good deal of drama and passion. The later works are from the period after Lidholm studied serial technique, and incorporate the technique, though the composer's innate lyricism is still evident in the long, singing instrumental lines. Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), The Tale Quartet and other artists. Caprice CAP 21499 (Sweden) 05B087 $16.98

NIKOS SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949): String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet No. 4. If you are already interested in Skalkottas - who has one of the oddest, if not the most spectacularly headline-grabbing, biographies of a 20th-century composer - then you will want this disc as a matter of course. The third quartet is one of the first works of the second phase of the composer's career, and it is a tense and powerful work, showing no small indebtedness to the Second Viennese school and before them, to Mahler - indeed, in its 20 minutes it sometimes sounds like a far from unsuccessful attempt to paraphrase the germ of a Mahler Symphony. The fourth quartet is much larger - it is the longest of Skalkottas' quartets - and functions on a symphonic scale. The tone-rows are woven into a contrapuntal texture of great sophistication and surprising clarity, and the music is by turns taut and intense (there is a lot of this) and hauntingly beautiful - never simple, but gently melancholy. The more we learn about this elusive figure, the greater a composer - not merely an interesting oddity - he turns out to be. New Hellenic Quartet. BIS CD-1074 (Sweden) 05B088 $17.98

MAGNUS LINDBERG (b.1958): Related Rocks for 2 Pianos, 2 Percussionists and Electronics, Clarinet Quintet. Lindberg is a composer who has almost too much technique for his own good, so casually does he flex the muscles of his composer's craft. Anything that can be incorporated into a composition, is, with consummate craftsmanship - Lindberg is a great 'putter-in', an all-inclusive compsoer. The music is dynamically, almost hectically propulsive, as though the composer is defying the listener to hang on and assimilate all the material rushing past in a thrilling roller-coaster ride of a listening experience. This restless dynamism is even evident in the more conventionally scored clarinet quintet. More consonant than many of his contemporaries, and less texturally complex than others, Lindberg manages by sheer generosity of material to generate compositions of endless novelty and fascination. Ictus. Megadisc MDC 7835 (Belgium) 05B089 $18.98

LUCA FRANCESCONI (b.1956): Encore/Da capo for 9 Instruments, Mambo for Piano, Attesa for Wind Quintet, Charlie Chan for Violin, Plot in fiction for Oboe/English Horn and 11 Instruments. The composer's transformational techniques, in which material evolves, apparently in response to the irresitible forces of a vast influx of energy (which is either presented explosively at the outset, as in Encore/Da Capo, or grows out of its own momentum (as in the marvellously energetic Mambo) are endlessly inventive, and provide a cohesiveness and continuity in works that are not essentially thematically based. The sense of watching a speeded-up organic process, or an evolving sculptural form in which unformed material takes on a form full of life, potency and meaning, is strongly communicated by this vital and intriguing music. Ictus. Megadisc MDC 7834 (Belgium) 05B090 $18.98

ELLIOTT SCHWARTZ (b.1936): Tapestry for Piano Trio, Phoenix for Bassoon and Piano, Vienna Dreams for Viola, Clarinet and Piano, Rows Garden for Horn, Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute and Oboe, Equinox for Orchestra. A post-modern composer, and proud of it, in these pieces Schwartz makes a virtue, and indeed a method, of the 20th-century's preoccupation with imposing structure on collages of pre-existing material. By taking fragments of earlier music - some of it of this century, some much earlier, and transforming them (out of all recognition, sometimes) and in so doing rendering them sufficiently homogeneous to be able to flow seamlessly together, Schwartz manufactures a musical style that is at once new-sounding and reassuringly familiar. There is humor and originality here, and despite the occasional extended playing techniques and overall atonality, approachability. Various artists including Fibonacci Sequence, Prometheus Chamber Players, JeugdOrdkest Nederland; Roland Kieft. New World 80582 (U.S.A.) 05B091 $16.98

