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Norbert Burgmuller

Hugo Staehle

Symphonies in C Minor


NORBERT BURGMULLER (1810-1836): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 2, HUGO STAEHLE (1826-1848): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Both these short-lived composers began their careers in Kassel (both were students of Spohr and or Moritz Hauptmann) and these symphonies were premiered there as well. Burgmuller's (1833) is the shorter of the two (33 minutes as opposed to Staehle's 40-and-a-half) and a bit more contained emotionally. Not surprisingly, Beethoven and Mendelssohn are the main influences on both composers, with Staehle's breathless finale building up to a powerfully jubilant apotheosis reminiscent of the spirit of the former and his symphony (1845) as a whole is full of tempestuous passion. Two important additions to the early romantic symphonic repertoire. Kassel State Theatre Orchestra; Marc Piollet. Sterling CD-1046 (Sweden) 05D001 $15.98

Stupid Label Tricks:

04D042 (Reinecke) did not ship because the manager of Claves, having sent a few sample copies to their U.S. distributor (of which one came into our hands, leading us to think that they had stock and that we could offer it in the catalogue), then embarked on a lengthy Easter vacation without shipping this title.

04D093 (Finnissy) did not ship for the same reason, the owner of Metier informing his U.S. distributor that he was going to be very busy in the north of England for some weeks and would see to shipping whenever he got back.

Must be nice to not have to worry about actually selling any of your label's titles...

NOTE: In order to let you know which titles in each catalogue are going to be more-or-less 'ephemeral', the items carrying this symbol - * - next to the price denote titles which have no regular U.S. distribution. This means not only that you are unlikely to find them somewhere else in the U.S. but that they were difficult to find, buy and import and that, while back-orders may be possible, it will most likely be a while before we will be able to get them again after our inital stock sells out. Please let your ordering (and patience) be guided accordingly!


JEAN FRANCAIX (1912-1997): Symphony in G, Sérénade for Orchestra, Ouverture anacréontique, Pavane pour un Génie vivant, Scuola di Ballo. Always gentle and urbane, FranÁaix' music flows like a clear stream amidst the muddy floods of much 20th-century music. The earliest work here is the 1933 Scuola di Ballo which, in arranging and orchestrating music by Boccherini, stands in the line of such contemporary works as Pulcinella, La Boutique Fantasque and Tommasini's The Good-Humoured Ladies. The 1934 serenade may appear indebted to the neo-classicism of Stravinsky but predates Dumbarton Oaks. The symphony is FranÁaix' third, dating from 1953 and commissioned by Nikolai Sokoloff for his Musical Arts Orchestra of La Jolla (he also commissioned Martinu's Sinfonietta La Jolla and Dello Joio's New York Profiles). It was written in memory of Haydn and is more relaxed and less busy than an obvious comparandum - Prokofiev's Classical Symphony. The program concludes with two late works: the 1978 Ouverture, at 11 minutes a very long single movement for this composer, which envisions an ideally peaceful world and whose character mirrors its title: convivial and somewhat erotic in content, and the brief 1987 Pavane, a restrained and evocative memorial of the 50th anniversary of Ravel's death. The Ulster Orchestra; Thierry Fischer. Hyperion CDA 67323 (England) 05D002 $17.98

DAG WIRN (1905-1986): Symphony No. 3, Op. 20, Sinfonietta, Op. 7, Cello Concerto, Op. 10, Romantic Suite, Op. 22 from The Merchant of Venice. A useful compendium of orchestral music from this often cheerful and always diverting Swedish composer, highlighted by the proud Nordic symphony of 1944, the youthfully vivid Sinfonietta (1934) and the 1936 cello concerto whose high spirits are offset by a spectral central march. The Merchant of Venice music (1943) ranges from grandiosity to impudence. Mats Lidstrm (cello), Sami Sinfonietta; Stefan Solyom. Phono Suecia/Musica Sueciae Modern Classics PSCD 716 (Sweden) 05D003 $16.98 *

WILHELM FURTWNGLER (1886-1954): Symphony No. 3 in C Sharp Minor. Furtwangler's third symphony (1954) is the work of a dispirited and exhausted man. He described it as 'a tragedy' and, though they are not printed in the score, each movement has a title in the composer's diary: 'Fate', 'The Compulsion of Life', 'Beyond' and 'The Struggle Continues' (the fourth movement was added later - some archival recordings, like Sawallisch's on Orfeo, only have the first three). The work begins with a motif of profound mourning and depression and the work throughout is dark, earnest, tragic and inward-looking (even the 'Struggle' is half-hearted). Now, if only we could get our hands on a good recording of the First Symphony... Staatskapelle Weimar; Georg Alexander Albrecht. Arte Nova 74321 72103 (Germany) 05D004 $4.98

ARTHUR BLISS (1891-1975): Piano Quartet in A Minor, Angels of the Mind for Soprano and Piano, Triptych for Piano, 4 Songs for Voice, Violin and Piano, The Rout Trot for Piano, Bliss for Piano. World premiere recording of the 1915 piano quartet, a three-movement work which employs folk song very much in the style of Vaughan Williams and which came before the catastrophic effects of war service on Bliss. Dating from 1927, the four songs (as well as the two piano pieces, one from the same year, the other from 1922) are from the period of Stravinsky-inspired abstraction, emotional detachment and simplification of texture. Angels of the Mind (1969) and the piano Triptych (1971) are late-period Bliss: sinewy, shorn of unnecessary ornament, the song cycle a constant ratcheting up and release of tension, both delicate and tough; the piano work ranging from grittily ruminative to uncomfortable agitation. Chamber Domaine. ASV DCA 1128 (England) 05D005 $16.98

BERNARD VAN DIEREN (1887-1936): String Quartet No. 6, HENRIETTE BOSMANS (1895-1952): String Quartet, ALEXANDER MOSOLOV (1900-1973): String Quartet No. 1, Op. 24. All composed between 1926-28 these quartets show a wide variety of styles from the English (Dutch father and French mother) van Dieren's highly personal, somewhat expressionistically Bergian piece through Bosmans' quartet with its impressionistic opening and polyrhythmic finale bracketing a slow movement with some exotic tints, to Mosolov's glowering and gloomy first quartet (the only one previously available on CD). Utrecht String Quartet. NM Classics 98020 (Netherlands) 05D006 $17.98

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Toward the Unknown Region for Chorus and Orchestra, Dona nobis pacem for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra, Fantasia (quasi variazione) on the Old 104th Psalm Tune for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra, Magnificat for Contralto, Women's Chorus, Flute and Orchestra, Partita for Double String Orchestra, Concerto grosso, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Romance in D Flat for Harmonica with Strings and Piano, The Lark Ascending for Violin and Orchestra. This collection of mostly rarely recorded works offers a 1952 recording of the harmonica Romance made only four months after the piece's premiere, a Lark Ascending from a day later by an almost forgotten violinist, one of the composer's most instrumentally unusual pieces - the 1949 fantasy on a hymn tune which uses women's chorus and piano, the impassioned and strangely neglected 1932 Magnificat, the thrilling and compassionate Dona nobis pacem from 1936 and the Whitman setting of 1906 Toward the Unknown Region - a private competition at setting the same text with Vaughan Williams' good friend Holst. A cornucopia of rare VW, many in classic performances. 2 CDs. Original EMI releases 1953, 1954, 1959, 1970, 1971, 1974 & 1976. Sheila Armstrong (soprano), John Carol Case (baritone), Peter Katin (piano), London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Sir Adrian Boult, Helen Watts (soprano), Ambrosian Singers, Christopher Hyde-Smith (flute), Orchestra Nova of London; Meredith Davies, Philharmonia Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, Larry Adler (harmonica), Eric Gritton (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sargent, Jean Pougnet (violin), London Philharmonic Orchestra; Boult. EMI CZS 5 74782 2 (England) 05D007 $21.98


CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Symphony No. 2 'Uirapuru', Symphony No. 3, Abertura Concertante. Like the prodigy for whom he was named (Guarnieri stopped using his given name of Mozart), this fecund Brazilian composer performed and wrote works profusely from his early teens. Unlike Villa-Lobos, though, his most famous compatriot, Guarnieri did not make a point of using native percussion instruments in his orchestration and did not write wildly unstructured, rhapsodic pieces. He combines an awareness of his national background with a strong attachment to classical form and structure. For example, the 1952 third symphony uses an actual Indian mourning song but it is the single motif from which everything else in the piece's three movements derives and while the piece swings from violence to lyricism, the feverish drumming of the former sections is produced only by timpani. The second symphony was dedicated to Villa-Lobos and it uses carefully crafted themes and sonata form in its first movement, is more rhapsodic with a lovely cor anglais theme in the slow movement while introducing a theme for the cello section in the finale which is a clear homage to Villa-Lobos. The earliest piece here, the 'Concert Overture', was composed in 1942 and dedicated to Copland who wan an early promoter of the Brazilian's talent; the work itself has much of the swagger and boundless energy of the Harris-Copland symphonic works of the same period. Orquestra SinfÙnica do Estado de S"o Paulo; John Neschling. BIS CD-1220 (Sweden) 05D008 $17.98

KURT ATTERBERG - Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5

KURT ATTERBERG (1887-1974): Symphony No. 2 in F, Op. 6, Symphony No. 5 in D Minor 'Sinfonia funebre', Op. 20. A young master of large-scale forms revels in his talent in these two big symphonies from 1911 and 1922. The second, lasting 41 minutes, is in three movements (a second movement wrapping scherzo inside a slow movement was originally the final movement but a third was added a year later) with the first a titanic juggernaut of power and nobility striding confidently forward, the 15-minute second movement both stamping dance-like scherzo and adagio sections of a Mahlerian/ Wagnerian intensity while the new finale adds another onslaught of confident strength. The Sinfonia funebre was the result of a kind of mid-life compositional crisis; a contemporary critic described it as 'enveloped in a dark violet cloak over which black veils wave'. There is drive in the first movement but also pain and anxiety while the second movement is an intensely expressive funeral march which is not actually based on a march rhythm while there are elements of a danse macabre in the finale. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ari Rasilainen. CPO 999 565 (Germany) 05D009 $15.98

GUNNAR DE FRUMERIE (1908-1987): Cello Concerto, Op. 81, Violin Concerto, Op. 19, Symphonic Variations, Op. 25. The 1936 violin concerto (revised in 1975) has outer movements of a pastoral, idyllic charm which recalls Wirén's famous Serenade while its central movement is somewhat darker, inflected by a Nordic melancholy. The Symphonic Variations of 1941 use a Swedish folk tune which the composer had used in two previous works and is in the vein of Dvor·k's similar piece. The cello concerto, a late work (1984 but using an unpublished horn sonata from 1948), similarly has folk elements in its first movement, a pastoral quality in its finale while the center movement is a theme-and-variations. Still too little-known, De Frumerie is worthy of standing with his more famous compatriots in 20th century Swedish music. Mats Lidstrm (cello), Tobias Ringborg (violin), Norrkping Symphony Orchestra; Lü Jia. Caprice CAP 21644 (Sweden) 05D010 $15.98 *

