January 2004  January 2003  January 2002  January 2001  January 2000  January 1999  January 1998  
 February 2004  February 2003 February 2002  February 2001  February 2000  February 1999  February 1998  
 March 2004  March 2003 March 2002 March 2001  March 2000  March 1999  March 1998  
 April 2004  April 2003 April 2002  April 2001  April 2000 April 1999  April 1998  
 May 2004  May 2003 May 2002 May 2001  May 2000  May 1999   May 1998  
 June 2004 June 2003  June 2002  June 2001  June 2000  June 1999  June 1998  
 July 2004  July 2003  July 2002  July 2001  July 2000  July 1999  July 1998  July 1997
 August 2004  August 2003  August 2002  August 2001  August 2000  August 1999  August 1998  August 1997
 September 2004  September 2003  September 2002  September 2001  September 2000  September 1999  September 1998  September 1997
 October 2004  October 2003  October 2002 October 2001  October 2000  October 1999  October 1998  October 1997
 November 2004   November 2003  November 2002 November 2001  November 2000  November 1999  November 1998  November 1997
   December 2003 December 2002 December 2001  December 2000  December 1999  December 1998  December 1997

Fritz Brun - Symphony No. 3

FRITZ BRUN (1878-1959): Symphony No. 3 in D Minor. Dating from 1919, the Swiss composer Brun's third symphony (of ten!) is a 61-minute work in three movements whose major associations are with Brahms (in the melodic contour of several motifs) and with Furtwängler the composer, in the knotty, uneasy quality of the orchestral writing, which takes a few listenings to get comfortable with and in the uncompromising personal vision which he propounds. In fact, you might almost describe this work as a Furtwängler symphony but with plenty of attractive melody to boot. The second movement is a set of variations on an Italian-Swiss carol with intended tributes to Berlioz as well as echoes of Brahms, while the outer movements are the repositories of a craggy, Romantic spirit with one foot in the late 19th century and one in the modern epoch. Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Adriano. Sterling CDS-1059-2 (Sweden) 05F001 $16.98


For the seven years since we took over Records International from its previous owners, we have been able to offer you new releases as soon as they were available to be shipped to us. All of our distributors had waived their formal street dates, which vary from the beginning of the month to the end of the month, enabling us to ship you new releases up to two weeks in advance of these titles' appearance in brick-and-mortar stores. (Of course, we understand that over half of you have no brick-and-mortar stores which carry the kind of repertoire which we offer, much less any classical repertoire at all.) But, we must now honor the street date of all CDs distributed by Naxos of America. This includes Naxos and: Marco Polo, cpo, Naive (i.e. Disques Montaigne, Valois, and what used to be Astrée), Analekta and CBC.

Beginning in June, our catalogues will appear later accordingly - web-site: around the 8th of the month instead of the 3rd; printed catalogues: to mail around the 12th of the month instead of the 9th of the month. This is being done to conform with the Naxos street date, which is always around the 20th of the month. We can't ship CDs to you which will arrive before the street date. (It is our experience that only about 15% of orders do not contain Naxos or Naxos-distributed titles). Since it has always been our policy not to charge you until the actual day we ship, this will entail some cash-flow problems on our part. Since this date change is going to impact only our web-site and phone-order customers (mail orders never usually started arriving until around the 12th-14th of the month anyway), we would appreciate your authorization to charge your credit cards upon receipt of your May orders in order to preserve cash-flow, and, thus, our ability to stay solvent, while waiting to ship.

In June: The first six Hungaroton titles specially imported and not otherwise available in the U.S.

Camargo Guarnieri Symphony Cycle Completed

CAMARGO GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Symphony No. 5 for Orchestra and Choir, Symphony No. 6, Suite from the Film Vila Rica. This three-disc series comes to an end with a suite of film music from 1957; Vila Rica was a political indictment of government oppression of students in 1945 and provides much moody music, including a rare example of Guarnieri composing popular-style music in the manner of Villa-Lobos. With the two symphonies (1977 and 1981) we are back to "absolute" music - although there is a choral finale in the fifth which pays tribute to the composer's home town - often polyphonic, dramatic, affecting and communicative music which has no particular Brazilian feeling to it except in the dramatic and insistent rhythms of the short first movement of the sixth symphony where the percussion suggests local musical sources. Portuguese-English text. São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; John Neschling. BIS CD-1320 (Sweden) 05F002 $17.98

JAKOB VAN DOMSELAER (1890-1960): Symphony No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 2. This is one of the most unusual, idiosyncratic symphonies you will ever hear (and this recording is also its first performance). Van Domselaer originally experimented with static piano music constructed entirely out of chords - completely atonal, all harmony, no melody (under the influence of his friend the painter Mondriaan and other Dutch avant-garde artists). After a few years of silence, this symphony appeared in 1921. A four-movement work lasting 27 minutes, it suggests Ives and Mahler caught in some kind of weird, science-fiction mind-meld (or style-meld). Lots of low brass growling and snarling in brutal fashion and then ethereal music for strings and high winds both with melodies suggesting Mahler in his mountain meadows. Oh, and an organ adding even more bass in the final two movements. Whew! The concertos (1924 and 1926) are just as unusual but here the strangeness comes from the collision of van Domselaer's mixture of bold, sometimes dissonant harmonies with passages that could have come straight out of the late Romantic virtuoso concerto. 81:45 of music - expensive but worth it to collectors of the truly unique. 2 CDs. Kees Wieringa (piano), North Netherlands Symphonic Orchestra; Alexander Vedernikov. Composers Voice Classics CD 118 (Netherlands) 05F003 $37.98

ANTHONY LOUIS SCARMOLIN (1890-1969): Sinfonietta for Strings, Una Lotta col Destino and Whispers of Love for Violin and Orchestra (both arr. Sichel), Overture on a Street Vendor's Ditty, Night, Upon Looking at an Old Harpsichord for Piano and Orchestra. Collectors who enjoyed Naxos' introduction to the light music of this Italian-born American composer (recorded be the same forces as here), will find even more to enjoy since the new release contains more substantial pieces such as the 1939 Sinfonietta, a three-movement work modeled on Classical antecedents and Night (1937), a deliciously atmospheric tone-painting. Old Harpsichord is a pastiche in the vein of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Whispers a collection of charming waltzes orchestrated by the composer John Sichel, curator of the Scarmolin Trust. Standing out from all the rest is the 1907 Una Lotta, whose striking use of chromaticism suggests a familiarity with avant-garde composers of the same period (although none can be substantiated!). Vladimir Tsypin (violin), Sylvia Capová (piano), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben. Centaur CRC 2620 (U.S.A.) 05F004 $16.98

CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Universe Symphony (compl. Larry Austin [b.1930]), Symphony No. 2. Ives collectors will want to have this 1998 live recording of the German premiere of composer Larry Austin's completion of his Universe Symphony (Austin was one of four assistant conductors for the performance) not only since it is the first recording by a professional orchestra but also because the documentation is much more full than the Centaur release with the Cincinnati Philharmonia had room for (Austin's notes cover 11 pages, with a page of score reproduced as well). Those who don't have the Centaur version will be intrigued by this 36-minute realization of a plan whose grandiosity and sheer scale are approached only by Scriabin's Mysterium. Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Michael Stern. col legno WWE 1CD 20074 (Germany) 05F005 $19.98

JOHN CORIGLIANO (b.1938): Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra, The Mannheim Rocket. The symphony, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Music, is a reworking of a string quartet which Corigliano wrote for the Cleveland Quartet on the occasion of their retirement. In five movements (three of which have been extensively re-composed) - Prelude, Scherzo, Nocturne, Fugue and Postlude - this 45-minute work is a rigorously assembled, deeply communicative piece which has the gravitas of Beethoven's late quartets (one of which has also had some play in a version for string orchestra) while also standing in the tradition of 20th century American symphonists. The Mannheim Rocket (also from 2001) is an 11-minute orchestral showpiece, a take-off on the 18th century musical term which depicts, in vividly and ingeniously orchestrated, programmatic music, the take-off, brief quiet flight at its apex, and crash re-entry of a rocket. Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgårds. Ondine ODE 1039-2 (Finland) 05F006 $17.98

IGOR MARKEVITCH (1912-1983): Complete Orchestral Music, Vol. 6 - Piano Concerto, Cantate, Icare. The 16-year-old composer's piano concerto is very much in the then-prevailing idiom of Hindemith and Prokofiev while the Cantate, from a year later (and originally to have been a ballet for Diaghilev, whose death scotched the plan), shows polyrhythms and proto-aleatoric elements which are so advanced, it's startling. Icare is a 1943 reworking of the 1932 L'Envol d'Icare, with quarter-tone sections removed and much internal detail recomposed (and, actually, simplified) while not touching the overall structure and form at all. French-English texts. Martijn van den Hoek (piano), Nienke Oostenrijk (soprano), Nederlands Concertkoor (Amsterdam), Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Marco Polo 8.225076 (New Zealand) 05F007 $9.98

Cyril Scott - Premiere Recordings

CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Symphony No. 3 "The Muses", Piano Concerto No. 2, Neptune. Scott's third symphony (1937) is a huge explosion of orchestral color in four movements named after specific muses. "Melpomene" brings forth sea-music redolent of Bax and Debussy on a grand scale (wind machine, orchestral piano and a large percussion section are heard to great effect) before a tipsy and rhythmically impetuous scherzo, "Thalia". The slow movement "Erato" is quiet, fleeting and enigmatic before the finale, "Terpsichore", with its wordless chorus and reappearance of the wind machine, dances orgiastically toward a brilliant C major conclusion. Neptune is sea-music of a different kind; it is a 1935 revision of a 1933 tone-poem on the sinking of the "Titanic" which was called Disaster at Sea. It was a disaster with the critics at a time when movie-music tone-painting was not appreciated. Today, we eat this stuff up, as you will this! Atmospherically orchestrated, the piece lasts 24 minutes (and you can tell when the ship hits the iceberg). The piano concerto is a rare recorded example of Scott's late period (1958), a sparely orchestrated, three-movement piece of 20 minutes - the opposite of orchestral opulence with freely chromatic harmony and fluid changes of pulse with the soloist often only lightly accompanied and almost no heaven-storming confrontations between piano and orchestra. Howard Shelley (piano), Huddersfield Choral Society, BBC Philharmonic; Martyn Brabbins. Chandos 10211 (England) 05F008 $17.98

Frank Bridge Edition, Volume 4

FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Rebus, Oration (Concerto elegiaco) for Cello and Orchestra, Allegro moderato for String Orchestra, Lament for String Orchestra, A Prayer for Chorus and Orchestra. Two middle-period and three late period works make up this latest volume in Chandos' Bridge series. Both Lament and A Prayer date from World War I, the former a brief, eloquent piece of five minutes in memory of a 9-year-old friend who drowned aboard the Lusitania and the latter his only choral/orchestral work, a poignant work setting a text by a 14th century German mystic. The better known Oration (1930) is an expression of the anger and pain due to the First World War, all the more striking for its being couched in Bridge's "radical" late style. Rebus (1940), an extrovert and direct overture, and the first movement of what was to have been a string symphony, left incomplete at the composer's death (the movement's last 21 bars were completed by Anthony Pople in the 1970s) round out another valuable offering. Alban Gerhardt (cello), BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales; Richard Hickox. Chandos 10188 (England) 05F009 $17.98