MIKIS THEODORAKIS (b.1925): Requiem. Insofar as Theodorakis has always sought to express a profound humanitarianism, whether philosophical or political, through his music, it makes perfect sense that he would at some point (1984, as a matter of fact) turn his attention to the liturgy surrounding the ultimate philosophical and political solution, death. His text is by the 6th Century John of Damascus, and this is, and sounds like, an Orthodox litany, having little to do with the Catholic Mass (though in his use of soprano soloist and boychoir, Theodorakis departs from Orthodox musical practice). Orthodox church modes and polyphony are very much in evidence; in other respects the music is typical of the composer: big, richly scored romantic textures and tonal harmony, with emphasis on directness of emotional appeal and no concern for sounding fashionably "modern" whatsoever. Janne Polevtsova (mezzo), Lyubov Yiltsova, Peter Migunov (bass), Alexandr Timtchenko (tenor), St. Petersburg State Academic Capella Children's Chorus, Choir and Symphony Orchestra; Mikis Theodorakis. Intuition INT 3292 (Germany) 05B092 $16.98

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Passio et mors Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam. This gripping, searing setting of the St. Luke Passion was a spectacular success when it premiered in Münster in April 1966 and its power to move the listener has stood the test of time. Composed at the time when Penderecki reached a crossroads in his stylistic progression, Passio turned out to be the work which combined all of the modernistic techniques which had brought the composer to the public's ear with such works as Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, Florescences etc. with passages oriented toward Gregorian chant and late Medieval counterpoint. A landmark composition thankfully restored to the catalogue in a sizzling live recording from April 1999. Franziska Hirzel (soprano), François Le Roux (baritone), Jean-Philippe Courtis (bass), Manfred Jung (recitation), Cologne Radio Choir, North German Radio Choir, Mainz Cathedral Choir, Orchestra der Beethovenhalle Bonn; Marc Soustrot. MD&G 337 0981 (Germany) 05B093 $17.98

FRANCO DONATONI (b.1927): In cauda for Chorus and Orchestra, Portrait, Duo pour Bruno. The decade from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s was a time of great personal and psychological turmoil for Donatoni, during which he found his way to a compositional langauge which enabled him to communicate his ideas with great drama and directness, in contrast to the experimentation and almost, negation, of the compositional process at least in part resulting from his encounter with Cage some 10 years previously. In Cauda is the final chapter of this personal renaissance, a powerful and dramatic work, effectively a secular requiem with many layers of musical subtext. Portrait is a huge canvas compressed into a small timespan; effectively a harpsichord concerto, it balances the mechanistic with the freely, confrontationally expressive in a bewildering interplay of tensions. Duo, the title referring to the two mirror-image instrumental groups for which it is written, is another work of tensions, progressing from the coolly abstract to a dionysian creative outburst via a highly organised formal process. Cologne Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Arturo Tamayo, Elizabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord). Stradivarius STR 33541 (Italy) 05B094 $17.98

GOFFREDO PETRASSI (b.1904): Frammento for Orchestra, Flute Concerto, Poema for Strings and 4 Hornss, Kyrie for Chorus and Strings, Ritratto di Don Chisciotte - Ballet for Orchestra. The works on this disc span the second half of the 20th century, and it is equally remarkable that Petrassi so obviously maintained an awareness of trends and techniques in contemporary music on the one hand, and on the other, sustained his own individual style. The earliest work here is the ballet score, Don Chisciotte, tonal but harmonically astringent, highly atmospheric and chracterful. The last is the composer's final work before increasing blindness prevented further work, the Kyrie of 1986, a brief work of almost unbearably restrained anguish. In between, eschewing the avant garde and the trend towards rediscovering conservatism, he wrote his flute concerto, an economically expressed drama of metaphor in which the monologue of the individual is of paramount importance. The expressive heart of this program, though, is Poema, whose progression from shadowy, elemental origins to a kind of transcendent luminosity is a miracle of organic growth in music. Giampaolo Pretto (flute), Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Florence; Arturo Tamayo. Stradivarius STR 33552 (Italy) 05B095 $17.98