LUIS GIANNEO (1897-1968): Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3, Suite, Sonatina, 6 Bagatelles. The pieces recorded here date from 1933-57 and, with one exception, they all have a sharp, clear neo-classical personality with motifs often taken from Argentinian and native folk music. Counterpoint is frequently used and active, rhythmic fast movements are set off by slow ones which sometimes (the third sonata) can have a plaintive, melancholy quality. The exception is the set of bagatelles (1957) which avoid any overt nationalism, sticking to strict counterpoint, rather like two-part inventions. Throughout the disc, Gianneo's favorite composer, Stravinsky, stands in the background although a personal synthesis of the latter and folk-music makes this composer's work a valuable addtion to our knowledge of 20th-century Argentinian art music. Dora De Martinis, Alejandro Cremaschi, Fernando Viani (piano). Marco Polo 8.225205 (New Zealand) 05D011 $15.98

GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924): Madama Butterfly. This first recording of the original version of this wildly popular opera contains some 130 bars of music which were later deleted, including a longer Intermezzo in Act II (and for that matter an Act II which contains both of the later version's Acts II and III) and a more extended version of Butterfly's lullaby in addition to many smaller additions or differences in scoring. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Svetlana Katchour (soprano), Bruce Rankin (tenor), Fredrika Brillemburg (mezzo), Heikki Kilpelinen (baritone), Bremen Theatre Chorus, Bremen State Philharmonic Orchestra; Günter Neuhold. Naxos 8.660078-79 (New Zealand) 05D012 $13.98

JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): 6 Songs, Op. 36, 5 Songs, Op. 37, 6 Songs, Op. 50, To Evening, Op. 17/6, The Jewish Girl's Song from Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51, I Am a Tree, Op. 57/5, The Elf-King, p. 57/8, Who Has Brought You Here?, Op. 90/6, The North, Op. 90/1, Spring is Flying, Op. 13/4, Under the Fir-Trees, Op. 13/1. Still neglected by record companies which seem to be intimidated by Sderstrm's Decca set of decades ago, Sibelius' songs are a well-kept secret and, saturated in the composer's love of the Nordic landscape and setting the Swedish nature-poetry to which he was drawn all his life (only To Evening - in Finnish - and the op. 50 songs - in German - depart from that language) these pieces remain a treasure for anyone who loves Scandinavian national romanticism. Swedish-Finnish-German/English texts. Katarina Karnéus (mezzo), Julius Drake (piano). Hyperion CDA 67318 (England) 05D013 $17.98

GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643): Fantasie, Book 1, Ricercari, Canzoni Francesi. These are the earliest three publications by Frescobaldi, dating from 1608 and 1615, and are richly polyphonic in texture. Vartolo performs 8 of the 27 pieces on a church organ which dates from 1664. 2 CDs. Sergio Vartolo (harpsichord, organ of the Chiesa dello Spirito Santo, Pistoia, Italy). Naxos 8.553547-48 (New Zealand) 05D014 $13.98

KAISER FERDINAND III (1608-1657): Hymnus de Navitate 'Jesu Redemptor omnium', Deus Tuorum, Humanae Salutis, JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (1620/23-1679): Lamento sopra la morte Ferdinand III, KAISER JOSEPHUS I (1678-1711): Regina coeli, KAISER LEOPOLD I (1640-1705): Sonata piena, Laudate Pueri. This unusual collection highlights the compositional talents of three consecutive Holy Roman Emperors: Ferdinand III, whose Italian style reflected his teacher, Giovanni Valentini, Leopold I, who hired Schmelzer and Fux and left 69 compositions and his son Joseph I whose Regina coeli is influenced greatly by Alessandro Scarlatti. Vocal soloists, Wiener Akademie; Martin Haselbck. CPO 999 681 (Germany) 05D015 $15.98

NIKOLAUS BRUHNS (1665-1697): Die Zeit meines Abschieds is vorhanden, Muþ nicht der Mensch auf dieser Erden in stetem Streite sein, Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet, Ich Liege und schlafe, Paratum cor meum, Hemmt eure Trnenflut. Pupil of Buxtehude, model for J.S. Bach, this tragically short-lived northern German composer was also an important figure in the history of the German church cantata. Half of his surviving total are recorded here, with Muþ nicht der Mensch's brilliant clarino trumpets underlining the sense of jubliation and the expressive, melancholy funeral piece Ich liege und schlafe only the highest of high points in this very enjoyable recital. German-English texts. Cantus Clln; Konrad Junghnel. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901752 (France) 05D016 $17.98

LISABETH-CLAUDE JACQUET DE LA GUERRE (1665-1729): Violin Sonata No. 2 in D, Allemande 'La flamande e double', BARBARA STROZZI (c.1619-1677): Hor che Apollo for Soprano, 2 Violins and Continuo, Miei pensieri for Soprano and Continuo, ANTONIA BEMBO (1643-1715): Lamento della vergine for Soprano and Continuo, ROSA GIACINTA BADALLA (c.1660-1715): Non Plangete for Soprano and Continuo, ISABELLA LEONARDA (1620-1704): Sonata No. 12 in D Minor for Violin and Continuo, BIANCA MARIA MEDA (c.1665-c.1700): Cari musici for Soprano, 2 Violins and Continuo. This recording highlights several otherwise unknown women composers of the French and Italian baroque, several of them nuns whose compositions would have been for performance inside their institutions (Meda, Badalla and Leonarda). Strozzi's Hor che Apollo is the longest work here, a 13-minute Serenata which is a nocturnal lament of a forlorn lover; Jacquet de la Guerre is the most recent - her sonata of 1707 a striking combination of old and newer musical traits. Italian-English texts. Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Bizzarrie Armoniche. Opus 111 OP 30341 (France) 05D017 $17.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA MAZZAFERRATA (d.1691): 12 Sonatas for 2 Violins and Continuo, Op. 5. These brief, four-movement pieces are typically modal in harmonic structure with lively contrapuntal writing and in a light, flowing style. A cornett is substituted for one of the violins in several sonatas and a rich combination of continuo instruments (positive organ, harpsichord, lute, archlute, theorbo and guitar - although never more than three in each sonata) helps to vary the textures. La Chirlanda Mosicale. Dynamic CDS 409 (Italy) 05D018 $17.98

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745): The Lamentations of Jeremiah. Dating from 1722, Zelenka's settings of these traditional pre-Easter liturgical pieces open with intensely expressive chromaticism in the first two lamentations and end with major key hopefulness (and recorders replacing oboes) in the final two. Original 1991 Hyperion release. Michael Chance (countertenor), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Michael George (bass), The Chandos Baroque Players. Helios CDH 55106 (England) 05D019 $10.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Suite in D, Ouverture 'Les Nations' in B Flat, Violin Concerto in A 'Les Rainettes', Ouverture 'La Bizzare' in G. Whether describing Turks, Portuguese, Swiss and Muscovites in Les Nations or imitating frogs in the 'musical joke'-ish Les Rainettes or doing wicked things with counterpoint and melodic and harmonic contradictions in La Bizarre, this most French of German composers is having a hell of a time and you will too! Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Midori Seiler (violin). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901744 (France) 05D020 $17.98

DOMENICO SCARLATTI (1685-1757): La contesa delle Stagioni. This 1720 Serenata celebrated the birthday of the Portuguese queen by portraying a musical contest between the four seasons, each claiming its superiority in a recitative and aria until Autumn wins with two arias, one an 'aria di bravura' with obbigato horns and virtuosic vocal writing. Italian-English texts. Silvia Piccollo, Elisa Franzetti (sopranos), Vera Marenco (contralto), Vito Martino (tenor), Il Concento Ecclesiastico; Luca Franco Ferrari. Bongiovanni GB 2304 (Italy) 05D021 $16.98

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759): The Choice of Hercules, MAURICE GREENE (1696-1755): Hearken Unto Me, Ye Holy Children. The Choice of Hercules was Handel's 1751 solution to the problem of what to do with an hour's worth of superb music whose original destination, a stage production of Alceste which never materialized. In effect a one-act dramatic cantata in English, the work is unique in Handel's output. Greene, one of Handel's bitterest enemies, produced his ceremonial anthem, on texts from Ecclesiastes and the Wisdom of Solomon, in 1728; the German composer would not have been amused that it was later published twice as his own 'Twelfth Chandos Anthem'! Texts included. Susan Gritton (soprano), Alice Coote (mezzo), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Charles Daniels (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass), King's Consort Choir, The King's Consort; Robert King. Hyperion CDA 67298 (England) 05D022 $17.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): Violin Concertos, Vol. 9 - Concertos in F, D, A, B Flat, E, D Minor, A Minor 'A Suo Eccellenza Lunardo Vinier', C, B Minor 'Lascia ch'io dica addio' and A 'Se mai saprai...'. These ten concertos are all from Tartini's late period (around 1750), all editedfrom manuscripts and other contemporary sources by the performers here since there are no printed editions (almost all are world premiere recordings). Virtuosity and expression blend in these late pieces to produce a new instrumental lyricism which would greatly influence the classical violin concerto in the years to come. 2 CDs. L'Arte dell'Arco; Giovanni Guglielmo. Dynamic CDS 365/1-2 (Italy) 05D023 $35.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): Violin Concertos in E, F, A & D. We offer this stand-alone set of Tartini concertos both for those who have not been collecting the complete cycle on Dynamic and for those who may be but also would like to hear the significantly larger orchestral accompaniment used here (3-2-2-2-1 strings plus theorbo and harpsichord/organ continuo as well as two violins concertino). L·szlÛ Paulik (violin), Orfeo Orchestra; Gyrgy Vashegyi. Hungaroton HCD 32045 (Hungary) 05D024 $16.98

NICCOL" JOMMELLI (1714-1774): Don Trastullo. Although best-known for his innovations in opera seria and for his influence on Mozart, Jommelli began by writing traditional comic operas and intermezzos in his native Naples. This work of 1749, typical in its plot - two lovers scheming to defraud a spurious nobleman to finance their wedding, was among Jommelli's most popular in the genre. Italian-English texts. Giuseppe Naviglio (bass), Roberta Invernizzi (soprano), Rosario Totaro (tenor), Cappella de'Turchini; Antonio Florio. Opus 111 OP 30280 (France) 05D025 $17.98

LEOPOLD MOZART (1719-1787): Symphony in F, 3 Symphonies in D. World premiere recordings of these four works by Wolfgang's dad which date from 1750-60. Three are in three movements (fast-slow-fast) and the F Major in four with a minuet after the slow movement, the latter being the nearest to the 'modern' symphonies being written at that time but still in the style of, say, Carl Stamitz or very early Haydn (the third D Major symphony on the disc showcases the horns in its first movement). Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra Vilnius; Georg Mais. Arte Nova 74321 89771 2 (Germany) 05D026 $4.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 4 - in C, E flat and in D Minor, Hob. XV:21-23. These trios, published in London in 1794 are, like those in the preceding volume of this series, from Haydn's late period. The piano is the featured instrument and these are some of the most difficult piano compositions before Beethoven's mature trios. All are brilliant and finely honed with the E Flat among Haydn's most magnificent trios, each movement on a large scale with an unprecedented formal amplitude and deep personal expression. Trio 1790. CPO 999 731 (Germany) 05D027 $15.98