ALAN BUSH (1900-1995): Suite of Six, Op. 81, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): String Quartet No. 4, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695)/BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Chacony in G Minor. None of our collectors will really need another Bridge quartet but, fortunately, the Alan Bush - at 26 minutes - is the longest item on the disc and Redcliffe is the only label consistently bringing us music by this much-neglected composer. Suite of Six was a BBC commission from 1975 and is a set of dances representing each of the six "English" modes. Short Interludes effect transitions between the dances through mood, material and modality and offer contrast to the attractive dances themselves. Bochmann String Quartet. Redcliffe Recordings RR 020 (England) 05F010 $16.98

HERBERT HOWELLS (1892-1983): Rhapsodic Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet, Clarinet Sonata, A Near-Minuet for Clarinet and Piano, Prelude for Harp, Violin Sonata No. 3. The 1919 Rhapsodic Quintet has a Delian sense of nature exaltation and the 1946 clarinet sonata is in Howell's mature style, ranging from melancholy to virtuosic excitement with the solo instrument giving the piece, by default, a somewhat pastoral character. The 1923 violin sonata, inspired by a trip through the Canadian Rockies, stands apart from most of Howells' works through its more dissonant and chromatic harmonies. mobius. Naxos 8.557188 (New Zealand) 05F011 $6.98

EDMUND RUBBRA (1901-1986): 8 Preludes for Piano, Op. 131, 2 Sonnets by William Alabaster, Op. 87 for Voice and Viola, The Mystery, Op. 4/1, Rosa Mundi for Voice and 2 Violins, Op. 2, Ave Maria gratia plena for Voice and String Quartet, Op. 5, Orpheus with his lute, Op. 8/2, Rune of Hospitality, Op. 13, A Duan of Barra, Op. 20, 3 Psalms, Op. 61, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Four Last Songs, 4 Poems by Fredegond Shove, Silent Noon. It seems extraordinary that even now, many music-lovers, to say nothing of highly capable performers, are unaware of the sheer quality, and range, of Vaughan Williams' output. Especially in the United States, even if you know how many symphonies he actually wrote, it's a pretty good bet you haven't heard the 3rd, 6th, 8th or 9th lately, and probably not at all in the concert hall. And Rubbra is taken even more disproportionately for granted and consequently neglected. All of which is a prelude to stating that these songs (and in Rubbra's case, solo piano works) are without exception very fine works which shed a fascinating light on a relatively unfamiliar facet of both of these wonderful composers. The stately restraint of Vaughan Williams' "Four Last Songs" (no relation! - and these stand up in their own right), the emotional warmth of his earlier songs, and the unmistakable modalty of his tonal language make these as valid a part of his output as any of the larger works. As for Rubbra, another noted symphonist, his songs (some with string accompaniment, and two - the William Alabaster settings - endowed with additional pathos through the imaginative use of obbligato viola in addition to the piano. If you have ever suspected that British artsong might be worth looking at - and it is, and there is more of it than you think - then this CD is a really good place to start. Texts included. Mark Chambers (countertenor), David Mason (piano), The Caractacus Quartet. Deux-Elles DXL 1012 (England) 05F012 $16.98

ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Soprano and Piano: Tzu-Yeh Songs, Precursors, 3 French Nursery Rhymes, Tenor and Piano: 2 Songs, Carol, 2 Fish, Scena Rustica for Soprano and Harp, Valse and Ballade in G Sharp Minor for Piano, ALAN BUSH (1900-1995)/RAWSTHORNE: Prison Cycle for Soprano and Piano, JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): 3 Folk Songs for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 19. This is actually mostly a Rawsthorne CD, and as such it fills a useful niche, as he is not much known as a composer for the voice. The evidence here suggests that while he may not have been a song composer on the level of Vaughan Williams or Stevenson, he was certainly able to turn his personal style, spare and economical though barely concealing passionate undercurrents, to the production of some telling and profoundly moving songs. The collaborative cycle with Alan Bush, composed for a German refugee society which existed to promote work by progressive German artists (Ernst Toller, the poet, in this case) is remarkably well integrated, the individual styles of the two composers meshing while retaining their individuality; not surprisingly, Bush's contribution, as one might expect of the UK's pre-eminent operatic composer (alongside Britten and notwithstanding Tippett) is especially powerful. Mid-price. Texts included. Alison Wells, Judith Buckle (sopranos), Martyn Hill, Martin Hindmarsh (tenors), Keith Swallow (piano), Lucy Wakeford (harp), Nicholas Turner (clarinet), Alan Cuckston (piano). Campion Cameo 2021 (England) 05F013 $12.98

AMBROSIO COTES (c.1550-1603): Missa in adventu et quadragesima, 12 motets and 4 Instrumental Canciones. Cotes straddled the late Renaissance and the pre-Baroque periods in Spain, succeeding Francisco Guererro at the Cathedral of Seville and showing an interesting admixture of madrigalesque and polychoral elements in his sacred motets (of mostly four to seven voices). Victoria Musicae; Josep R. Gil-Tàrrega. La Ma de Guido LMG 2053 (Spain) 05F014 $16.98

BARBARA STROZZI (1619-1664): Cantatas: L'astratto, Non pavento io di te, Luci belle, Moralità amorosa, Appersso a i molli argenti, Su'l rodano severo. All but one of these works deal with the pastoral world of unrequited love and show Strozzi's command of a wide variety of formal arrangements of material; one, Su'l rodano severo, is a dramatic account of the execution of a French courtier in 1642 for plotting against Cardinal Richelieu. Italian-English texts. Judith Nelson (soprano), William Christie (harpsichord), Christophe Coin (cello), John Hutchinson (harp). Original 1981 Harmonia Mundi LP release. First issue on CD. Harmonia Mundi Curiosita HMX 2901114 (France) 05F015 $8.98

NICOLAS LEBEGUE (1631-1702): 3 Keyboard Suites. Along with Chambonnières and Louis Couperin, Lebegue (known primarily for his organ works) stood at the beginning of the brilliant French harpsichord school He was the first to collect his pieces into suites and the first to introduce them with unmeasured preludes. Sticking to dance-forms, he does not use the fanciful and topical titles of, say, Couperin but his best works are the equal of both of his contemporaries. Paola Erdas (harpsichord). Stradivarius STR 33673 (Italy) 05F016 $17.98

The English Orpheus - Volume 50

JEREMIAH CLARKE (c.1674-1707): Overture to Titus Andronicus, JOHN WELDON (1676-1736): Take, O take those lips away, Dry those eyes which are o'erflowing, JOHN ECCLES (1668-1735): Can life be a blessing?, THOMAS CHILCOT (c.1700-1766): Pardon, goddess of the night, Orpheus with his lute, Hark, hark, the lark, MAURICE GREENE (1696-1755): Orpheus with his lute, THOMAS ARNE (1710-1778): To fair Fidele's grassy tomb, When daisies pied and violets blue, When icicles hang on the wall, Honour, riches, marriage-blessing, Where the bee sucks, there lurk I, ROBERT WOODCOCK (1690-1728): Concerto No. 9 in E Minor, RICHARD LEVERIDGE (1670/1-1758): When daisies pied and violets blue, JOHN CHRISTOPHER SMITH (1712-1795): You spotted snakes, Full fathom five, WILLEM DE FESCH (1687-?1757): All fancy sick, JOHN WELDON (1676-1736): Dry those eyes which are o'erflowing, HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695): Dear pretty youth. From Purcell to Arne, this collection gives examples of Shakespeare texts set to music which would have been performed as accompaniment to Restoration plays. A Clarke overture and a Woodcock concerto are included as the sort of instrumental music which would have preceded the evening's work and also have been inserted between acts. Texts included. Catherine Bott (soprano), The Parley of Instruments; Peter Holman. Hyperion CDA 67450 (England) 05F017 $17.98

GEORG MUFFAT (1653-1704): Complete Klavier Works - Partitas in D Minor (2), F (2), and in C, Gigue in G, Prelude in F "L'Amerande". These newly discovered keyboard works are among the most important of their kind dating from around 1700 in that they anticipate Couperin in their content of character pieces (Couperin was thought to have originated this), they also anticipate him in their use of modern dance-pieces to the exclusion of allemandes, courantes, sarabandes and gigues and also show a mixing of Italian and French styles also attributed to the Frenchman and to J.S. Bach - but both several years later. Siegbert Rampe (harpsichord, clavichord). MD&G 341 1213-2 (Germany) 05F018 $17.98

ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678-1741): Le quattro stagioni (a "Dresden" version with winds), GIOVANNI ANTONIO GUIDO (c.1660-after 1728): Scherzi Armonici sopra le Quattro Stagioni dell'Anno 1732. The little-known Genoese, Guido, published his riff on Vivaldi's most famous work in Paris as soon as 1733, adding wind instruments to help adapt it to the French gout. Thus, the violinist/conductor of our performers had the idea of turning "The Four Seasons" into concerti con molti istromenti on the model of Vivaldi's own RV577, written for the bountiful and brilliant wind players of the Dresden court orchestra. L'Arte del Arco; Federico Guglielmo (violin). SACD Hybrid/Surround Sound. CPO 777 037 (Germany) 05F019 $15.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Complete Violin Concertos, Vol. 1 - TWV 51: C2, C8, e3, D9, E2, F2 & D10. The first of three volumes of concertos which generally eschew Italian-style virtuosity in favor of harmony and melody although earlier works (i.e. around 1708-12) show some reminiscences of Albinoni and Vivaldi. Telemann's love of Polish music is also evident in some of the finales. L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra; Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin). CPO 999 900 (Germany) 05F020 $15.98

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767): Die gekreuzigte Liebe, TWV 5:4. All five of Telemann's Passion Oratorios have been recorded now with this 1731 setting of a text by German poet Johann Ulrich König. Dark, despairing and grim almost throughout, the work breaks up into two sections, the former with allegorical figures commenting on the sins of Man and the second containing three deeply affecting arias by Jesus, and one each for his mother Mary and for Mary Magdalene. The orchestration is richly colored, with pairs of recorders, oboes, chalumeaux, bassoons and horns - the latter three groups adding to the darkness of the proceedings. 2 CDs. German-only notes and texts. Friederike Holzhausen, Susanne Gorzny (sopranos), Manja Raschka (mezzo), Ralph Eschrig (tenor), Matthias Vieweg, Jörg Schneider (basses), Biederitzer Kantorei, Weimar Baroque Ensemble; Michael Scholl. Amati ami 2202/2 (Germany) 05F021 $35.98

JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (1679-1745): I penitenti al sepolcro del Redentore. This soprano's big-splash signing with DG seems to have been the impetus behind this reissue of what was apparently the first-ever performance and recording of Zelenka's 1736 oratorio. Composed for Dresden a year after his successful Gesà al Calvario, it was probably not approved by church authorities due to the unusual conceit of having King David, Mary Magdalene and St. Peter together at Christ's tomb, bewailing their sins and hoping for redemption. Generally lyrical - even the bitterness of Peter is muted - the music matches the Italian text in style and is a must-have for all collectors of this brilliant Czech baroque master. Mid-price. Italian-English texts. Magdalena KoÏena (alto), Martin Proke (tenor), Michael Pospíil (bass), Capella regia musicalis; Robert Hugo. Original 1995 Panton release. Supraphon SU 3785-2 (Czech Republic) 05F022 $10.98

GEORG FRIEDRICH HAENDEL (1685-1759): Siroe, Re di Persia. Not one of Handel's greatest successes, Siroe only had two performances at all after its initial run of 18 in London in 1725. This was partly due to the butchered and incomprehensible libretto (by Metastasio before all the tailoring was done to suit the three major singers - Senesino, and the ladies Bordoni and Cuzzoni) - although many of the arias are gorgeous - and partly to the almost simultaneous premiere of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera whose biting satire of just this sort of Handelian vocal extravaganza quickly became all the rage. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Ann Hallenberg (alto), Johanna Stojkovic, Sunhae Im (sopranos), Gunther Schmid (countertenor), Cappella Coloniensis; Andreas Spering. Harmonia Mundi HMC 901826.27 (France) 05F023 $35.98