VIKTOR SUSLIN (b.1942): Midnight Music for Violin, Harpsichord (with live electronics) and Double Bass, Crossing Beyond for Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Trio Sonata for Flute, Guitar and Cello, Dawn Music for Double Bass, Sonata capricciosa for Viola and Harpsichord, Le deuil blanc for Bass Flute, Guitar, Cello and Percussion. Suslin belongs to the generation of Russian composers which also includes Schnittke and Gubaidulina, though as their junior he is one step further removed from the Shostakovich tradition that, through sheer force of personality, has tended to dominate the best Russian 20th century music. Suslin writes delicate atonal textures with tonal centres or referents, usually not used as functional harmony; his odd instrumental combinations (frequently featuring his son on double bass) contribute to a sense of the surreal and unconventional. Tradition is present in, for example, the composer's fondness for ostinato, and there is often a brooding atmosphere, though the clouds gather and threaten at a distance; there is little sense of confrontation (though also virtually no repose) in Suslin's music. Various artists including Tatiana Grindenko (violin), Alexei Lubimov (harpsichord) and Alexander Suslin (bass). Olympia OCD 678 (England) 05B096 $17.98

BRUNO MADERNA (1920-1973): Ausstrahlung for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, Oboe and Orchestra, Concerto No. 1 for Oboe and Chamber Ensemble, Giardino religioso for Chamber Orchestra. This month we have a clutch of col legno discs which constitute a kind of "Difficult Modern Music for Dummies" course (half-kidding!). Nonetheless, this is an instructive series, containing some of the most approachable music by pivotal composers in the history of post-war music. The Maderna disc contains his Ausstrahlung, a half-hour work of mythology and mystery, setting a variety of Persian texts in various translations, sometimes as a kind of 'simultaneous poem'. A remarkably complete musician, Maderna successfully crosses historical boundaries in this music, which incorporates a Romantic lyricism into a Darmstadt vocabulary, making of his material a fully worked out dramatic narrative, almost operatic in effect. The concerto is a Darmstadt compostion that avoids any sense of cerebral abstraction, though assembled with consummate skill. Giardino Religioso (the title is a pun on the name of Paul Fromm, whose garden was the work's inspiration) came late in the composer's output, and incorporates some chance elements in its structure. Ten years later than the concerto, the work is more abstract, but no less expressive, with an almost impressionistic sense of color and subtly drawn atmosphere. Claudia Eder (mezzo), Roberto Fabbriciani (Flute), Pietro Borgonovo (oboe), Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo, Lothar Faber (oboe), International Chamber Ensemble Darmstadt; Bruno Maderna, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Hans Zender. col legno collage 20503 (Germany) 05B097 $15.98

GYÖRGY LIGETI (b.1928): Études for Piano, First Book, Invention, Capriccios 1 & 2, Musica ricercata, 3 Pieces for Cembalo. Rhythmic incisiveness and a precise sense of articulation in clear-textured polyrhythmic polyphony are allied to a definite sense of the pianistic tradition in Ligeti's Etudes, which are not especially dissonant, and less concerned with piano sonority than with metrical dynamism and propulsive flair. The works from the 1940s and 50s really don't sound all that modern now, quite tonal, Bartókian, humorous and inventive. This sense of humor - irony anyway - also pervades the three harpsichord pieces, which pay tribute to the traditions of the instrument while adding to its repertory wholly idiomatic and original works - Continuum is the odd piece out, being the closest piece on the CD to the "sound as texture" orchestral and organ works for which the composer is also known, but in its pre-minimalistic sense of consonance and motion, this is also a most appealing work. Erika Haase (piano, harpsichord). col legno collage 20501 (Germany) 05B098 $15.98

MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Les idées fixes - Rondo for Orchestra, Musik für Tasteninstrumente & Orchester, Opus 1/991 - Concert Piece for Orchestra. Kagel's music is often a tumultuous collage of twentieth-century styles with neoclassicism rubbing shoulders with frank atonality, or jazz with concert styles of the avant garde. From a composer who has tried his hand at most of the communicative arts at one time or another, it should come as no surprise that this unlikely mixture actually succeeds in sounding more than coherent and in satisfying the listener with its sonorous and human drama. Unlikely comparisons come to mind at different times when listening to his music; at one point the idea of Percy Grainger as a Mahler student writing music for Hollywood was rather irresistible. Les idées fixes and "Music for Keyboard Instruments and Orchestra" are both immediately appealing works, satisfying both intellectually (my, that's clever!) and on a more instinctive level (ooh, that felt good!) Kagel's sense of orchestral color is inventive in the extreme. Concert Piece is more abstract, but again full of color and life, and the unexpected - early in the piece the music stumbles on a chord of C major, sits there and wriggles for the best part of a minute, then returns to its wanderings via something related to Wagner's Ring - in a period of music history rather dominated by portentous messages and intimidating program notes, to find a composer so obviously revelling in the art and technique of his craft is mightily refreshing. RSO Saabrücken; Mauricio Kagel, Kristi Becker, Christoph Delz, Wilhelm Neuhaus, Peter Dicke (pianos). col legno collage 20502 (Germany) 05B099 $15.98

IANNIS XENAKIS (b.1922): Ata for Orchestra, N'Shima for Ensemble, Metastaseis for Orchestra, Ioolkos for Orchestra, Charisma for Clarinet and Cello, Jonchaies for Orchestra. A rare opportunity to hear full orchestral Xenakis (in recordings made at the works' premieres in Donaueschingen): 1954's Metastaseis whose dense structures of glissandi became a trademark of the composer; 1987's Ata, a rhythmically savage fresco of sound energy; and Ioolkos (1996), another cluster-based work written for Donaueschingen's 75th anniversary. And then there is Jonchaies from 1977 which amazingly yields warm-sounding harmonies here and there and also contains a fairground drum march and ends in the sounds of bells and birdlike flutes! Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Gielen, Hans Rosbaud, Kwamé Ryan, Les Jeunes Soloistes; Rachid Safir, Hans Deinzer (clarinet), Siegfried Palm (cello), Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique; Gilbert Amy. col legno collage 20504 (Germany) 05B100 $15.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Due espressioni, A Carlo Scarpa, architetto, ai suio infiniti possibili, Fragmente - Stille, an Diotima, Post-Prae-Ludium. With his microtonal intervals, experiments in electronic music, and post-Webernian pointillistic exploration of the subtlest nuances of dynamics or sound events, Nono is the very model of a modern major avant-garde composer. To suggest that most of what has happened in Donaueschingen since Nono echoes his work without adding much to it is perhaps glib and unfair to some estimable composers - but he died ten years ago, and none of these pieces - from 1953 and the 1980s - gives any ground to their fashionable successors in terms of innovation. The weirdly fragmentary, surrealistic yet scarily logical lament for the architect Carlo Scarpa is especially powerful; anthropomorphic echoes forming a funeral cortège in a strange deserted landscape. Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans Rosbaud, Michael Gielen, Moscow String Quartet, Giancarlo Schiaffini (tuba). col legno collage 20505 (Germany) 05B101 $15.98

ROBERT DOCKER (1918-1992): Legend for Piano and Orchestra, 3 Contrasts for Oboe and Strings, Scène du Bal , Tabarinage, Scènes de Ballet, Air, The Spirit of Cambria, Fairy Dance Reel, Blue Ribbons, Pastiche Variations for Piano and Orchestra. Docker embraces both traditional light music (works whose titles above will easily identify themselves) as well as more serious items like the Legend which, although not for a film, inhabits the same territory as Bath's Cornish Rhapsody or Rozsa's Spellbound Concerto. The 1980 Pastiche Variations (on Frère Jacques!) is the composer's most serious and still delightful composition. William Davies (piano), David Presley (oboe), RTÉ Concert Orchestra; Barry Knight. Marco Polo 8.223837 (New Zealand) 05B102 $14.98