PADRE ANTONIO SOLER (1729-1783): Harpsichord Sonatas, Vol. 8 - Nos. 7-9, 20, 21, 40, 47, 48, 59, 98 & 115. Spanish folk-song and dance feature prominently in many of Soler's 150 keyboard sonatas most of which are in the single-movement, binary form of his teacher, Domenico Scarlatti. However, in his later works, Soler approached Viennese classicism - as in the 23-minte four-movement sonata No. 98 (also known as Op. 8/2) which dates from 1783. Since we've picked up this series rather late, we will have stock on hand of all seven previous issues for those of you wanting to collect the whole of this discographically important cycle. Gilbert Rowland (harpsichord). Naxos 8.555031 (New Zealand) 05D028 $6.98

LUIGI BOCCHERINI (1743-1805): Divertimenti for 2 Violins, Flute, Viola, 2 Cellos and Double Bass, Op. 16, Nos. 2, 3 & 5. Dating from 1773, these are a little more than divertimenti - the second is over 30 minutes long and it and the fifth are in the classical symphonic four-movement form, the instrumentation being rather close to what Salomon chose for his reductions of Haydn's London symphonies twenty-odd years later. Solos for flute, the violins and, of course, for Boccherini's own instrument - the cello - make for diverting little mini-symphonies. Piccolo Concerto Wien. Symphonia SY 01188 (Italy) 05D029 $18.98

CARL STAMITZ (1746-1801): Quartet in A for Flute, Violin, Viola and Continuo, Op. 4/6, Trio in G for 2 Flutes and Continuo, Quartet for Flute, Violin, Horn and Cello, Op. 8/1, Trio in E Flat for Horn, Violin and Continuo, Quintet in E Flat for Flute, Horn, 2 Violas and Continuo, Op. 11/3. This quintet of chamber pieces from the Bohemian composer represent the bridge between Bach's later works and Mozart. The trio sonata is already gone in the two trios here, where the cello is a harmonic support rather than a continuo instrument; the quartets and quintet are already 'genuine chamber music', the A major quartet being more like a mini-concerto and the quintet hovering between chamber and orchestral music. Camerata Kln. CPO 999 737 (Germany) 05D030 $15.98

HEINRICH MARSCHNER (1795-1861): Hans Heiling. This supernatural opera of 1833 featured a gnome king and presages Wagner's Der fliegende Hollnder in its musico-dramatic integration. Offered for the chance to hear Prey in the lead role. 2 CDs. No libretto. Hermann Prey (baritone), Leonore Kirschstein, Liane Synek (sopranos), Cologne Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Joseph Keilberth (July 1966). Opera d'Oro OPD-1345 (U.S.A.) 05D031 $10.98

ANTON RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894): Symphony No. 3 in A, Op. 56, Eroica Fantasia, Op. 110. The latest in the series of Rubinstein symphony re-releases with a passionate and noble character wedded to a Mendelssohnian orchestral style, producing music which will be dear to the heart of all collectors of Romantic symphonies. Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Robert Stankovsky. Original 1994 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555590 (New Zealand) 05D032 $6.98

LUIGI TOMASINI (1741-1808): Divertimento No. 12 in G, ANTON NEUMANN (1740-1776): Divertimento No. 22 in G, JOSEPH BURGKSTEINER (18th. cen.): Divertimento No. 18 in D, FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Baryton Trios No. 96 in B Minor and No. 66 in A. Baryton trios not by Haydn? Certainly: Prince Nikolaus I Esterh·zy's thirst for compositions for his favorite instrument was insatiable. Tomasini was a violinist and Burgksteiner a violist in the Esterh·zy orchestra and each of them produced 24 baryton trios. Neumann was not associated with the Esterh·zy court but the manuscripts of his own set of 24 trios belonged to the Prince. Polish Baryton Trio. Dux 0337 (Poland) 05D033 $16.98

DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749-1801): La Finta Parigina. This was the 23-year-old composer's second opera, premiered in Naples in 1773, and though obviously a juvenile work, it is a worthy example of the prevailing tastes in comic opera with brief arias and duets separated by recitative (rarely anything longer than 3 or 4 minutes) to a total of 75 track numbers (the third CD lasts only 16 minutes). 3 CDs for the price of 2. Italian-English libretto. Anna Rita Gemmabella, Alessia Sparacio (sopranos), Alessandro Battiato (baritone), Sicilian Philharmonic Orchestra 'Franco Ferrara'; Danilo Lombardini. Bongiovanni GB 2269/70/71 (Italy) 05D034 $33.98

ANTONIO ROSETTI (1750-1792): Symphonies in E Flat, G Minor, C & in D. These four-movement symphonies rank with the best of the classical Viennese school after Mozart and Haydn and, due to the presence of many virtuosi in the Oettingen-Wallerstein court orchestra, have prominent wind parts which add to the cheerful effect. The G minor work provides a contrast with its Strum und drang personality. Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra Vilnius; Georg Mais. Arte Nova 74321 72123 2 (Germany) 05D035 $4.98

JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK (1760-1812): A Favorite Duet for Harp and Piano, Op. 11, 2 Sonatas for Solo Harp, Op. 34, Duo for Harp and Piano with ad lib. Horn, Op. 38, Favorite Sonata for Harp, Op. 37 with Accompaniments for Violin and Cello. Many of Dussek's harp pieces exist in multiple versions, as solos, duos and even trios, depending on who was available to play along with the harpist. Although the harp has the lion's share of the work in these pieces, it is particularly wonderful to hear the sound of the natural horn with the period harp in the Op. 38. Danielle Perrett (single-action harp), James Ellis (violin), Helen Verney (cello), Warwick Cole (fortepiano), Gillian Jones (hand horn). Meridian CDE 84451 (England) 05D036 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): Divertimenti Nos. 1-12, Hob. II:1-4 and 6-12, Hob. II:6. Dating from 1762-65, these works were titled Divertimento but are listed in Haydn's work-lists as string quartets. They are all in five-movement form with two fast movements and two minuets and are performed here by a small string ensemble. Previously offered in 1997, re-issued at a lower price. 4 CDs. Hamburg Soloists; Emil Klein. Arte Nova 74321 31682 2 (Germany) 05D037 $17.98

GIOVANNI PACINI (1796-1867): Carlo di Borgogna. This opera was a dismal failure upon its premiere in 1835 and led to a four-year hiatus in Pacini's composing career, a hiatus which separates his early and late periods. But Opera Rara has chosen to revive it for the first time in 160 years by making a compelling case for this being, in fact, a work full of invention, inspiration and exhausting intellectual effort on its composer's part. As part of the typically lavish 198-page booklet (full of full color cast photos and sketches of the original stage decor), the precision with which Pacini wrote for the voices which premiered the work and his exacting use of musical devices to accentuate crucial words and emotions are highlighted in a way to make us appreciate more the effort and skill which went into Pacini's úuvre in general. 3 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Bruce Ford (tenor), Elizabeth Futral (soprano), Jennifer Larmore (mezzo), Geoffrey Mitchell Chori, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; David Parry. Opera Rara ORC 21 (England) 05D038 $59.98

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Gebet 'Du Urquell aller Güte', D815, Der 23. Psalm, D706, An die Sonne, D439, Gott iim Ungewitter, D985, Gott, der Weltschpfer, D986, Hymne an den Unendlichen, D232, Stndchen, D921, Coronach, D836, Mirjams Siegesgesang, D942. A very useful collection of works for vocal quartet or chorus with piano accompaniment, the largest of which is the 18-minute 'Miriam's Victory Song'. The latter's dramatic layout, traditional musical imagery and archaic compositional technique bear witness to Schubert's study of Handel, a complete copy of whose works he had been given just a few months before his death. Also worthy of mention is Coronach for three-part female chorus, one of seven settings from Sir Walter Scott's 'The Lady of the Lake' (five others were solo songs and one for male-voice choir), which already points ahead to Winterreise. German texts. Dorothea Rschmann (soprano), Christiane Buchmann (mezzo), Eric Schneider (piano), Cologne Chamber Choir; Peter Neumann. Carus 83.138 (Germany) 05D039 $17.98

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI (1755-1824): Sonata for Harp, FRANCESCO POLLINI (1762-1843): Capriccio and Aria with Variations, Theme and Variations, GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Allegretto, Sonata for Harp, Andante and Variations for Violin and Harp, GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797-1848): Sonata for Violin and Harp, NICOLAS CHARLES BOCHSA (1789-1856): Fantasia on Bellini's 'I Capuleti e I Montecchi' for Harp, MARIANNA CREIT DE ROCCHIS (1822?-1890?): Fantasia on Bellini's 'Casta Diva' for Harp, MUZIO CLEMENTI (1752-1832): Andante and Variations for Harp. The works by Clementi, Viotti and Pollini (a Mozart pupil) share a refined and graceful melodious quality while the remainder (including two pieces for harp and violin) are either by opera composers of the bel canto school or use their works as a basis for variations, in which elegant melodies and melismatic vocal-type writing is prominent. Claudia Antonelli (harp), Alberto Ambrosini (violin). Naxos 8.554252 (New Zealand) 05D040 $6.98

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1896): Symphony No. 7 in E, arr. Clarinet, Horn, String Quartet, Double Bass, Piano and Harmonium by Erwin Stein, Hanns Eisler and Karl Rankl. Don't laugh! This does not come off sounding like the hilarious, Hoffnung Festival, Tchaikovsky 1812 for early music ensemble, finger cymbals and cap pistols. On the country, if you didn't know the Seventh you might think this was a late work by Schubert, had he lived to a ripe, old age. The scherzo may sound a bit like punk Wagner, but the adagio is absolute magic! The other movements are quite successful, with the piano providing an interesting sonority not usually associated with Bruckner, and the harmonium very convincingly mimicking the massed wind and string textures ordinarily heard in the full orchestral version. Definitely recommended to all Brucknerians, particularly those on a diet. Linos Ensemble. Capriccio 10 854 (Germany) 05D041 $16.98

THEO VERHEY (1848-1929): Flute Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 43, Flute Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 57, JOHANN WILHELM WILMS (1772-1847): Concertino in G Minor, JOHANNES M. COENEN (1825-1899): Nocturne (Andante). Although Verhey's two brief (13 and 19 minutes respectively) concertos date from 1898 and some time after 1900, they are very much of the early Romantic era, as befits a student of Bargiel (Clara Schumann's step-brother). Coenen's six-minute Nocturne is atmospherically seasoned by a quartet of horns; Wilms' piece (c. 1814) is longer than Verhey's First and balances on the border between Classical and Romantic and, since the composer was a competent flutist, is also the most virtuosic of the four works here. Jacques Zoon (flute), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Thierry Fischer. NM Classics 92069 (Netherlands) 05D042 $17.98