JACOB KLEIN (1688-1748): 6 Sonatas for Cello and Continuo, Op. 4. On the evidence of these late works from 1746, Klein was strikingly influenced by the arrival of Locatelli in Amsterdam to emulate the virtuosic concertante style of Italian instrumental performance in works for his own instrument. This is shown in the subtlety of his dynamics, the frenzied enthusiasm of the fast movements, lengthy double stop passages with polyphonic textures and daredevil ornamentation. Kristin von der Goltz (cello), Hille Perl (viola da gamba), Lee Santa (lute). Raum Klang RK 2204 (Germany) 05F024 $17.98

GIUSEPPE TARTINI (1692-1770): The Violin Concertos, Vol. 11 - in A Minor, D113, in D, D40, in G, D77, in F, D70a, in D, D23, in G Minor, D87, in C, D14 & in D, D41. Six of the eight concertos on this disc probably come from 1750 or later, Tartini's final stylistic period in which virtuosity and expression blend to create a pre-classical lyricism. One work, D23, comes with two alternate movements which seem to have been composed later than the rest of the concerto. 2 CDs. L'Arte dell'Arco; Giovanni Guglielmo (violin). Dynamic CDS 445/1-2 (Italy) 05F025 $35.98

GREGOR JOSEPH WERNER (1693-1766): Missa contapunctata, Requiem, Missa festivalis et brevis, Te Deum. These four works by Haydn's predecessor at Eisenstadt vary widely in size, performing forces and musical styles, from the archaic contrapunctata (with only basso continuo accompaniment) to the Te Deum which adds a pair of trumpets to the usual strings and manages to be a simple as such a work can be, in keeping with its early Classical discmates. Chorus and Orchestra of Schola Cantorum Budapestiensis; János Mezei (organ). Hungaroton HCD 32160 (Hungary) 05F026 $17.98

WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784): Harpsichord Sonatas in A, D & B Flat, 8 Fugues. All of these works date from 1778-79, the sonatas mostly in two-part form, as if continuations of Papa Bach's Two and Three-Part Inventions updated to the Classical period while the fugues combine the father's polyphonic skills with the galant language of the court of Frederick the Great. Ewald Demeyere (harpsichord). Accent ACC 23157 (Belgium) 05F027 $17.98

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809): The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. One of three arrangements of this powerful orchestral work (the others were for string quartet and for vocal soloists and orchestra), this is the only one not done by Haydn himself although he approved it in a letter to Artaria, his publisher, in 1787. The instrument is a copy of an 1806 Walter. Jaroslav Tuma (fortepiano). SACD Hybrid. Praga PRD 250 196 (Czech Republic) 05F028 $17.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Proserpine. Brought to Paris by the admiring Napoleon, this setting of the kidnapping of Ceres' daughter by Pluto was Paisiello's only French opera (1803) and failed, totalling only 13 performances. However, what caused it to fail - the awkward blending of the declamatory French tragédie lyrique and the singing style of Italian opera - may make it all the more attractive for present-day collectors. All recitatives are accompanied by the orchestra and the writing for solo wind instruments, the horns and for the harp is atmospheric (especially in the more melancholy scenes, which are the most affecting). 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Sara Allegretta, Maria Laura Martorana (sopranos), Simon Edwards (tenor), Piero Guarnera (baritone), Bratislava Chamber Choir, Italian International Orchestra; Giuliano Carella. Dynamic CDS 442/1-2 (Italy) 05F029 $35.98

GIOVANNI PAISIELLO (1740-1816): Christus and Miserere for Soprano, Chorus, 2 Cellos, Double Bass and Organ, Lezione per la sera del Giovedi Santo for Soprano and Organ, Sonata for Organ. Written for Holy Week in 1794, the Christus and Miserere are generally monophonic, severe and expressive with only a few passages in the latter (which alternates Gregorian chant with lines of Psalm 50) showing a liveliness which might suggest the operatic master. The organ sonata is Paisiello's only such piece while the Lezione are quite unusual - musical settings of readings from the service, two of which are in bright and lively aria style. Won Mi Jung (soprano), Chamber Chorus of the "Arrigo Boito" Conservatory of Parma, Fons Amoris; Giorgio Ubaldi. Bongiovanni GB 5616-2 (Italy) 05F030 $16.98

VICENTE MARTÍN Y SOLER (1754-1806): La capricciosa Corretta. Librettist Da Ponte considered his work with Martín more important than that with Mozart and this 1795 comedy, premiered in London, was their last great success. The libretto is sheer Goldoni - a bourgeois older man with a capricious and vain younger wife, an amorous pair of aristocrats, and a pair of servants - and much of what drives the plot is reminiscent of Così fan tutte. Half of the numbers are in a buffo style, half in song-style and one was so popular that it appeared separately throughout Europe. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Marguerite Krull (soprano), Yves Saelens (tenor), Josep Miquel Ramon (baritone), Les Talens Lyriques; Christophe Rousset. Naïve/Astrée E8887 (France) 05F031 $33.98

PETER VON WINTER (1754-1825): Maometto. Premiered in Milan in 1817 and one of Winter's last four operas, this is an adaptation of a play by Voltaire which uses Mohammed and the founding of Islam to make anti-clerical points against the Jesuits and Catholic church. Little of the latter is present in the opera, a tragic melodrama involving the murder of a father by a pair of lovers who don't know that they are brother and sister. Winter combines the belcanto style of Rossini with elements of German opera, with both Mozart (Così) and Beethoven as discernible influences. 2 CDs. Italian libretto. Sebastian Na (tenor), Maria Luigia Borsi (soprano), Gloria Montanari (mezzo), Antonio de Gobbi (bass), Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno, Czech Chamber Soloists, Brno; Gabriele Bellini. Marco Polo 8.225279-80 (New Zealand) 05F032 $19.98

IGNAZ PLEYEL (1757-1831): Piano Sonatas in B flat, Op. 13/1 & in G, Op. 13/2, Piano Sonata in F Minor "L'Amante disperato", 2 Rondo favorits in A, Rondo in E Flat, Andantino de Boccherini. Although Pleyel was a violinist, he left a small output of well-crafted piano works, all prior to 1805, which makes the highly wrought, emotion-drenched, single-movement "Desperate Lover" sonata all the more striking and prophetic of Romanticism to come. Richard Fuller (fortepiano). Preiser 90583 (Austria) 05F033 $16.98

JOHANN SIMON MAYR (attr.) (1763-1845): Verter. Or, it might be by Vincenzo Pucitta (1778-1861); the copious notes give the arguments pro and con. What it is, though, is a Freemason-Illuminati opera whose characters have parallels with those of Die Zauberflöte, based on a 1794 stage trivialisation of Goethe's novel by an Italian playwright. It is also 79 minutes of music well above the average of the day (around 1800) whose major arias devolve to minor characters and whose mixture of odd form and high musical quality will intrigue and delight collectors. Italian-English libretto. Anna Rita Gemmabella (mezzo), Anke Herrmann (soprano), Davide Cicchetti (tenor), Czech Chamber Soloists; Paul Terracini. Bongiovanni GB 2343-2 (Italy) 05F034 $16.98

LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Complete String Quintets, Vol. 2 - No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 69, No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 91. Fine chamber works of early German Romanticism now re-issued at budget-price. New Haydn Quartet, Sándor Papp (viola). Original 1995 Marco Polo release. Naxos 8.555966 (New Zealand) 05F035 $6.98

JÁNOS FUSZ (1778-1819): 8 Variations on "Verzeihen Sie, mein Herr Baron", Op. 11, Overture to Schiller's Die Braut von Messina, 6 Ländler, 4 Marches, Variations sur le Menuet favori de l'opéra "Don Juan" à quatre mains, Op. 10, 8 Allemandes, Allemandes de Berlin for Four Hands, 12 Écossaisen, Rondeau favori, Andante for Four Hands, Trauermarsch, 2 Slavische Nationaltänze. German-born and a student of Albrechtsberger, Fusz (Fuss) left a fair amount of songs and piano music which was quite popular in his lifetime. Much is for the aristocratic ladies of the salon but his sets of variations demand real virtuosity and some of his dances are particularly fresh and memorable. Anikó Horváth (fortepiano), Ágnes Ratkó (secondo). Hungaroton HCD 32248 (Hungary) 05F036 $17.98

NICOLÓ PAGANINI (1782-1840): Works for Violin and Guitar - Sonata concertata, Cantabile e Valtz, Variazioni sul Barucabà. One of Paganini's last works, the 1835 theme and 60 (!) variations on a possibly Jewish tune (Barucabà perhaps coming from the Hebrew Baruch-habba "be blessed") is a synthesis of technique and invention for the violinist although on a somewhat lesser scale than his Caprices. The sonata (1803) is the composer's only true duet, each instrument partaking equally of his invention. Luigi Alberto Bianchi (violin), Maurizio Preda (guitar). Dynamic CDS 435 (Italy) 05F037 $17.98

KARL GOTTLIEB REISSIGER (1798-1859): Duo Brilliant in B Flat, Op. 130, LOUIS SPOHR (1784-1859): Romanze in B Flat, GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Variazioni, NORBERT BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836): Duo in E Flat, Op. 15, RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949): Romanze, FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Elegia, Elegie. The two longest works here (the term is relative, meaning more than ten minutes) are the most unknown too: Burgmüller's lyrical and Romantic duo (much in the manner of Spohr's Romanze) and Reissiger's more virtuosic, brilliant piece (written for the clarinettist of the Dresden Opera). Strauss and Rossini, and the first of Busoni's are student pieces, Busoni's later one a dark piece, typically audacious harmonically. Karl Leister (clarinet), Ferenc Bognár (piano). Camerata CMCD-28002 (Japan) 05F038 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Unpublished Works: Valzer in E Flat, Thème in E Flat, Allegretto, Scherzo in A Minor, Un rien. From Péchés de vieillesse, Book 3 "Morceaux réservés": 2 gammes chioises, suivies d'une mélodie analogue, L'Amour à Pékin for Contralto and Piano, From Péchés de vieillesse, Book 9: Mélodie candide, Chansonette, La Savoie aimante, Impromptu tarantellisé, Échantillon du chant de noël à l'italienne, Marche et réminiscences pour mon dernier voyage, Prélude italien, Échantillon de blague mélodique sur les noires de la main droite, Fanfare. Yes, it's the third Rossini piano cycle to have started now (MD&G and Channel Classics having the others) and the first two have been appearing none too rapidly so, here's the third, which contains five unpublished pieces and several more not yet on CD. Particularly useful notes. Marco Sollini (piano), Marina De Liso (contralto). Chandos 10190 (England) 05F039 $17.98

GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792-1868): La pietra del paragone. Coming right after La scala di seta in 1812, this was Rossini's first genuinely successful two-act opera, whose nonsensical banter and topical jokes made the young composer quite popular in Milan where it was premiered. It contains the first of what were to be several leading bass roles (sung by the same bass who created this role) and is chock full of Rossini's melodic genius and sparkling orchestration. 3 CDs Italian libretto. Agata Bienkowska (mezzo), Raffaele Constantini (bass), Alessandro Codeluppi (tenor), Czech Chamber Chorus and Soloists, Brno; Alessandro de Marchi. Naxos 8.660093-95 (New Zealand) 05F040 $23.98