MALCOLM ARNOLD (b.1921): Little Suite No. 4, Op. 80a, WILLIAM BLEZARD (b.1921): The River, ADREAN CRUFT (1921-1987): Traditional Hornpipe Suite, ERIC FENBY (1906-1997): Overture Rossini on Ilkla Moor, RAYMOND WARREN (b.1928): Wexford Bells - Suite on Old Irish Tunes, ARTHUR BUTTERWORTH (b.1923): The Path Across the Moors, ANTHONY HEDGES (b.1931): An Ayrshire Serenade, Op. 42, PAUL LEWIS (b.1943): An English Overture, PHILIP LANE (b.1950): Suite of Cotswold Folkdances. Titled "Discoveries 2", this collection contains typically delightful suites of folk tunes and dances but also offers a surprisingly dramatic piece by Blezard and a work by "the other" Butterworth which is rather more than "light". Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Gavin Sutherland. ASV White Line WHL 2126 (England) 05B103 $11.98

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/CARL ORFF (1895-1982)/JAN JIRÁSEK (b.1955): St. Luke Passion. Even if the music were not very good (we'll get to that in a minute), this CD represents a tremendously intriguing piece of musical archæology. Part of the original was copied in Bach's hand; the rest, probably C.P.E. Bach's. So at the least, even if it was not his own composition, Bach was presumably interested enough in the piece to have performed it. Pre-Carmina Burana, Orff recomposed the work, compressing it and tightening its structure. However, most of his work on it was lost in World War II. So Jirasek's version reconstructs Orff's version of the work, based on the piano score that Orff also worked from. So, what does it sound like? Not quite authentic original-instruments Bach, to be sure - Bach did not use tympani glissandi nor an extended percussion battery - Orff did. But these orchestral effects - pretty mild by Orff's standards - are used sparingly. Much of the music is very beautiful, though we would all be rather surprised, one imagines, if it had emerged as another B Minor Mass. What it sounds like is a very unauthentic but musically satisfying performance of a middling-important devotional work by Bach, veering at its most extreme in the direction of Hans Zender's recomposition-performances of classical works. Whether your primary interest is Bach, musicology or 20th-century performance practice in Baroque music, this will be a stimulating and enjoyable addition to your collection. German texts. Marc Clear (tenor), Furio Zanasi (baritone), Ulrik Cold (bass), Boni Pueri Boys' Choir, Munich Oratorio Choir, Munich Symphony Orchestra; Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD 278 (Denmark) 05B104 $14.98

GEORG FRIEDRICH HÄNDEL (1685-1759): Organ Concertos No. 7, Nos. 8-12. Collectors of musical oddities will want to hear this Claviorganum (consisting here of a two-manual harpsichord on top of an organ with four stops), an instrument with no precise definition other than it be the offspring of organ and harpsichord. Alfred Gross (claviorganum), Southwest German Radio Orchestra; Klaus Arp. Koch Schwann 3-1122-2 (Germany) 05B105 $16.98

HANS J. SALTER (1896-1994): The Ghost of Frankenstein, Excerpts from Son of Dracula, Black Friday, Man Made Monster, FRANK SKINNER (1897-1968): Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror. Perhaps second only to House of Frankenstein from among the old Universal horror scores is Salter's 1942 Ghost, of which a 45-minute suite has been assembled by Marco Polo's usual indefatigable pair of John Morgan and conductor Stromberg. Skinner's Sherlock Holmes score from the same year is a very attractive 15-minute filler, along with short items from three other Universal shockers from the same period. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; William T. Stromberg. Marco Polo 8.225124 (New Zealand) 05B106 $14.98