CARL REINECKE (1824-1910): Complete Childrens' Songs, Vol. 2 - 51 Lieder. The second volume of these pieces which are not mindless entertainment and which were not written for children to sing but for adults to perform for children, but which can be playful; some are anecdotal, some are educational, some are monitory, some comforting. Reinecke wrote much piano music for young people and almost half of his 200-odd songs were composed for them also. This selection is a truly unusual glimpse into a part of family life lost forever. No texts. Caroline Merz (soprano), Carola Guber (mezzo), Thomas Leander (piano). Cybele 550.302 (Germany) 05D043 $16.98

JOSEF GABRIEL RHEINBERGER (1839-1901): Sacred Music, Vol. 4 - Mass in F, Op. 159 for Chorus and Organ, 6 religise Gesnge, Op. 157 for Low Voice and Organ, Requiem in D Minor, Op. 194 for Chorus and Organ. The last of three requiem masses (1900) is a meditative reflection on death, judgement and eternity, omitting the Dies irae and In paradisum. The mass (1888) was written to Cecilian standards, setting every word of the text, the organ having no solos and being used solely to support the voices. The sacred songs are unique for the seldom-used combination of low voice with organ accompaniment. German texts. Klaus Mertens (baritone), Edgar Krapp (organ), Frankfurter Kantorei; Wolfgang Schfer. Carus 83.140 (Germany) 05D044 $17.98

ALBERT LORTZING (1801-1851): Ernste und heitere Festgesnge, LoWV 67, Chre für die Freimaurerloge, LoWV 19, 3 scherzhafte Gesnge, LoWV 104, 3 besinniliche Gesnge, LoWV 105-7, 9 other songs. This collection represents all of Lortzing's works for male chorus (all but two are unaccompanied, the exceptions having piano and horn quartet accompaniment). Whether through-composed or strophic, the music, whether serious or light, goes excellently with the texts with the parts often very demanding. German texts. Neue Detmolder Liedertafel; Ludger Mias, Detmolder Hornisten. MD&G 622 1105-2 (Germany) 05D045 $17.98

FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (1805-1847): Lied Edition, Vol. 1 - Lied zum Geburtstag des Vaters, Erster Verlust, Sehnsucht nach Italien, Des Müllers Blumen, Der Neugierige, Die liebe Farbe, Sehnsucht, In die Ferne, An Suleika, Harfners Lied, Wie dunkel die Nacht, Allnchtlich im Traume, Die frühen Grber, Kein Blick der Hoffnung, Der Eichwald brauset, Nacht liegt auf fremden Wegen, Suleika, Ðber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, Gegenwart, Wenn der Frühling kommt, Wenn ich mir in stiller Seele, Wie Dich die warme Luft umscherzt, Ich ging lustig durch den grünen Wald, Die Mainacht, Ich wandelte unter den Bumen, Warum sind denn die Rosen so blaþ?, Wanderlied. In mostly chronological order, this pair of CDs offers a little over a fifth of Fanny's extant lieder. One will find poems also set by Schubert and Schumann as well as poetry by lesser-known authors who were personal friends. Felix had a high opinion of his sister's songs and, though the emotional range tends to be somewhat narrow (generally optimistic, longing being the darkest emotion dealt with), the refinement and subtlety of her settings bring much pleasure. German texts. Anne Grimm (soprano), Roswitha Müller (mezzo), Kobie van Rensburg (tenor), Maarten Koningsberger (baritone), Kelvin Grout (piano). Troubadisc TRO-CD 01420 (Germany) 05D046 $16.98 *

FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (1805-1847): Lied Edition, Vol. 2 - Ach die Augen sind es wieder, Die Mainacht, Schwanenlied, Das Meer erglnzte weit hinaus, Fichtenbaum und Palme, Du bist die Ruhe, Sehnsucht, Dmmrung senkte sich von oben, Gondellied, Wanderers Nachtlied, Anklnge (3 Lieder), Nacht ist wie ein stilles Meer, Nachtwanderer, Traurige Wege, Im Herbst, Erwins Lied, Abendbild, Vorwurf, Abendbild II, Bitte, Kommen und Scheiden, Dein ist mein Herz, Die Stille, Traum, Bergeslust. See above. German texts. Anne Grimm (soprano), Roswitha Müller (mezzo), Kobie van Rensburg (tenor), Maarten Koningsberger (baritone), Kelvin Grout (piano). Troubadisc TRO-CD 01421 (Germany) 05D047 $16.98 *

SERGEI LYAPUNOV (1859-1924): Symphony No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 12, Piano Concerto No. 2 in E, Op. 38, Polonaise in D Flat, Op. 16. Lyapunov's models were Balakirev and Borodin so it comes as no surprise that his first symphony (1897) should sound like a Borodin Symphony No. 2-and-a-half, using a similar four-note motif which opens the first movement and provides thematic material throughout this and the final movement. In between are a slow movement which opens with a lovely string melody and a rather balletic scherzo. His second piano concerto (1909) is Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2-and-a-half, its 17-minute length incorporated into a single-movement structure with direct homage paid in many places where Lyapunov borrows Lisztian material from the Hungarian's second piano concerto; there is much rich melodic flow with contrasting drama and the piano gets to dazzle in ornamentation as well as to thunder in virtuosity. Howard Shelley (piano), BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky. Chandos 9808 (England) 05D048 $16.98

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886): Complete Organ Works - Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H, 3 Bach Arrangements (BWV 1017, 38 & 21), Ave maris stella, Introitus, Missa pro organo, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, Prelude 'Excelsior', Am Grabe Richard Wagners, Orpheus, Introduction, Fugue and Magnificat from the Symphony for Dante's Divina Commedia, Resignazione, Andante religioso, Les Morts - Oraison after Lammenais, O sacrum convivium, 3 Consolations, Weimars Volkslied, 2 Chopin Transcriptions, Pilgrims' Chorus from Tannhuser, Praeludium 'In domum domini ibimus', Evocation ¦ la Chapelle Sixtine, Ave Maria, Introduction to Die Legende der heiligen Elisabeth, Ungarns Gott, Offertorium from Hungarian Coronation Mass, Gebet, Slavimo, Slavno, Slaveni, Ave Maria von Arcadelt, Requiem for Organ, Der Papst-Hymnus, Salve Regina, Ora pro nobis, Chorale 'Nun danket alle Gott', Fantasy and Fugue on 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam', Transcriptions of pieces by Lassus (Regina coeli laetare), Mozart (Ave Verum Corpus), Verdi (Agnus Dei) and Nicolai (Sacred Festival Overture on the Chorale 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott'. You probably suspected that there was more Liszt for the organ than the big pieces (the B-A-C-H prelude and fugue, the Ad nos, ad salutarem and the Weinen, klagen...) and there sure is. Like many of Liszt's piano pieces, some of these works exist in multiple versions and in reworking them for organ, the composer often completely changed the form and scale of the original. And, as in his other works, the later pieces here (after 1870) are often meditative and contemplative with bold and forward-looking harmonies and forms. 4 CDs. Stefan Johannes Bleicher (Goll organ of the Linsebühlkirche, St. Gallen, Switzerland). Arte Nova 74321 59199 2 (Germany) 05D049 $19.98

FLORENT SCHMITT (1870-1958): Musiques Intimes, Op. 16, Nuits Romaines, Op. 23, Musiques Intimes, Op. 29, Small Gestures, Op. 92, Prélude...pour une suite ¦ venir. Very little of Schmitt's music exists on CD and almost none of his piano music so this collection, from an odd source, is very welcome. The pieces of op. 16, composed between 1891 and 1901, show the influence of Schmitt's teacher Fauré in their Romantic sensitivity, lyricism and expressive harmony while the next two sets show the composer moving into Impressionism (modality, shimmering arpeggio figurations, etc.) while the brief pieces of op. 92 (1940) - showing Schmitt's fascination with the world of children - are simple, elegant and wittily neo-classical. The recital closes with the Prélude of 1948 which is dissonant and enigmatic and builds to a climax of great intensity. Ivo Kaltchev (piano). Gega GC 249 (Bulgaria) 05D050 $16.98 *

YORK BOWEN (1884-1961): String Quartets No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 41 and No. 3 in G, Op. 46b, Phantasy-Quintet for Bass Clarinet and String Quartet. Bowen's only two extant quartets appear to have been written about the same time, 1919-20, and both share the composer's characteristic romanticism tinged with impressionism, his themes being direct and diatonic and worked out in true classical style. A slight sentimentality in his melodies is offset by a constant rhythmic vitality and all of these virtues are contained in the 1932 (?) Phantasy which derives from the Cobbett competitions and folds three movements into a single, unbroken 15-minute piece (which may also be the only work for solo bass clarinet in existence). Timothy Lines (bass clarinet), Archaeus Quartet. British Music Society BMS426CD (England) 05D051 $17.98 *

MAX REGER (1873-1916): Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 4 - Sonata in C, Op. 72, Little Sonata in A, Op. 103 B No. 2, Tarantella in G Minor, Albumblatt in E Flat. The op. 72 sonata came from 1903, a year when Reger's pushing of the limits of tonality had incited some ugly critical attacks, and the composer's response was to design his four-movement piece around two themes formed from the letters which produced the German words 'ape' and 'sheep'. Remarkably, the sonata proved to be one of his most well-received works on first performance. The 1909 Little Sonata is part of a series of solo piano and violin/piano pieces written in a private, less technically demanding manner which Reger dubbed Hausmusik; the two jeux d'esprit are probably from 1902 and represent the composer in lighter vein. Ulf Wallin (violin), Roland Pntinen (piano). CPO 999 857 (Germany) 05D052 $15.98

ARNOLD BAX (1883-1953): Symphony No. 4, Nympholept, Overture to a Picaresque Comedy. This excellent series continues with the exuberant and colorful symphony of 1930, the boisterous overture of the same year and the contrasting 1912 tone-poem (an orchestration of a piano piece) which is firmly in the youthful composer's Celtic/supernatural vein. As throughout this series, the performances are mostly much more invigorating and incisive than Bryden Thomson's for Chandos and the sound, while impossible to rival the latter, is still very good. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; David Lloyd-Jones. Naxos 8.555343 (New Zealand) 05D053 $6.98

La Mélodie Française, Vol. 16

ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): 4 Poèmes, Op. 3, 4 Poèmes, Op. 8, Flammes, Op. 10, 2 Poèmes Chinois, Op. 12, 2 Mélodies, Op. 19, 2 Mélodies, Op. 20, 2 Poèmes de Ronsard, Op. 26 for Tenor, Flute and Piano, Odes Anacréontiques, Op. 31 & 32, 2 Poèmes Chinois, Op. 35, Vocalise, Jazz dans la nuit, Vocalise-tude, A Flower Given to my Daughter, 2 Idylles, Op. 44, 2 Poèmes Chinois, Op. 47, 2 Mélodies, Op. 50, 2 Mélodies, Op. 55, La Menace for Baritone and Orchestra, Op. 9. Roussel's songs comprise over a quarter of his output and cover his entire composing career, from the symbolist poetry of Henri de Régnier - his longest pieces, and the most overtly expressive - to translations of Chinese and ancient Greek poetry, in which the mature composer's ability to produce emotion and beauty with just a few notes and many rests is evident. The theme of farewell, separation, solitude and impossible love is the most obsessive in these songs, accounting for a third of the total and, of course, the sea is often present as well, with all of its various symbolic possibilities. 2 CDs. French-English texts. Marie Devellereau (soprano), Yann Beuron (tenor), Laurent Naouri (baritone), Billy Eidi (piano), tienne Plasman (flute), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean-Yves Ossonce. Timpani 2C2064 (France) 05D054 $37.98

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Goyescas, MANUEL DE FALLA (1876-1946): La vida breve. Granados adapted his piano suite for this opera which was premiered in New York in January of 1916 and, after which, on his way home, the composer died in the torpedoing of his ocean liner by the Germans in the English Channel. There is little formal drama but lots of fresh and enjoyable romantic music with its second act choruses, composed for the piece (not adapted from the piano suite) particularly outstanding. More recorded is Falla's drama of three years earlier with its fresh, colorful portrayal of life in Granada at the turn of the 20th century. 2 CDs. Spanish-English libretto. Rafaella Angeletti (soprano), Yikun Chung (tenor), Maria Rodriguez (soprano), César Hern·ndez (tenor), Marcello Lippi (baritone). Orchestra and Chorus of the Lyric Theatre of Cagliari; Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Dynamic CDS 380/1-2 (Italy) 05D055 $35.98

The 'other' CAV - banned by the Italian court!