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813-1901): Simon Boccanegra (1857 version). Described by the composer as "too sad, too desolate", this opera's premiere in its first version was a failure and it had to wait 24 years for its successful revision. The May Gramophone characterizes this version (heard here in a 1976 BBC broadcast) succinctly and we offer it for committed Verdi collectors who want to know Simon's full history. The presence of the usual lavish bound book of essays and illustrations goes without saying. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Sesto Bruscantini (baritone), Josella Ligi (soprano), André Turp (tenor), William Elvin (bass), BBC Singers and Concert Orchestra; John Matheson. Opera Rara Verdi Originals ORCV302 (England) 05F041 $39.98

HANS CHRISTIAN LUMBYE (1810-1874): Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 9 - Prinsen af Wales, Alexandra Vals, Petersborgerinden Polka, Petersborg Champagne Galop, Rosalie Polka, En promenade over Dyrehavsbakken Galopade, Storfryst Alexander March, Drømmebilleder Fantasy, Sylphide Vals, Souvenir de Peterhof, Nordlys Vals, Blanche Polka, Donau Blumen Quadrille, Manoeuvre Galop. The latest from the "Nordic Strauss", including his most famous composition, the ten-minute fantasia "Dream Pictures". Tivoli Symphony Orchestra; David Riddell. Marco Polo 8.225264 (New Zealand) 05F042 $9.98

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907): Incidental Music to Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op. 22, Landkjenning for Baritone, Male Choir and Orchestra, Op. 31, Bergliot for Narrator and Orchestra, Op. 42, Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak (arr. Halvorsen), Den Bergtekne for Baritone and Orchestra, Op. 32. The third in a new BIS series of Grieg SACD/Surround recordings (we did not offer the first two for repertoire reasons) brings a collection of vocal- or choral-orchestral works dating from early in the composer's career (1866-72 except for the five-minute Bergtekne of 1877). Sigurd is already popular in its orchestral suite version; this complete version lasts over 34 minutes. The other main work is the dramatic recitation Bergliot, whose almost 19 minutes offer the actress a vast range of emotions to convey, supported by equally affecting orchestral support. Norwegian-English texts. Håkan Hagegård (baritone), Gørild Mauseth (narrator), Seim Songkor, Kor Vest, Bergen Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud. SACD Hybrid. BIS SACD-1391 (Sweden) 05F043 $17.98

MIHÁLY MOSONYI (1815-1870): Mass No. 1 in C, Consecrated Graves, In memoriam Count Lajos Batthyány. This was young Mosonyi's first mass, composed between 1840-42 and shows a composer who has obviously mastered his counterpoint, using imitations, canons, fugues and fugatos in great variety and maintaining a well-judged balance between solo and choral contributions in lyrical music which favors a pastoral personality more than overt drama. Hungarian-English texts. Ingrid Kertesi (soprano), Márta Lukin (contralto), József Mukk (tenor), László Jekl (bass), Liszt Ferenc Chorus and Orchestra (Amsterdam); Peter Scholcz. Hungaroton HCD 32152 (Hungary) 05F044 $17.98

JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Complete Piano Suites, Vol. 3 - No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 69, No. 3 in E Minor, Op. 72, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)/RAFF: Suites No. 4 in E Flat & No. 5 in C Minor for Solo Cello, BWV 1010 and 1011. The newest volume in this series offers two early Raff piano suites, more romantic in character than the neo-baroque pair from last month. Alexander Zolotarev (piano). AK Coburg DR-0008 (U.S.A.) 05F045 $16.98 >

JOSEPH JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 3 - Sonata No. 3 in D, Op. 128, Sonatillen, Op. 99, Nos. 4-7, Aus der Schweiz, Op. 57, Duo on Motifs from Wagner's "Der Fliegende Holländer", Op. 63/1. All of the infectiously melodious music one could want, the Sonatillen being rather like character pieces and Raff's subjective treatment of Wagner just as interesting as his other two in this series but what is unusual is the 1848 Aus der Schweiz - a14-minute, single-movement fantasy which makes use of a Swiss cowherd's tune in an original, head-strong way one might not associate with this generally genial, conservative composer. Ingolf Turban (violin), Jascha Nemtsov (piano). CPO 999 769 (Germany) 05F046 $15.98

CHRISTIAN SINDING (1856-1941): Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 121, Symphony No. 4, Op. 129 "Winter and Spring". Sinding discovered his personal style in the late 1880s and never saw a reason to revise it; Liszt, Wagner and Richard Strauss are the models and the use of recurring motifs and themes throughout the works is typical. These are both large-scale, big-hearted, expansive, richly orchestrated works which, unlike the symphonic works of Sinding's contryman Svendsen, remain firmly in the school of German Romanticism. North German Radio Philharmonie; David Porcelijn. CPO 999 596 (Germany) 05F047 $15.98

GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875): Le docteur Miracle. This one-act operetta was Bizet's first surviving stage piece and won the 18-year-old the Prix de Rome (which produced his Roma suite). Based on a Sheridan comedy, it's a breezy piece, with a touch of Offenbach, consisting of an overture and six numbers, at the center of which is a deliciously bizarre quartet in which the characters solemnly apostrophize a poorly-cooked omelette. Budget-price. Cristiane Eda-Pierre (soprano), Robert Massard (baritone), Rémy Corazza (tenor), Orchestra of Radio France; Bruno Amaducci (March 1, 1976). Opera d'Oro OPD-1408 (U.S.A.) 05F048 $5.98

Robert Kajanus - Orchestral Works

ROBERT KAJANUS (1856-1933): Sinfonietta in B Flat, Op. 16, Kullervo's Funeral March, Op. 3, Finnish Rhapsody No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 5, Aino for Male Chorus and Orchestra. The first full disc devoted to this conductor/composer, champion of Sibelius and himself one of the first composers to use Finnish subjects and folk songs in his orchestral music. The Finnish Rhapsody (1881) resulted from his studies in Paris with Svendsen while Aino (1885 and in which the chorus only appears in the work's final two minutes) and the funeral march (1880) show Wagner's influence while using Finnish themes. The Sinfonietta (1915), while still rooted in German Romanticism, shows a certain orchestral lightness and transparency inspired by neo-classicism. Finnish-English texts. Lahti Symphony Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä. BIS CD-1223 (Sweden) 05F049 $17.98

The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol. 4

MORITZ MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925): Violin Concerto in C, Op. 30, Ballade for Violin and Orchestra in G Minor, Op. 16/1, MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ (1876-1909): Violin Concerto in A, Op. 8. No surprises here: though a pianist, Moszkowski's 1883 concerto is a large-scale, virtuosic showpiece with a finale which begins with a perpetuum mobile sequence and moves into gypsy-type music, after a big, 15-minute first movement of true Romantic breadth and a lyrical slow movement. His Ballade is an orchestration of a violin/ piano work and runs the gamut from lyricism to a bravura ending. Although Karlowicz's concerto is later (1902), Tchaikovsky is the model and there is plenty of virtuosity where it should be and contemplativeness in like manner. Like the Moszkowski, there is no overt use of folk music or folk-like motifs, just pure European Romanticism. Tasmin Little (violin), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Hyperion CDA 67389 (England) 05F050 $17.98

MARCO ENRICO BOSSI (1861-1925): For Soprano, Violin and Organ: Ave Maria, Op. 50/2, Dio siete buono, Op. 98, Ave Maria, Op. 50/1, For Soprano and Organ: Salve Regina Op. 8, Sanctus et Benedictus, For Organ Solo: Fantaisie, Op. 64, Ave Maria (seconda), Dafne e Cloe (Pastorale), Op. 142/2, Scherzo - 30 Tempo Sinfonia Tematica, Op. 95, Impromptu (à la Chopin), Op. 49/3, Jeanne d'Arc, Adagio for Violin and Organ, Op. 84. It is heartening to see Tactus beginning to explore the forgotten composers of 19th century Italy. Some collectors will know Bossi as the most prominent Italian organist/composer of the period and this release adds to his lustre, especially with the 14-minute tone-poem Jeanne d'Arc of 1909 which builds to an impressive climax as it depicts the French saint's final moments on the pyre. Much of the rest of the disc contains music of a quasi-salon style - especially the Ave Maria and Salve Regina settings - which are tuneful, easy on the ear and characteristic of their period. Italian texts. Ilaria Torciani (soprano), Marco Bianchi (violin), Andrea Macinanti (organs of the Aosta and Saluzzo Cathedrals). Tactus TC 862701 (Italy) 05F051 $11.98

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924): Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue (from J.S. Bach), Kleine Suite, Op. 23, Serenata, Op. 34, Kultaselle: 10 Varitations on a Finnish Folk Song, Valse oubliée (from Liszt), OTTORINO RESPIGHI (1879-1936): Adagio con variazioni. Except for the 1917 cello/piano arrangement of Bach's Chromatic Fantsia - an almost unknown work and remarkable for its division into two parts of an original solo keyboard piece - these are all youthful works. The often-contrapuntal Kleine Suite (1886) is also indebted to Bach although the final movement also suggests Schumann, the Finnish song variations (1890) reveal a little-known aspect of Busoni's ethnological interests and the Serenata (1883) is a transcription of a clarinet piece he wrote when he was twelve. Angelo Pepicelli (cello), Francesco Pepicelli (piano). Naxos 8.555691 (New Zealand) 05F052 $6.98

FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): Piano Concerto in C Minor, GERALD FINZI (1901-1956): Eclogue for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 10, RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Piano Concerto in C. Rare piano concertos from both composers - Vaughan Williams' a visionary, big-boned, virtuosic piece from 1933 in true VW style and Delius' a single-movement (revised twice from its original form of 1897) one from 1907 which has the spirit of Grieg hovering over it (as conductor Handley puts it, one can imagine Delius "tramping vigorously over the Norwegian mountains with Grainger as his guide"), with Finzi's noble, posthumous Eclogue as a haunting, serene discmate. Piers Lane (piano), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vernon Handley. Original 1995 EMI release. Classics for Pleasure 5 75983 2 (England) 05F053 $7.98

FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934): Violin Concerto, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Summer Night on the River, Sleigh Ride, La Calinda, The Walk to the Paradise Garden, Prelude to Irmelin. The lovely violin concerto is the most pastoral of the composer's several concertos, tinged with that impressionistic haze one associates with his short tone poems. It is rarely recorded, so we offer this budget-price version for those of you who may not own the violin concerto yet. Philippe Djokic (violin), Symphony Nova Scotia; Georg Tintner. Original 1994 CBC release. Naxos Tintner Edition 8.557242 (New Zealand) 05F054 $6.98

MANUEL BLANCAFORT (1897-1987): Complete Piano Music, Vol. 2 - 6 Short Pieces, Country Games and Dances, Intimate Songs I, 8 Piano Pieces. These pieces were all composed between 1918 and 1921 and are simple, short works in ternary structure, introspective and nostalgic with a touch of folk music. Blancafort, like his fellow Catalan Mompou, subscribed to the same artistic credo and collectors who enjoy the latter will be very happy to make the discovery of Blancafort. Miquel Villaba (piano). Naxos Spanish Classics 8.557333 (New Zealand) 05F055 $6.98

Enescu World Premiere Recording!