DOMENICO MONLEONE (1875-1942): Cavalleria rusticana. Produced in 1907, seventeen years after Mascagni's Cav, Monleone's follows the same story identically except for an extra development given to the comic bass. The melodic invention and fine choral parts helped it achieve a rousing success at its premiere - and attract a lawsuit for copyright violation and plagiarism from Mascagni with the result that the opera and its libretto were forbidden to be produced again. Although no recording details are provided, this is a brand-new, studio recording of good quality. Italian libretto. Lisa Houben (soprano), Carlo Torriani (tenor), Sim Tokyurek (mezzo), Fulvio Massa (baritone), Tirana Opera House Choir, Tirana Radio Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Pacitti. Myto 012.H063 (Italy) 05D056 $17.98

DANIEL GREGORY MASON (1873-1953): Violin Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, Violin Sonata in C Minor, Op. 14, FREDERICK SHEPHERD CONVERSE (1871-1940): Violin Sonata in A, Op. 1. Here are three "Ivy League" sonatas (both composers studied with Paine at Harvard), which pay homage to the German Romantic masters; yet, all three works have a freshness and exuberance, which is very much American. Mason's Op. 5 starts off in restrained, Brahmsian fashion, but ends with Yankee vigor. His Op. 14, which was originally for clarinet, will appeal to all those who love the Brahms clarinet sonatas. The Converse was a graduation piece modeled after Beethoven's violin sonatas. The composer was overtly critical of it in later years, but fortunately G. Schirmer thought differently and published it, thereby preserving it for posterity, and allowing us to hear a delightful piece of Americana. Kevin Lawrence (violin), Phillip Bush (piano). New World 80591 (U.S.A.) 05D057 $16.98

JOAQUÕN TURINA (1882-1949): Euterpe, en plena fiesta from Op. 93, Variaciones cl·sicas, Op. 72, Homenaje a Navarra, Op. 102, La OraciÛn del Torero, Op. 34, El poema de una sanluqueÒa, ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916): Violin Sonata. Several less well-known violin pieces by Turina join his 1924 Poema, a four-movement tone-poem of sweetness and beauty, and the only surviving movement of an early sonata by Granados which demonstrates Massenet's description of the young composer as a 'Spanish Grieg'. Felix Ayo (violin), Bruno Canino (piano). Dynamic CDS 391 (Italy) 05D058 $17.98

LUDVIG HEGNER (1851-1923): Legende, Op. 5, Nocturne, Op. 6, 3 Morceaux, Fantasi, Elegie, Mazurka de Concert, Romance, FRANZ NERUDA (1843-1915): Berceuse slave, Op. 11, LOUIS GLASS (1864-1936): Nocturne, Op. 33. Hegner was a great Danish virtuoso of the double bass and this new release offers seven of his pieces for the instrument, not surprisingly tending toward the lyrical and the singing line although the Mazurka de Concert has a requisite jauntiness. The short pieces by Glass and the cellist Neruda are in a similar cantabile style. Per Dalsgaard Knudsen (double bass), Karsten Munk (piano). Danacord DACOCD 593 (Denmark) 04D059 $16.98

EUGENE REUCHSEL (1900-1988): Promenades en Provence - Books 1-3, Bouquet de France - 2 selections. Reuchsel, German in ancestry was the fourth generation of a family of French organists and his compositions are inspired by the unique sound of Cavaillé-Coll organs. The Promenades (two volumes in 1959 and the third in 1973) skilfully blend a language based on the Cavaillé-Coll sound with free form and colorful impressionistic harmonies (windmill sails turn slowly and rhythmically; boat sails shine in multi-colored fashion; the bells of Notre-Dame des Doms in Avignon is a glorious cacophony of bell-chiming) often based on ProvenÁal folk melodies when they are not inspired by places and things. Simon Nieminski (Kilgen organ of Cathedral of St. Louis, MO). Pro Organo CD 7112 (U.S.A.) 05D060 $16.98

Music from Lithuania - Limited Quantities, No Back Orders *

Julius Juzelinas (b.1916): Symphony No. 5 'Songs of the Plains'for Girls' Choir and Orchestra, Concerto for Organ, Violin and Chamber Orchestra, African Sketches. The 1963 double concerto is a strong, striking piece in neo-classical style with the sort of dark, serious tone of Honegger or of Poulenc's organ concerto; the symphony dates from 1982 and uses folk texts for girls' choir set for symphony orchestra. Juzeliunas' late style borrows more than a little from minimalism (the Baltic style, of course, of Prt and Vasks, not the American style), with folk motifs used as elements for its rich, colorful orchestral embroidery. African Sketches (no kidding!) is the music left over from a ballet score which was never produced and it uses African folk melodies in a fairly original way (the opening Procession sounds like a slow Iron Foundry) - tonal but not not toadying to the culture thugs in power in Moscow at the time. Liepaits Girls' Choir, Leopoldas Digrys (organ), Raimundas Katilius (violin), Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra; Saulius Sondeckis, Moscow All-Union Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra; Algis Þiraitis. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMIPCCD010 (Lithuania) 05D061 $16.98 *

Vidmantas Bartulis (b.1954): Requiem. Bartulis' was one of a group of Lithuanian composers who, during the 1970s, established a compositional movement characterised by emotional expressiveness, clear and accessible musical language and an avoidance of modernistic trends. He also has considerable experience as a composer for the stage. This combination, together with the subject matter of his Requiem (those who died for Lithuanian freedom, as well as the general meaning of the liturgical requiem mass), leads inevitably to a work of considerable substance and power. Predominantly dark-hued and elegiac, with sections of almost operatic drama, the work follows the basic outline of the liturgy, in a language which is grounded in tonality with a highly individual sonority and characteristic widely-spaced textures. Massive and granitic, the work generates an implacable momentum, and makes a profound cumulative impact. Regina Maciut (soprano), Algirdas Janutas (tenor), Vladimiras Prudnikovas (bass), Kaunas State Choir, ø*uoliukas Boys' Choir, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; Robertas ñervenikas. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMIPCCD006 (Lithuania) 05D062 $16.98 *

Vytautas Barkauskas (b.1931): Concerto piccolo for String Orchestra, Op. 88, Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 63, Journey of the Princess for String Quartet and Piano Four Hands, Op. 114, Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 92, Allegro brillante for 2 Pianos, Op. 107, Partita for Solo Violin, Op. 12. One of the most internationally prominent Lithuanian composers, Barkauskas' music conforms to no compositional school. Strong emotion (as in the viola concerto of 1981, commissioned by Bashmet), a preoccupation with sonority and timbre - often producing a transparent, radiant quality (as in the Journey of the Princess (2000), inspired by triptych by the famous painter/composer Ciurlionis) - micropolyphony, polyrhythms and multi-layeredtextures mark his music. This may sound off-putting but all of this music is quite approachable (and the brief Concerto piccolo from 1988 is a cheerful and impetuous ode to the Classical style) for collectors interested in communicative modern music which isn't neo-romantic or minimalist. Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra; Saulius Sondeckis, Yuri Bashmet (viola), Strings of Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; Robertas ñervenikas, Vilnius String Quartet, Sonata Deveikyt-Zubovien & Rokas Zubovas (piano four hands), Raimondas Katilius (violin), Algirdas Budrys (clarinet), Sergejus Okru*ko (piano), Rta & Zbignevas Ibelhauptas (pianos), Gidon Kremer (violin). Vilnius Recording Studio VSCD-101 (Lithuania) 05D063 $16.98 *

Onut Narbutait (b.1956): Centones meae urbi for Soprano, Bass, Choir and Orchestra. This is an act of homage to Vilnius, compounded from texts, poetry and musical styles from the different cultures and historical traditions which have formed the identity of the city over the centuries. Though occasionally subtly discordant, and even incorporating aleatoric elements, the principal vocabulary is rooted in tonality, and allusions to liturgical music and the sometimes very alien-sounding Eastern-European choral folk-singing styles are frequently encountered. As befits a portrait of so ancient a city, the work has a certain monumentality; a sense of deep-rooted permanence, as it were, against which the ephemeral human element represented by the cunningly chosen texts moves and shifts like shadows against the stones. Regina Macit (soprano), Ignas Misira (bass), M.K. ªiurlionis Art Gymnasium Choir, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; Robertas ñervenikas. Vilnius Recording Studio VSCD-063 (Lithuania) 05D064 $16.98 *

Julius Juzelinas (b.1916): Litanies for Solo Oboe, Jeronimas Kacinskas (b.1907): Nonet (first movement) for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, Gintaras Sodeika (b.1961): Taliensi 747 for Piano and Tape, Osvaldas Balakauskas (b.1937): Polilogas for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra, Bronius Kutavicius (b.1932): Far Away Till Midnight for String Quartet, Double Bass and Saxophone Quartet, Anatolijus ñenderovas (b.1945): Vision for Saxophone and Percussion. Kacinskas was a student of Haba, and embraced the new vocabulary of intervals smaller than a semitone earlier in his career, before abandoning it in favor of a more conservative modernism, as in this Nonet, freely atonal yet harmonically rich and still grounded in tonality. Both the Juzeliunas and Sodeika share a quasi-improvisational quality, with an atmosphere of solemn, modally-inflected antiquity. The Balakauskas is the most obviously modern-sounding work, though the appealing sonorities of saxophone and strings and the suggestions of jazz style incorporated into the solo part make this exuberant work more approachable than some of its instrumental and harmonic gestures might suggest. Kutavicius pays homage to the music of India in Far Away, and its suggestion of drone instruments and temporal stasis result in a highly individual form of ëslow minimalism'. Again related (distantly) to free jazz through its solo instrument, Vision has an improvisational feel and presents a very personal ecstatic dramatic soliloquy. Various artists. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMIPCCD004 (Lithuania) 05D065 $16.98 *

Gintaras Sodeika (b.1961): Tone Ontology No. 2 for Piano Duet, Nomeda Valancit (b.1961): Fragment from 'Hospital Park' for String Quartet, Bronius Kutavicius (b.1932): Erotics for Voice, Flute and Horn, Onut Narbutait (b.1956): Winterserenade for Flute, Violin and Viola, Algirdas Martinaitis (b.1950): Death and the Maiden for String Quartet, Mindaugas Urbaitis (b.1952): Schuþstück for Soprano, Trombone, Double Bass, Percussion and String Quartet. This disc sets out to present ëthe most interesting chamber music pieces' from the 1998 season, and contains music by three generations of Lithuanian composers. The first two works, by the youngest composers, make use of minimalistic repetitive figures, in very different ways; the Sodeika is a brash, Michael Nymanesque romp with non-classical connections; the Valanciute gently but insistently intones a text by Henrikas Radauskas against a pulsating string quartet texture. The elder composer here, Kutavicius, is the one most influenced by the avant-garde trends of the 20th century, with aleatoric elements incorporated into his work, and the vocal part presented on tape in the style of a dramatic monodrama. Narbutaite and Martinaitis both make use of allusions to music of the Romantic era - specifically Schubert - in different ways; Narbutaite's piece is a subtle meditation; Martinaitis sends the music on a wild ride with more than a hint of minimalism; both works are predominantly tonal. Also paying direct homage to Romantic models is Urbaitis' Schuþstuck, tonal and generating an atmosphere very reminiscent of the world of Mahler's song cycles (though with no obvious quotations). Various artists. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMIPCCD008 (Lithuania) 05D066 $16.98 *

Onut Narbutaite (b.1956): Beads for Soprano, Saxophone, Trombone, Double Bass, Piano and Percussion, Nomeda Valancit (b.1961): Circulus vitiosus for Trombone, Double Bass and Prepared Piano, Giedrius Puskunigis (b.1972): The Eighth Sonnet for Soprano, Bass, Saxophone, Trumpet and Trombone, Vidmantas Bartulis (b.1954): Oh, Darling for String Quartet, Algirdas Martinaitis (b.1950): Arma Christi for Trombone, Piano, Double Bass, Percussion, Grindstone and Siren. This disc displays again the extraordinary diversity of inspiration present in Lithuanian contemporary music. An interesting common thread that emerges from this selection of works is that despite a ready familiarity with, and willingness to use, the full range of techniques available in the 20th century - prepared instruments, electronics and the like - the music is frequently grouded in tonality, and is invariably accessible, even while maintainig a newness and unfamiliarity. Puskunigis' choral textures are based on vocal glissandi; Valanciute comes closest to the familiar styles associated with minimalism in her persistent yet subtle ostinati. Both Bartulis and Narbutaite are associated with the ënew romantic' movement, and both write impassioned music with a direct appeal to the emotions, yet without lapsing into excessive simplicity or cliché. Also suggesting a Romantic sensibility, though in a different way, is Martinaitis' extended work, in which a sobbing pulsation suggests the inevitability of fate, while occasional alarms and lighter-textured episodes stand out like transient experiences on the journey through life. Various artists. Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Center LMPCCD 005 (Lithuania) 05D067 $16.98 *

GIYA KANCHELI (b.1935): ...¦ la Duduki, BENJAMIN YUSUPOV (b.1962): Nola - Concerto for Various Flutes and String Orchestra, FIKRET AMIROV (1922-1984): Gülistan Bayaty Shiraz - Symphonic Mugam, AVET TERTERIAN (1929-1994): Symphony No. 3. Kancheli's work (named for an oboe-like instrument of Georgia) is in his characteristic style of extreme ranges of sound, a mournful, quiet subsurface being interrupted periodically by rage-filled eruptions of grief; Yusupov's piece uses bass and double-bass flutes in a work which cross-pollinates western classical music with ethnic music (slow varying of themes during long repetition in the strings with the soloist weaving in and out in improvisational fashion): if the Kronos Quartet were an orchestra, this piece would have been written for it. Collectors will be familiar with Amirov's orchestral pieces based on Azeri folk music and Terterian, too, has had some of his symphonies recorded. The third (1975), like Kancheli's piece, seems to depict a struggle between the sacred (periods of sparse sound, with silences very important and the duduk - a wind instrument sounding like a combination of conch shell and French horn - contributing to the otherworldly atmosphere in the second movement) and the profane (in the first movement, eruptions punctuated by the use of the zurna - a high, reedy sounding wind instrument with many overtones). 2 CDs for the price of 1. Matthias Ziegler (flutes), Dresden Symphony Orchestra; Michael Helmrath. Arte Nova 74321 82556 2 (Germany) 05D068 $4.98

HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Ode an der Westwind for Cello and Orchestra, 5 Neapolitanische Lieder for Baritone and Orchestra, 3 Dithyramben for Orchestra. Although these are all early works (1953, ë56 and ë58) and predate his lovely neo-Romantic ballet Undine, we have here thorny compositions which, even if not technically serial, certainly portray that aesthetic. Henze's serialism can have a strong dose of lyricism though, as in the Ode, which is, in fact, a five-movement cello concerto. The Neapolitan songs are from anonymous 17th-century texts and bring a more tonal language yet still bending the rules toward expressivity. The dithyrambs, as befitting music evoking Dionysus, employ all manners of tonal, atonal and freely tonal music to appeal to the ecstatic god. A valuable collection which provides a window onto the early period of a composer who later became a dogmatic Marxist and has now turned out to be a late-flowering purveyor of communicative music. Gustav Rivinius (cello), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Roland Herrmann (baritone), Saarbrücken Radio Chamber Orchestra; Cristobal Halffter, Günter Wich. Arte Nova 74321 89404 2 (Germany) 05D069 $4.98

GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Piano Concerto No. 1, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Piano Concerto, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937): Piano Concerto. The title is 'Piano Concertos of the 1920s' but these are also the first experiments with the melding of jazz elements into the classical piano concerto. Two are quite familiar and Honegger's 11-minute motoric concertino has had some recordings but this is the world premiere recording of the 1922 Antheil work which was discovered and premiered last year by the pianist here. It lasts 20 minutes, in a single movement, and is the freest harmonically of all the works here. Boogie-woogie and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring are equally likely to turn up, as well as intimations of oriental music and of 'machine music'. Michael Rische (piano), Bamberg Symphony; Christoph Poppen, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Steven Sloane, Israel Yinon. Arte Nova 74321 91014 2 (Germany) 05D070 $4.98

NICOLAS NABOKOV (1903-1978): Ode: Méditation sur la majesté de Dieu for Soprano, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra, Union Pacific. The cousin of the famous novelist, Nicolas moved to Paris in 1923, after studies with Juon and Busoni, and there entered into the incredibly rich ferment of musical and artistic life along with such compatriots as Stravinsky and Diaghilev. The latter commissioned Ode, a 'ballet-oratorio', which was premiered in 1928. Consisting of ten loosely related movements (airs, recitatives, duos, choruses and symphonic interludes), it is written in a homophonic style evoking a primitive Russian style. The ballet Union Pacific dates from 1934 and it delivers much exotic color in its depiction of the construction of the famous railroad. Successful for several years and performed all over the United States, the original disappeared for many years and the orchestra which recorded it here finally was able to commission a new edition from the autograph at the University of Texas. Russian-English texts. Marina Shaguch (soprano), Alexander Kisselev (bass), Russian State Symphonic Cappella, Residentie Orchestra The Hague; Valeri Polyansky. Chandos 9768 (England) 05D071 $16.98

LEO BROUWER (b.1939): Guitar Concerto No. 5 'Helsinki', ISAAC ALBNIZ (1860-1909) /BROUWER: Iberia Suite, LENNON-MCCARTNEY/BROUWER: From Yesterday to Penny Lane - 7 Beatles Transcriptions. There are no Finnish associations to the 1992 concerto - it was written for the Helsinki Festival and for this guitarist, whose strength of attack and richness of sound are catered to in the outer movements (titled 'Spaces' and 'Luminosity') while a more Iberian sense of repose is to be found in the central 'Lightness and Heavyness'. The music is tonal though not as rich in melody, of course, as the three sections of Albéniz' Iberia which the composer orchestrated for Julian Bream's 60th birthday (EvocaciÛn, El Puerto and El AlbaicÌn). The Beatles transcriptions come from 1986 and are set in the styles of such composers as Stravinsky (A Ticket to Ride), Wagner (Here, There and Everywhere), Hindemith (Penny Lane) and 16th-century Spanish polyphony (Yesterday) although it's a pity the other four are not identified in the liner notes or on the tray card. Timo Korhonen (guitar), Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra; Tuoma Olilla. Ondine ODE 979 (Finland) 05D072 $17.98

Contemporary Bulgarian Composers, Vol. 1

IVAN SPASSOV (1934-1996): Easter Music for Christ's Sufferings, Death and Resurrection for Soprano, Bass-Baritone, Women's Choir and Organ, The Sanctification of the Heavenly Space for Orchestra, Miserere for 2 Sopranos, 2 Mezzo-sopranos, Women's Choir and Orchestra. All of these works, which date from 1994 and 1995, were inspired by the death of the composer's daughter at the age of 27 in 1991. Easter Music is a stripped-down, stylized Passion in which the organ seems to represent the Abyss which the women's choir counterbalances with a quiet radiance, but all in keeping with the reflective Eastern Orthodox tradition. Sanctification, for orchestra, and Miserere are more tormented pieces which use a free atonality for their expressionistic purposes although there is nothing here to shock collectors who like modern music but steer clear of Darmstadtian/Donaueschingerian monstrosities. Soloists, Women's Chamber Choir of the Academy for Musical and Dance Art, Plovdiv, Alexandrina Toromanova (organ), orchestral ensemble; Bedros Papazian, Tiha Genova, Donka Lozanova (sopranos), Valeria Mircheva, Lilia Ilieva (mezzos), Polyphonia Chamber Choir, Secondary School of Plovdiv Chamber Orchestra; Plamen Parvanov. Gega GD 251 (Bulgaria) 05D073 $16.98 *

HOWARD BLAKE (b.1938): Clarinet Concerto, MATYAS SEIBER (1905-1960): Concertino for Clarinet and String Orchestra, WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Orchestra. Blake's concerto was the reason for this recording, clarinettist King having premiered it in 1985. His music is rhythmic, contrapuntal and, above all, melodic (he has also composed in the 'Light Music' vein) and this concerto will appeal to anyone who enjoys 20th century English music. Seiber's concertino is a 1951 orchestration of a clarinet quintet he wrote at the age of 21 while still in Hungary and its five short movements show influences of Hindemithian neo-classicism, jazz and his compatriots Kodaly and Bartok. Original 1987 Hyperion release. Thea King (clarinet), English Chamber Orchestra; Howard Blake, Andrew Litton. Helios CDH 55068 (England) 05D074 $10.98