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Caprice Roumain for Violin and Orchestra (ed. C. Taranu [b.1934]), Impressions d'Enfance for Violin and Piano, Op. 28, Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 6, Violin Sonata No. 3 "dans le caractère roumain", Op. 25. Far from being a forgotten piece from his youth, the Caprice Roumain occupied Enescu for decades from 1925-1949 and yet he never completed it. Musicologist/composer Cornel Taranu finally put together all of the fragmentary manuscripts in collaboration with the violinist here and produced (in 1996) a finished version of the four-movement, 26-minute Caprice which was inspired by the same desire to accurately represent the authentic fiddle style of Romanian folk musician which animates the op. 25 dans le caractère roumain sonata. This is an immensely rewarding experience, full of orchestral color and passion and authentic folk violin playing by Lupu (who is on the faculty of the University of Illinois), who recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Romanian Cultural Foundation for his indefatigable work promoting Enescu and Romanian music. NOTE: Released in 2000, this DDD recording is welcome evidence that Electrecord is alive and flourishing and not just reissuing 30-year-old archival recordings! 2 CDs. Mid-price. Sherban Lupu (violin), Valentin Gheorghiu (piano), "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest; Cristian Mandeal. Electrecord EDC 324/325 (Romania) 05F056 $25.98

W.H. REED (1875-1942): Violin and Piano: Rhapsody in E Minor, Fantaisie Brillante, Andante Tranquillo, On Waterford Quay, Reverie, Toccata, 2 Chinese Impressions, Andante con moto, Punjabi Song, Lento and Prelude, Spanish Dance, Luddi Dance, The Gentle Dove, Rhapsody for Viola and Piano. Reed was the concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1912 to 1935 and, as a friend of Elgar, played through and gave the premiere performances of many of that composer's chamber works which featured the violin (and Robert Gibbs plays here on Reed's violin which he inherited from one of Reed's last pupils). Although the titles may sound like it, only two or three of these pieces are salon-style offerings with many being works of the late 1930s and early 1940s in the style of similar pieces which Albert Sammons was writing and performing then. The two Rhapsodies (originally with orchestra) and the Fantaisie Brillante are full-fledged, "serious" pieces which have hints of Elgar here are there. Robert Gibbs (violin, viola), Mary Mei-Loc Wu (piano). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7135 (England) 05F057 $16.98

ADOLF BUSCH (1891-1952): 2 Choral Fantasies on "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten", Chorale Arrangement of "Alle Menschen müssen sterben", Fantasie über Bachs Rezitativ aus der Matthäus-Passion "Mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen" und den Choral "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir", Op. 19, Passacaglia and Fugue, Op. 27, 8 Choral Preludes, Op. 60a, Toccata and Fugue, Op. 67. This 76-minute disc contains all of the great violinist's extant organ music (Busch once told his second wife that he would like to be reborn as an organist) which ranges from 1910 to 1948. Reger's influence is evident in the 1919 Fantasie along with an acerbity looking forward to Johann Nepomuk David; the Passacaglia and Fugue of 1923 pushes the boundaries of tonality although, by 1948, the Toccata and Fugue has a much more relaxed harmonic language. Ludger Lohmann (organ of the Staatlichen Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart). Motette CD 13101 (Germany) 05F058 $16.98

Norwegian Classical Favorites - Volume 2

HARALD SÆVERUD (1897-1992): Peer Gynt Music, Op. 28, The Ballad of Revolt, Op. 22, FARTEIN VALEN (1887-1952): The Churchyard by the Sea, Op. 20, EYVIND GROVEN (1901-1977): At Evening, Op. 60, Hjalarljod Overture, Op. 38, GEIRR TVEITT (1908-1981): 3 Hardanger Tunes from Op. 151, EDVARD FLIFLET BRÆIN (1924-1976): Out Towards the Sea, GUNNAR GJERSTRØM (1891-1951): Legend, ØYSTEIN SOMMERFELDT(1919-1994): Little Overture, Op. 11, LUDVIG IRGENS-JENSEN (1894-1969): Bol's Song, JOHAN HALVORSEN (1864-1935): Scenes from Norwegian Fairy Tales, Op. 37. Lutefisk with hot sauce! A bewilderingly wide-ranging group of 20th century Norwegian composers - many of whom have absolutely no other CD representation at all - at a ludicrously cheap price. Almost nothing here is avant-garde as we know it today; everything is fresh and exhilaratingly approachable without being mere fluff, while conductor Engeset's notes are a brilliant example of maximum information in the minimum space available. Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Bjarte Engeset. Naxos 8.557018 (New Zealand) 05F059 $6.98

HAMILTON HARTY (1879-1941): Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, The Children of Lir for Soprano and Orchestra, Variations on a Dublin Air, The Londonderry Air, Ode to a Nightengale for Soprano and Orchestra, A Comedy Overture, An Irish Symphony, In Ireland, With the Wild Geese. The majority of Harty's works have Irish associations - either folk tunes or the idioms of folk music or programs based on Celtic legend or history - with the violin concerto of 1908 (written for the 20-year-old Szigeti) and its Brahms/Dvorák influences and the Rachmaninov-like aspects of the 1922 piano concerto standing out for their more cosmopolitan personalities. 3 CDs. Mid-price. Heather Harper (soprano), Ralph Holmes (violin), Malcolm Binns (piano), Ulster Orchestra; Bryden Thomson. Original 1979, 1981-3 Chandos releases. Chandos 10194 (England) 05F060 $38.98

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870-1948): Der Sterngucker. Dating from 1916, "The Stargazer" was another of Lehár's many attempts to expand the genre of operetta, here trying to insert stretches of what we might call "musical comedy". It ran for 79 performances (paltry for this composer), the comedy portions disliked but the traditional love-waltzes, its "Teddy Bear Song" and segments in duple and triple time were very popular. The original version is extant only in a few piano arrangement fragments, so this is basically the revised, more echt-operetta version which Lehár produced in revision later the same year. No lover of Lehár's music is going to be unhappy with what's recorded here, regardless of its history. 2 CDs. No libretto but detailed synopses. Claudia Rohrbach, Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir (sopranos), Lothar Odinius, Robert Wörle (tenors), Markus Köhler (baritone), Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss; Johannes Goritzki. SACD Hybrid/Surround. CPO 999 872 (Germany) 05F061 $31.98

LEÓ WEINER (1885-1960): Violin Concertos No. 1 in D, Op. 41 & No. 2 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 45, JOSEPH JOACHIM (1831-1907): Variations for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor. In 1957 and 1958, the aging Weiner took two 40-year-old violin sonatas and turned them into concertos. Full of melody and expansive lyrical joy, the first concerto also has a Brahmsian, Romantic andante and a witty scherzo while the second has more storm and stress, as its key signature would indicate, as well as more showy virtuosity. Joachim's 13-minute set of variations (1882), dedicated to Sarasate, make a fine coupling as, though the composers are two generations apart, their roots are in the same Romantic Hungarian-German soil. Vilmos Szabadi (violin), North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc; László Kovács. Hungaroton HCD 32185 (Hungary) 05F062 $17.98

HENRI TOMASI (1901-1971): Saxophone Concerto, ANDRÉ CAPLET (1878-1925): Légende for Saxophone and Orchestra, JEAN ABSIL (1893-1974): Fantaisie-Caprice for Saxophone and String Orchestra, Op. 152, MARIUS CONSTANT (b.1925): Musique de Concert for Saxophone and 12 Instruments, CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918): Rapsodie for Saxophone and Orchestra. Everything here but the Debussy receives its first recording in its original scoring (versions exist with piano accompaniment or other pared-down arrangements). The earliest are the single-movement, rhapsodic pieces by Debussy and Caplet (1911 and 1903 respectively), which, due to their commissioning by an American amateur player, use the instrument more for extra color within the orchestra than as a soloist-protagonist. Tomasi's 1949 concerto is a gorgeously atmospheric two-movement work with entracing orchestral color while Constant (1954) offers a ten-minute suite of five movements which plays upon the instrument's harder, more unyielding tone-qualities in music paying tribute to styles as different as jazz and the baroque and Messiaen and Hindemith. Absil's six-minute piece, written in 1971, is a polytonal one clothed in brilliant orchestral garb. Dominique Tassot (alto sax), Munich Radio Orchestra; Manfred Neuman. Audite 97.500 (Germany) 05F063 $16.98

VINCENT D'INDY (1851-1931): Commun d'un martyr, JEAN ROGER-DUCASSE (1873-1954): Pastorale, ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955): 2 pièces, ERIK SATIE (1866-1925): Excerpts from Messe des pauvres, CHARLES TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939): Improvisation sur le "Te Deum", JEAN LANGLAIS (1907-1991): Hymne d'Actions de grâces "Te Deum", ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Prélude et Fughetta, Op. 41, DARIUS MILHAUD (1892-1974): Pastorale, Op. 229, JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962): Musette. Most of this material comes from French sources not exactly first thought-of when it comes to organ music. The longest pieces are those by D'Indy (a suite of eight modal antiphons rich in mood) and the 15-minute Pastorale by Roger-Ducasse, which fits into the French Romantic tradition quite comfortably. Ibert's Musette is organ Impressionism at its wittiest while the other short pieces by non-organists show attractive, unsuspected aspects of their creators. Arturo Sacchetti (organs of the Chiesa Pontificio Ateneo Salesiano, Rome and of the Chiesa S. Anselmo all'Aventino, Rome). Arts 47641 (Germany) 05F064 $9.98

GIAN FRANCESCO MALIPIERO (1882-1973): Endecatode for 14 Instruments and Percussion, Serenata mattutina for 10 Instruments, Serenata for Bassoon and 10 Instruments, Epodi e giambi for Violin, Oboe, Viola and Bassoon, Macchine for 14 Instruments, Mondi celesti for Voice and 10 Instruments, 7 canzonette veneziane for Voice and Piano. The chamber works here cover a period from 1932-66, from Epodi's lovely and neo-classical nine minutes to the Endecatode, an eleven-movement piece lasting around 20 minutes which, although harmonically complex, is still tonal and approachable. Only the little set of canzonette in Venetian dialect has any twelve-tone music in it and there, it is in the ostinato piano accompaniment in the first song which lasts only 1:38. Macchine (1963) does what you think it might, yet in a disappointed, melancholy manner in which such futuristic works as Iron Foundry seem like faded old silent movies; The two serenate center on the bassoon and have a hypnotic effect (a celesta has a marvelous moment at the end of one of them) while Mondi celesti is an absolutely lush and sensual 13-minutes vocal setting from 1948, modal and diatonic. Venetian dialect texts and Italian-English texts. Maria Chiara Pavone (soprano), Rino Vernizzi (bassoon), Freon Ensemble; Stefano Cardi. Stradivarius STR 33664 (Italy) 05F065 $17.98

SAMUEL BARBER (1910-1981): Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for Soprano and Orchestra, Op. 24, Second Essay, Op. 17, Third Essay, Op. 47, Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 36. Collectors of Alsop's critically acclaimed Barber recordings on Naxos will not need to be urged to get this latest release, particularly since the Third Essay of 1976 is one of his least recorded works (and also one of his least open-heartedly melodic). The lush neo-Romanticism of the Second Essay and of Knoxville (both from the 1940s) is still a pleasure to partake of and the Toccata, formerly "rarely recorded", now has at least its third recording in the last 18 months. Karina Gauvin (soprano), Thomas Trotter (organ of Paisley Abbey, Glasgow), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Marin Alsop. Naxos American Classics 8.559134 (U.S.A.) 05F066 $6.98

MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968): Le danze del Re David, Questo fu il carro della morte, Alt Wien, I Naviganti, Piedigrotta. These youthful works, all written between 1913 and 1925, brim with color and imagination. "King David's Dances", subtitled "Hebrew Rhapsody on Traditional Themes" demonstrates the composer's attention to the exoticisms of his Jewish background while the Piedigrotta, with its depiction of a summer night in Naples shows the influences of Albéniz and Granados. Questo fu is a Lisztian evocation of a funeral march à la La lugubre gondola and I Naviganti is like an Impressionist Isle of the Dead while the three pieces of Alt Wien careen from nostalgic waltz-parody to the unsettling Memento mori - a bone-rattling "Dance of the Dead" whose psychological antecedents are surely to be found in the recent First World War. Mark Bebbington (piano). SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 032 (England) 05F067 $17.98