TOD MACHOVER (b.1953): Resurrection. Machover's opera, based on the novel of the same name by Tolstoy, tells a relatively straightforward story of human suffering and the transcendence of suffering against a backdrop of cruelty, privilege, hardship and compassion. In keeping with the atmosphere of brooding Romantic-era human emotional interaction, the music is predominantly tonal, with scene-setting folk-dance passages as called for by the script. There is some electronic enhancement of the orchestral textures, but this is more in the nature of an extension of color and range than ënew' sounds as such, and voices are unamplified and unprocessed, singing grateful lyrical material that harks back to conventional grand operatic tradition. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Houston Grand Opera; Patrick Summers. Albany TROY 495/96 (U.S.A.) 05D075 $33.98

MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Heterophonie for Orchestra, Improvisation Ajoutée for Organ. There's a nice quote from Theodor Adorno in the booklet about how pre-compositional preparative techniques (mainly meaning the establishment of serial patterns of one sort or another) relieves the composer of the difficulties of having to achieve everything through the strength of his own subjectivity. The very reverse of this is true of Kagel, this most subjective of avant-garde composers. The minute he sets up a series of any kind, he immediately undermines or sabotages it, and the gleeful interplay of diverse voices and sounds - some precisely notated, others only specified in general terms - is what gives this music its extraordinary vitality. The organ work is in similar vein, with three players - an organist and two assistants who manipulate registration - who all improvise within certain guidelines, as well as providing additional material in the form of shouts, whistles and the like. On one level, glorious, anarchic fun; on another, a surprisingly profound, even disturbing examination of individuality and the challenges of anti-conformity. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Gielen, Gerd Zacher (organ). Wergo WER 6645 2 (Germany) 05D076 $19.98

VIC HOYLAND (b.1945): In Transit, Vixen. Hoyland usually writes really far-out music for bizarre combinations of performers but here we find him in a more conventional frame of mind with two excursions for orchestra. In Transit calls for the musicians to be split into roughly equal groups placed on each side of a single percussionist. The music moves from one group to the other, while the percussionist provides it with a center of gravity by highlighting its writhing, extremely chromatic melodies on the vibraphone and complex rhythms on log drums. Vixen is a five-movement suite inspired by a first century Persian scholar's writings on music and rhythm. It progresses from rhythmic percussiveness to mellifluous melody, ending with a burst of Messiaenic ardor followed by an interrogatory whimper. Definitely worth exploring, but will require repeated listening to reveal all of its nuances. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. NMC D072 (England) 05D077 $17.98

GUNTHER BECKER (b.1924): stabil-instabil for Large Orchestra, Passagen for Speech-sounds, Piano, Percussion and Synthesizer, String Quartet No. 1, Correspondances I for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra, Nacht- und Traumgesnge for Mixed Choir and Orchestra, Concerto for Electronically Modified Oboe and Orchestra, Serpentinata for Wind Quintet, Fragmente aus 'Hymnen an die Nacht' (Novalis) for Countertenor, Tenor and Bass Baritone, Scanning for Brass Quintet and Tape, Caprices concertants for Plucked-string Orchestra. Becker's career has run parallel to, and forms an important part of, the history of the ëavant-garde' in European music (of the Kln/Darmstadt/ Donaueschingen type). Becker is concerned with experimentation within the context of large sound-forms and dense clustered sound-fields. As with the music of a number of his contemporaries, there is a preoccupation with the examination of a musical structure at every possible resolution - a dense, clustered orchestral texture, or electronically generated or modified sound reveals a level of inner detail which the composer alternately draws attention to or diverts attention from - with sometimes bewildering speed the listener may be wrenched from a submicroscopic examination of the timbre of a sound to a distant viewpoint from which only the tectonic outlines are discernable. Bold and inventive in color and instrumentation, Becker's are among the most inventive and exciting of this branch of European contemporary music. 2 CDs. Pierre W. Feit (oboe), Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Gielen, Ernest Bour, Parrenin Quartet, American Brass Quintet and other artists. Cybele 660.202 (Germany) 05D078 $33.98

MEYER KUPFERMAN (b.1926): Elegy for the Vanished for Guitar and Orchestra, Icon Symphony, Double Concerto for 2 Clarinets and Orchestra, Brass Quintet, Chamber Concerto for Flute, Piano and String Quartet. This set gathers together five works; three newly recorded, and the other two, much earlier, reissued from 1970s recordings. The 1955 and 1970 works are the most explicitly indebted to Kupferman's earlier compositional trends - jazz and serialism - while the two concertante works and especially the symphony explore the eclectic and Romantic world of the composer's more recent works. The extended Elegy - 35 minutes - was an in memoriam piece which evolved from a brief guitar solo to its present large-scale, passionate, emotionally charged form. As usual for this composer, the techniques employed are very varied, but in all these works the natural eloquence of inspiration shines through. 2 CDs. Roberto LimÛn (guitar), Stanley & Naomi Drucker (clarinets), Czech National Symphony Orchestra; Meyer Kupferman, Paul Freeman, American Brass Quintet, Samuel Baron (flute), Gilbert Kalish (piano), Isidore Cohen, Jeanne Benjamin (violins), Harry Zaratzian (viola), Michael Rudiakov (cello). Soundspells Productions CD 133 (U.S.A.) 05D079 $33.98

JOHN CAGE (1912-1992): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 8 - Cheap Imitation, Perpetual Tango (2 versions), Dream, Swinging, In a Landscape, Suite for Toy Piano (version for Piano). Cage's interest in Satie during the 1940s led even to the writing of several papers on the French composer but, musically, the results were four pieces for solo piano with dance from 1948, of which the three surviving ones are presented here, Cheap Imitation (1969), a half-hour long dance piece with a complicated genesis based on Satie's Socrate, Perpetual Tango, of 1984, which is a replica of the tango from Satie's Sports et divertissments and Swinging (1989), the first of what was to have been a 21-piece cycle going back to all the texts of Sports. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). MD&G 613 0794 (Germany) 05D080 $17.98

KAIROS New Releases - currently no U.S. distribution

HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Allegro sostenuto for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Serynade for Piano. Of all contemporary composers working today, Lachenmann is probably among those with the greatest instinctive feel for the physics of musical sound. This is not to suggest that his music sounds like scientific treatises in performance, but his attention to matters of harmonic overtones, resonance and the shape of the dynamic envelope is central to his compositional process (and in some cases, constitutes that process almost exclusively). These two chamber works explore these preoccupations, specifically with regard to the changing timbres of sound during various precisely determined mec hanisms of decay. The piano, with its rich pallette of overtones and rapid initial decay of the struck note, varying dramatically with register, has promoted extraordinary feats of inventiveness from composers throughout the ages, either exploiting these very specific characteristics, denying them, or finding means by which they may be transcended. And so it is here - through the interplay of instruments in the one work, and through silently held chords excited by played notes, variation in touch, dynamics and combinations of notes and the alchemy of the middle pedal, worlds of sound are opened up which exploit the sonorous potential of the instrument to the full. Shizuyo Oka (clarinets), Lucas Fels (cello), Yukiko Sugawara (piano). Kairos 0012212KAI (Austria) 05D081 $16.98 *

SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Luci mie traditrici. Sciarrino's music-drama, typically ustilising solo voices for the protagonists only, and a diverse instrumental ensemble, obliquely relates the story of the murder of Maria d'Avalos and her lover by her husband, the composer Gesualdo. As we have come to expect of this composer, expert in this kind of tense psychological drama, the interaction of the characters consists of veiled and ambiguous metaphor and allegory, hinting at their inner motivations but never speaking them explicitly for the benefit of the audience. (The characters are not even identified by name). Interspersing transcribed references to Renaissance material with his trademark lyrical (if atonal and technically extended) vocal lines offset by eerily fragmentary instrumental material, Sciarrino succeeds admirably in indelibly etching the sordid little drama on the listener's consciousness. Annette Stricker (soprano), Otto Katzameier (bass-baritone), Kai Wessel (countertenor), Simon Jaunin (bass). Klangforum Wien; Beat Furrer. Kairos 0012222KAI (Austria) 05D082 $16.98 *

HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Kontrakadenz for Orchestra, Klangschatten - mein Saitenspiel for 48 Strings and 3 Pianos, Fassade for Orchestra. These three works from the 1970s (Fassade was revised 14 years later) show Lachenmann at his experimental best, unconcerned with conventional musical forms or even sounds, but determined to lead the listener into acoustic realms that are as alien, as new, as possible. Snatches and glimpses of the familiar (like the not-quite-tuned radio effects in Kontrakadenz) only serve to remind us just how far from the beaten path we have strayed when listening to this music. At this stage in his career, Lachenmann was preoccupied with exposing the non-musical mortar that is normally overlooked in favour of the musical bricks - instrumental sounds unrelated to the way in which the instruments produce their characteristic sounds (which would normally be regarded as mistakes or extraneous noise) - so for example, in Klangschatten, the strings are not permitted to sustain, but rather to click, like a vast orchestra of tuned castanets. After a time spent wandering through these haunted landscapes, the return to conventional music sounds odd, which speaks volumes for the compelling power of Lachenmann's vision. SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart; Michael Gielen, Peter Roggernkamp, Zsigmond Szathm·ry, Gerhard Gregor (pianos), NDR Symphony Orchestra; Gielen, SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden und Freiburg; Gielen. Kairos 0012232KAI (Austria) 05D083 $16.98 *

OLGA NEUWIRTH (b.1968): Instrumental-Insel I, II and III from Bahlamms Fest for Ensemble and Live Electronics, Vampyrotheone for 3 Soloists and 3 Ensemble Formations, Hooloomooloo for Ensemble in 3 Groups. The three instrumental interludes from Neuwirth's opera, Bahlamms Fest (apparently frighteningly complex - so much so that the booklet annotator declines to attempt to summarise it) and the two other works here point to a compositional style rich in polystylistic influences and multifarious techniques, all employed with the utmost skill to extend the boundaries of the sonically possible. S he utilises electronics - both live and recorded parts - as natural extensions of her musical vocabulary, which seems rooted in expressionism of a particularly graphic kind (it is difficult to imagine anyone being indifferent to this music). Whether the works have a dramatic origin or not, the music, with its wild outbursts of passion and inexorable progress, as of some vast and organic sculpture come to life, is rich with event and apparent narrative content. Not for the faint-hearted, but richly rewarding for lovers of strong statements in the realm of the avant garde. Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling. Kairos 0012242KAI (Austria) 05D084 $16.98 *

GERARD GRISEY (1946-1998): Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil for Soprano and Ensemble. Eerily, this song cycle setting texts both ancient and modern on the subject of 'crossing the threshold' (that is, into death), was Grisey's last completed work before his own untimely death. True to the principles of ëspectral composition' which the composer espoused, the music functions like an organic entity, growing from formlessness in unpredictable directions, by slow, sometimes imperceptible degrees, of which the most striking characteristic is their very fluidity - neither pitches nor rhythms proceed stepwise, but grow with lush vegetable slowness and strength. Now, it has to be said that 'spectral composition' is reminiscent of Wyndham Lewis' definition of Vorticism 'it was whatever I happened to be doing at the time'; in Grisey's case it implies a complex yet apparently unstructured organic matrix of microtonal and unpitched sound, from which sound objects detach themselves like organisms on both macroscopic and microscopic scale, and our perspective constantly shifts between these two extremes. One perhaps surprising feature is the vocal writing, which breathes in long lines and is predominantly melodic and lyrical, setting the shadow-laden texts with haunting clarity. Catherine Dubosc (soprano), Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling. Kairos 0012252KAI (Austria) 05D085 $16.98 *

HANS ZENDER (b.1936): Music to Hear for Soprano, Flute, Echo Flute and Ensemble, Litanei for 3 Cellos, Muji no kyo for Voice, Flute, Violin, Piano with Synthesizer and Tutti-Ensemble, Furin no kyo for Soprano, Clarinet and Ensemble. Hans Zender represents a most unusual example of a composer deeply influenced by the philosophies and musical structures of the far east who has incorporated these influences into his own style, as Busoni once said in an entirely different context 'not in the sense of our ëcharming' Oriental dances, however' (or in more current terms, not in the sense of the predigested ëspirituality' claimed by some western artists who have borrowed from the east). Zender is very much a product of the European avant-garde, and makes full use of the techniques in which he has been immersed throughout his career as performer and composer - aleatory, microtones, electronics and extended playing techniques. So the music combines a sense of Oriental stasis and philosophical reflection with very western, scientific or mathematical means of arriving at relationships between pitches based on harmonic patterns and overtones. The result is both musically compelling and frequently exquisite, with a strange, fragile, otherworldly beauty. Julie Moffat (soprano), Eva Furrer, Karina Emtage (flutes), Johann Leutgeb (voice), Annette Bik (violin), Florian Müller (piano), Donna Wagner Molinari (clarinet), Klangforum Wien; Hans Zender. Kairos 0012262KAI (Austria) 05D086 $16.98 *

BEAT FURRER (b.1954): Stimmen for Chorus and 4 Percussionists, Face de la chaleur for Flute, Clarinet, Piano and Orchestra in for Groups, Quartet for 4 Percussionists, Dort ist das Meer for Chorus and Orchestra. Because of his preoccupation with the essence of sound itself, it is perhaps unsurprising to find two key recurring elements in Furrer's music. The one is an almost fanatical attention paid to the spaces between sound and silence; the beginnings and ends of sounds, and their relation to the gaps between them. The other is the richness of timbre (with much use of percussion, these instruments being perhaps those which speak most unequivocally of their material essence in the sounds they produce). Unlike Lachenmann, say, or Cage, Furrer's instrumental sounds are often readily identifiable as belonging to the instrument that produces them, and it is the strength of contrast between these sounds and the surrounding absence of music that provides these pieces with their almost tangible chiaroscuro textures. Cologne Percussion Quartet, SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart, Eva Furrer (flute), Ernesto Molinari (clarinet), Marino Formenti (piano), Vienna Concert Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Beat Furrer. Kairos 0012272KAI (Austria) 05D087 $16.98 *

Donaueschingen Musiktage 2000

PETER ABLINGER (b.1959): Quadraturen V 'Musik' for Orchestra, MARK ANDR (b.1964): Modell for 5 Orchestra Groups, PETER RUZICKA (b.1948): Erinnerung for Clarinet and Orchestra, OLGA NEUWIRTH (b.1968): The Long Rain for Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Tuba, 4 Ensemble Groups and Live Electronics, VINKO GLOBOKAR (b.1934): Der Engel der Geschichte for 2 Orchestra Groups and Tape, ANDREAS DOHMEN (b.1962): Musik für Gerhard Richter for Orchestra, CHRIS NEWMAN (b.1958): The State Paintings with Anti-Abstract for String Trio, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Percussion and Piano, PIERLUIGI BILLONE (b.1960): Mani, Giacometti for String Trio, MARTIN SMOLKA (b.1959): Walden, the Distiller of Celestial Dews for Mixed Choir and Percussion, STEFANO GERVASONI (b.1962): Rigirio for Baritone Sax, Percussion and Piano, MANOS TSANGARIS (b.1956): Relief oder die Buchstabenrevolte for Speaker, Violin, Horn, Harmonium and Sampler. Some of the usual suspects here, and some newcomers to the series. As might be expected, there is some tendency toward a preoccupation with finding new compositional processes, structures and sounds. Thus, in the very first piece, Ablinger's Quadraturen, we hear sections that are closely related, like separate movements, based on a method of spectral analysis of music which provides a framework for the production of a score which can be played by an orchestra. André and Ruzicka both amply expoit new instrumental sounds and textures, the one suggesting (really quite graphically) the collisions of particles in subatomic physics, the other extending the conventional idea of a clarinet concerto. Bold orchestral textures abound - the tendency from a few years ago for large ensemble works to whisper their way through the greater part of their duration seems to have subsided, so for example, the highly charged drama of the Dohmen and Neuwirth are not untypical here. Even the works for smaller ensembles have an insistent energy and dynamism. Some of the composers, such as Neuwirth, creatively use live electronics; others employ pre-recorded material. Overall this seems a more varied set than some of the previous year's offerings, with the composers' individual styles more completely delineated. The recordings are all world premieres, of course. 4 CDs. Various soloists, SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden und Freiburg; Sylvain Cambreling, Lothar Zagrosek, ensemble recherche, Klangforum Wien; Peter Rundel. col legno 20201 (Germany) 05D088 $79.98

HENRI POUSSEUR (b.1929): Aquarius-Memorial. Pousseur's adherence to serialism and his preoccupation with experimentation mark him out as a true innovator as well as a composer unafraid to follow a given technique to its logical conclusion, rather than constantly seeking novelty for its own sake. This four-movement work begins with an extended piece for solo piano, of considerable austerity, though containing moments of surprising harmonic richness. The next two movements are for orchestra, atmospheric and fairly conventional, fulfilling the roles of scherzo and meditative slow movement, with some degree of improvisation required of the performers. The final movement functions like a huge elaboration of the first, now incorporating the orchestra in overlapping textures drawn from the original material (and including a big improvised cadenza, which provides an obvious link with the soloist here). Frederic Rzewski (piano), Beethoven Academie; Pierre Bartholomée. Cypres CYP4608 (Belgium) 05D089 $18.98

EMMERICH KALMAN (1882-1953): Der Zigeunerprimas. This 1912 romantic-comic operetta was first heard in America the following year as S·ri. Packed full of sweeping melodies, lively gypsy tunes, languid walztes and comic songs and dances, it is presented here in an English translation made for the Ohio Light Opera's 2001 season. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Albany TROY 510 (U.S.A.) 05D090 $33.98

JOSEPH LANNER (1801-1843): Neue Wiener Lndler, Op. 1, Bankett-Polonaise, Op. 115, Amazonen-Galopp, Op. 148/2, Malapon-Galopp, Op. 148/1, Steyrische Tnze, Op. 165, Cerrito-Polka, Op. 189, Die Werber, Op. 103, Jgers Lust (Jagd-Galopp), Op. 82, Marien-Walzer, Op. 143 , JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804-1849): Salon-Polka, Op. 161, Kettenbrücke-Walzer, Op. 4, Eisele und Beisele-Sprünge, Op. 202, JOSEPH STRAUSS (1827-1870): Sehnsucht, Op. 22, JOHANN STRAUS II (1825-1899): Pariser-Polka, Op. 382, Wiener Blut, Op. 354. Composed by the three masters of the original Viennese waltz (and other dances too), these pieces are performed by a quartet of two violins, viola and double bass - the instrumentation which would have been heard in countless coffee houses, restaurants, wine and beer halls throughout Austria. Tanzquartett Wien. Naxos 8.555689 (New Zealand) 05D091 $6.98

PHILIPP FAHRBACH I (1815-1885): Strapazir Polka, Op. 63, Lustige Sprüng, Op. 207, Die Schmeichler, Op. 13, 'Rastlos' Blitzschnelle Polka, Op. 295, Magdalenen-Walzer, Op. 235, Der Flotte Postillion!, Op. 167, Eine Grille, Op. 206, Lulu-Polka, Op. 292, Katzenmusik-Walzer, Op. 67 for 3 Sopranos and Percussion, PHILIPP FAHRBACH II (1843-1894): Wiener Gemüt, Op. 144, Sechsunsechz'ger Polka, Op. 82, Auf Urlaub, Op. 66, Lilliput-Polka, Op. 120, Marsch Persanè, Op. 135, Marsch Hungarese, Op. 98, FAHRBACH I or II: Schmachtlocken Walzer im Lndlerstyle, Op. 111. String trio and double bass are joined by trumpet, clarinet and percussion in several of these dances by the father son combination of Austrian composers and bandleaders Fahrbach. The father played in Johann Strauss I's orchestra and, after the latter's death and the death of Lanner, rivaled them in popularity, producing around 400 waltzes, polkas, etc. while his son produced nearly 350 more and was especially popular in England. Wiener Biedermeier Solisten. Camerata 28CM-575 (Japan) 05D092 $17.98

MIKLOS ROZSA (1907-1995): Young Bess. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack conducted by the composer. Prometheus Limited Edition PCD 133 (Belgium) 05D093 $17.98 *

MIKLOS ROZSA (1907-1995): All the Brothers Were Valiant. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack conducted by the composer. Prometheus Limited Edition PCD 131 (Belgium) 05D094 $17.98 *

JERRY GOLDSMITH (b.1929): Legend. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack conducted by the composer. Silva America SSD 1138 (U.S.A.) 05D095 $16.98

PETKO STAINOV (1896-1977): Legend for Orchestra, Symphonic Scherzo, Thracian Dances - first movement, Fairy Tale - second movement, For Mixed Choir: A Fir Tree is Bending, A Bright Sun Has Risen, Hey, Yana, Oh, You Dino, I Had a Dream, For Men's Choir: Horsemen, The Secret of the Struma River. Stainov was one of the founding fathers of a national Bulgarian music and worked predominantly in choral and orchestral genres. This sampler of his work is quite useful, the orchestral portion lasting over 37 of the disc's 69 minutes and, even though two of the four orchestral pieces are 'bleeding chunks', they are attractive and evocative pieces. The Legend of 1927 is a 17-minute tone-poem in a colorful late Romantic idiom and the Symphonic Scherzo of 1938 makes much use of vivid Bulgarian folk elements. The suite Fairy Tale of 1930 provided the second movement excerpted here - A Dragon - which has some of the color of the Russian Mighty Handful while the Thracian Dances offer us a Paidoushko Horo of fine rhythmic acuity. Mid-price. Bulgarian texts. Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra; Emil Karamanov, Vassil Stefanov, Various Choirs. Gega GD 259 (Bulgaria) 05D096 $11.98 *