JOHAN DE MEIJ (b.1953): Symphony No. 2 "The Big Apple", JOHN ADAMS (b.1947): Slonimsky's Earbox. De Meij's 1993 symphony is a big-hearted, woolly monster of a piece which swoons over Manhattan while paying homage to Copland, Bernstein, John Adams, jazz and ragtime. The first movement "Skyline" is brash, angular, high-speed (starting off a bit like Michael Daugherty in his Metropolis Symphony) and completely in-your-face (like its subject). A three-minute "Times Square Cadenza" uses tapes made by the composer in that landmark, over which the orchestra gradually comes back in for "Gotham", a 20-minute finale which opens in stately Coplandesque majesty and works its way back to the brutal vivacity of Manhattan at night. Lots of fun and no minimalism to be heard! Speaking of minimalism, collectors allergic to it will not have too much trouble with Slonimsky's Earbox, a bright and enjoyable 14-minute diversion from 1996. North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra; Jurjen Hempel. Q Disc Q 97035 (Netherlands) 05F068 $17.98

PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, GLASS/RAVI SHANKAR (b.1920): Offering, Channels and Winds & Meetings Along the Edge from Passages (arr. Dennis Russell Davies for Saxophone Quartet, Strings, Piano and Percussion). This 2000 concerto, written for the performers here, was Glass' first work in which he used original folk music, although his (evolving) brand of minimalism is just as recognizable as ever. The concerto lasts 29 minutes, leaving 26 minutes to conductor Davies' arrangements of segments of the 1990 recording Passages which Glass made with Ravi Shankar. Rascher Saxophone Quartet, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies (piano). Orange Mountain Music 0011 (U.S.A.) 05F069 $16.98

JONATHAN DOVE (b.1959): Flight. This is a live recording of the 1999 Glyndebourne premiere of what is one of the most acclaimed and popular new operas of today. Set at an airport in which a variety of characters, stranded overnight by bad weather, interact, overseen by a god-like Flight Controller and commented upon by the Refugee, who must avoid the Immigration Officer. Dove's experience working with small and medium-sized opera groups has helped him produce a tight work with masterful control over multiple characters and a variety of emotions. There is much humor evident and the notes suggest a comparison with Albert Herring, in which the humor comes out of a real-life situation. The composer's influences run the gamut of the 20th century, from Prokofiev and Shostakovich to Britten to Rodgers and Sondheim and the booklet includes copious photos of the performance which help the listener to orient himself and identify the characters. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Claron McFadden, Mary Plazas (sopranos), Christopher Robson (countertenor), Richard Coxon (tenor), Nuala Willis, Ann Taylor (mezzos), Glyndebourne Festival Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra; David Parry. Chandos 10197 (England) 05F070 $35.98

YEHUDI WYNER (b.1929): The Mirror for Vocal Soloists, Clarinet, Violin, Percussion and Double Bass, Passover Offering for Clarinet, Flute, Cello and Bass Trombone, Tants un Maysele for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano. Incidental music for Isaac Bashevis Singer's play, "The Mirror" forms an extended suite in which elements of Klezmer music, Jewish traditional secular and religious music are skillfully blended into a form that both respects and parodies its earlier models. With its subversive subtexts concerning sexual repression and superstition, Singer's play is fertile ground for this collision of tradition and dark humor. Both Passover Offering and "Dance and Story" also use traditional forms of Jewish music in works that are at once serious and nostalgic. Richard Stoltzman (clarinet), Daniel Stepner (violin), Robert Schulz (percussion), Carol Wincenc (flute), Yehudi Wyner (piano, speaker) and other artists. Naxos Milken Archive 8.559423 (U.S.A.) 05F071 $6.98

CHIEL MEIJERING (b.1954): Kiss of Fire, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dolly Parton, Huba, Marilyn Monroe, Adriana Sklenarikova, Naomi Campbell, The Witch of New Orleans, Annette Bergman, Angelina Jolie, Alyssa Milano, Brigitte Bardot, Cicciolina. Kind of like a super-charged, lubricious Charles Koechlin (remember his obsession with Hollywood actresses?), Dutch composer Mejering has produced a series of song-length pieces for string quartet inspired by the various actresses and models listed above (not forgetting Cicciolina, the Hungarian-born porn-star who was elected to the Italian parliament). Elements of rock and minimalism stoke these works which catch the ear, don't overstay their welcome and should appeal to collectors of composers who appear on labels like Canteloupe Music or at festivals like Bang on a Can. Annette Bergman? She's the violist of the quartet... Mondriaan Quartet. Basta 30-9132-2 (Netherlands) 05F072 $17.98

MICHAEL NYMAN (b.1944): Water Dances, Taking a line for a second walk, Lady in the red hat, 2 untitled pieces. Well, you know what to expect of Michael Nyman by now, and this is a fine specimen of it. Here are the sinister ground basses, incisive syncopation and slightly unexpected modulations rendered more dramatic through repetiton that we all know, and some of us love, from his scores for Peter Greenaway films and works written for the Michael Nyman Band. Who or what "The Zoo Duet" might be is not made clear in the booklet, but most of the music is of the type that Nyman was writing when he scored "A Zed and Two Noughts" ("Lady in the Red Hat" is the only piece actually related to the film, though "Water Dances" also originated in a Greenaway film, and there was some borrowing between the two). This is the sort of thing Nyman does best; slyly tweaking minimalism while using its methods to create an unsettling sense of obsession and emotional detachment. The incisiveness of twin keyboards works well as a vehicle for Nyman's incessant hocketing and pounding rhythms. The recording and presentation, by the way, suggest that this was conceived as a 'crossover' album, but that need not be perceived as a disadvantage. Michael Nyman (pianos). Signum Records SIGCD506 (England) 05F073 $17.98

DON RAY (b.1926): Piano Concerto, Family Portrait - Suite No. 2. Ray taught film scoring at UCLA (where he founded the program) and was composer/music supervisor for many well-known TV shows of the 60s and 70s (his works list includes over 200 scores for Hawaii Five-O). He began composing concert music after his retirement from CBS. The concerto is a 40-minute work in four movements (including a scherzo) with an strong personality, an unending flow of melody and orchestration both brilliant and subtle. Yes, it sounds like film music, not surprisingly, but it is also a great, big, furry romantic vehicle that any collector of gorgeous, Technicolor music will want to embrace. The suite contains seven movements from a work which depicts characters and events in the life of Ray's grandparents, which allows for dashes of nostalgic Americana to be added to the lushly romantic portraits. Conor Linehan, Philharmonia Bulgarica, Dublin Philharmonic; Derek Gleeson. Albany TROY 662 (U.S.A.) 05F074 $16.98

HAROLD SCHIFFMAN (b.1928): Alma for Mezzo-Soprano, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, Prelude and Variations for Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Concerto No. 2 for Piano, Wind Quintet and String Quartet. Like the 32-minute cantata Alma, the rest of Schiffman's works are inspired by the literature and landscapes of the mountains of North Carolina and his language is modern, yet tonal and approachable. Texts included. Mária Horváth (mezzo), Budafok Chamber Choir, Györ Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungarian Philharmonic; Mátyás Antal, Jane Perry-Camp (piano), Accord Wind Quintet, Akadémia String Quartet. North/South Recordings N/S R 1035 (U.S.A.) 05F075 $15.98

GEORGE ROCHBERG (b.1918): Violin Concerto (rev. 2001 Lyndon-Gee & Rochberg). The genesis of the version of this work heard here - a work rightly regarded as one of Rochberg's finest, and certainly one of his most successful in terms of high-profile exposure - is a fascinating story of contemporary musical archeology. When you buy the disc - which you should if you care about contemporary American music - you can read the details, but in brief, the version of the piece previously performed and recorded was a heavily cut one (about 2/3 the length of this one), revised at the request of the original soloist, Isaac Stern. This new edition is a 2001 revision done by the conductor in close collaboration with the composer, restoring the original material while incorporating some more recent thoughts to reflect his final wishes for the score. So now we can hear the monumental work in its entirety, revealing, as Stern's recording does not, the architecture and meticulously designed structure of the concerto. Romantic in both concept (the violinist is a lone human voice in passionate dialogue with the elemental forces of an uncaring universe) and execution (never showily virtuosic, the solo part is eloquent and dramatic, the full and vivid orchestral backdrop richly detailed and varied), the work charts a journey full of emotional contrasts, from vehemence and anger to despair, resignation and transcendent acceptance. Very much at the Romantic end of the dodecaphonic world, with many passages of rich tonal harmony, the concerto acknowledges a debt to Alban Berg while fully expressing Rochberg's mature style, in which passionate lyricism coexists fully with exquisitely planned structure worthy of the strictest serialist. This disc deserves the highest recommendation, both for the intrinsic merits of the work it reveals and for restoring one of the finest ornaments in the output of one of this country's finest composers. Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin), Saabrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Naxos American Classics 8.559129 (U.S.A.) 05F076 $6.98

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE (b.1949): Symphony No. 1, Phantasmata. More non-Louisville material (when there's so much Louisville material which desperately needs to be released) from First Edition - Rouse's most well-known piece, The Infernal Machine, here with its mates as part of Phantasmata, a triptych of hallucinatory, vaguely creepy pieces composed between 1981 and 1985. The Evestrum of Juan de la Cruz in the Sagrada Familia at 3 A.M. is ghostly and ephemeral, The Infernal Machine is a squeaking, twittering, hellish perpetual motion piece and Bump an even more hellish brimstone conga-dance. Wonderful fun! The symphony (1986) is a 27-minute Adagio whose acknowledged antecedents are Pettersson, Shostakovich, Hartmann, Sibelius and Schuman - compelling, quite approachable and the source of critical raves after its premiere. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; David Zinman. Original 1989 Nonesuch releases. First Edition Music FECD-0026 (U.S.A.) 05F077 $17.98

ROBERT XAVIER RODRÍGUEZ (b.1946): Oktoechos - Concerto for 2 Groups of Soloists and Orchestra, Favola Boccaccessca - Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, The Song of Songs for Soprano, Narrator and Chamber Ensemble. Rodríguez' style is fairly conservative and largely tonal, with excursions into more modern idioms; the overwhelming impression, though is highly approachable, not without humor. The concerto plays off the contrasts of high/low, and timbral families of instuments, with a rhythmic liveliness that is most appealing. The burlesque tone-poem after Boccaccio uses actual and invented mediæval material in a most appealing fashion, while the Song of Songs combines a 20th-century text with the Biblical text in a highly effective pastiche of archaic and modern genres and a pronounced atmosphere of Eastern local color. Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Eduardo Mata, Louisville Orchestra; Lawrence Leighton Smith, Voices of Change; Robert Xavier Rodriguez. Dates and provenance of the two non-Louisville recordings not provided. First Edition Music FECD-0027 (U.S.A.) 05F078 $17.98

REZA VALI (b.1952): Flute Concerto, Folk Songs (Set No. 10) for Soprano and Orchestra, Deylámân for Oud and Orchestra. Persian music is at the base of all of these works by this Iranian-born Pittsburgh resident, with both Persian classical and folk-music appearing in his 1997 concerto (in which the soloist imitates the Persian ney - a bamboo flute - bringing out the overtones and altering the timbre of the instrument by singing at the same time as playing). Deylámân adds Western classical and African and Peruvian folk musics to Persian modes while the Folk Songs are exactly that. English translations. Alberto Almarza (flute), Janna Baty (soprano), George Mgrdichian (oud), Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose. Naxos 8.557224 (U.S.A.) 05F079 $6.98

KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI (b.1933): Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, 3 Miniatures, Cadenza (transcr. C. Edinger). World Premiere Recording of the 2000 second sonata whose five-movement form suggests both Shostakovich and Schnittke but whose sound-world is closer to the former (collectors familiar with Penderecki's more approachable, late-period style will know what to expect). The 1953 first sonata (less than eight minutes in length) is all Shostakovich and Bartok while the brief Miniatures are pure Webern. Ida Bieler (violin), Nina Tichman (piano). Naxos 8.557253 (New Zealand) 05F080 $6.98

VAGN HOLMBOE (1909-1996): Sinfonias I-IV, Op. 73, Kairos. These four works for strings (three in single-movement form) date from 1957-62 and seem to have been the composer's reaction to having finished the long series of chamber concertos in which he dealt exhaustively with writing for soloists. Holmboe's characteristic clearness of expression, luminosity of writing and honest emotion are ever-present. By rearranging the first three Sinfonias within the four movements of Sinfonia IV, the work Kairos (a Greek word misspelled as Chairos throughout the notes in an unusual example of error from this finely edited label) appears - performed on the free bonus CD. Holmboe collectors need not hesitate! 2 CDs for the price of 1. Danish Radio Sinfonietta; Hannu Koivula. Dacapo 8.226017-18 (Denmark) 05F081 $9.98

KLAAS DE VRIES (b.1944): A King, Riding. Described as a 'scenic oratorio', not an opera, A King, Riding takes to its logical conclusion the abstraction of the literary work on which it is based, Virginia Woolf's complex and enigmatic psychological tapestry "The Waves". Instrumental sounds and electronically manipulated spatial effects serve as sonorous punctuation to the slow-moving, almost narrative free intonation of the characters' oblique statements. Woolf's gorgeous, glowing nuggets of interior monologue are presented without dramatic scene-setting, rendering the whole experience intensely personal, as though the listener temporarily inhabits the persona of the character temporarily brought into the foreground, each taking his or her turn in slow, inexorable rhythm. Three poems by Fernando Pessoa, set in far more active music, provide a total contrast, deliberately interrupting the flow of the work. 2 CDs. Libretto (in English) included. Lisa Saffer (soprano), Gerrie de Vries (mezzo), Stuart Kale (tenor), Harry van der Kamp (baritone), Asko Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble; Reinbert de Leeuw. SACD Hybrid. NM Classics CV 134 (Netherlands) 05F082 $37.98

TRISTAN MURAIL (b.1947): Gondwana for Orchestra, Désintégrations for Tape and 17 Instruments, Time and Again for Orchestra. As a leading composer of the spectralist school and a star pupil of Messiaen, one might expect of Murail a sure and adventurous sense of timbral color, and that is certainly in evidence in these three contrasting yet strangely unified works. Murail freely adds electronics to his instrumental resources, expanding still further the range of sounds available through temperaments and overtone series capable of manipulation outside the usual range of acoustic instruments. The philosophical and legendary concepts to which the titles allude are suggested through a strong sense of atmosphere rather than a narrative musical argument - for example, the 'disintegration' of sounds through the electronic derivation of acoustical timbres leads to some marvellous sonorities and interplay between 'real' and transmuted sounds. It is easy to lose oneself in Murail's vast sound landscapes. Orchestre National de France, Ensemble de l'Itinéraire; Yves Prin, Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn; Karl-Anton Rickenbacker. Original 1989 Salabert release. Montaigne MO 782175 (France) 05F083 $13.98

DAVID YEAGLEY: Clouds of an Evening Sun, MARY JEANNE VAN APPLEDORN (b.1927): Music of Enchantment, HAIG BOYADJIAN: Sevan, RANDALL SNYDER (b.1944): Journeys, MICHAEL MAULDIN (b.1947): Dreams of the Child of Light. This disc of works for the Native American, wood-flute contains works with a variety of inspiration from Comanche Yeagley's evocation of Indian painting techniques to Boyadjian's portrait of the high-altitude Lake Sevan in Armenia and Mauldin's portrait of the Dalai Lama. The use of Armenian or Tibetan themes, as opposed to Native American ones, has no real effect on the personality of these works, which are generally of moderate tempo, tonal or modal and more often contemplative than not. Mid-price. James Pellerite (Northern Plains flute), National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; David Oberg. Opus One CD 189 (U.S.A.) 05F084 $11.98

JOSHUA UZOIGWE (b.1946): Talking Drums, OSWALD RUSSELL (b.1933): 3 Jamaican Dances, COLERIDGE-TAYLOR PERKINSON (b.1932): Scherzo, SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912): Deep River, Op. 59/10, MARGARET BONDS (1913-1972): Troubled Water, GAMAL ABDEL-RAHIM (1924-1988): Variations on an Egyptian Folksong, GYIMAH LABI (b.1950): Earthbeats, Op. 22, ROBERT NATHANIEL DETT (1882-1943): In the Bottoms. Aside from the well-known Dett, Perkinson and Coleridge-Taylor, the composers represented here come from Nigeria, Jamaica, Ghana and Egypt and the pianist is a scholar-performer born in Ghana. As might be expected from the use of materials deriving from African drum music, the piano's rhythmic and percussive side is often to the fore, especially in the music by Uzoigwe and Labi. Abdel-Rahim stands out in being Arab and his variations skillfully blend Arab and Western music techniques. Bonds and Coleridge-Taylor are represented by settings of spirituals while Perkinson uses the form made popular by Chopin for musical material based on 20th century African-American idioms. Mid-price. William Chapman Nyaho. Musicians Showcase MS1091 (U.S.A.) 05F085 $10.98

SADIE HARRISON (b.1965): The Light Garden for Mixed Quintet, The Fourteenth Terrace for Clarinet and Ensemble, Bavad Khair Baqi! for Solo Violin with Traditional Afghan Music (performed by Ensemble Bakhtar). Harrison's three pieces, which form a trilogy and take up about 3/5 of the CD, are audibly influenced by studies in Eastern traditions, folklore and music, while remaining somewhat unapologetically complexicist. The contrast with the authentic music of Afghanistan is striking; the western music sounds hyperactive and aggressive after the ornately decorated yet static traditional works, but this is not to the detriment of either; they are complimentary rather than stylistically antagonistic. The instrumentation of the Afghani music will be more or less familiar to those familiar with other Arabic musics (the westward progress and evolution of reeds and strings is well documented, and provides another reason why the juxtaposition presented on this CD is of interest). [Multimedia and internet-accessible content on CD for Mac or PC] The Tate Ensemble, Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez, Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin). Metier MSV CD92084 (England) 05F086 $16.98

POUL RUDERS (b.1949): Fairytale for Orchestra, Concerto in Pieces (Purcell Variations) for Orchestra, Piano Sonata No. 2, De Profundis for Piano Four Hands and Percussion. This release contains what is probably the most widely accessible piece Ruders has ever written - the 1995 Concerto in Pieces which was commissioned by the BBC on the 300th anniversary of Purcell's death and the 50th of Britten's Young Person's Guide. Selecting a theme from Dido and Aeneas, Ruders produces ten variations which grow increasingly fragmented before the addition of two other themes from the same opera bring matters back together again for the ending. Concentrating on sections of instruments (hence the title), Ruders manages to provide a work every bit as delightful as Britten's without in the least compromising his own musical personality. The tougher aspects of the latter are on evidence in the other items on this disc although nothing is baffling or complexicist; Fairytale (1999) is a ten-minute exercise in orchestral fury and speed which will appeal to those who know and love their Furioso (by Rolf Liebermann) or Iron Foundry, De Profundis (1990) is a 16-minute trip from darkness to light or, literally, from the lower registers of the two pianos and the couple dozen percussion instruments (many untuned) to their brightest, highest registers and the sonata (1982) alternates movements of virtuosic rapidity (imitating the technique of bell change-ringing) with one of pppp stillness and one of nothing but chords varying in weight and volume. Orkester Norden; Stefan Solyom, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis, Thomas Adès (piano), Quattro Mani, David Colson (percussion). Bridge 9143 (U.S.A.) 05F087 $16.98

ROGER SMALLEY (b.1943): Chopin Variations for Piano, Piano Trio, Poles Apart for Ensemble, Crepuscule for Piano Quartet, Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano. These chamber and solo piano works all pay homage to Romantic models - Chopin mostly, also Brahms. Smalley was at one time a Stockhausen pupil and a leading figure in electronic music in the UK, but these relatively recent works demonstrate a return to tonal thinking, though the legacy of serialism remains in the meticulous working out of the structural elements of the works, and in the spiky ingenuity with which the recognisable material is treated in the ensemble works especially. Indeed, one is constantly being tripped up in one's expectations, as an idea of obviously Romantic origin is suddenly supplanted by a reminder that this is a composer whose natural habitat is the arid lands of Darmstadt serialism, which he has chosen to irrigate in the past couple of decades by borrowing from the fertile fields of the Romantic era. Lest this sounds like a description of an unconvincing kind of pastiche, it should be clearly stated that it is not; Smalley's compositional voice is far too individual for that, and the works themselves far too entertaining and emotionally lively. Douglas Finch (piano), Continuum Ensemble; Philip Headlam. NMC D083 (England) 05F088 $17.98

COLIN MATTHEWS (b.1946): Sonata No. 5: "Landscape" for Orchestra, Cello Concerto No. 1, Hidden Variables, Memorial, Quatrain, Machines and Dreams. These works from the 1980s and 90s provide a fine overview of the mature orchestral output of one of the UK's most accomplished and craftsmanlike contemporary composers. The half-hour "Landscape" is really an extended tone-poem ("Sonata" is used in an early and general sense and carries little structural significance); the composer describes the work as consisting of three journeys through an imaginary landscape with something of the 'irrational logic of a dream'. Here and in the Cello Concerto, written for the BBC 'Proms', Matthews' fine ear for orchestral sonority and vivid sense of harmony (based firmly in tonality, as one might expect of an authority on Mahler and colleague of Britten) are strongly to the fore. "Hidden Variables" and the lighter "Machines and Dreams" both make use of minimalist techniques, slyly tweaked, as Matthews has done on several occasions, reflecting his sense of ambivalence about 'process music'; like all good parodies, these pieces work very well as specimens of the genre they're sending up, and anyone who doesn't crack a smile during the backhanded hommages to some of Glass' (best) dance and operatic scores would be well advised to look to the health of their sense of humour without delay. "Memorial" is arguably the finest and most serious work here, and the one to which posterity will most likely return to assess Matthews' position in the pantheon of 20th century composers; inspired by a visit to the grave of his grandfather, who died on the Somme, the piece expresses the mood of Mahler's great funeral march movements in a language clearly derived from Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem. 2 CDs. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; John Carewe, Alexander Baillie (cello), London Sinfonietta; Carewe, London Symphony Orchestra; Michael Tilson Thomas. Original 1986 Unicorn-Kanchana and 1995 Collins Classics releases. NMC Ancora D101 (England) 05F089 $31.98

ROBIN HOLLOWAY (b.1943): Misa Caiensis for Mixed Choir and Organ, Fantasy for Organ, Woefully Arrayed for Mixed Choir and Organ, Wedding March for Organ. For a composer who confesses freely to a problem with the question of Christian faith, Holloway writes very convincing liturgical music - no doubt his youthful experience of choral singing and the environment of Cambridge with its choral and organ traditions contributes to his sure-footedness in these idioms. These works are as eloquent as they are accessible - nothing here to trouble anyone who enjoys Britten or Messiaen - and they continue the tradition of British church music while neatly side-stepping the more egregiously turgid excesses of our Victorian and Edwardian ancestors. Woefully Arrayed is especially fine, a bitter reproach to man's inhumanity, as much an humanitarian cri de coeur as a religious statement. Choir of Gonville & Caius College Cambridge; Geoffrey Webber, Timothy Kennedy (organ), David Goode (organ of Ely Cathedral - Fantasy and Wedding March), Choir of Clare College Cambridge; Timothy Brown, Nicholas Rimmer (organ - Woefully Arrayed). Dutton Epoch CDLX 7134 (England) 05F090 $16.98

CASPAR RENÉ HIRSCHFELD (b.1965): Sonett V, Op. 20 for Piano and Percussion, Wandlungen III, Op. 73 for Oboe, Cello and Harp, Sonett XI, Op. 71 for Oboe, Cello and Harp, Sommernachtsvariationen, Op. 55 for Harp and Percussion, Nachstück, Op. 56/D for Oboe and Harp. Not yet 40, and thus too young to have worked in the atmosphere of relentless experimentation that characterised new music in the 60s and 70s, Hirschfeld writes music with a very direct appeal, finely crafted but with a sense of an almost anti-intellectual approach to the senses. His use of ostinati and straightforward melody cast in a warmly tonal idiom anchor the works strongly in the new Romantic genre, and it is not hard to imagine the works being choreographed. The first and enduring impression created by these pieces is of music written to enjoy, which is very easy to do when it is as well crafted and emotionally rich as this. Duo Bellini, Ensemble Camena, Trio Triton. col legno WWE 1CD 20218 (Germany) 05F091 $19.98

Donaueschinger Musiktage 2002

JULIO ESTRADA (b.1943): Hum for 5 or 6 Voices and Live Electronics, MISATO MOCHIZUKI (b.1969): Ecoute for 5 Voices and Light Installation, GERARD PAPE (b.1955): The Ecstasy of St. Theresa for 9 Voices and Live Electronics, ALAN HILARIO (b.1967): phonautograph for 4 Female Voices, Countertenor, Trombone, 4 Record Players and Live Electronics, KARIN REHNQVIST (b.1957): Teile dich Nacht for Mixed Choir and Female Voices, HELMUT OEHRING (b.1961): ER, eine She (aus: 5ÜNF/Haare-Opfer) for 3 Deaf Soloists, Bass Flute, Electronics and Sound Installation, JOSEF ANTON RIEDL (b.1927): vollicht aust es sa, III for 3 Speakers, 2 Percussionists, Flutes, 4 Films and Loudspeakers, JAAP BLONK (b.1953): MUNUNDRUM for Mouth, KLAUS HUBER (b.1924): Die Seele muss vom Reittier steigen... for Cello, Baritone, Countertenor and 37 Instrumentalists, BERNHARD LANG (b.1957): differenz/wiederholung 7 for Large Orchestra and Loop Generator, CHAYA CZERNOWIN (b.1957): maim zarim, maim gnuvim for Large Orchestra, Tubax, Quintet of Soloists and Live Electronics. The 2002 Festival seems to have concentrated largely on vocal and vocal/electronic compositions (or installations), with only the third disc using full orchestral forces. The variety of these creations beggars easy, concise description although the most creative might be the Dutchman Blonk's 17-minute piece using only his own mouth, quadraphonics and six microphones. 3 CDs. Various artists including Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, SWF Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg; Sylvain Cambreling. col legno WWE 3CD 20229 (Germany) 05F092 $59.98

LUIGI NONO (1924-1990): Der rote Mantel, Composizione per orchestra No. 1. Composizione is a tense quarter-hour paragraph, strictly serial yet highly expressive. It is the expressiveness which is most apparent to the listener; the limited musical material is varied with such a feeling for orchestral color and narrative drama that the processes by which it functions are effectively hidden from the audience, and the intensely energetic percussion-driven coda is exciting on a visceral level which is worlds away from the cerebral processes of serialism. Der Rote Mantel, receiving its premiere recording, is both an homage to Lorca, a kindred spirit to the composer, and a colorful ballet score in its own right. Unmistakably modern-sounding, the music nonetheless paints such vivid scenes that the narrative of eroticism and death seems almost as explicit as if it were spelled out, rather than depicted in mostly abstract, largely instrumental music. Angelika Luz (soprano), Jörg Gottschick (baritone), RIAS Chamber Choir, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Peter Hirsch. Wergo WER 6667-2 (Germany) 05F093 $19.98

MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Palais de Mari, Nature Pieces, 3 Dances, Intermissions I-VI. The piano, with its limitless potential for complex, evolving resonances, is perhaps the ideal vehicle for Feldman's singular vision of musical æsthetics, and it is no surprise that he composed for the instrument throughout his career. As one might expect, the musical material consists of intervals, sometimes chords, and patterns of notes, with the usual sense of being given time to examine the structure of a given sound event before the next one arrives. The language becomes more refined and rarefied in the later works, with the shadowy resonances of individual sounds taking precedence over the more colorful and musically conventional gestures (occasionally something sounds like a deliberate reference to Impressionism for a moment, before something else takes over, and there are passages of considerable activity requiring some agility from the pianist, which are largely absent in the late "Palais de Mari" of 1986, the composer's last completed piano piece). Siegfried Mauser (piano). Kairos 0012362KAI (Austria) 05F094 $15.98

EARLE BROWN (1926-2001): Corroboree for 3 Pianos, MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Mimetics, HENRI POUSSEUR (b.1929): Caractères, HELMUT LACHENMANN (b.1935): Echo andante, KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (b.1928): Invtervalle for Piano Four Hands. Arguably, not much need be said about this disc; what composers were getting up to in Darmstadt in the 1960s is pretty well known, and if you like that sort of thing, this disc is self-recommending, and if you don't, nothing short of threats to your family will induce you to buy it. Kagel's piece gets an interesting presentation here; capable of almost unlimited variants and the possibility of simultaneous performance with another work by Kagel or another living composer, it is here partnered with a composition for toy piano and toy bells (from the IKEA store, no less, an unique kind of product placement) by the pianist himself. Elsewhere we have a good deal of aleatoric, graphic, extended and prepared behavior, including the cutting of little windows in the score (of the Pousseur) to reveal the text of the underlying page . . . at the very least, then, a fascinating piece of musical palaeontology, as fixed in its historical period as a lava lamp or disco ball (but MUCH more important than either, of course). Steffen Schleiermacher (piano), Josef Christof (second piano - Stockhausen). MD&G 613 1005-2 (Germany) 05F095 $17.98

PHILL NIBLOCK (b.1933): Disseminate Ostrava for Ensemble and Orchestra, Kontradictionaries for Contrabass Flute, Contrabass Saxophone and Contrabass Tuba, Disseminate Q-O2 for Viola, Cello, Bass Clarinet/Soprano Saxophone, Flute and Trombone. What happens when you take the most extreme statements of Andriessen, Scelsi, Reich, Lucier, Feldman and the spectralists, and take them to their logical conclusion? With Niblock, you end up with a rich, harmonically complex drone, with microtonal pitch variations changing the texture of the sound, as one might view changing mineral textures and structures in the fractionally crystallised lava flow in an extended geological stratum. While it is very clear what these pieces are not, in conventional musical terms, it seems that defining a metaphor for what they are will probably be as individual an issue as the listener's response to any music from any period. The study of the extreme often yields insights into the nature of the average, so ultimately this recording may point to truths in how we listen to all musics. Try it and see! Ensemble OCNM, Members of the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Kotik, The Kontra-Trio, Q-O2 Ensemble Brussels. Mode 131 (U.S.A.) 05F096 $17.98

Carlos Kleiber - Live Beethoven 6th!

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827): Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 "Pastoral". The exception to Records International's "unusual repertoire-only" rule comes when the first authorized live orchestral recording in around 20 years comes out of a work not previously recorded by this highly idiosyncratic personality who conducted very little and only when he felt like it but who is justly worshipped as a conducting god by most collectors. Recorded Nov. 7, 1983. Bavarian State Orchestra; Carlos Kleiber. Orfeo d'Or 600 031 (Germany) 05F097 $16.98

4 Rare British Film Scores - New Recordings!

ELISABETH LUTYENS (1906-1983): The Skull, ROBERTO GERHARD (1896-1970): This Sporting Life, RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1936): The Return of the Soldier, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Love from a Stranger. Britten was so upset by his first commercial film-scoring experience in 1937 that he made sure it was also his last but he left some attractive, atmospheric music for a thriller starring Basil Rathbone as a Bluebeardish character. Gerhard's second film job was also his last - the director, Lindsay Anderson cut most of the music and rearranged the rest; he obviously had no idea of the composer's atonal, avant-garde style. Around 15 minutes of the film's music has been assembled here into an eight-movement suite. Lutyens and Bennett have scored hundreds of films between them and it's great to have this 17-minute suite, comprising all of the main thematic material, from the 1965 Amicus horror film starring Peter Cushing - moody and expressive, with the cimbalom adding much to the overall effect. Bennett's contribution is a 1982 adaptation of a Rebecca West novel which did poorly at the box-office but, of course, the composer is a consummate professional and this 20-minute suite adds to what we got recently on the Chandos disc devoted entirely to his film music. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Jac Van Steen. NMC D073 (England) 05F098 $17.98

British Music Society reissues from cassette originals

These items are burned from the original master to CD-Rs (so the usual caveats are in place regarding compatibility with your player) and are in the 45-minute range - thus the slightly cheaper price (even considering the current exchange rate!).

EDGAR BAINTON (1880-1956): Viola Sonata, JULIUS HARRISON (1885-1963): Viola Sonata in C Minor, FRANK BRIDGE (1879-1941): Allegretto, 2 Pieces. Bainton's sonata (1922) is pure, late Romanticism, with a strong dose of minor-key storm-and-stress (actually sounding more like the work of a 22-year-old than a 42-year-old) while Harrison's (1945) has much more affinity with the early 20th century world of Bax and Rebecca Clarke. Martin Outram (viola), Michael Jones (piano). British Music Society BMS CD 415R (England) 05F099 $15.98 >

KENNETH LEIGHTON (1929-1988): Four Romantic Pieces, Op. 95, Sonata for Piano Four Hands, Op. 92. Historically important for being one of the last recordings of the composer at the piano, these are late works (1985 and 1987) in Leighton's typically tough, yet approachable style, with chorales and counterpoint partnering jazz and intimations of folk music. Made in Nov. 1987 and Feb. 1988 at the Wigmore Hall. Kenneth Leighton (piano), Colin Kingsley (second piano). British Music Society BMS CD 408R (England) 05F100 $15.98 >

JACQUES OFFENBACH (1819-1880): The Brigands (in W.S. Gilbert's English translation). First complete CD recording of this 1871 English version of the Offenbach opéra comique by the soon-to-be-famous W.S. Gilbert (this was the same year as his first collaboration with Sullivan in Thespis). G&S fans will especially appreciate the spectacle of rough-and-tumble pirates speaking impeccable, drawing-room English. Fortunately, the spoken dialogue is included also (not always to be expected in recordings). Libretto included. 2 CDs. Ohio Light Opera; J. Lynn Thompson. Albany TROY 660/661 (U.S.A.) 05F101 $33.98

STEPHEN FOSTER (1826-1864): Arrangements of 27 songs for 19th century brass band, performed on period instruments. A wide variety of marches, quick-steps and dances based on Foster's songs by contemporary bandleaders and composers, performed on instruments dating from the 1860s when the new formation, the brass band, became the primary vehicle for public music. The Chestnut Brass Company. Naxos American Classics 8.559124 (U.S.A.) 05F102 $6.98